THE BOOK OF ENOCH
The Book of Enoch is one of the canon books which make up the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Bible. A quick study of the book will bring clarity and understanding to its reader that answers many ambiguous parts of the traditional Bible. This book; which is believed to have been penned down by Enoch himself, the seventh in the generations of Adam: the man whom scriptures tell us walked with God and his was no more, because God took him (Gen 5:24); can be argued to be older than the book of Genesis which was written by Moses.
The importance and relevance of this book as believers – as the faithful measure their way back to God cannot be understated. Though it became lost in history to the rest of the world, somehow, God in His infinite wisdom and golden plan for humanity kept this manuscript in the safe hands and covenantal relationship He has with the Ethiopian nation. And it has thus been kept there for more than 2000 years.
Discovery & Verification
The book was highlighted back to public memory when it “resurfaced” in the 17th century as a Scottish traveller James Bruce saw it while travelling in Ethiopia. And it got an even bigger recognition when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the caves of Qumran, in the 20th century even though it was found only in fragments.
As the possible first book of the Bible, one can deduce that this book was a reference for many faithful Jews and that even Moses collected many of his spiritual revelations and understandings from the writings of his forerunner, Enoch. There is ample evidence and reference to Enoch as one of the thought leading teachers of the apostles and even first century writers.
The books of Genesis, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Isaiah, Daniel, Amos, 2 Peter, Jude, the book of Jubilees, the book of Jasher, Genesis Apocryphon, the book of Noah, archaeology, science and many more ancient writings along with the oral tradition of every prime civilization on this planet confirm the accounts found in the book of Enoch. This book, the book of Enoch was one of the most popular books amongst the Christians as they considered it to contain actual revelation from God. Yet the book was denied a space in the official canon causing it to be lost to the world and from memory.
Whether or not the book of Enoch is in fact the very first record of human literature is obviously debatable however it's prominence and circulation in both the ancient world and the early church era is irreputable. There is little doubt amongst the scholars that 1st Enoch was influential in moulding New Testament doctrines about
✓ The Messiah
✓ The Son of Man
✓ The Messianic Kingdom
✓ Resurrection and
The Greek text was also known to and referenced by many of the early church fathers including Clement and Banaba’s who were friends of Paul. Tertullian, Athenagoras of Athens and Justin Martyr to name a few. In his second century work, on the apparel of women Tertullian writes the following:
"I am aware of the scripture of Enoch which has assigned this order to angels [referring to their intercourse with women in Genesis 6] is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either, I suppose they did not think that, having been published before the deluge; it could have safely survived that world-side calamity, the abolisher of all things.
If Noah had not this conservative power by so short a route, there would still be consideration to warrant our assertion of the genuineness of this scripture; he could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit's inspiration; after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document Jewish literature is agreed to have been restored through Ezra.
But since Enoch in the same scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that 'every scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.' (2 Timothy 3:16) By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that very reason, just like all portions nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude."
And indeed the writer of the book of Jude godly quotes fobadom from the book of Enoch and the context of prophecy.
"NOW Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with 10 thousand of His saints, to execute judgement on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and all of the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14-15
The book of Enoch shows to the world, thousands of years before the coming of the Messiah that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah, that Tree of Life spoken of later by Moses in the Garden of Eden, and that he will return again to put an end to wickedness in the world, as He increases the planting of the Lord’s Trees of Righteousness all over the world and establish His millennial rule and governance upon the earth.
This book gives the faithful hope and determination upon the path of holiness, it removes the scales of falsehood and confusion as it unequivocally shows God’s will for mankind, His sure wrath again wickedness and most importantly it outlines the events that will take place from the time of Enoch until the time of Righteousness must be fulfilled. The book of Enoch becomes the defence of the integrity of God’s Word, it validates Biblical events as historical events that can be supported by archaeological findings and cements the faith of the believer in God’s redemption and the fate of the wicked and fallen in a determined pronounced destruction.