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Essays on the Book of Enoch and Other

Early Jewish Texts and Traditions


Studia in Veteris
Testamenti Pseudepigrapha

Series Editors
H. J. de Jonge
M. A. Knibb
J.-C. Haelewyck
J. Tromp

VOLUME 22
Essays on the Book of Enoch
and Other Early Jewish
Texts and Traditions

By
Michael A. Knibb

LEIDEN • BOSTON
2009
This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Knibb, Michael A. (Michael Anthony), 1938–


Essays on the Book of Enoch and other early Jewish texts and traditions / by
Michael A. Knibb.
p. cm. — (Studia in Veteris Testamenti pseudepigrapha ; v. 22)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-16725-4 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Ethiopic book of Enoch—
Criticism, interpretation, etc. 2. Apocryphal books (Old Testament)—Criticism,
interpretation, etc. 3. Dead Sea scrolls. I. Title. II. Series.

BS1830.E7K55 2008
229’.913—dc22
2008042418

ISSN 0169-8125
ISBN 978 90 04 16725 4

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For
Christine
CONTENTS

Preface ......................................................................................... ix
Acknowledgements ..................................................................... xi
Abbreviations .............................................................................. xv

Introduction ................................................................................ 1

PART ONE

ESSAYS ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH

I. The Ethiopic Book of Enoch in Recent Research ................ 17


II. The Book of Enoch or Books of Enoch? The Textual
Evidence for 1 Enoch ......................................................... 36
III. Christian Adoption and Transmission of Jewish
Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch ............................. 56
IV. Interpreting the Book of Enoch: Reflections on a
Recently Published Commentary ..................................... 77
V. The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran
Wisdom Literature ............................................................ 91
VI. The Use of Scripture in 1 Enoch 17–19 .......................... 111
VII. The Structure and Composition of the Parables
of Enoch .............................................................................. 124
VIII. The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review ..... 143
IX. The Translation of 1 Enoch 70:1: Some Methodological
Issues ................................................................................. 161
X. The Text-Critical Value of the Quotations from
1 Enoch in Ethiopic Writings ............................................ 176

PART TWO

ESSAYS ON EARLY JEWISH TEXTS AND TRADITIONS

XI. The Exile in the Literature of the Intertestamental


Period ................................................................................ 191
XII. Exile in the Damascus Document ......................................... 213
viii contents

XIII. Jubilees and the Origins of the Qumran Community .... 232
XIV. Perspectives on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha:
The Levi Traditions ....................................................... 255
XV. Apocalyptic and Wisdom in 4 Ezra .............................. 271
XVI. Isaianic Traditions in the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha .............................................................. 289
XVII. Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light
of the Scrolls .................................................................. 307
XVIII. Eschatology and Messianism in the Dead
Sea Scrolls ...................................................................... 327
XIX. The Septuagint and Messianism: Problems and
Issues .............................................................................. 349
XX. Temple and Cult in Apocryphal and
Pseudepigraphal Writings from before the
Common Era ................................................................. 367
XXI. Temple and Cult in the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha: Future Perspectives ............................ 388

Bibliography of Publications by Michael A. Knibb .................. 407


Reference Index .......................................................................... 413
Author Index ............................................................................... 444
PREFACE

The twenty-one essays that have been brought together in this collec-
tion date from the period 1976 to 2007 and were originally published
in a wide range of journals, Festschriften, conference proceedings and
thematic collections. They have been copy-edited so that they now follow
a consistent style, but otherwise have been reprinted without change
apart from the correction of one or two misprints. In the Introduction
I have attempted to put each essay in its context, and in the case of
some of the essays I have referred to more recent publications that
seemed to be of particular relevance to the subject. But I have not
done this for all the essays, and on the whole I have thought it best to
leave the essays as they stood.
I would like to express my warm thanks to Henk Jan de Jonge,
Jean-Claude Haelewyck and Johannes Tromp, my fellow editors in the
series Studia in Veteris Testamenti Pseudepigrapha, for encouraging
me to publish this collection and for very willingly accepting it into
the series; to Dr Trudi Darby, Deputy Head of Administration (Arts &
Sciences) and Deputy College Secretary, King’s College London, who
very kindly gave up her leisure to copy-edit the essays for me; and to
Loes Schouten, Ivo Romein and Ellen Girmscheid at Brill for much
advice and help.
The essays included in this volume reflect the benefit of conversations
with friends and colleagues over many years. They are too numer-
ous to mention them all by name here, but I would like to take this
opportunity to acknowledge the debt I owe to Rien de Jonge and to
the late Peter Ackroyd and Adam van der Woude from whom I have
learnt so much.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife Christine for all she has done
to make possible the writing of these as of other studies.

King’s College London


May 2008 Michael Knibb
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The essays were originally published as follows:

I. The Ethiopic Book of Enoch in Recent Research (Friends of Dr Williams’s


Library, Fifty-eighth Lecture, London, 2004; first published in 2005).
II. “The Book of Enoch or Books of Enoch? The Textual Evidence for
1 Enoch,” in The Early Enoch Literature (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini and John
J. Collins; Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 121;
Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007), 21–40.
III. “Christian Adoption and Transmission of Jewish Pseudepigra-
pha: The Case of 1 Enoch,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 32 (2001):
396–415.
IV. “Interpreting the Book of Enoch: Reflections on a Recently Published
Commentary,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 33 (2002): 437–450.
V. “The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran Wisdom Literature,”
in Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Biblical Tradition
(ed. Florentino García Martínez; Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologi-
carum Lovaniensium 168; Leuven: Leuven University Press—Uitgeverij
Peeters, 2003), 193–210.
VI. “The Use of Scripture in 1 Enoch 17–19,” in Jerusalem, Alexandria,
Rome: Studies in Ancient Cultural Interaction in Honour of A. Hilhorst (ed.
Florentino García Martínez and Gerard P. Luttikhuizen; Supplements
to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 82; Leiden and Boston: Brill,
2003), 165–78.
VII. “The Structure and Composition of the Parables of Enoch,”
in Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed.
Gabriele Boccaccini; Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cambridge, U.K.:
Eerdmans, 2007), 48–64.
VIII. “The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review,” New
Testament Studies 25 (1978/79): 345–359.
IX. “The Translation of 1 Enoch 70.1: Some Methodological Issues,”
in Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Texts: Essays in Memory of Michael P. Weitzman
xii acknowledgements

(ed. Ada Rapoport-Albert and Gillian Greenberg; Journal for the Study
of the Old Testament Supplement Series 333; London and New York:
Sheffield Academic Press [T&T Clark, an imprint of Continuum Inter-
national], 2001), 340–54.
X. “The Text-critical Value of the Quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic
writings,” in Interpreting Translation: Studies on the LXX and Ezekiel in Hon-
our of Johan Lust (ed. Florentino García Martínez and Marc Vervenne;
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 192, Leuven:
Leuven University Press—Uitgeverij Peeters, 2005), 225–235.
XI. “The Exile in the Literature of the Intertestamental Period,”
Heythrop Journal 17 (1976): 253–272.
XII. “Exile in the Damascus Document,” Journal for the Study of the Old
Testament 25 (1983): 99–117.
XIII. Jubilees and the Origins of the Qumran Community. An Inaugural
Lecture in the Department of Biblical Studies delivered on Tuesday
17 January 1989 at King’s College London (London: King’s College,
1989. Copyright Michael A. Knibb).
XIV. “Perspectives on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: The Levi
Traditions,” in Perspectives in the Study of the Old Testament and Early Juda-
ism: A Symposium in Honour of Adam S. van der Woude on the Occasion of His
70th Birthday (ed. Florentino García Martínez and Ed Noort; Leiden,
Boston and Köln: Brill, 1998), 197–213.
XV. “Apocalyptic and Wisdom in 4 Ezra,” Journal for the Study of Juda-
ism 13 (1982): 56–74.
XVI. “Isaianic Traditions in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha,” in
Writing and Reading the Scroll of Isaiah: Studies of an Interpretive Tradition
(ed. Craig C. Broyles and Craig A. Evans; 2 vols.; Leiden, Boston and
Köln: Brill, 1997), 2.633–50.
XVII. “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls,”
Dead Sea Discoveries 2 (1995): 165–184.
XVIII. “Eschatology and Messianism in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” The Dead
Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years (ed. Peter W. Flint and James C. VanderKam;
2 vols.; Leiden, Boston and Köln: Brill, 1998, 1999), 2.379–402.
acknowledgements xiii

XIX. “The Septuagint and Messianism: Problems and Issues,” in The


Septuagint and Messianism (ed. Michael A. Knibb; Bibliotheca Ephemeri-
dum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 195; Leuven: Leuven University
Press—Uitgeverij Peeters, 2006), 3–19.
XX. “Temple and Cult in Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical Writ-
ings from before the Common Era,” in Temple and Worship in Biblical
Israel (ed. John Day; Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
422; London and New York; T&T Clark, an imprint of Continuum
International, 2005), 401–16.
XXI. “Temple and Cult in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: Future
Perspectives,” in Flores Florentino: Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Early Jewish
Studies in Honour of Florentino García Martínez (ed. Anthony Hilhorst,
Émile Puech and Eibert Tigchelaar; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007),
509–27.

The Ethiopic Book of Enoch in Recent Research (I) is republished by kind


permission of the Trustees of the Friends of Dr Williams’s Library,
London.
“The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran Wisdom Literature”
(V), “The Text-critical Value of the Quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethi-
opic writings” (X) and “The Septuagint and Messianism: Problems and
Issues” (XIX) are reprinted by kind permission of Peeters, Leuven.
Michael A. Knibb, “The Structure and Composition of the Parables
of Enoch” (VII) in Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man. Ed. Gabriele
Boccaccini. © 2007 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand
Rapids, Michigan. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, all rights
reserved.
“The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review” (VIII) is
republished by kind permission of Cambridge University Press.
“The Translation of 1 Enoch 70.1: Some Methodological Issues” (IX)
and “Temple and Cult in Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical Writings
from before the Common Era” (XX) are republished by kind permis-
sion of T&T Clark, an imprint of Continuum International Publishing
Ltd., London and New York.
xiv acknowledgements

“The Exile in the Literature of the Intertestamental Period” (XI) is


republished by kind permission of Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.,
Oxford.
Michael A. Knibb, “Exile in the Damascus Document,” (XII) Journal
for the Study of the Old Testament 25: 99–117. Copyright © SAGE Publica-
tions Ltd., 1983. Reproduced by permission of Sage Publications Ltd
Los Angeles, London, Delhi and Singapore.

I would like to record here my gratitude to all the above publishers for
permission to reproduce the essays indicated.
ABBREVIATIONS

AB Anchor Bible
AGJU Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des
Urchristentums
AOT The Apocryphal Old Testament. Edited by H. F. D. Sparks,
Oxford, 1984
APAT Die Apocryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments. Trans-
lated and edited by E. Kautzsch. 2 vols. Tübingen, 1900
APOT The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. Edited
by R. H. Charles. 2 vols. Oxford, 1913
BA Biblical Archaeologist
BASOR Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
BBB Bonner biblische Beiträge
BETL Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium
BKAT Biblischer Kommentar, Altes Testament
BSOAS Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
CBC Cambridge Bible Commentary
CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly
CBQMS Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series
ConBNT Coniectanea Biblica: New Testament Series
CRINT Compendia rerum iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum
CSCO Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium
DJD Discoveries in the Judaean Desert
DSD Dead Sea Discoveries
FAT Forschungen zum Alten Testament
FB Forschung zur Bibel
HAT Handbuch zum Alten Testament
HSM Harvard Semitic Monographs
HTR Harvard Theological Review
HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual
ICC International Critical Commentary
JA Journal asiatique
JBL Journal of Biblical Literature
JJS Journal of Jewish Studies
JSHRZ Jüdische Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit
JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism
xvi abbreviations

JSJSup Journal for the Study of Judaism: Supplement Series


JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: Supplement
Series
JSP Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
JSPSup Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha: Supplement
Series
JSS Journal of Semitic Studies
KAT Kommmentar zum Alten Testament
NCB New Century Bible
NovTSup Novum Testamentum Supplements
NTS New Testament Studies
OTL Old Testament Library
OTP Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Edited by J. H. Charlesworth.
2 vols. New York, 1983
PAAJR Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish Research
PO Patrologia Orientalis
PVTG Pseudepigrapha Veteris Testamenti Graece
RB Revue biblique
RevQ Revue de Qumran
SAB Sitzungsberichte der Deutschen (Preussischen) Akademie
der Wissenschaften zu Berlin
SANE Sources and Monographs. Sources from the Ancient Near
East
SBLCP Society of Biblical Literature Centennial Publications
SBLDS Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series
SBLEJL Society of Biblical Literature Early Judaism and Its
Literature
SBLSCS Society of Biblical Literature Septuagint and Cognate
Studies
SC Sources chrétiennes
SJLA Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity
SNTSMS Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series
ST Studia Theologica
STDJ Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah
StPB Studia Post-Biblica
SUNT Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments
SVTP Studia in Veteris Testamenti Pseudepigrapha
TSAJ Texte und Studien zum antiken Judentum
abbreviations xvii

TSK Theologische Studien und Kritiken


TU Texte und Untersuchungen
VTSup Supplements to Vetus Testamentum
ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft
INTRODUCTION

The essays reprinted in the first part of this volume are all concerned
with the Book of Enoch, and although, with one exception, they have
been published in this millennium, they reflect a long-standing interest
in the problems connected with the interpretation of this important
pseudepigraph. My particular interest in the book dates back to the
time in 1966 when Professor Edward Ullendorff very generously sug-
gested that I should take over from him the preparation of an edition
of the Ethiopic text of 1 Enoch;1 but I had been attracted to the book
as a topic for research even before this.
The Ethiopic Book of Enoch in Recent Research (I) was originally given in
2004 as the Friends of Dr Williams’s Library Fifty-Eighth Lecture. The
first section was intended as an introduction to 1 Enoch for a largely lay
audience and speaks for itself, the other two sections take up topics that
are of importance in the study of the book. The question of the genre
of 1 Enoch and of the circles from which it stems is treated in much
greater detail in “The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran
Wisdom Literature” (V), a paper given at the Colloquium Biblicum
Lovaniense of 2002 whose theme was summed up in the title given
to the volume of proceedings, Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea
Scrolls and in the Biblical Tradition. Against the background of the idea
that there was a degree of opposition between Ben Sira and the authors
of the early Enochic writings I explored the relevance of the Qumran
wisdom literature, particularly 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction, to our
understanding of the Book of Enoch. I argued that, despite all their differ-
ences, there were similarities between 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction
on the one hand and 1 Enoch on the other in their understanding of
wisdom as revealed, and in their cosmology and eschatology, and that

1
It had originally been intended that Edward Ullendorff and Matthew Black
would jointly publish an edition of the Ethiopic, Greek and Aramaic texts of Enoch,
with a translation and exegetical commentary; it was envisaged, so I believe, that the
Ethiopic, the Greek and the Aramaic would be presented in parallel columns. They
were, however, prevented from making progress in this by the delay in the publication
of the Aramaic fragments, and Edward Ullendorff eventually suggested that I should
take over his part of the enterprise, i.e. the edition and translation of the Ethiopic
text; at a later stage it was decided that the exegetical commentary, which was to be
prepared by Matthew Black, should be published separately.
2 introduction

these similarities were best understood on the assumption that their


authors shared a common thought-world and were not completely
different types of people.2
In the final part of The Ethiopic Book of Enoch in Recent Research I dis-
cussed the thesis of Gabriele Boccaccini, as developed particularly in his
book Roots of Rabbinic Judaism: An Intellectual History from Ezekiel to Daniel,
that the intellectual history of Second Temple Judaism from the sixth to
the second century was profoundly affected by a series of oppositions,
particularly the opposition between ‘Zadokite Judaism’ and ‘Enochic
Judaism’, the one representing the views of the priestly establishment,
the other the views of a group of dissident priests. It may be wondered
whether the account given by Boccaccini of ‘Enochic Judaism’ does
fairly reflect the evidence of 1 Enoch, and in any case, as the thesis is
presented in Roots of Rabbinic Judaism,3 the opposition between the two
forms of Judaism seems much too sharply drawn.4 The views presented
in the Book of Enoch should be seen as representative of one amongst
a spectrum of overlapping approaches that together made up Judaism
in the latter part of the Second Temple period.
The next three essays are interrelated and are concerned to address
two main issues in the study of 1 Enoch: how to take proper account
of the textual evidence and of the fact that the greater part of this

2
Cf., from a very different perspective, the comments of Seth Schwartz, Imperialism
and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001),
74–84, esp. 76: “In its literary expression, at least, it (sc. apocalypticism) is in fact an
elite or subelite phenomenon, for the most part socially coextensive with wisdom litera-
ture.”—For the relationship between the early Enoch literature and on the one hand
Sirach, on the other 4QInstruction and 4QMysteries, cf. now Benjamin G. Wright III,
“1 Enooch and Ben Sira: Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Relationship,” in The Early
Enoch Literature (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini and John J. Collins; JSJSup 121; Leiden: Brill,
2007), 159–76; Eibert Tigchelaar, “Wisdom and Counter-Wisdom in 4QInstruction,
Mysteries, and 1 Enoch,” in The Early Enoch Literature, 177–93.
3
Gabriele Boccaccini has recently provided a restatement of his views in a paper
given at the Enoch Seminar held at Camaldoli in 2007, “From a Movement of Dis-
sent to a Distinct Form of Judasim: The Heavenly Tablets in Jubilees as the Foundation
of a Competing Halakha,” which will be published in Enoch and the Mosaic Torah: The
Evidence of Jubilees (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini and Giovanni Ibba; forthcoming in 2009).
In email correspondence he has suggested that ‘Enochic School’ (or ‘Enochic Intellec-
tual Movement’) and ‘Zadokite School’ (or ‘Zadokite Intellectual Movement’) perhaps
better represents what he means by ‘Enochic Judaism’ and ‘Zadokite Judaism’; but
he does not believe that Enochic and Zadokite books were the product of the same
people or of the same school.
4
Cf. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 8–10, on the dangers of treating each
literary work from ancient Judaism in isolation as “the product of an impermeably
discrete social organization.”
introduction 3

Jewish work is known to us only because it was preserved and trans-


mitted by Christians; and how best to account for the formation of
the book as it is known to us in its most complete form, that is in the
Ethiopic version.
The oldest of the three essays, “Christian Adoption and Transmission
of Jewish Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch” (III), was originally
given at the meeting of the seminar on Early Jewish Writings and the
New Testament that was held as part of the conference of the Stu-
diorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS) in Tel Aviv in August 2000
and was devoted to the theme of the Christianization of ancient Jew-
ish writings.5 The textual history of the Book of Enoch and the history
of its formation are intimately linked together, and my main concern
in this study was to try to trace the successive stages in that two-sided
history and to consider the extent to which it was affected by the fact
that the book was taken over by Christians. In the context of Ethiopian
Christianity the Book of Enoch, and particularly the Book of Parables, was
given a Christological interpretation, and I discussed this briefly in the
final part of the study and, in a little more detail, in two other essays
included in this volume.6 Within the Ethiopic manuscript tradition a few
readings occur that are perhaps to be regarded as Christian glosses, and
at an earlier stage the fact that Greek versions of the Book of Watchers
and of the Epistle were copied in manuscripts together with Christian
texts is an indication that they were thought to be consonant with
Christian beliefs and were part of the Christian tradition. But although
the Book of Enoch could be read in a Christian sense, it seemed likely
that the formation of the fivefold Book of Enoch was to be attributed to
Jews rather than Christians; the Book of Parables was not to be regarded
as a Christian composition, but it appeared impossible to say whether
105:2a and chapter 108 were originally Jewish or Christian.

5
Papers on the general theme of Christian adoption and transmission of ancient
Jewish writings were also given at the seminar by Robert A. Kraft (“Setting the Stage
and Framing Some Central Questions”) and by Daniel C. Harlow (“The Christian-
ization of Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 3 Baruch”); the three papers
were published together in Journal for the Study of Judaism 32/4 (2001): 371–95 (Kraft),
396–415 (Knibb), 416–44 (Harlow).
6
“The Translation of 1 Enoch 70:1: Some Methodological Issues” (IX) and “The
Text-Critical Value of the Quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic Writings” (X).—In all
three essays reference is made to the importance of Maɘafa Milad for the evidence
it provides of the way in which the Book of Enoch was interpreted in Ethiopia in the
fifteenth century; on this work, see now Getatchew Haile, “Milad: Mäɘäfa milad,”
Encyclopaedia Aethiopica 3 (2007): 964–5.
4 introduction

In “Interpreting the Book of Enoch: Reflections on a Recently Pub-


lished Commentary” (IV) and particularly in “The Book of Enoch or
Books of Enoch? The Textual Evidence for 1 Enoch” (II)—the former
an extended review of the first volume of George Nickelsburg’s com-
mentary on 1 Enoch, the latter my contribution to a recently published
collection of essays entitled The Early Enoch Literature7—I tried to take
further the views about the text and the literary genesis of 1 Enoch that
were presented in my earlier study. On the one hand I argued that the
evidence provided by the Aramaic fragments, the Greek translation and
the Ethiopic version could not be treated as if it were all on the same
level, but that the Greek and Ethiopic represented (a) new edition(s)
of the text, the outcome of editorial intervention and not simply of
straight translation; the Greek and Ethiopic belonged in different liter-
ary and historical contexts from the Aramaic, and in considering any
passage in the book it was important to keep in mind the status and
time of origin of the textual evidence. On the other hand I attempted,
in the light of the textual evidence that we possess, to reconstruct the
stages that led from the Aramaic text(s) to the formation of the Book
of Enoch known from the Ethiopic version with its fivefold form. But
while the Ethiopic text provides a relatively clear final point of refer-
ence, many questions remain about the stages that led up to this, and
it seemed—and still seems—to me important to recognize the limits of
our ability to explain the formation and development of the book.
“The Use of Scripture in 1 Enoch 17–19” (VI) is an exegetical study
in which I tried to shed light on the purpose and meaning of a densely
written and somewhat obscure section of the Book of Watchers.8 Two
presuppositions underlie the study: first, that the abruptness of the
transition between chapters 14–16 and chapters 17–19 is, at least in
part, to be explained on the assumption that the account of Enoch’s
journey through the cosmos in these chapters functions as a revela-
tion of the true mysteries in contrast to the ‘worthless mystery’ that

7
The volume contains pairs of articles on important aspects of research on the
earliest parts of 1 Enoch. For the text of 1 Enoch see, in addition to my own article,
Loren T. Stuckenbruck, “The Early Traditions Related to 1 Enoch from the Dead Sea
Scrolls: An Overview and Assessment,” in The Early Enoch Literature, 41–63.
8
It is a matter of regret to me that when I wrote this study, I was not aware of
the monograph by Kelley Coblentz Bautch on this section of 1 Enoch, which appeared
more or less at the same time as my own essay; see Kelley Coblentz Bautch, A Study
of the Geography of 1 Enoch 17–19: “No One Has Seen What I Have Seen,” ( JSJSup
81; Leiden: Brill, 2003).
introduction 5

the Watchers had revealed, through which evil was introduced into
the world (16:3);9 second, that notwithstanding the use of ideas that
were derived from Babylonian and particularly Greek traditions, an
important clue to the interpretation of these chapters is to be found
in the way in which their composition was influenced by the extensive
use of passages from scripture. In this latter connection the allusions
to Job 38 seemed of particular importance: whereas Job has to admit
the limitations of his knowledge, Enoch is presented as gaining access
to knowledge that was denied to Job and to all other humans (cf. 19:3).
Enoch has access to the secrets of the cosmos that are otherwise known
only to God, and we are meant to understand that what he reveals,
not only about the cosmos, but also about the fate of the Watchers
and the judgement, is true.
Two essays are concerned with the Book of Parables. One of these,
“The Structure and Composition of the Parables of Enoch” (VII), was
originally given as a paper at the Enoch Seminar held in Camaldoli
in 2005 and appeared in the volume Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man:
Revisiting the Book of Parables.10 The second, “The Date of the Parables of
Enoch: A Critical Review” (VIII), dates back to the 70s and was origi-
nally given at a session of the Pseudepigrapha Seminar at the SNTS
conference in Paris in 1978. The former essay represents the working
out of the basic perception that the Book of Parables was intended as
a continuation of the Book of Watchers, on which in some ways it was
consciously modelled, and that it can to a significant extent be under-
stood as a reinterpretation of some of the themes and ideas of the Book
of Watchers in response to the circumstances of a later historical situa-
tion. However, determining what these circumstances were does pose
considerable difficulties, and it was just this problem that had formed
the subject of the latter essay. It was written in response to the views
concerning the dating of the Parables advocated by Milik in The Books of

9
For this point, see also Michael A. Knibb, “The Book of Enoch in the Light of
the Qumran Wisdom Literature,” in Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls and
in the Biblical Tradition (ed. Florentino García Martínez; BETL 168; Leuven: Leuven
University Press—Peeters, 2003), 193–210 (here 207–9); below 91–110 (here 106–108);
cf. now Annette Yoshiko Reed, Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The
Reception of Enochic Literature (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 46–9.
10
The volume also contains a paper on the same theme by George Nickelsburg
(“Discerning the Structure(s) of the Enochic Book of Parables,” in Enoch and the Mes-
siah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini: Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans, 2007), 23–47).
6 introduction

Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 and reflects the circumstances


of scholarly debate in the period in which it was written. Apart from
comment on Milik’s views,11 one of my main concerns in that essay was
to argue that although the Parables very probably date from the period
of Roman domination of Palestine, from between approximately 63
B.C.E. to 70 or 135 C.E., there is little within the Parables themselves
on which to base a more precise date. Attempts have often been made
to find historical allusions within the text, to argue, for example, that
the reference to the Parthians in 56:5 provides evidence that the Parables
were composed under the impact of the invasion by them in 40 B.C.E.;
but it seemed, and still seems, to me hazardous to try to base the dating
of the Parables on such references. In the absence of clear-cut evidence,
I suggested a context at the end of the first century C.E. in which, in
the light of the parallels in 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, the composition of the
Parables would in my view make sense. But it is important to recognize
the limitations of the evidence that we have, and I would not rule out
other possibilities, particularly the case that has been made by George
Nickelsburg for a date around the turn of the era.
The final two essays in the first part of this volume are both con-
cerned with claims that have been made about the Ethiopic text of
the Book of Enoch, in one case about the text of a particular passage, in
the other about the value of the quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic
writings. The question of which reading is to be preferred in 1 En.
70:1—the majority text according to which the passage refers to the
raising of the name of Enoch to the presence of the Son of Man and
to the presence of the Lord of Spirits, or the minority text according
to which it refers to the raising of the name of the Son of Man to the
presence of the Lord of Spirits—has a crucial bearing on the interpre-
tation of chapters 70–71, in which, in 71:14, Enoch himself is identi-
fied with the Son of Man. It also has a crucial bearing on the further
question of whether chapters 70–71 form an integral part of the Book
of Parables or are a secondary addition. Many scholars have accepted
the majority text and believed that 1 En. 70:1 does refer to the raising
of the name of Enoch, that is Enoch himself, to the presence of the
Son of Man and the Lord of Spirits, and this view still seems to me

11
On Milik’s views, see also my comments in “Christian Adoption and Transmission
of Jewish Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch” (III).
introduction 7

right.12 But in “The Translation of 1 Enoch 70:1: Some Methodological


Issues” (IX) my purpose was not so much to defend this translation,
nor to deal with the exegetical issues raised by the identification of
Enoch with the Son of Man (71:14),13 as to address what seemed to
me exaggerated claims about the priority of the alternative text and
about the way in which it should be translated. Contrary to the claim
that on purely text-critical grounds the balance of evidence now tilted
slightly in favour of the minority reading, I argued that a plausible
case on text-critical grounds could be made for the priority of either
reading, and that a decision between the two was likely to depend on
a consideration of wider issues relating to the interpretation of 1 Enoch
70–71 and of the Book of Parables as a whole.
It has rightly been argued that the quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic
writings provide an important source of information for the textual
history of the book, but while this is true, it seems to me important to
ask what precisely may be expected of them. I touched on this issue
at the end of the above study, and it formed the main theme of “The
Text-Critical Value of the Quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic Writ-
ings” (X). In that study I noted the limitation inherent in the fact that
the quotations came from only a small range of passages, although
these did include some substantial extracts from the Parables.14 Where
quotations (as opposed to free renderings or allusions) did exist, readings
attested by them generally corresponded closely with those attested in
manuscripts with the older type of text, and they thereby strength-
ened the evidence for the text that was in circulation in the fifteenth
century, the date of the oldest manuscripts of 1 Enoch. In addition, the
quotations provided support for readings attested by Tana 9, which is
an important witness and represents a separate textual type within the
older group of manuscripts. But while the quotations were obviously
important in these respects, they only rarely attested readings that were
not already known. They did not significantly alter our perception of
the older type of text, and we should probably not expect too much
from them from a text-critical point of view.

12
Cf. now also the translation of 70:1 given in George W. E. Nickelsburg and James
C. VanderKam, 1 Enoch: A New Translation (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004), 92.
13
On this issue, see “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls”
(XVII).
14
An important source for quotations from 1 Enoch, and particularly from the Parables,
is the homiletic work known as Maɘafa Milad; on this work, see above, n. 6.
8 introduction

The essays reprinted in the second part of this volume were origi-
nally published over the course of a thirty-year period—from 1976
to 2007—and cover a variety of topics. One thing that does serve to
link them together, however, is a concern with the way in which many
Early Jewish writings draw on older authoritative texts and traditions
and represent an interpretation of them. This is true, for example,
of the first essay, “The Exile in the Literature of the Intertestamental
Period” (XI). My main concern in this study was to explore the way
in which in a number of Early Jewish writings the belief is expressed
that, notwithstanding the return at the end of the sixth century, Israel
had remained in a state of exile that had lasted into the time in which
the authors were writing, and that this state of exile would only be
brought to a proper end in events that were then unfolding, in the
intervention of God and the inauguration of a new era. This belief is
developed in a variety of different ways, and I was concerned first of
all in the study to show how traditions about the length of the exile
in Jer 25:11–12; 29:10–14 and about the years of the punishment of
the house of Israel in Ezek 4:4–8 had been reused and reinterpreted
in later writings—Dan 9; the Vision of the Animals and the Apocalypse
of Weeks; T. Levi 16–17; and the Assumption of Moses on the one hand,
Damascus Document I, 5–11 on the other—to give expression to the idea
that Israel had remained in a state of exile long after the return. But
concern with the idea of the exile is important in other writings as well,
including the Sin-Exile-Return passages in the Testaments of the Twelve
Patriarchs, Jubilees 1 and the Baruch literature, which I discussed in the
latter part of the study.15 Much has been written about all the writings
that I discussed in this essay since it was first published in 1976,16 but
I believe that the main point that I was concerned to make about the
significance of the exile remains valid and important. The one point
that I would express slightly differently is that I would now question

15
For the Assumption of Moses and for the Baruch literature, see also “Temple and
Cult in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: Future Perspectives” (XXI).
16
I alluded in footnote 28 to the possible relevance to the theme of exile of the
pseudo-Daniel writing from Qumran, which in 1976 had only been published in
preliminary form. On this text, see now John J. Collins and Peter W. Flint, “243–245.
4Qpseudo-Daniela–c ar,” in George Brooke and others, Qumran Cave 4.XVII: Parabiblical
Texts, Part 3 (DJD 22; Oxford: Clarendon, 1996): 95–164; the fragments in question
(4Q243 13 + 4Q244 12 and 4Q243 16) are discussed on pp. 106–9, 133–4, 136,
150–51. See also Knibb, “The Book of Daniel in its Context,” in The Book of Daniel:
Composition and Reception (ed. John J. Collins and Peter W. Flint; 2 vols.; VTSup 83,1–2;
Leiden: Brill, 2001): 1.16–35 (here 21–22).
introduction 9

whether it is at all possible to speak about the Testaments “in their pre-
Christian stage” in the way that I did. This is not, of course, to deny
that Jewish sources were used in the formation of the present Testaments
of the Twelve Patriarchs, but rather that it is possible to isolate a Jewish
text by cutting out obviously Christian passages.
The following essay, “Exile in the Damascus Document” (XII), which
was originally published in 1983, also focuses on the exile and on beliefs
about the exile. In a series of articles published in Revue Biblique in the
early 70s Jerome Murphy O’Connor argued that the origins of the
Essenes were to be placed, not in Palestine in the early second century
B.C.E., but in Babylon during the exile, and that the nucleus of the
Essenes was formed by a group of conservative Jews who returned to
Palestine shortly after 165 B.C.E. He also argued that ‘Damascus’ in the
Damascus Document was a symbolic name, not—as often assumed—for
Qumran, but for Babylon. My main concern in my essay was to show the
way in which in a series of passages (I, 3–11a; III, 9–14a; V, 20–VI, 5)
the establishment of the community that lies behind the Damascus
Document is presented as the next event after the exile, but at the same
time to argue that these passages provided little information about the
historical or geographical origins of the community—except, if it is
possible to rely on the chronological indications in column I, by way of
supporting the idea that this community emerged in the early second
century B.C.E. The passages were not to be interpreted historically, as
referring literally to the situation of exile, but rather along the lines of
the theological understanding of exile outlined above, and I suggested
that 1 En. 93:8–10, part of the Apocalypse of Weeks, provided a close
parallel to the pattern present in the Damascus Document. I also argued
that the evidence adduced for Babylonian influence on the Essenes was
not very strong, and that in contrast writings like 1 Enoch and, particu-
larly, Jubilees provided evidence of a reform movement in Palestine at
the end of the third and the beginning of the second century from
which it was plausible to think that the Essenes could have emerged.
This view still seems to me in essentials correct notwithstanding the
criticisms made by Murphy O’Connor in a later article.17 However,
whereas in 1983 I was inclined to accept that ‘Damascus’ was a symbolic

17
Jerome Murphy O’Connor, “The Damascus Document Revisited,” RB 92 (1985):
223–46; see also more recently, Murphy O’Connor, “Damascus,” in Encyclopedia of the
Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam; 2 vols.; New
York: Oxford University Press, 2000): 1.165–6.
10 introduction

name for Qumran, I would now wish to lay greater emphasis on the
view that in the interpretation of Amos 5:27a in the Amos-Numbers
Midrash (VII, 13b–21a)—the key passage for the interpretation of all
the references to Damascus in the Damascus Document—‘Damascus’,
in the light of Zech 9:1, was understood as the place of salvation and
as the place of the revelation and study of Torah.18 I would accept that,
as such, ‘Damascus’ may have been associated with different locations
at different times, whether the city of Damascus itself, or Qumran, or
some other location occupied by the community behind the Damascus
Document.19
In the following essay, Jubilees and the Origins of the Qumran Community
(XIII), I attempted to develop further the views presented in the pre-
ceding study. I was concerned partly to respond to comments made by
Murphy O’Connor20 about my interpretation of the passages referring
to exile in the Damascus Document. But my main concern was to explore
the links that undoubtedly exist between Jubilees and the Qumran sec-
tarian writings, particularly the Damascus Document and the Rule of the
Community, in order to substantiate the view that Jubilees, like the Book
of Enoch, belongs in the prehistory of the Essene movement. I argued
that these two writings provided evidence for the existence of a reform
movement in Palestine in the late third and early second century B.C.E.
from which it was plausible to think that the Essene movement later
emerged—and this view still seems to me substantially correct, even
though much more obviously now needs to be said about the question
of origins. Since this study appeared in early 1989, the fragments of
Jubilees from Qumran have been published in full,21 there has been a
new edition and translation of the Ethiopic text of the book,22 and much
has been written about Jubilees and about all aspects of the origins of
the Essene movement and of the Qumran community. However, to try
to take account of this material would stretch this introduction beyond

18
Cf. Geza Vermes, Scripture and Tradition in Judaism: Haggadic Studies (2d ed.; StPB
4; Leiden: Brill, 1973), 43–9; Lawrence H. Schiffman, The Halakhah at Qumran (SJLA
16; Leiden: Brill, 1975), 31–2.
19
Cf. Charlotte Hempel, The Damascus Texts (Companion to the Qumran Scrolls 1;
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 58–60.
20
See the article mentioned in note 17.
21
James VanderKam and Józef T. Milik, “Jubilees,” in Harold Attridge and others,
Qumran Cave 4.VIII: Parabiblical Texts, Part 1 (DJD 13; Oxford: Clarendon, 1994), 1–185
and plates I–XII.
22
James C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees (CSCO 510 (Text) and 511 (Transla-
tion), Scriptores Aethiopici 87–88; Louvain: E. Peeters, 1989).
introduction 11

its bounds, and for the more recent debate about origins, I can do no
more here than refer to the judicious overview provided by Charlotte
Hempel in her book, The Damascus Texts.23
“Perspectives on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: The Levi
Traditions” (XIV) was originally given as a paper at a symposium
on the theme Perspectives in the Study of the Old Testament and Early Juda-
ism that was held in Groningen in 1997 in honour of the seventieth
birthday of Adam van der Woude. The aim of the symposium was
to explore through case studies the developments that had taken place
in the previous few years in the different areas of the study of the
Old Testament and Early Judaism, to indicate new perspectives and
to map the directions of future research. As a case study of the new
perspectives on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha opened up by the
scrolls, and of the indispensability of studying the former in the light
of the evidence provided by the latter and vice versa, I considered the
interrelationship of the Levi traditions preserved in Jubilees 30–32, the
Testament of Levi, the Aramaic Levi Document, and the work now known as
4QApocryphon of Levi (4Q541, 4Q540). I argued that it seemed likely
that a tradition like that contained in 4Q541 9 i lay behind T. Levi 18;
that the relationship between Jub. 30–32 and the Aramaic Levi Document
was perhaps best explained by the assumption of a common source,
but not necessarily a written source; and that, as others have argued,
there was little doubt that there was a literary relationship between the
Testament of Levi and the Aramaic Levi Document.
In “Apocalyptic and Wisdom in 4 Ezra” (XV), which was originally
published in 1982, I argued that 4 Ezra was a product of learned study
intended for a learned audience. I based this argument on the impor-
tance attached to ‘the wise’ as the group for whom Ezra’s revelation
was intended (12:37–38; 14:13, 26, 46); on the fact that 4 Ezra seems
at least in part to have been consciously modelled on the book of Job;
and on the way in which 4 Ezra draws extensively on the Old Testament
and in particular is dependent in places on a wide range of specific
Old Testament passages. I suggested that, as such, 4 Ezra should be

23
Hempel, The Damascus Texts, 54–70.—On the issues discussed in “Exile and the
Damascus Document” (XII) and in Jubilees and the Origins of the Qumran Community (XIII),
see also Knibb, “The Place of the Damascus Document,” in Methods of Investigation of the
Dead Sea Scrolls and the Khirbet Qumran Site: Present Realities and Future Prospects (ed. Michael
O. Wise and others; Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 722; New York:
The New York Academy of Sciences, 1994), 149–62.
12 introduction

regarded as a kind of interpretative writing. Michael Stone has com-


mented that it is still not certain in his mind whether “4 Ezra must be
seen as predominantly a sort of learned or interpretative writing, as
Knibb claims.”24 The question of predominance in the classification of
4 Ezra is difficult to answer, but that there are features of 4 Ezra that
give it a learned character, and that interpretation of scripture played
an important role in the composition of the book,25 seems clear.
The following essay, “Isaianic Traditions in the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha” (XVI), is also concerned with the reuse of scripture
in later writings. It was originally published in 1997 in a collection of
essays entitled Writing and Reading the Scroll of Isaiah: Studies of an Inter-
pretive Tradition, one of the explicit aims of which was to consider the
interpretation of Isaiah in late antiquity. In my contribution to this
volume I devoted most attention to the use of Isaianic traditions in the
Ascension of Isaiah, but I did also examine a number of other passages
in which traditions from Isaiah were used, including Sir 48:17–25. One
of the striking features of the Ascension of Isaiah is the way in which
Isaiah is presented as a visionary, a prophet who experienced mysti-
cal visions. This feature is surprising in view of the limited role that
visionary experience plays in the canonical book, but I argued that it
was already anticipated in Ben Sira’s treatment of Isaiah and use of
Isaianic material.
The remaining five essays fall into two distinct groups concerned
respectively with messianism and with the temple. In “Messianism in
the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls” (XVII) I examined
the fairly limited evidence in the Pseudepigrapha for messianic belief
in the light of the much more abundant firsthand evidence for such
belief now available from the scrolls; in “Eschatology and Messianism
in the Dead Sea Scrolls” (XVIII) I surveyed the messianic beliefs of
the scrolls themselves and considered the problems of interpretation
that some of the texts present; and in “the Septuagint and Messian-
ism: Problems and Issues” (XIX) I discussed the issues involved in the
question of whether the Septuagint represents an evolution in mes-
sianic belief beyond what is present in the Hebrew Bible. These three

24
Michael E. Stone, Fourth Ezra: A Commentary on the Book of Fourth Ezra (Hermeneia;
Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990), 431, cf. 20.
25
Cf. the comments made in “The Use of Scripture in 1 Enoch 17–19” (VI) con-
cerning the importance of the interpretation of the Old Testament in the composition
of 1 Enoch.
introduction 13

essays were published in 1995, 1999 and 2006 respectively, the first in
a thematic issue of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries concerned with the
subject of messianism, the second as my contribution to a collection
of essays intended to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of
the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the third as my Presidential Address to the
fifty-third Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense in 2004 on the theme of the
Septuagint and Messianism. These three essays call for little comment
here, except to note that whereas in “Eschatology and Messainism in
the Dead Sea Scrolls” I accepted the view that a messianic interpreta-
tion was reflected in the Septuagint translation of Gen 49:10 (see note
53), I would now question whether this is the case.26
The last two essays are both concerned with the way in which the
temple is presented—whether as an institution from Israel’s past, a con-
temporary reality, or an object of future expectation—in the Apocrypha
and Pseudepigrapha. “Temple and Cult in Apocryphal and Pseudepi-
graphical Writings from before the common Era” (XX) was originally
given at an Oxford seminar on the theme Temple and Worship in Biblical
Israel—as the volume of papers that resulted from the seminar was
entitled. In this study I examined the attitudes towards the temple of a
number of writings from the second and first century B.C.E., including
Sirach, the Book of Watchers, the Vision of the Animals, the Apocalypse of
Weeks, and a group of writings that reflect the impact of the desecra-
tion of the temple by Antiochus IV and of the events that followed
(1 and 2 Maccabees, Judith and 3 Maccabees). The contrasting attitudes
towards the temple of Sirach and of the Enochic writings suggest, as
has been argued, that their authors stood in opposition to one another,
but the degree of opposition should not be overstated.27
“Temple and Cult in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: Future
Perspectives” (XXI), which appeared originally in the Festschrift for
Florentino García Martínez, was intended as a sequel to the above
study and was concerned with a number of later writings. The Psalms
of Solomon and the Assumption of Moses, both of which reflect the impact
of the direct involvement of the Romans in Jewish affairs, provide

26
For the issues involved, see John J. Collins, “Messianism and Exegetical Tradition:
The Evidence of the LXX Pentateuch,” in The Septuagint and Messianism (ed. Michael
A. Knibb; BETL 195; Leuven: Peeters, 2006), 129–49 (here 135–41); Raija Sollamo,
“Messianism and the ‘Branch of David’; Isaiah 11,1–5 and Genesis 49,8–12,” in The
Septuagint and Messianism (ed. Knibb), 357–70 (here 367–70).
27
See above n. 2.
14 introduction

evidence for the continuation down into the first century C.E. of the
view, which occurs already in Mal 1:6–2:9 and 1 En. 89:73, that the
post-exilic temple and cult were unclean and illegitimate. In 2, 3 and
4 Baruch, all of which vividly reflect the shock and anguish caused by the
fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E., expec-
tations of the restoration of the earthly temple somewhat surprisingly
recede into the background, and the focus is rather on participation in
the life of the heavenly realm, on the gathering of the people in the
Jerusalem which is above.
PART ONE

ESSAYS ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH

There have they the goodliest Librarie of the world:


where many bookes that are lost with us, or but
merely mentioned, are kept entire: as hath bin lately
reported by a Spanish Frier that hath seene them, if
we may beleeve him: amongst which, they say, are
the oracles of Enoch (with other mysteries that escaped
the Flood, ingraven by him upon pillars) and written
in their vulgar language. (George Sandys, A Revelation
of a Journey begun An: Dom: 1610. Foure Bookes Contain-
ing a description of the Turkish Empire, of Aegypt, of the
Holy Land, of the remote parts of Italy, and Ilands adjoyning
(London: Printed for W. Barrett, 1615), p. 171)
CHAPTER ONE

THE ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH IN RECENT RESEARCH

The Ethiopic Book of Enoch (or 1 Enoch, as it is also known) is one of the
most important writings to have survived from the latter part of the
Second Temple period, important both for the information it provides
concerning the development of Judaism in that period and as a prime
example of an apocalypse. It is a composite work that has acquired
its present form over a period of time, and literary seams and abrupt
transitions are apparent throughout. But an overarching structure is
nonetheless apparent in the form that it acquired in the final stage of
its evolution.1 After an introductory section (chs. 1–5) and a narrative
concerning the fall from heaven of the Watchers, a sub-class of angels
(chs. 6–11), Enoch is carried up to heaven to present a petition to God
on behalf of the Watchers (chs. 12–16). The petition is rejected, but
Enoch, without any further preliminaries, is taken by an angel on a
tour of the heavenly regions and is shown all the secrets of the heav-
ens and of the cosmos. The account of this heavenly journey extends
over several sections of the book (chs. 17–81), but eventually Enoch
is brought back down to earth for one year in order to pass on to his
children all that he has learnt (81:5–10). The final part of the book
thus takes the form of a testament, an account of the last words of
a great figure to his children assembled around him (cf. 82:1; 83:1;
91:1–2). The first part of this consists of an account of two further
apocalyptic visions that Enoch had experienced (chs. 83–90), the second
of an exhortation to persevere in the face of oppression (91–105). The
book ends with an account of the miraculous birth of Noah, who is
presented as a type of the salvation that is to come (chs. 106–107), and
with an exhortation to persevere in the last days in the face of evil in
the certainty that judgment is coming for the wicked and salvation for
the righteous (ch. 108).

1
See further Michael A. Knibb, “Christian Adoption and Transmission of Jewish
Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch,” JSJ 32 (2001): 396–415 (here p. 411).
18 chapter one

The outline that I have just given relates to the book in its most
developed form, a form that is known only from a translation into
classical Ethiopic—hence the name given to the book—that probably
dates back to the fifth or the sixth century. However the book, or at
least the major part of it, was composed in Aramaic, and the oldest
parts of the work date back to the end of the third century B.C.E. or
a little earlier.2 It consists of five sections or booklets, and fragments in
Aramaic of four of these—the Book of Watchers, the Astronomical Book,
the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle—were found amongst the Dead Sea
Scrolls.3 The palaeographical dating of the manuscripts together with
internal and external evidence show that the Book of Watchers and the
Astronomical Book date from the end of the third century, that the Book of
Dreams dates from the Maccabean period, from shortly after 165 B.C.E.,
and that the Epistle very probably dates from the pre-Maccabean period
in the early second century B.C.E.4 The dating of the manuscripts,
particularly 4Q204 (4QEnc), that contained more than one section of
Enoch further shows that at least by the end of the first century B.C.E.,
if not a century earlier, the Book of Watchers, the Book of Dreams, and
the Epistle were copied together as a collection.
Aramaic fragments of a related work, the Enochic Book of Giants,
were also found amongst the scrolls,5 but not fragments of the second
section of the Ethiopic Enoch, the Parables. The latter, which has always
been of interest to New Testament scholars because of the traditions
it contains about the Son of Man, was probably also composed in
Aramaic, but possibly in Hebrew; it cannot be dated precisely, but

2
For further discussion of the issues treated in section I of this lecture, see (in addi-
tion to the article mentioned in note 1) Michael A. Knibb, “Interpreting the Book of
Enoch. Reflections on a Recently Published Commentary,” JSJ 33 (2002): 437–415.
3
For an overview of the Aramaic evidence, see Michael A. Knibb, The Ethiopic
Book of Enoch. A New Edition in the light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1978), 2:6–15; George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the
Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 9–11.
See further the edition of the fragments by Józef T. Milik (The Books of Enoch: Aramaic
Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976)); for this influential work, see
further below, 23.
4
For a similar view of the dates of the different sections of 1 Enoch, see James C.
VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations (Studies on Personalities of the Old Testa-
ment; Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1995), 17–18,
25–6, 63, 83–4, 89.
5
For a recent study, see Loren T. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Giants from Qumran
(TSAJ 63; Tübingen: Mohr, 1997).
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 19

probably dates from the end of the first century B.C.E. or from the
end of the first century C.E.6
The fact that the Aramaic fragments of Enoch found at Qumran
belonged to no less than eleven manuscripts7 is in itself evidence of
the authority that the book enjoyed for a time in Jewish circles, at least
amongst the groups that lie behind the Dead Sea Scrolls. But it is not a
sectarian work, and at various stages in the late Second Temple period
the Book of Enoch clearly enjoyed a wider status in Jewish circles. This
is evident from the fact that the influence of the book can be traced
in other writings of the period, for example Jubilees, whose author was
familiar with the greater part of the Enochic corpus,8 and in the fact that
the book spawned other writings associated with the name of Enoch:
the Book of Giants, the Slavonic Book of Enoch,9 and not least the Parables,
which were composed and attached to the existing Enochic corpus
some considerable time after the other sections of the book had been
composed. The status of the Enochic corpus is also evident in the fact
that it was translated into Greek, most probably as part of the wider
movement by which the Old Testament scriptures were translated into
Greek to make them intelligible to Jews living in the diaspora who did
not understand Hebrew or Aramaic.
It is unfortunately the case that we have no knowledge of the precise
circumstances in which the Greek translation was made, nor do we know
whether all the sections of which the book is composed were translated
at the same time. James Barr, on the basis of his study of the Greek
translation of the Book of Watchers and the Epistle in comparison with
the Aramaic original, has suggested that the translation “belonged to
the same general stage and stratum of translation as the septuagint
translation of Daniel”, and this would obviously make sense in view of

6
For the former date, see George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the
Bible and the Mishnah (2d ed., Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005), 254–6; for the latter, see
Michael A. Knibb, “The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review,” NTS 25
(1978/79): 345–59.
7
4Q201–202, 4Q204–212. For a very helpful edition and translation of all the Dead
Sea Scrolls, see Florentino García Martínez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea
Scrolls Study Edition (2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1997, 1998). For the Aramaic fragments of
Enoch, see 1:398–445.
8
See Jub. 4:16–25; for a translation, see The Book of Jubilees (trans. James C.
VanderKam; CSCO 511; Leuven: Peeters, 1989), 25–9.
9
For a translation, see Francis I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of ) Enoch,”
in OTP 1: 91–221.
20 chapter one

the apocalyptic form and content of the two writings.10 It would suggest
that the translation of these two sections of the Book of Enoch goes back
to the second century B.C.E. A number of scholars have claimed that
some tiny papyrus fragments that were found in Qumran Cave 7 come
from a manuscript of the Greek version of the Epistle,11 and while in
some cases the identification seems plausible, in others the fragments
are too small for certain identification to be possible. However, although
none of the fragments is of any size, they are potentially important as
providing Jewish evidence of the existence of a Greek translation of
Enoch. In any case, whatever the origin of the Greek translation, and
whether any part of it was known at Qumran, it is plausible to think
that it was at the Greek stage in the transmission of the text that the
Parables and the Astronomical Book were inserted between the Book of
Watchers at the beginning and the Book of Dreams and the Epistle at the
end to produce the book familiar from the Ethiopic version with its
fivefold structure.
In its Greek form the Book of Enoch will have been inherited from
the Jews by the early Christians as part of the broad corpus of scrip-
tural writings, and because it thereafter fell out of favour amongst the
Jews it was to Christians that the survival of this book, as of virtually
all the writings of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha was owed—at
least, that is, until the discovery of fragments of some of these writ-
ings amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. That said, only parts of the Book
of Enoch have survived in Greek.12 For the Book of Watchers we do have
two important witnesses: the Akhmim manuscript, which dates from
the sixth, or perhaps the end of the fifth, century and contains the
text of chapters 1–3213 (chapters 33–36 are missing); and the extracts
included in the Chronography, dating from the early ninth century, of the

10
James Barr, “Aramaic-Greek Notes on the Book of Enoch,” JSS 23 (1978): 184–98;
24 (1979): 179–92 (p. 191).
11
7Q4, 8, 11–14 (7QpapEn gr). See Émile Puech, “Notes sur les fragments grecs
du manuscrit 7Q4 = 1 Hénoch 103 et 105,” RB 103 (1996): 592–600; Puech, “Sept
fragments grecs de la Lettre d’Hénoch (1 Hén 100, 103 et 105 dans la grotte 7 de Qum-
rân,” RevQ 18 (1997): 313–23.
12
For a recent survey of the Greek evidence, see Albert-Marie Denis and others
with the collaboration of Jean-Claude Haelewyck, Introduction à la littérature religieuse
judéo-hellénistique. vol. 1: Pseudépigraphes de l’Anicen Testament (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000),
104–21. For an edition of all the Greek evidence known at the time, see Matthew
Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970).
13
The text is preceded by a duplicate version of 19:3–21:9.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 21

Byzantine historian Syncellus.14 The text of the latter differs in some


respects from that of the former. But the only other substantial Greek
witness is the fragmentary Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus, which
dates from the fourth century and contains an incomplete copy of the
Epistle.15 Other evidence for the Greek Enoch is confined to a few frag-
ments and a relatively small number of quotations (including that of
1 En. 1:9 in Jude 14–15).
It is apparent that the Book of Enoch in due course fell out of favour
in the Church in both the West and the East, and knowledge of it
largely disappeared, except that in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church it
continued to enjoy considerable prestige. The book, which was trans-
lated from Greek into Ethiopic in the period after the conversion of
Ethiopia to Christianity, acquired canonical status, and it forms part of
the Old Testament canon of the Ethiopian Church.16 Enoch himself
was regarded in Ethiopian tradition as the first prophet and is said to
have prophesied concerning Christ;17 the Parables were interpreted to
refer to Christ. It is no doubt because of the prestige that the Book of
Enoch has enjoyed in Ethiopia that a comparatively large number of
manuscripts of the Ethiopic version of Enoch exists, and it is on this
Ethiopic version that we are dependent for our knowledge of the greater
part of the book.18 But although the translation was probably made
in the fifth or sixth century, the oldest manuscript of the text that we
possess dates back only to the fifteenth century, and knowledge of the
Ethiopic text cannot be carried back to before that date.
Outside of Ethiopia, however, knowledge of the book largely disap-
peared, and it was not until the early modern period that it began once
again to attract notice. In the early seventeenth century the well-known
Leiden orientalist Joseph Scaliger, in his Thesaurus Temporum, drew
attention to the extracts in Greek from the Book of Watchers preserved
by Syncellus,19 and at the beginning of the eighteenth the Hamburg
scholar Johann Fabricius published these extracts, together with the

14
The extracts cover 6:1–9:4; 8:4–10:14; 15:8–16:1.
15
The text that survives consists of 97:6–107:3.
16
Cf. Roger W. Cowley, “The Biblical Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
today,” Östkirchliche Studien 23 (1974): 318–23.
17
In fact already in Jude 14 Enoch is said to have ‘prophesied’.
18
For the text and a translation of the Ethiopic version, see Knibb, The Ethiopic
Book of Enoch.
19
Joseph Scaliger, Thesaurus Temporum, Eusebii . . . Chronicorum Canonum Omnimodae
Historiae Libri Duo (Leiden, 1606; 2d ed.; Amsterdam, 1658), 404–5.
22 chapter one

quotations from Enoch in Jude and the Fathers, in his Codex Pseudepigra-
phus Veteris Testamenti.20 The first news of the existence of the Ethiopic
version of Enoch reached Europe in the early seventeenth century
through a report sent to the noted French scholar Nicholas Peiresc,21
but it was not until 1773 that the traveller James Bruce returned from
Ethiopia and brought with him three manuscripts of the Ethiopic text.
He donated one of these to the Bodleian Library, and on the basis
of this manuscript Richard Laurence, Regius Professor of Hebrew at
Oxford and subsequently Archbishop of Cashel, published a transla-
tion of the book in 1821.22 He published an edition of the text based
on this manuscript in 1838.23
Once the Ethiopic version was brought to light, the book attracted
increasing attention, and during the course of the nineteenth century
numerous studies of it were published, including, in the early 1850s,
an edition and German translation of the text by the distinguished
Ethiopic scholar August Dillmann.24 Research into the book was further
stimulated by the discovery in Egypt in 1886/7 of the Akhmim manu-
script with the Greek text of the Book of Watchers. In England—and
the outcome was comparable in Germany and elsewhere—this period
of research reached its culmination in the early twentieth century in
the publication by R. H. Charles of an edition of the Ethiopic text
of Enoch, and of the Greek evidence that was then available, together
with a translation and commentary;25 the translation and the substance
of the commentary were republished by Charles in 1913 in the great
two-volume collection that he edited, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
of the Old Testament in English.26

20
Johann A. Fabricius, Codex Pseudepigraphus Veteris Testamenti (2 vols.; Hamburg and
Leipzig, 1713; 2d ed.; Hamburg, 1722), 1:160–223.
21
Cf. Johannes Flemming and Ludwig Radermacher, Das Buch Henoch (GCS 5;
Leipzig, 1901), 2.
22
Richard Laurence, The Book of Enoch the Prophet (Oxford, 1821; 2d ed., 1832
(1833); 3d ed., 1838).
23
Richard Laurence, Libri Enoch Versio Aethiopica (Oxford, 1838).
24
August Dillmmann, Liber Henoch Aethiopice (Leipzig, 1851); Das Buch Henoch (Leipzig,
1853).
25
Robert Henry Charles, The Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch (Anecdota Oxonien-
sia, Semitic Series xi; Oxford: Clarendon, 1906); The Book of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon,
1893; 2d ed., 1912).
26
The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (ed. Robert Henry
Charles; 2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1913).
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 23

Charles’s work on Enoch still retains its value notwithstanding the


subsequent discovery of the Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus contain-
ing the Greek text of a large part of the Epistle, and notwithstanding
the discovery of the Aramaic fragments and the huge volume of lit-
erature that this discovery has generated. But for several decades after
1913 the Book of Enoch attracted only modest attention, that is until the
discovery of the Aramaic fragments in 1952, and their publication by
Józef Milik in 1976 in a volume entitled The Books of Enoch: Aramaic
Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4.27 This contained not only an edition of
the Aramaic fragments and a detailed textual commentary, but also a
lengthy introduction in which Milik set out his views concerning the
genesis of the Book of Enoch. This book has been enormously influential
even though it has also been subject to considerable criticism, not least
in relation to Milik’s view that the Parables are a Christian work and
date from the end of the third century. In any event the publication of
this book by Milik sparked off an ever-increasing scholarly interest in
the Book of Enoch. More or less at the same time as the appearance of
Milik’s edition of the Aramaic, a new edition of the Ethiopic text was
published.28 Since that time numerous monographs and articles have
been devoted to Enoch, and the last few years have witnessed, apart
from anything else, the publication of an edition of all the Aramaic
fragments of Enoch that Milik had deliberately not included (primarily
fragments of a synchronistic calendar of the phases of the moon and
the sun belonging to the Astronomical Book);29 the long-awaited publi-
cation by George Nickelsburg of the first volume of a very detailed
commentary on Enoch;30 and the setting up of an international biennial
seminar devoted to the Book of Enoch.
Against the background of this sketch of the genesis of the Book of
Enoch and of its subsequent history, I would like in the remainder of
this lecture to consider what kind of writing the Ethiopic Book of Enoch
is, in what kind of circles—priestly, prophetic, scribal—it was produced,
and what kind of Judaism it represents. I would also like to consider
how the book and the Judaism it represents relates to other trends

27
See above, note 3.
28
Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch.
29
See the contributions by Loren Stuckenbruck and by Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar and
Florentino García Martínez in Stephen J. Pfann and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI. Cryptic
Texts and Miscellanea, Part 1 (DJD 36; Oxford: Clarendon, 2000).
30
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1 (above, note 3). See also the translation of 1 Enoch by Nickels-
burg and VanderKam (1 Enoch: A New Translation (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004)).
24 chapter one

within Judaism at the time, and in particular whether its viewpoint is


so distinctive that it can be seen to represent an alternative movement
within Judaism, ‘Enochic Judaism’, that stood in sharp opposition to
what has been described as ‘Zadokite Judaism’. My intention is thus to
try to assess the place of the book in the context of the development
of Second Temple Judaism. Of necessity my comments will primarily
be concerned with the Book of Watchers.31

II

The Book of Enoch, as we have already noted, is of major importance


as an example of an apocalypse, and the Book of Watchers, dating from
the end of the third century B.C.E., is the oldest Jewish apocalypse that
we possess and several decades older than the Book of Daniel, which
has traditionally been accorded this status.
The antecedents of the apocalypses and of the eschatology that forms
a significant part of their contents have commonly been thought to lie
in the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, and the apocalypses
have been regarded as a late form of prophecy. There is obviously much
to be said for this view: the characteristic literary genres employed in
the apocalypses—accounts of visions and of heavenly journeys—can
be traced back to prophetic texts such as Ezekiel or Zechariah, and
the roots of the themes of judgement and salvation, of resurrection,
of messianism that form part of apocalyptic eschatology can likewise
be traced back to prophetic texts such as Ezekiel or the later layers of
Isaiah and Jeremiah. The Book of Enoch would certainly appear to fit
such a reconstruction. Enoch himself is frequently depicted as a seer,
and ‘to see’ is one of the most frequently used verbs in the Ethiopic
text. The Book of Watchers (1 En. 1–36) describes Enoch’s ascent to
the presence of God (chapter 14), and in the further elaboration of
this vision he not only is shown the place where God will descend for
judgement, and the places where the wicked will be punished and the
righteous enjoy eternal bliss, but also, as we have noted, is conducted
on a journey around the cosmos and sees everything. The Parables

31
For what follows in section II, see further Knibb, “The Book of Enoch in the
Light of the Qumran Wisdom Literature,” in Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea
Scrolls and in the Biblical Tradition (ed. Florentino García Martínez; BETL 168; Leuven:
Leuven University Press and Peeters, 2003), 193–210.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 25

(1 En. 37–71) likewise describe Enoch’s ascent to heaven (39:3), where,


in a series of tableaux, he sees the judgement of the Son of Man
being played out before him. In the Astronomical Book, according to the
Ethiopic (1 En. 72–82), he sees—still as part of his journey around the
heavens—astronomical and cosmological phenomena, including the laws
of the sun and moon. Similarly in the Book of Dreams (1 En. 83–90)
Enoch is depicted as seeing visions. Further the background of much
of the content of the book is to be found in later prophetic texts. The
description of Enoch in prophetic terms is also to be found in Jude
14–15 and, as we have seen, in later Ethiopian tradition.
But in view of the above, it is somewhat surprising to discover that
in the book itself Enoch is not described as a prophet, but as a scribe
and wise man. Thus in 12:4 he is called a ‘scribe of righteousness’
and in 15:1 a ‘scribe of truth’, and in the Aramaic text of 92:1 he is
called ‘the wisest of men’. In a similar way headings that occur within
the book use wisdom terminology and describe Enoch’s teachings as a
source of wisdom (37:1–4; 82:3; 92:1). Comparable language is used
of Enoch and his writings in Jub. 4:17–25, where Enoch is described
as ‘the first of mankind who were born on earth who learned (the art
of ) writing, instruction, and wisdom’. Jubilees dates from the mid-second
century B.C.E., and the passage represents one of the oldest stages in
the reception-history of the writings associated with Enoch. Enoch’s
writings are also associated with wisdom in the Genesis Apocryphon
(1QapGen ar), an Aramaic text known only since the discovery of
the Dead Sea Scrolls that probably dates from some time in the first
century B.C.E.
The question of whether the Book of Enoch is to be associated with
wisdom is not a purely academic question of classification in that the
whole ethos of wisdom is at first sight quite different from that of the
apocalypses. On the one hand, understanding in the wisdom writings
is not a matter of divine revelation, of heavenly journeys, of visions or
dreams, but comes from following what has been found by observation
to be customarily true and above all by following the teaching of the
wisdom teacher. Compare, for example, the following two passages
from Job and Proverbs respectively:
As I have seen, those who plough iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same ( Job 4:8, NRSV).
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction,
consider attentively how to gain understanding;
26 chapter one

it is sound learning I give you,


so do not forsake my teaching (Prov. 4:1–2, REB).
On the other hand, the approach in the wisdom writings, with the
exception of the Wisdom of Solomon, is non-eschatological, and this
stands in sharp contrast to the situation in Enoch and the apocalypses
generally. But beyond this, if Enoch is described in the book itself as
scribe and wise man, then this might be thought to shed some light on
the nature of the circles in which the book was composed.
Notwithstanding the predominance of the view that the apocalypses
represent a late form of prophecy, there have been some scholars who
have argued for a connection with wisdom. Since the work of von Rad
the apocalyptic genre has frequently been regarded as having its roots
in mantic wisdom,32 although it should be recognized that mantic wis-
dom is something rather different from the didactic wisdom of the kind
found in Proverbs and Ecclesiasticus, or from the more speculative kind
of wisdom found in Job and Ecclesiastes. The Book of Daniel fairly
obviously has a background in manticism, and such a background also
seems likely for the Book of Enoch in the light of the widely accepted view
that the figure of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, incorporates features
associated with the Mesopotamian ruler Enmeduranki of Sippar, the
seventh king of Sumer before the flood, who was initiated into the
secret of the gods and was the founder of the guild of diviners.33 But
it also needs to be recognized that manticism provides no more than
what might be described as a cultural background for the emergence
of the Jewish apocalypses.
From a quite different perspective a number of scholars in recent
years have attempted to answer the question of the relationship of Enoch
to wisdom by comparing the book with Ecclesiasticus, the Wisdom of
Ben Sira, or, in the Greek form, the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach.
It can be dated fairly precisely to the early years of the second century
B.C.E. and is thus very probably slightly later than the Book of Watchers
and more or less contemporary with the other early sections of Enoch.
With varying degrees of emphasis these scholars have argued that there

32
Cf. Gerhard von Rad, Theologie des Alten Testaments. Vol. 2: Die Theologie der prophe-
tischen Überlieferungen Israels (Munich: Kaiser, 1960; 9th ed., 1987), 316–38; Hans-Peter
Müller, “Mantische Weisheit und Apokalyptik,” in Congress Volume, Uppsala 1971 (ed.
Pieter A. H. de Boer; VTSup 22; Leiden: Brill, 1972), 268–93.
33
Cf. James C. VanderKam, Enoch and the Growth of an Apocalyptic Tradition (CBQMS
16; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1984), 6–8, 52–75.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 27

was tension, not to say hostility, between the circles behind the Book of
Watchers and those behind Sirach, and Ben Wright, for example, has
suggested that Ben Sira actively took the side of the temple priests in
polemical opposition against those, such as the authors of the Book
of Watchers, who criticized them.34 He, like others, has suggested that
passages such as 34:1–8 or 3:21–4 were directly aimed at the view
represented in 1 Enoch:
Do not pry into things too hard for you
or investigate what is beyond your reach.
Meditate on what the Lord has commanded;
what he has kept hidden need not concern you.
Do not busy yourself with matters that are beyond you;
even what has been shown you is above the grasp of mortals.
Many have been led astray by their theorizing,
and evil imaginings have impaired their judgements (Sir 3:21–4, REB).
It is certainly plausible to think that passages like this were directed
against the circles behind the Book of Watchers, but whether there is
evidence of ‘polemical opposition’ is another matter. It is perhaps bet-
ter to think that Ben Sira manifests a certain restraint both toward the
figure of Enoch, to whom he refers in 44:16; 49:14, and towards the
kind of teaching associated with his name.
The publication over the last decade of the sapiential texts found
in Cave 4 at Qumran has, however, shed new light on the question
of the relationship between Enoch and the wisdom tradition. Two of
these texts, 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction, both of which survive
only in fragmentary form, are of particular importance because of
their concerns with the themes of revelation and of eschatology. Much
more of 4QInstruction (4Q415–8) is extant than of 4QMysteries, and
it is possible to form a reasonable view of its overall contents.35 It is
a didactic text and contains much practical advice to the young man
on such topics as managing money, or showing respect to parents, or

34
Benjamin G. Wright, “‘Fear the Lord and Honor the Priest.’ Ben Sira as Defender
of the Jerusalem Priesthood,” in The Book of Ben Sira in Modern Research (ed. Pancratius
C. Beentjes; BZAW 255; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997), 189–222.
35
See John Strugnell and Daniel Harrington, “4QInstruction,” in Strugnell, Har-
rington, and Torleif Elgvin, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV. Sapiential Texts, Part 2 (DJD 34; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1999). For general studies of the sapiential texts found at Qumran, see
Daniel J. Harrington, Wisdom Texts from Qumran (The Literature of the Dead Sea
Scrolls; London: Routledge, 1996); John J. Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age
(Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998).
28 chapter one

marriage that would not be out of place in Proverbs. But the whole
text is prefaced by a statement that describes first God’s ordering of the
cosmos, and then the judgement of wickedness and the reward of the
faithful. This ‘preface’ provides, as the editors observe, “a theological
framework of cosmology and judgement for the wisdom instructions
that follow.”36 The theme of eschatological judgement and reward
recurs throughout the document.
Interspersed with the practical instruction are passages of a more
theological character in which the ‘understanding one’ to whom the text
is addressed is exhorted to meditate on ‘the mystery that is to come’ or
‘the mystery of existence’, to mention just two of the translations that
have been proposed for the underlying Hebrew phrase (raz nihyeh). From
the contexts in which these exhortations occur it is apparent that ‘the
mystery of existence’ includes knowledge of past, present, and future,
understanding of the present order of the world, and knowledge con-
cerning the future judgement. Elgvin, the author of an important study
of this text, has concluded that the raz nihyeh “is a comprehensive word
for God’s mysterious plan for creation and history, his plan for man and
for redemption of the elect”, and he rightly argues that the background
to the concept is to be found in speculation concerning the figure of
wisdom of the kind present in Prov 8, Job 28, and Sir 24.37 But crucial
in all this is that in several passages it is stated that it is God “who
uncovers the ears of men” to ‘the mystery of existence’, and within
these passages wisdom is revealed, not acquired by experience.
There is more about ‘the mystery of existence’ and about the themes
of cosmology, judgement, and the revelation of mysteries in 4QMys-
teries (4Q299–301).38 Here, however, it is possible to take up only one
point. According to one passage, man was given wisdom in order that
he might understand the difference between good and evil, but despite
this, men failed to understand ‘the mystery of existence’ and failed
to recognize the signs of the judgement that was coming. However,
in another passage the author contrasts the position of mankind in
general who lack understanding with that of the group he represents,

36
Strugnell and Harrington, “4QInstruction,” 8.
37
Torleif Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come: Early Essene Theology of Revelation,” in
Qumran between the Old and New Testaments (ed. Frederick H. Cryer and Thomas L. Thomp-
son; JSOTSup 290; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 113–50 (135–6).
38
See Lawrence Schiffman, “Mysteries,” in Torleif Elgvin and others, Qumran Cave
4.XV. Sapiential Texts, Part 1 (DJD 20; Oxford: Clarendon, 1997), 31–123.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 29

those “who pursue knowledge”. For this group, whose ear God has
opened, understanding is still available. In this text, as in 4QInstruction,
wisdom is revealed, it is not the outcome of observation or experience
as in traditional wisdom.
4QInstruction and 4QMysteries are not apocalyptic texts, but they
are directly relevant to the question of the relationship of the Eno-
chic traditions to wisdom. The theme of judgement is the leitmotif of
1 Enoch; it is announced in the prologue in chapter 1 and is taken up
in a variety of ways throughout the book. Enoch himself is above all
the recipient of a special revelation. He knows the mysteries of the
holy ones because he has been shown the mysteries by the Lord and
has read the tablets of heaven (106:19; cf. 103:2; 104:10). He is also
the one who knows ‘the secrets’—concerning the cosmos and the end
of this age—because he is shown them by the angel who accompanies
him on his heavenly journey. In turn he passes these secrets on to Noah
(68:1). The book, in which the accounts of Enoch’s heavenly journeys
and visions predominate, gives literary expression to the understanding
of Enoch’s role as the one who has received a special revelation from
God or the angels. There are of course no accounts of visions or heav-
enly journeys in 4QInstruction or 4QMysteries, and in these writings
the theme of the last judgement plays a subordinate role to provide a
theological underpinning for the wisdom instruction that is their main
concern. But the viewpoint of 4QInstruction and 4QMysteries on the
one hand and that of the Book of Enoch on the other overlap sufficiently
to think that their authors shared a common thought-world and were
not so different from one another as is sometimes suggested. The authors
of the Enochic writings belonged among the scribal classes, and the
scribal character of the writing is evident in the way in which the text
is constantly dependent on, and represents an interpretation of, earlier
scripture. The suggestion recently made by a number of scholars that
the Book of Enoch is to be understood as ‘revealed wisdom’ aptly sums
up the nature of the book.

III

The question of where Enoch fits within the context of late Second
Temple Judaism has been approached from a totally different perspec-
tive by Gabriele Boccaccini who, in a recent study entitled Roots of
Rabbinic Judaism: An Intellectual History from Ezekiel to Daniel, attempts to
30 chapter one

provide an intellectual map of Judaism from the exile down to the time
of the Maccabees.39 The book is part of a larger project to change
common perceptions of the development of Judaism from the exile
down to the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and builds on his earlier
studies, particularly Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways
between Qumran and Enochic Judaism.40 In Roots of Rabbinic Judaism Boc-
caccini argues that the intellectual history of the period from the sixth
to the second century B.C.E. was profoundly affected by a number of
oppositions, above all the opposition between what he terms Zadokite
Judaism, representative of the viewpoint of the temple establishment,
and Enochic Judaism, representative of the viewpoint of those who
produced the Enochic literature whose origins are to be sought amongst
priests who had lost out. The Enochites were not the only opponents of
the temple establishment, at least initially, and Boccaccini refers also to
opposition from other groups and particularly from sapiential Judaism;
but the opposition from these sources was absorbed or neutralized. In
contrast Zadokite and Enochic Judaism are “two mutually exclusive
forms of Judaism”.41 In the concluding part of his book Boccaccini
argues that the Book of Daniel represents a ‘third way’ between the
two and may with due caution be regarded as the first protorabbinic
text. Daniel, unlike Enoch, is not an “unlawful apocalyptic seer”.42
At the beginning of the book Boccaccini provides a time chart in
which he shows in chronological sequence the writings associated with
each of his three forms of Judaism. Zadokite Judaism is represented by
Ezekiel 40–48, Nehemiah and Ezra, the Priestly layer in the Pentateuch,
and Chronicles; sapiential Judaism by Ahiqar,43 Proverbs, Job, Jonah,
and Ecclesiastes; Enochic Judaism by the Book of Watchers (1 En. 1–36),

39
Gabriele Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism: An Intellectual History from Ezekiel to
Daniel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002).
40
Gabriele Boccaccini, Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways between
Qumran and Enochic Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).
41
Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism, 207.
42
Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism, 176.
43
The story and wisdom instruction of Ahiqar, which is set in a Mesopotamian
context, was known throughout the ancient Near East, and Ahiqar is mentioned in the
Book of Tobit (1:21–2; 14:10). For a translation of an Aramaic version of the story,
which dates from the fifth century B.C.E., see Harold L. Ginsberg, “The Words of
Ahiqar,” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament (ed. James B. Pritchard;
2d ed.; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955), 427–30.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 31

an Aramaic writing associated with Levi,44 the Astronomical Book (1 En.


