1. 2 Enoch, 22:5–23:2 : Enoch's Ascent to Heaven
( 22:5 ) And the Lord, with his own mouth, said to me, ‘Courage, Enoch, do not fear! Arise and stand before my face forever.’ (6) And Michael, the archistratege [highest archangel], lifted me up and led me before the face of the Lord. And the Lord said to his servants, testing them, ‘Let Enoch ascend and stand before my face forever!’ (7) And the Lord's glorious ones bowed down and said, ‘Let Enoch ascend in accordance with your will, O Lord!’
(8) And the Lord said to Michael, ‘Go and take Enoch out of his earthly garments and anoint him with sweet oil, and put him in the garments of my glory.’ (9) And Michael did so, as the Lord had commanded him. He anointed me and clothed me. And the sheen of that oil was brighter than the greatest light, its texture was like sweet dew, its fragrance like myrrh, and its glitter like the sun's rays. (10) And I looked at myself, and I had become like one of his glorious ones, and there was no visible difference.
And the Lord summoned one of his archangels, Vrevoil by name, who was more versed in wisdom than the other archangels, and who records all the Lord's deeds. (11) And the Lord said to Vrevoil, ‘Bring out the books from my storehouses, and fetch a reed for speed-writing, and give it to Enoch and dictate to him the books.’ And Vrevoil made haste and brought me the books … and he gave me the reed for speed-writing from his hand. (23:1) And he told me about all that happens in heaven, on earth, and in the sea, about all the elements, their motions and courses, and how thunder thunders, about the sun, the moon, and the stars, their courses and their changes, about the seasons, days, and hours, how clouds are formed and the winds blow, about the number of the angels and the songs of the Armed Host [the angels], about the language of every kind of human song, about rules and regulations and sweet-voiced singing, and about everything that it is permitted to learn.
Comment: This extract, from the longer recension of 2 Enoch, records the climax of Enoch's ascent through the seven heavens. Even though he has reached the highest heaven he is still in his ‘earthly garments’ (his terrestrial body). But he cannot remain in that form if he is to stand before the Lord's face forever, for flesh and blood cannot endure heaven: he must be transformed into an angel. His transformation involves not only the divesting of his flesh but the illuminating of his mind. The prominence of cosmology in the instruction that he receives is noteworthy. God's testing of the angels to see if they will oppose Enoch's transformation hints at the idea, widespread in early Judaism, that the angels are jealous when humans intrude into the heavenly realm. On 2 Enoch see MAJ GEN C.4–5.
2. 1 Enoch, 14:8–25: God's Celestial Palace
(14:8) And in the vision thus it appeared to me: Behold, clouds called me in the vision, and mists summoned me. Shooting-stars and lightnings urged me on and whirled me along, and in my vision winds gave me wing, and lifted me up and carried me into heaven. (9) And I went in till I came near a wall built of hailstones, with tongues of fire surrounding it; and they began to terrify me. (10) And I went into the tongues of fire and approached a large house built of hailstones; and the walls of the house were like paving stones, all of snow. Its lower floors were of snow; (11) its upper floors were like shooting-stars and lightnings, and in the midst of them were fiery Cherubim, and their heaven was like water. (12) And fire was burning round the walls, and the doors were ablaze with fire. (13) And I entered that house, and it was hot as fire and cold as snow; and there was nothing to sustain life in it. Fear overwhelmed me, and trembling seized me, (14) and, shaking and trembling, I fell down.
And I saw in my vision, (15) and behold, another door lay open before me, and [another] house larger than the former, and it was entirely built of tongues of fire. (16) And it surpassed the other house so totally in glory, splendour, and size that I am unable to describe to you its glory and size. (17) It lower storey was of fire, its upper storey of lightnings and shooting-stars, and its roof of blazing fire. (18) And I looked and saw a lofty throne, and its appearance was like ice-crystals; and there was a wheel like the [disc of] the shining sun, and a choir (?) of Cherubim. (19) And from beneath the throne streams of blazing fire flowed out, and I was unable to look. (20) The Great Glory sat on it, and his garment was brighter than the sun, and whiter than any snow. (21) And no angel was able to enter this house, or look on his face, because of the splendour and glory; and no flesh was able to look at him. (22) A fire blazed round him, and a great fire stood in front of him, and no one approached him. All round ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, and his every word was a deed. (23) And the most holy angels who were near to him do not leave him by night or by day, nor do they depart from him. (24) As for me, till then I had been prostrate on my face, trembling. And the Lord called me with his own mouth and said to me: ‘Come here, Enoch, and hear my word.’ (25) And one of the holy angels came to me, raised me up, stood me on my feet and brought me to the door; and I bowed down my face.
