The Second Book of Enoch is not a part of Bible in either Jewish or Christian tradition; instead, it belongs to the vast body of Jewish literature that is related to the books in the sacred canon. More, it was not written by the Enoch we know from Genesis 5. The text we have today was probably composed in Greek by a Jewish writer (possibly in the first or second centuries CE), but the text survived mostly in Slavonic language translation. Despite this, the text of 2 Enoch is full of Hebraisms and Jewish legends that people would have known in the days of Jesus. One of them concerns Melchizedek, whom the writer of Hebrews mentions in passing as being “without father or mother” (Heb 7:3). This enigmatic statement shows that Melchizedek “resembles” the Messiah (7:3). Below is an amazing story of the miraculous conception and extraordinary birth of Melchizedek from Second Enoch. It may explain some of the theology of the author of Hebrews. The Second Book of Enoch tells us that Nir (son of Lamech) was Melchizedek’s father and Sothonim was his mother.

“And behold, the wife of Nir, Sothonim, being sterile and never having given birth to a child by Nir. 2. And Sothonim was in the time of old age, and in the day of death. And she conceived in her womb, but Nir the priest had not slept with her, from the day that the Lord had appointed him in front of the face of the people. 3. And Sothonim was ashamed, and she hid herself during all the days. And not one of the people knew about it. 4. And she was about to give birth, and Nir remembered his wife, and he called her to himself in the temple, so that he might speak with her. 5. And Sothonim came to Nir, her husband; and, she was pregnant and almost ready to give birth. 6. And Nir saw her, and he became very ashamed about her. And he said to her, “What is this that you have done, O wife? And why have you disgraced me in front of the face of all the people? And now, depart from me, go where you conceived the disgrace of your womb so that I might not defile my hand on your account, and sin in front of the face of the Lord.” 7. And Sothonim answered Nir, her husband, saying, “O my Lord! This is the time of my old age, and there was not in me any youth and I do not know how the indecency of my womb has been conceived.” 8. And Nir did not believe her, and for the second time Nir said to her, “Depart from me, or else I might assault you, and commit a sin in front of the face of the Lord.” 9. And it came to pass, when Nir had spoken to his wife, that Sothonim fell down at Nir’s feet and died.

Nir was distressed and said in his heart, “Could this have happened because of my word? 11. And now, merciful is the eternal Lord, because my hand was not upon her.” And the archangel Gabriel appeared to Nir, and said to him, “Do not think that your wife Sofonim has died because of your error; but this child which is to be born of her is a righteous fruit, and one whom I shall receive into paradise so that you will not be the father of a gift of God.” 12 And Nir hurried, and he shut the door of his house, and he went to Noah his brother, and he reported to him everything that had happened in connection with his wife… And they dug a grave in secret. 17. And when they had gone out toward the sepulcher, a child came out from the dead Sothonim. And he sat on the bed. And Noah and Nir came in to bury Sothonim, and they saw the child sitting beside the corpse, having his clothing on him. 18 And Noah and Nir were terrified because the child was fully developed. And he spoke with his lips, and he blessed the Lord. 19 And Noah and Nir looked at him closely, saying, “This is from the Lord, my brother.” And behold, the badge of priesthood was on his chest, and it was glorious in appearance.

20 And Noah said to Nir, “Behold, God is renewing the continuation of the blood of the priesthood after us.” 21 And Noah and Nir hurried, and they washed the child, and they dressed him in the garments of the priesthood, and they gave him the holy bread and he ate it. And they called his name Melchizedek… And Noah said to his brother Nir, “Look after this child until the time in secret, because people have become treacherous in all the earth, and in some way when they see him, they will put him to death.” (excerpts from 2 Enoch Ch. 71)

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29 COMMENTS

    • No way to know. My job is to make people aware of what some Jews in antiquity actually believed on the matter.

      • Tehillim 110 didn’t mention Melchizedek @ v4, but many other Bibles, Psalm 110 v4 “you are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
        could you kindly explain?

        • Melchizedek order is the oldest, going to the days of Noah and Lamech according to Enoch, long before Moses, Aaron, and Levites. I think that is the point.

  1. Victor Pitfzner: ‘The point of 7:3 is that Melchizedek stands outside the Levitical priesthood. That he is “without genealogy” means there is no record of his priestly descent. In that sense he is “without father, without mother.” Because his birth and death are not recorded, he can be described as “having neither beginning of days nor end of life.”

  2. I am very interested in the books of Enoch and so on, especially of Enoch.
    Tell me the price of your course. I need 2 and a half days to load my credit card.
    I hope it does not cost so much.
    I am waiting for your friendly answer.
    Yours Olaf

  3. Shalom Prof. Pinchas Shir.am apprised by it. thanks . I also believe it as GOD inspired scripture. i see the objective was a testimony to Godly people(the isrealites) of the fear of the GOD of Noah of the Bible by Nir, .It is as well useful for instruction, for conviction,

  4. The real benefit of many extra-Biblical texts (esp. in Midrashim), including even those of modern-day Chabad, is that the Jewish sages and community legends recognize Messianic truth even while rejecting Yeshua. The rabbis and other detractors actually have to make an extra effort to avoid accepting Yeshua as Messiah by coming up with invented reasons for rejecting Him.

