Re: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds - part 2
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen" <stephen@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds - part 2
> > In this interpretation, the husbandmen are identified as being the
> > angels. However, husbandmen and shepherds are two radically different
> > groups of people, i.e., settled people versus nomads and growers of
> > versus herders of animals. So, you need to provide a justification for
> > making this identification--which, on the face of it, appears unlikely
> > correct.
> The justification for making the identification is contained in scripture.
> Both the flock and the vineyard are used as metaphors for the Israelites.
> They establish two allegorical frameworks.
Yes, in the Jewish scriptures, the Israelites can be symbolized by both a
flock and a vineyard. You make a good point here.
Yes, they can establish two allegorical frameworks: one in which there are
shepherds for the flock (i.e., the Israelites) and the other in which their
are husbandmen for the vineyard (i.e., the Israelites).
Further, in the Enochian narrative, there are shepherds for the flock (i.e.,
the Israelites) and these shepherds are angelic beings.
Even further, in the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard, there
are husbandmen for the vineyard.
However, this does not necessitate that, in the GThomas version of this
parable, the husbandmen are angelic beings and the vineyard consists of the
Rather, this needs to be established by presenting evidence to back-up such
> Within those frameworks the
> Shepherds and the husbandmen are exact equivalents - two groups of
> agricultural workers who do not own the asset they control.
Here, you are assuming what needs to be demonstrated, i.e., that the
shepherds of the Enochian perspective and the husbandmen of the GThomas
version of this parable are exact equivalents. This is only possible if the
husbandmen represent angelic beings, but you have not demonstrated that this
Further, any equivalence (whether it be exact or inexact) between the
shepherds and the husbandmen does not arise out of them both being
agricultural workers who do not own the assets they control. To lump
nomadic herders into the category of sedentary agricultural workers is
So, I think your argument is weak here. At this point in your line of
reasoning, you could make a much stronger case if you could produce
evidence that, in the GThomas version of this parable, the vineyard really
does represent the Israelites and the husbandmen really do represent angelic
>Also we see
> that they both behave in the same way - by abusing the trust that owner of
> the agricultural asset has placed in them. That abuse takes a slightly
> different form in each framework for the simple reason that a vine is not
> the same as a sheep.
Yes, both the shepherds in the Enochian perspective and the husbandmen in
the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard abuse the trust that the
owner has placed in them. Again, you make a very good point.
However, I suspect that you are incorrect in saying that this "abuse takes a
slightly different form in each framework."
Rather, I think it more likely that this abuse takes a radically different
form in each framework.
In an earlier post, you state, "The Lord of the sheep then appoints seventy
shepherds over the sheep. The shepherds are clearly inspired by the
shepherds in the book of Jeremiah. Each shepherd is to pasture the sheep
for one day so that the reign of the shepherds will be seventy days -
standing for the seventy years in Jeremiah. The lord of the sheep numbers
those sheep marked out for destruction so that the shepherds might destroy
them. But the Lord of the sheep knows that the shepherds will exceed their
instructions and will destroy many more of the sheep than marked. So he
appoints a man/angel to secretly watch the shepherds and keep a record of
So, in the Enochian perspective, the abuse of the trust of the owner by the
shepherds is that they destroy many more of the sheep than marked.
Since, in the hypothesis you propose, the shepherds of the Enochian
perspective correspond to husbandmen of the GThomas version of the parable
of the vineyard and the sheep of the Enochian perspective correspond to the
vineyard of the GThomas version of the parable, if they are truly parallel,
then, in the GThomas version of the parable, the husbandmen abuse the trust
of the owner by destroying a part of the vineyard.
However, in the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard, the abuse of
the trust of the owner by the husbandmen does not involve the destruction of
a part of the vineyard. Rather, it takes two other forms:
1. they injure the two servants sent by the owner and they slay the son of
2. they do not give the owner the produce they owe him.
So, IMO, it appears that the nature of the abuse of the trust of the owner
by the shepherds radically differs from the nature of the abuse of the trust
of the owner by the husbandmen.
