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Daniel Beyarin

٢ ٥ »/ £ ٨٠ ^ ١١ Can Teach Us ab eu t Jesus

١٨diesem Aufsatz verttete ich die Aufiassung, dass die Bilderreden des Nen©cb ‫© ة‬-
^erst de^eutsam für die Interpretaren des Menscbens©bn$ in den Evangelien sind,
v.a. angesichts der sehr plausiblen Annahme, dass der Text etwa zeitgleich ed er
wenig s p ^ e r als das Markusevangelium entstanden ist. In den Bilderreden ist eine
klare Entwicklungslinie der M en sch en s^ n fig u rzu sehen, beruhend auf einem Mi-
drasch ٧٠٨Daniel 7,was die These einer su c h e n E ntw icklungim ^dentum derE van-
gelien und vielleicht auch dem Jesu n©cb plausibler macht. y‫؛‬ele der Elemente, die
schließlich ^bdst©l©g‫؛‬e charakterisieren werden, sind bereits ‫؛‬٨ nuce ‫؛‬٨ den Bilder-
reden (als© innerhalb eines nicht-christlichen Judentum s) v o h an d e n , u.a. eine gött-
lich-menschliche Erlöserfigur, die mit dem Menschens©hn identifiziert wird.

Keywords: $٠٨ ©f Man, En©ch, Christ©l©gy- ^©spels, Daniel 7, m id ra s h

One ofthe most contested questions in 1‫ أة‬o^Hew Testament research and

commentary is the sogenannte “Son o f Man” problem. As with many such
issues, some clarity can be introduced by separating out different parts of
the issue. Much ofthe confusion in the held has been generated, 1 believe,
by “The Quest ofthe Historical Jesus”, where a lot ofthe problem ends up
consisting o f arguments about what Jesus could have said or couldn’t have
said (always completely circular arguments) and the like. Once we bracket
these questions entirely, which are not, in any case, properly the subject of
the study ofthe Gospels, then the question becomes much simpler. As Joel
Marcus has put it: “the meaning o f son o f man’ in the mouth ofthe his-
torical Jesus may be an insoluble problem. Its meaning in Mark, however,
is easier to track down.”*That is my modest goal. The meaning in Mark is
decidedly not conditioned by any questions o fth e historical Jesus ٠٢ of
source criticism or o f any ofthe other ways that so much Hew Testament
scholarship finds to avoid interpreting the text. Once we reframe the ques-
tion as a philological, literary-historical one and not a theological ٠٢ psy-
chological one, the task is more straightforward. In this essay, I wish to

! ٠Marcus, ‫ﺀ آ س‬l-8 :A N e w Translation with Introduction and Commentary (NewYork

20‫ ﻣﻢ‬531(.

E a r tG r i s t ‫؛‬an ‫؛‬ty ^ 2 M ti,5 1 -7 6 ISSN 1868-7032 ©2011M©hrS ‫؛‬ebeck

52 Daniel B©yar‫؛‬n

make a c o n tr ib u tif to the history o f the term “Son of Man” that illumi-
nates its usage in, at least, the Gospel o f Mark.
It isw eh k ^ w n th a tth e Christological use ofthe term “the Son ofM an”
as a name for a specific figure is unintelligible in Hebrew and Aramaic,
where it just means ‘the human being‫‘ ؛‬the man*. It only makes sense if
it is an allusion to a specific, known “Son o f Man”. In Greek it is even
more inexplicable. Referring to an individual as “The Son ofM an” - ana-
logous to referring toaparticular individual a s“The Man” -h as, therefore,
to be explained historically and philologically. In Daniel 7, on the other
hand, the term is used perfectly idiomatically, since the divine being is
called “Gne Like a Son of Man”, i.e., appearing in the form of a
human. The question to be addressed is what is fire relation between
fire perfectly intelligible usage o fth e term “Gne Like a Son ofM an ” in
the biblical text and the synchronically impossible term “The Son of
Man” in the Gospels. Explaining the unintelligible bythe intelligible, I sug-
gest that a usage such as that of Jesus, referring to himself in both the Syn-
optics and the Fourth Gospel as “The Son o f Man” only makes sense if
“The Son o f Man” is a known figure already in the discursive world of
the Gospels. Accordingly, I opine that all such usages must be an allusion
- direct or indirect - to Daniel 7, in which the seer sees two divine figures,
one an Ancient ofDays and the other “/ike a human being”. This figure of
“One Like a Son ofM an ” must have been transformed nominally in foe
intervening centuries into (foe same) figure referred to as “The Son of
Man”. This point has already been made with verve and precision by
foe great Jewish theologian and scholar o fth e last century, Leo Baeck,
who wrote: “Whenever in later works ‘that Son o f Man,’ ‘fois Son of
Man,’ or ‘foe Son of Man’ is mentioned, it is foe quotation from Daniel
ttat is speaking.”^
This figure, seen by Daniel in his vision, and understood as a second
divine person and redeemer takes on a life of his own as “foe Son of
Man” until by the time ofthe Gospel writers, foe term Son ofMan is simply
another name for the Redeemer, second person, or even junior divinity
(foe Son) who is identified with Jesus o f Nazareth, or, more precisely,
with whom Jesus o f Nazareth identifies himself. My contention, therefore,
is that every time “The Son o f Man” appears in post-Danielic Jewish lit-
erature (including foe Gospels), it is always a direct or indirect allusion

2 L. Baeck, Judaism and Christianity: Essays (?hiladelphia 1958) 28-29.

How Enoch ^٨ Teach Us about 53

to the usage o f Dantel 7.31 thus disagree directly with such scholars as Erik
Sjöberg, who in a classic study argued that it is impossible to see the Son of
Man figure as deriving from Daniel, and with Sigmund Mowinckel’s clas-
sic He That Cometh also.* The question is how did a simile ‘O n e like a Son
o f Man” become a redeemer, “The Son ofM an”; how did a figure of speech
become the name for a divine entity? The key to unlocking this mystery is
to be found, in m yview, in foe A p o c a r s e that we know of as foe second
book of 1 Enoch, the Parables ofEnoch (also known as the Similitudes ٠/
Enoch), for it is there and there alone thatwecan actually observe the proc-
ess of the Danielic ‘O n e Like a Son ofM an” being transformed into “The
Son ofM an”. In contrast to much past scholarship on fois question, 1 do
not suggest in any way that foe Parables ofE noch are a source for or in-
fluenced foe Gospels in any way.3 They are most likely to have been com-
posed at aboutthe same time, give or take ‫ة‬fewyears, as Mark, %s both texts
are currently dated. Moreover, it is n e a r l^ p o s s ib le to understand how a
tradition for which Enoch (a mythical figure from foe past) is foe Son of
Man, Messiah, Redeemer would have so easily been transformed into a
tradition in which Jesus (a historical figure from foe present) is.6 What
Enoch teaches us about Jesus has nothing to do then with foe Gospels
drawing on Enoch but rather it shows us how other Jews - not the followers
of Jesus - had read and reread Daniel 7, suggesting foe plausibility o f the
goupfoatform ed around Jesus having also read Daniel 7 in a similar way,
albeit identifying it with Jesus and not Enoch.

3 The most important monographic writers on the Son ofM an in the Ethiopie Enoch re-
main E. Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn im äthiopischen Henochbuch (Lund 946 ‫ ;)ل‬S.O.P.
Mowinckel, He That Cometh: TheMessiah Concept in the Old TestamentandLaterJuda-
ism (trans. G.W. Anderson; Oxford 420- 358 (956 ‫ ;ل‬M. Black, “The Eschatology of the
Simiiitudes of Enoch”, JTS 3 (1953) 1-10; c . Coipe, ،Ό υιός τοϋ ανθρώπου”, TDNT
8.400-477. See now too the important essays collected in G. Boccaccini and J.V. Ehren-
krook (eds), Enoch and the Messiah Son ofMan: Revisiting the Book ofParables (Grand
Rapids 2007), and the very important S-R- Scott, “The Binitarian Nature of the Book of
Similitudes”, JSP 18 (2008) 55-78.
4 Sjöberg, Menschensohn (see n. 3), 190‫ ؛‬Mowinckel, He That Cometh (see n. 3), 349,353.
5 My approach, however, is very close to that ofA. Yarbro Collins, “The Influence ofDaniel
on the New Testament”, in J.J. Collins, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book ofDaniel
(Hermeneia; Minneapolis 1993) 90-112, here 95 n. 2.
6 But see A. Yarhro Collins and J.J. Collins, King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine,
Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature (Grand Rapids
2008) 87 for the possibility that one passage in Matthew is dependent on the Parables.
54 Daniel Boyarín

٠The $٠
١ ٠٨
‫؛‬ Man ‫؛‬٨{he Parable$ of Enoch

In the Parables ofEnoch, a Jewish writer o f sometime in the first century

BCE/CE (but more likely the latter)^ makes extensive use o f the term “Son
o f Man” to refer to a particular divine human, redeemer figure incarnated
in the figure ofEnoch.8 This is a text, either originally written by a Jew or
Jews in either Hebrew or Aramaic sometime in the first century and trans-
lated into Greek in some form o fa Greek Bible, or, alternatively originally
written in Greek,* and only known to us from a late-ancient translation
into Ethiopie. While some parts o f the text o f 1 Enoch as a whole are
known from other sources (either Aramaic ones ٠٢ Greek), the Parables
have only survived in the Ethiopie version. Their provenance (at the
level of generality in which 1 have given it) seems relatively secure.

