Eschatological Viticulture in 1 Enoch, 2 Baruch, and the Presbyters of Papias

in Vigiliae Christianae
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This study looks at three of the most prominent instances of eschatological viticulture in early Judaism and Christianity, namely 1 En. 10.19, 2 Bar. 29.5, and the presbyters of Papias in Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 5.33.3, paying particular attention to their tradition histories and intertextual relationships. All three of these texts imagine that the grape vine will be fantastically productive in God’s renewed creation, but they develop this image in different ways based on different biblical texts. First Enoch uses the trope in conjunction with its use of the account of Noah’s renewal of the earth after the Flood in Gen 9. Second Baruch uses it to complement an eschatological banquet feasting upon the primordial beasts of Leviathan and Behemoth, followed by a return to the fragrant fruits of paradise of Gen 2. Papias, by contrast, applies the trope to the Blessing of Isaac in Gen 27:28.

Eschatological Viticulture in 1 Enoch, 2 Baruch, and the Presbyters of Papias

in Vigiliae Christianae




BlackHenochi26. J. T. Milik with Matthew Black The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1976) 192. The Aramaic of 4QEnc is fragmentary (Milik Enoch 189) so only a few words and phrases of the saying are attested: “. . . in honesty and all plant[s] . . . blessing and all trees . . . plants on it . . . [tho]usand . . .”


Nickelsburg1 Enoch216.


Nickelsburg1 Enoch227; Hartman “Early Example” 19 22; Hartman “Comfort” 90. But Kvanvig Primeval History 411 n.98 objects to this allusion on the grounds that Enochic scribes may not have “had the whole of Genesis in our present form before their eyes” and that the context of 1 Enoch 10:19 is “not Noah but the people living in the eschatological era.” The first objection reflects Kvanvig’s somewhat implausible view that the Watcher Story is not dependent on Genesis at all but rather on its Priestly Source (P); the second does not fully take into account the typological use of Noah (Hartman “Comfort” 91).


Nickelsburg1 Enoch227.


Argued by Hartman“Comfort” 92.


Noted long ago by August DillmannDas Buch Henoch (Leipzig: Vogel1853) 102. See also Nickelsburg 1 Enoch 227. Walsh Fruit 111-112 points out that the size of this vineyard is very large about twenty times the size of the plot of an average viner planter. Kvanvig Primeval History 411 relates 1 Enoch 10:16b-19 to Is 65:17-32.


KvanvigPrimeval History366 408.


Example from Klijn“2 Baruch” 616.


Klijn“2 Baruch” 617.


Translations from Klijn“2 Baruch” 630.


Translation from Klijn“2 Baruch” 630.


CharlesBaruch53; Bogaert Baruchii 63; Whitney Two Strange Beasts 41; and Lied Other Lands 213. These are only two of several texts that describe an eschatological banquet on these beasts; see further Debra Scoggins Ballentine The Conflict Myth and the Biblical Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015) 150-166.


E.g. CharlesBaruch53; Bogaert Baruchii 64; Léon Gry “Le Papias des belles promesses messianique” Vivre et Penser 3 (1944) 112-124; Whitney Two Strange Beasts 41; and Lied Other Lands 213. There is some dispute about what “the fruits of the earth” refer to. On the one hand Nir Destruction 136 argues that it refers to the harvest of grain based on an Arabic version of the text which allows her to relate to Papias and other Christian traditions. On the other hand Lied Other Lands 215 interprets the term in reference to fruit trees which allows her to link it to Ezek 47:12 and Rev 22:2. In my view however the generality of the term suggests agricultural produce in general.


NirDestruction138; Lied Other Lands 214 (also citing Homer and Hesiod); and Pentiuc “Nature” 314 n.20.


LiedOther Lands213-214.


LiedOther Lands213-217. Lied 217-219 goes to argue that these foods also temporally recapitulate creation with the monsters being created on the fifth day the dew and agricultural produce on the third day and manna on the seventh day.


CharlesBaruch54; R. H. Charles The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testa ment in English vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1913) 498.


IndeedSib. Or. 7.146-149 calls for the cessation of agricultural toil and the supersession of vine branches and ears of wheat by the provision of “dewy manna” at the restoration of the world. Whitney Two Strange Beasts 4; Kulik 3 Baruch 250 (in connection with 3 Bar. 6.11).


EusebiusHist. eccl. 3.36.2 calls him a bishop of Hierapolis but this church office may be an anachronism. On Papias generally see Enrico Norelli Papia di Hierapolis Esposizione degli oracoli del Signore: I frammentilcpm 36 (Milan Paoline 2005); Ulrich H. J. Körtner Papias von Hierapolis: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des frühen Christentumsfrlant 155 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1983); William R. Schoedel Polycarp Martyrdom of Polycarp Fragments of Papias The Apostolic Fathers 5 (London: Thomas Nelson 1967); and Vernon Bartlet “Papias’s ‘Exposition’: Its Date and Contents” in Amicitiae Corolla: A Volume of Essays Presented to James Rendel Harris ed. H. G. Wood (London: University of London Press 1933) 15-44.


So e.g. Tim Hegedus“Midrash and Papias of Hierapolis,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 42 (2012) 30-35 at 34 arguing that neither one “had the requisite familiarity with Hebrew to access the original text of Genesis in [this] way.” By contrast both Irenaeus and Papias were fluent in Greek but the Greek word for abundance πλῆθος in Gen 27:28 lxx bears almost no phonological resemblance to the Greek word for ten thousand µυριάς.


Dubois“Remarques” 5.


H. J. de Jonge“BOTPYC BOHCEI,” in Studies in Hellenistic Religionsed. M. J. Vermaseren epro 78 (Leiden: Brill1979) 37-49 at 47. So also Dubois “Remarques” 8. Some scholars see Semitic wordplay underlying this statement; for example Gry “Papias” 117 argues that this reflects a midrashic interpretation of חכלילי (“be dim”) in Gen 49:12 as הכי לי לי (“bring to me to me”) followed also by Schoedel Polycarp 95-96 and Hegedus “Midrash” 33.


McGowan“First” 551.

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