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The Pteromorphic Angelology Of The Apocalypse Of Abraham

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Chapter Summary

In the Apocalypse of Abraham, a Jewish work composed in the early centuries of the Common Era, God invites Abraham on the celestial journey to receive heavenly and eschatological secrets. This chapter explores the anti-anthropomorphic features of the angelological developments in the Apocalypse of Abraham. One of the possible clues to understanding the mysteries of the text's angelology might lie in the rather cryptic conceptual developments surrounding the figure of Abraham's celestial guide, Yahoel. Another important feature in the text's angelology providing further support for the hypothesis about the pteromorphic, eagle-like body of Yahoel and for the general polemical tendency of the text against anthropomorphic portrayals of celestial beings is that the negative angelic protagonist in the text, the fallen angel Azazel-an impure bird. The anti-anthropomorphic thrust of the pseudepigraphon's angelology seems also to be reflected in the text's insistence on the invisibility of certain classes of angelic beings.

Keywords: Apocalypse of Abraham; fallen angel Azazel; invisible angels; pteromorphic angelology; Yahoel



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