١٠The Parting of th e Way$ Between Enoch and Qumran

Pierluigi Piovanelli uses rhetorical analysis “in order to reconstruct the
profile o f the implied audience and community” o f the Parables of
Enoch and compellingly argues that the producers of this document
did not belong to an embattled and oppressed sect but identified them-
selves, in fact, in some important sense with Israel as a whole. His inter-
pretative assumption is that the “kings and the mighty” who are the de-
Hared enemies o f the author(s) o f the Parables are gentile (probably
Roman) rulers/°

7 For the formerly held position, see Black, “Fschatology” (see n . ‫ر لو‬, . For foe latest and
generally accepted position now, see essays in Boccaccini and Ehrenkrook (eds), Enoch
(see n. 3), 415-498, especially D. Suter, “Enoch in Sheol: Updating foe Dating of the
Farables ofEnoch”, in Enoch (see n. 3), 415-433.
8 “Wecertainly find blurring ofthe lines betweenhumanmessiah and heavenly orangelic
deliverer in foe Son ofM an tradition”, Yarbro Collins and Collins, King (see n. 5), 85-
8b. It is ofthe Farables that foe Collins’s are speaking.
9 J.T. Milik, “Froblèmes de la littérature h é n o c h iq u e ‫ف‬la lumière des fragments araméens
de Qumrân”, HTR 64 (1971) 333-378 argued that foe Similitudes are a Creek text writ-
ten later than foe original Aramaic texts ofthe rest o fl Enoch in response to foe trans-
lation of these into Greek. This strikes me as a not-implausible theory, one that would
explain, moreover, foe transfer of “Son of Man” from an ordinary Semitic “human
being” to a strange, numinous, and wonderfhl title. On foe other hand, his notion
that they are a late, Christian composition in foe wake of foe Gospels, can simply
not be maintained. See J.C. Greenfield and M.E. Stone, “The Enochic Fentateuch
and foe Date of foe Similitudes”, HTR 70 (1977) 51-65, esp. 57. See also ibid., 61 for
strong arguments in favor of an Ethiopie text translated directly from Aramaic, of
which notion I remain somewhat skeptical.
10 P. Fiovanelli, “A Testimony for foe Kings and Mighty Who Fossess foe Earth’: The
Thirst for Justice and Feace in foe Farables ofEnoch”, in Enoch (see n. 3), 363-379. Gre-
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 55

Piovanelli has argu€d, compellingly in myview, that there was an enor-

mous shift within the Enoeh tradition between the earlier parts o f 1 Enoeh
and the Parables,acouple o f centuries later, ashift in which the latter, while
retaining the basic outlines o f Enochian theology and developing them
ftrrther, has entirely dropped the sectarian stance. No longer a marginal
group protesting against the mainstream Jewish leadership, the author(s)
o f the Parables see themselves as part o f Kelal Yisrael (the larger Commu-
nity o f Israel), and their enemies ٠٢ opposers are the Romans, not other
Jews. An absolute opposition, then, between mainstream and backwaters
cannot be maintained. We can tentatively, therefore, hypothesize that re-
ligious ideas that are present in this text may have been more widespread
and thus partofthe religious environment in which the Gospels were pro-
ducedasw ell.
Piovanelh’s observations on the relatively nonsectarian (or non-sect-
like) character o f the Parables suggest, in fact, a disjunction between
them and Qumran, as there may be no doubt but that the Qumran com-
munity is so^ologically akind o f sect. As Gabriele Boccaccini has written,
at Qumran, we find “the first example o f an underground trend ofthought
that would often resurface in the history o f Christianity and Rabbinic
Judaism. The outside world is the realm o f Belial ... The one who does
not join the community win not become clean by the acts o f atonement,
nor shall he be purified by the cleansing waters, nor shall he be made holy
bythe seas or rivers,‫ةﻓﺲ‬ 1‫ ل‬he be purified by all the water ofablutions’”^.
Aharon Shemesh has, moreover, argued in two closely-reasoned articles
that from a halakhic standpoint, the members ofthe Qumran community
understood themselves as Israel and all others, including other Israelites,
as Gentiles.12 This is, o f course, consistent with other aspects ofthe ideol-
ogy ofthe sectarian scrolls which seem to imply such an identification of
the Community with Israel tout court.13 Indeed, Albert Baumgarten has
proposed that this is the very definition ofjew ish sectarianism: “Ancient
Jewish sectarians... turned the means of marking separation normally ap­

enfield and Stone, “Enochic ?entateuch” (see n . 57 - 56, ( argue

‫و‬ that it is a sectarian
work but I find toe arguments of ?iovanelli persuasive.
1٦ G. Boccaccini, Beyond theEssene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways Between Qumran
and Enochic Judaism (Grand Rapids 1998) 67.
12 A. Shemesh, “The Origins of toe Laws o f Separatism: Qumran Literature and Rabbinic
Halacha”, RevQ 18 (1997) 223-241; id., “‘The One Who Divides Between toe Children
of Light and toe Children of Darkness, Between Israel and toe Nations’”, in Atara
VHaim: Studies in the Talmud and Medieval Rabbinic Literature in Honor ofProfessor
Haim Zalman Dimitrovsky (Hebrew; ed. D. Boyarin et al.; Jerusalem 200220 - 209 ‫ ه‬. (
13 Boccaccini, Beyond (see n. 11), 66.
56 Daniel G yarin

plied against non-Jews against those otherwise regarded as fellow Jews, as

a way of protesting against those Jews, and/or against Jewish society at
large. As a result ofthese actions all Jews were no longer on the same foot-
ing: sectarian Jews treated other Jews as outsiders o fa new sort.”14 At the
same time, however, Baumgarten makes clear that there were significant
differences in this respect between the “introvertionist” and “greedy”
^ m r a n ite sectarianism which allowed virtually no value at all to any
other form o f Judaism and the “reformist” sects o f the Pharisees and
Sadducees. The latter “hold hopes o f reforming the larger society, and
have not given up on it or renounced it totally, still perceiving themselves
as members o f the whole”, while the “introvertionist sort of sect, by con-
trast, has so finally rejected the institutions o f the society as a whole as to
turn in on itself completely, and to rank those outside its bounds as irre-
deemable”.15 As M.D. Herr has written, “Rabbinic thought projects a def-
inite attitude regarding continuum and continuity in the chain o f Torah
transmission. In direct contrast to this approach the writings of the
Head Sea Sect (Damascus Document V.2) contend that the Torah was
^ tk n o w n a ta llfro m the era ofthe Judges until the end ofthe First Temple
period. Even after the destruction, they maintain, the Torah was not realty
understood until the founding ofth e sect”^.
As has been frequently pointed out, the sociological situation o fth e
Qumran group answers precisely to the description of a sect in the
sense ofa group that has broken off from the main part ofa religious com-
munity in search o f greater purity or stringency. In a sense the rhetoric o f
Qumran in this respect is similar to that ofthe Fourth Gospel. Indeed, fol-
lowing Gabriele Boccaccini, it seems more attractive to find the roots of
supersessionism, Veruslsraely rather than the roots ofheresiologyin Qum-
ran. This point comes out very clearly in another discussion by Shemesh.^
Certain members ofth e House o f Israel have been, owing to their right-
eousness vouchsafed additional revelation, and they - the Dead Sea com-
munity - now constitute Israel. The structure is, then, seemingly analo-
gous to Pauline thought, whereby a new revelation has taken place and,
whether voluntarily or involun^rity, only some o f Israel have heard it.

14 A.I. Baumgarten, The Flourishing ofjewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpreta-
tion (JSJ.Sup 55; Leiden and New York 1997) 9, emphasis original.
15 Baumgarten, Flourishing (see n. 14), 12-13.
16 M.D. Herr, “Continuum in the Chain of Torah Transmission”, Zion 44 (1979) 43-56,
x-xi, in Hebrew with English summary.
17 A. Shemesh, “Expulsion and Exclusion in the Community Rule and the Damascus Doc-
ument”, DSD 9 (274 - 44 ‫ ﻢ‬.‫( ﻣ‬2
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 57

and these constitute a New Israel, ?iovanelli, on the other hand, convinces
at least this reader that the Parables o f Enoch are not the product of a sect,
that indeed they show none o f the signs o f the particular apocalyptic im-
agery that characterize such gropps, that rather the Parabolists, if I may
coin yet another term, speak for ‫ כ ל ל ישראל‬, the general “community of
Israel” against a common outside oppressor, the Romans, o f course. As
he concludes, “the intended audience to whom the Book of Parables ad-
dresses its message o f solace and hope is but the ensemble of the Jewish
People fallen under the domination o f a new and merciless dynasty”.*®
Whether or not we need speak o f a fall-blown parting o f the ways, it
seems nevertheless compellingly the case that Qumranic sectarianism
and the ethos behind The Parables of Enoch represent distinct forms of
Jewish religious imagination and distinctly different types of community.
It becomes even less plausible than previously thought to seek to date the
Parables on the basis o f their absence from the Enoch o f Qumran.