> The equivalence goes further because we are told, for example in Isaiah 5
> and in Jeremiah 12:10, that the owner of the vineyard is Yahweh. In Enoch
> the Lord of the sheep is also clearly Yahweh. So the owner of the flock
> the vineyard is the same in both allegories, just as the flock and the
> vineyard represent the same thing.
Your argument, IMO, is weak here.
To strengthen it, IMO, you need to establish that the vineyard in Isaiah 5
corresponds to the vineyard in Jeremiah 12:10 and that both vineyards
correspond to the vineyard in the GThomas version of the parable of the
vineyard. Further, since the flock of the Enochian perspective represents
the Israelites, to strengthen your argument, you also need to establish
that, in each of these three cases, the vineyard represents Israelites
rather than something else, e.g., the city of Jerusalem.
> Then in Jeremiah 12:10 we have the explicit link - 'the Shepherds have
> ruined my vineyard'.
> Given these connections I do not personally see how there can fail to be a
> link between the vineyard parable and the Shepherds.
There are some missing premises in your argument here. That there is
linkage between shepherds and a vineyard in Jer. 12:10 does not necessitate
that there is a link between the Enochian picture of shepherds herding a
flock and the picture, in the GThomas version of the parable of the
vineyard, of husbandmen tending a vineyard. Indeed, it doesn't even make
such a linkage likely.
As a result, I classify your argument here as unfounded speculation.
In order to make it a strong argument, you need to make explicit the missing
premises and to give evidence to support each one of these missing premises.
Further, if, as your argument apparently necessitates, there is a link
between Jeremiah 12:10 and the GThomas version of the
parable of the vineyard, then one would expect the husbandmen of the GThomas
version of the parable of the vineyard to ruin the vineyard. However, they
do not do this.
So, on the face of it, there is no link between Jeremaiah 12:10 and the
GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard.
> The importance of the detail of the two men/angels Noah and Moses
> corresponding with the two servants in the parable is that it establishes
> the link at the level of the Book of Enoch Midrash on scripture rather
> at the level of the scripture itself. It lifts the parable into the
> realm where servants and Shepherds are angels.
Even if (for the sake of argument) one grants that the two servants in the
parable correspond to Noah and Moses as men/angels, this necessarily lifts
the parable into the angelic realm only if, from the Enochian perspective,
angels stick only to heavenly realms and, therefore, do not enter into our
However, it appears that, in the Enochian perspective, the angels do not
stick to heavenly realms but, rather, sometimes do enter into our mortal
For example, in an earlier post, you state, "Two versions of the
proto-Gnostic myth exist in the Book of Enoch. The first is the story of
the Watchers in Book 1. In this myth the angels, the Children of Heaven,
look down on Earth and lust after the daughters of men. Under their leader
Semjaza they descend to the earth and take wives. From these wives are born
monstrous giants. The rebel angels also teach mankind forbidden knowledge
such as the art of making weaponry, jewellery and cosmetics along with
magic, plant lore and astrology."
I view your contention that the action in the GThomas version of the
parable of the vineyard takes place in a heavenly plane to be the weakest
part of your total argument. That. angelic beings, in the Enochian
perspective, do sometimes enter into our mortal realm is but another
indication, IMO, of its weakness.
> > Also, I suggest that you do more thinking on what the vineyard
> > represents in Thomas 65. You hypothesise that it represents a heavenly
> > realm. Yet, an Enochian intepretaion of 65 seems to indicate that the
> > vineyard represents the Israelites. So, if, as you propose, the rest of
> > parable ought to be interpreted along Enochian lines, shouldn't the
> > vineyard be interpreted along Enochian lines as well and, so, taken to
> > represent the Israelites?
> We are not actually told in 65 that the abuse of the servants and the
> of the son takes place in the vineyard. We are just told that the owner
> sent the servants and the son.
Arguments from silence, by their very nature, tend to be weak. So, I view
this as a weak argument.
To make it a strong argument, you need, IMO, to present evidence that, in
the GThomas version of the parable of the sower, the abuse of the servants
and the murder of the son take place somewhere else than the vineyard.
Do you have such evidence?
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