Photo by the British Library

ON THE COVER: Four angels hold spears to guard the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden in a French manuscript illumination painted about 1280 A.D. Genesis 3:24 says that God placed heavenly beings, or cherubim, and a flaming sword at the entrance to the Garden. But Genesis omits any account of the creation of angels although they are mentioned at several places in the Bible. Over the centuries, Bible readers have puzzled over such omissions. In “Jubilees—How It Rewrote the Bible,” James VanderKam examines how, around 150 B.C., someone filled in the blanks by expanding Bible stories from the creation in Genesis up to the time the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai, joining the stories into a detailed, continuous chronological framework. According to Jubilees, angels came into being on the first day of creation.