Sanctus and Gloria

David G. Flusser[*]

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra Gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Holy! Holy! Holy!
Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favours. (New Jerusalem Bible)

The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that song of the heavenly host in Luke 2:14 (“Glory to God in the highest…”)—which in Latin bears the title Gloria— is based on an exegetical paraphrase of the triple “holy” the angels proclaim in Isa. 6:3 (“Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord of Hosts! The whole earth is full of his glory”)—whose Latin title is Sanctus. I have arrived at this conclusion by comparing Luke 2:14 to the diverse sources of the Jewish Kedushah, which in turn forms the origin of the Christian Sanctus (quoted above). Therefore, in the course of this investigation, we will be dealing with ancient Jewish and early Christian liturgical traditions.

The Text of Luke 2:14: εὐδοκία or εὐδοκίας?

Before we can turn to the main purpose of this essay, however, we must first address the text critical issues concerning Luke 2:14. There appears to be a general consensus today that the angelic hymn in Luke 2:14 consists of two stanzas. In the first stanza God is praised in the heights, while in the second stanza peace is proclaimed to the people in God’s good graces on earth. So, for instance, the New Revised Standard Version reads: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” By contrast, the King James Version renders the angelic hymn in three stanzas: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” These days the view that the angelic hymn should be understood as having a tripartite form has few supporters, although both readings are founded on good textual traditions.

Whether the angels’ song consists of two or three stanzas depends on whether the original text is deemed to have read εὐδοκίας (evdokias, “of good will,” “of favor”) or εὐδοκία (evdokia, “good will,” “favor”). If we regard εὐδοκίας as original, the hymn is bipartite in form and the second verse speaks of peace on earth among people who already enjoy God’s favor. But if εὐδοκία is original, we have a tripartite hymn in which the angels announce (1) God’s glory in the highest places, (2) peace on the earth, and (3) divine benevolence toward humankind.

Margie Angel 3

Margie Angels
Illustration by Marjorie Cooper.

The text-critical question can be settled by determining which reading is the lectio difficilior (“more difficult reading”), for the more difficult reading is more likely to be original. However, the principal of lectio difficilior is valid only when it is able to explain how and why the other textual variants arose,[1] and not vice versa. In the present case only εὐδοκία can be considered the lectio difficilior, since it is easy to see why this reading would have generated the variant εὐδοκίας. As most readers are aware, there was no punctuation in the ancient Greek manuscripts. Therefore, there was always a risk that the words ἐπί γῆς εἰρήνη (epi gēs eirēnē, “upon earth peace”) would (wrongly) be associated with ἐν ἀνθρώποις (en anthrōpois, “in people”), whereby a new, though not improbable, sense arises: “on the earth [there is] peace among humans.” But this misreading made the noun εὐδοκία (“favor,” “good will”) meaningless, and an emendation was required to make sense of it. By adding the -ς to εὐδοκία a scribe was able to transform “peace on earth” into “peace among people of [divine] favor.” Such a development in the transmission of the text is not unlikely. In contrast, a development in the opposite direction is implausible. Would a scribe think he had improved the words ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας (“among people of [divine] favor”) by dropping the -ς so that εὐδοκία becomes the subject and the bipartite hymn becomes tripartite?[2]

Theological motives could also account for the emergence of the reading ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας. Some theologians[3] have compared this reading with the phrase בני רצונכה (“sons of your will”; 1QHa XIX, 9)[4] from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Hebrew word for “will,” רָצוֹן (rātzōn), in the Dead Sea Scrolls reflects the sect’s concept of predestination. The “sons of your will” are God’s elect or chosen ones. This theological concept was also important for the “Pauline” stratum of Christianity, which betrays the influence of Essene thought in this regard and in many others besides.[5] Thus in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we read that God “predestined us for adoption…according to the good pleasure of his will” (κατὰ τὴν εὐδοκίαν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ; Eph. 1:5).

Print VersionAt first glance, the similarity of the reading ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας (“among people of [divine] favor”) to the Dead Sea sect’s notions about predestination seems to make the originality of this reading more probable. But upon further reflection, the fact that the Dead Sea Scrolls bear witness to theological concepts and vocabulary parallel to “people of divine favor” does not automatically settle the question. Every Christian scribe, being indirectly influenced by Essene thought via the Pauline corpus, would have known that God, in his benevolence, has predestined the elect and bestowed his grace upon them alone. Therefore, a scribe could easily have “corrected” the wording of Luke 2:14 to conform to this Essene-cum-Pauline sectarian outlook.[6] Accordingly, the similarity of the generally accepted reading (ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας) to the theology of the Dead Sea sect is hardly decisive for determining the original text of Luke 2:14. On the contrary, if I succeed in proving that Luke 2:14—in its tripartite form—is a paraphrase of the trishagion (Greek for “thrice-holy”) in Isa. 6:3, then maintaining the commonly accepted, though philologically more difficult, reading will no longer be tenable.

The Sanctus and the Kedushah

Isaiah 6:3 forms an important part of the Christian liturgy, though its wording has been slightly adapted from the original. While the text of Isa. 6:3 states that “the whole earth is full of his [i.e., God’s—DGF] glory,” in the Greek liturgy of the eucharist one sings πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης σου “heaven and earth are full of your glory.” With this unscriptural phraseology the Latin, Syriac, and Armenian eucharistic liturgies concur.[7] The unscriptural phrasing of the Sanctus is a good indication that its liturgical use among Christians has its roots in Jewish worship. And in a Qumran Thanksgiving Hymn, we read the very formula the Christians were later to pray: מלוא ה[ש]מים והארץ […כ]בודך (“Heaven and earth are full…of your glory”).[8] So the Dead Sea Scrolls prove what we already suspected: the Christian formula “heaven and earth are full” is of Jewish origin. And how could it have been otherwise? Can we really imagine that the Christians would have altered a scriptural text without relying on a Jewish liturgical tradition?

Moreover, the adaptation of Isa. 6:3 in the Christian Sanctus is in the spirit of ancient Jewish exegesis (midrash). When the text of Isa. 6:3 says מְלֹא כָל־הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ (“the whole earth is full of his glory”), it scarcely meant that the earth alone is full of God’s glory.[9] The Jewish midrashists would have insisted that if this had been the verse’s intention, it would have been necessary to express it as מְלֹא הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ (“the earth is full of his glory”). What is actually written is כָל־הָאָרֶץ (“the whole earth”), which is to be understood as meaning “heaven and earth.” Thus the formula in the Thanksgiving Hymn and in the Christian Sanctus probably originated as a midrashic interpretation of the word כָּל (“all”) in Isa. 6:3.[10] Hence Jewish circles, including the members of the Dead Sea sect, must have used the trishagion in their prayers in the same form as the Christians were to do later.[11]

The very form of the Isaiah quotation in the Christian Sanctus shows that it was adopted into the Christian liturgy from a Jewish rite. The question arises when this adoption occurred. From the fact that Isa. 6:3 is quoted in a source as early as 1 Clement (late first-early second cent. C.E.), it is commonly assumed—and I think correctly—that the Church included the trishagion in its liturgy from its inception. This assumption becomes virtually certain when we compare 1 Clement with the Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians (second cent. C.E.). According to 1 Clement, Christians should submit themselves to the will of God:

Let our glorying and confidence be in him; let us be subject to his will; let us consider the whole multitude of his angels, how they stand ready and minister to his will. For the Scripture says “Ten thousand times ten thousand stood by him, and thousand thousands ministered to him, and they cried Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Sabaoth, the whole creation is full of his glory.” (1 Clem. 34:5-6; Loeb)[11a]

After quoting Dan. 7:10 and the song of the angels from Isa. 6:3, 1 Clement continues:

Therefore, we too must gather together with concord in our conscience and cry earnestly to him, as it were with one mouth, that we may share in his great and glorious promises…. (1 Clem. 34:7; Loeb)

In Ignatius to the Ephesians on the other hand, the Sanctus is not quoted nor does the epistle compare the Church to the heavenly multitudes. For Ignatius the image of the singing community is a metaphor for the harmonious subordination of the community membership to its leaders and a paradigm for the unity of all Christians:

Therefore it is fitting that you should live in harmony with the will of the bishop, as indeed you do. For your justly famous presbytery, worthy of God, is attuned to the bishop as the strings to a harp. Therefore by your concord and harmonious love Jesus Christ is being sung. Now do each of you join in this choir, that being harmoniously in concord you may receive the key of God in unison, and sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father, that he may both hear you and may recognize, through your good works, that you are members of his Son. (Ign. Eph. 4:1-2; Loeb)[11b]

Despite their very different contexts and intentions, the common literary heritage of these two passages becomes clear if we place 1 Clem. 34:7 and Ign. Eph. 4:2 side by side:

1 Clem. 34:7 Ign. Eph. 4:2
καὶ ἡμεῖς οὖν, ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ἵνα σύμφωνοι ὄντες ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ
And we, therefore, in harmony …so that being symphonic in harmony
ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ συναχθέντες τῇ συνειδήσει
together being brought together in conscience
ὡς ἐξ ἑνὸς στόματος βοήσωμεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐκτενῶς χρῶμα θεοῦ λαβόντες ἐν ἑνότητι ᾄδητε ἐν φωνῇ μιᾷ
as from one mouth we might cry out to him earnestly…. the [musical] key of God receiving, in unity you might sing in one voice….

This part of Ignatius of Antioch’s metaphor is almost identical to the exhortation of Clement, the Roman bishop, who, after quoting the trishagion, summons the congregation to prayer. In the following paragraphs we will examine the variants of the Jewish Kedushah,[12] the Jewish trishagion liturgy, and other Jewish texts dealing with the singing of the heavenly host in Isa. 6:3. When these are compared to the passages we have cited from Ignatius to the Ephesians and 1 Clement, it becomes clear that the words of these two apostolic fathers echo early Christian liturgy, which the Christians adopted from the synagogue rite.

