By George E. Ladd, Ph.D.
(Continued from the October-December Number, 1952)
THE FIRST BOOK. 1-36
The purpose of the first part of Enoch may be summed
up in two phrases: the explanation of the present condition
of the world, and the anticipation of the salvation to come.1
Sin has caused such disorder among men that moral and
spiritual chaos reigns. This troubled state was brought about
by the sin and fall of the angels; but the world will one day
be restored to its former condition of peace and prosperity.
will be the day ushering in the
The concept of the
part of Enoch is very similar to that found in Jubilees.2 In
the first five chapters, which constitute a sort of introduction
to the compilation, the author sets the tone for the entire
work. God one day will visit His creation to judge the angels,
to save the righteous, and to punish the wicked.
"The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,
And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, even on
And appear from His camp
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven
And all shall be smitten with fear,
And the Watchers shall quake,3
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the
ends of the earth.
And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
1Adolphe Lods, Histoire de la Litterature Hebraique et Juive (
2Cf. the former article in this series in Bibliotheca Sacra, cix (1952), pp.
3Cf. Daniel 4:13, 17, 23 (4:10, 14, 20 in the original). In Enoch, "the
Watchers" are fallen angels.
And shall melt like wax before the flame.
And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder,
And there shall be a judgement upon all men.
But with the righteous He will make peace,
And will protect the elect,
And mercy shall be upon them.
And they shall all belong to God,
And they shall be prospered,
And they shall all be blessed.
And He will help them all,
And light shall appear unto them,
And He will make peace with them.
And behold! He cometh with ten thousands
of His holy
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:4
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have
spoken against Him" (1:3-9).
This passage portrays the day of judgment in Old Testa-
ment terms. As God
one day had visited
so will He again visit the earth at
This visitation will be accompanied by mighty convulsions
of the physical world which are described in biblical phrases.5
It is not clear that the author thinks of this day of the Lord
to the as a termination of earthly history. The phraseology may be
designed to describe the glory which accompanies the divine
The language of the passage makes no reference to a
Messiah. God Himself shall visit the earth for judgment. It
is of course possible that the writer thought of God visiting
the earth in the person of the unnamed Messiah; but it is
hazardous to postulate a concept in the absence of evidence.
The introduction continues by contrasting God's faithful-
4Cf. Jude 14.
5Cf. Judges 5:5, Micah 1:4, Nahum 1:5, Psalms 97:5.
34 Bibliotheca Sacra
ness as it is manifested in the orderliness of the universe
with man's faithlessness. The stars, the seasons, the cycles
of foliage, the regularity of the years, all illustrate the sub-
missiveness of the natural world to God. In contrast, men in
hardness of heart have rebelled against God to break His
commandments and to speak against Him. Therefore God's
judgment will fall upon them. But for the righteous,
"... there shall be forgiveness of sins,
And every mercy and peace and forbearance:
There shall be salvation unto them, a
But for the elect there shall be light and joy and peace,
And they shall inherit the earth.
And then there shall be bestowed upon the elect wisdom,
And they shall all live and never again sin,
Either through ungodliness or through pride:
But they who are wise shall be humble.
And they shall not again transgress,
Nor shall they sin all the days of their life,
Nor shall they die of the divine anger or wrath,
But they shall complete the number of the days of
And their lives shall be increased in peace,
And the years of their joy shall be multiplied,
In eternal gladness and peace,
All the days of their life" (5:6-9).
These two passages anticipate the day of judgment which
will restore the divinely intended order to the world. Sinners
will be destroyed while the righteous enter into larger bless-
ings, which are described in terms both of human happiness
and spiritual well-being. The setting of this happy scene is
the earth, where men will thereafter round out the full num-
ber of their days in perfect enjoyment of the blessings of
This is a picture of
After this introduction, the book describes the way in
which sin became dominant among men and the human race
became demoralized. Sin came through the fall of the angels
who, because of their lust for women, fell. This fall is related
in some detail. A highly developed angelology is one of the
outstanding features of the Jewish inter-Testamental litera-
ture. The source of sin is revealed to be the fallen angels,
particularly Azazel (10:8), through whom the whole earth
has been corrupted. God then sent the angels Michael, Oriel,
Raphael, and Gabriel to bind the fallen angels and to im-
prison them in anticipation of the day of judgment. In that
day, the angels will be led off into the abyss of fire (10:13)
to be confined forever in torment. Judgment will then visit
the earth and all wrong will be destroyed. Then God's people
will enter into blessing, and righteousness and truth shall
"And then shall all the righteous escape,
And shall live till they beget thousands of children,
And all the days of their youth and their old age
Shall they complete in peace.
