Nazarene Space

Yesod HaBriah and Natural Law in Enoch and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Book of Enoch and Natural Law
James Scott Trimm

Philo of Alexandria taught the concept of Natural Law.  Philo taught that the universe is an effect that must have a cause, i.e. a Creator, and that this Creator has a preference for order as opposed to chaos, as expressed by the order of the universe itself.  Philo taught that implicit to the order of the universe.

And his [Moses’] exordium, as I have already said, is most admirable; embracing the creation of the world, under the idea that the law corresponds to the world and the world to the law, and that a man who is obedient to the law, being, by so doing, a citizen of the world, arranges his actions with reference to the intention of nature, in harmony with which the whole universal world is regulated.
(On Creation 3)


…the man who adhered to these laws, and clung closely to a connection with and obedience to nature, would live in a manner corresponding to the arrangement of the universe with a perfect harmony and union, between his words and his actions and between his actions and his words.
(On the Life of Moses 2, 48)

We read in the Book of Enoch:

2:1 Consider you all his doings of the heavens, how they do not change their orbits, and the luminaries which are in the heaven, how in the stations of their lights, that all rise and set in order, each in its season, and transgress not against their appointed order.  
2:2 Behold you the earth, and give heed to its works from first to last, how steadfast they are, how none of these things change, and everything appears to you.
2:3. Behold the signs of summer and clouds and dew and the winter, how the whole earth is filled with water, and clouds pour down rain.
3:1 Observe and see how [in the winter] all the trees wither and shed all their leaves, except four-teen trees, which do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage until two to three years pass.
4:1 And again, observe you the days of summer how the sun burns and glows. And you seek shade and shelter before it on the burning earth; and so you cannot tread on the earth, or on a rock by reason of the heat.
5:1 Observe you all the trees cover themselves, on all of them their leaves grow green, and all their fruit is brought forth in glorious pride. Praise you, and give you heed and know with regard to all these works, and recognize how He that lives for ever has created all these.
5:2 Year to year all His works go on thus for ever, but they do all His word.
5:3 Observe how the seas and rivers together fulfill and do not change their doings by abandoning His word.
5:4 But you have changed your works and have not done the commandments of YHWH, but you sin against him with great and hard words with your impure mouths against His greatness, Oh, you hard-hearted, you shall find no shalom .
5:5 Therefore shall you curse your days, and the years of your life shall perish, and the years of your destruction shall be multiplied in an everlasting curse, and you shall find no mercy.
(1Enoch 2:1-5:5)

Enoch is expressing the concept of Natural Law.  As Paul writes to the Romans:

13 For the hearers of the Torah are not righteous before Eloah, but the doers of the Torah are justified.
14 For if the Goyim (whom the Torah is not to), from their nature do [acts] of the Torah, (while the Torah is not to them), to their nefeshot [there] is a Torah.
15 And they show the work of the Torah, as it is written upon their heart, and their conscience bears witness concerning them, as their own reasoning [will] rebuke or defend one another,
16 In the day that Eloah judges the secret things of the sons of men, according to my Good News, by the hand of Yeshua the Messiah
(Rom. 2:13-16 HRV)

To Philo, the Torah of Moses is identical with the Natural Law which is revealed in the very order of the universe which is the Creator’s work.  Paul speaks of this very principle earlier in Romans when he writes:

17 For the righteousness of Eloah is revealed in it, from Trust to Trust; as it is written, The righteous will live by trust. (Hab. 2:4)
18 For the wrath of Eloah is revealed from heaven, upon all the iniquity and the wickedness of men--those who hold the truth in iniquity,
19 Because the knowledge of Eloah is revealed among them, for Eloah revealed it among them.
20 For the hidden things of Eloah, from the foundations of the world, by His creations; by [His] wisdom, were made evident and power, and Godhead, which is eternal: that they might be without excuse. (See Wisdom 13:1, 5, 8)
21 Because they knew Eloah, and they did not glorify Him as Eloah, and give thanks to Him: but were made vain in their reasoning, and their heart was darkened, without understanding.
22 And while they were thinking in their nefeshot that they were wise, they were fools.
23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible Eloah, into the likeness of the image of a son of man: who is corruptible, and into the likeness of birds, and of four-footed [animals], and of creeping things of the earth. (See Wisdom 11:15; 12:24-27; 13:10; 14:8)
24 Because of this, Eloah released them, to the defiled lust of their heart: that they might dishonor their bodies by them.(see Wisdom 14:12, 24-27)
25 And they changed the Truth of Eloah into a lie! And they reverenced and served the created, more than their Creator, (See Wisdom 14:29) to whom be our praises, and our blessings forever and ever. Amen
26 Because of this, Eloah released them to the passions of shame: for their women changed the use of their sex, and did that which was not natural.
27 And also their men, thus forsook the use of women, and ran riotously in lust for one another. And man with man, they behaved in disgrace, and the reward that was just, to their error, in themselves, [they] received.
28 And since they had not determined in their nefeshot to know Eloah, Eloah released them to a mind of vanity, that they might do that which is not proper;
29 Being filled with all iniquity, and sexual immorality, and bitterness, and evil, and greed, and envy, and slaughter, and treachery, and deceit, and evil reasoning,
30 And murmuring, and slander. And [they are] haters of Eloah: insolent, prideful, boasters, inventors of evil, mindless, who are not obedient to their parents,
31 And who have no stability, and no love, nor tranquility, and no tenderness.
32 [They are] those who, although they know the judgment of Eloah (that those who act like these, He condemns to death), not only do these, but also fellowship with those who do them.
(Rom. 1:17-32 HRV)

Paul is therefore saying that the Creation itself reveals the Natural Law of the Creator, which is itself the Torah.  Paul is saying that when the Goyim follow this Natural Law which is evident in the Creation, they are showing the Torah (at least to some degree) written in their hearts, and that such persons may perform acts of the Torah without having heard the Torah.

The Book of Enoch recounts the fall of a group of angels, who fell from heaven and took human form in order to copulate with human women (1Enoch 6; Gen. 6).  Chapter 41 gives a prophecy Enoch received BEFORE this fall of angels (see 1En. 39:1). At that time Enoch says concerning the movements of the Sun and Moon:

5 And I saw the chambers of the sun and moon, whence they proceed and whither they come again, and their glorious return, and how one is superior to the other, and their stately orbit, and how they do not leave their orbit, and they add nothing to their orbit and they take nothing from it, and they keep faith with each other, in accordance with the oath by which they are bound together.
6 And first the sun goes forth and traverses his path according to the commandment of YHWH Tzva’ot, and mighty is His name for ever and ever.
7 And after that I saw the hidden and the visible path of the moon, and she accomplishes the course of her path in that place by day and by night-the one holding a position opposite to the other before YHWH Tzva’ot.
And they give thanks and praise and rest not;
For unto them is their thanksgiving rest.
8 For the sun changes oft for a blessing or a curse,
And the course of the path of the moon is light to the righteous
And darkness to the sinners in the name of YHWH,
Who made a separation between the light and the darkness,
And divided the spirits of men,
And strengthened the spirits of the righteous,
In the name of His righteousness.
9 For no angel hinders and no power is able to hinder; for He appoints a judge for them all and He judges them all before Him.
(1En. 41:5-9 Trimm Translation)

But later in the Astronomical/Calendar section we read:

“And in the days of the sinners the years shall be shortened,
and their seed shall be tardy on their lands and fields,
and all things on the earth shall alter,
and shall not appear in their time . . . .
and many chiefs of the stars
shall transgress the order (prescribed);
and these shall alter their orbits and tasks,
and not appear at the seasons prescribed to them”
(1 Enoch 80:2,6)

So we see in the Book of Enoch that when the fallen angels rebelled against the intended will of the Creator and corrupted mankind, there was a corresponding disturbance to the natural order of the universe.  

The universe is rational not chaotic. The rational nature of the universe reveals “natural law” as the intent of the Creator.

When the natural law was violated by the fallen angels and the intended will of the Creator was resisted, the result was the corruption of mankind the great flood and the binding and imprisonment of the fallen angels.


An ancient Hebrew term for "natural law" can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. One of the halachic principles which distinguished the Essenes from the Pharisees (whom the Essenes termed “Wall Builders”) was a principle the Essenes called “Yesod HaB’riah” (The Principle/Foundation of Creation).

