ENOCH'S MISSION AND SHEM'S RESPONSIBILITY
By Howard B. Rand, U.S.A.
[Editors note: The author of this article is using material from the ancient historian MANETHO. This information is not necessarily regarded as historically accurate by many historians!]
DURING the construction of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the records indicate that the Egyptian government was in opposition to the idolatrous worship that had been established in the land. Cheops, the Pharaoh ruling at that time, was accused by the idolatrous worshippers of being very arrogant toward the gods, having shut up their temples and having compelled the priests to labor.
Historical fragments set forth the fact that at this time there was a notable stranger in Egypt who remained at the site of the Great Pyramid. The priest whom Herodotus the historian consulted regarding the earlier history of Egypt described this stranger as a shepherd to whom, rather than to Cheops, the Egyptians attributed the building of the Great Pyramid.
Cheops apparently furnished the site, the workmen and the materials. The record refers to this stranger as a keeper of sheep and he is called "Philition" or "Philitis". This was none other than Shem, the son of Noah.
When the people of Israel left Egypt and were moving through the wilderness, in order to bolster their morale, they were told of a much earlier people who, in like manner, had been led out of Egypt. They were called Caphtorims who came out of Caphtor, to whom Moses referred in Deuteronomy 2:23.
This place called Caphtor was the very region in Egypt where today the Great Pyramid stands. The Lord, through the Prophet Amos, refers to the people as Philistines whom He brought up from Caphtor (Amos 9:7). Therefore, we learn from the historian Herodotus (confirmed in the Scriptures) of Philistines once living in the neighborhood of the Great Pyramid, who were the object of Divine favor and who were led out of Egypt before the Israelites left that land .
These were not the Philistines of the time of the Judges and David, but a much earlier people who feared and reverenced the true God. Their king bore the name of Abimelech (Genesis 21:22), a Hebrew word meaning "Father King". Coming to Palestine from the Nile Delta, they were known in Egypt as "The Shepherd Kings". As pointed out in Destiny for October 1955:
"After the Deluge the ancient licentious practices that eventuated in that world-wide destruction were restored in Egypt by the descendants of Ham. This evil revival took the form of venerating those who had died in the cataclysm and resulted in the worship of dead antediluvian heroes whom they eventually deified as the gods of the people. Cush and his son Nimrod were especially active as leaders in this revolt from righteousness. Ancient mythology teems with evidence that this was the case and confirms the fact of the conflict that ensued when Shem, son of Noah, Priest of the Most High God, moved to overthrow the godmakers and their gods. Shem is credited with bringing about the death of Nimrod and some of his companions, although others escaped and fled to a place of refuge.
Following this overthrow of idolatry after the Deluge, Shem became the first of the shepherd kings who reigned in Egypt. He was held in highest honor by the people in that land for having delivered them from the Cushite yoke. Too, he was regarded as the most powerful of their gods until the time of Rameses II, Pharaoh of Egypt.
After that the pagan priests regained their authority and idolatry reasserted itself throughout the land. The priestly orders hated Shem with utmost vindictiveness for his major part in destroying their power, for he was known by all as the unrelenting foe of Osiris (Nimrod deified) and of all the gods of Egypt. Thus, when the idolatrous priests were again in the ascendancy, everything possible was done to blacken Shem's memory".
During the reign of the Shepherd King Set, or Shem, and his immediate successors, the complete overthrow of the Egyptian gods occurred; their temples were demolished and idolatry in any form was forbidden throughout the land. Moreover, the overthrow of the Cushite dominion and idolatry by the shepherd kings corresponds exactly with the overthrow of Osiris (Nimrod) by Set (Shem) and with the story of the judicial execution of Tammuz (another name given to Nimrod) as told by Maimonedes, a rabbinical scholar of the 12th century.
"There was a king of ours," writes Manetho, the Egyptian historian, "whose name was Timaus [Nimrod] . Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came in a surprising manner men of ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without our hazarding a battle with them".
This account is in complete accord with the overthrow of Nimrod by Shem, which was accomplished neither by force nor by open war. Manetho proceeds:
"So when they had gotten those who governed us [i.e., Timaus, or Nimrod, and his father] under their power, they afterwards burned down our cities and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants in a most barbarous manner; nay, some they slew and led their children and wives into slavery. The whole nation was called Hyksos; that is, shepherd kings."
The idolatrous priesthood, and those sympathetic with it, would naturally exaggerate the power which overthrew their religion and would misrepresent its motives and subsequent actions. The point, however, is that those who accomplished this were shepherds from the East. This was mainly the work of Shem, the Shepherd King who was also Priest of the Most High God, in his conflict with the gross idolatry of Egypt. The heathen temples were literally smashed to pieces, their supporting columns broken and strewn about. Herein lies the explanation of the massive temple ruins which may still be seen in the land of the Pharaohs.
Briefly told, while Nimrod was away on one of his military expeditions, Shem evidently came into Egypt. It would have been quite impossible for him to have overthrown the powerful Cushite race by force of arms in the zenith of its power. It is evident, however, that he succeeded in convincing the Egyptians of the deadly character of the idolatry advocated by Cush and Nimrod and thus, while these two powerful leaders were absent, he was able to destroy their influence. When Nimrod returned, he was seized and condemned to death. This overthrow of the god Nimrod by the power of truth is mystically taught in the story of the death of Adonis, or Tammuz (both names of Nimrod).
Manetho says that the shepherds were finally prevailed upon to leave Egypt, which they did without molestation, and went to Judea where they built the city of Jerusalem. Josephus, the Jewish historian, calls these shepherds "our ancestors", which is definitely the case if Shem was the first and most powerful Shepherd King of Egypt. As King of Salem (Jerusalem) and Priest of the Most High God, Shem was the Melchizedek to whom Abraham gave tithes.
Everything in the ancient records tends to identify the shepherd kings with the patriarchs of the Semitic race. It is also interesting to know the reason why the mighty men who overthrew the pagan gods were represented with flowing hair and beards. Sir G. Wilkinson, in Egyptians, Vol. IV, points out that the hatred of the shepherds was shown by the way in which Egyptians always represented herdsmen and shepherds as dirty, unshaven and of ludicrous appearance. This hatred by the idolators of the very memory of the shepherds is implied by the statement in Genesis 46:34 that "every shepherd is an abomination [that is, an object of religious hatred] unto the Egyptians."
M. Lenormant, speaking of the shepherd kings, states:
"The study of the monuments proves the reality of the frightful devastation consequent on the invasion. With one single exception, all the temples built prior to that event have disappeared, and nothing can be found of them but scattered ruins bearing traces of violent destruction."
When Shem, with his followers, came out of Egypt, they founded at Jerusalem the city destined to become the City of David and also the capital of the Kingdom of God when Jesus Christ, who is of the Order of Melchizedek, returns to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The priestly Order of Melchizedek began with Adam and the Preachers of Righteousness from Adam to Noah were of this Order. Noah is recorded as the eighth Preacher of Righteousness in II Peter 2:5. The fifth chapter of Genesis begins, "This is the book of the generations of Adam," and no one of the line of Cain is recorded there. As stated in Primogenesis:
"Noah was the tenth in generation. The reason he was but the eighth in priestly line was because Enoch was translated before his father died and did not come to the priestly office (Genesis 5:24). Methuselah, the son of Enoch, took the office directly from his grandfather Jared, the father of Enoch. Methuselah, in turn, outlived his son Lamech, so the office passed directly to his grandson, Noah, the son of Lamech (Genesis 5:27). Noah, therefore, became the eighth Preacher of Righteousness, though the tenth in generation, because these two, Enoch and Lamech, never succeeded to the priestly office."
