4Q246: 4QAramaic Apocalypse

4Q246 Manuscript

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Transcription of 4Q246

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Translation of  4Q246

Col. I 

1. [   ] rested upon him, he fell befor the throne

2. [… k]ing, rage is coming to the world, and your years

3. […]. . . your vision, all of it is about to come unto the world.

4. [… mi]ghty [signs], distress is coming uopn the land

5. […]  great slaughter in the provinces

6. […] king of Assyria [ and E]gypt

7. […] he will rule over the land

8. […] will do and all will serve

9. [… gr]eat will be called and he will be designated by his name.

Col II

1. He will be called the Son of God, and they will call him the Son of the Most High like a shooting star.

2. that you saw, so will be thier kingdom, they will rule several years over

3. the earth and crush everything, a people will crush another people and nation (will crush) nation.

4. Blank (space left balnk in the manuscript) Until the people of God arises and makes everyone rest from warfare.

5. Their kingdom will be an eteranl kingdom, and their paths will be righteous. They will judge

6. the earth with truth, and all (nations) will make peace. The warfare will cease from the land,

7. and all (nations) will worship him. The great God will be their help,

8. He Himself will fight for them, putting peoples into their power, all of them

9. He will cast them away before him, His dominion will be an everlasting dominion and all the abysses

The main question of 4Q246 (Aramaic Apocalypse) is the personage designated the “Son of God.” Who is the “Son of God”? Is this a positive figure or a negative figure? J. T. Milik insists that the “Son of God” refers to a Seleucid king, referring Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Milik 1992, 383). Florentino Garcia Martinez suggests that it is an angelic savior as Michael, Melchizedek, and the Prince of Light (Martinez 1992, 162-79). Most scholars view the figure as a messianic redeemer who will overthrow God’s enemies and establish the kingdom of God’s people (Cross 1996, 1-13). But Joseph A. Fitzmyer argues that the reference of the Son of God is not a messiah, but a coming Jewish ruler, perhaps a member of the Hasmonean dynasty (Fitzmyer 1993, 173-74). According to the scholars, therefore, the title “Son of God” would be either a heavenly figue or a human being.

Martin Hengel suggests that the figure is similar to “the one like a Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13-14 (Hengel 1976, 45), and argues that the tiles may be interpreted collectively “of the Jewish people.” I also argue that the author of 4Q246 was influenced by Daniel 7. The two texts reveal such an extensive degree of verbal, thematic, and structural correspondence. The most striking parallels between the two texts are the two phrases שלטנה שלטן עלם (“whose dominion is an everlasting dominion” [Dan 7:14; cf. 4Q246 2:9]) and מלכותה מלכות עלם (“his/its kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom” [Dan 7:27; cf. 4Q246 2:5]). Karl A. Kuhn argues that the verb דוש (crush) supplements these two verbal correspondences (Dan 7:23; 4Q246 2:3) in terms of the thematic parallels (Kuhn 2007, 28). In addition to these parallels, Kuhn suggests that the two texts present a transition of the dominion from the beasts/provinces to an individual figure/the people of God:

1. Following the prologue, both begin with a description of distress and destruction resolved by God’s intervention and the coming of God’s agent: in Daniel, the “one like a son of man,” and in 4Q246, the “Son of God, Son of the Most High” (Dan 7:4-14; cf. 4Q246 1:4-2:1ab).

2. The first account is followed by a second, again depicting the dominion of the evil beast(s)/peoples until the people of God arise and gain possession of the kingdom (Dan 7:15-22; cf. 4Q246 2:1c-7a).

3. Both texts conclude with still another rehearsal of the overthrow of the beast(s)/peoples who oppose God’s people (Dan 7:23-28; cf. 4Q246 2:7b-9).

Reference List

Cross, Frank Moore. 1996. “Notes on the Doctrine of the Two Messiahs at Qumran and the Extracanonical Daniel Apocalypse (4Q246).” in Current Research and Technological Developments on the Dea Sea Scrolls: Conference on the Texts from the Judean Desert, Jerusalem. 30 April 1995. Edited by W. Parry and Stephen D. Rick. STDJ 20. Leiden: Brill. 

Fitzmyer, Joseph A. 4Q246: The “Son of Gpd” Document from Qumran. Biblica 74 (1993): 153-74.

Hengel, Martin. 1976. The Son of God: The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religion. Translated by John Bowden. Philadelphia: Fortress. 

Kuhn, Karl L. 2007. “The ‘One like a Son of Man’ Becomes the ‘Son of God'” CBQ 69: 222-42.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia Martinez. 1992. Qumran and Apocalyptic: Studies on the Aramaic Texts from Qumran. STDJ 9. New York: Brill.   

Milik, J. T. 1992. “Les modeles aramaeens du livre d’Esther dans la grotte 4 de Qumran.” RevQ 15: 321-406.

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22 Responses

  1. Hi Jin Yang,

    You say, “I argue that the author of 4Q246 was influenced by Daniel 7.”

    Why do you think the direction of influence is from Daniel 7 to 4Q246, and not vice versa?

    Regards,
    Deane

  2. Dear Deane,
    Thank you for your comment.
    As you know very well, it is very difficult to state which version is older.

