In the Epistle of St. Jude the following passage occurs (vers.14, 15): |And to these also, Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.| The question immediately arises, Is the apostle quoting from some writing extant in his day, or citing merely a prophecy preserved by tradition? The language does not help to a solution of the inquiry. Jude writes: |Enoch proepheteuse . . . legon.| This might be said equally of an actual quotation or of a traditional report. But when it was discovered that the Fathers and other early writers often referred to a writing of Enoch and quoted sentences therefrom, it was obvious that they were acquainted with some document which bore the patriarch's name, and which was extensively known in early Christian centuries. Thus, in the Epistle of Barnabas (as it is called), a work composed at the end of the first Christian century, we read (iv.3): |The final stumbling-block hath approached, concerning which it is written, as Enoch says, For to this end the Lord hath shortened the times and the days, that His beloved may hasten and come into the inheritance.| In the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and in the Book of Jubilees, the words of Enoch are frequently cited, and the resemblances to passages in our work are numerous. In the former, at least, nine passages contain distinct references to Enoch's prophetical writings; and in the latter not only is the book often used without acknowledgment, but it is also expressly mentioned. Justin Martyr does not quote it by name, but his views concerning the angels and their connection with man are plainly identical with and derived from this book. That Irenæus made use of it is evident. Thus he says: |Enoch also, pleasing God without circumcision, man though he was, discharged the office of legate towards the angels,| a fact nowhere mentioned but in our work; |and was translated, and is preserved still as witness of the just judgment of God| (chaps. xiv., xv.). Tertullian seems to have regarded it as inspired. |These things,| he writes, |the Holy Ghost, foreseeing from the beginning the future entrance of superstitions, foretold by the mouth of the ancient seer Enoch.| He adopts Enoch's story of the fall of the angels (which, indeed, is common to other of the Pseudepigrapha), and their introduction of mechanical arts, sorcery, and astrology; and while acknowledging that it was not received into the Jewish Canon (armarium Judaicum), he endeavours to show how it could have been preserved in the Deluge and handed down to Christian times, and that it was rejected by the Jews because it too plainly testified of Christ. Origen took a lower view of its authority, but he refers to it more than once, using its language and adopting the ideas, as emanating from one of the greatest of prophets. Clement of Alexandria regards it with a certain respect while denying its inspiration. |I must confess,| says St. Augustine, |that some things of Divine character were written by Enoch, the seventh from Adam, since this is testified by the Apostle Jude in his canonical Epistle; but they are deservedly excluded from the Jewish Scriptures, because they lack authority and cannot be proved genuine.| In the Apostolic Constitutions the book, is reckoned among Apocrypha, and it is placed in the same category in the Synopsis Athanasii and the Catalogue of Nicephorus. By the fifth century the book seems to have sunk out of sight, and little or nothing more was heard of it till Scaliger (1540-1609) discovered some fragments of it in an unpublished MS. of the Chronographia of Georgius Syncellus (A.D.792), and printed them. The extracts are given by Fabricius, by Laurence and Dillmann, and of them all but one are found in our present text of Enoch. The exception is a short passage about the doom pronounced on the mountain where the angels made their impious conspiracy, and on the sons of men involved in their crime. The extracts in Syncellus' work tend to show that the Book of Enoch was extant in the Eastern Church for some time after it had practically disappeared from the Western. That the book was also in the hands of the Jews of medieval times has been proved by references in the Zohar, a kind of philosophical commentary upon the law, which contains the most ancient remains of the Cabala. Thus we read: |The Holy and the Blessed One raised him (Enoch) from the world to serve Him, as it is written, 'For God took him.' From that time a book was delivered down which was called the Book of Enoch. In the hour that God took him, He showed him all the repositories above; He showed him the tree of life in the midst of the garden, its leaves and its branches. We see all in his book.| And again, |We find in the Book of Enoch, that after the Holy and Blessed One had caused him to ascend, and showed him all the repositories of the superior and inferior kingdom, He showed him the tree of life, and the tree respecting which Adam had received a command; and He showed him the habitation of Adam in the Garden of Eden:| Further traces of the book have been discovered in other Rabbinical writings, but we need not linger on these.
From the above and similar allusions it was clear to all scholars that a book extant under the name of Enoch had been well known in earlier days; but for some centuries nothing more certain came to light; the appetite of critics had nothing more definite to feed upon. It remained for the great traveller Bruce to satisfy the long-unappeased desire for further information. In the year 1773, Bruce astonished the learned world by claiming to have secured in Abyssinia, and brought safely home, three copies of an Ethiopian version of the Book of Enoch. An idea, indeed, had long prevailed (whence originating it is hard to say) that such a version did exist; and it was thought at one time that a certain tract, transmitted from Egypt, and purchased by Peiresc for the Royal Library at Paris, was the identical work. This was found not to be the case; and warned by former disappointment, scholars awaited the examination of Bruce's MSS. with some anxiety. Of the three copies brought to Europe, one, a most magnificent quarto, was presented by the finder to the Library at Paris, and another to the Bodleian at Oxford; the third, kept in his own possession, was included in a MS. of the Scriptures, where it is placed immediately before the Book of Job; assuming an unquestioned position among the canonical books. On hearing that Paris possessed this treasure, Dr. Woide, librarian of the British Museum, immediately set out for France, armed with letters to the ambassador desiring him to procure the learned scholar access to the work. This was done, and Dr. Woide transcribed the whole book, and brought the transcript with him to England. His knowledge of Ethiopic was not sufficient to enable him to attempt a translation. He might have spared himself much trouble had he been aware that Oxford possessed a copy of the work; but the University itself received the present very quietly, and let it rest undisturbed on its shelves for many years. The Parisian MS. was noticed in the Magasin Encyclopédique by the Orientalist, De Sacy, who published therein a translation of certain passages. But it was not till the year 1821 that the book was fully brought before the world. In that year Dr. Laurence, then Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, and afterwards Archbishop of Cashel, published a translation of the whole, with preliminary dissertation and notes. This has been more than once reprinted, and was supplemented in 1838 by the publication of the Ethiopic text. The discovery of five different codices enabled Dillmann to put forth a more correct text; and his edition, with its German translation, introduction, and commentary, is now the standard work on the subject. There is another German version by Hoffmann, for the latter part of which he had the benefit of a MS. in the library of Frankfort-on-the-Maine, lately, brought from Abyssinia; and there is also an English translation by Professor Schodde, of America, printed at Andover in 1882; but nothing seems likely to supersede Dillmann's edition, unless, indeed, the discovery is some day made of the original text from which the Ethiopic version was rendered. There was indeed at one time a hope of some additional light from Mai's discovery of a small fragment in Greek among the manuscripts of the Vatican Library. But further investigation led to the mortifying fact that no more was to be found; and as the portion extended only from ver.42 to ver.49 of chap. lxxxix., it was of little practical utility.
