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orion 1 (H)enoch 108: Cont'd Discussion

To: Stephen Goranson & The Group
 Fm: Donald Goodell, Pleasanton CA
Ref: 1 Henoch 108: Provenance & Integrity (Cont'd; PART 2)


As you point out, there are three hypotheses on your proverbial table
regarding the nature and provenance of Ethiopic I Henoch 108 (none are
mututally exclusive however). I have a few points to add to my previous
email (the first one was a little long, so here is the rest of my comments
which will include some observations on the Qumran fragmenta).

Summary of Observations for 1 Henoch 108 so far discussed:

l. The whole chapter of 108 (only found in the Ethiopic texts, and absent
from the Greek, Latin and Qumran MSS) displays evidence of "insertions" (or
"patches") and "marginalia" which were pasted together from various ancient
written-text sources (most likely Essenoid, and almost certainly
pre-Christian with its reference to observance of the Torah), using a king
of link word-approach, the sum total of which cannot be regarded as having
been designed by the original (Hebraic-Aramaic) author(s) as  a unity (at
least as it stands in the text of the present Ethiopic) from a strictly
grammatical point of view.

2. The Ethiopic grammar shifts wildly (from 1st person singular to 3rd
person plural  to 2nd person plural to hortative 2nd person plural, back to
1st person singular etc.) throughout Chapter 108, suggesting a
splicing/insertion of originally discrete sections was carried out (or
carried over from earlier attempts perhaps even in the Aramaic text(s) by
the final copysists.

3. The fact that the phrase "Another Book of Henoch, which he wrote for his
son Methuselah..." occurs in chapter 108 suggests that we are dealing with
possible fragments of other Henochian literature (such as the socalled Book
of Noah, or the Book of Shem, or the Book of Giants etc.) which we have
found traces of among the Qumran fragmenta.

4. The whole of Ethiopic I Henoch displays traces of textual insertions and
re-ordering of large patches of verses (especially when compared with even
the few Qumran fragments, that have come to the light of publication); see
discussion of chapter 91, and 93 below. The book commonly known as I Henoch
may actually be a hotchpotch of several books crammed into one (the same
procedure can be seen after a close examination of II Corinthians, where an
editor/copyist or copyists (later than the time of Paul's writing) has
merged at least three Pauline epistle fragments into a single Greek

see for example : 1Henoch 14: 1 ("This is the Book of the Words of
Righteousness and the chastisement of the eternal Watchers..." and I Henoch
37:1 "Book The Second: The Vision which Henoch saw the Second Time, the
Vision of Wisdom, which Enoch, son of Jared....saw", or chapter 72: "Book
the Third, This is the Book of the Itinerary of the Luminaries of
Heaven....") and so forth....

In other words, the compilers of Ethiopian I Henoch seem to have placed
together all of their Henochian literature between two (codex) covers, from
(orig. Aramaic) material that was originally written and copied out on
perhaps a half a dozen or kore (discrete) scrolls.

Further Considerations for 1 Henoch 108: LINK WORD (CATCHWORD) ASSOCIATION

Ethiopic textus) I Henoch Chapter 108:1-2-3-4,5-6-7-8

108:1 "OBSERVING the Torah in the last days"  LINKED BY CATCHWORD TO  108:2
You who HAVE OBSERVED (the Torah) shall wait patiently...

108:2  "You who have observed (the Torah) SHALL WAIT PATIENTLY in all the
days... "  LINKED BY CATCHWORD TO 108:3  "As for you, WAIT PATIENTLY until
sin passes away...they shall cry and lament in a place that is an invisible
wilderness and burn in the fire..."

108:3b "Their seed shall be destroyed forever and their souls shall perish
and die; they shall cry and lament in a place that is in AN INVISIBLE
wilderness and shall burn in the fire---for there exists land there as
there exists here upon the earth." LINKED  BY CATCHWORD TO 108:4 -5 "I also
saw there something like AN INVISIBLE  cloud; and though I could see that
it was utterly darkened, yet I could not see the flame....and he said to
me, This place which you see--into it shall be taken the spirits of sinners
and blasphemers, and those who do evil..."

108:6 "And he said unto me, This place which you see---into it shall be
taken the SPIRITS OF SINNERS and blasphemers, and those who do evil, and
those who [alter] the things that the Lord [of Spirits] hath done..."
LINKED BY CATCH WORD TO: 108:7 "For some of these things were written and
sealed above in Heaven so that the [Angels] may read them, and know that
which is to befall the SPIRITS OF SINNERS, those ones who have erred, as
well as those who have defiled their bodies, revenged themselves upon [the]
God [of Glory]..."


