the Book of Enoch and the Nephilim

by schnell 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • schnell

    I've heard all my cognizant life that angels from heaven looked upon the daughters of men, took wives, and their wives bore giants called Nephilim.

    I've heard all my adult life about the Book of Enoch and why it's apocryphal and to be avoided.

    So tonight I was curious enough to download an e-book and have a look, since dothemath had the thread about rarely used scriptures and the Book of Jude directly quotes from the Book of Enoch.

    If Jude quotes from Enoch, shouldn't both or neither of them be canonical? If you consider Jude canonical, then Enoch should be too.

    Hey, how many fallen angels were there again? Two thirds of heaven, right? Consider 1 Enoch 7:2-7.

    2And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.

    3Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise; 4And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime.

    5But they answered him and said; We all swear; 6And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.

    7Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of mount Armon.

    200 angels. 200... And that's two thirds of all heaven. So there are 300 total angels, if we're to take this literally and seriously. Hardly even a myriad. (Edit: Or was it a third of all the angels? Mea culpa.)

    I love how they made a sex pact like this is an American Pie movie, but they say it like they're in a stuffy business meeting. Nice touch.

    Hey, it was Satan who led them, right? He had another name but we never know what it is, right? Did any others have names too? 1 Enoch 7:9.

    9These are the names of their chiefs: Samyaza, who was their leader, Urakabarameel, Akibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Saraknyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael, Arazyal. These were the prefects of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all with them.)

    Hey, how tall were those Nephilim anyway? I've always heard they couldn't have been THAT tall, maybe 9 or 10 feet. Watchtower artwork has certainly depicted them that way in my lifetime. 1 Enoch 7:11-12.

    11And the women conceiving brought forth giants, 12Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them;

    300 cubits. The age old question is what the hell is a cubit, and the answer that matters is "about 18 inches".

    300 * 18 = 5400

    5400 / 12 = 450

    They were 450 feet tall?! Were there magic beans and castles in the sky, too?

    Michael is also one of the archangels in the Book of Enoch. One of them, though the Watchtower claims he is the only one and identifies him as Jesus. Is he, say, the leader of the archangels? Nope. The book of Enoch explicitly identifies Samyaza as the leader of the Watchers, but does not apparently do the same for Michael. Is he ever listed first? Nope. Is he the one that binds Azazel? Nope. 1 Enoch 10:6-15.

    6Again the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there. 7Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness; 8There shall he remain for ever; cover his face, that he may not see the light.

    9And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire. 10Restore the earth, which the angels have corrupted; and announce life to it, that I may revive it. 11All the sons of men shall not perish in consequence of every secret, by which the Watchers have destroyed, and which they have taught, their offspring. 12All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime.

    13To Gabriel also the Lord said, Go to the biters, to the reprobates, to the children of fornication; and destroy the children of fornication, the offspring of the Watchers, from among men; bring them forth, and excite them one against another. Let them perish by mutual slaughter; for length of days shall not be theirs. 14They shall all entreat you, but their fathers shall not obtain their wishes respecting them; for they shall hope for eternal life, and that they may live, each of them, five hundred years.

    15To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed.

    So, this is silly, isn't it? If you accept Jude in the canon, you must also accept Enoch, and then revel in the magic and high fantasy therein.

    If you then don't accept Jude or Enoch, then what you have to realize is that these are books, by people, and they are open to study and criticism.

  • pleaseresearch

    Great points and well researched, thank you. This always made me think the same. If Jude quotes from the book then why wouldn't we refer to it. It made no sense, until I too looked at it and it clicked.

    This was interesting that I found from Wikipedia.


    The Book of Enoch was considered as scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas (16:4)[24] and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras,[25] Clement of Alexandria,[26] Irenaeus[27] and Tertullian,[28] who wrote c. 200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ.[29] However, later Fathers denied the canonicity of the book, and some even considered the Epistle of Jude uncanonical because it refers to an "apocryphal" work.[30]

  • Crazyguy

    I also read that through the the book of Enoch one can find pretty much the sayings that are the Sermon on the mount. The more I look into these writings the more I discover that there nothing more then copies of older writings . The Watchers in the book of Enoch are the same as the Anunnaki in the older Akkadian writings that Zachariah Zitchin made famous in his books. The Bible is just a copy and a rewritten work of older stories.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions
    So, this is silly, isn't it? If you accept Jude in the canon, you must also accept Enoch, and then revel in the magic and high fantasy therein.

    Here's watchtower's (and I believe other fundamentalist's) work-around for that one:

    Just because it LOOKS like Jude is citing the book of Enoch, doesn't mean it is. There could be another source that both Jude and the Book of Enoch are both citing separately.

    Here we go:

  • schnell

    @BOC these are the same people who would say that Adam lived because Jesus believed in him, and here they are speaking about logic and saying a direct quote is not evidence. I love how God becomes a wildcard that can solve anything too. That's fitting.

    The simpler explanation, of course, is that the book of Jude directly quotes the book of Enoch, and that is not to say that either of them were written by their ostensible authors.

    Rejecting Enoch also gives them an ability to cherry pick what they like from it without ever saying where they got it.

  • Magnum

    If the org wanted to prove that the book of Enoch was canonical, it would point to the quote in Jude and use it as proof.

    If I remember correctly, evidently Paul quoted from one of the so-called non-canonical books. Anybody know what I'm referring to. I might be able to find the passage with a little effort.

  • NikL


    I was just looking at the same information at the same time you were posting this.

    GMTA apparently. I share your reasoning that it must be an important book if Jude quoted from it though I SUPPOSE I must admit there is a SLIGHT chancce as breakfast pointed out the JWs and Fundies believe.that...

    Just because it LOOKS like Jude is citing the book of Enoch, doesn't mean it is. There could be another source that both Jude and the Book of Enoch are both citing separately.

    What I find interesting is that the JW position has always been the nephilim were angelic/human hybrids. The bible doesn't specifically say so...though Enoch does. So in this case it appears that there must be some "accuracy" to the book.

  • blondie

    I did not see the most recent movie about Noah and the flood but I saw a clip from it and the angels were mentioned were a subset of the angels called the Watchers. I have heard that term in Supernatural and the show Ancient Aliens. But I have not read Enoch's writings (do you have a good online source?)

    My personal contention when a jw was that these angels wanted to have children and could not as angels but could take on human flesh and create their own with human women. Becoming men also put them in a position of power they would not have had as women. They wanted their own kingdom on earth since having one in heaven would not work.

    I felt the few details given were not logical and seemed more like a big fairytale. According to the Bible, Noah's son Shem lived for about 100 years into Abraham's lifetime. So Shem would have been an eyewitness to these events in Genesis. According to the WTS there were only oral and perhaps a few written accounts of this time that we protected by the descendants of Isaac---Jacob and his sons e and were what Moses used to compile Genesis. Not much to confirm this so far in my research.

    I also why when Jude quoted from Enoch that is was not included in the canon. I think there are a couple other occasions like this in the bible. I'll see if I can find them.

  • blondie

    Note how the WTS dances around 3 occasions including Enoch.

    w01 9/15 pp. 29-31

    Enoch Walked With God in an Ungodly World

    THE Devil contends that he can turn all humans away from God, and at times it must have seemed as though he was succeeding. For almost five centuries after Abel\u2019s death, no one distinguished himself as a faithful servant of Jehovah. On the contrary, sinful and ungodly conduct had become the norm.

    It was during that spiritually degenerate time that Enoch appeared on the scene. Bible chronology sets his birth at 3404 B.C.E. Unlike his contemporaries, Enoch proved to be a man acceptable to God. The apostle Paul included him among Jehovah\u2019s servants whose faith stands as an example for Christians. Who was Enoch? What challenges would he have to face? How did he meet them? And of what relevance is his integrity to us?

    In the days of Enosh, almost four centuries before Enoch\u2019s time, \u201ca start was made of calling on the name of Jehovah.\u201d (Genesis 4:26) The divine name had been used since the beginning of human history. Hence, what began when Enosh was alive evidently was not a calling on Jehovah in faith and pure worship. Some Hebrew scholars hold that Genesis 4:26 should read \u201cbegan profanely\u201d or \u201cthen profanation began.\u201d Men may have applied Jehovah\u2019s name to themselves or to other humans through whom they pretended to approach God in worship. Or perhaps they applied his name to idols.

    \u2018Enoch Walked With the True God\u2019

    Although Enoch was surrounded by ungodliness, he \u201ckept walking with the true God,\u201d Jehovah. It is not said that his progenitors\u2014Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, and Jared\u2014walked with God. At least they did not do so to the same degree as Enoch, whose way of life apparently distinguished him from them.\u2014Genesis 5:3-27.

    Walking with Jehovah implied a familiarity and an intimacy with God possible only because Enoch lived in harmony with the divine will. Jehovah approved of Enoch\u2019s devotion. In fact, the Greek Septuagint says that \u201cEnoch was well pleasing\u201d to God, a thought expressed also by the apostle Paul.\u2014Genesis 5:22, footnote; Hebrews 11:5.

    Fundamental to Enoch\u2019s good relationship with Jehovah was his faith. He must have exercised faith in the promised \u201cseed\u201d of God\u2019s \u201cwoman.\u201d If he was personally acquainted with Adam, Enoch could have obtained some information about God\u2019s dealings with the first human couple in Eden. The knowledge he had of God made Enoch the sort of person who was \u201cearnestly seeking him.\u201d\u2014Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 11:6, 13.

