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The Enoch Figure
Hugh W. Nibley
Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the
Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or this web site.
The Enoch Figure*
It is strange that the man to whom the Bible gives only a few brief sentences should be the colossus who bestrides the
Apocrypha as no other. Everywhere we catch glimpses of him. He is identified with more other great characters than any other
figure of the past. He is the most mysterious, individual, and unique of characters, yet he is the most universal type of them all.
How can we account for "the extraordinary strength and pervasiveness of the Enoch legend"?
The theologians of another day saw in his name an index of both his uniqueness and his universality. Enoch (Henoch)
is "the one-and-only," Greek hen, "one," Latin unicus, "only, sole"; but at the same time he is Everyman, the universal "I," from
the Semitic anokh. He is often identified with Enosh, "the Man" or human being par excellence. The name Enoch is usually
derived from the root anakh, meaning basically to taste, hence to test, "to give attention to"; from this is derived, in turn, the
idea of teaching or training, designating Enoch as the "first vehicle of . . . the genuine gnosis." A related meaning is "to
consecrate," making Enoch the "consecrated one, from whom authentic solutions [are] to be expected touching the secrets
of this world and the one beyond." This puts the figure of Enoch, A. Caquot avers, "in the center of a study of matters
dealing with initiation in the literature of Israel." Enoch is the great initiate who becomes the great initiator.
A recent study that declares the Hebrew meaning of the root to be "unknown" suggests instead the Canaanite khanaku,
meaning "follower" (Gefolgsmann), that is, in the way of the initiate. The idea is strengthened by "the great role which
Enoch plays in Qumran," with its impressive "prophetic initiation." The Hebrew book of Enoch bore the title of Hekhalot,
referring to the various chambers or stages of initiation in the temple. "I will not say but what Enoch had temples and
officiated therein," said Brigham Young, "but we have no account of it." Today we do have such accounts.
These interpretations of Enoch's name and office are supported by his best-known epithet, that of Metatron. While
some would derive it from the Latin metator, "guide" or "leader,"others prefer the Greek metathronos, the one "with
the throne" or "he whose throne is [the most glorious] next to [meta] the Throne [that is, the 'Throne of Glory'; or 'the
throne greatest next to the Throne']." Others insist that the derivation still remains unsolved and that "the Metatron
combines various traits derived from different systems of thought." K. Kohler went so far as to trace it to Mithra,
noting especially the prominence of the fiery chariot (Hebrew merkabah) in various Oriental cults."I have seventy
names," says Metatron Sar ha-Panim, "matching the 70 tongues of the world, and all of them are the name of the King
of Kings of Kings, but my King calls me Na'ar [the Lad]. I asked him: 'Why is such a one called the Lad?' He answered
me: 'I am Enoch the son of Jared!'"
Matthew Black would see in Enoch's mystical epithet of Metatron a means of transmitting "the Enoch figure" to
later times under the philosophical epithet of "Man as the measure (metron) of all things," designating at once "the elect
Community, and the Head of the elect . . . the immortalized patriarch, the elect One, the Son of man." The tendency
today is to define Enoch as the eponymous perennial head of any of the many groups of sectaries that broke off from the
rest of Judaism or Christianity from time to time, the society of the elect, some little aspiring Zion that withdrew from the
wicked world and fancied itself as the elect community of Israel hiding in the wilderness. The Enoch-figure is both a
teacher-leader and a hider.
The combination of certain traits independence, intelligence, compassion, and power is Enoch's signature,
setting him apart from all others by the superlative degree to which he possesses them.
His is the independent intelligence always seeking further light and knowledge. He is the great observer and
recorder of all things in heaven and earth, of which God grants him perfect knowledge. The great learner, he is also th
great teacher: Enoch the Initiator into the higher mysteries of the faith and secrets of the universe; Enoch the Scribe,
keeper of the records, instructor in the ordinances, aware of all times and places, studying and transmitting the record
of the race with intimate concern for all generations to come. He offers the faithful their greatest treasure of knowledge.
He is the seer who conveys to men the mind and will of the Lord.
Enoch is the great advocate, the champion of the human race, pleading with God to spare the wicked and "refusing
to be comforted" until he is shown just how that is to be done. He feels for all and is concerned for all. He is the passionate
and compassionate, the magnanimous one who cannot rest knowing that others are miserable. He is the wise and obedient
servant, the friend and helper of all, hence the perfect leader and ruler.