    • And you have to wonder why? Right? My guess… its the upstanding character witness and love for Israel of those who call themselves Christians, LOL. In a similar way, God chastised Israel for giving him a bad name among the nations…

  5. Interesting fragment but in my view it does not have ‘the ring of truth’. Scripture tell us that Melchisedec was / is The King of Peace (Hebrews 7: 2) and Jesus Our Lord The Prince of Peace acc. to Isaiah 9:6. Melchisedec brought forth bread and wine, does not this already foreshow The Father bringing forth (in due time) His Own Son ?

    • I do not think there is any disagreement here. Enoch tradition simply explains the origins of this person of whom the Bible says little.

  6. It’s said of Heb7:3 there’s no record of Melchizedek’s family.
    but-he remains a priest-received tithes-is superior. v7-he lives v8
    rejoiced to see my day-saw it Joh8:56
    it is witnessed-present that he lives present-v8
    Melchizedek was a manifestation of the Son of God. no beginning nor end of Life, He’s living.

    • Heb 7:3 clearly says Melchizedek “resembled the son of God” (ἀφωμοιωμένος δὲ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ θεοῦ) not that he was one. To argue the opposite the verb “resembled” must be explained. Yes, he was the ruler of Salem, and Abraham was only a sojourner in Hebron with a few privileges, and of course he paid him tithes (like taxes). Heb 7:3 says he “remains a priest continually”, not that he is still alive as you propose. His priesthood is ongoing, so yes…

  7. The Book of Enoch one or two is the biggest bunch of dribble ever written and is the very thing the Apostles warned us about — Jewish Fables — Believe it or not, people way back then were capable of writing Fiction. I agree with RWL — I get it though, it makes for interesting discussions, and maybe something can come out of that.

    • Please note that I do not suggest you believe everything you read from antiquity. This is Jewish lore, but there is no need to put it down. What you believe about Enoch I believe about Eusebius and many otherstexts, but I still read them and think through the info they offer.

  8. I hear a pulpit pundit once deposit that Melchizedek was in fact Shem, Noah’s son and father of the Semitic peoples. He showed a chart of names and life spans from the Genesis genealogies and Shem was still alive during Abraham’s lifetime. This chart(s) can be found on-line… so of course it’s doctrine.
    J.

    • Yes, you can read about it in the Sepher HaYashar. As Adonizedek, I also happen to have the complete hebrew text of this book.

  9. very interesting, because this woman conceived by the holy spirit, like the mother of jesus, but she seems to be a sinner and not knowing God. there is nothing like good news, and the woman is said to be ashamed of her conception, like carrying an unwelcome guest.

  10. Also, her name is similar to sotona, the city of the devil, and maybe she was one of those nefilim, those that were born from the fire of the angels, or a daughter of Set that had sunk into sin. It is said that she remained a virgin for 200 years, but the people in that time before the deluge were great sinners.

  11. third, it is possible that she was an incarnate fallen angel, like shem the son of noah, that shows white wings but is always opposite the angels of God.

    • I like how you think out loud, but your judgment is so arbitrary. What you express are mere guesses not supported by any evidence you see in this text. Facts must have a foundation. Are you really going to say that someone is a terrible person because their name sounds like another word that carries a negative connotation? That is neither logic nor science, friend 🙂 Incarnate fallen angel? Maybe she was an alien from Star Track? Not being disrespectful but that is how silly it sounds.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Church I: Acts 1-5 or Biblical Hebrew I: First Steps. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  12. fourth: this melchizedek is said to be the word of god, that is to say, the second person of the holy trinity, so it is obvious that Jesus was the incarnation of the first person.

    • You know that no one knew about “persons of Trinity” or any of such formulations until they were articulated a couple of hundred years after Jesus and the Apostles, right? To impose such theological thinking onto earlier generations seems unwarranted.

  13. fifth: maybe she was one of those predestined people, that no matter what happens to them God always protects and saves them, because this kind of agency of the holy spirit is not a common thing, I only know this melchizedek and jesus christ.

  14. sixth: the circumstances of her conception are strange. the virgin mary was happy to be the servant of the mother of god, until she knew that she was going to be the very mother by the annunciation of the archangel. but of that woman’s conception nothing is said, only that she hid herself.

    • The text leaves us with many questions. There is a lot we do not know and a lot that does not make sense. My goal in publishing this excerpt was to show everyone the kind of stories that floated around in Jewish circles in that era. When you compare them to the New Testament, they seem to have many similarities in thought, in symbolism, in ethics, in reasoning. All that helps us understand the antiquity and how those authors and their audience living thousands of years ago thought. We need a natural context to interpret what we encounter. Making up our own context or importing foreign context is what gets us in trouble.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Church I: Acts 1-5 or Biblical Hebrew I: First Steps. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

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