Enoch Views the Heavenly Tablets and Returns to Earth (81)

From: 1 Enoch 2

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530 Enoch Views the Heavenly Tablets and Returns to Earth 1 He said to me: “Enoch, looka at these heavenly tablets,b readc what is written on them, and understand each and every item.”d 2/ I looked at everythinga on the heavenly tablets,b read everything that was written, and understood everything.c Id read the book,e allf the actions of people and of all humans who will be on the earthg for the generations of the world. 3/ From that timea forward I blessed the greatb Lord, the kingc of glory forever,d as he had made every work of the world.e I praised the Lord because off his patience; I blessedg (him) on account ofh humanity.i 4/ Afterwardsa I said: “Blessed is the one who dies righteousb and good; regarding him no book of wickedness has been writtenc and no day of judgment will be found.”d 5/ Those seven holy ones brought mea and set meb on the earth in front of the gate to myc house. They said to me: “Tell everything to your son Methuselah and show all your children that nod humane is righteous before the Lord, for he created them. 6/ We will leave youa with your sonb for one year until (you receive) another order,c to teach your children and writed for them, and you will testify to all your children;e in the second year they will take youf from them.g 7/ May your heart be stronga becauseb the goodc will inform the good of righteousness, the righteousd will rejoicee with the righteous,f and they will greet each other. 8/ But the sinner will die with the sinnera and the apostateb will drownc with the apostate.d 9/ Those who do what is right will diea because of the actions of people and will be gathered upb because of the deeds of the wicked.” 10/ At that timea they finished speakingb with me andc I went tod my people blessinge the Lord of the world.f 1a Enoch, look] β tr. and add “(at) the book”; “they, with” m, also prefix   eba); β adverb + verb kaµ  >eba te  aµlam, not as “all the deeds of eternity,” but as “every work of the world.” Hoffmann (“das ganze Werk der Welt [the entire work of the world]”) and Dillmann (“alle Werke der Welt [all works of the world]”) rendered the phrase in the same way,40 and others have followed them (Charles, Flemming and Radermacher, Martin [“toutes les créatures du Monde (all the creatures of the world)”],41 Knibb, Uhlig, Olson). If this interpretation is correct, it renders unlikely Nickelsburg’s suggestion that a predeterministic idea finds voice here: God made human deeds. As he rightly notes, this way of reading the text would make the reference to God’s patience in the next line seem inappropriate.42 God is being praised for his creative work, not for causing human actions. As he blesses the creator God, Enoch praises (using the cognate verb of the noun “glory” in the title “king of glory”) him for his patience. He had just read the account of human deeds and now realized fully the challenge they posed for the divine mercy. The next line is more difficult to understand in its position directly after naming God’s forbearance. Enoch says that he blessed God “on account of humanity.” Where other mss. read “I blessed [baµrakku],” T9 has bakayku (“I cried”) VanderKamBB.indd 538 8/9/2011 7:25:13 PM 539 81:1-10 43 Uhlig, Henochbuch, 665 and 666 n. c to v. 3, where he writes regarding bakayku: “was vermutlich zu bevorzugen ist [which is presumably to be preferred].” In his translation of the last part of v. 3 there must be a mistake: “und pries (ihn) wegen der Sünde Adams [and praised (him) on account of the sins of Adam].” No ms. reads a word for “sin” here; he must have meant “Söhne [sons].” Olson uses “wept” in his translation (Enoch, 175). 44 Leslau, Dictionary, 88. 45 Ibid., 63. 46 Charles, Book of Enoch, 214; idem, Enoch, 173. 47 Dillmann, Henoch, 245. 48 Hoffmann (Henoch, 675) regarded this as an example of confusion in the order of the book of Enoch. 49 Dillmann entertained the possibility that the expression was a careless replacement for “three of those angels,” a solution that does not solve the problem in the context of the Book of...


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