Andrei A. Orlov

[The paper was presented on the Pseudepigrapha Group, AAR/SBL Annual Meeting, November, 2000. Published in: Henoch 22.2 (2000) 207-221]

In recent years there has been a growing number of publications devoted to Noachic traditions. [2] Even though the book of Noah is not listed in the ancient catalogues of the apocryphal books,[3] the writings attributed to Noah are mentioned in such early materials as the Book of Jubilees (Jub. 10:13[4] and Jub. 21:10[5]), the Genesis Apocryphon from Qumran,[6] and the Greek fragment of the Levi document from Mount Athos.[7]
In addition to the titles of the lost Noah's book, several fragmentary materials associated with the early Noachic traditions have survived. Most researchers agree that some parts of the lost book of Noah "have been incorporated into 1 Enoch and Jubilees and that some manuscripts of Qumran[8] preserve some traces of it."[9]
A large bulk of the survived Noachic fragments is associated with Enochic materials. This association points to an apparent unity behind the "Enoch-Noah's axis." In some Pseudepigrapha texts, "the words of Noah" often follow closely "the words of Enoch." From the earliest Enochic materials we can see this interdependence between Noachic and Enochic traditions. H. Kvanvig points out that in Noachic traditions Noah and Enoch often appear in the same roles.[10]
In some Enochic writings, however, this long-lasting unity of Enoch and Noah appears to be broken for some reasons. They ignore the "Enoch-Noah axis" and show fierce theological polemics against Noah and the traditions associated with his name. One of the Pseudepigrapha texts which attests to such uncommon criticisms against Noah is 2 Enoch.[11] The purpose of this article is to investigate these anti-Noachic tendencies in the Slavonic text of 2 Enoch. In our further analysis we will examine certain features of Noah's story which come under attack in these polemics.

Noah's Sacrifices
Gen 8:20 pictures Noah's animal sacrifice after his debarkation. It may be the first account of an animal sacrifice on the altar found in the Bible. Although Abel's animal offerings are mentioned in Gen 4:4, these sacrifices did not establish any significant sacrificial pattern for future generations.[12] Until Noah, the Bible does not attest to any ongoing tradition of animal sacrifices. When Jub. mentions the offerings of Adam and Enoch, it refers to them as incense sacrifices.[13]
Noah thus can be regarded as the originator of the official ongoing tradition of animal sacrifices. He is also the first person to have received from the Lord the commandment about the blood. As M. Stone observes, Noah's connection to the sacrificial cult and to instructions concerning the blood was not accidental.[14]
In 2 Enoch, however, the role of Noah as a pioneer of animal sacrificial practice is challenged by a different story. We learn in this text that immediately after Enoch's instructions to his sons during his short visit to the earth and his ascension to the highest heaven, the firstborn son of Enoch, Methuselah, and his brothers, the sons of Enoch, constructed an altar at Achuzan,[15] the place[16] where Enoch had been taken up. In 2 Enoch, chapter 69 the Lord appeared to Methuselah in a night vision and appointed him the priest before the people. Verses 11-16 of this chapter describe the first animal sacrifice of Methuselah on the altar. The texts says that the people brought sheep, oxen, and birds (all of which have been inspected) for Methuselah to sacrifice them before the face of the Lord.[17] Further, the text gives an elaborate description of the sacrificial ritual during which Methuselah slaughters with a knife, "in the required manner," sheep and oxen placed at the head of the altar.[18] All these sheep and oxen, of course, are tied according to the sectarian instructions given by Enoch earlier in the book. It is apparent that Methuselah's role in the animal sacrificial practice conflicts with the canonical role of Noah as the originator of animal sacrificial tradition.
The text[19] poses a more intensive challenge to Noah's unique place in the sacrificial tradition by indicating that before his death Methuselah passes his priestly/sacrificial duties to the younger brother of Noah--the previously unknown Nir. Chapter 70 of 2 Enoch recounts the last days of Methuselah on earth before his death. The Lord appeared to Methuselah in a night vision and commanded him to pass his priesthood duties on to the second son of Lamech, Methuselah's grandson Nir. The text does not explain why the Lord wanted to pass the priesthood to Nir instead of Noah (Lamech's[20] firstborn son), [21] even though Noah is also mentioned in the dream. The text only tells about the response of the people to that request: "Let it be so for us, and let the word of the Lord be just as he said to you." Further, the book tells that Methuselah invested Nir with the vestments of priesthood before the face of all the people and "made him stand at the head of the altar."[22] He also taught him "everything that he would have to do among the people."[23]
The text offers a detailed description of Nir's sacrifice during which he commanded people to bring sheep, bulls, turtledoves, and pigeons. People brought them and tied them up at the head of the altar. Then Nir took the sacrificial knife and slaughtered them in the front of the face of the Lord.[24] The important detail here is that immediately following the sacrifice the text offers the formula in which the Lord is proclaimed to be the God of Nir. This title apparently stresses the patriarchal authority of Nir: "and all people made merry in front of the face of the Lord, and on that day they glorified the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, (the God) of Nir"[25] 70:21-22.[26]

