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The Lord in middle heaven (1)

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05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian texts
Old Testament

Both in the Ezekiel passage and in the Assyrian mystical text, the Lord is seated on his throne above the lowest heaven, or heaven of the stars, the throne is made of lapis lazuli, and illuminated by the gleam of amber.

VAT 8917, 30-33’:
The upper heaven of luludanitu stone is Anu’s. He settled the 300 Igigi gods there. The middle heaven of saggilmud stone is of the Igigi gods. Bel sits there in a high temple on a dais of lapis lazuli and has made a lamp of amber shine there. The lower heaven of jasper is of the stars. He drew the constellations of the gods on it.

Ezekiel 1:1, 4, 26-27:
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. … As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. … And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.

Sources (list of abbreviations) (source links will open in a new browser window)
Ezekiel 1:1
Ezekiel 1:4
Ezekiel 1:26-27
VAT 8917, 30-33’


Kingsley 1990, 342-345Kingsley, Peter. “Ezekiel by the Grand Canal: between Jewish and Babylonian Tradition.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1990) 339-346.
Livingstone 1986, 82-83Livingstone, Alasdair. Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1986.

Amar Annus

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