The Second Parable (45–57)

From: 1 Enoch 2

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148  1-6 This chapter, like chaps. 38 and 58, introduces its parable in poetic oracular form. It consists of a superscription (v. 1) followed by four tristichs (vv. 2-5a) and three distichs (vv. 5b-6). This superscription states that the parable concerns the sinners, but, as in chap. 38, the introduction alternates references to the fate of the sinners and that of the righteous. See comm. on 38:1-6 above, pp. 95–96. Like chap. 38, this chapter can be divided into a pair of stanzas, each of nine lines: 3 tristichs / 1 tristich and 3 distichs. The alternation between righteous and sinners is as follows: Stanza 1 Sinners: tristichs 1–3 (v. 2, v. 3), transition in v. 3ef Stanza 2 Righteous: tristich 4 and line a of distich 1 (v. 4, v. 5ab) Sinners: line b of distich 1 (v. 5c) Righteous: distich 2 (v. 6ab) Sinners: distich 3 (v. 6cd). This alternation and its content, as in chap. 38, are reminiscent of the structure and content of the introduction to the corpus in 5:5-9, which, in turn, 1 This is the second parable concerning those who deny the name of the dwelling of the holy ones and of the Lord of Spirits.a 2 To heaven they will not ascend, and on earth they will not come. Thus will be the lot of the sinners who have denied the name of the Lord of Spirits, who will be kept thus for the day of affliction and tribulation. 3 On that day, my Chosen Onea will sit on the throne of glory and he will b their works, and their dwelling place(s) will be immeasurable.c And their soulsd will be within them, when they see my chosen ones,e and those who appeal to my gloriousf name. 4 On that day, I shall make my Chosen One dwell among thema , and I shall transform heaven and make it a blessing and a light foreverb ; 5 and I shall transform the earth and make it a blessing. And my chosen ones I shall make to dwell on it, but those who commit sin and error will not set foot on it. 6 For I have seen and satisfied my righteous ones with peace and have made them to dwell in my presence, But the judgment of the sinners has drawn near to me, that I may destroy them from the face of the earth. 1a name ----- Spirits] semo (om. m) lamaμh…dara qeddusaμn wa(+ la β-nb') aμlam) gmqtuT9| “an eternal blessing and light” (labarakat waberhaμn zala>aμlam) t2 β. 45 Introduction The Second Parable: Chapters 45–57 NickelsburgA.indd 148 NickelsburgA.indd 148 8/9/2011 7:17:00 PM 8/9/2011 7:17:00 PM 149 45:1-6 1 Dillmann, Lexicon, 342. 2 See Hans Bietenhard, “ὄνομα,” TDNT 5 (1967) 254; BDAG, 712. 3 Leslau, Dictionary, 279. 4 See, e.g., Matt 10:33||Luke 12:9; Matt 26:72||Mark 14:68, 70||Luke 22:57; Acts 3:13; 2 Tim 2:12. For the verb in conjunction with “name,” see, however, Rev 3:8. See also the judgment scene in 1 Enoch 63, where the kings and mighty now “confess” (a), as it is often translated?9 Sjöberg notes that Eth. s\an>a is a normal translation of the biblical σκληρύνω, which in turn usually translates the Heb. ‫קשׁה‬, which can have the meaning of “be in distress.”10 Its use with reference to Rachel’s difficult birth (Gen 35:16-17)11 fits well with the distress of the kings and the mighty at the time of judgment, which is likened to that of a woman giving birth in 1 Enoch 62:4. Here their distress results from the sight of the chosen, the clients of the Chosen One, who have appealed to “the name” of the Lord of Spirits, which the sinners have rejected (v. 2b). These interpretive solutions leave open the second problem: What is meant by the innumerable “resting places”(me>eraμf) of the sinners? (The noun is singular in form but can be construed as a plural.) The coming judgment hardly promises them “rest.” The noun can translate Gk. μoνή, “dwelling(s),12 but what is meant by innumerable or incalculable? One Ethiopian commentator (applying the passage to the righteous) suggests a temporal meaning: the time spent there will be immeasurable.13 Alternatively, based on his previous observations...