Comment: This impressive vision marks Enoch's calling to the prophetic office (cf. Isa 6; Ezek 1 ). He is commissioned before God's heavenly throne itself, in the celestial palaces. It is unclear whether he ascends here to heaven physically (as he does in 2 Enoch: see ANTH C.1), or in spirit, or whether heaven is simply shown to him in a dream, and he dreams of ascending. The heavenly world is a hostile environment for humans, disorientating and paradoxical, and the terrestrial laws of nature do not apply there: ice can exist in the middle of fire, and the larger of the two celestial houses can be located inside the smaller. The idea of heaven as a topsy-turvy world where opposites meet was to be exploited at length later by the Jewish Hekalot mystics of the later Talmudic period. On 1 Enoch see MAJ GEN A.7.
3. 1 Enoch, 46:1–4; 48:2–7; 69:26–9: The Heavenly Son of Man
(46:1) And I saw there one who was Ancient of Days [lit. Head of Days], and his head was white like wool, and with him was another whose face had the appearance of a man. His face was full of graciousness, like one of the angels. (2) And I asked one of the angels who accompanied me, and showed me all the secrets, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, whence he had come, and why he was with the Ancient of Days. (3) He answered and said to me: ‘This is the Son of Man who possesses righteousness, and with whom righteousness dwells; and all the treasures regarding what is hidden he reveals, for the Lord of Spirits has chosen him, and his destiny is always to be victorious before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.’…
(48:2) And at that hour the Son of Man was named in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, and his name was mentioned before the Ancient of Days. (3) Even before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were made, his name was named before the Lord of Spirits. (4) He shall be a staff to the righteous, that they may lean on him and not fall, and he shall be a light to the Gentiles, and a hope to those who are troubled in their hearts. (5) All who dwell on earth shall fall down and worship before him, and shall glorify, bless and celebrate with song the name of the Lord of Spirits. (6) And for this reason he has been chosen and hidden before him from before the creation of the world and for evermore. (7) And the wisdom of the Lord of Spirits has revealed him to the holy and righteous; for he has preserved the portion of the righteous, because they hate and despise this unrighteous world, and hate all its works and ways in the name of the Lord of Spirits: for in his name they will be saved and he will be the vindicator of their lives.…
(69:26) And they had great joy, and they gave blessing, glory, and praise, because the name of that Son of Man had been revealed to them. (27) And he sat on the throne of his glory, and all judgement was given to the Son of Man, and he will cause sinners to pass away and be destroyed from the face of the earth, and those who have led the world astray (28) shall be bound with chains and imprisoned in the assembly-place of destruction, and their works shall vanish from the face of the earth. (29) And from henceforth there shall be nothing corruptible, for that Son of Man has appeared, and has seated himself on the throne of his glory, and everything evil shall pass away and depart from before his face, and the word of that Son of Man shall prevail before the Lord of Spirits.
Comment: This late stratum of 1 Enoch offers a reinterpretation of Daniel's vision of the Ancient of Days in Dan 7:9–14 . There the Son of Man seems to be Israel's symbolic representative in heaven, who accepts, on Israel's behalf, political dominion over her earthly enemies. Here, however, he appears to be a pre-existent angelic figure, the champion of the righteous, who will be revealed from heaven at the end of history to pass judgement on sinners. The relationship of the Enochic Son of Man to early Christology, and to the appellation ‘son of man’ for Jesus in the gospels, is a matter of intense debate. On 1 Enoch see MAJ GEN A.7.
4. 1 Enoch, 22:1–13: A Vision of Hell
(22:1) And he (the angel Uriel) showed me, towards the west, a large and lofty mountain of hard rock, (2) with four hollows in it, deep and wide and very smooth, three of them dark, and one bright, with a spring of water in its midst. And I said: ‘How smooth are those hollows, and deep and dark to look at.’ (3) Then Raphael, one of the holy angels who was with me, answered and said to me: ‘These hollows are there so that the spirits of the souls of the dead should be gathered together into them. For this purpose were they created so that here all the souls of men should be gathered together. (4) And these places were made for their reception, until the day of their judgement and until the appointed time when the great judgement will come upon them.’ (5) There I saw the spirit of a dead man making complaint; and his lamentation reached up to heaven as he cried out and complained. (6) Then I asked Raphael, the Watcher and Holy One who was with me, and I said to him: ‘Whose is this spirit whose voice thus reaches heaven in complaint?’ (7) And he answered me saying: ‘This is the spirit that came forth from Abel whom Cain, his brother, slew: and Abel will make complaint against him till his offspring perishes from the face of the earth, and from the offspring of men his offspring is destroyed.’
(8) Then I asked about the hollows, why they are separated one from the other. (9) And he answered me, saying: ‘These three (? four) hollows were made so that the spirits of the dead might be separated. That one, in which there is a bright spring of water, was set apart for the spirits of the righteous. (10) That one was created for the spirits of the sinners, when they die and are buried in the earth, but judgement has not been executed upon them during their lives. (11) Here their spirits shall be set apart for this great torment, until the great day of judgement, of scourgings and of torments for those who are eternally accursed, so that retribution may be exacted from their spirits: there he shall bind them forever. (12) That (third hollow) has been set apart for the spirits of those who make complaint, who have information to give regarding their destruction, when they were murdered in the days of the sinners. (13) That (fourth hollow) has been created for the spirits of men who are not righteous but sinners, and who have collaborated with the lawless, but because they have endured suffering here (in this life) their spirits receive a lesser punishment, and retribution shall not be exacted from them on the day of judgement nor shall they be raised from there.’
Comment: The gloomy netherworld (Sheol) of earlier Hebrew thought (the equivalent of the Homeric Hades), into which the spirits of the dead, good and bad alike, descend, is here compartmentalized. In earlier tradition the dead survive only as attentuated, barely sentient ghosts. Here they experience a more vivid life and feel intensely pleasure and pain. The four compartments are assigned respectively to the righteous, to sinners who have died unpunished, to the murdered, and to sinners who have died having been, at least in part, punished while they were alive. These ideas arose after the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead for judgement emerged (see ANTH C.9). To have left the righteous and the wicked in the same, undifferentiated, joyless state between death and final judgement was morally repugnant to some, so they held that the final judgement is anticipated for each individual on the point of death, and each, in accordance with his deeds, has at once a foretaste of his final destiny. We have here the first glimmerings of the ‘Tours of Hell’ literature which was to reach its literary climax in Dante's Inferno. On 1 Enoch see MAJ GEN A.7.
5. 1 Enoch, 93:3–10; 91:11–17: The Pattern of History
(93:3) Then Enoch took up his discourse and said: I was born the seventh of the First Week, while justice and righteousness still endured. (4) And thereafter in the Second Week great wickedness shall arise, and deceit spring up; and in it (the Second Week) the First End will occur, and in it a man shall be saved. And after it has ended, oppression shall increase, and he shall make a law for sinners. (5) And thereafter, in the Third Week, at its close, a man shall be chosen as a plant of righteous judgement; and his posterity (?) shall emerge as a plant of righteousness for ever. (6) And thereafter, in the Fourth Week, at its close, visions of holy ones and of righteousness shall be revealed, and a Law for all generations, and a Court shall be made for them. (7) And thereafter, in the Fifth Week, at its close, a house of glory and dominion shall be built for ever. (8) And thereafter, in the Sixth Week, all who live then shall be blinded, and the hearts of all of them, forsaking wisdom, shall become godless. And in it a man shall arise; and at its close the house of dominion shall be burnt with fire, and in it the whole race of the Chosen Plant shall be dispersed. (9) And thereafter, in the Seventh Week, an apostate generation shall arise; its misdeeds shall be many and all its doings perverse. (10) And at its close the Elect Ones shall be chosen, as witnesses to righteousness, from the Eternal Plant of righteousness, to whom shall be given sevenfold instruction concerning all his creation. (91:11) And they shall uproot the foundations of oppression, and the works of falsehood therein, in order to execute judgement. (12) And thereafter there shall arise the Eighth Week of righteousness, in which a sword shall be given to all the righteous, to execute a righteous judgement on all the wicked, and they will be given over into their hands. (13) And at its close they shall acquire riches in righteousness, and a Royal House shall be built for the Great King in splendour for ever. (14) And thereafter, in the Ninth Week righteous judgement shall be revealed to all the children of the whole earth, and the deeds of the wicked shall vanish from the whole earth, and they shall be cast into the eternal pit, and all men shall look to the path of eternal righteousness. (15) And thereafter in the Tenth Week, in the seventh part of it, eternal judgement and the time appointed for the Great Judgement shall be executed upon the Watchers. (16) And in it the first heaven shall pass away, and a new heaven shall appear, and all the powers of heaven shall arise for evermore with a sevenfold light. (17) And thereafter there shall be many Weeks (to all their number there shall be no end for ever) in which they shall perform goodness and righteousness; and sin shall be spoken of no more for ever. (17b?) And the righteous shall awake from their sleep, and they shall arise and walk in the paths of righteousness; and unrighteousness shall totally cease, and the earth shall be at rest from oppression, for all generations for ever.
Comment: Schematizations of history, common in apocalyptic (cf. Dan 9:24–7; Rev 6–11 —the seven seals and the seven trumpets), were to influence profoundly the Western imagination by creating a sense that history is moving purposefully towards a grand climax (for the apocalyptists the messianic age and the last judgement). Here history is divided into ten symbolic weeks. The writer probably believed that he was writing towards the end of the seventh week. The previous weeks cover cryptically the biblical history; the following weeks all lie, from his standpoint, in the future. The eighth week is, in effect, the beginning of the messianic redemption: therefore the end of history is imminent. See further MAJ GEN A.7, C.2.
( 70:2 ) Behold, days are coming, and when the time of the world has ripened, and the time to harvest whatever of good or evil has been sown has come, then the Mighty One will bring upon the earth and upon its inhabitants and its rulers confusion of spirit and consternation of mind. (3) And they will hate one another, and provoke one another to fight. Obscure men will have dominion over men of repute, and the low-born will be exalted above the nobles. (4) The many will be delivered into the hands of the few, and those who are nothing will lord it over the strong, the poor will have greater abundance than the rich, and the wicked will prevail over the valiant. (5) The wise will be silent, and fools will speak. Neither the designs of ordinary men nor the plans of the powerful will come to anything, nor will the hope of those who hope be fulfilled. (6) And when what has been predicted has come to pass, then confusion will fall upon all men: some of them will fall in battle, some of them will be destroyed by their own people. (7) Then the Most High will reveal those peoples whom he has prepared beforehand, and they will come and make war with the leaders that then remain. (8) And whoever escapes in the war will die by the earthquake, and whoever escapes the earthquake will be burned by fire, and whoever escapes the fire will perish through famine. (9) And whoever, whether victor or the vanquished, escapes all these things, and emerges safe and sound, will be delivered into the hands of my Servant, the Messiah. (10) For the whole earth will devour its inhabitants. ( 71:1 ) But the Holy Land will have mercy on its own, and will protect its inhabitants at that time.…
(72:2) After the signs, about which I have spoken to you before, have appeared, when the nations are troubled, and the time of my Messiah has come, he will call all the nations together. Some of them he will spare, but others he will destroy. (3) This is what will happen to the nations spared by him. (4) Every nation that has not conquered Israel nor trampled the race of Jacob underfoot will be spared. (5) And they will be treated thus because, out of all the peoples, they have been submissive to your people. (6) But all those who have exercised dominion over you, or have conquered you, will be given over to the sword. (73:1) And when he has brought the whole world low, and has sat down in peace for ever on the throne of his kingdom, then joy shall be revealed, and rest made manifest.
Comment: There was a widespread belief among apocalyptists that the coming of the Messiah would be preceded by a time of unparalleled tribulation for the righteous, often accompanied by prodigies and wonders in nature. In 2 Apoc. Bar. the messianic woes are characterized primarily by the overthrow of civil society, though natural disasters (earthquake and famine) also play a part. The onset of the messianic woes is a sure sign of the end, but 2 Apoc. Bar. describes them in a such a vague way that anyone affected by the apocalyptic mentality could always fancy he could detect them beginning in his own days. The Messiah glimpsed here is a purely political figure—a king who would lead Israel to victory against her political enemies and give her world dominion. On 2 Apoc. Bar. see MAJ GEN C.6.
