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Frank W. Nelte

January 2012


In my recent article regarding God’s plan of salvation I mentioned that from the time of Adam up to the time of the flood God’s plan of salvation did not include either Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins or the second resurrection. And without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that plan also did not include what we understand to be "the second coming of Jesus Christ". See that article for a detailed discussion of this subject.

Now one question that immediately arises is this:


So let’s examine this valid question. Let’s look at the prophecy of Enoch more closely. There is only one single reference to Enoch having made a prophecy, and that one reference is in the Book of Jude. This prophecy of Enoch is not recorded or even hinted at anywhere in the Old Testament. So let’s start by taking a general look at the book of Jude.



This short book is primarily a warning against false teachers. Jude is very strong and very emphatic in his condemnation of these "certain men" who had deviously crept into some leadership positions in God’s Church (Jude 1:4). In this matter Jude’s approach is very similar to Peter’s second letter, especially to chapter 2, where Peter refers to these same people as "false teachers among you" (2 Peter 2:1), who very deviously introduced "damnable heresies" into the Church. Compare the similarities between the whole of 2 Peter chapter 2 and Jude’s epistle.

Both Peter and Jude were clearly aware of the same major problem which the Church of God was facing at that time, that problem being infiltration of key leadership and teaching positions within the Church by totally carnal, covetous men, who intended to deliberately pervert all of the true teachings of the Church. (Does that sound familiar to conditions in our age?) It was an all-out attempt by Satan to destroy the New Testament Church of God in its infancy. What was happening to the Church at that time is reminiscent of Revelation 12:4, where "the dragon" was ready "to devour her child as soon as it was born". In their respective letters both Peter and Jude also strongly refer to the unpardonable sin for those devious individuals who had infiltrated the Church’s leadership. Peter and Jude are both very emphatic in their condemnations of these false teachers, thereby also setting us an example regarding how we should respond if we ever have to deal with false teachers amongst us.

Now Jude 1:14 states that Enoch "prophesied of these (men)". To correctly understand the prophecy of Enoch it thus follows that we need to establish two things:

1) We need to establish exactly who is being referenced as "these men" by Jude.

2) Then we can establish exactly what Enoch prophesied would happen to "these men".

So now let’s take a close look at the Book of Jude to establish the context for Jude’s statement about Enoch. After a brief introduction and an exhortation to God’s people that we need to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints", Jude comes to the real subject of his short letter.

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

It is these "ungodly men" that are the real focus of Jude’s letter. The next 15 verses are devoted exclusively to these ungodly men who had crept into positions of leadership and influence in the Church of God. And the reference to Enoch’s prophecy is placed right into the middle of this context.

Now the first thing that we need to understand is that Jude, the half-brother of Jesus Christ, was livid with anger! Jude was absolutely furious at these "certain men"!

These ungodly men were deliberately perverting the true teachings. They were influencing some people who had made a commitment to God away from that commitment, by encouraging those people to sin. These ungodly men were in effect destroying the possibility of eternal life for the people they were able to influence; these ungodly men were destroying lives! And Jude was absolutely livid with anger! He couldn’t think of enough bad things to say about these people. Jude was just as furious with these people as was the Apostle Paul, when Paul twice in a row pronounced a curse on those who deliberately led people away from the truth (see Galatians 1:8-9). And Paul’s statement "let him be accursed" is another way of saying "let him die the second death in the lake of fire". That’s what Paul’s statement means. Now Peter expressed the same anger towards such devious false teachers, that he also couldn’t think of enough bad things to say about them. Peter called them "natural brute beasts made to be taken AND DESTROYED" (2 Peter 2:12), continuing to say that they shall "UTTERLY PERISH"!

We should be able to see that all three men, Peter, Paul and Jude, are unequivocal in assigning these false teachers to the lake of fire, where they will be destroyed and will "utterly perish".

So now back to Jude.

Jude has no doctrinal instructions for the Church. He could see false teachers affecting the Church, and so up to verse 19 he excoriates those false teachers, and in the last few verses he in general terms exhorts God’s people to hold fast to the truth, as he also did in the opening verses. And that is the whole message of the Book of Jude. Let’s notice in detail how Jude excoriated those false teachers.

Every verse from verse 5 to verse 19, except for one verse (i.e. verse 17) in addition to the reference to Enoch, represents the worst possible comparison that Jude could think of for these ungodly men. Let’s look at all of them in detail.

I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (Jude 1:5)

In verse 5 Jude compares the effect of these ungodly teachers to Israel repeatedly sinning, even after God had repeatedly intervened in miraculous ways for them. This reference to flagrant disobedience is one of the mildest of Jude’s statements. This is not yet a reference to the unpardonable sin. But every statement after this is stronger.

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (Jude 1:6)

In verse 6 Jude compares these ungodly teachers to Satan and the demons who rebelled against God. The sins of Satan and the demons will never be forgiven. So with this comparison Jude has already introduced the unpardonable sin into the picture. The sin of deliberately leading God’s people away from the truth will never be forgiven because it is just as evil as was Satan’s rebellion against God. There is no place in the Family of God for anyone who has deliberately and deviously persuaded any of God’s people to depart from the truth. That is Jude’s point with this statement.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)

In verse 7 Jude compares these ungodly teachers to Sodom and Gomorrha, ascribing the worst possible character to these ungodly teachers. Now the people of Sodom and Gomorrha are not assigned to the lake of fire. Jude’s point here is that the way God punished them was AN EXAMPLE of what the lake of fire will be like. The example is for us, and Jude’s intention is again to show that these ungodly teachers are heading for the lake of fire.

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 1:8-9)

In verses 8-9 Jude states that these ungodly teachers engage in despicable conduct and that they have the belligerent and accusing attitude of Satan himself. In this regard they are just like Satan himself. Jude is not holding back in comparing these ungodly teachers to Satan himself and to the worst specimens of mankind, is he? Jude was extremely angry when he wrote this letter.

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. (Jude 1:10)

In verse 10 Jude compares these ungodly teachers to brute beasts, i.e. he compares them to a sub-human standard. He’s angry alright. This is Jude’s response towards anyone who perversely speaks evil of the godly; such people only corrupt themselves when they deride those who are trying to live by God’s laws.

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. (Jude 1:11)

In verse 11 Jude has lumped together the three worst attitudes he could think of, personified by Cain, Balaam and Korah. Jude is saying that these ungodly teachers are selfish, greedy and lusting after power and prestige. What else was there left for Jude to say that he hadn’t said yet in his statements thus far? But there is more, an indication of Jude being unable to contain his extreme anger with these people. And rightly so! No expression of anger and indignation can do justice to the perversity of someone deliberately leading any of God’s people away from the truth!

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (Jude 1:12)

In verse 12 Jude comes right out and plainly states that these ungodly teachers will be in the lake of fire. That’s what "twice dead" means! And that is what "plucked up by the roots" means. Here Jude points out that these ungodly teachers actually have the gall to join us at our Feast of Tabernacles observances. They are totally selfish and they clearly lack any fear of God. Spiritually there is nothing worthwhile about them, nothing at all! That’s what "clouds without water" means.

So note!

All of Jude’s references to these ungodly men have been presented with the explicit purpose of showing that these individuals will be in the lake of fire, with the result that they will be "twice dead". Jude’s reference to these people being "plucked up by the roots" is essentially the same as Obadiah’s statement that "they shall be as though they had never been" (Obadiah 1:16).

But Jude isn’t finished yet with his scathing rebuke of these devious teachers.

Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude 1:13)

In verse 13 Jude again links these ungodly teachers to Satan and his destiny. They will be permanently blotted out, comparable to Satan and the demons spending future eternity in "the blackness of darkness". "Wandering stars" is a reference to Satan and the demons. And these ungodly men are oblivious to the fact that their very conduct amounts to "foaming out their own shame".

Let’s skip verses 14-15, as we’ll look at them later. Notice the next verse in this section.

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. (Jude 1:16)

In verse 16 Jude levels one more salvo at these ungodly teachers. They are selfish, carnal and they resort to flattery to further their selfish ends.

Verse 17 is Jude’s introduction for his final statements about these ungodly men. And so in verse 18 he further identifies these ungodly men as mockers whose lives are regulated by "their own ungodly lusts". And in verse 19 Jude states categorically that these men do not have God’s Spirit. And they are heading for the lake of fire!

And that’s Jude’s message! He wanted to clearly expose these selfish men, who had crept into influential positions in the Church, for what they really were. And he wanted to make clear that they were heading straight for the lake of fire.

So we now have the answers to our two initial questions.

1) The "certain men" Jude was speaking about refer to any and all false teachers who enter the Church of God for selfish reasons, with the intention of leading God’s people away from the truth of God into a way of disobedience to God. Everything about such false teachers is contrary to God.

2) Jude has also made abundantly clear that "what will happen to these men" is that they will be blotted out in the lake of fire, plucked up by the roots and thus twice dead. Everything Jude has said about these men leads to the lake of fire.

So now understand the following::


Can you grasp that everything Jude has said before and after verses 14-15 points to the lake of fire and the second death? Can you understand that any reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ in connection with these ungodly men would be totally and completely out of place? The second coming of Jesus Christ has nothing in common with the lake of fire. So when everything else Jude is saying points to the lake of fire, WHY would Jude out of the blue introduce a quotation that refers to Jesus Christ’s second coming?

Can you understand how a clear grasp of the picture Jude presents in the first 19 verses of his letter places verses 14-15 into a much clearer context?

Now we can begin to look at Jude 1:14-15.


JUDE 1:14-15

These two verses are really one single sentence. The thought that is introduced in verse 14 is only completed in verse 15. It follows that we should really examine these two verses together in order to get the whole thought Jude was presenting, rather than viewing verse 14 in isolation. Viewing verse 14 independently creates a very distorted picture. Here are these two verses:

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14-15)

For a start, this is a reference to something that Enoch had said, not to something that Enoch had supposedly written. This is not a reference to anything written! There is no reference to any kind of writing in these two verses.

Enoch himself died 69 years before Noah was born. When the flood started Enoch had already been dead for 669 years. Now Noah did not take any written records (which in that age would theoretically have been clay tablets) with him into the ark for one very simple reason:


I mention this because some people believe that Enoch authored a book, which is called "the Book of Enoch". So before we look at the correct meaning of these two verses, we’ll briefly consider this matter of "the Book of Enoch".

To avoid any misunderstandings I will tell you up front that I fully accept the veracity of Jude 1:14-15, while I at the same time also unequivocally reject any claim of authenticity for "the Book of Enoch". There is no "Book of Enoch" that has anything to do with the man Enoch who lived before the flood. But at the same time the statement about Enoch in Jude 1:14-15 is unquestionably true!



Some things are invented or discovered by accident. But most inventions are the result of searching for something, of efforts to fulfill a need or a desire. Writing was invented to fulfill the desire to communicate with people living in other locations or living at other times (i.e. in the future when compared to the time of writing), as well as the need to keep track of commercial transactions.

Apart from Abel being killed by his brother Cain, the Bible does not mention a single death until human beings had been on this Earth for 930 years when Adam died, with perhaps one possible exception. Lamech of the line of Cain said that he had killed "a young man" (Genesis 4:23), implying that this was the very first killing since Cain had killed Abel. This Lamech was six generations after Adam. Enoch of the line of Seth was also six generations after Adam. So perhaps this Lamech and Enoch were of similar ages?

I would take Lamech’s reference to "a young man" to refer to someone who was "young" from Lamech’s point of view, in the context where most people lived for around 900 years. Now perhaps Lamech killed that "young man" as early as the year 600 or 700; but then there is also the possibility that Lamech only killed that young man around the time when Enoch’s life ended. I don’t know that, and it doesn’t really make a difference. But I suspect that for the rest of his life Adam himself did not witness any further killing amongst his descendants, after he had seen his son Cain kill his other son Abel. I suspect that the violence God refers to (Genesis 6:11) only really took off soon after Adam had died. After all, every single human being on Earth knew that Adam was his or her original "grandpa". And perhaps there was a certain amount of respect for that original "grandpa"? I don’t know that it was that way, and it doesn’t really make a difference. But the point is: it required only two living individuals to cover the entire 1656-year period before the flood. Here are the facts:

1) Adam lived for 930 years, and everyone born after Adam’s creation, except for Abel (and perhaps that "young man"?), lived past the year of Adam’s death. That’s just the way it was, as far as males are concerned. Before the flood the deaths of wives are never mentioned, though it seems very likely that they had equally long lives.

2) When Adam died in the year 930, Methuselah was already 243 years old, old enough to be acquainted with everything that had been known since Adam’s creation. And Methuselah only died in the actual year of the flood, at which time Noah himself was also already 600 years old.

So all human knowledge before the flood was verbally preserved during the lifetimes of just two people: Adam and Methuselah. And these two individuals were contemporaneous for 243 years. Other people at that time were similarly long-lived. And there is no reason to suppose that the 600-year old Noah at the time of the flood was not aware of all essential information relating to human beings from the time of Adam’s creation right up to the flood. Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah, and Noah was surely acquainted with the relevant details regarding his great-grandfather’s life.

Now unless certain people before the flood actually perceived a need to communicate with other people in a non-verbal way (i.e. in writing) there would have been no motivation to invent any kind of writing. WHY would Adam or Jared or Methuselah or Enoch or Noah have felt a need or desire "to write down anything"? WHY?

Let’s consider the historical records regarding the development of writing. Here are the available facts.



The earliest writing is known as "cuneiform script", from the Latin word "cuneus" which means "a wedge". This script consisted not of phonetic sounds, as is the case with our modern alphabets, but of pictographs, where very simplified "pictures" represented specific words. The name "cuneiform" is based on the fact that these pictographs were impressed onto clay tablets in a way that formed noticeable "wedges". Now a set of ten such pictographs may require 100 or more words in English to adequately convey the meaning of those ten pictographs. In other words, a series of a few pictographs tells a whole story. It is never a case of translating a clay tablet with 200 pictographs into an English text with just 200 words. A sequence of pictographs requires a translator to provide a considerable number of words that are not really contained in the cuneiform "text"; they have to be inferred and then provided by the translator.

This was the earliest form of a written language. In such cuneiform writing you could not really express any distinctions in the tenses of verbs, nor could you distinguish between verbs that were almost synonymous. The message conveyed by such writing was always very crude and simplistic, when compared to our ability to clearly express nuances and distinctions and precision of intended meaning.

The origin of cuneiform script has been led back to the area of Sumeria, in the general area of Mesopotamia. Modern scholars insist on claiming that the use of cuneiform script goes back to 3000 B.C. or even earlier, dates that are well before the flood in the days of Noah. However, those scholars obviously also reject that God created Adam and Eve around 4000 B.C., insisting that human beings on Earth had evolved thousands of years before 4000 B.C. It follows that we have to see their dating for the first written language in the context of how they view the timing for man’s origins.

The key for evaluating the timing for the invention of writing is as follows:

Was the society to which the origin of writing can be traced back a pre-flood society or was it a post-flood society?

We can agree that writing in the cuneiform script was first developed in Sumeria. So was that Sumerian society before the flood or was it after the flood? It was after the flood because the development of various human cultures can be traced in an uninterrupted way from Sumeria down to various later cultures in the Middle East. There is no possibility of fitting a worldwide flood, which was survived by only four men and four women, into any time in history after the Sumerian empire. Therefore the Sumerian empire was developed after the flood. And therefore the first written language was also only developed after the flood.

But for a moment let’s consider the hypothetical alternative.



What if Noah and his sons had been aware of a written language before the flood? Since all people before the flood spoke the same language, Noah and his family would have been able to read any writing extant before the flood. So all eight people on the ark would have been literate in that pre-flood cuneiform writing.

Some people refer to what is known as "The Book of Enoch". I have a copy of this "Book of Enoch" on my computer. It is 141 pages long. You can easily find it on the internet for downloading in pdf format. Having examined this so-called "Book of Enoch" myself, I know beyond any shadow of doubt that it is a lot of nonsense, a forgery intended to impersonate a biblical personage. It is garbage! The statements in that book (I have the 1906 translation by R. H. Charles) are patently absurd! It is just one more pseudepigraphic book aimed at competing with and thereby discrediting the correct text of the Bible.

One very clear and obvious proof that this is a forgery is as follows: When you examine this "Book of Enoch" it repeatedly refers to numerous other "books" and it is assumed that they were written in an alphabetic script. The forger obviously assumed that his own written language, based on an alphabet, had also existed before the flood. He didn’t realize that writing in an alphabetic language wasn’t invented until more than half a millennium AFTER the flood. Before then the only writing was in the cuneiform script and in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Ascribing writing in an alphabetic script to any society before 1800 B.C. at the very earliest is an anachronism; you know, like claiming that King David used a cell phone to keep in touch with his military commanders. This one fact all by itself exposes the so-called Book of Enoch as a fraud. This is besides all the utterly absurd statements in that book.

But let’s just suppose that there were books (i.e. clay tablets with cuneiform script) before the flood, and that "The Book of Enoch" was one of those cuneiform "books".

As already mentioned, Enoch had died 669 years before the flood. So IF Enoch had written any "book" during his lifetime, then that would supposedly have consisted of some cuneiform tablets, which by the time of the flood would have been almost 700 years old. This does not address WHY Enoch would supposedly have bothered to ""scratch" some cuneiform pictographs onto certain clay tablets, nor does it address for whose benefit Enoch would supposedly have made those pictographs, since he knew most people lived to be around 900 years old.

The reasons provided in the copy I have on my computer are ridiculous. For a start, apart from Abel no human being had ever died before Enoch was born in the year 622. Adam lived for another 308 years after Enoch’s birth. So for which audience was Enoch supposedly "scratching" his cuneiform clay tablets? Enoch didn’t know that there would be a worldwide flood almost 700 years after his death, because God had not yet reached the decision to bring on such a flood. Nor did Enoch know that at some point after that future flood God would divide humanity into different language groups. So for whose benefit was Enoch supposedly making his cuneiform pictographs? (By the way, there is no indication whatsoever that the language before the flood was Hebrew. So mazel tov to those who think Hebrew was the original language.)

