By Martha Himmelfarb
It is a learn of the traditional Jewish and Christian apocalypses related to ascent into heaven, that have bought little scholarly consciousness compared to apocalypses involved essentially with the tip 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 locations the apocalypses relating to either their biblical antecedents and their context within the Greco-Roman international. Her research emphasizes the emergence of the certainty of heaven as temple within the booklet of the Watchers, the earliest of those apocalypses, and how during which this realizing impacts the depiction of the end result of ascent, the hero's fulfillment of a spot one of the angels, within the ascent apocalypses regularly. It additionally considers where of secrets and techniques of nature and primeval background in those works. eventually, it bargains an interpretation of the pseudepigraphy of the apocalypses and their function.
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Additional info for Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses
68 For the very fact of marriage is defiling to the Watchers, who as spiritual beings should have no such physical needs. Both the Damascus Covenant (col. 5, lines 6-7) and the Psalms of Solomon (8:12 ) claim that defilement with menstrual blood causes pollution of the temple, but in neither text are the sinners said to be priests. Ordinary Jews might pollute the temple if, while themselves defiled, they brought sacrifices for the priests to offer. The charge that the Watchers married improperly echoes accusations against priests of the Second Temple, who come under attack for marriage to foreign women as far back as the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.
As the Testament of Levi makes clear, there is a heavenly dimension to Levi's priestly role: "For you will stand near the Lord and will be his minister and will declare his mysteries to men . 36 In the Testament of Levi priestly investiture follows an ascent to the divine presence for commissioning as priest. In the other apocalypses to be considered, the visionary must first be consecrated as priest in order to be admitted to the heavenly temple in which the divine presence dwells. 2 Enoch It requires a certain amount of daring to approach 2 Enoch.
At least as early as Ezra, the priests of the Second Temple were not without blemish in the eyes of the pious, but nowhere in Ezra or Nehemiah is there a blanket condemnation of priests. , a traditionalist like Joshua b. Elazar b. Sira could sing the praises of a high priest. Simeon the Righteous was righteous in the eyes of the pious. But just at this time priests without any respect for the old ways were coming to prominence; their intrigues, recounted at length at the beginning of 2 Maccabees, provide the background for the revolt.
Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses by Martha Himmelfarb