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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 August 2009

Annette Yoshiko Reed
Affiliation:
McMaster University, Ontario
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Summary

THE BOOK OF GENESIS TELLS US PRECIOUS LITTLE ABOUT THE FIGURE of Enoch. In the course of presenting a genealogical list of those who lived before the Flood, it notes his Sethian ancestry via Jared (5:19) and his fathering of Methusaleh (5:21). We find only hints of his special status: the other men in the genealogy merely live, propagate, and die, but Genesis states twice that Enoch “walked with God” (5:22, 24). And rather than tell his death in straightforward terms, it recounts that “he was no more, for God took him” (5:24).

The brevity of the biblical comments stands in stark contrast with the wealth of traditions about Enoch in Judaism and Christianity. As early as the Second Temple period (536 bce to 70 ce), Enoch attracts intensive interest within Judaism. He becomes a scribe, sage, and even scientist. As visionary, he is taken up to heaven and travels with angels to the ends of earth. As witness and prophet, he exhorts against sin, predicts Israel's history, and even intercedes for wicked angels. Moreover, books begin to circulate under his name, purporting to record the visions and teachings that the antediluvian patriarch passed on to his progeny and bequeathed to the righteous of future generations.

The present study tells the story of one of the earliest and most influential of these books, namely, the Book of the Watchers.

Type
Chapter
Information
Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity
The Reception of Enochic Literature
, pp. 1 - 23
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Introduction
  • Annette Yoshiko Reed, McMaster University, Ontario
  • Book: Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511499104.003
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  • Introduction
  • Annette Yoshiko Reed, McMaster University, Ontario
  • Book: Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511499104.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Annette Yoshiko Reed, McMaster University, Ontario
  • Book: Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511499104.003
Available formats
×