Enoch, Book of
An imaginative expansion on the story of the Sons of God and
the daughters of men in Gen 6:1,2.
A group of 200 angels (led by archangels Shemihazah and
Azazel)         descend to the earth where they take human wives and father a race of
giants, or Titans. For this sin the angels are bound in Tartarus to await
judgment for 70 generations. The angels ask Enoch to intercede for them, but
Enoch's requests are refused. The angels' children cause havoc on the earth, but
then are drowned in the flood. But the spirits of the giants survive to torment
mankind, becoming a new class of beings -- the demons. The giants' human mothers
also survive and become Sirens.
In Christ's day the Book of Enoch was a "bestseller", spawning
a small library of derivative literature: Jubilees, Testaments of the 12
Patriarchs, 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, etc. (There is a possible reference to this by
Christ in Mar 12:25.)
The information presented below is drawn from AH Boulton: "The
Book of Enoch" (Tes, July 1932); NActs; WSSE; and Bill Davison: "The Devil and
Demons -- A New Approach".
Since the discovery of the Greek manuscript at Qumran in 1946
it is no longer possible to claim the book is an Ethiopian forgery. Enoch was
obviously well known to both Peter and Jude, and there are anything up to 50
references to Enoch in their epistles to prove it beyond any doubt.
A. Peter and Jude were opposing serious heresies (2Pe 2:1),
B. Peter and Jude "have the more sure word of
- myths and fables (contrasted with inspiration);
- the blaspheming of
angels (contrasted with angels who do not even rebuke);
- denying the coming
of the Lord ("all things continue since creation");
- denying the intercessor
role of Christ (Enoch not Christ goes to heaven to beg for the
- financial exploitation (2Pe 2:3);
- lasciviousness (2Pe 2:7,18;
More sure than what? More sure than their "cunningly devised
fables". Note that 2Pe 1:16-19 gives a lengthy description of the
Transfiguration, a deliberate contrast of Peter's real experience as a witness
of Christ and hearer of God's words "on the mountain", with that of Enoch: "And
they took and brought me to a place in which those who were there were like
flaming fire, and, when they wished, they appeared as men, and they brought me
to the place of darkness, and to a mountain the point of whose summit reached to
heaven" (17:1,2). The point of Peter raising this as his first point in the
argument is because of the contrast between the first person witness of Peter
who WAS with Christ on the mountain and was shown the Kingdom, and the false
teachers who were NOT on any mountain with Enoch when Enoch was shown the
heavens. Cp 2Pe 3:2; Jud 1:17.
C. The teachers taught "cunningly devised fables" (2Pe
1:16; 2:12; 3:16; Jud 1:10). Both the context of 2:12 and Jude 1:10 are speaking
evil of angels. The things they understand not are angels.
D. The false teachers accused angels of sin (2Pe 2:10; Jud
E. The Book of Enoch accuses angels of sin (2Pe 2:4,9; Jud
F. Peter and Jude use the book's own illogicalities to
undermine those who use it (just as Christ used Pharisee's ideas to expose them
in Luke 16):
Jude 1:14: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, ('Enoch the
seventh from Adam' is a quote from the Book of Enoch, not from the
Bible)         prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands
of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are
ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed,
and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Cp the Book of Enoch 1:9. The idea of using Enoch as a source to condemn the
Enochites is rejected by many. But why? In Luke 16 the Pharisees' ideas of
Abraham's Bosom are used to ridicule them. The ridicule of pagan gods and demons
goes back at least to Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
Another point: According to the grammar of the Greek Enoch did
not prophecy "of these" (AV)         or "about these men" (NIV)         but "to these"; the
Greek has PROEFHTEUSEN DE KAI TOUTOIS (dative), wheras if AV and NIV are right
it should be PROEFHTEUSEN PERI TOUTWN (genitive). The difference can be
illustrated by two exchanges between Christ and the Pharisees: Mat 26:68 has
"prophesy to us!" -- PROFHTEUSON HMIN (dative)         and Mat 15:7 has "prophesied well
concerning you" -- KALWS EPROFHTEUSEN PERI UMWN (genitive).
So Enoch prophesied to those who "speak evil of those things
which they know not". How did he do this? Through the pages of their own book.
As Boulton wrote concerning Jude and Enoch: "the writers of the NT were ready to
use legend and folklore as Jesus was ready to use superstitious beliefs in the
parable of the rich man and Lazarus". The parallel with Luke 16 is quite telling
because Christ used the Pharisees' fantasies about Hades to attack Caiaphas (and
his five brother-in-law high priests dressed in purple and linen), Jude uses the
Enochites' fantasies about angels to attack them.
G. Peter and Jude use the book's own language to reject the
teachers (2Pe 1:9; 2:17).
Also, 2Pe 2:17 and Jud 1:12,13: All the imagery and several
verbatim phrases regarding the false teachers are quotes referring to the fallen
angels Stars and 'Shepherds' in Enoch (cf. all of Enoch 96~100).