Unanimous Praise

All the pertinent Jewish sources speak of the unanimity of the angelic singing. Following the Yotzer of the morning prayer service, we read in the Siddur that the angels sing the trishagion “all of them as one” (כולם כאחד).[12a] In Hekhalot Rabbati,[13] a book of Jewish mysticism, the angels sing in purity and holiness בקול אחד בדיבור אחד כדעת אחת ובנעימה אחת (“with one voice, with one utterance, with one mind and with one melody”).[13a] According to this source, the myriads of angels who do not begin their singing with the others or who do not sing in tune with the rest fall into a river of fire and burn there.[14] It is of particular importance for our inquiry that Hekhalot Rabbati explicitly states that all the angels sing בקול אחד (“in one voice”), for that is exactly what is stated in the oldest surviving version of the Kedushah. This most ancient version of the Kedushah is found in Ethiopian Enoch, where we read:

And when he shall lift up his countenance to judge their secret ways according to the word of the name of the Lord of Spirits, and their path according to the way of the righteous judgment of the Lord of Spirits, then shall they all with one voice speak and bless, and glorify and extol and sanctify the name of the Lord of Spirits. And he will summon all the host of the heavens, and all the holy ones above, and the host of God, the Cherubin, Seraphin and Ophannin, and all the angels of power, and all the angels of principalities, and the Elect One, and the other powers on the earth (and) over the water. On that day shall raise one voice, and bless and glorify and exalt in the spirit of faith, and in the spirit of wisdom, and in the spirit of patience, and in the spirit of mercy, and in the spirit of judgment and of peace, and in the spirit of goodness, and shall all say with one voice: “Blessed is He, and may the name of the Lord of Spirits be blessed for ever and ever.” (1 Enoch 61:9-11; underlining mine—DGF)[14a]

Likewise, in the Passion of Perpetua it says that the angels recite the trishagion in unison:

audivimus vocem unitam dicentem: Agios, agios, agios, sine cessatione.

…and we heard as it were one voice crying Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus without any end. (Passion of Perpetua 12:1; underlining mine—DGF)[14b]

Other passages regarding the singing of the angels agree on this point: In Slavonic Enoch it says that the angels sing unanimously in the sixth heaven (2 Enoch 19:6),[15] while in the Apocalypse of Abraham it says that the “voice of the sanctification” of the heavenly beings is like “the voice of a single man” (Apoc. Ab. 18:14).[16] Similarly, in the Apocalypse of Peter it says that the inhabitants of paradise together with the angels praise God μίᾳ φωνῇ (“with one voice”; Apoc. Pet. Akhmim fragment §19).[17] Thus, even if the parallel in 1 Clem. 34:7 had not been preserved, the words ἐν φωνῇ μίᾳ (“in one voice”) in Ign. Eph. 4:2 would themselves have make it clear that the entire passage in Ignatius to the Ephesians is directly related to the singing of the angels.[18]

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

By comparing 1 Clement with Ignatius to the Ephesians and other Jewish and Christian texts, it becomes apparent that what follows the quotation of the trishagion in 1 Clement must allude to an early Christian Sanctus. A careful reading reveals even more. Clement exhorted his readers to submit themselves to God’s will, just as the host of angels minister according to his will (1 Clem. 34:5). Following the quotation of the trishagion Clement continues: “Therefore, we too must…cry earnestly to him out of one mouth” (1 Clem. 34:7; underlining mine—DGF). As we can see from the Jewish texts we have cited, the bishop’s exhortation is based on the traditional Jewish view that the praying congregation on earth imitates the trishagion of the heavenly congregation of angels. Similarly, in the fourth-century C.E. Apostolic Constitutions we read:

Ἰσραὴλ δέ, ἡ ἐπίγειός σου ἐκκλησία ἡ ἐξ ἐθνῶν, ταῖς κατ᾽ οὐρανὸν δυνάμεσιν ἁμιλλωμένη νυκτὶ καὶ ἡμέρα „ἐν καρδία πλήρει καὶ ψυχῇ θελούσῃ“ ψάλλει

But Israel, your church on earth, taken out of the Gentiles, emulating the heavenly powers night and day, with a full heart and a willing soul sings…. (Apostolic Constitutions 7:35 §4; underlining mine—DGF)[19]

The same idea is expressed in the introductory words to the trishagion in all forms of the Kedushah. In the morning prayer it says:

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַּקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם כַּכָּתוּב עַל יַד נְבִיאֶךָ:‏‎‎‎

Let us sanctify your name in the world as it is sanctified in heaven on high, as written by your prophet….[19a]

And in the Mussaf prayer:

נַעֲרִיצָךְ וְנַקְדִּישָׁךְ כְּסוֹד שִׂיחַ שַׂרְפֵי קֹדֶשׁ הַמַּקְדִּישִׁים שִׁמְךָ בַּקֹּדֶשׁ כַּכָּתוּב עַל יַד נְבִיאֶךָ

Let us reverence and sanctify you according to the secret utterance of the holy seraphim who sanctify your name in holiness, as written by your prophet….[19b]

And according to the Sephardic rite:

כתר יתנו לך המוני מעלה וקבוצי מטה יחד כולם קדושה לך ישלשו כמה שנאמר על ידי נביאך

Heavenly hosts and the assemblies on earth crown you, together they all repeat Kedusha three times, as is written by your prophet…”[20]

A Christian prayer in the Apostolic Constitutions also mentions the trishagion and summons the earthly congregation to sing it together with the angels:

„τὰ Χερουβὶμ καὶ τὰ ἑξαπτέρυγα Σεραφὶμ…“ καὶ λέγοντα ἅμα χιλίαις χιλάσιν ἀρχαγγέλων καὶ μυρίαις μυράσιν ἀγγέλων ἀκαταπαύστως καὶ ἀσιγήτως βοώσαις, καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἅμα εἰπάτω⋅ „Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος κύριοσ Σαβαώθ, πλήρης ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ⋅ εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας⋅ ἀμήν“.

The cherubim and the six-winged seraphim…say together with with thousand thousands of archangels, and ten thousand times ten thousand angels, incessantly, and with constant and loud voices, and let all the people say it with them [καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἅμα εἰπάτω]: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts, heaven and earth are full of His glory: be Thou blessed forever. Amen.” (Apostolic Constitutions 8:12 §27; underlining mine—DGF)[20a]

From these last two passages we learn not only that the earthly congregation imitates the angels in reciting Isa. 6:3, but that the prayers of the earthly congregation take place at the same time as the praises offered by heavenly hosts. Similarly Hekhalot Rabbati[21] explicitly states that the heavenly beings utter the trishagion in concert with the earthly congregation:

מפי הכרובים ומפי האופנים שפותחין פיהן לומר קדוש בשעה שישראל אומרים לפניו קדוש כדבר שבאמר ק׳ק׳ק׳ וגו׳

From the mouths of the cherubim and from the mouths of the ophanim who open their mouths to say “Holy” when Israel says “Holy” before Him (as it is said, Holy, holy, holy etc.). (Hekhalot Rabbati, chapter 3 §101)[22]

And in another passage:

מתגבר קול ויוצא ברעש גדול בשעה שישראל אומרים לפניו קדוש וגו׳

A sound strengtheneth itself and goeth forth in a great tumult when Israel saith before Him,―Holy, Holy, Holy. (Hekhalot Rabbati, chapter 8 §161)[22a]

In the context of the Kedushah we read in Ethiopian Enoch about the synchronized praises in heaven and on earth:

All who sleep not above in heaven shall bless Him:
All the holy ones who are in heaven shall bless Him.
And all the elect who dwell in the garden of life:
And every spirit of light who is able to bless, and glorify, and extol, and hallow Thy blessed name,
And all flesh shall beyond measure glorify and bless Thy name for ever and ever. (1 Enoch 61:12).[23]

Thus, by reciting the same words (viz., the trishagion) as the angels, and by praising God at the same time as the heavenly hosts, the familiar notion that the earthly order corresponds to the heavenly order, and that Israel, the God’s congregation on earth, is in harmony with the congregation of holy ones in heaven is actualized. Perhaps this very concept is what gave rise to the liturgical use of the trishagion in the Kedushah in the first place.

An Ancient Greek Sanctus

When, following the trishagion, it says in 1 Clement, “Therefore, we too must gather together with concord in our conscience and cry earnestly to him, as it were with one mouth,” and when prior to the trishagion Clement exhorts his readers to submit, as the angels do, to the will of God, the Roman bishop expresses the same thought as that which is presupposed in the Jewish Kedushah. For this reason, it is not merely the words following the trishagion in 1 Clem. 34:7 (cf. Ign. Eph. 4:2), but the entire passage (1 Clem. 34:5-7) that must be used to reconstruct the ancient Christian liturgical fragment it reflects. This ancient liturgical fragment apparently opened with a comparison between the singing angels of heaven and the praying congregation on earth. After this the trishagion itself was recited. Then came a summons to call upon God together[24] in unity (ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ) with one voice.[25] Finally, there was a petition for God to listen to the congregation’s prayer.[26] This Greek Sanctus, a fragment of which we have discovered in the course of our investigation, was sung in the Christian communities of Rome and Antioch at the end of the first century.

The question now arises how the uniformity of the liturgy in two such distant congregations may be explained. The time-honored community of Antioch may have influenced the Christian liturgy of the Church in Rome, but it may also be that the Sanctus of the two communities is derived from a Hellenistic synagogue rite. At any rate, it seems certain that the early Christian Sanctus, the traces of which can still be detected in Ignatius to the Ephesians and 1 Clement, had its origin in an ancient Jewish Kedushah.

