A New Reading of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch

"All Nations Shall be Blessed"


A New Reading of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch is the most comprehensive theological commentary on this important second-century BCE Jewish apocalypse to date, laying out the purpose and methodology of this Enochic allegory and using this as the basis for a new commentary on the whole text, presented here in a fresh translation. Against other interpretations that focus on Israel and its institutions, Daniel Olson argues that the promise of universal blessing in the Abrahamic covenant is presented in the Animal Apocalypse as the governing dynamic in a sacred history that begins and ends with humanity in general. The authentic Jacob/Israel will appear in the end times and be the catalyst of universal salvation

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Biographical Note

Daniel C. Olson, PH.D. (2010) is currently a Lecturer in Religious Studies at St. Mary’s College, Moraga (CA). He has published numerous articles and monographs on 1 Enoch, including Enoch: A New Translation (BIBAL, 2004).

Review Quotes

"Olson here presents scholars of Second Temple Judaism with an exemplary work of rigorous research and balanced argument that moves the discussion constructively forward, leaving the reader busily thinking and directed to areas of promising further research."

David R. Jackson, William Carey Christian School, Prestons, NSW, Australia

It is not uncommon to encounter explanations of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch ( AnAp) that reduce the work’s complicated allegory to the mere identification of its symbolic actors. However, as Olson has shown, AnAp’s allegory is strategically crafted in light of several theological, political, and historiographical concerns. The close consideration of these aspects opens new questions regarding the ancient contexts of AnAp’s writers and readers. Olson’s reading provides a model of how all of these aspects of the text might come together in a single conversation. His handling of several difficult interpretive impasses and his expert navigation of the primary texts will no doubt serve as a departure point for additional fresh readings of this ancient work.

The Enoch Seminar Online


All interested in the Jewish apocalyptic literature of the late Second Temple period and the theological developments in Jewish thought in the centuries before the advent of Christianity.

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