Bibliotheca Sacra 110 (Oct. 1952): 32-49.

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


        The Kingdom of God in I Enoch: Pt. 4


                                   By George E. Ladd, Ph.D.

            (Continued from the October-December Number, 1952)

                                    THE FIRST BOOK. 1-36


            The purpose of the first part of Enoch may be summed

up in two phrases: the explanation of the present condition

of the world, and the anticipation of the salvation to come.1

Sin has caused such disorder among men that moral and

spiritual chaos reigns. This troubled state was brought about

by the sin and fall of the angels; but the world will one day

be restored to its former condition of peace and prosperity.

This will be the day ushering in the kingdom of God.

            The concept of the kingdom of God reflected in the first

part of Enoch is very similar to that found in Jubilees.2 In

the first five chapters, which constitute a sort of introduction

to the compilation, the author sets the tone for the entire

work. God one day will visit His creation to judge the angels,

to save the righteous, and to punish the wicked.

    "The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,

     And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, even on

            Mount Sinai,

     And appear from His camp

     And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven

            of heavens.

     And all shall be smitten with fear,

     And the Watchers shall quake,3

     And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the

            ends of the earth.

     And the high mountains shall be shaken,

     And the high hills shall be made low,


1Adolphe Lods, Histoire de la Litterature Hebraique et Juive (Paris, 1950),

     p. 860.        

2Cf. the former article in this series in Bibliotheca Sacra, cix (1952), pp.


3Cf. Daniel 4:13, 17, 23 (4:10, 14, 20 in the original). In Enoch, "the

     Watchers" are fallen angels.



            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                 33


     And shall melt like wax before the flame.

     And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder,

     And there shall be a judgement upon all men.

     But with the righteous He will make peace,

     And will protect the elect,

     And mercy shall be upon them.

     And they shall all belong to God,

     And they shall be prospered,

     And they shall all be blessed.

     And He will help them all,

     And light shall appear unto them,

     And He will make peace with them.

     And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy
     To execute judgement upon all,

     And to destroy all the ungodly:4

     And to convict all flesh

     Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have

            ungodly committed,

     And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have

            spoken against Him" (1:3-9).

            This passage portrays the day of judgment in Old Testa-

ment terms. As God one day had visited Mt. Sinai as Law-

giver, so will He again visit the earth at Mt. Sinai as Judge.

This visitation will be accompanied by mighty convulsions

of the physical world which are described in biblical phrases.5

It is not clear that the author thinks of this day of the Lord

to the as a termination of earthly history. The phraseology may be

designed to describe the glory which accompanies the divine


            The language of the passage makes no reference to a

Messiah. God Himself shall visit the earth for judgment. It

is of course possible that the writer thought of God visiting

the earth in the person of the unnamed Messiah; but it is

hazardous to postulate a concept in the absence of evidence.

The introduction continues by contrasting God's faithful-


4Cf. Jude 14.

5Cf. Judges 5:5, Micah 1:4, Nahum 1:5, Psalms 97:5.

34                                Bibliotheca Sacra


ness as it is manifested in the orderliness of the universe

with man's faithlessness. The stars, the seasons, the cycles

of foliage, the regularity of the years, all illustrate the sub-

missiveness of the natural world to God. In contrast, men in

hardness of heart have rebelled against God to break His

commandments and to speak against Him. Therefore God's

judgment will fall upon them. But for the righteous,

     "... there shall be forgiveness of sins,

     And every mercy and peace and forbearance:

     There shall be salvation unto them, a goodly light.

     But for the elect there shall be light and joy and peace,

     And they shall inherit the earth.

     And then there shall be bestowed upon the elect wisdom,

     And they shall all live and never again sin,

     Either through ungodliness or through pride:

     But they who are wise shall be humble.

     And they shall not again transgress,

     Nor shall they sin all the days of their life,

     Nor shall they die of the divine anger or wrath,

     But they shall complete the number of the days of

            their life.

     And their lives shall be increased in peace,

     And the years of their joy shall be multiplied,

     In eternal gladness and peace,

     All the days of their life" (5:6-9).

