Apocalyptic Literature

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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Apocalyptic Literature

i. Name and Nature.

ii. Origin and History.

iii. The Apocalypses.

1. The Ethiopic Enoch.

2. The Slavonic Enoch.

3. The Sibylline Oracles.

4. The Assumption of Moses.

5. Fourth Esdras.

6. The Syriac Baruch.

7. The Greek Baruch.

8. The Psalter of Solomon.

9. The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs.

10. The Book of Jubilees.

11. The Ascension of Isaiah.

12. The Histories of Adam and Eve.

13. The Apocalypse of Abraham.

14. The Apocalypse of Elias.

15. The Apocalypse of Zephaniah.

16. Anonymous Apocalypse.

17. The Prayer of Joseph.

18. The Book of Eldad and Modad.

iv. General Characteristics.

1. The Vision Form.

2. Dualism.

3. Symbolism.

4. Angelology.

5. The Unknown as subject-matter.

6. Pseudonymity.

7. Optimism.

v. Theological Ideas.

1. The Doctrine of the two aeons.

2. The Impending Crisis.

3. The Conception of God.

4. Complex Cosmology.

5. Arch-enemy of God.

6. Doctrine of Man.

7. Doctrine of Sin.

8. The coming Messiah.

9. The Resurrection.

10. The Judgment.

11. Punishment of the Wicked.

12. The Reward of the Righteous.

13. The Renovation of the World.

14. Predestination.

vi. Contact with the New Testament.

1. Apocalyptic Forms in the New Testament.

2. Current Phraseology: Son of Man, etc.

3. Quotations.

4. Influence of Ideas.

5. Treatment of Common Questions.


i. Name and Nature.—The term ‘apocalypse’ (ἀποκάλυψις from ἀποκαλύπτω, to uncover ) signifies in the first place the act of uncovering, and thus bringing into sight that which was before unseen, hence ‘revelation.’ It is predominantly a NT word. It occurs rather rarely in extra-biblical Greek, is used only once in the canonical portion of the LXX Septuagint ( 1 Samuel 20:30), and thrice in Sirach ( Sirach 11:27;  Sirach 22:22;  Sirach 42:1 [ Sirach 41:23]). In the NT it is used to designate the disclosing or communicating of knowledge by direct Divine act. The gospel is an apocalypse to the nations ( Luke 2:32,  Romans 16:25-26). St. Paul received it as an apocalypse ( Galatians 1:12). The manifestation of Jesus Christ in glory is an apocalypse ( Galatians 2:2,  2 Corinthians 12:1-7,  2 Thessalonians 1:7;  1 Peter 1:7;  1 Peter 1:13;  1 Peter 4:13).

An apocalypse is thus primarily the act of revelation; in the second place it is the subject-matter revealed; and in the third place a book or literary production which gives an account of revelation, whether real or alleged ( e.g. ‘The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine’). As a matter of history, the form in which the revelation purports to come is of the utmost importance in determining the question whether a writing should be called an apocalypse or not. In general, the form is like the drawing of the veil from before a picture, the result of which action presents to the eye a definite image. All imparting of Divine truth is revelation; but it is not all given in the apocalyptic form, i.e. it does not all come in grand imagery, as if portrayed on canvas or enacted in scenic representation. Some revelations come in sub-conscious convictions. Those who receive them do not feel called upon to give an account of the way in which they have received them. In fact they seem ignorant of the method of communication; they only know that they have received knowledge not previously possessed. Apocalypse and revelation thus, though primarily the same thing, come to be distinguished from each other.

The term ‘apocalypse’ is also sometimes used, with an effort at greater precision, to designate the pietorial portraiture of the future as foreshadowed by the seer. When so employed it becomes appropriate only as the title of certain passages in books otherwise not to be called apocalypses (so Bousset in Herzog-Hauek, PR E [Note: RE Real-Encyklopädie fur protest. Theologic und Kirche.] , s.v. , who enumerates the following passages:  Daniel 2:7-12; Ethiopic En 85–91, 37–71; Ps-Sol 2, 17, 18; the Assumption of Moses; Slav. En.; 4 Ezra; Syriac Bar.; Sibyl. Orac. iii. 286 to the end, iii. 36–92, iv., the Jewish source of i. and ii.; also certain sections of the Apocalypse, Apocalyptic John and  2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Matthew 24 with parallels).

To constitute a writing an apocalypse, it is not necessary that the author should have actually seen or experienced what he portrays. It is enough that he write as one who has had a vision and is describing it. Thus apocalypse becomes a form of literature precisely in the same manner as an epistle. Strictly an epistle is simply a letter from one person, or many persons, to another, or others. But, as a matter of usage, it has often been adopted as a form into which men have chosen to cast their thoughts for the public. The same is true of the dialogue, of fiction, and many other species of literature. Such forms become favourites in certain ages, usually after some outstanding character has made successful use of them. The dialogue became fashionable when Plato made it such a telling medium for the teaching of his philosophical system. The epistle was used by Horace, and later by Seneca. The apocalypse form appears as a favourite about the beginning of the 2nd cent. b.c. The most illustrious specimen, and perhaps the prototype of later apocalyptic literature, is the Book of Daniel.

ii. Origin and History.—The question has been mooted as to the earlier antecedents of the apocalyptic form. Its ultimate source has been traced variously to Egypt, Greece, Babylonia, and Persia. In view of the fact, however, that the Hebrew prophets frequently incorporate visions into their writings (Isaiah 6,  Jeremiah 24:1-3,  Ezekiel 1:27, Isaiah 24-27), it is scarcely necessary to go outside of Israel to search for its origins. Nevertheless, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks had their apocalyptics. And it would be a mistake to ignore the influence especially of Persian forms during the period of the formation of Jewish apocalyptics. This was the very period when Jewish forms came most directly into touch with Persian. In any case, much of the material of the Jewish apocalypse has been adopted and naturalized from Persia (cf. Bousset, Die Jud. Apokalyptik , 1903; Gunkel, Schopfung u. Chaos , 1895). Apocalyptic literature in general begins before Christ. Soon after the Christian era it develops into the two naturally distinct forms of Christian and neo-Hebraic. Hence we may distinguish three classes of apocalypses:—(1) The earlier Jewish ones, or those which were published from b.c. 200 to a.d. 100. Within this class, however, may be included also such writings as proceed from Jewish sources purely, though not written until half a century, more or less, later than the last limit of the period. (2) Christian apocalypses, including the canonical book known as the Apocalypse (Revelation of St. John), and a series of apocryphal imitations. These are mostly pseudonymous, but include an occasional work in which the author does not conceal his name behind that of an apostle or older prophet ( The Shepherd of Hermas ). Apocalypses of this class pass into Patristics and culminate in Dante’s immortal Commedia . (3) The neo-Hebraie apocalypses, beginning with the predominance of the Talmud (especially the Babylonian) and including a series of revelations to the great Rabbis ( The Revelation of R. Joshua b. Levi, The Alphabets of R. Akiba, The Hebrew Elijah Apocalypse, The Apocalypse of Zerubbabel, The Wars of King Messiah, The Revelations of R. Simon b. Yohai, The Prayer of R. Simon b. Yohai , and the Persian Apocalypse of Daniel ).

It would be somewhat beside the purpose of this article to do more than sketch the first of these three classes of apocalypses. On the other hand, as Christ emerged in history at a definite period and in a definite environment, and as in this environment nothing is more conspicuous and potent than the early Jewish apocalyptic literature, the importance of this literature cannot be overestimated. A flood of light is shed by the form and content of these writings upon His life, teaching, and work. Happily, considerable attention has been given in recent years to this as a field of investigation, and some definite results may be registered.

iii. The Apocalypses.—Of the earlier Jewish apocalypse, the canonical Daniel forms the prototype. The proper place, however, for a particular treatment of Daniel is conventionally the sphere of Old Testament Introduction (see art. ‘Daniel’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible vol. i.). Our list will begin with the Books of Enoch.

1. The Ethiopic Enoch. —The adjective ‘Ethiopic’ has been attached to the title of this work because of another Book of Enoch discovered in a Slavonic version. Outside the canonical Daniel, this is the best known of the apocalypses, because of the quotation from it in  Judges 1:14 f. Tertullian knows it, believes in its genuineness, and attempts to account for its transmission through and survival under the vicissitudes of the Flood. It appears to have been neglected, however, through the Middle Ages, and lost until 1773, when two MS copies of an Ethiopic version of it were brought from Abyssinia by J. Bruce. A translation of one of these was made by Lawrence, and published in 1821. But its full importance and significance came to be realized only with Dillmann’s critical edition of the Ethiopic text in 1851, which was followed in 1853 by a thorough German translation and commentary. A portion of the Greek text was discovered in 1886–7, and edited by H. B. Swete.

Contents .—As it stands to-day, the Book of Enoch can be subdivided into five main parts with an introduction and a conclusion, as follows: Introductory Discourse , in which the author announces his parable, and formally asks attention to the important matters which he is about to divulge (1–5).

( a ) The first section is concerned with Angelology (6–36), beginning with the report of the fall of two hundred angels who were enticed by the beauty of the daughters of men, and left heaven in order to take them for wives. Out of these unions sprang giants 3000 cubits in height. The fallen angels, moreover, taught men all manner of secrets whereby they were led into sin. When the giants had consumed all the possessions of men, they turned against the men themselves and smote them until their cry went up to heaven. Ringleaders of the angels are Azazel and Semjâzâ (6–9). Through the intercession of the four archangels, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel, God is moved to arrest bloodshed upon earth. He sends Uriel to Noah to tell him that He has determined to destroy the world. He commands Raphael to bind Azazel and throw him into a pit in the wilderness, where he shall remain until the day of the great judgment, and then be cast into the fire. He commands Gabriel to rouse the giants against each other; and, finally, he commands Michael to announce to Semjâzâ the sentence of punishment, which is, that the fallen angels shall be kept enchained and imprisoned under the hills of the earth, waiting the last judgment, when they shall be cast into the fire (10). After the destruction of all impiety upon earth, the righteous shall flourish and live long, the earth shall yield abundantly, all people shall pray to God, and all evil shall be banished from the earth (11). The sentence upon the fallen angels is communicated to Enoch (12), and he reveals it to them; but, at their urgent request, he composes a petition on their behalf, that they might obtain forgiveness; while rehearsing this, preparatory to presenting it, he falls asleep and is informed in a dream that their request for forgiveness will not be granted, and once more makes known to the angels their impending doom (13–16). Enoch tells of a journey in which he learned of the places where thunders and lightnings originate, and saw the stream of Hades, the corner-stone and the pillars of the world, the seven mountains of precious stones, and the places of punishment of the disobedient angels, i.e. the stars (17–19). He gives the names and functions of the six (seven) archangels (20). He once more visits the place of punishment of the condemned angels, and the nether world (21), consisting of four parts (22). He travels to the West (23–25). From there he returns to the city of Jerusalem, which is the centre of the earth (26, 27); then he travels to the East (28–33), to the North (34, 35), and, lastly, to the South (36).

( b ) The second section is Christological , and consists of chs. 37–71, subdivided into three Similitudes. A short introductory discourse (37) is followed by the first Similitude , including chs. 38–44. The appearance of the Messiah, the righteous One, brings an end of sinners upon earth (38). Enoch is carried by storm-clouds to the end of heaven, and there beholds the pre-existing Kingdom of God, the dwellings of the righteous and the elect, and of angels and archangels (39, 40). He then sees the weighing of men’s actions in the balance, the rejection of sinners, the places prepared for the righteous, and certain physical mysteries (lightnings, thunders, winds, hail, mist, clouds, sun and moon, 41), also the place of Wisdom in heaven (42), and, finally, some more physical mysteries (43, 44). The second Similitude includes chs. 45–57. It begins with the Messianic Judgment (45). Enoch sees the Son of Man beside the Head of Days (46). An angel explains the vision (47, the Son of Man will overthrow and judge the kings and mighty ones of the ungodly). The task of the pre-existing Son of Man is outlined (48, 49), and the happy consequences of the judgment for the pious, together with the punishments of the wicked, and the resurrection of those who have died in righteousness (50, 51). In a vision of six mountains of metal which pass away, the destruction of the heathen world by the Messiah is portrayed. The heathen world endeavours through offerings to propitiate God, but fails. The angels of punishment go forth to do their work. The synagogue service may now be carried on unhindered (52–54:6). An account of the coming flood and its occasion is inserted (54:7–55:2), and is followed by the final assault of the heathen world-power (55:3–56) and the return of the dispersed Jews (57). The third Similitude comprises chs. 58–69, to which chs. 70 and 71 are added by way of an appendix. It begins with the picture of the blessedness of the righteous in heaven (58); an account of the mystery of lightning and thunder follows (59). A vision of Noah, an account of Leviathan and Behemoth, and various nature-elements which take part in the Flood are then given (60). The judgment of the Son of Man over the angels in heaven, and the sentence of kings by Him, followed by vain pleas on their part for mercy, are given next (61–64). Then comes the revelation to Noah of the fall of the angels, the Flood, his own preservation, the punishment of the angels, and the judgment of men by the Son of Man (65–69). Enoch’s translation to Paradise, his ascension to heaven, and his acceptance by the Son of Man, are then given in the appendix (70, 71).

( c ) The third section is Cosmological , and consists of chs. 72–82. It has been called the ‘Book of the Luminaries of Heaven.’ It contains a revelation given by the angel Uriel on all sorts of astronomical and geographical matters, among others on the convulsions that will occur during the period of the wicked upon earth. The course of the sun is first described (72), next the course of the moon (73, 74); untoward days (75); the winds (76); the four quarters of heaven (77); further details regarding the rising and setting of the sun (78, 79), changes in the order of things to come in the last Jays (80), and the return of Enoch to the earth; and the committal of these matters to Methusaleh (81, 82).

( d ) The fourth section is a Historical forecast . Enoch narrates to his son Methusaleh two visions which he saw before he had taken a wife to himself. The first of these (83, 84) came to him as he was learning to write. It placed before his eyes the picture of the Deluge. The second vision (85–90) unfolded before him the whole history of Israel from the creation of man to the end of time. The children of Israel appeared in this vision in the forms of the clean animals (bulls, sheep, lambs, and goats). Their enemies were in the form of dogs, foxes, swine, and all manner of birds of prey. In the conflict between the clean and unclean, the struggle of Israel against her enemies was portrayed. The chosen people were delivered into the hands of lions, tigers, wolves, and jackals (the Assyrians and Babylonians); then they were put under the care of seventy shepherds (angels). (From this fact this section of the book takes the title of ‘Vision of the Seventy Shepherds’). The shepherds allowed more of the faithful to perish than was the will of God, but at the critical moment there appeared a white lamb in their midst and entered into a fierce combat with the birds of prey, while a heavenly being gave him assistance. Then the Lord Himself burst forth from heaven, the enemies of Israel were overthrown and exterminated, the judgment ensued, and the universal restoration; and the Messiah was born as a white bull.

( e ) The fifth section (91–105) is a Book of Exhortations . Enoch commands his son Methusaleh to summon to his side all his other sons, and when they have come he delivers to them an address on righteousness, which is especially designed to instruct the righteous of all ages (91:1–11). In this first discourse is inserted the prediction of the Ten Weeks (91:12–17, 93). The remainder of the book (92, 94, 105) is taken up with final encouragements and messages of hope.

The conclusion of the whole Book of Enoch (106–108) contains an account of the marvels destined to accompany the birth of Noah (106, 107), and a new description of the fiery tribulations reserved for the wicked and of the blessings that await those who ‘loved eternal heaven better than their own lives’ (108).

Literary features .—Thus far the Book of Enoch has been treated as it is extant. A closer inspection reveals the fact that it is composite. Criticism is still in a considerable state of flux as to the correct analysis of it. Charles believes it to consist of five primary documents. Clemen finds in it seven separate Enoch traditions or legends worked together by a redactor. The weight of probability, however, is rather in favour of three primitive documents: (1) A Book of Enoch, consisting of chs. 1–36 and 72–105; (2) A Book of Similitudes, including chs. 36–71; and (3) a Noachic document, broken up and inserted in various parts within the preceding two. The work of redaction appears to have been done after the two primary documents had undergone some modification, possibly accidental. The redactor used the lost Apocalypse of Noah, alluded to in Jubilees (10:13, 21:10), supplementing what he deemed to he lacunae. The passages inserted from the Book of Noah are the following: 54:7–55:2, 60, 65:1–69:25, and 106, 107. To these some would add several other passages.

The date of the first of these documents is the first quarter of the 2nd cent. b.c. (200 to 175); that of the Book of Similitudes offers an as yet unsolved problem whose difficulty is somewhat enhanced by the importance of the issue involved, i.e. the relation the hook sustains to the NT. The fact that this relation is undoubted and intimate has quickened interest and led to the perception of slight considerations otherwise easily left out of view. The weight of these considerations is, moreover, so well balanced that criticism seems unable to reach a general consensus on the subject. The views that divide the field are (1) that the book was composed in the Maccabaean period (Ewald, b.c. 144); (2) that it was produced between b.c. 95 and 64 (Dillmann, Sieffert, Charles); (3) that it was written during the days of Herod (Lücke, Hausrath, Lipsius, Schodde, Schurer, Baldensperger, Beer); (4) that it is a product of the 2nd cent, and written by a Christian who has used an older Jewish apocalypse as a basis (Hoffmann, Weisse, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Tideman); (5) that though a Jewish apocalypse and possibly written before the beginning of the Christian era, it was interpolated by a Christian through the insertion of the ‘Son of Man’ passages (Drummond, Stalker). That the book should have been composed as a Jewish apocalypse and as such adopted the Messianic title ‘Son of Man’ from the Christian Gospels, is not to be thought of. That it should have been originally a Jewish apocalypse and modified by a Christian, either with a free hand or by the mechanical interpolation of the ‘Son of Man’ passages, is credible. But a more natural hypothesis is that it was a pre-Christian work, inclusive of the ‘Son of Man’ passages.

It has been demonstrated by Baldensperger and Dalman that the title ‘Son of Wan’ occurs in Jewish rabbinical writings as the name of the Messiah ( Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , p. 90; Words of Jesus , p. 234 f.); and there is therefore nothing in the occurrence of this phrase to lead to its being considered due to a Christian author. Upon the whole it is probable that the hook was produced in the 1st cent. s.c. The redaction is difficult to locate with precision and may be post-Christian.

The originals of the book were undoubtedly Semitic (Hebrew or Aramaic). The fragment of the Greek version recently discovered shows clear evidences of being the translation of a Semitic original (the case is argued conclusively by Charles, Book of Enoch , pp. 21, 22, 325, and Halévy, Journal Asiat . 1887, pp. 352–395).

Editions .—(1) Ethiopic Text: Lawrence (1838), Dillmann (1851), Flemming ( Texte u. Untersuch. , Neue Folge, vii. 1, 1902). (2) Greek Fragments: Bouriant (1892), Lods (1892). Charles (1893), Swete (1897).

(3) Translations .—English: Lawrence (partial, 1821), Schodde (1882), Charles (1893).—German: Hoffmann (1833–1838), Dillmann (1853), Flemming and Radermacher (1901).—French: Lods (the Greek Fragments only, 1892).

Literature.—(See Charles, Book of Enoch , pp. 9–21); Lücke, Einl. in d. Offenb. Johan. (1852); Ewald, Abhandl. ub. d. Ethiopic B. Henoch (1855); Hoffmann, ‘Ub. d. Entstehungszeit d. B. Henoch’ in ZDM G [Note: DMG Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft.] , 1852, pp. 87–91; Kostlin, ‘Ub. d. Entstehung d. B. Henoch’ in Theol. Jahrb . 1856, pp. 240–279, 370–386; Gebhardt, ‘Die 70 Hirten d. B. Henoch’ in Merx’ Archiv , vol. ii. 1872, pp. 163–246; Wieseler, ‘Zur Abfassungszeit d. B. Henoch’ in ZDM G [Note: DMG Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft.] , 1882, pp. 185–195; Lawlor in Journ. of Philol . 1897, pp. 164–225; Clemen, ‘Die Zusammensetzung d. B. Henoch, etc.’ in S K [Note: K Studien und Kritiken.] , 1898, pp. 210–227; Stalker, The Christology of Jesus , 1899, App. B, pp. 269–294.

2. The Slavonic Enoch. —This is one of the most recent additions to our group of apocalypses. Its existence was not indeed suspected before its discovery. But this was due to the fact that a number of books were attributed to Enoch. In this very work Enoch is said to have written 366; cf. 23:6, 68:1. And because some of those were extant in the Ethiopic book no one thought of seeking for more. Nevertheless, it was no source of surprise when it was announced that a new Enoch had been found. This came first as an intimation that a copy of a Slavonic version of the Ethiopic Enoch was in existence (Kozak in Jahrb. f. Prot. Theol. 1892). Prof. Charles started to investigate the matter, and with the assistance of Mr. Morfill procured and examined printed copies of the Slavonic text in question. The result was the publication of the altogether independent and hitherto unknown pseudepigraph (1896). Prof. Charles’ title for the book is The Book of the Secrets of Enoch , but it is likely to be known in the future by the more convenient title, The Slavonic Enoch ,* [Note: Bousset quotes these two works as I and II Enoch respectively (Die Religion des Judenthums, 1903).] which distinguishes it from the better known and older Ethiopic work.

Contents .—The book may be divided into three parts, viz. (1) The Ascension of Enoch and his travels in the Seven Heavens (1–38). (2) The Return and Instructions to his children (39–56). (3) Second Series of Instructions, including in his audience an assemblage of 2000 people, and final assumption (57–68).

( a ) Chs. 1–38. The book opens with a short prologue, introducing the personality of Enoch, and giving the time and place of a dream he saw (1). Enoch then warns his children of his impending absence from them for a time (2); he is taken by two angels up to the first heaven (3), where he sees 200 angels who guard the treasuries of the snow, the dew, and the oil (4–6). He is next taken up into the second heaven, and beholds and converses with the fallen angels (7). In the third heaven, the paradise prepared for the righteous (8, 9), he is led to the northern region, where he sees the places of torture (10). From thence he is taken up into the fourth heaven, the habitation of the sun and moon, and there sees the phœnixes and chalkadris ( chalkydries ), mysterious composite beings with heads of crocodiles and bodies of serpents (11, 12). In the eastern portion of the fourth heaven he comes to the gates of the sun (13); thence he is led to the western regions, and hears a song by the phœnixes and chalkydries (14, 15). He is then taken to the eastern course, and hears indescribable music by angels (16, 17). Here his visit to the fourth heaven ends; he is carried to the fifth heaven, where he sees the Grigori or Watchers (18). In the sixth heaven he delays only a short time, and thence passes to the seventh 19, 20), where the Lord is seated on a high throne. Here the ministering angels who have brought him take their departure; Enoch falls down and worships the Lord; he is stripped of his earthly clothing, anointed, and robed in suitable apparel; he is given over to Vretil, the archangel (patron of literature), to be instructed (21, 22). Under the guidance of this archangel he writes 366 books (23) He returns into the presence of the Lord, and holds direct converse with Him, learning the secrets of creation (24–29:2), and of the formation of 10,000 angels and the fall of Satanail (29:3–5); also of the creation of man, i.e. Adam and Eve (30), his being placed in paradise, his fall and judgment (31, 32). God then declares His purposes for the future (33, 34), and sends him back to the earth to stay thirty days longer and teach his children the true knowledge of God (35–38).

( b ) Chs. 39–56. Enoch now begins his admonitions and instructions to his children (39); he tells of the manner in which he was given his visions, and of how he wrote them down (40); of how he wept for the sins of Adam (41); of his visit to the gates of hell, and the impression produced upon him (42); of the judgment of the Lord (43); of the duty of charity (44); of the superiority of a contrite and broken heart to sacrifice as a means of pleasing God (45); of God’s love of purity in heart and His rejection of the sacrifices of the impure (46); and commends his writing to them as a permanent means of knowing God’s will (47, 48). He further instructs them not to swear by heaven or the earth, and deprecates vengeance (49, 50); he urges them to be generous to the poor, not to hoard up treasures on earth (51), to praise God, and to be at peace with men (52). He enjoins them not to trust in his own intercession with God, but to give heed to his writings and be wise (53); and closes his address with an exhortation to circulate his writings, announcing at the same time that the hour for his ascension to heaven has come (54, 55).

( c ) Chs. 56–67. The second series of Exhortations opens with a request by Methosalem for a blessing over the houses and children of Enoch (56); Enoch asks Methosalem to call his brothers together (57), and gives them his instructions (58), especially that they should not eat the flesh of cattle (59), nor kill any man through ‘net,’ ‘weapon,’ or ‘tongue’ (60); but practise righteousness, and trust in repentance for the future (61, 62), and not despise the humble and thus incur God’s curse (63). At this point God calls Enoch with a loud voice, and 2000 persons come together to give him their greetings (64); he delivers his final exhortations to them, which are to the effect that they should fear and serve the Lord (65, 66). A thick darkness covers the earth, and while it lasts Enoch is taken up, but no one knows how (67). The book concludes with a summary of Enoch’s life and work, and an account of Methosalem’s building an altar upon the spot where his father was last seen before his ascension.

Literary questions .—The author of the work was an Alexandrian Jew. This is made clear by the affinities of his style and thought with those of Philo, his use of the LXX Septuagint, his portraiture of phœnixes and chalkadris (chalkydries), and his syncretistic cosmogony. The date of composition cannot be later than a.d. 70. The temple was evidently still standing, and sacrifice was offered (59:2). But the Ethiopic Enoch was also in existence (40:5–9, cf. also 43:2, 3, 52:8, 61:2, 4).

The original language was undoubtedly Greek. This is proved by the explanation of the name Adam, which is made upon the basis of the Greek form ΑΔΑΜ, each letter representing one of the cardinal points of the compass (Ανατολη, Δυσις, Αρκτος, Μεσημβρια ) The book was known and used by Barnabas, by the author of the Ascension of Isaiah , by the author of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs , by some of the many Sibyls, and by Irenaeus.

Editions .—The Slavonic text has been published from different manuscripts, varying more or less from one another, and not as yet fully collated (Popoff, 1880).

Translations .—English: Charles and Morfill, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch , 1896.—German: Bonwetsch, ‘Das Slavische Henochhuch’ in Abhandl. d. Gott. Ges. d. Wiss. (Phil. [Note: Philistine.] -hist. Klasse, Neue Folg. 1–3, 1896).

Literature.—Harnack, Gesch. d. Altchrist. Lift. ii. 1, 1897, p. 564; Charles in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, 1898; Volz, Jud. Eschatologie , 1903, pp. 29, 30.

3. The Sibylline Oracles. —The name ‘sibyl’ is of uncertain derivation. Even the spelling of the word varies in the earliest period. It is, however, a very ancient one, and occurs as early as in the works of Heraclitus. By the Romans a number (ten) of sibyls were distinguished. The one of Erythrae in Ionia is reckoned the oldest. The sibyl of Cumae (Kyme) became the most famous. Large collections of verses were circulated under her name during the latter years of the commonwealth and the early empire. Sibylline verses became common in Egypt, and there arose a so-called Jewish sibyl simultaneously with the appearance of the spirit of proselytism among the Jews. Finally, a Christian sibyl came into existence in succession to and imitation of the Jewish one. The productions of the Jewish and Christian sibyls are for the most part blended into one body. They constitute a compilation of hexameters in twelve Books, besides some fragments. Each of these is evidently independent of the others, and may have circulated separately.

