In Isa. xxvi, 19, a restoration of the dead to life is mentioned. ‘Thy dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall cast forth thy dead.’ In these words are discerned the earliest traces of the idea of a national resurrection. The prophet speaks of the time when calamity will overtake Israel’s enemies. Israel will endure long suffering, however, before the time of their inevitable vindication in the eyes of the nations comes (chapters xxv-xxvi). Nevertheless, it will come, and with it, will take place the return to life of numerous generations.

A. Melinek, “The Doctrine of Reward and Punishment in Biblical and Early Rabbinic Writings,” in Essays Presented to Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. H.J. Zimmels, J. Rabbinowitz, & I. Finestein (London: The Soncino Press Limited, 1967), 282.

Advertisements