Jubilees, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, align Israel with Adam, and the Gentiles with the beasts over whom Adam rules. 1 Enoch regards Israel as Adam’s true heir. The Wisdom of Solomon asserts that the righteous will be restored to God’s intended place for them as lords of creation. The later writings 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch witness to the same theological position: Israel will be given the rights of Adam’s true heir. The pre-eminence of Adam in Ben-Sira (49.16) parallels that of the great kings David, Hezekiah and Josiah earlier in the chapter. And in the well-known ‘Adam’ references from Qumran, as well as those not so frequently cited, the reference to Adam is one of the many ways in which the sect claims for itself the status of being God’s true Israel, those who are to be seen as his true humanity.

–N.T. Wright, The Climax of the Covenant.

Advertisements