Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Hebrew apocalyptic religious text, ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. Enoch contains unique material on the origins of demons and giants, why some angels fell from heaven, an explanation of why the Genesis flood was morally necessary, and prophetic exposition of the thousand-year reign of the Messiah.
The older sections of the text are estimated to date from about 300–200 BC, and the latest part probably to 100 BC.
Various Aramaic fragments found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as Koine Greek and Latin fragments, are proof that the Book of Enoch was known by Jews and early Christians. This book was also quoted by some 1st and 2nd century authors as in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Authors of the New Testament were also familiar with some content of the story. A short section of 1 Enoch is cited in the New Testament Epistle of Jude,, and is attributed there to "Enoch the Seventh from Adam", although this section of 1 Enoch is a midrash on Deuteronomy 33:2. Several copies of the earlier sections of 1 Enoch were preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
It is not part of the biblical canon used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel. Most Christian denominations and traditions may accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological interest and while the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church consider the Books of Enoch as canonical, other Christian groups regard them as non-canonical or non-inspired.
It is wholly extant only in the Ge'ez language, with Aramaic fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and a few Greek and Latin fragments. For this and other reasons, the traditional Ethiopian belief is that the original language of the work was Ge'ez, whereas modern scholars argue that it was first written in either Aramaic or Hebrew; Ephraim Isaac suggests that the Book of Enoch, like the Book of Daniel, was composed partially in Aramaic and partially in Hebrew. No Hebrew version is known to have survived. It is asserted in the book itself that its author was Enoch, before the biblical flood.
The most complete Book of Enoch comes from Ethiopic manuscripts, maṣḥafa hēnok, written in Ge'ez; which was brought to Europe by James Bruce in the late 18th century and was translated into English in the 19th century.
ContentThe first part of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim. The remainder of the book describes Enoch's visits to heaven in the form of travels, visions and dreams, and his revelations.
The book consists of five quite distinct major sections :
- The Book of the Watchers
- The [|Book of Parables of Enoch]
- The [|Astronomical Book]
- The [|Book of Dream Visions]
- The [|Epistle of Enoch]
JudaismAlthough evidently widely known during the development of the Hebrew Bible canon, 1 Enoch was excluded from both the formal canon of the Tanakh and the typical canon of the Septuagint and therefore, also from the writings known today as the Deuterocanon. One possible reason for Jewish rejection of the book might be the textual nature of several early sections of the book that make use of material from the Torah; for example, 1 En 1 is a midrash of Deuteronomy 33. The content, particularly detailed descriptions of fallen angels, would also be a reason for rejection from the Hebrew canon at this period – as illustrated by the comments of Trypho the Jew when debating with Justin Martyr on this subject: "The utterances of God are holy, but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God." Today, the Ethiopic Beta Israel community of Jews is the only Jewish group that accepts the Book of Enoch as canonical and still preserves it in its liturgical language of Ge'ez where it plays a central role in worship and the liturgy.
ChristianityBy the 4th century, the Book of Enoch was mostly excluded from Christian biblical canons, and it is now regarded as scripture by only the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
ReceptionThe Book of Enoch was considered as scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Tertullian, who wrote c. 200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ. However, later Fathers denied the canonicity of the book, and some even considered the Epistle of Jude uncanonical because it refers to an apocryphal work.
Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchThe belief of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which sees 1 Enoch as an inspired document, is that the Ethiopic text is the original one, written by Enoch himself. They believe that the following opening sentence of Enoch is the first and oldest sentence written in any human language, since Enoch was the first to write letters:Latter Day Saint movement, does not consider 1 Enoch to be part of its standard canon, although it believes that a purported "original" Book of Enoch was an inspired book. The Book of Moses, first published in the 1830s, is part of the scriptural canon of the LDS Church and has a section which claims to contain extracts from the "original" Book of Enoch. This section has many similarities to 1 Enoch and other Enoch texts, including 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, and The Book of Giants. The Enoch section of the Book of Moses is believed by the Church to contain extracts from "the ministry, teachings, and visions of Enoch", though it does not contain the entire Book of Enoch itself. The LDS Church would therefore consider the portions of the other texts which match its Enoch excerpts to be inspired, while not rejecting but withholding judgment on the remainder.
EthiopicThe most extensive witnesses to the Book of Enoch exist in the Ge'ez language. Robert Henry Charles's critical edition of 1906 subdivides the Ethiopic manuscripts into two families:
Family α: thought to be more ancient and more similar to the Greek versions:
- A – ms. orient. 485 of the British Museum, 16th century, with Jubilees
- B – ms. orient. 491 of the British Museum, 18th century, with other biblical writings
- C – ms. of Berlin orient. Petermann II Nachtrag 29, 16th century
- D – ms. abbadiano 35, 17th century
- E – ms. abbadiano 55, 16th century
- F – ms. 9 of the Lago Lair, 15th century
- G – ms. 23 of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 18th century
- H – ms. orient. 531 of the Bodleian Library of Oxford, 18th century
- I – ms. Brace 74 of the Bodleian Library of Oxford, 16th century
- J – ms. orient. 8822 of the British Museum, 18th century
- K – ms. property of E. Ullendorff of London, 18th century
- L – ms. abbadiano 99, 19th century
- M – ms. orient. 492 of the British Museum, 18th century
- N – ms. Ethiopian 30 of Monaco of Baviera, 18th century
- O – ms. orient. 484 of the British Museum, 18th century
- P – ms. Ethiopian 71 of the Vatican, 18th century
- Q – ms. orient. 486 of the British Museum, 18th century, lacking chapters 1–60
AramaicEleven Aramaic-language fragments of the Book of Enoch were found in cave 4 of Qumran in 1948 and are in the care of the Israel Antiquities Authority. They were translated for and discussed by Józef Milik and Matthew Black in The Books of Enoch. Another translation has been released by Vermes and Garcia-Martinez. Milik described the documents as being white or cream in color, blackened in areas, and made of leather that was smooth, thick and stiff. It was also partly damaged, with the ink blurred and faint.
