Silviu Bunta


The present article analyzes various texts concerning Jacob’s image engraved on the throne of glory and attempts to determine their possible tradition sources. It remarks that the Jacob texts employ terms and imageries used in Second Temple and early rabbinic writings to describe Adam’s special status as the image of God or the equivalent of a cultic representation of an ancient Near Eastern king or of a Roman emperor. Several texts of these Adamic traditions construct a dichotomic portrayal of the protoplast. In these traditions the protoplast’s earthliness encounters opposition and ridicule from angels, in contrast to his status as the cultic statue of the godhead, for which he receives angelic reverence. The Jacob texts similarly build a dichotomic portrayal of Jacob; the patriarch’s heavenly aspect (i.e. his image enthroned in heaven) is contrasted with his earthly dimension. The latter dimension encounters opposition and ridicule from angels, while Jacob’s heavenly status receives angelic worship. For the purpose of illustrating the iconic function of Jacob, the Jacob texts employ a parable about the connection between a king and his cultic statues. This parable is also present within Adamic traditions for the exemplification of Adam’s iconic value. The Jacob texts reveal a similar anthropology and terminology as the Adamic writings. The parallel investigation of the two traditions demonstrates a conspicuous dependence of the Jacob texts on the Adamic traditions.

The scarcity and the succinctness of the midrashic and targumic texts concerning the image of Jacob on the throne of the divine dwbk do not permit an exhaustive ascertainment of their possible tradition sources. Contemporary scholarship does not furnish any attempts for such an analysis.1 This article analyzes the Jacob texts and contends that the tradition regarding Jacob’s image is built on traditions surrounding the protoplast. The Jacob texts employ terms and imageries used in Second Temple and early rabbinic writings to describe Adam’s special status as the image of God. The Jacob texts further construct a dichotomic portrayal of Jacob; the patriarch’s heavenly aspect (i.e. his image enthroned in heaven) is contrasted with his earthly dimension. The latter dimension encounters opposition and ridicule from angels, while Jacob’s heavenly status receives angelic worship. The dichotomous portrayal of Jacob is reminiscent of the anthropology of Adamic traditions. In these traditions the protoplast’s earthliness encounters opposition and ridicule from angels, in contrast to his status as the cultic statue of the godhead, for which he receives angelic reverence. For the purpose of illustrating the iconic function of Jacob, the Jacob texts employ a parable about the connection between a king and his cultic statues. This parable is developed within Adamic traditions for the exemplification of Adam’s iconic value.

The Texts

The traditions regarding Jacob’s image in heaven are extant in several exegetic endeavors of targumic and midrashic writings. In these exegeses Jacob’s dream of Gen 28:12 functions as the portal to a heavenly reality. Jacob sees in a dream that his image is engraved on a heavenly throne. The revelation provokes unrest among angels, a to and fro journey between the sleeping patriarch and his enthroned image.

Tg. Ps.-J. on Gen 28:12 states that the image of Jacob is “fixed on the throne of the Glory.”2 A ladder facilitates the ascent of the present angels to heaven to inform the other angels that the image they contemplate on the heavenly throne has an earthly counterpart or prototype. Similarly, Tg. Neof. on Gen 28:12 describes the angelic ascent as the bearing of the good tiding that the prototype of the image “engraved on the throne of glory” is asleep on earth. The angels descend to look at the prototype of the heavenly image and again ascend to look at the image itself in heaven as in a desire to confirm the similarity.3 Jacob’s image engraved on the throne of God is also mentioned in Gen. Rab. 82:2,4 as well as in Num. Rab. 4:15 and Lam. Rab. 2:1.6 A passage in Hekhalot Rabbati, a late mystical treatise,7 describes “the image of Jacob’s face” as “engraved on the throne of glory (dwbk).”8

The tradition of Jacob’s image undergoes significant developments in certain rabbinic circles and constitutes a topic of disagreements. Genesis Rabbah, a classical Palestinian midrash dated to the beginning of the fifth century C.E.,9 records an exegetical dissent attributed to R. Hiyya the Elder and his disciple and colleague R. Jannai.10 R. Hiyya the Elder was a Palestinian Tanna of the early third century. R. Jannai was a first generation Palestinian Amora.

R. Hiyya the Elder and R. Jannai disagreed. One maintained: They were ascending and descending the ladder; while the other said: They were ascending and descending on Jacob. The statement that they were ascending and descending the ladder presents no difficulty. The statement that they were ascending and descending on Jacob we must take to mean that some were exalting him and others degrading him, dancing, leaping, and maligning him. Thus it says, Israel in whom I will be glorified (Isa 49:3); it is thou, whose features are engraved on high; they ascended on high and saw his features and they descended below and found him sleeping. It may be compared to a king who sat and judged in a [basilica]11; people ascend to the basilica and find him [judging],12 they go out to the chamber and find him [sleeping].13 (Gen. Rab. 68:12)14

R. Hiyya apparently interprets wb of Gen 28:12 as a reference to the ladder. In R. Jannai’s exegesis wb is associated with Jacob. It is difficult to ascertain if the dissent between R. Hiyya and R. Jannai concerns solely the interpretation of the ambiguous biblical wb or it also extends to the motif of angelic derisive attitude toward Jacob. Only the ensuing expansion of the two rabbinic interpretations introduces the motif of angelic derisive attitude toward Jacob. This commentary interprets the movement of the angels “to mean that some [angels] were exalting him (i.e. Jacob) and others degrading him, dancing, leaping, and maligning him.”15

Peter Schäfer notes that in rabbinic understanding sleep defines human Sterblichkeit and Vergänglichkeit.16 He further remarks:

Die Engel entdecken, daß das Bild, das sie täglich im Himmel sehen und das von Gott so sehr geehrt wird, in Wirklichkeit das Abbild eines ganz gewöhnlichen und sterblichen Menschen ist. Ihre Reaktion is der Spott: Sie verspotten den in ihren Augen erbärmlichen Menschen und sind sich ihrer Überlegenheit gewiß.17

The contradictory reaction of the angels reflects the complexity of their vision; they see both the image of Jacob enthroned in heaven and Jacob sleeping on earth. The contrast enthronement-sleep expresses a polarity between glorification and prostration, dominion and vulnerability. This polarity resides in the essence of Jacob and, may be argued, of the human condition. Jacob is both the enthroned image and the vulnerable human asleep. In this context the quotation of Isa 49:3 emphasizes that Jacob’s heavenly dimension is a representation of God and a symbol of divine presence. This ontological polarity of the human condition does not originate in Jacob traditions.

While the attribution of the midrash to R. Hiyya the Elder and R. Jannai is questionable, the tradition about Jacob’s image has known widespread circulation among early rabbinic circles. Additional evidence places the roots of the tradition before R. Hiyya’s time and further associates R. Hiyya’s circles with this tradition.

b. Hul. 91b records, as Schäfer notes, “eine verkürzte Fassung des Midraschs”18:

A Tanna taught: They ascended to look at the image ()nqwyd) above and descended to look at the image ()nqwyd) below. They wished to hurt him (w(b hynwksl), when Behold, the Lord stood beside him (Gen 28:13). R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Were it not expressly stated in the Scripture, we would not dare to say it. [God is made to appear] like a man who is fanning his son (wnb l( Pynm# Md)k). (b. Hul. 91b)19

The first half of the text is attributed to an unnamed Tanna. Such attribution is a conventional talmudic method of introducing a view that is extensively accredited to Tannaitic circles.

The second half of the text is most probably juxtaposed to the view attributed to the Tannaim because of its similar focus on and interpretation of Gen 28:13. It further associates the tradition of the angelic opposition to Jacob with R. Hiyya’s circles. It is accredited to R. Simeon b. Lakish (or simply Resh Lakish), a mid third century Palestinian Amora, who was a colleague and brother-in-law of R. Johanan (b. Nappaha),20 a disciple of R. Jannai.

Num. Rab. 4:1,21 which is part of the late (possibly medieval) section of Numbers Rabbah, attributes a similar interpretation of Gen 28:13 to the famous third century Caesarean Amora R. Hoshaya.22 R. Hoshaya was a pupil of R. Hiyya the Elder, whose discipleship he shared with R. Jannai. In collaboration with R. Jannai he also contributed to the education of R. Johanan, and together benefited of the erudition of R. Simeon b. Lakish. Given the possible medieval dating of the text, the attribution must be considered with caution. It is necessary to emphasize the similarity between this text and the traditions attributed to R. Hiyya, R. Jannai, and Resh Lakish. The text also provides additional support to the connection between R. Hiyya’s circle and the Jacob traditions.

Modern scholarship has formulated several general conclusions concerning the Jacob texts. First, in all forms of the traditions Jacob is doubled by his image/likeness (NyNwqy)/ )nqwyd). Second, the “throne of glory” or “of God,” on which Jacob’s image is engraved, is reminiscent of the throne of the dwbk of Ezek 1:26-28. Christopher Rowland contends that this connection implies that Jacob is identified with the divine dwbk of Ezek 1:26-28.23 The identification is further supported by b. Hul. 91b,24 which preserves a supposedly Tannaitic tradition according to which the angels ascending and descending on the ladder of Jacob are the four angels accompanying the throne of the dwbk in Ezekiel 1. David Halperin notes that the identification is also proposed in a targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel in the medieval MS Montefiore, in which the dwbk is identified with the form (trwc) of Jacob.25 An identification of Jacob’s image with the dwbk of Ezekiel 1 is also present in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob.26

The association of Jacob with the dwbk of Ezekiel 1 introduces the possibility of a connection between the Jacob texts and traditions about Adam, who constitutes a prominent identity of the dwbk in Second Temple literature.27 This possibility has remained heretofore unexplored. Linguistic and thematic analyses of the Jacob texts provide additional support for this connection.

Linguistic Considerations

All the targumic Jacob texts and, with the notable exception of b. Hul. 91b, all the rabbinic texts designate the image of Jacob with Nynwqy), a Palestinian Aramaic transliteration of ei0kw/n/ei)ko/nion.28 A second century C.E. (circa 140) papyrus (BGU #423) contains a phonetic link between the Greek terms and the Aramaic transliteration, namely the peculiar form ei0ko/nin.29 This form could either be an accusative singular form of ei0kw/n30 or a nominative-accusative-vocative form of ei)ko/nion.31 According to Marcus Jastrow the Aramaic term, which has two other variants, Nwqy) (an exact transliteration of ei0kw/n) and )nwqy), means ‘picture,’ ‘image,’ or ‘features.’32 Niynwqy) is also commonly used in the classical Palestinian midrashim to denote royal statues.

b. Hul. 91b uses a late Jewish literary Aramaic cognate of Nynwqy), namely )nqwyd (with the variant Nqwyd). Levy translates it as ‘image.’33 Jastrow notes that the word is “a reverential transformation of Nwqy)” and translates it with ‘image’ and ‘likeness.’34 )nqwyd also occurs in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan35 and scarcely in the Babylonian Talmud.36

Jarl Fossum notes that the use in the Jacob texts of the words Nynwqy) and )nqwyd bears witness to connections with early traditions about Adam, who is defined as the image of God in the same terms. In Tg. Ps.-J. twmd of Gen 1:26 and 5:1 and Mlc of Gen 1:27 and 9:6 are rendered with )nqwyd; Mlc of Gen 5:3 is rendered with hynwqy).37 Moreover, in b. B. Bat. 58a )nqwyd defines Adam’s status as the image of God.

Angelic Veneration and Opposition

In the Priestly Source and the book of Ezekiel Adam’s special relationship with the deity is defined by means of Mlc and twmd (Gen 1:26; Ezek 1:26). The two terms belong to the vocabulary regarding the cultic statues of gods.38 Recent scholarship has further contended that the use of the two terms in the definition of Adam’s special relationship to the deity implies that the protoplast was regarded as the equivalent of a pagan cult statue or idol as early as the exilic period.39 For the Priestly Source and the author of Ezekiel Adam functions as God’s representation. This expands considerably the problem of aniconism versus iconism in Second Temple Judaism. Shamma Friedman locates precisely the new issue:

Of course, the ban on icons is in force… But how about in the other direction? “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song 6:4). If I manufacture an icon picturing my Beloved and worship it, I deserve the death penalty. Would my Beloved equally refrain from the graven image?40

For the Priestly Source and Ezekiel, as well as for subsequent Adam traditions, the godhead creates its sole self-portrait in Adam.

Crispin Fletcher-Louis has subsequently extended the implications of the early Second Temple conception and has proposed a connection to later expressions regarding the worship-worthiness of Adam.41 He has remarked that, in light of the cultic setting of Genesis 1,42 “to speak of an ‘image’ in this context is to allude to a cult object.”43 It could be further added that, as in the ancient Near East the statues of the gods mediate the presence of the gods to humanity in a cultic setting and for a cultic purpose,44 in early Second Temple Judaism the iconic Adam is also perceived as YHWH’s Mlc for cultic purposes. Therefore, Fletcher-Louis remarks, “the theology of the worship of Adam story must now be rooted firmly in the beginnings of the Second Temple period.”45

Sources from later Second Temple period build on this theology a tradition according to which at Adam’s creation the angels worship the protoplast as the image of God.46 An early expression of this tradition is 4Q381 1,10-11, which is paleographically dated to the first half of the first century B.C.E..47 The text is most probably a copy of an original from the Persian or early Hellenistic periods48: “All His hosts and [His] ange[ls . . . ] to serve man (or Adam: Md)l db(lw) and to minister to him (wtr#lw). . . .”49 Although the connection with the theology of the worship of Adam has not been noted in the first editions of the text,50 subsequent studies have ascertained that the text reflects this theology.51

The tradition that Adam was worshiped at his creation is also documented in the Latin, Georgian and Armenian versions52 of Life of Adam and Eve. The terminus ante quem of the Jewish writing is the beginning of the fourth century C.E. It is, however, generally dated to the first century C.E.53 Based on conspicuous literary and conceptual affinities between L. A. E. 12-14 and Daniel 3, Fletcher-Louis contends that the pseudepigraphic text “owes its genius to the early Hellenistic period when Daniel 3 was written.”54 The Georgian version of L.A.E. 13:1-16:1 reads:

13 Le diable lui (i.e. to Adam) répondit et lui dit: “[Tu ne m’as (rien) fait,]55 mais c’est à cause de toi que je suis tombé sur la terre. Le jour même où tu fus créé, ce jour là, je tombai de la face de Dieu parce que, comme Dieu t’avait soufflé l’Esprit sur ton visage, tu avais l’image et la ressemblance de la divinité. Puis Michel arriva; [il te présenta et te fait prosterner devant Dieu].56 Et Dieu dit à Michel: ‘J’ai créé Adam selon (mon) image et ma divinité.’ 14 Alors Michel vint; il convoqua toutes les troupes des anges et il leur dit: ‘Prosternez vous devant le semblable et l’image de la divinité.’ Or, quand Michel les convoqua et que tous se prosternèrent devant toi, il me convoqua moi aussi et je lui dis: ‘Éloigne toi de moi, car je ne saurais me prosterner devant celui qui est plus jeune que moi; en effet, avant celui-ci, je suis seigneur, et c’est à lui qu’il convient de se prosterner devant moi.’ 15 Cela, d’autres anges des six classes l’entendirent et ma parole leur plut et ils ne se prosternèrent pas devant toi. 16 Alors Dieu s’irrita contre nous et il nous ordonna, à eux et à moi, de descendre de nos demeures vers la terre.” (L. A. E. 13:1-16:1)57

The opposition of the fallen angels to the worship of the iconic Adam is also recorded in several Jewish-Christian and Christian sources, such as Gospel of Bartholomew 4:52-56,58 a Coptic text attributed to Peter of Alexandria,59 a Coptic Encomium on Michael,60 a Coptic Enthronement of Michael,61 the Syriac Cave of Treasures,62 Origen’s De Principiis I.V.4-5,63 and Tertullian’s On Patience 5.64 The abundance, variety, and complexity of the testimonies to this tradition in third-century Christian sources suggest its widespread circulation in earlier Jewish circles.65

The tradition associates the angelic worship of Adam with the protoplast’s identity as the image of God. As John R. Levison emphasizes, “the image consists of physical similarity to God.”66 This physical resemblance enables Adam to function as a cultic statue of God. The connection between Adam’s physical resemblance to God and the angelic worship of Adam is evident in Michael’s command to Satan: adorate imaginem domini dei in Latin, and “prosternez vous devant le semblable et l’image de la divinité” in Georgian. ,67 which the Armenian version uses to denote Adam’s iconic function,68 means both ‘god’ and ‘idol.’69 Given the latter connotation, the Armenian version better reflects the early Second Temple conception of Adam as the equivalent of a pagan cult statue or idol.70

Adam possesses the image of God through the insufflation of divine breath.71 The imagery is the result of a juxtaposition of Gen 1:26 with Gen 2:7. This combination is most probably rooted in the Adamic traditions of the early Second Temple period. Herbert Niehr remarks that, given the conception of Adam as the equivalent of a pagan cult statue or idol, the inspiriting of Adam with divine breath in Gen 2:7 was in all probability associated with the ancient Near Eastern ritual of vivification of the cultic statues of gods.72

The angelic opposition to Adam, which in rabbinic literature exceeds the category of fallen angels,73 stands in contrast with the angelic veneration of the protoplast. The contrast emphasizes the twofold nature of the protoplast. Adam is both the living cultic statue of God and, as Satan stresses derisively, a “youth.”74 This dichotomy is situated entirely within Adam’s body. His body is a mixture of divine likeness and clay.75 The dichotomy reflects the ontology of a cultic statue of a deity, which is a mixture of earthly material and divine likeness.

The ancient concept that Adam was created as a cultic statue of the godhead is also reflected in rabbinic sources. The editorial variants of Gen. Rab. 8:8, which expands on the significant rabbinic argument that God did not take equal council with angels in the creation of Adam,76 do not furnish a consensus concerning the source of the following parable:

R. hyl/Laya77 said: There is no taking counsel here, but it may be compared to a king who was strolling at the door of his palace when he saw a clod (Nyrlwb)78 lying about. Said he, What shall we do with it? Some answered: [Use it in building] public baths; others answered: private baths. I will make a statue (sy+nyyrd)) of it, declared the king. Who then can hinder him? (Gen. Rab. 8:8)79

sy+nyyrd) is a corrupt form of )+rdn)/sw+n)yrdn).80 The word is an appropriation of a0ndria/v, which denotes a statue of a human. In rabbinic literature the Aramaic transliterations generally indicate royal statues.81

It is significant that this rabbinic tradition opts for a parable about the building of an imperial statue for the illustration of the creation of Adam without angelic consent. God is compared with a king that wishes to make a statue of himself. Adam is associated to the resulting statue, which is created out of clod without the concurrence of the royal counselors. The parable shows evidence of the same juxtaposition of Gen 1:26 and 2:7 as L.A.E. 13:1-16:1. In the biblical story Adam is created out of earth and the material of the royal statue is clod. In both stories the clod is formed into a statue.

