About the Book of Enoch (also referred to as “Ethiopic Enoch” or “1 Enoch”). The Book of Enoch (also known as 1 Enoch) was once cherished by Jews and Christians alike, this book later fell into disfavor with powerful theologians – precisely because of its controversial statements on the nature and deeds of the fallen angels. The Enochian writings, in addition to many other writings that were excluded (or lost) from the Bible (i.e., the Book of Tobit, Esdras, etc.) were widely recognized by many of the early church fathers as “apocryphal” writings.
The term “apocrypha” is derived from the Greek word meaning “hidden” or “secret”. Originally, the import of the term may have been complimentary in that the term was applied to sacred books whose contents were too exalted to be made available to the general public. In Daniel 12:9-10 we hear of words that are shut up until the end of time and, words that the wise shall understand and the wicked shall not. In addition, 4 Ezra 14:44ff. mentions 94 books, of which 24 (the Old Testament) were to be published and 70 were to be delivered only to the wise among the people (= apocrypha). Gradually, the term “apocrypha” took on a pejorative connotation, for the orthodoxy of these hidden books was often questionable. Origen (Comm. in Matthew 10:18; p. 13.881) distinguished between books that were to be read in public worship and apocryphal books. Because these secret books were often preserved for use within the esoteric circles of the divinely-knit believers, many of the critically- spirited or “unenlightened” Church Fathers found themselves outside the realm of understanding, and therefore came to apply the term “apocryphal” to, what they claimed to be, heretical works which were forbidden to be read.
In Protestant parlance, “the Apocrypha” designate 15 works, all but one of which are Jewish in origin and found in the Septuagint (parts of 2 Esdras are Christian and Latin in origin). Although some of them were composed in Palestine in Aramaic or Hebrew, they were not accepted into the Jewish canon formed late in the 2nd century AD (Canonicity, 67:31-35). The Reformers, influenced by the Jewish canon of the Old Testament, did not consider these books on a par with the rest of the Scriptures; thus the custom arose of making the Apocrypha a separate section in the Protestant Bible, or sometimes even of omitting them entirely (Canonicity, 67:44-46). The Catholic view, expressed as a doctrine of faith at the Council of Trent, is that 12 of these 15 works (in a different enumeration, however) are canonical Scripture; they are called the Deuterocanonical Books (Canonicity, 67:21, 42-43). The three books of the Protestant Apocrypha that are not accepted by Catholics are 1-2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh.
The theme of the Book of Enoch dealing with the nature and deeds of the fallen angels so infuriated the later Church fathers that one, Filastrius, actually condemned it openly as heresy (Filastrius, Liber de Haeresibus, no. 108). Nor did the rabbis deign to give credence to the book’s teaching about angels. Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai in the second century A.D. pronounced a curse upon those who believed it (Delitzsch, p. 223).
So the book was denounced, banned, cursed, no doubt burned and shredded – and last but not least, lost (and conveniently forgotten) for a thousand years. But with an uncanny persistence, the Book of Enoch found its way back into circulation two centuries ago.
In 1773, rumors of a surviving copy of the book drew Scottish explorer James Bruce to distant Ethiopia. True to hearsay, the Book of Enoch had been preserved by the Ethiopic church, which put it right alongside the other books of the Bible.
Bruce secured not one, but three Ethiopic copies of the book and brought them back to Europe and Britain. When in 1821 Dr. Richard Laurence, a Hebrew professor at Oxford, produced the first English translation of the work, the modern world gained its first glimpse of the forbidden mysteries of Enoch.
Most scholars say that the present form of the story in the Book of Enoch was penned sometime during the second century B.C. and was popular for at least five hundred years. The earliest Ethiopic text was apparently made from a Greek manuscript of the Book of Enoch, which itself was a copy of an earlier text. The original was apparently written in Semitic language, now thought to be Aramaic.
Though it was once believed to be post-Christian (the similarities to Christian terminology and teaching are striking), recent discoveries of copies of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran prove that the book was in existence before the time of Jesus Christ. But the date of the original writing upon which the second century B.C. Qumran copies were based is shrouded in obscurity. It is, in a word, old.
It has been largely the opinion of historians that the book does not really contain the authentic words of the ancient biblical patriarch Enoch, since he would have lived (based on the chronologies in the Book of Genesis) several thousand years earlier than the first known appearance of the book attributed to him.
Despite its unknown origins, Christians once accepted the words of this Book of Enoch as authentic scripture, especially the part about the fallen angels and their prophesied judgment. In fact, many of the key concepts used by Jesus Christ himself seem directly connected to terms and ideas in the Book of Enoch.
Thus, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Jesus had not only studied the book, but also respected it highly enough to adopt and elaborate on its specific descriptions of the coming kingdom and its theme of inevitable judgment descending upon “the wicked” – the term most often used in the Old Testament to describe the Watchers.
There is abundant proof that Christ approved of the Book of Enoch . Over a hundred phrases in the New Testament find precedents in the Book of Enoch.
