Jude 14 — The Prophecy of Enoch
Jude refers to one of the Old Testament patriarchs when he says: “… Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones …” (v. 14).
A passage quite similar to this is found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Some have suggested that Jude quoted his prophecy from this source and thus the Book of Enoch was inspired. Others allege that this quotation discredits Jude as an inspired writer. Neither inference is warranted.
Even if Jude had quoted from the Book of Enoch, that would not imply the book’s inspiration — any more than Paul’s quotation from a pagan poet would demand inspiration for that source (cf. Acts 17:28). Furthermore, quotations from a secular source, simply to make an ad hominem point, do not reflect upon the divine origin of a biblical book (cf. Titus 1:12).
Where did Jude get his quotation? It is useless to speculate for the record does not say. He may have received it directly from the Spirit. He may have quoted from some earlier source to which the writer of the Book of Enoch also had access. No conclusion can be drawn in the absence of more precise information.
Certainly the passage does not demand the conclusion that Jude took his quotation from the Book of Enoch, suggesting the apocryphal document was inspired of God. Whatever the immediate source, ultimately Jude quoted prophecy.
Make a marginal note: No proof that this quotation is from Book of Enoch.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.