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give who is the Creator and sovereign righteous Judge. For he by himself shall shield them standing beside them alone in his might, encircling them as it were with a well of flaming fire. .. And then all the isles and the cities shall say, How doth the Eternal love those men ! For all things work in sympathy with them and help them, the heaven and God's chariot, the Sun, and the Moon." (III. 652-712.)
The allusion to Homer as having stolen the Sibyl's measure is famous :
Then again there shall be an aged man false in writing, and false in birthplace; and the light in his eyes shall set. Yet he shall have much wit and a verse fitted to his thoughts blended under two names. 'Chian shall he call himself and he shall write the story of Ilium, not truthfully indeed but with poetic skill, for he shall gain possession of my verses and measures. He first shall unfold my books with his hand, and then right well shall he deck out the armed men of war, Hector, Priam's son, and Achilles, born of Peleus, and all the rest who care for doughty deeds. Yea, and he shall make gods stand by the heroes' side, leading astray in every way the mortals of empty head. Their widespread glory will it be to have died in Ilium, but he himself shall receive his recompense. (III. 319-331.)
Note.-S.P.C.K. edition, by Bate (1918).
THE ASSUMPTION OF MOSES
THE fragment known by this name exists in only one MS., which was discovered at Milan and published in 1864. It probably dates from the sixth century A.D. It does not contain any account of the Assumption, and seems to exclude the teaching that Moses was taken up into heaven, and therefore the fragment we have is hardly likely to be even a part of the book from which St. Jude quotes. Our book is rather a “Testament," or farewell-speech, similar to the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. It is supposed by Canon Charles, however, that in it we have one portion of a composite work that was known as The Assumption, and that the other portion has perished. Prof. F. C. Burkitt holds that the original MS. represented a single work, and that the part containing the account of the Assumption has been lost.
From internal evidence there seems every probability that this book was actually written in our Lord's childhood or youth, i.e. between A.D. 7 and 30 and its author is a Pharisee of a type fast passing away, a descendant of the ancient " righteous” nonresisting believers in the Law, who while believing in the coming Divine judgement, were content to leave the national future in God's hands, and to make no efforts to work deliverance by violent means. Thus he has no eulogy of the Maccabees, but praises the patient martyr Eleazar who retired with his sons from the evils of the world, and perished in a cave. Canon Charles regards the book as a " direct protest from the inner ring of conservative Pharisaism against the popular secularization of the ideals of the
righteous.” These had become“ fused with political ideals and popular Messianic beliefs,” and required to be led back to the conviction that God would Himself vindicate His purposes. Like our Lord he foresaw the doom to which his country was hastening, and warned her, as has been said, “with the unheeded voice of a Cassandra.”
The book describes how Moses at the point of death delivers the sacred books to Joshua; he prophesies the entry into Canaan, the rule of the judges, the kingship, and the breaking-away of the ten tribes. He tells of the corruption of the national religion, and of the captivity under Nebuchadnezzar. He tells how one tribe shall say to another : Lo, is not this that which Moses did once declare unto us in prophecies? Yea, he declared and called heaven and earth to witness against us that we should not transgress the commandments of the Lord, of which he was the mediator to us." He gives the prayer of Daniel, and the return of the two tribes, and the increase of the ten tribes in captivity. He describes in strong terms the idolatry of the Priests, and the progress of Hellenism, and denounces the Maccabees :
Then shall arise over them kings to reign, and they shall be called Priests of the Most High God, and they shall work impiety in the Holy of Holies,” referring to the priesthood being made hereditary in the family of the Maccabees in 141 B.C. He tells of the enormities of Herod, the conquest of the Romans, and the degradation of the leaders of his own day. After the eulogy of the patient Eleazar, he gives a striking apocalyptic passage, and the book concludes with the encouragement of Joshua to undertake with a good courage the heritage of Moses' work. As a review of Jewish history it stands out with marked features, and gives us a particular attitude towards the work of the Maccabees, which we could hardly have suspected to have existed in such strength. It is particularly valuable as showing that among the various parties around our Lord, there was at least one which was in sympathy with his national aims, though it was the very party which apparently disclaimed
any hope of a Messiah.
There are striking similarities in the apocalyptic passage to our Lord's Prophecy of the last things, which raise questions of the deepest interest
For the Heavenly One shall arise from the throne of His Kingdom And shall come out of His holy habitation With indignation and wrath for His children. And the earth shall quake; even to its bounds shall
it be shaken : And the lofty mountains shall be brought low and
shall be shaken. And the valleys shall fall. The sun shall not give his light, and the horns of
the moon shall be turned into darkness, And they shall be broken, and the whole of the
moon shall be turned into blood. And the circuit of the stars shall be disordered; And the sea shall fall into the abyss : The fountains of waters shall fail; And the rivers be afraid.”
Such passages, which of course are not rare in the apocalyptic writers, enforce the conclusion that our Lord in the language of His apocalyptic teaching was drawing upon a mass of popular and somewhat stereotyped expression that had been passed on from
age and aroused a vague and vast sense of coming doom. This consideration relieves us from looking for the literal fulfilment in detail of such of His prophecies, as have to do with the physical world.
Note.-S.P.C.K. edition, by Ferrar (with Apoc. Baruch).
THE SECRETS OF ENOCH
THE Book of the Secrets of Enoch is a quite distinct work from the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. It was discovered by Canon Charles to be surviving in a Slavonic version, after remaining unknown for twelve centuries. It was written in Egypt by a Hellenistic Jew early in the first century A.D. It must have been an important work in its day, for it is quoted in most of the apocalyptic books of the first century. It was written in Greek, though it seems to incorporate Hebrew portions. And it is largely pervaded by the Greek spirit, embodying the philosophical ideas of Philo, and neglecting the Old Testament view of the Messiah. The author was an enlightened but orthodox Jew, especially in his teaching on sacrifice, and the future life. He allowed himself full liberty to combine in his work views from very different sources—the Platonic, the Egyptian, and the Zend; and was therefore probably an example of the Jewish culture of Alexandria.
The book tells how in his three hundred and sixtyfifth year Enoch is taken up by the angels, at God's command, and passes through the ten heavens. In the first heaven Enoch sees the angels who rule the stars, and those who keep the storehouses of the snow and of the dew. In the second are the apostate angels, who beseech him to pray for them. The third heaven is Paradise, and the tree of life is in the midst of the garden, in the place whereon the Lord rests when He goes up into Paradise . . . Its root is in the garden at the world's end." It is the abode of the just and charitable. The abode of the lost is there as well with its gloom and fiery river,