108:7b "As well as those who have defiled THEIR BODIES, revenged themselves
upon [the] God [of Glory], and consorted with evildoers..." LINKED BY
CATCHWORD TO 108:8 "Those who LOVE GOD (see #6 below)  and have loved
neither gold nor silver nor all the [material] things that are in the
world, but have [rather] given over THEIR BODIES to suffering---who from
the time of their very creation have not longed after earthly food..."


108:9 "And they have witnessed all of this, the Lord [of Spirits] having
put them through many trials; only [by this] were their spirits [purified]
so that they might be able TO BLESS his Name..." LINKED BY CATCHWORD to
108:10-12 "And I have recounted in [these] books all of their BLESSINGS; he
shall cause them to be rewarded, for they were all found LOVING GOD (see
above #5) more than their [very breath when they were in the world]...and
now I shall summon their Spirits, born of the Light, and transform those
who were born in darkness----those who shall be rewarded with dishonour, as
they deserve [for their lack of] faithfulness..."


(The Text is  very  corrupt: here -------there is some evident confusion in
the versions between sinners/the righteous in 108:12-15)

108:11ff "So now I shall summon their Spirits, born of the Light, and
transform those who were BORN IN DARKNESS-----those [sinners] who shall be
rewarded with [dishonour] as they deserve..." LINKED BY CATCHWORD TO 108:14
"Then they shall see [the sinners] who were BORN IN DARKNESS being taken
back into the darkness [from whence they came], while [the righteous ones]
shall remain resplendent [in the light]..."


108: 14 "Then they shall see [the sinners] who were born in darkness being
taken back into the darkness [from whence they emerged], whilst [the
Righteous] shall be RESPLENDENT..." LINKED BY CATCHWORD TO 108:15 "[The
sinners] shall lament out loud; and they shall look upon the [Righteous
Ones] being RESPLENDENT..." [reconstruction]


Enough has been shewn above to demonstrate one of the procedures  the
compiler/editor-copyist(s) used to link the discrete passages together to
form the rather jumbled  hotchpotch now found as I Henoch 108 in the
present text of the Ethiopic. As  I pointed out in Part 1 last week, the
same procedure can be found in the canonical Gospels (and Thomas) with
respect to linking together the oracles and pronouncements of Jesus (e.g.
"salt"  in Mark 9:49-50) where three discreet ( & fragmented) "sayings" are
artificially joined together as if it were one single thought or sentence.
Thislink-word technique was especially useful for "preaching purposes"
during the early years of Christianity when the message was passed on
during a primarily "oral stage" before the Gospels were set in writing
(e.g. AD 40-60); perhaps the linkage in I Henoch also points to oral
sources (the linkage seems to resemble "memory joggers"), although it would
stretch credibility a little to imagine that a person or group of persons
could possibly "memorise" the whole of I Henoch and pass it down without
the help of a written text. But it does not rule out the possibility that
certain sections of Ethiopic I Henoch may have been influenced by oral
tradition and the memory of persons who may have come in contact with or
been familiar with Essenic/Henochian literature orally, in many different
"transport" languages (Aramaic, Ethiopic, Greek or even Latin).

NB: There are demonstrable instances elsewhere in the (much older, and
closer to the original)) Aramaic scroll fragments of I Henoch  (found at
Qumran) where the apparently original (or at least, earlier)  order  of the
text verses can be seen. Examination of the extant published Qumran
fragments of Aramaic I Henoch (4Q201 to 4Q212) shews for example (4Q212 =
4QEn g-Ar Column 4)  a "patch of verses"  in a far more coherent
grammatical and logical order (1 Henoch 93:9-10 followed (after a blank
space-----i.e. a deliberately-spaced scribal lacuna)  immediately by  I
Henoch 91:11-17

4Q212 (4QEn g Ar) Column IV

"..but only if their deeds will be at fault. At its close, the Elect shall
be chosen as Witnesses of the Judgement from the Plant of Everlasting
Justice; they shall be given wisdom and knowledge seven-fold. They shall
uproot the foundations of Violence, and the works of deceit in it, in order
to carry [justice] out. After this [period] shall come the eighth week, the
Week of Justice, in which [a sword?] shall be given to all the Righteous,
for them to carry out Just Judgement against the Wicked, who will be
delivered into their hands. At the end of this [week] they will gain riches
in Justice, and there shall be built the Temple of the Kingdom of the Great
One, in his magnificence, for all eternal generations. And following that,
the ninth week [shall come]; in it shall be revealed both Justice and
Judgement to all the sons of the whole earth. All those who have acted
wickedly shall vanish from the face of the earth, and shall be hurled
[down] into an [eternal abyss]. All [men shall see] the just and eternal
way. And after [that shall come the tenth week; in its seventh part] there
shall be eternal Judgement and the moment of the Great Decision, for he
will carry [out revenge in the midst of all the holy ones]. In this [week]
the first Heaven shall pass away [and there shall appear a new heaven and
all the forces] of heaven shall rise throughout all eternity, shining
[seven times more brightly; and after this, there will be] innumerable
weeks, [the number of which shall not have an end [for ever, in which
goodness and justice shall be achieved..."

