October 18, 2004
by: jovial_cynic
I've owned the book of Enoch for quite a while and have never (until yesterday) gotten around to reading it. The book of Enoch contains text of what life was like prior to the great Flood that destroyed humanity (save for Noah). The New Testeament book of Jude quotes from this book, but the book of Enoch is not contained in scripture. Why? I think it's because the authenticity of authorship is challenged; Enoch describes what is clearly post-flood stuff, but he was supposed to have been *translated* prior to the flood.

Regardless of authenticity of the book, Jude quotes from it, which leads me to believe that Jude and his contemporaries were familiar w/ the book - his audience was likely familiar with it as well. Why make obscure references to texts about which nobody knows?

Long story short, the book explains that there were 200 angels who called "watchers," and after some time of watching humans, they began to lust after human women. They married them and taught them all sorts of secrets of heaven, such as sorcery, metalurgy, weapon and armor smithing, etc. The offspring born of them were GIANTS. The giants, because of their large stomachs, became a burden on the people, and eventually the giants were moved to EAT PEOPLE. God, through an angel, tells Enoch that judgement will come on the watchers who took on human woman, and that they'll be bound up in chains until the day of the Judgement, after which they will be tossed into the lake of burning fire.

The book also explains that the giants that were born of the unholy union contained within them a "terrestrial spirit," which is unlike the human spirit. When a giant is killed, the spirit left the body to inhabit another being. That would explain demon-possession. I'd always equated "evil spirit" with "fallen angel," but the Enoch story suggests that is not the case. The fallen angels (the Watchers) appear to be bound, whereas "terrestrial spirits" are free to roam about the earth.

However, this scenario forces me to wonder about the nature of the devil. If the chief of the fallen angels is said to be bound until judgment, who tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and to whom did Jesus refer when he cried out "Get behind me, satan" at Peter? What is Satan? Revelation doesn't make things more clear when it describes that Satan will be bound "for a thousand years." What of the false prophet, and the beast? What about the behemoth (which can be translated as "beast") and the leviathan? (the great serpent of old?)

Perhaps it should be mentioned that while angels of God are able to take on human form, we never see any of the fallen angels manifest themselves in the physical world. Could that be the imprisonment? That the watchers cannot take on physical form until after they've been freed from their prison?

I have no clue. But I think it ties together well.


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