IN chap. iii. we referred briefly to some points of subsidiary importance belonging to the Eschatological Drama. The first of these, namely Theophanies, was mentioned because the details of the later eschatological conceptions are apparently based upon much that we read in the Old Testament concerning divine appearances. This fact lies in the natural order of things; for the Apocalyptists, in creating their mental pictures of what was to take place in the "last times," were necessarily very much influenced by what they had read and studied in the Scriptures. But in the Apocalyptic literature there is only one Theophany which is spoken of, that of the "last times"; there is nothing parallel to the other divine appearances which are described in the Old Testament; nevertheless,
the conceptions concerning the final great Theophany, as contained in the Apocalyptic literature, are based upon, and receive their colouring, in the main, from the various Theophanic descriptions of the Old Testament; this subject, as far as the Apocalyptic literature is concerned, has been dealt with in §§i. ii. of the preceding chapter, and need not be further treated here. But the other matters spoken of in chap. iii. require some further attention here, as they recur in the Apocalyptic writings.
We saw, in dealing with the Old Testament presentation of this subject, that two entirely different attitudes were taken up with regard to the Gentiles; there was the Particularist attitude, which, in its narrow nationalism, regarded all non-Jews as outside the pale of divine recognition, and which saw in the gathering of the Gentiles in the "last times" the great occasion for their final destruction. On the other hand, there was the Universalist attitude, which, in its wider outlook upon the world, taught that the divine mercy was not
restricted in its action to the Jewish nation, but that the Gentile world would also be embraced in the number of those who would be accepted by God, and that therefore in the "last times" the gathering of the Gentiles would take place in order that their salvation, too, might be proclaimed. These two attitudes also figure in the Apocalyptic literature. The different works incorporated into The Ethiopic Book of Enoch are almost wholly Universalistic in character; 1 the two great divisions of mankind are not Jew and Gentile, but the righteous and the sinners, the differentiation between Jew and Gentile scarcely ever occurs in the eschatological portions, a notable exception to this, however, will be noted presently. To give one or two illustrations of this, in xci. 14 we read: "And after that, in the ninth week, the righteous judgement will be revealed to the whole world, and all the works of the godless will vanish from the whole earth, and the world will be written down for destruction, and all mankind will look to the path of uprightness." Likewise in The Book of Similitudes xxxviii. 2 "And when the Righteous One shall appear before the eyes of
the elect righteous whose works are wrought in dependence on the Lord of Spirits, and light will appear to the righteous and the elect who dwell on the earth--where then will be the dwelling of the sinners, and where the resting-place of those who have denied the Lord of Spirits? It had been good for them if they had not been born." Still more pointed is xlviii. 4, 5: "He will be a staff to the righteous on which they will support themselves and not fall, and He will be the light of the Gentiles 1 and the hope of those who are troubled of heart. All who dwell on the earth will fall down and bow the knee before Him, and will bless and laud and celebrate with song the Lord of Spirits." A feature which occurs both in the Old Testament and in the Apocalyptic literature is that the wicked will in the final issue be delivered into the hand of the righteous, in order, presumably, that these may take their vengeance on the former; see, e.g., Eth. Enoch xci.: "And after that there will be another week, the eighth, that of righteousness, and a sword will be given to it that judgement and righteousness may be executed on those who commit oppression, and sinners will be delivered into
the hands of the righteous." An instance of the superiority of Israel over the Gentiles, the only one in the book, 1 is found in l. 2-5: "And on the day of affliction, evil will gather over the sinners, but the righteous will be victorious in the name of the Lord of Spirits: and He will cause the Gentiles (literally 'the others') to witness (this judgement) that they may repent and forego the works of their hands. They will have no honour through the name of the Lord of Spirits, yet through His name will they be saved, and the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them, for His compassion is great. And He is righteous in His judgement, and in the presence of His glory and in His judgement no unrighteousness shall maintain itself; whosoever repents not before Him will perish. And from henceforth He will show no mercy to them, saith the Lord of Spirits." As pointed out by Professor Charles in commenting on this passage, the Gentiles who repent will be saved as by fire; they will not have the abundant entering in of the Jews; when once the Judgement arrives the lot of the Gentiles is finally fixed. In The Sibylline Oracles the spirit is, upon the whole,