Another remarkable bit of evidence for the early Christians’ acceptance of the Book of Enoch was for many years buried under the King James Bible’s mistranslation of Luke 9:35, describing the transfiguration of Christ: “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son: hear him.” Apparently the translator here wished to make this verse agree with a similar verse in Matthew and Mark. But Luke’s verse in the original Greek reads: “This is my Son, the Elect One (from the Greek ho eklelegmenos, lit., “the elect one”): hear him.”
The “Elect One” is a most significant term (found fourteen times) in the Book of Enoch . If the book was indeed known to the apostles of Christ, with its abundant descriptions of the Elect One who should “sit upon the throne of glory” and the Elect One who should “dwell in the midst of them,” then the great scriptural authenticity is accorded to the Book of Enoch when the “voice out of the cloud” tells the apostles, “This is my Son, the Elect One” – the one promised in the Book of Enoch.
The Book of Jude tells us in vs. 14 that “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied …” Jude also, in vs. 15, makes a direct reference to the Book of Enoch (2:1), where he writes, “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly …” The time difference between Enoch and Jude is approximately 3400 years. Therefore, Jude’s reference to the Enochian prophesies strongly leans toward the conclusion that these written prophesies were available to him at that time.
Fragments of ten Enoch manuscripts were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls . The famous scrolls actually comprise only one part of the total findings at Qumran. Much of the rest was Enochian literature, copies of the Book of Enoch, and other apocryphal works in the Enochian tradition, like the Book of Jubilees. With so many copies around, the Essenes could well have used the Enochian writings as a community prayer book or teacher’s manual and study text.
The Book of Enoch was also used by writers of the noncanonical (i.e. apocryphal or “hidden”) texts. The author of the apocryphal Epistle of Barnabas quotes the Book of Enoch three times, twice calling it “the Scripture,” a term specifically denoting the inspired Word of God (Epistle of Barnabas 4:3, 16:5-6). Other apocryphal works reflect knowledge of the Enoch story of the Watchers, notably the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and the Book of Jubilees.
Many of the early church fathers also supported the Enochian writings. Justin Martyr ascribed all evil to demons whom he alleged to be the offspring of the angels who fell through lust for women (from the Ibid.) – directly referencing the Enochian writings.
Athenagoras, writing in his work called Legatio in about 170 A.D., regards Enoch as a true prophet. He describes the angels which “violated both their own nature and their office.” In his writings, he goes into detail about the nature of fallen angels and the cause of their fall, which comes directly from the Enochian writings.
Many other church fathers: Tatian (110-172); Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (115-185); Clement of Alexandria (150-220); Tertullian (160-230); Origen (186-255); Lactantius (260-330); in addition to: Methodius of Philippi, Minucius Felix, Commodianus, and Ambrose of Milanalso–also approved of and supported the Enochian writings.
The twentieth-century discovery of several Aramaic Enochian texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls prompted Catholic scholar J.T. Milik to compile a complete history of the Enochian writings, including translations of the Aramaic manuscripts.
Milik’s 400-page book, published in 1976 by Oxford (J. T. Milik, ed. and trans., The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) is a milestone in Enochian scholarship, and Milik himself is no doubt one of the finest experts on the subject. His opinions, based as they are on years of in-depth research, are highly respected.
One by one the arguments against the Book of Enoch fade away. The day may soon arrive when the final complaints about the Book of Enoch’s lack of historicity and “late date” are also silenced by new evidence of the book’s real antiquity.
— Dr. Richard Laurence (1821)
Note: The Laurence translation is numbered differently to the R.H. Charles Oxford translation.
1 The word of the blessing of Enoch, how he blessed the elect and the righteous, who were to exist in the time of trouble; rejecting all the wicked and ungodly. Enoch, a righteous man, who was (1) with God, answered and spoke, while his eyes were open, and while he saw a holy vision in the heavens. This the angels showed me.
(1) N.B. The italicized words supply a gap in the text.
2 From them I heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation, but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period, on account of the elect.
3 Upon their account I spoke and conversed with him, who will go forth from his habitation, the Holy and Mighty One, the God of the world:
4 Who will hereafter tread upon Mount Sinai; appear with his hosts; and be manifested in the strength of his power from heaven.
5 All shall be afraid, and the Watchers be terrified.
6 Great fear and trembling shall seize them, even to the ends of the earth. The lofty mountains shall be troubled, and the exalted hills depressed, melting like a honeycomb in the flame. The earth shall be immerged, and all things which are in it perish; while judgment shall come upon all, even upon all the righteous:
7 But to them shall he give peace: he shall preserve the elect, and towards them exercise clemency.
8 Then shall all belong to God; be happy and blessed; and the splendour of the Godhead shall illuminate them.
1 Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him. (2)
(2) Quoted by Jude, vss. 14, 15.
1 All who are in the heavens know what is transacted there.
2 They know that the heavenly luminaries change not their paths; that each rises and sets regularly, every one at its proper period, without transgressing the commands, which they have received. The behold the earth, and understand what is there transacted, from the beginning to the end of it.
3 They see that every work of God is invariable in the period of its appearance. They behold summer and winter: perceiving that the whole earth is full of water; and that the cloud, the dew, and the rain refresh it.
1 They consider and behold every tree, how it appears to wither, and every leaf to fall off, except of fourteen trees, which are not deciduous; which wait from the old, to the appearance of the new leaf, for two or three winters.
1 Again they consider the days of summer, that the sun is upon it at its very beginning; while you seek for a covered and shady spot on account of the burning sun; while the earth is scorched up with fervid heat, and you become incapable of walking either upon the ground or upon the rocks in consequence of that heat.
1 They consider how the trees, when they put forth their green leaves, become covered, and produce fruit; understanding everything, and knowing that He who lives for ever does all these things for you:
2 That the works at the beginning of every existing year, that all his works, are subservient to him, and invariable; yet as God has appointed, so are all things brought to pass.
3 They see, too, how the seas and the rivers together complete their respective operations:
4 But you endure not patiently, nor fulfill the commandments of the Lord; but you transgress and calumniate his greatness; and malignant are the words in your polluted mouths against his Majesty.
5 You withered in heart, no peace shall be to you!
6 Therefore your days shall you curse, and the years of your lives shall perish; perpetual execration shall be multiplied, and you shall not obtain mercy.
7 In those days shall you resign your peace with the eternal maledictions of all the righteous, and sinners shall perpetually execrate you;
8 Shall execrate you with the ungodly.
9 The elect shall possess light, joy, and peace; and they shall inherit the earth.
10 But you, you unholy, shall be accursed.
11 Then shall wisdom be given to the elect, all of whom shall live, and not again transgress by impiety or pride; but shall humble themselves, possessing prudence, and shall not repeat transgression.
12 They shall not be condemned the whole period of their lives, not die in torment and indignation; but the sum of their days shall be completed, and they shall grow old in peace; while the years of their happiness shall be multiplied with joy, and with peace, for ever, the whole duration of their existence.
1 It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.
2 And when the angels, (3) the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
(3) An Aramaic text reads “Watchers” here (J.T. Milik, Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4 [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976], p. 167).
3 Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise;
4 And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime.
5 But they answered him and said; We all swear;
6 And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.
7 Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, (4) which is the top of mount Armon.
(4) Upon Ardis. Or, “in the days of Jared” (R.H. Charles, ed. and trans., The Book of Enoch [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1893], p. 63).
8 That mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, (5) and bound themselves by mutual execrations.
(5) Mt. Armon, or Mt. Hermon, derives its name from the Hebrew word herem, a curse (Charles, p. 63).
9 These are the names of their chiefs: Samyaza, who was their leader, Urakabarameel, Akibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Saraknyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael, Arazyal. These were the prefects of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all with them. (6)
(6) The Aramaic texts preserve an earlier list of names of these Watchers: Semihazah; Artqoph; Ramtel; Kokabel; Ramel; Danieal; Zeqiel; Baraqel; Asael; Hermoni; Matarel; Ananel; Stawel; Samsiel; Sahriel; Tummiel; Turiel; Yomiel; Yhaddiel (Milik, p. 151).
10 Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees.
11 And the women conceiving brought forth giants, (7)
(7) The Greek texts vary considerably from the Ethiopic text here. One Greek manuscript adds to this section, “And they [the women] bore to them [the Watchers] three races–first, the great giants. The giants brought forth [some say “slew”] the Naphelim, and the Naphelim brought forth [or “slew”] the Elioud. And they existed, increasing in power according to their greatness.” See the account in the Book of Jubilees.
12 Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them;
13 When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them;
14 And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, (8) and to drink their blood.
(8) Their flesh one after another. Or, “one another’s flesh.” R.H. Charles notes that this phrase may refer to the destruction of one class of giants by another (Charles, p. 65).
15 Then the earth reproved the unrighteous.
1 Moreover Azazyel taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors, and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, the use of stones of every valuable and select kind, and all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered.
2 Impiety increased; fornication multiplied; and they transgressed and corrupted all their ways.
3 Amazarak taught all the sorcerers, and dividers of roots:
4 Armers taught the solution of sorcery;
5 Barkayal taught the observers of the stars, (9)
(9) Observers of the stars. Astrologers (Charles, p. 67).
6 Akibeel taught signs;
7 Tamiel taught astronomy;
8 And Asaradel taught the motion of the moon,
9 And men, being destroyed, cried out; and their voice reached to heaven.
1 Then Michael and Gabriel, Raphael, Suryal, and Uriel, looked down from heaven, and saw the quantity of blood which was shed on earth, and all the iniquity which was done upon it, and said one to another, It is the voice of their cries;
2 The earth deprived of her children has cried even to the gate of heaven.
3 And now to you, O you holy one of heaven, the souls of men complain, saying, Obtain Justice for us with (10) the Most High. Then they said to their Lord, the King, You are Lord of lords, God of gods, King of kings. The throne of your glory is for ever and ever, and for ever and ever is your name sanctified and glorified. You are blessed and glorified.
(10) Obtain justice for us with. Literally, “Bring judgment to us from.” (Richard Laurence, ed. and trans., The Book of Enoch the Prophet [London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1883], p. 9).
