The eschatology is similar to that taught in the similitudes of the Book cf Enoch.
V., 2 but is really a prelude to the Mandates and Similitudes which form the bulk of the whole work, hence known as "The Shepherd."
First of all write thou my mandates and similitudes; and the rest, as I will show thee, so shalt thou write."
Mandates - perhaps suggested by the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (see Didache), which Hermas knows - and Similitudes i.-viii., while Simil.
Nature, limited in her resources for adaptation, fashioned so many of these animals in like form that we have learned only recently to distinguish similarities cf analogous habit from the similitudes of real kinship. From whatever order of Mammalia or Reptilia an animal may be derived, prolonged aquatic adaptation will model its outer, and finally its inner, structure according to certain advantageous designs.
His homilies, which are still preserved, furnish ample apology for the partiality of the people, exhibiting the free command of a pure and copious vocabulary, an inexhaustible fund of metaphors and similitudes, giving variety and grace to the most familiar topics, with an almost dramatic exposure of the folly and turpitude of vice, and a deep moral earnestness.
The book of laws (Vendidad) is characterized by an arid didactic tone; only here and there the legislator clothes his dicta in the guise of graceful dialogues and tales, or of poetic descriptions and similitudes; and then the book of laws is transformed into a didactic poem.
The similitudes are undoubtedly of different authorship from the rest of the book, and certain portions of the book are derived from the Book of Noah.
The Similitudes he worked up from a series of later sources, and gave them the second place in the final work authenticating them with the name of Noah.
The writer now sees that it belongs to the text of the Similitudes though it is dislocated from its original context.