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Book Of Enoch Essay

1860 words - 8 pages

Divine secrets, the Seven Halls, and Metatron. These sound like the perfect element for a piece of science fiction blockbuster film. One with no knowledge on pseudepigraphical texts would make the connection between the three elements, and the 3 Enoch. First translated by Dr. Hugo Odeberg in 1928, 3 Enoch or the Hebrew Book of Enoch has rarely been touched by scholars because of the lack of background information. It is known that it was written by Ishmael ben Elisha who's work can be dated back to the second century and had a focus on the Talmud . There are certain inferences that can be made about this text. There are two other works of Enoch, The Book of Enoch (1 Enoch), and the Secret of ...view middle of the document...

Using the dating that they used on 1 Enoch, the assumption can be made that this text was also found along the Dead Sea Scrolls near Qumran. The Qumran community is perceived to be an isolated community located near the Dead Sea. They have been known as the 'apocalyptic community' because of texts, such as 3 Enoch, that have been found close to their community. To be more speific, the Essenes were known to be the carriers of the Jewish apocalyptic text .
Not much is known about the Essenes. Most of our knowledge on this small group come from ancient authors such as Pilny and Josephus. Josephus states that the Essenes had expected an eschaton, and they had an obsession with the future . This obsession with the end of time is mentioned in Chapter 45 of Odeberg's translation of 3 Enoch, where Metatron-Enoch shows Rabbi Ishmael the Pargod or the Throne of which all events, past and future are revealed . This shows that the people of Qumran, or what many call the Essenes, could have believed in this text. This genre of apocalyptic text was one that was favoured by the Essenes, but was 3 Enoch completely apocalyptic, or did it have traces of Jewish mysticism as well?
3 Enoch, similar to 1 Enoch, can be noted as a piece of Jewish Wisdom literature. More specifically, this is a piece of Merkabah mysticism. Merkabah Mysticism is just an expansion of Ezekiel's vision, and to a lesser extent, Isaiah and Daniel . Directly translated into English, the word Merkabah means Chariot, but Kabbalistic meaning is the link between the physical world that we live in, and the divine world of the Heavens . With the Kabbalistic, it's becomes obvious how 3 Enoch fits into this genre. In 3 Enoch 4, Metatron-Enoch tells Rabbi Ishmael how God had lifted Metatron-Enoch from a world full of sin. Metatron-Enoch said that the Holy One had removed him, so he could witness the sins of the generation of the flood from the heavens, and see how many so he can witness the sins of the generation of the flood, and see the future world. God shows Metatron-Enoch that those of the generation of the flood are being killed because they are taking God's name in vain. He told Metaron-Enoch that those who were once true followers of God, were now rejecting him, and have become sinful.
Continuing further into Chapter 4, there is more of evidence of 3 Enoch being a Merkabah text. After God brings Metatron-Enoch into heaven, three angels appear questioning God's decision. The three angels accuse God of creating man and bringing sin to the world. God stands by his creations, and overrules the angels by making Metatron-Enoch into the ruler of the high heavens. Once again, this shows the connection between the divine, more specifically God, and the physical world. This established the mystical relationship between man and God, showing that God loves his creation more than other divine beings.
Metatron-Enoch's ascension into Heaven can also be seen as hekhalot text. Hekalot is a smaller...

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