Genesis 6 vs Enoch Watchers...

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
Post Reply
rgprice
Posts: 845
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm

Genesis 6 vs Enoch Watchers...

Post by rgprice »

The Book of the Watchers from the Book of Enoch puts forward a fairly long narrative about the defilement of human women by angels, which leads to the corruption of humanity. This is what leads to the need for the Great Flood. In the Book of Enoch, there are many various forces involved, with a rather elaborate explanation of the events that lead up to the Flood.

According to Margaret Barker's theory, the Torah is a relatively narrow representation of Hebrew mythology/theology, in which polytheistic Hebrew traditions have been revised into a monotheistic framework. And under her theory, it would make sense that some Hebrews retained the older polytheistic traditions, which got expressed in various ways. One of those ways may be in teh stories of Enoch.

So, does what we read in the Book of Watchers actually reflect an older pre-Torah narrative about the origin of sin and corruption? Or, as has more often been assumed, is the story in the Book of Watchers a later embellishment of Genesis.

In other words, is Genesis the original story, which was read by people, and then some people took creative liberty with it and developed the story from Enoch? Or was there originally a story in which the gods or angels defiled the women of the earth with many of the details that we find in Enoch and the writers of the Torah took that story and removed details from it to effectively censor it and create the version that we find in Genesis?

Genesis 6:
1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.


The Book of Watchers:
6:1 When the sons of mend had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born to them. 2/ And the
watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them.e
And they said to one another, “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men,f
and let us beget
children for ourselves.”
3 And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, “I fear that you
will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a
great sin.”
4 And they all answered him and said, “Let us all swear an oath,
and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of
us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this
deed.”
5 Then they all swore together and bound one another with
a curse. 6/ And they were, all of them, two hundred, who
descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon. And they called the mountain “Hermon” because they
swore and bound one another with a curse on it.
7 And these are the names of their chiefs:a
Shemihazah—this
one was their leader; Arteqoph, second to him; Remashel,
third to him; Kokabel, fourth to him; <Armumahel>, fifth
to him; Ramel, sixth to him; Daniel, seventh to him; Ziqel,
eighth to him; Baraqel, ninth to him; Asael, tenth to him;
Hermani, eleventh to him; Matarel, twelfth to him; Ananel,
thirteenth to him; Setawel, fourteenth to him; Samshiel, fifteenth to him; Sahriel, sixteenth to him; <Tummiel>, seventeenth to him; Turiel, eighteenth to him; Yamiel, nineteenth
to him; Yehadiel, twentieth to him. 8/ These are their chiefs
of tens.b
7:1 These and all the others with them took for themselves wives
from among them such as they chose.c
And they began to
go in to them, and to defile themselves through them, and
to teach them sorcery and charms, and to reveal to them the
cutting of roots and plants.
2 And they conceived from them and bore to them great giants.
And the giants begot Nephilim, and to the Nephilim were
born †Elioud†. And they were growing in accordance with
their greatness.
3 They were devouring the labor of all the sons of men,a
and
men were not able to supply them. 4/ And the giants began
to kill men and to devour them. 5/ And they began to sin
against the birds and beasts and creeping things and the fish,
and to devour one another’s flesh. And they drank the blood.
6 Then the earth brought accusation against the lawless ones.
8:1 Asael taught men to make swords of iron and weapons and
shields and breastplates and every instrument of war.
He showed them metals of the earth and how they should
work gold to fashion it suitably, and concerning silver, to
fashion it for bracelets and ornaments for women. And he
showed them concerning antimony and eye paint and all
manner of precious stones and dyes.
And the sons of men made them for themselves and for their
daughters, and they transgressed and led the holy ones
astray.c
2/ And there was much godlessness on the earth, and
they made their ways desolate.
3 Shemihazah taught spells and the cutting of roots.
Hermani taught sorcery for the loosing of spells and magic
and skill.
Baraqel taught the signs of the lightning flashes.
Kokabel taught the signs of the stars.
Ziqel taught the signs of the shooting stars.
Arteqoph taught the signs of the earth.
Shamsiel taught the signs of the sun.
Sahriel taught the signs of the moon.
And they all began to reveal mysteries to their wives and to
their children.a
4 (And) as men were perishing, the cry went up to heaven.
9:1 Then Michael and Sarielb and Raphael and Gabriel looked
down from the sanctuary of heaven upon the earth and saw
much bloodshed on the earth. All the earth was filled with
the godlessness and violence that had befallen it.
2 And entering in, they said to one another, “The earth, devoid
(of inhabitants), raises the voice of their cries to the gates of
heaven. 3/ And now to <us>, the holy ones of heaven, the
souls of men make suit, saying,
‘Bring in our judgment to the Most High,
and our destruction before the glory of the majesty,
before the Lord of all lords in majesty.’”
4 And approaching, they said to the Lord of the Ages,
“You are the God of gods and Lord of lords and King of
kings and God of the ages.
And the throne of your glory (exists) for every generation
of the generations that are from of old.
And your name (is) holy and great and blessed for all the
ages.
5 For you have made all things and have authority over all.
And all things are manifest and uncovered before you,
and you see all things, and there is nothing that can be
hidden from you.
6 You see what Asael has done,
who has taught all iniquity on the earth,
and has revealed the eternal mysteries that are in heaven,
<which the sons of men were striving to learn.>
7 And (what) Shemihazah (has done) to whom you gave
authority to rule over them who are with him.
8 They have gone in to the daughters of the men of earth,
and they have lain with them, and have defiled themselves
with the women.
And they have revealed to them all sins, and have taught
them to make hate-inducing charms.
9 And now look, the daughters of men have borne sons from
them, giants, half-breeds.
<And the blood of men is shed on the earth,>a
And the whole earth is filled with iniquity.
10 And now look, the spirits of the souls of the men who have
died make suit,
and their groan has come up to the gates of heaven,
and it <does not cease>b to come forth from the presence
of the iniquities that have come upon the earth.
11 You know all things before they happen,
and you see these things and you permit them,
and you do not tell us what we ought to do to them with
regard to these things.”
10:1 Then the Most High declared, and the Great Holy One
spoke.
And he sent <Sariel>c
to the son of Lamech, saying,
2 “Go to Noah and say to him in my name, ‘Hide yourself.’
And reveal to him that the end is coming, that the whole
earth will perish;
and tell him that a deluge is about to come on the whole
earth and destroy everything on the earth.
3 Teach the righteous one what he should do,
the son of Lamech how he may preserve himself alive and
escape forever.