72–82), and the Animal Apocalypse (1 En. 85–90), the second of the two
visions that together make up the Book of Dreams (1 En. 83–90). Tobit
and above all Sirach, which provides strong support for the temple
and the high priest, represent the coming together of Zadokite and
Sapiential Judaism.
The Zadokites, in Boccaccini’s hypothesis, were elite priests who
returned from exile at the end of the sixth century and attempted to
impose on the community in Judah the reform programme of Ezekiel
40–48, including its novel claim that amongst the priests only the
sons of Zadok should have the right to enter the sanctuary and offer
sacrifice to God (44:15–31). Boccaccini argues that although the Eze-
kelian reform programme was never fully implemented, the Zadokites,
thanks to support from the Persian authorities, were able to establish
an exclusive right to the office of High Priest and to all the powers and
privileges associated with that office in the post-exilic period—until, that
is, they lost the office at the time of the Maccabees. However, it should
be pointed out that Lester Grabbe has shown that the view that the
High Priestly office belonged exclusively to the Zadokite family in the
post-exilic period is a little misleading.45 Key features of the Zadokite
worldview, according to Boccaccini, were the stress on the concept of
order imposed by God at the creation (cf. Gen 1), the emphasis on the
belief in human freedom, and the centrality of the themes of covenant,
law, temple and cult.
The Enochites, who at a later stage become the Essenes, were priests
who lost out in the post-exilic period. Central to their beliefs was the
myth of the fall from heaven of the Watchers, which forms a key ele-
ment in the Book of Watchers. The account of the fall in 1 Enoch 6–9 is
based on Gen 6:1–4, in which allusion is made to a myth that describes
how in the primeval period the sons of God descended from heaven
because they saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and took
wives for themselves from them. In the Book of Watchers two different
traditions concerning the fall are intertwined. One, in which the leader

44
For this pseudepigraphical writing that has come to be known as the Aramaic
Levi Document, see most recently Jonas C. Greenfield, Michael E. Stone, and Esther
Eshel, The Aramaic Levi Document (SVTP 19; Leiden: Brill, 2004).
45
Lester L. Grabbe, “Were the Pre-Maccabean High Priests ‘Zadokites’?,” in Reading
from Right to Left: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of David J. A. Clines (ed. J. Cheryl
Exum and Hugh G. M. Williamson; JSOTSup 373; London: Sheffield Academic Press,
2003), 205–15.
32 chapter one

of the angels is called Shemihazah, follows the Genesis account and


describes how the Watchers came down to earth because of their lust
for the daughters of men and took wives for themselves; their offspring
are the giants who act violently against mankind. According to the other,
in which the leader of the angels is called Asael and which is related
to the Prometheus myth, the Watchers descend in order to instruct
mankind; the knowledge that they bring includes the properties of
herbs, the arts of metallurgy and warfare, and the cosmetic arts. In both
strands of the tradition the descent of the Watchers leads to the spread
of violence and immorality, and the story provides an explanation for
the introduction, and continued presence, of sin in the world.
In his discussion of the differences between Zadokite Judaism and
Enochic Judaism Boccaccini draws a series of sharp contrasts: between
the order and stability in the world created by God as compared with
the disorder and chaos introduced into the world through the ‘fall’
of the angels; between the emphasis on the responsibility of humans
for their actions and the view that “the . . . unleashing of chaotic forces
condemns humans to be victims of an evil they have not caused and
cannot resist”;46 and between the importance of covenant, temple, and
the Zadokite priesthood and what he perceives as the anti-Zadokite
character of the Enochic myth and the Enochic literature. Some of
these issues are then taken up further in a discussion of the supposed
sharp theological differences between the Book of Daniel and the Animal
Apocalypse (1 En. 85–90), which dates from the same period as Daniel
(about 165 B.C.E.) and provides, in the form of an extended allegory,
a schematised survey of Israelite and Jewish history from creation to
the eschatological era.47
There is no doubt that there are differences between the viewpoint of
the Enochic literature and that of the writings that Boccaccini regards
as representative of Zadokite Judaism (Ezekiel 40–48, Nehemiah and
Ezra, the Priestly writing, and Chronicles): the question is whether the
contrast has been correctly drawn, and whether Boccaccini’s interpreta-
tion of 1 Enoch does justice to the book. Thus, for example, too much
should not be read into the virtual absence of any reference to law or
covenant within the Enochic literature because these were givens for the

46
Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism, 91.
47
Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism, 165–201.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 33

Judaism of the period. Again, it is certainly true that the story of the
descent of the angels from heaven plays a dominant role in the Book of
Watchers, and it is taken up in other Enochic writings dependent on it
such as the Animal Apocalypse. The story provided a ready explanation
for the disorder in the world that the contemporaries of the author
in the third and second century B.C.E. experienced. But the fact that
sin was introduced into the world through the activity of the angels
clearly did not for the author of the Book of Watchers absolve humans
from responsibility for their actions. In this connection more attention
deserves to be paid to 1 Enoch 1–5, which provides a context for the
material which follows in the Book of Watchers. Chapter 1 foretells the
coming of God to Mount Sinai in judgement, to bring salvation to
the righteous and to destroy the wicked for their impious deeds and
blasphemous words. The Watchers are mentioned, but not the story of
their descent, and there is no hint that humans are not responsible for
their actions, that the impious could not resist evil. Chapters 2–5 then
draw a sharp contrast between the obedience of the works of creation
to the order imposed on them by God and the complete failure of the
wicked to obey: “But you have not been steadfast, nor observed his
commandments, but you have transgressed and spoken proud and hard
words with your unclean mouth against his majesty” (5:4). It should
be pointed out that precisely the same point concerning the obedience
of creation is made in Sir 16:26–8, where it is immediately followed
in chapter 17 by an implicit contrast with the behaviour of man. This
needs to be recalled when it is suggested that there is a radical opposi-
tion between the viewpoint of Sirach and that of the Book of Watchers.
The introduction to the Book of Watchers concludes by reverting to the
theme of judgement for the wicked and salvation for the righteous,
which was announced in chapter 1. Again there is no hint that humans
are not responsible for their actions, and this needs to be kept in mind
in evaluating suggestions of a supposed radical opposition between a
viewpoint that stressed the idea that humans were responsible for their
own actions and a viewpoint that stressed the idea that humans were
in the grip of an evil they could not resist.
It may also be questioned how far “the myth of the fallen angels is a
mirror of intrapriestly conflicts”.48 1 Enoch 12–16, which continues the

48
Boccaccini, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism, 99.
34 chapter one

story of the Watchers and states that they had left their proper realm
in heaven to marry mortal women and had defiled themselves with
menstrual blood (cf. 1 En. 15:3–7a; Lev 15:19–24), have in particular
been interpreted by several scholars as criticism of the contemporary
priesthood,49 but insofar as this element is present it hardly seems to me
to be primary. The conclusion of chapters 12–16 refers not to this issue,
but to the fact that the Watchers taught a worthless mystery through
which evil entered the world, and it is for this they are condemned
(16:2–4). The criticism of the priesthood in the Book of Watchers is
covert, and the situation is different from that in the Animal Apocalypse,
where the post-exilic cult, as in Malachi, is clearly regarded as defiled
(cf. 89:73). It should also be observed that myths like that of the fall of
the Watchers had the capacity to be applied to different circumstances
that were perceived in a negative light, whether the horrors of violence
and warfare, or concerns over purity, or the spread of false teaching.
There are hints within 1 Enoch 6–16 that all of these at one time or
another were of concern, although, as I have suggested, the overriding
issue is the spread of false teaching, which in turn is contrasted with
the revelation given by Enoch himself.
This is not the place to pursue in detail the further developments
of Boccaccini’s theory, in particular the sharp opposition he perceives
between Sirach and the viewpoint of the Book of Enoch, and between
Daniel, supposedly representative of the ‘third way’ between Zadokite
and Enochic Judaism, and the Animal Apocalypse. It must suffice here
to say that in both cases the differences of viewpoint that certainly do
exist have been absolutized in a way that, it seems to me, does not
do justice to the evidence. As to Boccaccini’s overall thesis, it must be
doubted whether the entire development of Judaism in the Second
Temple period can so neatly be interpreted in terms of a conflict
between the temple establishment and a group of dissident priests,
between Zadokite Judaism and Enochic Judaism. Reality is likely to
have been a good deal more complex, and indeed the whole trend of
research into the period over the last twenty years has been to stress
the variegated nature of Judaism. We should think rather of a series

49
See, for example, David W. Suter, “Fallen Angel, Fallen Priest: The Problem of
Family Purity in 1 Enoch 6–16,” HUCA 50 (1979): 115–35.
the ETHIOPIC BOOK OF ENOCH in recent research 35

of overlapping viewpoints than of a single absolute divide. In this


context the Book of Enoch, and the views represented in the different
sections, should be seen as representative of one amongst a spectrum
of overlapping approaches that together made up Judaism in the latter
half of the Second Temple period.
CHAPTER TWO

THE BOOK OF ENOCH OR BOOKS OF ENOCH ?


THE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE FOR 1 ENOCH

The Aramaic text of the Astronomical Book began, so far as is known, with
a calendar of the phases of the moon in which the movements of the
moon are synchronized with those of the sun.1 The calendar is attested
by the fragments of two of the four manuscripts of the Astronomical
Book (4Q208, 4Q209 [4QEnastra ar, 4QEnastrb ar]), but whereas the
fragments of 4Q208 belong only to the synchronistic calendar, some of
the fragments of 4Q209 correspond to parts of chapters 76–79 and 82
of the Ethiopic version. The synchronistic calendar does not appear in
the Ethiopic, although it is perhaps summarized in 73:4–8 and 74:3–9,2
but on the other hand, the fragments of 4Q208 and 4Q209 do not
contain any material that might have formed an introduction to the
synchronistic calendar. Józef Milik suggested that the oldest form of
the Astronomical Book might be represented by 4Q208, which dates from
the end of the third or the beginning of the second century B.C.E.,
and might have consisted only of a broad introduction, approximately
equivalent to chapter 72 of the Ethiopic, and of the synchronistic
calendar.3 But, in the light of the evidence of 4Q208, it might fur-
ther be wondered whether the synchronistic calendar originally had
any connection at all with the figure of Enoch and with the Enochic

1
I draw in this article on a number of studies that I have published previously, in
particular: Michael A. Knibb, “Christian Adoption and Transmission of Jewish Pseude-
pigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch,” JSJ 32 (2001): 396–415; “Interpreting the Book of
Enoch: Reflections on a Recently Published Commentary,” JSJ 33 (2002): 437–450.
2
Cf. Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1976), 275; Michael A. Knibb, “Which Parts of 1 Enoch Were Known to
Jubilees? A Note on the Interpretation of Jubilees 4:16–25,” in Reading from Right to Left:
Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of David J. A. Clines (ed. J. Cheryl Exum and Hugh
G. M. Williamson; JSOTSup 373; London: Sheffield, 2003), 254–62, esp. 256.
3
Milik, Books of Enoch, 273.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 37

corpus.4 Be these speculations as they may, it is clear that the differences


between the Ethiopic version of the Astronomical Book and the original
Aramaic text cannot, at least in respect of the synchronistic calendar,
be explained as the outcome of the kind of changes that occur when
texts are translated, but rather are the result of the activity of an edi-
tor; the Ethiopic version of this material—and presumably the Greek
underlying it—represents a new edition, not just a translation.5
There are other passages in the Book of Enoch where in a similar
way it appears that the relationship between the Ethiopic and the
Aramaic cannot be explained as the outcome of changes that might
naturally have occurred through the translation of the text from Ara-
maic to Greek, and from Greek to Ethiopic, or of changes that might
have occurred during the transmission of the text(s). For example,
although the Aramaic text of 92:1 has only survived in fragmentary
form in 4Q212 (4QEng ar) 1 ii 22–5, it is clear that the Ethiopic is
quite different.6 Again, it is widely recognized that the final part of the
Apocalypse of Weeks (91:11–17) was displaced in the Ethiopic version for
editorial reasons. In consequence the Ethiopic version of 91:11 has
been expanded in comparison with 4Q212 1 iv 14 to smooth over the
juxtaposition in the Ethiopic of 91:1–10 and 91:11–17.7 To mention
one other example in the Epistle, the long series of rhetorical questions
that, on the evidence of 4Q212 1 v, originally stood in the Aramaic
text before the equivalent of chapter 94 has been reduced to almost a
third in the Ethiopic version (93:11–14).8
The Book of the Watchers provides a further example of a passage
in which the relationship between the Ethiopic and the Aramaic is
hardly to be explained simply as the outcome of the translation and

4
The synchronistic calendar is so different in character from the other material in
the Astronomical Book that this in itself raises the question of the nature of the relation-
ship between the calendar and the rest of the Astronomical Book. In addition the name
of Enoch does not appear in any of the fragments of the calendar, although this could
be simply the result of chance.
5
Cf. Albert-Marie Denis and others with the collaboration of Jean-Claude Haele-
wyck, Introduction à la littérature religieuse judéo-hellénistique. Vol. 1: Pseudépigraphes de l’Anicen
Testament (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), 83.
6
Milik, Books of Enoch, 261.
7
See Michael A. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch. A New Edition in the Light of the
Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), 2.218; George W. E.
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108
(Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 436.
8
Milik, Books of Enoch, 247, 270.
38 chapter two

subsequent transmission of the text, namely in 8:3. The text of this


passage occurs in the three forms represented by the Aramaic (4Q201
[4QEna] 1 iv; 4Q202 [4QEnb] 1 iii), by the Greek text known from the
extracts in the Chronography of Syncellus, and by the Greek text known
from the Akhmim manuscript to which the Ethiopic version largely
corresponds. The passage describes the teaching given by the angels
and in the Aramaic is structured in a set pattern:9
Shemihazah taught the casting of spells [and the cutting of roots
Hermoni taught the loosing of spells,] magic, sorcery, and skill;
[Baraqxel taught the signs of the lightning flashes;
Kokabxel taught] the signs of the stars;
Zeqxel [taught the signs of the shooting-stars;
Ar{taqoph taught the signs of the earth];
Shamshixel taught the signs of the sun;
[Sahriel taught the signs of ] the moon.
[And they all began to reveal] secrets to their wives.
Despite some changes, the text of Syncellus is, as Milik observes, rela-
tively close to the Aramaic original:10
And their chief Semiazas taught them to be objects of wrath against
reason, and the roots of plants of the earth.
The eleventh, Pharmaros, taught the use of potions, spells, lore, and the
remedies for spells.
The ninth taught them the study of the stars.
The fourth taught astrology.
The eighth taught divination by observing the heavens.
The third taught the signs of the earth.
The seventh taught the signs of the sun.
The twentieth taught the signs of the moon.
All of them began to reveal mysteries to their wives and offspring.11
But the text of the Akhmim manuscript, apart from other changes, is
much shorter than the Aramaic, and the Ethiopic, which is based on
a Greek Vorlage comparable to the Akhmim text, has been subject to
further change. The Akhmim text may be translated as follows:

9
The following translation is based on a conflation of the evidence of 4Q201 1 iv
1–5 and 4Q202 1 iii 1–5 and largely follows Milik’s translation of 4Q201 1 iv (Books
of Enoch, 158).
10
Milik, Books of Enoch, 160; Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.19, 81–2.
11
Translation from William Adler and Paul Tuffin, The Chronography of George Synkel-
los: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2002) 17.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 39

Semiazas taught spells and the cutting of roots;


Armaros the release of spells;
Baraqiel astrology;
Kok[ab]iel portents;
Sathiel astrology;
Seriel the course of the moon.
It seems difficult to explain the differences between the Aramaic text
of this passage and the Greek text of the Akhmim manuscript, with
which the Ethiopic is allied, entirely as the outcome of the kind of
changes that naturally occur when texts are translated and copied; the
differences point at least in part to editorial intervention.
The recent publication of a hitherto unknown papyrus fragment of
the Aramaic text of Enoch (XQpapEnoch) appears to cast further light
on this point. The fragment covers 8:4–9:3, where there are substantial
differences of a redactional kind between the text of Syncellus and that
of the Akhmim manuscript and the Ethiopic. At the beginning of 9:1
there is a significant agreement between Syncellus and the Aramaic,
and in the view of the editors, despite its corruptions, the Greek text
cited by Syncellus in 8:4–9:3 “is the closest to the Aramaic source.”12
There are, in addition to these very obvious examples, numerous pas-
sages throughout the Book of Enoch where there are differences between
the text of the Aramaic fragments on the one hand and the text known
from the Greek and the Ethiopic on the other. Milik drew attention
in his edition of the Aramaic to many such passages, as, for example,
in his comments on the material in 4Q210 (4QEnastrc ar) 1 ii corre-
sponding to 76:4 (“E is shorter and inverts the order of the phrase”),
76:5 (“E seems to have expanded the beginning of this verse”), and
76:6 (“The description . . . is abridged in E”),13 or in his comments on
the material in 4Q209 23 corresponding to 77:2 (“This verse is much
shorter in E”) and 77:3 (“This verse has been drastically shortened in
the Ethiopic version”).14 Similarly, in their edition of 4Q209 26, which

12
Esther Eshel and Hanan Eshel, “New Fragments from Qumran: 4QGenf, 4QIsab,
4Q226, 8QGen, and XQpapEnoch,” DSD 12 (2005): 134–57, here 157. See also the
discussion by Loren Stuckenbruck in The Early Enoch Literature (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini
and John J. Collins; JSJSup 121; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 54–56, 63.
13
Milik, Books of Enoch, 286–7; Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.176, 177.
14
Milik, Books of Enoch, 291; Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.180. The evidence of
4Q211 (4QEnastrd) has confirmed the view that the final part of the Astronomical Book
is lacking in the Ethiopic version. In this case it cannot entirely be excluded that the
loss of the material was accidental, but it too may at least in part be the result of
editorial intervention.
40 chapter two

corresponds to 79:3–5; 78:17–79:2, Eibert Tigchelaar and Florentino


García Martínez commented: “The Ethiopic text is related to, but
different from, [the] Aramaic text. One may assume that the Greek
translator rephrased and rearranged the Aramaic text.”15 It was no
doubt the existence of passages like these that led Milik to introduce
his edition of the Aramaic fragments of the latter part of the Astronomi-
cal Book with the statement: “Several fragments of Enastrb and Enastrc
[4Q209, 210] correspond in an approximate fashion16 to certain passages
of 1 En. 76–9 and 82.”17
However, there are passages throughout the other sections of 1 Enoch
where similar differences between the Aramaic and the Ethiopic, or
between the Aramaic and the Greek and Ethiopic, can be observed.18
To take a final example, in this case from the Book of Dream Visions, there
are clearly differences between 4Q206 (4QEne ar) 4 i 16–17 and the
Ethiopic of 89:2; on these Milik commented: “One certainly gets the
impression that the original text, as we can see it in Ene, was reworked
following the outline of a more consistent symbolism.”19 In individual
cases it may not always be possible to determine whether the differences
between the different forms of the text were introduced deliberately or
are the result of chance, but cumulatively these differences reinforce the
view that the Greek text of Enoch, so far as it is known, and even more
the Ethiopic cannot simply be regarded as translations of the original
Aramaic text known from the Dead Sea fragments.
The Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch represents the most devel-
oped form of the Enochic corpus that we possess, and notwithstanding
the fact that it is a composite document and contains numerous literary
seams and abrupt transitions, it does possess an overall literary structure
that serves to bind the different parts of the book together.20 This text
is a translation of a Greek text, and it is very probable that this Greek
version already had the pentateuchal form familiar from the Ethiopic

15
Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar and Florentino García Martínez, “4QAstronomical Enocha–b
ar: Introduction,” and “4QAstronomical Enochb ar (Pls. V–VII),” in Stephen J. Pfann
and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI: Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea, Part 1 (DJD 36; Oxford:
Clarendon, 2000): 95–103, 132–71, here 163–4.
16
My italics (M.A.K.).
17
Milik, Books of Enoch, 284.
18
See, for example, Milik, Books of Enoch, 147 (on 2:2 and 2:3), 149 (on 5:2–3; see
also Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.65), 157 (on 7:5 and 7:6), 196 (on 13:8), 206 (on
89:35), 240 (on 89:4 and 89:5).
19
Milik, Books of Enoch, 239; Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.199.
20
Knibb, “The Case of 1 Enoch,” 411.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 41

(see further below). In turn, the Greek is a translation of an Aramaic


text21 or is an edited collection of translations of Aramaic texts. But if in
broad outline all this seems clear, beyond this it is difficult to reconstruct
in precise detail the steps that led from the Aramaic Enochic corpus
known from the Dead Sea fragments to the Ethiopic Book of Enoch.
(1) The earliest clear evidence that we possess for a collection of Eno-
chic writings in Aramaic, for an Enochic corpus, is provided by 4Q204
(4QEnc ar), the fragments of which belong to the Book of the Watchers,
the Book of Dream Visions, and the Epistle of Enoch. This manuscript dates
from the last third of the first century B.C.E., but was copied from an
exemplar dating from approximately 100 B.C.E.22 This suggests that
the formation of the collection goes back to at least this time if not to
the latter part of the second century. We do not, however, know quite
at what stage the three sections of the corpus were brought together.
Further, because of the limited and fragmentary character of the
Aramaic evidence, we do not know whether the three sections of the
corpus had been redacted into a whole, or whether at this stage they
formed merely a loose collection of Enochic writings.
(2) Milik believed that this manuscript (4Q204) also contained as
the second element the Enochic Book of Giants; the fragments in ques-
tion have the siglum 4Q203 (4QEnGiantsa ar). As is well known, the
Astronomical Book was treated as a separate Enochic writing at Qumran,
and manuscripts of the Aramaic Astronomical Book (4Q208, 209, 210,
211) contain only this writing. It was on the combined evidence of
4Q203–4Q204 and of the manuscripts of the Astronomical Book that
Milik based his view that “about the year 100 B.C.E. there existed an
Enochic Pentateuch in two volumes, the first containing the Astronomical
Book, and the second consisting of four other pseudepigraphical works
[Book of the Watchers, Book of Giants, Book of Dream Visions, the Epistle of
Enoch].”23 However, the evidence for the view that the fragments of
4Q203 belong to the same manuscript as those of 4Q204 is by no
means conclusive, and it seems more likely that the fragments, although

21
It is possible that the Book of Parables was composed in Hebrew; see further
below.
22
Milik, Books of Enoch, 178–83.
23
Milik, Books of Enoch, 181–4, here 183. The quotation continues: “The compiler
of this Pentateuch was quite conscious of its analogy with the Mosaic Pentateuch.”
To avoid misunderstanding, it should be made clear that I use the word ‘pentateuch’
in this article simply to refer to a volume consisting of five books or sections, and not
with any suggestion of an analogy with the Mosaic Pentateuch.
42 chapter two

copied by the same scribe, belong to a different manuscript.24 If this is


right, the idea that there existed a two-volume Enochic pentateuch in
Aramaic at Qumran falls to the ground.
(3) It is not clear whether the Book of Parables was composed in
Aramaic or in Hebrew, but at some point, perhaps at the same time,
perhaps in two stages, the Book of Parables and the Astronomical Book were
inserted into a collection of Enochic writings like the one represented
by 4Q204 to produce a book in fivefold form similar to the book known
from the Ethiopic. It cannot absolutely be excluded that an Enochic
pentateuch like the one known from the Ethiopic already existed in
Aramaic (or Aramaic and Hebrew), but we do not have any evidence
to suggest that it did so.
(4) We have no precise information about the circumstances in
which the Enochic writings were translated into Greek, nor do we
know whether each section of the corpus was translated separately,
or whether, say, the three sections grouped together in 4Q204 were
translated at the same time. The uncertainties are compounded by the
fact that, with minor exception, it is only the Greek text of the Book of
the Watchers and of part of the Epistle of Enoch that has survived. It is,
however, perhaps reasonable to assume that the Book of Parables would
have been translated at a later stage because their composition followed
some time after the composition of the other four parts of the corpus.
James Barr, on the basis of his study of the Greek translation of the
Book of the Watchers and of the Epistle of Enoch in comparison with the
Aramaic original, has suggested that the translation “belonged to the
same general stage and stratum of translation as the LXX translation of
Daniel,” and this would obviously make sense in view of the apocalyptic
form and content of the two writings.25 But if so, this would suggest
that the translation of at least these two sections of 1 Enoch was made
in the second century B.C.E.26
(5) Whether or not an Enochic pentateuch comparable to the Book
of Enoch known from the Ethiopic ever existed in Aramaic (or Aramaic
and Hebrew), it seems virtually certain that such a pentateuch existed

24
Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QEnoch Giantsa ar (Pls. I–II),” in Qumran Cave 4.XXVI
(DJD 36): 8–41, esp., 9–10. See also Stuckenbruck in The Early Enoch Literature, 48–51,
63, and Knibb, “The Case of 1 Enoch”, 405–7, 415.
25
James Barr, “Aramaic-Greek Notes on the Book of Enoch,” JSS 23 (1978): 184–98;
24 (1979): 179–92, here 191.
26
For the suggestion that some tiny papyrus fragments found in Qumran Cave 7
belong to a Greek translation of the Epistle of Enoch, see below.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 43

in Greek (and served as the Vorlage of the Ethiopic), and it may very
well be that the composition of the pentateuch is to be attributed to
the Greek stage. (The composition of such a pentateuch in an Ethio-
pian context, whether during the fifth–sixth century, the period during
which the Ethiopic translation was probably made, or during some
subsequent period of Ethiopian history, seems quite unlikely.) But the
actual date of the creation of the Enochic pentateuch can only be
determined within approximate limits. The latest part of the complete
book, the Book of Parables, has been dated to around the turn of the
era by George Nickelsburg,27 and to the end of the first century C.E.
by the present author;28 in either case this would place the composi-
tion of the Enochic pentateuch in the first century C.E. at the earliest.
The translation of the complete book from Greek into Ethiopic in the
fifth–sixth century provides a firm terminus ad quem. But in practice it
seems to me unlikely that the formation of the Enochic pentateuch,
whether it is to be attributed to Jews or Christians, should be placed
much later than the early decades of the second century C.E. It is
reasonable to assume that it was at the time of the composition of the
complete work that the Astronomical Book was shortened and edited to
produce the text now known from the Ethiopic version.
(6) The translation of the Book of Enoch into Ethiopic was no doubt
undertaken as part of the translation of the scriptures as a whole into
Ethiopic. It is possible that this began in the mid-fourth century soon
after the adoption of Christianity by Ezana as the official religion of
the Axumite kingdom, but the bulk of the translation is probably to
be attributed to the fifth or sixth century.29 It is in any case unlikely
that the Book of Enoch would have been one of the earliest texts to be
translated. The oldest accessible form of this text that we possess dates
back to the fifteenth century, and it is on this text that we are dependent
for a large part of our knowledge of the book.
In summary, the Ethiopic translation of the Book of Enoch cannot
simply be regarded as a translation of a Greek version of the Aramaic
text known from the Dead Sea fragments, nor even as a translation of

27
George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah (2d ed.;
Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005), esp. 254–6.
28
Michael A. Knibb, “The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review,”
NTS 25 (1978/79): 345–59.
29
Michel A. Knibb, Translating the Bible: The Ethiopic Version of the Old Testament (The
Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1995; Oxford: Oxford University Press for
the British Academy, 1999), esp. 12–13.
44 chapter two

a Greek version of a text like that represented by 4Q204 into which


the texts of the Book of Parables and of the Astronomical Book had been
inserted. It represents rather a new edition of the text, a translation of
a Greek text—of which we have only partial knowledge—that dates
back at the earliest to the first century C.E. The Ethiopic reflects not
only the kind of changes that occur when texts are translated from
Aramaic into Greek, and from Greek into Ethiopic, and the kind of
changes that occur when texts are copied over a long period of time,
but also evidence of editorial intervention. It has furthermore passed
from being a Jewish text to being a text that was both transmitted in
Greek and translated into Ethiopic in a Christian context.30 This is
not to say that the Greek and Ethiopic texts of the Book of Enoch are
completely different from the Aramaic, but they do belong in different
literary and historical contexts from the Aramaic. Thus the relationship
between the Ethiopic and Greek on the one hand and the Aramaic on
the other is not that of straight translation, but is rather comparable to
that between the Hebrew of the Massoretic Text of Jeremiah and the
Hebrew text that served as the Vorlage of the Old Greek of Jeremiah.
In the light of these general considerations I would like, in the
remainder of this article, to discuss in turn the Aramaic, the Greek,
and the Ethiopic texts of the Book of Enoch.

II

As already indicated, the manuscripts of the Aramaic Book of Enoch


found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls fall into two groups, those that
contain fragments of one or more of the three writings, the Book of the
Watchers, the Book of Dream Visions, and the Epistle of Enoch, and those
that contain fragments of the Astronomical Book only.31 The manuscripts
are as follows:32

30
For a discussion of the issues involved, see Knibb, “The Case of 1 Enoch,”
396–415.
31
Most of the fragments were published by Milik, Books of Enoch.
32
For details, see Milik, Books of Enoch, 139–297; Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch,
2.8–15. XQpapEnoch, which covers 8:4–9:3 and can be dated approximately to the
Hasmonean or the early Herodian era (50–25 B.C.E.), should now also be included
in this list; see above, note 12.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 45

4Q201 (4QEna ar).33 This manuscript dates from the first half of the
second century B.C.E., but was copied from a much older exemplar.
The fragments belong only to the Book of the Watchers, and Milik believes
that this manuscript, and also 4Q202, contained only this section of
the Book of Enoch.34 This view is, however, disputed by Nickelsburg, as
being based merely on an argument from silence.35
4Q202 (4QEnb ar). This manuscript dates from the middle of the
second century B.C.E., and the fragments belong only to the Book of
the Watchers (see above).36
4Q204 (4QEnc ar). This manuscript dates from the early Herodian
period (the last third of the first century B.C.E.), but was copied from
an old manuscript dating from approximately the last quarter of the
second century.37 The fragments belong to the Book of the Watchers, the
Book of Dream Visions, and the Epistle of Enoch, but, as already noted,
Milik believed that the manuscript also contained as the second ele-
ment the Enochic Book of Giants (the relevant fragments have the siglum
4Q203).38
4Q205 (4QEnd ar). This manuscript dates from the last third of the
first century B.C.E. and seems to have been copied from 4Q204. The
few fragments of the manuscript that have survived belong to the Book
of the Watchers and the Book of Dream Visions, but Milik argued that this
manuscript, like 4Q203–4Q204, contained in addition the Book of Giants
in second place and the Epistle of Enoch at the end.39
4Q206 (4QEne ar). The writing in this manuscript dates from the
Hasmonaean period, probably from the first half of the first century
B.C.E.40 The fragments that survive belong to the Book of the Watchers
and the Book of Dream Visions, but Milik again argued that the manu-
script, like 4Q203–4Q204, contained in addition the Book of Giants in
second place and the Epistle of Enoch at the end. Milik believed that two

33
For the text of a few small fragments of this manuscript (4Q201 2–8) that Milik
did not include in his edition, see Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QEnocha (Pl. I),” in Qumran
Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36): 1–7.
34
Milik, Books of Enoch, 140–1.
35
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 25; but see Knibb, “Interpreting the Book of Enoch,”
442.
36
Milik, Books of Enoch, 164–5.
37
Milik, Books of Enoch, 178, 183.
38
Milik, Books of Enoch, 181–4, esp. 183.
39
Milik, Books of Enoch, 217.
40
Milik, Books of Enoch, 225.
46 chapter two

small fragments, which he labelled 4QEne 2 and 3, did belong to the


Book of Giants,41 but the attribution of these two fragments to 4Q206
(4QEne) has properly been queried by Stuckenbruck42 and denied by
Émile Puech.43
4Q207 (4QEnf ar). The one fragment of this manuscript that has
survived belongs to the Book of Dream Visions. The writing is attributed
by Milik to the early Hasmonaean period (150–125 B.C.E.).44
4Q212 (4QEng ar). This manuscript is dated by Milik to the middle
of the first century B.C.E. The fragments all belong to the Epistle of
Enoch, and Milik believes it probable that the scroll only contained this
writing. However, as in the case of 4Q201–202 and the Book of the
Watchers, this is disputed by Nickelsburg.45
4Q208 (4QEnastra ar). The fragments of this manuscript belong only
to the synchronistic calendar. The manuscript was dated by Milik to
the end of the third or the beginning of the second century B.C.E.,
and this palaeographical dating broadly agrees with the radiocarbon
dating.46
4Q209 (4QEnastrb ar). The fragments belong partly to the synchro-
nistic calendar and partly to chapters 76–9 and 82. The manuscript was
copied in Herodian script and dates from the turn of the era.47
4Q210 (4QEnastrc ar). This manuscript dates from the middle of
the first century B.C.E., and the fragments belong only to chapters
76–78.48
4Q211 (4QEnastrd ar). The fragments have no parallel in the Ethi-
opic version and appear to belong to the final part of the Astronomical

41
Milik, Books of Enoch, 227, 236–8.
42
Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QEnoch Giantsf ar (Pl. II),” in Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD
36): 42–48, esp. 42–3; see his re-edition of the fragments, here identified as 4Q206
2–3 (44–8).
43
Émile Puech, “4Q Livre des Géantse ar (Pl. VI),” in Puech, Qumrân Grotte 4.XXII.
Textes araméens, Première partie 4Q529–549 (DJD 31; Oxford: Clarendon, 2001): 105–15,
esp. 111–3; Puech identifies the fragments as 4Q206a 1–2.
44
Milik, Books of Enoch, 244.
45
According to Nickelsburg (1 Enoch 1, 25), “similarly . . . it is unlikely that 4QEng,
or at least its archetype, began with 91:1.” But see Knibb, “Interpreting the Book of
Enoch,” 442.
46
For the text, see Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar and Florentino García Martínez, “4QAs-
tronomical Enocha ar (Pls. III–IV),” in Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36): 104–131, esp.
106 for the date; Milik, Books of Enoch, 273.
47
For the text, see Tigchelaar and García Martínez, “4QAstronomical Enochb ar
(Pls. V–VII),” in Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36): 132–71; Milik, Books of Enoch, 273–84,
287–91, 293–6 (for the date, see 273).
48
Milik, Books of Enoch, 274; the fragments are published at 284–8, 292–3.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 47

Book; the manuscript dates from the second half of the first century
B.C.E. The Ethiopic version of the Astronomical Book ends abruptly with
a description of spring and summer (82:15–20), and after this we expect
a description of autumn and winter; 4Q211 1 i provides just such a
description of winter. But 4Q211 1 ii–iii deal with the movement of
the stars and apparently belongs to the conclusion of the Astronomical
Book.49 It cannot entirely be excluded that the loss of this material in
the Ethiopic was accidental, but it may, at least in part, be the result
of deliberate abbreviation.
The importance of the Aramaic fragments for the interpretation
of the Book of Enoch cannot be overestimated. Quite apart from the
significance of the fragments for the study of the Aramaic language,
Aramaic orthography, and scribal practice, they are in the present
context of fundamental importance for three main reasons. Firstly, it
is the Aramaic fragments alone that provide us with evidence for the
Enochic corpus that is unequivocally Jewish and dates for the most part
from the pre-Christian period. Secondly, the palaeographical dating
and codicological analysis of the fragments casts an important light
on the literary genesis of the Enochic corpus in its earliest phases.
Thirdly, the manuscripts contain some textual variants in addition to
orthographic variants, and these shed light on the development of the
text. But while the Aramaic is extremely important, it remains the
case that the Aramaic evidence that his survived is quite limited. Most
of the fragments are quite small, in no case do we have a complete
column of text, and mostly not even a complete line, but rather a few
words or even only a few letters—as a glance at the photographs of
the fragments makes abundantly clear.
A rather different impression of the extent of the Aramaic was given
by Milik in his edition of the Aramaic fragments:
If we compare the sections represented by our fragments of 4QEn
(including the restored text) with the Ethiopic text, the balance appears
fairly satisfactory. For the first book of Enoch, the Book of the Watch-
ers, we can calculate that exactly 50 per cent of the text is covered by
the Aramaic; for the third, the Astronomical Book, 30 per cent; for the
fourth, the Book of Dreams, 26 per cent; for the fifth, the Epistle of
Enoch, 18 per cent.50

49
Milik, Books of Enoch, 274, 297; the fragments are published at 296–7.
50
Milik, Books of Enoch, 5.
48 chapter two

The key words in this quotation are “including the restored text”, for
without the extensive restorations that Milik has provided, the figures
make no sense. But restorations, however plausible, remain hypotheti-
cal,51 and important as the Aramaic is, we remain dependent on the
Greek translation, insofar as it survives, and the Ethiopic version for
our knowledge of the bulk of the text of the book.

III

The main Greek witnesses of the Book of Enoch are the Akhmim
manuscript, the extracts in the Chronography of Syncellus, the Chester
Beatty-Michigan papyrus, and a fragment in a Vatican codex. In
addition, there are a number of quotations and allusions in early
Christian writings, including the quotation of 1:9 in Jude 14–15, but
these do not add significantly to our knowledge of the Greek text of
Enoch. It has been claimed that some small papyrus fragments (some
from Oxyrhyncus, some from Qurman) also contain bits of the Greek
text, but the identification of some of these as fragments of 1 Enoch is
uncertain. In total the witnesses provide a Greek text of approximately
one third of the book as it is known from the Ethiopic, but the sources
are scattered.52
The Book of the Watchers. This is the only section of the book where
the Greek text survives in two clearly different forms.

(1) The Akhmim manuscript. This manuscript, which was found in


a grave at Akhmim (ancient Panopolis) in Egypt in the winter of
1886/7 and is now in Cairo, contains a Greek text of 1:1–32:6 pre-
ceded by a duplicate version of 19:3–21:9; it also includes extracts
from the Gospel of Peter and the Apocalypse of Peter. The manuscript
dates from the sixth or perhaps the end of the fifth century.
(2) Syncellus. Brief extracts covering 6:1–9:4; 8:4–10:14; 15:8–16:1 are
preserved in the Chronography, dating from the early ninth century, of

51
See the salutary and instructive comments of Barr in his review of Milik’s book
in JTS (N.S.) 29 (1978): 517–30.
52
For a recent survey of all the Greek evidence, see Denis, Introduction, 104–21. For
an edition of all the Greek evidence known at the time, see Matthew Black, Apocalypsis
Henochi Graece (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970); but there are mistakes in the edition. See
Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.15–21; “The Case of 1 Enoch,” 401–3.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 49

the Byzantine historian Syncellus.53 He derived these quotations via


Annianus from Panodorus, both of whom flourished in the early fifth
century. (A fourth extract attributed by Syncellus to “the First Book
of Enoch concerning the Watchers”54 does not belong to the Book
of the Watchers, but was probably taken from the Book of Giants.)55

The Astronomical Book. Milik has claimed that fragment 3 of Oxyrhyncus


Papyrus 2069 belongs to a Greek translation of the Astronomical Book;
in his view fr. 3v = 77:7–78:1, fr. 3r = 78:8.56 While this identification
seems possible, the fragment is too small for much to be made of it.

The Book of Dream Visions.


(1) Codex Vaticanus Gr. 1809. A brief extract in tachygraphic script
is preserved in the margin of an eleventh century manuscript in
the Vatican Library. The extract, which covers 89:42–9, was not
taken directly from a copy of the Book of Enoch, but from a (now
lost) collection of extracts from the book.
(2) P. Oxy. 2069, frs. 1 and 2. Milik has identified these fragments as
part of a Greek translation of the Book of Dream Visions (fr. 1r + 2r =
85:10–86:2; fr. 1v + 2v = 87:1–3), and in this case the identification
seems plausible.57 It should be observed, however, that Milik argues
that fragments 1 and 2 do not belong to the same manuscript as
fragment 3 (for which, see above).

The Epistle of Enoch.


(1) Chester Beatty-Michigan Papyrus. The leaves of this papyrus
codex, which dates from the fourth century, were acquired partly
by the University of Michigan and partly by A. Chester Beatty.
In its present condition the manuscript contains a Greek version
of 97:6–107:3, an almost complete text of Melito’s Homily on the

53
For the text of these passages, see Alden A. Mosshammer, Georgii Syncelli Ecloga
Chronographica (Biblioteca Teubneriana; Leipzig: Teubner, 1984), 11–3, 24–6; for a
translation, see Adler and Tuffin, The Chronography of George Synkellos, 16–8, 33–5.
54
Mosshammer, Georgii Syncelli Ecloga Chronographica, 26–7; Adler and Tuffin, The
Chronography of George Synkellos, 35–6.
55
Milik, Books of Enoch, 317–20.
56
Milik, Books of Enoch, 19; “Fragments grecs du livre d’Hénoch (P. Oxy. XVII
2069),” Chronique d’Égypte 92 (1971): 321–43, esp. 333–41.
57
Milik, Books of Enoch, 42, 75, 245; “Fragments grecs du livre d’Hénoch,”
323–32.
50 chapter two

Passion, and a few fragments of an Apocryphon of Ezekiel.58 It seems


very likely that of the Book of Enoch, the codex only contained the
Epistle (chaps. 91–107). It should be noted that the codex does not
have either chapter 105 or chapter 108.
(2) 7Q4, 8, 11–14 (7QpapEn gr). A number of tiny papyrus fragments
that were found in Qumran Cave 7 have been identified as frag-
ments of the Greek text of the Epistle (7Q11 = 100:12; 7Q4 1 +
7Q12 + 7Q14 = 103:3–4; 7Q8 = 103:7–8; 7Q13 = 103:15; 7Q4
2 = 105:1).59 While in some cases the identification seems plausible,
in others the fragments are too small for certain identification to be
possible.60 However, although none of the fragments is of any size,
they are potentially important as providing Jewish evidence of the
existence of a Greek translation of the Epistle.

The sources surveyed above confirm the existence of Greek translations


of the Book of the Watchers, the Astronomical Book (although the textual
evidence is extremely limited), the Book of Dream Visions, and the Epistle
of Enoch, and there is no doubt that a Greek translation of the Book of
Parables also existed. Further, the Akhmim manuscript and the Chester
Beatty-Michigan papyrus show that for several centuries the Book of
the Watchers and the Epistle of Enoch continued to circulate in Greek as
separate writings independently of the remaining parts of the Enochic
corpus—or at least, even if they were taken from an Enochic corpus,
continued to be treated as independent entities—just as they apparently
were at Qumran. What the Greek witnesses do not provide is clear
evidence of the existence of an Enochic pentateuch with a text broadly
comparable to that known from the Ethiopic version. But that such a
pentateuch, based on an extensive redaction of the text represented by
the Aramaic, did come into existence at a relatively early stage seems
extremely probable.

58
Campbell Bonner, The Last Chapters of Enoch in Greek (Studies and Documents 8;
London: Christophers, 1937), 9–12; Milik, Books of Enoch, 75–6; Denis, Introduction,
109–11.
59
See Émile Puech, “Notes sur les fragments grecs du manuscrit 7Q4 = 1 Hénoch
103 et 105,” RB 103 (1996): 592–600; “Sept fragments grecs de la Lettre d’Hénoch
(1 Hén 100, 103 et 105) dans la grotte 7 de Qumrân,” RevQ 18 (1997): 313–23. See
also Knibb, “The Case of 1 Enoch,” 401, and the references there.
60
Cf. Timothy H. Lim, “The Qumran Scrolls, Multilingualism, and Biblical Inter-
pretation,” in Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. John J. Collins and Robert A. Kugler;
Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
2000), 57–73, esp. 69.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 51

As we have already seen, Milik was of the opinion that an Enochic


penateuch in Aramaic in two volumes, the first containing the Astro-
nomical Book, the second containing the Book of the Watchers, the Book of
Giants, the Book of Dream Visions, and the Epistle of Enoch, was already
in existence at Qumran. He further argued that a two-volume Greek
pentateuch with the same contents—particularly a long version of the
Astronomical Book like that known from the Aramaic, and the Book of
Giants in second place in the second volume—survived as late as the
fifth or sixth century. But the evidence for this seems unconvincing.61
The text of the extracts from the Book of the Watchers preserved by
Syncellus differs significantly in a number of passages from that in
the Akhmim manuscript, and while it seems clear that the text of the
extracts in Syncellus has suffered through the process of transmission,
the Aramaic evidence has shown that in places Syncellus has a better
text than that of the Akhmim manuscript,62 and that the text of the
Akhmim manuscript has been subject to editorial revision (see above,
section I). It appears that two different forms of the Greek text of
Enoch continued in existence for several centuries, one that at least in
places remained relatively close to the Aramaic and was still available
to Panodorus, from whom the extracts in Syncellus ultimately derive,
in the early fifth century, and one that was subject to editorial revision
and is now reflected in the Akhmim manuscript and in the Ethiopic.
Brief extracts from the Book of Enoch in Latin, Coptic, and Syriac are
also extant,63 but these are of secondary importance for our knowledge
of the text of the book.

IV

The Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch represents the most devel-
oped—and only complete—form of the book that we possess, but the
Ethiopic witnesses, both manuscripts and quotations in theological and
homiletic writings, are all of comparatively recent date. There are at

61
See Milik, Books of Enoch, 19–20, 57, 76–7, 275, 296–7, 318–20. For a summary
and critique of Milik’s argument, see Knibb, “The Case of 1 Enoch,” 407–8, 409–11;
cf. “The Date of the Parables of Enoch,” 346–7.
62
See Denis, Introduction, 111–2; Siegbert Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,”
in JSHRZ V/6; Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1984), 486.
63
For brief details, see Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.21; Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1,
14–15.
52 chapter two

least fifty manuscripts in existence, and the large number is a reflec-


tion of the authority and popularity that the book enjoyed within the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The manuscripts can be divided into two
groups, representative of an older and a younger type of text.64
The former group consists of a quite small number of manuscripts,
which range in date from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century: Lake
Tana 9 (fifteenth century); Paris Abbadianus 55 (fifteenth–sixteenth
century); Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library (EMML) 2080
(fifteenth–sixteenth century); British Library Orient. 485 (sixteenth
century); Berlin, Petermann II, Nachtrag 29 (sixteenth century); EMML
1768 (sixteenth century); EMML 6281 (not seen; seventeenth century);
Paris Abbadianus 35 (late seventeenth century); British Library Orient.
491 (eighteenth century).65 There are numerous corruptions and omis-
sions in the manuscripts of this group, and frequently the manuscripts
attest different readings; but in broad terms the text represented by
this group corresponds to the Greek text known from the Akhmim
manuscript, the Vatican fragment, and the Chester Beatty-Michigan
papyrus. Despite the lack of uniformity in the readings attested by the
manuscripts, sub-groups of manuscripts can be identified. The oldest
manuscript, Lake Tana 9, offers a text that differs significantly in a
number of passages from that of the other manuscripts and represents
a distinct type of text within the older group of manuscripts.
The remainder of the manuscripts, which range in date from the
seventeenth to the twentieth century, all attest a younger type of text.
In all these manuscripts the text has been revised and ‘improved’ so
that it reads more smoothly. The manuscripts of this group are much
more uniform in character than those of the group with the older type
of text, but there are some manuscripts that do reveal some interesting
variants (for example, British Library Orient. 492 and the Ullendorff
manuscript, both of the eighteenth century). It should be emphasised
that the distinction between the older and the younger group of
manuscripts is not absolute, and in particular Cambridge Add. 1570,
which is dated to the year 1588/89, although belonging amongst the

64
In recent years lists of manuscripts of 1 Enoch have been provided by Knibb,
Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.23–7; Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 473–6; Nick-
elsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 16–17.
65
For the dating of Ethiopian manuscripts, see Uhlig, Äthiopische Paläographie (Äthio-
pistische Forschungen 22; Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1988).
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 53

manuscripts of the younger group, has a number of readings that cor-


respond to those of the older group.
The Book of Enoch was translated into Ethiopic as part of the transla-
tion of the Old Testament scriptures as a whole, and the history of the
Ethiopic version of Enoch may be compared with that of the Ethiopic
version of the other books of the Old Testament,66 although it differs
from that in a number of respects.67 Manuscripts of the Ethiopic Old
Testament are commonly divided into three groups representative of
three stages in the development of the text: the Old Ethiopic, the vulgar
recension, and the academic or Hebraising recension.
The oldest recoverable form of the text, the so-called Old Ethiopic,
represents the text as it existed towards the end of the Zagwe period,
that is about the middle of the thirteenth century. The very few manu-
scripts that belong to this group date from the fourteenth century and
contain the text in an unrevised form that, despite many mistakes, cor-
ruptions and omissions, represents the closest approximation that we
possess to the original translation made from the Greek. No manuscript
of Enoch is as old as the fourteenth century, but Lake Tana 9 from the
fifteenth century, contains a number of readings that are characteristic
of this stage in the history of the Ethiopic Old Testament. In a num-
ber of passages Lake Tana 9 alone of the manuscripts of the older
group preserves the oldest accessible form of the Ethiopic text. But this
manuscript is also full of corruptions and omissions.
The so-called vulgar recension of the Ethiopic Old Testament is
primarily contained in manuscripts dating from the fifteenth and six-
teenth century. The text in manuscripts of this type reflects a process
of revision whose origins can be placed during a period of literary
revival that began in the reign of Amda Sion (1314–1344). In some
cases the revision can be seen to presuppose a correction of the text
on the basis of a Syro-Arabic text, but in other cases the changes that
were made in comparison with the Old Ethiopic are the kind of changes
and improvements that are made spontaneously when manuscripts are
copied. The older group of manuscripts of Enoch reflect an equivalent
stage of development, but it is not clear that the revision in this case
was textually based.

66
Cf. Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 488–91.
67
For the history of the Ethiopic version of the Old Testament, see Knibb, Translat-
ing the Bible, 40–6.
54 chapter two

The academic recension is attested by manuscripts that date from


the seventeenth century onwards and reflects a process of revision that
most probably began in the latter part of the sixteenth century. The
primary aim of this revision seems to have been to produce a gram-
matically correct and smooth Ethiopic text that corresponded more
closely than existing texts to the Hebrew, and revision of the Ethiopic
on the basis of the Massoretic Text is clearly evident. The younger
group of manuscripts of Enoch appear to correspond to manuscripts
of the Ethiopic Old Testament with this type of text, but in the case
of the Book of Enoch there is no evidence at this stage of revision on
the basis of a Semitic Vorlage.
There are a fair number of quotations from Enoch in Ethiopian
homiletic and theological writings of the medieval period, and the hope
has sometime been expressed that these might provide evidence of an
earlier form of the Ethiopic text than that attested by the older group
of manuscripts; Milik provided a provisional list of such quotations,
which he culled from printed editions.68 In practice the quotations tend
to be taken from a limited number of passages that could be used for
Christian homiletic and theological purposes, and thus, for example,
extensive passages from the Book of Parables are frequently quoted
because they readily lent themselves for purposes of Christological
controversy. But the quotations provide scant evidence of a text dif-
ferent from that already known from the older group of manuscripts.
Rather they provide further support for readings already attested by the
older group of manuscripts, including, in some cases, readings attested
otherwise only by Lake Tana 9.69

My aim in this study has been to show that the Aramaic text of the Book
of Enoch known from the Dead Sea fragments, the Greek translation,
and the Ethiopic version cannot simply be equated, but represent dif-
ferent stages in the development of a text that underwent an extended
process of evolution. This process of evolution is reflected already in the

68
Milik, Books of Enoch, 85–7.
69
For more details, see Michael A. Knibb, “The Text-Critical Value of the Quota-
tions from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic Writings,” in Interpreting Translation: Studies on the LXX and
Ezekiel in Honour of Johan Lust (ed. Florentino García Martínez and Marc Vervenne;
BETL 192; Leuven: Leuven University Press—Peeters, 2005), 225–35.
the BOOK OF ENOCH or BOOKS OF ENOCH ? 55

Aramaic Dead Sea manuscripts, and indeed it may be asked whether


the title ‘the Book of Enoch’ can properly be applied at the Aramaic
stage to the writings that eventually formed the Enochic corpus. The
Greek translation, of which we have only partial knowledge, and even
more the Ethiopic version represent further stages in the evolution of
this text. The changes evident in the Greek and the Ethiopic are not
simply the kind of changes that naturally occur when texts are translated
and copied over many centuries, but reflect a process of redaction, and
the Ethiopic Book of Enoch represents at the oldest a fifth–sixth century
translation of a Greek text that came into existence in the first century
C.E.; they represent (a) new edition(s) of the original Aramaic.70 This
is not to say that the Greek and the Ethiopic are totally different from
the Aramaic, quite the contrary; but the Greek and the Ethiopic belong
in different literary and historical contexts from the original Aramaic
Enochic texts, and in some places they clearly were quite different.
The Book of Enoch remains one of the most important sources we
possess for our knowledge of Judaism in the late Second Temple period,
but in discussing its significance for the Judaism of this period it is
important that we keep in mind the precise textual status, and time of
origin, of the passages on which we rely.

70
Cf. Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 487–8: “Es handelt sich nicht um
eine freie Übertragung bei Gr und Aeth, sondern um eine eng am Wortlaut des zu
erschliessenden Originals orientierte targumähnliche Übersetzung, die eine neue lit-
erarische Fassung darstellt.”
CHAPTER THREE

CHRISTIAN ADOPTION AND TRANSMISSION


OF JEWISH PSEUDEPIGRAPHA: THE CASE OF
1 ENOCH

Our knowledge of the Jewish apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writ-


ings, as also of the works of Philo and Josephus, is to a very great extent
owed to the fact that they were adopted and preserved by Christians,
but although we are all aware of this fact, we perhaps still do not suf-
ficiently think through its implications. It is easy to take account of
extreme cases, on the one hand of a work like Jubilees, which appears
to have preserved its Jewish character unscathed, on the other of a
work like the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, which, although it does
make extensive use of Jewish material, is a Christian work. But few
writings can be categorised so neatly as either Jewish or Christian. We
can only be completely certain that we are dealing with a Jewish text
where we have Jewish manuscripts of the work, as—if there had been
any doubt—in the case of Jubilees. But in the majority of cases we are
dependent on translations of the original, or on translations of transla-
tions, and where the translation was undertaken by Christians, there
was the possibility of unconscious adaptation to a Christian milieu or
of deliberate editing from a Christian viewpoint. Transmission within
a Christian milieu will then have provided the opportunity for further
spontaneous or deliberate changes to be made. It was also possible for
Christians to compose works that draw extensively on Jewish traditions
and do not make any overt reference to Christian themes. It is apparent
that between the two extremes of completely Jewish and completely
Christian there is considerable room for ambiguity and uncertainty.
At the most straightforward level it is clear that Christian glosses have
occasionally been inserted in Jewish pseudepigraphical writings during
the course of their transmission. A well-known example of such a gloss
occurs in 2 Esdras (4 Ezra) 7:28, where the Ethiopic reading “my Mes-
siah” probably forms the original text. Lat “my son Jesus” is clearly a
christian adoption and transmission 57

reading introduced by Christians, but Syr Arab 1 “my son the Messiah”
is probably also the result of Christian alteration of the text.1
But it has also been assumed that extensive Christian passages
were sometimes inserted in Jewish texts that it is possible to identify
and remove and still be left with a Jewish text. Paraleipomena Jeremiou
(4 Baruch) provides an excellent example of such a text in that it has
often been argued that what is otherwise a completely Jewish text
(1:1–9:9) was appropriated by a Christian author by the addition of
9:10–32. This viewpoint has recently been reaffirmed, for example,
by Riaud and by Herzer.2 However, the issue is perhaps not quite so
clear-cut as first appears. Marinus de Jonge has drawn attention to the
fact that we only have this writing in the form in which it has been
transmitted to us by Christian scribes, and that our oldest Greek wit-
nesses are from the tenth/eleventh centuries; that not everything that
is not overtly Christian is Jewish; and that even if no word or phrase
was altered in the course of transmission by Christian scribes, phrases
or words may have taken on a different meaning by functioning in a
different historical context and different framework of ideas. He raises
the question, without attempting a definite answer, whether there ever
existed a Jewish document before the present Christian one.3 If in the
end the balance of evidence would still incline us to the view that Par.
Jer. 1:1–9:9 is a completely Jewish text, it has also to be recognised that
there can be no certainty about this.
Writings such as the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs raise slightly
different problems as Christian works that make extensive use of Jewish

1
Cf. Michael E. Stone, Fourth Ezra: A Commentary on the Book of Fourth Ezra (Herme-
neia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990), 202, 207–8.
2
See Jens Herzer, “Direction in Difficult Times: How God is Understood in the
Paralipomena Jeremiae,” JSP 22 (2000): 9–30; Jean Riaud, “The Figure of Jeremiah in the
Paralipomena Jeremiae Prophetae: His Originality; His ‘Christianization’ by the Christian
Author of the Conclusion (9:10–32),” JSP 22 (2000): 31–44 and the references there
to his earlier publications on the subject. The two papers, together with one by Berndt
Schaller (also included in the same issue of Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha),
were given during three sessions of the Seminar on Early Jewish Writings and the New
Testament at the SNTS Conference held in Strasbourg in 1996. See also Herzer, Die
Paralipomena Jeremiae: Studien zu Tradition und Redaktion einer Haggada des frühen Judentums
(TSAJ 43; Tübingen: Mohr, 1994), 159–76, 189–92, 197–98.
3
Marinus de Jonge, “Remarks in the Margin of the Paper ‘The Figure of Jeremiah
in the Paralipomena Jeremiae’ by Jean Riaud,” JSP 22 (2000): 45–49.
58 chapter three

traditions.4 It is all but certain that the Testament of Levi is directly


dependent on the (clearly Jewish) Aramaic Levi Document or a writing very
similar to it, and it is also all but certain that Jewish traditions were
used in the composition of the other testaments.5 But these traditions
have been so thoroughly reworked that it must be doubted whether it
makes any sense to try to use the Testaments as evidence for purely Jew-
ish beliefs in the late Second Temple period. During the last century
there were several attempts to reconstruct a pre-Christian Testaments of
the Twelve Patriarchs between the Aramaic Levi Document and the present
Christian composition by removing from the latter supposed Christian
‘interpolations’. The methodological difficulties inherent in such an
enterprise must make it extremely doubtful whether worthwhile results
can ever be produced by such means.6
But we also have to reckon with the possibility of Christian composi-
tions that draw extensively on Old Testament characters and themes
and make no obvious allusion to Christian, much less to Christological,
themes. The Greek Life of Adam and Eve and the Lives of the Prophets are
examples of works that may fall into this category. The fact that there
is almost nothing in these writings that could only be regarded as Jewish
or as Christian makes it hard to determine whether, for example, the
Lives of the Prophets should be regarded as a Jewish composition from
the first century C.E., and probably from before 70 C.E., with only
very limited Christian interpolation in the oldest recoverable form of
the text, as Schwemer (amongst others) has argued, or as a Christian
composition that has undergone a complex process of redaction such
that it is impossible now to recover the original form of the traditions
incorporated in it, and that was given its definitive form only in the

4
The Ascension of Isaiah would clearly also deserve consideration in this context.
5
See most recently the discussion of all the relevant evidence by Marinus de Jonge,
“The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and related Qumran Fragments,” in For a Later
Generation: The Transformation of Tradition in Israel, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity (ed.
Randal A. Argall, Beverly A. Bow, and Rodney A. Werline; Harrisburg, Penn.: Trinity,
2000), 63–77.
6
This view has been consistently maintained by Marinus de Jonge; see most
recently the article mentioned in the previous note. See also Knibb, “Perspectives on
the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: The Levi Traditions,” in Perspectives in the Study
of the Old Testament and Early Judaism: A Symposium in Honour of Adam S. van der Woude on
the Occasion of his 70th Birthday (ed. Florentino García Martínez and Ed Noort; VTSup
73; Leiden: Brill, 1998), 197–213, particularly 211–213.
christian adoption and transmission 59

fourth or fifth century, as Satran has argued.7 In relation to the Greek


Life of Adam and Eve, Stone and de Jonge have emphasised in recent
studies the very limited nature of the evidence available for determining
its provenance,8 but whereas there has been a tendency to regard the
work as a product of Hellenistic Judaism,9 de Jonge has recently sug-
gested a context—Christian interpretation of Genesis 3 in the second
and third century C.E.—in which it might be understood as a Chris-
tian work.10 A further factor causing complication is that once Jewish
pseudepigraphic writings had been taken over by Christians, they could
clearly be read—like the Old Testament itself—in a Christian context
even if no changes were made to the text.
The elements of ambiguity and uncertainty in determining whether a
work is Christian or Jewish that are highlighted by the above examples
have been increasingly recognised in recent years, and the method-
ological issues involved have been discussed by others, particularly by
Kraft11 and by de Jonge,12 and I do not intend to pursue them further
here other than to draw attention to one factor. In the case of several
of the writings discussed above it has been increasingly acknowledged

7
The radical difference in approach is underlined by the very titles of their respec-
tive works: see Anna Maria Schwemer, Studien zu den frühjüdischen Prophetenlegenden Vitae
Prophetarum (2 vols.; TSAJ 49–50; Tübingen: Mohr, 1995, 1996); David Satran,
Biblical Prophets in Byzantine Palestine: Reassessing the Lives of the Prophets (SVTP 11;
Leiden: Brill, 1995).
8
Michael E. Stone, A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (SBLEJL 3; Atlanta:
Scholars Press, 1992), 58–61; Marinus de Jonge, “The Christian Origin of the Greek
Life of Adam and Eve,” in Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays (ed. Gary A. Ander-
son, Michael E. Stone, and Johannes Tromp; SVTP 15; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 347–63
(here 350–51).
9
See the survey of such views provided in Albert-Marie Denis and others, in con-
sultation with Jean-Claude Haelewyck, Introduction à la littérature religieuse judéo-hellénistiique.
Vol. 1: Pseudépigraphes de l’Ancien Testament (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), 25–27. See also
Michael D. Eldridge, Dying Adam with his Multiethnic Family: Understanding the Greek Life
of Adam and Eve (SVTP 16; Leiden: Brill, 2001).
10
See the article mentioned in note 8. Cf. Marinus de Jonge and Johannes Tromp,
The Life of Adam and Eve and Related Literature (Guides to Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha;
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 67–75.
11
Robert A. Kraft, “The Multiform Jewish Heritage of Early Christianity,” in
Christianity, Judaism and other Greco-Roman Cults: Studies for Morton Smith at Sixty. Part 3:
Judaism before 70 (ed. Jacob Neusner; SJLA 12.iii; Leiden: Brill, 1975), 174–99, par-
ticularly 174–88; “The Pseudepigrapha in Christianity,” in Tracing the Threads: Studies
in the Vitality of Jewish Pseudepigrapha (ed. John C. Reeves; SBLEJL 6; Atlanta: Scholars
Press, 1994), 55–86; see also his article in JSJ 32 (2001), 371–95.
12
Marinus de Jonge, “The so-called Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament and
Early Christianity,” in The New Testament and Hellennistic Judaism (ed. Peder Borgen and
Søren Giversen; Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1995), 59–71.
60 chapter three

that progress is only likely to be possible if very close attention is paid


to the issues raised by the transmission of the text.13 It is with this
particular point in mind that I would like to focus on 1 Enoch as an
example of a work clearly Jewish in origin, but known to us primarily
only in the form transmitted by Christians. The issues in the case of
this book may conveniently be considered under three headings: the
text of 1 Enoch; the form of the document; and the exegesis of 1 Enoch
in the Ethiopian context.

II

The Aramaic fragments of 1 Enoch that were discovered at Qumran


form the obvious starting point for the study of this writing. As is well
known, seven manuscripts of 1 Enoch, covering parts of the Book of
Watchers, the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle of Enoch, were found at
Qumran (4QEna–g ar, 4Q201–202, 204–207, 212), and four manuscripts
covering parts of the Astronomical Book (4QEnastra–d ar, 4Q208–211). The
manuscripts range in date from the beginning of the second century
B.C.E. (or perhaps the end of the third) to the Herodian period and
contain some textual variants in addition to orthographic variants.14
These manuscripts provide evidence for the text of 1 Enoch that is
unambiguously Jewish. However, with the exception of some of the
fragments of 4Q209 (4QEnastrb ar), none of the fragments is very
large. Milik has reconstructed extensive portions of the text on the
basis of the Greek and Ethiopic translations and has claimed that if
the Aramaic fragments (including the restored text) are compared with
the Ethiopic, the balance appears fairly satisfactory:

13
See e.g. (albeit from different viewpoints) Schwemer, Studien zu den frühjüdischen
Prophetenlegenden, Vol. I, 9; de Jonge, “The Christian Origin of the Greek Life of Adam
and Eve,” 347.
14
For the text of 4Q201–202, 204–207, and 212, and for that of 4Q210–211 and
some fragments from 4Q209, see Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments
of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976). For some small fragments of 4Q201 that
Milik did not include in his edition (4Q201 2–8), see Loren Stuckenbruck, “201 2–8.
4QEnocha ar,” in Stephen J. Pfann and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI: Cryptic Texts and
Miscellanea, Part 1 (DJD 36; Oxford: Clarendon, 2000): 3–7 + pl. I. For the text of
4Q208–209, see Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar and Florentino García Martínez, “4QAstro-
nomical Enocha–b ar,” in Pfann and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36): 95–171 +
pls. III–VII.
christian adoption and transmission 61

For the first book of Enoch, the Book of Watchers, we can calculate that
exactly 50 per cent of the text is covered by the Aramaic fragments; for
the third, the Astronomical Book, 30 per cent; for the fourth, the Book of
Dreams, 26 per cent; for the fifth, the Epistle of Enoch, 18 per cent.15
But reconstructions, however suggestive, remain hypothetical, and
our first hand knowledge of the Jewish text of 1 Enoch is in practice
limited.
The Greek translation of 1 Enoch provides rather more substantial
evidence for its text. It is a plausible assumption that this translation
was produced by Jews, although I am not aware of any evidence for
this of the kind available for the Greek translation of the Aramaic Levi
Document. For this writing, as Stone and Greenfield have observed, the
rendering of ‫( חכמה‬ALD, §§ 88b, 89, 93) by νόµος (Test. Levi 13:2b, 3, 4)
provides strong evidence that the translation was Jewish.16 The situation
would be different if we could be certain that the tiny papyrus frag-
ments of 7Q that have been identified with fragments of the Greek
Enoch really did belong to Enoch.17 The degree of plausibility attaching
to the various proposals varies, but the fragments are too small for any
certain identification to be possible,18 and we do not know when, or
where, the translation of 1 Enoch was made, nor indeed whether all the
sections of the book were translated at the same time.19

15
Milik, Books of Enoch, 5.
16
Cf. Michael E. Stone and Jonas C. Greenfield, “Aramaic Levi Document,” in
George Brooke and others, Qumran Cave 4.XVII: Parabiblical Texts, Part 3 (DJD 22;
Oxford: Clarendon, 1996): 3.
17
See G.-Wilhelm Nebe, “7Q4—Möglichkeit und Grenze einer Identifikation,”
RevQ 13 (1988): 629–33; Émile Puech, “Notes sur les fragments grecs du manuscrit
7Q4 = 1 Hénoch 103 et 105,” RB 103 (1996): 592–600; Puech, “Sept fragments de
la Lettre d’Hénoch (1 Hén 100, 103 et 105) dans la grotte 7 de Qumrân (= 7QHén
gr),” RevQ 18 (1997): 313–23; Ernest A. Muro Jr, “The Greek Fragments of Enoch
from Qumran Cave 7 (7Q4, 7Q8, & 7Q12 = 7QEn gr = Enoch 103:3–4, 7–8),” RevQ
18 (1997): 307–12; Ma Victoria Spottorno, “Can Methodological Limits be Set in the
Debate on the Identification of 7Q5,” DSD 6 (1999): 66–77; Thomas J. Kraus, “7Q5:
Status quaestionis und grundlegende Anmerkungen zur Relativierung der Diskussion um
das Papyrusfragment,” RevQ 19 (1999): 239–58.
18
Cf. Timothy H. Lim, “The Qumran Scrolls, Multilingualism, and Biblical Inter-
pretation,” in Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. John J. Collins and Robert A. Kugler;
Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
2000), 57–73 (here 69).
19
For the uncertainty as to who was responsible for the translation into Greek of
pseudepigraphic writings composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, see Kraft, “The Multiform
Jewish Heritage of Early Christianity,” 194–95; de Jonge, “The so-called Pseudepigrapha
of the Old Testament and Early Christianity,” 62. Note, however, the conclusion of
James Barr in his valuable study of the Greek Enoch: “It seems at first sight probable
62 chapter three

The Greek translation is only partially preserved, the two most


substantial portions of the text being provided by the Gizeh codex
and the Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus.20 In both cases it is clear
that only one section of 1 Enoch was included in the manuscript, and
in both cases other, namely Christian, texts were included. The Gizeh
codex, dating from the sixth or perhaps the end of the fifth century,
contains incomplete copies of two different manuscripts of the Book of
Watchers and was bound up with fragments of the Gospel of Peter and
the Apocalypse of Peter. The Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus, dating
from the fourth century, contains an incomplete version of the Epistle
of Enoch which was copied together with Melito’s Homily on the Passion
and with an apocryphon of Ezekiel. The fact that the extracts from
the Enochic corpus were copied with Christian works shows that they
were thought to be consonant with Christian beliefs and were part of
the Christian tradition.21
The Greek version of 1 Enoch will have had its own textual history,
but for the most part we can only see snapshots of different parts of
the text at particular points in that history, and it is only in the case of
the Book of the Watchers that we have more than one Greek witness and
thus any Greek evidence for the history of the Greek text. Both the
Gizeh codex and the Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus contain many
omissions, additions and mistakes. The brief extracts from the Book of
the Watchers in the Chronicle of Syncellus, dating from the early ninth
century,22 provide the chief evidence23 that may be compared with the
text of the Gizeh codex. Syncellus derived his quotations from 1 Enoch,

that the translation of Enoch into Greek belonged to the same general stage and stratum
of translation as the LXX translation of Daniel. All these opinions, however, can be
considered only preliminary, and might be upset by more thorough consideration of
the evidence, or by the discovery of further Aramaic fragments or indeed of additional
portions of Greek text” (“Aramaic-Greek Notes on the Book of Enoch,” JSS 23 (1978):
184–98; 24 (1979): 179–92 (here 24 (1979): 191)).
20
For information about the Greek version, see Denis, Introduction, 1: 104–21 (here
106–12). For an edition of all the Greek evidence known at the time, see Matthew
Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970); but there are mistakes
in the edition.
21
Note the cross on fol. 1r of the Gizeh Codex. See the reproduction in Adolphe
Lods, L’Évangile & l’Apocalypse de Pierre. Le texte grec du Livre d’Énoch (Mémoires publiés
par les membres de la Mission archéologique française au Caire ix.3; Paris, 1893) pl. II,
p. 1.
22
For information, see Denis, Introduction, 1: 105–6, 111–12.
23
The (relatively few) quotations and allusions that are to be found in the New
Testament and Early Fathers, for which see Denis in Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece,
10–14, do not significantly affect the point being made here.
christian adoption and transmission 63

via Annianus, from Panodorus, both of whom flourished in the early


fifth century. As Milik observes, Panodorus had to hand an excellent
copy of the Book of the Watchers in Greek, but the text of the extracts
given by Syncellus has suffered through the process of transmission.24
However in places, particularly 6:7 and 8:3, Syncellus has a better text
than that of the Gizeh codex.
The Ethiopic, a daughter version of the Greek, provides the most
complete evidence that we have for 1 Enoch25 and the only clear textual
evidence for the existence of an Enochic Pentateuch (more will be said
about this below). It was a translation made by and for Christians, no
doubt as part of the translation of the scriptures of the Old and New
Testament into Ethiopic. A start may have made on the translation of
the Bible soon after the adoption of Christianity as the official religion
of the Aksumite kingdom in about the middle of the fourth century,
but the bulk of the translation was probably prepared in stages dur-
ing the course of the fifth and sixth centuries.26 It seems unlikely that
1 Enoch would have been one of the first books to be translated into
Ethiopic, but we do not know the precise date of its translation within
this general period.
The Ethiopic version obviously has its own transmission history. The
text is corrupt and difficult in places, and while the translation of 1 Enoch
into Ethiopic no doubt dates back to the fifth or sixth century, the old-
est accessible text of the book is considerably younger. In broad terms
the Ethiopic manuscripts of 1 Enoch can be divided into two groups,
representative of an older and a younger type of text. Manuscripts with
the older type of text represent the text of 1 Enoch as it existed in the
fifteenth century, the date of the oldest Ethiopic manuscripts of the
book that we possess, and it is important to recognise that the Ethiopic
text of the book cannot be traced back before this period. There are
numerous quotations from 1 Enoch in Ethiopic liturgical and homileti-
cal writings, but despite the claims made for their value as textual wit-
nesses,27 such checks as I have carried out suggest that, although they

24
Milik, Books of Enoch, 73.
25
See Michael A. Knibb in consultation with Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopic Book
of Enoch: a New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1978).
26
For the translation of the scriptures into Ethiopic, see Michael. A. Knibb, Translating
the Bible: The Ethiopic Version of the Old Testament (The Schweich Lectures of the British
Academy 1995; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), esp. 1–54.
27
For example by Milik (Books of Enoch, 85–88).
64 chapter three

provide further support for the older type of text, they do not provide
evidence that would carry us back before the fifteenth century.
The question that inevitably suggests itself is whether there are
Christian elements within the Ethiopic version of 1 Enoch. There is no
doubt, as we shall see below, that within the Ethiopian tradition at least
the Parables were interpreted in a Christological sense. Further, in the
manuscripts of 1 Enoch there are some Christian readings, and indeed
what is perhaps surprising is that there are not more, particularly within
the Parables. One example occurs in 62:5, where the Ethiopic expression
used for “the son of man” (walda be esi, filius viri) has been changed
in manuscripts with the later type of text to “the son of the woman”
(walda be esit), that is Mary, although it is possible, as VanderKam notes,
that the change in this case was made under the influence of the ref-
erence in the previous verse to a woman in the pangs of childbirth.28
A similar change was made in 69:29b in some manuscripts with the
older type of text.29 A much more difficult question is whether there
are also Christian passages in the Ethiopic version of 1 Enoch, notably
105:2a and chapter 108, and more will need to be said about these
passages below.
The textual evidence for 1 Enoch is disparate in origin, character, and
extent, and it raises a problem, namely which text should be used for
purposes of translation and, particularly, for interpretation and com-
ment. The Aramaic would seem the obvious choice, but that survives
only in fragmentary form, and the fragments in any case cover only
a small part of the text. The Greek appears to provide better help in
that it does offer a continuous text of substantial parts of the Book of
the Watchers and the Epistle. But the Greek does not cover the major
part of the book, and the text is not in the best condition. Only the
Ethiopic provides a complete text, but the text that we have may
contain Christian elements, and in any case the evidence for the text
does not go back before the fifteenth century. In practical terms, at
least for the purposes of interpretation and comment, we have little
alternative to using a conflation of all three witnesses, drawing on the

28
Cf. James C. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of
Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” in The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity
(ed. James H. Charlesworth; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 169–91 (here 174, n. 15).
29
British Library Orient. 485, EMML 2080; also British Library 492 (primarily a
representative of the later type of text). Cf. Daniel C. Olson, “Enoch and the Son of
Man in the Epilogue of the Parables,” JSP 18 (1998): 27–38 (here 35–36).
christian adoption and transmission 65

Aramaic where it really is possible, but otherwise using the best Greek
and/or Ethiopic evidence available. But there is a very real danger of
creating a text that never existed as such in antiquity, and it seems to
me important that we keep in mind the different contexts in which the
original Aramaic text, the Greek translation, and the Ethiopic transla-
tion were produced and transmitted and the different kinds of status
that each type of evidence has.

III

This point may be taken further in relation to the form of 1 Enoch in


that it is clear that at Qumran the Enoch traditions did not exist in the
pentateuchal form known to us from the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. Milik
argued on the evidence of the Aramaic fragments that at Qumran the
Enochic writings circulated in two volumes, an Astronomical Book and
a tetralogy consisting of the Book of Watchers, the Book of Giants,30 the
Book of Dreams, and the Epistle of Enoch.31 It appears that 4QEna and b
contained only the Book of Watchers, and that 4QEng contained only the
Epistle—although this latter view has recently been questioned by Nick-
elsburg.32 Similarly, although there is no clear evidence as to whether the
Book of Dreams circulated independently of the other parts of the Eno-
chic corpus at Qumran, manuscripts such as 4QEnGiantsb contained
only the Book of Giants, which circulated at Qumran independently

30
For the Book of Giants, see Milik, Books of Enoch, 298–339; Denis, Introduction,
1:96–100; Loren T. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation,
and Commentary (TSAJ 63; Tübingen: Mohr, 1997). The Book of Giants is represented
at Qumran by 1Q23, 4Q203 (4QEnGiantsa ar), 4Q530 (4QEnGiantsb ar), 4Q531
(4QEnGiantsc ar), and 6Q8, and, probably, by other manuscripts including 1Q24,
2Q26, 4Q206 2–3 (4QEnGiantsf ar = 4QEne 2–3), 4Q532 (4QEnGiantsd ar), and
4Q533 (4QEnGiantse ar, also referred to as 4Q556); cf. Milik, Books of Enoch, 309;
Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 41, 185–6. For editions of 4Q203 and 4Q206 2–3,
and for re-editions of 1Q23, 1Q24, 2Q26, and 6Q8, see Stuckenbruck in Pfann and
others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36): 8–94 + pls. I–II. For editions of 4Q530–533
and 4Q203 1, see Émile Puech, Qumrân Grotte 4. XXII: Textes Araméens, Première partie
(DJD 31; Oxford: Clarendon, 2001), 9–115 + pls. I–VI.
31
Cf. Milik, Books of Enoch, 4–7, 58, 183–84, 227, 310.
32
George W. E. Nickelsburg, “The Books of Enoch at Qumran: What We Know
and What We need to Think about,” in Antikes Judentum und Frühes Christentum: Festschrift
für Hartmut Stegemann zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. Berndt Kollmann, Wolfgang Reinbold, and
Annette Steudel; Berlin: De Gruyter, 1999), 99–113 (here 103).
66 chapter three

of the other works ascribed to Enoch.33 However, Milik argued that


4QEnc (4Q204) contained four sections—the Book of Watchers, the Book
of Giants (4Q203), the Book of Dreams, the Epistle—and formed a tetral-
og y,34 and he further argued that 4QEnd and e were also copies of the
same tetralogy.35 The Book of Giants does not form part of the Ethiopic
Book of Enoch, but the copyist of 4QEnGiantsa was the same as that of
4QEnc, and Milik observed that the quality of the skin and its state
of preservation, the arrangement of the text and its orthography were
likewise identical in the two manuscripts. He concluded:
It is thus quite certain that 4QEnGiantsa formed part of the same scroll
as that of [4Q]Enc. We have established that this scroll contained the
original text of three parts of the Ethiopic Enoch [the Book of Watchers,
the Book of Dreams, the Epistle] . . . our copy of the Book of Giants would
have come after the first part.36
Milik’s conclusion that 4QEnGiantsa was copied as part of the same
scroll as 4QEnc was accepted by García Martínez37 and originally by
Stuckenbruck.38 But in the more recently published DJD 36 Stucken-
bruck states that the evidence is not conclusive:
Since the features of 4Q204 [4QEnc] cannot simply be extended to 4Q203
[4QEnGiantsa], the codicological association of their respective fragments
should not be assumed. In any case, the status of the Book of Giants as
included among an early corpus of Enochic writings is uncertain.39
If the Book of Giants did not form part of an Enochic tetralogy at
Qumran, this does have important implications for the formation of
the present book.
Milik further argued that about 100 B.C.E. there already existed
an Aramaic Enochic Pentateuch, and that it was only “for practical

33
Cf. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 68; Florentino García Martínez, Qumran and
Apocalyptic: Studies on the Aramaic Texts from Qumran (STDJ 9; Leiden: Brill, 1992), 113.
34
Milik, Books of Enoch, 183–84.
35
Milik, Books of Enoch, 217, 227, 236–38.
36
Milik, Books of Enoch, 310.
37
García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic, 97–98 (and n. 3), 102, 113–14.
38
Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 67 (“Thus, unless further evidence to the contrary
is produced, the extant materials all point in the direction of Milik’s thesis. It is thus
likely that [the Book of Giants] was included in a manuscript which also contained the
Enochic Book of Watchers, Book of Dreams, and the so-called Epistle of Enoch”). He states
the position more cautiously on p. 25.
39
Stuckenbruck in Pfann and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36), 10; cf. already
Devorah Dimant, “The Biography of Enoch and the Books of Enoch,” VT 33 (1983):
14–29 (here, 16, n. 8).
christian adoption and transmission 67

reasons, above all because of the considerable length of the Astronomical


Book” that the Pentateuch was divided into two volumes.40 But there
is no manuscript evidence for the existence of an Aramaic Enochic
Pentateuch at Qumran, and the possibility that such a work existed is
uncertain, if not quite unlikely. What is undisputed is that the Parables
are unattested at Qumran. I have argued elsewhere that the Parables
were composed towards the end of the first century C.E.,41 but in any
case they probably date from some time within that century. It seems
likely that the Parables were composed in a Semitic language, whether
Aramaic or Hebrew,42 but it is to be assumed that the Ethiopic version
of the Parables was a translation from a Greek text.
The question that is inevitably raised is how and at what stage the
Enochic traditions acquired the Pentateuchal form known from the
Ethiopic. Despite the fact that the Gizeh codex and the Chester
Beatty-Michigan papyrus show that the different sections of 1 Enoch
circulated independently of one another in Greek, Milik argued that
the existence of more comprehensive collections, which might have
imitated his supposed Aramaic Enochic Pentateuch in two volumes, is
in no way excluded. He further argued that “at the beginning of the
fifth century there did not yet exist an Enochic Pentateuch such as we
know it through the Ethiopic translation, with the Book of Parables in
the second place. The Greek archetype of this collection goes back at
the earliest to the sixth or the seventh centuries.”43 In support of this
view Milik argues, firstly, that the presence of 1 En. 106–107 in the
Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus is evidence that this Greek text of
the Epistle was extracted from a text which contained the four Enochic
books, of Watchers, of Giants, of Dreams, and the Epistle; this argument is
based on the view that chapters 106–107 were intended as the conclu-
sion to the complete tetrateuch.44 Secondly, he argues that Syncellus
includes—immediately after a quotation of 1 En. 15:8–16:1—a pas-
sage that threatens judgment on the mountain on which the Watchers
bound themselves by an oath and on the sons of men, which Syncellus
attributes to “the first Book of Enoch concerning the Watchers,” but

40
Milik, Books of Enoch, 58, 76, 182–84; the quotation is from p. 58.
41
Michael A. Knibb, “The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review,”
NTS 25 (1978/1979): 345–59.
42
Contrast Milik, Books of Enoch, 183.
43
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76–77; the quotation is from p. 77.
44
Milik, Books of Enoch, 57, 76.
68 chapter three

Milik assumes to be from the Book of Giants, and that this shows that
around 400 C.E. Panodorus had to hand a codex in which the Book
of Giants followed on directly from the Book of Watchers. Milik further
thinks it likely that this volume also contained the Book of Dreams and
the Epistle of Enoch.45 Thirdly, he argues that a passage in Syncellus
referring to the angel Kokabiel and to the zodiacal movement of the
sun alludes to the final part of the Astronomical Book, which is missing
in the Ethiopic version but attested in 4QEnastrd, and shows that the
long recension of the Astronomical Book was known to Panodorus.46 Milik
finds this view confirmed by his identification of P. Oxy. 2069, fr. 3,47
with the Astronomical Book in its long recension. In Milik’s view it was
only after the fourth century that the Book of Giants was rejected from
the Christian Enochic corpus, perhaps because of its popularity with
the Manichaeans, and replaced by the Parables. It was probably at the
same time that a resumé of the Astronomical Book was included as the
third part of the Pentateuch.48 The Ethiopic translation will then have
been no earlier than the sixth century.49
George Nickelsburg, both in his Jewish Literature Between the Bible and
the Mishnah and in a Seminar Paper given at the SBL meeting in 1999,
offers a much more succinct account of the formation of the Penta-
teuch known from the Ethiopic translation, an account which he states
takes its starting point from the codicological evidence for the Enochic
corpus at Qumran. He observes that the account of Enoch’s journeys
in chapters 33–36 presents a very brief summary of the contents of
the astronomical chapters (chapters 72–82), and that 33:3–4 even gives
a paraphrase of the superscription of the Astronomical Book (72:1). He
suggests that an earlier form of the Enochic corpus alluded in 33:3–4
to the “Book of Luminaries,” which existed on separate manuscripts
as at Qumran. At a second stage a scribe copied such a manuscript
of chapters 1–36 + 83ff. and interpolated the “Book of Luminaries”

45
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76–77, 318–320 (which includes the text and an English
translation of the passage). For the text, see also Alden A. Mosshammer, Georgii Syncelli
Ecloga Chronongrapica (Bibliotheca Teubneriana; Leipzig: Teubner, 1984), 26–27.
46
Milik, Books of Enoch, 20, 77, 274, 296–7, 319 (which includes the text and an
English translation of the passage). For the text, see also Mosshammer, Georgii Syncelli
Ecloga Chronongrapica, 32–33.
47
Milik identifies fr. 3v with 77:7–78:1 and fr. 3r with 78:8 (Books of Enoch, 19, 75,
77, 293); cf. Milik, “Fragments grecs du livre d’Hénoch (P. Oxy. XVII 2069),” Chronique
d’Égypte 46 (1971): 321–43 (here 333, 343).
48
Milik, Books of Enoch, 58, 183.
49
Milik, Books of Enoch, 88.
christian adoption and transmission 69

immediately after the summary and allusion to it in chapters 33–36.50


Finally, a later scribe interpolated the Parables between chapters 36 and
72—appropriately, in his view, because the Parables are partly modeled
on chapters 1–36, but also contain astronomical material.51
These observations are supplemented by comments in an article in
the Stegemann Festschrift in which Nickelsburg restates his view that
the Dream Visions and the Epistle of Enoch were attached to the Book of
Watchers by a narrative bridge consisting of 81:1–82:4 before the Dream
Visions and chapter 91 after them. He also suggests that there are lit-
erary-critical grounds for thinking that 94:6–104:8 did not form part
of the original Epistle (these chapters are not attested by any Qumran
manuscript). He concludes that 4QEnc, d, e and g indicate that a form of
the Enochic corpus containing the Book of Watchers, the Dream Visions,
and the early chapters of what we know as the Epistle existed at Qumran
throughout the first century B.C.E.52
Nickelsburg’s explanation is certainly plausible as far as it goes, but
it leaves a number of questions unanswered. First, Nickelsburg does
not make clear his view on the relevance, or otherwise, of the Book of
Giants to this issue. If the Book of Giants did occur as the second ele-
ment in an Enochic tetralogy, then its subsequent exclusion needs to
be accounted for. If, on the other hand, it never formed part of such a
tetralogy, and we should think of an initial corpus with three parts, then
it would certainly make the genesis of the present pentateuch easier to
explain—and indeed make some form of his theory quite likely. The
inclusion of the Astronomical Book within this three-part corpus may be
understood in terms of a wish to claim for Enoch the role of discover-
ing astronomical knowledge (cf. Pseudo-Eupolemus). This is, however,
linked to a second issue, namely the fact that Nickelsburg does not make
clear his view as to the precise stage at which first the astronomical
material, and then the Parables, were inserted in the Enochic corpus to
form the book known from the Ethiopic.

