Daniel 3.35 (LXX mv. Theodotion same): "And do not take away your mercy
(eleos) from us, because of Abraham, the one beloved by you, and Isaac your
servant, and Israel, your holy one." COMMENT: Hengel, p. 61, interprets
this as atonement. It may be so, more likely, it is an appeal to the merits
of the three.
Dan. 3.40 LXX:mv "As though it were sacrifice of rams and bulls and
thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be made before you today, and
make atonement with you. (exilasai opisthen sou.) "Hengel, p. 61, comments
that in view of 3.28, "They offered up their bodies", the sacrifice must
mean the sacrifice of their intended acceptance of death in the furnace.
Job. 42.7-8 mv: "And it happened, that after the Lord had spoken these
words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: My anger is inflamed
against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken right of
me like Job. And so take now 7 bullocks, and 7 rams and go to my servant
Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering (olah). And my servant
Job will pray for you, and his face I will accept without punishing you.
"Hengel, note 40 on p. 93 (to p. 61) cites 11 Qtg Job. col 38.2: wshbq lhwn
ht yhwn bdylh (=Job).
Second Maccabees 7.37 "I like my brothers, handover my body and my life
(soul) for our ancestral laws, calling on God to quickly be merciful to our
Fourth Maccabees Probable date is 63 B.C. to 70 A.D. according to H.
Anderson, editor in Charlesworth II.533. Versions here are mv.
6.28-29:" Be merciful to your people, being satisfied with my punishment.
Make my blood their purification and take my life as a ransom for theirs."-
-Said by Eleazar. 9.24: "Fight the sacred and noble fight for piety.
Through it may the just providence for our ancestors become merciful to our
race. "Said by first of the seven brothers, speaking to the others.
17.21-22: "They became as it were a ransom for the sin of our people. And
through the blood of these pious ones and the propitiation of their death,
the divine providence saved Israel, which had been badly treated." By the
editor, commenting on the mother and 7 sons.
Testament of Benjamin 3.8 [H. C. Kee in Charlesworth I. pp 771-78 favors
date in the Maccabean period. There are some Christian interpolations,
probably early 2nd cent. AD he says. The passage of 3.8 comes in two forms,
one which clearly shows Christian interpolation. The following does not
show that, and so seems genuine]: "In you will be fulfilled the heavenly
prophecy which says that he spotless one will be defiled by lawless men and
the sinless one will die for the sake of impious men." The dying Benjamin
is speaking to his sons.
1QS. Manual of Discipline. Rule of Community all mv.
5.6: [The rule is] to make atonement [kpr] for all who voluntarily give
themselves to holiness."
8.3 [There are to be twelve men and three priests] "to expiate iniquity
[literally: to make God pleased or appeased by doing what is right]
[mishpat]. "Cf. also ibid. 9.4.
8.6 & 10: "[when these things are done, there will be a holy community] to
make expiation [kpr] for the land" [repeats in line 10].
Rabbi Meir, c. 100-175 AD [date from Travers], cited by Simeon ben Eleazar
[fl.190 AD: Encycl. Judaica] in Tosephta Kiddushin 1.14 mv: "He has done
one commandment. His blessing! He has inclined the scales, for himself and
for the world, to the side of merit. He has committed one transgression.
Woe on him! He has inclined the scales for himself and for the world to the
side of debt [hoba = sin].
Mekilta on Exodus 12.l: (From: Jacob Z. Lauterbach, Mekilta de-Rabbi
Ishmael, Jewish Publication Society of America. I. p. 10): "And so also you
find, that the patriarchs and the prophets offered their lives in behalf of
Israel. As to Moses, what did he say: 'Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their
sin; and if not blot me, I pray Thee, out of the book which Thou hast
written (Ex. 32.32); And if Thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray Thee,
out of hand, if I have found favour in Thy sight; and let me not look upon
my wretchedness' (Num ll.15).As to David, what did he say? 'And David spoke
unto the Lord, when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said: Lo, I
COMMENT: case of Moses seems not really atonement for another. Rather,
Moses wants to die if God will NOT forgive. David does seem to offer self
however. But the attitude of Rabbi Ishmael shows understanding of atonement
for others even if his choice of the Moses text is not right.
