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SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY

TEXTS AMONG THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS


CRISPINH.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS
University of Durham, UK

Scholarlydiscussionof ancientJewish angelologyhas, hitherto,largely


assumed that angels are entirely suprahuman:angels are angels and
men are men and each belong to a distinct order of being. In this
respect discussionof angels among the Dead Sea Scrolls has reflected
the wider discussion of the angelology of the period. It is generally
recognisedthat humanitycan share a communitywith angels (an Engelgemeinschaft)and it is widely supposedthat human life and religious practicewas thoughtat this time to mirroron earththe activity
of the angels in heaven. Indeed,the communionbetween the righteous
and the angels in the literatureof the Qumrancommunity is wellknown and has been thoroughlyinvestigated.'
One featureof late second temple angelology that has only recently
come to the fore in modem discussion is the way in which the righteous are themselves regarded as angelic. Texts where humans are
angelomorphic-angelic in status or nature,though without necessarily having their identity reduced to that of an angel-have been the
subject of a flurryof studies in recent years, partly because of their
potentialsignificancefor the understandingof early Christology.2The
principalpurposeof this presentarticleis to focus in particularon the
I

See, e.g., H.-W. Kuhn, Enderwartung und gegenwartiges Heil: Untersuchungen zu

den Gemeindeliedernvon Qumranmit einem Anhang uber Eschatologieund GegenJesu (SUNT 4; G6ttingen:Vandenhoeck& Ruprecht,1966)
wart in der Verkundigung
66-73; B. Frennesson,"In a CommonRejoicing":LiturgicalCommunionwith Angels
in Qumran(Studia Semitica Upsaliensia 14; Uppsala: University of Uppsala Press,
1999).
2 See, e.g., J.-A. Buhner, Der Gesandie und sein Weg im vierten Evangelium
(WUNT 2.2; TUbingen: Mohr, 1977); C.R.A. Morray-Jones, "Transformational
Mysticism in the Apocalyptic-MerkabahTradition,"JJS 43 (1992) 1-31; C.H.T.
Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts: Angels, Christology and Soteriology (WUNT 2.94;
TUbingen:Mohr, 1997); C. Gieschen, AngelomorphicChristology:Antecedentsand
Early Evidence(AGAJU42; Leiden:Brill, 1998).
? Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2000

Dead Sea Discoveries 7, 3

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angelomorphicportrayalof two figures,Moses and the high priest. In


doing so I returnto a well-knownCave 1 text in which the high priest
is comparedto an angel (lQSb 4:24-28) and I also offer some fresh
analysis of a recently released Cave 4 Moses text (4Q377). In several
other places I have surveyed the evidence among the Scrolls for an
angelomorphicportrayalof the righteous.3For the purposes of this
essay it is worth orientingour discussionwith a cursory examination
of those angelomorphictexts known to the Qumrancommunitywhich
will be relevant for our analysis of 4Q377 and IQSb.
Pre-Qumran Angelomorphic Humanity Texts in the DSS Library

Aside from those texts in the Hebrew Bible which already evince
of kingship(e.g., 1 Sam.
an interestin an angelomorphicunderstanding
29:9; 2 Sam. 14:17, 20; 19:17;Zech. 12:8 and cf. Ezek. 28:14, 16) the
Qumranlibrary contained a numberof near non-sectariancompositions, known to be in use by non-EsseneJews, in which the righteous
are describedas angelic. In the zoomorphicallegory of 1 Enoch 89:1
Moses' transformationfrom a bull to a man representshis exaltation
from the human to the angelic level of being.4Such a transformation
is spelt out in clearerterms by the priestlySirach.The Greek translator of Sir. 45:2 says that God "made [Moses] like unto the holy ones
in glory (86di &yiov), and made him great, to the terrorof his enemies." We can be sure that the translator thought Moses had a
specifically angelomorphic glory here because the Hebrew text
(Geniza MS B) has the word D'fl'T where the Greekhas "holy ones."
Sirach is an important text for the understanding of Qumran
literature since his priestly language and theology in many ways
anticipates that of the community. Far more than Moses, Sirach is
interestedin the high priest. As C.T.R. Haywardhas recently shown,
the Hebrew authorof the text describesAaron in terms of the divine
warrior.5In Sir. 45:7 it is said of Aaron that God "girdedhim with
I Luke-Acts,185-98 and "4Q374: A Discourse on the Sinai Tradition:The Deification of Moses and Early Christology,"DSD 3 (1996) 236-52, esp. 240-42.
4 The paralleltransformation
of Noah froma bull to a man in 1 Enoch 89:1 is missing from the Qumranversion of the Enoch collections (cf. 4QEne 4 i 13-14) presumably because it conflicted with the traditionthat Noah was born angelic further
on in the Enochic corpus(1 Enoch 106). Noah's angelomorphicbirthwas evidentlyof
some significance for the Qumran community, occupying cols 2-5 of the Genesis
Apocryphonand evidentlyrecordedin anotherCave I text (1Q19).
I C.T.R. Hayward, The Jewish Temple: A non-biblical sourcebook (London:
Routledge, 1996) 66-67.

294

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

the horns of a wild ox (Dtfl n1leInf In-1Fl) and in v. 8 that "he


clothed him with the perfect beauty (rnten $'s:) and beautifiedhim
(in-inn) with Glory and strength(mrnlDn1 " The difficult phrase
(Dtfl fle1n)

is drawn from Num. 23:22 and 24:8 where it describes

Israel's God as the divine warriorrescuinghis people from Egypt, devouringthe nationsbeforethem.Again, the languageof v. 8 echoes that
used in the Psalms (esp. Ps. 29:1 and 97:6: "ascribeto the Lord glory
and strength")for Israel's God.6 In this portrayalof the priest it is
really unclearwhetherthe epithet"angelomorphic"
would do justice to
the degree of exaltationin view: by virtueof his clothing(Exodus28)
Aaron is identifiedwith Israel's one God.
A similarly remarkable anthropology is developed in chap. 50
where Sirach pens a hymn in praise of the high priest Simon son of
Onias. In Sir. 50:6-7 we are told Simon is:
Like the morningstar among the clouds,
like the full moon at the festal season;
Like the sun shiningon the temple of the Most High,
like the rainbowgleaming in splendidclouds.