The Pharisees were divided on the issue of divorce. The House of Shammai allowed divorce only in the case of an “unclean matter” (adultery) while the House of Hillel allowed divorce even if the wife only spoiled a dish, and Akiva stretched this to allow a man to divorce his wife because he found a prettier one (m.Gittin 9:10)

The Essenes said the Pharisees had fallen into a trap of Belial saying:

They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is “male and female He Created them” (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark “went into the ark two by two” (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written “he shall not multiply wives to himself” (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)

The Essenes were accusing the Pharisees of effectively practicing polygamy in allowing divorce so easily, and in doing so, violating the Yesod HaBriah.

No doubt Messiah is citing Yesod HaBriah (The Principle of Creation) when he has the following halachic debate with a group of Pharisees:

19:3 And the P’rushim approached him, and tempted him,
saying, “Is it right for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”
19:4 And he answered and said to them:
"Have you not read that he who made man the beginning,
'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27)
19:5 And said,
'Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father
and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' (Gen. 2:24)
19:6 And now then, they are no more two but one flesh
only. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate."
19:7 But they said,
"And why then did Moshe then command
to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away
if she was not pleasing in his sight?” (Deut. 24:1, 3)
19:8 And he answered them and said,
"Because Moshe on account of the hardness of your hearts,
allowed you to put away your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9 And I tell you,
every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife,
except it be for fornication, and takes another,
commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also
commits adultery.
(Mt. 19:3-9)

The phrase "Yesod HaBriah" literally "Principle/foundation of Creation" refers to natural law, the same thing Paul calls "the intention of nature."

My wife Kitty Trimm was hospitalized for 53 consecutive days in August and September of 2018. She had three major surgeries and was in the ICU on a ventilator twice, for several days each, during this stay. She came home to a difficult recovery, and is still being seen several times a week by a home health care nurse. She is still (as of Jan. 24th, 2019) having complications and being seen by three different specialists. During t the 53 days I lost my full time job, and I am currently acting as her caregiver. As a result of this lengthy hospitalization we came home broke and behind on bills and facing medical bills not covered by insurance. We are raising funds to help us get caught up on bills. We will use the donations to pay bills including but not limited to medical bills, medical supplies, rent, car payments and utility bills, as well a pay for food and toiletries.

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Views: 160

Comment by Mikha El on March 9, 2019 at 4:10pm


5 And I saw the chambers of the sun and moon, whence they proceed and whither they come again, and their glorious return, and how one is superior to the other, and their stately orbit, and how they do not leave their orbit, and they add nothing to their orbit and they take nothing from it, and they keep faith with each other, in accordance with the oath by which they are bound together.

6 And first the sun goes forth and traverses his path according to the commandment of YHWH Tzva’ot, and mighty is His name for ever and ever.

I would be unable to interpret  Enoch here in "light" of the supposed existence of a heliocentric solar system as is portrayed  in the "photoshopped" image at the top of this page. Fortunately for us we have not only Enoch but scripture to prove the erroneous blasphemy of this inclination.

Comment by James Trimm on March 9, 2019 at 5:23pm

Enoch is describing a "vision" like Daniel described in Daniel 7 when he sees a winged lion and four headed leopard, or the animals in Acts 10.

Visions are generally allegorical not literal.  

Now assuming the heliocentric view is inaccurate, how does an inaccurate view of the solar system become "blasphemy?"

Finally, referring to the motions of heavenly bodies from the earth's frame of reference does not "prove" a non-heliocentric model, because as a matter of physics, all motion is relative to frame of reference. 

This 1960 film es en excellent explanation of "frames of reference" 

Comment by Mikha El on March 9, 2019 at 5:50pm

Enoch and David both speak using only their "frames of reference"? I tend to think not. Contrary inclinations to what scripture teaches is what I consider blasphemous.

Comment by James Trimm on March 9, 2019 at 6:08pm

They speak from the earth as a frame of reference, a perfectly valid and even natural thing to do. 

Describing relative motion from the earth's frame of reference, does not disprove a heliocentric solar system.


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