Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism by Andrei A. Orlov

By Andrei A. Orlov

Explores the paradoxical symmetry among the divine and demonic in early Jewish mystical texts.

Divine Scapegoats is a wide-ranging exploration of the parallels among the heavenly and the demonic in early Jewish apocalyptical money owed. In those fabrics, antagonists usually replicate beneficial properties of angelic figures, or even these of the Deity himself, an inverse correspondence that means a trust that the demonic realm is maintained through imitating divine truth. Andrei A. Orlov examines the sacerdotal, messianic, and creational facets of this mimetic imagery, focusing totally on texts from the Slavonic pseudepigrapha: 2 Enoch and the Apocalypse of Abraham. those works are a part of a truly distinct cluster of Jewish apocalyptic texts that convey positive aspects not just of the apocalyptic worldview but additionally of the symbolic universe of early Jewish mysticism. The Yom Kippur ritual within the Apocalypse of Abraham, the divine mild and darkness of 2 Enoch, and the similarity of mimetic motifs to later advancements within the Zohar are of specific significance in Orlov’s attention.

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Extra info for Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism

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This distinctive ideological stand attempts to fight the anthropomorphic understanding of God by putting emphasis on the audial expression of the Deity, who manifests Himself through His Voice and Name. For this reason, Yahoel, the personified manifestation of the divine Name, plays a paramount role119 and highlights some new aural potentials of the Yom Kippur rite. The chief celebrant of the atoning rite here is not simply a bearer of the front-plate with the divine Name; rather, he himself becomes the embodiment of the Name.

NRSV) The flowing rivers of this passage evoke the cosmological account found in the Slavonic apocalypse where the sea is depicted alongside rivers and their circles. 19 In Ezekiel, however, the image of flowing Edenic waters receives further cultic meaning. Yet such an emphasis is not unique to Ezekiel. 24 Christian materials also display acquaintance with the sacerdotal tradition of flowing waters. 25 If we again turn our attention to the foundational Ezekiel account, it is notable that in Ezekiel 47:12, the imagery of the water is conflated with other distinctive symbols, including arboreal imagery: 42 ■ Divine Scapegoats And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food.

The Apocalypse of Abraham is unwilling to provide a clear answer to this question. The Cosmological Temple in the Apocalypse of Abraham A monster below, on the left side, swims in all those rivers. He comes with his mighty scales, each one as strong as iron, and he arrives there in order to draw water and defile the place. All the lights are darkened before him; his mouth and his tongue flame with fire; his tongue is as sharp as a mighty sword until he gets as far as entering the sanctuary within the sea, and then he defiles the sanctuary, and the lights are darkened, and the supernal lights disappear from the sea.

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