i.Name and Nature.
ii.Origin and History.
1.The Ethiopic Enoch.
2.The Slavonic Enoch.
3.The Sibylline Oracles.
4.The Assumption of Moses.
6.The Syriac Baruch.
7.The Greek Baruch.
8.The Psalter of Solomon.
9.The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs.
10.The Book of Jubilees.
11.The Ascension of Isaiah.
12.The Histories of Adam and Eve.
13.The Apocalypse of Abraham.
14.The Apocalypse of Elias.
15.The Apocalypse of Zephaniah.
17.The Prayer of Joseph.
18.The Book of Eldad and Modad.
1.The Vision Form.
5.The Unknown as subject-matter.
1.The Doctrine of the two aeons.
2.The Impending Crisis.
3.The Conception of God.
5.Arch-enemy of God.
6.Doctrine of Man.
7.Doctrine of Sin.
8.The coming Messiah.
11.Punishment of the Wicked.
12.The Reward of the Righteous.
13.The Renovation of the World.
vi.Contact with the New Testament.
1.Apocalyptic Forms in the New Testament.
2.Current Phraseology: Son of Man, etc.
4.Influence of Ideas.
5.Treatment of Common Questions.
i. Name and Nature.—The term ‘apocalypse’ (ἀποκάλυψις from ἀποκαλύπτω, to uncover) signifies in the first place the act of uncovering, and thus bringing into sight that which was before unseen, hence ‘revelation.’ It is predominantly a NT word. It occurs rather rarely in extra-biblical Greek, is used only once in the canonical portion of the LXX Septuagint (1 Samuel 20:30
), and thrice in Sirach (Sirach 11:27
; Sirach 22:22
; Sirach 42:1
). In the NT it is used to designate the disclosing or communicating of knowledge by direct Divine act. The gospel is an apocalypse to the nations (Luke 2:32, Romans 16:25-26
). St. Paul received it as an apocalypse (Galatians 1:12
). The manifestation of Jesus Christ in glory is an apocalypse (Galatians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 12:1-7, 2 Thessalonians 1:7
; 1 Peter 1:7
; 1 Peter 1:13
; 1 Peter 4:13
An apocalypse is thus primarily the act of revelation; in the second place it is the subject-matter revealed; and in the third place a book or literary production which gives an account of revelation, whether real or alleged (e.g. ‘The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine’). As a matter of history, the form in which the revelation purports to come is of the utmost importance in determining the question whether a writing should be called an apocalypse or not. In general, the form is like the drawing of the veil from before a picture, the result of which action presents to the eye a definite image. All imparting of Divine truth is revelation; but it is not all given in the apocalyptic form, i.e. it does not all come in grand imagery, as if portrayed on canvas or enacted in scenic representation. Some revelations come in sub-conscious convictions. Those who receive them do not feel called upon to give an account of the way in which they have received them. In fact they seem ignorant of the method of communication; they only know that they have received knowledge not previously possessed. Apocalypse and revelation thus, though primarily the same thing, come to be distinguished from each other.
The term ‘apocalypse’ is also sometimes used, with an effort at greater precision, to designate the pietorial portraiture of the future as foreshadowed by the seer. When so employed it becomes appropriate only as the title of certain passages in books otherwise not to be called apocalypses (so Bousset in Herzog-Hauek, PRE
, s.v., who enumerates the following passages: Daniel 2:7-12
; Ethiopic En 85–91, 37–71; Ps-Sol 2, 17, 18; the Assumption of Moses; Slav. En.; 4 Ezra; Syriac Bar.; Sibyl. Orac. iii. 286 to the end, iii. 36–92, iv., the Jewish source of i. and ii.; also certain sections of the Apocalypse, Apocalyptic John and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
; Matthew 24 with parallels).
To constitute a writing an apocalypse, it is not necessary that the author should have actually seen or experienced what he portrays. It is enough that he write as one who has had a vision and is describing it. Thus apocalypse becomes a form of literature precisely in the same manner as an epistle. Strictly an epistle is simply a letter from one person, or many persons, to another, or others. But, as a matter of usage, it has often been adopted as a form into which men have chosen to cast their thoughts for the public. The same is true of the dialogue, of fiction, and many other species of literature. Such forms become favourites in certain ages, usually after some outstanding character has made successful use of them. The dialogue became fashionable when Plato made it such a telling medium for the teaching of his philosophical system. The epistle was used by Horace, and later by Seneca. The apocalypse form appears as a favourite about the beginning of the 2nd cent. b.c. The most illustrious specimen, and perhaps the prototype of later apocalyptic literature, is the Book of Daniel.