2. The Parable5 a n d the Gospels

According to my view, the best way to interpret early Christianity (and by
fais I mean ante-Nicene Christianity) is as a form o f Judaism, in some ways
as a more conservative form than rabbinic Judaism. This view can be in
some way supported by analysis o f the Parables o f Enoch, for in the Par-
ables we find the “Son ofM an” as a redeemer figure without reference to
any particular Christian context. This suggests that the Son ofM an as a
divine human redeemer figure was current in the Judaism into which
Jesus was born. This is especially cogent given Piovanelli’s argument
that this text was notthe product o f an isolated sect but part ofam ore gen-
eral Jewish world o f thought and writing. We will learn, moreover, from
the Parables just how the transition had taken place from a simile, a divine
figure “Eike a Son ofM an”, to a divine-human figure named “The Son of

18 Piovanelli, “Testimony” (see n. 10), 374.

58 Daniel Boyarín

)١٠The P a b l e s as a ‫و ه‬3‫ﺀ؛‬
‫ ا‬Midrash

A key pieee o f evidence for this suggestion is provided by Parables chapter

46.19In this chapter we are provided with the following vision of Enoch the
visionary speaker:
Therelsaw enew h© hadahead ©fdays,^ and his head w^s like white wool. And with him
was anothe!‫־‬, whose face was like the appearance ©fa man; and his face was full ©fgra-
ciousness like one ©fthe h©ly angels. And I asked the angel ©٤peace, wh© went with me
and sh©wed ^ e all the hidden things, ab©ut ‫ ا س‬son o fm a n -w h o he was and whence he
was (and)w hyhew entw iththe Head ©f Days. And he answered me and ‫© ا‬m e,‘T his
is the s©n o f man who has righte©usness ...”

It is necessary to pay close attention to the movement ofthis short but ab-
solutely crucial text, for it enables us to see in microcosm the way that the
simile becomes a Redeemer. We can observe three syntactically and se-
mantically differing usages o f the term and concept, “Son o f Man”, in
tire space o f three sentences. The first two sentences are simply a gloss,
or even midrash, on our Daniel text, 7:9, 10, 13. There are here, just as
in Daniel and in almost the same wording, two divine figures, one
again who is ancient and one who has theappearance ofam an, the appear-
ance o f a “son o f man”, a young man, according to my hypothesis. Enoch
feels a necessity to understand this appearance. It is clear that he knows
exactly who the “Head o f Days” is but wonders who is that Son o f Man.
There is dramatic irony here. Although Enoch does not know tire Son
o f Man, we, on the other hand, know precisely what Son o f Man we are
talking about, the one who comes, in Daniel, with the Ancient o f Days
ofthe s n o ^ beard and two thrones as well.^ This passage is thus a virtual
m idrash,^onw . 9 -1 0 ,1 3 1 4 0‫־־‬fD aniel7.^T he demonstrative is thus firlly

19 G .w .£. Nickelsburg and J.C. VanderKam (trans. and eds), ‫ل‬Enoch: A New Translation:
Based ٠« the Hermeneia commentary (Minneap©lis 2004) 59-60.
20 It is not clear to me h©w the Aramaic ‫ עתיק יומין‬, something like Ancient ofDays, yields
“head of days”, but this is immaterial for the present case. For different s©luti©ns ©‫ ؛‬this
problem, see M. black in collaboration with J.C. VanderKam and ‫ ه‬. Neugebauer, The
Booh ofEnoch, orlEnoch: A New English Edition with Commentary and Textual Notes.
With ٠« Appendix ٠« the Astronomical’ Chapters (72-82) (SVTF 7; Leiden 1985) 192.
21 In its very attempts t© deny the Son ofMan, rabbinic literature maintains the close ،©‫־‬١١
necti©ns ofthat figure with the Daniel midrash.
22 Black, “The Eschatology” (see n. 3), 3. In my opinion, this clear dependence, as well as
the clear instances In the G©spels where “Son ofM an” is used in an explicitly Danielic
c©ntext (viz Mark 14:62 etc.) ©bviate a statement such as Hare’s, “We begin with the
candid ackn©wledgment that in fact we do not know what Semitic phrase, if any, lay be-
hind ho huios tou a n th rö p o u \D.R.A. Hare, The Son ofM an Tradition (Minneapolis
1990) 26.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 59

explained by the pragmatie context.24 ^ ote that in Enoch’s speech, in the

space o f one verse, one like in appearance to a so n ofm an (ahúman being)
has already been transformed in a son ofm an, and thence into The Son of
Man. The Son ofM anisclearlyadivine figure in this reading ofDaniel and
not a symbol o f the Maccabean martyrs as the end o f chapter 7 ofD aniel
claims. This clear citation o f Daniel 7 ignoring the interpretation at the
end of the chapter demonstrates one o f two points (either o f which
strengthen my argument here): Either the first part ofD aniel 7 circulated
independently ofthe second half o f the chapter or it was possible for later
tradents/authors to ignore that interpretation and essentially disagree
with it (as, 1 suggest, the Gospels do).
To recapitulate this important point, although perhaps Son ofM an is
not yet fully a title as in the Gospels, it has already embarked on that se-
mantic (and hence religious) journey, for it is no longer one like a son of
man of whom Enoch asks, but a son o f man himself. Ey the next verse,
however, we find already the angel using the term in a fully technical
sense; this is the son o f man.25 We can thus observe the actual linguis-
tic/literary means by which Daniel’s “One like a Son o f Man” is trans-
formed into the titular “Son o f Man”. Eirst he is referred to as “that Son
o f Man”, i.e., that figure who is like unto a human being, and then
once having been named as that Son o f Man, the transfer to the Son of
Man follows as night does the day. An entire semantic and historical proc-
ess is thus encapsulated in three verses. In accordance with the method-
ology that 1 adopt throughout, 1 take this little narrative as an analogue for,
or even as evidence for,the historical processes thatw eretogiveus the Son
of Man as a title in the Israelite/Jewish religion ofth e time.2^

23 The literary dependence was already seen clearly by M. Noth, “Zur Knmposition des
Buches Daniel”, Theologische Studien und Kritiken 98/99 (1926) 143-163, esp. 148,
but once again. On the other hand, as 1 have already remarked above, this dependence
certainly suggests that the author ofthe ?arables, as a reader ofDaniel 7, felt empowered
in one way or another to read the Two Throne apocalypse as a separate literary entity
from the apocalypse ofthe four beasts and also independently of its peser in the second
half of Daniel 7■
24 This observation vitiates the arguments ofM. Casey, “The Use ofthe Term ‘Son ofM an’
m theSim úitudesofEnochny JS J7(1976)ll-29;iá.t SonofMan:TheInterpretationand
Influence ofDaniel 7 (London 1979) ‫ل‬0‫ ﻣﻢ‬And see blare. Son (see n. 22), 165, depending
on Casey.
25 Colpe does agree that the variants ofthe Ethiopie terminology do not preclude seeing a
“single Son of Man tradition”, Colpe,‘‫ ه״‬υιός τού ανθρώπου” (see η. 3), 424.
26 1 wish to suggest very tentatively, moreover, that the most likely venue for such a tran-
sition to have taken place is a Creek translation milieu where the term “Son of Man”
(from Daniel) would stand out as linguistically odd and thus of special significance
which it would not do necessarily in Aramaic. Note that this answers completely Ver~
60 Daniel Boyarín

The text goes on to describe the messianic and other activities and traits
o f the Son ofM an, activities and traits that draw, as we shall see, from sev-
eral aspects ofbiblical tradition, and which are familiar from the figure of
Jesus as well.^ This Son ofM an text is, however, typologically earlier than
the Gospels in that the close connection with the exegetical source in Dan-
iel is maintained throughout.^ Let me make clear what 1 mean by this by
citing another clear and well known example: In the canonical hook of
Revelation 1:12-14, we read: “Then 1 turned to see the voice that was
speaking to me, and on turning 1 saw seven golden lampstands, and in
the midst o f the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long
robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair
were as white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame
offire.” Note that for the writer ofRevelation, as in the book ofD aniel it-
self, “One Like a Son ofM an” is merely a simile, a figure of speech to in-
dicate the countenance ofa divine figure. The hook of Revelation is almost
certainly chronologically later than the canonical Gospels, but in its use of
the Daniel passage here, it is closer to the original, much closer than any of