4 You have made all things; you possess power over all things; and all things are open and manifest before you. You behold all things, and nothing can be concealed from you.
5 You have seen what Azazyel has done, how he has taught every species of iniquity upon earth, and has disclosed to the world all the secret things which are done in the heavens.
6 Samyaza also has taught sorcery, to whom you have given authority over those who are associated with him. They have gone together to the daughters of men; have lain with them; have become polluted;
7 And have discovered crimes (11) to them.
(11) Discovered crimes. Or, “revealed these sins” (Charles, p. 70).
8 The women likewise have brought forth giants.
9 Thus has the whole earth been filled with blood and with iniquity.
10 And now behold the souls of those who are dead, cry out.
11 And complain even to the gate of heaven.
12 Their groaning ascends; nor can they escape from the unrighteousness which is committed on earth. You know all things, before they exist.
13 You know these things, and what has been done by them; yet you do not speak to us.
14 What on account of these things ought we to do to them?
1 Then the Most High, the Great and Holy One spoke,
2 And sent Arsayalalyur (12) to the son of Lamech,
(12) Arsayalalyur. Here one Greek text reads “Uriel.”
3 Saying, Say to him in my name, Conceal yourself.
4 Then explain to him the consummation which is about to take place; for all the earth shall perish; the waters of a deluge shall come over the whole earth, and all things which are in it shall be destroyed.
5 And now teach him how he may escape, and how his seed may remain in all the earth.
6 Again the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there.
7 Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness;
8 There shall he remain for ever; cover his face, that he may not see the light.
9 And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire.
10 Restore the earth, which the angels have corrupted; and announce life to it, that I may revive it.
11 All the sons of men shall not perish in consequence of every secret, by which the Watchers have destroyed, and which they have taught, their offspring.
12 All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime.
13 To Gabriel also the Lord said, Go to the biters, (13) to the reprobates, to the children of fornication; and destroy the children of fornication, the offspring of the Watchers, from among men; bring them forth, and excite them one against another. Let them perish by mutual slaughter; for length of days shall not be theirs.
(13) Biters. More accurately, “bastards” (Charles, p. 73; Michael A. Knibb, ed. and trans., The Ethiopic Book of Enoch [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978], p. 88).
14 They shall all entreat you, but their fathers shall not obtain their wishes respecting them; for they shall hope for eternal life, and that they may live, each of them, five hundred years.
15 To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed.
16 Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever.
17 Immediately after this shall he, (14) together with them, burn and perish; they shall be bound until the consummation of many generations.
(14) He. I.e., Samyaza.
18 Destroy all the souls addicted to dalliance, (15) and the offspring of the Watchers, for they have tyrannized over mankind.
(15) Dalliance. Or, “lust” (Knibb, p. 90; cp. Charles, p. 76).
19 Let every oppressor perish from the face of the earth;
20 Let every evil work be destroyed;
21 The plant of righteousness and of rectitude appear, and its produce become a blessing.
22 Righteousness and rectitude shall be for ever planted with delight.
23 And then shall all the saints give thanks, and live until they have begotten a thousand children, while the whole period of their youth, and their sabbaths shall be completed in peace. In those days all the earth shall be cultivated in righteousness; it shall be wholly planted with trees, and filled with benediction; every tree of delight shall be planted in it.
24 In it shall vines be planted; and the vine which shall be planted in it shall yield fruit to satiety; every seed, which shall be sown in it, shall produce for one measure a thousand; and one measure of olives shall produce ten presses of oil.
25 Purify the earth from all oppression, from all injustice, from all crime, from all impiety, and from all the pollution which is committed upon it. Exterminate them from the earth.
26 Then shall all the children of men be righteous, and all nations shall pay me divine honours, and bless me; and all shall adore me.
27 The earth shall be cleansed from all corruption, from every crime, from all punishment, and from all suffering; neither will I again send a deluge upon it from generation to generation for ever.
28 In those days I will open the treasures of blessing which are in heaven, that I may cause them to descend upon earth, and upon all the works and labour of man.
29 Peace and equity shall associate with the sons of men all the days of the world, in every generation of it.
1 Before all these things Enoch was concealed; nor did any one of the sons of men know where he was concealed, where he had been, and what had happened.
2 He was wholly engaged with the holy ones, and with the Watchers in his days.
3 I, Enoch, was blessing the great Lord and King of peace.
4 And behold the Watchers called me Enoch the scribe.
5 Then the Lord said to me: Enoch, scribe of righteousness, go tell the Watchers of heaven, who have deserted the lofty sky, and their holy everlasting station, who have been polluted with women.
6 And have done as the sons of men do, by taking to themselves wives, and who have been greatly corrupted on the earth;
7 That on the earth they shall never obtain peace and remission of sin. For they shall not rejoice in their offspring; they shall behold the slaughter of their beloved; shall lament for the destruction of their sons; and shall petition for ever; but shall not obtain mercy and peace.
