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Ezekiel 28:14-16

Context

28:14 I placed you there with an anointed 1  guardian 2  cherub; 3 

you were on the holy mountain of God;

you walked about amidst fiery stones.

28:15 You were blameless in your behavior 4  from the day you were created,

until sin was discovered in you.

28:16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, 5  and you sinned;

so I defiled you and banished you 6  from the mountain of God –

the guardian cherub expelled you 7  from the midst of the stones of fire.

1 tn Or “winged”; see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.

2 tn The meaning of this phrase in Hebrew is uncertain. The word translated here “guards” occurs in Exod 25:20 in reference to the cherubim “covering” the ark.

3 tn Heb “you (were) an anointed cherub that covers and I placed you.” In the Hebrew text the ruler of Tyre is equated with a cherub, and the verb “I placed you” is taken with what follows (“on the holy mountain of God”). However, this reading is problematic. The pronoun “you” at the beginning of verse 14 is feminine singular in the Hebrew text; elsewhere in this passage the ruler of Tyre is addressed with masculine singular forms. It is possible that the pronoun is a rare (see Deut 5:24; Num 11:15) or defectively written (see 1 Sam 24:19; Neh 9:6; Job 1:10; Ps 6:3; Eccl 7:22) masculine form, but it is more likely that the form should be repointed as the preposition “with” (see the LXX). In this case the ruler of Tyre is compared to the first man, not to a cherub. If this emendation is accepted, then the verb “I placed you” belongs with what precedes and concludes the first sentence in the verse. It is noteworthy that the verbs in the second and third lines of the verse also appear at the end of the sentence in the Hebrew text. The presence of a conjunction at the beginning of “I placed you” is problematic for the proposal, but it may reflect a later misunderstanding of the syntax of the verse. For a defense of the proposed emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.

4 tn Heb “ways.”

5 tn Heb “they filled your midst with violence.”

6 tn Heb “I defiled you.” The presence of the preposition “from” following the verb indicates that a verb of motion is implied as well. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.

7 tn Heb “and I expelled you, O guardian cherub.” The Hebrew text takes the verb as first person and understands “guardian cherub” as a vocative, in apposition to the pronominal suffix on the verb. However, if the emendation in verse 14a is accepted (see the note above), then one may follow the LXX here as well and emend the verb to a third person perfect. In this case the subject of the verb is the guardian cherub. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.



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