The Ascension of Enoch, by Gerard Hoet
The first Book of Enoch, also contains some imagery in line with the end-time judgment described in the Old Testament texts that we have discussed in earlier posts. Composed over several stages of development between 300BC and the 1st century AD, the first Book of Enoch is a pseudepigraphal work outside of the Christian canon, with its major claim to authority being the fact that it is quoted in the Epistle of St. Jude in the New Testament (vv14-15). At the opening of the book, it describes God descending to earth at the end-time, along with the associated theophanic phenomena of the throwing down of mountains and enormous earthquakes:
The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,
And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai,
And appear from His camp
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens.
And all shall be smitten with fear
And the Watchers shall quake,
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.
And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame
And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder,
And all that is upon the earth shall perish,
And there shall be a judgement upon all (men). (1Enoch 1:3-7)
This portion of the Book of Enoch is based on a passage in the Book of Deuteronomy which concerns the theophany at Mt. Sinai after the escape of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt:
“The LORD came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand."
It also reflects a passage in the Book of Habakkuk which appears to connect these events with a great disturbance of the sea (as we noted in the earlier post Parousia, Eschatological Earthquake and Mega-tsunami Connections in Habakkuk?):
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels.
He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Was your wrath against the rivers, O LORD?
Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation? You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers. The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hands on high...
...You trampled the sea with your horses, the surging of mighty waters.
(Hab 3:3-10; 15)
As we have already shown in the post King David's Vision of the End-time?, the events of the exodus on which these passages are modelled, appear to have been caused by the eruption of the volcano Santorini around 3,500 years ago. During this eruption, the explosion generated a huge tsunami which, as well as destroying the Minoan civilisation on Crete, swept across the Egyptian coast. So by alluding to the events of the exodus, these passages seem to be describing a future volcanic collapse and subsequent catastrophic tsunami. This would perhaps explain why one of the Two Witnesses of the Book of Revelation is expected to be a "Second Moses" type figure, and why the bowl plagues of Rev 16 are directly based on the plagues of Egypt.
While the portion of the Book of Enoch quoted above is based on Deut 33 and Hab 3, it also has some clear eschatological overtones, such as the mention of a final judgement: "And all that is upon the earth shall perish, And there shall be a judgement upon all (men)."
So once again, we have a prophetic text which links the Second Coming of Christ with the eschatological earthquake, and the casting down of mountains (see the earlier posts The Eschatological Earthquake parts one and two, for an explanation as to how this "Great Shaking" may be related to the future collapse of Cumbre Vieja). This explains the Apocalypse's depiction of Christ at his Second Coming as a reaper, casting his sickle across the earth to reap the eschatological harvest. The events that unfold as a result of the Parousia of Christ will ultimately bring about the final harvest of the earth:
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Rev 14:14-16)
See also the related posts:
The Second Coming (Part I)
The Second Coming (Part II): Rapture
The Second Coming (Part III): The Day of the Lord