Whilst the astral language of v. 6 is broadly coterminouswith an


angelic identity-for "the morning star"compareJob 38:7-the second half of v. 7 portraysSimon in termsof the anthropomorphic
form
of God's Glory seated on the chariotthronein Ezek. 1:26-7. In Ezek.
1:28 this Glory is also "like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day."7
A, by comparison,more sombre accountof the priestly vocation is
given in Jub. 31:13-15 where Isaac blesses his grandsonLevi:
And he [Isaac] turnedto Levi first and began to bless him first, and he said to
him: "May the Lord of all, i.e., the Lord of all ages bless you and your sons in
all ages. May the Lordgive you and your seed very greatg/Glory.May he make
you and your seed draw near to him from all flesh to serve in his sanctuaryas
the angels of the presenceand the holy ones. May your sons' seed be like them

6 The Greektext is differentand some have doubtedthe authenticityof the Hebrew.


For argumentsin favour of the originalityof the Hebrewsee B.G. Wright,No Small
Difference:Sirach'sRelationshipto ItsHebrewParentText(SBLSCS26;Atlanta:Scholars
Press, 1989) 171-73 and Hayward,Jewish Temple,65-66.
of Sirach50, see M. Barker,
7 For a fullerdiscussionof the theologicalanthropology
"The High Priest and the Worship of Jesus," The Jewish Roots of Christological
Monotheism:Papersfrom the St. AndrewsConferenceon the HistoricalOriginsof the
Worshipof Jesus (eds C.C. Newman,J.R. Davila and G.S. Lewis; JSJSup63; Leiden:
Brill, 1999) 102-3 and C.H.T. Fletcher-Louis,"WisdomChristologyand the Partings
of the Ways between Judaismand Christianity,"Christian-JewishRelations through
the Centuries (eds S.E. Porter and B.W.R. Pearson; JSNTSup 192; Roehampton
InstituteLondonPapers6; Sheffield:SheffieldAcademicPress, 2000) 52-68.

SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

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with respectto g/Gloryand greatnessand sanctification.May he make them great


in every age. And they will become judges and rulers and leaders of all of the
seed of the sons of Jacob.

Biblically, the closest parallel to this elevation of Levi to a service


offeredin God's sanctuary"as the angels of the presenceand the holy
ones" is Mal. 2:5-7 where the prophetproclaimsthat "the lips of the
priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction
from his mouth, for he is the angel (messenger) of the Lord of hosts
(tW.-IMnAM i7V7 JKtO) "8 WhateverMalachimeantby these words, the

authorof Jubilees has taken them as an unequivocalstatementof the


angelomorphismof the Levites in their worship.9Again the theme of
glory that we encounteredin Sir. 45:2, 8 and 50:7 is present in this
text. Although it is not explicitly stated whose glory Levi is to possess, comparison with the Sirach passages would suggest both an
angelic glory and that of God himself.
The Divine and Angelic Humanity at Qumran

SirachandJubileesare close literaryrelationsof the Dead Sea Scroll


texts, all being the productof a distinctivelypriestlyscribalcreativity.
We should not be surprised,then, to find that the divine (or angelomorphic)high priest and lawgiver is a picturethat is developedin the
Dead Sea Scroll corpus. And, indeed, we do discover close literary
andconceptualparallelsbetweenSirach45, 50, Jubilees31 and several
Qumrantexts. However, these views of Moses and the (high priestare
representative of a wider phenomenon in the late second temple
period.'0Such a view of the high priest and Moses is also reflective
of a more fundamentaltheological anthropology.
Josephus says that Moses was a "divine man" (OFeio;
&vfip,Ant.
3:180) who was "rankedhigher than his own (human) nature (TOv
KpEUttOVa voRieaOxt)"(Ant. 3:320).
6v8pCt7CEItOifiKE T1 atXtTOi pUo
8 For the inspirationfrom Malachi 2 for Jub. 31:13-17 see the various treatments
of the lattertext by J.C. VanderKam,"Jubileesand the PriestlyMessiah of Qumran,"
RevQ 13 (1988) 353-65; The Book of Jubilees: Text and Translation (CSCO 510-1 1;
Scriptores Aethiopici 87-88; Leuven: Peeters, 1989) 2.205; "Jubilees' Exegetical
Creationof Levi the Priest,"RevQ 17 (1996) 359-73 and "Isaac'sBlessing of Levi and
his Descendantsin Jubilees31," The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea
Scrolls (eds D.W. Parryand E. Ulrich;STDJ 30; Leiden:Brill, 1999) 497-519.
9 There is no warrantfor a distinctionbetween a functional("servingas priests")
and ontological("beingpriests")interpretationof this text.
'? See, e.g., Fletcher-Louis,Luke-Acts, 118-29, 173-84;"4Q374:A Discourseon the
Sinai Tradition,"242-47.

296

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

Josephus has not simply idealised the Jewish lawgiver as a distant


hero of old. He says much the same thing of the Essenes as a whole
in a somewhatneglected passage where he says that Herod the Great
upheld a widespreadpopularview when he had "a higher opinion of
them than was consistent with their merely human nature (ge6COV
Tt
T
(Ant.
15:372)."
ip'otv)"
ei' aroi;
Kat
OiTiv
(ppovCOV
That this is, in fact, how the Qumrancommunitysaw themselves
is confirmedby the Scrolls. It has long been recognised that in the
Hodayot the righteous have been raised from the depths of human
existence to the heavenly heights where they share the lot of the
angels and experience the life of eternity, new creation, subsequent
upon forgiveness of sins.'2 That the Qumrancommunity members
experience a specifically angelic life also appearsnow to be in view
in 4QInstruction,otherwise known as 4QSapientialWork A, a text
extant in at least six copies and evidentlyof some value to the movement as a whole because it is written for the laity as much as the
priesthood.'3In his recent discussion of this text D.J. Harringtonhas
noted how a numberof passages reflect the community'saspiration
4 In a
for the angelic life as "theirideal mode of existence on earth."'
closer analysis of a particularlydifficultpassage (4Q417 2 i 16-18 =
4Q418 43 13-14) J.J. Collins has arguedthat the statementthat God
"gave it [i.e., the Vision of Hagi and the Book of Remembrance]as
an inheritanceto Enosh [or, "man"]togetherwith a people of spirit,
for accordingto the patternof his holy ones is his fashioning"should
be taken to mean that the true humanitywhich follows the wisdom of
the text is created in the image of the angels.'5 Collins further suggests

that this view of humanity is derived from a reading of Genesis 1

I See also Ant. 19:345 where the people who acclaim HerodAgrippaI a god say
that"yethenceforthwe agreethatyou aremorethanmortalinyourbeing(&kXitoiv-TEWev
KPEittOVa ae Ovnti; (PrOExS OgO>YOUgEV)."
12

See, esp. IQHI 11:20-25 [3:19-24] and compare14:11 [6:8]; 15:23-25 [7:19-22];

19:15-16 [11:12-13]. See Kuhn, Enderwartung und gegenwartiges Heil, 47-52; G.W.E.

Nickelsburg,Resurrection,Immortalityand Eternal Life in IntertestamentalJudaism


(HTS 26; Cambridge,MA: HarvardUniversityPress, 152-56).
13 IQ26, 4Q415-18?,4Q423. All these manuscripts
are writtenin the Herodianformal hand of the late first centuryBCE or early first centuryCE.
14 "Wisdom at Qumran," The Community of the Renewed Covenant: The Notre
Dame Symposium on the Dead Sea Scrolls (eds E.C. Ulrich and J.C. VanderKam;

Notre Dame, IN: Universityof Notre Dame Press, 1994) 57-58 on 4Q418 55 8-9; 69
12-13; 81 4-5.

1s "In the Likenessof the Holy Ones:The Creationof Humankindin a WisdomText


from Qumran," The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1.43-58.

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297

accordingto which the creationof Adam in the image and according


to the likeness of elohim is taken to mean his creation in the image
of the angels, i.e., "the gods."'6
Certainly,the view that Adam was createdangelomorphicwas not
uncommon in the late second temple period (e.g., 1 Enoch 69:11;
2 Enoch 30:11, Adam and Eve 4:1-2, cf. Ezek. 28:12-16). For the
Dead Sea Scroll community,however, we can be sure that an angelomorphicview of (the pre-lapsarian)Urmenschwas related to a more
exalted view of Adam as one createdto bear God's Glory. In the first
day's prayer for the weekly liturgy of the Words of the Heavenly
Lights (4Q504, 506) there is a remarkableretelling of the creation
story accordingto which Gen. 1:26, the creationof Adam "according
to the likeness (nMIni:)"of God, is fused with Ezek. 1:28, where the
anthropomorphicform of God occupying the throne in Ezekiel's
71r rn"Dnerl).
vision is describedas (mFri7'
The result is a prayer
of thanksgivingto God that he has created"Adamour falther, in the
likeness of [your] Glory (in:]z1nl: nmrnnnl
i 1n- 'u[t -n1)" (4Q504
8 recto 4). In anotherpart of this liturgyit is Israel who recapitulates
the true Adam as the bearerof God's Glory (frags 1-2 iii 2-4: "you
?]"),
have created us for your Glory [M)nfl
over against the
nations who are nothing but a manifestationof the tohu (wabohu)of
the pre-creationchaos.
If the Qumrancommunitythinksof itself as the trueIsrael and true
Adam, which is created to bear God's Glory it is not surprisingthat
they should believe that, at times, their own identityis angelic. Whilst
some have assumed that at Qumran there was a clear distinction
between angels and humans,'7there is enough here to suggest that a
more flexible theological anthropology was acceptable. Indeed, a
longer study would demonstratethe ubiquityof this view among the
Dead Sea Scrolls. In the rest of this essay I confine myself to an
examination of the Qumranview of the angelomorphicMoses and
high priest.

16
For otherinterpretations
of this difficultpassagesee, e.g., T. Elgvin, "TheMystery
to Come: Early Essene Theology of Revelation,"Qumranbetweenthe Old and New
Testaments(eds F.H. Cryer and T.L. Thompson;JSOTSup290; Sheffield:Sheffield
AcademicPress, 1998) 139-47.

"1E.g., H. Lichtenberger, Studien zum Menschenbild in Texten der Qumrangemeinde

(SUNT 15; Gottingen:Vandenhoeck& Ruprecht,1980) 224-27; M.J.Davidson,Angels


at Qumran: A Comparative Study of I Enoch 1-36; 72-108 and Sectarian Writings

from Qumran(JSPSup11; Sheffield:SheffieldAcademicPress, 1992) 156 n. 1, 200 n. 1.

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CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

An AngelomorphicMoses in QumranTexts
There are now extant a couple of texts in which Moses is angelic
or divine: 4Q374 2 ii and 4Q377 1 recto ii. The first of these I have
discussed in detail in an earlierarticle in this journal.'8In 4Q374 2 ii,
Exod. 7:1 ("See, I have made you [Moses] God to Pharaoh [o'r
fl3Y r]") is expanded ("and he made him as God [vm"tR'] to the
mighty ones and a and a cause of reeli[ng] to Pharaoh"(line 6) and
then related to the glorious transformationof Moses at Sinai (Exod.
34:30).1'The statementin Exod. 34:30 that "when Aaron and all the
Israelitessaw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were
afraid to come near him" is developed in the lines that follow (lines
7-8). Moses is so transfiguredthat, like Aaron in Sir. 45:7-8, his effect
on the people ("they melted and their hearts trembled and th[ei]r
inward parts dissolved," line 7) is that of the biblical divine warrior
(cf. Ps. 107:6-7). Such is his visual transformationthat the people do
not recognise him (line 9)-a traditionattestedalso in Pseudo-Philo's
Bib. Ant. 12:1.20
Moses' shining face then restoresthem, in much the same way that
an angel might restoreany mortalovercomewith the numinouspower
of its presence. Line 8 says, "and when he caused his face to shine
upon them for healing, they strengthened[their]hearts."This is perhaps a deliberateevocation of Num. 6:25, that part of the Aaronic
blessing where it is God himself who makes his own face shine upon
the people for theirwell-being. If so, then God's face is now mirrored
in Moses' face.
The second Moses text is a poorly preservedmanuscriptwrittenin
Herodianscript (4Q377 I recto ii). Sufficienttext of the second column of the recto can be made out for an angelomorphicMoses to be
clearly read:
2. they understandthe preceptsof Moses
3. And he answeredyou [and] said: "Helar,]congregationof YHWH, and pay
attention,all the assembly [ ]
4. to a[Il his] wor[ds]and [his] rulin[g]s.vacat Cursedis the man who does not
and keep and carry [out]
stand (n103u')

IxSee Fletcher-Louis,"4Q374:A Discourseon the Sinai Tradition."


' For the editio princeps see M. Broshi et al. (eds) in consultationwith J. VanderKam, QumranCave 4.XIV: Parabiblical Texts, Part 2 (DJD 19; Oxford:Clarendon
Press, 1995) 99-1 10. According to its editor (C.A. Newsom) the script is early
Herodiansemiformal(DJD 19.99).
20 Cf. Bib. Ant. 61:8-9 where the people fail to recognise the angelomorphically
transformedDavid.

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299

5. all the la[ws of Y]HWHby the mouthof Moses his anointedone (51t'Wn),
to
follow YHWH, the God of our fathers,who command[ed]
6. us from the mountainsof Sina[i]. vacat And he has spoken (mr1'r)with the
assembly of Israel face to face, as a man speaks
7. to his neighbour,and li[k]e (1[u]k:1) a man sees li[ghlt, he has caused us
to see in a burningfire, from above from heaven,
8. and on earth he stood (in)l WI
?)WI
on the mountainto teach us that
there is no God apartfrom him and no rock (rnn) like him. [And all]
9. the assembly [ 1 answered,and tremblingseized them before the Glory of
God (0'il*
x)
mnm -nS ) and the wonderfulthunders(rnpn1p
Tn1 :n
Wtn
ttLnrl)

10. and they stood at a distance (pIM1


rnn
). vacat But Moses, the man of
010
God, was with God in the cloud (1)D:)
O.U
V'A v lK 72101), and
there covered (OD'1)
11. him the cloud for [ ] when he sanctifiedhim, and he spoke as an angel from
his mouth, for who was a messen[ger]like him (or "who from fle[sh] was
In-r'
likehim")(-I= [ tvW:1
0
: vrnim:nn
] tt': 1Jn
pi[
12. a man of the pious ones (01-TfX V')? And he sho[wed] which were never
createdbefore or afterwards

At first sight, despite the lacunae, the text appears straightforward.


