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Otherworldly Priesthood In Non-Sectarian Writings

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines otherworldly priesthood traditions as they appear in an array of non-sectarian texts. It observes which texts and literary contexts contain portrayals of otherworldly priests, and how they present them. In addition, the relationships of these texts to one another and to the Qumran community are considered. The chapter considers the possibility that the notion of otherworldly priesthood appears in the myth of the Book of the Watchers. The myth of the fallen watchers draws its image of the celestial temple from the description in the book of Ezekiel. On the one hand, Jubilees portrays the priesthood as democratized. On the other hand, it does not (or cannot) completely ignore the scriptural notion of a hereditary priesthood within Israel. In sum, the function of the heavenly angels here may be divided into three classes: violent purging of evil, propitiation/ intercession, and worship.

Keywords: book of Ezekiel; Book of the Watchers; Israel; Jubilees; non-sectarian writing; otherworldly priesthood; propitiation/ intercession; Qumran community



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