Saturday, September 17, 2016

"Iridescence in Ezekiel" (Link for Journal Article)


Article deals with rainbow imagery in Ezekiel.


Duncan said...

From the north.

Gleaming amber.

Like a rainbow.

Edgar Foster said...

Well, if you read the article, it will become apparent that Winkle finds both explicit and implicit imagery in Ezekiel that he considers to be iridescent. Yes, Ezek. 1:28 describes the vision as comprable to a rainbow. But the main point as far as I'm concerned, within the context of earlier discussions here, is that the operative term signifies a rainbow. It's the "bow of a cloud."

Winkle pens these remarks: "The menaing of 'rainbow,' however, occurs in Ezekiel only here [1:28] (cf. 39:3, 9); elsewhere in the OT it occurs only in Gen 9:13, 14, and 16."

He observes that 1:28 is the only explicit use of rainbow imagery in Ezekiel.

Duncan said...

I did read it, but where are the comments about chashmal. How are we to understand ηλέκτρου in the lxx?

There are more bows than just colour. The imagery is more explicit in that one verse in Ezekiel.

Edgar Foster said...


For chashmal (chasmal), see pages 52-53 of the article. I did not see any mention of ηλέκτρου in the article, but his main focus is rainbow/iridescence imagery in Ezekiel, both explicit and implicit. Ezekiel compares Jehovah's glory to a rainbow: it is comparable to the bow's appearance.

I don't think the author is denying that there are more bows than color, as he makes clear near the end. But he's concerned with the meaning of qesheth in Ezekiel.

NET Bible makes a brief remark on Ezek. 1:4 and the LXX.

Duncan said...

What good is a consensus without evidence?

Ezekiel 1 is not chiast.

This is all fraught with far to many assumptions.

In Ezekiel it explicitly states a bow with the rain but in Genesis

KJV 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud

This does not explicitly speak of rain & there are a number of candidates. We do not know what the atmospheric changes were at the time.

Duncan said...

Edgar Foster said...

The first link says that the consensus "seems to be . . . "

That observation is less than definitive, and it's a cautious remark to make. Scholarly consensus usually is based on the evidence available at the time. It can undergo change.

Granted, other exegetical possibilities exist for how we understand qesheth, but the translation "rainbow" for Gen. 9:14 makes sense in light of the cataclysmic flood that occurs in Noah's day. The entire narrative deals with rains--lots of it. Compare Gen. 9:11.

An indirect proof for understanding the "bow" as a rainbow is Rev. 4:1ff, which draws heavily upon Ezekiel's account of the chariot. The "bow" there is most certainly a rainbow. See also Rev. 10:1ff.

Edgar Foster said...


Duncan said...

There is NO evidence, so how can it even seem to be?

Since much of the water in the Genesis account comes from below & since 9:14 is a fairly self contained statement I cannot make such assumptions.

The paper you posted starts with the same assumptions & I am certainly not arguing for it being gods war bow. I has to be a physical phenomenon.

The implications of a water canopy and what we now understand about the greenhouse effect would have drastic effects on all life on earth from a physics point of view. The division of the waters was prior to the growth of trees. The trees that would have basically covered the entire planet. The effect of a rain forest of this magnitude would have such a level of moisture in the atmosphere that the true upper clouds would be completely obscured.

Edgar Foster said...

I don't see how you can say there's no evidence for the word meaning "rainbow." Or do you mean there's no evidence for the meaning "amber" for chasmal? They're two different issues in my view.

Gen. 7:11 indicates that the water came from above and below. There's a good reason why the language in Genesis has been applied to rainbows, and not other kinds of bows. In the paper on academia, he argues for the rainbow understanding as well, regardless of his assumptions.

As we talk about assumptions, we also cannot impose ours on the Genesis writer. Granting all you say here, I don't understand what makes a rainbow interpretation such a stretch or so out of bounds. NET encourages the reader to see Westermann's commentary on Genesis. I'll try to see if our uni. library has a copy. G. Wenham's commentary is good too.