Like the deificationof Moses in 4Q374 the scene is again Mt Sinai.
In a patchworkof biblical language and allusions drawing on material in both Exodus and Deuteronomythe text describesthe giving of
the TorahthroughMoses' mediation.2'Moses' angelomorphismshould
not be limited to a functionalsimilarityin speaking God's words. It
is related specifically to his being covered by the theophaniccloud
(Exod. 24:18; 33:7-11), which is thereforeindicativeof Moses' peculiar identity.The cloud remindsus of the angelomorphic"one like a
son of man" in Dan. 7:13, the Glorious and theophanichigh priest
Simon in the clouds in Sir. 50:6 and, in particular,the transfigured
Jesus who is in so many ways a new Moses (Mark9:2-13 and parallels).22Again Moses' being sanctified(inpil7, line 11) speaks of his
peculiar identity and althoughthis is not explicitly stated it probably
has in view his becoming a "holy one (tp)" (cf. Sir. 45:2).
Pressingbeyond these cursoryobservations,however,the text raises
questions and problems. (1) First, we are bound to ask whether the
text has any literarycoherence.Is the angelic descriptionof Moses in
any way integratedinto its literarycontext?Is the text as a whole no
more than a pastiche of biblical language, or does the choice and
structureof biblical language serve any clear conceptualpurpose?
(2) Secondly, and as a specific instance of this literaryquestion,it

2' For a thoroughdiscussion see J. Zimmermann,MessianischeTexte aus Qumran


(WUNT 2.104; Tubingen:Mohr, 1998) 332-42.
22 See also 4Q369 I ii 8 and (the priestly)Enoch in I Enoch 14:8.

300

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

is not clear who the subjectof the standingin line 8 is meant to be.23
The immediately preceding subject of lines 5-7 is "the God of our
fathers,who commandedus from the mountainsof Sinai," who "has
spoken with the assembly of Israel face to face" and who has appearedto Israel in a burningfire (lines 5b-6a). There is no grammatical indicationof a change of subjectat the beginningof line 8 ("And
1], on the mountain.. ."), but
upon the earth he stood [-In l rratherthe last of a stringof paratacticclauses sharingthe same divine
subject.The image of God standingon the mountainis unusual,though
not entirelywithoutprecedentsince in Exod. 17:6 God says to Moses:
I will be standing(-nnS)there in front of you on the rock (nn) at Horeb.Strike
the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.

The reference to Horeb could be read as an account not simply of


Moses striking the rock at Massah and Meribah(Exod. 17:7), but a
forward glance to the theophanyat Sinai, and it is noteworthythat
rock language appearsfor God a couple of lines later in the Qumran
text (line 8).
However, there are good groundsfor thinkingthat it is Moses, not
God, who is describedstandingin line 8. From line 5 it is Moses who
could be the subjectnot only of the phrase"who commandedus from
the mountainsof the Sinai" (5b-6a), but also the statementthat "he
stood on the mountainto teach...." Because this teacherteaches that
there "is no God apart from him and no rock like him" this might
imply that he is, in fact, someone other than God. That it is in fact
Moses who is the one describedas standing is furthersuggested by
the fact that in lines 6-8 the text probablyhas in mind Deut. 5:4-6:
The Lord spoke with you face to face (-nZ DI]= 0'!) at the mountain,out of
the fire (0tvt1
flino).
(At that time I [i.e., Moses] was standingbetween the Lord
and you to declareto you the words of the Lord;for you were afraidbecauseof
the fire and did not go up the mountain). And he said: I am the Lord your
God,... you shall have no other gods before me

We can be fairly sure that lines 6-9 of 4Q377 1 recto ii are based
directly upon Deut. 5:4-7 as the following examples show:
A
B

with the assembly of Israel face to face (~'t%a oD'e


He has spoken (lf1)
0')E) (Deut. 5:4a), as a man speaks to his neighbour,(Exod. 33:11).
And as a man sees light he has caused us to see in a burning fire (OD:

inrn.VD)
(Deut. 5:4b, cf. Deut. 4:11; 5:23),
C from above, from heaven,and on the earthhe stood on the mountain(Deut.
5:5c)

23 As

Zimmerman(MessianischeTexte, 338) has noted.

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301

D to teach us that there is no God apartfrom him. (cf. Deut. 5:7: "you shall
have no other gods before me" etc.) and no rock like him.
E And all the assembly... answered,and tremblingseized them (Deut. 5:Sd:
"for you were afraid")before the Glory of God (i.e., the fire of Deut. 5:5d?)
and the wonderfulthunders
F and you stayed at a distance (Deut. 5:5d "and did not go up the mountain,"
cf. Exod. 20:18)

Although the text does not cite Deuteronomy as though it were a


pesher or some kind of midrash,that biblical text has provided the
structure upon which all its parts are hung. The language of the
Exodus version of the Sinai theophanyhas been introducedat a number of points. There are several biblical passages where God speaks
face to face with Moses (Exod. 33:11; Num. 12:8; Deut. 34:10), and
the expression "speakingface to face as to a neighbour"(lines 6-7)
comes specifically from Exod. 33:11. Lines 9b-lOa have come from
Exod. 20:18: "Whenall the people witnessed the thunder(lnlprl) and
lightning, the sound of the trumpet,and the mountainsmoking, they
were afraid and trembledand stood at a distance (prfrn Ylwn1 ). '24
But otherwise the Exodus account of the Sinai theophanydoes not
have the precise structureof these lines of the Qumrantext. So if
Deut. 5:4-6 has providedthe literaryand conceptual structureof the
text then that would suggest that it is Moses' standing,not God's, that
is in view since in Deut. 5:5 it specificallyMoses who is said to stand.
Furthermore,were our text interestedin the standing of a human
being ratherthan God this would cohere with two other instances of
the use of the verb l7 ("to stand")in the immediatecontext. As we
have just seen, line lOa refers to the assembly of the people standing
at Sinai and line 4 would alreadyappearto look forwardto this scene
when it says "cursedis the man who does not stand (nla') and keep
and do... ."'Althoughthe peopletrembled,theydid notfall butremained
standing.Whilst these two instancesof the verb 'rrx do not necessitate a referenceto Moses standingin line 8, they at least suggest that
the standingtheme is importantfor the text as a whole, which further
accentuatesthe need for the interpreterto make sense of the ambiguity between God and Moses in the main body of the text.
(3) Thirdly,anotheroddity arises from this latterproblem.There is
no doubt that line 6b cites the statementin Deut. 5:4 to the effect that
God spoke intimatelywith the whole people of Israelat Sinai. Further,
the introductionof the expression"as a man speaks to his neighbour"
from Exod. 33:11 suggests that our author is reading Deuteronomy
24

The "burningfire"will have been introducedfrom Deut. 4:11 and 5:23.

302

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

with one eye to Exodus. But it is precisely at this point that there is
generallyreckonedto be a tensionbetweenthetwobiblicalSinaiaccounts.
Whilst Deuteronomy has direct contact between God and the people (cf. Deut. 4:12, 15, 32-33, 36; 5:19; 10:4), Exodus is quite clear
that intimatecommunicationbetween God and the people is reserved
for Moses, whilst the people are kept at bay, unable to ascend the
mountainlet alone have communionwith God "face to face," as do
friends. Does the citation of Exod. 20:18 (cf. Exod. 19:16) in lines
9b-lOa mean that our authoris oblivious to the differencesbetween
the two accounts?If not, how can he have the people both standing
at a distance and interactingwith God "face to face, as a friend to a
neighbour"?25

