Genesis 5:23 records Enoch's age as 365 years. As far as I can tell based on my review of the BHS and Göttingen LXX apparatus, there are no alternate readings of this number as 354 nor as 364 years.1

Numerous scholars have noted the identification of Enoch with the seventh antediluvian king, Enmeduranki (or Enmeduranna).2 This king was known as the founder of the Babylonian diviners' guild and ruled the city of Sippar, the center of the cult of Shamash, the sun god.3

My understanding of Mesopotamian calendars is that they were mainly lunar and thus a year was considered to have approximately 354 days. The non-biblical Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran clearly feature a 364-day solar calendar, as well as 1 Enoch (which self-purports to be written by the subject of Genesis 5:21-4).4 I believe that the age of Enoch given as 365 years in Genesis 5:23 was intended to establish a clear connection between Enoch and the solar calendar.5

While I believe the connection itself is fairly clear, I'm struggling to understand its significance. Many of the other identifications appear to challenge or re-frame some aspect of the Mesopotamian tradition(s) from which they are adapted, but it is unclear to me what significance Enoch plays in challenging previous conceptions of Enmeduranki. Perhaps I'm looking to read more into this than is there and this is merely part of the longstanding Babylonian scribal tradition that points to the seventh antediluvian king/sage ascending to heaven and receiving revelations of divine wisdom, and the Hebrew author(s) were merely restating earlier traditions as a given. But is there something that the original audience would have found shocking or odd about Enoch (assuming this reader is familiar with the seventh antediluvian figure in earlier traditions)?

I typically approach the biblical texts from a historical-critical perspective but am open to other readings as long as they take into account extra-biblical sources and the historical context when answering this question. Please note this question is not about the interpretation of Enoch (i) in first-century, second-Temple Judaism; (ii) in the New Testament (e.g., Jude 1:14-5); nor (iii) in historic Christianity. I am interested in the original audience of Genesis (which varies wildly depending on how you date it, so please address this). This question may be unclear or too broad. I had difficulty formulating it but am chewing on antediluvian Mesopotamian history at the moment and trying to think through some stuff.


1 The Göttingen LXX apparatus does contain the following footnote but I am admittedly not knowledgeable enough to make sense of the notation other than to translate the Greek that appears to indicate the reading "465 years" which seems blatantly erroneous (I understand the abbreviated π. κ. εξηκ. κ. τετρακοσια ετη to read as "five and sixty and four hundred years" = 465 years): π. κ. εξηκ. κ. τετρακοσια ετη, Paris, Bibl. Nat., Gr. 1. XIII. Jh. Anfang bis 3:20 und 10:7 και 2°–13:11 απο 1° fehlen. 71.

2 Beaulieu, "The Social and Intellectual Setting of Babylonian Wisdom Literature", 15; Rochberg, Heavenly Writing, 183-184; W. G. Lambert, "The Qualifications of Babylonian Diviners", in tikip santakki mala bašmu.. Festschrift für Rykle Borger zu seinem 65. Geburtstag am 24. Mai 1994, Stefan M. Maul (Groningen: Styx, 1998), pp. 141-158.

3 J.J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature 2nd. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 26, 45-6.

4 Including in The Book of Jubilees (dated approx. 2nd century BCE) and in The Astronomical Book of 1 Enoch (chs. 72-82, 73:11; 74:4; 81:7, 11; also in the Similitudes at 71:42; dated approx. 3rd century BCE or earlier). VanderKam has written extensively on this.

5 I also identify Noah with Ziusudra/ Atra-Hasis/ Utanapishtim, and I take it for granted that the Mesopotamian sources predate the Hebrew texts. I'm fine with someone challenging this but please do so with historical evidence (including extra-biblical sources), not solely religious/ theological claims.

