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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. Archbishop LAURENCE's Book of Enoch.
2. OXLEE's Letters on recent Apocryphal Publications. 3. BUTT'S Genuineness of the Book of Enoch investigated.
(Concluded from p. 426.)
IN our last Number, after laying before our readers the literary history of the apocryphal Book of Enoch, and an analysis of the work itself, and shewing that there is no evidence that it was extant before the Christian era, or in the days of the Apostles, we stated various conjectures which have been promulged relative to its authenticity and value; adding, that our own opinion had settled at the lowest point in the scale, and undertaking to prove in a future Number, that the book itself contains internal evidence that it was not written before the middle of the second century after Christ. To the proof of this point we now address ourselves.
We must first, however, shew the inconclusiveness of the argument advanced by Dr. (now Archbishop) Laurence, in support of his opinion, that the Book of Enoch was composed shortly before the Christian era; namely, about the year B. C. 30. The assumption that it must, of necessity, be allowed to have been written before the date of St. Jude's Epistle, we have already disposed of; for though the learned editor says, that this "admits of no question" (p. xxiii.), we must beg permission to appeal from so summary a decision of the very point in dispute. Dr. Laurence's principal argument is drawn from the pretended prophecy respecting the seventy shepherds (from chapter lxxxviii. ver. 95, to chapter xc), divided into successive series of thirty-five, twentythree, and twelve. He reckons thirty-five kings of Judah and
Israel to the Babylonish captivity; twenty-three foreign monarchs (that is, four Babylonian, cleven Persian, and eight Macedonian), to the recovery of independence by the Asmonæan family; and twelve native princes, to the reign of Herod -before whose death, A. D. 2 (that is, B. C. 2 of the common calculation), the author of this pretended prophecy must have written, if this interpretation be correct. But Mr. Oxlee has brought forward powerful objections to the numeration of the first series of thirty-five, as only to be made up by counting contemporary sovereigns of Judah and Israel, and by omitting Zimri, Zechariah, Jehoahaz, and Shallum; and he justly observes of the second series of twenty-three, that it is abhorrent to the language of Scripture to give the name of "shepherds" to those princes who overran the land: he proposes, therefore, to interpret the seventy shepherds, of the Jewish heads of tribes who governed the people during the captivity (pp. 111-113). It is manifest, therefore, that no solid argument for the age of this book can be built upon such uncertain ground. Let us look, then, into the book itself for internal evidence of the period in which it was written.
It may be fairly gathered from the astronomical part of the book of Enoch (chaps. lxxi-lxxxi), that it was not written till a considerable period after the Julian reformation of the calendar, that is, till long after the year B. C. 46. To make this clear, we shall give a short outline of these chapters. The PseudoEnoch, with a ridiculous affectation of considerable astronomical science ("explained to him by Uriel the holy angel!"), professes to give an account of the revolution of the sun. This account, in fact, is nothing
more than a very rude almanack, stating the number of days in each successive month, the length of the day at the close of each month, and the sun's azimuths, or the parts of the horizon (called "gates") in which he rises, in corresponding pairs of months. Thus, beginning at the Winter Solstice, the "first gate" is that portion of the horizon in which the sun is found to rise while he passes in the heavens through the signs Capricornus and Sagittarius; the "second gate" corresponds to the place of rising for Aquarius and Scorpio; the third gate for Pisces and Libra; the fourth gate for Aries and Virgo, the fifth gate for Taurus and Leo; and the sixth gate for Gemini and Cancer. The signs, however, are not mentioned by name, nor even alluded to; so imperfect seems to have been the knowledge of the writer. He does not give any names to his months, though he states their order in a manner which enables us to compare them with the corresponding modern months. The length of the day may be gathered from the proportion of day to night (which is all that he states), and his method, rude as it is, does not differ from the truth in any one month,
Dys. Order of Months.
more than about twenty minutes, and enables us to discover that his abode was in, or very near, fortynine degrees north latitude. We think also that we may determine his residence, as having been about thirty-five or thirty-six degrees west longitude; for he appears to have lived to the north of Judea, since he says of the country to the south of his own, "the Most High there descends, and frequently there descends He who is blessed for evermore;" (chap. lxxvi. 2)-a passage which evidentlyrefers to the holyland.
We are thus brought (though by very different reasoning) to the same conclusion as Dr. Laurence; namely, that the author of this calendar resided a little north of the Black Sea. It must be observed, further, that he does not name the actual places of the sun's rising, contenting himself with an imperfect description of the successive azimuth "gates," from south to north; we have introduced, however, the approximate points of the compass, in which the sun rises in order to make his meaning more clear. If, then, we collect his verbose and inflated descriptions into a concise tabular form, this very ancient almanack will be arranged as follows:
Gates; or places of Sun's
1. (March-April) 4. (E. to E.N.E.)
