“A Strange Thing in the Land”: The Return of the Book of Enoch, Part 9


In the previous installment, Brother Nibley painted a graphic portrait of Enoch’s world, a culture of immense sophistication and material prosperity whose people had a profound knowledge of the truth, yet deliberately perverted that knowledge, broke their covenants, married unbelievers, and mocked the Lord. This portrait is constructed from the book of Moses’ accounts of Enoch’s experiences and also of Moses’ experiences where they paralleled that early patriarch’s. The powerful comparisons with the experiences of Enoch and others that are reported in apocryphal literature show again the Prophet Joseph Smith’s inspiration in relating an account that so closely parallels undeniably ancient—though not necessarily scriptural—accounts of Enoch. Brother Nibley, in concluding his discussion of Enoch’s world and beginning a description of the cataclysms of nature that parallel the moral confusion of the people, stresses that they had deliberately chosen wickedness.

Nothing could be more deliberate. All the wickedness and folly of the time is summed up in one simple phrase: “Behold, they are without affection!” On this theme there are striking parallels between the Joseph Smith and the Slavonic texts:

Moses 7:32. The Lord said unto Enoch:

Secrets 11 (Vaillant, pp. 100ff). The Lord said unto Enoch:

Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, …

… Upon the earth I placed him as the second angel, in honor and greatness and glory

Moses 7:32. … and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

And I established him as King [lit., Caesar, Czar] over the earth, ruling by my authority [wisdom] … and I called his name Adam, and I gave him his agency [volya yevo]

Moses 7:33. And … also [have] given commandment, that they should love one another, and … choose

and I told him: This is good for thee and that is bad [gave him a choice],

me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.

in order to determine whether he would have love or hatred for me, by showing his love for me among those of his own race [v rodye yevo] … [but] all the earth is filled with blood. They will abandon their creator.

Moses 7:34. … and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them. …

Therefore I will command the abyss, and the deposits of the waters of heaven will descend

Moses 7:37. … and the whole heavens shall weep over them. …

Moses 7:41. … and all eternity shook.

… and the earth will be shaken and lose its stability.

Equally impressive is a parallel with I Enoch:

Moses 7:33. They are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

I En. 4 (99:15). Wo unto you who work iniquity slaying their neighbor …

Moses 7:34. And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; …

[I will] send in the floods against them …

He will kindle [epegerei] his anger against you;

He will slay you all with the sword

Moses 7:37. and the whole heavens shall weep over them. …

and all the righteous shall remember your unrighteousness.

Moses 5:15. A man’s hand was against his own brother, in administering death … seeking for power.

For a man does not withhold his hand from his son, nor from his beloved to slay him … nor from his brother.

These moving passages are to explain the Great Weeping. First, Enoch weeps:

Moses 7:41. … wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept. …

Moses 7:44. And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted.

Secrets of Enoch 41 (Morfill). And I saw … and I sighed and wept, and spake of the ruin [caused by] their wickedness. 2. And I meditated in my heart and said: Blessed is the man who is not yet born [etc.].

 

Manichaean Frg. 328 Enoch the Just said: I have seen great sorrow, and an outpouring of tears from my eyes, having heard which vile things issue from the mouths of the wicked … My eyes are filled with tears and my tongue is tied …

Then, as we shall presently see, all nature weeps, and Enoch is dumbfounded to learn that God himself weeps! This bold concept (quite inadmissible to the Fathers of the fourth century) 329 is attested in other Enoch texts:

Moses 7:28–29. And … the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying, How is it … that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? … Moses 7:31. … How is it thou canst weep?

Jew. Encl. 8:519. “When God wept over the destruction of the Temple, Metatron [Enoch] fell on his face and said: I will weep, but weep not thou! God answered and said: If thou wilt not suffer me to weep, I will go whither thou canst not come and there I will lament.”

The angels in heaven and all the other worlds join in the weeping:

Moses 7:37. The whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep? …

Moses 7:40. Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

2 Baruch 67:2. Dost thou think that there is no anguish to the angels in the presence of the Mighty One. … Doest thou think that in these things the Most High rejoices, or that his name is glorified?