However here is the point:


For Noah to have brought any cuneiform clay tablets through the flood would obviously have implied that all of the eight people on the ark would have been totally fluent in reading that cuneiform script. All eight of them would have been familiar with the one and only system of writing that had theoretically existed before the flood.

Now for more than 100 years after the flood all human beings continued to speak the same one language. And therefore before the tower of Babel and the division into 70 different language groups all human beings would have become acquainted with the form of writing that Noah and his family had (theoretically) preserved through the flood. As God said about those people before the division into 70 language groups: "behold, the people are one" (Genesis 11:6). They were still unified and therefore they would also all have shared their common way of writing.

It follows that when God divided people into 70 different language groups, THEY WOULD ALL HAVE PRESERVED THEIR COMMON NON-PHONETIC WRITTEN LANGUAGE!

Their theoretical written language would have had to be cuneiform script, and that type of writing is totally independent of any spoken language. The divisions amongst the spoken languages would not have affected the written script in any way. The 70 new spoken languages would all have shared one common written cuneiform script ... IF such a written script had already existed before the flood.

In other words, instead of cuneiform writing being traced back to the Sumerian people, it would be traced back to appearing simultaneously amongst all people in the Middle East. And other nations around the world would likewise bear evidence to that one common cuneiform script. But that is not the case.

So the fact that there has never been any evidence found that different nations around the world at one point all used the same cuneiform script to express information in writing tells us that human beings did not have any cuneiform script before the division into 70 language groups, and certainly not in the time before the flood.

So there is no way that Enoch actually WROTE any kind of book. Enoch had SPOKEN certain things, and some of the things Enoch had SAID were preserved by word of mouth, until at some point much later after the flood somebody perhaps wrote down some statements that had been orally preserved from Enoch’s sayings, although even that is highly unlikely.

We might also just briefly digress to look at the origin of the Hebrew script.



Most people in God’s Church do not understand that Moses most likely didn’t write in Hebrew characters! The written Hebrew alphabet most likely did not yet exist at the time of Moses, a time when the Israelite people were nothing more than slaves. Moses quite likely wrote his books in some form of cuneiform script! Moses had been schooled in Egypt, and at that time the Egyptians did not have any kind of alphabet. The only form of writing amongst the Egyptians at that time was the system of "Egyptian hieroglyphs", comparable to and parallel to cuneiform script. But their slaves, who had only grown into a nation during the previous 200 years, did not yet have their own form of writing

The original Hebrew script is known as paleo-Hebrew script, and it only developed around 1100 B.C., roughly at the time of Samuel. Paleo-Hebrew is derived from and closely related to the Phoenician alphabet, which was really the very first attempt to develop a phonetic script, a writing system based on the sounds of words rather than being based on the meaning of words. The Phoenician alphabet script was invented around 1500 B.C., with some scholars placing it as early as perhaps 1800 B.C. With the Phoenician script writing was becoming more phonological.

This new Phoenician system, which was later copied by paleo-Hebrew, invented a written alphabet, a specific symbol for each consonantal sound; i.e. an alphabet that did not include any symbols or letters for the vowels. The reason for this approach was simple: in the Semitic languages the meanings of words are based on consonantal roots which allow for the removal of vowels without loss of meaning. Generally speaking the vowels in such a word don’t affect the basic meaning; so therefore why have any symbols to represent those vowels?

Note! This feature of Semitic languages of not having any characters for sounds that don’t affect the meaning of a word (i.e. vowels) is a very clear indication that the Phoenician alphabet (and thus also the Hebrew alphabet) was a development based on the cuneiform script. In the cuneiform pictographs every stroke had to have a meaning, and nothing "meaningless" was ever depicted. So when people with a cuneiform script mentality set out to invent a new script in which the symbols would represent specific sounds, it didn’t occur to them to invent symbols that would represent sounds which do not affect the meaning of a word. Today we would say that the inventors of the Phoenician script couldn’t think "outside of the box".

Think this through carefully. Semitic alphabets are primitive alphabets which originated from a cuneiform script mentality. And instead of being "doctored" or "upgraded" about 1500 - 2000 years later by the addition of vowel pointings, the Semitic alphabets should have been ditched and rejected in favor of a clearly more efficient and more effective system of writing (i.e. one with a letter or combination of letters for every possible sound in the language). But that doesn’t happen because people will cling to their traditions no matter how primitive they may be. Anyway, the Hebrew alphabet without any letters for vowels in it points directly back to originating from the system of cuneiform writing.

