A Strange Thing in the Land: The Return of the Book of Enoch, Part 8
By Hugh Nibley
Professor Emeritus of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University
The purpose of these articles is (1) to call attention to some of the long-ignored aspects of the Joseph Smith account of Enoch in the book of Moses and in the Inspired Version of Genesis and (2) to provide at the same time some of the evidence that establishes the authenticity of that remarkable text. Contemporary learning offered few checks to the imagination of Joseph Smith; the enthusiasm of his followers presented none. Yet, though free to roam at will over a boundless plain, the Prophet never once in his account of Enoch strays from the narrow and exacting path that later Enoch texts have so clearly marked. In his version, every essential element of the Enoch story as we now know it turns up, yet he never strays out of bounds—what he says and what he does not say about Enoch are equally remarkable considering his situation.
To present and discuss all the ancient parallels to the Joseph Smith Enoch would require a work of immense scope, but such is not necessary for our purpose. It is enough to show by one or two examples in each case that even the most extravagant passages in the Joseph Smith version may all be matched by ancient texts—the Prophet is never alone. Many important questions, such as the real age of the Enoch tradition, how the various texts are related, their relevance to modern life, etc., must be left till later. For the present the message and the bona fides of the Joseph Smith account of Enoch are our sole concern.
Surprisingly enough, the best documented story of a clash between Adam and Satan is the scene in heaven. One old writing with unusually good credentials that trace back to books deposited by the apostles in the first Church archives in Jerusalem is the Coptic “Discourse of the Abbaton, a sermon based on the text delivered by Timothy the Archbishop of Alexandria.”
The book belongs to the forty-day literature; and as it opens, the Lord on his last day on earth with the apostles just before his ascension asks them if there is any final request they would like to make of him—exactly as in Third Nephi 28:1. [3 Ne. 28:1] What they want most is to understand the role of Death and its horrors in God’s plan for his children. To explain this the Lord tells them of the council in heaven in the preexistence where the plan of the creation is being discussed. There was great reluctance among the hosts to proceed with the creation of the earth, the earth itself complaining, exactly in the manner of Moses 7:48, of the filthiness and corruption that would surely go out of her and begging to be allowed to rest from such horrors. (Fol. 10a–b.) Because of the council’s reluctance to proceed, God allows the lifeless body of Adam to lie upon the earth for forty days, unwilling, without the council’s approval, to let his spirit enter. (11b.) The Son of God saves the day by offering to pay the price for whatever suffering will be entailed, thus permitting “God’s children to return again to their former condition.” (12a.) Christ alone thus becomes the author of our earthly existence; amid joy and rejoicing God calls for a book, in which he registers the names of all the “Sons of God” who are to go to earth. (See Gen. 5:1ff, Fol. 12b.) This of course is the heavenly book of the generations of Adam open at the foundation of the earth, the book to which Enoch refers so explicitly in Moses 6:46, 8.
In the presence of all the hosts, Adam is next made ready to take over his great assignment. He is placed on a throne and given a crown of glory and a scepter, and all the sons of God bow the knee first to God the Father and then to Adam the Father in recognition of his being in God’s exact likeness and image. (13a.) Satan, however, refuses to comply, declaring that he is willing to worship the Father but not Adam: “It is rather he that should worship me for I arrived before he did!” (13a–b.) (See Moses 1:19: “I am the Only Begotten, worship me.”) God saw that Satan, because of his boundless ambition and total lack of humility, could no longer be trusted with celestial power and commanded the angels to remove him from his office. This ordinance they performed with great sorrow and reluctance: They “removed the writing of authority from his hand. They took from him his armor and all the insignia of priesthood and kingship.” Then with a ceremonial knife, a sickle, they inflicted upon him certain ceremonial blows of death which deprived him of his full strength forever after. (14a.) Other accounts say that after these cuts he retained only one-third of his former power, even as he was followed by one-third of the hosts.
Next Adam was escorted to earth to enter his mortal body, and for a hundred years thereafter was often visited by angels. (14b.) Thereafter, for two hundred years he lived happily in innocence with Eve, taking good care of the animals in his charge. Eventually Satan succeeded in getting possession of a mortal creature, which enabled him to carry on an extensive campaign aimed at Eve. (16a–17a.) Adam was greatly upset; but when Eve, the victim of a trick, took all responsibility, he joined her. (17b.)
Satan stopped Adam outside of the Garden and gloatingly told him that this was his sweet revenge for Adam’s victory in heaven: Adam had got him expelled from heaven and now he had paid him in kind; what was more, he intended to continue his project—“I will never cease to contend against thee and against all those who shall come after thee from out of thee, until I have taken them all down to perdition!” (21a–b.) With the threat of death before him, Adam saw the bitterness of hell (19a, 2lb), but calling upon God he received not only the assurance of salvation for the dead through the atonement of Christ (20b), but is told that death shall be sweet to those whose names are inscribed in the Book of Life (24a–b). Fear of death (the angel Mouriel) is wholesome and necessary to remind the human race of its fragility and constant need of repentance. This has the salutary effect of countering Satan’s plan by providing a constant check on the tendencies of men to misbehave, a sobering and, if necessary, a frightening lesson.
What comes after the showdown between our first parents and the Adversary? Our sources obligingly go right on with the story, and follow Satan from his attempts to win Adam’s obedience to his highly successful interviews with Cain, tracing the steady spread of wickedness among mankind down to its culmination in the days of Enoch. There is no better summary of the story than that given in the book of Moses, which is surprisingly close to the “Combat of Adam” version on every point. Let us briefly survey events leading up to the call of Enoch, as given in the Joseph Smith account.
Having been instructed by an angel of the Lord, Adam and Eve enjoyed a fulness of the gospel, “and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” (See Moses 5:1–12.) Enter Satan, the negative one, with his nongospel: “Believe it not!” and his counter-gospel: “I am also a son of God.” (Moses 5:13.) He gains a following by pushing downhill, in the direction of what is “carnal, sensual, and devilish.” (Moses 5:13.) This called for much preaching of repentance (Moses 5:14–15), as Adam and Eve remained true and faithful, and “ceased not to call upon God” (Moses 5:16). Into this world Cain was born, who rejected his parents’ teachings as irrational—“Who is the Lord that I should know him?” (Moses 5:16.) The Lord gave Cain every chance to be wise and save himself, showing him in all reasonableness the dangerous course he was taking, and warning him that he would be in Satan’s power to the degree that he refused obedience: “And thou shalt rule over him.” (Moses 5:23; see also Gen. 4:7.) Cain rule over Satan? Yes, that is the arrangement—the devil serves his client, gratifies his slightest whim, pampers his appetites, and is at his beck and call throughout his earthly life, putting unlimited power and influence at his disposal through his command of the treasures of the earth, gold and silver. But in exchange the victim must keep his part of the agreement, following Satan’s instructions on earth and remaining in his power hereafter. That is the classic bargain, the pact with the Devil, by which a Faust, Don Juan, Macbeth, or Jabez Stone achieve the pinnacle of earthly success and the depths of eternal damnation.
The Lord held forth the fatherly invitation to Cain: “If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted,” along with the solemn warning, “Satan desireth to have thee.” (Moses 5:23; see also Gen. 4:7.) He is admonished against the folly of “reject[ing] the greater counsel” (Moses 5:25), and the door of repentance is held open right to the last moment, when it is Cain himself who breaks off the conversation and angrily stamps out, refusing to listen “any more to the voice of the Lord” or to his brother’s remonstrances (Moses 5:26). Cain married “one of his brothers’ daughters” (not necessarily Abel’s), and together “they loved Satan more than God” (Moses 5:28), quite satisfied with their religion and quite defiant about it.
What could one do in such a situation? Nothing: “Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren.” (Moses 5:27.) Having deliberately severed all connection with his Heavenly Father, Cain was free to enter a formal agreement with Satan, by which he would receive instruction in the techniques of achieving power and gain: “Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret [The language is that of ancient colleges or guilds where the secret is the mystery of the trade or profession; in this case, his secret is how to convert life into property], that I may murder and get gain.” (Moses 5:31; see also Moses 5:49.) Cain “gloried” in the power of his new-found skill and dialectic, declaring that it made him “free.” (Moses 5:33.) He put his knowledge to work in a brilliantly successful operation in which “Abel … was slain by the conspiracy of his brother” (D&C 84:16), and gleefully congratulated himself and “gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.” (Moses 5:33; italics added.) This new light on Cain’s behavior is confirmed in the Combat of Adam, where we learn that, after killing Abel, Cain “felt no inclination to repent of what he had done,” a detail pointed out also by some of the early church fathers.