As to the language of the original work, there is no reason to doubt that it was Hebrew or Aramæan. It is true that the fragments of Syncellus and those found by Mai in the Vatican Library are all in Greek, and it was from Greek exemplars that the quotations in the Fathers were made; but a critical examination of these extracts and of the Abyssinian version leads to the conclusion that they are derived from a Hebrew source. To favour this verdict, critics are induced by such evidence as the following: there are in the version a great number of Hebrew idioms and expressions equally foreign to Greek and Ethiopic, and all capable of being easily rendered back into Hebrew; the writer or writers were thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures in the original, and did not employ the Septuagint version; the names of the angels and archangels are of Hebrew etymology, viz. Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sarakael, Gabriel; the appellations of the winds can only be explained by a reference to the Hebrew, the east wind being so called because it is the first, according to Hebrew etymology, and the south, because the Most High there descends, the Hebrew term being capable of this interpretation. The names of the sun, Oryares and Tomas, are Semitic; so are those of the conductors of the months, Melkeel, Helemmelek, Meleyal, Narel, etc.; and, as Dr. Gloag observes, Ophanim, mentioned in connection with the cherubim and seraphim, is the Hebrew word for the |wheels| in Ezekiel. We are, then, tolerably secure in assuming the hypothesis of a Hebrew original. We have no criteria, to enable us to judge when it was translated into Greek. The Ethiopic version was made directly from the Hebrew, subsequently to the translation of the Old Testament into Ethiopic; but the date is undetermined. If it keeps as close to the original as the rendering of Holy Scripture does, it may be regarded as a faithful and accurate representation of the text.
In the Ethiopic MSS. the work is divided into twenty sections; but the chapters are not uniformly arranged. Dillmann has retained the twenty sections, and subdivided them into 108 chapters, marking the verses of each chapter for greater distinctness of reference. This distribution is now generally followed.
We will first give a sketch of the contents of the work before discussing its date and authorship, and gathering the lessons which it teaches.
The book may be said roughly to consist of five parts, with an introduction and a conclusion. The general introduction, which is contained in the first five chapters, commences thus: |The words of blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and the righteous who shall exist in the time of trouble, when the wicked and ungodly shall be removed. Enoch, a righteous man, whose eyes God had opened, so that he saw a holy vision in the heavens, which the angels showed me, answered and spake.| The account proceeds in the first person; but throughout there is no consistency shown in this matter, changes from the first to the third person being frequent, and marking the hand of an editor or interpolator. The vision was for future generations, and in it he learned that God would come down on Mount Sinai with all His hosts to execute judgment, punishing the wicked, rewarding the righteous. Then occurs the original of the passage quoted by St. Jude: |Behold, He comes with myriads of saints to sit in judgment on them, and will destroy the ungodly, and contend with all flesh for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against Him.| Enoch observed the regular order of everything in heaven and earth, which obeyed fixed laws and never varied, and he contrasts the fate of the good and the evil; the latter shall find no peace and curse their day, while the former shall have light, joy, and peace for the whole of their existence. The above prelude affords a glimpse of the nature of the Book, with its allusions to natural phenomena and its eschatological views.
The first division is contained in chaps. vi.-xxxvi., and is subdivided into three sections. Section i. (chaps. vi.-xi.) narrates the fall of the angels and its immediate consequences. Seeing the beauty of the daughters of men, two hundred angels under the leadership of Semyaza bound themselves by an oath to take wives from among mortal women. For this purpose they descended on Mount Hermon, and in due time became parents of giants of fabulous height and size. These monsters devoured all the substance of men, and then proceeded to devour men themselves; they also taught mankind all kind of destructive arts, and vice flourished under their instruction. And men cried aloud to heaven, and the four archangels heard them, and appealed to God in their behalf. And God sent Uriel to Noah, the son of Lamech, to warn him of the flood, and ordered Raphael to bind Azazel, and lay him in a dark cleft in the wilderness, there to remain till the fire received him at the day of judgment. Gabriel had to set the giants one against the other that they might perish by mutual slaughter; to Michael fell the duty of punishing the evil angels; they were to witness the destruction of their offspring, and then be buried under the earth for seventy generations till the judgment day, when they should be cast into eternal fire. Then when all sin and impurity shall be purged away |at the end of all generations,| the plant of righteousness shall appear, and a new order of things; the saints shall live till they have forgotten a thousand children, and shall die in peace; the earth shall be fruitful, and be planted with all manner of trees; no corruption, or crime, or suffering shall be found therein; |in those days,| with God, |I will open the store-chambers of blessing which are in heaven, that they may descend upon the earth, and on the work and labour of men. Peace and righteousness shall join together, in all the days of the world and through all the families of the earth.|
Section ii. (chaps. xii.-xvi.). After it has been said that Enoch was hidden from men's sight, being wholly engaged with the holy ones, he himself tells how the good angels sent him to the fallen angels, whose intercourse with heaven was entirely cut off, to announce their doom. Terrified, they entreat him to write for them a petition to God for forgiveness; he complies with their request, leaves their unholy neighbourhood, and, retreating to the region of Dan, falls asleep, and has a vision of judgment, which he afterwards is commissioned to unfold to the disobedient angels. Their petition is refused now and for ever. And the dread answer was given to him, as he relates, in a vision, wherein he was rapt to the palace of heaven and the presence of the Almighty, of which he gives a very noble description.
Section iii. (chaps. xvii.-xxxvi.) gives an account of Enoch's journeys through heaven and earth under the guidance of angels, in the course of which he is made acquainted with the wonders of nature hidden from man, with places, powers, and beings which have relation to revealed religion, Messianic hopes, and the last days. He is taken to the place where the storm-winds dwell, and the sun obtains its fire, and the oceans and the rivers of the nether world flow; he saw seven luminous mountains in the south-east, formed of precious stories, and the place where the disobedient stars were suffering punishment, and that which, though now untenanted, shall be the penal-prison of the rebel angels after the final judgment when they are released from their present chains. On inquiring for what crime the stars (regarded as living beings) were thus sentenced, he is informed by Uriel that they had transgressed the commandment of God and came not forth in their proper season. He next passes to the west, where is Hades, the region where the souls of the dead are kept till the judgment; it is divided into four places, unto one of which all souls are assigned. In the course of his journeys he comes again to the seven fiery mountains, and in a beautiful valley finds the tree of life, whose fruit shall be given to the elect. Then going to the centre of the earth, he sees the holy land and the city Jerusalem, described as |a blessed and fruitful place, where there were branches continually sprouting from the trees planted therein.| Here, too, he was shown the accursed valley (Gehenna), where the wicked shall suffer their eternal penalty in the sight of the righteous, who shall reign in Zion, and praise the Lord for His just vengeance on the evil-doers. He proceeds from Jerusalem eastward to the earthly Paradise, planted with odorous and fruit-bearing trees, lying at the very ends of the earth, and containing the tree of knowledge, of which Adam and Eve ate. Here, where the vault of heaven rests on the earth, he beholds the gates whence come forth the stars and the winds, and, instructed by the angel, writes their names and order and seasons. And, arriving at the north, he sees the three gates of the north-wind, and, going westward and southward, the three gates of these winds. Conducted again to the east, he praises the Lord who created all these wondrous things for His glory.