- = 4QEnoch a ar, Enoch 2:1–5:6; 6:4–8:1; 8:3–9:3,6–8
- 4Q202 = 4QEnoch b ar, Enoch 5:9–6:4, 6:7–8:1, 8:2–9:4, 10:8–12, 14:4–6
- 4Q204 = 4QEnoch c ar, Enoch 1:9–5:1, 6:7, 10:13–19, 12:3, 13:6–14:16, 30:1–32:1, 35, 36:1–4, 106:13–107:2
- 4Q205 = 4QEnoch d ar; Enoch 89:29–31, 89:43–44
- 4Q206 = 4QEnoch e ar; Enoch 22:3–7, 28:3–29:2, 31:2–32:3, 88:3, 89:1–6, 89:26–30, 89:31–37
- 4Q207 = 4QEnoch f ar
- 4Q208 = 4QEnastr a ar
- 4Q209 = 4QEnastr b ar; Enoch 79:3–5, 78:17, 79:2 and large fragments that do not correspond to any part of the Ethiopian text
- 4Q210 = 4QEnastr c ar; Enoch 76:3–10, 76:13–77:4, 78:6–8
- 4Q211 = 4QEnastr d ar; large fragments that do not correspond to any part of the Ethiopian text
- 4Q212 = 4QEn g ar; Enoch 91:10, 91:18–19, 92:1–2, 93:2–4, 93:9–10, 91:11–17, 93:11–93:1
XII'', Greek manuscript of the Book of Enoch, 4th century
Greek and LatinThe 8th-century work Chronographia Universalis by the Byzantine historian George Syncellus preserved some passages of the Book of Enoch in Greek. Other Greek fragments known are:
- Codex Panopolitanus, named also Codex Gizeh or Akhmim fragments, consists of fragments of two 6th-century papyri containing portions of chapters 1–32 recovered by a French archeological team at Akhmim in Egypt and published five years later, in 1892.
- Vatican Fragments, f. 216v : including 89:42–49
- Chester Beatty Papyri XII : including 97:6–107:3
- Oxyrhynchus Papyri 2069: including only a few letters, which made the identification uncertain, from 77:7–78:1, 78:1–3, 78:8, 85:10–86:2, 87:1–3
Of the Latin translation, only 1:9 and 106:1–18 are known. The first passage occurs in Pseudo-Cyprian and Pseudo-Vigilius; the second was discovered in 1893 by M. R. James in an 8th-century manuscript in the British Museum and published in the same year.
Second Temple periodThe 1976 publication by Milik of the results of the paleographic dating of the Enochic fragments found in Qumran made a breakthrough. According to this scholar, who studied the original scrolls for many years, the oldest fragments of the Book of Watchers are dated to 200–150 BC. Since the Book of Watchers shows evidence of multiple stages of composition, it is probable that this work was extant already in the 3rd century BC. The same can be said about the Astronomical Book.
It was no longer possible to claim that the core of the Book of Enoch was composed in the wake of the Maccabean Revolt as a reaction to Hellenization. Scholars thus had to look for the origins of the Qumranic sections of 1 Enoch in the previous historical period, and the comparison with traditional material of such a time showed that these sections do not draw exclusively on categories and ideas prominent in the Hebrew Bible. Some scholars speak even of an "Enochic Judaism" from which the writers of Qumran scrolls were descended. Margaret Barker argues, "Enoch is the writing of a very conservative group whose roots go right back to the time of the First Temple". The main peculiar aspects of the Enochic Judaism are the following:
- the idea of the origin of the evil caused by the fallen angels, who came on the earth to unite with human women. These fallen angels are considered ultimately responsible for the spread of evil and impurity on the earth;
- the absence in 1 Enoch of formal parallels to the specific laws and commandments found in the Mosaic Torah and of references to issues like Shabbat observance or the rite of circumcision. The Sinaitic covenant and Torah are not of central importance in the Book of Enoch;
- the concept of "End of Days" as the time of final judgment that takes the place of promised earthly rewards;
- the rejection of the Second Temple's sacrifices considered impure: according to Enoch 89:73, the Jews, when returned from the exile, "reared up that tower and they began again to place a table before the tower, but all the bread on it was polluted and not pure";
- a solar calendar in opposition to the lunar calendar used in the Second Temple ;
- an interest in the angelic world that involves life after death.