For his work Enoch is endowed with power - the power of the priesthood. He had but to speak the word of the
Lord and mountains shook and rivers turned from their courses. He is the king who is given power from on high to organize
and lead the people of God in their migration and in the building of their city and in the great missionary program that went
out from it. He is their leader as both priest and king, the founder and director of their sacred society on earth.
But since the "Enoch-figure" meets us everywhere, we are constantly confronted with questions of identity. How
can Enoch be "identified" (as he has been) with Adam, Seth, Methusaleh, Melchizedek, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Levi,
Moses, Elijah, Job, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Baruch, Zerubabel, Zadok, Lehi, Zosimus, John the Baptist, Peter, John, Rabbi
Ishmael? For that matter, how can each member of that list (a sampling only) be identified with one
or more others in the roster? Religious literature abounds in facile metaphor and allegory, but that is something else;
a reading of John 14 - 17 or 3 Nephi 10 will make it clear that when these people are declared to be "one," it really means
something, amounting to an actual fusion of persons.
At the head of the list comes Noah, with whom Enoch shared the common mission of warning mankind against the
coming Flood; the Enoch story overlaps with the Noah story in a way that scholars have found disturbing and have attributed
to bungling and confusion. Here the Joseph Smith version in the book of Moses proves most enlightening, for while the same
overlapping is very apparent, it is also explained with perfect clarity. The trouble is that God addresses Enoch as if he were
Noah and Noah as if he were Enoch. "At a very early date," writes Van Andel, "the Noah Tradition and the Enoch Tradition
are interwoven. The connection lies in the figures themselves. Their righteousness shows much similarity and their works
make them interesting both for an Enoch-circle and a Noah-circle."
The points of resemblance between the two figures -
their preaching mission, their speaking with God face to face, their importance as key figures in "a turning point in history,"
and so on, suggest "how easily the Noah Tradition can be woven through that of Enoch and vice versa." "Which of the two
traditions is older," Van Andel leaves for further investigation, but the mixing of the figures accounts for the mingling of
the texts, suggesting to R. H. Charles that the book of Enoch is "built up on the debris of" an older Noah saga. Sir F. G.
Kenyon, on the other hand, gives priority to Enoch at least in the Michigan Codex "in its original state . . . containing a
fragment of a Book of Noah, of which other portions are interspersed elsewhere in Enoch." Though scholars following
the standard German procedure formerly insisted that the Noah elements were a corruption, an intrusion, or "Christian
interpolations" in the Enoch text, they now recognize, as Jellinek did from the first, that "the Enoch- and the Noah-books
belonged together"; after all, they were contemporaries and had the same mission. The Joseph Smith text shows
how easily Noah and Enoch can trade places, a phenomenon so marked that some scholars now go so far as to maintain
that "Enoch is really Noah." Parallel passages show how the two are consciously related:
Moses 7:41. . . . wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth
his arms . . . and his bowels yearned . . . and all eternity shook.
And as Enoch saw this he had bitterness of soul, and wept . . . and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted;
but the Lord said . . . look.
1 Enoch 65:1. [When] Noah saw the earth . . . that its destruction was nigh, . . . . He arose . . . and went to the ends of the
earth, and cried aloud to his grandfather Enoch; and Noah said three times in an embittered voice: "Hear me, hear me, hear me!"
. . . And thereupon there was a commotion on the earth. . . . And Enoch my grandfather came and stood by me, and said to me:
Why hast thou cried unto me with a bitter cry and weeping?
When Enoch "refused to be comforted" in view of the impending flood, God showed him Noah and he was comforted
(Moses 7:44 - 45), a reminder of the closing line of the Chester Beatty Papyrus (107:3): "And his name was called Noah,
comforting the earth after destruction." He also showed him the ark and "that the Lord smiled upon it and held it in his
own hand" (Moses 7:43), even as in 1 Enoch 67:2 he sees the mysterious structure built by the angels, which on later
evidence turns out to be the ark, with the promise, "I will place my hand upon it [the ark] and preserve it." In the Joseph
Smith text the Earth says to Enoch, "When shall I rest, and be cleansed from all the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? . . .
that I may rest and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?" (Moses 7:48.)