The second division, contained in chaps. xxxvii.-lxxi., is called |The second Vision of Wisdom,| and consists of three parables, allegories, or similitudes, through the medium of which Enoch relates the revelations which he received concerning the ideal future and the secrets of the spiritual world. Many of the matters which he mentions we should treat as physical phenomena; in his view they assume a higher relation, and are therefore differentiated from the objects described in the preceding division which concerned only this earth and the lower heavens. The first similitude or figurative address (chaps. xxxviii.-xliv.) speaks first of the time when the separation between the righteous and sinners shall be made, and the angels shall dwell in communion with holy men. Then Enoch relates how he was carried to the extremity of heaven, and saw the celestial abodes prepared for the righteous, where they bless and magnify the Lord for ever and ever, and the special seat ordained for himself. He beholds the innumerable hosts of angels and sleepless spirits who surround the throne of God, and particularly the four archangels, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel, to whom are assigned special duties. He is shown the secrets of heaven, the weighing of men's actions in the balance, the rejection of sinners from the abodes of the just, the mysteries of thunder and lightning, winds, clouds, dew, hail, mist, sun, and moon. Of these heavenly bodies the regular course and motion are their praise of God for creation and preservation, and this ceaseless praise is their rest. He finds the habitation of Wisdom in heaven, as man on earth would not receive her, but welcomed only iniquity. And lastly, he observes how the stars are called by name, and their courses weighed and examined, and recognises in their regularity and obedience a picture of the life of the righteous on earth.
The second similitude (chaps. xlv.-lvii.) describes the coming of |the Chosen One,| the Messiah, and the operations of His judgment on the good and the evil. Sinners shall be taken from the earth and sent down to hell to await punishment; the righteous shall dwell with Messiah in peace and happiness. Enoch proceeds to give further description of the person and office of Him whom he calls |Son of man.| To this important delineation we shall have to refer in detail hereafter; suffice it here to give a mere outline of the representation. He sees this Personification of righteousness in company with the Ancient of Days, and he is taught that He alone shall reveal all mysteries; He shall overthrow all worldly powers, among which are included sinners who scorned and refused to praise the Lord, and shall put an end to all unrighteousness. The glorification of the elect after the final judgment is further revealed, how they shall drink of the fountain of wisdom and righteousness; and hold full communion with the saints and angels. The Son of man existed before the world was created, and shall be in the presence of God for ever, and shall bring light and healing to the people. In Him all wisdom and righteousness dwell, and at His presence iniquity passes away like a shadow. In Messiah's days shall be made the great change in the condition of the good and evil, and even then it will not be too late for the evil to repent, for great is the mercy of the Lord of spirits. At this time, too, shall occur the resurrection of the dead, the righteous rising with their bodies to enjoy Messiah's kingdom, the souls of the wicked being consigned to the place of punishment. There shall then be no use for metals; gold, silver, copper are needed no longer; no earthly riches can save one from judgment. A further vision shows the place and instruments of punishment. In the midst of this account is inserted an interpolation concerning the Noachic Deluge, which is of later date than the visions, and is derived from a different source. Then follows a prophetical view of the last battle of the worldly powers against the Theocracy, and their overthrow before Jerusalem; and the final vision displays the Israelites returning to their own land from all countries whither they have been dispersed, and falling down before the Lord of spirits.
The third address (chaps. lviii.-lxix.) contains a further description of the blessedness of the righteous contrasted with the misery of sinners in Messiah's kingdom. In it are inserted many particulars concerning the Deluge, of which Noah, not Enoch, is the narrator. Probably these portions have been introduced by a later editor desirous of showing how the earlier judgment was a figure and an anticipation of that in Messiah's days. Likewise, there is in this address a recapitulation, with some differences, of those physical details which have been previously noticed. The blessedness of the saints is comprised in light, joy, righteousness, and everlasting life. Amid the intimations of the future thus given, Enoch also obtains some curious lore concerning thunder and lightning, the manner and object of their operation. Here follows the interpolation concerning the Flood, which introduces Noah receiving the vision |in the five hundredth year, on the fourteenth day of the seventh month, of the life of Enoch.| This is evidently out of place and disconnected with the immediate subject. While showing to Noah the course of the coming judgment, the angel unfolds various meteorological secrets, attributing all the forces of nature to the agency of spirits. Then the narrative returns to the Messianic revelation, and the seer is shown the new Jerusalem, the abode of the elect; he sees the judgment of the saints, he hears their praise and worship of Almighty God in union with all the host of heaven; he hears the sentence passed on the mighty of this world, who shall in vain supplicate the mercy of the Son of man. Five chapters now succeed, containing a further account of revelations made to Noah concerning the Flood, and his deliverance therefrom, and concerning the fall of the angels and their punishment, and the warning thence derived for the mighty of later times. The names of these angels are given, and the special evil which each effected. One of these is called Penemue, and his sin was that he taught men |the art of writing with ink and paper, whereby many have gone astray from that time to the present.|
The Book of Similitudes concludes with some personal details about Enoch himself. An interpolated paragraph relates that he was taken up to Paradise; but the genuine text describes how in an ecstasy he was raised to heaven, and God promised to give him a seat among the saints in the future Messianic kingdom.
The third division of the book, comprised in chapters lxxii.-lxxxii., is entitled |The Book of the Revolutions of the Lights of Heaven,| and is occupied greatly with astronomical details, which do not give a high idea of the scientific attainments of the writer. The attempt to bring into a system the notions concerning such phenomena scattered throughout the Old Testament, in the popular ignorance of science, could not fail to produce much error and confusion, and has little interest for the theologian, unless we conceive that they have been introduced in order to oppose current heathen ideas, in which case they would have a certain historical use. This portion of the work falls conveniently into three sections. Section 1 treats of the courses of the sun, moon, and stars. The regular revolutions of the sun are explained, and the varying duration of day and night at different seasons; the waxing and waning of the moon are described and accounted for; it is shown how four intercalary days are rendered necessary, and how the luminaries go forth from the twelve gates of heaven. In section 2 the abodes and operations of the winds are noticed. Three of them proceed from each quarter, and occasion various effects, healthful or pernicious. At the end is an allusion to seven mountains, rivers, and islands, which cannot be identified. The third section reverts to the subject of the sun and moon, and gives the names by which they are known and further particulars respecting their connection with one another. All these matters, which Uriel showed to Enoch, the seer divulges to his son Methuselah. The angel likewise revealed to him the changes in the order of nature which shall occur in the days of sinners, in punishment of whom all seeming irregularities are sent. Before his spirit returned to earth, Enoch is bidden to read the heavenly tablets wherein all the future was written, even |all the deeds of men, and all the children of flesh upon earth, unto the remotest generations.| On perusing this record; Enoch breaks forth in praise of God; he is then conducted by |three holy ones| (i.e. probably the three archangels inferior to Michael) to his own home, and informed that he should be left there for one year, during which he should teach what he had learned to his children; and the section concludes with his address to Methuselah, directing him to preserve with all care the writings committed to him, and to note the importance of correctness in matters connected with the reckoning of the year, and the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, and the changes of the seasons.
