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Merarcliia coelestis is represented as forming the background
of this world's history. The angels, good and evil alike, are
regularly interfering with the course of human affairs, and
inciting men to good and evil actions. We learn that the
angels observed the law in heaven long iDefore it was promul-
gated upon earth. Fot from the very beginning that law
stood inscribed upon the heavenly tablets, and it was only by
degrees that it was copied from these and communicated to
men. It appears moreover that the whole of the divine
teachings had not been openly published to the people of
Israel, many of them having been communicated to the
patriarchs only in secret books which were transmitted by
them to later generations.

ISTot withstanding its many salient features of a characteristic
nature, it is still difficult to say amid what circles the book had
its orifjin. Jellinek regards it as an Essenian work of an anti-
Pharisaic tendency. But although a good many things in it,
such as its highly developed angelology, its secret books, its
doctrine of the continued existence of the soul without any resur-
rection of the body (iii. 24), seem to favour the hypothesis of
an Essenian origin, yet there are others that but the more
decisively preclude such a hypothesis. It says nothing about
those washings and purifications that formed so important a
feature of Essenism. It is true the author strongly repro-
bates the eating of blood, still he by no means expresses his
disapproval of animal sacrifices as was so emphatically done
by the Essenes. Still less are we to think of a Samaritan
origin as Beer is disposed to do, for this hypothesis again is



138 § ;52. THE Palestinian Jewish literature.

precluded by the fact that the author speaks of the garden
of Eden, the mount of the east, Mount Sinai, and Mount
Zion as being "the four places of God upon earth" (ii. 241,
251), and thus excludes Gerizim from the number. Again,
Frankel's view, that the book was written by a Hellenistic
Jew belonging to Egypt, is no less untenable. Eor, as will
be seen immediately, the language in whicli it was originally
composed was not Greek .but Hebrew. There cannot be a
doubt that the greater number of the peculiarities by which
this book is characterized are such as it has in common with
the prevailing Pharisaism of the time. And one might refer
it to this without further ado were it not that several
difficulties stand in the way, such as its opposition to the
mode of reckoning adopted in the Pharisaic calendar (ii. 246),
and its doctrine of a continued existence of the soul apart
from any resurrection (ii. 24). But it would be absolutely
erroneous again if, in consequence of these facts, and because
of the decided prominence given to the tribe of Levi (iii.
39 sq.), we were to suppose that a Sadducee was the author
of our work, for its elaborate angelology and its doctrine of
immortality are of themselves sufficient to render such a
supposition impossible. The truth of the matter would rather
seem to be this, that the author, while of course representing
in all essential respects the standpoint of the dominant Phari-
saism of his time, gives expression to his own personal views
only in connection with one or two particulars here and there
(so also for example Dillmann, Eonsch, Drummond).

That the book had its origin in Palestine is already
evidenced by the fact that it was written originally in Hebrew.
Eor although theEthiopic and the Latin versions have been taken
from the Greek, this does not alter the fact that the original
was composed in Hebrew, as is evident from explicit statements
to this effect made by Jerome. The date of the composition of
our work may be determined, if not within very narrow
limits, yet with an approximate degree of certointy, Eor we
find, on the one hand, that our author undoubtedly makes use



§ 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE. 130

of, nay that he actually quotes the Book of Enoch, Then it
is extremely probable, on the other, that the author of the
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs had our book before him
when he wrote. In addition to this there is the further
circumstance that we nowhere find any reference whatever to
the destruction of Jerusalem ; on the contrary, it is assumed
throughout to be still standing as the central place of worship
(comp. above all, iii. 42, 69). From all this we may venture,
with tolerable probability, to refer the composition of our
work to the first century of our era.



On the various titles of the book, see Eonsch, Das Buck der Jubiliicn, pp.
461-482. Besides those mentioned above, we also find in Syncellus and
Cedreuus the title d-Trox.d.'Kvi^ts Muvaico; (Syncellus, ed. Dindorf, i. 5 and 49;
Cedrenus, ed. Bekker, i. 9).

The Ethiopic and Latin versions are both based upon a Greek text, on the
former of which see Dillmann in Ewald's Jahrhh. iii. 88 sq., and on the
latter, Ronscli, Zeitsclir. fiXr unsscncliaftl. Theol. 1871, pp. 86-89. Idem,
Das Buck der Juhilden, pp. 439-444. But, according to Jerome, we must
assume that the original text was in Hebrew. It may be conjectured that
the Greek version would be prepared only at a comparatively late date, say
in the third century A.D., which would serve to explain how it happened
that the book did not come into use in the Christian Cliurch till the fourth
century a.d.

It is obvious that in our work a liberal use is made of the Book of
Enoch, nay in one passage (Ewald's Jahrhh. ii. 240) it is said of Enoch
that : "He wrote in a book the signs of heaven in the order of their months,
in order that the children of men might know the seasons of the years
according to the order of the various months. . , . He saw in his dream the
past and the future, what was going to happen to the sons of the children
of men in their generations one after another down to the day of judgment.
All this he saw and knew and wrote it down as a testimony, and left it on
the earth as a testimony for all the sons of the children of men and for
their generations." This and all that is said elsewhere regarding Enoch
agrees entirely with the contents of our Book of Enoch. See in general,
Dillmann in Ewald's Jahrhh. iii. 90 sq. Konsch, Das Buck der Juhiluen,
pp. 403-412.

