What does Apocalyptic Literature mean in the Bible?


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Apocalyptic Literature
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 , Zechariah 14:1-217 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 ; 1618838200_29 . 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 [1]). 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.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - 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.
5.The Unknown as subject-matter.
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.
vi.Contact with the New Testament.
1.Apocalyptic Forms in the New Testament.
2.Current Phraseology: Son of Man, etc.
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 [1]). 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, PRE [2] , 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 Jesu2 [3] , 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 ZDMG [4] , 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 ZDMG [4] , 1882, pp. 185–195; Lawlor in Journ. of Philol. 1897, pp. 164–225; Clemen, ‘Die Zusammensetzung d. B. Henoch, etc.’ in SK [6] , 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,* [7] 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
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic Literature
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).

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Jubilees, Book of - See Apocalyptic Literature, § 2
Psalms of Solomon - See Apocalyptic Literature, 3
Testaments of Twelve Patriarchs - See Apocalyptic Literature, 5
Isaiah, Ascension of - See Apocalyptic Literature, No
Jude, Epistle of Saint - The illustrations are mostly drawn from the Old Testament and, what is remarkable, from the Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, i
Epistle of Saint Jude - The illustrations are mostly drawn from the Old Testament and, what is remarkable, from the Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, i
Daniel - —The influence of Daniel on the Apocalyptic conceptions of the Gospels is profound (see Apocalyptic Literature)
Beast - ...
Apocalyptic Literature such as Daniel and Revelation utilize beasts of various sorts in their symbolism (see Psalm 74:19 ; Jeremiah 12:9 )
Forehead - ...
In the Apocalyptic Literature of the New Testament the foreheads of the righteous were marked (Revelation 7:3 ; Revelation 9:4 ; Revelation 14:1 ; Revelation 22:4 )
Earthquake - Is characteristic of Apocalyptic Literature
Baruch - For the Apocryphal writings attached to his name, see Apocrypha and Apocalyptic Literature
Leviathan - ...
Apocalyptic Literature depicts leviathan as throwing off his fetters at the end of the present age, only to be defeated in a final conflict with the divine
Zechariah, Book of - His book shows characteristics of the Apocalyptic Literature that developed in Israel over the next few centuries. Apocalyptic writers presented their messages in the form of visions in which symbolic figures and numbers usually featured (see Apocalyptic Literature)
Lake of Fire - The relevant passages in the contemporary Apocalyptic Literature are: 2 Bar. Hence in the Apocalyptic Literature contemporary with the Apocalypse the precise form of the conception does not appear. In the light of contemporary Apocalyptic Literature the penal sense would seem to be the most natural one
Stars - In Apocalyptic Literature ( Revelation 22:16 ) our Lord describes Himself as ‘the bright, the morning star’; whilst ‘they that turn many to righteousness’ are to shine ‘as the stars for ever and ever’ ( Daniel 12:3 ). ’ Special numbers of stars are mentioned; in Rev ( Revelation 1:16 ; Revelation 12:1 ), the seven stars and twelve stars illustrate a conventional use of those numbers common in Apocalyptic Literature
God And Magog - The picture that Ezekiel gave of their overthrow gave rise to the apocalyptic conception that finally the enemies of God and His people would he utterly overthrown in a great battle, and the names Gog and Magog frequently appear in later Jewish Apocalyptic Literature as leaders of the hostile world powers (cf. ...
Many and varied are the interpretations that have been given of Gog and Magog by those who, ignoring the poetical and pictorial nature of Apocalyptic Literature, regard the Apocalypse as a prophecy of actual historic events
Enoch - A much fuller tradition is presupposed by the remarkable development of the Enoch legend in the Apocalyptic Literature, where Enoch appears as a preacher of repentance, a prophet of future events, and the recipient of supernatural knowledge of the secrets of heaven and earth, etc
Revelation, Book of - ) In Apocalyptic Literature God gives revelations to people by means of strange visions explained by angels. The visions often feature fearsome beasts and mysterious numbers, and are usually concerned with great conflicts out of which God and his people triumph (see Apocalyptic Literature). ...
