According to bible scholar Robert Henry Charles, Enoch has had more influence on the New Testament than any other so-called apocryphal or pseudepigraphal work. This makes one wonder why we have been warned to stay away from the writings of this pre-Flood prophet. However, after reading through 1 Enoch1 and the entire New Testament, it is hard to fathom why anyone would want to dismiss this book.
The writers of New Testament canon authenticate the importance of the Book of Enoch. Verbatim quotes taken from this book can be found in the Gospels, Hebrews, Romans, Revelation, and Jude. This is fitting for a book that was written specifically for the last generation living at the time just before Yeshua’s second coming.
Enoch — The Hidden Prophet
We will begin our investigation into this ancient book by revisiting Genesis.
And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.Genesis 5:24 New International Version
Many of us were taught in church that this verse meant that Enoch was taken to heaven. Is this really what the phrase “God took Him” is saying? When you examine the word laqach (Strong’s #H3947), translated as “took”, you may draw a different conclusion. While it can mean to take or carry off, should we infer that the only place Enoch could have been carried off to was the heaven of heavens?
Remember, Yeshua is the first fruits of the Resurrection. No one who has already died is in heaven now, except our Messiah, who is also serving presently as our High Priest.2
No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.John 3:13 Berean Study Bible
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.1 Thessalonians 4: 16,17 Berean Study Bible
“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. For David did not ascend into the heavens…Acts 2:29; 34(a) English Standard Version
You may be tempted to cite the conversation Yeshua had with the thief on the cross as a rebuttal to what has just been presented. However, your counter claim hinges on the placement of a comma in Luke 23:43:
And Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”Berean Study Bible
The comma placement in this and other translations is misleading. Koine Greek (the language of the day) was written without punctuation. So it was up to the translator (or his/her editor) to decide whether to put a comma after the word you. However, when you place the comma after the word today, something incredible happens. Doing so better aligns Yeshua’s promise to this condemned man with what Scripture actually says about the order of the resurrections.3
Once you understand this it is hard to believe that Enoch, Elijah, or the thief would be taken up to heaven before our Messiah. Believers who are included in the first resurrection — those already in Sheol and those still alive — will be taken up at the same time.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.1 Thessalonians 4:15 New Living Translation
It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.1 Corinthians 15:52 New Living Translation
So, the Prophet Enoch was taken by Yah. But where did he disappear to? The Book of Jubilees tells us.
And he was taken from amongst the children of men, and we conducted him in to the Garden of Eden in majesty and honour, and behold there he writes down the condemnation and judgment of the world, and all the wickedness of the children of men. And on account of it (God) brought the waters of the flood upon all the land of Eden; for there he was set as a sign and that he should testify against all the children of men, that he should recount all the deeds of the generations until the day of condemnation. And he burnt the incense of the sanctuary, (even) sweet spices acceptable before the Lord on the Mount. For the Lord has four places on the earth, the Garden of Eden, and the Mount of the East, and this mountain on which thou art this day, Mount Sinai, and Mount Zion (which) will be sanctified in the new creation for a sanctification of the earth; through it will the earth be sanctified from all (its) guilt and its uncleanness throughout the generations of the world.Book of Jubilees 4:23-26 R.H. Charles translation
Enoch was still alive; acting in the role of Priest while in the Garden of Eden. This means he was 365 when he was taken to the Garden (Genesis 5:23).4 At the time of Noah’s birth a panicked Lamech would seek counsel from his father Methuselah regarding paternity issues. Methuselah interceded with his father Enoch on Lamech’s behalf.
And after some days my son Methuselah took a wife for his son Lamech, and she became pregnant by him and bore a son. And his body was white as snow and red as the blooming of a rose, and the hair of his head and his long locks were white as wool, and his eyes beautiful. And when he opened his eyes, he lighted up the whole house like the sun, and the whole house was very bright. And thereupon he arose in the hands of the midwife, opened his mouth, and conversed with the Lord of righteousness. And his father Lamech was afraid of him and fled, and came to his father Methuselah. And he said unto him: ‘I have begotten a strange son, diverse from and unlike man, and resembling the sons of the God of heaven; and his nature is different and he is not like us, and his eyes are as the rays of the sun, and his countenance is glorious. And it seems to me that he is not sprung from me but from the angels, and I fear that in his days a wonder may be wrought on the earth. And now, my father, I am here to petition thee and implore thee that thou mayest go to Enoch, our father, and learn from him the truth, for his dwelling-place is amongst the angels.’ And when Methuselah heard the word of his son, he came to me to the ends of the earth; for he had heard that I was there, and he cried aloud, and I heard his voice and I came to him. And I said unto him: ‘Behold, here am I, my son, wherefore hast thou come to me?’1 Enoch 106:1-9 (Fragment of the Book of Noah) R.H. Charles translation
Keep in mind that it was during this time that Nephilim giants were roaming the earth. These were the monstrous offspring of disobedient Watcher angels and human females. No wonder Lamech was freaked out. However, the important thing to remember is that Enoch is still alive, hundreds of years following his being “taken” away to Eden. (Genesis 5:21-26)
Enoch eventually died and went to Sheol, the compartmental destination of every human after death.
For thus did Enoch, the father of your father command Methuselah, his son, and Methuselah his son Lamech, and Lamech commended me all the things which his father commanded him. And I also will give you commandment, my sons, as Enoch commanded his son in the first jubilees: whilst still living, the seventh in his generation, he commanded and testified to his son and to his sons’s sons until the day of his death.Book of Jubilees 7:38,39 R.H. Charles translation
It is interesting that Enoch disappeared from among men, only to re-appear after spending time with the angels in Eden.5 This is also true of the book that bears his name.
There is an interesting parallel between the life of Enoch, related in his book, and the subsequent history of the book itself. We are told Enoch was secluded from mankind for a period of time. The, after being called to become a preacher, Enoch reappeared as a powerful figure on the world scene. As we will see, the Book of Enoch has been through a similar process of reappearance in recent times. For many years the Book of Enoch was in a period of virtual seclusion. The book is now reemerging on the world stage with an important message undiminished by time.Who Really Wrote the Book of Enoch? by R.I. Burns, SageWorks Press, 2017, page 148
The Dead Sea Scrolls Authenticate Enoch
You may be surprised to learn that among the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the caves of Qumran, the Book of Enoch was amongst the most represented. It wasn’t until after the Resurrection that this important book fell into disfavor among the religious leaders in Jerusalem. We suspect that it was because Enoch foretold the coming of Yeshua and his Kingdom.
Rabbis who rejected Yeshua also began to standardize canon, excluding Enoch’s writings. Although the book of Enoch maintained its relevance among New Testament writers, it began to disappear into the background of history; eventually banned by the Council of Laodicea. Both Jerome and Augustine apparently endorsed this discrediting of the book.
We praise Yah that this group of self-anointed arbiters of the validity of Scripture did not have the final say in the matter. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 produced fragments from at least 10 copies of Enoch, along with fragments from Jubilees, the Psalms, Isaiah and Deuteronomy.
Enoch’s Fingerprints Are All Over The New Testament
According to R.H. Charles, 1 Enoch has influenced New Testament writers more than any other extra-biblical ancient writings. Using Charles’ notes as a guide, we have created the chart below to help you test whether this is true.
|BOOK OF ENOCH
|1 John 1:7
|1 John 2:8
|1 John 2:15
|1 Corinthians 6:2
|2 Corinthians 4:6
|1 Thessalonians 5:3
|2 Thessalonians 1:7
|1 Timothy 1:9
|1 Timothy 1:15
|1 Timothy 5:21
|1 Timothy 16:15
|Chapter 15:1; 70:1-4
|John 12:36/Luke 16:8
Feature image attribution: “Enoch Translated” [Phillip Medhurst, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]
“Caves at Dead Sea Scrolls” Attribution: [Lux Moundi, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]
*These verses identify “the devil” by name, the fallen angel Azazel. See also 1 Enoch 8:1,2
1 There are currently three versions of Enoch. The version referred to in this article as 1 Enoch is the one we believe to be the most trustworthy translation. In this article all references to the Book of Enoch allude to 1 Enoch, which is also called Ethiopic Enoch.
2 See The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 5, “The Resurrections”, page 60.
3 Read The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 5
4 In 2 Enoch (also called The Book of the Secrets of Enoch) Chapter 68, the author claims that Enoch lived 365 years and was “taken up to heaven on the first day of the month of Tsivan” and remained in heaven sixty days. According to R.H.Charles, 2 Enoch has been preserved only in Slavonic. Writings in the Zohar exhibit close affinity to 2 Enoch. However, Ethiopian Christians regard 1 Enoch as the authentic version, and a part of the canon of their Bible.
5 Read The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 6, “Here Comes The Bride”
Brenda Ross is a co-author of the book, “The Gospel Worth Dying For.” She is a former major market radio and television broadcaster who has served as Single’s Ministry Director at one of Houston’s Memorial Drive-area churches, a Jews for Jesus staff volunteer, and participated in mission outreach activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, and China. Urban mission experience includes volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and catering to the homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.