Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Enoch Reads from a Book of Remembrance

Book of Moses Insight #10

Moses 6:46-47

With contribution by Jeffery M. Bradshaw

All Men Were Offended Because of Enoch (Moses 6:37)

As was described in a previous Insight,1 Moses 6–7 depicts scenes of wars, bloodshed, and slaughter among the people to which Enoch was commanded to preach.2 The Qumran Book of Giants account likewise begins with references to “slaughter, destruction, and moral corruption”3 that filled the earth.4 In view of the depth of the wickedness of the people, it was impossible for Enoch to “prophesy nice” so as to please the people. Hugh Nibley describes the situation as follows:5

[Enoch] goes out and preaches, and all men are offended because he doesn’t bring good news. Remember what the people say to Samuel the Lamanite, “Tell us what’s right with Zarahemla; don’t tell us what’s wrong with Zarahemla.” Samuel the Lamanite said, “When a person comes and tells you how wonderful you are, you clothe him in fine apparel; you carry him on your shoulders and say he is a true prophet. If he tells you your sins, you immediately cry out, kill him; he’s a false prophet.”6 This is the situation here. Nobody likes [Enoch] at all. Notice: “… standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.”7 Nobody liked his very negative record. Why? Because he testified against their works. … And so they tried to pass him off as a nut.8

As with Alma and Amulek, who the Lord did not suffer to “stretch forth [their] hands, and exercise the power of God which [was] in [them],”9 Enoch was initially constrained from physical action, relying solely on the “power of the language which God had given him.”10 But then, as now, their deeds were recorded both on earth and in heaven “that the judgments which [God] shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.”11

Heavenly Books in Ancient Tradition

Consistent with the Book of Moses account that describes the book of Adam as being handed down to Enoch, the Zohar teaches that Enoch had a copy of the “book of the generations of Adam” from the same heavenly source that revealed it to Adam.12 Hugh Nibley gives a more specific description of how the pattern of sacred books functions in the stories and teachings of Latter-day Saint scripture:13

It all begins on earth with the “book of the Generations of Adam,”14 a complete record of names and events and of God’s dealing with his children on earth. He requires the Saints in every age to keep such a book, or rather to continue the original, adding their own names and histories to it, as they “arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God,”15 which is the same as the “book of remembrance,”16 which goes back to Adam17 and is also “the genealogy of the sons of Adam.”18 Enoch reads from the books to remind his people of “the commandments, which I [God] gave unto their father, Adam”19 when he “called upon our father Adam by his own voice,”20 and ordered them to pass it on: “Teach these things freely unto your children,”21 and in time they are to reach us!22 The rule is that “many books … of every kind” are “handed down from one generation to another … even until they [the people] have fallen into transgression,”23 at which time they disappear until another prophet brings them forth.

In Jewish tradition, several types of “heavenly books” are distinguished:24

  • The Book of Life, in which the names of the righteous are written. In some accounts, there is a corresponding Book of Death in which the names of the wicked are recorded. This book is “by far the most common” type of heavenly book mentioned and references to it are found both in the Old and New Testaments.

  • The Book of Fate “records what will happen in advance, either to an individual or to a larger community.” It appears “only rarely in the Hebrew scriptures but much more frequently in the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple literature, and especially in Jubilees.”

  • The Book of Deeds, a “heavenly accounting of people’s works, good or evil,” which “regulates entrance into eternal happiness.” Like the Book of Fate, this type of heavenly book predominates in Isaiah, Daniel, and in the pseudepigrapha.

Enoch’s Book of Remembrance as a “Book of Deeds”

The heavenly book referred to in the Book of Moses, as in related Jewish pseudepigrapha, resembles most closely a Book of Deeds. In Moses 6, we read of Enoch’s preaching to the people out of this “book of remembrance,”25 in which both the words of God and the deeds of the people were recorded. Correspondingly, in the Book of Giants, a book in the form of “two stone tablets”26 is given by Enoch to Mahujah to stand as a witness of “their fallen state and betrayal of their ancient covenants.”27 In Pseudo-Jubilees, another fragmentary book found at Qumran, it is written that:28

    1. [ … E]noch after we taught him …

    2. [ … the ea]rth among the sons of mankind. And he testified against all of them.

    3. [ … ] and also against the Watchers …

In the Book of Moses, Enoch says the heavenly book was written “according to the pattern given by the finger of God.”29 This may allude to the idea that a similar record of the wickedness of the people was being kept in heaven,30 as attested in 1 Enoch:31

Do not suppose to yourself nor say in your heart that they do not know nor are your unrighteous deeds seen in heaven, nor are they written down before the Most High. Henceforth know that all your unrighteous deeds are written down day by day, until the day of your judgment.

As Enoch is depicted as an author of the book of remembrance in Moses 6, so he is described in the Testament of Abraham as the heavenly being who is responsible for recording the deeds of mankind so that they can be brought into remembrance.32 Likewise, in Jubilees 10:17 we read:33 “Enoch had been created as a witness to the generations of the world so that he might report every deed of each generation in the day of judgment.” Thus, Enoch as a scribe and witness of the heavenly book of remembrance, as described in the Book of Moses, fits squarely into ancient Jewish teachings about Enoch.

 

This article was adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 46–47.

Further Reading

Baynes, Leslie. The Heavenly Book Motif in Judeo-Christian Apocalypses 200 BCE–200 CE. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 152, ed. Benjamin G. Wright, III. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012, pp. 85–105.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 46–47.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, p. 97.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 133, 214–217.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 269, 275.

References

Allison, Dale C., ed. Testament of Abraham. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2003.

Baynes, Leslie. The Heavenly Book Motif in Judeo-Christian Apocalypses 200 BCE-200 CE. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 152, ed. Benjamin G. Wright, III. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012.

Kee, Howard C. “Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Vol. 1, 775-828. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (1Q23).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 260. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

———. “The Book of Giants (4Q203).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 260-61. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

Matt, Daniel C., ed. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition. Vol. 1. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Milik, Józef Tadeusz, and Matthew Black, eds. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments from Qumran Cave 4. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1976.

Mitton, George L. “The Book of Mormon as a resurrected book and a type of Christ.” In Remembrance and Return: Essays in Honor of Louis C. Midgley, edited by Ted Vaggalis and Daniel C. Peterson, 121-46. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2020.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Parry, Donald W., and Emanuel Tov, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader. 6 vols. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2005.

———, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader Second ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

Reeves, John C. Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 14. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992.

Reeves, John C., and Annette Yoshiko Reed. Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2 vols. Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Snell, David. 2020. New Find in Dead Sea Scrolls Reveals Joseph Smith Scored Another Lucky Guess’ (16 June 2020).  In Third Hour. thirdhour.org/blog/faith/scripture/dead-sea-scrolls-joseph-smith-book-of-remembrance/. (accessed June 16, 2020).

Widengren, Geo. The Ascension of the Apostle and the Heavenly Book. King and Saviour III, ed. Geo Widengren. Uppsala, Sweden: A. B. Lundequistska Bokhandeln, 1950.

Wintermute, O. S. “Jubilees.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Vol. 2, 35-142. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York City, NY: Harper-Collins, 1996.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Found at https://latterdaysaintmag.com/article-1-11613/ (accessed February 14, 2020).

Footnotes

 

1 See Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Secret Works, Oaths, and Murders,” Book of Moses Insight # 9 (June 26, 2020).

2 See Moses 6:15; 7:7, 16.

3 J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 67.

4 M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4, p. 291; F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4.

5 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 275.

6 See Helaman 13:26–28.

7 Moses 6:37.

8 See Moses 6:38: “a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.” For more on this theme, see Insight #6.

9 Alma 14:10.

10 Moses 7:13.

11 Alma 14:11.

12 Zohar 1:37b (ed. Vilna) as cited in J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, p. 87: “They brought down to Adam the protoplast (from heaven) an actual book. … Enoch also had a book and that book was from the (same) place as the ‘book of the generations of Adam’ (Genesis 5:1).” Cf. D. C. Matt, Zohar 1, Be-Reshit 1:37b, pp. 237–238.
The book of remembrance mentioned in the Book of Moses seems to have been passed down to the righteous descendants of Adam. For example, Moses 6:3–5 prefaces its description of the keeping of “a book of remembrance … in the language of Adam” with a mention of the births of Seth and Enos, who called “upon the name of the Lord” and “it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration.” This passage recalls a fragmentary text from Qumran that has been given the title “The Secret of the Way Things Are” (4Q415-418, 1Q26, 4Q423). It likewise preserves a tradition that a “book of remembrance” was successively bequeathed to Seth and Enos “with a spiritual people” (M. Wise et al., DSS, 4Q417 Fragment 1, column 1, lines 13–17, p. 484). Though Jewish pseudepigrapha, Josephus, and Christian gnostic writings all mention Seth in connection with this tradition, it is rarer to find it associated with both Seth and Enosh. Thanks to David Snell for pointing out this reference (D. Snell, New Find).

13 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 133.

14 Moses 6:8.

15 D&C 85:7.

16 D&C 85:9.

17 Moses 6:45–46.

18 Moses 6:22.

19 Moses 6:28.

20 Moses 6:51.

21 Moses 6:58.

22 D&C 107:56.

23 Helaman 3:15–16.

24 L. Baynes, Heavenly Book, pp. 7–8.

25 Moses 6:46. Cf. Moses 6:5.

26 Sundermann Fragment L I Recto 1-9, in J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 109. See also p. 110 n. 6 and p. 154 n. 306. Cf. 4Q203 Fragments 7b 1-3, column ii and 8 1-12, in D. W. Parry et al., DSSR (2013), p. 945. J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 335 cites a fragment of the Middle Persian Kawân and a small fragment from Qumran (2Q26) for more detail about the tablets. The first tablet, made of wood, is washed by the wicked in order to efface its writing. It “symbolizes the generation of the Flood” who will be “submerged by the waters of the Flood … The tablet of line 3 seems to be a second or third one, since it is the ‘board’ of salvation, the ark of Noah and his three sons.”

27 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 214. See F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 8:1-11, p. 260-261

28 4Q227 (4QpsJubc?), Fragment 2, 1, 3–4, trans. J. VanderKam and J. T. Milik, in D. W. Parry et al., Reader, p. 117. Cf. J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, pp. 58–59; J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 12.

29 Moses 6:46.

30 Noting that the Book of Giants refers to the second tablet given to Mahujah by Enoch as being a “copy” (F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 8:3, p. 260), Reeves (J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 111 n. 3) conjectures: “Perhaps Enoch employed the ‘heavenly tablets’ in the formulation of his interpretation.” For summaries of the literature on heavenly books in 1 Enoch, Jewish, and Christian traditions, see G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, pp. Ibid.478–480; G. Widengren, Ascension; L. Baynes, Heavenly Book; G. L. Mitton, Book of Mormon As a Resurrected Book

31 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 98:7-8, p. 468. Cf. 81–82, pp. 333–334, 93:2, p. 434, 97:6, p. 467, 104:7, p. 513.

32 D. C. Allison, Testament, 10:1, 6-7, 11, p. 254. See also Pseudo-Titus, De dispositione sanctimonii (ed. De Bruyne): “From among the earliest people Enoch the righteous was appointed to write down the deeds of the first humans”; Ms. Monacensi 287 fol. 59 (ed. Boll): “Enoch—the seventh after Adam—recorded the coming wrathful judgment of God … on stone tablets”—both sources as cited in J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, pp. 92, 93. Likewise, in the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Dan, the son of Jacob-Israel, finds the record of the wickedness of the sons of Levi in the book of Enoch (H. C. Kee, Testaments, Dan 5:6, p. 809): “I read in the Book of Enoch the Righteous that your prince is Satan and that all the spirits of sexual promiscuity and of arrogance … cause them to commit sin before the Lord.” See also ibid., Simeon 5:4, p. 786: “For I have seen in a copy of the book of Enoch that your sons will be ruined by promiscuity”; ibid., Naphtali 4:1, p. 812: “I have read in the writing of holy Enoch that you will stray from the Lord, living in accord with every wickedness of the gentiles and committing every lawlessness of Sodom”; ibid., Benjamin 9:1, p. 827: “From the words of Enoch the Righteous I tell you that you will be sexually promiscuous like the promiscuity of the Sodomites.” For a general overview of the heavenly book of deeds in second temple literature, see L. Baynes, Heavenly Book, pp. 85–105.

33 O. S. Wintermute, Jubilees, 10:17, p. 76.

Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Secret Works, Oaths, and Murders

Book of Moses Insight #9

Moses 6:15

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

Consistent with the presentation of the biblical gibborim as “mighty warriors,” the Enoch writings found in the Book of Moses describe scenes of wars, bloodshed, and slaughter among the people.1 For example, in Moses 6:15 we read:2

And the children of men were numerous upon all the face of the land. And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man’s hand was against his own brother, in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power.

The Book of Giants account likewise begins with references to “slaughter, destruction, and moral corruption”3 that filled the earth.4 The mention of “secret works” and “administering death”5 in the Book of Moses recalls a similar description in the Book of Giants:6 “they knew the se[crets…7 ] and they killed ma[ny … ].” Elsewhere the Qumran manuscripts refer to the spread of the “mystery of wickedness.”8 This recalls the deeds of the “Watchers”9 of Jewish tradition—semi-divine, semi-mythical beings who fell prey to sin.10

Mysteries of Wickedness among the “Watchers”

In his summary of accounts of the kind of knowledge that the Watchers were said to have possessed, Hugh Nibley describes their era as a “time of great intellectual as well as material sophistication.”11 Nibley continues:12

The leaders of the people devoted most of their wealth to all kinds of engineering projects for controlling and tempering nature. But the Lord altered the order of creation, making the sun rise in the west and set in the east, so that all their plans came to naught.13 The idea of controlling the environment independently of God was not so foolish as it sounds, says the Zohar, “for they knew all the arts … and all the ruling chieftains [archons] in charge of the world, and on this knowledge they relied, until at length God disabused them by restoring the earth to its primitive state and covering it with water.”14 Rabbi Isaac reports: “‘In the days of Enoch even children were acquainted with these mysterious arts [the advanced sciences].’ Said R. Yesa: ‘If so, how could they be so blind as not to know that God intended to bring the Flood upon them and destroy them?’ R. Isaac replied: ‘They did know,’” but they thought they were smart enough to prevent it. “What they did not know was that God rules the world. … God gave them a respite all the time that the righteous men Jered, Methuselah, and Enoch were alive; but when they departed from the world, God let punishment descend …, ‘and they were blotted out from the earth’ (Genesis 7:23).”15

Nibley infers that the knowledge of the Watchers also included information about sacred ordinances (or, perhaps, devilish imitations of them16) that was not to be divulged to others. For example, an Ethiopian text states:17

In the days of Cain and his sons, evil and deceitful practices increased. Those who gloried [in their bodies] before Adam are the wicked angels. Having received bodies, they learned a great sin. They therefore openly exposed all the work they had seen in heaven.

Likewise, a Greek fragment of 1 Enoch (Gizeh) presents:18

the Great Angels returning from earth to report to God that they had found ‘Azael teaching all manner of unrighteousness upon the earth, and he has laid bare those mysteries of the age which belong to heaven, which are [now] known and practiced among men; and also Semiazas is with him, he to whom thou gavest authority [over] those who go along with him.

Moreover:19

Clement of Alexandria attributed to Musaeus, the founder of the Greek Mysteries, an account of “how the angels lost their heavenly heritage through the telling of the secret things [mysteria] to women,” things, Clement observes, “which the other angels keep secret or quietly perform until the coming of the Lord.”

Islamic tradition teaches that the most important of these mysteria, taught without authorization to a woman who was their accomplice in sin,20 was knowledge of the “Name of God” by means of which the Watchers were able to “ascend to Heaven.”21 Commenting on such texts, Nibley observes:22

The ordinances are not secret, and yet they are, so to speak, automatically scrambled for those not authorized to have them. … This is the classical account of the Watchers, angels who came to call the human race to repentance, but who, being tempted by the daughters of men, fell and gave away the covenants and the knowledge they possessed. This was their undoing, and was always treated as the most monstrous of crimes, divulging the pure ordinances of heaven to people unworthy to receive them, who then proceeded to exercise them in unrighteousness while proclaiming their own righteousness on the grounds of possessing them.

Mahujah/Mehuja-el and the Mysteries of Wickedness

A tentative case can be made for the identification of the Book of the Giants Mahujah with the biblical Mehuja-el, who was a descendant of Cain and the grandfather of the wicked Lamech.23 This case is only made stronger when we consider the additional material about Mehuja-el’s family line included in the Joseph Smith account. Note that in the Book of Moses, Mehuja-el’s grandson, like the other “sons of men,”24 “entered into a covenant with Satan after the manner of Cain.”25 Similarly, in 1 Enoch26 we read that a group of conspirators, here depicted as fallen sons of God, “all swore together and bound one another with a curse.” Elsewhere in 1 Enoch we learn additional details about that oath:27

This is the number of Kasbe’el, the chief of the oath, which he showed to the holy ones when he was dwelling on high in glory, and its (or “his”) name (is) Beqa. This one told Michael that he should show him the secret name, so that they might mention it in the oath, so that those who showed the sons of men everything that was in secret might quake at the name and the oath.

The passages in 1 Enoch are similar to a section of the Book of Moses that describes a “secret combination” that had been in operation “from the days of Cain.”28 As to the deadly nature of the oath, we read in the Book of Moses: “Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die,”29 just as in 1 Enoch the conspirators “bound one another with a curse.”30

In 1 Enoch, the conspirators agreed on their course of action by saying,31 “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men.” Likewise, in the Book of Moses, Mehuja-el’s grandson became infamous because he “took unto himself … wives”32 to whom he revealed the secrets of their wicked league (to the chagrin of his fellows).33 In 1 Enoch, as in the Book of Moses,34 we also read specifically of how “they all began to reveal mysteries to their wives and children.”35 We will revisit the consequences of the revelation of these disastrous mysteries in a future discussion of Moses 5.

In summary, the Book of Moses, 1 Enoch, and the Book of Giants reveal the same dreary, recurrent pattern of wickedness, a pattern that Enoch was required by God to disrupt.

 

This article was adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 45–46.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 585–590 (Watchers).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 45–46.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, p. 88.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 178–184, 192, 198 (Watchers).

References

al-Tha’labi, Abu Ishaq Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim. d. 1035. ‘Ara’is Al-Majalis Fi Qisas Al-Anbiya’ or “Lives of the Prophets”. Translated by William M. Brinner. Studies in Arabic Literature, Supplements to the Journal of Arabic Literature, Volume 24, ed. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

Albeck, Chanoch, ed. Midrash Bereshit Rabbati. Jerusalem, Israel: Mekitze Nirdamim, 1940.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ronan J. Head. “The investiture panel at Mari and rituals of divine kingship in the ancient Near East.” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 4 (2012): 1-42. www.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle. “Where did the names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” come from?: A response to Colby Townsend’s “Returning to the sources”.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (2020): in press. www.templethemes.net.

Charles, R. H., ed. The Book of Enoch Together with a Reprint of the Greek Fragments 2nd ed. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1912. Reprint, Kila, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2005.

Clement of Alexandria. ca. 190-215. “The Stromata, or Miscellanies.” In The Ante-Nicene Fathers (The Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325), edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Vol. 2, 299-568. Buffalo, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1885. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004.

Collins, John J. “The sons of God and the daughters of men.” In Sacred Marriages, edited by Martti Nissinen and Risto Uro, 259-74. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008.

Elliott, Nicholas. 1988. John Bright: Voice of Victorian Liberalism. In The Freeman. http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/john-bright-voice-of-victorian-liberalism#axzz2RtlkTEaO. (accessed April 29, 2013).

Fitzmyer, Joseph A. , ed. The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20): A Commentary Third ed. Biblica et Orientalia 18/B. Rome, Italy: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2004.

Grébaut, Sylvain. 1911. “Les computs et les symboles (Fascicule 3, No. 28).” In Patrologia Orientalis, edited by Pontificio Istituto Orientale Roma. Vol. 6, 428-57. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers NV, 2003.

Lesses, Rebecca. “‘They revealed secrets to their wives’: The transmission of magical knowledge in 1 Enoch.” In With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic, and Mysticism, edited by Daphna V. Arbel and Andrei A. Orlov. Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, ed. John R. Levison, 196-222. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2011.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (1Q23).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 260. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

———. “Genesis Apocryphon (1QapGen ar).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 230-37. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

Matt, Daniel C., ed. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition. Vol. 1. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Mika’el, Bakhayla. ca. 1400. “Another discourse concerning the birth of Enoch.” In The Book of the Mysteries of the Heavens and the Earth and Other Works of Bakhayla Mika’el (Zosimas), edited by E. A. Wallis Budge, 140-62. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1934. Reprint, Berwick, ME: Ibis Press, 2004.

———. ca. 1400. “The book of the mysteries of the heavens and the earth.” In The Book of the Mysteries of the Heavens and the Earth and Other Works of Bakhayla Mika’el (Zosimas), edited by E. A. Wallis Budge, 1-96. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1934. Reprint, Berwick, ME: Ibis Press, 2004.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. 1986. “Return to the temple.” In Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, edited by Don E. Norton. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 12, 42-90. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992. http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1123&index=5. (accessed July 26, 2016).

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 37-82. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Reeves, John C. Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 14. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992.

———. n.d. Midrash of Shemhazai and Azael (English Translation). In Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. https://pages.uncc.edu/john-reeves/course-materials/rels-2104-hebrew-scripturesold-testament/bereshit-rabbati-on-shemhazai-azael/. (accessed May 13, 2020).

Stuckenbruck, Loren T. The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1997.

Thomas, Samuel I. The “Mysteries” of Qumran: Mystery, Secrecy, and Esotericism in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Early Judaism and its Literature 25, ed. Judith H. Newman. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.

Wintermute, O. S. “Jubilees.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Vol. 2, 35-142. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York City, NY: Harper-Collins, 1996.

Wright, Archie T. The Origin of Evil Spirits. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 198, ed. Jörg Frey. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2005.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Speaking as if he were standing before the scene in the figure, John Bright (1811–1889), a Quaker, movingly addressed the English House of Commons in opposition to the Crimean War (N. Elliott, John Bright): The angel of death has been abroad throughout the land; you may almost hear the beating of his wings. There is no one as of old … to sprinkle with blood the lintel and the two side-posts of our doors, that he may spare and pass on; he takes his victims from the castle of the noble, the mansion of the wealthy, and the cottage of the poor and lowly.

Footnotes

 

1 See Moses 6:15; 7:7, 16.

2 Moses 6:15.

3 J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 67.

4 M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4, p. 291; F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4.

5 Moses 6:15.

6 M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4, p. 291.

7 Martinez translates the term as “mysteries” (F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2, p. 291). Stuckenbruck is more cautious: “Not enough is visible on 1Q23 14 to verify this reading” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 58).

8 M. Wise et al., DSS, Tales of the Patriarchs (1QapGen), 1:2, p. 91. Cf. F. G. Martinez, Genesis Apocryphon, 1:2, p. 230; J. A. Fitzmyer, Genesis Apocryphon, 1:2, p. 67: “mystery of evil.” See also 2 Thessalonians 2:7 (ibid., p. 120 n. 1:2). For an extended discussion, see S. I. Thomas, Mysteries, pp. 180-182.

9 For the etymology of the term “Watchers,” see G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, pp. 140–141. See also J. J. Collins, Sons of God, pp. 263–264.

10 The best-known accounts of the Watchers, outside of brief allusions in scripture, are found in 1 Enoch chapters 6–16, 85–88, 106–107 and the book of Jubilees (e.g., O. S. Wintermute, Jubilees, 4:15, p. 62; 5:2, p. 62). Many scholars see 1 Enoch 6–16 (part of what is called the Book of the Watchers) merely as “the author’s explanation of an oppressive political situation that Israel is facing,” however Archie T. Wright persuasively argues that the text is primarily the author’s account “of the origin of evil spirits based on his interpretation of Genesis 6:1–4” (A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, p. 9. Cf. pp. 49, 138–165).

11 See G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 8:1–3, p. 188.

12 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 184–185.

13 See D. C. Matt, Zohar 1, Be-reshit 1:56a, pp. 315–316 and n. 1545.

14 Ibid., Be-reshit 1:56b, pp. 318–319.

15 See ibid., Be-reshit 1:56b, p. 319; Genesis 7:23.

16 See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 398 n. 5:53-a.

17 S. Grébaut, Computs, p. 431; cf. B. Mika’el, Enoch, pp. 141–142; B. Mika’el, Mysteries, pp. 26–27. See also H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 182–183; J. J. Collins, Sons of God, p. 269; Job 4:18, 15:8, 15; Matthew 24:36–37; 1 Peter 1:12. See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 727 n. E-104.