Because Christians of the first century were familiar with Apocalyptic Literature, they would have readily understood Revelation, but Christians of a different era and culture usually find the book difficult to interpret
Millennium - The Millennium was, however, present in the Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
Dragon - In the post-exilic Jewish Apocalyptic Literature a dragon of the depths becomes the representative of the forces of evil and opposition to goodness and God
Paradise - In Jewish Apocalyptic Literature and in the NT
New Heavens And a New Earth - The sea is used in Apocalyptic Literature as a symbol of chaos and may symbolize evil. The concept of newness and renewal is prominent in extrabiblical Apocalyptic Literature as well
Dualism - In the Apocalyptic Literature the present world is represented as under Satan’s dominion, and as wrested from him only by a supernatural manifestation of God’s power to establish His Kingdom. Apocalyptic Literature, Devil, Eschatology
Antichrist - This expectation accords with that of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (Sybilline Oracles, Book 3; 4Esdras 5:6) and early Catholic Christianity (Didache 16:1-4)
Daniel - In Apocalyptic Literature the visions are always strange, with weird symbolism that often features fierce beasts. The overall purpose is to picture great conflicts out of which God and his people triumph (see Apocalyptic Literature)
Apocalyptic - ...
Apocalyptic Movement The so-called “apocalyptic movement” which gave birth to the Apocalyptic Literature had its roots in Israel's history. ...
Significance The chief importance of the Apocalyptic Literature was its enabling the prophetic faith in God and hope for His kingdom to burn brightly in oppressive times
Face - ‘angel (s) of the face or presence,’ Isaiah 63:9 , Tob 12:15 , Revelation 8:2 , and often in Apocalyptic Literature)
Revelation - Because revelation is solely an activity of God and is exercised according to his sovereign will, God may choose to give additional special revelations to certain people (Acts 9:10-16; 1 Corinthians 14:30; 2 Corinthians 12:1; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 1:11-12; Galatians 2:2; Ephesians 3:3; see Apocalyptic Literature; PROPHECY; VISION)
Apocalyptic Literature - ...
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
Apocalypse - 70, Apocalyptic Literature begins to lose interest for the Synagogue in proportion as it gains it for the Christian Church. This fact invents the Apocalyptic Literature with a peculiar interest for the student of the Apostolic Age. Period and general characteristics of Apocalyptic Literature. -Before passing to an account of the Apocalypse of John we must try to form a definite idea of the characteristic features of Apocalyptic Literature-its design, form, and leading ideas. ]'>[17] As we have seen, the period within which Apocalyptic Literature was produced occupied over a century and a half before the birth of Christ and about a century after
Bible, Hermeneutics - Apocalyptic Literature employs vivid symbols and fanciful images to convey some message or mystery or prophecy in a veiled, highly imaginative way. The Book of Revelation and certain portions of Daniel and Ezekiel are examples of Apocalyptic Literature in the Bible
New Creation - In what is probably the latest phase of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (4Edras 7:75; Syr. But while the Apocalyptic Literature of Judaism and Qumran reflect a growing belief in God's final solution, it is limited to a future, eschatological event (however imminent) and never "individualized" or applied as a description of a new condition of life as in Paul (though these developments may have influenced the apostle's thought)
Daniel, Book of - ...
Apocalyptic Literature best describes Daniel for most Bible students. ...
A second stance emphasizes Daniel's relationship to other Apocalyptic Literature in which writers often use the names of ancient heroes to describe history long past to bring a message to a present generation facing extreme persecution
Apocalyptic Literature - Apocalyptic Literature . Chief among Apocalyptic Literature are the following: ...
1. ’ 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
Millennium - ...
Symbolism in Revelation...