With the Great Weeping the universe itself is shaken:

Moses 7:41. Enoch … wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.

Zohar, Shemoth 8a. Then the Messiah lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and the Saints who are there break out crying. … When the crying and weeping resound for the second time, the whole firmament above the garden begins to shake … and God sets about to destroy the wicked.

Equally shattering is the announcement that while God sorrows the Devil is laughing:

Moses 7:26. Satan … looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

Moses 7:28. And … the God of heaven looked … and … wept.

Moses 7:33. … they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.

Moses 7:34. I will send in the floods …

Moses 7:41. And … Enoch … wept … and all eternity shook.

Secrets 22. 330 … a man hates his neighbor … all the earth will be full of blood … and they shall abandon their Creator. … The Adversary will be in his glory [lit., will make himself great] and rejoice in their [his angels’] works, to my [the Lord’s] great affliction. …

Then I will command the abyss, and the water reserves of heaven will descend upon the earth … and all the earth will be shaken and no longer have foundation.

It is in view of the infinite exaltation and glory of the Deity that Enoch is overwhelmed by his weeping. This is expressed both in a doxology and an aretology (i.e., a speech in which God describes his own glory).

Moses 7:29–30. How is it thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? … millions of earths like this … would not be a beginning … of thy creations. …

Moses 7:31. … and naught but peace, justice, and … mercy shall go before thy face and have no end. …

I En. 71:14. And righteousness of the Head of Days forsakes him not. 15. … from thence hath proceeded peace since the creation of the world. 16. And righteousness never forsaketh Him. With Him will be their dwelling-place … forever and ever!

Moses 7:35 (Aretology). Behold. I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name. … Moses 7:36. Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also.

Gizeh Frg. 9:4. [The Angels:] Thou art the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords, and God of men [GS1 of the worlds, ages], and the throne of thy glory is for all generations [cycles] of the ages [eternities or worlds]; and thy name is Holy One and is praised unto all the ages. 5. For thou didst make all things and hast all authority, and all things are plain before thee and revealed, and thou seest all things.

Moses 7:24. And behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth. Moses 7:26. And [Enoch] beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole … earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

I En. 53:3. For I [Enoch] saw all the angels of punishment abiding and preparing all the instruments of Satan … 54:3. and here mine eyes saw how they made these their instruments, iron chains of immeasurable weight … 53:5. … for the kings and the mighty of this earth, that they thereby might be destroyed.

With the binding, of course, goes imprisonment, a temporary prison for such fallen mortals as repent, a permanent one for the others.

Moses 7:38. Behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and … I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.

2. En. 5. 331 This place, Enoch, is prepared for those who practiced abominations on earth … who would not know their Creator. … It is for all those that this place has been prepared as an eternal heritage.

Moses 6:29–30. They have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not. And this is a decree … from my own mouth.

Jubilees 10:5. Noah: And thou knowest how the Watchers, the fathers of these spirits, acted in my day; and as for these spirits which are living in prison I will hold them fast. [See 1 Pet. 3:19–10. Jubilees does not borrow from the New Testament!]

Those in prison, chains, and darkness are only being kept there until the Judgment, which will liberate many, not only because of their repentance, but through the power of the Atonement. It is when Enoch reaches the lowest depth of despair that the revelation of God’s plan of merciful redemption turns all to joy: “And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.” (Moses 7:44.) It was specifically the spirits who were disobedient in Enoch’s day who were to enjoy the preaching of the Lord and promise of deliverance in the meridian of times. (See 1 Pet. 3:19–20.)

Moses 7:67. The Lord showed Enoch all things … and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption; and received a fulness of joy.

I En. 60:5. Why art thou [Enoch] disquieted … 6. that day is prepared … for sinners and inquisition … that the punishment of the Lord of Spirits may not be vain … Afterwards the judgment shall take place according to his mercy and patience.

1 Pet. 3:18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins … 1 Pet. 3:19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 1 Pet. 3:20. Which sometime were disobedient … in the days of Noah.

