Enoch (ancestor of Noah)
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|Saint Enoch the Patriarch|
God took Enoch, as in Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer, for God had taken him" (JP),1 illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet
|Honored in||Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Enochian Christian sects (see John Dee)
Medieval Rabbinical Judaism
Some New Age cults devoted to angelology
Enoch (Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Modern H̱anokh Tiberian Ḥănōḵ; Arabic: إدريس ʼIdrīs) appears in the Book of Genesis and a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is the son of Jared (Gen 5:3-18), the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. The text reads—uniquely in the Generations—that Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him", (Gen 5:22-29). The Christian New Testament also has three references to Enoch (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11: 5, Epistle of Jude 1:14–15).
- 1 Enoch in the Book of Genesis
- 2 Apocryphal Books of Enoch
- 3 Enoch in Christianity
- 4 Enoch in Islam
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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Enoch appears in the Book of Genesis of the Pentateuch as the seventh of the ten pre-Deluge Patriarchs. Genesis recounts that each of the pre-Flood Patriarchs lives for several centuries, has a son, lives more centuries, and then dies. The exception is Enoch, who does not experience death "for God took him." Furthermore, Gen 5:22-29 states that Enoch lived 365 years which is extremely short in the context of his peers. The brief account of Enoch in Genesis 5 ends with the note that he "was no more" and that "God took him."
Three extensive apocryphal works are attributed to Enoch:
- 1st Book of Enoch, or simply the Book of Enoch, an apocryphal book in the Ethiopic Bible that is usually dated between the third century BCE and the first century CE.
- 2nd Book of Enoch, an apocryphal book in the Old Slavonic Bible usually dated to the first century CE.
- 3rd Book of Enoch, a Rabbinic text in Hebrew usually dated to the fifth century CE.
These recount how Enoch is taken up to Heaven and is appointed guardian of all the celestial treasures, chief of the archangels, and the immediate attendant on God's throne. He is subsequently taught all secrets and mysteries and, with all the angels at his back, fulfils of his own accord whatever comes out of the mouth of God, executing His decrees. Much esoteric literature like the 3rd Book of Enoch identifies Enoch as the Metatron, the angel which communicates God's word. In consequence, Enoch was seen, by this literature, and the Rabbinic kabbala of Jewish mysticism, as having been the one which communicated God's revelation to Moses, in particular, the dictator of the Book of Jubilees.
In classical Rabbinical literature, there are various views of Enoch. A prevailingcitation needed view regarding Enoch was that of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, which thought of Enoch as a pious man, taken to Heaven, and receiving the title of Safra rabba (Great scribe).
However, after Christendom was completely separated from Judaism, the Jewish view of Enoch was he was the only pious man of his time and was taken away before he would become corrupted.2
According to Rashi3 [from Genesis Rabba4, “Enoch was a righteous man, but he could easily be swayed to return to do evil. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, hastened and took him away and caused him to die before his time. For this reason, Scripture changed [the wording] in [the account of] his demise and wrote, ‘and he was no longer’ in the world to complete his years.”
Among the minor Midrashim, esoteric attributes of Enoch are expanded upon. In the Sefer Hekalot, Rabbi Ishmael is described as having visited the 7th Heaven, where he meets Enoch, who claims that earth had, in his time, been corrupted by the demons Shammazai, and Azazel, and so Enoch was taken to Heaven to prove that God was not cruel. Similar traditions are recorded in Sirach. Later elaborations of this interpretation treated Enoch as having been a pious ascetic, who, called to mix with others, preached repentance, and gathered (despite the small number of people on Earth) a vast collection of disciples, to the extent that he was proclaimed king. Under his wisdom, peace is said to have reigned on earth, to the extent that he is summoned to Heaven to rule over the sons of God. In a parallel with Elijah, in sight of a vast crowd begging him to stay, he ascends to Heaven on a horse.
The third-century translators who produced the Greek Septuagint rendered the phrase "God took him" with the Greek verb metatithemi (μετατίθημι)5 meaning moving from one place to another.6 The apocryphal Sirach 44:16, from about the same period, states that "Enoch pleased God and was translated into paradise that he may give repentance to the nations." The Greek word used here for paradise, 'paradeisos' (παραδεισος), was derived from an ancient Persian word meaning "enclosed garden",citation needed and was used in the Septuagint to describe the Garden of Eden. Later, however, the term became synonymous for heaven, as is the case here.citation needed
The New Testament contains three references to Enoch.
- The first is a brief mention in one of the genealogies of the ancestors of Jesus by Luke (Luke 3:37).
- The second mention is in Hebrews 11: 5 (KJV) it says "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." suggesting he did not experience the mortal death ascribed to Adam's other descendants and that he is still alive to this very day.
- The third mention is in the Epistle of Jude (1:14-15) where the author attributes to "Enoch, the Seventh from Adam" a passage unknown in the Old Testament. The quotation is believed by most modern scholars to be taken from 1 Enoch 1:9 which exists in Greek, in Ethiopic, as part of the Ethiopian Orthodox canon, and also in Aramaic among the Dead Sea Scrolls.78 Though the same scholars recognise that 1 Enoch 1:9 itself is a midrash of the words of Moses "he came from the ten thousands of holy ones" from Deuteronomy 33:2.910111213 The introductory phrase "Enoch, the Seventh from Adam" is also found in 1 Enoch (1 En. 60:8), though not in the Old Testament.14 In the New Testament this Enoch prophesies "to"15 ungodly men, that God shall come with His holy ones to judge and convict them (Jude 1:14-15).16
Early Christianity contains various traditions concerning the "translation" of Enoch.
Regarding the quotation in Jude, most of early Christianity considered it an independent quotation pre-dating the flood. Regarding the Book of Enoch itself Origen, Jerome and Augustin mention it, but as of no authority. Justin, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, and others borrowed an opinion out of this book of Enoch, that the angels had connection with the daughters of men, of whom they had offspring ('the giants of the past'). Tertullian, in several places, speaks of this book with esteem; and would persuade us, that it was preserved by Noah during the deluge.
According to the Figurists (a group of Jesuit missionaries mainly led by Joachim Bouvet into China at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century and based on ideas of Matteo Ricci 1552 to 1610),171819 Fu Xi in China's ancient history is actually Enoch.202122
Enoch is not counted as a saint in Roman Catholic tradition, though Enoch has a saints day, July 26, in the Armenian Apostolic Church. The "St. Enoch" in the place name St. Enoch's Square, Glasgow, is a corruption from the site of a medieval chapel to Saint Teneu, the legendary mother of Saint Mungo, and unconnected with Enoch.
Enoch is revered in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Enochic texts Jubilees and 1 Enoch regarded as the 13th and 14th books, respectively, of the Tewahedo Old Testament canon.23 Most churches, including the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Protestant churches, do not accept the books.
Some Evangelical commentators consider Enoch to be one of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation due to the fact that he did not die according to Genesis 5:24. Two televangelists holding this view, for example, are Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel and Hebrew Roots Bible teacher Perry Stone.
Among the Latter Day Saint movement and particularly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Enoch is viewed as having founded an exceptionally righteous city, named Zion, in the midst of an otherwise wicked world. This view is encountered in the Mormon scripture (see Standard Works), the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants, which states that not only Enoch, but the entire peoples of the city of Zion, were taken off this earth without death, because of their piety. (Zion is defined as "the pure in heart" and this city of Zion will return to the earth at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.) The Doctrine and Covenants further states that Enoch prophesied that one of his descendants, Noah, and his family, would survive a Great Flood and thus carry on the human race and preserve the Gospel. The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price has several chapters that give an account of Enoch's preaching, visions and conversations with God. In these same chapters are details concerning the wars, violence and natural disasters in Enoch's day, and notable miracles performed by Enoch. The Book of Moses is itself an excerpt from Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, which is published in full, complete with these chapters concerning Enoch, by Community of Christ, as the Holy Scriptures/Inspired Version of the Bible, where it appears as part of the Book of Genesis. D&C 104:24 (CofC) / 107:48-49 (LDS) states that Adam ordained Enoch to the higher priesthood (now called the Melchizedek, after the great high priest) at age 25, that he was 65 when Adam blessed him, and he lived 365 years after that until he was translated, so making him 430 years old when that occurred.
In the Quran, Enoch is sometimes identified with Idris, as for example by the History of Al-Tabari and the Meadows of Gold.24 The Quran contains two references to Idris; in Surah Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) verse number 85, and in Surah Maryam (Mary) verses 56-57:
- (The Prophets, 21:85): "And the same blessing was bestowed upon Ismail and Idris and Zul-Kifl, because they all practised fortitude."
- (Mary 19:56-57): "And remember Idris in the Book; he was indeed very truthful, a Prophet. And We lifted him to a lofty station".
Idris is closely linked in Muslim tradition with the origin of writing and other technical arts of civilization,25 including the study of astronomical phenomena, both of which Enoch is credited with in the Testament of Abraham.26 Nonetheless, even aside from the identification of Idris and Enoch, many Muslims still honor Enoch as one of the earliest prophets, regardless of whether they equate him with Idris or not.27 Thus, views on Enoch are divided into two groups:
- The first believes that Enoch and Idris are one and the same.
- The second believes that Enoch and Idris are two different prophets.
- Gen 5:18-24
- Jewish Encyclopedia Enoch
- Rashi's Commentary on Gen 5:24. See also Commentary of Ibn Ezra.
- 5:24 καὶ εὐηρέστησεν Ενωχ τῷ θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο ὅτι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός
- LSJ metatithemi
- 4Q Enoch (4Q204[4QENAR]) COL I 16-18
- Clontz, T.E. and J., "The Comprehensive New Testament with complete textual variant mapping and references for the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, Josephus, Nag Hammadi Library, Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, Plato, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Talmud, Old Testament, Patristic Writings, Dhammapada, Tacitus, Epic of Gilgamesh", Cornerstone Publications, 2008, p. 711, ISBN 978-0-9778737-1-5
- "The initial oracle in chapters 1-5 is a paraphrase of part of Deuteronomy 33,24" George W. E. Nickelsburg, The nature and function of revelation 1 Enoch, Jubilees and some Qumranic documents, 1997
- Lars Hartman, Asking for a Meaning: A Study of 1 Enoch 1-5 ConBib NT Series 12 Lund Gleerup, 1979 22-26.
- George WE Nickelsburg & James C Vanderkam, 1 Enoch, Fortress 2001
- R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, London SPCK, 1917
- E. Isaac, 1 Enoch, a new Translation and Introduction in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha ed. Charlesworth, Doubleday 1983-85
- Richard Bauckham Jude and the relatives of Jesus in the early church p206 etc.
- The use of dative toutois in the Greek text (προεφήτευσεν δὲ καὶ τούτοις instead of the normal genitive with προφητεύω prophēteuō peri auton, "concerning them") has occasioned discussion among commentators including: Ben Witherington Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude: "...who might be tempted to follow the teachers' example), nonetheless, Jude says that this prophecy refers to these (toutois) false teachers in Jude 14" p624 John Twycross The New Testament in the original Greek: with notes by C. Wordsworth His warning is addressed to them as well to those of his own and future ages. p140; Cox S. Slandering Celestial Beings Hyderabad 2000 "..but instead Jude wrote proepheteusen toutois (verb + dative case pronoun plural) "prophesied TO these men".." p16
- Jude 1:14-15
- Brock, H. (1907). Joachim Bouvet. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Etat présent de la Chine, en figures gravées par P. Giffart sur les dessins apportés au roi par le P. J. Bouvet (Paris, 1697)
- Portrait histoique de l'empereur de la Chine (Paris, 1697)
- Li, Shenwen, 2001, Stratégies missionnaires des Jésuites Français en Nouvelle-France et en Chine au XVIIieme siècle, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, L'Harmattan, ISBN 2-7475-1123-5
- Tewahedo Orthodox Church
- Alexander Philip S. Biblical Figures Outside the Bible p.118 ed. Michael E. Stone, Theodore A. Bergren 2002 p118 "twice in the Qur'an.. was commonly identified by Muslim scholars with the biblical Enoch, and that this identification opened the way for importing into Islam a substantial body of postbiblical Jewish legend about the character and ...."
- History of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Enoch
- History of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Enoch
- Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, S. Academy Publishing
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Enoch.|
- Jewish Encyclopedia Enoch (1911)
- The Descendants of Adam, The Legacy of Cain, The Souls Elijah and Enoch
- Catholic Encyclopedia Henoch (1914)
- Andrei A. Orlov essays on 2 Enoch: Enoch as the Heavenly Priest, Enoch as the Expert in Secrets, Enoch as the Scribe and Enoch as the Mediator
- Ed. Philip P. Wiener Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Cosmic Voyages (1973)
- Dr. Reed C. Durham, Jr. Comparison of Masonic legends of Enoch and Mormon scriptures description of Enoch (1974)