The relation between 1 Enoch and the Essenes was noted even before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. While there is consensus to consider the sections of the Book of Enoch found in Qumran as texts used by the Essenes, the same is not so clear for the Enochic texts not found in Qumran : it was proposed to consider these parts as expression of the mainstream, but not-Qumranic, essenic movement. The main peculiar aspects of the not-Qumranic units of 1 Enoch are the following:
- a Messiah called "Son of Man", with divine attributes, generated before the creation, who will act directly in the final judgment and sit on a throne of glory
- the sinners usually seen as the wealthy ones and the just as the oppressed.
The Book of Enoch plays an important role in the history of Jewish mysticism: the scholar Gershom Scholem wrote, "The main subjects of the later Merkabah mysticism already occupy a central position in the older esoteric literature, best represented by the Book of Enoch." Particular attention is paid to the detailed description of the throne of God included in chapter 14 of 1 Enoch.
For the quotation from the Book of Watchers in the New Testament Epistle of Jude, see section: Canonicity.
There is little doubt that 1 Enoch was influential in molding New Testament doctrines about the Messiah, the Son of Man, the messianic kingdom, demonology, the resurrection, and eschatology. The limits of the influence of 1 Enoch are discussed at length by R.H. Charles, Ephraim Isaac, and G.W. Nickelsburg in their respective translations and commentaries. It is possible that the earlier sections of 1 Enoch had direct textual and content influence on many Biblical apocrypha, such as Jubilees, 2 Baruch, 2 Esdras, Apocalypse of Abraham and 2 Enoch, though even in these cases, the connection is typically more branches of a common trunk than direct development.
The Greek text was known to, and quoted, both positively and negatively, by many Church Fathers: references can be found in Justin Martyr, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Origen, Cyprian, Hippolytus, Commodianus, Lactantius and Cassian. After Cassian and before the modern "rediscovery", some excerpts are given in the Byzantine Empire by the 8th-century monk George Syncellus in his chronography, and in the 9th century, it is listed as an apocryphon of the New Testament by Patriarch Nicephorus.
Rediscovery, in his History of the World, makes the curious assertion that part of the Book of Enoch "which contained the course of the stars, their names and motions" had been discovered in Saba in the first century and was thus available to Origen and Tertullian. He attributes this information to Origen, although no such statement is found anywhere in extant versions of Origen.
Outside of Ethiopia, the text of the Book of Enoch was considered lost until the beginning of the seventeenth century, when it was confidently asserted that the book was found in an Ethiopic language translation there, and Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc bought a book that was claimed to be identical to the one quoted by the Epistle of Jude and the Church Fathers. Hiob Ludolf, the great Ethiopic scholar of the 17th and 18th centuries, soon claimed it to be a forgery produced by Abba Bahaila Michael.
Better success was achieved by the famous Scottish traveller James Bruce, who, in 1773, returned to Europe from six years in Abyssinia with three copies of a Ge'ez version. One is preserved in the Bodleian Library, another was presented to the royal library of France, while the third was kept by Bruce. The copies remained unused until the 19th century; Silvestre de Sacy, in "Notices sur le livre d'Enoch", included extracts of the books with Latin translations. From this a German translation was made by Rink in 1801.
The first English translation of the Bodleian/Ethiopic manuscript was published in 1821 by Richard Laurence, titled The Book of Enoch, the prophet: an apocryphal production, supposed to have been lost for ages; but discovered at the close of the last century in Abyssinia; now first translated from an Ethiopic manuscript in the Bodleian Library. Oxford, 1821. Revised editions appeared in 1833, 1838, and 1842.
In 1838, Laurence also released the first Ethiopic text of 1 Enoch published in the West, under the title: Libri Enoch Prophetae Versio Aethiopica. The text, divided into 105 chapters, was soon considered unreliable as it was the transcription of a single Ethiopic manuscript.
In 1833, Professor Andreas Gottlieb Hoffmann of the University of Jena released a German translation, based on Laurence's work, called Das Buch Henoch in vollständiger Uebersetzung, mit fortlaufendem Kommentar, ausführlicher Einleitung und erläuternden Excursen. Two other translations came out around the same time: one in 1836 called Enoch Restitutus, or an Attempt and one in 1840 called Prophetae veteres Pseudepigraphi, partim ex Abyssinico vel Hebraico sermonibus Latine bersi. However, both are considered to be poor—the 1836 translation most of all—and is discussed in Hoffmann.
The first critical edition, based on five manuscripts, appeared in 1851 as Liber Henoch, Aethiopice, ad quinque codicum fidem editus, cum variis lectionibus, by August Dillmann. It was followed in 1853 by a German translation of the book by the same author with commentary titled Das Buch Henoch, übersetzt und erklärt. It was considered the standard edition of 1 Enoch until the work of Charles.
The generation of Enoch scholarship from 1890 to World War I was dominated by Robert Henry Charles. His 1893 translation and commentary of the Ethiopic text already represented an important advancement, as it was based on ten additional manuscripts. In 1906 R.H. Charles published a new critical edition of the Ethiopic text, using 23 Ethiopic manuscripts and all available sources at his time. The English translation of the reconstructed text appeared in 1912, and the same year in his collection of The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament.
The publication, in the early 1950s, of the first Aramaic fragments of 1 Enoch among the Dead Sea Scrolls profoundly changed the study of the document, as it provided evidence of its antiquity and original text. The official edition of all Enoch fragments appeared in 1976, by Jozef Milik.
The renewed interest in 1 Enoch spawned a number of other translations: in Hebrew, Danish, Italian, Spanish, French and other modern languages. In 1978 a new edition of the Ethiopic text was edited by Michael Knibb, with an English translation, while a new commentary appeared in 1985 by Matthew Black.
In 2001 George W.E. Nickelsburg published the first volume of a comprehensive commentary on 1 Enoch in the Hermeneia series. Since the year 2000, the Enoch seminar has devoted several meetings to the Enoch literature and has become the center of a lively debate concerning the hypothesis that the Enoch literature attests the presence of an autonomous non-Mosaic tradition of dissent in Second Temple Judaism.
The Book of the WatchersThis first section of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim and narrates the travels of Enoch in the heavens. This section is said to have been composed in the 4th or 3rd century BC according to Western scholars.
- 1-5. Parable of Enoch on the Future Lot of the Wicked and the Righteous.
- 6-11. The Fall of the Angels: the Demoralization of Mankind: the Intercession of the Angels on behalf of Mankind. The Dooms pronounced by God on the Angels of the Messianic Kingdom.
- 12-16. Dream-Vision of Enoch: his Intercession for Azazel and the fallen angels: and his Announcement of their first and final Doom.
- 17-36. Enoch's Journeys through the Earth and Sheol: Enoch also traveled through a portal shaped as a triangle to heaven.
- 17-19. The First Journey.
- 20. Names and Functions of the Seven Archangels.
- 21. Preliminary and final Place of Punishment of the fallen Angels.
- 22. Sheol or the Underworld.
- 23. The fire that deals with the Luminaries of Heaven.
- 24-25. The Seven Mountains in the North-West and the Tree of Life.
- 26. Jerusalem and the Mountains, Ravines, and Streams.
- 27. The Purpose of the Accursed Valley.
- 28-33. Further Journey to the East.
- 34-35. Enoch's Journey to the North.
- 36. The Journey to the South.
It discusses God coming to Earth on Mount Sinai with His hosts to pass judgement on mankind. It also tells us about the luminaries rising and setting in the order and in their own time and never change:
"Observe and see how all the trees seem as though they had withered and shed all their leaves, except fourteen trees, which do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage from two to three years till the new comes."
How all things are ordained by God and take place in his own time. The sinners shall perish and the great and the good shall live on in light, joy and peace.
And all His works go on thus from year to year for ever, and all the tasks which they accomplish for Him, and their tasks change not, but according as God hath ordained so is it done.
The first section of the book depicts the interaction of the fallen angels with mankind; Sêmîazâz compels the other 199 fallen angels to take human wives to "beget us children".
And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: "I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin." And they all answered him and said: "Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing." Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.
The names of the leaders are given as "Samyaza, their leader, Araqiel, Râmêêl, Kokabiel, Tamiel, Ramiel, Dânêl, Chazaqiel, Baraqiel, Asael, Armaros, Batariel, Bezaliel, Ananiel, Zaqiel, Shamsiel, Satariel, Turiel, Yomiel, Sariel."
This results in the creation of the Nephilim or Anakim/Anak as they are described in the book:
And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three hundred ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood.
It also discusses the teaching of humans by the fallen angels, chiefly Azâzêl:
And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, Armârôs the resolving of enchantments, Barâqîjâl, taught astrology, Kôkabêl the constellations, Ezêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl the signs of the sun, and Sariêl the course of the moon.
Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel appeal to God to judge the inhabitants of the world and the fallen angels. Uriel is then sent by God to tell Noah of the coming cataclysm and what he needs to do.
Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spoke, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.
God commands Raphael to imprison Azâzêl:
the Lord said to Raphael: "Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin."
God gave Gabriel instructions concerning the Nephilim and the imprisonment of the fallen angels:
And to Gabriel said the Lord: "Proceed against the biters and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy the children of the Watchers from amongst men : send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle..."
Some, including R.H. Charles, suggest that "biters" should read "bastards", but the name is so unusual that some believe that the implication that is made by the reading of "biters" is more or less correct.
The Lord commands Michael to bind the fallen angels.
And the Lord said unto Michael: "Go, bind Semjâzâ and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness. 12. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is for ever and ever is consummated. 13. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations...."
Book of ParablesChapters 37–71 of the Book of Enoch are referred to as the Book of Parables. The scholarly debate centers on these chapters. The Book of Parables appears to be based on the Book of Watchers, but presents a later development of the idea of final judgement and of eschatology, concerned not only with the destiny of the fallen angels but also that of the evil kings of the earth. The Book of Parables uses the expression Son of Man for the eschatological protagonist, who is also called “Righteous One”, “Chosen One”, and “Messiah”, and sits on the throne of glory in the final judgment. The first known use of The Son of Man as a definite title in Jewish writings is in 1 Enoch, and its use may have played a role in the early Christian understanding and use of the title.
