The Second Book of Enoch presents itself as a work of biblical Enoch from Genesis, who was caught up into heaven to see the visions of God’s realm. This book was not included in the Bible. Most scholars believe that its text was written by a Jewish author around 1st-3rd century CE. The value of 2 Enoch is not so much theological, but rather historical. It relates ancient Jewish lore, in this particular section, the lore of the Creation Story.

On the sixth day, I commanded my wisdom to create man from seven parts: one, his flesh from the earth; two, his blood from the dew; three, his eyes from the sun; four, his bones from stone; five, his intelligence from the swiftness of the angels and clouds; six, his veins and his hair from the grass of the earth; seven, his soul from my breath and from the wind. 11. And I gave him seven natures: to the flesh hearing, the eyes for sight, to the soul smell, the veins for touch, the blood for taste, the bones for endurance, for the intelligence of enjoyment. 12. I conceived a saying, I created man from invisible (spiritual) and from visible (physical) nature, of both are his death and life and image, he knows speech like some created thing, small in greatness and again great in smallness, and I placed him on earth, a second angel, honorable, great and glorious, and I appointed him as a ruler to rule on earth and to have my wisdom, and there was none like him on earth among all of my existing creatures. 13. And I appointed him a name, from four ends, from the east, from the west, from the south, from the north, and I appointed for him four special stars, and I called his name Adam, and showed him two ways, the light and the dark, and I told him: 14. This is good, and that bad, that I should learn whether he has love towards me, or hatred, that it be clear which in his kind would love me. 15. For I have seen his nature, but he has not seen his own nature, therefore through not seeing he will sin worse. And I said after sin what is there but death? 16. And I put sleep into him and he fell asleep. And I took from his side, and created him a wife, that death should come to him by his wife, and I took his last word and called her name mother, that is to say, Eva (Eve).

Chapter 31: 1. Adam has life on earth, and I created a garden in Eden in the east, that he should observe the covenant and keep the commandments. 2. I made the heavens open to him, that he should see the angels singing the song of victory and the light that does no go dim. 3. And he was in paradise for all time, and the devil understood that I wanted to create another world, because Adam was lord on earth, to rule and control it. 4. The devil is the evil spirit of the lower places, as a fugitive, he made Sotona from the heavens as his name was Satanail (Satan), thus he became different from the angels, but his nature did not change, his intelligence as far as his understanding of righteous and sinful things remained the same. 5. And he understood his judgment and the sin which he had sinned before, therefore he conceived thoughts against Adam, in such form he entered and seduced Eva (Eve), but did not touch Adam. 6. But I cursed ignorance, but what I had blessed previously, those I did not curse, I cursed not man, nor the earth, nor other creatures, but only man’s evil fruit, and his works. Chapter 32: 1. I said to him: Earth you are, and into the earth whence I took you from shalt go, and I will not destroy you, but send you back from where I took you. 2. Then I can again receive you at My second presence. 3. And I blessed all my creatures visible (physical) and invisible (spiritual). And Adam was five and a half hours in paradise. 4. And I blessed the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, on which he rested from all his works. (2 Enoch 30:10-32:4)

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting! In light of this, does it shed light on any Bible verses? Does this help any understanding of verses in the scriptures?

      • Hi The wording is strange I and I placed him on earth, a second angel, ” Adam was,is, nor ever will be angel and ” And Adam was five and a half hours in paradise ” before the Sabbath? Or in total No time to be taught all that happened

        • I don’t know what to say. Angel means “a messenger” not necessarily a winged supernatural being. I have only guesses, just like you. 🙂

    • More than anything texts like these help us understand how some Jews in antiquity understood the Bible. That, in turn, allows us to turn to the New Testament, for example, written in the same era and suppose that the writers shared values and beliefs with the author of Enoch, for example…

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          • In your 2 above comments to Mr. James Hunt, the 1 of 3/24/20, you said, “I made a few suggestions…” What were the suggestions? Were suggestions deleted?
            In your response of 3/26/20, to the same gent, I assume, you said, “…
            That,…written in the same era & suppose that the writers shared…with the author of Enoch, for example…” What was the example? Again, was your example deleted?
            Both of your comments to Mr. Hunt, that I have mentioned, are right above my last question to you. If it is too time consuming, just disregard. Thank you.

          • Oh, yea, my example got cut off… sorry. Don’t remember what I wanted to say then. By suggestions, I meant, that when I post passages from Enoch, I typically make suggestions to parallels in the canonical texts. Sometimes comparing the two side by side allows us to see deeper.

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  2. Prof. Shir, Why were the books of Enoch not included in the Bible? I know there are some extra books in the Catholic bible that are not included in King James Bible,NIV,etc. I was under the impression that they were not considered to be inspired ,incomplete, or just creative ancient writings by someone or their own interpretations. Were they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

    • Yes, Dead Sea Scrolls is a large library and many books in that library were not biblical. Some fragments from Enoch were there, I just don’t remember which one… Ancient people read broadly as we do today, so that makes sense. Enoch was not included in the canon because of the criteria the canon-builders have established. We know that Enoch did not write those words for sure and perhaps that reason alone disqualified it.

  3. It would help to interpret this section from 2 Enoch, if we could possibly narrow the dating of its composition. And further if we knew something of the author.
    Was this book ever considered for canonization in any councils be they Jewish or Christian?
    Thanks,
    Richard

    • I believe 1 Enoch is/was a part of a Coptic canon. I am not sure about the 2nd and 3rd was never deemed worthy by anyone. It is hard to be precise on the dating because we do not have the original text of 2nd Enoch, but only translations. It would be like reading King James Bible and trying to figure out why do the Psalms of David and Jeremiah sound the same and use the same vocabulary… Only so much can be done from the foundation of a translation originating in the middle ages. 1-3 century CE is a guess based on very limited evidence.

    • That’s the idea, to simply be exposed to an ancient way of reading the familiar story and allow that to speak to us.

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  4. … “and I called his name Adam, and showed him two ways, the light and the dark, and I told him: 14. This is good, and that bad, that I should learn whether he has love towards me, or hatred, that it be clear which in his kind would love me.” This is extremly powerful, that He would test to see of His creation would have love for or enmity against the Creator. Just powerful.

    • I know this is an interesting point of view… Some ancient Jews may have seen this as one big experiment that reveals what is inside one’s heart. An opportunity to live out what is inside of us.

  5. Thank you, Prof. Pinchas, for answering. Too bad examples deleted, but I understand. This Enoch article @ the creation story of Genesis, so your examples probably related to that. I was surprised that the 2nd Book of Enoch was written w/in CE, rather than earlier. I’ll have to order the Translation of Book of Enoch that you & Dr. Eli edited. I saw it on Amazon. It would be an interesting read.

  6. Book of Enoch is a book that I am trying to bring together.
    I was an engineer once upon a time before trying to become a minister.
    I hear sometimes from the messenger’s.
    The reason, I stop was to do research for Lord Christ Jesus.
    I was born and raised on an Indian reservation because my father works for the American government.
    First six chapters of the Book of Enoch I was shown some plates with ancient writing laying like a control panel.
    Some of the material is mixed up however our brothers and sisters from the Shamayim can reach us.
    The Book of Enoch is the most fascinating book that I have ever read.

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