Moses Chapter 7 (December 1830) The Visions of Enoch
Moses 7:18 And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
Moses 7:26 And [Enoch] beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
Moses 7:28-33 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge and their agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them. Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
Moses 7:48 The governing intelligence of the earth cries out. And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
Moses 7:56 Enoch=s vision of the crucifixion of the Savior. The heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent.
This chapter has often been referred to as "the visions of Enoch." Fifty-six of its 69 verses deal with Enoch's two major visions (see Moses 7:3-11 and Moses 7:21-67). We might also well argue, of course, that Enoch's call (Moses 6:26-36) was a prior grand vision in and of itself. In the first of the two visions in this chapter, Enoch beholds peoples and places of his time (see verses 3-11). In the second, the grand vision of Enoch, he views "all the inhabitants of the earth" until "the end of the world" (verses 21-67). Along the way, he sees God himself weeping because of the pending Flood (see verses 28-33) and, in the far-off distance, "the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh" (verse 47). These two visions, in this chapter, complement Enoch's hearing the voice of the Lord in Moses 6:26-36.
In these visions, it would seem that two major divine purposes are described. First, the Lord orients, through the prophet Enoch, the peoples of earth to his divine point of view. Second, it steps up the Lord's efforts to recover his people before the devastating Flood which is pending. This latter purpose is accomplished by the Lord's sending angels (verses 25-27) and by his calling the prophet Enoch to be his spokesman.
We may divide this chapter into three chronological parts:
1. The first section has to do with Enoch's vision of events that are roughly contemporary with Enoch and the people whom he leads (verses 1-19).
2. The second section consists of the initial part of the grand vision of Enoch, down to the time of Noah and the Flood (verses 20-47).
3. The third segment is concerned with Enoch's vision of the two comings of the Son of Man and the millennial thousand years (verses 48-67).
1 And it came to pass that Enoch continued his speech, saying: Behold, our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God, and many have believed not, and have perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them.
verse 1 "Enoch continued his speech" The narrator or first person is Moses. This particular phrase refers back to Moses 6:37 and 6:40. Immediately following his call from the Lord, "Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him." His authority was challenged by a man named Mahijah (see Moses 6:40). Thus, in this verse, he "continue[s] his speech."
"our father Adam taught these things" Enoch has just finished quoting a long section from a record of Adam (see Moses 6:51-68). The narrative now returns to the words of Enoch himself.
"many have believed and become the sons of God" Here again we encounter the title of those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and obey his commands-"the sons of God." This title applies in apposition to "the sons of men," the title for those who rebel against God.
"many have believed not . . . and are looking forth with fear. . . in torment" This phrase refers to those who rejected the gospel here on earth and are in the world of spirits (see verse 38). It would seem that no one rejects the Lord and his gospel without some degree of misgiving or ambivalence, which ultimately manifests itself in some form of fear. These sinners are completely self aware and are fearful.
"the wrath of God to be poured out upon them" Other scriptures paint God's wrath either as a liquid (see Job 21:20; Hosea 5:10; Revelation 19:15) or as a fire kindled by God (see Numbers 11:33; Psalm 106:40; 35:14; Leviticus 14:10-18; 2 Kings 16:13; Hosea 9:4; Micah 6:7).
It should be noted that God's "wrath" is something of a metaphor. We know that both the Father and the Son love the sinner and yearn to live with him forever, but the law of justice holds that the unrepentant sinner must "suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit-and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink" (D&C 19:15-19). This suffering is experienced in the world of spirits and is not an arbitrary, punitive suffering "poured" upon a man because of his sins. Rather, it is suffering that has a constructive purpose. See the discussion of adversity and suffering in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 3, chapter 1, Adversity and suffering and chapter 2, The Roles of Suffering in Our Lives.
2 And from that time forth Enoch began to prophesy, saying unto the people, that: As I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah, and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying-Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.
verse 2 "Enoch began to prophesy" The basis of his prophecy is his vision wherein Enoch beholds the peoples and places of his time (see verses 3-11).
"I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah" Often the term "the place" points to a special, even sacred locale. We notice such a term for Gethsemane, the "place" of Jesus's suffering (Luke 22:40; John 18:2).
There is no reason given in the text to assume a relationship between the character Mahijah mentioned in Moses 6:40 and "the place Mahujah." These are obviously, however, a variant pair of names, as they differ only by their middle vowels. It is notable that these names were not known from any other ancient source before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Cave 4, where the name appears in fragmentary copies of the book of First Enoch (see the commentary for Moses 6:40).
"a voice out of heaven" One senses that this term effectively announces both a renewed effort by God to gather those who will believe and even a new dispensation. Compare Moses 6:27; Mark 1:3; D&C 1:1; also Isaiah 40:3.
"Turn ye" The verb turn has to do with one's feet and, by extension, the path that a person follows. In scripture, such an action could describe traversing a path of righteousness, traveling a path of sin, or repenting by turning from one's current course. Jesus's act of washing the feet of the apostles ties to this set of ideas (see John 13:6-10). Compare Zechariah 1:3: "Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you." See also Malachi 3:7.
verses 3-11 These verses offer a snapshot of life in the pre-Flood era. People have apparently divided into tribes and clans, taking up residence in specific locales. Whether they banded together into larger tribal confederations is not clear, although we read of "nations" and "enemies of the people of God" (verses 13-14), expressions that may point to a broad unification of sorts among peoples. Some of these peoples (the people of Cain and the people of Canaan) will become characterized by "a blackness" which apparently served to keep these people apart from other tribes.
We will read of tribal warfare that occurred among these people, including the brutal and sordid actions of the people of Canaan exterminating the people of Shum. We will also read of warfare against the people of God, perhaps because they are the people of God (verses 13-14).
3 And it came to pass that I turned and went up on the mount; and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory;
verse 3 "I turned and went" Please note the immediacy of Enoch's obedience to the Lord's command.
"I beheld the heavens open" Here is the onset of Enoch's first vision experience wherein he beholds peoples and places of his time (verses 3-11).
"I was clothed upon with glory" Enoch was transfigured so that he could withstand the presence of the Lord. It would seem that our knowledge of this special state is limited. It seems to involve a change from the mortal telestial state to a higher or more exalted condition and appearance. The change in appearance is visible to the mortal eyes of others, and this transformation enables the individual so favored to stand in the presence of God and view the things of God. The scripture refers to these individuals as having "spiritual eyes" (Moses 1:11). The scriptures report the "transfiguration" of several prophets and even the Lord himself (see Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Luke 9:28-36; Moses 1:11; D&C 67:11; Exodus 34:29-35; 3 Nephi 28:13-17; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). For further discussion of the phenomenon of translation, see Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 3, chapter 14, Transfiguration.
At present, we are fallen beings and therefore naturally of the telestial order. It is not possible for what is telestial in nature to interact directly with things of a higher order. In order to interact with celestial beings, we must first be transfigured by the Holy Spirit. In other words, our present, fallen natures must be temporarily raised to a higher state of being by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and we must partake momentarily of the nature that will be ours in the resurrection.