Contents .—Book I. opens with an account of the Creation, based upon Genesis. This is followed by the story of the Fall, the multiplication of mankind, the appearance of four successive races down to the days of the giants, the story of Noah and the Flood, a sixth race and the Titans, from whom the transition is made to Christ, and the dispersion of the Jews.—Book II. predicts a time of plagues and wickedness, which is succeeded by the tenth race (the Romans), and a period of peace. After an interpolation of a group of proverbs, the woes of the last generations are portrayed, and the events of the last day of judgment and resurrection are foretold. Then follows a picture of the punishment of the wicked and the blessedness of the righteous.—Book III. extols the unity and power of God, denounces idolatry, proclaims the coming of the Great King, and of his opponent Beliar, foreshadows the reign of a woman (Cleopatra), and the subjection of the world to Christ. At this point the sibyl returns to the origin of man, and beginning with the Tower of Babel recounts the story as given in the OT down to Roman days. She foretells the doom of Rome, and of many Asiatic cities, as well as of the islands of the aegean. A general judgment and millennium (Messianic Day) closes the book.—Book IV. declares the blessedness of the righteous, sketches successively the Assyrian and Medo-Persian dominations, announcing the Greek conquest, which will bring woes on Phrygia, Asia, and Egypt; one great king, especially will cause calamities to fall on Sicily and Greece. After the Macedonian will come a Roman conquest. The impious will suffer many evils, and a general resurrection, judgment and retribution will follow.—Book V. opens with a prophecy of the reign of the Roman emperors; it then passes in review the calamities impending on Egypt and Asia Minor; it breaks out into a felicitation of the Jews and Judaea, and of the heavenly Joshua, and once more returns to further details of judgment, such as the destruction of Serapis, Isis, and the Ethiopians.—Book VI. describes the pre-existence, incarnation, and baptism of the Son of God, His teaching and miracles, the miseries in store for the guilty land, and the glories of the Cross.—Book VII. is an account of the woes impending upon various lands and cities of Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt, in which just one prediction of the signs of the Messiah is incorporated.—Book VIII. is a history of the world under five monarchies. The fifth of these furnishes the subject for a prophecy of misery, judgment, and destruction. From this the sibyl passes to the denunciation of woes upon Egypt, the islands of the Mediterranean, and Persia, and closes with a picture of the Messiah.—Books IX. and X. are in fragments.—Book XI. is an orderly story of the world-powers from the time of the Tower of Babel to the subjection of Egypt under Cleopatra.—Book XII. pictures the fortunes of the Caesars, beginning with Augustus and closing with Alexander Severus.—Book XIII. concerns the times of the emperors of the 1st cent., beginning with Maximin. It touches more especially upon their relations with the Persians and Syrians, closing with an allegory of a bull, a stag, a lion, and a goat.—Book XIV. is the most obscure of the Sibylline productions. The writer evidently intends to unfold the fortunes of a long succession of emperors and conquerors. He gives the initial letter of the name of each, and suggests other ways of identification. But his descriptions are so wide of the historical figures that they cannot be safely identified. The period portrayed is generally the late Roman and possibly the early Byzantine.

Literary questions .—The a hove division into books was made in the 6th cent. of the Christian era (during the reign of Justinian). Whoever made it is also responsible for the collection of the oracles from various sources, and the insertion of certain verses of his own among them. It has been conjectured that he was a literary monastic and expert transcriber of manuscripts. Before his time the verses were circulated in a rude, undigested mass. The task of unravelling the confusion, which does not seem to have disturbed him, and of rearranging the material according to authorship and date of origin, is a very complex one, and not as yet fully accomplished. This much is evident, however, that there are four classes of utterances in the oracles: (1) those which issue from a Jewish source; (2) those which come from a Christian; (3) those which are of heathen origin; and (4) neutral elements. The last of these adds very much to the difficulty of the critical problem. The heathen elements are not very extensive, and attach themselves in general to the Jewish. For the rest, the analysis which results from the labours of Ewald and Alexandre may be safely adopted as workable, and is as follows:—

The Sibylline Oracles may be grouped into eight parts, each by a different author and from a different age, as follows—(1) The Prologue of Book I. and Book III., 97–828, belong to the age of Ptolemy Physcon (b.c. 140). They were therefore written by an Alexandrian Jew. They constitute the pith and kernel of the whole collection in point of value for the study of inter-Testamental conditions and modes of thought, and for the times of Jesus. (2) Book IV. was written about a.d. 80. Its author may have been either a Christian or a Jew, with the probability largely in favour of the former alternative. (3) Book V., with the possible exception of the first part, issued from the 1st cent. a.d., and is a mixture of Jewish and Christian fragments impossible to disentangle from each other. (4) Books VI. and VII. (to which Ewald adds the first part of Book V.) date from the early part of the 3rd century. The author was a heretical Christian. (5) Book VIII., 1–360, is also by a Christian, but not a heretic, probably of the middle of the 3rd century. (6) Book VIII. 361–501, is also by an orthodox Christian of the 3rd century. (7) Book I. (without the Prologue), Book II., and Book III. 1–35, come from the middle of the 3rd cent., and are of Christian origin. (8) Books Xi., Xii., Xiii and XIV. were written by a Jew resident in Egypt, who, however, “lived in Christian times, and is acquainted with some Christian practices. According to this analysis, these oracles cover a period of more than 400 years in their production, and represent a wide variety of types of thought.

Editions .—The first eight books in the original Greek text were published in 1545 at Basel, and subsequently by others up to Angelo Mai (1819 and 1828, Milan). The first complete edition is that of Alexandre (1841, and again 1869). Recent critical editions by Rzach (1891), Geffcken (1902), and Heitz (1903).

Translations .—Latin: Sebastian Castalio (1546), Angelo Mai (1817).—English: Floyer (prose, 1731), M. S. Terry (metrical, 1899).—French: Bouché Leclercq in Revue, de l’Histoire des Religions , vols. vii. 1883, pp. 236–248; viii. 1883, pp. 619–635; ix. 1884, pp. 220–233 (left incomplete).—German: Friedlieb (1852), Blass (of Iii. Iv and V. in Kautzsch’s Pseudepigr . 1900)

Literature.—(See Englemann, Bibliotheca Seriptorum Classicorum , 1880, i. p. 528); Bleek, ‘Ub. d. Entstehung u. Zusammensetz. d. Sibyl. Or.’ in Theol. Zeitschr. , herausg. v. Schleiermacher, de Wette, u. Lücke, i. 1819, pp. 120–246; ii. 1820, pp. 172–239; Hilgenfeld, ‘Die Judische Sibyllen-Weissagung’ in ZWTh , 1860, pp. 313–319; also 1871, pp. 30–50; Ewald, Abhandlung üb. Entstehung, Inhalt u. Wert. d. Sibyll. Bucher , 1858; Laroque, ‘Sur la date du troisieme Livre Sib.’ in Revue Archéolog ., 1869, pp. 269–270; Bernhardy, Grundriss der Griech. Litt. , iii. (ii. 1, pp. 441–453, 1867); Buresch, ‘Die Pseudosih. Or.’ in Jahrbb. f. Class. Phil . [Note: Philistine.] 1891, pp. 529–555; 1892, pp. 273–308; Friedlander, ‘La Sibylle Juive’ in RE J [Note: EJ Revue des Etudes Juives.] , 1894, pp. 183–196; Harnack, Gesch. d. Altchrist. Litt. i. 762, 861–863; ii. 581–589; Schürer, HJ P [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ii. iii. 271–292.

4. The Assumption of Moses. —There is some vagueness in the early Patristic references to the Assumption of Moses . Syncellus (ed. Dind. i. 48) mentions an Apocalypse of Moses . Clement of Alexandria ( Adumb. in Epist. Jud. [ ap. Zahn, Supplementum Clementinum , 84]) and Didymus ( Epist. Judae Enarratio [in Gallandi, Bib. Patr. vi. 307]), allude to an Assumptio Moysi . Origen ( de Princ , iii. ii. 1) refers to an Adscensio Mosis . In the Acts of the Nicene Synod (Mansi, Sacror. Concil., Nova Collectio , ii. 18, 20) there is mention again of an Assumption of Moses . In other lists of apocrypha, a Testament (Διαθήκη) of Moses is mentioned ( Stichometry of Nicephorus and Synopsis of pseudo-Athanasius). It has been argued (by Schürer, followed by Charles) that these two titles represent two separate divisions of one and the same book, or two books fused together in one. The work was lost during the Middle Ages, and recovered by Ceriani in an old Latin version in the Ambrosian Library at Milan in 1861.

Contents .—Moses calls to himself Joshua, the son of Nun, and directs him to preserve his writings (1). He then forecasts the apostasy and distress of the twelve tribes of Israel and their divisions into the ten and two (2), their awakening to consciousness of their sin, their repentance (3), the restoration of the two tribes and the preservation of the ten among the Gentiles (4), their repeated backslidings (5), the tyranny of Herod (6), the prevalence of wicked leaders over them (7), the oppression by the Romans (8), the advent of the Levite Taxo,* [Note: After unsuccessful attempts by many others, a satisfactory explanation of this name has been given by Burkitt (see Hastings’ DB iii. 449b). Taxo is a copyist’s mistake for Taxok—Ταξώκ. And this is to be read by Gematria as Eleazar. אלעורחבסוק. Eleazar the father of seven sons is the great Levite ( 2 Maccabees 6:19).] who was destined to restore a better state of things among them (9). At this point the author inserts a Psalm of Hope and adds a few concluding words closing the discourse of Moses (10). Joshua then laments over the course of events revealed to him, and refuses to be comforted (11); but Moses urges him to take up his work, and conquer and destroy the Gentiles (12). At this point the book breaks off rather abruptly.

Literary questions .—The Patristic quotations from the Assumption of Moses identify the words of  Judges 1:9 as from this book; but as the extant text does not contain the words, it can only he that it is either (1) wrongly entitled, or (2) that the quotation is made from the second part of it which is lost (Schürer), or (3) that two separate works entitled respectively The Testament of Moses and the Assumption ( Ascension ) of Moses were fused into one (Charles). The last position is most convincingly supported by its advocate, and seems the most probable. The present so-called Assumption of Moses is then the Testament of Moses , bearing within it traces of the addition to it of the original Assumption of Moses .

The text of the book exists in a single Latin manuscript of the 5th (6th) cent. a.d. This is undoubtedly a translation from a Greek text. It has been further conjectured that the Greek itself was a translation of a Hebrew or Aramaic original; but though the advocates of each of these languages, as also of the Greek, strenuously defend each his position, in the absence of definite data nothing can be dogmatically asserted on the point. Hilgenfeld and Drummond favour a Greek original; Ewald argues for a Semitic (either Hebrew or Aramaic); Wieseler and Laogen, for a Hebrew; Hausrath, Schmidt-Merx, Dillmann, Thompson, for an Aramaic.

The author of the work was probably a devout Jew, a Pharisee, and a mystic who does not share but rather aims to defeat the purposes of the Zealots (so Charles, but it has been strenuously maintained that he was a Zealot). The date of the composition is fixed by the allusion to Herod the Great. At the earliest, it must be 44, but various dates down to 138 have been advocated. The design of the author seems to be to teach the lesson that God has foreseen and foreshadowed all things; hence Israel should entertain no fear. A deliverer is to come.

Editions .—Ceriani ( Monumenta Sacra et Profana , vol. i. Fasc. 1, pp. 55–64), Hilgenfeld ( NT extra Canonem Receptum , 1876, pp. 107–135), Schmidt-Merx ( Archiv , i. ii. 1868, p. 111 ff.), Fritzsche ( Lib. Apocalypse, Apocalyptic Vet. Test . 1871, pp. 700 to 730), Charles ( Assumption of Moses , 1897, pp. 54–101).

Translations .—Greek: Hilgenfeld (attempted restoration from the Latin, Messias Judaeorum , 1869, pp. 435–468).—English: Charles, Assumption of Moses (1897).—German: Volkmar, Mose Prophetie und Himmelfahrt (1867), Clemen in Kautzsch’s Pseudepigr . (1900).

Literature.—Colani, ‘L’Assomption de Moïse’ in Revue de Theol. 1868, pp. 65–94; Wieseler, ‘Die jungst aufgefundene Aufnahme Moses,’ etc., in Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol. 1868, pp. 622–648; Heidenheim, ‘Beitrage z. besser. Verstaodniss d. Ascensio Mosis’ in Vierteljahrschrift f. deutsche u. englische Theologie , 1874, pp. 216–218; Hilgenfeld, ZWTh , 1886, pp. 132–139; Schürer, HJ P [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ii. iii. 73–83.

5. Fourth Ezra (Second Esdras). —This pseudepigraph has been known from the earliest Christian days, and widely circulated under the name of Ezra as his second, third, fourth, or fifth book, according to the various ways of grouping and entitling the books that issue from the Restoration generation. (See explanation of these names by Thackeray in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, art. ‘Esdras, First Book of’). Fourth Ezra, however, has come to be generally accepted as the name for it.

Contents .—This is given in seven visions. The First Vision ( 2 Esdras 3:1 to  2 Esdras 5:19) is granted to Ezra in answer to disturbing doubts arising in his mind. These concern the origin of sin and suffering in the world ( 2 Esdras 3:1-36). An angel gives him the answer: God’s ways are inscrutable. The human spirit can comprehend but little ( 2 Esdras 4:1-21). But as he pleads that it is painful to be left in ignorance on such vital matters, he is assured of a change of aeon to take place soon. Definite signs will mark the change. He must fast for seven days, and receive another revelation at the end of that time ( 2 Esdras 4:22 to  2 Esdras 5:19).

The Second Vision ( 2 Esdras 5:20 to  2 Esdras 6:34) is granted in answer to the question, Why has God given over His only chosen people into the hands of the heathen? ( 2 Esdras 5:20-30). He receives the answer that God loves His people, and the problem must be regarded as not solvable for man: nevertheless deliverance is drawing near; the generations of men are passing; the world has become old; the signs of the end are visible ( 2 Esdras 5:31 to  2 Esdras 6:34).

