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From Son of Man to Son of Adam—the Prophet Ezekiel in Targum Jonathan

Damsma, A; (2017) From Son of Man to Son of Adam—the Prophet Ezekiel in Targum Jonathan. Aramaic Studies , 15 (1) pp. 23-43. 10.1163/17455227-01501001. Green open access

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Abstract

The ubiquitous vocative expression ‮בן־אדם‬‎ (literally ‘son of man’) in the Book of Ezekiel seems to underscore the prophet’s status as a mere mortal. In contrast to the other ancient versions, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets interprets the word ‮אדם‬‎ as a proper noun, and renders the phrase accordingly as ‮בר אדם‬‎ ‘son of Adam’. This translation runs counter to the Targum’s conventional practice of rendering ‮בן־אדם‬‎ with ‮בר אנש(א)‬‎. In the absence of a satisfactory grammatical explanation for the divergent rendering, this article examines the possibility that the Targumist’s eschewal of ‮בר אנשא‬‎ was motivated by doctrinal concerns. On the strength of the findings it is argued that ‮בר אדם‬‎ was a clever and subtle alternative for ‮בר אנשא‬‎ because, depending on the context, the latter phrase could evoke associations with the Danielic Son of Man figure and the Son of Man Christology.

Type: Article
Title: From Son of Man to Son of Adam—the Prophet Ezekiel in Targum Jonathan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/17455227-01501001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-01501001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Book of Ezekiel; Targum Jonathan; Adam; Daniel 7; Son of Man; Messianism; Gospels; Jesus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088410
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