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Two Gods in HeavenJewish Concepts of God in Antiquity$
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Peter Schäfer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181325

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181325.001.0001

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The Son of Man–Messiah David

The Son of Man–Messiah David

(p.81) 10 The Son of Man–Messiah David
Two Gods in Heaven

Peter Schäfer

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about how Palestinian Judaism is different from the situation in the Babylonian Talmud or the Bavli, the main document of Judaism from the region between the Euphrates and Tigris that belonged to the Sasanian Empire and was still referred to by Jews as Babylonia. It discusses the Bavli, in which it provides a central and well-known interpretation of Daniel 7:9 that is put into the mouth of no one less than Rabbi Aqiva. The interpretation appears in two versions with different contextualizations, but the essence of both is identical. The chapter provides two examples of ostensibly contradictory bible verses that are reconciled in a Bavli-typical argumentation. Similar to the Mekhilta, the first example refers to two different manifestations of God. The second example refers to an apparent contradiction in Daniel 7:9 where God is described as an old man with white hair.

Keywords:   Palestinian Judaism, Babylonian Talmud, Bavli, Sasanian Empire, Rabbi Aqiva, Mekhilta

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