By Martha Himmelfarb
This can be a examine of the traditional Jewish and Christian apocalypses regarding ascent into heaven, that have got little scholarly cognizance compared to apocalypses involved basically with the tip of the area. fresh advancements just like the book of the Aramaic Enoch fragments from Qumran and curiosity in questions of style within the research of the apocalypses make this a very acceptable time to adopt this learn. Martha Himmelfarb areas the apocalypses when it comes to either their biblical antecedents and their context within the Greco-Roman global. Her research emphasizes the emergence of the certainty of heaven as temple within the booklet of the Watchers, the earliest of those apocalypses, and how within which this figuring out impacts the depiction of the end result of ascent, the hero's success of a spot one of the angels, within the ascent apocalypses quite often. It additionally considers where of secrets and techniques of nature and primeval background in those works. ultimately, it bargains an interpretation of the pseudepigraphy of the apocalypses and their function.
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Extra info for Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses
The Testament of Levi's phrase for sweet savor, osme euddias, is the Septuagint's standard translation of the Hebrew reytth niboab, the aroma produced by sacrifice. 24 I do not know any other instance of the application of the entire phrase to heavenly sacrifice, but the very fragmentary beginning of the thirteenth Sabbath Song from Qumran refers to "the sacrifices of the holy ones," and then "the odor of their offerings," and "the odor of their drink offerings" (11QShirShabb 8-7, lines 2-3). Newsom's comment about the phrases involving odor is worth quoting: In the OT where ryh is used in connection with sacrifice, it always occurs in the stereotyped phrase ryh nyhwh.
Yet despite the emphasis on heaven as temple and the vision of God himself, Levi betrays no emotion nor even an awareness of protocol. He does not shake and tremble, and he neglects to fall on his face. It is possible that the absence of any reaction is intended to emphasize Levi's distinction as founder of the priestly line. Even an ordinary priest is at home in the earthly temple, so perhaps the ancestor of all priests feels at home in the heavenly temple as well, and at ease with the sight of the awesome one who dwells there.
In the Aramaic, then, die angels begin the process of consecration in the vision, but Jacob completes it on earth. 35 What is most significant for our purposes here is something the Testament and the Aramaic document have in common. In both, Levi's ascent to heaven is followed by a process of consecration as priest in which he is anointed and dressed in priestly garments. The purpose of the ascent is God's appointment of Levi as priest, and the consecration is thus the fulfillment of the ascent.
Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses by Martha Himmelfarb