Moses 7:47. And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced.

Apoc. En. Gr. 10:6. Azazel is bound in prison unto the Great Day of Judgment, when he is led to the enpyrismon, while 7. the earth will be healed … of the blow, that all the sons of man may not be destroyed by the mystery in which the Watchers stumbled and which they taught to their sons.

Moses 7:38. These … shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them. Moses 7:39. And that which I have chosen hath plead before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment.

I En. 45:2. Such shall be the lot of sinners … who are thus preserved for the day of suffering and tribulation. 3. On that day mine Elect shall sit on the throne of glory and shall try their works.

Another parallel on the same theme:

Moses 7:57. And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth … and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.

Beatty, 103:7. … in Hades shall they be in great torment 8. and in darkness and in chains and in burning flame, and your spirit will come unto a great judgment.

World in Upheaval

An unfailing aspect of Apocalyptic literature in general and of the Enoch writings in particular is the reverberation through their pages of vast upheavals in the natural world. This aspect of apocalyptic has begun to be taken seriously only within very recent years, and it is the scientists rather than the theologians who are impressed by the ancient records. 332 Enoch, in fact, is one of their favorite references. They are impressed by the authentic ring of the catastrophic motif in the old apocalyptic writings while the ministry deplores and denounces them as unfortunate examples of the infantile scare-tactics of a bogeyman mentality. 333

What was the world like in Enoch’s day? Joseph Smith places the action amidst pastoral nomads ranging the mountains and valleys—and so do the other sources. They show us the righteous and the wicked, sometimes designated as Sethians and Cainites, living respectively in the mountains and the lowlands. 334

Moses 7:17. … the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.

4 Ez. 6:51. And I gave to Enoch a dry part of the earth, that he might dwell therein, where there were a thousand mountains.

It was the archetype of Zions to follow:

D&C 49:24–25. But before the great day of the Lord … Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed.

Apocr. of Adam 85 (79). 9. At the end of time the Saints 10. will come to a high mountain, 11. upon a stone of truth.

The other side of the picture shows us the wicked gathered together in great valleys. The image not only suits this world, but is projected into the next.

Moses 7:5. … I beheld in the valley of Shum, and lo, a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum. …

I En. 13:9. Enoch came to them [the Watchers], and they were all sitting gathered together weeping in Abedsdail, which is between [the mountains] Lebanon and Seneser, with their faces covered.

Moses 7:7. And the Lord said unto me … the people of Shum … shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful. … Moses 7:8. For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever.

Secrets 13, p. 42. I saw a certain plain, like a prison … and I sighed and wept … 8. Why is this hollow place separated from the other? 9. … that the spirits of the dead might be separated … 11. set apart in this great plain until the day of judgment … 12. And this division has been made for the spirits … of those who were slain in the days of sinners.

 

Giz. 10:11. Go, Michael, and bind … all who have defiled themselves … 12. bind them for 70 generations in the valleys [napas] of the earth.

The first warning to hit the sinners in the plain is, following the ancient pattern, a terrible drought, of which Enoch literature gives us vivid descriptions.

Moses 7:7. And the Lord said unto me: Prophesy … the land shall be barren and unfruitful … and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan. Moses 7:8. For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.

Giz. 26:2. And I saw the holy mountain and water descending from the mountain …

4. I saw a deep dry valley, and another valley [see Shum and Canaan, Moses 7:5].

5. Both valleys were utterly desolate and without a tree. 27:2. This is a cursed land, reserved for the cursed forever …

 

Gk (Black 11:6) (11). Every cloud and mist and dew and rain shall be withheld because of your sins. 12. Therefore offer gifts to the rain that it be not hindered from descending for you, and to dew, and cloud and mist. 101 (2). For if He closes the window of heaven and hinders the dew and rain from descending because of you, what will you do?

 

I En. 18:12. I saw a place that had no firmament. There was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a waste and horrible place. 22:2. These hollow places have been created for this very purpose … that all the souls of the children of men should assemble there.

