2.02.10: The Book of Jubilees Chapters 00.06 Affinities with Other Literature Section 06

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Though there is no reason to doubt the essential unity of our Book (that is to say, that it was composed and written in its present form by one author), it is equally clear that this writer incorporated earlier traditions and legends into his work. Thus he refers explicitly to Noachic writings (xxi. 10; cf. x. 13), and has apparently incorporated two considerable sections of a “Book of Noah” in vii. 20-39 and x. 1-15. It is well-known that this Noachic Book was also one of the sources of the Book of Enoch, 1 Enoch, vi.-xi., 1x., lxv.-lxix. 25, and cvi.-cvii. being probably derived from it. There is reason, also, to believe that the author of Jubilees was acquainted with some form of the Book of Enoch (1 Enoch). According to Charles the parts of 1 Enoch with which our author was acquainted are 1 Enoch vi-xvi., xxiii.-xxxvi. and lxxii.-xc. He seems clearly to refer to the last section in iv. 17:

And he [Enochwas the first among men that are born on earth who learnt writing and knowledge and wisdom and who wrote down the signs of heaven according to the order of their months in a book, that men might know the seasons of the years according to the order of their separate months.

Here the Enoch-book referred to forms a description of 1 Enoch lxxii.-lxxxii. (“the Book of the courses of the Heavenly Luminaries “), while iv. 19 (And p. xiv what was and what will be he saw in a vision of his sleep, as it will happen to the children of men throughout their generations until the day of judgement; he saw and understood everything, and wrote his testimony, and placed the testimony on earth for all the children of men and for their generations) forms an exact description of the “Dream-Visions” in 1 Enoch lxxxiii.-xc.1)fn7 For further parallels see Charles, Jubilees, pp. lxviii ff. There are also a number of parallels with the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, but these are not sufficient to show dependence on either side; the phenomena rather suggest that both writers are using common sources: Cf. xxviii. 9; xxx. 2-6, 18, 25; xxxi. 3-4, 13, 15, 16; xxxii. 1, 8; xxxiii. 1, 2, 4; xxxiv. 1-9; xxxvii.-xxxviii.; xli. 8-14, 24-25, xlvi. 6-9.

It has already been mentioned that a knowledge of our Book seems to be presupposed in some of the later Jewish literature. Thus the Chronicles of Jerahmeel, a late compilation written in Hebrew, contains much material common to Jubilees; at times it reproduces the actual words of the text of the latter. Another late Jewish work, the Midrash Tadshe, contains passages which are largely identical with portions of the text of our Book. This Midrash was compiled in its present form by Moses ha-Darshan in the eleventh century A.D., but is based upon a much earlier work by R. Pinchas b. Jair (end of second century, A.D.), who utilized materials from our Book. Besides the above, our Book appears to have been known to the compiler of the Samaritan Chronicle (twelfth century, A.D.), and also to the compiler of the Pirḳe de R. Eliezer (finally redacted in the ninth century A.D.).

In fact, in both cases there is implicit a certain amount of polemic (especially in calendar-matters) against the positions advocated in Jubilees. But besides this, there is a remarkable parallelism in subject-matter between our Book and the Pirḳe de R. Eliezer, to which Friedlander calls attention. He points out that both “are alike in being practically Midrashic paraphrases p. xv and expansions of the narratives contained in the Book of Genesis and part of the Book of Exodus. . . . Both books deal with the Calendar . . . and in this respect they recall the Books of Enoch.” Both “have chapters setting forth the story of the Creation (Ma‘aseh Bereshith). . . . The past is recalled and the future revealed. The nature of God, angels and man is unfolded. We read of sin and grace, repentance and atonement, good and evil, life and death, Paradise and Gehenna, Satan and Messiah.”2)fn8 Op. cit., p. xxii.

Numerous references to Jubilees occur in Christian literature (patristic period and later), where long extracts from the Book are often cited, and by name. These have been collected by Charles (op. cit., pp. lxxvii ff.), who also cites a number of parallels between our Book and the New Testament. But these are somewhat vague, and are hardly sufficient to establish any real or direct connexion.

Original Source: sacred-texts.com

References   [ + ]

1. fn7 For further parallels see Charles, Jubilees, pp. lxviii ff.
2. fn8 Op. cit., p. xxii.

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