Sunday, June 9, 2013

אישו as a Samaritan Title of Moses

In ch. 17 of the Acts of Peter, a writing from the latter half of the second century C. E., it is related that Simon once lodged with a certain woman by the name of Eubula and, upon leaving, stole all her money. Eubula, however, suspected her household: But discovering this crime Eubula began to torture her household, saying:
You took advantage of [the visit of] this Man of God and have robbed me, as you saw him coming in to me in order to do do honour to a simple woman. His name, however, is the Name of the Lord (cui nomen est autem nomen domini). (Acta Apostolorum, I, edited by R A Lipsius).   
Eubula is represented as a type of the people who were deceived by Simon and acclaimed him as "the Man of God" and "The Name of the Lord". [Jarl Fossum, Sects and Movements in The Samaritans, Alan Crown ed. p. 373]
The problem as always when trying to find a context for the identification of Jesus as 'His (= God's) person/man) is that most people simply aren't aware of how Deuteronomy 33.1 is consistently used by Samaritans as the name of Moses.   Another example from Moshe Florentin's study of Samaritan Hebrew poetry is here.  This epithet of Moses is as old as fragments from the earliest Jewish sectarians.  4Q377 fragment 1, recto, column 2, lines 10-11, which, in the midst of a description of the mediation of the Law at Mount Sinai, describes Moses the man of God speaking as an angel from his mouth. In Samaritan thought as well, "Moses not only was assimilated to the angels; it is stated that he actually attained angelic nature or mode of being." That is to say, he was made into "a divine or angelic being." In a hymn by Marqah, Moses is described as "the Elohim who is from mankind," giving him a divine name shared by angels. Also, as noted above in Chapter Three, in a Samaritan ketubah Moses is called "the priest of the angels," and Memar Marqah 4.6 likewise describes Moses, "who dwelt among the angels in the Sanctuary of the Unseen," as "a holy priest in two sanctuaries." Marriage contracts (of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, but probably preserving older tradition) call Moses "the teacher of the living (beings), and the priest of the angels."

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