"And then shall the whole earth be tilled in righteousness,
and shall all be planted with trees and be full of blessing.
And all desirable trees shall be planted on it, and they shall
plant vines on it: and the vine which they plant thereon shall
yield wine in abundance, and as for all the seed which is
sown thereon each measure of it shall bear a thousand, and
each measure of olives shall yield ten presses of oil. And
cleanse thou the earth from all oppression, and from all un-
righteousness, and from all sin, and from all godlessness
and all the uncleanness that is wrought upon the earth de-
stroy from off the earth. And all the children of men shall
become righteous, and all nations shall offer adoration and
shall praise Me, and all shall worship Me. And the earth shall
be cleansed from all defilement, and from all sin, and from all
punishment, and from all torment, and I will never again
send them upon it from generation to generation and for ever.
"And in those days I will open the store chambers of bless-
ing which are in the heaven, so as to send them down upon
the earth over the work and labour of the children of men.
And truth and peace shall be associated together throughout
36 Bibliotheca Sacra
all the days of the world and throughout all the generations
of men" (10:17-11:2).
Here again the kingdom is viewed as the restoration of
mankind to the happy condition of life on earth known be-
fore the fallen angels brought corruption into human affairs.
This salvation will include all nations. This envisages the
conversion of the Gentiles; for all men will become righteous
and God will shower His heavenly blessings upon His crea-
tures, who will then enjoy a peaceful, prolific, and prosperous
One more glimpse of the anticipated kingdom is afforded
in the latter part of this first book. Chapters 17-38 relate the
journeys of Enoch through various parts of the universe and
the scenes he there witnessed. Among other sights, he beheld
at the end of the heaven and earth the place of imprisonment
for the fallen angels as well as their place of final punishment.
He also visited Sheol, which was located in a great mountain
in the West, and saw the several compartments where various
classes of men were awaiting the final judgment. Then Enoch
visited another part of the earth beyond a burning range of
mountains, where he beheld in the midst of six mountains a
seventh mountain more lofty than the others. This mountain
is to be the throne of God where the Great King will sit when
He visits the earth. Near the throne Enoch saw the tree of
life, perennial in leaf and bloom, fragrant beyond all fra-
grance, with fruit; resembling palm-dates. This tree is re-
served until the coming of the kingdom and will be the in-
strumentality by which men regain their lost state of blessed-
ness. Its fruit, however, does not bestow eternal life, only
unusual longevity of happiness on earth. The coming of the
kingdom will involve the transplanting of the tree of life to
the holy place, to the temple of the Lord on earth (25:5). The
is thus to center in
capital. The marvelous effects of the tree of life are described
in these words.
"And as for this fragrant tree no mortal is permitted to
touch it till the great judgement, when He shall take ven-
geance 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.
Then shall they rejoice with joy and be glad,
And into the holy place shall they enter;
And its fragrance shall be in their bones,
And they shall live a long life on earth,
Such as thy fathers lived:
And in their days shall no sorrow or plague
Or torment of calamity touch them" (25:4-6).
Very little is said in the first section of Enoch about res-
urrection of the dead either for judgment or for the enjoy-
ment of kingdom blessings. The only distinct reference is
found in Enoch's visit to Sheol (22). There he saw three
smooth places hollowed out of a mountain of hard rock, where
the spirits of the souls of men were gathered until the day of
judgment. One compartment was a bright place with a foun-
tain of water, where the spirits of the righteous await their
judgment. The other two were dark. One is for sinners who
died without having experienced judgment in their earthly
existence. These suffer in great pain until the judgment,
when they are to be bound forever. The other place held
sinners who were complete in transgression. "Their spirits
shall not be slain in the day of judgement nor shall they be
raised from thence" (22:13). Sheol thus is to become the
place of their eternal punishment. We may infer from this
verse that all others, the righteous and most of the wicked,
will be raised at the day of judgment, the righteous to enter
into the kingdom and the wicked to be judged.