Sifre on Numbers 25.13: (From: Tannaitische Midraschim. ed. G. Kittel.
Stuttgart, Kohlhammer Band 2, Heft 7.p.527):
"Dafur. dass er fur seinen Gott geeifert hat. (D.h.), 'dafur, dass er sein
Leben dem Tode preisgab'" <189>) (Jes.53.12).
COMMENT: In Num. 25.13 Phinehas has turned away God's wrath by killing two
sinners. So he has made atonement, and has received priesthood. But we
notice the interpretation of Isa 53.12 in the sense of the atonement made
by the Servant.
H. Anderson, introduction to 4 Macc. in Charlesworth II. 539: "Doctrinally,
the most significant contribution of 4 Maccabees is the development of the
notion that the suffering and death of the martyred righteous had
redemptive efficacy for Israel and secured God's grace and pardon for his
people....The idea of vicarious atonement in and through the death of Jesus
was of course of central importance in early Christianity, and it appears
in many places in the New Testament....although the concept of vicarious
atonement was by no means normative or widespread in Judaism around the
time of Jesus or Paul, it does have roots going far back into the Old
Testament and our author was certainly no innovator in this matter.... At
any rate, the idea that the suffering and death of the righteous atoned
vicariously for the sins of others is sufficiently well attested in the
apocalyptic literature (e.g, T Benj 3:8) and at Qumran (e.g. 1QS 5:6;
8:3f.,10; 9:4) to suggest that it was in the air in the intertestamental
COMMENT: Roots show in the debt concept of sin and sheggagah.
J. Bonsirven, Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Christ
p.111: "It was also believed that the prayers and sufferings of the just
could atone for the sins of others (Mekilta on Exod. 12:1; 22:22)." (more on
p.116: "The doctrine of vicarious atonement through suffering, by death,
and especially by martyrdom seems to have been generally accepted in the
Jewish world before Christ (2 Mach. 7:37; Sifre on Num., 25:13)."
J. Jeremias, New Testament Theology, pp. 287-88: "Is it conceivable that
Jesus saw his death as representative? ....The general currency in the
world of Jesus of ideas about the atoning power of death provides us with
an answer to the question. Four chief means of atonement were known:
repentance...the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement...suffering...and
death....Any death has the power to atone if it is bound up with
repentance. That even holds for the death of a criminal.... The death of a
righteous man was even more powerful; his supererogatory suffering was to
the advantage of others.... Yet greater atoning power was attributed to the
death of a witness to the faith. Hellenistic Judaism praises martyrdom,
because it brings God's wrath upon Israel to a standstill and is an
(substitute), (means of cleansing), (means of atonement for Israel.)"
John S. Pobee, Persecution and Martyrdom in the Theology of Paul JSNT
Supplement Series 6.
Martin Hengel, Atonement: pp. 60-65. Esp. his conclusion on p. 64: "As a
result, after careful consideration of all the sources indicated, we must
agree with Jeremias and Lohse that the vicarious atoning effect of the
death or even the suffering of a righteous man was not unknown in the
Palestinian Judaism of the first century AD, independently of the question
K. Bornhauser, Das Wirken des Christus. pp. 224-29.
E. Lohse, Martyrer und Gottesknecht Gottingen, l955, l963, pp. 9-10.
H. J. Schoeps, Paul. The Theology of the Apostle in the Light of Jewish
Religious History, p. 129: "The idea that God chooses a righteous man in
expiation of sins, who is regarded as a pawn for the sins of the people,
seems to have been very widespread....Thus David, Ezekiel, Job, Jonah were
thought of as suffering vicariously for the sins of the whole people. The
idea lies also behind a series of rabbinical reports of martyrdoms, to
which vicarious atoning power was ascribed. But for the most part they are
post-Pauline and cautiously worded, because it was felt to be undesirable
to lend support to the Christian interpretation. Again with the same motive
and in order to eliminate the reference of Isaiah 53 to Christ, atoning
power was imputed to the death of Moses."