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1 Enoch 37–71 The Book of Parables introduction.indd 1 introduction.indd 1 8/9/2011 8:23:17 PM 8/9/2011 8:23:17 PM 2 With this commentary I conclude fifty years during which the Parables of Enoch have simmered and boiled for me. In 1960, Professor Edgar Krentz introduced me to the text in a course at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. I worked through the Parables in 1963 while preparing for my doctoral exams. Two years later and for the next five years this text was an object of research for my dissertation. And then for almost thirty years, and for another ten years, it appeared and reappeared as I wrote 1 Enoch 1 and then my part of 1 Enoch 2. It is a long time to be engaged with one text. My first thanks belong to James VanderKam, who has summarized one part of his life’s work in the commentary on the Enochic Book of the Luminaries that forms part 2 of this volume. In it, he demonstrates that this text is not only a “scientific” treatise but also a religious text that reveals the roots of an Enochic worldview in which cosmic order anchors the belief that God’s justice will overcome the violence and chaos that presently dominate the lives of God’s people. I asked the Hermeneia Board to appoint him to this task because I knew on the basis of his long study of the cosmological, astronomical, and calendrical issues that are the heart of these chapters that I could not do what he has now done here. My work in the commentary builds on the foundations laid by August Dillmann and R. H. Charles in their editions and commentaries, which were written more than 150 and 100 years ago. I have repeatedly benefited from the editions of Michael Knibb and Siegbert Uhlig, the commentary by Sabino Chialà, and the papers prepared for the 2005 Enoch Seminar and published under the editorship of Gabriele Boccaccini. The Society of Biblical Literature Group on Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity has been an ongoing context for my work. Along the way I have been helped in many ways by friends and colleagues. John Strugnell encouraged me to take on the commentary, and we had numerous conversations over the years. Norman Hjelm and Harold Rast were supportive as Directors of Fortress Press. On particular issues I was helped by Daniel Assefa, Richard Horsley, Matthias Henze, Michael Knibb, Klaus Koch, Pierluigi Piovanelli, Michael Stone, Siegbert Uhlig, and James VanderKam. My work has been supported by the facilities of The University of Iowa Main Library, the Rice University Library, the University of Washington Library, and the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, and by the faculty of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington. Finally, once again I dedicate my commentary to Marilyn with much love, affection, and esteem, and with the assurance that our houseguest of forty-five years has now been ushered out the door. George W. E. Nickelsburg Issaquah, Washington October 2010 Preface introduction.indd 2 introduction.indd 2 8/9/2011 8:23:39 PM 8/9/2011 8:23:39 PM ...


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