The Book Of Enoch
Many of the viewers out there may not be familiar with the Book of Enoch. Enoch is mentioned as writing a book in Jude 1:14 - "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints..." Also- in Hebrews 11:5, we find, "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." So it appears that the writers of the New Testament had read the book of Enoch.
Enoch, ('Hanokh' in Hebrew), was very favorably mentioned in
the book of Genesis, as we see in Genesis 5:24 "And Enoch walked with
God: and he was not; for God took him." Enoch was born in the year
622 after creation, to his father, Jared, Adam and Eve were still alive, for
Adam did not die until year 930 after creation (See Genesis 5). Enoch was
taken by the Lord in the year 987 after creation. It is not clear, if Enoch
wrote all of this book before God took him or, as may be inferred by some
of the verses found in this book, that he wrote part of the book in the presence
of the All Mighty. He had visions that showed the deluge of Noah's flood.
He also writes why the flood came about and gives details not found in the
Book of Genesis. And Enoch's book also describes the Exodus and Moses very
specifically (although not by name).
Enoch includes a very precise history, written as though it is a prophecy, describing all characters by animal names,and it also fits later history and describes events well after Moses,with Jesus and the Romans.
The Biblical scholar Michael A. Knibb's translation is used to produce this book. Professor Knibb is a Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament Studies at Kings College in London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He had studied all of the available manuscripts and sources to create this complete translation of the Book of Enoch. It may be added here that it is clear that the book of Enoch was well known and studied in many countries well before the time of Jesus. The earliest known surviving fragments and quotations in various languages show that this is the same book, and that the Ethiopians have preserved it in it's complete state.
After my own study of this book, I concluded that the book is really Enoch's true account of amazing things that occurred on the pre-flood world. Many of these events that are mentioned have been paralleled in the book of Genesis, yet in the book of Enoch, more details are given. Enoch left us a book that describes people and events of an advanced culture that was corrupted by the fallen Angels. These same fallen Angels transgressed the Law of God by leaving their heavenly home, where there is no marriage and married the daughters of men. The Book of Jude describes many of the same events concerning the fallen Angels.
I have concluded that the book is probably what it appears to be, a well preserved ancient and genuine book from Enoch. Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah, and father of Methuselah, and his book gives a unique view of the world before the flood; which recent research suggests may have occurred around 4,500 years ago.
I have based this book on Michael A. Knibb's scholarly translation of the Ethiopian manuscripts, (The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, Oxford University Press), which I believe to be the best translation currently available.
The book was thought to have been lost, for 2,000 years, with many ancient sources referring to it, and even quoting parts, but no complete copies were known. Then in 1773, James Bruce brought three copies back from Ethiopia, having spent some years exploring the country.
Previously, some sections were known in Greek, and some parts have been found in Aramaic, at Qumran.
Enoch's book may have been as old, when Moses edited Genesis, as Genesis is to us today.
Enoch had two main reasons for writing his book. The first was because the Watchers (Angels) instructed him to do it, (see section 15 at 81.5 and 81.6). The second reason; was to save his family from the world wide flood, which killed all flesh living on the Earth.
Enoch wrote his book, after his grandson Lamech was born (year 874 after creation), but before Noah was born in year 1056 after creation. Noah is only named in the section that Methuselah wrote, (see section 10 at 107.3), and of course in his own section (section 11, The Book of Noah). So, it is possible that Enoch wrote his book 650 years before the flood.
There is a long gap of about many years between the time of the flood and the time when Moses gave praise to Enoch in Genesis. Genesis dates from around 1450 BC, and forms part of the Torah (the first five books of the bible), written by Moses.
In Genesis, there is Enoch's family; as named by him in this book, and a quick recap of some of Enoch's story.
It seems likely therefore, that copies of the Book of Enoch survived into Egyptian times, where Moses found it around 2,000 years later.
Moses presumably took a copy of the book with him when the Isiaslites left Egypt, and he was no doubt pleased to see Enoch's prophecy fulfilled.
The book probably existed mainly in Hebrew during the thousand years after the exodus (1450 BC). No Hebrew copies exist today, however, although there are some Hebrew passages quoted in some of the Aramaic fragments; which survive from about 400 BC.
The appearance of the book in Ethiopia, is probably due to events in Jerusalem during the reign of King Manasseh of Judah, (695 - 642 BC), which are documented in the Bible, (2 Chronicles 33:1 - 20, and at 2 Kings 21:1 - 18).
King Manasseh was not of the Jewish faith, he erected alters to Baal and Asherah in Solomon's Temple. In Kings at 21:16, it says that so much innocent blood was shed that it filled Jerusalem from end to end. At this time, the religious establishment left the country, taking the Ark of the Covenant and all the important religious texts with them.
After a number of years in Egypt, the refugees went further south, near to the source of the Nile, at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The descendants of these people are the Falashas, who even today follow the form of Judaism, that had been practiced in Israel only before 620 BC.
The Ethiopians translated The Book of Hanokh into Ge'ez, and had enough respect to look after it. Meanwhile, all Hebrew versions disappeared, a substantial part of the book has survived in Greek, and some parts in Aramaic, but until Scottish traveler James Bruce, returned from Ethiopia in 1773, with three manuscripts, no one in the west had ever seen the whole book.
This book is based on a translation published in 1978, which was produced as a result of research into a large number of the Ethiopian manuscripts and a review of all other surviving fragments. My hope is that this present edition will be the best version of Enoch's book available in English.
I think this is an important book, and I have done my best to present it as clearly as possible, and in a way that I hope Hanokh would have approved of.