Apocalypses: Book of Parables


Time Period

40 BCE – 70 CE, after Parthian invasion of Israel, before Rome destroyed Jerusalem.


Part of the 1 Enoch corpus.

The vision of wisdom that Enoch saw …

Angelic Guide

Enoch receives guidance from an angel in a few places.

And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me what was hidden, ‘What are these?’


This isn’t near as much a focus as the Book of Lights, but it does somewhat feature into the Book of Parables’ eschatology.

And there my eyes beheld the secrets of the lightnings and thunders, and the secrets of thw winds, how they are divided to blow upon the earth, and the secrets of the clouds and the dew.

Primordial Events

Reiterates the story of the fallen angels.

In those days, sons of the chosen and holy were descending from the highest heaven, and their seed was becoming one with the sons of men.

Historical Review


After-the-fact Prophecy



There is a short allusion to violence and exploitation during the time of Herod.

In those days the holy ones … were interceding and praying in behalf of the blood of the righteous that had been shed …

Social Upheaval



The righteous dead will be raised to be rewarded during the final judgment.

In those days, the earth will restore what has been entrusted to it, and Sheol will restore what it has received, and destruction will restore what it owes.


The theme of the entire book is the final judgment against the rulers of the world, dispensed by God’s Messiah, who is identified with Enoch himself.

When his hidden things are revealed to the righteous, the sinners will be judged, and the wicked will be driven from the presence of the righteous and chosen.

New Creation

The promise to the righteous dead is that they will inhabit a new world free of evil.

‘I shall transform heaven and make it a blessing and a light forever; and I shall transform the earth and make it a blessing.’


Most of the book probably came from a single author, who used the Book of the Watchers, possibly also the Book of Lights, and adapted passages from Deutero-Isaiah, Daniel, and wisdom traditions.

A later redaction inserted material about Noah and the Watchers. Some scholars hypothesize these parts of the Book of Parables (and even other parts of 1 Enoch) were derived from a now-lost Book of Noah.


1 Enoch 37: Introduction.

1 Enoch 38–44: The first parable.

1 Enoch 45–57: The second parable.

1 Enoch 58–69: The third parable.

1 Enoch 70–71: The conclusion, with appended thoughts.