“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all the 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

This quotation has intrigued Bible scholars for centuries, probably ever since Jude penned them at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  That Jude could quote Enoch three thousand years after he had made this prophecy seems spectacular.  Yet some claim to have the solution.  These words are found in a book called “The Book of Enoch,” and many Bible scholars have adopted the idea that these verses in Jude are quoting from this book.  So, when I recently came upon a copy of “The Book of Enoch” loaned to me by a friend, I was most interested to read it and find out what it had to say.

First I examined the preface to the book which gave a little of its history.  Apparently when the Bible was translated into Ethiopic in the fourth century its canon had not yet been determined.  Some manuscripts contained this book of Enoch.  In the debates that followed in the fifth century Enoch was removed, as it was considered not canonical.  After this, having fallen into disfavor, it disappeared, and for centuries was lost to scholars.  In more modern times, interest arose in the book, and a student of Arabic named James Bruce had a theory that the book still existed in an Ethiopic version.  He traveled to Ethiopia in 1768 and returned with three manuscripts of the Ethiopic “Enoch.”  It wasn’t until fifty years later, however, that the book was translated into English and published.

The publisher of the book makes an interesting argument here.  He claims that there are currently sixty-six books in the Bible, but this is an imperfect number.  There should, in his mind, be seventy, and he quotes II Ezra to prove it, “Keep the seventy (books) last, that thou mayest deliver them to such as be wise among the people; for in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge.”  II Ezra 2:26& 14:46-47.

Such an argument may sound impressive on the surface, but it has several significant flaws.  First of all, the verse he quotes is itself from an apocryphal book.  II Ezra is not contained in the Biblical canon, and therefore its authority is certainly in question.  To use a quote from an apocryphal book to prove the validity of apocryphal books seems tenuous at best!

Secondly, it would indeed be strange if God had put 66 books in the Bible, 66 being 11 (the number of rebellion) x 6 (the number of man.)  However, this is not actually the case.  Although there are indeed 66 books in our Bibles, this is not the way the Bible was when God originally set it up.  Man has gotten his hands into the mix, and the resultant number of man contained in the number of the books only proves his handiwork.  The fact is that several books of the Old Testament were split up from their original Hebrew versions.  In the original Hebrew Bible, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were combined into one book, and Nehemiah continued right on from Ezra with no break.  Also, the Minor Prophets were all together in one large book rather than spread out into twelve little tiny books as we have it in our Bibles.  Lastly, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were only one book rather than split into two as they all are in our versions.

Now the reason for splitting Ezra-Nehemiah and the Minor Prophets is obvious, although tampering with the Bible this way is questionable.  But why were Samuel, Kings, and Chronicle split up?  The answer is nothing short of ridiculous.  When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek, it took up more space because the Greek letters are bigger.  However, the translators failed to account for this in the length of their scrolls, and therefore they ran out of room somewhere around 2/3 done with these books.  Thus, they had to transfer the rest of the books to a new scroll, which they did, marking each as “II” Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.  Years later, when our style books were invented and began to be used instead of scrolls, these Greek Bibles (the Septuagint) and the Latin version (Vulgate) were more in use than the original Hebrew.  Thus, those who put the Bible in book form, being ignorant of its original form, thought these books were SUPPOSED to be split into two, and thus made them out to be two books in their manuscripts.  Therefore, the splitting of these books is nothing less than a foolish mistake!

It is clear to anyone reading these books that the breaks between them are arbitrary.  The most ridiculous is Kings, where the break comes right in the middle of the account of the reign of King Ahaziah.  The fact that the Bible still comes down to us with these foolish divisions is sad, and demonstrates that tradition, not truth, is most important to Bible expositors of today.  Yet what is really sad is that, although for years the Hebrew Bibles contained the true form of these books, yet sometime around the 16th century the Hebrew Bibles adopted the Gentile structure, including these foolish divisions.  Thus God’s original form was lost even in the modern Hebrew manuscripts, and silly divisions like these were made in books of the Bible.

Yet it seems that the person who wrote this book didn’t know these facts.  If he had, he would have known that the actual number of books in the Bible is not 66 but rather 51, which is 17 (the number of spirit and order) x 3 (the number of completeness.)  Thus not four (as he suggests) but 19 books would have to be added to make the Bible contain 70 books.  Thus his argument that this book and the three others he puts forward complete the seventy is proved to be misguided.  No such “evidence” as this, based upon bad scholarship and Biblical knowledge, can prove the validity of Enoch.  Let us look, then, at its content, and see if we can determine by these whether or not Enoch truly wrote it, and then whether or not he was inspired by our Lord.  The book contains over a hundred chapters and is far too long for me to examine verse-by-verse, but I will give here excerpts of important verses and my comments on them.

