Enoch (ancestor of Noah)

Enoch (ancestor of Noah)

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Enoch
feast_day=July 30
venerated_in=Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Catholic Church

titles=Holy Forefather

Enoch (Hebrew: hbrhethbrhpatahhbrnunhbrholammhbrkhafshbrshva; Tiberian: unicode|Ḥănōḵ, Standard: unicode|Ḥanokh, Ashkenazi, Jiddish: unicode|jHenosch, Arabic:إدريس) is a name occurring twice in the generations of Adam. In one reference, Enoch is described as a great-grandson of Adam via Cain, and as having had a city named after him. The second mention of the name describes Enoch as Adam's greatx4 grandson, through Seth, not Cain, and also states that Enoch "walked with God, and was not, for God took him," thus avoiding death at the age of 365. Additionally, Enoch is described as the father of Methuselah and great-grandfather of Noah (Genesis 5:22-29).

Despite the brief descriptions of him, Enoch is one of the main two focal points for much of the 1st millennium BC Jewish mysticism, notably in the "Book of Enoch".

In Islam, he is usually referred to as Idris (إدريس), and regarded as a prophet. Additionally, Enoch is important in some Christian denominations: he features in the Latter Day Saint Movement, and is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church on July 30.

Enoch in classical Rabbinical literature

In classical Rabbinical literature, there are divergent opinions of Enoch. After Christianity and Judaism had completely separated, the prevailing view regarding Enoch was that of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, which thought of Enoch as a pious man, taken to Heaven, and receiving the title of "Safra rabba" ("Great scribe").

However, while Christianity was separating from Judaism, the Jewish view of Enoch was often highly negative. In these views, for example held by Abbahu, Rashi, and Ibn Ezra, Enoch was held to frequently lapse in his piety, and thus removed before his time, by a divine plague, in order to avoid further lapses.

Among the minor Midrashim, esoteric attributes of Enoch are expanded upon. In the "Sefer Hekalot", Rabbi Ishmael is described as having visited the 7th Heaven, where he meets Enoch, who claims that earth had, in his time, been corrupted by the demons Shammazai, and Azael, and so Enoch was taken to Heaven to prove that God was not cruel. Similar traditions are recorded in Ecclesiasticus. Later elaborations of this interpretation treated Enoch as having been a pious ascetic, who, called to remix with others, preached repentance, and gathered (despite the fewness of people on the earth) a vast collection of disciples, to the extent that he was proclaimed king. Under his wisdom, peace is said to have reigned on earth, to the extent that he is summoned to Heaven to rule over the "sons of God". In a parallel with Elijah, in sight of a vast crowd begging him to stay, he ascends to Heaven on a horse.

Enoch is often confused with Enos. However, Enos is grandson to Adam (Genesis 5:5-6), and great-great-grandfather of Enoch (Genesis 5:9-18).

Enoch in the New Testament

The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says "By faith Enoch was transferred, that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had transferred him; for before his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well." (Hebrews 11:5)

The Epistle of Jude (1:14-15) makes mention of Enoch in a statement which has much perplexed interpreters. The author does not cite his source although it is commonly believed to have originated in the Book of Enoch. It is hypothesized that Jude fails to cite his source as the Book of Enoch was not considered authority by the early church but rather a part of Jewish literature. The question is whether Jude took this passage from any book written by Enoch, which might be extant in his time, or whether he received it by tradition or by revelation. It is possible that he read it in a book attributed to Enoch, which though pseudepigraphal, might contain several truths; among others, this might be one which Jude favored with a supernatural degree of discrimination and might use for the purpose of instruction.Fact|date=February 2007

Justin, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, and others borrowed an opinion out of this book of Enoch, that the angels had connection with the daughters of men, of whom they had offspring ('the giants of the past).

Tertullian, in several places, speaks of this book with esteem; and would persuade us, that it was preserved by Noah during the deluge.

It has, however, been rejected by the church , and Origen, Jerome and Augustin, mention it as of no authority.

Specimens of an Ethiopian work known as the Book of Enoch have been brought into Europe, and translations of parts of it have been published. It is likely that this Ethiopian book is the same or similar to the Book of Enoch known in the Europe in the late Classical and medieval periods. Though there is now no known text in Latin or Greek, similarities between the Ethiopian book and references in other extant European texts suggest that the Ethiopian book is related to a now lost Latin or Greek text.

It should seem to be founded, as to its historical tenor, on the Mosaic history of the antediluvians, and the judgments that might naturally be expected to follow such enormous wickedness, violence, audacities and gluttony, as were then practised by the giants, or people in power.Fact|date=February 2007

Some consider Enoch to be one of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation due to the fact that he did not die according to Genesis 5:24. Two notable televangelists holding this view, for example, are Perry Stone and John Hagee, a belief each has stated at least once on their respective programs.Fact|date=February 2007

Enoch in the Qur'an and Muslim traditions

The Qur'an presents Enoch in a similar manner, referring to him as Idris (which is Arabic for Enoch), meaning "the instructor", regarding him as a man of truth and a prophet, as well as a model of patience; popular Muslim traditions credit Idris as inventor of astronomy, writing, and arithmetic. Enoch is often described as having been compelled to defend his life with the sword, against the depraved children of earth. Among his lesser inventions, in popular Muslim tradition, were said to be scales, to enable just weights, and tailoring.

