|Commentary on Enoch’s Second Vision
from the Book of Enoch, Chapter 85:1-5.
History of the World
85:1 And after this I saw another dream, and I will show the whole dream to thee, my son.
85:2 And Enoch lifted up his voice and spake to his son Methuselah: ‘To thee, my son, will I
speak: hear my words—incline thine ear to the dream-vision of thy father.
85:3 Before I took thy mother Edna, I saw in a vision on my bed, and behold a bull came forth
from the earth, and that bull was white; and after it came forth a heifer, and along with
this latter came forth two bulls, one of them black and the other red.
85:4 And that black bull gored the red one and pursued him over the earth, and thereupon I
could no longer see that red bull.
85:5 But that black bull grew and that heifer went with him, and I saw many oxen proceeded
from him which resembled and followed him.
Enoch’s first Vision [Enoch 83-84] was a revelation of the utter destruction of the earth by the flood of Noah’s time. This first vision was utterly devastating to Enoch and caused him much anguish, but it was doubtless some preparation for this second vision. This second dream, being much more comprehensive, was even more painful and distressing to him.
85:3 Here begins an allegorical picture of human history. Adam, this first white bull, and Cheveh (Eve), this first heifer, gave birth to Cain, a black bull, and to Abel, a red bull. It is noteworthy that Abel was not a white bull. Although he was more righteous than Cain, and although “Yehuveh had respect unto Abel and to his offering,” he is nonetheless represented as a red bull, the same symbol later used in reference to Japheth, Noah’s second son. Genesis 4:4.
85:4 The black bull, Cain, gored the red one, Abel, killing him and burying him, so he could no longer be seen on earth. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Genesis 4:8.
85:5 More likely the Hebrew reads “a heifer went with him.” This far more likely indicates that Cain took a wife with him than that the first heifer, his mother, went with him. The Book of Jubilees 4:1, 9 supports this, stating that “Cain took Awan his sister to himself as wife, and she brought forth for him Enoch.” [Not this Enoch.] Yet, though Cheveh [Eve] did not go into physical exile with Cain, she may well have gone with him in heart, for she apparently inclined to his rebellious attitudes rather than to Adam’s obedience.
Originally Written: 15 September 2006
Latest Update: 9 December 2011
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. . . continued from Enoch 84