The Seven Mountains According to Jude
- Jude mentions these symbols in verses 12,13:
1. feasts (blemishes)
3. clouds (blown by wind)
4. trees (autumn, without fruit, twice dead)
5. Waves of the sea (wild)
6. wandering stars (blackest darkness reserved forever)
He then quotes from the Book of Watchers in verses 14 and 15 (I Enoch
Section I. Chapters I-XXXVI). Enoch prophesied of these (Enoch 1:9,
All of the symbols he mentions in 12 and 13 can be found directly in
I Enoch with the exception of the feasts. Considering it is found
directly before shepherds might suggest a relationship that can be
shown in other scriptures such as Isa 56:11 Eze 34:8,18-19.
Whether this is the case or not James must certainly have the symbols
in Enoch in mind. Especially considering his reference to wandering
stars being condemed to darkness forever Enoch 21:10.
Jude interprets all of these symbols as referring to false teachers.
Another book greatly influenced by Enoch is the Book of Revelation.
>>"The materials in I Enoch range in date from 200 B.C.E. to 50 C.E.I Enoch contributes much to intertestamental views of angels, heaven,
judgment, resurrection, and the Messiah. This book has left its stamp
upon many of the NT writers, especially the author of Revelation."
- Craig A. Evans, Noncanonical Writings and New Testament
Interpretation, (1992) p. 23<<
The number seven in the Book of Watchers is only found in conjunction
with mountains and stars. Compare the following verses with those of
1. Seven mountains are covered with glorious stones. Enoch 18:1-10
Rev 17:4, 18:12,16
2. They are fallen and punished for ten thousand years. Enoch 18:11-
16, 21:1-6 Rev 18:2,10,21 20:2-5
3. Seven stars/mountains imprisoned forever. Enoch 21:7-10 Rev
4. Seven magnificent mountains covered with glorious stones, and one
surrounded by fragrant trees. Enoch 24 Rev 21:19, 22:2
5. Seven mountains filled with fragrant trees, including the tree of
wisdom. Enoch 32 Rev 22:2
If John interpreted these symbols as did Jude, then the seven
mountains represented teachers/doctrines. Not seven literal
mountains on earth.
The symbolism is also tied to Daniel, as we well know.
>>Book II, lxxxiii-xc... The remaining section, under the symbolism of cattle, beasts, and
birds, sketches the entire history of Israel down to the Messianic
reign. << (The Book of Enoch, Catholic Encyclopedia)
Enoch uses symbolism similar to that of Daniel seven and eight to
portray the history of Israel. Surely Jude must of been aware of
that. And yet he interprets that Enoch is talking about false
Jude like John refers to the OT scriptures (Jude 11). Yet he
believes these examples refer to false teachers. Is there good
reason to think the author of Revelation saw this symbolism
In your last post of 06/11/2003 you say, when speaking of certain symbols found in I Enoch that "Jude interprets all of these symbols as referring to false teachers."
Are you suggesting that Jude is interpreting or expounding upon I Enoch? If so then I disagree. I do not know that it is matter of Jude interpreting I Enoch. I think it is more a matter of Jude borrowing word pictures from I Enoch. My suspicion is that Jude was probably familiar with some writing(s) under the name of Enoch and borrowed some analogies from them.
A little later on you say, "If John interpreted these symbols as did Jude," Are you suggesting that John is interpreting or expounding upon I Enoch?
Again, as in the case of Jude, I do not believe that John is interpreting I Enoch. This to me seems very unlikely.
In the case of Revelation John himself describes the revelation as "the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him" (1:1) and he is told, "What thou seest, write in a book" (1:11). The revelation is given to him by God and he is told to write what he sees in a book. Given what we know about John's charge to record the revelation granted him, why would he introduce symbols from I Enoch?
But then perhaps I am too old fashion in my understanding of scripture.
- Hi Ed,
Thanks for your response.
Jude 14,15 looks very much like a direct quote of I Enoch 1:9 to me.
So I think it is very likely that Jude had access to the book. Then
in the preceding verse, with the exception of the feasts, all the
items can be found in I Enoch, so it seems likely to me that he has
it in mind. I think the give away is the stars doomed to eternal
darkness. He compares all of these things to false teachers and says
they were prophesied of by Enoch (14), and foretold of by the
apostles (17). So using the types of examples Enoch did to
illustrate Jude's point comes very close to interpreting to me.
Don't we do that with Daniel when interpreting Revelations 17?
Consider Galatians 4:24.
Kings in Revelation aren't all earthly. An angel is referred to as a
king, as is Christ. (9:11,15:3,17:14,19:16)
We may suppose that John simply reported what he saw. I'm not at all
opposed to that. But he saw seven stars and seven mountains similar
to those found in Enoch, and the book of Enoch preceded Revelation
regardless of whose reign it was written under. The pattern and
symbols related to that pattern are also similar. We don't find
seven mountains or stars in Daniel.