[2:15] 1 Enoch, James C. VanderKam writes.


James C. VanderKam writes of 1 Enoch 83-90, the Book of Dreams “Here too Enoch tells his son Methuselah about his predictive dream visions. In this section he reports two such experiences.

In the first and shorter one (83-84) he sees the heavens thrown down on earth, the earth swallowed up, and everything sinking into the abyss. His grandfather Mahalalel explains to him that the vision concerns the wickedness of the earth and its approaching destruction (the flood). He urges Enoch to pray that a remnant be left to him on the earth. He does pray for the remnant, and, after seeing the sun rise on a new day, blesses and praises the Lord.

The second and longer section is called the Animal Apocalypse (chaps. 85-90). Interpretation of the last historical allusions in teh vision, especially the character who appears to be Judas Maccabeus (the ram with a horn in 90:9, etc.), has led scholars to date it to the late 160s BCE. The apocalypse has received its name from the fact that in it biblical characters are described symbolically as animals. Colors and types of animals express character evaluations. In the text Enoch surveys all of scriptural history and moves beyond it to the time of the actual author and the end. The symbols and the language are usually clear enough so that the biblically literate reader can follow the course of the story.”

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