Noah as an Originator of Sacrificial Instruction
The teaching about sacrifices comes from ancient times and is connected with Noah both in Jub. 21 and in the Levi document (Mount Athos) §57.[27] Jub. 21:10 refers to the sacrificial traditions written "in the words of Enoch and in the words of Noah."[28] The first part of this statement about Enoch as the originator of sacrificial instruction fully agrees with 2 Enoch's story. The text offers a lengthy account of Enoch's sacrificial prescriptions to his sons during his short visit to the earth. These instructions have a form of sacrificial halakhot. The halakhic character of these commands is reinforced by the specific Slavonic vocabulary which employs the term zakon' ("law") in reference to these sacrificial regulations. The text stresses that "he who puts to death any animal without binding it, it is an evil law, [29] he acts lawlessly[30] with his own soul." Clearly, the passage speaks not about secular legal prescriptions, but about the halakhic precepts. The Slavonic word zakon' commonly used to denote a binding custom or a rule of conduct in the community, in some instances, carries forward a much more restricted, technical meaning: it sometimes refers to the Mosaic Law and serves as an alternate designation for "halakha." [31]
Enoch's sacrificial precepts occupy an important place in the narrative of 2 Enoch. Some of these sacrificial rules, however, have an apparent sectarian flavor. In chapter 59, Enoch offers Methuselah, as well as his brothers--Regim, Ariim, Akhazukhan, Kharimion--and the elders of all the people, some instructions in animal sacrifices. These halakhot include the following guidelines:
1. Enoch commands his sons to use clean beasts in their sacrifices. According to his prescriptions, "he who brings a sacrifice of clean beasts, it is healing, he heals his soul. And he who brings a sacrifice of clean birds, it is healing, he heals his soul."[32]
2. Enoch teaches his sons that they should not touch an ox because of the "outflow."[33]
3. Enoch's prescriptions address the issue of the atoning sacrifices. He suggests that "a person bring one of the clean animals to make a sacrifice on account of sin, so that he may have healing for his soul."[34] Although the blood is not mentioned in these sacrificial prescriptions of Enoch, the text uses extensively the term "an animal soul." Enoch commands his sons to be cautious in dealing with animal souls, because those souls will accuse man in the day of judgment.[35]
4. Enoch also teaches his sons to bind sacrificial animals by four legs:

... he who brings a sacrifice of clean beasts, it is healing, he heals his soul. And he who brings a sacrifice of clean birds, it is healing, he heals his soul. And everything which you have for food, bind it by four legs[36]; there is healing, he heals his soul. He who puts to death any animal without binding it, it is an evil custom; he acts lawlessly with his own soul.[37]

S. Pines draws attention to this unique practice of tying together four legs during animal sacrifices. On the basis of a passage in the Mishna (Tamid, 31b) which states that each of the forelegs of the sacrificial animal was tied to the corresponding hind leg, Pines notes that the tying together of all four legs was contrary to the tradition.[38] Pines gives one of the two explanations found in the Gemara of the Babli that this disapproval sought to prevent the immitation the customs of the heretics, minim[39] (the authors of Mishnaic sacrificial prescriptions considered the practice of tying together all four legs to have strong sectarian overtones). In his final conclusion, Pines suggests that "it may have been an accepted rite of a sect, which repudiated the sacrificial customs prevailing in Jerusalem. It might be conjectured that this sect might have been the Essenes, whose sacrificial usage differed according to the one reading of the passage of Josephus[40] from those practiced at the Temple."[41]

As we can see, 2 Enoch depicts Enoch as the originator of the sacrificial instruction. Although some of these instructions are not necessarily canonical, the role of Enoch in the sacrificial tradition fully agrees with Jub. 21:10a. On the other hand, 2 Enoch is completely silent about Noah's role in these sacrificial instructions. He is refered to neither as the originator of these instructions nor as their practitioner. While the text speaks several times about the future role of Noah as a "procreator" of the postdiluvian race,[42] it is silent about his place in the priestly/sacrificial tradition. We might expect that Noah, then, will have an opportunity to do his part after the Flood, but the text, leaves out any significant role for Noah in the postdiluvian priestly/sacrificial tradition. The duty of the priestly successor is given to Nir's "son" - Melchisedek, who "will be the head of the priests"[43] in the postdiluvian generation. Noah's role is less prominent. According to the Slavonic Enoch, he "will be preserved in that generation for procreation."[44]