The text of the Secret Books can be found Here. Enoch 1 will be
In the Greek Enoch, on the other hand,
it is Enoch who says, "Noah shall be the remnant in whom you will rest for a season and his sons from all the impurities and
the filthiness, sins and wickedness . . . of the earth" It is the same story with a shift of characters. Again, in the Joseph
Smith Enoch when Satan's rule "veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness . . . Enoch beheld angels descending
out of heaven . . . and [many] were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion." (Moses 7:26 - 27.) In the recently
discovered Apocryphon of John, on the other hand, when "darkness was poured out over every place upon the entire
earth, He [God] took counsel with his angels, and their angels were sent down to the children of men"; but it was not
Enoch's people but Noah and those with him who were carried away to heaven in a cloud of light.
The first five columns of the Genesis Apocryphon, an old Aramaic text belonging with the Dead Sea Scrolls, "deal with the
birth of Noah," according to Professor Avigad, in terms not found in "the brief Biblical account in Genesis [5:28 - 29], but [which]
resembles Enoch in most essential points." When first discovered, it was thought to be a Book of Noah "embedded in
Enoch, properly derived from the Book of Lamech," but the story turns up elsewhere, for example, in the Greek Enoch text in
exactly the same context. It tells of a marvelous child, Noah, who had been born to Lamech, who could not believe it to be his own,
but charged his wife (Bit-Enosh, "Daughter of Man") with having consorted with "one of the angels" (sons of God). Only when
Lamech's father, Methusaleh, goes to a far place to inquire of his father, Enoch, does he receive assurance that the child is
legitimate. Even this interesting twist does not escape the Joseph Smith version.
Moses 8:2. Methusaleh, the son of Enoch was not taken . . . for he [God] truly covenanted with Enoch that Noah
should be the fruit of his loins.
Moses 8:3. And . . . Methusaleh prophesied that from his loins should spring all the kingdoms of the earth [through Noah],
and he took glory unto himself.
4. And there came forth a great famine into the land . . .
C. Beatty, 107:2. Enoch: Now run child [Methusaleh was already a grandfather] and signify to Lamech thy son that the
child [Noah] born to him is truly his and not in falsehood.
Beatty, 106:16. It is to Methusaleh that Enoch foretells that the issue of Noah will populate the whole earth through his three sons.
Slavonic Enoch 22. But I will preserve Noah, the firstborn of Lamech, and I will cause to rise from his seed another
world, and his seed will endure through the ages. And Methusaleh awoke from his sleep and was sorely distressed because
of the dream.
Here we are told not only that Noah was legitimate after all and that Methusaleh was promised that his grandson Noah would
be the parent of the race, but also, surprisingly, that the news caused Methusaleh distress. Of this there is nothing in the Bible.
But what leads to a natural confusion of Enoch with Noah is that both receive the same promise.
7:43. Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an Ark. . . .
7:45. And . . . Enoch looked; and from Noah he beheld all the families of the earth. . . .
Secrets of Enoch 23:82. And I know that this race will be destroyed entirely, and Noah my brother will be saved for the procreation
of offspring, and that a numerous race will arise from his seed, and Melchizedek will become the head of the priests.
1 Enoch 65:6. To Enoch: A command hath gone forth from the presence of the Lord. . .
7:49. And . . . Enoch . . .? cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not
bless the children of Noah?
12. And He hath destined thy name to be among the holy . . . And has destined thy righteous seed both for kingship and great
honors, and from thy seed shall proceed a fountain of the righteous and holy without number forever.
7:50. . . . I ask thee . . . that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed. . . . 51. And the Lord . . . covenanted with Enoch . . .
that he would call upon the children of Noah. . . . 67:2. . . . And there shall come forth from it [the Ark] the. . . seed of life. . . .
And I will make fast thy [Enoch's] seed before me forever and ever, and I will spread abroad those who dwell with thee. . . .
It shall be blessed and multiplied on the earth in the name of the Lord.
7:52. . . . That a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;
1 Enoch 84:5. Enoch: And now, O Lord and Great King, I implore thee and beseech thee to fulfill my prayer, and to leave me
[Enoch] a posterity on earth, and not destroy all the flesh of man.
Moses 7:42. And Enoch also saw Noah . . . that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation.
Secrets of Enoch 23:82. And I know that this race will be destroyed entirely, and Noah my brother will be saved for the procreation
of offspring, and that a numerous race will arise from his seed, and Melchizedek will become the head of the priests.
7:53. And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith I am Messiah, the King of
Zion, the Rock of heaven. . . .
Thus the covenant of Noah is made also with Enoch: "And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come
in the last days . . . to fulfill the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah." (Moses 7:60.)
