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Month 11:21, Week 3:6 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5937:317 AM
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 20 February 2014
The Book of Enoch
1. Authentic Scripture or Fabrication?

PART 1 - INTRODUCTION & GEOGRAPHY

In Search of a Wonderful Tale

The tale of a book of scripture more ancient and more perfect than the Bible, preserved miraculously after been lost for centuries, to then be 'restored' in the 'end times', has lured and ensnared many a naïve soul in search of a Lost Eden or for a fuller revelation than the one found in our Bible. I was once thus trapped by such a fairy tale in my youth, one purporting to be the lost history of ancient America, until after several years, like many others, I uncovered the fraud, and, by the grace of Elohim (God), freed myself from it.

Exposing One Fanciful Claim

Tales from a mythologised past enchant and are all the more successful because it is hard to conclusively debunk them in the absence of concrete historical evidence for we are dealing with a time long, long ago. In the case of the Book of Mormon, of which I speak, 200 years without a shred of concrete archaeological evidence to demonstrate the existence of the cultures, languages or persons described in this piece of religious fiction, together with internal contradictions within the books themselves, overwhelming evidence of plagiarisation from materials written long after the events purported, and the disreputable and dishonest character of its 'translator' (in fact, author), long ago free me from the religious spirits that attached to him and his false church. But I learned a valuable lesson during my long exit from that counterfeit 'Christianity-Plus' system, and that was to rigorously test all documents claiming an ancient historical provenance.

The Book of Jasher and Other Pseudepigrapha

I have had to do the same in recent times with the so-called Book of Jasher (Yashar), presumptuously, prematurely and unwisely 'canonised' by a number of Messianic ministries and added to their Bibles as a fuller account of the lives of some of the patriarchs. As I demonstrate in my study, such a book never existed in antiquity and its reference in the Tanakh (Old Testament) is not, as supposed by many, to a 'lost book' but to the Torah itself! It is a Pharisee pseudepigraph (literally, 'false title') and whilst some of the material may be authentic, we have no way of knowing for sure. Whatever it is, the book we now have was never written by a character called 'Jasher' (or 'Yashar') but was sewn together in that window of time between Malachi and Matthew when the spirit of prophecy lay dormant and nothing fresh came from the heavens. This was the time when fertile minds cobbled together various works drawing on oral tradition - both true and false (and ultimately unverifiable) - as well as, no doubt, adding some things of their own. We know that these works do not originate from the time that is claimed because of the later theological concepts within them whose development can be fairly accurately dated. All of them are, by virtual universal consensus of both Jewish and Christian scholars, to be dated between 200 BC to 100 AD. Whatever they are, they are not Divine Scripture and did not emerge in the historical period they claim to be representing.

The Book of Enoch

The People Attracted to the Book of Enoch

Today I am forced to finally tackle the immensely popular Book of Enoch to which believers and unbelievers alike are turning in order to get answers to present eschatological developments by shining on them the light of the remote past so scantily treated in Genesis. Amongst those attracted to it would include:

  • 1. Messianic groups wanting to expand the Tanakh canon to add a bit of spice and variety to their teachings, and in some cases with the purpose of attracting converts with itching ears;
  • 2. Messianics convinced the Tanakh has been irredeemably corrupted by the Jews and who are seeking something 'older' and 'purer' to replace it with;
  • 3. Messianics and Evangelicals looking for more information about the early patriarchal period to answer difficult questions such as angel rebellions, nefilim hybrids (giants) and other ancient and modern phenomena; and
  • 4. New Agers and others interested in finding out more about any and all ancient historical references to the UFO phenomenon, etc. in their pursuit of the Panspermia Doctrine which maintains we were created or given a 'quantum leap' in our 'evolution' by ancient alien 'gods'.

The Achievement of Enoch's Anonymous Authors

There is no doubt that of all the pseudepigraphica the Book of Enoch has attained a certain immortality. The reason it has done so, in my view, is because of our fascination with any drama purporting to explain our origins and early history. Rarely have anonymous authors achieved such a distinction as they have. Anonymous authors? Certainly, for as I shall attempt to prove in this short essay, the Book of Enoch could not possibly have been written by the patriarch of the same name.

The Popularity of the Book of Enoch

Whoever the authors were, and in particular the one who made the last synthesis and/or redaction, he looked forward to a time when his writings would be translated into many languages and become to the righteous "a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom" (104:11-12) [1]. So popular was the Book of Enoch in the first century AD that nearly all the New Testament writers were familiar with it (in much the same way as late 20th century evangelicals might be familiar with the works of Hal Lindsey) and were doubtless influenced by it in at least thought and diction (in much the same way the English language as we speak it today has been strongly influenced by Shakespeare, Dickens, Johnson and others).

