THE DEMONS OF DEATH
(Beatitudes - 4Q525) (Plate 12)
This next text has been called ‘the Beatitudes’, comparing it to famous recitations of a parallel kind in Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sira) and the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. This is perhaps a misnomer. Once again, we have a typical ‘Wisdom’ text here, but one also rich in the vocabulary of Qumran. Superficially, the text is fairly straightforward and commonplace. As such, it has much in common with the Sons of Dawn and Sons of Righteousness (Proverbs) materials - at least Columns 1-3 do.
But as in other visionary recitals like the Testament of Naphtali, the piece, as reconstructed, grows more apocalyptic in columns 4-5, which are full of the language of Righteous indignation. Though the original order of the portions is speculative and though it might reasonably be queried whether all fragments really belong together, it is reasonable and convenient to assign Fragment 1 to the beginning of the work.
Now, hear me, all my sons, and I will speak about that Wisdom which God gave me... For he gave me the Knowledge of Wisdom and instruction to teach all the sons of Truth...
Blessed is he who walks with a pure heart and who does not slander with his Tongue. Blessed are they who hold fast to her Laws and do not hold to the ways of Evil. Blessed are they who rejoice in her and do not overflow with the ways of folly. Blessed are they who ask for her with clean hands and do not seek her with a deceitful heart. Blessed is the man who grasps hold of Wisdom and walks in the Torah of the Most High and directs his heart to her Ways and restrains himself with her disciplines and always accepts her chastisements and does not cast her off in the misery of his afflictions nor forsake her in a time of trouble, nor forget her in days of terror, and in the Meekness of his soul, does not despise her, but rather always meditates on her, and when in affliction, occupies himself with God’s Torah; who all his life meditates on her and places her continually before his eyes so he will not walk in the ways of Evil... in unity and his heart is Perfect. God... and Wisdom will lift up his head and seat him among kings... . They shall look upon... brothers will be fruitful... Now, my sons, War my voice and do not turn aside from the words of my mouth ....
Column 2 Fragment 4
... to possess her with his heart... with a deceitful heart. And in Wisdom... You shall not abandon your inheritances to a foreign wife or your hereditary portions to foreigners, because those with Wisdom... They shall consider . ..the Torah of God, protect her paths and walk in all her Ways. ... her statutes, and not reject her admonishments. Those with Understanding will bring forth words of insight... walk in peace. The Perfect will thrust aside Evil. They will not reject her chastisements... . Those with Wisdom will be supported by the strength of Wisdom. The intelligent will recognize her Ways and plumb her depths... The Lovers of God will look upon her, walking carefully within her bounds.
No... is like her... She will not be bought with gold or silver... nor any precious gem... they resemble one another in the beauty of their faces... and purple flowers with... crimson with every delightful garment... and with gold and rubies...
for the atonement of sin and for weeping... they shall lift up your head... Perfection because of your word and Perfection... for splendor and lovely in... was revealed in your Ways. You shall not waiver... You will be upheld at the time you falter, and you will find Grace... The reproach of those who hate you shall not draw near you... together, and those who hate you will be destroyed... Shall rejoice your heart and you shall delight in God... God your father has taught, and on the backs of your enemies will you tread. And... Your soul shall deliver you from all Evil, and the dread of your enemies shall not come near you. He will cause you to inherit, and fill your days with Goodness, and in abundance of peace you shall delight... You shall inherit Glory. Even though you pass away to your eternal abode, all your loved ones shall inherit... All those who know you shall walk in harmony with your teaching and hear your words... Together will they mourn and in your ways remember you, for you were... And now, understand, hear me, and set your heart to do... Bring forth the Knowledge of your inner self and in... meditate... In the Meekness of Righteousness bring forth your words in order to give them... Do not respond to the words of your neighbor lest he give you... As you hear, answer accordingly... Do not pour out complaints before listening to their words. And... Do not respond vehemently before hearing their words. Afterwards respond in the Perfection of your heart. And with patience utter your words and answer truthfully before officers even ‘rulers’ with a Tongue of... with your lips, and guard against the stumbling block of the Tongue... lest you be convicted by your lips and ensnared together with a Tongue of... impropriety... from it and they will be perverse...