THE SECOND BOOK. 37-71
The second part of Enoch takes the form of three parables
or similitudes which embody revelations given to Enoch by
"the Lord of Spirits," that he in turn might show to those
that dwell on the earth the things which will take place
when God raises the dead, judges the wicked, punishes the
fallen angels, and brings the righteous into the kingdom. The
means by which this revelation is imparted to Enoch is by
38 Bibliotheca Sacra
his translation to heaven. He is carried by a whirlwind up
from the earth to the end of the heavens, where he sees
these apocalyptic events as though they were already taking
place. "In those days I saw the Head of Days when He seated
Himself upon the throne of His glory, and the books of the
living were opened before Him" (47:3). Repeatedly the book
lapses into prophecy of what is to take place when the day
of judgment comes; but the prophecy is based on what
Enoch actually experienced. He witnessed these apocalyptic
events already occurring in heaven, as though they consti-
tuted a drama acted out in advance before their earthly
counterparts occur on earth.
The unique feature of this book is the means by which
the kingdom comes: by the agency of a heavenly Son of Man,
who is also called the Elect One. The two names or expressions
are used quite interchangeably.6 This Son of Man is clearly an
individual who is coming to earth to bring the kingdom and
execute the final judgment. He is a pre-existent, superhuman
being, having been preserved by God from before the creation
of the world for the purpose of bringing to pass the final
judgment (48:2, 3, 6). It may even be that deity is implicitly
imputed to the Son of Man,7 but this is debatable. God has
kept Him in hiding from the beginning and preserved Him
for the day of revelation (62:7). This heavenly being is
called not only the Son of Man and the Elect One but also
the Righteous One (38:2, et passim), the Righteous and
Elect One (53:6), the Elect One of righteousness and faith
(39:6). His dwelling-place was under the wings of the Lord
of Spirits (39:7). He is described elsewhere (71:14) as "the
Son of Man who is born unto righteousness; and righteous-
6As might be expected, it is surmised that at least two sources lie behind
the present form of the Similitudes: a Son of Man source and an Elect
One source (cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch [
Press, 1912], pp. 64-65). It is indeed clear that the Parables are com-
posite to some extent, for there are unmistakable interpolations from a
Book of Noah (60, 65:1-69:25). However, the question of sources does
not affect the present survey.
7W. O. E. Oesterley, The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period
(London: S.P.C.K., 1941, p. 157), finds such implicit deity in Enoch
ness abides over him, and the righteousness of the Head of
forsakes him not."8 He is peculiarly endowed with
dom (49:3), righteousness (46:3) and power (49:3).
The main function of this heavenly Son of Man is to
share with God in the inauguration of the kingdom.
"And there I saw One, who had a head of days,
And His head was white like wool,
And with Him was another being whose countenance
had the appearance of a man,
And his face, was full of graciousness, like one of the
And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me
all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he
was, and whence he was, and why he went with the Head of
Days? And he answered and said unto me:
This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness,
And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is
This passage is clearly an interpretation and enlargement of
the Son of Man passage in Daniel 7. In the day of judgment,
God will seat the Son of Man on the throne of His glory (62:
2, 3 ; 69:27, 29) and to Him will be given the sum of all
judgment (69:27). Elsewhere it is the Head of Days who
sits on the throne of glory for judgment (47:3). In view of
the fact that the Son of Man is said to come with the Head
of Days (46:1), we may conclude that the Son of Man and
the Head of Days share jointly the throne of judgment, with
the Son of Man as the active agent.
At this time men will be judged by their works (45:3),
which apparently have been recorded in "the books of the
8This is the rendering of Charles' English edition. The Ethiopic text is in
the second person, addressing Enoch as the Son of Man. This passage
has been utilized by some scholars as support for a theory of the eleva-
tion of Enoch to messianic dignity. (Cf. F. J. Foakes Jackson and K.
