An Old Testament KnoWhy[i] for Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: “If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted” (Moses 5-7) (JBOTL05C). See the link to video supplements to this lesson at the end of this article under “Further Reading.”
Question: Some say that Joseph Smith drew on ancient stories about Enoch not found in the Bible as he translated the chapters on Enoch in Moses 6-7. How similar are the stories of Enoch in ancient accounts to modern scripture? And could Joseph Smith have been aware of them?
Summary: Although an English translation of the Ethiopian book of 1 Enoch appeared in 1821, the ancient manuscripts that are most relevant to the LDS story of Enoch were not available during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. The Qumran Book of Giants, discovered in 1948, contains striking resemblances to Moses 6-7, ranging from general themes in the story line to specific occurrences of rare expressions in corresponding contexts. It would be thought remarkable if any nineteenth-century document were to exhibit a similar density of close resemblances with this small collection of ancient fragments, but to find such similarities in appropriate contexts relating in each case to the story of Enoch is astonishing.
Both in the expansive nature of its content and the eloquence of its expression, Terryl and Fiona Givens consider the LDS account of Enoch as perhaps the “most remarkable religious document published in the nineteenth century.”[ii] It was produced early in Joseph Smith’s ministry — in fact in the same year as the publication of the Book of Mormon — as part of a divine commission to “retranslate” the Bible.[iii] Writing the account of Enoch found today in Moses 6-7 appears to have occupied a few days of the Prophet’s attention sometime between 30 November and 31 December 1830.
Joseph Smith’s “Book of Enoch” provides “eighteen times as many column inches about Enoch… than we have in the few verses on him in the Bible. Those scriptures not only contain greater quantity [than the Bible] but also … contain … [abundant] new material about Enoch on which the Bible is silent.”[iv] It seems impossible that this new material was derived from deep study of the scriptures[v] or that it was largely absorbed from Masonic or hermetical influences.[vi] Hence, the most popular suggestion from non-Mormon scholars is that Joseph Smith derived important themes in the LDS stories of Enoch from exposure to ancient Enoch manuscripts from outside the Bible, in particular 1 Enoch.[vii]
Could Joseph Smith have borrowed significant portions of his accounts of Enoch from other sources? In his 2010 master’s thesis from Durham University, Salvatore Cirillo[viii] cites and amplifies the arguments of Michael Quinn[ix] that the available evidence that Joseph Smith had access to published works related to 1 Enoch has moved “beyond probability — to fact.” He sees no other explanation than this for the substantial similarities that he finds between the book of Moses and the pseudepigraphal Enoch literature.[x] However, after having reflected on the evidence with the more rigorous approach of a seasoned historian about the availability of the 1821 English translation of 1 Enoch to the Prophet, Richard L. Bushman concluded differently:[xi] “It is scarcely conceivable that Joseph Smith knew of Laurence’s Enoch translation.”
Just as important, even if 1 Enoch had been available to the Prophet, a study y LDS historian Jed Woodworth reveals that the principal themes of “Laurence’s 105 translated chapters do not resemble Joseph Smith’s Enoch in any obvious way.”[xii] Indeed, apart from the shared prominence of the Son of Man motif in 1 Enoch’s Book of the Parables and the book of Moses[xiii] and one or two general themes in Enoch’s visions of Noah,[xiv] little of great substance in common between 1 Enoch and modern scripture. After careful study of the two works on Enoch, Woodworth succinctly concluded: “Same name, different voice.”[xv]
Note that since Joseph Smith was aware that the biblical book of Jude quotes Enoch[xvi] — more specifically 1 Enoch itself — 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.
For such reasons, it is increasingly apparent that despite all the spilled ink spent in looking for significant parallels to the Prophet’s revelations on Enoch in 1 Enoch, the most striking resemblances are not found in that work, but rather in related pseudepigrapha such as 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, and the Qumran Book of Giants.
Reflecting the trend of scholars to look beyond 1 Enoch for these resemblances, LDS scholar Cheryl L. Bruno, in a 2014 article in the Journal of Religion and Society,[xvii] tries to make the case that Jewish Enoch traditions, mediated by Masonic accounts that Joseph Smith presumably encountered, significantly influenced Mormon accounts of Enoch. In support of her claims, she notes, in addition to 1 Enoch and other Jewish sources, similarities in 2 Enoch and the LDS Enoch in “Enoch’s call to preach” [xviii] and his divine transfiguration.[xix] She also cites 3 Enoch in relation to Enoch’s enthronement.[xx] Surprisingly and disappointingly, apart from a short reference relating to Enoch as a scribe for divine tablets,[xxi] she does not mention the prominent resemblances between Moses 6-7 and the Book of Giants.
However, Cirillo did not let these significant resemblances go unnoticed, having argued in his master’s thesis in strong terms that Joseph Smith must have known about the Qumran Book of Giants. He writes:[xxii]
Nibley‘s own point that Mahujah and Mahijah from the EPE share their name with Mahaway in the [Book of Giants (BG)] is further evidence that influence [from pseudepigraphal books of Enoch] occurred [in Joseph Smith’s Enoch writings]. And additional proof of Smith‘s knowledge of the BG is evidenced by his use of the codename Baurak Ale.[xxiii]
What goes unmentioned in Cirillo’s arguments for the influence of Enoch pseudepigrapha on Moses 6-7 is that, apart from 1 Enoch, none of the significant Jewish Enoch manuscripts were available in English translation during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Indeed, Cirillo’s strongest arguments for the Prophet’s having been influenced by these ancient works comes from the Qumran Book of Giants, a book that was not discovered until 1948. Cirillo offers no attempt at an explanation for how a manuscript that was unknown until the mid-twentieth century could have influenced LDS accounts of Enoch, written in 1830-31.
In addition, although Bruno takes a different route in arguing that resemblances to ancient Jewish pseudepigrapha in Joseph Smith’s Enoch writings were mediated to an important degree by (as it is argued) the Prophet’s early exposure to the traditions of Freemasonry, it should be remembered that the most numerous, significant, and specific echoes of antiquity in the book of Moses are not found in the Masonic literature but rather only in the Jewish traditions themselves.
This is not to say that the rituals, ideas, and ideals of Freemasonry were not important to Joseph Smith, particularly after he became institutionally involved during the Nauvoo period from 1839 onward.[xxiv] However, what is important in the context of a discussion about possible influences on Joseph Smith’s translation of Moses 6-7 in 1830 is that one must not overstate resemblances with Freemasonry while understating more relevant and specific affinities to ancient traditions not present in Freemasonry — thus making proverbial molehills into mountains while reducing mountains to molehills.
In summary, it would have been impossible for Joseph Smith to have been aware of the most important affinities to ancient literature in his Enoch revelations by 1830, regardless of whether one claims that he got them by direct access to English translations of important Jewish Enoch manuscripts (other than, perhaps, 1 Enoch) or that his exposure was mediated by a knowledge of Masonic traditions.
After a brief survey of some of the ancient affinities of the story of Enoch in Moses 6-7 throughout the wider Jewish literature, we will focus more specifically on the most important of these writings: the Qumran Book of Giants. Even a summary of all these important topics had made this article much longer than others published so far in this series. More extensive discussions of these topics by LDS authors can be found elsewhere.[xxv]
Ancient Affinities in Jewish Enoch Pseudepigrapha
Enoch’s call. LDS scholar Stephen Ricks has shown how the six characteristic features of the Old Testament narrative call pattern identified by Norman Habel are shown in the commissioning of Joseph Smith’s Enoch.[xxvi] According to non-Mormon scholar Samuel Zinner,[xxvii] the ideas behind the unusual wording found within Enoch’s prophetic commission in the book of Moses arose in the matrix of the ancient Enoch literature.[xxviii]
“Rivers shall turn from their course.” Joseph Smith’s Enoch will manifest God’s power in both his words and, notably, in his actions:[xxix]
… the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course
Later in the book of Moses we read the fulfillment of this promise: “[S]o great was the faith of Enoch that … the rivers of water were turned out of their course.”[xxx] Compare the Enoch’s experience in the book of Moses to a Mandaean Enoch account:[xxxi]
The [Supreme] Life replied, Arise, take thy way to the source of the waters, turn it from its course … At this command Tavril [the angel speaking to Enoch] indeed turned the pure water from its course …
We find no account of a river’s course turned by anyone in the Bible. However, such a story appears in this pseudepigraphal account and in its counterpart in Joseph Smith’s revelations — in both instances within the story of Enoch.
