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While much has been written about the first Book of Enoch, it is perhaps more appropriate here to discuss the lesser-known Enoch Two: The Secrets of Enoch.
Enoch is introduced as a wise man, much beloved by God, who is given to see the wonders of the heavenly realm, including the “inexpressible singing of the host of the cherubim and of the boundless light.” Enoch’s story begins when he is 165 years old and begets Methuselah. Enoch then lived another 200 years, for a total of 365. As he lies on his couch asleep, he begins to cry – still in his sleep – completely at a loss to explain his distress.
Two men appear to him, so large there is nothing like them on earth. Their faces, eyes and lips all shine and burn with fire, and they have the telltale wings of angels. They call Enoch by name, and he is roused from his sleep to see that the two “men” are indeed really there. Enoch salutes them and is seized with fear. The angels tell him to have courage. They are sent by God to take him into heaven. Enoch is instructed to tell his sons that he will be gone for a while, and that they are not to look for him until he returns.
The angels bear Enoch on their wings to the first heaven and place him on the clouds. He is shown how angels control the houses of the snow and dew. On to the second heaven, where he is shown rebellious angels being punished as prisoners in a terrible darkness. Enoch pities them, and they ask him to pray to God on their behalf. On to the third heaven. Enoch is shown an idyllic garden with a wondrous fragrant tree. He states that paradise “is between corruptibility and incorruptibility.” The garden is guarded over by three hundred angels.
Enoch is told the paradise is prepared for the righteous who suffer greatly yet do good works in the world. Next, Enoch is shown a place of darkness and torture for the punishment of sinners, who practice sodomy and witchcraft and oppress the poor. The fourth heaven is taken up by an astronomical lesson on the goings of the sun and the moon. In the fifth heaven, Enoch sees a race of giant soldiers, called the Grigori, with withered faces and silent mouths. The angels tell him the Grigoris fell with Satan and impregnated the daughters of men to produce the familiar race of giants who “befouled the earth with their deeds.” After being questioned by Enoch, the giant soldiers break into song, asking God to pity them. In the sixth heaven, Enoch sees seven bands of angels who guard the sun and moon and stars and regulate events on earth, including world governments and the natural world of rivers and forests, as well as recording all the deeds of mankind. In the seventh heaven, Enoch sees a “very great light and fiery troops of great archangels.” These fearsome soldiers serve God with joyful singing.
After showing Enoch the seventh heaven, the two angels leave him alone, which causes Enoch great fear and he cries out for help. Gabriel comes to him. “Gabriel caught me up, as a leaf caught up by the wind.” Enoch sees the eighth and ninth heavens, which include the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Finally, in the tenth heaven, Enoch sees the face of God, “like iron made to glow in fire,” and emitting sparks. The Lord’s face is “ineffable, marvelous, and very awful, and very, very terrible. And who am I to tell of the Lord’s unspeakable being and of his very wonderful face?” The Lord instructs the Angel Michael to dress Enoch in “the garments of glory.” Enoch is then taught the ways of heaven and earth and writes 366 books of the knowledge that he is given.
God tells Enoch that He was alone before He made creation. Then He made light from the darkness and the visible from the invisible. There follows a wonderful creation story where God speaks in surprising detail and frankness, a much more direct, “first-person” account than is found in Genesis. It begins with the creation of angels as troops with fiery weapons. The Genesis pattern of seven days of creation is also used here in Enoch’s version, with man again being created on the sixth day. But there are fascinating differences, namely the “seven consistencies” from which man was made.
First, his flesh was made from the earth. Second, his blood from the dew. Third, his eyes from the sun. Fourth, his bones from stone. Fifth, his intelligence from the swiftness of the angels and the clouds. Sixth, his veins and his hair from the grass of the earth. And seventh, his soul from the breath of God and from the wind.
As in Genesis, God then rests on the seventh day. But God also talks of an eighth day, a day without time or the measurement of time. “A time of not counting, endless, with neither years nor months nor weeks nor days nor hours.”
Enoch is then told to return to earth for thirty days to tell his household what he has seen and to write down his journey for the sake of future generations. Enoch is returned to the couch on which he slept at the book’s beginning, where his son Methuselah has been keeping watch for him and is amazed to see his return. Enoch, with weeping, tells of how being in the Lord’s presence is “endless pain.” Enoch also tells his son he now knows everything, being shown the utter and complete truth of mortal and universal existence by God.
Again, details of the workings of astronomy and the natural world are recited, which are then followed by exhortations to be righteous and to give no unclean gifts to God. Enoch tells his sons that the fate of man’s soul is fixed even before he is born. God bids us to be meek, to endure attacks and insults, and not to offend widows and orphans. Enoch instructs his sons to pass along his books to others and then begins to speak of how it is important to treat the poor well. The moral injunctions Enoch speaks of are all familiar from the Old Testament, but there is an urgency and intensity to Enoch’s version that stems mostly from the strangeness of his journey and the fact that he will be taken again by the angels, this time for good.
The word of Enoch’s impending departure into heaven becomes widely known, and two thousand men arrive to kiss him goodbye and ask his blessing. Enoch again prophesies a world where time is not measured, a paradise that cannot be corrupted, and says those gathered to see him off must walk before the Lord in “terror and trembling.”
The Lord sends darkness on the earth. Enoch is taken up, and the light returns. Enoch’s sons erect an altar at the place where Enoch has been taken up and make sacrifices there. The people and the elders gather together for a great feast with his sons and they make merry for three days, praising God, who had favored them with the sign of Enoch’s heavenly departure, the story of which is to be handed down from generation to generation and from age to age.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON ENOCH
The events described in Enoch Two are very similar to what we read in modern day UFO abduction accounts. We see the standard scenario in which the abductee finds himself partially awake but in a dreamlike state. He is then taken up from his bed and transported into another world very different from the normal waking world, accompanied by men or angels or the now familiar gray aliens.
When Enoch says that being in the Lord’s presence is “endless pain,” one is reminded of the stress factor in the alien abduction experience. In an early interview I did with “Communion” author Whitley Strieber, who was among the first to popularize the abduction experience, he quite flatly told me, “You cannot imagine how awful it is.” Some abductees, such as New England housewife Betty Andreasson Luca, believe the alien abductors are angels sent to announce the Second Coming of Christ. But Luca also recalled some genuinely frightening moments onboard the UFOs. Strieber, meanwhile, acknowledged that alien abduction can be a beautiful experience, but rarely in the sense of “sweetness and light.”
Perhaps all of that is a testimony to the authenticity of what Enoch, Strieber and Luca and many others have undergone. Alien abduction can be seen to be linked to Enoch Two as part of a tradition stretching back thousands of years. The spiritual mysteries of one age are continued in the next, and maybe we can draw comfort from believing that the Eighth Day that God speaks of in Enoch Two, a day when no time is measured, may be just around the corner on the Cosmic Calendar.
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