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In the tenth chapter of 1 Enoch, in verse 17 (or 23 in some manuscripts), following the sentence on Semyaza and the other fallen angels who procreated the nephilim, God says that:

11 To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. 12 And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed. 13 Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever. 14 Immediately after this shall he, together with them, burn and perish; they shall be bound until the consummation of many generations. 15 Destroy all the souls addicted to dalliance, and the offspring of the Watchers, for they have tyrannized over mankind. 16 Let every oppressor perish from the face of the earth; Let every evil work be destroyed; The plant of righteousness and of rectitude appear, and its produce become a blessing. Righteousness and rectitude shall be for ever planted with delight. 17 And then shall all the righteous escape, and live until they have begotten a thousand children, while the whole period of their youth, and their sabbaths shall be completed in peace. 18 In those days all the earth shall be cultivated in righteousness; it shall be wholly planted with trees, and filled with benediction; every tree of delight shall be planted in it. 19 In it shall vines be planted; and the vine which shall be planted in it shall yield fruit to satiety; every seed, which shall be sown in it, shall produce for one measure a thousand; and one measure of olives shall produce ten presses of oil. 20 Purify the earth from all oppression, from all injustice, from all crime, from all impiety, and from all the pollution which is committed upon it. Exterminate them from the earth.Then shall all the children of men be righteous, and all nations shall pay me divine honours, and bless me; and all shall adore me. 21 The earth shall be cleansed from all corruption, from every crime, from all punishment, and from all suffering; neither will I again send them upon it from generation to generation for ever.

Now, this prophecy to me seems like a clear allusion to other biblical prophecies about new Earth, since it says that this will occur after Semyaza and the other fallen angels will be thrown into fire at the last Judgment, and contains the same promises as other eschatological prophecies, namely Isaiah 65-66, which also includes identical motives:

And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

However, today, while looking at the [Greek interlinear][http://enoksbok.se/cgi-bin/interlinear_greek.cgi?bkv++int] of 1 Enoch, it appears that the original text of verse 17 may have said something different:

And now all the righteous will be humble, and will live until they beget thousands. And all the days of their youth, and their sabbaths, they will fulfill in peace. καὶ νῦν πάντες οἱ δίκαιοι ἐκφεύξονται, καὶ ἔσονται ζῶντες ἕως γεννήσωσιν χιλιάδας, καὶ πᾶσαι αἱ ἡμέραι νεότητος αὐτῶν, καὶ τὰ σάββατα αὐτῶν μετὰ εἰρήνης πληρώσουσιν

The Greek word used here is not the common word used in New Testament texts for "then", τότε (indicating that this is something that will happen at a later time), but νῦν, which means "now, presently, at this time". This would indicate that the righteous escaping would refer to Noah's family escaping the flood, not the righteous escaping from the tribulation at the last Judgment, but this doesn't seem to line up with the previous verses about the fallen angels being judged and cast into fire, which, according to 1 Enoch 10:6, will be "at the great day of Judgment".

Additionally, the statements that the Earth will be cleaned of all sin and injustice doesn't seem applicable to the time immediately after the Flood (since, obviously, there was and still is sin now after the deluge), and Noah is mentioned in the same chapter a few verses before, without any mention of supernatural blessings immediately after the Flood:

Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: 2 '〈Go to Noah〉 and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. 3 And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.

So, what is the accurate translation here? Should the accurate rendering of 1 Enoch 10:17 be that the righteous will escape "now", or "then"? Or is the Greek text inaccurate compared to other Enochian manuscripts, like the Aramaic fragments (which I unfortunately was unable to find anywhere)?

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  • Hi Viteva, welcome to the stack! This is an outstanding early question and clearly one you've already put good research into, I always love to see new questions from secondary texts.
    – Steve can help
    May 7, 2023 at 21:56

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The chapter begins with a rather clear indication that the prophecies it contains refer to the Flood Judgment, not the Final Judgment.

1 Then the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech [Noah], 2 and said to him [Uriel]: 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come 3 upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape 4 and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.' And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness... And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may 6/7 not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the 8 Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted 9 through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.'

We, who are familiar with the concept of the Final Judgment, naturally tend to associate it with what Enoch calls "the Great Judgment." But in context the Great Judgment is indeed the Flood--"the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth."

It may help to recall that 1 Enoch is not recognized as holy scripture either by Jews or most Christians, so one need not reconcile it with biblical eschatology, such as that of the Book of Revelation. For this author, the fallen angels are being judged and cast into fire almost immediately, because they have committed fornication with human women (Gen. 6) and have greatly corrupted the earth. Their judgment by fire happens in conjunction with humanity's judgment by the Flood. So although the evil angels are to be cast into fire, the author is not describing an eschatological event as normally understood, but an event that happened around the time of the Flood, when the evil angels were punished for their corrupt acts.

Destroy all wrong from the face of the earth and let every evil work come to an end: and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear: and it shall prove a blessing; the works of righteousness and truth' shall be planted in truth and joy for evermore. 17 And then (or now) shall all the righteous escape...

Given the above, the whether 1 Enoch 10:17 is translated as "then" or "now" makes only a stylistic difference as long as it is understood that it refers to the time of the Flood and not the Final Judgment of Christian eschatology.

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  • I say above that the author does not rescribe an eschatological event as normally understood. But in a certain sense Noah's day was indeed "the last days" for his generation, and the author of 1 Enoch describes it as such. May 8, 2023 at 1:21
  • Thanks for your reply, sir. However, I must say that this didn't answer my question. I asked about if 'and now', καὶ νῦν, means strictly "in the present time" or whether it could also mean at a later time. Also, I find the notion of angels being cast into fire in the days of the flood unfounded, because the text states two consecutive punishments for the angels (Semyaza and co. will be first bound for seventy generations, and on the day of judgment cast into fire). That the angels are currently bound but not yet cast into fire, is referenced in 1 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, which cites from Enoch.
    – Viteva
    May 8, 2023 at 23:10

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