Astronomical Knowledge Before the Deluge
In the Deluge a civilization was destroyed the real value of which is incalculable. Hebrew tradition estimates that the population of the ante-diluvian world amounted to millions. Adam is said to have invented seventy languages; Cain, his son, built cities and monuments and ruled over kings. They were representatives of generations. According to Hebrew legends the Deluge and its time had already been predicted by Enoch, and even more ancient generations were said to have erected tablets with calendric and astronomical calculations predicting the catastrophe.(1) This might have been the knowledge of months, of years, and of the periods of comets that the remote generations had acquired.
It was in the celestial harmony and disharmony that the secrets of the upheavals were conceived to lie. The science about the times in which calamity could return and fall on our Earth was cultivated among populations that had a vivid remembrance of days of misfortune or of lucky escape.
It is told about the children of Seth, the son of Adam, that
This means that stelae with calendric and astronomical calculations were made public knowledge in that early age. According to the Aggada it was the pious Enoch (the seventh generation) who achieved the deepest knowledge of the celestial secret. He was the man who walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (3) In this ascension to heaven was taken away the man who more than any other knew the plan of the world and of its creation. Enoch was a great man of his generation.
In the story of Enochs ascension it is said that he predicted the disaster.
What the Aggada means to tell is that a human beingand one gifted with the greatest wisdom concerning the heavenly bodies and their order, was brought away in a fiery storm which killed many, brought snow and meteorites, and which had been predicted by the one who disappeared.
Some exact knowledge of the revolution of the bodies in the sky is ascribed here to the antediluvian generations.