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The Vision of Four Trees/Kings, 4Q552


Partly overlapping remains of two manuscripts of an Aramaic work further testify to the existence of a rich para-Danielic literature. These poorly preserved documents allude to the story of the four empires (Dan. vii-viii) in the form of a metaphor of four trees.

4Q552, fr. 1 ii

… [I saw an angel] II standing on whom light (shone) and four trees [stood by] him. And the trees rose and moved away from him. And he said to [me: Do you see] this shape? And I said: Yes. I see it and consider it. And I saw the tree … placed. And I asked it: What is your name? And it said to me: Babel. And I said to it: Are you the one who rules over Persia? And I saw another tree … and I asked it: What is your name? [And it said to me: … And I said to it: Are you the one w[ho rules over a]ll the powers of the sea and over the ports [and over] … ? [And I saw] the third tree [and] I said to [it: What is your name and why] is your appearance …


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