Bad times render men desperate. Obsessed by dread and guilt, they turn hysterically against each other, and soon find themselves locked in deadly combat to the point of extermination.

Moses 7:7. Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed.

Gizeh 10:9. Go, Gabriel, to the ill-begotten ones, the crooked ones, and the sons of adultery; and destroy the sons of the Watchers from among men. Set them to fighting each other in war and in wanton destruction.

The picture fits later dispensations as well:

D&C 87:6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn … until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations. D&C 87:7. That … the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

Gr. En. 7:4. … the earth fell under the rule of the lawless, and [8:1] Azael [Satan] taught them the manufacture of weapons and how to work the treasures of the earth. 4. The cry of those slain of the people … ascended to heaven. 9:1. The angels saw blood flowing upon the earth, and heard the voices of the slain crying out to God for vengeance.

D&C 1:35. The hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.

Slav. Enoch MS.R, 22. Nation rises against nation for the devil has begun to reign … and there arose warfare and great trouble.

Besides the people of Canaan who extirpate those of Shum, seven other exotic tribes are named in the Joseph Smith Enoch, suggesting the familiar seven-pattern of tribal organizations. They are the people of the lands of Sharon, Enoch, Omner, Heni, Shem, Haner, and Hananiah. (Moses 7:9.) What would ancient copyists thousands of years later on the other side of the world have made of such a list? They would handle it exactly as scribes have always done, by transferring it to a more familiar setting. The scribe of the Ethiopian Enoch puts in the place of those familiar tribes the names of what were to him the most distant and exotic of peoples on earth, and naturally treats the reference to lions as a familiar and highly conventional figure of speech:

Moses 7:5. I beheld … a great people which dwelt in tents, … the people of Shum … Moses 7:6. … and I looked towards the north, and I beheld the people of Canaan which dwelt in tents. (Italics added.)

I En. 56:5. To the east [I saw] Parthians and Medes [the two great tent-dwelling nations of antiquity].

Moses 7:9. [Enoch beholds the seven other nations]

Moses 7:13. … and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly.

Moses 7:16. And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them. …

they shall stir up the [other] kings, that they may break forth as lions and from their lairs … and begin to fight among themselves.

One of nature’s ironies is that not enough water usually leads to too much. Enoch’s world was plagued by flood as well as drought; we are regaled by the picture of lowering heavens ceaselessly dumping dismal avalanches of rain and snow upon the earth. The constant weeping of Enoch and all the saints is matched in the powerful imagery of the weeping heavens and the earth veiled in darkness under the blackest of skies: In the book of Enoch the same imagery is applied to the meridian and the fulness of times as well as the Adamic age.

Moses 7:28. [Enoch:] How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

I En. 100:11–13. … because of their sins all heavens weep and darkness prevails, 13. with ice, hail, cold and winds together.

 

I En. 17:1. I saw the mountains of the darkness of winter, and the place from which all the waters of the deep flow.

Moses 7:37. … the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?

Moses 7:38. But behold, these … shall perish in the floods.

Miracles of Jesus. 335 [He tells Peter that because the world will reject the gospel it] will cause the Sun and the Moon to weep … and at the corruption of the teachings the hills and mountains will weep.

Moses 7:40. Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep.

Moses 7:56. [At the Crucifixion] the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned.

Moses 7:61. Before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth. … Moses 7:62. And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth … out of the earth … and … cause [them] to sweep the earth as with a flood.

Berayta, 205–20. 336 The waters under the earth are like a small spring beside the waters of creation, which in turn are like a small spring compared with the ocean; but the sea is like a small spring compared with the waters which weep.

Moses 7:26. [In the days of Cain] it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness. …

Mysteries of Jesus. 337 God punished Cain with seventy-seven days of unmitigated rain.

Moses 7:28. And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

I En. 95:1. O that mine eyes were [a cloud of] waters that I might weep over you, and pour down my tears as a cloud of waters. [Passage very corrupt; reconstructed by Charles. This is also the most corrupted part of Gizeh, c. 28—the scribes don’t understand it].

