The Law of the Stars, Their Leaders, and the Four Seasons (82:9–20)

From: 1 Enoch 2

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555 The Law of the Stars, Their Leaders, and the Four Seasons 9a Thisb is the law of the stars which setc in their places,d ate their times, at their set times, and in their months.f 10/ Thesea are the names of those whob lead them, who keep watch so that they enterc at their timesd , who lead them in their places,e in their orders, inf their times, in their months, in their jurisdictions, and in their positions.g 11/ Theira fourb leaders whoc divide the four parts of the yeard enter first,e and after them (come) the twelve leadersf of the ordersg who divideh thei months and the 360 headsj of thousandsk whol separate the days,m and the four additional ones withn them are the leaderso who separatep the four parts of the years.q 12/ (As for)a these headsb of thousands between leader and leader,c one is addedd behind the positione and their leaders make a division.f 13/ These are the namesa of the leadersb who separate the four fixed parts of the year:c Milkiel, Helememelek, Mele  el (esp. vv. 15, 16 [twice], 17, 18, 19 [twice], 20). The various leaders named in the next section are each associated with a time of rule. Their set times. The word ba  >aµlaµtihomu may be unexpected in this context and indeed in the entire Book of the Luminaries, where festivals are of little to no concern. It appeared in 82:7, where it is clear enough that it was drawn from Gen 1:14 (‫)מועדים‬ and where the meaning “festivals” is a reasonable interpretation. This is the spot where the first word on 4Q209 frg. 28.1 can be read, and it is the cognate of the Hebrew term in Gen 1:14 (‫)מעדיהון‬. Milik understood its meaning to be “their Zodiacal periods,” and García Martínez and Tigchelaar have accepted this.4 In support of his interpretation, Milik adduced 1QS x.2–5, where the term ‫מועדים‬ appears twice (lines 3, 5). In that calendrical context the word cannot, he thought, have the sense of “festivals” as it is paralleled by ‫מאורות‬. In the Serekh he translates the word as “constellations of the Zodiac.”5 But since the Book of the Luminaries nowhere else speaks of the zodiac, that seems implausible. Neugebauer, working with the Ethiopic text, rendered the word “festivals,” while Black seems to have agreed and rejected Milik’s understanding of the Aramaic term.6 As the Book of the Luminaries elsewhere does not speak about the dating of festivals, it may be that the term here should be rendered more generally as “seasons/fixed times” or the like.7 This is the conclusion that Albani has reached. He too rejects Milik’s understanding of the word in both 1 Enoch 82:9 and 1QS x.3, 5 and maintains that it designates the “set times” at which the stars rise heliacally. He adds that MUL.APIN, the cuneiform compendium that shows a number of parallels with Enoch’s astronomy, also assigns no role to the classical signs of the zodiac.8 As a result, it is likely that in the context of 1 Enoch 82 ‫מעדין‬ are set times of some sort. Those set times should, however, be different from the times designated by the previous term   aqqebu), it has “set” (ya  >arrebu). Just one letter separates the two readings, but only T9 attests it and it should be rejected as an assimilation of the less familiar expression to a much more common one. The areas of responsibility for the leaders occupy the remainder of the verse. The oldest copies have a somewhat repetitive clause “who lead them in their places,” words not present in the β mss. The list of items in which the leaders guide their subjects is similar to the list in v. 9 (the numbers in parentheses indicate where the word is again used in the following section): Similar Terms in 1 Enoch 82:10 and 82:9 82:10 82:9 makaµnaµtihomu (“their places”) šer  >aµt (“law”) šer  >aµtaµtihomu (“their orders”; vv. 11, 14, 20) makaµnaµtihomu (“their places”) gizeµyaµtihomu (“their times”)   aµlaµtihomu (“their set times”) seltiaµnaµtihomu (“their juris­ dic­ tions”; vv. 15, 16, 17, 19, 20)   aµt(aµt), in the singular form in v. 9 and the plural in v. 10, is used fairly often in the Book of the...