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From: 1 Enoch 2

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xvii This volume completes the commentary on 1 Enoch begun with George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36, 81–108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001). The parts of this apocalyptic corpus covered here include “The Book of Parables” (chaps. 37–71) and “The Book of the Luminaries” (chaps. 72–82). These sections have been translated and commented on respectively by George Nickelsburg and James VanderKam; the latter section includes commentary on 81:1–82:4 (also commented on in 1 Enoch 1) that sets these verses within their context in the Book of the Luminaries. These two parts of 1 Enoch are, mainly, very different from each other. The Book of the Luminaries is almost entirely a description of the upper cosmos and the “laws” that govern the movement of the heavenly bodies, mainly the sun and the moon. The Book of Parables focuses especially on the polarity between the present chaotic state of the phenomenal world and the heavenly world where order prevails and the future when God will resolve present conflict and injustice . Both sections are presented as revelations mediated by the ancient patriarch Enoch (Gen 5:21–24). They represent some of the oldest Enochic tradition (chaps. 72–82) and, probably, the latest section of the literary corpus. Their authorship in the Greco-Roman period notwithstanding, they have been preserved in their present state only in the manuscripts of the Ethiopian Bible, which represent a fifth–sixth century translation of, most likely, Greek translations of works composed in Aramaic (or perhaps Hebrew in the case of the Parables). Some fragments of the archetype of the Book of the Luminaries have been preserved among the texts discovered in Cave 4 of Qumran by the shores of the Dead Sea. The translation presented here is with some revision the one published in the authors’ previous work, 1 Enoch: A New Translation (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004), along with the critical apparatuses on which it was based. We plan to publish the present version of the translation in a second edition of that work. We extend our thanks to the editorial board of Hermeneia, which has accepted this commentary into their series. We owe a special note of appreciation to Frank Moore Cross, the past chair of the Hermeneia board, for inviting us to write the commentary, Peter Machinist, the current chair for his sage guidance of the project , and Klaus Baltzer, our editor, for his prodding, patience, and encouragement. At Fortress Press we wish to thank Neil Elliott, acquisitions editor, Michael West, editor in chief, and Marissa Wold, production editor, and at the HK Scriptorium our gratitude is due to Maurya Horgan and Paul Kobelski for their splendid work in guiding the project and turning our two manuscripts into a single volume. In the wide world of proof-reading Chuck John has served us well. Issaquah, Washington Notre Dame, Indiana June, 2011 George W. E. Nickelsburg James C. VanderKam Preface frontmatter.indd 17 8/9/2011 7:43:53 PM frontmatter.indd 18 8/9/2011 7:43:53 PM ...


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