The Book of Jubilees is a Jewish book from the 2nd century BCE that presents the narrative of Genesis and Exodus 1—20 by retelling many of the stories in these books from a different perspective. Included in the collection of Jewish works known as the Pseudepigrapha, it has been known in the West only since thes, when European travelers acquired manuscripts from monasteries in Ethiopia and transported some of them to European locations. Preliminary studies of these manuscripts led scholars to believe that they were texts of a book previously known from citations from early Christian literature in Greek, fragments of which had been collected and published in the s. Even before the discovery of Hebrew manuscripts at Qumran, it was argued that the book had been written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek; from the Greek, translations were made into Syriac, Latin, and Ethiopic. In Jubilees, however, the author recounts a revelation to Moses that came about quite differently: here, the angel of presence reads aloud to Moses the contents of the book from the heavenly tablets.
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The text was also utilized by the community that originally collected the Dead Sea Scrolls. No complete Greek or Latin version is known to have survived, but the Ge'ez version has been shown to be an accurate translation of the versions found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Book of Jubilees claims to present "the history of the division of the days of the Law, of the events of the years, the year-weeks, and the jubilees of the world" as revealed to Moses in addition to the Torah or "Instruction" by angels while he was on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights.
There is also a preserved fragment of a Latin translation of the Greek that contains about a quarter of the whole work. Passages in the texts of Jubilees that are directly parallel to verses in Genesis do not directly reproduce either of the two surviving manuscript traditions. Charles had deduced that the Hebrew original had used an otherwise unrecorded text for Genesis and for the early chapters of Exodus , one independent either of the Masoretic text or of the Hebrew text that was the basis for the Septuagint.
According to one historian, the variation among parallel manuscript traditions that are exhibited by the Septuagint compared with the Masoretic text, and which are embodied in the further variants among the Dead Sea Scrolls , demonstrates that even canonical Hebrew texts did not possess any single "authorized" manuscript tradition in the first centuries BC.
Although the Pre-Masoretic text may have indeed been authoritative back then, arguments can be made for and against this concept.
Between and approximately 15 Jubilees scrolls were found in five caves at Qumran , all written in Hebrew. The large number of manuscripts more than for any biblical books except for Psalms, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Exodus, and Genesis, in descending order indicates that Jubilees was widely used at Qumran.
A comparison of the Qumran texts with the Ethiopic version, performed by James VanderKam, found that the Ethiopic was in most respects an accurate and literalistic translation. Robert Henry Charles — became the first biblical scholar to propose an origin for Jubilees.
The dating of Jubilees has been problematic for biblical scholars. While the oldest extant copies of Jubilees can be assigned on the basis of the handwriting to about BC, there is much evidence to suggest Jubilees was written prior to this date. Jubilees could not have been written very long prior. Jubilees at records that Enoch "saw in a vision what has happened and what will occur", and the book contains many points of information otherwise found earliest in the Enochian "Animal Apocalypse" 1 Enoch chapters , such as Enoch's wife being Edna.
There is no official record of it in Pharisaic or Rabbinic sources. It was among several books that the Sanhedrin left out when the Bible was canonized. Sub rosa , many of the traditions which Jubilees includes for the first time, are echoed in later Jewish sources, including some 12th-century midrashim which may have had access to a Hebrew copy. It appears that early Christian writers held the book of Jubilees in high regard, as many of them cited and alluded to Jubilees in their writing.
Jan van Reeth argues that the Book of Jubilees had great influence on the formation of Islam. An angel reveals their content to a prophet 2, 1; 32, 21 f. Abraham's role in the Book of Jubilees corresponds to Abraham's role in the Quran in more than one way.
Etsuko Katsumata, comparing the Book of Jubilees and the Quran, notices significant differences, especially in Abrahams role in the quranic narrative, concluding that "the Book of Jubilees contains no passages in which Abraham disparages idols, as in the other texts, using tactics to make it look as if an idol has destroyed other idols like in the Quran.
The Book of Jubilees contains none of this kind of attitude; Abraham simply and directly destroys idols by setting fire to them.