ii. Origin and History.—The question has been mooted as to the earlier antecedents of the apocalyptic form. Its ultimate source has been traced variously to Egypt, Greece, Babylonia, and Persia. In view of the fact, however, that the Hebrew prophets frequently incorporate visions into their writings (Isaiah 6, Jeremiah 24:1-3, Ezekiel 1:27,
Isaiah 24-27), it is scarcely necessary to go outside of Israel to search for its origins. Nevertheless, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks had their apocalyptics. And it would be a mistake to ignore the influence especially of Persian forms during the period of the formation of Jewish apocalyptics. This was the very period when Jewish forms came most directly into touch with Persian. In any case, much of the material of the Jewish apocalypse has been adopted and naturalized from Persia (cf. Bousset, Die Jud. Apokalyptik, 1903; Gunkel, Schopfung u. Chaos, 1895). Apocalyptic literature in general begins before Christ. Soon after the Christian era it develops into the two naturally distinct forms of Christian and neo-Hebraic. Hence we may distinguish three classes of apocalypses:—(1) The earlier Jewish ones, or those which were published from b.c. 200 to a.d. 100. Within this class, however, may be included also such writings as proceed from Jewish sources purely, though not written until half a century, more or less, later than the last limit of the period. (2) Christian apocalypses, including the canonical book known as the Apocalypse (Revelation of St. John), and a series of apocryphal imitations. These are mostly pseudonymous, but include an occasional work in which the author does not conceal his name behind that of an apostle or older prophet (The Shepherd of Hermas). Apocalypses of this class pass into Patristics and culminate in Dante’s immortal Commedia. (3) The neo-Hebraie apocalypses, beginning with the predominance of the Talmud (especially the Babylonian) and including a series of revelations to the great Rabbis (The Revelation of R. Joshua b. Levi, The Alphabets of R. Akiba, The Hebrew Elijah Apocalypse, The Apocalypse of Zerubbabel, The Wars of King Messiah, The Revelations of R. Simon b. Yohai, The Prayer of R. Simon b. Yohai, and the Persian Apocalypse of Daniel).
It would be somewhat beside the purpose of this article to do more than sketch the first of these three classes of apocalypses. On the other hand, as Christ emerged in history at a definite period and in a definite environment, and as in this environment nothing is more conspicuous and potent than the early Jewish apocalyptic literature, the importance of this literature cannot be overestimated. A flood of light is shed by the form and content of these writings upon His life, teaching, and work. Happily, considerable attention has been given in recent years to this as a field of investigation, and some definite results may be registered.
iii. The Apocalypses.—Of the earlier Jewish apocalypse, the canonical Daniel forms the prototype. The proper place, however, for a particular treatment of Daniel is conventionally the sphere of Old Testament Introduction (see art. ‘Daniel’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible vol. i.). Our list will begin with the Books of Enoch.
1. The Ethiopic Enoch.—The adjective ‘Ethiopic’ has been attached to the title of this work because of another Book of Enoch discovered in a Slavonic version. Outside the canonical Daniel, this is the best known of the apocalypses, because of the quotation from it in Judges 1:14
f. Tertullian knows it, believes in its genuineness, and attempts to account for its transmission through and survival under the vicissitudes of the Flood. It appears to have been neglected, however, through the Middle Ages, and lost until 1773, when two MS copies of an Ethiopic version of it were brought from Abyssinia by J. Bruce. A translation of one of these was made by Lawrence, and published in 1821. But its full importance and significance came to be realized only with Dillmann’s critical edition of the Ethiopic text in 1851, which was followed in 1853 by a thorough German translation and commentary. A portion of the Greek text was discovered in 1886–7, and edited by H. B. Swete.
Contents.—As it stands to-day, the Book of Enoch can be subdivided into five main parts with an introduction and a conclusion, as follows: Introductory Discourse, in which the author announces his parable, and formally asks attention to the important matters which he is about to divulge (1–5).
(a) The first section is concerned with Angelology (6–36), beginning with the report of the fall of two hundred angels who were enticed by the beauty of the daughters of men, and left heaven in order to take them for wives. Out of these unions sprang giants 3000 cubits in height. The fallen angels, moreover, taught men all manner of secrets whereby they were led into sin. When the giants had consumed all the possessions of men, they turned against the men themselves and smote them until their cry went up to heaven. Ringleaders of the angels are Azazel and Semjâzâ (6–9). Through the intercession of the four archangels, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel, God is moved to arrest bloodshed upon earth. He sends Uriel to Noah to tell him that He has determined to destroy the world. He commands Raphael to bind Azazel and throw him into a pit in the wilderness, where he shall remain until the day of the great judgment, and then be cast into the fire. He commands Gabriel to rouse the giants against each other; and, finally, he commands Michael to announce to Semjâzâ the sentence of punishment, which is, that the fallen angels shall be kept enchained and imprisoned under the hills of the earth, waiting the last judgment, when they shall be cast into the fire (10). After the destruction of all impiety upon earth, the righteous shall flourish and live long, the earth shall yield abundantly, all people shall pray to God, and all evil shall be banished from the earth (11). The sentence upon the fallen angels is communicated to Enoch (12), and he reveals it to them; but, at their urgent request, he composes a petition on their behalf, that they might obtain forgiveness; while rehearsing this, preparatory to presenting it, he falls asleep and is informed in a dream that their request for forgiveness will not be granted, and once more makes known to the angels their impending doom (13–16). Enoch tells of a journey in which he learned of the places where thunders and lightnings originate, and saw the stream of Hades, the corner-stone and the pillars of the world, the seven mountains of precious stones, and the places of punishment of the disobedient angels, i.e. the stars (17–19). He gives the names and functions of the six (seven) archangels (20). He once more visits the place of punishment of the condemned angels, and the nether world (21), consisting of four parts (22). He travels to the West (23–25). From there he returns to the city of Jerusalem, which is the centre of the earth (26, 27); then he travels to the East (28–33), to the North (34, 35), and, lastly, to the South (36).
(b) The second section is Christological, and consists of chs. 37–71, subdivided into three Similitudes. A short introductory discourse (37) is followed by the first Similitude, including chs. 38–44. The appearance of the Messiah, the righteous One, brings an end of sinners upon earth (38). Enoch is carried by storm-clouds to the end of heaven, and there beholds the pre-existing Kingdom of God, the dwellings of the righteous and the elect, and of angels and archangels (39, 40). He then sees the weighing of men’s actions in the balance, the rejection of sinners, the places prepared for the righteous, and certain physical mysteries (lightnings, thunders, winds, hail, mist, clouds, sun and moon, 41), also the place of Wisdom in heaven (42), and, finally, some more physical mysteries (43, 44). The second Similitude includes chs. 45–57. It begins with the Messianic Judgment (45). Enoch sees the Son of Man beside the Head of Days (46). An angel explains the vision (47, the Son of Man will overthrow and judge the kings and mighty ones of the ungodly). The task of the pre-existing Son of Man is outlined (48, 49), and the happy consequences of the judgment for the pious, together with the punishments of the wicked, and the resurrection of those who have died in righteousness (50, 51). In a vision of six mountains of metal which pass away, the destruction of the heathen world by the Messiah is portrayed. The heathen world endeavours through offerings to propitiate God, but fails. The angels of punishment go forth to do their work. The synagogue service may now be carried on unhindered (52–54:6). An account of the coming flood and its occasion is inserted (54:7–55:2), and is followed by the final assault of the heathen world-power (55:3–56) and the return of the dispersed Jews (57). The third Similitude comprises chs. 58–69, to which chs. 70 and 71 are added by way of an appendix. It begins with the picture of the blessedness of the righteous in heaven (58); an account of the mystery of lightning and thunder follows (59). A vision of Noah, an account of Leviathan and Behemoth, and various nature-elements which take part in the Flood are then given (60). The judgment of the Son of Man over the angels in heaven, and the sentence of kings by Him, followed by vain pleas on their part for mercy, are given next (61–64). Then comes the revelation to Noah of the fall of the angels, the Flood, his own preservation, the punishment of the angels, and the judgment of men by the Son of Man (65–69). Enoch’s translation to Paradise, his ascension to heaven, and his acceptance by the Son of Man, are then given in the appendix (70, 71).
(c) The third section is Cosmological, and consists of chs. 72–82. It has been called the ‘Book of the Luminaries of Heaven.’ It contains a revelation given by the angel Uriel on all sorts of astronomical and geographical matters, among others on the convulsions that will occur during the period of the wicked upon earth. The course of the sun is first described (72), next the course of the moon (73, 74); untoward days (75); the winds (76); the four quarters of heaven (77); further details regarding the rising and setting of the sun (78, 79), changes in the order of things to come in the last Jays (80), and the return of Enoch to the earth; and the committal of these matters to Methusaleh (81, 82).
