The Fruits of Monotheism

HILR Fall 2018

SGL: B Ruml

4. Divine Justice; Jewish Apocalypticism

Books of the Hebrew Bible
Contents of the Torah

Why do people worship a deity?

That's what the community does.

What reasons does the community give for doing so?

What reasons appear plausible?

Why do people worship a diety?

Propitiation: to comfort or please.

Animal sacrifices (cf. human sacrifices)

Why do people worship a diety?

Atonement: reparation for a wrong or injury.

Retribution: punishment for a wrongful act.

Repentence: corporate, then individual.

Divine Justice

Genesis 18:19: ". . . to keep the way of the Lord . . . in order that the Lord may bring about . . . what he has promised"

Divine Justice

Genesis 18:25: the innocent and the guilty should not fare alike;

Is this in fact the result?

Divine Justice

Exodus 34: "visits the iniquity of parents upon . . . 3rd, 4th generation"

Exodus 20: what's the difference from Exodus 34?

Is that clear or is it an interpretation?

Divine Justice: Deut 28

"if you obey . . ., then YHWH will"

if not: "unitl you are wiped out"

clearly the unit of justice is the nation

"these are the terms of the covenant"

Divine Justice: Ezekiel 18

each individual stands on his own;

idea of personal repentence [cf. animal sacrifices]

Collins: Apocalypticism

Apocalypse: a literary form ("revealing")

Apocalypticism: a generalization of the themes found in apocalypses;

Collins: Eschatology

"related to the end times"

Prophets predicted the fall of the Northern Kingdom (Amos), the fall of Babylon (Isaiah), but in cosmic terms.

Three phases of development of eschatological imagery: we cover post-exilic and hellenistic.

Post-exilic Eschatology

Isaiah 24-27

Envisioning the restoration of the Israelite nation;

resurrection as metaphor (e.g., Ezekiel)

Post-exilic Eschatology

A glorious time is coming: a new beginning where YHWH (as steward of Israel) triumphs over the nations.

This was the initial end time: when Israel would be independent.

Only much later: a resolution of the conflict bwtween good and evil.

Post-exilic Eschatology

3rd Isaiah (65) "to create a new heaven and a new earth"

Collins: eschatological expectations were generated by: 1) profound alienation and a sense of hopelessness; and 2) divisions within the Jewish community (minority needed consolation).

Few surviving sources from Persian period.

Hellenistic Apocalypticism

Enoch: Book of the Watchers (ch 1-36)

Pseudonimity: allowed extended prophecy, implied authority;

Implication that history is determined is new (and odd).

Enoch: Book of the Watchers

Evil from the giants of Exodus 6 from whom come supernatural demonic forces;

They also teach men "forbidden knowledge";

Enoch: Book of the Watchers

Earliest description of judgment of the dead;

Takeaway: in (unseen) heaven, provision has been made for the triumph of justice; just deserts will be delivered on an individual basis.

Daniel 7

"One like a [son of man] human being came with the clouds of heaven"

Collins: a reference to Michael, the archangel who is the "prince of Israel";

Dominion forever over all is thus given to Israel.

Daniel 7

Explicit reference to resurrection and the delivery of just deserts.

Thesis of the course:



Final judgment

But how clear are these concepts?

The End