In this line of Preachers of Righteousness, Shem, Noah's son, became the ninth. As stated in Pritnogenesis:
"The Order of Melchizedek, in its earthly representation, began with Adam as the first Preacher of Righteousness. Noah was the eighth and Shem was the ninth. Shem lived until Isaac, Abraham's son, was about fifty years old. This was five hundred years after the Deluge. Thus, from Adam to Shem, through Methuselah, who was a contemporary of both because of his long life, the early records of the race were preserved .....
At the death of Shem the Order of Melchizedek ceased to have earthly representation, for God's plans had already entered a new phase in the calling of Abraham. Subsequently, Jesus Christ came and became the tenth; that is, the completion of that Order:
'So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.' Hebrews 5:5-6
In His ministry, He was a Prophet; in His atonement, He was a Priest. When He returns, He is to be King. Thus, in the Order of Melchizedek, He is Prophet, Priest and King."
The Bible also records a line of master shepherds beginning with these Preachers of Righteousness, who wore the shepherd's garb as the insignia of office. From Abraham to John the Baptist, in each generation there were those who were members of this ancient and honorable Order. Then Jesus Christ associated Himself with the office, becoming the Grand Master of the Order of Master Shepherds:
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10: 14-15
It is fitting, therefore, that Shem, who was the ninth Preacher of Righteousness and also a member of the Order of Master Shepherds, was entrusted with the construction of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh in Egypt. He was well qualified to supervise the building of this monument in view of his deep spiritual understanding, his undaunted courage and his exemplary life.
The Great Pyramid itself is emblematical of the Kingdom of God. When the time of restitution comes, and the Kingdom is restored in its full perfection; it will then be ready to receive the Capstone "which the builders rejected" (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21 :42). That Capstone is Jesus Christ who is Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. Only a building that is pyramidal in shape is completed by placing a capstone in position.
The Great Pyramid is also known as the Pillar of Enoch. We understand from the Scriptures that Enoch was translated for the account states:
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:24
Further light is shed on this statement by Paul's comment:
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Hebrews 11:5
It is also stated in Ecclesiasticus:
"Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations." Ecclesiasticus 44:16
Turning to the Book of Enoch, we find that this man of God was given instructions by the Angel Uriel in th laws governing heavenly bodies. He was shown the duration of the years to the beginning of the new creation which would endure throughout eternity, after which he was charged to pass this information on to his posterity. Addressing Methuselah, his son, Enoch said:
''And now, my son Methuselah, all these things I am recounting to thee and writing down for thee, and I have revealed to thee everything, and given thee books concerning all these: so preserve, my son Methuselah, the books from thy father's hand, and (see) that thou deliver them to the generations of the world. I have given wisdom to thee and to thy children, [And thy children that shall be to thee ], that they may give it to their children for generations, this wisdom (namely) that passeth their thought. And those who understand it shall not sleep, but shall listen with the ear that they may learn this wisdom, and it shall please those that eat thereof better than good food." Book of Enoch 82:1-3
There is a tradition that when Noah entered the Ark, he had with him a chest containing important plans. Was Noah the custodian of the books, plans and instructions that Enoch gave to his son Methuselah? There had to be a plan for workmen to follow in the construction of the Great Pyramid. Did Enoch provide those working plans and was this the reason why this monument is known as the Pillar of Enoch? We know that the Great Pyramid contains marvelously accurate astronomical and mathematical evidence. Furthermore, it does set forth the numbering of the days of the present order to the beginning of eternity.
Did Shem use the instructions left by Enoch as a guide in the construction of this pillar of witness? It seems wholly likely that he did so.
These deductions introduce some very intriguing questions. First, it is entirely appropriate that Enoch, the first man to escape death through translation, should have been instrumental in supplying the information enabling Shem, a Preacher of Righteousness - the last of the earthly Order of Melchizedek - to build this monument. In it is embodied the sciences of mathematics, astronomy and chronology, revealing the onward march of the people of the Kingdom to the day when Jesus Christ, as the Capstone, who is Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek, will take His rightful place and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords over His Kingdom.
