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The last part of chap. Ixviii. viz. verses 19—42, is perhaps an appendage to chap. Ixvii., and contains an account of the secret name and oath of the Almighty by which all the concerns of the universe are managed and kept stable. It closes the third parable of the book of Enoch, and has its basis in some mystic theology of the writer's time, of which I have no certain knowledge. The two following chapters do not professedly belong to the third parable, and yet the matter of them is of the same general tenor with that which is found in the parables. The substance of them is, the rapture of Enoch into the heavens,' where he sees the mysteries of nature, and the heavenly hosts praising and blessing God, who is seated on a throne of ineffable glory. Enoch is accepted in his worship and piety, and promises of good are made to him and to the righteous.
We now come to a new species of composition, which is entitled : “ The book of the revolutions of the luminaries of heaven.” It occupies chap. lxxi—Ixxxi., and comprises the author's system of astronomy or astrology. It is in vain for any one to derive much from it which is intelligible, unless he is deeply conversant with the history of ancient oriental astronomy. The names given to the sun (Aryares and Tomas), and to the moon (Asonya, Ebla, Benase, Erae), are probably symbolical. The manner in which the writer un. dertakes to account for the motions and phases of the sun, moon, and heavenly bodies, shews him to have been a very attentive observer of matters of fact, and yet entirely ignorant of any true pbilosophical principles of astronomy. Such a man as Ideler, at Berlin, might probably make some curi. ous disclosures by an attentive examination of this part of the book of Enoch, For readers at large, the Book of the Luminaries is at present a sealed book, with the exception of a few obvious particulars that any well informed man may comprehend.
The remainder of the work is occupied by other visions of Enoch, which are communicated to his son Mathusala. • He was admonished, in a vision, of the coming flood; and his father, Mahalaleel, enjoins it upon him to intercede for the earth. He makes intercession; and his prayer is accepted only for a small remnant of menChap. lxxxii. lxxxiii.
Another vision of Enoch, in a dream, is of a very singular cast, and follows the preceding one. Under the symbols of black and white cows and bulls is presented a kind of generic history of Adam's posterity; of the apostate angels as intermingling with them ; of the punishment of the antediluvians; of Noah's ark, the flood, etc. Then the history of Moses, Saul, David, Solomon, etc. is continued under the symbol of sheep. This is carried on, although in a very obscure and sometimes even repulsive manner, down to a period near the Christian era, or perhaps after it. One can hardly recognize the author of the preceding parts of the book, in this insipid and almost monstrous production. Yet now and then a passage occurs, which renders it not improbable that the same hand did execute this portion of the work, which was employed in the preceding part. At present, we have not sufficient ground for disjoining them. This unique composition is comprised in chapters lxxxiv- lxxxix. It affords some data, as we shall hereafter see, for ascertaining the time when the book was written; data which are therefore highly important.
The two following chapters contain a hortatory address of Enoch to all his descendants, in which he gives them warnings, and enjoins upon them many moral precepts. They constitute a somewhat near resemblance to some of the prophetic homilies of the Old Testament.
Chapters xcii- civ. consist of similar materials, with some variation in manner. Here the periods of the world are divided into ten; and of these the first seems to comprise the time from the beginning down nearly to the deluge ; the second nearly to Abraham ; the third down to Moses ; the fourth to the settlement in Canaan ; the fifth to the completion of Solomon's temple ; the sixth to the Babylonish exile ; the seventh is marked by the existence of a perverse and corrupt generation, while the righteous are rewarded and much instruction is afforded them ; [is not this characteristic of the apostasies before and during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and of the increased zeal on the part of those who were truly pious ?] During the eighth period “ sinners are delivered up into the hands of the righteous," [the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes are overcome by Judas Maccabæus), and “the house of the great King is built up for ever," (the temple is restored to its worship and repaired
by Judas). In the ninth week, “ the judgment of righteousness is revealed to the whole world...and all men are looking out for the path of integrity,“ [the gospel is preached to every creature ?) In the last part of the tenth week comes the general judgment and final consummation of all things. Then are formed a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; comp. Rev. xx. xxi.
What follows in these chapters is hortatory, comminatory, and full of promise and consolation to the righteous who are oppressed. Denunciations of the wicked, particularly of persecutors and oppressors, are often repeated. In the hands of the most high are the elements, and all things; who can resist him? Who will dare to murmur against him? God will be terrible to the wicked; the righteous, after all their persecutions and sufferings, shall enjoy eternal peace. Of this they are assured by a most solemn oath. The sufferings of the righteous are described, and they are earnestly exhorted to persevere in their integrity ; [comp. the frequent repetition of such a theme in the Apocalypse]. To them shall • books be given -- books of joy and great wisdom [the New Testament?], in which they shall, believe and rejoice.” In those days Enoch's posterity shall instruct men; and God and his Son will forever hold communion with them.'
In the last chapter of the work, (cv.), • Enoch again adverts to the antediluvian' period, relates the extraordinary appearance of Noah at his birth, tells how he [Enoch], predicted the flood in connection with this, and that Noah was destined to survive it.'
• Yet another book, (we are told at the close of the whole work), was written by Enoch, respecting the righteous in the latter days, [Messianic period). The ungodly and persecutors will be consumed in a vast and dreadful fire ; but “ those who have suffered in their bodies” and been “injuriously treated by wicked men”.... will be “ brought into splendid light ... and placed, each of them, on a throne of glory ... during unnumbered periods."
The whole closes with the following subscription : “ Here ends the vision of Enoch the prophet. May the benediction of his prayer, and the gift of his appointed period, be with his beloved ! Amen."
Such is a summary of the contents of this singular, but in many respects deeply interesting relic of antiquity. The reader who has never pursued at much length the study of sacred criticism, cannot well imagine how much light is cast by it on various parts of the New Testament; particularly on the Apocalypse, the general object and tenor of which bear no small resemblance to the book of Enoch. In both works, the consolation of the righteous who are persecuted; the denunciation of the wicked, and of perse. eutors in particular; and finally, the prediction of a glorious period when all shall be light and peace—are objects which are constantly in view. That they were written nearly at the same period, and were suggested or occasioned by similarity of circumstances, has been fully impressed on my mind by the attentive study of both productions. And yet
-how different are the two compositions, although partial and even general resemblances are so frequent ! In grandeur of conception, appropriate use of imagery, richness of fancy, splendour of description, and above all in unity, concinnity, moral sublimity, freedom from childish conceit and ignorance and superstition and wild imagination, the Apocalypse stands far removed from and high above the Book of Enoch ; I had almost said as far, as the real author of the former composition is elevated above the writer of the latter.
Ewald, in his recent, and in many respects very able work on the Apocalypse, (p. 9. et al.) assumes the position, that the writer drew from the book of Enoch, many things inserted in his work. My convictions are very different. I find nothing in either book which obliges me to believe that the one author drew from the other. Two Jews, writing at the same period, having the same general theme and object in view, both deeply versed in and familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures, both speaking the same lan. guage and conversant with the like circle of thought and imagery, can scarcely be supposed not to present frequent points of resemblance. Both authors, in the present case, range the world of imagination, and deal altogether in visions and symbols; both employ the like machinery (if I may so speak) of angels and angel-interpreters; both express high and adoring views of God and his Son ; both dwell with rapture on the future joys of the faithful, and SECOND SERIES, VOL. III. NO. 1.
with sacred awe or even horror on the future sufferings of the wicked. Why should there not be found many points of resemblance-much as to both matter and manner in the one, which will resemble and illustrate the matter and manner of the other ?
I have in these remarks assumed the fact, that the book of Enoch was composed about the same time as the Apocalypse, i. e. in the latter half of the first century. The proof of this will be presented in its place; but, for the present, I must proceed in the accomplishment of my design, which is, to give the reader such an account of the book before us as will reasonably satisfy his curiosity, although he may not be able to procure an inspection of the work itself.
I have already given a summary of the contents of the book. But by doing this merely, the manner of the work is not set before the reader so as to give hing a specific view of it. In order to accomplish this last object, I must of necessity make a few extracts from the work, that he may judge for himself of its tenor.
I will begin by some specimens from the closing part of the book; for these will best exhibit the manner of the writer, in his exhortations, threatenings, and promises.
After he has finished his description of the ten periods (see p. 103. above) into which the time of the world is divided, he thus proceeds: (Chap. XCII. 16 seq.)
“A spacious eternal heaven shall spring forth in the midst of angels. The former heaven shall depart and pass away ; a new heaven shall appear; and all the celestial powers shine with sevenfold splendour for ever. Afterwards, likewise, there shall be many weeks [long periods like those before named), which shall eternally exist in goodness and in righteousness. Neither shall sin be named there for ever and ever. Who is there of all the children of men, capable of hearing the voice of the Holy One without emotion? Who is there capable of thinking his thoughts? Who, capable of contemplating all the workmanship of heaven? Who, of comprehending the deeds of heaven? He may behold its animation, but not its spirit. He may be capable of conversing respecting it, but not of ascending to it. He may see all the boundaries of these things, and meditate upon them; but he can make nothing like them. Who of all men is able to understand the breadth and length of the earth? By whom have the dimensions of all these things been seen ? Is it every man who is capable of comprehending the extent of heaven, what its elevation is, and by what it is supported ? How many are the numbers of the stars? And where do all the luminaries remain at rest ?"