Enoch (ancestor of Noah)

Enoch the Patriarch

God took Enoch, as in Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer, for God had taken him" (JP),[1] illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet
Antediluvian Patriarch
Venerated in Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Enochian Christian sects (see John Dee)
Medieval Rabbinical Judaism
Some New Age cults devoted to angelology, Baha'i Faith
Feast July 30

Enoch (/ˈnək/; Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Modern H̱anokh, Tiberian Ḥănōḵ; Arabic: إدريس ʼIdrīs) is a figure in Biblical literature. "In the seventh generation from Adam,"[2] he was considered the author of the Book of Enoch[3] and also called Enoch the scribe of judgment.[4] In addition to an appearance in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, Enoch is the subject of many Jewish and Christian writings.

Enoch was the son of Jared (Genesis 5:19–21), the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. At 65 years old, he begot Mathusal [Methuselah];[5] Regim and Gaidad[6] are also mentioned as his sons.

The Bible says that Enoch lived 365 years before he was taken by God. The text reads that Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him" (Gen 5:21–24), which can be understood as God taking Enoch to heaven while still alive, body and soul.

This Enoch is not to be confused with Cain's son Enoch (Genesis 4:17). The Christian New Testament has three references to Enoch from the lineage of Seth (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, Jude 1:14–15).

Enoch in the Book of Genesis

Enoch appears in the Book of Genesis of the Pentateuch as the seventh of the ten pre-Deluge Patriarchs. Genesis recounts that each of the pre-Flood Patriarchs lived for several centuries, had a son, then lived more centuries, and then died. Enoch is considered by many to be the exception, who is said to "not see death". (Hebrews 11:5) Furthermore, Genesis 5:22–29 states that Enoch lived 365 years which is extremely short in the context of his peers. The brief account of Enoch in Genesis 5 ends with the note that "he [was] not; for God took him".

Apocryphal Books of Enoch

Three extensive apocryphal works are attributed to Enoch:

These recount how Enoch was taken up to Heaven and was appointed guardian of all the celestial treasures, chief of the archangels, and the immediate attendant on God's throne. He was subsequently taught all secrets and mysteries and, with all the angels at his back, fulfils of his own accord whatever comes out of the mouth of God, executing His decrees. Much esoteric literature like the 3rd Book of Enoch identifies Enoch as the Metatron, the angel which communicates God's word. In consequence, Enoch was seen, by this literature, and the Rabbinic kabbala of Jewish mysticism, as having been the one which communicated God's revelation to Moses, in particular, the dictator of the Book of Jubilees.

Enoch in Qumran

The Book of Giants resembles the Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphical Jewish work from the 3rd century BC. At least six and as many as eleven copies were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls collections.[9]


The third-century BC translators who produced the Greek Septuagint rendered the phrase "God took him" with the Greek verb metatithemi (μετατίθημι)[10] meaning moving from one place to another.[11] Sirach 44:16, from about the same period, states that "Enoch pleased God and was translated into paradise that he may give repentance to the nations." The Greek word used here for paradise, 'paradeisos' (παράδεισος), was derived from an ancient Persian word meaning "enclosed garden", and was used in the Septuagint to describe the garden of Eden. Later, however, the term became synonymous for heaven, as is the case here.[12]

Enoch in classical Rabbinical literature

In classical Rabbinical literature, there are various views of Enoch. One view regarding Enoch was that found in the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, which thought of Enoch as a pious man, taken to Heaven, and receiving the title of Safra rabba (Great scribe). After Christendom was completely separated from Judaism, this view became the prevailing rabbinical idea of Enoch's character and exaltation.[13]

According to Rashi[14] [from Genesis Rabba[15]], “Enoch was a righteous man, but he could easily be swayed to return to do evil. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, hastened and took him away and caused him to die before his time. For this reason, Scripture changed [the wording] in [the account of] his demise and wrote, ‘and he was no longer’ in the world to complete his years.”

Among the minor Midrashim, esoteric attributes of Enoch are expanded upon. In the Sefer Hekalot, Rabbi Ishmael is described as having visited the 7th Heaven, where he met Enoch, who claims that earth had, in his time, been corrupted by the demons Shammazai, and Azazel, and so Enoch was taken to Heaven to prove that God was not cruel.[13] Similar traditions are recorded in Sirach. Later elaborations of this interpretation treated Enoch as having been a pious ascetic, who, called to mix with others, preached repentance, and gathered (despite the small number of people on Earth) a vast collection of disciples, to the extent that he was proclaimed king. Under his wisdom, peace is said to have reigned on earth, to the extent that he is summoned to Heaven to rule over the sons of God. In a parallel with Elijah, in sight of a vast crowd begging him to stay, he ascends to Heaven on a horse.

