Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Concept of Judgment in Enoch

The central idea and principal theme of the end time judgment of the wicked followed by the salvation of the righteous appears throughout the Book of Enoch, excepting only the astronomical section because the meaning of this section is not clear. This idea is presented in the introduction in these words:

“The blessing of Enoch: with which he blessed the elect and the righteous who would be present on the day of tribulation at the time of the removal of all the ungodly ones and the righteous will be saved.”

The author of the Epistle of Jude quotes 1 Enoch 1:9 verbatim: “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 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.’”

Although there is a repeated statement of “judgment on all” (1:7, 9), this judgment appears to fall only on sinners and the righteous will live their full natural lives just as in Isaiah 65. Enoch 22 introduces the idea of a division into different groups but creates a “judgment” that is indistinct and lacking clarity.

The Book of Parables introduces for the first time the idea of a judgment of the righteous determined by the weighting of their deeds. The son of man acts “in the name of the Lord of the Spirits” (55:4), just as does the Messiah in the Psalms of Solomon. In the Book of Parables, it is the “son of man” (61:8) or “Elect One” who sits on the throne in glory and will judge. On the Day of Judgment, the rulers will beg for mercy at the feet of the son of man and the oppressors of the children of God and the elect ones will be punished.

The Book of Parables (37-71) was the last section of 1 Enoch to be written. Nickelsburg concluded this book was written late first century BCE. The absence of the Book of Parables from the Qumran texts is, according to Nickelsburg, is “historically accidental” and therefore has no significance for the dating and provenance of the text, and does not alter his conclusion.

Copyrighted 2006


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