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Moses 6; Genesis 5
TitleMoses 6; Genesis 5
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBradshaw, Jeffrey M.
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleOld Testament Minute: Genesis
Volume1
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Moses 6; Genesis 4:25; 5:1–21 Overview. The Righteous Family of Adam and Eve; Enoch the Seer and Preacher

From the story of Lamech in Moses 5, Umberto Cassuto drew the lesson that

material progress did not go hand in hand with moral advancement. Not only did violence prevail in the world, but it was precisely in deeds of violence that these generations gloried. The very qualities that are ethically reprehensible, and are hateful in the sight of the Lord, were esteemed in the eyes of men. In such circumstances, the Judge of the whole earth could not but execute judgment. All the achievements of material civilization are not worth anything without moral virtues, and cannot protect man from retribution. We have here a kind of prelude to the decree of the Flood.[1]

Mercifully postponing judgment, however, God first launched successive waves of an emergency missionary program to gather any that would hearken to the call of repentance—first to Adam-ondi-Ahman and later to Enoch’s city.[2] The absolute failure of the final ministry of the long-suffering Noah definitively confirmed that there were none but his immediate family who would listen and also demonstrated the inevitability of the sweeping destruction of the Flood.

The first part of Moses 6 and Genesis 5 describes the final events in the life of Adam as a patriarch to the righteous branch of his posterity (compare Abraham 1:26). The focus of the account is on the birth of the righteous Seth and the beginning of the patriarchal line that will culminate, in the seventh generation from Adam, with the call of Enoch.

The account of Enoch in the book of Moses has been called the “most remarkable religious document published in the nineteenth century.”[3] Writing the account of Enoch occupied part of the Prophet’s attention from November 30 to December 31, 1830. Additional references to Enoch appeared in several of the revelations collected in the Doctrine and Covenants.[4] Joseph Smith’s “Book of Enoch” provides “eighteen times as many column inches about Enoch . . . than we have in the few verses on him in the Bible. Those scriptures not only contain greater quantity [than the Bible] but also . . . contain . . . [abundant] new material about Enoch on which the Bible is silent.”[5] This material was not derived from deep study of scriptural references to Enoch or from exposure to the ancient Enoch literature, nor was it absorbed from Masonic or hermetic influences.

While expressing “no judgment, one way or the other, upon the authenticity” of Latter-day Saint scripture, the eminent Yale professor and Jewish literary scholar Harold Bloom found “enormous validity” in these writings and could “only attribute to [the Prophet’s] genius or [divine mentor]” his ability to “recapture . . . crucial elements in the archaic Jewish religion . . . that had ceased to be available either to normative Judaism or to Christianity, and that survived only in esoteric traditions unlikely to have touched [Joseph] Smith directly.”[6]

Studies by Latter-day Saint scholars confirm Bloom’s observations, beginning with the pioneering research of Hugh Nibley.[7] These studies show how ancient Enoch traditions confirm and complement the book of Moses,[8] specifically documenting

  • a Mesopotamian social background and geographic setting for Enoch’s mission;
  • historic plausibility for the name and role of Mahijah/Mahujah, the only other character besides Enoch mentioned by name in Moses 6–7;
  • strong resemblances in specific themes, rare expressions, and storyline sequence to Enoch manuscripts that Joseph Smith could not have known;
  • echoes of book of Moses titles and teachings about the prophesied Son of Man in Enoch books found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and in other relevant Jewish traditions; and
  • evidence from ancient Enoch texts, in general agreement with the book of Moses, that a righteous faction of Enoch’s people was gathered to divinely prepared cities and later ascended to the presence of God. [9]

Moses 6:1–4; Genesis 4:25. Adam and Eve Keep the Law of Chastity and Raise Up a Righteous Line of Descendants

6:2; 4:25. “Adam knew his wife again.” The law of chastity is not mentioned specifically in the book of Moses, but the teaching is invoked in the way the book values the paradigm of orderly family lines and contrastingly highlights problems engendered by marrying outside the covenant. It does not seem coincidental that this emphasis immediately follows the mention of the law of the gospel being preached in Moses 5:58–59. Moses 6:5–23 describes the ideal family order established by Adam and Eve.

A celestial marriage order can also be inferred from 8:13, in which Noah and his righteous sons are formally given the title of “sons of God,” just as Adam was given the same title after having had “all things . . . confirmed . . . by a holy ordinance,” including the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood after the “order of the Son of God.”[10] The patriarchal order of the priesthood, “which was in the beginning” and “shall be in the end of the world also,”[11] is depicted as presiding over a worthy succession of generations beginning with Seth, who was in the image and likeness of Adam (6:10) just as Adam and Eve had been made in the image and likeness of God (6:9, 22). In what may be contrasted with the righteous conduct of preachers of righteousness in Moses 6:23, all manner of “fornication . . . [was] spread by the sons of Cain” according to extracanonical tradition.[12]

6:2; 4:25. “Seth.” In the proposed association of the name Seth with “foundation,” one might see allusions to temple building and seership.[13] Supporting this idea, in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve, Seth not only “continues humanity” but is the one who “hands on the primeval mysteries,” a prominent role he is also given in Gnostic texts.[14] Note that the “sons of God” mentioned later arose out of Seth’s posterity (6:68; 7:1).

Alternatively, Hugh Nibley, along with other scholars, conjectured that “Seth means ‘second or substitute or equal.’ Shetaa means the same thing as two, double, [or] twin because it tells us in the scriptures that he will take the place of Abel.”[15] Parallels between Abel and Seth are made explicitly in verses 2–3. The shedding of the blood of the righteous and innocent Abel, whose story has always been linked with the idea of proper sacrifice, seems to have given rise to the curious ordinance of sprinkling little children with blood and then “washing” (or “baptizing”) them, which was denounced by the Lord in the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 17:4–7.[16]

Moses 6:5–6; Genesis 5:1. The Book of Adam

6:5; 5:1. “book.” Genesis refers to “the book of the generations of Adam,” and Moses to “a book of remembrance.” Hugh Nibley inferred from these verses that “the written records should be as old as the human race itself. . . . According to [the ancients], the king had access to that divine book which was consulted at the time of the creation of the world.”[17] The medieval Jewish Zohar has a tradition of an esoteric book of Adam that was transmitted to him “after his departure from the Garden of Eden” by the angel Rezial and “three envoys” who accompanied him. The same book was also said to have been given to the righteous Enoch and to the “sons of Elohim, who contemplate and know it,” and was intended to preserve “the primordial wisdom of paradise for Adam and his generations” as well as “the genealogy of the entire human race.”[18]

Speaking of the difference between Adam’s line of descendants and that of all other creatures that may have preceded him biologically, Nibley wrote: “Adam becomes Adam, a hominid becomes a man, when he starts keeping a record. What kind of record? A record of his ancestors—the family line that sets him off from all other creatures. . . . That gap between the record keeper and all the other creatures we know anything about is so unimaginably enormous and yet so neat and abrupt that we can only be dealing with another sort of being, a quantum leap from one world to another. Here is something not derivative from anything that has gone before on the local scene, even though they all share the same atoms.”[19]