On the allusions to our book in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,
see p. 122. The quotations found in the Fathers and the Byzantine writers
are collected by Fabricius in his Codex pseudepigr. Vet. Te.tt, i. 849-864,
ii. 120 sq. Ronsch, Zeitschr. fiir ivissensch. TJieol. 1871, p. 69 sq. Idem,
Das Buck der Juhilaeii, pp. 250-382.

Didymus Alex., In epist. canonicas enarrationes, ad 1 John iii. 12
(Gallandi, Bihlioth. patr. vi. 300) : Nam et in libro qui lcprogen(sis [I.



140 § 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE.

leptogenesis] appellatur, ita legitur, quia Cain lapide aut ligno percnsserit
Abel (to which quotation Langen has drawn attention in the Banner ThcoL
Litcraturbl. 1874, p. 270).

Epiphanius, Ilacr. xxxix. G: 'n- ^s iv TO(f ' luiSri^^ctiot; sCpt'iKiTxi, rJj x.»i
XsTTTij YivsGit KxT^ovf^iy/;, kxi tx ovoiixtx tuv yv'jxix.Ziv 7oi n Kxii) kxI tou

2vj^ 5J ^ifi'hOi TZSpliX.il X.T.A.

Jerome, Epist. 78 ad Fahiolam, Mansio 18 (Vallarsi, i. 483), speaking of
the name of a place called Ressa (HQl, Num. xxxiii. 21), observes : Hoc
verbum quantum memoria suggerit nusquam alibi in scripturis Sanctis
apud Hebraeos invenisse me novi absque libro npocrypho qui a Graecis
"hiTrrv! id est parva Genesis appellatur; ibi in aedificatione turris pro stadio
ponitur, in quo exercentur pugiles et athletae et cursorura velocitas com-
probatur. Ibid. Mansio 24 (Vallarsi, i. 485), speaking again of the name of
a place called Thare (mn, Num. xxxiii. 27), observes : Hoc eodem vocabulo
et iisdem Uteris scriptum invenio patrem Abraham, qui in supradicto
apocrypho Geneseos voluniine, abactis corvis, qui hominum frumenta
vastabant, abactoris vel depulsoris sortitus est nomen.

In the Dccretum Gclasii we find included among the Apocrypha a work
entitled Liber de Jiliabus Adae Leptogenesis (see Credner, Zvr Gesch. des
Kanons, p. 218. Ronscli, pp. 270 sq., 477 sq.). It may be conjectured that
here we have an erroneous combination of two titles belonging to two
separate works. However, we can see from this as well as from the
circumstance of tbeir being a Latin version of it, that the book was also
knvicn in the We^t. On the indications of its Laving been made use of by
occidental writers, see Rbnsch, pp. 322-382 passim.

Syncellus, ed. Dindorf, i. 5 : u; Iv X£xt>5 (pipirxt Viviift, ijy ku\ Muvaiu;
uvxi (pxil rii>i; ei'7rcKx'kv\piv. i. 7 : Ix t^s Asttt'^j Tti/iotu;. i. lo : t*
Tuu Tii'XTuv Tiviaiug. L 49 : lu tyi '^luvaiac TieyofiiUT] xTroKX'Kvi^ii. i. 183 :
^ "hiTTrii Tivsa'ig ((mtv. i. 185 : ug tv AsttJI Kilrxt Tevsuii. i. 192 : w.;
cpmti' h y^i^T'^ Ykviai;. \, 203 : h "KivrYi Tsviaii (fipirxt.

Cedrenus, ed. Bekker, i. 6 : kx\ xit6 lifig 'hsTTT^g Tiviascig. i. 9 : u; in
TiSvrYi CpipsTXi Tivian, ^v kxI Muaiag ilvxt (fxai rivcg x'XOKot.'kvipiv. i. IG :
ug 'h "hiTir'fl Mauiug Tivsai'g (tnaiv. i. 48 : ag iTrl rft "KiTir^ Kitrxt Vivian.
i. 53: iv T« MTrTfiVii/ian pcshxi. i. 85: iv tyi T^i—rri Tivsaii xurxi.

Zonoras, ed. Finder (given in common ■with the two foregoing in the Bonn
edition of the Corpus scriptorum historiae Bijzantinat), vol. i. p. 18 : tv tv,
"Ktinyt Tivioii.

Glycas, ed. Bekker (also given in the Bonn collection), p. 198 : ij iMynf^u-n
TiiTTryj Yiviaig. P. 206 : i] Zi MvTVi Titnaig "hkyu. P. 39i : ^ Ss 'htyo^.a-j/i
?i£XT5j Tifidi;., oiix. oTS oSiv avyypxCPiltrx kxi ovug, (p>7Zzi/t riiv (pxvipoju fiifbhioiv yiypocu.-
fj.ivct (here follows the quntation Heb. xi. 37). . . . '2oc(pis S' ort oti iv»ptt-
Ootrei; hiyovat TSTrpiaSxi Hacci'xu toii 7rpo(py}Tnv' Kctl iv Tivt ti'7irox,pv



Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 15 of 51)