Assumptio Mosis and the Eschatology of Despair

Zev Farber


Assumptio Mosis is an early first-millennium Jewish work framed as a farewell discourse from Moses to Joshua. The work rewrites the ending section of Deuteronomy, and includes within it a prophecy describing events in the distant future, alternative or supplementary to the predictions offered in Deuteronomy proper. This new twist on Moses’s prophetic vision may derive from a certain despair faced by the community of which this author was a part, perhaps, as the article suggests, the Hadrianic persecution. According to this visionary re-interpretation of Deuteronomy, there is nothing for the Jews to do but suffer and wait for redemption until the world is undone and they leave it for a better place; an eschatology of defeat and despair, at least in this world.


Assumptio Mosis, Reception History, Apocalyptic

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