Turns of Phrase vs. Theological Systems

It is quoted by Jude in two verses (1:14-15) in much the same way as that epistle quotes from the Assumption of Moses (vv.9,16,18) and as James quotes from the apocryphal Ecclesiasticus/Sirach (1:5-6,8). However, the quotation of two verses no more indicates the whole book is inspired or historical than Paul's quotation from the Phaenomena of the Greek poet Aratus in Acts 17:28 stamps the writings of that pagan with a divine Imprimatur. We all quote the phrases and sayings of our time from diverse authors - secular, pagan and Christian - to illustrate certain truths as they are conveyed to us by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), and no-one for a moment supposes that in using them that we are necessarily making a sweeping endorsement of their world views. Paul uses the ideas and language of the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers who were popular in first century Athens but in doing so hardly endorses their paganism. Similarly, unbelievers today use biblical phrases like "you reap what you sow", "take the beam out of your own eye first" and "the patience of Job" without acknowledging the Bible as being any more than fine literature. So in our quest to trace the origin of Enoch (let alone the other two pseudepigrapha that claim his name) [2], we must recognise the turns of phrase common to the age from which they were borrowed, whether religious or otherwise, especially when they are co-opted by the apostles for use in describing inspired emet (truth) in Scripture.

Cultural and Theological Backdrop to Enoch

We have in the three centuries of pseudepigraphical writing what amounts to the higher Jewish theology of that day. This was where their Tanakh exegesis had lead them and it was in this theologial milieu that Christianity/Messianism permitted by Yahweh to be birthed. In much the same way that believers in the late 20th century were immersed in a culture that included various comic and movie heroes like Superman and the leading lights of Star Wars, so the Jews of the first century AD were immersed not only in the Tanakh (Old Testament) but also in the contemporary writings of the Hamoneans and the numerous other writers of apocryphal and pseudepigraphic literature, a mixture of fact and fantasy, truth and legend. Indeed it would have been odd if the New Testament writers hadn't borrowed from this theological matrix to illustrate their inspired writings.

Loss and Rediscovery

After its heyday had peaked, the Book of Enoch fell into disfavour and became discredited by about the 4th century AD because it contained much of questionable character. By the time of Hilary, Jerome and Augustine it had been virtually forgotten and was lost to Western Civilization until an Ethiopic version was rediscovered by James Bruce in 1773. Interest in the book grew upon the realisation that it gave deep insights into the Jewish theological mind from about 200 BC to 100 AD, and in particular to the development of Pharisaic Judaism. It is without doubt the most important pseudepigraph from that time. R.H.Charles was of the generous opinion that:

    "Some of its authors - and there were many - belonged to the true succession of the prophets, and it was simply owing to the evil character of the period, in which their lot was cast, that these enthusiasts and mystics, exhibiting on occasions the inspiration of the O.T. prophets, were obliged to issue their works under the aegis of an ancient name. The Law which claimed to be the highest and final word from God could tolerate no fresh message from God, and so, when men were moved by the Spirit of God to make known their visions relating to the past, the present, and the future, and to proclaim the higher ethical truths they had won, they could not do so openly, but were forced to resort to pseuonymous publication." [3]

Multiple Authorship

This is, of course, Charles' opinion, and is one of several in academia. I am more inclined to believe that the tradition of the nevi'im (prophets) had ceased with Malachi (because Yahweh withdrew His Ruach/Spirit on account of apostacy) until John the Baptist, and that what we have in the Book of Enoch is the work of multiple Jewish scholars borrowing from a mixture of legend and orally transmitted revelation.

A Curious Rôle

There is no question in my own mind, which happens to be the consensus of pretty much all the rigorous scholars engaged in its study, that Enoch comes from many writers and almost as many time periods. It touches upon every subject that could have arisen in the ancient schools of the nevi'im (prophets), but naturally it deals with these subjects in an advanced stage of development. Nearly every religious idea appears in a variety of forms, and, if these are studied in relation to their contexts and dates, we cannot fail to observe that in the age to which the Enoch literature belongs (200 BC to 100 AD), there is movement everywhere, and nowhere dogmatic fixity and finality. And though at times the movement may be reactionary, yet the general trend is onward and upward. In fact the history of the development of the higher theology during the two centuries before the Christian era could not be written without the Book of Enoch.

Plagiarisation from the Book of Noah

R.H.Charles notes:

    "...it is clear that no unity of time, authorship, or teaching is to be looked for. Indeed, certain considerable portions of the book belonged originally not to the Enoch literature at all, but to an earlier work, i.e. The Book of Noah, a pseudepigraph which probably exhibited in some degree the syncretism of the work into which it was subsequently incorporated. This Book of Noah clearly embraced chapters 6-11, 54:7-55:2, 60, 65-69:25, 106-107. [4]

    "As regards the Enoch elements, the oldest portions of it are likewise pre-Maccabean, i.e. 12-36, and probably 90:1-10, 90:12-17, i.e. the Apocalypse of Weeks. The Dream Visions, i.e. 83-90, were in all probability written when Judas the Maccabee was still warring, 165-161 BC, 72-82 before 110 BC, the Parables, 37-71 and 91-104, 105-64 BC.