The general principle on which one great patriarch can be identified with another is set forth in the Zohar:
Noah [cf. Enoch] walked with God, meaning that he never separated himself from Him, and acted so as to be a true
copy of the supernal ideal, a "Zaddik [righteous one], the foundation of the world", and embodiment of the world's covenant of
peace. 59b. Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of thy throne [cf. Moses 7:32]. . . . It is the Zaddik who produces
offspring in the world, . . . the souls of the righteous, these being the fruit of the handiwork of the Holy One. (Zohar, Bereshit 59b - 60a.)
As the one who conveys the promise concerning Noah from Enoch to Lamech, Methusaleh also shares in the knowledge
and the promise. Indeed in 1 Enoch 83:8ff., it is Methusaleh rather than Enoch who is told to "make petition . . . that a remnant
may remain on the earth, and that he may not destroy the whole earth. . . . And . . . I . . . wrote down my prayer for the
generations of the world." Now according to Moses 8:2, Methusaleh was spared specifically to ensure the carrying out
of the covenant God made with Enoch "that Noah should be the fruit of his loins," which agrees perfectly with the other
sources. The same adding of links to the chain is repeated in the story of Nir, the son of Methusaleh who, when his wife
Sophonim brought forth another "Wunderkind" like Noah, accused her as Lamech did his wife, of unfaithfulness, while
he and Noah (his nephew) looked upon the newborn child in wonder and fear. Nir doubles also for Enoch in a passage
that reveals the borrowing:
From the day that Nir, the son of Methusaleh, became High Priest, there was peace and order on all the earth
for 202 years but after that the people apostatized . . . envying each other, and people rose against people and nation
against nation, and there was a great trouble, and Nir the priest . . . was greatly afflicted and said in his heart: The time
is approaching of which the Lord spoke to Methusaleh, the father of my father . . . and he stretched forth his arms to the
heavens and as he prayed his spirit departed.
In the same account Methusaleh, like his father Enoch, doubts his worthiness: "And Methusaleh stretched forth his arms
to the heavens and called upon the Lord saying: 'Alas O Lord, who am I to be at the head of thine altar and thy people?'" And
then, exactly like his son Nir, "While Methusaleh was speaking to the people his spirit was troubled, and bending his knees he
stretched forth his arms toward the heaven, praying to the Lord; and as he prayed his spirit departed." One begins to wonder
what difference it makes who is in the stellar role. "Methusaleh became king under his fathers," as the Hebrew source puts it,
"and did according to all that his father Enoch showed him . . . and he did not turn from the Good Way to the right or to the left."
Guided by "another book [that] Enoch wrote for his son Methusaleh," keeping strictly in the same path, one great leader
resembles another, which is not surprising where each repeats the words and actions of his father by the father's specific instructions:
Moses 7:50. Enoch: I ask thee, O Lord . . . that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.
1 Enoch 83:8. And now my son [Methusaleh] arise and make petition [as Enoch himself had] . . . that a remnant may remain on the
And I [Methusaleh] wrote down my prayer for the generations of the world.
And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch . . . that he would call upon the children of Noah;
earth, and that He may not destroy the whole earth;
.And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found.
After doubling for Enoch, Methusaleh, and Noah, Nir proceeds to have a son, who, following the pattern, is another
Noah and Nir feared greatly, for the child was completely grown and spoke with his mouth and blessed the Lord.
And Noah and Nir examined the child and declared: This is from the Lord, my brother! Behold the seal of the priesthood
on his breast! Noah said to Nir: Brother, behold the Lord has restored the dwelling of his sanctification among us. And they
washed the child and clothed him in the robes of the high Priest and he ate the bread of benediction, and they called him
Melchizedek. And Noah said to Nir: Guard the child, for the people have become wicked on all the earth and will try to kill him.
Nir, praying to God, was told in a vision of the night: "A great destruction is coming. . . . As to the child [Melchizedek], I will
send my archangel Michael and he will take the child and place him in the Paradise of Eden . . . and he will be my priest of
Priests forever, Melchizedek. And Nir . . . said I know that this race will be destroyed entirely, and Noah my brother will be
saved for the procreations, and that a numerous race will arise from his seed and Melchizedek will become the head of Priests."
