By Alexander Kulik
This paintings presents the major to 1 of the main enigmatic Jewish Hellenistic texts preserved in Greek and Slavonic. even though three Baruch is likely one of the significant early Jewish apocalypses, it's been quite overlooked in glossy scholarship, most likely seeing that three Baruch is likely one of the such a lot tricky works to appreciate and classify. Its content material differs considerably from that of alternative writings of an analogous style, because the publication preserves syncretistic rules and traits that are mixed in targeted methods. The worldview, the message, and the very textual constitution of three Baruch are enigmatic in lots of respects. the current learn demonstrates that the textual background of three Baruch, implicit meanings and structural hyperlinks in its textual content, in addition to conceptions in the back of the textual content, are partially reconstructable. furthermore, three Baruch, accurately learn, considerably enriches our figuring out of the heritage of the motifs present in early Jewish lore, every now and then supplying lacking hyperlinks among diverse phases in their improvement, and preserves vital proof at the roots of Jewish mysticism, proto-Gnostic and proto-Christian traditions. The learn includes the advent, synoptic translation, textual notes, and unique commentaries.
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Extra info for 3 Baruch: Greek-Slavonic Apocalypse of Baruch (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)
Baruch faces the closed gate, upon which the names of men are inscribed (S), who, in contrast to Baruch, are allowed to enter it (either alive or dead). This must be the inaccessible supercelestial heaven above the three or two heavens visited by Baruch. The gate opens only to admit the commander-in-chief Michael, the key-holder of the Kingdom, and the angelic high priest, descending from behind it with a great sound to receive the prayers of men. This must be the well known “gate of prayer,” behind which is the sacral realm accessible only to the high priest Michael.
Cosmographic escapism. Even if one accepts the above interpretation, suggesting that there is an implicit agenda behind the cosmological descriptions of 3 Baruch, “scientific” interest in the physical aspects of the way the world functions remains very relevant for this composition. While other, theophanic, apocalypses are focused on Ma’aseh Merkaba, and are concerned with theosophy as well as with eschatology, 3 Baruch confines itself to Ma’aseh Bereshit, that is, to cosmogony and cosmology. This kind of wisdom, although restricted to chosen ones, is less protected: “Ma’aseh Bereshit must not be explained before two, nor Ma’aseh Merkabah before one, unless he be wise and understands it by himself” (m.
Gen 3:21; Pesiq. R. 2; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 5; Pirqe R. El. ) First humans’ “garments of skin [rvi tvntk ]” (Gen 3:21) interpreted as “garments of light [rvX ] tvntk ;” Ezek 28:13; Gen. Rab. 12; Pirqe R. El. 20; Abot R. Nat. B) Sun Bird sheltering the world is called “the protector of the inhabited world” (6:3) “R. Yohanan said, ‘He [God] is also a protector of the whole world [Heb vlvk ,lvih lk li ]ygm ], as it is written, ‘with the shadow of my hand have I sheltered you’ [Isa 51:16]’” (b. Sanh. 3.
3 Baruch: Greek-Slavonic Apocalypse of Baruch (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature) by Alexander Kulik