We find in a striking passage of the Joseph Smith account of Enoch a curious mixture of fire and water; the same oddity in the other Enoch text suggests scenes of volcanic activity with fumeroles, sulphurous vapors, rivers of fire, etc.: “… in darkness and in chains, and in burning flame. …” (Beatty 103:8.)

Moses 7:34. And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.

Secrets 13. I could not support the fear of the burning fire—that is how the words of the Lord were.

 

bin Gorion, 1:195. The rains of the Flood were intermingled with showers of fire from heaven.

 

II Baruch 53:7. It rained black waters … and fire was mingled with them … they wrought devastation and destruction. … 9. The lightning healed those regions where the waters had descended.

 

I En. 17:4. And they took me to the living waters, and to the fire of the west, [the waters of creation and baptism].

5. And I came to a river of fire in which fire flows like water.

 

I En. 67:57. And I saw the valley in which there was great convulsion, and a convulsion of waters … 6. … from the fiery metal and from the convulsion thereof in that place there was produced a smell of sulphur, and it was connected with those waters 7. And through its valley proceed streams of fire.

We are told that when the wicked tried to flee back to the safety of the holy mountain as the waters of the flood began to rise they could not approach the ark because the rocks were burning hot. 338 It is pictures like this that convince the scientists that there may be something to these old apocalyptic tales.

The most conspicuously and consistently reported of all the evils in Enoch’s day are the earthquakes, consistent with the picture of platetectonics that the whole thing presents.

Moses 6:34. And the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall [accordingly] turn from their course.

Moses 7:13. … the earth trembled, and the mountains fled … and the rivers of water were turned out of their course … and all nations feared greatly.

Gizeh 1:5. And all the people shall fear … and trembling and great fear shall seize them to the extremities of the earth.

6. And high mountains shall be shaken and shall fall and be dissolved … and the mountains shall flow down [diarrhynai, “to slip through, to leak, to fall away like water”] and be turned into side-channels, and shall melt like wax before a flame.

7. And the earth will be rent with a splitting and a cracking [rhagas], and everything on the earth will be destroyed.

These events are correlated with the activities of Enoch, who does not, however, cause them; they are programmed to his purposes, and God stands behind him and speaks through his voice the words of power.

Moses 7:13. Enoch … led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of waters were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness.

Ps. Sol. 54 (53) #11. At the gathering of Zion … 5. Lofty mountains has he humbled, and made plain before them [the people of God] and the hills fled away before their entrance.

Moses 6:34. Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

Gk. Enoch p. 7 (102:1). And when he gives forth his voice … 2. the whole earth shall be shaken and trembling and thrown into confusion.

I En. 52:6. And all the mountains … shall be in the presence of the elect one as wax before the fire, and like waters which stream down from above. …

Moses 7:13. … all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

Moses 6:34. [God:] All thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you.

Moses 7:13. He spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command.

Secrets 13. I have heard the words of the Lord like a great thunder amidst ceaseless agitation of the clouds. The Lord of the Earth is terrible and most perilous. [Bonner, pp. 58f, Gk. Enoch, p. 7: 102L1.] And when he gives forth his voice against you, will not you be shaken and affrighted by the mighty sound? And the whole earth shall be shaken and trembling and thrown into confusion.”

The really spectacular show in the Enoch literature is the behavior of the seas. Like the alternating drought and flood from the skies, there is either too much sea or not enough. Before “the floods came and swallowed them up” (Moses 7:43), the sea first drew back in places, leaving its coastal beds high and dry in anticipation of the great tsunami (seawave) which came with the earthquake.

Moses 7:13–14. The earth trembled, and the mountains fled. … There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.

Slavon. 6 (106:6). Enoch: Are not all the sea and its waters the work of the Most High, and did he not set their limits? 7. And by his wrath they are affrighted and dried up.

 

I En. 60:16. Enoch: The spirit of the sea … draws back with a rein, and in like manner it is driven forward and dispersed amongst all the mountains of the earth.

The sea misbehaved on other occasions in Enoch’s day:

Moses 7:66. Before that … he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled.