The Ancient Jewish Kedushah

So let us now turn to this Jewish Kedushah.[27] The Kedushah, as we know it today, combines the trishagion from Isa. 6:3 with the words of the angels from Ezek. 3:12: בָּרוּךְ כְּבוֹד יי מִמְּקוֹמוֹ (“Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place”).[28] Other scriptural quotations were added later. The Kedushah looks rather different in Ethiopian Enoch, the oldest version of the Kedushah to have reached us:

Those who sleep not [i.e., the angels—DGF][29] bless Thee: they stand before Thy glory and bless, praise, and extol, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Spirits: He filleth the earth with spirits.” And here my eyes saw all those who sleep not [i.e., the angels—DGF]: they stand before Him and bless and say: “Blessed be Thou, and blessed be the name of the Lord of Spirits for ever and ever.” (1 Enoch 39:12-13).[30]

The second angelic praise in this passage also appears in 1 Enoch 61:11, which enables us to use 1 Enoch 61:9-12 for reconstructing the history of the Sanctus and the Kedushah.

Of particular interest for our inquiry is how Isa. 6:3 is modified in 1 Enoch 39:12. The author understood the designation יי צְבָאוֹת (“LORD of hosts”) to be equivalent to the scriptural title אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת (“God of the spirits”; Num. 16:22; 27:16). Just as the author of Ethiopian Enoch understood the “hosts” to consist of spirits, so also he declared “his glory” in Isa. 6:3 to consist of spirits (“he fills the earth with his spirits”). In his view, the LORD, the God of Spirits, fills the whole world with his spirits. This is reminiscent of the term pleroma, which, in Christian theology and in Gnostic sources, refers to the abundance of divine powers that fill the cosmos. The translators of the Septuagint did not render the noun מְלֹא (melo’, “fullness”) in Isa. 6:3 as πλήρωμα (plērōma, “fullness”), as they so often did elsewhere, for example:

לַיי הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְיֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ

The earth is the LORD’s and its fullness [וּמְלוֹאָהּ], the world and the inhabitants in it. (Ps. 24:1)

Τοῦ κυρίου ἡ γῆ καὶ τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῆς, ἡ οἰκουμένη καὶ πάντες οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐν αὐτῇ

The earth is the Lords’ and its fullness [πλήρωμα], the world and all the inhabitants in it. (Ps. 23:1)[31]

Nevertheless, the Christain and Gnostic use of term pleroma may be related to the interpretation of the angels’ singing in Isa. 6:3 preserved in 1 Enoch 39:12.

Having seen how the first angelic hymn developed from Isa. 6:3 to its form in Ethiopian Enoch, it will be easier to arrive at a correct understanding of the second angelic praise in the most ancient form of the Kedushah. The angels’ second praise (“Blessed be Thou, and blessed be the name of the Lord of Spirits for ever and ever”) appears to be an adaptation of the well-known Jewish doxology בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד (bārūch shēm kevōd malchūtō le‘ōlām vā‘ed, “Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever”), which was recited in the Temple (m. Yom. 3:8; 4:1).[32] As we have seen from his adaptation of Isa. 6:3, the author of Ethiopian Enoch understood the word כָּבוֹד (kāvōd, “glory”) as a reference to spirits. Since this is how he understood “glory,” we can see why the author of Ethiopian Enoch changed “the glory of his kingdom” to “Lord of Spirits.” Thus, in the ancient Kedushah of Ethiopian Enoch, instead of Isa. 6:3 being followed by Ezek. 3:12, as in the modern rite, the trishagion was followed by the familiar Jewish doxology Baruch Shem Kevod adapted in accordance with the author’s interpretation of “glory.” It is fascinating to note that in a mystical text related to Hekhalot Rabbati[33] the doxology Baruch Shem Kevod is placed in the mouth of angels in association with Ezek. 3:12.[34]

The Kedushah de-Sidra

The Kedushah in its various forms is an integral part of the Jewish synagogue rite. It is said in the Yotzer of the morning prayer (where it is secondary),[35] in the public reading of the third benediction of the Amidah, and also as the Kedushah de-Sidra.[36] Since the last of these is of some importance for our investigation, we shall quote the Kedushah de-Sidra in its entirety:

וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן גּוֹאֵל וּלְשָׁבֵי פֶשַׁע בְּיַעֲקֹב נְאֻם יי: וַאֲנִי זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אוֹתָם אָמַר יי רוּחִי אֲשֶׁר עָלֶיךָ וּדְבָרַי אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתִּי בְּפִיךָ לֹא יָמוּשׁוּ מִפִּיךָ וּמִפִּי זַרְעֲךָ וּמִפִּי זֶרַע זַרְעֲךָ אָמַר יי מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם: וְאַתָּה קָדוֹשׁ יוֹשֵׁב תְּהִלּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל: וְקָרָא זֶה אֶל זֶה וְאָמַר קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יי צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ: וּמְקַבְּלִין דֵּן מִן דֵּן וְאָמְרִין קַדִּישׁ בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּהּ: קַדִּישׁ עַל אַרְעָה עוֹבַד גְּבוּרְתֵּהּ: קַדִּישׁ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא: יי צְבָאוֹת מַלְיָא כָל אַרְעָא זִיו יְקָרֵהּ: וַתִּשָּׂאֵנִי רוּחַ וָאֶשְׁמַע אַחֲרַי קוֹל רַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל בָּרוּךְ כְּבוֹד יי מִמְּקוֹמוֹ: וּנְטַלְתַּנִי רוּחָא וְשִׁמְעֵת בַּתְרַי קָל זִיעַ שַׂגִּיא דִּי מְשַׁבְּחִין וְאָמְרִין: בְּרִיךְ יְקָרָא דִי יי מֵאֲתַר בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּהּ: יי יִמְלֹךְ לְעֹלָם וָעֶד: יי מַלכוּתֵהּ קָאֵם לְעָלַם וּלְעָמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:

And a redeemer shall come to Zion and to them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. And as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: my spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever [Isa. 59:20-21]. But thou art holy, O thou that dwellest amid the praises of Israel [Ps. 22:4]. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory [Isa. 6:3]. And they receive sanction the one from the other, and say, Holy in the highest heavens,[36a] the place of his divine abode; holy upon earth, the work of his might; holy forever and to all eternity is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of the radiance of his glory. Then a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing (saying), blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place [Ezek. 3:12]. Then a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, of those who uttered praises, and said, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from the region of his divine abode. The Lord shall reign forever and ever [Exod. 15:18]. The kingdom of the Lord endureth forever and to all eternity.[36b]

It is not entirely certain whether the name קְדוּשָּׁה דְּסִידְרָא (qedūshāh desidrā’, “Kedushah of the Lesson”) actually means that this form of the Kedushah was originally recited following a study session. Perhaps the original sitz im leben of the Kedushah de-Sidra was not the Scripture lesson. Nevertheless, the fact remains that where we find it in the liturgy, the Kedushah de-Sidra is introduced with readings from the Prophets and Hagiographa, which makes a study setting credible. Of course, such uncertainty makes it difficult to research the origin of this liturgical piece. In any case, it is possible that this form of the Kedushah originated from the same religious milieu as the Kaddish, which from the outset was recited at the end of aggadic discourses in the Bet Midrash. Both prayers, the Kedushah de-Sidra and the Kaddish, sanctify God after delving into his teaching. So perhaps the Kedushah de-Sidra was an alternative to the Kaddish.[37]

Be that as it may, the fact that the Kedushah de-Sidra is a composite work and that some of its components also occur independently in the liturgy does not speak against a definite sitz im leben,[38] since liturgical pieces are often composite in nature. The components of the Kedushah de-Sidra are as follows:

  1. First a recitation of Isa. 59:20-21, which was apparently understood as an invitation to study the Torah, and the words “But thou art holy, O thou that dwellest amid the praises of Israel” (Ps. 22:4).
  2. Following the preliminary verses, the actual Kedushah appears. As usual, the Kedushah consists of Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12, but in the Kedushah de-Sidra it also appears with the addition of Exod. 15:18. All three verses are recited first according to the original Hebrew text, and then in Aramaic translation. The bilingual nature of the Kedushah de-Sidra is of particular importance for our investigation, as well as for supplying further evidence that the Kedushah de-Sidra originated in the Bet Midrash. In ancient times Aramaic prayers, such as the Kaddish, were always associated with learning and Torah study, since in the Bet Midrash Scripture portions were read both in the original language and in Aramaic translation.
  3. The Kedushah portion of the Kedushah de-Sidra is followed by a few scriptural quotations and finally by a non-scriptural section. First a longer version of the benediction that is usually recited after reading the Torah reads:

    בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבְּרָאָנוּ לִכְבוֹדוֹ וְהִבְדִּילָנוּ מִן הַתּוֹעִים וְנָתַן לָנוּ תוֹרַת אֱמֶת וְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם נָטַע בְּתוֹכֵנוּ

    Blessed is our God, who hath created us for his glory, and hath separated us from them that go astray, and hath given us the Torah of truth and planted everlasting life in our midst.[38a]

  4. This Benediction is then followed by two petitions, both of which are concerned with the Torah:

    הוּא יִפְתַּח לִבֵּנוּ בְּתוֹרָהוֹ וְיָשֵׂם בְּלִבֵּנוּ אַהֲבָתוֹ וְיִרְאָתוֹ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנוֹ וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם [וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה] לְמַעַן לֹא נִיגַע לָרִיק וְלֹא נֵלֵד לַבֶּהָלָה

    May he open our heart unto his Torah, and place his love and fear within our hearts, that we do his will and serve him with a perfect heart [and with a willing soul],[39] that we may not labour in vain, nor bring forth for confusion.[40]

    In the second petition God is asked that “we may keep thy statutes in this world” and that we might “inherit life in the world to come.”

  5. The entire liturgical piece concludes with yet a few more scriptural passages.

Determining when the Kedushah de-Sidra was composed will depend, at least in part, on the age of the non-scriptural texts it contains. As we already noted, an expanded version of the benediction after reading the Torah has been preserved in the Kedushah de-Sidra. In the usual version, the congregation gives thanks to God “who gave us the Torah of Truth and planted within us eternal life.” With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls it has now become possible to more fully understand the poetic image of eternal life that God has planted in our hearts. In a prayer that was discovered at Qumran dated to the middle of the second century B.C.E.,[41] God is asked לטעת תורתכה בלבנו (“to plant your Torah in our heart”; 4QDibHama [4Q504] 1-2 II,13). Since the Torah is a tree of life for all who hold fast to it (Prov. 3:18), when the Torah is planted in one’s heart, the fruit it bears is eternal life. That is why God can be praised for giving the “Torah of Truth” and thereby planting eternal life within the worshipper’s soul.