7. The War Scroll (1QM), 1:1–15: The War to End All Wars
(1:1) For the M[aster. The Rule of] War. The first engagement of the Sons of Light shall be to attack the company of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial—the troops of Edom, Moab, and the Sons of Ammon, the ar[my of the inhabitants] (2) of Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Assyria, with whom the Covenant-breakers have allied themselves…
(3) The Sons of Levi, the Sons of Judah and the Sons of Benjamin, the exiles of the wilderness, shall fight against them [—] according to all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light shall return from the Wilderness of the Nations to encamp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem, and after the battle they shall go up (to Jerusalem) from there. (4) And [the King] of the Kittim [shall enter] into Egypt, and in his time he shall set out in great wrath to wage war against the kings of the north, and in his anger he shall destroy and cut off the horn (5) of [Israel]. That shall be a time of salvation for the people of God, and an appointed time of dominion for all the members of his company, but of everlasting destruction for all the company of Belial. Gr[eat] panic (6) [shall seize] the Sons of Japhet, and Assyria shall fall with none to help her. The dominion of the Kittim shall pass away and iniquity shall be vanquished, leaving no remnant; (7) there shall be no escape [for the Sons] of Darkness, (8) [but the Sons of Righteous]ness shall shine to all the ends of the earth; they shall go on shining till all the seasons of darkness are ended and, at God's appointed time, his exalted greatness shall shine (9) et[ernally] for the peace, blessing, glory, joy, and long life of all the Sons of Light.
On the day when the Kittim shall fall, there shall be fighting and terrible carnage before the God (10) of Israel, for that shall be the day appointed from of old for a war of annihilation against the Sons of Darkness. Then the assembly of gods and the congregation of men shall clash with great carnage, (11) the Sons of Light and the Company of Darkness fighting together to (make manifest) God's might, amid the sound of a great tumult and the clamour of gods and men—a day of calamity! It shall be a time of (12) g[reat] tribulation for the people whom God shall redeem; of all their afflictions none shall be like this, from its sudden onset till its end in eternal redemption.
On the day of their battle against the Kittim (13) [they shall set out to wreak] carnage in battle. In three skirmishes the Sons of Light shall prevail and strike down iniquity, and in three skirmishes Belial's host shall rally and repel the Company (14) [of God. And when the detach]ments of foot-soldiers begin to falter, then shall God's might strengthen [the hearts of the Sons of Light]. And during the seventh skirmish the mighty hand of God shall subdue (15) [the army of Belial, and all] the angels of his dominion, and all the members [of his company with an everlasting destruction].
Comment: So seriously did the Qumran sect believe that they would play a role in the eschatological conflict between the forces of good (the Sons of Light) and the forces of evil (the Sons of Darkness) that, like a General Staff, they composed war- books in which they worked out the strategy and tactics that they would adopt. The war would be a real war, involving bloody carnage, but parallel to the human conflict would be a clash of spiritual agencies headed respectively by God, or God's angelic general, Michael, and Belial (the Devil). The political protagonists in the last battle are given biblical code-names. The Kittim are probably the Romans, the Kittim of Assyria the Persians. A global conflict between Rome and Persia would enable Israel (or the elect of Israel) to intervene and to triumph over both these superpowers. On the War Scroll see MAJ GEN C.8.
8. The Messianic Rule (1QSa), 2:11–22: The Messianic Banquet
(2:11) [This shall be the ass]embly of the men of renown [called] to the meeting of the Council of the Community.
When God brings (12) the (royal) Messiah, the priest(ly Messiah) shall come with them [at] the head of the whole congregation of Israel and of all (13) [his brethren, the sons] of Aaron, the priests, [those called] to the assembly, the men of renown; and they shall sit (14) be[fore him, each man] in the order of his dignity. And then [the Mess]iah of Israel shall [enter], and the chiefs of (15) the [clans of Israel] shall sit before him, [each] in the order of his dignity, according to [his place] in their camps and on their manoeuvres. (16) And all the heads of [family of the congreg]ation, and their sage[s and scholars], shall sit before them, each in the order of (17) his dignity.
