n Acta Patristica et Byzantina - The postrabbinic apocalypse, , and the Hebrew Bible : general article on early Christian, Jewish and Byzantine studies

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1022-6486


is the perhaps the oldest of Jewish apocalypses produced during late antiquity. The book is a compilation of biblical texts serving the plot of the initial humiliation of the people of God, with accompanying hope, conflict, and the resultant victory and restoration. The apocalypse originated during the Sassanid conquest, a period which brought a new fervor among Palestinian Jews. The apocalypse purports to be a vision mediated by the archangel Michael to the biblical prophet Elijah during Elijah's flight to Horeb to escape from the Israelite-Canaanite queen. The revelation is received at Mount Carmel. Michael converses in third person about the mystery of "the end" marked by an array of military disasters marking that time. Elijah responds in first person about the wonderful sights he sees during a tour of the cosmos leading to the time of the end of the eschaton. The prophet and angel do not interact directly but rather deliver speeches. In this article the influence of the Hebrew Bible on the apocalypse is investigated leading to the conclusion that the apocalypse is an attempt to apply the Biblical text to new circumstances in the seventh century CE.

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