Enoch (ancestor of Noah)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Enoch the Patriarch
Figures God took Enoch.jpg
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
Antediluvian Patriarch
Honored in
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Enochian Christian sects (see John Dee)
Islam
Medieval Rabbinical Judaism
Some New Age cults devoted to angelology
Feast July 30

Enoch (/ˈnək/; Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Modern H̱anokh Tiberian Ḥănōḵ; Arabic: إدريسʼIdrīs) appears in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible and is a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is the son of Jared (Gen 5:19-21), the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. The text reads that Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him" (Gen 5:22–29). This Enoch is not to be confused with Cain's son Enoch (Gen 4:17) whose lineage also contains the name Lamech the same name of Noah's father but not referring to the same man. The Christian New Testament has three references to Enoch from the lineage of Seth (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11: 5, Epistle of Jude 1:14–15).

Enoch in the Book of Genesis[edit]

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."

Apocryphal Books of Enoch[edit]

Three extensive apocryphal works are attributed to Enoch:

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.

Enoch in classical Rabbinical literature[edit]

In classical Rabbinical literature, there are various views of Enoch. A prevailing[citation 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 Rashi[3] [from Genesis Rabba[4]], “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.

Enoch in Christianity[edit]

Septuagint[edit]

The third-century BC 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] 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]

New Testament[edit]

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.[7][8] 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.[9][10][11][12][13] 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[edit]

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.

Elijah and Enoch - seventeenth-century icon, Historic Museum in Sanok, Poland

Medieval and Reformation[edit]

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),[17][18][19] Fu Xi in China's ancient history is actually Enoch.[20][21][22]

Modern Christianity[edit]

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.

In LDS theology[edit]

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.

Additionally in LDS theology, Enoch is implied to be the scribe who recorded Adam's blessings and prophecies at Adam-ondi-Ahman, as recorded in D&C 107:53-57 (LDS) / D&C 104:29b (CofC).

Enoch in Islam[edit]

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gen 5:18-24
  2. ^ "Jewish Encyclopedia ''Enoch''". Jewishencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  3. ^ Rashi's Commentary on Gen 5:24. See also Commentary of Ibn Ezra.
  4. ^ 25:1
  5. ^ 5:24 καὶ εὐηρέστησεν Ενωχ τῷ θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο ὅτι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός
  6. ^ LSJ metatithemi
  7. ^ 4Q Enoch (4Q204[4QENAR]) COL I 16-18
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ "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
  10. ^ Lars Hartman, Asking for a Meaning: A Study of 1 Enoch 1-5 ConBib NT Series 12 Lund Gleerup, 1979 22-26.
  11. ^ George WE Nickelsburg & James C Vanderkam, 1 Enoch, Fortress 2001
  12. ^ R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, London SPCK, 1917
  13. ^ E. Isaac, 1 Enoch, a new Translation and Introduction in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha ed. Charlesworth, Doubleday 1983-85
  14. ^ Richard Bauckham Jude and the relatives of Jesus in the early church p206 etc.
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ Jude 1:14-15
  17. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Joachim Bouvet". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  18. ^ Brock, H. (1907). Joachim Bouvet. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  19. ^ http://wayback.archive.org/web/20070112230428/http://archives.catholic.org.hk/books/author/bouvet.htm
  20. ^ Etat présent de la Chine, en figures gravées par P. Giffart sur les dessins apportés au roi par le P. J. Bouvet (Paris, 1697)
  21. ^ Portrait histoique de l'empereur de la Chine (Paris, 1697)
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ "Tewahedo Orthodox Church". Ethiopianorthodox.org. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  24. ^ 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 ...."
  25. ^ a b History of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Enoch
  26. ^ Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, S. Academy Publishing

External links[edit]