18 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 183; cf. R. H. Charles, Enoch, 9:6–7, p. 283; G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 9:6–7, p. 202.

19 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 184; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 5:1:10, p. 446.

20 J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 727 n. E-105.

21 A. I. A. I. M. I. I. al-Tha’labi, Lives, p. 88; cf. C. Albeck, Midrash, English translation in J. C. Reeves, Midrash Shemhazai and Azael (English) (see p. 587).

22 H. W. Nibley, Return, p. 63; cf. Genesis 6:4-6; J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 398 n. 5:53-a.

23 See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 96 n. M6-19. Because of differences in Hebrew spelling, some have questioned whether a connection can be made between Mahijah/Mahujah (in the Book of Moses), Mahaway (in the Qumran Book of Giants), and Mehuja-el (in Genesis 4:18). See Insight #7. For a detailed response on this issue, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., Where Did the Names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” Come From?

24 Moses 5: 52, 55.

25 Moses 5:49.

26 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:5, p. 174.

27 G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 69:13–14, p. 304.

28 Moses 5:51.

29 Moses 5:29. For more on the uses of such oaths within and outside of scripture, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Moses 5:29-b, c, d, pp. 377–378; J. M. Bradshaw et al., Investiture Panel, pp. 33–34.

30 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:5, p. 174.

31 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:1, p. 174.

32 Moses 5:44. See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 392 n. 5:44-a: “The wording ‘took unto himself’ is paralleled in the description of the illicit relationships of the wicked husbands in the days of Noah (Moses 8:14, 21). A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, pp. 135–136 observes that “there is no indication … that a marriage actually took place, but rather [the phrase] could be translated and understood as ‘Lamech took to himself two women.’”

33 Moses 5:47–55. See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, pp. 395–399 n. 5:47a-54c.

34 Moses 5:53: “Lamech had spoken the secret unto his wives, and they rebelled against him, and declared these things abroad, and had not compassion.”

35 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 8:3, p. 188. For an extensive discussion of this topic, see R. Lesses, They Revealed.

Mahijah and Mahaway Interrogate Enoch

Book of Moses Insight #8

Moses 6:40

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

Hugh Nibley has pointed out intriguing similarities between Mahijah in Joseph Smith’s Book of Moses and Mahaway in the Book of Giants, not only in their names but also in their respective roles. He observes:1

The only thing the Mahijah in the Book of Moses is remarkable for is his putting of bold direct questions to Enoch. … And this is exactly the role, and the only role, that the Aramaic Mahujah [i.e., Mahaway] plays in the story.

In the Book of Giants, we read the report of a series of dreams that troubled the gibborim. In the dream of Hahyah:2

7. … there was a large garden planted with all sorts of trees …
9. [and from one tree came three shoots I watch]ed until tongues of fire from
10. [heaven came down …] …, and the fire burned all
11. [the trees of this orchard all around and it did not burn the tree and its shoots …]

In the dream of Ohya:3

16. … the Ruler of Heaven came down to earth …
18. … and behold[ boo]ks were opened and a judgment was pronounced.

The dreams seem to have been meant to “symbolize the destruction of all but Noah and his sons by the Flood.”4
The three “shoots” represented the three surviving sons of Noah, while the burning of the other trees in the orchard and the judgment pronounced represented the future destruction of the gibborim.

In an impressive correspondence to the questioning of Enoch by Mahijah in the Book of Moses, the gibborim send Mahaway to “consult Enoch in order to receive an authoritative interpretation of the visions.”5 In the Book of Giants, we read:6

20. … [ … Thereupon] all the gibborim [and monsters] grew afraid
21. and called Mahaway. He came to the assembly [of the monsters] and the gibborim and they sent him to Enoch
22. [and they delib]erated and said to him: ‘Go …’7
23. ‘He will tell [y]ou the interpretation of the dreams and everyone will be appeased.

In an effort to strengthen his case that Joseph Smith simply borrowed this material from the Book of Giants, Salvatore Cirillo comments: “The emphasis that [Joseph] Smith places on Mahijah’s travel to Enoch is eerily similar to the account of Mahaway to Enoch in the [Book of Giants].”8 However, the idea that Joseph Smith’s revelation was textually dependent upon the Book of Giants is impossible because the Book of Giants wasn’t discovered until 1948—more than a century after the publication of the Book of Moses.

An additional phrase in some translations of the passages cited above implies that Mahaway was chosen because he had been to Enoch for advice before: “previously you listened to his [Enoch’s] voice.”9 This may correspond to Mahaway’s assertion that this is the second request he has made of Enoch.10 “Beyer understands this … passage to signify … that Mahaway was the only [gibbor] capable of executing this mission due to his personal acquaintance with Enoch.”11 Nibley goes further, seeing hints that it is more than this character’s previous acquaintance with Enoch that is driving the requests:12

They are scared; they don’t know who Enoch is so they force Mahijah [i.e., Mahaway] to go and ask who they really are.

Which, in Nibley’s interpretation, leads directly to Mahijah’s question in the Book of Moses:13

Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest?

In conclusion, it is remarkable that both the similar names and roles of Mahijah and Mahaway are preserved in both the Book of Giants and the Book of Moses. Going further, Loren Stuckenbruck observes the same pattern of preservation in Chinese Manichaean fragments of the Book of Giants, which includes names of other individuals besides Mahawai that are, for one reason or another, significantly altered. Especially given the potential for “instances in which onomastic changes [i.e., changes in characters’ names] may have been due to the change of the language media,” he is impressed with the “straightforward correspondence between the name(s) Mahawai in the Manichaean texts and Mahaway in the Aramaic [Book of Giants], in which the character, acting in a mediary role, encounters Enoch ‘the scribe.’”14

Trying to make sense of the connections between the Aramaic Book of Giants, the Manichaean Book of Giants, and certain passages in medieval Jewish midrash, John C. Reeves argues that it is:

plausible to assume that these stories are … textual expressions of an early exegetical tradition circulating in learned groups during the Second Temple era. One version appeared in Aramaic at Qumran and was presumably the version later studied and adapted by Mani. Another version of the same tradition recurs in Hebrew in the Middle Ages. Still other versions (if not one of the two aforementioned ones) apparently influenced Islamic exegetes of the Qur’anic passage regarding the sins of Harut and Marut.15

The confluence of resemblances in both the names and roles of Mahijah and Mahaway is a witness of this character’s importance across Enoch texts separated by vast distances in time, culture, and geography. Given that the Book of Moses Enoch story resembles the Aramaic Book of Giants more than any of the later versions argues in favor of the antiquity of the Book of Moses.

 

This article was adapted and updated from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Could Joseph Smith have drawn on ancient manuscripts when he translated the story of Enoch? Recent updates on a persistent question (4 October 2019).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 33 (2019): 305–373. (accessed October 23, 2019), pp. 316–317.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 44–45, 95 n. M6-17.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, p. 96.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 277–279.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 268.

References

al-Tha’labi, Abu Ishaq Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim. d. 1035. ‘Ara’is Al-Majalis Fi Qisas Al-Anbiya’ or “Lives of the Prophets”. Translated by William M. Brinner. Studies in Arabic Literature, Supplements to the Journal of Arabic Literature, Volume 24, ed. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

Albeck, Chanoch, ed. Midrash Bereshit Rabbati. Jerusalem, Israel: Mekitze Nirdamim, 1940.

Angel, Joseph L. “Reading the Book of Giants in Literary and Historical Context.” Dead Sea Discoveries 21 (2014): 313-46.

———. “The humbling of the arrogant and the “wild man” and “tree stump” traditions in the Book of Giants and Daniel 4.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 61-80. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Cirillo, Salvatore. “Joseph Smith, Mormonism, and Enochic Tradition.” Masters Thesis, Durham University, 2010.

Davis Bledsoe, Amanda M. “Throne theophanies, dream visions, and righetous(?) seers.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 81-96. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Dawood, N. J. 1956. The Koran. London, England: Penguin Books, 1997.

Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim. Manichaen Art and Calligraphy. Institute of Religious Iconography, State University Groningen, Iconography of Religions 20. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1982.

Kósa, Gábor “Peacocks under the Jewel Tree : New hypotheses on the Manichaean painting of Bezeklik (Cave 38).” Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology 4 (2009): 135-48. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285171957_Peacocks_under_the_Jewel_Tree_New_Hypotheses_on_the_Manichaean_Painting_of_Bezeklik_Cave_38. (accessed January 27, 2020).

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (4Q530).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 261-62. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

Milik, Józef Tadeusz, and Matthew Black, eds. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments from Qumran Cave 4. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1976.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. 1978. “Churches in the wilderness.” In The Prophetic Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 8, 289-327. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1989.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters  37-82. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Orlov, Andrei A. “The flooded arboretums: The garden traditions in the Slavonic version of 3 Baruch and the Book of Giants.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 65, no. 2 (April 2003): 184-201.

Parry, Donald W., and Emanuel Tov, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader. 6 vols. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2005.

Rashi. c. 1105. The Torah with Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Vol. 1: Beresheis/Genesis. Translated by Rabbi Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg. ArtScroll Series, Sapirstein Edition. Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, 1995.

Reeves, John C. Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 14. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992.

———. n.d. Midrash of Shemhazai and Azael.  In Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. http://www.religiousstudies.uncc.edu/jcreeves/bereshit_rabbati_29-31.htm. (accessed September 6, 2007).

Stuckenbruck, Loren T. The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1997.

———. “The Book of Giants among the Dead Sea Scrolls: Considerations of method and a new proposal on the reconstruction of 4Q530.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 129-41. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Vermes, Geza, ed. 1962. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English Revised ed. London, England: Penguin Books, 2004.

Wilkens, Jens. “Remarks on the Manichaean Book of Giants: Once again on Mahaway’s mission to Enoch.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 213-29. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York City, NY: Harper-Collins, 1996.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Painting of the Uygur Manichaean-Buddhist Mural of the Three-Trunked “Jewel Tree” from Thousand Buddha Caves, Cave No. 25 [No. 38 in the modern Chinese numbering system], Bezeklik, Moutou Valley, Flaming Mountains, China, ninth-tenth century. Copie de la fresque de la grotte 25 : l’arbre de vie. Iacovlev Alexandre (1887–1938), Iakovleff (aka). Paris, musée Guimet (musée national des Arts asiatiques), 00-000530/MG24341. Photo copyright RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris)/Thiérry Ollivier. https://www.photo.rmn.fr/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&VBID=2CMFCI865EDV&SMLS=1&RW=1560&RH=1630 (accessed January 27, 2020). The former scholarly consensus about the relationship of this painting to the Book of Giants (see, e.g., H.-J. Klimkeit, Manichaean Art, pp. 31–32) was based on a faulty attribution of citations of Severus of Antioch to the Book of Giants in his critique of Manichaeism. It was refuted in J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, pp. 165–174—notwithstanding the fact that the painting was depicted on the cover of Reeves’ book. Later, G. Kósa, Peacocks advanced several new ideas about the interpretation of the mural, including a convincing argument that the three trunks in the painting were meant to evoke the Manichaean concept of the “Three Constancies” rather than Noah and his sons. Despite this new interpretation, no scholar disputes the strong connection between the Manichaean Book of Giants (well known to Manichaeans in the East) and the Qumran Book of Giants —only the idea that Severus was quoting the Book of Giants rather than another Manichaean source.

Footnotes

 

1 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 278. Noting the possibility of wordplay, Nibley conjectures that “what the Ma- [in Mahijah] most strongly suggests is certainly the all-but-universal ancient interrogative, Ma (“who?” or “what?”), so that the names Mahujah and Mahijah both sound to the student of Semitics like questions” (H. W. Nibley, Churches (1989), p. 290).

2 D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 4Q530, Frg 2 Col. Ii + 6 + 7 Col. I + 8-11 + 12 (?), 3:485, 7–11. Cf. C. Albeck, Midrash, in the English translation of J. C. Reeves, Shemhazai and Azael:

It is taught that one night [when] Hayya and Hiyya, the sons of Shemhazai, were asleep, they both dreamed dreams. … And the other saw in his dream a large and flourishing garden, and that garden was planted with every type of tree and all sorts of delightful [plants], and then angels came bearing hatchets and cut down the trees, leaving only one tree which had three branches. When they awoke from their slumber, they arose in terror and came to their father and recounted the dreams to him. He said to them: “My sons, the Holy One, blessed be He, is planning to bring a Deluge into the world to destroy it, and nothing will be left in it except for one man and his three sons.”

3 D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 4Q530, Frg 2 Col. Ii + 6 + 7 Col. I + 8-11 + 12 (?), 3:485, 16, 18. This dream may be related to the following passage in another fragment of the Book of Giants (ibid., 2Q26, 3:47478, 1–4):

1. ]’Wash the tablet in order to ef[face (it!)’
2. ]and the waters rose up over the [tab]let[
3. ] and they lifted the tablet from the waters, the tablet which[
4. ] [ ]for them all[

Cf. C. Albeck, Midrash, in the English translation of J. C. Reeves, Shemhazai and Azael:

One of them beheld in his dream a large stone spread out over the earth like a table, and the whole of it was chiseled and inscribed with many rows [of characters]. Then an angel descended from heaven with a type of knife in his hand, and scraped and effaced all of those rows [of characters], leaving only one row containing four words.

4 M. Wise et al., DSS, p. 292. Regarding the details of the first dream, see J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, pp. 84–90, 95–102. On the second dream, see ibid., pp. 92–93. For more on the interpretation of the dreams, including a discussion of resonances between the Book of Giants and 3 Baruch, see A. A. Orlov, Flooded Arboretums.

5 J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 84. A. M. Davis Bledsoe, Throne Theophanies, p. 95 fruitfully compares this sequence to Daniel 4 (cf. J. L. Angel, Humbling, pp. 63ff.):

That the giants look for a Jewish sage to explain the meaning of their dreams is not so surprising. Indeed, when we look at other cases of non-Jews receiving symbolic dream-visions in the Hebrew Bible, they too lack understanding of their dreams and must seek out an interpreter upon waking. Perhaps the closest parallel to our text is Daniel 4, where King Nebuchadnezzar receives a frightening dream, which only Daniel is able to interpret. Like our text, the focus of the narrative is on the gentile dreamer, who often speaks in the first person, while the Jewish interpreter plays only a minor role. Perhaps another point of comparison can be found in that Daniel 4 tells not only of Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment but also of his subsequent rehabilitation and restoration—the Greek edition even has him convert. Perhaps, like Nebuchadnezzar, some of the giants are likewise granted an opportunity for repentance and rehabilitation.

However, in the case of the throne theophany of Daniel 7, 1 Enoch 14, and the Book of Giants (vs. King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4), Davis Bledsoe notes that the Book of Giants is “noticeably different from the other two in that it is not a righteous Jewish seer who experiences the dream vision (and sees the throne theophany), but a culpable giant” (A. M. Davis Bledsoe, Throne Theophanies, p. 82). For additional comparisons of the Book of Giants and Daniel 4, see J. L. Angel, Humbling; J. L. Angel, Reading the Book of Giants.

6 D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 4Q530, Frg 2 Col. Ii + 6 + 7 Col. I + 8-11 + 12 (?), 3:485, 487, 20–23. Note that the translation of Martinez differs somewhat from that in the Parry and Tov volume (F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q530), 2:20–23, p. 261):

[Then] all the [gibborim] [and the nephilim] … called to Mahawai and he came to them. They implored him and sent him to Enoch, [the celebrated scribe] and they said to him: “Go […] … and death for you, who […] hears his voice and tell him to [explain to you] and interpret the dream …”

Reeves translates the phrase “the celebrated scribe” as scribe [who is] set apart” (J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 91), taking the Aramaic term to describe the separation of Enoch from human society by way of analogy to the description of how Joseph was “set apart from his brethren” (Genesis 49:26) when he went to Egypt (ibid., p. 77). Rashi understood “set apart” in the sense of “separated” or “isolated” (ibid., p. 139 n. 107; Rashi, Genesis Commentary, Genesis 49:26, 4:559).

7 Cf. the word “go” in Enoch’s formal commission (Moses 6:32). For more about the use of this form in the commissioning of Mahujah and in similar contexts in the Enoch literature, see J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, pp. 93–94.

8 S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 105. Looking for additional ideas besides the Book of Giants for what he takes to be a necessary manuscript source for ancient parallels to Joseph Smith’s Enoch, Cirillo argues (ibid., pp. 105–106): “This journey … is not unique to the [Book of Giants], it is also found (and likely based on) the journey of Methuselah in 1 Enoch (The Birth of Noah, G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 106:1–107:3, pp. 536–537). … This format, for one person journeying to Enoch to question him, is evident once more in 1 Enoch (The Apocalypse of Noah, G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 65:1–68:1, pp. 273–274).” However, a careful reading of the 1 Enoch accounts will show that evidence for a resemblance to the Book of Moses is strained. Especially significant is the fact that, unlike the Book of Giants, there is no mention in 1 Enoch of Mahijah or Mahujah.

9 G. Vermes, Complete, p. 550. Cf. D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 4Q530, Frg 2 Col. Ii + 6 + 7 Col. I + 8-11 + 12 (?), 3:485, 487, 22–23: “[… for the ro]ad [of the place] is similar for you since for the first [time] you have heard his voice”; M. Wise et al., DSS, 2:23, p. 294: “you have heard his voice”.

10 F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q530), 3:7, p. 261: “For a second time I beg you for an oracle.”

11 J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 94 n. 23. Affirming the idea that Enoch and Mahujah had been previously acquainted, Stuckenbruck cites the Manichaean Uygur fragment in which Enoch calls out Mahijah’s name “very lovingly” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 127 n. 140. See also Henning, cited in J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 307. For intriguing details about Mahaway’s journey derived largely form looking at Manichaean Book of Giants fragments, see J. Wilkens, Remarks, pp. 217–229.

12 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 268.

13 Moses 6:40.

14 L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants among the DSS, pp. 134–135.

15 N. J. Dawood, Koran, 2:102, p. 19. For a collection of related traditions in Islam, see A. I. A. I. M. I. I. al-Tha’labi, Lives, pp. 86–91.

Could Joseph Smith Have Borrowed Mahijah/Mahujah from the Book of Giants?

Book of Moses Insight #7

Moses 6:40

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen

As Hugh Nibley was finishing the concluding, August 1977 article in his long-running series on ancient Enoch manuscripts and Moses 6–7 for the Ensign magazine, he received—“just in time”1—the anxiously awaited English translation of the fragments of Aramaic books of Enoch from cave 4 at Qumran.2 In his article, Nibley was the first to suggest a remarkable correspondence between a Book of Giants character named Mahaway3 (Aramaic MHWY) and the names “Mahujah” (likely equivalent to Hebrew MHWY or MḤWY) and “Mahijah” (likely equivalent to MHYY or MḤYY) in the Book of Moses.4 In this Insight, we describe this finding in more detail.

A Remarkable Correspondence

In Joseph Smith’s story of Enoch, Mahijah appears out of nowhere, as the only named character in the account besides Enoch himself:

And there came a man unto him, whose name was Mahijah, and said unto him: Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest? (Moses 6:40)

Later in the account, the similar name “Mahujah”5 appears. Curiously, in the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Bible, the name variants MḤYY’L (= Mahijael, with the suffix “-el” representing the name of God) and MḤWY’L (= Mahujael) both appear in a single verse of the King James Bible as references to the same person.6

Significantly, because the King James translation renders both variants of the Hebrew name identically in English, Joseph Smith would have had to access and interpret the Hebrew text to see that there were two versions of the name, similar to the two versions found in the Book of Moses. But there is no evidence that he or anyone else associated with the translation of Moses 6–7 knew how to read Hebrew at that time or, for that matter, even had access to a Hebrew Bible.7

It should be observed that Joseph Smith was well aware that the biblical book of Jude explicitly cites Enoch,8 even if he evinced no knowledge of 1 Enoch, the source Jude was quoting. If he had actually been looking for ways to bolster the case for the authenticity of his Bible translation, the most obvious thing he could have done would have been to include the relevant verses from Jude somewhere within his Enoch account. But this the Prophet did not do.

Were the Names “Mahaway,” “Mahujah,” and “Mahijah” Simply Copied from the Bible?

A possible historical explanation for the similarity of the Book of Moses and Book of Giants names is that Joseph Smith and the Qumran author independently created highly similar names for an important character in their respective accounts. One might well ask: What are the chances that they would come up with these closely resembling names independently?

Even if, for a moment, we were to grant the hypothesis that Joseph Smith created the name directly or indirectly through his knowledge of Genesis 4:18, why did he pick this name for his account instead of some other? If it were an arbitrary choice, why did he not pick Irad or Methusael or the more prominent Lamech from the same verse, or some other name from the surrounding verses instead? Why is Mahujah the only named character in the Enoch chapters of the Book of Moses apart from Enoch himself—and also the only other plausibly biblically-related name besides Enoch in the Book of Giants as well?

Going further, one of the most important parallels in the Book of Giants and Book of Moses names is that, in contrast to the biblical name, they both lack the theophoric element (-el). If Joseph Smith derived the names “Mahujah” and “Mahijah” by adapting them from Genesis 4:18, why wouldn’t he, for the sake of consistency, have dropped the “-el” in his translation of the Bible verse itself? And if, instead, he were deliberately trying to create a new and distinctive name with the theophoric ending “-jah,” what sufficiently important purpose would that have served for him to have gone to that trouble?

Moreover, since the author of the Book of Giants was apparently not completely bound to the written tradition and had the liberty to include names unattested elsewhere such as ’Ohyah and Hahyah to facilitate wordplay, as some have suggested, why wouldn’t he have invented a name that was more similar to the other two instead of the more distinctive name Mahaway?9 And why would Joseph Smith, who has sometimes drawn criticism for the many new names that have been included in his scriptural translations, have been averse to “making up” just one more?

Instead, both authors are, without a viable explanation for motive, putatively seen as creating a name that is coincidentally very similar to one found in the same biblical verse, then using these modified names to serve as a moniker for a prominent player who just happens to function in an analogous role within two independent accounts of the prophet Enoch.

Salvatore Cirillo’s Explanation for the Origin of the Names

Some non-Latter-day Saints have taken notice of the striking nature of the resemblance of these prominent names in the Book of Moses and the Book of Giants. For example, in his master’s thesis at the University of Durham, Salvatore Cirillo, drawing upon the similar conclusions of the well-known Book of Giants’ scholar Loren Stuckenbruck,10 considers the names of the gibborim, notably including Mahaway, as “the most conspicuously independent content” in the Book of Giants, being “unparalleled in other Jewish literature.” Moreover, according to Cirillo, “the name Mahawai in the Book of Giants and the names Mahujah and Mahijah in the Book of Moses represent the strongest similarity between the Latter-day Saint revelations on Enoch and the pseudepigraphal books of Enoch (specifically the Book of Giants).”11 Arguing in strong terms that Joseph Smith must have known about the Book of Giants as he prepared the Book of Moses account of Enoch, Cirillo writes:12

Nibley‘s own point that Mahujah and Mahijah from the Book of Moses share their name with Mahaway in the Book of Giants is further evidence that influence from pseudepigraphal books of Enoch occurred in Joseph Smith’s Enoch writings.13

What goes conspicuously unmentioned in Cirillo’s arguments for the influence of the Aramaic Enoch text on Moses 6–7 is that, apart from 1 Enoch, none of the significant Jewish Enoch manuscripts were available in an English translation during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. It is baffling that Cirillo’s strongest arguments for the Prophet’s having been influenced by ancient Enoch pseudepigrapha come from the Qumran Book of Giants—a work that was not discovered until 1948! Cirillo does not attempt to explain how a manuscript that was unknown until the mid-twentieth century could have influenced the account of Enoch in the Book of Moses, written in 1830.

Figure 2. Walter Bird: Portrait of Matthew Black (1908–1994), 1965.

Matthew Black’s Explanation for the Origin of the Names

The only known attempt to explain how a manuscript discovered in 1948 could have influenced Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Moses in 1830 comes from remembrances by two individuals about the well-known Aramaic scholar Matthew Black, who collaborated with Józef Milik in the first translation of the fragments of the Book of Giants into English in 1976. Black certainly knew enough about ancient Hebrew and Aramaic to have recognized whether the Book of Moses names Mahujah and Mahijah were reasonable English equivalents of the Book of Giants “Mahaway.”