Lake, The Beginnings of Christianity [
371, and especially Rudolf Otto The
Charles has reason to believe that the text here is faulty and he emends
it as quoted above. (Cf. his notes in The Book of Enoch, pp. 144-45,
and H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic [2nd ed.;
Lutterworth Press, 1947], p. 58.)
living" (47:3). This judgment will be absolutely just, for the
actions of both men (41:1) and angels (61:8) will be
weighed in the balance. Kings and mighty men will be pun-
ished because they have not extolled the Lord of Spirits,
"nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed
upon them" (46:5). The Son of Man will slay the wicked
by the word of His mouth (62:2), for His word shall go
forth in power (69:29) to destroy all evil.
Now that judgment has fallen upon them, the kings and
rulers of the earth will fall upon their faces before the Son
of Man and petition Him for mercy; but it is too late. The
Lord of Spirits will drive them from His presence, and they
will be delivered over to the angels for punishment (62:9-10)9
Sinners will be destroyed from off the face of the earth.
Those who have led the world astray will be bound with
chains and imprisoned in a place of destruction; all their
works and everything corruptible is purged from the earth
(69:28). In their torment,
"They shall be a spectacle for the righteous and for
They shall rejoice over them,
Because the wrath of the Lord of Spirits resteth upon
And His sword is drunk with their blood" (62:12).
"In those days downcast in countenance shall the kings
of the earth have become,
And I will give them over into the hands of Mine elect :
As straw in the fire so shall they burn before the face
of the holy:
As lead in the water shall they sink before the face of
And no trace of them shall any more be found" (48:8-9).
This judgment of the Son of Man falls not only upon
9Several times we find the thought in this part of Enoch that one of the
functions of the angels is to serve as ministers of punishment and tor-
ment not only for men (53:3, 62:11, 63:1), but also for the fallen
sinners, but also upon the fallen evil angels (55:4, 61:8). In
one passage, both men and angels are hurled to the same fate
May we think of this Son of Man as the Messiah? In two
places He is so named. In a description of the judgment, of
sinners, we read that "they shall fall and not rise again
and there shall be no one to take them with his hands and
raise them: for they have denied the Lord of Spirits and His
Anointed" (48:10). In another place, the Gentile nations are
described in terms of six metal mountains which are to be
destroyed by the Elect One. After the vision of the moun-
tains, Enoch asked the angel what these things were and is
told, "All these things which thou hast seen shall serve the
dominion of His Anointed, that he may be potent and mighty
on the earth" (52:4). The angel adds that the Elect One shall
utterly destroy these mountains. Nowhere else in Enoch is the
Son of Man called the Messiah. Some scholars would insist
that the term "Messiah" does not properly belong to the Son
of Man, but should be reserved for the Davidic King who
would arise from among men to restore the political kingdom
to Israel.10 Others emphasize the application of "Messiah" to
the heavenly Son of Man and find here sufficient evidence to
view both the Davidic King and the heavenly Son of Man as
messianic.11 While the use of the word "Messiah" in the pres-
ent passage makes it impossible to insist upon as sharp a dis-
"Messiah" and "Son of Man" as
two terms to describe the two diverse messianic expectations
entertained by first century (B.C.) Judaism: one of an
earthly Davidic King, a ruler who should arise from the
midst of his people; the other of a heavenly, pre-existent,
supernatural being. These were the two main developments
10J. Foakes Jackson and K.
373-74. This expectation of a Davidic King is found in Psalms of
11W. 0. E. Oesterley, The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period
(London: S.P.C.K., 1941), p. 155. G. Dalman sees Messianic significance
in the Enochian Son of the Man (The Words of Jesus [English trans-
42 Bibliotheca Sacra
within Judaism from the Old Testament messianic teachings.
We must now ask who are meant by the "kings and
mighty of the earth"12 upon whom this apocalyptic judgment
will fall. Throughout the Parables there runs a constant con-
trast between the holy, righteous, elect and the sinners,
godless, kings, and mighty of the earth. It is clear that the
righteous are those for whose comfort the book was written.
They are God's true people who are now being oppressed
by rich, powerful rulers, even to the point of bloodshed
(47:1-2). The contrast must be either between Jews and
Gentiles as a whole, or between an elect remnant within the
nation when the rulers have become apostate.
We have previously indicated13 that the most likely his-
torical setting for Enoch is the Maccabean period, when there
arose within the nation a faithful circle of men who ad-
hered strictly to the Law while others, especially in the
priestly and aristocratic circles, were succumbing to worldly,
Hellenistic practices. Indications in the Parables suggest a
date between 100 and 64 B.C.; and we know from other
sources14 that these years witnessed a contest which more
than once broke into open violence, between the Pharisees15
and the Hasmoneans.