The Third Vision ( 2 Esdras 6:35 to  2 Esdras 9:25), like the second, is given after a period of seven days’ fasting, and is in answer to the question, Why does not Israel possess the land which belongs to it? ( 2 Esdras 6:35-59). The answer is not direct. An evil age must necessarily precede the good that shall be in the future ( 2 Esdras 7:1-16). The doom of sinners is grievous but well-deserved. The Son of God, the Christ, shall appear in judgment ( 2 Esdras 7:17-44). Few are chosen, but all the greater is the honour conferred on them ( 2 Esdras 7:45-70). A sevenfold suffering and a sevenfold joy await men in the intermediate state (7:75–101). Intercession for the condemned will be of no avail at the last judgment (7:102–115), they have deserved their doom (7:118–131). God’s mercy is consistent with the sufferings of the condemned (7:132–8:19). At this point Ezra interposes a prayer and receives an answer ( 2 Esdras 8:20-45). The saved shall rejoice at their own lot, and forget the sufferings of sinners ( 2 Esdras 8:46-61). It is certain that the end of the world is nigh. The signs are not to be mistaken ( 2 Esdras 8:62 to  2 Esdras 9:13). There are more of the lost than of the saved ( 2 Esdras 9:14-25).

The Fourth Vision ( 2 Esdras 9:26 to  2 Esdras 10:58) is given upon the Plain of Ardath. It consists of a symbolic picture of Zion’s sorrow, followed by glory. The vision ( 2 Esdras 9:26 to  2 Esdras 10:28) presents a woman in tattered garments, weeping and wailing because of her lost son. The explanation by the angel ( 2 Esdras 10:29-58) identities the woman with Zion, and points out the lesson to the seer.

The Fifth Vision ( 2 Esdras 10:59 to  2 Esdras 12:51) presents the fourth world-empire under the figure of an eagle coming out of the sea, and like the fourth vision falls into two parts, i.e. the Vision ( 2 Esdras 10:59 to  2 Esdras 12:3) and the interpretation of it by the angel ( 2 Esdras 12:4-40). This is followed by a Conclusion in story form. The people come out to seek for Ezra, they find him in the plain, and he sends them back into the city ( 2 Esdras 12:40-51).

The Sixth Vision ( 2 Esdras 13:1-58) portrays a man emerging out of a stormy sea and floating on a cloudless heaven ( 2 Esdras 13:1-4). A countless multitude comes to wage war against him; but by a stream of fire proceeding from his mouth he overcomes his enemies ( 2 Esdras 13:5-11). Then another host of friendly men flock around him ( 2 Esdras 13:12-13). The question is raised, Is it better to survive to the end of the world or to die beforehand? It is answered in favour of the former alternative ( 2 Esdras 13:14-24). The explanation of the vision follows. The man in the cloud is the Son of God, the events are those of the Messianic age ( 2 Esdras 13:25-58).

The Seventh Vision ( 2 Esdras 14:1-48) is given three days after the sixth, under an oak. This is the familiar legend of Ezra’s restoring the lost Scriptures. But it begins with a command to keep his present vision secret ( 2 Esdras 14:1-17). A prayer of Ezra follows, in which he beseeches the Lord for the privilege of rewriting the lost Scriptures ( 2 Esdras 14:17-26). The prayer is answered, and Ezra reproduces the lost books together with seventy others ( 2 Esdras 14:27-48). The book concludes with an account of Ezra’s decease.

The above does not include chs. 1, 2 and 15, 16, found in the Latin Version, which is the basis of the chapter divisions of the book. The Latin Version has also served as the basis of some current translations into English ( The Variorum Apocrypha , by C. J. Ball, and in Wace’s Holy Bible , ‘Apocrypha,’ by Lupton). These four chapters are universally regarded as later additions by a strongly anti-Jewish Christian author, appended respectively to the beginning and end of the Latin Version. The other versions do not contain them. They have been detached and published together as 5th Esdras by Fritzsche ( Lib. Apocr . [Note: Apocrypha, Apocryphal.] Vet. Test . ‘Liber Esdrae Quintus,’ pp. 640–653).

Literary questions .—The book is a unity, and comparatively free from interpolations and editorial tampering. The author was a devout man for whom problems of theodicy especially had a considerable fascination, but he is also interested in the broader and more constant questions which recur in the religious sphere with every generation. He naturally looks into his own age, and finds no sign of a restoration to righteousness and recognition of God in the forces that work there. He accordingly plants his hopes in the world to come.<

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Apocalyptic Literature . The apocalypse as a literary form of Jewish literature first appears during the Hellenistic period. Its origin is to a considerable degree in dispute, but is involved in the general development of the period. Among the Hebrews its forerunner was the description of the Day of Jehovah . On that day, the prophets taught, Jehovah was to punish the enemies of Israel and to establish His people as a world power. In the course of time this conception was supplemented by the further expectation of a judgment for Jews as well as for heathen (  Amos 2:3-8;   Amos 3:9-15;   Amos 5:10-13 ,   Zechariah 1:2-18;   Zechariah 2:4-13;   Joel 2:18-28 ,   Ezekiel 30:2 f.). The first approach to the apocalyptic method is probably to be seen in   Zechariah 9:1-17;   Zechariah 10:1-12;   Zechariah 11:1-17;   Zechariah 12:1-14;   Zechariah 13:1-9;   Zechariah 14:1-21 . It was in the same period that the tendencies towards the aesthetic conceptions which had been inherited from the Babylonian exile were beginning to be realized under the influence of Hellenistic culture. Because of their religion, literature was the only form of aesthetic expression (except music) which was open to the art impulses of the Jews. In the apocalypse we thus can see a union of the symbolism and myths of Babylonia with the religious faith of the Jews, under the influence of Hellenistic culture. By its very origin it was the literary means of setting forth by the use of symbols the certainty of Divine judgment and the equal certainty of Divine deliverance. The symbols are usually animals of various sorts, but frequently composite creatures whose various parts represented certain qualities of the animals from which they were derived.

Apocalyptic is akin to prophecy. Its purpose was fundamentally to encourage faith in Jehovah on the part of those who were in distress, by ‘revealing’ the future. Between genuine prophetism and apocalyptic there existed, however, certain differences not always easy to formulate, but appreciable to students of the two types of religious Instruction. ( a ) The prophet, taking a stand in the present, so interprets current history as to disclose Divine forces at work therein, and the inevitable outcome of a certain course of conduct. The writers of the apocalypses, however, seem to have had little spiritual insight into the providential ordering of existing conditions, and could see only present misery and miraculous deliverance. ( b ) Assuming the name of some worthy long since dead, the apocalyptist re-wrote the past in terms of prophecy in the name of some hero or seer of Hebrew history. On the strength of the fulfilment of this alleged prophecy, he forecast, though in very general terms, the future. ( c ) Prophecy made use of symbol in literature as a means of enforcing or making intelligible its Divinely inspired message. The apocalyptists employed allegorically an elaborate machinery of symbol, chief among which were sheep, bulls, birds, as well as mythological beings like Beliar and the Antichrist.

The parent of apocalyptic is the book of Daniel, which, by the almost unanimous consensus of scholars, appeared in the Maccabæan period (see Daniel [Bk. of]). From the time of this book until the end of the 1st cent. a.d., and indeed even later, we find a continuous stream of apocalypses, each marked by a strange combination of pessimism as to the present and hope as to the future yet to be miraculously established. These works are the output of one phase of Pharisaism, which, while elevating both Torah and the Oral Law, was not content with bald legalism, but dared trust in the realization of its religious hopes. The authors of the various works are utterly unknown. In this, as in other respects, the apocalypses constitute a unique national literature. Chief among apocalyptic literature are the following:

1. The Enoch Literature . The Enoch literature has reached us in two forms: ( a ) The Ethiopic Enoch; ( b ) The Slavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch. The two books are independent, and indicate the wide-spread tendency to utilize the story of the patriarch in apocalyptic discourse.

( a ) The Ethiopic Book of Enoch is a collection of apocalypses and other material written during the last two centuries before Christ. It was probably written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and then translated into Greek, and from that into Ethiopic and Latin. As it now exists, the collection is a survival of a wide-spread Enoch literature, and its constituent sections have been to a considerable extent edited by both Jews and Christians. Critics, while varying as to details, are fairly well agreed as to the main component sources, each probably representing a different author or school.

(i.) The original ground-work of the present book is to be found in chs. 1 36 and 72 104, in the midst of which are, however, numerous interpolations (see iv. below). These chapters were probably written before b.c. 100. Chs. 1 36 deal chiefly with the portrayal of the punishment to be awarded the enemies of the Jews and sinners generally on the Day of Judgment. The eschatology of these chapters is somewhat sensuous as regards both the resurrection and rewards and punishments. In them we have probably the oldest piece of Jewish literature touching the general resurrection of Israel and representing Gehenna as a place of final punishment (see Gehenna).

The dream visions (chs. 83 90) were probably written in the time of Judas Maccabæus or John Hyrcanus. By the use of symbolic animals sheep, rams, wild beasts Hebrew history is traced to the days of the Hasmonæan revolt. The years of misery are represented by a flock under seventy shepherds, who, in the new age about to dawn, are to be cast with the evil men and angels into an abyss of fire. The Messiah is then to appear, although his function is not definitely described. In ch. 91 the future is somewhat more transcendentally described.

In the later chapters of this oldest section the new eschatology is more apparent. In them are to be found representations of the sleep of the righteous, the resurrection of the spirit of the Messiah, though human, as God’s Son (105.2), the Day of Judgment, and the punishment of the wicked in hell.

(ii.) Whether or not the second group of chapters (37 71), or the Similitudes , is post- or pre-Christian has been thoroughly discussed. The general consensus of recent critics, however, is that the Similitudes were probably written somewhere between b.c. 94 and 64: at all events, before the time of Herod. The most remarkable characteristic of these Similitudes is the use of the term ‘Son of Man’ for the Messiah. But it is not possible to see in the use of this term any reference to the historical Jesus. More likely it marks a stage in the development of the term from the general symbolic usage of   Daniel 7:13 to the strictly Messianic content of the NT. In the Similitudes we find described the judgment of all men, both alive and dead, as well as of angels. Yet the future is still to some extent sensuous, although transcendental influences are very evident in the section. The Messiah pre-exists and is more than a man. The share which he has in the reorganization of the world is more prominent than in the older sections.

(iii.) Interspersed throughout the book are sections which Charles calls ‘the book of celestial physics.’ These sections are one of the curiosities of scientific literature, and may be taken as a fair representative of the astronomical and meteorological beliefs of the Palestinian Jews about the time of Christ.

(iv.) Interpolations from the so-called Book of Noah , which are very largely the work of the last part of the pre-Christian era, although it is not possible to state accurately the date of their composition.

The importance of Enoch is great for the understanding of the eschatology of the NT and the methods of apocalyptic.

( b ) The (Slavonic) Secrets of Enoch probably had a pre-Christian original, and further, presupposes the existence of the Ethiopic Enoch. It could not, therefore, have been written much prior to the time of Herod, and, as the Temple is still standing, must have been written before a.d. 70. The author (or authors) was probably a Hellenistic Jew living in the first half of the 1st cent. a.d. The book is particularly interesting in that in it is to be found the first reference to the millennium (xxxii. 2 xxxiii. 2), which is derived from a combination of the seven creative days and   Psalms 90:4 . At the close of the six thousand years, the new day, or Sabbath of the thousand years, was to begin. The Secrets of Enoch is a highly developed picture of the coming age and of the structure of the heaven, which, it holds, is seven-fold. Here, too, are the Judgment, though of individuals rather than of nations, the two æons, the complete renovation or destruction of the earth. There is no mention of a resurrection, and the righteous are upon death to go immediately to Paradise.

2. The Book of Jubilees is a Haggadist commentary on Genesis, and was probably written in the Maccabæan period, although its date is exceedingly uncertain, and may possibly he placed in the latter half of the last cent. b.c. In this writing angelology and demonology are well developed. While there is no mention of the Messiah, the members of the Messianic age are to live a thousand years, and are to be free from the influence or control of Satan. The book contains no doctrine of the resurrection; but spirits are immortal. While there is punishment of the wicked, and particularly of evil spirits and the enemies of Israel, the Judgment is not thoroughly correlated with a general eschatological scheme. The chief object of the book is to incite the Jews to a greater devotion to the Law, and the book is legalistic rather than idealistic.

The ‘new age’ was to be inaugurated by wide-spread study of the Law, to which the Jews would be forced by terrible suffering. Certain passages would seem to imply a resurrection of the dead and a renewing of all creation along with the endless punishment of the wicked.

3. The Psalms of Solomon a group of noble songs, written by a Pharisee (or Pharisees) probably between b.c. 70 and 40, the dates being fixed by reference to the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the death of Pompey (Ps-Sol 2:30, 31). The collection is primarily a justification of the downfall of the Maccabæan house because of its sins. Its author (or authors) was opposed to monarchy as such, and looked forward to the time when the Messiah would really be king of Judæa. The picture of this king as set forth in   Psalms 17:1-15;   Psalms 18:1-50 is one of the noblest in Jewish literature. He is to be neither sufferer nor teacher, pre-existent nor miraculously horn. He is not to be a priest, or warrior. He is to be sinless, strong through the Holy Spirit, gaining his wisdom from God, conquering the entire heathen world without war, ‘by the word of his mouth,’ and to establish the capital of the world at Jerusalem. All the members of the new kingdom, which, like the Messiah, is miraculous, are to be ‘sons of God.’ These two Psalms are not of a kin with the ordinary apocalyptic literature like the Enoch literature, and probably represent a tendency more religious than apocalyptic. At the same time, the influence of the apocalyptic is not wanting in them.

