By Arthur Hyman
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Extra info for Eschatological Themes in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
57 If the soul, as has been argued, is physical, why can its departure not be perceived by the senses? Turning to his earlier discussion, he answers that since the substance of the soul is more subtle than the celestial spheres, just as these cannot be perceived, so can the soul not be perceived. Offering an analogy, Saadiah states that if a burning candle is inside ten glass vessels, only the candle but not the vessels can be seen, so the soul because of its subtlety cannot be seen. 58 Citing a verse from Proverbs he maintains that the disembodied soul is stored up until the time of retribution.
The body of the angel is composed of yellow ﬁre, while his eyes are made of blue ﬁre. In the angel’s hand is a drawn sword aimed at the dying person. At the sight of the angel the dying person is terriﬁed and the soul leaves the body. 57 If the soul, as has been argued, is physical, why can its departure not be perceived by the senses? Turning to his earlier discussion, he answers that since the substance of the soul is more subtle than the celestial spheres, just as these cannot be perceived, so can the soul not be perceived.
As his reason Saadiah states that the purpose of the resurrection is that those resurrected will witness the redemption, which purpose is fulﬁlled by those who are living at that time. 75 Here his main concern is to argue that while this doctrine is expressed primarily by later sources, references in earlier sources—he has in mind the Pentateuch—are not lacking. To prove the point he cites the statement “The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity” (Deuteronomy 30:3). One of the more philosophic arguments that Saadiah offers is that of God’s justice.
Eschatological Themes in Medieval Jewish Philosophy by Arthur Hyman