First Enoch: “The Apocalypse of Weeks” as Prophecy



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During my research, I examined the presentation of prophecy in 1 Enoch in comparison with that of the Old Testament. 1 Enoch was one of the most influential books of the Old Testament pseudepigrapha, even being cited in the New Testament. Prophecy plays an important role in the Old Testament, and since 1 Enoch draws heavily from the Old Testament in its content, studying the prophecies in 1 Enoch provides helpful context in the subject of Biblical literature. The goal was to determine whether prophecies in 1 Enoch – specifically the Apocalypse of Weeks – fit into existing patterns of Old Testament prophecy. My mentor and I compiled a list of sources from which I could study the topic, beginning with a broad understanding of prophecy and zeroing in on 1 Enoch within its context. The authors I read covered prophecy in the ancient Mediterranean at large; prophecy in ancient Israel specifically; Second-Temple Jewish interpretations of the Bible; and Second-Temple Jewish apocalyptic literature. After identifying common attributes of prophecy in both Biblical and extrabiblical sources, I found that the Apocalypse of Weeks matched up with almost none of those attributes, though apocalypses like this one form a rich sub-genre of prophecy. Instead, it began to appear that the Apocalypse of Weeks may have more in common with the Jewish literary form of testaments. Further research would be required to fully explore this new theory.



World Cultures and Literature