Enoch in LDS theology

Among the Latter Day Saint movement and particularly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Enoch is viewed as having founded an exceptionally righteous city, named Zion, in the midst of an otherwise wicked world. This view is encountered in the Mormon scripture (see Standard Works), the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants, which states that not only Enoch, but the entire peoples of the city of Zion, were taken to Heaven without death, because of their piety. (Zion is defined as "the pure in heart" and this city of Zion will return to the earth at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.) The Doctrine and Covenants further states that Enoch prophesied that one of his descendants, Noah, and his family, would survive a Great Flood and thus carry on the human race and preserve the Gospel. The book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price has several chapters that give an account of Enoch's preaching, visions and conversations with God. In these same chapters are details concerning the wars, violence and natural disasters in Enoch's day, and notable miracles performed by Enoch.

Additionally in LDS theology, Enoch is believed to be the scribe who recorded Adam's blessings and prophecies in Adam-ondi-Ahman (D&C 107:53-57).

Enoch and Daniel

Several scholars, beginning with Halévy, Cheyne, and Black, have proposed that the reference to "Daniel" in the book of Ezekiel originally referred to "Enoch", and was emended later to shore up the Book of Daniel's authority.Fact|date=January 2008

The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch (jHenosch) refers to extensive apocryphal works attributed to Enoch, that originated between the 2nd century BC and the first century AD. These recount how Enoch is taken up to Heaven and is appointed guardian of all the celestial treasures, chief of the archangels, and the immediate attendant on God's throne. He is subsequently taught all secrets and mysteries and, with all the angels at his back, fulfills of his own accord whatever comes out of the mouth of God, executing His decrees. He teaches, conducts souls to the place of felicity, and is known as "Prince of God's face", "Prince of the Torah", "Prince of Wisdom", "Prince of Reason", and "Prince of Glory". Enoch was also seen as the inventor of writing, and teacher of astronomy and arithmetics, all three reflecting the interpretation of his name as meaning "initiated".

While many of these "secrets", which are subsequently given away in the books, are elaborations of parts of the Sefer ha-Yashar, others are elaborations on brief esoteric details in the torah, such as the tale of the Nephilim, which becomes a major theme in the Book of Enoch. Much esoteric literature of the period, like the Book of Enoch, either explicitly or implicitly, identifies Enoch as the Metatron, the angel which communicates God's word. In consequence, Enoch was seen, by this literature, and the ancient kabbala of Jewish mysticism, as having been the one which communicated God's revelation to Moses, in particular, the dictator of the Book of Jubilees.

Association with other figures

Due to the association of Enoch in Jewish legend (jHenosch) with learning and writing, the Ancient Greeks identified him as Hermes Trismegistus, a syncretic deity. Consequently, they also regarded him as the discoverer of the zodiac and of astronomy in general. Enoch also appeared in tales describing heroes being permanently taken by the Gods, such as Ganymede.Fact|date=February 2007 In historical criticism, these stories are seen as being the influence behind more elaborate traditions such as Enoch travelling to Heaven via a flying horse (compare pegasus). Fact|date=February 2007 Scholars link Enoch with the ancient Sumerian king Emmeduranki. The specific lifespan of Enoch, 365 years, corresponding to the duration of the solar year, is linked to Emmeduranki's association with the sun god Utu.

In Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, the angel Metatron is revealed to have been Enoch when he lived on Earth.

In Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" trilogy and the earlier "Cryptonomicon", the character Enoch Root or Enoch the Red is alive through several centuries and may be suspected of being a supernatural being.

ee also

*Adam and Eve (Mormonism)
*Islamic view of Enoch (Idris)

External links

* [http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/enochpriest.html Enoch as the Heavenly Priest]
* [http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/enochsecrets.html Enoch as the Expert in Secrets]
* [http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/enochscribe.html Enoch as the Scribe]
* [http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/enochmediator.html Enoch as the Mediator]
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv1-65 "Dictionary of the History of Ideas":] Cosmic Voyages
* [http://danielrjennings.org/enoch_elijah_and_einsteins_theory_of_relativity.html Enoch, Elijah and Einstein's Theory of Relativity] Presents a possible scientific explanation for the disappearance of Enoch and the possible references to his return mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07218a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: "Henoch"]
* [http://www.secret-ummah.de.henochorden.de/2.html Order of the Prophet Enoch: "The Prophet Enoch"]
* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=383&letter=E "Jewish Encyclopedia Entry"]
* [http://users.1st.net/fischer/MacEncE2.HTM "Mackey Encyclopedia"]
* [http://www.cephasministry.com/mormon_is_there_no_help.html Comparison of Masonic legends of Enoch and Mormon scriptures description of Enoch]
* [http://www.timelessmyths.com/mirrors/enoch.php Dark Mirrors of Heaven: Enoch and the Watchers]

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