Length of Day.
5. (E.N.E. to N.E. by E.) 14h. 40m.
6. (Aug.-Sept.) 4. (E.N.E. to E.)
8. (Oct.-Nov.) 9. (Nov.-Dec.) 30 10. (Dec.-Jan.) 30 11. (Jan.-Feb.) 31 12. (Feb.-March)
3. (E. to E.S.E.)
2. (E.S.E. to S. E. by E)
That the framer of this calendar was of the Hebrew nation, seems evident, not only from the general character of his book, but from his giving a very particular account of the Jewish ecclesiastical lunar year of three hundred and fifty-four days, formed of twelve months, consistCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 332.
ing of twenty-nine and thirty days alternately; and also from his placing the commencement of the tropical year at the vernal equinox. He alludes, moreover, to the lunisolar year of three hundred and sixty days, commonly adopted by the Greeks and the Eastern na. 3 T
tions. He then proposes a correction of these false years (not by introducing an embolimic month at stated intervals in the lunar year, nor by adding five epagomenæ, or supernumerary days, at the end of the luni-solar year, the only methods in use up to the time of Cæsar, but) by lengthening particular months, without reference to the lunations; so that the whole annual period may embrace a solartropical revolution. Now this method being peculiar to the Julian calendar, places it beyond all doubt that the author had that reformation expressly in his view; for though it is true that his months do not correspond exactly to the Julian, and that his year is, by a gross mistake, made to comprise three hundred and sixty-four instead of three hundred and sixtyfive days, yet these errors are to be attributed to his affectation of simplifying and improving the Julian calendar, from which it seems unquestionable that he must have borrowed his ideas. The following passage (chap. lxxxi. 5, 6) most distinctly refers to the inconvenient methods of reckoning the years which were superseded by the Julian principle: "Four [days]," says the writer," are added, and appertain to the four quarters of the year respecting these, men greatly err, and do not compute them in the computation of every age; for they greatly err respecting them; nor do men know accurately that they are in the computation of the year but indeed these are marked down for ever, one [day] in first gate [December], one in third [March], one in fourth [September], and one in sixth [June]." Now it appears very improbable that the PseudoEnoch should have had the folly as well as the effrontery to propound his new calendar, as an antediluvian revelation from Heaven, within sixteen, or even forty-six years from the decree of the Roman senate; as must have been the case, if Dr. Laurence be right in his conjecture that this work was written about
B.C. 30, or at least before the Christian era. The actual Julian edict on the calendar, would have been too fresh in popular recollection for such a gross pretension of an astronomical revelation from "Uriel, the holy angel," to be tolerated an instant. These facts are infinitely more consistent with the supposition (which we think we can presently establish) that this forgery was perpetrated about two centuries after the Julian reformation : a period, neither too near that event for the imposture to be at once manifest; nor too remote from it for a Jew to be tempted to claim the honour of the discovery for his nation, with whose legends it well coincided. Selden (De Anno. Civ. Vet. Jud.) mentions a Hebrew tradition, that the children of Issachar ascended up to the firmament, and brought down solar and lunar computations for the use of man! The Book of Enoch asserts that the angel Barkayal taught the observers of the stars, Akibeel taught signs, Tamiel astronomy, and Asaradel the motion of the moon! Why then should Julius Cæsar be allowed to have the merit of the new calendar, when sufficient time had elapsed to render it safe to ascribe it to Uriel? The least interval which can be well allowed for the safe advancement of such a claim, brings us into the second century of the Christian era; the period in the course of which the Book of Enoch is for the first time quoted (so far as we have any evidence), and which, also, was "particularly fruitful in Apocryphal productions," as Carpzov has well observed. (Carpzov, Crit. Sac. p. 2. c. ii.)
A still more direct proof that this spurious book was not written till after the date of St. Jude's Epistle, exists in the pretended prophecy of the "ten weeks." (chap. xcii.) In this prophecy (as Dr. Laurence has himself justly observed), each mystical day is to be taken as including one hundred years, and consequently each week for seven hundred years; and the whole period of the world's existence (" ten weeks")
for seven thousand years. Now this is founded upon a Rabbinical tradition (which owes its origin to a fanciful interpretation of Psalm lxxxix. 4), that the days of the creation mystically involve a mille. nary type of the duration of time; and that the world is to fulfil its destiny for six periods of one thousand years each, to be succeeded by a millenary Sabbath of one thousand years. This legend is to be first traced in the works of Justin
It is found also in the Babylonian Talmud, Tract Sanhedriv; but we have not quoted it in the text, the Talmud not having been compiled till century VI. For the same reason, we omit to cite Jerome, and many early fathers, who were credu lous enough to adopt this opinion. St. Augustine warned such fanciful interpreters that they were guilty of impiety and presumption, referring them to Acts i. 7. Those who wish to see more on this subject may consult Sixtus of Sienna, Bibl. Sanc. Lib. v. 190.