    "The authors of all the sections belong to the Chasids, or their successors the Pharisees." [5]

Contradictory Doctrines and Teachings

One of the big problems I have with Enoch, and one which must surely be taken most seriously by anyone who believes that there is infallibly inspired Scripture such as we have in the Protestant Canon of the Bible, is all its conflicting views on the Messiah, the Messianic kingdom, the origin of sin, Sheol, the final judgment, the resurrection, and the nature of the future life. Indeed it contains, like the Talmud which would proceed it, all the hallmarks of a man-made work - conflicting doctrinal positions such as one would expect of theologians, devoid of the unifying and harmonising inspiration of the Ruach (Spirit) - that characterises the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) - debating in the realm of the intellect even if some of these positions were correct and some of the material is authentic both in terms of authorship, theological content and faithful transmission.

A Case of Reverse Engineering

As we shall see, the problems we face in the Book of Enoch are so numerous as to preclude any possibility that this is anything other than what one commentator [6] has described as "reverse engineer[ing]". That is to say, the writers - and in particular the final redactor - is looking backward into time and trying to reconstruct the past based on the present, his partial knowledge of the intervening years, oral and written tradition (some possibly inspired but the majority pseudipgraphical like Enoch itself) and fantasy.

How Might It Have Been Transmitted?

One thing we must fix in our mind is the vast amounts of time that would have had to have passed had Enoch been a faithfully transmitted record of the patriarch of the same name. Enoch hearkens to the earliest time of man's history, a full 1,000 years before the Book of Job (believed to be the oldest book in the Bible) was written. How did this alleged book survive the flood, and if it did, in what form? Enoch was born while Adam was still alive a mere 700 years into the history of the renewed earth of Genesis 1 and then went on to live another 365 before being translated to heaven. We are talking about a record that must have been over 3,000 years old assuming it ever existed. Though it could have been recorded on clay (like the Sumerian tablets that were to come later) or metal plates (like the ficticious Book of Mormon and like some Persian court records) it's unlikely that parchment or leather would have survived such a length of time, let alone a global flood. Needless to say there is no evidence of any physical record. Noah would have had to have brought it on the Ark with him and for his descendants to have preserved it generation after generation.

Aramaic and Hebrew Origins

Remember that Enoch purports to depict events before the flood and long before 'Babylon' and 'Greece' were ever conceived or established as kingdoms. Yet Babylonian influences are undoubtedly present in it and a slight degree of Greek too. It contains an elaborate angelology and demonology unlike anything else in the Bible, much space is devoted to the calendar (which we'll discuss in Part 3), and the heavenly bodies and their movements. Like the Book of Daniel, it was originally written partly in Aramaic and partly in Hebrew. Aramaic almost certainly did not exist before the flood and neither did the Hebrew of the time in which it was authored (200 BC to 100 AD). Chapters 6-36 clearly originate from an Aramaic source document, and possibly 83-90 too, while the rest of the book comes from a separate Hebrew original. Had the Aramaic portion been a translation of an earlier Hebrew MS you would have expected to find an extant Hebrew original too.

The Pre-Flood Universal Language

Whatever language Enoch spoke it is unlikely to have been Hebrew, which is not that ancient. At that time there was only a single language which continued up until the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues:

    "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech" (Gen.11:6-7, NKJV).

Did Enoch Speak and Write Hebrew?

The assumption is usually made by Hebrew supremacists that this original language was Hebrew and that after the confusion the Hebrew language continued unaltered. However, this is only an assumption, and whilst this contention is possible there is a 50:50 chance that it was not, but was rather one of the many 'new' languages. Hebrew supremacists argue that at least one pure language would have had to have been preserved for the sake of faithfully continuing to transmit the Emet (Truth) of Yahweh's Davar (Word) but implicit in this claim is what must surely be the unthinkable thought that Yahweh mutilated all the other languages making it impossible to relay His Davar (Word) perfectly any longer. But why on earth would He want to do that? To be consistent with His righteous character, we must surely assume that all the new languages were originally more than able to convey the message of salvation to every tribe, kindred and tongue otherwise you must posit a malicious Elohim (God) determined to make salvation as inaccessible as possible. And this we cannot do.

Adamic

All language gets corrupted over time, and this is as true of Hebrew as any other. Modern Hebrew is very different from classical Hebrew, and the Hebrew of the latter part of the Tanakh (Old Testament) differs in some respects from the Hebrew of the earlier part. These linguistic changes are important inasmuch as they provide scholars with time and location markers. It's for this reason, among many others, that we are able to place the penmanship of the Book of Enoch between 200 BC to 100 AD. The style and content is simply not consistent with an earlier period. So I suspect the language spoken by Adam, Enoch and all the patriarchs down to the confounding of tongues at Babel was not Hebrew, and not even the Hebrew employed by Moses to write the Pentateuch portion of the Torah. Whatever language existed before the counfounding of tongues and the Flood has long since been lost, a language I call 'Adamic' for convenience's sake. That doesn't mean it won't be restored sometime in the future, though, just as important restoration work is being done today on early Hebrew in respect of the pictograms that predated the Rabbinical Babylonian and occult-influenced block script used by the Jews today.