Black was approached by doctoral candidate Gordon C. Thomasson after a guest lecture at Cornell University, during a year that Black spent at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton (1977–1978).14 According to Thomasson’s account:15

I asked Professor Black if he was familiar with Joseph Smith’s Enoch text. He said he was not but was interested. He first asked if it was identical or similar to 1 Enoch. I told him it was not and then proceeded to recite some of the correlations Dr. [Hugh] Nibley had shown with Milik and Black’s own and others’ Qumran and Ethiopic Enoch materials. He became quiet. When I got to Mahujah,16 he raised his hand in a “please pause” gesture and was silent.

Finally, he acknowledged that the name Mahujah could not have come from 1 Enoch. He then formulated a hypothesis, consistent with his lecture, that a member of one of the esoteric groups he had described previously [i.e., clandestine groups who had maintained, sub rosa, a religious tradition based in the writings of Enoch that pre-dated Genesis] must have survived into the 19th century, and hearing of Joseph Smith, must have brought the group’s Enoch texts to New York from Italy for the prophet to translate and publish.

At the end of our conversation he expressed an interest in seeing more of Hugh’s work. I proposed that Black should meet with Hugh, gave him the contact information, [and he] contacted Hugh the same day, as Hugh later confirmed to me. Soon Black made a previously unplanned trip to Provo, where he met with Hugh for some time. Black also gave a public guest lecture but, as I was told, in that public forum would not entertain questions on Moses.

Hugh Nibley recorded a conversation with Matthew Black that apparently occurred near the end of the latter’s 1977 visit to BYU. Nibley asked Black if he had an explanation for the appearance of the name Mahujah in the Book of Moses, and reported his answer as follows: “Well, someday we will find out the source that Joseph Smith used.”17

A More Satisfying Explanation for the Origin of the Names

During the intervening years, no documentary evidence has surfaced that bears out Black’s unsupported hypothesis that Joseph Smith somehow obtained access to an Enoch manuscript like the Book of Giants from an esoteric religious group in Europe. On the other hand, during this same span of time much additional evidence has come forth linking Joseph Smith’s revelation about Enoch to a variety of relevant ancient textual traditions, notably including many from the Book of Giants.18 The Mahijah/Mahujah parallel is just one of many ancient connections for which there is no completely satisfying historical explanation. In our view, the idea that these correspondences have come by coincidence or through borrowing and alteration is unconvincing. Instead, we are persuaded that they are due to a common ancient tradition that pre-dates both texts, as Matthew Black apparently felt compelled to believe.19

In contrast to the idea that the Book of Giants is almost exclusively dependent on the Bible and 1 Enoch, current scholarship sees hints of more ancient and complex roots for the text than were once acknowledged. For example, André Caquot, among other scholars, has argued that “the reference to Gilgamesh argues for the original of the Book of Giants in an eastern diaspora.”20

Consistent with this idea, Nahum Sarna21 and Richard Hess,22 following Umberto Cassuto,23 suggest that the name Mahaway might be explained on the basis of the Akkadian maḫḫû, denoting “a certain class of priests and seers.”24 And what was the role of these seers? Among other things, the royal archives of the Old Babylonian kingdom of Mari recount the comings and goings of maḫḫû as intermediaries and messengers, bearing words of warning from the gods for the king,25 a role that is arguably similar to that of Mahaway.

Further strengthening Cassuto’s argument for the derivation of the name is the agreement he finds in the word maḫḫû behind Mehujael, the name of Mehujael’s son Methusael (a name that is “analogous not only in form but also in meaning”26), and the name of Mehujael’s grandson Lamech, which Cassuto sees as likely to have come from the Mesopotamian word lumakku, also signifying a certain class of priests.27 Significantly, Hess reports that while the root lmk is unknown in West Semitic, it is found both in third millennium BCE personal names and in names from Mari in Old Babylon in the early second millennium BCE.28

In summary, though additional possibilities may yet be found, scholars have already identified what seems to be an attractive option for a common Akkadian root behind the similar names in the Bible, the Book of Giants, and the Book of Moses. In light of such a suggestion, is it possible that Mehujael, Mahaway, Mahujah, and Mahijah were independently derived from the same or similar roots, having come down to the author through extracanonical traditions rather than merely borrowed from the Bible? At present, we do not see any reason why this plausible scenario should be ruled out.

Conclusion: Ancient Names Restored Through Revelation

After a review of the evidence, readers may understandably question whether the names “Mahujah” and “Mahijah” were merely borrowed and adapted from the Bible. This scenario makes it hard to account for the surprisingly specific parallels between these names in the Book of Moses and the name “Mahaway” from the Book of Giants.

Could Joseph Smith have been aware of the names through an unknown Aramaic manuscript of the Book of Giants that was translated into English and secretly made available to him before its discovery by scholars at Qumran in 1948? Were the names somehow transferred to Joseph Smith through an unknown esoteric group, as professor Black proposed? Once again, purely historical explanations disappoint. Such proposals are based purely on speculation, and can provide no answers about the identity of these putative collaborators, how they stumbled upon such a manuscript, why they secretly translated it into English and made it available to Joseph Smith, and how the Prophet either hid this fraud from his associates or persuaded them to collude with him. As the chain of required conjectures grows, their cumulative likelihood diminishes.

A more convincing conclusion, in our view, is that these names, along with other evidences of antiquity in the Book of Moses Enoch account, were directly restored from the ancient world through the process of divine revelation.


This article was adapted from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle. “Where did the names ‘Mahaway’ and ‘Mahujah’ come from? A response to Colby Townsend’s ‘Returning to the Sources’,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (2020): submitted for review.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 42–45, 69, 128.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Could Joseph Smith have drawn on ancient manuscripts when he translated the story of Enoch? Recent updates on a persistent question (4 October 2019).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 33 (2019): 305–373. https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/could-joseph-smith-have-drawn-on-ancient-manuscripts-when-he-translated-the-story-of-enoch-recent-updates-on-a-persistent-question/. (accessed October 23, 2019), pp. 312–319.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle. “Where did the names ‘Mahaway’ and ‘Mahujah’ come from?: A response to Colby Townsend’s ‘Returning to the sources’.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (2020): submitted for review.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 96, 112.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 277–279.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 268–269.

———. 1992. Hugh Nibley on the Book of Enoch. YouTube video from FairMormon, with description of the visit of Matthew Black to BYU at about 6:04–6:50 in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3PvM-4T7dU.

References

al-Tabari. d. 923. The History of al-Tabari: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood. Vol. 1. Translated by Franz Rosenthal. Biblioteca Persica, ed. Ehsan Yar-Shater. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1989.

al-Tha’labi, Abu Ishaq Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim. d. 1035. ‘Ara’is Al-Majalis Fi Qisas Al-Anbiya’ or “Lives of the Prophets”. Translated by William M. Brinner. Studies in Arabic Literature, Supplements to the Journal of Arabic Literature, Volume 24, ed. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

Bandstra, Barry L. Genesis 1-11: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text. Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible, ed. W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008.

Black, Jeremy, Andrew George, and Nicholas Postgate, eds. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian Second ed. Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000. https://books.google.com/books?id=-qIuVCsRb98C. (accessed May 19, 2020).

Bledsoe Davis, Amanda M. “Throne theophanies, dream visions, and righetous(?) seers.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 81-96. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Bowen, Matthew L. E-mail message to Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, March 18, 2020.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014. www.templethemes.net.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle. “Where did the names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” come from?: A response to Colby Townsend’s “Returning to the sources”.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (2020): submitted for review.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Textual criticism and the Book of Moses: A response to Colby Townsend’s “Returning to the sources”.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (2020): in press. www.templethemes.net.

Brenton, Lancelot C. L. 1851. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005.

Calabro, David. E-mail message to Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, January 24, 2018.

Caquot, André. “Les prodromes du déluge : légendes araméenes du Qoumrân.” Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie religieuses 83, no. 1 (2003): 41-59. https://www.persee.fr/docAsPDF/rhpr_0035-2403_2003_num_83_1_1011.pdf. (accessed April 11, 2020).

Cassuto, Umberto. 1944. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis. Vol. 1: From Adam to Noah. Translated by Israel Abrahams. 1st English ed. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1998.

Cirillo, Salvatore. “Joseph Smith, Mormonism, and Enochic Tradition.” Masters Thesis, Durham University, 2010.

Clarke, Adam. The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. New York City, NY: N. Bangs and J. Emory, for the Methodist Eposcopal Church, 1825. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Holy_Bible_Containing_the_Old_and_Ne.html?id=Lds8AAAAYAAJ. (accessed February 19, 2020).

Dogniez, Cécile, and Marguerite Harl, eds. Le Pentateuque d’Alexandrie: Texte Grec et Traduction. La Bible des Septante, ed. Cécile Dogniez and Marguerite Harl. Paris, France: Les Éditions du Cerf, 2001.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

George, Andrew, ed. 1999. The Epic of Gilgamesh. London, England: The Penguin Group, 2003.

Goff, Matthew. “Gilgamesh the Giant: The Qumran Book of Giants’ appropriateion of Gilgamesh motifs.” Dead Sea Discoveries 16, no. 2 (2009): 221-53.

Halloran, J. A. Sumerian Lexicon: A Dictionary Guide to the Ancient Sumerian Language. Los Angeles, CA: Logogram Publishing, 2006. https://www.sumerian.org/sumerlex.htm. (accessed May 20, 2020).

Heimpel, Wolfgang. Letters to the King of Mari: A New Translation with Historical Introduction, Notes, and Commentary. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2003.

Hendel, Ronald S. The Text of Genesis 1-11: Textual Studies and Critical Edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Hess, Richard S. Studies in the Personal Names of Genesis 1-11. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (4Q203).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 260-61. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

McKane, William. 1994. Matthew Black. In Obituaries of Past Fellows, Royal Society of Edinburgh. http://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/obits_alpha/black_matthew.pdf. (accessed April 3, 2013).

Milik, Józef Tadeusz, and Matthew Black, eds. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments from Qumran Cave 4. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1976.

Nibley, Hugh W. “Churches in the wilderness.” In Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, edited by Truman G. Madsen, 155-212. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1978.

———. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

———. 1992. Hugh Nibley on the Book of Enoch. Excerpted from a FARMS videocassette entitled “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Era Dawns.” The videocassette contains material recorded in connection with a National Interfaith Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 20 November 1992 in the Kresge Auditorium of Stanford University. In FairMormon Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3PvM-4T7dU. (accessed May 20, 3030).

———. “Letter to Frederick M. Huchel.” Provo, UT: L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Boyd Jay Petersen Collection, MSS 7449, Box 3, Folder 3, May 6, 1997.

———. 1978. “Churches in the wilderness.” In The Prophetic Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 8, 289-327. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1989.

———. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Oppenheim, A. Leo. 1964. Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization. Revised ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1977.

Peters, Melvin K. H., ed. A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under that Title: Deuteronomy Provisional ed. NETS: New English Translation of the Septuagint, ed. Albert Pietersma and Benjamin Wright. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2004. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/deut.pdf.

Reeves, John C. Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 14. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992.

Sarna, Nahum M., ed. Genesis. The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989.

Shoulson, Mark, ed. The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan Versions Compared: LightningSource, 2008.

Smith, Joseph, Jr., Andrew F. Ehat, and Lyndon W. Cook. The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, 1980. https://rsc-legacy.byu.edu/out-print/words-joseph-smith-contemporary-accounts-nauvoo-discourses-prophet-joseph. (accessed April 25, 2020).

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1805-1844. The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church Historian’s Press, 2008-. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

———. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

———. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

Stuckenbruck, Loren T. The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1997.

Thomasson, Gordon C. “Items on Enoch — Some Notes of Personal History. Expansion of remarks given at the Conference on Enoch and the Temple, Academy for Temple Studies, Provo, Utah, 22 February 2013 (unpublished manuscript, 25 February 2013).” 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaRw40r-TfM.

———. “Email message to Jeffrey M. Bradshaw.” April 7, 2014.

Tsedaka, Benyamim, and Sharon Sullivan, eds. The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah. Translated by Benyamim Tsedaka. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2013.

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Wevers, John William. Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1993.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Photograph of 4QEn Giantsa[4Q203], Fragment 7, column ii from Plate 31, J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, with permission. Unlike many of the other poorly preserved Aramaic fragments of the Book of Giants, the translation of this one is straightforward: “(5) [ … ] to you, Mah[awai … ] (6) the two tablets [ … ] (7) and the second has not been read up till now [ … ].” Though the “Ḥ” is difficult to see in the photograph of the manuscript we have reproduced here, F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), Fragment 7, column ii, lines 5–7, p. 260, reads the end of line 5 as “MḤ.” Milik also sees an “MḤ” on line 5 and interprets it as being the first part of the name MḤWY (J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 314). By way of contrast, L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 84 and J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 110 see only “M” and not “MḤ” in this particular fragment. Although only the first one or two letters of the name MḤWY are extant in Fragment 7 of 4Q203, the full name Mahawai/Mahujah appears in other, more complete fragments from the Book of Giants (e.g., 4Q530, 7 ii). In English translations of the Book of Giants, the name is usually transliterated as “Mahaway” or “Mahawai,” but in the Book of Moses it is given as “Mahijah” (Moses 6:40) or “Mahujah” (7:2).

Figure 2. National Portrait Gallery, London. https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp77746/matthew-black (accessed September 16, 2019).

Footnotes

 

1 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 276. Cf. Ibid., pp. 267–268.

2 Published as J. T. Milik et al., Enoch.

3 Note that the vowels in the English transliteration of the Book of Giants name MHWY are largely a matter of conjecture, since no vowels appear in the Aramaic text. On the other hand, with respect to Mahujah (MHWY/MḤWY) and Mahijah (MHYY/MḤYY) from the Book of Moses, we have English versions of the names containing vowels, but it is impossible to tell from the English text alone whether the second consonant in the names would have been written anciently as the equivalent of an “H” (as in the Book of Giants) or an Ḥ (as in Genesis 4:18).
With respect to the similar King James Bible name Mehujael, twice-mentioned in Genesis 4:18, the underlying Hebrew is spelled differently in each case, i.e., both as Mehujael (MḤWY-EL) and Mehijael (MḤYY-EL). The presence of variant spellings of the name (“u” vs. “i”) is intriguing in light of the Book of Moses names with similar vowel variants (Mahujah vs. Mahijah). On the one hand, the Book of Moses names resemble the two Hebrew versions of the name in Genesis 4:18 in that both a “u” and an “i” variant of the name is present. On the other hand, the Book of Moses names are both similar to the Book of Giants name in that they omit the Genesis 4:18 theophoric ending “-EL,” a name for God.
The Book of Moses names terminate with an “h” in their English spellings. This makes them different from both the names in both Genesis 4:18 and in the Book of Giants. It is impossible to know from the manuscript evidence alone whether the “-jah” termination of the Book of Moses names was meant to stand for the name of the God of Israel (Psalm 68:4), or if the “h” on the end of the English version of the name is present for some other reason. For example, given the prevalence of “-jah” terminations in Old Testament names (e.g., Elijah), it is not surprising that an English-speaking scribe who heard the JST Genesis name pronounced during the dictation process might have written the name with an “h” at the end to make the spelling conform to this common naming convention.
Compounding the difficulty for non-specialists in recognizing similarities and differences in the spellings of ancient names is that translators differ in their English transliteration conventions. For example, the English letters “j,” “y,” and “i” variously used to represent the Semitic letter yod. Thus, in English translations of the Book of Giants, we see several variants of the same name: Mahaway (the most common), Mahawai, Mahway, and Mahuy — or, with the “y” transliterated with a “j” as frequently done with other names containing a yod in the King James Bible, Mahuj.
As in every language, the form and spellings of names also change over time and as they pass from one culture to another. In J. M. Bradshaw et al., Where Did the Names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” Come From?it is argued that despite a significant difference in one consonant (“Ḥ” [Bible] vs. “H” [Book of Giants]), there is currently no compelling reason why the Book of Giants name MHWY (with all the variety of its English equivalents) could not have been related at some point in its history to the King James Bible name elements Mehuja-/Mehija- (spelled as both MḤWY- /MḤYY-) and to the Book of Moses names Mahujah (MHWY/MḤWY) and Mahijah (MHYY/MḤYY).

4 H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 277–279; H. W. Nibley, Churches, pp. 156-159; H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, pp. 267–269. In evaluating Nibley’s suggestions, LDS scholar David Calabro observes that Nibley, while brilliant, was more of a philologist than a linguist, “and as such he did not generally focus on laying out the details of linguistic connections. He was also treating connections at a broad literary level, taking for granted that words and names sometimes get garbled in transmission” (D. Calabro, January 24 2018).
While maintaining the possibility of a correspondence between the ancient equivalent of these names, Calabro explains why we cannot posit a direct equivalence between all of them (including the related names Mahujael/Mahijael in Genesis 4:18) in their current forms (ibid.):

The -ah in Mahujah and Mahijah is problematic if you are interpreting the current forms of these names as equivalents of both Mahawai and also of Mehuja-/Mehija- in Mahujael/Mahijael at the same time. In other words, Mahujah can = MHWY + Jah or Mehjael can = Mahujael can = Mahujah + El, but both equations can’t be applied to the current forms of these names at the same time.

Of course, Calabro observes, the rules were different in earlier times, since “dropping of final vowels only happened sometime between 1200 and 600 BC” (ibid.):

But it’s unlikely that the names in Moses are making a point of this. Joseph left the rest of the biblical names untouched. And if Lehi, Paul, and Jude all had access to the Book of Moses (as I believe they did), the name would have dropped any final short vowels before the text was finished being transmitted.

That said, Calabro goes on to explain why the connections between these names are not unlikely, even in the face of these considerations (ibid.):

Very often in pseudepigraphal traditions, you get names that sound similar (or sometimes not even similar), just garbled a bit. It’s frequent in Arabic forms of biblical names: Ibrahim for “Abraham” (perhaps influenced by Elohim or some other plural Hebrew noun), ‘Isa for Yasu‘ “Jesus,” etc. So Mahujah, Mahijah, Mehujael/Mehijael, and MḤWY could all be connected, with something getting mixed up in transmission.

With respect to correspondences between Mahujah and Mahijah, Nibley (H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 278; H. W. Nibley, Churches, p. 157) argues that they are variants of the same name, given that “Mehuja-el” appears in the Greek Septuagint as “Mai-el” (C. Dogniez et al., Pentateuque, Genesis 4:18, p. 145; M. K. H. Peters, Deuteronomy, Genesis 4:18, p. 8) and in the Latin Vulgate as Mawiah-el (R. Weber, Vulgata, Genesis 4:18, p. 9). Since the Greek version had no internal “Ḥ,” Nibley reasons that “Mai-” could come only from “Mahi-” (MḤY-).
J. W. Wevers likewise writes that the Septuagint spelling of Mai-el [in Genesis 4:18] “follows the Samaritan tradition of [Mahi-el]” (J. W. Wevers, Notes, p. 62 n. 4:18) with the only difference being the dropped “h.” According to Nibley, the Mahawai version that we see in the Book of Giants, is probably related to Genesis 4:18. It shows up in the Latin Vulgate as “Maviahel” likely because the fact that Jerome went to the Hebrew version for his translation. He didn’t use the “Ḥ” either and made the “W” a consonant (“v”) instead of a vowel (“u”) in his transliteration. This is why in the Douay-Rheims Bible (based on the Vulgate), we see the name rendered as “Maviael.” See more on Genesis 4:18 below.
Note that the grandfather of the prophet Enoch also bore a similar name to Mahawai/Mahujah: Mahalaleel (Genesis 5:12–17; 1 Chronicles 1:2; Moses 6:19-20. See also Nehemiah 11:4). As a witness of how easily such names can be confused, observe that the Greek manuscript used for Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint reads “Maleleel” for “Maiel” in Genesis 4:18 (L. C. L. Brenton, Septuagint, Genesis 4:18, p. 5).

5 Moses 7:2. It has been argued that the presence of two similar names, “Mahijah and “Mahujah,” in the Book of Moses is due to a transcription error. In J. M. Bradshaw et al., Textual Criticism it is argued that the evidence for such an error is questionable.
Note that Mahujah can be read either as a place name or a personal name. In the 2013 canonical version of the Book of Moses, Moses 7:2 reads: “As I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah, and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.”
On the basis of the pronoun “I” that is present in the OT1 manuscript (see S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, p. 103) and the use of the second-person plural “ye” that appears twice later in the verse, Cirillo argues for an alternate reading: “As I was journeying and stood in the place, Mahujah and I cried unto the Lord. There came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon” (S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 103, punctuation modified). This reading turns the name Mahujah into a personal name instead of a place name, i.e., with the meaning that Enoch is “standing with” Mahujah, “not on Mahujah” (ibid., p. 103). An issue with this reading is that afterward, Enoch went up to meet God alone (“I turned and went up on the mount; … I stood upon the mount” [Moses 7:3]). The only way to reconcile the absence of Mahujah in subsequent events would be if he did not follow Enoch to the mount as he had been commanded to do in Moses 7:2 (taking the “Turn ye” to be plural).
On the other hand, in a different reading, David Calabro points out that Moses 7:2 “As I was journeying … and I cried” “could be an example of the use of ‘and’ to introduce a main clause after a circumstantial clause, which is a Hebraism that is frequently found in the earliest Book of Mormon text” (D. Calabro, January 24 2018). In this case, the “ye” in “Turn ye” would have to be interpreted as singular rather than plural.
If indeed the name for mount Mahujah on which Enoch ascended to pray relates to the idea of questioning (as proposed in a note by Nibley below), it would provide a neat counterpart to the name of the mount Simeon (Hebrew Shi’mon = he has heard), where Enoch was commanded to go in order to receive his answers. Note Al-Tha’labi’s account of Adam and Eve being rejoined after their separation when “they recognized each other by questioning on a day of questioning. So the place was named ‘Arafat (= questions) and the day, ‘Irfah.” (A. I. A. I. M. I. I. al-Tha’labi, Lives, p. 54; cf. al-Tabari, Creation, 1:120, p. 291).

6 The use of two variations of the same name in one statement is not uncommon in the Hebrew Bible. In this case, the Masoretic text of Genesis 4:18 includes both spellings of the name (Mehuja-el and Mehija-el) one right after the other, and in a context that leaves no doubt that the two occurrences refer to the same individual (see, e.g., B. L. Bandstra, Genesis 1-11, p. 268; ibid., p. 268; ibid., p. 268). R. S. Hendel, Text, pp. 47-48; ibid., pp. 47-48; ibid., pp. 47-48 attributes this phenomenon either to a graphic confusion of “Y” and “W” (cf. H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 278; H. W. Nibley, Churches (1989), pp. 289–290) or to linguistic modernization of what seems to be the older form (Mehuja-el). Note that instead of featuring two different forms of the name in succession as in the Masoretic text, some other texts render the names consistently. For example, the Cairo Geniza manuscript gives Mehuja-el twice, while the Samaritan version has Mahi-el (cf. Mehijael) twice (M. Shoulson, Torah, Genesis 4:18, p. 11; B. Tsedaka et al., Israelite Samaritan, Genesis 4:18, p. 12).

7 As an alternative explanation for the two variant names in the Book of MOses, it has been argued that Joseph Smith possessed and used a copy of Adam Clarke’s 1825 Bible commentary (A. Clarke, Holy Bible), which lists transliterations of the two variant Hebrew variants of Mehujael in Genesis 4:18 on page 151. But, for reasons fully explained in J. M. Bradshaw et al., Where Did the Names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” Come From?, this seems unlikely.
Among other considerations, evidence from Joseph Smith’s name translations in Genesis 4:18–19 cast doubt on the idea that he would have been interested in meticulous scrutiny of Clarke’s table of spelling variants for two versions of the name Mehujael he could alter and use in his account of Enoch. Within the span of the few lines that contain his rendering of the biblical name Mehujael, we find three examples of variant name spellings: Mehujael/Mahujael, Mathusael/Mathusiel, Lameh/Lamech (S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1 page 10, p. 95). The evidence provided by these variants gives the impression that these name spellings were based simply on what the scribes heard Joseph Smith read, rather than on an effort to conform to the Bible or other written documents for consistency.
Regardless of whether or not Joseph Smith referenced a published commentary as a translation aid during the earliest phases of his work on the Bible, what weakens the argument that Joseph Smith relied on Clarke’s table in this case is the lack of a credible argument for why the Prophet would have been motivated to do so. Readers will have to judge for themselves the likelihood that Joseph Smith would actually have had the time, patience, and — most importantly — a compelling reason to search through Clarke’s commentary for two variant names he could use for an obscure, twice-mentioned character in his Genesis translation, presumably in order to give it more credibility. It should be remembered that he had no hesitation in previously publishing scores of strange-looking names in the Book of Mormon for which he had no Bible to back him up.

