By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov
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However, this view is not without problems. It is likely that the Enochic 364-day solar calendar did, originally, represent an attempt to reform the Jewish calendar, in accordance with the best 2. The Jews and Natural Science 45 science of the day. It is possible that the new calendar was presented as a way of living more in accord with the laws of nature and of God. But, of course, the calendar does not work, and it would not have taken long for people using it to notice that it does not work: without correction it should have been obvious within thirty years that it was badly out of synch with nature.
But the knowledge they brought, like the knowledge of Prometheus, was knowledge which Heaven did not want to be disclosed to humankind. This is intriguing. How can we separate between these two types of knowledge? This brings us to another central theme of the Enochic literature—divine judgement. Side by side with the modernist science of the Enochic literature is a powerful strand of moralizing, conservative ethics. The scientific vision of the cosmos is constantly exploited to ram home the message of divine punishment for sin, and sin is defined not primarily in terms of breaches of the Sinai-covenant (as we would expect in a Moses-orientated worldview), but in terms of life-style, such as the use of cosmetics and jewellery.
Qumran was founded by renegade Jerusalem priests. The founders of Qumran were associated with the school, or the circle, in the Jerusalem Temple which had preserved and studied the Enochic literature, and they brought copies of the texts with them from there to Qumran. Be this as it may, if my analysis is even half correct, then it points to a rather interesting conclusion. Sometime in the late Persian period, say around 450-400 BCE, under the influence of Persian and, ultimately, of Babylonian ideas, Jews for the first time became interested in producing scientific models of the workings of the natural world.