The enlightenment teaching of the Essene was known as THE WAY. The Way became the final interpretation of the Law and the Prophets, as revealed by Yeshua Messiah. The Way became the transitional teaching of the early church.
Enoch establishes the first formal teaching within the Cult of Yahweh.Essene called themselves the Enochian. Why is this significant? What is it about the Book of Enoch that would cause those followers to so designate themselves? Who indeed is Enoch?
Book I of Enoch was first transcribed soon after the Greek invasion of Palestine (332 BC). The main focus of Book I concerns the Watchers, beginning in chapter seven. Books II & III of Enoch were transcribed at approximately 100 BC, not long after the Maccabean Revolt ended (144 BC). Later additional chapters, thought to be written in the 5/6th century, also became a part of the Book of Enoch.
The Enochian scripture seems a well-known and well-liked part of the Judaic religious heritage, which lends itself to an ongoing study and reveals a certain commitment to this text.
“This complex work [Enoch] was extremely influential and is very important. It is the oldest known Jewish apocalyptic text—older than the canonical book of Daniel—and this proves that it is incorrect to maintain that the apocalyptic genre originated in the age of the Maccabean revolt. The Enochic literature was very popular; there are many fragments among the Scrolls of the Dead Sea,” livius.org.
The Greek invasion created a tumultuous period of wars and invasions. A second historical event also changed the face of Judaism. The ‘Teacher of Righteousness’ with the Elect of the Zadokite priesthood went into retreat (150 BC). They removed themselves from the Hellenized Zadokites (later known as Sadducees). The Sadducees had assumed corrupt religious practices, pursuing wealth and governmental influence with the Greeks, much as they later would do with the Romans. As for the Elect, they would divide into two principal groups, Nazarenes in the northern provinces of Arabia and Galilee itself, and Osseaen Essene legalists who settled in Qumran.
In approximately 150 BC, the Book of Daniel was also written, and Books II & III of Enoch were soon after completed. Combined with the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, and the Book of Enoch become the most prophetic and apocalyptic scriptural texts. All three manuscripts were written after times of great trouble upon the land: first the Greek invasion (Enoch I), then the Maccabean Revolt (Daniel and Enoch II & III), and lastly the invasion of Rome and the taking of Jerusalem, AD 70 (Rev. AD 96). Many of The Dead Sea Scrolls were written during this time period as well.
In the New Testament, Enoch is referenced in Jude 14 & 15, with the emphasis on the coming of the Lord with ten thousand saints, and thence to execute judgment on those who commit ungodly deeds and those whose speech has been ungodly (heretical or blasphemous). Actually written as a Hebrew text, and certainly rooted in Essene tradition, along with representation in several New Testament scriptures, the Book of Enoch has to be considered an influence within the transitional teaching of the Way.
Matthew Chapter 13 expresses a part of the secret teachings, sometimes referred to as the wisdom teachings. Chapter 13 acquaints us with the sowing of good seed, the Parable of the Tares, and the Pearl of Great Price, and in verse 35 Jesus speaks of uttering secrets not revealed from the foundation of the world. These secrets in part reference himself as the Messiah, and a plan that long ago came into being, perhaps even before the foundation of the earth.
Chapter 13 also relates to Matt. 7.6, concerning casting pearls of wisdom or knowledge before those who are not ready, “and (they) turn again and rend you.”* Immediately following Matt. 7.6 the proper instruction is given: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” To seek becomes one important underpinning of Nazarene enlightenment principles. This is later reiterated by James as he treats with perseverance.
*DSS Community Rule, Chapter IX, “He shall conceal the teaching of the Law from men of injustice, but shall impart true knowledge and righteous judgment to those who have chosen the Way.”
Correspondent teachings run throughout the Hebrew and Christian testaments, some of which are oft-quoted scripture. Read the following: Dan. 9.4, “…keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments;” compares well with Mark 12.32-33, which is actually spoken by a scribe, “Well, Master thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He: (33) And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Compared also to Hosea 6.6, “For I desired mercy, not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Jesus again speaks to the issue of mercy in Matt. 9.13, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Older and newer testaments share the higher vision of putting away animal sacrifice, and that the calling is upon the person himself.
All of these scriptures have a strong Essenic bent. The Essene did not practice sacrifice, and this seems particularly true of Jesus. The teaching had always been to embrace the spirit and sacrifice your earthly self, the self of bad habits, excuses, and negativity. Sacrifice all of these temporal conditions of man, and insert yourself (reborn, recommitted) pursuant to God.
Old and New Testament
Let us begin the study of Enoch with comparisons between the old and new testaments. Many of Jesus’ teachings derive from the prophets of the high priesthood, the earlier Zadokites (Temple Priests) of the Hebrew Bible. Many comparative scriptures could be referenced: Isaiah 6.9, “Seeing many things, but thou observes not; opening the ears, but he hearth not,” and then spoken by Jesus in Matt. 13.13-14, “…because they seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Isaiah 42.20 is a similar verse.
The following scriptures are a very brief compendium of similarities:
Revelation, 1.12-14, ends with, “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as aflame of fire,” referring to Jesus.
Enoch, 46.1, “There I beheld the Ancient of Days, whose head was like white wool, and with him another, whose countenance resembled that of a man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels.”
Daniel 7.9, “I beheld till the thrones cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, Whose garment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”
Dan. 4.5, “I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.”
Enoch, 82.4, “I was lying down in the house of my grandfather Mamalel, when I saw in a vision heaven purifying, and snatched away. (5) And falling to the earth, I saw likewise the earth absorbed by a great abyss; and mountains suspended over mountains… (7) I cried out and said, The earth is destroyed.”
The Essene text of Enoch reads much like Revelation, both of which include a strong apocalyptic style:
In Enoch, we read, ch. 60.13, “He shall call to every power of the heavens, to all the holy above, and to the power of God. The Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the Ophanin, all the angels of power, and all the angels of the Lords, namely, of the Elect One, and of the other Power, who was upon the earth over the water of that day.”
Compare this to Revelation 4.5, “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
The New Testament is not immune from Enoch, which lends the thought that Enoch was a well-known text and one with which the people were familiar. Matthew 5.22 & 29-30, Gehenna (Greek hell, Valley of Hinnom, children burnt in worship to Molech) is referred to as a place of final punishment. In Enoch, Gehenna is referenced as the accursed valley, En. 27.2; 90.26-27.
Matt. 19.28, “When the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit on twelve thrones”: Enoch 62.3,5, Mentioning kings and princes who shall be “terrified when they see the Son of Man sitting on the throne of his glory.”
Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts (AD 62-63) shows several similarities, as in Acts 3.14, “denied the Holy One (Righteous One) and the Just”: Enoch 38.3, “When, too, the secrets of the Righteous are revealed.”
Acts 10.4, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come for a memorial before God”: Enoch 99.3, “to raise up your prayers as a memorial, and place them as a testimony before the angels.”* The usage of terms and the method of presenting those terms originate from the same time period.
*R. H. Charlesworth. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Hendrickson, Peabody Mass., 2011. Print.
Acts 4.12, “Neither is there salvation from any other; for there is none other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” : Enoch, ch. 48, entitled, The Son of Man; the Antecedent of Time; his judgment, v. 7, “And he has revealed the wisdom of the Lord of the Spirit of the righteous and holy ones, because he has preserved the portion of the righteous…and because they will be saved in his name and it is (his) good pleasure that they have life.”
Luke and Paul were companions, and Paul has no problem with the content of the Book of Enoch, as in verse: I Thess. 5.5, “Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day, and we are not of the night, or darkness”: Enoch 92.24, “…walk in eternal light,” and there are many more Enochian scriptures referencing the Son of Man, Heaven as a blessing of light (45.4), with many contrasts to dark and light.* Any number of scriptures from Enoch, Revelations, and Daniel might be chosen and compared favorably one to another.
*Further study: jstor.org.
Much of Enoch was transcribed not long after the Essenic separation. Much of the transcription may have occurred in Qumran. Many scholars accept that the Teacher of Righteousness and his followers became the Nazarene Essene, those who would become the new sprout (nazara) of pure truth and understanding, the originating group from which Jesus came (see, Jesus the Nazarene).