            These two passages anticipate the day of judgment which

will restore the divinely intended order to the world. Sinners

will be destroyed while the righteous enter into larger bless-

ings, which are described in terms both of human happiness

and spiritual well-being. The setting of this happy scene is

the earth, where men will thereafter round out the full num-

ber of their days in perfect enjoyment of the blessings of

God. This is a picture of Eden restored.

            After this introduction, the book describes the way in

which sin became dominant among men and the human race

became demoralized. Sin came through the fall of the angels

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                 35


who, because of their lust for women, fell. This fall is related

in some detail. A highly developed angelology is one of the

outstanding features of the Jewish inter-Testamental litera-

ture. The source of sin is revealed to be the fallen angels,

particularly Azazel (10:8), through whom the whole earth

has been corrupted. God then sent the angels Michael, Oriel,

Raphael, and Gabriel to bind the fallen angels and to im-

prison them in anticipation of the day of judgment. In that

day, the angels will be led off into the abyss of fire (10:13)

to be confined forever in torment. Judgment will then visit

the earth and all wrong will be destroyed. Then God's people

will enter into blessing, and righteousness and truth shall


     "And then shall all the righteous escape,

      And shall live till they beget thousands of children,

      And all the days of their youth and their old age

      Shall they complete in peace.

     "And then shall the whole earth be tilled in righteousness,

and shall all be planted with trees and be full of blessing.

And all desirable trees shall be planted on it, and they shall

plant vines on it: and the vine which they plant thereon shall

yield wine in abundance, and as for all the seed which is

sown thereon each measure of it shall bear a thousand, and

each measure of olives shall yield ten presses of oil. And

cleanse thou the earth from all oppression, and from all un-

righteousness, and from all sin, and from all godlessness

and all the uncleanness that is wrought upon the earth de-

stroy from off the earth. And all the children of men shall

become righteous, and all nations shall offer adoration and

shall praise Me, and all shall worship Me. And the earth shall

be cleansed from all defilement, and from all sin, and from all

punishment, and from all torment, and I will never again

send them upon it from generation to generation and for ever.

     "And in those days I will open the store chambers of bless-

ing which are in the heaven, so as to send them down upon

the earth over the work and labour of the children of men.

And truth and peace shall be associated together throughout

36                                Bibliotheca Sacra


all the days of the world and throughout all the generations

of men" (10:17-11:2).

            Here again the kingdom is viewed as the restoration of

mankind to the happy condition of life on earth known be-

fore the fallen angels brought corruption into human affairs.

This salvation will include all nations. This envisages the

conversion of the Gentiles; for all men will become righteous

and God will shower His heavenly blessings upon His crea-

tures, who will then enjoy a peaceful, prolific, and prosperous

earthly existence.

            One more glimpse of the anticipated kingdom is afforded

in the latter part of this first book. Chapters 17-38 relate the

journeys of Enoch through various parts of the universe and

the scenes he there witnessed. Among other sights, he beheld

at the end of the heaven and earth the place of imprisonment

for the fallen angels as well as their place of final punishment.

He also visited Sheol, which was located in a great mountain

in the West, and saw the several compartments where various

classes of men were awaiting the final judgment. Then Enoch

visited another part of the earth beyond a burning range of

mountains, where he beheld in the midst of six mountains a

seventh mountain more lofty than the others. This mountain

is to be the throne of God where the Great King will sit when

He visits the earth. Near the throne Enoch saw the tree of

life, perennial in leaf and bloom, fragrant beyond all fra-

grance, with fruit; resembling palm-dates. This tree is re-

served until the coming of the kingdom and will be the in-

strumentality by which men regain their lost state of blessed-

ness. Its fruit, however, does not bestow eternal life, only

unusual longevity of happiness on earth. The coming of the

kingdom will involve the transplanting of the tree of life to

the holy place, to the temple of the Lord on earth (25:5). The

kingdom is thus to center in Palestine with Jerusalem as its

capital. The marvelous effects of the tree of life are described

in these words.

            "And as for this fragrant tree no mortal is permitted to

touch it till the great judgement, when He shall take ven-

geance on all and bring everything to its consummation for

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             37


ever. It shall then be given to the righteous and holy. Its fruit

shall be for food to the elect: it shall be transplanted to the

holy place, to the temple of the Lord, the Eternal King.

     Then shall they rejoice with joy and be glad,

     And into the holy place shall they enter;

     And its fragrance shall be in their bones,

     And they shall live a long life on earth,

     Such as thy fathers lived:

     And in their days shall no sorrow or plague

     Or torment of calamity touch them" (25:4-6).

            Very little is said in the first section of Enoch about res-

urrection of the dead either for judgment or for the enjoy-

ment of kingdom blessings. The only distinct reference is

found in Enoch's visit to Sheol (22). There he saw three

smooth places hollowed out of a mountain of hard rock, where

the spirits of the souls of men were gathered until the day of

judgment. One compartment was a bright place with a foun-

tain of water, where the spirits of the righteous await their

judgment. The other two were dark. One is for sinners who

died without having experienced judgment in their earthly

existence. These suffer in great pain until the judgment,

when they are to be bound forever. The other place held

sinners who were complete in transgression. "Their spirits

shall not be slain in the day of judgement nor shall they be

raised from thence" (22:13). Sheol thus is to become the

place of their eternal punishment. We may infer from this

verse that all others, the righteous and most of the wicked,

will be raised at the day of judgment, the righteous to enter

into the kingdom and the wicked to be judged.


            The second part of Enoch takes the form of three parables

or similitudes which embody revelations given to Enoch by

"the Lord of Spirits," that he in turn might show to those

that dwell on the earth the things which will take place

when God raises the dead, judges the wicked, punishes the

fallen angels, and brings the righteous into the kingdom. The

means by which this revelation is imparted to Enoch is by

38                                Bibliotheca Sacra


his translation to heaven. He is carried by a whirlwind up

from the earth to the end of the heavens, where he sees

these apocalyptic events as though they were already taking

place. "In those days I saw the Head of Days when He seated

Himself upon the throne of His glory, and the books of the

living were opened before Him" (47:3). Repeatedly the book

lapses into prophecy of what is to take place when the day

of judgment comes; but the prophecy is based on what

Enoch actually experienced. He witnessed these apocalyptic

events already occurring in heaven, as though they consti-

tuted a drama acted out in advance before their earthly

counterparts occur on earth.

            The unique feature of this book is the means by which

the kingdom comes: by the agency of a heavenly Son of Man,

who is also called the Elect One. The two names or expressions

are used quite interchangeably.6 This Son of Man is clearly an

individual who is coming to earth to bring the kingdom and

execute the final judgment. He is a pre-existent, superhuman

being, having been preserved by God from before the creation

of the world for the purpose of bringing to pass the final

judgment (48:2, 3, 6). It may even be that deity is implicitly

imputed to the Son of Man,7 but this is debatable. God has

kept Him in hiding from the beginning and preserved Him

for the day of revelation (62:7). This heavenly being is

called not only the Son of Man and the Elect One but also

the Righteous One (38:2, et passim), the Righteous and

Elect One (53:6), the Elect One of righteousness and faith

(39:6). His dwelling-place was under the wings of the Lord

of Spirits (39:7). He is described elsewhere (71:14) as "the

Son of Man who is born unto righteousness; and righteous-


6As might be expected, it is surmised that at least two sources lie behind

     the present form of the Similitudes: a Son of Man source and an Elect

     One source (cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch [Oxford: Clarendon

     Press, 1912], pp. 64-65). It is indeed clear that the Parables are com-

     posite to some extent, for there are unmistakable interpolations from a

     Book of Noah (60, 65:1-69:25). However, the question of sources does

     not affect the present survey.

7W. O. E. Oesterley, The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period

      (London: S.P.C.K., 1941, p. 157), finds such implicit deity in Enoch


            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             39


ness abides over him, and the righteousness of the Head of

Days forsakes him not."8 He is peculiarly endowed with wis-

dom (49:3), righteousness (46:3) and power (49:3).

            The main function of this heavenly Son of Man is to

share with God in the inauguration of the kingdom.