The Torah of Truth

But what does the benediction mean by “Torah of Truth”? The phrase itself comes from Mal. 2:6: “The Torah of Truth was in his mouth.” It is not surprising, therefore, that Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah (ca. 110 C.E.) apparently identified the “Torah of Truth” as the Oral Torah.[42] On a particular Shabbat, Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah seems to have alluded to the aforementioned Torah benediction in his homily. The homily itself, however, was based on a verse that states: “The words of the wise are like goads and like planted nails are those proficient in collected sayings, they are given by one shepherd” (Eccl. 12:11). Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah identified “the words of the wise [or sages]” as the words of the Torah interpreted according to Rabbinic teaching (i.e., the Oral Torah). And why, he asked, are the words of the Torah compared to a goad? Because just as a goad steers the cattle plowing the furrows in order to bring life into the world (להוציא חיים לעולם; cf. the phrase חיי עולם [“eternal life”] in the benediction), so the words of the Torah guide disciples away from the Ways of Death and into the Ways of Life.

The words of Torah bring life into the world, as it is written, It is a tree of life (Prov. 3:18).[43] The words of the sages are said to be “like planted nails,” and they really are like plants, growing and multiplying. Thus while Eleazar ben Azariah was ostensibly expounding Eccl. 12:11, his homily also explained the benediction after the Torah reading. He understood the “Torah of Truth” as referring to the sages’ oral teaching that “implants” eternal life with in the hearts of those who receive it.

So if in the benediction after the Torah reading the “Torah of Truth” refers to the Oral Torah, which produces eternal life when it is implanted in the heart, then the benediction emphasizes two basic tenets of the Pharisees that the Sadducees rejected. It thus becomes clear that the longer form of benediction preserved in the Kedushah de-Sidra is the original form and that the shorter, more familiar, form of benediction is an abbreviation. If one praised God “who…hath separated us from them that go astray, and hath given us the Torah of truth [i.e., the Oral Torah] and planted everlasting life in our midst,” then “them that go astray” must refer to the Sadducees, who did not accept the Oral Torah or believe in eternal life. We have thus discovered that the Kedushah de-Sidra has retained the original form of the benediction after the Torah reading, which reflects the religious conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees during the Second Temple period.

Heart and Soul

The petition which follows, that God “may open our hearts to his Torah and place love and fear in our hearts so that we may serve him with perfect [or whole—DGF] hearts and a willing soul” is apparently the oldest portion of this Jewish prayer that can be dated. It has already been noted[44] that this petition occurs in 2 Maccabees.[45]

2 Macc. 1:3-5 Torah Benediction
καὶ δῴη ὑμῖν καρδίαν πᾶσιν εἰς τὸ σέβεσθαι αὐτὸν καὶ ποιεῖν αὐτοῦ τὰ θελήματα καρδίᾳ μεγάλῃ καὶ ψυχῇ βουλομένῃ καὶ διανοίξαι τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς προστάγμασιν καὶ εἰρήνην ποιήσαι…

μὴ ὑμᾶς ἐγκαταλίποι ἐν καιρῷ πονηρῷ.

הוּא יִפְתַּח לִבֵּנוּ בְּתוֹרָהוֹ

וְיָשֵׂם בְּלִבֵּנוּ אַהֲבָתוֹ וְיִרְאָתוֹ

וְלַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנוֹ וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה

לְמַעַן לֹא נִיגַע לָרִיק וְלֹא נֵלֵד לַבֶּהָלָה

…and may he give you all a heart to worship him and to do his will in a big heart and a willing soul and open your heart in his law and in the commands and may he make peace…

…may he not forsake you in a time of evil.

May he open our heart unto his Torah, and place his love and fear within our hearts, that we do his will and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing soul,

that we may not labour in vain, nor bring forth for confusion.

This prayer is contained in a letter that the Jews of Jerusalem sent to their Egyptian compatriots in 143 B.C.E. So as early as that time, the petition we read following the Kedushah de-Sidra already existed.

So we have discovered that the Kedushah de-Sidra preserves an form of the benediction after the Torah reading dating to the Second Temple period, and it is followed by a prayer that was composed no later than 143 B.C.E. It is no accident that these ancient prayer fragments coalesced around the Kedushah de-Sidra, since, as we have seen, the Kedushah de-Sidra was recited at the conclusion of lessons. In such a liturgical setting the blessing for the Torah and a request that God open one’s heart to the Torah took firm root. The two ancient prayer fragments are certainly older than the Kedushah de-Sidra as a whole, but the fact that they are preserved together with the Kedushah de-Sidra argues for the antiquity of Kedushah de-Sidra itself. The antiquity of the Kedushah de-Sidra is important to us because in this Kedushah the trishagion (as well as Ezek. 3:12) was recited both in Hebrew and Aramaic.

Targumim and the Kedusha

The question now arises whether the Aramaic translations of Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12 that appear in Kedushah de-Sidra were created for specifically for the Kedushah de-Sidra and subsequently incorporated into the Isaiah and Ezekiel Targums, or whether it happened the other way around. The former possibility does not appear to have been the case with respect to Isa. 6:3, but it might have been the case with respect to Ezek. 3:12.

In the Targum to Isaiah, the prophet’s vision of God in the Temple is transferred to heaven. According to the Targum God’s glory is seated on a high and lofty throne in the highest heavens (בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא), and whereas in the Hebrew text of Isaiah the hem of God’s robe fills the Temple, according to the Targum the Temple is merely filled with the brilliance of God’s glory shining from heaven.[46] And whereas in the Hebrew text of Isaiah the seraphim stand above God in the Temple, according to the Targum, the seraphim stand before God on high (Isa. 6:2). One of these ministering angels flies to the prophet. The Targum says that in its mouth is a word from the one whose Shechinah is seated on the throne of glory in the highest heavens above the altar (דִשְׁכִנְתֵּיהּ עַל כּוּרְסֵי יְקָרָא בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא עֵיל מִן מַדְבְּחָא; Isa. 6:6). The angel then puts this word into the prophet’s mouth. Thus according to the Isaiah Targum, God’s glory remains in the highest heavens (בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא) throughout the prophet’s vision. The phrase “highest heavens” occurs twice in the Targum’s description of Isaiah’s vision (Isa. 6:1, 6). It occurs for a third time in the trishagion itself: “Holy in the highest heavens (בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא), the place of his Shechinah’s dwelling; holy upon earth, the work of his might; holy forever and to all eternity is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of the radiance of his glory” (Isa. 6:3). Since the highest heavens are mentioned in the Targum’s description of vision as well as in its version of the trishagion, it appears that the Targum’s version of the trishagion cannot have arisen independently of the rest of the Targum’s treatment of Isaiah’s vision.

On the other hand, it is at least possible that the Targum of Ezekiel was influenced by the tradition behind the Targum of Isa. 6:3, since the Targumn renders the Hebrew phrase מִמְּקוֹמוֹ (“from his place”; Ezek. 3:12) in Aramaic as מֵאֲתַר בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ (“from the place of the dwelling of his Shechinah”). As we have seen the phrase “place of his Shechinah’s dwelling” also occurs in the Targum to Isa 6:3. Nevertheless, the phrase בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּהּ also occurs elsewhere in the Targumim, so the similarity between the Aramaic translations of Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12, which are included in the Kedushah, does not prove much on its own. Moreover, since the Aramaic Targumim were transmitted orally, many—and often quite disparate—variants could arise.

The Significance of the Repetition of “Holy”

We now must take a closer look at the Aramaic version of the trishagion. Today it is understood that the angels’ triple repetition of “holy” in Isa. 6:3 was a solemn poetic formula, but this was not common knowledge either for the ancient Jews or the early Christians. Since both Jews and Christians believed in the verbal inspiration of Scripture, they sought for some rational way to explanain the triple occurrence of “holy” in Isa. 6:3. Accordingly, Rabbi Hananel said in the name of Rab that the thrice-repeated “holy” reflects the arrangement of the heavenly choirs: “Three divisions of ministering angels sing praises [to the LORD] daily; one proclaims: Holy, the other proclaims: Holy, and the third proclaims: Holy is the LORD of hosts” (b. Ḥul. 91b; Soncino trans.).

Another approach was to attribute a different meaning to each of the three instances of “holy.” It was from this latter approach that the Christian liturgical trishagion emerged: Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς (“Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us”).[47] A similar treatment of the trishagion can also be found in a piyyut (liturgical poem) of Yannai, a Jewish poet from the Byzantine period. For example:

קָדוֹשׁ מֵהוֹלְכֵי תָּמִים קָדוֹשׁ מִפּוֹעֲלֵי צֶדֶק קָדוֹשׁ מִדּוֹבְרֵי אֱמֶת

“Holy” on behalf of those who walk blamelessly. “Holy” on behalf of those who act righteously. “Holy” on behalf of those who speak honestly.[48]

The Targum to Isa. 6:3 arose from the same tendency. The Targum gives each instance of “holy” a different application.

While the Targum’s approach ought to have generated a tripartite form, in the Targum to Isa. 6:3 only the first two lines are strictly symmetrical. The first two instances of “holy” are understood as referring to locations where God’s holiness manifests itself. Each location is first named and then further identified by an appositional phrase. The third instance of “holy,” on the other hand, reads like a doxology. It does not declare where God’s holiness is manifest, rather it ascribes everlasting holiness to God:

Holy in the highest heavens, ¦¦ his Shechinah’s dwelling place;
Holy upon earth, ¦¦ the work of his might;
Holy forever and to all eternity is the Lord of hosts….