[paragraph continues] Universalistic, but the superiority of Israel is sometimes distinctly asserted, as, e.g., in iii. 194 ff: "And then shall the people of the great God become strong again, and they shall direct into the way of life (literally 'they shall be the sign-post of life to') all those who are mortal." The Universalistic spirit, again, is still more strongly marked in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs; in Levi xviii. (the whole chapter is eschatological) verse 9, we read: "And in his (i.e., the Messiah's) priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and enlightened through the grace of the Lord . . .;" again in Naph. viii. 3: "For through their tribes shall God appear on earth, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from among the Gentiles." In the following verse, however, the superiority of the Israelites seems to be implied, for it continues: "If ye work that which is good, my children, both men and angels shall bless you; and God shall be glorified among the Gentiles through you . . .;" but the normal attitude of this book towards the Gentiles and their lot in the "last times" is unquestionably reflected in such a passage as Asher vii. 3: "Until the Most High shall visit the earth, coming Himself. . . He
shall save Israel and all the Gentiles." (Cf. Benj. ix. 2.) In The Assumption of Moses this subject is only slightly touched upon; a Particularist attitude is revealed in x. 7: "For the Most High God, Who alone is eternal, shall arise and shall come forth manifestly in order to punish the Gentiles and to destroy all their idols." The verses which follow speak of the glorification of Israel, see the next section on this. In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch it is taught that the gathering of the Gentiles in the "last times" is in the main for their destruction, those who are saved will owe their salvation to the fact of their not having been the enemies of Israel. In lxxii. 2 ff., for example, it says: "After the signs of which thou hast already been told--when the Gentiles shall be thrown into con-fusion, and the time of my Messiah shall have come--then shall He call for all the Gentiles, and some He shall preserve alive and some He shall destroy. This is therefore what shall come from Him upon the Gentiles who shall be preserved alive: every people that has not known Israel and has not down-trodden the family of Jacob, this shall be preserved alive . . . but all those who have set themselves over you or have otherwise known you, these
all shall be delivered over to the sword." As regards iv. Esdras, the teaching of this book on the subject will already have been gathered from the long extract given in §ii. of the preceding chapter, to which reference should be made. (See also iv. Esdras vii. 33 ff.) On the whole, therefore, the feeling of the Apocalyptic writers seems to have been that some non-Israelitish nations would be saved in the "last times," and that their being gathered together in "that Day" would not be wholly for destruction. The best Apocalyptic works and those which most probably reflect in the truest way the normal attitude of the Apocalyptic Movement in this particular respect, such as The Book of Enoch and The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, are frankly Universalistic, and in them is adumbrated the Gospel teaching on this point.
One of the main ideas which come to the fore in connection with this subject is that the Israelites scattered all over the world are to be brought together to the Holy Land for the purpose of enjoying the time of bliss which is to follow the signs of the "last times"; but, as
will have been seen in the preceding section, the Apocalyptic writers realise that the fact of being an Israelite is not in itself sufficient to save him from the divine wrath in the "last times" if in other respects he is not worthy to be a partaker of the bliss to come; and therefore they divide men into the righteous and the wicked, not into Israel and the Gentiles; and the object, then, of the ingathering of Israel is that they should be differentiated, the faithful being destined to life, the wicked to destruction. It is worth while recalling in this connection the words of the Baptist in Luke iii. 7 ff. . . . Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. . . . This thought is, without doubt, based upon the prophetic teaching of the need of national purification; only the righteous, even among those of the seed of Israel, may look forward to happiness when the "last times" are past. But a further thought, already noticed in passing in the preceding section, in connection with this subject is that the ingathering
of Israel is to serve as a means whereby the righteous among the Gentiles may also be brought in. This, as we have seen, is also to be traced to prophetic influence; and it reveals an intermediate position between the Particularist and Universalist attitudes. These three thoughts must now be briefly illustrated. It will be obvious that the first thought referred to--that of the ingathering of Israel for the purpose of insuring their bliss after the "last times," without a consideration of their worthiness but simply because they are of the seed of Abraham--is not one that we should expect to find prominently expressed in the Apocalyptic literature; it came to the fore in somewhat later times, as we shall see in the next chapter; but the Apocalyptists were too Universalistic and too much influenced by the spirit of the prophets to express this thought unconditionally. Perhaps the pious writer of the ninth psalm in The Psalms of Solomon comes nearest to it, but the passage to be cited is preceded by words which show the writer's conviction that repentance is indispensable to those who would have final recognition from God: "And now, Thou art God, and we are the nation that Thou lovest; look upon us and have mercy,