Today such alphabets that do not include any vowels are known as "abjads". So written biblical Hebrew before the invention of any vowel pointings was an abjad.

[COMMENT: In Greek and in the other European languages vowels play a major role in establishing the meanings of words. The consonantal roots are seldom enough to establish the meaning of a word. Therefore when the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet to their own needs (around 900 B.C.), they thought "outside of the box" and they also invented symbols to represent all of the vowel sounds in their language. And this feature of having specific symbols for every vowel was copied by all other written European languages.]

Moses would have been trained in reading the Egyptian hieroglyphs, and he very possibly was also schooled in reading and writing the cuneiform script. While it is unlikely, perhaps paleo-Hebrew was already in its infancy in the days of Moses? In that case Moses perhaps had written his five books in the abjad of paleo-Hebrew? However, if Moses had not written his books in the paleo-Hebrew script, then in the days of Samuel the extant Old Testament books would have been converted into this paleo-Hebrew script. This conversion from the cuneiform script into the paleo-Hebrew script in the days of Samuel would have ensured that nothing was lost in this transition, as Samuel was a servant of God with whom God literally spoke at various times (1 Samuel 3:11-14; 1 Samuel 8:7; etc.), and Samuel would without question have had God’s guidance in this conversion of the text to a more effective script. And all subsequent Old Testament books would from then onwards also have been written in paleo-Hebrew.

At any rate, centuries later the Assyrians took the Phoenician alphabet and simplified each letter so that they mostly formed more or less rectangular lines. In our terms today, the Assyrians invented "a new font" for the Phoenician abjad. That "font" was then accepted by the Babylonian Empire and later by the Persian Empire. And after the captivity of the Jewish people the priest Ezra changed "the font" for all the books of the Old Testament from the paleo-Hebrew script to this Assyrian script, which is also known as "the Jewish square script". And that is the Hebrew script that is still in use today amongst the Jews. On the other hand, the Samaritans at the time of Ezra retained the paleo-Hebrew script. And so the Jews and the Samaritans employ different "fonts" for their respective abjads (although they have since added a system of vowel points).

Anyway, Enoch himself didn’t write any "book". And there is no evidence to suggest that cuneiform writing even existed before the flood. Also, the very precise statement "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints" would have been virtually impossible to express in any cuneiform script without an enormous amount of ambiguity in interpretation in any such sequence of cuneiform pictographs. The pictographs were imprecise and crude in their ability to make very specific unambiguous abstract statements. And Enoch didn’t write any book.

So now let’s get back to Jude’s statement regarding Enoch.



Let’s look again at the two verses in question.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince (Greek means "to convict", i.e. find guilty) all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14-15)

In verse 12 Jude had said that "these" are twice dead, i.e. they will die the second death. In verse 13 Jude continued this line of thinking by comparing their punishment to the punishment for Satan and the demons. And then in verse 14 Jude presents a quotation from Enoch.

WHY does Jude present this quotation? WHAT is Jude hoping to achieve with this quotation? Is Jude changing the subject and the focus of everything he has presented thus far? Or is Jude continuing with the exact same focus he has presented all along? Jude himself provides the answers to these questions.


When Jude says "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints", Jude is not trying to focus on "when" Jesus Christ will come! No, Jude is focusing on WHY Jesus Christ will come! Can you see that? And this particular "why Christ will come" is not really true for the second coming of Jesus Christ. This "why Christ will come" applies to a different occasion.

Jude’s focus with this quotation from Enoch is on the time when Jesus Christ will "execute judgment UPON ALL"! Jude’s focus is on the time when Jesus Christ will "CONVICT all that are ungodly"!

Yes, there will be a pouring out of plagues when Jesus Christ returns. But Enoch’s prophecy was not about the seven last plagues which are poured out in the presence of Jesus Christ and all those in the first resurrection. Not at all! Enoch’s prophecy was about the time when judgment will be executed UPON ALL! Enoch’s prophecy was about the time when ALL THE UNGODLY DEEDS EVER COMMITTED BY ANY HUMAN BEINGS will be punished!

And that most assuredly does not occur at the second coming of Christ!

Can you understand that Enoch’s prophecy was really about what will happen at the end of the 100-year period when "whosoever is not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire" (see Revelation 20:15)?

Enoch’s prophecy was really about Malachi 4:1-3. Here are those verses.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 4:1-3)

That is the time to which Enoch’s prophecy refers and that is what Jude understood! That is the time when God "executes judgment upon all". That is the time when God will "convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him"!

