Up to this point the content of Jude’s message has been centered on “these certain persons” who had “snuck into” the church. It is quite clear that Jude was worried that these individuals were going to have a damaging effect on the church. Just like bad friends can influence you to do bad things, these individuals were trying to influence the people of the church. Thus Jude has condemned these individuals and their practices. Verses 14-16 mark the conclusion of Jude’s of this condemnation. Jude concludes his condemnation by looking to the return of Jesus. (read passage)
I. The Prophecy of Enoch
a. Who was Enoch?
Jude begins v. 14 by introducing us to an individual named Enoch. Jude writes, “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied…” Here we see that Enoch, who was related to Adam (like we all are), prophesied about “these certain persons.” But who is this Enoch? Jude tells us that Enoch was the great great great great great grandson of Adam. This is confirmed by Genesis 5:1-24 where we learn a little bit more about Enoch. In vv. 21-24 it says:
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
From this we learn that Enoch was the father of Methuselah (the oldest man ever); all of his days on earth were 365 years; and then in v. 24 it says that “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” God took Enoch; but what does that mean? Hebrews 11:5 makes it clear:
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
Like Elijah (2 Kings 2:11-12), God took Enoch to heaven with dying. He did this because, as the writer of Hebrews puts it, “he was pleasing to God.” He was pleasing to God because he had faith; this is the key! Hebrews 11:5 first points out Enoch’s faith, and then points out that he was pleasing to God. Thus, he was pleasing to God through his faith. What a contrast between the life of Enoch and “these certain persons.”
b. What was his prophecy?
Now that we have seen who Enoch was, what was his prophecy? Jude tells us that Enoch’s prophesy “was about these men” that Jude has been warning his readers about. This is amazing! In the seventh generation from Adam, Enoch prophesied about these men we are reading about in the NT (This is actually the earliest human prophecy recorded in Scripture.). Two questions arise about Enoch’s prophecy. First, where is this prophecy of Enoch’s found? Second, how did Enoch know about these people?
Besides this passage in Jude this prophecy is found nowhere in Scripture. Genesis 5 does not even record this prophecy. So where did Jude get it from? Jude took this prophecy from an extra-biblical book entitled 1 Enoch. This book was a popular historical book that would have been very familiar to the Jews to whom Jude was writing. 1 Enoch was not actually written by Enoch. The book contains Enoch’s message which had been passed down orally. This book is not a part of the OT, however since this quote that Jude uses is accurate it is understandable why Jude used it as a part of his condemnation of “these certain persons.”
Now that we have answered one of our questions we need to address how Enoch knew about these certain persons so long ago. At this point it would be very helpful to look at the entire passage from which this quote comes from:
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. 3 Concerning the elect I said, and took up ‹my› parable concerning them:
The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,
4 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›.
5 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.
6 And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame.
7 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).
8 But with the righteous He will make peace,
And will protect the elect,
And mercy shall be upon them.
And they shall all belong to God,
And they shall be prospered,
And they shall ‹all› be blessed.
‹And He will help them all›,
And light shall appear unto them,
‹And He will make peace with them›.
9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of ‹His› holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy ‹all› the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all. the works ‹of their ungodliness› which they have ungodly committed,
‹And of all the hard things which› ungodly sinners ‹have spoken› against Him. (1 Enoch 1:2-9)
Here we see that this prophesy from Enoch was for a future generation, and that it was about the ultimate return of the Lord. Did Enoch have “these certain persons” specifically in mind when he wrote this? Probably not. So why does Jude state that this prophecy is about “these certain persons”? Because in v. 9 (which is the portion that Jude quote) Enoch directs his prophecy against rebellious individuals who are not preparing for the return of the Lord. Jude understood that Enoch’s prophecy looked forward to a time when godless men would seek to pervert the grace of God, and polluted the Church. Jude rightly applies Enoch’s prophecy to these men because they were rebellious individuals who were not preparing for the return of the Lord. As we will see, this would prove to be a grave mistake.