Enoch in Christianity

New Testament

The New Testament contains three references to Enoch.

The introductory phrase "Enoch, the Seventh from Adam" is also found in 1 Enoch (1 En. 60:8), though not in the Old Testament.[23] In the New Testament this Enoch prophesies "to"[24] ungodly men, that God shall come with His holy ones to judge and convict them (Jude 1:14-15).[25]

Early Christianity

Early Christianity contains various traditions concerning the "translation" of Enoch.

Regarding the quotation in Jude, most of early Christianity considered it an independent quotation pre-dating the flood. Regarding the Book of Enoch itself Origen, Jerome and Augustin mention it, but as of no authority. Justin, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, and others borrowed an opinion out of this book of Enoch, that the angels had connection with the daughters of men, of whom they had offspring ('the giants of the past'). Tertullian, in several places, speaks of this book with esteem; and would persuade us, that it was preserved by Noah during the deluge.

Elijah and Enoch - seventeenth-century icon, Historic Museum in Sanok, Poland

Medieval and Reformation

According to the Figurists (a group of Jesuit missionaries mainly led by Joachim Bouvet into China at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century and based on ideas of Matteo Ricci 1552 to 1610),[26][27][28] Fu Xi in China's ancient history is actually Enoch.[29][30][31]

Modern Christianity

Enoch is not counted as a saint in Roman Catholic tradition, though Enoch has a saint's day, July 26, in the Armenian Apostolic Church. The "St. Enoch" in the place name St. Enoch's Square, Glasgow, is a corruption from the site of a medieval chapel to Saint Teneu, the legendary mother of Saint Mungo, and unconnected with Enoch.

Enoch is revered in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Enochic texts Jubilees and 1 Enoch regarded as the 13th and 14th books, respectively, of the Tewahedo Old Testament canon.[32] Most churches, including the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Protestant churches, do not accept the books.

Some Church Fathers, like St. John of Damascus, as well as some modern Evangelical commentators consider Enoch to be one of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation due to the fact that he did not die according to Genesis 5:24. Two televangelists holding this view, for example, are Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel and Hebrew Roots Bible teacher Perry Stone.

In LDS theology

Among the Latter Day Saint movement and particularly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Enoch is viewed as having founded an exceptionally righteous city, named Zion, in the midst of an otherwise wicked world. This view is encountered in the Mormon scripture (see Standard Works), the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants, which states that not only Enoch, but the entire peoples of the city of Zion, were taken off this earth without death, because of their piety. (Zion is defined as "the pure in heart" and this city of Zion will return to the earth at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.) The Doctrine and Covenants further states that Enoch prophesied that one of his descendants, Noah, and his family, would survive a Great Flood and thus carry on the human race and preserve the Scripture. The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price has several chapters that give an account of Enoch's preaching, visions and conversations with God. In these same chapters are details concerning the wars, violence and natural disasters in Enoch's day, and notable miracles performed by Enoch. The Book of Moses is itself an excerpt from Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, which is published in full, complete with these chapters concerning Enoch, by Community of Christ, as the Holy Scriptures/Inspired Version of the Bible, where it appears as part of the Book of Genesis. D&C 104:24 (CofC) / 107:48-49 (LDS) states that Adam ordained Enoch to the higher priesthood (now called the Melchizedek, after the great high priest) at age 25, that he was 65 when Adam blessed him, and he lived 365 years after that until he was translated, so making him 430 years old when that occurred.

Additionally in LDS theology, Enoch is implied to be the scribe who recorded Adam's blessings and prophecies at Adam-ondi-Ahman, as recorded in D&C 107:53-57 (LDS) / D&C 104:29b (CofC).

The left column lists the Bible’s teachings about Enoch; the right column lists additional information restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

What the Bible Teaches What Latter-day Revelation Adds
Jared, when 165 years old, fathered Enoch (see Gen. 5:18).
Enoch, at 65, fathered Methuselah and also, over the years, a large posterity (see Gen. 5:21–22). Enoch was 25 years old when Adam ordained him to the priesthood, and he was 65 when Adam again blessed him (see D&C 107:48).
By his own voice, the Lord called Enoch, apparently at age 65, to be a prophet and seer (see Moses 6:25–27). At that time the Lord showed him the first of three visions of the future recorded in Moses (see Moses 6:36).
He began a long ministry of testimony, but he was rejected by many (see Moses 6:37). Enoch taught gospel principles as they had been revealed by God and angels to Adam (see Moses 6:47–68).
Some time later into Enoch’s ministry, the Lord appeared to him on Mount Simeon and opened the second vision recorded in Moses (see Moses 7:4). Enoch foresaw the Canaanites annihilating the people of Shum (see Moses 7:6–7). In doing so, the Canaanites forfeited their right to gospel blessings and Enoch was forbidden to preach to them (see Moses 7:12).
The prophet continued to teach throughout the lands except Canaan, calling people to repentance (see Moses 7:9–12). He defeated the enemies of the people of the Lord through priesthood miracles, moving mountains and turning rivers from their courses. As a result, his people gained security and peace (see Moses 7:13–17).
Under Enoch’s leadership, his people became so righteous that the Savior was often in their midst (see Moses 7:16). The seer’s people flourished and established a city of holiness called Zion (see Moses 7:17–19).
The Lord established the laws and government under which the city of Zion would operate. These laws were based on the laws of the celestial kingdom (see D&C 105:5; History of the Church, 5:64). Three years before Adam’s death, Enoch, with other righteous leaders, attended a great convocation called by Adam at Adam-ondi-Ahman. There Adam bestowed his last blessing upon his children and related, by the power of prophecy, what should happen to his posterity to the end of time (see D&C 107:53–56). The prophecy was recorded in the book of Enoch (see D&C 107:57).
Not only did Enoch write the prophesied story of the earth as revealed by Adam, but the Savior also opened to Enoch the third vision of the future recorded in Moses (see History of the Church, 2:261, where the Prophet Joseph Smith, after quoting Revelation 21:3 [Rev. 21:3], states, “I discover by this quotation, that John upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same thing concerning the last days, which Enoch saw”). In this vision Enoch saw the events of the earth until the Millennium (see Moses 7:67). Enoch foresaw the first coming of the Savior, his crucifixion and death, and the great destructions of the earth associated therewith (see Moses 7:45–47, 55–56).
Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come “with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all” (Jude 1:14–15). He foresaw the Second Coming of the Lord, the building up of Zion in the last days, and the return of his city to the earth (see Moses 7:60–67).
The Lord personally met with Enoch on many occasions over the 365 years of his ministry (see D&C 107:49).
Enoch had lived for 365 years when he was taken by the Lord through translation (see Gen. 5:23; Heb. 11:5). Enoch was actually 430 years old when he was translated. At that time, Zion had been in existence for 365 years (see Moses 7:68; Moses 8:1).
When the world in general had rejected the law of God, the Lord translated Enoch and his people, taking them and the “government of heaven” off the earth (see History of the Church, 5:64; D&C 38:4).
Before the Flood, the righteous upon whom the Holy Ghost fell were subsequently taken up into the city of Enoch (see Moses 7:27). The Lord appointed Enoch to minister to terrestrial bodies and “to those who shall be heirs of salvation.” In this capacity, Enoch appeared to Jude, author of the Epistle of Jude (see History of the Church, 4:209).
The Lord has reserved the return of Enoch and his people until a day when righteousness shall come (see D&C 45:11–12). The Savior himself spoke of the future glory of both Enoch’s Zion and the Zion of the last days, testifying that they would eventually be reunited and that he would personally abide there. Then the earth would rest for a thousand years (see 3 Ne. 21:1; Moses 7:62–64; History of the Church, 3:34).

Enoch in Islam

Main article: Idris (prophet)

In the Quran, Enoch is identified with Idris, as for example by the History of Al-Tabari intrepretation and the Meadows of Gold.[33] The Quran contains two references to Idris; in Surah Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) verse number 85, and in Surah Maryam (Mary) verses 56-57:

Idris is closely linked in Muslim tradition with the origin of writing and other technical arts of civilization,[34] including the study of astronomical phenomena, both of which Enoch is credited with in the Testament of Abraham.[34] Nonetheless, even aside from the identification of Idris and Enoch, many Muslims still honor Enoch as one of the earliest prophets, regardless of whether they equate him with Idris or not.[35] Thus, views on Enoch are divided into two groups:

See also


  1. Genesis 5:18–24
  2. http://biblehub.com/jude/1-14.htm
  3. August Dillmann and R. Charles (1893). The Book of Enoch, translation from Geez pdf.
  4. 1Enoch, chap. 12
  5. William Morfill (1896). The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, Chap. 2.
  6. 2Enoch, chap. 2: Mathusal [Methuselah/ Меѳоусала], Regim [Регима] and Gaidad [Гаидада].
  7. "SCHODDE – The Book of Enoch (1882)" (PDF).
  8. "MORFILL – The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (1896)" (PDF).
  9. Eisenman, Robert; Wise, Michael (1992). The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (6 ed.). Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books, Inc. p. 95. ISBN 1852303689.
  10. 5:24 καὶ εὐηρέστησεν Ενωχ τῷ θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο ὅτι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός
  11. LSJ metatithemi
  12. G3857 παράδεισος Strong's Greek Lexicon. Retrieved 2015-08-01
    Strong's Greek 3857_ παράδεισος (paradeisos) -- a park, a garden, a paradise Retrieved 2015-08-01
  13. 1 2 "Jewish Encyclopedia ''Enoch''". Jewishencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  14. Rashi's Commentary on Genesis 5:24. See also Commentary of Ibn Ezra.
  15. 25:1
  16. 4Q Enoch (4Q204[4QENAR]) COL I 16-18
  17. Clontz, T.E. and J., "The Comprehensive New Testament with complete textual variant mapping and references for the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, Josephus, Nag Hammadi Library, Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, Plato, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Talmud, Old Testament, Patristic Writings, Dhammapada, Tacitus, Epic of Gilgamesh", Cornerstone Publications, 2008, p. 711, ISBN 978-0-9778737-1-5
  18. "The initial oracle in chapters 1-5 is a paraphrase of part of Deuteronomy 33,24" George W. E. Nickelsburg, The nature and function of revelation 1 Enoch, Jubilees and some Qumranic documents, 1997
  19. Lars Hartman, Asking for a Meaning: A Study of 1 Enoch 1-5 ConBib NT Series 12 Lund Gleerup, 1979 22-26.
  20. George WE Nickelsburg & James C Vanderkam, 1 Enoch, Fortress 2001
  21. R.H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, London SPCK, 1917
  22. E. Isaac, 1 Enoch, a new Translation and Introduction in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha ed. Charlesworth, Doubleday 1983-85
  23. Richard Bauckham Jude and the relatives of Jesus in the early church p206 etc.
  24. The use of dative toutois in the Greek text (προεφήτευσεν δὲ καὶ τούτοις instead of the normal genitive with προφητεύω prophēteuō peri auton, "concerning them") has occasioned discussion among commentators including: Ben Witherington Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude: "who might be tempted to follow the teachers' example), nonetheless, Jude says that this prophecy refers to these (toutois) false teachers in Jude 14" p624 John Twycross The New Testament in the original Greek: with notes by C. Wordsworth His warning is addressed to them as well to those of his own and future ages. p140; Cox S. Slandering Celestial Beings Hyderabad 2000 "..but instead Jude wrote proepheteusen toutois (verb + dative case pronoun plural) "prophesied TO these men".." p16
  25. Jude 1:14-15
  26. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Joachim Bouvet". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  27. Brock, H. (1907). Joachim Bouvet. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  28. "白 晉". Archived from the original on January 12, 2007.
  29. Etat présent de la Chine, en figures gravées par P. Giffart sur les dessins apportés au roi par le P. J. Bouvet (Paris, 1697)
  30. Portrait histoique de l'empereur de la Chine (Paris, 1697)
  31. Li, Shenwen, 2001, Stratégies missionnaires des Jésuites Français en Nouvelle-France et en Chine au XVIIieme siècle, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, L'Harmattan, ISBN 2-7475-1123-5
  32. "Tewahedo Orthodox Church". Ethiopianorthodox.org. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  33. Alexander Philip S. Biblical Figures Outside the Bible p.118 ed. Michael E. Stone, Theodore A. Bergren 2002 p118 "twice in the Qur'an.. was commonly identified by Muslim scholars with the biblical Enoch, and that this identification opened the way for importing into Islam a substantial body of postbiblical Jewish legend about the character and ...."
  34. 1 2 History of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Enoch
  35. Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, S. Academy Publishing
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