50
For the appropriateness of this placing, cf. Dimant, “The Biography of Enoch
and the Books of Enoch,” 25.
51
Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature Between the Bible and the Mishnah: A Historical and Liter-
ary Introduction (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), 150–51; “‘Enoch’ as Scientist, Sage, and
Prophet: Content, Function, and Authorship in 1 Enoch,” in Society of Biblical Literature,
Seminar Papers 1999 (SBLSP 38; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999), 203–30
(here 208–9).
52
Nickelsburg, “The Books of Enoch at Qumran,” 100–4.
70 chapter three

Milik has offered quite precise answers to these questions, but it


must be doubted whether his answers are satisfactory. First, even if we
assume the existence of an Enochic tetralogy at Qumran, the evidence
he adduces provides an inadequate basis for the assertion that there
existed in Greek, as late as the time of Panodorus, a two-volume edition
of the Enochic corpus comparable to that of the two-volume Enochic
corpus known in Aramaic at Qumran.53 Thus the fact that chapters
106–107 are attached to the text of the Epistle in the Chester Beatty-
Michigan papyrus is hardly adequate evidence for the view that this
Greek text was copied from a manuscript that included all four parts
of the supposed tetralogy. Equally it is not clear that the quotation
in Syncellus that is attributed to “the first Book of Enoch concerning
the Watchers,” but is assumed by Milik to be from the Book of Giants,
really is from the Book of Giants. But even if it is, it does not prove that
much because the quotations from Enoch in Syncellus were contami-
nated by other traditions, as witness the incorporation of Jub. 7:22 in
the quotation of 1 En. 7:2. Finally, the brief and obscure passage in
Syncellus referring to Kokabiel and to the zodiacal movement of the
sun is quite inadequate evidence for the existence in Greek of the long
recension of the Astronomical Book, while P. Oxy. 2069, fr. 3, even if its
text does come from the Astronomical Book—which, in view of its small
size, is far from certain—is not evidence for the existence in Greek of
that book in its long recension because it would not attest the existence of
the synchronistic calendar (chapters 72–75), where the major difference
between the (long) Aramaic and the (abbreviated) Ethiopic occurs.
Secondly, it seems very unlikely that the Greek archetype of the
Enochic Pentateuch known from the Ethiopic goes back at the earliest
to the sixth or the seventh centuries and is to be attributed to Chris-
tians. Milik’s view in this respect is linked to his view, which has been
widely rejected, that the Parables are a Christian composition from the
end of the third century. But, notwithstanding the points made at the
beginning of this article, it is very hard to explain the absence of any
explicit Christological references in the Parables if they really are Chris-
tian, and here the contrast with the Christian Testaments of the Twelve
Patriarchs is very instructive.54 But if even the Parables cannot be shown

53
So Milik, Books of Enoch, 57, 76; see above, 67–68.
54
See, for example, such passages as T. Levi 4:1, 4; 16:3; 18:6–7; T. Judah 24:1–2;
T. Joseph 19:3–4.
christian adoption and transmission 71

to be Christian, it seems unlikely that the composition of the archetype


of the Enochic Pentateuch as a whole, as it is known from the Ethiopic,
is to be attributed to Christians, and it seems much more likely that
Jews were responsible for the creation of this archetype. It is a plausible
assumption—but not more than this—that the archetype was formed
at the Greek stage in the transmission of the Enoch traditions.55
Nickelsburg is right in his view that the Parables represent in part a
development of the traditions that occur in the Book of Watchers, and
that the placement of the Parables immediately after the Book of Watchers
is thus appropriate. There is also something to be said for the view that
the inclusion of the Parables at this point in the book represents the final
stage in its formation (see below), apart that is from the possible inclusion
of Christian elements. But beyond this we can only speculate about the
stages by which the present Pentateuch was formed in detail.
However, the book, as it exists in the Ethiopic, does have a coherent
shape,56 and it is important to recognise this. It begins with a narrative
concerning Enoch’s involvement in events that occurred in the primeval
period. This narrative leads up to an account of Enoch’s ascent (14:8,
cf. 39:3), and in effect Enoch is presented as being continuously in the
heavenly realms from the time of his ascent until he is brought back to
earth to testify to his children (81:5–10). Chapters 82–105 then function
as a testament57 consisting of vision narratives and a parenetic discourse.
The book ends with a further narrative concerning Enoch which this
time focuses on the birth of Noah and the announcement by Enoch of
the flood. Noah is introduced in 10:1–3, somewhat unexpectedly, as a
type of the righteous who will find salvation at the judgement, and the
ending of the book returns to the theme of the salvation of Noah at
the time of the flood (106:18; 107:3) as a paradigm of the judgement
and salvation that will occur at the end of days (107:1).58 The book thus
ends by alluding to the themes of judgement and salvation with which
it began in chapter 1. Chapters 70–71 provide an account of what is,

55
Cf. Matthew Black in consultation with James C. VanderKam, The Book of Enoch
or 1 Enoch: A New English Edition with Commentary and Textual Notes (SVTP 7; Leiden:
Brill, 1985), 10–11.
56
Cf. the discussion of this issue by Dimant (“The Biography of Enoch and the
Books of Enoch”).
57
Cf. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature, 150–51; Dimant, “The Biography of Enoch and
the Books of Enoch,” 18, 26.
58
Cf. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature, 51, 151.
72 chapter three

apparently, Enoch’s final ascent at the end of his life. The fact that the
account of this ascent is given at the end of the Parables, and not at
the end of the book, is perhaps evidence that the Parables were the last
major element to be included in the present Enochic Pentateuch.
There are two further points that should be made here. Firstly, while
there are many differences between the Aramaic, the Greek, and the
Ethiopic texts of the Book of Enoch, for the most part they run paral-
lel to one another and in broad terms represent the same text. But in
the first part of the Astronomical Book, the Aramaic fragments attest a
quite different text from the Ethiopic. Thus whereas there are Aramaic
fragments that correspond in general terms to chapters 76–79 and
82 of the Ethiopic, and we can feel reasonably confident about the
content, if not of the wording, of this material, there are no Aramaic
fragments that correspond to chapters 72–75 of the Ethiopic. At best
the Ethiopic provides in these chapters a confused abridgement of the
so-called ‘synchronistic calendar’ that occurred in the Aramaic and is
preserved in 4QEnastra and b.59 On the other hand, the relationship
of the synchronistic calendar to the traditions associated with Enoch
at Qumran is unclear. We cannot make statements about this part
of the Enochic corpus in its original Jewish form on the basis of the
Ethiopic text.60
Secondly, the possibility that there are Christian elements within the
Ethiopic version of 1 Enoch—beyond, that is, the presence of occasional
Christian glosses—needs to be considered, as has been suggested in
relation to 105:2a and chapter 108. Chapter 105 comes at the end of
Enoch’s admonition to his children, and the Aramaic evidence (4QEnc
5 i 21–25) showed that the material in this chapter, although absent
from the Chester Beatty-Michigan text,61 did form part of the original.
But 105:2a (“For I and my son will join ourselves with them for ever
in the paths of uprightness during their lives”) was apparently not in

59
Cf. Milik, Books of Enoch, 274–75; Black, The Book of Enoch, 10–11.
60
Contrast the use made by Nickelsburg of evidence from the Ethiopic text of
chapters 72–75 in “‘Enoch’ as Scientist, Sage, and Prophet,” 204–5.
61
The suggestion that 7Q4 2 is a fragment of the Greek version of 105:1 (cf. Puech,
“Notes sur les fragments grecs du manuscrit 7Q4 = 1 Hénoch 103 et 105,” 597–98)
is quite uncertain.
christian adoption and transmission 73

the Aramaic.62 It may well represent a Christian addition, but such a


statement is not impossible in a Jewish context.63 Chapter 108 is not
present in either the Aramaic or the Greek text, but, like 105:2a, may
be assumed to be a translation of a Greek original. Milik argues that
this is a Christian text and offers some Christian parallels to 108:11,
14–15;64 other Christian (and Jewish) parallels could also be suggested.65
The chapter offers encouragement to those concerned at the spread of
sin and the delay in the coming of the eschaton. In its description of
the fate awaiting the sinners it draws extensively on material in the Book
of Watchers. But its description of the faithful, for whom the chapter was
intended as a consolation (verses 7–10), is conceivable in both a Jewish
and a Christian context, and it is possible that neither 105:2a nor chap-
ter 108 are Christian. Be that as it may, once adopted by Christians,
it was certainly possible to read the book in Christian terms, and that
this did happen in the Ethiopian context is quite clear.

IV

There are quotations from 1 Enoch in Jude 14–15 and in a few of the
early Fathers,66 but the book at a fairly early stage passed out of circu-
lation in the church in both the East and the West. Origen noted that
the Book of Enoch is not recognised as “divine” in the church, Jerome
regarded it as belonging among the apocryphal books, Augustine
rejected the book, and the Apostolic Constitutions condemned it, along with

62
Cf. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.243. Milik (Books of Enoch, 208) states cat-
egorically that “the length of the lacuna at line 23 shows that no element of the Christian
interpolation in the first half of the verse was found in the Aramaic original.”
63
Cf. 4Q246 ii 1; Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the
Scrolls,” DSD 2 (1995): 165–84 (here 174–77). Black (The Book of Enoch, 23, 318–19)
suggests that chapter 105 should be treated as part of the oratio recta of Enoch from
the preceding chapter, in which case the reference would be to Enoch and his son;
but this seems unlikely.
64
Milik, Books of Enoch, 106–7.
65
For example, for the thrones (v. 12): Matt 19:28; Rev 4:4; Ascen. Isa. 9:10, 18;
for the shining character of the righteous (vv. 12–15): Ascen. Isa. 8:20–22. But see also
Dan 12:3; 4 Ezra 7:97, and for the anguish of the sinners as they see the fate of the
righteous (v. 15), cf. 4 Ezra 7:83.
66
For the text of these, see Denis in Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece, 10–14.
74 chapter three

other apocryphal books, as pernicious and an enemy of the truth.67 It


was, however, recognised by the Ethiopian Church as having canonical
status,68 and it is to be assumed that it was taken over by the Ethio-
pians and translated into Ethiopic, along with the other scriptures, in
the period following the adoption of Christianity as the official religion
of the Aksumite kingdom in the mid-fourth century. But, as we have
noted, the oldest manuscript of the book that we possess dates from
no earlier than the fifteenth century.69 It was in just this period that
the homiletical work Ma afa Milad (“the Book of the Nativity”) was
composed, which contains extensive extracts from 1 Enoch, particularly
the Parables, interspersed with Christian comment.70
The fourth homily of Ma afa Milad, by way of example, begins with
a discussion of the advent of Christ in relation to the quotation of
1 En. 91:12–13, 15, part of the Apocalypse of Weeks. The coming of
Christ is placed in the eighth week, and the “house” and the “great
king” of 91:13b, quoted in the form “and a house will be built for
the great king and for glory for ever,” are identified as the church
and Christ respectively.71 There then follows a quotation of 1 Enoch
46:1–51:5,72 which is introduced by the following statement: “Hear, O
Christian, Enoch the prophet was not content with the number of the
weeks of years, but reported further how he had seen the son of God
and the son of the virgin Mary.” Similar comments are interspersed
at various points in the quotation of 46:1–51:5 that follows, and then
afterwards, in a section in which passages from 46:1–4a are repeated
with comments, we find the following:
You, O Jew, tell me and explain to me what Enoch said: “And there I
saw one who had a head of days, and his head was white like wool.”
Who is this? But I say, it is the father. And when he said: “and with him
was another, whose face had the appearance of a man, and his face was

67
The relevant texts are quoted and discussed in Robert Henry Charles, The Book
of Enoch or 1 Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon, 2d ed., 1912), lxxxv, xci–xcii.
68
Cf. Roger W. Cowley, “The Biblical Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
today,” Östkirchliche Studien 23 (1974): 318–23.
69
See above, 63.
70
For the text and a German translation, see Kurt Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād (Liber
Nativitatis) und Ma afa Sellāsē (Liber Trinititatis) des Kaisers Zar a Yā qob (CSCO 221–222,
235–236, Scriptores Aethiopici 41–42, 43–44; Louvain: Secrétariat du CorpusSCO,
1962, 1963).
71
For the text and a translation, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:53–54;
CSCO 222: 47–48.
72
Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:54–58; CSCO 222:48–51.
christian adoption and transmission 75

full of grace”, this is Christ, the son of the living God and the son of
Mary in the flesh.73
One final example of this kind of Christological interpretation of the
Parables may be quoted that is of interest not only in its own right, but
also because it illustrates that not too much from a text-critical point of
view should be expected from the quotations from 1 Enoch in works like
Ma afa Milad. The latter part of the fourth homily in Ma afa Milad
includes a quotation of 1 En. 62:1–16 with comments.74 In 62:2, where
scholars have long thought that the reading of all the manuscripts “And
the Lord of Spirits sat (nabara) on the throne of his glory” ought to be
emended to “And the Lord of Spirits set him ( anbaro; sc. the Chosen
One) on the throne of his glory,” Ma afa Milad reads: “And that (or
‘the’) Chosen One, the Lord of Spirits sat (nabara) on the throne of
his glory (wanabara zeku eruy egzi a manafest diba manbara seb atihu).”75
Here it seems to me that “that Chosen One” is a gloss, and that the
passage is not somehow to be understood as meaning “The Lord of
Spirits set that Chosen One on his glorious throne.”76 Rather the text
in Ma afa Milad is to be understood in the light of the later comment
that follows the quotation of 63:11–12: “Son of man Enoch calls him,
and Lord of Spirits (or ‘a Lord of Spirits’) Enoch calls this Christ, the
son of Mary and the son of God.”77
In conclusion, 4QEnc, and probably 4QEnd and e, attest the existence
at Qumran of a collection of three writings associated with Enoch—the
Book of Watchers, the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle—but not certainly of
more than this, and we should probably do well to discount the idea of
an Enochic tetralogy. It is plausible to think that this initial three-part
collection was successively expanded by the inclusion of the Astronomi-
cal Book and then of the Parables. It may well be that this expansion is
to be attributed to Jews, and that it occurred at the Greek stage in the
transmission of the Enoch traditions, but in any case the inclusion of
the Astronomical Book and of the Parables will have significantly altered

73
Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:58; CSCO 222:51.
74
Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:59–60; CSCO 222:52–54.
75
Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:59; CSCO 222:52 (but the translation
given by Wendt is that of Georg Beer in APAT 2.271, not that of the text of Ma afa
Milād ).
76
So Siegbert Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” in JSHRZ V/6; Gütersloh:
Gerd Mohn, 1984), 613, n. 2a: “und jenen Erwählten setze der Herr der Geis-
ter . . .”.
77
Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:61; CSCO 222:54.
76 chapter three

the perspective of the book and the understanding within it of the


role of Enoch. It is, however, only in Ethiopic that the existence of an
Enochic Pentateuch is clearly attested. We cannot know precisely how
the book was interpreted when it was first translated into Ethiopic, but
it ultimately came to be read within the Ethiopic Church as referring
to Jesus Christ, son of God and son of Mary, doubly virgin.78

78
Cf. Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, CSCO 221:59; CSCO 222:52.
CHAPTER FOUR

INTERPRETING THE BOOK OF ENOCH: REFLECTIONS ON


A RECENTLY PUBLISHED COMMENTARY

The Book of Enoch is one of the most important texts of Second Temple
Judaism and has been the object of intense study since the publication
by Milik in 1976 of the Aramaic fragments of the text. But while there
have been detailed studies devoted to the text of the book and new
translations in several languages, and while there have been numerous
studies of individual parts of the text or of specific themes within it,
there has been lacking so far, certainly in English, a comprehensive and
detailed exegetical commentary on the entire work. Matthew Black’s
translation and commentary of 1985, of which a review by the present
writer was published in JSJ 17 (1986), 86–92, contains some helpful
and interesting things, but is not without problems and is disappoint-
ing on the exegetical side. In these circumstances the publication by
George Nickelsburg of the first part of his long-awaited commentary
on 1 Enoch is all the more welcome.1 It represents the fruit of some
thirty years’ work, and many of Nickelsburg’s overall views on 1 Enoch
are of course well known, at least in broad outline, from his numerous
preliminary publications on the book.
The volume is intended as a commentary on the compilation of
traditions in 4QEnc, and treatment of the Parables and the Astronomical
Book is reserved for the second volume. After some general comments
on his approach in the commentary and on the contemporary theologi-
cal significance of 1 Enoch, Nickelsburg devotes the first two sections of
his introduction to a short account of the book, and of its individual
parts, and to a survey of the textual evidence. Section 3 is concerned
with literary matters and provides on the one hand a summary of
Nickelsburg’s views on the literary genesis of 1 Enoch that resulted in the
compilation of what he regards as a testament, on the other a survey

1
George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters
1–36; 81–108 (Hermeneia; Fortress, Minneapolis, 2001).
78 chapter four

of the individual literary forms used within 1 Enoch. The worldview


and theological ideas of 1 Enoch are outlined in section 4, while in
section 5 there is a discussion of 1 Enoch in its contexts—the context
of Israelite and non-Israelite ideas, social contexts, and the context of
the history of Jewish apocalypticism. Section 6 is concerned with the
reception of the figure of Enoch and of Enochic traditions in Juda-
ism and Christianity. In section 7 there is a short account of previous
work on 1 Enoch, and in section 8, finally, a piece, one side in length,
headed “Agenda for Future Study.” The bulk of the remainder of the
book (pp. 129–560) is devoted to a translation of, and commentary on,
1 Enoch 1–36; 81–108 (in fact 82:4c–20 are not covered in this volume);
the translation is divided up into sections and sub-sections, each with
its own introduction, and interspersed within the commentary are
some twenty excursuses on topics such as “The Watchers and Holy
Ones,” “Sacred Geography in 1 Enoch 6–16,” “The Original Order
of Chapters 91–93.” A bibliography and reference and author indexes
conclude the work. The lack of a comprehensive subject index, as in
the volumes in the same series on 4 Ezra and on Daniel, is a serious
inconvenience, and it may be hoped that this will be put right in the
second volume.
It should be made clear at the outset that this commentary rep-
resents a very substantial piece of work, and all who are concerned
with 1 Enoch in any way will need to consult it. There is much within
the commentary with which all who have worked on the book would
agree, much that is well-expressed and helpful. The volume contains a
mine of information, and certainly anyone who is concerned with the
exegesis of individual passages within 1 Enoch will find much here to
aid them. Again, within the introduction, the account of the theological
ideas within the book, for example, is very helpful, notwithstanding a
tendency in places to speak too much as if the Enochic corpus were
a unity (despite explicit recognition elsewhere of the tensions between
the different sections), as is the attempt to place the formation of the
Enochic traditions within a social context. Nickelsburg characterizes
the Enochic material as divinely revealed wisdom and sees the Enochic
authors as having shared interests with scribal figures such as Ben Sira
and with the maśkîlîm, even though they may not themselves have been
called ‘scribes.’ But if much in this commentary is to be welcomed,
it does also raise some fundamental questions of approach as well
as a host of questions about points of detail. Amongst the former is
Nickelsburg’s account of the literary genesis of 1 Enoch; his characteriza-
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 79

tion of the book as a testament; and the methodology he has adopted


for his translation.

II

Nickelsburg summarizes his views on the formation of 1 Enoch on pp.


22–26, but also refers to the subject in the introductions to the sepa-
rate sections of the book (particularly on pp. 169–70, 171–72, 291–92,
334–37, 414, 421–22, 426). The starting-point of his argument is the
fact that 4QEnc contained the Book of Watchers, the Dream Visions, and
the Epistle (with the Noah story attached). Nickelsburg subscribes to
the view that 4QEnGiantsa was also copied in 4QEnc, but in practice
he ignores the Book of Giants and speaks rather of a tripartite work,
which he interprets in the light of the fuller text preserved in the Greek
and Ethiopic. His argument is further based on his recognition of the
testamentary character of chapter 91 linked with 81:1–82:4ab and
on fairly traditional literary criticism. He believes that 81:1–82:4ab
served originally to provide a link between the Book of Watchers and
the Epistle, and that 81:1–3 is the remnant of an account of a vision
that originally formed the seventh in the sequence of six that exists in
21:1–32:6. (Chapters 34–36 are regarded as possibly being secondary.)
This seventh vision in his view described how Enoch, at the end of
the journey described in 21:1–32:6, was brought to the divine throne
room where he was shown the heavenly tablets, the contents of which
he was to pass on to Methuselah. Nickelsburg argues that the contents
of 4QEnc read in the light of the Ethiopic indicate that the basic form
of 1 Enoch was structured as a testament, which maximally included:
the Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1–36 + a fuller form of 81:1–4); a narrative
describing Enoch’s return to earth (something close to 81:5–82:3); the
Dream Visions (chaps. 83–85 (sic)); a continuation of the narrative begun
in 81:5–82:4ab (chap. 91); the Epistle (chaps. 92–105); a concluding nar-
rative about the birth of Noah (chaps. 106–107).
But beyond this he suggests that the Book of Dreams, the Noah story,
the introduction (chapter 92) and body (94:6–104:9) of the Epistle, and
even the story of the Watchers (chapters 6–11) did not form part of
the original Enochic testament.
Nickelsburg is sceptical as to whether 4QEna and 4QEnb contained
only the Book of Watchers, and equally as to whether 4QEng, or at least
its archetype, began only with 91:1. But he maintains that if 4QEna and
80 chapter four

4QEnb did contain only the Book of Watchers, it was soon supplemented
to form a testament that consisted of 1–5 [+ 6–11] + 12–33 or 36 +
81:1–82:4 + 91 + at least some parts of 92–105, and that this testa-
ment can be dated to the pre-Maccabean period. It was expanded in
the period either about 175 or about 150 by the addition of the Dream
Visions (or at least of chapters 85–90) and, at some point thereafter,
by the addition of the main body of the Epistle. This document was
in turn further expanded by the addition of the Noah story (chapters
106–107) to produce the collection of traditions contained in 4QEnc,
and, on the evidence of the dates of 4QEnc and 4QEng, the process
that culminated in the formation of this collection was completed
before the turn of the era. Subsequently the book that we know from
the Ethiopic was formed by the addition of a compressed version of
the Aramaic Astronomical Book, the Parables, and chapter 108.
Impressive as the above reconstruction of the literary genesis of
1 Enoch is, it nonetheless does raise some fundamental questions that
cast doubt on its plausibility. Perhaps the most important is that it is
based on inferences drawn from a combination of evidence, the con-
stituent parts of which belong in quite different contexts: the fragments
of the Aramaic manuscripts to which we can assign fairly firm dates in
the late Second Temple period; the Greek version, of which only part
has survived; and particularly the Ethiopic, a daughter version of the
Greek, which probably came into existence in the fifth or sixth century,
but is only known to us in the form the text had acquired by the fif-
teenth century. It is evident that the Ethiopic Book of Enoch represents a
recasting of what existed at the Aramaic stage, and the Ethiopic has to
be used with a considerable degree of caution in drawing conclusions
about the development of the Aramaic corpus.
The Aramaic evidence provides in 4QEna and 4QEnc two fairly
fixed points in the history of the formation of the Enochic corpus.
The fragments of the former cover only chapters 1–12 (or possibly
1–13, if fragment 6 does correspond to 13:8), but it is a reasonable
assumption that this manuscript did contain the whole of the Book of
Watchers, and that therefore this part of 1 Enoch was in existence by
the early second century B.C.E. However, neither this nor any other
manuscript attests a text that included in addition 81:1–82:4; 91; and
parts of 92–105. On the other hand, the fragments of 4QEnc attest
the collection together by the turn of the era of the Book of Watchers,
the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle, but not of the inclusion between the
first two of these of some form of 81:1–4 + 81:5–82:4ab—and nor
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 81

does any other Aramaic manuscript. It is certainly true that 81:1–82:4ab


stands out in its context in the Astronomical Book, but Charles’s view
that it came from the editor of the complete Enoch is as likely as that
it has been imported from elsewhere in an earlier form of the book.
Because of its fragmentary state, our knowledge of 4QEnc is limited,
but Nickelsburg does not consider the possibility that it consisted of a
loose collection of Enochic texts, in which there were no redactional
links to bind the different texts together.
The Ethiopic version marks the end of the development and expan-
sion of the text, but it is unlikely that the editorial process that produced
the fivefold form of the text with which we are familiar occurred at
this stage; rather the Ethiopic was a translation of a Greek text that
had already acquired this form. We do not know in any detail when or
how this process occurred, but it has to have been after the composi-
tion of the latest elements in the book, the Parables and chapter 108.
Nickelsburg’s view that the Astronomical Book, the Parables, and chapter
108 were successively inserted in (or added to) a collection such as we
know from 4QEnc makes good sense, but beyond that our knowledge is
limited. Comparison of the fragments of the Aramaic Astronomical Book
with the Ethiopic shows that major changes were made at the editorial
stage, but many anomalies and inconsistencies remain that we are not
in a position to explain, as, for example, in the present instance the
placing of 70–71 (apparently an account of Enoch’s final translation
to heaven) before 81:1–82:4 (Enoch is brought down to earth to teach
his sons); within the latter the ‘literary puzzle’ (so Nickelsburg) of 82:1,
which begins in medias res without any account of the summoning of
Methuselah; the fact that 81:1–82:4 is not placed right at the end of
the Astronomical Book and immediately before the Book of Dreams. We
perhaps need to recognize the limits of our ability to explain the for-
mation and development of the book.
Nickelsburg characterizes both his original compilation (1–5 [+ 6–11]
+ 12–33 or 36 + 81:1–82:4 + 91 + parts of 92–105) and the compila-
tion represented by 4QEnc as testaments. Testaments and apocalypses
are related genres, and the one frequently overlaps into the other, but
the Book of Watchers is now commonly regarded as the earliest example
of an apocalypse—and the book as a whole as a prime example of
the apocalyptic genre—and it may be wondered whether the change
of perspective implied by the term “testament” is appropriate for
1 Enoch at any stage of its development. It is certainly the case that in
the Ethiopic Book of Enoch the final part of the book has a testamentary
82 chapter four

character, and this is reinforced by 81:1–82:4—but we have seen the


uncertainty concerning the origin of 81:1–82:4. In any event the tes-
tamentary character of the final part of the book does not alter its
overall categorization. The Book of Watchers does not read like the start
of a testament, and, despite Nickelsburg’s scepticism, the evidence of
4QEna and 4QEnb, as well as of the Akhmim manuscript (wrongly listed
as a papyrus on p. xxxviii), is certainly suggestive of the view that the
Book of Watchers had an independent existence before its inclusion in
the corpus represented by 4QEnc. As to the latter, if the Epistle as well
did at one stage have an independent existence—as the evidence of
4QEng and of the Chester Beatty-Michigan papyrus suggests, then the
view that the texts gathered together in 4QEnc are to be understood as
a testament, and not rather as a loose collection of Enochic writings,
is considerably weakened. Nickelsburg himself notes the “apocalyptic
character” of Enoch’s words in chapters 92–105, and it is this descrip-
tion that best fits what we know of the contents of 4QEnc.

III

Nickelsburg states that his aim in his translation has been to translate
what he considers to be the oldest form of the text at any given point,
and accordingly his translation is based, where more than the Ethiopic
exists, on a text reconstructed from the Greek and Ethiopic, and some-
times from the Aramaic. He is aware of the risk of subjectivity inherent
in this procedure and of the danger of creating a text that never existed
as such. But he believes that his procedure is likely to bring us “closer
to the original than would be possible through a straight translation
of the Ethiopic alone,” and he argues that in a critical commentary
the risk has to be taken because he sees it as his task to interpret “the
earliest recoverable form of the text in any given passage.” Thus he
translates the Greek where it is extant and is the same as, or superior
to, the Ethiopic, but otherwise the Ethiopic; he has avoided replacing
the extant versions with partial Aramaic readings or reconstructions,
but he has introduced some Aramaic readings into his translation.
There is no simple solution to the problem of what text to use as the
basis of an exegetical commentary on a work like 1 Enoch where the
textual evidence is so varied in extent and in age. Nickelsburg’s aim to
interpret the earliest recoverable form of the text seems at first sight
obviously correct, but there are problems of both principle and practice.
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 83

The Aramaic, the Greek, and the Ethiopic are not on the same level.
The original Aramaic text of Enoch—assuming we knew what that
meant—was not the same thing as the original Greek text or the origi-
nal Ethiopic text, even if we may assume the Greek and the Ethiopic
represented broadly the same text. Equally the earliest recoverable form
of the Aramaic Enochic writings is not the same thing as the earliest
recoverable form of the Greek and the Ethiopic, and the introduction
of Aramaic readings into a translation of a combination of the Greek
and the Ethiopic (e.g. in 14:1–2 or in the Apocalypse of Weeks) gives a
misleading impression. In practice the fact that the translation is based
on a combination of evidence, and that not infrequently corrections or
emendations are introduced, means that the reader will need to pay
close attention to what it is that is being translated at any given point.
It may be wondered whether it would not have been more helpful, in
the sections for which more than one textual witness is extant, to have
given translations of the Greek and the Ethiopic in parallel, to have
translated the Aramaic separately where sufficient survives to justify it,
but to treat the Aramaic primarily in the notes.
It should also be said that the translation and the textual notes are
not flawless, and there are omissions and mistakes in both—quite
apart from cases where the judgment made seems questionable, if not
implausible. The following examples are based on soundings made in
different parts of the book.

1:2b. The Greek Ενωχ ανθρωπος δικαοις εστιν ορασις εκ θεου αυτω
ανεωγµενη ην is probably to be translated “Enoch, a righteous man, to
whom a vision was disclosed by God.” It is emended by Nickelsburg,
supposedly on the basis of the Ethiopic, to read Ἑνὼχ ἄνθρωπος δίκαιος
ὅστις ἐκ θεοῦ ὅρασις αὐτου ἀνεῳγµένη and translated “Enoch, a right-
eous man, whose eyes were opened by God.” (It is further assumed that
ην is not part of the verb, but is the relative misplaced from later in the
verse.) Nickelsburg’s translation is no doubt much closer to what was in
the original, but his treatment of the Greek is hardly satisfactory. There
are problems in retroverting Ethiopic into Greek that Nickelsburg does
not address in his commentary, and in this case the Ethiopic does not
provide justification for his reconstructed text. Equally the translation
of ὅρασις as ‘eyes’ would be very odd in such a context, and the word
is much more likely to be simply a mistake.
84 chapter four

1:9 (note a). Nickelsburg suggests that Ethiopic wanāhu (“and behold”)
may be corrupt for zanāhu, which, he thinks, could translate ὅτι ἰδού.
(Akhmim manuscript has ὅτι, Jude ἰδού.) The corruption is, however,
unlikely from a graphical point of view, and the suggested meaning
implausible. The addition of the conjunction wa (“and”) occurs so fre-
quently in Ethiopic Bible manuscripts as hardly to merit comment, and
in fact Tana 9 and two of the quotations of this passage in Ethiopic
writings do not have the conjunction (= Jude).
(Note f ). The text of the Akhmim manuscript is quoted as καὶ περὶ
πάντων ὧν κατελάλησαν καὶ σκληρῶν ὧν ἐλάλησαν λόγων, but the
two clauses are actually in the reverse order in the manuscript.

2:1 (note c). Ethiopic does not only omit “and they appear,” but “and
they appear at their feasts.” Similarly in 14:6 (note a) the text should be
ὅτι οὐκ ἔσται, not ὅτι ἔσται, and in 14:9 (note a) the transliteration of
the Ethiopic requires the addition of barad after ba a bāna (hence ba a bāna
barad) to complete the quotation and give the meaning “hailstones.”

5:1 (note c). The suggested emendation ταῦτα (for αὐτοῦ) should rather
be τούτων, and this tends to diminish the plausibility of the proposal.
Similarly in 14:9 (note b) γλωσσης must be read as γλώσσαις to give
the translation Nickelsburg adopts.
(Note c). Nickelsburg’s translation “Contemplate all these works” is
accompanied by the comment “In the Ethiopic, wayefarreyu [translated
by him “and they flower,” although “and they bear fruit” seems more
likely] may belong to the previous verse or could represent a corrup-
tion of διανοήθητε read as διανθεῖτε.” The latter suggestion is quite
unlikely, and the verb does belong with the previous verse. It is most
naturally taken as a simplified translation of the Greek “and all their
fruit is for honour and glory” or an inner-Ethiopic corruption of a
more literal translation of this.

14:3 (notes a and b). Both Greek and Ethiopic seem to have had the
pair of verbs “created and appointed” (literally “created and gave,”
ἔκτισεν καὶ ἔδωκεν) twice, although Greek omits the second pair by
homoioteleuton. Nickelsburg translates in the first case “destined and
created,” relying on the analogy of the Aramaic in the following clause,
but in the second case “created and destined,” where 4QEnc has the
three verbs ‫חלק ועבד וברא‬. It may be wondered why, if the Aramaic
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 85

is to be followed at all, the same word order was not adopted in both
cases, and why all three verbs of the Aramaic were not taken over.

14:7 (note c). It is not the case that the Ethiopic “omits [the] first verb”
in the pair κλαίοντες καὶ δεόµενοι/‫בעין ומתחנין‬.

14:18 (note c). The description of the throne of God includes a phrase
that is obscure in both Greek and Ethiopic: και ορος χερουβιν/waqāla
kirubēn (Eth = “and the voice [or ‘the sound’] of the cherubim”). Nick-
elsburg proposes “and its <guardians> were cherubim.” He assumes on
the one hand a corruption in the Greek of an original οὖροι, on the
other a corruption of an original uqābe to waqāla through the confu-
sion of the letters b and l. But οὖρος (‘watcher, guardian’) is not listed
either in Hatch and Redpath or in the Concordance of Denis, and its use
here seems unlikely, and uqābe is φυλακή, not φύλαξ. Further, while a
confusion of the letters b and l would be plausible, the loss of the ayin
is much harder to explain. The obscurity unfortunately remains.

14:19 (note a). ‘T9’ (= Lake Tana 9) should be ‘t2’ (= correction in


Abbadianus 35).

81:7d. Nickelsburg translates “and they will trust in one another.” He


does not comment on this, although the text is commonly translated as
follows: “and shall offer congratulation to one another” (Charles), “und
sie werden sich gegenseitig Heil wünschen” (Uhlig), or “and shall wish
one another well” (Black). The Ethiopic manuscripts have a form of the
verb amm a, but Nickelsburg appears to have assumed that originally
the Ethiopic had a form of the verb amna. The original reading in the
Rylands manuscript might support Nickelsburg’s translation, but there
is no other manuscript evidence for this of which I am aware. It is not
clear that Nickelsburg’s translation represents an improvement, but in
any case it requires justification.

81:9b. Nickelsburg translates “and they will be gathered in because


of the words of the wicked,” but the text has “because of the deeds
of the wicked.”

82:3a. Nickelsburg translates “They who understand it will not sleep”


and records in the notes the variant of Abbadianus 35 “and they will
86 chapter four

not sleep, but they will understand.” He gives a transliteration of this,


but does not explain for those who do not know Ethiopic that the vari-
ant results only from a misreading of the relative lla as the adversative
conjunction allā. He also does not record that the latter reading is
supported by Lake Tana 9.
As a more general point, it may be noted that Nickelsburg has rou-
tinely given a transliteration of all the Ethiopic variants that he records,
sometimes going into considerable, and rather confusing, detail over
inner-Ethiopic variants that are not of significance. It must be wondered
whether this is actually helpful. Those who do not know Ethiopic are
unlikely in the vast majority of cases to gain anything from the trans-
literations, while those who do know Ethiopic can more conveniently
find the evidence for themselves in one of the editions of the text.

96:5a. The Ethiopic, the only witness, reads literally “Woe to you who
devour the finest of the wheat and drink the strength of the root of
the spring and trample upon the humble through your power.” For the
unintelligible second clause Nickelsburg proposes “and drink <wine
from the krater>.” He assumes a retroversion of the Ethiopic to κράτη
ῥίζης πήγης, and he suggests both a misreading in the Aramaic of ‫יין‬
as ‫ עין‬and a secondary corruption of a Greek text that contained either
κράτηρ or κρατηρίζω. ‘Strength’ is κράτος, not κράτη, but, more to
the point, the verb κρατηρίζω is listed neither in Hatch and Redpath
nor in the Concordance of Denis, and it must be doubted that this verb
would have been used here. A connection with Ezek. 34:18–19 (so
Uhlig) remains more probable even if a complete explanation has yet
to be offered.

82:4. The translation given by Nickelsburg for this verse raises differ-
ent issues, but it is appropriate to discuss it here. The text of the verse
is unproblematic and, as it stands, it serves as the introduction to the
conclusion, which is curtailed in the Ethiopic, of the Astronomical Book.
However, Nickelsburg translates:
Blessed are all the righteous, <who listen to the words of the wise>,
who walk in the path of righteousness
and do not sin as the sinners,
<For they will be saved.>
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 87

This is not what the Ethiopic has, but is a reconstruction by Nickelsburg


that is based on 99:10. Nickelsburg has reconstructed the passage in
this way in line with his theory that 81:1–82:4ab originally served as
a bridge between the Book of Watchers and the Dream Visions, and that
the nucleus of 82:4 originally served as a conclusion to 81:1–82:3. It
must be questioned whether it is appropriate to include as the transla-
tion of the text a reconstruction based on a particular theory of the
literary genesis of the book. (The same objection applies in 27:2 and
32:6, where Nickelsburg has emended the text in line with his view of
its original literary form.)
Most of what is contained in Nickelsburg’s translation and textual
notes is of course unexceptionable. But examples such as the above
could be multiplied and suggest that scholars will need to check for
themselves the accuracy of the citation of the evidence and the plau-
sibility of proposals made about the text.
As a footnote to the above, it may be noted that Nickelsburg states
(p. 21): “although only twenty-nine of the forty-five MSS. of the Ethi-
opic version cataloged by Uhlig contain all 108 chapters (so divided
by Dillmann), there is no doubt that the Ethiopic archetype contained
all of these 108 chapters.” He implies that manuscripts in which the
Ethiopic text is not divided into 108 chapters have an incomplete text.
However, the extent of the text in the manuscripts and the number of
chapters into which it was divided are two quite different things. The
division of the Ethiopic Enoch into chapters goes back to the seventeenth
or eighteenth century, and it seems that fairly early on the division into
108 chapters became traditional—it was not Dillmann who made this
division. But there is considerable variation in the assignment of the
numbers to the chapters and in the way the total of 108 is reached.
Chapters were left unnumbered (e.g. chapter 11), additional chapter
divisions were introduced, and in some manuscripts there was gross
carelessness in the assignment of the numbers. Hence the variation in
the number of chapters into which the text was divided.

IV

There are many points of detail in the introduction to the commentary


and in the body of the commentary itself on which comment might be
made, and where, in the nature of the case, other scholars might take
88 chapter four

a different view. Here, however, it must suffice in the final part of this
review to comment on one or two broad exegetical issues.
Nickelsburg subscribes to the view that the Astronomical Book is prob-
ably the oldest of the Enochic traditions, and that it has its roots in
the Persian period. This view is based on the dating of 4QEnastra to
the end of the third or to the early second century B.C.E. It is worth
emphasising that 4QEnastra contains only fragments of the synchro-
nistic calendar; this latter has no precise parallel in the Ethiopic Enoch
(the Ethiopic contains at best only a confused summary of the material
in parts of chapters 73–74), it does not mention the name of Enoch,
and it is not cast in the form of a heavenly journey (there are no
verbs of motion or of seeing). Tigchelaar and García Martínez have
rightly observed that “it cannot be ruled out that 4Q208 [4QEnastra]
contained only the synchronistic calendar” [ DJD 36, p. 95]. If this
is so, then the date of the composition of the Aramaic Astronomical
Book—and, even more, the Ethiopic Astronomical Book—becomes much
less certain. Jub. 4:17–18 is aware that Enoch “wrote down in a book
the signs of the sky” and thus attests the existence of an astronomical
book for about 150 B.C.E.; but despite the description provided, it is
not clear what exactly that book contained. On the other hand, we do
know that the synchronistic calendar must have been combined with
the other astronomical materials before the early first century C.E.,
the date of 4QEnastrb.
Nickelsburg’s treatment of the Book of Watchers is characteristic of his
treatment of other sections of 1 Enoch in that he traces the composition
of the Book of Watchers in some detail by means of traditional literary
criticism and assigns fairly precise dates and historical backgrounds to
the different stages he identifies. Thus while he thinks the narrative
concerning Shemihazah and his associates in chapters 6–11 may be
the oldest element in the Book of Watchers, he speculates that chapters
6–11 may not have been present in the first form of his Enochic
testament. He sees the Book of Watchers growing in stages through the
successive addition of material to chapters 12–16, and on p. 170 he
identifies seven stages in the composition of the Book of Watchers, which
he places between the time of the Diadochi and the early second cen-
tury B.C.E., although on p. 7 he states that that “the book [sc. of the
Watchers] as a whole was completed by the middle of the third century
B.C.E.” With regard to chapters 6–11, he not only accepts the widely
recognised distinction between the traditions concerning Shemihazah
and those concerning Asael, but believes, as others have done, that
interpreting the BOOK OF ENOCH 89

these can be assigned to distinct strata, and in fact he identifies three


strata in this material: the original composition of the Shemihazah
myth; the addition to it of material concerning angelic instruction;
the addition of the Asael material. Similarly, 13:1–2 and 16:2–4 are
identified as interpolations in chapters 12–16, and 18:1–5 and 12–16
are thought possibly to be secondary interpolations in chapters 17–19.
The historical background of the Shemihazah myth is identified as the
time of the Diadochi, chapters 12–16 are placed between 300 and 250
B.C.E., chapters 17–19 early in the second half of the third century,
and chapters 20–36 late in the third century. The emphasis in chap-
ters 12–16 on the view that the watchers had left the heavenly realm
and defiled themselves with the women is held to point to the view
that these chapters emanated from circles which viewed the Jerusalem
priesthood as defiled—a view also maintained by David Suter—but it
is further argued that these chapters constitute a tradition of northern
Galilean provenance.
Nickelsburg has, of course, presented many of these views in earlier
publications, and there is much in his analysis that is of considerable
interest and suggestive for the interpretation of the Book of Watchers. But
it must be wondered whether all the details of his literary analysis, or
his suggestions of historical background and geographical provenance,
are in the end entirely compelling. Thus with regard to Nickelsburg’s
literary analysis, seams are apparent throughout the Book of Watchers,
and it seems fairly clearly to be a text that has grown by the addition of
material, most obviously the addition of chapters 20–36 as an alterna-
tive version of the material in chapters 17–19. On the other hand, it
seems very hard to think that chapters 12–16 ever existed except as the
direct literary continuation of chapters 6–11—they do not just presup-
pose knowledge of chapters 6–11. Again, within chapters 6–11, while
it is clear that different traditions have been combined, it is not clear
that we can distinguish between different literary strata. In particular
the suggestion that seven stages are to be identified in the composition
of the Book of Watchers seems implausible. 4QEna and 4QEnb so far
as they extend, attest broadly the same text that we know from the
Greek and Ethiopic texts, and the same is true of the other Aramaic
manuscripts of the Book of Watchers. Despite the obvious seams, the book
as we have it has an internal coherence, and the focus of interpreta-
tion should perhaps be on this. Similar comments might be made in
regard to Nickelsburg’s commentary on other sections of 1 Enoch, for
example the Epistle.
90 chapter four

Nickelsburg’s suggestion that the Shemihazah myth contains veiled


criticism of the Diadochi, and chapters 12–16 of the Jerusalem priest-
hood, is certainly plausible, but neither the myth nor chapters 12–16
should be interpreted solely in relation to the suggested background.
The criticism is disguised, particularly in the case of the criticism of
the priesthood, and the material clearly was capable of being applied
in a variety of situations within the Hellenistic period. Less convincing,
however, is the suggestion concerning the geographical provenance of
chapters 12–16. The reference to Hermon (6:6) and “the precise and
correct location of the sites of Dan and Abel-Main” (Nickelsburg,
p. 231, cf. p. 239; see 13:7, 9), as well as evidence of long-standing
religious activity in the area, is held to indicate firsthand knowledge of
the area and leads Nickelsburg to suggest that chapters 12–16 “consti-
tute a tradition of northern Galilean provenance that in turn reflects
visionary activity in the area of Dan and Hermon.” On p. 65 he also
raises the possibility that chapters 6–16 as a whole were composed in
Galilee. (In an Excursus entitled “Sacred Geography in 1 Enoch 6–16”
Nickelsburg summarizes the evidence for religious activity, including
Jewish revelatory activity, on Hermon and in its environs and includes
photographs of sites in the area and of inscriptions found there.) But
“precise and correct location” is perhaps an exaggeration, and references
to sites in the north are not in themselves evidence that the tradition
emanates from the north. Nickelsburg himself refers to the play on
words present in the references to Hermon, Dan, and Abel-Main, and
this clearly was an important factor in the mention of them. It is not
totally clear whether Nickelsburg envisages that the traditions contained
in chapters 12–16 emanate from Upper Galilee, or chapters (6)12–16
themselves were composed there, and neither theory can be absolutely
excluded. But the Book of Watchers contains traditions of diverse origin,
including traditions of Mesopotamian origin, and there is no particular
reason to dissociate composition of any part of the Book of Watchers
from Judaea.
In conclusion, notwithstanding some of the comments made above,
the reviewer would wish to reiterate his view that this commentary
represents a very substantial contribution to our understanding of
1 Enoch, which no scholar concerned with any aspect of the book can
afford to ignore. It is to be hoped that the publication of volume 2 will
not be too long delayed.
CHAPTER FIVE

THE BOOK OF ENOCH IN THE LIGHT OF THE QUMRAN


WISDOM LITERATURE

The Book of Watchers is now regarded as the earliest apocalypse that we


possess, and the Book of Enoch as a whole as a prime example of the
apocalyptic genre, a major source for our understanding of apocalyp-
ticism. The apocalyptic genre is, of course, traditionally regarded as
representing a continuation of prophecy, and the Book of Enoch does
make use of prophetic genres in a variety of ways. It is also of inter-
est to note that the quotation of 1:9 in Jude 14–15 is introduced by
the statement that Enoch “prophesied” about the heretics condemned
by Jude, and that in Ethiopian tradition of a much later age Enoch is
called the first of the prophets. But in the Book of Enoch itself, Enoch
is described as a scribe and a wise man, and his writings as the source
of wisdom, and although the book cannot in any sense be regarded
as a conventional wisdom book, this inevitably raises the question of
the relationship of the book to ‘wisdom’ and the wisdom literature.
Within the last decade Randall Argall and Ben Wright have attempted
to answer this question by comparing 1 Enoch with Sirach. Thus in a
recent monograph, 1 Enoch and Sirach: A Comparative Literary and Conceptual
Analysis of the Themes of Revelation, Creation and Judgment, Argall argued that
there are similarities in the way 1 Enoch and Sirach treat the themes of
revelation, creation, and judgment, and “that their respective views were
formulated, at least in part, over against one another.”1 Ben Wright has
taken views like this further and has argued that Ben Sira actively took
the side of the temple priests in polemical opposition against those, such
as the authors of the Book of Watchers, who criticized them.2 He, like

1
Randall A. Argall, 1 Enoch and Sirach: A Comparative Literary and Conceptual Analysis
of the Themes of Revelation, Creation and Judgment (SBLEJL 8; Atlanta: Scholars Press,
1995), 8.
2
Benjamin G. Wright, “‘Fear the Lord and Honour the Priest.’ Ben Sira as Defender
of the Jerusalem Priesthood,” in The Book of Ben Sira in Modern Research (ed. Pancratius
C. Beentjes; BZAW 255; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997), 189–222.
92 chapter five

Argall, has drawn attention to a number of passages in Sirach that he


believes were directly aimed at the views represented in 1 Enoch, such
as Sirach 34:1–8 or 3:21–24,
Neither seek what is too difficult for you,
nor investigate what is beyond your power.
Reflect upon what you have been commanded,
for what is hidden is not your concern.
Do not meddle in matters that are beyond you,
for more than you can understand has been shown you.
For their conceit has led many astray,
and wrong opinion has impaired their judgement (Sir 3:21–24, NRSV).
Boccacini has similarly spoken of a “bitter debate” being reflected in
Sirach against the Apocalyptic movement.3 It may be thought, however,
that this is only part of the answer.
Since the work of von Rad4 and, subsequently, of Müller,5 the
apocalyptic genre has frequently been regarded as having its roots
in mantic wisdom. In relation to the Book of Enoch, VanderKam in
particular has drawn attention to parallels between the Enochic tradi-
tions and the mantic traditions of Mesopotamia. In the light of the
widely accepted view that the figure of Enoch incorporates features
associated with Enmeduranki of Sippar, who was initiated into the
secret of the gods and was the founder of the guild of diviners (the
baru), VanderKam argued that this hardly represented an independent
development.6 However Andreas Bedenbender has argued that although
the figure of Enoch has been influenced by the traditions associated
with Enmeduranki, in the case of Enoch—just as in Daniel—there is
no clear resemblance to mantic wisdom. He claimed that VanderKam’s
analysis of the technique of the mantic sages in Babylon showed more

3
Gabriele Boccaccini, Middle Judaism: Jewish Thought, 300 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. (Min-
neapolis: Fortress, 1991), 77–125 (here 80). VanderKam’s comment, “Ben Sira mani-
fests a certain restraint about Enoch”, perhaps better reflects the relationship between
Sirach and the Book of Enoch ( James C. VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations
(Studies on Personalities of the Old Testament; Columbia, South Carolina: University
of South Carolina Press, 1995), 107).
4
Gerhard von Rad, Theologie des Alten Testaments. Vol. 2: Die Theologie der prophetischen
Überlieferungen Israels (Munich: Kaiser, 1960; 9th ed., 1987), 316–38.
5
Hans-Peter Müller, “Mantische Weisheit und Apokalyptik,” in Congress Volume,
Uppsala 1971 (ed. Pieter A. H. de Boer; VTSup 22; Leiden: Brill, 1972), 268–93.
6
James C. VanderKam, Enoch and the Growth of an Apocalyptic Tradition (CBQMS
16; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1995), 6–8, 52–75
(here 70).
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 93

differences than common features with Jewish apocalypticism, and he


played down any connection between Babylonian mantic texts and
the Jewish apocalyptic texts.7 It is certainly right that the connection
between mantic wisdom and apocalypticism should not be overstated,
and it is true that Enoch himself does not function as a mantic. But
Bedenbender perhaps fails to take sufficient account of the fact that von
Rad’s concern was with the traditio-historical background of apocalyptic,
and from that perspective it seems clear that mantic wisdom lies in
the background of both Daniel and 1 Enoch. At the end of his paper
Bedenbender expressed his support for the term ‘revealed wisdom’,
earlier proposed by Argall,8 as a better designation than ‘mantic wisdom’
both for Enochic wisdom and for Jewish apocalypticism in general. In
his recently published commentary, George Nickelsburg has similarly
described 1 Enoch as embodying “divinely revealed wisdom about the
workings of the cosmos and the course and end of history”,9 and this
is certainly a helpful way of categorizing the book. But the difference
between 1 Enoch and the wisdom writings familiar from the Hebrew
Bible and the Apocrypha nonetheless remains.
The question of the relationship between Enochic wisdom and Jewish
wisdom in general, between the book and the Jewish wisdom literature,
has been put in a new perspective by the publication, in its entirety, of
the Qumran wisdom literature. There are a number of texts within this
corpus—I think particularly of 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction—that
would seem to have direct relevance to the categorization of Enochic
wisdom as “divinely revealed wisdom”, but though mentioned by
Nickelsburg in his commentary, they were perhaps not exploited by
him as much as they might have been. My intention in what follows is
the fairly simple one of considering the relevance of this material for
our understanding of the Book of Enoch. I propose, firstly, to summarise
briefly the evidence, within 1 Enoch and in other texts, for the descrip-
tion of him as a scribe or wise man, and of his writings as a source of
wisdom; secondly, to examine the kind of contribution the Qumran

7
Andreas Bedenbender, “Jewish Apocalypticism: A Child of Mantic Wisdom?,”
Henoch 24 (2002): 189–196.
8
Argall, 1 Enoch and Sirach, 251.
9
George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters
1–36; 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 6 (similar comments appear
throughout the commentary).
94 chapter five

wisdom literature might make to our understanding of Enoch;10 and,


thirdly, to consider some of the wisdom aspects of the Book of Enoch.

II

We should no doubt be cautious in making any simple transference


between the formal titles given to Enoch and what is said of his role, on
the one hand, and the real situation of the authors of the book, on the
other, but nonetheless it is hard to believe that there is no connection
between the two.11 The only title given to Enoch is “scribe”, but this
does fit the character of the book. Thus Enoch is described as “scribe
of righteousness” (ὁ γραµµατεὺς τῆς δικαιοσύνης, 12:4) or “scribe of
truth” (γραµµατεὺς τῆς ἀληθείας, 15:1)—in both cases rendered in Ethi-
opic as “scribe of righteousness” (Éa˜afe Éedeq), and it has been thought
that this designation goes back to an Aramaic original ‫ספר קושטא‬.
In the Book of Giants Enoch is several times given the related title
‫ספר פרשא‬, (4Q203 8 4; 4Q206 2 2;12 4Q530 2 ii + 6 + 7 i + 8–12(?)
14),13 perhaps best translated with Puech as “scribe of discernment”.14
He is also described as “the wisest of men” (‫ח[כים אנושא‬, 4QEng 1 ii
23)15 in the heading, of which only a small part has survived in Aramaic,
in 1 En. 92:1. The Ethiopic has a paraphrastic text and the manuscript
evidence is unclear, but it appears that in the original Ethiopic text here
again he was called “scribe”.
In a similar way a number of headings in the Book of Enoch use wis-
dom terminology to describe the revelation given by Enoch, although
with some differences from the wisdom writings. In chapter 37 Enoch
describes the Parables that follow as a “vision of wisdom” and as “words
of wisdom” (vv. 1–2). The call to attention in v. 2 is reminiscent of

10
See now also Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QInstruction and the Possible Influences
of Early Enochic Traditions: An Evaluation,” in The Wisdom Texts from Qumran and the
Development of Sapiential Thought (ed. Charlotte Hempel, Armin Lange and Hermann
Lichtenberger; BETL 159; Leuven: Peeters), 245–61.
11
Cf. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 65–67.
12
Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QEnochGiantsa ar,” in Stephen J. Pfann and others, Qumran
Cave 4.XXVI. Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea, Part 1 (DJD 36; Oxford: Clarendon, 2000),
28, 44.
13
Émile Puech, Qumrân Grotte 4.XXII. Textes araméens, Première partie 4Q529–549 (DJD
31; Oxford: Clarendon, 2001), 28.
14
Puech, Qumrân Grotte 4.XXII (DJD 31), 35.
15
Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1976), 260.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 95

the frequent calls to attention that occur in wisdom literature (e.g. Prov
1:8; 4:1; Sir 6:23), but is addressed to the “men of old” and the “men
of latter days”, not the wisdom teacher’s son. Again the phrase “the
beginning of wisdom” in v. 3 is familiar from the wisdom literature, but
is used here in reference to Enoch’s words, not the attitude expressed
in the phrase “the fear of the Lord” (see e.g. Prov 9:10; Sir 1:14).
Finally Enoch states that no one before him had been given wisdom
comparable to that which he had received from the Lord of Spirits
(v. 4). In 82:2–3, in a testamentary context between the Astronomical Book
and the Book of Dreams, Enoch tells Methuselah that he has given him
and his children wisdom to pass on to future generations, and in v. 3
he describes this wisdom in words whose imagery may be compared
with that of Sir 24:20–21:
And those who understand it will not sleep, but will incline their ears that
they may learn this wisdom, and it will be better for those who eat (from it)
than good food (1 En. 82:3).
For the memory of me is sweeter than honey,
And the possession of me sweeter than the honeycomb.
Those who eat of me will hunger for more,
And those who drink of me will thirst for more (Sir 24:20–21, NRSV).
Reference may also be made to the heading in 92:1, already mentioned,
of which only a small part has survived in Aramaic, but enough to
recognize that in this Enoch himself is described as wise; according to
the paraphrastic Ethiopic his teaching is described as wisdom.
Writings more or less contemporary with the Book of Enoch provide
further support for the description of Enoch as a scribe, and his writ-
ing as the embodiment of wisdom. In Jub. 4:17–25, a passage that
represents perhaps the oldest stage in the reception-history of the
writings attributed to Enoch, and one that is frequently used in an
attempt to determine which sections of the Enochic corpus were in
existence by the time Jubilees was written, Enoch is described as “the
first of mankind who were born on the earth who learned (the art of )
writing, instruction, and wisdom”.16 All three are of significance within
the present context. The tradition that Enoch’s writings were a source
of wisdom reinforces the headings that occur in 1 Enoch itself and is
further reflected in 1QapGen XIX, 24–25, where, in a passage referring

16
All passages from Jubilees quoted from James C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees
(CSCO 511; Leuven: Peeters, 1989).
96 chapter five

to the visit of the Egyptian princes to Abraham, it is said, “They gave


[me many presents expecting from me] goodness, wisdom and truth. I
read in front of them the [book] of the words of Enoch.”17
Enoch’s role in teaching is explicitly mentioned in 1 En. 81:6, where
the angels bring Enoch back to earth and say to him:
For one year we will leave you with your children, until (there is) a com-
mand again,18 that you may teach your children, and write (these things)
down for them, and testify to all your children.
But this role is implicit in the testamentary situation that is reflected in
such passages as 82:1–2; 83:1; 91:1–3; 94:1.
Jubilees 4 also states that Enoch was the first who learnt the art of
writing (v. 17) and further that he was the first to write a testimony
(v. 18, cf. v. 19). Writing is consistent with his role as “scribe”. It is again
mentioned in connection with him in v. 21 (“he wrote down everything”)
and v. 23 (“he is there (sc. in the garden of Eden) writing down the
judgment and condemnation of the world and all the wickedness of
mankind”). Writing is also mentioned frequently in the Book of Enoch in
relation to Enoch. His first vision is dated to the time he “learnt the art
of writing” (83:2; in contrast in 69:9 it is said that the angel Penemu’e
taught men the art of writing). Enoch writes out the petition of the
watchers (13:4, 6), but is also said to have written down what he had
been shown (74:2; 82:1) and to have written down his prayer (83:10).
Books or writings are attributed to Enoch in 14:1; 92:1; 108:1. The
description of Enoch as one who wrote and testified occurs elsewhere
in 4QPseudo-Jubileesc 1 3–4, in a passage referring to Enoch:
[. . . of the ea]rth, among the sons of men, and he testified against them all
[ ] and also against the Watchers and he wrote everything.19
However, alongside the attribution of the title “scribe” to Enoch, and
the description of him and his writings in wisdom terms, there has to
be set the depiction of him as a seer, and it is worth noting that “to
see” is one of the most frequently used verbs in the Ethiopic Book of

17
Translation from Florentino García Martínez and Eigbert J. C. Tigchelaar, The
Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1997, 1998), 1.41.
18
So British Library Orient. 485 EMML 1768. Other manuscripts representative
of the older type of text have a similar reading.
19
Translation from García Martínez and Tigchelaar, Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition,
1.483.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 97

Enoch. The Book of Watchers describes his ascent to the presence of God
(chapter 14), and in the further elaboration of this vision he not only is
shown the place where God will descend for judgment, and the places
where the wicked will be punished and the righteous enjoy eternal bliss,
but also is conducted on a journey around the cosmos and sees every-
thing. The Parables likewise describe Enoch’s ascent to heaven (39:3),
where, in a series of tableaux, he sees the judgement of the Son of
Man being played out before him. In the Astronomical Book, according
to the Ethiopic, he sees astronomical and cosmological phenomena,
including the laws of the sun and the moon. Similarly in the Book of
Dreams Enoch is depicted as seeing visions. According to Jub. 4:17–25,
Enoch not only “wrote down in a book the signs of the sky” for the
benefit of mankind, but also “saw in a vision what has happened and
what will occur”, and, while with the angels for six jubilees of years,
was shown “everything on earth and in the heavens”.
The picture that thus emerges of Enoch, both from 1 Enoch and
from writings belonging to the wider circle of Enochic writings, is of
Enoch as a learned man, a scribe, an individual known for his wisdom
and knowledge—but also as an individual who experienced an ascent
to the presence of God, was conducted around the cosmos, and saw
everything, and whose knowledge not only related to the themes of
judgment and salvation, but also covered cosmological and astronomical
matters. And it remains the case that, notwithstanding the description
of Enoch as a scribe, the Book of Enoch is quite different in character
from the books that have traditionally been regarded as belonging to
the wisdom category.

III

The question of the relationship of the Book of Enoch, and of the apoca-
lypses in general, to the wisdom literature has, however, been put in a
new perspective by the publication, primarily in DJD 20 and 34, of the
entire corpus of wisdom writings from Qumran. These writings have
not only shown that Jewish wisdom literature of the Second Temple
period was much more variegated than might have been suspected from
the wisdom writings of the Hebrew Bible and the Apocrypha, but also,
as largely pre-sectarian in origin, provided evidence of the pre-history
of beliefs that appear in sectarian form in texts such as the passage on
the Two Spirits in the Rule of the Community. Helpful surveys of the
98 chapter five

corpus have been provided by Daniel Harrington20 and John Collins.21


Here my intention is to focus on only two of these writings, 4QMyster-
ies (1Q27, 4Q299–300)22 and 4QInstruction (1Q26, 4Q415ff.),23 which
have been seen to have particular relevance to the apocalyptic literature,
and to concentrate on the themes of revelation and the content of the
revelation. Amongst the numerous publications on these two writings,
reference should be made not only to the DJD editions, but also to the
studies of Elgvin24 and Lange.25
4QMysteries and 4QInstruction are not apocalyptic writings, and
their relevance to the Book of Enoch lies primarily in the theological ideas
that undergird the wisdom teaching they contain. Within 4QMysteries,
it is perhaps what is said in relation to the concept of revelation that is
of greatest interest, and a number of passages bear on this topic. In one
of these, which is represented by 4Q300 la ii–b and 4Q299 3c26 and has
significant parallels in the Book of Daniel, the magicians (‫החר[טמים‬,
cf. Dan 1:20; 2:2) are challenged to tell in advance the hidden meaning
of the parable to show whether they have understood “the signs of the
heav[ens”, but it is made clear that they cannot do this. The vision is
sealed up from them ‫חתום מכם] ח[תם החזון‬, cf. Dan 9:24), and even
if they did open it, it would be kept secret from them. The reason for
this is because they “have not considered the eternal mysteries (‫”)רזי עד‬
and “have not come to understand wisdom (‫ובבינה לא השכלתם‬,
cf. Dan 9:22)”, and because they “have not considered the root of
wisdom (‫”)שורש חוכמה‬. The links with Daniel, particularly 9:22–24,
suggest that what is at issue here is the true meaning of prophecy (“the

20
Daniel J. Harrington, Wisdom Texts from Qumran (The Literature of the Dead Sea
Scrolls; London: Routledge, 1996).
21
John J. Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age (Louisville, Ken.: Westminster
John Knox, 1997), 112–31.
22
Józef T. Milik, “Livre des Mystères,” in Dominique Barthélemy and Józef T.
Milik, Qumran Cave 1 (DJD 1; Oxford: Clarendon, 1955), 102–107; Lawrence Schiff-
man, “Mysteries,” in Torleif Elgvin and others, Qumran Cave 4.XV: Sapiential Texts, Part
1 (DJD 20; Oxford: Clarendon, 1997), 31–123.
23
Józef T. Milik, “Un Apocryphe,” in Qumran Cave 1 (DJD 1), 101–102; John Strugnell
and Daniel J. Harrington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV: Sapiential Texts, Part 2, 4QInstruction (Mûsar
LeMevîn: 4Q415ff.) (DJD 34; Oxford: Clarendon, 1999).
24
Torleif Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come: Early Essene Theology of Revelation,”
in Qumran Between the Old and New Testaments (ed. Frederick H. Cryer and Thomas L.
Thompson; JSOTSup 290; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 113–50.
25
Armin Lange, Weisheit und Prädestination. Weisheitliche Urordnung und Prädestination in
den Textfunden von Qumran (STDJ 18; Leiden: Brill, 1995).
26
For the texts, see Schiffman, in Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 43–44, 100–103.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 99

vision”), as Schiffman indicates,27 and that those addressed are being


accused of having no understanding of this. But it is also of interest
here that the vision is linked with the concept of the eternal mysteries
and with wisdom. In contrast to the true wisdom, the wisdom of the
magicians is useless.
The concepts of wisdom and of mystery also appear in a key pas-
sage that has survived in fragmentary form in 1Q27 1 i, 4Q299 1,
and 4Q300 3.28 According to this passage, man was given wisdom in
order that he might understand the difference between good and evil,
but despite this, men failed to understand the ‫רז נהיה‬, “the mystery
of that which was coming into being”,29 or “the mystery that is to
come”,30 or “the mystery of existence”31—to mention only three of
the possible translations that have been offered. The words immediately
following (“the former things (‫ )קדמוניות‬they did not consider, nor did
they know what shall befall them (‫)מה אשר יבוא ﬠליהם‬, and they did
not save their lives from the ‫ )”רז נהיה‬give some indication of what
the author understood by the ‫רז נהיה‬, namely understanding of both
past and future—the contrast calls to mind Isa 41:22. The passage goes
on to describe the sign that the end was imminent, and to describe
the judgment itself, and thus makes clear that knowledge concerning
the end is included in the ‫רז נהיה‬. The theme of the final judgement
recurs in a number of other fragments (e.g. 4Q299 53, 55, 56, 59), all
unfortunately too small for much to be made of them.
In another passage related to the above (4Q299 3a ii–b, 4Q300
5(?)),32 a contrast is drawn between the wisdom of the wicked, which
is used only for evil purposes, and the knowledge of the creator. God
is presented as the one who knows every mystery and predestines
everything. The mysteries of creation form the theme of two other
fragments, 4Q299 5 and 6 i–ii33 (the phrase ‫ רזי אור‬occurs in 4Q299

27
Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 102.
28
For the texts, see Milik, Qumran Cave 1 (DJD 1), 103–105; Schiffman, Qumran Cave
4.XV (DJD 20), 34–38, 105–106.
29
Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 36–37, 105.
30
Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 131–36.
31
García Martínez and Tigchelaar, Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, e.g. 2.663, 859. Cf.
Lange, Weisheit und Prädestination, 50–52, 62–63; Lange, “Wisdom and Predestination in
the Dead Sea Scrolls,” DSD 2 (1995), 340–54 (here 341–43 and n. 4): “das Geheimnis
des Werdens,” “the mystery of becoming”.
32
For the texts, see Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 41–43, 107.
33
Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 44–48.
100 chapter five

5 2), and this suggests that the theme of creation also formed part of
the ‫רז נהיה‬.
If mankind in general has failed to make use of the wisdom given to
it by God, and if the wisdom of the magicians is of no use, nonetheless,
according to 4Q299 8,34 wisdom is still available to some, described
as “those whose pursue knowledge” whose ear God has opened. The
author contrasts the position of mankind without understanding with
that of the group that he represents. Only part of the text survives,
but enough is preserved to indicate that this was part of God’s prede-
termined plan:
] he distributed their insight [
]
]
] And how can a ma[n] understand who did not know and did not hear [
[under]standing he formed for . . .; by (his) great insight he opened our
ears so that we[
] He formed understanding for all who pursue knowledge, and [
] all insight is from eternity; it will not be changed (or He will not change)[35
Here knowledge is revealed by God, it is not the outcome of observa-
tion and experience, as in traditional wisdom. Whether, however, the
appeal to “special revelation” is evidence that 4QMysteries originated in
a sectarian milieu, as John Collins suggests seems to me doubtful.36
The use of the phrase ‫ גלה אוזן‬in 4Q299 8 6 provides an appropriate
link to 4QInstruction, where it is attested in the surviving fragments six
times37—in all cases linked with ‫רז נהיה‬. Much has been written about
this important document, and I confine myself to what is essential for
present purposes.
First, it is of importance that the document begins with a statement
(4Q416 1)38 that describes first God’s ordering of the cosmos, and
then the judgement of wickedness and the reward of the faithful. It
provides, as the editors observe, “a theological framework of cosmology

34
Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 50–51.
35
4Q299 8 2–8; translation adapted from García Martínez and Tigchelaar, Dead
Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2:661.
36
Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age, 128.
37
1Q26 1 4; 4Q416 2 iii 17–18; 4Q418 10a–b 1; 123 ii 4; 184 2; 190 2; cf. 4Q423
5 1.
38
For the text, see Strugnell and Harrington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV (DJD 34),
81–88.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 101

and judgement for the wisdom instructions that follow.”39 The theme
of eschatological judgement and reward recurs throughout the docu-
ment (cf. e.g. 4Q416 3; 4Q417 1 i 6–8, 13c–15a; 2 i 15–17a; 4Q418
69; 4Q418 126 ii).
Second, the concept of revelation is also of considerable importance
within the document. This is frequently, but not exclusively, linked to
the theme of the ‫רז נהיה‬, which is mentioned more than thirty times
in the surviving fragments. References to this theme are often intro-
duced by commands to those being addressed to “gaze upon” (‫הבט‬,
e.g. 4Q416 2 i 4–5 = 4Q417 2 i 10–11) or “study” (‫דרוש‬, e.g. 4Q416
2 iii 9) or “grasp” (‫קח‬, e.g. 4Q418 77 4) or “meditate on” (‫הגה‬, e.g.
4Q418 43–45 i 4) the ‫רז נהיה‬, and, as the editors point out,40 the pas-
sages that occur in parallel help to clarify the meaning of the phrase.
From these it is apparent that the ‫ רז נהיה‬includes knowledge of past,
present, and future (4Q418 123 ii 3–4), understanding of the present
order of the world (“the ways of truth . . . all the roots of iniquity”;
4Q416 2 iii 14), and knowledge concerning the future judgement
(4Q417 2 i 10c–11). But the ‫ רז נהיה‬is also that by which God “laid
out” (or perhaps “expounded”, ‫ )פרש‬the foundation of truth (4Q417
1 i 9). Elgvin concludes that the ‫“ רז נהיה‬is a comprehensive word for
God’s mysterious plan for creation and history, his plan for man and
for redemption of the elect”, and he is surely right in seeing its back-
ground in speculation concerning ‫( חכמה‬cf. Prov 8:22–31; Job 28; Sir
24).41 Schiffman, in relation to 4QMysteries, summed up the meaning
of “mysteries” (‫ )רזים‬in that composition as follows: “it refers to the
mysteries of creation, i.e. the natural order of things which depends on
God’s wisdom, and to the mysteries of the divine role in the processes
of history.”42
It is significant also in 4QInstruction that it is God who uncov-
ers the ears of men to the ‫( רז נהיה‬e.g. 4Q418 123 ii 4; 4Q418 184
2),43 and within these passages wisdom is revealed, not acquired by

39
Strugnell and Harrington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV (DJD 34), 8.
40
Strugnell and Harrington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV (DJD 34), 32–33; cf. Elgvin, “The
Mystery to Come,” 131–36.
41
Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 135–36.
42
Schiffman, Qumran Cave 4.XV (DJD 20), 31.
43
See the full list of passages in n. 37. Strugnell and Harrington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV
(DJD 34), 122, have questioned whether God is the subject of ‫ גלה אוזן‬in 4Q416 2 iii
17–18 = 4Q418 10a–b 1, but it seems to me likely that God is the subject here also.
102 chapter five

experience. But in 4Q417 1 i 14–1844 revelation is apparently linked


with two written documents, a writing engraved by God condemning
the wicked and a “book of remembrance” of those who keep his word
(lines 15–16a). It is not quite clear whether the writing “engraved by
God” (cf. Exod 32:16) is to be identified with the Mosaic Torah, as
has been suggested, but the reference to the “book of remembrance”
represents an obvious allusion to Mal 3:16 and there is perhaps here
the idea that knowledge of the ‫ רז נהיה‬is linked to the understanding
of scripture.45 The text continues with the obscure statement: “it is
the vision of meditation (‫ )חזון ההגו‬on ( ‫ )ל‬the book of remembrance”
(line 16). The “vision of meditation” inevitably calls to mind the “book
of meditation” (‫י‬/‫ )ספר ההגו‬that is mentioned elsewhere (1Q28a i
6–7; CD X, 6; XIII, 2; XIV, 7–8). The identification of the “book
of meditation”, whether as the Torah or as a sectarian document, is
itself disputed. In the present passage it is not clear whether the use
of “vision” rather than “book” is significant; whether the vision is to
be understood as some kind of written document; and if so, whether
it can be identified with any particular writing.46 But the reference to
the “vision of meditation” perhaps suggests that revelation is linked to
the understanding of scripture.
The relevance of this material to the Book of Enoch as a whole hardly
needs to be spelled out. The theme of judgement, which is included
within the perspective of 4QMysteries and provides a theological frame-
work for the wisdom instruction in 4QInstruction, forms the leitmotif of
1 Enoch; it is announced in the prologue in chapter 1 and is constantly
taken up in a variety of ways throughout the book. But perhaps of even
greater relevance are the themes of knowledge of the mysteries and of
the secrets. Enoch knows “the mysteries of the holy ones” (106:19, where
the Aramaic attests the occurrence of the word ‫ ;רז‬for the plural form
one might compare the references to the “wondrous mysteries” (‫)רזי פלא‬
of God in 4Q417 1 i 2, 13), just as he also knows “this mystery” (103:2;
104:10)—because he has been shown the mysteries by the Lord and

44
For the text and a very detailed and helpful discussion, see Strugnell and Har-
rington, Qumran Cave 4.XXIV (DJD 34), 151–55, 160–66. I confine myself in discussion of
this important and difficult passage to what is essential for the purposes of this essay.
45
Cf. Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 145.
46
For the interpretation of 4Q417 1 i 14–18, cf. Lange, Weisheit und Prädestination,
50–55, 66–90; Lange, “Wisdom and Predestination,” 342–43; Collins, Jewish Wisdom
in the Hellenistic Age, 123–25; Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 139–47.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 103

has read the tablets of heaven. (In the Parables the Lord of Spirits is
praised by the kings and the mighty as one whose secrets are deep and
without number (63:3).) There are very frequent references to “the
secrets” (ªebu’at). The angel who accompanies Enoch shows him the
secrets (40:2; 46:2; 71:3). Enoch sees both the secrets of the cosmos
(41:1, 3; 59:1–3; 71:4) and the secrets relating to the end of this era
(38:3; 58:5; 61:5; 83:7). Enoch in turn passes on to Noah “the teaching
of all the secrets in a book” (68:1). In the Vision of the Animals Enoch is
presented as the one who knows past and future, a point noted in Jub.
4:19a,: “While he slept he saw in a vision what has happened and what
will occur—how things will happen for mankind during their history
until the day of judgment.” With this may be compared the comment
made about mankind in 4QMysteries (1Q27 1 i 3–4), “But they did
not know the mystery of that which was coming into being (‫)רז נהיה‬,
and the former things (‫ )קדמוניות‬they did not consider. Nor did they
know what shall befall them (‫)מה אשר יבוא עליהמה‬.”
However, the differences between the wisdom writings and the Book
of Enoch must also be recognised. Thus while cosmology and eschatol-
ogy form part of the concerns of 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction,
they find expression in a way quite different from that of Enoch. In the
former cosmology and eschatology provide a theological underpinning
for the wisdom instruction that seems to have been its main concern.
In Enoch cosmology and eschatology are of primary importance and
are built into the structure of the book. Again, while in the case of
both 4QMysteries and 4QInstruction and in Enoch we can speak in
terms of “revealed wisdom”, and in both there is frequent reference to
either the ‫ רז נהיה‬or to “mysteries” or “secrets”, it is only in 1 Enoch
that this concern finds concrete expression in reports of visions and of
journeys through the heavenly regions and around the cosmos. One
should perhaps speak of a shared thought-world that finds different
expression in the two kinds of writings, and this is a point to which
we must return later.