8 Jude 1:14–15. For evidence of Joseph Smith’s awareness of these verses, see this remark in the preface to Moses 7, the account of Enoch’s vision, as part of his history (J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, December 1830, 1:132. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Papers 2008-, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], p. 81, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-a-1-23-december-1805-30-august-1834/87 [accessed May 20, 2020]):

The common remark was, they are “lost books”; but it seems the Apostolic Church had some of these writings, as Jude mentions or quotes the Prophecy of Enoch, the seventh from Adam.

Though the portion of Joseph Smith’s history in which this quote appears was not compiled before about January 1843 when William W. Phelps began assisting Willard Richards in this task, Joseph Smith “dictated or supplied information for much of A-1” and was well-acquainted enough with the New Testament to make his knowledge of these verses in Jude probable by December 1830 and January 1831 when the account of Enoch was translated.
Note also that the Prophet quoted a passage from Jude’s citation of Enoch (Jude 1:14) in a letter to the Saints in Missouri written on December 10, 1833 (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 10 December 1833, p. 36. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Papers 2008-, JS Letterbook 1, Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 10 December 1833, p. 72, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-to-edward-partridge-and-others-10-december-1833/4 [accessed May 20, 2020]). And he used Jude 1:14–15 in connection with his teachings about Enoch on October 5, 1840 (See J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 5 October 1840, p. 170; J. Smith, Jr. et al., Words, discourse recorded in the hand of Robert B. Thompson, 5 October 1840, p. 41; J. Smith, Jr., Papers 2008-, Instruction on Priesthood, 5 October 1840, p. 6, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/instruction-on-priesthood-5-october-1840/11 [accessed May 20, 2020]).

9 It seems possible that the names ’Ohyah and Hahyah were invented for wordplay based on the Hebrew forms of their names. However, for a detailed description of several reasons that wordplay based on an Aramaic form of a verb in the name Mahaway is unlikely, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., Where Did the Names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” Come From?.

10 S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 97. Cf. L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 27.

11 In this and later quotes from Cirillo, we spell out the names of works he cites rather than using abbreviated versions of the names as he did.

12 S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 126.

13 Cirillo goes on to say “And additional proof of Smith‘s knowledge of the [Book of Giants] is evidenced by his use of the codename Baurak Ale.” For more on Barak Ale/Baraq’el, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, M6-19, pp. 96–97.

14 W. McKane, Matthew Black.

15 G. C. Thomasson, Items on Enoch — Some Notes of Personal History. Expansion of remarks given at the Conference on Enoch and the Temple, Academy for Temple Studies, Provo, Utah, 22 February 2013 (unpublished manuscript, 25 February 2013); G. C. Thomasson, April 7 2014.

16 Moses 7:2.

17 H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 269. For the complete account, see pp. 267–269. Elsewhere Nibley gives a similar account (H. W. Nibley, Letter to Frederick M. Huchel):

On the week [the Milik and Black translation of the Aramaic Enoch fragments] appeared in 1976, I spent several days with Dr. Black. He was greatly impressed by certain parallels between the Qumran Book of Enoch and Joseph Smith’s. When I started asking for explanations he would switch to other topics. … He is president of the St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland, the oldest in the world, and greatly preferred talking golf with Billy Casper, who also happened to be visiting here at the time, than splitting heads about the Book of Enoch. He did say a number of times, shaking his head in a bemused fashion, “Someday we will find out where Joseph Smith got that. … Someday a source will turn up.” Which I doubt not for a moment, since we already have an impressive sampling. I am afraid it will not be what Brother Black is hoping for.

See also the video excerpt of an interview of Hugh Nibley recorded in connection with a National Interfaith Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 20 November 1992 in the Kresge Auditorium of Stanford University (H. W. Nibley, Hugh Nibley on the Book of Enoch). Nibley’s comments on his encounter with Black appear at about 6:04–6:50.

18 See “Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Were ancient Enoch manuscripts the inspiration for Moses 6–7?” Book of Moses Insight #5 (May 29, 2020), for an overview of these connections.

19 An argument for common, older Mesopotamian traditions within Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7, 1 Enoch 14, and the Book of Giants is given in A. M. Bledsoe Davis, Throne Theophanies, p. 85. Specifically, she argues that 1 Enoch 14’s adoption of the Danielic idea of the deity shows only that this idea was “accepted even at a late period, and does not automatically make [1 Enoch 14] older even if the tradition may be observed in generally more ancient writings.” More generally, she concluded “that all three of these texts drew from a common tradition(s) regarding the heavenly throne and then adapted it to fit within their individual context” (ibid., p. 90). In other words (according to Bledsoe-Davis), Daniel, 1 Enoch, and the Book of Giants independently draw on “common tradition(s)” that are older than any of the three texts.
With specific respect to the origins of the names in the Book of Giants, scholarly consensus recognizes that the surprise appearance of the names Gilgamesh and Ḥobabish in the Book of Giants is due to direct and/or indirect influences of some kind from the Akkadian Gilgamesh epic (A. George, Gilgamesh). Milik was the first to note the first and “only mention of Gilgamesh outside the cuneiform literature” as well as to recognize that the name Ḥobabish derives from Humbaba, the monster slain by Gilgamesh (J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 313 n. L-6). Matthew Goff, among others, has clarified and amplified the relationship among the Old Babylonian epic and the fragmentary Aramaic Enoch text (M. Goff, Gilgamesh the Giant). Though a few of the Book of Giants names (e.g., ’Ohyah, Hahyah) may be ad hoc inventions to facilitate wordplay in the text, it has been argued elsewhere that such invention for that purpose seems much less plausible for the name Mahaway (J. M. Bradshaw et al., Where Did the Names “Mahaway” and “Mahujah” Come From?). Like Gilgamesh, Mahaway appears more likely to be a name already known in tradition than one that was created ad hoc for the Book of Giants for wordplay (like ’Ohyah and Hahyah).

20 A. Caquot, Les Prodromes, p 50.

21 N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 36.

22. R. S. Hess, Studies, p. 41.

23 U. Cassuto, Adam to Noah, p. 232.

24 Ibid., p. 232. For more about their role and function, see A. L. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, p. 221. Cf. W. Heimpel, Letters to the King, p. 578 s. v. ecstatic.

25 See W. Heimpel, Letters to the King, 26 220, p. 262 and 26 221, p. 263.

26 U. Cassuto, Adam to Noah, p. 233.

27 Ibid., p. 233. Cf. R. S. Hess, Studies, p. 46.

28 R. S. Hess, Studies, p. 46. Bowen further comments on Cassuto’s analysis and other possible Mesopotamian etymologies for these names as follows (M. L. Bowen, March 18 2020):

Methusael may or may not constitute a Hebraization of the widely accepted, but still (as yet) theoretical and unattested Akkadian form, mutu ša ili (“man of god”). Nevertheless, Mesopotamia seems to be a good place to look in terms of obtaining more precise etymologies for the names in the Genesis genealogies.
Since Umberto Cassuto opens the door to considering Akkadian maḫḫû (“ecstatic, prophet,” J. Black et al., Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, p. 190) as the source of the first element in Mehujael, we can also consider the word maḫḫû (“great”) as a possible source. The latter term derives from Sumerian MAḪ (adj. “high[;] … exalted, supreme, great, lofty, foremost, sublime, splendid” J. A. Halloran, Sumerian Lexicon, p. 168). If Cassuto is right that Lamech can be connected to Akkadian lumakku , we do well to note that lumakku or lumaḫḫû (which can also mean “chief, ruler,” J. Black et al., Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, p. 185) also appears to derive from Sumerian MAḪ (LÚ.MAḪ = “great man”). This may have some further bearing on the etymology of the Book of Moses name “Mahan” in Moses 5:31, 49 [spelled “Mahon” in Joseph Smith Translation OT1, p. 10, S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, p. 94].
I think the point that lmk does not occur in West Semitic is more important than it may seem at a glance.

Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Enoch and the Other “Wild Man”

Book of Moses Insight #6

Moses 6:15, 37–68; 7:2, 13, 38

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

As Enoch set out to fulfill his prophetic commission, it seems that his preaching at first attracted listeners only because of its value as local entertainment. Everyone was eager to see the noisy religious fanatic:

And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent-keepers:1 Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us. (Moses 6:38, emphasis added)

The rare term “wild man” fairly pops out at the reader. It is used only once elsewhere in scripture, as part of Jacob’s prophecy about how Ishmael will live to become everyone’s favorite enemy.2 However, a much more interesting parallel to the Book of Moses can be found in the Book of Giants —an Aramaic Enoch manuscript discovered at Qumran. To fully appreciate the significance of what this small detail adds to the larger Enoch story, some background will be helpful.

Holy and Unholy Wild Men

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is the best-known biblical type of a “wild man.” After spurning the Lord’s call to repentance, his fate was announced by the prophet Daniel:3

O king Nebuchadnezzar, … The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field … until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

In William Blake’s grotesque depiction of Nebuchadnezzar shown above, “we see [the king] in exile, animal-like on all fours. Naked, he gazes with mad horror at his own reflection like some kind of anti-Narcissus.”4

Seeking to characterize the typological “children of Nebuchadnezzar” in sacred and secular literature, Penelope Doob contrasted the literary convention of the “unholy wild man” with that of the “holy wild man.”5 Nebuchadnezzar is the prototype of the former category, his madness and self-exclusion from society ending only when he satisfactorily completed the process of penance.6 Other “wild men” in the Bible who, by way of contrast to Nebuchadnezzar, never lost their “wildness” include Ishmael,7 Esau,8 Samson,9 and the archetypal forebear of the biblical gibborim, Nimrod.10 Of interest in tracing the history of these characters is that they often served as “the secondary, wild counterpart to the primary hero”11 —Ishmael vs. Isaac, Esau vs. Jacob, Nimrod vs. Abraham,12 or perhaps even the “wild and savage”13 Lamanites vs. the Nephites.

In its single appearance in scripture outside of the story of Enoch, the term “wild man” (used in the King James Bible for Ishmael) translates the literal Hebrew “wild-ass man,” calling to mind:14

the sturdy, fearless, and fleet-footed Syrian onager (Hebrew pere’), who inhabits the wilderness and is almost impossible to domesticate. Jeremiah describes the wild ass of the desert: “snuffing the wind in her eagerness, whose passions none can restrain.”15 Hagar … will produce a people free and undisciplined.

The description of Ishmael as an “onager man” matches that of Enkidu as akkanu (onager) in the old Babylonian epic Gilgamesh, an indomitable warrior whose prowess was proved in bloody battle: a “wild ass on the run, donkey of the uplands, panther of the wild”16 who “slaughtered the Bull of Heaven” and “killed Humbaba.”17

On the other hand, Adam,18 Elijah,19 John the Baptist,20 and later Christian practitioners of monasticism and asceticism are sometimes identified as exemplars of the “holy wild man,” though it is important to point out that they are never actually called that in scripture.21 These figures voluntarily took on their rough clothing as “fools for God”22 in a quest for “greater knowledge.”23 The single luxury afforded by the spartan lifestyle of these “prophets in the wilderness,”24 was the freedom to dedicate themselves single-mindedly to the preaching of repentance with a loud voice to spiritually deaf hearers.25

Was Enoch a Wild Man?

Enoch was certainly not an “unholy wild man.” But does he actually fit the description of a “holy wild man”? Two ways of answering this question present themselves. The first option is quite simple and obvious. The second is more complex and speculative but may offer a more complete explanation of what little relevant information we have in scripture. In order to adequately discuss both options, this Insight will be a little longer than usual.

Option 1: Enoch was a “holy wild man,” somewhat of the same mold as John the Baptist. In certain respects, Enoch seems to fit the bill of a “holy wild man” when we compare him with John the Baptist. Like Enoch, John the Baptist drew crowds who had more interest in seeing some “strange thing”26 than in hearing their entrenched beliefs challenged. The Book of Moses account paints the people addressed by Enoch as spiritual cousins to Paul’s Athenian audience who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.”27 Had Enoch’s appearance been a trivial, commonplace event, a mere “reed shaken in the wind,”28 they would have just stayed home to begin with—as unchanged as they were when they returned home after hearing him. Surely, as the account implies, such individuals would not have left their tents simply “to gaze upon an everyday sight,” 29especially when, as with John, they would have had to travel to “the hills and high places”30 to find him.

In addition to whatever else we might infer in a speculative mood about the Enoch’s appearance being a “strange thing in the land,”31 the Book of Moses itself gives us an explicit example of what piqued people’s interest in going to see Enoch — namely, because “he prophesieth.”32 Does this mean, perhaps, that “the word of the Lord was precious [i.e., rare] in those days; there was no open vision”?33 If so, the very scarcity of prophets and prophecy may also help explain Enoch’s appeal as a local novelty.34

Whatever factors might have established Enoch as a strange and rare spectacle, the Book of Moses goes on to reveal that he was a formidable source of fright:35

when they heard him, no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him.

Later, when warfare erupted with Enoch’s followers, his power over natural elements when speaking “the word of the Lord” provoked fear throughout the entire region:36

And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

To sum up, Enoch’s rare appearance as an outsider and a formidable prophet, perhaps a sort of proto-Samuel the Lamanite,37 preaching a disruptive message in the wilderness at a time when prophets may have been scarce, when combined with the fearful power over nature and his enemies that God had given him may have been sufficient reason for the people to have describe him as a “wild man.”38

Option 2: Enoch was not a “wild man,” but was simply called one in mockery. Apart from the description of Enoch’s dominance in battle (to which we will return below), the direct evidence from scripture indicates only that Enoch shared certain aspects of John’s “strangeness.” But are there strong indications in the Book of Moses39 that Enoch also shared the key identifiers of John’s “wildness”—for example, his rough apparel, his social isolation, and his rigorous diet? Surprisingly, we do not find enough evidence in scripture to make us wholly confident that Enoch embodied the essential qualities of the “wild man” typology that seem to have been prevalent in his day.

To situate Enoch’s audience more precisely, we turn from the later examples of Elijah and John the Baptist to the older and more pointedly relevant literature that illustrates the concept of “wild man” in times closer to the life of Enoch. Several useful studies of recurring appearances and echoes of various peoples that were called gibborim (Hebrew “mighty warriors”40) may help us understand older meanings of the term “wild man” and the social setting of Enoch’s mission from the perspective of Jewish tradition.

The Hebrew word gibbor itself gives us a starting point. “Etymologically, with its doubled middle consonant,” writes Gregory Mobley, “gibbor is an intensive form of geber, ‘man.’ In this regard, as masculinity squared, gibbor roughly compares to the English compound ‘he-man.’”41 And in what manly qualities was a gibbor expected to excel? Brian R. Doak summarizes a relevant aspect of his sociolinguistic analysis of the culture of the gibborim in biblical times as follows:42

As human-like embodiments of that which is wild and untamed, the biblical [gibbor] takes on the role of “wild man,” “freak,” and “elite adversary” for heroic displays of fighting prowess.

If the cultural values hinted at in the Book of Giants and similar literature about the gibborim bear any resemblance to those of Enoch’s audience in the Book of Moses—and certainly the brief but highly revealing description of merciless ethnic warfare described Moses 7:5–10 provides some support for this hypothesis43—the personal quality most admired among the gibborim was indeed “fighting prowess.” We might infer that the greatest compliment that one gibbor could pay to another would be to acknowledge his standing as a veritable “wild man.”

In the Enoch literature inside and outside of scripture, how does Enoch measure up to how a gibbor might describe a “wild man”? Did he ever revel in the wild thrill of human slaughter? Had he ever slain a lion with his bare hands?44 Did he have any reputation at all as a bow-man or a hunter? For that matter, was he said to have been “large in stature,”45 like Nephi and Mormon, Book of Mormon prophets who later became military leaders? When we look for any match between descriptions of Enoch and the core traits of a “wild man” in the biblical tradition (and more especially in the gibborim culture), we come up empty-handed.

If we grant that Enoch is not explicitly said to have the core qualities and experiences that would have clearly marked him as a “wild man,” why then would anyone have called him one?46 That is the puzzle.

So we start at the beginning: What do we know about the character of Enoch from the Book of Moses at the time of his call? Since we know very little, what little we know from scripture becomes important. And from what Robert Alter, the eminent scholar of the literary aspects of the Old Testament, tells us about the way biblical narrative works, “at the beginning of any new story, the point at which dialogue first emerges will be worthy of special attention, and in most instances, the initial words spoken by a personage will be revelatory, … constituting an important moment in the exposition of character.”47

What did Enoch say at that moment? He “bowed himself to the earth” — and then humbly expounded his unfitness for the task: “I … am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech.”48 “With a few deft strokes the [scriptural] author, together with the imagination of his reader, constructs a picture that is more ‘real’ than if he had drawn it in detail.”49 Enoch’s words have provided what Laurence Turner calls an “announcement of plot.”50 Thus, as readers, we are now equipped with clues about what we should be looking for as the story proceeds.

Indeed, Enoch’s first statement is especially telling: “I … am but a lad.”51 In a warrior culture, a “lad” (Hebrew na‘ar) occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of respect. To the gibbor to whom fighting was everything, the inexperienced na‘ar was a nothing. Mobley explains:52

A na‘ar … can mean many things—“boy,” “servant,” “assistant,” “infantryman”—but in every case is less than a gibbor. To the superior party, a veteran warrior, there was no glory in fighting below his station. Goliath disdains the na‘ar David, who emerges from the Israelite camp to face him.53

Then, once Enoch begins to preach, we are led to ask: If Enoch’s own people hated him, and plausibly mocked him for being “slow in speech,” why would his enemies have been any more charitable to him when he first made his appearance? Would hostile locals who had only heard rumors about Enoch be prone to speak glowingly of his anticipated oratory style, stature, or prowess? Or is it more likely that they would continue the sort of mockery to which Enoch had been accustomed back home? Moreover, it should be observed that any initial prejudice against Enoch’s appearance and delivery was apparently magnified by the content and severity of the message itself: he “cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.”54

Another important clue to understanding the changing attitudes of the people toward Enoch is found in verses 38 and 39. These verses seem to be deliberately contrastive, revealing the difference in the attitude of the crowd before and after they heard Enoch. In verse 38, before the people “came forth … to behold the seer,” they mentioned to the “tent-keepers”—perhaps in a sarcastic or derisive manner—that “a wild man hath come among us.”55 It seems that only after Enoch opened his mouth to his hearers is their mocking tone replaced by an awestruck attitude: “When they heard him, no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him.”56

By the time we reach the end of the story, we realize that Enoch’s initial self-characterization as being “slow in speech” has prepared us for the ironic turning of the tables that plays out on a larger stage in his final military victory. This may constitute one of the primary lessons of the account: namely, that Enoch conquered his foes through the “virtue of the word of God.”57 In contrast to the gibborim, aspiring wild men who “conquered according to [their] strength,”58 Enoch, who lacked any of the macho qualities his enemies held dear, won his battles as “he spake the word of the Lord.”59 His former weakness had become his strength60 through “the power of the language which God had given him.”61 And the physical strength of the gibborim was, crushingly, nothing but weakness when facing Enoch, a divinely empowered adversary.62

Consistent with the moral of such a lesson, later biblical authors pointedly taught that “Israel’s future did not lie along”63 the “way [of] all [their] warriors [gibborim],”64 but rather in “turn[ing] back to the Lord with all [one’s] heart.”65 Proverbs 24:25 averred that “A wise man is mightier than a strong one.”66 Paraphrasing, we might understand this to mean that the “wise man” is more of a geber67 than the gibbor — in other words, the “wise man” is more of a “man” than the “he man.” Similarly, the preacher of Ecclesiastes 9:16 concluded that “wisdom (ḥokmâ) is superior to [“manly”] heroism (gĕbûrâ).”68

Is there a precedent in the Book of Moses for the incident that attached in mockery the incongruous label of “wild man” to Enoch? Yes, one can find the same style of rude humor in Moses 8, where a reversal of labels was used to please the party-goers in Noah’s day. As the drunken crowd of “sons of men”69 who had spurned Noah’s preaching70 and married his granddaughters71 filled and refilled their wine cups, they laughingly called themselves the “sons of God.”72 At the same time, after playfully exalting their own status, they sarcastically called their wives “daughters of men,”73 deliberately deprecating the lineage of their wives as daughters of the sons of Noah. Significantly, these sons of Noah, the fathers of these wives, had been specifically characterized as “the sons of God.”74 Though the labels vary, the tasteless and worn-out brand of humor remains the same in every generation.

Elmer Fudd: “How am I ever going to catch that scwewy duck?”
Daffy Duck: “Precisely what I was wondering, my little Nimrod.”

Continuing with a modern example, we suggest that the term “wild man” might have been used sarcastically by the gibborim to mock the relatively smaller stature of Enoch when compared to themselves, perhaps similar to the case of Daffy Duck calling the hopelessly inept hunter Elmer Fudd “my little Nimrod.”75

What about the “Wild Man” in the Book of Giants?

As to the “wild man” who appears in the Aramaic Enoch tradition from Qumran, it should first be noted that past scholars have sometimes doubted that the term “wild man” even appears in the Book of Giants. However, while earlier Book of Giants translations of the relevant passage sometimes contained either one or the other but not both of the terms “wild man” and “wild beasts,” there is an increasingly solid consensus that both terms are present in the original manuscript.76

If the growing consensus is correct, one of the wicked leaders of the gibborim, perhaps Gilgamesh,77 called himself “the wild man.” We draw on the translation of Edwin Cook to provide background for the statement of the wicked gibbor as an admission of his humiliating defeat and resulting personal debasement by Enoch and his people:78

3. [ … I am] mighty, and by the mighty strength of my arm and my own great strength
4. [and I went up against a]ll flesh, and I made war against them; but I did not
5. [prevail, and I am not] able to stand firm against them, for my opponents
6. [are angels who] reside in [heav]en, and they dwell in the holy places [ … ] And they were not
7. [defeated, for they] are stronger than I. [ … ]
8. [ ] of the wild beast has come, and the wild man they call [me.]

Joseph Angel ably compares the humbling of the arrogant leader of the gibborim, muttering to himself in dismay after his defeat, to the principal theme of the story of Nebuchadnezzar. Angel perceptively recognizes that the characterization of both Nebuchadnezzar and Gilgamesh as “wild men both appear to be related to the Epic of Gilgamesh.”79 In this dramatic turn of events, the would-be mighty wild man (in the proud tradition of the gibborim) is literally or figuratively transformed into a beastly wild man of Mesopotamian and biblical tragedy.80 The reader of the account will also see, in line with the typical biblical “wild man” tradition, that Enoch’s enemy has played “the secondary, wild counterpart to the primary hero”81—who, in both the Book of Giants and the Book of Moses, is clearly Enoch himself.

Conclusion

The Book of Moses and the Book of Giants are two different works, published millennia apart, each with a unique past and their own story to tell. That said, whatever the exact meaning of the term “wild man” in these two accounts may be, the fact that this rare and peculiar description shows up in these already closely related stories about Enoch hints that they may each contain shards of a common, pre-existing literary tradition. So far as we are able to determine, the single occurrence of the term “wild man” in the extant ancient Enoch literature is in the Book of Giants and the only instance of it in the scripture translations of Joseph Smith is in the Enoch account in the Book of Moses.


This article was adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 42, 68.

Further Reading

Angel, Joseph L. “The humbling of the arrogant and the ‘wild man’ and ‘tree stump’ traditions in the Book of Giants and Daniel 4.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 61–80. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 42, 68 (“wild man”), 84, 203, 225 (sons of men and daughters of Noah).

Doak, Brian R. “The giant in a thousand years: Tracing narratives of gigantism in the Hebrew Bible and beyond.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 13–32. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, pp. 24–25.

Doob, Penelope B. R. Nebuchadnezzar’s Children: Conventions of Madness in Middle English Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974.

Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005, pp. 74 n. 45, 96 (“wild man” and “tent-keepers”), 161–164 (sons of men and daughters of Noah).