The source of the parable is uncertain. It must be noted that one (probably secondary) variant associates the parable with R. Levi. R. Levi was a late third century Palestinian Amora, a disciple of R. Johanan. He is repeatedly portrayed as a quite accurate source for the teachings of his master.82

The tradition of the angelic veneration of Adam receives another rabbinic formulation in Gen. Rab. 8:10, with the theological parameters that the tradition entails:

R. Hoshaya said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, the ministering angels mistook him [for a divine being] and wished to exclaim ‘Holy’ before him. What does this resemble? A king and a governor who sat in a chariot, and his subjects wished to say to the king, ‘Domine! (Sovereign)!’ but they did not know which it was. What did the king do? He pushed the governor out of the chariot, and so they knew who was the king. Similarly, when the Lord created Adam, the angels mistook him [for a divine being]. What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He caused sleep to fall upon him, and so all knew that he was [but mortal] man (Md)); thus it is written, Cease ye from man, in whose nostrils is a breath, for how little is he to be accounted (Isa 2:22)! (Gen. Rab. 8:10)83

The parable is attributed without editorial variations to the famous third century Caesarean Amora R. Hoshaya, to whom Num. Rab. 4:1 ascribes the teaching concerning the angelic opposition to Jacob.

The tradition interprets the concept of image of God as physical resemblance to God,84 as do L.A.E. 13:1-16:1 and Gen. Rab. 8:8. The resemblance between Adam and God confounds the angels. Unable to differentiate between the image and the prototype, the angels unwittingly direct their worship to Adam. The angelic mistake, however, entails no binitarian intent.

It has been argued that the parable expresses a rabbinic polemic against the tradition of the worship of Adam, consequently viewed as a threat to monotheism.85 The argument exceeds the intent of the parable. The parable solely opposes the worship of Adam as God. The entitlement of Adam to worship or reverence, as the representation of God, is not negated in any way. The worship of Adam per se is not the intended subject of the text. Moreover, the majestic procession of Adam in the divine chariot alludes to the common Roman practice of the festive ride of a victorious commander of the army (commonly the emperor) for public veneration.86 In the rabbinic parable the angels fulfill the function of the revering spectators. Adam’s ride in the divine chariot, alongside God, entails the entitlement of the former to angelic veneration.

The text also does not imply that the angelic adoration of Adam as God resides in the recital of the ‘Domine’ (i.e. Isa 6:3) in front of the protoplast. The recital of ‘Domine’ for humans is regarded as a legitimate practice in some rabbinic circles, including apparently the one of R. Johanan, R. Hoshaya’s disciple (cf. b. B. Bat. 75b). The emphasis of the parable is that the angels direct the ‘Domine’ to Adam as to God.

The text emphasizes both the resemblance and the distinction between the image of God and God. They have the same form, yet they do not share the same nature. A. G. Gottstein emphasizes that the message of the text is that “Adam is distinguished from God not by form, but by the different quality of life attached to the same form; in other words, God and Adam are distinguished not by body, but by bodily function.”87 The confusion of the angels originates in their inability to perceive Adam’s non-divine nature and “bodily function” in his divine appearance and form.

The complex relationship of Adam to God, relationship entailing both resemblance and distinctiveness, parallels the rapport between the statue of a Roman emperor and the emperor himself. The latter relation is analyzed in Exod. Rab. 15:17 in terms reminiscent of Gen. Rab. 8:8:

It is as if a beautiful tree was erected in the bath-house, and when the chief of the army with his suite came to bathe, they trampled upon the tree, and all the villagers and everyone else were eager to tread upon it. Some time later, the king sent his bust to that province that they should put up a statue (Nynwqy)) of him, but they could find no wood except that from the tree in that bath-house. The artisans said to the ruler: If you wish to set up the statue (Nynwqy)), you must bring the tree which is in the bath-house, for that is the best there is. They brought it and prepared it thoroughly, and placed it in the hands of a carver, who fashioned the bust on it and placed it within the palace. Then came the ruler and bowed before it; and the general, the prefect, the imperial officers, the legionaries, the people and everybody else did likewise. Then did the artisans say unto them: Yesterday, you were trampling on this tree in the bath-house, and now you are bowing to it. They replied: It is not to the tree that we are bowing, but to the bust of the king engraved thereon. (Exod. Rab. 15:17)88

The worship of the imperial statue is not directed to its substance, but to its likeness, which is ultimately the emperor’s. The relationship of Adam to God, which is also an image-prototype connection, entails that the worship of Adam as God’s statue is intrinsically a worship of God. The worship of the image is a veneration of the prototype in its likeness.89 This is no more binitarianism than the worship of an ancient Near Eastern god in his living statue.90

The image is distinct from its prototype in its substance. The worship of the image as entirely equal to the prototype, likeness and substance, as the angels venerate Adam in Gen. Rab. 68:12 and as the artisans mistakenly view the cult of the imperial statue, is unwarranted iconologically (in the case of the imperial statue) and theologically (in the case of Adam).

Gottstein also briefly remarks that Gen. Rab. 8:10 parallels the Jacob tradition in Gen. Rab. 68:12 (and, one may add, b. Hul. 91b). He emphasizes that in both texts sleep symbolizes the distinctiveness of humanity from the divine.91 It could be added that both texts construct an anthropology centered in the concept of Mlc. In Gen. Rab. 8:10 Adam is distinguishable from God not in body or form, but in bodily function. In Gen. Rab. 68:12 Jacob’s image is identified with the divine dwbk, while the sleeping patriarch embodies the human Sterblichkeit and Vergänglichkeit.

The parallelism between the Adamic traditions and the Jacob texts also extends to the motifs of angelic veneration and opposition. In Adamic traditions Adam is venerated as a cultic statue of God. This status is contrasted with the nature of his body, which attracts angelic opposition and ridicule. In Jacob traditions the image of Jacob, which functions as the divine dwbk, receives the reverence of angels, while the sleeping patriarch is attacked with mockery.92

The association of both Adam and Jacob traditions with R. Hiyya the Elder’s school provides a possible traditional bridge between the Adamic and Jacob traditions. R. Hiyya had R. Hoshaya and R. Jannai as pupils. Gen. Rab. 68:12 ascribes the controversy concerning the ladder of Jacob (wb of Gen 28:12) to R. Hiyya and R. Jannai. In Gen. Rab. 8:10 and Num. Rab. 4:1 a formulation of the motif of the angelic veneration of Adam and a speculation concerning angelic opposition to Jacob are attributed to R. Hoshaya. b. Hul. 91b ascribes the source of another testimony about the angelic opposition toward Jacob to R. Simeon b. Lakish, the colleague and brother-in-law of R. Johanan (b. Nappaha), the disciple of R. Jannai and R. Hoshaya.

The Adamic/Iconic Value of Jacob and Humanity

A theological bridge between Adamic and Jacob traditions is provided in the Adamic speculation concerning the transmission of the likeness to God from Adam to other humans or the whole humanity. According to this speculation the likeness has not been retained undiminished. One of the consequences of the fall of Adam was the diminishment of the protoplast’s original enormous stature and bodily luminosity (cf. Gen. Rab. 12:6; b. Sanh. 38b etc). Humanity still retains, although partially, the likeness of the deity. b. B. Bat. 58a reads:

R. Bana’ah used to mark out caves. When he came to the cave of Abraham, he found Eliezer the servant of Abraham standing at the entrance. He said to him: What is Abraham doing? He replied: He is sleeping in the arms of Sarah, and she is looking fondly at his head. He said: Go and tell him that Bana’ah is standing at the entrance. Said Abraham to him: Let him enter; it is well known that there is no passion in this world. So he went in, surveyed the cave, and came out again. When he came to the cave of Adam, a voice came forth from heaven saying, Thou hast beholden the likeness of my likeness, my likeness itself thou mayest not behold. . . . R. Bana’ah said: I discerned his [Adam’s] two heels, and they were like two orbs of the sun.93 Compared with Sarah, all other people are like a monkey to a human being, and compared with Eve Sarah was like a monkey to a human being,94 and compared with Adam Eve was like a monkey to a human being, and compared with the Shechinah Adam was like a monkey to a human being. The beauty of R. Kahana was a reflection of [the beauty of Rab; the beauty of Rab was a reflection of]95 the beauty of R. Abbahu; the beauty of R. Abbahu was a reflection of the beauty of our father Jacob, and the beauty of Jacob was a reflection of the beauty of Adam. (b. B. Bat. 58a)

Friedman notes that the Hamburg Codex completes the chain of beauty with: “The beauty of Adam the first was like the beauty of the Divine Presence.”96 So do MS Munich 95 and MS Escorial G-I-3, both here and in the parallel b. B. Met. 84a. The addition is a logical conclusion to the previous comparison of Adam with the Shekinah. The beauty of Adam, who is created in the image of God, is itself a reflection of the beauty of God.

The last phrase concerning the transmission of beauty from Adam to R. Kahana reflects a complicated editorial process. The phrase appears in a different context in b. B. Met. 84a, which omits Rab from the chain of beauty. It is improbable that the tradition has Tannaitic origins in its present form, as it is suggested in the attribution to R. Bana’ah, a Tanna from the early third century. R. Kahana was a late third century Palestinian Amora, disciple of Rab. Rab was a Palestinian Amora from the middle of the third century. R. Abbahu could only be the Caesarean Amora from the late third century. These rabbis flourished after R. Bana’ah. It is, however, highly probable, as Friedman notes,97 that the text combines two traditions, an early traditions that only mentioned the Shekinah, Adam, and Jacob, and a later development that added the rabbinic names with the evident intent to extend the transmission of divine resemblance from biblical to rabbinic figures. The present form of the text dates before the sixth century, when the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud was completed. The primary form of the tradition, which mentioned only Adam and Jacob, predates the addition of rabbinic names, which occurred after the activity of R. Abbahu in the late third century.

