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Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature$
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Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth L. Sanders

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479823048

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479823048.001.0001

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“I Was Shown Another Calculation” (אחזית חשבון אחרן‎)

“I Was Shown Another Calculation” (אחזית חשבון אחרן‎)

The Language of Knowledge in Aramaic Enoch and Priestly Hebrew1

(p.69) 4. “I Was Shown Another Calculation” (אחזית חשבון אחרן‎)
Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

Seth L. Sanders

NYU Press

This chapter examines why the Astronomical Book of Enoch was presented in the Levant as a set of mystical visions in an incipient Jewish apocalyptic literature by placing the book in the cultural context of Hellenistic Judea. In particular, it analyzes an Aramaic phrase for “to see,” which is used in the Astronomical Book to denote the essential formula of revealed knowledge and introduces formulae for calculating the hours of light, along with cosmic geography in the Enochic Book of Watchers. It also explores ancient Jewish knowledge of the physical world in a “revealed science” that helps explain how astronomy could function as part of an apocalypse.

Keywords:   apocalyptic literature, Astronomical Book, Enoch, Hellenistic Judea, revealed knowledge, Book of Watchers, physical world, revealed science, astronomy, apocalypse

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