Mobley, Gregory. “The wild man in the Bible and the Ancient Near East.” Journal of Biblical Literature 116, no. 2 (1997): 217-33. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3266221. (accessed April 6, 2020).

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 180, 211–213.

References

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Angel, Joseph L. “The humbling of the arrogant and the “wild man” and “tree stump” traditions in the Book of Giants and Daniel 4.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 61-80. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Berlin, Adele. 1983. Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1994. https://books.google.com/books?id=eLoBhPENIBQC. (accessed April 10, 2020).

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Bloom, Harold. 1963. Blake’s Apocalypse: A Study in Poetic Argument. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

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Davies, W. D., and Dale C. Allison. 1991. The Gospel According to St. Matthew. 3 vols. The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, ed. J. A. Emerton, C. E. B. Cranfield and G. N. Stanton. London, England: T&T Clark, 2012.

de Troyes, Chrétien. ca. 1180. “Yvain.” In Arthurian Romances. Translated by W. W. Comfort, 157-233. Mineola, NY: Dover Books, 2006.

Doak, Brian R. “The giant in a thousand years: Tracing narratives of gigantism in the Hebrew Bible and beyond.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 13-32. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Doob, Penelope B. R. Nebuchadnezzar’s Children: Conventions of Madness in Middle English Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974.

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Laertius, Diogenes. 1925. “Solon.” In Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Books 1-5. 2 vols. Vol. 1. Translated by R. D. Hicks. The Loeb Classical Library 184, 46-69. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959. https://archive.org/details/DiogenesLaertius01LivesOfEminentPhilosophers15_201412. (accessed April 7, 2020).

Lidzbarski, Mark, ed. Das Johannesbuch der Mandäer. 2 vols. Giessen, Germany: Alfred Töpelmann, 1905, 1915.

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—, ed. Ginza: Der Schatz oder das Grosse Buch der Mandäer. Quellen der Religionsgeschichte, der Reihenfolge des Erscheinens 13:4. Göttingen and Leipzig, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, J. C. Hinrichs’sche, 1925. https://ia802305.us.archive.org/7/items/MN41563ucmf_2/MN41563ucmf_2.pdf. (accessed September 7, 2019).

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (4Q531).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 262. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

MichaelK. In which cartoon (if any) did Bugs Bunny use the term “nimrod”? Movies & TV Stack Exchange, 2017. https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/81453/in-which-cartoon-if-any-did-bugs-bunny-use-the-term-nimrod. (accessed February 22, 2020).

Migne, Jacques P. “Livre d’Adam.” In Dictionnaire des Apocryphes, ou, Collection de tous les livres Apocryphes relatifs a l’Ancien et au Nouveau Testament, pour la plupart, traduits en français, pour la première fois, sur les textes originaux, enrichie de préfaces, dissertations critiques, notes historiques, bibliographiques, géographiques et théologiques, edited by Jacques P. Migne. Migne, Jacques P. ed. 2 vols. Vol. 1. Troisième et Dernière Encyclopédie Théologique 23, 1-290. Paris, France: Migne, Jacques P., 1856. http://books.google.com/books?id=daUAAAAAMAAJ. (accessed October 17, 2012).

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—. The Empty Men: The Heroic Tradition of Ancient Israel. The Anchor Bible Reference Library, ed. David Noel Freedman. New York City, NY: Doubleday, 2005.

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Pseudo-Clement. ca. 235-258. “Recognitions of Clement.” In The Ante-Nicene Fathers (The Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325), edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Vol. 8, 77-211. Buffalo, NY: The Christian Literature Company, 1886. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004.

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Vaughan, Agnes Carr. Madness in Greek Thought and Custom. Baltimore, MD: J. H. Furst Company, 1919. https://books.google.com/books?id=RfnOAAAAMAAJ. (accessed April 7, 2020).

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William Blake: Blake’s Cast of Characters. In Tate Gallery. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/william-blake-39/blakes-characters. (accessed May 2, 2020).

Zurski, Ken. 2020. The Nimrod effect: How a cartoon bunny changed the meaning of a word forever. In Unremembered History. https://unrememberedhistory.com/2017/01/09/the-nimrod-effect-how-a-cartoon-bunny-changed-the-meaning-of-a-word-forever/. (accessed February 26, 2020).

Footnotes

 

1 With regard to the tent-keepers, R. D. Draper et al., Commentary, p. 96 comment:

These people were evidently a servant class. In addition, the term may be a further indicator that Enoch was preaching among Cain’s people, for it was they who inaugurated a life of dwelling in tents (see Moses 5:45); moreover, the tasks of the tent-keeper apparently included watching over livestock (see ibid., p. 74 n. 45).

2 Genesis 16:12.

3 Daniel 4:31–33.

4 Blake Online, Blake Online. See also W. Blake, Illuminated Blake, p. 121; N. Frye, Symmetry, pp. 270-272. It has often been claimed that Blake himself struggled with madness. On the topic of Blake’s possible madness, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, p. 783. Blake’s image was painted in 1795. In France, Louis XVI had been executed two years before. “Meanwhile, in England, George III, whose control the American colonists had recently thrown off, suffered from bouts of insanity[—thus] this picture of a degraded king [could] be an expression of Blake’s sympathy for the republicans in France and America” (William Blake’s Cast, William Blake’s Cast). “In his outcry against the imposition of any code of uniformity upon contrary individualities,” Blake reminds society that “it tempts the fate of Nebuchadnezzar, a fall into dazed bestiality, if it will not heed the warnings of [the prophet’s transforming] vision” (H. Bloom, Blake’s Apocalypse, p. 96).

5 P. B. R. Doob, Nebuchadnezzar’s Children. We exclude from the present discussion additional individuals that some might class as “wild men,” but for different reasons. These might include David, who feigned madness to blunt reports that he was a threat to Achish the king of Gath (1 Samuel 21:12–15) and Solon, who needed a cover of madness to expound his illegal message (D. Laertius, Solon, pp. 46–51; A. C. Vaughan, Madness, p. 63). However, in scripture and the ancient world, “madness,” the domain of the “irrational,” was generally a different category than “wildness,” the domain of “otherness.” Describing this “otherness,” Gregory Mobley, following Richard Bernheimer, observed: “if the wild man is residing nearby, he is a demonic figure; if far away, a representative of a monstrous race; if far away in time, a prehistoric specimen” (G. Mobley, Wild Man, pp. 219–220).

6 Besides the scriptural example of Nebuchadnezzar, Doob includes in the former category the Arthurian knights Yvain, Lancelot, and Tristan, who were driven mad by disappointments in love. See, e.g., C. de Troyes, Yvain, p. 189, where Yvain “dwelt in the forest like a madman or a savage.” Thanks to BYU professor Jesse Hurlbut for this reference.

7 Of Ishmael, Mobley writes (G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 226): Ishmael’s early life is associated with the midbar (“wilderness,” Genesis 16:7, 21:14, 20, 21) … and gains renown as a bow-man.

8 Of Esau, Mobley writes (ibid., p. 226): Esau is called an ish sadeh (“man of the field,” Genesis 25:27) and an ish sair (“hairy man,” Genesis 27:11). This famous hunter even exudes the earthy aroma of nature (Genesis 27:27).

9 Of Samson, Mobley writes (ibid., p. 229):

Though the Bible does not say a word about body hair, Samson’s hair, uncut since birth, is his signal trait. Samson establishes his credentials as master of beasts in his inaugural feat of wrestling a lion (Judges 14:5–6) and later by capturing and controlling the foxes (Judges 15:4–5). … Samson sleeps in a rock crevice (15:8), and he eats wild honey (Judges 14:9–10) and drinks [neither wine nor beer] (Judges 13:4, 7, 14); that is, he eschews city food. Samson usually works without tools — he tears the lion apart and uproots the city gate of Gaza bare-handed (Judges 14:6; 16:3 — and when he does require a tool, it is drawn directly from the animal world, the jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:15).

Though Mobley also describes several important characteristics of Samson that are not typically associated with the Old Testament “wild man,” he asserts that Samson “cannot be understood … apart from the wild man tradition, both in its specific ancient Near Eastern manifestations and within the larger international horizon of its folkloric development” (ibid., p. 231).

10 For more on Nimrod, see Book of Moses Insight #12, forthcoming.

11 G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 228.

12 On Nimrod vs. Abraham, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 338, 350–352.

13 D&C 109:65.

14 N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 121 n. 12 a wild ass of a man.

15 Jeremiah 2:24.

16 A. George, Gilgamesh, Tablet 8, line 51, p. 65.

17 S. Mitchell, Gilgamesh, Book 8, p. 153.

18 G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 227. See also J. M. Bradshaw, Moses Temple Themes (2014), pp. 177–179.

19 G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 227 notes the literal Hebrew description of Elijah as “lord of hair” (2 Kings 1:8, vs. King James “man of hair”), a “frequenter of caves” (1 Kings 19:9) whose successor Elisha “sends bears to do his bidding” (2 Kings 2:23-24). He further observes: The epithets for Elijah and Esau, [“lord of hair” and “hairy man”], respectively, are the semantic equivalent of … laḫmu[, the carefully coiffed Akkadian type of the wild man (see ibid., pp. 223–224)].

20 Of John the Baptist, Mobley writes (ibid., p. 228):

John the Baptist lives in the wilderness, eats a primitive diet, wears animal skins, dies through the agency of a woman, and, above all, functions as the secondary, wild counterpart to the primary hero.

Ibid., p. 228 n. 49 further observes that ”the traditions about John explicitly compare him to Elijah (e.g., Matthew 17:9–13; Mark 9:11–13; Luke 1:17). John’s birth story (Luke 1:5-80) has parallels with the book of Judges’ and Pseudo-Philo’s versions of Samson’s birth.”

21 However, Joseph Smith did once call John the Baptist a “wild man of the woods” (J. Smith, Jr. et al., Words, James Burgess Notebook, 23 July 1843, p. 235). But it seems doubtful that this description was intended to match the Mandaean Ginza description of some of Enoch’s contemporaries, who were branded as as false prophets. Their appearance and behavior is characterized as follows (J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, pp. 17, 46, translation by Bradshaw. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 212):

From there come corruptors who wander through the mountains and hills, completely naked like demons, with bristly hair. … We call them vagabond pastors. They feed themselves on the grasses of the field … and say to themselves: “God speaks in mysteries from our mouths.”

.By way of contrast, some Muslim traditions credit Enoch with the invention of sewing with cloth (perhaps a confusion of “the homophonic Arabic verbs khaṭṭa ‘write’ and khāṭa ‘sew’”), in contrast to earlier people who are said to have worn animal skins (J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, pp. 104-107).

22 See 1 Corinthians 4:10.

23 Abraham 1:2.

24 See G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 227. Joseph Smith once said (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 1 September 1842, p. 261. Cf. J. Smith, Jr., Persecution of the Prophets, p. 903):

It is a shame to the Saints to talk of chastisements, and transgressions, when all the Saints before them, prophets and apostles, have had to come up through great tribulation. … How many have had to wander in sheep skins and goat skins, and live in caves and dens of the mountains, because the world was unworthy of their society?

25 See H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 213.

26 Moses 6:38, emphasis added.

27 Acts 17:21.

28 Matthew 11:7.

29 W. D. Davies et al., Gospel According to Matthew, 2:247. Having written that, however, Davies and Allison admit that:

one should not … altogether exclude the possibility that Jesus or Matthew had something very different in mind. To one steeped in the Hebrew OT, the image of reeds blown by the wind might have recalled Exodus 14–15, where God sends forth a strong wind to drive back the Sea of Reeds. The meaning of Jesus’ query would then be: Did you go out into the wilderness to see a man repeat the wonders of the Exodus?

Given Enoch’s power over the elements (see Insight #4), such a miracle in his case would not have been impossible.

30 Moses 6:37.

31 Moses 6:38.

32 Moses 6:38, emphasis added.

33 1 Samuel 3:1.

34 Cf. J. A. Widtsoe, Enoch, p. 345), who wrote:

He prophesied many things of the future, and revealed the secrets of men’s hearts so plainly, that the people flocked about him in astonishment, saying that “there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.” In their ignorance and unbelief they could only think that the power of prophecy was the product of a crazy brain.

35 Moses 6:39.

36 Moses 7:13.

37 Helaman, chapters 13–15.

38 Moses 6:38.

39 Outside the Book of Moses, we currently find only one source that hints at such an affinity. If one takes the Enosh referred to in relevant passages of the Mandaean Ginza to be based upon traditions about Enoch as is clear in certain other places in the Ginza (see Insight #4), the following summary of Lidzbarski’s conclusions by Robert Eisler (very briefly translated and paraphrased in H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 212) may bear on the possibility of traditions that saw John the Baptist as “Enosh/Enoch reborn” in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the coming of “one like unto the son of man” (R. Eisler, Messiah Jesus, pp. 231–232):

It may appear strange that Josephus does not know the Baptist’s name and speaks of him only as the “wild man” (’ish sadeh [literally “man of the field”]). But the explanation is surprisingly simple; it is given by the Baptist’s elusive answer, as quoted by the historian [i.e., Josephus, in the Slavic version of his account], to the question as to who he is: celovek esmi, “I am a man and as such (hither) has the spirit of God called me.” The Baptist therefore replied, ’Enosh ’ani, “I am ‘Enosh,’” i.e., simply “man,” just as Jesus called himself Bar nasha (cf. the Mandaean Bar-’Anosh = Adam, M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, p. 118 n. 14) the “Son of Man,” or simply “the man.” This explains at last how the Mandaeans, i.e., the Nasoraeans of Mesopotamia (see, e.g., M. Lidzbarski, Johannesbuch, p. 243; M. Lidzbarski, Liturgien, pp. 10ff., 25ff.; M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, pp. 29, 32, 47, 55), arrived at their peculiar doctrine, namely that Enosh reappeared in Jerusalem at the same time as ’Ishu Mshiha, Jesus Christ. The latter they are wont to call the “liar” or “impostor” (ibid., pp. 49ff) because he posed as a worker of miracles whom, however, Enosh unmasked. In all these transactions Enosh appears in a cloud, wherein he dwells or conceals himself and wherefrom at need he makes for himself the semblance of a body, walking thus on earth in human form (ibid., pp. 29, 199ff.). It has long since been recognized that this cloud has its origin in Daniel’s version, “there came with (or ‘on’) the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man” (Daniel 7:13). From all this it would appear that there must have existed a fierce rivalry between the disciples of the Baptist and those of Jesus who belonged to this particular circle. The inference might long ago have been drawn from the passage in the Fourth Gospel on the Baptist as the “forerunner” of the Messiah, inasmuch as the “wild man” throughout regards himself not as the forerunner of someone greater, but as the “reborn Enosh” foretold in Daniel’s vision, i.e., as the Messiah. At any rate, he was so regarded by his disciples (Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions, 1:54, p. 92; 1:60, p. 93. Cf. Luke 3:15).

40 See the discussion of the Hebrew term gibborim in Book of Moses Insight #5. In the context of the Book of Giants, it is arguably better understood as “mighty warrior” than “giant.”

41 G. Mobley, Empty Men, p. 35.

42 B. R. Doak, Giant in a Thousand Years, p. 24.

43 See H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, pp. 281–282.

44 Judges 14:5–6.

45 1 Nephi 2:16; 4:31; Mormon 2:1.

46 Moses 6:38.

47 R. Alter, Narrative, p. 74.

48 Moses 6:31.

49 A. Berlin, Poetics, p. 137, speaking of the conventions of biblical narrative.

50 See L. Turner, Announcements, pp. 13-14. An “announcement of plot” is not a description of what is happening at the moment in the narrative, but rather a brief anticipatory summary of the principal events of the story that follows. Turner gives the book of Genesis as an example (ibid., pp. 13-14):

Each of the four major narrative blocks which comprise the book (i.e., the primaeval history and the stories of Abraham, Jacob, and Jacob’s family) is prefaced by statements which either explicitly state what will happen, or which suggest to the reader what the major elements of the plot are likely to be. Thus the initial divine command to humans in 1:28 sets out in a brief compass what human beings are supposed to do, and it is a natural question for the reader to ask whether in fact what is expected to happen actually does happen. … While passages which drop clues concerning plot development are interspersed throughout the Genesis stories, it is significant that statements which have an explicitly programmatic purpose are set right at the beginning of narrative cycles. …
Because the Announcements cause the reader to expect the plot to develop in certain ways, one key consideration will be the fate of the individual Announcements. Does the plot in fact develop as the Announcement leads us to believe? If so, in what way, and if not, in what way and why not?

51 For more on Enoch as a “lad,” see Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Enoch As a Lad,” Book of Moses Insight #3 (May 15, 2020).

52 G. Mobley, Empty Men, p. 51.

53 See the relationship between Enoch and David as “lads” described in Insight #3 endnote 2.

54 Moses 6:37.

55 Moses 6:38.

56 Moses 6:39.

57 Alma 31:5. Note that the word “virtue” is a term whose older meaning connotes strength, especially strength in battle. It comes from the Latin nominative virtus (= valor, merit, moral perfection), which derives from the root vir (= man).

58 Alma 30:17.

59 Moses 7:13.

60 See Ether 12:27.

61 Moses 7:13.

62 Sss G. Mobley, Empty Men, pp. 59–68 for a description of how inspiration, fear, and courage functioned as heroic conventions.

63 Ibid., p. 2.

64 R. Alter, Hebrew Bible, Hosea 10:13, 2:1230–1231.

65 Ibid., 2 Kings 23:25, 2:606.

66 Ibid., Proverbs 24:5, 3:426.

67 G. Mobley, Empty Men, p. 3 uses the phrase “more the geber.”

68 Ibid., p. 4.

69 Moses 8:14.

70 Moses 8:20.

71 Moses 8:13–14.

72 Moses 8:21.

73 Moses 8:21.

74 Moses 8:13. For more on this episode, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 84, 203, 225; J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes in the Oath, pp. 53–65. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 180.

75 For more on Nimrod as a “wild man” and the defeat of the gibborim, see Book of Moses Insight #12, forthcoming. See “What Makes Daffy Duck (1947),” at about 5:35. For a history of how the name of the biblical “mighty hunter” Nimrod (Genesis 10:9) became a synonym for an inept person, see K. Zurski, Nimrod Effect. Zurski seems to be mistaken about Bugs Bunny using the term “nimrod” to describe Elmer Fudd (MichaelK, In Which Cartoon), even though several websites claim he did it in “A Wild Hare” (1940). However in a cartoon called “Rabbit Every Monday” (1951) Bugs calls Yosemite Sam “the little nimrod” (at about 6:53).

76 See the discussion in J. L. Angel, Humbling, pp. 66–68. For an earlier discussion of translation difficulties in this passage, see L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 163. Edward Cook’s “preferable” (J. L. Angel, Humbling, p. 67) translation is: “[ ] of the wild beast has come, and the wild man they call [me]” (Edward Cook, “4Q531 (4QEnGiants(c) ar),” 22:8 in D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 3:495). Others, going further than Stuckenbruck’s more conservative reading of “rh of the beasts of the field is coming” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 164), understand the phrase as “the roar of the wild beasts has come” (F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q531), 22:8, 262) or “the roaring of the wild beasts came” (J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 208).

77 See J. L. Angel, Humbling, pp. 67–68.

78 Edward Cook, “4Q531 (4QEnGiants(c) ar),” 22:3–8 in D. W. Parry et al., Reader, 3:495. For a rationale that gives credit for the defeat of the gibborim to Enoch and his people, see Insight #24.

79 J. L. Angel, Humbling, p. 68. Angel continues:

The portrayal of Gilgamesh roaming like a wild man after the death of Enkidu is a well-known image from the Mesopotamian epic. And, as Matthias Henze has pointed out, Daniel’s portrait of Nebuchadnezzar as [having become] a wild man is best understood as a polemical reversal of Enkidu’s metamorphosis portrayed in Gilgamesh.

80 See J. L. Angel, Humbling, p. 68.

81 G. Mobley, Wild Man, p. 228.

Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Were ancient Enoch manuscripts the inspiration for Moses 6–7?

Book of Moses Insight #5

Moses 6–7

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

In In this Insight, we will introduce the most well-known Enoch manuscripts and review the possibility that Joseph Smith could have derived the Enoch accounts in Moses 6–7 from any of them.1 Pioneering insights on the relationship between ancient Enoch manuscripts and the Book of Moses can be found in the writings of Hugh W. Nibley, who wrote a series of articles on the subject for the Ensign magazine in 1975–1977.2

1 Enoch

Of the extant Enoch manuscripts, the best-known is 1 Enoch, also referred to as Ethiopic Enoch, or simply The Book of Enoch. 1 Enoch is one of the most important Jewish works of pseudepigrapha, highly valued in the early Christian community and explicitly3 (and implicitly4) cited in New Testament epistles.5

Except for quotations of 1 Enoch found in Christian patristic literature, the full form of the text was unknown to the Western world until 1773, when it was discovered in Abyssinia by James Bruce. While this discovery brought 1 Enoch out of obscurity, it remained largely untouched until it was translated into English by Richard Laurence in 1821.

What is the likelihood that Joseph Smith knew about Laurence’s translation?6 In his 2010 master’s thesis, Salvatore Cirillo7 cites and amplifies the position of Michael Quinn,8 who more than a decade earlier had argued that Joseph Smith’s access to this translation of 1 Enoch had moved “beyond probability—to fact.” However, Cirillo’s confidence is at odds with the views of other scholars who have addressed this issue. For example, renowned Latter-day Saint historian Richard L. Bushman concluded:9 “It is scarcely conceivable that Joseph Smith knew of Laurence’s Enoch translation.”10

Because Cirillo agrees that Joseph Smith likely didn’t have access to the 1821 printing of Laurence’s translation, he has argued that the Prophet may have used a purported 1828 American edition of the work. However, evidence has now been provided that there was no such edition.11 Though researchers will no doubt continue their search for sources through which Joseph Smith could have become aware of 1 Enoch, conclusively arguing that he actually saw and studied such sources will likely prove be difficult. More importantly, for reasons we outline further below, 1 Enoch as a whole would have been a relatively unfruitful source of ideas when compared with other ancient Enoch texts that Joseph Smith could not have known.

Most Enoch scholars break the text of 1 Enoch into five separate books: (1) The Book of the Watchers (chapters 1–36); (2) The Book of the Parables12 or Similitudes (chapters 37–71); (3) The Book of the Luminaries or the Astronomical Book (chapters 72–82); (4) The Dream Visions or Book of Dreams (chapters 83–90); and (5) The Epistle of Enoch (chapters 91–108).13

In contrast to the other four books in One of a few exceptions to Woodworth’s conclusion is 1 Enoch, the’s Book of Parables will, which holds special interest for students of the Book of Moses.14 Notably, both books the Book of Moses and the Book of Parables describe heavenly ascents of Enoch that include visions with a central figure and a common set of titles. For instance, the title “Son of Man,” which is a notable feature of the Book of Parables,15 appears in marked density throughout Enoch’s grand vision in the Book of Moses.16 Remarkably, the titles “Chosen One,”17 “Anointed One,”18 and “Righteous One”19 also appear prominently in both texts.20 Other passages in the Book of Parables speak of the resurrection of the righteous in the last days who will be gathered to a place of glory and holiness and “with that Son of Man they will eat and lie down and rise up forever and ever.”21

However, aside from the shared prominence of the “Son of Man” and related motifs in the Book of Parables and the Book of Moses, very few unique and unmistakable parallels have been identified between the two Enoch chapters of the Book of Moses and the sizable text of 1 Enoch.22 Resemblances are relatively sparse and the story lines are mostly divergent. A study by Latter-day Saint historian Jed Woodworth concluded that the principal themes of “Laurence’s 105 translated chapters do not resemble Joseph Smith’s Enoch in any obvious way.”23 And even one well-informed scholar who is skeptical of the divine origins of the Book of Moses concluded that “the literary connections between Moses 6–8 and 1 Enoch are in my opinion very loose, and more time and attention should be placed elsewhere.”24

In summary, ongoing research has shown that it is not only improbable but also off the mark to conclude that 1 Enoch served as the primary inspiration for Joseph Smith’s writings about Enoch. In spite of all the spilled ink spent on 1 Enoch, more striking significant affinities are found in other pseudepigrapha described below.