In wrestling with these problems I suggest that each supplies the


answer to the other and the authoris deliberately,though somewhat
allusively, combining different parts of the biblical text in order to
resolve possible tensions inherentwithin it and in order to make a
specific theological point. The distinctionbetween God's standingand
that of Moses is deliberatelyblurredbecause 4Q377 wants to say that
in Moses' standingthere is God's standing.This then facilitatesa resolution of any perceived tension between Deut. 5:4 and Exodus 19
because it also means that in Moses' speakingto the people, there is
a mediation of God's speaking to the people face to face. As is per-

haps the case in 4Q374, where Moses fulfils Num. 6:25, God's face
is seen in Moses' face. What God has been to Moses, Moses is now
to the people.26 On this reading, the statement in line 11 that Moses
"spoke as an angel throughhis mouth" sums up the "argument"of
the preceding section: because Moses is God's angel, his words are
those of his master.Because Moses is shroudedby the cloud, his presence is really God's presence. The people did not ascend the mountain, but, althoughthey remainedat a distance,they had a face-to-face
encounterwith God because in Moses' face they encounteredGod's
face. As in 4Q374 frag. 2, the authorperhapshere has in mind the
shining of Moses' face in Exod. 34:30.
25 There are many ways in which the naturalmeaningof "face to face" in Deut. 5:4
can be avoided so as to pass over any tension with Exodus 19, as rabbinictradition
testifies (see, e.g., Pesiq. R. 21:6). But with the additionof "as a friend speaksto his
neighbour,"4Q377 leaves no doubtthat the communicationbetweenGod and Israelis
to be regardedas analogousto that between Moses and God.
26 Indeed, this way of resolving the perspectivesof Deuteronomyand Exodus is
perhapsanticipatedby Deut. 5:5 itself which qualifiesthe direct contactbetweenGod
and the people in the previous verse with referenceto the mediationof Moses (cf.
M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy1-11 [AB 5; New York:Doubleday,1991]) 240.

SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

303

The description of Moses as an angel in the cloud may also be


intended to align the lawgiver with the Angel of the LORD tradition according to which Yahweh has an angelic persona which is a
manifestation of his own being. As J. Fossum has shown, there is
ample evidence within Samaritantraditionthat Moses (or the Mosaic)
prophetcould be so identifiedwith the Angel of the LORD.27Already
in the biblical text (Zech. 12:8) the Davidic king is aligned with the
traditionof the Name-bearingangel attestedin Exod. 23:20-21. In this
case the people in 4Q377 will be like Gideon who saw "the angel of
the LORD face to face" (Judg. 6:22).
The suggestion that the ambivalencebetween God's standing and
that of Moses is deliberate might receive specific support from the
use of Deut. 5:5 in Philo, Samaritanismand proto-gnosticthoughtsurrounding Simon Magus. Philo regards Moses' Deuteronomic standFossum has pointed to the
ing as an indication of his immortality.28
parallelphenomenonin Samaritantexts where Moses is known as "the
(immutable) Standing One" (Memar Marqah 4:12), as was Simon
Magus in Simonian gnosis (Pseudo-ClementineHomilies II 22:3-4;
24:6-27).29In the Samaritanand the rabbinic traditionsthis standing
postureis generallyindicativeof the angelic life.30Such an interestin
standing as a posture symbolisingimmutabilityis already attestedin
the second centuryBCE authorAristobulus(frag. 2 [EusebiusPraep.
Evang. 8.9.38-8.10.17] 9-12) and so we can be sure it was an idea to
which the authorof 4Q377 was potentiallyexposed.
One of Philo's treatmentsof this theme, in fact, deservesto be cited
in full since it offers a numberof intriguingparallels to the Qumran
text. In the second volume of his work On Dreams 2:221-30, Philo
writes:
"HereI stand therebeforeyou, on the rock in Horeb"(Exod. 17:6),which means,
"this I, the manifest, Who am here, am there also, am everywhere,for I have
filled all things. I stand ever the same immutable,before you or anythingthat
exists came into being, establishedon the topmost and most ancient source of

27 J. Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish
Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism (WUNT 36; Tiibingen: Mohr,

1985).
28 Sac. 8-10; Somn. 1:157-58;2:222-23, 227-34; Post. 27-29, cf. the immutability
of
God as one who "stands"in Conf. 96; Somn. 1:241, 245; 2:222-23); Mut. 54, 87. See
the discussion in, for example, A.F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic
Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA 25; Leiden: Brill, 1977) 170-71.
29 Fossum,Name of God, 56-58, 120-21.

30See Fossum, Name of God, 121 and, e.g., Avot R. Nat. A 12:2; 37:2; Gen. Rab.
8:11; 14:3; b. Hag. 16a; PirqeR. El. 46.

304

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

power, whence showers forth the birth of all that is.... And Moses too gives
his testimonyto the unchangeablenessof the deity when he says "they saw the
place where the God of Israelstood (0TAKCeI)" (Exod. 24:10),1' for by the standing or establishmenthe indicates his immutability.But indeed so vast in its
excess is the stabilityof the Deity that He impartsto chosen naturesa share of
His steadfastnessto be their richest possession. For instance, He says of His
covenant (tLa%xn)filled with His bounties,the highest law (vo6go;)and principle, that is, which rules existent things, that this god-like image shall be firmly
plantedwith the righteoussoul as its pedestal32... And it is the earnestdesireof
all the God-belovedto fly from the stormywatersof engrossingbusinesswith its
perpetualturmoil of surge and billow, and anchor in the calm safe shelter of
virtue's roadsteads.See what is said of wise Abraham,how he was "standingin
front of God" (Gen. 18:22), for when should we expect a mind to stand and no
longer sway as on the balance save when it is opposite God, seeing and being
seen?... To Moses, too, this divine commandwas given: "Standhere with me"
(Deut. 5:31), and this brings out both the points suggested above, namely the
unswervingquality of the man of worth, and the absolute stabilityof Him that
IS. For that which draws near to God enters into affinity with what is, and
throughthat immutabilitybecomes self standing.... Thus he [i.e., Moses] says:
"And I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. 5:5), where he does not mean
thathe stood firm uponhis feet, but wishes to indicatethat the mindof the Sage,
released from storms and wars, with calm still weather and profoundpeace
aroundit, is superiorto men, but less than God.... The good man indeedis on
the border-line,so that we may say, quite properly,that he is neitherGod nor
man, but boundedat eitherend by the two, by mortalitybecauseof his manhood,
by incorruptionbecause of his virtue.3

There are enough parallels between Philo's discussion here and our
Qumrantext for us to wonderwhetherhe is relianton somethinglike
the latter.Like Philo, 4Q377 is workingwith Deut. 5:5, the giving of
the Torah,and perhapsExod. 17:6. Both texts think standingis a posture indicative of a transcendentidentity in which the righteouscan
participateand of which Moses is the pre-eminentexample. With the
stabilityof standingis contrastedthe corruptibilityof motion, turmoil
and storms,which is perhapsreflectedin the tension between Israel's
"standing"(lines 4 and 10) and her "trembling"(line 9) before the
Glory of God in the Qumrantext. Whetherthis and othersimilarpassages in Philo (cf. esp. Sacr. 8-10; Post. 27-29) are geneticallyrelated
to 4Q377 is not certain,but remainsa possibility.
There is nothingspecificallyEssene or sectarianin this text. Indeed
the freedom with which the divine Name is used points away from
3' Here Philo is relianton his Septuagint,since the Hebrew lacks any referenceto
God's "standing."
32 This difficultimage is then supportedand developed througha citationof Gen.