oh God of Israel, for we are thine, and turn not away Thy compassion from us, that they (i.e., the Gentiles) may not overcome us. For Thou hast chosen the seed of Abraham above all nations, and hast laid Thy name upon us, oh Lord, and wilt not cast us off for ever. Thou didst make a covenant with our fathers for our sakes, and we hope in Thee that Thou wilt grant peace to our heart. The mercy of the Lord shall be upon the house of Israel for ever and ever" (ix. 8-11). This passage, it is true, is not strictly eschatological, but it displays a spirit which is inclined to regard the Israelites as the recipients of eternal mercy just because they are of the seed of Abraham; but Psalms xi., xvii., and xviii. of the book should also be consulted. The thought of the destruction of wicked Israelites in the "last times" and the salvation of the upright finds expression in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Benj. ix. 1: "And I believe that there will be also evil-doings among you, from the words of Enoch the righteous; that ye shall commit fornication with the fornication of Sodom, and shall perish, all save a few, and shall renew wanton deeds with women; and the Kingdom of the Lord shall not be among you, for straightway He
shall take it away." The purification of Israel preparatory to their inheriting the Kingdom is spoken of, for example, in the same book, Asher vii. 5-7: "For I have known that ye shall assuredly be disobedient, and assuredly act ungodly, not giving heed to the law of God, but to the commandments of men, being corrupted through wickedness. And therefore shall ye be scattered as Gad and Dan, my brethren, and ye shall know not your own lords, tribe and tongue. But the Lord will gather you together in faith through His tender mercy, and for the sake of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." 1 For an example illustrating the thought that Israel is to be the means whereby in the last day others shall be saved, see Sibylline Oracles iii. 194 ff quoted in §i. of this chapter, 2 and cf. Eth. Enoch xc. 30.
The beginnings of the belief in this doctrine are to be sought in the Old Testament (see chap. iii. §iv.), but we find it greatly developed
in the Apocalyptic literature; the fact that it forms an integral part of eschatological teaching is the reason of its mention here. According to the older view the Messianic Kingdom, i.e., the time of bliss which follows the "last times," was to come after the Resurrection and the Judgement; but the later and more widely held view was that a temporary Messianic Kingdom would be established on the earth which would be followed by the Last Judgement and the Resurrection. The Messiah Himself was to judge the nations, who, together with their guardian-angels and stars, are destined to be cast into Gehenna.
In later times belief in a universal Resurrection became prevalent (see below, chap. vii. §v.). In illustrating this belief in the Apocalyptic literature we turn, as usual, first to Eth. Enoch; in the rather difficult ninetieth chapter a general resurrection, including Gentiles as well as Israelites, seems to be implied in verse 33, where it says: "And all that had been destroyed and dispersed, and all the beasts of the field, and all the birds of the heaven assembled in that house, and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced with great joy because they were all good and had returned to His house." According
to xci. 10 it is only the righteous who attain to the Resurrection: "And the righteous one (used collectively) shall arise from the sleep (i.e., of death), and Wisdom will rise up and will be accorded to them." In xlii. 1 it is said that Wisdom had before withdrawn to the heavens because there was no place on earth where she could dwell. In The Book of Similitudes there is some tin-certainty as to whether the Resurrection is to be a general one, or whether it is only the righteous who shall attain to it; thus in li. 1, 2, the reference is to a general Resurrection, but only the righteous are chosen for eternal life, the wicked are personally destined for eternal punishment: "And in those days will the earth also give back those who are treasured up within it, and Sheol also will give back that which it has received, and Hell will give back that which it owes. 1 And He will choose the righteous and holy from among them; for the day of their redemption has drawn nigh" (cf. . lxi. 5). Professor Charles holds that the resurrection here is a resurrection of all Israel, but not of the Gentiles, because no Jewish book before iv. Esdras teaches indubitably the doctrine of