So irrespective of how this prophecy by Enoch was known to Jude, we should understand very clearly that Jude was not quoting Enoch to refer to the second coming of Christ! Jude was really quoting Enoch to refer to the time of Malachi 4:1-3, when Jesus Christ and ALL the saints, none excluded, will witness the wicked becoming ashes under our feet, a time just before God creates the new heaven and the new Earth.


Look at Jude’s state of mind.

Jude was so furious with these false teachers that, had he thought it feasible, he might have called fire down from heaven to consume all of them. Instead Jude did the next best thing: he quoted a prophecy from Enoch that refers to the exact time when these false teachers will be burnt into ashes under the feet of the saints. Every other statement in the Book of Jude expresses this feeling for these "ungodly men" who were deliberately leading some of God’s people astray, and this quotation of something Enoch had said is along exactly the same lines.

In his own mind Jude wasn’t quoting anything that referred to the second coming of Christ, when the first resurrection takes place and a perfect system of government is established over human beings, when people will live in peace and every man will sit "under his vine and under his fig tree" (Micah 4:4). No! Jude was quoting something that he understood to refer to the time when all the ungodly will be punished by being plucked up by their roots and in effect become "twice dead".

Now let’s go back to the time of Enoch, and let’s try to see Enoch’s prophecy from Enoch’s point of view.



We have in the past looked at Enoch’s prophecy from our point of view. This is something we do all the time, virtually on a daily basis, right? Somebody says something and we then interpret what the person has said from our point of view, irrespective of whether that agrees with what the speaker had meant to convey or not. We almost always interpret what other people say from our point of view. And we have also done that with Enoch’s prophecy.

Jude accepted and presented Enoch’s prophecy from Enoch’s point of view. We, on the other hand, have thus far always seen Enoch’s prophecy from our point of view. And we were pointed in this direction of seeing Enoch’s prophecy from our point of view by translators and commentators, all of whom have looked at Jude’s quotation from our point of view. That approach by translators is even obvious from the way they have divided Enoch’s prophecy into two separate verses, attempting to separate the statement "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints" from the very purpose of that coming, which is "to execute judgment" and "to convict all that are ungodly".

Now our Church of God point of view involves two comings of Jesus Christ and three resurrections. But that was not Enoch’s point of view. And God didn’t give Enoch any prophecies from our point of view; God gave those prophecies to Enoch from Enoch’s point of view. And so it behooves us to seek to understand Enoch’s point of view. Jude clearly understood that point of view, and we need to do the same.

As already mentioned, Enoch was born in the year 622 after Adam’s creation, and his life ended in the year 987, well before the birth of Noah. Apart from Abel, Enoch was the first person ever to have "walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). And when he walked with God, God told Enoch a lot of things. So Enoch was really the first human being who could communicate information from God to man. In a sense he was the first human spokesman for God, the function which was later carried out by prophets.

And so Jude tells us that Enoch "prophesied". That raises the question: ABOUT WHAT DID ENOCH PROPHESY?

To understand the answer to this question, we really need to understand the key features of the plan of salvation that was in force at the time of Enoch. Enoch’s prophecies would have involved and explained those key features of God’s plan for mankind.

Those key features are explained in my recent lengthy article entitled "THE PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION AND HOW THE LAST GREAT DAY CAME TO BE A PART OF IT". This is not the place to repeat all of that information. But in a nutshell:

At the time of Enoch, and right up until the flood, it was still God’s intention to give all human beings only one long lifetime, without any recourse to "a second resurrection". God’s plan at that time had no provision for Jesus Christ to come as a human being and to give His life for our sins. It was a plan that made it possible for anyone who was motivated to do so, to walk with God. And all those who would end up choosing to "walk with God" would eventually be granted salvation and changed into immortal spirit beings. God’s plan for mankind started with Christ’s arrival on this Earth in Genesis 1, and it was God’s intention that any human being could voluntarily choose to walk with Christ. It was God’s intention that at the end of the time period that God had allotted for this process, all those who had responded correctly to God would form the group known to Enoch as "His saints", while all the "ungodly" would be permanently blotted out. Keep in mind that it was Enoch who used the word "ungodly" four times in one sentence! Enoch was focusing on the time of punishment for all the ungodly. And Enoch was seeing the world from his pre-flood perspective!

So when Enoch prophesied that "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints", then that was a direct reference to Christ coming at the end of God’s plan of salvation for mankind with all those who had submitted themselves to God, and then God would punish the ungodly by burning them up together with this whole planet so that the ungodly would become ashes under the feet of the saints (see Malachi 4:1-3 again).

That was Enoch’s understanding and that is what Enoch prophesied about.

Let’s briefly look at the Greek words in the expression "with ten thousands of His saints" in Jude 1:14. Here is the corresponding Greek expression: "en muriasin hagiais autou". (In the Byzantine text this word order is changed to "en hagiais muriasin autou", but that is inconsequential for us.)

The key Greek word for us in this text is "muriasin", the dative plural of the feminine noun "murias". While this word is used at times to mean "10,000", it is also frequently simply used to refer to a great multitude. For example:

In Luke 12:1 it is translated as "an innumerable multitude".

In Acts 19:19 it is translated as "thousand" in the expression "fifty thousand pieces".

In Acts 21:20 it is translated as "thousands".

In Hebrews 12:2 it is translated as "an innumerable company (of angels)".

Now the translators of the New Testament were obviously familiar with Revelation 14:1 which shows Jesus Christ returning with a group of 144,000 saints. So when they translated Jude 1:14, the KJV translators were simply "trying to help along" Enoch’s prophecy to be somewhat closer to the number stated in Revelation 14:1. This implied association with Revelation 14:1 was a mistake, based on a lack of understanding on the part of the translators.

The earliest translations all translated this Greek word as "thousands". This includes the following translations: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva Bible, Bishops Bible, Calvin’s Bible, Martin Luther’s German translation, etc. The NIV translates this as "thousands upon thousands". This Greek word is translated as "myriads" in the following translations amongst others: Darby, Murdoch NT, RSV, Williams NT, etc.

The point is that it is well understood that the prophecy of Enoch should really read basically as follows:

"The Lord comes with a large multitude of His holy ones ...".

Enoch simply stated that Christ would come with a large multitude of saints, but without giving any hints at all as to the precise number of individuals involved. This is something God had revealed to Enoch when Enoch walked with God. And this reflected the goal of God’s plan for mankind before the flood. God was prepared to accept whatever number of human beings would make that unconditional commitment to submit themselves to God’s rule over their lives.

The only reason God can specify a very precise number of people for a certain phase of His plan is because that plan involves human beings in two distinctly different groups. God can specify the precise number for those in the first resurrection only because God can be selective in which human beings to call and to work with. And if one person doesn’t work out, then God can assign that "crown" to another person ... until the precise number God wants is achieved.

But when all of humanity is involved then even God cannot predict the precise number of those who will eventually respond correctly to God, because such a prediction would contradict the guarantee of a totally free and independent will for every single human being. So therefore God simply refers to the total number of people from the millennium together with those from the second resurrection as "a great multitude which no man could number" (Revelation 7:9). And likewise, for the plan that was in effect before the flood God simply revealed to Enoch that "a large multitude" would eventually respond to God in the same way that Enoch was responding to God, without really indicating any specific number.

Besides that, we should now be able to see that with his prophecy Enoch was not focusing on the number of "saints" involved; Enoch was really focusing on the fact that all the ungodly people he had to contend with during his lifetime would be punished by God at that time (by being blotted out). And Jude correctly understood this focus in Enoch’s prophecy. And so Jude quoted Enoch to also focus specifically on the time when all the ungodly men, for whom he, Jude, couldn’t think of enough bad things to say about them, would likewise meet their punishment.

Do you now clearly understand the prophecy of Enoch? Then you should be able to see that it doesn’t in any way clash with the explanation that I have provided for the progressive development of God’s plan for mankind.

By the way: HOW did Jude know about this prophecy from Enoch when it is not recorded in any way in the Old Testament or in any book written by Enoch? Jude had lived for many years under the same roof with Jesus Christ, as a half-brother. I suspect that Jude either heard Jesus Christ say this at some point, since Jesus Christ was the One with whom Enoch had walked; or Jesus Christ gave this information to Jude under inspiration at the precise time when Jude was looking for a way to emphatically state his warning to the Church. But he didn’t get this information from some fake "Book of Enoch".

And one last thought: When we understand the powerful and extremely confrontational way Enoch warned the people of his time, in effect threatening them with the lake of fire, we should be able to also understand why Enoch faced such fierce opposition, to the point that God "took him away" from all the persecution he faced. Very likely Enoch spelled out what "ungodly deeds" he meant, and people would have hated to hear him speak. Very likely Enoch confronted people with their sins much like John the Baptist confronted King Herod with his sin. And people would have hated Enoch. So God cut Enoch’s life short at a mere 365 years, i.e. "mere" by pre-flood standards.

Frank W. Nelte