Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses by Martha Himmelfarb

By Martha Himmelfarb

This can be a examine of the traditional Jewish and Christian apocalypses concerning ascent into heaven, that have bought little scholarly consciousness compared to apocalypses involved essentially with the top of the realm. contemporary advancements just like the book of the Aramaic Enoch fragments from Qumran and curiosity in questions of style within the learn of the apocalypses make this a very applicable time to adopt this research. Martha Himmelfarb areas the apocalypses on the subject of either their biblical antecedents and their context within the Greco-Roman international. Her research emphasizes the emergence of the knowledge of heaven as temple within the publication of the Watchers, the earliest of those apocalypses, and how during which this knowing impacts the depiction of the fruits of ascent, the hero's success of a spot one of the angels, within the ascent apocalypses typically. It additionally considers where of secrets and techniques of nature and primeval heritage in those works. eventually, it deals an interpretation of the pseudepigraphy of the apocalypses and their function.

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The centrality of the understanding of heaven as a temple is made clear by Levi's vision of God, only loosely connected to the description of the heavens in chapter 3. "The gates of heaven" open to reveal "the holy temple (naos) and the Most High upon a throne of glory" (5:1 ). 11 There is no indication in chapter 5 that the heaven in which God sits is the seventh heaven, nor is Levi said to ascend to him. Yet despite the emphasis on heaven as temple and the vision of God himself, Levi betrays no emotion nor even an awareness of protocol.

A much closer parallel to the picture of 1 Enoch 14:20 appears in Dan. 7:9-10: "As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him. . " The shining thrones with wheels that appear in both visions are a sign of their debt to Ezekiel. But the fiery streams do not appear in Ezekiel, although they are similar in visual effect to elements of Ezekiel's vision.

But sacrifice appears in very few descriptions of the heavenly temple. 20 The last of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice from Qumran mentions sacrifices, emphasizing especially their aroma (1 IQShirShabb 8-7, lines 2-3). I shall return to 34 Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses it. Jubilees mentions first the Feast of Weeks celebrated in heaven until the time of Noah (6:18), and then the sacrifices by which the children of Israel observed the festival (6:22), thus suggesting sacrifice in heaven as well.

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