To find out where John the Baptist reached his understanding of Jesus we do not have to look very far. Enoch 48.3 tells us, “Before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were formed, his name was invoked in the presence of the Lord of Spirits. A support he shall be for the righteous and the holy to lean upon, without falling; and he shall be the light of nations.” And v. 5 gives us, “Therefore the Elect and the Concealed One existed in his presence, before the world was created, and forever.” It would have to be determined that John had a very strong Essenic influence.
In chapter 50.14 of Enoch, a curious phrase is used, a phrase which would later be used by those called gnostics (knowers), as well as those described as blessed with the Holy Spirit, or the Shekinah Glory (Pentecost), as follows: “…all shall say with united voice: Blessed is He; and the name of the Lord of spirits shall be blessed forever and forever; all, who sleep not, shall bless it in the heaven above.” To wake up, or to be awakened, was the trademark of the early church. The agreement to commit is always considered a good beginning and is integrated into many of Jesus’ teachings. True awakening, however, is the fuller intent. The Essene traditionally used the principle of awakening, meaning the realization of the spirit of God within, or awakening to God by extreme experience, thus ‘born again’.
In Ezekiel 37.12 the allusion to coming out of the grave is written, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them…Behold, O My People, I will open up your graves (awaken you), and cause you to come up out of your graves (come forth), and bring you into the land of Israel (promised land, or heaven). Much like Ezekiel, Jesus speaks in Matt. 22.32, “God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living,” also points to wakefulness or awakening. Matt. 11.5, “…the dead (asleep) are raised up, and the poor (in spirit) have the gospel preached to them.”
To become a believer was to be desired, but the experience of the Holy Spirit pouring down upon thee was greatly desired. Believers would have considered it an anointing, and in that sense, they would perceive themselves as receiving a part of the anointing Jesus experienced. Father and Son, and now you, are bound together—the experience of oneness is often described by those who receive the Shekinah. Exhilarating joy is often described. Those who have experienced this anointing, and I am one, can say at times He (Holy Spirit)* can move with grace and joy upon one occasion, and upon other occasions with power and strength. The awakening to the spirit of God within and the anointing of the Holy Spirit from without, are fundamental to the Nazarene enlightenment tradition.
*Shekinah (Holy Spirit) is feminine (new birth), but in today’s church is incorrectly referred to as He. The root is Shin, which is feminine.
Paul, for example, would have been taught the meanings of certain events described in the Book of Enoch. Paul’s training in Arabia (Gal. 1. 17), and then later training in Damascus indicates that the more mystical secrets he later writes about are not Pharisaic. Paul’s journey did not include traveling to visit apostles in Jerusalem, and once there to receive training secondhand, but rather he removed himself directly to the source—Nazarene locations in the now Syrian desert, then Arabia, perhaps in Cochaba and Nazara—and then finished his remaining training for three years in Damascus (v. 18). Paul then sees Peter and James for two weeks in Jerusalem, wherein Paul’s ministry unto the Gentiles begins with his travels to Syria and Cilicia.
Enoch hands down the preserved thread of the Way, continued through the old and new testimonies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, through Jesus, and right unto the end of scripture, the Book of Revelation.
The story of the ‘good line’ or heritage of man, as well as the ‘bad lineage’ is most emphasized within the seventh generation. In the Book of Enoch the confirmation of God’s promise to His own—believe in Me, then awaken to Me, I will take you unto Me, you shall abide with Me— is clearly presented in the context of the seventh generation*, the generation of perfection-completeness, and is delivered to us in the person of Enoch.
*A good explanation concerning the length of life (generations) and gematria is given on YouTube: Inspiring Philosophy.
The extent of his influence amongst the people would require a faith-based ministry, as the length of time to form a cohesive ministry would suggest this. Jewish scholars believe Enoch possessed the gift of prophecy (spokesman, inspirational speaker). Later designated as a prophet, Enoch becomes the first soul given this designation. Divinely instructed, which infers instruction directly by the Holy Spirit, it is likely his prophecies would contain an apocalyptic vision, as well as revelation truth (knowledge-based). Enoch organized many tens of thousands to follow in the steps of ‘Hasidim’, or righteousness. His name relates to ‘teaching’, or to initiate.
Although Enosh, son of Seth, initiated the spread of the Cult of Yahweh, under Enoch’s firm leadership a resurgent following congregates. Enoch’s prophetic voice would have captured the imagination of many who had strayed. Firmly rooted within his faith, his personal walk in the ways of God, accompanied by a broad-based knowledge teaching, would effectively combine with apocalyptic speaking, separating those who would follow and those who would not. For this reason, he engenders the revelation of each man into God. Mankind is tested thoroughly, with Enoch’s teaching and standards as the arbiter. Each man becomes revealed as wheat or chaff.
Enoch produced tremendous and sustaining work. But, as Genesis 6.1* tells us about increasing populations, followed by the hierarchies that begin to rule these burgeoning city-states, earthly leadership becomes engrossed by ever greater assumptions of earthly power. They took wives by license (Gn. 6.2), which infers pagan practice, mixed rites, or pagan traditions. By the end of Enoch’s age, and upon entering the age of Noah, all men have now chosen, either standing with the God of righteousness or pagan to the root.
* Gn. 6.1, “…men began to multiply on the face of the earth.”
Enoch would be typified as a family man. The name Enoch refers to the educated one, or those educated. ‘Holy Hasidic’ would be a descriptive name for Enoch. Many who study in the Way consider Enoch as the primitive root of the teaching itself. Having had Adam and Eve’s knowledge base handed down from Enosh, Enoch’s teaching platform is complete. Enosh tries first by establishing the ‘Cult of Yahweh’, but it is Enoch whose teaching heritage survives. Placed in a surrounding of growing corruption, yet able to maintain fealty and countenance toward God, Enoch becomes designated as the first true prophet.
Gen. 5.22, and again restated in v. 24: “Enoch walked with God three hundred years… And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, and God took him.” These scriptures point to Enoch as outstandingly different than any other participant of the generations thus far. Previously the litany of the generations reads as ‘they lived, they died, and in-between they begot’. Enoch truly walks with God, spurring three complete books written in his name, but also that Enoch does not die, but is taken directly by God and assumed into heaven.
“Walked with God,” tells us much about Enoch. Enoch’s daily walk demonstrates full commitment. ‘The walk with God’ interprets as ‘God abided in him’. Enoch is awake, while clearly others sleep. Other examples of this inspired pathway were entered upon by other biblical luminaries, among them John the Baptist, who “raised up a horn of salvation,” “Prophet of the Highest” (Lk. 2.69, 76). Jesus in his person and in his teaching of the Way speaks to the same office, and John 1.1-15 relates Jesus’ supreme precedence. Noah also walked with God (Gn. 9.1). Known as the ‘righteous remnant’, through these highly committed individuals the thread of the enlightenment into God remains preserved. Even so, the first true proto-Christ figure, Enoch, stands out.
By contrast, remember the seventh generation of Cain? Lamech arrives in that generation (see, Cain VI), and is arguably the most reprehensible individual in the Hebrew Bible. However, the godly line which follows Adam into the seventh generation gives us Enoch. His is the generation of perfection, or full completion often attributed as ‘wholeness with God’. Just as Cain’s heritage is a complete evil, so Adam’s is a completed spirituality.
Enoch lives during the time of a falling away. Many gods proliferated and moved mankind into great confusion. Enoch tries to rally those who have remained righteous and those who can be converted, contrasted with those who have chosen the fallen pathway. Jesus makes an oblique reference to the times of Enoch and those who interfere with God’s works, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven them; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven, in this age or in this age to come” (Lk. 12.10). The plan of God is sacrosanct, and to interfere in His workings of that plan bears a heavy burden. It directly implies that he who is interfering or speaks against the Holy Spirit already knows about God, and is interfering willfully.
As to those who disrupt God’s work, to what extent do disorder and chaos reflect from the times of Enoch? Even into the times of Jesus, these interfering souls are mentioned, as Jesus speaks in the Parable of the Tares, “…but the tares are the sons (children) of the wicked one” (Mt. 13.37-40). As we head toward Noah, such are the times of Enoch.
It is Noah who receives Enoch’s teaching “… a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Gn. 6.9). The idea of walking with God is intrinsic to the Way. Enoch essentially establishes this pathway of ‘walking’ for the generations, and in part why Enoch is considered a proto-Christ by religious scholars. This pathway implies a number of attributes. Much as Jesus demonstrated while walking in the full expression of God, it implies a knowledge of what God approves and does not approve of. It implies certain wakefulness, a certain insightfulness whose gears turn the enlightened understanding. This, in turn, implies seeking Him and implies a relationship with Him. Walking with God requires sensitivity to Him, both His presence within and without and a familiarity with the teachings God has provided.
