Enoch (ancestor of Noah) bigraphy, stories - Prophets

Enoch (ancestor of Noah) : biography

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Enoch ( ʼIdrīs) is a character that appears in the Book of Genesis and a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is described as the great-great-great-great grandson of Adam (through Seth) (Genesis 5:3-18), the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. The text reads—uniquely in the Generations—that Enoch "walked with God: and he was not; for God took him", (Genesis 5:22-29) and in Hebrews 11: 5 (KJV) it says "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." suggesting he did not experience the mortal death ascribed to Adam's other descendants and that he is still alive to this very day.

Despite the brief descriptions of him, Enoch is one of the main two focal points for much of the 1st millennium BC Jewish mysticism, notably in the Book of Enoch. Additionally, Enoch is important in some Christian denominations: He is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church on the second Thursday after the Feast of the Transfiguration. He also features in the Latter Day Saint movement. Enoch is also the oldest of the pre-Flood Patriarchs. It is explained that he is immortal and did not die at 365.

Enoch in Judaism

The brief account of Enoch in Genesis 5 ends with the note that he "was not" and that "God took him." The question of what became of Enoch puzzled later generations. The third-century translators who produced the Greek Septuagint rendered the phrase "God took him" with the Greek verb metatithemi (μετατίθημι)5:24 καὶ εὐηρέστησεν Ενωχ τῷ θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο ὅτι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός meaning moving from one place to another.LSJ The 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' (παραδεισος), 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.

The Books of Enoch

Three extensive apocryphal works are attributed to Enoch:

  • 1st Book of Enoch, or simply the Book of Enoch, an apocryphal book in the Ethiopic Bible that is usually dated between the third century BC and the first century AD.
  • 2nd Book of Enoch, an apocryphal book in the Old Slavonic Bible usually dated to the first century AD.
  • 3rd Book of Enoch, a Kabbalistic Rabbinic text in Hebrew usually dated to the fifth century AD.

These recount how Enoch is taken up to Heaven and is appointed guardian of all the celestial treasures, chief of the archangels, and the immediate attendant on God's throne. He is 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 classical Rabbinical literature

In classical Rabbinical literature, there are divergent opinions of Enoch. After Christianity and Judaism had separated, the prevailing view regarding Enoch was that of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, which thought of Enoch as a pious man, taken to Heaven, and receiving the title of Safra rabba (Great scribe).

However, while Christianity was separating from Judaism, the Jewish view of Enoch was he was the only pious man of his time and was taken away before he would become corrupted.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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