Thus the apparent confusion of Enoch and Noah is progressively confounded down the line of succession. But there
is the same line from beginning to end: "Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world
also." (Moses 6:7.) It centers in the Messiah of the seed of Enoch and Noah as "the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which
is as broad as eternity." (Moses 7:53.) In the Secrets of Enoch we are told that Melchizedek will be priest and king in a place
at the center of the earth when the Lord will bring him forth as "another Melchizedek of the lineage of the first Melchizedek."
Here is identity indeed Melchizedek succeeding himself! In the Pistis Sophia, Jesus says that "the higher mysteries
" tell how all "are to be saved in the time and in the number of Melchizedek the Great Mediator of the Light, the agent of all
who is at the center of the world."
"All the prophets," said Joseph Smith, "had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself." And
in an Enoch text a voice comes from Adam's coffin and blesses Melchizedek as "the only Priest among the people
consecrated by God's own hand. Then the Lord told Melchizedek to take twelve stones and make an altar and put the
bread and wine of Shem on it . . . in similitude of the sacrifice of the Lord." When in a like demonstration Methusaleh
prayed at the altar and asked God to let the people know by a sign "that it is thou who hast ordained the Priest for thy people. . . .
While he was praying the altar was shaken, and the knife of its own accord turned away from the altar and flew out of the hand
of Melchizedek in the presence of all the people. And all the people were seized with trembling and glorified the Lord." To
assure us that this is not an unconscious plagiarism, we are told that Melchizedek was with Abraham at the time, having met
him on Mount Nabus near Jerusalem, where he embraced and blessed him, Abraham and Melchizedek receiving from the
people exactly the same acclamation that was once given Methusaleh and Enoch.
Abraham is our model (D&C 132:29ff.) and is as notable as Enoch for a peculiar combination of intelligence, independence,
Abraham 1:2. Desiring also to be one who possessed knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to
possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations. . .
BHM 4:129. The soul of great Enoch clung to the discipline of God and to knowledge and intelligence; and he knew the ways of
God, and he was set apart in himself from the children of men.
1:1. . . . it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence.
Then all the people gathered together from the children of men. And Enoch taught the children of men.
Midrash, Lekh Lekha: All the princes and people came to Abraham to be taught.
The two heroes both have the same singular view of the role of intelligence in the eternal plan:
Abraham 3:18. . . . if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits,
notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; . . . they are gnolaum, or eternal.
19. There shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all . . .
18. . . . they are gnolaum, or eternal.
Secrets of Enoch 23:46. One man is more honorable (schestie) than another for his riches, another for his wisdom, another
for his intelligence. . . . But the greatest of all is the one who fears the Lord. They who fear the Lord will have glory forever.
As both men are zealous champions of suffering humanity, we find them both, in Jewish tradition, present at the judgment
to see that people get a fair break: while Abraham pleads for the unredeemed souls, Enoch stands at the side of the Righteous
Judge, keeping an eye on the records. One could replace the name of Abraham with that of Enoch in every episode of the
Apocalypse of Abraham (in which that patriarch's genealogy begins with Enoch) without changing the basic story.
Since each of the patriarchs in his time was "a man righteous and perfect" in whom was reproduced the supernal pattern,
it is no more surprising that they should all follow a single type than that each one should have two eyes and ten fingers; and
the archetype of all was, of course, Adam. "He [God] set the ordinances to be the same forever and ever," says Joseph Smith,
"and set Adam to watch over them, or to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them. . . . These angels
are under the direction of Michael or Adam, who acts under the directions of the Lord." "He had dominion given to him over
every living creature. . . . Then to Noah, who is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood." None may
depart from the pattern set by Adam: "The ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed; otherwise their
priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing." Enoch, Seth, and Methusaleh were all "ordained under the hand
of Adam" (D&C 107:48) while Seth ordained Lamech (107:51), and Noah was ordained not by his father but by his grandfather,
Then Adam called them all together, "Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methusaleh,
who were all High Priests . . . into Adam-Ondi-Ahman" (107:53), where to climax and fix everything, "the Lord appeared . . .
and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the Prince (107:54) . . . to be at the head" (107:55), all of which "things were
written in the Book of Enoch" (107:57). Caquot points out that Abraham, Isaac, Levi, Moses, Elijah, Baruch, and
Esdras all have the same type of mission and receive the same revelations as Enoch himself, yet nothing detracts
from the primacy of Adam, the "Man Adam," who is also Enoch. As Van Andel puts it, the great line including Enoch,
Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Elijah "all crystalizes around Enoch," fulfilling the promise to him by "a logical process from
Adam to the Messianic kingdom" at the end of the world.
The placing of Adam at the head of the priesthood formally designated as that of Melchizedek
explains the insistence of early Jewish writers on identifying Michael with Melchizedek, though this naturally puzzles modern
scholars. In the great victory scene of the harrowing of hell, Christ turns the liberated Adam over to Michael, and they all enter the
gate of heaven, where Enoch and Elijah receive them. In the Metatron, as Käsemann observes, "both Michael and Metatron-Enoch belong
in the series of Moses and Elijah as heavenly high priests." And so, by an easy transition, to Elijah, more often paired with
Enoch than any other figure: "The angel containing the name Yahweh referred to in Exodus 23:20 - 21 is . . . 'Metatron Prince
of the Face,' and is identified with the prophet Elijah."
(Relating to reincarnation)
As the Lord approaches the gates of hell in the drama just referred to,
Beliar asks Hades, "Look carefully who is coming, it looks like Elijah or Enoch or one of the prophets to me!" Yet it is Jesus
so much are the three alike. In a related source, after Christ leads the procession up out of hell and the righteous dead are
redeemed with the help of Enoch and Elijah, those who live on "until the end of the world, at which time they will be sent down
to earth by God during the rule of the Antichrist to be put to death by him and rise after three days to be caught up into the
clouds and meet the Lord." Other sources report the same tradition but include the Lord in the holy trio who are slain
and ascend to heaven in their respective times. John the Baptist, too, was identified with Elijah, "this was Elijah to come
if ye can receive it." Just as the sectaries of the desert believed John the Baptist, "the Wild Man," to be the returned Enoch
,so the Manichaeans in the third century identified their own founder, Mani, with Enoch.
So we have a society of intimates, all sharing and doing the same things: "Abraham received the priesthood from
Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah. And from Noah till Enoch . . . and from Enoch
to Abel." (D&C 84:14 15.) "Enoch was 25 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, [who also] blessed
him. And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually." (D&C 107:48 49.) That intimate,
personal, face-to-face contact is emphasized throughout it is all one family living by the same rules and looking forward to
one single great event the coming of the heavenly Zion to join with the earthly ones. That intimate touch is important it
puts all the leaders of the dispensations, including our own, on the same footing: "Let my servant Ahashdah and my servant
Gazelem or Enoch, and my servant Pelagoram, sit in council with the Saints which are in Zion." (D&C 78:9.)
Joseph Smith has been charged with gross ignorance in depicting Elijah and Elias as two different persons, yet they
very well could have been. The Gospel of Philip says that the Lord had one name, Jesus, which was the same for all people
and all languages, while his Greek name of Christ was not used by the Syrians, who said "Messiah" instead; the name of
Nazarene was a secret one whose real meaning was known only to his immediate followers. Conversely, one name
could designate different prophets while taking a slightly different form to avoid confusing them. Thus Caesar was a man,
but scores of men have borne the same name; to make distinction among them the name may be rendered, for example, Czar,
Kaiser, Kezar. Elijah is identified repeatedly in ancient sources with both Enoch and John the Baptist. Who is to say at this
distance in time whether or not Elias is a doublet of this illusive figure? Sir Frederick Kenyon has explained how the Son of
Man is "the Lord, whose life was in many respects prefigured by many of the patriarchs and prophets. . . . This is he who in
Abel was slain, in Isaac was bound, who in Jacob dwelt in a strange land, in Joseph was sold, in Moses was cast out, in
the Lamb was sacrificed, in David was hunted, in the prophets was dishonored."
The repeated emergence of "Enoch figures" in the course of sacred history should cause no perplexity to Latter-day
Saints, who have already seen three "Joseph Smiths" as prophet, seer, and revelator. What arguments that could stir up
among scholars three thousand years from now! As the mantle of Elijah fell on Elisha (note the suspicious resemblance of
names), and that of Moses on Joshua in a more than figurative sense.
There is one parallel that has exercised the experts more than all the others put together, and that is the puzzling
relationship between Enoch and the Son of Man. No question has been more diligently discussed in the journals than the
identity of the son of Man; few scholars can resist the temptation of pointing out with magisterial ease just who he is, but
with little or no agreement among themselves. Aside from Jesus, it is Enoch who of all the candidates lays by far the most
convincing and challenging claim to the Son of Man title "as teacher, wise one, advocate, prophet, ideal man, bringer of
salvation, revealer of hidden mysteries, etc." The key to the identification as R. Otto sees it is that Christ "lived and
preached in the role and in the name of the Son of Man, just as Enoch also in his preaching was a functionary of the Son
of Man and his Righteousness." In 1 Enoch 37:71, "Enoch has become the eschatological Saviour himself, the ideal
of the pious community," officially designated as the "Son of Man."