We may even expand the concept of transfiguration. Ordinarily we associate the phenomenon of transfiguration, and the need for transfiguration, with a mortal being who is blessed to be in the physical presence of a divine celestial being. His or her telestial body must be transfigured or temporarily changed so that it has celestial properties that protect the body from damage resulting from celestial glory (see the commentary for Mosiah 13:5). But the same general principle applies for the communication of celestial or spiritual concepts. The telestial, or "natural" mortal mind, cannot grasp celestial concepts lest that mortal mind be "transfigured" temporarily by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost or lifted to a higher celestial state (1 Corinthians 2:14). Only then can the mind grasp (understand and learn) the celestial or eternal concept. We say that the celestial or eternal concepts are "revealed" to the individual. It is notable that over time, the mind that seeks and receives heavenly revelation becomes less and less telestial and more and more celestial. This is spiritual progress; this is the process of becoming more like God.
4 And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.
verse 4 "I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations" Actually, the present vision will include only a few generations. From Enoch's time it would be four generations until the Flood, and this vision that is beginning to unfold to Enoch will not include the Flood. That event will appear only in a later vision (see verses 34, 38, 42-43).
5 And it came to pass that I beheld in the valley of Shum, and lo, a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum.
verse 5 "valley of Shum . . . people of Shum" The name Shum is likely a variant of Shem, itself meaning name. Here is an early instance of a place and a tribe that share the same name. On the issue of whether the name attached first to the place or to the people, it is probable that these people carried the name of an ancestor and then transferred that name to the valley. This point is important for understanding how the names in verse 9 became attached to certain lands or regions.
6 And again the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked towards the north, and I beheld the people of Canaan, which dwelt in tents.
verse 6 "I looked towards the north" Geographically, both "the place Mahujah" and "the mount Simeon" lay to the south of the homeland of "the people of Canaan, who dwelt in tents" (verses 2, 6).
"the people of Canaan" This people is not the same as "the seed of Cain" (verse 22), although both groups had black skins (see verses 8, 22). Their tribal names are of different origins. One of the grounds for this conclusion has to do with the fact that the meaning of the roots of the names differ from one another. The name Cain derives from a root that means "to acquire" or "to create" (Hebrew qanah). Canaan, on the other hand, probably goes back to a root that means to bow the knee (Hebrew k'na'an).
verses 7-11 Here is the substance of Enoch's actual first visionary prophecy. Enoch's audience consisted of the peoples noted in verse 9: "all the inhabitants" of "the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch," including Cain's people (see Moses 5:42), as well as others. It is they whom he addresses when the quotation begins in the middle of Moses 7:2: "Enoch began to prophesy, saying . . ." It is presumably from their numbers that he gathers individuals into "the people of God" (Moses 7:13), which individuals then break their tribal loyalties and establish a society on celestial principles.
7 And the Lord said unto me: Prophesy; and I prophesied, saying: Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan;
verse 7 "the Lord said unto me: Prophesy" The idea that the prophets of old were able to actually prophesy of future events has, today, become unfashionable, as biblical scholars and many members of Christian churches seek for naturalistic explanations for what seem to be instances of divinely inspired prophecy in the Bible. The actual occurrence of the supernatural in scripture has become unacceptable and not "politically correct." Here in this verse and the next, however, we see an instance of literal God-inspired prophecy. When these events do come to pass, they will prove to his hearers that Enoch had received this information from a divine source.
"the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land" This expression implies that the people of Canaan shall spread themselves out ("divide themselves") and take control of the land. One of the results of the war of extermination against the people of Shum was that the people of Canaan came into possession of the entire desert region, which they had evidently shared with the people of Shum. Thus, we see a dark motive in the hearts of the people of Canaan-that of exterminating a people and taking over their land.
"the land shall be barren and unfruitful" In most instances, references to land carry the sense of cultivable land or grazing land that supports life (see verse 17, which distinguishes between fruitful land and mountainous regions). However, in the case of the people of Canaan, their land is "barren and unfruitful" and burdened "with much heat," a result of a "curse [on] the land" (see verse 8).
8 For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.
9 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked, and I beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof;
verse 9 One surmises that these other tribes inhabited regions that were less harsh than the desert setting of the people of Canaan.
10 And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them-Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.
verse 10 "Go to this people" The term "this people" evidently refers to those noted in verse 9, not to the people of Canaan (see verse 12). This latter group (those of Canaan) will not receive a call to repent from Enoch. We are left to guess at the reason for the Lord's restraining Enoch in this way.
"come out and smite them" The image seems to be one of a warrior who stands behind a shield and, at the opportune moment, comes out from behind the shield and attacks the enemy.
"a curse, and they die" It is likely that the Lord is threatening these people with a similar curse that befell the people of Canaan (see verse 8).
11 And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.
verse 11 "baptize in the name of the Father and the Son" If we omit the honorific expressions that attach to the Son ("which is full of grace and truth") and to the Holy Ghost ("which beareth record of the Father and the Son"), we are left with the formulary for baptism: ". . . in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This is a novel idea-that in the time of Enoch, baptism would be done in the name of Jesus Christ and the other two members of the Godhead. For all the Christian world knows, it was the mortal Jesus Christ who introduced this baptismal language (Matthew 28:19-20).
"the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son" One of the important roles of the Holy Ghost is to bear record or testify of the Father and the Son. In this role he is sometimes referred to as "the record of heaven" (see Moses 6:61; Moses 6:66 and the commentary for these verses). For a discussion of the many roles of the Holy Ghost, see The Holy Ghost in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 2, chapter 5.
12 And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent;
verse 12 Initially, in his ministry, Enoch preached to all of the people (except the people of Canaan), but later on, his ministry will be confined to his own people (see verse 19).
13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
verse 13 "the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness" It is puzzling why this detail is included in the text, unless it is either to stress that the topographic changes that occurred at Enoch's bidding also severely disturbed the world of nature, or to emphasize that God's power extends into the animal kingdom.
"so powerful was the word of Enoch, and . . . the language which God had given him" In considering the concept of gifts of the Spirit, we conclude that there are basically two distinct kinds of gifts. The first may be regarded as "free gifts"-those the Lord provides to his faithful earthly servants, particularly those who hold his priesthood and labor in his earthly vineyard to build and maintain the kingdom of God on earth. While a man must receive and utilize these borrowed powers under a rigorous mandatory set of rules, they are manifestations of God's power the priesthood holder is allowed to utilize at his own bidding in his righteous labors here on earth while on the Lord's errand. They are not manifestations of the man's own personal spiritual powers. The second kind of gifts of the Spirit are those which a man "earns" through his diligent striving to be obedient to the laws of God. As a man strives to obey, he gradually receives increments of the attributes of God which are given to him by personal revelation. These gifts are increments of the man's spiritual growth, and they produce a fundamental change in him. By virtue of these gifts, he becomes a "new creature" with a heart that is fundamentally changes and softened toward the purposes of God. As a man receives these gifts of the Spirit, he also grows in personal power-that is, his own influence with the elements of our round of creation is enhanced. He thus acquires his own personal power quite distinguishable from God's power. We may encounter scriptures that refer to this personal power eventually acquired by the diligently righteous (Matthew 17:20; Matthew 21:21). For a discussion of gifts of the Spirit, see Spiritual Growth-Gifts of the Spirit in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 7. See also The Blessings of Spiritual Gifts, chapter 8.
