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Reʾuyot Yeḥezkel

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Chapter Summary

Reʾuyot Yeḥezkel, or the Visions of Ezekiel, is listed as the earliest Merkavah text, though it is not a Hekhalot text in the strict sense of the term. Reʾuyot Yeḥezkel is a mystical Midrash on the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel; the work enumerates the various things that the prophet Ezekiel allegedly saw in his Merkavah vision. The names of the rabbinical authorities quoted in the text make it likely that the text was composed in the fourth or the fifth century C.E. in Eretz Yisrael. Reʾuyot Yeḥezkelincorporates elements of cosmological speculations, the nature and significance of which are generally set beyond the common mystical interest. However, cosmological secrets are frequently referred to in the Hekhalot writings, though with only a few specifications. In Reʾuyot Yeḥezkel, the basic structure of the universe is conveyed, though, as might be expected, only the celestial world receives extensive attention.

Keywords: Hekhalot writings; mystical Midrash; Reʾuyot Yeḥezkel



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