    Daniel is commonly dated no later 164 B.C.E.
    Fitzmyer examined on paleographic grounds of the two texts, and insisted that 4Q246 is to be dated the last third of the first century B.C.E. If Fitzmyer’s examination on the paleograph of 4Q246, then the text of Aramic Apocalypse in Qumran was influenced by Daniel 7.

    • Do you really believe the book of Daniel originated in 164? What about all the Old Persian loan words, not to mention the several Akkadian loan words found in Daniel? That date is generally given to discredit the prophecies in Daniel due to their great accuracy. You may also consider that Josephus claims that Alexander the Great was shown the prophecies of Daniel and he showed grace to the nation of Israel because he understood the prophecies as applying to himself (Bk XI, sect. 5). Also consider the Mesopotamian influence in Daniel, such as the king’s dream of a great tree in light of the king’s imagery which coincides with the king;s relationship to the sacred tree/Assyrian tree in the ancient near east. The late language in Daniel can only hint at stages in which a text was copied but it does not reveal the origins or any given text. Think of the Talmud…would anyone judge the origins of the Talmud based on the style of text we see in its pages? No….we know that it was actually passed along orally for many years before it was written down. Why not be slower to agree with majority that Daniel was written at such a late date?

  3. Jin Yang,

    I don’t think you can reach such a conclusion from paleography. Paleographic dating refers to the dating of the copy of the particular scroll, not the date of the work itself. The paleographic dating of 4Q246 can only give us the date it was copied. By comparison, some of the copies of Daniel which were found at Qumran are dated even later than 4Q246. 1Q71 and 1Q72 are both in a ‘Herodian’ hand, for example. None of this paleographic evidence tells us when the Book of Daniel was first completed.

    What I was getting at was the reasons you had for saying, “I argue that the author of 4Q246 was influenced by Daniel 7.” What are your arguments for this direction of influence?

    Regards,
    Deane

  4. “SON OF GOD ” AND “SON OF THE MOST HIGH ” IS JESUS CHRIST !

  5. Dear Laura,
    I also would believe that the personage in 4Q246 is Jesus in terms of the cannonical approach as I am also Christian, but the author of the text wasn’t Christian.

  6. Dear Mr. Kim,

    I am planning to write my thesis in the area of “The identity of the Son of Man in the Gospels”. There are many libaral scholars who claim that it is a reference to mere humanity of Christ. Being an evangelical Christian I firmly belove that it is a Messianic title refering to Daniel 7:13

    At the moment I am writing a paper for my Aramaic class based on the issue “The eschatological figure of 4Q246”.

    It was helpful to read this information on your website.

    Could you please expand more on what is your view on the Son of Man in Daniel 7? And your view on “Son of God” in 4 Q 246?

    kind regards,
    Alex

    PC: Could you also guide me to a bibliographical list on this topic?

  7. I’m glad that you found my essay helpful for your research.

    As you read my essay, I would identity of “the Son of Man” in both Daniel 7 and 4Q246 with the Jewish people as collectively. You may also see my another essay on Daniel 7 in my blog:

    https://otstory.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/what-does-the-vision-of-daniel-7-mean/

    See the reference list which is at the end of the essay on 4Q246.

    • For a good interpretation we need to put in a single place all prophecies about times of divine punishments, about final war, about final “kingdom”.
      Tha mistake of Juda tha Iscariot (also like petrified souls from Israel) wos supose that all promises from revelations must be fulfiled in a single (incarnated-“son of man”) comming of Son of God.
      But this second incarnation of Hrist in the end of times (times for return from sins before punish of Judgement) is not the only one.
      Principal incarnation is God himself (Savaot as a kinde of king) who before will be selfpresented as promised Holly Spirit exactly in the mount of Sion (Isaia 66:16, etc) before first part of big punishmentand also the war who shall end in that day of catastrofical days of (vulcanic) darkness.
      That presentation of Him (Her) will cause tha final war. War started by (Gog) too fanatic muslims who will take Him (Her) like target with also his (her) religion (sect) of 144000 saints.
      Tha colour of his face must be founded in colour of that two stones from Rev. of John about “Someone” who sit on the throne- covered by the royal rainbow.
      Another (re)incarnation is promised in Maleahi 3:23.
      God Himself comme incarnated and wont make a single religion and a new order (“kingdom”) on entire earth calling all to comme and also thats why in that moment Hi will be gealous by His (any other) Name -Ezechiel 39:25.
      Thats why He (She) will be the stone in that 3 biblical significations plus another one from revelation of saint Malakia about last pope “Petrus Romanus” from list of 111 popes.
      will be selfincrownated in Rome. Not in Jerusalem like ex pope.
      But Son of God will be presented (alredy before anounced) by God himself after a period over tha big bane exactly when will start second period in wich will dye second 1/3 of population from earth -but this time death will be unexpected -day after day, nobody know his day – spontaneous suddenly deaths without eny researcheable reasons. In that period any bus driver wil be seconded by another just in case driver and all will be restricted to low speed.

      sorry for my englease lang.

