Bibliotheca Sacra 109 (Oct. 1952) 318-31.

         Copyright © 1952 by Dallas Theological Seminary. Cited with permission.    

 

                                                Department of

                        New Testament Greek and Literature

 

 

                                   The Kingdom of God

    In the Jewish Apocryphal Literature: Pt. 3

 

                                    By George Ladd, Ph.D.           

 

                (Continued from the April-June Number, 1952)

 

                                                I ENOCH

 

            Enoch is one of the most notable examples of the genus

of Jewish literature called apocalyptic as well as one of the

most important books for New Testament backgrounds. In

it for the first time appears the concept of a temporal mes-

sianic kingdom, and in it is elaborated the Jewish doctrine
of the Son of Man. Before we discuss the book itself, a

brief characterization of apocalyptic literature will give

background for the discussion.

            The word "apocalypse" has a twofold meaning. In bib-

lical literature it is used of divine disclosures made to indi-

viduals1 or to men collectively,2 of supernatural truths either    

present3 or future.4 It is used in the introduction to the one

prophetic book of the New Testament5 of the revelation or

disclosure of the things which were shortly to come to pass,

which God the Father gave to His Son who in turn, as the

mediator of revelation, made it known to John.6 The word

here refers to the total contents of our book which God,

 

1Gal. 1:12, 2:2, II Cor. 12:1, I Cor. 14:6, 26.

2Rom. 16:25, Eph. 1:17, II Thess. 1:7.

3Rom. 16:25, II Cor. 12:1, Gal. 1:12.

4Rom. 2:5, 8:19, I Pet. 1:7.

5Revelation 1:1.

6Some take the phrase, apokalypsis Iesou Christou, to involve an objective

     genitive; but the second phrase, "which God gave him", i.e., to Christ,

     seems to require the subjective genitive. Christ is indeed the mediator

     of revelation. Cf. John 7:16, 14:10, 17:7,8.

 

                                                (318)



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         319

 

through Christ, disclosed to John on Patmos and which

John later wrote down. The word may be similarly applied

to the disclosures made to Daniel although the word is not

there used.

            In modern biblical study, "apocalypse" has been infused

with a broader technical meaning to describe the literary

product of such divine disclosures, whether they are real or

pretended. The word has been borrowed from the Revelation

of John and applied to a series of Jewish writings which, in

imitation of Daniel, are cast in the form of disclosures of

future events. Epoch is the first of such books. The word

itself is not found in any of these writings.

            The adjective "apocalyptic" has been given a still larger

meaning to include writings which are not strictly apoc-

alypses, i.e., whose literary form is not that of visionary rev-

elations, but whose content deals largely or in substantial

part with the sort of eschatological expectations which are

found in the apocalypses. In this sense the eschatology of

Jesus is called apocalyptic, for although He does not speak

in symbols nor experience visions, He does prophesy the

end of the world by the dramatic Parousia of the Son of Man

from heaven and the judgment of God upon the world; and

these are considered to be among the essential ideas of

apocalyptic literature.7

            It is customary for modern criticism to distinguish be-

tween prophecy and apocalyptic and to consider apocalyptic

as the successor of prophecy, arising out of the troubles of

the Maccabean times. There is unquestionably a substantial

measure of truth in this position, as we shall shortly see.

However there is one all-important factor to be taken into

consideration in the rise of the Jewish apocalypses which

much modern criticism is unable fully to evaluate. This is

the existence of the apocalyptic form in the genuine pro-

 

7Cf. for illustrations C. C. McCown, The Search for the Real Jesus (New

     York, 1940), pp. 243-53; H. J. Cadbury, The Peril of Modernizing

     Jesus (New York, 1937), pp. 73-75; H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of

     Apocalyptic (Second ed.; London, 1947), pp. 114-23; T. W. Manson,

     The Teaching of Jesus (Cambridge, 1935), pp. 155 ff.