I have marked with an asterisk (*) where the "8th week" verses suddenly
(and illogically) appear out of nowhere in the Ethiopic:

ETHIOPIC VERSION (CODEX LEAFs from Ethiopic I Henoch "Apocalypse of Weeks"
chapter 91  Kebran 9/II, Hammerschmidt Collection, 15th Century AD)

" They shall be thrown down into the Judgement of fire, and shall perish in
wrath and in the force of Eternal Judgement. Then the Righteous One shall
arise from his sleep, and the Wise One shall arise; and he shall be given
unto [the people]. and through him the roots of oppression shall be cut
off. The sinners shall be destroyed and by the sword they shall be cut off
along with the blasphemers throughout the whole earth; and all those who
design oppression and commit blasphemy shall perish by the knife. (*)  Then
after that shall occur the second eighth week--which is the week of
Righteousness.  A sword shall be given [to them] in order that Judgement
might be executed in Righteousness upon all the oppressors, and the sinners
shall be delivered into the hands of the Righetous Ones. At its completion,
they shall acquire great things through their righteousness. A house shall
be built for the Great King in glory for ever. Then after that in the ninth
week the righteous judgement shall be revealed to the whole world. .."

GENERAL OBSERVATION: I Henoch is composed of hundreds of identifiably
discrete sections or "patches"  (from the very  large  patches comprising
20-30 sentences or more---to the very small:  some containing dangling
parts of a single sentence or thought.  The original order of these patches
is not now known with certainty  (possibly these patches were re-ordered
during the many copy/translation-procedures from ancient times, especially
when the transition from "scroll" to "codex" around the 2nd to 3rd century
AD allowed for different "leafs" of the codex  to  fall out of their
original places through constant handling) The present order of the verses
which comprise the whole of  Ethiopian I Henoch should not be taken as
representing the intention(s) of the original author(s). The final chapter
in the Ethiopic (absent from the Greek, Latin and Aramaic fragment
versions) of I Henoch shews evidence of "patchwork" to a greater degree
than elsewhere in the book.

Chapters 37-71 ("The Similitudes of Henoch") show a later development in
the Henochian literary genre, with traces of Christian "overpainting" , or
at least show colourings from 1st century thought; it is not surprising
that these chapters are missing altogether from the Qumran fragments( and
chapters 37-71 are generally regarded to be later by at least a century
than most of the rest of the text of I Henoch as represented by the

NB: The point is, again, that the Ethiopic I Henoch looks more and more (as
a whole) to be a hotchpotch of different books and fragments from different
eras, all copied (from originally another language, and from another
medium)  into a single------artificiallly connected and


2. Qumran's fragment 4Q204 (Column II) dated around 180 B.C. (paleography +
carbon dating) is in a Hebraic Aramaic dialect fairly common to the Dead
Sea Scrolls (Essenic in outlook), ends a "scroll column section" with 107:2
with the words:

"Now go to Lamech, my Son, and [say unto him] that this boy is indeed (and
without deception) his son."

where there is a deliberate blank space of nearly an inch following the
last word. This scribal lacuna is a stylised method of separating one text
or text section (or column of Hebrew/Aramaic) from another in the Qumran
literature. Although no complete "scroll" of I Henoch has yet come to light
from Qumran , there is enough size to the Fragment listed above to see that
the above-quoted sentence marked the end of at least a section of the book.
In other words, according to the Qumran Aramaic version of I Henoch, the
book may well have ended at 107:2 (omitting altogether 107:3, which is also
absent in the Greek of  the Chester Beatty Papyrus).

This lends weight to the notion that chapter 108 which follows on the heels
of 107:3 did not form part of the original text, but was patched on at the
end from bits and pieces of other Henochian literature, some of it as old
as the oldest sections of the book itself.

I will address some more anomalies of the Qumran fragmenta as they bear
upon the Ethiopic I Henoch under Part 3.

Any comments?

Donald Goodell (B.A. Hons.Theol. Dunelm)
Pleasanton, California

For private reply, e-mail to Donald.Goodell@ascend.com
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