1 Then Enoch, passing on, said to Azazyel: You shalt not obtain peace. A great sentence is gone forth against you. He shall bind you;
2 Neither shall relief, mercy, and supplication be yours, on account of the oppression which you have taught;
3 And on account of every act of blasphemy, tyranny, and sin, which you have discovered to the children of men.
4 Then departing from him I spoke to them all together;
5 And they all became terrified, and trembled;
6 Beseeching me to write for them a memorial of supplication, that they might obtain forgiveness; and that I might make the memorial of their prayer ascend up before the God of heaven; because they could not themselves thenceforwards address him, nor raise up their eyes to heaven on account of the disgraceful offence for which they were judged.
7 Then I wrote a memorial of their prayer and supplications, for their spirits, for everything which they had done, and for the subject of their entreaty, that they might obtain remission and rest.
8 Proceeding on, I continued over the waters of Danbadan, (16) which is on the right to the west of Armon, reading the memorial of their prayer, until I fell asleep.
(16) Danbadan. Dan in Dan (Knibb, p. 94).
9 And behold a dream came to me, and visions appeared above me. I fell down and saw a vision of punishment, that I might relate it to the sons of heaven, and reprove them. When I awoke I went to them. All being collected together stood weeping in Oubelseyael, which is situated between Libanos and Seneser, (17) with their faces veiled.
(17) Libanos and Seneser. Lebanon and Senir (near Damascus).
10 I related in their presence all the visions which I had seen, and my dream;
11 And began to utter these words of righteousness, reproving the Watchers of heaven.
1 This is the book of the words of righteousness, and of the reproof of the Watchers, who belong to the world, (18) according to that which He, who is holy and great, commanded in the vision. I perceived in my dream, that I was now speaking with a tongue of flesh, and with my breath, which the Mighty One has put into the mouth of men, that they might converse with it.
(18) Who belong to the world. Or, “who (are) from eternity” (Knibb, p. 95).
2 And understand with the heart. As he has created and given to men the power of comprehending the word of understanding, so has he created and given to me the power of reproving the Watchers, the offspring of heaven. I have written your petition; and in my vision it has been shown me, that what you request will not be granted you as long as the world endures.
3 Judgment has been passed upon you: your request will not be granted you.
4 From this time forward, never shall you ascend into heaven; He has said, that on the earth He will bind you, as long as the world endures.
5 But before these things you shall behold the destruction of your beloved sons; you shall not possess them, but they shall fall before you by the sword.
6 Neither shall you entreat for them, not for yourselves;
7 But you shall weep and supplicate in silence. The words of the book which I wrote. (19)
(19) But you shall weep…I wrote. Or, “Likewise despite your tears and prayers you will receive nothing whatever contained in the writing which I have written” (Charles, p. 80).
8 A vision thus appeared to me.
9 Behold, in that vision clouds and a mist invited me; agitated stars and flashes of lightning impelled and pressed me forwards, while winds in the vision assisted my flight, accelerating my progress.
10 They elevated me aloft to heaven. I proceeded, until I arrived at a wall built with stones of crystal. A vibrating flame (20) surrounded it, which began to strike me with terror.
(20) Vibrating flame. Literally, “a tongue of fire”
11 Into this vibrating flame I entered;
12 And drew nigh to a spacious habitation built also with stones of crystal. Its walls too, as well as pavement, were formed with stones of crystal, and crystal likewise was the ground. Its roof had the appearance of agitated stars and flashes of lightning; and among them were cherubim of fire in a stormy sky. (21) A flame burned around its walls; and its portal blazed with fire. When I entered into this dwelling, it was hot as fire and cold as ice. No trace of delight or of life was there. Terror overwhelmed me, and a fearful shaking seized me.
(21) In a stormy sky. Literally, “and their heaven was water” (Charles, p. 81).
13 Violently agitated and trembling, I fell upon my face. In the vision I looked.
14 And behold there was another habitation more spacious than the former, every entrance to which was open before me, erected in the midst of a vibrating flame.
15 So greatly did it excel in all points, in glory, in magnificence, and in magnitude, that it is impossible to describe to you either the splendour or the extent of it.
16 Its floor was on fire; above were lightnings and agitated stars, while its roof exhibited a blazing fire.
17 Attentively I surveyed it, and saw that it contained an exalted throne;
18 The appearance of which was like that of frost; while its circumference resembled the orb of the brilliant sun; and there was the voice of the cherubim.
19 From underneath this mighty throne rivers of flaming fire issued.
20 To look upon it was impossible.
21 One great in glory sat upon it:
22 Whose robe was brighter than the sun, and whiter than snow.
23 No angel was capable of penetrating to view the face of Him, the Glorious and the Effulgent; nor could any mortal behold Him. A fire was flaming around Him.
24 A fire also of great extent continued to rise up before Him; so that not one of those who surrounded Him was capable of approaching Him, among the myriads of myriads (22) who were before Him. To Him holy consultation was needless. Yet did not the sanctified, who were near Him, depart far from Him either by night or by day; nor were they removed from Him. I also was so far advanced, with a veil on my face, and trembling. Then the Lord with his own mouth called me, saying, Approach hither, Enoch, at my holy word.
(22) Myriads of myriads. Ten thousand times ten thousands (Knibb, p. 99).
