Images de page


to secure an honourable and peaceful entrance into Sheol, apparently connected with the family grave, often placed in their own house :—and be gathered among his fathers. Indeed, reverence for the dead went so far, at times, as to lead to illicit practices, to sacrificial acts of worship : removing the shoes s and covering the head and beard : as in a sacred place 8 ; girding the loins with sackclotho ; cutting off the hair 10 and beard 11 or making baldness between the eyes 12 ; or cuttings in the flesh, 13 to pacify and propitiate their dead-practices which could not be tolerated by the prophets.14

So it was with the belief in the resurrection of the dead: the Chaldeans and Persians admitted a resurrection in the body of some favoured individuals at least.16 Babylonian mythologies represent Marduk as the god of mercy who finds delight in raising the dead, even as Osiris presides over the dead among the Egyptians, and raises the just, leading them before their god Râ. Both Babylonian and Egyptian cults included an extraordinary care for their dead, as if in expectation of a general resurrection in some future time.16 So, too, in the Old Testament, writings anterior to Job and Osee (which belong to the eighth century at the earliest) show great care for the dead ; which implies a belief in survival of the soul, but does not prove a hope of resurrection in the body.

1 Deut. xxviii. 26 ; Eccles. vi. 3 ; Jer. vii. 33, xvi. 4 ; Ps. lxxvii. (lxxix.) 2. Compare Jacob's touching lament in Gen. xxxvii. 35; David's instructions concerning Joab, 3 Kings (1 Kings) ii. 6; the sentence passed on Jezabel, 4 Kings (2 Kings) ix. 10; the curse on the Babylonian tyrant, Is. xiv. 19, 20.

2 Gen. xlvii. 30, l. 25 ; Exod. xiii. 19. See note 4 below. 31 Kings ( 1 Sam.) xxv. 1; 3 Kings (1 Kings) ii. 34. 4 Gen. xv. 15, xlix. 29-33 ; Judges ü. 10; Num. xxvii. 13; 2 Kings (2 Sam.)

2 xvii. 23, xix. 38. Contrast 3 Kings (1 Kings) xii. 22.

5 Ezech xxiv. 17. Cf. 2 Kings (2 Sam.) xv. 30: David flying from before Absalom,

8 Cf. 2 Kings (2 Sam.) xv. 30 ; Esther vi. 12 ; Jer. xiv. 3 ; 3 Kings (1 Kings) vü. 13.

7 Cf. Ezech. xxiv. 17.
8 Exod. üi. 5, 6; Jos. v. 15.

9 Gen. xxxvii. 34 (cf. 3 Kings (1 Kings) xx. 31, 32); 2 Kings (2 Sam.) üi. 31 ; Is. iii. 24 ; Jer. vi. 26.

10 Amos viii, 10; Ezech. xxvii. 31 ; cf. Is. xxii. 12; Jer. vii. 29 ; Ezech. vii, 18; Mich. i. 16.

11 Cf. Jer. xli. 5, xlviii. 37; Is. xv. 2, 3. Compare 3 Kings (1 Kings) xviii. 28 with Levit. xix. 28, Deut. xiv. 1.

12 Deut. xiv. 1, 2.

13 Cf. Jer. xli. 5, xlviii. 37; Is. xv. 2, 3. Compare 3 Kings (1 Kings) xvij. 28 with Levit. xix. 28, Deut. xiv. 1.

14 Levit. xix. 27, 28; Deut. xxvi. 14; Jer. xvi. 7. Some of the practices were tolerated, when their original pagan significance had disappeared. See Is. iii. 24, xxü. 12; Jer. xli. 5; Ezech. xxiv. 17-22 ; Amos viii. 10; Mich. i. 16.

15 Lagrange, La Religion des Perses.

16 Lo Page Renouf, Egyptian Book of the Dead ; Maspero, Dawn of Civilization.

The passage in Job xix. 23-27, as translated by St. Jerome in the Vulgate, gives the first explicit declaration of bodily resurrection. His rendering, however, is disputed as being neither literal nor accurate, as may be seen from the following table.




(Father Corluy's

(Revised Version.) 25. Scio


quod Novi vindicem meum But I know that my For I know he is Redemptor meus viventem

redeemer liveth, eterpal who is about vivit.

to deliver me. Et in novissimo Et postremus euper And that he shall To raise up upon the die de terra fur- pulverem surget stand up at the last earth my ekip (body) reoturus sum ;

upon the earth ; that endures these 26. Et

rursum cir. Et postea pelle mea And after my skin [sufferinge) ; tor cumdabor pelle circumdabunturhaec hath beon thus these things have mea,


been accomplished Et in carne

mea Et ex carne mea Yet from my flesh to me of the Lord ; videbo Deum intuebor Deum shall I see God :

meum. 27. Quem visurus sum Quem ego intuebor Whom I shall see for which I am conscious ego ipse mihi myself.

of in myself, which Et oculi mei con- Et oculi mei videbunt And mine eyes shall mine eye has seen, specturi sunt, et et non alius :

behold, and

pot and not anothor, but non alius :


all have been tulReposita est haec Defecerunt rones mei My reins dre COD- Alled to me in (my] spes mea in sinu in sinu meo.

sumed within me. bosom. tieo.

It would seem, therefore, that Job, crushed to dust by his numerous calamities, and cruelly tortured by false friends, whose aim was to inveigh against him, rather than to sympathize with him, soars high above all earthly prospects of comfort and abundance, down to the time, when Goêli haï (z obz), his living Avenger, shall come, and he,

[ocr errors]

1 A number of expressions occurring in various parts of the Old Testament imply a belief in something more than mere survival of the dead, even though they do not lend themselves to a positive proof of resurrection in the body : Deut. xxxii. 39 ; 1 Kings (1 Sam.) ii. 6 ; Tobias xiii. 2 ; Wisdom xvi. 13. Again,

1 the expression asleep seems to hint at a re-awakening : Deut. xxxi. 16 ; Ps. xii. (xiii.) 4, iii. 13 (14); Is. xiv. 8; Jer. li. 39, 57. Finally, it seems certain that immortality and resurrection were conceived of as intimately connected, even in the New Testament : 2 Mach, xii. 44 ; Matt. xxii. 31 ; I Cor. xv. 13-19, 32.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

even with his own eyes, shall see him, though his skin be turned to dust and ashes ! 1

Osee and Isaias and Ezechiel seek to instil new life and vigour into their despondent and drooping fellow-countrymen by resting their cheering visions of a restored Israel on the reality and certainty of the resurrection :

Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt . .. I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death where are thy plagues ? O death where is thy destruction ? 2 and Isaias speaks of a future union with all the righteous among the people of Israel :

Thy dead [O Israel) shall live, my slain shall rise again ; awake and give praise, ye that dwell in the dust : for thy dew is as the dew of herbs and the earth shall cast forth the dead.3 And the vivid description of Ezechiel of graves that are to be rent open, and the people brought out of their sepulchres,

1 This interpretation is rejected by many Hebrew scholars. Many Catholio interpreters also, following St. John Chrysostom (Ep. ii. ad Olympiad. 8, M.G. lii. 562, lvii. 396), deny that Job was speaking of the resurrection. Thə Catena Nicetae (M.G. lxiv. 620) makəs St. John Chrysostom admit that Job was not ignorant of the resurrection. In any case, it is admitted that the text possessed by the Fathers was corrupt, which also explains why St. Justin, St. Irenaeus and Tertullian do not mention Job in speaking of the resurrection of the dead.

St. Jerome admits, both in the Preface to his second translation and in his letter to Paula and Eustochium, that he handled his somewhat slippery and tricky originals freely. Yet, he insists that Job did openly and clearly prophesy resurrection in the body (Ep. liii. 8, M.L. xxii. 545 ; lib. c. Joan. Hieros. xxx., M.L. xxiii. 381). On the other hand, the present Massoretic text is certainly corrupt and unintelligible, especially in verse 26. The interpretation adopted above is demanded by the solemn introduction (verses 23, 24), and the warning (verse 29) which follows the passage ; by Job's despair of earthly recovery and his longing for death to free him from his miseries (vi. 8, 11 ; vii. 2, 16 ; xiii. 15; xiv. 13-15; X. 20-22); by his surprise at the actual restoration of his health and goods (xli. 7-10) and the vision of God as Judge, instead of the Avenger he expected (xlii. 5); by his expectation of a new life from above, if not an actual resurrection in the body (xiv. 14, 15); by the emphasis on my own eyes shall see, which does not harmonize well with Dellmann's version of verse 26, out of my flesh. The incompleteness of the epilogue also finds a better explanation in a future restoration of his body, than in the actual restitution of health and possessions.

