bookofenochThe Apocalypse of Weeks is a brief recounting of human history as a series of weeks. This vision concerns the “elect ones in the world” (93:1).  Enoch has learned these future events through a heavenly vision given by holy angels and understood from heavenly tablets (93:2).  This triple proof underscores the surety of the vision.

The First Week (93:3) – Enoch was born seventh in the first week, a time when “judgment and righteousness endure.”

The Second Week (93:4) – After Enoch’s time “great and evil things” arise and the “first consummation” takes place.  Only one man survives (Noah); the flood does not deal with sin.  Therefore, this man makes a law for sinners (the Noahic Covenant).

The Third Week (93:5) – During this week a man is elected as a “plant of righteousness” and a second man as an “eternal plant of righteousness.” The first is Abraham, the second is Moses (eternal since he was “assumed” into heaven).

The Fourth Week (93:6) – During this week visions of old and righteous ones will be seen and “a law will be established as a fence.”  This probably refers to the writing of the Pentateuch (i.e., the Law).

The Fifth Week (93:7) – This week will see the completion of “a house and a kingdom,” the establishment of the Davidic kingdom.

The Sixth Week (93:8) – At the end of the week the house and kingdom will be burnt, people will be blindfolded and the “chosen root” dispersed. This is period from David to the Exile.

The Seventh Week (93:9-10) – In the seventh week an apostate generation will arise, all of their deeds will be criminal.  The elect ones will give sevenfold instruction to the flock.  Since this is post exilic, it could refer to the “criminal activities” of the pre-Maccabean period (Jason and Menelaus purchasing the high priesthood, radical Hellenization, the murder of Onias).  On the other hand, it could refer to the Hasmoneans themselves since they united the high priesthood with the king for several generations. In either case, this is the time of the author of the Apocalypse. There is no explicit reference to the Maccabean revolt or a judgment which puts an end to the criminal activity (i.e. Judas Maccabees as a messiah figure.)

The Eighth Week (91:12-13) –   After the judgment (which is not described in the text, unless 92:3-5 should be inserted here), there will be an “eighth week” which will be a week of righteousness (91:12-13). During this period a house will be built for the great king “in glory forevermore” (91:12-13). There is an implication that the first seven weeks occur before this week of righteousness, therefore all of history before the ideal period is seven “weeks.” This is reminiscent of the epistle of Barnabas which describes the history of the world in seven creational days, with the seventh being the idealized age (i.e., the kingdom).

The Ninth Week (91:14) – In this period there will be a righteous judgment and all sinners will depart from the earth and be “written off for eternal destruction.” Those who are not judged as sinners will “direct their sight to the path of uprightness.”

The Tenth Week (91:15-16) – In the seventh part of the tenth week there will be a judgment executed by the angels of heaven – the old heaven will pass away and a new heaven will appear; the powers of heaven will shine eternally sevenfold.  This “new heaven” idea is drawn from Isaiah 66:17-25 and is found in Revelation 21:1 as well.

“Many Weeks” (91:17) – After the sequence of ten weeks there will be an unending period, an “eternal state” during which sin will no longer exist.

This brief Apocalypse gives the same general outline as Similitudes and the Book of Visions. There will be an end to sin and corruption in the future.  A judge will make right what is wrong and the ages which follow this judgment will be an ideal sinless state. The Apocalypse of Weeks develops this idea of a coming new age very much in outline form, not unlike the book of Daniel.  If this sort of an outline of history was well known in the first century (from Daniel, 1 Enoch, etc.), then it is possible the language of “kingdom” used in the Gospels evoked imagery in the minds of the first listeners similar to the Apocalypse of Weeks.

Jesus claims to be given authority to judge (John 5:27, Mt. 28:18) and clearly associates himself with the eschatological Son of Man in Mark 14:62.   It is the authority of Jesus which is questioned in the Temple by the chief priests (Mark 11:27-33).