25 And He raised me up, making me draw near even to the entrance. My eye was directed to the ground.
1 Then addressing me, He spoke and said, Hear, neither be afraid, O righteous Enoch, you scribe of righteousness: approach hither, and hear my voice. Go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent you to pray for them, You ought to pray for men, and not men for you.
2 Wherefore have you forsaken the lofty and holy heaven, which endures for ever, and have lain with women; have defile yourselves with the daughters of men; have taken to yourselves wives; have acted like the sons of the earth, and have begotten an impious offspring? (23)
(23) An impious offspring. Literally, “giants” (Charles, p. 82; Knibb, p. 101).
3 You being spiritual, holy, and possessing a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood; have lusted in the blood of men; and have done as those who are flesh and blood do.
4 These however die and perish.
5 Therefore have I given to them wives, that they might cohabit with them; that sons might be born of them; and that this might be transacted upon earth.
6 But you from the beginning were made spiritual, possessing a life which is eternal, and not subject to death for ever.
7 Therefore I made not wives for you, because, being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven.
8 Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh, shall be called upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation. Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh, because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation. Evil spirits shall they be upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called. The habitation of the spirits of heaven shall be in heaven; but upon earth shall be the habitation of terrestrial spirits, who are born on earth. (24)
(24) Note the many implications of vss. 3-8 regarding the progeny of evil spirits.
9 The spirits of the giants shall be like clouds, (25) which shall oppress, corrupt, fall, content, and bruise upon earth.
(25) The Greek word for “clouds” here, nephelas, may disguise a more ancient reading, Napheleim (Nephilim).
10 They shall cause lamentation. No food shall they eat; and they shall be thirsty; they shall be concealed, and shall not (26) rise up against the sons of men, and against women; for they come forth during the days of slaughter and destruction.
(26) Shall not. Nearly all manuscripts contain this negative, but Charles, Knibb, and others believe the “not” should be deleted so the phrase reads “shall rise up.”
1 And as to the death of the giants, wheresoever their spirits depart from their bodies, let their flesh, that which is perishable, be without judgment. (27) Thus shall they perish, until the day of the great consummation of the great world. A destruction shall take place of the Watchers and the impious.
(27) Let their flesh…be without judgment. Or, “their flesh shall be destroyed before the judgment” (Knibb, p. 102).
2 And now to the Watchers, who have sent you to pray for them, who in the beginning were in heaven,
3 Say, In heaven have you been; secret things, however, have not been manifested to you; yet have you known a reprobated mystery.
4 And this you have related to women in the hardness of your heart, and by that mystery have women and mankind multiplied evils upon the earth.
5 Say to them, Never therefore shall you obtain peace.
1 They raised me up into a certain place, where there was (28) the appearance of a burning fire; and when they pleased they assumed the likeness of men.
(28) Where there was. Or, “where they [the angels] were like” (Knibb, p. 103).
2 They carried me to a lofty spot, to a mountain, the top of which reach to heaven.
3 And I beheld the receptacles of light and of thunder at the extremities of the place, where it was deepest. There was a bow of fire, and arrows in their quiver, a sword of fire, and every species of lightning.
4 Then they elevated me to a babbling stream, (29) and to a fire in the west, which received all the setting of the sun. I came to a river of fire, which flowed like water, and emptied itself into the great sea westwards.
(29) To a babbling stream. Literally, “to water of life, which spoke” (Laurence, p. 23).
5 I saw every large river, until I arrived at the great darkness. I went to where all of flesh migrate; and I beheld the mountains of the gloom which constitutes winter, and the place from which issues the water in every abyss.
6 I saw also the mouths of all the rivers in the world, and the mouths of the deep.
1 I then surveyed the receptacles of all the winds, perceiving that they contributed to adorn the whole creation, and to preserve the foundation of the earth.
2 I surveyed the stone which supports the corners of the earth.
3 I also beheld the four winds, which bear up the earth, and the firmament of heaven.
4 And I beheld the winds occupying the exalted sky.
5 Arising in the midst of heaven and of earth, and constituting the pillars of heaven.
6 I saw the winds which turn the sky, which cause the orb of the sun and of all the stars to set; and over the earth I saw the winds which support the clouds.
7 I saw the path of the angels.
8 I perceived at the extremity of the earth the firmament of heaven above it. Then I passed on towards the south;
9 Where burnt, both by day and night, six mountains formed of glorious stones; three towards the east, and three towards the south.
10 Those which were towards the east were of a variegated stone; one of which was of margarite, and another of antimony. Those towards the south were of a red stone. The middle one reached to heaven like the throne of God; a throne composed of alabaster, the top of which was of sapphire. I saw, too, a blazing fire hanging over all the mountains.
11 And there I saw a place on the other side of an extended territory, where waters were collected.
12 I likewise beheld terrestrial fountains, deep in the fiery columns of heaven.
13 And in the columns of heaven I beheld fires, which descended without number, but neither on high, nor into the deep. Over these fountains also I perceived a place which had neither the firmament of heaven above it, nor the solid ground underneath it; neither was there water above it; nor anything on wing; but the spot was desolate.
