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Thoughts on the Book Of Enoch

So I recently read the Book of Enoch, the watchers. Well perhaps read isn't really the right term I watched the book on Youtube here: (it actually was a pretty fun way of reading, especially because it kept my twitter addled attention span focused.)

My first impressions reading the book were that it did not sound like a book of the old testament, it did not sound very old at all. It made me question how authentic the book was and I did a little digging: most historians say the book was written about 200 BC. That is not to say that the Book of Enoch isn't a rewrite of an older manuscript or that it is not a faithful documentation of a story preserved from error by the Holy Ghost, just that the Book of Enoch in its present form is one of the younger books of the Bible.

Secondly what I discovered was that the Book of Enoch was lost to most of history. There is a historical record of the Book of Enoch existing from the time Before Christ, it seems it may have even been referenced by our lord himself. However the book disappeared from history sometime during the fall of the Roman Empire, only to reemerge occulted in Ethiopia in the 19th century. Is the Book of Enoch we know today the actual book of Enoch referenced by the Apostles? It is tough to say, fragments of Enoch were discovered and dated to about 150 BC in the Dead Sea scroll caves however to my knowledge these are very small portions of the book (1)  so it is possible "our" Enoch has been altered.

There seems to be evidence in the text that the book has been altered, or else it is very prophetic. One piece of evidence that struck me was the first passage in the book: Enoch 1:1 "The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the days of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed." - This suggests to me that the Book of Enoch is written for our time. not for people 2,000 years ago, the fact that Enoch disappeared from history only to reenter in our time is either very comforting, or very concerning.

The second piece of evidence is the exchange with Enoch where God resolves the issue of how angels, being spiritual beings, could impregnate humans, humans being flesh and blood. I'm not sure that there was a concept of Angels being spiritual beings in 200 BC and this seems like an attempt to resolve a theological problem which came after the Book of Enoch was dated to have been written. The passage therefore may be an alteration of the book. For the record the Catholic position I have heard is that Angels cannot impregnate Human beings because they are purely spiritual beings. The book of Enoch says that angels have a process where they can basically become flesh.

The Book of Enoch also describes the beatific vision in the more detail than any book in the Bible, which seems out of place I guess for it to be Enoch to have that honor.

As for what the Book of Enoch describes I have a lot of thoughts, but no conclusions. First off Enoch describes a human race that becomes corrupted by angels, called watchers, who were appointed (iirc) to watch over mankind. These 10 Angels decide they would rather have sex with human women than do their jobs. Furthermore in a promethean way they teach mankind technological secrets that Man isn't ready for, and in the case of Azezal should not be taught. The result of this is that Mankind becomes embroiled in sin and that the offspring of the Angels and man become Giants who are a menace to mankind. Because of the actions in a beautifully poetic passage the book of Enoch describes the souls of men who have died at heavens gate petitioning God for Justice. The Book of Enoch then goes in great length to describe the heavenly court, the petition of the watchers to avoid punishment, and the punishment God meets out to the Watchers for their crimes. Reflecting back on the whole thing I just can't help but think what were these Watchers thinking? Their behavior is ridiculous, did they not think they wouldn't get caught? It kinda begs the question how could a supremely intellectual Angelic being act like a horny 16 year old?

Herein lie a couple problems with Enoch one is that the Catholic teaching which I have heard (and this is all pretty arcane stuff mind you) is that the Angels were either confirmed or made into demons when they were created by virtue of a test placed before them by God. After the test their wills are fixed. Here in Enoch it seems that Angels do have an unfixed will and can still fall into sin.

A second problem about Enoch is that it does seem to describe the fall of man to the Watchers and not to the actions of Satan in the Garden, in fact Satan does not appear in Enoch at all. It could be that Enoch is an allegory with the 10 watchers being Satan and the apple being the promethean gifts they tempt man with. The serpent and Eve may be a sexual allegory in that regard. (It would be funny if the "giants" really turned out to just be black people, a violent plague on mankind lol. Wait that hits a little too real....)

Speaking of Giants God condemns the Giants to all fight each other and kill each other off. Their souls are condemned to be evil spirits which will inhabit the earth. In this respect it seems that God is condemning the Giants to become demons. There seems to be a bit of a conflict with Catholic teaching here because God doesn't will anyone to be evil, yet in Enoch he seems to be saying that it is his will the giants will become evil spirits.

Once the Giants are all killed off God has decreed that the works of the Watchers will be drowned out in a future flood. Noah's flood.

Enoch is then taken by 10 angels Michael, Uriel,..ect. who are to become the New Watchers of Mankind. These Angels then Show Enoch many Horrible and great things upon the Earth. Hell, the resting place of the Dead, Angelic prison, The Earthly throne Of God to name a few. Enoch then ends on a hopeful note that in the final Judgement the evil people will be destroyed and the Righteous will be exalted.

(On a final note Enoch does seem to support post-millenialism [i can't remember the greek word for what that's called Escheology?])

Final thoughts on Enoch:

I definitely see some inspiration in the revelation in Enoch, whether this is St. John reading from Enoch or later authors altering Enoch to conform to St. John I am not sure. The Idea of buried angels coming out of the earth is in Apocalypse and the orgin story of those angels may be ascribed to Enoch.

I also see some inspiration in both the works of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. The Angels are often described as stars and there is a scene in Enoch where angels who did not come to the sky's for their appointed times are sent to prison. This is a Ptolemaic atronomy, I'm sure EMJ will love it since it's non-Newtonian lol, and it distinctly reminds me of the scene of Ramandu's Island in Prince Caspian. Also the Giant origin story does feel like the dragon and orcish origin story in JRR Tolkien's Silmarillion. EDIT: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, not Prince Caspian. Also really more of the Dufflepuds Island, but both Islands are good examples.

The Book of Enoch does have a Kabbalistic feel towards it I do have to say. Mankind, Mankind's souls even, being corrupted by angels and made demonic just feels too similar to the Kabbalistic Idea of demonic goyim and shells.

I think that the book of Enoch could be incorporated into the alien deception. The idea of promethean angels, human DNA alteration, could very easily be spun into good aliens evolving us, bad aliens wanting to keep us down. For reasons.

Well they say miracles are for unbelievers and prophesy is for believers, so with Enoch we'll just have to wait and see.

God bless,

R. A.


  1. here is what I have found so far concerning the dead sea scroll portions of Enoch: