Enoch, the Seventh from Adam: A Prophet for Today
Clifford Denton

Very little is said about Enoch. The summary of his life is in Genesis 5:18-24 –

And Jared lived a hundred and sixty two years, and he begot Enoch. And Jared lived after he begot Enoch eight hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty two years: and he died. And Enoch lived sixty five years, and begot Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God after he begot Methuselah three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Why then does Jude consider Enoch to be a prophet (Jude 14-15)? –

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Enoch has a wonderful testimony – he walked with God. Before Noah, before Abraham, before the Twelve Tribes, Moses and the giving of the Law, before even the coming of Yeshua, Enoch walked with God, and God took him! With so little written about him we can only imagine what that walk was like. He had a family just as ordinary people do, with all the responsibilities that this brings. He was a man like us, but one day he was not to be found. God so loved Him that He took him from this world. Was he walking in a field in prayer one day, or on a mountain-top praising the God of creation? We have no way of knowing, but the few verses in Genesis are encouragements to be like him: to have such a close relationship with God that He takes us from this world – friends of God, caught up by His love. We might think that the time will come when this will be the testimony of many believers, as prophesied by Yeshua to occur in the last days (Matthew 24:40-41) –

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Yet Jude does not emphasise the result of a wonderful relationship with God. He sees Enoch as a prophet who condemns the wicked. When did Enoch prophesy such things? There is no biblical record. There is a Book of Enoch full of prophecies such as we find in the Book of Revelation. Some theologians consider that Jude was quoting from the Book of Enoch. However, the Book of Enoch is not a book that the Enoch of Genesis 5 wrote. It was written by an unknown author one or two centuries before the coming of Yeshua. It was written by a Jewish author who imagined what Enoch would have said. The Book of Enoch does not merit inclusion in the Canon of Scripture. One might also think that we should exclude Jude for quoting from an extra-biblical source! Jude’s Epistle contains relevant and important exhortations for those who contend for the faith. His reference to Enoch is not a good reason to doubt the inclusion of Jude in the Canon! Let us consider this further. Jude, as does the unknown author of the Book of Enoch, reveals an aspect of prophecy that is important and more and more relevant as the days go by.

Normally, prophecy is considered to be the ministry whereby God gives words to be spoken. The prophet takes these words and delivers them to whomever God wants to speak. The prophet as such is the mouthpiece of God. Prophecy may interpret signs, bring revelation and understanding, bring warning or encouragement and sometimes speak of the future. But is there another sort of prophecy? Consider Enoch. He was only seven generations from Adam and God used Him as an example of what He wants for all mankind, to so please Him and so walk with Him (which, as we know from Romans 8, is both physical and spiritual) that He takes us from this world to be with Him forever. As such, Enoch’s life is prophetic. Just by knowing that a man can so walk with God, Enoch speaks to every generation without any other word being spoken. He sets a standard and demonstrates a principle. In so doing, we know that this is God’s desire for all men, and also that those who do not desire such a relationship with God bring condemnation upon themselves. The principle of self-condemnation is also reflected in John 3:16-18 –

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jude did not need to read the Book of Enoch to discover how Enoch prophesied. He is not really pointing us to this book as if there is some hidden or forgotten message from Enoch. In fact Jude may be remembering Moses’ final words to Israel instead of, or as well as, the Book of Enoch. Deuteronomy 33:2 contains a reference to the Lord coming with ten thousand of His saints. Whatever the reference, Jude simply understood the aspect of prophecy whereby God can use a life to speak to the world.

Noah was the same. As is says in Hebrews 11:7 –

By faith Noah, being warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Noah may have spoken in answer to questions which men and women asked when they saw him building the ark. Even if he had said nothing, his righteous life before God and his obedience in building the ark, into which the animals came, were themselves a prophetic word of judgment on the wicked world. It is the same for all those who lived by faith and are listed in Hebrews 11, which gives rise to the exhortation of Hebrews 12:1-2 –

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the supreme example of walking with God, doing and saying only that which the Father is saying and doing (John 5). God has also left us other examples of people like us who prophecy to the world through their very life. Israel as a nation is a prophetic people, testifying of God’s faithfulness by their history and very existence. David realized this (1 Chronicles 16:22, Psalm 105:15) –

Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

The context of this was the bringing back to Jerusalem the Ark of the Covenant. The Glory of God departed from Israel when the Ark was stolen by the Philistines and so there was great rejoicing when the Glory returned. David understood Israel’s prophetic role is manifest in her continuing existence. It is the same for us today. God’s Glory is among His people and demonstrated through their lives. Whether we speak or keep silent our lives are prophetic. Enoch sets the standard by which God speaks to the world, inviting all to such a walk and, as a consequence, condemning all who will not heed the prophetic call to repentance and new life.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 makes this same point:

Now thanks be to God, who always leads us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Enoch prophesied to the world through the testimony of his life before God. Jude recognized this, whether prompted by the Book of Enoch or by simply knowing this aspect of the prophetic calling of God’s people. In the days ahead, which are likened to the days of Noah before he built the Ark (Matthew 24:38-39), let us learn to walk like Enoch and so fulfill our prophetic call. Paul spoke of this in terms of living epistles when he wrote to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 3:1-3) –

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in fleshy tablets of the heart.

What sort of living epistles, prophets to the world by our very lives, does God intend us to be in our walk with Him through the coming days?