Enoch 2 (Enoch 2 is only one verse.)  “Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all of flesh for every thing which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him.”

This is the famous verse supposedly quoted in Jude 14-15.  Yet it seems that Jude didn’t quote it very well.  He talked about convicting the ungodly whereas Enoch mentioned destroying the wicked.  Jude’s quote spoke of convicting ungodly sinners, but Enoch of reproving all flesh.  If the Holy Spirit was really quoting Enoch’s words in this book He didn’t do a very exact job of it.

Enoch 7:1-2.  “It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.  And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamored of them, saying to each other: Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.”

This chronicles the angels who cohabitated with human women.  The book of Enoch goes into great detail on this, and indeed this would have been something quite contemporary with Enoch.  He talks of the names of the angels who fell, what forbidden knowledge they taught men, and so forth.  He even claims that these fallen angels taught men how to make swords and so forth!  Yet it is interesting to me that in the books of the Bible we know are legitimate, God only mentions these things in passing, as if they are barely of importance.  Such is often the way with God.  He mentions the translation of Elijah, for example, almost as if it was incidental to what He was talking about and not of very great importance.  We as men are often fascinated by the supernatural and would like to go into great detail about it, whereas God is more interesting in those things that are valuable for our learning, not for satisfying our curiosity.  Thus the great and often useless detail Enoch goes into here is questionable to me.

Enoch 7:11-12.  “And they conceiving brought forth giants; whose stature was each three hundred cubits.  These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them.”

Do you realize that three-hundred cubit tall giants would be FOUR-HUNDRED AND FIFTY FEET TALL?!!  Compare that with I Samuel 17:4, where the giant Goliath’s height is given as “six cubits and a span,” which would be about 9 feet 10 inches.  This is the Biblical height of a giant.  But 450 feet is more the stuff of Grimm’s fairy tales and fantastical legends.

Enoch 15:8.  “Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh, shall be called upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation.  Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh, because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation.  Evil spirits shall they be upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called.  The habitation of the spirits of heaven shall be in heaven; but upon earth shall be the habitation of terrestrial spirits, who are born in earth.”

This sounds very similar to the gospel and Acts periods, where possession by evil spirits was common.  It also bears similarities to I Corinthians 15:40 and the “celestial bodies” and “terrestrial” bodies mentioned there.  However, it bears little resemblance to anything in the Old Testament, where evil spirits were rarely mentioned.  Also, the Bible never suggests that the giants had anything to do with the evil spirits, and certainly not that they came out of the giants when they died!  The giants were considered as accursed beings by God.  Being a race that was of mixed blood, an unholy union that God never intended, these beings are destined to have no resurrection.  Thus, their deaths mark the end of their existence.  This is stated in Isaiah 26:14:

“They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased (Rephaim), they shall not rise: therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.”

The Rephaim were a branch of the Nephilim named after one particularly famous giant named Rapha.  Thus, this verse declares that the giants have ceased to exist.  That evil spirits proceeded “from their flesh” upon death is a rather silly idea that contradicts the truth of Scripture.

Enoch 18:2-3.  “I surveyed the stone which supports the corners of the earth.  I also beheld the four winds, which bear up the earth, and the firmament of heaven.”

I had a good chuckle when I read this one.  This statement appears to be quite ludicrous.  If the Bible contained quotes such as this, we could not blame anyone for losing faith in it.

The Bible mentions the “four corners of the earth,” but this is a figure of speech meaning “the most remote places.”  There is nothing this stupid or unscientific in the Word of God.  God made the earth.  He knows what holds it up.  He isn’t this dumb.  Apparently Enoch is.  Not to mention that he’s a liar, since he obviously didn’t see these things.

Enoch 33:1-3.  “From thence I advanced on towards the north, to the extremities of the earth.  And there I saw a great and glorious wonder at the extremities of the whole earth.  I saw there heavenly gates opening into heaven; three of them distinctly separated.  The northern winds proceeded from them, blowing cold, hail, frost, snow, dew, and rain.”

Everyone knows that the weather does not come out of “gates,” three or otherwise, leading into heaven.  This mystic and unscientific explanation of the weather does not jive with the rest of Scripture, which, although it is not a science textbook, is never inaccurate.

But this is not the biggest problem with this passage.  Enoch, of course, lived before the flood, and as we read in Genesis 2:5b-6, “For the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”  Thus it would appear that there was no rain on the earth prior to the flood.  This makes sense because rain can only form around dust particles in the air, and all such particles were probably kicked up by the flood in the first place.  Yet if this was so, then Enoch would have never seen rain, and would have had no idea what it even was.  How could he then write about it here?  It seems that Enoch had no idea that he had never seen rain before.

Enoch 59:1a.  “In the five hundredth year, in the seventh month, on the fourteenth day of the month, of the lifetime of Enoch,”

According to Genesis 4:21-22, Enoch lived 365 years before he was taken by God.  How then could he have written this passage after that?  It seems that Enoch forgot his own age!

Enoch 68:6-7.  (Listing the fallen angels who cohabited with human women.)  The name of the third is Gadrel, he discovered every stroke of death to the children of men.  He seduced Eve, and discovered to the children of men the instruments of death, the coat of mail, the shield, and the sword for slaughter; every instrument of death to the children of men.

I don’t believe that men need fallen angels to teach them how to make instruments of death and destruction.  We are quite capable of making such things all on our own.  But ascribing all such things to the “gods” is common among heathen religions.

Enoch 68:9-16.  “The name of the fourth is Penemue: he discovered to the children of men bitterness and sweetness; And pointed out to them every secret of their wisdom.  He taught men to understand writing, and the use of ink and paper.  Therefore numerous have been those who have gone astray from every period of the world, even to this day.  For men were not born for this, thus with pen and with ink to confirm their faith; Since they were not created, except that, like the angels, they might remain righteous and pure.  Nor would death, which destroys every thing, have effected them; But by this their knowledge they perish, and by this also its power consumes them.”

This passage claims that men learned to read and write from a fallen angel!  I cannot believe that this was the case.  Certainly the recording of information is something that God Himself taught to men, probably to Adam directly, for we read in Genesis 5:1a, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.”  This phrase indicates that Adam was the writer of this portion.  Moreover, how could writing be evil if God used the written word to record the Scriptures?  This would make all writing, even the Word Itself, to be evil!  I don’t know what Enoch had against writing, but it seems to be an insult against the One Who Himself wrote the Written Word by which we come to faith.  Moreover, it is the testimony of the Word that it was through the eating of the fruit of knowledge, not by learning some forbidden knowledge like writing, that man fell from God.  Poison fruit could certainly kill, but “words will never hurt me,” and written words certainly will never do so.  This passage does not make sense, and is not the truth.

Enoch 71:3, 7, 12-13.  “I beheld the gates whence the sun goes forth, and the gates where the sun sets;” “Its chariot, where it ascends, the wind blows.”  “When the sun rises in heaven, it goes forth through this fourth gate thirty days, and by the fourth gate in the west of heaven on a level with it descends.  During that period the day is lengthened from the day, and the night curtailed from the night for thirty days.  And then the day is longer by two parts than the night.”

The basic idea set forth is this passage is that there are six gates from which the sun rises and six in which it sets and that its entrance into different ones of these gates is what causes the days and nights to become longer and shorter at different times of the year.  It seems that Enoch lived at latitude where in winter the days are half the length of the nights and in the summer the nights are half the length of the days.  However, he seems to not grasp the fact that this is not true for the vast majority of the earth.  Such information is useless to most people since they don’t live at the exact same latitude that Enoch did.

Now as for the sun circling the earth.  Many mock at the Bible because they claim that it teaches that the sun revolves around the earth.  Let us quickly examine two passages they use.

The first is found in Joshua 10:12b-13a, where Joshua spoke to the LORD and said in the sight of Israel, “’Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Ajalon.’  So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies.”  Those who argue against the Bible seem to think that Joshua was in error here, and somehow since the sun is said to have stood still when, in fact, we know that it is the revolution of the earth that causes the sun to seem to move, that this must mean that the Bible is wrong.  These people do not seem to realize the foolishness of what they are saying.  The sun didn’t really stand over Gibeon, nor did the moon stop in a valley.  Joshua was speaking very poetically and symbolically here.  It seems that these people would have had Joshua look down at the earth and say something like, “Earth, cease your daily rotation about your axis, while at the same time maintaining the objects upon your surface rather than subjecting them to overwhelming centripetal force, as would usually occur in a sudden stoppage, causing all objects on the earth to fly off into orbit; thereby, through the cessation of these scientific forces, cause us to have victory over our enemies.”  Yet no one sane could expect Joshua to say something like this!

We ourselves have a common saying, “The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.”  The fact that we use this expression does not mean that we are a bunch of ignorant fools who don’t understand a thing about science.  When we use this phrase, we use it knowing full well that the earth rotates about its axis.  Yet this statement is true from our point of reference.  And isn’t that what Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is all about…that truth is dependent upon your frame of reference?  What Joshua said was entirely true from his frame of reference of standing on the earth.  It was scientifically in line with the Theory of Relativity, and we cannot expect him to have spoken any differently.