It is obvious that Enoch possessed the gift of power in words. Which type of divine gift was this-was it a manifestation of God's power made accessible to him by virtue of the priesthood which he held, or was it his own personal gift of the Spirit which he had acquired by his diligent obedience to God's law? It is possible that it was a combination of both. If a man acquires, through his diligent obedience in a certain specific area, it would seem that the Lord would delight in adding to and enhancing that gift as a man labors in his kingdom.
14 There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.
verses 14 By the word of his mouth, Enoch changed the topography of the lands roundabout, doubtless through the mechanism seismic activity. Witnessing these events was sufficiently frightening to the unbelievers that they fled onto an island or a peninsula that came up out of the depth of the sea during the seismic turmoil.
15 And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;
verse 15 "the giants of the land, also, stood afar off" It is unclear whether this phrase refers to people who were especially large in stature or not. The meaning of giants here is important to Latter-day Saints because Joseph Smith allowed this term to stand in the Moses account without comment. Three possibilities present themselves. (1) The term points to mythological creatures that have nothing to do with reality and are connected with the Hebrew tendency to exaggerate. Most interpreters accept this view. (2) There were actual giants, or huge people, who lived on the earth. D. J. Wiseman points out that there are skeletal remains of persons over nine feet tall in the Middle East (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6:13). (3) One can also examine the term on the basis of language. The Hebrew word translated "giants" in Genesis 6:4 is n'filim. This term derives from the verb to fall and may have as much to do with apostasy (see Moses 8:18) as with people who may be large in stature.
"there went forth a curse" Divine curses usually affect the productivity of the ground, but in this case the curse seems to have to do with the occurrence of "wars and bloodshed" among those cursed (see verse 16).
16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.
verse 16 "the Lord came and dwelt with his people" The word dwelt implies a particularly intimate ongoing spiritual relationship between the Lord and his people. This phrase need not imply that the Lord dwelt physically upon the earth with his people.
17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
verse 17 Under the influence of the Lord's abundant blessings to his people, they flourished in all ways-temporally and spiritually-to the point where all people could not help but stand in awe ("fear") of them.
"they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places" This phrase suggests a special place of worship such as a temple and implies that part of the Lord's blessings to his people came in the form of sacred temple ordinances.
18 And the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
verse 18 Here the Lord defines a Zion people as a righteous group of obedient saints whose central focus is the love of and the care of one another.
19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.
verse 19 "Enoch continued his preaching" It seems that, at a certain point, Enoch ceased his missionary activities among the general populace and turned his attentions entirely to his own people.
"he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion" Here is Enoch's city of Zion, his City of Enoch.
verses 20-47 The era portrayed in these verses is one of extreme contrasts between the wicked and the righteous that, perhaps, have not otherwise occurred during human history, either before or since. On the side of wickedness, we will learn that "among all the workmanship of [his] hands," which includes "millions of earths" like this one, "there has not been so great wickedness as among [Enoch's] brethren [his contemporaries] (verses 30, 36). In contrast, the righteous who join themselves to Zion are "taken up into heaven" (verses 16, 21, 47, 69).
20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
verse 20 The spirit of Enoch's conversation with the Lord is that of a prayerful plea by Enoch for the future safety and well-being of Zion. His hopeful prophecy is expressed: "Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever." The Lord immediately affirms his hope with, "Zion have I blessed."
"the residue of the people have I cursed" The essence of a Zion people is that they are a covenant making and a covenant keeping people. These will forever, as a people, enjoy the Lord's protective blessings. Those who refuse to make or keep the Lord's covenants ("the residue") may also be referred to as the "sons of men" or the "people of the world." These will not be blessed with those same blessings-they are therefore "cursed" by the Lord.
21 And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.
verse 21 "the Lord showed unto Enoch" Thus begins Enoch's next vision.
"all the inhabitants of the earth" It seems likely that initially, Enoch was shown all of the inhabitants of the earth in his own day-a relatively few people. By this end of this vision, however, he will see all of the people of all ages of the earth's existence, including the people of this latter day.
"in process of time" This phrase indicates that the current vision possesses a chronological component. This observation is reinforced twice a few verses later with the expressions "after that Zion was taken up" (verse 23) and "there came generation upon generation (verse 24).
"was taken up into heaven" It is not clear from the term whether the city was physically taken up, buildings and all, or whether only the inhabitants of the city were taken up.
What does it mean that the city of Enoch was "taken up into heaven"? Were the inhabitants of the city really taken back to heaven-that very celestial planet where God dwells? All indications are that they were not received back into heaven, that heaven where they dwelt prior to their mortal births. Rather they were translated. Paul, in writing to the Hebrews, explained that "by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). This implies that the inhabitants all reached an advanced stage of spiritual development while still on earth-so advanced they were worthy to be sealed up to eternal life. They were given special translated bodies, assigned a terrestrial (not a celestial) residence, and then had the blessing of being utilized by the Lord as ministering angels on the earth until the Lord's second coming. For a discussion of the fascinating topic of translation, see Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 2, chapter 17, Doctrine of Translation.
"Behold mine abode forever" The Father and the Son will eventually dwell directly in the celestial presence of their covenant people-Zion-forever.
22 And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.
verse 22 "Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam" The vision widens to include people outside of the city. All of these are descendants from Adam.
"a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain" Here the descendants of Cain are excluded from the fellowship of the descendants of Adam, doubtless because of their rebellion and disobedience. We also learn in this verse that the seed of Cain were a black people-likely given a black skin as a mark of their disobedience. We have no information whatever to suggest how they acquired their blackness. Some have even raised the completely unsubstantiated and unlikely possibility that they did so through intermarriage with pre-Adamite peoples.
23 And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;
verse 23 "after that Zion was taken up into heaven" Ordinarily in modern-day English, we would say, "after Zion was taken up into heaven," leaving out the that. The "after that" is, however, a typically Semitic or Hebrew idiom.
"all the nations of the earth were before him" The scope of Enoch's vision widens to include the people of "all the nations of the earth." The 10th chapter of Genesis lists seventy major families that have descended from the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We will learn later in this chapter, after Enoch sees Noah in vision, that Enoch will then behold "all the families of the earth" (verse 45). We will assume that, in these passages, "nations" and "families" are equivalent. We will also assume that the seventy nations or families descended from Noah are many, if not all, of the people Enoch beholds in this vision.
24 And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.
verse 24 "there came generation upon generation" This phrase denotes the passage of time in Enoch's vision. The Flood at the time of Noah will occur in the fourth generation after the time of Enoch.