Thus, the third line is different from the others, which suggests that in the course of the Targum’s oral transmission the original wording of the third line was replaced by a doxology.

The Gloria and the Targumic Trishagion

Let us now compare the Targum’s version of the trishagion in Isa. 6:3 with the Gloria in Luke 2:14:

δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ
καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη
ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία.

קַדִּישׁ בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ
קַדִּישׁ עַל אַרְעָה עוֹבַד גְּבוּרְתֵּיהּ
קַדִּישׁ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא יְיָ צְבָאוֹת

Glory in the highest [places] to God,
and upon earth peace,
among human beings good will.
Holy in the highest heavens, his Shechina’s dwelling place;
Holy on the earth, the work of his might;
Holy forever and ever is the LORD of hosts.

Both texts describe heavenly beings offering their praises to God. In the Targum to Isa. 6:3 the seraphim recite the trishagion, while in Luke it is the multitude of heavenly hosts who praise God.[49] As I will endeavor to show, the three lines of the Gloria and the first two lines of the Targum to Isa. 6:3 share a surprisingly similar structure. The third line of the Targum, as we have seen, is different; probably because the original wording has been lost.

Even at a glance the first two lines of the Gloria and of the Targum show an important correspondence. In the first line the Greek ἐν ὑψίστοις (“in the highest [places]”) corresponds to the Aramaic בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא (“in the highest heaven”). In the second line the Greek ἐπὶ γῆς (“upon earth”) corresponds to the Aramaic עַל אַרְעָה (“upon earth”). One could even imagine that these two Greek expressions are translations of the Aramaic phrases. At the very least, we can say that the Gloria must be indirectly related to the Targum’s version of the trishagion in Isa. 6:3. Before proceeding with the analysis, however, I want to prove the Gloria’s direct dependence on a Jewish Kedushah.

The Aramaic translation of Ezek. 3:12, which follows the trishagion in the Kedushah, reads: “Then a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, of those who uttered praises and said [דִמְשַׁבְּחִין וְאָמְרִין]….” The words מְשַׁבְּחִין וְאָמְרִין (“praising and saying”) in the Targum could be an explanatory gloss, since in the Hebrew text of Ezek. 3:12 the angelic words are somewhat harsh and lack a transitional phrase[50] leading into the direct speech: I heard behind me the sound of a great rushing, “Blessed be the glory…” etc. But it is also possible that the liturgical use of this verse in the Kedushah influenced the wording of the Targum to Ezek. 3:12. From the Kedushah the words מְשַׁבְּחִים וְאוֹמְרִים (“praising and saying”) could have entered the Targum, since in both the Yotzer Kedushah[50a] and in the main Kedushah of almost all rites[51] the angelic doxology in Ezek. 3:12 is introduced with the words מְשַׁבְּחִים וְאוֹמְרִים (“praising and saying”). So it is only natural that in the Kedushah de-Sidra too, the Aramaic version of Ezekiel’s angelic doxology should be introduced with the same formula דִמְשַׁבְּחִין וְאָמְרִין (“who praise and say”). The importance of this formula in liturgical use is evident from the fact that it even occurs in the oldest extant Kedushah in Ethiopian Enoch. There, too, the second angelic praise, though different from the one in Ezek. 3:12, has the transitional phrase “praising and saying”:

And here my eyes saw all those who sleep not [i.e., the angels—DGF]:[52] they stand before Him[53] praising and saying: “Blessed be Thou….” (1 Enoch 39:13; underlining mine—DGF)

The Gloria in Luke is likewise introduced with the same words known from the Kedushah, Ethiopian Enoch, and the Targum of Ezek. 3:12. In Luke, too, we read of a multitude of heavenly hosts that praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest…” (Luke 2:13-14). If we suppose that the author of Luke added the words τὸν θεόν (“God”) for the sake of clarity and completeness, then the phrase αἰνούντων…καὶ λεγόντων (“praising…and saying”) in Luke 2:13 is an exact equivalent of the Hebrew phrase מְשַׁבְּחִים וְאוֹמְרִים (“praising…and saying”) in the Kedushah and is nearly identical to דִמְשַׁבְּחִין וְאָמְרִין (“who praise…and say”) in the Targum of Ezek. 3:12.

Thus the words “praising…and saying,” which introduce the Gloria in Luke, depend directly on the Kedushah, and the similarity of the Gloria to the Targum of Isa. 6:3 is neither coincidental nor indirect: it is explained by the direct dependence of the Gloria on the Kedushah, which quotes Isa. 6:3.

Holy in the Highest: His Glory

Let us now return to the comparison of the targumic trishagion in Isa. 6:3 and the Gloria, beginning with the first stanza in both sources. In the Targum it reads: “Holy in the highest heavens, the place of his Shechinah’s dwelling.” In other words, God has stretched out the heavens to serve as the dwelling place of his Shechinah (i.e, his divine presence).[54] That is why the prayer Aleinu,[55] similar to our Targum, says:

שֶׁהוּא נוֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם וְיוֹסֵד אָרֶץ וּמוֹשַׁב יְקָרוֹ בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וּשְׁכִינַת עֻזּוֹ בְּגָבְהֵי מְרוֹמִים

…who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, the seat of whose glory is in the heavens above, and his mighty Shechinah is in the loftiest heights.[55a]

This one sentence of the Aleinu also demonstrates that the terms “Shechinah” and “glory” (Hebrew: כָּבוֹד; Aramaic: יְקָר; Greek: δόξα) are often regarded as synonymous and so were easily interchangeable in ancient texts.[56] Thus, “the place of his Schechinah’s dwelling” in the Targum to Isa. 6:3 is synonymous with “the place of his glory” (Greek: δόξα). Therefore, when the first line of the Gloria, where it says δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ (“glory in the highest to God”), is compared with the Targum’s phrase בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ (“in the highest heavens, his Shechinah’s dwelling place”), we see that there is a great similarity between the Lukan and the Jewish-liturgical formulae, provided that שְׁכִינָה (shechināh, “divine presence”) is understood to be synonymous with δόξα (doxa, “glory”).

“And the glory of the Lord shone round about them.” Illustration by Marjorie Cooper (a.k.a. Elizabeth Webbe)

It appears, however, that in the course of the Gloria’s transmission the Greek word δόξα—or perhaps already the Hebrew כָּבוֹד or the Aramaic יְקָר behind it—was misunderstood. In all three languages “glory” can refer either to the praise of God (which others ascribe to him) or to God’s magnificence (an innate divine attribute). In Luke’s Gloria, “glory” was misunderstood as “praise” or “honor.” That is why the word θεῷ (“to God”) was added in Luke 2:14, although originally, it seems, δόξα referred to the glory of God, which is enthroned in the highest heavens. Perhaps it was the author of Luke himself who reinterpreted the beginning of the Gloria, for as we saw, the words τὸν θεὸν in Luke 2:13 are also an interpolation. If I am correct, then 1) δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις (“glory in the highest [places]”) is closely related to the Aramaic בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּהּ (“in the highest heavens, his Shechinah’s dwelling place”) in both form and meaning, and 2) the original structure of the first stanza of the Gloria is strictly parallel to the second and third stanzas:

δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις / καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη / ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία

Glory in the highest / and on earth peace / among humans good will.

Holy on Earth: His Peace

When we compare the second line of the Gloria, ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη (“upon earth peace”) with the Targum of Isa. 6:3, עַל אַרְעָה עוֹבַד גְּבוּרְתֵּהּ (“upon earth, the work of his might”), the Targum clearly explains why God is holy on earth: the earth is his might work. If we assume that, like the Targum, the second line of Gloria also expounds the trishagion’s second “holy,” then it becomes clear how the holiness of God is revealed on earth—through his peace.[56a] In the third line of the Gloria, which unfortunately has no parallel in the Targum, it is stated, according to our interpretation, that God’s holiness is revealed among human beings through his good will.

Holy to Humankind: His Good Will

So this is the meaning ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία (“among people good will”) in the third line of the Gloria: “[He is shown to be holy] among humankind [through the exercise of his] good will.”

The noun εὐδοκία (evdokia, “good will,” “object of desire”) is not found in Classical Greek sources.[56b] It is first attested in the Septuagint, where it occurs ten times. Of these ten instances, εὐδοκία occurs seven times as the equivalent of the Hebrew noun רָצוֹן (rātzōn, “favor,” “will,” “desire”; Ps. 5:13; 18:15: 50:20; 68:14; 88:18; 105:4; 144:16). Thus ευδοκία and רָצוֹן are clear equivalents.[57] While it is true that in the writings of the Dead Sea sect רָצוֹן became a terminus technicus for God’s gracious will whereby he predestines the elect,[58] this limited definition was only the result of a narrowing of a broader Jewish concept. As Jeremias noted, “The word רָצוֹן occurs 56 times in the Old Testament. Most of the time, namely in 37 (39) cases, the word is used of God’s favor, only in 19 (17) cases are people the subject.”[59] Even in post-Second Temple Judaism, the Hebrew רָצוֹן (and the Aramaic רְעוּתָא or רַעְוָא) means God’s “will” or “pleasure,” as, for example, in the frequent prayer formula יְהִי רָצוֹן (“Let it be the will [of God]”).[59a]

This is how the words γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς (“let your will be done as in heaven also on earth”; Matt. 6:10) in the Lord’s Prayer are to be understood: May your gracious will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That this is the meaning of the petition is also evident from Rabbi Eliezer’s short prayer: יעשה רצונך בשמים ממעל ותן נחת רוח ליראיך (“Let your will be done in heaven above and give peace of mind to those who fear you.”[60] In this prayer, God’s will in heaven corresponds to the well-being of people on earth: God’s gracious will should also be done on earth.

