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Enoch, Book of

An imaginative expansion on the story of the Sons of God and the daughters of men in Gen 6:1,2.

A group of 200 angels (led by archangels Shemihazah and Azazel)         descend to the earth where they take human wives and father a race of giants, or Titans. For this sin the angels are bound in Tartarus to await judgment for 70 generations. The angels ask Enoch to intercede for them, but Enoch's requests are refused. The angels' children cause havoc on the earth, but then are drowned in the flood. But the spirits of the giants survive to torment mankind, becoming a new class of beings -- the demons. The giants' human mothers also survive and become Sirens.

In Christ's day the Book of Enoch was a "bestseller", spawning a small library of derivative literature: Jubilees, Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs, 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, etc. (There is a possible reference to this by Christ in Mar 12:25.)


The information presented below is drawn from AH Boulton: "The Book of Enoch" (Tes, July 1932); NActs; WSSE; and Bill Davison: "The Devil and Demons -- A New Approach".

Since the discovery of the Greek manuscript at Qumran in 1946 it is no longer possible to claim the book is an Ethiopian forgery. Enoch was obviously well known to both Peter and Jude, and there are anything up to 50 references to Enoch in their epistles to prove it beyond any doubt.

The argument:

A. Peter and Jude were opposing serious heresies (2Pe 2:1), including:

  1. myths and fables (contrasted with inspiration);
  2. the blaspheming of angels (contrasted with angels who do not even rebuke);
  3. denying the coming of the Lord ("all things continue since creation");
  4. denying the intercessor role of Christ (Enoch not Christ goes to heaven to beg for the sheep);
  5. financial exploitation (2Pe 2:3);
  6. lasciviousness (2Pe 2:7,18; Jud 1:4).
B. Peter and Jude "have the more sure word of prophecy":

More sure than what? More sure than their "cunningly devised fables". Note that 2Pe 1:16-19 gives a lengthy description of the Transfiguration, a deliberate contrast of Peter's real experience as a witness of Christ and hearer of God's words "on the mountain", with that of Enoch: "And they took and brought me to a place in which those who were there were like flaming fire, and, when they wished, they appeared as men, and they brought me to the place of darkness, and to a mountain the point of whose summit reached to heaven" (17:1,2). The point of Peter raising this as his first point in the argument is because of the contrast between the first person witness of Peter who WAS with Christ on the mountain and was shown the Kingdom, and the false teachers who were NOT on any mountain with Enoch when Enoch was shown the heavens. Cp 2Pe 3:2; Jud 1:17.

C. The teachers taught "cunningly devised fables" (2Pe 1:16; 2:12; 3:16; Jud 1:10). Both the context of 2:12 and Jude 1:10 are speaking evil of angels. The things they understand not are angels.

D. The false teachers accused angels of sin (2Pe 2:10; Jud 1:8).

E. The Book of Enoch accuses angels of sin (2Pe 2:4,9; Jud 1:5-7).

F. Peter and Jude use the book's own illogicalities to undermine those who use it (just as Christ used Pharisee's ideas to expose them in Luke 16):

Jude 1:14: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, ('Enoch the seventh from Adam' is a quote from the Book of Enoch, not from the Bible)         prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Cp the Book of Enoch 1:9. The idea of using Enoch as a source to condemn the Enochites is rejected by many. But why? In Luke 16 the Pharisees' ideas of Abraham's Bosom are used to ridicule them. The ridicule of pagan gods and demons goes back at least to Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Another point: According to the grammar of the Greek Enoch did not prophecy "of these" (AV)         or "about these men" (NIV)         but "to these"; the Greek has PROEFHTEUSEN DE KAI TOUTOIS (dative), wheras if AV and NIV are right it should be PROEFHTEUSEN PERI TOUTWN (genitive). The difference can be illustrated by two exchanges between Christ and the Pharisees: Mat 26:68 has "prophesy to us!" -- PROFHTEUSON HMIN (dative)         and Mat 15:7 has "prophesied well concerning you" -- KALWS EPROFHTEUSEN PERI UMWN (genitive).

So Enoch prophesied to those who "speak evil of those things which they know not". How did he do this? Through the pages of their own book. As Boulton wrote concerning Jude and Enoch: "the writers of the NT were ready to use legend and folklore as Jesus was ready to use superstitious beliefs in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus". The parallel with Luke 16 is quite telling because Christ used the Pharisees' fantasies about Hades to attack Caiaphas (and his five brother-in-law high priests dressed in purple and linen), Jude uses the Enochites' fantasies about angels to attack them.

G. Peter and Jude use the book's own language to reject the teachers (2Pe 1:9; 2:17).

Also, 2Pe 2:17 and Jud 1:12,13: All the imagery and several verbatim phrases regarding the false teachers are quotes referring to the fallen angels Stars and 'Shepherds' in Enoch (cf. all of Enoch 96~100).

"I saw the winds on the earth carrying the clouds: I saw the paths of the angels" (Enoch 18:5,6). "I saw from whence they proceed in that place and from whence they saturate the dusty earth. And there I saw closed chambers out of which the winds are divided, the chamber of the hail and winds, the chamber of the mist, and of the clouds, and the cloud thereof hovers over the earth from the beginning of the world" (41:4,5). "And the fourth quarter, named the north, is divided into three parts: the first of them is for the dwelling of men: and the second contains seas of water, and the abysses and forests and rivers, and darkness and clouds; and the third part contains the garden of righteousness" (77:3).

"Observe and see how (in the winter)         all the trees seem as though they had withered and shed all their leaves, except fourteen trees, which do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage from two to three years till the new comes" (3:1)         "And he said unto me: 'Enoch, why dost thou ask me regarding the fragrance of the tree, and why dost thou wish to learn the truth?' Then I answered him saying: 'I wish to know about everything, but especially about this tree.' And he answered saying: 'This high mountain which thou hast seen, whose summit is like the throne of God, is His throne, where the Holy Great One, the Lord of Glory, the Eternal King, will sit, when He shall come down to visit the earth with goodness. And as for this fragrant tree no mortal is permitted to touch it till the great judgement, when He shall take vengeance on all and bring (everything)         to its consummation for ever. It shall then be given to the righteous and holy. Its fruit shall be for food to the elect: it shall be transplanted to the holy place, to the temple of the Lord, the Eternal King" (25:1-6). "And in those times the fruits of the earth shall be backward, And shall not grow in their time, And the fruits of the trees shall be withheld in their time" (80:3). "And high trees were rent 5 from their stems, and hurled down and sunk in the abyss" (83:4,5).

"And if He sends His anger upon you because of your deeds, ye cannot petition Him; for ye spake proud and insolent words against His righteousness: therefore ye shall have no peace. And see ye not the sailors of the ships, how their ships are tossed to and fro by the waves, and are shaken by the winds, and are in sore trouble?" (101:3-5).

H. The real heresy is the denial of Christ for Enoch (Jud 1:18,19; 2Pe 3:3,4).

The Enochites denied the second coming of Christ by referring to Jewish cosmology: "From the creation of the world and unto eternity... and through that oath are the depths made fast, and abide and stir not from their place from eternity to eternity" (69:18,19).

Worse, they made Enoch the intercessor calling for judgement (2Pe 2:1): "And this one who wrote the book carried it up, and showed it and read it before the Lord of the sheep, and implored Him on their account, and besought Him on their account as he showed Him all the doings of the shepherds, and gave testimony before Him against all the shepherds" (Enoch 89:76,77).

As one last sober point. If Peter and Jude were so opposed to those who "spoke evil of dignitaries" we also should be careful what we say of angels "who are ALL ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb 1:14 -- written by a Jew who must also have heard of the Book of Enoch).

The fact remains is that out of 300+ other references to angels in OT and NT all (meaning ALL including Psa 78:49)         are unanimously describing obedient angels who are ALL ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.


We have shown that the treatment of the Book of Enoch in 2Pe and Jude shows it to be a "cunningly devised fable" of those who "speak evil about things they know not" and "slander celestial beings".

We have shown that the language used to describe the Enochites is drawn from the Book of Enoch's own description of the "angels that sinned", "wandering stars" and "shepherds".

We have shown that Enoch did not prophesy to the believers "concerning" these "wandering stars" but prophesied to the false teachers present at the love feasts in the church. The false teachers, not the believers, were those who recognized the book's authority and to whom Enoch prophesied.

We have shown that the references to the Apostles' vision on the mountain are the answer to Enoch's vision on the mountain, and that the Apostles had a "more sure word of prophecy" and were "dreamers" (visionaries)         in fulfillment of Joel at Pentecost, not "[filthy] dreamers" like the Enochites.

We have shown that in Enoch "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" and that not only did the Enochites mock the coming, they also denied the Lord that bought them, having Enoch intercede "for the sheep".

Most importantly we have Peter's own testimony about angels which contradicts that of the Enochites:

1Pe 1:10-21: Even angels long to look into the things spoken by the Spirit of Christ in the OT prophets.

1Pe 3:22: Angels (AGGELOI), authorities (EXOUSIAI), and powers (DUNAMOI)         are in submission to Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God.

2Pe 2:11: Angels, even though they are stronger and more powerful than those who slander celestial beings, do not bring slanderous accusations against them (the slanderers)         in the presence of the Lord.

These three mentions show the doctrine taught by Peter and Jude: a doctrine of obedient angels, giving honor to the Spirit of Christ even before he was born, of all classes of angel in submission to Christ now, and not slandering even the worst of mankind.

The contrast with the teachings of the Enochites is only too clear on each point. We now have to make a choice as to whom to believe: the Apostles or the Enochites? We cannot believe both.


See also (1)         Lesson, Zec 3 and Enoch, and (2)         Lesson, Enoch and spirits in prison.

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