"Enoch was high and lifted up" During his vision, Enoch was blessed to be placed at a most favorable spiritual vantage point over the whole of humanity.
"even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man" To be in "the bosom" of the Father and the Son is to be intimately enclosed in the loving (spiritual and/or physical) presence of God. Figuratively, it is to be enfolded in God's protective arms. In verse 30 we will be reminded that God is "just . . . merciful and kind," and to be embraced by him is to feel the full measure of these merciful attributes-completely confident, comfortable, secure, and safe (see Moses 7:63; D&C 76:13; D&C 76:25; D&C 76:39; D&C 83:13; D&C 83:109:4).
"the power of Satan" Satan has little or no power or influence over a mortal who is earnestly and consistently striving to obey the Lord's commands. The disobedient and rebellious, however, hand themselves over to him for his uncaring and unfeeling ministration. It is over these recalcitrant souls that Satan can exert real power. For a discussion of Satan, his characteristics and his limitations, see chapter 16 of volume 1 of Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine. This chapter is titled, The Role of Satan.
25 And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.
verse 25 "he saw angels descending out of heaven" At the time of Enoch there were no resurrected beings who belonged to our round of creation. Therefore, these angels must have been translated beings, premortal spirits, or the spirits of just men made perfect-individuals who had died and been judged worthy to be placed in paradise in the world of spirits (see the commentary for Alma 29:1). Through the calling of Enoch and the sending of angels, the Lord was mounting a significant effort to try to reclaim the disobedient. The role of these angels was to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ to the righteous and the wicked (see Moses 5:58-59).
"he heard a loud voice" The speaker is unknown but doubtless a spokesmen for the celestial realm.
"Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth" Wo is used an expression of denunciation, as here, or an exclamation of sorrow, as in, "Wo is me, for I am undone" (Isaiah 6:5). The use of two "wo's" is an especially severe denunciation.
26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
verse 26 Here is a chilling verse. Enoch describes a vision of Satan's devilish delight in his work. Satan is a brilliant and persuasive megalomaniac who rejoices at man's disobedience and unresponsiveness to things of the Spirit. And he is sufficiently perversely charismatic to the point of influencing his angels to the point of rejoicing-their hopeless plight notwithstanding.
"he had a great chain . . . and it veiled the whole face of the earth" One can envision, figuratively, his great chain wrapped around the earth several times and therefore casting a shadow over the whole earth.
27 And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
verse 27 "angels descending out of heaven" See the commentary for verse 25.
"they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion" These thoroughly righteous individuals were likely translated just as were the inhabitants of the City of Enoch (see verse 21 and its commentary). These individuals were also spared the awful experience of the Flood.
verses 28-32 Enoch observes in these remarkable verses that in spite of God's omnipotence and greatness, there is no gap between him and his children. He is a being of tender compassion who weeps over the waywardness of those children.
28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
verse 28 "the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept" An important characteristic of the God of the orthodox Christian world today is that he must not be subject to passions. This idea, of course, originated with the Greek philosophic definition of God. Also God, when defined to fit within the parameters of Greek philosophy, could not be subject to either time or space. Similarly the Greek ideal held that God must be apatheia (impassible), without passions or emotions. Otherwise, his will would be subject to his emotions and feelings, and in the Greek view God cannot be subject to anything. This is why the God of the philosophers must be not only without body but also without passions (feelings and emotions). Augustine (AD 354-430) and others went to great lengths to insist that just as the corporeal references to God in the Bible must be reinterpreted in a non-corporeal way, so also all references to emotions in God must be interpreted in a non-emotive sense. For example, Augustine stated: "Now when God is said [in the Bible] to be angry, we do not attribute to him such a disturbed feeling as exists in the mind of an angry man; we merely refer to his just displeasure against sin by the term 'anger,' a word transferred by analogy from human emotions." So, in Augustine's mind, God does not actually feel the emotion of anger. The big problem, of course, is that love is also an emotion, a passion, and the scriptures insist on the love of God ("God is love," "For God so loved the world," and so on). The philosophers got around this problem by simply redefining love whenever it was applied to God, so that for them divine love was not an emotion. Augustine defined the love of God as a function of his reason and will alone-God feels nothing. Thus, according to the ancient theologians, love as humans know it in an emotive sense has nothing to do with God, the statements of the scriptures notwithstanding. Neither can God have genuine compassion nor empathy for human suffering, except as those terms are redefined to eliminate the element of feeling. In this way the language of scripture-the bare words themselves-are retained, but their meaning is completely subverted by philosophical concerns. God, of course, is most passionate, and experiences supreme emotional feelings, as this particular verse illustrates. One is not without evidence of this fact in the Bible. Please review Jeremiah 4:19-21; Jeremiah 8:18-9:1; 10:19-21 in which the poignant and truly emotional feelings of the Lord are made explicit.
"How is it that the heavens weep" Enoch asks the Lord, "how is it that thou canst weep" (see the following verse). Enoch expresses his surprise that the Lord weeps. After all, he is God.
verses 29-31 Enoch actually attempts to reassure and comfort the Lord in the Lord's apparent agony as he contemplates the awful prospect destroying the "residue of the people"-those who are disobedient. It is poignant that the Lord seems to be assuming the blame for the wickedness of the people. After all, their wickedness will reach such a pitch that he will be compelled to destroy all human life on the earth through the Flood.
These verses also form a doxology-a hymn of praise to the Lord.
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
verse 29 "How is it that thou canst weep" This phrase forms a parallelism, a synonymous phrase, with the prior phrase: "How is it that the heavens weep . . .?"
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
verse 30 In this verse Enoch says, in effect, "I just don't comprehend how you could have created innumerable earths and innumerable offspring and still be concerned about these relatively few people on this particular earth."
"millions of earths like this" Though we cannot dismiss the possibility of hyperbole here, this phrase does not actually seem to constitute any overstatement. Compare Moses 1:33: "Worlds without number have I [the Lord] created." Moreover, God's infinite abilities allow his "eye" to "pierce them [all]: (Moses 7:36).
"thy curtains are stretched out still" The "curtains" represent the borders of God's created universe. Isaiah used similar terminology for the borders of God's universe when he compared it to a tent: "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes" (Isaiah 54:2). Hence, this phrase means, "Thy borders are still expanding." In effect Enoch says, "Thy dominions are already unimaginably large, and they are still growing."
"yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there" Here is another reference to the rich concept of the bosom of the Father and the Son-see the commentary for verse 24. See also the following verse.
31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
verse 31 Enoch continues his doxology or hymn of praise. He says, in effect, "Thou hast already taken the City of Zion to thine own bosom and blessed them to be recipients of thy never ending mercies and thy unfailing justice. Thou has already been so merciful to the righteous of this earth, how can you weep over extending the well deserved fruits of justice to the disobedient?" God's omnipotence and greatness to not get in the way of his being a tender and compassionate Lord who weeps over the waywardness of his children.
