Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism

Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism



Divine Scapegoats is a wide-ranging exploration of the parallels between the heavenly and the demonic in early Jewish apocalyptical accounts. In these materials, antagonists often mirror features of angelic figures, and even those of the Deity himself, an inverse correspondence that implies a belief that the demonic realm is maintained by imitating divine reality. Andrei A. Orlov examines the sacerdotal, messianic, and creational aspects of this mimetic imagery, focusing primarily on two texts from the Slavonic pseudepigrapha: 2 Enoch and the Apocalypse of Abraham. These two works are part of a very special cluster of Jewish apocalyptic texts that exhibit features not only of the apocalyptic worldview but also of the symbolic universe of early Jewish mysticism. The Yom Kippur ritual in the Apocalypse of Abraham, the divine light and darkness of 2 Enoch, and the similarity of mimetic motifs to later developments in the Zohar are of particular importance in Orlov’s consideration.



Publication Date



SUNY Press


Albany, NY


Jewish Demonology


Jewish Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Table of Contents

Introduction: The right in the left: the divine and the demonic in the Apocalypse of Abraham and 2 Enoch

Part I. Studies in the Apocalypse of Abraham

The curses of Azazel

The cosmological temple in the Apocalypse of Abraham

The demise of the antagonist in the apocalyptic scapegoat tradition

The nourishment of Azazel

The messianic scapegoat in the Apocalypse of Abraham

Part II. Studies in 2 Enoch

Adoil outside the cosmos: God before and after

Creation in the Enochic tradition

The veneration motif in the temptation narrative of the Gospel of Matthew: lessons from the Enochic tradition

Primordial lights: the logos and adoil in the Johannine prologue and 2 Enoch

Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism