The Second Book of Enoch was not really written by the Enoch we know from Genesis, yet it offers a unique window into the ancient world in the time of Jesus. 2 Enoch was never included among biblical canons of Judaism or Christianity, but its words resonate with the teachings of the Bible. The text originated some time during the first three centuries CE and it has interesting parallels with the New Testament. For example, compare Jesus’ teaching on oaths and your “yes” meaning “yes” (Matt 5:33-37) with Enoch’s ideas below. Also compare what Enoch says with Jesus’ comment that “the meek inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5) or about enduring undeserved persecutions for God’s sake (Matt 5:11-12). The ethics expressed in the Sermon on the Mount are remarkably similar to the Jewish ethics expressed in 2 Enoch. Read on and compare for yourself…
Chapter 49: 1. I swear to you, my children, but I swear not by any oath, neither by heaven nor by the earth, nor by any other creature which God created. 2. The Lord said: There is no oath in me, nor injustice, but only truth. 3. If there is no truth in men, let them swear by the words, Yes, yes, or else, No, no. 4. And I swear to you, yes, yes, that there has not been a person in his mother’s womb, as before, even to each one there is a place prepared for the tranquility of that soul, and a measure is fixed how much one is intended to have that a man may be tested in this world. 5. Yes, children, do not deceive yourselves, for there has been previously prepared a place for the soul of every person.
Chapter 50: 1. I have put every man’s work in writing and none born on earth can remain hidden nor his works remain concealed. 2. I see all things. 3. Now my children, spend the number of your days in patience and meekness, that you inherit endless life. 4. Endure for the sake of the Lord every wound, every injury, every evil word and attack. 5. If terrible things come to you, do not seek to do those things either to a neighbor or to your enemy, because the Lord will be your avenger on the day of great judgment, that there be no avenging here among men. 6. Whoever spends gold or silver for his brother’s sake, he will receive ample treasure in the world to come for his effort. 7. Do not ask things of widows or orphans or strangers, or God’s wrath may come upon you.
Chapter 51: 1. Stretch out your hands to the poor according to your strength. 2. Hide not your silver in the earth. 3. Help the faithful in affliction, and affliction will not find you in the time of your trouble. 4. And every grievous and cruel yoke that comes upon you bear all for the sake of the Lord, and thus you will find your reward in the day of judgment. 5. It is good to enter in morning, midday, and evening into the Lord’s dwelling, for the glory of your creator. 6. Because every breathing thing glorifies him, and every creature visible (physical) and invisible (spiritual) returns him praise. (2 Enoch 49-51)