E Influence of the Similitudes of Enoch

Since the possibility of Jesus having been influenced by the Similitudes is so crucial, any firm evidence of influence from the Similitudes on the Jesus tradition is bound to be significant. And indeed there is such evidence — again, noticeably, in Matthew (Matt. 19.28 and 25.31).

Matt. 19.28

Luke 22.28-30

28 Jesus said to them, 'Truly I you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'.

28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials; 29 and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and vou will sit on thrones iudeine the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matt. 25.31 — When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory (the beginning of the parable of the final judgment of the sheep and the goats).

The case for hearing an echo of Daniel's vision here is the triple theme in the double vision of Dan. 7.9-10 and 13-14: the implication of the plural 'thrones' (7.9) is that the 'one like a son of man' (7.13) took his place on the second throne (or one of the other thrones) in order to share in the judgment (7.10) presided over by the Ancient of Days (7.9). Equally persuasive, however, is the case for seeing some influence creeping into these verses from the elaboration of the Danielic vision in the Similitudes of Enoch. For it is only there that the implication of Daniel's vision is made explicit. In the Similitudes the Elect One is repeatedly said to sit down 'on the throne of his glory' to judge,208 and the Elect One is clearly identified in the Similitudes with 'that Son of Man' (i En. 69.27).209 It is probable, then, that the two Matthean passages have been influenced, at least in their final form, by the repeated imagery of the Similitudes of Enoch, as well as by the double vision of Daniel 7, which certainly lies behind the

Furthermore, these two references in Matthew, together possibly with John

209. See further above, chapter 16 n. 102.

210. Similarly John 5.27:

1 En. 69.27: the whole judgment was given to the Son of Man;

John 5.27: the Father has given the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.

See further J. Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter. Untersuchungen zum traditionsgeschichtlichen Ort der Menschensohngestalt der Bilderreden des äthiopischen Henoch (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1969) Kap. 6. Hare questions the significance of any influence from the Similitudes {Son ofMan 162-65, 175-78); but see also Burkett, Son of Man Debate 78 n. 20.

5.27, are the only indications within the Gospels of knowledge of 1 Enoch's developed Son of Man tradition. Matthew and John are usually dated to the last two decades of the first century. There is no indication of any similar influence from the portrayal of the Son of Man in the Jesus tradition, either in Mark or in This strongly suggests that the influence of the Similitudes began to impact on the Jesus tradition only in the last two decades of the first century. And it may also strengthen the suggestion that the Similitudes were not known (not written?) before, say, the third quarter of the first century.212

f. Direction of Travel

A further intriguing feature which emerges from the data is the ambiguity over what might be called 'the direction of travel' envisaged in the Son of Man's coming.

In Dan. 7.13 the Son of Man clearly comes to the Ancient of Days: 'with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him'. The action all takes place in heaven; implied is the enthronement of the manlike figure, interpreted in the following verses as the triumph of the saints of the Most High.213 Wherever the allusion to Dan. 7.13 is strong, therefore, it is likely that the 'coming (on clouds)' was understood as a coming in heaven.214 At the same time, we have already observed that as they now stand, the two most obvious allusions (also?) suggest a coming from heaven.215

The Q material has a similar ambiguity. The Q version of the 8.38 complex clearly implies the Son of Man acting in heaven (Matt. 10.32-33/Luke 12.8-9), although the Mark 8.38 could again be understood as a coming from heaven (§16.4c[3]). The likening of the Son of Man to a flash of lightning (Matt. 24.27/Luke 17.24) has overtones of divine theophany (in/from heaven) and ofjudgment (coming from heaven).216 On the other hand, the sequence Matt. 24.43-44/Luke 12.39-40217 raises the possibility that early in the retelling of Je-

211. As repeatedly assumed, e.g., by Todt, Son ofMan 33-67; Witherington, Christol-ogy 235, 260-61.

212. See further my discussion Christology 75-78, and above, n. 106.

213. Pace Casey, Son ofMan 22, 24-29, who thinks that Daniel may have envisaged a judgment taking place on earth; but in Jewish apocalyptic the throneroom(s) are consistently located in heaven.

214. Robinson, Jesus and His Coming 45 and n. 2.

215. Mark 13.26 pars.; 14.62 pars, (above, §16.4c).

216. Cf. Davies and Allison, Matthew 3.354.

sus' parable the Son of Man imagery replaced that of the master of the household returning unexpectedly.218 And Luke's addition to the parable of the widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18.8) also implies a coming to earth: 'when the Son of Man comes (elthon), will he find faith on the earth?'

Matthew's elaboration of the Jesus tradition simply adds further confusion. A coming to be enthroned (in heaven) in glory is clearly envisaged in the two passages most likely to have been influenced by the Similitudes of Enoch (Matt. 19.28; 25.31). But Matthew also elaborates the thought of the Son of Man's coming by reference to Jesus' parousia219 the regular term for Christ's (second) coming/advent in the NT letters.220 A coming to earth is probably implied also in Matt. 10.23 and 24.44 (erchesthai).221 These all seem to be a development from the coming (erchomenon) in Matt. 24.30 (= Mark 13.26), one of the explicit quotations of Dan. 7.13,222 where the transition of thought (from a coming to heaven to a coming to earth) may still be evident.223

The obvious possibility emerging from all these cases is that there has been a tendency to reverse the direction of travel in the course of transmission of the Jesus tradition. What began as a straightforward evocation of Daniel's vision, of an exaltation and implied enthronement in heaven, has been steadily developed into the more complex thought of enthronement followed by a redescent to earth.224 The indications of such a development are most clear in four cases: the transition of thought still evident in Mark 13.26-27 pars, and in the Mark 8.38 complex; the probable insertion of Ps. 110.1 into the Dan. 7.13 allusion in Mark 14.62 pars.; and the coalescence of the idea of the Son of Man's coming with the return of the master/householder/bridegroom in various parables.

218. Similarly Lindars, Jesus Son of Man 97-98.

219. Matt. 24.27, 37, 39, answering the disciples' query in 24.3; parousia appears nowhere else in the Jesus tradition. Matthew is the only Evangelist to use the terra. Is this Matthew's redaction of an original reference to 'the day(s)' of the Son of Man (Luke 17.24, 26, 30), or are both redactional, and a preredactional form is unrecoverable (see above, §16.4d)?

220. 1 Cor. 15.23; lThess.2.19; 3.13; 4.15; 5.23; 2Thess.2.1, 8; Jas. 5.7-8; 2Pet. 1.16; 3.4; 1 John 2.28.

221. Cited above, §§12.4h and 12.4g respectively.

223. Matt. 'the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call (cf. 1 Thess. 4.16), and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other'.

224. Cf. Robinson, Jesus and His Coming chs. 3-4.

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