a general resurrection; the whole history of Jewish thought points to a restricted belief in this matter. In The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs it is a belief in the resurrection of the righteous in Israel that is taught; thus we read in Simeon vi. 7: "Then shall I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High because of His marvellous works" (see the whole passage). See also Judah xxv. 1; Zeb. x. 2; but in Benj. x. 6-8, on the other hand, we have this remarkable passage: "Then shall ye see Enoch, Noah, and Shem, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, rising on the right hand in gladness. Then shall we also rise, each one over our tribe, worshipping the King of heaven. Then also all men shall rise, some unto glory and some unto shame. And the Lord shall judge Israel first, for their uprighteousness. And then shall He judge all the Gentiles. . . . " 1 It is to be noted that the wicked as well as the righteous rise, according to this passage; that is a considerable development upon earlier teaching. In Slav. Enoch there does not appear to be any direct reference to a resurrection, but apparently it is to be implied in those passages in which a blessed immortality
of the just is referred to, e.g., i. 2: "Now, therefore, my children, in patience and meekness accomplish the number of your days, and ye shall inherit the endless life which is to come." (Cf. xxii. 8; lxv. 6 ff.) A very interesting passage is lxi. 2, 3: "For in the world to come, I know all things, how that there are many mansions prepared for men. . . . Blessed are all those who shall go to the mansions of the blessed." One is irresistibly reminded of the words in John xiv. 2: In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
At the same time it must be said that this book offers very little of a specifically eschatological character.
In The Psalms of Solomon the Resurrection of the righteous in Israel at the last day is plainly taught, e.g., iii. 12: "But they that fear the Lord shall arise unto eternal life; their life shall be in light, and it will never cease" (cf. xiii. 11; xiv. 3). In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch the Resurrection is referred to several times, e.g., xxx. 1: "And after that, when the time of the Advent of the Messiah is completed, he shall return in glory into the heavens. And then shall all
those arise who slept having their hope in him" (cf. xlii. 7; xlix. 1-3). Lastly, we turn to iv. Esdras, but here it must be remembered that the possibility of Christian influence regarding this subject has to be reckoned with. In vii. 32, 33, we read: "The earth gives up again they that rest in her, the dust returns them that sleep in her, the chambers deliver up the souls that were committed unto them. The Most High appears upon the Judgement-seat . . .;" it is clear that a universal Resurrection of all mankind is here referred to. (Cf. also viii. 53, 54.)
It will thus be seen that there are two tendencies in the Apocalyptic literature regarding a belief in the Resurrection; some-times it seems to be restricted to Israel, at other times a wider view is taken, and all mankind is embraced; then again, sometimes it is taught that the righteous only rise from the dead, and at other times that the good and the bad rise, the former entering into eternal life, the latter into eternal death. It is, however, scarcely necessary to emphasise the fact that this belief falls short of the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection of the body.
Whatever may have been the origin of this idea, it may be regarded as very probable that it received an impetus in course of time from the holding of kingly banquets; Jewish conceptions regarding the Messianic Era were to a large extent materialistic, based in many particulars upon what men saw to be in vogue among earthly rulers; this was very natural, for, after all, the Jewish belief in a Messiah pictured him as a temporal sovereign, generally speaking, and his Kingdom was conceived of as an earthly one, though more perfect than any other could ever be. In accordance, therefore, with these materialistic ideas was the belief that the Messianic ruler would furnish a Banquet for his people. This Banquet is referred to in Eth. Enoch (The Book of Similitudes) lxii. 14: "And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them, and with that Son of Man will they eat and lie down and rise up for ever and ever." (See also xxv. 4, 5.) Possibly a reference is also contained to it in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Levi xviii. 11: "And He shall give to the saints to eat from
the tree of life;" but judging from the later Jewish teaching on the subject (see below, chap. vii.) it was the carcase of Leviathan which was to be consumed at the Messianic Banquet. The most detailed account of this Banquet in the Apocalyptic literature is contained in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch xxix. 3-8, where it says: ". . . . Then will the Messiah begin to manifest Himself. And Behemoth will show himself from his land, and Leviathan will ascend from the sea; and these two mighty sea-monsters, whom I created on the fifth day of the work of Creation and have reserved until that time (i.e., the Messianic Era), shall then be for food for all those who are left." The following verses then go on to describe the fruitfulness of the earth and the abundance of food which shall be brought forth in order that they who have hungered may hunger no more. In this connection Eth. Enoch lx. 7, 8, is of interest: "And on that day will two monsters be parted, a female monster named Leviathan, to dwell in the depths of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. But the whale is called Behemoth, who occupies with his breast a waste wilderness named Dêndâin, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell."