mes’argument that since the Aramaic term nowhere appears as a title in that language, it
couldn’t have been one, G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew: A Historians Reading ofthe Gospels
(New York 1974) 168. IfG u t^ D alm an is correct and the form would never have been
used in ordinary Aramaic in foe definitive but only in foe absolute, then foe occurrence
of “the son of man” in Aramaic would have been sufficient to call attention to its special
meaning, as well G. Dalman, The Words ofjesus: Considered in the Light ofPost-Biblical
JewishWritingsandtheAramaicLanguage(trdLns.DM.Kay;Edinburghl909) 256-257.
Note how strongly Dalman’s intuition is confirmed through close study ofthe Aramaic
of Qumran by p. Owen and D. Shepherd, “Speaking up for Qumran, Dalman and foe
Son ofMan : Was Bar Enasha a Common Term for ‘Man’ in foe Time ofjesus”, JSNT 81
(2001) 81-122, esp. 107-116.1 must comment, however, that 1 find their discussion of
foe usage in foe Sefire inscription (pp. 116-118) flawed; 1 have no doubt that it means
there “in one o f foe ways that a person dies”, and thus is an early attestation ofthe form
that we find in later Palestinian Aramaic.
27 “Whether the Son ofMan is identified with Enoch or not, the Parables attest to a remark-
able development ofmessianic tradition, insofar as foe word ‘messiah’ is used unambig-
uously with reference to a heavenlyjudge. The Son ofMan is not called ‘son ofGod,’ but
his appearance is ‘like one ofth e holy angels,’ and his enthronement indicates a rank
higher than that of any angel”, Yarbro Collins and Collins, King (see n. 6), 94. See
too their argument on foe following page (96) that also in 4 Ezra 15, “The reinterpre-
tation of this figure [foe Son ofMan] involves associating motifs traditionally attached
to foe Davidic messiah with foe transcendent figure who comes on foe clouds”.
28 This consideration refutes absolutely, according to my opinion, any suggestion that the
Parables is written in response to foe Gospels, as maintained by Milik. Rather, it is com-
patible with foe position ofM . Black, “The Throne - Theophany, Prophetic Commis-
sion, and foe ‘Son of Man’”, in Jews, Greeks, and Christians: Religious Cultures in late
Antiquity: Essays in Honor ofW .D. Davies (ed. R.G. Hamerton-Kelly and R. Scroggs;
SJLA 21; Leiden 1976) 57-73, esp. 65-67. See too Black, “The Throne” (see above), 72.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 61

the Gospels £٠٢ whom the Son o f Man Is already a title in and 0 £ itself and
not a simile. The ?arables o f Enoch, roughly contemporaneous with the
Gospels and a little earlier than Revelation, falls somewhere in between
Daniel and Revelation on the one hand and the Gospels on the other in
its use of this epithet. Thus, while 1 find it highly doubtful that the text
o f The Parables o f Enoch had any effect on the Gospels, we can observe
in it the hermeneutical and theological historical processes that must
have taken place (in my opinion) in order for The Son ofM an to become
the Christological title that it is in the Gospels.
The most significant point about Parables 46, accordingly, is the fact
that we can literally observe the term “Son ofM an” becoming a Christo-
logical title here, arising on its clouds from the Book ofD aniel and taking
independent terminological flight. The major exegetical work to demon-
strate that this chapter is constructed as a midrash on Dan 7:13-14 has
been done by Lars Hartman, who shows carefidiy how many biblical vers-
es and echoes there are in the chapter.^ Hartman remarks that there are
not only verbal allusions to the Daniel passage but that “In so far as the
secrets are explained by the visionary questioning an angel (46,2), the nar-
rative technique is also linked with the same passage in Daniel”^. Enoch’s
angel, however, contradicts Daniels own. While Daniels angel explains
that the Son ofM an isasym bolfor tire HolyG nes oflsrael (the Maccabean
martyrs), Enochs angel explains the Son ofM an as a righteous divine fig-
ure. Chapter 46 o f the Parables is thus an excellent example of the type of
early midrash known as rewritten Bible, adopting both the form and con-
tent o f the biblical text but jigging it id e o lo ^ ^ ^ th e o lo g ic a lly in the di-
r e c t io ^ f the later author’s thought.
Thus by referring to the Enoch text as typologically between Daniel it-
self and the Gospels, I am suggesting that the midrashic underpinnings of
the idea of tire Son ofM an as the name for the redeemer from heaven are
much more evident in Enoch than in the Gospels. However, also equally
palpable is the transition that “Son ofM an” is undergoing in Enoch from
midrash to proper name for the Messiah. In the Gospels, this figure is al-
ready free o f his exegetical moorings and sailing on his own,although to be
sure, we can see at least the vestiges o f the midrashic practice taking place

29 L. Hartman, Prophecy Interpreted (Cnnjectanea Biblica. N w Testament Series 1; Lund

1966) 118-126. My discussinn in this and the next paragraph draws on his, so 1will fore-
go a series of spécifié references. In any case, 1 can only summarize his detailed and im-
pressive argument.
30 Hartman, Prophecy (see n. 29), 119.
62 Daniel Boyarín

within ti3c Gospel tradition as well.31 This does not, 1 reiterate, constitute a
claim that the Parables of£n och are earlier chronologically than the Gos-
pels, nor certainly that they influenced the Gospels. It does, however, en-
able me to hypothesize a very widespread development ofthe figure orig-
inally lcnown as one like a human being and still appearing as such in the
Parables but clearly in transition into tire so-entitled Son ofM an, with the
Gospel representing another, “later” typological - 1 repeat, not necessarily
chronological - moment in the development of this form of redeemer
myth. Since, as 1 have already said, there is not the slightest reason to con-
sider the Parables ofEnoch a Christian text, as opposed to a Jewish one, 1
think we haveprim afacie grounds for a hypothesis of Son ofM an spirit-
ualityas b e i^ a w id e s ^ e a d fo r m o ^ w is h belief at tire end ofthe Second-
Temple period.^

»١٠ First Throne to th e Right: W here th e Exalted Ruler M eets

th e Second God

It is crucial for this analysis to remember that in the main body ofthe Par-
ables, Enoch is not the Son ofM an. This is e ^ ta tic a lly the case, since in
chapter 46 that we havejust read and throughout, he is the one who reveals
tire description o fth e Son o f Man as the eschatalogical redeemer and,
therefore, cannot be identical with him.” In the end, however, in chapters
70 and 71, Enoch becomes the Son o f Man.34
In these chapters we have a remarkable exaltation scene. In chapter 70,
we are told ofEnoch in the third person:

31 “According to myinterpretation,Markl4:62, with its allusions to OldTestamenttexts,

actually reflects au earlier state ofthings thau flues Mark 13:26 where the allusions are
tending to drop out and the expectation Is tending to achieve simple categorical state-
ment”, N. ?errin, A M odem Pilgrimage in New Testament Christology (Philadelphia
1974) 59.1 would be less inclined than Perrin apparently is to chronologically literalize
the earlier and later but otherwise agree with this description.
32 Given this, the developments ofthe Son ofMan, through Enoch into Metatron, the one
beside the Throne, are not hard to imagine either. D. Boyarin, “Beyond Judaisms: Meja-
tron and the Divine Polymorphy of Ancient Judaism”, /s/4 1 (July 2010) 323-365.
33 J.R.Davila,“OfMethodology,MonotheismandMetatron:IntroductoryReflectionson
Divine Mediators and the Origins ofthe Worship of Jesus”, in Thejewish Roots ofChris-
tological Monotheism: Papersfrom the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins
ofthe Worship ofjesus (ed. € .€ . Newman et al. ; JSJ.Sup 63 ;Leiden and Boston 1999) 3 -
18, here 9.
34 My reading here ofthe Parables is close to that of M.D. Hooker, The Son ofMan in Mark:
AStudyoftheBackgroundoftheTermaSonofM annandItsUsein StMarksGospel( Mon-
treal 1967) 37-48.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 63

“And it came to pass after this (that), while he was living, his name was lifted from those
who dwell upon the dry ground to the presence o f the Son ofM an ‫ س‬to the presence of
the Lord ofspirits. And he was lifted on the chariots ofthe spirit, and his name vanished
among them.”

But then, without p a u s e , the text shifts into the first person, and we are
told, “and from that day I was not counted among them”. We have here
a midrashic expansion of the famous Enoeh verse from Genesis that
“Enoch walked with God and he was not”.
This transfigured Enoch, however, still seems Son
ofM an himself. In the next chapter, however, the culminating chapter of
the ?arables, that further step is taken. Enoch is shown all ofthe secrets of
the universe and brought to the house ofthe archangels with the Ancient
o f Days among them, and the Ancient of Days comes to Enoch and de-
clares : “You are the Son ofM an who was born to righteousness, andright-
eousness remains over you, and the righteousness ofthe Ancient ofDays
w illnot leave you.” Enoch has been exalted and been firsed with the Son of
Man, the pre-existent divine redeemer or heavenly Messiah.
Sigmund Mowinckel in 1944 argued that it is impossible that Enoch in
the ?arables is, or becomes, the transcendent Son ofMan, since ft is absurd
to imagine a human being identified with the eternal divine Son ofM an
figure.^ In his important 1946 monograph, however, Sjdberg demonstrat-
ed the inadequacy ofM owinckel’s position, albeit with some puzzlement
ofhis own.^ De concludes: “Tatsächlich erhältHenoch in diesem Vers die-
selbe zentrale Stellung in der himmlischen Welt wie sonst der Menschen-
sohn.”37ButSjdberg remains unable to explain the phenomenon. Matthew
Black summed up Sjöberg’s position, and posed the question sharply:
Sjöberg accepts the identification [ofEnoch with the Son ofM an] as an integral part o f
the conception ofth e Son o f man in the Parables (and its more pronounced Jewish fea-
ture),[*®] but is quite ataloss to explain it;he finds it particularly difficult to conceive how
the elevated patriarch could become ،fused>with the pre-existent Messiah.**

35 ‫ﺀ‬.‫ ه‬.? ‫ م‬Mowinckel, “Henok Og ‘Menneskesonnen’”, NTT 45 (1944) 57-69, here 62.
And see too Mowinckel, He That Cometh (see n. 3), 444, where the same position is
36 Sjöberg, Menschensohn (see n. 3), 151-154. In his 1951 (original Norwegian)publica-
tion, Mowinckel continued to maintain hisuntenable position against Sjöberg, Mo-
winckel. He That Cometh (see n. 3 ),44 ‫ م‬- ‫ س‬.
37 Sjöberg, Menschensohn (see η. 3), 153.
38 Sjöberg, Menschensohn (see η. 3), 159, 167.
39 Black, “Eschatology” (seen. 3), 5, alluding, in part, as well to SjöbergyMenschensohn (see
n. 3), 169.
64 Daniel Boyarín

I would like to make, at least, abeginning here at answering that question.