9:11.

31Modifiedfrom Philo V (trans F.H. Colson and G.H. Whitaker;LCL 275; Cambridge,MA: HarvardUniversityPress, 1934) 542-47.

SOME REFLECTIONS ON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

305

such a provenance.However, it is perfectlyconsistentwith the Essene


venerationof Moses and belief in his suprahumanidentity. It is quite
possibly both pre-Qumranicand the original possession of a wider
movement, perhapsthe Hasidim of 1 Macc. 2:42; 7:14 and 2 Macc.
14:6, from which Essenism may have emerged.34If the reading of
4Q377 suggested here is on the mark then this Qumrantext would
confirmFossum's contentionthat here, as elsewhere,Philo, Samaritan
theology and early gnostic thoughtderives from an older "orthodox"
Jewish milieu in which Moses is regarded as an angelic or divine
being.35
Accordingto Josephusthe Essenes held Moses in high regard,judging any slander of the lawgiver as tantamountto blasphemy (War
2:145; cf. 2:152). Such a high regardfor Moses in the Qumrancommunity is now reflected in these two texts (4Q374 and 4Q377): it is
easy to appreciatehow, if Moses is regardedas C1m5tR
and a 7xtm,
slandering him might be tantamountto blasphemy (cf. esp. Exod.
22:28). Indeed, it is possible that lines 4b-6a of the 4Q377 fragment,
"cursedis the man who does not... keep and carry out... all the
laws of YHWH by the mouth of Moses his anointed one" reflects
the embracing of God's principal mediatorunder the prohibitionof
blasphemy.
The Angelomorphic and Glorious Priesthood at Qumran

As we have seen in the pre-QumranmaterialSirach and Jubilees


the priesthood figures prominently as the angelomorphicbearer of
God's Glory. In as much as the priesthoodrepresentsthe people and
at Qumranit is the people themselveswho are bearersof God's Glory
(4Q504), it is hardlysurprisingthat this Glory should be intensifiedin
those who mediate between God and his people. Given the characterisation of the priesthoodin the Hebrew of Sir. 45:7-8; 50:7 and Jub.
31:14-15 on the one hand, and the priestlyorientationof the Qumran
community on the other, it is hardly surprisingthat this theme is
developed in Qumranliterature.
Indeed, some importantconnectionsbetween these texts and those
from the caves examined thus far present themselves. The way in
Cf. Zimmermann,Messianische Texte, 341-42.
It is worth noting the way in which the ability to stand before God is relatedto
worthiness and immortality in the Hodayot (see IQHa 12:21-22 [4:20-21]; 18:11
[10:9]; 20:30 [12:27]).
3

3.

306

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

which the priest acts as divine warriorin Sir. 45:7-8 is taken up by


Moses in 4Q374. The theme of g/Glory in both Sirach and Jubilees
recurs in the anthropologyof the Words of the Heavenly Lights. In
particularthe way in which the creation of Adam is fused with the
vision of God's anthropomorphic
form in Ezek. 1:26-28has an important precursorin Sir. 50:7 where the high priest is describedin terms
of Ezek. 1:28. That there is some liturgicaland conceptualconnection
between the two passages is highly likely given that, as C.T.R. Hayward has shown, in Sir. 49:16-50:1 Simon the high priest himself is
set up as the true,or second, Adam, uniquelybearingthe first Adam's
beauty.36
There are now a numberof instances where texts peculiar to the
Qumranlibrary evince the belief that the priests in general, and the
high priesthood in particular,are angelomorphicor divine. 4Q511
(Songs of the Sage) frag. 35 describesthe community'spriesthoodas
the holiest of the holy ones (cf. IQS 8:5-6, 8-9; 4QMMT B 76-79)
who have been separatedby God in orderto be "an everlastingsanctuary"(line 3). As such they shall be "priests,his righteous people,
his host and servants, angels of his glory (line 4: IC! l DM ) n'flD
In general terms this reflects the angelomorDrz:
Unmvm)).37

rnn:

phic priesthoodtraditionestablished in earlier texts. Once more the


language is doxological. To call the human priesthoodGod's "host,"
that body of heavenly beings that accompaniesthe divine warrior,is
to generalisefrom the characterisationof Aaron as the divine warrior
(Sir. 45:7-8) to the priesthoodas a whole. To describe the angelomorphicpriesthoodas "servants"is in accord with Jub. 31:14 where
the Levites are "to serve"in God's sanctuaryas the angels of the presence. Whereasin Jubilees,Levi is to serve "in his sanctuary,"now in
4Q511 35 the priests are themselves to be that sanctuary.Again the
designationof the priesthoodas super-sanctifiedholy ones reflects an
intensificationof theoldertraditionaccordingto whichthe angelomorphic
priests serve as holy ones (Jub. 31:14).
Elsewhere,I have attemptedto show that this understandingof the
human priesthoodat Qumranis present in a thoroughgoingliturgical
form in the Songs of the SabbathSacrifice,where,contraryto the consensus among modern interpreters,it is the human worshippers,not
suprahumanangels, who are the elohim, (angelomorphic)ministers,
36

Hayward,Jewish Temple, 44-46.


-1 For a justificationof this translationand a rejectionof others see Fletcher-Louis,
Luke-Acts, 190-92.

SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

307

priests, chiefs, and the like.38This priestly self-perception is also


reflectedin a numberof more fragmentaryQumrantexts. For example, since a passing commentby J.T. Milik first introducedthe text, a
fragmentof 4Q543 (4QVisions of Amram),which says, "you will be
God (or, "a god") and an angel of God you will be ca[lIed (mnn tA
mrpJnnbtRJRml has been read as an address to Aaron.39This is
possible, since the text may be part of a visionaryTestamentof Amram (4Q543 1 1-4 = 4Q545 1 i 1-4 = 4Q546 1 1-3) when a prediction of Aaron's ordinationto a new office would be a fitting moment
for him to receive a heavenly title. Also worth noting is 4QTLevid9 i,
a passage which has been much discussed for its possible use of the
SufferingServantsong of Isaiah 53 to describea heavenly high priest.
Whetheror not Isaiah 53 has contributedto the depictionof this high
priest's sufferinghe is indisputablyheavenly since "his word is like
the word of the heavens" and "his eternal sun will shine; and its fire
will burn in all the comers of the earth.. ." (lines 3-4).
The one Qumrantext that is without a doubt a descriptionof an
angelomorphicpriesthoodis IQSb 4:23-28 which reads as follows:
'u03 (24)

nr

r - ,:... n:[. 7-I]m] n:nvi o'i-ip


nn

st0n_- (25) rintv in-u-i wtn[ ...]n1-r -i


... nijs::;
niD5rz (26) 5D,nm n-iom n,,no ri[n
u nu [5 . .. ] -n, nxvi c')e
K,D nzo nq,? or:n

ji.uo n'in

n,-nr tnn
1MD:nI *

[...] -nxn', 1imv [v]nip nDr'u' iDo[o

7[upn

inMM] .':) O'D-np1

rnp',

-M

[...]

