Gnostic Doctrine

Sunday, 6 December 2020

The Preexistence of the Son of Man in the book of Enoch

 The Preexistence of the Son of Man in the book of Enoch 

In this study we will look at the Preexistence of the son of man in the book of Enoch to begin we will have an opening reading from the book of Enoch Chapter 46:

1 And there I saw One who had a head of days,
And His head was white like wool,
And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man,
And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
2 And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that
3 Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said unto me:
This is the son of Man who hath righteousness,
With whom dwelleth righteousness,
And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,
Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him,
And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.
4 And this Son of Man whom thou hast seen
Shall raise up the kings and the mighty from their seats,
[And the strong from their thrones]
And shall loosen the reins of the strong,
And break the teeth of the sinners.
5 [And he shall put down the kings from their thrones and kingdoms]
Because they do not extol and praise Him,
Nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed upon them.
6 And he shall put down the countenance of the strong,
And shall fill them with shame.
And darkness shall be their dwelling,
And worms shall be their bed,
And they shall have no hope of rising from their beds,
Because they do not extol the name of the Lord of Spirits.
[And raise their hands against the Most High],
And tread upon the earth and dwell upon it.
And all their deeds manifest unrighteousness,
And their power rests upon their riches,
And their faith is in the gods which they have made with their hands,
And they deny the name of the Lord of Spirits,
8 And they persecute the houses of His congregations,
And the faithful who hang upon the name of the Lord of Spirits. 
(book of Enoch Chapter 46)

First the book of Enoch is a prophecy about the end times what Enoch saw was to take place in the future not the past

In Chapter One, Enoch is called to prophecy events that will take place in the last generation, in visions given to him by God. In the visions, he describes Jesus' Second Coming with the saints, and the judgment of the unrighteous).

[*And he took up his parable and said "Enoch, a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw
the vision of the Holy One (God) in the heavens, which the Angels (of God) showed me and from them, I heard everything; and from them, I understood as I saw, but (what I saw, and what I heard was) not for this (my) generation, but for a remote one which is 3.) for to come (in the Last Days)."]

(The generation "for to come" that Enoch alludes to in Verse 3. above is this generation, "Our Generation.
" The generation that will see the climax of all the dreams, visions, insights, experiences and wisdom given to Enoch by God concerning the last generation come to pass).

What Enoch sees or saw in this book is going to take place in the last days he did not see the Son of Man in his own time but in the latter generations when he will return at the end time. But some others understand this and Daniel’s reference to mean that the Son of Man had pre-existence before he was born, but this is not so.

Concerning the Elect (the Redeemed), I (Enoch) said and took up my parable concerning them.

BIBLE REFERENCE: [****MARK 4:10-12 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with 
the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, "To you 
has been given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but those who are outside, get everything
in parables, 12 so that while SEEING, they may see and not perceive, and while HEARING, 
they may hear and not UNDERSTAND; otherwise, they might return and be forgiven."] NASU

This helps us to understand chapter 46 evidently the son of man is a symbolic figure 

It should be noted that chapter 46 speaks about the pre-eminence of the son of man before the Lord of spirits: 

And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.

48.1 And in that place I saw an inexhaustible spring of righteousness and many springs of wisdom surrounded it, and all the thirsty drank from them and were filled with wisdom, and their dwelling was with the Righteous and the Holy and the Chosen.
48.2 And at that hour that Son of Man was named, in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, the Head of Days.
48.3 Even before the Sun and the constellations were created, before the Stars of Heaven were made, his name was named in front of the Lord of Spirits.

Just says he was named and chosen, doesn't say he actually existed.
We were also chosen before the foundation of the Earth.

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. (NET)

Rom 4:17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist  (English Standard Version)

just look at the context: after saying that his name was named, it is explained:
"He shall be a staff to the righteous...he shall be a light to the Gentiles..." etc. The naming of a thing is the defining of a thing. This is like when Abraham is named a father of many nations before he has a child, and how Immanuel is named before his time. This has to do with God's purposes. Peter also said that God chose him before the foundation of the world, so why would it be a surprise?

Just ask yourself which makes more contextual sense.
For some more idea of how this makes more sense in the first case, look at chapter 71, verses 14-16, where the author is called that son of man.

what is rendered as existence in the one translation pertains to how he was with the Father beforehand, which, in the context, has to do with how he was determined to come into His presence. The Son of Man figure, after all, is based on Daniel, where the Son of Man COMES INTO God's presence --- not that he's created in His presence.

The idea of anachronistic life (pre and post existence) is rife in the Hebrew Scriptures. Reading these in their contexts, any rational minded person should be able to discern symbolic nature of these, often metaphorical, and designed to instill eschatological truths (related to covenantal history). Levi, “being in the loins of Sbraham” when he met Melchizedek is one example (Heb 7:3-10).

Yahweh said to Jeremiah (chapter i, 5): "Before I formed you in the belly I KNEW YOU; and before you came forth out of the womb, I SANCTIFIED YOU: and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations." Now Jeremiah did not exist before his conception. Yet these words would seem to teach it, if understood as those who believe in the pre-existence of Christ, understood the statements about him. As a purpose Jeremiah existed; his person was as clearly present to the divine mind as if he had stood before Him in actual fact. This is the explanation of words, which, rigidly construed, would imply Jeremiah's pre-existence.

The principle of the argument is expressed in the words of Paul (Romans 4:17) "God who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not (but are to be) AS THOUGH THEY WERE." See also the introductions of the gospel of John and the letter to the Colossians.
"And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created . . .you loved me before the creation of the world" (John 17:5,24)
Here our difficulty is to understand how Jesus could have been honoured and loved by the Father before he actually existed as an independent person. The problem really arises from our limited view of time.
To us the passage of time is like a line. Separate events are distinct points on that line. So if we were to indicate the relative places in time of Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Christ and the apostles, we should get something like this:

1800 BC . . Abraham
1400 BC . . Moses
1000 BC . . David
600 BC . . Daniel
BC / AD . . Christ
50 AD etc. Apostles

An order of appearance inevitably arises. We cannot think of their place in history in any other way. But this is because of our finite minds. We have no consciousness of the distant past; and none at all of the future.
But the mind of God is not subject to these limitations. His mind is infinite in power. He is just as capable of being conscious of past situations, or of future ones, as He is of the present. So we cannot represent the Divine experience of time by a line. It must be more like the following diagram.

Now we know that Moses did not exist before Abraham, and that David lived about four centuries before Daniel. But in our diagram God is the centre of the arc; He is the same distance from them all. Our "distance" represents God's infinite consciousness. He was just as "conscious" of the sort of person they would each be, long before they were born. He could visualise them, and speak prophetically of them. So the Father knew what sort of person the Son would be before he was actually born and began to exist as a separate person. He could plan what He would eventually accomplish through him. He could "glorify" and "love" in advance His own Son, "the only-begotten of the Father".

As the Apostle Peter put it:

"Christ was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the 
end of the times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20, R.V.). (The A.V. uses "foreordain" here, but elsewhere translates the same word by "foreknow".)

So too the saying of Jesus to the Jews:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad . . . Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:56-58).

Abraham, having received the promises, looked forward to the coming of the One in whom "all families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). Jesus knew that he was that One, having priority even over Abraham in God's purpose.

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