  • 1
    There are seven classical planets, and 365 days in a regular year. Also, most of the numbers mentioned in the fifth chapter of Genesis seem to have been rounded (to multiples of five and ten), so it is not out of the question for Enoch's age to have shared a similar fate.
    – Lucian
    Aug 22, 2017 at 19:34
  • @Lucian that makes sense
    – Dan
    Aug 22, 2017 at 20:40
  • Starred. I'm interested in how Enoch in Genesis 5 could be crafted as a parallel to Enmeduranki, if the genealogy in Genesis 5 is also thought to be a revision of Genesis 4.
    – user2910
    Aug 24, 2017 at 2:52
  • 1
    Following @Lucian's comment, there's been a lot of discussion about the ages in Genesis 5. They all end in 0, 2, 5, or 7 (and one 9). The odds of this occurring naturally are astronomical, so it's highly likely they were designed to be that way, though I've seen no consensus as to the original reason.
    – user2910
    Aug 24, 2017 at 2:57
  • @MarkEdward: I think I might have just found one. See my answers and comments on these two questions.
    – Lucian
    Dec 14, 2017 at 7:16

4 Answers 4


Presuppositional Challenge

The OP notes:

I believe that the age of Enoch given as 365 years in Genesis 5:23 was intended to establish a clear connection between Enoch and the solar calendar.

While I believe the connection itself is fairly clear, I'm struggling to understand its significance.

I would challenge that there is nothing "clear" about that connection. Even though many works have been produced that make such a connection (so the connection is present in commentators on the text, but not at all clear from the text itself), no case is made by the OP for it to have such a connection at all (he simply states that is what he believes).

Most readers, even the ones the OP in interested in, the "original audience of Genesis," read texts like Gen 5:23 plainly, as straight-forward communication unless something indicates it should be otherwise (this is the basis of the literal, grammtical-historical hermeneutic that I follow). So the NKJV rendering

So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.

simply relays the historical record that the person of Enoch was removed from the earth (per Gen 5:24) by God at 365 years old. No other "connection" and no other "significance" is needed or expected by an average reader. Indeed, no special insight into original context is needed, as there is nothing necessarily nor even likely "cultural" about the statement itself, nor is such a plain reading of language exclusively Christian or Jewish, it is merely human communication (God-given from creation, Gen 2:16-20, 23).

My "Presuppositions" on the Text and Its Dating

My presuppositions on the text of Genesis come from the greater textual context of both the Pentateuch and Scripture itself (so not really much "presupposing" on that side of things). So I would generally hold to the arguments given on the BH.SE question of Mosaic authorship, specifically to the Scriptural points noted in this answer to that question (and I give a brief synopsis of my position on authorship in my answer to a different Genesis question).

So my view is Moses largely authored Genesis during the time of Exodus (or maybe prior to, while in the desert) in the current form we have and that his authorship, whether directly from God or from God's directing of using proper historical source material (or both), forms a true record of history (which was the primary point of Genesis, to form the history of Israel as background for the Exodus events). Certain types of editorial updating are allowable even of an inspired text, like place name updates which do not change the textual meaning/identification, and so Mosaic authorship is not removed by these type of editorial tweaks (if such did occur).

I also, as noted a few times above, take the account to be a true historical record, as the text presents itself to be and other author's of Scripture take it. So again, not much actual "presupposition" there.

What the Passage Itself Does Communicate

What is clear from the context of Genesis 5 is that Enoch "walked with God" to such an extent that God "took him" (v.24), which means the true God (at least as Genesis portrays that God as creator of all [Gen 1:1]), the same God who is also revealed to the audience of the Pentateuch to be a jealous God against other gods (Exo 20:4-5), would not have so uplifted Enoch if he could be identified with (as the OP notes):

the founder of the Babylonian diviners' guild and ruled the city of Sippar, the center of the cult of Shamash, the sun god.

If anything, such an identification would have, in the context of Genesis/Pentateuch, brought wrath, not acceptance and reward, on Enoch—both in the minds of that true God and in the minds of the "original audience" of the Hebrew account of Genesis.

So there is no textual basis for the OP's assumption about the calendar day relationship, that idea being purely speculative and based on ideas outside the context of Genesis and the Pentateuch itself. This leads me to agree with the OP that he might be, "looking to read more into this than is there."

Regarding as well the OP's question:

is there something that the original audience would have found shocking or odd about Enoch (assuming this reader is familiar with the seventh antediluvian figure in earlier traditions)

I do not grant the assumption or the identification, but for sake of argument, if the assumption is correct and if the identification of that seventh king's involvement with the sun god Shamash is correct, then what would be "shocking" to the original audience is the acceptance of Enoch by God in light of his idolatry.

But if one takes the text at face value without the added assumption/identification, then what was shocking (and continues to "shock") is that Enoch is declared not to have died, as all the others in Genesis 5, but instead simply been removed to be with God. This is a move unprecedented at that time (both at the time of historical occurrence and the time of the audience reading Genesis), and not much more precedent later in Scripture (Elijah being one other exception later, 2 Kg 2:11). Avoiding death and going straight to God is a rare occurrence in history and Scripture.

  • Thanks, Scott. While we vastly disagree about the authorship and composition of this text, this reading is a helpful perspective. +1
    – Dan
    Aug 24, 2017 at 4:22
  • I would also point out that my second footnote is all about identifying the connection between Enoch and Enmeduranki. Since it was a question and not an answer, I did not spell out that connection, but my observation of it is reliant upon the arguments of scholars such as those noted in that footnote.
    – Dan
    Aug 24, 2017 at 17:22
  • 2
    @Dan, I did not dispute your evidence that some connect Enoch to Enmeduranki (since you gave that), just that you did not (as best I can tell) clearly give any evidence of those who connect Enoch's age of 365 to the solar calendar (though I know some exists).
    – ScottS
    Aug 24, 2017 at 17:29
  • 2
    @Dan Definitely "Mesopotamian history and antediluvian historical accounts outside Genesis" is not my area of expertise, but even should I study those in the future, what I would be looking for is how those histories "changed" the true history that occurred, given by God in Genesis (that is, how/why they might have made Enoch into their king Enmenduranki, if there is any identification at all). And yes, between our two distinct biases, an observer can see how those biases drastically affect what one expects out of the text of Scripture.
    – ScottS
    Aug 24, 2017 at 17:42
  • 1
    @Dan, I consider all other merely human texts "secondary to the text" of Scripture, no matter if written prior or not, or whether those texts may have had some role in developing the divinely inspired text or not. That is a presupposition (though again, one gained from Scripture--I believe one major goal of proper presuppositions to approaching the text is to align assumptions to what God assumes or what He reveals to assume).
    – ScottS
    Aug 24, 2017 at 17:50

The primary question is:

Is there something that the original audience would have found shocking or odd about Enoch (assuming this reader is familiar with the seventh antediluvian figure in earlier traditions)?

Here are some reasonable conclusions the original audience could reach:

  • They would find little or no connection between Enmeduranki and Enoch but would see a connection to Methuselah. They would also recognize there are stronger connections to the list of Cain's descendants, than to the Patriarchs in Genesis 5.
  • They could show the Hebrew writer used the Sumerian sexagesimal system to describe key events in the Genesis flood narrative.
  • They could show a connection between Methuselah's life and the sexagesimal reigns of the Sumerian figures and show the Sumerian kingship begins when Enoch was taken by God.

Genesis 4

In general there are good reasons any reader familiar with the Sumerian antediluvian figures would see a stronger correspondence to the descendants of Cain than the Patriarchs of Genesis 5.

First, a key characteristic in the Sumerian list is the placement of the kingship in a city:1

King            City 
Alulim          Eridu
Alalngar        Eridu
En-men-lu-ana   Bad-tibira
En-men-gal-ana  Bad-tibira
Dumuzid         Bad-tibura
En-sipad-zid    Larak
En-men-dur-ana  Sippar
Ubara-Tutu      Shuruppak

This has its parallels to Cain and his son Enoch:

Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. (Genesis 4:16-17) [ESV]

Given the significance the Sumerian accounts place on a king's reign in a city, a reader would note this correspondence to Cain's descendants and see two additional connections: the number of kings and “professions:”

Kings                  Genesis 4
Alulim                 Cain
Alalngar               Enoch
En-men-lu-ana          Irad
En-men-gal-ana         Mehujael
Dumuzid  (a shepherd)  Methushael
En-sipad-zid           Lamech
En-men-dur-ana         Jabal (dwell in tents and have livestock)
Ubara-Tutu             Jubal (play the lyre and pipe)

The number in the Genesis 4 list agrees with the eight Sumerian figures.

Similarly, a profession or skill is only found only in Genesis 4. The audience would also discern how these associations create a positive impression to the Sumerian account since the Genesis narrative means Dumuzid had a profession like Abel’s. Also, the Sumerian account implies living in the city comes from god (since the divine kingship belongs in a city) while the Genesis account connects dwelling in tents (i.e. not in a city) with Cain’s descendants. Very likely the original audience who understood their lineage (by oral tradition) to Adam through Seth, would be surprised to see the contrast in key figures (like Abram) who lived in a manner handed down through Cain while a Sumerian king was shown to live like the righteous Abel.

