4Q246 1

An Aramaic Apocalypse
Dead Sea Scrolls

I ... [the spirit of God] dwelt on him, he fell down before the throne ... O [K]ing, you are angry for ever and your years ... your vision and all. For ever you ... [the gre]at ones. An oppression will come to the earth ... a great massacre in the provinces ... the king of Assyria [and E]gypt ... he will be great on earth ... will make and all will serve ... he will be called (or: call himself) [gran]d ... and by his name he will be designated (or: designate himself). The son of God he will be proclaimed (or: proclaim himself) and the son of the Most High they will call him. Like the sparks of the vision, so will be their kingdom. They will reign for years on the earth and they will trample all. People will trample people (cf. Dan. vii, 23) and one province another province vacat until the people of God will arise and all will rest from the sword. Their (the people of God’s) kingdom will be an eternal kingdom (cf. Dan. vii, 27) and all their path will be in truth. They will jud[ge] the earth in truth and all will make peace. The sword will cease from the earth, and all the provinces will pay homage to them. The Great God (cf. Dan. ii, 45) is their helper. He will wage war for them. He will give peoples into their hands and all of them (the peoples) He will cast before them (the people of God). Their dominion will be an eternal dominion (Dan. vii, 14) and all the boundaries of...

Luke 1:31

New Testament

28 The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. 30 So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! 31 Behold100: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.

 Notes and References

"... The concept of the "Son of God," a designation that is strongly associated with Jesus as Messiah in Christian theology, is referred to in a Dead Sea Scroll text called 4Q246 (or the Aramaic Apocalypse), written in Aramaic and dating to about the turn of the era ... This text contains a remarkable parallel to the Annunciation scene in Luke, in which the angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary to announce the conception of Jesus ... Both texts maintain that he "will be great," he will be called the "Son of the Most High," he will be called "the Son of God," and his kingdom will be everlasting ..."

Shanks, Hershel The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (p. 69) Random House, 1998

"... This opens up the possibility that pre-Christian Judaism might already have sometimes thought of the Davidic messiah as God's son. The possibility is enhanced by an intriguing fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls designated 40246 ... Unfortunately, the text, as said, is fragmentary, and this disallows a certain identification of the figure who is called "Son of God' and "Son of the Most High." Some have suggested he should be identified with an historical king of Israel, others with an Antichrist figure, still others that the Son of God is the angel, Michael, in his eschatological role. But many have instead given the text a messianic sense: the Son of God is the Messiah. The arguments in favor of this position cannot be marshaled here, but they should probably carry the day. One reason is the very close parallel in Luke: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (l:32-33). This, as has often been observed, is striking close to 4Q246, and it is a prophecy of the Messiah, Jesus. So while certainty eludes us, the Dead Sea Scrolls have given us additional reason to suspect that, among its other associations in a Jewish context, the title "Son of God" might very well have had royal messianic connotations ..."

Allison, Dale C. Scriptural Allusions in the New Testament: Light from the Dead Sea Scrolls (pp. 33-34) Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2019

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.