Figure 3. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Le Carvage), 1571-1610: David with the Head of Goliath, 1607. 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.”[xxxii] The youth (Hebrew bahur) who is set above the warrior (Hebrew gibbor) recalls Enoch’s victory as a “lad” (Hebrew na’ar) over the warriors (Hebrew gibborim) in the Dead Sea Scrolls Book of Giants and in the book of Moses.[xxxiii]
Enoch as a “lad.” Enoch’s self-description as a “lad” in the book of Moses[xxxiv] — the only occurrence of the term “lad” in the teachings and revelations of Joseph Smith — reflects the prominence of his title of “lad” in 2 and 3 Enoch.[xxxv] Biblical scholar Gary A. Anderson of the University of Notre Dame finds the references in 2 and 3 Enoch “curious,” noting that “of all the names given Enoch, the title ‘lad’ is singled out as being particularly apt and fitting by the heavenly host.”[xxxvi]
Figure 4. Franz Johansen, 1928-: Resurrection, Brigham Young University Sculpture Garden, Provo, Utah.[xxxvii] The scene of celestial clothing recounted in 2 Enoch 22:8 recalls a vision that President Lorenzo Snow, then an apostle, received of his own resurrection. His journal records:[xxxviii] “I heard a voice calling me by name, saying: “He is worthy, he is worthy, take away his filthy garments.” My clothes were then taken off piece by piece and a voice said: “Let him be clothed, let him be clothed.” Immediately, I found a celestial body gradually growing upon me until at length I found myself crowned with all its glory and power. The ecstasy of joy I now experienced no man can tell, pen cannot describe it.”
Enoch’s heavenly ascent and enthronement. In the book of Moses, Enoch described how, as he “cried unto the Lord,”[xxxix] he was told to go to Mount Simeon. There, as Enoch stood upon the mount, the heavens opened and he was “clothed upon with glory.”[xl] 2 and 3 Enoch purport to describe the process by which Enoch was “clothed upon with glory” in more detail. As a prelude to Enoch’s introduction to the secrets of creation, these ancient accounts describe a “two-step initiatory procedure” whereby “the patriarch was first initiated by angel(s) and after this by the Lord”[xli] Himself. In 2 Enoch, God commanded his angels to “extract Enoch from (his) earthly clothing. And anoint him with my delightful oil, and put him into the clothes of my glory.”[xlii] Joseph Smith’s Enoch was given a right to the divine throne,[xliii] and likewise, in 3 Enoch, God makes a throne for the seer and sits him down upon it.[xliv]Titles of the Son of Man. 1 Enoch’s Book of Parables holds special interest for students of the book of Moses. Both books describe visions of Enoch with a central figure and a common set of titles. The title “Son of Man,” which is a notable feature of the Book of Parables,[xlvi] also appears in marked density throughout Enoch’s grand vision in the book of Moses.[xlvii] The titles “Chosen One,”[xlviii] “Anointed One,”[xlix] and “Righteous One”[l] also appear prominently in both texts. Consistent with the conclusions of Nickelsburg and VanderKam about the use of these multiple titles in the Book of Parables,[li] the book of Moses applies them all to a single individual.[lii] Moreover, Moses 6:57 gives a single, specific description of the role of the Son of Man as a “righteous judge.”[liii] According to Nickelsburg and VanderKam,[liv] this conception is highly characteristic of the Book of Parables, where the primary role of the Son of Man is also that of a judge.
A chorus of weeping. In a vision of Enoch found in the book of Moses, three distinct parties weep for the wickedness of mankind: God,[lv] the heavens,[lvi] and Enoch himself.[lvii] In addition, a fourth party, the earth, mourns — though does not specifically weep — for her children.[lviii] Daniel Peterson[lix] has discussed the interplay among the members of this chorus of weeping voices, citing the arguments of non-LDS biblical scholar J. J. M. Roberts[lx] that identify three similar voices within the laments of the book of Jeremiah: the feminine voice of the mother of the people (corresponding in the Book of Moses to the voice of the earth, the “mother of men”[lxi]), the voice of the people (corresponding to Enoch), and the voice of God Himself. In addition, with regard to the complaints of the earth described in Moses 7:48-49, valuable articles by Andrew Skinner[lxii] and Peterson,[lxiii] again following Nibley’s lead,[lxiv] discuss interesting parallels in ancient sources. Finally, taking up the subject of previously neglected voices of weeping — namely the weeping of Enoch and that of the heavens — David Larsen, Jacob Rennaker, and I have written a comparative study of ancient texts.[lxv]
Translation of Enoch and his city. Genesis implies that Enoch escaped death by being taken up alive into heaven.[lxvi] In a significant addition to the biblical record, the Book of Moses states that not only Enoch but his entire city was eventually received up into heaven.[lxvii] Two late accounts preserve echoes of a similar motif. In Adolph Jellenik’s translation of Jewish traditions, Bet ha-Midrasch,[lxviii] we find the account of a group of Enoch’s followers who steadfastly refused to leave him as he journeyed toward the place where he was going to be taken up to heaven.[lxix] Afterward, a group of kings came to find out what happened to these people. After searching under large blocks of snow they unexpectedly found at the place, they failed to discover any remains of Enoch or of his followers. In a Mandaean Enoch fragment,[lxx] a group of the prophet’s adversaries complain that Enoch and those who had gone to heaven with him have escaped their reach: “By fleeing and hiding the people on high have ascended higher than us. We have never known them. All the same, there they are, clothed with glory and splendors. … And now they are sheltered from our blows.”
In addition to these accounts alluding to a group who rose with Enoch to heaven, David Larsen provides a valuable discussion that includes “examples in early Jewish and early Christian literature that depict this motif in a different way. Although they do not feature Enoch or his city explicitly, there is a recurring theme in some of the texts that corresponds to the idea of a priestly figure who leads a community of priests in an ascension into the heavenly realm.”[lxxi]
We now focus our attention on the Book of Giants, which contains surprising resonances with Joseph Smith’s book of Enoch at both the large and the small scale.
Enoch’s Mission to the Gibborim in the Qumran Book of Giants
The Book of Giants is a collection of fragments from an Enochic book discovered at Qumran, the location of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Though it is missing from the Ethiopic book of 1 Enoch[lxxii] and resembles little else in the Enoch tradition, material related to the Book of Giants already had been found elsewhere in fragmentary form.[lxxiii] Some of the fragments showed that the “composition is at least five hundred years older than previously thought”[lxxiv] and thus they help us “to reconstruct the literary shape of the early stages of the Enochic tradition.”[lxxv] Although the Book of Giants scarcely fills three pages in the English translation of Martinez, we find in it the most extensive series of parallels between a single ancient text and Joseph Smith’s Enoch writings.
The wickedness of the gibborim. The term “giants” in the title of the book is misleading. Actually, this book describes two different groups of individuals, referred to in Hebrew as the gibborim and the nephilim. In the Bible, gibborim almost always referred to a “mighty hero” or “warrior” and only later came to be interpreted in some cases as “giant.”[lxxvi] Correctly understanding the distinctions among these groups is important because Joseph Smith specifically differentiated the “giants” from Enoch’s other adversaries.[lxxvii]
Figure 6. William Blake, 1757-1827: Sketch for “War Unchained by an Angel — Fire, Pestilence, and Famine Following, ca. 1780-1784. Speaking as if he were standing before this scene, John Bright (1811–1889), a Quaker, movingly addressed the English House of Commons in opposition to the Crimean War: “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.”[lxxviii]
Consistent with the concept of the gibborim as “mighty warriors,” Joseph Smith’s Enoch writings describe scenes of wars, bloodshed, and slaughter among the people.[lxxix] For example, in Moses 6:15 we read:[lxxx]
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”[lxxxi] that filled the earth.[lxxxii] The mention of “secret works” and “administering death”[lxxxiii] in the book of Moses recalls a similar description in the Book of Giants:[lxxxiv] “they knew the se[crets[lxxxv] … ] and they killed ma[ny … ].” Elsewhere the Qumran manuscripts refer to the spread of the “mystery of wickedness.”[lxxxvi]
“A wild man.” In the book of Moses, Enoch’s preaching first attracts listeners out of pure curiosity:[lxxxvii]
And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent-keepers: 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.