    "And there I saw One, who had a head of days,

     And His head was white like wool,

     And with Him was another being whose countenance

            had the appearance of a man,

     And his face, was full of graciousness, like one of the

            holy angels.

     And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me

all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he

was, and whence he was, and why he went with the Head of

Days? And he answered and said unto me:

     This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness,

     And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is

            hidden" (46:1-3).

This passage is clearly an interpretation and enlargement of

the Son of Man passage in Daniel 7. In the day of judgment,

God will seat the Son of Man on the throne of His glory (62:

2, 3 ; 69:27, 29) and to Him will be given the sum of all

judgment (69:27). Elsewhere it is the Head of Days who

sits on the throne of glory for judgment (47:3). In view of

the fact that the Son of Man is said to come with the Head

of Days (46:1), we may conclude that the Son of Man and

the Head of Days share jointly the throne of judgment, with

the Son of Man as the active agent.

            At this time men will be judged by their works (45:3),

which apparently have been recorded in "the books of the


8This is the rendering of Charles' English edition. The Ethiopic text is in

     the second person, addressing Enoch as the Son of Man. This passage

     has been utilized by some scholars as support for a theory of the eleva-

     tion of Enoch to messianic dignity. (Cf. F. J. Foakes Jackson and K.

     Lake, The Beginnings of Christianity [London: Macmillan, 19201, I,

     371, and especially Rudolf Otto The Kingdom of God and the Son of

     Man [London: Lutterworth Press, 1943], book II, chapter 5.) However,

     Charles has reason to believe that the text here is faulty and he emends

     it as quoted above. (Cf. his notes in The Book of Enoch, pp. 144-45,

     and H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic [2nd ed.; London:

     Lutterworth Press, 1947], p. 58.)

40                                Bibliotheca Sacra


living" (47:3). This judgment will be absolutely just, for the

actions of both men (41:1) and angels (61:8) will be

weighed in the balance. Kings and mighty men will be pun-

ished because they have not extolled the Lord of Spirits, 

"nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed

upon them" (46:5). The Son of Man will slay the wicked

by the word of His mouth (62:2), for His word shall go  

forth in power (69:29) to destroy all evil. 

            Now that judgment has fallen upon them, the kings and

rulers of the earth will fall upon their faces before the Son

of Man and petition Him for mercy; but it is too late. The

Lord of Spirits will drive them from His presence, and they

will be delivered over to the angels for punishment (62:9-10)9

Sinners will be destroyed from off the face of the earth.

Those who have led the world astray will be bound with

chains and imprisoned in a place of destruction; all their

works and everything corruptible is purged from the earth

(69:28). In their torment,

     "They shall be a spectacle for the righteous and for

            His elect

      They shall rejoice over them,

      Because the wrath of the Lord of Spirits resteth upon


      And His sword is drunk with their blood" (62:12).

     "In those days downcast in countenance shall the kings

      of the earth have become,


      And I will give them over into the hands of Mine elect :

      As straw in the fire so shall they burn before the face

            of the holy:

      As lead in the water shall they sink before the face of

            the righteous,

      And no trace of them shall any more be found" (48:8-9).

            This judgment of the Son of Man falls not only upon


9Several times we find the thought in this part of Enoch that one of the

     functions of the angels is to serve as ministers of punishment and tor-

     ment not only for men (53:3, 62:11, 63:1), but also for the fallen

     angels (56:1-4).

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             41


sinners, but also upon the fallen evil angels (55:4, 61:8). In

one passage, both men and angels are hurled to the same fate


            May we think of this Son of Man as the Messiah? In two

places He is so named. In a description of the judgment, of

sinners, we read that "they shall fall and not rise again

and there shall be no one to take them with his hands and

raise them: for they have denied the Lord of Spirits and His

Anointed" (48:10). In another place, the Gentile nations are

described in terms of six metal mountains which are to be

destroyed by the Elect One. After the vision of the moun-

tains, Enoch asked the angel what these things were and is

told, "All these things which thou hast seen shall serve the

dominion of His Anointed, that he may be potent and mighty

on the earth" (52:4). The angel adds that the Elect One shall

utterly destroy these mountains. Nowhere else in Enoch is the

Son of Man called the Messiah. Some scholars would insist

that the term "Messiah" does not properly belong to the Son

of Man, but should be reserved for the Davidic King who

would arise from among men to restore the political kingdom

to Israel.10 Others emphasize the application of "Messiah" to

the heavenly Son of Man and find here sufficient evidence to

view both the Davidic King and the heavenly Son of Man as

messianic.11 While the use of the word "Messiah" in the pres-

ent passage makes it impossible to insist upon as sharp a dis-

tinction between "Messiah" and "Son of Man" as Jackson

and Lake suggest, it is nevertheless convenient to use the

two terms to describe the two diverse messianic expectations

entertained by first century (B.C.) Judaism: one of an

earthly Davidic King, a ruler who should arise from the

midst of his people; the other of a heavenly, pre-existent,

supernatural being. These were the two main developments


10J. Foakes Jackson and K. Lake, The Beginnings of Christianity, I,

     373-74. This expectation of a Davidic King is found in Psalms of

     Solomon 17.

11W. 0. E. Oesterley, The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period

      (London: S.P.C.K., 1941), p. 155. G. Dalman sees Messianic significance

     in the Enochian Son of the Man (The Words of Jesus [English trans-

     lation], Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1909), pp. 243-44.

42                                Bibliotheca Sacra


within Judaism from the Old Testament messianic teachings.

            We must now ask who are meant by the "kings and

mighty of the earth"12 upon whom this apocalyptic judgment

will fall. Throughout the Parables there runs a constant con-

trast between the holy, righteous, elect and the sinners,

godless, kings, and mighty of the earth. It is clear that the

righteous are those for whose comfort the book was written.

They are God's true people who are now being oppressed

by rich, powerful rulers, even to the point of bloodshed

(47:1-2). The contrast must be either between Jews and

Gentiles as a whole, or between an elect remnant within the

nation when the rulers have become apostate.

            We have previously indicated13 that the most likely his-

torical setting for Enoch is the Maccabean period, when there

arose within the nation a faithful circle of men who ad-

hered strictly to the Law while others, especially in the

priestly and aristocratic circles, were succumbing to worldly,

Hellenistic practices. Indications in the Parables suggest a

date between 100 and 64 B.C.; and we know from other

sources14 that these years witnessed a contest which more

than once broke into open violence, between the Pharisees15

and the Hasmoneans.

            One passage seems to be an extreme description even of

the Hasmoneans.

    "And all their deeds manifest unrighteousness,

     And their power rests upon their riches,

     And their faith is in the gods which they have made

            with their hands,

     And they deny the name of the Lord of Spirits,

     And they persecute the houses of His congregations,


12Cf. 46:4-8, 48:8-10, 53:5, 62:1-12, 67:8-13.

13Cf. Bibliotheca Sacra cix (1952), p. 321 f.

14Cf. Josephus, Antiquities, XIII, 13-14.

15It is generally felt that the Pharisees were the successors of the Hasi-

     deans, "the Pious," who resisted the aggressive hellenizing policies of

     Antiochus Epiphanes. Cf. I Macc. 2:43, II Macc. 14:6; M. J. La-

     grange, Le Judaisme avant Jesus Christ (Paris, 1931), pp. 56, 272; G.

     F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (Cam-

     bridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1944), I, 59, 60.

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             43


And the faithful who hang upon the name of the Lord

of Spirits" (46:7-8).

            Surely not even the Hasmoneans and the Sadducees, as apos-

tate as they had become,16 went so far as to worship gods

which they had made with their hands, i.e., pagan idols.

