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1132Re: [revelation-list] Origin of Chiliasm

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  • George F Somsel
    May 29, 2010
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      One must not restrict oneself to either Enoch or Jubilees for the background of chiliastic thought.  Papias was known to be a chiliast saying

      The days will come when vines will grow, each having ten thousand shoots, and on each shoot ten thousand branches, and on each branch ten thousand twigs, and on each twig ten thousand clusters, and in each cluster ten thousand grapes, and each grape when crushed will yield twenty-five measures of wine. And when one of the saints takes hold of a cluster, another cluster will cry out, "I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me." Similarly a grain of wheat will produce ten thousand heads, and every head will have ten thousand grains, and every grain ten pounds of fine flour, white and clean. And the other fruits, seeds, and grass will produce in similar proportions, and all the animals feeding on these fruits produced by the soil will in turn become peaceful and harmonious toward one another, and fully subject to man.
      Holmes, Michael William. The Apostolic Fathers : Greek Texts and English Translations (Fragments of Papias). Updated ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.
      Compare this with
       291 And He answered and said unto me: ‘Whatever will then befall (will befall) the whole earth; therefore all who live will experience (them). 2 For at that time I will protect only those who are found in those self-same days in this land. 3 And it shall come to pass when all is accomplished that was to come to pass in those parts, that the Messiah shall then begin to be revealed. 4 And Behemoth shall be revealed from his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they shall be for food for all that are left. 5 The earth also shall yield its fruit ten thousandfold and on each (?) V 2, p 498 vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster produce a thousand grapes, and each grape produce a cot of wine. 6 And those who have hungered shall rejoice: moreover, also, they shall
      behold marvels every day. 7 For winds shall go forth from before Me to bring every morning the fragrance of aromatic fruits, and at the close of the day clouds distilling the dew of health. 8 And it shall come to pass at that self-same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high, and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the consummation of time.
       Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament
      It would seem to have been a general characteristic of Jewish apocalypticism.

      … search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.

      - Jan Hus

      From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, May 29, 2010 8:42:16 AM
      Subject: [revelation-list] Origin of Chiliasm

      Some blame Cerinthius or first century Rabbis for the origin of chiliasm. Sometimes the prophecy of weeks in 1 Enoch is mentioned, but one place I find rarily referred to is the book of Jubilees.

      >>IV.29 And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee in the seventh week in the sixth year thereof Adam died and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation and he was the first to be buried in the earth 30 And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years
      for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens
      and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge. On the day that ye eat thereof ye will die For this reason he did not complete the years of this day for he died during it.<<

      It seems both Justin Martyr and Irenaeus had this in mind.

      >>... Now we have understood that the expression used among these words, `According to the days of the tree shall be the days of my people; the works of their toil shall abound' obscurely predicts a thousand years. For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, `The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' (Ps. xc. 4; 2 Pet. iii. 8.) is connected with this subject. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell (Rev. xx. 4–5) a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, `They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to
      the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection.'(Luke xx. 35) Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter LXXXI.<<

      >>...For by summing up in Himself the whole human race from the beginning to the end, He has also summed up its death. From this it is clear that the Lord suffered death, in obedience to His Father, upon that day on which Adam died while he disobeyed God. Now he died on the same day in which he did eat. For God said, "In that day on which ye shall eat of it, ye shall die by death."(Gen. ii. 16, 17) The Lord, therefore, recapitulating in Himself this day, underwent His sufferings upon the day preceding the Sabbath, that is, the sixth day of the creation, on which day man was created; thus granting him a second creation by means of His passion, which is that [creation] out of death. And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," (2 Pet. iii. 8) he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin. Whether, therefore,
      with respect to disobedience, which is death; whether [we consider] that, on account of that, they were delivered over to death, and made debtors to it; whether with respect to [the fact that on] one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of the creation); whether [we regard this point], that, with respect to this cycle of days, they died on the day in which they did also eat, that is, the day] of the preparation, which is termed "the pure supper," that is, the sixth day of the feast, which the Lord also exhibited when He suffered on that day; or whether [we reflect] that he (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit,-it follows that, in regard to all these significations, God is indeed true. For they died who tasted of the tree; and the serpent is proved a liar and a murderer, as the Lord said of him: "For he is a murderer from the beginning, and the truth is not in him."(John viii. 44) Against
      the Heresies, Book V. Chapter XXIII<<

      Alan Fuller

      , 2 Baruch 29.1-8. Edited by Charles, Robert Henry. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004.

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