6:5. “in the language of Adam.”[20] Verse 6 says that the language used by Adam and his children “was pure and undefiled.” Of relevance, as John S. Robertson acknowledged, is the “widely held [Latter-day Saint] belief that the founding members of the Jaredite civilization preserved the Adamic language at their immigration to the New World (see Ether 1:33–43; 3:24–28). Thus, the description by the brother of Jared of his apocalyptic vision was rendered linguistically inaccessible without divine interpretive help, since ‘the language which ye shall write I [God] have confounded’ (Ether 3:21–28).”[21] Robertson wisely cautioned that although the “concept of the Adamic language grew among Latter-day Saints out of statements from scripture, comments of early Church leaders, and subsequent tradition[, it] does not play a central doctrinal role, and there is no official Church position delineating its nature or status.”[22]

Moses 6:7–12; Genesis 5:2–5. Transmission of God’s Priesthood, His Likeness, and His Image

6:7. “this same Priesthood.” In the beginning, God established a patriarchal order on earth like the order that exists in heaven. Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie explained: “It was a perfect theocratic, patriarchal system with father Adam at the head. This system prevailed among the righteous from Adam to the time of Abraham and beyond.”[23] In the last dispensation God has restored the higher priesthood and associated ordinances of the Abrahamic covenant that had been generally withheld from Israel (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:23–25). According to Lynn A. McKinlay, “today dedicated husbands and wives enter this order in the temple in a covenant with God. The blessings of this priesthood [are] given only to husbands and wives together.”[24] Hyrum L. Andrus wrote that this restored order is “the Melchizedek Priesthood organized according to an eternal family order, rather than according to offices, quorums, and councils that comprised the Church as an instrument to build up the divine patriarchal order.”[25]

6:10; 5:3. “In his own likeness, after his image.” Non-Latter-day Saint scholar Richard E. Friedman observed: “The first man’s similarity to his son is described with the same two nouns that are used to describe the first two humans’ similarity to God [see Moses 2:26–7]. It certainly sounds as if it means something physical here. . . . In any case, the significance of this verse is to establish that whatever it is that the first humans acquire from God, it is something that passes by heredity. It is not only the first two humans but the entire species that bears God’s image.”[26] Nahum M. Sarna concurred: “Each act of procreation is an imitation of God’s original creation of man.”[27]

Moses 6:13–20; Genesis 5:6–17. The Posterity of Seth: Enos, Cainan, and Mahalaleel

6:13; 5:6. “Enos.” Like the name Adam, Enos (or Enosh) means “man.” Umberto Cassuto noted a parallel between Adam and Enos: “This son would be the founder of the human race belonging to the line of Seth, which was destined to survive upon earth, just as [the Cainite] Enoch was the inaugurator of the branch of [humankind] descended from Cain, whose days were not prolonged.”[28]

6:17; 5:9. “Cainan.” The land of Cainan mentioned in Moses 6:17–19, 41–42 is not to be confused with the land of Canaan mentioned in 7:6–8, 12 nor, seemingly, with the land occupied by the descendants of Cain (see 7:22). Robert J. Matthews observed, “It is not always clear whether the problem created by confusion of the two words is a matter of spelling or of actual substitution of words. . . . Because these words occur in all three of the Old Testament manuscripts with considerable variation and because they have also been published with some variation, the matter has become quite complex.”[29]

6:19; 5:12. “Mahalaleel.” The name seems to have an obvious meaning, related to hll (“to praise”) and ‘l (“god”).[30] But it is also somewhat similar to more obscure and easily confused names elsewhere in this part of Genesis and the book of Moses (for example, Lamech, Mehujael, Mahijah).[31]

6:14, 16, 18–20. Ages of the patriarchs. Note that Oliver Cowdery made several changes to the ages of the patriarchs in the original Joseph Smith Translation manuscript (OT1) that were not carried over into later manuscripts (compare Moses 6:11–12). These changes may be numbered among several other significant disagreements Cowdery had with the content and wording of Joseph Smith’s revelations.[32]

Moses 6:21–25; Genesis 5:18–21. Jared, Methuselah, and Enoch

6:21; 5:18. “Jared.” Moses 6:21–25 speaks of how “preachers of righteousness”—who are seen in some ancient sources as having descended (symbolically) from higher ground—initiated a missionary program aimed at teaching spiritual wanderers who had deliberately forsaken God. Among these preachers was Jared,[33] the father of Enoch, the root of whose name probably means “to descend.”[34] Among those to whom they preached were the giants, or nephilim,[35] a name that fittingly means “fallen ones.”

6:25; 5:21. “Enoch . . . begat Methuselah.” In the book of Genesis, the genealogy continues unbroken in order for the entire “stream of generations between Creation and Flood”[36] to be presented in preparation for the story of Noah. However, following Moses 6:25 in the Joseph Smith Translation (which corresponds to Genesis 5:21), the biblical account is interrupted so that a significantly extended story of Enoch can be included. Because of the way this added material on Enoch disturbs the literary structure of Genesis, it seems likely that this story was not merely left out of the Genesis record. Rather, it likely originally formed a separate record of its own that was included here in order to both maintain a relatively consistent chronological ordering of events and anticipate later references to Enoch in the Joseph Smith Translation story of Noah.[37] Following the story of Enoch, the biblical account picks up again in Moses 8:1 (compare Genesis 5:23).

Moses 6:26–30. Enoch’s Commission to Preach: God’s Complaint against the People

6:26. “descended out of heaven, and abode upon him.” Compare to John’s description of events following Jesus’s baptism: “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him” (John 1:32). Two additional allusions to New Testament descriptions of Jesus’s baptism can be found in verse 27 (compare Matthew 3:17). It would be easy to try to explain away these parallels as being an obvious case of Joseph Smith borrowing from the New Testament. However, Samuel Zinner, a non-Latter-day Saint scholar, argued that the relevant New Testament motifs may actually have their origins in descriptions of heavenly ascent in the Enoch literature.[38] In light of this (and additional passages relating New Testament themes to the Son of Man in Moses), Zinner argued that the ideas behind all these passages “arose in an Enochic matrix”[39]—that is, in literary traditions concerning the prophet Enoch. In short, if Zinner is correct, the New Testament accounts of Christ’s baptism may allude to ideas from the ancient Enoch literature rather than vice versa.[40]

6:27. “this people.” From Moses 6:28–29, we can assume that “this people” refers to the descendants of Cain and their associates.[41]

6:29. “their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off.” Similar wording appears in the instructions Isaiah received when he was called to the ministry and had a similar vision of the Lord in His heavenly temple (Isaiah 6:10). The references to ears that do not hear and eyes that do not see echo blessings associated with different parts of the body that were received in ancient Jewish and Christian washing and anointing ceremonies.[42] These promised blessings are denied to individuals who have broken their covenants. In contrast to the spiritually blind and deaf, Enoch will be made to see (Moses 6:35).

6:29. “by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death.”[43] Compare the murderous oaths of Cain and Lamech (5:29, 49–50). Hugh Nibley observed, “In Moses 5:29 we read about the oaths they made to each other. ‘And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die.’ By their oaths ‘they have foresworn themselves.’ They were false oaths.”[44]

6:30. “decree.” Significantly, the term “decree” appears with surprising frequency in the later chapters of the brief book of Moses.[45] The description of a decree as being “firm” or “unalterable”[46] emphasizes that it is immutable and “must be fulfilled” (Moses 5:15; see also 4:30). In each case, the term “decree” refers to aspects of the plan of salvation that provide the substance of the preaching of Adam and Enoch. In Moses 5:15 and 6:30, God’s decree in this respect refers specifically to the idea that those who repent and accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ will be saved whereas those who do not will be damned. In Moses 5:59, the decree refers to the promise that the gospel and its ordinances “should be in the world, until the end thereof.” Finally, in Moses 7:52, the decree refers to the promise made to Enoch that a Messiah should come and “that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations.”