Finally, it is the interpretation of St. Clem. Rom. (1 Cor. xxvi.), Orig. (in Matt. xxii. 23), St. Cyr. Jerus. (Catech. xviii. 14-20), St. Ambr. (in Ps. cxviii, 18, serm. 10), St. Epiph. (in Anchor. lxxxix-ciü.) and St. Jerome. It is represented in the Catacombs (Kraus, Roma sotterranea, 288). It is most in agreement with the beliefs current amongst Egyptians and Babylonians of Job's time.

The silence of the Targumists of the eleventh century may be due to antiChristian tactics ; in any case they are too recent to affect the issue.

Cf. Corluy, Spicilegium, i. pp. 278-296 ; Knabenbauer, Comment. in loco Rose in Révue Biblique, 1896.

[ocr errors]

2 Osee xiii. 4, 14; of. vi. 2, 3. 3 Ls. xxvi, 19.

VOL. XV-27


and their dry bones covered with flesh and sinews, and clothed in their very skins, to live with a new spirit infused by Almighty God, expresses to the full the expectations of righteous Israelites : a national resurrection and a moral regeneration of the people.

The same intense hope is expressed in the Psalms, not for the nation as a whole, but a cry of the faithful soul for its strongest yearning to that fullness of joy which is only to be reached by union and vision of God.

I have called daily upon Thee, O Lord,
I have spread forth my hands unto Thec,
Wilt Thou shew wonders to the dead ?
Shall they that are deceased arise and praise Thee ?
Shall Thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave ?
Or Thy faithfulness in destruction ?
Shall Thy wonders be known in the dark ?
And Thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
But unto Thee, O Lord, have I cried
And in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee."
For Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol;
Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy one to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
In Thy presence is fulness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.3

I shall behold Thy face in righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness. With the prophecy of Daniel a clearer insight is given us into the future: not the righteous only, but wicked Israelites as well, shall rise before the Judge—though not all—some unto everlasting life, and others unto reproach : 'to see it alway. Again, even the just shall not all possess the same glory, but those that are wise

shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever



Most graphic of all is the picture given in the Second Book of Machabees. Defiance of pain, threats of a judgment to come on their cruel torturer, unwavering certainty of restoration of their bodies, now for a while mangled and destroyed, and a wonderful tone of victory over their deadly enemy, pervades the narrative of the martyrdom of the heroic mother with her brave sons. Not less remarkable is the passage where Razias is shown grasping his bowels with both hands; and casting them upon the throng, called upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore them to him again ; and so departed this life.

1 Ezech. Xxxvii. 12.
2 Ps. lxxxvii. (lxxxviii.) 9.13.
3 Ps. xv. (xvi.) 10, 11.
4 Ps. xvi. (xvii.) 15.

o Daniel xiì. 1-3. It is not certain that Daniel is speaking of any but the persecuted Jews and their oppressors—there is no reason against its extension to all good and bad.

So it would seem that in the Old Testament writings there are two expressions of eschatology, not opposed, nor by any means mutually exclusive of one another, but concurrent and supplementary to each other. The one, represented by Job and the Psalms, looks forward to the resurrection of the righteous individual, while the other puts forward a national reinstatement, with punishment of unfaithful Israelites. Osee, Isaias and Ezechiel simply suppose a reviviscence in the body, as also the Book of Machabees ; while Daniel and the Psalmists hint at a spiritual change accompanying the resurrection.

Of great interest to students of the New Testament is the investigation of the views held by the Rabbis and Jewish people at the time when Our Lord was summing up in His own life and death the Law and the Prophets, and, indeed, the whole of the traditions and achievements of the Chosen People. It is undisputed that the greater portion of the Jewish people under the guardianship of their venerated Pharisees believed in a resurrection of the dead-at least of righteous Israel. They taught that every statement of Holy Scripture expressed in the future tense referred to the resurrection. The prayers used in the liturgical services of the Temple were framed especially · to counteract the Hellenistic scepticism of the Sadducees :

O God, the soul which Thou hast set within me is pure. Thou hast formed it, Thou hast breathed into me, Thou preservest it within me, and Thou wilt take it from me and restore it to me in time to

...O Lord of all spirits, who restorest souls to dead bodies. 8 The Talmudic accounts are so material as to verge on the ridiculous. The os sacrum, for example, is taken to be a guarantee of resurrection, for from it will spring the new

1 2 Mach. vii. 9-37, xii. 42, 43, xiv. 46. 2 Cf. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, i. 8 Palest. Talmud., Sanhed. 90-92. 4 Berachoth ix. 5 (Babyl. Talmud.), especially the second Benediction.

5 Ibid lx. b. Cf. Morning and Evening Benedictions used by Jewish worshippers.



« PrécédentContinuer »