James VanderKam calls this section a “Scenario for the End Time” because all of the powerful beings will be humiliated “in those days.” They will be delivered into the hand of the Chosen One like grass to the fire or molten lead to the water. The image of grass being taken to a fire at the time of the harvest is used by Jesus in several parables (for example, the wheat and the tares, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). The reason they are delivered for judgment is that they have denied the name of the Lord of Spirits and his Messiah. Isaac translates this as Messiah, although it is possible to translate it simply as “anointed one” (Charles).
Chapter 50 describes the renewal of the righteous from their time of weariness. This includes a judgment in which the sinners receive evil and the righteous receive good. The righteous are to be saved through the “name of the Lord of Spirits” who will lead people to repentance. This chapter stresses the justice of the judgment of the Lord of Spirits – “oppression cannot escape him.” Those who are under his judgment no longer receive mercy (verse 5).
Chapter 51 is in many ways the most important chapter in the Similitudes for New Testament studies since it deals with the resurrection of the dead. The context is eschatological (“in those days,” parallel to the judgment in 50:1). Sheol will give up all the dead and the “Elect One” will sit on his throne and pick out of the risen dead the holy ones (50:1-2). The elect will sit on the throne of the Lord (51:3) and hear wisdom from the mouth of the Elect One. After this resurrection, the “mountains will skip like rams” and the whole earth will rejoice (51:5). This is an allusion to Psalm 114:4 and the messianic age. Verse four possibly connects the resurrection of the dead to the rising of the Elect One.
Chapter 52 describes a series of mountains made up of various metals (iron, copper, silver, gold, a “colored metal” and lead. When the Elect One arrives, these mountains all melt like honeycomb before fire and become like water at his feet. The mountains seem to represent the nations of the world (similar to the metals in Daniel 2, although there it is a single statue rather than mountains.) That the mountains will melt before the coming Messiah is found in several Old Testament prophets. The mountains seem to be “the nations” in this section of 1 Enoch since in chapter 54 the mountains “become flat” (cf., John the Baptist in Luke 3:1-6) in the presence of the righteous when the kings of the earth are thrown into a valley of burning fire. This chapter clearly connects the Elect One and the Messiah (verses 4, 6).
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