Apocalypses: Book of Dreams


Time Period

167–130 BCE, sometime during or shortly after the Maccabean Revolt.


Part of the 1 Enoch corpus.

And Enoch lifted up his voice and said to his son Methuselah, ‘To you I speak my son. Hear my words, and incline your ear to the dream vision of your father.’

Angelic Guide




Primordial Events

The beginning of the ‘animal apocalypse’ recap the events of Genesis, beginning with Adam symbolized as a white bull.

‘a bull came forth from the earth, and that bull was white. And after it a young heifer came forth. And with her two bull calves came forth …’

Historical Review

The animal apocalypse continues across centuries upon centuries, up to the author’s time.

‘And I saw the sheep until they were entering a good place and a pleasant and glorious land.’

After-the-fact Prophecy

Enoch prophesies all the way up to the Maccabean Revolt, presented as lambs emerging to fight against Antiochus Epiphanes and his forces.

‘And look, lambs were born of those white sheep, and they began to open their eyes and to see and to cry out to the sheep.’


The Maccabean Revolt is portrayed as the response to intense persecution by unclean birds.

‘And I saw in the vision that the ravens flew upon those lambs and seized one of those lambs and dashed the sheep in pieces and devoured them.’

Social Upheaval



The symbolism of the animal apocalypse is highly figurative, but there seems to be a short allusion to the read rising for the new world.

‘And all that had been destroyed and dispersed by all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven were gathered in that house.’


The angels that sinned and failed in their duties are punished.

‘And judgment was exacted first on the stars … and they threw them into the abyss; and it was full of fire, and it was burning and was full of pillars of fire.’

New Creation

There is a vision of a restored Israel and new Jerusalem, which is possibly in a completely renewed world.

‘And I saw until the Lord of the sheep brought a new house, larger and higher than that first one … And all the sheep were within it.’


1 Enoch 83–84: Enoch tells Methuselah of when he received a vision of the flood at Mahalalel’s home.

1 Enoch 85.1–90.12: The beginning and majority of the ‘animal apocalypse’, which symbolizes the major characters of biblical history through animal imagery, starting with Adam and ending sometime during or shortly after the Maccabean Revolt.

1 Enoch 90.13–42: The conclusion of the animal apocalypse, consisting of the eschaton and the beginning of the messianic age.