Writing in Enoch's Day and the Book of Job

We don't even know if there was a written script back in Enoch's time! There may not even have been a need for one. I could be wrong on this but we must be open to all possibilities in the absence of any concrete evidence. Some claim that the Book of Job might disprove this theory though in my view the evidence weighs heavily in favour of a composition at least three centuries after the Flood [6]. The broad concensus of scholars is that Job was written sometime between the 7th and 4th centuries BC. The 6th century tends to be favoured by the majority.

The Flood Erased Everything

According to the legend of Enoch it was the fallen Watcher malakim (angels) who introduced writing for the first time, Enoch becoming a scribe for them (12:4), but we only have the word of the book's author for that, of course, since pretty much everything that pre-dated the Flood has been completely erased. Assuming that Enoch could write, he would have done so not in Hebrew (which was a later development) but in the original 'Adamic' before the confounding of tongues at Babel. And once all the languages were confounded, who would then even be able to read any hypothetical 'Book of Enoch' written in 'Adamic'?

What Did the Antediluvian World Look Like?

Jude's 'Quotation'

If there was never an original 'Book of Enoch', as I believe, then how did Jude 'quote' from it?

    "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, Yahweh comes with ten thousands of His qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones), to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him'" (Jude 14-15, NKJV).

Possible Origins of Jude 14-15

I must answer that question by asking another - what evidence is there that this passage was even a 'quotation' of Enoch in the first place? The text doesn't say it is a quotation. All it says is that Enoch made a certain prophecy which he then relates. How, then, do we explain the origin of Jude's statement? There are several plausible explanations:

  • 1. The writer of Enoch copied Jude 14-15;
  • 2. Enoch and Jude both independently borrowed from an oral tradition; or
  • 3. Jude quoted the Enoch pseudepigraph which borrowed from an oral tradition.

A Lot of Guesswork

What Jude almost certainly did not do was copy an exact copy of an original 'Book of Enoch' preserved from before the flood and subsequently translated into Hebrew, for the reasons already given. Had such a hypothetical book ever existed, it could never have been translated anyway. Let us, for the sake of argument, say that a descendant of Noah called 'X' inherited the original 'Book of Enoch' in Adamic. He is able to read and understand it. Once day all the languages are confounded at Babel, 'X' finds himself speaking a brand new language and can no longer understand Adamic or any of the new languages created by Yahweh except the one given to him. The Adamic Book of Enoch is suddenly incomprehensible to him along with any other hypothetical Adamic writings! From that point on he will only be able to transmit what he and others conversant with the text can remember. We can guess that he remembered most of it, we can guess that it was 'restored' by the power of the Ruach (Spirit), but it is still guessing. We can then postulate that the new version was written down and transmitted down the ages and eventually, through numerous retranslations as language evolved, into Hebrew and Aramaic. But it still remains guesswork and we are still faced with the problem of its content which, as we have seen, belongs theologically to a time period centuries removed from the ancient Patriarch.

My Understanding of Jude's Enoch Reference

As I have said, I absolutely do believe there was an ancient oral tradition that survived the centuries in fragments, and that Jude's quote was one of them. But Jude lends no credance to there ever having been a Book of Enoch that predated the Flood however much Pharisaic legend, and our own thirst for ancient records, would love for one to have existed. Nothing would delight me more than to have a Scriptural record from that time period and to use it to fill in the missing centuries of Genesis! But we don't. All we have is a hodge-podge of very repetitious and contradictory writings, no doubt containing some genuine, if somewhat distorted, memories from antiquity. About the only part we can be certain of is what Jude authenticates. Whether he was quoting an oral tradition or from the Pharisee hodge-podge...or both...we cannot at this stage possibly know. My own belief was that he simply reproduced what had been retold orally for generations which the Ruach (Spirit) verified. For now we must be content with what we have in the Bible and look forward to a time when any true lost records can be authenticated like, for example, Psalm 151 found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls last century.

Oral Traditions and Missing Books of the Bible

Many such ancient oral traditions are to be found in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) that hearken back to the missing years of Genesis. For example, Peter describes Noah as "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5, NKJV) though this is nowhere mentioned in the Tanakh (Old Testament), and we are forced to conclude that he had a source like Jude's, oral or written. The Bible mentions books that remain lost to this day [8].

Enoch Never Considered for Canonisation Anciently

The evidence that the Book of Enoch was reverse-engineered by a person, or persons, with a knowledge of the Bible as we know it today - both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) - is very strong. By the time I have finished this study I will be able to conclusively prove that this is the case. Since it has been proven that many of the other pseudepigraphical writings have been engineered in this way, why should the Book of Enoch, which is from the same time period, be any different? Indeed, would this not explain why the Council of Jamnia never included it in the canon of the Tanakh (Old Testament), in spite of its popularity? As far as we know, the Book of Enoch wasn't even given a passing consideration, a large amound of the debate focussing instead on the inspiration of the Song of Solomon (and was only included because of one insistent rabbi)! It wasn't even included in the Western Church's Apocrypha.

Theological Problems Examined

The Book of Enoch (1 Enoch) is not a small book and consists of 108 chapters. And it's jam packed with the kind of theology that was circulating in the 2nd and 1st century BC. Not only that, but in true Talmud-to-be tradition, it contains theology at variance with that in the Tanakh (Old Testament), not to mention the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament). Whoever the author(s) or editor(s) were, they were heterodox in their beliefs. Unlike the historical Enoch who was unquestionably a "man of Elohim (God)", it is highly doubtful that the writers of Enoch could lay a similar claim and be successful.

The Geography of Enoch Proves It is a Fake

The most devastating evidence against Enoch being authored by the late patriarch, or indeed at ant time before the flood, concerns its knowledge of geography. That is not to say that it's geography (and in particular it's naming of places) is wrong - it's actually dead accurate. The problem is, the book tends to place post-Flood geography into a pre-Flood context. Two verses alone - 13:7 and 13:9 - are enough, in my view, to totally discredit the work as having any sort of historical credibility and to firmly establish is as pseudepigraphical - as being of false title. Put another way, they establish incontrovertibly that Enoch couldn't have written the book. Further, we can with confidence assert that some Pharisee went to great length to appear to be operating in the tradition of Israelite prophecy.

Modern Geography Pressed into Pharisee Service

Let's take a look at the two verses:

    "And I went off and sat down at the waters of Dan, in the land of Dan, to the south-west of Hermon..." (13:7, R.H.Charles transl.).

    "And when I awakened, I came unto them and they were all sitting together, weeping in Abelsjail ("Ubelseyael" - McCracken transl.), which is between Lebanon and Seneser ("Senir" - McCracken transl.), with their faces covered" (13:9, R.H.Charles transl.).

The Seven Tell-Tale Signs

These verses hammer seven nails into the coffin of the 'Book of Enoch' and they are:

  • 1. Waters of Dan;
  • 2. Land of Dan;
  • 3. South-west;
  • 4. Hermon;
  • 5. Abelsjail/Ubelseyael;
  • 6. Lebanon; and
  • 7. Seneser/Senir.

McCracken's Lack of Objectivity

One of my criticisms of Andy McCracken's arrangement of Knibb's translation is that the starry-eyed writer is out, from the very beginning, to prove the Book of Enoch to be historical true. Sadly, like so many other defenders of this book, he let's his fantasy get the better of him and loses scientific objectivity in his commentary. As I read his notes on 6:1 to 9:11 it became readily apparent that he was allowing subjectivity get in the way of the data and the obvious conclusions:

    "At 6:6, Enoch explains the naming of Mount Hermon - in Hebrew it means 'curses'. The mountain that he was actually referring to is possibly somewhere near Lake Van in Turkey. It is common for translators to update names rather than use phonetics, so the few names that appear, mainly mountains and rivers, can't be relied upon as accurate identifications. We don't know whether there was another mountain called 'curses' or even what language the book was originally written in." [9]

The Past Completely Erased

The 'original language' is nothing that exists today or has existed since the Tower of Babel affair. There is a high degree of certainty that not only were geographical features named differently but that many of the geographical features themselves were completely altered by the great churning of the deep and copious quantities of depoisition of silt and débris caused by the Flood, not to mention tectonic and volcanic activity. Everything was so fundamentally changed that it was as though Yahweh had drawn a thick curtain between the past and the new world after the waters had receeded. This He did, in part, to give us a picture of the complete washing away of sin that the Flood (baptism) represents, erasing all traces our old life, when upon repentance we are baptised into, and transformed by, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus).

Origins of Noah

Now clearly some of the larger mountains like 'Hermon' (see right) would have survived in some form but unless Noah and his family of eight actually knew of the features, let along their names, it is highly unlikely the original names survived the Flood. The problem is we're not told in the Bible where Noah lived before the Flood, or how much he travelled in those days. Typically, people did not travel very far though they would doubteless have heard stories from merchants of distant places, and learned their names. The fact that the Ark settled on Mt.Ararat might suggest that he came from somewhere in the region of the Euphrates and Tigris, but given the length of time the ark was afloat, we cannot really know other than it was probably Sumeria. Others consider his home to have been in the region of the plateau of Pamir, believed by some to be the original Eden. This probably was the homeland of Adam's descendants up until the time of the Flood. Today it’s known as the Tarim Basin or Eastern Turkestan. This region is surrounded by a ridge of very high mountains forming a gigantic basin in the midst of them. It measures 1,000 miles long and is about 350 miles wide. Another tradition has Noah's home at Fara on the Euphrates, about 70 miles northwest of Ur, the future home of Abraham, and Eridu, another traditional site of the garden of Eden, in the land of Sumer in southern Mesopotamia.

Mount Hermon Etymology

Mount Hermon is actually a cluster of mountains with three distinct peaks. It's called Jabal al-Shaykh in Arabic and means 'Mountain of the Chief'. It is known as Har Hermon in Hebrew and means 'rugged' (not 'cursed' as McCracken claims). The Sumerians called it Saria.

Senir and Hermon

Now there is something very odd in the Book of Enoch. First, it mentions "Hermon" in 13:7 and then two verses later it speaks of "Seneser" or "Senir" (compare the Sumerian Saria) - the fallen malakim (angels), finally found out and condemned by Yahweh, are found weeping by 'Enoch' "between Lebanon and Seneser/Senir". Why didn't the author use "Hermon" again?