Moses 6:31. Enoch’s Commission to Preach: Enoch Objects to His Call

6:31. “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight?” “Being called, Enoch shrank back in fear and pleaded his unfitness.”[47] Importantly, however, Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught that “feeling unworthy, unready, and uncertain about what we can contribute, when so called, is different from questioning the call itself.”[48] In Enoch’s “honest questions . . . there was a sense of unpreparedness but not an unwillingness. . . . [God] needs our meekness . . . in order to part the curtains of our understanding.”[49] Thus, as Sheri L. Dew explained, before Enoch could receive his vision of eternity, he needed to receive “a new vision of himself.”[50]

Compare Exodus 3:11: “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”; Judges 6:15: “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house”; Jeremiah 1:6: “Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.”

6:31. “lad.” In the only use of this term in Latter-day Saint scripture, the sixty-five-year-old Enoch is called a “lad” (compare Jeremiah 1:6). This is a striking parallel to the otherwise puzzling description of Enoch as a lad in pseudepigraphal literature.[51] “Enoch’s rapid rise to spiritual maturity is indicated by the fact that he received the priesthood before his father and grandfather” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:48).[52]

6:31. “hate me.” Nibley noted the general contempt in which Enoch was held, reflecting the hatred that prevailed among the people.[53] In Moses 7:33, the Lord said, describing the wicked, “They are without affection, and they hate their own blood.”

6:31. “slow of speech.” This compares to Exodus 4:10, in which Moses complained to the Lord that he was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Indeed, it is not impossible that Moses was quoting Enoch. For Moses, as for Ezekiel, the problem was most likely not a physical speech impediment but rather fluency in the native language of his hearers—Hebrew, as Richard E. Friedman convincingly argued.[54] Enoch was likewise sent to preach repentance to a people with whom he had not grown up. In any event, some ancient Enoch sources seem to corroborate that Enoch had additional challenges in speaking, portraying Enoch as having been “deliberate in his speech” and “often silent.”[55] Curiously, in the cases of both Enoch and Moses, “it is the stammerer whose task it is to bring down God’s word to the human world.”[56] “Whatever the circumstances, the underlying idea is that prophetic eloquence is not a native talent but a divine endowment granted for a special purpose, the message originating with God and not with the prophet.”[57] Through God’s gift, Enoch will confound his enemies through “the power of the language which God had given him” (Moses 7:13).

Moses 6:32–34. Enoch’s Commission to Preach: God Responds to Enoch

6:32. “Go forth.” These words constitute the formal commission of Enoch, which he fulfilled in Moses 6:37. Significantly, the use of the word “go” in God’s commission to Enoch parallels the commission to Mahaway/Mahijah to inquire of Enoch in the Book of Giants.[58]

6:32. “no man shall pierce thee.” See Doctrine and Covenants 122:9 and compare God’s later words to Enoch: “Mine eye can pierce them” (Moses 7:36). A parallel promise in the Mandaean Book of Adam reads, “Little Enoch, fear not. You dread the dangers of this world, I am come to you to deliver you from them. Fear not the wicked, and be not afraid of the floods that fall on your head; for their efforts will be vain: it shall not be given them to do any harm to thee.” Later, Enoch’s cosmic enemies admit their utter failure to thwart him and his fellows: “In vain have we attempted murder and fire against them; nothing has been able to overcome them. And now they are sheltered from our blows.”[59]

6:32. “I will give thee utterance.” Compare 2 Enoch 39:5: “It is not from my own lips that I am reporting to you today, but from the lips of the Lord I have been sent to you. For you hear my words, out of my lips, a human being created exactly equal to yourselves; but I have heard from the fiery lips of the Lord.”[60]

6:32. “all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.” In other words, God is saying, “I will be in charge, and I will take over the whole thing. Just trust me and do what you are told.”[61]

6:33. “who made you.” An appeal to God’s role as the Creator is characteristic of the record of Enoch’s ministry.[62] Outside the chapters that describe the Creation, there is perhaps no more significant clustering of verses in scripture referring to God specifically as the author of all things than those found in the Enoch chapters.

6:34. “mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course.” See Moses 7:13 for the fulfillment of this promise. Compare the striking parallel of rivers turning from their course in the book of Moses to one of Enoch’s experiences in the Mandaean Book of Adam: “The [Supreme] Life replied, Arise, take thy way to the source of the waters, turn it from its course. . . . At this command Tavril [the angel speaking to Enoch] indeed turned the pure water from its course.”[63] We find no account of anyone turning a river’s course in the Bible. It is thus remarkable that just such an event appears in this pseudepigraphal account and in the book of Moses—and that in both texts the miraculous feat is found within a story about Enoch.

6:34. “walk with me.” Another scriptural reference to walking with God is found in a description of those declared worthy of exaltation: “They shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy” (Revelation 3:4). The prime examples of this motif are, of course, Enoch and Noah, who are said to have “walked with God.”[64]

Moses 6:35–36. Enoch Is Made a Seer

6:35. “Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them.” BYU professor Richard Draper and his coauthors commented, “This sequence of verbs points to Enoch’s being in a sanctuary or temple. They are the same verbs that appear in the story of Jesus healing the man born blind (John 9:6–7). That event took place just beyond the southern end of the Jerusalem temple as indicated by Jesus’ instruction to the man to wash in the pool of Siloam.”[65] New Testament scholar Craig Keener described possible Creation symbolism in the incident that evokes the idea of spiritual rebirth in the story of Enoch: “Jewish tradition sometimes reports curing through spittle, though Jewish custom probably borrowed it from the more widespread ancient custom. But far more importantly, by making clay of the spittle and applying it to eyes blind from birth, Jesus may be recalling the creative act of Genesis 2:7.”[66] In contrast to the physical blindness healed through anointing and washing in John 9:6–7, Enoch’s anointing and washing healed the prophet’s spiritual sight, as will be seen in Moses 6:36.

6:36. “he beheld the spirits that God had created.” Compare Moses 1:8; Abraham 3:22.

6:36. “things which were not visible to the natural eye.” Moses described his vision of God in similar terms: “But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him” (Moses 1:11). Enoch’s ability to see “things which were not visible to the natural eye” is consistent with the Lord’s command in 2 Enoch for Enoch to make a record of “all His creation, visible and invisible”[67] and of his having seen God make “invisible things descend visibly.”[68] Another Jewish account tells of Enoch training himself to see divine visions of invisible things while “in his normal (i.e., bodily) state.”[69]

6:36. “seer.” In Old Testament usage, the term seer is another word for “prophet” (see 1 Samuel 9:9). However, in modern scripture and current Latter-day Saint usage, it is used both as a title for members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (who are sustained in their office as “prophets, seers, and revelators”) and to describe specific spiritual gifts associated with, but not identical to, the gift of prophecy. In Mosiah 8:13, the gift of seership is associated with the right to look into divine interpreters with the object of translating ancient records. More generally, Mosiah 8:15–17 states that “a seer is greater than a prophet. . . . [A] seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have. . . . But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.”

Moses 6:37–39. Enoch Goes Forth to Preach

6:37. “standing on the hills and the high places.” This may indicate that Enoch preached at sites of worship.[70]

6:37. “all men were offended because of him.” Hugh Nibley commented, “[A]ll men are offended because he doesn’t bring good news. Remember what the people say to Samuel the Lamanite, ‘Tell us what’s right with Zarahemla; don’t tell us what’s wrong with Zarahemla.’ Samuel the Lamanite said: ‘When a person comes and tells you how wonderful you are, you clothe him in fine apparel; you carry him on your shoulders and say he is a true prophet. If he tells you your sins, you immediately cry out, ‘Kill him; he’s a false prophet!’ (see Helaman 13:26–28). This is the situation here. Nobody likes him at all. . . . Why? Because he testified against their works.”[71] Compare Matthew 13:57: “And they were offended in him.”

6:38. “they came forth to hear him, upon the high places.” Similarly, in Bet ha-Midrasch we read: “And all the people gathered together and went up . . . to Enoch to hear this thing.”[72] 2 Enoch 64:1–3 paints a similar picture: “And they all conferred, saying: Come, let us greet Enoch. And two thousand men assembled, and they came to the place Azouchan.”[73]

6:38. “tent-keepers.” From this verse, Richard D. Draper and his co-authors inferred that Enoch was preaching among the people of Cain, who were previously described as tent-dwellers.[74]

6:38. “strange thing in the land.” The crowd evidently had more interest in seeing some “strange thing” than in hearing their beliefs challenged. Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote, “A fresh view is not always welcomed, being jarring to those who are intensely set in their ways. Sin enjoys its own status quo.”[75]

6:38. “wild man.” Compare to the sole use of the term in the Bible in the description of Ishmael: “He will be a wild man” (Genesis 16:12). Enoch, of course, was not a wild man—not in any sense comparable to Ishmael or to the “mighty men” (gibborim) to whom he was preaching. They simply called him a wild man in mockery. However, in a striking passage from the Book of Giants, the arrogant leader of the wicked gibborim army, ‘Ohya, declared, “The wild man they call [me],”[76] giving himself a title identical to the one given here to Enoch. How is this self-reference to be understood? Consistent with the dramatic irony that permeates the rest of the story, ‘Ohya did not utter this title in a moment of victory, as one might have expected, but rather as he muttered to himself in doubt and dismay after a total defeat by Enoch’s forces. After the dramatic turn of events that resulted in his ignominious loss to Enoch in battle, it seems that readers are meant to understand that ‘Ohya could no longer be credibly seen as a mighty wild man in the proud tradition of the gibborim. Instead, his defeat had transformed him into the beastly wild man of Mesopotamian and biblical tragedy. Joseph Angel ably compared the humbling of Ohya to the principal theme of the story of Nebuchadnezzar.[77]

6:39. “no man laid hands on him.” This description recalls the story of Abinadi in Mosiah 13:2–5.

Moses 6:40–42. Enoch Explains His Mission to Mahijah

6:40. “Mahijah.” In Moses 7:2, “Mahujah,” a variant of the name used as a place name, is used and may be associated with the same person from Moses 6:40. Mahijah, who bears the only non-biblical name in the book of Moses, plays a similar role to Mahaway in the Dead Sea Scrolls Book of Giants: “The only thing the Mahijah in the Book of Moses is remarkable for is his putting of bold direct questions to Enoch. And this is exactly the role, and the only role, that the Aramaic Mahujah [= Mahaway] plays in the story.”[78]

6:40. “Tell us plainly who thou art.” Other wicked people challenging the credentials of prophets in scripture include Pharaoh (Exodus 5:2); King Noah (Mosiah 11:27); the Ammonihahites (Alma 9:6); Cain (Moses 5:16); the scribes, Pharisees, and chief priests (for example, Luke 5:21); and Herod (Luke 9:9). To this list we might add, in ironic role reversal, Moses’s questioning Satan’s credentials (Moses 1:13). In the Bet ha-Midrasch we read of a similar request for Enoch to identify himself, followed by his preaching to a multitude: “And Enoch went out [after his long hiding] and there came a voice saying: Who is the man who rejoices . . . in the ways of the Lord? . . . And all the people gathered together and came unto Enoch, . . . [who] taught all the people again to keep the ways of the Lord.”[79]

6:41. “the land of Cainan, the land of my fathers.” This answers the second part of Mahijah’s question, concerning where Enoch came from. See Moses 6:17.

6:42. “sea east.” In the Bible and elsewhere in ancient Near Eastern tradition, eastward movement is repeatedly associated with increasing distance from God. In line with the presumed symbolic geography of Enoch’s world, the significant detail in the book of Moses recounts that Enoch’s missionary journey took the prophet away from the sacred center. In other words, Enoch went out “from the land of Cainan,” “a land of righteousness” in the west (Moses 6:41), to preach in the land of the wicked, which was presumably near the western edge of “the sea east.” Remarkably, the description of Enoch’s journey and vision by the sea east in the book of Moses recalls the direction of the prophet’s voyage in 1 Enoch 20–36, where the text seems to imply that Enoch continued his travels even further east to the “ends of the earth” (“from the west edge of the earth to its east edge”).[80] Significantly, 1 Enoch 13:7–8 also records a vision that Enoch received “by the waters of Dan,” arguably a sea east.[81]

6:42. “the Lord spake with me, and gave me commandment.” This answers the first part of Mahijah’s question by giving Enoch’s credentials to preach to the people.[82]

Moses 6:43–49. Enoch Preaches the Creation and the Fall

6:43. “Enoch continued his speech.” Consistent with the temple-related teaching pattern of Creation, Fall, and Atonement frequently encountered in scripture, Enoch now gets to the meat of his message: the Creation, Fall, and Atonement. Providing a fitting title for this section of the story, a notation likely written by John Whitmer on the OT1 manuscript above Moses 6:52b reads, “The Plan of Salvation.” Later, the section that Joseph Smith called “Extracts from the Prophecy of Enoch” begins in Moses 7:2.

6:43. “why counsel ye yourselves.” See Moses 6:28. Compare 5:25: “He rejected the greater counsel which was had from God.” Counseling with God and counseling with others are essential, complementary methods for reaching wise decisions. While the divinely given pattern of counseling with our councils[83] is an integral part of Church leadership, it is ineffective and may even become counterproductive if discussion is not undertaken in a manner that invites revelation as part of the process. Illustrating this point, Hugh Nibley wrote, “If we form a committee; if we get our strength from each other; if we support each other and form a society (a very impressive order or group) then we think we are getting something accomplished and doing something simply by counseling among ourselves. No, you [ultimately] get your counsel directly from the Lord.”[84]

6:44. “The heavens he made.” See Moses 6:33. This verse describes God’s role as Creator and constitutes God’s legal claim to reclaiming His children.[85]

6:45. “death hath come upon our fathers.” Since Adam was still alive when Enoch began his ministry, it is not clear to whom this verse refers.[86]

6:45. “the first of all we know, even Adam.” Throughout the remainder of the chapter, Enoch makes an appeal to the witness of Adam as recorded in the book of remembrance (see Moses 6:5, 46).

