The following essay will discuss both the prophet Abraham and the prophet Enoch. Each has a unique place in the Judaea Christian religions. Both men are mentioned in the Bible. However, Enoch has a place in Jewish history that predates the Old Testament. Many of the stories in the New Testament are mirrored in the Books of Enoch. Abraham is considered the father of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. As prophets, Enoch and Abraham predicted the coming of Jesus in different ways. Abraham was predicted to be his predecessor and the father of the tribes of Israel. The prophecies of Enoch set the language used many hundreds of years later, indeed even by Jesus himself. As prophets, both Enoch and Abraham foretold the coming of the Messiah and the country of Israel.
The Book of Enoch
In 1773, fragments of the Book of Enoch were discovered, and again in 1947 in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Lumpkin 2005). Enoch has the distinction of having walked with God, and he did not die. When it was time for him to pass on, God took him. God loved him so much; he spared him death. He also lived for 365 years. He walked faithfully with God. The only other prophet who was treated with such reverence was Elijah, who God took away in a whirlwind 2 Kings 2:11. The Books of Enoch are believed to have been the work of many authors over many years during the time 300 B.C.E. to 10 B.C.E. According to Perkins, the Book of Enoch is substantial proof that no one form of Judaism was practiced in Palestine during the Second Temple period. It was during "the post-destruction Judaism, and apocalyptic Christianity emerged" (Perkins, 2011, p. 2). Enoch is the father of Methuselah and great-grandfather of Noah Gen. 5:18. Noah was spared because of his righteousness from the great flood which killed everyone on the earth. According to the Book of Enoch, the great flood killed the angels who came down from heaven to be watchers. The watchers, however, fell in love with human women and when they mated with the women produced a race of giants. God could not tolerate the insubordination of the demon angels, so he sent the flood to kill the giants and everyone else on the earth. The Books of Enoch are not part of the Old Testament, but much of what is referenced in them appears in the New Testament. Some of the same phrases appear in both the Books of Enoch and the New Testament.
According to Nicklesburg (2001), there may be some parallels between the Book of Watchers and some political events taking place at the time. It may also reflect some social conflicts taking place that caused the myth of the Watchers to become embedded in the commentary of the time. The Watchers as myths or inspiring stories of Gilgamesh can be exposed as stories in search of meaning as people are finite beings in a world of unforeseeable circumstances.
The Book of Enoch, also called 1 Enoch, is a pseudepigraphical book that contains five individual works and two addenda (Perkins, 2011). The five books are called The Book of Watchers (chapters 1-36), The Book of Parables ( chapters 37-71), the Book of the Luminaries (chapters 72-82), Dream Visions (chapters 83-90), and The Epistle of Enoch (chapters 91-105. The two addenda are titled The Birth of Noah (chapters 106-107, and Another Book by Enoch (chapter 108) (Perkins, 2011, p. 5). The Book of Enoch is inspired not dictated. "It has been largely the opinion of historians that the book does not contain the authentic words of the ancient Enoch since he would have lived several thousand years earlier than the first known appearance of the book attributed to him." (Lumpkin, 2010, p.12).
There are some key concepts in the Book of Enoch that are tied directly to the New Testament and Jesus Christ, according to Lumpkin. In his opinion, Jesus read the Book of Enoch and studied it. Jesus quoted phrases and used the same terminology from the Book of Enoch. The term "son of Man" and over "one hundred comments in the New Testament which find precedence in the Book of Enoch" (Lumpkin, 2005, p. 12). Other phrases, like "hear him" come from the Book of Enoch. According to Lumpkin a mistranslation of the King James Bible Luke 9:35, the transfiguration of Christ, "And there came a voice out of a cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son. Hear him'" (Lumpkin, 2005, p. 12). The author needed this to match with a verse in the books of Matthew and Mark, in addition to the Book of Enoch. The original Greek verse reads, " ho eklelegmenos", "the elect one," which appears fourteen times in the Book of Enoch (Lumpkin, 2005). This then is the great scriptural authenticity accorded to the Book of Enoch known to the apostles of Christ as the Elect One to "sit on the throne of glory" (Stone, 1978).
Many scholars believe that the Books of Enoch were honored books by both Jews and Christians. They are still held in regard in some Coptic Christian Churches in Ethiopia. The first book is considered inspired by the Jewish tradition during the first century B.C.E. The Ethiopian text is regarded as having been translated from a Greek manuscript, which was a copy of the original text. The original version is thought to have been written in the Semitic or Aramaic language (Perkins, 2011).