Noah and Divine Revelations
In the Bible and the Pseudepigrapha, Noah is portrayed as a recipient of divine revelations, given to him both before and after the Flood. In Gen 6:13-21 and Gen 7:1-5, God speaks to Noah about the Deluge and the construction of the ark. The evidence for the direct communication between God and Noah is further supported by 1 Enoch 67, Jub. 5, and the Genesis Apocryphon 6-7. According to the Pseudepigrapha, Noah also enjoys various angelic revelations. In 1 Enoch 10:1-3, an angel Asuryal warns Noah about the upcoming destruction of the earth. Jub. 10:1-14 records an angelic revelation to Noah about evil spirits and healing herbs which he wrote in a book and gave to Shem, his oldest son.[45] Scholars also believe that in 1 Enoch 60 it is Noah who was described as a visionary.[46]
These traditions depict Noah as the chosen vessel of divine revelation who alone found favor in the sight of the Lord[47] in the antediluvian turmoil.
These details and emphases on the direct communication between the Lord and Noah are challenged by the information about Noah found in 2 Enoch. As has been shown earlier, in the Slavonic Enoch Noah keeps a low profile. Although Noah is the firstborn of Lamech, he is portrayed as a family man, a helper to his prominent younger brother Nir, who assists him during the troubles with Sothonim and Melchisedek. While Nir is a priest surrounded by the crowds of people, Noah is a timid relative whose activities are confined to the circle of his family. After Melchisedek's situation was settled, Noah quietly "went away to his own place."[48]
In contrast to this modest role of Noah, Methuselah and Nir are pictured as priests of the Lord who have dreams/visions in which the Lord gives them important instructions about priestly successions and future events. It sharply contrasts with the absence of any indication of the direct revelations of the Lord to Noah. [49] We therefore learn about the Flood and Noah's role in it from Methuselah[50] and Nir's dreams.
In 2 Enoch chapter 70 the Lord appears to Methuselah in a night vision. The Lord tells him that the earth will perish but Noah, the firstborn son of his son Lamech, will be preserved in order that "another world rise up from his seed."[51] The account of the Lord's revelation to Methuselah about the Flood and Noah in 2 Enoch 70:4-10 might belong to the "original" Noachic tradition. It shows some similarities to the account of Enoch's revelation to Methuselah in 1 Enoch 106:15-19. The affinities, however, should not be exaggerated.
A symmetrical parallel to Methuselah's dream in 2 Enoch 70:4-10 is Nir's night vision in 71:27-30. In this short dream, which also describes in almost identical terms[52] the future destruction of the earth, one important detail is missing. Noah is absent from this revelation,[53] and his place is now occupied by Melchisedek, who according to the Lord will not perish during the Flood but will be the head of the priests in the future.[54] This revision which substitutes one surviver of the Flood for another fits perfectly in the pattern of antiNoachic polemics of the Slavonic Enoch. The important role of Noah as the "bridge" between the antediluvian and postdiluvian worlds is openly challenged.

Noah as a Bridge over the Flood
M. Stone stresses that "the sudden clustering of works around Noah indicates that he was seen as a pivotal figure in the history of humanity, as both an end and a beginning."[55] He also points out that the Pseudepigrapha from Qumran, which ascribe the priestly teaching to Noah, stress Noah's role as the "bridge" between the ante- and postdiluvian worlds.[56]
In the Pseudepigrapha Noah carries the priestly tradition through the Flood. Jub. pictures Noah and his sons as priests. Targumic and Rabbinic traditions also attest to the priestly functions of Noah's family. The canonical emphasis on the role of Noah in the sacrificial practice has been mentioned earlier.
In 2 Enoch, however, this function of Noah as a vessel of the priestly tradition over the Flood[57] is seriously undermined by Melchisedek--the child predestined to survive the Flood in order to become the priest to all priests in the postdiluvian generation. This story is repeated in the text several times during the Lord's revelations to Nir and to archangel Gabriel.[58]
In chapter 71 the Lord appeared to Nir in a night vision. He tells Nir that the child Melchisedek will be placed by the archangel in the paradise of Eden where he can survive the destruction of the earth in order to become the priest to all priests after the Flood.[59] Further, in chapter 72 the Lord commands his archangel Gabriel to take Melchisedek and place him in the paradise for preservation, so that he becomes "the head of the priests" in the postdiluvian generation.[60]
In the midst of the antiNoachic polemic, Noah himself recognizes the future priesthood of Melchisedek and surrenders his own and his descendents' priestly right to this child. From 71:20-21 we learn that when Noah saw the child Melchisedek with the badge of priesthood on his chest, he said to Nir: "Behold, God is renewing the continuation of the blood of the priesthood after us."[61]