6:46. “book of remembrance.” Compare Moses 6:5. In addition to preserving the words of God to the people, the book records the good and bad deeds of humankind. Correspondingly, in the Book of Giants Enoch gives a book in the form of “two stone tablets”[87] to Mahujah to stand as a witness of “their fallen state and betrayal of their ancient covenants.”[88] Apparently, a similar record of the people’s wickedness is also kept in heaven.

6:46. “according to the pattern given by the finger of God.” Nibley explained, “God didn’t write it. Enoch said he wrote it ‘according to the pattern given by the finger of God.’”[89] Likewise, in the Book of Giants, we read Enoch’s reply to Mahujah: “To you, Maha[wai], . . . The . . . copy of the second tablet of the [letter] . . . written by the hand of Enoch, the celebrated scribe.”[90]

6:47. “the people trembled.” Similarly, in the Book of Giants we read that the leaders of the mighty warriors “bowed down and wept in front of [Enoch].”[91] 1 Enoch 13:3–5, 8–9 describes a similar reaction after Enoch finished his preaching.[92]

Moses 6:50–56. Enoch Preaches the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation: Repentance

6:51. “he called upon our father Adam.” In the remarkably direct speech of Moses 6:51–68, God Himself lays out the points of the plan of salvation one by one. This speech is additionally laden with features of Hebrew poetry and seems to be an excerpt of God’s words to Adam in his book of remembrance. Significantly, Matthew Bowen has emphasized that Enoch (Hebrew ḥănôk) sounds identical to the Hebrew passive participle of the verbal root ḥnk, “train up, dedicate.” Thus, for a Hebrew speaker, the name Enoch would evoke “trained up” or “initiated”—suggesting not only the general role of a teacher but also the idea of someone who was familiar with the temple and was responsible for training and initiating others. Thus, in the passage that follows verse 51, Enoch is highlighted not as a prophet, seer, or preacher but rather as a teacher.

6:51. “men before they were in the flesh.” The existence of our human souls before we were born is described in both the book of Moses and 2 Enoch.[93]

6:52. “If thou wilt turn unto me.” The Hebrew term shuv (= “turn”) conveys the primary meaning of repentance: “turning from sin to righteousness.”[94]

6:52. “Repent of all thy transgressions.” In the Book of Giants, Enoch also gives hope to the wicked through repentance: “Now, then, unfasten your chains [of sin] . . . and pray.”[95] In addition, John C. Reeves conjectured that another difficult-to-reconstruct phrase in the Book of Giants might also be understood as an “allusion to a probationary period for the repentance of the Giants.”[96] In Jewish tradition, three kinds of books are read out at the time of judgment: one for the righteous, one for the wicked, and one for those who are something in between. Geo Widengren noted that “people of an intermediate position are granted 10 days of repentance between New Year’s Day and Yom Kippurim.”[97] This idea is reminiscent of the probationary period for repentance offered to the wicked in the book of Moses and the Book of Giants as described above. Unfortunately, as we see later in the story, the initial sorrow of the gibborim brought about only short-lived repentance.

6:52. “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This phrase about receiving the Holy Ghost was added in OT2. Compare Moses 6:61, which expands on the blessings of this gift.

6:53. “Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water?” Hugh Nibley answered this question as follows: “‘I’ve forgiven the cause. Now, you have to get rid of the effect. The cause was the Fall. It made you dirty, but you have to wash off now.’ . . . Why is it that man must repent and be baptized? ‘Not because you are damned but because I have forgiven you,’ He says. . . . ‘I have taken care of the transgression in the Garden of Eden.’ That’s . . . the primal sin. To think we are not responsible for that and, therefore, we are not to blame for our sins is ridiculous. That sin has been forgiven, so if you want to go on what you do then is wash off and get started again. He says here, ‘The Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world’ (6:54). But ‘when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts.’”[98]

6:55. “thy children are conceived in sin.” This has nothing to do with original sin but rather is the result of the wicked’s own moral transgressions. As Nibley expressed it, “The wicked people of Enoch’s day . . . did indeed conceive their children in sin, since they were illegitimate offspring of a totally amoral society.”[99] The relevant passage in the Book of Giants reads: “Let it be known to you [that] . . . your activity and that of [your] wive[s] and of your children . . . through your fornication . . .”[100]

6:55. “prize the good.” Nibley asked, “How does sin teach you to prize the good? Does sickness teach you to prize health? Well, it certainly does.”[101]

6:56. “given unto them to know good from evil.” We know evil “on sight,” as Nibley explained. “You have that reaction. Remember, ‘I will place enmity between thee and the serpent’ ([Moses] 4:21)—that gut reaction when something is wrong. You know what it is. You can’t excuse yourself. Therefore, men are ‘without excuse’ (Romans 1:20). He says: ‘They know with a perfect knowledge as night from day’ (Moroni 7:15); all of them do. You don’t have to be a member of the Church . . . to know that.”[102]

Moses 6:57–58. Enoch Preaches the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation: Man of Holiness

6:57. “no unclean thing can dwell there.”[103] Hugh Nibley offered the following helpful instruction on this point: “An unclean thing is completely out. Remember, one defect (the slightest defect) in a structure that’s to last for an infinite length of time will destroy it. No matter how trifling it is, if it is to last for . . . millions of years, that will be a fatal defect. So you have to be completely cleaned up if you are going back to the presence of the Father.”[104]

6:57. “Man of Holiness is his name.” See Moses 7:35. Elder Bruce R. McConkie commented:

The whole body of revealed writ attests to the eternal verity that the Supreme God is a Holy Man. . . . Thus, when Jesus asked the ancient disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13) it was as though he asked: “Who do men say that I am? I testify that I am the Son of Man of Holiness, which is to say, the Son of that Holy Man who is God, but who do men say that I am?” In this same vein, one of the early revelations given in this dispensation asks: “What is the name of God in the pure language?” The answer: “Ahman.” Question: “What is the name of the Son of God?” Answer: “Son Ahman.” The term “Son Ahman” is used in Doctrine and Covenants 78:20 and 95:17. Doctrine and Covenants 78:20 originally was given as “Jesus Christ,” but was later modified in the handwriting of William W. Phelps to read “Son Ahman.” The term also appears as part of the place-name of Adam-ondi-Ahman in Doctrine and Covenants 78:15; 107:53; 116:1; 117:8, 11.[105]

6:57. “the Son of Man.” The term “Son of Man,” frequently found in the “Book of Parables” in 1 Enoch, is here understood to refer to Jesus Christ. While some scholars might rule out the possibility that the book of Moses accounts are rooted in pre-Christian traditions solely because of the presence of New Testament concepts and phrases, it is significant that equivalents of the other titles for Christ in the book of Moses also occur in the Enochian “Book of Parables.” After considering the debate among scholars about the single or multiple referents of the titles “Son of Man,” “Chosen One,” “Anointed One” and “Righteous One” in the “Book of Parables” and their relationship to other texts, George Nickelsburg and James C. VanderKam concluded that the author of the ancient account, as did the author of the book of Moses, “saw the . . . traditional figures as having a single referent.”[106]