It has been suggested that the Book of Parables, in its entirety, is a later addition. Pointing to similarities with the Sibylline Oracles and other earlier works, in 1976, J.T. Milik dated the Book of Parables to the third century. He believed that the events in the parables were linked to historic events dating from 260 to 270 CE. This theory is in line with the beliefs of many scholars of the 19th century, including Lucke, Hofman, Wiesse, and Phillippe. According to this theory, these chapters were written in later Christian times by a Jewish Christian to enhance Christian beliefs with Enoch's authoritative name. In a 1979 article, Michael Knibb followed Milik's reasoning and suggested that because no fragments of chapters 37–71 were found at Qumran, a later date was likely. Knibb would continue this line of reasoning in later works. In addition to being missing from Qumran, Chapters 37–71 are also missing from the Greek translation. Currently no firm consensus has been reached among scholars as to the date of the writing of the Book of Parables. Milik's date of as late as 270 CE, however, has been rejected by most scholars. David W. Suter suggests that there is a tendency to date the Book of Parables to between 50 BC and 117 AD.
In 1893, Robert Charles judged Chapter 71 to be a later addition. He would later change his opinion and give an early date for the work between 94 and 64 BC. The 1906 article by Emil G. Hirsch in the Jewish Encyclopedia states that Son of Man is found in the Book of Enoch, but never in the original material. It occurs in the "Noachian interpolations", in which it has clearly no other meaning than 'man'. The author of the work misuses or corrupts the titles of the angels. Charles views the title Son of Man, as found in the Book of Parables, as referring to a supernatural person, a Messiah who is not of human descent. In that part of the Book of Enoch known as the Similitudes, it has the technical sense of a supernatural Messiah and judge of the world ; universal dominion and preexistence are predicated of him. He sits on God's throne, which is his own throne. Though Charles does not admit it, according to Emil G. Hirsch these passages betray Christian redaction and emendation. Many scholars have suggested that passages in the Book of Parables are Noachian interpolations. These passages seem to interrupt the flow of the narrative. Darrell D. Hannah suggests that these passages are not, in total, novel interpolations, but rather derived from an earlier Noah apocryphon. He believes that some interpolations refer to Herod the Great and should be dated to around 4 BC.
In addition to the theory of Noachian interpolations, which perhaps a majority of scholars support, most scholars currently believe that Chapters 70–71 are a later addition in part or in whole. Chapter 69 ends with, "This is the third parable of Enoch." Like Elijah, Enoch is generally thought to have been brought up to Heaven by God while still alive, but some have suggested that the text refers to Enoch as having died a natural death and ascending to Heaven. The Son of Man is identified with Enoch. The text implies that Enoch had previously been enthroned in heaven. Chapters 70–71 seem to contradict passages earlier in the parable where the Son of Man is a separate entity. The parable also switches from third person singular to first person singular. James H. Charlesworth rejects the theory that chapters 70–71 are later additions. He believes that no additions were made to the Book of Parables. In his earlier work, the implication is that a majority of scholars agreed with him.
ContentXXXVIII–XLIV. The First Parable.
- XXXVIII. The Coming Judgement of the Wicked.
- XXXIX. The Abode of the Righteous and the Elect One: the Praises of the Blessed.
- XL-XLI. 2. The Four Archangels.
- XLI. 3–9. Astronomical Secrets.
- XLII. The Dwelling-places of Wisdom and of Unrighteousness.
- XLIII–XLIV. Astronomical Secrets.
- XLV. The Lot of the Apostates: the New Heaven and the New Earth.
- XLVI. The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man.
- XLVII. The Prayer of the Righteous for Vengeance and their Joy at its coming.
- XLVIII. The Fount of Righteousness: the Son of Man -the Stay of the Righteous: Judgement of the Kings and the Mighty.
- XLIX. The Power and Wisdom of the Elect One.
- L. The Glorification and Victory of the Righteous: the Repentance of the Gentiles.
- LI. The Resurrection of the Dead, and the Separation by the Judge of the Righteous and the Wicked.
- LII. The Six Metal Mountains and the Elect One.
- LIII–LIV. The Valley of Judgement: the Angels of Punishment: the Communities of the Elect One.
- LIV.7.–LV.2. Noachic Fragment on the first World Judgement.
- LV.3.–LVI.4. Final Judgement of Azazel, the Watchers and their children.
- LVI.5–8. Last Struggle of the Heathen Powers against Israel.
- LVII. The Return from the Dispersion.
- LVIII. The Blessedness of the Saints.
- LIX. The Lights and the Thunder.
- LX. Quaking of the Heaven: Behemoth and Leviathan: the Elements.
- LXI. Angels go off to measure Paradise: the Judgement of the Righteous by the Elect One: the Praise of the Elect One and of God.
- LXII. Judgement of the Kings and the Mighty: Blessedness of the Righteous.
- LXIII. The unavailing Repentance of the Kings and the Mighty.
- LXIV. Vision of the Fallen Angels in the Place of Punishment.
- LXV. Enoch foretells to Noah the Deluge and his own Preservation.
- LXVI. The Angels of the Waters bidden to hold them in Check.
- LXVII. God's Promise to Noah: Places of Punishment of the Angels and of the Kings.
- LXVIII. Michael and Raphael astonished at the Severity of the Judgement.
- LXIX. The Names and Functions of the Satans: the secret Oath.
- LXX. The Final Translation of Enoch.
- LXXI. Two earlier Visions of Enoch.
The Astronomical Book
This book contains descriptions of the movement of heavenly bodies and of the firmament, as a knowledge revealed to Enoch in his trips to Heaven guided by Uriel, and it describes a Solar calendar that was later described also in the Book of Jubilees which was used by the Dead Sea sect. The use of this calendar made it impossible to celebrate the festivals simultaneously with the Temple of Jerusalem.
The year was composed from 364 days, divided in four equal seasons of ninety-one days each. Each season was composed of three equal months of thirty days, plus an extra day at the end of the third month. The whole year was thus composed of exactly fifty-two weeks, and every calendar day occurred always on the same day of the week. Each year and each season started always on Wednesday, which was the fourth day of the creation narrated in Genesis, the day when the lights in the sky, the seasons, the days and the years were created. It is not known how they used to reconcile this calendar with the tropical year of 365.24 days, and it is not even sure if they felt the need to adjust it.
- 72. The Sun
- 73. The Moon and its Phases
- 74. The Lunar Year
- 76. The Twelve Winds and their Portals
- 77. The Four Quarters of the World: the Seven Mountains, the Seven Rivers, Seven Great Islands
- 78. The Sun and Moon: the Waxing and Waning of the Moon
- 79–80.1. Recapitulation of several of the Laws
- 80.2–8. Perversion of Nature and the heavenly Bodies due to the Sin of Men
- 81. The Heavenly Tablets and the Mission of Enoch
- 82. Charge given to Enoch: the four Intercalary days: the Stars which lead the Seasons and the Months
The Dream Visions
- 83-84. First Dream Vision on the Deluge.
- 85-90. Second Dream Vision of Enoch: the History of the World to the Founding of the Messianic Kingdom.
- 86. The Fall of the Angels and the Demoralization of Mankind.
- 87. The Advent of the Seven Archangels.
- 88. The Punishment of the Fallen Angels by the Archangels.
- 89.1–9. The Deluge and the Deliverance of Noah.
- 89.10–27. From the Death of Noah to The Exodus.
- 89.28–40. Israel in the Desert, the Giving of the Law, the Entrance into Canaan.
- 89.41–50. From the Time of the Judges to the Building of the Temple.
- 89.51–67. The Two Kingdoms of Israel and Judah to the Destruction of Jerusalem.
- 89.68–71. First Period of the Angelic Rulers – from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Return from Captivity.
- 89.72–77. Second Period – from the Time of Cyrus to that of Alexander the Great.
- 90.1–5. Third Period – from Alexander the Great to the Graeco-Syrian Domination.
- 90.6–12. Fourth Period Graeco-Syrian Domination to the Maccabean Revolt.
- 90.13–19. The last Assault of the Gentiles on the Jews.
- 90.20–27. Judgement of the Fallen Angels, the Shepherds, and the Apostates.
- 90.28–42. The New Jerusalem, the Conversion of the surviving Gentiles, the Resurrection of the Righteous, the Messiah. Enoch awakes and weeps.
Animals in the second dream vision
One of several hypothetical reconstructions of the meanings in the dream is as follows based on the works of R. H. Charles and G. H. Schodde:
- White color for moral purity; Black color for sin and contamination of the fallen angels; Red color for blood in reference to martyrdom
- White bull is Adam; Female heifer is Eve; Red calf is Abel; Black calf is Cain; White calf is Seth;
- White bull / man is Noah; White bull is Shem; Red bull is Ham, son of Noah; Black bull is Japheth; Lord of the sheep is God; Fallen star is either Samyaza or Azazel; Elephants are Giants; Camels are Nephilim; Asses are Elioud;
- Sheep are the faithful; Rams are leaders; Herds are the tribes of Israel; Wild Asses are Ishmael, and his descendants including the Midianites; Wild Boars are Esau and his descendants, Edom and Amalek; Bears are the Egyptians; Dogs are Philistines; Tigers are Arimathea; Hyenas are Assyrians; Ravens are Seleucids ; Kites are Ptolemies; Eagles are possibly Macedonians; Foxes are Ammonites and Moabites;
And those seventy shepherds were judged and found guilty, and they were cast into that fiery abyss. And I saw at that time how a like abyss was opened in the midst of the earth, full of fire, and they brought those blinded sheep.
And all the oxen feared them and were affrighted at them, and began to bite with their teeth and to devour, and to gore with their horns. And they began, moreover, to devour those oxen; and behold all the children of the earth began to tremble and quake before them and to flee from them.
86:4, 87:3, 88:2, and 89:6 all describe the types of Nephilim that are created during the times described in The Book of Watchers, though this doesn't mean that the authors of both books are the same. Similar references exist in Jubilees 7:21–22.
The book describes their release from the Ark along with three bulls – white, red, and black, which are Shem, Ham, and Japeth – in 90:9. It also covers the death of Noah, described as the white bull, and the creation of many nations:
And they began to bring forth beasts of the field and birds, so that there arose different genera: lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, hyenas, wild boars, foxes, squirrels, swine, falcons, vultures, kites, eagles, and ravens
It then describes the story of Moses and Aaron, including the miracle of the river splitting in two for them to pass, and the creation of the stone commandments. Eventually they arrived at a "pleasant and glorious land" where they were attacked by dogs, foxes, and wild boars.