The Birth of Noah
It has been shown that in the course of anti-Noachic polemics, the elements of Noah's story are transformed and his traditional roles are given to other characters. It is therefore no surprise to see that some details of Noah's birth in 2 Enoch are transferred to a new hero--the future postdiluvian priest, Melchisedek.
The birth of Noah occupies an important place in the Noachic traditions. In 1 Enoch 106-107 and in the Genesis Apocryphon 2-5, Noah is portrayed as a wonder-child. 1 Enoch pictures him with a glorious face and eyes like the rays of the sun. He was born fully developed; and as he was taken away from the hand of the midwife, he spoke to the Lord. These extraordinary qualities of the wonder-child lead his father Lamech to suspect that Noah's birth was angelic in origin.
In the context of antiNoachic polemics of 2 Enoch, this prominent part of Noah's biography finds its new niche. Here again we have the polemical rewriting of the Noachic narrative when the peculiar details of Noah's story are transferred to an another character, namely, to Melchisedek.
Scholars noted previously that Melchisedek's birth in Slavonic Enoch recalls some parallels with the birth of Noah in 1 Enoch and in the Genesis Apocryphon.[62] The Melchisedek narrative occupies the last chapters of 2 Enoch. The content of the story is connected with the family of Nir. Sothonim, the wife of Nir, gave birth to a miraculous child "in her old age," right "on the day of her death." She conceived the child, "being sterile" and "without having slept with her husband." The book tells that Nir the priest had not slept with her from the day that the Lord had appointed him before the face of the people. Therefore, Sothonim hid herself during all the days of her pregnancy. On the day she was to give birth, Nir remembered his wife and called her to himself in the temple. She came to him, and he saw that she was pregnant. Nir, filled with shame, wanted to cast her from him, but she died at his feet. Melchisedek was born from Sothonim's corpse. When Nir and Noah came in to bury Sothonim, they saw the child sitting beside the corpse with "his clothing on him." According to the story, they were terrified because the child was fully developed physically. The child spoke with his lips and he blessed the Lord. The unusual child was marked by the sign of priesthood. The story describes how "the badge of priesthood" was on his chest, glorious in appearance. Nir and Noah dressed the child in the garments of priesthood and fed him the holy bread. They decided to hide him, fearing that the people would have him put to death. Finally, the Lord commanded His archangel Gabriel to take the child and place him in "the paradise Eden," so that he might become the high priest after the Flood. The final passages of the short recension describe the ascent of Melchisedek on the wings of Gabriel to the paradise Eden.
The details of Noah's birth correspond at several points with the Melchisedek story:
1. Both Noah and Melchisedek belonged to the circle of Enoch's family.
2. Both characters are attested as "survivors" of the Flood.
3. Both characters have an important mission in the postdiluvian era.
4. Both characters are pictured as glorious wonder children.
5. Immediately after their birth, both characters spoke to the Lord.
1 Enoch 106:3 - "And when he (Noah) arose from the hands of the midwife, he opened his mouth and spoke to the Lord with righteousness."
2 Enoch 71:19 - "he (Melchisedek) spoke with his lips, and he blessed the Lord."[63]
6. Both characters were suspected of the divine/angelic lineage.
M. Delcor affirms that Lamech's phrase in the beginning of the Genesis Apocryphon, "Behold, then I thought in my heart that the conception was the work of the Watchers and the pregnancy of the Holy Ones..." can be compared with the words of Noah in 2 Enoch uttered at the time of the examination of Melchisedek: "This is of the Lord, my brother."[64]
7. Their fathers were suspicious of the conception of their sons and the faithfulness of their wives.[65]
In the Genesis Apocryphon, Lamech is worried and "frightened" about the birth of Noah, his son. Lamech suspects that his wife Bathenosh was unfaithful to him and that "the conception was (the work) of the Watchers and the pregnancy of the Holy Ones, and it belonged to the Nephil[in]."[66] The motif of Lamech's suspicion about the unfaithfulness of Bathenosh found in the Genesis Apocryphon seems to correspond to Nir's worry about the unfaithfulness of Sothonim: "And Nir saw her, and he became very ashamed about her. And he said to her, 'what is this that you have done, O wife? And why have you disgraced me in the front of the face of all people? And now, depart from me, go where you conceived the disgrace of your womb.'"[67]
8. Their mothers were ashamed and tried to defend themselves against the accusation of their husbands.
In the Genesis Apocryphon, the wife of Lamech responds to the angry questions of her husband by reminding him of their intimacies: "Oh my brother and lord! remember my sexual pleasure... [...] in the heat of intercourse, and the gasping of my breath in my breast."[68] She swears that the seed was indeed of Lamech: "I swear to you by the Great Holy One, by the King of the hea[vens...]...[...] that this seed comes from you, [...] and not from any foreigner nor from any of the watchers or sons of heav[en]."[69] In 2 Enoch Sothonim does not explain the circumstances of the conception. She answers Nir: "O my lord! Behold, it is the time of my old age, and there was not in me any (ardor of) youth and I do not know how the indecency of my womb has been conceived."[70]
9. Their fathers were eventually comforted by the special revelation about the prominent future role of their sons in the postdiluvian era.
It is noteworthy that this information is given in both cases in the context of the revelation about the destruction of the earth by the Flood.
1 Enoch 106:16-18 - "And this son who has been born unto you shall be left upon the earth, and his three sons shall be saved when they who are upon the earth are dead."
2 Enoch 71:29-30 - "And this child will not perish along with those who are perishing in this generation, as I have revealed it, so that Melchisedek will be ...the head of the priests of the future."[71]
One cannot fail to note a host of interesting overlaps between the birth of Noah in the Pseudepigrapha and the birth of Melchisedek in 2 Enoch. It is not difficult to notice that the author of 2 Enoch wants to diminish the extraordinarity of Noah's person and transfer these qualities to Melchisedek. The text therefore can be seen as a set of improvisations on the original Noachic themes.