320                 Bibliotheca Sacra

 

phetic literature, especially in the book of Daniel.8 In the

historical as well as the prophetic literature, visions and

 

8Most of the study of Jewish apocalyptic literature has been done by

     scholars who place Daniel in the Maccabean times, and understand it  

     not as a genuine prophecy but as the first representative of the formal

     apocalyptic literary efforts, like Enoch and the other non-canonical

     apocalypses. (For some of the standard studies, see H. T. Andrews,

     "Apocalyptic Literature", A Commentary on the Bible [A. S. Peake, ed.;

     New York and London, 1919], pp. 431-35; A. C. Zenos, "Apocalyptic

     Literature" Hastings' Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, I, 79-94;

     R. H. Charles, "Apocalyptic Literature", Encyclopaedia Biblica, I, Col-

     umns 213-50; F. C. Porter, The Messages of the Apocalyptical Writers

      [New York, 1905] ; H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic

      [Second ed.; London, 1947].) We are beyond a doubt greatly in the

     debt of such scholars for their work in this difficult field, and debts

     should be acknowledged wherever they exist. However, one of the

     most relevant questions in the historical interpretation of apocalyptic

     literature as a whole is that of the date of Daniel; for if the book was

     produced in Babylonian times as it claims, then the imitative factor

     in the later apocalypses is much greater than if Daniel is practically

     contemporary with the earliest parts of Enoch. There are unquestion-

     bly difficulties particularly in the linguistic area, which must be dealt

     with in establishing the date of Daniel. Still, the crucial problem is a

     theological one; for contrary to the insistence of many, theology cannot

     be isolated from historical study. The central issue in the Babylonian

     date of Daniel is that of "the reality of the supernatural and the divine

     origin of the revelations it contains" (R. H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to

     the Old Testament [New York, 1941], p. 175). The liberal critic main-

     tains that "historical research can deal only with authenticated facts

     which are within the sphere of natural possibilities and must refrain

     from vouching for the truth of supernatural events. In a historical

     study of the Bible, convictions based on faith must be deemed irrelevant,

     as belonging to subjective rather than objective knowledge" (Loc. cit. H.

     H. Rowley objects to this view. Cf. The Growth of the Old Testament

      [London, 1950], pp. 158f.). However, such an attitude does not really

     "refrain from vouching for the truth of supernatual events; it, in

     fact, renders a decision against their truthfulness. If one concludes,

     because of the references to Antiochus Epiphanes, that Daniel was not

     written in Babylonian but in Maccabean times, then one has decided that

     its alleged prophecies are not true but are indeed history, masquerading

     as prophecy" (A. S. Peake, A Commentary on the Bible, p. 48). This

     position eliminates on grounds the possibility of the impartation

     by God to men of a supernatural revelation, or of God's entering into

     human history for the salvation of sinful men. The conservative critic

     (who needs be no less "critical" in the true sense of the word for that

     reason) is compelled by the totality of experience to admit the reality

     of the supernatural in divine revelation and to see in Daniel predictive

     prophecy, what he does not find in Enoch or in the other non-canonical

     apocalypses. For conservative criticism of Daniel see Robert Dick

     Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel (New York, First Series, 1917;

     Second Series, 1938) ; E. J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testa-

     ment (Grand Rapids, 1949). While Dr. Young does not exegete Daniel

     in a premillennial manner, his works are very helpful for these critical problems.



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         321

 

symbolic imagery are a frequent medium of divine revelation.

Furthermore, one of the main themes of the prophetic lit-

erature is the main concern of the later apocalypses, viz., the

Day of the Lord and the kingdom of God. Numerous apoca-

lyptic sections are to be found embedded in the prophetic

writings.9 Thus the apocalypse of Daniel has its antecedents

in the other prophetic literature. "The prophecies of Daniel

are not distinguished even in their apocalyptic form from

the whole body of prophecy in nature, but only in degree".10

The existence of the canonical Daniel provided the prototype

for the subsequent apocalypses. It may well be that the ful-

fllment of the detailed prophecy in Daniel of Antiochus

Epiphanes provided the incitement in 168 B.C. to production

of the earliest parts of the pseudepigraphical apocalypses,

the books of Enoch,11 by giving rise to the expectation that

God was now at last about to intervene to inaugurate His

kingdom.