Mid. Rab. 1:37. [Twice the sea invaded the earth.] Once was in the generation of Enosh, and a second time in the generation of the separation [The Tower].

 

bin Gorion 1:153. In the days of Enoch, the sea rose and flooded one-third of the land!

 

Combat of Adam, DA 1:361f. The animals were urged on to the ark by the trembling of the earth; the sea rose in violent agitation, the winds were terrible, the sun disappeared and all the sky. … The sea cast mountain waves upon the land.

 

4 Esdras 6:49. And how thou hast saved two spirits: the one thou hast named Enoch, and the other Leviathan, 50. And thou hast separated them from each other, since the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, could not receive them. 51. And thou has given Enoch one part [of the earth], that part that became dry land on the third day—that he might dwell therein, where are a thousand mountains; and the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, could not receive them.

The terrors of the book of Enoch reach their culmination when the upheavals of nature extend to the entire cosmos. Many apocalyptic accounts of the disturbed heavens suggest to some scientists today an actual shifting of the earth on its axis (a phenomenon now well attested from the study of ancient magnetized ceramics) or a massive showering of meteoric particles.

Moses 7:61. The heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men.

Moses 7:41. Enoch … wept and stretched forth his arms, … and all eternity shook.

Gk. Enoch p. 7 (103:1). And when he gives forth his voice against you, will ye not be shaken and affrighted by the mighty sound?

2. And the whole earth shall be shaken, and trembling, and thrown into confusion …

3. And the heaven and its lights be shaken and trembling, and all the sons of the earth.

 

Bonner, p. 59. “And all the earth was shaking and trembling, and thrown into confusion; and also angels having completed their assignments, and the heaven and the Lights [phosteres] were shaken and trembling, and all the sons of earth.”

 

I En. 60:1. I saw how a mighty quaking made the heaven of heavens to quake, and the host of the Most High, and the angels, a thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, were disquieted with a great disquiet.

But there is one concept which goes beyond the scope of astronomy in its exciting implications. It is the doctrine that when a world is destroyed, all the other worlds which have contributed to its existence join in a general mourning. 339

Moses 7:36. And among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren. …

Moses 7:37. … the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? (Italics added.)

Moses 7:40. Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

 

Moses 7:41. Enoch … wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.

I En. 60:3. And a great trembling seized me, and fear took hold of me and my loins gave way and dissolved were my reins, and I fell upon my face, 4. For I could not endure to look on this host, and the commotion and the quaking of heaven.

Moses 7:56. And the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned and the rocks were rent.

Cf. Apocr. of John 1:20. As I was thinking the heavens opened. … 21. … And the whole cosmos shook; and I was afraid and fell upon my face. [And God appeared to him and spoke with him comforting him as he did Enoch.]

The peculiar nature imagery found in the Joseph Smith account of Enoch gets down to basics with the personification of the earth as Terra Mater, speaking as a living entity in a passage strikingly paralleled in the Greek fragments.

Moses 7:48. Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men. … When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?

Gizeh, 10:20. And cleanse thou the earth from all uncleanliness [akatharsias] and from all unrighteousness and from all sin and corruption [asebeias] and purge away [exaleipson, “flush, scour”] all impurities, which have come upon the earth. …

22. And all the earth shall be cleansed from all pollution [miasmatos] and from all impurities. …

11:1. And then truth and peace will dwell together (Koinonesousin homou, “embrace, have all things in common”) for all the generations of men.

Moses 7:49. And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth?

I En. 7:5–6. “And they began to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

Zohar, Bereshith 57a. A man is called wicked [rasha’] if he merely lifts his hand against his neighbor. … But only he is called evil [ra’] who corrupts his way and defiles himself and the earth.

The rest and comfort that come after the flood will bring a new order of things.

Moses 7:48. When shall I rest, and be cleansed … that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face? Moses 7:49. Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah? [The name Noah means “rest.”] Moses 7:50. Have mercy upon Noah and his seed. Moses 7:51. And the Lord … sware … that he would call upon the children of Noah.

