2 Enoch 7:1

Secrets of Enoch

1 Those men took me and led me up to the second heaven, and showed me darkness, greater than earthly darkness. There I saw prisoners hanging, watched, awaiting the immense and boundless judgment, and these spirits appeared darker than earthly darkness, constantly weeping at all hours. 2 I said to the men who were with me: 'Why are these being constantly tortured?' They answered me: 'These are God's defectors, who did not obey God's commands but followed their own will, and turned away with their leader, who is also confined on the fifth heaven.' 3 I felt a deep sadness for them, and they greeted me, saying: 'Man of God, pray for us to the Lord.' I replied to them: 'Who am I, a mere human, to pray for spirits? Who knows where I am going, or what will happen to me? Or who will pray for me?'

1 Peter 3:19

New Testament

15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. 18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit. 19 In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water.

 Notes and References

"... What is to be noted and stressed about this passage is that the content of the message to the fallen spirits is clearly negative and condemnatory. If, as seems likely, the story of Jesus in 1 Peter 3 is being patterned after this, then we are meant to assume that his message to these spirits was one of judgment, or perhaps even triumph over the spirits. Notice as well that in 1 Enoch 10:4–6 (cf. 1 Enoch 67) these fallen spirits are said to be imprisoned in the burning valley of Gehenna or Dudael. It is worth noting that 1 Enoch 21:10 and 2 Enoch 7:1–3 and 18:3 tell us quite specifically that we should call the dwelling place of these fallen spirits a prison. First Enoch 18:14 speaks of the prison house for the stars and the powers. The location of this place is assumed to be below or within the earth, not above it, just as Tartarus is assumed to be in the lower regions of Hades ..."

Witherington, Ben Torah Old and New: Exegesis, Intertextuality, and Hermeneutics (pp. 397-401) Fortress Press, 2018

 User Comments

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