            It is not within the scope of the present studies to dis-

cuss the problems involved in the book of Daniel. We believe

it to be a genuine revelation given by God to Daniel under

genuine prophetic inspiration. The later apocalypses were

imitative productions coming from a time when the voice of

prophecy had long been stilled.12 For many generations

Israel, God's people, had been in subjection to a succession

of world empires. The people over whom God alone should

reign were subservient to the Gentiles. Centuries passed,

and the kingdom of God predicted in Daniel and the prophets

did not come. God seemed to be silent and to have removed

 

9Cf. such passages as Isaiah 24-27, Joel, Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel 38-39,

     etc. Cf. T. H. Robinson in A Companion to the Bible (T. W. Manson,

     ed.; Edinburgh, 1945), pp. 307 f.; James A. Montgomery, A Critical and

     Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (New York, 1927),

     pp. 78 ff.

10C. F. Keil, The Book of Daniel (English Trans., Edinburgh, 1877; re-

     printed by Eerdmans, 1949), p. 27. Cf. further Robert Dick Wilson,

     "Apocalypses and the Date of Daniel", Studies in the Book of Daniel,

      (New York, 1938), pp. 101-16.

11For the reason for the detailed prophecy about Antiochus see Robert

     Dick Wilson, op. cit., pp. 270-80.

12For recognition of the cessation of prophecy, see I Macc. 4:46, 14:41. For

     the later talmudic literature see George Foot Moore, Judaism (Cam-

     bridge, 1944), I, 421.



322                             Bibliotheca Sacra

 

Himself from the historical experiences of His people.

Finally, under the domination of the Grecian Ptolemies and

then the Seleucids, there came the deadly inroads of Hellenism

and of pagan customs and influences which threatened to

turn the entire nation away from the Law and the worship

of Jehovah.13 A hellenizing party arose among the Jews

which by obtaining the high priesthood was able to promote

its policies with great success.14 So far did these pagan

influences advance that some scholars have felt that if the

process had been allowed to pursue its natural course, the

Jewish people would have been completely hellenized and

would have lost their religious distinctives.15 There inter-

vened the violent persecution by Antiochus when with fire

and sword he attempted to force Greek religion upon the

Jews.

            Through these long years of political bondage which

witnessed the slow encroachment of pagan influences finally

culminating in one of the fiercest persecutions God's people

ever experienced, years during which evil in both subtle and

violent form grew increasingly worse, God was silent.

Again and again the question was raised, Where is God's

kingdom which the prophets promised? Why does God not

vindicate Himself? When shall the Day of Jehovah come? No

prophet appeared to proclaim a fresh word from God in

answer to these questions. No Isaiah, no Joel, no Zephaniah

stood up among the people to announce, 'Thus saith the

Lord.' God's voice was silent.

            In their despair the devout began to search the Scriptures

afresh for an answer. They turned to the specifically predic-

tive portions of the prophets, especially those passages

which described in great detail the coming of the Day of

Jehovah and the inauguration of the kingdom of God. The

 

13Cf. I Macc. 1:11-15. Cf. also W. O. E. Oesterley and T. H. Robinson,

     Hebrew Religion (London, 1937), pp. 340-43; Edwyn Bevan, Jerusalem

     under the High Priests (London, 1904), pp. 31-80.

14Cf. II Macc. 4:7-17.

15Cf. E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi

     (3 and 4 Aufl.; Leipzig, 1901), I, 189; English Trans., A History of

     the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New York, 1890), I, i,

     197-98.



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         323

 

example of this predictive prophecy par excellence was

Daniel. Brooding over the message of these Old Testament

revelations, devout souls tried to reinterpret their experi-

ences in the light of Old Testament prophecy. Witnessing

the fulfillment of some of Daniel's prophecies in the person

of Antiochus Epiphanes,16 the messianic expectations of

the devout were aroused. God was about to intervene! The

kingdom was at hand! God's enemies were soon to be des-

troyed! And this not by the success of Hasmonean arms,

but by the direct intervention of God. The immediate future

would witness the destruction of the wicked and the salva-

tion of God's people. The pious need only be patient, for

the end was about to come. The message of the apocalyptic

literature is addressed mainly to this expectation.

            Out of this milieu of messianic expectation came the

various parts of Enoch. Devout men, looking for the early

intervention of God to establish His kingdom, wished to

encourage their discouraged fellow Jews to steadfastness in

view of the imminent end. How could they convey this

message? The day of prophecy was over. Prophetic inspira-

tion was no more. How could this conviction of an immedi-

ate deliverance be authoritatively imparted? The apocalyptic

writings needed some authority by which they might authen-

ticate themselves to the people. Thus arose the use of

pseudonyms, the names of some of the ancient men of Israel

long dead. Moses to whom God had given the Law and who

was buried by the hand of God in an unmarked grave;

Enoch who was translated to heaven; Ezra who led God's

People back to the land from captivity; Baruch, faithful

friend and amanuensis of Jeremiah who held an important

place in Jewish legend;17 these and other famous ancients

lent their names to give weight to post-prophetic books of a

prophetic character. Prophecy was dead; the canon was

 

16Cf. Daniel 8. The prophecy of the "Abomination of Desolation" of

     Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11 was thought to be fulfilled by the profanation

     of the temple by Antiochus (cf. I Macc. 1:54 and Josephus, Ant.

     XII, v, 4).

17This is illustrated by the apocryphal book of Baruch. Cf. C. C. Torrey,

     The Apocryphal Literature (New Haven, 1945), pp. 59 ff.



324                             Bibliotheca Sacra

 

closed. The one way a book could obtain substantial influ-

ence with the nation was to embody prophecies allegedly

coming from one of the prophets or inspired writers.18

            Into the mouth of the ancient patriarch or prophet, the

author placed a prophecy of events which would ensue

to the inauguration of the kingdom of God, what was thought

to be near in the author's own time. This history, masquer-

ading as prophecy, was portrayed in symbolic imagery in

imitation of Daniel, but with this difference: whereas much

of Daniel's symbolism is clear because it is interpreted in

the book itself, the symbolism of the later apocalypses is

usually fantastic and so obscure as to tax the interpreter's

ability to find the intended application. In addition to such

prophetic visions and dreams, the apocalyptic literature con-

tains revelations of the secrets of heaven and sheol. In the

hands of the apocalyptists, such visions became a set literary

form and are often so wooden that they can hardly be thought

to represent real visionary or ecstatic experiences.

            A word is now pertinent as to the source of the books of

Enoch and of the other Jewish apocalypses and the place

which such books had in Jewish life. Do the views found in

these books represent the beliefs of the Pharisees? Were

Jesus and the disciples familiar with these expectations? Or

were these books and their beliefs the product of isolated,

unimportant groups and individuals who did not represent

the normal life and thought of the first-century Jews? This

 

18This is the explanation for pseudonymity suggested by R. H. Charles

      (A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life [Second ed.;

     London, 1913], pp. 196-205) and usually followed. However, H. H.

