The Book of Enoch

And In those days shall the earth also give back that which has been entrusted to it,
And Sheol also shall give back that which it has received,
And Hell shall give back that which it owes.

[paragraph continues] The parable ends with an account of the judgement, followed by two short passages on the last struggle of the heathen powers against Israel (lvi. 5-8), and the return from the Dispersion (lvii.), which do not appear to be in their original place. The third parable (lviii.-lxxi.) has clearly suffered largely from the intrusion of alien matter, and is probably incomplete. Its main theme is the final judgement upon all flesh, and especially upon the great ones of -the earth; the judge is the Son of Man. Some of

[p. xxiii]

the passages which speak of the future reward of the righteous are full of beauty; the following is well worth quoting:

And the righteous and elect shall have risen from the earth,
And ceased to be of downcast countenance.
And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory.
And they shall be garments of life from the Lord of Spirits: And your garments shall not grow old.
Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits.

A large Noah fragment comes in the middle of the Parable (see p. xxvi below). The close of this Parable is contained in lxix. 26-29; the account of Enoch’s final translation (lxx.), and two of Enoch’s visions (lxxi.) are out of place.

iii. The Book of the Courses of the Heavenly Luminaries (chapters lxxii.-lxxxii.). In lxxiv. 12 it says: “And the sun and the stars bring in all the years exactly, so that they do not advance or delay their position by a single day unto eternity; but complete the years with perfect justice in 364 days.” [*1] This gives the key-note of this book, viz. that time is to be reckoned by the sun, not by the moon (see further on this the section on Authorship, above). Until we come to chapter lxxx. this book is uninteresting in the extreme; it purports to tell in detail of the laws by which the sun, moon, stars and the winds are governed; they are described by Uriel, “the holy angel,” to the Apocalyptist. The four quarters of the world, the seven mountains and the seven rivers are also dealt with. “The author has no other interest save a scientific one coloured by Jewish conceptions and beliefs.” [*2] It is, however, different when we come to chapter lxxx. 2-8; the whole tone alters in these verses, in which it is said that owing to the sin of men the moon and the sun will mislead them. An ethical thought is thus brought in

[p. xxiv]

which is wholly lacking in the previous chapters of this book; this is also true of chapter lxxxi.; it is probable that neither of these chapters stood here originally.

Regarding the point of the 364 days to the year which the writer of this book makes, Charles says that “he did this only through sheer incapacity for appreciating an thing better; for he must have been acquainted with the solar year of 365A 1/4 days. His acquaintance with the Greek cycles shows this. . . . The author’s reckoning of the year at 364 days may be partly due to his opposition to heathen systems, and partly to the fact that 364 is divisible by seven, and amounts to fifty-two weeks exactly.” [*1] In any case, he is opposed to the lunar year, the Pharisaic way of reckoning time; and this is an important point in favour of Sadducaean authorship. It will be noted that this book was written in post-Maccabaean times; it was after the Maccabaean struggle that the Sadducees and Pharisees appeared as parties definitely opposed to one another. [*2]

iv. The Dream-Visions (chapters lxxxiii.-xc.). This book consists of two dream-visions; the first deals with the judgement brought upon the world by the deluge on account of sin; the origin of sin is again traced to the angels who fell. It concludes with a hymn of praise to God in which a prayer is offered that all flesh may not be destroyed (lxxxiii.-lxxxiv.). The second dream-vision is much longer; it gives in brief outline the history of the world to the founding of the Messianic Kingdom. First, the patriarchs, symbolized by bulls, etc. (lxxxv.); then the fallen angels, also described in symbolic language, and their punishment (lxxxvi.-lxxxviii.). The history then proceeds to deal more specifically with Israel from the time of Noah to the Maccabaean revolt (lxxxix.-xc. 19).

[p. xxv] [paragraph continues] Throughout the dream-vision symbolic language is used; the faithful in Israel are spoken of as the sheep, while the Gentiles are symbolized by wild beasts and birds of prey.

