Emil Schürer.

A history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) online

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" Comp. Bleek, i. 160-166. Lactantius distinguishes the different books
as different Sibyls. When after quoting from one book he makes a quota-
tion from another, he says : alia Sibylla dicit. Among his somewhere
about fifty quotations, extending over Books iii. to viii. of our collection,
only those from the proem preserved in Theophilus and from the third
book, are entitled prophecies of the Erythraean Sibyl. From the proem :
Lact. i. 6. 13-16, 8. 3 ; ii. 12. 19 ; iv. 6. 5. From the third book: Lact.
ii. 16. 1 ( = Slb. iii. 228, 229, ed, FriedHeb) ; iv. 6. 5 ( = Sib. iii. 774) ; iv.
16. 29 ( = Sib. iii. 814-817); vii. 19. 9 (^Sib. iii. 618); vii. 20. 1-2
( = Sib. iii. 741, 742) ; vii. 24. 12 ( = Sih. iii. 787-793). The passage, Lact.
iv. 6. 5, is however the most instructive : Sibylla Erythraea in carminis sui
principio, quod a summo Deo exorsa est, filium Dei ducem et imperatorem
omnium his versibus praedicat: 'xi)t.vroTp6(po'j Kriarnu oarig y'hvKV 'Tcviv^tx,
ecTocai II y-ctzh-Kt, % iiyyiriipcc hut/ vkvtuv STroi'mi (=proem, vers. 5-6). Et
rursus in fine ejusdem carminis: aiirou sZuks ho; Triarol; di/lpxaai yspxtpeiv
(z=Sib. iii. 774, ed. Friedlieb). Et alia Sibylla praecipit hunc oportere
cognosci : ocvtou aov yivuaKi Sioi/, 6iov viou io'jrct, (=:.Si6. viii. 329). Here
then it is plainly said, that the proem belongs to our third book.



284 § 33. THE GRAECO-JEWISH LITERATURE.

(40-30 B.C.), and he has justly found general acquiescence.
So Gfrorer, Liicke, Friedlieb, Hilgenfeld (AjwkaL p. 241),
Eeuss, Larocque (at least for vers. 26-52) and Wittichen.
Only Badt (pp. 54-61) goes as far as 25 B.C., thhiking,
according to a suggestion made by Frankel, that the Xe^aa-
rrjvoi of ver. 63 must mean inhabitants of Sebaste-Samaria.
Alexandre and Ewald indeed ascribe the oracle to a Christian
author of the time of the Antonines (Alexandre), or even of
about A.D. 300 (Ewald). ' Bleek's view is however the best
founded. The piece begins with a cry of woe to the wicked
race, which is full of all crimes. With this is combined the
prophecy, that when Eome rules over Egypt also, then will
begin the judgment and the rule of the Messianic King.
Even this definition of time : " when Rome rules over Egypt
also" (ver. 46 : Avrap iirel 'Poo/xt] koL AlyvTrrov /SacriXevcrei),
points to a period when the rule of Home over Egypt was
something new, therefore to the time of Antony, soon after
40 B.C. The date becomes perfectly clear by the allusion to the
triumvirate of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus (ver. 52: Tpet?
'Pcofirju olKTpfi fioipr} KaTahrjXrjaovTaL), and by the mention of
the widow, under whose hands the world finds itself being
governed by -her and obeying her in all things, i.e. Cleopatra (vers.
75-80). Hence the oracle was written between 40 and 30 B.C.
To go farther down is inadmissible, the end being expected
during the lifetime of Cleopatra. The mention of the Xe/3aa-
T7)vol (ver. 63), on account of which Badt would place the oracle
as late as 25 B.C., may safely be laid to the account of a later
interpolator. It is probable, as Bleek and Liicke suppose, that
the bracketed words in vers. 60-63 should be expunged, —

"H^€t 'yap, OTTorav Oeiov Sia^/jcrerac oS/Myj

Uaaiv iv uvOpcoTTOtacv, [^Arap ra eKaar dyopevao},

"0(J(TaL



Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 29 of 51)