And [when they] shall assemble for the common [tab]le, [to partake of bread and n]ew wine, and the common table is set (18) [for eating and the] new wine (poured) for drink[ing], no man shall reach out his hand to the first fruits of (19) the bread or [the win]e before the priest; for [it is he] who shall bless the first fruits of the bread (20) and the win[e, and shall be the first to reach out] his hand to the bread. Thereaf[ter], the Messiah of Israel [shall rea]ch out his hand (21) to the bread, [and then] all the congregation of the community [shall pronounce a bles]sing, [each man in the order] of his dignity.
And it is according to this statute that [they] shall proceed (22) at every me[al at which] at least ten men are [gat]hered together.
Comment: According to Qumran theology there would be two Messiahs—a priestly (the Messiah of Aaron) and a political (the Messiah of David). The new messianic order would be inaugurated by a great solemn national assembly in which Israel (or rather the surviving elect portion of Israel) would join in a banquet with the two Messiahs to inagurate the messianic age. Significantly all subsequent meals at which at least ten men are present will be held as a memorial of this inaugural feast. On the Messianic Rule see MAJ GEN C.8.
( 50:1 ) And he (God) answered and said to me, Listen, Baruch, to what I say, and engrave on the memory of your heart everything that you learn. (2) The earth will surely give back the dead that it now receives so as to preserve them: without changing their form, it will give them back just as it received them; and as I delivered them to it, so will it raise them again. (3) For it will be necessary then to show to the living that the dead have come back to life again, and that those who have departed have returned. (4) And when those who are acquaintances now have recognized each other, then the judgement proper will begin, and the events spoken of before will come to pass.
( 51:1 ) And after the appointed day is over, the appearance of those who have been condemned and the glory of those who have been justified will be changed. (2) For the appearance of the evildoers will go from bad to worse, as they suffer torment. (3) But the glory of those who have now been justified through their obedience to my law, who have shown understanding during their lives, and who have planted the root of wisdom in their hearts—their splendour will become more glorious as they are transformed, and their features will assume a luminous beauty, so that they may be able to attain and receive the world which does not die, which has been promised to them then. (4) The others who return then will lament greatly because they rejected my law, and stopped up their ears, so that they might not hear wisdom or receive understanding. (5) For they will see those whom they now regard as their inferiors elevated and glorified above them, for both these and those will be transformed, the one into the splendour of angels, and the other into terrible forms and horrible shapes, and they will utterly waste away. (6) For they will see all this first; and afterwards they will depart to be tormented.
(7) But those who have been saved by their works, whose hope has been in the law, who have put their trust in understanding, and their confidence in wisdom, shall see marvels in their time. (8) For they shall see a world which is now invisible to them, and they shall see a time which is now hidden from them, (9) and time shall no longer age them. (10) In the heights of that world shall they dwell, and they shall be like angels, and comparable to stars; and they shall be changed into whatever form they will, from beauty into loveliness, and from light to the splendour of glory. (11) The extent of Paradise will be spread before their eyes, and they will be shown the majestic beauty of the Living Creatures that are beneath the Throne, as well as all the armies of the angels, who are now held back by my word lest they should reveal themselves, and are restrained by my command, so that they may keep their stations till the time of their advent comes. (12) Then shall the splendour of the righteous exceed even the splendour of the angels. (13) For the first shall receive the last, for whom they have been waiting, and the last shall receive those whom they have heard had passed away.
Comment: The form of the resurrection body is one of the many problems raised by the doctrine of bodily resurrection. 2 Apoc. Bar. here takes the view that the dead will emerge from their graves with recognizably the same bodies with which they were buried. Then, after the final judgement, they will be transformed: the wicked will ‘go from bad to worse’ (their physical degeneration being hastened by the anguish of seeing the glorification of the righteous), and they will pass into a place of torment; the righteous will become like angels and pass into Paradise, where, in an anticipation of the later doctrine of the beatific vision, they will enjoy direct intercourse with the unseen angelic world. On 2 Apoc. Bar. see MAJ GEN C.6.