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APOCALYPSE

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 455 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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APOCALYPSE of BARUCH. The discovery of this long lost apocalypse was due to Ceriani. This apocalypse has survived only in the Syriac version of which Ceriani discovered a 6th century MS. in the Milan library. Of this he published a Latin translation in 1866 (Monumenta Sacra, I. ii. 73 98), which Fritzsche reproduced in 1871 (Libri Apocryphi V.T., pp.654-699), and the text in 1871 (Mon. Sacra. V. ii.113-18o), and subsequently l In ii. 25 we have the word &irooroA* with the extraordinary meaning of " plague " as in Jer. xxxix. (xxxii.) 36.in photo-lithographic facsimile in 1883. Chaps. lxxviii.-lxxvvi., indeed, of this book have long been known. These constitute Baruch's epistle to the nine and a half tribes in captivity, and have been published in Syriac and Latin in the London and Paris Polyglots, and in Syriac alone from one MS. in Lagarde's Libri V. T. Apocryphi Syr. (1861) ; and by Charles from ten MSS. (Apocalypse of Baruch, 1896; pp. 124 167). The entire book was translated into English by . the last-named writer (op. cit. pp. 1-167), and into German by Ryssel (Kautzsch's Apok.und Pseud., 1900, ii. pp. 41.3-446)• The Syriac is translated from the Greek; for Greek words are occasionally transliterated, and passages. can be explained only on the hypothesis that the wrong alternative meanings of certain Greek words were followed by the translator. The Greek in turn is derived from the Hebrew, for unintelligible expressions in the Syriac can be explained and the text restored by retranslation into Hebrew. Thus in xxi. 9, it, 12, xxiv. 2, ]xii. 7 we have an unintelligible antithesis, " those who sin and those who are justified." The source of the error can be discovered by retranslation. The Syriac in these passages is a stock rendering of&ucawikrOat, and this in turn of pis. But pis means not only &iccatofia6at but also &eases eivae, and this is the very meaning required by the context in the above passages: " those who sin and those who are righteous." 2 Again xliv. 12 the text reads: " the new world which does not turn to corruption those who depart on its beginning and has no mercy on those who depart to torment." Here " on its beginning " is set over antithetically against " to torment," whereas the context requires " to its blessedness." The words " on its beginning "—veto, a corruption of raves-" to its blessedness." Again in lvi. 6 it is said that the fall of man brought grief; anguish, pain, trouble and boasting into the world. The term " boasting " in this connexion cannot b'e right. The word= rcabxr a=then(?). corrupt for r6,re, "disease." A further ground for inferring a Hebrew original is to be found in the fact that paronomasiae not infrequently discover themselves in the course of retranslation into Hebrew..', One instance will suffice. In xlviii. 35, Honour will be- turned into shame, strength humiliated into contempt . and beauty will become a scorn " contains three such: 'ad', rem 'es- ns Sa ~~r 1y la5py Ie;r. ii» (see Charles, Apac. Bar. pp. xliv.-liii). The necessity of postulating a Hebrew original was first shown by the present writer, and has since been maintained by Wellhausen (Skizzen is. Vorarbeiten, vi. 234), by Ryssel (Apok. and Pseudepig. A. T.; 1900, ii. 411), and Ginzberg (Jewish Encyclopaedia, ii. 555). Different Elements in the Book and their Dates.—As there are undoubtedly conflicting elements in the book, it is possible to assume either a diversity of authorship or a diversity of sources: The latter view is advocated by Ryssel andGinzberg, the former by Kabisch, de Faye, R. H. Charles and Beer (Herzog's Real-enc., art. •" Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments," p. 250): A short summary may here be given of the grounds on which the present writer has postulated a diversity of authorship. If the letter to the tribes in captivity (lxxviii lxxxvi.) be disregarded, the book falls into seven sections separated by fasts, save in one. case (after xxxv.) where the text is probably defective. These sections, -which are of unequal length, are—(1) i.-v. 6; (2) v. 7-viii.; (3) ix.-xii. 4; (4)- xii. 5-xx.; (5) xxi.-axxv.; (6) xxxvi.-xlvi.; (7) xlvii.-lxxvii. These treat of the Messiah and the Messianic kingdom, the woes of Israel in the past and the destruction of Jerusalem in the present, as well as of theological questions relating to original sin, free will, works, the number of the saved, the nature of the resurrection body, &c. The views expressed on several of the above subjects are often conflicting. In one class of passages there is everywhere manifest a vigorous optimism as. to ;Israel's ultimate -well-being on earth, and the blessedness of the chosen people in the Messianic kingdom is sketched in glowing and sensuous colours (xxix., xxxix.-xl., lxiii -lxxiv.). Over against these passages stand others of a hopelessly pessimistic character, wherein, alike as to Israel's 2 Ryssel has adopted Charles's restoration of the text in these passages and practically also in xliv. 12. but without acknowledgment. present and future destiny an earth, there is written nothing save " lamentation, and mourning, and woe." The world is a scene of corruption, its evils are irremediable, its end is nigh, and the advent of the new and spiritual world at hand. The first to draw attention to the composite elements in this book was Kabisch (Jahrbecher f. protest. Theol., 1891, pp. 66-ro7). This critic regarded xxiv. 3-xxix., xxxvi.