Schürer appeals to this verse as evidence for a later date for

the Parables.17 He feels that the language demands a time

subsequent to the appearance of Herod the Great, when the

Gentiles in the person of the Romans and their appointed

rulers had become masters of the Jews. This is not a nec-

essary conclusion; for it is psychologically sound that the

Pharisees, "the righteous," should view their enemies within

Judaism, the Sadducees and the Hasmoneans, as being in

spirit and in purpose, if not in fact, allied with the Syrian

rulers and therefore participants in their idolatry. We may

conclude that the Parables represent the devout party within

Judaism in the first century B.C. and that the kings and

mighty of the earth include ultimately Gentiles but primarily

the Jewish rulers who, from the Pharisees' point of view,

had abandoned the Law in favor of pagan interests and


            There is indeed one reference that anticipates the salva-

tion of the Gentiles through the Son of Man (48:4).18 How-

ever, this seems to be no more than a formal reference to

such Old Testament prophecies as Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6,

which is here made to glorify the Son of Man rather than

to anticipate a genuine conversion of the Gentiles. In any

case, in the kingdom of God the religion of the Jews would

become the universal religion and the sovereignty of the Son

of Man world-wide.19

            In anticipation of the coming of the kingdom, the dead


16Cf. I Macc. 1:11-15, II Macc. 4:7-15.

17E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi

      (4th ed.; Leipzig, 1909), III, 279-80; English translation of 2nd ed.;

     History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New

     York: 1890), II, 3, pp. 67-68.

18Cf. also 50:2, "And the righteous shall be victorious in the name of the

     Lord of Spirits: and He will cause the others to witness this, that they

     may repent and forgo the works of their hands."

19G. F. Moore, Judaism, II, 320.

44                                Bibliotheca Sacra


will be raised that the Elect One may separate unto salvation

the righteous and the holy from among them (51:1-2). All

who have met violent death, whether on the desert, by beasts,

or at sea, will be raised on the day of the Elect One; for

none of the righteous can be destroyed (61:5). The language

of these passages seems to suggest a universal resurrection;

but it is likely, in view of the setting of the entire work,

that the author's viewpoint does not encompass any beyond

the circle of Jews.20

            After the resurrection of the dead and the judgment, the

kingdom will be inaugurated. This kingdom will be established

upon the earth, but on a renewed earth.      

     "On that day Mine Elect One shall sit on the throne of


      And I will transform the heaven and make it an eternal"

            blessing and light:

      And I will transform the earth and make it a blessing:

      And I will cause Mine elect ones to dwell upon it :

      But the sinners and evil-doers shall not set foot thereon"


     "And the Elect One shall in those days sit on My throne,

      And in those days shall the mountains leap like rams,

      And the hills also shall skip like lambs satisfied with

     And the faces of all the angels in heaven shall be lighted

            up with joy.21


20Cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, pp. 98-99; G. F. Moore, Judaism,

     II, 304.

21There is a problem in the translation of this line. It has usually been

     rendered, "They shall all be angels in heaven: their faces shall be

     lighted up with joy." (Cf. Beer in Kautzsch's Die Apokryphen and

     Pseudepigraphen des A1ten Testaments [Tübingen, 1900], II, 265; W.

     Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im späthellenistischen Zeitalter

     [3rd ed.; Tübingen, 1926], p. 282; P. Volz, Die Eschatologie der

     jüdischen Gemeinde im neutestamentlischen Zeitalter [2nd ed.; Tübingen,

     1934; G. F. Moore, Judaism, II, 304). Some of the Ethiopic mss. are to

     be rendered in this way. A similar thought is found in 46:1 about the

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                 45


     And the earth shall rejoice,

     And the righteous shall dwell upon it,

     And the elect shall walk thereon" (51:3-5).

            These verses present a different expectation of the king-

dom than that of the first part of Enoch and of Jubilees,

where the kingdom consisted of physical life on the present

earth restored to a perfect state. Here, in the Parables, both

the earth and the heaven are changed and made new. The

background for this thought is Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, and

the passages in Enoch may be considered a midrash on

these prophecies, even as the Enochian Son of Man passages

are a midrash on Daniel 7:13-14. There is no indication of a

A temporal earthly kingdom; the kingdom which is ushered in

after the coming of the Son of Man, the resurrection and

judgment is the eternal kingdom of heavenly blessing on a

glorified earth.

