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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Jewish apocalyptic literature combines narrative and vision and draws elements from the sacred traditions of the Jewish people, with influences from the Persian, Mesopotamian, Persian, and Greco-Roman worlds. The first extant examples of the literary genre apocalypse date back to the Hellenistic period, in which the earliest apocalypses took shape within a new imperial context and resisted it. This chapter examines Jewish apocalyptic literature as resistance literature. It considers two types of the earliest exemplars of the genre apocalypse, the heavenly journey and historical apocalypse, and their participation in discursive resistance against imperial hegemony and structures of domination. It also discusses three historical apocalypses, namely, Daniel, the Apocalypse of Weeks, and the Book of Dreams. Finally, the chapter looks at the link between resistance literature and revelation, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus’s appropriation of apocalyptic traditions, and early Jewish novels.

Keywords: apocalyptic literature, resistance literature, heavenly journey, historical apocalypse, resistance, Apocalypse of Weeks, Book of Dreams, revelation, Flavius Josephus, Jewish novels

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