Connecting the Dots; The Book of Enoch, Part 4

Enoch-Sakach-Ph-D-9780934917056And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.   Genesis 3:15

We know the fallen angels lusted after human women. This also fits into Satan’s plan of battle with God.  Remember that God had a little chit-chat with Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.  God makes two critical statements in setting the course of history and His plan of salvation.  He refers to Eve’s seed and Satan’s seed.

eveandserpentWe know that, ultimately, Eve’s seed is Jesus, but that includes everyone in between too, right? Here’s the real question.  Who is Satan’s seed?  There are several possibilities, none of which are necessarily mutually exclusive.

The Anti-Christ of Revelation is often referred to as the son of Satan. Whether that’s a literal description or an honorary title of sorts is open to guesses.  No one has been able to find him yet let alone define his parentage.  Still, it’s possible.

I pose the question of whether the Nephilim might be considered the seed of Satan. Recall that they are the offspring of fallen angels and human women.  They certainly play into Satan’s plans to attempt to thwart God’s redemption plan.  Satan’s seed and Eve’s seed have contended ever since, starting most notably when the Israelites entered the Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness.  Given also that Satan and his minions hate humanity as much as God loves them, anything they can do to see us damned or at least suffering here on earth is nothing if not gravy for them.

That being gravy, what’s the underlying purpose for Satan? If he corrupts the entire human stock, there will be no pure humans to produce a sinless Christ, both God and man.  Christ had to be the new Adam, so he had to be of Adam’s human stock.  Hence the proscription to the Children of Israel not to inter-marry with the current inhabitants of the Promised Land.

What was the purpose in getting into every species on earth? I can’t help quoting Alfred from the Batman trilogy: “Some people just want to watch the world burn.”  That seems to go double or more for demons.

Remember that God decided to use The Flood to destroy “all flesh.” Not just humanity, but all living things.  Why all life?

An answer to this question lies both in The Book of Enoch and a modern book, 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese.  This is the story of the author’s trip to hell, courtesy of God.  God prefers using carrots in bringing humanity to salvation, but He’s not above using a stick.  Remember all of the choices He gave the Israelites in the wilderness; “I set before you today a blessing and a curse.”

The message to Wiese was that God wants to re-introduce humanity to the stick of hell. What better way to do that than to take someone there, filter the pain so as not to destroy him, and then have him tell his story.  And, by the way, there is a whole community of people he discovered who have had the same experience.

The critical part of 23 Minutes in Hell for the purposes of this article is his description of rising through a large shaft, leading away from hell.  He saw demons of every shape and size, from insects to giants:

Demons…I noticed that I was standing in the middle of a cave. The wall wrapped around me and led to the vast expanse of the pit.  As I looked at the walls, I saw that they were covered with thousands of hideous creatures.  These demonic creatures were all sizes and shapes.  Some of them had four legs and were the size of bears.  Other stood upright and were about the size of gorillas.  They were all terribly grotesque and disfigured.  It looked as though their flesh had been decomposing and all their limbs were twisted out of proportion.  Some displayed immense, long arms or abnormally large feet.  They seemed to me to be the living dead.  There were also gigantic rats and huge spiders at least three feet wide and two or three feet high.  I also saw snakes and worms, ranging from small to enormously large.

Enoch notes how the giants also sinned against all flesh, not just humanity. It looks as though they sired off-spring in just about every corner of the animal kingdom.  While not stating such explicitly, Enoch writes that  “…they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish…” Enoch 7:5b.

First, why would God feel the need to destroy “all flesh?” Second, Where did that whole spectrum of creatures come from in 23 Minutes in Hell?  The answer to both question is one in the same, and we’re getting closer to that answer.

Next – When the Bible talks about God being revered “above all gods,” just whom were they talking about?

Connecting the Dots; The Book of Enoch, Part 3

Enoch-Sakach-Ph-D-9780934917056There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.   Genesis 6:4

This brings me back to a theme I’ve sounded before; The Olivet Discourse, otherwise known as Matthew 24. Jesus did not say that all they needed to know was that they were saved when the disciples asked Jesus about the future and end times.  He gave them a Cliff Notes version of Revelation.  He warned them – and us – that the last days will be like those in Noah’s time before The Flood.

Fortunately, we can see just what was happening at that time in Genesis 6. It gives us the broad brushstrokes of what those days were like.  The Book of Enoch gives us a great deal of detail.  I believe it is an authentic work even though many doubt that.

Nephilim

“There were giants in the earth…”

 

First, it brings detail to the beginnings of the Nephilim and names the angels that decided to sin against God. Enoch describes the immense size of the Nephilim, the fact that humans fed them, and that the Nephilim started eating them and each other when supplies ran out.  They became cannibals.

And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5them and devoured mankind.    Enoch 7: 4b-5a

Now here is an extra-Biblical dot to connect. Giant skeletons have been found in abundance in North America as well as around the world.  Most of these stay within the twenty foot height, but there are some outliers stretching much taller than that.