To me, this suggests that the Book of Watchers is recalling an older myth in which the Canaanite/Egyptian/Babylonian Gods corrupted the women of the earth, thereby introducing sin. Is there knowledge of such a myth?

Is there are solid evidence or case to be made showing that the Enoch story is derived entirely from Genesis or that both Enoch and Genesis derive from an older polytheistic myth?
Phaeded
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2022 8:49 am

Re: Genesis 6 vs Enoch Watchers...

Post by Phaeded »

'In other words, is Genesis the original story, which was read by people, and then some people took creative liberty with it and developed the story from Enoch?"

Yes. The key is the identification of the Watchers' descent at Mt. Hermon in Galilee. Whatever older core material existing it was adapted to that local context at some point and became much more historical (ex eventu) in the Parables of Enoch. Charlesworth and others proposed location of that scribal scene at the uncovered temples at Migdal (from which you can see Hermon) is wholly credible.
User avatar
Peter Kirby
Site Admin
Posts: 5769
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:13 pm
Location: Santa Clara
Contact:

Re: Genesis 6 vs Enoch Watchers...

Post by Peter Kirby »

Phaeded wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:31 am 'In other words, is Genesis the original story, which was read by people, and then some people took creative liberty with it and developed the story from Enoch?"

Yes. The key is the identification of the Watchers' descent at Mt. Hermon in Galilee. Whatever older core material existing it was adapted to that local context at some point and became much more historical (ex eventu) in the Parables of Enoch. Charlesworth and others proposed location of that scribal scene at the uncovered temples at Migdal (from which you can see Hermon) is wholly credible.
Welcome to the forum! I look forward to your comments here.
User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 14371
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Genesis 6 vs Enoch Watchers...

Post by Secret Alias »

The idea of a ladder extending from the top of a mountain to heaven is rooted in the most ancient Israelite traditions. The Samaritans not only think the heavenly ladder extended from Gerizim to heaven (and was the place where Jacob saw a god and according to Philo decided to stop being devoted to Yahweh and became aligned with Elohim) but an oral tradition reported by Bowman and Boid (and which my friend Benny always avoids when I mention it) is that at one time Gerizim was the highest mountain in the world but when the Fanuta (era of disfavor) came Paradise (which was atop Gerizim of course withdrew up to heaven. This is not only the basis for Paul's heavenly ascent/Paradise but also the 'heavenly Jerusalem' notion in Revelations. The tradition in the Book of Enoch is a Jewish variation from a period when Gerizim was no longer sacred. Originally the Watchers would have come down to Gerizim.
Post Reply