If the original audience was familiar with the different versions of the Sumerian accounts which associate the longest reign to the second king and the shortest reign to the seventh (MS 2855) , they could show how this variation draws upon both Genesis 4 and 5 where each can be understood as giving preference to Enoch:

Genesis 4: The first city is named after Enoch
Genesis 5: Enoch had the shortest life span and was taken

Therefore, if a preference is seen, the reader of Genesis would likely understand differences between the versions of the Sumerian list are following the pattern of emphasis to an Enoch of Genesis 4 or Genesis 5.

365 Years

Of particular interest to the OP is the number of years Enoch lived. All readers would reasonably see this number as one which corresponds to the number of days in a solar year. The significance would be symbolic, as it is reflects a year-day relationship. However, the Genesis audience would find no numerical or mathematical operation which would give a correspondence to this number, or any number of the years listed in Genesis 5 to the reigns of any Sumerian king:

Kings           Reign    Patriarch   Age at Son  Age after Son  Age at Death
[Adam-assumed]           Adam            130          800           930
Alulim          28,800   Seth            105          807           912
Alalngar        36,000   Enosh            90          815           905
En-men-lu-ana   43,200   Kenan            70          840           910
En-men-gal-ana  28,800   Mahalalel        65          830           895
Dumuzid         36,000   Jared           162          800           962
En-sipad-zid    28,800   Enoch            65          300           365
En-men-dur-ana  21,000   Methuselah      187          782           969 
Ubara-Tutu      18,600   Lamech          182          595           777
[Ziusidra]               Noah            500          350           950 

First, a reader who attempted to align Enmeduranki with the Patriarchs of Genesis 5, would probably not start with Adam. The Patriarchal list must be reduced by two names; Adam and Noah are the obvious candidates. Furthermore, it makes little sense to begin a kingship with the first man. So a reader is more likely to choose Methuselah as the seventh Patriarch. (Following the same logic aligns Lamech in Genesis 4 with En-sipad-zid who reigned from the city of Larak. The similarity of names (Lamech/Larak) would likely be seen as an additional reference to Genesis 4.)

Second, the reader would note a fundamental difference between the way time is recorded in the two lists. The Genesis narrative uses precise numbers while the Sumerian list uses round numbers which also appear to be purposely arranged. Also, Genesis shows a Patriarch lived concurrently with more than one future “elder statesman,” where the Sumerian account appears to describe the typical royal succession where the son succeeds his father:

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Two of the Patriarchs, Enoch and Lamech, died or left the earth before their fathers and did not achieve the position of “oldest Patriarch.” Or, to apply the Sumerian construct, Enoch and Lamech were born in the royal family, yet they never reigned. When those 2 names are dropped, the number of Patriarchs aligns with the Sumerian figures. Again, the original audience would see no direct correspondence with the Genesis 5 Enoch to any Sumerian figure but a reader might correlate the number of kings to the number of Patriarchs who outlived their father. Significantly, Methuselah would be counted as the seventh Patriarch; considered the final "elder" Patriarch before the flood and after Adam, had the longest period of being the oldest Patriarch.

Sexagesimal System

Since the lengths of reigns of the Sumerian figures are unrealistic by Biblical standards, a sexagesimal (base 60) system is assumed to be in use by the Sumerians:

King            Reign         Multiple of 360  Partial Period
Alulim          28,800 years        80               -
Alalngar        36,000 years       100               -
En-men-lu-ana   43,200 years       120               -
En-men-gal-ana  28,800 years        80               -
Dumuzid         36,000 years       100               -
En-sipad-zid    28,800 years        80               -
En-men-dur-ana  21,000 years        58              120
Ubara-Tutu      18,600 years        51              240
     Total     241,200 years       669              360

The first six kings reign for a period which is a multiple of 360; the seventh and eighth each have a partial period, which combine to make 360. The total of completed reigns is 669.

