B What Do We Mean by Eschatological

A second issue raised by this inventory of Second Temple Jewish expectation is the extent to which or sense in which we can speak of this expectation as 'escha-tological'. This term has bewitched and befuddled the quest of the historical Jesus for a century. The Greek word eschaton clearly denotes 'end'. But end of what? The assumption since Schweitzer has been that what was in view was 'the end of time, the end of history, the end of the world'. That would be fine, if the expectation were clearly and consistently for a heavenly, eternal existence. But

89. T. F. Glasson with some justification criticized Schweitzer for claiming that there was a common 'late Jewish view' of eschatology which Jesus' preaching of the kingdom could assume, whereas he could briefly distinguish eight different types of teaching ('Schweitzer's Influence — Blessing or Bane?', JTS 28 [1977] 289-302, reprinted in B. Chilton, ed„ The Kingdom of God [London: SPCK, 1984] 107-20 [here 108-12]). Chilton takes the point, but also observes that 'it would seem imprudent not to acknowledge that the range of apocalyptic literature, along with the Qumran scrolls, the earliest Targums and other intertestamental works, present a common expectation, variously expressed, that God was to act on behalf of his people in the foreseeable future' (Chilton's 'Introduction' 22).

90. I may refer to my Theology ofPaul 314-15. Leivestad notes the consequences of accommodating a messianic kingdom within the eschatology in Revelation: two wars (Rev. 19.11-21; 20.7-10); two triumphs over Satan; two judgment scenes; two resurrections; two states of blessedness (Jesus 43-44).

much of the expectation reviewed in the fourteen-item list above was hope for a continued 'this-worldly' existence — the diaspora returned to the Promised Land, Israel triumphant over the nations, paradise restored, perhaps, but on So 'end' yes, certainly in the sense of the 'end' of a period of time, the end of an epoch. But 'the end of time, of history, of the world'? Yet at the same time there seem to be more radically 'final' elements within the strands of expectation — new creation, final judgment, and resurrection of the dead. What did 'life expectancy' beyond resurrection envisage?

The issue is not greatly clarified by the terminology used. The principal Hebrew terms of relevance are qes, 'aharit and 'olam.92The first normally denotes the 'end' of a period of time, sometimes with a final sense.93 In Daniel, however, it is given a clear eschatological connotation — 'the time of the end' ('et qes, 8.17; 11.35, 40; 12.4, 9), 'the appointed time of the end' (mo'ed qes, 8.19; 11.27), 'the end of days' (qes hayyamim, 12.13).94 'Aharit can also be used in the sense 'end' and accordingly is translated with Greek eschaton. Most relevant is the phrase 'end of days' ('aharit hayyamim); what is noteworthy is that this phrase could be used both of a limited future time96 or as envisaging the culmination of history.97 In the DSS we find qes 'aharit ('the final age', 'the last time', 'the end of days', 'time of the end' — Garcia Martinez),98 and elsewhere talk of the 'end of the But 7.7 also explicitly envisages that 'the

91. The same question arose in chapter 11 with regard to the Baptist's expectation (§11.4b).

92. See also J. Barr, Biblical Words for Time (London: SCM, 21969) 122-32.

93. Ezek. 21.30, 34 (21.25, 29); 35.5 (but see K. Koch, "awon', TDOTXO [1999] 557); Hab. 2.3.

94. See also G. Delling, telos, TDNT 8 (1972) 53; LXX usually translates qes by synteleia in these passages (65).

96. Most clearly Num. 24.14; but also Gen. 49.1; Deut. 4.30; 31.29; Jer. 48.47; 49.39. 'Jer. 23.20b = 30.24b stands on the borderline between future and eschaton' (Seebass, TDOT 1.211). NRSV translates the first four as 'in days/time to come', but the Jeremiah references as 'in the latter days'.

97. Isa. 2.2 =Mic. 4.1; Ezek. 38.16; Dan. 2.28; 10.14; Hos. 3.5. NRSV translates as 'in days to come' in Isaiah and Micah, 'in the latter days' in Hosea and Ezekiel, and 'at the end of days' in Daniel. This is clearly the sense in the regular use at (lQpHab 2.5-6; 9.6; lQ28a [lQSa] 1.1; CD 4.4; 6.11; 4Q174 [4QFlor] 1.2, 12, 15, 19; 4Q178 3.3-4; 4Q182 [4QCat B] 1.1; 11Q13 [llQMelch] 2.4) and in 2 Bar. 25.1.

98. lQpHab 7.7, 12; 1QS 4.16-17; 4QMMT C14; 5Q16. In 4 Ezra note 6.7-10, 25; 7.112-13; 11.39-46; 14.9 (see Stone, Fourth Ezra 103-104).

