The Interpreting Angel Motif in Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Series: Emerging Scholars
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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This study originated as a PhD dissertation written under the direction of Dr. Joel S. Burnett at Baylor University. It has gone through a few minor changes since it was defended in July 2012, but the essence remains the same. I was led to the topic of the interpreting angel motif and the broader subject of Jewish apocalyptic literature through an early foray into biblical angelology...
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A great many people have contributed, directly or indirectly, to the present study, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all who have supported my scholarly quest over the years. My parents, Paul and Sherry Melvin, stand at the top of this list, for they inspired and encouraged me to follow my dreams. The faculty, staff, and my fellow students at Christian...
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The interpretation of symbolic visions by angels is one of the major literary motifs in biblical literature of the Second Temple period. It emerges from prophetic soil, with precursors in Amos 7:7-9; 8:1-3; Jer. 1:11-19; 24, but it takes on new life with the rise of apocalyptic literature in the sixth–second centuries BCE. With a few possible exceptions, it appears to be a distinctly Jewish...
2. A Mysterious Man: The Interpreting Angel in Ezekiel 40–48
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The interpreting angel motif appears for the first time in the temple vision of Ezekiel 40–48. Here a mysterious “man” (איש) guides the prophet through a tour of a future temple in Jerusalem. The text describes this man in terms reminiscent of the supernatural beings described in Ezek. 1:26-28 and 8:2-3, specifically as one “whose appearance was like the appearance of copper” (Ezek. 40:3a; compare...
3. The Angel Who Spoke With Me: The Interpreting Angel in Zechariah 1–6
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Chapter two examined the appearance of a “man” (איש) in Ezekiel 40–48. This “man” leads Ezekiel through a visionary tour of an eschatological temple in Jerusalem. His primary task is to take measurements of various architectural features, although he does occasionally offer explanations or answer questions, particularly in Ezek. 47:1-12. In this final vision, Ezekiel comes closest to the...
4. Angelic Bystanders and a Man Named Gabriel: Interpreting Angels in The Book of Luminaries (1 Enoch 72–82), The Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 17–36), and Daniel 7–8
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We have seen in the previous chapter that several new developments of the interpreting angel motif appear in Zechariah 1–6, including the clear identification of the guide/interpreter as an angel (המלאך הדבר בי), the seer’s admission that he cannot understand his visions apart from the angel’s explanation, and the adoption of a formal vision pattern clearly derived from...
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As the preceding chapters have shown, the interpreting angel motif underwent considerable development from its first appearance in Ezekiel 40–48 to its full blossoming in Daniel 7–8. In the summary below, I trace the development of this motif through the texts analyzed in the preceding chapters. I then note the influence of imperial administration on Jewish angelology, as evident in the...
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Index of Names
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Index of Biblical References
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Emerging Scholars