The first Book of Enoch, the Book of Watchers (I Enoch 1-36)- tells the story of the fall of angels just like Gen 6:1-4. The Book of Watchers determines Enoch's a prophet like Moses or Ezekiel. The Book of the Watchers portrays Enoch as an angel-like being with supernatural qualities (Stone, 2015). Any book can be interpreted in any way, and I Enoch which proposed the second coming 70 years A.D. during the destruction of Jerusalem, was thrown out as a fake by Hilary, Jerome, and Augustine and was lost for over a thousand years (Stone, 2015). Without any comparison, it was not known that parts of the Bible were direct quotations from the Books of Enoch. The books serve as a link between Christianity and Judaism. What was originally thought as an influence on the Book of Enoch was not the New Testament, but the New Testament was influenced by the Book of Enoch. A controversial theory is the Book of Enoch predates the Book of Genesis (Lumpkin 2005).
As a prophet, Enoch has many doctrines about the Messiah. These doctrines are also found in the New Testament. In 1 John 5:5, the Messiah is the Son of God, also in Enoch 105:2. In Acts 4:12, Salvation hangs on the Messiah, it is written in Enoch 40:5. Another, salvation by repentance and belief in his name, Luke 13:3, Enoch 50:2-3. Messiah is called the Son of Man in Enoch 48:10, is in Matt. 9:6. Messiah is called the "Word" Enoch 90:38, and in John 1:1. Most importantly, the Messiah's shed blood is necessary for salvation Enoch 48:6, and 2 Sam. 7:14. The Messiah will be a light unto the nations in Enoch 48:4 and in Isa. 42:6. These are all from the Ethiopian version of Books of Enoch (Stone, 1978).
Further prophecies about the Bible include the flood that covered the entire earth, Enoch 106:15, and Gen. 7:19. Noah and his family spent one year in an ark Enoch 106:15 and Gen. 7:11:814. And a very interesting passage that the Book of Enoch is not to be added to the Bible, Enoch 104, and Rev. 22:18. And do not alter scripture Enoch 104:9, and Rev. 22:18-19. All the giants perished in flood. Many of the prophecies in Enoch are written in the New Testament. Ignoring prophecies is a serious sin. It also mentions that the righteous will inherit the cannons, but it says not to include the Book of Enoch. These scriptures are from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Additional prophecies are foretold about the Messiah. He is born to a virgin, Enoch 62:5, Isa. 7:14. The Messiah will be denied by his own people, Enoch 48:10, John 1:11. The Elect One will resurrect from the dead, Enoch 51:5, and John 21:14. The Book of Enoch had further prophecies about how the Righteous One will give eternal life and how the Bible will be given to the righteous. It also says that man errs respecting time and the calendar (Stone, 2015).
Enoch predicted End Time prophecies included corrupted Bibles will be created Enoch 99, 104, and Rev. 22:18-19. Jude's quote of Enoch, Enoch 1:9, and Jud. 1:14-15. Years will be shortened. Everyone will kneel before the Messiah, Enoch 48:5:57:3, and Phil. 2:10. Everyone will resurrect. Enoch 62:5, and Rev. 20:5. Then the talk of the rapture is taking "out of the midst." Valley of dry bones is mentioned. The Rapture and Resurrection is a mystery. Rapture before the tribulation to cause repentance. Rapture mentioned as "the mercy." The truth will be altered in the latter days. Iran will attack Israel God will send confusion. The days will be shortened. The moon will change its order, Enoch 80:4, Rev. 6:12-13.
Abraham is the father of three main religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All are monotheist religions. "Historians date Abraham's biblical story around 2000 B.C., based on clues in Genesis Chapters 11 through 25" (Cook, 2019). The story of Abraham differs in each religion. Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish and Christian religions. In Christianity, God tells Abraham in Genesis to leave his land Ur to go to a new land. According to historians, Ur is in the fertile crescent where the dawn of civilization began. It was were people settled for commerce, agriculture, and the arts during 2000 B.C.E. – 3000 B.C.E. (Cook, 2019).