  8. Is this photo of the scroll copyrighted? If so, would you give permission for me to use it?

  9. […] You can read the full (surviving) text here, along with some commentary. […]

  10. […] Psalm” that celebrated the king of Israel. There may also be a Dead Sea Scroll fragment (4Q246) that applies the very phrase “son of God” to a ruler, though the meaning is unclear. Psalm 2:7 […]

  11. God chooses whom he will as messiah in people are ignorant and read with eyes but do not see! Isaiah Scroll Cyrus was called Gods anointed or Messiah David was anointed Solomon also and he shall be my sin do not speak if you do not know the mystery if the star over soul kohar light vesture a star shall shoot forth …scripture I will come into him and sup with him….he whom over comes I shall be his God and he shall be my son….have you not heard the bible taught the all those men where he tied about his waste and leaked to the same throne behold a sin of God peace

  12. THE TEMPLE CEREMONY
    The temple is celebrating, a precious lamp burns on the altar.
    A tri-colored banner waves victoriously in the sacred precinct. On that banner shines the
    blue of the Father, the yellow of the Son, and the red of the Holy Spirit. Inside the
    reflection chamber await the three magi, who came to the temple guided by the mystical
    sun, the star of Bethlehem. Jesus, the sublime bodhisattva has sat in front of the altar and
    is dressed in a white linen robe and covers his head with a white ceremonial hood. The
    sky is full of dense clouds and there is rain in abundance. So it is written by the prophet,
    “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for
    out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” Here is that shepherd
    attending his spiritual birth; this is the Christmas of the heart. Now the good shepherd
    rises and goes to a sacred precinct of the temple; a terrible lightning bolt shines in the
    darkness; the latter is a terribly divine ray. In these terrible moments, the Inner Master
    entered in his bodhisattva. The latter had already raised his first serpent upon the rod; the
    bodhisattva Jesus was prepared.
    The three magi came to adore the man-child, whose name is Jesus Christ; this is the birth
    of the Master, this is the Christmas of the heart. “The sons of God are born, not of blood,
    nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
    The three magi adored Jesus in the temple. Jesus then said sublime things. Oh, Jehovah,
    my God, how terrible was that ray that fell from heaven! Jesus had gone up to a
    mysterious precinct of the temple; that precious precinct was surrounded by beautiful
    balustrades.
    The Master removed his hood and sat on an armchair. In those moments, the ray fell from
    heaven and his Inner Being entered in him.
    What is born of the flesh, is flesh; what is born of the spirit, is spirit. Jesus was born in
    spirit and in truth. A chorus of Angels sang filled with happiness and the three magi
    adored the good shepherd.
    “Glory unto God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will.”
    Jesus is a man of medium height, with an olive-skinned, sunburnt complexion. Jesus had
    black hair and a small beard which was also black. The eyes of Jesus were black arid
    penetrating; he had a wide forehead, aquiline nose and fine, strong lips. The mystical
    birth of Jesus is the First Initiation of Greater Mysteries.

  13. Like the star I say like the star that entered my body you mean at 33 Ruben Behold a son J Jay Yah God Holder a tender of animals also called elder tree I teach the resurrection of the djed Jacobs ladder the tree of life healing light to those who do not see how they live in death blinded by the tree message of freeing the soul from the four bodies of sin I am a Buddha I am anointed by God Grail King and they were also called Dragons nice clippet post tho

  14. The “Lord of the Earth”, or the figures that represent him, are often symbolized by a victory stone, or a foundation stone which is emblematic of their authority. For instance, British kings are crowned on the “Stone of Destiny”, believed to have been used as a pillow by Jacob in the Old Testament. Such a stone is often referred to in mythology as having fallen from Heaven, like the Grail Stone, which fell out of Lucifer’s crown during his war with God, and became the foundation stone for the Grail kingdom, having the power, as it is written, to ‘make kings.’ Because it fell from Heaven, the Grail is also often associated with a falling star,

  15. “Firstly, the king was the ‘Anointed’ of Yahweh – the mesiach, from which we derive the term ‘Messiah.’ At his anointing (or his coronation), the Spirit of Yahweh entered the king, giving him superhuman qualities and allowing him to carry out the dictates of the deity. The psalmist of Psalm 45 describes the king as ‘fairer than the sons of men’, and continued to praise his majestic characteristics. This king also had eternal life granted to him by Yahweh. The deity is portrayed as saying to him, ‘You are my son – today I have sired you.’ The king was Yahweh’s Firstborn – the bekhor – who was the heir to his father’s estate. He was ‘the highest of the kings of the earth.’ Thus, the king was adopted by Yahweh at his coronation and, as such, was in closer communion with the deity than the rest of the people. On many occasions, Yahweh was called the king’s god.

  16. On the web site: http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/image/B-284012, 4Q246 has two smaller fragments pictured with this fragment that you have interpreted. Did you also interpret these two fragments? There is so much information missing between the lines on this small fragment it is impossible to say who the Son of God is or is predicted to be. One thing is clear this is an end-time prophesy as the earth has not found peace yet. Thank you for the work you have done and showing the fragment then the Hebrew and then the translation to English is wonderful and I haven’t found it done this way anywhere else.

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