One passage seems to be an extreme description even of
"And all their deeds manifest unrighteousness,
And their power rests upon their riches,
And their faith is in the gods which they have made
with their hands,
And they deny the name of the Lord of Spirits,
And they persecute the houses of His congregations,
12Cf. 46:4-8, 48:8-10, 53:5, 62:1-12, 67:8-13.
13Cf. Bibliotheca Sacra cix (1952), p. 321 f.
14Cf. Josephus, Antiquities, XIII, 13-14.
15It is generally felt that the Pharisees were the successors of the Hasi-
deans, "the Pious," who resisted the aggressive hellenizing policies of
Antiochus Epiphanes. Cf. I Macc. 2:43, II Macc. 14:6; M. J. La-
grange, Le Judaisme avant
Jesus Christ (
F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (
bridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1944), I, 59, 60.
And the faithful who hang upon the name of the Lord
of Spirits" (46:7-8).
Surely not even the Hasmoneans and the Sadducees, as apos-
tate as they had become,16 went so far as to worship gods
which they had made with their hands, i.e., pagan idols.
Schürer appeals to this verse as evidence for a later date for
the Parables.17 He feels that the language demands a time
subsequent to the appearance of Herod the Great, when the
Gentiles in the person of the Romans and their appointed
rulers had become masters of the Jews. This is not a nec-
essary conclusion; for it is psychologically sound that the
Pharisees, "the righteous," should view their enemies within
Judaism, the Sadducees and the Hasmoneans, as being in
spirit and in purpose, if not in fact, allied with the Syrian
rulers and therefore participants in their idolatry. We may
conclude that the Parables represent the devout party within
Judaism in the first century B.C. and that the kings and
mighty of the earth include ultimately Gentiles but primarily
the Jewish rulers who, from the Pharisees' point of view,
had abandoned the Law in favor of pagan interests and
There is indeed one reference that anticipates the salva-
tion of the Gentiles through the Son of Man (48:4).18 How-
ever, this seems to be no more than a formal reference to
such Old Testament prophecies as Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6,
which is here made to glorify the Son of Man rather than
to anticipate a genuine conversion of the Gentiles. In any
become the universal religion and the sovereignty of the Son
of Man world-wide.19
In anticipation of the coming of the kingdom, the dead
16Cf. I Macc. 1:11-15, II Macc. 4:7-15.
17E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi
History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New
18Cf. also 50:2, "And the righteous shall be victorious in the name of the
Lord of Spirits: and He will cause the others to witness this, that they
may repent and forgo the works of their hands."
19G. F. Moore, Judaism, II, 320.
44 Bibliotheca Sacra
will be raised that the Elect One may separate unto salvation
the righteous and the holy from among them (51:1-2). All
who have met violent death, whether on the desert, by beasts,
or at sea, will be raised on the day of the Elect One; for
none of the righteous can be destroyed (61:5). The language
of these passages seems to suggest a universal resurrection;
but it is likely, in view of the setting of the entire work,
that the author's viewpoint does not encompass any beyond
the circle of Jews.20
After the resurrection of the dead and the judgment, the
kingdom will be inaugurated. This kingdom will be established
upon the earth, but on a renewed earth.
"On that day Mine Elect One shall sit on the throne of
And I will transform the heaven and make it an eternal"
blessing and light:
And I will transform the earth and make it a blessing:
And I will cause Mine elect ones to dwell upon it :
But the sinners and evil-doers shall not set foot thereon"
"And the Elect One shall in those
days sit on My throne,
And in those days shall the mountains leap like rams,
And the hills also shall skip like lambs
And the faces of all the angels in heaven shall be lighted
up with joy.21
20Cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, pp. 98-99; G. F. Moore, Judaism,
21There is a problem in the translation of this line. It has usually been
rendered, "They shall all be angels in heaven: their faces shall be
lighted up with joy." (Cf. Beer in Kautzsch's Die Apokryphen and
Pseudepigraphen des A1ten Testaments [Tübingen, 1900], II, 265; W.
Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im späthellenistischen Zeitalter
[3rd ed.; Tübingen, 1926], p. 282; P. Volz, Die Eschatologie der
jüdischen Gemeinde im neutestamentlischen Zeitalter [2nd ed.; Tübingen,
1934; G. F. Moore, Judaism, II, 304). Some of the Ethiopic mss. are to
be rendered in this way. A similar thought is found in 46:1 about the
And the earth shall rejoice,
And the righteous shall dwell upon it,
And the elect shall walk thereon" (51:3-5).
These verses present a different expectation of the king-
dom than that of the first part of Enoch and of Jubilees,
where the kingdom consisted of physical life on the present
earth restored to a perfect state. Here, in the Parables, both
the earth and the heaven are changed and made new. The
background for this thought is Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, and
the passages in Enoch may be considered a midrash on
these prophecies, even as the Enochian Son of Man passages
are a midrash on Daniel 7:13-14. There is no indication of a
A temporal earthly kingdom; the kingdom which is ushered in
after the coming of the Son of Man, the resurrection and
judgment is the eternal kingdom of heavenly blessing on a
We find here in an incipient form the contrast between
this age and the age to come which figures so largely in later
Jewish eschatology and in the New Testament.22 This age is
an age of unrighteousness (45:7) ; the age to come will see
full realization of the
greatly to be regretted that we have neither the Semitic
original nor a Greek version extant for these passages, for
we cannot be sure of the language employed. However, there
appears here the outlines of the concept of the two anti-
thetical ages,23 even though the idea is not thoroughly elab-
orated. In other passages of Jewish literature there inter-
22Cf. Matt. 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 20:34-35, Ephesians 1:21, II Cor. 4:4,
Gal. 1:4, Matt. 13:22,
with at greater length sometime later.
23Cf. R. H.
Charles, op. cit., p. 14-5; F. J. Foakes Jackson and K.
aism, op. cit., p. 370; G. F. Moore op. cit., p. 378, n. 6 ; G. Beer, op. cit.
277; W. Bousset, op. cit., p. 244; G. Dalman, op. cit., p. 148 ff. Dalman
dismisses the significance of these two passages by affirming that both
are late additions to Enoch. This has not been established.
Son of Man: "And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the
holy angels." This would provide background for Jesus' word that, in
the resurrection, men would be like the angels in heaven in that they no
longer enter into normal human relationships. However, the older Ethi-
opic mss. are susceptible of the rendering given above, which Charles
thinks is better. (Cf. The Book of Enoch, pp. 100-1).
46 Bibliotheca Sacra
venes between this age and the age to come a temporal earthly
kingdom, which in rabbinic Judaism came to be known as
the Days of the Messiah. In fact, this concept is found in a
later portion of Enoch, as we shall see. Here, however, the
coming age follows immediately after the termination of the
present evil age without an interregnum.
The righteous who are to experience the blessings of this
glorious kingdom will undergo a similar transformation.
"And in those days a change shall take place for the
holy and elect,
And the light of days shall abide upon them,
And glory and honour shall turn to the holy" (50:1).
"And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who
dwell on the earth" (38:2).
"And the righteous shall be in the light of the sun,
And the elect in the light of eternal life:
The days of their life shall be unending,
And the days of the holy without number.
And they shall seek the light and find righteousness with
the Lord of Spirits:
There shall be peace to the righteous in the name of the
Eternal Lord" (58-3-4).
"And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory,
And these shall be the garments of life from the Lord
And your garments shall not grow old,
Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits"
This glorious transformation will apparently take place for
the righteous who are alive when the Son of Man comes;
and while the language of the Parables does not explicitly
affirm it, we may assume that the same transformation will
be the experience of the righteous who are raised unto
This is one of the finest portrayals of the resurrection
state to be found in Jewish literature. Often, resurrection
is portrayed in the grossest physical terms. Second Maccabees
records how one Razis was dying from a sword wound, and
"as he was losing the last of his blood, he pulled out his
bowels with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, and
so expired, calling upon him who is lord of life and spirit,
to give these back to him again" (II Macc. 14:46). In such
passages as this, we find the concept not merely of bodily
resurrection, but of physical resurrection: the resuscitation
of the body to the same physical state as that in which it died.
