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Psalm 68.18 and Ephesians 4.8-10

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Chapter Summary

It is well known that Ephesians (Eph) 4.8-10 appears to misquote from Psalm (Ps) 68 to the extent of totally reversing the thrust of the original verse. Whereas the Psalm asserts that "God received gifts from among mankind", Ephesians draws out the implication that God gave gifts. This chapter focuses on the evidence of a Targumic tradition which parallels to some extent the Ephesian version of Ps 68.18.8. Moreover, there have been attempts to reconcile Ephesians with the underlying thrust of Ps 68. In order to evaluate such hypotheses it is necessary to assess the function of v 18 within Ps 68 itself. It becomes evident that this Targumic rendering does not suffice to explain the phenomenon of Eph 4.8. The chapter provides a fresh assessment of the relationship between Ps 68 and Eph 4 and a study of the midrash that follows the quotation.

Keywords: Ephesians (Eph) 4.8-10; Midrash Psalms; Psalm (Ps) 68.18; Targumic tradition



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