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What saith the Scripture ?-Rom. iv. 3.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.
THE BOOK OF ENOCH-ITS INFLUENCE ON THE WRITINGS OF THE EARLY FATHERS
-THE MILLENNARIAN VIEWS OF JUSTIN MARTYR, OF TERTULLIAN, OF ORIGEN, OF NEPOS, A BISHOP OF EGYPT, OF DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, AND OF VICTO
RINUS. In our last chapter, it was intimated that the Book of Enoch, a forgery of the century preceding the birth of Christ, was one of the principal sources from which the early Fathers derived their notions about the angelic orders and mysteries ; we now proceed to give some account of that book, with extracts from several of its chapters.
The Book of Enoch is quoted or alluded to by several of the early Fathers. Irenæus considers it “ a true witness." “Enoch,” says he,“ pleasing God, though in uncircumcision, being a man, went on God's embassy to the angels, and afterwards was translated, and is preserved even to these days, a witness of the just judgment of God; since the angels who transgressed fell into judgment, but the man that pleased God was translated into eternal salvation.” He afterwards explains the place of his translation to have been Paradise, the very Paradise from which Adam was expelled, and into which Paul was lifted up in a divine rapture when he “heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter." Thither, according to Irenæus, were all those conveyed who were translated, and there they are waiting “ till the consummation”—
-an explanation of Paradise which he does not suggest on the authority of his own opinion merely, but as † a tradition which he had heard from the Elders, the disciples of the Apostles.
Tertullian frequently alludes to the Book of Enoch, either tacitly or by name. On one occasion he gives an unaltered quotation from it of some length, and on another he thus mentions it : " I know that the book of Enoch, which assigns this order to the angels, is not received by some persons, because it is not admitted in the Jewish canon.
I suppose they have thought that it was not possible that a book written before the Flood should have been preserved after that catastrophe which had ruined all things. But if that is the reason, they should remember that Noah, the great-grandson of Enoch himself, outlived the Flood, who surely, by domestic and hereditary tradition, had heard and remembered of the favour which his great-grandfather had found with God, and of all things that had been spoken concerning him; since Enoch must certainly have enjoined to his son Methusaleh to hand down the knowledge of these records to his posterity. Therefore, beyond all doubt, Noah may have succeeded in the delegation of the task of telling these things ; for he scarcely could have been silent either about the things done on his behalf by God, his preserver, or about the glory of his own house. But if this was not so easy to do, the very difficulty would be a means of preserving the book for an
*“Sed et Enoch sine circumcisione placens Deo, cum esset homo, Dei legatione ad Angelos fungebatur, et translatus est; et conservatur usque nunc testis justi judicii Dei ; quoniam Angeli quidem transgressi deciderunt in judicium, homo autem placens, translatus est in salutem.” Lib. iv. 30.
+ Διο και λεγουσιν οι πρεσβευτεροι των αποστολων μαθηται, τους μετατεθεντας εκεισε μετατεθηναι.-v. 5.
Ambrose, Athanasius, Gregory, Jerome, and others, were all of opinion that the just were translated to the Paradise of Adam, and that out of it all those would come whose office it would be to fight against Antichrist.
authority; and if the violence of the Flood had destroyed it, Noah might have renewed it in the Spirit ; just as it is well known that when Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians, every instrument of Jewish literature was restored by Esdras.* But since Enoch in the same writing prophesies of our Lord, that which pertains to us must not on any account be rejected by us. And indeed we read thatt every scripture or writing which is good for edification is divinely inspired; to all this is to be added, that Enoch is quoted as a testimony by the Apostle Jude.” -De Cultu Fem. iii. p. 151.
After Tertullian, the Fathers seem to have entertained divided opinions on the subject ; but at last, after varied fortunes, Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the ninth century, classed the Book of Enoch amongst Apocryphal books. The Apostolical constitutions had long before pronounced a similar opinion: “ Amongst the ancients,” they say, some persons composed Apocryphal works, such as the Books of Moses, of Enoch, and of Adam, of Isaiah and of David, of Elias and of the three Patriarchs, but all of them mischievous and opposed to the truthφθοροποια και της αληθειας εχθρα” (lib. vi. 16).
