JEWISH LAW AND ANIMAL SYMBOLISM BY J. MASSYNGBERDE FORD Notre Dame, Ind. The smooth running of the laws of nature were of great importance to most ancient people. This is seen, for example, in the writings from Qumran which describe a people who sought "to live according to the divinely ordained structure of the universe" Any departure from or disrupture of the natural laws, such as an eclipse or the birth of a deformed creature, was seen as an unlucky omen which, if over- looked would lead to catastrope. It is with this understanding that one must view both the harmony and the disruption of nature des- cribed in the Book of Revelation. Rev iv, v and vii reveal the exquisite unison in heaven. The twenty- four elders, who represent mankind, the four living creatures 2), who symbolize wild animal life, domestic creatures, human beings and bird life respectively together with the angelic host worship God unce- asingly day and night. They are all in unison. The sixth seal (Rev vi 12-17) and the trumpets introduce the reader to disruption of nature which to some degree reflects the order of creation as recorded in Gen. i. 1) A.
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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