1 Enoch 1-5
Reading Time: 5 minutes
1 Enoch 1-5
Reading Time: 5 minutes
If you are interested in reading 1 Enoch with us, you can find it on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
The Book of Enoch, or 1 Enoch, is an old religious text that's been studied a lot recently. It's a collection of writings that are supposed to be from Enoch, a biblical figure mentioned in Genesis.
Enoch is a figure in the book of Genesis, and he is only briefly mentioned in the Bible. He was the great-grandson of Adam and the father of Methuselah, and he lived for 365 years. The Bible says that Enoch "walked with God," and then he was taken up into heaven by God, so he didn't experience death like other people. His story in Genesis is short, but it has had a big impact on religious thought and has inspired many writings, including the Book of Enoch.
Scholars have been debating for a while about where it came from, who wrote it, and why. It was probably written in Hebrew around the 3rd century BCE, but now the versions we have are in an old Ethiopian language called Ge'ez. Some people think Enoch wrote it, but most think it was written by different people over many years. It's important for religion and culture and has influenced many things like books, art, and TV shows.
The Book of Enoch talks about supernatural stuff and asks questions about God and religion. It was written during a time when the Jewish people were having a hard time under foreign rule, and it reflects that. We don't know for sure who the intended audience was, but it's had a big impact on Jewish and Christian beliefs anyway.
The book is divided into several sections:
- The Book of the Watchers - This section describes the fall of the angels who mated with human women and produced the Nephilim.
- The Book of Parables - This section contains visions of judgement and the coming of the Messiah.
- The Book of Astronomy - This section discusses the movements of heavenly bodies and their influence on human events.
- The Book of Dream Visions - This section contains visions of the end times and the final judgement.
- The Epistle of Enoch - This section contains advice and wisdom for the righteous.
We start in the Book of the Watchers. This first book of 1 Enoch can be broken down into three sections; an introduction, the fall of the angels, or watchers, and Enoch's journey into heaven. In this reading we are looking at the introduction, which is structured as below:
Introduction - 1 Enoch 1:1–3
Enoch sees God come to judge - 1 Enoch 1:4–9
The consistent faithfulness of nature - 1 Enoch 2:1–5:3
The faithlessness of the wicked - 1 Enoch 5:4
The consequences for the righteous and the wicked - 1 Enoch 5:5–9
The book opens up with an introduction of Enoch who has a vision of God. The language of 1 Enoch 1:1 is a play on Deuteronomy 33:1. Just like Moses was about to pronounce a blessing on the God's people, the Israelites, Enoch is about to pronounce a blessing on God's people, who he refers to as 'the elect and the righteous'.
In both 1 Enoch 1 and Deuteronomy 33, God appears from Sinai. In Deuteronomy 33 God appears with 10,000 holy ones (divine spiritual beings) and is established as king over the Israelites (Deuteronomy 33:5). Now, in 1 Enoch, God is returning, this time with 10,000,000 holy ones to establish his kingship and authority over all the earth.
As part of this, he is bringing judgement on all. This will result in blessings and life for the righteous and death and destruction for the wicked.
Then in 1 Enoch 2 the tone shifts. Enoch starts speaking directly to the wicked, and challenges them to look to the natural world. From the sun and stars, the earth, and the season, they all follow God's commands. They are consistent in all that they do, obeying him. So are the trees and the sea.
In contrast, the wicked are faithless and disobedient (1 Enoch 5:4). This comparison of the faithfulness of nature to the faithlessness of humans can be found in the Biblical texts, (see Jeremiah 5:20-29).
This leads us to the final section of the introduction of this first book within 1 Enoch; the consequences of the wicked's action. Enoch says that they will perish and their names be cursed. This language is a reflection of Isaiah 65:15-16, where the ultimate punishment is for your name to become a curse word in the mouths of others (see also Jeremiah 29:22).
This is then contrasted with the blessings and joys of the righteous. While the wicked will perish and become a curse, the righteous will be given long life, wisdom, and peace.
The introduction of the Book of the Watchers establishes the visionary experiences of Enoch and the impending judgement of God, who is returning with millions of holy ones to establish his kingship and authority over the earth. Enoch challenges the wicked to look to nature and recognize God's faithful obedience displayed through it. The consequences of the wicked's disobedience will result in their destruction and cursed name, while the righteous will receive blessings and long life. This passage provides a glimpse into the themes of judgement and rewards that will be further explored in 1 Enoch.
The Book of the Watchers is the first book of 1 Enoch, which is a collection of Jewish apocalyptic writings. It can be divided into three sections: the introduction, the fall of the angels or watchers, and Enoch's journey into heaven.
The introduction establishes the visionary experiences of Enoch and the impending judgement of God. It also emphasises the faithful obedience of nature to God's commands and the consequences of disobedience for the wicked, who will perish and have their names cursed, while the righteous will receive blessings and long life.
In the Book of the Watchers, Enoch challenges the wicked to look to nature and recognize God's faithful obedience displayed through it. The comparison of the faithfulness of nature to the faithlessness of humans can also be found in the Bible, specifically in Jeremiah 5:20-29.
The Book of the Watchers explores themes of judgement and rewards for the righteous and the wicked.
Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.
With a deep understanding of ancient religious texts, historical contexts, and original languages Bryn Joslin is a dedicated Christian author and teacher who is passionate about helping others understand the Bible better. He strives to cultivate God's presence in the world and curate His word for the benefit of all believers.
Bryn understands that expanding the kingdom of God involves bringing peace, love, and unity to every situation he encounters. He shares God's love and message in tangible ways to make a positive impact on those around him.
With an appreciation of the importance of daily Bible study, Bryn has dedicated himself to helping others develop a strong foundation in their faith. He believes that immersing oneself in the language, imagery, and themes of the Bible is crucial to understanding its meaning and message.