The fourth division of the book (chaps. lxxxiii.-xci.) recounts two visions which Enoch saw before he was married, while sleeping in the house of his grandfather Malalel (Mahalaleel). The first vision relates to the Flood; he sees the earth sinking into a great abyss, and prays that God will not wholly destroy the whole race of man, satisfying His just wrath by punishing only the evil. The second vision is more comprehensive and important; it embraces the history of the world from Adam until the establishment of the kingdom of Messiah. The account is derived almost entirely from the canonical Scripture, a transparent symbolism being used throughout. Men are represented under the image of animals, the patriarchs and chosen people being denoted by domesticated animals, as cows and sheep, while heathen and oppressive enemies are designated as wild beasts and birds of prey. The fallen angels are called stars; and the colours of the animals are symbolical -- white for purity and righteousness, black for wickedness and disobedience. Thus concerning primitive man we read, a white bullock (Adam) sprang forth from the earth, and then a white cow (Eve), and afterwards there came a black bullock (Cain) and a red (Abel). The black bullock slew the red which vanished from the earth. And this black bullock begat many black cattle. And the white cow gave birth to a white bullock (Seth), which in turn begat much white cattle. In this way the history is allegorised. The offspring of the intercourse of the angels with the daughters of men is adumbrated as elephants, camels, and asses. The archangels' defeat of these sinful spirits Enoch beholds from a high place where he remains till the day of judgment. Thence he sees the advance of the Flood, and Noah's preservation in the vessel; his three sons are respectively white, red, and black, and the severance of the Shemites from the others is distinctly noticed. The history of the Israelites is traced from Abraham to Moses, then to the settlement in the Holy Land; then we have the time of the Judges, and the annals are continued on through the Kings to the Exile. The restoration is duly chronicled, and oppressions under the Greeks and Syrians are darkly foreshadowed. In chap. lxxxix. the Lord delivers the sheep into the power of lions, tigers, and other beasts of prey, which began to tear them in pieces. He Himself forsook their house and tower, which, however, were not now destroyed. The seer's words in the following paragraph have proved a crux to all interpreters. The Lord commits the punishment of the chosen people, represented as sheep, to seventy shepherds, who rule successively in four series, in the proportion of twelve, twenty-three, twenty-three, twelve. |I saw until three and twenty shepherds overlooked the herd, and they completed in their time fifty-eight times. Then were little lambs born of those white sheep, and they began to open their eyes and to see and to cry out to the sheep. And the sheep hearkened not unto them. And the ravens flew upon the lambs, and took one of them, and tore and devoured the sheep. And I saw horns grow upon those lambs, and the ravens threw down the horns, until one great horn grew, one from those sheep, and then their eyes were opened. It looked upon them, and cried unto them, and the youths (the lambs) saw it and ran unto it.| Then comes an account of a terrible conflict between the birds of prey and the lambs; but the former could not prevail against the horn. |He (the horn) struggled with them, and cried out for help. And there came the man who wrote the names of the shepherds and laid them before the Lord of the sheep, and he came to the assistance of the youth; and the Lord Himself came in wrath, and all who saw Him fled away before His face; while the birds assembled together, and brought with them all the sheep of the field to break the horn of the youth.| But their efforts are vain, and in the end they are themselves destroyed by the Lord. This defeat introduces the Messianic epoch, when Israel shall rise superior to the heathen, and Messiah shall judge all sinners, whether angels or men, and shall establish the new Jerusalem, which shall be filled with a holy people gathered from all quarters.
This portion of the work closes with an address of Enoch to his children, exhorting them to lead a holy life, founding his lecture on the certainty of the future which the preceding visions have delineated.
The fifth division of the book (chaps. xcii.-cv.) is called |An Instruction of Wisdom,| and contains the practical application of the four preceding portions, addressed by Enoch primarily to his own family, and then to all the inhabitants of the earth. He opens the subject by predicting the resurrection of the righteous and the destruction of sinners. |The righteous,| he says, |shall arise from sleep and advance in the way of righteousness, and his whole walk shall be in eternal goodness and grace. Mercy shall be shown him; he shall receive dominion, and walk in everlasting light; but sin shall perish in darkness for ever, and shall no more be seen from this day forward.| Before he begins his exhortation, he recounts in brief what he had seen in visions and had read in the heavenly tablets concerning the ten weeks of the world, of which seven belong to the historical past, three to the apocalyptical future. The first week is concerned with Enoch, the second with Noah, the third with Abraham, the fourth with Moses, the fifth with the building of the temple, the sixth with its destruction, the seventh with the introduction of an apostate generation. He intimates that he himself lived at the end of the first week. This would be in due accordance with the personification. The eighth week is the commencement of the Messianic era, when the sword of the righteous shall overcome the oppressors, and the new Jerusalem shall be established. In the ninth week the knowledge of Jehovah shall be spread over the world, and all men shall be forced to acknowledge His power and equity. The tenth and last week ushers in the final judgment on angels and men: the old world shall pass away, and a new heaven shall appear, and earthly life shall be merged in the heavenly. After this preliminary apocalyptical address, the hortatory portion follows, the admonitions to the righteous and to sinners being intermixed. The former are exhorted to continue stedfast in their integrity, and woe is denounced on various classes of the latter. The seer weeps to think of the oppression of the good at the hands of the evil, but is comforted by the knowledge of the final victory of the saints at the coming of Messiah, and the punishment of the unrighteous. Then he sternly reproaches sinners, detailing their folly in many instances, and showing what judgment shall be awarded them. Finally he turns again to the righteous, comforts them in their tribulations, exhorts them to hope and patience by exhibiting their future happy lot and blessedness. They can die in peace, because for them death is the entrance to a better life. And to enforce his words he solemnly adds: |I swear to you, ye righteous, by His mighty power and glory, by His kingdom and majesty, I comprehend this mystery, and have read the heavenly tablets, and have seen the book of the holy ones, and have found written therein that all goodness, joy, and honour are prepared for the spirits of those who have died in righteousness, and that with much good shall ye be recompensed for your troubles, and your lot shall be better than that of the living.| And these books of his shall be handed down to posterity and translated into different languages, and shall be to the good a source of joy, righteousness, and wisdom, and all who believe in them and have learned the lessons there taught shall receive the reward. The section ends with the Lord's own words: |I and my Son will unite Ourselves with them for ever, because they have walked in the paths of uprightness. And peace shall be upon you; rejoice, ye children of righteousness, in truth.|
The book might naturally terminate here, but, apparently by another hand, two sections are added, one concerning the supernatural circumstances attending the birth of Noah and the prediction of the Flood (cvi.-cvii.); and the other consisting of a writing of Enoch respecting the reward of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked, composed, as he says, |for his son Methuselah, and for those who should come after him, and observe the law in the last days| (cviii.). Here he mentions how in his journeyings he has seen the place of torment, which he describes as a waste outside the earth, and a bottomless sea of fire. The work thus concludes with God's promise to the righteous: |I will bring into brilliant light those who love my holy name, and set them each on his throne of glory; and they shall shine for endless ages; for righteous is the judgment of God, and to the true will He give truth in the habitation of uprightness. And they shall see how those who were born in darkness shall into darkness be cast, while the righteous shine. And sinners shall cry out, and shall see how these glow with light, and shall continue in their punishment all the times prescribed for them.|
The uncritical receptivity of primitive Christianity regarded the name attached to this book as a sufficient attestation of its genuineness. Thus, as we have seen, Tertullian, while acknowledging that some in his day declined to accept the work, because it was not included in the |Armarium Judaicum,| the Hebrew canon, himself opined that it was written by Enoch, and either preserved in the time of the Flood, or restored by Noah under Divine inspiration. Nor have there been wanting some good people in our own times, with more credulity than critical ability, who have freely accepted the antediluvian authorship and endeavoured to prove that the writer was inspired to predict events down to modern times. I have seen some passages in our book distorted even to enunciate the claims and operations of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the sinister actions of Russian politics. But leaving these dreams, let us come to something more practical. No one nowadays believes that the patriarch Enoch had any hand in the composition of the book which bears his name. This appellation is only another example of the pseudepigraphic idea which dominated so many writers in the period immediately preceding and succeeding the commencement of the Christian era. The sanctity and remarkable destiny of Enoch, the hoar antiquity with which he was associated, designated him as a fit personage to be the mouthpiece of revelations designed for a special purpose and needing the authorisation of a great name. One who himself had been admitted to immediate intercourse with the Most High was peculiarly fitted to reveal Divine mysteries. That no allusion to the production is made in the Old Testament is obvious; that some portion of it was extant in the first Christian century is certified by the quotation in St. Jude's Epistle. But this certainty will carry us but a little way, as no one can read the work without concluding that it is not the composition of one author or one age, but exhibits difference of origin and date; and if the section from which Jude took his extract presupposes a Jewish and pre-Christian source, other parts may be of quite another character and have no pretension to any such claim. It is a difficult matter (even when we have distributed the work into its several sections) to determine the relation of these parts to each other, and to assign to them their proper position in the treatise. There is no external testimony to appeal to, and we must be guided in our conclusions entirely by internal considerations.