Noah's Son
Shem b. Noah plays a prominent role in Noachic traditions.[72] According to Jubilees, Shem is Noah's choice in the transmission of his teaching. From Jub. 10:13-14 we learn that "Noah wrote down in a book everything ... and he gave all the books that he had written to his oldest son Shem because he loved him much more than all his sons." [73] Because of his unique role in the Noachic tradition, Shem b. Noah is also one of the targets of the anti-Noachic polemics of 2 Enoch. This debate takes its place in the last chapters of the book which are connected with the Melchisedek legend.
The previous exposition shows that the Melchisedek story is closely connected with Nir's family. Even though Nir is not the biological father of Melchisedek, he later adopts him as his son. In 2 Enoch chapter 71 Nir says to the Lord: "For I have no descendants, so let this child take the place of my descendants and become as my own son, and you will count him in the number of your servants."[74] In this instance of Nir's "adoption" of Melchisedek we have again an anti-Noachic motif.
In Targumic and rabbinic literature Melchisedek is often attested as the oldest son of Noah - Shem. The identification of Melchisedek and Shem can be found in Tg. Ps.-J., Frg. Tg., Tg. Neof., Gen. Rab. 43.1; 44.7, 'Abot R. Nat. 2, Pirqe R. El. 7; 27, and b. Ned. 32b.
The basic message of the passages from the Targums and rabbinic literature is the building up of the priestly antecedents of Melchisedek (Shem) in the context of the transmission of this priestly line to Abraham.[75] In these texts Shem b. Noah (Melchisedek) represents an important link in the passing of the Noachic priestly/sacrificial tradition to Abraham. This prominent motif of the succession of the Noachic priestly/sacrificial tradition by the tradition of Abraham and his descendants, including Isaac and Levi, can be found already in Jub. 21 and in the Levi document from Athos.
In contrast, the text of the Slavonic Enoch attempts to build an alternative to the traditional Targumic/rabbinic line of interpretation, which serves as a parallel to the official Noah-Shem line. Previously unknown Nir, the young brother of Noah, plays an important theological role in this shift. The substitution of Noah's "fatherhood" to Nir's "fatherhood" is one more facet of the complicated anti-Noachic polemics in the text of 2 Enoch.


The goal of our research was to show the existence of antiNoachic polemics in 2 Enoch. To understand the reasons of the suppression of the Noahic traditions in the text would require another lengthy investigation. However, some conclusions can be made at this stage of the research.

1. The foregoing survey testifies to the existence of antiNoachic polemics in 2 Enoch. The analysis shows that these polemics seem to be based on the "original" Noachic materials which demonstrate some distant parallels with the fragments of the Book of Noah found in 1 Enoch, Jub., and the Genesis Apocryphon.[76]
2. The antiNoachic debates involve a substantial rewriting of the "original" Noachic motifs and themes. The details of the Noah "biography" are rearranged and transferred to other characters, including Methuselah, Nir and Melchisedek.
3. It appears that the main target of the antiNoachic polemics is the Noah-Abraham priestly connection. It explains why Melchisedek (who in Targumic/rabbinic traditions represents the important link in the passing of the Noachic priestly/sacrificial tradition to Abraham) becomes the center of the fierce antiNoachic debates in 2 Enoch. The fact that Abraham and his progeny are completely absent in 2 Enoch further supports the hypothesis. In this Slavonic apocalypse the Lord is named as "God of your father Enoch"[77]--the familiar title which in the Bible is connected with Abraham and his descendants.
4. The antiNoachic polemics could be also triggered by the prominence of the Adamic tradition in the Slavonic Enoch, [78] where "the high priesthood is traced back ultimately to Adam." [79] In the Pseudepigrapha and the Qumran writings, the Adamic and Priestly-Noah traditions often compete with and suppress each other. In the Adamic tradition, the source of evil is traced to the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden. In contrast to that, the Noachic tradition bases its understanding of the origin of the evil on the Watchers story. In this story descended Watchers corrupt human beings by passing to them various celestial secrets. By those mysteries the humans multiply evil deads upon the earth.[80] This Noachic motif seems to be challenged in 2 Enoch, where the Lord keeps His utmost secrets from the angels.[81]
5. It is evident that 2 Enoch contains a systematic tendency to diminish or refocus the priestly significance of the Noachic tradition. These antiNoachic revisions take place in the midst of the sectarian debates about the sacrificial practice and the priestly succession.[82]

[1] I am indebted to Professor Michael Stone for his useful comments and criticism of this work. All errors that remain are, of course, my responsibility alone.
[2] On Noachic traditions see: M. Bernstein, "Noah and the Flood at Qumran," The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls: Technological Innovations, New Texts, and Reformulated Issues (eds. D.W. Parry and E. Ulrich; STDJ 30; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 199-231; D. Dimant, "Noah in Early Jewish Literature," Biblical Figures Outside the Bible (eds. M.E. Stone and T.A. Bergren; Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1998) 123-50; F. García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic (STDJ 9; Leiden: Brill, 1992) 24-44; F. García Martínez, "Interpretation of the Flood in the Dead Sea Scrolls," Interpretations of the Flood (eds. F. García Martínez and G.P. Luttikhuizen; TBN 1; Leiden: Brill, 1998) 86-108; H. Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic. The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and the Son of Man (WMANT 61; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1988) 242-54; J. Lewis, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature (Leiden: Brill, 1968); J. Reeves, "Utnapishtim in the Book of Giants?" JBL 12 (1993) 110-15; J.M. Scott, "Geographic Aspects of Noachic Materials in the Scrolls of Qumran," The Scrolls and the Scriptures: Qumran Fifty Years After (eds. S.E. Porter and C.E. Evans; JSPS 26; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) 368-81; R.C. Steiner, "The Heading of the Book of the Words of Noah on a Fragment of the Genesis Apocryphon: New Light on a 'Lost' Work," DSD 2 (1995) 66-71; M. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," Pseudepigraphic Perspectives: The Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (eds. E. Chazon and M. E. Stone; STDJ 31; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 133-49; M. Stone, "Noah, Books of," Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter, 1971) 12.1198; J. VanderKam, "The Righteousness of Noah," Ideal Figures in Ancient Judaism: Profiles and Paradigms (eds. J. J. Collins and G.W.E. Nickelsburg; SBLSCS 12; Chico: Scholars Press, 1980) 13-32; J. VanderKam, "The Birth of Noah," Intertestamental Essays in Honor of Jósef Tadeusz Milik (ed. Z.J. Kapera; Qumranica Mogilanensia 6; Krakow: The Enigma Press, 1992) 213-31; Cana Werman, "Qumran and the Book of Noah" Pseudepigraphic Perspectives: The Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (eds. E. Chazon and M. E. Stone; STDJ 31; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 171-81 .
[3] F. García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic, 24.
[4] "Noah wrote down in a book everything (just) as we had taught him regarding all the kinds of medicine..." J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees (2 vols.; CSCO 510-11, Scriptores Aethiopici 87-88; Leuven: Peeters, 1989) 2.60.
[5] "...because this is the way I found (it) written in the book of my ancestors, in the words of Enoch and the words of Noah." J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.123.
[6] "The Book of the Words of Noah" col. 5, line 29. Cf. R.C. Steiner, "The Heading of the Book of the Words of Noah on a Fragment of the Genesis Apocryphon: New Light on a 'Lost'Work," DSD 2 (1995) 66-71.
[7] "For thus my father Abraham commanded me for thus he found in the writing of the book of Noah concerning the blood" §57. J.C. Greenfield and M. Stone, "The Aramaic and Greek Fragments of a Levi Document," in The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs (ed. H.W. Hollander and M. de Jonge; SVTP 5; Leiden: Brill, 1985) 465. Among other important late allusions to Noah's writings, the Chronography of Syncellus and the Book of Asaph the Physician should be mentioned. See F. García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic, 25 and 38.
[8] According to F. García Martínez, the following Qumran materials are related to the Book of Noah: 1QapGen 1-17, 1Q19; 1Q20; 4Q534 (4QMess Ar), and 6Q8. Cf. F. García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic, 43-4.
[9] F. García Martínez, Qumran and Apocalyptic, 26.
[10] H. Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic. The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and the Son of Man (WMANT 61; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1988) 117. On Enoch's roles cf. A. Orlov, "Titles of Enoch-Metatron in 2 Enoch" JSP 18 (1998) 71-86.
[11] M. Stone notes that "an extensive development of Noachic traditions is to be observed in 2 Enoch 71-72 which rewrites the story of Noah's birth, transferring the special traditions to Melkisedek." M. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 139.
[12] Cf. M. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 138.
[13] "On that day, as he was leaving the Garden of Eden, he burned incense as a pleasing fragrance--frankincense, galbanum, stacte, and aromatic spices..." Jub. 3:27; "He burned the evening incense of the sanctuary which is acceptable before the Lord on the mountain of incense." Jub. 4:25. J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.20 and 2.28.
[14] Michael E. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 138.
[15] Slav. Achuzan. Unless noted otherwise, this and the subsequent Slavonic citations are drawn from Vaillant's edition. Cf. A. Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d'Henoch: Texte slave et traduction francaise (Paris: Institut D'Etudes Slaves, 1952).
[16] The text of 2 Enoch defines this place as the center of the world, "the place Achuzan, i.e. in the center of the world, where Adam was created." Vaillant, 116. Compare with Ezek 48:20-21 where the Hebrew word hzja "special property of God" applies to Jerusalem and the Temple. Cf. J.T. Milik, The Books of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) 114; C. Böttrich, Weltweisheit, Menschheitsethik, Urkult, (WUNT R.2, 50; Tübingen: Mohr, 1992) 195.