4. The Assumption of Moses was probably written in the opening years of the 1st cent. a.d., and narrates in terms of prophecy the history of the world from the time of Moses until the time of its composition, ending in an eschatological picture of the future. As it now stands, the writing is hardly more than a fragment of a much larger work, and exists only in an old Latin translation. The most striking characteristic is the importance given to Satan as the opponent of God, as well as the rather elaborate portrayal of the end of the age it narrates. The Judgment is to be extended to the Gentiles, but no Messiah is mentioned, the Messianic kingdom rather than He being central. Further, the writer, evidently in fear of revolutionary tendencies among his people, says distinctly that God alone-is to be judge of the Gentiles.

5. The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is a composite work purporting to preserve the last words of the twelve sons of Jacob. It was probably written during the first two centuries of the Christian era, although some of its material may be earlier. As it now stands, it is full of Christian interpolations, and it has little apocalyptic material, being rather of the nature of homilies illustrated with much legendary matter, including eschatological pictures and references to demons and their king Beliar. The new age is not distinctly described, but apparently involves only earthly relationships. God’s judgment on wicked men and demons is, however, elaborately pictured, sometimes in terms hard to reconcile with the less transcendental accounts of the blessings assured to the Jewish nation. Each of the patriarchs is represented as dealing with that particular virtue or vice with which the Biblical account associates him, and also as foretelling appropriate blessings or curses. The work is preserved in Greek and Armenian translations.

6. The Ascension of Isaiah is a composite book which circulated largely among the Christian heretics of the 3rd century. At its basis lies a group of legends of uncertain origin, dealing with the Antichrist and Beliar. These in turn are identified with the expectation that Nero would return after death. The book, therefore, in its present shape is probably of Christian origin, and is not older than the 2nd cent., or possibly the latter part of the 1st. The Isaiah literature, however, was common in the 1st cent., and the book is a valuable monument of the eschatological tendencies and beliefs of at least certain groups of the early Christians. Particularly important is it as throwing light upon the development of the Antichrist doctrines. It exists to-day in four recensions Greek, Ethiopic, Latin, and Slavonic.

7. The Apocalypse of Ezra (Second Esdras), written about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. It is the most complete expression of Pharisaic pessimism. Written in the midst of national misery, it is not able to see any relief except in the creation of a new world. The age was coming to an end, and the new age which was to belong to Israel would presently come. The judgment of Israel’s enemies was presently to be established, but not until the number of the righteous was complete. The book is no doubt closely related to the Apocalypse of Baruch , and both apparently reproduce the same originally Jewish material. It has been considerably affected by Christian hopes. Both for this reason and because of its emphasis on generic human misery and sin, with the consequent need of something more than a merely national deliverance, it gives a prominent position to the Messiah, who is represented as dying. As Second Esdras the book has become part of the Apocrypha of the OT, and has had considerable influence in the formation of Christian eschatology. In 2Es 7:30-70 is an elaborate account of the general Resurrection, Judgment, and the condition of souls after death; and it is this material quite as much as the Messianic prediction of chs. 12 14 that make it of particular interest to the student. It is possessed, however, of no complete unity in point of view, and passes repeatedly from the national to the ethical (individual) need and deliverance. The separation of these two views is, however, more than a critical matter. As in   Mark 13:1-37 , the two illustrate each other.

8. The Apocalypse of Baruch is a composite work which embodies in itself a ground-work which is distinctly Jewish, and certain sections of which were probably written before the destruction of Jerusalem. Criticism, however, has not arrived at any complete consensus of opinion as regards its composition, but there can be little doubt that it represents the same apocalyptic tendencies and much of the material which are to be seen in Second Esdras. Just what are the relations between the two writings, however, has not yet been clearly shown. The probability is that the Apocalypse of Baruch, as it now stands, was written in the second half of the 1st cent. a.d., and has come under the influence of Christianity (see esp. chs. xlix li). Like Second Esdras, it is marked by a despair of the existing age, and looks forward to a transcendental reign of the Messiah, in which the Jews are to be supremely fortunate. It exists to-day in Greek and Syriac versions, with a strong probability that both are derived from original Hebrew writing. This apocalypse, both from its probable origin and general characteristics, is of particular value as a document for understanding the NT literature. In both the Apocalypse of Baruch and Second Esdras we have the most systematized eschatological picture that has come down to us from Pharisaism.

9. The Sibylline Oracles are the most important illustration of the extra-Palestinian-Hellenistic apocalyptic hope. As the work now exists, it is a collection of various writings dealing with the historical and future conditions of the Jewish people. The most important apocalyptic section is in Book iii. 97 828, written in Maccahæan times. In it the punishment of the enemies of the Jews is elaborately foretold, as are also the future and the Messianic Judgment. This third book was probably edited in the middle of the 2nd century by a Christian. In general, however, this Sibylline literature, although of great extent, gives us no such distinct pictures of the future as those to be found in the Ezra-Baruch apocalypses.

Shailer Mathews.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

During the three centuries leading up to and including the New Testament era, the distinctive kind of literature known as apocalyptic flourished among Jewish writers. The name ‘apocalyptic’ comes from the Greek apokalypto, meaning ‘to reveal’ (cf.  Revelation 1:1). The literature has been given this name because the authors presented their messages in the form of divinely sent visions that revealed heavenly secrets. The revelations were particularly concerned with coming great events.

The Old Testament books of Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah (also Isaiah Chapters 24-27) show some of the apocalyptic features that began to develop in the later prophetical writings. Likewise, some New Testament writings, such as the book of Revelation and Mark Chapter 13, contain apocalyptic features.

A message for difficult times

With Israel’s release from captivity in 539 BC and its re-establishment in its homeland, many Jews expected that the messianic age was about to dawn. Their hopes, however, were disappointed, and one powerful nation after another continued to rule over Israel.

By this time, the ministry of Israelite prophets, which had never been as prominent after the captivity as before, had almost disappeared entirely. Apocalyptic writers replaced prophetic preachers as the interpreters of Israel’s history. But whereas the prophets were largely concerned with denouncing Israel’s unfaithfulness and assuring the people of their coming judgment, the apocalyptists were more concerned with condemning Israel’s oppressors and announcing certain doom upon them.

A popular practice among apocalyptic writers was to write under the name of a respected Israelite of a previous era. Through prophecies and visions, this ‘writer’ from the former era then spoke of events from his time to the time of the actual writer, as a means of assuring the readers that God was always in control of events. He wanted to encourage God’s people to endure their sufferings, in the assurance that God would soon overthrow evil and bring in the golden age.

Some features of the literature

Throughout the apocalyptic literature there is a sharp contrast between evil and good, between the present world and the age to come. In the present world God’s people suffer because of the evil that hostile governments and ungodly people direct against them. In the age to come, by contrast, God’s people will enjoy unending contentment, whereas those who are evil will be destroyed (cf.  Isaiah 24:21-23;  Isaiah 25:6-12;  Daniel 7:9-14;  Revelation 19:1-5;  Revelation 21:1-8).

Meantime, God’s people must persevere. They have to realize that history must move along the path that God has determined for it, till the time comes for him to intervene decisively (cf.  Ezekiel 39:1-6;  Ezekiel 39:21;  Ezekiel 39:25;  Daniel 12:6-13;  Mark 13:24-27;  Mark 13:32).

The visions reported by the apocalyptic writers were not usually in the form of scenes taken from real life. In most cases they contained features that were weird and abnormal, such as unnatural beasts and mysterious numbers ( Daniel 8:3-8;  Daniel 9:24;  Daniel 12:11-12;  Revelation 13:1-5;  Revelation 13:11-18). The visions had symbolic meaning and were often interpreted by angels ( Ezekiel 40:2-4;  Daniel 8:15-19;  Zechariah 1:9;  Zechariah 1:19;  Zechariah 5:5-6;  Revelation 21:9;  Revelation 21:15). Such writings enabled the Jews to comment safely on the oppressors who ruled them; for they were able to use symbols (usually beasts) instead of the names of their overlords ( Daniel 7:1-8;  Mark 13:14;  Revelation 13:1-4; Revelation 17).

In contrast to the prophets, who said, ‘This is what God said to me’, the apocalyptists said, ‘This is what God showed me’ ( Jeremiah 7:1-3;  Jeremiah 23:18 with  Zechariah 1:20;  Revelation 4:1). Yet in the biblical writings there is much overlap between the prophetic and the apocalyptic. The biblical apocalyptic writers, though they had similarities with other apocalyptic writers, also had the fervent evangelistic and pastoral spirit of the biblical prophets. Although they saw visions that carried symbolic meanings, they also had the prophet’s awareness that they spoke words from God. And those words made spiritual demands upon people ( Ezekiel 11:1-12;  Ezekiel 33:30-33;  Zechariah 1:1-6;  Zechariah 3:1;  Revelation 1:3;  Revelation 2:1-7;  Revelation 22:1-4;  Revelation 22:7;  Revelation 22:18).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

a - pok - a - lip´tik lit´ẽr - a - t̬ū̇r  :


I. Background of Apocalyptic

1. Judaism and Hellenism

2. Political Influences

II. General Characteristics of Apocalyptic

1. Differences from Prophecy in Content

2. Differences from Prophecy in Literary Form

III. Authorship of Jewish Apocalyptic Works

1. Pseudepigraphic Authors not Known Individually

2. General Resemblance and Mutual Dependence Show Them to be Products of One Sect

3. Three Jewish Sects Comprise Whole Literary Class

4. Not the Product of the Sadducees

5. Nor of the Pharisees

6. Probably Written by the Essenes

Works Entitled Apocalyptic

I. Apocalypses Proper

1. Enoch Books

(1) History of the Books

(2) Summary

(3) Language

(4) Date

(5) Internal Chronology: The Book of Noah

(6) External Chronology

(7) Slavonic Enoch

(8) Secrets of Enoch

2. Apocalypse of Baruch

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date

(5) Relation to Other Books

(6) The Rest of the Words of Baruch

3. The Assumption of Moses

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date

(5) Relation to Other Books

4. The Ascension of Isaiah

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date

5. The Fourth Book of Esdras

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date

II. Legendary Works

The Book of Jubilees

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date

III. Psalmic Pseudepigrapha

1. The Psalter of Solomon

(1) Summary

(2) Language

(3) Date

(4) Christology

2. The Odes of Solomon

(1) Relation to Pistis Sophia and Summary

(2) Date

IV. Testaments

1. Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1) Summary

(a) Reuben

(b) Simeon

(c) Levi

(d) Judah

(e) Issachar

(f) Zebulun

(g) Dan

(h) Naphtali

(i) Gad

(j) Asher

(k) Joseph

(l) Benjamin

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date and Authorship

(5) Relation to Other Books

2. Testament of Adam

3. Testament of Abraham

4. Testament of Job

(1) Summary

(2) Structure

(3) Language

(4) Date and Authorship

V. Sibylline Oracles

VI. Conclusion


A series of pseudepigraphic works, mainly of Jewish origin, appeared during the period between 210 bc and 200 ad. They have many features in common. The most striking is the resemblance they all bear to the Book of Daniel. Following this model, most of them use "vision" as a literary device by which to introduce their conceptions of the remote future. A side product of this same movement was the composition, mainly in Alexandria, of the Sibylline books. The literary device of "vision" was one used in the Aeneid by Virgil, the classical contemporary of a large number of these works. One peculiarity in regard to the majority of these documents is the fact that while popular among the Christian writers of the first Christian centuries, they disappeared with the advent of the Middle Ages, and remained unknown until the first half of the 19th century was well on in its course.

I. Background of Apocalyptic

1. Judaism and Hellenism

When the Jews came back from Babylon to Palestine, though surrounded by heathen of various creeds, they were strongly monotheistic. The hold the Persians had of the empire of Southwest Asia, and their religion - Z oroastrianism - so closely akin to monotheism, prevented any violent attempts at perverting the Jews. With the advent of the Greek power a new state of things emerged. Certainly at first there does not seem to have been any direct attempt to force them to abandon their religion, but the calm contempt of the Hellene who looked down from the superior height of his artistic culture on all barbarians, and the influence that culture had in the ruling classes tended to seduce the Jews into idolatry. While the governing orders, the priests and the leaders of the Council, those who came in contact with the generals and governors of the Lagids of Egypt, or the Seleucids of Syria, were thus inclined to be seduced into idolatry, there was a large class utterly uninfluenced by Hellenic culture, and no small portion of this class hated fanatically all tampering with idolatry. When the dominion over Palestine passed out of the hands of the Ptolemies into that of the house of Seleucus, this feeling was intensified, as the Syrian house regarded with less tolerance the religion of Israel. The opposition to Hellenism and the apprehension of it naturally tended to draw together those who shared the feeling. On the one side was the scribist legal party, who developed into the Pharisaic sect; on the other were the mystics, who felt the personal power of Deity. These afterward became first the Chasidim, then later the Essenes. These latter gradually retired from active participation in national life. As is natural with mystics their feelings led them to see visions and to dream dreams. Others more intellectual, while they welcomed the enlightenment of the Greeks, retained their faith in the one God. To them it seemed obvious that as their God was the true God, all real enlightenment must have proceeded from Him alone. In such thinkers as Plato and Aristotle they saw many things in harmony with the Mosaic law. They were sure that there must have been links which united these thinkers to the current of Divine revelation, and were led to imagine of what sort these links necessarily were. The names of poets such as Orpheus and Linus, who survived only in their names, suggested the source of these links - these resemblances. Hence, the wholesale forgeries, mainly by Jews, of Greek poems. On the other hand, there was the desire to harmonize Moses and his law with the philosophical ideas of the time. Philo the Alexandrian, the most conspicuous example of this effort, could not have been an isolated phenomenon; he must have had many precursors. This latter movement, although most evident in Egypt, and probably in Asia Minor, had a considerable influence in Judea also.

