At my theology school, I quickly became interested in the ancient Hebrew apocalyptic religious texts while learning about Christian doctrines. I was particularly interested in the Christian doctrines and the concept of Heaven as per the Book of Enoch. During my research, I spent hours studying different ancient texts and the Old and New Testament scriptures and also visited synagogues and churches to learn from the religious leaders. Early this week, my students asked me about The Book of Enoch and the 10 heavens mentioned therein. Most were aware of the three heavens and wanted to learn more about the 10 heavens. Based on my research, I was able to answer their questions comprehensively. So, how many heavens are there in The Book of Enoch?
According to the Book of Enoch, there are 10 heavens. These heavens are described in the Second Book of Enoch, where Enoch’s mystical ascent through the 10 heavens is mentioned. These heavens are said to be the levels of Heaven that the messenger of God, Enoch, moves through to reach the fallen angels according to the ancient Hebrew apocalyptic religious text, The Book of Enoch. Notably, Enoch was Noah’s great-great-grandfather, and the scripture in Genesis 5:24 notes that Enoch walked with the Lord (to Heaven). The Book of Enoch also talks about the demons, giants, and angels in the different heavens.
In this article, I’ll discuss more about the Heavens, as mentioned in the Book of Enoch, as well as the functions of each of the 10 heavens. Keep on reading to learn more about them.
Why does the book of Enoch mention 10 heavens while the New Testament mentions only 3?
The Book of Enoch describes 10 heavens, while the New Testament mentions only three heavens, perhaps because the New Testament is believed to have been inspired by God, while it’s believed that God didn’t inspire the Book of Enoch. As such, believers don’t consider the teachings or words in the Book of Enoch to be what believers should be guided by.
So, while its one of the earlier Christian manuscripts, the Book of Enoch is among the Pseudepigrapha books written in the first or second century before Christ’s time. Also, the words in this book were never deemed authentic by early Church leaders and Jewish Rabbis, and it wasn’t incorporated into the Hebrew Scriptures (canon) that the rest of the books in the Bible are based on. This would mean that the only kind of idea of Heaven that was acceptable to all was the one based on the inspired scripture.
All the 10 heavens in the book of Enoch explained
The 1st Heaven – Stars, Clouds, Morning Dew, and Snow
According to the Book of Enoch, the First Heaven is located in the Earth’s atmosphere where the clouds are and also above the clouds. This is also the region of the heavens where the winged angles are found. The elders and rulers of the constellations also live here, with a total of 200 angels (fallen angels). The Book of Enoch also describes the 1st Heaven as a place close to the Great Sea, one of the largest oceans. It’s also the part of Heaven where morning dew and the snow come from.
The 2nd Heaven – The Prison of Death, Despair, and Darkness
The Book of Enoch describes the 2nd Heaven as a place of complete darkness. It’s believed that all the angels of darkness that joined Satan when he rebelled are imprisoned in this Heaven and that they are all hanging from the chains as they wait for the judgment day – 2nd Enoch 7:1-3.
The 3rd Heaven – The Paradise of Mercy and Justice of Hell
It’s believed that the third Heaven represents some form of paradise reserved for all the righteous and those who do good. This paradise is believed to contain fragrant orchard groves within which the Tree of Life exists. This garden is in the middle of the garden, where the Lord will rest when he visits.
Additionally, the Tree of Life in the 3rd Heaven has its roots extending down and deep into the Garden of Eden, and below it, there are four springs with milk, wine, honey, and oil to represent happiness, bliss, and abundance. This Heaven is also believed to have 300 angels singing endlessly as they tend to the Garden of Eden.
However, the third Heaven isn’t all blissful and joyous; its northern section is said to be a terrible place that is icy, with frozen darkness and an endlessly flowing forever of fire. This part of the third Heaven is believed to be inhabited by the fiercest angels who torture the condemned sinners with harsh weapons.
The 4th Heaven – 12 Gates with the Sun and Moon
The 4th Heaven is believed to be the Heaven featuring 12 Great Gates plus pathways that lead to the Moon. The 12 gates are split equally on the Sun’s eastern and the western gates and their pathways (rays). Unlike the 3rd Heaven, with 300 angels, the 4th Heaven has thousands of angels, and the sun moves alongside 8,000 stars daily. It’s believed that this Heaven has an additional 100 angles whose primary role is to light a fire.
There are 6 winged creatures in this Heaven, and their roles include accompanying the angels, the Chalkydri, and Phoenixes. Armed soldiers also play musical instruments and sing all the time. It’s believed that the role of this Heaven is to ensure that the universe runs appropriately without interference.
5th Heaven – Giants of Sadness, Silence, and Regret
The 5th Heaven is regarded as a place of immense sadness and a solemn place of complete gloom and silence. It’s believed that the fifth Heaven is full of gigantic soldiers in human form called the Grigori – the Grigori are said to have chosen Satan to be their leader or prince, rejecting the God of light instead. Although the faces of all in the fifth Heaven are withered, these souls still sing praise to God. It’s some kind of punishment in Heaven where the souls of humankind can seek forgiveness.
The 6th Heaven – The Archangels of Sciences and Arts
The sixth Heaven is believed to be the home of the traditional seven groups of angels that ruled over the stars and kept track of the motion of the stars. The angels were also tasked with managing the different governments around the Earth. To do this, the angels in the 6th Heaven kept track of the good and bad deeds committed by all the people on Earth. These angles also watched over the natural systems of the Earth that affected life, as well as death.
The others who inhabited this Earth include the six Cherubim, the six phoenixes, and the six Seraphim, that sang in one voice in indescribable otherworldly songs.
7th Heaven – Dominions and powers of Light and Fire
Also called the angelic realm of fire and light, the 7th Heaven is said to be the heavenly realm filled with multiple soldiers loyal to God. These soldiers include Virtues, Archangels, Powers, Dominions, Orders, and Principalities or governments. Seraphim, Cherubim, thrones, and other kinds of celestial beings, exist in this Heaven. There also are nine regiment calles and Ioanit Stations of Light in this Sheaven.
The 8th Heaven – Summer/Winter (Drought and Snow)
The eighth Heaven is believed to be the heavenly realm that controls the seasons year-long and causes rain or drought. It’s also believed to house the 12 starry constellations.
The 9th Heaven – 12 Mansions belonging to the Stars
According to the Second Book of Enoch, the 9th Heaven is home to the celestial constellations above and behind the 12 main star groups seen at night.
The 10th Heaven – Seraphim, Cherubim, and Throne of Lightning and Thunder
The 10th Heaven, according to the Book of Enoch, is regarded as the highest of the heavens and God’s actual dwelling place. This is where the Throne that God sits on is and where He will judge the souls of humankind from. The 10th Heaven is also believed to be where God holds different counsels with the angels and saints, making decisions and commands. Lastly, as the highest Heaven, it’s said that the 10th Heaven has countless angels surrounding God and singing songs of praise and glory.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.