One of the most important o f literary questions to he asked in order to
make an approach to accounting for this fasion is of the relation of 1
Enoch 46 to 1 Enoch 70-71. Some scholars have seen chapters 70-71
with the explicit identification ofEnoch with the Son ofM an as an integral
pari ofthe Parables as a whole and indeed, chapter 71 as the fulfillment of
chapter 46. As Blackhas put it: “at ch. 46 Enoch sees a vision of his destiny:
at 71 he receives his commission to fillfill it.”40 Most scholars, however, see
chapters 70-71 as separate from the rest ofthe Parables and as represent-
ing a different tradition. In distinction from the main body of scholarship,
however, 1 accept that the author ofthe Parables added the later chapters
but would, nevertheless, interpret the work ofthe author of 1 Enoch as we
have it today in incorporating chapters 70-71 together with chapter 46 in
one book and attempt to educe the literacy and religious effect thereof.^ 1
shall propose that this literary merging is an index o f an important move-
ment in Jewish religious thought and one that might very well provide an
answer to Sjöberg’s quest. In the terms rendered most sharply by Moshe
Idel, this movement involves the merger o f “Son o f Man” as apotheosis
and “Son o f Man” as theophany.** And this merger, 1 will suggest here
only lightly, is crucial for understanding Jesus’ Christology as well.
E oh ow i^ Black part ofthe way,Iwould suggest that foe Enoch o f chap-
ter 46 belongs best to Danielic tradition in which the (One Like a) Son of
Man has been understood as foe Messiah, while chapters 70-71 stem from
another tradition in which the O nelikeaSon ofMan, Enoch,was notiden-
tified with foe Messiah so much as a prophet and an exalted human wis-
dom-like revealer o f hidden things. In other words, foe main body ofthe
Parables and that o f chapters 70-71 stem from different traditional inter-
pretations 0fD aniel7and arebeingmerged (on purpose) in the Parables.^
Here, however, is where 1 will depart from Black, who wrote:

40 Black, “£schatology” (see n. 3), 7.

41 Cf. too Sjöbe^‫־‬g, Menschensohn (see n. 3), 24- 4 ‫ل‬.
42 M. Idel, Ben: Sonship andJewishMysticism (Kogod Library o f Judaic Studies 5; London
and New York 2007) 1-7. Earlier and more directly relating to such merger, see id.,
“Metatron: Notes Towards the Development of Myth in Judaism [in Hebrew]”, in
Eshel Beer-Sheva: Occasional Publications in Jewish Studies (Beer-sheva, Israel
1996) 29-44.
43 I am fully persuaded by the argument ofD . Olson, “Enoch and the Son ofM an in the
Epilogue ofthe Parables”, JSP 18 (1998) 27-38, here 33, that chapter 70 also originally
identified Enoch with the Son ofMan. His article is exemplary philology in that it sup-
ports one variant of a manuscript tradition and then explains compellingly why that
reading had been changed in other branches ofthe paradosis.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 65

If, however, there is any appendage to the original Enoeh tradition, it may well he c h s37-
69: chs 7‫ ه‬7-‫ل‬, I suggest, form an original constituent part o f 1 Enoch, out o f which foe
Similitudes have grown, by a rewriting o f the Enoch legend in support o fa doctrine o fa
supernatural Messiah, foreign to foe original conception o f 1 Enoch.^

In his commentary on 1 Enoch written some thirty years after that article,
Black maintained substantially foe same position, having in foe meantime
further defended his thesis in another article.^ In foe commentary, Black
writes again that foe Throne-vision apocalypse o f chapters 70-71 is a sep-
arate text which draws independently on Daniel as well as on 1 Enoch 14-
15, so that “What we have is, in fact, another developed Throne-vision
a p o c a r s e , but in fois case foe commissioning o f the Prophet Enoch is
his designation as ‘foe Man who is born for righteousness’‫״‬. Black goes
on to cite a particular passage from chapter 71 and convincingly show
that it, too, is drawing on Daniel, inferring that “fois vision is certainly
post-Daniel, and could ante-date our Gospels. It is a purely Jewish apoc-
alypse with an image o fa Son ofM an figure which has survived, as Hugo
Odeberg points out, in foe Enoch-Metatron speculations where Enoch is
translated to a throne next to the throne ofG od him self(one derivation of
metatron is metathronioSy foe one seated on foe throne ofG od after God),
and where he can also be described as‘the lesser Jahwe”’.^N oting also that
different aspects o f the imagery draw on different biblical traditions -
“Elect One” points to Second Isaiah,^ “Son ofM an” to Daniel, other im-
ages associated with foe Davidic king to Prophets and Psalms^ and Wis-
dom to Proverbs - , Black concludes that “it must have been a bold mind,

44 Black, “The Eschatology” (see n. 3), 8. See farther his comment two pages later:
“Dan. 713has been Interpreted ofa coming Messiah, and this interpretation embodied,
as a later (and quite distinct) w ork foe Similitudes, in foe earlier Enoch tradition. It may
b e ... that foe idea of foe Son ofman in foe Similitudes is bofo individual and corporate,
but in either case it is messianic or represents a later more developed Messianism than in
foe older book. It may well have grown out o f foe tradition of the Son ofman-Enoch at
ch. 7‫ ه‬7-‫ل‬, but, if so, it became ultimately quite independent ofit. It was fois later mess-
ianism of foe Similitudes which passed into Christianity (ifit was not inspired by it) ; foe
original (quite certainly Jewish) tradition ofthe Son ofman-Enoch survived in Judaism
into foe Gaonic period.”
45 Black, “Throne” (see n. 28).
46 Black, VanderKam and Neugebauer, Book (see n. 20), 189. See also Black, “Throne” (see
n. 28), 70.
47 I.e. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son o f Man in 1 Enoch
37-71”, in The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity (ed. J.H.
Charlesworth; Minneapolis 1992) 169-191. See now discussion in A.A. Orlov, The
Enoch-Metatron Tradition (TSAJ 107; Tübingen 2005) 65.
48 Parables 49:3 (cf. Isa 11:2), 61:8 (cf. Ps 110:1), 62:2-3 (Isa 11:2,4; Ps 110). I owe this list
to Davila, “Methodology” (see n. 33), 10.
66 Daniel Boyarín

perhaps one influenced by Hellenistic ideas, which elevated the immortal-

ised patriarch Enoch to virtually angelic status, and invested him with the
powers o f the manlike one o f Daniel’s vision, the role of the Isaianic Ser-
vant and the destiny of the Davidic King”49. A bold mind indeed.
Building on Blacks insight, I will put together the work ofthat bold
mind in a somewhat different fashion than Black did, relying in large
part on research done and materials uncovered since his seminal writing.^
Without den^dng, o f course, the presence o f so-called Hellenistic ideas in
the world o f the Enoch literature, the roots of Enoch’s apotheosis seem to
go back much farther in the ancient Near East. 1 shall try to show that it is
chapters 70-71 which represent the new theological development and re-
interpret the Enoch of 1 Enoch 14-15, rather than chapter 46 and its se-
quels growing out o f chapters 70-71, and thus 1 hope to uncover the out-
lines o fa fateful moment in Jewish religious history, the one in which the
doctrine o f the Messiah as an Incarnate divine person and as an exalted
human comes together.^
Helge Kvanvig points out that already in The Book ofWatcherSy the first
and oldest part o f 1 Enoch, in the heavenly journey of chapter 14, Enoch is
already placed above the angels and in a position o f mediation between
God and the angels as a priest and prophet, reporting the judgment of
God.^ Martha Himmelfarb has argued effectively that there are many as-
pects of the Enoch journey in The Book o f the Watchers chapter 14 that
imply that Enoch is conducted into a Temple in heaven that corresponds
in structure to the Temple in Jerusalem, and that, therefore, “the author of
the Book ofthe Watchers claims angelic status for Enoch through his serv-
ice in the heavenly temple”.^ Kvanvig emphasizes, moreover, that in The
Book ofthe Watchers there is an explicit transfer ofth e scene of Enoch’s
throne vision and announcement o f judgment from the primeval time
in which the narrative o fth e Watchers who came to earth to have sex
with human women is told, to the end time, the eschaton in which the