2. Political Influences

Political events aided in the advance of both these tendencies. The distinct favor that Antiochus the Great showed to the Greeks and to those barbarians who Hellenized, became with his son Antiochus Epiphanes a direct religious persecution. This emphasized the protest of the Chasidim on the one hand, and excited the imagination of the visionaries to greater vivacity on the other. While the Maccabees and their followers were stirred to deeds of valor, the meditative visionaries saw in God their refuge, and hoped for deliverance at the hand of the Messiah. They pictured to themselves the tyrant smitten down by the direct judgment of Yahweh. After the death of Epiphanes, the Maccabeans had become a power to be reckoned with, and the visionaries had less excitement from external events till the Herodian family found their way into supreme power. At first the Herodians favored the Pharisaic party as that which supported John Hyrcanus II, the friend of Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, and the Essenes seem to have taken Herod at first into their special favor. However, there was soon a change. In consequence of the compliance with heathen practices, into which their connection with the Romans forced the Herodians, the more religious among the Jews felt themselves compelled to withdraw all favor from the Idumean usurper, and to give up all hope in him. This naturally excited the visionaries to new expectation of Divine intervention. Behind the Herodians was the terrible iron power of Rome. The Romans had intervened in the quarrel between John Hyrcanus and his brother Aristobulus. Pompey had desecrated the temple by intruding into the Holy of Holies. The disastrous overthrow that he suffered at the hands of Caesar and his miserable end on the shores of Egypt seemed to be a judgment on him for his impiety. Later, Nero was the especial mark for the Apocalyptists, who by this time had become mainly Christian. Later Roman emperors impressed the imagination of the Apocalyptists, as the Flavians.

II. General Characteristics of Apocalyptic

1. Differences from Prophecy in Content

Both in matter and form apocalyptic literal and the writings associated with it differ from the prophetic writings of the preceding periods. As already mentioned, while the predictive element as present in Apocalypses, as in Prophecy, it is more prominent and relates to longer periods and involves a wider grasp of the state of the world at large. Apocalypse could only have been possible under the domination of the great empires. Alike in Prophecy and in Apocalypse there is reference to the coming of the Messiah, but in the latter not only is the Messianic hope more defined, it has a wider reference. In the Prophets and Psalmists the Messiah had mainly to do with Israel. "He will save his people"; "He will die for them"; "His people shall be all righteous." All this applies to Israel; there is no imperial outlook. In the Apocalypses the imperial outlook is prominent, beginning with Daniel in which we find the Messianic kingdom represented by a "son of man" over against the bestial empires that had preceded ( Daniel 7:13 ) and reaching the acme of Apocalypse, if not its conclusion, in the Revelation of John: "The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ" ( Revelation 11:15 ). While the prophet was primarily a preacher of righteousness, and used prediction either as a guarantee, by its fulfillment, of his Divine mission, or as an exhibition of the natural result of rebellion against God's righteous laws, to the Apocalyptist prediction was the thing of most importance, and in the more typical Apocalypse there is no moral exhortation whatever.

2. Differences from Prophecy in Literary Form

In the literary form employed there are marked differences between Apocalyptic and Prophecy. Both make use of vision, but in Prophecy, in the more restricted sense of the word, these visions are as a rule implied, rather than being described. Although Isaiah calls the greater part of his Prophecy "vision," yet in only one instance does he describe what he sees; as a rule he assumes throughout that has audience knows what is visible to him. The only instance ( Isaiah 6:1-13 ) in which he does describe his vision is not at all predictive; the object is exhortation. In the case of the Apocalypses the vision is the vehicle by which the prediction is conveyed. In Ezekiel there are visions, but only one of these - "the valley of dry bones" - is predictive. In it the symbols used are natural, not, as always in Apocalypses, arbitrary. Compare in Daniel's vision of the Ram and the He-goat (Dan 8). In Ezekiel the dry bones naturally suggest death, and the process by which they are revivified the reader feels is the natural course such an event would take did it come within the sphere of ordinary experience; while in what is told of the horns on the head of the Greek goat there is no natural reason for the changes that take place, only a symbolical one. This is still more marked in the vision of the Eagle in 4 Esdras 11. What may be regarded as yet more related to the form is the fact that while the Prophets wrote in a style of so elevated prose that it always hovered on the border of poetry - indeed, frequently passed into it and employed the form of verse, as  Isaiah 26:1 - the apocalyptists always used pure prose, without the elaborate parrallelism or cadenced diction of Hebrew poetry. The weird, the gorgeous, or the terrible features of the vision described are thrown into all the higher relief by the baldness of the narrative.

III. Authorship of Jewish Apocalyptic Works

1. Pseudepigraphic Authors Not Known Individually

In most cases the question of authorship is one that has to be discussed in regard to each work individually. A number of the characteristics of the works render such a procedure impossible in regard to them. If we put to the one side the two Apocalypses that form part of the canon, they are all pseudonymous, as Enoch and Baruch, or anonymous, as the Book of Jubilees. Many of them in addition show traces of interpolation and modification by later hands. If we had a full and clear history of the period during which they were written, and if its literature had to a great extent been preserved to us we might have been in a position to fix on the individual; but as matters stand, this is impossible. At the same time, however, from internal evidence, we may form some idea of the surroundings of those who have written these works.

2. General Resemblance and Mutual Dependence Show Them Products of One Sect

From the striking resemblance in general style which they exhibit, and from the way in which some of them are related to the others, many of these works seem to have been the product of similar circumstances. Even those most removed from the rest in type and general attitude are nearer them than they are to any other class of work. All affirmative evidence thus points to these works having been composed by authors that were closely associated with each other. The negative evidence for this is the very small traceable influence these works had on later Jewish thought. Many of them axe quoted by the Christian Fathers, some of them by New Testament writers. The whole of these works have been preserved to us through Christian means. A large number have been preserved by being adopted into the Old Testament canon of the Ethiopic church; a considerable number have been unearthed from Ambrosian Library in Milan; most of them have been written in Palestine by Jewish writers; yet no clear indubitable sign of the knowledge of these books can be found in the Talmud.

3. Three Jewish Sects Comprise Whole Literary Class

The phenomenon here noted is a striking one. Works, the majority of which are written in Hebrew by Jews, are forgotten by the descendants of these Jews, and are retained by Gentile Christians, by nations who were ignorant of Hebrew and preserved them in Greek, Latin or Ethiopic translations. A characteristic of the Judaism during the period in which these books were appearing was the power exercised by certain recognized sects. If one takes the most nearly contemporary historian of the Jews, Josephus, as one's authority, it is found how prominent the three sects, Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, were. To a certain extent this is confirmed by the Gospels and the Acts, with this noticeable exception - the Essenes are never mentioned by name.

4. Not the Product of the Sadducees

The scribes, the literary class among the Jews, all belonged to one or other of these ruling sects. Consequently these works must have proceeded from members of one of those sects. Their mutual resemblance precludes their authors from belonging some to one sect and some to another. We know pretty exactly from Josephus and the New Testament what the character and tenets of the Sadducees were. They were the priestly sacerdotal class, and were above all, political schemers. They received only the Pentateuch as authoritative, and had no share in the Messianic hopes of which the Prophets were full. They believed neither in angel nor spirit, and had no hope of immortality ( Acts 23:8 ). Josephus compares them with the followers of Epicurus among the Greeks. Nothing could be farther removed from the spirit and doctrines of the Apocalypses than all this. The Messianic hopes bulk largely; angels are prominent, then, hierarchies are described and their names given. The doctrine of immortality is implied, and the places of reward and punishment are described. The Apocalypses cannot therefore be attributed to the Sadducees.

5. Nor of the Pharisees

There is greater plausibility in attributing them to the Pharisees. So far as doctrines are concerned, there is no doubt that the agreement is relatively close. There are, however, difficulties in accepting this view of their origin. With the fall of the Jewish state, the Sadducees disappeared when there was no field for political activity, and when with the destruction of the temple there were no more sacrifices to require the services of Aaronic priests. Nearly contemporaneously the Essenes disappeared in Christianity. The Pharisees alone remained to carry on the traditions of Judaism. We have in the Talmud the result of Pharisaic literary activity. The Mishna is the only part of this miscellaneous conglomeration which is at all nearly contemporary with the works before us. It has none of the characteristics of the apocalyptic writings. The later Hagadi Midrash have more resemblance to some of these, noticeably to the Book of Jubilees. Still, the almost total want of any references to any of the Apocalypses in the recognized Pharisaic writings, and the fact that no Jewish version of any of these books has been preserved, seems conclusive against the idea that the Apocalypses owed their origin to the Pharisaic schools. The books that form the ordinary Apocrypha are in a different position. The majority, if not the whole of them, were received into the Jewish canon of Alexandria. Some of them are found in Hebrew or Aramaic, as Ecclesiasticus, Tobit and Judith. None of the Apocalypses have been so found. This leads necessarily to the conclusion that the Pharisees did not write these books.

6. Probably Written by the Essenes

By the method of exclusions we are led thus to adopt the conclusion of Hilgenfeld, that they are the work of the Essenes. We have, however, positive evidence. We know from Josephus that the Essenes had many secret sacred books. Those books before us would suit this description. Further, in one of these books (4 Esdras) we find a story which affords an explanation of the existence of these books. 2 (4) Esdras 14:40-48 tells how to Ezra there was given a cup of water as it were fire to drink, and then he dictated to five men. These men wrote in characters which they did not understand "for forty days" until they had written "four score and fourteen books" (Revised Version (British and American)). He is commanded, "The first that thou hast written publish openly, and let the worthy and unworthy read it: but keep the seventy last that thou mayest deliver them to such as be wise among thy people." While the twenty-four books of the ordinary canon would be open to all, these other seventy books would only be known by the wise - presumably, the Essenes. This story proceeds on the assumption that all the biblical books had been lost during the Babylonian captivity, but that after he had his memory quickened, Ezra was able to dictate the whole of them; but of these only twenty-four were to be published to all; there were seventy which were to be kept by a society of wise men. This would explain how the Books of Enoch and Noah, and the account of the Assumption of Moses could appear upon the scene at proper times and yet not be known before. In the last-named book there is another device. Moses tells Joshua to embalm ( hedriare ) the writing which gives an account of what is coming upon Israel. Books so embalmed would be liable to be found when Divine providence saw the occasion ripe. These works are products of a school of associates which could guard sacred books and had prepared hypotheses to explain at once how they had remained unknown, and how at certain crises they became known. All this suits the Essenes, and especially that branch of them that dwelt as Coenobites beside the Dead Sea. We are thus driven to adopt Hilgenfeld's hypothesis that the Essenes were the authors of these books. Those of them that formed the Community of Engedi by their very dreamy seclusion would be especially ready to see visions and dream dreams. To them it seem no impossible thing for one of the brotherhood to be so possessed by the spirit of Enoch or of Noah that what he wrote were really the words of the patriarch. It would not be inconceivable, or even improbable, that Moses or Joshua might in a dream open to them books written long before and quicken their memories so that what they had read in the night they could recite in the day-time. As all the Essenes were not dwellers by the shores of the Dead Sea, or "associates with the palms of Engedi," some of the writings of this class as we might expect, betray a greater knowledge of the world, and show more the influence of events than those which proceeded from the Coenobites. As to some extent corroborative of this view, there is the slight importance given to sacrifice in most of these works.

Works Entitled ApocalypticClasses of Books

In the classification of plants and animals in natural science the various orders and genera present the observer with some classes that have all the features that characterize the general Mass prominent and easily observable, while in others these features are so far from prominent that to the casual observer they are invisible. This may be seen in the apocalyptic writings: there are some that present all the marks of Apocalypses , such as the Book of Enoch, the Assumption of Moses and the Apocalypse of Baruch. They all claim to be revelations of the future - a future which begins, however, from the days of some ancient saint - and then, passing over the time of is actual composition, ends with the coming of the Messiah, the setting up of the Messianic kingdom and the end of the world. There are others, like the Book of Jubilees, in which the revelation avowedly looks back, and which thus contain an amount of legendary matter. One of the books which are usually reckoned in this class, has, unlike most of the Apocalypses, which are in prose, taken the Book of Psalms as its model - the Psalter of Solomon. A very considerable number of the works before us take the form of farewell counsels on the part of this or that patriarch. The most famous of these is the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. Although the great masonry have been written in Hebrew or Aramaic by Jews resident in Palestine, the Sibylline books, composed to a great extent by Jews of Alexandria, present an exception to this.

We shall in the remainder of the art consider these sub-classes in the order now mentioned: (1) Typical Apocalypses; (2) Legendary Testaments; (3) Psalmic; (4) Testaments; (5) Sibylline Oracles.

I. Apocalypses Proper

As above indicated, all these take the Book of Daniel as their model, and imitate it more or less closely. One peculiarity in this connection must be referred to. While we have already said these later Apocalypses were practically unknown by the Jews of a couple of centuries after the Christian era, the Book of Daniel was universally regarded as authoritative alike by Jews and Christians. In considering these works, we shall restrict ourselves to those Apocalypses that, whether Jewish or Christian by religion, are the production of those who were Jews by nation.

1. Enoch Books

The most important of these is the Book, or rather, Books of Enoch. After having been quoted in Jude and noticed by several of the Fathers, this work disappeared from the knowledge of the Christian church.