Martyr* and Irenæus † ; that is, we hear of this fable for the first time in the middle of century II.; a circumstance which affords additional ground for suspicion that the Book of Enoch, which adverts to the same idle tradition, was composed about the same period in which Justin and Irenæus themselves wrote. The detail of this prophecy of the "ten weeks," brings us to the conclusion that the Book of Enoch was written about the middle of the second century. From the subjoined analysis, it will be seen that the prophecy accords exactly with events, till it approaches the period just named; and that it then becomes suddenly obscure! thus affording the most decisive evidence, both of its spurious character, and of its
(D) Execution of decree on
(B) End of the First.
(c) Great wickedness,
III. B.C. 2600 to 1900
(E) Selection of a man of the
(F) Visions of the holy and B.C. 1491 (F) Manifestations of Di
vine presence on Mt. Sinai, and in desert. B.C. 1491 (G) Erection of tabernacle. B.C. 1004 (H) Solomon's temple built.
(L) House of Dominion A.D.
(M) All the race of elect root A.D.
1 (1) Blindness of Jews at the advent of Messiah.
29 (K) Ascension of Christ. 70 (L) Temple burnt by the army of Titus. 135 (M) Banishment of Jews from Palestine by an edict of Adrian.
(P) A sword against oppres
IX. A.D. 1600 (R) Universal righteousness A.D. 2000 (B) Tradition of Millennial
(r) Everlasting judgment A.D. 3000 (T) Tradition of final judg
in the course of 7th day
of 10th week.
ment to commence A.M. 7000.
It is impossible to doubt that the forger of this prophecy was acquainted with the fact of the ascension of Christ, and that he lived after the destruction of the temple by Titus, A.D. 70 [see (K) (L)]. Nor could he have written very shortly after that event; because he mentions (M) the dispersion of "all" the Jewish people; a calamity which did not immediately follow the sacking of the Holy City by Titus. The author clearly refers to that total banishment of the Jews from the sacred territory, by the decree of Adrian, which followed the defeat of the impostor and rebel Barcochabas by Julius Severus, A. D. 135; an event which was connected with the death of the famous Rabbi Akiba, with whom, as the Jews themselves allow, perished the glory of their law. We are aware that some early ecclesiastical writers assert, that the prohibition of Adrian extended only to the precincts of Jerusalem or Ælia (as it was then called), and not to the whole territory of Judea; but a nearly contemporary writer, Tertul lian, speaks of the banishment of the Jewish people in terms precisely accordant with the language of the Pseudo-Enoch; and we quote the passage because it throws additional light on our position with regard to the age of this book. Tertullian says, "Dispersed, wandering, banished from their climate and their soil, the Jews stroll through the world, without either a human or a Divine King, and not allowed to set foot on their native land, even as visitors." (Tertull. Apol. c. 21.) We hold it, therefore, to be demonstrated, that this spurious piece was not extant before A. D. 70 (when the Epistle of Jude had been already written); and we think it morally certain, that it was not composed till after A.D. 135. It is equally clear, however, that it could not have been written at a period far removed from the latter date, because it was cited by Irenæus about thirty years after. We may, there
fore, unhesitatingly fix its fabrication, to about the year A.D. 140.
That so learned a writer as Dr. Laurence should have overlooked this positive evidence of the real age of the Book of Enoch, can only be accounted for by the bias of his hypothesis that it must have been composed before the Christian era. Accordingly he begins (p. 208), by deciding that the events (K) and (L), of the sixth week, are the ascension of Elijah (B.C. 896), and the destruction of Solomon's temple (B.C. 588); and this obliges him to throw back what he calls "the uncertain era of creation," to B.C. 4700, in order to prevent those events falling within the fifth (instead of the sixth) week. But, not to urge that this is an assumption made to suit a theory -even this arrangement by no means relieves the learned editor of his difficulties; for it throws every one of the events from (A) to (H) out of the respective weeks in which they are stated to occur. Mr. Oxlee (p. 110) endeavours to untie the knot by adding," The three hundred years which constitute the difference between the Hebrew and the Samaritan text;" dating the creation B.C. 4300: but, unfortunately for his hypothesis, this only brings the latter (L) of the two events above noticed within the limits assigned to it in the alleged prophecy; and still makes the event (K) fall in the fifth week, contrary to the express declaration of the author of this book.
The solution which we have our. selves submitted of these pretended predictions, and the corresponding facts, is both easy and natural: it assumes nothing more than that the writer constructed his chronological series on the ideas of the world's age which were generally received in the early period of the Christian church; it makes the prophecy of the events tally with precision, till the time in which the oracle, as we contend, was forged; it then (as might be expected) exhibits a blank for more than 1800 years; and it shews the