The term “wild man”[lxxxviii] is used in only one other place in the Bible, as part of Jacob’s prophecy about the fate of Ishmael. We see a more fitting parallel in the Book of Giants — if the translation by Wise is correct — where the wicked leader of the gibborim, ’Ohya, boasts that he is called “the wild man,”[lxxxix] just as in the book of Moses the same term is used — sarcastically — to describe Enoch.
Figure 7. Fragment of the Qumran Book of Giants (4Q203) containing the first part of the personal name MḤWY (outlined in red).[xc] In modern translations, the name is usually transliterated as “Mahawai.” Hugh Nibley was the first to suggest a correspondence between this Book of Giants character and the names Mahijah/Mahujah in the book of Moses.[xci] Unlike many of the other poorly preserved Aramaic fragments of the Book of the 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 [ … ].”[xcii]
The name and role of Mahawai. Cirillo, citing the similar conclusions of Stuckenbruck,[xciii] considers the names of the gibborim, notably including Mahawai 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 [LDS revelations on Enoch] and the [pseudepigraphal books of Enoch] (specifically the [Book of Giants]).” Remember that this argument came from a scholar arguing against the authenticity of Joseph Smith’s revelations because he claimed that (the earlier) LDS Enoch account was influenced by the (later) Aramaic Book of Giants.
In Joseph Smith’s story of Enoch, Mahijah appears out of nowhere as the only named character in the account besides Enoch himself:[xciv]
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?
In the book of Moses, the name “Mahijah”[xcv] appears a second time in a different form, namely “Mahujah.”[xcvi] Notably, in the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Bible the variants MḤYY [= Mahija-] and MḤWY [= Mahuja-] both appear in a single verse (with the suffix “-el”) as references to the same person, namely Mehuja-el.[xcvii] 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. 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.
Even if someone were to claim that Joseph Smith became aware of these two variants by examining the Hebrew text, it would still be difficult to explain why, assuming that he did indeed possess this information, the Prophet would have chosen not to normalize the two variant versions of the name into a single version in the book of Moses, as is almost always done in translations of Genesis 4:18. Instead, each of the attested variants of the name is included in the book of Moses in appropriate contexts, preserving both ancient traditions. Moreover, Joseph Smith’s versions of the name omit the suffix “-el,”[xcviii] thus differing from the Hebrew text of the Bible and according appropriately with its Dead Sea Scrolls[xcix] equivalent in the Book of Giants.
There are intriguing similarities between Mahijah in Joseph Smith’s book of Moses and Mahawai in the Book of Giants not only in their names but also in their respective roles. Hugh Nibley observes:[c]
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 plays in the story.
Mahijah is sent to Enoch. In the Book of Giants, we read the report of a series of dreams that troubled the gibborim. The dreams “symbolize the destruction of all but Noah and his sons by the Flood.”[ci] In an impressive correspondence to the questioning of Enoch by Mahijah in the book of Moses, the gibborim send Mahawai to “consult Enoch in order to receive an authoritative interpretation of the visions.”[cii] In the Book of Giants, we read:[ciii]
[Then] all the [gibborim and the Nephilim] … called to [Mahujah] and he came to them. They implored him and sent him to Enoch, the celebrated scribe[civ] and they said to him: “Go… and tell him to [explain to you] and interpret the dream…”[cv]
Cirillo comments: “The emphasis that [Joseph] Smith places on Mahijah’s travel to Enoch is eerily similar to the account of Mahawai to Enoch in the [Book of Giants].”[cvi]
Secret combinations. It is interesting to speculate as to whether the Book of Giants Mahujah (who elsewhere describes himself as a “son of Baraq’el”[cvii]) might be identified with the biblical Mehuja-el, who was a descendant of Cain and the grandfather of the wicked Lamech. Note that in the book of Moses, Mehuja-el’s grandson, like the other “sons of men,”[cviii] “entered into a covenant with Satan after the manner of Cain.”[cix] Similarly, in 1 Enoch[cx] 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:[cxi]
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 reminiscent of a passage in the book of Moses that describes a “secret combination” that had been in operation “from the days of Cain.”[cxii] 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,”[cxiii] just as in 1 Enoch the conspirators “bound one another with a curse.”[cxiv]
In 1 Enoch, the conspirators agreed on their course of action by saying:[cxv] “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”[cxvi] to whom he revealed the secrets of their wicked league (to the chagrin of his fellows).[cxvii] In 1 Enoch, as in the book of Moses,[cxviii] we also read specifically of how “they all began to reveal mysteries to their wives and children.”[cxix]
A land of righteousness. In answer to the second part of Mahijah’s question, Joseph Smith’s Enoch says:[cxx]
And he said unto them: I came out from the land of Cainan, the land of my fathers, a land of righteousness unto this day.
Amplifying the book of Moses description of Enoch’s home as a “land of righteousness,” the leader of the gibborim in the Book of Giants says that his “opponents”[cxxi] “… reside in the heavens and live with the holy ones.”[cxxii]
In the book of Moses, Enoch describes the setting for his vision:
42 And it came to pass, as I journeyed from the land of Cainan, by the sea east, I beheld a vision …
Enoch’s vision as he travelled “by the sea east”[cxxiii] recalls the direction of his journey in 1 Enoch 20-36 where he traveled “from the west edge of the earth to its east edge.”[cxxiv] Elsewhere 1 Enoch[cxxv] records a vision that Enoch received “by the waters of Dan,” arguably a “sea east.”[cxxvi]
A “book of remembrance.” In preaching to the people, the Enoch of the book of Moses refers to a “book of remembrance”[cxxvii] in which the words of God and the actions of the people were recorded. Correspondingly, in the Book of Giants, a book in the form of “two stone tablets”[cxxviii] is given by Enoch to Mahujah to stand as a witness of “their fallen state and betrayal of their ancient covenants.”[cxxix] In the book of Moses, Enoch says the book is written “according to the pattern given by the finger of God.”[cxxx] This may allude to the idea that a similar record of their wickedness is kept in heaven[cxxxi] as attested in 1 Enoch:[cxxxii]
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 linked with the book of remembrance in the book of Moses, 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.[cxxxiii] Likewise, in Jubilees 10:17 we read:[cxxxiv] “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.”
In the book of Moses, Enoch’s reading of the book of remembrance put the people in great fear:[cxxxv]
And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence.
Likewise, in the Book of Giants,[cxxxvi] we read that the leaders of the mighty warriors “bowed down and wept in front of [Enoch].” 1 Enoch describes a similar reaction after Enoch finished his preaching:[cxxxvii]
Then I [i.e., Enoch] went and spoke to all of them together. And they were all afraid and trembling and fear seized them. And they asked that I write a memorandum of petition[cxxxviii] for them, that they might have forgiveness, and that I recite the memorandum of petition for them in the presence of the Lord of heaven. For they were no longer able to speak or to lift their eyes to heaven out of shame for the deeds through which they had sinned and for which they had been condemned.… and they were sitting and weeping at Abel-Main,[cxxxix] … covering their faces.
Conceived in sin. Among the declarations that Joseph Smith’s Enoch makes to his hearers from the book of remembrance is that their children “are conceived in sin.”[cxl] This has nothing to do with the concept of “original sin” but rather is the result of their own moral transgressions. As Nibley expressed it:[cxli] “[T]he wicked people of Enoch’s day … did indeed conceive their children in sin, since they were illegitimate offspring of a totally amoral society.” The relevant passage in the Book of Giants reads:[cxlii] “Let it be known to you th[at … your activity and that of [your] wive[s and of your children … through your fornication.”[cxliii]
A note of hope. Both the Qumran and the Joseph Smith sermons of Enoch “end on a note of hope”[cxliv] — a feature unique to these two Enoch accounts:[cxlv]
If thou wilt turn unto [God], and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions …
In the Book of Giants, Enoch also gives hope to the wicked through repentance:[cxlvi] “Now, then, unfasten your chains [of sin]… and pray.”[cxlvii] In addition, Reeves[cxlviii] conjectures that another difficult-to-reconstruct phrase in the Book of Giants might also be understood as an “allusion to a probationary period for the repentance of the Giants.”[cxlix]
Defeat of the gibborim by Enoch. Any conjectured move toward repentance was temporary, however, and eventually Enoch’s enemies began to attack, as we read in the book of Moses:[cl]
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 …
Similarly, in the Book of Giants, ’Ohya, a leader of the gibborim, gives a description of his defeat in a great battle:[cli]
[… I am a] [mighty warrior],[clii] and by the mighty strength of my arm and my own great strength[cliii] [I went up against a]ll mortals, and I have made war against them; but I am not … able to stand against them.
