Rediscovering His Importance in Ancient Judaism and Early Rabbinic Thought
Any person with only a basic knowledge of the He-brew Bible is undoubtedly familiar with Adam, Abraham, and Moses. Enoch, on the other hand, is a much less known biblical figure. Enoch is credited with books that impacted other religious works written during the Second Temple era (515 BCE – 70 CE) and may have even rivaled in importance those books that we now consider to comprise the Hebrew Bible.
The various books of Enoch may also shed light on the influence of earlier Mesopotamian texts and Greek myths on Biblical history or, at the very mini-mum, the awareness of biblical authors of their cultural and religious surroundings. Most importantly, perhaps, the books of Enoch also unlock some of the mysteries, which first appear in the Hebrew Bible and then are greatly amplified other literature without any explanation. The Enoch tradition also reveals a link between Jewish apocalypticism of the Second Temple Era and Jewish mysticism of the post-Temple era.
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