            We find here in an incipient form the contrast between

this age and the age to come which figures so largely in later

Jewish eschatology and in the New Testament.22 This age is

an age of unrighteousness (45:7) ; the age to come will see

the full realization of the kingdom of God (71:15). It is

greatly to be regretted that we have neither the Semitic

original nor a Greek version extant for these passages, for

we cannot be sure of the language employed. However, there

appears here the outlines of the concept of the two anti-

thetical ages,23 even though the idea is not thoroughly elab-

orated. In other passages of Jewish literature there inter-


22Cf. Matt. 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 20:34-35, Ephesians 1:21, II Cor. 4:4,

     Gal. 1:4, Matt. 13:22, Rom. 12:2, Heb. 6:5. This subject will be dealt

     with at greater length sometime later.

23Cf. R. H. Charles, op. cit., p. 14-5; F. J. Foakes Jackson and K. Lake,

     aism, op. cit., p. 370; G. F. Moore op. cit., p. 378, n. 6 ; G. Beer, op. cit.

     277; W. Bousset, op. cit., p. 244; G. Dalman, op. cit., p. 148 ff. Dalman

     dismisses the significance of these two passages by affirming that both

     are late additions to Enoch. This has not been established.


     Son of Man: "And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the

     holy angels." This would provide background for Jesus' word that, in

     the resurrection, men would be like the angels in heaven in that they no

     longer enter into normal human relationships. However, the older Ethi-

     opic mss. are susceptible of the rendering given above, which Charles

     thinks is better. (Cf. The Book of Enoch, pp. 100-1).

46                                Bibliotheca Sacra


venes between this age and the age to come a temporal earthly

kingdom, which in rabbinic Judaism came to be known as

the Days of the Messiah. In fact, this concept is found in a

later portion of Enoch, as we shall see. Here, however, the

coming age follows immediately after the termination of the

present evil age without an interregnum.

            The righteous who are to experience the blessings of this

glorious kingdom will undergo a similar transformation.

     "And in those days a change shall take place for the

      holy and elect,

      And the light of days shall abide upon them,

      And glory and honour shall turn to the holy" (50:1).

     "And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who

            dwell on the earth" (38:2).

     "And the righteous shall be in the light of the sun,

      And the elect in the light of eternal life:

      The days of their life shall be unending,

      And the days of the holy without number.

     And they shall seek the light and find righteousness with

            the Lord of Spirits:

      There shall be peace to the righteous in the name of the

            Eternal Lord" (58-3-4).

     "And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory,

      And these shall be the garments of life from the Lord  

            of Spirits

      And your garments shall not grow old,

      Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits"


This glorious transformation will apparently take place for

the righteous who are alive when the Son of Man comes;

and while the language of the Parables does not explicitly

affirm it, we may assume that the same transformation will

be the experience of the righteous who are raised unto


            This is one of the finest portrayals of the resurrection

state to be found in Jewish literature. Often, resurrection

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             47


is portrayed in the grossest physical terms. Second Maccabees

records how one Razis was dying from a sword wound, and

"as he was losing the last of his blood, he pulled out his

bowels with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, and

so expired, calling upon him who is lord of life and spirit,

to give these back to him again" (II Macc. 14:46). In such

passages as this, we find the concept not merely of bodily

resurrection, but of physical resurrection: the resuscitation

of the body to the same physical state as that in which it died.

            Obviously something far higher than this is found in

these Parables of Enoch. Some sort of a transformation is to

take place. The metaphor of light is employed to describe the

resurrection body; and this concept has an Old Testament

background. Daniel speaks of those who attain everlasting

life24 as those who shall shine like the brightness of the

firmament, like the stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:2, 3).

Isaiah anticipates a future salvation when people who walk in

darkness shall see a great light, and when light shall shine

on those who dwell in deep darkness (Isa. 9:1). While

darkness now covers the earth, the Lord shall arise and

shall bring light and glory to the people of earth (Isa. 60:1-3).

Such Old Testament ideas are developed in Enoch with

special reference to the resurrection body.

            In this future kingdom of light and glory, the Elect One

will dwell with the righteous (45:4). The Lord of Spirits

will abide over them, and they shall eat and drink and enjoy

everlasting fellowship with the Son of Man (62:14). The

kingdom will be universal in its scope (62:6) and unending

in its duration.