49 Black, VanderKam, and Neugebauer, Book (see n. 20), 189.

50 For other positions distinct from both Blacks and my own, see Colpe, “Ο υιός τοϋ
άνθρώπου” (see η. 3), 427.
51 For a study ofth e ubiquity of this pattern, see now Idel, Ben (see n. 42), 1-3, which
reached me just a bit too late to be fully considered for this publication.
52 H.S. Kvanvig, ‘T he Son ofM an in the Farables”, in Enoch and the Messiah Son ofMan:
RevisitingtheBookofParables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids 2007) 179-215. SeeJ.C.
VanderKam, Enoch and the Growth of an Apocalyptic Tradition (Washington, D.C.
1984) 131.
53 ^ . r i i m ^ e l f r r b / A p o ^ ^ f r
217, here 212.
How Enoch ^٢١ Teach ٧ $ about Jesus 67

heavenly judgment will be on all o f the wicked and the righteous. Noting
the four titles for the eschatological judge and savior that occur in the Par-
ableSy namely Son o f Man, Chosen One, Righteous One, and Annointed
One, Kvanvig indicates that Chosen One and Rfghteous One are an inher-
itance ofthe oracles ofthe servant ofYKWK from Isaiah (42:1 and 53:11),
while Son o f Man comes from Daniel. Following Johannes Theison,^
Kvanvig farther notes that in order to understand the origin of many of
the images in the myth o f the Son of Man figure in the Parables, we
must also appeal to Fsalm 110. In this Fsalm we find the crucial elements
of a double-seated throne and the placement ofthe “Lord” on the second
o f these thrones at the right hand o f God. As Kvanvig summarizes, “[tjhis
Fsalm contains the elements o^ th ron em en t,ju d gm en tan d polarization
between the enthroned and his enemies, which is also combined in the
passages about the Chosen Son o f Man’**. Kvanvig farther points out
that, while the MT o fth e Psalm seems quite corrupt, the LXX suggests
strongly that the royal figure being raised ^parently to divinity was
“born before the morning”, i.e,atleastastrong suggestion ofpre-eristence
which connects up nicely with the pre-eristence o f Wisdom in Froverbs 8
and helps us to understand the confluence ofW isdom and heavenly Re-
deemer in Parables.56

54 ]. Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter: Untersuchungen ‫ﻫﺖ‬ . traditionsgeschichtl Ort d.

Menschensohngestalt d. Bilderreden d. Äthiopischen Henoch (Göttingen 1975) 92-98.
See also M. Black, “The Messianism o f t h e ?arables o f E noch: Their Date and Contri-
bution to Christological Origins”, in The Messiah: Developments in Earliestjudaism and
Christianity (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; Minneapolis 1992) 145-168, here 55 ‫ل‬5‫ م‬- ‫ل‬.
55 Kvanvig, “The Son of Man” (see n. 52).
56 Kvanvig, “The Son ofM an” (see n. 52), referring to Theisohn, Richter (see n. 54), 130-
135. As Kvanvig points out, the fragment ofthe myth ofthe descent ofWisdom to earth
and her return in despair (in chapter 42) already explicitly connects the traditions of
heavenly redeemer and pre-existent Sophia, another connection that will he so vital
for ftrture developments in both Christian and non-Christian Judaism, including espe-
cially the logos theology of which 1 have written in D. Boyarin, “The Gospel ofth e
Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Crucifixión of the Logos”, HTR 94
(2001) 243-284.1 am less inclined than Kvanvig, however, to see here parody, finding
it rather an essential element in the development of a mythic form in which Wisdom is
both the pre-existent and also the coming redeemer. 1 also disagree somewhat with
Kvanvig’s identification of this element as the efficient cause for the theologeme of
pre-existence for the Son ofMan, holding rather, as 1 do, that the second God tradition
of very ancient Israel (for which see previous lecture), as manifested in Daniel 7, plays at
least an equally major role in this formation, ?or apocalyptic in general as a combination
of prophetic and sapiential traditions, see G.W.E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commen-
taryontheBookofl Enoch, Chapters 1-36;81-108 (Hermeneia;Minneapolis2001) 59-
Daniel Boyarín

This ^re-existence o f foe Son of Man is quite explicitly brought out in

‫ه‬€‫كﺀأﻣﺤﺴﻤﻢ‬ at 48 :‫ خ‬3 ‫ ﺳالﻣﺖ‬at that hour that Son ofM anwas named in the
presenceofthe Lord ofSpirits,andhis name before theHead ofDays. Even
before the sun and the constellations were created, before the stars ofheav-
en were made, his name was named before the Lord ofSpirits.” Moreover,
in the verses that continue from this one, he is indicated as the redeemer
and also one to whom worship is due: “He will be a stafffor the righteous,
that they may lean on him and not ‫ ﻟﻆ‬1‫ث‬And he will be the light o f the na-
tions, and he will be a hope for those who grieve in their hearts. All who
dwell on the earth will fall down and worship before him, and they will
glorify and bless and sing hymns to the name of the Lord of Spirits. For
this (reason) he was chosen and hidden in his presence before the
world was created and forever” (w . 4-6). And finally: “For in his name
[the righteous] are saved, and he is the vindicator o f their lives” (7). A
frdl blown eschatolo^f follows immediately. In other words, the essential
elements o f a theology o f a heavenly redeemer who was born before time
and who is or will be enthroned at the right side o f God is drawn from a
kind of midrashic concatenation or concordance of various passages in
the Hebrew Bible itself.
This is not, however, precisely the same sort oftradition as the one that
involves the ascension o f a human figure to the position o f pre-existent
heavenly redeemer; indeed, as Sjöberg has remarked, the two themes
seem almost contradictory o f one another (not from the history of reli-
gions point o f view as Idel has made clear but when the two are stories
about the same figure, Enoch). An a n a lo g would be the contradictions
that seem to obtain between christologies o f Christ as a divine person in-
carnated in human fiesh ab ovo and adoptionist ones in which he, as a
human being, is made divine later on in his life.** We still have not solved,
even tentatively, Sjöbergs dilemma. In chapter 46 and its sequels. The Son
ofM an is divine and Enoch a wise seer who has been afforded remarkable
visions; in chapters 70-71, Enoch himself has been identified as himself
divine. As ¡del has r e ^ r k e ^ “various important developments in the his-
tory ofjewish mysticism [are to be explained as] an ongoing competition
and synthesis between two main vectors: the apotheotic and the theoph-
anic. The former represents foe impulses o fa few elite individuals to tran-
scend foe human mortal situation through a process oftheosis, by ascend-
ing on high, to be transformed into a more lasting entity, an angel or God.

57 For this comparison turned to slightly different ends, see Sjöberg, Menschensohn (see n.
3), 68‫ل‬. In my opinion, both Paul and Mark imply such “adoptionist” Christologies.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 69

In contrast to this upward aspiration is the theophanic vector, which

stands for the revelation o f the divine in a direct manner or via mediating
hierarchies”. It is my contention here that this competition is being
worked out in the pagesofthe Enochic Parables, and, rareover,thatacru-
cial synthesis is taking place, a synthesis that is, on Idel’s own account,
much rarer than the moments o f “tensions, frictions, and sharp antago-
nisms”.58 This synthesis is, moreover, key to the religious background
o f the Gospels as well.
Elsewhere, 1 have tried to show that Daniel 7 incorporates an ancient
(pre-Danielic) version o f the theophanic tradition. There is also from
roughly the same period a text that provides aversion ofthe human theosis
tradition, namely the tradition o f an exalted, even deified, human being as
toe occupant o fth e second throne or even as successor to God on toe
throne.^ At about toe time ofth e Book ofD aniel, Ezekiel toe Tragedian,
an Alexandrian Jew, wrote:
1 had a vision o f a great throne on toe top o f Mount Sinai and it reached till toe folds o f
heaven. A noble man was sitting on it, with a crown and a large sceptre in his left hand.
He beckoned to me with his right hand, so 1 approached and stood before toe throne. He
gave me toe sceptre and instructed me to sit on toe great throne. Then he gave me toe
royal crown and got up, from toe throne.^

As in Daniel, as in 1 Enoch 1 14-15, and, as in toe Parables, here too we

have toe crucial image ofthe divine throne and toe emplacement of a sec-
ondfigure on the throne, alongside o f or even in place of,the Ancient One.
The imagery in this text is the same as that o f Daniels vision and o fP sllO ,
but in toe tragedian we find a transfigured mortal which is not what we
find in Daniel. It is, however, comparable to that which we find in Parables
70-71, only toe exalted figure is Moses, not Enoch, for which we can com-
pare Philos Life ofMoseSy 155-158 .‫ ﻟﺔ‬We have then, nonetheless, at least
one other important witness to toe idea o f a transfigured mortal - albeit
Moses - becoming divine and occupying toe throne along-side o f or after
God, and ft seems very plausible to read Enoch’s apotheosis as a variant
version ofthat tradition too.^ We can observe, then, two parallel tradi­