IV

If there are connections of the kind indicated with wisdom writings,


it may be asked to what extent this finds expression within the Book
of Enoch. From a literary point of view it is not of course a wisdom
text, and it is prophetic genres that predominate in the book, although
104 chapter five

occasionally forms that occur in wisdom texts (e.g. the woe form) are
used.47 There are references to wisdom throughout the book, and though
not particularly numerous, it is perhaps significant that they are present
at all. Thus wisdom is depicted as a gift of the new age in the Book
of Watchers (5:8; 32:3,6) and in the Epistle (104:12; 105:1; cf. 99:10); in
contrast the lack of wisdom is a characteristic of the pre-exilic period
in the Apocalypse of Weeks (93:8), just as, according to the Epistle, sinners
debase wisdom in the last age (94:5; 98:3). In the Parables, where in
chapter 42 there is a wisdom poem, the spirit of wisdom dwells in the
Son of Man (49:3; cf. 51:3; Isa 11:2). Wisdom will be poured out in the
new age (48:1; 49:1) and will characterize the worship of the new age
(61:7,11). Elsewhere wisdom is seen as being possessed by God (63:2;
84:3) and given by him to his creatures (101:8).
In his article on 4QInstruction Elgvin has suggested that “apart from
early sectarian writings, the books of Enoch seem to be the closest
relative of 4QInstruction.” He suggests that most parallels are found
in the Book of Watchers and the Epistle and argues that terminological
similarities indicate some kind of dependence—he thinks in fact that
4QInstruction is dependent on Enoch,48 and to this point we must return.
His listing of parallels is helpful, but one point he makes in relation
to the Apocalypse of Weeks seems questionable. Thus he suggests, quite
properly, that the revelation of the ‫ רז נהיה‬may be compared with the
sevenfold teaching given to the righteous as the present age reaches its
climax (1 En. 93:10). But he seems to me to go beyond the evidence
when he argues that the Epistle was a “main source” for the compiler
of 4QInstruction, and that the ‫ רז נהיה‬is “identical” with the sevenfold
instruction.49 Equally he seems to me to go beyond the evidence in
his suggestion that the (Book of ) Hagi (“book of meditation”) is to be
identified with a part of the Enoch literature, the Apocalypse of Weeks
and/or the Animal Apocalypse.50 From a different point of view, a concern
for the poor is one of the central issues in both 4QInstruction and the
Epistle, although it finds very different expression in the two works.51

47
For a recent survey of the literary forms used in 1 Enoch, see Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1,
28–35.
48
Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 116–18, cf. 135–38.
49
Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 138.
50
Elgvin, “The Mystery to Come,” 146–47.
51
Cf. Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age, 118–19.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 105

Quite apart from the above, I would in the final part of this essay
like to suggest that concerns with wisdom and knowledge are more
deeply embedded in the Book of Watchers, and to consider how it might
be read in this light. It is manifestly not a wisdom text in any conven-
tional sense, but rather a narrative text concerned above all with sin
and judgement, with problems of reconciling divine foreknowledge and
human suffering. It begins by announcing the coming of God to judge
the sinners and to bring salvation to the righteous. It traces the origins
of sin to the activity of the angels, the Watchers, who came down from
heaven in the days of Jared and it announces both their punishment
and that of the sprits of their offspring, the Giants, which are seen to
be responsible for the continuance of sin (15:8–16:1; slightly differ-
ent in 19:1). The narrative includes an account of Enoch’s ascent to
heaven, where he is told of the fate of the Watchers (chapter 14), and
the continuation of the narrative (chapters 17–36) then describes how
Enoch was taken on a journey around the cosmos which culminated in
his arrival at the Garden of Righteousness in the east which contains
the tree of knowledge.
However, looking more closely at this, the narrative does have certain
features that give the text a sapiential character and link with the themes
we have been discussing. The first point to notice is that immediately
after the prologue we have, in chapters 2–5, an admonition that has a
sapiential character. The admonition contrasts the orderly behaviour
of nature (2:1–5:4) with the disorderly behaviour of mankind, and this
in turn leads back into the theme of judgement for the wicked and
salvation for the righteous already announced in chapter 1 (5:5–9).
The contrast between obedient nature and disobedient humanity forms
a familiar theme in the Hebrew Bible, and in Jewish and Christian
literature, and commentators have drawn attention to a number of
comparable passages. Although not exclusive to wisdom literature,
the order and regularity of nature is a familiar theme in wisdom, for
example in Sir 43 or 16:24–28—in the latter there is an implicit contrast
in chapter 17 with the behaviour of man, as Nickelsburg indicates.52

52
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 153; cf. Argall, 1 Enoch and Sirach, 136–37. The parallels
between Sir 16:24–28 and 17:1–14 were noted by Luis Alonso Schökel, “The Vision
of Man in Sirach 16:24–17:14,” in Israelite Wisdom: Theological and Literary Essays in Honor
of Samuel Terrien (ed. John G. Gammie and others; Missoula, Mont.: Scholars, 1978),
235–45. For the contrast between the obedience of nature and the disobedience of
sinners, see also 1 En. 101:6–7, 8–9.
106 chapter five

Nickelsburg also refers to Jer 5:20–29 where there is an explicit contrast


comparable to that in Enoch. Somewhat differently reference might also
be made to Isa 1:3 or Jer 8:7, which show clear links with wisdom.53
In Qumran sapiential literature, Bilhah Nitzan has listed 1 Enoch 1–5
as one of the texts that, like the Admonitory Parable (4Q302), makes use
of the rib pattern,54 although in 4Q302 the rib is based, in part, on a
parable rather than on observation of nature. One might also compare
the repeated commands to the readers in 1 Enoch 2–5 to contemplate the
wonders of nature with the commands in 4QInstruction to the ‫בן מבין‬
to contemplate the ‫רז נהיה‬.
The sapiential admonition in 1 Enoch 1–5 provides a context for
what follows in chapters 6–36.55 Undergirding the narrative, and more
particularly the story of the Watchers as it is finally presented in 1 Enoch
1–36, is the theme of the revelation of secrets and of true and false
knowledge. As is well known, the story of the Watchers represents a
conflation of two traditions. According to one, closely based on Gen
6–9, in which Shemihazah is the leader, the angels descend because
of their lust for the daughters of men; it is the offspring born to their
unions, the Giants, who bring sin and violence into the world. According
to the other, in which Asael is the leader, the angels descend in order
to instruct mankind, and it is the knowledge that they bring that is the
source of evil. Nickelsburg, in his recent commentary, is not the first
who has attempted to divide these two traditions between two distinct
sources on literary-critical grounds—in fact he thinks in terms of at
least three layers in chapters 6–11,56 and I am not sure that it makes
sense to do so. Be that as it may, the revelation of divine mysteries to
mankind is emphasised as a major cause of the introduction of sin into
the world. According to the summaries given in 7:1; 8:1, and particu-
larly 8:3, the teaching was concerned with four main topics, magic, the

53
Cf. Hans Wildberger, Jesaja, 1. Teilband: Jesaja 1–12 (BKAT X/1; Neukirchen:
Neukirchener Verlag, 1972), 14–15; Douglas R. Jones, Jeremiah (NCBC; Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans, 1992), 158–59.
54
Bilhah Nitzan, “Admonitory Parable,” in Torleif Elgvin and others, Qumran Cave
4.XV: Sapiential Texts, Part 1 (DJD 20; Oxford: Clarendon, 1997), 125–49, esp. 126,
136.
55
Cf. Lars Hartman, Asking for a Meaning: A Study of 1 Enoch 1–5 (ConBNT 12;
Lund: Gleerup, 1979), 138–45, for the view that, as an introduction, 1 En. 1–5 “gives
an important clue to the understanding of the whole Book of Watchers.”
56
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 165, 171–72.
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 107

arts of warfare, the means of beautifying the body for the purposes of
sexual allurement, and astrology/astronomy, and these topics no doubt
reflected contemporary concerns. But the teaching is presented as the
revelation of mysteries that belonged in heaven. Thus according to the
Aramaic and the Syncellus text of 8:3, the angels revealed the mysteries
(‫רזין‬, τὰ µυστήρια) to their wives and their children. In their appeal to
God on behalf of mankind (chapter 9), the four archangels state, “You
see what Asael has done, who has taught all iniquities on the earth and
has revealed the eternal mysteries (τὰ µυστήρια τοῦ αἰῶνος) which (were)
in heaven, which men practise (and) know” (9:6). And in God’s reply
(chapters 10–11), the risk that all mankind will perish is attributed to
the revelation of the mystery (τὸ µυστήριον) that the Watchers taught
to their sons (10:7–8). (For this theme, cf. 65:6,11; (68:2); (69:8).) The
story comes to an initial climax in the message of judgement that
Enoch is commissioned by God to deliver to the Watchers (16:3–4),
which according to the Ethiopic reads as follows,
You were in heaven, but (its) secrets (ªebuxat) had not yet been revealed
to you and a worthless mystery (menuna mes¢ira) you knew. This you made
known to the women in the hardness of your hearts, and through this
mystery the women and the men cause evil to increase on the earth. Say
to them therefore, You will not have peace.
The Greek of the first sentence is corrupt, but probably had “no mys-
tery had been revealed to you, and a worthless mystery you knew.”57 In
any event it seems clear that the knowledge revealed by the watchers
is condemned as being incomplete and worthless. Comparison might
be drawn with the view expressed in 4QMysteries that the wisdom of
the magicians is useless.58
The story of the Watchers comes to an initial conclusion at this
point, but the narrative continues in 17–19, without any introduction
or explanation, by describing Enoch’s journey to the edge of the world.
There is a literary seam at this point, one of a number that are visible

57
Reading καὶ πᾶν µυστήριον οὐκ ἀνεκλύφθη ὑµῖν καὶ µυστήριον ἐξουθενηµένον
ἔγνωτε for καὶ πᾶν µυστήριον ὃ οὐκ ἀνεκλύφθη ὑµῖν καὶ µυστήριον τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ
γεγενηµένον ἔγνωτε. Cf. Robert Henry Charles, The Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch
(Anecdota Oxoniensia, Semitic Series 11; Oxford: Clarendon, 1906), 47. Cf. the com-
ments of Stuckenbruck on 4Q203 i 3 in Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36), 36.
58
See above, 98–99.
108 chapter five

in the Book of Watchers, but the text as it is requires explanation. From


a formal point of view, the narrative continues the description of the
vision that Enoch experienced, which began in chapter 14 with the
account of his ascent. But it seems that the narrative functions as a
revelation of the true mysteries, in contrast to the worthless mysteries
that the Watchers knew. Though an account of a heavenly journey,
the narrative revolves around the theme of judgement of the sinners
and the blessed fate in store for the oppressed righteous, and the key
places that Enoch sees are related to this theme. However, the begin-
ning of this, in 17:1–18:5, almost seems out of place—except in so
far as Enoch’s journey serves to carry him to edge of the earth, where
he sees the mountain of God and the places of punishment. But this
part of the narrative does have a function; it serves to establish Enoch’s
credentials as one who knows the secrets of nature and thus as one—in
contrast to the Watchers—whose revelation of the heavenly secrets is
reliable. In this connection it seems to me important that Enoch visits
some of the places that Job (chapter 38) knows he cannot. Thus, for
example, in 17:6–8 it is said that Enoch reaches the great darkness and
goes “where no flesh walks”,59 that he sees the place where the waters
of the deep pour out, the mouths of all the rivers and the mouth of
the deep. This may be compared with Job 38:16–21:
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
...
Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness? ( Job 38:16–17, 19, NRSV)60
Further comparisons may be drawn between 1 En. 17:2 (Enoch is led to
a place of darkness) and Job 38:19b; 1 En. 17:3 (he sees the storehouses
of thunder and lightning) and Job 38:25; and 1 En. 18:1–5 (Enoch
observes the winds) and Job 38:24.61

59
So the Greek; the Ethiopic has “where all flesh walks.”
60
The parallel is not of course precise. Job is challenged inter alia as to whether he
has visited the realm of death, whereas the claim made in 1 En. 17:6 is that Enoch
had been to a region—apparently not Sheol—inaccessible to others. Enoch reaches
Sheol in 1 En. 22.
61
The series of rhetorical questions in 1 En. 93:11–14, which have been seen to
be reminiscent of the rhetorical questions in Job 38, appear to serve a similar pur-
ENOCH in the light of the qumran wisdom literature 109

Enoch then sees in rapid succession the throne of God, the place
of punishment for the Watchers, and the place of punishment for the
disobedient stars (18:6–19:3). Little explanation is provided of what is
seen, and the detail not spelled out. It is assumed that we do not need
to be told that the throne is the throne where God will descend for
judgement. However, it is characteristic of the description, as of that
in chapters 20–36, that it draws extensively on the Hebrew Bible for
its content—not by way of direct quotation, but by incorporating and
reworking material from relevant passages into the narrative. The way
in which the narrative, from one point of view, represents the outcome
of reflection upon, and interpretation of, scripture gives the narrative
something of a learned character.
The following passage, chapters 20–36, is perhaps best seen as a
commentary on, or expansion of, chapters 17–19. In any case Enoch
now visits the same places that he has just visited, but here there is
dialogue between Enoch and the angel who accompanies him, and
explanations are given. But the narrative is expanded to include a
description of the realm of the dead and of the earthly paradise based
on Jerusalem.62 Finally Enoch goes on a circuit of the earth (chapters
33–36). This passage has some similarities with material in the Book of
Astronomy and may have been added in the light of that material. But,
like 17:1–18:5, it also serves to confirm Enoch’s status as one who does
have access to the mysteries of the universe.
How should we evaluate the parallels between the Book of Enoch
and 4QMysteries and 4Instruction? Collins has spoken in terms of the
influence of apocalyptic traditions on the wisdom writings,63 and Elgvin
has even spoken of the dependence of 4QInstruction on the books of
Enoch, at least on the Epistle.64 They may be right in terms of the direc-
tion of influence. But it seems to me more important that the parallels
provide evidence of a shared thought-world. While Sirach may provide
evidence of a critical attitude towards the claims to the possession of

pose, namely of authenticating the revelation received by Enoch on his journeys. The
implied answer to all the questions in 1 En. 93:11–14 is: “no one except Enoch”. Cf.
Vanderkam, Enoch, A Man for All Generations, 91.
62
It is interesting to observe that this journey reaches its climax in the paradise of
righteousness in the east where Enoch sees “the trees of wisdom whose fruit the holy
ones eat and know great wisdom” (32:3, Greek).
63
Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age, 117, cf. 115–31 passim.
64
Elgvin, “The Mysteries to Come,” 116–17, 138, 146.
110 chapter five

esoteric knowledge made by writings like 1 Enoch (and indeed 4Q300


la ii–b // 4Q299 3c may also be evidence of a hostile attitude), that
is clearly not the whole story. 4QMysteries and 4Instruction do present
us with wisdom writings the theological perspective of which is much
closer to that of 1 Enoch. The authors of the Book of Enoch and of
4QMysteries and 4QInstruction were not such different people.
CHAPTER SIX

THE USE OF SCRIPTURE IN 1 ENOCH 17–19

In an important monograph entitled Asking for a Meaning, Lars Hartman


demonstrated that 1 Enoch 1–5 had “grow[n] out of a soil consisting
of an interpreted Old Testament,”1 and he went on to show how the
meaning of the text was bound up with recognition of it as interpre-
tation of the biblical material on which it drew. What Lars Hartman
showed in the case of 1 Enoch 1–5 is of course more generally true of
the Book of Enoch, namely that in many respects it represents a form of
interpretation, and my purpose in what follows is to see what light is
cast on the meaning of another passage in the book, chapters 17–19,
by its use of scripture. In chapters 17–19, as elsewhere throughout
1 Enoch, there are no explicit quotations from the Hebrew Bible, but it
is not hard to recognise numerous allusions to passages in the Hebrew
Bible and numerous parallel passages, and the commentaries are full of
such references; the difficulty is to know whether we have to do with a
conscious allusion, unconscious use of parallel phraseology, or merely
an interesting parallel.2 This problem is linked to the fact that it is hard
to determine the extent to which we have exact quotation from the
biblical text because for the most part we have to do only with a transla-
tion into Greek of the Aramaic original3 or (for some three of the five
sections of which the book was ultimately composed) with a daughter
translation of the Greek, the Ethiopic version.4 Notwithstanding these

1
Lars Hartman, Asking for a Meaning: A Study of 1 Enoch 1–5 (ConBNT 12; Lund:
Gleerup, 1979), 37–38; see also his earlier study, Prophecy Interpreted (ConBNT 1; Lund:
Gleerup, 1966).
2
On the reasons for the lack of explicit quotation in 1 Enoch and the difficulty
of determining the level of dependence, see George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1:
A Commentary on the Book of Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis:
Fortress, 2001), 57.
3
I assume that the Parables were composed in Aramaic like the other parts of 1
Enoch, although it is possible that the Parables were composed in Hebrew.
4
For further discussion of this point, see Michael A. Knibb, “Christian Adoption
and Transmission of Jewish Pseudepigrapha: The Case of 1 Enoch,” JSJ 32 (2001)
396–415, esp., 400–405.
112 chapter six

uncertainties, there seems to be a sufficient volume of evidence in


1 Enoch 17–19 to justify an enquiry into its use of scripture.
1 Enoch 17–19 gives an account of Enoch’s first journey through the
cosmos and reaches its climax in the description of the mountain that
reached to heaven, like the throne of God (18:8), and of the prison
for the stars that transgressed the Lord’s command and for the angels
who were promiscuous with the women (18:12–19:2). The account of
the journey has no introduction and is attached quite abruptly to the
report of Enoch’s ascent to the throne room of God and of the mes-
sage of judgement on the watchers that he received there (chapters
14–16). This is one of several places within the Book of Watchers where
there is an obvious literary seam, but the lack of any introduction or
transitional passage means that the purpose of chapters 17–19 within
the context of the Book of Watchers has to be inferred from their contents.
I have argued elsewhere that the account of the journey is intended as
a revelation of the true mysteries in contrast to the “worthless mystery”
that the watchers had revealed to mankind, through which evil (τὰ
κακά) had been introduced into the world (16:3).5
The abruptness of the transition between chapters (6)14–16 and
chapters 17–19 is heightened by the fact that in the opening sentence
(17:1) the subject is unspecified: “And they took and brought6 me to a
place where those who were there were like burning fire, and whenever
they wished, they appeared as men.” VanderKam has argued that the
reference is to the winds and other natural phenomena that according
to 14:8 carried Enoch up to heaven. He bases this view on the supposi-
tion that the same verb is used in 14:8 and 17:1, and on the fact that
the angels lead Enoch, not lift him up, and he concludes that, if this
view is right, “chapters 17–36 are meant to be the continuation of the
action that begins in chapter 14.”7 This last point seems true, whether
VanderKam’s interpretation of 17:1 is right or not. But while the same
verb (naś a) is used in the Ethiopic of both 14:8 and 17:1, VanderKam

5
See Michael A. Knibb, “The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran Wisdom
Literature,” in Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Biblical Tradition
(ed. Florentino García Martínez; BETL 168; Leuven: Peeters, 2003), 193–210.
6
Eth does not have “and brought.” The text could also be translated “I was taken
and brought,” but that still leaves open the question of the identity of those who
escorted Enoch.
7
James C. VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations (Studies on Personalities of
the Old Testament; Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press,
1995), 50.
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 113

has overlooked the fact that this verb can mean ‘to take’ as well as ‘to
raise’ and corresponds to a number of different verbs in Greek; and
that while the Greek of 14:8 has ἐπαίρω, in 17:1 it has παραλαµβάνω.
One of the meanings of this latter verb is ‘to take somebody along’
(so Gen 22:3; MT ‫לקח‬, Eth naś a), and it is surely this meaning that
is intended here. It remains most likely that it is angels who are the
unnamed subject in 17:1, not least because they are mentioned several
times both before and after this passage: see 14:22–23; 14:25 (Greek);
18:14; 19:1.
The first part of the narrative (17:1–18:5) describes Enoch’s journey
through the cosmos to a group of seven mountains, the middle one of
which reached to heaven like the throne of God (18:6–9a). The account
of the journey is remarkable for the phenomena to which Enoch is led
or which he sees, and these may be listed as follows:8
17:1 (i) [καὶ παραλάβοντες µε εἴς τινα τόπον ἀπήγαγον] ἐν ᾧ οἱ ὄντες
ἐκεῖ γίνονται ῶς πῦρ ϕλέγον καὶ, ὅταν θέλωσιν, ϕαίνονται ὡσει
ἄνθρωποι
17:2 (ii) [καὶ ἀπήγαγον µε] εἰς ζοϕώδη τόπον
(iii) καὶ ἐις ὄρος οὗ ἡ κεϕαλὴ ἀϕικνεῖτο εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν
17:3 (iv) [καὶ εἶδον] τόπον τῶν ϕωστήρων
(v) καὶ τοὺς θησαυροὺς τῶν ἀστέρων καὶ τῶν βροντῶν
(vi) καὶ εἰς τὰ αἐροβαθῆ, ὅπου τόξον πυρὸς καὶ τὰ βέλη καὶ αἱ
θῆκαι αὐτῶν9 καὶ αἱ ἀστραπαὶ πᾶσαι
17:4 (vii) [καὶ ἀπήγαγον µε] µέχρι ὑδάτων ζώντων
(viii) καὶ µέχρι πυρὸς δύσεως, ὅ ἐστιιν καὶ παρέχον πάσας τάς
δύσεις τοῦ ἡλίου
17:5 (ix) [καὶ ἤλθοµεν]10 µέχρι ποταµοῦ πυρός, ἐν ᾧ κατατρέχει τὸ πῦρ
ὡς ὕδωρ καὶ ῥέει εἰς θάλασσαν µεγάλην δύσεως
17:6 (x) [ἴδον] τοὺς µεγάλους ποταµούς
(xi) καὶ µέχρι τοῦ µεγάλου ποταµοῦ
(xii) καὶ µέχρι τοῦ µεγάλου σκότους [κατήντησα]
(xiii) [καὶ ἀπῆλθον] ὅπου πᾶσα σὰρξ οὐ περιπατεῖ
17:7 (xiv) [ ἴδον] τοὺς ἀνέµους τῶν γνόϕων τοὺς χειµερινούς
(xv) καὶ τὴν ἔκχυσιν τῆς ἀβύσσου πάντων ὑδάτων
17:8 (xvi) [ ἴδον] τὸ στόµα τῆς γῆς πάντων τῶν ποταµῶν
(xvii) καὶ τὸ στόµα τῆς ἀβύσσου

8
Verbs of motion and of seeing have been included in the following list in square
brackets for the sake of clarity.
9
Eth has in addition “and a flaming sword,” for which cf. the “flaming sword”
of Gen 3:24 (LXX).
10
Commonly emended to ἦλθον with Eth.
114 chapter six

18:1 (xviii) [ ἴδον] τοὺς θησαυροὺς τῶν ἀνέµων πάντων, [ἴδον] ὅτι ἐν
αὐτοῖς ἐκόσµησεν πάσας τὰς κτίσεις
(xix) καὶ τὸν θεµέλιον τῆς γῆς
18:2 (xx) καὶ τὸν λίθον [ ἴδον] τῆς γωνίας τῆς γῆς
(xxi) [ ἴδον] τοὺς τέσσαρας ἀνέµους τὴν γῆν βαστάζοντας καὶ τὸ
στερέωµα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.
18:3 [And I saw] how the winds stretch out the height of heaven,
and they stand between earth and heaven; they are the pillars of
heaven11
18:4 (xxii) [ ἴδον] ἀνέµους τῶν οὐρανῶν στρέϕοντας καὶ διανεύοντας12
τὸν τροχὸν τοῦ ἡλίου, καὶ πάντας τοῦς ἀστέρας
18:5 (xxiii) [ ἴδον] τοὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀνέµους βαστάζοντας ἐν νεϕέλῃ
(xxiv) [I saw] the paths of the angels13
(xxv) [ ἴδον] πέρατα τῆς γῆς, τὸ στήριγµα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐπάνω
Enoch at this point has arrived at the ends of the earth, apparently in
the north-west (on this, see further below), and it is at this point that
he sees the group of seven mountains, the middle one of which is
like the throne of God (18:6–9a), and beyond that the prison for the
disobedient stars and the watchers (18:9b–19:2).
The account of Enoch’s journey and the description of the seven
mountains and of the prison presuppose a geographical model which
it has often been assumed reflects the influence of non-Jewish—par-
ticularly Babylonian or Greek—conceptions. In recent years Grelot,14
followed by Milik,15 has argued that the geographical ideas reflected
in chapters 17–19 (and in other sections of 1 Enoch, particularly the
account of Enoch’s second journey (chapters 21–36) and chapter 77)
are based on Babylonian, rather than Greek, conceptions, although he
suggests that they might have been mediated to the Jews via Phoenicia.
However, although some Babylonian ideas may ultimately lie in the
background of 1 Enoch, the suggestion of a major influence from this
source seems quite unlikely.16 Much more plausible is the assumption

11
Greek omits the first and last clauses through homoioteleuton and for the middle
class has: καὶ αὐτοὶ ἱστᾶσιν µεταξὺ γῆς καὶ οὐρανοῦ. Restoration is based on Eth.
12
Read δύνοντας (Robert Henry Charles, The Book of Enoch (2d ed.; Oxford: Claren-
don, 1912), 40.
13
Greek omits through homoioteleuton (“I saw” . . . “I saw”).
14
Pierre Grelot, “La Géographie mythique d’Hénoch et ses sources orientales,”
RB 65 (1958): 33–69.
15
Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1976), 15–18, 29–30, 33–41.
16
Grelot compared the geographical ideas reflected in Enoch with those of a Late
Babylonian World Map, and the phenomena that Enoch sees on his journey with
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 115

that the account of Enoch’s journey reflects a number of ideas that


were current in the popular geography of the day and derive from
both Babylonian and, especially, Greek sources,17 and in particular
the river of fire (17:5, no. (ix) above) has long been compared with
the Pyriphlegethon; the great rivers (17:6, no. [x]) with the Acheron,
Styx, and Cocytus; and the great river (17:6, no. [xi]) with Oceanus,
the Great Ocean Stream that encircled the earth. Beyond this, Nick-
elsburg, following the earlier suggestion of Glasson, has compared the
account of Enoch’s journey with a Nekyia, an account of a journey
to the realm of the dead (cf. Odyssey x.504–540, esp. 508–514; xi), and
this is helpful.18 But perhaps of even greater importance is the influence
of scripture in the composition of this material.
Enoch journeys first towards the west (17:4) and encounters fiery
beings (17:1, no. [i]) as he is led towards a dark place and to a mountain
whose summit reached heaven (17:2, nos. [ii]–[iii]). The significance
of the fiery beings is not explained, but that they have some kind of
semi-divine status is suggested by their fiery appearance, which may
be compared with the appearance of the angel in Dan 10:5–6. Grelot
has compared the fiery beings to the cherubim who are mentioned in
Gen 3:24 as guarding the way to the tree of life.19 The parallel is not
exact but does point to the probable significance of the fiery beings as
guardians of the way on which Enoch is journeying.

those that, according to tablets 9 and 10 of the Gilgamesh Epic, Gilgamesh sees on his
journey to Ut-Napishtim in search of the secret of immortality. However, VanderKam
(“1 Enoch 77:3 and a Babylonian Map of the World,” RevQ 11/2 (1983): 271–78) has
shown that Grelot’s arguments were based on a reading of the textual evidence of the
Babylonian World Map that is almost certainly wrong and on a false understanding
of the ideas in 1 Enoch. Nickelsburg (1 Enoch 1, 279–80) has further shown that there
are significant differences between the phenomena seen by Enoch and those seen by
Gilgamesh.
17
Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter In Palestine during the
Early Hellenistic Period. vol. 1 (London: SCM Press, 1974), 197–98; vol. 2, 132; Nickels-
burg, 1 Enoch 1, 279–80; cf. already Albrecht Dieterich, ΝΕΚΥΙΑ: Beiträge zur Erklärung
der neuentdeckten Petrusapokalypse (2d ed.; Leipzig, 1913), 218–19.
18
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 280; cf. T. Francis Glasson, Greek Influence in Jewish Eschatol-
ogy (S.P.C.K. Biblical Monographs 1; London: S.P.C.K., 1961), 8–11.
19
Grelot, “La Géographie mythique d’Hénoch,” 38. Cf. also Ezek 28:14, 16. Nick-
elsburg (1 Enoch 1, 281 and n. 17) suggests that the author may be thinking of seraphim
understood as “fiery beings,” but this seems unlikely. The seraphim were serpentine
beings, and any connection with the Hebrew root meaning ‘to burn’ is secondary.
116 chapter six

The dark place and the mountain appear to be on the edge of the
world in the west, where the sun has disappeared.20 The mountain21 is
in the vicinity of the storehouses (θησαυροί) for the luminaries, the stars,
the thunder, and the flashes of lightning, which are conceived to be on
the edge of the world (17:3, nos. [iv]–[vi]). The word ‘storehouses’ is
not used in the Old Testament in relation to the luminaries and stars
or the thunder and lightning, but the concept and the word are used
in Job 38:22 (for snow and hail), in Ps 33:7 (LXX 32:7; for the deeps),
and in Ps 135:7 (LXX 134:7); Jer 10:13; 51:16 (for the wind; but LXX
Jer 10:13; 28:16, for the light). The elaboration of the description of
the thunder and lightning in terms of God’s bow, arrows, and quiver
then draws on language used in theophanic passages that depict God
appearing in a storm, for example Hab 3:9, 11; Ps 18:15 (LXX 17:15);
77:18–19 (LXX 76:18–19). Here we see for the first time a concern
with natural phenomena, with the “secrets”—to use the term that is
employed in the Parables (41:3; 59:1–3; 71:4)—of the cosmos, a concern
that is characteristic generally of 17:5–18:5.
The significance of the living waters22 and of the fire of the west
(17:4, nos. [vii]–[viii]), to which Enoch is next led, is not entirely clear.
The expression “living waters” is used in the Hebrew Bible to express
the meaning ‘fresh water’ (e.g. Gen 26:19), but that is hardly what is
intended here. The expression is also used in Zech 14:8 in a context
referring to life-giving water, and it is possible that this is what is in
mind in 1 Enoch, but if so, the idea is not developed. More is said about
the fire of the west, which in the Greek is said to “provide,” but in the
Ethiopic, which should probably be preferred, to “receive” all the set-
tings of the sun.23 What may be in mind is the appearance of the sky
at sunset. The relationship of this fire to the fire described in chapter
23, to which Enoch goes during his second journey, is unclear.24

20
Cf. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 38.
21
The description of the mountain in the Greek version of 1 En. 17:2 (“whose top
reached to heaven”) corresponds exactly to what is said about Jacob’s ladder in Gen
28:12. This is probably an instance of unconscious use of parallel phraseology.
22
Eth “waters of life” is not a real variant, but merely represents the use of two
nouns in a construct relationship to express Greek noun + adjective: cf. Zech 14:8
(Greek and Ethiopic); August Dillmann, Ethiopic Grammar (2d ed.; London: Williams
& Norgate, 1907), 462.
23
Greek παρέχον is probably corrupt for παραδεχόµενον (so August Dillmann, SAB
1982, 1045) or κατέχον (so Matthew Black, The Book of Enoch or 1 Enoch: A New English
Edition [SVTP 7; Leiden: Brill, 1985], 156); contrast Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 276.
24
Cf. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 282.
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 117

Enoch has now arrived at the extreme western edge of the world, but
at this point he changes direction and goes towards the north, as the
reference to the winter winds of darkness (17:7, no. [xiv]) indicates.25
Milik suggests that Enoch at this point goes on a circular journey around
the world,26 but this has been questioned by Nickelsburg who points
out that the verbs of motion and progression that typified 17:1–8 are
missing in 18:1–527—in fact there are no verbs of motion in 17:7–18:5.
However, the reference to the four winds that support the earth and
the firmament of heaven and are apparently situated at the edge of
the world (18:2–3, no. [xxi]) does suggest that what is in mind is the
four cardinal points of the compass (cf. Ezek 42:16–20; 1 Chron 9:24),
and it is difficult to understand how Enoch would have seen the winds
if he had not gone on a circuit of the world.
What is not in dispute is that 17:5–18:5 do have something of a dif-
ferent character from the surrounding material. On the one hand this
section is not taken up in the account of Enoch’s second journey except
in so far as chapters 33–36 is also an account of a circular journey.28
On the other a strong interest in natural phenomena is reflected in
the material. In this connection it is of interest to observe, that after
Enoch has visited the river of fire, the great rivers, and the great river
(17:5–6, nos. [ix]–[xi]), which were discussed above, several of the
items of natural phenomena that Enoch sees or visits are mentioned
in the list of rhetorical questions with which Job is challenged ( Job
38), or are mentioned in rhetorical questions in other wisdom passages,
as the following list indicates. In Job 38, Job is asked whether he had
any knowledge of, or power over, the objects that are mentioned, and
the answer implied is of course that he had no such knowledge or
power—and was incapable of acquiring it.29
17:6 (xii) the great darkness: cf. Job 38:19, ‫חשך‬/σκότος
17:7 (xv) the outflow of all the waters of the abyss: cf. Job 38:16, ‫חקר תהום‬/
ἴχνη ἀβύσσου; Sir. 1:3, ἄβυσσος

25
Cf. Sir 43:17bLXX.
26
Milik, The Books of Enoch, 39.
27
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 284.
28
Milik, The Books of Enoch, 38–39.
29
Similarly the answer implied by the rhetorical question in Prov 30:4 is “God,”
and in Job 36:29; Sir 1:3 is “no one.”
118 chapter six

18:1 (xviii) the storehouses of all the winds: cf. Ps 135:7 (LXX 134:7),
‫מוצא־רוח מאוצרותיו‬/ὁ ἐξάγων ἀνέµους ἐκ θησαυρωῦ αὐτοῦ30
(xix) the foundation of the earth: cf. Job 38:4, ‫איפה הײת ביסדי־ארץ‬/
ποῦ ἦς ἐν τῷ θεµελιοῦν µε τὴν γῆν;
18:2 (xx) the cornerstone of the earth: cf. Job 38:6, ‫אבן פנתה‬/λίθον
γωνιαῖον
(xxi) the four winds that support the earth: cf. Job 38:24b, . . . ‫אי־זה‬
‫יפץ קדים ﬠלי־ארץ‬/πόθεν . . . διασκεδάννυται νότος εἰς τὴν ὑπ᾿
οὐρανόν; Prov 30:4, ‫מי אסף־רוח בחנפיו‬/τίς συνήγαγεν ἀνέµους
ἐν κόλπῳ;
18:3 (xxi) the height of heaven; cf. Sir. 1:3, ὕψος οὐρανοῦ; Prov 30:4,
‫מי ﬠלה־שמים וירד‬/τίς ἀνέβη εὶς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ κατέβη;
18:4 (xxii) the winds of heaven that turn . . . the disk of the sun and all
the stars: cf. Job 38:33, ‫הידﬠת חקות שמים‬/ἐπίστασαι δὲ τροπὰς
οὐρανοῦ;
18:5 (xxiii) the winds on the earth that support the clouds: cf. Job 36:29,
‫אף אם־יבין מפשרי־ﬠב‬/καὶ ἐὰν συνῇ ἀπεκτάσεις νεϕέλης;
In addition, a comparison might be drawn between the statement
that Enoch reached the great darkness and went to a place where no
flesh walks (1 En. 17:6, nos. [xii]–[xiii]) and the question in Job 38:17:
“Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the
gate of deep darkness?”31
The fact that Enoch is said in 1 En. 17:5–18:5 to have seen such a
variety of natural phenomena has rightly been regarded as evidence
of the fact that the authors of apocalypses like the Book of Enoch were
concerned not only with eschatology, but also with the cosmos, but
the relevance of this passage at just this point in the narrative does
require further explanation.32 However, the evidence presented in the
list above does suggest that there is some kind of connection with Job
38 in 1 En. 17:5–18:5, and this may perhaps help in understanding

30
Ps 135 (LXX 134) is not a wisdom psalm and does not employ rhetorical questions,
but the passage is listed here because of the similarity of the thought (Yahweh as the
one who [controls the forces of nature and] brings out the wind from his storehouses)
to that of 1 En. 18:1 (Enoch sees the storehouses of the winds with which God orders
his creation).—Two of the objects seen by Enoch are not mentioned in Job 38 or
similar passages, but are mentioned in contexts referring to God. For “firmament of
heaven” (18:2–3, no. [xxi]; cf. 18:5, no. [xxv], with στήριγµα for στερέωµα), cf. Gen
1:14–17; for “pillars of heaven” (18:2–3, no. [xxi]), cf. Job 26:11.
31
The parallel is not of course precise. Job is challenged whether he had visited
Sheol, in 1 Enoch the claim is made that Enoch had visited a region—not, apparently,
Sheol—inaccessible to other human beings.
32
Cf. the comment of Nickelsburg (1 Enoch 1, 284): “Why these verses are inserted
here is not certain.”
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 119

the purpose of the passage. Enoch is presented here as gaining access


to knowledge that, according to Job 38, was denied to Job and known
only to God. The implication of this is that Enoch has access to secrets
known otherwise only to God, and, as suggested above, that the mys-
tery he reveals—unlike the worthless mystery revealed by the watchers
(16:2–3)—is true.33 In the light of this, we are then meant to understand
that the further mysteries that Enoch reveals, concerning the fate of
those who through the worthless mystery that they taught led men to
commit sin and concerning the great judgement, are equally true.
The description of the seven mountains, the middle one of which
resembled the throne of God, forms the climax of the account of
Enoch’s journey (18:6–9a). The fact that three of the mountains are said
to lie towards the east and three towards the south indicates that the
mountains were in the northwest, on the edge of the world (cf. 18:10
Greek).34 Allusions in the narrative have long suggested that a deliberate
link was intended by the author with traditions in the Hebrew Bible
concerning the mountain of (the) god(s) and concerning other holy
places.35 Thus the location in the northwest suggests that the mountain
in the middle (1 En. 18:8) was identified with the “mount of assembly”
of the gods in the far recesses of the north that is mentioned in the
mocking “lament” over the descent of an unnamed world-ruler into
Sheol (Isa 14:4–21: see v. 13). Similarly, the fact that the mountains
are made of precious stones suggests an allusion was intended to the
description of the precious stones in the related tradition, also in the
form of a lament, concerning the expulsion of the king of Tyre from
the holy mountain of God (Ezek 28:11–19; see v. 13). But in Ezek 28,
the mountain of God (vv. 14, 16) is described as paradise and is called
“Eden, the garden of God” (v. 13), and this suggests a further allusion
was intended by the author of 1 Enoch to the paradise tradition of
Gen 2–3. In his discussion of the account of Enoch’s second journey

33
It is impossible to know for certain whether or not the author of 1 Enoch was
making a conscious reference back to Job 38, but in a sense it does not matter because
in any case quite remarkable claims are implicitly made here for the knowledge pos-
sessed by Enoch, a knowledge that Job was forced to admit he did not possess.—It may
be noted that VanderKam (Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 91) has suggested a similar
connection between the rhetorical questions in 1 En. 93:11–14 and Job 38.
34
According to 17:7, Enoch had already journeyed towards the north, and whether
or not he had been on a circular journey around the world, it seems clear that he is
now in the northwest.
35
See, for example, the discussion of this material by Grelot (“La Géographie
mythique d’Hénoch,” 38–41).
120 chapter six

(chapters 21–36), Grelot has suggested that the author has attempted
to harmonise the conflicting biblical traditions concerning the location
of paradise: of Gen 2, which places Eden in the east, of Isa 14, which
places the residence of God on the mountain of the north, and that of
Ezek 28, which identifies Eden as the mountain of God.36 But whereas
in 1 En. 21–36, the harmonisation has been achieved by placing the
mountain of God, which contains the tree of life, in the northwest (chap-
ters 24–25) and the garden of righteousness, which contains the tree of
knowledge, in the east (chapter 32), in chapters 17–19 the traditions are
all associated with only one sacred place, and we should perhaps think
in terms of a process of integration rather than of harmonisation. In
any event the biblical traditions that lie in the background provide an
indication of the significance of the mountain for the author as the
holy mountain of God, identical with Eden.
More deserves to be said concerning the precious stones of which
the seven mountains consist. In the first instance a deliberate allusion
was no doubt intended to the list of precious stones of which the robe
of the king of Tyre is said to consist in Ezek 28:13,37 and thus to the
idea that the mountain of God was also to be identified with Eden,
the garden of God. But in detail there are few direct correspondences
between the stones that are mentioned in 1 En. 18 and those that are
mentioned in Ezek 28, and it appears that the author also draws on
the language of Isa 54:11–12,38 where, significantly, the New Jerusalem
is depicted as paradise restored, and of 1 Chron 29:2.
The seven mountains as a whole are said to be “of precious stones”
(1 En. 18:6; ἀπο λίθων πολυτελῶν), and this seems obviously to be based
on Ezek 28:13 (‫כל־אבן יקרה‬/πᾶν λίθον χρηστόν), but that is not the case
for at least two of the three mountains that lay towards the east (1 En.
18:7). The first is “of coloured stone” (ἀπὸ λίθου χρώµατος), perhaps
the equivalent of the ‫ רקמה‬. . . ‫( אבני‬λίθους . . . ποικίλους) of 1 Chron
29:2. The word for “pearl,” of which the second mountain consists (ἀπὸ
λίθου µαργαρίτου), does not occur in the Old Testament, but it is per-
haps mentioned here as an example of a very precious gem. The third
mountain on the east is said to be ἀπὸ λίθου ταθεν, probably corrupt
for ἀπὸ λίθου ἰάσπιδος (“jasper”; cf. Ezek 28:13). Such a corruption

36
Grelot, “La Géographie mythique d’Hénoch,” 43.
37
The fact that the list in Ezek 28:13 seems to have been secondarily inserted from
Exod 28:17–20 is irrelevant to the point under discussion.
38
It may be noted that Tobit 13:16 draws heavily on Isa 54:11–12.
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 121

seems not impossible at the uncial stage, while the Ethiopic “healing
stone” is no doubt to be understood as an ‘etymological’ translation of
a Greek form that was corrupt or not totally intelligible.
The mountains that lay towards the south are all said to be “of red
stone” (1 En. 18:7; ἀπὸ λίθου πυρροῦ, translated literally into Ethiopic
as em ebna qayye ). It may be suggested that this is the equivalent of
ἄνθραξ (“carbuncle”; cf. Ezek 28:13, where Ethiopic translates as yakent
qayye [literally “red jacinth”]).39
The mountain in the middle that reached to heaven, like the throne
of God, is described as being “of antimony” (1 En. 18:8; ἀπὸ λίθου
ϕουκά). In this case the Greek (followed by the Ethiopic) has transliter-
ated the Hebrew ‫ פוך‬that is mentioned in Isa 54:11 and 1 Chron 29:2.40
The summit of this mountain is, finally, said to be “of sapphire” (ἀπὸ
λίθου σαϕϕείρου). Sapphire is one of the precious stones mentioned
in Ezek 28:13 (and in Isa 54:11), but—apart from other occurrences
in the Old Testament—it is also used in Ezek 1:26 of the “likeness of
a throne” on which was seated “something like the appearance of a
human form”; and in Exod 24:10 of the pavement under the feet of
the God of Israel at the summit of Mount Sinai.41 This last reference
is perhaps the most significant as pointing to the identification of the
mountain in the middle also with Sinai, which is mentioned in 1 En. 1:4
as the mountain on which God will descend to exercise judgement.
The theme of judgement is certainly present in the account of the
final part of Enoch’s journey (1 En. 18:9b–19:2), in which he sees a
great chasm on the edge of the world in which pillars of heavenly fire
were falling (18:9b–11), and beyond this a desolate and terrible place
(18:12) that serves as the prison in which the stars that transgressed the
Lord’s command were to be kept until the time of the consummation
of their sin—ten thousand years (18:13–16), and in which the angels
who were promiscuous with the women were to be kept until the great
judgement (19:1–2). As has frequently been observed, the location of
this prison below the mountain of God was no doubt suggested by
the apparent location of the pit into which the star Helel ben Sha˜ar

39
The suggestion of Nickelsburg (1 Enoch 1, 286) that the “flame-coloured stones”
(as he translates) correspond to “the stones of fire” of Ezek 28:14, 16 seems quite
unlikely. On the latter, see W. Zimmerli, Ezechiel, 2. Teilband: Ezechiel 25–48 (BKAT
XIII/2; Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969), 685–686.
40
It is interesting to observe that the Septuagint does not transliterate in either case.
In Isa 54:11 it uses ἄνθραξ, and in 1 Chron 29:2 λίθοι πολυτελεῖς.
41
Cf. Grelot, “La Géographie mythique d’Hénoch,” 40.
122 chapter six

was cast below the mount of assembly of the gods in the north (Isa
14:12–15) and of the place into which the king of Tyre was cast below
the mountain of God (Ezek 28:16–18).42 The importance of this pas-
sage in the context of the account of the first journey as a whole is
indicated by the fact that here for the first time an angel (18:14; 19:1,
here identified as Uriel) gives Enoch an explanation of what he has
seen,43 and we should no doubt see the message announcing the impris-
onment of the watchers and the limitation of the activity of the spirits
“until the great judgement” as crucial (19:1). But the interpretation of
the passage is not without problems.
In the first place Nickelsburg has argued that 18:12–16 is a secondary
addition: in his view the original text consisted of 18:9b–11 + 19:1–2
and was concerned with the chasm beyond the edge of the world
that served as the prison for the watchers (cf. 21:7–10); 18:13–16 is a
secondary intrusion that was concerned with the waste and desolate
place beyond the chasm that served as the prison for the disobedient
stars (cf. 21:1–6).44 Nickelsburg, not entirely consistently, then translates
18:13–16 after 18:9b–11 + 19:1–2 and interprets the text as if it stood
in this order.45 However, as he notes, it is all but certain that 18:12 fol-
lowed immediately on 18:11 in 4QEnc 1 viii.46 4QEnc dates from the
last third of the first century B.C.E., and thus if 18:13–16 is a second-
ary addition, it must have been inserted at a very early stage—but in
this case it becomes questionable whether it makes sense to talk of a
secondary addition. It seems much simpler to assume that 18:9b–19:2
has a different view from chapter 21 and thinks in terms of only one
prison,47 just as it also has a different view from 15:11–16:1 as to
those who are responsible for the continuance of sin in the world. (In
15:11–16:1 it is the spirits of the giants, in 19:1 it is the spirits of the
watchers themselves.)
A second problem concerns the significance of the stars in that the
statement that the stars “transgressed the commandment of the Lord at

42
Cf. e.g. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 39–40.
43
Cf. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 286.
44
Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 287–88.
45
Nickelsburg’s comment (1 Enoch 1, 298) that in chapter 21 Enoch visits “in reverse
order” the prison for the disobedient stars and the prison for the watchers that he had
seen in the account of his first journey would only be valid if 18:12–16 did follow on
18:9b–11 + 19:1–2. But we have no evidence that such a text ever existed.
46
Cf. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 200.
47
Cf. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 39.
the use of scripture in 1 ENOCH 17–19 123

the beginning of their rising . . . for they did not appear at their proper
times” (18:15) stands in marked contrast to what is said in 2:1 about
the obedience of the heavenly bodies to the order prescribed for them.
It has long been suggested that the stars represent personified beings,
that is angels, or rather the watchers that transgressed.48 But the fact
that there are said to be seven stars, and that the sin of which they are
accused concerns their failure to appear at the right time, makes this
suggestion unlikely, and we should think rather of the seven planets.49
Elsewhere in the Enoch tradition there is a concern with the failure
“in the last days” of the heavenly bodies to appear at the right time
(80:2–6), and though the appearance of this theme in the Book of
Watchers is unexpected, it was perhaps prompted by the reference to
Helel ben Sha˜ar in Isa 14:12 (a passage clearly in the mind of the
author) and by the reference to the imprisonment of the host of heaven
in a pit in Isa 24:21–22.
In view of what has been said above about Enoch as the recipient
of mysteries otherwise known only to God, it is perhaps significant that
the text ends with the statement: “I, Enoch, alone saw the visions, the
ends of all things, and no human has seen what I have seen.”
In conclusion, the account of Enoch’s first journey is a densely-written
narrative in which—in marked contrast to the account of the second
journey—very little explanation is offered concerning the significance
of the things that Enoch sees, and there are few explicit clues as to the
overall purpose of the material in the context of the Book of Watchers
as a whole. However, consideration of the extent to which the material
draws on, and represents an interpretation of, a range of interrelated
biblical passages does cast light on its meaning.

48
Cf. e.g. Wilhem Bousset and Hugo Gressmann, Die Religion des Judentums im
späthellenitischen Zeitalter (4th ed.; Tübingen: Mohr, 1966), 323; Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1,
288–89.
49
Black, The Book of Enoch, 160.
CHAPTER SEVEN

THE STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE


PARABLES OF ENOCH

The Book of Parables (maɘaf zamesale), the title used in 1 En. 68:1 for
chaps. 37–71 (or for an earlier version of this section), appears at first
sight to have a simple structure and literary form. The overarching genre
of the text is that of a report of an otherworldly journey, and the mate-
rial, after an introduction (chap. 37), is clearly divided by headings and
colophons1 into three “parables” (38:1–44:1; 45:1–57:3; 58:1–69:29).
Chaps. 70–71, which bring the section to a conclusion, then describe
Enoch’s ascent to heaven and identification as Son of Man. So much
is obvious, but closer inspection suggests that the structure and literary
form of the Book of Parables are not quite so straightforward.
The Book of Parables forms some of the latest material to be included
in the Ethiopic Book of Enoch, and it is apparent that the authors drew
their inspiration from the sections of 1 Enoch that were already in exis-
tence, particularly the Book of the Watchers, on which the Book of Parables
to some extent seems consciously modeled. The text is headed “The
second vision which he saw,”2 and this suggests that the Book of Parables
was intended as a continuation of the previous “vision” that Enoch had
seen (cf. 1:2).3 More particularly, the use of the term ‘parable’ (mesale)
to describe the contents of this section (see 37:5; 38:1; 45:1; 57:3; 58:1;
69:29) seems to have its obvious point of reference in 1:2,4 although
a wider background for its use is provided by the occurrence of the
Hebrew term mashal in the Balaam narratives (cf., e.g., Num 23:7, 18)
and in prophetic texts (cf., e.g., Ezek 17:2; 20:49; Mic 2:4). In relation
to content, there are frequent references in the Parables to the story of

1
There is no colophon at the end of the first parable (chap. 44).
2
Cf. 1 En. 39:4, “and there I saw another vision.”
3
Milik speaks of a contrast with the “first vision,” but identifies the “first vision”
with “the whole collection of revelations contained in the Aramaic and Greek Enochic
Pentateuch in two volumes: the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Giants, the Book
of Dreams, the Epistle of Enoch in the first volume, and the Astronomical Book in
the second volume.” See Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân
Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976), 89.
4
In the Aramaic and the Greek, but not in the Ethiopic.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 125

the Watchers, whose punishment at the final judgment is associated with


that of “the kings and the mighty,” the opponents of the group that lies
behind the Book of Parables. Above all, although the first parable reports,
as if it were a new event, that clouds and a storm wind carried Enoch
off to heaven (39:3; cf. 52:1), Enoch’s journey around the heavenly
regions and the cosmos is effectively presented as a continuation of the
journey described in the second half of the Book of the Watchers (chaps.
17–36).5 Thus the literary form of the Book of Parables continues that
of the Book of the Watchers.
The account of Enoch’s otherworldly journey in chaps. 17–36, which
follows, without an introduction, immediately on the account of Enoch’s
ascent to heaven in 14:8–16:4, is characterized by repeated references
to the movement of Enoch around heaven and by descriptions of
the sights he sees. The narrative refers frequently to Enoch going,6 or
being taken,7 to a different place and contains frequent descriptions of
what he saw that are introduced by the phrases “and I saw (there)”8
or “and he showed me.”9 But in addition to the widespread use of
verbs referring to movement and to visionary experience, some of the
individual units of which the narrative is composed have a common
form,10 which is illustrated by chap. 23: Enoch reports that he went to
another place (23:1); he describes what he sees (23:2); he asks the angel
who accompanies him to explain the significance of what he has seen
(23:3); the angel gives him an explanation (23:4). In practice, most of
the examples are more complex than this, but the fourfold pattern,
notwithstanding all the variation, is used repeatedly in chaps. 17–36,
and particularly in 21–36.11

5
The return of Enoch to earth is not reported until the end of the Astronomical
Book (81:5–10).
6
1 En. 17:5; 18:6; 21:1, 7; 22:1; 23:1; 24:1; 26:1; 28:1; 29:1; 30:3; 32:2–3; 33:1;
34:1; 35; 36:1, 2. See also 14:9, 10, 13, 25.
7
1 En. 17:1, 2, 4.
8
1 En. 17:3, 6, 7, 8; 18:1 (bis), 2 (bis), 3, 4, 5 (ter), 9, 10, 11 (bis), 12, 13; 19:3; 21:2,
3, 7 (ter); 22:5; 23:2; 24:2; 26:1, 2, 3; 28:1; 29:2; 30:1, 2, 3; 31:1, 2; 32:1, 3; 33:1, 2,
3; 34:1, 2; 35; 36:1, 2, 4; cf. 23:4; 25:3. See also 14:14, 18.
9
1 En. 22:1; 24:1; 33:3, 4.
10
Cf. Marie-Theres Wacker, Weltordnung und Gericht: Studien zu 1 Henoch 22 (FB 45;
Würzburg: Echter Verlag, 1982), 101–2; George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Com-
mentary on the Book of 1 Enoch 1–36, 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001),
291.
11
See 1 En. 18:9b–19:2; 21:1–6; 21:7–10; 22:1–4, 5–7, 8–14; 23:1–4; 24:1–25:7;
26:1–27:5; 32:2–6.
126 chapter seven

The Book of Parables, as has been suggested, effectively represents a


continuation of the otherworldly journey described in the Book of the
Watchers, but its literary form differs in some respects from that of the
latter work. Thus, although the Book of Parables clearly has the form
of an otherworldly journey, it is somewhat surprising that there are
virtually no explicit references, of the kind familiar from the Book of the
Watchers, to Enoch moving from one place to another. In 39:3 it is said
that clouds and a storm wind carried Enoch off from the earth and set
him down at the end of heaven; in 52:1 that Enoch had been carried
off by a whirlwind and brought to the west; and in 54:1 that Enoch
“looked and turned to another part of the earth, and . . . saw there.”
But apart from these passages, Enoch is not explicitly said to journey
to a new location, although at times it must be assumed that he does.
This difference between the Book of the Watchers and the Book of Parables
is no doubt linked to the different character of the two sections. In the
former there is a definite narrative thread, in the latter, or at least in
the core material, there is little movement (in the literary sense), and
the material consists of a series of descriptions of scenes that present
essentially the same events and the same themes—the enthronement
of the Chosen One/Son of Man, the judgment of the wicked, the
salvation of the righteous—from slightly different perspectives.
Some of the material in the Parables, like that in chaps. 17–36, con-
sists of descriptions of what Enoch had seen that are introduced by the
phrases “And (there) I saw”12 or “And there my eyes saw”13 (or variants
of these); occasionally there are also descriptions of what Enoch had
heard.14 Again in a similar way to what applies in 17–36, in some cases
these descriptions of visions have been expanded in a stereotyped way
by a question from Enoch and an answer from an angel, for example,
in chap. 46: Enoch describes what he sees (46:1); he asks one of the
angels who accompanies him to explain the significance of what he has
seen (46:2); the angel provides an explanation (46:3–8). This threefold
pattern is used in eight passages (40:1–10; 43:1–4; 46:1–8; 52:1–9;
53:1–7; 54:1–6 + 55:3–4; 56:1–4; 61:1–5) that are concerned with the

12
First parable: 39:4, 7; 40:1, 2 (“I looked, and . . . I saw”); 41:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 43:1 (bis),
2; second parable: 46:1; 47:3; 48:1; 52:1 (“in that place where I had seen”); 53:3 (“For
I saw”); 54:1 (“And I looked and turned . . . and I saw”); 56:1; third parable: 59:2, 3
(“all the secrets . . . were shown to me”); 61:1; 64:1; 67:5.
13
First parable: 39:5, 6, 13: 41:2, 3; second parable: 52:2; 53:1; 54:3; third par-
able: 59:1.
14
First parable: 40:3, 5, 6, 7; second parable: 57:2; third parable: 67:12.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 127

central themes of the Parables: the glory of the Lord of Spirits, the
judgment of the Son of Man, the punishment of the kings and the
mighty and the Watchers, the salvation of the righteous, and cosmic
phenomena.
Although there are no accounts of otherworldly journeys in the
Hebrew Bible, the background to the use of this genre in the Ethiopic
Book of Enoch is to be found in the vision reports of the prophetic litera-
ture, and particularly in the two great vision reports preserved in chaps.
8–11 and 40–48 of the book of Ezekiel. Both sections of the book are
composite, and in both a core, consisting maximally of 8:1–10:22 +
11:22–25 on the one hand, and of 40:1–43:12 + 44:1–2 + 47:1–12
on the other, has been expanded by later material that is different in
character.15 In both the hand of YHWH comes upon Ezekiel and brings
him “in visions of God” to Jerusalem. In both Ezekiel is led about (see
8:7, 14, 16; 40:17, 24, 28, and frequently), and indeed the core vision
that forms the basis of chaps. 40–48 was described by Zimmerli as a
“guidance vision.”16 In both cases Ezekiel describes what he has been
shown, in the first vision the sin of Jerusalem and its destruction, and
the departure of YHWH, in the second the new Jerusalem and the
return of YHWH. In chaps. 8–11 there are frequent occurrences of the
verb “to see,” and although this is not the case in 40–48, the section
begins with the command to the prophet: “Mortal, look closely and
listen attentively, and set your mind upon all that I shall show you, for
you were brought here in order that I might show it to you; declare
all that you see to the house of Israel” (40:4). The prophet does not
ask questions about the significance of what he sees, but in the second
vision there are occasional brief explanatory comments from Ezekiel’s
angelic guide (see 40:45–46; 41:4, 22; 42:13–14; 47:8–12) as well as
two speeches by YHWH (43:7–9; 44:2).
The accounts of the two visions in which Ezekiel is carried by the
hand of YHWH to Jerusalem offer the closest parallel in the Hebrew
Bible to the literary genre of the otherworldly journey. However, the
cycle of eight visions preserved in Zech 1–6 is also of some relevance

15
Cf. W. Zimmerli, Ezechiel (2 vols.; BKAT XIII/1–2; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirche-
ner Verlag, 1969), 1:201–6, 241; 2:977–80, 990–93, 1073–76, 1108–10, 1190–91,
1240–43 (ET, Ezekiel 1 (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), 230–34, 256; Ezekiel 2
(Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983), 327–29, 342–44, 411–13, 439–40, 508–10,
547–49).
16
See, e.g., Zimmerli, Ezechiel 2:992, 1074 (ET, Ezekiel 2, 344, 411).
128 chapter seven

as background in that the question and answer format that is lacking


in Ezek 8–11 and 40–48 does appear in Zechariah.17 With only one
exception,18 the brief report of each vision that Zechariah sees or is
shown is followed by a request for an explanation of its significance
and by an explanatory comment from “the angel who talked with”
Zechariah. The pattern is present in its simplest form in 2:1–2 or 2:3–4
(Eng. 1:18–19, 20–21), but in most cases either the vision report itself
or the explanation has been elaborated with further material.
If a significant part of the content of the Book of Parables is cast in
the form of accounts of visions, it is nonetheless the case that much
of the material does not have this form. Two groups of passages in
particular deserve attention. Firstly there is a series of descriptive state-
ments concerning the enthronement of the Son of Man and the events
connected with the judgment that are loosely attached to the material
in visionary form, and the following passages belong in this category:
1 En. 47:1–2; 48:2–7, 8–10; 49:1–4; 50:1–5; 51:1–2, 3, 4–5; 61:6–13;
62:1–16; 63:1–12. These passages are often linked to what precedes by
the introductory formula “(And) in those days” that is familiar from the
prophetic literature; this formula is also widely used in other contexts
in the Book of Parables as a connecting device.
Secondly, there is a group of passages, partly narrative in form, that
is concerned with the story of Noah and may have been taken from a
preexistent book of Noah: 1 En. 54:7–55:2, 60:1–25, 65:1–67:3. The
Noah story has a typological function in 1 Enoch, but inasmuch as the
Noah passages in the Parables do not fit naturally into their context,
the question is inevitably raised as to the extent to which they are
integral to the Parables. It is in any case clear that the Noah passages
have attracted secondary material to themselves (for example, 60:11–23
within 60:1–25). In addition, a number of passages throughout the Book
of Parables interrupt the natural sequence of the text and appear to be
secondary, for example, 42:1–3 and 54:7–55:2.19

17
Wacker (Weltordnung, 292–94) has drawn attention to the parallels between Zech
1–6 and 1 En. 21–33.
18
See Zech 3.
19
I take for granted the view that, notwithstanding the presence of some second-
ary material, the Book of Parables is to be regarded essentially as a unity. For a critical
discussion of the two-source theory of composition advocated by Beer and Charles,
see E. Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn im äthiopischen Henochbuch (Skrifter Utgivna av Kungl.
Humanistika Vetenskapssamfundet i Lund 41; Lund: Gleerup, 1946), 24–33.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 129

In the light of these general comments on the structure of the Book


of Parables, I would like in what follows to consider its structure in a
little more detail. One difficulty in undertaking this task should be
recognized immediately, namely, that in contrast to the situation in
other sections of 1 Enoch, we have only one version of the Parables, the
version that the book possesses in the context of the Ethiopic Book of
Enoch. We have no other version with which to compare the text, and
thus any views about the structure and the composition of the Book of
Parables can be based only on internal criteria.
For the purposes of what follows, I assume that the Book of Parables
dates from either the end of the first century B.C.E.20 or the end of
the first century C.E.21

Introduction (chapter 37)

The words with which the Book of Parables begins, “the second vision
which he saw,” present the Parables as the continuation of the Book of
the Watchers, as we have seen, and were no doubt intended to facilitate
the integration of the Parables into the Enochic corpus. The words that
follow immediately, “the vision of wisdom which Enoch saw” (37:1),
may have constituted the original title of the Book of Parables. The
reference to wisdom, together with the use of wisdom terminology
to describe the content of the revelation given by Enoch (see 37:2–4),
is a reflection of the sapiential connections of the Parables and of the
Enochic writings generally.22

The First Parable (chapters 38–44)

Each of the three parables begins with a short introductory speech


spoken by Enoch,23 in which the fate of the sinners and the righteous

20
Cf. George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah
(Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), 221–23; Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 7.
21
Cf. Michael A. Knibb, “The Date of the Parables of Enoch: A Critical Review,”
NTS 25 (1979): 345–59.
22
Cf. Michael A. Knibb, “The Book of Enoch in the Light of the Qumran Wisdom
Literature,” in Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Biblical Tradition
(ed. Florentino García Martínez; BETL 168; Leuven: Leuven University Press and
Peeters, 2003), 193–210.
23
Cf. Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn im äthiopischen Henochbuch, 31. In the second parable
the introductory speech (chap. 45) becomes, from v. 3, a speech of God.
130 chapter seven

is foretold. The first parable begins with such a speech (38:1–39:2), and
with a description of the carrying of Enoch up to heaven (39:3), and
then consists of a series of vision reports that are typical of the genre
of the otherworldly journey. Secondary material is relatively limited
and is perhaps confined to 39:1–2a and chap. 42.
The introductory speech uses a rhetorical question—When the sin-
ners are judged and salvation appears for the righteous, where will the
dwelling of the sinners be (38:2)?—to affirm the coming judgment of
the sinners and the destruction of the kings and the mighty (38:1–39:2).
It thus serves to introduce one of the key themes of the Book of Parables.
However, 39:1–2a breaks the connection between 38:6 and 39:2b and
is widely regarded as an interpolation. The passage appears to be a
fragment or a summary of the story of the Watchers, and it may be
that Charles was right that the tenses in v. 1 have been adapted to their
context and that at one stage the reference was to the past, not the
future;24 as such the story might offer an explanation for the behavior
of the kings and the mighty. It may also be wondered whether 39:1–2a
was originally a marginal comment intended to explain the origin of
the Book of Parables in which the “books” were understood as a refer-
ence to the Parables.
The first two vision reports (39:4–14; 40:1–10) are related in that both
are concerned to describe scenes in heaven, the former the dwelling
of the righteous (39:4) and of the Chosen One (39:6) in heaven, the lat-
ter the divine throne room in which the heavenly hosts, and particularly
the four archangels, stand before the Lord of Spirits. We may note, by
way of example, the repeated use of verbs of seeing and hearing (39:4,
5, 6, 7, 13; 40:1, 2, 3–7), the use of question-and-answer in the second
vision report, and the clear markers at the end of each scene (39:14;
40:10). The concern with the “dwelling” of the righteous provides a
contrast with the concern with the future “dwelling” of the sinners
(38:2). The attention paid to the role of the four archangels (chap. 40)
perhaps reflects the influence of the Book of the Watchers (chaps. 9–10),
although the name “Phanuel” (40:9) is not used there.

24
Robert Henry Charles, The Book of Enoch (2d ed.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1912),
74. As the Ethiopic text stands, the sequence way…kaww…n . . . way…warr…du, which comes
at the end of a string of prefix tenses referring to the future (1 En. 38:3–6), is most
naturally translated with reference to the future: “And it will come to pass that . . . (they)
will come down.”
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 131

Chaps. 41–44 consist of a series of vision reports (41:1–9; 43:1–4;25


44) that are primarily concerned with astronomical and meteorologi-
cal phenomena and as such are reminiscent of similar accounts in the
Book of the Watchers (17:1–18:5; 33–36). As in the older material, one
of the functions of these passages may be to present Enoch as the one
who has knowledge of everything,26 while the allusion to the obedience
and regularity of the sun and moon to their prescribed course (41:5;
cf. 43:2) is reminiscent of the stress on this theme in 2:1–5:4. How-
ever, linked to the concern with the sun, moon, and stars, and with
meteorological phenomena, is a concern with mankind, and with the
division between the righteous and the sinners (41:1–2, 8), and the stars
of heaven, which symbolize the angelic host, are in a mysterious way
connected with the righteous (43:4); the weighing of the stars (43:2)
is perhaps to be linked to the “weighing” of the deeds of men (41:1).
The connection between the realm of the stars and that of human
beings may thus provide the explanation for the abrupt transitions in
this passage—as they at first sight appear to be—that have led some
scholars to question its integrity.27
However, chap. 42, the passage concerning the unsuccessful attempt
of wisdom to dwell amongst mankind, does interrupt the natural
sequence of the text and is widely regarded as misplaced. As the text
stands, the passage presents the presence of wisdom in heaven on the
same level as the other “secrets of heaven” (41:1) seen by Enoch.28
But it also serves to offer an explanation of the presence of sin in the
world (cf. 41:8).

25
In chap. 41 the vision report is expanded by comment from Enoch (vv. 6–9), in
chap. 43 by a question from Enoch and explanation from the angel (vv. 3–4).
26
Cf. Michael A. Knibb, “The Use of Scripture in 1 Enoch 17–19,” in Jerusalem,
Alexandria, Rome: Studies in Ancient Cultural Interaction in Honour of A. Hilhorst (ed. Florentino
García Martínez and Gerard P. Luttikhuizen; JSJSup 82; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 165–78
(here 171–73).
27
Charles, for example, argued that 1 En. 41:3–9 is alien to its context, and that
41:9 should be read directly after 41:2; and Uhlig questions the relationship between
41:1–2 and 41:3–9. See Charles, The Book of Enoch, 79, 81; and Siegbert Uhlig, “Das
Äthiopische Henochbuch,” in JSHRZ V/6 (Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1984), 582.
28
Cf. Matthew Black, The Book of Enoch, or, I Enoch: A New English Edition with Com-
mentary and Textual Notes (SVTP 7; Leiden: Brill, 1985), 203; André Caquot, “I Hénoch,”
in La Bible: Écrits intertestamentaires (ed. André Dupont-Sommer and Marc Philonenko;
Bibliothèque de la Pléiade; Paris: Gallimard, 1987), 463–625 (here 512).
132 chapter seven

The Second Parable (chapters 45–57)29

After the introductory speech (45:1–6), the second parable divides


into two parts: in chaps. 46–51 there is a series of vision reports and
descriptive statements concerning the Son of Man and the events
connected with the judgment; in 52:1–56:4 there is a series of vision
reports concerning the punishment of the sinners in which the influence
of the Book of the Watchers may be detected. However, 54:7–55:2 is a
Noah fragment and appears to be secondary, and 56:5–57:3a likewise
may be secondary.
Three interrelated themes are touched on in the introductory speech
(chap. 45): the judgment and punishment of “the sinners who deny the
name of the Lord of Spirits” (v. 2); the blessed fate that awaits God’s
chosen ones; and the role of the individual, called in this chapter
“Chosen One” and elsewhere “Son of Man,” as eschatological judge.
These themes are dominant throughout the second parable and hold
its diverse contents together. However, there is an abrupt transition
between 45:1–2 (apparently the words of Enoch) and 45:3–6 (the words
of God), and it may well be that originally separate pieces of material
have been brought together in chap. 45.
Chaps. 46–51 form a loosely linked sequence of passages that consist
of descriptions of scenes in heaven and revolve around the three themes
just mentioned; the passages are linked together only by the repeated
use of the formula “And in those days” (47:1, 2, 3; 48:8; 50:1; 51:1, 3,
4). The basis (chap. 46) is a report of a vision of the Head of Days and
the Son of Man that is manifestly based on the Son of Man vision of
Dan 7 (see vv. 9–10, 13–14); it is presented in the threefold pattern of
description, question, and explanation, but it is the explanation from
the angel (vv. 3–8), which describes the role of the Son of Man as
eschatological judge, on which the emphasis falls.
Two further passages (47:3–4; 48:1–10) are presented as vision reports
and are concerned with the Head of Days and the Son of Man. The
first of these is prefaced by a comment (47:1–2) that serves to introduce
a new theme—the cry for vengeance of innocent blood that has been
shed—but, as the text stands, the comment continues the speech of

29
Elsewhere I have provided a brief commentary on chaps. 45–51: see Michael A.
Knibb, “The Ethiopic Book of Enoch,” in Outside the Old Testament (ed. Marinus de Jonge;
Cambridge Commentaries on Writings of the Jewish and Christian World, 200 B.C. to
A.D. 200, 4; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 26–55 (here 43–55).
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 133

the angel from the previous chapter. The second passage begins as a
description of a vision, but from v. 3 onward becomes a statement about
the attributes and functions of the Son of Man (48:3–7) and about the
judgment of the kings of the earth (48:8–10). The final words of 48:10
(“May the name of the Lord of Spirits be blessed!”) form a conclusion,
but attached to the three vision reports is a series of statements (chaps.
49–51) that are concerned with essentially the same themes as the vision
reports: the attributes and role of the Chosen One, the judgment of the
sinners, the salvation of the righteous. However, some inconsistencies
of viewpoint in chap. 50 (the opportunity for repentance; the role of
God as judge) underline the looseness of the structure.30
The opening words of chap. 52 (“And after those days, in that place
where I had seen all the visions of that which is secret—for I had been
carried off by a whirlwind, and they had brought me to the west”)
clearly mark a new beginning. The following section consists of four
interrelated vision reports (52:1–9; 53:1–7; 54:1–6 + 55:3–4; 56:1–4)
that are all structured in the threefold pattern of description, question,
explanation, and all reveal the influence of the Book of the Watchers.
However, the text does raise a number of problems.
The allusion in chap. 52 to the mountains of metal in the west that
serve the authority of God’s messiah (v. 4) and will melt like wax before
the Chosen One (v. 6) seems to have been influenced by the tradition
of the seven mountains of precious stones in the northwest (18:6–9a;
24:1–3; 25:1–3), the middle one of which is the throne on which God
will sit when he comes to visit the earth. However, this tradition has
been transformed by its association with the tradition, familiar from
theophanic passages, of the melting of the mountains at the coming
of God (Mic 1:4; Ps 97:5; cf. Nah 1:5; Judg 5:4). It has further been
transformed by its combination with the theme of the metals, which
are no doubt to be seen, as in Dan 2:31–45, as representative of a
succession of world empires. Vv. 7–9, which are introduced by “And it
will come to pass in those days” and draw in v. 7 on Zeph 1:18, offer
additional comment on the metals and may be secondary.
Chaps. 53 and 54 both refer to valleys that are connected with the
judgment and punishment of the kings and the powerful: in the former,

30
Cf. Charles, The Book of Enoch, 97; Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,”
592–93.
134 chapter seven

apparently situated in the west near the mountains of metal31 and to


which mankind bring gifts for God, angels are preparing instruments to
punish the kings and the powerful; in the latter, a burning valley situated
in another part of the earth and into which the kings and the powerful
are thrown, angels are making chain instruments for the hosts of Azazel
who are to be thrown into the lowest part of hell. The association of
the punishment of the kings and the powerful with that of the hosts
of Azazel may be noted. The former valley is commonly identified
with the valley of Jehoshaphat, where according to Joel 4:2, 12 (Eng.
3:2, 12) God will enter into judgment with the Gentiles, and insofar
as the kings and the powerful are foreign oppressors, this identification
may be right. The latter valley (chap. 54) is commonly identified with
Gehenna (cf. 26:4; 27:1–3), and this is surely correct. But the passage
reflects the influence of the reference in 18:11a (cf. 21:7–10) to a deep
chasm full of fire at the foot of the seven mountains, and it is apparent
that this valley serves as the place of punishment both for the kings
and the powerful (54:2) and for the hosts of Azazel (54:5). However,
the account breaks off in v. 6 and is apparently resumed in 55:3–4
(note the references to Azazel and his hosts in 54:5–6 and 55:4). The
text of the beginning of 55:3–4 appears to be in some disorder, and
in any case the passage is in the form of a speech of God for which
there is no introduction in 54:1–6, but which continues the speech of
God in 55:1–2. It is possible that some material has been lost through
the insertion of the Noah fragment (54:7–55:2).
In the fourth and final vision of the sequence (56:1–4), Enoch sees
angels preparing chains for the “beloved ones,” that is, the offspring
of the Watchers (cf. 10:12; 14:6), to throw them into “the chasm in
the depths of the valley,” by which the valley described in 54:1–6 is
no doubt meant.
As the text stands, the sequence of four vision reports is interrupted
by a fragment of the Noah story introduced by the formula “And in
those days” (54:7–55:2). As elsewhere in 1 Enoch, the story of the flood
followed by the divine promise of blessing has a typological function,
and this was no doubt the reason for its inclusion here. Black questions
the view that 54:7–55:2 is an interpolation and argues that the Parables
follows the same pattern as the Book of the Watchers, in which “the account

31
The reference to the mountains in 1 En. 53:7 indicates that chap. 53 presupposes
chap. 52.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 135

at En. 8.1–9.11 of the condemnation of the watchers [is] followed at


10.2 by an account of the deluge.”32 However, 54:7–55:2 is introduced
so abruptly and seems so out of context in the sequence of visions that
it is difficult not to think that it was inserted at a secondary stage.
The final passage in the second parable (56:5–57:3a), introduced by
“And in those days,” takes up ideas concerning the end of the present
age that are familiar from the prophetic writings: the last great assault
of the Gentiles on the land of Israel (cf. Ezek 38–39), their unsuc-
cessful attack on Zion and their destruction, and the return of the
exiles to the land. The passage begins as prophetic speech, but from
57:1 becomes a report of a vision. The picture presented here of the
events at the end is so out of character with the view of the rest of
the Book of Parables that the passage would appear at the very least to
have been taken over from elsewhere and may well have been added
at a secondary stage.33

The Third Parable (chapters 58–69)

The structure of the third parable is the most complex of the three
and raises the most questions about the originality of the material. The
core of the parable consists of an introductory speech from Enoch
(chap. 58); two vision reports (59:1–3; 61:1–5), to the second of which
a series of statements concerning the enthronement of the Chosen
One and the judgment of the kings and the mighty has been attached
(61:6–63:12); and a concluding statement (69:26–29). All this material
fits in with the ideas reflected in other parts of the Book of Parables.
But the third parable also includes two substantial passages relating
to the figure of Noah (60:1–25; 65:1–67:3), as well as other material
(64:1–2; 67:4–69:25), and it seems clear that some at least of this has
been added at a second stage.
The third parable is said at the beginning of the introductory speech
to be about the righteous and the chosen (58:1), and in the remain-
der of the speech the author through the mouth of Enoch describes
the blessed life that the righteous will enjoy (58:2–6). In practice the

32
Black, The Book of Enoch, 219.
33
Cf. Charles, The Book of Enoch, 109; Knibb, “The Date,” 355. It is because the
views expressed in 1 En. 56:5–57:3a seem so out of character with those of the rest
of the Book of Parables that it seems to me hazardous to try to hang the date of the
Parables on this passage.
136 chapter seven

parable is as much about the judgment and punishment of the kings


and the mighty.
The immediately following passage (59:1–3), which is presented in
the form of a vision report, is concerned with the secrets of the light-
ning and thunder. Such a concern with meteorological phenomena is
consonant with the similar concern in the first parable (chaps. 41–44)
and is reminiscent of similar material in the Book of the Watchers (cf.
particularly 17:3), but we may wonder why this passage was placed at
the very beginning of the third parable, unless it was in the context of
presenting Enoch as the one who had knowledge of all things to do with
the heavenly realm.34 This passage (59:1–3) may be linked with a much
more extensive passage in the following chapter (60:11–23) concerned
with the secrets of the cosmos, which interrupts the sequence of the
text and seems to have been inserted at a secondary stage. Although it
stands in the middle of a passage that belongs to a Noah tradition, it
seems to be Enochic material and describes what Enoch was “shown” by
the angel who went with him (60:11), what he “saw” near the Garden
of Righteousness (60:23). It may have been the reference to “what is
secret” in both vv. 10 and 11 that led to the insertion of 60:11–23 in
its present position.
Chap. 60, which describes how Enoch was overwhelmed by the shak-
ing of the heavens, has long been recognized as originally a Noah tradi-
tion. But Black is undoubtedly right that the person who placed it here
intended it to be taken as a tradition about Enoch,35 and the judgment
that is symbolized by the quaking of heaven is not that of the flood,
but of the last judgment. It is thus difficult to say whether the nucleus
of chap. 60 belonged to the Book of Parables from the beginning or was
added at a later stage. In any event, the Noah tradition was expanded
by the attachment to it of a tradition about Behemoth and Leviathan
(60:7–10 + 24–25a), into the middle of which the passage discussed
above concerning the secrets of the cosmos (60:11–23) was inserted.
The interpretation of the tradition about Behemoth and Leviathan is
not entirely clear, and it is difficult, because of the textual problems
posed by 60:24–25a, to know whether the two monsters are kept for
the day of judgment to provide food for the righteous (cf. 2 Esd 6:52)
or to devour the wicked. However, while the context—the judgment

34
Cf. above, 131.
35
Black, The Book of Enoch, 225.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 137

of the wicked—would favor the latter interpretation, the evidence of


Tana 9 suggests that the former is the more original.36
The vision of the angels with the measuring cords (61:1–5), which
draws on Zech 2:5–6 (Eng. 2:1–2); Ezek 40:3, 5, is the last passage in
the Book of Parables to be cast in the threefold pattern of description of
what Enoch saw, question, and explanation. According to the explana-
tion, the angels go off to bring “the measurements of the righteous,”
by which is apparently meant both the measurements of the heavenly
dwellings of the righteous and the extent of the righteous community
itself. Attached to this is a series of descriptions of scenes in heaven, the
first depicting the enthronement of the Chosen One as eschatological
judge and the praise offered in heaven by the angelic host (61:6–13),
the second the judgment of the kings and the mighty by the Chosen
One/the Son of Man and the blessed life that awaits the righteous
(62:1–16), and the third the unavailing repentance of the kings and
the mighty (63:1–12). The conclusion of the third parable (69:26–29)
contains similar material, and the whole of chaps. 61–63 + 69:26–29
fits naturally into the Parables in terms of both genre and content. But
the status of the material in between is less clear.
Chap. 64, introduced by “And I saw other figures hidden in that
place,” is a fragment that refers to the punishment of the Watchers.
But there is no antecedent for “in that place,” which apparently refers
to the place of punishment of the Watchers, and the passage comes
in a little unexpectedly. However, the punishment of the kings and the
mighty has already been linked with that of the Watchers in 54:1–6 +
55:3–4, and it may be that it was the concern with the fate of the kings
and the mighty in chap. 63 that led to the inclusion of the fragment
concerned with the Watchers in chap. 64. It may be noted that the
reference to the angels revealing “what is secret” to the sons of men
and leading them astray (64:2) anticipates 65:6b.

36
On the text of 1 En. 60:24–25a, see the comments in Michael A. Knibb, The
Ethiopic Book of Enoch: A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.;
Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), 2.170. In the light of the evidence of Tana 9, the passage
should be translated: “And the angel of peace who was with me said to me: These two
monsters are prepared for the great day of the Lord, and they will provide food that
the punishment of the Lord of Spirits may rest upon them, that the punishment of
the Lord of Spirits may not come in vain. And it will kill children with their mothers,
and sons with their fathers, when the punishment of the Lord rests upon them.” See
also Knibb, “Commentary on 2 Esdras,” in Richard J. Coggins and Michael A. Knibb,
The First and Second Books of Esdras (The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New
English Bible; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 157–58; and Caquot,
“I Hénoch,” 532–33.
138 chapter seven

It is commonly assumed that the passage that follows (65:1–69:25)


has been taken from a preexistent book of Noah or Noah apocalypse,
but while this seems clearly to be the case for the first part of the
material (65:1–67:3), it seems much less clear for the second and third
parts (67:4–69:1; 69:2–25).37 The first part is an autobiographical nar-
rative about the impending flood, the destruction of mankind, and the
deliverance of Noah. It was no doubt included in the Book of Parables
partly because of the involvement of Enoch in the story, but more
importantly because the destruction of sinful mankind at the time of
the flood was interpreted in typological terms of the fate of mankind
at the last judgment.
The second part of this material (67:4–69:1) describes the fate of
the Watchers at the judgment; their punishment, according to 67:5–7,
combines the idea of burning in Gehenna with features associated
with disturbances caused by earthquakes and features associated with
the flood story. The speaker in this part is still Noah (see 67:4; 68:1),
but it is evident that the passage, at least in its present form, has been
written or edited in the light of knowledge of other parts of 1 Enoch.
Thus in 67:4 reference is made to the passage about the mountains of
metal in the west (chap. 52), but 67:4 also seems to refer to chap. 54
and to confuse the place where the Watchers were “shut up” prior to
the judgment (cf. 10:4–6, 12–13) with Gehenna itself (cf. 54:5–6), even
though the valley of chap. 54 is not in the west but in “another part
of the earth.” Also, as in other parts of the Book of Parables, 67:8–10,
13 link the punishment of the kings and the mighty with that of the
Watchers, and 67:9b refers back to what is said about the Chosen One
in 49:4.
The opening words of chap. 68 (“And after this my great-grandfather
gave me in a book the explanation [lit. ‘teaching,’ so Tana 9] of all
the secrets and the parables which had been given to him; and he put
them together for me in the words of the Book of the Parables”) look like
a conclusion. But the theme of judgment is nonetheless continued from
chap. 67 by a report (introduced by “And on the day”) of a dialogue
between Michael and Raphael concerning the severity of the judgment
of the Watchers (68:3–4) and of Michael’s subsequent decision not to
plead on behalf of the Watchers before the Lord of Spirits (68:4–5).
69:1 then provides a summary statement about the punishment of the

37
Charles (The Book of Enoch, 129) makes the same divisions, but assumes the whole
section belongs to a Noah Apocalypse.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 139

Watchers that brings the passage about their judgment and punishment
to a close. However, 69:1 also serves as a bridge to a series of passages
(69:2–25) that appear to be secondary, and in any case hardly form
the natural continuation of the material from the book of Noah. The
point of connection between 69:2–12 and 67:4–69:1 is the common
concern with the fall of angels.
The additional material begins with a new heading, “And behold
the names of those angels” (69:2a), which is followed immediately by
a version of the list of 6:7 (69:2b–3). This list is commonly regarded
as an interpolation, and it is assumed, rightly in my opinion, that the
real continuation of 69:2a is to be found in 69:4–12. This latter pas-
sage provides a tradition about the fall of the Watchers quite different
from that in chaps. 6–8; it is often argued that the angelic figures in
this passage are satans and are superior to the Watchers, and such an
interpretation is demanded once vv. 2b–3 have been inserted into the
text. The list of names of angels (69:4–12) appears to continue in v. 13
with the mention of Kesbeel, but there is an abrupt transition in this
verse, and 69:13–25 forms an independent section that deals with the
divine oath. Even within this material 69:23–24 may be an interpolation,
although there are connections with ideas elsewhere in the Parables.
Overall it would hardly appear that the material in 65:1–69:25 can be
regarded as a unity. Rather it would appear that material from a book
of Noah that bore on the theme of the last judgment (65:1–67:3) was
successively expanded by related material concerned with the theme of
the judgment and punishment of the angels and of the kings and the
mighty, and with the theme of the fall of the angels who were held to
be responsible for all the corruption of the earth.

The Ending (chapters 70–71)

Chap. 69 ends with the words “This is the third parable of Enoch,”
and it might be expected that the Book of Parables would end here. But
there follows a further section, chaps. 70–71, in which Enoch’s ascent to
heaven and identification as the Son of Man, apparently the individual
Enoch had previously seen enthroned in heaven, are described.38 A

38
On the interpretation of these chapters, see Michael A. Knibb, “Messianism in
the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls” DSD 2 (1995): 165–84 (esp. 170–80);
Knibb, “The Translation of 1 Enoch 70:1: Some Methodological Issues,” in Biblical
Hebrew, Biblical Texts: Essays in Memory of Michael P. Weitzman (ed. Ada Rapaport-Albert
140 chapter seven

good case can be made that the passage was intended as an account
of Enoch’s translation to heaven at the end of his earthly life.39 The
passage falls into two parts, a third-person narrative, which gives a
summary account of Enoch’s ascent (70:1–2), and an autobiographical
report in which Enoch describes his ascent40 and identification as Son
of Man (70:3–71:17). Clear allusions are made throughout the section
both to the Book of Parables41 and to the Book of the Watchers,42 and on
any showing chaps. 70–71 belong at a late stage in the formation of
the Book of Parables.
The interpretation of these two chapters raises a number of prob-
lems of translation and exegesis, particularly how 70:1 should be
translated and whether it does report the elevation of Enoch’s name,
that is, of Enoch himself, to heaven, and whether 71:14 does refer to
a real identification of Enoch as Son of Man. In relation to 70:1, I
have discussed in detail elsewhere the alternative texts offered by the
older manuscripts, which are represented on the one hand by British
Library Orient. 485, Berlin, Petermann II, Nachtr. 29, Abbadianus 35,
and to a lesser extent by Tana 9, and on the other by Abbadianus 55
(as well as by some other manuscripts).43 Here I can state only that,
on balance, it still seems to me most likely that the oldest accessible
text of 70:1 is represented by the former, and that 70:1–2 should be
translated as follows:
And it came to pass after this (that), while he was living, his name was
lifted
into the presence of the [or “that”] son of man
and into the presence of the Lord of Spirits
from among those who dwell upon the dry ground.

and Gillian Greenberg; JSOTSup 333; London: Sheffield Academic/Continuum, 2001),


340–54. See also the bibliographical references in both articles.
39
Cf. James C. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of
Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” in The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity
(ed. James H. Charlesworth; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 169–91 (here 179).
40
According to the autobiographical report, the ascent occurred in three stages
(70:3–4; 71:1–4; 71:5–11), and in broad terms the description may be compared with
the account of the ascent in 14:8–25, which also occurred in three stages (14:8–9,
10–14a, 14b–25).
41
Cf. 1 En. 70:2 with 39:3; 70:3 with 61:1; 71:7 with 61:10; 71:8 with 40:9; 71:10
with 46:1; 71:14 with 46:3; 71:16 with 48:7; 62:14.
42
Cf. 1 En. 70:3–71:11 with 14:8–25, particularly 71:5 with 14:10–13, 15–17.
43
See Knibb, “Translation of 1 Enoch 70:1,” 340–50.
the structure and composition of the PARABLES OF ENOCH 141

And he was lifted on the chariots of the wind [or “the spirit”],
and his name vanished among them.44
Correspondingly, it seems most likely to me that 70:1–2 does describe
the translation of Enoch to heaven. It also seems to me most likely that
71:14, which makes a connection with 46:3, does refer to his identifica-
tion as Son of Man.45 But I must refer to my earlier studies for further
discussion of this issue. Here it should simply be noted that the con-
trast with the view of chaps. 37–69, where a clear distinction is made
between Enoch and the Son of Man, and the fact that chaps. 70–71
come as something of a surprise after the end of the third parable in
69:29 point strongly to the view that chaps. 70–71 are a secondary
addition to the Book of Parables.

Conclusion

The overarching literary genre of the Book of Parables is that of an oth-


erworldly journey, and as an account of a visionary journey it stands
in a tradition that goes back to the book of Ezekiel and to Zech 1–8.
The core material of the Parables consists of vision reports to which
descriptions of scenes in heaven, and in particular the divine throne
room, have often been attached, and this material fits naturally in the
context of an account of an otherworldly journey. In two or three
cases it is possible to isolate blocks of material in which the individual
units are related in content (particularly 46–51; 52:1–56:4; 61–63), but
throughout the Book of Parables the individual units have only loosely
been linked together, often by the formula “And in those days.” This
loose structure has facilitated the inclusion of other material, particularly,
but not only, concerning Noah and the flood. Some of this material
seems to have been interpolated or added at a secondary stage, but it
seems likely that this was done on an ad hoc basis over a period of
time, and the absence of alternative versions of the Parables makes it
difficult to make dogmatic statements about the extent of the additions

44
Contrast the translation offered by Caquot, “I Hénoch,” 549. See also Caquot,
“Remarques sur les chapitres 70 et 71 du livre éthiopien d’Hénoch,” in Apocalypses et
théologie de l’espérance (ed. Louis Monloubou; LD 95; Paris: Cerf, 1977), 111–22; and
Daniel C. Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man in the Epilogue of the Parables,” JSP
18 (1988): 27–38.
45
Cf. Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha,” 177–80.
142 chapter seven

or the stages at which the additions were made. The combination of


some structure and some organization of the material (three parables;
some grouping of the individual units) with an overall loosely structured
style of composition is reminiscent of the character of some of the
prophetic collections, for example, that of the book of Isaiah.
Dependence on the Book of the Watchers, both the story of the Watch-
ers (chaps. 6–16) and the account of Enoch’s heavenly journey (chaps.
17–36), can frequently be observed. The account of Enoch’s stay in
heaven in the Parables can be seen as a continuation of the account
of his journey in chaps. 17–36, and the judgment and punishment of
the Watchers has frequently been brought into relationship with that
of the kings and the mighty. The Book of Parables, the “second vision,”
can to a significant extent be understood as a reinterpretation of some
of the themes and ideas of the Book of the Watchers in response to the
circumstances of a later historical situation.
CHAPTER EIGHT

THE DATE OF THE PARABLES OF ENOCH:


A CRITICAL REVIEW

Amongst the many incidental issues raised by J. T. Milik in his edition


of the Aramaic fragments of Enoch from Qumran1 that of the date of
the Parables of Enoch is perhaps one of the most important. Although
there has never been anything approaching a consensus as to the exact
date of this work, I would think it fair to say that many scholars in this
century, if not the majority, have taken the view that the Parables are
Jewish in origin; many have also argued that they date from before 70
C.E.2 Milik’s view that the Parables are Christian and date from around
270 C.E. has such enormous implications for our understanding of the
development of intertestamental Judaism and of the use of the term
‘Son of Man’ in the gospels that it demands very careful consideration.
It also suggests that the evidence on which the Jewish origin and pre-70
C.E. dating has been based needs to be re-examined.

1
Józef T. Milik (with the collaboration of Matthew Black), The Books of Enoch. Ara-
maic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976). For a review see Edward
Ullendorff and Michael A. Knibb, BSOAS 40 (1977): 601–602.
2
Typical dates that have been proposed include the early Maccabaean period (cf.
Jean B. Frey, “Apocryphes de l’Ancient Testament. 1. Le Livre d’Hénoch,” Suppl. Dict. Bible
1, cols. 360–64; Frey argues that the Parables were composed shortly after the death
of Antiochus Epiphanes); the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (cf. Robert Henry Charles,
The Book of Enoch (2d ed.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1912), liv, 67, 72–73, 109); the reign
of Herod (cf. Erik Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn im äthiopischen Henochbuch (Lund: Gleerup,
1946), 35–39; Sjöberg allows for the possibility of a slightly later date, but believes
that the Parables are from before 70 C.E.). Matthew Black (“The Parables of Enoch
(I En. 37–71) and the ‘Son of Man’,” Exp T. 88 (1976): 5–9) apparently accepts the
dating proposed by Milik. After summarizing Milik’s discussion he states: “This is an
impressive array of arguments, the result of which could lead to the total rejection
of the Parables, in particular their Son of Man visions, as late secondary tradition,
inspired by the gospels rather than the basis of their Son of Man Christology. The
negative arguments, in particular the silence of Qumran and of versional and patristic
tradition, seem absolutely decisive for the mediaeval origins and composition of the
Book” (6). He subsequently qualifies this statement by arguing that the Parables include
old material side by side with later traditions.
144 chapter eight

The evidence which Milik adduces for his dating of the Parables has
both a negative and a positive aspect. On the negative side Milik argues
that the complete absence of any fragments of this work amongst the
Qumran discoveries makes it certain that it did not exist in the pre-
Christian era; it is rather a Christian work which draws its inspiration
from the New Testament, and especially from the gospels. Milik further
argues that the absence of any quotation of the Parables amongst Chris-
tian writers of the first to the fourth centuries makes it unlikely that it
is an early Christian work.3 Milik’s view about the date and origin of
the Parables is also linked to his theory of how the Book of Enoch in the
pentateuchal form known to us came into being.
So far as the last point is concerned, Milik believes that there is
evidence to substantiate the view that as late as the fifth century C.E.
the traditions associated with Enoch continued to circulate in Greek
in the form in which they existed at Qumran, namely in two volumes,
the first a Book of Astronomy much longer than the astronomical sec-
tion attested by the Ethiopic, the second a tetrateuch consisting of the
Book of Watchers, the Book of Giants, the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle
of Enoch.4 He thus feels able to conclude “that at the beginning of the
fifth century there did not yet exist an Enochic Pentateuch such as we
know it through the Ethiopic translation, with the Book of Parables in
the second place.”5 He believes that the Greek archetype of this Pen-
tateuch dates from the sixth or seventh centuries and is first attested,
albeit indirectly, by the Stichometry of Nicephorus.
It must be said, first of all, that the evidence on which Milik bases
his view that the Enoch traditions retained in Greek the two-volume
form which they had at Qumran does not seem very strong. Thus Milik
draws attention to the presence of chapters 106–7 in the Chester Beatty
text of the Epistle of Enoch and suggests that this is “evidence of the fact
that this Greek text of the Epistle of Enoch was extracted from a col-
lection which probably combined the four Enochic books.”6 He argues
in this way because he believes that chapters 106–7 were intended as

3
Milik, Books of Enoch, 91–92.
4
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76–77.
5
Milik, Books of Enoch, 77.
6
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 145

an appendix, not just to the Epistle, but to the whole Enochic corpus.7
Whether this is so or not, Milik’s conclusions with regard to the Chester
Beatty papyrus hardly seem to follow. But even if it were true that the
Chester Beatty text of the Epistle were taken from a larger collection,
it is impossible for us to know the nature or extent of that collection.
Milik is on slightly firmer ground when he turns to the evidence of
Syncellus. This Byzantine historian derived his Enoch quotations from
the chronicle of Annianus, who in turn took them from Panodorus.
From the fact that Syncellus includes under the same heading and the
same colophon extracts from the Book of Watchers as well as an extract
which he attributes to the so-called Book of Giants Milik concludes that
in the copy of Enoch which Panodorus had available the Book of Giants
followed immediately on the Book of Watchers.8 This may well be so,
although it is also possible that it is wrong to attach too much weight to
the heading and colophon—as Milik himself admits elsewhere.9 Milik’s
further statement, “I believe that (Panodorus’s) volume of the books of
Enoch also contained the Book of Dreams and the Epistle of Enoch,’10
can only remain a statement of belief pending the discovery of further
evidence. Such evidence is hardly provided by the assertion that the
extract in a Vatican manuscript (Vat. Gr. 1809) which gives a Greek text
of 1 En. 89:42–9 was taken from a Byzantine chronicle, and that the
extract in a British Library manuscript (Royal 5 E. XIII) which gives
a Latin text of 106:1–18 was likewise taken from a chronicle.11 Thus it
seems to me that the evidence for the existence in the early fifth century,
the time at which Panodorus lived, of an Enochic tetrateuch comparable
to that known from Qumran is far from being compelling.

7
Milik, Books of Enoch, 57.
8
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76.
9
In his discussion of the quotation from Syncellus which he attributes to the Book
of Giants Milik observes: “It is true that Syncellus expressly identifies this quotation as
forming part ‘of the first Book of Enoch, on the Watchers.’ It will be remembered,
however, that he was acquainted with the Enochic writings only through the works of
the Alexandrian historians Panodorus and Annianus (around 400 C.E.). He could thus
combine under the same heading and the same colophon quotations one of which did
not come from the first Book of Enoch at all” (Milik, Books of Enoch, 319). Milik gives
the text and a translation of the passage in question on p. 318; see also G. Dindorf,
Georgius Syncellus et Nicephorus CP (Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae 1; Bonn:
Weber, 1829), 47.
10
Milik, Books of Enoch, 76.
11
Milik, The Books of Enoch, 76–77.
146 chapter eight

The question of whether there existed in Greek at the beginning of


the fifth century an independent Book of Astronomy turns on the question
of whether there is evidence for a long form of the Greek text of this
part of the Book of Enoch comparable to the text known from Qumran.
Again it must be said that the evidence for this is not very compelling;
on the one hand an obscure allusion in Syncellus which Milik believes
refers to the final part of the Book of Astronomy (the part which has been
lost in the Ethiopic version, but is now attested in 4QEnastrd),12 on
the other hand a small fragment from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri which
Milik identifies with the Book of Astronomy in its long recension.13 In
both cases Milik’s interpretation of the evidence could be right, but the
evidence itself is so tenuous that it would seem hazardous to base on it
any conclusions as to the form in which the Enochic Book of Astronomy
existed in Greek at the beginning of the fifth century.
To summarize this part of the discussion, it seems to me that we do
not at present possess the evidence which would enable us to trace the
stages by which the Book of Enoch acquired the form which it possesses
in the Ethiopic version, and thus we are not in a position to say when
the Parables were inserted as the second element in the existing book.
However, even if Milik were correct in his views about the transmission
of the Enoch traditions, and it could be shown that the Parables were only
added to the Book of Enoch in the sixth or seventh century, this would
still leave completely open the question of their date and origin.

12
Milik, The Books of Enoch, 20, 77, 319. The passage reads: παραλάβοντας ἀπὸ τοῦ
τετάρτου τῶν ἐγρηγόρων ἄρχοντος Χωραβιήλ τὸ τοῦ ἡλίου ἀνακυκλευµατικὸν µέτρον
εἶναι ἐν ξωδίοις δώδεκα, µοίραις τριακοσίαις ἑξήκοντα‧ ἡ δὲ µοῖρά ἐστιν ἡµέρα µία
καὶ λεπτὸν ἕν (see Dindorf, Syncellus, 1, 57; Milik, Books of Enoch, 319).
13
Milik, Books of Enoch, 77. The evidence for this view is set out more fully in Milik’s
article, “Fragments grecs du Livre d’Hénoch (P.Oxy. xvii 2069),” Chronique d’Égypte 46
(1971): 321–43. Milik argues that the five fragments of this manuscript correspond to
parts of the Book of Dreams and the Book of Astronomy, viz. fr. 1r + 2r = 1 En. 85:10–86:2;
fr. 1v + 2v = 1 En. 87:1–3; fr. 3v = 1 En. 77:7–78:1; fr. 3r = 1 En. 78:8; fr. 5 probably
belongs with fr. 3, and fr. 4 with frs. 1 and 2. Differences in the character of the papyrus
fragments to which the original editor (Hunt) referred, and Milik’s calculations, on the
basis of his restoration of the text, as to the length of the lines of fragments 1 and 2
as compared with that of fragment 3, lead him to conclude: “On retiendra . . . comme
un fait établi que l’écrit astronomique et le livre des Songes de notre papyrus grec
n’étaient pas réunis à l’origine dans un même codex” (Milik, “Fragments grecs,” 343).
Milik’s identifications may be right, but the fragments themselves are so small that it
seems doubtful whether any firm conclusions can be based upon them. For the text
of the fragments see Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part 17 (London: Egypt
Exploration Society, 1927), 6–8.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 147

Turning to the other points raised by Milik, it is certainly true that


the absence of any fragments of the Parables amongst the discoveries at
Qumran makes it very unlikely that the Parables are an Essene composi-
tion from the period before 68 C.E., the year in which the community
was driven from Qumran. But equally this is no reason in itself for
regarding the Parables as Christian. They could have been composed by
another Jewish group, or they could have been composed by Essenes in
the period after they had been driven from Qumran. On the other hand
the absence of any quotation from the Parables amongst Christian writers
of the first to the fourth centuries does not seem to me very significant;
interest in Son of Man christology died out with the composition of
the gospels, and it is hardly surprising in these circumstances that we
should find no quotations from the Parables.
Milik’s positive evidence for the dating of the Parables14 is based on
his belief that the literary form of the Parables is most closely akin
to that of the Sibylline literature; he argues that it was the Christian
production of Sibylline oracles in the second to the fourth centuries
which provided the inspiration for the composition of the Parables. Milik
suggests that it would be easy to draw up a list of parallels between
Enoch and the Oracles, but contents himself with referring to two—in his
view—striking examples. Thus he argues that 1 En. 61:6 is dependent
on lines 233–7 of Book 2 of the Sibyllines, a book which he regards as
an essentially Christian composition of the third century, and that lines
104–10 of Book 5 of the Sibyllines (the last parts of which he dates in
the reign of Caracalla, 211–17) “obviously inspired the author of the
Parables”15 in the composition of 1 En. 56:5–7, the well-known passage
referring to the Parthians and Medes which he translates:
In these days the angels will gather together and will launch themselves
towards the east where the Parthians and Medes live; they will shake
kings . . . And they (the kings) will rise up and will trample the earth of
His elect, and the earth of His elect will be before them like a threshing
floor and a beaten track. But the city of my just ones will be an obstacle
for their horses and they will kindle the war between them, and their
right will deploy its force against them.
But Milik thinks it obvious that 1 En. 56:5–7 refers to events contem-
poraneous with the author of the Parables and finds these events in the

14
Milik, Books of Enoch, 92–6.
15
Milik, Books of Enoch, 95.
148 chapter eight

wars between the Parthians and the Romans in the middle of the third
century C.E. Thus he concludes:
it is to (the) events of the years a.d. 260 to 270 that, in my opinion, the
author of the Book of Parables is referring; he sees in them signs of the end
of the world. He was already greatly disturbed by the sight of the blood
of the just which the kings and the powerful ones who possess the earth
were causing to flow (En. 47:1–4 and 62:11), a clear allusion to the first
great persecution of Christians decreed by the emperors Decius, in a.d.
249 to 251, and Valerian, in 257 and 258, and carried out in the prov-
inces by Roman governors. In conclusion, it is around the year a.d. 270
or shortly afterwards that I would place the composition of the Book of
Parables. Its author conceived it on the model of the Sibylline Oracles
which circulated in this period.16
As a subsidiary argument in support of his dating Milik refers to the
similarities that exist between 1 En. 51:1–3, 2 Esdras 7:32–33, and
Pseudo-Philo’s Antiquitates Biblicae 3:10, and argues that the passage in
Enoch is drawn from the Antiquitates Biblicae.17
I think it must be admitted that the positive evidence that Milik
adduces for his dating is not all that substantial. The similarities that
exist between 1 En. 51:1–3, 2 Esdras 7:32–33, and Antiquitates Biblicae
3:10 have been observed before, but it is by no means clear on which
side the dependence lies. Charles stated with equal plausibility that
the passage from Enoch is quoted in Pseudo-Philo.18 In any case, even
if Enoch is dependent on Pseudo-Philo, this would only mean that the
Parables are not earlier than about 100 C.E. With regard to the Sibyl-
lines, the similarities that are said to exist between Enoch and the Oracles
are not in my opinion sufficient to show the dependence of the former
on the latter. I am likewise not very convinced by the suggestion that
the literary genre of the Parables is most closely akin to that of the
Sibylline literature; other, more obvious, parallels lie nearer to hand in
Enoch itself.19 There remains the suggestion that 1 En. 56:5–7 alludes
to the events of the years 260 to 270 C.E., but this same passage has
been taken by other scholars as evidence for very different datings, e.g.
that the Parables belong before the period of Roman intervention in
Palestine, and it is perhaps best to conclude that these verses are too

16
Milik, Books of Enoch, 96.
17
Milik, Books of Enoch, 93–94.
18
Charles, Book of Enoch, 99.
19
The literary form of the Parables, the account of a heavenly journey, is closely
comparable to that used in 1 En. 14:8–36:4.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 149

imprecise to provide any worthwhile evidence of date—even if one


were to assume that they belong to the main body of the Parables, and
this is not certain.
One element in Milik’s interpretation of 1 En. 56:5–7 seems to me
to be particularly doubtful. Milik argues that “right” in verse 7 means
“western”, and finds here a reference to the Palmyrenes who lived close
to the western frontier of the Sassanid empire.20 Under the leadership
of Odenathus, and subsequently Zenobia, the forces of Palmyra were
of course closely involved in the wars between the Parthians and the
Romans, but the suggestion that in 1 En. 56:7 “right” means “west”,
and therefore refers to the Palmyrenes, goes against the regular conven-
tion that “right” means “south”, cf. e.g. 1 Sam 23:19 (MT yamīn, Eth.
yäman); 1 En. 76:2 (Eth. yäman).
It thus seems to me that the evidence adduced by Milik for dating
the Parables around 270 C.E. is not very convincing. It also seems to
me unlikely that the Parables are a Christian composition, but a little
more will need to be said about this in a moment.

II

If what has been maintained so far is correct, it yet needs to be asked


whether the evidence on which the Parables have often been dated to
the first century C.E., or earlier, has any validity, or whether, as was
once suggested to me, there is such a lack of firm evidence that the
Parables might with equal plausibility be regarded as dating from several
(or many) centuries later. It is certainly true that there does not exist
the same kind of precise external or internal evidence for dating the
Parables that we have in the case, say, of Daniel, or of other sections of
Enoch. Despite this, exaggerated scepticism seems to me out of place. It
may not be possible to date the Parables too precisely, but the evidence
on which they have been conventionally regarded as belonging to the
intertestamental period does in my opinion stand up to examination.
It needs to be emphasized, first of all, that the evidence for the view
that the Parables are a Jewish, rather than a Christian, composition is
overwhelming. The basic point that has been repeatedly made still
remains true; if the Parables are Christian, why are there not obvious

20
Milik, Books of Enoch, 95–96.
150 chapter eight

references to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of the kind that
are to be found in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, or in the Chris-
tian parts of the Ascension of Isaiah? There are works which on good
grounds are regarded as Christian in their present form, and where
the specifically Christian element is not very pronounced, e.g. 2 Esdras
1–2, 15–16, but given the subject matter of the Parables it seems very
hard to understand the absence of clear references to Christ if the
Parables are Christian.
Apart from this general consideration there are two other points
which underline the Jewish character of the Parables. The first is that
the language of composition was almost certainly Semitic, not Greek.
Few scholars in this century, apart from Milik,21 have in fact denied
this, although there has been no agreement as to whether the Semitic
language was Aramaic or Hebrew. This latter question is, however,
of incidental importance for our present purposes, even if—which I
doubt—it were capable of being settled. Not all the evidence that has
been adduced to prove that the original language of the Parables was
Aramaic or Hebrew is equally convincing, and some of the evidence
refers to sections of the Parables which are commonly regarded as com-
ing from another source, namely the Book of Noah. But there is clear
evidence in the Parables themselves which points to a Semitic original,
and I mention two well-known examples. In both cases the evidence
consists of an assumed mistranslation of the underlying Hebrew or
Aramaic text. In 45:3 the Ethiopic reads: “On that day the Chosen
One will sit on the throne of glory, and will choose their works.”
“Choose” is hardly the right word, and it seems very probable that
we have here a mistranslation of the verb b r which in Hebrew and
Aramaic can mean both ‘to choose’ and ‘to test’; it is the latter which
is required in the context. In 52:9 the Ethiopic appears to state: “All
these things will be denied and destroyed from the face of the earth.”
However, “denied” makes no sense in the context, and it seems very
likely that the common Ethiopic verb ‘to deny’ (k da) was used here
because the equivalent Hebrew and Aramaic root k d, which has the
meaning ‘to wipe out, destroy’, was used in the original.22 This second
example, incidentally, points to the direct use of a Semitic original by

21
Milik, Books of Enoch, 91.
22
Cf. Michael A. Knibb in consultation with Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopic Book
of Enoch. A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1978), 2.41, 137.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 151

the Ethiopic translator.23 Evidence of vocabulary also points to the


view that the Parables were composed in a Semitic language. The very
common use of yäb s (‘the dry ground’—Hebrew yabbāshā, Aramaic
yabbashtā) instead of m d r (‘the earth’) seems to me more readily expli-
cable on the assumption that the Parables were composed in Hebrew
or Aramaic, rather than Greek.
Secondly, the contents of the Parables likewise underline their essen-
tially Jewish character. Here it is perhaps sufficient to refer to the recent
study of the Son of Man traditions in the Parables by J. Theisohn entitled
Der auserwählte Richter.24 Theisohn’s thesis is that the Parables interpret
the Son of Man traditions of Dan 7 by identifying the Son of Man
with the Chosen or Elect One, a figure whose character is essentially
that of an eschatological judge. He examines the various statements
that are made about this figure in the Parables—no idle word is spo-
ken before him, his character is one of righteousness, he sits on the
throne of glory to which God has appointed him and which is at the
same time God’s own throne, his task when enthroned is to judge the
wicked—and argues that the background to these ideas is to be found
in the Old Testament in Isa 11:1ff. and Ps 110, that is within the royal
traditions of the Old Testament. But Theisohn also considers the pos-
sibility that non-royal traditions have played a part in the development
of the figure of the Son of Man or Chosen One, and believes that the
motif of his hiddenness (1 En. 48:6, 62:7) may derive from the Servant
Songs (cf. Isa 49:1ff.), and the motif of his pre-existence (1 En. 48:3, 6)
from Prov 8:23ff.
Whatever one may think about some of the details of Theisohn’s
study, his main conclusions seem to me to be correct. What is important
here is Theisohn’s insistence that the traditions concerning the Son of
Man or Chosen One in the Parables are rooted firmly in the Old Testa-
ment. As such the Parables have a proper place alongside other Jewish
writings of the intertestamental period which have a ‘messianic’ theme.
In this connection it is perhaps worth adding that even the identifica-
tion of Enoch as the Son of Man in 1 En. 71:14–17 no longer seems

23
For a discussion of this question see Knibb, Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.37–46;
Edward Ullendorff, “An Aramaic ‘Vorlage’ of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch?,’ Atti del
Convegno Internazionale di Studi Etiopici (Academia Nazionale dei Lincei: Problemi Attuali
di Scienza e di Cultura 48; Rome: 1960), 259–67.
24
Johannes Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter. Untersuchungen zum traditionsgeschichtlichen
Ort der Menschensohngestalt der Bilderreden des Äthiopischen Henoch (SUNT 12; Göttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975). See my review in JSS 21 (1976): 197–200.
152 chapter eight

so strange in the context of intertestamental Judaism as it once did.


A parallel of a kind to this can now be found in 11QMelch in which
Melchizedek is presented as a heavenly figure and a redeemer.25

III

Specific suggestions for dating the Parables have to a great extent turned
on attempts at identifying the wicked rulers who persecute the right-
eous. These have variously been thought to be the Seleucids, the
Hasmonaeans, or the Romans, but since an early date for the Parables
seems now on general grounds rather unlikely, the choice is really
between the Hasmonaeans and the Romans. Sjöberg’s discussion of
the evidence26 seems to point decisively to the view that foreign rul-
ers, namely the Romans, must at least be included among the wicked.
Of native rulers it could not be said, unless as a piece of exaggerated
invective, “their faith is in the gods which they have made with their
hands” (46:7). Perhaps of greater significance is the argument that in
the repeated descriptions of the wicked as “the kings of the earth and
the strong who possess the dry ground” (48:8, cf. 62:9, 63:1, 12) the
use of the term yäb s (‘dry ground’) points to world-wide dominion.
Sjöberg concludes that the Parables were composed during the period
of Roman domination of Palestine, and this view seems eminently
reasonable. But even if one thinks that the composition of a work like
this by a Jew is unlikely after the failure of the revolt of 132–5 C.E.,
this still leaves a very long period, from 63 B.C.E. to 135 C.E., in
which the Parables could have been written. Is it possible to define the
period of composition more precisely? Sjöberg himself believes that
since the destruction of the temple is not mentioned, the Parables must
have been composed before 70 C.E. It may be asked how far the lack
of mention of the destruction of the temple is really decisive, but this
is a point to which I wish to return.
The one passage in the Parables which does seem at first sight to
provide some firm evidence for dating is 56:5–8. This passage, some-
what after the style of Ezek 38–39, describes the assault in the last

25
For a recent discussion of 11QMelch see Fred L. Horton, The Melchizedek Tradition
(SNTSMS 30; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 64–82.
26
Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn, 35–37.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 153

days on the land of God’s chosen ones of the forces of the Parthians
and Medes:
And in those days the angels will gather together, and will throw them-
selves towards the east upon the Parthians and Medes; they will stir up
the kings, so that a disturbing spirit will come upon them, and they will
drive them from their thrones . . . And they will go up and trample upon
the land of my chosen ones, and the land of my chosen ones will become
before them a tramping-ground and a beaten track. But the city of my
chosen ones will be a hindrance to their horses, and they will stir up
slaughter amongst themselves and their (own) right hand will be strong
against them; and a man will not admit to knowing his neighbour or
his brother, nor a son his father or his mother, until through their death
there are corpses enough, and their punishment—it will not be in vain.
And in those days Sheol will open its mouth, and they will sink into it;
and their destruction—Sheol will swallow up the sinners before the face
of the chosen.
It is the specific reference to the Parthians and Medes which has led to
the attempts to use this passage as a means of dating the Parables, but
the interpretations that have been put upon this reference have varied
considerably. Charles believed that since it is the Medes and Parthians
who are the great world powers from whom danger can be expected,
56:5–8, and consequently the Parables themselves, date from before 64
B.C.E.27 A different approach was taken by Sjöberg: he argued that
the references to the Parthians and Medes were best understood on
the assumption that the Parables were composed before the impression
caused by the events of 40–37 B.C.E., when the Parthians captured
Jerusalem and installed Antigonus as king and high-priest, had died
away—although he did not believe that this argument could be deci-
sive.28 At the other extreme, Milik, as we have seen, interpreted 56:5–8
in terms of the wars between the Parthians and the Romans in the
third century C.E.29 This same passage was also used by J. C. Hindley
in a recent article on the date of the Parables.30
Hindley takes as his starting-point Sjöberg’s discussion of the evidence
for dating. While accepting some of the main features of Sjöberg’s argu-
ment, he rejects his interpretation of 56:5–8, primarily on the grounds

27
Charles, Book of Enoch, 109.
28
Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn, 39.
29
Cf. above, 147–148.
30
John C. Hindley, “Towards a Date for the Similitudes of Enoch: A Historical
Approach,” NTS 14 (1967/68): 551–65.
154 chapter eight

that the invasion of the Parthians in 40 B.C.E. was widely welcomed by


the Jews, whereas in Enoch the invasion is seen as a hostile event. Hindley
himself none the less believes that the references to the Parthians and
Medes are not without significance, and that “Enoch 56 was prompted
by some historical situation in which the Parthians impinged on Jewish
consciousness.”31 He finds this historical situation in the campaigns of
Trajan against the Parthians in 113–17. His main arguments for this
view are threefold: (1) Passages in Books 4 and 5 of the Sibyllines, and in
the Rabbinic writings, provide evidence for the expectation of an attack
in the last days from the Persians and Medes. This evidence belongs
in the period from the Fall of Jerusalem to the early decades of the
second century, and the passage in Enoch fits neatly into this pattern
of expectation.32 (2) It was only in the time of Trajan’s campaign that
it was possible for the Jews to think of a “Parthian menace.” Hindley
points out that while Trajan advanced towards the Persian Gulf, revolts
broke out in his rear, and a Roman army was defeated. He believes that
it is at least possible (and in his view probable) that the Armenian or
Parthian army which caused the defeat pressed on into Roman Syria,
and even for a brief while took Antioch, thus providing a real Parthian
threat to Palestine. He suggests that the progress of this Parthian army
could have given rise “to fresh speculation that the eschatological inva-
sion was on the way . . . that all was set for the miraculous intervention
of God before the gates of Jerusalem.”33 (3) The Jewish revolt in the
time of Trajan provides a plausible background for the expectation of
the return of the exiles to Zion that is found in 1 En. 57, the passage
which immediately follows the prophecy of the attack of the Parthians
and Medes. He thus concludes:
If our argument is correct we have in the years 115–17 a conjunction of
events which would very naturally give rise to the Similitudes of Enoch
56.5–7. These years differ strikingly from the previous crises in the relation-
ships of Rome and Parthia in that for the first time we find at one and
the same time a real Parthian threat to Palestine coupled with a Jewish
uprising against Rome; this is remarkably close to the association between

31
Hindley, “Towards a Date,” 553.
32
Hindley, “Towards a Date,” 557–58. The passages to which he refers are Sib. Or.
4:137ff., 5:99ff., 143ff., 247ff. For the Rabbinic evidence he refers to George F. Moore,
Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (3 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 1927), 2.354–55; the passages to which Moore alludes are Sanhedrin
98a–b and Lam. R. on 1. 13.
33
Hindley, “Towards a Date,” 558–60.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 155

Parthian aggression and the return of the Exiles which is predicted in Sim.
En. 56–7. We could well believe that the writer produced these chapters
under the stimulus of the events we have described.34
Although on other grounds I would be inclined to date the Parables at
approximately the same time as Hindley does, his arguments for dating
seem to me to be unconvincing. If it could definitely be shown that
in the period from the Fall of Jerusalem to the early decades of the
second century there was an expectation of a last assault on Jerusalem
by the Persians and Medes, this would provide valuable evidence for
dating the Parables. Unfortunately the chief evidence on which he relies,
the Sibyllines, is itself of very uncertain dating, and the most important
passage to which he refers (Sib. Or. 5:99ff.) was attributed by Milik to
a later period and used in evidence of a third-century dating for the
Parables.35 The evidence for the view that the Parthians took Antioch and
could thus have been regarded as a threat to Palestine is, as Hindley
himself admits, circumstantial and very uncertain; but even if it could
be shown that the Parthians did reach Antioch, this would not in itself
prove the point Hindley is making. On the contrary it seems rather
unlikely that the Parthians could have been regarded in a hostile light
by the Jews at that particular time, since it appears that the rebellion
of the Jews was prearranged with the Parthians.36 It is possible that this
rebellion could have provided the background for 1 En. 57:1–3, but
the prophecy is cast in such general terms that there is no real way of
showing whether Hindley’s view is correct or not.
On more general grounds any attempt to date the Parables by refer-
ence to 56:5–8 seems to me to be unsatisfactory. On the one hand I am
not convinced by Hindley’s assertion that we need to look for a specific
historical situation as the background to this passage. This prophecy
takes up a typical element of Old Testament expectation about the end,
and is entirely general in character. Given that the Parthians were a
potential source of trouble throughout the period with which we are
concerned, it seems to me quite natural that the Parthians and Medes

34
Hindley, “Towards a Date,” 561.
35
Cf. above, 147–148. The oldest Rabbinic evidence to which he (indirectly) alludes
belongs in the time of Hadrian, cf. Moore, Judaism, 2.114, 354.
36
Cf. M. Cary and H. H. Scullard, A History of Rome down to the Reign of Constantine
(3d ed.; London: Macmillan, 1975), 438–39, 440; Geo. Widengren, “Quelque rapports
entre Juifs et Iraniens à l’époque des Parthes,” VTSup 4 (1957): 201–202. For a general
discussion of the Parthian campaign see Frank A. Lepper, Trajan’s Parthian War (London:
Oxford University Press, 1948).
156 chapter eight

should be presented as the enemy. I think this could have been done
at any time after 40 B.C.E. On the other hand the question whether
56:5–57:3 is an integral part of the Parables seems to me to demand
consideration. What is presented in this section is completely out of
character with the remainder of the Parables, and it may well be that
this is an independent piece which was taken over by the author of
the Parables, or interpolated at a later stage. It seems to me, therefore,
somewhat hazardous to try to hang the dating of the Parables on this
one passage.

IV

Some scholars have argued that a number of passages in the New


Testament are directly dependent on the Parables, and if this could be
demonstrated, then it might provide a way of arriving at a more precise
date for the Parables. It must be said, however, that this does not seem
to offer a very promising approach.
Charles provided a long list of passages in Enoch, including a number
from the Parables, which he believed exercised an influence on the New
Testament.37 However, in the case of most of these passages there is
little more than a general similarity of thought or language, and it
is difficult to accept seriously the suggestion that the New Testament
passages in question were influenced by, or are dependent on, the Book
of Enoch.38 So far as the Parables are concerned, only two passages in
his list, Rev 6:15–16 and Matt 19:28, seem to me to call for further
comment here, and it will be convenient to deal with the second of
these at a later stage.
Charles compared Rev 6:15–16 with 1 En. 62:3, 5, and clearly these
two passages are to some extent similar:
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the
rich and the strong, and every one slave and free, hid in the caves and
among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks,
‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb’ (Rev 6:15–16).

37
Charles, The Book of Enoch, xcv–ciii.
38
Cf. T. Francis Glasson, The Second Advent: The Origin of the New Testament Doctrine
(3d ed.; London: Epworth, 1963), 31–38.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 157

And on that day all the kings and the mighty and the exalted, and those
who possess the earth, will stand up; and they will see and recognize how
he sits on the throne of his glory . . . And pain will come upon them as
upon a woman in labour . . . and they will be terrified, and will cast down
their faces, and pain will take hold of them when they see that Son of
Man sitting on the throne of his glory (1 En. 62:3–5).
A comparison of these two passages shows that they share a common
theme (the terror of the great men of the earth before the judgement
throne), and that there are some similarities in the language used.
Despite this it is difficult to believe that there is any real connection
between them. The passage in Revelation is built up from a number
of Old Testament texts (Isa 2:19, 21; Hos 10:8 (cf. Luke 23:30)) which
are not used in Enoch. On the other hand the image of the woman in
childbirth, which Enoch seems to take from Isa 13:8, is not present in Rev
6:15–16. Finally, Rev 6:15–16 does not mention the Son of Man.
Charles’s list of passages in Enoch which allegedly influenced the
New Testament remains unconvincing because he did not sufficiently
consider what criteria need to be fulfilled in order to show that there is
quotation, or specific usage of a text, and not merely a general similar-
ity of thought. A much more sophisticated attempt to isolate passages
in the New Testament which have been directly influenced by the
Parables has recently been made by Theisohn.39 From a methodological
point of view he rightly argues that it is a mistake to talk in terms of
a generalized influence of the Parables on the New Testament; rather
the different layers of tradition need to be examined independently. On
this basis he believes it possible to show that the Parables influenced the
author of the Gospel of Matthew in the case of Matt 19:28, 25:3140
and that the Parables likewise provide the background for the tradition
which has been incorporated into Matt 13:40–3.41 He himself specifi-
cally makes the point that his conclusions with regard to Matt 19:28,
25:31 provide firm evidence for dating the Parables in that they give us
a terminus ad quem.42 How strong is his case?
Theisohn argues that the use in Matt 19:28 of the expression ὅταν
καθίσῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης αὐτοῦ, and in 25:31
of the expression τότε καθίσει (sc. the Son of Man) ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης

39
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 149–201.
40
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 152–82.
41
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 182–201.
42
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 253 n. 20.
158 chapter eight

αὐτοῦ, reveals the influence of the Parables where comparable expres-


sions appear repeatedly. He concentrates particular attention on the
phrase θρόνος δόξης which occurs only rarely ( Jer 14:21, 17:12; Isa
22:23; 1 Sam 2:8; Wisdom 9:10; Sir 47:11 (LXX); Dan 3:54 (LXX);
T. Levi 5:1; 1 En. 9:4, 14:18–20), and he argues that none of these
passages provides an adequate background for what is said in Mat-
thew. Only in the Parables is the requisite combination of motifs to
be found (the Son of Man—sitting on the throne of glory—judging
the wicked), and thus he argues that these passages in Matthew are
dependent—perhaps through oral tradition—on the Parables. He further
argues that the influence exercised by the Parables occurred at the stage
of the Matthaean redaction.
In the case of Matt 19:28, 25:31 there can be no question of the
similarity with Enoch (cf. such passages as 45:3, 47:3, although in fact
the expression is only used with the Son of Man as subject in 62:5,
69:27, 29). However, it may be asked whether the use of θρόνος δόξης
provides a sufficient basis to show dependence on the Parables. Theisohn
is surely right in arguing that the passages in question belong at the stage
of the redaction of Matthew, but it seems to me unnecessary to assume
the particular influence of the Parables in their composition. There is a
striking parallel, but for it to be regarded as any more than this a much
broader influence of the Parables needs to be demonstrated.
Similar considerations apply in regard to Matt 13:40–43 where in
any case the suggested links with the Parables are much less convincing.
Theisohn subjects Matt 13:40–43, and the parallel passage 13:49–50,
to a rigorous analysis, and argues that underlying both of them is an
older ( Jewish) tradition. Within this tradition he isolates two distinc-
tive expressions, ἡ κάµινος τοῦ πυρός and οἱ δίκαιοι ἐκλάµψουσιν ὡς
ὁ ἥλιος, and argues that the most plausible background for these is to
be found in the Parables; for the former he compares 1 En. 54:6, for
the latter 39:7, 58:3 (cf. 38:4, 50:1). However, the exact expressions to
which Theisohn refers do not occur in the Parables.43 Without going
into the details of his argument, it seems to me that the motifs which
underlie these expressions (the burning of the wicked, and the shining
of the righteous) are so commonplace that it is unnecessary to assume
the particular influence of the Parables in the composition of the tra-
dition which has been taken up in Matt 13:40–43. Since the exact

43
It is interesting to observe that “furnace of fire” does occur in 1 En. 98:3.
the date of the PARABLES OF ENOCH: a critical review 159

expressions are not to be found in the Parables, I think the possibility


of such influence unlikely.

Where then does this leave us with the dating of the Parables? Is there
no firm evidence for dating which would enable us to go beyond say-
ing that this is a Jewish work which belongs somewhere in the period
63 B.C.E. to 70 C.E. or 135 C.E.? I think it certainly true that we
cannot hope to date the Parables very precisely, and yet on balance I
think there is something to be said for dating them at the end of the
first century C.E.44
First of all, I am not convinced by Sjöberg’s view that the Parables must
date from before 70 C.E. because there is no allusion to the destruction
of Jerusalem. Not every work written after that time must automatically
refer to the Fall of Jerusalem, and it seems to me perfectly possible
that the Parables could have been composed after this event—although
presumably a little time afterwards. On the other hand the absence of
any fragments of the Parables amongst the Qumran discoveries seems
to me to point fairly strongly to the view that this section of Enoch
was composed after the Qumran site was abandoned in 68 C.E. The
Parables were not written in isolation from the other Enoch traditions,
but rather represent a continuation of them; in view of this it is all the
more difficult to explain the absence of any fragments of the Parables
if they were composed before 70 C.E.
Secondly, it seems to me that the kind of things that are said about
the Son of Man fit most naturally into the period at the end of the first
century C.E. In the course of his study Theisohn45 has drawn attention
to the fact that the attribution of judicial functions to a “messianic”
figure is by no means unique, although it has to be said that there are
not all that many parallels, and that in those that do exist the judicial
function is not as pronounced as in the Parables. Of the parallels that
he lists some of the most significant seem to me to occur in 2 Baruch
and 2 Esdras 3–14. Thus according to 2 Bar. 40:1–2, 72:2ff. before the

44
Geza Vermes regards the last quarter of the first century C.E. as the most suitable
period for the composition of the Parables (Geza Vermes with the collaboration of Pamela
Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran in Perspective (London: Collins, 1977), 223.
45
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 100–13.
160 chapter eight

rule of God’s Messiah begins, the Messiah acts as judge of the wicked.
In a similar way the Messiah acts as judge in 2 Esdras 12:32–33:
this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept until the end of days
who will arise from the posterity of David, and will come and speak to
them; he will denounce them for their ungodliness and for their wicked-
ness, and will cast up before them their contemptuous dealings. For first he
will set them living before his judgement seat, and when he has reproved
them, then he will destroy them.
Similarly in 2 Esdras 13, which does not really have any place for a
judicial process, the Son of Man is somewhat surprisingly presented
in vv. 37–38 as judging the wicked.46 It seems to me not without sig-
nificance also that in 2 Esdras the figure known as the Messiah (12:32)
or the Son of Man (13:25–26, 51–52) is implicitly presented as being
preexistent; he is kept hidden by God now until the time comes for
him to act. Exactly the same kind of things are said about the Son of
Man in the Parables, cf. 48:6, 62:7.
These similarities lead me to suggest that it is plausible to attribute
the Parables to more or less the same period as that in which 2 Baruch
and 2 Esdras 3–14 were composed, i.e. the end of the first century
C.E.—although I am fully aware of how tentative this must be.47 If
this is right, the Parables could be seen as being written in reaction to
the events of 66–73 C.E., but probably some time after these events.
The author sees no hope in the present situation and looks for the
intervention of God’s judge, the Son of Man or Chosen One, who
alone would bring to an end the rule of the Romans.

46
Cf. Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 108–109. Of the other passages to which
Theisohn refers the most significant are T. Levi 18 (cf. 2) and T. Judah 24 (cf. 6), cf.
Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 102–8. However, the date and origin of these pas-
sages is very uncertain.
47
It is perhaps worth adding that the New Testament writing which most explicitly
attributes judicial functions to the Son of Man, i.e. the Gospel of John (cf. 5:27), also
belongs at the end of the first century; similarities between John and Enoch in this
respect have recently been observed by Barnabas Lindars (cf. “The Son of Man in
the Johannine Christology,” Christ and Spirit in the New Testament. Studies in Honour of C.
F. D. Moule (ed. Barnabas Lindars and Stephen S. Smalley; Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1973), 57–58, 59–60). On the view presented here the Parables and
John may be regarded as more or less contemporary reinterpretations of the Son of
Man traditions.
CHAPTER NINE

THE TRANSLATION OF 1 ENOCH 70:1:


SOME METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES

Chapters 70–71 of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch form a separate section at


the end of the Parables of Enoch (chs. 37–71) in which Enoch’s ascent to
heaven and identification as the Son of Man, apparently the individual
whom Enoch had previously seen enthroned in heaven, are described.
There are grounds for thinking that the passage was intended as an
account of Enoch’s final translation to heaven at the end of his life,
in contrast to the accounts of Enoch’s earlier, temporary, translations
to heaven (14:8; 39:3), whose purpose was to carry up to God the
petition of the Watchers and to receive a revelation of the secrets of
the cosmos and of heaven.1 It seems quite likely that chs. 70–71 are
secondary in comparison with the main body of the Parables, but as
the Ethiopic text stands, they serve as a conclusion to the Parables, and
there are allusions back both to the Parables 2 and to the Book of Watchers
(chs. 1–36).3 The text divides on formal grounds into two parts, a third
person narrative, which gives a summary account of Enoch’s ascent
(70:1–2), and an autobiographical report in which Enoch describes his
ascent and identification as Son of Man (70:3–71:17).

1
Cf. André Caquot, “Remarques sur les chapitres 70 et 71 du livre éthiopien
d’Hénoch,” in Apocalypses et théologie de l’espérance (ed. Louis Monloubou ; Association
catholique française pour l’étude de la Bible: LD 95; Paris: Cerf, 1977), 111–22 (112–13);
James C. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in
1 Enoch 37–71,” in The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity (ed. James
H. Charlesworth; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 169–91 (178–79). According to the fic-
tion reflected in 81:5–6, Enoch was to teach his children for one year all that he had
learnt in these heavenly journeys before finally being taken from them.
2
Cf. 70:2 with 39:3; 70:3 with 61:1; 71:7 with 61:10; 71:8 with 40:9; 71:10 with
46:1; 71:14 with 46:3; 71.16 with 48.7; 62:14. See Caquot, “Remarques”, 114; Michael
A. Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls,” DSD 2
(1995): 165–84 (179–80).
3
Cf. 70:3–71:11 with 14:8–25.
162 chapter nine

According to the autobiographical report, the ascent occurred in three


stages4 (70:3–4; 71:1–4; 71:5–11), and in broad terms the description
may be compared with the account of the ascent in 14:8–25, which also
occurred in three stages (14:8–9, 10–14a, 14b–25). The language used
in 70:3–71:11 is reminiscent of that used in 14:8–25, and in particular
the house built of crystal and tongues of fire (71:5), from which the
Head of Days emerges (71:10), recalls the description of the houses
in 14:10–13, 15–17.
The climax of the autobiographical report comes in 71:14 in which
Enoch is addressed—according to what seems to me the most natural
understanding of the Ethiopic text—as follows:
And he [or ‘that one’; var. ‘that angel’]5 came to me, and greeted me
with his voice, and said to me, “You are the Son of Man who was born
to righteousness,6 and righteousness remains ( adara) over you, and the
righteousness of the Head of Days will not leave you.”
There seems little doubt that a deliberate link back is intended in this
verse with the description of the Son of Man in 46:3: “This is the Son
of Man who has righteousness, and with whom righteousness dwells
( adara)”, and thus that Enoch himself is here identified with the figure
whom he had seen enthroned next to God during his visionary journeys
through the heavenly regions, the one who would act as the judge at
the end of the age, who is called “Righteous One”,7 “Chosen One”,8
and “Messiah”9 as well as “Son of Man”.10 But the identification comes
as something of a surprise, both because throughout the main body of
the Parables (chs. 38–69) Enoch seems clearly to be distinguished from
the heavenly figure he saw, the Chosen One/the Son of Man, and
because, even within chs. 70–71, a clear distinction seems to be drawn
in 70:1 between Enoch and the Son of Man. A number of different
strategies have been adopted to deal with the apparent difficulty,11 but

4
Cf. Caquot, “Remarques”, 114 (“par palliers”).
5
There are no other significant variants in this passage apart from this.
6
This sentence could also be translated “You are a son of man [or “a man”] who
was born to righteousness”. See further Caquot, “Remarques”, 115–18; Sigmund
Mowinckel, He that Cometh (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1959), 441–44.
7
See 38:2 (although the reading “righteousness” is perhaps to be preferred); 53:6.
8
See, e.g., 40:5; 45:3–4.
9
See 48:10; 52:4.
10
See, e.g., 46:1–6; 48:1–10.
11
See, e.g., Maurice Casey, “The Use of the Term ‘Son of Man’ in the Similitudes
of Enoch,” JSJ 7 (1976): 11–29 (18–19, 22–29); VanderKam, “Righteous One,” 182–85;
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 163

it is not my intention, nor is it really possible, to pursue these here.


Rather, my intention is to focus on the translation of 70:1 in view of
the role this passage has played in the question of the identification of
Enoch as Son of Man.
The summary account of Enoch’s ascent in 70:1–2 is cast, as we have
noted, as a third person narrative. It serves both to link chs. 70–71 to
chs. 37–69 and as an introduction to the autobiograpical report that
follows. The Ethiopic text of the majority of the manuscripts, both those
belonging to the older type of text and those belonging to the younger
type of text, may be translated, fairly literally, as follows:
And it came to pass after this (that), while he was living, his name was
lifted to the presence of the [or ‘that’] Son of Man and to the presence
of the Lord of Spirits [tala ala semu eyaw ba abehu lawe etu walda eguala
emma eyaw waba aba egzi a manafest]12 from among those who dwell upon
the dry ground. And he was lifted on the chariots of the wind [or ‘of
the spirit’], and his name vanished among them.
This translation is an adapted version of the one I gave in my transla-
tion of Enoch,13 but in all essentials it is also the translation given by
Flemming, Charles, and Uhlig;14 it likewise corresponds in all essentials
to the translation given by Dillmann,15 who, however, had at his disposal
only manuscripts belonging to the younger type of text. In this passage,
as in 48:3, the ‘name’ stands for the person, and the statement that
Enoch’s name was lifted to the presence of the Son of Man and the
Lord of Spirits refers to the taking up of Enoch into heaven. This is
made clear by the parallel statement in verse 2 (“he was lifted on the
chariots of the wind”) which alludes to the narrative of the taking up
of Elijah into heaven (2 Kgs 2:11–12).

John J. Collins, “The Son of Man in First-Century Judaism,” NTS 38 (1992): 448–66
(453–57); Knibb, “Messianism,” 177–80.
12
For the purposes of this article I have thought it unnecessary to use anything
more than a simple system of transliteration.
13
Michael A. Knibb in consultation with Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopic Book of
Enoch: A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clar-
endon, 1978), 2:165.
14
See Johannes Flemming and Ludwig Radermacher, Das Buch Henoch (GCS 5;
Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1901), 90; Robert Henry Charles, The Book of Enoch (Oxford:
Clarendon, 2d ed., 1912), 141; Siegbert Uhlig, “Das äthiopische Henochbuch,” in
JSHRZ V/6; Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1984), 631.
15
See August Dillmann, Das Buch Henoch (Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel, 1853), 40.
164 chapter nine

The manuscripts I used for my edition of the Ethiopic text of Enoch,16


which, with some exceptions, had been known for some time and had
been used by Charles and Flemming in the early part of the last cen-
tury, reveal a number of textual variants in 70:1–2, but only two are
of significance in relation to the above translation. First, for ba abehu
lawe etu (“to the presence of the/that”), the variants ba aba we etu and
ba aba lawe etu occur, but with no real difference in meaning. However,
Tana 9 has a double reading (baqedma ba aba lawe etu), and Abbadianus
55 has only lawe etu. The significance of the reading in Abbadianus 55
is discussed below, but it should be noted here that the support for this
reading is now known to be stronger than was earlier thought. Second,
the conjunction “and” (wa) before “to the presence of the Lord of Spir-
its” is only attested by four manuscripts belonging to the older type of
text.17 But whether the conjunction is original or not, it is clear on the
basis of the majority text reflected in the above translation that Enoch
was taken up into the presence of both the Son of Man and the Lord
of Spirits and is thus distinguished from the Son of Man.
However, in a valuable article published in 1977, Caquot argued
that the text contained in the majority of the manuscripts and reflected
in the above translation preserved the lectio facilior and was intended
to accommodate ch. 70 to the main part of the Parables, and in par-
ticular to the vision of the Head of Days and the Son of Man in ch.
46. Caquot maintained instead that the original text was preserved by
Abbadianus 55 in which ba abehu (or ba aba,18 “to the presence of ”)
does not occur.19 I reproduce his translation as he subsequently gave it
in La Bible: Ecrits intertestamentaires:
Ensuite, il arriva que le nom de ce fils d’homme fut élevé vivant auprès
du Seigneur des Esprits [Abbadianus 55 tala ala semu eyaw lawe etu walda
eguala emma eyaw ba aba egzi a manfasat] (et retiré) d’entre les habitants
de l’aride. Il fut élevé sur le char du vent, et son nom fut retiré d’entre
eux.20

16
See above, n. 13.
17
British Library Orient. 485 (early 16th century), Berlin Peterm. II, Nachtr. 29
(16th century), Abbadianus 35 (end of the 17th century), Tana 9 (first half of the
15th century).
18
The two forms differ only in the presence or absence of the anticipatory suffix.
19
See Caquot, “Remarques,” 113.
20
See Caquot, “Hénoch,” in La Bible: Ecrits intertestamentaires (ed. André Dupont-
Sommer and Marc Philonenko, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade; Paris: Gallimard, 1987),
463–625 (549); cf. Casey, “The Use of the Term ‘Son of Man’,” 25–27.
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 165

This translation presupposes that in semu . . . lawe etu we have an instance


of the use of an anticipatory pronominal suffix followed by the preposi-
tion la; the absence of the conjunction before “to the presence of the
Lord of Spirits” then gives the translation “the name of the [or ‘that’]
Son of Man was raised, while he was living, to the presence of the
Lord of Spirits”.21 Thus according to the text preserved by Abbadianus
55—and, as we now know, by other older manuscripts—Enoch was
here identified as the Son of Man.
The decision as to which of these two texts represents, if not the
original Ethiopic text, at least the oldest Ethiopic text accessible to us,
is finely balanced. On the one hand, Abbadianus 55—to focus, for the
time being, just on this manuscript—dates from about 1500 and is one
of the comparatively small number of manuscripts of Enoch that are old
by Ethiopic standards.22 It is a representative of the older type of text,
and its evidence in a case such as this certainly deserves consideration.
Furthermore, acceptance of the text represented by Abbadianus 55 as
the best Ethiopic text available would mean that there was no inconsis-
tency within chs. 70–71 between 70:1 and 71:14 over the identification
of Enoch as the Son of Man. On the other hand, even if this text
were accepted, there would still remain the problem posed by the fact
that within chs. 38–69 Enoch seems clearly to be distinguished from
the Chosen One/the Son of Man. Furthermore, while it is true that
Abbadianus 55 deserves consideration as a representative of the older
type of text, three other important manuscripts containing this type of
text—British Library Orient. 485 (early 16th century), Berlin Peterm.
II, Nachtr. 29 (16th century), and Abbadianus 35 (end of the 17th
century)—all attest the majority text, and Tana 9 (first half of the 15th
century), with its double reading (baqedma ba aba lawe etu) should also
be included here; these four manuscripts are representative of at least
two different strands within the older tradition. In addition, Abbadianus
55 cannot be regarded as a particularly reliable representative of the
older text of Enoch both because in Enoch, apart from other defects,
there are very significant omissions in its text from ch. 83 onwards, and
thus the significance of any omission in this manuscript is diminished;

21
The text of Abbadianus 55 could in fact also be translated “while he was living,
his name was raised to the [or ‘that’] son of man” (cf. VanderKam, “Righteous One,”
184), but this seems less likely.
22
For the date of this manuscript, see Oscar Löfgren, Die äthiopische Übersetzung des
Propheten Daniel (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1927), xxvii.
166 chapter nine

and because in other books there is evidence that it contains a revised


type of text. Thus Löfgren, in his exemplary edition of Daniel, did not
assign Abbadianus 55 to the ‘Old Ethiopic’ and noted that it shared
a number of readings with the later type of text,23 while in my own
work on Ezekiel I have observed that Abbadianus 55 frequently attests
the revised type of text. Finally, it could as easily be argued that the
non-occurrence of ba abehu or ba aba in Abbadianus 55 is simply a
mistake, or was intended to accommodate 70:1 to 71:14,24 as that the
text of the majority of the manuscripts was intended to accommodate
70:1 to the Parables that precede it.
A case can thus be made, it seems to me, for the originality of either
the text of the majority of the manuscripts or for that represented by
Abbadianus 55, and in the end a decision between the two readings is
likely to depend on a consideration of wider issues relating to the inter-
pretation of this section of 1 Enoch. But in a recent article, Daniel Olson
has argued very strongly for the originality of the text represented by
Abbadianus 55 and has claimed that other scholars have mistranslated
and misinterpreted the passage. To quote his own words:
It is a simple fact that all the discussions to date [of 1 En. 70:1] have
been hobbled by serious deficiencies. First, debates about 1 En. 70–71
over the past few decades have overlooked the important new manuscript
evidence available. Second, at least in the Anglo-Saxon world, question-
able English translations have been consistently and uncritically relied
upon to the detriment of accurate exegesis. Third, in considering the
textual problems involved practically no attention has been paid to the
environment in which 1 Enoch has come down to us. Correcting these
oversights clarifies the disputed passages in these chapters, and a much
firmer foundation is then laid for interpreting them.25
It is to issues arising from these claims that I now turn.

II

It has long been known that the non-occurrence of ba abehu or ba aba


in Abbadianus 55 was supported by two late manuscripts, Abbadianus

23
Löfgren, Die äthiopische Übersetzung, xli–xlii.
24
Cf. VanderKam, “Righteous One,” 184; Collins, “The Son of Man,” 453–54.
25
Daniel C. Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man in the Epilogue of the Parables,”
JSP 18 (1998): 27–38 (30).
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 167

99 and 19726 (both 19th century),27 but the number of manuscripts with
this type of text has now been increased as a result of the Ethiopian
Manuscript Microfilm Library (EMML) project. The manuscripts pho-
tographed as part of this project include at least 30 copies of Enoch, of
which four (EMML 1768, 2080, 6281 and 7584) have been identified
as representative of the older type of text.28 Olson notes that three of
these (EMML 1768, 2080, 7584) as well as two manuscripts with the
later type of text (EMML 2436 [17th century] and 6974 [18th century?])
have virtually the same text as Abbadianus 55 in 1 En. 70:1. He repeats
the claim made when EMML 2080 was first identified that it “may be
the oldest Ethiopic MS of 1 Enoch extant, possibly dating to the twelfth
century”, and he argues that the support from the EMML manuscripts
shows that the text represented by Abbadianus 55 should be regarded
as a genuine alternate reading. He concludes that because only Tana 9
(which, as we have seen, has a double reading) can claim equal antiquity
with Abbadianus 55, EMML 1768, 2080 and 7584, “from a purely
text-critical point of view, it can be persuasively argued that the balance
of evidence now tilts slightly in favour of the minority reading”,29 that
is the text represented by the latter manuscripts. This is a strong claim
to make, and for a number of reasons it must be doubted whether it
can be justified. The comments that follow are based on knowledge
of Abbadianus 55, EMML 1768 and 2080, but not of EMML 7584,
which is said to date to the late fifteenth century.
First, the claim that EMML 2080 may be the oldest Ethiopic
manuscript of Enoch extant and possibly dates to the twelfth century is
certainly wrong. I note that Olson does not discuss the palaeography of
the manuscript, nor even refer to what is now the standard treatment of
Ethiopic palaeography, Uhlig’s Äthiopische Paläographie. But even a super-
ficial examination of the manuscript shows that from a palaeograpical
point of view it belongs clearly with manuscripts from Uhlig’s Period
III, that is, in the period from the middle of the fifteenth to the middle
of the sixteenth century. Uhlig himself, in the light of his discussion of
the characteristics of the script, concludes that there is much to be said

26
Johannes Flemming, Das Buch Henoch (TU, NF 7.1; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs,
1902), 86.
27
See Carlo Conti Rossini, “Notice sur les manuscrits éthiopiens de la collection
d’Abbadie,” (suite) JA 10.20 (1912): 5–72 (7–8, 34).
28
Cf. Patrick A. Tiller, A Commentary on the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch (SBLEJL 4;
Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993), 129 n. 8; 143.
29
Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man,” 30–32.
168 chapter nine

for the view that EMML 2080 dates from the latter part of his Period
III.30 But the manuscript has been subjected to extensive revision and
correction at different times, and the reading that corresponds with
that of Abbadianus 55 is a correction; the original reading, as Olson
himself notes, was very probably ba aba we etu.31
Second, there is some reason to doubt whether the testimony of
EMML 1768 is all that significant in support of that of Abbadianus
55. EMML 1768 is, like Abbadianus 55 and EMML 2080, a large
manuscript containing the prophetic and wisdom books of the Old
Testament and dates from the same general period as the other two
manuscripts, that is, the end of the fifteenth or the early sixteenth
century. I have collated the text of Ezekiel in this manuscript, and its
readings agree so often with those of Abbadianus 55 that it is clear
that, at least in the case of Ezekiel, there is some connection between
the two manuscripts; such limited soundings as I have undertaken
suggests the likelihood of this in Enoch also. In any case, the evidence
in relation to Ezekiel calls into question the value of EMML 1768 as
independent additonal testimony alongside Abbadianus 55.
Third, Olson is inclined to dismiss the value of the evidence of Tana
9 on the grounds that it contains a double reading (baqedma ba aba
lawe etu), but this seems to me mistaken. Here it would appear that the
copyist inadvertently wrote baqedma (‘before’) and then immediately
corrected himself, but without deleting the word written in error; this
kind of phenomenon can be observed not infrequently in older Ethi-
opic manuscripts. But be that as it may, the crucial point is that Tana
9 provides evidence that the reading ba aba lawe’etu was known in the
first half of the fifteenth century and is thus attested at an earlier date
than the reading without ba aba or ba abehu.
In summary, the evidence of EMML 1768, 2080 and 7584 has
strengthened the claim for the reading of Abbadianus 55 in 1 En. 70:1
to be taken seriously as representing the oldest accessible Ethiopic text
of this passage, and has made it less likely that the non-occurrence of
ba abehu or ba aba is simply a mistake. However, the original reading

30
Siegbert Uhlig, Äthiopische Paläographie (Äthiopistische Forschungen 22; Stuttgart:
Franz Steiner, 1988), 419–20. See on Uhlig’s book the reviews by Edward Ullendorff
in JSS 36 (1991): 128–34 and by Michael A. Knibb in ZDMG 141 (1991): 405–408.
31
Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man,” 37–38. Olson argues that the original
copyist simply made a mistake and corrected it himself from his master copy, but in
the light of the other manuscript evidence it is very hard to believe that the reading
ba aha we etu was a spontaneous mistake made by the copyist.
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 169

in EMML 2080 has been corrected at the key point in 1 En. 70:1,
and it is not clear at what stage the correction was inserted, while in
general it may be wondered how far EMML 1768 provides genuinely
independent additional evidence by the side of Abbadianus 55. More
importantly, these manuscripts all date from the same general period,
the end of the fifteenth century and the early part of the sixteenth,
and it is in this same general period that two of the oldest representa-
tives of the majority reading, British Library Orient. 485 (early 16th
century) and Berlin Peterm. II, Nachtr. 29 (16th century), belong, while
Tana 9 carries the evidence for the majority reading back to the first
half of the fifteenth century. The dates of the different manuscripts do
not provide sufficient grounds for asserting the priority of either the
majority or the minority reading, and certainly not for the claim that
on purely text-critical grounds the balance of evidence has now tilted
slightly in favour of the latter.

III

Olson has not only argued in favour of the originality of the minority
text in 1 En. 70:1–2, but has also offered what he suggests might be a
better translation of this text:
And it happened afterwards that the immortal name of that Son of Man
was exalted in the presence of the Lord of Sprits beyond all those who
live on the earth. He was raised aloft on a chariot of wind, and his name
was spoken among them.
This translation should be compared with that of Caquot, reproduced
above. It will be apparent that Olson has given an interpretative para-
phrase rather than a translation in one or two places. But this aside,
his translation is based on taking three phrases in the Ethiopic text in
a different way from virtually all his predecessors,32 and in each case
his decision must be regarded as problematic in the context.
First, Olson has argued that the translation of semu eyaw as “his
name during his lifetime” is forced and implausible, and that the
phrase means “his living name”. In itself such a translation is perfectly
possible, but it has to be asked whether this translation is plausible in
the context. Olson in fact argues that the intended meaning is likely

32
Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man,” 32–33.
170 chapter nine

to be “his ever-living name”, and he ultimately renders the phrase as


“his immortal name”; but if this were the intended meaning it has
to be wondered why the word “immortal” was not used. It would be
interesting to know what Greek, not to mention Semitic, phrase Olson
believes lay before the Ethiopic translator. To my knowledge, neither
the phrase “living name”,33 nor the phrase “immortal name”, occurs
in the Hebrew Bible or in the Septuagint, but the phrase “everlast-
ing name” (ὄνοµα αἰώνιον) does occur in a few places (e.g. Isa 56:5;
63:12) and is routinely rendered in Ethiopic by sem zala alam. On the
other hand, it is not the case that the rendering of semu eyaw by “his
name during his lifetime” or “his name while he was living” is forced
or implausible. Also, while it is true that no exact parallel occurs in
1 Enoch for the use of Enoch’s ‘name’ to represent Enoch himself, a
very close parallel does occur in 48:3.
Secondly, Olson has argued that tala ala semu does not mean “his name
was lifted” or “his name was raised aloft”, but “his name was exalted”.
Again, Olson’s translation is in itself perfectly possible. Ethiopic tala ala
occurs with the meaning ‘laudibus extolli’ in Ps 98:5, 9 (LXX ὑψοῦν;
MT 99:5, 9), and the causative form of the verb ( al ala) is used with
the word ‘name’ in 1 En. 39:9, 61:12 and Ps 33:4 (MT 34:4).34 But in
1 En. 70:1–2 tala ala is clearly used in verse 2 to refer to the ‘raising
aloft’, the taking up, of Enoch into heaven, and it seems much more
natural to assume that the verb is being used in the same way in verse
1, and that both verses are describing the same event. Further, while
it is certainly possible to give a comparative meaning to the preposi-
tion em (‘from’), the statement that the name of the Son of Man was
exalted “beyond all those who live on the earth” would hardly seem
appropriate to the context.
Finally, Olson has argued that in verse 2 the phrase wa a semu refers
to the spreading of Enoch’s fame. Here Olson follows the suggestion
of Black: “Eth. waÓxa = ‫ יצא‬promulgari and sem = ‫ שם‬in the sense of
‘fame’.”35 This is of course perfectly possible, but in a context referring

33
In Sirach we three times find the statement “and his name will live forever” or
similar: see 37:26 (καὶ τὸ ὄνοµα αὐτοῦ ζήσεται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα); 39:9; 44:14. It is of
interest that the Ethiopic does not use the verb ‘to live’ for ζῆν but instead nabara (‘to
sit’, 37:26) or qoma (‘to stand’, 39:9; 44:14), both here with the meaning ‘to endure’.
34
Cf. August Dillmann, Lexicon linguae aethiopicae (repr.; New York: Ungar, 1955
[1865]), col. 55; Caquot, “Remarques,” 113.
35
Matthew Black, The Book of Enoch or 1 Enoch: A New English Edition (SVTP 7;
Leiden: Brill, 1985), 250.
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 171

to the taking up of Enoch into heaven, it might seem easier to assume


that the phrase refers to the disappearance of Enoch. The statement in
70:2 may then be understood as a counterpart to 12:1, where, in the
context of Enoch’s earlier translation to heaven, it is said that Enoch
was “hidden”, and that no one knew where he was. Comparison might
also be drawn with 2 Kgs 2:16–18 where the sons of the prophets can-
not believe that Elijah has disappeared.
I conclude that it is still more plausible to assume that verses 1 and 2
of 1 En. 70 refer to the same event, the taking up of Enoch—whether
or not identified as the Son of Man—into heaven, and his disappear-
ance from among men, than that verse 1 refers to the exaltation of
the name of the Son of Man, and verse 2 to the taking of him up
into heaven. Thus, if the minority text (Abbadianus 55, EMML 1768,
2080, 7584) does represent the oldest accessible form of the Ethiopic
text, the translation of Caquot is still to be preferred as a more accurate
indication of the meaning of the passage.

IV

In the final section of his article Olson argues that attention to the fact
“that 1 Enoch as we now have it is, among other things, a document
of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and part of its canon of scrip-
ture” can help us to understand particular readings in the Ethiopic
text of Enoch, and notably in 1 En. 70:1 and 71:14. He is quite right
to highlight the fact that 1 Enoch has been transmitted in the context
of the Ethiopian Church,36 and that within that context the Parables
naturally lent themselves to christological interpretation, as is well illus-
trated by the fifteenth-century homiletical work Maɘafa Milad (“the
Book of Nativity”), to which Olson (and others) have drawn attention.
Maɘafa Milad,37 whose composition is attributed to King Zarxa Ya{qob
(1434–68), contains extensive extracts from the Parables and from other

36
Transmitted, but not of course translated, in this context. Thus, while it is very
likely that the text of 1 Enoch was influenced during its transmission by the context in
which it was transmitted, at the time of the original translation the theology of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church hardly existed and was certainly insufficiently developed
to have had any influence on specific details of the text.
37
For an edition and translation, see Kurt Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād (Liber Nativita-
tis) und Ma afa Sellāsē (Liber Trinititatis) des Kaisers Zar a Yā qob (4 vols.; CSCO, 221–22,
235–36, Scriptores Aethiopici, 41–44; Louvain: Secrétariat du CorpusSCO, 1962,
1963).
172 chapter nine

sections of 1 Enoch, which are interspersed with christological comment.


