The book was believed to have been composed by Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. Most critics and scholars believe it was begun in the second century BC and was a collection of works that includes writings for the first century BC as well. Some believe it contains the actual words of Enoch and that it was handed down through the ages. There is no real way to know for certain if that is so. The only thing we know for certain is that fragments of the book date back to the 2nd century BC.
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The Book of Enoch (also 1 Enoch;[note 1] Hebrew: סֵפֶר חֲנוֹךְ, Sēfer Ḥănōḵ; Ge'ez: መጽሐፈ ሄኖክ, Maṣḥafa Hēnok) is an ancient Hebrew apocalyptic religious text, ascribed by tradition to the patriarch Enoch who was the great-grandfather of Noah. The Book of Enoch contains unique material on the origins of demons and Nephilim, why some angels fell from heaven, an explanation of why the Genesis flood was morally necessary, and prophetic exposition of the thousand-year reign of the Messiah. Three books are traditionally attributed to Enoch, including the distinct works 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. None of the three books is considered to be canonical scripture by the majority of Jewish or Christian church bodies.
Peter H. Davids points to Dead Sea Scrolls evidence but leaves it open as to whether Jude viewed 1 Enoch as canon, deuterocanon, or otherwise: "Did Jude, then, consider this scripture to be like Genesis or Isaiah? Certainly he did consider it authoritative, a true word from God. We cannot tell whether he ranked it alongside other prophetic books such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. What we do know is, first, that other Jewish groups, most notably those living in Qumran near the Dead Sea, also used and valued 1 Enoch, but we do not find it grouped with the scriptural scrolls."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest denomination within the Latter Day Saint movement, does not consider 1 Enoch to be part of its standard canon, although it believes that a purported "original" Book of Enoch was an inspired book. The Book of Moses, first published in the 1830s, is part of the scriptural canon of the LDS Church and has a section which claims to contain extracts from the "original" Book of Enoch. This section has many similarities to 1 Enoch and other Enoch texts, including 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, and The Book of Giants. The Enoch section of the Book of Moses is believed by the Church to contain extracts from "the ministry, teachings, and visions of Enoch", though it does not contain the entire Book of Enoch itself. The LDS Church considers the portions of the other texts which match its Enoch excerpts to be inspired, while not rejecting but withholding judgment on the remainder.
Classical rabbinic literature is characterized by near silence concerning Enoch. It seems plausible that rabbinic polemics against Enochic texts and traditions might have led to the loss of these books to Rabbinic Judaism.
Outside of Ethiopia, the text of the Book of Enoch was considered lost until the beginning of the seventeenth century, when it was confidently asserted that the book was found in an Ethiopic (Ge'ez) language translation there, and Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc bought a book that was claimed to be identical to the one quoted by the Epistle of Jude and the Church Fathers. Hiob Ludolf, the great Ethiopic scholar of the 17th and 18th centuries, soon claimed it to be a forgery produced by Abba Bahaila Michael.
The first critical edition, based on five manuscripts, appeared in 1851 as Liber Henoch, Aethiopice, ad quinque codicum fidem editus, cum variis lectionibus, by August Dillmann. It was followed in 1853 by a German translation of the book by the same author with commentary titled Das Buch Henoch, übersetzt und erklärt. It was considered the standard edition of 1 Enoch until the work of Charles.
The first part of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the angel-human hybrids called Nephilim. The remainder of the book describes Enoch's revelations and his visits to heaven in the form of travels, visions, and dreams.
The introduction to the book of Enoch tells us that Enoch is "a just man, whose eyes were opened by God so that he saw a vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the sons of God showed to me, and from them I heard everything, and I knew what I saw, but [these things that I saw will] not [come to pass] for this generation, but for a generation that has yet to come."
This book contains descriptions of the movement of heavenly bodies and of the firmament, as a knowledge revealed to Enoch in his trips to Heaven guided by Uriel, and it describes a Solar calendar that was later described also in the Book of Jubilees which was used by the Dead Sea sect. The use of this calendar made it impossible to celebrate the festivals simultaneously with the Temple of Jerusalem.
There are a great many links between the first book and this one, including the outline of the story and the imprisonment of the leaders and destruction of the Nephilim. The dream includes sections relating to the Book of the Watchers:
This part of the book can be taken to be the kingdom splitting into the northern and southern tribes, that is, Israel and Judah, eventually leading to Israel falling to the Assyrians in 721 BC and Judah falling to the Babylonians a little over a century later 587 BC. "And He gave them over into the hands of the lions and tigers, and wolves and hyenas, and into the hand of the foxes, and to all the wild beasts, and those wild beasts began to tear in pieces those sheep"; God abandons Israel for they have abandoned him.
There is also mention of 59 of 70 shepherds with their own seasons; there seems to be some debate on the meaning of this section, some suggesting that it is a reference to the 70 appointed times in 25:11, 9:2, and 1:12. Another interpretation is the 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24. However, the general interpretation is that these are simply angels. This section of the book and another section near the end describe the appointment by God of the 70 angels to protect the Israelites from enduring too much harm from the "beasts and birds". The later section (110:14) describes how the 70 angels are judged for causing more harm to Israel than he desired, found guilty, and "cast into an abyss, full of fire and flaming, and full of pillars of fire."
The first part of the next section of the book seems, according to Western scholars, to clearly describe the Maccabean revolt of 167 BC against the Seleucids.The following two quotes have been altered from their original form to make the hypothetical meanings of the animal names clear.
It then describes: "And I saw till a great sword was given to the sheep, and the sheep proceeded against all the beasts of the field to slay them, and all the beasts and the birds of the heaven fled before their face."This might be simply the "power of God": God was with them to avenge the death. It may also be Jonathan Apphus taking over command of the rebels to battle on after the death of Judas. John Hyrcanus (Hyrcanus I, Hasmonean dynasty) may also make an appearance; the passage "And all that had been destroyed and dispersed, and all the beasts of the field, and all the birds of the heaven, assembled in that house, and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced with great joy because they were all good and had returned to His house" may describe John's reign as a time of great peace and prosperity. Certain scholars also claim Alexander Jannaeus of Judaea is alluded to in this book.
The book of Jubilees covers parts of Old Testament history in segments of 50 years. It offers a unique perspective that can enhance your understanding of biblical events. To download the free Book of Jubilees PDF, click here.
This PDF packet is chock full of healthy information: the "Breathing for Life" article, including William P. Knowles' five-week program of breathing exercises; two healthy recipes served at the Fit for the Kingdom dinner; a resource listing of recommended books, websites, and health coaches, and other related information from the Fit for the Kingdom filming event.
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The book contains passages on the origins of demons and Nephilim, explains why some angels fell from heaven, the reasons and arguments why the Genesis flood was morally necessary, and a prophetic exposition of the thousand-year reign of the Messiah.
It is fair to say that the patriarch Enoch was as well known to the ancients as he is obscure to modern Bible readers. Besides giving his age (365 years), the book of Genesis says of him only that he "walked with God," and afterward "he was not, because God had taken him" (Gen. 5:24). This exalted way of life and mysterious demise made Enoch into a figure of considerable fascination, and a cycle of legends grew up around him. 781b155fdc