In the first part of the text, itself of uncertain origin, humans do not retain Adam’s likeness to God in its entirety. The likeness is transmitted partially through history. Abraham, while he is not the perfect icon ()nqwyd) of God, still possesses the likeness of the icon (ynqwyd twmd). It is unclear whether the end of the text, concerning the transmission of beauty from Adam to Jacob, implies an undiminished resemblance between humanity and God, contrary to the previous imagery about the monkey-to-human transmission of the likeness. The language (cf. ‘reflecting’ Ny(m) is ambiguous; it does not attribute any degree to the resemblance. However, Jacob possesses the reflection, complete or partial, of the beauty of Adam.

The reflection of God in the human beauty, likeness, or form, confers the whole humanity the value of representation of the deity. This seems to be a development of the early Second Temple conception of Adam as the equivalent of a pagan cult statue or idol. This development of Adamic traditions is subjected in rabbinic speculations to the ban on icons. . . Zar. 42b-43b attests to a tradition among the last generations of Babylonian Amoraim according to which the making of a portrait of a human is prohibited, since it would be equivalent to making an image of the deity.98 The prohibition is supported with an interpretation of t) of yt) in Exod 20:23 as nota objecti (“me”) instead of preposition (“with me”). This leads to the reading “You shall not make idols of me.” Exod 20:23 is therefore read in conjunction with Gen 1:26. To follow Friedman’s thought, while the deity is free to make icons of itself, humanity is still bound not to follow.

The Roman Emperor and His Statues

The speculation that extends Adam’s iconic value to humanity is often illustrated with parables about the Roman emperor and his cultic statues. Lev. Rab. 34:3 attributes such a parable to Hillel:

Another explanation of the text: If thy brother be waxen poor (Lev 25:25). It bears on what is written in Scripture: The merciful man doeth good to his own soul (Prov 11:17). Hillel the Elder once, when he concluded his studies with his disciples, walked along with them. His disciples asked him: Master, whither are you bound? He answered them: To perform a religious duty. What, they asked, is this religious duty? He said to them: To wash in the bath-house. Said they: Is this a religious duty? Yes, he replied; if the statues (Nynwqy)) of kings, which are erected in theatres and circuses, are scoured and washed by the man who is appointed to look after them, and who thereby obtains his maintenance through them-nay more, he is exalted in the company of the great of the kingdom- how much more I, who have been created in the image and likeness; as it is written, For in the image of God made He man (Gen 9:6). (Lev. Rab. 34:3)99

Hillel lived at the turn of the two eras.100 If the attribution of the teaching to Hillel might be questioned, the antiquity of the theology of bloodshed as an offense against the godhead in its image reaches back to Gen 9:6, which Hillel quotes.101 John F. Kutsko remarks that Ezekiel’s connection between the shedding of human blood and God’s withdrawal from the Temple could have the same rationale as Gen 9:6.102

Additional sources furnish evidence for the circulation of the tradition regarding the iconic value of humanity and for its association with imperial images in Tannaitic times. In Mek. R. Ish. (Ba-Hodesh 8), a collection of Tannaitic midrashim most probably compiled in the third century,103 murderers are viewed as guilty of diminishing the image of God and are compared to those who destroy cultic images of kings:

How were the ten Commandments arranged? Five on the one tablet and fiveon the other. On the one tablet was written: I am the Lord thy God. On opposite it on the other tablet was written: Thou shalt not murder. This tells that if one sheds blood it is accounted to him as though he diminished the divine (likeness)104 (twmd). To give a parable: A king of flesh and blood entered a province and the people set up portraits (twnwqy)) of him, made images (Mymlc) of him, and struck coins in his honor. Later on they upset his portraits (wytwnwqy)), broke his images (wymlc), and defaced his coins, thus diminishing the likeness (wtwmdb) of the king. So also if one sheds blood it is accounted to him as though he had diminished the divine (likeness)105 (twmdb). For it is written: Whoso sheddeth man’s blood . . . for in the image of God made He man (Gen 9:6). (Mek. R. Ish. Ba-Hodesh 8)106

The parable is also attested in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies,107 a Jewish-Christian writing from the beginning of the third century C.E.108 The theology of the parable is also evident in a paragraph preserved in both recensions of 2 Enoch with insignificant manuscript variations. The homogeneity of the manuscripts attests to the presence of the paragraph in the earliest form of the pseudepigraphon, form tentatively dated to the first century C.E.109

The LORD with his own two hands created mankind; and in a facsimile of his own face. Small and great the LORD created. Whoever insults a person’s face insults the face of the LORD; whoever treats a person’s face with repugnance treats the face of the LORD with repugnance. Whoever treats with contempt the face of any person treats the face of the LORD with contempt. (2 En. 44:1-2 shorter recension)110

The text does not exhibit any cognizance of the concept of partial transmission of divine resemblance from Adam to the rest of humankind. The creation of Adam “in the facsimile of God’s own face” has direct and undifferentiated relevance for the treatment of every human face. Humanity retains the likeness of God fully. Any insult addressed to the human face is relationally transmitted to the divine face.

The close connection between Adam and humankind is also attested in the beginning of Sirach 17. The creation of Adam is the creation of the human, a1nqrwpov.111 The noun is generic. Subsequent references to humanity are plural: au0toi/. Verse 3 stands to attention: kat 0 ei0ko/na au0tou= e0poi/hsen au0tou/v. Adam’s divine likeness is reflected upon all humanity.

Mark 12:16-17 (and parallels: Matt 22:20-21, Luke 20:24-25) constitutes a further evidence that the association between the connection of humanity with the deity and the relation of the imperial images (ei1kwn) with the emperor circulates in the first half of the first century C.E.

Gen. Rab. 68:12 uses a similar parable about the Roman emperor to illustrate Jacob’s iconic value. As seen above, b. B. Bat. 58a establishes a direct connection of divine resemblance between Jacob and Adam. Jacob has the privileged position of heir of Adam’s divine likeness. The use in the Jacob tradition (Gen. Rab. 68:12) of the parable about the Roman emperor, parable previously employed in Adamic traditions, further attests to the connection between the two traditions. An analysis of Gen. Rab. 68:12 evinces further connections with Adamic traditions.

It is thou [Jacob], whose features are engraved on high. They [i.e. the angels] ascended on high112 and saw his features and they descended below and found113 him sleeping. It may be compared114 to a king who sat and judged in a [basilica] (emended text: should read yqlysb instead of rwwrp); people ascend to the basilica and find him [judging] (emended text: should read Nd instead of N#y), they go out to the chamber and find him [sleeping] (emended text: should read N#y instead of Nd). (Gen. Rab. 68:12)115

There are no major editorial variants of the text, which implies minimal redaction. All the manuscripts read: “It may be compared to a king who sat and judged in a rwwrp; people ascend to the yqlysb and find him sleeping, they go out to the dwwrp and find him judging.” Following a remark of Albeck,116 Schäfer notes that, in order to preserve the intended parallelism between Jacob and the emperor, the text must be emended.117 First, the descent should reveal in both cases a sleeping individual. Second, for historical accuracy, yqlysb should be the judgment place.118 The above translation incorporates the necessary emendations.

dwwrp119 probably has a Persian origin, evident in the biblical form rbrp.120 Jastrow translates it as “open place, court.”121 In the Roman period the term was associated with the Greek pro/quron (“vestibule”), association evident in the variant rwdzwrp. The association added to the original meaning of the term (i.e. “court”) the connotation of outdoor colonnade or portico.122 Porticos were common features of Roman imperial villae, large properties or estates in the country (cf. Ny)cwyw), with houses and subsidiary buildings. The large porticos of the sumptuous villae were the preferred places for relaxation.

The story of the emperor serves only as a parable (cf. l#m or l) or an illustration of the duplication of Jacob with his image. The parallelism between Jacob and the emperor is implicit. The journey of the angels between Jacob’s image and Jacob is compared with the journey of the people between the judging emperor and the sleeping emperor. The angels ascend (Mylw() to Jacob’s features, the people ascend (Mylw() to the judging emperor. The angels descend and find Jacob sleeping (N#y wtw) My)cwmw), the people go out and find the emperor asleep (N#y wtw) My)cwmw). As Jacob sleeps down on earth and his image is on high, the emperor sleeps down in his dwwrp, while the judgment takes place in a higher location (cf. Mylw() in the basilica. The journey of the people between the basilica and the colonnade is fictitious, realistically impossible. The imperial villa was certainly not open to the public. The imagery is most probably the appropriation of a common literary motif of imperial subjects desiring to see the emperor in his entire imperial magnificence. As in the case of Jacob, the sleep of the emperor is a dramatic contrast to his glorious enthronement and the expectations of the people.

The parallelism between Jacob and the emperor entails further connections. The parable does not explicitly mention a portrait or a statue of the emperor. Friedman contends that the imagery refers to “two beings who looked alike, and not one person and his picture,” and that it incorporates an apparently familiar motif of “a double vision of the king.”123 However, the only example that he offers for this motif is from the Hebrew Bible and not from the Roman world.

