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Enoch and Ezra

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Chapter Summary

Hindy Najman writes that "by extending a discourse attached to a founder of an earlier period, writers in the late Second Temple period and even after the destruction of the Second Temple are able to authorize and link their new texts to old established traditions and founders".This chapter argues that Najman's account of pseudepigraphy works well in case of Enoch, but that the case of 4Ezra is more complex. The figure of Enoch, as portrayed very briefly in Genesis, was congenial to apocalyptic revelation, because he was believed to have associated with elohim or angels and to have been taken up to heaven. The biblical Ezra, in contrast, was closely identified with the law and covenant of Moses, and required revision if he was to become purveyor of heavenly mysteries. The comparison and contrast between Enoch and Ezra offers an interesting angle of vision on workings of the apocalyptic genre.

Keywords: 4Ezra; covenant of Moses; elohim; Enoch; Genesis; Hindy Najman; pseudepigraphy; Second Temple period



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