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Dear David Suter,
Many thanks for your response. Clearly, the perception that the
Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 6ff.) and Aramaic Levi both come
from the third century or so is important. It is also worth
recalling that 1 Enoch 14 is probably the oldest Jewish ascent
A couple of "precisions": In fact, the word "watchers" seems to
be chiefly a reconstruction by Milik in 4QVisAmram (unless from
some other passage, not mentioned by him); the expression "Belial"
and the angelic name "Michael" do not occur there.
What there is is Malki-Resha' as name of the "ruler of darkness"
and the (only inferred) Malki-Sedeq as the "ruler of light".
I would dearly like to see editions of the remaining VisAram
material. As far as I know, so far we only have Milik's edition
of some pieces in 1977.
But, apart from this, if we put together 1 Enoch, Aramaic Levi,
and other material, we start to build a picture of what the
priestly sectarians (or wing of Judaism) was from which the
Qumran folk might have developed.
It is worth recalling that VisAmram occurs at Qumran in five
copies, that Aramaic Levi occurs there in seven (!! NB -- so
I now conclude from close study of the fragments) copies, and
also Jubilees in a substantial number of copies, cf. DJD 13.
These are just some ramblings, but they reflect a picture that
By the way, I would greatly appreciate any references to
discussions of the VisAmram document.
Holiday greetings, to each his/her own,