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solely with the object of his being able to ascribe the author-
ship to a Christian, and of reversing the relation in which
our book and ver. 9 of the Epistle of Jude stand to each
other; see in particular, pp. 177, 182); while Volkmar (in
accordance with his well-known predilection for the time of
Barcocheba) thinks the date would be some time in the course
of the year 137-138 A.D. Almost the whole of the critics
just mentioned base their calculation upon the well-nigh
illegible fragments of numbers in chap. vii. But surely one
may fairly question the propriety of trying to found anything
whatever upon lines so mutilated as those are ; and if ive had


DO Other data but tliese to help us to fix the date in question,
we would have nothing for it but to abandon the attempt
altogether. StiU I cannot help thinking that there are two
such data at our disposal (1) Toward the end of chap. vi. it
is plainly stated that the sons of Herod are to reign for a
shorter period (hreviora tempora) than their father. Xow it is
well known that Philip and Antipas reigned longer than
their father ; and one cannot help seeing the embarrassment
to which those words have led in the case of all those critics
who refer the composition of our book to a latish date. They
are capable of being explained solely on the assumption that
the work was written toward the commencement of the reicrn
of the last-mentioned princes. (2) It is as good as univer-
sally admitted that the concluding sentences of chap. vi. refer
to the war of Varus in the year 4 B.C.'' When therefore
chap. vii. goes on to say: Ex quo facto finientur tempora,
surely there can hardly be room for any other inference than
this, that the author wrote subsequent to the war of Varus.
In that case the enigmatical numbers that f.-llow in this same
chapter cannot be supposed to be a continuation of the
narrative, but are to be regarded as a calculation added by
way of supplement after the narrative has been brought down
to the date at which the author was writing. Only, con-
sidering how mutilated those numbers are, every attempt to
explain them must prove a faUure. Consequently the view
of Ewald, Wieseler, Drummond and Dillmann with regard to
the date of the composition of our book is substantiaUy

Some light is thrown upon the author's partij leanings,
partly by chap. vii. and partly by chap. x. The homines,
pestikntiosi against whom he inveighs in chap. vii. are by no
means the Herodian princes (so Hilgenfeld), nor the Sadducees

23 So Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Schmidt- Merx, Wieseler, Dillmann and
others, also Langen, Theol. Literaturhl 1871 , No. 3, Sp. 90 (where he retracts
his previous absolutely untenable reference of the passage to Pompey • see
Judenth. in Pulast. p. 109). o f j >


(so Volkmar, p. 105 ; Geiger, p. 45 sq. ; Lucius, p. 116 sqq.),
nor the Sadducees and Pharisees (so Wieseler, p. 642 sq., wlio
refers vv. 3, 4 to the former and vv. 6-10 to the latter) ; but
the Pharisees and the Pharisees alone, to whom every word is
unmistakably applicable (so Ewald, Gesch. v. 81 ; Schmidt-
Merx, p. 121; Philippi, p. 176). Our author then was
inimical to the Pharisees, though, at the same time, he was
neither an Essene, for as such he would not have jeered, as he
does in chap, vii., at the Pharisaical purifications (Joseph.
Bell. Jud. ii. 8. 10), nor a Sadducee, for, according to chap, x.,
he looks forward with the most fervent longings for the
advent of the kingdom of God, and that too a kingdom
accompanied with outward pomp and circumstance. Wieseler
is perhaps nearest the truth in seeking him among the Zealots
who, notwithstanding their kinship to the Pharisees, had still
an intense dislike to them, because they looked upon them as
being too dogmatic and formal as regards the law and too
undecided with respect to their politics. That the book was
written in Palestine may, to say the least of it, be accepted
as the most obvious and natural supposition. Hilgenfeld and
Hausrath have suggested Eome, without however alleging any
ground for doing so. On the assumption that it was composed
in Palestine, it becomes further probable that it was written
originally in Hebrew or Aramaic. But we are not in a
position positively to assert this. Only this much is certain,
that our old Latin version was taken from the Greek.

Of the legend regarding the death of Moses extensive and varied use has
beea made in Jewish literature. Besides our book there fall to be
mentioned: Pliilo ( T'zVa 37a«'.s), Josephus {Antt.'w. fn.'), Midrash Tanchuma
deharum (translated into German by AViinsche, 1882), and a Midrash which
treats specially of the departure of Moses (^!^^'0 n"l^D3, Petirath Moshe).
This latter has been frequently published in two recensions, among otliers
t)y Gilb. Gaulminus, Paris 1629, with a Latin translation; then this Latin
traaslation was published by itself by John Alb. Fabricius, Hamburg 1714,
iind by Gfrbrer, Prophetae veteres pscudepigraphi, Stuttg. 1840 (see Wolf,
Bihliotheca Hebra^a, ii. 1278 sq., 1395. Zunz, Die gottesdienstlicken
Vortrdge dcr Juden, p. 146. Steinschneider, Catal. librorum Hebraeornm
in BilUoth. Bodl. p. C30 sq.). For one of these two recensions see also


Jellinek, Beth ha-Miilrash, vol. i. 1853. Also a third, which Jellinek
regards as the oldest, in his Beth ha-Midrash, vol. vL 1877. Coinp. in
jreneral on these legends : Bernard's edition of Josephus, note on Antt. iv.
fn. Fahricius, Cod. pseudepigr. Vet. Test. i. 839 sqq. Beer, Lehen Moses
nach Auffassung der jiidischen Sage, Leipzig 1863. Benedetti, Vita e viorte
ili Mose, leggende ehr. tradotte, illustrate e comparate, Pisa 1879 (on
ivhich see Magazin fur die Wissensch. des Judenth. 1881, pp. 57 - 60).
l^eop. v. Ranke, Weltgeschichte, vol. iii. 2nd part (1883), pp. 12-33.

Care must be taken not to confound our Assumptio Mosis with the
Christian Apocalypse of Mosis in Greek which has been edited by Tischen-
dorf {Apocalypses apocryphae, Lips. 1866) ; similarly, from a Milanese
manuscript, by Ceriani, Monumenta sacra et prqfana, v. 1. This work
belongs to the class of Adamic books, for it records the history of the life
and death of Adam as it had been revealed to Moses. On this comp.
Tischendorf, Stud. u. Krit. 1851, p. 432 sqq. Le Hir, Etudes BiUiques
(1869), ii. pp. 110-120. Kbnsch, Das Buch der Juhilaen, p. 470 sqq.
According to Eutlialius and others. Gal. vi. 15 {ovn Tspnou'lj n kaziu
ovTi dxp',fivarict, «AX« x.xir/1 KTtai;) found a 'place in an Apocryphum
Mosis, where, of coimie, it could only have been borrowed from the Epistle
to the Galatians (Euthalius in Zaccagni's Collectanea monumehturum
reterum, 1698, p. 561 = Gallandi, Billioth. Patr. x. 260. Similarly Syncellus,
ed. Dindorf, i. 48, and an anonymous list of the quotations in the New
Testament given in Montfaucon, BiUiotheca Bibliotkecarum, i. 195 =
Diarium Itulicum, p. 212, and in Cotelier, Patr. apost., note on C'o«v<
apost. vi. 16). Now, seeing that Euthalius also makes use of precisely the
same formula of reference (Muvaiu; dTroy-p-Jifov) as in the case of verse 9 of
the Epistle of Jude (Zaccogni, p. 485), we ni.-iy perhaps venture to assume
that he had before him a Christian version of the Assumptio Mosis, in
which Gal. vL 15 had been inserted. Syncellus and the author of the
anonymous list just referred to have clearly drawn upon Euthalius.
Gnostic Books of Moses are mentioned as being in use among the Sethites
by Epiphan. Haer. xxxix. 5. For Apocrypha Musis generally, see Const,
apost. vi. 16. Fabricius, Cod. pseudepigr. Vet. Test. i. 825-849, ii 111-130.
Lticke, Einleitung in die Offenharung Johamm, pp. 232-235. Dillmann,
art. " Pseudepigraphen " in Herzog's Rcal-Enc. 2ud ed. xii. 352 sqq.
(Xos. 4, 18, 26, 29, 35).

Use of the Assumptio Mosis in the Christian Church: Epistle of Jude,
ver. 9. Clement of Alexandria, Adumhral. in epist. Judae (in ZaLns
Supplementum Clementinum, 1884, p. 84) : Hie confirmat assumptionem
Moysi. Other legends in Clement of Alexandria regarding the death and
ascension of Moses, have in all probabQity been borrowed no less from our
writing (Strom, i. 23. 153, vL 15. 132. Comp. Zahu, p. 96 sq.). Origen,
J)e principiis, iii. 2. 1 : Et primo quidem in Genesi serpens Evam seduxisse
describitur, de quo in Adscensione Mosis, cujus libelli meminit in epistola
sua apostolus Judas, Michael archangelus cum diabolo disputans de corpore
Mosis ait a diabolo insjiiratum serpentem causam exstitisse praevaricationis
Adae et Evae. Idem, In Jusuam homil. ii. 1 (ed. Lommatzsch, xi. 22) :
Denique et in libello quodam, licet in canoue nou habeatur, mysterii tamen
DIV. ir. VOL. in. F


hujus figura describitur. Refertnr enim, quia duo Moses videbantur :
unus vivus in spiritu, alius mortuus in corpore. Didynms Alex., In
epist. Judae enarratio (in Gallandi, Biblioth. Patr. vi. 307), finds in Jude,
ver. 9, evidence in favour of the view that even the devil is not evil by
nature or siihstanlialiter, and alleges that the adversarii hujus contempla-
tionis praescribunt praesenti epistolae et Moyseos assumptioui propter euru
locum ubi significatur verbum Archangeli de corpore Moyseos ad diaboluin
factum. Acta Synodi Nicaen. ii. 20 (in Fabricius, i. 844) : 'Ei/ fii^yJu St

x.T.x. For another passage from these same Acts, see p. 74 above.
Evodii epist. ad Augustin. (Augustin. epist. cclix. in Fabricius, i. 845 eq.) :
Quanquam et in apocryphis et in secretis ipsius Moysi, quae scriptura caret
auctoritate, tunc cum ascenderet in montera ut moreretur vi corporis,
efficitur ut aliud esset quod terrae mandaretur, aliud quod angelo comitanti
sociaretur. Sed non satis urget me apocryphorum praeferre sententiam
illis Buperioribus rebus definitis. For additional passages, and chiLfly from
Greek scholia, see Ronsch, Zeitschr. fiir wissenschafll. Theol. 1869, pp.
216-220. HUgenfeld, CUmentis Romani epist. 2nd ed. pp. 127-129. In
the lists of the apocryphal books we find a AictdtiKm 'Muvaeu; and au
^AvkXyi-^i; "Muvaiu; (the one immediately after the other in the stichometry
of Nicephorus, and in the " Synopsis Athanasii" as given in Credner's Ziir
Geschichte des Kanon.

Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 9 of 51)