Some scholars, like Carol A. Hill, believe Hebrew scribes were unaware of and confused by the Sumerian methodology.2 Yet the Genesis audience would conclude the passage of time during the flood was measured using 30-day months:

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

...At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:3-4)

The flood began on the 17th day of the second month; 150 days later on the 17th day of the seventh month the Ark came to rest. Therefore a month had 30-days (150 days for 5 months) and a year would have 360-days. So the Genesis audience would see a "divine" sexagesimal system in use during the flood account and would note how this contrasts with a calendar based on the sun (the implication of Enoch's 365-year life span).3

Now if the audience were to calculate the timelines of the Patriarch’s life following the Sumerian concept of a reign where a son follows his father, they would find the connection to Methuselah:

                        Year Died   Years after father 
Patriarch   Year Born   or Taken    died or was taken 
Adam             0          930            930
Seth           130         1042            112
Enosh          235         1140             98
Kenan          325         1235             95
Mahalalel      395         1290             55
Jared          460         1422            132
Enoch          622          987             -
Methuselah     687         1656            669
Lamech         874         1651             -

The number of years Methuselah lived after Enoch was taken, 669, is identical to the number of full sexagesimal reigns. Also, both lists end with the flood. Using the Genesis narrative and dates, the Sumerian list begins in the year 987 when Enoch is taken by God.4

Once the reader of Genesis applies the nature of time in the Sumerian list, they would recognize the connection to Enoch is found in how the Sumerian list is introduced:

Genesis:                    Sumerian:  
Enoch walked with God,      After the kingship 
and he was not, for         descended from heaven…
God took him (5:24)

Methuselah, lived for 669   Eight kings reigned for 669
years before the flood      reigns before the flood

The Sumerian account works with Genesis to imply a "divine exchange." Enoch was taken by God and the Sumerian kingship descended to man.

Concluding Consideration

When completed sexagesimal periods are used the 669 reigns equals the number of years Methuselah lived after Enoch was taken. Given the precision and unusual nature of this number and how it is embedded and must be calculated in both the Genesis account and the Sumerian list, it is unlikely this is a coincidence.

The correspondence of the number 669, which also comes to an end at the flood in both accounts, leads to one of two possibilities:

  1. The Sumerian list of reigns was contrived to total 669 sexagesimal periods to match the actual number of years Methuselah lived after Enoch.
  2. The life spans of the Patriarchs were contrived so as to give Methuselah the number of years after his father was taken equaling the combined reigns of the Sumerian figures.

Option 1 is the more reasonable conclusion.

The reigns of the first six Sumerian figures appears to be arranged. The first, fourth, and sixth figures have identical reigns as do the second and fifth.5 In addition:

When the kingdom durations of the antediluvian section are expressed in an early sexagesimal numerical system, all durations except two are expressed as multiples of 602. A simple tally of the ciphers used yields six 10x602 signs, six 602 signs and six 60 signs.6

These unnatural aspects to the list are characteristics of a mythic account.

Therefore, assuming the historicity of Genesis, means the Sumerian myth was developed from the Hebrew tradition (oral at the time the Sumerian's wrote): the antediluvian list was constructed as a myth which could be used to legitimize a king ruling over a city.

Using eight figures is taken from both Cain's descendants and the survivors of the flood. It also can be loosely to the Patriarchs in Genesis 5 (as the OP has done). The number eight may have been chosen because of significance in Sumerian astrology or numerology or, conversely, the number eight may have been given significance because of the actual events.

1. Some accounts also include a subtotal of the length of reign by city.
2. Carol A. Hill, "Making Sense of the Numbers of Genesis", Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Dec 2003, p. 241
3. This would support the Sumerian legend which states the seventh king ascended to heaven to obtain divine knowledge. Thus, a sexagesimal system follows the divine system while the Hebrews (and others) rely on created objects.
4. Starting the reigns about 1,000 years after creation is more reasonable than with Adam, Cain, or Seth, since those kingships would have no subjects.
5. The Sumerian reigns of 80 have a correspondence with the number of years both Adam and Jared lived after the birth of their sons (800). Thus the first man and Enoch's father (the sixth) lived 800 years corresponding to the first and sixth kings who reigned for 80 sexagesimal periods.
6. The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List.


This answer is based on a couple of assumptions and on a well-known fact. The assumptions are:

  1. Some version of the documentary hypothesis (DH) is correct.

  2. The scribe within the Priestly (P) source - which was probably a school of scribes rather than a single individual - who dealt with detailed chronological data such as patriarchal ages and Flood dates, and who will be referred to as "DCD-P", worked around 450 BC in the time and circle of Ezra and Nehemiah, and might have been Ezra himself. He was familiar with the current state of knowledge of Babylonian mathematical astronomy, in particular with the length of the solar year as it was computed at that time, which was plausibly around 365.244 days (see Appendix).