Revelation belongs to a kind of literature known as apocalyptic, where teaching is given in the form of strange visions with symbolic meanings (see Apocalyptic Literature)
Punishment - (α) According to representations derived from Apocalyptic Literature, the fallen angels are depicted as undergoing punishment in Tartarus while awaiting the Final Judgment (2 Peter 2:9; cf
Apocalyptic Literature - APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE...
i. The most illustrious specimen, and perhaps the prototype of later Apocalyptic Literature, is the Book of Daniel. Apocalyptic Literature in general begins before Christ. 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
Zechariah, Book of - In the transition from prophetical to Apocalyptic Literature, this book is an important link. Growing knowledge of the general course of development of prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature makes this conclusion more and more inevitable
Colors - Color symbolism became for the writers of Apocalyptic Literature (Daniel, Revelation) an appropriate tool for expressing various truths in hidden language
Paradise - -In the Jewish Apocalyptic Literature Paradise, by a combination of elements from (a) and (c), came to be conceived of as one of the abodes of the righteous after death
Eternity - The Day of the Lord would come for oppressed Israel, for the oppressors, for the whole world, and (in Apocalyptic Literature, Ps-Sol 3:16, 13:9 etc
Angels of the Seven Churches - If this use of the word by the author has led to confusion and obscurity, the reason lies probably in the limitations of that symbolism which was the characteristic vehicle of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (see W
Abomination of Desolation - Such personifications are not uncommon in prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature (Ezekiel 38, " translation="">Revelation 2:1 [ἄγγελος]'>[1]+2%3A20">[1] 2:20 [2] 12:3 [3]
Interpretation - (For details see Apocalyptic Literature; POETRY
Resurrection - ...
The most conspicuous references to a resurrection are to be found in later Apocalyptic Literature, as the salvation leitmotif moves closer to the comprehensive perception that is later spelled out in Christ's resurrection. Apocalyptic Literature was more commonplace, and the afterlife and the concern for individual salvation were prominent
Joel - Other biblical students have seen in the book primarily a prediction of future events and have related it to certain Apocalyptic Literature of the New Testament (Revelation 9:3-11 )
Apocrypha - —While this idea is luxuriantly developed in Apocalyptic Literature, it is singularly neglected in most of the Apocrypha. ...
Apocalyptic literature lends itself more readily to Messianic ideas, and these find full expression in the Book of Enoch, where—in the ‘Similitudes’—the descriptions of the Messiah who appears in clouds as the Son of Man are assigned by Dr. —Unlike the Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature which confessedly anticipated a great future, and so furnished a hope which Christianity subsequently claimed to fulfil, the Hebrew Wisdom writings profess to give absolute truth, and betray no consciousness of further developments
Satan - This is most clearly visible in the Apocalyptic Literature
Hope - The OT heritage is developed in extravagant forms by Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, which was the product of a powerful ferment in the Judaism of New Test, times
Promise (2) - While the NT contains several passages which show kinship with current Apocalyptic Literature and its eschatology, and indicate a lingering belief in the mind of the writer that the fulfilment of the promises lies still in the future, the unmistakably prevalent thought of the writers is that in the work of Christ they have already seen the promises fulfilled
Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the - For Ezekiel 38:1-23 ; Ezekiel 39:1-29 , Daniel 7:1-28 ; Daniel 8:1-27 ; Daniel 9:1-27 ; 1 John 2:18 ; Daniel 12:1-13 , and later extra-canonical Jewish Apocalyptic Literature present, under varied historic colouring, the same conception of a final rally of the powers of evil before the last days, and of the triumph of Messiah over ‘antichrist
Prophecy, Prophet - (See Apocalyptic Literature
Eschatology (2) - For perhaps about 100 years before Christ the idea of separate compartments in Hades, for the godly and the wicked respectively, had more or less prevailed (see Apocalyptic Literature, esp. It is with the problem raised by this conflict between the prophetic conscience and the facts, that the Apocalyptic Literature from Daniel onwards is concerned
Day of Judgment - This double conception is to be found also in the Apocalyptic Literature, and is easily understood by reference to the representative character of the Messiah. In accordance with the Apocalyptic Literature, angels were also to be judged, and that, too, by the saints (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
Proverbs, Theology of - Yet unlike Apocalyptic Literature, which draws a sharp distinction between this world and the one to come, Wisdom Literature regards life as both already and yet to come
Jesus Christ - Moreover, a very genuine religious originality and fervour had continued to find expression in the Apocalyptic Literature of later Judaism (see Apocalyptic Literature)
New Jerusalem - ’...
Outside the OT in the Apocalyptic Literature we have to look for the further progress of this conception. It is here, therefore, in the Apocalyptic Literature that we find the immediate source of the Christian hope of a new heaven and a new earth which meets us in the NT
Revelation, Book of - Such a view is, however, open to serious objections, because of the similarities, if not identities, existing between Revelation and other Apocalyptic Literature of the period, as well as because of the evidences of composite character of the writing, implying sources of different origins and dates, such as the various breaks in the process of the vision (the lack of any single historical point of view is seen by a comparison of Revelation 12:3 ; Revelation 13:1 ; Revelation 17:3 , in an effort to identify historically the two breaks, or in a comparison of Revelation 11:1-13 with Revelation 17:11 )
Time - The word ‘time’ in Biblical Apocalyptic Literature has another meaning ‘time’ stands for ‘a year’ both in Daniel ( Daniel 4:16 ; Daniel 4:23 ; Daniel 4:25 ; Daniel 4:32 ; Daniel 7:25 , where the plural ‘times’ seems to stand for two years) and in Revelation 12:14 (derived from Daniel 7:25 )
Retribution (2) - There is nothing of the spirit of the imprecatory Psalms or the Apocalyptic Literature
Eschatology - The Christian Apocalyptic Literature
Apocrypha - One of the curious cases of mixed material is that of the Sibylline Oracles , See Apocalyptic Literature
Advent (2) - It is in the Apocalyptic Literature, which sprang up in imitation of the Book of Daniel, that we find the conceptions which gave peculiar shape and colour to the Messianic expectations entertained in later times
Winter - Contemporaneously, under the mythologizing influence exerted through Apocalyptic Literature, the redemptive mission of Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon 9:17 f
Eschatology - As a result we have the very extensive Apocalyptic Literature which, beginning with the Book of Daniel, was the prevailing mode of expression of a sort of bastard prophecy during the two centuries preceding and the century following Christ
Antichrist - in the story of the Temptation in Genesis 3, where, as in Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2, the serpent=the dragon; and in the later Apocalyptic Literature a dragon represents the hostile powers that rise up in opposition to God and His Kingdom (Pss
Alpha And Omega (2) - And I manifestly the development of this idea of Jehovah as ‘first and last’ in the redemptive or soteriological sense, would be more congenial to Hebrew thought than the metaphysical, although cosmology plays a great and increasing part in Apocalyptic Literature
Heaven - But it must not be supposed that a wholly consistent view can be found in the Apocalyptic Literature of the period, any more than in the NT writers
Revelation, the Book of - Although the genre itself was not literally acknowledged in the first century, what we now call “apocalyptic literature” certainly existed
Jesus Christ, Name And Titles of - The Apocalyptic Literature of the period tends to focus on the meaning of the names of saints and angels, not God
Hell - The imagery may be derived from the saying in Matthew 5:25-26, but we must remember that ‘bonds and imprisonment’ were frequently the terms in which the Apocalyptic Literature figured future punishment
Hell - The imagery may be derived from the saying in Matthew 5:25-26, but we must remember that ‘bonds and imprisonment’ were frequently the terms in which the Apocalyptic Literature figured future punishment
Resurrection - -The chief sources are the Assumption of Moses, 2 Baruch , , 4 Ezra for the Apocalyptic Literature, and such portions of the Talmud as may reflect the Rabbinical tradition of this period
Gospels - ] argues that the Apocalypse, written towards the close of the century, proves that there wore at that period circles with a strong liking for Apocalyptic Literature, and seems to think that the First Gospel may therefore have been written comparatively late
Heaven - But it must not be supposed that a wholly consistent view can be found in the Apocalyptic Literature of the period, any more than in the NT writers
Messiah - The pseudonymous literature, which thus arose in the course of time, however, came to be taken not simply as figures of speech, but as possessing an ill-defined literal character (see Apocalyptic Literature)
Persecution - From their midst emanated the Apocalyptic Literature of the nation, with its dream of a glorious triumph for Judah
Prophet - ...
The Apocalyptic Literature is mostly silent on the point
Enoch Book of - Yet another recurring feature, and one common to this Apocalyptic Literature, is the reserving of the visions and the books of Enoch for the last days, for the elect to read and understand
Character of Christ - The measure of His acquaintance with the Apocalyptic Literature which many of His contemporaries were studying, cannot accurately be determined