     Rowley feels this to be inadequate and has suggested a different expla-

     nation which finds pseudonymity first attaching itself to the book of

     Daniel by accident (The Relevance of Apocalyptic, pp. 37 ff.). It is

     of great significance that neither the Revelation of John nor the book

     of Daniel are pseudonymous in the above sense, even for those who

     espouse the Maccabean date of Daniel. John, even according; to liberal

     criticism, was a well-known personage in Asia and writes in his own

     name. Daniel, apart from the character in the canonical book, is a

     person of no significance in the Old Testament, whose name—and even

     this is contested—occurs only thrice (Ezekiel 14:14, 20, 28:5); a man

     so ignored in Jewish tradition that his very historicity is questioned by

     many critics. (Cf. Robert Dick Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel

      [New York, 1917], pp. 24-42). Such a pseudonym is certainly not of

     the same order as an Enoch, a Moses, or an Ezra.



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         325

 

question, which has great implications for New Testament

study, has been vigorously and widely debated, and extreme

differences of opinion are to be found among critical scholars.

On the one hand, it is sometimes said that the period between

168 B.C. and 100 A.D. swarmed with eschatologists;19 but

on the other hand, it is maintained by students of the rab-

binic tradition in Judaism that the apocalyptists played no

more important role in the Jewish religious life as a whole

than "the cabalistic combinations and chronological calcu-

lations of our own millenarians" play in the liberal Protestant

tradition of contemporary America.20 It must be frankly

admitted that this problem cannot be solved with finality,

because our sources are inadequate. We do not have evidence

to prove that Jewry was swarming with apocalypses. On

the other hand, the evidence which Moore cites to support his

position, viz., the antipathy of the later rabbinic literature

to the apocalyptic materials, is susceptible of adequate ex-

planation on other grounds. R. H. Charles has shown that

both apocalyptic and rabbinic Judaism stem from the same

source of reverence for the Law.21 It is safe to conclude that

the apocalyptic ideas were quite widely known among the

Jews, although they may have been particularly cherished

and nurtured by individuals or groups whose interests led

in this direction.

            Much discussion has centered around the question of

the circles from which the apocalypses arose. Some have held

 

19Cf. W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore,

     1946), p. 287. The assumption of the "Consistent Eschatology" of

     Johannes Weiss and Albert Schweitzer is that Jesus' idea of the kingdom

     of God is practically identical with the sort of kingdom found in these

     apocalypses. "The thoroughgoing application of Jewish eschatology to

     the interpretation of the teaching and work of Jesus has created a new

     fact upon which to base the history of dogma. . . . The Gospel is at its

     starting-point exclusively Jewish-eschatological" (A. Schweitzer, Paul

     and His Interpreters [English trans., London, 1912], p. ix).

20Cf. George Foot Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian

     Era (Cambridge, 1944), I, 127.

21 R. H. Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life

      (Second ed.; London, 1913), pp. 193-96; Religious Development Be-

     tween the Old and the New Testaments (London, 1914), pp. 33 ff.

     Charles' position that Christianity is the historical successor of apoca-

     lyptic Judaism as Rabbinic Judaism was the successor of legalistic

     Judaism merits a criticism which cannot here be given.



326                             Bibliotheca Sacra

 

that the Essenes produced these books;22 and although this

view has not been very popular, it has recently received the

able support of Professor Albright.23 Jewish scholars and          

students of Rabbinics, taking as their point of departure 

the viewpoint of the later writings, insist that the apocalyptic     

writings could not have come from the rabbinical schools          

but must have arisen among the zealots.24 The hostility of          

the later rabbinical schools to all of the "outside books" is         

well known.25 It does not necessarily follow, however, that

the Pharisees of New Testament times, nor especially the          

Chasidim (or Asideans)26 of nearly two centuries earlier,

maintained the same attitude. There is a great deal in our

apocalyptic books which coincides with what we know about     

the Pharisees from other sources, particularly in the matter

of reverence for the Law. Furthermore, it is difficult to be-

lieve that the outlook of such a sect would remain static for

over a period of three centuries. Events of world-shaking

importance (from the Jewish viewpoint) took place in the

first century A.D., in the fall of the Jewish state and the

rise of the Christian church. Such events must have exer-

cised a strong influence upon Jewish life and outlook,27 and      

the failure of the messianic revolt under Bar Cocheba in 133

A.D. must have brought disillusionment to the hopes ex-

pressed by the apocalyptic literature.28

            We may conclude, therefore, that those who understand

 

22Cf. J. E. H. Thomson, "Apocalyptic Literature", I.S.B.E., I, 163-64;

     Books Which Influenced Our Lord and His Apostles (Edinburgh, 1891),

     pp. 76-109.