And that sheep whose eyes were opened saw that ram, which was amongst the sheep, till it forsook its glory and began to butt those sheep, and trampled upon them, and behaved itself unseemly. And the Lord of the sheep sent the lamb to another lamb and raised it to being a ram and leader of the sheep instead of that ram which had forsaken its glory.
It describes the creation of Solomon's Temple and also the house which may be the tabernacle: "And that house became great and broad, and it was built for those sheep: a tower lofty and great was built on the house for the Lord of the sheep, and that house was low, but the tower was elevated and lofty, and the Lord of the sheep stood on that tower and they offered a full table before Him". This interpretation is accepted by Dillmann, Vernes, and Schodde. It also describes the escape of Elijah the prophet; in 1 Kings 17:2–24, he is fed by "ravens", so if Kings uses a similar analogy, he may have been fed by the Seleucids. "... saw the Lord of the sheep how He wrought much slaughter amongst them in their herds until those sheep invited that slaughter and betrayed His place." This describes the various tribes of Israel "inviting" in other nations "betraying his place".
This part of the book can be taken to be the kingdom splitting into the northern and southern tribes, that is, Israel and Judah, eventually leading to Israel falling to the Assyrians in 721 BC and Judah falling to the Babylonians a little over a century later 587 BC. "And He gave them over into the hands of the lions and tigers, and wolves and hyenas, and into the hand of the foxes, and to all the wild beasts, and those wild beasts began to tear in pieces those sheep"; God abandons Israel for they have abandoned him.
There is also mention of 59 of 70 shepherds with their own seasons; there seems to be some debate on the meaning of this section, some suggesting that it is a reference to the 70 appointed times in 25:11, 9:2, and 1:12. Another interpretation is the 70 weeks in. However, the general interpretation is that these are simply angels. This section of the book and another section near the end describe the appointment by God of the 70 angels to protect the Israelites from enduring too much harm from the "beasts and birds". The later section describes how the 70 angels are judged for causing more harm to Israel than he desired, found guilty, and "cast into an abyss, full of fire and flaming, and full of pillars of fire."
"And the lions and tigers eat and devoured the greater part of those sheep, and the wild boars eat along with them; and they burnt that tower and demolished that house"; this represents the sacking of Solomon's temple and the tabernacle in Jerusalem by the Babylonians as they take Judah in 587–586 BC, exiling the remaining Jews. "And forthwith I saw how the shepherds pastured for twelve hours, and behold three of those sheep turned back and came and entered and began to build up all that had fallen down of that house". "Cyrus allowed Sheshbazzar, a prince from the tribe of Judah, to bring the Jews from Babylon back to Jerusalem. Jews were allowed to return with the Temple vessels that the Babylonians had taken. Construction of the Second Temple began"; this represents the history of ancient Israel and Judah; the temple was completed in 515 BC.
The first part of the next section of the book seems, according to Western scholars, to clearly describe the Maccabean revolt of 167 BC against the Seleucids.
The following two quotes have been altered from their original form to make the hypothetical meanings of the animal names clear.
And I saw in the vision how the flew upon those and took one of those lambs, and dashed the sheep in pieces and devoured them. And I saw till horns grew upon those lambs, and the cast down their horns; and I saw till there sprouted a great horn of one of those, and their eyes were opened. And it looked at them and their eyes opened, and it cried to the sheep, and the rams saw it and all ran to it. And notwithstanding all this those and vultures and and still kept tearing the sheep and swooping down upon them and devouring them: still the sheep remained silent, but the rams lamented and cried out. And those fought and battled with it and sought to lay low its horn, but they had no power over it.
All the and vultures and and were gathered together, and there came with them all the sheep of the field, yea, they all came together, and helped each other to break that horn of the ram.
According to this theory, the first sentence most likely refers to the death of High Priest Onias III, whose murder is described in . The "great horn" clearly is not Mattathias, the initiator of the rebellion, as he dies a natural death, described in. It is also not Alexander the Great, as the great horn is interpreted as a warrior who has fought the Macedonians, Seleucids, and Ptolemies. Judas Maccabeus fought all three of these, with a large number of victories against the Seleucids over a great period of time; "they had no power over it". He is also described as "one great horn among six others on the head of a lamb", possibly referring to Maccabeus's five brothers and Mattathias. If taken in context of the history from Maccabeus's time, Dillman Chrest Aethiop says the explanation of Verse 13 can be found in 1 Maccabees iii 7; vi. 52; v.; 2 Maccabees vi. 8 sqq., 13, 14; 1 Maccabees vii 41, 42; and 2 Maccabees x v, 8 sqq. Maccabeus was eventually killed by the Seleucids at the Battle of Elasa, where he faced "twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry". At one time, it was believed this passage might refer to John Hyrcanus; the only reason for this was that the time between Alexander the Great and John Maccabeus was too short. However, it has been asserted that evidence shows that this section does indeed discuss Maccabeus.