In the Book of Jubilees Abraham's role differs significantly; he has a favourable relationship to his father and leaves his home country after secretly burning down a temple. Jubilees covers much of the same ground as Genesis , but often with additional detail, and addressing Moses in the second person as the entire history of creation, and of Israel up to that point, is recounted in divisions of 49 years each, or "Jubilees". The elapsed time from the creation, up to Moses receiving the scriptures upon Sinai during the Exodus, is calculated as fifty Jubilees, less the 40 years still to be spent wandering in the desert before entering Canaan — or 2, years.
Four classes of angels are mentioned: angels of the presence , angels of sanctifications , guardian angels over individuals, and angels presiding over the phenomena of nature.
Enoch was the first man initiated by the angels in the art of writing, and wrote down, accordingly, all the secrets of astronomy, of chronology, and of the world's epochs. As regards demonology, the writer's position is largely that of the deuterocanonical writings from both New and Old Testament times.
The Book of Jubilees narrates the genesis of angels on the first day of Creation and the story of how a group of fallen angels mated with mortal females, giving rise to a race of giants known as the Nephilim , and then to their descendants, the Elioud. The Ethiopian version states that the "angels" were in fact the disobedient offspring of Seth Deqiqa Set , while the "mortal females" were daughters of Cain.
Their hybrid children, the Nephilim in existence during the time of Noah , were wiped out by the great flood. Jubilees also states that God granted ten percent of the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim to try to lead mankind astray after the flood. Jubilees makes an incestuous reference regarding the son of Adam and Eve, Cain, and his wife.
In chapter iv 1—12 Cain and Abel , it mentions that Cain took his sister Awan to be his wife and Enoch was their child. It also mentions that Seth the third son of Adam and Eve married his sister Azura.
According to this book, Hebrew is the language of Heaven, and was originally spoken by all creatures in the Garden, animals and man; however, the animals lost their power of speech when Adam and Eve were expelled. Following the Deluge, the earth was apportioned into three divisions for the three sons of Noah , and his sixteen grandsons. After the destruction of the Tower of Babel , their families were scattered to their respective allotments, and Hebrew was forgotten, until Abraham was taught it by the angels.
Jubilees also contains a few scattered allusions to the Messianic kingdom. Robert Henry Charles wrote in This kingdom was to be ruled over by a Messiah sprung, not from Levi —that is, from the Maccabean family—as some of his contemporaries expected—but from Judah.
This kingdom would be gradually realized on earth, and the transformation of physical nature would go hand in hand with the ethical transformation of man until there was a new heaven and a new earth. Thus, finally, all sin and pain would disappear and men would live to the age of 1, years in happiness and peace, and after death enjoy a blessed immortality in the spirit world. It also insists on a "Double Sabbath" each year being counted as only one day to arrive at this computation. Jubilees —29 is possibly an early reference to the Noahide laws.
Jubilees bases its take on Enoch on the "Book of Watchers", 1 Enoch 1— From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ancient Jewish religious work of 50 chapters. For the Jewish legal concept, see Jubilee biblical. Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy. Palo Alto: Mayfield. Charles The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Archived from the original on February 24, — via Wesley Center Online. Thus it agrees with individual authorities such as the Samaritan or the LXX, or the Syriac, or the Vulgate, or the Targum of Onkelos against all the rest. Charles, "7. Schiffman and J. VanderKam eds. Beyond the Essene Hypothesis.
The Book of Jubilees Among the Apocalypses. Philip L. Biblical Theology Bulletin. Independently of one another. The book of Jubilees or the Little Genesis. London: Adam and Charles Black. In these passages, Abraham always addresses his words to local people, and he does not leave their land. Books of the Bible. Catholic Orthodox. Letter of Baruch Psalms — Category Portal WikiProject Book.
Song of Songs Shir Hashirim. Daniel Daniyyel. Bible portal.
The Book of Jubilees
Book of Jubilees
The Book of Jubilees , probably written in the 2nd century B. It is divided into periods 'Jubilees' of 49 years. For the most part the narrative follows the familiar account in Genesis, but with some additional details such as the names of Adam and Eve's daughters, and an active role for a demonic entity called 'Mastema'. The anonymous author had a preoccupation with calendar reform, and uses Jubilees as a platform for proposing a solar calendar of days and 12 months; this would have been a radical departure from the Jewish Calendar , which is lunar-based. There are also a couple of messianic, apocalyptic passages, although quite a bit less than the Book of Enoch. The only complete version of Jubilees is in Ethiopian, although large fragments in Greek, Latin and Syriac are also known. It is believed that it was originally written in Hebrew.