(1) History of the Books

Fairly copious extracts from this collection of books had been made by George Syncellus, the 8th century chronographer. With the exception of those fragments, all the writings attributed to Enoch had disappeared from the ken of European scholars. In the last quarter of the 18th century. Bruce, the Abyssinian traveler, brought to Europe three copies of the Book of Enoch in Ethiopic, which had been regarded as canonical by the Abyssinian church, and had consequently been preserved by them. Of these three copies, one he retained in Kinnaird House, another he presented to the Bodleian Library In Oxford, the third he gave to the Royal Library in Paris. For more than a quarter of a century these manuscripts remained as unknown as if they had still been in Abyssinia. In the year 1800 Sylvestre de Sacy published an article on Enoch in which he gave a translation of the first sixteen chapters. This was drawn from the Parisian copy. Twenty-one years after Archbishop Laurence published a translation of the whole work from the manuscript in the Bodleian. Seventeen years after he published the text from the same MS. The expedition to Magdala under Lord Napier brought a number of fresh manuscripts to Europe; the German missionaries, for whose release the advance had been undertaken, brought a number to Germany, while a number came to the British Museum. Some other travelers had brought from the East manuscripts of this precious book. Flemming, the latest editor of the text, claims to have used 26 manuscripts. It needs but a cursory study of the Ethiopic text to see that it is a translation from a Greek original. The quotations in George Syncellus confirmed this, with the exception of a small fragment published by Mai. Until the last decade of last century. Syncellus' fragments formed the only remains of the Greek text known. In 1892 M. Bouriant published from manuscripts found in Gizeh, Cairo, the Greek of the first 32 chapters. More of the Greek may be discovered in Egypt. Meantime, we have the Greek of  Judges 1:1 - 32, and from the Vatican fragment a portion of chapter 89. A study of the Greek shows it also to have been a translation from a Hebrew original. Of this Hebrew original, however, no part has come down to us.

As we have it, it is very much a conglomeration of fragments of various authorship. It is impossible to say whether the Greek translator was the collector of these fragments or whether, when the mass of material came into his hands, the interpolations had already taken place. However, the probability, judging from the usual practice of translators, is that as he got the book, so he translated it.

(2) Summary

The first chapter gives an account of the purpose of the book, Enoch 2 through 5 an account of his survey of the heavens. With Enoch 6 begins the book proper.  Judges 1:6-19 give an account of the fallen angels and Enoch's relation to them.   Judges 1:20 through 36 narrate Enoch's wanderings through the universe, and give an account of the place of punishment, and the secrets of the West and of the center of the earth. This may be regarded as the First Book of Enoch, the Book of the Angels. With chapter 37 begins the Book of Similitudes. The first Similitude (chapters 37 through 44) represents the future kingdom of God, the dwelling of the righteous and of the angels; and finally all the secrets of the heavens. This last portion is interesting as revealing the succession of the parts of this conglomeration - the more elaborate the astronomy, the later; the simpler, the earlier. The second Similitude (chapters 46 through 57) brings in the Son of Man as a superhuman if not also superangelic being, who is to come to earth as the Messiah. The third Similitude occupies chapters 58 through 71, and gives an account of the glory of the Messiah and of the subjugation of the kings of the earth under Him. There is interpolated a long account of Leviathan and Behemoth. There are also Noachian fragments inserted. The Book of the Courses of the Luminaries occupies the next eleven chapters, and subjoined to these are two visions (chapters 83 through 90), in the latter of which is an account of the history of the world to the Maccabean Struggle. Fourteen chapters which follow may be called "The Exhortations of Enoch." The exhortations are emphasized by an exposition of the history of the world in 10 successive weeks. It may be noted here that there is a dislocation. The passage Enoch 91:12 contains the 8, 9, and 10 weeks, while chapter 93 gives an account of the previous 7. After chapter 104 there are series of sections of varying origin which may be regarded as appendices. There are throughout these books many interpolations. The most observable of these are what are known as "Noachian Fragments," portions in which Noah and not Enoch is the hero and spokesman. There are, besides, a number of universally acknowledged interpolations, and some that are held by some to be interpolated, are regarded by others as intimately related to the immediate context. The literary merit of the different portions is various: of none of them can it be called high. The Book of Similitudes, with its revelations of heaven and hell, is probably the finest.

(3) Language

We have the complete books only in Ethiopic. The Ethiopic, however, is not, as already observed, the original language of the writings. The numerous portions of it which still survive in Greek, prove that at all events our Ethiopic is a translation from the Greek. The question of how far it is the original is easily settled. The angels assemble on Mt. Hermon, we are told (En 6), and bind themselves by an oath or curse: "and they called it Mount Hermon because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecation upon it." This has a meaning only in Hebrew or Aramaic, not in Greek. A very interesting piece of evidence of the original language is obtained from a blunder. In Enoch 90:38 we are told that "they all became white bullocks, and the first was the Word" ( nagara ). As for the appearance of this term, from its connection it is obvious that some sort of bullocks is intended. In Hebrew the wild ox is called re'ēm (Aramaic rı̂ma ). The Greek translators, having no Greek equivalent available, transliterated as rēm or rēma ̌ . This the translators confused with Tēma , "a word." It is impossible to decide with anything like certainty which of the two languages, Hebrew or Aramaic, was the original, though from the sacred character ascribed to Enoch the probability is in favor of its being Hebrew.

(4) Date

The question of date is twofold. Since Enoch is really made up of a collection of books and fragments of books, the question of the temporal relation of these to each other is the primary one. The common view is that chapters 1 through 36 and 72 through 91 are by the same author, and form the nucleus of the whole. Although the weighty authority of Dr. Charles is against assigning these portions to one author, the resemblances are numerous and seem to us by no means so superficial as he would regard them. He, with most critics, would regard the Book of Similitudes as later. Nevertheless, we venture to differ from this view, for reasons which we shall assign.

(5) Internal Chronology: The Book of Noah

The fragments of the Book of Noah above alluded to present an intrusive element in the Book of Enoch. These, though fairly numerous, are not so numerous as Dr. Charles would claim. Those that show clear traces not only of being interpolations, but also of being interpolations from this Book of Noah, are found only in those portions of the Book that appear to be written by the author of Enoch 37 through 71. In them and in the Noachian fragments there are astronomical portions, as there are also in the portion that seems to proceed from another hand, chapters 1 through 36; 72 through 91. When these are compared, the simplest account of the phenomena of the heavens is found in the non-Noachian portions, the first noted chapters 37 through 71; 92 through 107; the next in complexity is that found in the Noachian interpolations; the most complex is that contained in chapters 72 through 91. This would seem to indicate that the earliest written portion was chapters 37 through 71; 92 through 107. Our view of the date of this middle portion of En, the Book of Similitudes, is opposed by Dr. Stanton ( Jewish and Christian Messiah , 60 through 63; 241 through 44), who maintains that it is post-Christian. For this decision he rests mainly on the use of the title "Son of Man." This title, he says, as applied to the Messiah, is unknown in rabbinic literature. Rabbinic literature is all so late as to be of no value. The Mishna has few traces of Messianic belief, and was not committed to writing till the end of the 2nd century, when the difference between church and synagogue was accentuated. He further states that it was not understood by the Jews who heard our Lord, and brings as proof  John 12:34 , "The Son of Man must be lifted up. Who is this - the Son of Man?" Dr. Stanton ( Jewish and Christian Messiah , 241) so translates the passage. To us, the last clause is a mistranslation. The Greek usage in regard to hoútos ho would lead us to translate: "Who is this peculiar kind of Son of Man?" This is the meaning which suits the context. our Lord had not in all the preceding speech used the title "Son of Man" of Himself. This sentence really proves that the multitude regarded the title as equivalent to Messiah or Christ. It might be paraphrased, "The Christ abideth ever; how sayest thou then, the Christ must be lifted up? Who is this Christ?" In fact, our Lord's adoption of the title is unintelligible unless it were understood by His audience as a claim to being Messiah. It had the advantage that it could not be reported to the Romans as treasonable. There are supplementary portions of Enoch which may be neglected. At first sight  Romans 10:1-3 appear to declare themselves as Noacinan, but close inspection shows this to be a misapprehension. If we take the Greek text of Syncellus, Uriel the angel sent to Noah. The Ethiopic and Gizeh Greek are at this point clearly corrupt. Then the introduction of Raphael implies that the first portion of this chapter and this Raphael section are by the same author. But the Raphael section has to do with the binding of Azazel, a person intimately connected with the earlier history of the Jews. Should it be objected that according to the Massoretic reckoning, as according to that of the Septuagint, Noah and Enoch were not living together, it may be answered that according to the Samaritan they were for 180 years contemporaries. In chapter 68 Noah speaks of Enoch as his grandfather, and assumes him to be a contemporary of himself. Moreover, we must not expect precise accuracy from Apocalyptists.

(6) External Chronology

When the internal chronology of the book is fixed, the way is open for considering the relation of external chronology. Dr. Charles has proved that the Book of Jubilees implies the Noachian portion in the Enoch Books. There are notices of the existence of a Book of Noah (Jub  Romans 10:13 ). There is reference also to a Book of Enoch (Jub 21:10). Dr Charles would date the Book of Jubilees between 135 and 105 bc. If, then, the Book of Noah was already known, and, as we have seen, the Book of Enoch was yet older, it would be impossible to date Enoch earlier than 160 bc. Personally we are not quite convinced of the correctness of Dr. Charles' reasonings as to the date of the Book of Jubilees, as will be shown at more length later. There appears to us a reference in Enoch 66:5 to the campaign of Antiochus the Great against the Parthians and the Medes. Early in his reign (220 bc) he had made an expedition to the East against the revolted provinces of Media and Persia, which he subdued. This was followed (217 bc) by a campaign in Palestine, which at first successful, ended in the defeat of Raphia. In the year 212 bc he made a second expedition to the East, in which he invaded India, and subdued into alliance the formidable Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms. The expectation was natural that now, having gained such an access of power and reputation, Antiochus would desire to wipe out the dishonor of Raphia. It was to be anticipated that along with the nationalities from which ordinarily the Syriac armies were recruited, the Parthians would be found, and the earlier subdued Medes. The description of the treading down of the land of the Elect is too mild for a description of the desecration wrought by Epiphanes. If we are right, we may fix on 205 bc, as the probable date of the nucleus. The Book of the Lummaries of the Heavens which we feel inclined to attribute to the same hand as Enoch 1 through 36 contains a history of Israel that terminates with the Maccabean Struggle still proceeding. Dr. Charles would date this portion at 161 bc. Personally, we should be inclined to place it a few years earlier. He would place chapters 1 through 36 before the Maccabean Struggle. According to our thinking the genuine Noachian fragments fall between these. The Book of Noah seems to have existed as a separate book in the time when the Book of Jubilees was written. It is dependent on Enoch, and therefore after it. The use of portions taken from it to interpolate in the Enoch Books must have taken place before the Maccabean Struggle. There are other passages that have every appearance of being interpolations, the date of which it is impossible to fix with any definiteness.

(7) Slavonic Enoch

In the year 1892 the attention of Dr. Charles was directed to the fact that a Book of Enoch was extant in Slavonic. Perusal proved it not to be a version of the book before us, but another and later pseudepigraphic book, taking, as the earlier had done, the name of Enoch. It is totally independent of the Ethiopic Enoch Book, as is seen by the most cursory consideration. It begins by giving an account of Enoch's instruction to his descendants how he had been taken up to the seventh heaven. Another manuscript adds other three heavens. In the third (?) heaven Enoch is shown the place of the punishment of the wicked. In the description of the fourth heaven there is an account of the physical conditions of the universe, in which the year is said to be 365 1/4 days; but the course of the sun is stated as a course of 227 days; which appears to be all that is accounted for. Here the independence of the Slavonic Enoch is clear, as the Ethiopic Enoch makes the year 364 days. There are many points of resemblance which show that the writer of the Slavonic Enoch had before him the book which has come down to us in Ethiopic, but the relationship is not by any means so close as to be called dependence. The definite numbering of the heavens into seven or ten is a proof of its later date. It is related to the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and also to the Ascension of Isaiah. We cannot quite acknowledge the cogency of the proofs that any portion of this Book has been composed in Greek: hence, we cannot agree with Dr. Charles that it was composed in Alexandria. The resemblances to Philo are too few and slight to be convincing. That some of it was originally Hebrew Dr. Charles admits. The date Dr. Charles assigns to it - 1-50 ad - seems reasonable, with this qualification, that it seems nearer the later than the earlier of these dates. A double translation, with the certainty of some interpolations and the probability of many more, makes any decided Judgment as to date hazardous, so much has to depend on resemblances between books in cases where it is impossible to decide which is dependent on which. It is at once an interesting and a valuable addition to our knowledge of the mind of the age preceding the publication of the gospel.

(8) Secrets of Enoch

In imitation of this Book and in some sense in dependence on it was written a rabbinic Book of the Secrets of Enoch. It is attributed to Rabbi Ishmael, who was a prominent figure in the rebellion of Barcochba. Enoch is there noted as Metatron. It follows to some extent the course of the Slavonic Book of Enoch. It is this book that is referred to in the Talmud, not the more important book quoted by Jude.

2. Apocalypse of Baruch

Though not without its value in estimating the trend of pre-Christian speculation, the Apocalypse of Baruch did not influence thought in the way that the Books of Enoch have done. It is neither quoted nor referred to by any of the Christian Fathers. Irenaeus (V, 33) quotes a saying which he attributes to our Lord on the authority of Papias, who claims to have in this attribution the authority of John behind him. This saying we find in the Apocalypse before us, though considerably expanded. In regard to this, in the first place we have only the Latin version of Irenaeus, not the Greek original. In the next place, even though the Latin may be a faithful translation of the Greek, still it is only a quotation from a lost book, which itself records traditions. The fact that it is in the shortest form in the book before us would seem to indicate that it is the original. If that is so, we may regard it as having a certain vogue among the Essenian school and their sympathizers. In the Syriac Apocrypha published by Lagarde there is a small book entitled "The Epistle of Baruch the Scribe." This occurs at the end of our Apocalypse of Baruch. In Cyprian's Test. contra Jud. , III, 29 we have a passage of considerable length attributed to Bar, a few words of which agree with a passage in this Apocalypse. Hippolytus quotes an oath used by certain Gnostics which he says is found in the Book of Baruch. There are features in the passage thus quoted which seem to be echoes of the book before us. This was all that was known of the Apocalypse of Baruch until the last half-century, when Ceriani discovered a Syriac version of it in the Arabroaian Library in Milan, nearly complete.

