And now, my son Methuselah, call to me all thy brothers and gather together to me all the sons of thy mother; For the word calls me, and the spirit is poured out upon me,
that I may show you everything that shall befall you for ever.’
And there upon Methuselah went and summoned to him all his brothers and assembled his relatives. And he spake unto all the children of righteousness and said:’Hear, ye sons of Enoch, all the words of your father, and hearken aright to the voice of my mouth;
for I exhort you and say unto you, beloved:
Love uprightness and walk therein. And draw not nigh to uprightness with a double heart, and associate not with those of a double heart, but walk in righteousness, my sons. And it shall guide you on good paths, and righteousness shall be your companion.
For I know that violence increase on the earth, and a great chastisement be executed on the earth, and all unrighteousness come to an end:
Yea,it shall be cut off from its roots, and its whole structure be destroyed. And unrighteousness shall again be consummated on the earth, and all the deeds of unrighteousness and of violence and transgression shall prevail in a twofold degree.
And when sin and unrighteousness and blasphemy and violence in all kinds of deeds increase, and apostasy and transgression and uncleanness increase,a great chastisement shall come from heaven upon all these, and the holy Lord will come forth with wrath and chastisement to execute judgement on earth. (Epistle of Enoc, 91:1-7)
The Epistle of Enoch is the fifth and last part of Enoch’s work. It is dated to I sec. B.C. It is recognizable a certain polemical vein against a certain part of society. Some scholars say that the text reflects the discussions between the Pharisees and Sadducees, others – more simply – between the rich and the poor, the unjust and the just.
The introduction to this part seems to be rather the introduction to the whole work of Enoch. Enoch, in fact, calls his son Methuselah (see Gen 5:21) to gather all his brothers so that they can hear the Enich’s testament. The expression “for the word calls me, and the spirit is poured out upon me” is very interesting. This is undoubtedly the word of God coming to Enoch by means of the spirit that came to Enoch. In fact the Spirit took Enoch. Enoch was seized of Spirit, a bit like the shamanic trance. The expression also indicates the great consideration that Enoch’s books enjoyed with the early Christians who, in fact, regarded them as inspired words (see Jude 14).
Enoch exhorts his children to avoid duplicity of the heart, a theme dear to the gospels, where Jesus always invites not to be hypocritical, i.e. false, double, as the Pharisees (see Matthew 23:27). The literary genre of the testament also foretells prophecies about the future, which in fact are also here. The text speaks about a great chastisement. Of course it is the flood that will be narrated in Genesis 6-8. However, the causes that led to the flood will reappear and will cause a new great punishment that will hit the earth with fire (91:8-11).
One can not fail to notice the similarity of this text with the language that is generally found in the prophecies of many of today’s visionaries. Many people, in fact, speak of great chastisement that will happen either with water or with fire or with both of them together. What is the value of these modern prophecies? It is obvious that in the history of humanity will inevitably occur disasters – even global – both natural and caused by man; it is also true that man’s history is marked by injustice, lust, iniquity, etc. Therefore it is not difficult to tie the two things, especially when there are signs of a possible catastrophe!