... Darkness... poison... all those born on the earth... Heaven... serpents in it, and you will go to him, you will enter... there will be joy on the day the Mysteries of God are revealed forever. ... burn. By poisons will a serpent weaken his lords... the Kingdom of God... vipers... In him they take their stand. They are accursed forever and the venom of vipers... the Devil Mastemah... you choose depravity... and in him in his authority the Demons of Death take wing. At his doorway you will cry out... . He did Evil. He acted wickedly. In him they exalt themselves. They walk in his ways. He is your head. From his council there are sulphurous flames. And from his den are... in order to destroy those who wallow in the filth of sin. ... the reproach of disgrace, his bolted doors are the fasts of the pit... they increase. One calling from the wall... They shall not reach the paths of life... . the walkers in the way of... in simmering anger and in patience...
Column 5 Fragment 5
... the princes... in it those who understand wander astray... those who ensnare... they shed blood. They put to death the righteous... they act treacherously... death. And the Downtrodden...
Column 5 Fragment 6
... might... in the midst of abominations... its height... and in the pollution of...
Column 5 Fragment 7
... his servants trembled... They filled the whole earth with violence.... The serpent who made every generation tremble died... . He stationed an Angel around... a Watcher and God...
Column 6 Fragment 9
with/people... the appointed time... in Piety... for every generation...
Column 6 Fragment 10
Lest you bring forth words of folly.... heart. Listen to me and be still before me.... I have understood, so drink from the Well of Life...His Temple. They walked... His Temple is dwelling among... forever marching... or what grows of its own they shall gather... burned, and every weed He uprooted... a Well of deep Waters...
THE WORDS OF MICHAEL
This text, which could also be referred to as ‘The Vision of Michael’, clearly belongs to the literature of Heavenly Ascents and visionary recitals just discussed regarding the birth of Noah and alluded to by no less an authority than Paul. Such recitals are also common in the literature relating to Enoch and Revelation. Most of the vision is incomprehensible, but one idea, which reappears in Paul and Kabbalistic tradition generally, is found here that of the New or Heavenly Jerusalem, i.e. while in Heaven Michael learns of a city to be built. This apocalyptic and visionary genre clearly owes much to imagery in Daniel and is reiterated in the pseudo-Daniel works.
The words of the book that Michael spoke to the Angels of God after he had ascended to the Highest Heaven. He said ‘I found troops of fire there .. . Behold, there were nine mountains, two to the east and two to the north and two to the west and two to the south. There I beheld Gabriel the Angel... I said to him, ’... and you rendered the vision comprehensible.’ Then he said to me . .. It is written in my book that the Great One, the Eternal Lord... the sons of Ham to the sons of Shem. Now behold, the Great One, the Eternal Lord ...when ... tears from... Now behold, a city will be built for the Name of the Great One, the Eternal Lord... And no evil shall be committed in the presence of the Great One, the Eternal Lord ...Then the Great One, the Eternal Lord, will remember His creation for the purpose of Good... Blessing and honor and praise be to the Great One, the Eternal Lord. To Him belongs Mercy and to Him belongs... In distant territories there will be a man ...he is, and He will say to him, ‘Behold this... to Me silver and gold ...’