14 And there I beheld seven stars, like great blazing mountains, and like spirits entreating me.
15 Then the angel said, This place, until the consummation of heaven and earth, will be the prison of the stars, and the host of heaven.
16 The stars which roll over fire are those which transgressed the commandment of God before their time arrived; for they came not in their proper season. Therefore was He offended with them, and bound them, until the period of the consummation of their crimes in the secret year.
1 Then Uriel said, Here the angels, who cohabited with women, appointed their leaders;
2 And being numerous in appearance (30) made men profane, and caused them to err; so that they sacrificed to devils as to gods. For in the great day there shall be a judgment, with which they shall be judged, until they are consumed; and their wives also shall be judged, who led astray the angels of heaven that they might salute them.
(30) Being numerous in appearance. Or, “assuming many forms” (Knibb, p. 106).
3 And I, Enoch, I alone saw the likeness of the end of all things. Nor did any human being see it, as I saw it.
1 These are the names of the angels who watch.
2 Uriel, one of the holy angels, who presides over clamor and terror.
3 Raphael, one of the holy angels, who presides over the spirits of men.
4 Raguel, one of the holy angels, who inflicts punishment on the world and the luminaries.
5 Michael, one of the holy angels, who, presiding over human virtue, commands the nations.
6 Sarakiel, one of the holy angels, who presides over the spirits of the children of men that transgress.
7 Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who presides over Ikisat, (31) over paradise, and over the cherubim.
(31) Ikisat. The serpents (Charles, p. 92; Knibb, p. 107).
1 Then I made a circuit to a place in which nothing was completed.
2 And there I beheld neither the tremendous workmanship of an exalted heaven, nor of an established earth, but a desolate spot, prepared, and terrific.
3 There, too, I beheld seven stars of heaven bound in it together, like great mountains, and like a blazing fire. I exclaimed, For what species of crime have they been bound, and why have they been removed to this place? Then Uriel, one of the holy angels who was with me, and who conducted me, answered: Enoch, wherefore do you ask; wherefore do you reason with yourself, and anxiously inquire? These are those of the stars which have transgressed the commandment of the most high God; and are here bound, until the infinite number of the days of their crimes be completed.
4 From there I afterwards passed on to another terrific place;
5 Where I beheld the operation of a great fire blazing and glittering, in the midst of which there was a division. Columns of fire struggled together to the end of the abyss, and deep was their descent. But neither its measurement nor magnitude was I able to discover; neither could I perceive its origin. Then I exclaimed, How terrible is this place, and how difficult to explore!
6 Uriel, one of the holy angels who was with me, answered and said: Enoch, why are you alarmed and amazed at this terrific place, at the sight of this place of suffering? This, he said, is the prison of the angels; and here they are kept for ever.
1 From there I proceeded to another spot, where I saw on the west a great and lofty mountain, a strong rock, and four delightful places.
2 Internally it was deep, capacious, and very smooth; as smooth as if it had been rolled over: it was both deep and dark to behold.
3 Then Raphael, one of the holy angels who were with me, answered and said, These are the delightful places where the spirits, the souls of the dead, will be collected; for them were they formed; and here will be collected all the souls of the sons of men.
4 These places, in which they dwell, shall they occupy until the day of judgment, and until their appointed period.
5 Their appointed period will be long, even until the great judgment. And I saw the spirits of the sons of men who were dead; and their voices reached to heaven, while they were accusing.
6 Then I inquired of Raphael, an angel who was with me, and said, Whose spirit is that, the voice of which reaches to heaven, and accuses?
7 He answered, saying, This is the spirit of Abel who was slain by Cain his brother; and who will accuse that brother, until his seed be destroyed from the face of the earth;
8 Until his seed perish from the seed of the human race.
9 At that time therefore I inquired respecting him, and respecting the general judgment, saying, Why is one separated from another? He answered, Three separations have been made between the spirits of the dead, and thus have the spirits of the righteous been separated.
10 Namely, by a chasm, by water, and by light above it.
11 And in the same way likewise are sinners separated when they die, and are buried in the earth; judgment not overtaking them in their lifetime.
12 Here their souls are separated. Moreover, abundant is their suffering until the time of the great judgment, the castigation, and the torment of those who eternally execrate, whose souls are punished and bound there for ever.
13 And thus has it been from the beginning of the world. Thus has there existed a separation between the souls of those who utter complaints, and of those who watch for their destruction, to slaughter them in the day of sinners.
14 A receptacle of this sort has been formed for the souls of unrighteous men, and of sinners; of those who have completed crime, and associated with the impious, whom they resemble. Their souls shall not be annihilated in the day of judgment, neither shall they arise from this place. Then I blessed God,
15 And said, Blessed by my Lord, the Lord of glory and of righteousness, who reigns over all for ever and for ever.
1 From there I went to another place, towards the west, unto the extremities of the earth.
2 Where I beheld a fire blazing and running along without cessation, which intermitted its course neither by day nor by night; but continued always the same.