23W. F. Albright, op. cit., pp. 287-90. Albright thinks that John the Baptist

     rose out of this milieu.

24Cf. R. Travers Herford, Judaism in the New Testament Period (London,

     1928), pp. 11, 21, 111 and especially 126-27.

25Cf. G. H. Box, The Ezra Apocalypse (London, 1912), pp. lviii-lxi, 305-6

     for a discussion of the relationship of apocalyptic to rabbinic Judaism.

26Cf. F. J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake, The Beginnings of Chris-

     tianity (London, 1920), I, i, 87-89. Although Lake and Foakes Jack-

     son are skeptical at this point, it is usually felt that the Chasidim were

     the predecessors of the Pharisees.    

27Cf. V. H. Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah (Edinburgh,

     1886), pp. 30 ff. for a forceful statement of this position.

28Cf. H. Wheeler Robinson in A Companion to the Bible (T. W. Manson,

     ed.; Edinburgh, 1939), pp. 307-8; F. J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp

     Lake, op. cit., p. 361.



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         327

 

the apocalyptic literature to have arisen out of the circle of

the devout Jews who were motivated by a strong love for

the Law, and who expected the kingdom to be inaugurated

by the miraculous intervention of God in fulfillment of the

Old Testament prophecies, rather than by the success of

Hasmonean arms or by the revolts of the zealots, are sound

in their judgment. The "righteous" of Enoch may well be

the Chasidim of Maccabean times.29

            The name of Enoch is associated with two apocalyptic

books which concern us; but the two works have nothing

in common except that they describe the experiences and

journeys of Enoch after his translation to heaven. The two

books are called I and II Enoch, or Ethiopic and Slavonic

Enoch, because of the languages in which they have mainly

been preserved. The later work, also called the Secrets of

Enoch, will be treated toward the end of this series since it

is one of the latest of the apocalypses.

            Enoch is not a single book but a collection of books,

some of which probably enjoyed an independent existence,30

whose history cannot be recovered. One need only read the

several parts of the apocalypse to be struck by the differences

of subject matter. There seems to have been a cycle of tra-

dition that clustered around the name of Enoch which as-

sumed written form at various times and was compiled

finally in the book as we have it; but when and by whom

this compilation was made we cannot say. Critics have an-

alyzed the book in many ways;31 most recent criticism has

followed Charles' division into five books as follows:32

            I. The First Book. 1-36

                        A. Introduction. 1-5

                        B. The Fall of the Angels. 6-16

                        C. Enoch's Journeys through the Universe. 17-36

 

29Cf. F. M. Abel, Les Libres des Maccabees (Paris, 1949), p. 43.

30Otto Eissfeldt, Einleitung in das Alte Testament unter Einschluss der

     Apokryphen and Pseudepigraphen (Tübingen, 1934), p. 674.

31Cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch (Oxford, 1912), pp. xxx-xlv for

     a brief survey of the most important critical inquiries.

32Ibid., pp. xlvi-lii. Cf. also R. H. Pfeiffer, History of New Testament

     Times (New York, 1949), pp. 76-77.