99. 'The day of the end' (1 En. 10.12; 16.1; 22.4); 'the end of the ages (synteleia ton aionon)' (T. Levi 10.2; T. Ben. 11.3); 'the time of the end (kairou synteleias)' (T. Zeb. 9.9); 'the end of the age/world (exitum saeculi)' (T. Mos. 12.4); 4 Ezra 7.113 (on 'the two ages' in 4 Ezra see Stone, Fourth Ezra 92-93); 'the end of times' (2 Bar. 13.3; 19.5; 21.8; 27.15); cf. 1 En. 16.1.

final age shall be prolonged';100 and 11Q13 (llQMelch) 2.4-9 envisages 'the last days' as extending over the tenth jubilee.

is much more common and often used in the sense 'for ever' (le'olam, 'ad olam), or intensively 'for ever and ever' (le'olam wa'ed).m The problem in this case is what we might call the aspirational or hyperbolic overtone with which the phrase is uttered, or the fact that it evidently had a degree of con-ditionality. A slave was enslaved 'for ever', that is, for life.102 The king was greeted formally, 'May the king live for ever'103 — not a prayer for the king to be granted eternal life, but that he may reign for as long as possible. The promise of divine favour 'for ever' could be qualified or withdrawn, as the psalmist recognized only too clearly (Ps. 89.34-37, but also 38-45).104 Even in judgment oracles, where the formula was obviously intended to indicate finality,105 there could be hope of reverse,106 though the concomitant promise of salvation for Israel 'for ever' presumably indicated a timespan stretching as far beyond the time horizon as it is possible to conceive.107 Dan. 12.2-3 conceives of post-resurrection existence as either 'everlasting life (hayye 'olam)' or 'everlasting contempt (dir'on olam)'.

Are we then in danger of attributing a clarity of conviction to language and conceptions which were much less clearly conceptualized? Would it be more accurate (and fairer) to the hopes reviewed to speak in terms of periods of time without a predetermined closure in contrast to fixed spans of time, such as a Sabbath, a festival, a week, a year, a generation, or a reign? That the stereotyped

100. 2 Enoch seems to envisage the 'end' of the whole of creation, visible and invisible, when 'the times/time will perish, and there will be neither years nor months nor days nor hours . . . but there will be one age/eternity . . .' (65.7-8; cf. 33.2).

101. H. D. Preuss, 'olam', TDOT10 (1999) 534-45; also E. Haag, "ad', TDOTXQ (1999) 456-62.

103. 1 Kgs. 1.31; Neh. 2.3; Dan. 2.4; 3.9; 5.10; 6.21.

104. Eli (1 Sam. 2.30-31); Saul (1 Sam. 13.13); notably the promise that David's throne would be established 'for ever' (2 Sam. 7.13; Ps. 89.29, 36-37; renewed in 11Q19 [1 lQTemple] 59.16-18), and that Yahweh (or his name) would dwell in Jerusalem 'for ever' (1 Kgs. 9.3; 1 Chron. 23.25; 2 Chron. 33.4, 7; but Lam. 2.1-9; renewed in Ezek. 43.7-9; 11Q19 [1 lQTemple] 47.3-4; 53.9-10).

105. isa. 34.10; Jer. 17.4; 20.11; Ezek. 27.36; 28.19; 35.9; Zeph. 2.9; Mai. 1.4.

106. The 'desolation for ever' foreseen by Jeremiah (18.16; 25.9, 12; 49.33) is evidently countermanded by the promises of Isa. 58.12 and 61.4.

107. Isa. 9.7; 32.17; 34.17; 60.15, 19-21; Jer. 17.25; 31.40; Ezek. 37.26-28; Hos. 2.19; Joel 2.26-27; 4.7. In regard to kingdom texts, note especially Dan. 2.44; 3.33; 4.34; 6.26.

saw itself as an 'everlasting community', an 'everlasting planting', an 'everlasting people' (1QS 2.25; 3.12; 8.5; 11.8; 1QH 11 [= 3].21; 14[=6].15; 16[= 8].6; 1QM 13.9). 11Q19 lQTemple) repeatedly speaks of the ordinances relating to the temple as 'everlasting' (18.8; 19.9; 21.04; 25.8; 27.4; 35.9).

phrase dorwador, 'generation upon generation', could be used as equivalent to 'for ever'108 should give us pause. But there is still a further potential confusion in language to be considered.

