The Book of Enoch was treasured by the ancient Nazarenes as an inspired book of prophecy authored by Enoch himself.
Yeshua’s own half-brother Y’hudah quotes from the Book of Enoch saying:
And Chanokh [Enoch], the seventh from Adam,
prophesied about these men saying:
Behold, YHWH comes with ten thousands of his set-apart-ones,
to execute judgment on all, co convict all who are wicked
among them of their wicked deeds which they have committed in
a wicked way, and all the harsh things which wicked sinners
have spoken against him.
(Yhudah (Jude) 1:14-15 HRV)
Some commentators have tried to minimize the importance of thisquotation, claiming that Y’hudah was only quoting the Book of Enoch in the way that Paul quoted Greek philosophers. In fact there are two very important features in Y’hudah’s citation.
First of all, while the Book of Enoch is quoted (specifically 1Enoch 1:9), Y’hudah attributes his quote, not to the Book of Enoch, but to the man Enoch (Enoch, seventh from Adam). Since we have copies of the Book of Enoch which predate the Book of Y’hudah, this quote tells us that Enoch seventh from Adam wrote the Book of Enoch.
Secondly Y’hudah uses the word “prophecy”. Y’hudah tells us that this quote from Enoch which comes from the Book of Enoch is “prophecy”. That is a very important statement.
Regarding prophecy Kefa (Peter) writes:
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture
is of any private interpretation; for prophecy never
came by the will of man, but set-apart men of Eloah
spoke as they were moved by the Ruach HaKodesh.
(2Kefa (2Pt.) 1:20-21 – HRV)
So if, as Y’hudah tells us, the Book of Enoch is “prophecy” then Kefa tells us that it was inspired by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
Paul has some important words for us about Scripture that is inspired:
Every writing which was written by the spirit is profitable
for teaching and for reproof and for correction and for
instruction in righteousness, that the son of man of Eloah
may be complete and whole for every good work.
(2Timothy 3:16-17 – HRV)
So if the Book of Enoch is prophecy then it was inspired by the Ruach HaKodesh. And if Enoch was inspired by the Ruach then it is profitable for teaching and for reproof and for correction and for instruction in righteousness. In other words, if Y’hudah is telling the truth then we should be using the Book of Enoch as Scripture and not taking it lightly!
As a matter of fact the ancient Nazarenes treasured the Book of Enoch and used it along side the books we know today as canon. This is evidenced by fact that Y’hudah quotes Enoch. R.H. Charles listed 128 locations where the Ketuvin Netzarim (The writings of the Nazarenes, commonly known today as the “New Testament”) is clearly influenced by statements in the Book of Enoch.
The Book of Enoch was used within Judaism at least as early as the second century B.C.E.. Seven fragmentary Aramaic copies were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Zohar also cites the Book of Enoch by name (Zohar 1:37b) and makes much use of its account of the fallen angels Shemikhaza (which the Zohar calls Uzael) and Azzazel.
The earliest Gentile Christians also accepted and made use of the Book of Enoch. Many of the so-called “Church Fathers” either quoted Enoch, or made use of it. Among these were the author of the Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas, Justin Martyr (2nd C.), Irenaeus (2nd C.), Clement of Alexandria (2nd C.) and Origin (3rd C.). Tertullian (160-230 C.E.) even called the book “Holy Scripture”. The book was even canonized by the Ethiopic Church.
LOSS OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH
In the fourth century the Book of Enoch came under fire from such “Church Fathers” as Augustine, Hilary and Jerome. The Book of Enoch was soon banned except in the remote Ethiopic Church, which had canonized it. The original Hebrew was lost completely to time and has yet to be recovered. The Aramaic and Greek versions disappeared as well (portions of these have since been discovered. The complete text has survived only in Ethiopic.
RESTORATION OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH
The Book of Enoch predicts its own restoration as our last days bonus!
But when they write down truthfully all my words in their languages,
and do not change or diminish ought from my words but write them all
down truthfully -all that I first testified concerning them. Then, I
know another mystery, that books will be given to the righteous and
the wise to become a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom.
And to them shall the books be given, and they shall believe in them
and rejoice over them, and then shall all the righteous who have
learnt therefore all the paths of uprightness be recompensed.’
FOR WHOM DID ENOCH WRITE?
The Book of Enoch is especially given for the benefit of those believers in the last days who are Torah Observant:
The words of the blessing with which Enoch
blessed the chosen and righteous,
who will be living in the day of tribulation,
when all the wicked and godless are to be removed.
Another book which Enoch wrote for his son Methuselah
and for those who will come after him,
and observe the Torah in the last days.
MESSAGE OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH
Yeshua warned that the last days would be like the days of Noach (Mt. 24:37-38 – HRV) And this is a major theme of the Book of Enoch. Enoch forewarns of the coming judgement of the flood, and parallels this with the judgement of the last days. The Book of Enoch even prophecies that in the last days:
“women shall become pregnant and abort their babies
and cast them out from their midst”
The Book of Enoch tells of how 200 fallen angels led by Shemikhazah and Azazel “saw and lusted after” human females and copulated with them producing a race of giants (1Enoch 6) and taught mankind secrets such as sorcery, the making of weapons (1Enoch 7-8) and how to perform an abortion (1En. 69:12). YHWH’s judgement finally
comes. Shemikhazah and “all his associates” are bound fast “for seventy generations” until “the judgement that is forever is consummated” (1En. 9:11-12) (compare Y’hudah 1:6 & 2Kefa 2:2-10). The giants are killed by the flood but their spirits remain on earth as evil spirits (1En. 15:8-12). In the last days the fallen angels will return again (1Enoch 56:5).
Now if one counts the generations from Enoch to Yeshua one finds there were sixty-nine generations (Luke 3:23-37). So the seventy generations ended one generation after the life of Yeshua. This brings us to an interesting statement made by the Nazarene writer Hegesippus around 185 C.E. as he recounted the beginning of the apostasy:
Up to that period the Assembly had remained like a virgin
pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who
were disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the
proclaiming of salvation, they still lurked in some dark
place of concealment or other. But, when the sacred band of
Emissaries had in various ways closed their lives, and that
generation of men to whom it had been vouchsafed to listen to the
godlike Wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then did the
confederacy of godless error take its rise through the treachery
of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the emissaries any
longer survived, at length attempted with bare and uplifted
head to oppose the proclaiming of the truth by proclaiming
“knowledge falsely so called.”
The generation which followed the life of Yeshua and his emissaries was the generation in which Shemikhazah and his associates were to be released. And this was the very generation in which false teachers began with bare and uplifted head to oppose the proclaiming of the truth, the very generation in which the apostasy began.
The long night of the apostasy is ending. The Book of Enoch is again coming to light that it may be a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom to those who observe the Torah in the last days. The culmination of all things is at hand.
The Nazarene edition of the Book of Enoch, translated where possible. from the Aramaic fragments found at Qumran is available through Take Hold Books.
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