Plainly this is not the conventional novel of Cain and Abel, in which an impetuous adolescent loses his head and brains his spoiled brother in a fit of jealousy; it is a carefully planned and executed operation in which Cain slew “his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain” (Moses 5:50), dismissing his conscience with the thought that all was fair and square since Abel was quite capable of taking care of himself: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Moses 5:34). This was the philosophy by which Satan seduced the human race, teaching them that “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.” (Alma 30:17.) When God took a different view and called him to account, he still pleaded the profit motive as an excuse: “Satan tempted me because of my brother’s flocks.” (Moses 5:38.) Being “shut out from the presence of the Lord” (Moses 5:41), Cain started his own establishment, the main line of his descendants being Enoch (who built a city of Enoch), Irad, Mahujael, Methusael, Lamech the father of Jubal and Tubal Cain. (Moses 5:42–46.) Lamech like Cain “entered into a covenant with Satan,” and like him “became Master Mahan.” (Moses 5:49; italics added.) When Lamech heard that Irad the son of Enoch was violating the secrecy of these terrible things he “slew him for the oath’s sake” (Moses 5:50), since “Irad began to reveal … unto the [other] sons of Adam” these top-secret signs of recognition (Moses 5:49). All those who covenanted with Satan were excluded from the holy covenants of God, though they pretended that everything was the same as before. The dirty business spread as such things do once started; Lamech became an outcast like Cain, not because of the murder but because his wives started spreading his confidential secrets—the very ones he had murdered Irad for divulging. “And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.
“And God cursed the earth with a sore curse.” (Moses 5:55–56.)
Is there no relief in the terrible picture? There is: all this time the gospel was “being declared by holy angels … and by the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Moses 5:58), while “all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance,” in the assurance that “the Gospel … should be in the world, until the end thereof” (Moses 5:59). Adam, having lost Abel, got another son, Seth, to carry on his work. (Moses 6:2.) From him comes that line of successors in the priesthood, duly registered in the Book of Life, from which the wicked were excluded. (Moses 2:5–8.) After Seth came Enos, who decided to make an important move. Since “in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts,” causing “wars and bloodshed … in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power” (Moses 2:15)—exactly as in the modern world—Enos gathered together “the residue of the people of God” and with them migrated out of the country “and dwelt in a land of promise,” named Cainan after his son (Moses 2:17). The line is Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. (Moses 6:16–21; Moses 8:2, 5–11.)
In The Combat of Adam with Satan, as Migne observes, “the author depicts the descendants of Adam as divided into two separate and distinct branches: the Cainites dedicated to following Satan, who lived in a fertile country but very far distant from Eden, and who devoted themselves to all the pleasures of the flesh and all manner of immorality,” and the Sethites who “dwelt in the mountains near the Garden, were faithful to the divine law and bore the name of the Sons of God.”
The occurrence of like names in the two genealogies should not surprise anyone who does much genealogy, where the same family names keep turning up in an endless round. The thing to notice is that there are two lines and that Enoch is seen as a stranger and a wild man only when he leaves his native colony in Cainan, “a land of righteousness unto this day” (Moses 6:41), to sojourn as a missionary among the wayward tribes. And so the stage is set for Enoch.
The Wicked World of Enoch
The wickedness of Enoch’s day had a special stamp and flavor; only the most determined and entrenched depravity merited the extermination of the race. In apocryphal Enoch stories we are told how humanity was led to the extremes of misconduct under the tutelage of uniquely competent masters. According to these traditions, these were none other than special heavenly messengers who were sent down to earth to restore respect for the name of God among the degenerate human race but instead yielded to temptation, misbehaved with the daughters of men, and ended up instructing and abetting their human charges in all manner of iniquity. They are variously designated as the Watchers, Fallen Angels, Sons of God, Nephilim, or Rephaim, and are sometimes confused with their offspring, the Giants. Other candidates for this dubious honor have been suggested by various scholars, the trouble being that more than one category of beings qualify as Fallen Angels and spectacular sinners before the time of the Flood. The Bible uses the title sons of God—were they different from the Watchers of tradition?
“The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare … to them … mighty men, … men of renown.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth.” (Gen. 6:2, 4–5.)
The idea of intercourse between heavenly and earthly beings was widespread in ancient times. Thus, in the newly discovered Genesis Apocryphon, when Lamech’s wife bears him a superchild (Noah), he assumes almost as a matter of course that the father is “one of the angels” and accuses her of faithlessness until his grandfather, Enoch, whose “lot is with the Holy Ones” and who lives far away, clears up the misunderstanding. Significantly, the name of the child’s mother is Bit-enosh, i.e., she is one of the “daughters of men.” The Cedrenus fragment avoids the problem of heavenly origin by identifying the sons of God and the daughters of men with the descendants of Seth and Cain respectively, and he specifically designates the sons of God as the Watchers. Recently M. Emanueli has suggested that the various terms are merely “a figure of speech in order to express the depth of the deterioration of that generation.”
While the sons of God have been identified with both angels and the Watchers, the Greek Enoch does not identify the Watchers with Satan’s hosts who fell from heaven from the beginning—they are another crowd. It is the Joseph Smith Enoch which gives the most convincing solution: the beings who fell were not angels but men who had become sons of God. From the beginning, it tells us, mortal men could qualify as “sons of God,” beginning with Adam. “Behold, thou [Adam] art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons.” (Moses 6:68; italics added.) How? By believing and entering the covenant. “Our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed, and become the sons of God.” (Moses 7:1.) Thus when “Noah and his sons hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed … they were called the sons of God.” (Moses 8:13.) In short, the sons of God are those who accept and live by the law of God. When “the sons of men” (as Enoch calls them) broke their covenant, they still insisted on that exalted title: “Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men?” (Moses 8:21), even as “the sons of men,” reversing the order, married the daughters of those “called the sons of God,” thereby forfeiting their title, “for,” said God to Noah, “they will not hearken to my voice.” (Moses 8:15.) The situation was, then, that the sons of God, or their daughters who had been initiated into a spiritual order, departed from it and broke their vows, mingling with those who observed only a carnal law.
“Why have you left heaven [and] the Exalted One,” says Enoch in a Gizeh fragment “and … with the daughters of men defiled yourselves? … Ye have behaved as sons of Earth and begotten to yourselves giant sons. And you were once holy, spiritual, eternal beings … and have lusted after the flesh … as do mortal and perishable creatures.”
What made the world of Enoch so singularly depraved as to invite total obliteration was the deliberate and systematic perversion of heavenly things to justify wickedness. An early Christian writer, Hippolytus, says that the Anti-Christ imitates Christ in every particular: each sends out his apostles, gives his seal to believers, does signs and wonders, claims the temple as his own, has his own church and assembly, etc. Such is the method of “the great Deceiver of the World,” against whom, says Hippolytus, “Enoch and Elias have warned us.” We are reminded how Satan put forth his claim, “I am also a son of God” (Moses 5:13), and commanded Cain to “make an offering unto the Lord” (Moses 5:18–19) and to take his oaths “by the living God” (Moses 5:29), as if everything were still in the proper order. In the same spirit Noah’s descendants in their wickedness still insisted that nothing had changed:
(Moses 8:21.) “The children of men said to Noah: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men?”
The apocrypha agree:
(Black, p. 44, 106:7, 13–14.) “For in the days of Jared my father, they departed from the teaching of the Lord, from the covenant of heaven. And behold they commit sin and reject [parabainousin] the proper way [ethos] … and beget children not like spiritual but like carnal offspring.”
Sophisticated deception is the name of the game. “Woe unto you who deliberately go astray [poiountes planemata],” cries Enoch, “who promote yourselves to honor and glory by deceitful practices. … Who misapply and misinterpret straightforward statements, who have given a new twist to the everlasting Covenant, and then produce arguments to prove that you are without guilt!” Cold-blooded calculation is the keynote. The “Watchers” (using the Greek word) led away “myriads of myriads … with our Prince Satan-el,” says the Slavonic Enoch, “and defiled the earth by their acts. And the wives [instead of daughters!] of men did a great evil, violating the law … a great iniquity.” “For in the secret places of the earth,” we read in a very early Judeo-Christian source, “they were doing evil … and all of them committed adultery with their neighbor’s wives; and they made solemn covenants among themselves concerning these things.” Such practices went back to the days of Cain:
Moses 5:52. The Lord cursed … all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God.
Moses 5:29. And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me … and swear thy brethren … that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die.
Moses 5:51. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.
Gizeh 6:2. The Sons of Heaven wished to break their covenants and join with the daughters of men, but Seimizas [Satan] said ‘I am afraid you will not be willing to go through with this thing.’ 4. And they answered him all, saying, We will all swear with an oath, and bind each other by a mortal curse [lit., anathemize each other], that we will not go back on this agreement [gnome] until we have carried it out; 5. Then they all swore together and pronounced the doom of death on each other.
|Moses 5:29–30. Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it. … And all these things were done in secret.
1 En. 29:13. Kasbeel, the chief of the oath … when he dwelt above in glory 14. … requested Michael to show him the hidden name, that he might enunciate in the oath, so that those might quake before that name and oath who revealed all that was secret to the children of men.
1 En. 69:1. It was Gadreel who showed the children of men all the blows of death, and he led astray Eve.
Moses 5:16. And Adam and Eve … ceased not to call upon God. … But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?
Moses 5:51. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark.
|Ethiop. Bk. Mysts. PO 4:431. “In the days of Cain evil and deceitful practices increased. The wicked angels set themselves up in open and insolent opposition to Adam, and glorying in their earthly bodies learned a great sin, and openly exposed all the work which they had seen in heaven.
And so we find in a Greek Enoch text the Great Angels returning from earth to report to God that they had found “Azael teaching all manner of unrighteousness upon the earth, and he has laid bare those mysteries of the age which belong to heaven, which are [now] known and practiced among men; and also Semiazas is with him, he to whom thou gavest authority [over] those who go along with him.”
As bad as breaking their oaths was divulging them to those not worthy to receive them, thereby debasing and invalidating them. One of the most widespread themes of myth and legend is the tragedy of the hero who yields to the charms of a fair maiden or femme fatale and ends up revealing to her hidden mysteries. The story meets us in the oldest Egyptian epic (where the lady Isis wheedles out of Re the fatal knowledge of his true name) and in like tales of Samson and Delilah, the daughter of Jared, Lohengrin, etc., in which the woman is the Pandora who must know what is in the box. On this theme the Gizeh fragments offer a significant parallel to the Joseph Smith version, in which the common background of the text and the confusion of the later scribes are equally apparent:
(Moses 5:53.) “Lamech had spoken the secret unto his wives, and they … declared these things abroad, and had not compassion. … Moses 5:55. And thus … darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.”
Compare this to:
(Gizeh 16:2–4.) “And now concerning the Watchers, say to them. You were in heaven and there you knew every mysterion which had not been made known to you as well as that mystery which God allowed; and that you disclosed to your wives in the hardness of your heart, and it was through this mystery that women and men caused iniquities to abound upon the earth.”
Clement of Alexandria attributed to Musaeus, the founder of the Greek Mysteries, an account of “how the angels lost their heavenly heritage through the telling of the secret things [mysteria] to women,” things, Clement observes, “which the other angels keep secret or quietly perform until the coming of the Lord.”
Rather surprisingly, the age of Enoch is consistently described as the time of great intellectual as well as material sophistication. “Azael … taught [men] to make knives and breastplates and all kinds of military hardware; and to work the ores of the earth, and how gold was to be worked and made into ornaments for women; and he showed them silver and taught them polishing [eye-paint] and cosmetics and precious stones and dyes. And the sons and daughters of men adopted all these things and led the saints astray. And there was great wickedness on the earth, and they became perverted and lost in all their ways. Along with that their leader Semiazas taught them scientific formulas (epaodas kata tou nous), and the properties of roots and plants of the earth. The eleventh, Pharmakos, taught all manner of drugs, incantations, prescriptions, formulas. [Others] taught them star-gazing, astrology, meteorology, geology, the signs of the sun and moon. All of these began to reveal the mysteries to their wives and children.”
The leaders of the people devoted most of their wealth to “all kinds of engineering projects for controlling and taming nature. But the Lord altered the order of creation, making the sun rise in the west and set in the East,” so that all their plans came to naught. The idea of controlling the environment independently of God “was not as foolish as it sounds,” says the Zohar, “for they knew all the arts … and all the ruling principles [archons] governing the world, and on this knowledge they relied, until at length God disabused them by restoring the earth to its primal state and covering it with water.” Rabbi Isaac reports: In the days of Enoch even children were acquainted with these mysterious arts (the advanced sciences). R. Yesa asks: With all that knowledge could they not foresee destruction? To which R. Isaac replies: They knew, all right, but they thought they were just smart enough to prevent it. What they did not know was that God rules the world. … He gave them respite as long as the righteous men Jared, Methuselah and Enoch were alive: but when they departed from the world, God let the punishment descend … and they were blotted out from the earth.
A Book of Mormon text betrays the Enoch tradition (possibly contained in the brass plates) in a transparent parallel:
(2 Ne. 26:29.) “Priestcrafts are that men … set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.”
Compare this to:
(Zohar. Beresh. 25b.) “These men [of Enoch’s time] erected synagogues and colleges, and placed in them scrolls and rich ornaments … but they did it to set themselves up for a light, and for the honors of men; and in such a way the powers of evil prevail over Israel.”
Power and gain are two faces of one coin: “We are able to do whatever we please,” said the people in Enoch’s day, “because we are very rich!” To which Enoch replied: “You are wrong! Your riches will soon depart from you …”; but they went on seeking the power of gain more grimly than ever.
An interesting connection emerges in the account of how “in the time of Enoch they committed murder, shedding of blood of the children of men; they enslaved them, they sold what did not belong to them, they entered homes without right, and took whatever they wanted … they rigged the laws in their favor, and imitated the abominable deeds of the rebellious angels of a former time in which, when Abel tried to check them they encompassed his death by a conspiracy.” For this confirms a bold statement found in the Doctrine and Covenants 84:16: “Abel … was slain by [a] conspiracy.” [D&C 84:16] Ambition was the motivating force in all this evil. “The giants,” says Ben Sira 16:7, “were aspiring spirits who desired to be great in the manner of God on earth”; E. Kraeling has pointed out that the biblical term “men of name,” means “men who aspired to be great, ‘to make a name’ for themselves.” The Slavonic Enoch version matches the book of Moses in taking us back to the beginning of the matter:
Moses 4:1. That Satan … came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind … wherefore give me thine honor.
Moses 4:4. And he became Satan … to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.
Ms. R, Ch. 11: The Devil knew that I wanted to make the world … with Adam ruling as Lord of it. … he became Satan when he fled from heaven, before which time he was Satan-el. He changed his nature and was no longer an angel; he preserved his identity, but his state of mind was altered, as when any righteous person becomes wicked … and he conceived the impossible idea of setting up his throne … to be equal to my power.
[God has given him great power over such as listen to him.] (Apoc. Abr. 14:1–2; cf. DS Thanks. VI [f] p. X.)
Almost all our sources, and especially the Joseph Smith book of Enoch, emphasize the point that the people did not drift imperceptibly into ways of folly. They were so constantly warned that only a high and determined willfulness brought destruction upon them:
Moses 6:28. For these many generations … have they gone astray, … and have sought their own counsels in the dark; …
Moses 6:29. Wherefore, they have … brought upon themselves death.
|Beatty 99:8f. And they shall go astray in the foolishness [aphrosyne] of their hearts, and the visions of their dreams [the dark] shall lead them astray. And the lying words you have made shall perish. 98:9. Woe to you foolish ones, for you shall perish through your own folly!
|Moses 5:57. For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son.
|Secrets 4 (Vaillant, p. 18). These are they who denied the Lord, and would not hear the voice of the Lord, but followed their own counsel.
|Moses 6:29. They have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not.
Gk. Enoch 63:9. We pass away … on account of our own works … descending into hell [Sheol].
Gk. 3(99:2). Wo unto you who pervert the eternal covenant
|Moses 6:43. Why counsel ye yourselves, and deny the God of heaven?
and reckon yourselves sinless!
Bait ha-Midrasch (BHM) 5:171. I am Enoch! When the generation of the Flood sinned and said of God: Turn away from him, and in the knowing of his ways do not rejoice. Then God delivered men.
To be continued.