The Lord of Spirits in the Book of Parables of Enoch from a Levantine Point of View

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Among the various booklets contained in 1 Enoch, the Book of Parables (BP, chapters 37-71) stands out due to its far-reaching mythological descriptions and radi- cal imagery. To complicate matters further, this is the only booklet not attested in Ara- maic or Greek, but rather solely in Ethiopic (Geʿez). BP uses the divine title “Lord of Spirits” as the predominant divine appellation, while this title is not used in other Enochic compositions. The Lord of Spirits appears in the Hebrew Bible with minor variations between MT and the LXX, as well as in a handful of other Jewish sources. The present article examines the performative use of this title on Jewish tombstones from Rheneia (Delos) together with its typical iconography. The main line of argument is to demonstrate the Levantine setting of the epithet using sources from the MAP da- tabase. Given that other divine titles in the Enochic tradition are shared by the gen- eral non-Jewish environment of the time, I attempt to show that the same is true for the Lord of Spirits. An inscription from Palmyra (PAT 0065) that uses similar divine titles and iconography attests to the cultural continuity of the epithet across long peri- ods of time in the wide geographic span of the Levant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat’s in a Divine Name?
Subtitle of host publicationReligious Systems and Human Agency in the Ancient Mediterranean
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783111326511
ISBN (Print)9783111326276
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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