Sluice Box Adventures
Believing Bible Study in the 21st century
End Of Age Messages
To the world at large (and probably to many believers as well), one of the most mysterious people in the Bible is Enoch.
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Daryl R. Coats 2006
"Looking for that blessed hope," (Titus 2:11-14)
Yet most of the mystery surrounding this prophet results from the unrepentant heart attitudes of false teachers and not from lack of information.
The Seventh from AdamThree times the Bible lists Enoch’s genealogy (Genesis 5; Luke 3; 1 Chronicles 1)—and another time reminds us that he was Adam’s great-great-great-great grandson (Jude 14). The great-grandfather of Noah, Enoch was a man of faith who pleased and walked with God.
"And Enoch walked with God: ..." (Genesis 5:24).
"By faith Enoch ... had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: ..." (Hebrews 11:5-6).
Because of his faith, Enoch never died.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5).
"Translated" comes to English from the Latin word "transferre" ("carry across") and means "conveyed from one state, condition, or place to another." The title page of your King James Bible explains that it was "translated out of the original tongues." According to 2 Samuel 3:10, God translated the kingdom of Israel "from the house of Saul" and to the house of David. Colossians 1:13 assures those of us who are saved that God "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Enoch was taken bodily into heaven, never to die.
A Prophet without HonorMore than 2000 years before the first advent, Enoch was also a prophet who foretold the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, 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 their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15).
The truth of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return with His saints—and of its being prophesied hundreds of years before the birth of Noah—is so hated by the world at large that false teachers have resorted to two tactics in an attempt to discredit it.(1)
1) They falsely attribute Enoch’s prophesy to a pseudopigraphal book known as "1 Enoch" (or "Ethiopic Enoch"). By claiming that Jude quotes a work of fiction instead of recording the actual inspired words of God under the moving of the Holy Ghost, false teachers are actually carrying out their own private agendas (whether discrediting the Bible, as the sceptics do; or seeking to establish counterfeit scriptures as "genuine," as the Mormons do; or trying to "prove" that Jesus came back in A.D. 70, as many "preterists" do). Here’s how the footnotes in two perversions of the Bible do it:
"The quotation is not from the O.T. but a pseudopigraphal book known as I Enoch, which is dated somewhere in the second century B.C." (New Berkeley Version).
"quoted from the book of Enoch, 1.9" (Oxford Annotated Study Bible edition of the Revised Standard Version).(2)
2) They change the verb tenses of Enoch’s prophesy and/or delete the reference to the Lord’s saints in order to make it refer to a past event that had nothing to do with the Lord’s saints. Notice how the verse is perverted in some of the counterfeit "bibles":
"Behold the Lord came with his holy myriads" (Revised Standard Version).
"Behold, the Lord has come with His myriads of holy ones" (New Berkeley Version).
"Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads" (New World Translation).
"Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones" (New American Standard Bible).
"The Lord will come with many thousands of his holy angels" (Today’s English Version).
"Look! The Lord is coming with thousands of holy angels"(Contemporary English Version).(3)
"The" Book of EnochThe pseudopigraphal 1 Enoch (not to be confused with other supposed books of Enoch) does indeed contain a passage that (at least as translated by "scholars") agrees almost word for word with Jude 14-15 as found in the Authorized King James Bible. (Sounds fishy, doesn’t it?) But the manuscript and textual evidence behind 1 Enoch suggests very strongly that its author quoted Jude and not vice versa.
Of the various versions of "Enoch," only the Ethiopic contains the passage from Jude.(4) Twenty-nine manuscripts of this version exist, all of which date from only the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries. That’s 1500-1800 years after Jude was written!(5) Imagine the audacity of critics who ridicule the King James Bible because it was supposedly based on "late manuscripts" and yet endorse manuscripts of 1 Enoch that are even more recent than those. The only conclusion that one can draw from its manuscripts is that 1 Enoch is a medieval forgery that interpolated Jude 14-15 more than 1000 years after the completion of the New Testament scriptures.(6)
The textual evidence for any supposed quotations of 1 Enoch is likewise weak. Notice how "1 Enoch 1:9" appears in R. H. Charles’s The Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha of the Old Testament in English (pages 189-190).
And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of [His] holy ones
To execute judgment upon all
And to destroy [all] the ungodly.
And to convict all flesh
Of all works [of their ungodliness] which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which [ungodly sinners] have spoken against Him.
According to Charles’s own explanatory note (p. 189), the bracketed words in the passage above are not found in 1 Enoch but are "supplied" from "the Greek." In order to support the false claim that Jude quoted 1 Enoch, this translator had to add words from Jude to make his case!(7)
Prophecy or History?Context makes clear the foolishness of false teachers’ changing the verb tenses in Jude 14-15. Even though it uses historical examples as illustrations, Jude is obviously referring to future events: "unto the judgment of the great day" (verse 6) and "the last time" (verse 18). Past tense verbs make no sense in such a context. In addition, verse 14 says that Enoch prophesied. Prophecy concerns future events, not past ones. Furthermore, Enoch prophesied 134-434 years before the birth of Noah. A past-tense "prophecy" would mean that the Lord came back more than 1000 years before the flood. What nonsense!(8)
Despite the contrary claims of false teachers, the Bible is clear that Enoch’s "prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." As such, it is not subject to false interpretations that change the tenses of its verbs. Believers have a "more sure word of prophecy" than sceptics and scoffers who place their faith in fables (2 Peter 1:19-21).
Notes(1) In context, the "these" and "them" of Jude 14-15 are false teachers who speak against God (verse 15) because they "have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward" (verse 11). It therefore is no surprise that today’s false teachers try so hard to nullify Enoch’s prophesy.
(2) Jude is further discredited by false claims that verse 9 quotes a pseudopigraphal work known as the Assumption of Moses. Only one fragmentary palimpsest manuscript of this supposed work exists, a Latin work that postdates Jude by at least 500 years, and nowhere does that work mention Michael, Satan, or the body of Moses. But the second-century heretical teacher Origen claimed that Jude quoted this work, and the secondary testimony of one Bible "scholar" is more important to false teachers than the primary testimony of the work supposedly in question.
Modern Bible scholars simply assume that the Jude 9 quotes an unpreserved portion of the book (see R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha of the Old Testament in English, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1913, page 409). For example, notes in the Oxford Study Edition of the New English Bible claims that the "source material" for Jude 9 "perhaps stood in" the Assumption to Moses (my emphasis). When pressed to do so, scholars admit, "We possess today only a fragment of the book, and cannot verify [!] the quotation" (Charles Torey, The Apocryphal Literature, Yale University Press, 1945, page 19, my emphasis). Yet the absence of evidence doesn’t stop them from dreaming (excuse me: "hypothesizing’): "At this point the manuscript breaks off. If the quotations in Jude and the Church Fathers belong to this work (as C. Clemens assumes with respect to most of them), there followed the death of Moses, the appearance of the archangel Michael, Michael’s struggle with Satan. ... The fragmentary nature of this manuscript leaves room for this and other hypotheses" (Leonard Rost, Judaism Outside the Hebrew Canon, translated by David E. Green, Abingdon Press,1976, page 148, my emphasis). Of course, the fact that Jude’s supposed "quoting" of the Assumption of Moses is only an unverified hypothesis does not stop Leonard Rost from stating as fact that "the Epistle of Jude in the New Testament quotes the Assumption of Moses in v. 9" (p. 30)!
(And for whatever it’s worth, calling a sixth-century Latin palimpsest manuscript "The Assumption of Moses" is itself merely a "scholarly" assumption that Origen told the truth and that the manuscript in question contains the text of the same book that Origen referred to. Instead of the Assumption of Moses, this fragmentary manuscript ought to be titled the Assumptions of Scholars and False Teachers!)
(3) The Oxford English Dictionary defines "myriad" as "a numeral: Ten thousand." (That same dictionary explains that the prefix "myria-" means "ten thousand" in the "names of weights and measures of the metric system.") The word comes to English from the Greek :ØD4"*, which is found in all Greek manuscripts of Jude 14. Half of the counterfeit versions cited above left the word undefined; the other half mistranslated it as merely "thousands" or "many thousands"—all in an attempt to discredit Bible prophecy!
(4) Some scholars claim that fragments of a Greek version of "Enoch" were found at Akhmim in 1892 and that supposedly it, too, contains the passage.
(5) Some scholars claim that one of the 29 manuscripts dates "all the way back" to the fifteenth century (1400s). Several of them, however, postdate the King James Bible. Four of them date back only to the 1800s.
(6) The way to get around this problem is to claim that despite the manuscript evidence, 1 Enoch actually dates back to A.D. 500 (still more than 400 years after Jude was written) and is a translation of an older and still undiscovered Greek version. Talk about faith (Hebrews 11:1)!
(7) R. H. Charles’s intentionally vague note is intended to make careless readers presume that "the Greek" refers to a Greek version of 1 Enoch, but that cannot be so. If a Greek version of 1 Enoch existed, Charles would have translated it instead of merely using it to "supply" words missing in Ethiopic. No, "the Greek" can only be a reference to the Greek text of Jude itself.
(8) Nowhere do the scriptures state or even imply that the Lord came to earth with "myriads" of "angels" or "holy ones" in the days before the flood. To the contrary, the days before the flood saw the coming of the unholy "sons of God" who "saw the daughters of men ... and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Genesis 6:1-4).
—Daryl R. Coats
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The LORD'S Messenger
A Message To The People
“Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.” Haggai 1:13