    In Enoch\u2019s case and ours, a good relationship with Jehovah requires more than just knowledge of God. If we particularly value intimacy with a certain person, is it not true that our thoughts and actions are influenced by his views? We avoid words or actions that would ruin that friendship. And if we contemplate making some change in our own circumstances, do we not also take into account how this would affect that relationship?

    The desire to maintain a close relationship with God likewise has a bearing on what we do. A prerequisite is accurate knowledge of what he approves and disapproves. Then we need to be guided by that knowledge, striving to please him in thought and action.

    Yes, to walk with God, we must please him. That is what Enoch did for hundreds of years. In fact, the form of the Hebrew verb indicating that Enoch \u201cwalked\u201d with God denotes repeated, continuous action. Another faithful man who \u2018walked with God\u2019 was Noah.\u2014Genesis 6:9.

    Enoch was a family man who had a wife and fathered \u201csons and daughters.\u201d One of his sons was Methuselah. (Genesis 5:21, 22) Enoch must have done all he could to preside over his household in a fine way. With ungodliness all around him, however, it was not easy for him to serve God. Lamech, the father of Noah, may have been his only contemporary who exercised faith in Jehovah. (Genesis 5:28, 29) Yet, Enoch courageously practiced true worship.

    What helped Enoch to remain faithful to God? Undoubtedly, he did not associate with profaners of Jehovah\u2019s name or with others who were unsuitable companions for a worshiper of God. Seeking Jehovah\u2019s help in prayer must also have strengthened Enoch\u2019s determination to avoid anything that could displease his Creator.

    Prophecy Against the Ungodly

    Maintaining high standards is hard enough when we are surrounded by ungodly people. But Enoch also delivered an uncompromising message of judgment against the wicked. Directed by God\u2019s spirit, Enoch prophetically declared: \u201cLook! Jehovah came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way, and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him.\u201d\u2014Jude 14, 15.

    What effect would that message have on perverse nonbelievers? It is reasonable to suppose that such stinging words made Enoch unpopular, perhaps eliciting jeers, taunts, and threats. Some must have wanted to silence him for good. However, Enoch was not intimidated. He knew what had happened to righteous Abel, and like him, Enoch was determined to serve God, come what may.

    \u201cGod Took Him\u201d

    Enoch was apparently in mortal danger when \u201cGod took him.\u201d (Genesis 5:24) Jehovah did not allow his faithful prophet to suffer at the hands of rabid enemies. According to the apostle Paul, \u201cEnoch was transferred so as not to see death.\u201d (Hebrews 11:5) Many say that Enoch did not die\u2014that God took him to heaven, where he kept on living. However, Jesus plainly stated: \u201cNo man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man.\u201d Jesus was the \u201cforerunner\u201d of all who ascend to heaven.\u2014John 3:13; Hebrews 6:19, 20.

    So, what happened to Enoch? His being \u201ctransferred so as not to see death\u201d may mean that God put him in a prophetic trance and then terminated his life while he was in that state. Under such circumstances, Enoch would not experience the pangs of death. Then \u201che was nowhere to be found,\u201d apparently because Jehovah disposed of his body, even as he disposed of Moses\u2019 body.\u2014Deuteronomy 34:5, 6.

    Enoch lived 365 years\u2014not nearly as long as most of his contemporaries. But the important thing for lovers of Jehovah is that they serve him faithfully to the end of their days. We know that Enoch did that because \u201cbefore his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well.\u201d The Scriptures do not disclose how Jehovah communicated this to Enoch. Nevertheless, before Enoch died, he was given assurance of God\u2019s approval, and we can be certain that Jehovah will remember him in the resurrection.

    Imitate Enoch\u2019s Faith

    We can appropriately imitate the faith of godly humans. (Hebrews 13:7) It was by faith that Enoch served as the first faithful prophet of God. The world of Enoch\u2019s day was like ours\u2014violent, profane, and ungodly. However, Enoch was different. He had true faith and was exemplary in godly devotion. Yes, Jehovah gave him a weighty judgment message to declare, but he also strengthened him to proclaim it. Enoch courageously carried out his commission, and God took care of him in the face of enemy opposition.

    If we exercise faith as Enoch did, Jehovah will strengthen us to declare his message in these last days. He will help us to face opposition courageously, and our godly devotion will make us very different from the ungodly. Faith will enable us to walk with God and conduct ourselves in a way that makes his heart rejoice. (Proverbs 27:11) By faith, righteous Enoch succeeded in walking with Jehovah in an ungodly world, and so can we.

