Aug 7, 2008

How did Jude quote Enoch?

One of the side effects of me choosing a new Bible translation to read through has been an increased interest in Biblical study. I've been reading the Word a lot more recently, trying to go more deeply too. Every day I seem to see something new and cool, whether its a piece of end times theology, some insight into a misunderstood part of the Deity, or just something unique that catches my eye.

Tonight, one of those "eye-catchers" got me. Jude 14-16.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

For those don't know, Enoch is one of the first people mentioned in the Bible, the "seventh from Adam" as it says above. Specifically, Genesis 5:18-24.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch...

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Verse 24 could also be translated, "was not found." Meaning that Enoch did not die; God brought him into heaven. In a moment, Enoch was walking on the earth, and the next moment, he was just gone; not dead, but in the prescence of God. In all of Scripture, this has only happened to two people, Enoch and Elijah. (Bruce once pointed out to me that Hebrews 9:27 says that "It is appointed to men once to die, and after that the judgement...", which then raises the question as to when Enoch and Elijah will die and face the judgement we will all face.)

The Book of Jude was written roughly 69 A.D., yet Enoch lived on this earth roughly 3100 B.C. That's a heck of a time difference. So how did Jude know what Enoch used to say back then? We don't have any other records of what Enoch might have said, how did Jude find out?

My guess is that it was the Holy Spirit. And Jude had no prior knowledge of what Enoch might have said before he wrote it down.

And on a related note...what is he talking about? Surely there weren't many false teachers in Enoch's day; the earth was essentially Godless anyway, no need of false teachers, plus it's not like there were tens of thousands living.

A hunch? Enoch was prophesying about the upcoming Millennial reign of event which still hasn't happened yet.

Crazy stuff.

Oh, and a side WOW moment: Jude 5

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Can that be any clearer? It was JESUS who brought the Jews out of Egypt! It was JESUS power as GOD that did it!

If the Jews can be used as an example of a Christian's walk with God, then it was also Jesus who saved us from our sin, regenerated us clean in the "Red Sea", led us into the wilderness where we learned to rely on Him and cast off sin, and eventually lead us into the promised land of His riches and blessings!

I realize a New Testament passage out of Jude won't convince any Jews that Jesus is their Messiah, but for us believers already, this is powerful stuff!


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