The Flat Earth Controversy
A Biblical World View And One Man's Quest For Truth
© 2015 by Rob Skiba
ENOCH AND THE STILL FLAT EARTH
When it comes to the Book of Enoch, I know many want to dispute whether or not we should consider it canon, or even a valid source for deriving, confirming and/or elaborating on the canonized Biblical truths. Many commentaries have been written giving the various perceived pros can cons of doing so. For me, I have no need to consider it "Scripture." However, I do value it primarily because the authors of Scripture certainly did, even to the point of directly quoting from it, while under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Concerning the seeming ambiguities of canonized Scripture as it pertains to the issues being addressed here in this essay, I like the way Robert Schadewald handles the Book of Enoch in his online article:
Ambiguities in ancient documents can often be elucidated by consulting contemporary documents. The most important ancient document describing Hebrew cosmology is 1 Enoch (sometimes called the Ethiopic Book of Enoch), one of those long, disjointed, scissors and paste jobs beloved by ancient scribes. For a dozen or so centuries, European scholars knew 1 Enoch only from numerous passages preserved in the patristic literature. In 1773, the Scottish adventurer James Bruce found complete copies in Ethiopia.
Numerous manuscripts of 1 Enoch have since been found in Ethiopian monasteries. Turn of the century scholars concluded that parts of the book are pre-Maccabean, and most (perhaps all) of it was composed by 100 B.C. [Charles, 1913]. These conclusions were largely vindicated when numerous fragments of 1 Enoch were found among the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran.
* * *
First Enoch is important for another reason. Unlike the canonical books of the Bible, which (in my view) were never meant to teach science, sections of 1 Enoch were intended to describe the natural world. The narrator sometimes sounds like a 2nd century B.C. Carl Sagan explaining the heavens and earth to the admiring masses. The Enochian cosmology is precisely the flat-earth cosmology previously derived from the canonical books.
Excepts sourced from: https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm
Whether or not we consider the Book of Enoch to be Scripture is irrelevant. If you at least accept it as having any measure of credibility as a contemporary Biblical commentary, you'll see this concept of a flat/enclosed earth is described in even more detail by its writer(s), thus revealing how the ancient Hebrews viewed the heavens, earth, sun, moon and stars when thy both wrote and read the canonized texts. For Enoch to have been so well preserved in multiple copies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and for authors such as Jude and later "Church Fathers" to quote directly from it, this shows us the book was held in high regard, at least well into the first few centuries AD. I contend it is still worthy of taking notice of in our day as well. Especially, when you consider the opening words of the book:
1 Enoch 1:1. The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. 2. And he took up his parable and said--Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come.
I believe we are that remote, future generation, that was to come and live "in the day of tribulation." As many of you know, I published a book called, Genesis and the Synchronized, Biblically-Endorsed, Extra-Biblical Texts a couple of years ago, which includes the book of 1 Enoch. In the Introduction to that volume, I wrote that I was putting together a stand-alone version of the Book of Enoch with footnotes and commentary. As I began working on that, I found that when you get to about chapter 17 or so, you start finding some very interesting descriptions of heaven and earth, which sound a lot like the Flat/Enclosed Earth model. We will now explore just a handful of them here.
Enoch's view on the nature of the earth:
1 Enoch 18:1. I saw the treasuries of all the winds: I saw how He had furnished with them the whole creation and the firm foundations of the earth. 2. And I saw the corner-stone of the earth: I saw the four winds which bear [ the earth and ] the firmament of the heaven. 3. And I saw how the winds stretch out the vaults of heaven, and have their station between heaven and earth: these are the pillars of the heaven . 4. I saw the winds of heaven which turn and bring the circumference of the sun and all the stars to their setting. 5. I saw the winds on the earth carrying the clouds: I saw the paths of the angels. I saw at the end of the earth the firmament of the heaven above. And I proceeded and saw a place which burns day and night, where there are seven mountains of magnificent stones, three towards the east, and three towards the south. 7. And as for those towards the east, 〈 one 〉 was of coloured stone, and one of pearl, and one of jacinth, and those towards the south of red stone. 8. But the middle one reached to heaven like the throne of God, of alabaster, and the summit of the throne was of sapphire. 9. And I saw a flaming fire. And beyond these mountains 10. is a region the end of the great earth: there the heavens were completed. 11. And I saw a deep abyss, with columns of heavenly fire, and among them I saw columns of fire fall, which were beyond measure alike towards the height and towards the depth. 12. And beyond that abyss I saw a place which had no firmament of the heaven above, and no firmly founded earth beneath it: there was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a waste and horrible place.
Is Job 26:7 (concerning the earth hanging on "nothing") just a confirmation of what Enoch is saying here? Enoch described a place where there was nothing. Job describes the same:
Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Enoch clearly describes the earth on a foundation (like so many other authors as seen above). But he also describes a place beyond the ends of the earth. A place of horrible nothingness. Whatever your view may be, it is clear, either one of these authors has borrowed from the other or they both were inspired by the same Source. Enoch again describes this place...
1 Enoch 21: 1. And I proceeded to where things were chaotic. 2. And I saw there something horrible: I saw neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible.
1 Enoch 23:1. From thence I went to another place to the west of the ends of the earth.
1 Enoch 33:1. And from thence I went to the ends of the earth and saw there great beasts, and each differed from the other; and (I saw) birds also differing in appearance and beauty and voice, the one differing from the other. 2. And to the east of those beasts I saw the ends of the earth whereon the heaven rests, and the portals of the heaven open. 3. And I saw how the stars of heaven come forth, and I counted the portals out of which they proceed, and wrote down all their outlets, of each individual star by itself, according to their number and their names, their courses and their positions, and their times and their months, as Uriel the holy angel who was with me showed me. 4. He showed all things to me and wrote them down for me: also their names he wrote for me, and their laws and their companies.
Enoch's view on the nature of the sun, moon and stars:
1 Enoch 72:
1. The book of the courses of the luminaries of the heaven, the relations of each, according to their classes, their dominion and their seasons, according to their names and places of origin, and according to their months, which Uriel, the holy angel, who was with me, who is their guide, showed me; and he showed me all their laws exactly as they are, and how it is with regard to all the years of the world and unto eternity, till the new creation is accomplished which dureth till eternity. 2. And this is the first law of the luminaries: the luminary the Sun has its rising in the eastern portals of the heaven, and its setting in the western portals of the heaven. 3. And I saw six portals in which the sun rises, and six portals in which the sun sets and the moon rises and sets in these portals, and the leaders of the stars and those whom they lead: six in the east and six in the west, and all following each other in accurately corresponding order: also many windows to the right and left of these portals. 4. And first there goes forth the great luminary, named the Sun, and his circumference is like the circumference of the heaven, and he is quite filled with illuminating and heating fire. 5. The chariot on which he ascends, the wind drives, and the sun goes down from the heaven and returns through the north in order to reach the east, and is so guided that he comes to the appropriate (lit. 'that') portal and shines in the face of the heaven. 6. In this way he rises in the first month in the great portal, which is the fourth those six portals in the cast. 7. And in that fourth portal from which the sun rises in the first month are twelve window-openings, from which proceed a flame when they are opened in their season. 8. When the sun rises in the heaven, he comes forth through that fourth portal thirty mornings in succession, and sets accurately in the fourth portal in the west of the heaven. 9. And during this period the day becomes daily longer and the night nightly shorter to the thirtieth morning. 10. On that day the day is longer than the night by a ninth part, and the day amounts exactly to ten parts and the night to eight parts. 11. And the sun rises from that fourth portal, and sets in the fourth and returns to the fifth portal of the east thirty mornings, and rises from it and sets in the fifth portal. 12. And then the day becomes longer by two parts and amounts to eleven parts, and the night becomes shorter and amounts to seven parts. 13. And it returns to the east and enters into the sixth portal, and rises and sets in the sixth portal one-and-thirty mornings on account of its sign. 14. On that day the day becomes longer than the night, and the day becomes double the night, and the day becomes twelve parts, and the night is shortened and becomes six parts. 15. And the sun mounts up to make the day shorter and the night longer, and the sun returns to the east and enters into the sixth portal, and rises from it and sets thirty mornings. 16. And when thirty mornings are accomplished, the day decreases by exactly one part, and becomes eleven parts, and the night seven. 17. And the sun goes forth from that sixth portal in the west, and goes to the east and rises in the fifth portal for thirty mornings, and sets in the west again in the fifth western portal. 