Along with this is the oral history of the North American Indians which tells of a giant race of cannibals who came from the west. Their history says that they arrived about 2500 years before Columbus or about 1000 BC.  These giants were extremely violent and cannibalistic.  What is also interesting is that Indians describe them as having six fingers and toes and double rows of teeth.  This matches perfectly with the archeological record of skeletons that have been found here and around the world.  It also matches the descriptions of the giants in Canaan, specifically King Og and Goliath’s brothers.  See the following excerpts from articles about a few of these finds.

After a time, and having endured the outrages of these giants, it is said that the people banded together, and through the final force of about 800 warriors, successfully annihilated all of the abhorrent Ronnongwetowanca people. After that, it was said that there were no giants anywhere. This was supposed to have happened around 2,500 winters before Columbus discovered America, i.e. around 1000 B.C.E.-the time that the Adena seem to have arrive in the Ohio Valley.   (2000 Ross Hamilton, Computer Images ©2000 Patricia Mason.  All rights reserved.)

And –

Giant Skeleton…these skeletons had heights which ranged from 7.6 feet up to 10 feet and the skulls were much bigger than the heads of any type of person who lived inside America today. The story also said the skulls had double rows of teeth, six toes on each foot and six fingers on each hand… In 2002, National Geographic did a report on 12 skeletons that were supposedly discovered in Greece. They were measured at heights between 12 to 15 feet tall. (From Giant Human Skeletons Discovered in Wisconsin?  By Kimberly Ruble on February 4, 2014)

Another find just south of Lake Erie in northern Ohio:

Later, in 1878, another discovery in the county of Ashtabula County, Ohio. Mounds were excavated on land belonging to Peleg Sweet, a man of large features. In the first mound, they unearthed a skull and jaw which were of such size that the skull would cover Sweet’s head and the jaw could be easily slipped over his face. Excavating further, they discovered these mounds contained the graves estimated between two and three thousand. Many of the skeletons found were of gigantic proportions.   (From Giants of Ohio and the Mound Builders by Mary Sutherland, author of Living in the Light)

Finally –

During the past few years a huge controversy has emerged accusing the Smithsonian (and a host of skeptics and archaeologists) of covering up the discovery of hundreds of giant skeletons from Native American Indian mounds. Jim Vieira is one of the key people who began uncovering hundreds of newspaper accounts of giant skeletons after he became intrigued by his visits to stone chambers found primarily in northeastern states. To date, Vieira has pulled together about 1,500 accounts from newspapers and books published in the 1800s and early 1900s. The newspaper stories relate that the skeletons ranged in size from 7 feet to well over 18 feet in length. (From The truth about giant skeletons in American Indian mounds, and the Smithsonian cover-up)   http://www.sott.net/article/281093-The-truth-about-giant-skeletons-in-American-Indian-mounds-and-the-Smithsonian-cover-up

Another interesting tidbit is that of the stereotypical Indian greeting.  We’ve all seen it; right hand raised and a solemn “How!” resonates from the Indian.

Indian Hand Greeting

“How” Many Fingers?

We were always told that this greeting showed a stranger that they were unarmed and not a danger. That sounded good until I started learning about the giants in North America.  This interpretation holds no water.  Indians always carried a weapon of some sort, whether a knife as a tool to a tomahawk or bow and arrow.  Any of these could be worn at the waist or slung over a shoulder, so an empty hand means nothing.

 

The giants were not always freakishly tall, but they were all very violent and cannibalistic.   The one way an Indian could show someone that he was not one of THOSE guys, was to show that he had only five fingers.

 

So there are a couple dots connected for you.

Coming up; just how carried away did the fallen angels get in ruining humans and the earth?

Connecting the Dots; The Book of Enoch, Part 2

Enoch-Sakach-Ph-D-9780934917056Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.    Jude 14-15

When were the Old and New Testament canons fixed? An extensively foot-noted Wikipedia article tells us:

“There is no scholarly consensus as to when the Hebrew Bible canon (Old Testament) was fixed: some scholars argue that it was fixed by the Hasmonean dynasty (140–40 BCE),[5] while others argue it was not fixed until the second century CE or even later.[6] The Catholic Pontifical Biblical Commission says that “the more restricted Hebrew canon is later than the formation of the New Testament” (which was pretty well settled in Late Antiquity, defined as about any time from the 3rd to the 9th century).

In other words, the spread on when the OT canon was fixed is about 1000 years. If truly written by Enoch, his book predates the earliest estimated fixed canon by 6000 years.

One group of arguments says that Enoch uses material from, for example, the Torah. That’s a chicken or the egg argument.  Who’s to say the Torah didn’t borrow from Enoch since we have no original manuscripts to date?

Another argument Jews had used against it was that it describes how angels sinned. They could not fathom that happening, as Trypho the Jew indicated – rather strongly – in his debate with Justin Martyr.  Again from Wikipedia:

“The utterances of God are holy, but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God.” (Dialogue 79)

This one confuses me, because Genesis 6 tells the same story, albeit with nowhere near the detail of Enoch. Yet there seemed to be no problem with Genesis.