Throughout the twentieth century the issue has been obscured by a persistent confusion between the terms and Two attempts were made in the 1980s to clarify the latter, though so far with uncertain success. One takes seriously the unsatisfactory use of 'apocalyptic' as a noun109 and offers a threefold distinction: 'apocalypse' as a literary genre, 'apocalypticism' as a social ideology, and 'apocalyptic eschatology' as a set of ideas present in other genres and social The other has protested against treating the two terms as though they were synonyms:111 'apocalypse' (revelation) denotes the unveiling of heavenly mysteries; most of these 'revelations' concern 'final events', but by no means all.112 If we are to observe such distinctions, then the items of Second Temple expectation can be called 'apocalyptic' insofar as they have been 'revealed' to the writers. The more popular use (also beyond theological circles) of 'apocalyptic' for a future scenario of supernatural interventions in human history involving unprecedented violence and horror should be resolutely avoided. 'Eschatological' is much the more appropriate term, even if it leaves us with the unclarity just discussed. Here again when we turn to the Jesus tradition we will need to scrutinise the hope expressed with care and use our own descriptive language circumspectly.

c. Literal, Symbol, Metaphor, or What?

The degree of fragmentation in the stories told and the lack of clarity in key terms (not least 'eschatology' itself) reinforce the question raised by Perrin. Is 'the kingdom of God' a concept or a symbol? Should kingdom talk and the content of eschatological expectation be unpacked in literal or symbolic terms? The issue is nicely posed by Wright's treatment. He sees apocalyptic language as 'an elaborate for investing historical events with theological signif

108. Exod. 3.15; Deut. 23.2-3; Pss. 33.11; 61.6; 72.5; 79.13; 89.4; 100.5; 102.12; 106.31; 119.90; 135.13; 145.13; 146.10; Isa. 34.17; 51.8; Joel 3.20.

109. See, e.g., the objections of T. F. Glasson, 'What Is Apocalyptic?', NTS 27 (1980-81)98-105.

110. See particularly Collins, Apocalyptic Imagination ch. 1 (1-42).

111. C. Rowland, The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity (London: SPCK, 1982); also Christian Origins 56-64.

We need only mention, for example, Paul's use of the term 'apocalypse' in Gal.

2.2, and 'The Astronomical 'Book Heavenly Luminaries' which makes up lEn. 72-82.

icance'. Warnings of imminent judgment 'were intended to be taken as denoting . . . socio-political events, seen as the climactic moment in Israel's history'.113 To reduce the reality envisaged to the terms of the metaphor itself would be to mistake its character as metaphor. This is the mistake of those who interpret such apocalyptic language as predicting the actual end of the time-space complex. Its proper function, rather, is to invest current events with 'theological significance'. But Wright's treatment is less clear as to whether all the items listed in § 12.2c are metaphorical in the same way (or to the same extent). He has the elements of apocalyptic eschatology primarily in view. But is the grand narrative of Israel's return from exile and Yahweh's return to Zion equally metaphorical ('the grand metaphor' perhaps)? Or in this case are we to expect a closer correlation between the terms of the metaphor and the reality in view?114

One way of tackling such an imponderable issue is to ask how Jews of Jesus' time would have understood the hopes indicated in § 12.2c. Would they have looked for literal fulfilment or at least a close correlation between hope and reality, or might they have understood the hopes as 'metaphorical'? The beloved traditions of the exodus would certainly have encouraged many to look for visible divine intervention. We know, for example, that two of the would-be prophets of deliverance around Jesus' time acted on that assumption, seeking for a repetition of the miracles of crossing the Jordan dry shod and the fall of Jericho's walls (Joshua 3—4, 6).115 And the memory of Samaria's deliverance from the Syrians (2 Kings 7) and Jerusalem's deliverance from Sennacherib's army (2 Kings 19) would hardly discourage such a realistic hope, as must have inspired many Zealots in the final days of the 66-70/74 revolt against Rome. So should a Christian expositor be comforted by the fact that the Baptist's expectation ofjudgment can find such a high degree of literal fulfilment in the catastrophe which engulfed Israel forty years after Jesus' mission?

On the other hand, the disappointingly ill-fulfilled hope of return from exile (as in Isaiah 43.1-44.8; 54-55) would surely have raised questions in the minds of others. And would there not be those who shared Philo's recognition that the Jews were so populous that no one country could hold them 46)

so that hope for a wholesale return of the diaspora to the land of Israel would have been seen as unrealistic? Alternatively, one might have expected that in order to count as fulfilled, return from exile would have involved some measure of diaspora Jews returning to Palestine; and return of Yahweh to the Temple (as-

113. Wright, Jesus 96-97; see also above, §4.7 at n. 177. Similarly Kaylor, Jesus 77-78.

114. See also the questions raised by Allison, Jesus ofNazareth 153-64; also in his critique of Wright, 'Jesus and the Victory of Apocalyptic', in C. C. Newman, ed., Jesus and the Restoration of Israel: A Critical Assessment ofN. T. Wrights Jesus and the Victory of God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1999) 126-41, with response from Wright (261-68).

his absence) would presumably be signalled by at least a vision of divine glory settling again on the temple (cf. Ezek. 43.4-5). So we need to ask also whether the hope of (final) forgiveness of sins (rendering future sin offerings unnecessary?) and the hope of outpoured Spirit (rendering fresh teaching of the law unnecessary?) was as idyllic (symbolic) as the hope for abundant prosperity or paradise restored, and whether there was a realistic hope for the complete eradication of evil and transgression.