The Book of Emoch Writer Knew Amoritic

The reason I ask is that Senir or Seneser was the Amorite name for Mt. Hermon:

    "And at that time we took the land from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were on this side of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir)" (Deut.3:8-9, NKJV).

Multiple Peaks of the Hermon Range

The discrepency in the Enoch text might be on account of the fact that the Israelites knew Senir and Hermon as distinct mountains - perhaps they were separate peaks in the same range which has sometimes confuses translators:

    "So the children of the half-tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land. Their numbers increased from Bashan to Baal Hermon, that is, to Senir, or Mount Hermon" (1 Chron.5:23, NKJV).

    "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards..." (Song 4:8, NKJV).

Arab geographers give the name Jebel Sanir to the part of the Anti-Lebanon range which lies between Damascus and Homs [13].

Introducing Mr. Pseudo-Enoch

The point is, neither the Amorites nor the Sidonians existed before the Flood, so how could the patriarch Enoch have either known of them or the name by which they called the Hermon mountain range or one of its peaks?. The answer is, he couldn't, but the writer of the Book of Enoch, writing on our side of the Flood and after the confusion of tongues, obviously did. He kept his name hidden from the world (obviously) so it's probably about time we gave him a name. Let's call him Mr. Pseudo-Enoch or 'False Enoch'.

The Etymology of Lebanon: Land of Perpetual Snow

Lebanon, which also miraculously figures in the Book of Enoch, is today an Arab Republic in the Middle East, and a word of ancient origin, but not as ancient as Enoch:

    "The name Lebanon comes from the root Laban (lbn), which yields a range of words that have to do with white or whiteness. The name 'Lebanon' is the name 'Laban' extended with the waw-nun combination, which localizes or personifies the root. Hence, as Laban means 'White', Lebanon means 'White One'. We may assume that this is because of its perpetual snow" [10].

Pseudo-Enoch Describes Weather That Enoch Never Could Have

The Book of Enoch relates how "the whole earth is full of water and the clouds and the dew and the rain rest upon it" (2:3). The problem is, there wasn't any rain before the flood, which means there wouldn't have been any snow either. The land today called 'Lebanon' and named after the white snow-capped mountains wouldn't obviously have been called 'Lebanon' before the flood because you can't name something that doesn't exist.

    "In almost all certainty it did not rain upon the Earth until the days of Noah. The Bible tells us that in the pre-flood days the whole Earth received moisture from the ground up in the form of a mist, the Earth did not receive moisture from the sky down, this is why the whole Earth had a temperate climate from pole to pole and this is also why the antediluvian patriarchs had a such a problem with longevity, they lived hundreds of years. This was possible because there was a canopy of water around the Earth that protected man from harmful radiation and greatly slowed down the deterioration of his body. The whole Earth in essence was a greenhouse with perfect weather from pole to pole which is why vegetation has been discovered in far north Siberia and other places where no vegetation exists today." [11]

The Pseudo-Prophet Wrong Again

The historical Enoch wouldn't have known what "clouds", "rain" and snow were but the writer of Enoch did! Whatever the territory today known as 'Lebanon' was called anciently, it is highly unlikely it would have been named after a substance (ice, snow, frost) that mankind had in all likelihood never seen before because the ubiquitous warm, temperate climate would have precluded it ever freezing. Pseudo-Enoch, the proto-Pharisee and pseudo-prophet, has really messed up. He might as well have minted a coin with '100 BC' stamped on it.

    "'For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.' And Noah did according to all that Yahweh commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth" (Gen.7:4-6, NKJV).

Rain, An Amazing Thing!

Noah had never seen rain before, the whole planet in Noah's day had never seen rain before, so it must have been an exciting novelty to begin with until they started drowning. Nobody from Adam to Noah's generation has ever seen water coming out of the sky before! All they had known was dew mysteriously forming out of thin air by night as the earth slightly cooled.

    "Today if it were to rain for 40 days and 40 nights the Earth would not be covered with water even if it rained over the whole Earth at the same time. However in the days of Noah the volume of water that was suspended above the Earth was so great that when it came down it covered even the highest mountains. This is the reason why the land mass of the Earth is so much less than it used to be in the days of Noah. In those days the land mass was greater than the mass of water covering the face of the Earth but so much water came down from above and beneath that water now covers 70% of the face of the Earth. In all likelihood Enoch never even saw any rain in his lifetime, Gen. 2:5 tells us that God had not caused it to rain upon the Earth in those days; that is in the days of Adam, Enoch and the other patriarchs that lived before Noah. However in Gen. 7:4 we are told that God would cause it to rain upon the Earth, most likely for the first time in the days of Noah and long after the time of Enoch. If Enoch never saw any rain in his lifetime how could he write about it?" [12].

