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569 The booklet that is the subject of this commentary survived a long journey. Its author wrote in the Aramaic language a fundamentally astronomical work that drew on native and international sources of information. In it the angel Uriel (?) reveals the patterns of the heavenly bodies and related matters to the prediluvian sage Enoch, who in turn transmits the message to his son. The calendars in the booklet were to exercise some influence: the book of Jubilees adopted the solar year of 364 days, while the compilers of the calendar texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls accepted and developed both the lunar and solar arrangements. The booklet was at some unknown time rendered into Greek, and a few authors who wrote in Greek made reference to it. Though almost all traces of that translation have disappeared, enough may remain to suggest that in its Greek phase the booklet was copied on the same scroll with other Enochic compositions. The Greek text served as the base for a translation into Ge>ez, the classical language of Ethiopia. In the Abyssinian Church the booklet, with the other four that comprise 1 Enoch, was regarded as part of the Old Testament, and it was to play a role especially in calendrical matters. With the passage of time, only the Ethiopic version of the book survived, a version that first came to the attention of Western scholars in the late eighteenth century. Only in the mid-twentieth century were bits and pieces from the original Aramaic form of the text discovered in cave 4 at Qumran, and with them came an opportunity to see more clearly how the booklet once looked. Conclusion VanderKamBB.indd 569 8/10/2011 7:38:13 AM ...


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