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the highest truth written in the heavenly tablets. What culture of Greece or Rome, what reasoning of philosopher or imagination of poet, could compete with this? The Jew had but to learn and follow the Law, and he was in possession of the ideal.

The literary interest of Jubilees” lies in the large mass of Midrashic matter, which is incorporated into the story. It is always picturesque and quaint, and comes from many delightfully naïve and childlike regions of thought and fancy. There is, too, a fine grandeur in the continuous insistence on the greatness of God, the certainty of His care, and the beauty of a simple obedience and trust. We have the curious Midrash when Adam leaves the garden : And on that day was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak; for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and one tongue” (iii. 28). As another example we may take this from the youth of Abraham:

And the seed-time came for the sowing of seed upon the land, and they all went forth to protect their seed against the ravens, and Abram went forth with those that went, and the child was a lad of fourteen years. And a cloud of ravens came to devour the seed, and Abram ran to meet them before they settled on the ground to devour the seed, and said : Descend not : return to the place whence ye came,' and they proceeded to turn back. And he caused the cloud of ravens to turn back that day seventy times, and of all the ravens throughout all the land where Abram was there settled there not so much as one. And all who were with him throughout all the land saw him cry out, and all the ravens turn back, and his name became great throughout all the land of the Chaldees. And there came to him this year all those that wished to sow, and he went with them till the time of sowing ceased; and they sowed their land, and that year they brought enough grain home and ate and were satisfied. And in the

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first year of the fifth week Abram taught those who made implements for oxen, the artificers in wood, and they made a vessel above the ground, facing the frame of the plow, in order to put the seed therein, and the seed fell down therefrom upon the share of the plow, and was hidden in the earth, and they no longer feared the ravens” (xi. 18-24).

The temptation of Abraham is regarded as similar to that of Job. There were voices in heavenattesting his love of God and faithfulness. Then

the Prince Mastêmâ came and suggested that he would fail if tried by the command to sacrifice his son.

' And the Lord knew that Abraham was faithful in all his afflictions; for He had tried him through his country and with famine, and had tried him with the wealth of kings, and had tried him again through his wife when she was torn from him, and with circumcision; and had tried him through Ishmael and Hagar when he sent them away. And in everything wherein He had tried him, he was found faithful, and his soul was not impatient, and he was not slow to act; for he was faithful and a lover of the Lord.

He thus describes the death of Abraham : And he placed two fingers of Jacob on his eyes, and he blessed the God of gods, and he covered his face and stretched out his feet, and slept the sleep of eternity, and was gathered to his fathers. And notwithstanding all this Jacob was lying in his bosom, and knew not that Abraham his father was dead. And Jacob awoke from his sleep, and beheld Abraham was cold as ice, and he said: 'Father! Father !' but there was none that spoke. And he arose from his bosom, and went and told Rebecca his mother; and Rebecca went to Isaac his father in the night and told him; and they went together, and Jacob with them, and a lamp was in his hand, and when they had gone in they found Abraham lying dead” (xxiii

. 1-5). The reconciliation of Jacob and Esau by their mother before her death is very beautifully told. Esau swears that he will love him, and not desire evil against him, but good only. But after Isaac's death he appears in arms, and when Jacob rebukes him for breaking his oath, he says,

Neither the children of men nor the beasts of the earth have any oath of righteousness which in swearing they have sworn an oath valid for ever :

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If the boar can change its skin, and make its bristles

as soft as wool, Or if it can cause horns to sprout forth on its head

like a stag or sheep, Then will I observe the tie of brotherhood with thee.

In the great battle that followed Jacob bends his bow and shoots Esau with his own hand, and reduces Edom to servitude.

The story of Joseph is not so fully told, nor the life of Moses, with which the book ends.

Thus the book covers the story of Genesis and Exodus from the Creation to the time of Moses, to whom it is unfolded directly by the Angel of the Presence on the Mount, and is remarkable for the mass of detail that generations of pious thinkers had blended with the original story, and for the evident intention of the writer to exalt the law, to show the superiority of the children of Jacob, and to assure them of their great destiny.

Upon the last stage of this they had already entered, and the advent of the Messiah who would spring from the Jewish race was to be expected in their own days. The author of Jubilees was not alone in teaching that the Messianic era was closely associated with the Maccabæan rule. Some had even gone so far as to identify Simon or John Hyrcanus with the Messiah. And indeed there was much in the prosperity and vitality of the country which seemed to fulfil the Old Testament prophecies. We are here taught that it was to come without cataclysm in a gradual and progressive human development. So the Angel of the Presence, after describing the enormities of Antiochus Epiphanes, and the horrors of the civil wars after 162 B.C., paints a time of reformation:

And at that time the Lord will heal His servants,
And they shall rise up and see great peace,
And drive out their adversaries.
And the righteous shall see and be thankful,
And rejoice with joy for ever and ever,
And shall see all their judgements and curses upon

their enemies,
And their bones shall rest in the earth,
And their spirits shall have much joy,
And they shall know that it is the Lord who

executes judgement, And shows mercy to thousands and thousands, and to all that love Him."

(XXIII. 30-32).

A strongly Pharisaic element in the book is the prominence and activity of the spiritual world of angels and demons, and their nearness to the life of man. It is the Angel of the Presence who unfolds the revelation. He and his compeers have it in their power to bind Mastêmâ, or Satan, the prince of the demons. The angels were created on the first day with the heavens and the earth : “All the spirits which serve before Him—the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels of fire, and the angels of the winds, and clouds, and darkness, and of snow, and of hail and of hoar-frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and lightning, and of the spirits of cold and of heat in short, of all natural phenomena. The demons are the spirits of the giants, who were the offspring of the heavenly watchers, sent down to instruct mankind, who "saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took them wives” [Gen. vi. 2]. For their offence they were “ bound in the depths of the earth,” and

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their giant offspring destroyed. Their “demons,

," however, have the power to corrupt mankind under the leadership of Mastêmâ, until the judgement and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom.

It is hardly necessary to point out how closely this teaching is either allegorically or literally reproduced in the New Testament (see Rev. vii. 1, 2, xiv. 18, xvi. 5; Matt. xii. 43-5; Luke xi. 24-6; Mark iii. 22; Matt. viii. 29; Rev. xx. 2-3).

The title of the book refers to the peculiar reckoning of chronology employed by the writer-a Sadducæan trait. The forty-nine years of the Jubilee are divided into seven year-weeks, and events are dated as occurring on a day of a month in one of these. The writer includes fifty Jubilees between the Creation and the entry into Canaan, and, in opposition to the strongly defended Pharisaic reckoning, adopts the regulations of the year by the solar, not the lunar, revolutions.

Whether the writer was a Pharisee or a Sadducee, the book gives us an uncompromising picture of the heart of Judaism a century before the

birth of Christ. We are led into a world where the strongest forces of traditional piety are used to impress upon a people tempted to dally with heathen thought and customs the eternal excellence of their Law. We are in the atmosphere of those who believe firmly in a righteous, if also a capricious, God, who, having shown the path, will most surely judge those who refuse to walk in it. Spiritual presences

are present,

in man and in the world, both to tempt and to aid. The Providence of God is leading, for the Jew is ever optimistic, to the kingdom of Messiah. And with such religious certainties are interwoven the fanciful and quaint ideas with which generations had embroidered the story of the Patriarchs. We meet also the sterner and less pleasing side of Jewish conviction—its bondage to the letter, its inhuman stress on the details of duty, its intense national pride, and utter contempt for the tribes without the Law. In all its fine

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