Visionary ascents of moses in Pseudo-Philo's Liber by Ruffatto, Kristine J.

By Ruffatto, Kristine J.

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Sinai is a mythic rather than merely geographic location. 2. Moses’ ascents of Sinai are occasions of theophany and direct access to God. Only Moses can ascend to the summit of the mountain, where God is. Although Moses (and, in one instance, the elders) experiences the divine presence, the direct vision of God is often downplayed. There is a hesitancy to describe God’s form. 82 3. Moses ascended to God on the mountain, but not to the heavenly realm. The emphasis is on God’s descent to the earthly mountain.

Hab 3:4. For a summary of past interpretations of this puzzling passage, see William H. C. ” CBQ 49 (1987): 375-86. The legend of Moses’ shining face influenced later writings. Just as Moses’ luminous face reflected God’s glory, so those who are righteous will exhibit a similar radiant countenance in the world to come. ” Cf. ” 64 Exod 34:33-35. Exod 33:7-11 also sees Moses’ communication with God as an ongoing activity. 63 28 linked to his extraordinary visionary and mediatorial roles. This transformation of Moses’ face affirms Moses’ transcendent experience in the presence of God’s glory, as does the statement that he did not need to eat or drink while on the mountain (34:28).

In many instances these visionary Moses traditions idealized and enhanced Moses as the source of transcendent revelation in order to reclaim Moses and Torah as authoritative for Judaism. , Aaron]”); these texts became central to a “divine Moses” tradition, which envisioned Moses as a divine or angelic being after his mystical ascent of Sinai. As I will Moses’ importance increases dramatically, especially in Hellenistic Jewish writings. Mack sums up this development: “He (Moses) was assigned a growing list of roles as the encomia, biographies, and myths about him developed.

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