(28)

vi-n nttvl (23)


-: m*in 5m nsYu
nEt -nnzDb o-ip
mv5 DD n): t'Dni
'iD
=-I

n:J
'D

(27)
-rnKn~

I'Vn1PIInv

(23) andto raiseup at the headof the holy ones,andyourpeopleto ble[ss...]


yourl....]brtin yourhand(24) the menof God'scouncilandnotby thehandof
a princeyd[.... by each man for his fellow.And (may)you (be) (25) as an
Angel of the Presencein the abodeof holinessfor the Gloryof the God of
Hos[ts... you] will be roundaboutservingin the palaceof the (26) kingdom
andmayyou cast the lot withthe Angelsof the Presenceanda commoncouncil [... for] eternaltime and for all the gloriousendtimes.Because(27) [true
(are) all] his [juidgements.May he make you ho[ly] among his people, and to

give light [...1 for the worldin knowledge,and to illuminatethe face of the
Many(28) [...J a diademfor the holy of holies,because[youare made]holy
for him,andshallmakeGlorioushis Nameandhis holiness.

38 C.H.T. Fletcher-Louis,"Ascent to Heaven and the Embodimentof Heaven: a


RevisionistReading of the Songs of the SabbathSacrifice,"SBLSP (Atlanta:Scholars
Press, 1998) 367-99.
39 See J.T. Milik "4QVisionsde 'Amramet une citationd'Orig6ne,"RB 79 (1972)
92. See PAM 43.577 and 43.578. For a reconstructionof the text, using a small fragment from PAM 43.578 to form the T-nprIand the connectionof the largerfragment
of PAM 43.577 with another copy of the same text (4Q545) see K. Beyer, Die
aramaischen Texte vom Toten Meer, Ergdnzungsband(Gottingen:Vandenhoeck&

308

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

Opinions as to whether this blessing was already in use for the


QumranCommunityare divided. In the light of the texts alreadydiscussed, however, there is no reason to think that its distinctively
angelomorphicunderstandingof the priesthood is the product of a
futuretranscendenteschatology:even if this blessing was reservedfor
the future,that futureis a thoroughlythis-worldly,historicalone, and,
in any case, this priest's vocation is for the most part a reflectionof
texts where there is no doubt that the angelomorphismof the priesthood alreadyserving is in view.
In particular,we may discern here the influence of the ordination
of the Levites to their angelomorphicpriesthoodin Jubilees 31. Like
the angelomorphicLevites in Jubilees the priest in IQSb is to serve
in God's sanctuary(esp. lines 25, 28) as "an angel of the face (or,
'presence')."Both passages emphasise the themes of glory and holiness. In Jub. 31:15 Levi is to bless all the seed of the beloved, presumablywith the Aaronic blessing of Num. 6:22-27. lQSb 4:23 may
also refer to the high priest's role as blesser of his people, thoughthe
context is broken.40Num. 6:22-26 plays a pivotal role in the rest of
the Blessings Scroll as it does in other DSS texts.4'Several commentatorshave also seen the influenceof Num. 6:25 "May the Lord make
his face to shine upon you, and be graciousto you" on line 27 where
the priest himself is "to give light [ ] for the world in knowledge
and to illuminatethe face of the Many."42
Both statementsof the priesthood'sangelomorphismare also made
in blessings upon the priesthood:in Jubilees 31 Isaac blesses Levi,
whilst in 1QSb the maskil blesses the high priest (see ':Izv7 in 1:1;
3:22; 5:20). In Jubilees 31 the blessing of Levi precedesthat of Judah
(18-20), just as in lQSb the blessing of the high priest (4:24-28) precedes the blessing of the (royal) princeof the congregation(5:20-29).
In 4:28 the priest is to glorify God's Name. There are only a few bibRuprecht,1994) 85-87. Beyer's reconstructionis used in F. GarciaMartinezand E.J.C.
Tigchelaar,The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Leiden: Brill, 1997-98) 2.1084-85,
1088-91.
"IFor Num. 6:22-27 here see H. Stegemann,"SomeRemarksto IQSa, to IQSb, and
to QumranMessianism,"RevQ 17 (1996) 497 who considers4:23 as 4:21 because he
has estimatedthe numberof lines per column differently(cf. ibid., p. 484).
4' See D. Barth6lemy, O.P. and J.T. Milik, Qumran Cave I (DJD 1; Oxford:
ClarendonPress, 1955) 121-29 notes ad loc; B. Nitzan, QumranPrayer and Religious
Poetry (trans.J. Chipman;STDJ 12; Leiden:Brill, 1994) 155-67; Stegemann,"Some
Remarks,"497. For Num. 6:22-27 in DSS see also IQS 2:2-4; 4Q542 I i 1; llQ14 1
ii 7 = 4Q285 1 3-4.
42
Zimmermann,MessianischeTexte,282; Stegemann,"Some Remarks,"497.

SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

309

lical texts where humansare to do so and, perhapssignificantly,Mal.


2:2 is the only instance where this is the priest's vocation (rn=: nnt
'r:*).43

As we saw, Malachi 2 provided the biblical basis for the angelo-

morphic priesthood in Jub. 31:14 and its presence may still linger
beneaththe surface of lQSb col. 4.
The high priest here is both functionallyand ontologically angelic.
In line 26 he is to "cast lot with the angels of the presence."In the
context of the Rule Scroll (lQS-IQSa-lQSb) this casting of lots
should probablybe understoodin relationto the covenantrenewalceremony (1QS 1:18-2:26) and the Two Spirits discourse (IQS 3:134:26), where the Priests' and Levites' blessing and cursingensuresthe
wicked are assigned to their lot (2:17) and the righteous within the
communityare placed in theirs (2:23), in a way that reflects the divinely ordainedcosmic dualism between the sons of light and the sons
of darkness in their respective lots (see esp. 4:26). As the cultic
representativeof the sons of light, the priest,perhapsechoing the role
of the prince of lights (lQS 3:20, cf. 3:24), is to give light to the
righteous.
If Num. 6:25 is in the backgroundin line 27 then it is as though
God's shining of his face has been delegatedto the priest.This would
then pick up the two Moses texts already discussed, where, in each
case, there is the impression that Moses' face is God's own face.
Indeed, in 4Q374 2 ii 8 we have already seen how Num. 6:25 has
contributedto a statementof human divinity in this way. In this light
to say that the priest is as "an angel of the face" is to say that he
himself is to bear something of God's own face and, therefore,his
presence.
Divine embodimentcomes more prominentlyto the fore in line 28
where the high priest is to glorify God's Name and his holiness. What
does this mean exactly?This languageis easily given an entirelytransitive sense: the high priest glorifies God by praisinghim verbally or
otherwisedirectingthe people's attentionto him. However, numerous
considerationsmust mean that in this text the verb "to glorify"carries
a certainreflexive sense: the high priest is to glorify God's Name by
virtue of the fact that he embodies it and gives it substantialpresence-real presence-within the community.The context makes no
mention of the high priest verballypraisingGod and so it is unlikely
43 Cf. the psalmistin Ps. 86:12, the nations in Ps. 86:9 and God giving glory to his
own name in Ps. 115:1. The glorious natureof God's name is widespread(e.g., Ps.
66:2; 72:19; 96:18; Neh. 9:5).