This line from the Lord’s Prayer and the rabbinic parallels are also important for understanding the Gloria. For in these prayers, as well as in the Gloria, mention is made of the heavens above and the working of God’s good will among human beings. Apparently, just like the Jewish prayers, the Gloria expresses the idea that God’s good will is at work work both in heaven and with humankind. That this is so becomes even clearer when we compare the second line of Gloria, ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη (epi gēs eirēnē, “upon earth peace”), with another ancient Jewish prayer formula:

עושה שלום במרומיו הוא ברחמיו יעשה שלום עלינו ועל כל ישראל

May he who makes peace in his heights [במרומיו] in his mercy make peace over us and over all Israel. (y. Meg. 4:12 [34a])[61]

Here too, as in the Gloria, the petition speaks both the heavenly heights and of peace on earth.

So there were ancient Jewish prayers that expressed a desire for God to exercise his gracious will—which he already does in heaven—upon the earth for the benefit of humankind. Likewise, there were other ancient Jewish prayers that beseeched God to give his heavenly peace to people on earth. Therefore, when the first line of the Gloria mentions the highest heavens, the second line mentions peace, and the third line mentions God’s good will, the train of thought appears to be that that God’s heavenly peace is taking effect on earth as his divine good will is bestowed upon humankind. In any case, we can see from the Jewish parallels why the Gloria refers both to the will and the peace of God: On the one hand there are Jewish prayers that speak of peace in heaven and on earth, and on the other hand there are prayers that speak of the God’s will being done in heaven above and on the earth below. The Gloria united these two concepts in a tripartite form based on the trishagion in Isa. 6:3.


The Gloria is, so to speak, a targumic interpretation of the trishagion in Isa 6:3. As such it is closely related to the existing Targumim that Jewish tradition has handed down to us. The hypothetical Targum from which the Gloria originated would have read something like this:

קדיש בשמי מרומא יקריה, קדיש על ארעא שלמיה, קדיש בבני נשא רעותיה

Holy in the highest heavens his glory; Holy upon the earth his peace; Holy toward humankind his good will.

I have assumed that the Gloria originated as a Targum and not as some other paraphrase of the trishagion, not only because of the similarity of the received Targum to the Gloria, but above all because of the introduction of the Gloria with the words αἰνούντων…καὶ λεγόντων (“praising and saying”). For, as I said, this same introduction is used for the angelic praise in Ezek. 3:12, both in the various forms of Kedushah and in the Targum to Ezek. 3:12 itself. It is possible, therefore, that the Gloria is a fragment of a complete Kedushah, perhaps like the Kedushah de-Sidra, in which the Hebrew Scriptures are followed by their Aramaic translations.

Shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. Illustration by Marjorie Cooper (a.k.a. Elizabeth Webbe).

We can imagine the original form of the oral tradition as follows: to the report of the angel’s good news to the shepherds that the Savior was born was appended a notice that a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared. Consequently, a kind of Kedushah was inserted, in which the Scripture verses were given first in Hebrew and then in Aramaic. In my opinion, only a fragment of this oral tradition has survived in Luke’s Gospel. The introduction to the second angelic quotation was transferred to the opening of the Gloria, and only a Greek translation of the Aramaic paraphrase of the first angelic quotation, the trishagion of Isa. 6:3, was retained. If my hypothesis is correct, then with respect to the Gloria, as in many other cases, we have to reckon with a loss of much of the original substance in the course of oral transmission.

However hypothetical my attempt to trace the origin of Gloria may be, I believe that, at the very least, my demonstration of the connection between Gloria and the Targum to Isa. 6:3 has been successful. Even this much confirms my initial contention that the Gloria should be understood as consisting, not of two, but of three stanzas. The Gloria’s original meaning was that God’s holiness manifests itself in the highest heavens as his glory, on earth as his peace, and among human beings as his good will. So, despite all the twists and turns in the oral transmission, we have in the Gloria a declaration that fully expresses the good news of Christianity.


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[*] This article originally appeared as David Flusser, “Sanctus und Gloria,” in Abraham Unser Vater: Juden und Christen im Gespräch Über die Bibel Festschrift für Otto Michael (ed. Otto Betz, Martin Hengel, and Peter Schmidt; Leiden: Brill, 1963), 129-152; repr. in David Flusser, Entdeckungen im Neuen Testament (2 vols.; Neukirchener, 1987-1999), 1:226-244.

In this translation I have supplemented the article with additional footnotes. These are marked with the letters “a,” “b,” “c,” etc., appended to the number of the preceding footnote, e.g., [11a]. In this way the enumeration of the footnotes in the reprinted (1987) version of the article is preserved.

I wish to thank my friends Hiromu Nagahara and Pieter Lechner, without whom this translation would not have been possible. I also wish to thank the librarians at the Rockland Public Library in Rockland, Maine, who on my behalf cheerfully obtained copies of so many of the books referenced in the footnotes below. —JNT

[1] Vincent Taylor, The Text of the New Testament (London, 1901), 4.

[2] A good example of how religious concepts can secondarily infect a text can is found at the end of Georg Büchner’s play Leonce und Lena. At the happy conclusion of the comedy, the fool Valerio sees the future as a land of milk and honey: “…and then we’ll lie down in the shade and pray to God for macaroni, melons, and figs, for musical throats, classic bodies and a coming religion [kommende Religion]” (according to the 1879 edition). Although the “coming religion” was a widespread slogan at the time, it does not match the ideology of the atheist Büchner or the light tone of the comedy. Significantly, “coming religion” arose from a serious misreading of the text by its editor Karl Emil Franzos. Büchner himself wrote Kommode Religion (“comfortable religion”), as can be read in later editions. (Translation of Leonce und Lena adapted from Michael Hamburger, trans., Leonce and Lena・Lenz・Woyzeck [Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1972], 33. Price’s translation reads “accommodating religion.” See Victor Price, trans., Danton’s Death, Leonce and Lena, Woyzeck [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971], 104.)

[3] Claus-Hunno Hunzinger, “Neues Licht auf Lc 214 άνθρωποι ευδοκίας,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 44.1 (1953): 85-90; Ernst Vogt, “Peace among men of God’s good pleasure,” in The Scrolls and the New Testament (ed. Krister Stendahl; New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957), 114-117; idem, “«Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis» Lc 2,14,” Biblica 34.3 (1953): 427-29; and also J. Maier, Die Texte vom Toten Meer, II (Münich, 1960), 105. (For a popular presentation, see Randall Buth, “The Sons of His Will,” on

[4] See also 1QS VIII, 6: בחירי רצון (“the chosen ones of the will”).

[5] David Flusser, “The Dead Sea Sect and Pre-Pauline Christianity,” Scripta Hierosolymitana 4 (1958): 224-225; repr. in his Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988), 23-74.

[6] Similar to how K. E. Franzos (see above note 2) read “coming religion” in Leonce und Lena.

[7] Anton Baumstark, “Trishagion und Qeduscha,” Jahrbuch für Liturgie-Wissenschaft 3 (1923): 28.

[8] 1QHa VIII, 21 [16:3]. J. Licht (The Thanksgiving Scroll [Jerusalem, 1957], 201f. [Hebrew]) reconstructed the phrase as:

[מלוא הש[מים והארץ [כוח גבורותיכה והדר כ]בודר מלוא כ[ול תבל

Heaven and earth are full of the power of your mighty deeds and splendor and glory fill all the world.

[9] Of course, in Isa 6.3, “earth” means the “world,” as is more common in the Bible. If one wanted to understand “earth” in this verse in a narrow sense, difficulties would arise that could only be interpreted away by “rabbinical” exegesis. Clement apparently encountered the same difficulty, and that is why he translated the words “the whole earth” in Isa. 6:3 with the phrase “all creation” (πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις) (1 Clem. 34:6). Of course, this does not mean that the liturgy of the Roman community at that time was different from the general Christian liturgy, because nothing required Clement to precisely replicate the liturgy in his letter.

[10] An example of this type of ancient Jewish exegesis can be found in the Passover Haggadah:

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: “…I was unable to prove why the story of the Exodus from Egypt ought to be related at night until Ben Zoma explained it. For it is written: “that you may remember today when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life,” from which he inferred that: whereas the expression “the days of your life” would only indicate the days, “all the days of your life” includes the nights as well. The sages, however, explain the text in this way: “the days of your life” refers to this world only, but “all the days of your life” also it includes the times of the Messiah.

Translation according to Shmuel and Ze’ev Safrai, eds., Haggadah of the Sages (trans. Miriam Schlüsselberg; Jerusalem: Carta, 2009), 183.

[11] There is even the possibility that Isa. 6:3, as cited in the Kedushah, originally included the words “the heavens and the earth are full of your glory” and that at some point the Kedushah was made to conform to the MT. According to a version of the Kedushah in Slavonic Enoch the angels in the seventh heaven sing the trishagion in the form that is common in Christian liturgy (2 Enoch 21:1). However, this cannot be taken as additional proof of the Jewish origin of this form, since the wording in Slavonic Enoch may not be original. The same applies to the Christian treatment of prayer for Sabbath and  feast days, which has been preserved in the (fourth-century C.E.) Apostolic Constitutions 7:33-37. See K. Kohler, “The Origin and Composition of the Eighteen Benedictions,” Hebrew Union College Annual 1 (1924): 387-425. In the Apostolic Constitutions 7:35 the trishagion is quoted in its usual Christian form; but since the entire prayer was subjected to Christian revision, the trishagion could have been adapted to conform to the Christian rite.

[11a] Translation according to Kirsopp Lake, The Apostolic Fathers (2 vols.; Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1912-1913), 1:67.

[11b] Translation according to Lake, The Apostolic Fathers, 1:177-179.

[12] We will not deal with the textual criticism or the history of the different variants of the Kedushah here.