When they get there, God makes a covenant with Abraham promising him, and all of his descendants, all of this land he learned was Canaan. Sarah, Abraham's wife, does not conceive a child, so Abraham has no heir to pass along his land and possessions to. So, Abraham has a son through his servant whom they call Ismael. But Abraham really wants to have his own child with Sarah, so God comes to him through three angels at the Oaks of Mamre, and promises him a son with Sarah, even though she is very old. Sarah gives birth to Isaac, whom God later asks Abraham to sacrifice to God on an altar. When it is obvious that Abraham is willing to do what God asks, God tells him not to, and Abraham sacrifices a ram instead. Now through Isaac, who marries Rebekah, Abraham becomes the father of many tribes of Israel. "Both in Judaism and in Christianity, Abraham is put forward as a model of faith. This is based on Gen. 15:6, where it is stated 'And because he put his trust in the LORD, He reckoned it to his merit' (Houtman, 2005, p. 10).
God promised the patriarch Abraham in Genesis 12-17 that he would be given the land of Israel. "The second part of Isa. 41.2 tells how God delivered up nations to him and trampled sovereigns underfoot" (Houtman, 2005, p.5). God made Abraham successful in war. He defeated their armies with a small army (Houtman, 2005). He captured the kingdom. God told him not to fear his enemies, and he would be with him in battle. He was also promised to have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Abraham was special and in Isa. 41.2, to hear God's call is irresistible. Jesus, who was a great spiritual blessing, would be a direct descendant of Abraham. Another prophecy was God would compensate or discipline nations depending on their handling of Israel Gen. 12:3. God would give Abraham a son in his elder years Gen. 15:4;18:10,14, and the enactment is found in Gen. 21:1-3. God would give Abraham a foreign land Gen. 15:13, the enactment in Exodus 12:40. God also promised he would give them wealth Gen. 15:14, the enactment is Exodus 12:35-36. God also predicted he would annihilate Sodom in Gen. 18:20-21, and the enactment is in Genesis 19:24.
God also foretold Abraham the slavery in Egypt Isa. 43:12 to 48:15. The special relationship between God and Abraham in compares Israel to a vineyard Isa. 5. The vineyard has grown out of a seed of Abraham. In Isa. 5:1 it says, "'I will sing now for Israel-which is like a vineyard, the seed of Abraham, My friend' (Houtman, 2005, p. 8). Abraham is in both Judaism and Christianity, a model of faith. According to Judaism, there is a concept of merit. The merit does not only benefit the person, but also the descendants, and all following generations. Abraham's righteousness is considered the destiny of the people of Israel. Abraham is the father of all the tribes of Israel, but it is God who brings the people out of Egypt because of his great compassion. In Deut. 4:37, ‘And because He loved your fathers. He chose their offspring after them; He himself, in His great might, led you out of Egypt'. This can be interpreted as a warning against idol-worship, according to Houtman (2005).
God called Abraham and promised the covenant for his descendants, the people of Israel. God brought Abraham to the Promised Land so that all could worship the one and true living God. Abraham is used as an instrument to teach the ways of God. Abraham is important for all three religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. He is seen as the father of those religions and as the father of the tribes of Israel. His descendants did become as numerous as the stars in the sky as God promised. His son Ishmael became the father of Islam, just as the descendants of Isaac became the Israelites.
As prophets, both Abraham and Enoch had different purposes. Both shared the absolute faith in God and did whatever God asked of them. Abraham is considered a legitimate prophet by the three major religions. Enoch is not considered by some religions as a genuine prophet. He is being studied by many biblical scholars. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Ethiopian Manuscripts have given scholars more information for interpretation. There may never be total agreement about whether Enoch was a true prophet or whether giants did indeed roam the earth before the flood of Noah.
Cook, K. (2019, June 25). These Are the Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament to Know. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/major-and-minor-prophets-old-testament-4048175
Houtman, A. (2005). The Role of Abraham in Targum Isaiah. Aramaic Studies, 3(1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835105053512
Joseph B. Lumpkin, J. (2010). The Books of Enoch. Blountsville, AL: Fifth Estate.
Perkins, N. (2011). The Book of Enoch and the second temple of Judaism. Nashsville, TN: East Tennessee State University.
Nickelsburg, G. W., & VanderKam, J. C. (2001). 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1—36; 81—108. Augsburg Fortress Publishers.
Stone, M. (1978). The Book of Enoch and Judaism in the Third Century B.C.E. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 40(4), 479-492. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43715035
Stone, M. E. (2015). Enoch and The Fall of the Angels. Dead Sea Discoveries, 22(3), 342–357. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685179-12341366