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Enoch, Book of


This is an Apocryphal book of the Old Testament, written in Hebrew about a century before Christ. The original version was lost at the end of the fourth century, and only fragments remained, but Bruce the traveler brought back a copy from Abyssinia, in Ethiopia, in 1773, probably copied from the version known to the early Greek fathers.

In this work the spiritual world is minutely described, as is the region of Sheol, the place of the wicked. The book also deals with the history of the fallen angels, their relations with the human species, and the foundations of magic. The book says, "that there were angels who consented to fall from heaven that they might have intercourse with daughters of earth. For in those days the sons of men having multiplied, there were born to them daughters of great beauty. And when the angels, or sons of heaven, beheld them, they were filled with desire; wherefore they said to one another: 'Come let us choose wives from among the race of man, and let us beget children.' Their leader Samyasa, answered thereupon and said: 'Perchance you will be wanting in the courage to fulfill this resolution, and then I alone shall be answerable for your fall.' But they swore that they would in no way repent and that they would achieve their whole design. Now there were two hundred who descended Mount Harmon, and it was from this time that the mountain received its designation, which signifies Mount of the Oath. Hereinafter follow the names of those angelic leaders who descended with this object: Samyasa, chief among all, Urakabarameel, Azibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Sarakuyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal, Anane, Sameveel, Ertrael, Turel, Jomiael, Arizial. They took wives with whom they had intercourse, to whom they also taught Magic, the art of enchantment and the diverse properties of roots and trees. Amazarac gave instruction in all secrets of sorcerers; Barkaial was the master of those who study the stars; Akibeel manifested signs; and Azaradel taught the motions of the moon."

In this account we see descriptions of the profanation of mysteries. The fallen angels exposed their occult and heaven-born wisdom to earthly women, whereby it was profaned, and brute force taking advantage of the profanation of divine law, reigned supreme. Only a deluge could wipe out the stain of enormity, and pave the way for a restitution of the balance between the human and the divine, which had been disturbed by these unlawful revelations.

A translation of the Book of Enoch was published by Archbishop Lawrence in 1821, the Etheopic text in 1838, and there is a good edition by Dillman (1851), Philippi and Ewald have also written special works on the subject. (see Enoch, and Enoch, Book of, History) A.G.H.



Source: 81, 148.