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Stars and Spirits: Heavenly Bodies in Ancient Jewish Aramaic Tradition

Stars and Spirits: Heavenly Bodies in Ancient Jewish Aramaic Tradition This study treats the theme of divine judgement as mediated by heavenly beings, the ‘Watchers’ and the members of the heavenly court in the Aramaic Jewish tradition (Dan. 4, 7.1; En. 14), who are imagined as heavenly bodies and spirits, mediators between the human and heavenly worlds. This tradition is founded upon Mesopotamian scholarly lore. In the Hebrew apocalypse of Dan. 10–12, written in Hellenistic times, a new term, śār , appears, which similarly designates the spirit of a star. These spirits and mediators have a direct role in influencing and determining the fate of territories and kingdoms. The idea of zodiacal spirits is apparent in the physiognomic texts that were found in Qumran. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aramaic Studies Brill

Stars and Spirits: Heavenly Bodies in Ancient Jewish Aramaic Tradition

Aramaic Studies , Volume 13 (2): 111 – Jan 1, 2015

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References (2)

Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
ISSN
1477-8351
eISSN
1745-5227
DOI
10.1163/17455227-01302002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study treats the theme of divine judgement as mediated by heavenly beings, the ‘Watchers’ and the members of the heavenly court in the Aramaic Jewish tradition (Dan. 4, 7.1; En. 14), who are imagined as heavenly bodies and spirits, mediators between the human and heavenly worlds. This tradition is founded upon Mesopotamian scholarly lore. In the Hebrew apocalypse of Dan. 10–12, written in Hellenistic times, a new term, śār , appears, which similarly designates the spirit of a star. These spirits and mediators have a direct role in influencing and determining the fate of territories and kingdoms. The idea of zodiacal spirits is apparent in the physiognomic texts that were found in Qumran.

Journal

Aramaic StudiesBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2015

Keywords: Jewish astronomy; judgement; Qumran; Watchers; spirits; Aramaic Daniel; Aramaic Enoch; Dan. 10–12

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