2 Enoch

2 Enoch, also known as Slavonic Enoch or The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, is a Jewish pseudepigraphal text that describes the heavenly ascent of the antediluvian patriarch Enoch and his initiation into the divine mysteries. Although most scholars argue for a first century CE Greek original, no Greek fragments have been found. 2 Enoch comes to us principally through medieval Slavic Christian manuscripts.25

Latter-day Saint readers of the Book of Moses will find interest in the 2 Enoch account about Enoch’s ascension to the highest heaven and his initiation into the heavenly mysteries in that celestial realm.26 At one point, the Lord commands Michael to anoint and clothe Enoch, saying: “Go and take Enoch and remove his earthly garments, and anoint him with my sweet ointment, and put him into the garments of My glory.”27 As a result of this investiture, Enoch declares: “I looked at myself, and I was transformed into one of his glorious ones.”28 Other details of this heavenly ascent resemble aspects of Enoch’s vision in Moses 7.

What are the chances that Joseph Smith could have known 2 Enoch? The likelihood is nil, since its first publication in a Western language (Latin) did not occur until 1899.29

3 Enoch

3 Enoch, also known as the Hebrew Apocalypse of Enoch or the Book of Palaces, is a Jewish pseudepigraphal text written later than 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch. 3 Enoch can be seen to draw on the traditions found in the earlier Enochic literature, especially on the Book of Parables of 1 Enoch. It is often grouped together with the texts of the Hekhalot literature, a body of esoteric Jewish writings that feature the idea of ascension to the heavenly realm. The date of its creation is highly disputed, and most scholars suggest that it is a composite work written by multiple authors in different time periods.

In a previous Insight,30 the title of Enoch as a “lad” in Moses 6:31 and 3 Enoch was discussed. Other items of interest to Latter-day Saint readers include the scene in 3 Enoch where R. Ishmael reaches the entrance to the highest heaven. In addition, echoing the similar account in 2 Enoch, Metatron (an Enoch figure in later Jewish tradition) recalls for R. Ishmael the transfiguration that occurred during his being taken up to heaven.31 God revealed to Enoch the heavenly secrets and gave him a throne similar to the throne of glory, as mentioned in Moses 7:59.32

Metatron also showed R. Ishmael the spirits of the dead, both righteous and wicked, and also the spirits of those yet to be born.33 This corresponds to Moses 6:36, which states that Enoch “beheld the spirits that God had created” and also to Moses 7:57 where Enoch sees in vision that “as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.”

Could Joseph Smith have known 3 Enoch? There is no possibility of that, since none of the extant manuscripts of 3 Enoch were published in his lifetime.34

Other Enoch Sources

In a previous Insight,35 we explored some of the significant Mandaean sources that intersect with the Book of Moses Enoch account. Moreover, in 2018, John C. Reeves and Annette Yoshiko Reed published the first volume of their book series entitled Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.36 This volume makes available in English many little-known texts about Enoch from Jewish, Christian and Islamic sources. Examples of the resemblances in these texts to the Book of Moses have been explored elsewhere.37

Like the ancient Enoch sources discussed above, none of these additional sources would have been accessible when Joseph Smith translated the Book of Moses.

Book of Giants

The Book of Giants is a collection of fragments from an Enochic book discovered at Qumran. It is not found within the collection of writings in the Ethiopic book of 1 Enoch38 and, as a whole, resembles little else in the Enoch tradition. Material related to the Book of Giants is included in Talmudic and medieval Jewish literature, in descriptions of the Manichaean canon,39 in citations by hostile heresiologists, and in third and fourth century fragments from Turfan published by Henning in 1943.40 Later, several fragments of a related work were identified among the Qumran manuscripts.

The fragmentary Book of Giants has proven to be of tremendous importance to Enoch scholarship. It was very popular at Qumran, more popular than 1 Enoch itself. Even more significantly, it is arguably the oldest extant Enoch manuscript.41 Although fragments of the Book of Giants had been found previously in the writings of Mani, its discovery at Qumran as part of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” showed that its composition “is at least five hundred years [earlier] than previously thought.”42 Thus, it helps us “to reconstruct the literary shape of the early stages of the Enochic tradition.”43

Note that the term “giants” in the title of the book is misleading.44 Actually, the book describes two different groups, referred to in Hebrew as the gibborim and the nephilim. In discussing Enoch’s mission among the gibborim, it is probably more appropriate to read the term with its customary connotation in the Bible of “mighty hero” or “warrior.”45 Later, the terms gibborim and nephilim (the latter term originally used to refer to what seems to have been a remnant of a race of “giants”) were equated in some contexts.46 Consistent with this distinction, Joseph Smith, in his Enoch account, specifically differentiated “giants” (nephilim?) from Enoch’s other adversaries (gibborim?).47

Although the combined fragments of the Book of Giants scarcely fill three pages in the English translation of García Martinez,48 we find in it the most extensive series of significant parallels between a single ancient text and Joseph Smith’s account of Enoch’s preaching mission and subsequent battles with his enemies. These resemblances range from general themes in the story line (secret works, murders, visions, earthly and heavenly books of remembrance that evoke fear and trembling, moral corruption, hope held out for repentance, the crying out of the earth, the gathering of the righteous, and the eventual defeat of Enoch’s adversaries in battle—ending with their utter destruction and imprisonment) to specific occurrences of rare expressions in corresponding contexts (the reference to a “wild man,” the name and parallel role of Mahijah/Mahujah, and the “roar of the wild beasts”).

EventBook of MosesBook of Giants
Secret works and murders496:151Q23, 9+14+15:2-4
A “wild man”506:384Q531, 22:8
Mahijah/Mahawai questions Enoch516:404Q530, 2:20-23
Enoch reads record of deeds526:46-474Q203, 7b col. ii; 8:1-11
Trembling and weeping after Enoch reads536:474Q203, 4:6
Call to repentance546:524Q203, 8:14-15
Conceived in sin556:554Q203, 8:6-9
Enoch defeats gibborim567:134Q531, 22:3-7
The “roar of wild beasts”577:134Q531, 22:8
Imprisonment of wicked gibborim587:384Q203, 7B 1:559
Repentant gathered to holy city/cities607:16-18, 69Mani Book of Giants, Text G
The earth cries out against the sinners617:484Q203, 9-10

Examples of parallel themes and expressions in the Book of Giants and Moses 6-7 accounts of Enoch’s preaching mission, battles, and gathering of the righteous.62

We will draw on parallel themes and expressions from the Book of Giants like those above one by one in several subsequent Insights.

Summary

It would have been virtually impossible for Joseph Smith in 1830 to have been aware of the most important resemblances to ancient literature in his Enoch revelations. Other than the few unique and typically loose parallels found in 1 Enoch (which Joseph Smith is unlikely to have encountered in any detail), the texts that would have been required for a nineteenth-century author to derive significant parts of Moses 6–7 had neither been discovered by Western scholars nor translated into English. Moreover, even if other relevant traditions outside the Enoch literature (e.g., Masonic or hermetic traditions63) had been available to Joseph Smith by 1830, they would not have provided the Prophet with the suite of specific and sometimes peculiar details that are shared by Moses 6–7 and pseudepigrapha like 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, and the Book of Giants.

But it is not merely the mass of disparate details from the ancient world that attracts us to the Enoch account in the Book of Moses, but rather the beauty, truth, and coherence of the story as a whole. How on earth could Joseph Smith, left to his own devices, have actually accomplished what so few others of his time might have even dared to attempt? Referring to the translation of the Book of Mormon, which in several ways is analogous to the translation of the Book of Moses, Hugh Nibley describes the wonder of it all:64

A Victor Hugo or an Anatole France can tell a convincing story when he is near to his own land and time, but let any writer, even the most learned, slip back a couple of thousand years and a few thousand miles around the globe, and he finds himself in a treacherous terrain from which the only escape lies in taking to the wings of fantasy. … [The author of Moses 6-7] imparts his information in such simple, effortless, and matter-of-fact discourse that the reader easily overlooks the vast amount of detail that is woven into the natural and uncomplicated pattern. What writer of historical fiction has ever remotely approached such an achievement?

 

This article was adapted in part from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Could Joseph Smith have drawn on ancient manuscripts when he translated the story of Enoch? Recent updates on a persistent question (4 October 2019).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 33 (2019): 305–373.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 467–477 (Annotated bibliography on Enoch pseudepigrapha. Colby Townsend was the lead author of the section on 1 Enoch).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Could Joseph Smith have drawn on ancient manuscripts when he translated the story of Enoch? Recent updates on a persistent question (4 October 2019).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 33 (2019): 305–373.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 91–121, 276–277.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, pp. 263–267.

Reeves, John C., and Annette Yoshiko Reed. Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2 vols. Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 1–16.

References

Alexander, Philip S. “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 223-315. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Andersen, F. I. “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 91-221. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Angel, Joseph L. “Reading the Book of Giants in Literary and Historical Context.” Dead Sea Discoveries 21 (2014): 313-46.

—. “The humbling of the arrogant and the “wild man” and “tree stump” traditions in the Book of Giants and Daniel 4.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 61-80. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Barlow, Philip L. “Decoding Mormonism.” Christian Century, 17 January 1996, 52-55.

Bautch, Kelley Coblentz. “Peter and the patriarchs: A confluence of traditions?” In With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic, and Mysticism, edited by Daphna V. Arbel and Andrei A. Orlov. Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, ed. John R. Levison, 13-27. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2011.

Yakov Ben Tov, “The Book of Enoch, the Book of Moses, and the Question of Availability,” Faith-Promoting Rumor (blog), https://faithpromotingrumor.com/2017/09/24/the-book-of-enoch-the-book-of-moses-and-the-question-of-availability/. Note that this blog post has since been removed without explanation, but was not disavowed by the author and may be accessed currently at https://web.archive.org/web/20181217192041/https://faithpromotingrumor.com/2017/09/24/the-book-of-enoch-thebook-of-moses-and-the-question-of-availability/.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Jacob Rennaker, and David J. Larsen. “Revisiting the forgotten voices of weeping in Moses 7: A comparison with ancient texts.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 2 (2012): 41-71.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Freemasonry and the Origins of Modern Temple Ordinances.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 15 (2015): 159-237. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/freemasonry-and-the-origins-of-modern-temple-ordinances/. (accessed May 20, 2016).

—. 2018. Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn On Ancient Manuscripts When He Translated the Story of Enoch?  In Interpreter Foundation Old Testament KnoWhy JBOTL05C. https://interpreterfoundation.org/knowhy-otl05c-could-joseph-smith-have-drawn-on-ancient-manuscripts-when-he-translated-the-story-of-enoch/. (accessed November 23, 2018).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ryan Dahle. “Could Joseph Smith have drawn on ancient manuscripts when he translated the story of Enoch? Recent updates on a persistent question (4 October 2019).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 33 (2019): 305-73. https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/could-joseph-smith-have-drawn-on-ancient-manuscripts-when-he-translated-the-story-of-enoch-recent-updates-on-a-persistent-question/. (accessed October 23, 2019).

Brooke, John L. The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Brown, Matthew B. Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons. American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2009.

Bruno, Cheryl L. “Congruence and concatenation in Jewish mystical iiterature, American Freemasonry, and Mormon Enoch Writings.” Journal of Religion and Society 16 (2014): 1-19.

Bushman, Richard. “The Mysteries of Mormonism.” Journal of the Early Republic 15, no. 3 (Fall 1995): 501-08.

Bushman, Richard Lyman. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, A Cultural Biography of Mormonism’s Founder. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Cirillo, Salvatore. “Joseph Smith, Mormonism, and Enochic Tradition.” Masters Thesis, Durham University, 2010.

Davis Bledsoe, Amanda M. “Throne theophanies, dream visions, and righetous(?) seers.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 81-96. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Drawnel, Henryk. “The Mesopotamian background of the Enochic giants and evil spirits.” Dead Sea Discoveries 21 (2014): 14-38.

Fleming, Stephen Joseph. “The Fulness of the Gospel: Christian Platonism and the Origins of Mormonism.” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014.

Grossman, Jonathan. “Who are the sons of God? A new suggestion.” Biblica 99, no. 1 (January 2018): 1-18. https://www.academia.edu/40515229/_Who_are_the_Sons_of_God_A_New_Suggestion_. (accessed February 16, 2020).

Hamblin, William J., Daniel C. Peterson, and George L. Mitton. “Mormon in the fiery furnace or Loftes Tryk goes to Cambridge.” Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 6, no. 2 (1994): 3-58.

—. “Review of John L. Brooke: The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844.” BYU Studies 34, no. 4 (1994): 167-81.

Henning, W. B. “The Book of the Giants.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 11, no. 1 (1943): 52-74. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/giants/giants.htm. (accessed January 25, 2018).

Kósa, Gåbor. “The Book of Giants tradition in the Chinese Manichaica.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 145-86. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia, ed. The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

Milik, Józef Tadeusz, and Matthew Black, eds. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments from Qumran Cave 4. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1976.

Newington, Samantha. “Greek titans and biblical giants.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 33-40. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

—. 1952. Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 5. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1988.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch: A New Translation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., and James C. VanderKam, eds. 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters  37-82. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Orlov, Andrei A., and Gabriele Boccaccini, eds. New Perspectives on 2 Enoch: No Longer Slavonic Only Studia Judaeoslavica 4. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012.

Parry, Donald W., and Emanuel Tov, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader. Second ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

Penner, Ken M. “Did the Midrash of Shemihazai and Azael use the Book of Giants?” In Sacra Scriptura: How ‘Non-Canonical’ texts functioned in early Judaism and early Christianity, edited by James H. Charlesworth and Lee M. McDonald, 15-45. London, England: Bloomsbury, T&T Clark, 2014. https://www.academia.edu/4024730/Did_the_Midrash_of_Shemihazai_and_Azael_use_the_Book_of_Giants. (accessed May 13, 2020).

Quinn, D. Michael. Early Mormonism and the Magic World View. Revised and Enlarged ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1998.

Reeves, John C. Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 14. Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992.

Reeves, John C., and Annette Yoshiko Reed. Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2 vols. Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Shipps, Jan. Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1902-1932. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Documentary History). 7 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1978.

Stuckenbruck, Loren T. The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1997.

—. “The Book of Giants.” In Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture, edited by Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel and Lawrence H. Schiffman. 3 vols. Vol. 1, 221-36. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2013.

Tuval, Michael. “‘Συναγωγὴ Γιγάντων’ (Prov 21:16): The giants in Jewish literature in Greek.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 41-57. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Vermes, Geza, ed. 1962. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English Revised ed. London, England: Penguin Books, 2004.

Webb, Stephen H. Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York City, NY: Harper-Collins, 1996.

Woodworth, Jed L. “Extra-biblical Enoch texts in early American culture.” In Archive of Restoration Culture: Summer Fellows’ Papers 1997-1999, edited by Richard Lyman Bushman, 185-93. Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History, 2000.

Wright, Archie T. The Origin of Evil Spirits. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 198, ed. Jörg Frey. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2005.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Image via Wikimedia.

Footnotes

 

1 See J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, pp. 1–16 for a comprehensive overview of the vast Enoch “library” that has been created by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Manichaeans, and “gnostics” from antiquity to the Middle Ages.

2 These articles have been reprinted in H. W. Nibley, Enoch. For his introduction to the ancient Enoch literature, see especially 91–121, 276–277. Regrettably, after Nibley completed his initial research for the Ensign articles, he turned his attention to other subjects and never again took up a sustained study of the relationships between Moses 6–7 and ancient writings on Enoch. Unfortunately, Nibley received one of the most important manuscripts relevant to his study—Józef Milik and Matthew Black’s 1976 publication of the first English translation of the Book of Giants—only days before the publication deadline for the last article in the series. As a result, of the more than 300 pages Nibley devoted to Enoch in the volume that gathered his writings on the subject, only a relative handful were dedicated to these significant Aramaic “Enoch” fragments.

3 See Jude 1:14–15. Cf. 1 Enoch 1:9.

4 For example, within 1 Peter and 2 Peter. For an overview of the confluences between Enoch and the Peter’s writings, see K. C. Bautch, Peter.

5 Though 1 Enoch is a Jewish compilation and can be found in a fragmentary form in several languages, its text has been fully preserved only in the Ethiopic Ge’ez language tradition.

6 We observe that since Joseph Smith was well aware that the biblical book of Jude explicitly quotes 1 Enoch (Jude 1:14–15. For evidence of Joseph Smith’s awareness of theses verses, see J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, December 1830, 1:132), the most obvious thing he could have done to bolster his case for the authenticity of the Book of Moses (if he were a conscious deceiver) would have been to include the relevant verses from Jude somewhere within his revelations on Enoch. But this the Prophet did not do.

7 S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith.

8 D. M. Quinn, Magic 1998, p. 193.

9 R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 138.

10 Citing D. M. Quinn, Magic 1998, pp. 190–192, Bushman notes (R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 591 n. 52): Michael Quinn claims there is a link to Laurence’s 1821 translation of Enoch and cites a reference to Enoch in a book advertised in a Palmyra newspaper. He does not find the actual Book of Enoch in Palmyra or vicinity, only this reference in a scholarly commentary.

11 Y. Ben Tov, Book of Enoch. Note that this blog post has since been taken down without disavowal or other explanation. It may be accessed online at https://web.archive.org/web/20181217192041/https://faithpromotingrumor.com/2017/09/24/the-book-of-enoch-the-book-of-moses-and-the-question-of-availability/.

12 The term “Parables” has a different meaning in the title of the book than in the New Testament. It does not refer to symbolic stories, but rather to prophecies of latter-day judgments and rewards for the righteous and the wicked.

13 Chapters 106–108 are usually seen as later additions.

14 For further discussion, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 36, 78–79, 117, 153–154.

15 G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 46:2–4, p. 153; 48:2, p. 166; 60:10, p. 233; 62:5, 7, 9, 14, p. 254; 63:11, p. 255; 69:26–27, 29, p. 311; 70:1, p. 315; 71:14, 17, p. 321.

16 Moses 7:24, 47, 54, 56, 59, 65.

17 Moses 7:39. Cf. Moses 4:2. See G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 39:6, p. 111; 40:5, p. 130; 45:3–4, p. 148; 49:2, 4, p. 166; 51:5a, 3, p. 180; 52:6, 9, p. 187; 53:6, p. 194; 55:4, p. 198; 61:5, 8, 10, pp. 243, 247; 62:1, p. 254.

18 In other words, “Messiah.” See Moses 7:53. See G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 48:10, p. 166; 52:4, p. 187.

19 Moses 6:57; 7:45, 47, 67. See G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 38:2, p. 95; 53:6, p. 194. The term also appears by implication in 39:6, p. 111; 46:3, p. 153; 49:2, p. 166; 62:2–3, p. 254.

20For more on this subject, see Book of Moses Insight #15, forthcoming.

21 G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 62:13–16, pp. 254–255. George Nickelsburg and James VanderKam find this passage as a “compelling” reference to resurrection (ibid., p. 268). See also, e.g., ibid., 45:5, p. 148. For more on this theme, see Book of Moses Insight #29, forthcoming.

22 These include elements of Enoch’s call, the oaths of the conspirators, the motif of weeping, which is also found in 2 Enoch (J. M. Bradshaw et al., Revisiting; see also Book of Moses Insights #25–#27, forthcoming), the rise of secret combinations (also found in the Book of Giants; see Book of Moses Insight #9, forthcoming), allusions to Enoch’s “land of righteousness” and his journey to the “sea east”/”waters of Dan” (see also the Book of Giants and Book of Moses Insight #24, forthcoming), allusions to a “book of remembrance” (also found in the Book of Giants and many other ancient sources; see Book of Moses Insight #10, forthcoming), and destruction and imprisonment of the wicked (also found in the Book of Giants; see Book of Moses Insight #13, forthcoming).As can be seen, few of these parallels with the Book of Moses are unique—nearly all of them plus many more can be found, often with greater clarity, in other Enoch books besides 1 Enoch that Joseph Smith could not have known. A more complete and systematic comparison of resemblances between Moses 6–7, 1 Enoch, and other Enoch pseudepigrapha is underway as part of a joint project by Book of Mormon Central and The Interpreter Foundation. We note C. L. Bruno, Congruence and Concatenation, p. 2 lists additional parallels with 1 Enoch, some of which are so loose as to be almost nonsensical. For example, in 1 Enoch 10:4–5 an account of Asael’s binding (which Bruno describes as an instance of “Foreknowledge and prophetic warning of the destruction of the world”) is compared with Moses 7:41–67. In another instance, an account of the flood and final judgment in 1 Enoch 60 (which Bruno describes as “A revolutionary social order”) is compared with Moses 7:18–19.

23 R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 138. Cf. J. L. Woodworth, Enoch, pp. 190–192.

24 Y. Ben Tov, Book of Enoch.

25 Several older Coptic fragments of 2 Enoch have been found in Egyptian Nubia. For more about this text, see A. A. Orlov et al., New Perspectives.

26 See Book of Moses Insight #11, forthcoming.

27 See F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 22:8 [J], p. 138.

28 See ibid., 22:20 [J], p. 138.

29 See ibid., p. 97.

30 Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Prophetic CommissionEnoch As a Lad,” Book of Moses Insight #3 (May 15, 2020).

31 See Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Prophetic CommissionEnoch As a Lad,” Book of Moses Insight #3 (May 15, 2020).

32 P. S. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 10:1, p. 263. See Book of Moses Insight #22, forthcoming.

33 Ibid., 45, pp. 296-299.

34 Ibid., p. 224.

35 See Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Enoch’s Power Over the Elements and His Divine Protection,” Book of Moses Insight #4 (May 22, 2020).

36 J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1.

37 J. M. Bradshaw et al., Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn (2019).

38 However, 1 Enoch and the Book of the Giants both touch on some related themes. For a summary of the literary relationship between the 1 Enoch Book of Watchers and the Book of Giants, see L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, pp. 24–28.

39 Homilies 25:2–5, Psalm-Book 46:21–47:4, Kephalia, 5:22–26.

40 For a comprehensive study of the manuscript evidence, see J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore. Reeves concludes that this foundational work of Manichaean cosmogony is indebted in important respects to traditional Jewish interpretations of Genesis 6:1–4.

41 L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 31 dates the Book of Giants to “sometime between the late 3rd century and 164 BCE.” For a more recent summary of the literature concerning dating and geographical origins of the book, see J. L. Angel, Reading the Book of Giants, p. 315 n. 5. Angel generally agrees with Stuckenbruck’s dating. See ibid. for a summary of evidence relating to Mesopotamian and Hellenistic influences in the Book of Giants

 Regarding the popularity of the Book of Giants at Qumran, K. M. Penner, Did the Midrash, pp. 44-45 writes: “If the identification of Qumran fragments belonging to Giants is correct, the work was very popular at Qumran: about ten copies were found, in four caves. The significance of these numbers becomes apparent when compared to those of the Aramaic book of [1 Enoch] itself: only seven copies found, all in a single cave.49 The only books more popular at Qumran are Psalms (36 copies), the books of the Pentateuch (23-24, 16, 12-13, 9, 35 copies respectively), Isaiah (21), Jubilees (17), and the Community Rule (13); the Damascus Document and Rule of the Congregation each have ten.”

Notwithstanding the unrivaled prominence and antiquity of the Book of Giants at Qumran, the first reflex of some scholars is to attribute any resemblances to 1 Enoch to “borrowing” from the latter source. However, caution should be exercised in concluding a straightforward dependence of the Book of Giants on 1 Enoch. For example, comparing Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7, 1 Enoch 14, and the Book of Giants, A. M. Davis Bledsoe, Throne Theophanies, p. 85 argues that 1 Enoch 14’s adoption of the Danielic idea of the deity shows only that this idea was “accepted even at a late period, and does not automatically make [1 Enoch 14] older even if the tradition may be observed in generally more ancient writings.” More generally, ibid., p. 90 concludes “that all three of these texts drew from a common tradition(s) regarding the heavenly throne and then adapted it to fit within their individual context.” 

Regarding Angel’s thesis that the Book of Giants, as we have it, reflects “the realities of life under Hellenistic imperial occupation,” the author himself hints at more ancient and complex roots for the story (J. L. Angel, Humbling, p. 80): [T]here are hints in the Book of Giants that signal a more nuanced and developed plot. The giants argue with one another and there are perhaps different factions among them. Thus, if I am correct that the Book of Giants models the humbling of Hellenistic figures of power, it seems that the composition now before us preserves only the remains of a complex allegory, whose original referents cannot be recovered.

42 M. Wise et al., DSS, p. 290.

43 G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 11.

44 The current convention of using terms that correspond to “giants” to refer to the gibborim is due largely to the later influences of the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible (see, for example, A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, pp. 83–84) and of widespread transmission of various translations of the Book of Giants within the works of Mani. Though the title of Mani’s Book of Giants appear “in several Manichaean and anti-Manichaean document scattered throughout Europe and through Africa as far as Asia Minor and Chinese Turskistan, almost nothing was known of the contents of this document before the appearance of the remarkable article by W. B. Henning” in 1943 (J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 298; W. B. Henning, Book of the Giants). Wright gives two possibilities for the somewhat unexpected use of gigantes, the Greek word for “giants” in the Septuagint (A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, p. 92): It may be suggested that the Greek translators of the Hebrew Bible had difficulty in understanding some of the Hebrew terminology (e.g., nephilim and gibborim) in the text and therefore translated the terms imprecisely, thus enhancing the ambiguity of the passage. Another possibility is that modern scholars have misunderstood what the Greek translators meant by their use of the term [gigantes]. It appears that more work needs to be done in order to discover the use of this term in the Greek literature prior to the translation of the [Septuagint]. For more on the impact of the Septuagint on later traditions and on interactions among related Jewish and Greek conceptions of the “giants,” see M. Tuval, Giants in the Jewish Literature; S. Newington, Greek Titans. For Mesopotamian influences in descriptions of the “giants” in 1 Enoch, see H. Drawnel, Mesopotamian Background.

45 See, for example, this sense of gibborim in Moses 8:21 (the children of the self-proclaimed “sons of God”), Genesis 10:8–9 (Nimrod), Genesis 10:25 (Peleg), Genesis 11:4 (the builders of the Tower of Babel who wanted to make themselves a name). See also the discussion of Nimrod as a gibbor in Book of Moses Insight #12, forthcoming.

46 J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, pp. 69–70 gives the following summary of the complex and somewhat controversial meanings that have been attributed to these terms, as well as to the semi-divine “Watchers” (see also A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, pp. 79–95): The term gbryn is the Aramaic form of Hebrew gibborim (singular gibbor), a word whose customary connotation in the latter language is “mighty hero, warrior,” but which in some contexts later came to be interpreted in the sense of “giants.” [The term is translated seventeen times with the Greek word for “giants” in the Septuagint.] … Similarly nplyn is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew np(y)lym (i.e., nephilim), an obscure designation used only three times in the Hebrew Bible. Genesis 6:4 refers to the nephilim who were on the earth as a result of the conjugal union of the [“sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam”] and further qualifies their character by terming them gibborim. [More plausibly, Wright (ibid., pp. 81–82 and J. Grossman, Who Are the Sons of God?, pp. 5-8 argue for Genesis 6:1–4 as being a description that proceeds in strict chronological order, concluding that the nephilim were on the earth prior to this conjugal union between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam.”] Both terms are translated in [Septuagint] Genesis 6:4 by [“giants”] and in Targum Onkelos by gbry’. Numbers 13:33 reports that gigantic nephilim were encountered by the Israelite spies in the land of Canaan; here the nephilim are associated with a (different?) tradition concerning a race of giants surviving among the indigenous ethnic groups that inhabited Canaan. A further possible reference to both the nephilim and gibborim of Genesis 6:4 occurs in Ezekiel 32:27. The surrounding pericope presents a description of slain heroes who lie in Sheol, among whom are a group termed the gibborim nophelim [sic] me‘arelim. The final word, me‘arelim, “from the uncircumcised,” should probably be corrected on the basis of the Septuagint … to me‘olam, and the whole phrase translated “those mighty ones who lie there from of old.” … The conjunction of gbryn wnpylyn in QG1 1:2 may be viewed as an appositional construction similar to the expression ‘yr wqdys — “Watcher and Holy One” …. However, the phrase might also be related to certain passages that suggest there were three distinct classes (or even generations) of Giants, names for who of which are represented in this line. … [C]ompare Jubilees 7:22: “And they bore children, the Naphidim [sic] … and the Giants killed the Naphil, and the Naphil killed the ’Elyo, and the ’Elyo [killed] human beings, and humanity (killed) one another.” Ibid., p. 18 further proposes that “the sons of God are in fact [identical with] the giants mentioned in [Genesis 6:4], whereas the ‘heroes’ [i.e., gibborim] described at the end of the story are the results of these giants’ [i.e., the nephilim] coupling with the daughters of man.” While it may well be that the gibborim were the descendants of these mixed marriages and while the Book of Moses agrees with Grossman’s conclusion that the nephilim (aka “sons of God”) were not divine nor even “especially close to God” (ibid., p. 10) — the rationale for the latter conclusion differs, as we discuss in Book of Moses Insight #6, forthcoming.

47 Moses 7:14–15.

48 F. G. Martinez, DSS Translated, pp. 260–262. Of course, different translations differ in page size and comprehensiveness. The Book of Giants occupies two pages in the translation of Geza Vermes (G. Vermes, Complete, pp. 549-550) and six pages in the more complete translation of Michael Wise et al. that includes an introduction and commentary (M. Wise, et al., DSS, pp. 290-295). The most complete publication of the Book of Giants, including translations of many tiny fragments and both the Aramaic original and the English translation runs thirty-six pages (D. W. Parry, et al., DSSR (2013), pp. 938-974). Even comparing Parry and Tov’s most extensive English version to Nickelsburg and VanderKam’s English translation of 1 Enoch reveals that the Book of Giants is only about 12% the size of 1 Enoch (G. W. E. Nickelsburg, et al., 1 Enoch, pp. 19-170).

In practical terms this means that one would expect significant resemblances to Moses 6-7 in 1 Enoch be eight times more numerous than in the Book of Giants. In actuality, however, the parallels in 1 Enoch are far less dense and generally less relevant than those in the Book of Giants, especially if one excludes 1 Enoch Book of Parables where some of the most important and singular resemblances occur. Not also that a good proportion of the resemblances between the Book of Giants and the Book of Moses are unique while many of the resemblances in 1 Enoch are also found in the Book of Giants.

49 See Book of Moses Insight #9, forthcoming.

50 See Book of Moses Insights #6 and #12, forthcoming.

51 See Book of Moses Insight #8, forthcoming.

52 See Book of Moses Insight #10, forthcoming.

53 See Book of Moses Insight #11, forthcoming.

54 See Book of Moses Insight #11, forthcoming.

55 See Book of Moses Insight #11, forthcoming.

56 See Book of Moses Insights #12 and #24, forthcoming.

57 See Book of Moses Insight #12, forthcoming.

58 See Book of Moses Insight #13, forthcoming.

59 “he has imprisoned us and overpowered yo[u” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 7 B 1:5, p. 226); “he imprisoned us and has power [ov]er [us]” (J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 66). Cf. G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 10:4–6, pp. 215, 221–222; traditions about the imprisonment of the giants in Book of Giants texts among the Chinese Manichaeans (G. Kósa, Book of Giants Tradition, pp. 175–176).

60 See Book of Moses Insights #13 and #24, forthcoming.

61 See Book of Moses Insight #26, forthcoming.

62 For more about these and other examples, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 41–49; J. M. Bradshaw, Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn.

63 For example, John L. Brooke (J. L. Brooke, Refiner’s Fire, p. 195) seeks to make the case that Sidney Rigdon, among others, was a “conduit of Masonic lore during Joseph’s early years” (W. J. Hamblin et al., Mormon in the Fiery Furnace, p. 52) and then goes on to make a set of weakly substantiated claims connecting Mormonism and Masonry. These claims, including connections with the story of Enoch’s pillars in Royal Arch Masonry, are refuted in ibid., pp. 52–58; cf. W. J. Hamblin et al., Review of John L. Brooke, pp. 178-179. Non-Latter-day Saint scholar Stephen Webb (S. H. Webb, Jesus Christ, p. 260) agreed with Hamblin, et al., concluding that “actual evidence for any direct link between [Joseph Smith’s] theology and the hermetic tradition is tenuous at best, and given that scholars vigorously debate whether hermeticism even constitutes a coherent and organized tradition, Brooke’s book should be read with a fair amount of skepticism.” See also P. L. Barlow, Decoding; R. Bushman, Mysteries; J. Shipps, Sojourner, pp. 204-217. Noting the unconvincing nature of Brooke’s arguments about hermeticism, Stephen J. Fleming has recently argued that similar ideas might be explained in terms of affinities to Christian Platonism (S. J. Fleming, Fulness of the Gospel.).
Elsewhere, Bradshaw has summarized the history and important role of Freemasonry in Nauvoo, while highlighting difficulties in the argument that modern temple ordinances are a simple derivation from Freemasonry (J. M. Bradshaw, Freemasonry). In a separate study, Matthew B. Brown presents evidence for similar conclusions (M. B. Brown, Exploring). A manuscript by Brown that deals with this topic in more depth still awaits publication.

64 H. W. Nibley, Lehi 1988, p. 120.

Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Enoch’s Power Over the Elements and His Divine Protection

Book of Moses Insight #4

Moses 6:26–36

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

Some of the most remarkable ancient affinities with the Book of Moses’ are found within Mandaean scripture. In this article, we will explore two examples: 1. Enoch’s power over the elements, and 2. Enoch’s divine protection. First, a little background on the Mandaeans.

The Mandaeans

Whereas early scholarship looked to the pre-Christian era for the origins of the Mandaeans as a distinct community, more recent studies point to their beginnings as a first-century “Jewish baptismal group somewhere in Palestine or Syria, perhaps in the Jordan valley. Later this religious group seems to have become heretic[al] from the orthodox Jewish point of view,”1 and moved north-eastwards, eventually settling in today’s southern Iraq and southwestern Iran. Tragically, “turmoil in the Persian Gulf region has created a growing Mandaean diaspora. … Out of the over 60,000 Mandaeans in Iraq in the early 1990s, only about 5,000 to 7,000 remain there.”2 In light of this scattering and scarcity of clergy, the very survival of this ancient religious community is in jeopardy.3

The Mandaeans are best known for their high regard for the teachings of John the Baptist, as found in their own scriptures. They are also known for their disdain for the figure of Jesus in the Christian tradition. Latter-day Saints will find particular interest in Mandaean teachings and practices pertaining to religious ordinances, including rituals related to baptism and heavenly ascent.4

Mandaean scripture speaks extensively about divine messengers (‘uthras) who have been sent to help and teach humankind. In the preeminent position is Manda d-Hiia (Knowledge of Life), followed by three “brothers … sometimes seen as belonging in three different generations”5: Hibil [Abel, son of Adam], Sitil [Seth, son of Adam], and Anosh [Enosh, son of Seth]. In Mandaean scripture, these three messengers are sent down from the “Lightworld” in the beginning to instruct Adam and Eve in the ordinances and in prayer.6

Though in Jewish and Christian tradition, the biblical figure Enosh is more a transmitter than author of religious texts (and is often seen in a negative light), in Mandaean religion he is seen entirely positively as an important revealer and helper of humankind.7 For the purposes of this article, it’s also important to know that the figure of Enosh is often confused with Enoch in both ancient8 and modern9 sources and that, as a result, the figure of Enosh has often been an inadvertent magnet for Enoch traditions in and out of Mandaism. Thus, the examples of ancient affinities between Enoch (as depicted in the Book of Moses) and Enosh literature are usually recognized as deriving from fragments of Enoch (rather than Enosh) traditions.10

Enoch’s Power over the Elements

In Moses 6:34, Enoch is promised that in the order and calling of the priesthood to which he has been ordained, he will manifest God’s power over the elements. Specifically he is told that “the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course.”11 This language selectively summarizes the longer and more formal oath given to Enoch that is recorded in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible in the context of the call of Melchizedek:12

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

Later in the Book of Moses we read about a fulfillment of this oath: “[S]o great was the faith of Enoch that … he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course.”13

Enoch’s experience in the Book of Moses can be compared to this Enoch account from the Mandaean Ginza:14

The [Supreme] Life replied, Arise, take thy way to the source of the waters, turn it from its course. … At this command Tauriel indeed turned the sweet water from its course.

We find no account of a river’s course turned by anyone in the Bible. It is thus remarkable that just such an event appears in this pseudepigraphal account and in the Book of Moses—and that in both instances the miraculous feat is found within a story about Enoch.

Figure 2. Enoch Window, Canterbury Cathedral, ca. 1178–1180.

Enoch’s Divine Protection

In Moses 6:32, God provides reassurance to the newly commissioned Enoch by stating: “Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee.”15 In the account of Enosh/Enoch’s prophetic call in the Mandaean Ginza, a similar promise of divine protection is given while he was on the course of a journey.16 Confident that he will receive the divine help he needs, Enoch recounts:17

When I saw myself thus surrounded by enemies, I did flee. … And since that time, with my eyes fixed on the road, I looked to see … if the angel of Life would come to my aid. … Suddenly I saw the gates of heaven open.

After the heavens open, the “Angel of Life” appears and speaks to Enosh. Note that Enoch’s title of “lad”18 found in Moses 6:31 is echoed in the Ginza’s description of the prophet as “little Enosh”:19

Little Enosh, fear not. You dread the dangers of this world; I am come to you to deliver you from them. Fear not the wicked, and be not afraid that the floods will rise up on your head; for their efforts will be vain: it shall not be given them to do any harm to thee.

Later in the same account, the enemies of Enosh/Enoch lament their inability to harm him and his companions. Then they complain that his eventual escape to heaven with his companions has brought a frustrating end to their attempts:20

In vain have we attempted murder and fire against them; nothing has been able to overcome them. And now they are sheltered from our blows.

Though the phrase “And now they are sheltered from our blows” does not specifically describe how Enosh/Enoch and his companions were protected, the text immediately preceding this passage gives more direct hints that they were “sheltered” by being taken up into heaven:21

By fleeing and hiding these men from on high have gone up higher than us. We have never known them. However, now you see that they are covered with glory and splendors that appear to us in all the brightness of their triumph.

Support for the idea that Enoch and his companions escaped their enemies through a heavenly ascent can be found in the statements of Ohya, a leader of the gibborim in the Book of Giants (an Enoch text found at Qumran). Ohya tells of his defeat in a great battle against Enoch and his people22 and then, much like Enoch’s enemies in the Ginza account, Ohya laments that his mortal opponents now “reside in the heavens and live with the holy ones.”23 This description resembles Moses 7:21, which states that Zion, the city of Enoch, “in process of time, was taken up into heaven.” Similarly, Moses 7:69 states: “And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED,”24 a poignantly ironic echo of the complaints of Enoch’s enemies in the Ginza: “by fleeing and hiding these men … have gone up higher than us”25).

The choice of the word “fled” in Moses 7:21 is apt, connoting an urgent escape and deliberately alluding to events a little earlier in the chapter when both the “mountains”26 and Enoch’s enemies “fled”27 from danger. But, as scripture pointedly teaches, it is one thing to escape from danger and another to escape to enduring safety. God had promised that Zion alone would “dwell in safety forever”28 in His “own bosom,”29 blessedly and permanently out of bowshot and earshot of its frustrated enemies on earth.

 

This article was adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 39–40.

Further Reading

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 863-882 (Sacred history, rites, and texts of the Mandaeans).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 39-40.

Hensinger, Shane. 2007. Always a stranger: The survival of the Mandaeans of Iraq (6 December 2007). In Daily Kos.

Lupieri, Edmondo. 1993. The Mandaeans: The Last Gnostics. Italian Texts and Studies on Religion and Society, ed. Edmondo Lupieri. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 210–211.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004, p. 269.

References

al-Kisa’i, Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. ca. 1000-1100. Tales of the Prophets (Qisas al-anbiya). Translated by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. Great Books of the Islamic World, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Chicago, IL: KAZI Publications, 1997.

Aldihisi, Sabah. “The Story of Creation in the Mandaean Holy Book the Ginza Rba (Ph.D. Dissertation, Identifier: PQ ETD:591390).” London, England: University College London, 2008.

Alter, Robert, ed. The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton, 2019.

Buckley, Jorunn Jacobsen. The Mandaeans: Ancient Texts and Modern People. American Academy of Religion: The Religions Series, ed. Paul B. Courtright. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Deutsch, Nathaniel. “Introduction [to the Mandaean Literature].” In The Gnostic Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone and Marvin W. Meyer, 527-35. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 2003.

Drower, E. S. The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1937. Reprint, Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2002.

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Ginzberg, Louis, ed. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Translated by Henrietta Szold and Paul Radin. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909-1938. Reprint, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Gündüz, Sinasi. The Knowledge of Life: The Origins and Early History of Mandaeans and Their Relation to the Sabians of the Qur’an and to the Harranians. Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement 3. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Henning, W. B. “The Book of the Giants.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 11, no. 1 (1943): 52-74.

Hensinger, Shane. 2007. Always a stranger: The survival of the Mandaeans of Iraq (6 December 2007). In Daily Kos.

Jellinek, Adolph, ed. Bet ha-Midrasch. Sammlung kleiner midraschim und vermischter Abhandlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur. 6 vols. Vol. 4. Leipzig, Germany: C. W. Vollrath, 1857.

Langkjer, Erik. n.d. From 1 Enoch to Mandaean religion.

Larsen, David J. “Enoch and the City of Zion: Can an entire community ascend to heaven?” Presented at the Academy of Temple Studies Conference on Enoch and the Temple, Logan, UT and Provo, UT, February 19 and 22, 2013.

Lidzbarski, Mark, ed. Ginza: Der Schatz oder das Grosse Buch der Mandäer. Quellen der Religionsgeschichte, der Reihenfolge des Erscheinens 13:4. Göttingen and Leipzig, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, J. C. Hinrichs’sche, 1925.

Lupieri, Edmondo. 1993. The Mandaeans: The Last Gnostics. Italian Texts and Studies on Religion and Society, ed. Edmondo Lupieri. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.

Martinez, Florentino Garcia. “The Book of Giants (4Q531).” In The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. 2nd ed. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson, 262. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.

Migne, Jacques P. “Livre d’Adam.” In Dictionnaire des Apocryphes, ou, Collection de tous les livres Apocryphes relatifs a l’Ancien et au Nouveau Testament, pour la plupart, traduits en français, pour la première fois, sur les textes originaux, enrichie de préfaces, dissertations critiques, notes historiques, bibliographiques, géographiques et théologiques, edited by Jacques P. Migne. Migne, Jacques P. ed. 2 vols. Vol. 1. Troisième et Dernière Encyclopédie Théologique 23, 1-290. Paris, France: Migne, Jacques P., 1856.

Milik, Józef Tadeusz, and Matthew Black, eds. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments from Qumran Cave 4. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1976.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986.

—. 1975. The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005.

—. 1986. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University, 2004.

Nickelsburg, George W. E., ed. 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1-36; 81-108. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001.

Noah, Mordecai M., ed. 1840. The Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses Samuel. Salt Lake City, UT: Joseph Hyrum Parry, 1887. Reprint, New York City, NY: Cosimo Classics, 2005.

Reeves, John C. Heralds of that Good Realm: Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 41, ed. James M. Robinson and Hans-Joachim Klimkeit. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1996.

—. “Enosh.” In The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, edited by John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow, 590-91. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2010.

Reeves, John C., and Annette Yoshiko Reed. Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2 vols. Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Rudolph, Kurt. “Part 2: Mandean [sic] Sources.” In Coptic and Mandaic Sources, edited by Werner Foerster. Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts 2, 121-319. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1974.

Ryen, Jon Olav. The Tree in the Lightworld: A Study in the Mandaean Vine Motif. Oslo, Norway: Unipub/Oslo Academic Press (Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo), 2006.

Scheindlin, Raymong P. The Book of Job. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton, 1998.

Stuckenbruck, Loren T. The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1997.

—. “The Book of Giants.” In Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture, edited by Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel and Lawrence H. Schiffman. 3 vols. Vol. 1, 221-36. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2013.

Thomas, Richard. “The Israelite origins of the Mandaean people.” Studia Antiqua 5, no. 2 (2007): 3-27.

Widengren, Geo. “Heavenly enthronement and baptism studies in Mandaean baptism.” In Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough, edited by Jacob Neusner. 14 vols. Religions in Antiquity, Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to Numen) 551-582. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1968.

Wilkens, Jens. “Remarks on the Manichaean Book of Giants: Once again on Mahaway’s mission to Enoch.” In Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, edited by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Enrico Morano. Wissenschlaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360, ed. Jörg Frey, 213-29. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York City, NY: Harper-Collins, 1996.
Yamauchi, Edwin M. 1970. Gnostic Ethics and Mandaean Origins. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2004.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Image via Wikipedia. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License from the Tasnim News Agency.

Figure 2. Image from the Canterbury Cathedral, with thanks to Cressida Williams (Mrs.), Cathedral Archivist; Head of Archives and Library, Canterbury Cathedral. Mandaean and Aramaic accounts speak of Enoch being taken up to heaven to protect him from his enemies. Enoch is depicted here with upraised hands in the traditional attitude of prayer. The right hand of God emerges from the cloud to grasp Enoch’s right wrist and lift him to heaven.

Footnotes

 

1 J. O. Ryen, Mandaean Vine, p. 41; cf. pp. 21–41. See also S. Gündüz, Knoweldge of Life; E. Lupieri, Mandaeans, pp. 122–172; R. Thomas, Israelite Origins; E. M. Yamauchi, Gnostic Ethics.

2 N. Deutsch, Mandaean Introduction, pp. 527, 535.

3 S. Hensinger, Always a Stranger.

4 Despite their probable post-Christian origins as a separate people, Hugh Nibley sees the “whole Mandaean ritual complex with its endless washings, garments, ritual meals, embraces, grips and crownings [as being] reminiscent of the Egyptian endowment, and Drower, the principal authority on the subject, long ago called attention to the common prehistoric origin of both.” E. S. Drower, Mandaeans, pp. xviii-xix; H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 445. Richard Thomas argues for a connection to Palestinian baptist sects and the pre-exilic Israelite temple cult. See R. Thomas, Israelite Origins, pp. 11–26. Edwin Yamauchi, who argued persuasively that, in contrast to mainstream scholarship, the Mandaean movement originated in the East and no earlier than the first centuries of the Christian era, nevertheless agreed with other researchers who saw the roots of their mythology and ritual in ancient Mesopotamian religion. See E. M. Yamauchi, Gnostic Ethics, pp. 80–86. See also G. Widengren, Enthronement, who discusses Mandaean baptism in light of Syrian-Mesopotamian ritual traditions.

5 J. J. Buckley, Mandaeans, p. 35.

6 K. Rudolph, Coptic, Ginza Right 3, p. 197; M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 3, p. 119. For a translation, commentary, and discussion of the Mandaean story of creation in the Ginza Rba, Book 3, see S. Aldihisi, The Story of Creation in the Mandaean Holy Book the Ginza Rba (Ph.D. Dissertation, Identifier: PQ ETD:591390).

7 J. C. Reeves, Enosh.

8 See, e.g., J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, p. 98:
One wonders whether this curious association of Enoch with music and song reflects a later confusion between Enoch and Enosh, a figure who receives blame in the world for introducing idols and their cultic service (including music) into the world. J. C. Reeves, Enosh: Similarly, when the thirteenth-century Syriac Book of the Bee avers that Enosh “was the first to author books on the courses of the stars and zodiacal signs,” it is likely Enosh has been confused here with the more illustrious figures of Enoch or Seth, both of whom are famous in parabiblical sources for their astronomical discoveries. J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, p. 102. Cf. p. 293: According to Cornelia Schöck (Adam im Islam, 179n. 1049), the peculiar designation “Enoch the younger” (M. i. A. A. al-Kisa’i, Tales, p. 75) represents Kisa’i’s (our source’s) attempt to correct an erroneous confusion and conflation between the figures of Enoch and Enosh.

9 See, for an example, the confusion of the eminent Mandaean research pioneer Lady E. S. Drower about Enosh and Enoch (E. S. Drower, Mandaeans, p. xxiv, emphasis added): To refer again to Enoch [sic] (the word means “man” and he seems to be, like Adam, a personification of the human principle) the association is preserved today in a curious manner. The Arabs have given Enoch the name “Idris” … And this confusion by Edmondo Lupieri, a Mandaean scholar who wrote in 2002 (E. Lupieri, Mandaeans, pp. 164–165, emphasis added): John becomes a Mandaean in the same way and for the same reason that Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch [sic], Noah, and Shem become Mandaeans.

