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Rick Van De Water

Rabbinic tradition indicates a revision of the text of the Book of Ezekiel in the first century ce and suggests the rationale behind it. Hanania ben Hezeqiah is said to have “harmonized” Ezekiel with the Torah shortly before the first Jewish revolt, to save the book from suppression by the rabbis. Hasty redaction, followed by immediate standardization, offers the best explanation for the atrocious grammar, orthography, and syntax of the received Hebrew text, along with the plethora of words and expressions common to post-biblical Hebrew. The goal of Hanania’s project was to discourage the conflation of the enthroned figure in Ezek. 1 with the “one like a son of man” in Dan. 7:13 and thus combat the “two Powers heresy.” His project is related to the outburst of speculation on the throne of yhwh and the merkabah in the mid-first century ce