    [Box on page 30]

    Does the Bible Quote From the Book of Enoch?

    The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal and pseudepigraphic text. It is falsely ascribed to Enoch. Produced probably sometime during the second and first centuries B.C.E., it is a collection of extravagant and unhistorical Jewish myths, evidently the product of exegetical elaborations on the brief Genesis reference to Enoch. This alone is sufficient for lovers of God\u2019s inspired Word to dismiss it.

    In the Bible, only the book of Jude contains Enoch\u2019s prophetic words: \u201cLook! Jehovah came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way, and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him.\u201d (Jude 14, 15) Many scholars contend that Enoch\u2019s prophecy against his ungodly contemporaries is quoted directly from the Book of Enoch. Is it possible that Jude used an unreliable apocryphal book as his source?

    How Jude knew of Enoch\u2019s prophecy is not revealed in the Scriptures. He may simply have quoted a common source, a reliable tradition handed down from remote antiquity. Paul evidently did something similar when he named Jannes and Jambres as the otherwise anonymous magicians of Pharaoh\u2019s court who opposed Moses. If the writer of the Book of Enoch had access to an ancient source of this kind, why should we deny it to Jude?*\u2014Exodus 7:11, 22; 2 Timothy 3:8.

    How Jude received the information about Enoch\u2019s message to the ungodly is a minor matter. Its reliability is attested to by the fact that Jude wrote under divine inspiration. (2 Timothy 3:16) God\u2019s holy spirit guarded him from stating anything that was not true.


    The disciple Stephen also provided information found nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. It concerned Moses\u2019 Egyptian education, his being 40 years old when he fled Egypt, the 40-year duration of his stay in Midian, and the angelic role in transmitting the Mosaic Law.\u2014Acts 7:22, 23, 30, 38.

  • David_Jay

    "Canonicity" was a response to the challenge of Marcionism, and understanding a bit about that explains why certain books did not end up in the Christian canon.

    Marcion of Sinope was a bishop who, influenced by Gnosticism, became a heretic. Like the Gnostics, Marcion taught that salvation was possible only through gaining special "gnosis," or knowledge. Holy writ (religious texts) from various cults were often believed to have the ultimate form of revelation hidden in their words, but they could only be understood by those "chosen" to understand them.

    Marcion adapted Gnostic belief into his form of Christianity. He rejected the God of Abraham in favor of Jesus (in the primitive Church it has already been decided that Jesus was some sort of epiphany of the God of Abraham, an "incarnation" of the Shekinah or "Light" of God [see John 1:4-9]). Marcion claimed that Jesus was not the YHVH but a superior and kinder god, and that Paul was his primary apostle. Marcion also taught that though only "chosen ones" had the ability to understand the "hidden knowledge" found in holy writ, this "gnosis" could be disseminated by the chosen to those who joined them.

    As for "holy writ" Marcion made a "rule" (in Greek, KANON) that only select letters of the apostle Paul were true, and the gospel of Luke (with all Jewish references edited out). Marcionism was born and attracted many followers.

    In response, the Church (which up till that time believed that the Hebrew Scriptures were the only form of holy writ inspired of God) responded by excommunicating Marcion. But the genie had been let out of the bottle, so to speak, never to get back in. Were the books of Luke and some of Paul’s letters inspired like the Hebrew Scriptures?

    Marcion got his idea about these books because early Christian worship services were liturgical, actually imitations of Jewish synagogue services which read the Torah and the other holy books on a schedule much like Jews do today (and Christians that follow the Revised Common Lectionary based on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar). After reading from the scheduled Tanakh readings, the Christians would add brief portions from one of the gospels or epistles that “interpreted” the Old Testament reading. Marcion got his “rule” of books from these additional Christian readings.

    The leaders of the Church began to investigate as to whether any of their books were inspired. To do so they set their own “rule,” that it basically had to be apostolic in nature or written under the auspices of the same. The books had to be those commonly read in liturgical services across the world. It would take 200 years after Marcion before the Church had the New Testament “rule” or “canon” settled and the issue closed.

    The books were not chosen by popularity or merely because they were quoted by other authors. For instance, Paul quotes from Greek poetry in Acts but this doesn’t mean that the writings of the Greeks is inspired. (Acts 17:28) Therefore just because there is a quote from a book like Enoch does not mean that it is inspired. Also, it appears Luke was added to prove Marcion wrong. Luke’s gospel is not apostolic, but it is very thorough, and it follows the same sources of Matthew and Mark (Mark wrote under the auspice of Peter, or so the understanding has been). There are also more letters from Paul than any other apostle, though he was not one of the original twelve and even history testifies that Petrine authority was recognized. This choices may have been to counter Marcionism.

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