Of special note is a puzzling phrase in some translations of the Book of Giants that immediately follows the description of the battle:[cliv] “… the roar of the wild beasts has come and they bellowed a feral roar.” Remarkably the book of Moses account has a similar phrase following the battle description, recording that “the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness.”
Destruction and confinement of the gibborim. Both the book of Moses and the Book of Giants contain a “prediction of utter destruction and the confining in prison that is to follow”[clv] for the gibborim. From the book of Moses we read:[clvi]
But behold, these … shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.
Similarly, in the Book of Giants we read:[clvii] “he imprisoned us and has power [ov]er [us].”
Explanations for book of Moses resemblances to the Book of Giants. The only attempt of which I am aware to explain how a manuscript discovered in 1948 could have influenced a work of scripture translated in 1830-31 comes from remembrances by two individuals about the well-known Aramaic scholar Matthew Black, who collaborated with Jozef Milik in the first translation of the fragments of the Book of Giants into English in 1976. Black was approached by 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).[clviii] According to Thomasson’s account:[clix]
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,[clx] 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. 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.”[clxi]
Summary. Note that the parallels with the Book of Giants we have cited are not drawn at will from a large corpus of Enoch manuscripts but rather are concentrated in a scant three pages of Qumran fragments, as published in the translation of Martinez. 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, 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. It would be thought remarkable if any nineteenth-century document were to exhibit a similar density of close resemblances with this small collection of ancient fragments, but to find such similarities in appropriate contexts relating in each case to the story of Enoch is astonishing.
According to the eminent Yale professor and Jewish literary scholar Harold Bloom, Joseph Smith’s ability to produce writings on Enoch so “strikingly akin to ancient suggestions” stemmed from his “charismatic accuracy, his sure sense of relevance that governed biblical and Mormon parallels.” Having studied the life and revelations of the Prophet, Bloom concludes: “I hardly think that written sources were necessary.” While expressing “no judgment, one way or the other, upon the authenticity” of LDS scripture, he found “enormous validity” in these writings and could “only attribute to [the Prophet’s] genius or daemon” his ability to “recapture … crucial elements in the archaic Jewish religion … that had ceased to be available either to normative Judaism or to Christianity, and that survived only in esoteric traditions unlikely to have touched [Joseph] Smith directly.”[clxii]
Harold Bloom has called the book of Moses and the book of Abraham two of the “more surprising” and “neglected” works of LDS scripture.[clxiii] With the great spate of publications over the decades since fragments of Egyptian papyri were rediscovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[clxiv] we have begun to see a remedy for the previous neglect of the book of Abraham.[clxv] Now, gratefully, because of wider availability of the original manuscripts and new detailed studies of their contents, the book of Moses is also beginning to receive its due.[clxvi]
Regarding the value of the “greatness of the evidences”[clxvii] available to enhance our study of modern scripture, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said:[clxviii]
Our testimonies aren’t dependent on evidence — we still need that spiritual confirmation in the heart of which we have spoken — but not to seek for and not to acknowledge intellectual, documentable support for our belief when it is available is to needlessly limit an otherwise incomparably strong theological position and deny us a unique, persuasive vocabulary in the latter-day arena of religious investigation and sectarian debate. Thus armed with so much evidence of the kind we have celebrated here tonight, we ought to be more assertive than we sometimes are in defending our testimony of truth.
As part of a broader discussion of Mormon theology, Stephen Webb[clxix] concluded that Joseph Smith “knew more about theology and philosophy than it was reasonable for anyone in his position to know, as if he were dipping into the deep, collective unconsciousness of Christianity with a very long pen.” Far more significant than the astonishing discovery of ancient echoes in a work of modern revelation is that the Prophet recovered a story of Enoch the Seer that manifests a deep understanding of what it means to become a “partaker of the divine nature”[clxx] and in that process to become a partner with God Himself in the salvation and exaltation of His children,[clxxi] being raised to a perspective from which we see the world through God’s eyes.
Joseph Smith yearned that Enoch’s vision of eternity might be experienced by all the Saints. The essential prerequisite is that they be filled with the same “pure love of Christ”[clxxii] that animated the ancient seer:[clxxiii]
… let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man predominate and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old, so that they may comprehend all things present, past, and future, and “come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”[clxxiv]
As a first video supplement to this lesson with additional details and artwork not included in this article, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn on Ancient Manuscripts When He Translated the Story of Enoch?” available at The Interpreter Foundation (https://cdn.interpreterfoundation.org/ifvideo/180122-Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn on Ancient.m4v) and FairMormon (https://youtu.be/7zJwuZ_yPyY).
As a second video supplement to this lesson, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “The LDS story of Enoch As a Temple Text (https://www.templestudies.org/2013-enoch-and-the-temple-conference/conference-videos/ ). Several other excellent video presentations on Enoch and the temple, including one by David J. Larsen discussing ancient parallels with the taking up of Enoch’s city to heaven, are available at this same link.
BYU studies published a special issue containing expanded versions of the presentations by Nickelsburg, Larsen, and Bradshaw (J. M. Bradshaw, LDS Book of Enoch; G. W. E. Nickelsburg, Temple According to 1 Enoch D. J. Larsen, Enoch and the City of Zion (2014)).
For a verse-by-verse commentary on the story of Enoch in Moses 6:13-7, see J. M. Bradshaw, et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 32-196. The book is available for purchase in print at Amazon.com and as a free pdf download at www.TempleThemes.net.
For more on the similarities between the pseudepigraphal 2 Enoch 10[clxxv] and Nephi’s vision of the fountain of filthy water and the mists of darkness, see Book of Mormon Central KnoWhy #404, “What Does an Ancient Book About Enoch Have to Do With Lehi’s Dream?” (https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/ot-gospel-doctrine ).
For a scripture roundtable video from The Interpreter Foundation on the subject of Gospel Doctrine lesson 5, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDP5ULv4Nw.
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[i] Used with permission of Book of Mormon Central. See https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/reference-knowhy.
[ii] T. L. Givens et al., God Who Weeps, p. 24.
[iii] J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, pp. 1-9. Joseph Smith’s “translation” did not involve the study of original manuscripts in ancient languages but was the result of his prophetic gifts.
[iv] N. A. Maxwell, Flood, p. 31. For the quantitative comparison, Elder Maxwell cites a letter to him dated August 12, 1988, from Robert J. Matthews, late LDS scholar of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Richard L. Bushman computes a roughly similar ratio (R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 138): “In Genesis, Enoch is summed up in 5 verses; in Joseph Smith’s revision, Enoch’s story extends to 110 verses.”
[v] The proportion of Joseph Smith’s book of Enoch that could have been derived straightforwardly from the five relevant verses in the Bible is very small. Moreover, Joseph Smith’s mother (L. M. Smith, Lucy’s Book, Coray/Pratt 1853 version, p. 344) wrote that as a boy he “had never read the Bible through in his life: he seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of our children, but far more given to meditation and deep study.” Contra Michael Quinn’s claim cited in ibid., p. 344 n. 47, Philip Barlow (P. L. Barlow, Bible, p. 13) sees “no reason to doubt such memories,” though he does note the “potent biblicism” of his environs, recollections by a neighbor of Bible study in the Smith home, and how young Joseph “searched the scriptures” as he experienced the “revivalistic fires of the surrounding ‘burnt-over district.’” It is hard to imagine, however, that the story of Enoch would have been a focus of attention for any early encounters that Joseph Smith had with the book of Genesis in his home or community.
Observe also that the “restrained, assured, and polished” nature of Joseph Smith’s prose from his later years (ibid., p. 15) was not evident in his early personal writings to the degree found in his very first translations and revelations. Indeed, Joseph Smith’s wife Emma (J. Smith, III, Last Testimony, p. 290) testified that during the time he was fully engaged in translation, her husband “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder,’ as much so as to anyone else.”
[vi] For example, John L. Brooke (J. L. Brooke, Refiner’s Fire) seeks to make the case that Sidney Rigdon, among others, was a “conduit of Masonic lore during Joseph’s early years” 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 W. J. Hamblin et al., Mormon in the Fiery Furnace, p. 52-58; cf. W. J. Hamblin et al., Review of John L. Brooke, pp. 178-179. Non-Mormon 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.