The well-known fact is that

  • the Astronomical Book, i.e. chapters 72-82 of 1 Enoch (dated to the 3rd century BC or earlier),

  • the Book of Jubilees (dated to the middle of the 2nd century BC), and

  • about 20 non-biblical scrolls found at Qumran

are witnesses to a 364-day week-based calendar that the authors of those texts regarded as normative, holding also, in the cases of 1 Enoch and Jubilees, that it faithfully reflected the God-given law of the movement on heavenly luminaries. Moreover, 1 Enoch ch. 80 implied that any discrepancy between the 364-day calendar and observation was due to sin, either of man or of the angels to whom God had given the task of guiding the heavenly luminaries. Consistently with the belief in the divinely-decreed nature of the 364-day year, none of those texts mentioned an intercalation system to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons.

Based on the above assumptions and fact, I posit that DCD-P held that the actual solar year length of 365 days and a fraction was due exclusively to a divine decree and not to some human or angelic sin, an opinion that might have already been held by some in his circle, long before it was recorded in 1 Enoch, and that he stated that position symbolically by writing twice that Enoch, who had lived 365 years, "walked with God".


The 19-year cycle of leap-year intercalations at fixed intervals was implemented in year 10 of the reign of Xerxes I (486–465 BC), i.e in 476/5 BC [7], implying that Babylonian astronomy had already discovered the "metonic" cycle by then. The mean solar year length was computed from the synodic month length by:

solar year length = (12 + epact [tithis] / 30) · synodic month length [days]

where the epact is the difference between the solar and lunar year, and the tithi is 1/30 of the synodic month length. Whereas system A of astronomical calculations and the Uruk scheme had not yet been developed, we have tablet SpTU 4 169 (W 22801+22805), which lists solstices for the interval (-612,-556) and was probably computed near its initial date [8]:

epact = 11;3 tithis = 11.05 tithis [9]

The then-current value of the mean synodic month length can be estimated by taking that of System A:

mean synodic month length = 29;31,50,6 days = 29.530583 days [10] [11]

Thus, a plausible value of the solar year length reckoned by Babylonian astronomers ca. 450 BC is

solar year length = (12 + 11.05 / 30) · 29.530583 = 365.2441 days


[7] Ossendrijver, Mathieu, “Babylonian Scholarship and the Calendar During the Reign of Xerxes”, in: C. Waerzeggers & M. Seire (eds.), Xerxes and Babylonia: The Cuneiform Evidence (Louvain [etc]: Peeters, 2018 [= Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, nr. 277]), pp. 135-163.

[8] Ossendrijver, Mathieu, 2020: “Astral Science in Uruk during the First Millennium BCE: Libraries, Communities and Transfer of Knowledge”, in Margarete van Ess (ed.), Uruk. Altorientalische Metropole und Kulturzentrum. 8. Internationales Colloquium der DOG (2013), [inpress].

[9] Hunger, Hermann and Pingree, David, “Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia”, Brill, 1999, p. 202.

[10] Britton, John P., “Lunar Anomaly in Babylonian Astronomy”, in Swerdlow, N. M. (ed.) Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination, MIT Press, 1999, p. 243.

[11] Britton, John P., “Calendars, Intercalations and Year-Lengths in Mesopotamian Astronomy”, in Steele, John M. (ed.) Calendars and Years: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient Near East, Oxbow Books, 2007, pp. 115-132.


Some people are associating the number of Enoch's age (365) with the solar calendar, and are also associating the seventh of the ten patriarchs of Gen. c. 5 with a Sumerian king named Enmeduranki.

The number 365 is used only once in the Bible, and that was the age of Enoch when God took him (Gen. 5:23-24). The Holy Spirit used a great deal of symbolism when dictating the Bible to his secretaries, if you will allow the expression. But, that does not mean that everything was symbolic of something else. If God used an expression in a metaphor, or if the name had meaning in the Hebrew then we have a basis for determining from "within" His word what His definitions are.

The original audience of Genesis were the tribes of Israel, the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So, if we search for their understanding of the number 365 we find that they associate the "don't" commandments (the negative commandments) with that number and also with the number of blood vessels in the human body. (From here and also here)

Extra-biblical sources may be of some value until they contradict the Bible. At that point then we have to sift through the extra-Biblical in order to see if any of it is worthy or if it should be considered trash. One point that many people seem to ignore when considering the extra-Biblical source of "The Book of Enoch" is it's claim that Enoch ascended to heaven.

The Holy Spirit has clearly stated that no one ascended to the Father before Christ (John 3:13), and that Christ was the first fruits of those raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20). That means that all who had either died or had been taken (Elijah and Enoch) were not in heaven before Christ, and therefore the extra-biblical so-called "Book of Enoch" is false and cannot be relied upon for truth.

Any and all human secular records are always in doubt when they contradict the Bible. Just because they predate the Bible does not give them any more credence than any other human record since the Bible was written. God's word is the final authority.

Whenever we read works of man we must always bounce them against God's word to know the truth. That is the proving / testing of the spirits which we are told to do (1 John 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:21). If the spirit of man speaks other than the Spirit of God we can know that the record of man is wrong.

The Sumerian records of a seventh "apkallu" or "Puradu-fish" sage is from mythology, which are then linked by some people to "The Book of Enoch" through sheer speculation. See one summary here.

As this seventh "sage" is purported to have been a "diviner" and a sun worshiper, then he can have no relation to the Enoch that walked with God of Gen. c. 5.

Your search for a link to the 365 day calendar based upon the age of Enoch may be fishing for something that is not there. If the Bible has no other indication given, then it probably does not exist.

The interesting symbol that does exist is the meaning of Enoch's name (teacher, instructor) and that of his son Methuselah (he shall die and it shall be sent). Source: here

God had revealed to the teacher Enoch a prophesy at the birth of his son and Enoch proclaimed it in his son's name... Methuselah. The death sent at that time was the judgment of the flood upon all wicked mankind (Gen. c. 6) which occurred after the death of Methuselah.

The same prophesy of judgment upon wicked men was referenced in Jude vs. 14-15 by recalling Enoch's prophesy just before Christ's coming in judgment against those who had crucified Him and persecuted His church in A.D. 70. That is an example of symbolism that you probably will not find in Mesopotamian/Sumerian history.

Further reading: "The Book of Enoch Debunked" enter link description here

"Mesopotamian/Sumerian Calendar" here

"The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List" here

See also my posts "The Book of Enoch - Fable or True", "Giants: Rephaim, Zamzummim, Emim, Anakim, Nephilim, Zuzim", and others at ShreddingTheVeil.

  • 1
    There is a lot of prescriptive content here, rather than descriptive. This also appears to assume a Christian worldview which is anachronistic to the original text of Genesis.
    – Dan
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:26
  • It seems you are ignoring the presence of Yeshua / Jesus Christ in Genesis, perhaps because you are ignoring or discounting the scriptures of the NT? Gen. 1:1, "...et elohim..." The alef and the tav, the first and the last. He was there in the beginning at the creation (Gen. 1:26; John 1:1), and nothing was created without Him (John 1:3; 1 John 1:1). Christ is the light of Gen. 1:3-4 (John 1:9; 8:12), the tree of life of Gen. 2:9 (Isa. 11:1; John 15:1-6); the promised seed of Gen. 3:15 (Rom. 1:3; Gal 3:16), the living waters of Gen. 1:2 (Jer. 17:13; Rev. 7:17)
    – Gina
    Aug 23, 2017 at 22:44
  • Furthermore, the genealogy begun in Gen. c 5, expanded in Gen. c 11 is finished in Matt. c. 1, and Luke 3:23-28. All who are baptized into Christ become Abraham's descendants, counted for the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:17; 26:4; Gal. 3:26-29). Christ became the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; Heb. c. 7). The gift of the bride (Eve) to Adam prefigured the gift of the church / the bride/ New Jerusalem to Christ (Gen. 2:20-26; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph 5:23-27; Rev. 21:9-10). Rev. 1:11, "... I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:" Christ was there!
    – Gina
    Aug 23, 2017 at 22:46
  • I'm interested in the text as it would have been understood by its original audience. They would not be aware of texts not yet written.
    – Dan
    Aug 24, 2017 at 1:04

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