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Words of Michael

    Paraphrase and comments by Pete Garczynski


    The Archangel Michael is the “protector of Israel”; he plays a prominent role in Jewish literature. Michael is considered as the leader of the angels and for this reason is considered the Chief messenger of God. In The Words of the Archangel Michael, he is portrayed as talking to other angels. Also he is seen in the text as being a given a vision from Gabriel. It is this vision that causes speculation of to what city they are actually referring to within the text. It at first looks like the author is starting to talk about the tower of Babel, but after further consideration it looks as if he is talking about Jerusalem and the building of the temple. If this assumption is right, then Michael may be asking why there is an angelic force stationed on the mountains. Gabriel vision may be an explanation to why they are there and a premonition to the great city that is to be built there.


    4Q529, 6Q23

    1 Wording of text which Michael addressed the angels of God[…]2 Michael said, “I have located there an army of angels[1][…]3[…] nine big hills: two to the Eas[t…]4[and two to the] South. It was at this place Michael met with the Angel Gabriel […][2]5… During their meeting Michael translated a dream of Gabriel’. Gabriel then said to Michael:[…]6 It was written in his text that God, the all powerful,[…]7 the boys of Ham to the boys of Shem. And see my Supreme being, the god of the earth[…]8 When it rains freely[…]9 view a city Made to worship the Supreme being, Lo[rd Eternal…]10Anything that is bad will be performed before God[3], the Almighty Lo[rd Eternal…]11 God will remember his people[…]12 the Supreme being; to him the prizes and praises and to him[…]13 in a far away place there will be a man[…]14 the man will say to him: ‘Observe this[…]15 bring to me silver and gold[…]… […]16 the good man[4]


    [1] The original text reads, “troops of fire”. In certain texts the existance of fire has been understood to mean a Godly or angelic presence. [2] The Angel Gabriel is considered to serve as a guide in the Highest Heaven [3] A hint that the city that may be refered to is Jerusalem [4] From 13 to 16 Cook suggests a possible parallel to 4Q522 in which the nations bring things to Jerusalem for the Temple (WAC, 427).


    Eiserman, Robert. Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered; The First Complete Translation and Interpretation of 50 Key Documents Withheld for Over 35 Years,Penquin Press, New York, 1992. Martinez, Florentino. The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated; The Qumran Texts in English, E.J.Brill & Leiden, New York, 1996. Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Penguin Press, New York, 1997. Wise, Abess, and Cook. The Dead Sea Scrolls; A New Translation, Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., New York, 1996

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