[17] F. Andersen, "2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch," The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 [1983]) 1.199. Here and later on I use Andersen's English translation and follow his division of chapters.
[18] Andersen, 198-9.
[19] It should be stressed that both the longer and the shorter recensions of 2 Enoch include all significant points of the anti-Noachic polemics. There is no substantial difference between the recensions in the representation of these materials. During my analysis I have used illustrations from both recensions in equal proportions.
[20] Lamech died before Methuselah. According to Gen 5:26-31, after Lamech was born, Methuselah lived 782 years... Lamech lived a total of 777 years.
[21] This priestly succession from Methuselah to Nir is an apparent violation of all the norms of traditional succession. Cf. the traditional view in Jub. 7:38-39: "For this is how Enoch, your father's father, commanded his son Methuselah; then Methuselah his son Lamech; and Lamech commanded me everything that his fathers had commanded him. Now I am commanding you, my children, as Enoch commanded his son in the first jubilee." J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.49-50.
[22] Andersen, 197-203.
[23] Andersen, 202-03.
[24] Andersen, 202.
[25] Slav. Gospoda Boga nebesi i zemlja Nirova. Vaillant, 74.
[26] Andersen, 202.
[27] Michael E. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 138.
[28] J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.123.
[29] Slav. zlozakonie. Vaillant, 58.
[30] Slav. bezzakonit'. Vaillant, 58.
[31] Cf. P.I. Avanesov, ed., Slovar' drevnerusskogo jazyka XI-XIV vv. (10 vols.; Moscow: Russkij jazyk, 1988-) 3.317-9; R.M. Cejtlin, ed., Staroslovjanskij slovar' po rukopisjam X-XI vekov (Moscow: Russkij jazyk, 1994) 228; J. Kurz, ed., Lexicon Linguae Palaeo-Slovenica (4 vols.; Prague: Akademia, 1966-) 1.643-4; I.I. Sresnevskij, Slovar' drevnerusskogo jazyka (3 vols.; Moscow: Kniga, 1989) I(II), 921-2.
[32] Andersen, 185.
[33] The terminology of this prescription is unclear. For a detailed discussion of the passage cf. Andersen, 184-5.
[34] Andersen, 184.
[35] Andersen, 185.
[36] Slav. svjazhete e po chetyre nogi. Vaillant, 58.
[37] Andersen, p. 185
[38] S. Pines, "Eschatology and the Concept of Time in the Slavonic Book of Enoch," in Types of Redemption (ed. R.J. Zwi Werblowsky; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970) 74-75.
[39] Pines, 75.
[40] Ant. XVIII, 18.
[41] Pines, 75.
[42] "Then I will preserve Noah, the firstborn son of your son Lamech. And I will make another world rise up from his seed, and his seed will exist throughout the ages" 70:10. Andersen, 203. "For I know indeed that this race will end in confusion, and everyone will perish, except that Noah, my brother, will be preserved in that generation for procreation" 71:37. Andersen, 209.
[43] Andersen, 211.
[44] Andersen, 209.
[45] J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.60.
[46] Kvanvig argues that "in 1 Enoch 60, 1-10.24c-25 Noah is described as a visionary (as in 4QMess Ar) and in a vision he is warned about the coming catastrophe. This description of the flood hero as a visionary had its parallel in both Atra-Hasis and Berossos' version of the Flood story when the flood hero is warned in a dream." Kvanvig, 242.
[47] Cf. Gen 6:8 and Jub. 5:5 - "He was pleased with Noah alone." J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.33.
[48] Andersen, 206-7.
[49] 2 Enoch 73, which attests to such a revelation, is a later interpolation represented only by the manuscript R and partly (only one line) by Rum. Cf. M.I Sokolov, ‘Materialy i zametki po starinnoj slavjanskoj literature. Vypusk tretij, VII. Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo. Teksty, latinskij perevod i izsledovanie. Posmertnyj trud avtora prigotovil k izdaniju M. Speranskij’, COIDR 4 (1910) I, 80 and 155. Our analysis of antiNoachic polemics strengthens the hypothesis that 2 Enoch 73 is a later addition, foreign to the original body of the text. For the discussion about chapter 73 cf. Vaillant, xxii; Andersen, 212.
[50] The motif of these divine/angelic revelations to Melthuselah parallels 1 Enoch 106, 1QapGen 2:19 and to the text of Pseudo-Eupolemus where "Methuselah ... learned all things through the help of the angels of God, and thus we gained our knowledge." Carl Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors (Chico, Calif.: Scholar Press, 1983) I.175.
[51] Andersen, 203.
[52] For example, see in the manuscript R: 2 Enoch 70:8 -"everything that stands will perish" and 2 Enoch 71:27 - "everything that stands on the earth will perish." M.I Sokolov, ‘Materialy i zametki po starinnoj slavjanskoj literature. Vypusk tretij, VII. Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo. Teksty, latinskij perevod i izsledovanie. Posmertnyj trud avtora prigotovil k izdaniju M. Speranskij’, COIDR 4 (1910)
1.69 and 1.75.
[53] It is clear that Noah's name was purged from the original Noachic account which lies behind Nir's vision. The additional supporting detail here is that right after Nir's vision, when he arose from the sleep, he repeats the vision in his own words. In this repetition Nir mentions both Melchisedek and Noah as survivors of the Flood. It is apparent that we have here two different traditions which sometimes do not reconcile with each other. Cf. "And Melchisedek will be the head of the priests in another generation. For I know indeed that this race will end in confusion and everyone will perish, except that Noah, my brother, will be preserved in that generation for procreation" 71:33-7. Andersen, 209.
[54] Andersen, 208.
[55] Michael E. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 141.
[56] Michael E. Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 143.
[57] Another challenge to Noah's role as a carrier of antediluvian traditions over the Flood is the theme of Enoch's books. From 2 Enoch 33:8-12 we learn that the Lord commanded his angels Ariokh and Mariokh to guard Enoch's books, so "they might not perish in the impeding flood." Andersen, 157. This motif of the "secret" books by which antediluvian wisdom reached postdiluvian generations plays a prominent role in the Mesopotamian flood stories. Cf. P. Grelot, "La légende d'Hénoch dans les apocryphes et dans la Bible: origine et signification", RSR 46 (1958) 9-13.
[58] This story is supported by the lenghty priestly geneology which also includes Enoch, Methuselah, and Nir. Noah, of course, is not presented in this list. Cf. "Therefore honor him (Melchisedek) together with your servants and great priests, with Sit, and Enos, and Rusi, and Amilam, and Prasidam, and Maleleil, and Serokh, and Arusan, and Aleem, and Enoch, and Methusalam, and me, your servant Nir. And behold, Melchisedek will be the head of the 13 priests who existed before" 71:32-33. Andersen, 208.
[59] Andersen, 208-9.
[60] Andersen, 211.
[61] Andersen, 207.
[62] Cf. M. Delcor, "Melchizedek from Genesis to the Qumran Texts and the Epistle to the Hebrews." JSJ 2 (1971) 129; idem, "La naissance merveilleuse de Melchisédeq d'après l'Hénoch slave" Kecharitomene. Mélanges René Laurentin (ed. C. Augustin et al.; Paris: Desclée, 1990) 217-229; G.W.E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981) 185; A. de Santos Otero, "Libro de los secretos de Henoc (Henoc eslavo)," Apocrifos del Antiguo Testamento (ed. A. Dies Macho; Madrid: Ediciones Christiandad, 1984) 4.199; R. Stichel, Die Namen Noes, seines Bruders und seiner Frau. Ein Beitrag zum Nachleben jüdischer Überlieferungen in der außerkanonischen und gnostischen Literatur und in Denkmälern der Kunst (AAWG.PH 3. Folge 112; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979) 42-54.
[63] Andersen, 207.
[64] Delcor, 129.
[65] George Nickelsburg observes that the miraculous circumstances attending Melchisedek's conception and birth are reminiscent of the Noah story in 1 Enoch, although the suspicion of Nir is more closely paralleled in the version of the Noah story in the Genesis Apocryphon. George W.E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981) 188.
[66] F. García Martínez and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill, 1997) 1.29
[67] Andersen, 205.
[68] F. García Martínez and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill, 1997) 1.29
[69] F. García Martínez and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill, 1997) 1.29-31.
[70] Andersen, 205.
[71] Andersen, 208.
[72] On Shem traditions in 2 Enoch see: Andrei A. Orlov, "Melchisedek Legend of 2 (Slavonic) Enoch," JSJ (forthcoming).
[73] J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.60.
[74] Andersen, 209.
[75] Cf. for example b. Ned. 32b: "R. Zechariah said on R. Ishmael's authority: The Holy One, blessed be He, intended to bring forth the priesthood from Shem, as it is written, 'And he [Melchizedek] was the priest of the most high God' (Gen 14:18). But because he gave precedence in his blessing to Abraham over God, He brought it forth from Abraham; as it is written, 'And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high God' (Gen 14:19). Said Abraham to him, 'Is the blessing of a servant to be given precedence over that of his master?' Straightway it [the priesthood] was given to Abraham, as it is written (Ps 110:1), 'The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool;' which is followed by, 'The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek' (Ps 110:4), meaning, 'because of the word of Melchizedek.' Hence it is written, And he was a priest of the most High God, [implying that] he was a priest, but not his seed." The Babylonian Talmud. Seder Nedarim (London: Soncino Press, 1936) 98-9.
[76] It is possible that some traces of the polemics with Noachic tradition can be found already in early Enochic documents, including bookletes of 1 Enoch, where Enoch often "substitutes" Noah in Noachic narratives. Such tensions between Enoch and Noah can be rooted in certain Mesopotamian "prototypes" common for both characters. Cf. P. Grelot, "La légende d'Hénoch dans les apocryphes et dans la Bible: origine et signification", RSR 46 (1958) 189-91.
[77] Cf. 2 Enoch 69:2, 69:5, and 70:3 - "I am the Lord, the God of your father Enoch" Slav. Bog' otca tvoego Enoha. Vaillant, 68.
[78] On the Adamic traditions in the Slavonic pseudepigrapha and in 2 Enoch see: Émile Turdeanu, Apocryphes Slaves et Roumains de L'Ancien Testament (Leiden: Brill, 1981) 405-35; C. Böttrich, Adam als Mikrokosmos: eine Untersuchung zum slavischen Henochbuch (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1995).
[79] Stone, "The Axis of History at Qumran," 148.
[80] 1 Enoch 16:3.
[81] Cf. Andersen, 143.
[82] As A. Rubinstein notes, "it is hard to escape the impression that the purpose of the account is to build up the priestly antecedents of Melchizedek." A. Rubinstein, "Observations on the Slavonic Book of Enoch," JJS 15 (1962) 5. P. Sacchi adds that the Melchizedek story gives "the impression of a work that developes an Enochic priestly tradition in the midst of the problems of first-century Jewish thought, with particular reference to the relation between the function of Enoch and those of Melchizedek." P. Sacchi, Jewish Apocalyptic and Its History (JSPSS 20; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996) 234-5.

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