328                             Bibliotheca Sacra

 

            II. The Second Book. The Parables or Similitudes. 37-71

            III. The Third Book. Astronomical Section. 72-82

            IV. The Fourth Book. Two Dream Visions. 83-90

                        A. The Vision of the Flood. 83-84 

                        B. The Vision of the Seventy Shepherds. 85-90.

            V. The Fifth Book. 91-108  

                        A. Introduction. 92:1-2, 91:1-11, 18-1933

                        B. The Apocalypse of Weeks. 93:1-14, 91:12-17

                        C. The Final Judgment. 94-104

                        D. Appendices. 105-108.

            We shall describe the content of each book as we deal

with the various concepts of the kingdom of God. The third

book, which has to do with the courses of the heavenly    of

luminaries, has nothing of eschatological interest and so

may be ignored for the present purpose.

            Our composite book of Enoch was originally written in

a Semitic tongue, but it is not clear whether it was Hebrew

or Aramaic. The book in its original language has disap-

peared entirely from sight, though it has fortunately been

preserved in part or in the whole, in other languages. Most

of the Greek version has perished; only two substantial   in

fragments have been preserved. One, discovered in 1886-1887

in a Christian tomb in upper Egypt at Akhmin and published

in 1892, contains chapters 1:1-32:6 and may be found ap-

pended to the second section of Swete's Septuagint.34 Chapters

97:7-107:3 have been edited and published from recently

discovered Greek papyri by Campbell Bonner of the Univer-

sity of Michigan.35 An imperfect Latin fragment of 106:1-18,

discovered in the British Museum by M. R. James, points to

a Latin version.

            We are indebted to the Abyssinian Church for the preser-

vation of Enoch in its entirety. In 1773 James Bruce, an

 

33The material seems to be in disarrangement here and the references,

     following Charles, indicate what appears to be the proper arrangement.

34H. B. Swete, ed.; The Old Testament in Greek (Second ed.; Cambridge,

     1899), pp. 789-809.

35Campbell Bonner, ed.; The Last Chapters of Enoch in Greek (London,

     1937).



Kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature         329

 

English traveller, brought to Europe three manuscripts of

Enoch in Ethiopic. The book was not made available to the

English-speaking world until 1821, when Lawrence rendered

Enoch into an English translation. The study of the Ethiopic

text has passed through a long development; and it is to

R. H. Charles, that we owe the definitive work of editing

the majority of the 29 manuscripts known and of producing

a critical text.36 The standard English version has also been

made by Charles and appears not only in his monumental

edition of the Pseudepigrapha,37 and in his commentary on

Enoch,38 but also in a convenient manual edition.39

            It is very difficult to date the book of Enoch either in

whole or in its parts. There are a few references to it in

other Jewish apocryphal books. Charles lists a great many

parallels from Jubilees, Testaments of the Twelve Patri-

archs, Assumption of Moses, IV Ezra, and from various

books of the New Testament, which he feels establish a

broad dependence;40 but we will be on firmer ground if we

rely only on distinct references.

            The book of Jubilees refers to Enoch's visions and heav-

enly journeys and to his astronomical and prophetic writ-

ings.41 The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs which are

written after the times of John Hyrcanus (135-104 B.C.)

 

36R. H. Charles, The Ethiopic Versions of the Book of Enoch, Edited from

     Twenty Three Mss. Together with the Fragmentary Greek and Latin

     Versions (Oxford, 1906).

37R. H. Charles, ed.; The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old

     Testament in English (2 vols.; Oxford, 1913).

38The Book of Enoch (Oxford, 1912).

39R. H. Charles and W. O. E. Oesterley, edd.; The Book of Enoch (Trans-

     lations of Early Documents). London, S.P.C.K., 1917; reissued in 1942.

40Cf. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, II, 177-181.

41Cf. Jubilees 4:17-24, 10:17. Some scholars account for this obvious de-

     pendence on Enoch by positing an earlier lost book of Enoch, an ur-

     Enoch, from which our book is a later descendent. (Cf. W. F. Albright,

     From the Stone Age to Christianity [Baltimore, 1946], p. 266, following

     Edward Meyer, Ursprung and Anfänge des Christentums [Stuttgart and

     Berlin., 1921], II, 46 f.) While as we have indicated the traditions in-

     corporated in our Enoch may well involve a long history which we

     cannot recover, the supposition of an earlier work at this point is quite

     unnecessary. Cf. H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic [Second

     ed.; London, 1947], p. 88.



330                             Bibliotheca Sacra

 

make nine direct references to Enoch, only three of which

can be paralleled in our extant book.42

            Two other definite chronological references appear. In

the Similitudes 56:5, the angels bring divine judgment upon

the Jews' enemies to the east, the Parthians and the Medes.

Before 100 B.C., the great enemy of the Jews was Syria, and

after the intrusion of Pompey in 64 it was Rome. During the

intervening years the Parthians to the east were the most

formidable pagan people, and the book at this point reflects

the Jewish mind of that period.43

            Again, in the second Dream Vision (which is found in

chapters 85-90) the history of the world from Adam to the

Messianic Kingdom is portrayed in symbols. The outline of

history is recognizable and can be traced through the Exile,

the Persian and Grecian periods to the Maccabean revolt

against Antiochus Epiphanes, and perhaps to the events

which immediately followed under the rule of the Has-

moneans. This suggests a date for this section of the years

following 168 B.C., but before the coming of Rome in 64 B.C.

In the light of such data and in view of the internal

evidence of the book as a whole relative to religious condi-

tions within Jewish life, the books of Enoch are usually

placed between the years 165 and 65 B.C., although it is

always possible that the final compilation took place at a

later date. However if Rome had entered into the fate of

the Jewish hopes (as she did in 64 B.C.) before our book

was compiled, it is difficult to feel that there would not

occur some reflection of this fact.

            One major objection has been raised to this date. In a

 

42Cf. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, II, 179. The fact that there occur

     in the Testaments six references which we cannot find in our extant

     Enoch suggests not only were parts of our book known by 100 B.C.,  

     but that other traditions, probably in written form, associated with the

     name of Enoch (which are not preserved in our extant literature)

     were then known.

43Cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, p. 109; E. Kautzsch, Hsgbr.;

     Die Apokryphen and Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments (Tübingen,

     1900), II, 231.



Kingdom o f God in Jewish Apocryphal Literature        331

 

number of earlier studies,44 Enoch has been dated in Chris-

tian times because of the similarities of its messianic doc-

trine to Christian eschatological doctrine, especially in the

Son of Man doctrine. Recent writers have at times main-

tained that the Son of Man passages are Christian interpola-

tions and are not authentic. But while admitted similarities

exist, there is one great difference which presents a decisive

objection to the theory of Christian influence: there is no

reference to the historical Jesus and to the incarnation.45

The Enochian doctrine of the Son of Man can be adequately

explained apart from any theory of Christian influence by

understanding it to be an expansion of the reference to a

heavenly Son of Man in Daniel 7:13.46 The evidence points

to a date in Hasmonean times, and not substantial objection

militates against such a date.

 

Pasadena, California

 

44Cf. V. H. Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah (Edinburgh,

     1886), pp. 62 ff.; James Drummond, The Jewish Messiah (London,

     1877), pp. 49-73.

45Contrast the parallel situation in the Testaments of the Twelve Patri-

     archs where there are admitted Christian interpolations: Simeon 6:7,

     Levi 16:3, Asher 7:3, Benjamin 3:8, 9:3-5, 10:7, 9.

46Glasson has recently questioned the pre-Christian date of the Similitudes

     and suggested a date in the middle of the first Christian century, but

     his reasoning is not forceful. Cf. T. Francis Glasson, The Second

     Advent (London, 1945), pp. 56-62.

 

 

                                                (To be continued)

 

 

This material is cited with gracious permission from:

Dallas Theological Seminary

            3909 Swiss Ave.

            Dallas, TX   75204

            www.dts.edu

Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at:  thildebrandt@gordon.edu

            Thanks to Amy Gentile for help with proofing.