Most cultures have myths of origin. The Babylonians were the first to combine blocks of traditions about primeval time into primeval histories where humans had a central role. In the first millennium there were different versions that influenced the concepts of primeval history within Jewish religion, both in the Bible and in the parallel Enochic tradition. Atrahasis and the traditions of primeval dynasties had crucial impact on Genesis; the traditions of the primeval apkallus as cosmic guardians were lying behind the Enochic Watcher Story. The book offers a comprehensive analytic comparison between the images of primeval time in these three traditions. It presents new interpretations of each of these traditions and how they relate to each other.


There is no doubt that the biblical story in Genesis and Exodus, extending from creation to Sinai, forms the backbone of the narrative in Jubilees. Often analyses of Jubilees concentrate on this aspect, without paying sufficient attention to the narrative design in Jubilees itself. In this article some common tools in narratology are applied to focus on Jubilees as a whole. In the narrative structures it appears that the Enochic traditions are formative. Moses is placed in the front of the narrative as a witness not to the torah of the Pentateuch, but to a narrative shaped to give room for the Enochic traditions. Thus Jubilees mediates between the Mosaic and Enochic traditions, using Moses to emphasise the importance of Enoch. The two figures represent two different attitudes toward revelation, the unique concentration on Sinai as the centre of history and the common mythical world-view that the foundational events took place in primeval time.

in Journal for the Study of Judaism
in Journal for the Study of Judaism
in Horizons in Biblical Theology
in The Early Enoch Literature
in Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls