Sunday, January 14, 2024

Two Harvests (14.14–20)


And I saw, and see, a white cloud, and one like a son of man was sitting on the cloud. He had a golden laurel on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.

And another angel came from the temple, yelling in a loud voice at the one sitting on the cloud, ‘Swing your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is ripe.’ And the one sitting on the cloud thrust his sickle over the earth and the earth was harvested.

And another angel came from the temple in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle.

And another angel came from the altar. He had authority over the fire, and he called in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Swing your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.’ And the angel swung his sickle on the earth and gathered from the earth’s vine and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. And the winepress was stomped outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress as high as horses’ bridles for one thousand six hundred stadia.


The ‘one like a son of man’ is used in a new fashion. Rather than representing persecuted Torah-observant Israelites as in Daniel, or the Anointed One in his execution of the eschatological final judgment in 1 Enoch, he here effects a salvific act. The following series of angels perform a function which essentially combines passages from Isaiah 63 and Joel 3. Their connection to the heavenly temple and altar reminds the reader of that setting, but otherwise plays no role in the passage.



17.4–6 On that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean. And it shall be as when reapers gather standing grain and their arms harvest the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, says Yhwh god of Israel.

24.13 For thus it shall be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

63.1–6 ‘Who is this that comes from Edom, from Bozrah in garments stained crimson? Who is this so splendidly robed, marching in his great might?’ ‘It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save.’ ‘Why are your robes red, and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?’ ‘I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their juice spattered on my garments, and stained all my robes. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year for my redeeming work had come. I looked, but there was no helper; I stared, but there was no one to sustain me; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath sustained me. I trampled down peoples in my anger, I crushed them in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.’


51.33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the god of Israel: Daughter Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.


1.21.13 The two scoundrels came in and sat opposite him; and the scoundrels brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, ‘Naboth cursed God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death.


49.11 he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes


3.13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

1 Enoch

100.3 A horse will wade up to its breast through the blood of the sinners, and the chariot will sink to its axles.


7.13 As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven.


13.24–30 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’


13.11–12 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.

4 Ezra

4.28–32 For the evil about which you ask me has been sown, but the harvest of it has not yet come. If therefore that which has been sown is not reaped, and if the place where the evil has been sown does not pass away, the field where the good has been sown will not come. For a grain of evil seed was sown in Adam’s heart from the beginning, and how much ungodliness it has produced until now—and will produce until the time of threshing comes! Consider now for yourself how much fruit of ungodliness a grain of evil seed has produced. When heads of grain without number are sown, how great a threshing-floor they will fill!’

2 Baruch

70.2 Behold, the days are coming and it will happen when the time of the world has ripened and the harvest of the seed of the evil ones and the good ones has come that the Mighty One will cause to come over the earth and its inhabitants and its rulers confusion of the spirit and amazement of the heart.

6 Ezra

15.35 and there will be blood from the sword as high as a horse’s belly and a man’s thigh and a camel’s hock.

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