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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns about the nature of the continuity of the Merkavah tradition. It has been argued that multi-layered similarities exist between the so-called Merkavah traditions in apocalyptic literature and those found in the Hekhalot literature. The relationship between the Merkavah materials in rabbinic literature and the Hekhalot writings involves complex issues. Deification was generally believed to occur only after the hero's death and not during his lifetime. One may see in the vision a description of the enthronement of Moses as viewed within a mystical, or semi-mystical, framework. In spite of its obvious visionary setting, the experience described is certainly no Merkavah vision in the full sense of the term, and it is noteworthy that no angels are described in it. It is equally noteworthy that a Jewish drama written in Greek contains such a vision.

Keywords: deification; Hekhalot literature; Jewish drama; Merkavah tradition; rabbinic literature



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