The parallelism of the parable with the story of Jacob and the fact that the concept of the emperor’s presence in his images (based on the common likeness) is widely attested in rabbinic thought, as evinced above, presence that allows for the naming of imperial images as the emperors themselves,124 support the possibility that the sleeping emperor is doubled by an imperial image, as Jacob is doubled by his image. A closer analysis of the parable evinces further support for this possibility. The emperor’s double in the basilica is both judging and sitting (cf. “sat and judged” Ndw b#wy), which implies enthronement. With the increasing role of basilicae in the imperial cult,125 role also attested in the Eastern provinces of the empire, statues of the emperors were placed in main apses of basilicae. These imperial statues mainly served as objects of the cult of the emperor and constant reminders of the extension of the emperor’s absolute judicial powers within the whole Roman territory.126 An example is the famous statue of Constantine, which is unfortunately preserved only partially. The statue was built between 315 and 330 C.E. and placed in the basilica of Maxentius (henceforth of Constantine), after Constantine defeated him at the battle of Milvian bridge. The statue was thirty-feet-tall and portrayed Constantine on his curile throne, as an absolute leader and judge.127 Most probably Constantine’s statue replaced a similar statue of Maxentius, according to the ancient Roman tradition of replacing an opponent’s monuments with the victor’s.128

The parallelism of the image of Jacob with the enthroned king also entails that the former is enthroned. Immediately previous to the parable the text mentions Jacob’s “features/image engraved on high” (hl(ml hqwqh Nynwqy)#).129 Two manuscripts130 do not contain the phrase “on high.” One manuscript version adds (to hl(ml) dwbkh )skb.131 The enthronement of the image of Jacob is consistent with the other texts of the Jacob tradition.

The story of the patriarch sleeping on earth while his image is enthroned in heaven is therefore illustrated with the parable of a Roman emperor. While the emperor sleeps in the sumptuous portico of his villa, his enthroned statue sits in the apse of his basilica. Jacob’s image corresponds to an imperial statue, similarly to Adam’s iconic value.


The succinctness of the texts about Jacob’s image in heaven does not permit an exhaustive consideration of their sources. However, several conclusions concerning the parallelism of these texts with Adamic traditions can be formulated at the current stage of the research.

First, both traditions demonstrate a similar anthropology and emphasis on humanity as both earthly, dimension identified in both traditions within the functionality of the human body, and heavenly, dimension associated in both traditions with the divine likeness of humanity.

Second, both traditions symbolize the earthly dimension of humanity with sleep.

Third, both traditions express the heavenly dimension of humanity in statuary concepts, through the concept of Mlc in the case of Adam and by means of the equivalent Aramaic terms Nynwqy) and )nqwyd in the case of Jacob.

Fourth, in both traditions the dichotomy likeness-sleep is associated with the motifs of angelic veneration and opposition. In Adamic traditions Adam is venerated as a cultic statue of God, while his mortality or vulnerability encounters angelic opposition and ridicule. In Jacob traditions the image of Jacob enthroned in heaven receives the reverential admiration of angels, while angels also ridicule and even attack the patriarch asleep on earth.

Fifth, both traditions employ parables about royal images to illustrate the divine iconicity inherent in Adam and Jacob.

Sixth, it can be safely concluded, based on the previous observations, that in Jacob traditions the image of the patriarch functions as a representation of the godhead, as does Adam in Adamic traditions. Jacob’s image is defined in terms used in Second Temple literature and early rabbinic literature in regard to Adam’s special status as the image of God. Moreover, certain rabbinic traditions regarded Adam’s divine resemblance as transmitted to the rest of humanity in a chain of likeness. In this transmission of likeness Jacob has the special status of direct reflection of the beauty of Adam.

A final observation is due. It has been proposed that the Jacob tradition functions as an anti-anthropomorphic method of safeguarding God’s transcendence.132 It must be noted that the identification of the dwbk with a human is previously claimed for Adam in Adamic traditions. The identification is the consequence of a rapprochement between Ezek 1:26-28 and Gen 1:26, rapprochement facilitated by the conception of the protoplast as the equivalent of an idol. Similarly to Adam, Jacob functions in his identity as the dwbk as the equivalent of a pagan cult statue, or, in the terms of Gen. Rab. 68:12, of the statues of the Roman emperors. The Jacob tradition therefore bears the anthropomorphic connotations of the concept of Myhl) Mlc.

1 Recent literature on these traditions includes Jarl Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God (NTOA 30; Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995), 135-151; J. Z. Smith, “The Prayer of Joseph,” in Jacob Neusner, ed., Religions in Antiquity. Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (Numen Suppl. 14; Leiden: Brill, 1968), 253-294; E. Wolfson, “The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne of Glory: Further Speculation on the Esoteric  Doctrine of the German Pietism,” in M. Oron and A. Goldreich, eds., Massu’ot Studies in Kabbalistic Literature and Jewish Philosophy in Memory of Prof. Ephraim Gottlieb (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik,  1994), 131-185 (in Hebrew); J. H. C. Neeb, “Jacob/Jesus Typology in John 1:51,” Proceedings, Eastern Great Lakes and Midwest Biblical Societies 12 (1992): 83-89; idem, “Origen’s Interpretation of Genesis 28:12 and the Rabbis,” in Origeniana Sexta (Louvain: Leuven University Press, 1995), 71-80; J. M. Spiegelman, “Struggling with the Image of God,” Journal of Psychology and Judaism 10 (1986): 100-111; W. Rordorf, “Gen 28,10ff und Joh 1,51 in der patristischen Exegese,” in Johannes-Studien (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1991), 39-46; Christopher Rowland, “John 1.51, Jewish Apocalyptic and Targumic Tradition,” NTS 30 (1984): 498-507; Peter Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engelvorstellung (Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1975), 204-207; Shamma Friedman, “Graven Images,” Graven Images 1 (1994): 233-238; A. Altmann, “The Gnostic Background of the Rabbinic Adam Legends,” JQR 35 (1944/1945): 371-391.

2 “He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was fixed in the earth with its top reaching toward the heavens . . . and on that day they (i.e. angels) ascended to the heavens on high, and said, ‘Come and see Jacob the pious, whose image is fixed on the Throne of Glory’ ” (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis [tr. M. Maher; ArBib 1b; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992], 99-100).

3 “And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was fixed on the earth and its head reached to the height of the heavens; and behold, the angels that had accompanied him from the house of his father ascended to bear good tidings to the angels on high, saying, Come and see the pious man whose image is engraved in the throne of Glory, whom you desired to see. And behold, the angels from before the Lord ascended and descended and observed him” (Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis [tr. M. McNamara; ArBib 1a; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992], 140).

4 H. Freedman and N. Simon, eds., Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1961) [henceforth cited by writing], vol. Genesis, 752: “R. Isaac commenced: An altar of earth shalt thou make unto me . . . in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee (Exod 20:24). If I bless him who builds an altar in My name, how much the more should I appear to Jacob, whose features are engraved on My Throne, and bless him. Thus it says, And God appeared unto Jacob . . . and blessed him. R. Levi commenced: And an ox and a ram for peace offerings . . . for today the Lord appeareth unto you (Lev 9:4). If I appear to him who offered a ram in My name and bless him, how much the more should I appear to Jacob whose features are engraved on My throne, and bless him.”

5 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Numbers, 94: “The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Jacob: Thou art exceedingly precious in my sight, for I, as it were, set thine image on My throne, and by thy name the angels praise Me and say: Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel (Ps 41:14).”

6 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Lamentations, 151: “Similarly spake the Holy One, blessed be He, to Israel: Do you not provoke Me because you take advantage of the likeness of Jacob which is engraven upon My throne? Here, have it, it is thrown in your face! Hence, He hath cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel (Lam 2:1).”

7 The terminus ante quem of Hekhalot Rabbati is generally estimated at c. 800 C.E.. This terminus is established by a possible reference made to it by bishop Agobard of Lyons. Gershom Scholem first dated the text to the fifth or sixth century (Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism [3rd ed.; New York: Schocken Books, 1954], 40-79). He subsequently argued for an earlier date and further contended that the main concepts have Tannaitic origins (Origins of the Kabbalah [3rd ed.; trans. Allan Arkush; Princeton University Press, 1990], 23; Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition [2nd ed.; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1965], 6). David Halperin contends that Hekhalot Rabbati cannot be dated before the fourth century, although he concedes that certain materials have Tannaitic origins (The Faces of the Chariot [Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1988], 360-363). Peter Schäfer, who notes the text’s lack of compositional and redactional homogeneity, emphasizes that Hekhalot Rabbati was “permanently in a state of flux” and early mentions or references cannot be regarded as testimonies for a final redaction of the writing as a whole (“Tradition and Redaction in Hekhalot Literature,” JSJ 14 [1983]: 172-181, here pp. 174-176).

8 Peter Schäfer et al., eds., Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur (TSAJ 2; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1981), #164.

9 Genesis Rabbah is critically edited by Julius Theodor and Chanock Albeck in Midrash Bereshit Rabbah: Critical Edition with Notes and Commentary (3 vols.; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1903-1928) [no volume numbers will henceforth be provided in reference to this publication, since the pages of the three volumes are numbered in sequence]. An English translation is available in Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah.

10 Several other disagreements between the two rabbis are recorded: Gen. Rab. 22:5; 34:9; 55:7; 69:3; Lev. Rab. 9:6; Song Rab. 4:12. It seems that the disagreements of the two marked later exegetical schools. A passage in the Babylonian Talmud makes an obvious effort to reconcile the two rabbis when it emphasizes that R. Jannai had the same opinions as his master: b. Yebam. 93a-b.

11 My emendation. It should read yqlysb instead of rwwrp. This and the subsequent emendations will be explained further in the argument of the article.

12 Emended text. It should read Nd instead of N#y.

13 Emended text. It should read N#y instead of Nd.

14 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Genesis, 626; critical text at Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 787-788.