Enoch Had Never Heard of 'Dan'

The geographical and linguistic evidence for a fraud is mounting but the most devastating of this kind of evidence I have left for the last. And that concerns the impossibility of Enoch sitting down on terrain named after one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel aeons before Israel even existed, let alone conceived, for not even the great Seer, Enoch, was ever told of any 'Israel', let alone the tribe of 'Dan', coming into existence in his future:

    "And I went off and sat down at the waters of Dan, in the land of Dan, to the south-west of Hermon..." (13:7, R.H.Charles transl.).

A Thousand Years Blunder

The nation of Israel did not come into existence for about 600 years after the Flood and it wasn't for a few more centuries - about 1,000 years after the flood - before Moses would be called by Yahweh to lead the Israelite captives out of the land of Egypt and to settle the land of Canaan. Not only that, but Dan did not finally settle in the territory allotted to him because he did not like the harrassment caused by the Philistines who were never fully conquered. Moving from the area linking Dan to the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, he at length packed up his tents and moved to the extreme north of the promised land, to an area described by Josephus as "the waters of Dan" or the "little Jordan" just north of Lake Huleh [14]. There the Danites treacherously attacked the peaceful Sidonian mountain city of Laish, slew the inhabitants, occupied it and renamed it Dan. With the "waters of Dan", a tributary of the River Jordan, located down in the valley to their west, and Mount Hermon towering above them to the north-east, it was an impressive and beautiful sanctuary, and marked the northern most point of, first, the Confederacy, and, later, of the Monarchy as the saying went: "from Dan (in the north) to Beersheba (in the south)" (Judg.20:1, NKJV; also 1 Sam.3:20; 2 Sam.3:10; 17:11; 24:2,15).

Dan South-West of Hermon

Mt. Hermon lay north-east of Dan, and Dan lay south-west of Hermon, as the writer of the Book of Enoch, fully conversant with Israelite history and geography, knew fully well:

    "And I went off and sat down at the waters of Dan, in the land of Dan, to the south-west of Hermon..." (13:7, R.H.Charles transl.).

The Deception Exposed

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE BIBLICAL ENOCH TO HAVE KNOWN THESE THINGS and the only recourse left to the defenders of the Book of Enoch in their crumbling defence is to claim that Enoch had a 'vision' and 'heard' or 'saw' these names 'in the future', something even the Book of Enoch does not claim. Will anyone dare claim that Enoch saw all these names in advance? Will any Book of Enoch-supporting Messianic be as audacious as the Mormons in claiming that the Masonic ceremony they stole and changed for their Temple Ceremony was actually given to Joseph Smith 'by revelation' and that what the Masons 'had' was a corruption of the original...especially when it is known the early Mormon leaders were all Freemasons before Smith plagiarised Masonic occultic rituals? No, it is the Mormons who were 'had' by Smith et al. So I hope no Messianic will try anything similar to defend the crumbling bulwarks of the Pseudo-Enochian Castle of Illusions. Follow the rule of Occam's Razor because the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

No Liberal Solution

All that's left is liberalism - but once you make appeal to that, you're challening the Bible and pretty much evenything else, including the existence of Elohim (God). I assume no-one will be so foolish to do that.

Pseudo-Enoch the Amateur Prophet

Indeed, not only has the author of Enoch blundered but he trips himself up ever further in his deliberate attempt to associate the judgment of the fallen malakim (angels) in Enoch with the city of Dan which in the Hebrew means 'judge', i.e. he is 'acting the navi (prophet)' at a time when genuine prophecy had ceased in Judah because of apostacy. He's saying: 'Look, this is the judgment of the fallen Watchers, and as 'Dan' means 'judge', this is why 'God' those to 'judge' them at this place!' This is, as I said, a form of retro-engineering, an attempt to reconstruct the past using a modern geographical, cultural and theological setting, and it's not remotely convincing once the spotlight of emet (truth) is put on it.

The Last Nail: Abilene

Finally we come to the seventh and last component in this equation, the city of Ubelseyael otherwise known as Abilene:

    "And when I awakened, I came unto them and they were all sitting together, weeping in Abelsjail ("Ubelseyael" - McCracken transl., or Abilene), which is between Lebanon and Seneser/Senir, with their faces covered" (13:9, R.H.Charles transl.).

The Map Says It All

As you can see, it fits the 'modern' post-Flood map perfectly, along with the other six elements, proving conclusively that Enoch did not write this account. Incidentally, Lebanon extends further to the south-west and north-east than shown in the map below so Ubelseyael (Abilene) is truly "between Lebanon and Seneser/Senir", as Pseudo-Enoch knew very well. [15]

Map Showing Book of Enoch Locations

A Demented Religious Fanatic?

