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A.-M. Denis, Introduction aux Pseuépigraphes Grecs d'Ancien Testament, (SVTP 1; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 181.
H.B. Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, (2nd revised ed.; London: Cambridge, 1914) 253-254.
M. Hengel, The Septuagint as Christian Scripture: Its Prehistory and the Problem of its Canon (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002) 59.
Jobes and Silva, Invitation, 78 n.22.
Denis, Introduction aux Pseudépigraphes Grecs, 181.
Note the article by J.R. Davila in a forthcoming Festschrift for Betsy Halpern-Amaru, in which he scrutinizes Pr.Man. with his method for establishing the provenance of pseudepigrapha. Elsewhere, Davila outlines his method and in passing notes that it is possible that Pr.Man. is of Jewish provenance, but there is little positive evidence, cf.
Provenance, 234. An abbreviated form of the method and argument can be found in J.R. Davila, “The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha as Background to the New Testament,” ExpTim 117 (2005) 53-57. An example of a text that assumes ancient and Jewish authorship of Pr.Man., cf. B.M. Metzger, An Introduction to the Apocrypha, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1957) 123-128.
One might also consider evpoura,nie, cognate of ouvrano,j, as found in Codex Alexandrinus.
There are at least two other texts that juxtapose sea (qa,lassa) and abyss (a;bussoj) in creation(-like) contexts: Sir 24.5-6, in which sea and abyss occur together in a longer list of primal/cosmic elements which Wisdom has held sway; and Job 41.31, which describes the affects of the Leviathan on the waters.
D. Sperber, “On Sealing the Abysses,” JSS 11 (1966) 168-174, elaborates on textual similarities around the idea of the name of God sealing the abyss. This theme is picked up in two related accounts, b.Sukkah 53a & y.Sanh. 10, in which a potsherd bearing the divine name is used to seal the Abyss and thereby save creation from the threatening waters. Sperber sees Pr.Man 3 in this thread, noting in passing (1) that in Midrash Shemuel the potsherd was placed over the Tehom at the beginning of creation and (2) that there may be an alternative creation story that accounts for this thread and is related to the likes of 1 En 69.16-25.
One could also tacitly include other texts in which there is creation by speech, e.g. LXX, Jer 28.16; Amos 5.8, 9.6; Ps 32.6, Ps 148.5.
These first lines from Sirach set the tone for the book as a whole as they tell of the primary status of wisdom within the created order (1.4) and clarify that wisdom was created by the Lord (1.9). This pericope is extant in Greek and not preseved in any of the extant Hebrew manuscripts. While this pericope has an obvious focus on creation, it is not the strongest intertext (ouvrano,j&gh/( a;bussoj) with LXX Gen 1.1-5. One thing that distinguishes this text is its clear combination of creation and wisdom.123 The intersection of this pericope with LXX Gen 1.1-5 comes most clearly in the second question of the first stanza (v.3). The question is asked, who can explore the heights of heaven, the breadth of earth, the abyss, and The Greek text comes from Ziegler, ed., Sirach - Göttingen, 128-129. The poetic arrangment reflects Skehan and Di Lella, Ben Sira, 137. The pericope is missing vv.5, 7, and 10cd, in line with the judgment of Di Lella that these are later additions found in the manuscripts labeled GII. (55, 136) Ziegler, ed., Sirach - Göttingen, notes a preferable variant reading, kai. kurieu,wn, reflected in a variety of textual witnesses, including the Latin, et dominans deus. (129) Cf. LXX Jer 10.12, 28.15; Ps 103.24; Prov 8.22-31; Job 38.37; Sir 24.1-12; Herm 3.4.
CHAPTER FOURwisdom? The implied answer is the Lord alone. In this case, the lack of personification becomes apparent.
Wisdom is one of the first things created, and thus not a co-creator. Flowing from the placement of wisdom with three other primal first things, it seems that the phrase prote,ra pa,ntwn in v.4, is less about chronology and more about rank.124 Though it should be noted that there does appear to be a chronological statement placing wisdom first in order of creation in Sir 24.9. Overall, there is little formal resemblance with LXX Gen 1.1-5.
4.2.14 Additional Jewish Texts What follows are some brief comments about texts that, while of note, fall very near if not beyond the boundaries, semipermeable as they are, of this study. These are the tattered edges of the larger tapestry. As noted earlier, the texts and translation of these texts are located in Appendix D.
1 Enoch 17.1-19.3 This text comes from the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36), a Greek translation of the Aramaic.125 This pericope is an account of Enoch's journey to the Northwest (17.1-7 & 18.6-19.3) with a summary of what Enoch saw on the journey (18.1-5).126 This pericope is more cosmography than cosmogony as it explores the geography of heaven (17.1-7 & 18.6-9), including the throne of God (18.8), and the great chasm beyond heaven where the disobedient stars and the Watchers are imprisoned. While the intertextual markers in this text (ouvrano,j&gh/( a;bussoj( evn avrch.|( nu,x&h`me,ra( sko,toj) are quite disparate and it is not necessarily a creation text, there are intersections with the intertextual tapestry as a whole worthy of note. There is a concern for boundaries in this pericope, not establishing but reporting that they exist. In particular, Enoch sees the boundaries (pe,raj) of the earth127 and everything.128 Also, the commodification of stars and thunder129 and winds130 is evident in their placement in celestial treasuries.
The occurrence of prote,ra in Wis 7.29 reflects a similar use, ranking wisdom above or superior to light.
There are at least five Aramaic mss from Qumran Cave 4 that contain portions of the Book of the Watchers (4QarEnocha-e).
Following A. Dillmann, Das Buch Henoch übersetzt und erklärt, (Leipzig: Vogel, 1953) 118, and R.H. Charles, The Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch: Edited from Twenty-Three MSS. together with the Fragmentary Greek and Latin Versions, (Anecdota Oxoniensia, Semitic Series 11; Oxford: Clarendon, 1906) 42, G.W.E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, (ed. K. Baltzer; Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001) suggests that 1 En 19.1-2 is out of place, and on stylistic grounds ought to be inserted after 1 En 18.11. (287) 1 En 18.5, 10 1 En 19.3 1 En 17.3 1 En 18.1 Within the tapestry of LXX Gen 1.1-5, Ps 134.7 [EV 135.7] includes the ‘treasures of the winds.’ Of note here is the difference between the MT and LXX of Jeremiah. As noted in Chapter 2 (see above, pp. 78-79), what are the treasuries of winds in MT Jer 10.13 & 51.16 are the treasuries of light in LXX Jer 10.13 and 28.16.
CHAPTER FOUR1 Enoch 21.1-3 As with the longer text from the Book of the Watchers above, this pericope is a translation of what was likely an Aramaic original.131 Similar to 1 En 17.1-19.3, this is a cosmographic snapshot from Enoch's eastward journey to the place of punishment for disobedient stars.132 Of special note in this text is the occurrence of avkataskeu,astoj, which is otherwise absent from the intertextual tapestry of LXX Gen 1.1-5. In this text, avkataskeu,astoj is coupled with fobero,j and describes a place that is both unformed / chaotic and fear-inspiring.
The relation of this unusual and possibly unique use of avkataskeu,astoj in 1 En 21.1-3 with LXX Gen 1.2 was noted as early as Origen's De principiis.133 The use of avkataskeu,astoj in 1 En 21.2, if it is in direct conversation with LXX Gen 1.2, may be making a value judgment on the unformed-ness of Gen 1.2.
Philo, Quod Deus sit immutabilis 58
Light, because of its intimate connection with sight in Philo's estimation,134 is a central concept that gets tossed about in a variety of ways. For the purposes of this study, Deus 58 illustrates Philo's understanding of the light of Day One in relation to the Creator and the lights of the fourth day: ‘But that light is created, whereas God saw before creation, being Himself His own light.’135 Also along these lines, though without a specific relation to creation, is De migratione Abrahamo 40,136 in which Philo equates the light of Day One with wisdom. Finally, the idea that God is God's own light may also be expressed in Philo's understanding that the Holy of Holies is never dark.137 Philo, De aeternitate mundi 17-19 Philo here asserts that Moses' law/philosophy precedes any of the philosophers.138 In this pericope,139 Philo is specifically in dialogue with Hesiod, whom he quotes verbatim.140 Moses, Philo's philosopher par excellence,141 This portion of 1 Enoch is preserved in one Greek manuscript, the Cairo Papyrus 10759 (6th c. CE), which includes 1 En 19.3-21.9 in duplicate, cf. M. Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece, (PVTG 3; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970) 7-8. This manuscript, discovered in a Christian grave in Akhmim, Egypt, in 1886-87, cf. APOT 1.6.
1 En 20-36 In De principiis 4.4.8 (first quarter of the third century CE) Origen draws an allegorical connection between 1 En
21.1 and LXX Gen 1.2 based on their common word, avkataskeua,stoj. He reads Enoch's journey to the East to the unformed (place) – ad inperfectum (1 En 21.1) in line with LXX Gen 1.2, equating the imperfection (ad inperfectum) that Enoch saw to the imperfection at the beginning of creation – inperfectus being roughly equivalent to avkataskeu,astoj. Cf. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch, 90-91.
Philo speaks of sight as the ‘queen of the senses’ (cf. Abr. 150) Elsewhere, he looks to the first light – the light of Day One (LXX Gen 1.3) – and asserts that this light is the first thing to be called good, kalo,j, (Abr. 156) because it is the best of gifts facilitating human observation and intellectual exploration (cf. Spec. 3.185, 194, 202).
to. de. aivsqhto.n fw/j genhto,n( e`w,ra de. o` qeo.j kai. pro. gene,sewj fwti. crw,menon e`autw/|) Deus 58.
au[th qeou/ to. avrce,tupon @h`li.ou# fe/ggoj( ou- mi,mhma kai. eivkw.n h[lioj) She/This one (wisdom) is God's archetypal luminary, and the sun is a copy and image of it/her.
Spec 1.296-298 Philo names Hesiod, Aristotle, and the Stoics.
is the fountain of all proper philosophy,142 making it perfectly natural for Philo to move back and forth between philosophy and Torah. His direct quote of LXX Gen 1.1-2a, in this text is a bridge between the philosophy of Moses and, in this case, that of Hesiod.
Sirach 33.7-15 Like the others texts in this section, Sir 33.
7-15143 is a marginal inclusion. Its primary touchstone with LXX Gen 1.1-5 and this study is its use of diacwri,zw,144 expressing the idea of creation by differentiation,145 an idea evident in LXX Gen 1.4, and throughout LXX Genesis 1.146 It is in the knowledge of the Lord that seasons and holidays are distinguished from other days.147 Likewise, people are separated or distinguished, good from bad, blessed from cursed.148 Thinking in terms of wisdom, it is by the Lord's knowledge (gnw/sij in v.8 and evpisth,mh in v.11149) that these opposites are established, day from day, holy-day from ordinary day, good folk from bad, and good from evil. The word sofi,a is not found in this text. The idea of wisdom created in the fabric of the universe, however, is present, though not in personified form in the likes of Sir 1.1-10 and 24.1-12.
4.3 Christian Texts 4.3.1 Epistle to Diognetus 7.2 avllV auvto.j avlhqw/j o` pantokra,twr kai. pantokti,sthj kai. avoratoj qeo,j( auvto.j avpV ouvranw/n, th.n avlh,qeian kai. to.n lo,gon to.n a[gion kai. avperino,hton avnqrw,poij evni,druse kai.
evgkatesth,rixe tai/j kardi,aij auvtw/n\ ouv( kaqa,per a;n tij eivka,seien( avnqrw,poij u`phre,thn tina.
pe,myaj h' a;ggelon h' a;rconta h; tina tw/n diepo,ntwn ta. evpi,geia h; tina tw/n pepisteume,nwn ta.j evn ouvranoi/j dioikh,seij( avllV auvto.n to.n tecni,thn kai. dhmiourgo.n tw/n o[lwn( w-| tou.j ouvranoj e;ktisen( w-| th.n qa,lassan ivdi,oij o[roij evne,kleisen( ou- ta. musth,ria pistw/j pa,nta This pericope comes from a treatise whose Philonic authorship is questioned because ‘the work seems to argue for the uncreatedness of the world’(cf. Schenck, Brief Guide, 115), a concept which is clearly outside of Philo's credal formula about creation (cf. Opif 171-172; Mig 183).
In Aet. 17, Philo quotes Hesiod, Theogony 116-117. Philo draws from Aristotle's quotation of the same passage from Hesiod's Theogony in Physics 4.1.208.
This idea is brought forward into early Christianity by the likes of Justin Martyr, First Apology 59. Also in his Hortatory Address to the Greeks 10, Justin mentions both Philo and Josephus for his understanding that Moses received training and wisdom from his teachers in Egypt.
This perception of Moses is portrayed in this pericope, though even more clearly in Opif 8.
Skehan and Di Lella, Ben Sira, define the unit ‘the Providence of God’ as 32.14-33.18, with 33.7-15 as one poem therein. (393-401) One will also find h`me,ra and fw/j, in addition to diacwri,zw. Manuscript E (an undated Hebrew ms. and the only Hebrew ms. with the whole of 33.7-15) and the Syriac mss. contain an addition to v.14 with the opposites light and dark, a possible ‘allusion’ to Gen 1.2-3, ‘in which darkness is a concomitant of chaos (noncreation) and light is the first of God's creatures.’ Skehan and Di Lella, Ben Sira, 401. Such a textual variant, even though minor, suggests that this text may have been read in light of Gen 1.1-5 and thus more closely related.
There are two other occurrences of the verb in Sirach (6.13 and 12.9) both of which speak not of creation but of the separation of enemies and friends.
LXX Gen 1.6, 7, 14, 18.
Cf. Sir 33.7-9, with diacwri,zw in v.8. The mention of the ordering of festivals and seasons may build upon the placement of Wisdom in special relationship with Israel, cf. S. Goan, “Creation in Ben Sira,” Mils 36 (1995) 79.
While there may be an allusion to this idea of Israel’s specialness in Sir 33.8, it is much clearer in Sirach 24.
Cf. Sir 33.10-13, with diacwri,zw in v.11.
One might expect God's creative actions here to come from the Lord's sofi,a.