Friday, February 9, 2018

What the Early Church Believed About the Watchers: Part 2

"1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.' 3. And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' 4. And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.' 5. Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 6. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 7. And these are the names of their leaders: Sêmîazâz, their leader, Arâkîba, Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl, Tâmîêl, Râmîêl, Dânêl, Êzêqêêl, Barâqîjâl, Asâêl, Armârôs, Batârêl, Anânêl, Zaqîêl, Samsâpêêl, Satarêl, Tûrêl, Jômjâêl, Sariêl. 8. These are their chiefs of tens."- Enoch 6 (R.H. Charles translation, 1917)

The sin of the Watchers was that they sought to marry human women, and through them to raise up their own nations in imitation of the Creator. Behind this is jealousy and a lust for experiences of the flesh and power. Their sin led to the Flood, wherein all life on earth but a few were destroyed by God. Interestingly, the Hebrew root word for Hermon means, "devote to destruction".

Many of the early Church Fathers accepted this history given in Enoch as consistent with the canon of Scripture. For example, the following:

"1.When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown."- Genesis 6:1-4

If we divorce these verses from the context given to them by Enoch, they make very little sense, and certainly seem out of place. This is why it is important to understand them as did 1st century Jews and Christians, since this illuminates the biblical text for us.

These Watchers mixed with human women and gave birth to the Nephilim- sometimes translated as "giants". These Nephilim, after the Flood, became what we know as demonic spirits. (Enoch 15:9; 11-12; 16:1) We find the Church Fathers embracing Enochian history and teaching the same.

"...the souls of the Nephilim, who are the demons.."- Athenagoras

"Being depraved themselves, they infuse others into the error of their depravity...The poets know that these spirits are demons."- Mark Minucius Felix

These very same disembodied Nephilim- now demons- are worshiped by pagans as deities.

"From the seed (of the Watchers), Nephilim are said to have been born...When they died, men erected images to them...And it is these whom you (pagans) presently worship and pray to as gods."- Commodianus

"However, those who were born (from the Watchers)- because they were neither angels or human, but had a mixed nature- were not admitted into Hades (when they died)...Thus, there came to be two kinds of demons: one of heaven, the other of the earth. The latter are the wicked spirits, who are the authors of all the evils that are done."- Lactantius

"In my opinion, it is certain wicked demons ( so to speak, of the race of Titans or Nephilim) who have been guilty of impiety towards the true God."- Origen

Note the specific use of the term Titans for these Nephilim. In Greek pagan mythology, the Titans were the second generation of divine beings, descended from a group of primordial deities who were said to have descended to a mountain. Sound familiar? It should, since this is exactly what we find in the Book of Enoch, and find corroborated in Genesis 6:1-4 ("the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown"), as well as the Epistle of Jude.

Dr. Michael Heiser and researcher Derek Gilbert have noted a very clear connection of the Enochian history to Mesopotamian paganism- specifically the story of the Apkallu. The Apkallu are ancient pagan heroes who were said to be in the service of an entity known as EA. All of these beings were said to exist before the Flood. Like the Enochian history, these entities were said to have taught various skills to humans, and obviously mated with human women, since after the Flood, as the Mesopotamian record tells us, the only surviving Apkallu are said to be of human descent, and no longer divine. One of the four surviving mixed Apkallu is none other than Gilgamesh. It is worth noting that the Essenes mention Gilgamesh in connection to the Nephilim as well, in the Book of the Giants, found at Qumran.

It is easy to see why 1st century Jews and Christians would have given three answers for the origin of evil in the cosmos. They saw the answer(s) being:
  • The Fall (Genesis 3)
  • The Watchers (Genesis 6:1-4)
  • The Judgment at Babel (Genesis 11; Deut. 32:8-9)

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