For a debunking of the idea that LDS temple ordinances are a simple derivation from Freemasonry, see J. M. Bradshaw, Freemasonry M. B. Brown, Exploring. Brown’s more in-depth manuscript dealing with this topic still awaits publication.
[vii] For an annotated bibliography of Enoch pseudepigrapha, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 468-477. The lead author for the section on 1 Enoch was Colby Townsend.
[viii] S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith.
[ix] D. M. Quinn, Magic 1998, p. 193.
[x] S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 126.
[xi] R. L. Bushman, Rough Stone, p. 138.
[xii] Ibid., p. 138. Cf. J. L. Woodworth, Enoch, pp. 190-192.
[xiii] See discussion in J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 16, 36, 78-79, 117, 153 and below.
[xiv] See discussion in ibid., pp. 107, 188.
[xv] The conclusions of Woodworth in context read as follows (J. L. Woodworth, Enoch, pp. 190, 192):
While I do not share the confidence the parallelist feels for the inaccessibility of Laurence to Joseph Smith, I do not find sharp enough similarities to support the derivatist position. The tone and weight and direction of [1 Enoch and the book of Moses] are worlds apart … The problem with the derivatist position is [that] … Laurence as source material for Joseph Smith does not make much sense if the two texts cannot agree on important issues. The texts may indeed have some similarities, but the central figures do not have the same face, do not share the same voice, and are not, therefore, the same people. In this sense, the Enoch in the book of Moses is as different from the Enoch of Laurence as he is from the Enoch in the other extra-Biblical Enochs in early American culture. Same name, different voice.
[xvi] Jude 1:14-15. For evidence of Joseph Smith’s awareness of theses verses, J. Smith, Jr., Documentary History, December 1830, 1:132.
[xvii] C. L. Bruno, Congruence and Concatenation.
[xviii] Ibid., p. 2.
[xix] Ibid., p. 10.
[xx] Ibid., p. 12.
[xxi] Ibid., p. 2.
[xxii] S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 126.
[xxiii] See below for more on Barak Ale/Baraq’el.
[xxiv] See J. M. Bradshaw, Freemasonry.
[xxv] Pioneering insights on Enochic parallels can be found in the writings of Hugh W. Nibley. He wrote a series of magazine articles on resemblances between ancient Enoch writings and the book of Moses for the Church’s Ensign magazine in 1975–1977, receiving Milik’s 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 he devoted to Enoch in the volume that gathered his writings on the subject, only a few pages were dedicated to the Aramaic “Enoch” fragments (H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 276-281). Regrettably, after he completed his initial research at that time, Nibley turned his attention to other subjects and never again took up a sustained study of Enoch.
For a verse-by-verse commentary on Moses 6-7 including extensive discussion of Enoch pseudepigrapha, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 33-196. Earlier discussion of the LDS story of Enoch in light of ancient Enoch documents appeared in J. M. Bradshaw et al., Ancient Affinities 1; J. M. Bradshaw et al., Ancient Affinities 2.
[xxvi] S. D. Ricks, Narrative Call.
[xxvii] S. Zinner, Underemphasized parallels, p. 5.
[xxviii] See discussion in J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 35-36.
[xxix] Moses 6:34.
[xxx] Moses 7:13.
[xxxi] J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 169. See also H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 210.
[xxxii] Psalm 89:19, translation by Eaton with my substitution of the word “exalted.”
[xxxiii] Psalm 89:19 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.
[xxxiv] Moses 6:31.
[xxxv] 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). For discussions of these and other ancient references to Enoch as a “lad,” see, e.g., H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 208-209; A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, pp. 133-136; C. Mopsik, Hénoch, pp. 188-190; G. A. Anderson, Exaltation, pp. 107-108. See also J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Endnote M6–7, p. 93.
[xxxvi] G. A. Anderson, Exaltation, p. 107.
[xxxvii] Photograph copyright 2012 by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw.
[xxxviii] M. U. Beecher, Iowa, p. 269.
[xxxix] Moses 7:2. On reading Mahujah as a personal name rather than a place name, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Endnote M6–13, p. 94.
[xl] Moses 7:3.
[xli] A. A. Orlov, Enoch-Metatron, p. 102.
[xlii] F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 22:8 [J], p. 138. Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:1–4. See J. J. Collins, Angelic Life, p. 293.
[xliii] Moses 7:59.
[xliv] P. S. Alexander, From Son of Adam, 10:1, 3, p. 263-264.
[xlv] Photograph copyright 2012 by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw.
[xlvi] 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. 320.
[xlvii] Moses 7:24, 47, 54, 56, 59, 65.
[xlviii] 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.
[xlix] I.e., Messiah. See Moses 7:53. See ibid., 48:10, p. 166; 52:4, p. 187.
[l] Moses 6:57; 7:45, 47, 67. See ibid., 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.
[li] Ibid., p. 119, emphasis added. The entire discussion is found on pp. 113-123. For additional discussion of the “Son of Man” title from an LDS perspective, see S. K. Brown, Man and Son of Man. For more on the debate surrounding this title, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Endnote M7–16, p. 191.
[lii] Although the title “Son of Man” is applied preeminently to Jesus Christ, the story of Enoch’s exaltation to become a “son of Man” provides a precedent for others to be raised and receive a similar title (G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 71:14, p. 321).
[liii] Cf. John 5:27: “And [the Father] hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” For a comparison of the claims of Jesus in this verse to related ideas in the Old Testament (Moses, Daniel) and the pseudepigraphal literature, see C. S. Keener, John, 1:651-652.
[liv] E.g., G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 69:27, p. 311: “… and the whole judgment was given to the Son of Man.” For a summary of this issue, see ibid., p. 119.
[lv] Moses 7:28; cf. v. 29.
[lvi] Moses 7:28, 37.
[lvii] Moses 7:41, 49.
[lviii] Moses 7:48–49.
[lix] D. C. Peterson, Weeping God.
[lx] J. J. M. Roberts, Motif of the Weeping God
[lxi] Moses 7:48.
[lxii] A. C. Skinner, Vindicated, pp. 373-380. In his discussion, Skinner cites ancient texts such as G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 7:6, 9:2, 87:1, pp. 182, 202, 364; M. Wise et al., DSS, 4Q203 Frag. 8:9, p. 294. See also B. Mika’el, Mysteries, p. 29: “[e]ven the earth complained and uttered lamentations.” Evaluating the wider context of parallels in the linkages between Enoch and Noah in the book of Moses and 1 Enoch accounts, S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 94 writes:
A human-like earth is not a new idea. An expression of earth as human-like in an account related to Enoch and Noah together, however, is beyond parallels. This is a substantial similarity that cannot be explained away as mere coincidence. In the [book of Moses] and in [1 Enoch]: A) Enoch has a vision of the impending flood (1 Enoch 91:5; Moses 7:43); B) Enoch sees Noah and his posterity survive (1 Enoch 106:18; Moses 7:43, 52); C) Enoch knows Noah’s future through an eschatological vision directed by God (1 Enoch 106:13-18; Moses 7:44-45, 51); and, D) an anthropomorphized earth suffers only to be healed by Noah (1 Enoch 107:3; Moses 7:48-50). It is not difficult to consider that [1 Enoch] and the [book of Moses] might share the idea of Enoch and Noah having had a relationship. It is the substantial similarities of the expression of this idea that provide overwhelming cause for consideration.
[lxiii] In addition to discussing one of the 1 Enoch passages mentioned by Skinner, Peterson follows J. J. M. Roberts in citing examples of Sumerian laments of the mother goddess (D. C. Peterson, Weeping God, pp. 298-306).
[lxiv] H. W. Nibley, Enoch, pp. 11-14, 74-75, 205-206.
[lxv] J. M. Bradshaw et al., Revisiting.
[lxvi] Genesis 5:24.
[lxvii] Moses 7:69.
[lxviii] A. Jellinek, BHM 4, 4, pp. 131–132. Cf. M. M. Noah, Jasher, 3:24–38, pp. 7–8. For a new English translation of the account from the Hebrew by David Calabro, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, Endnote M7–23, pp. 193–194.
[lxix] The account is reminiscent in some respects with 2 Kings 2:1-11, though Elisha is left behind when Elijah is taken up to heaven.
[lxx] J. P. Migne, Livre d’Adam, 21, p. 170.
[lxxi] D. J. Larsen, Enoch and the City of Zion (2014), p. 30. See also J. M. Bradshaw, Ezekiel Mural.
[lxxii] However, 1 Enoch and the Book of Giants both touch on some related themes as seen below. 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.
[lxxiii] E.g., in Talmudic and medieval Jewish literature, in citations by hostile heresiologists, in descriptions of the Manichaean canon (Homilies 25:2-5, Psalm-Book 46:21-47:4, Kephalia, 5:22-26), and in other fragments. 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 Jewish exegetical traditions relating to Genesis 6:1-4. Enrico Morano has tried to assemble fragments from Mani’s Book of Giants and others to reconstruct an overall plot line for the work (E. Morano, New Research). Morano’s plot and its details, of course, seem to reflect exotic elaborations by Mani that are not present in extant fragments of the earlier Aramaic manuscript from Qumran.
[lxxiv] M. Wise et al., DSS, p. 290. L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 31 dates the Book of Giants to “sometime between the late 3rd century and 164 BCE.”
[lxxv] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 11.
[lxxvi] Morano cleared up a long-standing puzzle for students of Mani’s Book of Giants, finding that the term pahlaw(an) in a list of Mani’s writings should be read as “hero” or “athlete” rather than “Parthian” (E. Morano, New Research, p. 101). J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, pp. 69-70 gives the following explanation of the related Hebrew terms:
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. (ibid., p. 134 n. 60)) … 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. 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” (e.g., Daniel 4:10, 14). 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.”
For more in-depth analysis of these terms, see A. T. Wright, Evil Spirits, pp. 79-95.
[lxxvii] For example, Moses 7:14-15 distinguishes between “the enemies of the people of God” (gibborim?) and “the giants of the land” (nephilim?).
[lxxviii] N. Elliott, John Bright.
[lxxix] See Moses 6:15; 7:7, 16.
[lxxx] Moses 6:15.
[lxxxi] J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 67.
[lxxxii] 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.
[lxxxiii] Moses 6:15.
[lxxxiv] M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (1Q23), 9+14+15:2-4, p. 291.
[lxxxv] 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).
[lxxxvi] 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.
[lxxxvii] Moses 6:38.
[lxxxviii] Genesis 16:12.
[lxxxix] M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (4Q531), 22:8, p. 293: “the wild man they call [me].” Contrast the translations of L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q531, 17:8, p. 164: “and the hinds of the field are calling” and F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q531), 2:8, p. 262: “and they bellowed a feral roar.” Regarding translation difficulties in this passage, see L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 163.
[xc] Photograph of Fragment 7, column ii in J. T. Milik et al., Enoch.
[xci] In evaluating Nibley’s suggestion, 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 Mahaway 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. …
[I]n the Book of Mormon, the Prophet was very careful about the spelling of proper names, especially the first time they occurred. I would assume that this was the case with the book of Moses also.
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, H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 278 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-).
- W. Wevers likewise writes that “the Septuagint spelling of Mai-el [in Genesis 4:18] follows the Samaritan tradition [Mahi-el], with the only difference being the dropped ‘h.’ The [Mahawai] version that we see in the Book of Giants, which is probably related to Genesis 4:18, shows up in the Latin Vulgate as Maviahel is likely due to 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” (J. W. Wevers, Notes, p. 62 n. 4:18). 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).
[xcii] 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” (F. G. Martinez et al., DSS Study, p. 410). 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, col. ii, line 21. See F. G. Martinez et al., DSS Study, p. 1064).
[xciii] S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 97. Cf. L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 27.
[xciv] Moses 6:40.
[xcv] Moses 6:40.
[xcvi] Moses 7:2: “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 turns the name Mahujah into a personal name instead of a place name, i.e., Enoch is “standing with” Mahujah, “not on Mahujah” (ibid., p. 103). An issue that 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).
As a second option, 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.
[xcvii] 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). R. S. Hendel, Text, 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, p. 157) 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).
Calabro points out that in order to posit an equivalence between Mahujah and Mehuja-el, one must “say that MḤWY is the ‘hypocoristic’ form (i.e., the form of the name minus the divine name element of Mahujah” (D. Calabro, January 24 2018).
[xcviii] Because Joseph Smith retained the “-el” suffix in Moses 5:43 (= Genesis 4:18) rather than making the name agree with its book of Moses equivalents, it is reasonable to assume that he did not himself recognize an equivalence among Mahujah, Mahijah, and Mehuja-el.
[xcix] As an exception to Bible manuscripts that otherwise always add “-el” to the end of the name, Wevers (J. W. Wevers, Notes, p. 62 n. 4:18) mentions the existence of “Mehuja” as a variant spelling of Mehuja-el in a Greek manuscript of Genesis 4:18. Hess (R. S. Hess, Studies, pp. 41-43) gives two possible meanings of the name Mehuja-el: 1. god/El enlivens; 2. life of god/El, i.e., divine life. Hess sees the former meaning as more probable. Sarna proposes two additional alternatives: “from m-ḥ-h, meaning ‘blotted out by God’; and from Akkadian maḫḫû, ‘an ecstatic,’ meaning ‘seer of God’” (N. M. Sarna, Genesis, p. 36). Matthew L. Bowen comments as follows (M. L. Bowen, January 23 2018):
I … think it’s interesting that JST has Mahujah instead of Mehujah, which the MT also has written as Mehijael (same w/y spelling issue as in Mahujah and Mahijah – the LXX-A, Peshitta, and Vulgate all point to Mehijael or Mahijael), I’m drawn to the idea that the name derives from ḤYY/ḤYH and means “God gives life” (L. Koehler et al., Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 568). However, a paronomastic connection with MḤY/MḤH (“wipe out,” “annihilate” — i.e., “blot out”) is also intriguing, especially since this name occurs in the degenerate line of Cain before the Flood (cf. the use of this verb in Genesis 6:7 and 7:4). I’m even more intrigued by a possible connection between this root and the name-title “Mahan” in “Master Mahan” which could easily be MḤN, which might suggest the idea of “destroyer” or “annihilator.”
[c] 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.”
[ci] 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.
[cii] J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 84.
[ciii] F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q530), 2:20-23, p. 261.
[civ] Or “the 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).
[cv] 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.
An additional phrase in Vermes’ translation (G. Vermes, Complete, p. 550) implies that Mahujah was chosen because he had been to Enoch for advice before: “previously you listened to his [Enoch’s] voice” (cf. M. Wise et al., DSS, 2:23, p. 294: “you have heard his voice”). This may correspond to Mahujah’s assertion that this is the second request he has made of Enoch (F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q530), 3:7, p. 261: “For a second time I beg you for an oracle”). “Beyer understands this … passage to signify … that [Mahujah] was the only Giant capable of executing this mission due to his personal acquaintance with Enoch” (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 Mahujah’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).
[cvi] 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. Moreover, unlike the Book of Giants, there is no mention in 1 Enoch of Mahijah or Mahujah.
[cvii] Mahujah identifies himself (M. Wise et al., DSS, 6Q8, 1:4, p. 292) as the “son of Baraq’el one of the twenty fallen Watchers listed by name in 1 Enoch” (J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 93. See G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:7, p. 174, 8:3, p. 188; G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 69:2, p. 297, cf. 60:13-15, p. 224. See also C. Mopsik, Hénoch, 14:4, p. 109, 17:1, 3, pp. 110, 111). In Moses 5:43, the name of Mahuja-el’s father is given as Irad, a prominent member of the secret combination who was killed later by his great-grandson Lamech when he revealed their secrets in violation of deadly oaths he had taken (Moses 5:49-50).
In G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:7, p. 174; G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 69:3, p. 297, Baraq’el is the ninth chief, under the leader Shemihazah, of the Watchers who descended on Mount Hermon and “swore together and bound one another with a curse” (G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:5, p. 174) as they determined to “choose … wives from the daughters of men” (ibid., 6:1, p. 174). In ibid., 8:3, p. 188, we learn the secrets that each of the heads of the Watchers revealed to mankind. Elsewhere, we read of their responsibilities of each of these in the governing of the seven heavens (G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 60:13-15, p. 224; C. Mopsik, Hénoch, 14:4, p. 109, 17:1, 3, pp. 110, 111).
Baraq’el appears as Virogdad (= gift of the lightning, a name recognized by Henning as having affinities to Baraq’el (J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, pp. 300, 311) in the Manichaean fragments of the Book of Giants (J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 147 n. 202, p. 138 n. 98). According to Jubilees 4:15 (O. S. Wintermute, Jubilees, Jubilees 4:15, p. 61, see also pp. 61-62 n. g.), Baraq’el is also the father of Dinah, the wife of Enoch’s grandfather Mahalaleel. If one assumed the descriptions in the relevant accounts were consistent (no doubt a far-fetched assumption), this would make the prophet Enoch a first cousin once-removed to Mahujah.
In the Doctrine and Covenants, the name of Enoch (D&C 78, 82, 92, 96, 104) or Baraq’el (= Baurak Ale. D&C 103, 105. Note that Joseph Smith’s approach is simply to follow the lead of his Hebrew teacher, J. Seixas, who seems to have transliterated both the Hebrew letters kaph and qoph with a “k,” so it is difficult to trace what original name he is transliterating) was sometimes used as a code name for Joseph Smith (D. J. Whittaker, Substituted Names, p. 6). H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 268 observes:
That Baraq’el is interesting… because[, in the Book of Giants,] Baraq’el is supposed to have been the father of [Mahujah] … A professor in Hebrew at the University of Utah said, “Well, Joseph Smith didn’t understand the word barak, meaning ‘to bless’” (L. C. Zucker, Hebrew, p. 49. William W. Phelps had suggested that “Baurak Ale” meant “God bless you.” [D. J. Whittaker, Substituted Names, p. 6]). But “Baraq’el” means the “lightning of God” (G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 180). The Doctrine and Covenants is right on target in that.
S. Cirillo, Joseph Smith., p. 111 cites the conclusion of D. M. Quinn, Magic 1998, p. 224 that the transliteration “Baurak Ale” came from a “direct reading” of Laurence’s English translation of 1 Enoch. Note, however, that Laurence’s transliteration was “Barakel” not “Baurak Ale.” If Joseph Smith simply borrowed this from Laurence, why do the transliterations not match more closely?
- L. Bowen, January 23 2018 comments:
Regarding bārāqʾēl or bāraqʾēl, I think Baurak Ale makes for a very natural transliteration, especially if Joseph is trying to pronounce ʾēl like the beverage Ale. The other possibility would be a form of BRK (“bless”), but this is less likely since the verb only occurs as a passive participle in the Qal stem. It’s hard to come to any other conclusion than that bārāqʾēl or bāraqʾēl is the name to which Joseph has reference.
[cviii] Moses 5: 52, 55.
[cix] Moses 5:49.
[cx] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:5, p. 174.
[cxi] G. W. E. Nickelsburg et al., 1 Enoch 2, 69:13-14, p. 304.
[cxii] Moses 5:51.
[cxiii] 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 5:29b-d, pp. 377-378; J. M. Bradshaw et al., Investiture Panel, pp. 33-34.
[cxiv] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 6:5, p. 174.
[cxv] Ibid., 6:1, p. 174.
[cxvi] Moses 5:44. See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Moses 5:44a, p. 392: “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.’”
[cxvii] Moses 5:47-55. See J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Moses 5:47a-54c, pp. 395-399.
[cxviii] 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.”
[cxix] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 8:3, p. 188.
[cxx] Moses 6:41.
[cxxi] M. Wise et al., DSS, 4Q531, 22:5, p. 293. Cf. L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q531, 17:5, p. 164: “adversaries.” J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 308 and F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q531), 2:5, p. 262 translate the term as “accusers.”
[cxxii] 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]the heavens are seated, and among the holy places they dwell.”
[cxxiii] Note that LDS scripture teaches that Enoch’s ministry took place in the New World (D&C 107:53-57).
[cxxiv] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 290. In 1 Enoch, Enoch’s journey to the eastern edge of the world would have been seen as taking him to the “east sea” on the edge of the dry earth, where heaven meets the sea. Enoch’s cosmology is sometimes hard to follow, but at this place he sees the gates where the celestial luminaries emerge. Consistent with ancient perspectives, this “east sea” might be equated to the place of the gate where the sun arose each morning.
[cxxv] Ibid., 13:7-8, p. 237.
[cxxvi] The “waters of Dan” in 1 Enoch arguably may be identified with the Sea of Galilee. Although the “sea east” in the biblical text usually refers to the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee (or Kinnereth) is also certainly an “east” sea. See Joshua 12:3; Numbers 34:11-12, where the Sea of Kinnereth is considered the eastern frontier of the Promised Land. In Numbers 13:29, the Canaanites live by this sea.
The Sea of Galilee could probably be called the “waters of Dan,” as it borders on that land. Nearby Mt. Hermon is, of course, where the descent of the Watchers and the ascent of Enoch take place. It was also the site of the Transfiguration, the place marking both Heaven and Sheol. Jewish tradition links Mount Hermon with Jerusalem/Zion (the Jordan was thought to have its source at Mt. Hermon), especially for cultic events like the Yom Kippur liturgy. For more on this, see G. W. E. Nickelsburg, Enoch, Levi, and Peter, p. 599; C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, Revelation of the Sacral, pp. 266-271.
[cxxvii] Moses 6:46.
[cxxviii] 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. 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.”
[cxxix] H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 214. See F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 8:1-11, p. 260-261.
[cxxx] Moses 6:46.
[cxxxi] 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.”
[cxxxii] 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.
[cxxxiii] D. C. Allison, Testament, 10:1, 6-7, 11, p. 254. 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.”
[cxxxiv] O. S. Wintermute, Jubilees, 10:17, p. 76.
[cxxxv] Moses 6:47.
[cxxxvi] F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 4:6, p. 260.
[cxxxvii] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 13:3-5, 8-9, pp. 234, 237. See H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 214.
[cxxxviii] H. W. Nibley, Enoch, p. 216: “a Hypomnemata, or memorial.”
[cxxxix] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 250 n. 9-10:
Abel-Main is the Aramaic form of Abel-Maim … (cf. 1 Kings 15:20 and its parallel in 2 Chronicles 16:4). It is modern Tel Abil, situated approximately seven kilometers west-northwest of “the waters of Dan,” at the mouth of the valley between the Lebanon range to the west and Mount Hermon, here called Senir, one of its biblical names (Deuteronomy 3:8-9; cf. Song of Solomon 4:8; Ezekiel 27:5).
For more on the history of the sacred geography of this region, see ibid., pp. 238-247.
[cxl] Moses 6:55.
[cxli] H. W. Nibley, Churches, p. 160.
[cxlii] L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q203, 8:6-9, p. 90. Cf. Cf. J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 315: “Let it be known to you that [you] n[ot … ] and your works and those of your wives […] themselves [and their] children and the wives of [their children … ] by your prostitution on the earth”; F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 8:6-9, p. 260: “Know that […] not your deeds and those of your wives […] they and their sons and the wives of [their sons…] for your prostitution in the land.” In 1 Enoch 10:9, the ** are called the “sons of prostitution” (G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 10:9, p. **).
[cxliii] See J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 114 n. 9. Compare H. C. Kee, Testaments, Dan 5:6, p. 809: “I read in the Book of Enoch the Righteous… that all the spirits of sexual promiscuity … cause [the sons of Levi] to commit sin before the Lord”; 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.”
[cxliv] H. W. Nibley, Churches, p. 159.
[cxlv] Moses 6:52.
[cxlvi] F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 8:14-15, p. 261.
[cxlvii] Cf. J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, pp. 315, 316 n. L. 12: “And now, loosen your bonds which tie [you] up […] and begin to pray.” Ibid., p. 316 n. L. 14 explains the text as follows: “The Watchers seem to be already chained up by the angels; in order to be able to pray, to lift their arms in the gesture of suppliants, they have to have their bonds loosened.” See also M. Wise et al., DSS, The Book of the Giants, 4Q203, 8:14-15: “But now, loosen the bonds [ … ] and pray.” J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 65 translates this as: “free your prisoners and pray!” He adduces conjectural evidence for this interpretation from the Manichaean fragments of the Book of Giants that “retain some isolated references to ‘prisoners’ or ‘slaves.’” Stuckenbruck similarly reads: “set loose what you hold captive … and pray” (L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q203, 8:14-15, p. 90).
[cxlviii] J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 103. Cf. J. W. Etheridge, Onkelos, Genesis 6:3, p. 47.
[cxlix] Alternatively, this phrase is translated by F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q530), 3:3, p. 261 as “the evidence of the Giants.”
[cl] Moses 7:13.
[cli] M. Wise et al., DSS, 4Q531, 22:3-7, p. 293. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, p. 269.