It then describes: "And I saw till a great sword was given to the sheep, and the sheep proceeded against all the beasts of the field to slay them, and all the beasts and the birds of the heaven fled before their face."
This might be simply the "power of God": God was with them to avenge the death. It may also be Jonathan Apphus taking over command of the rebels to battle on after the death of Judas. John Hyrcanus may also make an appearance; the passage "And all that had been destroyed and dispersed, and all the beasts of the field, and all the birds of the heaven, assembled in that house, and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced with great joy because they were all good and had returned to His house" may describe John's reign as a time of great peace and prosperity. Certain scholars also claim Alexander Jannaeus of Judaea is alluded to in this book.
The end of the book describes the new Jerusalem, culminating in the birth of a Messiah:
And I saw that a white bull was born, with large horns and all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air feared him and made petition to him all the time. And I saw till all their generations were transformed, and they all became white bulls; and the first among them became a lamb, and that lamb became a great animal and had great black horns on its head; and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced over it and over all the oxen.
Still another interpretation, which has just as much as credibility, is that the last chapters of this section simply refer to the infamous battle of Armageddon, where all of the nations of the world march against Israel; this interpretation is supported by the War Scroll, which describes what this epic battle may be like, according to the group that existed at Qumran.
The Epistle of EnochSome scholars propose a date somewhere between the 170 BC and the 1st century BC.
This section can be seen as being made up of five subsections, mixed by the final redactor:
- Apocalypse of Weeks : this subsection, usually dated to the first half of the 2nd century BC, narrates the history of the world using a structure of ten periods, of which seven regard the past and three regard future events. The climax is in the seventh part of the tenth week where "new heaven shall appear" and "there will be many weeks without number for ever, and all shall be in goodness and righteousness".
- Exhortation : this short list of exhortations to follow righteousness, said by Enoch to his son Methuselah, looks to be a bridge to next subsection.
- Epistle : the first part of the epistle describes the wisdom of the Lord, the final reward of the just and the punishment of the evil, and the two separate paths of righteousness and unrighteousness. Then there are six oracles against the sinners, the witness of the whole creation against them, and the assurance of the fate after death. According to Boccaccini the epistle is composed of two layers: a "proto-epistle", with a theology near the deterministic doctrine of the Qumran group, and a slightly later part that points out the personal responsibility of the individual, often describing the sinners as the wealthy and the just as the oppressed.
- Birth of Noah : this part appears in Qumran fragments separated from the previous text by a blank line, thus appearing to be an appendix. It tells of the deluge and of Noah, who is born already with the appearance of an angel. This text probably derives, as do other small portions of 1 Enoch, from an originally separate book, but was arranged by the redactor as direct speech of Enoch himself.
- Conclusion : this second appendix was not found in Qumran and is considered to be the work of the final redactor. It highlights the "generation of light" in opposition to the sinners destined to the darkness.
- 92, 91.1–10, 18–19. Enoch's Book of Admonition for his Children.
- 91.1–10, 18–19. Enoch's Admonition to his Children.
- 93, 91.12–17. The Apocalypse of Weeks.
- 91.12–17. The Last Three Weeks.
- 94.1–5. Admonitions to the Righteous.
- 94.6–11. Woes for the Sinners.
- 95. Enoch's Grief: fresh Woes against the Sinners.
- 96. Grounds of Hopefulness for the Righteous: Woes for the Wicked.
- 97. The Evils in Store for Sinners and the Possessors of Unrighteous Wealth.
- 98. Self-indulgence of Sinners: Sin originated by Man: all Sin recorded in Heaven: Woes for the Sinners.
- 99. Woes pronounced on the Godless, the Lawbreakers: evil Plight of Sinners in The Last Days: further Woes.
- 100. The Sinners destroy each other: Judgement of the Fallen Angels: the Safety of the Righteous: further Woes for the Sinners.
- 101. Exhortation to the fear of God: all Nature fears Him but not the Sinners.
- 102. Terrors of the Day of Judgement: the adverse Fortunes of the Righteous on the Earth.
- 103. Different Destinies of the Righteous and the Sinners: fresh Objections of the Sinners.
- 104. Assurances given to the Righteous: Admonitions to Sinners and the Falsifiers of the Words of Uprightness.
- 105. God and the Messiah to dwell with Man.
- 106-107. Birth of Noah.
- 108. Conclusion.
Names of the fallen angels
Azaz, as in Azazel, means strength, so the name Azazel can refer to 'strength of God'. But the sense in which it is used most probably means 'impudent', which results in 'arrogant to God'. This is also a key point in modern thought that Azazel is Satan.
Also important in this identification is the fact that the original name Rameel, is very similar in meaning to the word Lucifer which is a common Latin name of Satan in Christianity.
Nathaniel Schmidt states "the names of the angels apparently refer to their condition and functions before the fall," and lists the likely meanings of the angels' names in the Book of Enoch, noting that "the great majority of them are Aramaic."
The name suffix -el means 'God', and is used in the names of high-ranking angels. The archangels' names all include -el, such as Uriel and Michael.
Another name is given as Gadreel, who is said to have tempted Eve; Schmidt lists the name as meaning 'the helper of God.'