lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
[personal profile] lethargic_man

Chapter 4

Genesis gives genealogies of Cain and Seth, the latter down to Noah, and thence to Abraham. However, it mentions only the men (and in particular covers up the incest that must by definition have been required for Cain and Seth to marry). Perhaps surprisingly, for a document treasured so highly by a community that wouldn't even allow women to join them, Jubilees does name all these women, and their blood relationship to their husbands:

And in the third week in the second jubilee she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth she gave birth to her daughter Awan.


And in the sixth week [134-40 A.M.] he begat his daughter Azura. And Cain took Awan his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch at the close of the fourth jubilee. [190-196 A.M.]


Seth took Azura his sister to be his wife, and in the fourth (year of the sixth week) [235 A.M.] she bare him Enos. He began to call on the name of the Lord on the earth. And in the seventh jubilee in the third week [309-15 A.M.]

Etc; there's a full table of these women's names on Wikipedia. These include the name Noam, which today is a man's name; and Dinah, which also occurs later in the Torah. Noah's wife, whom midrash names as Na`amah, is here called Emzara.
Mahalalel took unto him to wife Dinah, the daughter of Barakiel the daughter of his father's brother, and she bare him a son in the third week in the sixth year, [461 A.M.] and he called his name Jared, for in his days the angels of the Lord descended on the earth, those who are named the Watchers, that they should instruct the children of men, and that they should do judgment and uprightness on the earth.

Jared is named in Genesis, but his name is not interpreted. It does indeed derive from a root meaning "descend".

The myth of the Watchers is also found in the First Book of Enoch; on account of which 1 Enoch is deemed to predate Jubilees, though how they can tell it's this way around and not the other I don't know.

What's notably different in Jubilees from the account of the Watchers in 1 Enoch is that the Watchers here came at God's behest, and only later went astray; in 1 Enoch they were sinning from the word go. Regardless, the end result was the same: the Watchers taught humankind lots of inappropriate knowledge, which, along with their son's marrying human children to beget the Nephilim, occasioned the destruction of the Watchers and ultimately the Flood. (This story is broken up in several pieces, according to their chronological order, in Jubilees, and I am not listing each one here or telling the story in full; you'll have to read Jubilees or 1 Enoch (or Wikipedia) if you want to learn it!)

In the fifteenth jubilee in the third week Lamech took to himself a wife, and her name was Betenosh the daughter of Barakiel, the daughter of his father's brother, and in this week she bare him a son and he called his name Noah, saying, 'This one will comfort me for my trouble and all my work, and for the ground which the Lord hath cursed.'

Later rabbinic thought follows this, deriving נֹחַ (Noaḥ) from the root נחם NḤM "comfort", rather than נח NḤ "rest"; I cannot see the justification for this.

Have you ever noticed how Adam died only a little short of a thousand years old? The Bible gives no explanation for this, and I have not heard of a midrashic one either, but the Book of Jubilees gives a nice explanation, leveraging Psalms 90:4 ("For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."):

At the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in its sixth year, Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation; he was the first to be buried in the earth. He was just seventy years short of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.' For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.
The author of Jubilees evidently does not consider that Cain received enough punishment in the Biblical story, and adds to it as follows:
At the close of this jubilee Cain was killed after him in the same year; for his house fell upon him and he died in the midst of his house, and he was killed by its stones; for with a stone he had killed Abel, and by a stone was he killed in righteous judgment. For this reason it was ordained on the heavenly tablets: With the instrument with which a man kills his neighbour with the same shall he be killed; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.'

[Dead Sea Scroll of Jubilees] Jubilees posts                     Jewish learning notes index


lethargic_man: (Default)
Lethargic Man (anag.)

September 2017

1011 1213141516

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 11:51 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios