The First Book of Enoch: A Vision of Tartarus

Previous Chapter: Enoch’s Mission

The first vision was shown to me was this:

Clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, the course of the stars and the lightning sped and hastened me, and the winds caused me to fly, lifting me upward and bearing me to heaven. I progressed inward til I drew near a wall built of crystal and surrounded by tongues of fire. It began to scare me. Passed through the flames and drew near a large house that was also built of crystal.

The walls of the house were checkered, and its floor was of crystal as well. Its ceiling showed the paths of the stars and the lightning, and between them were fiery cherubim in a heaven as clear as water. Flaming fire surrounded the walls, and the house’s doors blazed with it. I entered, and it was simultaneously as hot as fire and as cold as ice. There were none of the delights of life in it. Fear covered me, and I began to tremble. As I quaked and trembled, I fell upon my face.

Upon recovery, I beheld a new vision. The doors of a second house, greater than the first, stood open before me. It was built of flames of fire. Its splendour, magnificence, and extent excelled in every way, so much that I cannot describe these qualities. Its floor was of fire, and above it, the lightning and the paths of the stars were etched in a ceiling of flaming fire. The house contained a lofty throne in it. It glittered like crystal, its wheels shone like the sun, and it was surrounded were cherubim. Streams of flaming fire came from beneath the throne, so bright that I could not look at them. The Great Glory sat on the throne, and His clothing shone more brightly than the sun and was whiter than any snow. None of the angels could behold His face due to its magnificence and glory, and no mortal flesh could behold Him. Flames surrounded Him, and a great fire stood before Him; none of those around Him could draw near. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, yet He needed no counsellor. The most holy ones who were nearest to Him did not leave at night nor ever depart from Him. I had remained prostrated, and was hiding my face and trembling. The Lord called me with His own mouth.

“Come here, Enoch, and hear my words,” He said to me.

One of the holy ones came to me and made me rise up and approach the door, and I bowed my face down.

“Do not fear, Enoch, you righteous man and scribe of righteousness,” Yahweh said to me, “Approach me and hear my voice. Go and say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent you to intercede for them, that they should intercede for men, and not men for them. Ask why they have left high, holy, eternal heaven, and lain with women, defiling themselves with the daughters of men, taking wives for themselves, behaving like the children of earth, and siring giants as their sons. They were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, but they have defiled themselves with the blood of women, begotten children of flesh and blood, and lusted after flesh and blood like the children of men. Men die and perish. This is I why I gave them wives, so that they could impregnate them and sire children with them, so that nothing might be wanting to them on earth. But the Watchers were spiritual, living eternal life, immortal for all generations of the world. Therefore I did not appoint wives for them. For the spiritual folk of heaven, heaven is their home. Now the giants, offspring of both spirit and flesh, are called evil spirits upon the earth, and the earth is their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies. Because they are born from the union of women with the holy Watchers, their beginning and primal origin, they shall be evil spirits on earth. The spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble. They need no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. These spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. After the slaughter, destruction, and death of the giants, their spirits will go forth from their souls and flesh, and shall destroy without incurring judgment. They will destroy until the day of the consummation, the great judgment over the Watchers and the godless, in which the age shall be wholly consummated. Say to the watchers who have sent you to intercede for them, who had until now been in heaven, that though they have been in heaven, all the mysteries had not yet been revealed to them, and that they knew worthless ones, which in the hardness of their hearts they have made known to their women, and through these mysteries women and men work much evil on earth. Therefore, they will have no peace.”‘

The angel Uriel then took me, and brought me to a place inhabited by beings who were like flaming fire but who, when they wished, could appear as men. He led me on to a place of darkness, and to a mountain whose summit reached to heaven. I saw the places of the luminaries and the treasuries of the stars, the thunder, and, in the uttermost depths, a fiery bow and arrows in a quiver, a fiery sword, and all the lightning. Uriel took me to the living waters, and to the fire in the west that receives the setting sun. A river, in which fire flowed like water, discharged itself into the great sea in the west. Passing over it, we came to the great river and crossed into the great darkness, the place where no flesh walks. I saw the mountains of darkness and winter and the place where all the waters of the deep flow. I saw the mouths of all the rivers of the earth and the mouth of the oceans.

I saw the treasuries of all the winds, and how Yahweh had furnished with them the whole of creation and the firm foundations of the earth. I saw the corner-stone of the earth and the four winds that have their station between heaven and earth. They stretched out the vault of the heavens, and were the pillars that held it up. The winds of heaven turned and brought the sun and all the stars around the circumference of the sky to their setting. They carried the clouds over the earth. I saw the paths of the angels.

At the ends of the earth, with the firmament of the heavens above, we proceeded on to a place that burns both day and night, where there are seven mountains of magnificent stones, three towards the north, three towards the south, and one to the west. One of the mountains in the north was of coloured stone, one of pearl, and one of jacinth. Those towards the south were of red stone. The mountain in the west, reaching to heaven like the throne of God, was of alabaster, and its summit was a throne of sapphire. Beyond these mountains was the end of the great earth, and there the heavens were completed. The was a deep abyss into which columns of heavenly fire fire fall, which went beyond measure both upward into heaven and downward into the depths.

Beyond the abyss was a place where things were chaotic. Horribly, there was no sky above it and no firmly founded earth beneath it. There was no water there, and no birds; it was a wasted and horrible place. In it were seven stars, like great burning mountains, were bound together.

“For what sin are they bound, and on what account have they been cast in here?” I asked.

“Enoch, why do you ask, and why are you eager for the truth? This place is the end of heaven and earth. It has become a prison for the stars and the hosts of heaven,” said Uriel. “The stars which roll over the fire are those that transgressed the commandment of the Lord because they did not rise at their appointed times. He was angry with them, and bound them for ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, when their guilt shall be consummated. Here, the angels who have lain with women, and whose spirits assume many different forms, defiling mankind and leading them to sacrifice to demons as gods, shall stand til the day of the great judgment. Then they shall be judged before they are made an end of. The women who the angels led astray shall become sirens.”

I, Enoch, alone saw this vision of the end of all things, and no other man shall see what I have seen.

Next Chapter: Hell and Purgatory

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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2 Responses to The First Book of Enoch: A Vision of Tartarus

  1. Pingback: The First Book of Enoch: Enoch’s Mission | Jim's Jumbler

  2. Pingback: The First Book of Enoch: Hell and Purgatory | Jim's Jumbler

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