Wording of text which Michael addressed the angels of God...Michael said, "I have located there an army of angels...... nine big hills: two to the East...and two to the South. It was at this place Michael met with the Angel Gabriel ...... During their meeting Michael translated a dream of Gabriel'. Gabriel then said to Michael:...It was written in his text that God, the all powerful,...the boys of Ham to the boys of Shem. And see my Supreme being, the god of the earth ... When it rains freely...view a city Made to worship the Supreme being, Lord Eternal...Anything that is bad will be performed before God, the Almighty Lord Eternal...God will remember his people...the Supreme being; to him the prizes and praises and to him...in a far away place there will be a man...the man will say to him: 'Observe this...bring to me silver and gold...... ...the good man
THE PSEUDO-DANIEL FRAGMENTS
(4Q243-245), (4Q246) (Plate 4), (4Q547)
The Pseudo-Daniel portions that follow are referred to as 1. Pseudo-Daniel, 2. The Son of God and 3. The Vision of the Four Kingdoms. We present all three Pseudo-Daniel texts. The first text describes one or more occasions on which Daniel stood before King Belshazzar (cf. Dan. 5). Like Pseudo-Jeremiah, Second Ezekiel, and the Damascus Document, they furnish a tantalizingly mysterious and often apocalyptic view of history. This text refers to: 1. the flood and the tower of Babel; 2. the exodus from Egypt; 3. the exile to Babylon; 4. the first four kingdoms (see also the Vision of the Four Kingdoms below); 5. seemingly the Hellenistic era; and 6. probably the Roman era of the ‘last days’ or ‘end of time’.
... Daniel before... Belshazzar ...after the flood ... Noah from Lubar the mountain . .. a city ... the tower; its height ... upon the tower and ...to visit the sons of ...four hundred years ... ... all of them, and they will go out from Egypt by the hand of ...and their crossing will be at the River Jordan ... and their sons... the children of Israel preferred their presence i.e., that of the false Gods to the presence of God. They were sacrificing their sons to the Demons of Falsehood, and God was angry at them and decided to give them into the power of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and to lay waste to their land before them by the hands of ...members of the exilic community... and He scattered them... an oppression of seventy years ...this great kingdom, and He will save them... powerful, a Kingdom of the Peoples... this is the first Kingdom ... he will rule some number of years... Balakros ... years ... ... rhosthe son of ... and ... rhos will rule thirty-five years... to say... Evil has led astray... in this time the called ones will be gathered .. . the Kings of the Peoples, and from that day on there shall be ... Holy Ones and the Kings of the Peoples ... they shall be doing until this day .. .and what . .. Daniel ... a book that he gave ... Kohath ... Uzziah... Abiathar... Jehoniah ... Simeon ...David, Solomon ... Ahaziah, ... to bring Evil to an end ... these will wander astray in blindness ... these people. Then there shall arise ... Holy Ones shall return ... Evil.
THE SON OF GOD
the king. And when the Spirit came to rest upon him, he fell before the throne. Then Daniel arose and said, ‘O King, why are you angry; why do you grind your teeth? The Great God has revealed to you that which is to come. It shall indeed all come to pass, unto eternity. There will be violence and great Evils. Oppression will be upon the earth. Peoples will make war, and battles shall multiply among the nations, until the King of the people of God arises. He will become the King of Syria and Egypt. All the peoples will serve him, and he shall become great upon the earth. ... All will make peace, and all will serve him. He will be called son of the Great God; by His Name he shall be designated.
He will be called the son of God; they will call him son of the Most High. Like the shooting stars that you saw, thus will be their Kingdom. They will rule for a given period of years upon the earth, and crush everyone. People will crush people, and nation will crush nation, until the people of God arises and causes everyone to rest from the sword. His Kingdom will be an Eternal Kingdom, and he will be Righteous in all his Ways. He will judge the earth in Righteousness, and everyone will make peace. The sword shall cease from the earth, and every nation will bow down to him. As for the Great God, with His help he will make war, and He will give all the peoples into his power; all of them He will throw down before him. His rule will be an Eternal rule, and all the boundaries...