The dream-vision concludes with some familiar eschatological notes: the judgement and condemnation of the wicked; the establishment of the New Jerusalem; the conversion of the Gentiles, who become subject to Israel; the gathering-in of the dispersed Israelites; the resurrection of the righteous dead and the setting-up of the Messianic Kingdom on the appearance of the Messiah (xc. 20-38).

v. The Concluding Section of the Book (xcii.-cv.; xci. x-10, 18, 19 also belong here) is a complete, though short, work; but there are some obvious interpolations, and it is quite possible that some parts of the text are dislocated. This makes the understanding of the book difficult; but if we follow Charles’s guidance here the difficulties will disappear. He says that this concluding piece has in some degree suffered at the hands the final editor of the book, both in the way of direct interpolation and of severe dislocations of the text. The interpolations are: xci. 11, xciii. 11-14, xciv. 7d, xcvi. 2. The dislocations of the text are a more important feature of the book. They are confined (with the exception of xciii. 13-14, and of cvi. 17a which should be read immediately after cvi. 14) to xci.-xciii. All critics are agreed as to the chief of these. xci. 12-17 should undoubtedly be read directly after xciii. . . . Taken together xciii. 1-10, xci. 12-17 form an independent whole–the Apocalypse of Weeks–which has been incorporated in xci.-civ. . . . The remaining dislocations need only to be pointed out in order to be acknowledged. On other grounds we find that xci.-civ. is a book of different authorship from that of the rest of the sections. Now, this being so, this section obviously begins with xcii.: ‘Written by Enoch the Scribe.’ etc. On xcii. follows xci. 1-10, 18, 19 as a natural sequel, where

[p. xxvi] [paragraph continues] Enoch summons his children to receive his parting words. Then comes the Apocalypse of weeks, xciii. 1-10, xci. 12-17. The original order of the text, therefore, was: xcii. xci. 1-10, 18, 19, xciii. 1-10, xci. 12-17. xciv. These dislocations were the work of the editor, who put the different books of Enoch together, and added lxxx. and lxxxi.” [*1]

This book is concerned with the question of the final reward of the righteous and the final punishment of the wicked. . But a new teaching of great importance is put forth here. Hitherto it had been taught that although much incongruity and apparent injustice were to be found on this earth owing to the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked,. nevertheless all things would be righted in the world to come, where the wicked would receive their deserts, and the righteous would come to their own. In this book it is taught that retribution will overtake the wicked, and the righteous will have peace and prosperity, even on this earth, with the setting-up of the Messianic Kingdom; and that at the last there will come, with the final judgement, the destruction of the former heaven and earth, and the creation of a new heaven. Then will follow the resurrection of the spirits of the righteous dead who will live for ever in peace and joy, while the wicked will perish everlastingly. The important point, which is a development, is the idea of the punishment of the wicked taking place on this earth, the very scene of their unrighteous triumphs.

vi. The Noah Fragments (vi.-xi, lvii. 7-lv. 2, ix. lxv.-lxix. 25, cvi., cvii.). These fragments are not of much importance; the main topics touched upon are the fall of the angels and sin among men in consequence; judgement on mankind, i.e. the Deluge, and the preservation of Noah.

The first five chapters are generally field to be as late as any part of the whole collection; they deal with the punishment hereafter of the wicked and

[p. xxvii]

the blessedness of the righteous. Chapter cviii., which reads like a final word to the whole collection, touches upon the same theme.


This is a subject which cannot be thoroughly appreciated without studying the book in detail, especially from its doctrinal standpoint, and seeing in how many aspects it represents the doctrine and the popular conceptions of the Jews during the two last pre-Christian centuries. To do this here would involve a far too extended investigation; it must suffice to indicate a few of the many points which should be studied; from these it will be seen how important the book is for the study of Christian origins. Charles says that “the influence of 1 Enoch on the New Testament has been greater than that of all the other apocryphal and pseudepigraphical books put together”; and he gives a formidable list of passages in the New Testament which “either in phraseology or idea directly depend on, or are illustrative of, passages in 1 Enoch,” as well as a further list showing that various doctrines in 1 Enoch had “an undoubted share in moulding the corresponding New Testament doctrines.” These passages should be studied–and they will be found to be a most interesting study–in Charles’s work already referred to several times, pp. xcv.-ciii.; and with these should be read the section on the Theology of the Book of Enoch, pp. ciii.-cx. Another book of great value and interest–also already quoted–is Burkitt’s Jewish and Christian Apocalypses. In dealing with the subject of 1 Enoch and the Gospels, this writer points out that the former “contains a serious attempt to account for the presence of Evil in human history, and this attempt claims our attention, because it is in essentials the view presupposed in the Gospels, especially in the Synoptic Gospels.

[p. xxviii] [paragraph continues] It is when you study Matthew, Mark, and Luke against the background of the Books of Enoch that you see them in their true perspective. In saying this I have no intention of detracting from the importance of what the, Gospels report to us. On the contrary, it puts familiar words into their proper setting. Indeed, it seems to me that some of the best-known Sayings of Jesus only appear in their true light if regarded as Midrash upon words and concepts that were familiar to those who heard the Prophet of Galilee, though now they have been forgotten by Jew and Christian alike” (p. 21). He then gives an illustration of this from Matt. xii. 43-45, Luke xi. 24–26. Of still greater interest are his remarks upon the relationship between 1 Enoch lxii. and Matt. xxv, 31-46; he believes that “the Similitudes of Enoch are presupposed in the scene from Matthew.” The whole of the discussion which follows should be read.

The special points of interest that should be studied in seeking to realize the importance of these books of Enoch for the study of Christian origins are the problems of evil, including, of course, the subjects of daemonology, and future judgement; the Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom–the title “Son of Man” is of special importance–and the Resurrection. There are, of course, other subjects which will suggest themselves in studying the book.


^viii:1 Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, pp. 15, 16 (1913).

^xi:1 G. H. Box, The Ezra Apocalypse, pp. 35, 36 (1912).

^xiii:1 The general Pharisaic point of view regarding this may be gathered from Matt. iii. 7-10.

^xv:1 Burkitt rightly insists that we should speak of the collection as the books. not the book, of Enoch.

^xv:2 Burkitt, op. cit., 28-30.

^xvi:1 i.e. the ” Pious ones.” or ” Saints.”

^xvi:2 Die Saddurder (1912).

^xvi:3 i.e., according to him, i.-xxxvi., lxxii.-lxxxii., lxxxiii.-xc., xci. 12-17, xciii.

^xvi:4 See Gen. v. 21-23.

^xvi:5 Op. cit., p. 18.

^xvi:6 Gen. v. 24.

^xvii:1 i.e. “The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries.” as Charles calls it.

^xvii:2 i.e. “the righteous”; a play on the word Zaddukim, the “sons of Zadok,” i.e. the Sadducees.

^xvii:3 Leszynsky, op cit., pp. 253 ff.

^xviii:1 Chaps. i.-xxxii. 6. and xix. 3-xxi. 9 in a duplicate form were discovered at Akhmim in 1886-1887; vi.-x. 14. xv. 8-xvi. x, and viii. 4-ix. 4 in a duplicate form, have been preserved in Syncellus; lxxxix. 42-49 occurs in a Greek Vatican MS. (No. 1809); there are also a few quotations in early Greek ecclesiastical writings; and i. 9, v. 4. xxvii. 2 are quoted in the Epistle of St. Jude 14, 15.

^xix:1 Op. cit., p. 27.

^xix:2 It is a great pity that one system of chapter-enumeration runs through the whole volume; if each separate book began with chap. i. it would be much better. For obvious reasons this cannot be done here; see Editors’ General Preface.

^xxiii:1 See also lxxxii. 4-6. it.

^xxiii:2 Charles, The Book of Enoch, p. 147 (1912).

^xxiv:1 Op. cit. p. 150.

^xxiv:2 for the points of difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees see the present writer’s The Books of the Apocrypha, their Origin, Teaching, and Contents, chap. vii. (1914).

^xxvi:1 Op. cit., p. 218.

The Book of Enoch, by R.H. Charles, [1917], at

[p. xxx]


E denotes the Ethiopic Version.

Gs denotes the fragments of the Greek Version preserved In Syncellus: in the case of 8b-9b there are two forms of the text, Gs1 Gs2.

Gg denotes the large fragment of the Greek Version discovered at Akhmim, and deposited in the Gizeh Museum, Cairo.

The following brackets are used in the translation of 1 Enoch:

[[ ]]. The use of these brackets means that the words so enclosed are found in Gg but not In E.

[[[[ ]]]]. The use of these brackets means that the words so enclosed are found in E but not in Gg or Gs.

< >. The use of these brackets means that the words so enclosed are restored.

[ ] The use of these brackets means that the words so enclosed are interpolations.

( ). The use of these brackets means that the words so enclosed are supplied by the editor.

The use of thick type denotes that the words so printed are emended.

+ + corruption in the text.

. . . = some words which have been lost.

The Book of Enoch, by R.H. Charles, [1917], at

[p. 31]



I-V. Parable of Enoch on the Future Lot of the Wicked and the Righteous


1. The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect [[[[and]]]] righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked [[[[and godless]]]] are to be removed. 2. And he took up his parable and said–Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, [[which]] the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. 3. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:

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