(d) The fourth section is a Historical forecast. Enoch narrates to his son Methusaleh two visions which he saw before he had taken a wife to himself. The first of these (83, 84) came to him as he was learning to write. It placed before his eyes the picture of the Deluge. The second vision (85–90) unfolded before him the whole history of Israel from the creation of man to the end of time. The children of Israel appeared in this vision in the forms of the clean animals (bulls, sheep, lambs, and goats). Their enemies were in the form of dogs, foxes, swine, and all manner of birds of prey. In the conflict between the clean and unclean, the struggle of Israel against her enemies was portrayed. The chosen people were delivered into the hands of lions, tigers, wolves, and jackals (the Assyrians and Babylonians); then they were put under the care of seventy shepherds (angels). (From this fact this section of the book takes the title of ‘Vision of the Seventy Shepherds’). The shepherds allowed more of the faithful to perish than was the will of God, but at the critical moment there appeared a white lamb in their midst and entered into a fierce combat with the birds of prey, while a heavenly being gave him assistance. Then the Lord Himself burst forth from heaven, the enemies of Israel were overthrown and exterminated, the judgment ensued, and the universal restoration; and the Messiah was born as a white bull.
(e) The fifth section (91–105) is a Book of Exhortations. Enoch commands his son Methusaleh to summon to his side all his other sons, and when they have come he delivers to them an address on righteousness, which is especially designed to instruct the righteous of all ages (91:1–11). In this first discourse is inserted the prediction of the Ten Weeks (91:12–17, 93). The remainder of the book (92, 94, 105) is taken up with final encouragements and messages of hope.
The conclusion of the whole Book of Enoch (106–108) contains an account of the marvels destined to accompany the birth of Noah (106, 107), and a new description of the fiery tribulations reserved for the wicked and of the blessings that await those who ‘loved eternal heaven better than their own lives’ (108).
Literary features.—Thus far the Book of Enoch has been treated as it is extant. A closer inspection reveals the fact that it is composite. Criticism is still in a considerable state of flux as to the correct analysis of it. Charles believes it to consist of five primary documents. Clemen finds in it seven separate Enoch traditions or legends worked together by a redactor. The weight of probability, however, is rather in favour of three primitive documents: (1) A Book of Enoch, consisting of chs. 1–36 and 72–105; (2) A Book of Similitudes, including chs. 36–71; and (3) a Noachic document, broken up and inserted in various parts within the preceding two. The work of redaction appears to have been done after the two primary documents had undergone some modification, possibly accidental. The redactor used the lost Apocalypse of Noah, alluded to in Jubilees (10:13, 21:10), supplementing what he deemed to he lacunae. The passages inserted from the Book of Noah are the following: 54:7–55:2, 60, 65:1–69:25, and 106, 107. To these some would add several other passages.
The date of the first of these documents is the first quarter of the 2nd cent. b.c. (200 to 175); that of the Book of Similitudes offers an as yet unsolved problem whose difficulty is somewhat enhanced by the importance of the issue involved, i.e. the relation the hook sustains to the NT. The fact that this relation is undoubted and intimate has quickened interest and led to the perception of slight considerations otherwise easily left out of view. The weight of these considerations is, moreover, so well balanced that criticism seems unable to reach a general consensus on the subject. The views that divide the field are (1) that the book was composed in the Maccabaean period (Ewald, b.c. 144); (2) that it was produced between b.c. 95 and 64 (Dillmann, Sieffert, Charles); (3) that it was written during the days of Herod (Lücke, Hausrath, Lipsius, Schodde, Schurer, Baldensperger, Beer); (4) that it is a product of the 2nd cent, and written by a Christian who has used an older Jewish apocalypse as a basis (Hoffmann, Weisse, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Tideman); (5) that though a Jewish apocalypse and possibly written before the beginning of the Christian era, it was interpolated by a Christian through the insertion of the ‘Son of Man’ passages (Drummond, Stalker). That the book should have been composed as a Jewish apocalypse and as such adopted the Messianic title ‘Son of Man’ from the Christian Gospels, is not to be thought of. That it should have been originally a Jewish apocalypse and modified by a Christian, either with a free hand or by the mechanical interpolation of the ‘Son of Man’ passages, is credible. But a more natural hypothesis is that it was a pre-Christian work, inclusive of the ‘Son of Man’ passages.
