THE END OF THE WORLD OF GIANTS. QUMRAN ENOCHIC TRADITIONS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO JEWISH APOCALYPTIC THOUGHT ABOUT DISASTER

Albert L. A. Hogeterp

Resumen


Apocalyptic scenarios of disaster have frequently been understood in terms of fate and as product of a struggle between otherworldly beings, angels and demons. The archetypical story of the world which ended with the flood in 1 Enoch is significantly supplemented by Qumran literature. The end of the world of giants as described in the Qumran Book of Giants provides a unique narrative personification of this world, highlighting human dimensions of responsibility, warfare and great injustice, and aspects of social organization, and providing references to the Mesopotamian epic hero Gilgamesh who envisaged an end to his mythical strength, when his warfare against all flesh came to a turning point of heavenly vindication. Differently from 1 Enoch 14.8-22 and from Daniel 7,9-10, the Book of Giants situates a throne vision of divine judgement on earth rather than in heaven. The Qumran Book of Giants narrates aspects of the thought world of the giants, describing the anguish of the giants through their conversations and their unsettling dreams. Literary parallels between the book of Daniel, Enochic literature, and the Book of Giants suggest that cultural memory about the destructive use of power in the Babylonian age belongs among the ingredients of the archetypical stories of the giants in the Book of Watchers and the Book of Giants.


Palabras clave


Enoch; Daniel; Book of Giants; Qumran; disaster; apocalyptic thought




 
  

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