Now in all these writings occurs this marked characteristic. There is past history given in the form of revelation, combined with hopes and predictions of the future. In the former case events are pretty accurately represented, either actually or symbolically; in the latter the seer allows himself free latitude for the display of imagination and the possible development of previous prophetic hints. The difficulty consists in exactly defining the point where history terminates and prediction commences. Usually no hint is given of any such interchange; one phase passes into the other with nothing to mark the passage. If in any particular instance we could say with certainty, here the author writes of contemporary events, and here he crosses from the actual to the ideal, we should at once possess a criterion for determining the date of the composition. Some such opportunity is supposed to be found in chap. xc., where at ver.16 the emblematical account of past history merges into the expectations of the future. The vision to which we refer (chaps. lxxxv.-xc.) traces the annals of Israel from Adam to the great consummation of mundane affairs. If our readers will refer to the previous account of the contents of the book, they will see that in this Apocalypse the chosen people are represented under the image of domesticated animals, while heathens and enemies are denoted by wild beasts and birds of prey. The allusions are fairly intelligible unto the Captivity; but now comes the paragraph which has exercised the ingenuity of interpreters, and upon the exposition of which the determination of one date depends. About the time of the destruction of Jerusalem the Lord commits the punishment of the chosen people to seventy shepherds, who are told which victims they were to allow to be killed by the wild beasts, and how many, at the same time intimating that they will exceed their commission and destroy many more than the appointed number. Likewise He ordered |Another| to note the number of sheep thus destroyed. These shepherds executed their commission, and delivered the sheep into the hands of the lions and tigers, who burnt the tower and demolished the house. But the shepherds gave over to the beasts many more than they were ordered to do. And when they had ruled for twelve hours, three of the sheep returned and began to rebuild the house and tower. But the sheep mingled with the beasts, and the shepherds rescued them not. When thirty-five shepherds had fed them, birds of prey attacked them; and when twenty-three shepherds had tended the flock, and fifty-eight times were completed in all, then little lambs were born with the results of which we read above. These seventy shepherds are divided into four series, consisting respectively of 12, 23, 23, 12 members. The last of these members would bring as to the author's own time. Can we with any probability elucidate this riddle? The explanations have been as numerous as the commentators, and we might easily refute their theories by simply comparing one with the other. Out of the confusion thus created we may thank Dillmann and Ewald for helping to deliver us. They and others have seen that an attempt was here made to give a new interpretation to the seventy years of which Jeremiah had spoken as the period of the Captivity, and which had not been followed by that complete restoration which had been anticipated. Hereupon the literal exposition was surrendered; and another theory was started which would account for the partial failure and point to its remedy. The seventy shepherds, according to these interpreters, are foreign and heathen rulers, represented in the prophets as seventy weeks; and they continue to oppress the chosen people till overcome by the great horn, whose victories herald the advent of the Messiah. There is great difficulty in defining the seventy rulers, and it is only with much accommodation that history can be forced into agreement with the writer's supposed idea. Hence it has been proposed to see in these shepherds, not kings, but angels appointed to superintend the chastisement of Israel at the hands of her enemies. As Drummond points out, these shepherds receive their commission at the same time, which would hardly have been the case had they represented successive monarchs. And further, at the judgment in the delectable land they are placed with the fallen angels; and the one who is deputed to write down the number of sheep destroyed is called |another| (angel); while the duty of protecting the flock from the wild beasts could not have been entrusted to Gentile powers. If, however, we held the usual interpretation of the vision, we should have to explain it in the following way: -- The first group of twelve shepherds comprises five Assyrian kings, three Chaldæan and four Egyptian, from Necho II. to Amasis, under whom, more or less, the Israelites suffered injuries. The second group of twenty-three consists of Persian monarchs, from Darius and Cyrus. These 12 + 23 make up 35, the half of the seventy. The next group, consisting also of twenty-three, is composed of Græco-Macedonian kings, from Alexander to his successors, the Ptolemies, Seleucidæ, down to Antiochus Epiphanes. The final twelve range in the Syrian line, from this Antiochus to the close of the reign of Demetrius II. This lands us at B.C.125. The attempt, however, at exact interpretation is eminently unsatisfactory, while the general features of the scheme are clear enough; and following Schürer's lucid explanation, we may arrange the matter thus. The seventy shepherds are angels entrusted with the superintendence and punishment of Israel, who neglected their duty and were doomed to hell. The time of the Gentile supremacy is divided into four periods, two of shorter and two of longer duration, as we have seen above. The first period begins from the date of the earliest Gentile invasion (e.g. Assyrian) to the return in the days of Cyrus, the three returning sheep being Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The second period reaches from Cyrus to Alexander the Great, the substitution of birds of prey for wild beasts (xc.2) marking the transition from Persians to Greeks. The third extends from Alexander to Antiochus Epiphanes, the lambs symbolising the Maccabees. And the fourth extends from the commencement of the Maccabaean to the author's own time. This brings us to the |last third of the second century B.C.| The stirring events of the previous twenty or twenty-five years are symbolically depicted. The little lambs of the vision are the pious who rose against the Syrian tyrants, the ravens who tore and devoured them; the sheep with horns are the Maccabaean leaders, who at first had but little success; and one of them in particular was carried off by the enemy. This is Jonathan, the son of Mattathias, who, B.C.143, was treacherously murdered by Tryphon in Gilead. In similiar figures are represented the defeat and death of Judas and Simon. The great horn which afforded refuge to the persecuted is John Hyrcanus, and the account of the terrible conflict between him and the enemies of Israel merges here into the apocalyptical future. So it is at this point that we may place the meeting of history and revelation, and consequently the composition of this portion of our book.