15 Based on the manuscript evidence it cannot be asserted with certainty if this addition is a unity or, as Friedman notes, if it exhibits two distinctive editorial processes, of which one, namely the mention of the angelic opposition to Jacob, involves “extraneous material from other Genesis Rabbah passages” (“Graven Images,” 234). Even if the passage is a secondary addition, its inclusion into the text occurred before the middle of the fifth century and is nevertheless a testimony to early developments of the tradition about Jacob’s image, as Friedman admits (“Graven Images,” 234).

16 Rivalität, 206. He makes reference to Gen. Rab. 8:10.

17 Schäfer, Rivalität, 206.

18 Rivalität, 205.

19 This and all subsequent texts from the Babylonian Talmud follow the translation in I. Epstein, ed., The Babylonian Talmud (35 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1935-1948).

20 The two are often mentioned together: Gen. Rab. 3:6; 9:3; 9:5; 12:12; 13:11; 45:9; 60:3; 63:5; 63:6 etc. On the two rabbis see A. I. Baumgarten, “R. Yohanan and Resh Lakish on Anonymous Mishnayot,” in Jewish Law Association Studies II (Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1986), 75-88. On R. Johanan see S. K. Mirsky, “Mishnah as Viewed by the Amoraim,” in Leo Jung Jubilee Volume; Essays in His Honor of the Occasion of His 70th Birthday (New York: The Jewish Center, 1962), 155-173; R. Kimelman, “Rabbi Yohanan and Origen on the Song of Songs: A Third-century Jewish-Christian Disputation,” HTR 73 (1980): 567-595; G. J. Blidstein, “R. Yohanan, Idolatry, and Public Privilege,” JSJ 5 (1974): 154-161.

21 “ And Jacob went out . . . and he lighted upon the place . . . and he dreamed and behold a ladder . . . and behold, the Lord stood beside him, etc. (Gen 28:10-13). Happy the mortal, said R. Hoshaya, who beheld such a thing! The divine King and His attendants standing beside him and guarding (Myrm#mw) him!” (Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Numbers, 94).

22 On R. Hoshaya, see Dominique Barthélemy, “Est-ce Hoshaya Rabba qui censura le ‘Commentaire Allegorique’?,” in Etudes D’Histoire du Texte de l’Ancien Testament (Fribourg: Editions Universitaire; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, Ruprecht, 1978), 140-173; Halperin, Faces, 215-216, 325-326; Irving M. Levey, “Caesarea and the Jews,” in Studies in the History of Caesarea Maritima (Missoula, Mont: Scholars Press, 1975), 43-78.

23 “John 1.51,” 504. Rowland’s argument is followed by Fossum, Image, 140.

24 “A Tanna taught: What was the width of the ladder? Eight thousand parasangs. For it is written: And behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. At least two were ascending and two descending, and when they met each other [on the ladder] there were four (cf. Ezek 1:10); and of an angel it is written: His body was like the Tarshish, and we have a tradition that the Tarshish is two thousand parasangs long.”

25 Faces, 121. See also Fossum, Image, 143-144.

26 Fossum, Image, 143, n.30. Fossum’s suggestion is further supported by Andrei Orlov’s arguments in “The Heavenly Counterpart of the Visionary in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob,” in C.A. Evans, ed., Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2005).

27 One of the earliest testimonies regarding the identification of Adam with the dwbk occurs in Moses’ throne-vision in Ezekiel the Tragedian’s Exagoge (verses 68-89), which is generally dated to the second century B.C.E. Critical texts of the passage can be found in M. Denis, Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt graeca (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 210; B. Snell, Tragicorum graecorum fragmenta I (Göttingen, 1971), 288-301; C. R. Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors. Volume II: Poets (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 362-366. In this vision Moses sees an anonymous humanlike figure on a heavenly throne, whom he designates as fw/v. The throne is reminiscent of the throne of the dwbk in Ezek 1:26-28; the use of the term fw/v for the enthroned humanlike being is an allusion to Adam, defined by the wordplay fw/v-fw=v in Hellenistic Jewish circles (cf. the testimony of Zosimus of Panopolis in On the Letter Omega 10-15; text in Howard M. Jackson, ed. and trans., Zosimus of Panopolis, On the Letter Omega [Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1978], 28-37). A second early testimony comes from the second century B.C.E. fragments of 4Q504 8 (Puech col.I), 1-7. For the relevance of this testimony see M. Baillet, DJD VII (1982), 137-168; Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam. Liturgical Anthropology in the Dead Sea Scrolls (STDJ 42; Leiden: Brill, 2002), 92-93. A portrayal of Adam as the dwbk is preserved in T. Ab. 11. The identification of Adam with the dwbk is facilitated by Priestly Source’s and Ezekiel’s correlative use of twmd. As Mark S. Smith notes, “whereas Ez 1,26 conveys the prophet’s vision of God in the likeness of the human person, the Priestly Source’s vision of the human person is in the likeness of God” (Mark S. Smith, “Divine Form and Size in Ugaritic and Pre-exilic Israelite Religion,” ZAW 100 (1988): 424-427, here p.427). See also John F. Kutsko, Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in Ezekiel (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2000), 65-70; G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology (2 vols.; Edinburgh: Oliver&Boyd, 1962-1965), 1:146; idem, Genesis. A Commentary (rev. ed.; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972), 59; J. M. Miller, “In the ‘Image’ and ‘Likeness’ of God,” JBL 91 (1972): 289-304, here pp.302-303.

28 Thus Marcus Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (New York: The Judaica Press, 1996), 60.

29 Arthur S. Hunt and C. C. Edgar, eds., Select Papyri (CL 266, 282; 2 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1932-1934), 1:304 (#112). In the text a soldier announces his father that he has sent him a portrait (e2pemya/ soi ei)ko/nin mou).

30 Papyri from late imperial period attest to the widespread formation with -in of the accusative singular in third declension nouns with consonant ending stems. E.g. xa/rin (BGU #48). See J. H. Moulton, “Grammatical Notes from the Papyri,” Classical Review 15 (1901): 31-38, 434-442; 18 (1902): 106-112, 151-155, here p. 35; A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (New York: Hodden&Stoughton, 1923), 265.

31 The nominative-accusative-vocative form of second declension neutral nouns in -ion often loses o, generating a form in -in. E.g. kleidi/n for kleidi/on, in BGU #775. For this phenomenon, see Robertson, A Grammar, 260-261; Moulton, “Grammatical Notes,” 34.

32 Dictionary, 60. In the family of the word, )ynwqy) (E.g. Deut. Rab. 4:4) designates a “procession in which portable images are carried” (ibidem, 60).

33 Chaldäisches Wörterbuch über die Talmudim und einen grossen Theil des rabbinischen Schriftthums (2 vols.; Leipzig: Baumgärtner, 1867), 1:170.

34 Dictionary, 297.

35 On Gen 1:26-27; 4:26; 5:1-2; 9:6-7; Lev 26:1; Deut 21:23.

36 Yoma 69a, Sotah 36b, Sanh. 96b, 104b, Hul. 91b, Qat. 15b, B. Bat. 58a, Shabb. 149b, B. Qam. 104b, B. Met. 115a, Bek. 7b.

37 Fossum, Image, 140, n. 23.

38 Num 33:52; 1 Sam 6:5; 2 Kgs 11:18; Ezek 7:20; 16:17; 23:24; Amos 5:26. In Mesopotamia  designates a divine cultic statue. Mark S. Smith notes that in several ancient Near Eastern texts twmd refers to the resemblance between a statue and its prototype, while Mlc refers to the statue itself, or “to the material medium in which the demût is made” (“Divine Form,” 426, n.13).

39 E. Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken (Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1983), 84-96; A. Angerstorfer, “Hebräisch dmwt und aramäisch dmw(t),” BN 24 (1984): 30-43; Smith, “Divine Form,” 426-427; C. Patton, “Adam as the Image of God: An Exploration of the Fall of Satan in the Life of Adam and Eve,” SBLSP 130 (1994): 294-300; Th. Podella, Das Lichtkleid JHWHs (Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1996), 252-259; H. Niehr, “In Search of YHWH’s Cult Statue in the First Temple,” in K. van der Toorn, ed., The Image and the Book: Iconic Cults, Aniconism, and the Rise of Book Religion in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Leuven: Peters, 1997), 73-96, here pp. 93-94; Kutsko, Between Heaven and Earth, 65-76.

40 “Graven Images,” 233.

41 “The Worship of Divine Humanity as God’s Image and the Worship of Jesus,” in C. Newman et al., eds., The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Papers from the St Andrew’s Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (SJSJ 63; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 112-128, here pp. 125-128; and idem, All the Glory of Adam, 101-102.

42 See also P. J. Kerney, “Creation and Liturgy: The P Redaction of Exodus 25-40,” ZAW 89 (1977): 375-387; M. Weinfeld, “Sabbath, Temple and the Enthronement of the Lord, The Problem of the Sitz-im-Leben of Gen 1:1-2:3,” in A. Caquot, M. Delcor, eds., Mélanges bibliques et orientaux en l’honneur de M. Henri Cazelles (AOAT 212; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), 501-511; J. D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil (San Francisco: Harper&Row, 1988).

43 “The Worship of Divine Humanity,” 123.

44 Thus Niehr, “Search,” 77; A. L. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977), 183-198; Angelika Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder: Herstellung und Einweihung von Kultbildern in Mesopotamien und die alttestamentliche Bilderpolemik (Göttingen; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998); idem, “Geheimnis und Ereignis: zur Funktion und Aufgabe der Kultbilder in Mesopotamien,” Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie 13 (1998): 109-143.