Though earlier scholars were disturbed by the
outright identity of the two (R. H. Charles deliberately alters the ancient text to avoid it), their identity was fully recognized
by ancient theologians; indeed, the Christian "tendency to identify Adam in all his characteristics with Jesus, who similarly
is represented as 'The Perfect Man,'" matches the practice of identifying Enoch also with Adam. Eusebius states the
case thus: "The Son of Man and the Son of Adam are the same thing, so that Adam and Enosh are the same; carnal
(sarkikon) through Adam, rational (logikon) through Enosh." He also makes it perfectly clear that by Enosh he means
Enoch: "The Hebrews say that Enosh not Adam was the first true man. . . . He 'was not found' [said only of Enoch] means
that truly wise men are hard to find. He withdrew from the world of affairs and thereby became the Friend of God [cf. Abraham].
The Hebrews call him 'The Friend,' signifying thereby the favor (charin) of God." For the Mandaeans, the Son of Man is
necessarily the Son of God, "for he is Enosh, the first man created," in the direct image of God.
In the intertestamental period, "the Son of Man tradition [was] in a fluid state and could be adapted to any Messianic
Figure."The individual is unique, but the type can be shared. Thus in the Dead Sea Scrolls Michael is the Son of Man,
but for that matter so is Melchizedek. "The fact that the prophets spoke in the person of God or Christ was a common
observation," as Rendell Harris pointed out. "It [was] inevitable that this impersonation should cause difficulties of
interpretation." Impersonation? Was it not enough to be the agent without actual impersonation? Time and again
when we think we have discovered an overlooked "Enoch figure," it turns out that the ancient author was quite aware
of the parallel. Thus Zerubbabel or Paul or Rabbi Ishmael or Isaiah in their heavenly journeys all meet with Enoch before
the story is over. Are these men guilty of impersonation? The question concerns C. P. Van Andel, who acquits them
all: A man who performs the function of Enoch has, he concludes, a perfect right to assume the name of Enoch.
Today emphasis is being placed on the society of the faithful itself as the actual embodiment of the Son of Man:
"Enoch has become the eschatological Saviour himself, the ideal of the 'pious community'" officially designated
as the "Son of Man." Such "Enoch circles" naturally identified whoever was their leader with Enoch. Matthew Black,
seeing the Metatron title "Man as the Measure," equates "the elect community" with the "Head of the Community, the
immortalized patriarch, the elect one, the Son of Man." The communities that followed John the Baptist regarded
him as both Enoch and Elijah. "How could John [the Baptist also] be Elijah?" L. E. Keck asks. This was one of the
great mysteries to which various sects claimed to have the key, secretly passed down from the Lord to the Apostles.
The passing down thus took place during the forty-day ministry of the Lord, at which time he appears exactly in the
manner of Enoch as one whose comings and goings are as thrilling and mysterious as are the great secrets of
knowledge he imparts.
In the Old Testament, the expression "Son of Man" is found only in four poetic passages, in which it is hardly more
than an expression for an ordinary human. In the New Testament, it is not, as anyone would naturally expect, the
unassuming title of one who would depict himself humbly as a common mortal "delicately and modestly," or even in
"self-depreciation." For in all the occurrences of the title in the New Testament, it refers to the Lord in his capacity
as the exalted one from on high whose real nature and glory are hidden from men. Aside from these occurrences,
the title "Son of Man" "is never used as a title in the intertestamental literature except in the Similitudes of Enoch."
Here is a very neat test for Joseph Smith: the "Son of Man" title does not occur once in the Book of Mormon, either,
and in the Pearl of Great Price it is confined to one brief section of the Book of Enoch where it is used no fewer than seven
times - again the prophet is right on target. Several verses are cited below to explain how the titles Sons of God and Sons
of Man in the plural related to the singular Son of God and Son of Man (all emphasis supplied):
Moses 6:68. Behold thou [Enoch] art one in me . . . and thus may all become my sons.
Ethiop. Bk. of Mysts., in Patriologiae Orientaliae VI,
. Next after Adam comes Enoch, the 7th, the Righteous One, who saw
all that was to come and saw a vision of the cosmos. In such a way all the prophets are symbols of the Son.
