Monday, January 1, 2024

Do Not Fear (1.17–18)


And when I saw him I fell at his feet as though dead. And he put his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not fear. I am the first and the last, and the living one, and I was dead, but see I am alive for ever and ever, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.


The encouragement of a terrified seer by the divine mediator is common in apocalyptic literature. With the keys, Jesus asserts his absolute authority over death, probably including his right to raise the dead. In place of the Hebrew name for the underworld, Sheol, the author uses the Greek equivalent, Hades.



6.5–7 And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, Yhwh of armies!’ Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’

22.22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.

41.4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Yhwh, am first, and will be with the last.

44.6 I am the first and I am the last

48.12 I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.


1.28–2.1 When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of someone speaking. He said to me: ‘O son of man, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you.’

1 Enoch

14.13–14, 24–25 Fear enveloped me, and trembling seized me, and I was quaking and trembling, and I fell upon my face. […] Until now I had been on my face, prostrate and trembling. And the Lord called me with his own mouth and said to me, ‘Come here, Enoch, and to my holy word.’ And he lifted me up

Joseph & Asenath

14.10–11 And Asenath saw and fell on her face at his feet on the ground. And Asenath was filled with great fear, and all of her limbs trembled. And the man said to her, ‘Courage, and do not be afraid, but rise and stand on your feet, and I will tell you what I have to say.’


7.15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me.

8.18 As he was speaking to me, I fell into a trance, face to the ground; then he touched me and set me on my feet.

10.9–10, 12 And when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a trance, face to the ground. But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. […] He said to me, ‘Do not fear’

Revelation of Zephaniah

B.3–4 I was afraid and I cast myself upon my face so that my joints dissolved. The angel helped me. He said to me, ‘Be strong, O one who will triumph, and prevail so that you will prevail over the accuser and you will come up from Hades.’

Revelation of Abraham

10.2–11 And my spirit was amazed, and my soul fled from me. And I became like a stone, and fell face down upon the earth, for there was no longer strength in me to stand up on the earth. […] he took me by my right hand and stood me on my feet. And he said to me, ‘Stand up, Abraham, friend of God who has loved you, let human trembling not enfold you! […] I am Yahoel and I was called so by him who causes those with me on the seventh expanse, on the firmament, to shake, a power through the medium of his ineffable name in me. […] I am ordered to loosen Hades and to destroy those who wondered at the dead.’

3 Baruch

11.1–2 And taking me from this, the angel led me to the fifth heaven. And the gate was closed. And I said, ‘Lord, will the gate be opened so that we can enter?’ And the angel said to me, ‘We are not able to enter until Michael the holder of the keys of the kingdom of heaven comes.’

Testament of Abraham

9.1 The commander-in-chief received the exhortations of the Lord and went down to Abraham. When the righteous man saw him he fall upon his face on the ground as one dead

Testament of Isaac

6.35 ‘He is the first and the last, as the prophets have said.’

2 Enoch

J 1.5–8 And they stood at the head of my bed and called me by my name. Then I awoke from my sleep, and saw those men, standing in front of me, in actuality. Then I bowed down to them; and I was terrified; and the appearance of my face was changed because of fear. Then those men said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! In truth, do not fear!’

J 21.2–3 And I became terrified; and I fell on my face, and I said to myself, ‘Woe to me! What has happened to me?’ And the Lord sent one of his glorious ones, the archangel Gabriel. And he said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened!’

J 22.4–6 And I fell down flat and did obeisance to the Lord. And the Lord, with his own mouth, said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of my face forever.’ And Michael, the Lord’s chief-commander, lifted me up and brought me in front of the face of the Lord.

J 42.1 And I saw the key-holders and the guards of the gates of Hades

4 Ezra

10.29–30, 33 While I was speaking these words, the angel who had come to me at first came to me, and when he saw me lying there like a corpse, deprived of my understanding, he grasped my right hand and strengthened me and set me on my feet […] He said to me, ‘Stand up like a man, and I will instruct you.’

3 Enoch

1.7–9 But as soon as the princes of the chariots looked at me and the fiery seraphim fixed their gaze on me, I shrank back trembling and fell down […] At once Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, came and revived me and raised me to my feet

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