Friday, 31 January 2014

Some quotations from the Book of Enoch with some explanations

"And one of those four went to that white bull and instructed him in a secret, without his being terrified: he was born a bull and became a man, and built for himself a great vessel and dwelt thereon; and three bulls dwelt with him in that vessel and they were covered in. And again I raised mine eyes towards heaven and saw a lofty roof, with seven water torrents thereon, and those torrents flowed with much water into an enclosure. And I saw again, and behold fountains were opened on the surface of that great enclosure, and that water began to swell and rise upon the surface, and I saw that enclosure till all its surface was covered with water. And the water, the darkness, and mist increased upon it; and as I looked at the height of that water, that water had risen above the height of that enclosure, and was streaming over that enclosure, and it stood upon the earth. And all the cattle of that enclosure were gathered together until I saw how they sank and were swallowed up and perished in that water. But that vessel floated on the water, while all the oxen and elephants and camels and asses sank to the bottom with all the animals, so that I could no longer see them, and they were not able to escape, (but) perished and sank into the depths. And again I saw in the vision till those water torrents were removed from that high roof, and the chasms of the earth were levelled up and other abysses were opened. Then the water began to run down into these, till the earth became visible; but that vessel settled on the earth, and the darkness retired and light appeared. But that white bull which had become a man came out of that vessel, and the three bulls with him, and one of those three was white like that bull, and one of them was red as blood, and one black: and that white bull departed from them. And they began to bring forth beasts of the field and birds, so that there arose different genera: lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, hyenas, wild boars, foxes, squirrels, swine, falcons, vultures, kites, eagles, and ravens; and among them was born a white bull. And they began to bite one another; but that white bull which was born amongst them begat a wild ass and a white bull with it, and the wild asses multiplied. But that bull which was born from him begat a black wild boar and a white sheep; and the former begat many boars, but that sheep begat twelve sheep. And when those twelve sheep had grown, they gave up one of them to the asses, and those asses again gave up that sheep to the wolves, and that sheep grew up among the wolves. And the Lord brought the eleven sheep to live with it and to pasture with it among the wolves: and they multiplied and became many flocks of sheep. And the wolves began to fear them, and they oppressed them until they destroyed their little ones, and they cast their young into a river of much water: but those sheep began to cry aloud on account of their little ones, and to complain unto their Lord. And a sheep which had been saved from the wolves fled and escaped to the wild asses; and I saw the sheep how they lamented and cried, and besought their Lord with all their might, till that Lord of the sheep descended at the voice of the sheep from a lofty abode, and came to them and pastured them."

This actually gives a fairly nice detail of animal symbolism for the various nations.  In context, this forms part of a vision or dream sequence within the text.  Enoch is dreaming, and sees a white bull.  That white bull is Noah, who lived in the days of the deluge.  A great flood appears and destroys all life on earth with its waters.  From Noah come many nations, depicted here as animals.  The elephants, camels, and asses who drown in the flood are the giants, Nephilim, and Elioud who lived on the earth in Noah's day.  From the white bull/man (Noah) comes a white bull (Shem), a red bull (Ham), and a black bull (Japheth).  The various animals represent the various nations.  The lions are the Babylonians, the tigers/leopards are the Assyrians, the wolves are the Egyptians, the dogs are the Philistines, hyenas are Syrians, wild boars are Edomites and Amalekites, foxes are Ammonites and Moabites, eagles are Macedonians, falcons are Thracians, kites are Ptolemies, ravens are Seleukids, and wild asses are Midianites.

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