In the 2nd Week [Disp.] Enoch saw "that the Man was saved," "the Man" being Noah, who was also a type of the
Savior since he saved the race. . . . Even so in...
The Lord the Father wrote with his own fingers the 10 words indicating the various dispensations all centering in "the subject of the Son."
the 3rd Week, the Lord chose Abraham.
In the 4th Week he chose Moses; in the 5th Week he chose the Prophets, in the 6th the Apostles, in the 7th [a dispensation
coming after the Apostles] he chose the Saints those who believe on the coming of the Lord.
Thus "Noah" was the symbol of the Son, as the Flood was of Baptism;
Abraham was the symbol of Jesus in 10 things, including baptism and Enoch was the exemplar of all 10 [signs and
dispensations; cf Clementine Recognitions I].
7:18. And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind. . . . people walked with God, and
come and saw a vision of the cosmos. In such a way all the prophets are symbols of the Son. The Lord the Father wrote with
7:69. And Enoch and all his he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and . . . God received it up into his own bosom.
his own fingers the 10 words indicating the various dispensations—all centering in "the subject of the Son."
7:24. Enoch was . . . even in the bosom of the Father and the Son of Man.
7:63. And the Lord said unto Enoch: . . . thou and all thy city. . . . We will receive them into our bosom . . . and we will fall
upon their necks and they shall fall upon our necks. the 3rd Week, the Lord chose Abraham.
Van Andel, Structuur, p. 23 on the 10 dispensations. 1 Enoch 1:1. Enoch directs his writings to "the Elect and righteous
who will be living in that day of tribulation . . . 2. . . . but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is to come."
Recalling that Enoch is the initiate, it is suggested that it was by initiation that Enoch became "in a way identified with the
Son of Man."Here Van Andel notes that we are skating on thin ice, that "the concept is a dangerous one in our ignorance,"
since the whole thing was treated by the ancients themselves as a carefully guarded secret. Through anointing, a Catholic
writer suggests, Enoch is "next to God, but not God," recalling those wonderful words of Enoch, "thou art God, and I know thee
. . . that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me and given me a right to thy throne." (Moses 7:59.) Also
a right to become his son: "Behold I am a Son of God in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy [Satan's] glory that
I should worship thee?"
(Moses 1:12 - 13; emphasis supplied) for God said, "I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou
art in the similitude of Mine Only Begotten [who] . . . is and shall be the Savior." (Moses 1:6; emphasis supplied.) That "is and
shall be" is important, showing the Son of Man's recurrent missions; even more important is "similitude" as the key to identity
between one of God's sons and another. "The Man Adam" is "many," and yet there is but one great archetype; there are
saviors on Mount Zion, but there is only one Savior; lords many, but only one Lord; there are prophets and the Prophet; there
is a Daniel and the Daniel; an Elijah and the Elijah, anointed ones and the Anointed One, devils and the devil. We need not be
disturbed when the Odes of Solomon report that Enoch is "raised up to become the Son of God,"106 or when an Ethiopian
text teaches that only the prophets by ascending a high mountain to a high place "can hear the fearful name of God," pending
which God is known only by epithets, the first of the list being Enoch. Enoch here is only an epithet, not the true and essential name.
The fullest explanation of the divinity of Enoch is given by the Prophet Joseph:
They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory. And are priests of the Most
High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God. (D&C 76:56 - 58; emphasis supplied.)
Our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the
coming of the Son of Man. . . . The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers
up his stewardship to Christ . . . as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family; I
saw Adam in the valley of Adam-Ondi-Ahman. . . . The Lord appeared in their midst and he [Adam] blessed them all.
(Teachings, pp. 157 - 58.)
Those who share the same exalted order have a claim to the same honorific titles. Such were not limited to the ancient
prophets, "for pious theists claim for themselves the attribute of Enoch," and the words of Psalms 73:49 "seem not unworthy of
the poet who identified himself with Enoch." The initiate has become a scribe, a sage, and an interpreter himself, an
initiator a veritable Enoch. This is confirmed by the Prophet Joseph: "I say in the name of the Lord that the kingdom of
God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time, whenever there has been a righteous man . . . unto
whom God revealed his word."
Continued on Enoch 2
Our page Hiram Intro 3 has the text to
The Keys of Enoch. Passage of the Secrets 3 has more about Enoch
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