58 Both cftations Idel, Ben (see n. 42), 4.

59 P.W. Van der Horst,“Moses’ ThroneVisionin Ezekiel the Dramatist”, 7/s 34(1983) 21-
29, here 24-27.
‫ هﺀ‬H. Jacobson, The Exagoge ofEzekiel (Cambridge, UK and Hew York 55 (983 ‫ل‬.
61 See L.W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish
Monotheism (2nd ed.; Edinburgh 1998) 51-70.
62 In later medieval traditions, it should be emphasized, Moses is not Enoch and not Meta-
tron but these figures are Moses’ mystagogues ٠٢ psychopomps in toe various texts. On
this, see H. Odeberg, 3 Enoch ٠٢ the Hebrew Book ofEnoch (Hew York 1973‫ ؛‬first Cam­
70 Daniel Boyarín

tions, bufb apparently growing out of 1 Enoch 14: a tradition of an exalted

divinized human, on the one hand, and, on the other, a tradition of a sec-
ond god-like redeemer who comes down to save Israel. What we don’t
have yet is the identification or merging o fth at divinized human with
the anthropomorphized divinity, such as we find in fhll-blown later
Son o f Man traditions. This is the problem 1 have yet to address here.
A great deal seems, then, to turn on our evaluation ofthe place o f chap-
ters 70-71 in the Parables, with the significant question being whether
these chapters are original to the plan ofthe work or secondarily attached
to it. VanderKam has argued strongly that these chapters form a conclu-
sion to the book as a whole and that the concealment ofthe identity ofthe
Son of Man as Enoch until the very end is an integral part ofthe literary
design ofthe work,** while Collins and other scholars have raised several
objections to this thesis.^ If VanderKam is correct and chapters 70-71 are
an “original part” ofthe design ofthe work, then the exalted human com-
bining with the heavenly Son o f Man seems too to be a part ofthe theology
ofthe author and thence the book, whilst if chapters 70-71 are not in any
way a part o fth e Parables, their association o f exalted Enoch and Son of
Man would seemingly be o f much lesser significance.
1 would like to subtly shift the terms under which the question is to be
asked, Crcumventing the question o f original and unoriginal. There may
be no doubt but that those scholars who see a real unevenness in the seam
between 70-71 and the earlier parts ofth e book have indeed seen some-
thing real. As remarked above, the first part ofth e text does not identify
Enoch and the Son ofM an, and it disidentifies them explicitly. Moreover,
in the first part ofthe work, the Son ofM an is explicitly described as pre-
existent to creation, while Enoch is the seventh born human after Adam-
VanderKam has attempted to reduce these objections but his very attempt
only marks the faultiines more boldly.^ This does not, however, on my
account, mean that VanderKam is “wrong” in his judgment, only that

bridge, UK 08 ‫ ل‬928 (‫ل‬06 - ‫ل‬. Cf. P.S. Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Seeond God:
Transformation ofthe Biblical Enoch”, in Biblical Figures Outside the Bible (ed. M.E.
Stone; Harrisburg 1998) 87-122, here 108-109; I am less convinced than Alexander (li-
totes) that we have here an attack on Enochic traditions, rather seeing a reflection ofthe
inflated status of Moses in Alexandrian Judaism, even far beyond his status within rab-
b in ic circles-
63 VanderKam, “Righteous Gne” (see n. 47), 177-185.
64 Conveniently summarized in Kvanvig, “The Son of Man in the Parables” (see n. 52).
65 Although 1 would certainly not dismiss out of hand his idea that there is an earthly
Enoch and a heavenly one, this does not seem to be what the Parables is manifesting
here. Cf. discussion in Orlov, Enoch-Metatron (see n. 47), 83-84.
How Enoch Can Teach Us about Jesus 71

^tertextuality is once again ‫أة‬ work. The seams in the text are indicative of
abasting ofintertexts aswell as ofthe ideological/theological currents that
animate them. It is the work, indeed, o fth e author o f The Parables ٠/
Enoch, as we have it today, to have stitched together the Enoch tradition
ofthe exaltation ofthe seventh human and the Son of Man tradition going
back to Daniel 7, thus producing a divine-human redeemer figure, now
known as the Son of Man tout court
This movement ofthe theology is indicated precisely atthe difficult tex-
tual moment in which “that angel came to me and greeted me with his
voice and said to m e,‘You are that son ofm anw how as born for righteous-
ness, and righteousness dwells on you, and the righteousness ofthe Head
of Days will not forsake you”*. The very difficulties ofthe text are now to be
seen not as problems or obstacles but as the fount from which reading
flows and the opening up ofanypossibilityofahistorical/theological read-
ing ofthe text. Two traditions are combined in the Parables ofEnoch, the
pre-existent, second God, redeemer ofDaniel, now not only described as
but named, “Son o f Man” as a title, and the exalted seventh antideluvian
sage, Enoch who went up to heaven because he walked with God, and God
took him, and he was not. VanderKam is exactly right in that once this
stitch in time has been made, we must read the text as implying that
Enoch was from the beginning the Son o f Man, hidden from the begin-
ning, then sent to earth in human form, and now exalted once again to
his former state. The relevance of this narrative to the Gospels ought to
be palpably obvious.
Rather than, so much, as Black did, seeing the Enoch of chapters 70-71
as stemming from Ezekiel’s traditions (although 1 would never deny the
presence of such traditions either), 1 would see them as an independent
strand of very ancient tradition, a strand that has been first identified
by Pierre Grelot^* advanced by other scholars,^ and further developed
by Kvanvig and Orlov.^ According to this fairly well established line of
scholarship, Enoch, ffie seventh ofthe patriarchs from Adam, bears strong
connections with ffie seventh ofthe antediluvian Babylonian king, Enm-
eduranki who was o f human descent but was taken up into heaven.
Among ffie features that Enoch shares with his Babylonian ancestor is

66 P. Grelot, “La légende d’Hénoeh dans les Apoeryphes et dans la Bible: Origine et sig-
nifieation”, RSR 46 (1958) 5-26, 181-220.
67 VanderKam, Enoch and the Growth (see η. 52), 23-51.
68 Η.S. Kvanvig, Roots ofApocalyptic: The Mesopotamian Background ofthe Enoch Figure
and ofthe Son ofMan (WMANT 61; ^u& rehen-Vluyn 1988) 191-213; Orlov, Enoch-
Metatron (see n. 47), 23-78.
72 Daniel Boyarin

being seated ٠٥ a thr©ne in heaven in the presence ©f the gods and taught
wisdom there.69 This still does not explain how he became connected with
the second divine figure ٠٥ the throne next to the Ancient of Days, here-
after known o f course as the Son o f Man. However, it does make clear, 1
think, why such an identification could be made.

>٧ . Ancient Enoch

Examination o f the relation between Enoch 14 and Daniel 7 shows that

Enoch 14is directly related to the latter text and most probably its progen-
itor.™ In 1 Enoch 1 1 4 - lb, we find the following elements in order : Enoch
has dreams and visions; “In avision, 1 saw” ( ‫ل‬4 ‫ت‬2 ( ‫ث‬clouds summoned him
and winds carried him up; he sees a throne with wheels like the shining
sun; streams offire go out from under the throne; God’s raiment is whiter
than snow; Enoch is called to God’s presence who hears his voice saying:
“Fear not, Enoch, go, say the message.”^ Now, on the one hand, there may
be no doubt that this text draws on the prophetic commissioning of Ez-
ekiel in the eponymous prophets book, chapters 1-2, incorporating as
well Ezekiel’s tour of the heavenly temple in chapters 40-44. However,
on the other hand, ft is perhaps only somewhat less apparent that the au-
thor o f Daniel 7 is drawing on this chapter in 1 Enoch and developing it
fiirther in accord with his own theological traditions and other apocalyptic
sources that include the vision ofthe second throne and the second divine
Whatever the precise case ٠٥ the genetic relationship, it is clear that the
author ofthe ?arables, who as shown, clearly derives his Son ofM an figure
from Daniel 7 could easily have identified the Gne Tike a Son ofM an from
Daniel with Enoch as described in Enoch 14. Both arrive with clouds, both
are brought near to the Ancient o f Days by one ofthe angels. Both include
the description ofthe throne as having before ft streams of blazing fire and
o f his person as wearing garments brighter than snow. The two texts are
thus almost certainly related with the most likely scenario invoicing de-

