Words of Michael
Paraphrase and comments by Pete Garczynski
IntroductionThe 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, 6Q231 Wording of text which Michael addressed the
angels of God[...]2 Michael said, "I have located there an army of
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 [...]
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,
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
Footnotes The original text reads, "troops of fire".
In certain texts the existance of fire has been understood to mean a Godly or
angelic presence.  The Angel Gabriel is considered to serve
as a guide in the Highest Heaven  A hint that the city that
may be refered to is Jerusalem  From 13 to 16 Cook suggests a
possible parallel to 4Q522 in which the nations bring things to Jerusalem for
the Temple (WAC, 427).
BibliographyEiserman, 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
12/98prepared for Intro. to the Hebrew
Pete Garczynski Garczynski@albnet.alb.edu