            While nothing is said explicitly about the Promised Land

and Jerusalem as the center of the kingdom, it seems nec-

essary to presuppose that this is in the writer's mind; for

we read of the last attack of the Gentiles against God's

people in the land, followed by the return of the exiles from

the distant land: and they could hardly return anywhere

but to the Promised Land.


24Twice in Enoch the expression "eternal life" is used to describe this

     future life (37:4, 53:3).

48                                Bibliotheca Sacra


    "And in those days the angels shall return

     And hurl themselves to the east upon the Parthians and


     They shall stir up the kings, so that a spirit of unrest

            shall come upon them,

     And they shall rouse them from their thrones,

     They that may break forth as lions from their lairs,

     And as hungry wolves among their flocks.

     And they shall go up and tread under foot the land of

            His elect ones,

     And the land of His elect ones shall be before them a

            threshing-floor and a highway:

     But the city of my righteous shall be a hindrance to

            their horses.

     And they shall begin to fight among themselves,

     And their right hand shall be strong against themselves,

     And a man shall not know his brother,

     Nor a son his father or his mother,

     Till there be no number of the corpses through their


     And their punishment be not in vain.

     In those days Sheol shall open its jaws,

     And they shall be swallowed up therein,

     And their destruction shall be at an end;

     Sheol shall devour the sinners in the presence of the


            "And it came to pass after this that I saw another host

of wagons, and men riding thereon, and coming on the winds

from the east, and from the west to the south. And the noise

of their wagons was heard, and when this turmoil took place

the holy ones from heaven remarked it, and the pillars of

the earth were moved from their place, and the sound thereof


25These two nations are, in the mind of the author, the fulfillment of the

     Old Testament prophecies about Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38). After the

     decay of Syrian power and before the coming of Rome (100-64 B.C.),

     the Parthians to the East were a constant source of danger. In fact, in

     40 B.C. the Parthians invaded Syria and for a time entered into the

     history of Jewish affairs (Cf. R. H. Pfeiffer, History of New Testament

     Times [New York: Harper, 1949], pp. 25-27).

            The Kingdom of God in I Enoch                             49


was heard from the one end of heaven to the other, in one

day" (56:5-57:2).

            After the Gentile nations are destroyed in their final

attack upon God's people, the dispersed Israelites regathered

to the Promised Land, the dead raised, the wicked condemned

and sent to hell, the righteous transformed, the earth purged

of all sin and transformed into a glorious state, God's king-

dom under the rule of the heavenly Son of Man shall forever

fill all the earth.

Pasadena, Calif.


 "There is a spiritual message in the Scriptures of truth

which is not discerned by either the 'natural man' or the

'carnal' man, but 'he that is spiritual discerneth all things'

(1 Cor. 2:14-3:4). The testimony concerning Jesus is the

spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10); yet who can know the

things of Christ except those who have received the Christ-

revealing Spirit through regeneration (1 Cor. 2:12-13) ? The

words of the Bible are open to all who have sufficient educa-

tion to read them, while the meaning of the Bible is only

revealed to the heart of the one who, being saved, is walking

in the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:15). There is a legitimate field of

Bible study which may be called technical, critical and sci-

entific. This however must never be confused with the meth-

od mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:13, 'comparing spiritual

things with spiritual.' The technical and scientific—important

in its place—is related to the spiritual about as rhetoric is

related to prevailing prayer. It is the spiritual method of

Bible study which is the source of heart-food for the Chris-

tian. Human learning, as important as it is in its own sphere,

is not the key to the spiritual understanding of the Scrip-

Only those who are saved and Spirit-taught will catch

the glow and glory of Christ, as He is breathed through all

the Bible by the Spirit (Luke 24:27, John 16:12-15, 2 Cor.

John 2:27)."*


*Lewis Sperry Chafer, Must We Dismiss the Millennium? (Crescent City,

Fla.: Biblical Testimony League, 1921), pp. 28-29.


This material is cited with gracious permission from:

Dallas Theological Seminary

            3909 Swiss Ave.

            Dallas, TX   75204


Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at:

            Thanks to Amy Gentile for help with proofing.