Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice
Dead Sea Scrolls

... his whole-offering. The ‘gods’ praise Him [when they take] up their station, and all the s[pirits of] the clear firm[am]ent rejoice in His glory. A sound of blessing (is heard) from all His divisions speaking of the firmaments of His glory, and His gates praise with a resounding voice. When the gods of knowledge enter by the doors of glory, and when the holy angels depart towards their realm, the entrance doors and the gates of exit proclaim the glory of the King, blessing and praising all the spirits of God when they depart and enter by the gates. None among them skips over a precept, nor do they ... against the saying of the King ... They run not away from the path, nor slip away from His domain. They are neither too high for His commission nor too lowly. For He shall be compassionate in the realm of His furious, destr[oying ange]r; He will not judge in the provinces of His glorious wrath. The fear of the King of ‘gods’ is awe-inspiring to [al]l the ‘gods’, [and they undertake] all His commissions by virtue of His true order, and they go ...

2 Enoch 20:3

Secrets of Enoch

1 And those two men lifted me up thence on to the seventh heaven, and I saw there a very great light, and fiery troops of great archangels, incorporeal forces, and dominions, orders and governments, Cherubim and seraphim, thrones and many-eyed ones, nine regiments, the Ioanit stations of light, and I became afraid, and began to tremble with great terror, and those men took me, and led me after them, and said to me: 2 Have courage, Enoch, do not fear, and showed me the Lord from afar, sitting on His very high throne. For what is there on the tenth heaven, since the Lord dwells there? 3 On the tenth heaven is God, in the Hebrew tongue he is called Aravat. 4 And all the heavenly troops would come and stand on the ten steps according to their rank, and would bow down to the Lord, and would again go to their places in joy and felicity, singing songs in the boundless light with small and tender voices, gloriously serving him.

 Notes and References

"... The focus of this discussion is on Galatians and 1 Corinthians, but letters attributed to Paul, such as Colossians and Ephesians should be taken into account in any discussion of “the apocalyptic Paul.” The apocalyptic background of the cosmology of Ephesians was recognized long ago, and apocalyptic issues pervade the Letter to the Colossians with concern for the activities of the angels and the emulating of them (Col 2:16–18; cf. 2:21). We know from the apocalypses and later Jewish mystical material that strict preparation was a necessary prerequisite for the receipt of visions. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, just as the angels in heaven have their allotted place in the heavenly liturgy (4Q405 23 i; cf. 2 Enoch 20:3–21:1), so the earthly community is given a position corresponding to God’s everlasting purpose (1QS 2:22–26; 5:23–24; 6:8–10). It is possible that the problem addressed had two components: the ritual preparations and the visions themselves and an unhealthy concentration on other, lesser, heavenly beings, rather than Christ. In the light of this, the remarkable words in Colossians 1:15–20 and 2:9 become comprehensible. Passages such as Justin, Dialogue 114, where Christ is identified with the human figure on the throne of glory, suggest that Christ as the image of the invisible God is the concrete expression of God, the divine kabod (cf. John 12:42; and 1:18; cf. 2 Cor 4:6; 1 Cor 15:49). He took the form of a slave who had put on a heavenly, glorious body (Phil 2:6; cf. 3:21) ..."

Rowland, Christopher "Paul as an Apocalyptist" in The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testamenmt Thought, edited by Loren T. Stuckenbruck (pp. 133-134) Fortress Press, 2017

 User Comments

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