69 Kvanvig, Roots (see n. 68), 187; J.J. Colins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and ?seudepi-
graphic Literature”, in The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East (ed. J.G. Gammie;
Winona Lake 1990) 343-354, here 346.
70 H.S. Kvanvig, “Henoch und der Menschensohn: Das Verhältnis von Hen 14 zu Dan 7”,
ST 38 (1984) 101-133, esp. 114-133.
71 This summary draws on Nickelsburg, ‫ ل‬Enoch ‫( ل‬see η. 56), 255-256.
How Enoch Can Teach ٧ $ 3‫ آالﻫﻆ‬Jesus 73

pendence ofD aniel on the most ancient part o f 1 Enoch, the Book ofthe
Be that as it may, the synchronic similarities are palpable to us as they
were surely to the author ofth e ?arables, but there are significant differ-
enees between the narrative in Enoch 14 and the one in Daniel 7. The for-
mer text has no second divinity but only the exalted human seer. The for-
mer seems to take place in heaven to which Enoch has been transported on
clouds and winds, while in the latter the vision is a vision o f heaven expe-
rienced on earth and it is the Son o f Man who is so transported, not the
visionary. The two texts together command, as the Rabbis would put it:
Interpret us, literally: Make a midrash o f us! The ?arables concept of
Enoch as the Son o f Man is thus generated via a midrash on both
Enoch 14 and Daniel 7. Whether this conclusion was drawn by the “orig-
inal” author o f Enoch 46 or arrived at hy someone who put together the
?arables is o f no moment whatsoever; it is the latter whom 1 will call the
author ofth e ?arables.
The author o f the ?arables associated the Enoch o f Enoch 14 and the
One Eike a Son o f Man o f Daniel 7 and concluded, quite naturally, in
Enoch 71 that “You (Enoch) are the Son ofM an”. A crucial step in the de-
veloped messianic idea had thus been taken, the merger ofthe second God,
heavenly redeemer figure and an earthly savior exalted into heaven.^

٧. Enoch and th e Messiah

The bottom line is that I believe that we can detect in the Parables ofEnoch
the actual tracksofwhat is both a textual, and, I believe, religious history in
which two originally independent strands o f tradition have been com-
bined into one. On the one hand, we see the development of “The One
Like a Son ofM an” ofD aniel 7 from a simile into a title; we can literally
see this development taking place on the page.74 On the other hand, we see
the tradition ofthe 7thantideluvianhumankingwho was exalted and given

72 Black, V^derKam and Neugebauer, Book (see n. 20), 151-152 accepts this position but
offers, as well, the not implausible hypothesis ofa common dependence on a work ear-
lier than the two of these. In any case, this issue is immaterial for my investigation here.
73 Contrast Mowinckel, He That Cometh (see n. 3), 384-385.
74 James Davila also reads the work ofthe so-called “redactor” (once again, I call him au-
thor) as having specific ideological/theological intent; Davila, “Methodology” (see n.
33), 12. He doesn’t interpret this activity in quite the way 1 do, however, but does
note the very important point that the Hebrew 3 Enoch (and thus the E n och -M etatron
tradition) presupposes it.
74 Daniel E y a rin

a place in heaven, which is nne ©f the m©st powerful themes o f the whole
Enoch work. In chapter 71 of the Parables we observe these two traditions
being combined into one and the two figures of Enoch and the Son o f Man
coming together, thus resolving Sjöberg’s great “difficulty] to conceive
how the elevated patriarch could become ‘fhsed’ with the pre-existent
Messiah”^, or as Bousset put the question: “if the Son o f Man can only
mean the supra-terrestrial transcendent Messiah, as now is generally ac-
knowledged, then we cannot explain how Jesus already in the present
could claim for himself the predicate and rights of the Son of Man”^.
We are in a position now to tentatively suggest an answer to this question.
The Wisdom elements ofthe newly-born Messiah figure come in, I think,
together with Enoch, carrying in their wake, as well, the early readings of
Proverbs 8 and the logos traditions.^ As Collins has made sharp and clear,
the Son o f Man ofthe Parables judges and condemns, was created before
the universe like (or even as) the Wisdom ofProverbs, is equated with the
messiah (but not the human messiah), is assimilated to the Deity, and is
portrayed as a proper recipient ofworship. All that was required then for
the full picture was the association o f Enoch, the human exalted to heaven,
with the Son ofM an and the full Christological transformation will have
taken place.
All ofth e elements o f Christology are essentially in place then in the
Parables. We have a pre-existent heavenly figure, identified as well with
Wisdom, who is the Son ofM an. We have an earthly life, a human sage
exalted into heaven at the end o f an earthly career, enthroned in heaven
at the right side of the Ancient of Days as the pre-existing and forever

75 Orlov, Enoch-Metatron (see n. 47), 9 grants this point but argues that it is in the Slavonic
2 Enoch that we find this process much more highly developed, which is, to my mind,
exactly what we would expect. See too Davila, “Methodology” (see n. 33), 3, who puts the
question thus: “How did the man Jesus come to he worshiped as a divine being by com-
munities who nevertheless regarded themselves as monotheists?”, as well as other lit-
erature cited by Orlov, Enoch-Metatron (see n. 47), 10 n. 28. I fl have not cited Davilas
sharp formulation in foe body ofm y text, it is only because ofthe explicitly christocen-
trie nature of foe question that he puts, which is not foe focus ofth e present study.
76 w . Bousset, Kyrios Christos: a History ofthe Belief in Christfrom the Beginnings of Chris-
tianity ‫؛‬٠ Irenaeus (trans. J.£. Steely; Nashville 1970) 40, cited D.R. Burkett, The Son ٠/
Man Debate: A History and Evaluation (Cambridge, UK and New York 1999) 44.
77 Boyarin, “The Cospel” (see n. 36). Note too Tarry Hurtados three categories of divine
mediation : personified and hypostasized divine attributes, such as wisdom or foe logos ‫؛‬
exalted ?atriarchs; Principal angels (Hurtado). To these James Davila adds two others,
of which one seems relevant here, “archetypes based on earlier biblical characters and
offices (e.g., foe Davidic king, foe Mosaic prophet, and foe Aaronid high priest) but
whose incarnation as individuals is projected either into foe firture (future ideal figures)
or foto foe heavenly realm (exalted ideal figures)”, Davila, “Methodology” (see n. 33), 6.
How Enoch ^٨ Teach Us about 75

reigning Son of Man. While, again, I do not for a moment entertain the
notion that the Gospels are drawing on the ?arables, I would put forth
at least as a defensible hypothesis that the ?arables give evidence for de-
velopments within Judaism that by analogy illuminate developments
that can most plausibly be held as having taken place in the Judaism un-
derlying the Gospels as well. We are not looking for the relationship of a
text to a text so much as the ways that texts (The ?arables, in this case) can
help illuminate the cultural, religious context in which other texts (the
Gospels) were produced as well.
Texts are notthe religion (anymore thanam ap is territory) butthey are
evidence ofthe religion, tips oficebergs that suggest massive religious de-
velopments and formations below the surface, or perhaps better put,
above-ground nodes on a rhizomic system underground that suggest
the shape ofth e rhizomes. The territory was surely as bumpy and varie-
gated as a literal earthly territory would be too, as Carsten Golpe has
well put it, “The differences in the fonctions ofthe Son o f Man maybe ex-
plained by foe differences between foe groups which expected Him and
foe times in which they did so”78.
Following Norman ?errin in this regard that 1 will not make distinc-
tions between authentic and inauthentic in foe tradition, since for me
foe question o f what Jesus actually said is on foe order o fth e question
ofwhat Enoch actually said, 1 propose then a different way of approaching
the Son of Man, an approach in which foe Gospels, far from being foe
problem, are a vital part o f foe solution. Joel Marcus has made this
same point in quite another language when he wrote, “This conclusion
[that foe “Son of Man” in foe ?arables is pre-Christian, DB] is supported
by foe wayin which Jesus, in foe Gospels, generallytreats the Son of Man as
a known quantity, never bothering to explain foe term, and foe way in
which certain o f fois figure’s characteristics, such as his identity with
foe Messiah or his prerogative o f judging, are taken for granted. With
apologies to Voltaire, we may say that if the Enochic Son of Man had
not existed, it would have been necessary to invent him to explain foe
Son of Man sayings in foe Gospels”^. 1 would only shift foe terms of
foe last phrase to indicate that what fois means is that foe usage o fth e
Son o f Man in foe Gospels joins up with foe evidence of such usage
from Parables to lead us to consider fois term used in fois way (and
more importantly foe concept o f a second divinity implied by it) as foe

78 Colpe, ،Ό υιός τού ανθρώπου” (see η. 3), 420.

79 Marcus, Mark 1-8 (see n. 1), 530.
76 Daniel Boyarín

common coin - which I emphasize does not mean universal· or uncontest-

ed -o fju d a ism already before Jesus. One consequence ofthis difference is,
then, that while foe traditional Christian Son of Man problem may, in-
deed, be insoluble - and 1 believe that Collins’s work is foe best crack at
it to date - , my Jewish Son o f Man not-problem may, indeed, allow for
solving itself. Questions such as: w h at do foe Gospels in their internal
and external variations teach us about Son ofM an religiosity in Judaism ?
How will this help us understand foe history of Judaism may indeed
find, at least partial, answers.

Daniel Boyarín
NES, 250 Barrows Nall
DC Berkeley
U nited States of America

80 Cf.Joel Marcus’s ^ r s ^ a c io u s remark, “the meaning of ‘son ofman’ !‫ ه‬the mouth ofthe
historicai Jesus maybe an insoluble problem. Its meaning in Mark, however, is easier to
track down”, Marcus, Mark 1-8 (see n. 1), 531.