Beatty 106:17b. [Enoch:] And he [Noah] shall cleanse [praunei] the earth from all the defilement [phthoras] which is in her. 18. And now tell Lamech that he is his son in truth … and call his name [Noah] for he shall be a remnant of you whereon ye shall rest for a season [katapausete]. And his sons also from the defilement [phthoras] of the earth and from all the wickedness [hamartolon, “pollution”] and from all the vileness [synteleion] upon the earth.

A lengthy passage from the book of the “Combat of Adam” in which that patriarch foresees the flood presents such an arresting correspondence to the Joseph Smith account as to provide a most instructive summary to this depressing part of our history. The Adam quotations are given in the order in which they occur; the matching quotes from the Joseph Smith Enoch are all from the same chapter and describe the same series of events.

Moses 7:66. And he also saw the sea, that it was troubled.

Le Combat d’Adam 10. 340 At the sight of him the sea was troubled.

Moses 7:13. The rivers of water were turned out of their course. … and the mountains fled, … and the rivers of water were turned out of their course.

The Jordan reversed its course [lit., returned to its source] the mountains bounded like the stags and does of the valley.

Moses 7:17. They were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.

The hills resounded with hymns of adoration, the high peaks joined in a hymn of praise

Moses 7:41. All eternity shook.

Moses 7:56. And the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent.

Yea, the earth opened up and shook to its foundations,

Moses 7:14. There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea.

The king of the sea saw me and fled. O sea, why hast thou fled? …

Moses 7:34. I [will] send in the floods upon them.

Moses 7:43. The floods came and swallowed them up.

O depths of the abyss, why are you troubled? Currents [whirlpools] of the Ocean, why have you overflowed [swollen yourselves]?

Moses 7:13. Enoch … led the people of God, and their enemies came … against them; and … [at] the word of the Lord, … the earth trembled.

The chariot of God rumbled in space

and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness;

Moses 7:37. The whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands.

Moses 7:38. These which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods.

and a great roaring arose from the midst of the terrified beasts.

And everything on earth was overthrown.

To be continued.

[illustration] Enoch, by Gary Smith

Show References

    Notes

  1.   328.

    Text in M. Philonenko, “Une citation manichéene du livre d’Henoch,” in Revue de l’Histoire et de Philologie Religeuses, 51 (1972): 337–40.

  2.   329.

    Text in R. Ricciotti, in Orientalia 2 (1933): 22–24.

  3.   330.

    Vaillant, pp. 70ff.

  4.   331.

    Ibid. pp. 10f.

  5.   332.

    Commented on by K. Koch, Ratlos vor der Apokalyptik (Gütersloh: G. Mohn, 1970), pp. 25–27.

  6.   333.

    For the changing point of view three books by Nigel Clader are instructive, namely, The Restless Earth: A report on the New Geology (New York: Viking, 1972), Violent Universe: an Eyewitness Account of the Commotion in Astronomy (New York: Viking, 1969), and The Weather Machine (New York: Viking, 1975).

  7.   334.

    The righteous dwell in the mountains and the wicked in the valleys. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba (London: Soncino, 1961), 1:257; Combat of Adam, in Migne, Dict. Apocr., 1:296; Hippolytus, frg. in Migne, Patrologia Graeca 10:709; B. Beer, Leben Abraham’s (Leipzig, 1859), quoting Rabbi Eleaser.

  8.   335.

    In Patrologia Orientalis 17:826ff.

  9.   336.

    Text in N. Sead “Une Cosmologie Juive … La Berayta de Ma’aseh Bereshit,” Revue des Etudes Juives 123 (1964): 58–61, explaining how the waters weep for the evil world here below.

  10.   337.

    In Patrologia Orientalis 4:431.

  11.   338.

    Cornbat of Adam, in Dict. Apocr. 1:362.

  12.   339.

    For references, H. Nibley, “Treasures in the Heavens,” in Dialogue 8 (Autumn, 1974): 77, 81ff., 83ff.

  13.   340.

    In Migne, Dict. Apocr., 1:118.