[clii] I.e., gibbor. Cf. Moses 7:15.
[cliii] J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 118 n. 3 cites similar Jewish sources that highlight the pride and arrogance of the Giants H. Anderson, 3 Maccabees, 2:4, p. 519; S. Sandmel et al., Solomon, 14:6, p. 108; F. Josephus, Antiquities, 1:3:1, p. 28.
[cliv] F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q531), 2:8, p. 262. Cf. J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 308: “the roaring of the wild beasts came and the multitude of the wild animals began to cry out”; L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q531, 17:8, p. 164: “]rh of the beasts of the field is coming and the hinds of the field are calling.” Contrast the translation of M. Wise et al., DSS, Book of Giants (4Q531), 22:8, p. 293: “the wild man they call [me].” Regarding translation difficulties in this passage, see L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, p. 163.
[clv] H. W. Nibley, Churches, p. 161.
[clvi] Moses 7:38.
[clvii] J. C. Reeves, Jewish Lore, p. 66. Compare J. T. Milik et al., Enoch, p. 313: “he has imprisoned us and you he has subdued”; L. T. Stuckenbruck, Book of Giants, 4Q203, 7 B1:4, p. 83: “he has imprisoned us and defeated yo[u” and F. G. Martinez, Book of Giants (4Q203), 7:5-7, p. 260: “he has seized us and has captured you.” See also the parallel references to the fate of the Watchers in the Genesis Apocryphon (J. A. Fitzmyer, Genesis Apocryphon, 0:8, p. 65): “And now, look, we are prisoners” (cf. M. Wise et al., DSS, Tales of the Patriarchs (1QapGen), 0:8, p. 91: “we are bound” and F. G. Martinez, Genesis Apocryphon, 1:1:4, p. 230: “I have oppressed the prisoners,” following Milik—see J. A. Fitzmyer, Genesis Apocryphon, p. 118 n. 0:8). See also G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 14:5, p. 251: “it has been decreed to bind you in bonds in the earth for all the days of eternity”; ibid., 10:11-13, p. 215: “Go, Michael, bind Shemihazah and the others with him, … bind them … in the valleys of the earth, until the day of their judgment … Then they will be led away to the fiery abyss (cf. Ibid., pp. 221-222 n. 4-6, p. 225 n. 11-13), and to the torture, and to the prison where they will be confined forever.”
For discussions of the theme of the imprisonment of the wicked at the time of Noah as it appears in the Bible, see J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, Caption to Figure E24-1, p. 588; P. H. Davids, II Peter, pp. 9-11, 69-70; J. H. Neyrey, 2 Peter, Jude, p. 202; P. H. Davids, Letters, pp. 48-51, 225-226; C. Rowland et al., Mystery of God, pp. 58-59; G. W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, p. 560; J. C. VanderKam, Enoch, p. 172; A. Y. Reed, Fallen, pp. 104-107; P. J. Achtemeier, 1 Peter, pp. 239-274.
[clviii] W. McKane, Matthew Black.
[clix] 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.
[clx] Moses 7:2.
[clxi] H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP, pp. 267–269.
[clxii] H. Bloom, American Religion, pp. 98, 99, 100, 101.
[clxiii] H. Bloom, Names Divine, p. 25. Hugh Nibley concurs with this assessment, noting that the Pearl of Great Price “has received less attention than the other writings and has been studied only superficially” (H. W. Nibley et al., One Eternal Round, p. 18).
[clxiv] H. D. Peterson, Story; H. W. Nibley, New Look.
[clxv] See especially, e.g., J. Gee et al., Astronomy; E. D. Clark, Blessings; H. W. Nibley, Drama; H. W. Nibley, Abraham 2000; M. D. Rhodes, Hor; J. A. Tvedtnes et al., Traditions; H. W. Nibley, Message (2005); H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the PGP; J. Gee, Introduction; B. M. Hauglid, Textual History; S. O. Smoot, Council; J. Gee et al., Egyptian Context; K. Muhlestein, Egyptian Papyri; K. Muhlestein, Religious and Cultural Background; K. Muhlestein, Assessing; Q. Barney, Sobek; S. O. Smoot et al., Book of the Dead; S. O. Smoot, In the Land.
[clxvi] Nearly fifty years ago Richard P. Howard (R. P. Howard, Restoration 1969) and Robert J. Matthews (R. J. Matthews, Plainer) began publishing their pioneering studies of the Joseph Smith Translation or JST, of which the book of Moses is an extract. The wide availability of Matthews’ exhaustive study, in particular, was very effective in abating the qualms of Latter-day Saints (T. E. Sherry, Changing), who had not yet had an opportunity to compare the RLDS (now Community of Christ) publication of Joseph Smith’s “Inspired Version” of the Bible (J. Smith, Jr., Holy Scriptures) with the original manuscripts. Such qualms proved by and large to be unfounded. Matthews clearly established that recent editions of the “Inspired Version,” notwithstanding their shortcomings, constituted a faithful rendering of the work of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his scribes—insofar as the manuscripts were then understood (R. J. Matthews, Plainer, pp. 200-201; see also K. P. Jackson, Book of Moses, pp. 20-33). Four years later, in 1979, the status of the JST was further enhanced by the inclusion of selections from the translation in the footnotes and endnotes of a new LDS edition of the King James Bible. Elder Boyd K. Packer heralded this publication event as “the most important thing that [the Church has] done in recent generations” (B. K. Packer, Scriptures, p. 53; cf. B. R. McConkie, Sermons, p. 236). Twenty-five years later, in 2004, with painstaking effort by editors Scott Faulring, Kent Jackson, and Robert Matthews and the generous cooperation of the Community of Christ, a facsimile transcription of all the original manuscripts of the JST was at last published (S. H. Faulring et al., Original Manuscripts). In 2005, as an important addition to his ongoing series of historical and doctrinal studies, Kent Jackson provided a detailed examination of the text of the portions of the JST relating to the book of Moses (K. P. Jackson, Book of Moses). Richard Draper, Kent Brown, and Michael Rhodes’ verse-by-verse commentary on the Pearl of Great Price, also published in 2005, was another important milestone (R. D. Draper et al., Commentary). Others have also made significant contributions. Taken together, all these studies allow us to see the process and results of the Prophet’s work of Bible translation with greater clarity than ever before. See Royal Skousen for a review of these recent studies of the original JST manuscripts (R. Skousen, Earliest). Two volumes of detailed commentary on the book of Moses and the book of Genesis through chapter 11 were completed in 2014 (J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1; J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2).
[clxvii] Helaman 5:50.
[clxviii] J. R. Holland, Greatness of the Evidence, p. 3.
[clxix] S. H. Webb, Jesus Christ, p. 253.
[clxx] 2 Peter 1:4. For more on this verse, J. Starr, Partakers and B. T. Ostler, God, pp. 392-395.
[clxxi] Elder John A. Widtsoe, cited in A. F. Bennett, Saviors, pp. 11-12; B. K. Packer, Holy Temple, p. 216.
[clxxii] Moroni 7:47-48.
[clxxiii] To the Twelve, in J. Smith, Jr., Writings 2002, 15 December 1840, p. 520. Compare J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 15 December 1840 [misdated as 19 October 1840], pp. 178-179.
[clxxiv] 1 Corinthians 1:7.
[clxxv] F. I. Andersen, 2 Enoch, 1:118-119.
AntonellaJanuary 28, 2018
Revelation does not happen in a vacuum, over and over Joseph Smith stated that some of his revelations were originated by his desire to understand thing he had read. Wether or not he had access to early Jewish or Christian writing and "copied" or was inspired to them is immaterial. To me the fact that there are other writings hower fragmentary and full of interpolations proves that Joseph did not draw the story of Enoch from the proverbial hat. I would be way more suspicious if these other manuscripts did not exist. In that case a critic could legitimately call the book of Moses a work of fantasy. Joseph Smith read and was inspired by those readings yes, so What? Writers often adopt themes, ideas and even words and phrases from other writers and that process of creative re-elaboration does not invalidate their authenticity as writers, they just found good material and used it FOR THEIR PURPOSES. The fact that Joseph might have been familiar with ancient writings dies not invalidate the Enoch writings inthe book of Moses. They might have simply provided the framework for the revelations. Ultimately it comes down to wether or not we believe in the prophetic call of Joseph Smith.
Ernest M. ToselandJanuary 27, 2018
Or he and ancient manuscripts could have similarities because they are both about Enoch!!!