Another passage is Psalm 19:4a-6.  “In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, And his circuit is unto the ends of it: And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

Two facts about this passage.  First of all, it is a psalm, which means it is a piece of Hebrew poetry.  If we took poetry and interpreted it literally, we would think that poets thought that the moon was green cheese, the clouds cotton candy, and the wind some giant’s breath!  Poetry speaks in a colorful way, and interpreting it as if the figures were statements of scientific fact would be most foolish.  Secondly, the statements that are made here, when fact is sifted from its poetic trappings, are entirely in line with our frame of reference of the earth and the Theory of Relativity.  These things are all perfectly true from our frame of reference on the earth.  As Einstein’s theory suggests, there is no “absolute frame of reference” from which one can say that, no, the earth travels around the sun, not the other way around.  These statements are true to anyone standing on the earth, and therefore are true enough to be facts that we take for granted every day.

Yet far different are the words of Enoch.  His ridiculous and unscientific statements are couched in terms that make it clear that he believes he is setting forth great scientific knowledge.  Yet his knowledge is off base, and his facts are just plain laughable.  This sort of ignorance is atypical to what we see in all the commonly-accepted Scriptures.

Enoch 81:7.  “So that the year is completed in three hundred and sixty-four days.”

Seems Enoch couldn’t count very well.

Enoch 84-89.  This gives the history of the world from Adam and Eve to the future reign of Christ.

If Enoch prophesied these things hundreds of years before the flood, it would be an amazing thing indeed.  If, however, many of these events had already happened, and many more already been predicted in other books of the Bible, then his testimony is less fantastic…in fact, it is something anyone could do.  Whether or not these chapters are amazing or misleading can only be answered once we determine whether the writer was really Enoch or not.

Enoch 96:12.  “I have sworn to you, ye sinners, that neither mountain nor hill has been or shall be a servant to woman.”

It seems that Enoch’s prediction has not come true, for many women rulers have existed throughout history.  “Mountain” and “hill” are symbolic for governments.  Yet many governments have been subject to the rulership of women!  Enoch’s statement here is just plain wrong.

Enoch 104:8-9.  “They shall speak evil things; they shall utter falsehood; create a great creation; and compose books in their own words.  But when they shall write all my words correctly in their own languages, They shall neither change nor diminish them; but shall write them all correctly; all which from the first I have uttered concerning them.”

Anyone who has studied the original versions versus the translations knows how wrong this is.  Even when the translators have not purposely “changed” something, which they often do, the words of God are always diminished by translation.  Enoch’s statement here sounds more like someone trying to sell his own translation of the Bible as being completely accurate than like the Lord setting forth truth.

Enoch 105:1-2.  “After days, my son Mathusala took a wife for his son Lamech.  She became pregnant by him, and brought forth a child, the flesh of which was white as snow and red as a rose; the hair of whose head was white like wool, and long; and whose eyes were beautiful.  When he opened them, he illuminated all the house, like the sun; the whole house abounded with light.”

This sensational tale about the birth of Noah has no corroborating evidence in the book of Genesis.  For all we can tell, Noah was a normal man.  Even Jesus Christ did not appear to be any different from normal men when he was born.  Why would Noah be different?  These statements seem hard to believe.

Enoch 105:27b.  “Here ends the vision of Enoch the prophet.  May the benediction of his prayer, and the gift of his appointed period, be with his beloved!  Amen.”

So, was Enoch really the writer of this book?  As we have seen, if he was, he was not quoted correctly in Jude, he did not know important facts about the world before the flood, and he was hopelessly muddled when it comes to science.  If this book set itself forth as the writings of a mere man, then we could understand such factual errors.  But, in fact, it sets itself forth as being the holy writings of God, and claims to set forth His words.  But does God Himself not know science?  Is he as clueless about what makes the world work as men in the first or second century A.D.?  Does He Himself not know how to quote His Own words correctly in the book of Jude?

Overall, I think this book shows every evidence of having been written in the first or second century A.D.  The writer seems to have intimate knowledge of the history of the world up to that time, setting it forth in a parable of the “future” in chapters 84-89.  Yet his knowledge of the distant past is cloudy.  He thinks the giants were 450 feet tall, whereas in fact they were around 10 feet according to the book of I Samuel.  He speaks with intimate knowledge of rain when the Bible indicates that the earth was watered by a mist before the flood.  He speaks of modern things as if he knew all about them, and yet purports to have lived far in the past.  Yet can it be that this wasn’t really Enoch?  For we do read his words in chapter 2 that appear to be quoted in Jude.  Doesn’t this prove that there had to be a book of Enoch that Jude was quoting from, and that therefore the writer of this book was indeed Enoch?

Now here we have to be very careful.  The quote in Jude says in the earlier part of verse 14, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, SAYING.”  (Emphasis mine.)  Notice that Jude does not say that Enoch WROTE this, but rather that he SAID it.  The distinction when used by God in Scripture is extremely important.  Just because a prophet SAID something doesn’t necessarily mean that he ever WROTE it.  There are quotes from various well-known prophets in the Word that don’t actually appear in their respective books.  For example, II Kings 14:25 speaks of a prophecy that Jonah had SPOKEN concerning the restoration of territory to Israel.  Yet the book of Jonah would be searched in vain for such a prophecy.  This prophecy was SPOKEN by Jonah, but never WRITTEN by him.  Now a prophet COULD speak and prophecy AND write it down, so sometimes we do see the Bible speaking of things that a prophet “said” and then find that they are also “written” in his book.  Yet the two don’t necessarily have to go hand-in-hand.

Therefore, I feel that it is significant that the wording used here is that Enoch SAID, not that he WROTE.  If the Lord had really wanted to bear testimony to a book of Enoch, he could certainly have done so by claiming here that Enoch had WRITTEN these things.  He does not, however, and thus it does not follow that any such book has to exist.

Now we have to understand that in the early years of Christianity and even while the apostles were still alive and doing their work, many false Bible books were written.  Paul himself even mentions a letter written “as if from us” claiming that the day of the LORD had already come.  While the true Word of God was being written, it was a fairly easy thing for a counterfeiter to write a book claiming to be inspired and have gullible people believe it.  In our day when the canon is more-or-less set it is much harder to do so.  Yet it is an undisputable fact that many such apocryphal books were written.  There are gospels of Peter and apocalypses of Paul and many such books that a student could get weighed down in studying.  It seems that this was an attack of Satan upon early believers, mixed with the ambitions of men to write a book that others would follow.

So there certainly was a market for counterfeit Bible books in those days.  And once the quote from Enoch came along in the book of Jude, it seems that one such counterfeiter had ample material for the writing of such a book.  The counterfeiter would also be aided by the fact that no one was alive who really remembered Enoch or what conditions were like at the time at which he lived on earth.  Thus a Bible counterfeiter could pretend knowledge of those times and the majority of people wouldn’t catch his error.  Yet we can, with our superior knowledge of science, catches him red-handed in his lie that he “surveyed the stone which supports the corners of the earth.”  We know that this was a lie, and thus we can see that this writer is a liar.  Thus his testimony that he is Enoch is not at all to be believed.

Of course the Holy Spirit could quote Enoch even thousands of years after he had spoken this prophecy.  For one thing, Enoch even now dwells in heaven, and he could be consulted for such information.  But even if he did not, the Lord’s memory could never forget the words He spoke through this man.  He could repeat them just as accurately as when He had first given them to Enoch.

Now there is another evidence pointing to this writer’s falsehood, and that is his incorrect quotations of Scripture.  The supposed “verse” that was in Jude is quoted wrongly.  It seems that the counterfeiter of Enoch did not have the book of Jude in front of him when he wrote this book, and thus had to give the quote from memory.  This would not be too unusual for the day, since this was long before the printing press was invented, and manuscripts all had to be hand-copied and thus were extremely expensive.  Thus this counterfeiter had no copy of the Bible before him as he wrote.  He uses many quotes from Scripture, but some of them are garbled.  He gets some facts mixed up, and misquotes some verses.  These all point to a counterfeiter who had no Divine inspiration to back up any of his writings.

Thus we find that the so-called “Book of Enoch” is really a fraud.  It was rightfully excluded from the canon of Scripture, and could only bring embarrassment and discredit to the Scriptures if it was included in them.  Its science is hopelessly fictional, its history inaccurate, and its view of God sketchy and inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.  This book, like the other apocryphal books of the period, was a work of the Evil One to discredit the true books of the Word, and if it had been included in Scripture it would have succeeded.  For some centuries it did succeed because of the author’s brilliance in using the quote from Jude to fake authenticity.  The LORD, however, did not allow this meandering joke of a book to besmear His Holy Word.  We can thank Him indeed for that.

Thus we see that God’s care of His Word is again reinforced.  He did not allow an inspired book to disappear into Ethiopia.  He has kept His Word perfect and pure, and has not allowed a “lost book” to disappear from it.  We can thank Him for the perfection of His Word, and thank Him that we can depend on His words to tell us only the truth, and not lies and nonsense like the book of Enoch.  That is the lesson we can take away from this apocryphal book.

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