THE VISION OF THE FOUR KINGDOMS
Fragment 1 Column 1
... the Light of the Angels who were ... he said to them, ‘It will all happen ...’high. It is he who ... and he said to me, ‘O King, because...’ as everything was done, they would arise ... he said, ‘They shall be.’ And he explicated to them clearly ... their lords. One of them ... Then the Angel upon whom
Fragment 1 Column 2
rested the brilliant Light arose, and the four trees after him. A tree arose, and the others moved away from it. He, the Angel, said to me ...’What kind of tree is it?’ I replied, ‘If only I could see and understand it.’ Then I saw a balsam tree... I asked it, ‘What is your name? ‘It replied, ‘Babylon.’ Then I said to it, ‘You are he who shall rule over Persia.’ Then I saw another tree that was below where we were standing, and it swore... and claimed to be different. ... superior to the previous tree ... So I asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied ... I said to him, ‘You are he who shall rule over...’ By my power and by the region... he swore ... And I saw the third tree, and I said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ’Your vision ...’
... and I said to him, ‘This is it. Who is the ruler of...’
... the lord of ... the Most High God ... which is upon them ... the Lord of all, he who appoints judges ...
... they shall seize ... the vision ... you have spoken ...the king who shall escape ...
ARAMAIC TESTAMENT OF LEVI
The visionary material projects Levi as another of these heavenly voyagers who are so much a part of the literature of Heavenly Ascents.
... this ... I ... I washed myself and all ...then I raised my eyes and my countenance to Heaven ... my toes and my fingers ...I prayed and said, ‘My Lord, You know... You alone know ...all the paths of Truth. Put away from me... Evil and fornication. Turn away ...Wisdom and Knowledge and strength give to me... to find Your Mercy before You ... that which is pleasant and good before You ... let not any enemy have power over me ...upon me, Lord, and bring me forward to be Your...
Your ayes... Lord, You blessed... a Righteous seed. ... Hear, please, the prayer of Your servant Levi... to do a True judgment for all time... Do not remove the son of Your servant from Your presence... Then I continued on... to my father Jacob and when... from Abel Mayin. Then I lay down and I remained at Abel Mayin... Then I was shown visions... in the vision of visions, and I saw Heaven opened and I saw the mountain beneath me, as high as to reach to Heaven, and I was on it. Then were opened to me the gates of Heaven, and an Angel spoke to me, ‘Levi, enter...’
... your priesthood above all flesh ...And I awoke from my sleep. Then I said, ‘This is a vision, and thus I am amazed that I should have any vision at all.’ I hid this also in my heart; to no person did I reveal it. And we went to my grandfather Isaac, and he also blessed me thus. Then, when Jacob my father was tithing everything that he owned according to a vow made to God, for the first time I was at the head of the priests, and to me of all his sons he gave...
And in the hundred and eighteenth year of my life, the year in which died my brother Joseph, I called my children and their children and began to instruct them concerning all that was in my heart. I said to my children, ‘Listen to the word of Levi your father, and pay heed to the instructions of God’s friend. I instruct you, my sons, and I reveal the Truth to you, my beloved. The essence of each of your works must be Truth. May Righteousness always remain with you, and Truth. Then you shall have a blessed and good harvest. He who sows Good reaps Good, while he who sows Evil, his sowing turns against him. And now, my sons, teach Torah, its interpretation and Wisdom to your sons, and Wisdom shall be with you as an eternal honor. He who teaches Wisdom will find honor therein. He who despises Wisdom will be given to contempt and disdain. Observe, my sons, Joseph my brother, who taught Torah and interpretation and Wisdom. He received honor and became a great man, both to kings ... Do not exchange Wisdom for a teacher ... a foreigner. He who teaches Wisdom, all the days of his life shall be long, and his reputation shall grow great. In every land and country to which he goes he has a brother, and is not like a stranger in it, nor like a foreigner in it, neither is he like an unfamiliar person there. For all give him honor there, because everyone wants to learn from his Wisdom. His friends are numerous, and many seek his welfare. They seat him on the seat of honor, in order to hear his words of Wisdom. Wisdom is a great richness of honor for those who know it, and it is a treasure for everyone who possesses it. If mighty kings come with a great and powerful army...
they will not find its hidden places, and they shall not enter its gates, nor... will they be able to conquer its walls. And not... they will see its fodder, its treasure that does not... for which there is no price... Any man who seeks Wisdom, Wisdom will find him... it will not be hidden from him... and not lacking... all who seek in Truth... Torah and interpretation, Wisdom that they teach... they are two ... great. You will give ...honor... Also in books ...you will be leaders and judges ... and servants ... also priests and kings ... your Kingdom will last forever... there will be no end ... the Kingdom will not pass away from you until ... in great honor.