[paragraph continues] See also Sibylline Oracles, Proœm. 87, iii. 746; and iv. Esdras vi. 49-52: "Then didst Thou preserve two living creatures, the one Thou calledst Behemoth, and the other Thou calledst Leviathan . . . and Thou hast kept them to be devoured of whom Thou wilt and when." In each of these passages the thought of the Messianic Banquet is probably present.
It will have been seen that the Apocalyptic literature continues, and in some respects develops, the eschatological teaching of the Old Testament. Thus the signs which precede the end are described very much in the same way as in the prophetical books; there is more fulness of detail in the later literature, and not infrequently the descriptions become somewhat fantastic and exaggerated; but in the main points the teaching of the two classes of literature is identical--the terrifying physical phenomena, darkness on the earth and awful portents in the sun, moon and stars, great terror among men, wars among the nations, the nearest ties of relationship broken by strife
and murder. Then, again, we find a striking similarity of teaching in the fact that the central figure in the Eschatological Drama is sometimes stated to be God Himself, at other times the Messiah, who, in The Book of Enoch, is often spoken of as the Son of Man; the expression "the throne of His glory" is often used in the same book in connection with the Advent. Jerusalem is to be the centre of the new Kingdom which is to be founded, 1 though this is not always stated, any more than it is in the Old Testament accounts. Thirdly, the punishment of the Wicked in that day is often described, and here again with more detail than in the Old Testament; it is also noteworthy that as regards this point the Apocalyptic literature is, as a rule, more general; that is to say, the Universalistic attitude is, upon the whole, more pronounced. The same applies to the fourth point, namely, the blessedness of the Righteous; although Israel is often singled out as the people of Jehovah for whom the Kingdom is to be prepared, yet, for the most part, it is taught that righteous men, irrespective of race, will enjoy the happiness of the Hereafter. The idea of the forerunner also finds expression
here. As in the Old Testament so in this later literature present historical conditions are frequently used as the basis of eschatological teaching. Then, as regards the subsidiary points, the various descriptions of the gathering of the Gentiles exhibit precisely the same marks as in the Old Testament, though, upon the whole, the Particularistic attitude, with some exceptions, is less marked in this later literature; we also find the feature that the Israelite nation is to be the medium of salvation for the Gentiles; but as in the Old Testament, so here, the gathering of the Gentiles is sometimes described as about to take place in order that they may be destroyed by Jehovah, or His army, and that the Israelites may rejoice over their discomfiture; these varying standpoints are partly conditioned by historical circumstances, and partly by the two tendencies already referred to. The subject of the Ingathering of Israel is treated in very much the same way as in the Old Testament, excepting that, upon the whole, the Universalistic attitude predominates. The belief in the Resurrection is greatly developed in the Apocalyptic literature, though the teaching as to when it is to take place, whether before or after the establishment of the Messianic
[paragraph continues] Kingdom, is not uniform; in like manner, there is a difference of view as to whether there is to be a general Resurrection, i.e., of both good and bad, or whether it is to be restricted to the former; also as to whether it is to be for all men or for the Israelites only. The details about the Messianic Banquet are, as we should rather expect, given much more fully here than in the Old Testament.
It will thus be seen that in essentials the eschatological teaching of the Apocalyptic literature is in entire agreement with that of the Old Testament, the differences being almost entirely due to the fact that development has taken place in the later writings.
107:1 The Book of Celestial Physics does not come into consideration here.
108:1 Cf. Luke ii. 32.
109:1 Charles shows, however, that this passage is an interpolation, see his edition, pp. 138 ff.
116:1 This passage belongs, according to Charles, to the first century B.C.
116:2 Page 110.
118:1 Cf. Rev. xx. 13.
119:1 The interpolations are omitted, see Charles's edition.
125:1 On this point see further below, chap. x.