It has been demonstrated by Baldensperger and Dalman that the title ‘Son of Wan’ occurs in Jewish rabbinical writings as the name of the Messiah (Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu2
, p. 90; Words of Jesus, p. 234 f.); and there is therefore nothing in the occurrence of this phrase to lead to its being considered due to a Christian author. Upon the whole it is probable that the hook was produced in the 1st cent. s.c. The redaction is difficult to locate with precision and may be post-Christian.
The originals of the book were undoubtedly Semitic (Hebrew or Aramaic). The fragment of the Greek version recently discovered shows clear evidences of being the translation of a Semitic original (the case is argued conclusively by Charles, Book of Enoch, pp. 21, 22, 325, and Halévy, Journal Asiat. 1887, pp. 352–395).
Editions.—(1) Ethiopic Text: Lawrence (1838), Dillmann (1851), Flemming (Texte u. Untersuch., Neue Folge, vii. 1, 1902). (2) Greek Fragments: Bouriant (1892), Lods (1892). Charles (1893), Swete (1897).
(3) Translations.—English: Lawrence (partial, 1821), Schodde (1882), Charles (1893).—German: Hoffmann (1833–1838), Dillmann (1853), Flemming and Radermacher (1901).—French: Lods (the Greek Fragments only, 1892).
Literature.—(See Charles, Book of Enoch, pp. 9–21); Lücke, Einl. in d. Offenb. Johan. (1852); Ewald, Abhandl. ub. d. Ethiopic B. Henoch (1855); Hoffmann, ‘Ub. d. Entstehungszeit d. B. Henoch’ in ZDMG
, 1852, pp. 87–91; Kostlin, ‘Ub. d. Entstehung d. B. Henoch’ in Theol. Jahrb. 1856, pp. 240–279, 370–386; Gebhardt, ‘Die 70 Hirten d. B. Henoch’ in Merx’ Archiv, vol. ii. 1872, pp. 163–246; Wieseler, ‘Zur Abfassungszeit d. B. Henoch’ in ZDMG
, 1882, pp. 185–195; Lawlor in Journ. of Philol. 1897, pp. 164–225; Clemen, ‘Die Zusammensetzung d. B. Henoch, etc.’ in SK
, 1898, pp. 210–227; Stalker, The Christology of Jesus, 1899, App. B, pp. 269–294.
2. The Slavonic Enoch.—This is one of the most recent additions to our group of apocalypses. Its existence was not indeed suspected before its discovery. But this was due to the fact that a number of books were attributed to Enoch. In this very work Enoch is said to have written 366; cf. 23:6,
68:1. And because some of those were extant in the Ethiopic book no one thought of seeking for more. Nevertheless, it was no source of surprise when it was announced that a new Enoch had been found. This came first as an intimation that a copy of a Slavonic version of the Ethiopic Enoch was in existence (Kozak in Jahrb. f. Prot. Theol. 1892). Prof. Charles started to investigate the matter, and with the assistance of Mr. Morfill procured and examined printed copies of the Slavonic text in question. The result was the publication of the altogether independent and hitherto unknown pseudepigraph (1896). Prof. Charles’ title for the book is The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, but it is likely to be known in the future by the more convenient title, The Slavonic Enoch,*
which distinguishes it from the better known and older Ethiopic work.
Contents.—The book may be divided into three parts, viz. (1) The Ascension of Enoch and his travels in the Seven Heavens (1–38). (2) The Return and Instructions to his children (39–56). (3) Second Series of Instructions, including in his audience an assemblage of 2000 people, and final assumption (57–68).
(a) Chs. 1–38. The book opens with a short prologue, introducing the personality of Enoch, and giving the time and place of a dream he saw (1). Enoch then warns his children of his impending absence from them for a time (2); he is taken by two angels up to the first heaven (3), where he sees 200 angels who guard the treasuries of the snow, the dew, and the oil (4–6). He is next taken up into the second heaven, and beholds and converses with the fallen angels (7). In the third heaven, the paradise prepared for the righteous (8, 9), he is led to the northern region, where he sees the places of torture (10). From thence he is taken up into the fourth heaven, the habitation of the sun and moon, and there sees the phœnixes and chalkadris (chalkydries), mysterious composite beings with heads of crocodiles and bodies of serpents (11, 12). In the eastern portion of the fourth heaven he comes to the gates of the sun (13); thence he is led to the western regions, and hears a song