Chapter Three | Contents | Chapter Five
In this chapter, we will discuss astrology and the Jews. We will examine a variety of astrological documents from the centuries between Alexander and the Arabs, the Second Temple and the Rabbinic periods in Jewish history. Our goal is to show that ancient Jews used astrology in much the same way as their neighbors in Palmyra or Nabataea. The Jewish variety of astrology, in turn, will help explain the famous zodiac mosaics. A zodiac in a synagogue meant the same thing as it meant in a temple: it was a symbol of the Supreme Deity, Who ran the universe by the laws of astrology. It is important to emphasize this, for some major scholars of ancient synagogues deny that the ancient Jews did anything as irrational as practice astrology./1/ In earlier chapters we demonstrated that astrology was not irrational in Hellenistic society, but a routine part of science and art. In this chapter and the following one, we will show that ancient Jews used astrology in the same ways as their fellow Syrians.
Let us begin with a discussion of Mesopotamian astrology and the biblical tradition. The problem for the Jews was with assimilation to non-Jewish culture, which included astrology. The Israelites and their descendants, the Jews, inhabited the southern part of geographical Syria, and they were certainly aware of the religious ideas and practices of their neighbors. But according to the biblical tradition, the Israelites were forbidden to join in these practices. Instead, Israelites were commanded to worship only their own god, YHWH. The classic statement of Israelite monotheism/2/ is the first commandment "You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20: 3; Deuteronomy 5: 7)." Another revealing passage is Deuteronomy 17: 2-7:
If there is found among you . . . a man who or woman who "does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God . . . and "has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, or the sun "or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden ". . . . Then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or "woman and stone them to death with stones.
This attitude was not a common one in the ancient world and, of course, not all Israelites were as obedient and as monotheistic as the biblical writers thought they should be. The authors of the historical and prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible often condemn their fellow Israelites for worshipping alien gods. And, as the passage just quoted tells us, the alien gods included the heavenly bodies./3/ When Josiah reformed Judah's religion in the sixth century BCE, he found the sun, moon, and stars worshipped along with Baal and Asherah in YHWH's temple in Jerusalem. The sun even had horses and a chariot for his use in Solomon's temple./4/ Likewise, as we saw in the last chapter, Baal and Asherah could also be astral deities. Ezekiel (8: 16) also speaks of sun-worship in the Jerusalem temple. In a famous passage, a group of Judaeans tell Jeremiah why they worship "the Queen of Heaven":
But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to "the Queen of Heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, . ". . for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no "evil./5/
The passage does not give the personal name of this "Queen of Heaven." The title was used by Ishtar in Mesopotamia, and by a variety of similar goddesses throughout the Ancient Near East, including Anath in Bronze Age Ugarit./6/ Anath and Astarte merged during the Iron Age to become Atargatis, whose major myth was set at Ashkelon in the Philistine plain./7/ It is probably a safe assumption that Jeremiah's "Queen of Heaven" is Atargatis or one of her ancestors./8/ The apparent success of Mesopotamian civilization may have made her a more attractive goddess than otherwise./9/
The author of Jeremiah and the other biblical writers, of course, believed that both Israelite monarchies were destroyed by YHWH in punishment for worshipping the stars, among many other alien gods. But the Bible also has positive things to say about the heavenly bodies. The Genesis 1 creation story says:
And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the "'heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for "'signs and for seasons and for days and nights, let them be "'lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the "'earth.' And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the "greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the "night; he made the stars also.YHWH is clearly portrayed as the Creator and the master of the heavenly bodies./10/ Marduk, too, was portrayed as master of the heavenly bodies in Enuma Elish. But there is one large difference in Enuma Elish, as in pagan myth in general, the universe produced the gods, who then put it into the present shape. But in Genesis, it is YHWH who produced the universe./11/ Some scholars believe that the Genesis 1 creation story may have been a deliberate reaction to Enuma Elish and similar creation myths./12/
It is interesting that the author avoided using the normal names for the sun, Shemesh, and the moon, Yareah. Perhaps the author wanted to avoid connotations from Canaanite mythology, where Sun and Moon are definitely gods./13/ (Rabbinic writings also prefer religiously neutral names for the sun, moon, and other planets.)/14/ The passage as it stands certainly emphasizes the Creator rather than the creature./16/ The statement that the sun and moon are "for signs and for seasons" is slightly ambiguous. The phrase probably refers to the calendar. Certainly this was how it was understood in Talmudic times./16/ The Bible does not describe the Israelite calendar in detail, but, like most ancient calendars, it definitely used astronomy to schedule religious festivals and farm chores for the correct seasons./17/ "Signs" may refer to the different constellations which precede seasonal changes,/18/ but it may also refer to astral omens. Probably it does not; there is little other evidence that the Israelites observed the skies for omens before they met the Babylonians./19/ But, as with many references to the stars in the Hebrew Bible, the passage can be re-interpreted astrologically by people who already believed in astrology. There are many examples of such astrological re-interpretations in later Jewish literature. See, for example, the creation account in Pesikta Rabbati, 20: 2 and 53: 2.
The idea that the heavenly bodies are the creatures of YHWH, carrying out His will, appears often in the Hebrew Bible. Psalm 74, while asking God to rescue the author, lists the events of creation, including the creation of the sun and moon. Psalm 104 emphasizes that YHWH rules the natural world, including the sky and the seasons./20/
At the same time, the heavenly bodies are often personified. Psalm 19 says the heavens praise YHWH, and compares the sun to a bridegroom eager to perform his husbandly duties. Job 38: 4-7 clearly draws a parallel between the stars and the angels "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world? . . . when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Similar examples might be listed at great length. The general view found in the Hebrew Bible is that the sun, moon, and stars were living creatures with definite roles to play in the universe, but who were always subordinate to YHWH, their Creator./21/ The emphasis is always on the Creator.
As we have seen, astral religion was a continual temptation to the Israelites. But while divination of various sorts was part of Israelite tradition,/22/ watching the skies for omens was not. The practice is mentioned and condemned several times, but usually as a foreign practice. Jeremiah 10: 2 probably refers to Mesopotamian astral omens "Learn not the customs of the nations, fear not the signs of heaven, even though the nations stand in fear of them."/23/ Isaiah 47: 12-14, in an attack on Mesopotamian religion, makes an explicit reference to the art of the baru:
Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with "which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able "to succeed, perhaps you may inspire terror. You are wearied with "your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who "divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons "predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, "the fire consumes them.
The author correctly links Mesopotamian religion, omen watching, and magic./24/ Daniel also has a number of references to astrologers in the story of Nebuchadnezzar's dream./25/ The gzryn in Daniel 2 are probably astrologers, as are the ksdym and ksdy'./26/ These last two names both mean "Chaldaean" in Hebrew and Aramaic, respectively. The point of the story is that the gods and the learning of the Babylonians were inferior to YHWH speaking through Daniel, His servant./27/
Astrology came to the Jews as a Hellenistic practice, and there was as wide a range of attitudes towards it as towards any aspect of Hellenistic culture. At one extreme works such as I Enoch/28/ and Jubilees/29/ condemn astrology as demonic. Humans learned astrology from the Watchers,/30/ angels who rebelled against God, and who also begot the demons. Abraham rejected astrology when he became a monotheist./31/ The Sibylline Oracles (3: 20-24, 219-27)/32/ say that God created the sun, moon, and stars, and compliments the Jews as "a race of most righteous men . . . for they do not worry about the cyclic course of the sun or the moon . . . . Neither do they practice the astrological predictions of the Chaldeans."/33/
At the other extreme are authors such as Artapanus, an Egyptian Jew (late third or early second century BCE) who claimed that Abraham taught astrology to the Egyptian priests of Heliopolis. He also believed that Hermes Trismegistus was really Moses and that he had invented all the features of Egyptian culture including polytheism, and the worship of animals./34/ Similarly, Eupolemus (late third or early second century BCE)/35/ claimed that Enoch had learned astrology from the angels, and that Abraham later taught the technique to the Phoenicians and the Egyptians./36/
Most Jewish writers avoided either extreme. For example, in the Wisdom of Solomon 13, written in the late second century or the early first century BCE,/37/ polytheists are ridiculed, but star- worshippers are said to be the most tolerable of the lot
For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; . ". . but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air or "the _circle of the stars_, or turbulent water, or the "_luminaries of heaven_ [my emphasis] were the gods that rule the "world. . . . Yet these men are little to be blamed, for "perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find "him./38/
Josephus and Philo both reject "scientific" astrology, but nevertheless, they do not hesitate to identify the twelve signs with the twelve loaves of bread offered each day in the temple or the seven planets with the seven branches of the menorah./39/ The Jewish astrological writers whom we will discuss would probably agree with one modern colleague ". . . our ancestors considered Astrology to be the hand of God written across the heavens."/40/
Artapanus and Eupolemus were both contemporary with the first major works of Hellenistic astrology, such as "Nechepso and Petosiris." However, they were not concerned with astrology per se, but wanted, rather, to improve the image of the Jews by showing that they were an ancient people who had made important contributions to "modern" culture./41/ Artapanus and Eupolemus took a "scientific" practice which they believed true and tried to make it look Jewish by associating it with Jewish heroes. This was the approach of most of the Jewish astrological writers, just as it was for the Egyptian astrologers mentioned in chapter two. As we shall see, a great variety of astrological treatises ascribed to angels or biblical heroes survive in Greek and in Aramaic or Hebrew./42/ One ascribed to Abraham is known to have existed in the third century BCE, making it one of the oldest works of Hellenistic astrology, and Vettius Valens does list Abraham along with Hermes and Nechepso as among the earliest astrologers./43/ Jews used all the astrological practices that their neighbors did. Only the interpretive filter was different.
The first Jewish astrological document which we shall consider comes from Khirbet Qumran, one of the most famous and important of all archaeological sites. Situated in the Judaean Wilderness next to the Dead Sea, it was the home of a Jewish sectarian community for several centuries during the Second Temple Period. The group that lived there probably belonged to the Essenes,/44/ one of the four broad categories into which Josephus grouped Jewish thinkers./45/ The most important artifacts found at the site were the extensive remains of the community's library, hidden in caves in the neighborhood, shortly before the community was destroyed by Vespasian's troops in 67 CE. These documents are among the very few primary documents to survive from antiquity. They give us a unique look at the beliefs of a group of Jews living at the end of the Second Temple Period, just the time and the milieu which gave birth to both Rabbinic Judaism and to Christianity. The inhabitants of Qumran were exceedingly zealous for Jewish traditions as they understood them, and were rather unfriendly to the Gentile world. Thus modern scholars were quite startled when fragments of astrological documents were found in 1952 at cave 4./46/
The best known document is in two fragments, collectively labelled 4Q Cryptic (earlier 4Q186). The document was written in a simple code, using a mixture of Greek, paleo-Hebrew, and square Hebrew letters. The sentences read left to right,/47/ rather than the right to left direction usual in Hebrew and Aramaic. The reason for the code is unclear. Perhaps the scribes simply thought that an esoteric document should _look_ esoteric./48/
The fragments are short enough to quote in full:
4Q186(1) II . . . and his thighs are long ans lean, and his "toes are thin and long. He is of the second Column./49/ His "spirit consists of six (parts) in the House of Light and three "in the Pit of Darkness. And this is his birthday on which he (is "to be/was?) born: in the foot of the Bull./51/ He will be meek. "And his animal is the bull.|
4Q186(1) III . . . and his head . . . [and his cheeks are] fat. "His teeth are of uneven length (?). His fingers are thick, and "his thighs are thick and very hairy, each one. His toes are "thick and short. His spirit consists of eight (parts) in the "House of Darkness and one from the House of Light . . .