...you will be darkened... did not Enoch complain... Noah, and upon whom does the guilt fall?... is it not upon me and upon you, my sons? Now, you know ... the Ways of Righteousness you will abandon, and all the ways ... you will renounce, and you will walk in Darkness ... great oppression will come upon you, and you will be given ... you will become fools...
to offer up on the altar anything fitting, wash your hands and feet once again. And offer split wood. Examine it first for any worms, and then offer it up, for thus I saw Abraham my father taking care regarding anything that might restrain him from offering the wood. Any of twelve woods that are fitting he told me to offer up on the altar, whose smoke rises up with a pleasant odor. These are their names: cedar, juniper, almond, fir, pine, ash, cypress, fig, oleaster, laurel, myrtle and asphalthos. These are those he said are fitting to offer up under the burnt offering on the altar. And when you begin to offer up one of these woods upon the altar and the fire begins to burn them, you are to sprinkle the blood on the sides of the altar. Again, wash your hands and feet of the blood, then begin to offer up salted portions. As for its head,...
APPENDIX: A FIRM FOUNDATION (AARON A - 4Q541)
The relationship of this text to the Aramaic Testament of Levi above should be clear. In fact, there is no real reason to consider it distinct from it, but rather simply another version or portion of it.
Column 1 Fragment 6
... deep things... who does not understand. And he wrote... and he stilled the great sea... Then the books of Wisdom will be opened... his word...
Column 1 Fragment 2
... words... and according to the will of ... to me. Once more he wrote ... I spoke concerning it in parables ... was near to me. Therefore, was far from me ... The vision will be profound... .the fruit ...
from God... You shall receive the afflicted ones... You shall bless their burnt offerings and You shall establish for them a Foundation of Your peace... your Spirit, and you will rejoice in your God. Now I am proclaiming to you parables... rejoice. Behold, a wise man will understand that I am seeing and comprehending deep Mysteries, thus I am speaking... parables. The Greek will not understand. But the Knowledge of Wisdom will come to you, for you have received... you will acquire... Pursue her Wisdom and seek her and gain possession of her to swallow her down. Behold, you will gladden many... many will have a place...
... his Wisdom will be great. He will make atonement for all the children of his generation. He will be sent to all the sons of his generation. His word shall be as the word of Heaven and his teaching shall be according to the will of God. His eternal sun shall burn brilliantly. The fire shall be kindled in all the corners of the earth. Upon the Darkness it will shine. Then the Darkness will pass away from the earth and the deep Darkness from the dry land. They will speak many words against him. There will be many lies. They will invent stories about him. They will say shameful things about him. He will overthrow his evil generation and there will be great wrath. When he arises there will be Lying and violence, and the people will wander astray in his days and be confounded.
Column 5 Fragment 5
... and those who are grieved concerning... your judgment but you will not be guilty... the scourging of those who afflict you... your complaint will not fail and all... your heart before...
Column 5 Fragment 1
Behold I saw one... I saw seven rams... Some of his sons shall walk... They shall be gathered to the Heavenly Beings...
God will set right errors... He will judge revealed sins... Investigate and seek and know how Jonah wept. Thus, you shall not destroy the weak by wasting away or by crucifixion... . Let not the nail touch him. Then you shall raise up for your father a name of rejoicing and for all of your brothers a firm Foundation. ... You shall see and you shall rejoice in the Eternal Light and you will not be one who is hated of God.