–xl. and liii.–lxxiv. as independent sources written before the fall of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and his groundwork, which consists of the rest of his book, with the exception of a few verses, as composed after that date. All these elements were put together by a Christian contemporary of Papias. Many of these conclusions were arrived at independently by a French scholar, De Faye (Les Apocalypses juives, 1892, pp. 25-28, 76-103, 192-204). The present writer (Apocalypse of Baruch, 1896, pp. liii.-lxvii.), after submitting the book to a fresh study, has come to the following conclusions:—The book is of Pharisaic authorship and composed of six independent writings—Al, A2, A3, B', B2, B3. The first three were composed when Jerusalem was still standing and the Messiah and the Messianic kingdom were expected: Al, a mutilated apocalypse =xxvii.–xxx. 1; A2, the Cedar and Vine Vision=xxxvi.–xl.; A3, the Cloud Vision=liii.–lxxiv. The last three were written after A.D. 70, and probably before 9o. Thus B3=lxxxv. was written by a Jew in exile, who, despairing of a national restoration, looked only for a spiritual recompense in heaven. The rest of the book is derived from B' and B2, written in Palestine after A.D. 70. These writings belong to very different types of thought. In $1 the earthly Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, but not so in B2; in the former the exiles are to be restored, but not in the latter; in the former a Messianic kingdom without a Messiah is expected, but no earthly blessedness of any kind in the latter, &c. B'=i.–ix. 1, xxxii. 2-4, xliii.–xliv. 7, xlv.–xlvi., lxxvii.–lxxxii., lxxxiv., lxxxvi.–lxxxvii. B2=ix.–xxv., xxx. 2–xxxv., xli.–xlii., xliv. 8-15, xlvii.–lii., . lxxv.–lxxvi., lxxxiii. The final editor of the work wrote in the name of Baruch the son of Neriah. The above critical analyses -were attacked and rejected by Clemen (Stud. and Krit., 1898, 211 sqq.). He fails, however, in many cases to recognize the difficulties at issue, and those which cannot be ignored he sets down to the conflicting apocalyptic traditions, on which the author was obliged to draw for his subject-matter, Though Ryssel (Kautzsch, Apok. u. Pseud, des A. T. ii. 409) has followed Clemen, neither has given any real explanation of the disorder of the book as it stands at present. Beer (op. cit.) agrees that xxxvi.–xl. and liii.–lxx.-are of different authorship from the rest of the book and belong to the earlier date. Relation to 4 Ezra.—The affinities of this book and 4 Ezra are so numerous (see Charles, op. cit. 17o-171) that Ewald and Ryle assumed identity of authorship. But their points of divergence are so weighty (see op. cit. pp. lxix.-lxxi.) that this view cannot be sustained. Three courses still remain open. If we assume that both works are composite, we shall perforce admit that some of the constituents of 4 Ezra are older than the latest of Baruch, and that other constituents of Baruch are decidedly older than the remaining ones of 4 Ezra. On the other hand, if we assume unity of authorship, it seems impossible to arrive at finality on the chronological relations of these two works. Langen, Hilgenfeld, Wieseler, Stahelin, Renan, Hausrath,Drummond, Dillmann, Rosenthal, Gunkel, have maintained on various grounds the priority of 4 Ezra; and Schurer, Bissell, Thomson, Deane, Kabisch, De Faye, Wellhausen, and Ryssel the priority of Baruch on grounds no less convincing. Relation to Rabbinical Literature.—A very close relation subsists between our book and rabbinical literature. Indeed in some instances the parallels are so close that they are almost word for word. The description of the destruction of Jerusalem by angels in vi.–viii. is found also in the Pesikta Rabbati 26 (ed. Friedmann 131a). By means of this passage we are, as Ginzberg has shown, able tc correct the corrupt reading " the holy Ephod" (vi. 7), snipe into " the holy Ark," i.e. crepe pate, What ,.might be taken as poetic fancies in our text are recounted as historical facts in rabbinical literature. Thus the words (x. 18):" And ye priests, take ye the keys of the sanctuary, And cast them into the height of heaven, And give them to the Lord and say : 'Guard Thine own house; for lo we are found unfaithful stewards,'" are given in various accounts of the fall of Jerusalem. (See Ta'anith, 29a; Pesikt. R., loc. cit.; Yalqut Shim'oni on Is. xxi; Aboth of Rabbi Nathan vii.). Even the statement that the bodies of Sennacherib's soldiers were burned while their garments and armour remained unconsumed has its parallel in Sanh. 94a. Integrity of the Book.—In lxxvii. Iq it is said that Baruch wrote two epistles, one to the nine and a half tribes and the other to the two and a half at Babylon. The former is found in lxxviii.-lxxxvi.; the latter is lost, but is probably preserved either wholly or in part inthe Book of Baruch, iii. 9-iv. 29 (see Charles, op. cit.) ; pp. lxv.–lxvii). On the other hand, it is not necessary to infer from lxxv. that an account of Baruch's assumption was to be looked for in the book.
End of Article: APOCALYPSE
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