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Henoch

Name of several individuals in Scripture

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Henoch (Gr. Enoch, Heb. HNWK), the name of the son of Cain (Gen., iv, 17, 18), of a nephew of Abraham (Gen., xxv, 4), of the first-born of Ruben (Gen., xlvi, 9), and of the son of Jared and the father of Mathusala (Gen., v, 18 sq.). The last-named patriarch is the most illustrious bearer of the name. At the time of the birth of Mathusala Henoch was sixty-five years of age, “and all the days of Henoch were three hundred and sixty-five years” (Gen., v, 23). Instead of the clause “and he died”, added to the sketches concerning the other patriarchs, the text says of Henoch: “And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him” (Gen., v, 24). The inspired writer of Heb., xi, 5, adds: “By faith Henoch was translated, that he should not see death.” Ecclus., xliv, 16, and xlix, 16, intimates the same truth about the patriarch. The Epistle of St. Jude (14, 15) shows us Henoch in the light of a prophet, announcing the judgment of God upon the ungodly. Some writers have supposed that St. Jude quoted these words from the so-called apocryphal Book of Henoch (see Apocrypha); but, since they do not fit into its context (Ethiopic), it is more reasonable to suppose that they were interpolated into the apocryphal book from the text of St. Jude. The Apostle must have borrowed the words from Jewish tradition.

A. J. MAAS


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