This is an excerpt from Ancient Jewish Literature – ” The Apocalypse of Baruch” or “3 Baruch” (First/Second Century CE). The book of Revelation was written in the same genre as this account of celestial visions. Note the similarities of themes and language (example – Rev 3:8, Rev 8:3-4) and how heavenly domain is described by this ancient Jewish author.
And taking me from this, the angel led me to the fifth heaven. And the gate was closed. And I said, “Lord, will the gate be opened so that we can enter?” And the angel said to me, “We are not able to enter until Michael the holder of the keys of the kingdom of heaven comes. But wait and you will see the glory of God.” And there was a great noise like thunder, and I said, “Lord, what is this noise?” And he said to me, “The commander-in-chief Michael is descending to receive the prayers of men.” And behold a voice came: “Let the gate be opened!” And they opened, and there was a shriek as from thunder. And Michael came, and the angel with me went to meet him and made obeisance to him and said, “Hail, commander-in-chief of all our regiment.”
And the commander-in-chief Michael said, “Hail thou also, our brother, interpreter of revelations to those who pass through life rightly.” And after they greeted each other, they stood still. And I saw the commander-in-chief Michael take hold of a very large bowl, its depth being so great as from heaven to earth, and its width so great as from north to south. And I said, “Lord, what is it that Michael the archangel is holding?” And he said to me, “This is where the virtues of the righteous and the good works which they do are carried, which are brought by him before the heavenly God.” And while I was speaking with them, behold angels came carrying baskets filled with flowers, and they gave them to Michael. And I asked the angel, “Lord, who are these and what is it that they are carrying?”… And the angel said to me, “These above-mentioned flowers are the virtues of the righteous.”.. And Michael was greatly distressed and so was the angel with me, because they had not filled the bowl. (3 Baruch 11-12)
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