Thus the quotation of 1 En. 46:1–51:5 is introduced by the following
statement: “Hear, O Christian, Enoch the prophet was not content
with the numbers of the weeks of years, but reported further how he
had seen the son of God and the son of the virgin Mary.”38 Similar
comments are interspersed at various points in the quotation of 1 En.
46:1–51:5 that follows.
In view of the fact that 1 Enoch was transmitted in a Christian con-
text, it would not be surprising to find that the text has in places been
Christianized, and indeed this can be shown to be the case in some
passages and/or manuscripts. Thus, for example, it is perhaps hardly
surprising that in 62:5 the Ethiopic expression used here for ‘the Son of
Man’, walda be esi ( filius viri), should have been changed in manuscripts
with the later type of text to ‘the son of the woman’ (walda be esit), that
is Mary,39 although it is also possible, as VanderKam notes, that the
change was made under the influence of the reference in the previous
verse to a woman in the pangs of childbirth.40 Outside the Parables
Christian influence can be seen in 105:2.
Olson is thus certainly right to draw attention to the context in
which the text of Enoch has been transmitted. But his explanation of
the texts of 1 En. 70:1 and 71:14 in the light of supposed concerns
generated within this Christian environment seems misconceived. Olson
draws attention to the three expressions used for ‘Son of Man’ in the
Parables: walda eguala emma eyaw (‘son of the offspring of the mother
of the living’, i.e. Eve), walda sabe ( filius hominis), and walda be esi ( filius
viri),41 and argues that the three expressions “are not all neutrally appli-
cable to Jesus Christ in Ethiopia.” He maintains that 1 En. 70:1, where
walda eguala emma eyaw—the normal Ethiopic equivalent for ‘Son of
Man’ in both the Old and the New Testament—is used, invited a

38
For the text, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, 1:54.
39
Olson (“Enoch and the Son of Man,” 35–36) gives some other examples of changes
of this kind in 1 Enoch. He suggests that many Ethiopian copyists would have found
walda be esi unacceptable as a term for ‘son of man’ because it would have implied
that Jesus is the biological son of Joseph, and thus they deliberately made changes.
But it is not clear that the changes were in all cases deliberately made for theological
reasons, and the possibility that the changes were made spontaneously must also be
kept in mind. See also, in relation to 62:5, the suggestion of VanderKam (n. 40). The
text of Tana 9 in 62:5 means “when those sons of men see him”, not, as Olson states,
“when the sons of men have seen that one”.
40
VanderKam, “Righteous One,” 174 n. 15.
41
For these three expressions, see, e.g., Black, Book of Enoch, 206.
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 173

christological application, but that this created a problem in that on a


straightforward reading of the minority text Enoch was identified with
the Son of Man. The minority text could be interpreted to mean “his
name was raised to that Son of Man”,42 but eventually, in order to
make clear the distinction between Enoch and the Son of Man, the
preposition ba abehu (or ba aba) was inserted to produce the majority
text. In contrast, Olson argues that there was no temptation to find a
christological interpretation in 1 En. 71:14. In this verse the Ethiopic
phrase for ‘Son of Man’ is walda be esi, which Olson states is “never
used of Jesus Christ in Ethiopic literature.” Whereas Ethiopian copy-
ists were anxious to dissociate Enoch and the walda eguala emma eyaw,
they were only too happy to attach the “troublesome”43 walda be esi to
Enoch. Thus the text, understood in an ‘Ezekielic’ way as “You are a
Son of Man who was born . . .” or “You are a man who was born . . .”,
survived unscathed.44
This argument seems to me to be based on an artificial distinction, but
in any case ignores the fact that 1 En. 71:14 was given a christological
interpretation in Ethiopian Christianity. Olson has overlooked the fact
that the quotation of 1 En. 71:12–17 in Maɘafa Milad is introduced
by the statement “Hear, O Jew, from the prophet Enoch what he proph-
esied concerning Jesus Christ, the son of Mary and the son of God”.45
In reality no distinction is drawn between the three expressions used
for ‘Son of Man’ within the Parables of Enoch, and the use of different
terms has to be understood within the context of the wider problem
of consistency and diversity in the use of translation equivalents in
the Ethiopic Bible.46 The use of different expressions for ‘Son of Man’
does not, in my view, shed any light on the problem of the relationship
between 1 En. 70:1 and 71:14, and the text-critical problem of 70:1
has to be resolved, if at all, on the basis of the normal criteria. In fact,
as I have already argued, it is possible to make a plausible case in 70:1

42
See above, n. 21.
43
For Olson’s view that walda be esi was “troublesome”, see n. 39.
44
Olson, “Enoch and the Son of Man,” 33–36.
45
For the text, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, 1.62.
46
Cf. Michael A. Knibb, Translating the Bible: The Ethiopic Version of the Old Testament
(The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1995; Oxford: Oxford University
Press for the British Academy, 1999), 87–112. It is to be observed that sabe , be esi, and
eguala emma eyaw are all routinely used as translation-equivalents for ἄνθρωπος; cf. Ps
48.13, 21 (MT 49.13, 21) where sabe is used for ἄνθρωπος in the first occurrence of
the refrain, but eguala emma eyaw in the second.
174 chapter nine

for both the majority and the minority reading, and a decision between
the two is likely to depend on a consideration of wider issues relating
to the interpretation of this section of 1 Enoch.
In his edition of the Aramaic fragments of Enoch, Milik commented
that it was strange that no edition of the Ethiopic Enoch had taken
account of the numerous quotations of the book to be found in Ge{ez
literature, and he gave a provisional list of such quotations.47 One of
the most important sources for these quotations was Maɘafa Milad,
which includes extensive extracts from 1 Enoch, as we have seen, as well
as from other biblical books. Subsequently, both Berger and Piovanelli
have drawn attention to Maɘafa Milad as an important textual witness
for 1 Enoch, and Berger worked through the list of quotations given by
Milik and noted that the text of the extracts from Enoch in Maɘafa
Milad agreed with that of the older group of manuscripts.48
I have examined the text of 1 En. 46:1–51:5 and 62:1–16 in Maɘafa
Milad as a test. There is no question but that its text belongs with
that of the older group of manuscripts, and there is some evidence,
as Berger noted, of a connection with Tana 9. There are some 26
readings in these chapters that I have not—at least as yet—found
in other manuscripts. But none of these unique readings appears to
represent the original Ethiopic text; rather they represent the kind of
changes that regularly occur when manuscripts are copied (omissions,
occasionally additions, of odd words, substitution of one word by a
synonym, use of different tenses or constructions, minor mistakes). And
unfortunately in key passages Maɘafa Milad does not help us, at least
so far as I have seen. For example, in 70:1 it gives essentially the same
text as Berlin Peterm. II, Nachtr. 29, tala ala semu eyaw ba aba (Berl +
we etu) walda eguala emma eyaw waba aba (Berl wa aba) egzi a manafest,49
that is the majority text. And in 62:2, where scholars have long thought
that the reading of all the manuscripts “And the Lord of Spirits sat
(nabara) on the throne of his glory” ought to be emended to “And the
Lord of Spirits set him ( anbaro; sc. the Chosen One) on the throne of
his glory”, Maɘafa Milad reads, “And that (or ‘the’) Chosen One, the

47
Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1976), 85–88.
48
Klaus Berger, review of Michael A. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, in JSJ 11
(1980): 100–109 (108); Pierluigi Piovanelli, “Sulla Vorlage aramaica dell’Enoch etiopico,”
Studi Classici e Orientali 37 (1987): 545–94 (563–64).
49
For the text, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, 1:61.
the translation of 1 ENOCH 70:1 175

Lord of Spirits sat (nabara) on the throne of his glory (wanabara zeku
eruy egzi a manafest diba manbara seb atihu).”50 Here it seems to me that
“that Chosen One” is a gloss, and that the passage is not somehow to
be understood as meaning “The Lord of Spirits set that Chosen One
on his glorious throne.”51 Rather the text in Maɘafa Milad is to be
understood in the light of the later comment that follows the quotation
of 63:11–12: “Son of man Enoch calls him, and Lord of Spirits Enoch
calls this Christ, the son of Mary and the son of God.”52
The quotations of Enoch in Maɘafa Milad are important, probably
not for any individual reading they attest, but because they reinforce
our knowledge of the Ethiopic text of Enoch that was in circulation
in the fifteenth century. This is, of course, also the date of the oldest
manuscripts of Enoch that we possess. Unless and until a manuscript of
Enoch that genuinely dates from before the fifteenth century comes to
light, the fifteenth century, or perhaps shortly before, will remain the
earliest period to which we can carry back knowledge of the Ethiopic
text.53

50
For the text, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, 1:59.
51
Cf. Uhlig, “Das äthiopische Henochbuch,” 613.
52
For the text, see Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād, 1:61.
53
See further, Knibb, Translating the Bible, 41.
CHAPTER TEN

THE TEXT-CRITICAL VALUE OF THE QUOTATIONS


FROM 1 ENOCH IN ETHIOPIC WRITINGS

We are entirely dependent—because of the limited extent of the Greek


and Aramaic evidence—on the Ethiopic translation of 1 Enoch for our
knowledge of the text of the greater part of this important pseude-
pigraph. Thus the Greek Enoch, of which the Ethiopic is a daughter
version, is primarily known from only two witnesses: the Akhmim manu-
script (Codex Panopolitanus), which dates from the sixth or perhaps
the end of the fifth century and contains two incomplete copies of the
first section of Enoch, the Book of the Watchers; and the Chester Beatty-
Michigan papyrus, which dates from the fourth century and contains
an incomplete version of the final section of Enoch, the Epistle. Together
these two manuscripts cover only chapters 1–32 and 97:6–107:3. The
extracts in Syncellus provide some further knowledge of the Greek, but
do not extend beyond chapters 6–16. Apart from this, of the Greek
there is only the brief extract in Vaticanus Gr.1809, a small number
of quotations, and the fragments of Oxyrhyncus Papyrus 2069 and
from Qumran Cave 7; but these latter are hardly of significance from
a text-critical point of view.1

1
For information about the Greek version, see Albert-Marie Denis and others with
the collaboration of Jean-Claude Haelewyck, Introduction à la littérature religieuse judéo-
hellénistique. Vol. 1: Pseudépigraphes de l’Ancien Testament (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), 104–121;
Michael A. Knibb in consultation with Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch.
A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon,
1978), 2.15–21; George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1. A Commentary on the Book of
1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 12–14. For
an edition of the Greek evidence, see Matthew Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (PVTG
3; Leiden: Brill, 1970)—but there are mistakes in the edition; and for the fragments
from Qumran Cave 7 that possibly belong to the Greek Enoch, see Ernest A. Muro,
Jr., “The Greek Fragments of Enoch from Qumran Cave 7 (7Q4, 7Q8, & 7Q12 =
7QEn gr = Enoch 103:3–4, 7–8),” RQum 18 (1997): 307–312; Émile Puech, “Notes
sur les fragments grecs du manuscrit 7Q4 = 1 Hénoch 103 et 105,” RB 103 (1996):
592–600; Puech, “Sept fragments grecs de la Lettre d’Hénoch (1 Hén 100, 103 et 105)
dans la grotte 7 de Qumrân (= 7QHén gr),” RQum 18 (1997): 313–323. However, the
plausibility of the identification of the fragments from Qumran Cave 7 as fragments
of the Greek Enoch varies from case to case, and some are too small for certain iden-
tification to be possible; cf. Timothy H. Lim, “The Qumran Scrolls, Multilingualism,
the text-critical value of the quotations 177

So far as the Aramaic fragments from Qumran are concerned,


evidence that can be brought into more or less close relationship with
the Ethiopic text exists for only some 196, that is just under one-fifth,
of the 1,062 verses of the Ethiopic version. However, it is very rarely
the case that anything approaching the equivalent of a complete
verse of the Ethiopic or the Greek has survived in Aramaic. It may
be observed that while for the most part the Greek and the Ethiopic
largely reflect what we now know of the underlying Aramaic text, there
are some significant differences between the Aramaic and the Greek
and Ethiopic, and this is particularly so in the case of chapters 72–75
of the Ethiopic, the first part of the Book of Astronomy; but that is not
our concern here.2
It is plausible to assume that the Book of Enoch was translated into
Ethiopic in the fifth or sixth century as part of the translation of the
Scriptures as a whole into Geez. As in other cases in the Ethiopic Old
Testament, the manuscripts of the book may in broad terms be divided
into two groups, those that attest an older, and those that attest a younger
form of the text (Eth I and Eth II).3 But the earliest witness of the older
form of the text, which is also the oldest manuscript of the Ethiopic
Enoch that we possess—Lake Tana 9—dates only from the fifteenth
century. There are at most a handful of other manuscripts that can be
dated in the fifteenth or sixteenth century,4 and the majority date from

and Biblical Interpretation,” in Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. John J. Collins and
Robert A. Kugler; Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 69, n. 30.
2
For the Aramaic Enoch, see Jozéf T. Milik, The Books of Enoch. Aramaic Fragments of
Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976). See also Loren Stuckenbruck, “4QEnocha
ar,” in Stephen J. Pfann and others, Qumran Cave 4.XXVI: Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea,
Part 1 (DJD 36; Oxford: Clarendon, 2000), 1–7 + pl. I; Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar and
Florentino García Martínez, “4QAstronomical Enoch a–b ar,” in Pfann and others,
Qumran Cave 4.XXVI (DJD 36), 95–103, 132–171 + pls. V–VII.—Further information
concerning the transmission of the text of 1 Enoch and further bibliography is given in
my article, “Christian Adoption and Transmission of Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The Case
of 1 Enoch,” in JSJ 32 (2001): 396–415; see also Knibb, “The Book of Enoch or Books
of Enoch? The Textual Evidence for 1 Enoch,” in The Early Enoch Literature (ed. Gabriel
Boccaccini and John J. Collins; JSJSup 121; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 21–40.
3
For further information, see Michael A. Knibb, Translating the Bible. The Ethiopic Ver-
sion of the Old Testament (The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1995; Oxford:
Oxford University Press for the British Academy: 1999), esp. 1–54.
4
Paris, Abbadianus 55 (fifteenth–sixteenth century); Ethiopian Manuscript Micro-
film Library (EMML) 2080 (fifteenth–sixteenth century); British Library Orient. 485
(sixteenth century); Berlin, Petermann II, Nachtr. 29 (sixteenth century); EMML 1768
(sixteenth century).
178 chapter ten

the seventeenth century or later. There is thus a gap of nine hundred


or more years between the assumed date of the translation and our
earliest witness. We have no knowledge of the changes brought about
in the text, whether by accident or by design, during this period, but it
is readily apparent that the text is in places corrupt and/or difficult.
In the above circumstances, it is perhaps hardly surprising that
attention should have been directed to the quotations from 1 Enoch in
Ethiopian religious writings in the anticipation that this indirect evidence
might help in the recovery of the older text, if not of an earlier form
of this. Thus Milik, in his edition of the Aramaic fragments of Enoch
observed that it was strange that no edition of the Ethiopic Enoch took
account of the numerous quotations of this book to be found in the
national Geez literature. He provided what he described as a provisional
list of Enochic quotations in printed texts and discussed a number of
the passages in the course of his notes on the Aramaic fragments.5 The
point made by Milik was rapidly taken up by Berger, who, in 1980,
commented that it was unfortunate that the quotations from Enoch in
Ethiopic literature had not been exploited for the purposes of textual
history. He argued that the quotations had independent text-critical
value and noted that in any case they came from works whose composi-
tion antedated, or at least was contemporary with, the copying of the
oldest Ethiopic manuscripts of Enoch. He provided a brief commentary
on many of the examples listed by Milik, as well as adding a few of his
own, and noted the particular importance of Ma afa Milad (the Book of
the Nativity, see below) as a source for quotations from Enoch. He con-
cluded that the Enoch-text that was used in Ma afa Milad was without
doubt a very ancient and important witness for the textual history of
Enoch that could not be overlooked in any future edition.6 Piovanelli
argued in very similar terms in a 1987 article on the textual history of
Enoch,7 while Uhlig, in his 1984 translation of Enoch in the JSHRZ series
included a number of references to the quotations in his notes.8
Recognition of the importance of quotations for text-critical pur-
poses is of course in no way new, and even within the sphere of

5
Milik, Books of Enoch, 85–88.
6
Klaus Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, in JSJ 11 (1980):
100–109, esp. 102–109.
7
Pierluigi Piovanelli, “Sulla Vorlage aramaica dell’Enoch etiopico,” Studi Classici e
Orientali (Pisa) 37 (1987): 545–594 (here 563–564).
8
Siegbert Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” in JSHRZ V.6 (1984), 461–780.
the text-critical value of the quotations 179

Ethiopic Bible translations some attention has been paid to them in


the past. Thus Vööbus attempted to use quotations from the gospels
in hagiographical writings as part of his argument that the Ethiopic
gospels were translated from a Syriac text, specifically the Old Syriac.
He argued that the quotations preserved old readings that have disap-
peared from gospel manuscripts, which have a revised text.9 Vööbus’s
arguments and methods in this particular instance have properly been
criticized by Zuurmond,10 but the point remains valid that quotations
may have something to contribute to our knowledge of an older form
of the Ethiopic text. Ullendorff commented that the method seemed
promising,11 while Zuurmond himself, in the Introduction to his edition
of the Synoptic Gospels in Geez, provided a helpful survey of Service
Books that contain gospel quotations. But we should note his com-
ment: “Qualitatively the contribution of Service Books to the textual
criticism of the Gospel is poor . . . Quantitatively the contribution . . . is
huge and seemingly worth investigating.”12 If in the case of 1 Enoch
the quotations are “seemingly worth investigating”, the question may
be asked what is the nature of the contribution of these quotations to
our knowledge of the older form of the text of 1 Enoch. For what fol-
lows, I should make clear that, with the exception of British Library
Add. 11,678, I have used the printed editions—but I would not expect
consultation of the manuscripts to change the picture—and that I have
confined myself to the list of passages assembled by Milik, although
others no doubt exist.
The first point to be made is that the quotations occur in a number
of writings—doctrinal texts, hagiographical texts, and prayers—that
have their origin in the fifteenth century. The doctrinal texts include
Ma afa Berhan (the Book of Light),13 Ma afa Milad (the Book of the Nativity,

9
Arthur Vööbus, Die Spuren eines älteren äthiopischen Evangelientextes im Lichte der litera-
rischen Monumente (Papers of the Estonian Theological Society in Exile 2; Stockholm,
1951), esp. 21–31.
10
Rochus Zuurmond, Novum Testamentum aethiopice: The Synoptic Gospels, Part 1: General
Introduction. Part 2: Edition of the Gospel of Mark (Äthiopistische Forschungen 27; Stuttgart:
Franz Steiner, 1989), Part 1, 119–123, 125–126.
11
Edward Ullendorff, Ethiopia and the Bible (The Schweich Lectures of the British
Academy 1967; London: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1968),
54–55.
12
Zuurmond, Novum Testamentum aethiopice: The Synoptic Gospels, Part 1, 143–154
(here 143–144).
13
For the text and an Italian translation, see Carlo Conti Rossini with the col-
laboration of Lanfranco Ricci, Il Libro della Luce del Negus Zar a Yā qob (Ma afa Berhan)
180 chapter ten

already mentioned),14 and Ma afa Mes ira samay wameder (the Book of the
Mysteries of Heaven and Earth).15 Ma afa Berhan and Ma afa Milad 16 are
both attributed to the king Zarax Ya{aqob (1434–68), the great military
and political leader and religious reformer, during whose reign there was
a flowering of Ethiopian literature. However, it is more likely that they
were composed by high-ranking clergy under the auspices of the king
in order to give expression to his views. They reflect the christological
and ecclesiastical controversies of the day, and Ma afa Milad quotes,
apart from other passages, the complete text of 1 Enoch 46:1–51:5 and
62:1–16—exactly the passages that have attracted the interest of mod-
ern scholars concerned with messianism. It may be observed that the
manuscript on which Wendt’s edition of the text (Paris, Abbadianus
62) is based is dated by Uhlig to the fifteenth century.17 The Book of the
Mysteries of Heaven and Earth also dates from the time of Zarax Ya{aqob
and is apocalyptic in character.18 The hagiographical texts from this
period are concerned with the lives of local saints, who lived in the
fifteenth century or shortly before. They tend to contain free renderings
of, or allusions to, 1 Enoch, rather than quotations as such. Thus, for
example, the Acts of Ezra of Gunda Gunde, in a passage about the cross,
give a free rendering of 25:5 and, in a passage about the death of
Ezra, use the phrase “the first ram” from 89:46–47 to refer to Ezra.19
Finally, Milik included in his list a British Library manuscript, Add.

(CSCO 250–251, 261–262, Scriptores Aethiopici 47–48, 51–52; Leuven: Peeters,


1964, 1965).
14
For the text and a German translation, see Kurt Wendt, Das Ma afa Milād (Liber
Nativitatis) und Ma afa Sellāsē (Liber Trinititatis) des Kaisers Zar a Yā qob (CSCO 221–222,
235–236, Scriptores Aethiopici 41–42, 43–44; Leuven: Peeters, 1962, 1963).
15
For the text and a French translation, see Jules Perruchon with the collaboration
of Ignazio Guidi, Le Livre des mystères du ciel et de la terre; Sylvain Grébaut, Les trois derniers
traités du Livre des mystères du ciel et de la terre (PO 1.1, 6.3; Paris, 1903, 1911).
16
For brief information about these writings, see Enrico Cerulli, La letteratura etiopica
(3d ed.; Florence: Sansoni; Milan: Accademia, 1968), 101–104; Lanfranco Ricci, “Let-
terature dell’Etiopia,” in Oscar Botto (ed.), Storia delle letterature d’Oriente, vol. 1 (Milan:
Casa Editrice Dr. Francesco Vallardi, 1969), 825–826; Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopians.
An Introduction to Country and People (3d ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 141;
cf. Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 476.
17
Siegbert Uhlig, Äthiopische Paläographie (Äthiopistische Forschungen, 22; Stuttgart:
Franz Steiner, 1988), 276–277.
18
For brief information, see Cerulli, La letteratura etiopica, 42–45; Ricci, “Letterature
dell’Etiopia,” 826–827; Ullendorff, The Ethiopians, 142; cf. Roger W. Cowley, Ethiopian
Biblical Interpretation. A Study in Exegetical Tradition and Hermeneutics (University of Cambridge
Oriental Publications 38; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 128–130.
19
André Caquot, “Les Actes d’Ezra de Gunda-Gunde,” Annales d’Éthiopie 4 (1961):
69–121 (here 77, 92, 100, 121).
the text-critical value of the quotations 181

11,678, which contains a collection of prayers and to which Dillmann


had drawn attention.20 According to a claim made in the manuscript
itself, it was copied in the reign of Zarax Ya{aqob, and in any case it
dates from the fifteenth century;21 it contains the text of 1 Enoch 1:9,
46:1–6 and 62:1–16.
Milik helpfully classifies the passages that he lists under the three
rubrics: quotations, free renderings, and allusions or reminiscences,
and it is important to keep the distinction in mind. In the nature of
things, free renderings and allusions are of limited value for text-critical
purposes, but this point has not always been observed. Milik lists the
two quotations of 1:9 in Ma afa Milad 22 as free renderings, and Berger
gives a German translation of them. Berger notes that the quotations
differ greatly from the usual form of the text and states that the double
occurrence of the same form shows that this is not a chance variation.23
The text does have two significant readings that agree with the older
type of text and are noted below. But Berger fails to observe that the
text in this case has been quoted from Jude 14–15—and even has the
same introductory phrase “who was the seventh from Adam”—and not
directly from 1 Enoch. Apart from one or two very minor differences, the
text agrees with that given in the recent critical edition of the Ethiopic
text of Jude.24 The situation is different in the case of British Library
Add. 11,678, where there is a quotation from the Ethiopic version of
1:9 that Milik does not list, and this supports the two readings repre-
sentative of the older type of text that are mentioned above.25
wanahu (“And behold”)] nahu (“behold”) BL Add. 11,678 Ma afa Milad
(MM) = Tana 9, ἰδού Jude; ὅτι Pan
ma a (“came”)] yema e (“will come”) BL Add. 11,678 MM = Tana 9
Curzon 56; ἔρχεται Pan, ἦλθεν Jude

20
August Dillmann, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum qui in Museo Britannico asservantur.
Pars III: Codices Aethiopici (London, 1847), 53.
21
Cf. Uhlig, Äthiopische Paläographie, 342–343.
22
CSCO 221: 66, 123 (on p. 123 the quotation does not cover the second half of
the verse).
23
Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch ( JSJ 11 (1980)), 103.
24
Josef Hofmann and Siegbert Uhlig, Novum Testamentum aethiopice: Die Katholischen
Briefe (Äthiopistische Forschungen 29; Stuttgart: Franz Steiner: 1993), 255–256.
25
For the purposes of this study I have thought it unnecessary to use anything more
than a simple system of transliteration. In all cases the reading before the bracket is
that of the majority of the manuscripts.
182 chapter ten

To take another example, Milik himself refers to the evidence of a


passage in the Book of the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth in support of his
suggestion, plausible in itself, that in 1:2 the obscure ἁγιολόγων ἁγίων
should be corrected to ἀπὸ λόγων ἁγίων.26 The passage in the Book of
the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth gives a summary account of Enoch’s
career: “he heard the word (nagar) of the angels, and thus the angels
taught him.”27 Milik draws attention to the retention of the word “word”
in this passage, but this is hardly evidence that an Ethiopic text of
1 Enoch 1:2 once included the phrase “word of the angels”—and it
is to be assumed that Milik does not intend it as such. However, the
point to be made here is that the list of quotations from 1 Enoch is more
limited than first appears from Milik’s list.
A further limitation is to be found in the fact that the range of
passages quoted from 1 Enoch is quite small, and the same passages
are quoted or referred to repeatedly. This is hardly surprising. The
Ethiopian clergy in the fifteenth century only quoted the passages
that served their purposes in doctrinal controversy, particularly chris-
tological controversy. Hence the quotation in full in Ma afa Milad of
chapters 46–51 and 62, and of other passages that could be used for
christological purposes, such as 61:6–8, 63:11–12, 69:26–70:3, and
71:12–17.28 In addition, part of the Vision of the Animals, 89:19–30, is
quoted in Ma afa Milad in order to show that “the one who according to
the Book of Jubilees went before the armies of Israel was the angel of
the presence, and Enoch named him the terrifying and mighty Lord
of the sheep.”29 There are a number of agreements with the older
type of text in this quotation, as Berger notes,30 but 89:19 has been
radically recast to fit it to the context, and there is some evidence of
carelessness in the copying of the passage.
As we have noted, 46:1–6 and chapter 62 are also quoted in full in
the collection of prayers assembled in British Library Add. 11,678, and
chapter 46 was repeatedly quoted or referred to in a range of texts.
Apart from this, there is one quotation from, and several free renderings
of or allusions to, the Apocalypse of Weeks (93:1–10 + 91:11–17), which
is used in relation to either the first coming or the second coming of

26
Milik, Books of Enoch, 143–144.
27
Perruchon, Le Livre des mystères du ciel et de la terre (PO 1.1), 30.
28
The great majority of these quotations are to be found in CSCO 221: 54–63.
29
CSCO 235: 81–82.
30
Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch ( JSJ 11 (1980)), p. 107.
the text-critical value of the quotations 183

Christ. Thus 91:12–13 and 15–17, covering the eighth and the tenth
weeks, are quoted in Ma afa Milad; the former is interpreted in rela-
tion to the incarnation, which is placed in the eighth week, the latter
in relation to the view that the last judgment will occur at the end of
7,000 years in the tenth week.31 In a similar way, in a computation that
occurs in a Paris manuscript (Éth. 64), the Apocalypse of Weeks is listed,
along with passages from other works, to arrive at a total of 7,000
years for the end of the world, the epoch of the second coming of
our Lord. The purpose of the computation is summed up as follows:
“Table by which you may know the number of days, from Adam to the
end of the world.”32 Again, short extracts from the Apocalypse of Weeks,
with commentary interspersed, are given in the Book of the Mysteries of
Heaven and Earth; here the man who ascends in the sixth week (93:8) is
interpreted as Christ.33
Another topic that was of concern in Ma afa Milad was the question
of the authority of Enoch, who is presented as the first prophet, the
first who announced the coming of Christ. Those who are attacked
in the text are represented as denying the authority of Enoch and the
canonical status of his book. One argument used against them is the
reminder that they do accept Enoch’s authority in astronomical and
calendrical matters, and in relation to this theme, there are quotations
in Ma afa Milad of 72:33–34 and 78:15–17,34 and allusions to 82:7.35 If
the opponents accept his authority in this area, why are they unwilling
to accept his authority as a prophet?
However, apart from the passages mentioned that could be related
to the themes of Christology and of the authority of Enoch, there are
very few actual quotations from the book in Ethiopic writings, and very
few for which we also have a Greek text that may be compared with
the Ethiopic. It is also the case that the passages represented do not
shed any light on the really obscure sections of the Ethiopic text. That
is not to say that the quotations are not important for what they tell
us about the history of the Ethiopic text of Enoch, but the limitations

31
CSCO 221: 53, 64. For the placing of the incarnation in the eight week, cf. p. 14.
32
Sylvain Grébaut, “Calculs et tables relatifs au comput,” Revue de l’Orient chrétien
(Troisième série) 22 (1920–21): 212–220.
33
Grébaut, Les trois derniers traités du Livre des mystères du ciel et de la terre (PO 6.3),
172–175.
34
CSCO 221: 63.
35
CSCO 221: 2, 111; CSCO 235: 101.
184 chapter ten

in what can be expected from them by way of textual variants should


be recognized.
Turning to the text of the passages, it is immediately apparent that
it belongs with the older form of the text (Eth I), or with individual
representatives of that text,36 as in the following examples:
47:4 ba e a (“come”)] qareba (“draw near”) MM = Eth I
50:3 baqedma (“before”)] basema (“in the name of ”) MM = Eth I
62:5 walda be esit (“son of a woman”)] walda be esi (“son of man”) BL
Add. 11,678 MM = (BL Orient. 485) Berlin, Peterm. II, Nachtr.
29 Abbadianus 35 Abbadianus 55
62:10 enka (“then”)] om. BL Add. 11,678 MM = Eth I
There are too many examples of agreements of this kind for the point
to need any demonstration, and it is indeed what we would expect for
texts composed in the fifteenth century. But apart from this general
agreement with the older form of the text, there is also some evidence,
as Berger noted,37 of agreement only with Tana 9. The case of 1:9 has
already been noted, but other examples include:
48:4 we etu (“He”)] wawe etu (“And he”) MM = Tana 9
48:10 eraft (“rest”)] eqeft (“stumbling block, offence”) MM = Tana 9
62:1 ya adderwa (“dwell”)] ye e ezwa (“possess”) MM = Tana 9
These agreements with Tana 9 are important because they provide
additional support for an important witness that often stands alone and
represents a different textual type within the older group of manuscripts.
But it should be noted that there are other instances where the text
given in one or more of the quotations agrees with just one manuscript,
but not Tana 9, for example:
47:3 bamanbara (“on the throne”)] diba manbara (“on the throne”) MM
= Ullendorff MS
62:4 ba afa (“in the mouth”)] ba effo (“how”) BL Add. 11,678 = BL
Orient. 485 Berlin, Peterm. II, Nachtr. 29
62:7 emqedem (“from the beginning, previously”)] emqadimu (“previ-
ously”) BL Add. 11,678 MM = BL Orient. 491
82:9 ya arrebu (“set”)] ya arregu (“rise”) MM = BL Orient. 492

36
Cf. Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch ( JSJ 11 (1980)), p. 108;
Piovanelli, “Sulla Vorlage aramaica dell’Enoch etiopico,” 563–564.
37
Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch ( JSJ 11 (1980)), 108.
the text-critical value of the quotations 185

Once account has been taken of agreements of this type, there are not
in fact all that many readings that have not as yet been identified in
manuscripts of Enoch—and it remains a possibility that what appear to
be unique readings may not turn out to be so when other manuscripts
of the book are collated. However, it has to be said that, so far as the
quotations of which I am at present aware are concerned, the read-
ings that have hitherto been unattested do not on the whole appear to
be of great significance, but rather are typical of the kind of variants
that are spontaneously introduced whenever manuscripts are copied.
Thus apart from actual mistakes, we find omissions and additions of
odd words and phrases, for example:
47:4 wadamu la edeq (“and the blood of the righteous”)] om. MM
49:3 wamanfasa zayalebbu (“and the spirit that gives understanding”)]
om. MM
51:2 adeqana (“the righteous”)] add. wa eruyana (“and the chosen”)
MM
62:8 kuellomu eruyan (“all the chosen”)] kuellomu ma bara eruyan (“all
the community of the chosen”) BL Add. 11,678
Not infrequently we find the substitution of a word different from
the one used in the manuscripts of Enoch, or a change of word-order,
but with no difference in meaning in either case, as in the following
examples:
46:1 wabaheya re iku (“And there I saw”)] ware iku baheya (“And I saw
there”) MM (twice,38 but not in the main quotation of the text
covering chapters 46–51)
46:7 westa (“at”)] aba (“at”) MM
62:9 layabes (“dry ground”)] lameder (“earth”) MM Add. 11,678
71:13 we etu (“that”)] zeku (“that”) MM
We also find differences in the tense used or in grammatical construc-
tion, but with no difference of meaning (e.g. 47:4 temalle ] mal a (“were
full”) MM ).
Variants of the kind that I have just been discussing do not in any
significant way affect the meaning of the text. It may be of course that
in individual cases they do preserve an older form of the Ethiopic text
of 1 Enoch than that attested in the manuscripts of the book, but if so
the change would not be of great significance. It is only quite rarely
that we come across hitherto unattested variants where there would

38
CSCO 221: 111; CSCO 235: 74.
186 chapter ten

appear to be need for some discussion, but even in these cases it is


not obvious that the variants do actually represent an earlier form of
the text. The following may serve as examples of the relatively small
number of such readings:
46:7 “And these are they who judge the stars of heaven, and raise their
hands at the Most High, and trample upon the dry ground”]
“. . . and descend, and trample . . .” MM.
The addition of wayewarredu only occurs in Ma afa Milad, as Berger
notes.39 It could have fallen out because of similarity with the follow-
ing word (wayekayyedu), but it could equally be a gloss that has come in
from 6:6 (the two alternatives are noted by Uhlig).40
51:3 “all the secrets ( ebu ata) of wisdom”] “all the counsel ( ellina) of
wisdom” MM.
Although not inappropriate to the context, the reading “counsel” has
probably come in from later in the verse and does not represent an
older form of the text.
62:2 “And the Lord of Spirits sat (nabara) on the throne of his glory”]
“And that (or “the”) Chosen One, the Lord of Spirits sat (nabara)
on the throne of his glory” MM.
Here “that Chosen One” should probably be regarded as a gloss, but
in any case it is significant that Ma afa Milad does not have anbaro (“set
him”) in place of nabara to give the translation “the Lord of Sprits set
him (sc. the Chosen One) on the throne of his glory”—an emendation
that scholars have frequently proposed.41
91:12 “there will be another week, the eighth”] “there will be the eighth
week” MM.
The reading without “another” corresponds to the Aramaic, so in this
case Ma afa Milad may preserve the original Ethiopic text.
In summary, the readings attested in the quotations from 1 Enoch
in Ethiopic writings are certainly of interest. They provide additional
support for the older form of the Ethiopic text of 1 Enoch and help
to root this text firmly in the fifteenth century, and in particular they

39
Berger, Review of Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch ( JSJ 11 (1980)), 104.
40
Uhlig, “Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 588.
41
Uhlig (“Das Äthiopische Henochbuch,” 613) treats nabara as transitive, but it is
not clear to me that this is correct.
the text-critical value of the quotations 187

provide additional support for Tana 9, which is an important witness


and represents a separate textual type within the older group of manu-
scripts. With the exception of the quotation of 89:19–30 in Ma afa
Milad (see above, p. 182), there is generally close agreement with the
Eth I text, and this is evidence42 of the care with which the text was
treated at the time. The passages quoted are also of interest because
of the light they shed on the doctrinal and ecclesiastical controversies
of the time. But although the quotations provide valuable evidence
for the history of the Ethiopic text, they do not significantly change
our perception of the older type of text, and we should probably not
expect too much from them from a text-critical point of view. Unless
manuscripts of the Ethiopic Enoch are discovered that genuinely date
from before the fifteenth century, no major change can be expected in
our knowledge of the Ethiopic text.
As the conclusion of a study of the quotations from Ezekiel in Gebra
emamat, the Ethiopic liturgy for Holy Week, I stated:
In total the character of the variants indicate that while the manuscripts
of Gebra emamat provide further evidence for what has been described
as the Eth I text, they do not really take us behind that text, and do not
help in recovering the so-called Old Ethiopic.43
Much the same conclusion could equally be drawn in relation to the
quotations from the Book of Enoch that have been the subject of this
paper.

42
Cf. Piovanelli, “Sulla Vorlage aramaica dell’Enoch etiopico,” 563.
43
Knibb, “The Ethiopic Text of Ezekiel and the Excerpts in GEBRÄ ÆEMAMAT,”
JSS 34 (1989): 443–458 (here 454–455).
PART TWO

ESSAYS ON EARLY JEWISH TEXTS AND TRADITIONS


CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE EXILE IN THE LITERATURE OF THE


INTERTESTAMENTAL PERIOD

My purpose in this essay is a simple one, that of examining the refer-


ences to the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period and
of considering some of their implications. Although in a number of
passages in this literature, e.g. Judith 4:3 or 5:18–19, the exile is referred
to in fairly neutral terms as an event of the past, in the majority of
passages this is far from being the case, and it is with the attempt to
see the way in which the exile was understood that I shall be primarily
concerned. But I shall also be concerned to observe the way in which
material in these writings was constantly reused and reinterpreted. The
impetus for this study derives from some remarks of Professor Peter
Ackroyd who in his book, Exile and Restoration, has drawn attention to
the importance of the idea of the exile in the writings of the post-exilic
period and has discussed—amongst other passages—the interpretation
of the exile to be found in Daniel 9:24–27.1 What follows is an attempt
to explore further the kind of understanding of the exile that appears
in Daniel.

A convenient starting point for this study is provided by the prophecy


in the book of Jeremiah that the exile would last for seventy years. The
two passages in Jeremiah where this prophecy occurs (29:10–14 and
25:11–12) raise a number of problems, and there is reason to think that
the setting of a definite end to the time of exile belongs to a secondary
stage in the development of the text.2 However, our concern is not with

1
Peter R. Ackroyd, Exile and Restoration: A Study of Hebrew Thought of the Sixth Century
B.C. (London: SCM, 1968), 237–47. I would like to acknowledge the late Professor
Ackroyd for his characteristic kindness in reading this essay and making several very
helpful comments on it. He is not, of course, in any way to be held responsible for
the views expressed here.
2
Cf. Charles F. Whitley, “The Term Seventy Years Captivity,” VT 4 (1954): 65–8.
The setting of a definite end to the exile in 29:10–14 contrasts with the exhortation of
192 chapter eleven

the seventy year prophecy itself, but rather with the widespread use
that was made of it. Allusions to the prophecy are to be found already
in Zech 1:12 and 7:5, in 2 Chr 36:21, and in the parallel passages 2
Chr 36:22 and Ezra 1:1.3 But there is little of significance in these
references for our immediate purposes, apart from the fact that 2 Chr
36:21 interprets the seventy years as a period of sabbath rest for the
land. The passage in 2 Chronicles is repeated, with some variations,
in 1 Esdras, but the only really important variation is that what had
been a mere allusion to Jeremiah in 2 Chr 36:21 has become an actual
prophecy of Jeremiah in 1 Esdras 1:57–58.
The situation is very different in the book of Daniel because in chap-
ter 9, as is well known, Jeremiah’s prophecy is interpreted to mean that
the exile was to last for seventy weeks of years, i.e. for four hundred
and ninety years. This interpretation is based upon the understanding
of the exile as a period of sabbath rest for the land (cf. Lev 25) and
follows lines already laid down in Lev 26:34 and 2 Chr 36:21. The
Hebrew text of Dan 9:24–27 (which contains the actual reinterpreta-
tion of Jeremiah’s prophecy) is at times rather obscure, and there are
substantial differences between the Masoretic form of this text and
the texts in Theodotion and the Septuagint. Despite this, the following
points do seem fairly clear: (1) The language of the Jeremianic passages
is not reused in Dan 9:24–27, with one possible exception. It seems
to me conceivable that lehāshib in Dan 9:25 is to be understood as a
reminiscence of lehāshib in Jer 29:10. But the dependence of Daniel on
Jeremiah is really one of theme, not of language. (2) The actual return
from the exile under the leadership of Zerubbabel or, more probably,
Joshua is clearly referred to in verse 25. This is not always the case in
the passages that we shall subsequently be considering. (3) Although
the return is mentioned, the author does not think much of conditions
in post-exilic Jerusalem, and the sixty-two weeks during which the city
was rebuilt are described in verse 25 as troubled times—ūbe ōq hā ittīm.
It is not entirely clear what the author understood by this expression,

vv. 4–9 to settle in Babylon and may well represent a reinterpretation of the original
prophecy (cf. Ackroyd, Exile, 56; for a different view, cf. Wilhem Rudolph, Jeremia (3d ed.;
HAT 12; Tübingen: Mohr, 1968), 183–5). On the other hand there are good grounds
for regarding 25:12 as secondary (so e.g. Rudolph, 160), while the mention of 70 years
at the end of 25:11 has probably been inserted from 29:10 by a redactor. On these
two passages see also Peter R. Ackroyd, “Two Old Testament Historical Problems of
the Early Persian Period. B. The ‘Seventy Year’ Period,” JNES 17(1958): 23–7.
3
Cf. also Josephus, A.J. 11.1.1.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 193

whether perhaps the reference is to the kind of straitened physical


circumstances reflected in Ezra and Nehemiah, as Montgomery sug-
gests,4 or perhaps to the effect on the community in Jerusalem of the
conflicts between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, particularly at the
end of the third century.5 It should also be pointed out that some doubt
has been cast on the text. Thus Plöger takes ūbe ōq hā ittīm with verse
26 and thereby associates the expression with the events of the time of
Antiochus Epiphanes.6 The NEB translates “At the critical time” and
also takes the words with verse 26. Older scholars, on the basis of a
reading in the Septuagint (καὶ κατὰ συντέλειαν καιρῶν)7 quite com-
monly emended the text to ūbeqē hā ittîm (“But at the end of the times”)
and likewise placed the words at the beginning of the next verse.8 The
situation, however, is not quite so simple, since the Septuagint reading
occurs in a duplicate version of verses 25b–27a which is to be found
in the middle of verse 27,9 and overall both versions of the Septuagint
differ considerably from the Masoretic text in this passage. How far it
is right to rely on evidence like this for the correction of the Masoretic
text is not at all clear to me. In any case, there seems to me no strong
reason for not accepting the Masoretic text and its conventional inter-
pretation, particularly in view of the fact that the post-exilic period is
also seen in Enoch to have been a troubled time.10 But apart from the
reference in verse 25 to physical conditions, the post-exilic period in its
entirety is characterized in verse 24 as a period of sin—“Seventy weeks
of years are decreed . . . to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin,

4
James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel
(ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1927), 380.
5
Cf. the description of the period in Josephus, A. J. 12.3.3. For a summary account
of the wars between Antiochus III and the Ptolemies cf. Martin Hengel, Judaism and
Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period (trans. by
John Bowden; 2 vols.; London: SCM, 1974), 1.7–10.
6
Otto Plöger, Das Buch Daniel (KAT 18; Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1965), 134.
7
Contrast the rendering of Theodotion, καὶ ἐκκενωθήσονται οἱ καιροί.
8
Cf. e.g. the emendations proposed by Walter Baumgartner in the third edition
of Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica.
9
The textual situation is in fact rather complex. Part of the additional material in
v. 27 covers the end of v. 25 and the beginning of v. 26, a passage which has dropped
out of the basic Septuagint version by homoioteleuton. The remainder of the material
provides an alternative version of the end of v. 26 and the beginning of v. 27. But
the two pieces of text do not run on continuously, and the greater part of v. 26 is not
covered by this additional material. On the complexities of the Greek versions of Dan
9: 24–27, cf. Montgomery, Daniel, 401–4.
10
See below, 196–197.
194 chapter eleven

and to atone for iniquity.”11 And this brings us to the next point. (4)
Although the return from the exile at the end of the sixth century is
mentioned, it is clear that the author is not really concerned with that
event, nor with the events of the post-exilic period; he is really only
concerned with the activities of Antiochus Epiphanes and with the time
of the end which Antiochus’s persecution had inaugurated. The exile
was now, and only now, to have its proper end, and in the author’s
view everything that had happened between the carrying away into
captivity of the Jewish people and the time of Antiochus was of little
importance. Rather this period is seen as a unity whose characteristic is
sin. We are in a situation where the exile is understood as a state that
is to be ended only by the intervention of God and the inauguration
of the eschatological era.12
The same kind of understanding of the exile recurs elsewhere in the
literature of the intertestamental period. It is to be found already in the
Vision of the Animals, a section of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch that dates
from approximately the same time as ch. 9 of the book of Daniel. In
the Vision of the Animals (1 En. 85–90) the Jewish people at the beginning
of the exile are handed over into the control of seventy shepherds, and
these shepherds are responsible for the fate of the people until God
comes to judge the earth and to establish his kingdom. The symbolism
of the Vision has a rich background within the Old Testament. The use
of animals to represent human beings was probably directly influenced
by the symbolism of Dan 7 and 8, although the fact that Jacob and
his descendants are depicted specifically as sheep no doubt reflects the
idea, widespread in the Old Testament, that Israel is the sheep of God’s
pasture.13 (Those who lived before Jacob, as well as the righteous in the
eschatological era, are depicted as bulls.) On the other hand the use
of human beings to represent angels—for the shepherds are generally
understood to be angels—was in part dictated by the prior choice of
animals to represent the Jews and their enemies; but the fact that these
humans are further defined as shepherds seems to reflect the influence
of Ezek 34, as well as of such passages as Zech 11:4–17 and Jer 50:6–7.
What is of greater interest at the moment, however, is the fact that
from the exile to the end-time there are to be seventy shepherds, for

11
All translations of biblical and apocryphal texts are from the RSV.
12
Cf. Ackroyd, Exile, 242–43.
13
Cf. Robert Henry Charles, The Book of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon, 2d ed., 1912),
191.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 195

the use of the number seventy has generally been seen to be not mere
chance, but rather to represent a further reinterpretation of the seventy
year prophecy of Jeremiah.14 What we have here in fact, exactly as in
Dan 9, is an understanding of the exilic and post-exilic periods as a
unified era which is only to be ended when God comes to the earth
to establish the Messianic age.
In its details the Vision of the Animals seems in many ways to reflect
the same attitude as the book of Daniel. The seventy shepherds are
divided into four groups, and historically the divisions seem to be as
follows: the exile—89:65–71; the Persian period—89:72–77; the period
from Alexander to the end of Ptolemaic control of Palestine—90:1–4;
the period from the beginning of Seleucid control of Palestine until
God’s intervention—90:5–19. This division actually corresponds fairly
well to the main phases of Jewish history from the sixth to the second
centuries, but it seems likely that the split was made in this particular
way not so much because of historical considerations, but under the
influence of the idea, found in Dan 2 and 7 and, outside Israel, in
Graeco-Roman literature, that there are to be four world empires before
the eschatological era.15 That dogmatic considerations were influential
here is suggested by the rather arbitrary way in which the seventy
shepherds are divided into groups of twelve, twenty-three, twenty-three
and twelve. This grouping corresponds to reality in as much as we have
two short periods at the beginning (the exile) and the end (the first
third of the second century B.C.E.) and two rather longer periods in
the middle (i.e. the periods during which Palestine was under Persian
and Ptolemaic control). But the arbitrary way in which the shepherds
have been split up indicates that the author was not really concerned
with the actual changes on the world scene, so much as with the idea
that there must be four periods.
The first of the four periods needs no comment here, but it is
worth saying something more about the details of the other periods.
1 En. 89:72 refers, as does Dan 9, to the return from the exile and

14
Cf. Charles, Enoch, 200–201.
15
Cf. Joseph W. Swain, “The Theory of the Four Monarchies. Opposition History
under the Roman Empire,” Classical Philology 35 (1940): 1–21; Walter Baumgartner, “Zu
den vier Reichen von Daniel 2,” ThZ 1 (1945): 17–22; Martin Noth, “Das Geschichts-
verständnis der alttestamentlichen Apokalyptik,” in Gesammelte Studien zum Alten Testament
(Theologische Bücherei 6; Munich: Kaiser, 1960), 248–73 (here 255–259) (ET, “The
Understanding of History in Old Testament Apocalyptic,” in The Laws in the Pentateuch
and Other Studies (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1966), 194–214 (here 200–203)).
196 chapter eleven

the attempt to rebuild the temple. There is specific mention of “three


sheep” who are probably to be identified with Joshua, Zerubbabel and
Ezra or Nehemiah.16 Verse 73 refers to the resumption of sacrifice, but
significantly the author passes a negative judgement on this activity:
“and they began again to place a table before the tower, but all the
bread on it (was) unclean and was not pure.”17 Charles, as background
to this statement, refers to Malachi 1 and 2, and this is surely right.18
But beyond this we are reminded of the view of Daniel that the exilic
and post-exilic periods in their entirety were a time of sin.19 A further
negative judgement on the post-exilic period is in fact to be found in
the statement of verse 74a that the eyes of the sheep and of their
shepherds were blinded. What was in the mind of the author when in
verse 74b he refers to the destruction of large numbers of the sheep
during the second, i.e. the Persian, period is not entirely clear,20 but
verse 75 alludes fairly obviously to the growth of the diaspora.
Turning to the Greeks, who are depicted as various kinds of birds,
it is interesting to find that the period of Ptolemaic rule is represented
in 90:2–4 as one of bitter persecution for the Jews:
and (the birds) began to devour those sheep, and to peck out their eyes,
and to devour their flesh. And the sheep cried out because their flesh
was devoured by the birds, and I cried out and lamented in my sleep on
account of that shepherd who pastured the sheep. And I looked until
those sheep were devoured by the dogs and by the eagles and by the
kites, and they left on them neither flesh nor skin nor sinew until only
their bones remained; and their bones fell upon the ground, and the
sheep became few.

16
Cf. Charles, Enoch, 203. The fact that the three sheep appear to be contempo-
raries might suggest that Sheshbazzar was the third sheep. But Sheshbazzar tends to
recede in the material, while later tradition shows little concern for exact chronology
in the case of Ezra and Nehemiah. Thus 4 Ezra places Ezra in the exilic period, and
2 Macc 1:18 has Nehemiah as temple builder. It is significant that Sir 49:11–13 has
Zerubbabel, Joshua and Nehemiah in one group.
17
The translations of Enoch are my own. For the text cf. Robert Henry Charles, The
Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch (Anecdota Oxoniensia, Semitic Series 11; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1906).
18
There may also be a link with Hag 2:10–14.
19
Cf. above, 193–194.
20
There is some evidence, both literary and archaeological, to suggest that the Jews
were involved in the Phoenician revolt against the Persians under Artaxerxes III Ochus,
and it is conceivable, as Professor Ackroyd has pointed out to me, that Enoch 89:74b
alludes to the troubles of this period. For the revolt, cf. Diodorus Siculus 16.40–46, and
for a recent evaluation of the evidence for Jewish involvement, cf. Dan Barag, “The
Effects of the Tennes Rebellion on Palestine,” BASOR 183 (1966): 8–12.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 197

We should no doubt see here an allusion to the involvement of the Jews


in the conflicts between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids,21 and again
there is a parallel with Daniel, i.e. with the statement in Dan 9:25 that
the post-exilic period was a troubled time.22 But the strength of the
description in Enoch leads me to wonder whether these verses do not
in part reflect the sufferings which the Jews were to experience some
decades later during the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes.
The account of the fourth period, the Jews under the Seleucids, begins
in 90:5, and there can be no question that, just as in Daniel, it is on
this final period that the main emphasis falls. However, in contrast to
Daniel, the author goes into some detail, both as to the events of the
Maccabaean period and as to the eschatological judgement and the
setting up of God’s kingdom. In 90:6–12 there are clear allusions to
the emergence of the Hasidim, the deposition from office and murder
of Onias, and the rise of Judas Maccabaeus. Thereafter the description
becomes rather vague, and we have the transference from prophecy
after the event to genuine prophecy. But the details need not concern
us. In summary, what emerges from the Vision of the Animals and from
the device of the seventy shepherds is an understanding of the exile
as a period that did not come to an end in the sixth century, but was
only finally being brought to an end in the events of the Maccabaean
period and the inauguration of God’s kingdom which it was hoped
would follow.
This is perhaps the place to refer to the Apocalypse of Weeks, a section
of Enoch closely related to the Vision of the Animals and perhaps dating
from just before the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes.23 The Apoca-
lypse (1 En. 93:1–10 + 91:11–17), as is well known, represents the whole
of world history as being divided into ten weeks, of which seven are
past and three are to come; it seems likely that the author saw himself
as living at the end of the seventh week, just before the beginning of
the preliminary judgement. The exile is referred to at the end of the
sixth week (93:8), and, although the actual return from the exile is not
mentioned, the exilic and post-exilic periods constitute the seventh week

21
Cf. Charles, Enoch, 205, and note 5, above.
22
Cf. above, 192–193.
23
Cf. Otto Eissfeldt, The Old Testament. An Introduction (trans. by Peter R. Ackroyd;
Oxford: Blackwell, 1965; ET of Einleitung in das Alte Testament (3d ed.; Tübingen: Mohr,
1964)), 619. For a different view cf. Harold H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic: A
Study of Jewish and Christian Apocalypses from Daniel to the Revelation (3d ed.; London: Lut-
terworth Press, 1963), 98–99.
198 chapter eleven

(93:9): “And after this in the seventh week an apostate generation will
arise, and many (will be) its deeds, but all its deeds (will be) apostasy.”
This extremely negative judgement passed on the exilic and post-exilic
periods corresponds to the negative judgement that we have already
observed in the Vision of the Animals. Interestingly, however, the author
of the Apocalypse goes on to refer, in all probability, to the emergence
of the Hasidim24 and the promulgation of his own teaching: “And at
its end the chosen righteous from the eternal plant of righteousness
will be chosen, to whom will be given sevenfold teaching concerning
his whole creation” (93:10). The author seems here to be referring
to the period in which he was living, i.e. the early part of the second
century, and the implication of his statement is that the first significant
event since the beginning of the exile was the formation in the second
century of a group which regarded itself as specially chosen and as
having received a new revelation. The similarity with the beginning of
the Damascus Document, a work to which we shall have to return,25 seems
fairly clear, and in the Damascus Document, of course, there is also to be
found the same imagery of planting.
It will be necessary later to say something about the Testaments of the
Twelve Patriarchs, but it is convenient at this point to refer to two passages
in the Testament of Levi. On the one hand T. Levi 16 reuses the seventy
year prophecy of the Book of Jeremiah, but in a rather different way
from that of Daniel and Enoch. The chapter begins: “And now I know
from the writing of Enoch that for seventy weeks you will go astray, and
defile the priesthood, and pollute the sacrifices” (verse 1; the catalogue
of sins continues in verses 2–3). As a result of this the temple is to be
destroyed (verse 4), and Levi’s descendants are to be scattered amongst
the Gentiles (verse 5).26 Here the seventy weeks do not mark the length
of the exile, but rather the period of sin which is the cause of the
exile and the dispersion of the Jews. This passage belongs, in fact, to
the so-called Sin-Exile-Return passages to which we shall have to refer
later.27 On the other hand, T. Levi 17:10–11 contain a fragment of an
apocalypse of weeks comparable to the apocalypse in Enoch:

24
On the Hasidic background of the earliest sections of Enoch, cf. Hengel, Judaism
and Hellenism, 1.176–180.
25
Cf. below, 200–203.
26
The Christian elements in this chapter do not alter the basic pattern and need
not concern us. For the text of the Testaments, cf. Marinus de Jonge, Testamenta XII
Patriarcharum (2d ed.; PVTG 1, Leiden: Brill, 1970).
27
Cf. below, 203–207.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 199

And in the fifth week they will return to the land of their desolation and
will rebuild the house of the Lord. And in the seventh week will come
priests (who are) idolaters, contentious, lovers of money, proud, lawless,
lascivious, pederasts and practisers of bestiality.
I mention this passage only because of its very negative view of the
post-exilic period, as represented by its priesthood.
We have been concerned so far with the way in which the seventy
year prophecy of Jeremiah was reused at a later date to provide an
understanding of the exilic and post-exilic periods. For the sake of
completeness28 we should perhaps also refer here to two other writings:
the apocryphal Letter of Jeremiah and the Assumption of Moses. The
former defines the length of the exile as seven generations (verse 3),
and this seems fairly clearly to be a deliberate correction of the seventy
years mentioned in the Old Testament Letter of Jeremiah, i.e. in Jer
29:10. However, it seems to me doubtful whether there is any more to
this particular alteration than an allusion to the fact that many Jews
remained in Babylonia after the end of the sixth century.
The prophecy of Moses (As. Mos. 3:14) that the southern tribes
would be in bondage for “about seventy and seven years” is not so
easily explained. The prophecy occurs in the context of a passage (As.
Mos. 3–4) that is heavily dependent on Dan 9,29 and what seems to be
intended is a further reinterpretation of the seventy years in Jeremiah.
But the precise nature of the reinterpretation remains obscure. The
return at the end of the sixth century is mentioned in 4:5–7, and it
seems unlikely that seventy-seven weeks of years are meant. But in that
case it is not obvious why seven years should have been added to the
conventional length of the exile.30 However, the seventy year theme is
not further developed.
This section of the Assumption also contains a reference to the post-
exilic cultus, and this too raises some problems: “And the two tribes
will continue in their prescribed faith, sad and lamenting because they
will not be able to offer sacrifices to the Lord of their fathers” (4:8).31
Moses’ ‘prophecy’ contradicts historical reality inasmuch as sacrifices

28
Cf. (?) also the pseudo-Daniel writing from Qumran ( Józef T. Milik, “‘Prière de
Nabonide’ et autres étrits d’un cycle de Daniel. Fragments araméens de Qumrân 4,”
RB 63 (1956): 413).
29
The parallels with Daniel are all noted by Robert Henry Charles, The Assumption
of Moses (London: A. & C. Black, 1897), 11–14.
30
See the discussion of this problem in Charles, Assumption of Moses, 13–14.
31
Translation by Charles, Assumption of Moses, 15–16.
200 chapter eleven

were offered in the post-exilic period, but it is no doubt to be seen only as


a more extreme form of the condemnation of the post-exilic cultus that
we have found to occur not infrequently in the writings of this period.32
Correspondingly the exile (3:1–14) is presented in the Assumption merely
as the beginning of an ongoing period of distress. This period was not
to be brought to an end by the return (4:5–7), but was to last until the
end of the first century B.C.E. (chs. 5–6)33 and reach its climax at the
end of time in the rule of impious hypocrites (ch. 7) and in a ‘Second
Visitation’ (chs. 8–9), an event which seems to have been understood as
a parallel to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.34 Only
then would God’s kingdom appear, and Israel’s distress be brought to
an end (10:1–10). Thus although the Assumption of Moses makes only
an enigmatic allusion to the seventy year prophecy, its understanding
of the exilic and post-exilic periods seems to be very similar to that of
Daniel and Enoch.

II

We began with Jeremiah 25 and 29, but we could just as easily have
begun with Ezekiel 4 because in Ezekiel we also find—in a passage that
was subsequently to be reused—an attempt, of a sort, to set a precise
limit for the duration of the exile. Ezek 3:22–5:17 is a passage of some

32
Cf. Charles, Assumption of Moses, 15.
33
The account of Israel’s history ends in 6:8–9 with a reference to Varus and the
events that followed the death of Herod (cf. Josephus, A. J. 17.8.4–10.10; B.J. 2.1–5);
7:1 marks the change from vaticinium ex eventu to genuine prophecy. The Assumption can
thus be dated fairly precisely to soon after 4 B.C.E., cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 624. On
the date see also the articles by John J. Collins, George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jonathan A.
Goldstein and David M. Rhoads in Studies on the Testament of Moses (ed. George W. E.
Nickelsburg; SBLSCS 4; Cambridge, Mass.: SBL,1973). Although it is not possible to
argue the case here, I remain unconvinced by the view (defended e.g. by Nickelsburg)
that chs. 6 and 7 have been interpolated, and that the Assumption is a revision of a
work dating from the time of the persecution of Antiochus.
34
Cf. Charles, Assumption of Moses, 29. Charles himself believed that chs. 8–9, which
describe the Second Visitation, provide an account of the Antiochene persecution which
has been misplaced from between chs. 5 and 6. That the text is out of order seems
very unlikely, and although chs. 8–9 do draw on motifs from the time of Antiochus,
it also seems to me unlikely that these chapters were, at some previous stage, meant
to provide an account of the persecution (cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 624, and for a very
different view see the article by Nickelsburg mentioned in the previous note). Rather
Nebuchadnezzar’s capture of Jerusalem and the Second Visitation stand at the begin-
ning and end of a period of distress which is seen as a whole. For the term ‘Second
Visitation’, cf. 8:1 (where “second” is partially restored) and 9:2.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 201

complexity35 which describes a series of symbolic actions which the


prophet was to undertake. In 4:4–8 the prophet is told to lie on his left
side for three hundred and ninety days and bear the punishment of the
House of Israel, and then to lie on his right side for forty days and bear
the punishment of the House of Judah. The days that he is to lie on
his side correspond to the years of exile of the northern and southern
kingdoms—at least that appears to be the meaning of the narrative
in its present form. The figures given in the narrative raise a number
of problems which seem to have been apparent already to those who
translated Ezekiel into Greek, for they give the years of punishment
of the House of Israel as one hundred and ninety, not three hundred
and ninety.36 However, what concerns us now is the use that was made
of this prophecy in the Damascus Document.
At the beginning of the Damascus Document there is a statement about
the origins of the Qumran Community which reads as follows:
And in the age of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after He had
given them into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, He visited
them, and He caused a root of planting to spring from Israel and Aaron
to inherit His land and to prosper on the good things of His earth. And
they perceived their iniquity and recognized that they were guilty men,
yet for twenty years they were like blind men groping for the way. And
God observed their deeds, that they sought Him with a whole heart, and
He raised for them a Teacher of Righteousness to guide them in the way
of His heart (I, 5–11).37
Two things strike me as being particularly significant about this passage
which is generally seen to refer to the emergence of the Hasidim in the
early second century and then, some years later, to the founding of the
Qumran Community. The first is that in contrast to Ezekiel the three
hundred and ninety years refer to the exile of the southern kingdom,
not the northern. That is to say, we have here a reinterpretation of
the length of the exile on a par with Daniel’s reinterpretation of the
seventy years. The second point, which is related to the first, is that
the author does not mention any intervention of God in the affairs of
the Jews between Nebuchadnezzar and the emergence of the Hasidim.

35
For detailed analysis see Walther Zimmerli, Ezechiel (2 vols.; BKAT XIII/1–2;
Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969), 1:93–138.
36
Cf. Zimmerli, Ezechiel, 1:114–122, especially 119–122.
37
Translation by Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Harmondsworth:
Penguin, 1962), 97.
202 chapter eleven

In this connection it should perhaps be pointed out that Jerome Murphy-


O’Connor has recently argued, in a fairly radical reassessment of the
early history of the Qumran Community, that the Essene movement
had its origins among a reform party that came into existence in
Babylon and only returned to Judaea after the first victories of Judas
Maccabaeus which began in 165,38 and this theory might be thought
to offer a partial explanation—in historical terms—for the fact that the
author of the Damascus Document moves directly from Nebuchadnezzar
to events in the second century. At the moment it is difficult to form a
definite judgement about Murphy-O’Connor’s theory, but whether it
is true or not, the implication of the passage we have been consider-
ing would seem to be that for the author the Jews had remained in
a state of exile until the events in the second century which led to
the foundation of the Qumran Community; this, in turn, was to be the
immediate prelude to the final judgement and the beginning of the
Messianic era.
This pattern of understanding, which, as we have seen, has a parallel
in the Enochian Apocalypse of Weeks, is possibly to be found elsewhere in
the Damascus Document, although without there being any further refer-
ence to the prophecy of Ezekiel. In column III, in a demonstration of
the workings of the guilty inclination ( yē er ashmā) which takes the form
of a recital of Israel’s history from the fall of the Watchers onwards,
the author appears to move directly from the exile to the foundation
of the Community:
Through it (the guilty inclination) the first members of the Covenant
sinned and were delivered up to the sword, because they forsook the
Covenant of God and chose their own will and walked in the stubbornness
of their hearts, each of them doing his own will. But with the remnant
which held fast to the commandments of God, He made His Covenant
with Israel for ever, revealing to them the hidden things in which all Israel
had gone astray (III, 10–14).39
Admittedly the situation here is not quite so straightforward as at the
beginning of the Damascus Document. On the one hand there may be
no particular significance in the fact that the author ignores the post-
exilic period, since he also passes quickly over other periods of Israel’s

38
Cf. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “The Essenes and their History,” RB 81 (1974):
215–44, especially 219–26. See also his articles in RB 77–9 (1970–72).
39
Translation by Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls, 99–100.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 203

history, particularly the time of the monarchy. But at least some refer-
ence is made to the monarchy, whereas there is no mention at all of
the return from Babylon or the events of the post-exilic period. On
the other hand it is arguable, although it seems to me unlikely, that the
text refers not to those living at the beginning of the sixth century,
but to the first members of the Qumran Community itself when it
speaks of “the first members of the Covenant” who “sinned and were
delivered up to the sword.”40 However, it seems to me at least possible
that a pattern of thought is to be discerned here comparable to that at
the beginning of the Damascus Document and of the Apocalypse of Weeks
according to which Israel remained in a state of exile until the emer-
gence, in the author’s day, of an elect group who were the recipients
of a special teaching.41

III

The exile is, of course, referred to in many passages that are not depen-
dent on the prophecies in Jeremiah 25 and 29 and Ezekiel 4. Of these
the eleven so-called ‘Sin-Exile-Return’ (henceforth ‘S.E.R.’) passages
in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs42 are particularly important.
These passages, which were first clearly identified by de Jonge43 and
have subsequently been studied by Aschermann,44 Baltzer,45 Steck46
and Becker,47 explain the exile as the result of the sin of the pre-exilic

40
Cf. the comments of André Dupont-Sommer, The Essene Writings from Qumran
(trans. by Geza Vermes; Oxford: Blackwell, 1961), 126, n. 1.
41
For a very different interpretation of this passage, cf. Murphy-O’Connor, RB
81(1974): 221; “An Essene Missionary Document? CD II, 14–VI, 1,” RB 77 (1970):
205–7.
42
T. Levi 10; 14–15; 16; T. Jud. 18:1, 23; T. Iss. 6; T. Zeb. 9:5–9; T. Dan 5:4–13;
T. Naph. 4:1–3; 4:4–5; T. Asher 7:2–4; 7:5–7.
43
Marinus de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Study of their Text, Com-
position and Origin, (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1953), 83–6.
44
Hartmut Aschermann, Die paränetischen Formen der ‘Testamente der zwölf Patriarchen’
und ihr Nachwirken in der frühchristlichen Mahnung (Typewritten dissertation, Humboldt
University, Berlin, 1955), 11–17.
45
Klaus Baltzer, Das Bundesformular (WMANT 4; Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag,
1960), 158–67.
46
Odil Hannes Steck, Israel und das gewaltsame Geschick der Propheten (WMANT 23;
Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1967), 149–53.
47
Jürgen Becker, Untersuchungen zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Testamente der zwölf Patriar-
chen (AGJU 8; Leiden: Brill, 1970), 172–177; “Die Testamente der zwölf Patriarchen,”
JSHRZ III/1 (Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1974), 54–55.
204 chapter eleven

generations48 and as such have many parallels in the Old Testament;


they have been particularly influenced, as Steck has emphasized,49 by
the viewpoint of the Deuteronomistic History and are very similar to
such passages as Deut 4:25–31 and 1 Kings 8:46–50. In contrast to
these Old Testament passages, however, the S.E.R. passages are cast as
prophecies. It should further be pointed out that, in common with the
other eschatological sections of the Testaments, the S.E.R. passages have
been subjected to very extensive Christian redaction, and that in only
a few passages (e.g. T. Naph. 4:1–3) is it impossible to detect Christian
influence. But what we are concerned with is the S.E.R. passages in
their pre-Christian stage.
In the first element of these S.E.R. passages the Patriarch announces
that he knows that in the last days his descendants will fall into sin. In
the first instance what is in mind is the sin of the pre-exilic generations,
but clearly there is also some reference to conditions at the time at
which the author was writing50 (cf. the condemnation of the priesthood
in T. Levi 14:4–8; 16:1–2). In view of this, and in view of the fact that
otherwise the sins are described in fairly general terms, it seems likely
that the author was thinking of his own age just as much as of the
pre-exilic age;51 for him past and present were characterized by sin.52
In the second element it is stated that because of their sin disaster
is to come upon the Patriarch’s descendants. The details of this are
sketched in rather vaguely, but one feature is common to all eleven
passages, namely that the descendants are to be led away into captivity
amongst the Gentiles. Sometimes there is also reference to the destruc-
tion of the temple (e.g. T. Levi 15:1; T. Jud. 23:3), but the overall lack

48
But cf. also below.
49
Cf. note 46.
50
The Testaments in their pre-Christian form date very probably from some time
during the 2nd century B.C.E., but whether from the pre-Maccabaean period (cf. e.g.
recently Becker, Untersuchungen, 375) or from later in the century is immaterial to this
particular point.
51
Cf. Steck, Israel, 151–52; Becker, Untersuchungen, 176.
52
As we have already seen (cf. above, 198), in T. Levi 16:1 the period of sin is to
last for 70 weeks, and it is impossible not to see here a connection with Dan 9:24
where 70 weeks of years are decreed “to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin,
and to atone for iniquity” (cf. above, 193). But what is at first sight surprising is that
in T. Levi 16 the 70 weeks of sin come before the exile (v. 5). It seems to me that this
apparent difference is to be explained on the grounds that the author of the Testaments
has blurred the distinction between his own age and the pre-exilic age. The pre-exilic
generations who originally were the cause of the exile belong in that 70 week period
just as much as does his own generation which is still in a state of exile.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 205

of precision in the description has led to the view that the author was
looking back in a rather generalized way on the disasters that had
overtaken Israel in both 722 and 587.53
In the third element the Patriarch foretells that eventually God will
visit his descendants in mercy—sometimes this is seen to follow on their
repentance—and bring them back to their land. The restoration to
the land cannot, however, be understood in terms of the return from
Babylon at the end of the sixth century, but was an event that lay in
the future so far as the author of the Testaments was concerned.
With the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs we appear to have aban-
doned more or less completely a historical understanding of the exile
and have to do only with a theological interpretation of the events.
The theological scheme employed in the Testaments explains the fact
that the Jews were scattered in the Dispersion and looks for the escha-
tological intervention of God to bring the people back into the land.54
The actual details of the carrying away into captivity are, as already
stated, very vague, and there is no concern at all with what happened
afterwards in the exilic and post-exilic periods, except that in T. Naph.
4 the S.E.R. pattern is repeated (verses 1–3 and verses 4–5) so that this
chapter in its present form does refer to the return at the end of the
sixth century. It seems very likely that the Testaments are a product of
Hellenistic Judaism—I am thinking now of the set of twelve Testaments,
not of works such as the Aramaic Levi document known from Qumran55
which were utilized in the composition of the Testaments—and it could
well be that they come from Alexandria; if this is so, it might to some
extent explain the theological emphasis in the S.E.R. passages. But the
understanding of the exile to be found in the Testaments represents in
reality only a more extreme form of the kind of interpretation found
already in Daniel, Enoch and the Damascus Document.
Two passages which have been seen to be fairly similar to the
S.E.R. passages need also to be considered here. These are Jubilees
1:9–18 and Tobit 14:4–7. It is, incidentally, perhaps worth noticing that
the Testaments, Jubilees and Tobit probably all date from the second

53
Cf. Becker, Untersuchungen, 176.
54
Cf. Elias J. Bickermann, “The Date of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,”
JBL 69 (1950): 253–54.
55
Cf. Józef T. Milik, “Le Testament de Lévi en araméen,” RB 62 (1955): 398–
406.
206 chapter eleven

century B.C.E. (or just before) and are thus more or less contempora-
neous with one another.56
The threefold pattern can be discerned fairly clearly in Jub. 1:9–18,
a passage which forms part of God’s speech to Moses in the introduc-
tion to the book. The sin element consists of verses 9–12, the exile of
verses 13 and 14, and the return of verses 15–18. Typically, a negative
judgement is passed on the exilic and post-exilic periods in verse 14:
“And they will forget all my law and all my commandments and all
my judgements, and will go astray as to new moons, and sabbaths, and
festivals, and jubilees, and ordinances.”57 However, it is likely that the
reference to errors over the calendar had a contemporary significance
for the second century author.58
It is worth quoting the return section (verses 15–18) in full:
And after this they will turn to me from amongst the Gentiles with all
their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and I shall
gather them from amongst all the Gentiles, and they will seek me, so that
I shall be found of them, when they seek me with all their heart and
with all their soul. And I shall disclose to them abounding peace with
righteousness, and I shall transform them into a plant of uprightness with
all my heart and with all my soul, and they will be for a blessing and not
for a curse, and they will be the head and not the tail. And I shall build
my sanctuary in their midst, and I shall dwell with them, and I shall be
their God and they will be my people in truth and righteousness. And I
shall not forsake them nor fail them; for I am the Lord their God.59
Charles interpreted this passage historically, i.e. with reference to the
return at the end of the sixth century and the building of the second
temple,60 but it seems much more likely that it is to be interpreted
eschatologically. For the author the divine intervention and the return

56
For the Testaments cf. above, note 50. Eissfeldt (Introduction, 608) dates Jubilees about
100 B.C.E., but it seems to me to be somewhat older than this, perhaps Maccabaean
(so Rowley, Relevance, 99–105) or even pre-Maccabaean (so Gene L. Davenport, The
Eschatology of the Book of Jubilees (Leiden: Brill, 1971), 13–14). Tobit is pre-Maccabaean
(cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 585) and probably dates from the end of the third or the
beginning of the second century B.C.E.
57
Translation by Robert Henry Charles, The Book of Jubilees (London: A. & C.
Black, 1902), 5.
58
On the calendar in Jubilees, cf. Annie Jaubert, La Date de la Cène (Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1957). Controversies over the calendar are, of course, a
recurring theme of Jubilees, Enoch and the Scrolls.
59
Translation by Charles, Jubilees, 5–6, but with the acceptance in v. 16 of the
rendering of Littmann which Charles rejected (cf. Enno Littmann in APAT 2.40).
60
Cf. Jubilees, 5.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 207

from the exile still lay in the future, and again we have the idea of
the exile as a state that will only be brought to an end with the end
of this world order. It is also to be noted that in Jubilees, as in some of
the S.E.R. passages in the Testaments, the repentance of the exiles is to
be the prelude to the return.61
The book of Tobit contains, in chs. 4 and 14, two testaments of
Tobit; the former of these is similar to the parenetic sections of the
Testaments of the Twelve Partiarchs, the latter to the eschatological sections.
Tobit 14:4b–7 has its closest affinities, in fact, with the S.E.R. passages
in the Testaments, although it also differs from them in some significant
ways. Verses 4b and 5 read as follows in the RSV translation (which is
based on the shorter text found in Vaticanus and Alexandrinus):
Our brethren will be scattered over the earth from the good land, and
Jerusalem will be desolate. The house of God in it will be burned down
and will be in ruins for a time. But God will again have mercy on them,
and bring them back into their land; and they will rebuild the house of
God, though it will not be like the former one until the times of the age
are completed. After this they will return from the places of their captiv-
ity, and will rebuild Jerusalem in splendour. And the house of God will
be rebuilt there with a glorious building for all generations for ever, just
as the prophets said of it.
Verses 6 and 7 then go on to describe the conversion of the gentiles. In
contrast to the S.E.R. passages in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
this passage does not mention the sin of the pre-exilic generations, and
does mention the return and rebuilding of the temple. But there could
hardly be a more explicit statement of the view, known to us already
from Dan 9, that the return from the exile in the sixth century had
only a provisional character, and that the post-exilic cultus was defec-
tive. The decisive change in Israel’s condition of exile was only to come
when “the times of the age” were completed.