Notwithstanding, however, this grave censure pronounced by the forgers of the Apostolical constitutions against the forgery of the Book of Enoch, it exercised no little influence on the theology of the Church; and on that account, far more than for its interest as a literary curiosity, is it worthy of our attention.
The book of the Jews called the “ Zohar," which contains the most ancient remains of the Cabbala, speaks of the Book of Enoch as divine. “ The holy and blessed One raised Enoch from the world to serve Him, as it is written, for God took him. From that time a book was delivered down, which was called the Book of Enoch. In the hour that God took him, he shewed him all the repositories above; he shewed him the tree of life in the midst of the garden, its leaves and its branches. We see all in his book."
The Manichæans, and particularly Faustus, in the fourth century, quoted Enoch as an inspired work.
In the eighth century, it seems to have been well known; but in the tenth century it was no longer quoted, and sunk into oblivion. On the revival of letters, the learned made diligent search for it, but without success, till Bruce, the celebrated traveller, procured three copies written in the Ethiopic, which he found in Abyssinia. One of these he presented to the Royal Library at Paris, and the other to the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
Dr. Lawrence, Archbishop of Cashel, translated the copy in the Bodleian Library ; which translation he published in 1821, with an able and judicious preliminary dissertation and useful notes ; and it is from his translation that the following extracts are given. The learned translator has endeavoured to approximate the date of the Book of Enoch by internal evidence, and by the historical allusions it contains; and though, in this part of his task, he has manifested no little skill, yet, in our opinion, the question remains unsettled; so that this only may be asserted, that it is a forgery most probably of the century preceding the incarnation; but whether it is to be placed a hundred years or thirty years before the common era, cannot now be ascertained.Ş
The Book of Enoch contains, in the Bodleian manuscript, 105 chapters, them very brief, as will here be seen :
CHAP. I.-“1. The word of the blessed Enoch, how he blessed the Elect and the righteous, who were to exist in the time of trouble ; rejecting all the wicked and ungodly. Enoch, a righteous man, who was with God, answered and spoke, while his eyes were open, and while he saw a holy vision in the heavens. This the angels shewed me.
* This foolish story is to be found in the 14th chap. of the 2d book of Esdras. + Legimus omnem Scripturam ædificationi habilem, divinitùs inspirari. By this it would appear that Tertullian did not understand 2 Tim. iii. 16 in the sense given in our authorised translation.
Hæc autem præcepta (i. e. lex moralis) erat antiquitùs in nationibus, ut est in promptu probare, olim promulgata per Enoch et Seth, et cæteros eorum justos, quibus eadem tradiderunt illustres Angeli.-- Faustus apud Augustinum, ix. 3.
ŠIt may possibly have been also interpolated very soon after Christ; and this would account for the seeming allusions to the writings of the New Testament.
42. From them I heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation, but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period on account of the elect.
"3. Upon their account I spoke and conversed with him who will go forth from is habitation, the Holy and Mighty One, the God of the world.
“4. Who will hereafter tread upon Mount Sinai, appear with his hosts, and be nanifested in the strength of his power from heaven.
65. All shall be afraid, and the watchers be terrified. “6. Great fear and trembling shall seize them, even to the ends of the earth. The lofty mountains shall be troubled, and the exalted hills depressed, melting like a honeycomb in the flame. The earth shall be immerged, and all things which are in it perish ; while judgment shall come upon all, even upon all the righteous.
“7. But to them shall he give peace; he shall preserve the elect, and towards them exercise clemency.
“8. Then shall all belong to God; be happy and blessed ; and the splendour of the Godhead shall illuminate them."
CHAP. II.—“Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and to destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him."
CHAP. III._"1. All who are in the heavens know what is transacted there.
“2. They know that the heavenly luminaries change not their paths; that each rises and sets regularly, every one at its proper period, without transgressing their commands. They behold the earth, and understand what is there transacted from the beginning to the end of it.
