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The legend of Enoch

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Enoch was the grandfather of Noah. He was born about 3382BCE, and according to the Bible, lived 365 for years, then ascended to Heaven as a living man. In the Book of Enoch we are told that Enoch hid his accumulated wisdom of the pre-flood world and buried it on Mount Moriah. This is the spot where Solomon built his Temple. The book provides detailed information about the movement of the Sun, Moon and Stars and described extinction events, and great floods which geology has confirmed happened in 7640 and 3150 (+/-200 years BCE). Enoch is said to have buried a triangular shaped object that contained the name of God on it. Oriental writers abound in traditionary tales of the learning of Enoch. One tradition states that God bestowed upon him the gift of knowledge and that he received thirty volumes from Heaven filled with all the secrets of the most mysterious sciences. The Babylonians assumed him to have been intimately acquainted with the nature of stars, and they attribute to him the invention of Astrology. Enoch was first introduced to our Freemasonry as one of the Founders of Geometry and Masonry by Revd James Anderson in the ‘The Constitutions of the Free-Masons: Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, etc, of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity’ of 1723. The legend is as follows: Enoch, being inspired by the Highest, and in obedience to a vision, constructed underground, in the bosom of Mount Moriah, an edifice consisting of nine brick vaults, situated perpendicularly beneath each other and communicating by apertures left in the Arch of each vault. He then caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side of which was a cubit long; a cubit is derived from the Latin Cubitus, an elbow, and is the measure of length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, an average 17-18 inches. He enriched it with the most precious stones and engraved upon it the ineffable name of God. He then encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form, which he placed upon a cubical stone of marble, and deposited the whole within the ninth or innermost vault. When this subterranean building was completed, Enoch made a slab or door of stone, and attaching to it a ring of iron, by which it might, if necessary be raised. He placed it over the aperture of the uppermost arch, and so covered it over with soil that the opening could not be easily discovered. Enoch himself was not permitted to enter it more than once a year, and on his death or transformation, all knowledge of this building was lost until in succeeding ages, it was accidentally discovered while Solomon was engaged in building a Temple on the same mountain, directly above the spot. The Legend continues to inform us that after Enoch had finished the construction of the nine vaults, fearing that the principles of the Arts and Sciences, which he had assiduously cultivated, would be lost in that universal deluge; of which he had received a prophetic vision. He erected above ground, two pillars, one of marble, to withstand the destructive influence of fire, and one of brass, to resist the action of water. On the pillar of brass, he engraved the history of the Creation, the principles of the Arts and Sciences, and the doctrines of speculative masonry as they were then practised. On the pillar of marble, he inscribed in hieroglyphic characters the information that near the spot where they stood a precious treasure was deposited in a subterranean vault. Such is the Legend of Enoch. That part of the Legend which refers to the two pillars is undoubtedly a perversion of the old Craft Legend of Lamech’s sons . The germ of the Legend is the preservation, through the efforts of Enoch, of the ineffable name. The evidence of the legend is the Book of Enoch, an ancient Hebrew religious text. Eleven Aramaic language fragments of the Book of Enoch were found in cave 4 of Qumran in 1948 and are in the care of the Israel Antiques Authority. The most complete book of Enoch comes from Ethiopic manuscripts brought to Europe by James Bruce in the late 18th century and subsequently translated into English. The eleven fragments from Qumran confirm their contents.

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