The 140 B.C. date of the earliest possible fix of the OT canon is also within as little as 10 years, maybe a century, of the estimated date of the writing of the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves, which include The Book of Enoch. This is the earliest physical document we have for it, so dating the actual composing of the original manuscript is nigh on to impossible.

Enoch is quoted by a canonical book, Jude.  Jude was the brother of James the Just, who was the reported brother of Jesus.  Even if not blood related to Jesus, he was the brother of James and knew Jesus.  Either way, his pedigree is good.

One argument against Enoch concerning the Jude quotation is whether Jude thought that Enoch was a valid book or not. Even Paul was known to quote heretics to make a point.  So was Jude just using a familiar reference to make a point, or did he believe Enoch to be a legitimate work?

Also, to answer that very argument – namely that Paul even quoted heretics to make a point – the people he wrote to would know the nature of whom he cited. They would understand what the reference was.

The same goes for Jude quoting Enoch. People would know the book.  Furthermore, comparing quoting known heresies to quoting a work which is not labelled “heretical” is an Apples & Oranges comparison.

The Wikipedia article again gives us a fairly even-handed analysis:

Under the heading of canonicity, it is not enough to merely demonstrate that something is quoted. Instead, it is necessary to demonstrate the nature of the quotation.[16] In the case of the Jude 1:14 quotation of 1 Enoch 1:9, it would be difficult to argue that Jude does not quote Enoch as an historical prophet since he cites Enoch by name. However, there remains a question as to whether the author of Jude attributed the quotation believing the source to be the historical Enoch before the flood or a midrash of Deut 33:2–3.[17][18][19] The Greek text might seem unusual in stating that “Enoch the Seventh from Adam” prophesied “to” (dative case) not “of” (genitive case) the men, however, this might indicate the Greek meaning “against them” – the dative τούτοις as a dativus incommodi (dative of disadvantage).[20][improper synthesis?]

The short discussion of the Greek translation can help indicate whether or not Enoch wrote the book. If the correct translation is “to,” this indicates the perspective of a primary or original account.  Enoch would be the assumed author.  Again, if “against them” is correct, that points even more strongly to the primary source and Enoch as the legitimate author.

If it cannot be considered canon, that still does not mean that it isn’t the true work of Enoch himself and without value.

The works of Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis and C.F.W. Walther, for example, are certainly not canon, but they are foundational to the Lutheran Church in expounding on the Bible as the authoritative Word of God.martin_lutherCFWWaltherCS Lewis

Another argument in favor of the value of the Book of Enoch is that it was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Copying texts was a time-consuming exercise with strict checks and balances to ensure accuracy.  Enoch and the other scrolls were not copied on a Xerox machine.  A lot of sweat went into them, attesting to their value.

One other knock against Enoch is that it definitely pegs the Weirdness Meter. I won’t dispute that, because it does.  But if that’s your benchmark for canonicity, your argument is invalid.  I give you exhibits A and B; Daniel and Revelation, respectively.  Game, set and match.

Next – Why we should care; connecting the dots.

Connecting the Dots; The Book of Enoch, Part 1

Enoch-Sakach-Ph-D-9780934917056

21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.    Genesis 5:21-24

A social scientist did an experiment with a troupe of monkeys. They had a great enclosure, plenty to play on, lots to eat; a very nice environment.  And there was always a fresh bunch of bananas hanging from the top with an easy way up to get them.

But someone was always standing by to hose down anyone who tried to get those bananas. And the rest just for good measure.  They ended up policing themselves and eventually gave up on the bananas.

Then they would replace a couple monkeys with ones that had no idea of the hose. Well, just as soon as they made a run for the bananas out came the hose, and the experienced monkeys would proceed to beat on the new monkeys for getting them all hosed down.

This kept up until two things happened; first, the hose became unnecessary, as the troupe policed itself.  Second, they would still beat the poop out of any new monkey who tried for the bananas even though none of them had EVER been hosed down.  Why?

Well, heck…I don’t know. That’s just the way we’ve always done it around here.

True story? I don’t know, but you get the point.  Inertia is not necessarily a good argument for something.

Which brings me to the validity of The Book of Enoch. It is by and large considered to be Biblically non-canonical.  In other words, it is not considered to be the inspired Word of God.  Most doubt that it was even written by Enoch.  But “…not all. Only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church consider it to be Biblical canon. Inertia seems to me to be the main reason why it is not given much respect in the library of sacred texts.

And who was Enoch? Using the ages provided in Genesis, we can know that Enoch was born 622 years after creation, the sixth from Adam; Adam > Seth > Enos > Cainan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch.  Seventh, if you count Adam.  He was the father of Methuselah, the oldest living human on record and the great-great grandfather of Noah.  Enoch lived a total of 365 years, and he did not die.  As recorded in Genesis 5, Enoch walked with God, and was very close to Him.  God simply took him from earth, sparing him from death.

So…canonicity. Is The Book of Enoch something we should concern ourselves with?  Is the argument against it simply one of inertia?  Can we connect some “dots” from other sources that might point toward its validity?  This is what I intend to explore in the following series of articles.