[12a] According to Hertz the prayer reads:

וְכֻלָּם מְקַבְּלִים עֲלֵיהֶם עֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם זֶה מִזֶּה וְנוֹתְנִים רְשׁוּת זֶה לָזֶה לְהַקְדִּישׁ לְיוֹצְרָם בְּנַחַת רוּח בְּשָׂפָה בְּרוּרָה וּבִנְעִימָה קְדשָׁה כֻּלָם כְּאֶחַד עוֹנִים וְאוֹמְרִים בְּיִרְאָה קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יי צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל־הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ׃ וְהָאוֹפַנִים וְחַיּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ בְּרַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל מִתְנַשְּׂאִים לְעֻמַּת שְׂרָפִים לְעֻמָּתָם מְשַׁבְּחִים וְאוֹמְרִים בָּרוּךְ כְּבוֹד־יי מִמְּקוֹמוֹ

…and they all take upon themselves the yoke of the kingdom of heaven one from the other, and give leave one unto the other to declare the holiness of their Creator: in tranquil joy of spirit, with pure speech and holy melody they all respond in unison, and exclaim with awe: Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the Ophanim and the holy Chayoth with a noise of great rushing, upraising themselves towards the Seraphim, thus over against them offer praise and say: Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

See Joseph H. Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book (rev. ed.; New York: Bloch, 1975), 112-113.

[13] On Hekhalot Rabbati and related ancient mystical literature, see Gershom G. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1960; 2d ed., 1965).

[13a] Translation according to Morton Smith, trans., Gershom Scholem and Don Karr eds., Hekhalot Rabbati: The Greater Treatise Concerning the Palaces of Heaven (© 1995, 2009, corrected 2013, 2015), 24 §185.

[14] Thus we read in Hekhalot Rabbati:

וכלם עומדים בטהרה ובקדושה ואומרים שירה וזמרה שבח וצהלה וקילוס בקול אחד בדיבור אחד בדעת אחת ובנעימה אחת ולא זה בלבד אלא שנופלים ממלאכי השרת אלף אלפי אלפים וריבי מפני מה? מפני שאין בהם מוקדם ומאוחר משפיל ומים שירה וקדושה לפני מלך מלכי המלכים, לפיכך כל מוקדם ומאוחר מחברו בשירה מיד נשרף

…and…all of them stand in purity and holiness and sing songs and music, praise and rejoicing and applause, with one voice, with one utterance, with one mind and with one melody. And not only [do they purify themselves] but [nevertheless] there fall from them—that is, from the ministering angels—a thousand thousands and myriad myriads, fall to the river of fire and are burned. Wherefore? Because there may not be among them any who preceedeth or delayeth, who singeth more softly or loudly the song and the sanctus [which are sung] before the King of Kings of Kings. Accordingly any who preceedeth the rest or who delayeth [and singeth] after them in the song is at once burned. (Hekhalot Rabbati, chapter 11 §185-186)

Translation according to Smith, Hekhalot Rabbati, 24. The text is quoted from the major critical edition that Professors G. Scholem and Wirszubski are preparing, and I hereby express my gratitude to both gentlemen for providing the manuscript. —DGF

[14a] Translation according to R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1913), 2:226-227.

[14b] Translation according to W. H. Shewring, trans., The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity MM.: A New Edition and Translation of the Latin Text (London: Sheed and Ward, 1931), 33-34.

[15] André Vaillant, ed., Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch: texte slave et traduction française (Paris: Institut d’études slaves, 1952), 20.

[16] G. N. Bonwetsch, ed., Die Apokalypse Abrahams. Das Testament der vierzig Märtyrer (Leipzig, 1897), 18:30. As I was unable to access the Slavic text I can only venture a guess that the word “sanctification” is based on the Hebrew Kedushah. —DGF

[17] A. J. Festugière, La révélation d’Hermès Trismégiste, III (Paris, 1953), 136. On the history of the Sanctus, see Festugière’s remarks on p. 133-137. See also Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, 23.

[18] My friend J. Heinemann suggested that the frequent occurrence of the phrase “with one voice” in connection with the singing of the angels can be explained by the fact that in the Kedushah Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12 always appear in tandem. Isaiah heard the angels call the trishagion “one to the other” while Ezekiel heard a [single] voice (קול). The fact that the two angelic praises were connected in Kedushah created an apparent contradiction that could be resolved by assuming that the angels sing “with one voice.” Another reason for the emergence of this phrase could be the assumption (see below) that the heavenly and earthly congregations sing the trishagion at the same time, that is, “with one voice,” and that this phrase was also used when one described the heavenly choirs alone. —DGF

[19] Text according to Franz Xaver Funk, ed., Didascalia et Constitutiones apostolorum (Paderbornae, 1905), 430. Translation adapted from The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 vols.; ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, Allan Menzies; repr. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980-1986), 7:473. See K. Kohler, op. cit.

[19a] Text according to Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 134.

[19b] Text according to Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 528.

[20] Text according to Seder Rav Amram (Warsaw, 1865), 10b.

[20a] Text according to Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones apostolorum, 504, 506. Translation adapted from The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 7:488.

[21] See above, note 13.

[22] Translation adapted from Smith, Hekhalot Rabbati, 8.

[22a] Translation according to Smith, Hekhalot Rabbati, 19.

[23] Translation according to Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, 2:227.

As far as I am aware, talmudic literature does not explicitly state that Israel recited the trishagion in imitation of the angels, or that Isa. 6:3 was simultaneously recited by the earthly congregation with the heavenly host. This omission may be attributed to the sages’ jealousy of the heavenly congregation. For example, in the following rabbinic discussion we read:

חביבין ישראל לפני הקב″ה יותר ממלאכי השרת שישראל אומרים שירה בכל שעה ומלאכי השרת אין אומרים שירה אלא פעם אחת ביום…וישראל מזכירין את השם אחר שתי תיבות שנאמר שמע ישראל ה′ וגו′ ומלאכי השרת אין מזכירין את השם אלא לאחר ג′ תיבות כדכתיב קדוש קדוש קדוש ה′ צבאות ואין מה″ש אומרים שירה למעלה עד שיאמרו ישראל למטה

Israel are dearer to the Holy One, blessed be He, than the ministering angels, for Israel sing praises to the Lord every hour, whereas the ministering angels sing praises but once a day…. And whereas Israel mention the name of God after two words, as it is said: Hear, Israel, the LORD etc., the ministering angels only mention the name of God after three words, as it is written: Holy, holy, holy, the LORD of hosts. Moreover, the ministering angels do not begin to sing praises in heaven until Israel have sung below on earth…. (b. Hul. 91b; Soncino)

Sifre on Deut. 32:3 shows that similar views were already widespread among the tannaim. See also the discussion of A. Heimann (תורה הכתובה והמסורה, III [Tel Aviv, 1939], 182) on Job 38:7. However, the above quoted passage from the Talmud and others like it show that the view that the angels only commenced their worship after Israel developed in opposition to the older view that Israel recites the trishagion simultaneously with the angels. Perhaps this is related to the view, recently suggestion by Elbogen (see Ismar Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History [trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1993]), that the Mussaf prayer is where the Kedushah originally stood. According to this version of the Kedusha Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12 are followed by Deut. 6:4 (“Hear, O Israel”). —DGF

[24] The words ἐν ἑνότητι (“in unity”) in Ign. Eph. 4:2 correspond to ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ (“together”) in 1 Clem. 34:7. See W. Bauer, Griechisch-deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur (Berlin, 1958), 571, where it is shown that the phrase ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ means “together.” This corresponds to the Hebrew יחד. Bauer also pointed out (1127) that the phrase ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ (“in harmony together”) in 1 Clem. 34:7 has a parallel in the LXX Psalms, where, however, it occurs in a completely different context:

ὅτι ἐβουλεύσαντο ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό, κατὰ σοῦ διαθήκην διέθεντο

…because they conspired together with one accord [ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό]; against you they made a covenant…. (Ps. 82[83]:6; NETS)

This verbal correspondence could either be a coincidence, or 1 Clement (or the liturgy itself) may have been influenced by the language of the Greek psalter.

[25] The phrase ἐν φωνῇ μιᾷ (“in one voice”) in Ign. Eph. 4:2 corresponds to similar phrases in various other texts (see above), and therefore this phrase is preferable to ἐξ ἑνὸς στόματος (“from one mouth”), the formulation of 1 Clem. 34:7.

[26] As we read in Ign. Eph. 4.2, ἵνα ὑμῶν…ἀκούσῃ (“so that he might hear you”). The petitions are so different in 1 Clem. 34:7 and Ign. Eph. 4:2 that it is impossible to recover the original wording.

[27] On the Kedushah, see Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 54-62, 287-288.

[28] It is not my intention here to pursue why Ezek. 3:12 is missing from the Christian Sanctus. See the conjectures of Baumstark, “Trishagion und Qeduscha,” 22, 24f.

[29] The Greek text undoubtedly read ἐγρήγοροι (egrēgoroi, “wakeful ones”), a mistranslation of the Aramaic עִירִין (‘irin, “guardians,” “angels”).

[30] Translation adapted from Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, 2:211. Corrected according to 1 Enoch 61:11.

[31] On the subject of pleroma, see Pierre Benoit, “Corps tête et plérôme dans les Epitres de la captivité,” Revue Biblique 63.1 (1956): 5-44, esp. 35-37.

[32] On this doxology cf. V Aptowitzer, “בשכמל″ו: Geschichte einer liturgischen Formel,” Monatsschrift für die Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums 73.3 (1929): 93-118; Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 376-377. The meaning of this doxology, which originates from the Temple in Jerusalem, is made clear from the beginning of the song of the three youths in the fiery furnace:

εὐλογημένον τὸ ὄνομα τῆς δόξης σου τὸ ἅγιον…εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας,
εὐλογημένος εἶ ἐν τῷ ναῷ τῆς ἁγίας δόξης σου…εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας,
εὐλογητὸς εἶ ἐπὶ θρόνου τῆς βασιλείας σου…εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.

Blessed is the holy name of your glory…forever,
Blessed are you in the Temple of your holy glory…forever,
Blessed are you upon the throne of your kingdom…forever. (LXX Dan. 3:52-54)

The name of God, at the mention of which the doxology served as a response in the Temple, is the name of the glory of God that dwells in the Temple; God himself sits on the throne of the glory of his kingdom as king. That is why it was said in the Temple, “Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever.”