10 For example, the prominent Enoch and Mandaean researcher John C. Reeves (J. C. Reeves, Heralds, p. 142) gives the following summary of important Enosh writings in the Ginza, the most important Mandaean book of scripture: The eleventh book of the Right Ginza is introduced as the mystery and book of the great Anosh, son of the great Sitil, son of the great Adam, son of the mighty ‘uthras of glory.” … Enosh escapes harm due to his fortuitous removal form earth by Manda de-Hayye, an emissary of the principal Mandaean deity, who installs him in the supernal realms, where he continues to reside. The initial portion of the twelfth book of the Right Ginza continues the first-person discursive style displayed in the preceding composition, identifying the speaker as “the great Anosh, the son of the great Sitil, the son of the great Adam …” Therein Enosh provides testimony regarding many of the sights which he beheld during his tour of the heavens and describes his own installation as an ‘uthra of light. Following this summary, Reeves comments (ibid., p. 156 n. 13): “The similarity of this narrative sequence with the one recounting the career of Enoch in 1 Enoch 6–16 is probably not accidental.” Notably the two examples of resemblances between the Book of Moses and the Ginza described in this article are both taken from Right Ginza passages in chapter 11 which Reeves mentions above and, as will be seen, are corroborated in part in the Enoch account in the Book of Giants from Qumran.

11 Moses 6:34.

12 JST Genesis 14:30–32, emphasis added. See S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts, OT1 (p. 34), p. 127.

13 Moses 7:13.

14 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 169, English translation by Bradshaw. Compare the English translation of Migne given by H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 210. Migne’s original reads: La Vie [souveraine] lui répondit : Lève-toi, prends ta course vers la source de l’eau, détournes-en le cours, et que cette eau vive et subtile, tombant dans l’eau profonde, en adoucisse l’amertume en s’y mêlant, et que les hommes qui la boivent deviennent semblables à la Vie souveraine. A ce commandement Tavril détourna en effet le cours de l’eau subtile, et la dirigeant dans l’eau amère, il en adoucit l’amertume, en sorte que les hommes se réjouissaient en la buvant. Cf. M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 11, pp. 266–267: Da sprach das große Leben zu Mandä dHaije: „Mache du dich auf, geh an der Spitze des Wassers hin und ziehe einen dünnen Zug lebenden Wassers hin. Es soll hingehen, in das trübe Wasser fallen, und das Wasser werde schmackhaft, auf daß die Menschenkinder es trinken und dem großen Leben gleich werden. Da sprach er zu Taurel-Uthra, dieser machte sich ans Werk, er zog einen dünnen Zug Wassers hin, es fiel in die Tibil, in das Wasser, das nicht schmackhaft war, und das Wasser der Tibil wurde schmackhaft, daß die Menschenkinder es trinken und es ihnen schmecke. The account of Enoch in the Book of Moses does not give a clear purpose for the turning of the waters from their course. Perhaps there is a longer version of the story where this detail is explained. However, the Mandaean angel’s promise to deliver Enosh/Enoch from the “flood that will rise up on [his] head” provides a tantalizing hint of one possibility. In the Ginza, the incident is incorporated into the Mandaean mythology relating to baptism. Specifically, the turning of the water’s course is made necessary by the requirement for “living water” to become available for Mandaean baptism, which includes immersion, drinking of the water, and a series of sacred handshakes. The first phase of the rite is described by Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley as follows (J. J. Buckley, Mandaeans, p. 82): The priest submerges the person three times and uses his wet finger to draw a line three times across the person’s forehead, from the right to the left ear. Again thrice, the person in the water receives a palm full of water to drink. The sacred handshake, the kushta, takes place between the two. Erik Langkjer further elaborates (E. Langkjer, From 1 Enoch): Tauriel is the old god “El, the bull”, tr il, acc. to the Ugarit texts having his throne by the double offspring of the water-brooks in the mountain Lel. In the Mandaean baptismal ritual any river used for baptism is called Jordan (Jardna) and baptism can only be done in running water (not in “cut off water” in a font or basin). Lidzbarski thinks that this reflects an old belief in the Jordan as the paradise-river from Hermon, the mountain of the sons of God in the North (“as no other river in Asia it runs in a straight direction north-south” [M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Einleitung, p. V, 13–15]). Lidzbarski does not mention Psalm 133:3: The unction on the head of the high priest is “like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. There the Lord sends down blessing, Life eternal”. In Temple Theology the dew in the morning and the unction is identified with the “Water of Life” from the mountain of the sons of God.

15 In the Bible, the Hebrew and Greek verbs translated as “pierce” typically refer to physical wounds. See, for example, Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Numbers 23:8; Judges 5:26; 2 Kings 18:21; Job 40:24; Isaiah 27:1; 36:6; Luke 2:35; John 19:34, 37; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:7. Metaphorical exceptions include Job 30:17 (i.e., “my limbs are pierced” [R. Alter, Hebrew Bible, 30:17, p. 542] or “my bones are hacked from me” [R. P. Scheindlin, Job, 30:17, p. 122]); Proverbs 12:18 (i.e., “One may speak out like sword stabs” [R. Alter, Hebrew Bible, 12:18, p. 391]). However, in modern scripture most mentions of the term refer to verbal, emotional, and spiritual wounds (see, for example, Jacob 2:9, 15, 35; Helaman 5:30; 3 Nephi 11:3; Doctrine and Covenants 1:3; JS-H Oliver Cowdery’s account) as well as to the ability of someone to see the hearts and intentions of individuals (see Jacob 2:15; Doctrine and Covenants 121:4; Moses 7:36). In light of the promises Enoch received in his divine commission and the great perils that he faced, it is not unreasonable to assume that God’s promises to Enoch encompassed protection from “piercing” in every sense of the word. However, in this brief article, we will focus on the Lord’s measures to assure his physical safety.

16 See J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 167.

17 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 167, English translation by Bradshaw. Migne’s original reads: Quand je me vis ainsi entouré d’ennemis, je m’enfuis, et, levant les yeux vers le séjour de la lumière, j’appelai à mon secours l’ange de la Vie. … Et depuis ce temps, les yeux fixés sur la route, je regardais si mes frères venaient à moi, si l’ange de la Vie venait à mon secours. Tout à coup je vis la porte du ciel ouverte. Cf. M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 11, p. 264, lines 2–4, 6–9: Täglich, alltäglich suche ich ihnen zu entrinnen, da ich allein in dieser Welt dastehe. Meine Augen blicken zu Mandä dHaije empor. …Täglich blicken meine Augen zu dem Wege empor, den meine Brüder gehen, und zu dem Pfade, auf dem Mandä dHaije kommt. Ich schaue hin und sehe, daß die Pforte des Himmels sich öffnete.

18 See Pearl of Great Price Central, “Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Enoch As a Lad,” Book of Moses Insight #3 (May 15, 2020).

19 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 167, English translation by Bradshaw. Migne’s original reads: Petit Anusch, ne crains rien ; tu as redouté les dangers de ce monde, je suis venu à toi pour t’en délivrer. Ne crains point les méchants, ne crains point les déluges qu’ils soulèvent sur ta tête ; car leurs efforts seront vains ; il ne leur sera pas donné de te faire aucun mal. Cf. M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 11, p. 264, lines 20–27: Kleiner Enös, fürchte dich nicht vor mir. Da Schrecken dich in dieser Welt befiel, kam ich, um dich aufzuklären. Fürchte dich nicht vor den Bösen dieser Welt und vor den Wasserfluten; sie sollen über deinem Haupte hinweggenommen werden. Wie sie über deine Brüder Schwert und Feuer brachten und Schwert und Feuer an sie nicht heranlangen konnten, so werden auch die Wasserfluten an dich nicht heranlangen. Ich werde dir Glanz und Licht bringen, die dir Helfer sein und dir beistehen sollen.

20 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 170, English translation by Bradshaw. Migne’s original reads: En vain nous avons essayé contre eux le meurtre et le feu ; rien n’a pu les atteindre. Ils sont maintenant à l’abri de nos coups. Cf. M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 11, p. 268, lines 25–27: Bei seinen Brüdern wurde Feuer und Schwert weggenommen, und sie konnten an sie nicht heranreichen, jetzt [ … ], daß sie für sich dastehen.

21 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 170, English translation by Bradshaw. Migne’s original reads: C’est en fuyant, c’est en se cachant, que les hommes d’en haut ont monté plus haut que nous. Nous ne les avons jamais connus. Les voici pourtant couverts de gloire et de splendeurs qui nous apparaissent dans tout l’éclat de leur triomphe. Cf. M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, Ginza Right 11, p. 268, lines 21–23: Sei es daß sie vor uns davongelaufen sind, sei es daß sie sich vor uns versteckt haben, sie zeigten sich uns nicht. Jetzt zeigten sie sich uns in ihrem reichen Glänze und ihrem großen Lichte.

22 Compare with Moses 7:13.

23 F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q531), 2:6, p. 262. Cf. J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 308: “they dwell in [heaven]s and they live in the holy abodes”; L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q531, 17:6, p. 164: “and in t]he heavens are seated, and among the holy places they dwell”; M. Wise et al., DSS, 4Q531, 22:6, p. 293: “my opponents [are angels who] reside in [Heav]en, and they dwell in the holy places.” Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 269. Compare also W. B. Henning, Book of the Giants, Text A, fragment i (M101i), where the angels are said to have “veiled (or: covered, or: protected, or: moved out of sight) Enoch.” A similar veiling is described in a Parthian fragment (M291) in relation to “a later sequence of events” (J. Wilkens, Remarks, p. 225). Wilkens notes the passages from Henning as an explanation for “the fact that there is no direct contact between Mahawai and Enoch” (ibid., p. 225) in the Uyghur fragment, lines 11 and 12: “But I did not see him in person” (ibid., p. 224). Cf. “he dwelt [not] among human beings” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q531, 14:4, p. 233); “his dwelling is with the angels” (G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 106:7, p. 536. See also 12:1–2, p. 233).

24 As far as the size of Enoch’s group of companions goes, the Mandaean texts envision three individuals: Enoch and his two brother uthras. Within the Aramaic Book of Giants, the size of his group that opposed the gibborim in battle is unspecified. However, both the Book of Jasher (M. M. Noah, Jasher, 3:27–38, pp. 7–8) and an account edited by Jellinek (A. Jellinek, BHM 4, 3:24–38, pp. 7–8) provide an explicit analog to the Book of Moses idea that a sizeable group of people (thousands, according to Jasher and Jellinek) ascended with Enoch. L. Ginzberg, Legends, 1:129–130 summarizes the Jasher account. In his version he makes an addition to the story on his own authority, recounting that when the people searched for those who had gone with Enoch “they discovered the bodies,” implying (polemically?) that no other mortal could have accompanied Enoch to heaven. This addition can be found in Sefer ha-Kasdim (ms. Manchester, John Rylands Library, Gaster 177, ff. 36a-b), as cited in J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, pp. 114–120. For additional discussion of accounts from the ancient world that describe whole communities ascending to heaven (both literally and figuratively), see D. J. Larsen, Enoch and the City of Zion, and a forthcoming Book of Moses Insight on the topic.

25 J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 170, English translation by Bradshaw.

26 Moses 7:13. Cf. Moses 6:34.

27 Moses 7:14.

28 Moses 7:20.

29 Moses 7:69.

Enoch’s Prophetic Commission: Enoch As a Lad

Book of Moses Insight #3

Moses 6:31

With contribution by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

Readers of the Book of Moses have often puzzled over Enoch’s self-description as a “lad” (Moses 6:31), especially in light of the fact that he was at least sixty-five years old at the time (v. 25). Strikingly, this is the only instance of the term “lad” in the teachings and revelations of Joseph Smith. Hugh Nibley was the first to recognize the significance of the use of this term in the Book of Moses, given the prominence of “lad” (or the equivalent term “youth”) as a name for Enoch in several Jewish mystical works,1 notably including the pseudepigraphal books of 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch.2

Figure 2. Adam enthroned, the angels prostrating themselves before him, 1576. Rachel Milstein.

Enoch uses the term “lad” in a somewhat self-denigrating way in Moses 6:31: “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad … ?” The angels in 3 Enoch similarly look upon Enoch’s status as a “lad” with disdain. They see Enoch’s relative youth as reason to challenge the legitimacy of his heavenly ascent as well as his right to sponsor the ascent of his pupil, Rabbi Ishmael.3 Enoch is portrayed “as a sort of Johnny-come lately who despite his late arrival manages to become the greatest in their midst.”4 This recalls the pre-rabbinic tradition of the initial reluctance of the angels to pay homage to Adam, who himself was seen as a young newcomer to the divine realm.5

Gary A. Anderson of the University of Notre Dame wonders at the ancient references to Enoch as a “lad”:6

The acclamation of Enoch as “lad” is curious. It certainly recalls the question that began the story: “Why are you called ‘lad’ by [those] in the heights of heaven?”7 It is worth noting that of all the names given Enoch, the title “lad” is singled out as being particularly apt and fitting by the heavenly host. Evidently the seventy names were of a more general order of knowledge than the specific title “lad.”

In answer to the question of why “the seventy nations of the world” called Enoch by his other names while God preferred to call him by the name of “lad,”8 Andrei Orlov proposes that Enoch served as a sort of mediator between the nations and God, with the reference to his seventy names corresponding to the seventy nations of the world.9 In short, to the nations, he was a ruler, the “Prince of the World,”10 while to God he was a subordinate, a “lad” by comparison.11

Searching for the answer in another direction, Gershom Scholem, followed by other scholars, noticed that the title “lad” appears in the ancient Jewish literature in connection with the role of one who serves “before the heavenly throne and [ministers] to its needs” or as one who serves “in his own special tabernacle.”12

A third explanation is found in the Zohar and related writings. There it is understood that Enoch “became a youth” permanently when “God took him” to live forever in the heavenly world.13

While none of these explanations is without its merits, Anderson prefers the reason that Enoch himself gives for this title, as recorded in the book of 3 Enoch:14

And because I was the youngest among them and a “lad” amongst them with respect to days, months, and years, therefore they called me “lad.”

Though “most scholars have not been satisfied with the simple and somewhat naïve answer the text supplies”15 and have instead formulated a variety of more elaborate hypotheses for the name, Enoch’s explanation for his title of “lad” in the Book of Moses fits the “simple and straightforward” explanation given in 3 Enoch.

This article was adapted and expanded from Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 37–39.

Further Reading

Anderson, Gary A. “The exaltation of Adam.” In Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays, edited by Gary A. Anderson, Michael E. Stone and Johannes Tromp, 83–110. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2000, pp. 107–108.

Bowen, Matthew L. “Young man, hidden prophet: Alma.” In Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture, edited by Matthew L. Bowen, 91–100. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018, pp. 91–94.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014, pp. 37–39, 93, 582–584.

Mopsik, Charles, ed. Le Livre Hébreu d’Hénoch ou Livre des Palais. Les Dix Paroles, ed. Charles Mopsik. Lagrasse, France: Éditions Verdier, 1989, pp. 188–190.

Nibley, Hugh W. Enoch the Prophet. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986, pp. 208–209.

Orlov, Andrei A. The Enoch-Metatron Tradition. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 107. Tübingen, Germany Mohr Siebeck, 2005, pp. 133–136.

References

Alexander, P. “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 223-315. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Andersen, F. I. “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch.” In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. 2 vols. Vol. 1, 91-221. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1983.

Anderson, Gary A. “The exaltation of Adam.” In Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays, edited by Gary A. Anderson, Michael E. Stone and Johannes Tromp, 83-110. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2000.

Barker, Kenneth L., ed. New International Version (NIV) Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.

bin Gorion (Berdichevsky), Micha Joseph. Von der Urzeit. Die Sagen der Juden 1. Frankfurt, Germany: Rütten und Loening, 1919.

Bowen, Matthew L. “Introduction.” In Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture, edited by Matthew L. Bowen, xlvii-lix. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018.

—. “Young man, hidden prophet: Alma.” In Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture, edited by Matthew L. Bowen, 91-100. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Publishing, 2010.

—. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. 1906. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005.

Dawood, N. J. 1956. The Koran. London, England: Penguin Books, 1997.

Dennis, Lane T., Wayne Grudem, J. I. Packer, C. John Collins, Thomas R. Schreiner, and Justin Taylor. English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

Eaton, John H. The Psalms: A Historical and Spiritual Commentary with an Introduction and New Translation. London, England: T&T Clark, 2003.

Jellinek, Adolph, ed. Bet ha-Midrasch. Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischter Abhandlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur. Nach Handschriften und Druckwerken. 6 vols. Leipzig, Germany: F. Nies, 1853-1877.

Koehler, Ludwig, Walter Baumgartner, Johann Jakob Stamm, M. E. J. Richardson, G. J. Jongeling-Vos, and L. J. de Regt. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 4 vols. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1994.

Margalioth, Mordecai, ed. Midrash ha-Gadol ‘al hamishah humshey Torah: Sefer Bereshit. Jerusalem, Israel: Mosad ha-Rav Kook, 1947.

Matt, Daniel C., ed. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition. Vol. 4. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.

—, ed. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition. Vol. 5. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Migne, Jacques P. “Livre d’Adam.” In Dictionnaire des Apocryphes, ou, Collection de tous les livres Apocryphes relatifs a l’Ancien et au Nouveau Testament, pour la plupart, traduits en français, pour la première fois, sur les textes originaux, enrichie de préfaces, dissertations critiques, notes historiques, bibliographiques, géographiques et théologiques, edited by Jacques P. Migne. Migne, Jacques P. ed. 2 vols. Vol. 1. Troisième et Dernière Encyclopédie Théologique 23, 1-290. Paris, France: Migne, Jacques P., 1856.

Milstein, Rachel, Karin Rührdanz, and Barbara Schmitz. Stories of the Prophets: Illustrated Manuscripts of Qisas al-Anbiya. Islamic Art and Architecture Series 8, ed. Abbas Daneshvari, Robert Hillenbrand and Bernard O’Kane. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1999.

Mopsik, Charles, ed. Le Livre Hébreu d’Hénoch ou Livre des Palais. Les Dix Paroles, ed. Charles Mopsik. Lagrasse, France: Éditions Verdier, 1989.

Orlov, Andrei A. The Enoch-Metatron Tradition. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 107. Tübingen, Germany Mohr Siebeck, 2005.

Reeves, John C., and Annette Yoshiko Reed. Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2 vols. Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Scholem, Gershom. 1974. Kabbalah. New York City, NY: Dorset Press, 1987.

Notes on Figures

Figure 1. Image via Wikipedia. Examples have been found of ancient authors applying the term na’ar (Hebrew “lad” or “youth”) to both David and Enoch, as well as to exalted figures such as Adam, Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. In a prophecy “of old” that is later applied to David we read: “I have set a youth above the warrior; I have [exalted] a young man over the people” (translation as found in J. H. Eaton, Psalms Commentary, 89:19, p. 317 with the substitution of the word “exalted.”). Looking carefully at Psalm 89:19, we find that it provides an intriguing possibility of parallel with the title of lad/youth given to Enoch in vision. Citing a vision “of old” (J. H. Eaton, Psalms Commentary, 89:19, p. 317; L. T. Dennis et al., ESV, 89:19, p. 1050) that was given to His “holy one” (KJV), the Lord is quoted as saying that He has exalted a baḥur from among the people. Baḥur is an interesting word (L. Koehler et al., Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon,1:118; F. Brown et al., Lexicon p. 104c, d) — it is usually translated as “chosen,” but perhaps in the context of this verse may be more accurately rendered “youth” or “young man,” as in Eaton’s translation: “I have set a youth [emending ‘ezer to naar] above the warrior; I have raised [exalted] a young man [baḥur] over the people” (J. H. Eaton, Psalms Commentary, 89:19, p. 317. Cf. K. L. Barker, NIV Study Bible, Psalm 89:19, p. 889: “I have exalted a young man from among the people.”). One might, in fact, conjecture a play on words between baḥir in v. 3 and baḥur in v. 19. The youth who is set above the warrior (Hebrew gibbor) recalls Enoch’s victory over the gibborim in the Book of the Giants and in the book of Moses (as well as David’s youthful triumph over the giant Goliath). Of course the motif of the exaltation of the anointed one is relevant to the stories of Enoch’s heavenly ascent in the book of Moses and in the pseudepigrapha. For a summary of other ancient traditions relating to resentment of the exaltation of the younger rival over the older one, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, pp. 225, 540–541, 582–583. See A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 136 for a summary of James Davila’s relevant research. See also the discussion in C. Mopsik, Hénoch, pp. 189–191 n. 4:16 that applies the title of “lad” to angelic figures of high rank, including the Messiah, the anointed One of God.

Figure 2. Rachel Milstein. From R. Milstein et al., Stories. Original in Topkapi Saray Museum Library, Istanbul Turkey. H. 1227: Ms. T-7. This figure illustrates Qur’an 2:34: “And when We said to the angels” ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,’ they all prostrated themselves except Satan, who in his pride refused and became an unbeliever” (N. J. Dawood, Koran, 2:34, p. 13; cf. 7:11–18; 15:26–44; 17:61–65, 18:50–51; 38:67–88). For a detailed description of the figure and the incident described, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Figure 4-7, p. 225. In pseudepigraphal accounts, Enoch is said to have experienced similar angelic resistance to his exaltation, similar to the resistance faced by Adam.

Footnotes

 

1 Nibley cites, among others, M. J. bin Gorion (Berdichevsky), Von der Urzeit, pp. 196–197; J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, pp. 165–166; A. Jellinek, BHM, 5:172; D. C. Matt, Zohar 4, Be-shallaḥ 2:66a, 2:66b, p. 366 and n. 587. Cf. p. 359 and n. 563.

2 See F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 10:4 (shorter recension), p. 119, P. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 2:2, p. 357, 3:2, p. 257, 4:1, p. 258, and 4:10, p. 259, and C. Mopsik, Hénoch, 48D 1, p. 156 (97).

3 P. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 2:2, p. 357, 3and 4:7–10, p. 259. See A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, pp. 133–134.

4 A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 135, citing an observation by David Halperin.

5 See G. A. Anderson, Exaltation, pp. 107–108. For additional discussion of these and related accounts, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Excursus 23: The Roles of Christ, Adam, and Michael, pp. 582–584.

6 G. A. Anderson, Exaltation, p. 107.

7 See P. Alexander, 3 Enoch, 4:1, p. 258.

8 Ibid., 3:2, p. 257.

9 A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 136.

10 See discussion of sources for and the meaning of the title “Prince of the world” in, e.g., C. Mopsik, Hénoch, p. 190.

11 A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 136 n. 231.

12 G. Scholem, Kabbalah, p. 379. A related argument for this idea might be found in the Book of Mormon. According to Matthew Bowen, “the best explanation for the name Alma is that it derives from the Semitic term ǵlm (Hebrew ʿelem) — ‘young man,’ ‘youth,’ ‘lad.’ This strongly suggests the possibility of an intentional wordplay on the name Alma in the Book of Mormon’s underlying text: Alma became ‘[God’s] young man’ or ‘servant’” (M. L. Bowen, Introduction, p. lii. See M. L. Bowen, Young Man, pp. 91–94 for Bowen’s complete discussion).

13 D. C. Matt, Zohar 5, Sira di-Tsni’uta2:179a, p. 582, based on a particular interpretation of Proverbs 22:6. Daniel Matt explains (ibid., p. 582 n. 87): Metatron is often described as a na’ar, “youth, lad, servant.” Here the author alludes to the identification of Enoch with Metatron by citing the statement from Proverbs … “Train the youth”, which is understood to mean that Enoch was transformed … into the youth, i.e., Metatron. Zohar Hadash, Teruma explains it this way (M. Margalioth, Midrash ha-Gadol, 42d, p. 84, as cited in J. C. Reeves et al., Enoch from Antiquity 1, p. 298): As it is written (in Scripture): “And he was no more, because God took him” (Genesis 5:24): “and he was no more” signifies “in this world”; “and he was no more” means “as he existed in this world.” Because God took him” means “(he became) another image”; in that (world) he is permanently a youth. This secret we found (in the verse): “Enoch became a youth following His way” (Proverbs 22:6) (so as) to conduct all the worlds.” “even should he grow old, he will not deviate from it” (Proverbs 22:6): Behold, he is permanently found in it, and he reverted to a youth. In Enoch is contained the form of the hidden world. He is the throne of his Lord. He was made (one of the messengers) for the world. When the world is (under the attribute) of judgment, Metatron goes forth and is called “the leader over all the celestial armies.” The old man who is a youth goes from one world to another, and the anger subsides.

14 G. A. Anderson, Exaltation, p. 107. Translation of 3 Enoch 4:10 by Anderson.

15 Ibid., p. 107.