"I saw the winds on the earth carrying the clouds: I saw the
paths of the angels" (Enoch 18:5,6). "I saw from whence they proceed in that
place and from whence they saturate the dusty earth. And there I saw closed
chambers out of which the winds are divided, the chamber of the hail and winds,
the chamber of the mist, and of the clouds, and the cloud thereof hovers over
the earth from the beginning of the world" (41:4,5). "And the fourth quarter,
named the north, is divided into three parts: the first of them is for the
dwelling of men: and the second contains seas of water, and the abysses and
forests and rivers, and darkness and clouds; and the third part contains the
garden of righteousness" (77:3).
"Observe and see how (in the winter)         all the trees seem as
though they had withered and shed all their leaves, except fourteen trees, which
do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage from two to three years
till the new comes" (3:1)         "And he said unto me: 'Enoch, why dost thou ask me
regarding the fragrance of the tree, and why dost thou wish to learn the truth?'
Then I answered him saying: 'I wish to know about everything, but especially
about this tree.' And he answered saying: 'This high mountain which thou hast
seen, whose summit is like the throne of God, is His throne, where the Holy
Great One, the Lord of Glory, the Eternal King, will sit, when He shall come
down to visit the earth with goodness. And as for this fragrant tree no mortal
is permitted to touch it till the great judgement, when He shall take vengeance
on all and bring (everything)         to its consummation for ever. It shall then be
given to the righteous and holy. Its fruit shall be for food to the elect: it
shall be transplanted to the holy place, to the temple of the Lord, the Eternal
King" (25:1-6). "And in those times the fruits of the earth shall be backward,
And shall not grow in their time, And the fruits of the trees shall be withheld
in their time" (80:3). "And high trees were rent 5 from their stems, and hurled
down and sunk in the abyss" (83:4,5).
"And if He sends His anger upon you because of your deeds, ye
cannot petition Him; for ye spake proud and insolent words against His
righteousness: therefore ye shall have no peace. And see ye not the sailors of
the ships, how their ships are tossed to and fro by the waves, and are shaken by
the winds, and are in sore trouble?" (101:3-5).
H. The real heresy is the denial of Christ for Enoch (Jud
1:18,19; 2Pe 3:3,4).
The Enochites denied the second coming of Christ by referring
to Jewish cosmology: "From the creation of the world and unto eternity... and
through that oath are the depths made fast, and abide and stir not from their
place from eternity to eternity" (69:18,19).
Worse, they made Enoch the intercessor calling for judgement
(2Pe 2:1): "And this one who wrote the book carried it up, and showed it and
read it before the Lord of the sheep, and implored Him on their account, and
besought Him on their account as he showed Him all the doings of the shepherds,
and gave testimony before Him against all the shepherds" (Enoch
As one last sober point. If Peter and Jude were so opposed to
those who "spoke evil of dignitaries" we also should be careful what we say of
angels "who are ALL ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who
shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb 1:14 -- written by a Jew who must also have
heard of the Book of Enoch).
The fact remains is that out of 300+ other references to
angels in OT and NT all (meaning ALL including Psa 78:49)         are unanimously
describing obedient angels who are ALL ministering spirits sent forth to
minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
We have shown that the treatment of the Book of Enoch in 2Pe
and Jude shows it to be a "cunningly devised fable" of those who "speak evil
about things they know not" and "slander celestial beings".
We have shown that the language used to describe the Enochites
is drawn from the Book of Enoch's own description of the "angels that sinned",
"wandering stars" and "shepherds".
We have shown that Enoch did not prophesy to the believers
"concerning" these "wandering stars" but prophesied to the false teachers
present at the love feasts in the church. The false teachers, not the believers,
were those who recognized the book's authority and to whom Enoch
We have shown that the references to the Apostles' vision on
the mountain are the answer to Enoch's vision on the mountain, and that the
Apostles had a "more sure word of prophecy" and were "dreamers" (visionaries)         in
fulfillment of Joel at Pentecost, not "[filthy] dreamers" like the
We have shown that in Enoch "all things continue as they were
from the beginning of the creation" and that not only did the Enochites mock the
coming, they also denied the Lord that bought them, having Enoch intercede "for
Most importantly we have Peter's own testimony about angels
which contradicts that of the Enochites:
1Pe 1:10-21: Even angels long to look into the things spoken
by the Spirit of Christ in the OT prophets.
1Pe 3:22: Angels (AGGELOI), authorities (EXOUSIAI), and powers
(DUNAMOI)         are in submission to Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven, and is on
the right hand of God.
2Pe 2:11: Angels, even though they are stronger and more
powerful than those who slander celestial beings, do not bring slanderous
accusations against them (the slanderers)         in the presence of the Lord.
These three mentions show the doctrine taught by Peter and
Jude: a doctrine of obedient angels, giving honor to the Spirit of Christ even
before he was born, of all classes of angel in submission to Christ now, and not
slandering even the worst of mankind.
The contrast with the teachings of the Enochites is only too
clear on each point. We now have to make a choice as to whom to believe: the
Apostles or the Enochites? We cannot believe both.
See also (1)         Lesson, Zec 3 and Enoch, and (2)         Lesson, Enoch
and spirits in prison.