But our task is by no means ended even if we have satisfactorily determined the age of one section. Were the work one whole, and evidently the production of one author, to fix the date of one portion would be sufficient to determine the approximate date of the rest. But we have every reason to see in the various divisions different authors and different times of composition. Without entering minutely into details, we may say that it is now generally agreed that at least three authors have contributed to the work. The earliest portion, and that which forms the ground-work of the whole (omitting certain interpolations), is found in chaps. i.-xxxvi. and lxxii.-cv. If the author of the historical vision were the writer of this portion, the date of the greater part of the whole work would be determined. There is nothing to guide one to the date in the first thirty-six chapters, but in the latter part of this section there are plain intimations of the same conclusion that has already been reached. The writer in chaps. xciii.1-14 and xci.12-17 (which has been displaced) gives another sketch of the world's history divided into ten weeks, or periods. In agreement with the personification, Enoch intimates that he himself lived at the close of the first epoch. The next five weeks are marked with tolerable distinctness as the epoch of Noah, of Abraham and Isaac, of Moses, of Solomon, of the Captivity. At the end of the seventh week comes the vision of Messiah's kingdom. We have to determine the duration of this last period. It is impossible to affix any definite number of years to each week, as the duration of each plainly varies most considerably; it has therefore seemed expedient to reckon by generations, counting seven to a week in the earlier times and fourteen in the later periods. This looks like an arbitrary proceeding, one of those accommodations to which critics resort in order to confirm a foregone conclusion. But there are substantial grounds in this case for the notion. It will be seen that seven generations each will cover the first five weeks, the first being from Adam to Enoch, the last from Salmon to Rehoboam. The sixth, according to Drummond's calculation (omitting, as in St. Matthew, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah), consists of fourteen generations from Abijam to Salathiel. The seventh, taking the series of high priests, and excluding Jason, Menelaus, and Alcimus, as Philo-Græcists, ends with Jonathan, Simon, and John Hyrcanus -- thus landing us at the result previously obtained by another road. Of course, there is a doubt concerning the conclusion of the series; but in any case the discrepancy will amount to little more than twenty years, and the date of composition of this portion of the work may be fixed between B.C.153 and 130, or in the latter half of the second century before Christ.
If we are satisfied with the results thus obtained (and nothing more reliable is to be discovered), we have settled the approximate age of two considerable portions of our book. Another section (chaps. xxxvii.-lxxi.), containing the three parables or similitudes, affords little internal help for determining its date. It is evidently a section distinguished from the rest in character and treatment. There is a difference in the use of the names of God, who is called in this part |Lord of spirits,| in the angelology, the eschatology, and especially in the doctrine of the Messiah, which is much more prominent and definite than in the other divisions. Another peculiarity to which Kostlin directs attention is, that contrasted with the pious are not the ungodly in general (as commonly elsewhere), but Gentile rulers and the mighty ones of earth. Ewald finds herein a reason for considering this to be earlier than the rest, because the enemies denounced are foreign and heathen, while in the other parts the sinners are faithless and renegade Israelites, such as were not heard of till the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. But on the same ground Hilgenfeld concludes that it was written after the fall of Jerusalem; so that no argument can be securely based on this peculiarity. There is one historical allusion which has been supposed to give a hint in this direction. In chap. lvi. we are told that the Parthians and Medes shall work destruction in the Holy Land, and shall in turn suffer vengeance at the hand of the Lord, turning upon and destroying one another; and it is argued hence that an incursion by them had recently happened, as in B.C.40, when they overran Phoenicia and Palestine, or that at any rate they were the enemies most dreaded in the author's time. But the inference is wholly unwarranted. The writer is not referring to any historical events that had come under his own cognisance, but is giving expression to his predictive anticipations based on the revelation of Ezekiel, chaps. xxxviii., xxxix. A surer criterion is found in the Messianic references, which show marked development when compared with the statements in the former part, as we shall see later on. It is also noted that, while the Book of Jubilees (which we suppose to have been written at the earliest in the century preceding the Christian era) shows acquaintance with other portions of our work, it never makes any allusion to the marked peculiarities of these three parables. From this we gather that this section was unknown to the writer of the |Jubilees,| or was then not extant. The language used at the commencement of the section implies the existence of other books of Enoch, We here read, |The second vision of wisdom, which Enoch saw;| and the |similitudes| which succeed are evidently the complement of the preceding revelations, introducing themes of higher character, and rising from mundane and material elements to matters of heavenly and spiritual signification. We may reasonably conjecture that it was composed some few years later than the preceding portion.
There remain the Noachian sections which are introduced often most inappropriately, and are now found in chaps. liv.7-lv.2, lxv.-lxix., cvi.-cvii., and scattered confusedly in some other places. In chap. lxviii.1, the Book of the Allegories of Enoch is expressly mentioned, so that these paragraphs must be of later date. They are probably derived from some lost Apocalypse of Noah, and have been inserted by some late editor, who, without much critical skill, wove the materials into a form which would give a quasi unity to the whole. The last chapter (cviii.) is probably the latest of all, though there is nothing in it to determine its date accurately.
The great fact which seems most surely ascertained is that the Book of Enoch is, with the exception of some few possible interpolations, of pre-Christian origin. It was written certainly before the Romans had obtained possession of Palestine, as throughout the whole work there is no mention whatever of them, and they never appear as the enemies of Israel. No knowledge of the New Testament is anywhere exhibited; the name of Jesus never appears; His death and resurrection are not mentioned; all that is of Christological import might fairly be gathered from the Old Testament. The writer especially had studied the prophecies of Daniel, and derived much of his language and matter therefrom, amplifying what he found in previous utterances, and colouring it with his own poetical and often crude fancies.
As to the place where the authors lived, we have good reason for asserting this to be Palestine. This situation best accords with the circumstances revealed in the various treatises. Here we find individuals and the nation oppressed by foreign influence, and fervent aspirations for relief and freedom, showing a state of things which could only be experienced in the Holy Land itself. The attempts which have been made to determine the writers' locality by reference to the astronomy and geography of the treatises are quite futile. In both sciences the seers were far from being adepts, and to guide oneself to a decision through the fog of imaginary and erroneous details is a hopeless task.
Nothing can be determined concerning the names of the authors. Does the Apostle Jude, by quoting a passage in the book as the production of |Enoch, the seventh from Adam,| authorise the attribution of the work or of this section to the patriarch? Such has been the contention of some, who hold that the passage in question at any rate was a fragment handed down by tradition from antediluvian times. But the verse is manifestly an integral part of the paragraph in which it appears, exactly suitable to and connected with the existing context, and it must meet with the same treatment at our hands as the rest of the section. We have seen to what date we must relegate this book, and that it has no pretension to any such hoar antiquity as the critics above would assign to it. Doubtless it was well known in early Christian times, and Jude and his contemporaries were familiar with it. Without any idea of giving a decided opinion concerning its authorship, and citing the words merely in illustration of his statement (as St. Paul quoted Menander and Aratus), Jude cursorily appeals to a work with which his readers were familiar; and gives it that title by which it was generally known. By using this quotation for a special purpose, Jude does not give his sanction to the whole contents of the work in which it is now contained. All that he endorses with his authority is this particular passage; and in attributing it to Enoch, he is speaking either from direct inspiration, or, as is more probable, merely repeating current tradition. We may confidently affirm that of the authors who more or less have contributed to the book in its entirety we know nothing; nor, indeed, have we any grounds for conjecturing their identity. That they were more than one is proved by the different uses and expressions which obtain in the several portions; e.g. (as we have already observed) the title Lord of spirits, applied to God so commonly in one section, is not found elsewhere; the angelology differs; the Messianic presentation is not identical, nor the eschatology. The attribution of the work to Enoch is doubtless owed to the fact that popular tradition assigned to him the reception of revelations concerning the secrets of nature and other mysteries, the discovery of the alphabet, and the writing of the earliest books that the world ever saw.
We have now to speak of the teaching of this book and the lessons to be drawn from it. Granting that it is of pre-Christian origin, these are of great interest and importance, as bearing an Jewish opinion in days immediately preceding the appearance of Christ. But there is one preliminary question to settle, and that is whether any or what use of this work was made by subsequent Christian writers. A reader at a late Church Congress astonished and scandalised many of his hearers by boldly asserting that St. John in the Apocalypse had merely plagiarised from certain extant productions of a similar nature. This profane theory was not altogether novel, and it requires mention here since the Book of Enoch has been appealed to as strongly confirming the idea of Christian writers' indebtedness to previous apocryphal literature.
The author of The Evolution of Christianity, in republishing Lawrence's translation of our book, endeavours in his introduction to prove that Enoch's work is the source of many Christian opinions and mysteries, primitive Christianity having |freely appropriated his visions as the materials of constructive dogmas.| The writer accepts without question the Archbishop's views of the origin, date, and locality of the work, except that he is inclined to think that the compiler of the Book of Daniel borrowed from Enoch rather than vice versâ. He proceeds to give instances of the influence of Enoch on subsequent writers and opinions. A few of these we will cite. The theory of the immobility of the earth, for denying which mediaeval physicists were condemned to the stake, is traced to a statement in Enoch (chap. xviii.) concerning the stone which supports the corners of the earth, and the four winds which uphold the earth and the firmament. But the idea is found in Job xxxviii.6; Ps. xxiv.2, etc.; and concerning the winds carrying the earth, we may compare Job xxvi.7 with ix.6 and Ps. lxxv.3. The fate of the fallen angels and the happiness of the elect are described in the Book; therefore the Christian view of these matters is derived thence. To this source is traced the teaching concerning the Messiah prevalent in the age immediately preceding and succeeding the appearance of Christ. Then we have a series of passages from the New Testament paralleled by extracts from Enoch which are supposed to have been in the Christian writers' minds when they spoke or composed the utterances which we now possess. Most of these citations are of very insignificant similarity; many are such as might be found in any works treating of analogous subjects, without any notion of plagiarism, and many more are simply derived from the canonical books of the Old Testament. The |meek shall inherit the earth,| says our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. v.5); |the elect shall inherit the earth,| says Enoch v.7. |Woe unto you which are rich; for ye have received your consolation| (Luke vi.44). |Woe to you who are rich, for in your riches have you trusted; but from your riches you shall be removed| (Enoch xciv.8). |The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God| (1 Cor. x.20). |So that they sacrificed to devils as to gods| (Enoch xix.1). The same idea is found in Bar. iv.7, and in the Sept. Version of Ps. xcv.5, cv.37; Deut. xxxii.17. The |great gulf fixed| between the souls in Hades (Luke. xvi.26) is paralleled by a passage (Enoch xxii.9), mistranslated, |Here their souls are separated by a chasm;| the correct rendering being, |Thus are the souls of the just separated; there is a spring of water above it, light| (Schodde); and our Lord in the parable gives the prevalent opinion without comment. The rapture of St. Paul (2 Cor. xii.) and St. John (Rev. xvii., xix.) is similar to what befell Enoch (chap. xxxix.) in some respects; but one is not dependent on the other in details or description. Enoch hears the angels calling on God, as Lord of lords and King of kings (chap: ix.3, 4); did St. John therefore borrow the expression (Rev. xvii.14, xix.6) from him? The apostle speaks of the tree of life (Rev. ii.7, xxii.2, 14); Enoch also (xxiv., xxv.) tells of such a tree, which is plainly derived from Gen. ii.9, iii.22, and is alluded to elsewhere, as Prov. iii.18, xi.30, etc.; 4 Esdr. viii.62; |Testament. Levi.| xviii. The tribulations of the last days as delineated in Matt. xxiv. are not unlike the predictions in Enoch lxxx.; but no one reading the two would: gather that they were borrowed one from the other, the variations being numerous, and actual identity not appearing anywhere. There is a book connected with the judgment in Enoch (chap. xlviii.), as in Rev. xx.; but so there is in Ex. xxxii.32; Ps. lxix.28; Dan. xii.1, etc. In Rev. v.11 the number of angels is called |ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;| so in Enoch (chap. xl.1) we read of |a thousand times thousand, and ten thousand times ten thousand beings, standing before the Lord,| which is merely like Dan. vii.10; Deut. xxxiii.2. The new heavens and the new earth, adumbrated in 2 Pet. iii.13 and Rev. xxi.1, are expected by Enoch (chaps. xlv., xci.16). The latter passage is perhaps an interpolation, and the former is based on Isa. lxv.17, lxvi. In 1 Tim. iv.1, 2 we read, |The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies;| and St. Paul is thought to have plagiarised from Enoch civ., |and now, I know this mystery that the words of rectitude will be changed, and many sinners will rebel, and will speak wicked words, and will lie and make great works, and write books concerning their words | (Schodde). Of this character and of no nearer identity are all the passages adduced by the critic as parallel; and, relying on such citations, we are asked to believe that our Lord and 'His apostles, consciously or unconsciously, introduced into their speech and writings ideas and expressions most decidedly derived from Enoch. Few unprejudiced persons will agree with the author of this opinion, whose aim seems to be to throw discredit upon the superhuman origin of Christianity, and to trace it to merely human development. According to him, |the work of the Semitic Milton was the inexhaustible source from which evangelists and apostles, or the men who wrote in their names, borrowed their conceptions of the resurrection, judgment, immortality, perdition, and of the universal reign of righteousness under the eternal dominion of the Son of man.| Yet the same ideas run through all the pseudepigraphic writings, a fact of which our flippant author seems to be wholly unaware. The writer, as he deems, puts orthodox believers in a dilemma: either Enoch was an inspired prophet and the New Testament writers were justified in using his words as Divine utterances, or he was a visionary and fraudulent enthusiast, whose illusions were erroneously accepted by apostles and evangelists, who thus lose their claim to inspiration. Happily, there is a third alternative: the New Testament writers have not borrowed from Enoch, save in the single quotation by St. Jude.