[33] The mystical text, Ma‘asseh Merkavah, is found in “Appendix C” of Scholem’s Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition. See above, note 13.

[34] See Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, 106f. The angels recite either the trishagion or the blessing in Ezek. 3:12, and other angels respond with ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד ממקום בית שכינתו (“Blessed is the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever from the place of the abode of his presence”). The words “from the place of the abode of his presence,” which were added to the Temple doxology, correspond to מֵאֲתַר בֵית שְכִינְתֵיה (“from the place of the abode of his presence”) the equivalent of מִמְּקוֹמוֹ (“from his place”) in the Targum to Ezek. 3:12. On the Targum of Ezekiel’s translation of Ezek. 3:12, see Samson H. Levey, trans., The Targum of Ezekiel: Translated, with a Critical Introduction, Apparatus, and Notes (Aramaic Bible vol. 13; Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1987), 27 n. 6.

[35] Most scholars rightly regard the Kedushah in the Yotzer as an interpolation. E. D. Goldschmidt pointed out to me that the sentence וּבְטוּבוֹ מְחַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל יוֹם תָּמִיד מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית (“and in his goodness he continually renews the work of creation every day”; Hertz, 108) in the Yotzer that leads into the poetic section that closes with the Kedushah appears again near the end of the prayer (Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 114). From this we may conclude that the entire intervening section represents an interpolation and the repetition of the sentence about renewing the work of creation marks the resumption of the original text of the Yotzer. —DGF

[36] On the Kedushah de-Sidra, see Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 55, 70-71; L. J. Liebreich, “An Analysis of U-ba Le-Zion in the Liturgy,” Hebrew Union College Annual 21 (1948): 179-209.

[36a] Hertz’s text inserts the word עִלָּאָה after בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא and thus reads בִּשְׁמֵי מְרוֹמָא עִלָּאָה בֵּית שְׁכִינְתֵּהּ.

[36b] Text (slightly altered, see previous note) and translation according to Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 202-203.

[37] In my opinion, the fact that the name Kedushah de-Sidra could signify the sanctification of the Torah lesson can be seen from the fact that this liturgical piece contains a blessing for the Torah. It may even be supposed that originally the Kedushah de-Sidra was the ceremonial conclusion to a lesson on the written or oral Torah, whereas the Kaddish was said at the conclusion of aggadic lessons. The connection between the Kedushah de-Sidra and the Kaddish is reflected in a saying in b. Sot. 49a that the world is preserved through the Kedushah de-Sidra and the Kaddish (יהא שמה רבא דאגדתא). Like the Kedushah in the main prayer and the Kaddish to this day, the Kedushah de-Sidra was probably not a private prayer, but was originally recited only in the congregation, according to the view that “every act of sanctification [דבר שבקדושה] requires not less than ten [persons]” (b. Meg. 23b). —DGF

[38] The blessing after reading the Torah in the version of the Kedushah de-Sidra also occurs in other forms, as does the whole non-scriptural portion of this Kedushah. See L. J. Liebreich, “An Analysis of U-ba Le-Zion in the Liturgy,” 177-181.

[38a] Text and translation according to Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 204-205.

[39] The bracketed words are missing in some rites, including in the text Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 204-205.

[40] The last part of the petition alludes to Isa. 65:23.

[41] Maurice Baillet, “Un recueil liturgique de Qumrân, Grotte 4: «Les paroles des luminaires,»Revue Biblique 68.2 (1961): 195-250, esp. 200. Similarly in a prayer belonging to the Sephardic and Italian rites:

הרחמן הוא יטע תורתו ואהבתו בלבנו לבלתי נחטא

The merciful one, he will plant his Torah and his love in our heart so that we may not sin.

[42] Wilhelm Bacher has collected the places where Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah’s homily is preserved in his Die Agada der Tannaiten I (Strasbourg, 1903), 224 n. 4. I owe thanks to my friend Shmuel Safrai thanks for pointing out this homily to me. —DGF

[43] The quotation from Prov. 3:18 is missing in b. Hag. 3b and in the Erfurt manuscript of t. Sot. 7:11 (Zuckermandel, 307). On the other hand, it is contained in the Vienna manuscript and in the printed editions of the Tosefta and is probably an integral part of the text.

[44] D. Μ. M. Sluys, De Maccabaeorum libris I et II questiones, (Amsterdam, 1904), 62. See also F. M. Abel, Les livres des Maccabées (Paris, 1949), 286.

[45] Here we reproduce a text reconstructed according to other Jewish rites: וישם לבנו ליראתו. See the note in Isaac Seligman Baer, ed., Seder Avodat Israel (Roedelheim, 1868), 128. Before the words בלבב שלם one usually finds ולעבדו, but this word is missing in the text of the Italian rite, which is cited in Liebreich, “An Analysis of U-ba Le-Zion in the Liturgy,” 179. See also the Italian Machzor (Livorno, 1856), I 6b. The words ובנפש חפצה are missing in some rites.

[46] Cf. the LXX version: καὶ πλήρης ὁ οἶκος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ (“and the house was full of his glory”; Isa. 6:1). For δόξα in the Greek Isaiah text see. L H. Brockington, “The Greek Translator of Isaiah and his Interest in ΔΟΞΑ,” Vetus Testamentum 1.1 (1951): 23-32.

[47] See Anton Baumstark, Comparative Liturgy (trans. F. M. Cross; London: A. R. Mowbray, 1958), 86. See also David Flusser, “Jewish Roots of the Liturgical Trishagion,” Immanuel 3 (1973/1974): 37-43.

[48] Text according to Menahem Zulay, ed., Piyyute Yannai: Liturgical Poems of Yannai Collected from Geniza-Manuscripts and Other Sources (Berlin: Shocken, 1938), 78. Another example is found on p. 34:

קָדוֹשׁ מִבּוֹטְחֵי בָךְ קָדוֹשׁ מִמַּאֲמִינֵי בָךְ קָדוֹשׁ מִשּׁוֹמְעֵי לָךְ

“Holy” on behalf of those who trust you. “Holy” on behalf of those who believe in you. “Holy” on behalf of those who listen to you.

[49] Luke 2:13: πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου. This is reminiscent of the המוני מעלה in a Kedushah form (see note 20 above).

[50] The harsh transition in the Masoretic Text could be secondary if, as some text critics suggest, the original text of Ezek. 3:12 was ברום כבוד ה′ ממקומו (“at the rising of the glory of the LORD from its place”). [See Moshe Greenberg, Ezekiel, 1-20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 22; Garden City: Doubleday, 1983), 70-71.] In that case the Targum would have smoothed the hard transition caused by a textual corruption. If so, the influence of Kedushah on the Targum would have to be excluded.

[50a] For the text of the Kedushah, see above, n. 12a.

[51] An exception is only the Ashkenazi and the Italian rite. As E. D. Goldschmidt tells me, the manuscripts of Seder Rav Amram are divided: in some MSS the words משבחים ראומרים occur, in others we read the formula of the Ashkenazi and Italian rite: ברור יאמרו. —DGF

[52] See above, note 29.

[53] Cf. the Targum of Isa. 6:2: ברומא קדמוהי, but in the Hebrew text it says: עומדים ממעל לו.

[54] As Targum Onkelos to Deut. 32:40 states, ארי אתקנית בשמיא בית שכינתי (“I have prepared in the heavens the abode of my Shechinah”). Likewise, the Fragmentary Targum to Num. 24:6 refers to, שְׁמַיָא דִמְתַח מֵימְרָא דַה′ לְבֵית שְׁכִינָה לֵיהּ (“the heavens which the Memra of the LORD spread out for the dwelling of His Shechinah”).

[55] On the Aleinu, see Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, 28f.; Joseph Heinemann, “Prayers of Beth Midrash Origin,” Journal of Semitic Studies 5.3 (1960): 264-280, esp. 277f.

[55a] Text and translation (adapted) according to Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, 208-211.

[56] George Foot Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (3 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1927-1930), 3:134. Cf. also יקר שכינת מלך עלמיא in the Targum of our vision (Isa. 6:5), שכינת יקרר in the Targum to Ps. 44:25 and יקר שכינתא in the Fragmentary Targum to Exod. 19:18 and Targum Jonathan to Num. 24:6.

[56a] Or perhaps his peace-making? On peace-making or friendliness as a meaning of שׁ-‍ל-‍מ, see Menahem Kister, “Words and Formulae in the Gospels in the Light of Hebrew and Aramaic Sources,” in The Sermon on the Mount and its Jewish Setting (Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 60; ed. Hans-Jürgen Becker and Serge Ruzer; Paris: J. Gabalda, 2005), 115-147. Cf. J. N. Tilton, “Perfect Children” on the Whole Stones blog. —JNT

[56b] See Gottlob Schrenk, “εὐδοκέω, εὐδοκία,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (ed. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich; trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; 10 vols.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964-1976), 2:738-751, esp. 742.

[57] Cf. Joachim Jeremias, “Ἄνθρωποι εύδοκίας (Luk. 2,14),” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 28.1 (1929): 13-20, esp. 16.

[58] See above, note 4.

[59] Jeremias, “Ἄνθρωποι εύδοκίας (Luk. 2,14),” 17f.

[59a] Prayers including the phrase יְהִי רָצוֹן are found, for instance, in m. Ber. 9:3 (2xx); m. Taan. 4:8; m. Avot 5:20; b. Ber. 16b.

[60] See t. Ber. 3:7; b. Ber 29b.

[61] The first half alludes to Job 25:2 and the second half alludes to Ps. 125:5; 128:6. The short prayer is reminiscent of Gal. 6:16, but Paul could also be dependent on other Jewish prayers. The last sentence of the Kaddish of the Sages is similar: “Let there be great peace from heaven and life over us and over all Israel.” See Gottlob Schrenk, “Was bedeutet »Israel Gottes«?” Judaica 5 (1949): 81-94, esp. 93. For our prayer formula, cf. David de Sola Pool, The Kaddish (Leipzig, 1909), 77f.

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