The tradition of restoration : an examination of the motifs of Israel's re-gathering and the fate of the nations in early Jewish literature and Luke-Acts
This thesis identifies and examines the tradition of restoration. Particular attention is given to its expression in—what is identified in the present study—as the exilic model of restoration. This model provided one framework through which Jews in the Greco- Roman period could express their dilemmas as well as their hopes and ideas of the future. This particular expression of Israel's restoration is characterized by the features of Israel’s re-gathering, the fate of the nations/enemies, and the establishment of a new Temple. The present study focuses primarily on the first two features (i.e., the re- gathering of Israel and the fate of Israel's enemies) of the exilic model of restoration. The features are identified in a wide number of early Jewish documents and examined for their interpretation. In Chapter One, we examine and submit to critique the most important scholarly work on the use of the pattern of 'exile and return' in early Jewish ideas of restoration. In Chapter Two (The Re-gathering of Israel) we identify and discuss various early Jewish sources that represent the diverse interpretations given to the motif of Israel's eschatological return. In Chapter Three (The Defeat of Israel's Enemies), we examine a number of early Jewish documents that represent the variety of interpretations and emphases given to the hope for the defeat of Israel's adversaries. In Chapter Four (The Restoration of Israel in Luke-Acts), we explore the influence of these early Jewish ideas of restoration on the self-identity and hopes of a formative Christian community.