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Hazon Gabriel

New Readings of the Gabriel Revelation

Edited by Matthias Henze

Since its rediscovery a decade ago, the Hazon Gabriel or Gabriel Revelation, a Hebrew inscription of the first century B.C.E., has attracted considerable attention. The inscription, of which about 87 lines are preserved, written in black ink on a slab of gray limestone, has been compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book makes accessible in one place all existing editions of the Hazon Gabriel together with annotated English translations and offers initial interpretations of the text as a whole, its language, and its most prominent motifs. The volume, originating from a 2009 conference at Rice University, compares the Gabriel Revelation to other literature of the time—the book of Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament in particular—to determine its place in early Judaism. The contributors are David Jeselsohn, Ada Yardeni and Binyamin Elizur, Elisha Qimron and Alexey (Eliyahu) Yuditsky, Israel Knohl, Gary A. Rendsburg, Adela Yarbro Collins, John J. Collins, Matthias Henze, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Daewoong Kim, and David Capes.

Matthias Henze

Abstract

The roots of early Jewish apocalypticism are diverse. Within the realm of ancient Israel, one of the main contributory streams is the wisdom tradition. The present essay examines the impact of Israel's sapiential tradition, and specifically of that of the book of Qoheleth, on the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, a Jewish apocalypse of the late first century C.E. My thesis is that, while both authors agree in their assessment of the present human condition, they draw dramatically different conclusions. Qoheleth persistently points to the limits and fallibility of this world and advises his readers to enjoy life before they die, whereas the author of 2 Baruch looks to the world to come and, in the meantime, calls on his readers to live their lives in compliance with the Mosaic Torah.