4Q186(2) I . . . order. His eyes are black and glowing. His "beard is . . . and it is . . . His voice is gentle. His teeth "are fine and well aligned. He is neither tall nor short. And he ". . . And his fingers are thin and long. And his thighs are "smooth. And the soles of his feet . . . [and his toes] are well "aligned. His spirit consists of eight (parts) [in the House of "Light, of] the second Column, and one in the House of Darkness. "And this is] his birthday on which he (is to be/was) born: . . . "And his animal is . . ./51/
It is not possible to say when 4Q Cryptic was written, save that it must have been before 67 CE. It is clearly not a collection of horoscopes,/52/ but rather a work of physiognomy, the practice of judging someone's personality from their physical appearance. Only 4Q186(1) II, is intact enough to preserve definite references to astrology. Such works are well known in general Hellenistic astrology. They are simple examples of "scientific" astrology, based on the principle that the human body is a miniature copy of the universe, or microcosm. If one's appearance is the result of one's nativity, it should be possible to use one's appearance to extrapolate backwards, and reconstruct the birthchart./53/ The sect of Qumran took the practice one step farther, and used astrology and physiognomy to judge a person's spiritual character./54/ Each person's spirit was divided into nine parts, some from the House of Light and the rest from the House of Darkness. The proportions of Light and Darkness and the person's physical appearance were both determined by the person's sign./55/ Thus appearance allowed the Qumran leaders to judge people in general and would-be members in particular./56/
A related document is 4Q Mess Ar, in handwriting which probably dates to the beginning of the Common Era./57/ It is very fragmentary, but seems to describe the appearance at birth of a remarkable child: ". . . of his hand: two . . . a birthmark. And the hair will be red. And there will be lentils on . . . and small birthmarks on his thigh."/58/
There are no references to astrology in what survives, but the physical description does clearly resemble those in 4Q Cryptic./59/ The text has been the subject of much discussion because a later passage refers to an "Elect of God" ( , bhyr 'lh')./60/ Some good manuscripts of the Gospel of John 1: 34 also call Jesus the "Elect of God" ( n n g g n , ho eklektos tou theou)./61/ I Enoch 37-71, too, uses the phrase for a superhuman being./62/ Some scholars have concluded that 4Q Mess Ar is the horoscope of a messianic figure./63/ But others are not persuaded. "Elect" is a variant in John 1: 34, and other equally good texts say "Son of God" ( g n , huios tou theou)./64/ Nor does 4Q Mess Ar say that it is about a messiah,/65/ and, in any case, the Qumran concept of the messiah was somewhat different from the Christian one. The main alternative explanation is that 4Q Mess Ar is part of a legend about the birth of Noah, who was indeed a superhuman character in some of the pseudepigrapha, notably the Genesis Apocryphon found at Qumran./66/
There are also other, unpublished, astrological documents found at Qumran, notably fragments in Aramaic of a brontologion, a work using thunderclaps and astrology to predict the future. Brontologia were among the oldest and most popular varieties of lay astrology. They had the advantage of combining traditional methods of divination with the new. Indeed, some of the surviving brontologia seem to be related to Enuma Anu Enlil, the famous Mesopotamian astrological work./67/ A representative quote from the Qumran brontologion reads "On the 13th and 14th (of the month of Tebet), Cancer . . . . If it thunders in the sign of the Twins, terror and distress caused by foreigners . . . ."/68/ The formula "If in the sign X it thunders . . ." [ , 'm b- yr`m], introduces each segment and clearly resembles the typical if . . . then . . . format of Mesopotamian omen texts./69/ Astrology was not the hobby of a few isolated eccentrics at Qumran. Indeed, it may have been used to screen applicants./70/ This may seem odd, since I Enoch, which condemns astrology, was one of the most popular books in the Qumran library. But even I Enoch does not condemn astrology completely. Astrology was one of many technological skills which the Watchers revealed to an unready humanity. Writing was another such skill, but this did not keep the Qumran community from having a library and scriptorium. Astrology was just one more dubious activity that could not be avoided in a fallen and imperfect world.
Moreover, 4Q Cryptic has parallels with key documents of Qumran literature. For example, the practice of dividing a person's character into nine parts, some from the House of Light, others from the House of Darkness, is unlike anything in Greek astrology, but reminds one of the Qumran doctrine of the Two Spirits./71/ This doctrine is most clearly seen in the so-called _Manual of Discipline_. According this work, both the universe and each human soul is a battleground for two spirits
He [i.e., God] has created men to govern the world, and has "appointed for him two spirits in which to walk until the time of "His visitiation: the spirits of truth and falsehood. Those born "of truth spring from a fountain of light, but those born of "falsehood spring from a source of darkness. All the children of "righteousness are ruled by a Prince of Light and walk in the "ways of light, but all the children of falsehood are ruled by "the Angel of Darkness and walk in the ways of darkness. . . . "For it is He who created the spirits of Light and Darkness and "founded every action upon themand established every deed [upon] "their [ways]./72/
This document illustrates very well the dualism and determinism characteristic of the Qumran sect./73/ The phrases "Fountain of Light" and "Wellspring of Darkness" are obviously similar to the Vaults of Light and Darkness mentioned in 4Q Cryptic. Indeed, some scholars think that Qumran determinism is derived from astrology./74/ Probably, in Qumran thought, the signs and planets are angels under the authority of the two spirits, apportioning Light and Darkness to individuals as God commands./75/ Moreover, all these documents from Qumran also fit nicely with what Josephus says about the Essenes/76/ "The sect of the Essenes, however, declares that Fate is the mistress of all things, and that nothing befalls men unless it be done in accordance with her decree."/77/ And it is likely that the more hellenized Judaeans were even more open to astrology in all its varieties than were the sect of Qumran./78/
Our next example of Jewish astrology is the Treatise of Shem. This is a calendologion, a book which makes predictions from the astrological situation at the beginning of the year. Like physiognomies and brontologia, such works were a common variety of lay astrology./79/ This example survives in one Syriac manuscript, dating to the fifteenth century. The manuscript has many minor corruptions and several lacunae,/80/ but there is no real problem understanding it. The text and a translation were first published early in this century by Mingana along with a number of other Syriac works./81/ More recently Charlesworth has republished the text with a new translation./82/ The two translations show many small differences, but no major ones.
The Treatise of Shem is the oldest datable, reasonably complete, example of Jewish astrology./83/ It is quite short; the translation in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha takes up nine pages, and half of them are notes on the text. The opening segment gives a good idea of the nature of the work:
The Treatise Composed by Shem, the Son of Noah, Concerning the "Beginning of the Year and Whatever Occurs in it._ 1 _If the year "begins in Aries_/84/ The year will be lean. Even its "four-footed (animals) will die; and many clouds will neither be "visible nor appear. And grain will not reach (the necessary) "height, but its rye will (reach good height) and will ripen. And "the Nile will overflow at a good rate. And the king of the "Romans will not remain in one place. And the first grain will "die, but the last grain will be harvested. And from Passover/85/ "[until the New Year]/86/ produce will have a blight. And the "year will be bad, for a great war and misery will be on earth, "and especially in the land of Egypt. And many ships will be "wrecked when the sea billows. And oil will be valued in Africa; "but wheat will be reduced in value in Damascus and Hauran; but "in Palestine it will be valued. And (in that region there will "be) various diseases, and sicknesses, even fighting will occur "in it. But it will be allowed to escape from it and be "delivered./87/
The Treatise of Shem claims to predict events, especially the next year's crops,/88/ from the sign in which the New Year begins. The treatise goes clockwise through the zodiac, Aries to Pisces./89/ In general, the predictions become more favorable as the New Year progresses through the zodiac./90/ Probably it is the ascendant which progresses through the zodiac at the first moment of the new year. An alternative explanation is that it is the moon which is in the sign on New Year's Day; the moon traverses the entire zodiac in a month. It is not clear what calendar the author used, but there was no calendar used in the ancient world which allowed its first day to shift through the zodiac in this way. The Treatise gives a rather deterministic impression, overall, not unlike 4Q Cryptic./91/
As a work of "scientific" astrology, the Treatise does not make many religious references. There are no references to procedures to counter unlucky stars, and few to prayer. It lacks any pagan or Christian references./92/ The religious references which do occur are probably Jewish. The title attributes the work to Shem, the son of Noah, although this could have been added later. Chapter one uses Passover as a date. There are three references to prayers to God (8: 3, 11: 17, 12: 9), not the gods. Verse 8: 3 uses the biblical phrase "the living God." This might seem to conflict with the rather deterministic over-all tone to the work, but the author could argue that it is God who does the determining, and that He can certainly change His mind if He wishes./93/ Verse 8: 3 does say that God grants prayers. On the other hand, there is no mention of such common features of Second Temple Judaism as resurrection, angels, or the seven heavens./94/ Nevertheless, the author was almost certainly a Jew./95/
Shem was an important person in the midrashic tradition. Jubilees says that Noah passed on the secrets of herbal medicine which could counter the demons to Shem (Jub. 10: 12; 21: 10-11)./96/ The rabbis believed that Shem had founded a Beth Din (a rabbinic court) and a school of Torah./97/ Curiously, Jubilees condemns exactly the sort of astrology represented by the Treatise of Shem. Jubilees 12: 16-18 tells how Abraham sat up one New Year's night to predict the rainfall from the stars./98/ But while watching them, "a word came to his heart, saying `all the signs of the stars and the signs of the moon are in the hand of the Lord. Why am I seeking?'" As soon as Abraham reached this conclusion, he received the command to go to Palestine and the promise of a son./99/
The Treatise makes no explicit statements of when or where it was composed. Almost certainly it was composed either in Egypt or Palestine, for readers concerned with one or both countries. Damascus and Auranitis are the regions in Palestine most frequently mentioned. No biblical towns are mentioned, but there are several references to Galilee./100/ The only Egyptian city mentioned is Alexandria, but each section predicts the Nile floods. There are references to Egyptian crops, as well. Line 11: 11 speaks of bandits coming from Palestine, so perhaps it is somewhat more likely that the Treatise was composed in Egypt rather than Palestine./101/ If that is the case, then Alexandria is probably the home of the Treatise of Shem. Alexandria was the most important center for every sort of astrological research and writing./102/ It was also the home of one of the most important Jewish communities outside Palestine. Conceivably, the Treatise was composed by an immigrant from Galilee or the Golan living in Egypt. The work does mention the prospects of immigration./103/
The original language was either Hebrew or Aramaic. The text is too corrupt to tell which it was, but if the Treatise was composed in Alexandria, then Aramaic is somewhat more likely./104/ The date of the Treatise also follows from the provenance. Mingana and Charlesworth both note the many references to the "kings of the Romans" and to warfare and banditry. Mingana believes the Treatise has no clear provenance and no datable references. Therefore, he concludes that the most likely date for the Treatise of Shem is in the era of the two revolts against Roman rule./105/ This would make the Treatise roughly contemporary with 4Q Cryptic.
Charlesworth believes that the Treatise was written in Egypt. This provenance makes the vague political references more specific. He dates the work to the late first century BCE, shortly after the battle of Actium./106/ According to this point of view, verses 3: 5f ("And the Romans [and the Parthian]s will make severe wars with each other.") refers to Antony's invasion of Parthia, while verses 1: 5-9 (in the quotation above) refers to the Battle of Actium, on this reading, as does 2: 10. Verse 12: 4 ("Egypt will rule over Palestine") best fits 34 BCE, when Antony gave much of Syria to Cleopatra. The many references to bandits also fit in well with the chaotic conditions in Egypt during the last days of the Ptolemaic dynasty, before Augustus pacified the country./107/ Given that Egypt is most likely to be the home of the Treatise of Shem, Charlesworth's date, the 20's BCE, also seems the most likely. The Treatise and the astrological documents from Qumran together demonstrate that many Jews, hellenized and unhellenized alike, had adapted scientific astrology to their own tastes by the first century CE.
Josephus says that the Essenes were expert in herbal magic as well as in predicting the future./108/ This remark and the statement in the book of Jubilees, that the angels revealed herbal medicines to Noah to cure the diseases caused by the demons, links us to the next work which we shall consider, the Letter of Rehoboam./109/ This is a work of magic and medicine in which astral religion and the powers of the planet-gods play an important role. It will show that astral religion was "judaized" as well.
One might think that the connection between the planets and the pagan gods in Hellenistic astrology would give Jews pause. But in fact ". . . the Jewish astrological documents show the religious character of astrology stronger than any other similar texts."/110/ The planets were still personified, but as angels, that is, divine messengers,/111/ rather than independent deities. This approach is not unique to books on astrology. There was a general tendency in Jewish thought during our period to believe that God had isolated Himself from his world and had turned over day-to-day management to his subordinates, the angels./112/ This is as true of works hostile to astrology, such as 1 Enoch,/113/ as it is of strongly astrological works, such as the Letter of Rehoboam.
In theory, angels and gods were quite different beings. In pagan thought, gods were rough equals, beings of the same sort, while in Judaic tradition, angels were definitely beings of another, lower, order than YHWH. But when one looks at the actual texts, especially magical texts, these differences are not so clear. As we shall see, the angels, in theory utterly dependent on the Almighty,/114/ were offered prayers and sacrifices not greatly different from those of pagan magicians./115/ For that matter, pagan magical texts often contain Jewish elements, usually names and titles of YHWH, but sometimes references to Jewish angels, too./116/
The difference between the astrological magic of an ancient Jew and his pagan colleague was not in what they did, which was often much the same, but in the way they interpreted those actions./117/ Even documents which look quite polytheistic, such as the Letter of Rehoboam or the Sepher Ha-Razim (the Book of Secrets), have sections praising or invoking the aid of YHWH in ways not found in truly pagan works. The authors believed that invocations of angels, planets, or demons implicitly recognized the supremacy of YHWH, while magic which assumed innate, impersonal, powers was idolatrous./118/
While the Letter of Rehoboam has received a number of short discussions over the years,/119/ only recently have scholars paid much attention to the Letter for its own sake./120/ For our purposes, it is important as an example of Jewish interest in both "scientific" astrology and astral religion. It contains prayers to angels and planets, but it is also a work on favorable hours as well as a work of astrological medicine, or iatromathematics. The Letter is particularly closely related to a work ascribed, probably correctly, to a well-known physician of the first century CE, Thessalus of Tralles./121/ But its literary frame also links it to the legends of Solomon as great magician and master of the demons. This tradition first appears in the Wisdom of Solomon 7: 17-22, where "Solomon" says that God taught him wisdom of all sorts, including astrology, "the powers of spirits" and "the varieties of plants and the virtues of herbs." This passage could be a pr cis of the Letter of Rehoboam! Another, canonical, source connecting Solomon, chronology and astrology is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven a time to be born and a time to die . . . ." Those so inclined may take the "times" and "seasons" as astrological ones. For this reason the verse is a favorite with modern astrologers. Josephus, too, speaks of Solomon as a great magician./122/
There are five known manuscripts of Letter of Rehoboam, dating to the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries CE./123/ These, in turn, may be grouped into three textual traditions, A, B, and C. At present, it is not possible to tell which textual tradition is closer to the original. Tradition C at least has the virtue of being reasonably complete, and it is the one discussed here./124/
In all likelihood, the author of the Letter was a Jew. While a pagan magician might have known of Solomon, it is unlikely such a person would know about Rehoboam. Also, some of the technical terms are Judaic. For example, Friday is called the "Day of Preparation," and Saturday is the Sabbath throughout. The angel- names are typical Hebrew angel-names. The names include those of biblical persons, such as Ezekiel, Joel, Samson, and Samuel./125/ Sunday is called the "Lord's Day," but this is perhaps best explained as a Byzantine scribe's gloss. Otherwise, the Letter lacks the Christian references which one would expect to find if the author were a Christian. By contrast, the Testament of Solomon, another well-known magical work ascribed to Solomon, has many Christian references./126/
Letter of Rehoboam does not have the references to time and place which we found in the Letter of Rehoboam. However, date and provenance may be deduced. The Letter is written in a Koin Greek which closely resembles the New Testament, both in grammar and vocabulary. This implies that both belong to the same general time and milieu. But the lack of Christian references, explicit or implicit, means that the Letter was probably written before Christians were numerous and well-known. Later magicians, Jewish or pagan, did not hesitate to invoke Jesus' name./127/ Thus the most likely date is during the first century CE or the early second century.
One may speculate that Alexandria is the most likely home of the Letter of Rehoboam. Several Egyptian gods, such as Sarapidie, Apios, Osthridie (i.e., Osiridie), are listed among the demons, but no deities from other lands./128/ Alexandria was the greatest center for research in both astrology and medicine. Thessalus, whose astrological herbal closely resembles the Letter, supposedly studied medicine and astrology in Alexandria./129/ Likewise, Alexandria had the largest and most creative Jewish community outside of Judaea. This conjunction of opportunities would make it relatively easy for a Jew interested in astrology to adapt pagan books on favorable hours and iatromathematics to his own purposes./130/ But while interesting, such speculation proves nothing. In truth, the Letter contains nothing not common to the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. For example, Isis and her associated deities were worshipped in many of the Hellenized coastal cities of Palestine and Phoenicia./131/ Like 4Q Cryptic and the Treatise of Shem, the Letter of Rehoboam represents the sort of astrology Jews would have encountered anywhere in the Hellenized world.
The Letter may be divided into seven sections. The first section sets the framework. It supposedly is from Solomon to his son and heir Rehoboam, telling him that the work will allow him to exploit the powers of the planets. "The complete method, benefit, and power of this pursuit lies in the use of plants, prayers, and stones, but above all you must know the positions of the seven planetary gods."/132/ The remainder of the Letter consists of instructions on using the planets for a wide variety of purposes. Each succeeding portion also has a short introduction.
Section 2 tells which hour is the best to begin various activities, depending on the planet which rules each hour and each day. Letter of Rehoboam lists the hours and their activities for each day of the astrological week. The planet who rules the first hour of the day has a general supervision over the entire day. Section three lists the angels and demons associated with each hour of the week./133/ Sections 4 and 5 are the most interesting for our purposes, since they give prayers for each of the planets (section 4) and offerings to accompany the prayers (section 5). To make the prayers more Judaic, and thus more acceptable, each prayer begins with an invocation of a supreme god to make the planet obedient. The following is a typical example:
"IV.2 THE PRAYER FOR SATURN
""First, utter the appropriate prayer to obtain the services of "the planetary god who rules that hour. Then adjure the angel and "the attendant . . . demon. The prayer for Saturn is as follows . ". . Eternal God, resistless in power, the One who regulates all "things which pertain to our salvation, grant us favor that I "might make a certain planetary god [# # g , plantn] subject "to me for the accomplishing of my will.
""I adjure you planet Saturn [ # # g# n, planta Krone], by "your orbit, your position in the sky, your inheritance, your "heaven, your brilliance and energy, and also by your other "names-- Gasial, Agounsael, Atassar, Beltoliel, Mentzatzia--that "you grant me favor and energy and power during the hour you "rule./134/
"V.2 THE MAGICAL SYMBOLS FOR SATURN
""Make the magical symbols for Saturn with ink made from the "dross of lead mixed with vinegar. Write the symbols on a sheet "of he- goat skin and burn them along with tiaphe as "incense./135/
Section four ends with a general prayer to the "certain angel who rules this hour . . . ." Here, too, the angel is invoked by the authority of "God, the One who appointed you to keep watch during this hour . . . ." This prayer tells us that the demon listed earlier is under the angel's control./136/ In conception, if not in the verbal details, this prayer resembles the Sabian prayers found in the Picatrix. But note that each prayer begins with an invocation of a supreme deity, asking that the planet be obedient. Moreover, the first prayer is put in terms appropriate to the powers of the planet in question. Only then is the planet addressed. The prayer was made at the correct hour, of course, and with it own special drawings and incense offerings. The implication is that while the planets are relatively autonomous, they must obey the person who has the ear of their Creator. The planets, in effect, are God's deputies,/137/ much as the governor of a Roman Imperial province was the deputy of Caesar.
Sections 6 and 7 list the plants sympathetic with the signs and the planets, respectively, along with instructions for gathering them and using them. These sections are the ones related to the work of Thessalos and ultimately, to "Nechepso and Petosiris." A typical account of a plant reads thus:
"" VII.4 The plant associated with Saturn is the heliotrope. This "plant appears in the very hour that Saturn rules. For it to be "effective, you must recite the appropriate prayer and invoke the "ruling angels. The plant holds for you the following powers. If "you secretly feed the flower to an enemy, he will be overcome "with fits of heat and cold. If you give him a double-dose of "flowers, his misery will be doubled, and if a triple-dose, then "his misery will be tripled . . . and so forth. If you secretly "put the leaves on someone's pillow, he will not wake up, unless "you remove them. If you feed the leaves to an enemy, he will "become deathly sick for the rest of his life; he will not arise "from his sick bed until you feed him some of Jupiter's plant. "Also you should wear the upper portion of the root on yourself "like a phylactery./138/
When one considers the materials that went into the Letter, it seems a bizarre mixture of religion, medicine and science from Greece, Egypt, and Judaea. But when one looks at the work over- all, it is coherent and well- organized. It is clearly the product of a single, rather orderly, mind, and was probably as useful as any medical work of its day. The general impression is of a sort of "monotheism" similar to that described earlier. The author clearly believes in a supreme god, but one served by many subordinates. In the Letter of Rehoboam, God is at the head of a hierarchy. Beneath the Almighty one finds the personified planets and signs, then angels, next demons, and finally the plants. It is somewhat similar to the earthly governments of the Hellenized world, as well as the outlook of the pagan iatromathematicians. If one wants to use a plant to do something, one first petitions the King of Heaven and Earth to order his subordinates to help you. Celsus might consider the author a fellow-traveller. The difference would not be what the author thought or did, but his commitment to the Jewish tradition and the Jewish people.
The works which we have discussed up to this point date to the Second Temple period. But the Second Temple period ended in two very destructive wars, the First and Second Jewish Revolts. Losing the two revolts brought about great changes in Judaean society. The Judaean state ceased to exist until modern times. The Temple in Jerusalem, previously the center of Jewish religion, was destroyed permanently in 70 CE. After the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-35 CE) Jerusalem became a pagan city, Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were forbidden to live anywhere in Judaea. Galilee and Idumaea became the major centers of Jewish population in Palestine. New institutions, the rabbinic movement and the synagogue, replace the state and the temple. Both had existed before, but now had no competitors for leadership in society.
Intellectual life changed, too, and not only in Palestine. The Diaspora revolts of 115-17 CE were just as destructive and futile./139/ During the Second Temple period there had been a great variety of sectarian opinion, seen in the diverse literature from those centuries. But after the first century CE only the Pharisees and the Christians remained, and the Christians more and more defined themselves as a non-Jewish movement. Many of the pseudepigraphal works which we have cited survive in Christian copies, but not in Jewish ones. The rabbinic movement became the dominant intellectual force among Jews. Greek was still used for secular affairs, but there were no more attempts to take part in Hellenistic intellectual life. There were no more Judaeo-Greek philosophers like Philo or Judaeo-Greek historians like Josephus in the rabbinic era./140/ The rabbis produced a voluminous literature, notably the famous legal commentaries on the Law of Moses, the Mishna and the two Talmuds. But they did not conduct a dialogue with Greek intellectual tradition.
However, despite the many changes in Jewish thought and life after the end of the Second Temple period, ideas about the invisible world in general and astrology in particular did not change much at all. The rabbis were experts on Jewish law, concerned to define the details of the godly way of life. They could not ignore astrology, whether in its "scientific" or religious forms. But we find the same ambivalent attitudes towards astrology which we saw during the Second Temple period./141/ In the midrash Pesikta Rabbati, we are told that the planets and signs of the zodiac were among God's first creations./142/ The same work tells us that the Law was revealed to Moses in the month of Sivan because Sivan is equivalent to Gemini, the first human sign, and it was more appropriate that the law be praised by a human than a ram or a bull./143/ This passage is particularly relevant to our study, because the zodiac mosaics are sometimes explained as representations of the calendar. Another midrash, Leviticus Rabbah, tells us that the sun and moon dislike travelling across the sky each day, because then "People burn incense to us, worship us." Each day God must order them to "go forth and shine against their will." Eclipses are punishment for malingering./144/ Humans stupid enough to worship the planets rather than their Creator will have to answer for it at the Judgement./145/ As in the Second Temple period, the assumption is that the sun and moon are angels, with relatively free wills, but ultimately subject to YHWH./146/
One of the most important passages on "scientific" astrology is in the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat./147/ Two pages contain a number of related stories illustrating the varied attitudes toward "scientific" astrology. In the first story Rabbi Judah the Prince claims that it is the day of the week which determines one's personality, while in the following one, R. Hanina Bar Hama says "Not the constellation/148/ of the day but that of the hour is the determining influence." He follows with a list of the personality traits associated with the planets. These reflect the qualities usually attributed to the planets in Hellenistic astrology. But note that Mercury is said to be the scribe of the sun. This may be from Mesopotamian rather than Greek tradition. These two stories assume that Judah and Hanina used documents similar to the Letter of Rehoboam and the Letter of Rehoboam. A number of similar works on favorable hours and days do survive from the Talmudic era and milieu./149/ Also, it is interesting that both Judah and Hanina were natives of Palestine, not Babylonia, which makes their belief in astrology relevant to the zodiac mosaics found in Palestine's synagogues.
The third story is more ambivalent. In it, R. Hanina Bar Hama, from Palestine, and R. Johanan Bar Nappaha, from Mesopotamia, debate whether astrology affected the Jews. Hanina said "the stars make us wise, the stars make us rich, and there is a star for Israel." Johanan replied "there is no star for Israel."/150/ Both agreed, tacitly, that astrology works for humanity in general. Also, it is interesting to note that while the story is found in a Babylonian document, the text itself is in the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic. This may imply that the story was first told in Palestine. Jews in both halves of the Fertile Crescent shared similar beliefs about astrology./151/
The fourth story, again attributed to R. Judah the Prince, tells how God changed Abraham's horoscope so that he might beget Isaac. God said to Abraham ". . . [cease] thy planet [gazing], for Israel is free from planetary influence. What is thy calculation? Because Zedek [Jupiter]/152/ stands in the West? I will turn it back to and place it in the East."/153/ This story implies that God runs the universe via astrology, but He may easily make an exception for Abraham, or for anyone else. The three stories remaining repeat the theme "Israel is immune from planetary influences." [ , mzl] In each we are told an anecdote to the effect that someone astrologically fated to die is allowed to live because "charity delivereth from death."/154/
We also have evidence, from a non-jewish source, that astrology was practiced by the rabbinic community in Palestine. Epiphanius, in his Panarion, 1.1.16, "Kata Pharisain," tells us that "both Fate and astrology are practised zealously among them."/155/ Epiphanius was born in Eleutheropolis, near Gaza, in 315 CE, and was bishop of Constantia in Cyprus from 367 until his death in 403./156/ Panarion is a major work on Christian heresies. Epiphanius was one of the most learned men of his day, and could read five languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic. He was not always particularly critical of his sources, but on astrology among the Jews, he was well- informed and accurate. He may have been born a Jew himself./157/
Not only does he tell us that the Jews practised astrology, but gives some information found nowhere else. His lists of the Hebrew names of the planets gives two sets of names. One list contains the names well-known from rabbinic literature./158/ These are descriptive and religously neutral. But Epiphanius also gives another, less neutral, set of names. The sun is Shemesh and the moon, Yareah. Jupiter, called Zedek, "Justice," by the rabbis, is also Chocheb Baal, the star of Baal, according to Epiphanius. These are probably the older Canaanite names, although their ultimate origin is unknown./159/
The debate between R. Hanina and R. Johanan sums up the ambivalent attitude of the rabbis toward astrology. The majority opinion in the Babylonian Talmud agrees with Johanan Bar Nappaha, but the opposing point of view was not suppressed./160/ As long as outright worship of foreign gods was avoided, astrology was not seen as an active danger./161/ A righteous life could annul the decrees of the planets more easily than any namburbi or spell.
Astral magic and astral religion were not forgotten, either. Perhaps the most famous example of rabbinic astral magic is the Sepher Ha-Razim, or the Book of Secrets. The Sepher ha-Razim was re-discovered in the 1960s by Mordecai Margalioth among fragments from the famous Cairo Genizah. He recognized that they were similar to other magical fragments, and theorized that they came from a single magical treatise./162/ While he did not find a single complete Hebrew manuscript of the work, he did manage to reconstruct the text from Hebrew fragments, translations into Arabic and Latin, and later magical works which had used Sepher ha-Razim as a source./163/ Although the present text is a reconstruction, there seems to be no real doubt that Margalioth had discovered a genuine work./164/
"The fifteen year cycle of the reckoning of the Greek kings" (1.29)/165/ gives us the earliest possible date for the work's composition, since it probably refers to the Late Roman indiction cycle. Taxes were reassessed every fifteen years in the later Roman Empire. This periodic reassessment was called the "indiction" and remained the most common way of dating events throughout Byzantine history. Since the cycle was introduced in Egypt in 279 CE and extended to the entire empire in 312 CE, _Sepher ha- Razim_ cannot have been written earlier, although its contents may be quite a bit older./166/ Most scholars follow Margalioth in dating Sepher ha-Razim to c. 350-400 CE, when it had become common to use the indiction for a calendar./167/ The language and the contents of Sepher ha-Razim also fit an early Byzantine date. It is written in the Mishnaic Hebrew of the period, and is clearly related to contemporary mystical doctrines and writings, as well as to the Greek magic papyri and Mesopotamian incantation bowls./168/ We have few clues on the provenance of Sepher ha-Razim. Of course, using a Roman dating system implies that the work was written within the Roman Empire. Likewise, the fact that the first two firmaments bear names like those in the "so-called Palestinian list of heavens" may imply the author lived in Palestine, or at least used Palestinian materials./169/ Similarities with the Greek magic papyri known from Egypt or the Mesopotamian incantation bowls might suggest an Egyptian or Mesopotamian origin. But, as with the documents discussed earlier, the materials in Sepher ha-Razim are the sort of thing any magician in the Hellenized Fertile Crescent might have known./170/
Like the Letter of Rehoboam, Sepher ha-Razim gives the impression that it was written by a single person, not a committee. The author appears to have been a learned man; an uneducated person is unlikely to have written in Hebrew, let alone know the details of mysticism./171/ Otherwise we can deduce little about the author. The usual rabbinic view was that a sage should understand the principles of magic, but should not practice it./172/ But, as with astrology, there was no uniformity. Certainly the author went to some trouble to avoid the usual Hebrew word for magic, _keshafim_. He applies it solely to other people's spells./173/ Probably, as with our other authors, he thought that astral magic was acceptable if placed in a properly Jewish garb.
The text of Sepher ha-Razim is even more highly organized and homogeneous than the Letter of Rehoboam. There is an introduction, which says that the _Sepher_ was revealed to Noah by the angel Raziel. Noah not only learned the usual occult arts, such as astrology and making the angels obey, but also how to build the Ark. Later, Sepher ha-Razim was handed down, father to son, until it reached Solomon,/174/ when it became the most important of all Solomon's magical books./175/
The body of the _Sepher_ is divided into seven sections, one for each of the seven heavens of rabbinic cosmology./176/ Each heaven or firmament has a number of subsections, each subsection with one or more angel commanders of angel armies. The first firmament is named _shemayim_, the usual Hebrew word for "sky" or "heaven." It has seven "camps" each with an enthroned commander over an army of angels. It is tempting to identify these camps with the planets, but they are not called planets, and later we find the sun in the fourth heaven. Again, the thirty-six angels in the third camp may be the thirty-six decans, but they are not labelled decans. They do perform similar functions./177/
The second firmament, _shemei-shemayim_, or "heaven of heavens,"/178/ has twelve "steps," which may or may not be the signs of the zodiac. Each "step" has nine to twenty angel armies./179/ The third heaven has three groups of angels./180/ The fourth firmament holds the sun, who is led across the sky in a chariot drawn by thirty-one angel- armies in the daytime, and another thirty-one angel-armies by night./181/ The fifth heaven contains the "princes of glory"/182/ over the twelve months of the Jewish calendar. "They make known month by month what will be in each and every year."/183/ Again it is tempting to compare these angels to the signs of the zodiac in, for example, the Letter of Rehoboam. They do similar things, but the _Sepher_ does not make the comparison. The sixth heaven is divided between two warlords, the eastern one over 28 armies, the western over 31. The seventh firmament is the home of God, and contains no spells. Instead it is a lengthy hymn of praise to the Almighty./184/
The subsections are usually arranged thus:
A. description of subdivision and its uses
1. angel-names 2. descriptions of angels and functions 3. actions angels will do 4. preparations for invocation 5. invocation (sometimes missing) 6. variations on invocation, to vary results (sometimes missing)/185/
_Sepher_ contains two sorts of materials, the spells, which have close parallels with many other magical texts, and the framework describing the heavens, which is related to the mystical _Hekhalot_ texts./186/ They form a notable contrast. The framework strongly emphasizes ritual purity. An idea repeated many times in one form or another is "And so, (as in) every operation, act in purity and you will succeed."/187/ But the spells call, for example, for biscuits made from blood; blood is never pure./188/ The framework emphasizes that God is in ultimate control "I adjure you O angels of strength and might, . . . by the God revealed at Mount Sinai, . . . by the Lord who saved Israel, . . . to aid me at this time in every place that I will go."/189/ In this it resembles the works we have discussed earlier in this chapter. But the spells invoke, by name, Greek gods such as Aphrodite, Hermes, or Helios./190/ There are even differences in language. The framework uses a more complicated style, with biblical allusions, and without loan words. The spells use a simpler style, with loan words from Greek and Aramaic./191/ They have clear parallels with other magical traditions. For example, most of the spells in Sepher ha-Razim begin "If you wish to do such and such, take such and such . . . ." [. . . . infinitive , 'm bqqshth l infinitive, q . . . . ], while many spells in the Greek magic papyri also start "if you wish" [ # n , ean thels]./192/ The cosmology takes a syncretistic magical cookbook and makes the recipes kosher./193/ Still, the differences between the cosmology and the practices of _Sepher ha- Razim_ should not be over- emphasized. The spells also have parallels to the Aramaic incantation bowls of Mesopotamian Late Antiquity, and many of these were certainly made by and for Jews./194/ The importance of the angels and their names in the _Sepher_'s spells are a distinctively Jewish feature,/195/ although it must be noted that the work has rather unusual angel- names. They take the place of the magical gibberish-words so important in the Greek magic papyri./196/ Likewise, as we have noted before, there was no sharp distinction between Jewish and Gentile magic./197/ _Sepher ha-Razim_ links the religious specialists of Byzantine Jewry with the beliefs and practices of more ordinary people./198/
For our purposes, the most important spells in Sepher ha-Razim are the astrological ones. There are few or no examples of "scientific" astrology in the work, but it does have a strong dose of astral religion. Some spells involve exposing the ingredients of a potion to the stars, (e.g., 1.54-55; p. 26, Morgan) reminiscent of some Mesopotamian spells. Others invoke the heavenly bodies. A lengthy spell in 1.107-51 invokes "the brilliant star, the name of which is that of Aphrodite . . . and (the name of the) angel HASDY'L . . . ." to "win the heart of a great or wealthy woman." The Greek name "Aphrodite" is transliterated into Hebrew letters./199/ There is a variety of such spells, in which the planets are invoked in the same way as the angels. Indeed, a later passage (2.147)/200/ even calls the sun an angel. We may safely conclude that all the other planets were angels, too.
The most important astral spell is an elaborate invocation of the sun which takes up the whole of the fourth firmament. The section begins with a description and list of the angel groups which lead the sun's chariot by day and by night. The invocation allows one to see the sun and to "ask him (to foretell questions) of life and death, of good and evil."/201/ Since the sun sees the entire earth each day, he is obviously well-informed. There are separate procedures for day and night. The procedure to interview the sun during the daytime begins with an invocation of the angels who draw the sun's chariot:
""I adjure you angels that lead the sun in the power of your "strength . . . by the One whose voice shakes the earth, . . . by "His great . . . name . . . . I repeat (your names) . . . and "adjure you that you will do my will and desire at this time and "season, and will remove the radiance of the sun so that I may "see him face to face as he is in his bridal chamber./202/
When finished, one releases the sun with "I adjure you that you return the radiance of the sun to its place as in the beginning." Note that the angels are invoked in each case, not the sun. It is unclear if this means that they are the sun's superiors in the heavenly hierarchy, or if, as on earth, one had to bribe the doorkeepers before seeing the emperor. Also, as in the prayers to the planets in Letter of Rehoboam, the angels are invoked in the name of the supreme god. We find the same "monotheism." Perhaps YHWH is more prominent in _Sepher_ as a whole than in Letter. We do have an elaborate doxology in the seventh heaven, after all. But the difference is one of degree, not of kind.
The procedure to view the sun at night is rather more complicated. First the angels who draw the solar chariot by night are invoked. Note that one line of the invocation (4.50) calls God "the Ruler of the planets." Unlike the day procedure, the magician next invokes the sun personally:
""Holy Helios [ , Swylyh, hylyws] who rises in the east, "good mariner, trustworthy leader of the sun's rays, reliable "(witness), who of old didst establish the mighty wheel (of the "heavens), holy orderer, ruler of the axis (of the heaven), Lord, "Brilliant Leader, King, Soldier. I, N son of N, present my "supplication before you, that you will appear to me without "(causing me) fear, and you will be revealed to me without "causing me terror, and you will conceal nothing from me and will "tell me truthfully all that I desire./204/
After this the magician should bow, and may ask his questions. Finally the sun is dismissed, again directly. The dismissal calls him "Orpiel" [ , _'wrpy'l_], a typical angel-name meaning something like "Marvelous light of God."/205/ The implication is that Helios is an angel of YHWH. This is somewhat surprising./206/ The cult of the sun god was one of the strongest in late paganism. Julian was writing his _Hymn to the Sun_ at approximately the same time that Sepher ha-Razim was being composed. The author portrays even the supreme god of the Roman state as a subordinate of the God of Israel./207/
All the spells involving the planets are important. Like prayers to the planets in Letter of Rehoboam, they show that Jews in the Talmudic period saw the heavenly bodies as living beings, angels, whom one might ask for help in a great variety of activities without ceasing to be a good Jew. Technical treatises such as 4Q Cryptic and the Letter of Rehoboam lead to the same conclusion. The prayers in Sepher ha-Razim are particularly relevant to our study of the zodiac mosaics, since they date to the same period. In Morgan's words "Jews who could place a mosaic of Helios on their synagogue floors certainly would not have found it strange to offer invocations to that same god."/208/ We may reverse his thought and say that the fact that pious Jews could invoke the aid of the heavenly bodies helps explain the zodiac mosaics. The heavenly bodies, like the angels in general, are God's managers. This is the assumption behind all the astrological works which we have discussed in this chapter. The God of Israel is the Creator of all, including the angels. The angels carry out God's orders, and to that extent substitute for His direct action. Portraying them visually is a way of showing God at work, maintaining the world He created. In a sense, they are a substitute for portraying the God Whom even Moses might not see.
Chapter Three | Contents | Chapter Five
/1/ Leading scholars who deny that astrology was important to the ancient Jews, or that it explains synagogue zodiacs include Rachel Hachlili, _Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Land of Israel_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988); Rachel Hachlili, "The Zodiac in Ancient Jewish Art," _BASOR_ 228 (1977): pp. 72, 74; Rachel Hachlili, "The Zodiac in Synagogue Mosaic Pavements in Israel," _Ariel_ 47 (1978): pp. 69-70; Michael Avi-Yonah, "The Caesarea Inscription of the Twenty-four Priestly Courses," in E. J. Vardaman, et al., eds. _The Teacher's Yoke_: _Studies in Memory of Henry Trantham_ (Waco, TX: Baylor University, 1964), pp. 56-57; Michael Avi-Yonah, "Le symbolisme du zodiac dans l'art Jud o- Byzantin," in Hannah Katzenstein and Yoram Tsafrir, eds., _Art in Ancient Palestine_; _Selected Essays_ (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, Magnes Press, 1981), pp. 396-97; M. B. Lehmann, "New Light on Astrology in Qumran and the Talmud," _RQ_ 8 (1975): pp. 599-602.
/2/ By "monotheism" I mean belief that single deity is in ultimate control, although He may have many less divine subordinates. Pious Israelites knew that there was only one god for Israel. Whether other nations had other gods was not clear to them. For a discussion of different views of "monotheism" in Biblical times, see Edwin M. Yamauchi, "Akhenaton, Moses and Monotheism," in B. Beitzel and G. Young, _Tell el-Amarna, 1887-1987_ (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, forthcoming).
/3/ James H. Charlesworth, "Jewish Interest in Astrology during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods," ["Interest"] in W. Haase and H. Temporini, eds., _ANRW_ II.20.2 (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1987), pp. 947-48.
/4/ II Kings 23: 4-26; G nter Stemberger, "Die Bedeutung des Tierkreises auf Mosaikfussbden sptantiker Synagogen," ["Tierkreises"] _Kairos_ NF 17 (1975): p. 26; Ludwig Wchter, "Astrologie und Schicksalsglaube im rabbinischen Judentum," ["Astrologie"] _Kairos_ NF 11 (1969): pp. 181-82. Kathleen Kenyon reported finding horses among many animal figurines in her 1960s excavations of the City of David, the site of Iron Age Jerusalem. See Kathleen M. Kenyon, _Jerusalem_; _Excavating 3000 Years of History_ (New York McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967), p. 101 and fig. 8.
/5/ Jeremiah 44: 15-20. See also Robert P. Carroll, _Jeremiah_; _A Commentary_ (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986), pp. 733-38.
/6/ John McKay, _Religion in Judah Under the Assyrians, 732-609 BC_ [_Religion_] (Naperville, IL: Alec R. Allenson, 1973), p. 46.
/7/ McKay, _Religion_, p. 51; Diodorus Siculus, _Histories_, 2.4.2-3, 10 Vols., trans. C. H. Oldfather, I (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann, 1933, 1946), pp. 358-59. Cf. "Abodah Zarah," trans. A. Mishcon and A. Cohen, p. 11b, in I. Epstein, ed., _The Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud_ (London: Soncino Press, 1988).
/8/ On continuity between Bronze Age and Hellenistic Era religion, see Robert A. Oden, "The Persistence of Canaanite Religion," _BA_ 39.1 (1976): pp. 31-36.
/9/ McKay, _Religion_, pp. 70-71. Amos 5: 26 appears to name the Mesopotamian Saturn, as "Sakkuth" and "Kaiwan." But this passage has so many difficulties and corruptions that it is not hard evidence of anything. A short discussion of the passage may be found in G. V. Smith, "Sakkuth," in Geoffrey W. Bromiley, et al., eds., _International Standard Bible Dictionary_ VI, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), p. 283; John N. Oswalt, " ," in R. Laird Harris, et al., eds., _Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament_ (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 438; John N. Oswalt, " ," in R. Laird Harris, et al., eds., _Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament_ (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 623. Longer discussions may be found in Erling Hammershaimb, _The Book of Amos_; _A Commentary_, trans. John Sturdy (New York: Schocken Books, 1970), pp. 92-94; John Luther Mays, _Amos_; _A Commentary_ (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969), pp. 112-13; Hans M. Barstad, _The Religious Polemics of Amos_; _Studies in the Preaching of Amos 2, 7B-8; 4, 1-13; 5, 1-27; 6, 4-7; 8, 14_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1984), pp. 119-26; and Hans Walter Wolff, _Joel and Amos_, trans. Waldemar Janzen, S. Dean McBride, Jr., and Charles Muenchow, ed. by S. Dean McBride, Jr. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977), pp. 265-68.
/10/ U. Cassuto, _A Commentary on the Book of Genesis_ [_Genesis_], trans. Israel Abrahams, I (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1961), p. 7; Gerard F. Hasel, "The Significance of the Cosmology in Genesis I in Relation to Ancient Near Eastern Parallels," ["Significance"] _Andrews University Seminary Studies_ 10 (1972): pp. 12-15; Gerard F. Hasel, "The Polemic Nature of the Genesis Cosmology," ["Polemic"] _Evangelical Quarterly_ 46 (1974): pp. 88-89; Nahum M. Sarna, _The JPS Torah Commentary_: _Genesis_ (Philadelphia, New York, Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication Society, 5749/1989), p. 9.
/11/ Hasel, "Polemic," p. 89; Hasel, "Significance," pp. 1-20, passim; Walter Brueggemann, _Genesis_; _A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching_ (Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press, 1982), p. 13; Alexander Heidel, _The Babylonian Genesis_ (Phoenix Books, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1963), pp. 89-92, 96-97; Cassuto, _Genesis_, I, pp. 7-8.
/12/ Hasel, "Significance," pp. 19-20; Gordon J. Wenham, _Genesis 1-15_; _Word Biblical Commentary_ (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), pp. xlvi-l.
/13/ Gerhard von Rad, _Genesis_; _A Commentary_, trans. John Marks (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961), pp. 33-34; Claus Westermann, _Genesis_ (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag des Erziehungsvereins, GmBH, 1974), pp. 175-86.
/14/ Robert R. Stieglitz, "The Hebrew Names of the Seven Planets," ["Names"] _JNES_ 40 (1981): pp. 136-7.
/15/ Cassuto, _Genesis_, I, pp. 43, 45.
/16/ _Genesis Rabbah_ 6: 1, in _Midrash Rabbah_, Translated into English with notes under the editorship of H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, I (London: Soncino Press, 1939), pp. 41-42. _Genesis Rabbah_ reached its final form about 400 CE. H. Freedman, "Introduction," _Midrash Rabbah_, I, xxviia-xxix. See also _Pesikta Rabbati_, _Discourses for Feast, Fasts, and Special Sabbaths_, 15.1, trans. William G. Braude, I (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1968), p. 305. _Pesikta Rabbati_ was probably written in Palestine during the sixth or seventh centuries CE, i.e., roughly the same era as the zodiac mosaics, but the materials in it date largely to the third and fourth centuries of the Common Era. W. Braude, "Introduction," I, pp. 3, 26.
/17/ See J. Van Goudoever, _Biblical Calendars_ (2nd revised edition; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1961), pp. 4-5. The entire book should be consulted. For the Jewish calendar in later times, see Roger T. Beckwith, "Cautionary Notes on the Use of Calendars and Astronomy to Determine the Chronology of the Passion," in Jerry Vardaman and Edwin M. Yamauchi, eds., _Chronos, Kairos, Christos_; _Nativity and Chronological Studies Presented to Jack Finegan_ (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989), pp. 183-98, and Frank Parise, ed., _The Book of Calendars_ (NY: Facts on File, Inc., 1982), pp. 44-54.
/18/ J. S. Wright, "Astronomy," in Geoffrey W. Bromiley, ed., _International Standard Bible Dictionary_ (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 1979), pp. 341-44.
/19/ McKay, _Religion_, p. 52.
/20/ Artur Weisser, _The Psalms_; _A Commentary_ (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962), pp. 516-20, 667.
/21/ McKay, _Religion_, p. 52.
/22/ On divination among the Israelites, see A. Caquot, "La divination dans l'ancien Israel," in A. Caquot and M. Leibovici, eds., _La Divination_ (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1968), pp. 83-113; Otto Eissfeldt, "Wahrsagung im Alten Testament," in J. Nougayrol, et al., eds., _La divination en Mesopotamie ancienne et dans les r gions voisines_ (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1966), pp. 141-46; and J. R. Porter, "Ancient Israel," in Michael Loewe and Carmen Blacker, eds., _Divination and Oracles_ (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1981), pp. 191-214.
/23/ This was how the verse was understood in Talmudic times. See _Genesis Rabbah_ 44: 12 = Freedman, p. 368.
/24/ John L. MacKenzie, S.J., introduction, translation, and notes, _Second Isaiah_ (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1968), pp. 87-92; Wchter, "Astrologie," p. 182; Claus Westermann, _Isaiah 40-66_; _A Commentary_ (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969), pp. 188-94.
/25/ Daniel 2: 27, 4: 7 (4: 4 in the Hebrew), 5: 7, 5: 11; Wchter, "Astrologie," pp. 182-83.
/26/ See Edwin M. Yamauchi, "Chaldaea, Chaldaeans," in E. M. Blaiklock and R. K. Harrison, eds., _The New International Dictionary of the Bible_ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), pp. 123-125.
/27/ Wright, "Astrology," pp. 341-44.
/28/ I Enoch is a composite work, but "The Book of the Watchers," which contains the condemnation, was probably composed in the third century BCE. This condemnation of astrology is nearly contemporary with "Nechepso," who first popularized Hellenistic astrology, making it perhaps the earliest reference to astrology in Jewish literature. Emil Sch rer, _The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135)_ (Revised and Edited by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar; Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, Ltd., 1973-1987), p. 256.
/29/ Jubilees was probably written in the second century BCE. Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 312.
/30/ The title Watchers is used in I Enoch, and refers to Gen. 6: 2, ". . . the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose." The whole passage in Enoch is an expansion of this verse.
/31/ I Enoch 7-10; Jubilees, chapters 4, 8 and 12; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 308-11, 314. The motif of Abraham the astrologer is found in many places in Jewish literature of both the Second Temple and the Talmudic periods. See Stemberger, "Tierkreises," pp. 37-39. The legends are usefully synthesized, and sources noted, in Louis Ginzberg, _The Legends of the Jews_, 7 Vols., trans. Harold Szold (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909-28; repr. 1968), I, pp. 186, 202, 204, 207, 216, 225. See also V, pp. 175, 222, and especially, 227, n. 108 for his sources.
/32/ "Sibylline Oracles," trans. John J. Collins, in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 362, 366. These pretend to be the revelations of the Jewish Sibyl, one of Noah's daughters-in-law. Arnaldo Momigliano, " `Religious Opposition' to the Roman Empire," in Arnaldo Momigliano, _On Pagans, Jews, and Christians_ (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987), p. 138; B. Z. Wacholder, _Eupolemus_; _A Study in Judaeo-Greek Literature_ (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1974), pp. 290-93.
/33/ The third book of the Sibylline Oracles was probably composed in Egypt during the second century BCE. For a discussion of the dates of the various parts of the Sibylline oracles, see John J. Collins, "Sibylline Oracles," in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983), p. 355 and John J. Collins, _The Sibylline Oracles of Egyptian Judaism_ (Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1974).
/34/ James H. Charlesworth, "Introduction for the General Reader," in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. xxi- xxxiv, 889, 934; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 510, 521-23; The Greek text may be found in Eusebius, _Praeparatio Evangelica_, 9.18.1, 9.27.1-37, in _Eusebii Caesarensis Opera_, ed. Guilielmis Dindorfius, 4 Vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1867-71), I, pp. 486-87, 316-33; an English translation and discussion by J. J. Collins may be found in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, II (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1985), pp. 889-903.
/35/ B. Z. Wacholder, "Pseudo-Eupolemus's Two Greek Fragments on Abraham," ["Pseudo-Eupolemus"] in B. Z. Wacholder, _Essays on Jewish Chronography_ (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1976), pp. 77-79; Wacholder, _Eupolemus_, pp. 1-21, 71, 287-93; Martin P. Hengel, _Judaism and Hellenism_ [_Judaism_], 2 Vols (London and Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), p. 88. Like many scholars, Wacholder believes that the Abraham passage is mistakenly ascribed to Eupolemus, and is by an anonymous Jewish or Samaritan writer.
/36/ Eupolemus and Artapanus survive only in fragments quoted by Eusebius. The Greek text of Eupolemus may be found in Eusebius, _Praeparatio Evangelica_, in Eusebius, _Praeparatio Evangelica_, 9.17.8-9, in _Eusebii Caesarensis Opera_, ed. Guilielmis Dindorfius, 4 Vols., I (Leipzig: Teubner, 1867-71), pp. 484-86. Felix Jacoby, _Fragmente der griechischen Historiker_ [_Fragmente_], 3 Vols. (Berlin: Weidmann; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1923-58), Dritter Teil C, # 723, pp. 671-80, and 724, pp. 680-86, also contains the Greek texts of Eupolemlus and Pseudo-Eupolemus, respectively. Artapanus may be found in Eusebius, _Praeparatio Evangelica_, in Eusebius, _Praeparatio Evangelica_, 9.23.1-4, 9.27.1-37, in _Eusebii Caesarensis Opera_, ed. Guilielmis Dindorfius, 4 Vols., I (Leipzig: Teubner, 1867-71), pp. 496-505, or Jacoby, _Fragmente_, Dritter Teil C, # 726, pp. 680. James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, II (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 861-872, has a discussion and English translation of Artapanus by F. Fallon. R. Doran discusses and translates "pseudo-Eupolemus" in Id., pp. 873-882. Wacholder gives translations of all the Eupolemus passages in _Eupolemus_, pp. 307-14. See also B. Z. Wacholder, "Pseudo-Eupolemus," pp. 75- 105, Ibid., _Eupolemus_, pp. 2-3, 104-06, 287-91, and Hengel, _Judaism_, I, pp. 88-92, section aa), "The Anonymous Samaritan" for further discussions.
/37/ A. R. C. Leaney, _The Jewish and Christian World, 200 BC to AD 200_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 156.
/38/ Wisdom of Solomon, 12: 1, 2, 6, passim, in The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, trans. Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1851; repr., Peabody, MD: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987), p. 67; "Circle of stars" is, u #eg , kuklon astron and "luminaries of the heavens" is [ eg # # u, phstras ouranou in the Greek of the Septuagint.
/39/ Flavius Josephus, _Jewish War_, 5.217-18, in Flavius Josephus, _Complete Works_, 9 Vols., trans. H. St. John Thackeray, III (Loeb Classical Library: Cambridge: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1926-63), pp. 266-67; Philo Judaeus, _Questions and Answers on Exodus_, 75, 112-14, trans. Ralph Marcus, in Philo Judaeus, _Philo_, 10 Vols. and 2 Supplement Vols., trans. F. H. Colson, et al., Supplement II (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969), pp. 124, 162-65.
/40/ Rabbi Joel C. Dobin, _The Astrological Secrets of the Hebrew Sages_; _To Rule Both Day and Night_ (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1977, 1983). The entire book is a very instructive example of how one may reconcile rabbinic and astrological traditions in the modern world.
/41/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 935; Hengel, _Hellenism_, I, p. 69.
/42/ See Wilhelm Gundel and Hans Georg Gundel, _Astrologoumena_: _die astrologische Literatur in der Antike und ihre Geschichte_ [_Astrologoumena_] (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1966), pp. 51-59.
/43/ Ibid., pp. 52, 54.
/44/ Andr Dupont-Sommer, "Deux documents horoscopiques ess niens d couverts Qoumrn, pr s de la Mer Morte," ["Documents"] _Comptes rendus de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres_ (1965): p. 239. The identification of the sectarians at Qumran with Essenes is uncertain and much debated. See Todd S. Beal, _Josephus's Description of the Essenes Illustrated by the Dead Sea Scrolls_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) and Norman Golb, "The Dead Scrolls," _The American Scholar_ 58 (1989): pp. 177-211 for vigorous discussions of the opposing points of view.
/45/ Flavius Josephus, _Antiquities of the Jews_, 13.171, in Flavius Josephus, _Complete Works_, 9 Vols., trans. H. St. John Thackeray, VII (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1926-63), pp. 310-11.
/46/ Andr Dupont-Sommer, "La secte des Ess niens et les horoscopes de Qumran," ["Secte"] _Archeologia_ 15 (1967): p. 26; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 464; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, pp. 238-39.
/47/ Charlesworth, "Interest," pp. 938-39; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 27; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 464-65.
/48/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 939; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 27.
/49/ Perhaps the second house? Geza Vermes, _The Dead Sea Scrolls in English_ [_Dead Sea Scrolls_] (3rd ed.; Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1987), p. 305.
/50/ That is, the sun was physically in the lower part of the constellation Taurus. Vermes, _Dead Sea Scrolls_, p. 305.
/51/ Vermes, _Dead Sea Scrolls_, p. 306; For the original text, see also John Marco Allegro, _Discoveries in the Judaean Desert_, V, _Qumran Cave 4_ [_Cave 4_] (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), pp. 89-91 and John Marco Allegro, "An Astrological Cryptic Document from Qumran," _JSS_ 9 (1964): pp. 291-94.
/52/ Neugebauer thinks that it may not be an astrological document "An `ox' or a `bull' need not be truly horoscopic at all." But his is a minority opinion. Otto Neugebauer, _Ethiopic Astronomy and Computus_ (Vienna: Verlag der sterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1979), p. 21.
/53/ Auguste Bouch -Leclercq, _L'Astrologie grecque_ [_L'Astrologie_] (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1899; repr., Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1979), pp. 313.
/54/ Physiognomy remained part of Jewish tradition well into Talmudic times. See Ithamar Gruenwald, _Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism_ [_Merkavah_] (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980), pp. 218-224, for a discussion of such works in rabbinic circles.
/55/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 938; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 29; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 465.
/56/ Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 237.
/57/ Joseph Fitzmeyer, "The Aramaic `Elect of God' Text from Qumran Cave 4," ["Elect"] in Joseph Fitzmeyer, _Essays on the Semitic Background of the New Testament_ (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1971), p. 128; Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 246.
/58/ "`Horoscope' of the Messiah or an Account of the Birth of Noah (4QMessAr)," Vermes, _Dead Sea Scrolls_, p. 306. See also Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 247 and J. Carmignac, "Les horoscopes de Qumran," _RQ_ 5 (1964-1966): pp. 216-17.
/59/ Allegro, _Cave 4_, p. 157.
/60/ Vermes, _Dead Sea Scrolls_, p. 307; Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 248, l. 10; Fitzmeyer, "Elect," p. 129; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 465.
/61/ Bruce M. Metzger, _A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament_, _A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament_ [_Commentary_] (3rd Ed.; London: United Bible Society, 1971), p. 200.
/62/ Fitzmeyer, "Elect," p. 129; Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 248. See, e.g., I Enoch 49: 2.
/63/ See Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," pp. 239-253; Jean Starcky, "Un texte messianique aram en de la grotte 4 de Qoumrn," in _Ecole des langues anciennes de l'Institut Catholique de Paris M morial du cinquantenaire 1914-1964_ (Paris: Bloud et Gay, 1964), pp. 51-66; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, pp. 237-38.
/64/ See, e.g., John 1: 34 and notes, in Kurt Aland, et al., eds., _The Greek New Testament_ (3rd ed.; United Bible Societies, 1975), p. 324; Metzger, _Commentary_, p. 200.
/65/ Fitzmeyer, "Elect," pp. 129, 143-44.
/66/ Allegro, _Cave_ 4, p. 159; J. T. Milik, _The Book of Enoch_: _Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4_ (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), p. 56; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 465.
/67/ For _brontologia_ in general see Franz Boll, Carl Bezold, and Wilhelm Gundel, _Sternglaube und Sterndeutung_; _Die Geschichte und das Wesen der Astrologie_ [_Sternglaube_] (f nfte, durchgesehene Auflage mit einem bibliographischen Anhang von H. G. Gundel; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1966), pp. 134, 158, 186-87 and Bouch -Leclercq, _L'Astrologie_, pp. 348, 363-64. For connections with _Enuma Anu Enlil_, see J. C. Greenfield and M. Sokoloff, "Astrological and Related Omen Texts in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic," ["Omen"] _JNES_ 48 (1989): pp. 202 and 202, note 2, as well as David Pingree, "Mesopotamian Astronomy and Astral Omens in Other Civilizations," in Hans-Jrg Nissen and Johannes Renger, eds., _Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn_ (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1982), pp. 618-23 and the works cited there.
/68/ John M. Allegro, _The Dead Sea Scrolls_; _A Reappraisal_ (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1964), p. 126; J. T. Milik, _Ten Years of Discoveries in the Judaean Desert_, trans. J. Strugnell (London: SCM; Naperville, IL: A. R. Allenson, 1959), pp. 42, 119. It resembles the brontologion ascribed to "Zoroaster" in _Geoponica_ 1.10., quoted in Joseph Bidez and Franz Cumont, _Les mages hellenis _: _Zoroaster, Ostanes, et Hystaspe d'apres la tradition grecque_, II (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1938), p. 182. See also Edwin M. Yamauchi, "The Episode of the Magi," in J. Vardaman and Edwin M. Yamauchi, eds., _Chronos, Kairos, and Christos_ (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989), p. 38; M. Delcor, "Recherches sur un horoscope en langue hebraique provenant de Qumran," ["Recherches"] _RQ_ 5 (1964-1966): p. 521; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 366; and Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 238.
/69/ Greenfield and Sokoloff, "Omen," 202, note 2.
/70/ Charlesworth, "Interest," pp. 938-39; Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 244; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 30.
/71/ Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," pp. 243-45; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," pp. 29-30.
/72/ The _Community Rule_ [i.e., _The Manual of Discipline_], Vermes, _Dead Sea Scrolls_, p. 65. The whole work, pages 61-80, should be read.
/73/ See Hengel, _Judaism_, I, pp. 218-24 for a discussion of determinism and dualism at Qumran, and in the Hellenistic world generally.
/74/ Delcor, "Recherches," p. 533.
/75/ Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 29.
/76/ Dupont-Sommer, "Documents," p. 239; Dupont-Sommer, "Secte," p. 26.
/77/ Josephus, _Antiquities_, 13.172-73 = Thackeray and Marcus, VII, pp. 311-313. "Fate" translates _heimarmene_, which often means astrological fate elsewhere in Greek literature.
/78/ Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 239. For a spirited discussion of the possibility of sun-worship at Qumran, see Morton Smith, "Helios in Palestine," _Eretz Israel_ 16 (1982): pp. 199-214; Morton Smith,"The Case of the Gilded Staircase; Did the Dead Sea Sect Worship the Sun?" _BAR_ 10.5 (1984): pp. 50-55; and Jacob Milgrom, "Challenge to Sun-Worship Interpretation of Temple Scroll's Gilded Staircase," _BAR_ 11.1 (1985): pp. 70-73.
/79/ On lay astrology and calendologia, see Sven Eriksson, _Wochentagsgtter, Mond, und Tierkreis_: _Laienastrologie in der rmischen Kaiserzeit_ (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1956). There are other calendologia attributed to biblical heroes, too. See James H. Charlesworth, "The Treatise of Shem," ["Treatise"] in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), p. 473 and D. A. Fiensy, "Revelation of Ezra," in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 601-04.
/80/ Alphonse Mingana, Ed. and trans., "Some Early Judaeo- Christian Documents in the John Rylands Library," ["Early"] _BJRL_ 4 (1917): pp. 79-80.
/81/ Mingana, "Early," pp. 59-118; the Treatise of Shem is on pp. 76-85.
/82/ James H. Charlesworth, "Rylands Syriac MS 44 and a New Addition to the Pseudepigrapha: the Treatise of Shem, Discussed and Translated," _BJRL_ 60 (1978): pp. 376-403; Id., "Die `Schrift des Sem' Einf hrung, Text, und berseztung," ["Schrift"] unter Mithelfe von James R. Mueller, in W. Haase and H. Temporini, eds., _ANRW_ II.20.2 (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1987), pp. 951-87; and Id., "Treatise." The discussions in these last two works are substantially the same.
/83/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 937.
/84/ The underlined title and the opening are in red in the manuscript; otherwise there is nothing to distinguish them from the rest of the text. Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 481, notes b, c.
/85/ "Passover" is _pysh'_ ( ) in the Syriac text. Charlesworth, "Schrift," p. 966.
/86/ [ ] is a lacuna about 14 letters or 50 millimeters long. Charlesworth, "Schrift," p. 967.
/87/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 481.
/88/ Mingana, "Early," pp. 76-77.
/89/ At some point a scribe switched the last two signs. A scribal note points this out. The division into chapters and verses is by Charlesworth. Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 473.
/90/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 937; Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 473.
/91/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 938; Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 476.
/92/ The reference to Passover in 1: 8 _could_ be Christian, but without any other Christian phrases, it probably is not. Mingana, "Early," pp. 78-79.
/93/ "Shabbat," trans. H. Freedman, in I. Epstein, ed., _The Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud_ (London: Socino Press, 1972), p. 156a, where God changes Abraham's horoscope so that he may beget Isaac.
/94/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p., 477.
/95/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," pp. 477, 481; Mingana, "Early," p. 79.
/96/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," pp. 477-78; Mingana, "Early," pp. 76-77; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 240.
/97/ _Genesis Rabbah_, 63. 7, 67.8 = Freedman, II, pp. 560-62, 612-13; "Abodah Zarah," _Babylonian Talmud_, p. 36b; Mingana, "Early," p. 77.
/98/ Cf. "Baba Bathra," trans. Maurice Simon and Israel W. Slotki, p. 16b, in I. Epstein, ed., _The Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud_ (London: Socino Press, 1976), where Abraham is such a renowned astrologer that men come from east and west to consult him.
/99/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," pp. 477-78; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 239.
/100/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," pp. 475, 484; Mingana, "Early," p. 78.
/101/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 75; Mingana, "Early," p. 78.
/102/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 475.
/103/ Mingana, "Early," p. 78.
/104/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 474; Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 937; Mingana, "Early," p. 79.
/105/ Mingana, "Early," p. 78.
/106/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 937; Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 474.
/107/ Charlesworth, "Treatise," p. 474.
/108/ Josephus, _Jewish War_ 2.8.6 = Thackeray, II, pp. 374-75; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 241.
/109/ Also called the _Epistle of Rehoboam_ and the _Hygromancy of Solomon_. This last name is misleading; hygromancy, a variety of crystal ball gazing, never comes up in the Letter. See Scott Carroll, "A Preliminary Analysis of the _Epistle of Rehoboam_," _Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha_ 4 (1989): pp. 91- 103.
/110/ Gundel and Gundel, _Astrologoumena_, p. 53.
/111/ Both the Greek n , aggelos and the Hebrew , ml'k lack the exclusively religious connotation "angel" has in English translations. Both simply mean a messenger of any sort.
/112/ J.-H. Niggemeyer, _Beschwrungsformeln aus dem "Buch der Geheimnisse," Zur Topologie der magischen Rede_ [_Geheimnisse_] (Hildesheim, New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1975), pp. 79-80; Shaye J. D. Cohen, _From the Maccabees to the Mishnah_ [_Maccabees_] (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1987), pp. 82-85; Walter Wink, _Naming the Powers_; _The Language of the Powers in the New Testament_, I, _The Powers_ (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 22-35.
/113/ See 1 Enoch 80, trans. E. Isaac, in James H. Charlesworth, _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 58-59, where the rulers of the stars, clearly angels, are punished for letting humanity worship them as goods.
/114/ Rabbinic texts sometimes portray them as relatively independent and unfriendly to mortal men. See, for example, the angels who tried to prevent Moses' ascent to God in the highest heaven, in _Pesikta Rabbati_ 20 (= Braude, I, pp. 397-411), or their hostility to Enoch in 3 _Enoch_ 6, trans., P. Alexander, in James H. Charlesworth, _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_ (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 19830, I, p. 63. 3 Enoch was probably written in the fifth or sixth century CE, perhaps in Babylonia. See P. Alexander, "3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch, Introduction," in James H. Charlesworth, ed., _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 228-29.
/115/ Gundel and Gundel, _Astrologoumena_, p. 53.
/116/ E. R. Goodenough, _Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period_, II (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953-68), pp. 190-205; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, pp. 92-93; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 345, 358-59. An important example of Jewish magic in a pagan context is the Great Paris Magic Papyrus (PGM IV, 3009-85). Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 358. An English translation may be found in Hans Dieter Betz, ed., _The Greek Magic Papyri in Translation, including the Demotic Spells_ [_Greek Magical Papyri_] (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 96-97; The Greek text is in Karl Preisendanz, ed., _Papyri Graecae Magicae_ (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1928-31; repr., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1984). See also Edwin M. Yamauchi, _Mandaic Incantation Texts_ [_Mandaic_] (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1967), pp. 37-38 and Id., "Aramaic Magic Bowls," _JAOS_ 85 (1965): p. 519.
/117/ Ioan Petru Couliano, _Eros and Magic in the Renaissance_, trans. Margaret Cook, with a foreword by Mircea Eliade (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp. 11-12; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 346.
/118/ Joshua Trachtenberg, _Jewish Magic and Superstition_; _A Study in Folk Religion_ [_Magic_] (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1939; repr., New York: Athenaeum, 1987), pp. 20-22. Trachtenberg is concerned primarily with the Middle Ages, but the basic ideas date to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Ibid., p. 315.
/119/ Discussions of the Letter of Rehoboam and its connections with other astrological writings may be found in Armand Delatte, _Herbarius_; _Recherches sur le c r monial usit chez les anciens pour la cueillette des simples et des plantes magiques_ (2nd ed., revised and enlarged, Li ge: Facult de philosophie et lettres; Paris: Librairie E. Droz, 1938), pp. 18-19, 81, 108-09, 157-59; Boll, Bezold, and Gundel, _Sternglaube_, pp. 182; Gundel and Gundel, _Astrologoumena_, pp. 57-59; Andr Marie Jean Festugi _La Revelation d'Herm pp. 339-40; Friedrich Pfister, "Pflanzenaberglaube," _RE_, XIX.2, col. 1452; Karl Preisendanz, "Salomo," _RE_ Supplementband VIII, cols. 690-94; Richard Reitzenstein, _Hellenistic Mystery- Religions_; _Their Basic Ideas and Significance_, trans. John E. Steely (Pittsburgh, PA: The Pickwick Press, 1978), pp. 144-48; John Scarborough, "Hermetic and Related Texts in Classical Antiquity," ["Hermetic"] in Ingrid Merkel and Allen G. Debus, eds., _Hermeticism and the Renaissance_; _Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe_ (Washington: The Folger Shakespeare Library; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1988), pp. 28-30.
/120/ See Scott Carroll, "A Preliminary Analysis of the _Epistle of Rehoboam_," ["Analysis"] in the _Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha_ 4 (1989): pp. 91-103 for a discussion of the Letter. Dennis Duling has promised a critical text and discussion in a forthcoming SBL volume of Solomonic works. See Dennis C. Duling, "The Testament of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect," _Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha_ 2 (1988): p. 110, notes 80 and 85.
/121/ For Thessalus of Tralles, see Franz Cumont, "Ecrits Hermetiques, II. Le m decin Thessalus et les plantes astrales d'Herm litterature, et d'histoire anciennes_ 42 (1918): pp. 63-79; Scarborough, "Hermetic," p. 29.
/122/ Carroll, "Analysis," p. 98; Josephus, _Antiquities_ 8.2.5 = Thackeray and Marcus, V, pp. 592-97.
/123/ Copies of text A are published in A. Delatte, _Anecdota Atheniensia_ (Paris: E. Champion, 1927), pp. 397-445 and 470-77; Text B may be found in D. Olivieri, et al., eds., _Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum_, IV, ed. D. Bassi (Brussels: Acad mie Royale, 1898-1953); Text C is in Id., VIII.2, ed. J. Heeg (Brussels: 1898-1953), pp. 143-65. The Thessalus texts are in Thessalos, _Thessalos von Tralles_: _Griechisch und Lateinisch_, ed. Hans-Veitch Friedrich (Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1968).
/124/ Carroll, "Analysis," pp. 92-93.
/125/ For a discussion of humans promoted to angelic status, see James H. Charlesworth, "The Portrayal of the Righteous as an Angel," in _Ideal Figures in Ancient Judaism_, edited by George W. E. Nickelsburg and John J. Collins, (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1980), pp. 135-53.
/126/ Carroll, "Analysis," p. 99.
/127/ Acts 19: 13-14; Carroll, "Analysis," pp. 94; Trachtenberg, _Magic_, pp. 103, 200-01, 231, 304 n. 15.
/128/ Carroll, "Analysis," pp. 6-7. Apios 3.2, fourteenth hour; Serapidie 3.4, fourth hour; Osthridie 3.4, eleventh hour.
/129/ Cumont, "Thessalus," pp. 91-3, 99-100, 102-03.
/130/ Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 70.
/131/ Ibid., p. 158.
/132/ 1.2. Note that "planetary gods" is simply # # g , _plantn_, planets, in the Greek text, in _CCAG_ VIII.2., pp. 143ff.
/133/ Cf. "Shabbat," p. 156a for a discussion, in later Jewish tradition, of hours versus days in determining one's basic personality.
/134/ Section 4.2, Carroll's translation.
/135/ Ibid., 5.2.
/136/ Ibid., 4.9.
/137/ Carroll, "Analysis,"; Angels were often called "deputies" or _memunim_. See Trachtenberg, _Magic_, p. 286, n. 4.
/138/ Section, 7.4, Carroll's translation.
/139/ Cohen, _Maccabees_, p. 17.
/140/ Jacob Neusner, _Ancient Israel After the Catastrophe_; _The Religious World View of the Mishnah_ (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1983), pp. 1-17, passim; Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 100.
/141/ Hengel, _Judaism_, I, p. 239; Stemberger, "Tierkreises," p. 34.
/142/ _Pesikta Rabbati_, 20.2 and 53.2 = Braude, I, pp. 398-99 and II, pp. 886-89.
/143/ _Pesikta Rabbati_, 20 = Braude, I, pp. 388-99.
/144/ _Leviticus Rabbah_, 31.9, trans. Rev. J. Israelstam and Judah J. Slotki, in Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, and Maurice Simon, eds., _Midrash Rabbah_, IV (London: Soncino Press, 1939, repr. 1961), p. 404. Leviticus Rabbah was probably composed in Palestine during the fifth century CE. See Israelstam, "Introduction," Freedman and Simon, IV, P. vii; Joseph Heinemann, "Leviticus Rabbah," in Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder, editors- in-chief, _Encyclopedia Judaica_, XI (Jerusalem, New York: Macmillan, 1971), col. 147. See also "Abodah Zarah," p. 54b.
/145/ "Abodah Zarah," _Babylonian Talmud_, p. 54b.
/146/ Cf. also "Abodah Zarah," _Babylonian Talmud_, pp. 4b, 42b.
/147/ "Shabbat," _Babylonian Talmud_, p. 156a-b; Stemberger, "Tierkreises," p. 35.
/148/ "Constellation" here translates , _mzl_, which can also mean planet or fate generally, almost always with an astrological implication. See " ," "_mzl_," in Jacob Levy, _Wrterbuch ber die Talmudim und Midraschim_ [_Wrterbuch_], IV (2nd ed.; Berlin and Vienna: 1924; Darmstadt: Wiss. Buch., 1963), pp. 172-73. This is probably the origin of the greeting "Mazzal Tov," i.e., "Good luck."
/149/ Greenfield and Sokoloff, "Omen," pp. 201-14, especially pp. 203-05 and 211-14. See also _Pirk de Rabbi Eliezer (The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great) According to the Text of the Manuscript Belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna_ [_Pirk_], chapter 6, trans., annot. with intro. and indices Gerald Friedlander (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.; New York: The Bloch Publishing Co., 1916), p. 32 and note 2, for brief account of which hours are sympathetic to which planets. _Pirk_, as such, dates to the eighth or ninth century CE, but is based on rather older materials, with connections to the pseudepigrapha of the Second Temple Period. Friedlander, "Introduction," xxi-liii, liii-liv; Moshe David Herr, "Pirkei de- Rabbi Eliezer," in Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder, editors-in- chief, _Encyclopedia Judaica_, XIII (Jerusalem, New York: Macmillan, 1971-72), columns 558-59.
/150/ "Shabbat," _Babylonian Talmud_, pp. 156a and 156b; See Charlesworth, "Interest," pp. 931-32 for a discussion of this passage and other similar ones.
/151/ Greenfield and Sokoloff, "Omen," pp. 211-12.
/152/ " ," "_sdq_," in Jacob Levy, _Wrterbuch_, pp. 172-73.
/153/ "Shabbat," _Babylonian Talmud_, p. 156b.
/155/ Epiphanius, _Panarion_, 1.1.16, in Jacques Paul Migne, ed., _Patriologia cursus completus_, _Series graeca_, XLI (Paris: 1857-87), cols. 247-58.
/156/ Stieglitz, "Names," p. 133; Johannes Quasten, _Patrology_, III (Utrecht/Antwerp: Spectrum Publishers; Westminster, MD: 1963), pp. 384-85.
/157/ Stieglitz, "Names," p. 133; Quasten, _Patrology_, III, pp. 385-86.
/158/ These are Moon, _Lebonah_; Venus, _Kokhabet_ or _Kokhab Nogah_; Mercury, _Kokhab_; Sun, _Hammah_; Mars, _Ma'adim_; Jupiter, _Sedeq_; Saturn, _Shabbatay_. Epiphanius' names, in the same order, are Yarea, Zeroua, Chochab Ochomod, Shemesh, Chochab Okbol, Chochab Baal, Chochab Sabeth. See Stieglitz, "Names," p. 135, and the sources there.
/159/ Stieglitz, "Names," pp. 135-37. See also J. M. Lieu, "Epiphanius on the Scribes and Pharisees," _Journal of Theological Studies_ 39 (1988): pp. 519-22.
/160/ Detailed discussions of rabbinic attitudes towards astrology may be found in Alexander Altman, "Astrology," in Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder, editors-in-chief, _Encyclopedia Judaica_ III (Jerusalem, New York: Macmillan, 1971-72), cols. 788-95; Charlesworth, "Interest;" David Feuchtwang, "Der Tierkreis im der Tradition und im Synagogenritus," _Monatschrift f r Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums_ 51 (1915): pp. 241-267; Leopold Low, "Die Astrologie in der biblischen, thalmudischen, und nachthalmudischen Zeit," _Ben Chananja_; _Wochenblatt f r j dische Theology_ 6 (1863): cols. 401-08, 431- 35; Stemberger, "Tierkreises;" and Wchter, "Astrologie." For an overall survey of rabbinic thought, see E. E. Urbach, _The Sages_: _Their Concepts and Beliefs_ (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1975). Jacob Neusner, _A History of the Jews in Babylonia_ [_History_], 5 Vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1965-70) gives the rabbis' social and intellectual context. See especially II, pp. 147-50, III, pp. 110-26, IV, pp. 330-62, and V, pp. 174-96, 217-43 for beliefs about magic and the invisible world.
/161/ Wchter, "Astrologie," p. 184.
/162/ Michael A. Morgan, "Introduction,"in Sepher Ha-Razim; _The Book of Mysteries_ [_Mysteries_], trans. Michael A. Morgan (Chico, CA: Scholar's Press, 1983), p. 1; The Hebrew text is published in _Sepher Ha-Razim_: _A Newly Recovered Book of Magic from the Talmudic Period, Collected from Genizah Fragments and Other Sources_ [Hebrew], ed. with introduction and annotation by Mordecai Margalioth (Jerusalem: Yediot Aharonot, 1966).
/163/ The best known example is the _Sepher Raziel_, cited often by Trachtenberg, in _Magic_.
/164/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 936; Chen Merchavya, "Razim, Sepher Ha-," ["Razim"] in Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder, editors-in-chief, _Encyclopedia Judaica_, XIII (Jerusalem, New York: Macmillan, 1971-72), cols. 1594-95; Morgan, "Introduction," pp. 2-6; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, pp. 11-17; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 344, 347, 349.
/165/ Sepher ha-Razim 1.28 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 23.
/166/ Merchavya, "Razim,"; Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 23, n. 4; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 348-49.
/167/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 8. The major exception is Ithamar Gruenwald, who prefers the sixth or seventh century CE, on the grounds that Sepher ha-Razim misunderstands earlier mystical traditions. He is also unhappy with Margalioth's text and believes a new critical edition is needed. Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 226. The precise date of Sepher ha-Razim is less important than that it belongs to the same period as the synagogue mosaics.
/168/ Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 936; Merchavya, "Razim,"; Morgan, "Introduction," pp. 6, 8-9; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, p. 11; Sch rer _History_, III, pp. 345, 349; A short, up to date, account of mysticism in the Talmudic period may be found in Joseph Dan, _Gershom Scholem and the Mystical Dimensions of Jewish History_ (New York and London: New York University Press), pp. 38-76; Gershom G. Scholem's classic account, _Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition_ (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary in America, 1960), should also be consulted. For the specific connections between Sepher ha-Razim and mysticism, see Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, pp. 225-234. Betz, _Greek Magical Papyri_, pp. xil-xlvii, includes an excellent introduction to the magical papyri of late antiquity. Yamauchi, _Mandaic_; and James A. Montgomery, _Aramaic Incantation Texts From Nippur_ [_Incantation__ Texts_] (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1913) give the texts of most of the known incantation bowls, along with important discussions. Two more recent collection of texts and translations, are Charles D. Isbell, _Corpus of the Aramaic Incantation Bowls_ (Missoula, MT: Society of Biblical Literature and Scholars Press, 1975) and Joseph Naveh and Shaul Shaked, _Amulets and Magic Bowls_: _Aramaic Incantaions of Late Antiquity_ [_Amulets_] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1985).
/169/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 228.
/170/ Morgan, "Introduction," pp. 10-11; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 349, 353.
/171/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 228; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, pp. 17-18; Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 347, 349; "One may define the Jewish magician as a scholar by vocation, a practitioner of the mystical-magical arts by avocation. Every mystic, properly trained, could practice magic as a side-line." Trachtenberg, _Magic_, p. 17.
/172/ "Abodah Zarah," _Babylonian Talmud_, p. 4b.
/173/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, pp. 225-26, 228.
/174/ Solomon was also an astrologer in rabbinic tradition. See Wchter, "Astrologie," pp. 184-85, and the works cited there.
/175/ Sepher ha-Razim, 1.15-30 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 18-19. This introduction is also found with other magical works, but it is still a good survey of the goals of Sepher ha-Razim. Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 227.
/176/ Sch rer, _History_, III, pp. 347; W. M. Feldman, _Rabbinical Mathematics and Astronomy, with an Appendix on Rabbinic Metrology_ (3rd, corrected edition; New York: Sepher- Hermon Press, 1978), p. 212.
/177/ Sepher ha-Razim, 1: 1-10 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 21; Morgan,"Introduction," p. 6; Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 936.
/178/ The remaining firmaments are not named.
/179/ Sepher ha-Razim, 2.1-185 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 43-59; Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 936.
/180/ Sepher ha-Razim, 3 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 61-65.
/181/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 6; Sepher ha-Razim, 4 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 67-72. Compare _Pirk_, chapter 6 = Friedlander, p. 40, where the Sun also rides a chariot drawn by angels.
/182/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 7; Sepher ha-Razim, 5.10-15 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 73.
/183/ Sepher ha-Razim, 5.10-15 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 73-74.
/184/ Sepher ha-Razim, 7 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 81-86; Sch rer _History_, III, p. 347.
/185/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 7.
/186/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 9; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 347.
/187/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 9; Sepher ha-Razim, 1.106 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 31.
/188/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 9; Sepher ha-Razim, 2.160-65 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 36-37. Cf. Leviticus 6: 26-27.
/189/ Sepher ha-Razim, 6.35-40 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 80; Charlesworth, "Interest," p. 937.
/190/ Aphrodite, Sepher ha-Razim, 1.125, = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 33; Hermes, as _kriophros_, or "ram-bearer," _Sepher ha- Razim_, 1.179 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 38; Helios, _Sepher ha- Razim_, 4.60 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 71. The Greek names are transliterated into Hebrew letters in each case.
/191/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 9.
/192/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 225; Morgan, "Introduction, p. 9; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, p. 12; Sch rer _History_, III, pp. 345, 348.
/193/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 9.
/194/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 8; Montgomery, _Incantation__ Texts_, pp. 13-116, passim, especially, pp. 26-33, 95-101, 106-16; Naveh and Shaked, _Amulets_, pp. 17-19.
/195/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, p. 229; Niggemeyer, _Geheimnisse_, pp. 77-78; Sch rer, _History_, III, p. 347.
/196/ Gruenwald, _Merkavah_, pp. 229, 231.
/197/ Sch rer _History_, III, p. 346.
/198/ Gruenwald, _M__erkavah_, pp. 230-31.
/199/ Morgan, _Mysteries_, pp. 32-35.
/200/ Ibid., p. 56.
/201/ Sepher ha-Razim, 4.40 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 70.
/202/ Ibid., 4.30-40 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 69.
/203/ Up to this point the prayer is Greek transliterated into Hebrew letters. See Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 71, n. 21 and Margalioth, _Sepher_, p. 12, for re-transliterations back into Greek letters.
/204/ Sepher ha-Razim, 4.60-65 = Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 71.
/205/ Morgan, _Mysteries_, p. 72, n. 23; Johann Maier, "Die Sonne im religisen Denken des antiken Judentums," in W. Haase and H. Temporini, eds., _ANRW_ II.19.1 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1979), p. 380. Maier's entire article, pp. 346-412, should be consulted.
/206/ We do find a similar idea in _Pirk_, chapter 6 = Friedlander, p. 40, where we are told that "the sun has three letters of (God's) Name written upon his heart...." We are not told what the letters are, but it is tempting to speculate that they are , _yhw_, or Yaho. The Greek version of this name, # , _Iao_, is extremely common in Greek magic, especially amulets.
/207/ For the cult of the sun-god on the later Roman Empire, see Gaston H. Halsberghe, _The Cult of Sol Invictus_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972).
/208/ Morgan, "Introduction," p. 11.