Here we need to be particularly careful with the term 'metaphor' itself. In literary criticism 'metaphor' is a type of trope, a 'trope' being a figure where the meaning of an individual word or phrase is altered or 'turned' from its conventional sense.116 Thus metaphor is different from 'simile', for in a simile the words continue to bear their conventional sense, whereas 'metaphor is using a word to stand for something different from the literal referent, but connected to it through some Metaphor, Ricoeur has observed, is a semantic inno vation which produces its meaning-effect by the impertinence of its attribu-tion.118 In his Rule of Metaphor,119 he tells us, he 'risked speaking not just of a metaphorical sense but also of a metaphorical reference in talking about this power of the metaphorical utterance to redescribe a reality inaccessible to direct description'.120 Similarly in her definitive study of metaphor, Janet Martin Soskice points out, inter alia, that physical objects are not metaphors, nor are metaphors merely decorative ways of saying something that could be said ally. Rather, metaphors are ways of saying that which cannot be said literally or which a literal description would be inadequate to describe. In religious language metaphors can be described as 'reality[-]depicting without pretending to be directly descriptive'.121

116. Trope ('turn, turning'). The usage is classical; Quintilian defined 'trope' as the artistic alteration of a word or phrase from its proper meaning to another (Institutes 8.6.1).

117. S. Wright, The Voice of Jesus: Studies in the Interpretation of Six Gospel Parables (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2000) 8.

'With metaphor, the innovation lies in the producing of a new semantic pertinence by means of an impertinent attribution: "Nature is a temple where living pillars . . .". The metaphor is alive as long as we can perceive, through the new semantic pertinence . . . the resistance of the words in their ordinary use and therefore their incompatibility at the level of a literal interpretation of the sentence' {Time and Narrative vol. 1 [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1984] ix).

119. The Rule ofMetaphor (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1977).

120. Time and Narrative l.xi.

121. J. M. Soskice, Metaphor and Religious Language (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985) here 145. Wright is familiar with this discussion (New Testament and People of God 63): 'metaphors are themselves mini-stories, suggesting ways of looking at a reality which cannot be reduced to terms of the metaphor itself (129-30). Cf. Caird's rather looser discussion of metaphor in Language 152-59.

If there is something of historical as well as contemporary hermeneutical value here, we should be open to the possibility that Jesus' kingdom talk had a metaphorical character. That is, in speaking of the kingdom of God as he did he may have been 'turning' it from its conventional sense; God's kingship is not to be understood in the terms which 'kingship' normally evoked. Or again, it may have been 'reality [-]depicting without pretending to be directly descriptive', depicting that which could not be depicted otherwise. This is not quite the same as Perrin's understanding of the kingdom as a 'tensive symbol', one whose set of meanings can be neither exhausted nor adequately expressed by any one referent. But the point is similar, for the historian asking how the term would have been understood by Jesus' hearers as much as for the modern interpreter. If there is something in this, then we should beware of evaluating Jesus' kingdom talk by the extent to which it can be translated into something more literal. And fulfilment of hope is presumably not to be measured by the degree of correlation between language and event, even when a closer correspondence is in the event claimed. The suggestion here is that the language of vision (apocalypse) is not to be pressed for a literal cash value, that the correlation between such language and actual (literal) events is of less consequence than has usually been assumed, and that hope expressed in such language might well find satisfaction (fulfilment) in events quite different from those depicted.

Here again the vicissitudes of Christian hope may provide a helpful parallel. Christian hope is typically composed of images, principally drawn from the Apocalypse of John (Revelation), which include an immense walled city built of precious stones, a river and tree of life, and 'the marriage supper of the To take such symbolism literally is to misinterpret it. The metaphorical images are an attempt to indicate what cannot be described in literal terms. But for centuries Christians have been content to hope for heaven, without any real idea of what 'heaven' is and what 'actually' happens 'there', though some have indeed wanted to press the metaphors for some literal content. The question is whether it was any different for Second Temple Jewish expectation and hope.

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End of Days Apocalypse

End of Days Apocalypse

This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.

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