6:57. “a righteous Judge.” Given the single specific description of the role of the Son of Man in this verse as a righteous judge, it is significant that the “Book of Parables” also cites the primary role of the Son of Man as a judge. Nickelsburg and VanderKam wrote, “If the central message of the Parables is the coming of the final judgment, the Son of Man/Chosen One takes center stage as the agent of this judgment.”[107]

Moses 6:59–60. Enoch Preaches the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation: Justification and Sanctification

6:59. “by reason of transgression cometh the fall.” The current wording of this verse varies significantly from OT1. The OT1 version intimates clearly that the description of the new birth is meant to include not only baptism but also ordinances that in our day are administered only in temples. The OT1 text reads as follows, with differences from the current version shown in italics for emphasis: “That inasmuch as they were born into the world by the fall, which bringeth death, by water, and blood, and the spirit which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again [“into the kingdom of heaven” is omitted] of water, and the Spirit, and cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten, into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory.”[108]

6:59. “born again.” The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that being “born again comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances.”[109] Specifically, as we progress through the prescribed series of saving ordinances, we are repeatedly reborn, our nature transformed over and over. This happens as we experience the cleansing justification of “the Spirit of Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37), the symbolism of death and resurrection through baptism of water (Romans 6:4–6), the new life granted us when we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:13), the spiritual and physical renewal of the initiatory ordinances (Doctrine and Covenants 84:33), and the unfolding stages of our existence in the endowment. Indeed, the endowment itself enacts our individual progress through multiple “rebirths”—from the spirit world to mortal life and from thence to becoming sons and daughters of Christ and ultimately of the Father Himself, receiving all the blessings of the Firstborn as sons and daughters of God. According to the OT1 manuscript of Moses 6:59 discussed above, the ordinances that prepare one for these blessings constitute “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”

6:59. “cleansed by blood.” In Doctrine and Covenants 88:68–69, 74–75, the Lord told the Saints about the blessings of the “great and last promise” that awaited them through their faithfulness: “Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; . . . sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfill this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.”

6:59. “the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” A significant distinction is made here between the “words of eternal life” and eternal life itself. Although we have no authoritative interpretation of this distinction, one possible interpretation for the words of eternal life is that they are a reference to the sure promise of exaltation that can only be received in an anticipatory way “in this world” through the ordinances that reveal the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” Of course, eternal life itself can only be given “in the world to come,” after the end of our probation.

6:60. “by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.” Hugh Nibley summarized this as follows:

The water is an easy act of obedience. . . . “By the water ye keep the commandment.” “I know not, save the Lord commanded me” (5:6). That’s your sacrifice. So you get baptized as an act of obedience. Then “by the Spirit ye are justified.” That’s the Holy Ghost. That’s your state of mind. If you just go through the motions as obedience, that’s the first necessary step here. The Spirit gives you the state of mind. Naturally, you enter into it—the understanding, the agreement without which any act would be utterly meaningless. You are not just being baptized as a “bag of sand.” You’ve got to be baptized physically, but then it goes beyond that to the Spirit, where you understand and are aware of what’s going on. The Holy Ghost does that. He brings all things to your mind and “all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26). Then the last thing is “and by the blood ye are sanctified.” You can’t sanctify yourself but by completely giving up life in this world, which means suffering death, which means the shedding of blood. This is the end of earthly life, and people avoid and dread that more than anything else. That is why we find substitutes and the like. That’s why we find proxies for the sacrifice. . . . So the shedding of blood is your final declaration that you are willing to give up this life for the other, and it is an act of faith.[110]

Moses 6:61–63. Enoch Preaches the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation: The Record of Heaven

6:61. “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven.” Having explained the doctrine of rebirth in the previous verses, the Lord now describes how to come to a sure knowledge of that doctrine (through the “record of heaven”) and be sealed up to eternal life (“through the blood of the Only Begotten”). The phrase that opens the verse expands on the promise given in Moses 6:52: “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” In verse 52 the blessing mentioned specifically has to do with asking and receiving, but in verse 61 other blessings are mentioned, including “the peaceable things of immortal glory” (in OT1), or “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (in OT2). Note, however, that Doctrine and Covenants 42:61 implies that the “peaceable things” and “the mysteries” are the results of revelation. This further strengthens the connection between the OT1 phrasing and that of Doctrine and Covenants 42:61: “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”

Observe that the OT2 phrasing recalls the words of Jesus Christ to Peter in Matthew 16:19 that are associated with the sealing power: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Elsewhere Joseph Smith equates the “power which records” with the sealing power (see Doctrine and Covenants 128:9).

6:63. “all things are created and made to bear record of me.”[111] Here, the Lord builds on His declaration on the revelatory witness of the Holy Ghost to affirm that everything He has created, in heaven and in earth, also serves as a witness of Him. Hugh Nibley observed, “There’s a wonderful passage in Santillana on this. The ancients believed we live in the midst of a great manifold in which everything reflects everything else. This is a beautiful expression of it. . . . The earth is a reflection of heaven, and heaven a reflection of the earth. We use the language of one to describe what’s going on in the other time and again. We regard the temple here, as the ancients always did, as reflecting the heavenly pattern.”[112]

Moses 6:64–66. Enoch Tells of Adam’s Baptism by Water and by Fire

6:64. “caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and . . . carried down into the water.” See Moses 5:9.

6:65. “baptized.” Logically, this baptism might have occurred soon after the angel’s explanation of the meaning of the law of sacrifice (Moses 5:6–8). In addition to the explicit mention of the ordinance in verse 65, Adam’s baptism plausibly can be inferred from the mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in 5:9.

6:66. “This is the record of the Father and the Son.” See verses 34, 61. Although the “Holy Ghost . . . which beareth record of the Father and the Son” previously “fell upon Adam” for a moment (Moses 5:9), the Comforter that he is promised in verse 61 will henceforth abide in him, recalling John 14:16’s promise of “another Comforter” that would abide with the disciples “for ever.”

In an 1839 discourse on the topic of the second Comforter, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that it is “our privilege to pray for and obtain” the knowledge that we are sealed up to eternal life.[113] In order to prepare for this privilege, we are told in revelation to “give diligent heed to the words of eternal life” and to “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:43–44). The Prophet explained that initially it is the First Comforter, the Holy Ghost, which “shall teach you.” Eventually, almost certainly in the next life, the joyous moment will come when at last, as the Savior promised, “ye [shall] come to Me and My Father.”[114]

Moses 6:67–68. Adam Receives the Fullness of the Priesthood and Is Made a Son of God

6:67. “after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years.” There is a single highest order of the priesthood, but it is called by different names. For example, in the Doctrine and Covenants we read about “they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:56). They are described as being “after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:57). Brigham Young explained:

Our calling is to preach the Gospel, initiate people into, and proceed with the organization of the kingdom of God as far as we can, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. We have commenced to organize . . . in the Holy Order that God has established for His people in all ages of the world when he has had a kingdom upon the earth. We may call it the Order of Enoch, the Order of Joseph, the Order of Peter, or Abraham, or Moses, and then go back to Noah.[115]

6:68. “son of God.”[116] Moses 6:67 makes it clear that to be made a son of God is to receive the fullness of the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “After baptism, and after celestial marriage, [Adam and Eve] . . . charted for themselves a course leading to eternal life, they pressed forward with a steadfastness in Christ (2 Nephi 31:20)—believing, obeying, conforming, consecrating, sacrificing—until their calling and election was made sure (2 Peter 1:10) and they were sealed up unto eternal life (Doctrine and Covenants 131:5).”[117]

Elder McConkie further taught: “We have power to become the sons of God, to be adopted into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ, to have Him as our Father, to be one with Him as He is one with His Father. . . . As the sons of God, we also have power to advance and progress until we become ‘joint-heirs with Christ’ (Romans 8:17) until we have ‘conformed to the image’ (Romans 8:29) of God’s Son, as Paul expressed it.”[118]

6:68. “thus may all become my sons.” The ordinances are the same for each and available to all. Compare Moses 7:1: “Many have believed and become the sons of God.”