But enough of this. Let us see what is the Christology of our book, and its Messianic utterances. First, as to the names applied to the Messiah. He is called The Anointed One, the Christ (chap. xlviii.10, lii.4); The Righteous (xxxviii.2); The Elect (xl.5, xlv.3, 4); The Son of man (xlvi.2); Son of the Woman (lxii.5). This last title occurs only once, and seems intended to accentuate the fact that He is very man. Of the Christian verity, that Jesus was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin, there is no trace. But to this Christ is attributed pre-existence with other Divine attributes. Thus in the second similitude we read (chap. xlvi.1-3), |There I saw one who had a Head of days (age-marked), and His head was white as wool (Dan. vii.9); and with Him was another, whose countenance resembled that of man; and full of grace was His countenance, like one of the holy angels. And I asked one of the angels, who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, about that Son of man, who He was, and whence He was, and why he went with the Head of days? And he answered me, and said to me: |This is the Son of man, who has righteousness, with whom righteousness dwells, and who reveals all the treasures of that which is hidden, because the Lord of spirits hath chosen Him, and His lot before the Lord of spirits hath surpassed every other through righteousness for ever and ever.| The angel goes on to say that this Son of man will raise up kings and mighty men from their thrones, and hurl those that obey not to destruction, and break the teeth of sinners, and terribly punish those who extol not the name of the Lord of spirits. Before sun and moon were created, or the stars were made, His name was named before the Lord of spirits; and, being chosen to do great things hereafter, He was hidden, and revealed only, till He came into the world, by imparting treasures of wisdom to the elect. For in Him dwells the spirit of wisdom, and the spirit of Him who gives insight, and the spirit of instruction and power, and the spirit of those who are fallen asleep in righteousness. He has not yet appeared on earth, but in due time He will come to execute vengeance on sinners, and to receive homage at the hands of the mightiest in the world. To Him all judgment is committed; He sits on the throne of Divine glory, and judges both dead and living, and even fallen angels themselves. He will be the joy of the righteous; it will be their high privilege to hold close communion with Him. In all that is said of the glory of the Messiah, He is plainly not conceived of as God; His power is delegated; He is a creature subordinated to Almighty God, joining in the universal worship offered to the Lord of all; clothed indeed with highest attributes, but set at a distance from the supreme Lord. The writer indeed has assimilated the teaching of Daniel and the Prophets, but he is far from realising the doctrine of St. John.
The eschatology of the book is somewhat confused, owing partly to the vagueness of the writer's own opinions, and partly to the variety of authorship. Speaking generally, we may say that the author anticipated the immediate development of Messiah's kingdom. The one object of the production, so far as unity can .be traced therein, is to assert the great truth that retribution awaits transgression; this is confirmed by the history of the past, and emphasises the announcement of the events of the later days which are matters of prediction. In one passage we are told that the eighth week of the world's history shall be one of righteousness, when vengeance is executed upon sinners at the hands of the godly. At the end of this period occurs a time of happiness and prosperity; the righteous shall inherit a new Jerusalem and erect a new temple. In the ninth and tenth weeks the everlasting judgment will take place, the present heaven and earth will vanish away, and be succeeded by a new heaven and a new earth, which shall exist eternally in goodness and righteousness. In other passages referring to the same period there is no mention of this time of peace preceding the judgment; rather the Messianic reign is to be ushered in with war and calamity and desolation, and rest is not won till the evil angels and the wicked rulers are cast into the fiery abyss, and the Messiah, |the white steer,| is born. There is no definite statement in this passage concerning the general resurrection as preceding the universal judgment. But from other places we gather that in this matter a different mode awaits the wicked and the righteous. The spirits of the former shall be removed from Sheol, and sent into the place of torment, but the spirits of the righteous shall be united to their bodies, and live on the new earth, sharing the ineffable blessings of Messiah's kingdom. The resurrection of the body is a boon that belongs to the just alone, who were thus compensated for the evil times which they, had passed while formerly in the flesh. The final judge is not Messiah, but God Himself, who shall descend from heaven to pass the sentence upon men and angels. This view is common to all the apocalyptic literature of the period, so that our Lord's statement, |The Father judgeth no man, but bath given all judgment unto the Son,| was a novel idea to His hearers, even to those of them who had learned some portion of the truth concerning Christ's nature and attributes.
Of the intermediate state the description is somewhat obscure. Enoch (chap. xxii.) is shown a place in the far west where the souls of the righteous dead are collected, different abodes being assigned to them according to a certain classification; those who suffered wrong being separated from those who died from other causes. Near them is the locality where the spirits of sinners wait. Here also a division is made between those who had been punished on earth for their sins and those who hitherto had escaped retribution. These transgressors suffer pain in this abode, even as Dives in the parable speaks of being tormented in the flame. Here they have to wait till the day of judgment, when their fate is decided for ever. But some highly favoured souls do not dwell in this western abode. They are taken to Paradise, which is the Garden of Eden in the north country, and whither Enoch himself was translated. This is their temporary home. One sees here a trace of the distinction between the destiny of the souls of the good and those of the highest saints, which is found in some mediaeval and in some Catholic theology; and in accordance with which, while some rest in Hades or Paradise, others are raised to heaven at once and enjoy the beatific vision.
As regards angelology, in some parts of the work there is a somewhat strict classification of these heavenly beings. They are innumerable, but among them are distinguished seraphim, cherubim, and ophanim, angels of power and angels of lordship. The ophanim (|wheels|) are so named from the representation in Ezekiel i. and x. There is one called the Angel of Peace (chap. xl.8) who seems to be the highest of all, and to have the direction of things in heaven and earth. The four archangels, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel, have separate functions assigned to them in connection with Messiah's kingdom. Michael leads the ceaseless praise of God; Raphael presides over the sick and suffering; Gabriel is mighty to assist the oppressed; Phanuel aids the repentant and those who hope for life eternal. As regards evil spirits, these are sometimes supposed to be the fallen angels, whose transgression is continually coming in view; sometimes the spirits of the giants born from their illicit connection with mortal women. Others are called Satans, and at their head is Satan himself, who is represented with his followers not only as leading men astray, but as the agent of God in inflicting punishment on sinners. In this view he is allowed, as in Job, to visit heaven and prefer accusations against men. Whence these Satans came, and whether they were originally good angels, Enoch reveals not; but he denounces their fate in Messianic times, when they shall be cast into a blazing furnace and tormented eternally.
The Book of Enoch shows its variety of authorship by the inequality of literary skill which is found in it. If some passages are of high eloquence, and redolent of piety and reverence and noble aspirations, others are characterised by wild speculation and empty bombast. But with all its faults and shortcomings, it is of great value as introducing us to the views and feelings of Jews, their hopes and convictions, at the period immediately preceding the Christian era, and helping us to estimate the moral, religious, and political atmosphere in which Christ lived. Hence the work is to be regarded, not as a mere literary curiosity, but as offering a substantial aid' to the understanding of the most important period of the world's history.