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
verse 32 The Lord explains his despairing sorrow over his rebellious offspring to Enoch. He says, in effect, I feel responsible for them. They are my children; I tutored them; I saw to it that they were placed into mortality. And now they are about to be lost to me.
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
verse 33 The Lord continues his explanation to Enoch: "I yearn for my offspring to love and succor one another and help each other to return to me, but, alas, they have come to reject, hate, and even kill each other." We have witnessed concrete proof of the Lord's assertions in the destruction of the people of Shum by the people of Canaan (see Moses 7:7) and in the murdering of close relatives, as in the cases of Cain and Lamech (see Moses 5:32; Moses 5:47-50).
34 And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
verse 34 "the fire of mine indignation" The imagery points to purging and judgment. The image of fire as a figure or symbol of judgment is common in scripture (see Moses 7:34; Genesis 19:24; Amos 1:4; Amos 1:7; Amos 1:10; Amos 1:13; Luke 12:49; 2 Nephi 9:16; 2 Nephi 9:19; 2 Nephi 9:26; 3 Nephi 8:7; 3 Nephi 9:3; 3 Nephi 9:9-10).
"will I send in the floods" This is the first mention in the book of Moses of the Flood.
"my fierce anger is kindled against them" See the commentary for verse 28. The Lord is angry over the rebellious and disobedient among Adam's descendants, and they will feel his angry.
35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
verse 35 Here the Lord reveals some of his names to Enoch. The Lord does not do this arbitrarily. Each of his names has a specific and rich meaning, and he has reasons for revealing these names to Enoch.
"I am God" This expression possibly represents the divine name which the Lord will reveal to Moses on the holy mount: "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:13-14). This title will be on Jesus's lips both in his mortal (John 6:35; John 6:48; John 6:51) and postmortal (3 Nephi 11:10; 3 Nephi 11:11; 3 Nephi 15:5; 3 Nephi 15:9; 3 Nephi 15:27:27) ministries.
"Man of Holiness" "Man of Counsel" These two names seem to function together to emphasize the idea that God is holy, and most of the people of the earth have chosen not to be holy. In fact, they have become as profane as it is possible to become. The name "Man of Counsel" draws attention to the fact that, through his representatives, God has tried to counsel with his children in order to bring them back to him through calls for their repentance (see Moses 7:25-27; also 5:14, 17, 58; 7:16, 19-20, 23-24).
"Endless and Eternal" "Endless" and "Eternal" are simply names for God and imply the character of his existence. See D&C 19:4-12 and the commentary for these verses, particularly the commentary for verse 4.
There are other titles of Jesus Christ that are found in Moses 7:
1. "The Lord" as a title (verse 35) ties to "the day" of the coming of the Messiah (the Lord's second coming). Such a term says much about the context into which Jesus will come into the world on that occasion.
2. The term "the Righteous" (verse 45) links to the shedding of blood and to being "lifted up" on the cross. This title underscores an essential characteristic of the person who will die for our sins.
3. "Son of Man" (verse 57) links to "the day of [his] coming . . . in the flesh" (verse 47). Evidently, Enoch had already known of this title from the record of Adam, from which he has quoted at length (see Moses 6:51-68).
4. The title "the Lamb" refers to the notion of a long-expected sacrifice.
5. "Messiah" ("the anointed one") appears in verse 53. In ancient Israel, those who received an anointing for their offices were kings, prophets, and priests.
6. "King of Zion" (verse 53) is a royal title which links to the Lord's association with the people of Zion.
7. "Rock of Heaven" (verse 53) is the secure way for persons to ascend to heaven. Further, this title clarifies the meaning of "Rock" as it is applied to the Messiah in other contexts. In verse 53, this firm pathway to heaven is described as being "broad as eternity," and the Lord in verse 53 also further attests to his being the secure path to heaven when he says, "Whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall."
8. "Only Begotten" (verse 59) is the appellation through which prayer is to be offered. It refers, of course, to he being the only begotten by the Father in the flesh.
36 Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
verse 36 "I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also" The Lord reminds Enoch that he (the Lord) is all powerful and has complete understanding and control of the situation created by the recalcitrant among Enoch's contemporaries. One is reminded of Paul's statement: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).
"there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren" An important concept that gives even richer meaning to this statement is often overlooked in the Church. Every person who lived prior to the Flood had ample opportunity to hear and understand the gospel, and those who were wicked, became so with full knowledge of the gospel. See the important commentary for 2 Nephi 2:21 and D&C 138:28.
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
verse 37 "their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers" This statement is not to be taken as unequivocal and without qualification, but it is a reminder that every parent has the responsibility to diligently teach their children the truths of the gospel.
"Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom" Satan has no power over the children of men until they grant him that power by their giving in to their natural man selves. Then his influence tends to escalate until he has them entrapped in the chains of hell (Alma 12:9-11), and he becomes "their father." Then, of course, we are reminded that "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10).
"the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands" We have discussed the fact that "the heavens" in this chapter is synonymous with God, so that when the "heavens weep" in verse 28, it is God that is weeping. Here we learn that, in addition to God, all of the creations of God ("the whole heavens" and "the workmanship of mine hands") who are aware of the plight of the rebellious souls among the contemporaries of Enoch will also weep for them.
"wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer" The Lord adds, in effect, "And well should the hosts of heaven weep for the disobedient, as they will certainly suffer in the great Flood for their recalcitrance.
38 But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.
verse 38 "these which thine eyes are upon" The Flood during Noah's day will occur some four generations after Enoch. However, Enoch is seeing them in vision.
"I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them" The Lord's reference here is to those who will perish in the Flood. They will be remanded to the "prison" part of the world of spirits, there to await the eventual preaching of the righteous souls in paradise which will not commence until after the Lord's crucifixion. Peter wrote in the New Testament of these people: "Christ also . . . went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient . . . in the days of Noah" (1 Peter 3:18-19). Modern revelation underlines the significance of the memory of these people when, in referring to "the Zion of Enoch," the Lord says that "the residue of the wicked [of that and other eras] have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth" (D&C 38:4-5). Incidentally, the expression "the residue of the wicked" (D&C 38:5) is the same as that found in verse 43.
39 And That which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
verse 39 "That which I have chosen" The Lord Jesus Christ. Here, again, is an example of Jehovah's speaking of himself in the third person by the principle of the divine investiture of authority.
"they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me" The wicked in spirit prison will not have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them, and consequently they will not have the opportunity to repent, until after the Lord is crucified and resurrected. Until that time they will languish "in torment."
40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.
verse 40 Perhaps the Lord reiterates here that both he and the hosts of heaven will weep for those destroyed in the Flood.
41 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.
verse 41 The righteous Enoch is shown the details of the wickedness of man in his day and at the time of Noah, and Enoch weeps.
"stretched forth his arms . . . heart swelled wide as eternity . . . bowels yearned . . . all eternity shook" Enoch did not weep quietly. Rather he cried out to the heavens loudly, dramatically, and in agony over the plight of the wicked of his generation and the subsequent generations, and God's creations shook over the power and majesty of his cry.
42 And Enoch also saw Noah, and his family; that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation;
verse 42 "Enoch also saw Noah" As mentioned, Noah will live four generations after Enoch. Noah joins a select group of people known prophetically by name before they came to earth. The list includes such persons as Moses (see JST Genesis 50:29; Genesis 50:34; 2 Nephi 3:9-10; 2 Nephi 3:16-17), Aaron (see JST Genesis 50:35), Mary (see Mosiah 3:8; Alma 7:10), John the Baptist (see Luke 1:13), and Joseph Smith (see JST Genesis 50:33; 3 Nephi 3:15).
"that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation" Enoch sees that the sons of Noah and their offspring, born following the Flood, would be spared death in the Flood ("saved with a temporal salvation"). It is notable that some of the grandchildren of Noah born prior to the Flood had turned wicked and perished in the Flood (Moses 8:15).
43 Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.
verse 43 "the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand" The Lord protected the ark and its contents.
44 And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.
verse 44 "Enoch . . . had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren" Prophets may be foreordained to their high and holy stations, but they are seldom born prophets. Much preparation and molding and experience-generally planned and orchestrated by the Lord himself-are needed before they become the "polished shafts" in the quiver of the Almighty. After the pattern of the Master whom they serve and represent, prophets frequently are recipients of experiences which take them from the heights of heaven to the depths of hell. Enoch knew the discouragement associated with scorn and rejection. He felt the pangs of sorrow as he saw in vision the destruction of a wicked generation by water. He also came to experience the sublime totality of walking and talking with the Lord, and ultimately being taken into the bosom of heaven.
"Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look" Enoch's vision had formerly been limited to seeing the wicked perish in the Flood. Now, the Lord tells him to look up and see the future of world ("all the families of the earth"-see the following verse) and be encouraged.
45 And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
verse 45 "When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed" Usually in scripture the "day of the Lord" points to the time of the Lord's second coming (Isaiah 2:12-13; Malachi 4:5; Acts 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; D&C 45:39). However, here the expression "the day of the Lord" points to the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh and to his atoning sacrifice.
"that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life" Initially, the reader may be surprised here that the blessings of the Lord's atonement seem not to be extended to mankind until after the Lord's coming in the flesh and after his actual atoning death in Gethsemane and at Calvary. We know that this is not true. We know that because of the "infinite" character of the Lord's atonement, its blessings have been and are accorded to those who lived even prior to Christ's mortal sojourn. But the key here is to note that this expression applies to "all they that mourn"-to all they who died in the Flood and are shut up in the prison prepared for them (see verse 38). For these, their opportunity for salvation to a kingdom of glory must await the Lord's post-crucifixion ascension to the world of spirits (D&C 138). This is not to say that "all [or even any of] they that mourn" shall be exalted-"have eternal life." It is likely the best resurrection they can eventually obtain is a terrestrial one. But the process of hearing the gospel and repenting of their sins will not even begin until the great gap in the world of spirits is mended by the Savior following his post-atonement ascension to the spirit world.
46 And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.
verse 46 This verse aptly characterizes the time of the Savior's mortal sojourn. Implicit in this saying is Jehovah's foreseeing that the earth's time will eventually based upon his mortal advent.
47 And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.
verse 47 "the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world" Again, here is a reminder of the infinite characteristic of the Lord's atonement. Its blessings were valid long before the Lord actually made his atoning sacrifice during his mortal sojourn. They were available even in the premortal world-"from the foundation of the world." All men have been sinless at the moment they were born into this mortal world. That sinlessness would not have been possible save for the Lord's atoning sacrifice.
"through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and . . . Zion is with me" Remember that Enoch is speaking here. It is through his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that he is able to be "in the bosom of the Father." Ultimately faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a revealed knowledge of him and, indeed, even a personal and deeply felt relationship with him which comes through obedience to his commands. For a discussion of the rich concept of "the bosom of the Father" see verse 24 above and its commentary.
48 And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
verse 48 "Enoch looked upon the earth" Enoch's attention shifts from "the coming of the Son of Man" (verse 27) to the earth itself.
"he heard a voice from the bowels thereof" There are differences of opinion regarding this verse. One school of thought would regard it as purely a figurative or metaphorical account of Enoch's hearing the figurative voice of the earth-that there is nothing literal about the verse. Another school suggests that the verse has a more literal meaning-that Enoch is hearing the voice of the dominant intelligence of those intelligences that inhabit the so-called inanimate materials of the earth. For a general discussion of intelligences and their involvement in the process of creation, see The Creation in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 3.
We learn in D&C 88:37: "And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom." This may suggest that the intelligences which make up the inanimate materials of the earth are organized into a kingdom and there may well be a dominant intelligence which presides over this kingdom. Perhaps it is the voice of this intelligence Enoch hears in this verse.
"Wo, wo is me, the mother of men" There are several scriptural references which refer to the earth as a female (Moses 5:36-37; 2 Nephi 23:13; Helaman 11:13; Helaman 11:17; D&C 84:101; 88:45). This could be simply a figurative and symbolic characterization, or perhaps the governing intelligence of the earth is in fact a female intelligence.
This complaint of the earth is mirrored in an apocryphal book of Enoch-1 Enoch. Consider the following quotations: 1 Enoch 7:6: "the earth brought an accusation against the oppressors"; and 1 Enoch 9:2: "the earth . . . cries." From such passages we sense that the earth is a living being (compare Moses 5:36-37; Moses 5:6:34; Genesis 4:11-12).
"When shall I rest" The literal school of thought would suggest that this dominant intelligence is bemoaning the fact that there are many of the inanimate earth's intelligences that are not obedient to those of the Lord's commandments pertinent to their kingdom. The dominant intelligence appeals to the Lord and asks just how long she is going to have to put up with this disobedience. She yearns for the second coming of the Lord when the telestial intelligences will be purged from the earth and "for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest" (verses 62, 64). Her yearning for the millennial thousand years is also made clear in the phrase: "When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?" During the Millennium, the earth is to be sanctified and "receive its paradisiacal [terrestrial] glory" (Articles of Faith 1:10).
This verse marks a significant shift or change in Enoch's vision. Prior to this verse, Enoch's "soul rejoiced" at the view of "the coming of the Son of Man" (verses 45-47). But the mournful voice of the earth jerked Enoch from his joy so that he "wept, and cried unto the Lord" (verse 49). From this point on, the vision focuses on the period between the first coming of the Son of Man in the flesh and the end of days when the earth will rest-during the millennial thousand years.
49 And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?
verse 49 "O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?" After seeing in vision the fate of the people of Noah's day, Enoch prays for the two objects of his concern, (1) the earth-that there will not be another flood like the one at the time of Noah-and (2) for the seed of Noah (see the following verse).
50 And it came to pass that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying: I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.
verse 50 The Lord's response to this plea from Enoch is explained in the following verse. The Lord covenants with Enoch that he will never again send a universal devastating flood upon the earth.
51 And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah;
verse 51 "the Lord could not withhold" These verses illustrate the important principle that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). Note that the covenant not to send another universal flood upon the earth was first made between the Lord and Enoch. And it will be repeated, following the Flood, between the Lord and Noah (see Genesis 9:11; JST Genesis 9:17).
"that he would call upon the children of Noah" The Lord swares an oath which has two provisions. First "he would stay the floods," that is, he would send no more floods like that at the time of Noah. Secondly, "he would call upon the children of Noah." What does it mean that the Lord "would call upon the children of Noah"?
One meaning of the verb "call" or "call upon" is for the Lord to invite a people to accept an offered grace (Easton's Bible Dictionary). One example is Matthew 11:28-29 wherein the Lord says: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Here the Lord calls upon or invites his people to accept the blessed peace and rest which the gospel offers. Here, in Moses 7:51, the Lord covenants to "call upon the children of Noah," that is, to invite them to accept the blessing that "a remnant of [Noah's] seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand" (verse 52).
Another possibility for the meaning of the expression "call upon the children of Noah" is that the Lord covenant's with Enoch that he will "call upon" or appear to the children of Noah in the latter days. This is his second coming in glory (see verse 60).
52 And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;
verse 52 "a remnant of his seed" The referent here is apparently Noah, that is, Noah's seed will always be found among all nations."
53 And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith-I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.
verse 53 "Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come" It would seem that the immediate referent is still the prophet Noah. The Messiah will eventually be born through the lineage of Noah and his son Shem who is the likely father of the Hebrews.
"I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven" For a discussion of the significance of these titles for the Lord, see the commentary for verse 35. Pertinent to the meaning of the remainder of this verse is the definition of the "Rock of Heaven": It is the secure way for persons to ascend to heaven. This firm pathway to heaven is described here as being "broad as eternity," and the Lord further attests to his being the secure path to heaven: "Whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall.
"they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy" This phrase describes the blessed happy state of those who "cometh in at the gate and climbeth up [to heaven] through their devotion to the Savior who is the solid "rock" path to heaven.
54 And it came to pass that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying: When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things.
verse 54 Enoch's comments in this verse indicates that he did not yet know the full sequence of events at the end of time. In coming verses, the Lord will instruct Enoch that only after the Savior ascends "up unto the Father"-following his crucifixion-will he "come in the last days" and "the earth shall rest" (verse 59-61).
55 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men;
56 And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;
verse 56 Enoch sees the turmoil of nature and of the hosts of heaven that will follow the Lord's death on the cross. Who can doubt that the so-called inanimate things of the earth and the hosts of heaven were aware of the portentous happenings in Jesus's life. Who can doubt that they suffered unspeakable agony over the unjust crucifixion of the Savior. The heavens veiled themselves with the darkness of mourning. The earth groaned. The rocks rent themselves. And many of the righteous hosts of heaven were blessed to come forth on the earth as resurrected beings at the time of the Savior's resurrection. Although this event is mentioned by Samuel the Lamanite in his preaching from the wall around Zarahemla (Helaman 14:25), this verse is the only scriptural source that mentions they will be "crowned . . . with crowns of [celestial] glory." This is not surprising, however, since they were surely saints judged at death to be worth of paradise which likely means that they were sealed up to eternal life at the time of their death.
One is reminded of the incident when Jesus rode a donkey into the city of Jerusalem for the final time prior to his crucifixion. As his disciples hailed him as the Messiah, the onlooking Pharisees scolded him and demanded that he rebuke his disciples for their "heresy." The Savior responded by saying: "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." We thus learn that Jesus's statement was not figurative but literal. The inanimate things of the earth were aware of the happenings in Jesus's life and especially aware of their momentous significance.
57 And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
verse 57 "many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God" This phrase refers to those righteous saints who will be resurrected at the time of the Savior's resurrection. We thus logically conclude that the word "prison" in this verse is a general name for the postmortal world of spirits and does not differentiate between paradise and prison. Those who were resurrected were certainly in paradise, while "the remainder" were on the other side of the great gulf (prior to the Savior's visit to the world of spirits-see D&C 138) in spirit prison. These latter spirits will have to wait until their resurrection just prior to the great day of judgment to experience their salvation.
58 And again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?
verse 58 Now Enoch has sensed that the second coming of the Lord is associated with the beginning of the earth's rest, and he tearfully longs to know-when will these two blessed events occur? In an earlier inquiry (verse 54), it appears that Enoch thought of the first coming of the Son of Man as the time for the earth's rest. Here we learn he has come to realize it ties to the Lord's second coming.
59 And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.
verse 59 "Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father" Enoch sees the Savior, following his resurrection, ascend "up unto the Father." Now, he will inquire about the Lord's second coming.
"Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?" The question, like many of Enoch's words, is inherently prophetic. It is as though the Lord inspires a question that holds its own true and prophetic answer. The repetition of the question at the end of the verse underscores its importance.
"thou art God" The expressions "thou art" and its plural form "ye are" seem to form a particularly solemn and sacred declaration in the scriptures. See for example Moses 1:4, in which the Lord says to Moses "thou art my son"; Matthew 16:17-18, in which the mortal Christ says to his apostle Peter, "thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church"; and John 13:35, ""By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Perhaps the statements "thou art" and "ye are" relate to the divine name I AM (Exodus 3:13-14) or "I am God" (D&C 1:24).
"I know thee" This is not to be regarded as a casual statement by Enoch. John in his gospel writes: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3, italics added). This knowledge of God is not a secular phenomenon, in the sense of being aware that God is there or merely knowing of him. Rather, it is a deeply spiritual and profound knowledge that is received only by personal revelation to an individual in response to that individual's persistent and diligent obedience. To know God in this way is not simply to know of him, but rather to know him personally-to have an intimate and sacred covenant relationship with him-which knowledge can come to a person only after the Lord has revealed himself to that person. The following passages share this concept: 1 Samuel 1:19; Matthew 1:25; John 17:3; Galatians 4:8; Ephesians 3:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5.
"thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten" Here is another example of Jehovah, the Son, having spoken to and commanded Enoch as though he were the Father by the principle of divine investiture of authority. Jehovah had commanded Enoch, "Ask in the name of mine Only Begotten."
"thou hast . . . given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace" The Lord has given Enoch the "right to [the Lord's] throne." It is not entirely clear whether Enoch is referring to Enoch's being granted the blessing or right to speak in person with the Lord or whether he is referring to the fact that he has been sealed up to eternal life in the celestial home of the Lord. Regardless of which meaning is intended here, it is a pertinent reminder that no man is entitled, based on his own merits alone, to remarkable blessings like these-or even any blessings at all from the Lord. Rather, blessings are meted out mercifully by the Lord or through his grace. When the Lord gives a blessing mercifully, it means that he gives the blessing to someone who does not fully deserve it, based on that person's merit. But the Lord gives it anyway. We therefore say that the Lord is merciful in doling out his blessings. The grace of God has been previously defined in this commentary as God's love-particularly that aspect of his love that inclines him to extend blessings to his people that are not fully deserved. Hence, we receive blessings from the Lord by virtue of his grace-his mercy and grace.