“3. They see that every work of God is invariable in the period of its appearance. They behold summer and winter, perceiving that the whole earth is full of water; and that the cloud, the dew, and the rain refresh it."
CHAP. IV.—“They consider and behold every tree how it appears to wither, and every leaf to fall off, except of fourteen trees which are not deciduous; which wait from the old to the appearance of the new leaf, for two or three winters."|
CHAP. VI.—“1. They consider how the trees, when they put forth their green leaves, become covered, and produce fruit: understanding everything, and knowing that He who lives for ever does all these things for you.
“ 2. That the works at the beginning of every existing year, that all his works, are subservient to him, and invariable : yet as God has appointed, so are all things brought
to pass. “3. They see, too, how the seas and the rivers together complete their respective operations.
“4. But you endure not patiently, nor fulfil the commandments of the Lord; but you transgress and calumniate his greatness; and malignant are the words in your polluted mouths against His majesty.
“5. Ye withered in heart, no peace shall be to you!
“6. Therefore your days shall you curse, and the years of your lives shall perish; perpetual execrations shall be multiplied, and you shall not obtain mercy:
“7. In those days shall you resign your peace with the eternal maledictions of all the righteous, and sinners shall perpetually execrate you.
68. Shall execrate you with the ungodly.
“9. The elect shall possess light, joy, and peace, and they shall inherit the earth.
“ 10. But you, ye unholy, shall be accursed.
“ 11. Then shall wisdom be given to the elect, all of whom shall live, and not again transgress by impiety and pride ; but shall humble themselves, possessing prudence, and shall not repeat transgression.
“ 12. They shall not be condemned the whole period of their lives, nor die in torment and indignation : but the sum of their days shall be completed, and they shall grow old in peace: while the years of their happiness shall be multiplied with joy and with peace, for ever, the whole duration of existence."
So much of the introduction has been given to make the reader acquainted with the general style of the book, we now proceed with the legends relating to the angels :
* This passage is also found in Jude, ver. 14, 15. † Chap. V. is here omitted : it is much like the IVth.
Chap. VII.—“ 1. It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.
“ 2. And when the Angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other; Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
“ 3. Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise ;
“4. And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime. “5. But they answered him and said, We all swear,
“6. And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.
“7. Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of Mount Armon.
“8. The mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, and bound themselves by mutual execrations. “9. These are the names of their chiefs: _Samyaza, who was their leader
, Urakabarameel, Akibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Sarakuyal, Asael
, Artmers, Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael, Azazyal These were the prefects of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all with them.
“ 10. Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees.
“11. And the women conceiving brought forth giants;
" 12. Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labours of men produced ; until it became impossible to feed them ; “13. When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them,
14. And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.
“15. Then the Earth reproved the unrighteous."
CHAP. VIII. -"1. Moreover Azazyal taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors, and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, the use of stones of every valuable and select kind, and of all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered.
“ 2. Impiety increased, fornication multiplied; and they transgressed and corrupted all their ways.
“3. Amazarak taught all the sorcerers and dividers of roots. “4. Artmers taught the solution of sorcery ; “5. Badkayal taught the observers of stars; “6. Akibeel taught signs ; “7. Tamiel taught astronomy, “8. And Asaradel taught the motion of the moon. “9. And men being destroyed, cried out, and their voice reached to Heaven."
The Pseudo-Enoch then relates, that Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Suryal, and Uriel, looked down from heaven, and taking note of the mischief introduced on the earth by Azazyal, the leader of the watching angels, complained of him and his associates to the Most High, " the Lord of lords, the God of gods, and the King of kings." On which the Almighty sent the angel Arsayalalyur to Noah, to inform him of the approaching deluge, to teach him how he might escape, and his seed remain on the earth. The Almighty then commanded Raphael to bind Azazyal hand and foot, and cast him into darkness, in the great desert of darkness called Dudael, and there to heap upon him enormous stones and loads of darkness (chap. x.), till the “great day of judgment,” when he “ shall be cast into fire."
Michael was then commanded to go to Samyaza, and to announce his crime to him, and the punishment it had merited. All the progeny of the angelic intercourse was to be destroyed, and the sinning angels to be bound for a period of seventy generations underneath the earth, awaiting the day of judgment : immediately after this, he and all his associates should burn in the lowest depths of the fire in torments. Every oppressor should perish, every evil work be destroyed, and then the plant of righteousness and rectitude should appear, and for ever be planted with delight.” Then would begin a state of glorious rest upon earth, and all the nations would worship God, a prediction which should be seen in the words of the forger :
“ And then shall all the saints give thanks, and live until they have begotten a thousand children, while the whole period of their youth, and their sabbaths shall be completed in peace. In those days all the earth shall be cultivated in righteousness ; it shall be wholly planted with trees, and filled with benediction; every tree of delight shall be planted in it. In it vines shall be planted ; and the vine which shall be planted in it shall yield fruit to satiety ; every seed which shall be sown in it shall produce for one measure a thousand ; and one measure of olives shall produce ten presses of oil. Then shall all the children of men be righteous, and all nations shall pay me divine honours and bless me : all shall adore me. The earth shall be cleansed from all corruption, from every crime, from all punishment, and from all suffering. In those days I will open the treasures of blessing which are in heaven, that I may cause them to descend upon earth, and upon all the works and labours of man. Peace and equity shall associate with the sons of men all the days of the world, in every generation of it.” (Cap. x.)
It is obvious that Papias (see Inquirer, vol. ii. p. 343, July Number) borrowed his description of the millennium from this passage in the Book of Enoch, and that, to stamp it with high authority, he delivered it as a tradition which he had received from the associates of the apostles. Irenæus too, who quotes Papias to confirm his own millennarian views, must have been well aware that the reputed tradition of Papias was to be found in the Book of Enoch, with which, as it has already been shewn, he was well acquainted.
The glorious reign of “the Son of Man,” sometimes also called “the Elect One," is frequently a subject of prediction ; but it is placed immediately after the judgment and punishment of the wicked; the great judgment precedes the reign of the Son of Man upon the earth. Here, however, it is to be observed, that in exact language we cannot talk of the millennarian statements of the Book of Enoch, for though the reign of the glorified Son of Man is frequently brought forward, its duration is no where mentioned, nor is it easy to ascertain whether the author had any notion of the heavenly state, as it is generally understood. The blessedness of the saints in heaven and with God is indeed occasionally asserted, but other passages would lead one to suppose that Enoch does not ultimately elevate the saints to heaven, but rather brings down heaven upon earth. The general destruction of the earth and of the elements is no where predicted, or rather we should say the permanency of the heavenly bodies, seems throughout to be taken for granted.
Of the reign of the Son of Man he thus further speaks : “ In that day shall the Elect One sit upon a throne of glory; and shall choose their conditions and countless habitations (while their spirits within them shall be strengthened when they behold the Elect One). Yea, he shall choose them for those who have fled for protection to my holy and glorious name. In that day I will cause my Elect One to dwell in the midst of them; will change the face of heaven; will bless it, and illuminate it for ever. I will also change the face of the earth ; will bless it; and cause those whom I have elected to dwell upon it. But those who have committed sin and iniquity shall not inhabit it, for I have marked their proceedings. My righteous ones will I satisfy with peace, placing them before me, but the condemnation of sinners shall draw near, that I may destroy them from the face of the earth. There I beheld the Ancient of Days, whose head was like white wool, and with him another whose countenance resembled that of man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I enquired of one of the holy angels, who went with me, and who shewed me every secret thing concerning the Son of Man : who he was, whence he was, and why he accompanied the Ancient of Days. He answered and said to me; This is the Son of Man, to whom righteousness belongs ; with whom righteousness has dwelt; and who will reveal all the treasures of that which is concealed; for the Lord of Spirits has chosen him; and his portion has surpassed all before the Lord of Spirits in everlasting uprightness. The Son of Man, whom thou beholdest, shall raise up kings and the mighty from their couches, and the powerful from their thrones ; shall loosen the bridles of the