3 I inquired, saying, What is this, which never ceases?
4 Then Raguel, one of the holy angels who were with me, answered,
5 And said, This blazing fire, which you behold running towards the west, is that of all the luminaries of heaven.
1 I went from there to another place, and saw a mountain of fire flashing both by day and night. I proceeded towards it; and perceived seven splendid mountains, which were all different from each other.
2 Their stones were brilliant and beautiful; all were brilliant and splendid to behold; and beautiful was their surface. Three mountains were towards the east, and strengthened by being placed one upon another; and three were towards the south, strengthened in a similar manner. There were likewise deep valleys, which did not approach each other. And the seventh mountain was in the midst of them. In length they all resembled the seat of a throne, and odoriferous trees surrounded them.
3 Among these there was a tree of an unceasing smell; nor of those which were in Eden was there one of all the fragrant trees which smelt like this. Its leaf, its flower, and its bark never withered, and its fruit was beautiful.
4 Its fruit resembled the cluster of the palm. I exclaimed, Behold! This tree is goodly in aspect, pleasing in its leaf, and the sight of its fruit is delightful to the eye. Then Michael, one of the holy and glorious angels who were with me, and one who presided over them, answered,
5 And said: Enoch, why do you inquire respecting the odour of this tree?
6 Why are you inquisitive to know it?
7 Then I, Enoch, replied to him, and said, Concerning everything I am desirous of instruction, but particularly concerning this tree.
8 He answered me, saying, That mountain which you behold, the extent of whose head resembles the seat of the Lord, will be the seat on which shall sit the holy and great Lord of glory, the everlasting King, when he shall come and descend to visit the earth with goodness.
9 And that tree of an agreeable smell, not one of carnal odor, there shall be no power to touch, until the period of the great judgment. When all shall be punished and consumed for ever, this shall be bestowed on the righteous and humble. The fruit of the tree shall be given to the elect. For towards the north life shall be planted in the holy place, towards the habitation of the everlasting King.
10 Then shall they greatly rejoice and exult in the Holy One. The sweet odor shall enter into their bones; and they shall live a long life on the earth as your forefathers have lived; neither in their days shall sorrow, distress, trouble, and punishment afflict them.
11 And I blessed the Lord of glory, the everlasting King, because He has prepared this tree for the saints, formed it, and declared that He would give it to them.
1 From there I proceeded to the middle of the earth, and beheld a happy and fertile spot, which contained branches continually sprouting from the trees which were planted in it. There I saw a holy mountain, and underneath it water on the eastern side, which flowed towards the south. I saw also on the east another mountain as high as that; and between them there were deep, but not wide valleys.
2 Water ran towards the mountain to the west of this; and underneath there was likewise another mountain.
3 There was a valley, but not a wide one, below it; and in the midst of them were other deep and dry valleys towards the extremity of the three. All these valleys, which were deep, but not side, consisted of a strong rock, with a tree which was planted in them. And I wondered at the rock and at the valleys, being extremely surprised.
1 Then I said, What means this blessed land, all these lofty trees, and the accursed valley between them?
2 Then Uriel, one of the holy angels who were with me, replied, This valley is the accursed of the accursed for ever. Here shall be collected all who utter with their mouths unbecoming language against God, and speak harsh things of His glory. Here shall they be collected. Here shall be their territory.
3 In the latter days an example of judgment shall be made of them in righteousness before the saints; while those who have received mercy shall for ever, all their days, bless God, the everlasting King.
4 And at the period of judgment shall they bless Him for his mercy, as He has distributed it to them. Then I blessed God, addressing myself to Him, and making mention, as was meet, of His greatness.
1 From there I proceeded towards the east to the middle of the mountain in the desert, the level surface only of which I perceived.
2 It was full of trees of the seed alluded to; and water leaped down upon it.
3 There appeared a cataract composed as of many cataracts both towards the west and towards the east. Upon one side were trees; upon the other water and dew.
1 Then I went to another place from the desert; towards the east of that mountain which I had approached.
2 There I beheld choice trees, (32) particularly, those which produce the sweet-smelling opiate, frankincense and myrrh; and trees unlike to each other.
(32) Choice trees. Literally, “trees of judgment” (Laurence, p. 35; Knibb, p. 117).
3 And over it, above them, was the elevation of the eastern mountain at no great distance.
1 I likewise saw another place with valleys of water which never wasted,
2 Where I perceived a goodly tree, which in smell resembled Zasakinon. (33)
(33) Zasakinon. The mastic tree (Knibb, p. 118).
3 And towards the sides of these valleys I perceived cinnamon of a sweet odour. Over them I advanced towards the east.
1 Then I beheld another mountain containing trees, from which water flowed like Neketro, (34) Its name was Sarira, and Kalboneba. (35) And upon this mountain I beheld another mountain, upon which were trees of Alva. (36)
(34) Neketro. A nectar (Knibb, p. 119).
(35) Sarira, and Kalboneba. Styrax and galbanum (Knibb, p. 119).
(36) Alva. Aloe (Knibb, p. 119).
2 These trees were full, like almond trees, and strong; and when they produced fruit, it was superior to all redolence.