Is there a suggestion in all these facts that the information contained in the Great Pyramid is primarily addressed to the attention of a specific group in these last days? Surely this is the group of whom the Angel was speaking when he told Daniel:
"None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." Daniel 12:10
We know from our present knowledge of the significance of the symbolism of the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid that there is a special message incorporated in the chronological symbolism in this Chamber, directed to those classified in the Scriptures as overcomers. As he told his son Methuselah, Enoch, himself an overcomer, was instrumental in making provision for this "wisdom" to be handed down from generation to generation for the enlightenment of those who would understand it. Those who would listen would find this knowledge to be more rewarding than sleep and more pleasing than the eating of good food. The revelation contained in the Great Pyramid has accomplished all this, for it is spiritual food of a very high order. Let those who repudiate its revelation consider that the counsel Enoch gave to Methuselah has not failed to be carried out. The name "Pillar of Enoch" is therefore not without deep significance.
The Prophet Daniel was told that the meaning of the prophesies concealed in his book would be revealed at the Time of the End. The "vision" was to be kept secret, "for it relates to the distant future" (Smith & Goodspeed translation of Daniel 8:26). In the Ferrar Fenton rendering, instructions given were that the prophecy was "hidden and sealed until the fixed time"-Daniel 12:9 All of this goes to show that generations were to pass until the arrival of the generation to whom the revelation would be made plain. Surely Daniel was not unmindful of the wealth of knowledge that was being handed down from Enoch and was still to be kept secret in his own day.
We know from other Scriptural evidence which space will not permit repeating here that we are the generation upon whom the ending of the age has come. We of this generation may be the most privileged of all since we are living in the time when "the wise shall understand." May it be, then, that there is a hidden meaning for the overcomers in Enoch's statement to his son: "And those who understand it shall not sleep."
Was Enoch referring to the watchers who would be living in the closing days of the present order? To them Jesus addressed the admonition: "Watch!"
Did Enoch have in mind those among the overcomers who would be translated and not experience death? It is clear that the wise to whom the Angel referred in communicating with Daniel are registered for deliverance from trouble (Daniel 12:1) at a time when the resurrection is to become a reality (Daniel 12:2). Enoch was the forerunner of those who are to circumvent death through translation, just as he escaped the devastation that climaxed in worldwide destruction by the Deluge.
In His statement to Martha, our Lord not only assured her of a future resurrection, but He also confirmed the fact that there will be a translation for the living who will not see death; that is, who will not sleep:
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live [as the result of the resurrection] and whosoever liveth [in that day of resurrection] : and believeth in me shall never die". [that is, will be translated] John 11:25-26
Many generations after Enoch's day the Prophet Isaiah was constrained to write:
"In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt." Isaiah 19:19-20
Undoubtedly Isaiah was aware that this was the Pillar of Enoch; that to Enoch its design was committed and on Shem the responsibility was laid to build this remarkable structure in the land that had harbored people of Israel for four hundred years and had later sheltered the Son of God.
Our Lord referred to "the stone which the builders rejected, that would become the head of the corner," alluding to the Kingdom of God, to be fully manifested when the Capstone is in place. Then He made the statement:
"And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Matthew 21:44
The Capstone is emblematical of Jesus Christ, but the Great Pyramid itself represents the nation to whom the Kingdom was given when taken from the Jews (Matthew 21:43). That Kingdom, the "little stone" of Nebuchadnezzar's vision, is to grow into a great mountain, breaking into pieces and consuming all kingdoms, then filling the whole earth (Daniel 2:35). Let us not despise this Great Witness, therefore, whose revelation-measures give the understanding and wisdom needed to assess the meaning of the time and seasons in which we live. Incorporated in its time-measures is the knowledge required concerning the years of the present order, foretelling when they will end, when the Kingdom Age will be ushered in and when a new creation will become an accomplished reality in accordance with the Scriptural pronouncement in Revelation 21:5.
Destiny magazine - April 1992Sources: