posted by Ashley Rye

from Galactic2 Website

 

 

Part 1 - Ashes of Angels
I HAVE BEGOTTEN A STRANGE SON

And after some days my son, Methuselah, took a wife for his son Lamech, and she became pregnant by him and bore him a son. And his body was white as snow and red as a rose; the hair of his head as white as wool and his demdema (‘long curly hair’) beautiful; and as for his eyes, when he opened them the whole house glowed like the sun ...

 

And his father, Lamech, was afraid of him and fled and went to Methuselah his father; and he said to him,

“I have begotten a strange son. He is not like an (ordinary) human being, but he looks like the children of the angels of heaven to me, his form is different, and he is not like us ... It does not seem to me that he is of me, but of angels..."

These words form the opening lines to what must be one of the most astonishing yet chilling fragments of religious text ever written.

 

They are the assertions of the antediluvian patriarch Enoch as he describes the sheer distress and horror that accompanied the miraculous birth of a son to his grandson, Lamech. The passage is taken from the Book of Noah, an ancient script of Hebrew origin appended to the more famous Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphal (i.e. falsely attributed) work, considered by scholars to have been put together in stages during the first half of the second century BC.

 

The predicament conveyed by these revealing lines seems manifestly clear:

Lamech has recently taken the hand of a woman who has given birth to a child that bears no resemblance whatsoever to its immediate family. His appearance is entirely unlike other “human beings”, for his skin is white and ruddy, his long curly hair is white and “beautiful”, while his eyes mysteriously enable the whole house to “glow like the sun”.

From this specific appearance Lamech can only conclude that his wife has been unfaithful, since the infant resembles “the children of the angels” who are “not like US”. This seems an extraordinary conclusion on the part of Lamech, and a very strange subject for a religious scribe to invent without good reason.

 

If it can, for a moment, be accepted that this account records an actual event in the history of human kind, then it implies that the strange appearance of this child matched the offspring of angels, and must by inference have been the product of the union between a mortal woman and a divine “messenger”, a “heavenly intelligence” in the service of God himself. Surely this is impossible, for according to Judaeo-Christian tradition angels are incorporeal, having neither form nor substance.

 

They are certainly unable to reproduce by immaculate conception. If this is correct, then the story of the birth of Lamech’s strange son is in direct contradiction to the rabbinical teachings of Judaism and the creed of the Christian faith. Yet here it is, in print for all to see - heretical words implying that angelic beings were able to produce children by cohabiting with mortal women.

 

For any reader with an open mind, this is a perplexing enigma further deepened by a more personal portrayal of the birth of Lamech’s son, which is to be found in a poorly preserved fragment of religious text, discovered with many other rolled-up brittle scrolls inside a cave overlooking the Dead Sea in 1947. Known to scholars today as the Genesis Apocryphon, this unique work was written in Aramaic, the Syriac language adopted by the Hebrew scribes following the—ws’ exile in Babylon during the sixth century BC.

 

Dating back to a similar age as the Book of Enoch, the Dead Sea Scroll in question would have originally contained an alternative, fuller account of the events featured in the Book of Genesis; however, it was so badly damaged when found that only the birth of Lamech’s son, an account of Noah’s Ark and the biblical Flood, along with the wanderings of the patriarch Abraham, have been preserved. The fragmentary text was translated by Nahman Avigad and Yigael Yadin in I954 and published under the title A Genesis Apocryphon two years later by the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

 

With respect to the account of the strange birth of Lamech’s son, it differs principally from the version given in the Book of Enoch, in that the narrator has altered from the patriarch Enoch to Lamech himself - it is he who recalls the scene in his own words.

 

The narrative begins just after the strange birth as Lamech starts voicing his suspicions concerning the suspected infidelity of his wife, here named as Bathenosh - and referred to also as his sister - for he says:

“Behold, I thought then within my heart that conception was (due) to the Watchers and the Holy Ones ... and to the Nephilim . . . and my heart was troubled within me because of this child.”

Turning to his obviously distraught wife, Lamech makes her swear by the Most High that she will tell him the truth and admit if she has lain with anyone else.

 

In reply she beseeches him to accept her word, saying:

“O my lord, 0 my [brother, remember l my pleasure! I swear to thee by the Holy Great One, the king of [the heavens] ... that this seed is yours and that [this] conception is from you. This fruit was planted by you ... and by no stranger or Watcher or Son of Heaven ... I speak to you truthfully"

It is clear that Lamech is accusing his wife of sleeping not with angels in general, but with having had relations with a specific race of divine beings known in Hebrew as ‘irin’ (‘ir’ in singular), meaning “those who watch” or “those who are awake”, which is translated into Greek as ‘egregoris or grigori’, meaning watchers. These Watchers feature in the main within the pages of pseudepigraphal and apocryphal works of—wish origin, such as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees.

 

Their progeny, according to Hebrew tradition, are named as nephilim, a Hebrew word meaning “those who have fallen” or “the fallen ones”, translated into Greek as ‘gigantes’, or “giants” - a monstrous race featured in the Theogony of the hellenic writer Hesiod (c. 907 Bc). As in the biblical account, this ancient Greek work focuses on the creation of the world, the rise and fall of a Golden Age, the coming of the giant races and finally a universal flood. Bathenosh’s touching plea of innocence to her husband and brother Lamech comes across as most convincing, and provides tantalizing evidence that this ancient account may contain some grain of truth.

 

Somehow it could just be based on a real-life event that occurred in a past age of mankind. If so, then exactly who, or what, were these Watchers and Nephilim who could lie with mortal women and produce offspring recognizable by their physiological traits alone? Are there any grounds whatsoever on which to consider that these apocryphal stories were based on the miscegenation between two different races of human beings, one of whom has been misidentified or falsely equated with the angels of heaven? If not, then exactly what were such stories meant to convey to the reader?


The Book of Enoch seems to provide an answer. Lamech, fearful of his predicament, consults his father, Methuselah, who, unable to alleviate the situation, embarks upon a journey to find his own father Enoch, who has withdrawn from the world and now lives among the angels’.

 

After Methuselah has tracked him down in a far-off land (referred to in the Genesis Apocryphon as ‘Parwain’ or Paradise) and conveying the fears of his son Lamech, the ever-righteous Enoch throws light on the situation when he states:

‘I have already seen this matter in a vision and made it known to you. For in the generation of Jared, my father, they [the angels] transgressed the word of the Lord, (that is) the law of heaven. And behold, they commit sin and transgress the commandment; they have united themselves with women and commit sin together with them; and they have married (wives) from among them, and begotten children by them ...

 

And upon the earth they shall give birth to giants, not of the spirit but of the flesh. There shall be a great plague ... and the earth shall be washed clean (by “a deluge’) from all the corruption. Now, make known to your son Lamech that the son who has been born is indeed righteous, and call his name Noah, for he shall be the remnant for you; and he and his sons shall be saved from the corruption which shall come upon the earth . . .

So the lid is finally lifted as the reader of the Book of Enoch is told that some of the angels of heaven have succumbed to carnal sin and taken wives from among mortal women. From this unholy union have come flesh-and-blood offspring, giant in stature, who, it must be presumed, match the description of the child born to Bathenosh.


This betrayal of the heavenly laws of God was seen as an abomination that would bring only corruption and evil to the human race, the punishment for which was to be a deluge to cleanse the world of its wickedness.


JW: So it appears to me that the Nephilim were those who came down from above ( who could be called space people) or the same thing that got Z. Sitchin in trouble with his teachers when he was a young man in class.
 

 

 

Part 2 - The Sons of God
This part talks about the fallen angels

Theologians are more or less united in their opinion that the widespread accounts of fallen angels cohabiting with mortal women, like those included in the Book of Enoch, the Genesis Apocryphon and similar texts, are no more than fanciful expansions of three verses to be found in Chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis, squeezed between a genealogical listing of the antediluvian patriarchs and a brief account of Noahs Ark and the coming of the Flood.

 

The first lines in question, making up Chapter 6, verses 1-2, are indelibly imprinted in my mind and read as follows:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of—d saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.

(JW: There is more discussion of those verses by religious people than any other verses in the Bible, as far as I know. Most people just say they don’t understand what they mean.)

 

By sons of God the text means heavenly angels, although the Hebrew original, bene ha-elohim, should really be translated as sons of the Gods, a much more disconcerting prospect (and something to be returned to in a subsequent chapter). In verse 3 of Chapter 6, God unexpectedly pronounces that his spirit cannot remain in men for ever, and that since humanity is a creation of flesh, its lifespan will be shortened to an hundred and twenty years.

 

Yet in verse 4 the tone suddenly reverts to the original theme of the chapter, for it says:

The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, so after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men which were of old, the men of renown.

In the hundreds of times I have read these isolated words out aloud I have wondered to myself.- what could they possibly mean?

 

There is no consensus in answer to this question, and scholars, mystics and speculative writers have all given their own interpretations over the past two thousand years. Theologians agree in general that such accounts are not to be taken as literal fact, but only as a symbol of humanity’s fall from a state of spiritual grace to one of conflict and corruption in the days prior to the Great Flood.

 

What the texts are saying, the theologians would argue, is that if evil and corruption on this scale does occur in the world, then only those of the purest heart and spirit - individuals exemplified by Noah and his righteous family - will be spared the wrath of God. It is therefore a purely allegorical teaching intent on conveying to the reader the inevitable consequences of wickedness. The references in verses 2 and 4 to the sons of God coming unto the daughters of men, so the scholars believe, demonstrate how even those closest to the purity of -od can become infected by corruption and evil.

 

It was usually accepted among religious teachers that any such unholy union between angels and mortal women could only, because it was against Gods will, lead to the creation of monstrous offspring.

 

It was this thought-provoking concept which had, according to the early Church Fathers, inspired the creation of various apocryphal and pseudepigraphal works dealing with the fall of the angels and the corruption of mankind before the time of the Great Flood.

 

 

Celestial Mafia
So much for—cal debate, but is it correct? Is this all there is to know about the origins of fallen angels? And what about the adherents of the Jewish and Christian faiths? How were they able to interpret such myths?

 

The majority would probably have been unaware that these problematical verses even existed in the Book of Genesis. Others, who did have some knowledge of the matter, are unlikely to have been able to expand on it, while only a very small minority would have believed in the actual existence of fallen angels. Many commentators would have been unable to explain exactly how such stories related to the physical world we live in, while other more fundamentalist Jews or Christians have seen such corruption and wickedness as the actions of bloodline descendants of those first fallen angels who cohabited with mortal women before the time of the Flood.

 

Such suggestions may seem far-fetched, but in the United States there is an organization known as the Sons of Jared, who take their name from the patriarch Jared, the father of Enoch, during whose age the Watchers were said to have been cast down from heaven. In their manifesto, the Sons of Jared vow implacable war against the descendants of the Watchers, who, they allege, as notorious Pharaohs, Kings and Dictators, have throughout history dominated mankind.

 

The Jaredite Advocate, the voice of the Sons of Jared, quotes lavishly from the Book of Enoch and sees the Watchers as like super-gangsters, a celestial Mafia ruling the world. Is this simply a view gained from dogmatically accepting the fall of flesh-and-blood angels of heaven? How many individuals have the Sons of Jared accused or persecuted, believing them to be modern-day descendants of the Watchers?

 

Some academic scholars, on the other hand, while unable to accept any basis in fact behind the concept of fallen angels and their monstrous offspring, the Nephilim, would be willing to admit that the original authors of the Book of Genesis (traditionally accredited to Moses the lawgiver) based their material on previously existing folk legends, probably from Mesopotamia (the country known today as Iraq).

 

The historian S. H. Hooke, for instance, in his book Middle Eastern Mythology, accepts that:

Behind the brief and probably intentionally obscure reference in (Genesis) 6:I-4 there lies a more widely known myth of a race of semi-divine beings who rebelled against the gods and were cast down into the underworld ... The fragment of the myth here preserved by the Yahwist was originally an aetiological myth explaining the belief in the existence of a vanished race of giants ...

This might well be so, but accepting Genesis 6: 1-4 as the product of far older Middle Eastern myths allows for the possibility that, sometime during a bygone age of mankind, there existed on earth, presumably in the bible lands themselves, an elite and probably superior race of human beings. These people presumably achieved a state of high civilization before degenerating into a corruption and wickedness that included the taking of wives from among the less civilized races and the creation of monstrous offspring of disproportionate size to their immediate family.

 

It might also be suggested that a series of global cataclysms thereafter brought fire, flood and darkness to the earth and ended the reign of this race of giants. Should we see accounts like Lamechs torment at the miraculous birth of his son Noah, and untold others like it, as tantalizing evidence for the idea that fallen angels were something far more than simply incorporeal beings cast out of heaven by the archangel Michael, as the theologians and propagators of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths have taught during the last two thousand years?

 

Could their very existence be confirmed by making an in-depth study of Hebrew myths and legends and then comparing these with other Near Eastern and Middle Eastern religions and traditions? Most important of all, might evidence of their physical existence on earth be incidentally preserved in the records of modern-day archaeology and anthropology?

 

Such thought-provoking possibilities were worth further consideration. If, at the end of the day, it was found that no such evidence for the existence of a now lost race in the bible lands could be discovered, then at least an age-old enigma would have been investigated thoroughly.

 

On the other hand, if there really was firm evidence that angels and fallen angels once walked among mankind as beings of flesh and blood, no different from you or me, then it could change our perspective of world history for ever.

 

 


Part 3 - Fear of Fallen Angels
This part deals with The Essenes, and the Andediluvian Pillars (the Pillars Of Enoch)

There are clear signs that the concept of angels and fallen angels as corporeal beings of flesh and blood, who lived in a distant antediluvian age and left as a legacy an intimate knowledge of many things forbidden to humanity, was once widely accepted by certain elements of the Jewish population. These included the devout religious communities that lived a pious existence in the hot, rugged terrain on the west bank of the Dead Sea from about 170 BC to AD 120. Known to history as the Essenes, their main centre is thought to have been at Qumran, where archaeologists have uncovered extensive evidence of occupation, including a massive library room where many of the Dead Sea Scrolls are thought to have been written.

 

Historical works from this period suggest that the Essenes not only accepted the Book of Enoch as part of their canon, but also used its listing of angels to perform rites of exorcism and healing. Recent studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls have also shown that the Essenes possessed an almost unhealthy interest in Enochian-style material featuring the Watchers and Nephilim. Although many of these works date only to the second century BC, the hidden teachings found among the Qumran community and known as Kabbalah imply that the Enochian and Noahic scriptures were passed on by word of mouth for thousands of years before finally being set down in written form by the Essenes themselves.


With the advent of Christianity, the Book of Enoch and other such similar works became generally available for the first time. Many of the Early Church leaders, from the first to the third centuries AD, used and quoted openly from their pages. Some Christian scholars held that mortal women had been responsible for the fall of the angels, while Paul in Corinthians 11:10 advocated - according to the Church Father Tertullianus (AD 160-230) - that women cover their heads so as not to incite wantonness in the fallen angels who liked unveiled women with beautiful hair.

 

Even more remarkable was the general acceptance among many prominent theologians that fallen angels possessed corporeal bodies. Indeed, it was not until the age of the Church Fathers, from the fourth century onwards, that such matters were seriously questioned. For these people, fallen angels were not flesh-and-blood beings, and any suggestion that they might have been became tantamount to heresy.

 

This attitude led to the suppression of the Book of Enoch, which quickly fell out of favor. Most bizarre of all were the comments of St Augustine (AD 354-430) in respect of the antiquity of this pseudepigrapha work. He claimed that on account of it being too old (ob nimiam antiquitatem), the Book of Enoch could not be included in the Canon of Scripture.


What ever could he have meant by suggesting it was too old? It was a most extraordinary statement to be made by a respected Church father. Curiously enough, the Book of Enoch had also fallen out of favor among the Jews, after Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, in the second century AD, cursed all those who believed that the Sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6 were truly angels. This was despite the fact that the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, uses the term ‘angelos’ in place of sons of God.

 

The Church Fathers then went further in their attempts to stamp out the strange fascination with fallen angels among early Christians by condemning as heresy the use of the many hundreds of names given both to angels and fallen angels in various religious works. No longer was the Book of Enoch copied by Christian scribes, and those copies remaining in libraries and churches were either lost or destroyed, denying the world any knowledge of the works true contents for over a thousand years.

 

Subsequently, on top of all this, it became the policy of Catholic theologians to eradicate firmly from the teachings of the Church any notion that fallen angels had once been seen as material beings, a situation typified by this quote from the New Catholic Encyclopedia:

In the course of time theology has purified the obscurity and error contained in traditional views about angels (i.e. the belief that they were corporeal in nature and cohabited with mortal women).

Yet why should such beliefs have become so abhorrent to the Christian faith after the great leaders of the Early Church of Jerusalem had preached so openly on this very controversial subject? It simply did not make sense, and suggested there must have been extremely good reasons for forcing this strain of thought underground, for that was exactly where it went - underground. From the extraordinary evidence collected together by the author, and presented in this book for the first time, there emerge firm grounds to suggest that initiates and secret societies preserved, revered, even celebrated the forbidden knowledge that our most distant ancestors had gained their inspiration and wisdom, not from God or from the experiences of life, but from a forgotten race remembered by us today only as fallen angels, demons, devils, giants and evil spirits.

 

Should such a view prove in any way correct, then it must indicate one of the greatest secrets ever kept from mankind. But where was I to start? How was I even to begin the quest to unveil the forbidden legacy of this apparently fallen race? The answer lay with its main sourcebook, the Book of Enoch, for only by understanding its obscure origins and absorbing its bizarre contents could I ever hope to uncover the true picture behind humanity’s lost heritage.
 

 

THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE
My quest to understand the importance of the Book of Enoch began with the man who single-handedly revived the scholarly world’s interest in this previously lost piece of Judaic religious literature. His name is James Bruce of Kinnaird, and in 1768 he left England en route for Abyssinia, modern-day Ethiopia, in search of something, and it was certainly not the source of the Blue Nile, as he claimed at the time.


Bruce was a Scottish nobleman, a direct descendant of one of the most powerful families of Scottish history. He was also an initiate of Freemasonry, which in Scotland could trace its roots back to the so-called Rite of Heredom, first instituted in early medieval times and later incorporated into the Royal Order of Scotland.’ This in itself was a chivalric military order of honor and valor founded on the rites of the Knights Templar by James Bruce’s own illustrious ancestor, Robert the Bruce, following the celebrated defeat of the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Bruce himself was a member of the Canongate Kilwinning NO. 2 lodge of Edinburgh, known to be one of the oldest in Scotland, with side-orders and mystical teachings entrenched in Judaeo-Christian myth and ritual.


Freemasonry is an organization with innumerable secrets, and many of these would have been known to the extremely knowledgeable James Bruce. For instance, he would have been aware that in Scottish Masonic tradition the patriarch Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, was looked upon as one of the Craft’s legendary founders, since he was accredited with having given mankind the knowledge of books and writing and, most important of all to Freemasons, to have taught mankind the art of building.’

 

 

The Antediluvian Pillars

Enoch had many associations with early modern Freemasonry, or speculative Masonry as it is known. According to one legend, Enoch, with foreknowledge of the coming Deluge, constructed, with the help of his son Methuselah, nine hidden vaults, each stacked one on top of the other. In the lowest of these he deposited a gold triangular tablet (a white oriental porphyry stone in one version) bearing the Ineffable Name, the unspoken name of the Hebrew God, while a second tablet, inscribed with strange words Enoch had gained from the angels themselves, was given into the safe-keeping of his son. The vaults were then sealed, and upon the spot Enoch had two indestructible columns constructed - one of marble, so that it might never burn, and the other of Laterus, or brick, so that it might not sink in water.

 

On the brick column were inscribed the seven sciences of man-kind, the so-called archives of Masonry, while on the marble column he placed an inscription stating that a short distance away a priceless treasure would be found in a subterranean vault. Enoch then retired to Mount Moriah, traditionally equated with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where he was translated to heaven. In time, King Solomon uncovered the hidden vaults while constructing his legendary temple and learned of their divine secrets.


Memory of these two ancient pillars of Enoch was preserved by the Freemasons, who set up representations of them in their lodges. Known as the Antediluvian Pillars, or Enoch’s Pillars, they were eventually replaced by representations of the two huge columns named Jachin and Boaz, said to have stood on each side of the entrance porch to Solomon's Temple. What exactly the nine hidden vaults constructed by Enoch were meant to represent is completely unknown. They might well refer to the nine levels of mystical initiation contained in the hidden teachings of the Kabbalah, accepted among the Dead Sea communities.

 

On the other hand, perhaps the legends of the hidden vaults referred to actual underground chambers located somewhere in the Holy Land and constructed to hide sacred objects of importance to the future of mankind.
 

 

 

Part 4 - Walked with God
This part talks about a person called Metatron

The patriarch Enoch's legendary status among both Jewish mystics and modern-day Freemasons stems from a very strange assumption. In the Bible, Chapter 5 of Genesis contains a genealogical listing of the ten antediluvian patriarchs, from Adam down to Noah. In each case it gives only their names, their age when they begat their first son, and the age at which they died, with one notable exception - Enoch. In his case, he is twice said to have walked with God, a obscure statement elaborated only in the second instance with the enigmatic words: and he was not, for God took him.

 

Whatever the writer of Genesis had been attempting to convey by these words, they were taken to mean that Enoch did not die like the other patriarchs, but was instead translated to heaven with the aid of Gods angels. According to the Bible, only the prophet Elijah had been taken by God in a similar manner, so Enoch (whose name means initiated) had always been accorded a very special place in Judaeo-Christian literature. Indeed, Hebrew mysticism asserts that on his translation to heaven Enoch was transformed into the angel Metatron. What does it mean:

translated to heaven? As we know, people are not carried off to heaven by angels while still living their life on earth. Either these words are metaphorical or else they need drastic reappraisal. Might Enoch have been simply taken away from his people by visitors from another land who were looked upon as angels by the rest of the community? And where was heaven, anyway?

 

We know it is deemed to be a place in the clouds, but did this literally mean somewhere beyond the physical world in which we live? Once in this place called heaven, Enoch would appear to have made enemies immediately, for according to one Hebrew legend, an angel named Azza was expelled from Paradise - the alternative name for the heavenly domain - for objecting to the high rank given to Enoch when he was transformed into Metatron.

All these legends and traditions concerning Enoch show that the patriarch was highly venerated in—wish mythology because of his trafficking with the angels. This position led many scholars to believe that apocryphal works, such as the Book of Enoch, were imaginative stories based on his much celebrated translation to heaven, where he now lives in the presence of God.


The Search for the Book of Enoch
James Bruce of Kinnaird was one giant of a man, the tallest man you ever saw in your life - at least gratis, or so said one woman who met him. He was fluent in several different languages, including some no longer spoken. These included Aramaic, Hebrew and Geez, the written language of the Ethiopian people. Even before his travels in Abyssinia, Bruce had journeyed far and wide, visiting Europe, North Africa and the Holy Land, exploring ancient monuments and searching out old manuscripts ignored by all but a few inquisitive Westerners. In spite of his Blue Nile story, the noble Scotsman would appear to have spent much of his time,

"in Ethiopia within the libraries of ramshackle monasteries, fingering through dusty volumes of neglected religious works, many hoary with age and in a state of advanced disintegration.”

So what had he been looking for?


After nearly two years of constant travelling, Bruce arrived at the sleepy monastery of Gondar, on the banks of the vast inland sea named Lake Tana. Having convinced the abbot of his integrity, he was admitted into the dark, dingy library room, where he found, and was finally able to secure, a very rare copy of the Kebra Nagast, the sacred book of the Ethiopians. It told of a romantic love affair between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the legendary founder of the kingdom of Abyssinia, and of the birth of their illicit son Menelik, who had conspired with his mother to abduct the fabled Ark of the Covenant from Solomon’s Temple. According to the story, the Ark had been carried off to Ethiopia, where it remained to that day.


Had Bruce in fact been searching for a copy of this obscure but very sacred book to take back with him to Europe?

 

THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE

Despite its rarity, the Kebra Nagast (or Book of the Glory of Kings) had long been known to exist, while its wild claims concerning the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant were seen by Western scholars as having been concocted to give Ethiopian Christians an unbroken lineage and national identity stretching back to the time of Adam and Eve. Even so, there is compelling evidence to suggest that the Ark really did reach Ethiopia (although not at the time of King Solomon) and that James Bruce was well aware of this fact and even entered Ethiopia in 1768 with the express intent of bringing it back to Britain.

” So was this the answer - a quest for the lost Ark of God? Had Bruce been the Indiana Jones of his day?


Perhaps.


Yet beyond his interests in the Kebra Nagast and the Ark of the Covenant, Bruce could hardly have been unaware of the rumors circulating Europe regarding the existence in Ethiopia of the forbidden Book of Enoch. Indeed, during the early 1600s a Capuchin monk visiting Ethiopia had secured a religious text written in Geez which was at first believed to be a long-lost copy of this very book. The find caused much excitement in European academic circles. Yet when it was finally studied by an Ethiopian scholar in 1683, the manuscript was identified, not as the missing Book of Enoch, but as a previously unknown text entitled the Book of the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth.’


No one really knew what the Book of Enoch might contain. Until the 1600s, its contents were almost entirely unknown. Yet its title alone was so powerful that at least one person attempted to learn its secrets from the angels themselves. This was the Elizabethan astrologer, magus and scientist, Dr John Dee, who, working with an alleged psychic, Edward Kelley, used crystal balls and other scrying paraphernalia to invoke the presence of angels.

 

The spirits told Kelley they would provide him with the contents of the Book of Enoch, and there is evidence to suggest that Dee did actually possess a ‘Book of Enoch’ dictated through Kelley’s medium-ship.”

It is not, however, thought to have in any way resembled the actual work of this name. In addition to this, Dee and Kelley developed a whole written language, complete with its own ‘Enochian’ script or cipher, from their trafficking with angels. This complex system of magical invocation survives to this day and is still used by many occultists to call upon the assistance of a whole hierarchy of angelic beings.

 


Part 5 - Scaligers Discovery
 

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, a major breakthrough occurred in the search for the lost Book of Enoch. A Flemish scholar named J. J. Scaliger, having decided to study obscure Latin literature in the dimly lit vaults of European libraries, sat down one day to read an unpublished work entitled Chronographia, written in the years AD 8º8-10 by a learned monk named George Syncellus. Having ploughed through lengthy pages of quite mundane sayings and quotes on various matters appertaining to the early Christian Church, he then came upon something quite different - what appeared to be extensive tracts from the Book of Enoch.

 

Handwritten in Greek, these chapters showed that Syncellus had obviously possessed a copy of the forbidden work and had quoted lavishly from its pages in an attempt to demonstrate the terrible transgressions of the fallen angels. Scaliger, realizing the immense rarity of these tracts, faithfully reproduced them in full, giving the world its first glimpse at the previously unknown contents of the Book of Enoch. The sections quoted by Syncellus and transcribed by Scaliger revealed the story of the Watchers, the Sons of God, who were here referred to by their Greek title ‘Grigori’. It told how they had taken wives from among mortal women, who had then given birth to Nephilim and gigantes, or giants.

 

It also named the leaders of the rebel Watchers and told how the fallen angels had revealed forbidden secrets to mankind, and how they had finally been imprisoned until the Day of judgment by the archangels of heaven. We may imagine the conflicting emotions experienced by Scaliger - on the one hand excitement, and on the other horror and revulsion. As a Godfearing Christian of the seventeenth century, when people were being burnt as witches with only the most petty charges brought against them:

  • What was he to make of such claims?

  • What, moreover, was he to do with them?

  • Angels lying with mortal women and the conception of giant babies?

  • What could this all mean?

  • Was it true, or was it simply an allegorical story concerning the consequences of trafficking with supernatural beings such as angels?

Merely by making copies of this forbidden text, he ran the risk of being accused of practicing diabolism. Yet this incredible chance discovery begged the question of what the rest of the book might contain. Would it be as shocking as these first few chapters appeared to suggest? Bruce must have been aware of the controversial nature of the sections of the book preserved for posterity by Syncellus in the ninth century he must also have been aware of the enormous implications of retrieving a complete manuscript of the Book of Enoch.


It was perhaps for this very reason that he spent so long talking to the abbots and monks at the Ethiopian monasteries. In the light of this supposition it becomes crystal clear that one of the primary objectives of Bruce's travels must have been to secure and bring back to Europe a copy of the Book of Enoch. And Bruce's efforts did not go unrewarded, for he managed to track down and obtain not one but three complete copies of the One Book of Enoch, with which he returned to Europe in 1773 was consigned to the National Library of Paris, one he donated to the Bodleian Library in Oxford - and the third he placed amongst the books of Scripture, which I brought home, standing immediately before the Book of Job, which is its proper place in the Abyssinian Canon.

 

The earth-shaking consequences of these gracious acts of literary dedication can scarcely have been realized by Bruce himself during his lifetime, for they would ultimately lead to the recirculation of heretical stories concerning humanity’s forbidden trafficking with the fallen race. And yet from the very moment of Bruce's return to Europe with his precious Ethiopian manuscripts, strange events were afoot. Having deposited the copy with the Paris library, Bruce made tracks to return to England, where he planned to visit the Bodleian Library at his earliest convenience. Even before he had a chance to leave France, however, he learnt that an eminent scholar in Egyptian Coptic studies, Karl Gottfried Wolde, was already on his way from London to Paris, carrying letters from the Secretary of State to Lord Stormont, the English Ambassador, desiring that the latter help him gain access to the Paris manuscript of the Book of Enoch, so that a translation could be secured immediately.

 

Permission was duly granted to Wolde, who after admission into the National Library wasted no time in making the necessary translation of the text. Yet as Bruce was to later admit in his magnum opus on his travels to Ethiopia it has nowhere appeared. What therefore were the motives behind this extraordinary urgency in translating the Book of Enoch, before even the Bodleian Library had received its own copy? The absurdity of the situation lies in the fact that no outright translation of the valuable Geez text was to appear in any language whatsoever for another forty-eight years. Why this delay? Why should such an important piece of lost religious literature have been ignored for so long, especially since there were now not one but two extant copies available to the theological world?

 

This ridiculous situation must have infuriated James Bruce after he had gone to all the trouble of finding and securing these manuscripts in the belief that they would be presented to the public domain in a translated form before the expiry of his own life (he died in I794). Tempting as it may be to evoke the idea of some kind of organized conspiracy behind these extraordinary actions on the part of Wolde and the English Secretary of State, the truth of the matter was far more mundane and lay in the economical and political climate of the time. The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw a massive decline in the popularity of the Christian Church in many parts of Protestant Europe.

 

Attendance at church services was dwindling, and churches everywhere were being neglected and left to fall into ruin under the impact of Newtonian science and the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. In an age of reason and learning, there was little place for the alleged transgressions of angels, fallen or otherwise. Most of the general public were simply not interested in whether or not angels had fallen through grace or lust, while any theological debate as to whether or not fallen angels possessed corporeal bodies was simply not a priority in most peoples minds.


THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE
Fuelled by Fallen Angels

The Book of Enoch remained in darkness until 1821, when the long years of dedicated work by a professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford were finally rewarded with the publication of the first ever English translation of the Book of Enoch. The Reverend Richard Laurence, Archbishop of Cashel, had laboured for many hundreds of hours over the faded manuscript in the hands of the Bodleian Library, carefully substituting English words and expressions for the original Geez, while comparing the results with known extracts, such as the few brief chapters preserved in Greek by Syncellus during the ninth century. It is fair to say that the publication of the Book of Enoch caused a major sensation among the academic and literary circles of Europe.

 

However, its disturbing contents were not simply being read by scholars, but also by the general public. Churchmen, artists, writers, poets all sampled its delights and were able to form their own opinions on the nature of its revelations. The consequences of this knowledge passing into the public domain for the first time were to be enormous in many areas of society. Romantic writers, for instance, became transfixed by the stories of the Sons of God coming unto the Daughters of Men, and began to feature these devilish characters in their poetic works.


