Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Sources

Michael Bird's Friday is for "Ad Fontes" (to the sources) is far more intelligent, but since that's taken, I guess I'll go with "Saturday Sources," that is at least this week :-)

I'm working in relation to the worship of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch, so I thought I would do what I have done with some other early Jewish literature and quote the texts from the Parables (1 Enoch 37-71) that seem most relevant to New Testament study. The translation is taken from the recent translation of George Nickelsburg and James VanderKam (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004).
And after this, I (Enoch) saw all the secrets of heaven,
how the kingdom is divided,
and how the deeds of humanity are weighed in the balance.

There I saw the dwelling places of the chosen and the dwelling places of the holy ones.
And my eyes saw there all the sinners who deny the name of the Lord of Spirits being driven away from there,
and they dragged them off and they could not remain because of the scourge that went forth from the Lord of Spirits.

For no angel hinders and no power is able to hinder,
for the Judge sees them all and judges them all in his presence.

Wisdom did not find a place where she might dwell,
so her dwelling was in the heaven.
Wisdom went forth to dwell among the sons of men,
but she did not find a dwelling.
Wisdom returned to her place,
and sat down among the angels.

Iniquity went forth from her chambers,
those whom she did not seek she found,
and she dwelt among them like rain in a desert and dew in a thirsty land.

This is the second parable concerning those who deny the name of the dwelling of the holy ones and of the Lord of the spirits.
To heaven they will not ascend, and on earth they will not come.
Thus will be the lot of the sinners who have denied the name of the Lord of the Spirits,
who will be kept thus for the day of affliction and tribulation.

On that day, my Chosen One will sit on the throne of glory,
and he will [test] their works, and their resting places will be innumerable.
And their spirits will grow strong within them,
when they see my chosen ones and those who appeal to my glorious name.

On that day, I shall make my Chosen One dwell among them,
and I shall transform heaven and make it a blessing and a light forever;
and I shall transform the earth and make it a blessing.
And my chosen ones I shall make to dwell on it,
but those who commit sin and error will not set foot on it...

There I saw one who had a head of days,
and his head was like white wool.
And with him was another, whose face was like the appearance of a man;
and his face was full of graciousness like one of the holy angels.
And I asked the angel of peace, who went with me and showed me all the hidden things,
about that son of man--who he was and whence he was (and) why he went with the Head of Days.

And he answered me and said to me,
"This is the son of man who has righteousness,
and righteousness dwells with him.
And all the treasuries of what is hidden he will reveal;
for the Lord of Spirits has chosen him,
and his lot has prevailed through truth in the presence of the Lord of the Spirits forever.

And this son of man whom you have seen--
he will raise the kings and the mighty from their couches,
and the strong from their thrones.
He will loosen the reins of the strong,
and he will crush the teeth of the sinners.
He will overturn the kings from their thrones and their kingdoms,
because they do not exalt him or praise him,
or humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was given to them.
The face of the strong he will turn aside,
and shame will fill them.
Darkness will be their dwelling,
and worms shall be their couch.
And they will have no hope to rise from their couches,
because they do not exalt the name of the Lord of the Spirits.

In those days I saw the Head of Days as he took his seat on the throne of his glory,
and the books of the living were opened in his presence,
and all his host, which was in the heights of heaven,
and his court, were standing in his presence.

And the hearts of the holy ones were filled with joy,
for the number of [the righteous] was at hand;
and the prayer of the righteous had been heard,
and the blood of the righteous one had been required in the presence of the Lord of the Spirits...

And in that hour that son of man was named in the presence of the Lord of the Spirits,
and his name, before the Head of Days.
Even before the sun and the constellations were created,
before the stars of heaven were made,
his name was named before the Lord of Spirits.

He will be a staff for the righteous,
that they may lean on him and not fall;
And he will be the light of the nations,
and he will be a hope for those who grieve in their hearts.
All who dwell on the earth will fall down and worship before him,
and they will glorify and bless and sing hymns to the name of the Lord of Spirits.
For this (reason) he was chosen and hidden in his presence
before the world was created and forever.

And the wisdom of the Lord of the Spirits has revealed him to the holy and the righteous;
for he has preserved the portion of the righteous.
For they have hated and despised this age of unrighteousness;
Indeed, all its deeds and its ways they have hated in the name of the Lord of the Spirits.
For in his name they are saved,
and he is the vindicator of their lives.

In those days, the earth will restore what has been entrusted to it,
and Sheol will restore what it has received,
and destruction will restore what it owes.

For in those days, my Chosen One will arise,
and choose the righteous and holy from among them,
for the day on which they will be saved has drawn near.
And the Chosen One, in those days, will sit upon my throne,
and all the secrets of wisdom will go forth from the counsel of his mouth,
for the Lord of the Spirits has given (them) to him and glorified him.

And the Lord of the Spirits seated the Chosen One upon the throne of glory
and he will judge all the works of the holy ones in the heights of heaven,
and in the balance he will weigh their deeds.

And when he will lift up his face to judge their secret ways
according to the word of the Lord of the Spirits
and their paths according to the way of the way of the righteous judgment of the Lord of Spirits,
they will all speak with one voice,
and bless and glorify and exalt and sanctify the name of the Lord of Spirits.

And thus the Lord commanded the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who possess the earth, and he said,
"Open your eyes and lift up your horns,
if you are able to recognize the Chosen One."
And the Lord of Spirits [seated him] upon the throne of his glory,
and the spirit of righteousness was poured upon him.

And the word of his mouth will slay the sinners,
and all the unrighteous will perish from his presence.
And there will stand up on that day all the kings and the mighty
and the exalted and those who possess the earth.
And they will see and recognize that he sits on the throne of his glory;
and righteousness is judged in his presence,
and no lying word is spoken in his presence...

And all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who rule the earth
will fall on their faces in his presence;
and they will worship and set their hope on that son of man,
and they will supplicate and petition for mercy from him.

But the Lord of the Spirits himself will press them,
so that they will hasten to depart from his presence;
and their faces will be filled with shame,
and the darkness will grow deeper on their faces.
[And he will deliver them] to the angels for punishment,
so that they may exact retribution from them
for the iniquity that they did to his children and his chosen ones...

And the righteous and the chosen will be saved on that day;
and the faces of the sinners and the unrighteous they will henceforth not see.
And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them,
and with that son of man they will eat,
and they will lie down and rise up forever and ever.

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