310

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

that his giving Glory to God's Name is meantin that sense. We have
already seen how in Sirach 50 the high priest embodies the Glory of
God and how Jubilees31 and the Wordsof the HeavenlyLights again
take up this rhetoricof Glory. When in Sir. 50:11 it says that Simon
"glorified(1nT1,7r
E80taacv)the courtof the sanctuary"it means that by
his presence (and his action) he filled the sanctuarywith God's own
Glory. The force is probablysimilar in our text.
In lQSb 4:28 there is a referenceto "a diadem(rnT)for the holy of
This must be a referenceto the holy diadem(V7pfl ntM)worn
holies."""
by the high priest accordingto Exod. 29:6; 39:30 and Lev. 8:9. A reference to this diadem is highly fitting in the context given that the
high priest is to glorify God's Name and it is upon this diadem that
the Name is inscribed.When the text refers to "a diademfor the holy
of holies" it must be talkingaboutthe high priestwho alone entersthe
innermostsanctuary(cf. m. Yoma 5:1-4; 7:4).45
Whilst some translatorshave recognisedthe referencein line 28 to
this diadem,there seems to be a temptationto take the meaningmetaphoricallyandrestore"mayhe makeyou] a diademof holy of holies."46
I see no reason for this non-literalreading.Rather,I would suggest
that lines 26-28 as a whole are concernedfirst and foremostwith the
high priest's garments and their theological and cosmological functions. Whilst line 28 is devoted to the diadem bearing the divine
Name, lines 26-27 are interestedin the breastpieceof judgementand
the Urim and Thummim.This is most clearly seen in the priest'srole
as the giver of light in line 27, since the Urim and Thummimcarried or worn by the high priest are almost universallyinterpretedin
the late and post-biblicalperiod as a light-givingoracle, by virtue of
the (perceived)etymology of the word Urim (D'nt4) from the root -nt1,
"light." It is not clear exactly how this light-giving oracle was believed to work, but certainly at Qumran,for Josephus and for other
Jews, the Urim and Thummim were somehow identified with the
stones of the high priest's breastpiece(Exod. 28:9-30).4'That breastMilikrightlyperceivedthat-ntis a distinctandseparateword.PaceL.T.Stuckenbruck
in J.H. Charlesworth, The Dead Sea Scrolls. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with
English Translations. Vol. I Rule of the Community and Related Documents (Tubingen:

J.C.B. Mohr[Paul Siebeck];Louisville:Westminster/John


Knox Press, 1993) 128-29 it
is not possible to restore It;[n because there is no evidence for a letterbefore the nun
where the leatherremainsintact (see DJD 1.126 and pl. XXVIII).
4 So rightly Zimmermann,
MessianischeTexte,282.
46 GarciaMartinezand Tigchelaar,StudyEdition, 1.107.
47 See 4Q376 and IQ29; Ant. 3:214-18 and for a thoroughdiscussionof the ancient

SOME REFLECTIONSON ANGELOMORPHICHUMANITY TEXTS

311

piece is specificallyreferredto as "a breastpieceof judgement(cDOM)


(Exod. 28:15, 28-29) and so the referencein line 27 to "his [ju]dgements (1c=4[0)" also fits this context since it is throughthis oracular
device that the high priest declares God's judgements.
The referenceto the high priest casting @trB) lot in line 26 may
also anticipatethe Urim and Thummimlanguagein line 27. In 1 Sam.
14:40-42 Saul casts (*lDn) lots to discover the source of sin within
the Israelite camp.48The Septuagint, which perhaps preserves the
original and fuller form of the text, understandsthis lot-taking as
inquiringof the Urim and Thummim.Indeed, modernscholarshiphas
regularly ventured a psephomantic interpretationof the Urim and
Thummim.
So, in this blessing the statementthat the high priest is to be as an
angel of the presence is followed by a focus on two of the most
importantaspects of the high priest's garb; his gem-studdedbreastpiece and his headgear bearing God's Name. All this is important
because it strengthensour conviction that in line 28 the glorification
of God's Name is by virtue of the high priest acting as the real presence for the Glory of the Name: this real presence is expressed in
terms of sacred clothing and its various theophanic functions. The
high priest brings Glory to God's Name by virtue of his capacity as
bearerof that Name and its visible manifestation.
It is worthcontrastingthis with what is said aboutthe princein col.
5. In 5:28 it is said God "will strengthenyou [i.e., the prince]with his
Holy Name (7m7= 10Vl;Mmon)." Whereas the high priest acts for the

Name of God as the one who gives it Glory, the prince is passive in
as much as he is a recipientof the Name's power. Presumably,also,
this difference reflects the liturgical and theocratic relationshipbetween the two, with the high priest acting as the divine mediatorand
guide for the king: to say that God will strengthenthe royal leader
with his Holy Name, is to make him a subordinaterecipient of the
high priest as one who manifests that Name both liturgicallyand, in
particular,through the juridicial or salvific power of the Urim and
Thummim.
Althoughthe blessing of the high priest in lQSb belongs in a particular literarytrajectoryof priestly ideology which is anticipatedin
witnesses

C. van Dam, The Urim and Thummim: An Old Testament Means of

Revelation(WinonaLake, IN: Eisenbrauns,1993).


48 See the discussion of this passage in van Dam, The Urim and Thummim, 194214.

CRISPIN H.T. FLETCHER-LOUIS

312

one proto-Essene text (Jubilees 31), its view of the angelomorphic


priesthoodin IQSb is reflective of a wider late second temple practice and belief. It seems, in fact, to have been a widely held belief that
by virtue of his glorious garmentsand the light-givingstones Israel's
chief priest was an otherworldlybeing. The Letter of Aristeas 97-99
describes the high priest as follows:
On his breasthe wears what is called the "oracle,"to which are attached"twelve
stones"of differentkinds, set in gold, giving the names of the patriarchsin what
was the original order,each stone flashing its own naturaldistinctivecolourquite indescribable.Upon his head he has what is called the "tiara,"and upon
this the inimitable"mitre,"the halloweddiadem having in relief, in the middle
of the forehead,in holy letterson a golden leaf the Name of God, the fulfilment
of Glory [8o?ti (some MSS: 86on) ncnXnpwgEvovj....Their appearancemakes
one awestruckand dumfounded:a man would thinkhe [eitherthe high priestor
the viewer] had come out of this world into anotherone (i1Si a0p.p6vEta toi)xcOV
Kal tapaXI'Jv,
?UnOtEl cOp71oV

irTE VogtiEIV

it; ETEpOV iXUX)0Evat

iKTO;

TOD

KOgOt)).

The language is not identical, which is not surprisinggiven the difference in genre and audience (Aristeas is written for a Hellenized
readership),but the basic ideology is the same. As in lQSb 4 it is the
oracular,refulgent breastpiece,and the Name-bearingtiara which is
distinctiveof the high priest.With the statementin difficultGreekthat
the high priest's garments,in particularthe diadembearingthe Name,
are the "fulfilmentof Glory"we should comparethe equally pregnant
languageof 1QSb4:28 wherethehighpriestis to "makeGlorious(God's)
Name." Where Aristeas speaks of the wearer of these garments in
terms of the other-worldly,there can be little doubt that he has translated the angelomorphismof the Qumrantext into terms suitable for
his Hellenisticreadership.