THE ORIGINS OF JEWISH BELIEFS IN ANGELS

Annette Evans

Abstract


This article suggests that Jewish beliefs about the functioning of angels originated in
two threads: the unique ancient Egyptian institution of the king as the divine son of
God (which includes solar worship), and the concept of the Divine Council, in which
the supreme God is the king of the gods. The method of investigation involved a
close reading, combined with a History of Religions methodology, of texts
displaying marked angelological content. Certain motifs, especially “throne” and
“sun/fire”, which were identified as characteristic of angelic functioning, were
compared across a broad spectrum of texts. In this way the diachronic development
of major angelological motifs as well as the synchronic connections (in terms of
angelological motifs) between the respective cultural contexts became apparent. In
a following article, it is suggested that the intellectual abstractions of Hellenism
effected the transition to the reception of the concept of Christianity within a
monotheistic framework.

Keywords


Angels, Polytheism, Merkebah Throne, Qumran, Egy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/101-0-633

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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