By Vita Daphna Arbel
"A wide-ranging exploration of the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature, a magical Jewish culture from overdue antiquity, together with a dialogue of the prospective cultural context of this material's creators."
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Internationale Zeitschriftenshau fur Bibelwissenshaft und Grenzgebiete
"Davila, one of many top overseas specialists at the lifeless Sea Scrolls, interprets and partly reconstructs the very fragmentary corpus of texts that experts have determined to categorise as 'liturgical'. . . The virtue of the current quantity is the specific, line-by-line statement which summarizes, vitamins, and often corrects prior examine. Davila has set a excessive general for the sequence of which the current booklet occurs to be the 1st installment. "
Religious experiences Review
"The nice power of the paintings is located within the statement part, the place Davila presents huge references to biblical, Rabbinic, Christian and Hekhalot literature. it's a major source for students and scholars attracted to figuring out the Qumran liturgical texts of their ancient and literary context. "
Among the priceless manuscripts of the lifeless Sea Scrolls are various fragments of liturgical texts bearing on the ritual lifetime of Jews dwelling round the flip of the typical period. those interesting writings comprise prayers for annual fairs, a covenant renewal liturgy, a magical liturgy for Sabbath sacrifices, a grace rite for mourners, day-by-day and weekly prayers, liturgies of purification, and maybe even a marriage rite. during this quantity, the 1st to be released within the Eerdmans Commentaries at the useless Sea Scrolls sequence, James Davila introduces, interprets, and gives an in depth exegesis of those vital documents.
The booklet starts off with a common creation to the Qumran library and Jewish liturgical traditions. Davila then offers an creation, translation, notes at the unique Hebrew, and line-by-line observation for every of the Qumran liturgical works. Davila's first-class translation paintings combines overlapping fragmentary manuscripts right into a unmarried, easily flowing textual content, and his statement comprises a number of clean insights and observations on those writings. Giving complete realization to parallel texts present in the Hebrew Bible and different Jewish and Christian writings via past due antiquity, Davila firmly situates the Qumran liturgical works of their old context in moment Temple Judaism and discusses their value as history to the Jewish liturgy, Jewish mysticism, and Christian origins.
Shedding gentle on a interval of Jewish heritage whose ritual lifestyles previously lay nearly completely in darkness, this quantity makes--and next ECDSS volumes will make--a worthy contribution to our knowing of the biblical world.
Special Abbreviations, Symbols, and first Sources
Festival Prayers (1Q34 + 1Q34bis, 4Q507, 4Q508, 4Q509 + 4Q505)
4QBerakhot (4Q286-90, 4Q280? )
Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (4Q400-407, 11Q17, Mas1K)
Times for Praising God (4Q409)
Grace after foodstuff (4Q434a)
A Lamentation (4Q501)
A bridal ceremony? (4Q502)
Daily Prayers (4Q503)
The phrases of the Luminaries (4Q504, 4Q506)
Purification Liturgies (4Q512, 4Q414)
Dead Sea Scrolls
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Additional info for Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature
From this divinelike viewpoint, Rabbi Ishmael transcends time and place as he observes events and mighty individuals in the far off past or the distant future. Hekhalot Rabbati presents a similar process. Rabbi Ishmael is asked by Rabbi Nehunia ben Ha-Kanah to ascend into the Merkavah and there to ﬁnd out in heaven the destiny of the ten martyr-sages. He goes up and is devastated to discover the future calamities awaiting the Jewish people. He is then comforted by the heavenly guardian Hadari’el, who exposes various heavenly eschatological secrets before him and permits him to experience the divine realm.
What one knows is closely related to how one knows. 32 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES In all known periods . . Jewish mystics were in possession of, and apparently practiced, a wide variety of mystical techniques. 34 Full spiritual awareness is not instantly granted by God as a gift of inspiration to the devoted disciples. Nor can it be attained automatically by faithful believers. The Hekhalot and Merkavah seekers acquire such a spiritual level in a gradual manner. McGinn treats the nature of a progressive process of gaining inner awareness, which leads to encounters between God and humans: It is important to remember that mysticism is always a process or a way of life.
Until the Holy One, blessed be he, rebuked them . . At once Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, came and revived me and raised me to my feet, but still I did not have strength enough to sing a hymn before the glorious throne of the glorious King. . But after an hour the Holy One, blessed be he, opened to me the gates of the Chariot . . 84 Following the stage of inner transformation, Rabbi Ishmael is led on a tour through the celestial realm by the angel Metatron. The angel uncovers to him divine sights, which he is now able to behold.
Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature by Vita Daphna Arbel