Torment In Enoch (1)

Dante and Virgil in Hell

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This is not meant to be all encompassing, but some of the passages in Enoch which allude to our notion of Hell. Enoch is an interesting book, and one of those circulating among the Jewish communities of the day. I have this in two parts, with one to be published later. It was been in my draft folder for a while, and I thought that I might go ahead and share, inviting discussion.

1st Enoch 10.13;

And to Michael he said: “Go and reveal to Semiaza and to those remaining with him who have mixed with the women, to defile themselves in their uncleanness.

“And when their sons will slay (one another) and they see the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth until the day of their judgment and consummation, until the judgment of the age of eternity is completed. Then they will be lead away into the chasm of fire and to the torture and to the prison of eternal confinement. And whoever will be burned up and destroyed from the present, they will be bound with them together until the end of the generation. (1EN 10:11-14 OPE)

First, there appears to be an intermediary state before the ultimate judgment. I don’t get the mixing of the two, those who suffer now and those who will suffer. But, it does appear that at least on, if not both, see the punishment as ending at the and of the”generation”.

48.8-10;

In these days downcast in countenance shall the kings of the earth have become, And the strong who possess the land because of the works of their hands,For on the day of their anguish and affliction they shall not (be able to) save themselves. 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. And on the day of their affliction there shall be rest on the earth, And before them 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. The name of the Lord of Spirits be blessed. (1EN 48:8-10 OTP)

Ahhhh annihilationism…

100.7-9;

Woe to you, Sinners, on the day of strong anguish, Ye who afflict the righteous and burn them with fire: Ye shall be requited according to your works.
Woe to you, ye obstinate of heart, Who watch in order to devise wickedness: Therefore shall fear come upon you And there shall be none to help you.
Woe to you, ye sinners, on account of the words of your mouth, And on account of the deeds of your hands which your godlessness has wrought, In blazing flames burning worse than fire shall ye burn. (1EN 100:7-9 OTP)

No end, but there is the since of fire, ain’t there?

108.4-7;

And I saw there something like an invisible cloud; for by reason of its depth I could not look over, and I saw a flame of fire blazing brightly, and things like shining mountains circling and sweeping to and fro.

And I asked one of the holy angels who was with me and said unto him: ‘What is this shining thing ? for it is not a heaven but only the flame of a blazing fire, and the voice of weeping and crying and lamentation and strong pain.’

And he said unto me: ‘This place which thou seest–here are cast the spirits of sinners and blasphemers, and of those who work wickedness, and of those who pervert everything that the Lord hath spoken through the mouth of the prophets–(even) the things that shall be.

For some of them are written and inscribed above in the heaven, in order that the angels may read them and know that which shall befall the sinners,and the spirits of the humble, and of those who have afflicted their bodies, and been recompensed (1EN 108:4-7 OTP)

Good. Hell again, but… what about the “recompense”. If you have afflicted your body for 70 years, would you suffer hell for all eternity?

We know that Enoch was used by the early Church writers, especially Tertullian who no doubt drew heavily from it, at least spiritually.

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Post By Joel Watts (10,110 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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10 thoughts on “Torment In Enoch (1)

  1. Hey there Joel!

    When i read 48.1-10 of Enoch, i thought the same ‘ Annihilation ‘ No eternal suffering – they just cease to exist! Instantly the words of Jesus in Matt 10.28 came to mind.

    I know that you have a different take on the book of Revelation. It seems to me that ONLY those who received the ” mark ” suffer internal torment in the lake of fire ( Rev 14:9-11). All others who’s names are not written in the book of life are destroyed body and soul, when cast into Gehenna (Rev 20:15). Perhaps Enoch 100.7-9 is describing the fate of these alone.

    To your question

    What if ‘ Recompense ‘ here, is of God, and to those who persecute and kill believers, who willingly allow themselves to suffer and to be slain for his word? Rev 6:9 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6

    ” For some of them are written and inscribed above in the heaven, in order that the angels may read them and know that which shall befall the sinners,and the spirits of the humble, and of those who have afflicted their bodies, and been recompensed (1EN 108:4-7 OTP) ”

    Seroled

    • Joel,

      Enoch 10:11-14 and Jude 1:6 seem to speak of the same angels. 2 Peter 2:4,5 speaks of those who perished in the Deluge. These people could have been bound together with the angels and kept ONLY until the day of judgment, then destroyed body and soul in Gehenna.

      ” And to Michael he said: “Go and reveal to Semiaza and to those remaining with him who have mixed with the women, to defile themselves in their uncleanness.

      “And when their sons will slay (one another) and they see the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth until the day of their judgment and consummation, until the judgment of the age of eternity is completed. Then they will be lead away into the chasm of fire and to the torture and to the prison of eternal confinement. And whoever will be burned up and destroyed from the present, they will be bound with them together until the end of the generation. (1EN 10:11-14 OPE)

      Joel, I do not think that one has to be a YEC ; ) they may have to be a Preterist though, to consider whether or not 70 generations – 40 years per generation, could have passed between the time of the writings of Enoch, and the consummation and judgment ” until the end of the generation”

      Jesus said that everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels. Satan, his angels, the beast, the false prophet, and all who received the ” mark” were thrown into Gehenna, and will be tormented day and night, without rest, forever.

      Btw: is ‘ generation ‘ and ‘ age ‘ sometimes used interchangeably in scripture?

      Seroled

      • I would have to get the Greek behind the two, but for the most part, I think that they are interchangable. I think that Christ was speaking about the end of the generation/age which ended with the inauguration of the new kingdom. Also, I think that Rev 14.11 (?) needs to be re-examined in that I don’t think John is meaning forever (Greek is different than other forever verses).

        I’m sorta a Preterist in that I believe that Revelation has happened already up to a certain point ;)

          • I have another one planned for next week, although plans may change! I like Enoch and find it interesting on numerous levels! Of course, I wouldn’t go so far as others and add it to the Canon, but if I had to choose a book ot add to the canon, it would be the Psalms of Solomon

  2. I’ve always wondered why, if we believe that eternal life was only for those in Eden, why we believe that those “outside eden” will also have an eternal “non life”. It doesnt make sense.

  3. Why was 1 Enoch left out of the NT canon (except Abyssinian)? The writer of Jude used it and it has several significant parallels to the mental landscape of the NT.

    • Tertullian used it alot as well.

      It would have been included in the Old Testament, actually. The Jews had dispensed with it, among other books which the NT writers had made use of, and early Christians as well. Melito of Sardis, 2nd Century, suggested that we go back to the Jewish Canon, even the Hebrew original. Jerome picked this up later.

      As far as people dispensing with it today, if they do, they are silly. Enoch provides us with evidences of the development of the Son of Man from a time before Christ.

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