Category Archives: Pseudepigrapha

A New Book from Andrei Orlov

Andrei Orlov of Marquette University has published a new and very interesting looking book! Here are the details. It really does sound lke a fascinating book.

Dark Mirrors
Azazel and Satanael in Early Jewish Demonology
Andrei A. Orlov

Discusses the two most important figures in early Jewish mythologies of evil, the fallen angels Azazel and Satanael.

Dark Mirrors is a wide-ranging study of two central figures in early Jewish demonology—the fallen angels Azazel and Satanael. Andrei A. Orlov explores the mediating role of these paradigmatic celestial rebels in the development of Jewish demonological traditions from Second Temple apocalypticism to later Jewish mysticism, such as that of the Hekhalot and Shi‘ur Qomah materials. Throughout, Orlov makes use of Jewish pseudepigraphical materials in Slavonic that are not widely known.

Orlov traces the origins of Azazel and Satanael to different and competing mythologies of evil, one to the Fall in the Garden of Eden, the other to the revolt of angels in the antediluvian period. Although Azazel and Satanael are initially representatives of rival etiologies of corruption, in later Jewish and Christian demonological lore each is able to enter the other’s stories in new conceptual capacities. Dark Mirrors also examines the symmetrical patterns of early Jewish demonology that are often manifested in these fallen angels’ imitation of the attributes of various heavenly beings, including principal angels and even God himself.

Andrei A. Orlov is Associate Professor of Theology at Marquette University. He is the author of several books, including Selected Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha.

• Albany: SUNY Press, 2011
• 256 pages
• $75.00 hardcover 978-1-4384-3951-8

Here is the flyer with the same information.

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Near to the Fire

For behold, my cause is in Your hands
and my recourse is to You.
I know my sin, so cleanse me, O Lord,
that I may enter into Your presence
with self-respect.
Now my offenses are weighty;
I have drawn near to the fire which burns.
Your mercy is upon all things,
so that You can take away
all my transgressions.
Pardon me, even me, the sinner.
And pardon all Your creatures
whom You have fashioned,
but who have not heard and learned of You.

Testament of Isaac 4.27-31

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Now Jael took a stake in her left hand and approached him, saying, “If God will work this sign with me, I know that Sisera will fall into my hands. Behold I will throw him down on the ground from the bed on which he sleeps; and if he does not feel it, I know that he has been handed over.” And Jael took Sisera and pushed him onto the ground from the bed. But he did not feel it, because he was very groggy.

And Jael said, “Strengthen in me today, Lord, my arm on account of you and your people and those who hope in you.” And Jael took the stake and put it on his temple and struck it with a hammer.

And while he was dying, Sisera said to Jael, “Behold pain has taken hold of me, Jael, and I die like a woman.”

And Jael said to him, “Go, boast before your father in hell and tell him that you have fallen into the hands of a woman.”

Pseudo-Philo, Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum 31.7

Oh yeah. That’s funnier than one would think an ancient pseudepigraphon should be. “That’s right! Tell your daddy in hell that a chick did you in!”

Jael, of course, rocks.

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A Pseudepigraphic Pearl

And I am now an orphan and desolate,
and I have no other hope save in you, Lord,
and no other refuge except your mercy, Lord,
because you are the father of the orphans,
and a protector of the persecuted
and a helper of the afflicted.
Have mercy upon me, Lord,
and guard me, a virgin who is abandoned and an orphan,
because you, Lord, are a sweet and good and gentle father.
What father is as sweet as you, Lord,
and who is as quick in mercy as you, Lord,
and who is as long-suffering towards our sins as you, Lord?

Joseph and Aseneth 12.13-15

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Who’s got your back?

For the Lord did not draw Ishmael and his sons and his brothers and Esau near to himself, and He did not elect them because they are the sons of Abraham, for He knew them. But He chose Israel that they might be a people for Himself. And He sanctified them and gathered them from all of the sons of man because there are many nations and many people, and they all belong to Him, but over all of them He caused spirits to rule so that they might lead them astray from following Him. But over Israel He did not cause any angel or spirit to rule because He alone is their ruler and He will protect them and He will seek for them them at the hand of His angels and at the hand of His spirits and at the hand of all of His authorities so that He might guard them and bless them and they might be His and He might be theirs henceforth and forever.

Jubilees 15.30–32

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Deuterobaruchian Pearls

For the youth of this world has passed away, and the power of creation is already exhausted, and the coming of the times is very near and has passed by. And the pitcher is near the well, and the ship to the harbor, and the journey to the city, and life to its end.

——2 Baruch 85.10

But now, the righteous have been assembled, and the prophets are sleeping. Also we have left our land, and Zion has been taken away from us, and we have nothing now apart from the Mighty One and his Law.

——2 Baruch 85.3

And it will happen at that time that those treasuries will be opened in which the number of the souls of the righteous were kept, and they will go out and the multitudes of the souls will appear together, in one assemblage, of one mind. And the first ones will enjoy themselves and the last ones will not be sad.

——2 Baruch 30.2

Adam is, therefore, not the cause, except only for himself, but each of us has become our own Adam.

——2 Baruch 54.19

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Apocalypse of Elijah Versification

I’ve just put up a web page which aligns the versification of Rosenstiehl’s translation of Apocalypse of Elijah with the Wintermute translation found in Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Some may have noticed their differences already, 3 chapters in Rosenstiehl, 5 in Wintermute, etc. Several contributors to the OTP volumes seem to have introduced their own versification, likely related to their differing with earlier editors on readings, sentences and so on. As I run across more examples, I’ll very likely prepare similar tables in those cases as well. The difficulty comes in seeing that even within the OTP volumes themselves, some used one versification to insert comparanda in the margin or notes, while others used another. I’m in the process of straightening all those out.

Anyhow, this is another tool that I found necessary, and thought I’d share it with the wider world. Enjoy!

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