[1] Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis, vol. 1, From Adam to Noah, trans. Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem, Israel: Magnes Press, 1998), 244.

[2] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 262, 263.

[3] Terryl L. Givens and Fiona Givens, The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life (Salt Lake City, UT: Ensign Peak, 2012), 24.

[4] See Doctrine and Covenants 38:4; 45:11; 76:57, 67, 100; 84:15–16; 107:48, 53, 57; 133:54. See also Kerry Muhlestein, “The Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Moses: An Outpouring of Revelations and the Beginning of Joseph Smith’s ‘New Translation’ of the Bible,” in Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses: Inspired Origins, Temple Contexts, and Literary Qualities, ed. Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, David R. Seely, John W. Welch, and Scott Gordon (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central; Redding, CA: FAIR; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2021).

[5] Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1990), 31.

[6] Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 98–101.

[7] See Hugh W. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2 (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986).

[8] See Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Moses 6–7 and the Book of Giants: Remarkable Witnesses of Enoch’s Ministry,” in Tracing Ancient Threads, 1041–1256.

[9] See S. Kent Brown and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Man and Son of Man: Probing Theology and Christology in the Book of Moses and in Jewish and Christian Tradition,” in Tracing Ancient Threads, 1257–1331.

[10] See Moses 5:59; 6:66–68; Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:27–40; Doctrine and Covenants 107:3–4.

[11] Moses 6:7; compare Doctrine and Covenants 107:40–41 and Abraham 1:26.

[12] Michael E. Stone, “Question,” in Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Adam and Eve, ed. Michael E. Stone (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1996), 119; see also 121.

[13] Nahum M. Sarna, ed., Genesis: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation Commentary, The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna and Chaim Potok (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), 39.

[14] S. Kent Brown, “The Nag Hammadi Library: A Mormon Perspective,” in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C. Wilfred Griggs (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1986), 262–263.

[15] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 260.

[16] See Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Matthew L. Bowen, “‘By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified’: The Symbolic, Salvific, Interrelated, Additive, Retrospective, and Anticipatory Nature of the Ordinances of Spiritual Rebirth in John 3 and Moses 6,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 24 (2017): 123–316.

[17] Hugh W. Nibley, “The Genesis of the Written Word,” in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1978), 104.

[18] Daniel C. Matt, trans., The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, vol. 1 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), 237n1041–238, Be-Reshit 1:37b; compare 310–313, Be-Reshit 1:55b.

[19] Hugh W. Nibley, “Before Adam,” in Old Testament and Related Studies, ed. John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don E. Norton, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 1 (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986), 82–83.

[20] See also Moses 6:46, 57.

[21] John S. Robertson, “Adamic Language,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 1:18.

[22] Robertson, “Adamic Language,” 18. For a discussion of scientific and historical views of the origin of languages, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and David J. Larsen, In God’s Image and Likeness 2: Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 2 vols. (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014), 401–403.

[23] Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie, Our Destiny: The Call and Election of the House of Israel (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1993), 39.

[24] Lynn A. McKinlay, “Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 3:1067.

[25] Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1973), 159–160.

[26] Richard Elliott Friedman, Commentary on the Torah (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001), 30.

[27] Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation Commentary, The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna and Chaim Potok (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), 41.

[28] Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis, vol. 1, From Adam to Noah, trans. Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem, Israel: Magnes Press, 1998), 246; see also 229.

[29] Robert J. Matthews, “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible—A History and Commentary (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 160; see also 435–439.

[30] Richard S. Hess, Studies in the Personal Names of Genesis 1–11 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009), 68.

[31] Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle, “Where Did the Names ‘Mahaway’ and ‘Mahujah’ Come From?: A Response to Colby Townsend’s ‘Returning to the Sources,’” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 40 (2020): 202–203, 220.

[32] Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and David J. Larsen, In God’s Image and Likeness 2: Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 2 vols. (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014), 441–448.

[33] For an account of Jared’s descent, see, for example, E. A. Wallis Budge, ed., The Book of the Cave of Treasures (New York, NY: Cosimo Classics, 2005), 84–86. For more on the temple-related symbolic geography of sacred centers and sacred mountains in the early chapters of Genesis, including in the story of Enoch, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Moses 6–7 and the Book of Giants: Remarkable Witnesses of Enoch’s Ministry,” in Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses: Inspired Origins, Temple Contexts, and Literary Qualities, ed. Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, David R. Seely, John W. Welch, and Scott Gordon (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central; Reading, CA: FAIR; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2021), 1124–1133.

[34] Richard S. Hess, Studies in the Personal Names of Genesis 1–11 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009), 69–70. Others have related the name Jared to the Genesis place names of Arad, Eridu, and so on.

[35] Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33. Possibly equated with the “giants” in Moses 7:15; 8:18. Consistent with the book of Moses, Victor P. Hamilton (The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1–17 [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990], 269–270) sees this group “as being distinct from the mighty men” (that is, the gibborim).

[36] Claus Westermann, Genesis 1–11: A Continental Commentary, trans. John J. Scullion (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1994), 347.

[37] Examples of references to the story of Noah in the Joseph Smith Translation include Moses 8:19 and the additions to Genesis 6:18; 9:9, 11, 16.

[38] Samuel Zinner, “Underemphasized Parallels between the Account of Jesus’ Baptism in the Gospel of the Hebrews/Ebionites and the Letter to the Hebrews and an Overlooked Influence from 1 Enoch 96:3: ‘And a Bright Light Shall Enlighten You, and the Voice of Rest You Shall Hear from Heaven,’” in Textual and Comparative Explorations in 1 and 2 Enoch, ed. Samuel Zinner (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014), 225–229.

[39] Zinner, “Underemphasized Parallels,” 228.

[40] For example, see George W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 37–82, ed. Klaus Baltzer (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012), 321, 1 Enoch 71:14–16.

[41] See Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005), 92.

[42] Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, In God’s Image and Likeness 1: Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve, rev. ed., 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014), 519–520, 661–662.

[43] A different reading is given in OT1: “By their oaths, they have eat unto themselves death” (Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts [Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004], 99). If this variant is not a scribal error, perhaps it may indicate a corrupt practice where participation in ordinances by those who were ritually unclean was condemned (see 1 Corinthians 11:27–30) or perhaps even the forbidden act of eating blood (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:4).

[44] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 272.

[45] See Moses 5:15, 59; 6:30; 7:52.

[46] See Daniel 6:7; Alma 29:4; Doctrine and Covenants 29:12; Moses 5:15 and Alma 29:4; 41:8; Moses 7:52.

[47] Hugh W. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2 (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986), 208.

[48] Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1977), 25.

[49] Neal A. Maxwell, Men and Women of Christ (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1991), 113, 123.

[50] Sheri L. Dew, No Doubt about It (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 2001), 44.

[51] See Gary A. Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam,” in Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays, ed. Gary A. Anderson, Michael E. Stone, and Johannes Tromp (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2000), 107–108. See also, for example, F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch: A New Translation and Introduction,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 1:119; Philip S. Alexander, “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch,” in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 1:257–259.

[52] Rulon D. Eames, “Enoch, LDS Sources,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 2:458.

[53] Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, 209.

[54] Richard Elliott Friedman, Commentary on the Torah (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001), 181.

[55] John C. Reeves and Annette Yoshiko Reed, Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, vol. 1 of 2, Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018), 148, see 130.

[56] Everett Fox, The Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1995), 277n10, citing Martin Buber, Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant (New York, NY: Humanity Books, 1988), 59.

[57] Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation Commentary, The JPS Torah Commentary, ed. Nahum M. Sarna and Chaim Potok (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), 21n10.

[58] Donald W. Parry, The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, vol. 1 of 2, Texts Concerned with Religious Law, Exegetical Texts and Parabiblical Texts, 2nd ed. (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2013), 951.

[59] Jacques P. Migne, ed., “Livre d’Adam,” in Dictionnaire des Apocryphes, ou, Collection de tous les livres Apocryphes relatifs a l’Ancien et au Nouveau Testament [. . .], 2 vols. (Paris, France: MIGNE, 1856), 1:167, 170; translation mine.

[60] F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch: A New Translation and Introduction,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 1:162.

[61] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 273.

[62] See Moses 6:44, 51, 59, 63; 7:32–33, 36, 59, 64.

[63] Migne, “Livre d’Adam,” 1:169; translation mine.

[64] See Genesis 5:24; Doctrine and Covenants 107:49; Moses 6:39; 7:69; 8:27.

[65] Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005), 95.

[66] Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, 2 vols. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 1:780; compare John 5:19–20; 20:22.

[67] F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch: A New Translation and Introduction,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 1:190.

[68] Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1:144.

[69] Moses de León, Sefer Mishkan ha-’Edut, ed. Avishai Bar-Asher (Los Angeles, CA: Cherub Press, 2013), quoted in John C. Reeves and Annette Yoshiko Reed, Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, vol. 1 of 2, Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2018), 321.

[70] Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005), 96.

[71] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 275.

[72] Adolph Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch: Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischter Abhandlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur, 6 vols. (Leipzig, Germany: F. Nies, 1853–1877), 4:129.

[73] André Vaillant, Le Livre des Secrets d’Énoch (Paris, France: Le Jardin des Livres, 2005), 60. Compare F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch: A New Translation and Introduction,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 1:190.

[74] Draper, Brown, and Rhodes, Pearl of Great Price, 96.

[75] Neal A. Maxwell, The Promise of Discipleship (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2001), 12.

[76] Edward Cook, “4Q531 (4QEnGiants(c) ar),” fragment 22 l. 8, cited in Donald W. Parry, The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, ed. Emanuel Tov, vol. 1 of 2, Texts Concerned with Religious Law Exegetical Texts and Parabiblical Texts, 2nd ed. (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2013) 1:959.

[77] Joseph L. Angel, “The Humbling of the Arrogant and the ‘Wild Man’ and ‘Tree Stump’ Traditions in the Book of Giants and Daniel 4,” in Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, Traditions, and Influences, ed. Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and Enrico Morano (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), 68.

[78] Hugh W. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2 (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986), 278.

[79] Adolph Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch: Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischter Abhandlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur, 6 vols. (Leipzig, Germany: F. Nies, 1853–1877), 4:129; see also Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, 212.

[80] George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 290.

[81] Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 237.

[82] Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005), 97.

[83] See M. Russell Ballard, Counseling with Our Councils: Learning to Minister Together in the Church and in the Family (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1997).

[84] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 276.

[85] Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes, The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005), 97.

[86] Draper, Brown, and Rhodes, Pearl of Great Price, 97.

[87] John C. Reeves, Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions (Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992), 109, Sundermann Fragment L I Recto 1–9; see also 110n6 and 154n306.

[88] Hugh W. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 2 (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986), 214.

[89] Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, 269.

[90] Florentino García Martínez, ed., “The Book of Giants (4Q203),” in The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, trans. Wilfred G. E. Watson, 2nd ed. (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 260, fragment 7, l. 5 and fragment 8, l. 1–4.

[91] García Martínez, “Book of Giants (4Q203),” 260, fragment 4, l. 6.

[92] George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 1–36; 81–108 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 234, 237, 1 Enoch13:3–5, 8–9. See Book of Mormon Central Staff and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Enoch’s Teaching Mission: Enoch’s Call Raises the Possibility of Repentance (Book of Moses Essay #11),” Book of Moses Insights, Pearl of Great Price Central, July 10, 2020, https://pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/enochs-teaching-mission-enochs-call-raises-the-possibility-of-repentance/.

[93] F. I. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch: A New Translation and Introduction,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 1:140.

[94] David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), s.v. “repentance,” 1118.

[95] Florentino García Martínez, ed., “The Book of Giants (4Q203),” in The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, trans. Wilfred G. E. Watson, 2nd ed. (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 261, fragment 8, l. 14–15.

[96] John C. Reeves, Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions (Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992), 103.

[97] Geo Widengren, The Ascension of the Apostle and the Heavenly Book (King and Saviour III) (Uppsala, Sweden: Lundequistska Bokhandeln, 1950), 38n2.

[98] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 278.

[99] Hugh W. Nibley, “Churches in the Wilderness,” in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1978), 160.

[100] Donald W. Parry, The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, ed. Emanuel Tov, vol. 1 of 2, Texts Concerned with Religious Law, Exegetical Texts and Parabiblical Texts, 2nd ed. (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2013), 945.

[101] Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, 278.

[102] Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, 279.

[103] See Moses 7:16; compare 1 Nephi 10:21; 15:33–34; Alma 7:21; 11:37; 40:26; 3 Nephi 27:19.

[104] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 278.

[105] Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1985), 59.

[106] George W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, Chapters 37–82, ed. Klaus Baltzer (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012), 119. For more detailed arguments for this perspective, see S. Kent Brown and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Man and Son of Man: Probing Theology and Christology in the Book of Moses and in Jewish and Christian Tradition,” in Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses: Inspired Origins, Temple Contexts, and Literary Qualities, ed. Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, David R. Seely, John W. Welch, and Scott Gordon (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation; Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central; Redding, CA: FAIR; Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2021), esp. 1263–1269.

[107] Nickelsburg and VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2, 119.

[108] Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 102; emphasis added.

[109] Joseph Smith Jr., July 2, 1839, in Joseph Fielding Smith, comp., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969), 162.

[110] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 279–280.

[111] See Moses 6:33; compare Romans 1:19–20; Alma 30:41, 44; Helaman 8:24.

[112] Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS], 2004), 280.

[113] Joseph Smith Jr., quoted in Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), 14; punctuation modernized.

[114] Ehat and Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, 15; punctuation modernized. Compare Doctrine and Covenants 84:45–47.

[115] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London, England: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–1886), 17:113.

[116] Compare Moses 6:15; 7:1; 8:13.

[117] Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1979–1981), 1:229.

[118] Bruce R. McConkie, “The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood,” October 1977 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.

 

Scripture Reference

Genesis 5:1
Moses 6:1