Duncan said...

This sign is in the clouds. the fact that it is after all this rain. Is it then dependant on rain each time we see it. An hour after the rain or a day or a week. It does not say each time it rains we will see this sign, it is in the clouds. It may even be the clouds.

Concerning later bows that directly follow rain in the sky, we can be fairly confident of what to expect - refraction.

I do appreciate your time and effort in finding more information.

I am trying to impose science on the descriptions. Even if the writer is unaware of it, isn't it a universal constant (as far as we know). I choose to believe that we are not reading myth mysticism which is why i still believe that the creation account can scrutinised scientifically.

As i have said before IMO each book and account has its time and place and must stand alone before it is compared and contrasted with other writings. So may arguments I here on subjects like this turn out to be circular.

Chasmal is another point of issue but not unrelated. Why would one describe something glowing or shining within a fire when the fire already has those properties. I think something mirror like fits better just as the scientific properties of the ark of the covenants construction point to it having a reflective mirror surface. compare NASA space helmet visor.

Edgar Foster said...

We agree that the Genesis account can be analyzed/scrutinized scientifically, but I just don't believe the writers had those concerns when penning these holy works. I believe that Jehovah inspired the Bible. However, human language and concepts are used, and they're employed within particular contexts. So I would submit that many contemporary ideas brought to the text were far from Moses' mind or from other Bible writers. Ezekiel and the prophets are trying to describe the glory of Jehovah in terms that humans of different epochs can understand. We normally have parallels for about every passage in scripture, and that includes Ezek. 1:28. Reading dissertations on the subject has convinced me that John heavily employed Ezekiel to compose the Revelation. That doesn't mean he didn't use other biblical works as well.

To summarize, I have no problem with analying biblical accounts scientifically, but multidisciplinary approaches likely need to be wielded as we attempt to comprehend scripture.

Duncan said...

When we speak of inspiration and the accounts of Moses, some see Moses as a redactor of earlier accounts but no one could possibly have give a genesis account from observation so as far as inspiration is concerned Moses must have been enabled to see it in the minds eye to be able to pen it. So I treat the account as some kind of observation.

As for my comment about the arc it has a very special significance through out the bible including the NT. Pure gold over what was probably dark acacia wood.

Deuteronomy 31:26

Exodus 25:11 is of interest - "overlay" - Psalm 66:7 - "observe".

This gives these NT verses a special significance:-

ABP 1Co_13:12 For we see now by a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall recognize as also I was recognized.

ABP Jas_1:23 For if any [a listener of the word is], and not a doer, this one is like a man contemplating the face of his creation in a mirror;

IMO first century Jews would have made a connection.

Duncan said...

One last thought on this in relation to OT to NT connections.

ABP Rev 1:7 Behold, he comes with the clouds, and [shall see him every eye], even the ones which stabbed him. And [shall lament over him all the tribes of the earth]. Yes, amen.

Luke 17:26

I have been looking at some of:-,+prophet,+visionary:+Ezekiel%27s+influence+on+the+book+of+Revelation+/+Ian+K.+Boxall&source=bl&ots=lClw5pPUXh&sig=DK4DIEAK81tzPpoxr3EAIODwFNA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6iKPInqPPAhWLLcAKHWuUCcQQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=Exile%2C%20prophet%2C%20visionary%3A%20Ezekiel's%20influence%20on%20the%20book%20of%20Revelation%20%2F%20Ian%20K.%20Boxall&f=false

I do see some similarities with Revelation 1 & Ezekiel 1 but I also see connections to other writings.

Duncan said...

The exercise could be taken a stage further looking for Torah influences on the imagery of Ezekiel. If the ark was reflective then terms like brightness & something shining out of the fire are more distinctive.

Deut 5:1-4.

Edgar Foster said...

Although this discussion centered around Ezekiel, I think it's hard to deny that Revelation contains allusions to other books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Daniel, Joel, and so forth.