If we observe Jesus’s ministry one root of the Way becomes revealed. From the Book of Jude, scripture mentions Enoch’s prophesies concerning the ungodly and their deeds.
“The seventh one in line from Adam, Enoch, also prophesied about them when he said: ‘Look, Jehovah came with his holy myriads to execute judgment against all, and to convict the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way… these men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, following their own desires, and their mouths make grandiose boasts, while they are flattering others for their own benefit” (Jd. 14-16). The teachings of Jesus are full of such references. Enoch, in his own time and place, would have no problem relating to Jesus’ teachings.
There are further similarities to Jesus, as many aspects of their ministries were in common. While Jesus dealt with the splintering of Judaism itself, Enoch dealt with the splintering of the righteous broken off into various pagan religions. As surely as Enoch found himself surrounded by enemies, we know Jesus was also. That the height of God’s teachings was for that era presented during Enoch’s ministry, for Jesus we would most certainly say the same was true.
From Enoch Book II, chapter 33, verse 4, “And there is no advisor and no successor to my creation. I am self-eternal and not made by hands. My thought is without change. My wisdom is my advisor and my deed is my word… (5) Apply your mind, Enoch, and acknowledge the One who is speaking to you.”* This is written as a direct speaking from God unto Enoch. This is reminiscent of God speaking to Moses, “I Am that I Am,” Ex. 3.14, and “…and the Word was with God,” Jn.1.1
*Charlesworth. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. I, Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 2nd ed., 2011. Print.
When Enoch ascends to heaven he transcends into the angel Metatron. The degree of godliness Enoch achieved would suppose he became his true self once more, that is, Enoch upon the earth, thence Metatron the Recording Angel once he ascended. Angel Metatron is also ‘he who unifies’, the ‘mender of sandals’, sewing at the base, but he who also ‘crowns’ your prayers to enhance them toward the will of God, and in so doing assists in binding heaven and earth together. He is noted within Judaism as one who records, the Recorder of Israel’s Deeds.
There is much commentary concerning Metatron. One noted comment makes a similarity between Melchizedek and Metatron: “both hold exalted, if not pre-eminent, positions among the angels; both are heavenly judges… Both had earthly lives prior to their exalted, heavenly states.”* This similarity extends itself to Jesus Christ as well. All three are considered pre-existent: Melchizedek as archangel Michael, Enoch as Metatron the Recorder, and Jesus as Light-Bringer, Savior. Metatron is called ‘Prince of the Divine Presence’, he dwells with God.
*ibid. trans. P. Alexander, intro. 3 Enoch, The Heavenly Melchizedek.
For the teaching of the Way, Jesus speaks of his generation that cannot discern the signs of the times, and he denounces them as evil (Mt. 16.3-4). They cannot recognize the movement of the spirit in the times in which they live. Many would denote our current times as quite similar. Enoch, as a teacher and Holy One, shines as a beacon of light, and amidst his generation radiates as the underpinning of his relationship to God.
Enoch and the Flood
I Enoch, ch. 83, describes the flood of Noah, The Dream Visions. It begins with the Vision of the Deluge and ends with the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. Written in a highly symbolic fashion, the Vision of the Deluge throughout ch. 89, reads much like Revelation.
As to the flood itself, ch. 89, “Again I saw, and behold, fountains were opened upon the ground…and the water began to swell and rise upon the ground; and I saw the enclosed area until the whole ground was completely covered with water.” A tectonic shift is a usual explanation for the “water began to swell”, somewhat more than a mere earthquake. Later, “…cascading streams were dissipated from that high ceiling…and other pits were opened. Then the water began to descend into them until the ground became visible, that boat [previously mentioned] settled upon the earth, the darkness vanished, and became light.”
Enoch calls out over the ages that man should walk with God, know godly ways, and stay keen to His presence. En. 83.8, “Now, my son..for you are a man of faith, so that a remnant shall remain upon the earth and that whole earth shall not be blotted out.”
The next righteous remnant is Noah.