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The Book of Enoch (1883)

por Richard Laurence, John Thompson

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"Being a book wherein secret mysteries are revealed including the lost Books of Noah, the Prophesies of Enoch, particulars of Demonology and Angelology, and visions of the Apocalypse."--P. [4] of cover.
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  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Part of Dover Publications program of republishing just about every copyright-expired book ever written. The advantages of this approach is it makes a lot of otherwise rare books cheap and accessible; the disadvantage is that there is no updating or commentary; the Dover Book of Enoch is a 2007 republication of a work originally published in 1917 based on an 1893 translation.

Separations in the text show this is actually a compendium of a number of documents – perhaps three to five. The only full version is written in Ge’ez (The Book of Enoch is considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church); at the time of the version published by Dover there were Greek fragments; since then more Greek and Aramaic fragments have been found (notably as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls). It seems that at least some of the Book of Enoch was known in New Testament times, as it is quoted by name in Jude v14-15. There must have been complete copies available to the early Christian church (which rejected it as noncanonical at the Council of Laodicea in 364); the English sorcerer John Dee knew enough about it to invent an “Enochian” language and Sir Walter Raleigh mentioned it in his History of the World.

The first section (sometimes called I Enoch, or the Book of the Watchers) is a discussion of the fall of the angels. The Christian story of the revolt in heaven is better known from Milton than from the Bible: the angels revolted because they didn’t like the idea that humans were to be created. The Muslim story is similar; Iblis was condemned because he refused to bow down to Adam. In I Enoch, however, the fallen angels don’t revolt in a military way; instead their sin is having sex with human women, an event somewhat cryptically noted in Genesis 6 v1-4. Enoch calls these angels “Watchers”, implying (but never stating outright) that they were seduced of their duty of keeping an eye on Creation. Their names are given; the leader is Semjâzâ (also named as Sêmîazâz) and there’s a list of his followers (including Azâzêl, later familiar from various black magic grimoires). As also discussed in black magic texts, particular fallen angels were responsible for instructing humans in occult technology, including “root cutting”; the manufacture of swords, shields, and armor; applying makeup; wearing jewelry; casting spells; astrology; and miscellaneous divination methods.

Enoch’s fallen angels are considerably less militant than Milton’s, eventually just sitting around morosely in the desert and asking Enoch to compose a petition for their forgiveness and carry it to Heaven. Heaven’s not having any of it; the Watchers are told that they should have been interceding for men, not men for them, and they are condemned to Sheol. Enoch is then conducted on a tour of heaven, earth, and Sheol, accompanied by archangels.

II Enoch (the Book of Parables) is an apocalyptic text vaguely similar to Revelation. It mentions entities called “the Son of Man” and “the Head of Days” at considerable length, and affirms that the righteous will have eternal life while the unrighteous will not (I understand this was a matter of considerable debate among theologians in the Israel of 300-100 BCE).

III Enoch (aka the Book of Noah; Enoch is Noah’s great-grandfather) is another apocalyptic work. Noah gets warned of the upcoming deluge; the specific reason for the Flood is to destroy the offspring of the Watchers and humans. Once again it is affirmed that the righteous will be saved.

IV Enoch (the Book of the Luminaries) is an elaborate calendar treatise, which sets out a 364-day calendar, with twelve 30 day months and an intercalary day at the end of each quarter. Although it wasn’t known at the time of the original publication here reprinted by Dover, a calendar of this sort was apparently used by the Essene colony at the Dead Sea. Neither Enoch nor the Essenes explain how they deal with the fact that the tropical year is not 364 days long; however, Enoch explains that the current calendar deviates from the 364-day ideal because of the sins of humans and the Watchers. The system explained by Enoch has the Sun, an angel riding in a chariot, departing from a portal in the east, entering a portal in the west, and returning under the horizon in the north. There are six portals and the Sun switches from one portal to another every 30 days. There are 18 “parts” in a day (a day-night cycle). Thus when the sun moves from the fourth portal to the fifth portal, the day:night ratio changes from 10:8 to 11:7. The Moon, of course, is somewhat harder to explain. The luminaries follow their courses voluntarily, from a strict sense of duty; there might be some Greek influence here, specifically the story of Phaëton and the chariot of the Sun; however, there isn’t enough for Enoch to adopt a spherical earth.

V Enoch (the Book of Dream-Visions) is an elaborate retelling of Jewish history as a parable of sheep and cattle. The sheep have various afflictions visited on them by the Shepherd, personified by other animals (asses, elephants, camels, hyenas, etc.) which can be identified with Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and so on. It comes across more as a “Guess who the ravens are supposed to be” game rather than a theological document.

This translation concludes with (not surprisingly) A Conclusion, A Fragment of the Book of Noah, and An Appendix; these are all minor apocalyptic texts.

I definitely want to read some of the commentaries on Enoch, as it has a lot of bearing on Near Eastern history and the idea of the Apocalypse. As already noted, Enoch has had quite a bit of influence on various modern mystics; people seem to like the idea of The Apocalypse, especially those who assume they’re going to be one of the Elect. Well, all I can say is in a few days they’ll all be sorry they weren’t reading up on Mayan cosmography. ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 21, 2017 |
This is a book from the Eithiopian Bible which according to their beliefs outlines what Enoch was shown by God, the fall of the angels, and chronicals the birth of Noah. ( )
1 vote dswaddell | May 31, 2015 |
An apocryphal book of the Old Testament. This work is apocalyptic and poetic, though lacking the sublimity of the poetry of some of the other biblical works, such as Revelation. There are traces in here of Revelation, though this work is much earlier, and as I said, somewhat less over the top and less poetic. Still, it's an interesting look at the history of religion, and in this work, it's easy to see the pagan origins of the later monotheistic religions. The references to the chariot in which the sun drives across the sky is reminiscent of the Greeks. An interesting read, but tedious at times. ( )
1 vote Devil_llama | May 21, 2015 |
film-only, summer-2013, history
Read on August 10, 2013

Want to know some origins of Christianity then it is best to acquaint with some of the books that have been discarded.

2* The Watchers: http://youtu.be/otetsHSsfpA

See also:
Nag Hammadi
The Pale Abyssinian
Uriel's Machine

Better is this, BBC The Lost Gospels: http://youtu.be/7_9MfFewdTo

See also Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Christian catacombes under Rome


REJECTED: The Gospel of Peter

Epiphanius of Salamis

Marcion of Sinope
  mimal | Aug 26, 2013 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Laurence, Richardautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Thompson, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Charles, Robert HenryTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Duquette, Lon MiloIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Oesterley, W.O.E.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"Being a book wherein secret mysteries are revealed including the lost Books of Noah, the Prophesies of Enoch, particulars of Demonology and Angelology, and visions of the Apocalypse."--P. [4] of cover.

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