2 Enoch 24:3

Secrets of Enoch

1 And the Lord summoned me, and said to me: Enoch, sit down on my left with Gabriel. 2 And I bowed down to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to me: Enoch, beloved, all that you see, all things that are standing finished I tell to you even before the very beginning, all that I created from non-being, and visible (physical) things from invisible (spiritual). 3 Hear, Enoch, and take in these my words, for not to My angels have I told my secret, and I have not told them their rise, nor my endless realm, nor have they understood my creating, which I tell you today. 4 For before all things were visible (physical), I alone used to go about in the invisible (spiritual) things, like the sun from east to west, and from west to east. 5 But even the sun has peace in itself, while I found no peace, because I was creating all things, and I conceived the thought of placing foundations, and of creating visible (physical) creation.

4 Ezra 8:62

2 Esdras

61 My day of judgment is now close at hand, 62 but I have not made this known to all; only to you and a few like you. 63 ‘My lord,’ I replied, ‘you have now revealed to me the many signs which you are going to perform in the last days; but you have not told me when that will be.’

 Notes and References

"... The third insight that the roots of some aspects of Gnosticism are in Judaism is the most important. The major emphasis in Gnosticism-namely that salvation is only through secret knowledge reserved only for the elect-is already stressed in many sectors of Jewish apocalypticism. Unfortunately, this dimension of Early Judaism is not widely perceived, and it would be helpful to illustrate it. Note the following references to secret salvific knowledge in Early Judaism: 1 Enoch concludes with the words, 'Here ends the Revelation of the secrets of Enoch' (1 Enoch 108:15). According to 2 Enoch the wise and great scholar Enoch records in 366 books all knowledge of the heavens, the earth, and human creatures. God says to Enoch, 'Listen, Enoch, and pay attention to these words of mine! For not even to my angels have I explained my secrets ... as I am making them known to you today' (2 Enoch 24:3). This revelation results in Enoch's being able later to tell his children the following: 'And now therefore, my children, I know everything ...' (2 Enoch 40:1). The import of this knowledge is moral exhortations because God 'demands pure hearts' (2 Enoch 45:3). Enoch hands on the wisdom, and his books are to be transmitted from generation to generation (2 Enoch 48:6-7), not because of esoteric knowledge but because of moral truths. The wisdom is God's will, and obeying him brings happiness ... The author of 4 Ezra emphasizes that Ezra received secret knowledge. Note, for example, 8:62 ... When Ezra has written on the tablets he shall make only some of the writings public. He shall conceal many books and deliver them 'in secret to the wise'. Ezra and the five scribes-under divine inspiration-produced ninety-four books. Twenty-four were made public, but seventy were kept secret 'in order to give them to the wise among your people' (4 Ezra 14:46). Here we encounter many ideas later developed by the gnostics ..."

Charlesworth, James H. Jesus within Judaism: New Light from Exciting Archaeological Discoveries (pp. 81-82) Doubleday, 1988

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.