18. On that day the day decreases by two parts, and amounts to ten parts and the night to eight parts. 19. And the sun goes forth from that fifth portal and sets in the fifth portal of the west, and rises in the fourth portal for one-and-thirty mornings on account of its sign, and sets in the west. 20. On that day the day is equalized with the night, [and becomes of equal length], and the night amounts to nine parts and the day to nine parts. 21. And the sun rises from that portal and sets in the west, and returns to the east and rises thirty mornings in the third portal and sets in the west in the third portal. 22. And on that day the night becomes longer than the day, and night becomes longer than night, and day shorter than day till the thirtieth morning, and the night amounts exactly to ten parts and the day to eight parts. 23. And the sun rises from that third portal and sets in the third portal in the west and returns to the east, and for thirty mornings rises in the second portal in the east, and in like manner sets in the second portal in the west of the heaven. 24. And on that day the night amounts to eleven parts and the day to seven parts. 25. And the sun rises on that day from that second portal and sets in the west in the second portal, and returns to the east into the first portal for one-and-thirty mornings, and sets in the first portal in the west of the heaven. 26. And on that day the night becomes longer and amounts to the double of the day: and the night amounts exactly to twelve parts and the day to six. 27. And the sun has (therewith) traversed the divisions of his orbit and turns again on those divisions of his orbit, and enters that portal thirty mornings and sets also in the west opposite to it. 28. And on that night has the night decreased in length by a †ninth† part, and the night has become eleven parts and the day seven parts. 29. And the sun has returned and entered into the second portal in the east, and returns on those his divisions of his orbit for thirty mornings, rising and setting. 30. And on that day the night decreases in length, and the night amounts to ten parts and the day to eight. 31. And on that day the sun rises from that portal, and sets in the west, and returns to the east, and rises in the third portal for one-and-thirty mornings, and sets in the west of the heaven. 32. On that day the night decreases and amounts to nine parts, and the day to nine parts, and the night is equal to the day and the year is exactly as to its days three hundred and sixty-four. 33. And the length of the day and of the night, and the shortness of the day and of the night arise--through the course of the sun these distinctions are made (lit. 'they are separated'). 34. So it comes that its course becomes daily longer, and its course nightly shorter. 35. And this is the law and the course of the sun, and his return as often as he returns sixty times and rises, i.e. the great luminary which is named the sun, for ever and ever. 36. And that which (thus) rises is the great luminary, and is so named according to its appearance, according as the Lord commanded. 37. As he rises, so he sets and decreases not, and rests not, but runs day and night, and his light is sevenfold brighter than that of the moon; but as regards size they are both equal.
Whether or not David ever read the Book of Enoch, he certainly seemed to have had a very similar view of the sun as a male, coming out of a chamber (or portal):
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Here is Enoch's take on the moon...
1 Enoch 73: 1. And after this law I saw another law dealing with the smaller luminary, which is named the Moon. 2. And her circumference is like the circumference of the heaven, and her chariot in which she rides is driven by the wind, and light is given to her in (definite) measure. 3. And her rising and setting change every month: and her days are like the days of the sun, and when her light is uniform (i.e. full) it amounts to the seventh part of the light of the sun. 4. And thus she rises. And her first phase in the east comes forth on the thirtieth morning: and on that day she becomes visible, and constitutes for you the first phase of the moon on the thirtieth day together with the sun in the portal where the sun rises. 5. And the one half of her goes forth by a seventh part, and her whole circumference is empty, without light, with the exception of one-seventh part of it, (and) the fourteenth part of her light. 6. And when she receives one-seventh part of the half of her light, her light amounts to one-seventh part and the half thereof. 7. And she sets with the sun, and when the sun rises the moon rises with him and receives the half of one part of light, and in that night in the beginning of her morning [in the commencement of the lunar day] the moon sets with the sun, and is invisible that night with the fourteen parts and the half of one of them. 8. And she rises on that day with exactly a seventh part, and comes forth and recedes from the rising of the sun, and in her remaining days she becomes bright in the (remaining) thirteen parts.
Enoch goes into a great amount of detail in chapters 72 - 82 concerning the heavenly luminaries. I just posted the beginning chapters above. You can read the rest for yourself, beginning in chapter 74, here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe077.htm. In chapter 78, we read a bit more about the names, size, and movements of the sun and moon...
1 Enoch 78:1. And the names of the sun are the following: the first Orjârês, and the second Tômâs. 2. And the moon has four names: the first name is Asônjâ, the second Eblâ, the third Benâsê, and the fourth Erâe. 3. These are the two great luminaries: their circumference is like the circumference of the heaven, and the size of the circumference of both is alike. 4. In the circumference of the sun there are seven portions of light which are added to it more than to the moon, and in definite measures it is s transferred till the seventh portion of the sun is exhausted. 5. And they set and enter the portals of the west, and make their revolution by the north, and come forth through the eastern portals on the face of the heaven. 6. And when the moon rises one-fourteenth part appears in the heaven: the light becomes full in her: on the fourteenth day she accomplishes her light. 7. And fifteen parts of light are transferred to her till the fifteenth day (when) her light is accomplished, according to the sign of the year, and she becomes fifteen parts, and the moon grows by (the addition of) fourteenth parts. 8. And in her waning (the moon) decreases on the first day to fourteen parts of her light, on the second to thirteen parts of light, on the third to twelve, on the fourth to eleven, on the fifth to ten, on the sixth to nine, on the seventh to eight, on the eighth to seven, on the ninth to six, on the tenth to five, on the eleventh to four, on the twelfth to three, on the thirteenth to two, on the fourteenth to the half of a seventh, and all her remaining light disappears wholly on the fifteenth. 9. And in certain months the month has twenty-nine days and once twenty-eight. 10. And Uriel showed me another law: when light is transferred to the moon, and on which side it is transferred to her by the sun. 11. During all the period during which the moon is growing in her light, she is transferring it to herself when opposite to the sun during fourteen days [her light is accomplished in the heaven], and when she is illumined throughout, her light is accomplished full in the heaven. 12. And on the first day she is called the new moon, for on that day the light rises upon her. 13. She becomes full moon exactly on the day when the sun sets in the west, and from the east she rises at night, and the moon shines the whole night through till the sun rises over against her and the moon is seen over against the sun. 14. On the side whence the light of the moon comes forth, there again she wanes till all the light vanishes and all the days of the month are at an end, and her circumference is empty, void of light. 15. And three months she makes of thirty days, and at her time she makes three months of twenty-nine days each, in which she accomplishes her waning in the first period of time, and in the first portal for one hundred and seventy-seven days. 16. And in the time of her going out she appears for three months (of) thirty days each, and for three months she appears (of) twenty-nine each. 17. At night she appears like a man for twenty days each time, and by day she appears like the heaven, and there is nothing else in her save her light.
If Enoch is to be believed, then the sun is not massively huge and tens of millions of miles away and the moon is not as big as we have been told it is either, and is much closer than the hundreds of thousands of miles we have been taught it is away from us.
The stars, according to Enoch have set courses and portals in the dome through which they are to come and go as well.
1 Enoch 18:12. And beyond that abyss I saw a place which had no firmament of the heaven above, and no firmly founded earth beneath it: there was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a waste and horrible place. 13. I saw there seven stars like great burning mountains, and to me, when I inquired regarding them, 14. The angel said: 'This place is the end of heaven and earth: this has become a prison for the stars and the host of heaven. 15. And the stars which roll over the fire are they which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord in the beginning of their rising, because they did not come forth at their appointed times. 16. And He was wroth with them, and bound them till the time when their guilt should be consummated (even) for ten thousand years.'
This does not paint a picture of stars as "suns" burning out in space, but rather of intelligent beings that have been commanded what to do. Those that have disobeyed are punished. According to 1 Enoch 20, the angel Raguel is the one who acts as sort of a policeman of the stars:
1 Enoch 20:4. Raguel, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.
The "lake of fire" that has been "prepared for the devil and his angels" that we read about in the canonized texts of the New Testament, may have been understood in the light of 1 Enoch 21:
1 Enoch 21:1. And I proceeded to where things were chaotic. 2. And I saw there something horrible: I saw neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible. 3. And there I saw seven stars of the heaven bound together in it, like great mountains and burning with fire. 4. Then I said: 'For what sin are they bound, and on what account have they been cast in hither?' 5. Then said Uriel, one of the holy angels, who was with me, and was chief over them, and said: 'Enoch, why dost thou ask, and why art thou eager for the truth? 6. These are of the number of the stars of heaven, which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated.' 7. And from thence I went to another place, which was still more horrible than the former, and I saw a horrible thing: a great fire there which burnt and blazed, and the place was cleft as far as the abyss, being full of great descending columns of fire: neither its extent or magnitude could I see, nor could I conjecture. 8. Then I said: 'How fearful is the place and how terrible to look upon!' 9. Then Uriel answered me, one of the holy angels who was with me, and said unto me: 'Enoch, why hast thou such fear and affright?' And I answered: 'Because of this fearful place, and because of the spectacle of the pain.' 10. And he said unto me: 'This place is the prison of the angels, and here they will be imprisoned for ever.'
In the Book of Enoch we see that the stars are to follow specific courses and not deviate from them. If they do, they are punished for violating YHWH's commandment concernig their "circuit" in the heavens. Indeed, the stars, like the sun and moon, also have portals through which they are to come and go. Whether or not Job ever read the Book of Enoch, he certainly seemed to have had a similar view:
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?
5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.
6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.
Something else of interest:
Is the flat/enclosed earth hollow? Yes. Enoch goes into great detail concerning the underworld here:
1 Enoch 22:1. And thence I went to another place, and he showed me in the west another great and high mountain [and] of hard rock. 2 And there was in it four hollow places, deep and wide and very smooth. How smooth are the hollow places and deep and dark to look at.
3. Then Raphael answered, one of the holy angels who was with me, and said unto me: 'These hollow places have been created for this very purpose, that the spirits of the souls of the dead should assemble therein, yea that all the souls of the children of men should assemble here. And these places have been made to receive them till the day of their judgement and till their appointed period till the period appointed, till the great judgement (comes) upon them.'
5. I saw the spirits of the children of men who were dead, and their voice went forth to heaven and made suit. 6. Then I asked Raphael the angel who was with me, and I said unto him: 'This spirit--whose is it whose voice goeth forth and maketh suit?'
7. And he answered me saying: 'This is the spirit which went forth from Abel, whom his brother Cain slew, and he makes his suit against him till his seed is destroyed from the face of the earth, and his seed is annihilated from amongst the seed of men.'8. Then I asked regarding it, and regarding all the hollow places: 'Why as one separated from the other?'
9. And he answered me and said unto me: 'These three have been made that the spirits of the dead might be separated. And such a division has been made 〈for〉 the spirits of the righteous, in which there as the bright spring of water. 10.And such has been made for sinners when they die and are buried in the earth and judgement has not been executed on them in their lifetime. 11. Here their spirits shall be set apart in this great pain till the great day of judgement and punishment and torment of those who †curse† for ever, and retribution for their spirits. There He shall bind them for ever. 12. And such a division has been made for the spirits of those who make their suit, who make disclosures concerning their destruction, when they were slain in the days of the sinners. 13. Such has been made for the spirits of men who were not righteous but sinners, who were complete in transgression, and of the transgressors. they shall be companions: but their spirits shall not be slain in the day of judgement nor shall they be raised from thence. 14. Then I blessed the Lord of glory and said: 'Blessed be my Lord, the Lord of righteousness, who ruleth for ever.'
Did this tale in Enoch set the stage for Yeshua's parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man? Could be. Yeshua's parable certainly would appear to validate this story. Regardless, this shows there is still room for a "hollow earth" in the Flat Earther's enclosed model. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hebrews and Greeks all had a view of the Underworld being below our feet. They also had a flat earth worldview.
Enoch has a lot more to say concerning the nature of the heavens, earth, sun, moon and stars, but this should suffice for now. Whether or not you accept Enoch as having any merit is irrelevant. At this point, you should be able to tell that just sticking with the Bible alone, the Flat Earthers have a very strong case against our belief in the globe. The Bible goes on and on with similar descriptions as stated above in Enoch. This ancient apocryphal book merely appears to confirm and elaborate on these themes as a contemporary ancient commentary.
SEE ALSO: Enoch's Domed World
COMING UP NEXT: Part 8 - The Truman Show
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