(1) Summary

It begins after the model of a prophecy: "The word of the Lord came to Baruch, the son of Neriah, saying." In this he follows the phraseology of Jeremiah. He and Jeremiah are commanded to leave Jerusalem as God is about to pour forth His judgment upon it. Baruch entreats God for his city, and God shows him that the punishment will be temporary. Then the Chaldeans come to fulfill what God has threatened, but Baruch is shown the angel ministers of Divine vengeance saving the sacred vessels by calling upon the earth to swallow them up. Then the angels helped the Chaldeans to overthrow the walls of Jerusalem. Notwithstanding that in the canonical Book of Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 43:6 ,  Jeremiah 43:7 ) and in 2 Kings the prophet goes down to Egypt, Baruch declares that Jeremiah is sent to comfort the captives in Babylon, while he, Baruch, is to remain in Judea. He mourns over Jerusalem and denounces woes in Babylon (chapters 1 through 12). While he is standing upon Mt. Zion he is called into colloquy with God as to the method of Divine dealing with Judah, and a revelation is promised him (chapters 13 through 20). This revelation is introduced by a prayer of Baruch followed by a colloquy with the Almighty. Baruch asks, "Will that tribulation continue a long time?" He is answered that there will be twelve successive different forms of judgment which shall come. Then follows an enigmatic sentence, "Two parts weeks of seven weeks" are "the measure and reckoning of the time" which probably means that each of the parts is a jubilee or half a century. At the termination of this period the Messiah is to appear. Here a description is given of the glories of the Messianic kingdom in the course of which occurs the passage already referred to as quoted by Papias (chapters 21 through 30). The writer, forgetting what he has already said of the desolation of Jerusalem, makes Baruch assemble the Elders of Jerusalem and announce that he is going to retire into solitude. In his retirement he has a vision of a wooded hill, and at the foot of it is a vine growing and beside the vine a spring of water. This fountain swelled and became tempestuous, sweeping away all the forest on the hill but one great cedar. It, too, falls at length. The interpretation is given The forest is the fourth Empire of Daniel - the Roman - the many magistracies being symbolized by the numerous trees of the forest. The Messiah is the vine and the fountain. It is probable that Pompey is the leader referred to (Baruch 31 through 40). Then follows a colloquy of Baruch first with God, then with his son and the Elders of the people. A long prayer with God's answer which includes a description of the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous - the latter is next given with greater fullness (Baruch 41 through 52). Mother vision is given to Baruch of twelve showers of rain alternately bright and dark and a final torrent blacker than anything else and closed by a bright light. The angel Runnel comes to Baruch to interpret the vision. It represents the history of Israel to the return to Judea under the decree of Cyrus. The last dark waters represent the Maccabean Struggle. It would seem as if the vision carried the conflict on to the fratricidal conflict between John Hyrcanus Ii and Aristobulus (Baruch 53 through 77). Then follows the epistle to the nine and a half tribes (Baruch 78 through 87).

(2) Structure

Preliminary to anything further is the discussion of the state of the book - how far it is one, how far it is composite or interpolated. That it contains different portions is obvious on the slightest careful study. The first portion that the reader marks off is the "epistle to the nine tribes and a half." As has already been mentioned this portion appears independently and is preserved by Lagarde in his Libri Vet. Test. Apocryphi , in which collection it precedes the ordinary apocryphal Book of Baruch. The last section, which relates how this epistle was sent to the nine tribes and a half by an eagle, is omitted. The last section (chapter 79) has been added, and has been modified in order to introduce this epistle. It is not at all in the spirit of the rest of this Apocalypse that the tribes carried away captive by "Salmanasser, king of Assyria" have any share in the blessings revealed in the vision. The epistle itself merely narrates the capture of the city, and the help of the angels who hid the sacred vessels. It is to be noted that in the earlier portion of this Apocalypse it is the earth that opens her mouth and swallows down the sacred vessels. Another division reveals itself on further scrutiny. From the beginning to the end of chapter 30 the course of the narrative is fairly continuous. A revelation is promised, and in the end we have a picture of the glory and plenty of the times of the Messiah. The next section begins with an exhortation which has little bearing on what has preceded. Then follows the vision of the forest and the surviving tree. The colloquy and the prayers that follow, to chapter 52, are all connected, though not closely. But close connection is not to be expected from an oriental and an Apocalyptist. Then follow the sections connected with the vision of the twelve showers of rain, and its interpretation. There are thus five independent sections exclusive of interpolations which may be due to different writers.

(3) Language

In the first place it is clear that the Syriac in which the work has come down to us is itself a translation from Greek. The manuscript of Ceriani states this in its title. This is confirmed by Graecisms filtering through, as ho Manasseh in Baruch 65:1, where ho represents the Greek article. In some cases the readings that are unintelligible can be explained by translation back into Greek, as shown by Dr. Charles. The most convincing is the use made of this book by the writer of the "Rest of the Words of Baruch," who wrote in Greek. Although not a few scholars have followed Langen in maintaining that Greek was the original tongue, careful investigation proves that behind the Greek was Hebrew. The strongest of these proofs is that the echoes of Scriptural texts are almost invariably from the Hebrew as against the Septuagint. Thus, in 6:8, Jeremiah three times addresses the earth and calls upon it to hear the word of the Lord. So it is in the Massoretic Text and in the Vulgate, but not in the Septuagint, where the word "earth" is only given twice. There are several other instances. Dr. Charles has carefully compared the idiomatic phrases and sees proof that usages of the Massoretic Text have been preserved in the Greek, and thence conveyed to the Syriac. The most interesting of these is the peculiar Hebrew idiom of infinitive with finite verb to emphasize the action narrated. This is rendered in Septuagint sometimes by cognate noun and verb, and sometimes by participle and verb. The examples chosen by Dr. Charles have the disadvantage that none of them show the effect on this idiom of passing through the two languages, Greek and Syriac. In Paulus Tellensis there are examples - e.g.  2 Kings 18:33 . He is scarcely accurate in saying that this idiom never occurs in the Peshitta unless it is in the Greek. See  Luke 1:22;  John 13:29 , etc., as examples to the contrary. The proof seems conclusive that Hebrew was the original language of this Apocalypse, and that it was first translated into Greek, and from that into Syriac. From this it follows almost necessarily that its place of origin was Palestine. That it has had practically no effect on Jewish literature, and was potent enough among the Christians to lead a Christian about the middle of the 2nd Christian century to compose an addition to it, proves to our thinking its Essenian origin.

(4) Date

Although the writer assumes the destruction of Jerusalem by the army of the Chaldeans, he evidently has no conception of what such a catastrophe would really mean. He has no conception of the length of time occupied by a siege, the terrors of famine, or the desolation that follows the capture of a city. Josephus tells us ( BJ , VII, i, 1) that save a portion of the west wall and three towers, the city was utterly razed to the ground - "there was nothing left to make those who came there believe that ever it had been inhabited." Yet, when endeavoring to realize the similar destruction which had befallen the city under Nebuchadnezzar, he speaks of himself sitting "before the gates of the temple" (Baruch 10:5), when the gates had wholly disappeared. Again, he assembles the people and their elders "after these things" "in the valley of the Kedron." The Apocalypse must be dated at all events considerably before 70 ad. On the other hand, it is subsequent to the first part of En; it assumes it as known (Baruch 56:10-13). But a closer discrimination may be reached. In the vision of the wood and the one tree that survives we have Pompey pointed out clearly. The multitude of trees points to the numerous magistracies of Rome. (Compare description of Senate of Rome in 1 Macc 8:15.) The seer in his vision sees all these swept away and one remaining. It could not be an emperor, as that title was regarded as equivalent to "king," as Nero in the Ascension of Isaiah is called "the matricide king." The only other besides Pompey likely to be pointed to would be Julius Caesar. But the fall of the great desecrator of the temple, which the seer foresaw, would not have failed to be noted as succeeded by that of Caesar who had conquered him. It is difficult for us to realize the position Pompey occupied in the eyes especially of the eastern world before the outbreak of the civil war. Cicero's letters and his oration Pro lege Manilia show the way Pompey filled the horizon even in republican Rome, in a society most of the prominent members of which claimed a descent that would have enabled them to look down on Pompey. But in the East he had enjoyed dictatorial powers. His intervention in the contest between the brothers John Hyrcanus Ii and Aristobulus could not fail to impress the Jews, and his desecration of the temple would mark him off for a very special destruction. The date is so far before the death of Pompey (48 bc) - though after the desecration of the temple - that the possibility of anyone entering into conflict with him is not dreamed of. When we turn to the twelve showers, we are led to the time of this struggle also as that which shall immediately precede the coming of the Messiah. Another note of time is to be found in Baruch 28 - "The measure and reckoning of the time are two parts, weeks of seven weeks." This we regard as two jubilees - i.e. approximately a century. The point to be fixed is the time from which this century is to be reckoned. To our idea it must be from some event connected with the temple. Such an event was the dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus in the 148th year of the Seleucid era - that is, 163 bc. A century brings us exactly to the year of Pompey's capture of Jerusalem and desecration of the temple. Thus three different lines converge in pointing to 60 or 59 bc as the date at which this book was written.

(5) Relation to Other Books

The strange mingling of knowledge of Scripture and ignorance of it is a phenomenon to be observed. The very first clause contains a gross anachronism, whatever explanation may be given of the statement. Taken with what follows, the statement is that Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, "in the 25th year of Jeconiah, king of Judah." This naturally ought to mean the 25th year of the reign of Jeconiah, but he only reigned three months. Whether the date is reckoned from his life or his captivity, it will not suit the date of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. Another strange blunder appears in the subjoined "Epistle of Baruch"; the number of northern tribes who rebelled against Rehoboam is confused, with that of the tribes settled on the west of Jordan, and that of the tribes following the House of David with that of those on the east of Jordan. Yet the general course of Biblical history is quite understood. The author seems fairly well acquainted with Jer and Ps, as there are frequent echoes of these books. Most marked is the connection between this Apocalypse and the other books of the same class. This connection is not so obvious in quotable sentences as in the general atmosphere. This is very marked in regard to the Enoch books, Ethiopic and Slavonic. In the case of the latter, of course, the resemblance is not imitation on the part of the writer of this Apocalypse. One marked distinction, one that precludes any thought of direct imitation, is the elaborate angelology of the Enoch books as compared with the one name which appears in the Apocalypse of Baruch. The book with which the present Apocalypse has closest relation is 2 (4) Esdras. Dr. Charles has given at the end of his translation of the work before us ( Apoc of Baruch , 171) a long list of resemblances, not always of equal value. Sometimes the references are inaccurate. The main thing to be observed is that while 2 Esdras as we have it has on the one hand a markedly Christian coloring, which it seems impossible to attribute to interpolation, and on the other, to have seen the desolation of Jerusalem under the Romans, there is no Christian element in the genuine Baruch, and the desolation is more sentimental as proved by the inability to realize the conditions consequent on the capture of the city by victorious enemies.

(6) The Rest of the Words of Baruch

One of the evidences of the influence our Apocalypse had in the Christian community is the composition by a Christian of "The Rest of the Words of Baruch" (or Jer). This was found, like so many other treasures, by Ceriani in the Ambrosian Library, Milan. Jer is the principal spokesman in the book. It is revealed to him that Jerusalem is to be given into the hands of the Chaldeans, and he announces this to Baruch. He is desirous to save Abimelech (Ebedmelech), and prays God for him, and Abimelech is sent away out of the city while the angels are overturning it. He goes to the vineyard of Agrippa and falls asleep. His sleep continues sixty years. When, arising from sleep, he enters Jerusalem again he does not recognize it. An angel leads him to Baruch who had made his abode in a tank. Baruch writes to Jeremiah, who has departed to Babylon. His letter is conveyed by an eagle. Jeremiah on receipt of this epistle collects all the captives and leads them back to Jerusalem. Certain of them would not submit to the law in all its strictness, but, turning aside, founded Samaria. After some time Jeremiah dies, rises again on the third day and preaches Christ as the Son of God, and is stoned by the Jews. A noticeable thing is the relatively accurate account of the date of Christ's appearance after the return from the captivity, 477 years, only it must be calculated from the reign of Artaxerxes and to the resurrection. This, however, would make Jeremiah nearly two hundred years old. Such a thing, however, is not a matter that would disturb a Jewish chronologer. "The Rest of the Words of Baruch" seems to have been written by a Christian Jew in Palestine before the rebellion of Barcochba.

3. The Assumption of Moses

In the Epistle of Jude is a reference to a conflict between the archangel Michael and Satan, when they "disputed about the body of Moses" Origen ( de Princip , iii.2) attributes this to a book he calls Ascensio Mosis . Clement Alexandrinus gives an account of the burial of Moses quoted from the same book. There are several references to the book up to the 6th century, but thereafter it disappeared till Ceriani found the fragment of it which is published in the Acta Sacra et Profana (Vol I). This fragment is in Latin. It is full of blunders, some due to transcription, proving that the last scribe had but an imperfect knowledge of the tongue in which he wrote. Some of the blunders go farther back and seem to have been due to the scribe who translated it from Greek. Even such a common word as thlı̄́psis ("affliction") he did not know, but attempted, by no means with conspicuous success, to transliterate it as clipsis ̌ . So with allóphuloi "foreigners," the common Septuagint equivalent of "Philistine," and yet commoner skēnḗ ("a tent") and several others. It probably was dictated, as some of the blunders of the copyist may be better explained as mistakes in hearing, as fynicis for Phoenices , and venient for veniet . Some, however, are due to blunders of sight on the part of the translator, as monses for moyses ̌ . From this we may deduce that he read from a manuscript in cursive characters, in which "ρ Ο2 νπ " and "ρ Ο2 υπ " were alike. This Milan manuscript has been frequently edited. Dr Charles has suggested with great plausibility that there were two works, a Testament of Moses, and an Assumption, and that these have been combined; and, while  Judges 1:9 is derived from the Assumption, as also the quotation in Clement of Alexandria, he thinks that   Judges 1:16 is derived from separate clauses of the Testament. It may be observed that in the fragment which has been preserved to us, neither the passages in Clement nor that referred to in   Judges 1:16 are to be found.

(1) Summary