IV

There are a number of other passages that ought no doubt to be consid-


ered here, such as the Life of Adam and Eve 29:4–10, or the Apocalypse of
Abraham 27, or the Prayer of Azariah, or 4QWords of the Luminariesa
(4Q504) 1–2 V–VI. Instead, however, I would like in conclusion to

61
On this passage see also Davenport, Eschatology, 14–15, 19–29.
208 chapter eleven

make some general observations about three works that were based
entirely on the assumption that Israel was in a state of exile. I refer to
the apocryphal Baruch, 4 Ezra and the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch.
The apocryphal Baruch is a composite work whose individual parts
may well be somewhat older than the book as a whole. The attempt
of Steck62 to date the book fairly precisely to the period just after 164
is unconvincing, and it seems to me difficult to go beyond the generally
accepted view that the work in its present form dates from some time
before the middle of the first century.63 On the other hand the book
is supposed to derive from the period between the first and second
deportations—at least according to 1:(2a), 3–14, although 1:2b, 8, on
whose originality Gunneweg has recently cast doubts, allude to (or
presuppose) the destruction of Jerusalem in 587.64 However, whatever
conclusions one might come to about the introduction in 1:1–14, it is
clear that there is no reference in Baruch to any event in Israel’s history
after 587. Rather the viewpoint of all the sections is summed up in
the closing words of the Prayer of Repentance (3:8): “Behold, we are
today in our exile where thou has scattered us, to be reproached and
cursed and punished for all the iniquities of our fathers who forsook
the Lord our God.” Going beyond this, the dependence of the first
part of the Prayer of Repentance on the prayer in Dan 9:4–19 is of
course well known, but it is perhaps also worth pointing out that the
latter part of the Prayer of Repentance (particularly 2:27–35) shows
close affinities with the S.E.R. passages in the Testaments of the Twelve
Patriarchs, although it does not employ the same literary form. The prayer
and the S.E.R. passages both ultimately reflect the attitude towards the
exile of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic history.
4 Ezra purports to have been written in Babylon thirty years after
the fall of Jerusalem in 587, although it actually reflects the situation
of the Jews after 70 C.E. and was perhaps composed during the reign
of Domitian.65 The fact that Ezra, who belongs to the end of the fifth
century, could be placed in the exilic period is probably indicative
both of a deliberate compression of events and of a certain degree of

62
Cf. Israel, 128–33.
63
Cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 593.
64
Cf. Antonius H. J. Gunneweg, “Das Buch Baruch,” JSHRZ III/2 (Gütersloh:
Gerd Mohn, 1975), 169–70, 171.
65
Cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 626.
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 209

confusion as to the chronology of the exilic and post-exilic periods.66


Ezra is identified with Salathiel (i.e. Shealtiel) in 3:1, but Salathiel is
not further mentioned, and I wonder whether there is anything more
here than an early attempt to deal with the chronological problem by
identifying Ezra with somebody who apparently did live in the middle
of the sixth century (for Shealtiel cf. 1 Chr 3:17–19; Ezra 3:2; 5:2;
Neh 12:1).
As already stated, the work is predicated on the assumption that
Israel is in a state of exile, and this viewpoint is maintained even to the
extent that there are no references, as there might have been, to events
that affected Israel after 587—until, that is, we come down to the
Roman period. There are three short retrospects of Israel’s history (in
3:4–27, part of Ezra’s prayer at the beginning of the apocalypse, in
10:41–8, the interpretation of the Vision of the Disconsolate Woman,
and in 14:29–33, part of an address to the people), but these end with
the deliverance of Jerusalem into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and
the exile of the people to Babylon. On the other hand, the Vision
of the Eagle (11:1–12:39), although it quite consciously reuses Daniel’s
vision of the four beasts rising from the sea, altogether ignores the first
three beasts and deals only with the fourth beast which it reinterprets
to refer to the Roman empire. Even here the concern is only with the
imminent downfall of the Roman empire, and there is no allusion,
except in the most general terms in 11: 40–43, to Roman dealings
with the Jews. Thus the period from 587 down to the Roman era is
passed over in silence.
The situation is rather different in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (i.e.
2 Baruch), although this too is predicated on the assumption that Israel
is in exile. 2 Baruch, like 4 Ezra—a work on which it appears to be
dependent,67 is supposed to have been written shortly after 587, but in

66
Professor Ackroyd has kindly pointed out to me that already in the Old Testa-
ment the events of the exilic and post-exilic periods are compressed, and that Ezra
is seen as the link back across the exile. The events of Ezra 7 are presented as the
direct sequel to those of Ezra 6, while in the priestly genealogy of Ezra 7:1–5 Ezra is
made the son and successor of Seraiah, the last chief priest of the pre-exilic temple
(2 Kgs 25:18–21; on Ezra 7:1 cf. Klaus Koch, “Ezra and the Origins of Judaism,” JSS
19 (1974): 190). See also above, note 16. It is interesting to observe that according to
a rabbinic tradition Ezra was the disciple of Baruch in Babylon (cf. Pierre Bogaert,
L’Apocalypse de Baruch: Introduction, traduction du syriaque et commentaire (2 vols.; Paris: Cerf,
1969), 1.111–13).
67
Cf. Eissfeldt, Introduction, 629–30, but contrast the view of Bogaert, Baruch,
1.111–13, 118.
210 chapter eleven

reality reflects the problems and uncertainties of the Jews after 70 C.E.
In contrast to 4 Ezra, the Baruch apocalypse does allude to the post-exilic
period. Thus both Baruch (in ch. 39, part of the interpretation of the
Vision of the Forest, the Vine, the Fountain and the Cedar) and Ezra
use the motif of the four world empires, but only Baruch mentions the
succession of the first three (39:3–4), and thereby makes some reference
to the history of the period after Nebuchadnezzar. It is perhaps hardly
surprising, however, that more attention is devoted to the Romans
(39:5–7) than to the other empires. The harsh rule of the Romans is
mentioned, but there is no reference to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.
The interpretation of the Vision of the Black and the Bright Waters
is rather more explicit. In ch. 68, which explains the significance of
the twelfth period, consisting of bright waters, the author refers to the
rebuilding of the temple at the end of the sixth century, but, typically,
passes a negative judgement on the post-exilic cultus:
And at that time after a little interval Zion will again be builded, and
its offerings will again be restored, and the priests will return to their
ministry, and again the Gentiles will come to glorify it. Nevertheless, not
fully, as in the beginning. But it will come to pass after these things that
there will be the fall of many nations (68:5–7).68
It is noticeable that here also there is no reference to the fall of Jerusalem
in 70 C.E., although this event may be subsumed in the statement about
the fall of many nations (68:7) or in the description of the Messianic
Woes which follows in chapter 70. The only place where there does
appear to be a reference both to the rebuilding of the temple at the
end of the sixth century and to its subsequent destruction in 70 C.E.
is in 32:2–4, although there are some problems in the interpretation
of this passage:
Because after a little time the building of Zion will be shaken in order
that it may again be built. But that building will not remain, but will
again after a time be rooted out, and will remain desolate until the time.
And afterwards it must be renewed in glory, and it will be perfected for
evermore.69

68
Translation by Robert Henry Charles, The Apocalypse of Baruch (London: A. & C.
Black, 1896), 111. Note, however, that the sentence “Nevertheless, not fully, as in the
beginning” is translated and interpreted a little differently by Bogaert (Baruch, 1.513;
2.122).
69
Translation by Charles, Baruch, 58–59. Charles regarded this passage as an
interpolation because he interpreted the shaking of Zion in v. 2 negatively to refer to
the exile in the literature of the intertestamental period 211

The three works that we have just been considering are all based on
the assumption that Israel is in exile. All three are also pseudonymous,
and although pseudonymity is a feature we tend to take for granted, it
does seem to me worth asking why, in any individual case, a particular
pseudonym was chosen. The choice of Baruch as the supposed author
of the apocryphal Baruch would not seem to have had any real effect on
the contents of the work, but clearly the pseudonymous authorship of
2 Baruch and 4 Ezra is intimately linked with the problems with which
the two books are concerned and has had a profound effect on both
their form and their contents. The fact that the situation in which the
Jews found themselves after 70 C.E. was so very similar to that in which
they had been after 587 no doubt had much to do with the choice of
Baruch and Ezra as the pseudonymous authors of the two apocalypses.
But it seems to me possible that the sense of having been in a more
or less permanent state of exile since 587—an attitude which seems
to emerge from 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra, as well as from all the other writ-
ings we have been considering—may also have been influential in this
matter and made it seem appropriate to issue the apocalypses under
the names of those who had been important figures at the beginning
of the period. This kind of explanation, which seems to me at any
rate worth considering for 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra, could obviously also
be applied to the apocryphal Baruch where, as we have seen, there is
no reference whatsoever to events after 587.

the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, whereas that event is supposed by


this point in 2 Baruch already to have taken place. It seems to me, however, that the
beginning of 2 Bar. 32:2 is built up on the basis of Hag 2:6, and that the shaking of
Zion is to be interpreted positively to refer to the rebuilding of the temple in the sixth
century, just as Hag 2:6–9 refers to the glory that will belong to the second temple.
On this view 2 Bar. 32:2 assumes the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar (cf. 31:4), and
the whole of the verse (not just the second part) refers to the rebuilding of the temple
by Joshua and Zerubbabel; v. 3 refers to the destruction of 70 C.E. and v. 4 to the
temple that is to be built in the new era. V. 5 (like v. 1) is a word of encouragement
addressed to the contemporaries of the author of 2 Baruch, while v. 6 contrasts the
destructions of 587 and 70 with the trial which will have to be endured when God
renews his creation. See also on this passage Bogaert, Baruch, 1.422–4; Bogaert has
brilliantly analysed the difficulties of this passage, but I cannot accept the interpreta-
tion he offers in point (e) on 424.
212 chapter eleven

This study has been concerned to survey the references to the exile
in intertestamental literature. Despite many differences in presentation
the writings that we have been considering all seem to share the view
that Israel remained in a state of exile long after the sixth century, and
that the exile would only be brought to an end when God intervened
in this world order to establish his rule. But this survey seems to me to
have a bearing on a rather wider problem. We have been concerned
largely, although not exclusively, with apocalyptic material, and it is
quite characteristic of the apocalypses that in referring to the exile
they reused themes and motifs drawn from earlier writings. Thus the
seventy year prophecy of Jeremiah was reused in Daniel and Enoch,
while the Assumption of Moses 3 and 4 has been influenced by Daniel 9
and also has to be considered in this context. The theme of the four
world empires was taken over from Daniel by the authors of Enoch, 4
Ezra and 2 Baruch, and is also to be found in the Apocalypse of Abraham
27–28. The reuse of older material (of which these are just two exam-
ples) gives to the apocalypses a learned character, and the bearing of
this on the question of the relationship between apocalyptic, prophecy
and wisdom seems to me to be a theme worth pursuing.
CHAPTER TWELVE

EXILE IN THE DAMASCUS DOCUMENT

In a series of articles published some ten years ago1 Jerome Murphy-


O’Connor challenged the widely accepted view that the origins of the
Essene movement are to be found in the reform movement which arose
amongst the Jews in Palestine in the early second century B.C.E. and
which is commonly associated with the Hasidim. He argued instead
that the nucleus of the Essenes was formed by a group of conservative
Jews who returned from Babylon to Palestine shortly after 165 B.C.E.
They were inspired to return by the early victories of Judas and may
also have been subject to persecution because of these victories. His
arguments are undergirded by a thoroughgoing literary analysis of
both the Damascus Document and the Community Rule. This analysis is
important quite apart from the conclusions which he draws from it. But
here we should merely note his view that CD II, 14–VI, 1, which he
regards as one of the sources of the Damascus Document, was originally
intended not for insiders, or even novices, but for those outside. Thus,
following a suggestion of Samuel Iwry,2 apparently with regard to the
whole of the Damascus Document, he argues that CD II, 14–VI, 1 was a
Missionary Document, composed shortly after the return to Palestine;
it contains a justification of the Essenes’ right to speak (III, 12–16; IV,
1–9),3 and its purpose was both to condemn contemporary orthodoxy
and to appeal to those outside to join the Essenes.
Murphy-O’Connor summarised his views in an article published in
Revue Biblique in 1974, and in presenting his case there he based his

1
Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “An Essene Missionary Document? CD II, 14–VI,
1,” RB 77 (1970): 201–229; “A Literary Analysis of Damascus Document VI, 2–VIII,
3,” RB 78 (1971): 210–232; “The Critique of the Princes of Judah (CD VIII, 3–19),”
RB 79 (1972): 200–216; “A Literary Analysis of Damascus Document XIX, 33–XX,
34,” RB 79 (1972): 544–564; “The Essenes and their History,” RB 81 (1974): 215–244;
“The Essenes in Palestine,” BA 40 (1977): 100–124.
2
Samuel Iwry, “Was there a Migration to Damascus? The Problem of ‫שבי ישראל‬,”
Eretz Israel 9 (1969): 80–88; see 83.
3
RB 81 (1974): 226–227, cf. 223; RB 77 (1970): 201–225.
214 chapter twelve

argument for the Babylonian origin of the Essenes on his view that
the various geographical references in the Scrolls have not been taken
sufficiently seriously.4 Thus he criticises Stegemann’s symbolic inter-
pretation of the allusions to leaving Jerusalem (CD XX, 22) or the
land of Judah (CD IV, 3; VI, 5), and going to the land of the North
(CD VII,14) or the land of Damascus (CD VI, 5; XX, 12) or the wil-
derness (1QS VIII, 13; IX, 20).5 With regard to CD VI, 5, which he
translates “the returnees of Israel who went out of the land of Judah
and were exiled in the land of Damascus,” Murphy-O’Connor notes
that many scholars have identified “Damascus” with “Qumran.” In his
view, however, this poses problems for the understanding of “land of
Judah” because Qumran is in the territory of Judah. He argues that a
symbolic interpretation of the expression—such as the suggestion that
it designates the prince-priest class of Jerusalem6—is quite implausible
and continues:
Such desperate expedients are unnecessary if one takes the phrase at
its face value as meaning a literal exodus from Judaea. This approach
is confirmed by the context of the same phrase in CD IV, 3 because
there, as S. Iwry has shown, it is a question of a return from exile with
adequate qualifications to gain acceptance in Jerusalem. When did this
exodus take place? The answer is indicated by the historical summary of
CD II, 18–III, 12 which culminates with the exile to Babylon. Among
those who survived that catastrophe “God established his covenant with
Israel for ever, revealing to them the hidden things in which all Israel
had strayed” (CD III, 13–14). This can only be “the new covenant of the
land of Damascus” (CD VI, 19; XIX, 33–34). “Damascus,” therefore, is
a symbolic name for Babylon.7
In support of his case Murphy-O’Connor draws attention to indica-
tions of Babylonian influence on the Essenes, and indications that the
legislation of the Damascus Document was intended for a group living
in a gentile environment. He recognises that these arguments are less
tangible than those based on the historical allusions in the biblical com-

4
RB 81 (1974): 219–221.
5
Hartmut Stegemann, Die Entstehung der Qumrangemeinde (Diss., University of Bonn,
1971), 240.
6
Cf. Roland de Vaux, Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Schweich Lectures of
the British Academy, 1959; rev. ed. in an English translation; London: Oxford Uni-
versity Press for the British Academy, 1973), 114; Annie Jaubert, “Le pays de Damas,”
RB 65 (1958): 224, 228.
7
RB 81 (1974): 221.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 215

mentaries, but believes that they must be taken properly into account
in considering the origins of the Essene movement.8
Reaction to Murphy-O’Connor’s hypothesis has been varied. In
a survey article Charlesworth states that the hypothesis “has only
ambiguous evidence to commend it.”9 Similarly Vermes maintains
that the suggestion that Damascus symbolises Babylon is insufficiently
solid to amount to anything more than unsupported speculation.10 On
the other hand F. D. Weinert accepts the hypothesis and argues that it
enables us to place one of the smaller Qumran texts, 4Q159 (entitled
simply “Ordinances” in DJD 5), which it had previously been difficult
to situate. He summarises his argument as follows:
In terms of Murphy-O’Connor’s thesis, the composition of 4Q159 fits in
well with the initial withdrawal to rural areas by mid-second century B.C.
conservative Babylonian returnees who had failed to reform Palestinian
Judaism. The text would have been written to set down the returnees’
understanding of the Law on those points that differed markedly from
current Palestinian custom or were related to practical situations that might
arise in the new setting to which the returnees had withdrawn.11
Again, Fitzmyer believes that Murphy-O’Connor’s thesis is plausible
“because it helps to explain many details in the Scrolls by a historical
setting that was not understood earlier.” He continues: “It has often been
the custom to understand phrases in Qumran literature in a symbolic
or allegorical sense; now in his interpretation many pieces begin to fall
together better.”12 Murphy-O’Connor’s thesis is also taken seriously by
Philip R. Davies in his recent monograph on the Damascus Document.13

8
RB 81 (1974): 222–223.
9
James H. Charlesworth, “The Origin and Subsequent History of the Authors of
the Dead Sea Scrolls: Four Transitional Phases among the Qumran Essenes,” RevQ
10 (1980): 222.
10
Geza Vermes, “The Essenes and History,” JJS 32 (1981): 28; cf. Emil Schürer,
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.–A.D. 135) (rev. and ed.
by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar, and Matthew Black; 4 vols.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark,
1973–1987), 2 (1979): 586, n. 51.
11
Francis D. Weinert, “A Note on 4Q159 and a New Theory of Essene Origins,”
RevQ 9 (1977–78): 223–230; see 229–230.
12
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament After Thirty
Years,’ Theology Digest 29 (1981): 357–358.
13
Philip R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant ( JSOTSup 25; Sheffield: 1982). I would
like to record here my thanks to Philip Davies for kindly drawing my attention to the
article mentioned in note 12 and for the stimulus provided by much helpful discussion
of the issues examined in this essay.
216 chapter twelve

Clearly the hypothesis raises a number of important issues, and the


arguments on which it is based deserve further consideration.

II

One immediate difficulty with any theory of a Babylonian origin for the
Essenes is that we know virtually nothing about the circumstances of
the Jews in Babylonia from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah until the
first century B.C.E.14 Certainly the Old Testament contains no precise
information. It is true that the book of Esther is commonly thought
to have originated in the Eastern diaspora and to be based ultimately
on an incident in which Jews were subjected to persecution. Similar
considerations apply to the stories in the first half of the book of Daniel
which are likewise thought to have originated in the Eastern diaspora.
But even the assumption that Esther and Dan 1–6 accurately reflect
the circumstances in which Jews sometimes found themselves during
the Persian and Hellenistic periods does not tell us very much.
In a wider perspective the possibility of Babylonian influence on
material in Dan 7–12 and in the book of Enoch has been considered,
and this may be of greater significance. So far as Enoch is concerned
the possibility of Babylonian influence has been raised more than once,
particularly in recent years by Grelot. Thus Grelot argued that the figure
of Enoch has been elaborated in the light of characteristics associated
with two Mesopotamian figures: on the one hand Enmeduranki of Sip-
par, the seventh antediluvian king—at least according to one version of
the Sumerian King List—who was initiated into the secret of the gods
and was the founder of the arts of divination; and on the other hand
the flood-hero, who was carried off to paradise and who, according to
Berossos, transmitted through his books the wisdom of the antediluvian
period to the post-flood generations (for Enoch in this connection see
Jub 21:10).15 Here it may be noted that in a more recent study Borger

14
Cf. Jacob Neusner, A History of the Jews in Babylonia. I: The Parthian Period (StPB 9:
Leiden: Brill, 1965), 11.
15
Pierre Grelot, “La légende d’Hénoch dans les apocryphes et dans la Bible: Ori-
gine et signification,” RSR 46 (1958), 5–26, 181–210; see 13, 17, 23–24, 191–192.
For the traditions about Enmeduranki, see now Near Eastern Religious Texts relating to the
Old Testament (ed. Walter Beyerlin; OTL; London: SCM, 1978), 87–89; ET of Reli-
gionsgeschichtliches Textbuch zum Alten Testament (Grundrisse zum Alten Testament; ATD
Ergänzungsreihe 1; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975), 113–114); Wilfred G.
Lambert, “Enmeduranki and Related Matters,” JCS 21 (1967): 127, 132–133.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 217

has drawn attention to the parallel between the ascension to heaven


of Enoch and that of Utuabzu, the seventh antediluvian wise man
and contemporary of Enmeduranki.16 Grelot has also compared the
geography of Enoch with Greek and Babylonian geographical notions,
relying for the latter on the account of Gilgamesh’s journey to Utna-
pishtim and on the evidence of the Babylonian map of the world; he
concludes that Enoch is dependent on Babylonian rather than Greek
geographical conceptions.17 That Enoch is the biblical counterpart of
Enmeduranki seems reasonably clear, but it is quite a different matter
to know whether the author of the book of Enoch was conscious of
this connection. Again, the parallels which Grelot draws between the
geography of Enoch and Babylonian geographical notions are interesting,
but not, I think, sufficient to prove direct dependence on Babylonian
traditions. Indeed, Grelot himself considers the possibility of a Phoe-
nician or Syrian intermediary between the Mesopotamian source and
Enoch, while I note that Glasson and Nickelsburg have emphasised the
importance of the Greek parallels and regard the account of Enoch’s
journeys in chapters 17–36 as shaped after the model of the Greek
nekyia.18 We are on much firmer ground with Professor Lambert’s study
of Dan 11. In his Ethel M. Wood Lecture, Professor Lambert observed
that the technique employed in this chapter of presenting history in
concise annalistic form with names omitted and verbs in the future
tense was more remarkable than had generally been recognised, and
he drew attention to the striking parallel to this genre provided by three
cuneiform texts which describe historical events in the form of vaticinia
ex eventu. Significantly, two of these texts were copied, one of them
also composed, in the Hellenistic age. Professor Lambert considers it
possible, perhaps even probable, that the author of Daniel adapted
the style of a traditional Babylonian genre for his own purposes. He
also considers the possibility that Jews might have known of works
like these Babylonian prophecies through translations of them into

16
Rykle Borger, “Die Beschwörungsserie Bīt Mēseri und die Himmelfahrt Henochs,”
JNES 33 (1974): 183–196; see 193.
17
Grelot, “La géographie mythique d’Hénoch et ses sources orientales,” RB 65
(1958): 33–69; see 64, 68.
18
Grelot, RB 65 (1958): 68, cf. 62; T. Francis Glasson, Greek Influence in Jewish
Eschatology (S.P.C.K. Biblical Monographs 1; London: S.P.C.K., 1961), 8–11; George
W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah: A Historical and Literary
Introduction, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), 54, 66.
218 chapter twelve

Aramaic or Greek.19 In passing I note here also the recent claim by


Helge Kvanvig—made so far only in a preliminary form—to have
discovered the background to Dan 7 in an Assyrian text describing a
vision;20 Kvanvig does not speak of direct dependence on the part of
the author of Dan 7, but of knowledge of traditions derived from the
text. Whatever the truth of this particular claim, there can be little
question that the Hellenistic age was an era of tremendous cultural
interchange, and that we should not be surprised to find some knowl-
edge of Babylonian traditions amongst Jews in Palestine. The career
and the writings of Berossos provide evidence that some knowledge of
Babylonian traditions permeated to the west.21
It is in this light that we should view Murphy-O’Connor’s remarks
about Babylonian influence on the Essenes—where he himself admits
that we have to do with arguments less tangible than those based on
the historical allusions in the biblical commentaries. Murphy-O’Connor
quotes with approval Albright’s views about the Essenes:
It seems probable that the Essenes represent a sectarian Jewish group
which had migrated from Mesopotamia to Palestine after the victory of
the Maccabees. This theory would explain their interest in the virtues
of plants and stones (Berossos is said to have composed a treatise on the
latter subject), their attention to divination and astrology, their frequent
lustrations (hygenically necessary in Iraq, but not in Palestine), as well
as their prayer to God for sunrise, performed daily before dawn, facing
eastward, since all of these points were characteristic of Mesopotamian
practice.22
Here it must be said that the remark about lustrations seems somewhat
wide of the mark. It ignores the importance attached to lustrations in
the Old Testament, both in the case of the priests (Exod 29:4; 30:20;
Lev 8:6) and Levites (Num 8:7) and in the case of those affected with

19
Wilfred G. Lambert, The Background of Jewish Apocalyptic (paper given as The Ethel
M. Wood Lecture at the University of London, 1977: London: University of London,
1978), 9–16.
20
Helge. S. Kvanvig, “An Akkadian Vision as Background for Dan 7?,” ST 35
(1981): 85–89. The text to which Kvanvig refers was first published by Erich Ebeling
and was subsequently edited anew by Wolfram von Soden in “Die Unterweltsvision
eines assyrischen Kronprinzen,” ZA (N.F.) 9 (43) (1936): 1–31.
21
On Berossos see Stanley M. Burstein, The Babyloniaca of Berossos (SANE 1.5,
Malibu: Undena, 1978 (repr. 1980)).
22
William F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, (2d ed.; Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins Press,1957), 376, cf. 21; Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 222; cf. Murphy-
O’Connor, RB 77 (1970): 215.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 219

various kinds of uncleanness (e.g. Lev 15:5, 7). There seems little ques-
tion that the washing rites mentioned in the Community Rule and by
Josephus derive from this Old Testament legislation and are not to be
understood in terms of hygiene, or at least not primarily so. The refer-
ences to divination and astrology and to a concern with the properties
of plants and stones are, however, more significant and are amongst the
matters discussed by Hengel in his discussion of “New developments
and alien influences in Essene teaching.”23 Murphy-O’Connor criticises
Hengel for what he describes as systematically downplaying “the pos-
sibility of direct Babylonian influence on the Essenes.” He notes that
Hengel is surprised to find such a closed community so open to alien
influences, and that he finally assumes the unconscious assimilation
of foreign ideas.24 But in Murphy-O’Connor’s view this problem only
arises on the assumption that the Essene movement is a Palestinian
phenomenon. He continues:
Once they came into [the Palestinian] environment, the Essenes were
in violent reaction to any tendency to assimilation, but the same is not
true of the time before the return to Palestine. Having lived in Babylon
for nearly three hundred years, they cannot reasonably be assumed to
have been totally immune to their social environment, however rigoristic
their inclinations.25
However, it should be said that Hengel is concerned with a wide range
of alien cultural influences—not just Babylonian—which were in the
air in the Hellenistic period. So far as I can see, there is nothing which
compels us to assume that the early Essenes could not have been exposed
to these influences in Palestine.
It is appropriate here to refer to Murphy-O’Connor’s view that the
legislation in the Damascus Document (i.e. that contained in columns
IX–XVI) was intended not, as has often been suggested, for those
Essenes living scattered throughout Palestine, but for a community
living in a gentile environment However profound the hellenisation of
Palestine, it could not be considered a gentile environment, and thus,

23
Martin Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus: Studien zu ihrer Begegnung unter besonderer
Berücksichtigung Palästinas bis zur Mitte des 2. Jh. v.Chr. (WUNT 10; Tübingen: Mohr,
1969), 414–453; ET Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine during the
Early Hellenistic Period, (2 vols.; London: SCM, 1974), 1:228–247).
24
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 222–223, referring to Hengel, Judentum und
Hellenismus, 415, 449 (ET, 1: 228, 245).
25
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 223.
220 chapter twelve

he argues, we are forced to postulate a group living in the diaspora.


Here Murphy-O’Connor was repeating the earlier judgement of Samuel
Iwry, and he quotes the latter’s statement:
The ratio of injunctions against dealings with gentiles involving trade,
slave labor, lodging, dietary restrictions and Sabbath rest seem to be com-
pletely out of proportion with the rest of the collection totalling almost
100. Even more revealing are the laws which were designed to maintain
good public relations between the Jewish minority and the gentiles.26
The ‫ גוים‬are in fact referred to in four separate places in CD IX–XVI,
There are three isolated references (IX, 1; XI, 14b–15a; XIV, 14b–15)
and a cluster of references in XII, 6b–11a. It is clearly a matter of
individual judgement whether one thinks these laws relating to Gentiles
form such a disproportionate element in the legislation of the Damascus
Document as a whole that one must conclude that the legislation was
intended for a group living in the diaspora. It might also be thought
difficult to make such a judgement until the fragments of this docu-
ment from 4Q have been published, since these are said to attest a
much fuller text than that known to us from CD itself.27 But I do note
that there are also laws referring to Jerusalem (XII, 1b–2a) and to the
offering of sacrifices in the temple (XI, 17b–21a). The latter envisage
not merely the sending of offerings to the temple, but also the personal
presentation of offerings. These laws are not incompatible with the
assumption that the legislation of the Damascus Document was intended
for a community living in the diaspora. But it does seem to me that
they are more naturally understood on the presupposition that Jerusalem
and the temple were easily accessible, i.e. on the presupposition that
the legislation was intended for a community in Palestine.
To summarise what has been said so far, it seems to me that although
there is nothing impossible in the idea that the Essene movement origi-
nated in Babylon, the general considerations that have been discussed
leave the question entirely open. If the hypothesis is to be made prob-
able, it can only be on the basis of the interpretation of the allusions
in specific texts in the Damascus Document.

26
Iwry, Eretz Israel 9 (1969): 85; Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974), 223.
27
Cf. Józef T. Milik, Ten Years of Discovery in the Wilderness of Judaea (trans. John
Strugnell; SBT 26; London: SCM,1959), 151–152.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 221

III

It is perhaps best to begin our examination of the relevant passages


by considering the meaning of CD VI, 5. This passage occurs as part
of the Well Midrash based on Num 21:18 and states that those who
dug the well were the ‫שבי ישראל היוצאים מארץ יהודה ויגורו בארץ‬
‫דמשק‬. As Iwry points out, the various elements in this expression recur
throughout the Damascus Document,28 and so its meaning is important for
the interpretation of the document as a whole. Vermes’ translation is
representative of many: “the converts of Israel who went out of the land
of Judah to sojourn in the land of Damascus.”29 However, Iwry and
Murphy-O’Connor have argued that ‫ שבי‬does not mean “converts” or
“penitents” but is to be taken literally as “returnees” (cf. Ezra 6:21; Neh
8:17). Thus Iwry thinks the expression refers to the returnees of Israel
who hail from or originate in the pre-exilic land of Judah and who had
sojourned during their exile in Damascus.30 Murphy-O’Connor likewise
rejects the idea that ‫ שבי‬is to be interpreted in a religious sense.
The expression ‫—שבי ישראל‬in which I assume that the first element
is the participle of ‫ שוב‬and not the word meaning “captivity”—occurs
four times altogether in the Damascus Document (IV, 2; VI, 5; VIII, 16
= XIX, 29) and a related expression, ‫שבי פשע‬, twice (II, 5; XX, 17).
In the last two passages ‫ שוב‬clearly has a religious meaning, and the
same is also true of VIII, 16 = XIX, 29 because in these passages ‫שבי‬
‫ ישראל‬is qualified by the expression “who turn aside from the way of
the people.” A geographical meaning could then only be maintained
in VI, 5 and the similar passage IV, 2. I am somewhat surprised by
Murphy-O’Connor’s statement that when in the Old Testament ‫שוב‬
is used to signify “conversion” “it always appears with a preposition
indicating to whom one turns or from whom one turns.”31 Thus BDB
lists a number of examples of ‫ שוב‬used absolutely in the sense “to
repent,” and similarly Holladay records instances of this usage.32 The

28
Iwry, Eretz Israel 9 (1969), 82.
29
Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, (2d ed.; Harmondsworth: Penguin,
1975), 102.
30
Iwry, Eretz Israel 9 (1969), 86.
31
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 77 (1970): 211; cf. Iwry, Eretz Israel 9 (1969): 86.
32
BDB, col. 997b; William L. Holladay, The Root Šûbh in the Old Testament with particular
reference to its Usages in Convenantal Contexts, (Leiden: Brill, 1958), 78–79. On the meaning
of the passages in CD see Heinz-Josef Fabry, Die Wurzel Šûb in der Qumran-Literatur: Zur
Semantik eines Grundbegriffes (BBB 46; Cologne and Bonn: Hanstein, 1975), 63–68.
222 chapter twelve

examples suggested are not all entirely convincing, but there do seem
to be some clear cases of this absolute usage, such as Hosea 11:5; Isa
6:10; Jer 5:3. What is more important is that the participle is in one
instance used on its own in this sense, namely Isa 1:27–28:
Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and her converts (‫יה‬
ָ ‫ )וְ ָשׁ ֶב‬by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
and those who forsake Yahweh shall be consumed.
It is true that the Septuagint understood the word differently, i.e. as “her
captivity” (‫)וְ ִשׁ ְביָ הּ‬. And it is also true that there have been proposals for
emendation here—thus the suggestion noted in BHS of ‫יה‬ ָ ‫ישׁ ֶב‬
ְ ‫ ְו‬. But
there seems no real reason to question the translation “her converts,”
and such a translation is defended by Wildberger who points out that
it forms a pendant to the negative terms “rebels and sinners” used in
verse 2833—and even more, one might add, to the expression “those
who forsake Yahweh.” Murphy-O’Connor notes that the Old Testament
contains no expression parallel to ‫שבי ישראל‬, but the usage in Isa
1:27 seems to me to come close to the construction in the Damascus
Document. In any case it appears to me that Old Testament usage leaves
the meaning of the expression entirely open.
The clear meaning of the related expression ‫( שבי פשע‬II, 5; XX,
17, the latter passage quoting Isa 59:20) might appear to suggest that
‫ שבי ישראל‬should be interpreted throughout in a religious rather than
a literal sense. This is, however, rejected by Murphy-O’Connor on
the grounds that there is no justification for transferring the religious
meaning from the one expression to the other, and that in any case
‫ שבי פשע‬represents a later usage.34 In a similar way he believes that
the passages where ‫ שבי ישראל‬does have a religious meaning (VIII,
16 = XIX, 29) belong to a separate document and refer to a different
group, one which adhered to Essene doctrines but was not composed
of returned exiles.35 This last point seems to me questionable. But in
any case, if one accepts—as I think is right—that the Damascus Docu-
ment is composite, it can hardly be suggested that the successive layers
of which it is composed were written in isolation from one another.

33
Hans Wildberger, Jesaja (BKAT X/l; Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1972),
56.
34
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 77 (1970): 211–212.
35
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 79 (1972): 211.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 223

The fact that ‫ שוב‬was clearly used in a religious sense in four of the
six passages seems to me to be an indication of the meaning attached
to this verb in the other two.
This is perhaps the place to refer briefly to Murphy-O’Connor’s
translation of XIX, 33b–34, “None of all those who entered the New
Covenant in the land of Damascus and who returned, but who (then)
betrayed it . . .”; he quotes this text as evidence that not all of those
who entered the New Covenant “in the land of Damascus” returned
to Palestine.36 Despite Murphy-O’Connor’s statement to the contrary,
there do seem to be instances in the Old Testament where ‫ שוב‬is used
absolutely in the sense “to turn back,” i.e. “to apostatize” (cf. Josh 23:12;
Jer 8:4; 2 Chr 7:19),37 and I think it likely that ‫ שוב‬has this meaning
in XIX, 33b–34—as it clearly does in XX, 10b–11a which refers to
those who “turned back with the scoffers.”
To revert to VI, 5, the meaning of “land of Damascus” also poses
problems. In recent years this has commonly been understood as a
symbolic name for Qumran, but Murphy-O’Connor argues that it is
a symbolic name for Babylon. Because Qumran lies in the territory of
Judah it is, in his view, contradictory to speak of going out of the land
of Judah to sojourn in the land of Damascus if the latter is understood
as Qumran. On the other hand he rejects a symbolic interpretation of
“land of Judah.”38 There seems to be something of an inconsistency
here. “Land of Damascus” is a symbol for Babylon, but “going out
of the land of Judah” must be given a literal interpretation. But leav-
ing this on one side, how are “Damascus” and “Judah” used in the
Damascus Document?
There are seven references to “Damascus” in the Damascus Document,
but none elsewhere in the Scrolls. One of these references occurs in VI,
5; four are to be found in passages mentioning the new covenant made
in the land of Damascus (VI, 19; VIII, 21 = XIX, 34; XX, 12); and
two belong in the Amos-Numbers Midrash (VII, 14b–15a, 18b–19a).
Vermes has shown that a distinct exegetical tradition associating the
eschatological sanctuary with Damascus underlies the symbolic use
of “Damascus,”39 and this tradition finds its fullest expression in the

36
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 225; cf. RB 79 (1972): 545–546.
37
See BDB, col. 997b; Holladay, The Root Šûbh, 80–81.
38
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 220–221.
39
Geza Vermes, Scripture and Tradition in Judaism: Haggadic Studies (2d ed.; StPB 4;
Leiden: Brill, 1973), 43–49. The exegetical tradition is based on Zech 9:1, where
224 chapter twelve

Damascus Document in the Amos-Numbers Midrash. Murphy-O’Connor


accepts that in the statement in the Midrash, “The star is the interpreter
of the law who will come to Damascus” (VII, 18b–19a), “Damascus”
is a symbol for Qumran, but he denies that it always has this mean-
ing. He justifies this view on the grounds that the term is used in texts
which antedate the establishment at Qumran (e.g. CD VI, 19), and that
among the Essenes it was not unknown for the same biblical phrase to
be interpreted in radically different ways.40 On the first point, there are
on his analysis only two passages referring to Damascus which ante-
date the establishment at Qumran (VI, 5 and 19), and it is not clear
to me that this material—or any other in the Damascus Document—does
date from before the settlement at Qumran. On the second point, the
example he quotes to prove his point—the two explanations in 1QpHab
IX, 8–12 and XII, 1–10 of the statement repeated in Hab 2:8 and 17,
“Because of the blood of men and the violence done to the land, to
the city, and to all its inhabitants”—hardly seems to me to provide a
valid parallel. Murphy-O’Connor concludes, “If ‘Damascus’ originally
connoted ‘Babylon,’ the transfer of the name to Qumran as the place
of self-imposed exile poses no difficulties.” But I find it hard to accept
that the application of the symbolism in the Amos-Numbers Midrash
represents a reinterpretation.
“Judah” is mentioned nine times in the Damascus Document. Of these,
two references (VII, 12 and XIV ,1) occur in separate quotations of Isa
7:17, and a third (VII, 13) in a comment on the first of these quota-
tions. The reference to the “princes of Judah” in VIII, 3 = XIX, 15
is probably an allusion to the leaders of the day. In IV, 11 “house of
Judah” is a symbolic name for the community, and “Judah” may be,
but is not necessarily, a symbol for the community in the expression
in XX, 26b–27a “all those of Judah who have acted wickedly.” These
seven passages indicate that “Judah” is used with a variety of differ-
ent connotations in the Damascus Document, as it is in the other scrolls.
“Land of Judah” is mentioned in the Damascus Document only twice, in
VI, 5, and in the related passage IV,3, “the converts of Israel who went
out from the land of Judah” (in this passage there is no reference to

there may be already an echo of Amos 5:27, the passage used in the Amos-Numbers
Midrash; cf. Rex Mason, The Books of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi (CBC; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1977), 84–85.
40
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 81 (1974): 221–222, n. 39.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 225

Damascus). I accept that if in VI, 5 “land of Damascus” is taken as a


symbol for Qumran, and “land of Judah” means the territory of Judah,
there does appear to be a contradiction. But I wonder whether it is not
legitimate to think that in VI, 5 (and IV, 3) “land of Judah” is used in
an imprecise way to refer to Jerusalem and its immediate environs.
At all events it seems appropriate at this point to look at the three
passages in the Damascus Document which refer to the origins of the com-
munity that lies behind it to see whether they support the view that it
came into existence in the Babylonian exile. I begin with the material
contained in the section running from II, 14 to IV, 6a.
This passage is concerned to warn those to whom it is addressed
not to follow after the thoughts of the guilty inclination and lustful
eyes. It may be noted in passing that comparable expressions are used
in a comparable exhortation in 1QS I, 6. In the Damascus Document
the warning is supported by a list of examples of those who were led
astray by the guilty inclination and lustful eyes and of the fate that
overtook them: the Watchers, their sons, the flood generation, the sons
of Noah—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are exceptions—then the sons
of Jacob, and the generations in Egypt and in the wilderness. The
recital then refers to the unsuccessful attempt to enter the land from
Kadesh, but thereafter summarises the whole period down to the exile
very briefly:
Through it their sons perished, and through it their kings were cut off,
through it their warriors perished, and through it their land was made
desolate. Through it the first ones who entered the covenant incurred guilt
and were delivered up to the sword, because they forsook the covenant
of God, and chose their own will, and followed after the stubbornness
of their hearts, each man doing his own will (III, 9–12a).
With this we have arrived at the exile. It might seem strange that the
author should pass over the period of the settlement, the Judges and
the monarchy so quickly. But no doubt the author felt that he had
already made his point; we find a similar curtailment in the historical
retrospect in 4 Ezra 3.
The next event that is mentioned is the establishment of the com-
munity which lies behind this document:
But with those who held fast to the commandments of God, who were
left over from them, he established his covenant with Israel for ever,
revealing to them the hidden things in which all Israel had gone astray
(III, 12b–14a).
226 chapter twelve

Murphy-O’Connor believes that the covenant mentioned here was made


with “those who were preserved in exile,”41 and this is clearly a possible
interpretation. But I do not think this is a necessary interpretation, and
indeed it seems to me that this passage is couched in such a way that it
gives us no information about the historical and geographical origins of
the community with which God made the covenant. This is linked to
the fact that in this passage we have the same theological pattern that
we find in other literature of the period, namely that which sees the
condition of exile as lasting beyond the return at the end of the sixth
century, and being brought to an end only in the events of a much later
period.42 This pattern appears in Dan 9:24–27, but a more relevant
parallel occurs in 1 En. 93:9–10, part of the Apocalypse of Weeks. The
sixth week (93:8) ends with the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile.
The post-exilic period is described as follows:
And after this in the seventh week an apostate generation will arise, and
many (will be) its deeds, but all its deeds (will be) apostasy. And at its
end the chosen righteous from the eternal plant of righteousness will be
chosen, to whom will be given sevenfold teaching concerning his whole
creation.
Here the author condemns the post-exilic generation, but makes no
reference to the actual return. He sees this period of apostasy as being
brought to an end by the emergence of a righteous remnant to whom
teaching—presumably the author’s own teaching—will be given. The
Damascus Document presents the same theological pattern and may indeed
be referring to the same events (the emergence of a reform group in
the late-third and early-second century B.C.E.). But the important point
to notice here is that this passage of the Damascus Document provides no
precise information about the group to which it refers.
Those with whom God made the covenant are further described
in the comment on Ezek 44:15 which is given in IV, 2b–4a. It is here
that we find the statement, “The priests are the converts of Israel who
went out from the land of Judah.” The interpretation of this passage
has been considered in the discussion of the comparable statement in
VI, 5.

41
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 77 (1970): 207.
42
Cf. Michael A. Knibb, “The Exile in the Literature of the Intertestamental Period,”
Heythrop Journal 17 (1976): 253–272.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 227

The second passage occurs in the context of a warning (beginning


in V, 14b) that those who associate with the corrupt leaders of the day
will not go unpunished. The warning takes the form of a statement that
God did not let the guilty go unpunished in the past (V, 15b–17a). As
the text now stands this statement is illustrated by two examples. The
first of these (V, 17b–19) refers to the opposition of Jannes and Jambres
to Moses (cf. 2 Tim 3:8 and Exod 7:11). It may well be, as Murphy-
O’Connor suggests, that this passage is intrusive in its context.43 It is
noticeable that this tradition is not really used to illustrate the principle
that God did not in the past let the guilty go unpunished. This principle
is illustrated by what is now the second example:
And in the time of the desolation of the land movers of the boundary
arose and led Israel astray, and the land was made desolate because they
preached rebellion against the commandments of God (given) through
Moses and through the holy anointed ones; and they prophesied falsehood
to turn Israel away from following God (V, 20–VI, 2a).
This seems to me most naturally to refer to the desolation of the land
at the time of the exile. This passage is then followed by the statement
about the founding of the community constituted by the Well-Midrash
(VI, 2b–11a; the words in VI, 11b ‫ וכל אשר הובאו בברית‬clearly seem
to mark the beginning of a new section). In Murphy-O’Connor’s view
the Well-Midrash did not originally belong with what precedes, but
was used by the compiler of the Damascus Document to link two writings
which at an earlier stage had an independent existence, II, 14–VI, 1
(his Missionary Document) and VI, 11–VIII, 3 (which he describes as a
Memorandum).44 The Well-Midrash has something of a self-contained
character about it, and Murphy-O’Connor’s view may be right. On
the other hand it might be thought natural that the author should wish
to conclude the section or source beginning in II, 14 with a reference
to the group with which he was primarily concerned. According to
Murphy-O’Connor II, 14–VI, 1 originally existed as an independent
written document,45 his so-called Missionary Document, but the end-
ing of this—“and they prophesied falsehood to turn Israel away from
following God”—seems somewhat banal. It may also be asked, inci-
dentally, what significance can be attached to the idea of a ‘Missionary

43
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 77 (1970): 224–225, 228–229.
44
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 78 (1971): 228–232; RB 79 (1972): 562–563.
45
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 79 (1972): 562–563.
228 chapter twelve

Document’ in the ancient world, and thus I question the view that this
material was originally addressed to outsiders. Be that as it may, the point
I wish to make here is that in the present form of the text the disaster
of the exile is now followed immediately by a reference to the origins
of the community which lies behind the Damascus Document:
But God remembered the covenant with the men of former times, and
he raised up from Aaron men of understanding, and from Israel men of
wisdom, and made them hear (his voice). And they dug the well . . . those
who dug it are the converts of Israel who went out from the land of
Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus (VI, 2b–5).
This passage presents the same theological pattern as that discussed
above, but again tells us nothing about the origins of the community
to which it refers. Information of this nature appears to be given only
in the third passage that concerns us, the statement about the origins
of the community in what appears in CD as the introduction to the
Damascus Document (I, 1–II, 1). It should be noted, however, that other
material is said to have preceded this in the text attested by the Qumran
fragments.46 In fact the introduction tells us little more than the passages
we have already considered.
The introduction to the Damascus Document (I, 1–II, 1) refers in
lines 3–11a to the origins of the community and the appearance of
the teacher of righteousness. It has sometimes been thought that this
passage is cast in rhythmic form, and if this is so, it suggests that the
well-known chronological references are secondary.47 The passage runs
as follows:
For when they were unfaithful in that they forsook him,
he hid his face from Israel and his sanctuary
and gave them to the sword.
But when he remembered the covenant with the men of former times,
he left a remnant to Israel
and did not give them to destruction.
And in the time of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after he had
given them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, he vis-
ited them
and caused a root of planting to spring from Israel and Aaron,

46
See note 27.
47
Cf. Gert Jeremias, Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit (SUNT 2; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, 1963), 151–152; Isaac Rabinowitz, “A Reconsideration of ‘Damascus’ and
‘390 Years’ in the ‘Damascus’ (‘Zadokite’) Fragments,” JBL 73 (1954): 12–15 (see notes
8 and 11); Robert Henry Charles, “Fragments of a Zadokite Work,” APOT 2.800.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 229

to possess his land,


and to grow fat on the good things of his ground.
And they considered their iniquity
and knew that they were guilty men;
but they were like blind men
and like men who grope for the way for twenty years.
And God considered their deeds,
for they sought him with a whole heart;
and he raised up for them a teacher of righteousness
to lead them in the way of his heart.
It seems to me reasonable to accept that this material is cast in rhyth-
mic form, but if so, this carries with it acceptance of the view that the
references to the 390 years after Nebuchadnezzar and the 20 years are
secondary. However, these chronological references are still important
inasmuch as they provide evidence of an early reworking of the text
which was intended to provide a fuller picture of the origins of the
community. Thus I think that the procedure of Jeremias is correct
who, while recognising the intrusive character of the chronological
references, nonetheless proceeds to interpret them as an integral part
of the text.48
As the text stands, the origins of the community are linked with the
exile and are presented as following 390 years afterwards—despite the
objections of Rabinowitz and others49 the translation of ‫ ל‬by “after”
seems clearly correct.50 The 390 years are taken from Ezek 4:5 and are
not the result of precise calculation, although in rough terms they are
certainly not incompatible with a second-century origin for the emer-
gence of the Qumran community. Jeremias has pointed out that an
exegetical tradition appears to underlie the use of this figure according
to which the 390 years of punishment correspond to the 390 years of
Israel’s iniquity,51 an idea that is already present—in the form of days of
punishment corresponding to years of iniquity—in the Masoretic text
of Ezek 4:5, although this has now been overlaid by another layer of
interpretation.52 In any case we may observe here the same theological

48
Jeremias, Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit, 152.
49
Cf. Rabinowitz, JBL 73 (1954): 14, n. 8(b); Ernest Wiesenberg, “Chronological
Data in the Zadokite Fragments,” VT 5 (1955): 286–292; Jaubert, RB 65 (1958):
216–217.
50
Cf. Jeremias, Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit, 153–154, 158.
51
Jeremias, Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit, 158–159.
52
Cf. Walther Zimmerli, Ezechiel 1 (BKAT XIII/1; Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag,
1969), 114–122; ET, Ezekiel 1 (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), 163–168).
230 chapter twelve

pattern as in the two other passages we have considered: the exile and
the emergence of the community are linked immediately together, and
it is the latter which brings the former to an end. In the light of the
parallel already drawn with the Apocalypse of Weeks it is interesting to
observe the use of plant imagery in both 1 En. 93:10 and CD I, 7, a
similarity which many have noted.
If the chronological references are removed from the passage, we
are left in lines 6–7 merely with the statement:
And in the time of wrath he visited them
and caused a root of planting to spring from Israel and Aaron.
The exilic context is still, however, provided by lines 3–4a, and the theo-
logical pattern remains the same, the only difference being that there
is now no attempt to date the moment of God’s visitation. Jeremias
has argued that usage in 1–2 Maccabees indicates that “the time of
wrath” means the period of persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes,53
and if this is so, it would provide a valuable chronological point of
reference. But it may well be that “the time of wrath” means simply
the period in which the author was living—which would be brought to
an end by the eschatological judgement. The expression ‫ קץ חרון‬occurs
elsewhere in the Scrolls only in 1QHa XI(III), 28 where it refers to the
eschatological judgement, and the related expression ‫ קצי חרון‬only in
two fragmentary passages (1QHa XXII, 5; 4QpHosa I, 12). Thus the
introduction to the Damascus Document tells us very little more about the
origins of the community which lies behind it than the two passages
considered earlier.
Nothing that has been said here makes Murphy-O’Connor’s thesis
completely unacceptable, and it may still be right. But the evidence on
which it is based does seem to me a good deal weaker than he suggests,
and for the time being it would appear more prudent to say, not with
Fitzmyer that it is a plausible thesis, but that it is a possible one.

IV

In conclusion I would like very briefly to say a few words about the
alternative hypothesis, namely that the origins of the Essenes belong in
Palestine. This view has commonly been presented in the form that the

53
Jeremias, Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit, 159–162.
exile in the DAMASCUS DOCUMENT 231

Essene movement emerged from the Hasidim, but in fact the literature
of the period contains very few references to the Hasidim, and Philip
Davies has argued that we do wrong to think that they constituted a
distinct sect.54 However, the writings often attributed to the Hasidim,
1 Enoch and Daniel, still require explanation whoever their authors
were. These writings, together with Ecclesiasticus and Jubilees, bear
witness in their different ways to the appearance of a reform move-
ment in Palestinian Judaism at the end of the third and the beginning
of the second century B.C.E. They are very different in character,
reflecting different viewpoints, and it is unlikely that they all stem from
the same circles. But they do provide evidence of a Palestinian reform
movement which offers a plausible context for the later emergence of
the Essenes. Here Jubilees, which I date to before the persecution of
Antiochus Epiphanes,55 is particularly important because of its legalis-
tic approach and its links with the Qumran writings. It seems entirely
plausible to think of the Essenes—and the Qumran community—
emerging in a Palestinian context from the religious movement that
lies behind Jubilees.

54
Philip R. Davies, “Æasidim in the Maccabean Period,” JJS 28 (1977): 127–140.
55
Cf. Knibb, JSS 25 (1980): 274; Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and
the Mishnah, 78–79, 95–96.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN

JUBILEES AND THE ORIGINS OF THE


QUMRAN COMMUNITY

The origins and history of the Qumran community remain—after more


than four decades of intensive research—in many respects obscure. Part
of the problem is the lack of external evidence. The community which
occupied Qumran appears to have formed part of the wider Essene
movement that is known to us otherwise from the writings of Philo,
Josephus, and Pliny; but only Pliny (Natural History 5.15(73)) refers to
Qumran itself, and none of these authors, nor any other ancient writer,
offers any substantial evidence relating to the origins and history of
the Qumran community. The evidence of archaeology has of course
provided a frame of reference. The excavation of the ruins of Qumran
and of the caves associated with them made it clear that the Qumran
site was occupied in the period with which we are concerned from
sometime in the latter part of the second century B.C.E., or just possibly
the beginning of the first, until 68 C.E. This was important evidence
because it indicated that the events which led to the settlement of the
community at Qumran belonged in the second century B.C.E., and this
was confirmed by the evidence of palaeography, particularly the dates
of two of the most important of the sectarian writings, the Community
Rule and the Damascus Document. The interpretation of the archaeologi-
cal evidence has, however, been disputed in a number of respects, not
least as it relates to the precise dating of the successive phases of the
occupation of Qumran within the period from the latter part of the
second century B.C.E. to 68 C.E.1 For our present purposes it should
particularly be noted that because the evidence for the earliest phase
of occupation (phase Ia) is limited, there remains considerable disagree-

1
Cf. e.g. the interpretation of the archaeological evidence by Roland de Vaux in
Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1959;
rev. ed. in an English translation; London: Oxford University Press for the British
Academy, 1973) with that of Ernest-Marie Lapperousaz in “Qumran et découvertes
au Désert de Juda,” Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible 9.51 (1978), cols. 744–98.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 233

ment as to how far back from the end of the second century the initial
occupation of the site by the Qumran community can or should be
placed. In any case the archaeological evidence cannot provide us with
information concerning the precise events which led to the occupation
of the Qumran site, but only concerning the period of occupation and
the kind of life lived by the community which settled there.
For information concerning the events which led to the settlement
at Qumran it is necessary to turn to the scrolls themselves, but here
again there are many problems. Only four of the scrolls—the Damascus
Document, the Commentaries on Habakkuk and Nahum, and one of
the Commentaries on the Psalms (4QpPsa)2—clearly contain statements
relating to the origins and history of the Qumran community. It is true
that a fifth document, the collection of Hymns, has also been thought
to contain statements of a historical or biographical kind, primarily
on the basis of the assumption that the Hymns were composed by the
founder of the community, the Teacher of Righteousness. But at most
only a small number of the Hymns were composed by the Teacher,
and in any case the interpretation of the statements which the Hymns
contain—like the interpretation of the supposed historical allusions in
the biblical Book of Psalms—is very uncertain. In reality the Hymns
can only provide very general information concerning the community
and its opponents.
The interpretation of the other four documents is, however, by no
means straightforward. In the first place, none of the documents pur-
ports to be a historical writing in any sense of the term. The Damascus
Document was apparently intended for use at the annual ceremony of
the renewal of the covenant. It consists of two parts, a sermon-like
exhortation and a collection of laws. The statements of a historical
kind are found within the exhortation, and because of the very context
in which they occur they lack any precision. The historical statements
in the biblical commentaries—and the same is also true of some of
the historical statements in the Damascus Document—are based on the
interpretation of specific biblical passages, and the language used is
often strongly influenced by the language of the biblical passage com-
mented on rather than by the actual character of the persons and events

2
For a translation of these writings and a commentary, see Michael A. Knibb, The
Qumran Community (Cambridge Commentaries on Writings of the Jewish and Christian
World 200 B.C. to A.D. 200; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
234 chapter thirteen

described. In any case the language used in the Damascus Document and
the Commentaries on Habakkuk, Nahum and Psalms is often indirect
and opaque, rather like the language used in Daniel 11. Furthermore,
nicknames (“the Teacher of Righteousness”, “the Wicked Priest”,
“the Man of Lies”, “the Seekers after Smooth Things”, “Ephraim”,
“Manasseh”, and so on) are almost always used instead of real names.
The one clear exception in these four documents is the reference in the
Commentary on Nahum (4QpNah 3–4 I, 2–3) to Demetrius and Antio-
chus. It is virtually certain that these are the Seleucid rulers Demetrius
III Eucaerus (95–88 B.C.E.) and Antiochus IV Epiphanes,3 and the
mention of these two named individuals—isolated as it is—provides a
valuable point of reference.
Uncertainties of the kind that I have indicated have been apparent
for some time and have very recently been brought into prominence
by Phillip Callaway in his book, The History of the Qumran Community: An
Investigation,4 which, despite some major weaknesses, deserves consider-
ation. It is because of these uncertainties that—even within the frame
of reference provided by the archaeological evidence—it is still possible
for quite divergent accounts of the early history of the Qumran com-
munity to be published, as witness the differences between two such
‘standard’ treatments as the section on the archaeology and history
of Qumran by Laperrousaz in the Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible 5
and the account by Geza Vermes in his The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran in
Perspective.6 If in the end consideration of all the archaeological, pal-
aeographic and literary evidence relevant to the early history of the
community still on balance inclines me to the view held by a number of
scholars that the Wicked Priest of the scrolls was the Maccabean leader
Jonathan, that the occupation of the Qumran site by the community
began sometime during or shortly after the period when Jonathan was
High Priest (152–143 B.C.E.), and that the Teacher of Righteousness
was the person who held the office of High Priest immediately before

3
Cf. Knibb, The Qumran Community, 210–12.
4
Phillip R. Callaway, The History of the Qumran Community: An Investigation ( JSPSup 3,
Sheffield: JSOT, 1988). Cf. also Philip R. Davies, Behind the Essenes: History and Ideology
in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Brown Judaic Studies 94; Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1987),
15–31.
5
Laperrousaz, Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible 9.51 (1978), cols. 744–98.
6
Geza Vermes with the collaboration of Pamela Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran
in Perspective, (2d ed.; London: SCM, 1982), 32–44, 137–62.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 235

Jonathan,7 it is with due recognition of the element of uncertainty that


this view entails.

II

It is in the light of these considerations that I wish to turn to the ques-


tion of the origins of the Qumran community, that is to the question
of the period before the installation of the community at Qumran.
It was tacitly assumed by many scholars that the group from which
the Qumran community emerged belonged in Palestine, and indeed
it seemed natural to a number of scholars to identify the predecessors
of the Qumran community with the Hasidim, who are mentioned in
1 and 2 Maccabees as being involved in the resistance to the measures
imposed by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C.E. Such a view can be
found, for example, in the new Schürer.8 However, the Hasidim are
only mentioned three times in our sources (1 Macc 2:42; 7:13; 2 Macc
14:6), and despite all the things that have been attributed to them by
modern scholars,9 we actually know very little about them.10 It does
not seem very helpful to try to identify one unknown, the group from
which the Qumran community emerged, by reference to another, the
Hasidim. But this does not rule out the possibility that the group from
which the Qumran community emerged belonged in Palestine, as I
hope to show.
In contrast to those who would place the precursors of the Qumran
community in a Palestinian context, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor has
argued that the group which settled at Qumran were Essenes who
had returned from Babylon to Palestine.11 His argument, which was
supported by a detailed analysis of the Damascus Document, “was based

7
See further Knibb, The Qumran Community, 3–10.
8
Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.–A.D.
135) (rev. and ed. by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar, and Matthew Black; 4 vols.; Edin-
burgh: T. & T. Clark, 1973–1987), 2 (1979): 586–87. Cf. Martin Hengel, Judaism and
Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period (2 vols.;
London: SCM, 1974), 1:224–25.
9
Cf. e.g. Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, 1:175–218.
10
Cf. Philip R. Davies, “Hasidim in the Maccabean Period,” JJS 28 (1977): 127–40;
George W. E. Nickelsburg, “Social Aspects of Palestinian Jewish Apocalypticism,” in
Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East (ed. David Hellholm; Tübingen:
Mohr, 1983), 647–48.
11
See particularly Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “The Essenes and their History,”
RB 81 (1974): 215–44. The historical synthesis presented in this article was based on
236 chapter thirteen

on the conviction that the Damascus Document unambiguously pointed


to the Exile in Babylon as the time and place of origin of the Essene
movement”.12 We shall have to return to this point presently. In support
of his case Murphy-O’Connor pointed to what he regarded as evidence
of Babylonian influence on the Essenes, and he also maintained that
the collection of laws in the Damascus Document was intended for a
community living in a gentile environment. Part of his argument was
that in the phrase in Damascus Document VI, 5, “the converts of Israel
who went out from the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of
Damascus”, “Damascus” was a symbolic name for Babylon, and the
reference was to the exile of the Jews to Babylon in the sixth century.
Other scholars have regarded “Damascus” as a symbolic name for
Qumran, and this still seems to me correct. Some scholars have taken
the phrase literally as referring to an exile of the community in the
Damascus region,13 but this seems unlikely.
Reaction to Murphy-O’Connor’s views, which were set out in a
series of articles in the early seventies and have been reaffirmed in a
recent article,14 albeit in a slightly modified form, has been mixed, but
he received strong support for the broad thrust, although not for all
the details, of his argument from Philip Davies in his monograph, The
Damascus Covenant: An Interpretation of the “Damascus Document”.15 The
character of Davies’s views can best be indicated by the comments
made by him in relation to two passages in the Damascus Document that
deal with the origins of the community:
There is no point in arguing at length that Damascus is used as a symbol
of Babylon (or the Assyro-Babylonian captivity), since this interpretation
is demanded by the context, and it is for scholars of a different persua-
sion to establish their case . . . On the basis of this argument, however,
one may only conclude that the community claimed to have originated
at the time of the Exile. It will have to be argued that this theological

an analysis of the Damascus Document which had been published in a series of articles
in RB 77–79 (1970–72).
12
Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “The Damascus Document Revisited,” RB 92 (1985),
223–46, here 226.
13
Cf. Laperrousaz, Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible 9.51 (1978), cols. 794–96.
14
See note 12. Cf. also Murphy-O’Connor, “Recent Discoveries: The Judaean Des-
ert,” in Early Judaism and its Modern Interpreters (ed. Robert A. Kraft and George W. E.
Nickelsburg; SBLCP: The Bible and its Modern Interpreters 2; Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars
Press, 1986), 119–56, particularly 126–28, 139–43.
15
Philip R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant: An Interpretation of the “Damascus Docu-
ment” ( JSOTSup 25; Sheffield: JSOT, 1983).
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 237

perspective is also a true historical one. Equally, however, the recognition


of this perspective undermines the conventional view that the community
originated in the Maccabean period, and it requires to be shown that the
exilic perspective of this document cannot be historically accurate before
the possibility may be dismissed.16
In fact both Davies and Murphy-O’Connor believe that the exilic
perspective is historically accurate,17 although Davies thinks that “it
is perhaps unlikely that we shall ever be able to define precisely the
point of origin.”18 Both Davies and Murphy-O’Connor—in a article
in 1985—also leave open the question of when exactly the return to
Palestine took place. They believe that the motive for the return was
ideological, and that the date was determined by some kind of escha-
tological calculation, but they are unwilling to specify what the basis
of the calculation was.19
The hypothesis of a Babylonian origin for the group which founded
the Qumran community clearly has important implications for our
understanding of Judaism in the second century B.C.E., and it deserves
serious consideration. In an article which appeared in 1983 I attempted
to evaluate Murphy-O’Connor’s views, and I offered a number of criti-
cisms of them.20 I argued that the evidence of Babylonian influence on
the Essene movement was inconclusive, that it was not clear that the
laws in the Damascus Document were intended for a community living in
a gentile environment, and that the link made between the origins of
the Essene movement and the events of the exile—which is certainly
present in the Damascus Document—had a significance other than that
suggested by Murphy-O’Connor and, more recently, by Davies. In
effect I argued that the case, though not completely impossible, was
far from proven. Murphy-O’Connor in his 1985 article on this subject
raised a number of objections to the points I made,21 but despite his
comments I would stand by what I said in my 1983 article, and it is
not my intention to go over that ground again—except that there is

16
Davies, The Damascus Covenant, 122–23.
17
Cf. e.g. Murphy-O’Connor, RB 92 (1985): 224–30; Murphy-O’Connor, “Recent
Discoveries: The Judaean Desert,” 142; Davies, The Damascus Covenant, 93–94, 202–203;
Davies, Behind the Essenes, 36, 37, 42–43, 47–48, 124–25.
18
Davies, The Damascus Covenant, 202.
19
Cf. Davies, The Damascus Covenant, 95–103, particularly 100–103; Davies, Behind
the Essenes, 40–43; Murphy-O’Connor, RB 92 (1985): 230–34.
20
Michael A. Knibb, “Exile in the Damascus Document,” JSOT 25 (1983): 99–117.
21
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 92 (1985): 227–34.
238 chapter thirteen

one matter that does, I think, call for further comment, and that relates
to the exilic ideology of the Damascus Document.

III

There is no question that in the Damascus Document a link is made


between the exile and the founding of the Essene movement.22 This
is clear, for example, from the passage in column III referring to the
origins of the movement. This passage forms part of a recital of the
main events of Israel’s past, which was intended to show that by fol-
lowing the guilty inclination Israel had repeatedly brought punishment
upon herself. The climax of the passage refers in summary fashion to
the whole period from the settlement in the land down to the exile:
Through it (sc. the guilty inclination) their sons perished, and through it
their kings were cut off; through it their warriors perished, and through
it their land was made desolate. Through it the first ones who entered
the covenant incurred guilt and were delivered up to the sword, because
they forsook the covenant of God, and chose their own will, and fol-
lowed after the stubbornness of their hearts, each man doing his own
will (III, 9b–12a).
With this we have arrived at the exile. The next event referred to is the
founding of the Essene movement, here expressed as the establishment
of a covenant:
But with those who held fast to the commandments of God, who were
left over from them, God established his covenant with Israel for ever,
revealing to them the hidden things in which all Israel had gone astray
(III, 12b–14a).
It is possible to argue that this passage indicates that the Essene move-
ment originated in Babylon during the exile, but I do not think that it
necessarily means this. Rather I would argue that it is couched primarily
in theological terms, and that it gives us no precise information as to
when or where the Essene movement came into being. I have argued
elsewhere23 that this passage is in fact structured according to a theo-
logical pattern that is found in other literature of the period. According

22
For what follows see further JSOT 25 (1983): 108–13, and the commentary on
the Damascus Document in The Qumran Community.
23
See JSOT 25 (1983), 110; cf. Knibb, “The Exile in the Literature of the Intertes-
tamental Period,” Heythrop Journal 17 (1976): 253–72, here 259, 262–64.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 239

to this pattern Israel remained in a state of exile long after the return
at the end of the sixth century, and the exile was only brought to an
end in the events of a much later period. A good example of this pat-
tern—and one that is particularly relevant to the Damascus Document—is
to be found in the Book of Enoch in the so-called Apocalypse of Weeks
(1 Enoch 93:1–10 + 91:11–17), in which world-history is schematised
in a series of weeks. The exile occurs at the end of the sixth week,
and the seventh week, which covers the exilic and post-exilic periods,
is described as follows: “And after this in the seventh week an apostate
generation will arise, and many will be its deeds, but all its deeds will be
apostasy. And at its end the chosen righteous from the eternal plant of
righteousness will be chosen, to whom will be given sevenfold teaching
concerning his whole creation” (93:9–10). Here no mention is made
of the return from exile at the end of the sixth century, but the whole
period is condemned as one of apostasy. In contrast the end of the
period is marked by the appearance of a reform group—“the chosen
righteous from the eternal plant of righteousness”—perhaps the same
group as the one from which the Qumran community later emerged.
Be that as it may, it seems to me that the theological pattern used in the
Apocalypse of Weeks is also used in column III of the Damascus Document.
The passage indicates that for the author the founding of the Essene
movement marked the end of Israel’s state of exile, but beyond that
it gives no clear information as to when or where the founding of the
movement took place.
The theological pattern is also used in the two other passages in the
Damascus Document that refer to the origins of the movement. One of
them (V, 20–VI, 11a) is similar to the passage in column III that we
have just considered and must here be left out of account. The other,
which forms the introduction to the Damascus Document, is sufficiently
important that it deserves to be quoted in full:
And now, listen all you who know what is right
and consider the deeds of God,
for he has a dispute with all flesh
and will execute judgement on all who despise him.
For when they were unfaithful in that they forsook him,
he hid his face from Israel and his sanctuary
and gave them to the sword.
But when he remembered the covenant with the men of former times,
he left a remnant to Israel
and did not give them to destruction.
And in the time of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after he had
240 chapter thirteen

given them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, he


visited them
and caused a root of planting to spring from Israel and Aaron,
to possess his land,
and to grow fat on the good things of his ground.
And they considered their iniquity
and knew that they were guilty men;
but they were like blind men
and like men who grope for the way for twenty years.
And God considered their deeds,
for they sought him with a whole heart;
and he raised up for them a teacher of righteousness
to lead them in the way of his heart (I, 1–11a).
This passage, more clearly than any other in the scrolls, provides infor-
mation about the origins of the community, but its interpretation is
disputed. It contains two chronological notes. The first, the reference
to the three hundred and ninety years, has been taken from Ezekiel
4:5, and the figure has a symbolic significance. On the other hand, it
is unlikely that the figure is totally out of accord with reality, and three
hundred and ninety years after the start of the exile would carry us
down to the early second century B.C.E. On this basis the passage has
conventionally been interpreted to refer to the emergence of a reform
movement, the ‘root of planting’, in early second-century Palestine, and
then twenty years later—perhaps about 150 B.C.E.—to the founding of
the community by the Teacher of Righteousness. Such an interpretation
still seems to me correct, certainly for the text as its stands at present.
For our immediate purposes it is more important to observe that the
theological pattern to which I referred is also used in this passage, but
that here some indication of the period between the exile and the
founding of the community is given by means of the reference to the
“three hundred and ninety years” and the “twenty years”.
It is, however, just at this point that the problems occur. Murphy-
O’Connor has argued that the entire introduction to the Damascus
Document is a Qumranic addition to a document that antedates the
settlement at Qumran.24 Alternatively it has been argued by some
scholars that the two chronological notes—“three hundred and nintey
years after he had given them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king

24
Murphy-O’Connor, “An Essene Missionary Document? CD II, 14–VI, 1,” RB 77
(1970): 225–27; Murphy-O’Connor, “A Literary Analysis of Damascus Document XIX,
33–XX, 34,” RB 79 (1972): 563–64; cf. RB 92 (1985): 228.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 241

of Babylon” and “for twenty years”—are secondary because they


fall outside the rhythmic structure that the introduction appears to
possess. Thus both Murphy-O’Connor and Davies believe that the
chronological references represent a Qumranic reinterpretation of
the passage, in which originally—as in the other origins passages in
the Damascus Document—the exile and the founding of the movement
were immediately linked. On this basis Murphy-O’Connor argues that
the theological pattern of the type known from the Apocalypse of Weeks
is not present in the Damascus Document because there was no refer-
ence in the original document to the period of apostasy which in the
Apocalypse of Weeks and similar passages forms an interval between the
exile and the events which mark its end.25 In effect he argues that the
theological pattern I have described is irrelevant to the interpretation
of the Damascus Document.
It may well be the case that the chronological references in the
introduction to the Damascus Document are secondary, and it may also
be the case that the theological pattern in the Damascus Document is not
exactly the same as the one in the Apocalypse of Weeks. But this seems
to me irrelevant to the main point, namely that the passages in the
Damascus Document referring to the origins of the Essene movement and
of the Qumran community are cast in theological language and make
a theological point: the founding of the movement marked the end
of Israel’s state of exile and the re-establishment of God’s covenant
with her. These passages do not give us precise historical information,
and it is a mistake to treat them as if they do. In general the Damascus
Document seems to me to leave entirely open the question of where the
community came into being, and only in the introduction to give some
quite limited information about when this happened.
My own position therefore remains very much the same as in my
1983 article. The views put forward by Murphy-O’Connor and Davies
may be right, but they are the kind of views which it is difficult to show
conclusively are either right or wrong, and the evidence for them is
much less strong than they suggest. The question of whether the Essene
movement came into being in Babylon or Palestine cannot, it seems
to me, be settled on the basis of the Damascus Document, but only in
terms of more general considerations. It is for this reason that I wish

25
Murphy-O’Connor, RB 92 (1985): 227–28; cf. Davies, The Damascus Covenant,
61–63, 67.
242 chapter thirteen

now to take up the suggestion made at the end of my 1983 article that
writings such as the Book of Enoch, Daniel, Ecclesiasticus, and Jubilees
provide evidence, in their different ways, of the existence in Palestine
in the late third and early second century B.C.E. of a reform move-
ment, from which it is plausible to think that the Qumran group later
emerged.26 Here the Book of Jubilees is particularly important because
its theological concerns have been widely seen to be very similar to
those of the Qumran sectarian writings.

IV

The Book of Jubilees is presented as a revelation which Moses was com-


manded to write down when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the
two tables of the law; the revelation was given to him at the command
of God by the angel of the presence.27 Jubilees actually consists of a
reworking of the biblical narrative from Genesis 1 to Exodus 16,28 and
from this point of view, as well as in terms of its date, the writings
most clearly similar to Jubilees are the fragmentarily preserved Genesis
Apocryphon and Pseudo-Philo’s Book of Biblical Antiquities. The title of
the book derives from the fact that events from the creation onwards
are dated according to a scheme of jubilee periods, each consisting of
seven weeks of years, that is forty-nine years. The book is ostensibly
set in the second year of the second week of the fiftieth jubilee, and it
is said that forty years remained before the entry into Canaan would
take place (50:4); the entry is thus placed at the end of the fiftieth
jubilee. It may well be that this chronological scheme had a contem-
porary eschatological significance for the author, but here it is more
important to notice that the jubilee scheme already provides evidence
of the author’s concern with calendrical matters.

26
See JSOT 25 (1983): 114.
27
Cf. 1:5, 7, 26; 2:1. However, in 1:27 the angel of the presence is commanded
by God to write the account for Moses; cf. 50:13. This contradiction may indicate
that the text of 1:27 is in some way out of order or may point to the use of sources
in the composition of Jubilees. Cf. on 1:27 James C. VanderKam, Textual and Historical
Studies in the Book of Jubilees (HSM 14; Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press for Harvard
Semitic Museum, 1977), 103; Klaus Berger, “Das Buch der Jubiläen,” JSHRZ II/3
(1981), 319.
28
Jub. 50:1 draws on Exod 16:1, while the sabbath laws in Jub. 50:6–13 were perhaps
inspired by the sabbath regulations in Exod. 16:22–30 (see below, 248).
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 243

The discovery at Qumran of fragments of at least twelve manuscripts


of the Book of Jubilees in Hebrew confirmed the view that Jubilees was
composed in Hebrew, but the fragments that have been published
so far are quite limited in extent.29 The work is known in its entirety
only in Ethiopic, and it is virtually certain that this Ethiopic version
was made primarily from a Greek translation of the original Hebrew,
even though the Greek translation is now lost apart from some quota-
tions and allusions in later writers. A Latin translation was also made
from the Greek translation, and just over a quarter of this survives in
a sixth-century Latin palimpsest. We are thus forced to rely mainly
on the Ethiopic version for our knowledge of Jubilees.30 The Hebrew
fragments that have been published are too small for any significant
comparisons in respect of vocabulary and syntax to be made between
the original Hebrew text and other contemporary Hebrew writings,
but the fragments—insofar as they exist—have confirmed the essential
reliability of the Ethiopic version.
The author of the Book of Jubilees sometimes followed the biblical
narrative fairly closely, but sometimes departed from it quite consider-
ably—whether by way of omission, abbreviation, alteration, or addition.
It is from the places where the author departed from the biblical text,
particularly from the additional material, that we must hope to find out
something of his purpose and the circumstances in which he wrote. An
indication of these circumstances is given already in the speech of God
to Moses (1:5–18) which forms part of the introduction to the book.
The first part of the speech (verses 5–13) consists of a warning that

29
For the fragments that have been published so far, see VanderKam, Textual and
Historical Studies, 18–101; Menahem Kister, “Newly-Identified Fragments of the Book
of Jubilees: Jub. 23:21–23, 30–31,” RevQ 12 (1985–87): 529–36.
30
For the Ethiopic and Latin versions of Jubilees see Robert Henry Charles, The
Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees (Anecdota Oxoniensia, Semitic Series 8;
Oxford: Clarendon, 1895). Recent translations of Jubilees include those by Berger in
JSHRZ II/3, 273–575 (see above, note 27); by Chaim Rabin (based on the transla-
tion of Charles) in AOT 1–139; by Orval S. Wintermute in OTP 2.35–142; and by
André Caquot in La Bible: Écrits intertestamentaires (ed. André Dupont-Sommer and Marc
Philonenko; Bibliothèque de la Pléiade; Paris: Gallimard, 1987), 627–810. Recent stud-
ies of Jubilees include the following: Michel Testuz, Les Idées religieuses du Livre des Jubilés
(Geneva: Droz, 1960); Gene L. Davenport, The Eschatology of the Book of Jubilees (StPB
20; Leiden: Brill, 1971); VanderKam, Textual and Historical Studies (see above, note 27);
Eberhard Schwarz, Identität durch Abgrenzung: Abgrenzungsprozesse in Israel im 2. vorchristlichen
Jahrhundert und ihre traditionsgeschichtlichen Voraussetzungen. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Erforschung
des Jubiläenbuches (Europäische Hochschulschriften, Series 23, vol. 162; Frankfurt am
Main: Lang, 1982); John C. Endres, Biblical Interpretation in the Book of Jubilees (CBQMS
18; Washington, D.C.: Catholic Bible Society of America, 1987).
244 chapter thirteen

once the people have entered the land, they will forget the command-
ments of God and turn to strange gods, and will in consequence be
sent into exile. The passage refers clearly to the exile of Israel (verse
10) and Judah (verse 13). Verse 14 gives the author’s judgement on the
exilic and post-exilic periods:
And they will forget all my law and all my commandments and all my
judgements, and will go astray as to new moons, and sabbaths, and fes-
tivals, and jubilees, and ordinances.
The remainder of the passage (verses 15–18) then describes the restora-
tion that would follow after the exile:
And after this they will turn to me from amongst the gentiles with all
their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and I will
gather them from amongst all the gentiles, and they will seek me . . . And
I will reveal to them abounding peace with righteousness, and I will
transplant them as the plant of uprightness, with all my heart and with
all my soul, and they will be for a blessing and not for a curse, and they
will be the head and not the tail. And I will build my sanctuary in their
midst, and I will dwell with them, and I will be their God and they will
be my people in truth and righteousness. And I will not forsake them
nor fail them; for I am the Lord their God.
This passage makes use of a theological pattern of sin, exile and return
that can be found in other writings of the period, particularly the
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,31 and can be traced back ultimately
to Deuteronomy (e.g. 4:25–31). The question is how the pattern has
been used here. At one level the passage just quoted can be interpreted
historically to refer to the return after the exile. But it is clear from
the book as a whole that in the author’s view the situation described
in verse 14—neglect of the law and error in the observance of the
religious calendar—still continued, and the passage should therefore
be interpreted eschatologically. The author was living in a situation
which he regarded as unsatisfactory, and the true end to Israel’s state
of exile, which was conditional upon repentance, still lay in the future.32

31
Cf. recently Harm W. Hollander and Marinus de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve
Patriarchs: A Commentary (SVTP 8; Leiden: Brill, 1985), 51–56; for references to earlier
literature see Knibb, Heythrop Journal 17 (1976): 264.
32
See also Heythrop Journal 17 (1976): 266–67. Davies (Behind the Essenes, 107–34) has
recently compared Jubilees 1 with 1 Enoch 93:1–10 + 91:11–17 and Damascus Document
II, 14–III, 20, V, 15–VI, 11 and I, 1–12, but he has blurred some of the differences
between Jubilees and the Damascus Document. Also, it does not appear to me that Jub.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 245

We shall need to consider further the question of the circumstances in


which the author was writing, but it may be noted here that a major-
ity of scholars would place Jubilees in Palestine at some point in the
second century B.C.E.
The fact that fragments of manuscripts of Jubilees were found at
Qumran, and the fact that Jubilees is mentioned as an authoritative
writing in the Damascus Document,33 show that Jubilees was known and
used as Qumran. In fact, as we have noted, there has been widespread
recognition that there are numerous points of contact between the
theological concerns of Jubilees and those of the sectarian writings
from Qumran,34 and in what follows I wish to consider the significance
of some of these links for the question of the origins of the Qumran
community.
The first point to be noticed is that the covenant theme forms a
central element in Jubilees. (For “covenant” the Ethiopic uses kidan and
s r at which both point back via Greek diathēkē to Hebrew berît) The book
is predicated on the assumption that the covenant between God and
Israel is about to be established. This is clear from the opening words
of God’s speech to Moses in 1:5, and particularly from the statement
of the angel in 6:11: “Because of this he told you to make a covenant
with the children of Israel in this month on the mountain, with an oath,
and to sprinkle blood on them to ratify all the terms of the covenant
which the Lord will make with them for ever.” The implication of this,
as Schwarz has pointed out,35 is that Jubilees is meant to be understood
as the law given through Moses on the occasion of the making of the
covenant, and that the individual laws within Jubilees form the terms of
the covenant. Jubilees represented for the author the true interpretation
of the law given in the Old Testament, and it is clear that he believed
that the law as he understood it was not being properly observed.
The passage just quoted (6:11) occurs in the context of the covenant
made with Noah (6:4–22), and thus the Mosaic covenant is implicitly
presented as the fulfilment of the Noachic covenant. But the covenant
theme runs throughout the book. The accounts of the covenant with

1 supports the view that the community behind the Damascus Document was founded
“literally in exile” (Davies, 125).
33
See XVI, 2b–4a.
34
For parallels between Jubilees and the Qumran sectarian writings see Bent Noack,
“Qumran and the Book of Jubilees,” SEÅ 22–23 (1957–58): 191–207; Testuz, Les Idées
religieuses, 179–92; VanderKam, Textual and Historical Studies, 255–83.
35
Cf. Schwarz, Identität durch Abgrenzung, 17, 19.
246 chapter thirteen

Abraham in Genesis 15 and 17 are both taken up in Jubilees. On the


first occasion ( Jub. 14) the covenant with Abraham is explicitly presented
as a renewal of the covenant with Noah (verse 20). The covenant is
also mentioned in connection with Isaac (15:19,21) and with Jacob
(22:15,30). There are warnings of the consequences of breaking the
covenant (21:4; 30:21–22; 33:19; cf. 1:10; 23:16,19), while in contrast,
near the end of the book, the deliverance of Israel at the time of the
plagues in Egypt is said to be in accordance with the covenant which
God had made with Abraham (48:8). The importance of circumcision
as the mark of the covenant is emphasised both in chapter 15 (see
verses 11–14, 23–34), which is not surprising because this chapter is
dependent on the Genesis 17 account of the covenant with Abraham,
and in other passages (16:14; 20:3).
The importance of the covenant theme at Qumran hardly needs
to be mentioned. It is perhaps sufficient to refer to the fact that the
Damascus Document appears to have been intended for use at the annual
ceremony of the renewal of the covenant; that Community Rule I,
16–II, 25a is a liturgy for a ceremony of covenant renewal; that in the
Damascus Document (III, 13) the founding of the Essene movement and
in the Community Rule (VIII, 10) the founding of the new community
are presented as the re-establishing of the covenant; that entry into the
community is seen as entry into the covenant (cf. IQS I, 7b, 16–18a;
V, 7c–8a; VI, 13b–15a); and that there are numerous references to the
word covenant (Hebrew berît) in the sectarian writings.36 But it is worth
adding one further point. It appears from the oldest manuscript of the
Damascus Document (4QDa = 4Q266) that the covenant was renewed in
the third month each year at the Feast of Weeks.37 In Jubilees the cov-
enant with Noah was made at the Feast of Weeks (6:18), the covenant
with Abraham was renewed at the same feast (14:10,20; 15:1), and there
is an explicit instruction to “celebrate the Feast of Weeks in (the third)
month once a year—so as to renew the covenant each year” (6:17). In
later Jewish tradition the Feast of Weeks commemorates the giving of
the law at Sinai (cf. bPes. 68b).
Reference to the Feast of Weeks leads on naturally to the Calendar,
where the obvious connections between Jubilees and the Qumran writ-

36
See for example the entry for berît in Karl G. Kuhn, Konkordanz zu den Qumrantexten,
(Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980), 36–37.
37
See Józef T. Milik, “Milkî-Éedeq et Milkî-resha{ dans les anciens écrits juifs et
chrétiens,” JJS 23 (1972): 135–36; cf. Knibb, The Qumran Community, 88–89.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 247

ings have long been recognised. The Book of Jubilees advocates a 364-
day solar calendar, according to which the days of the week and the
feasts always fall on the same date each year—thus the Feast of Weeks
always falls on the fifteenth day of the third month, a Sunday. This
solar calendar is also found in the astronomical section of the Book of
Enoch and in the Temple Scroll, and is presupposed in some Old Testa-
ment writings from the exilic and post-exilic periods. It was apparently
used at one stage for cultic purposes, but it is uncertain when it was
replaced by the lunisolar calendar. For the author of Jubilees, however,
observance of the 364-day calendar was a matter of some concern. We
have already seen how, in God’s speech in 1:14, the author condemns
the men of the exilic and post-exilic periods for going astray in respect
of the calendar. It is in line with this that in an important passage
about the calendar that is attached to the account of the making of
the covenant with Noah (6:29–38) the author expresses concern that
Israel “should not forget the feasts of the covenant and keep the feasts
of the gentiles” (verse 35). But he foresees that Israel will disturb the
calendar through taking account of the moon, and will cause the feasts
to fall on the wrong day (verses 36–37), and he warns that they “will
go astray about the new moons and seasons and sabbaths and feasts”
(verse 38). And in 23:19, a passage referring to the circumstances of
the time in which the author was writing, it is said that Israel has
forgotten “commandment, and covenant, and feasts, and new moons,
and sabbaths, and jubilees”.
Talmon showed long ago on the evidence of Habakkuk Commentary
XI, 6–8a that the Qumran community followed a calendar different
from that of the main Jewish community,38 and the Calendrical Documents
and the work known as David’s Compositions later proved that this was
the 364-day calendar attested in Jubilees.39 The author of the Damascus
Document, like the author of Jubilees, believed that “all Israel had gone
astray” in regard to God’s “holy sabbaths” and “glorious feasts” (III, 14),
and the summary of the duties of members in the Damascus Document

38
Shemaryahu Talmon, “Yom Hakkippurim in the Habakkuk Scroll,” Biblica 32
(1951): 549–63.
39
On the Qumran calendar see recently James C. VanderKam, “The Origin,
Character, and Early History of the 364-Day Calendar: A Reassessment of Jaubert’s
Hypothesis,” CBQ 41 (1979): 390–411; VanderKam, “2 Maccabees, 6,7a and Calen-
drical Change in Jerusalem,” JSJ 12 (1981): 52–74; Philip R. Davies, “Calendrical
Change and Qumran Origins: An Assessment of VanderKam’s Theory,” CBQ 45
(1983): 80–89.
248 chapter thirteen

includes the instruction “to keep the sabbath day according to its exact
rules, and the feasts, and the fast-day according to the finding of those
who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus” (VI, 18b–19).
In a similar way the Community Rule includes the following amongst the
obligations it imposes on members: “They shall not depart from any
one of the commandments of God concerning their times; they shall
not anticipate their appointed times or be behind in any of their feasts”
(I, 13b–15a). There are thus indications that observance of the proper
calendar was a matter of concern to the Qumran community, but the
impression given is that this was not quite such an issue as it was for
the author of Jubilees.
It is appropriate here to refer briefly to the sabbath, for which Jubi-
lees and the Damascus Document provide similar regulations that are in
each case quite strict. Jubilees deals with the sabbath in two places, in
a long section at the beginning of the book (2:17–33) that is attached
to the account of creation, and in the very final section of the book
(50:6–13). The first passage, which was inspired by Genesis 2:3, speaks
in fairly general terms concerning sabbath observance, and only in
verses 29–30 provides a few detailed regulations; the latter passage,
which is conceivably secondary, was perhaps inspired by the sabbath
regulations in Exodus 16:22–30 and gives detailed rules as to how the
sabbath was to be kept. It is the rules in this latter passage that are
similar to the rules given in the long passage on sabbath observance
in the Damascus Document (X, 14–XI, 18a). However, whereas Jubilees
(2:25,27; 50:8,13), in accordance with Old Testament regulation (e.g.
Exod 31:14–15), prescribes the death penalty for violation of the sab-
bath, the Damascus Document (XII, 3b–6a) explicitly forbids this, but
instead prescribes imprisonment for seven years. One further point
should be added. According to Jubilees 2 Israel alone of all the nations
has been set apart by God to observe the sabbath, but this privileged
position is one that Israel shares with the angels: Israel keeps sabbath
with the angels (see verses 17–22, 30–31). The idea that Israel shares
in the life of the angels, which can also be found in other places in
Jubilees,40 has a close parallel in the Qumran texts, as Schwarz has
pointed out.41 Thus a number of passages (e.g. 1QS XI, 7b–9a; 1QSa

40
Cf. 6:18 (observance of Feast of Weeks); 15:27 (circumcision); 30:18; 31:14
(ministry of the Levites).
41
Schwarz, Identität durch Abgrenzung, 88–89.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 249

II, 8–9a) attest the idea that the members of the community share in
the life of the angels, and that the angels are present among them.
Intermarriage with gentiles is repeatedly forbidden in the Book of
Jubilees (cf. e.g. 20:4; 25:1–10; 30:7, 11–17), and this has long been
interpreted against the background of the situation in the early second
century B.C.E., when the process of Hellenisation appeared to pose an
ever-increasing threat to the integrity of Judaism. The ban on intermar-
riage has been set in a wider context by Schwarz in his study, Identität
durch Abgrenzung. Israel had been “set apart” (Ethiopic fälä ä) by God
(2:19), and this provides the ideological background for the demand
that Israel must “keep separate” from the nations.42 This demand is set
out clearly in 22:16–22, part of Abraham’s speech on his deathbed to
Jacob, and is summed up in verse 16: “Keep yourself separate (Ethiopic
täfäl ä, which points back via chōrızō to Hebrew bā al) from the nations,
and do not eat with them; and do not imitate their rites, nor associate
yourself with them; for their rites are unclean and all their practices
polluted, an abomination and unclean.” This passage has long been
interpreted in relation to the situation in the first half of the second
century, but Schwarz43 has helpfully observed that precisely the atti-
tude that was of such concern to the author of Jubilees is reflected in
1 Maccabees 1:11: “In those days lawless men came forth from Israel,
and misled many, saying, ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the
gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils
have come upon us.’” The “lawless men” were Hellenising Jews, and
the passage in 1 Maccabees is concerned with the events which led to
the conversion of Jerusalem into a Greek city in 175 B.C.E.
A demand for separation is also found in the Qumran writings, but
with a difference: the demand is no longer for separation from gentiles,
but for separation from “the sons of the pit” (so Damascus Document VI,
14c–15a) or from “the men of injustice” or “the congregation of the
men of injustice” (so Community Rule V, 1b–2a, 10b), that is to say for
separation from Jews outside the movement. In an important passage
in the Community Rule (VIII, 1–IX, 26a), which appears to provide a
programme for the new community, the demand for separation is taken
a step further and linked to a call for withdrawal into the wilderness:
“they shall separate themselves from the settlement of the men of

42
Cf. Indentität durch Abgrenzung, 21–23.
43
Indentität durch Abgrenzung, 29, 38, 99–100.
250 chapter thirteen

injustice and shall go into the wilderness to prepare there the way of
him, as it is written: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of. . . ., make
level in the desert a highway for our God” ’ (VIII, 13–14). It is difficult
not to associate this passage with the occupation of the site at Qumran.
In all these passages in the scrolls the Hebrew word used is bā al, the
same word that was apparently used in Jubilees.
There are many other matters in which similarities exist between
Jubilees and the Qumran literature, but it must suffice here to refer
finally to the topic of dualism. As is well known, dualistic beliefs form
an important element in several Qumran writings, particularly the War
Scroll and the Community Rule; in the latter they are explicitly set out in
the long passage on the two spirits, those of truth and injustice (III,
13–1V, 26). But dualistic beliefs also form an important element in
Jubilees, although they are not set out in the formal way that they are
in the Community Rule. Angels, at the head of whom stand the angels of
the presence and the angels of sanctification, are frequently mentioned
in Jubilees: they act as God’s agents, and instruct and assist the chosen
people on countless occasions, as for example Israel at the time of the
exodus (48:12–13). Over against the angels stand the demons or evil
spirits who seek to lead men astray and to harm the chosen: thus, for
example, it is said that in the time of Noah “the unclean demons began
to lead the children of Noah’s sons astray and to mislead them and
destroy them” (10:1). It should be noted, however, that the dualism in
Jubilees is not absolute, and in this respect there is a further link with
the Qumran writings. In Jubilees the demons are permitted by God to
carry out their activities (10:9, 11), and it is even said that God put
them in authority over the nations—but not over Israel—in order to
lead men astray: “for there are many nations and many peoples, and
all are his, and he has set spirits in authority over all of them to lead
them astray from him. But over Israel he appointed no angel or spirit,
for he alone is their ruler; and he will preserve them” (15:31b–32a).
The idea that God permits the demons to act is analogous to the idea
expressed in the Community Rule that God “created” the spirit of dark-
ness (III, 25b).
At the head of the demons stands Satan44 or, as he also appears to
be called, ‘Prince Mastema’. ‘Mastema’ is a transliteration, probably
via the Greek, of the Hebrew word maś ēmāh, which is used in Hosea

44
See 10:11; 23:29; 40:9; 46:2; 50:5.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 251

9:7–8 with the meaning ‘hatred’. The word also has this meaning in
the scrolls, where inter alia it is twice used in the phrase “the angel of
hatred” as a title for the leader of the forces of evil.45 In Jubilees ‘Mas-
tema’ appears to be a name, and this is clearly the case in the Latin
version where, in the two places in which it has survived (18:12; 48:2),
we have the expression “princeps Mastima”. But the situation in the
Ethiopic, where the word occurs nine times joined to the word ‘prince’46
and twice elsewhere,47 is not so straightforward. In one case (11:5) all the
manuscripts available to me have “prince Mastema”.48 But in the other
cases where ‘Mastema’ is joined to the word ‘prince’, the best Ethiopic
evidence points to the view that in the original Hebrew maś ēmāh was
used as an abstract noun ‘hatred’—hence “the prince of hatred”—and
not as a name.49 If this is correct, it would strengthen the connections
between the dualistic ideas of Jubilees and those of the scrolls.

Enough has been said to show that there are very strong links between
Jubilees and the Qumran sectarian writings, and there can be no question
that Jubilees belongs in the prehistory of the Qumran community. This
is important in regard to the question of the origins of the Qumran

45
See Damascus Document XVI, 5; War Scroll XIII, 11. Cf. Yigael Yadin, The Scroll
of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1962), 233–34.
46
11:5, 11; 17:16; 18:9, 12; 48:2, 9, 12, 15.
47
10:8; 19:28.
48
Ethiopic mäkwännen mästema.
49
VanderKam (Textual and Historical Studies, 257–58, n. 91; cf. already Robert Henry
Charles, The Book of Jubilees or The Little Genesis, (London: A. & C. Black, 1902), lviii,
who drew attention to the fact that Paris Éth. 51 and British Library Orient. 485
read mäkwänn nä mästema in 18:9, 12; 48:9,12,15. The fact that the first word is in the
construct state suggests that in the original Hebrew maś ēmāh was used as an abstract
noun (‘the prince of hatred’). The evidence of Paris Éth. 51 and BL 485 is supported
by that of Lake Tana 9, which not only has the same reading (mäkwänn nä mästema) in
the above five passages, but also in 11:11; 17:16; 48:2. This evidence is important in
that these three manuscripts (Paris Éth. 51 BL 485 Tana 9) are representative of an
older Ethiopic textual tradition. As to the remaining passages, in 19:28 the Ethiopic
mänaf stä mästema is usually translated ‘the spirits of Mastema’, but it is possible that
here too in the original Hebrew maś ēmāh was understood as an abstract noun (‘the
spirits of hatred’). In 10:8 the text is uncertain; the manuscripts used by Charles have
“the chief of the spirits, Mastema,” but Tana 9 has “the chief of the spirits and (of ?)
Mastema,” and it is possible that the text has been glossed.
252 chapter thirteen

community inasmuch as Jubilees is a work that can be placed in a fairly


precise historical and geographical context. Thus there can, I think, be
no question that Jubilees is a Palestinian work, and I find no evidence
whatever for the suggestion of Davies that it derives from the Eastern
diaspora.50 It was clearly written against the background of the crisis
posed by Hellenisation in the early second century B.C.E., but beyond
this the strict prohibition of nudity (3:31; 7:20; cf. 7:7–9) and the con-
cern that the rite of circumcision would be abandoned (15:33–34) indi-
cate that it dates from after 175. It was in that year that a gymnasium
was founded in Jerusalem (see 1 Macc 1:11–15; 2 Macc 4:9–15), and
the athletes who exercised there would have been naked. In connection
with the events of 175 1 Maccabees further reports that the Hellenising
Jews attempted to remove the marks of circumcision by surgical means
(1 Macc 1:15), and the fact that Jubilees clearly alludes to this practice
(15:34)51 suggests that the book was written under the impact of these
events. As to a terminus a quo I can only here state my view that Jubilees
dates from before 167 because it seems to me to contain no reference
whatever to the measures imposed by Antiochus Epiphanes in that year,
the measures which sparked off the Maccabean revolt.52
We began this discussion of Jubilees with the speech of God in chapter
1 and noted that it provided an indication of what the author thought
of the circumstances in which he was living. The eschatological passage
in 23:14–31, in which the author describes what would befall “an evil
generation”, provides a further indication of this. The passage is cast

50
See Davies, The Damascus Covenant, 203. Contrast Murphy-O’Connor, RB 92 (1985):
239–240, who describes Jubilees as “indisputably of Palestinian origin.”
51
For a recent discussion of epispasm see Robert G. Hall, “Epispasm and the Dating
of Ancient Jewish Writings,” JSP 2 (1988): 71–86.
52
A date in the same period was also proposed by Louis Finkelstein (“Pre-Maccabean
Documents in the Passover Haggadah. Appendix: The Date of the Book of Jubilees,”
HTR 36 (1943): 19–24). George W. E. Nickelsburg ( Jewish Literature between the Bible
the Mishnah (London: SCM, 1981), 76–79; “The Bible Rewritten and Expanded,” in
Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period (ed. Michael E. Stone; CRINT 2.2: Assen: van
Gorcum, 1984), 101–103) dates Jubilees to close to 168 B.C.E., and no later than early
167 B.C.E. While I am entirely in agreement with the general thrust of his arguments,
I am doubtful about the precise dating he proposes because it seems to me uncertain
whether Jub. 23:22–23 does refer to “the bloody reprisals of Antiochus and Apollonius
in 169 and 167” ( Jewish Literature, 77). However, I hope to return to the question of
the date of Jubilees on a future occasion. For a slightly later date (between 161 and
140 B.C.E., and probably between 161 and 152 B.C.E.) and a survey of other views,
see VanderKam, Textual and Historical Studies, 207–85.
JUBILEES and the origins of the qumran community 253

in the pattern: sin, punishment, restoration; and the description of the


period of sin (verses 14–21) and—much less certainly—the descrip-
tion of the punishment (verses 22–25) are meant as an account of the
author’s own age. But it is more important here to observe that in the
description of the turning-point between punishment and restoration
the author gives a hint of the circles to which he himself belonged:
“But in those days the children will begin to study the laws, and to seek
the commandments, and return to the path of righteousness” (verse
26). Here the author was speaking about the group that lies behind
Jubilees. It is apparent both from the general concern with priestly mat-
ters throughout the book and from the emphasis placed on the role of
Levi53 that this was a priestly group.
To try to summarize what I have been saying, the Book of Jubilees
provides evidence of the existence of a reform movement in Palestine
in the period just after 175 B.C.E. It stems from priestly circles who
were concerned in the face of the ‘Hellenistic crisis’ that the law
was not being observed and the covenant was being broken. But the
book is not sectarian in character, and it is addressed to the nation as
a whole. The author saw hope for the future as lying in a return to
a proper study and observance of the law, and Jubilees constitutes in
effect an appeal to renew the covenant. There are close theological
links between Jubilees and the Qumran sectarian writings, particularly
the Damascus Document and the Community Rule, and there can be no
question that the Palestinian priestly reform movement that lies behind
Jubilees belongs in the prehistory of the Qumran sect and of the wider
Essene movement. Murphy-O’Connor would explain the parallels
between the scrolls and Palestinian writings such as Jubilees by suggest-
ing that these writings only passed to the Essenes after the return from
Babylon, and that “it was the Teacher of Righteousness who served
as the conduit by which such materials entered the Qumran branch
of the Essene movement”.54 But the parallels between Jubilees and the
Qumran sectarian writings seem to me to be too pervasive to make
this likely. In contrast it seems to me plausible to link the Palestinian
reform movement that lies behind Jubilees with that “root of planting”

53
See 30:18–20; 31:12–17; 32:1–9; 45:16. Cf. Schwarz, Identität durch Abgrenzung,
127–129; VanderKam, “Jubilees and the Priestly Messiah of Qumran,” Mémorial Jean
Carmignac, RevQ 13 (1988): 353–65, especially 359–65.
54
See RB 92 (1985): 239–240.
254 chapter thirteen

which, according to column I of the Damascus Document, came into


existence three hundred and ninety years after the beginning of the
exile, and to which the Teacher of Righteousness came some twenty
years later, the one who apparently led part of this reform movement
to settle in the wilderness at Qumran.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN

PERSPECTIVES ON THE APOCRYPHA AND


PSEUDEPIGRAPHA: THE LEVI TRADITIONS

The founding of the Journal for the Study of Judaism in 1970 served as a
formal recognition of the way in which interest in Judaism in the Second
Temple period, of whose character the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha1
are major witnesses, had increased enormously over the previous two
decades. In the Introduction to the first issue of the Journal the sec-
retary of the editorial board, Professor Adam van der Woude, noted
that the increase in interest was “in part due to the discovery of new
manuscripts, the new directions in New Testament scholarship, and
the growing attraction of rabbinical literature.” At least so far as the
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are concerned, the renewed interest
came after a period in which, following the work at the end of the
last and the beginning of the present century which culminated in the
publication of the collections edited by Kautzsch and by Charles, little
fresh work on this literature had been undertaken. Since 1970 interest
in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha has grown, in line with interest
in the Second Temple period in general, at an ever more rapid rate
and was in the 1990s further stimulated by the opening up of access
to the texts from Qumran Cave 4 and their publication. The last
quarter of the twentieth century saw the publication of new editions
and translations of important texts, of new introductions and com-
mentaries, of new collections of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
in a number of different languages, of Greek and Latin concordances,

1
For the purposes of this study I have taken the significance of the terms ‘Apocrypha’
and ‘Pseudepigrapha’ for granted and have not attempted to discuss the question of
which writings belong to these corpora, particularly to the latter; for brief comments,
see Knibb, “Pseudepigrapha,” A Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (ed. Richard J. Coggins
and J. Leslie Houlden; London: SCM, 1990) 564–68. The difficulties in the use of the
term ‘pseudepigrapha’ stem on the one hand from the fact that traditionally it has been
employed in a rather imprecise way, and on the other from the fact that a number of
the non-biblical writings from Qumran ought to be included in this category.
256 chapter fourteen

of new journals and monograph series. The difficult task now for the
scholar concerned with this literature is to keep up with the vast range
of what is being done.
Methods in the study of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha have
inevitably tended to mirror those that have been applied to the study of
the Old and New Testaments, and the developments that have occurred
in biblical scholarship in general over the last few decades, for example
the emergence of new literary approaches to the text or of feminist
approaches,2 have also affected study of the Apocrypha and Pseude-
pigrapha. However, my concern here is with what is distinctive in the
study of these writings. In this respect, the most important factor that
has affected, and will continue to affect, study of the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha has undoubtedly been the discovery of the Dead Sea
scrolls, or rather in this context of the non-biblical scrolls primarily.
At the most obvious level, the scrolls have provided us with fragments
in the original languages, and from close to the time of their compo-
sition, of works—for example, Ben Sira,3 or Enoch,4 or Jubilees5—for
which in the past we were forced to rely on translations into Greek,
or on daughter versions of the Greek, or—exceptionally in the case
of Ben Sira—on medieval copies of the text in the original language.
The evidence from Qumran for the writings of the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha is limited in extent, and we are still heavily dependent
on the translations into Greek or on the secondary translations. But
the Hebrew and Aramaic fragments from Qumran have brought us
much more closely into touch with the writings of the Apocrypha and

2
See e.g. Monika Hellmann, Judit—eine Frau im Spannungsfeld von Autonomie und
göttlicher Führung (Europäische Hochschulschriften, Series 23, vol. 444; Frankfurt am
Main: Lang,1992); James C. VanderKam (ed.), “No One Spoke Ill of Her”: Essays on
Judith (SBLEJL 2; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992); Maren Niehoff, The Figure of Joseph
in Post-Biblical Jewish Literature (AGJU 16; Leiden: Brill, 1992); Angela Standhartinger,
Das Frauenbild im Judentum der hellenistischen Zeit: Ein Beitrag anhand von “Joseph und Aseneth”
(AGJU 26; Leiden: Brill, 1995).
3
See Maurice Baillet, Józef T. Milik, and Roland de Vaux, Les ‘Petites Grottes’ de
Qumran (DJD 3; Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), 75–77 and plate XV (2Q18); James A.
Sanders, The Psalms Scroll of Qumrân Cave 11 (11QPsa) (DJD 4; Oxford: Clarendon, 1965),
79–85 and plates XIII–XIV; Yigael Yadin, The Ben Sira Scroll from Masada ( Jerusalem:
Israel Exploration Society, 1965).
4
See Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon,1976); Michael A. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch: A New Edition in the Light
of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1978).
5
See James VanderKam and Józef. T. Milik, “Jubilees,” in Harold Attridge and
others, Qumran Cave 4.VIII: Parabiblical Texts, Part 1 (DJD 13; Oxford: Clarendon, 1994),
1–185 and plates I–XII.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 257

Pseudepigrapha in the form in which they were originally composed,


have enabled us to assess the quality and character of the translations,
and in the case of the book of Enoch have shed light on the formation
of a work that is best known to us in the pentateuchal form represented
by the Ethiopic version, that is in the form that represents the final
stage in its evolution.
In addition to their significance from a purely textual point of view,
however, the Qumran discoveries are of fundamental importance for
the study of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha because they have
provided a considerably enlarged context for the interpretation of these
writings. This has occurred at two levels. Sometimes specific discoveries
have been of relevance for particular writings in the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha, for example the texts associated with Levi in relation
to the Greek Testament of Levi,6 or the Genesis Apocryphon in relation to
traditions in Jubilees. But more commonly the Qumran discoveries are
of importance because they provide a greatly increased volume of
comparative material for the assessment of the literary genres or the
interpretation of the beliefs and ideas that occur in the Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha, for example the Qumran wisdom texts in relation to
the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical wisdom texts,7 or the various
texts from Qumran with messianic beliefs in relation to the messianic
passages in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.8 It is impossible for
the future to conceive of serious study of the Apocrypha and Pseude-
pigrapha in isolation from study of the texts from Qumran, just as the
converse ought also to be the case.
This last point is of more general application, namely that the Apoc-
rypha and Pseudepigrapha cannot be studied in isolation, as if they were
self-contained corpora, but must be seen in the context of the whole
range of Jewish and Christian writings from the same general period:
the later writings of the Old Testament, the scrolls, the Septuagint (see
further below), the fragments of the Hellenistic-Jewish authors, the
writings of Philo and Josephus, the New Testament and other early
Christian writings, and the rabbinic literature. In this connection the

6
For the Levi texts, see further below.
7
For a recent survey of the Qumran wisdom texts and their significance, see Daniel
J. Harrington, Wisdom Texts from Qumran (The Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls;
London: Routledge, 1996).
8
Cf. Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls,” DSD
2 (1995): 165–84.
258 chapter fourteen

writings of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha have significance in both


a Jewish and a Christian context. Inasmuch as many of the writings of
the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are Jewish, they attest, together
with the other Jewish writings just mentioned, to the very varied—the
pluriform—character of Judaism in the late Second Temple period. But
a significant number of the writings of the Apocrypha and Pseude-
pigrapha are Christian, even though they may have Jewish origins,
and while study of these origins is of interest and importance, this
should only be as the prelude to the task of interpreting the writings
in the form in which they have come down to us as Christian texts in
the context of early Christianity—as, for example, recent studies of
the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,9 or of the Ascension of Isaiah,10 or
of the Life of Adam and Eve11 have attempted to do. More generally, the
writings of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha have survived, almost
without exception, because they were preserved by Christians, and
interpretation of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha ought to include
consideration of their reception by early Christians.
A further factor that seems to me of importance for the study of the
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha concerns the fact that, to a greater
or lesser extent, these writings represent a rereading or reinterpetation
of existing biblical texts. This is of course a characteristic that the
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha share with other Jewish and Christian
writings of the period, not least the scrolls, and comparative study of
the use made of earlier traditions is important for the interpretation of
all this literature. Inasmuch as the Septuagint represents an interpreta-
tion of its Vorlage, it deserves to be taken into account as part of the
comparative material available for the understanding of the Apocrypha
and Pseudepigrapha. But here the need for a strict methodology in the

9
This point has been repeatedly and properly emphasised by Marinus de Jonge; see
e.g. Harm W. Hollander and Marinus de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:
A Commentary (SVTP 8; Leiden: Brill, 1985).
10
See e.g. Enrico Norelli, Ascension du prophète Isaïe (Turnhout: Brepols, 1993); Jonathan
Knight, The Ascension of Isaiah (Guides to the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic, 1995); Paolo Bettiolo and others, Ascensio Isaiae: Textus; Enrico
Norelli, Ascensio Isaiae: Commentarius (Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum
7–8; Turnhout: Brepols, 1995).
11
See Marinus de Jonge and Johannes Tromp, The Life of Adam and Eve and Related
Literature (Guides to the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic,
1997).
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 259

use of the Septuagint is of paramount importance, as Albert Pietersma


has emphasised in a recent review.12

II

In the light of these comments, I would now like to consider some


aspects of the interrelationship of the Levi traditions contained in Jubilees
30–32 and in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs in the Pseudepigrapha,
in the work now known as the Aramaic Levi Document, and in 4Q541 and
540, which it is hoped may serve to illustrate a number of the points dis-
cussed above. It is perhaps an appropriate moment to consider the Levi
traditions in view of the publication in 1996 in Discoveries in the Judaean
Desert 22 of all the Qumran fragments of the Aramaic Levi Document,13
of the preliminary publication in 1992 of the fragments of 4Q541
and 540,14 and of the publication of a spate of secondary literature,
including two substantial articles by James Kugel15 and a monograph
by Robert Kugler.16 However, I would like to mention here that I have
had the benefit of seeing two papers by Dutch scholars in advance of
their publication, “Levi in Aramaic Levi and in the Testament of Levi”
by Marinus de Jonge17 and “Jacob’s Son Levi in the Old Testament

12
Albert Pietersma, review of Joachim Schaper, Eschatology in the Greek Psalter in
Bibliotheca Orientalis 54 (1997): 185–90.
13
Michael E. Stone and Jonas C. Greenfield, “Aramaic Levi Document,” in George
Brooke and others, Qumran Cave 4. XVII: Parabiblical Texts, Part 3 (DJD 22; Oxford:
Clarendon, 1996), 1–72 and plates I–IV.
14
Émile Puech, “Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi et le personnage eschatolo-
gique. 4QTestLévic–d(?) et 4QAJa,” in The Madrid Qumran Congress (ed. Julio Trebolle
Barrera and Luis Vegas Montaner; 2 vols.; STDJ 11; Leiden: Brill, 1992), 2.449–501
and plates 16–22.
15
James L. Kugel, “The Story of Dinah in the Testament of Levi,” HTR 85 (1992):
1–34; Kugel, “Levi’s Elevation to the Priesthood in Second Temple Writings,” HTR
86 (1993): 1–64. Cf. also the study by Tjitze Baarda, “The Sechem Episode in the
Testament of Levi: A Comparison with Other Traditions,” in Sacred History and Sacred
Texts in Early Judaism. A Symposium in Honour of A. S. van der Woude (ed. Jan N. Bremmer
and Florentino García Martínez; Biblical Exegesis and Theology 5; Kampen: Kok
Pharos, 1992), 11–73.
16
Robert A. Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest: The Levi-Priestly Tradition from Aramaic Levi
to Testament of Levi (SBLEJL 9; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996).
17
Marinus de Jonge, “Levi in Aramaic Levi and the Testament of Levi,” in Pseude-
pigraphic Perspectives: the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Proceed-
ings of the International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and
Associated Literature, 12–14 January, 1997 (ed. Esther G. Chazon and Michael Stone with
the collaboration of Avital Pinnick; STDJ 31; Leiden: Brill, 1999, 71–89.
260 chapter fourteen

Pseudepigrapha and Related Literature” by Marinus de Jonge and


Johannes Tromp,18 with many of whose conclusions I can only agree.
The writings listed above contain a series of traditions concerning
Levi that were based upon, or inspired by, the narratives in Genesis
34–35, the Levi passages in Exod 32:25–29 and Deut 33:8–11, and
probably the passage concerning the covenant with Phinehas in Num
25:10–13, and indeed reflection on these passages, or at least the last
three, already appears to underlie the passage on the levitical priests
in Mal 2:4–9.19 It is evident that the Testament of Levi represents the
latest stage in the development of the Levi traditions, and also that
the Testament is dependent in some way on the traditions contained in
the Aramaic Levi Document. It is likely that the traditions about the new
priest in 4Q541 ultimately lie behind Testament of Levi 18. But the rela-
tionship between the Testament of Levi and the Aramaic Levi Document has
been variously assessed, as has that between the Aramaic Levi Document
and Jubilees 30–32. In addition the reconstruction of the shape of the
Aramaic Levi Document on the basis of the material that clearly belongs
to it has been a matter of dispute; but it has also been suggested that
4Q541 and 540 formed part of this document. It is the last two topics
on which I wish to comment first.

III

The Aramaic Levi Document has been known since the beginning of this
century from two leaves found in the Geniza, a single leaf with four col-
umns now in the Bodleian Library, and a double-leaf with the remains
of six columns now in Cambridge University Library.20 At Qumran one

18
Marinus de Jonge and Johannes Tromp, “Jacob’s Son Levi in the Old Testament
Pseudepigrapha and Related Literature,” in Biblical Figures Outside the Bible (ed. Michael
E. Stone and Theodore A. Bergren; Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1998),
203–236.
19
Cf. David L. Petersen, Zechariah 9–14 and Malachi: A Commentary (OTL; Louisville,
1995), 189–93; Julia M. O’Brien, Priest and Levite in Malachi (SBLDS 121; Atlanta:
Scholars Press, 1990), 104–106; Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest, 9–22.
20
For an edition, see Robert Henry Charles, The Greek Versions of the Testaments of
the Twelve Patriarchs (Oxford: Clarendon, 1908; reprinted Hildesheim, 1966) 245–56;
cf. Jonas C. Greenfield and Michael E. Stone, “Remarks on the Aramaic Testament
of Levi from the Geniza,” RB 86 (1979): 214–30; repr. in Stone, Selected Studies in
Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha (SVTP 9; Leiden: Brill, 1991), 228–46.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 261

manuscript of the work was found in Cave 1 (1Q21),21 although the


fragments are too small to be of much significance, and what have now
been identified as six manuscripts of the work were found in Cave 4
(4QLevia–f ar);22 these latter have provided significant additional material
to that known from the Geniza manuscript. The work is also preserved
in a small Syriac fragment23 and in two substantial Greek fragments that
occur as additions in an eleventh century manuscript of the Testament
of Levi from the Monastery of Koutloumous on Mount Athos, one,
consisting of a prayer of Levi, inserted within 2:3, the other, consisting
of instructions by Isaac concerning the priesthood, added after 18:2; a
third addition in this manuscript at 5:2 much less certainly belongs to
the Aramaic Levi Document.24 The Cave 4 manuscripts of the Document
all date from the middle of the first century B.C.E. or slightly earlier,
but the work itself appears to be pre-Qumranic in origin, although it
is not clear just how old it is.25
Overlaps between the Bodleian leaf of the Aramaic Levi Document and
the Greek addition at T. Levi 18:2 on the one hand, and between the
same Greek fragment and columns c–f of the Cambridge double-leaf
on the other, established long ago the structure of the central section of
the Aramaic Levi Document.26 This central section consists of five elements:
the end of a vision in which Levi was elevated to the priesthood; a
narrative based on Genesis 35 in which Levi accompanies Jacob on a
double journey from Bethel to Hebron to visit Isaac; Isaac’s instructions
to Levi concerning the priesthood; a summary of the main events in
Levi’s life; and Levi’s instruction of his children on the importance of
the acquisition of wisdom. The fragments of the Cave 4 manuscripts
overlap with material in all five elements of the central section and
provide more of the text of Levi’s wisdom speech, which in the Geniza

21
See Józef T. Milik, “Testament de Lévi,” in Dominique Barthélemy and Józef T.
Milik, Qumran Cave 1 (DJD I; Oxford: Clarendon, 1955), 87–91 and plate XVII.
22
For the DJD edition, see above, note 13.
23
For an edition, see Charles, The Greek Versions, 254.
24
For the Greek fragments, see Marinus de Jonge in collaboration with Harm W.
Hollander and others, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Critical Edition of the Greek
Text (PVTG I,2; Leiden: Brill, 1978), 25, 46–48, 30.
25
For what follows in this section, cf. de Jonge, “Levi in Aramaic Levi and in the
Testament of Levi.”
26
See e.g. the translation of the central section of the Aramaic Levi Document by Jonas
C. Greenfield and Michael E. Stone in Hollander and de Jonge, The Testaments of the
Twelve Patriarchs: A Commentary, 461–69.
262 chapter fourteen

fragment breaks off in the middle.27 Significantly, the structure of this


central section corresponds exactly to that of the Testament of Levi,
from the latter part of chapter 8 to the end of chapter 13, except that
T. Levi 10 contains a prophecy concerning the future sin of Levi’s sons
which has no parallel in the Aramaic Levi Document.
The Aramaic and Greek fragments also provide evidence of four
other elements that formed part of the Aramaic Levi Document. Milik
suggested some time ago that there was a connection between 4QLevia
3–4, which alludes to the moon and stars and to the sins of the sons
of Levi, and T. Levi 14,28 and this seems plausible, even though the
two texts are different; this suggests that this element belongs after the
other material in the Aramaic Levi Document, and in any case it is difficult
to see where else it might go. It is evident, if for no other reason on
codicological grounds, that the material in the fragmentary columns a
and b of the Cambridge double-leaf, which refers to Levi’s involvement
in the Shechem incident, has to be placed before the central section
of the Aramaic Levi Document, and this too corresponds to its place in
the structure of the Testament of Levi, where the Shechem incident is
described in 6:3–7:4. 4QLevib 3–4, which appears to refer to the Dinah
story and has a parallel, as both Kugler29 and Stone and Greenfield30
have pointed out, in the proscription against marriage with foreigners
in Jub. 30:5–17, is naturally to be placed after the Shechem material in
Cambridge columns a and b, but has no parallel in the Testament of Levi.
The real problem concerns the question where the material represented
by the Greek addition at T. Levi 2:3 and by 4QLevib 1–2,31 which consists
of Levi’s prayer and the beginning of a vision, belongs.
It has commonly been assumed that Levi’s prayer and the vision
attached to it belonged before the Shechem incident and before Levi’s
consecration as priest, and that the Aramaic Levi Document, like the Testa-
ment of Levi, contained two visions, one before the Shechem incident
and one after it. One argument in support of this view was the assump-
tion that the insertion of the prayer in the Koutloumous manuscript

27
For Levi’s wisdom speech, see 4QLevia 1 i, 1 ii, 2; 4QLevie 2–3 ii; 4QLevif 8;
Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 5–20, 58–60, 70–72.
28
Milik, The Books of Enoch, 23–24; cf. now Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 20–23.
29
Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest, 36–37.
30
Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 33–35.
31
For the text, see now Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 27–33; cf. Jonas C. Greenfield
and Michael E. Stone, “The Prayer of Levi,” JBL 112 (1993): 247–66.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 263

at T. Levi 2:3 was a reflection of its place in the Aramaic Levi Document.
Stone and Greenfield have properly pointed out that the position of
the prayer in the Koutloumous manuscript teaches us nothing about
its place in the Aramaic Levi Document, and in view of certain differences
between the events surrounding the prayer in the Testament of Levi and
in the Aramaic Levi Document, and of their suggestion that in the latter
the prayer may be set in a testamentary context, they suggest that
Levi was already consecrated priest by the time of the prayer in the
Aramaic Levi Document.32 They do not, however, suggest a place for this
incident in the Document, and in DJD 22 they merely state that it has
been questioned whether the order of events in the Document and the
Testament was the same.33 The statement in the prayer on which the idea
of a testamentary context is based, “And now my children are with me”
(καὶ νῦν τέκνα μου μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ, Greek fragment, verse 6), is somewhat
unexpected, and we are hampered in understanding it by not having
more of the material that preceded the prayer; but there is nothing else
in what we do have to suggest a death-bed scene for the prayer.34
Kugler has gone further than Stone and Greenfield and argued that
the Aramaic Levi Document contained only one vision, and that it and the
prayer to which it responded occurred after the Shechem incident, that
is, in terms of the Genizah fragments, betweeen the Shechem material
in Cambridge columns a–b and the material referring to the end of a
vision in Bodleian column a, which forms the beginning of the central
section of the Document.35
Kugler is critical of the arguments used to support the view that
the Aramaic Levi Document contained two visions, but his positive argu-
ments for his own view appear to amount only to two. First he argues
that the statement (in Greek fragment, verses 1–2) that immediately
precedes the prayer:

32
“The Prayer of Levi,” 248–51.
33
See DJD 22, 28.
34
The suggestion that the Greek text is based on a mistranslation of an original
Aramaic ‫וכאן בני לי‬, “And now, build for me (and grant me all the paths of truth)” (so
Klaus Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
1984), 193; cf. Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest, 42–43) is unconvincing.
35
Cf. Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest, 45–59. For the end of the vision, see also 4QLevic
(Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 37–41).
264 chapter fourteen

Then I laundered my garments


and having purified them with pure water
I also [washed] my whole self in living water
and I made all my paths upright,36
refers to cleansing from corpse-contamination acquired as a result of
the attack on Shechem.37 He bases this understanding of the cleansing
on a reading of Lev 15:13 in conjunction with Num 5:2; but Num
8:21, which is concerned with Levitical purity and to which Stone and
Greenfield have referred,38 would appear to provide a more plausible
background. Secondly Kugler argues that the gap between the Shechem
material in Cambridge column b and the end of the vision in Bodleian
column a which he calculates to be eight columns would have been
more or less exactly filled by the continuation of the Shechem mate-
rial, the prayer and transition to the vision, and the beginning of the
vision.39 Kugler’s calculation of the size of the gap in the Genizah
material is plausible, and we know that the gap must have contained
the conclusion of the Shechem narrative and the first part of the
vision whose end is described in Bodleian column a; it is likely that it
also contained material corresponding to 4QLevib 3–4 concerning the
Dinah incident and marriage with foreigners.40 But we cannot know
how much space these elements would have taken up, nor what else—if
anything—stood in the gap.
The arguments in support of the view that there were two visions in
the Aramaic Levi Document have been rehearsed more than once, recently
by Marinus de Jonge.41 It must suffice here to repeat that since the
beginning of the vision in 4QLevib 1–2 refers to one angel (‫מלאך חד‬,
frg. 2, line 18) and the end of the vision in Bodleian column a refers to
seven angels (‫שבעתון‬, line 9), it is difficult to believe that they are both
part of the same vision, particularly since in the Testament of Levi the
first vision is associated with one angel (2:6, 9; 5:1, 3, 5–7), the second
with seven (8:2). Further, the words at the end of the second vision
‫( וטמר[ת אף דן בלבבי‬4QLevic 3 // Bodleian column a, lines 12–13),
which must mean “I hid this too in my heart,”42 not, as Kugler suggests,

36
The translation is from Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 31.
37
From Patriarch to Priest, 57–58.
38
“The Prayer of Levi,” 249–50.
39
From Patriarch to Priest, 58–59.
40
See above, 262.
41
“Levi in Aramaic Levi and in the Testament of Levi.”
42
Cf. Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 38–39.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 265

“I hid this very thing in my heart,”43 imply the existence in the Aramaic
Levi Document of two visions. It is certainly clear that the author of the
Testament of Levi handled the traditions in the Aramaic Levi Document with
considerable freedom, and we cannot assume that the structure of the
latter was always followed in the former. But where we do have clear
evidence—in the central section—the order of events is the same.
Kugler may be right in his reconstruction, but we cannot know this;
and on present evidence the balance of probability still seems to me to
favour the view that there were two visions in the Aramaic Levi Document,
and that their position corresponded to that in the Testament of Levi.

IV

We have no knowledge of the contents of the final section of the


Aramaic Levi Document apart from the plausible suggestion that 4QLevia
3–4 belongs after the end of Levi’s instruction of his children. Recently,
however, Puech has suggested that the fragments of 4Q541 and 540
belong to what he describes as the long version of the Testament of
Levi, by which he means the Aramaic Levi Document, and he tentatively
described the manuscripts as 4QTest-Lévid and c.44 Twenty-four frag-
ments of 4Q541 have survived, but the majority of these are too small
for much to be made of them, and even the larger ones are hard to
interpret. There is, however, evidence in some of the fragments of the
involvement of two individuals, one of whom is possibly an angel, and
of a revelation by means of a vision. Two fragments (7 and 9 i) rather
more clearly speak in the third person of a future figure, a messianic
priest who makes expiation for all the sons of his generation, and with
whom is associated wisdom.45 There are a number of parallels between
what is said about this messianic priest in fragment 9 i and the prophecy
of the new priest in T. Levi 18.46 Thus the statement that “His word
is like a word of the heavens, and his teaching conforms to the will

43
From Patriarch to Priest, 49–50. Kugler refers in support to the occurrence of ‫ אף‬in
11QtgJob 21 l, 9 (so read for 12 l, 9), but he has been misled by the free translation
given by Joseph. A. Fitzmyer and Daniel J. Harrington (A Manual of Palestinian Aramaic
Texts (Biblica et Orientalia 34; Rome: Biblical Istitute, 1978), 26–29).
44
“Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi,” (above, note 14), 485–91.
45
Cf. Puech, “Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi,” 491–92.
46
Cf. Puech, “Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi,” 468–69, 487; Knibb, “Messian-
ism in the Pseudepigrapha,” (above, note 8) 182–83.
266 chapter fourteen

of God” (line 3) may be compared with T. Levi 18:2; the reference to


his lighting up the earth as the sun (lines 3–5) may be compared with
T. Levi 18:3–4, 9a; and the reference to the sin of the people in his days
(line 7) may be compared with T. Levi 18:9b. The parallels are such
that while it is difficult to speak of direct literary dependence, it does
seem likely that a tradition like that contained in 4Q541 9 i lies behind
T. Levi 18. But if this is so, it is clear that the Christian author of the
Testament of Levi thoroughly reworked the material for his own purposes,
and it is worth noting that there is nothing in T. Levi 18 comparable
to the statement in 4Q541 9 i 5–7 of the hostility experienced by the
messianic priest.
Only three fragments of 4Q540 have survived, and of these only
the first is of any size. It too appears to refer to the messianic priest.
There is reference to successive periods of distress, and it is apparently
said that the priest will rebuild the temple. Puech has compared the
text with T. Levi 17 which, with the help of a scheme of jubilee peri-
ods and weeks, refers to the progressive corruption of the priesthood.47
However, although it seems clear that the Christian author of T. Levi
17 was adapting a pre-existent Jewish tradition, there does not seem
to be any close parallel with 4Q540 1.
For our present purposes the more important question is whether
4Q541 and 540 belong, as Puech suggested, to his “long recension” of
the Testament of Levi, that is the Aramaic Levi Document. In fact it seems
very unlikely that this suggestion is correct. On the one hand, there
are no overlaps with the known contents of the Aramaic Levi Document.48
On the other hand, the literary genres of 4Q541 and 540 and of the
Document appear to be different. Fragment 24 ii of 4Q541 preserves
what appears to be the conclusion of this document, and the admoni-
tory character of this passage, which appears to refer to the prospective
death of the speaker,49 makes plausible the view that the fragments of
this manuscript, and by implication of 4Q540, belong to a testament;
Puech may well be right that it is a Testament of Levi, although Starcky’s

47
“Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi,” 479–85, 490–91.
48
Cf. already Kugler, From Patriarch to Priest, 51–52; de Jonge, “Levi in Aramaic Levi
and in the Testament of Levi.”
49
A possibility noted by Puech (“Fragments d’un apocryphe de Lévi,” 476), but
rejected in favour of the view that fragment 24 ii refers to the violent death, possibly
crucifixion, of the priest of 4Q541 (pp. 496–501); cf. Knibb, “Messianism in the
Pseudepigrapha,” 183–84 and references there.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 267

suggestion that the speaker was Jacob cannot absolutely be excluded.50


In contrast, it has long been recognised that the Aramaic Levi Document
does not have the character of a Testament, even though there are a
number of testamentary features in the narrative. It is in fact difficult
to define the genre of the Aramaic Levi Document with any precision. It
is essentially an autobiographical narrative which includes significant
passages of instruction; the strong wisdom emphasis in Levi’s instruc-
tion of his children gives the text something of a sapiential character.51
For the autobiographical style, comparisons may be drawn with the
first-person sections of the Genesis Apocryphon, or the fragmentary Apoc-
ryphon of Jacob and Apocryphon of Judah (4Q537, 4Q538); more remote
parallels are perhaps to be found in the autobiographical section at the
beginning of Tobit (1:3–3:6) or even in Ahikar.

It is commonly recognised that there is a close relationship between


the Levi traditions of Jubilees 30–32 and those contained in the Aramaic
Levi Document, but explanations of this relationship have been quite
contradictory. Thus Stone has assumed that the Aramaic Levi Document
was a source of Jubilees,52 Kugel has argued that the Aramaic Levi
Document was dependent on Jubilees,53 and Kugler has proposed that both
works were dependent on a common source, which he calls the Levi
Apocryphon, and whose contents he attempts to define.54 Earlier Becker
had argued for common depedence on an oral tradition.55 It seems to
me very unlikely that Jubilees used the Aramaic Levi Document as one of
its sources, but otherwise the relationship between the two documents
is not easy to define.

50
Jean Starcky, “Les quatre étapes du messianisme à Qumrân,” RB 70 (1963):
492.
51
For the sapiential character of this material, cf. Michael E. Stone, “Ideal Figures
and Social Context: Priest and Sage in the Early Second Temple Age,” Ancient Israelite
Religions: F. M. Cross Festschrift (ed. Patrick D. Miller, Jr. and others; Philadelphia:
Fortress, 1988) 578–86 (reprinted in Selected Studies, 262–70).
52
Michael E. Stone, “Enoch, Aramaic Levi and Sectarian Origins,” JSJ 19 (1988)
159–70 (reprinted in Selected Studies, 247–58).
53
“Levi’s Elevation to the Priesthood,” (above, note 15), 45–46, 52–58.
54
From Patriarch to Priest, 92–93, 110–11, 130–31, 146–55 (see the references there
to earlier studies).
55
Jürgen Becker, Untersuchungen zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Testamente der zwölf Patriarchen
(AGJU 8; Leiden: Brill, 1970), 79–87, 103.
268 chapter fourteen

The treatment in Jubilees 30–3256 of the traditions in Genesis 34–35


is clear and consistent and is in line with the overall aims of the work
of presenting the patriarchs as observant of the Torah before its revela-
tion at Sinai and of attaching individual laws to events in the lives of
the Pariarchs. Of the various changes made by the author of Jubilees
in comparison with Genesis, it is possible here to mention only two:
the repetition of the journey, described in Gen 35:16–27, by Jacob to
Hebron to visit Isaac ( Jub. 31:5–30; 33:1), and the insertion of the
blessing by Isaac of Levi and of Judah, as priest and prince respectively,
in the account of the first visit ( Jub. 31:8–20). In both these elements
it seems likely that the author made use of pre-existent traditions, and
Kugel has suggested a plausible explanation for the development of
the first of these, the tradition of the two visits to Isaac, in the need
to explain how Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, came to be at Bethel at
the time of her death (Gen 35:8; cf. Jub. 32:30).57 The author of the
Aramaic Levi Document was well aware both of the repetition of the visit
to Isaac and of the blessing of Levi by Isaac (cf. Bodleian columns a–b,
verses 8–11; 4QLevic 4–6), but he refers to these events so allusively
that if it were not for the narrative in Jubilees we might have difficulty
in understanding the sequence of events. Clearly for the author of the
Aramaic Levi Document the events were given elements in the tradition. In
contrast the Aramaic Levi Document contains at least one vision concerned
with Levi’s elevation to the priesthood (see Bodleian column a, verses
4–7; cf. 4QLevic 1–3),58 whereas Jubilees merely alludes to the tradition
that Levi dreamed that he had been ordained priest ( Jub. 32:1); and
the Aramaic Levi Document contains the lengthy instructions on priestly
matters that were given by Isaac to Levi on the authority of Abraham
(see verses 13–61), whereas Jubilees does not include these instructions
as such. But Jubilees does include, in chapter 21 (see verses 6–20),
similar instructions on priestly matters given by Abraham to Isaac, and
clearly it was part of the tradition that this priestly lore went back to
Abraham (cf. Aramaic Levi Document, verses 22, 50, 57).
In view of the very allusive character of the Aramaic Levi Document
in comparison with Jubilees in relation to the repetition of the journey

56
See the discussion of this material in de Jonge and Tromp, “Jacob’s Son Levi in
the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament and Related Literature” (above, note 18).
57
“Levi’s Elevation to the Priesthood,” 24–27.
58
Unfortunately we do not know what stood in the vision whose beginning is found
in 4QLevib 2 15–18.
perspectives on the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha 269

and the blessing, one might be tempted to conclude with Kugel that
the former was dependent on the latter. But the relationship between
the two writings is perhaps better explained by the common depen-
dence of the two on pre-existent traditions. These traditions may have
been embodied in a now-lost written source, an Apocryphon of Levi, as
Kugler most recently suggests;59 but I am not sure that the existence
of a written source is necessary to explain the relationship between
the two works.
In contrast to the above, there is little doubt that we should think in
terms, not of a traditio-historical, but of a literary relationship between
the Testament of Levi and the Aramaic Levi Document;60 the close correspon-
dence in the structure of the two writings, which is quite clear for the
material in the central section of the Aramaic Levi Document, and, in part,
the close similarity of language make it all but certain that the Testament
was directly dependent on the Aramaic Levi Document or a writing very
similar to it. It is, however, also clear that the author of the Testament
handled his source with considerable freedom, particularly by way of
the omission, compression and addition of material. The existence of
the two Greek fragments of the Aramaic Levi Document suggests that a
Greek translation of this work was in existence, and it is plausible to
think that the Christian author would have used this Greek translation,
although we cannot know how this translation would have compared
overall with the Aramaic Document.61 In this connection comparison of
the wisdom instruction in the Aramaic Levi Document with the correspond-
ing passage in T. Levi 13 is instructive in that in the latter—as Stone
and Greenfield have pointed out—“wisdom” has been replaced by “the
law of God” (cf. Aramaic Levi Document, verses 88b, 89a, 93 with T. Levi
13:2b, 3, 4c). The observation by Stone and Greenfield that this may
be an indication that the Greek translation of the Aramaic Levi Docu-
ment was done by a Jew62 is well made, and indeed T. Levi 13 would
fit naturally into a Jewish wisdom context—as the many parallels that
may be drawn with works such as Ben Sira indicate. But in addition

59
From Patriarch to Priest, 146–55; cf. Pierre Grelot, “Notes sur le Testament araméen de
Lévi,” RB 63 (1956): 402–406.
60
Cf. e.g. Hollander and de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Com-
mentary, 21–25, 129–30; more recently, de Jonge, “Levi in Aramaic Levi and in the
Testament of Levi.”
61
Cf. Hollander and de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Commentary,
23–24; de Jonge, “Levi in Aramaic Levi and in the Testament of Levi.”
62
Stone and Greenfield, DJD 22, 3.
270 chapter fourteen

to a Greek version of the Aramaic Levi Document, it also seems likely that
the author of the Testaments made use of other Jewish traditions, as for
example in chapter 18, although we do not know in what form he had
access to these traditions.
During the past century it has seemed at times as if scholars con-
cerned with the Testament of Levi have believed that the only important
thing was the recovery of some intermediate Jewish Levi text between
the Aramaic Levi Document and the Testament of Levi—as if this might
provide us with reliable Jewish evidence on which to work, or provide
the key to the understanding of the Testament. Kugler’s very recent
attempt to recover from the Testament of Levi what he calls Original Testa-
ment of Levi is only the latest of such enterprises.63 He is aware of the
methodological difficulties inherent in such an undertaking and states
that his “objective is only to gain a sense of Original Testament of Levi’s
broad outline, not of the exact number of words that it contained.”64
But even on this basis, it seems to me that the uncertainties are so great
as to make it very questionable whether such reconstructions have value,
and perhaps the time has come to concentrate on the understanding
of the Testament in the light of what we clearly possess.

63
From Patriarch to Priest, 171–220.
64
From Patriarch to Priest, 178.
CHAPTER FIFTEEN

APOCALYPTIC AND WISDOM IN 4 EZRA

It was, I suppose, Gerhard von Rad who first gave prominence to the
idea that apocalyptic is a form of wisdom. In itself the idea is quite
old; it can be found already in an article on Daniel published by
Hölscher in 1919 and can be traced back even before this.1 However,
in the face of the overwhelming view that apocalyptic is the child of
prophecy it was only with the publication in 1960 of volume 2 of von
Rad’s Theologie des Alten Testaments (where his arguments on the origins
of apocalyptic were first set out) that serious consideration began to
be given to the possibility of a connection between apocalyptic and
wisdom.2 Von Rad has found few followers, although Hans-Peter Müller
has sought to defend von Rad by defining more precisely the kind of
wisdom which, in his view, lies behind apocalyptic; Müller argues that
we must distinguish between educational and mantic wisdom, and
that apocalyptic is a continuation of the latter rather than the former.3
More recently Jürgen Lebram has expressed support for the approach

1
Gustav Hölscher, “Die Entstehung des Buches Daniel”, TSK 92 (1919): 134–8,
cf. 129–30. A link between apocalyptic and wisdom had already been suggested by
Ludwig Noack and Heinrich Ewald; see Johann M. Schmidt, Die jüdische Apokalyptik.
Die Geschichte ihrer Erforschung von den Anfängen bis zu den Textfunden von Qumran, (2d ed.:
Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1976), 13–14, 20–1.
2
Gerhard von Rad, Theologie des Alten Testaments, (2 vols.; Munich: Kaiser, 1960),
2:314–28 (ET of this edition, Old Testament Theology, trans. by D. M. G. Stalker; Edin-
burgh: Oliver & Boyd,1965), 2:301–15). Von Rad made extensive revisions to the
chapter on Daniel and Apocalyptic for the fourth German edition (published 1965).
I have used the fifth edition (1968); see 316–38. Cf. von Rad, Weisheit in Israel, (Neu-
kirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1970), 344–62 (ET, Wisdom in Israel, London: SCM,
1972, 269–82).
3
Hans-Peter Müller, “Mantische Weisheit und Apokalyptik,” VTSup 22 (1972):
268–93. As evidence for his view Müller argues, inter alia, that passages such as Isa
19:11–13; 44:25; 47:13; Jer 50:36; Esther 1:13 (cf. Gen 41:8) indicate that Israel became
more familiar with mantic wisdom in the period after 587 B.C.E.; that the Daniel of
Dan 2; 4; and 5 is a wise man of a mantic type; and that various features of apoca-
lyptic (e.g. its eschatological orientation, its determinism) can be explained more readily
against the background of mantic wisdom than of educational wisdom.
272 chapter fifteen

of von Rad in his article on Old Testament Apocalyptic in Theologische


Realenzyklopädie.4 In general, however, von Rad’s views have met with
rejection, but they have at the same time been sufficiently influential
that it seems useful to begin by saying a little about them.
In the first edition of his Theologie von Rad emphasized, as the basis
of his argument, the contrast which he saw between the prophetic and
apocalyptic attitudes towards history; in his view there was no way which
led from the former to the latter. Thus whereas in prophecy history was
the area in which Israel experienced the savings acts of Yahweh and
accounts of this history have a confessional character, in apocalyptic
history is looked at from the outside, “from a spectator’s point of view”,
and we are presented merely with a lifeless series of events. The essential
thing about this history is not that Yahweh intervenes in it, but that it is
all determined in advance. As such, it can be known in advance, and it
is the link with knowledge—knowledge based on a universal Yahwism
and divorced from the saving history—which provides the clue as to
the matrix of apocalyptic, namely wisdom. Knowledge of this kind is
characteristic of wisdom, while the Praise of the Fathers (Sir 44–50)
provides us with the first example of the history of Israel presented
without reference to the saving history, and merely as a catalogue of
the events concerned.5
These points were repeated by von Rad in the fourth edition of
his Theologie which was issued in 1965; but in that edition von Rad
substantially revised and re-ordered his argument, and a certain shift
of emphasis is discernible. In particular von Rad developed a number
of points which were only lightly touched upon in the first edition, or
ignored altogether, in an apparent attempt to stress the positive links
between apocalyptic and wisdom. Thus von Rad thinks it important
that the apocalyptic seers are called wise men and scribes,6 and he
maintains that the relationship between apocalyptic and wisdom is
evident in the fact that the apocalyptic books are concerned not only
with history, but also with nature.7 He argues that the concept of the
divine determination of the times, which is central in apocalyptic
thought, is a fundamental presupposition of wisdom, and that the

4
Jürgen Lebram, “Apokalyptik/Apokalypsen. II. Altes Testament,” TRE 3 (1978):
192–202.
5
Theologie 2:315–21, 326 (ET, 303–8, 313); cf. Theologie, 5th ed., 2:320–3, 336.
6
See Theologie, 5th ed., 2:317–18.
7
Theologie, 5th ed., 2:318–19.
apocalyptic and wisdom in 4 EZRA 273

understanding of the times (cf. Esther 1:13), i.e. the interpretation


of oracles and dreams, is the task of the wise man—here he draws a
parallel with the Joseph story.8 The occurrence of paranetic material
in the apocalyptic writings, the concern with theodicy, and the use of
a question and answer method as a stylistic device, are also seen as
important links with wisdom.9
There can, I think, be no question that von Rad has made a number
of important observations about the apocalyptic writings, and that he
has drawn attention to features of these writings which had previously
been somewhat neglected. Despite this, there are some major difficulties
in the way of accepting his explanation of the origin of the apocalyptic
writings. Thus many scholars have pointed out that if, as von Rad says,
the links of apocalyptic are with wisdom, then the differences between
wisdom, as we conventionally know it, and apocalyptic are quite remark-
able; in particular the complete lack of concern with eschatology in
the wisdom writings needs to be explained. Klaus Koch illustrates the
problem by pointing to the contrast between the more or less con-
temporary books, Ecclesiasticus and Daniel. Why are there not more
obvious links between the two?10 It may be that we have too narrow
an understanding of the nature of wisdom in the ancient world—and
indeed this is implicit in von Rad’s understanding of apocalyptic as
part of the encyclopaedic concerns of wisdom11—but, if this is so, the
point needs much fuller discussion and justification than it has so far
received.12 von Rad’s statement in the revised edition of his Theologie:
Aber die Annahme bereitet u.E. keine unüberwindlichen Schwierigkeiten,
dass sich die ohnehin nach dem Enzyklopädischen hin tendierende
Weisheit in einer bestimmten, wahrscheinlich späten Phase auch der
Beschäftigung mit den letzten Dingen geöffnet hat und dass dabei auch

8
Theologie, 5th ed., 2:324–6.
9
Theologie, 5th ed., 2:326–7.
10
Klaus Koch, Ratlos vor der Apokalyptik (Gütersloh: Gutersloher Verlagshaus, 1970),
43–4 (ET, The Rediscovery of Apocalyptic (SBT, Second Series, 22; London: SCM, 1972),
45–6). Cf. Philipp Vielhauer in Edgar Hennecke and Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Neutes-
tamentliche Apokryphen (2 vols.; 3d ed.; Tübingen: Mohr, 1964), 2:420 (ET, New Testament
Apocrypha (2 vols.; London: Lutterworth Press, 1965) 2:598).
11
See Theologie, 5th ed., 2:319; cf. Theologie, 1st ed., 2:319 (ET, 306).
12
Müller (VTSup 22 (1972): 280–1) argues that the eschatological orientation of
apocalyptic is readily explicable on the assumption that apocalyptic is a continuation
of mantic, rather than educational, wisdom; see above, note 3.
274 chapter fifteen

die Verarbeitung fremder, vor allem iranischer Wissensstoffe eine Rolle


spielte,13
is merely an indication of the problem, not an answer to it.
It is, however, perhaps more important to observe that it is by no
means clear that von Rad has correctly described the relationship
between the apocalyptic and prophetic understandings of history. For
von Rad one of the essential characteristics of the apocalyptic view of
history is that it is predetermined and therefore capable of being known
in advance, and this is held to provide a contrast with prophecy and a
link with wisdom. But it is a commonplace of prophecy that Yahweh
controls the events of history, while Second Isaiah, as Peter von der
Osten-Sacken has made clear, provides a specific parallel to apocalyptic
with his view that Yahweh not only determines, but also foretells, what
is going to take place.14 It is of course true that the way in which these
deterministic ideas are presented in apocalyptic is quite different from
that of prophecy, but this hardly seems to justify the statement that
there is no way from the prophetic to the apocalyptic view of history.
Certainly recent studies, such as those of von der Osten-Sacken himself,
or of Otto Plöger,15 would suggest that a development can be traced
from the one to the other. On the other hand, there are very consider-
able weaknesses in the suggestion that the determinism of apocalyptic
provides a link with wisdom.16 It is true that deterministic concepts
form an important element in wisdom, and these do have a superficial
similarity with the determinism of apocalyptic. But the determinism
of wisdom is nowhere expressed in relation to history or concerned
with the eschaton, whereas these are the essential characteristics of
determinism in apocalyptic.17

13
Theologie, 5th ed., 2:329; cf. Theologie, 1st ed., 2:320 (ET, 307); von Rad, Weisheit
in Israel, 357–62 (ET, 279–82).
14
Peter von der Osten-Sacken, Die Apokalyptik in ihrem Verhältnis zu Prophetie und Weisheit
(Theologische Existenz heute 157; Munich: Kaiser, 1969), 18–34.
15
Otto Plöger, Theokratie und Eschatologie (WMANT 2; 2d ed.; Neukirchen: Neu-
kirchener Verlag, 1962); see, e.g., 33–6, 38, 112, 126, 127, 131 (ET, Theocracy and
Eschatology, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1968), 22–5, 27, 92, 104, 105, 108). Cf. also Hartmut
Gese, “Anfang und Ende der Apokalyptik dargestellt am Sacharjabuch,” ZTK 70
(1973): 20–49; Ina Willi-Plein, Prophetie am Ende. Untersuchungen zu Sacharja 9–14 (BBB
42; Cologne: Hanstein, 1974), 123–8.
16
Cf. von Rad, Theologie, 5th ed., 2:325; von Rad, Weisheit in Israel, 355–62 (ET,
277–82).
17
Cf. von der Osten-Sacken, Die Apokalyptik, 59.
apocalyptic and wisdom in 4 EZRA 275

I have dwelt at some length on these criticisms which have been


made of von Rad’s work, because in the light of them it seems to
be clear that, starting from the apocalyptic approach to history, the
view that apocalyptic is a form of wisdom is very weak indeed. And
yet there are indications in the apocalypses that the apocalyptic seers
thought of themselves as wise men and their books as wisdom books,
and it seems difficult to regard these merely as secondary features, or to
assume, as von der Osten-Sacken does, that the wisdom characteristics
of apocalyptic belong to a later stage in the development of this genre.18
Von der Osten-Sacken rightly insists that in discussing the origins of
apocalyptic we must start from the earliest example of this genre, which
he takes to be Daniel, and he plausibly demonstrates the connections
between the theological ideas of Daniel and those of later prophecy.19
But it is a fact that the book of Daniel is attached to the name, not of
a prophet, but of an ancient wise man,20 and proper account needs
to be taken of this, as well as of the fact that other early apocalyptic
material, notably 1 En. 1–36, possesses wisdom characteristics.21 More
generally one may wonder whether it is entirely due to chance that
the Jewish apocalyptic writings are by and large not associated with
the names of prophets,22 and whether this casts any light at all on the
apocalyptic authors’ understanding of their role.

18
Von der Osten-Sacken, Die Apokalyptik, 10–11.
19
Von der Osten-Sacken, Die Apokalyptik, 13–52.
20
Cf. Plöger, Theokratie, 38 (ET, 27).
21
Von der Osten-Sacken does not discuss the date of the apocalyptic writings, but
some sections of 1 Enoch are at least contemporary with the latest sections of Daniel
(chs. (7); 8–12) and may well be older. A terminus ad quem for the composition of 1 En.
1–36 in the first half of the second century B.C.E. is provided by the date of 4QEna;
see Józef T. Milik, The Books of Enoch. Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1976), 140.
22
Cf. von Rad, Theologie, 5th ed., 2:318.—Apocalyptic material is associated with
the names of the prophets Isaiah, Elijah, and Zephaniah, but it is not clear that this
is relevant to the present discussion. The apocalyptic sections of the Ascension of Isaiah
are Christian. The fragmentary Apocalypses of Elijah and Zephaniah are Christian in
their present form, and the extent and character of any underlying Jewish material is
unclear. The Jewish Apocalypse of Elijah, extant in rabbinic Hebrew, was dated by its
editor (Moses Buttenwieser) to 260 C.E., but is commonly thought to be later than
this, even though it may contain earlier traditions. For information of these writings
see the relevant sections of Albert-Marie Denis, Introduction aux pseudépigraphes grecs
d’Ancien Testament (SVTP 1; Leiden: Brill, 1970); and James H. Charlesworth (assisted
by P. Dykers), The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research (SBLSCS 7; Missoula, Mont.:
Scholars Press, 1976).
276 chapter fifteen

If it may be accepted that there is still a problem in defining the


relationship between apocalyptic, prophecy and wisdom, the question of
the method of approach needs to be given some consideration. Discus-
sions of the nature of apocalyptic over the past few years, as it seems
to me, have been carried on in rather too general terms and have not
been related sufficiently to what we have in the individual apocalypses.
The very considerable differences between the various writings mean
that whereas it is easy to produce a pattern of ‘apocalyptic’, it is much
harder to relate this pattern to an actual example of the genre. Whatever
one may think of P. D. Hanson’s methods or conclusions in his recent
book, The Dawn of Apocalyptic, one can only agree with his criticisms
of many recent books on apocalyptic when he writes:
That the method we have been describing fails to understand the intrinsic
nature of apocalyptic is seen in the descriptions of apocalyptic given in
the handbooks, descriptions consisting of long lists of random features
gleaned from various apocalyptic works. The picture with which one is
left is not only confusing, it is also misleading, for no given apocalyptic
work comes close to incorporating all the listed features . . . How, by means
of such a list, can one hope to come to an understanding of apocalyptic,
or even to be able to identify a composition as apocalyptic?23
Schmithals’ book, Die Apokalyptik. Einführung und Deutung, although in
many ways very interesting, is perhaps an extreme, but not entirely
unrepresentative, example of this kind of approach; Schmithals discusses
apocalyptic in entirely general terms in the main body of his book, and
only towards the end confronts his discussion of apocalyptic with actual
examples of the literature.24 His approach seems to me to lead to some
rather unsatisfactory conclusions. Hanson himself adopts the method
of tracing the development of a particular theme in the apocalyptic
writings, that of apocalyptic eschatology. So far he has treated only
what he regards as the very beginnings of apocalyptic (Isa 56–66 and
Zech 9–14), and his discussion is concerned only with the emergence
of apocalyptic eschatology. He has, however, outlined his overall view

23
Paul D. Hanson, The Dawn of Apocalyptic, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975), 6–7. See
the review by Peter R. Ackroyd in Interpretation 30 (1976), 412–15. Cf. also Joseph
Blenkinsopp, Prophecy and Canon. A Contribution to the Study of Jewish Origins (University of
Notre Dame Center for the Study of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity 3; Notre
Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977), 113–14.
24
Walter Schmithals, Die Apokalyptik. Einführung und Deutung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, 1973 (ET, The Apocalyptic Movement. Introduction and Interpretation, Nashville:
Abingdon, 1975)).
apocalyptic and wisdom in 4 EZRA 277

of the apocalyptic genre in his articles in the supplementary volume of


The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. It seems to me that what is needed
at present is a series of detailed discussions of the characteristics of the
individual apocalyptic writings. Only when this task has been undertaken
will it perhaps be possible to write about apocalyptic in more general
terms. Thus in what follows I want to make a beginning at looking
at one apocalyptic writing, 4 Ezra (i.e. 2 Esdras 3–14), and to attempt
the one very limited task of considering in what sense, if at all, this
particular work can be described as wisdom or as having characteristics
which associate it with wisdom.25

II

The starting point for an examination of 4 Ezra ought perhaps to be


the last chapter (i.e. ch. 14)26 where Ezra’s role is depicted in a number
of different ways, and where—if anywhere—we are given a hint as
to the sociological setting of apocalyptic literature. At the beginning
of this chapter Ezra is presented to us first of all as a Second Moses.
This is made clear already in verse 1 by the reference to the bush
and the double address to Ezra, for which cf. Exodus 3:4, and then
by the reference to Moses in the opening words of God’s speech (cf.
verses 3–6). Ezra is told to prepare himself to be taken up from among
men (verses 9–18), and more specifically to set his house in order and
instruct the people (verse 13); here (verse 13) it is interesting to observe
that a distinction is made between the lowly among the people and
those that are wise (the phrase mentioning the wise has dropped out
of the Latin, but both the Syriac and the Ethiopic point to the use of
ākām in the Hebrew original.27 In reply Ezra says that he will reprove
the people who were then living, but expresses concern for those who
were to be born afterwards; in view of the fact that the law has been
burned and everyone is ignorant of God’s past dealings and his future
intentions, Ezra asks to be permitted to restore the law (verses 19–22).

25
For the issues discussed in section I of this article see now the author’s essay,
“Prophecy and the Emergence of the Jewish Apocalypses,” in Israel’s Prophetic Tradition.
Essays in Honour of Peter R. Ackroyd (ed. Richard J. Coggins, Anthony Phillips and Michael
A. Knibb; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 155–180.
26
2 Esdras 1–2 and 15–16 are, of course, Christian additions to the Jewish work,
2 Esdras 3–14, which is commonly known as 4 Ezra.
27
I follow the common view that 4 Ezra was composed in Hebrew.
278 chapter fifteen

He is instructed to do this, and spends forty days on the task (verses


23, 42, 44); this latter feature is reminiscent of the forty days that
Moses spent on the mount. We should also note that in verse 26 a
distinction is made, comparable to that of verse 13, between the writ-
ings that are to be made public and the writings that are reserved for
the wise (again the versions point to the use of ākām in the original).
Thus there emerges in this chapter a picture of Ezra as a law-giver, a
Second Moses, and this might suggest that apocalyptic has some links
with law.28 This would correspond to the fact that the law—referred to
in entirely general terms, rather as in Ecclesiasticus—is frequently seen
in 4 Ezra as the divinely given and only means of salvation.
But Ezra is not presented in ch. 14 exclusively as a law-giver. Verses
37–48 describe the way in which Ezra undertook his task of restoring
the law. First of all he has to be inspired to dictate the law to his five
companions, but the means of inspiration, the drinking of a full cup
(verses 38–41), are reminiscent of the means by which Ezekiel was
inspired to prophecy, i.e. by eating a scroll (Ezek 2:8–3:3).29 There are
thus hints here that Ezra is seen as a prophet and of the traditional
understanding of apocalyptic as a successor to prophecy. Correspond-
ing to this is the statement of the people in 12:42 that Ezra alone has
been left of all the prophets.
This, however, is not the final way in which Ezra and his task are
described. The effect of the drinking of the cup is to fill Ezra with
wisdom and understanding, and it is in wisdom terms that 4 Ezra, in
its closing words, describes the apocalyptic writings. With regard to the
ninety-four books written at his dictation Ezra is told (verses 45b–47):
Make public the twenty-four books that you wrote first and let the wor-
thy and the unworthy read them; but keep the seventy that were written
last, in order to give them to the wise (again probably ākām) among
your people. For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of
wisdom, and the river of knowledge.
The twenty-four books are the books of the canonical Old Testament,
while the seventy books are generally seen to be the apocalyptic writ-

28
Cf. the link that is made between prophecy and law in Mal 3:22–4.
29
The parallel is clearly not exact, but Ezek 2:8–3:3 seems to offer the most plausi-
ble background to the drinking of the cup. In any case, the image in 4 Ezra does not
appear to have developed from those passages in the Old Testament in which ‘cup’ is
used in a figurative way as a symbol of judgement (e.g. Isa 51:17, 22) or of blessing
(e.g. Ps 16:5).
apocalyptic and wisdom in 4 EZRA 279

ings.30 So far as the latter are concerned, there are two points that are
of relevance to the present discussion. In the first place, the concluding
words of 4 Ezra, as well as the overall argument of the chapter, make
clear that although the author felt a concern for the general mass of
the people (cf. verses 20–1), he saw the apocalyptic writings, including
no doubt his own work, as quite definitely intended for a select circle,
the wise.31 This idea corresponds to the distinctions made in verses 13
and 26 between the ordinary people and the wise. No doubt the refer-
ences in verses 26 and 46 to the keeping back of the seventy books is
partially intended to explain why the apocalyptic writings, supposedly
written in a much earlier age, had only been made public in the intert-
estamental period, i.e. it is part of the apocalyptic technique. But the
fact that they are nonetheless to be handed over to the wise suggests
that the sociological setting of the apocalypses is to be sought in learned
circles, and more generally it seems to me that the apocalypses are not
popular writings. In the second place, 4 Ezra 14:45b–47 indicates that
the apocalypses were in some sense seen as a form of wisdom, at any
rate they contain wisdom.
Some support for these two points is to be found elsewhere in
4 Ezra, namely in the concluding remarks of the angel after the inter-
pretations of the Vision of the Eagle and the Lion and of the Vision
of the Man from the Sea, 12:37–8 and 13:53b–55. The significance
of these remarks is increased, it seems to me, because of the position
in which they occur, i.e. as descriptive comment on the character of

30
This seems to me more likely than the view that the seventy books are the tradi-
tional law; see, e.g., George F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era. The
Age of the Tannaim, (3 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1927, 1930),
1 (1927): 8n. It may, however, be observed that a clear parallel is drawn between the
revelation given to Moses at Sinai (cf. vss. 4–6) and the revelation of the scriptures to
Ezra, and that in both cases a distinction is made between the writings that are to be
made public and the writings that are to be kept secret. It is significant for the present
discussion that the words that Moses is to keep secret (vs. 6) are probably meant to be
the apocalyptic writings as the description of them in vs. 5 (“the secrets of the times”,
“the end of the times”) indicates. One of the purposes of 4 Ezra 14 appears to have
been an attempt to claim for the apocalyptic writings the same kind of Mosaic author-
ity (explicitly in vss. 4–6, implicitly in vss. 45b–7) as was accorded to the oral law (cf.
Aboth 1, 1). See further my comments in Richard J. Coggins and Michael A. Knibb,
The First and Second Books of Esdras (The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New
English Bible; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 272, 274.
31
Although 4 Ezra uses the term “the wise”, it is not suggested that the character
of this group was identical with that of the group which produced such writings as
Proverbs. For further comments on the character of the group behind 4 Ezra see
below, 287–288.
280 chapter fifteen

the preceding visions. According to 12:37–8 the things that Ezra has
seen are to be written in a book and kept hidden; but they are none-
theless to be taught to the wise. We thus have the same two ideas of
the restriction of apocalyptic to a learned circle and of the link with
wisdom. In 13:53b–55 Ezra is told:
And you alone have been enlightened about this, because you have
forsaken your own ways and have applied yourself to mine, and have
searched out my law; for you have devoted your life to wisdom, and called
understanding32 your mother.
Here Ezra’s concern with wisdom is placed on a par with his concern
for law—an equation reminiscent again of Ecclesiasticus. For the pas-
sage about wisdom Myers refers as parallels to Prov 2:2; 4:5 and to
Prov 7:4 (but wisdom is sister in Proverbs, not mother).33 The point I
want to make here