Andy McCracken's claim that the alternative to Enoch being genuine is that "some slightly demented religious fanatic wrote the book [of Enoch]...not long before the earliest provable fragments (200 or 300 BC)" is "impossible" is readily seen not to be such a crackpot idea after all. He adds:

    "Such an author would have been able to write the entire book from the point of view of a person who knows nothing of countries with names, or religions with names." [16]

Numerous Scriptural Fakes

Given that numerous modern authors have done precisely that with the Book of Mormon (Smith), the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ (Levi), the Gospel of the Holy Twelve (Ouseley), and others, never supposing that they would one day be 'found out'. Joseph Smith adapted the geography of the contemporary north-east USA and changed the names and places and geographical features to create the Book of Mormon fable. I doubt Pseudo-Enoch was worried about being exposed in his day. Was he demented? Who can say. He certainly tried to imitate the prophets without the spirit of prophecy and did, humanly-speaking, quite a 'good job'. All that's important is that we know that Enoch is not the 'real McCoy' but a poorly reverse-engineered construction in keeping with the religious activity of uninspired theologians and pseudo-prophets of his own day in a particularly dark time in Israel's history when the ruling élite needed some 'fresh' religion to keep the masses' ears titilated and to bolster its undeserved power. It's the descendents of these early pseudepigraphical writers who, with their myths, have kept the contemporary spiritual fossil of Judaism floating as a counter to the true Messianic emunah (faith).

Conclusion

In Part 2 we shall look at several important theological errors in the Book of Enoch, in Part 3 we shall examine its peculiar calendar system which has led some modern messianics to regretably abandon their well researched work and the clearly revealed Davar Elohim (Word of God) in the luni-solar calendar in favour of one invented by fallen malakim (angels) in what is clearly a work of semi-fiction. This they ironically call the 'Enochian Calendar' which, as you will see, I don't consider a lot different from the pagan Roman Gregorian calendar...shades of a common origin? Finally, in Part 4 we shall end by looking at what may well be historical truth that has been passed down to us and incorporated by Pseudo-Enoch into his work of fiction, much like Joseph Smith incorporared parts of the true Bible and some good orthodox Christian sermons into his Nephite fairy tale. It is surely, after all, the emet (truth) scattered throughout the Book of Enoch that keeps us enthralled, particularly in the light of the modern UFO phenomenon (which we'll examine in Part 4). So this series is not an outright dismissal of all the Book of Enoch but a warning not to be taken in by a piece of Jewish Fiction we many of us would love to be real because it's so engaging. But more in the parts to come...

Continued in Part 2

Endnotes

[1] I am here using the translation of scholar R.H.Charles (1917) in his two volume series, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With introductions and critical and explanatory notes to the several books, Volume II Pseudepigrapha (Oxford University Press, London: 1976), pp.163-277. You can also download a private copy in PDF format. Aside from perhaps being the best scholarly analysis of Enoch, my attachment to this compilation is in part because the late R.H.Charles lived just down the road from my own home in Oxford. This edition also contains all the known variants of Enoch, otherwise known as '1 Enoch'. For those who would prefer a more modern translation, I recommend Andy McCracken's renditition of Michael A. Knibb's translation the Ethiopic version with accompanying notes. Though very readable, it is not as accurate as Charles' version and contains numerous errors. Such Messianic translations using the Divine Names that are to be found seem to just be reworkings of original translations such as the two I have recommended here. For thoroughness, Charles' version is unparalleled, as it contains all the different MSS variations which McCracken's does not.

[2] For example, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, otherwise known as '2 Enoch', which only exists in Slavonic (Russian and Serbian), and was written by a Helenistic Jew at the beginning of the Messianic (Christisn) Era, probably in Egypt. It is not known to have had any influence on the writers of the New Testament. It was popular with heretics and citations appear from it in the Apocalypse of Moses and Apocalypse of Paul (AD 400-500), the Sibylline Oracles, the Ascension of Isaiah and the Epistle of Barnabas (AD 70-90). It is also quoted by name in the Testaments of Levi, Dan and Napthtali. It may have been authored by R.Ishmael, a martyr of the Hadrianic persecution, though some claim it was probably written much later. Traces are found in the Zohar and in Beth haMidrash vi.19-30.

[3] R.H.Charles, opt.cit., p.163

[4] Portions have been preserved in Jubilees 7:20-39, 10:1-5, but the date of this Noachic literature is at latest pre-Maccabean

[5] R.H.Charles, opt.cit., pp.163-164

[6] Paul Sandhu, Debunking the Book of Enoch

[7] G.L.Bartholomew, Dating the Book of Job

[8] For example, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, the Prophecy of Ahijah, and the Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chron.9:29)

[9] Michael A. Knibb/Andy McCracken, The Book of Enoch: A Modern English Translation of the Ethiopian Book of Enoch with Introduction and Notes by Andy McCracken. This is basically Knibb's translation with a few modifications by McCracken along with McCracken's notes

[10] Arie Uittenbogaard, Meaning and etymology of the name Lebanon

[11] Paul Sandhu, op.cit.

[12] Paul Sandhu, op.cit.

[13] Yakut, circa 1225 A.D., quoted by Guy le Strange in Palestine under the Moslems, p.79. He also quotes Mas`udi, 943 A.D., to the effect that Baalbek is in the district of Senir, p.295.

[14] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Vol.3. J, viii.8.4

[15] The Romans would later create a region called Abilene in their Syrian Province which would include a swathe of territory to the north of Hermon too

[16] Michael A. Knibb/Andy McCracken, op.cit., p.4

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