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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reversing Hermon: Enoch - The Watchers


Dr. Michael Heiser has recently published a new book entitled, Reversing Hermon with the subtitle, “Enoch, The Watchers, & The Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ”.

The book is basically an exegesis of Genesis 6:1-4 and 1 Enoch 6-16.  The book of 1 Enoch is employed to illuminate and fill in the blanks of the Genesis account which does not give many details.  Heiser then explains how the Enoch narrative has been used by New Testament writers including the written accounts of Jesus Christ to explain certain things.  He claims it was a familiar book during the second temple era.

Genesis 6:1-7 NET  When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,  (2)  the sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were beautiful. Thus they took wives for themselves from any they chose.  (3)  So the LORD said, "My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal. They will remain for 120 more years."  (4)  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men.  (5)  But the LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time.  (6)  The LORD regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended.  (7)  So the LORD said, "I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth — everything from humankind to animals, including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them."

There are four different accounts or books supposedly attributed to Enoch although only the one entitled 1 Enoch appears to have any validity.  It must be said that Enoch did not write the book unless after it was written Noah stashed it on the Ark and it has been preserved for thousands of years.  The book was in existence during the 2nd Temple era and fragments of it have been discovered among the Qumran caves.  Heiser claims that 1 Enoch is a composite literary work whose parts can be dated to different periods.  This study only deals with the first part generally called “The Book of the Watchers” which spans chapters 1 through 36.  The first five chapters serve as an introduction and the text material that Heiser is concerned with is found in chapters 6 through 16.  No attempt will be made on my part to either promote or disparage 1 Enoch.  Jude quotes from this section and Peter appears to use the language and ideas found in it as well.

A Quote by Heiser:  The leader of the fallen angels is named Shemihazah, and the primary sin is marriage with human women and procreation of giants….The Watchers beget giants on earth by their union with human women.  Out of these giants come evil spirits that lead humanity astray (1 Enoch 15:11-12).  In the short term, the crisis of the Watchers is resolved when Godsends the flood to cleanse the earth.

Enoch 6:1-8 basically echos the content of Genesis 6:1-2.  Heiser rebukes the Sethite theory (which will not be explored at this time) and explains that a certain group of angels or Watchers had the desire to mate with human women.  The Watchers alighted on Mt. Hermon and apparently took human form to do their deed.

1 Enoch 6:1-8  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 (Watchers), the children of the heaven (Sons of God), 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.

The Watchers took wives who became pregnant and their children were claimed to be giants and appear to be exclusively male in gender.  The initial offspring were supposedly quite large.  It is said that later generations became smaller but still quite large by human standards.  The giants consumed all the food supply and then began to consume people.  It is later claimed they had sexual encounters with animals and afterwards they began to kill and devour each other. 

1 Enoch 7:1-6  1. And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. 2. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: 3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, 4. the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. 5. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. 6. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

The giants were called Nephilim.  1 Enoch claims the souls of the Nepilim, because they were only part human, would only inhabit the earth and will be called demons.  Some Bible teachers claim that demons are evil angels but that concept is refuted by Enoch. 

Heiser acknowledges that the sin of Adam established a lawless sinful nature within the human race.  However, he claims the unauthorized teachings of the Watchers, particularly to the women, greatly enhanced the knowledge of evil that has permeated the people of the earth.

1 Enoch 8:1-2  1. And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals 〈of the earth〉 and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. 2. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, Armârôs the resolving of enchantments, Barâqîjâl, (taught) astrology, Kôkabêl the constellations, Ezêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds, 〈Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl the signs of the sun〉, and Sariêl the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .

They taught men to refine metals and with the metals they fashioned swords, knives, shields, and breastplates.  Astrology, weather patterns, the nature of the moon and constellations, the use of antimony for compounds and alloys, also enchantments (charms or magic) and root-cuttings for potions (perhaps medicine or magic) were also taught to both women and men. 

One of the most evil teachings, according to Heiser, was the development of metal jewelry which included rare and costly stones, cosmetic makeup for the eyes and face, and possibly dyes for the hair.  This created enchantresses, lewd women, and prostitutes who became corrupt, led astray, and committed fornication with degenerate males.  He later brings up Rahab, Tamar, and Ruth as user examples of these cosmetic techniques for specific but different purposes.

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