45 All the Glory of Adam, 102.

46 On this tradition, see G. Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” in G. Anderson et al., eds., Literature on Adam and Eve (Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 2000), 83-110; Schäfer, Rivalität; J. P. Schultz, “Angelic Opposition to the Ascension of Moses and the Revelation of the Law,” JQR 61 (1970/1971): 282-307; A. Marmorstein, “Controversies Between the Angels and the Creator,” Melilah 3-4 (1950): 93-102 (in Hebrew); Altmann, “The Gnostic Background.”

47 Schuller, DJD XI (1998): 88.

48 Schuller, Non-Canonical Psalms, 21-52.

49 The Hebrew is from F. García Martínez and E. J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls. Study Edition (2 vols.; Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 1997-1998), 2:754-755. The translation is E. M. Schuller’s in Non-Canonical Psalms from Qumran: A Pseudepigraphic Collection (HSS 28; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 76; the translation is reprinted in “4QNon-Canonical Psalms,” in DJD XI (1997), 75-172.

50 Schuller, DJD XI (1998): 96; idem, Non-Canonical Psalms, 84.

51 Cf. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 98-100. Fletcher-Louis notes that “both the verbs and which are used in 4Q381 have a strongly cultic orientation for the community that used the text” (ibidem, 99-100).

52 Michael Stone argues that, even if the Greek version lacks the passages, it implicitly assumes the tradition in the development of its story (“The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on The Books of Adam and Eve,” JTS 44 [1993]: 153-156).

53 Michael Stone, A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (SBL EJL 3; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), 53-58.

54 All the Glory of Adam, 103.

55 I provided between brackets the correction that J.-P. Mahé subsequently made to his original translation (G. Anderson and M. Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve [EJIL 5; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994], vii).

56 The words between brackets contain the correction that Mahé subsequently made to his original translation “il (ordonna) qu’on se prosternât devant toi en présence de Dieu” (Anderson and Stone, Synopsis, viii [wrong order], 11 [correct replacement]).

57 Translation from Mahé, “Le Livre d’Adam géorgienne de la Vita Adae,” in R. van den Broek and M. J. Vermaseren, eds., Studies in Gnosticism and Hellenistic Religions (Leiden, Brill, 1981), 227-260, here pp. 234-235. The tradition is also preserved in Apoc. Sedr. 5:1-2.

58 Edgar Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha (2 vols.; ed. W. Schneemelcher; trans. R. M. Wilson; Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1963), 1:500.

59 W.E. Crum, “Texts Attributed to Peter of Alexandria,” JTS 4 (1903): 387-97, here pp. 396-397.

60 Ibidem, 396-397, n. 3. Also found in E. W. Budge, Miscellaneous Texts in the Dialect of Upper Egypt (London, 1915), 904-905.

61 C. D. G. Müller, Die Buchër der Einsetzung der Erzengel Michael und Gabriel (CSCO 225/226; Louvain: Peeters, 1962), 14-15.

62 Cave of Treasures, from Brit. Mus. MS. Add. 25875, fol. 5b, cols. 1-2. The text can be found in Su-Min Ri, La Caverne de Trésors. Les deux recensions syriaques (CSCO 486-487; Louvain: Peeters, 1987).

63 ANF 4: 258-260.

64 ANF 3:709-711.

65 For Origen’s contact with Judaism, see C. Kannengiesser and W. L. Petersen, eds., Origen of Alexandria: His World and His Legacy (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988); N. R. M. de Lange, Origen and the Jews (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976); idem, “Jewish Influence on Origen,” in Origeniana (Bari: Istituto di Letteratura Christiana Antica, 1975), 225-242; Barthélemy, “Est-ce Hoshaya Rabba”; Kimelman, “Rabbi Yohanan and Origen”. Tertullian’s indebtedness to Judaism is masked by his negative attitude toward Judaism: A. G. Stroumsa, “Tertullian on Idolatry and the Limits of Tolerance,” in Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 173-184; W. Horbury, “Tertullian on the Jews in the Light of De Spectaculis XXX. 5-6,” JTS ns (1972): 455-459; W. H. C. Frend, “A Note on Tertullian and the Jews,” in Studia Patristica, vol 10 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1970), 291-296.

66 Portraits of Adam in Early Judaism (JSPSS1; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1988), 178.

67 I follow here the transliteration of classical Armenian proposed by Robert W. Thompson, An Introduction to Classical Armenian (2nd ed.; Delmar, NY: Caravan Books, 1989), 11-12.

68 “Bow down to god () whom I have made” (Anderson and Stone, Synopsis, 11; the translation is from Michael Stone, The Penitence of Adam [2 vols.; CSCO 429-430, Scriptores Armeniaci 13-14; Leuven: Peeters, 1981]). The Armenian text is reprinted in Michael Stone, Texts and Concordances of the Armenian Adam Literature. Vol.I. (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996), 70-81. Prof. Stone notes that manuscript no. 3461 from Erevan, Matenadaran, replaces  with Adam (The Penitence of Adam, 2:4, n.1 on ch.14).

69 B. A. Olsen, The Noun in Biblical Armenian (Berlin, New York: M. de Gruyter, 1999), 545-546. translates the Hebrew Bible use of Myhl) for idols: Exod 20:23; 34:15-17; Num 25:2; Deut 4:28; Josh 24:14.

70 Adam’s resemblance to God is offered as justification for worship in Gospel of Bartholomew and Encomium on Michael. The reading of the latter is worth mentioning: “The angels beheld the likeness and image of God in Adam and they fell down and worshipped him and gave him glory as the likeness of God [my emphasis]” (Crum, “Texts Attributed,” 396-397, n.3).

71 The Armenian version reads: “when God breathed his spirit into you, you received the likeness of his image” (Anderson and Stone, Synopsis, 11). The Latin records: quando insufflavit deus spiritum vitae in te et factus est vultus et similitudo tua ad imaginem dei.

72 “Search,” 93. For this ritual see A. Berlejung, “Washing the Mouth: The Consecration of Divine Images in Mesopotamia,” in van der Toorn, The Image and the Book, 45-72; Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 183-198; T. Jacobsen, “The Graven Image,” in P. D. Miller et al., eds., Ancient Israelite Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 23-28; M. B. Dick and C. B. Walker, “The Induction of the Cult Image in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in M. B. Dick, ed., Born in Heaven, Made on Earth: The Creation of the Cult Images (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1999), 55-121.

73 E.g. Ab. R. Nath. A: “When the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, He formed him (with two faces), front and back, as it is said, “Thou hast fashioned me back and in front, and laid Thy hand upon me” (Ps 139:5). Then the ministering angels came down to destroy him, but the Holy One, blessed be He, took him up and put him under his wings, as it is said, ‘And Thou hast laid Thy hand upon me.’ ” (Judah Goldin, trans., The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan [2nd ed.; New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1983], 15). For the motif of angelic opposition against Adam see also Gen. Rab. 8:4-6, b. Sanh. 38b, 3 Enoch 4:6.

74 Steenburg notes the presence of a similar duality in Sib. Or. 8:442-445: “The concessive force of pe/r (“although”) in the participial phrase, w?{ qnhtw?~ per e)o&nti, assumes a tension between Adam being mortal and being ‘served’ by all things” (“The Worship of Adam,” 97). Without discerning a connection with the motif of the angelic opposition to Adam, Steenburg continues: “Why this tension would exist is not clear” (ibidem, 97).

75 This bodily dichotomy escapes the attentive analysis of Stefan Schreiber, “Der Mensch im Tod nach der Apokalypse des Mose: eine frühjüdische Anthropologie in der Zeit des Paulus,” JSJ 35 (2004): 49-69. His conclusion, however, that L.A.E. departs from the dichotomic anthropology of sw=ma versus yuxh/, converges with my proposal that L.A.E. focuses on the dichotomy between heavenly likeness and distinctiveness.

76 In regard to the rabbinic disputes concerning the partners of God in creation, see Alan Segal, Two Powers in Heaven (Leiden: Brill, 1977), esp. 121-134; J. Fossum, “Gen 1,26 and 2,7 in Judaism, Samaritanism, and Gnosticism,” JSJ 16 (1985): 202-239.

77 Theodor proposes that hyl/Laya stands for Hila (Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 62). He also records the variant Levi (Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 62). Levi seems to be a secondary lectio facilior.

78 Nyrlwb is most probably a corrupted derivation from bwla/rion, clod. See also Clemens Thoma and Simon Lauer, Die Gleichnisse der Rabbinen: Einleitung, Übersetzung, Parallelen, Kommentar, Texte (2 vols.; Judaica et Christiana 10, 13; Bern, New York: P. Lang, 1986, 1991), 2:109-110.

79 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Genesis, 59; critical text at Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 62.

80 Thus Jastrow, Dictionary, 18; Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 62.

81 See Jastrow, Dictionary, 81-82.

82 Gen. Rab. 91:8; 98:11 (dissent); Num. Rab. 2:12; Esther Rab. 3:10; 5:3; 6:3; Song Rab. 1:11; Lam. Rab. 3:22; Eccl. Rab. 1:7. Dissent is also often attributed to the two: e.g. Gen. Rab. 98:11.

83 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Genesis, 60; Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 63-64. The tradition reappears without attribution in Eccl. Rab. 6:9. A different version of the confusion is also recorded in Pirqe R. El. 11: “Adam stood and began to gaze upwards and downwards. . . . He stood on his feet and was adorned with the Divine Image. His height was from east to west, as it is said, Thou hast beset me behind and before (Ps 139:5). Behind refers to the west, and before refers to the east. All the creatures saw him and became afraid of him, thinking that he was their creator, and they came to prostrate themselves before him” (G. Friedlander, ed., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer [New York: Hermon Press, 1965], 79).

84 This, A. G. Gottstein contends, is in rabbinic Judaism the main connotation of the concept of image of God (“The Body as Image of God in Rabbinic Literature,” HTR 87 [1994]: 171-195, esp. pp. 173-176). See also Morton Smith, “The Image of God: Notes on the Hellenization of Judaism with Special Reference to Goodenough’s Work on Jewish Symbols,” BJRL 40 (1958): 473-512; idem, “On the Shape of God and the Humanity of the Gentiles,” in Jacob Neusner, ed., Religions in Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 315-326. For a critique of Gottstein’s literal understanding of rabbinic references to Adam’s body of light, see David H. Aaron, “Shedding Light on God’s Body in Rabbinic Midrashim: Reflections on the Theory of a Luminous Adam,” HTR 90 (1997): 299-314.

85 Steenburg, “The Worship of Adam,” 98. See also C. R. A. Morray-Jones, “Transformational Mysticism in the Apocalyptic-Merkabah Tradition,” JJS 43 (1992): 1-31, here p. 17.

86 The punishment of Adam also recalls imperial methods of preventing or rectifying the overreaction of the audience toward a rewarded victor: Altmann, “The Gnostic Background,” 380-381.

87 “The Body,” 182.

88 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Exodus, 181.

89 For the ancient Near Eastern roots of this important concept see Niehr, “Search,” 77; Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 183-184; E. M. Curtis, “Images in Mesopotamia and the Bible: A Comparative Study,” in W. W. Hallo et al., eds., Scripture in Context III: The Bible in the Light of Cuneiform Literature (ANETS 8; Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 1990), 31-56, here pp. 39-42; W. W. Hallo, “Cult Statue and Divine Image: A Preliminary Study,” in W. W. Hallo et al., eds., Scripture in Context II: More Essays on the Comparative Method (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1983), 11-14. In the ancient Near East the presence of the god in the statue is an indwelling. Niehr notes that a damage to the divine likeness of the statue obstructs the relationship between the statue and its deity and renders the statue uninhabitable for the latter (“Search,” 78).

90 This coincides with Fletcher-Louis’s remark that “the worship of a human being as God’s image need in no way threaten Jewish monotheism” (“The Worship of Divine Humanity,” 125).

91 “Body,” 182, n.35.

92 The parallelism with Adamic traditions is also evident in a Jacob tradition preserved by Origen (Commentary on John II.31; GCS 10: 88,23-89,2). The fragment is generally regarded today as part of The Prayer of Joseph. In it Uriel reveals to Jacob the latter’s heavenly identity: Jacob is the “firstborn (prwto/gonov) of every living thing” and “the archangel of the power of the Lord and the chief captain among the sons of God (a0rxa/ggelov duna/mewv kuri/ou kai?_ a0rxixili/arxo/v ei0mi e0n ui9oi=v qeou=).” Even though he is an angel, Jacob still faces the fierce opposition of Uriel. Uriel’s claims for primordiality and superiority are reminiscent of the arguments of Satan in his refusal to worship Adam in L.A.E. 13-16.

93 The passage has a parallel in Lev. Rab. 20:2. An English translation that follows the standard Vilna edition is available in Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah. It attributes the saying to Resh Lakish in the name of Simon b. Mennaseyah. A critical editition appeared in Mordecai Marguliot, ed.,  (3 vols.; Jerusalem: Wahrmann Books, 1972). Marguliot’s text ascribes the saying to R. Levi in the name of Simon b. Mennaseyah. The passage also appears in Eccl. Rab. 8:2, where it is attributed to R. Levi. For interpretations of the tradition see Aaron, “Shedding Light,” 303-314, which is a response to Gottstein, “The Body,” 179-181.

94 In Gen. Rab. 40:5 Sarah has the image ()nwqy)) and the beauty of Eve. The tradition, either polemically, against the view attributed to R. Bana’ah, or incidentally, reads in the chain of beauty an undiminished resemblance.

95 The mention of Rab in MS Vat. 115 disrupts the evident intent of the addition to establish a descending line of transmission of beauty from rabbinic authorities to Adam and the Shekinah.

96 Friedman, “Graven Images,” 237-238.

97 Friedman, “Graven Images,” 236.

98 The story reappears in b. Rosh. Hash. 24b.

99 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Leviticus, 428. The story is retold slightly different in .. B 30.

100 The secondary literature on Hillel is large. One of the newest major additions to it is J. H. Charlesworth and L. L. Johns, eds., Hillel and Jesus: Comparative Studies of Two Major Religious Leaders (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997).

101 J. Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16 (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991), 705; Kutsko, Between Heaven and Earth, 72.

102 Between Heaven and Earth, 70-74.

103 Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael has two critical editions: Jacob Z. Lauterbach, ed. and trans., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (3 vols.; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1933), and H. S. Horovitz and I. A. Rabin, eds., Mechilta d’Rabbi Ismael (Jerusalem: Wahrmann Books, 1970). The former has an English translation on facing pages.

104 My correction.

105 My correction.

106 The translation is from Lauterbach, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, 2:262. Exod. Rab. 30:16 contains a different form of the tradition. The source of the heavenly likeness of humanity is not God, but the angels, and the likeness is limited to Israel. Similarly, Exod. Rab. 60:5 attributes to R. Hiyya a saying according to which the whole Israel is the icon of God.

107 “He who insults the image and the things belonging to the eternal King has the sin reckoned as committed against him in whose likeness the image was made” (3.17.2). The translation is from ANF 8:241.

108 Thus J. Quasten, Patrology (3 vols.; Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1990), 1:62.

109 On the date and historical-theological setting of 2 Enoch see R. H. Charles and W. R. Morfill, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896); R. H. Charles, “The Date and Place of Writing of the Slavonic Enoch,” JTS 22 (1921): 161-163; A. Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch: Texte slave et traduction française (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Slaves, 1952); A. Rubinstein, “Observations on the Slavonic Book of Enoch,” JJS 15 (1962): 1-21; S. Pines, “Enoch, Slavonic Book of,” EJ 6:797-99; M. Scopello, “The Apocalypse of Zostrianos (Nag Hammadi VIII.1) and the Book of the Secrets of Enoch,” VC 34 (1980): 367-385; A. De Santos Otero, “Libro de los secretos de Henoc (Henoc eslavo),” in A. Díez Macho, ed., Apócrifos del AT IV (Madrid, 1984), 147-202; F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch,” OTP 1:91-221; idem, “The Second Book of Enoch,” ABD 516-22; C. Böttrich, Das slavische Henochbuch (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus, 1995); J. VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations (Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1995); P. Sacchi, Jewish Apocalyptic and its History (JSPSS, 20; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996).

110 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 171.

111 For the Greek text I have consulted A. Rahlfs, ed., Septuaginta (Stuttgart: Württembergische Bibelanstalt, 1935).

112 Although eleven manuscripts contain “on high,” i.e. hl(ml or a variant, Albeck chooses not to include it in his text (Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 788).

113 Several manuscripts have My)cwmw or Ny)cwmw instead of Ny)wrw, which seems to be the original reading. The preference for My)cwmw is an obvious attempt to strengthen the parallelism between Jacob and the king, since My)cwmw is used for the king.

114 Four manuscripts contain l#m, while the others simply introduce the comparison with the preposition l.

115 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, vol. Genesis, 626; Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 787-788.

116 Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 788.

117 Schäfer, Rivalität, 205-206.

118 For the judicial function of basilica, beside the most popular and less solemn commercial function, see J. B. Ward-Perkins, Studies in Roman and Early Christian Architecture (London: Pindar Press, 1994), 448-449. Vitruvius provides an early testimony about the two functions of basilica: De Architectura, v.1.8 (qui apud magistratus starent negotiantes in basilica ne inpedirent).

119 The manuscripts attest to the following variants: dwwrp, rwrp, rwwrp, dwrp, rwdzwrp, and the latter’s variant dwdzwrp: Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 788.

120 L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1958), 776.

121 Dictionary, 1218. Levy translates it as Vorstadt, Vorwerk, or Vorhof (Wörterbuch über die Talmudim und Midraschim [Berlin, Vienna: B. Harz, 1924]).

122 Thus Jastrow, Dictionary, 1218; Friedman, “Graven Images,” 235.

123 “Graven Images,” 235.

124 The practice is common in the ancient Near East and ancient Israel (cf. the unqualified use of Myhl) for both gods and their statues). It is also common practice in the Roman empire to refer to the worship of an emperor’s statue as worship of the emperor. The awareness among rabbis of such a practice in regard to Roman imperial statues is attested in Lev. Rab. 34:3. The proximity of a custodian of royal statues to these cult objects ensures for him the company of “the great of the kingdom,” i.e. of the emperors.

125 E.g. the testimony of Vitruvius (De Architectura, v.1.7), which attributes such a role to the basilica he has just built (shortly after 27 B.C.E.).

126 Song Rab. 8:13 contains a Jewish testimony to this function of the royal statues.

127 For the statue, see J. Elsner, Imperial Rome and the Christian Triumph: The Art of the Roman Empire AD 100-450 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 61; D. E. E. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1992), 438-441; S. B. Platner, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (London: Oxford University Press, 1929), 76-78.

128 Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, 438.

129 Friedman argues that “on high” (hl(ml or Nl(ml) is an “epithet for God Himself” (“Graven Images,” 235).

130 Theodor and Albeck, Midrash Bereshit Rabbah, 788.

131 Ibidem, 788.

132 Halperin, Faces, 121, 407.