Obviously something far higher than this is found in
these Parables of Enoch. Some sort of a transformation is to
take place. The metaphor of light is employed to describe the
resurrection body; and this concept has an Old Testament
background. Daniel speaks of those who attain everlasting
life24 as those who shall shine like the brightness of the
firmament, like the stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:2, 3).
Isaiah anticipates a future salvation when people who walk in
darkness shall see a great light, and when light shall shine
on those who dwell in deep darkness (Isa. 9:1). While
darkness now covers the earth, the Lord shall arise and
shall bring light and glory to the people of earth (Isa. 60:1-3).
Such Old Testament ideas are developed in Enoch with
special reference to the resurrection body.
In this future kingdom of light and glory, the Elect One
will dwell with the righteous (45:4). The Lord of Spirits
will abide over them, and they shall eat and drink and enjoy
everlasting fellowship with the Son of Man (62:14). The
kingdom will be universal in its scope (62:6) and unending
in its duration.
While nothing is said explicitly about the Promised Land
essary to presuppose that this is in the writer's mind; for
we read of the last attack of the Gentiles against God's
people in the land, followed by the return of the exiles from
the distant land: and they could hardly return anywhere
but to the Promised Land.
24Twice in Enoch the expression "eternal life" is used to describe this
future life (37:4, 53:3).
48 Bibliotheca Sacra
"And in those days the angels shall return
And hurl themselves to the east upon the Parthians and
They shall stir up the kings, so that a spirit of unrest
shall come upon them,
And they shall rouse them from their thrones,
They that may break forth as lions from their lairs,
And as hungry wolves among their flocks.
And they shall go up and tread under foot the land of
His elect ones,
And the land of His elect ones shall be before them a
threshing-floor and a highway:
But the city of my righteous shall be a hindrance to
And they shall begin to fight among themselves,
And their right hand shall be strong against themselves,
And a man shall not know his brother,
Nor a son his father or his mother,
Till there be no number of the corpses through their
And their punishment be not in vain.
In those days Sheol shall open its jaws,
And they shall be swallowed up therein,
And their destruction shall be at an end;
Sheol shall devour the sinners in the presence of the
"And it came to pass after this that I saw another host
of wagons, and men riding thereon, and coming on the winds
from the east, and from the west to the south. And the noise
of their wagons was heard, and when this turmoil took place
the holy ones from heaven remarked it, and the pillars of
the earth were moved from their place, and the sound thereof
25These two nations are, in the mind of the author, the fulfillment of the
Old Testament prophecies about Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38). After the
decay of Syrian power and before the
the Parthians to the East were a constant source of danger. In fact, in
40 B.C. the Parthians
history of Jewish affairs (Cf. R. H. Pfeiffer, History of New Testament
was heard from the one end of heaven to the other, in one
After the Gentile nations are destroyed in their final
attack upon God's people, the dispersed Israelites regathered
to the Promised Land, the dead raised, the wicked condemned
and sent to hell, the righteous transformed, the earth purged
of all sin and transformed into a glorious state, God's king-
dom under the rule of the heavenly Son of Man shall forever
fill all the earth.
"There is a spiritual message in the Scriptures of truth
which is not discerned by either the 'natural man' or the
'carnal' man, but 'he that is spiritual discerneth all things'
(1 Cor. 2:14-3:4). The testimony concerning Jesus is the
spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10); yet who can know the
things of Christ except those who have received the Christ-
revealing Spirit through regeneration (1 Cor. 2:12-13) ? The
words of the Bible are open to all who have sufficient educa-
tion to read them, while the meaning of the Bible is only
revealed to the heart of the one who, being saved, is walking
in the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:15). There is a legitimate field of
Bible study which may be called technical, critical and sci-
entific. This however must never be confused with the meth-
od mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:13, 'comparing spiritual
things with spiritual.' The technical and scientific—important
in its place—is related to the spiritual about as rhetoric is
related to prevailing prayer. It is the spiritual method of
Bible study which is the source of heart-food for the Chris-
tian. Human learning, as important as it is in its own sphere,
is not the key to the spiritual understanding of the Scrip-
Only those who are saved and Spirit-taught will catch
the glow and glory of Christ, as He is breathed through all
the Bible by the Spirit (Luke 24:27, John 16:12-15, 2 Cor.
Sperry Chafer, Must We Dismiss the
Thanks to Amy Gentile for help with proofing.
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