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Shiʿur Qomah

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Chapter Summary

With Shiʿur Qomah, the chapter begins the discussion of a series of texts which are not Hekhalot writings in the narrow sense of the word, but which inherently belong to an ancient mystical tradition. Among these texts, the Shiʿur Qomah material is the most controversial. It describes the physical measurements of God's limbs and other parts of His body and gives them mystical names. In contrast to the Hekhalot tradition, which refers back to the terminology and imagery of Ezekiel, the Shiʿur Qomah speculations attach themselves to the Song of Songs. The term Shiʿur Qomah means "The Measurement of the Body". It is first found in Tannaitic literature in connection with the vessels of the Temple. However, Enoch xxxix, 6 contains the first allusion to the gigantic measures of God.

Keywords: Ezekiel; God's limbs; Hekhalot tradition; Shiʿur Qomah; Tannaitic literature



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