Heavenly Priesthood in the Apocalypse of Abraham

Heavenly Priesthood in the Apocalypse of Abraham



The Apocalypse of Abraham is a vital source for understanding both Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism. Written anonymously soon after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple, the text envisions heaven as the true place of worship and depicts Abraham as an initiate of celestial priesthood. Andrei A. Orlov focuses on the central rite of the Abraham story – the scapegoat ritual that receives a striking eschatological reinterpretation in the text. He demonstrates that the development of the sacerdotal traditions in the Apocalypse of Abraham, along with a cluster of Jewish mystical motifs, represents an important transition from Jewish apocalypticism to the symbols of early Jewish mysticism. In this way, Orlov offers unique insight into the complex world of the Jewish sacerdotal debates in the early centuries of the Common Era. The book will be of interest to scholars of early Judaism and Christianity, Old Testament studies, and Jewish mysticism and magic.



Publication Date



Cambridge University Press


Cambridge, NY


Apocalyps of Abraham, Mysticism-- Judaism, Abraham


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


Table of Contents

Sanctuaries. The anthropomorphism of the earthly Temple: the idols of Terah's family

The aniconism of the celestial Temple: the abode of the divine Voice

The corporealism of the demonic Temple: the Kavod of Azazel

Rituals. The priestly settings of the text: the Yom Kippur ceremony

The transformation of the celebrants

The mysteries of the throne room

Heavenly Priesthood in the Apocalypse of Abraham