60 And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
verse 60 "As I live" This terminology, of course, indicates that the Lord is entering into a sacred and solemn covenant with Enoch that the Lord will come in the latter days-his second coming in glory.
"to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah" The Lord refers to his covenant with Enoch wherein the Lord promises to "call upon" the children of Noah (see verse 51). This "call" will be made by the Lord at the onset of the millennial thousand years and is the Lord's second coming in glory. The phrase "children of Noah" seems to refer here to all the people of earth.
The remainder of this vision of Enoch (through verse 69) will deal with the period of the "last days" just prior to the Millennium.
61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
verse 61 "the day shall come that the earth shall rest" The Millennium.
The remainder of this verse refers to the eschatological phenomena of the latter days called the "signs of the times" or "the signs of the Lord's second coming." For a thorough discussion of this rather complex subject, please see the sequence of chapters on the Signs of the Lord's Second Coming in volume 3 of Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine (chapters 24, 25, and 26).
"my people will I preserve" The Lord reassures his people (those in his Church) they will be preserved during the great upheavals of nature of the latter days that herald the imminent second coming of the Savior to the earth.
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
verse 62 "righteousness will I send down out of heaven" Because one of the titles for the Savior is "the Righteous" (verses 45, 47), this prophesied event may well refer to the second coming of the Savior in the latter days. To the youthful Joseph Smith Jr., as he was writing his inspired revision of the book of Genesis, anticipating as he must have been the restoration of the gospel, this phrase might have been interpreted as referring to still more revelation to come to those who live in the last days.
"truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony . . ." This is perhaps the earliest of all prophecies about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
"truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth" Enoch sees our day when the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will flood the earth with the message of the restored gospel. This verse refers to the two great instruments or tools that the Lord will use to gather Zion in this latter day. These are righteousness which comes down from heaven-at least in part the truths of the gospel which are given to the earth through modern revelation-and truth which shall spring out of the earth. This is the Book of Mormon.
"an Holy City" The latter day converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ will be gathered to a figurative Holy City, there to live together as saints. This holy city may be referred to as Zion or, in the Americas, "Zion, the New Jerusalem."
"my tabernacle" This reference is evidently to a temple, or by extension, to latter-day temples.
63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
verse 63 "Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there" This remarkable prophecy indicates that Enoch and his righteous city, in its translated state, will return to the earth and, with the Savior, greet those who have been gathered out "from the four quarters of the earth, unto . . . an Holy City" (verse 62). This will come at the Lord's second coming, and will be a most joyous reunion of the faithful.
"we will receive them into our bosom" Here, the Lord apparently identifies himself with Enoch and the people of Zion who become the "we" in this phrase. The Lord and Enoch's city of Zion will greet those in the Lord's earthly kingdom-those who have been gathered from the four quarters of the earth-and will receive them into their "bosom." See the commentary on the rich and delightful concept of the "Lord's bosom" in verse 24.
"and they shall see us" Undoubtedly this experience of seeing each other will be more than just a visual experience. The saints involved in this most choice meeting will see each other with spiritual eyes and see one another for who they really are.
64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
verse 64 "there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion" During the thousand years, the Lord will dwell in the headquarters of Zion which, we have learned from latter-day revelation, will be in Jackson County, Missouri. We presume he will come and go from this location as he presides over the government of this millennial terrestrial kingdom. We learn also from this sequence of verses that Zion of that day will consist of both the Lord's earthly Church and Enoch's city.
"which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made" This phrase refers to Zion, or the kingdom of the righteous on the earth during the millennial thousand years. This Zion "shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made." This phrase is provocative and somewhat enigmatic. It may simply mean that this Zion will be comprised of all of the righteous (celestial and terrestrial) human intelligences who have lived on this earth. But perhaps it may mean more. It may also refer to those non human intelligences (animal, plant, and those which inhabit the so-called inanimate things of the earth) who have abided their spiritual laws to at least a terrestrial degree. And then what about the righteous intelligences of the other "worlds without number" created by the Savior? Will they have their own millennial thousand year experience? Willl it be on their own world? Are they included with the millennial experience of this earth? We are not given to know (Moses 1:33-35).
"for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest" This is the news that Enoch had been praying to learn since he had heard the groaning complaint of the earth (verse 48). By postponing his response to Enoch's request for this information, the lord had led Enoch in vision through the corridor of history to the Millennium.
65 And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;
verse 65 "the day of the coming of the Son of Man" This expression is the equivalent of the expression "the day of the Lord" and refers to the Lord's second coming in glory.
66 But before that day he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men's hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgments of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked.
verse 66 Again, a reference to the troubled times on this earth that precede the Lord's second coming.
"and he also saw the sea" This phrase may have reference to the great flood at the time of Noah.
67 And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;
verse 67 "the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world' The Lord completes the grand vision of Enoch which we would presume is the equivalent of the visionary experiences of the other prophets who were blessed to see a vision of the this earth from the beginning to the end such as the apostle John (book of Revelation), the brother of Jared (Ether 3), Moses (Moses 1:1-9; Moses 1:12-41), and the prophet Joseph Smith (D&C 76).
"the day of the righteous" Indications are that "the day of the righteous" is the Millennium. This thousand years is also "the hour of . . . redemption," as the morning of the first resurrection (the resurrection of the celestial persons) will occur just prior to the thousand years, and the afternoon of the first resurrection (the resurrection of the terrestrial) will occur during that thousand year period. For a discussion of the sequence of the resurrection, see the commentary for 2 Nephi 9:15.
"Enoch . . . received a fulness of joy" Certainly Enoch will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection with a celestial body. This constitutes a "fulness of joy."
verses 68-69 These two verses form an epilogue for Moses chapter 7. In these verses, the Lord returns to the taking up of Enoch's city and its immediate consequences.
68 And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
verse 68 "all the days of Zion" This phrase suggests and the city of Enoch, Zion, prospered under the righteous leadership of Enoch for three hundred and sixty-five years. Genesis 5:23, on the other hand, applies this period of time to the duration of Enoch's mortal life. Moses 8:1 makes it plain that Enoch lived 430 years, a figure corroborated by D&C 107:48-49 (65 plus 365 years of Zion's earthly existence).
The number 365 itself suggests the length of a solar year. Thus, the sun becomes the symbol for Zion. Genesis 5:23 ties the number to Enoch, implying that the sun was a symbol for him, as it would be for the Messiah (see Malachi 4:2). In this view, Enoch and his ministry become a type and shadow for the coming Messiah.
69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled.
verse 69 "Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion" Prior to the city of Enoch's being "taken up into heaven"-actually prior to its being translation-the righteous people of Enoch's city enjoyed a most unusual and intimate relationship with the Lord, even while they were here on earth.
"Zion was not" "Zion is fled" We have discussed previously the fate of the righteous city of Enoch (see verse 21). The righteous inhabitants of the city of Enoch were taken up or translated.