A little later, Victorian painters started portraying this same subject matter on canvas. One might even be tempted to suggest that the Book of Enoch was a major inspiration behind the darker excesses of the so-called Gothic revival, which culminated in such literary works as Bram Stoker's Dracula, in which the eponymously named character is himself a fallen angel. Why should such satanic subjects have inspired or repulsed people to this extent? Why are people so fuelled by stories of fallen angels?

 

It also seems certain that the Book of Enoch was readily accepted as a work of great merit among the Freemasons, who used it to revive their ancient affiliation with the antediluvian patriarch; indeed, my own I838 copy of Laurences translation once belonged to the library of the Supreme Council 33, the highest ranking enclave of Royal Arch Freemasons in Britain. There is even a rumor that the third copy brought back to Europe was presented by Bruce to the Scottish Grand Lodge in Edinburgh.

 

Gradually, as the Oxford University edition of the Book of Enoch reached wider and wider audiences, scholars began checking in library collections across Europe, the result being that many more fragments and copies of the Enochian text in Ethiopian, Greek and even Latin were found tucked away in neglected corners. New translations were made in German and English, the most authoritative being that achieved in 1912 by Canon R. H. Charles. Even a sequel to the original text entitled the Book of the Secrets of Enoch was found in Russia and translated in I894.

 

Since that time, the authenticity of the Book of Enoch has been amply verified with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many fragments of copies written in Aramaic have been identified among the hundreds of thousands of brittle scraps retrieved over the years from the caves on the Dead Sea, where they were placed in around AD 100 by the last survivor of the Essene communities at Qumran and nearby En-Gedi. The Ethiopian copyists had kept true to the original Aramaic text, which had probably passed into their country in its Greek translation sometime during the second half of the fourth century AD.

 

For generation after generation, the Book of Enoch had been copied and recopied by Ethiopian scribes, the old battered and torn manuscripts being either cast away or destroyed during the many bloody conflicts that took place in Abyssinia over a period of fifteen hundred years. The fact was that somehow the Book of Enoch had survived intact, despite its heavy suppression by the Christian Church, and it was to the authoritative English translation made by Canon R H. Charles in 1912 that I would next turn to discover for myself the dark secrets within its pages. Only by absorbing the obscure contents of this unholy treatise could I begin to understand why its forbidden text had become abhorrent to so many over the previous centuries.

 


Part 6 - Plight of the Watchers and Nephilim

One by one the angels of heaven are appointed by God to proceed against the Watchers and their offspring the Nephilim, described as the bastards and the reprobates, and the children of fornication. Azazel is bound hand and foot, and cast for eternity into the darkness of a desert referred to as Dudael. Upon him are placed rough and jagged rocks and here he shall forever remain until the Day of judgment, when he will be cast into the fire for his sins. For their part in the corruption of mankind, the Watchers are forced to witness the slaughter of their own children before being cast into some kind of heavenly prison, an ‘abyss of fire’.


Although the Watchers’ leader, Shemyaza, is cast into this abyss alongside his brothers, in other versions of the story he undergoes a more dramatic punishment. Since he was tempted by a beautiful mortal maiden named Ishtahar to reveal the Explicit Name of God in exchange for the offer of carnal pleasure, he is to be tied and bound before being made to hang for all eternity between heaven and earth, head down, in the constellation of Orion.”

 

The suggestion that the rebel Watchers had to look on as their children were murdered hints at a form of infanticide in which those born of the union between fallen angels and mortal women were systematically rounded up and slaughtered as their fathers watched helplessly. If this supposition is correct, then it could explain the fear and revulsion instilled in Lamech and Bathenosh at the birth of their son Noah, who apparently resembled a Nephilim baby- their horror being connected not simply to their own son’s strange appearance, but to the fact that the offspring of the Watchers were being murdered by those angels still loyal to heaven.

 

Following the incarceration of the rebel Watchers, Enoch is summoned to ‘heaven’ and addressed by the archangels, who are also, confusingly, referred to as Watchers. They request that he intercedes on their behalf and puts to the rebel angels the crimes they have committed against mankind. Enoch accepts this task and goes to see them in their place of incarceration. On his approach, he finds them all afraid, and fear and trembling seized them. Fear of punishment is surely a human tendency, not the emotions one might expect of incorporeal messengers of God, and where was this prison, so accessible to Enoch? The text suggests it was near the waters of Dan, to the south of the west of Hermon. ‘The waters of Dan’ refers to one of the tributaries of the river Jordan in northern Palestine.

 

The root of the Hebrew word dan means to judge, and Canon R. H. Charles in a footnote to this particular reference in his widely accepted translation of the Ethiopian text, concedes that this location was specifically chosen because its name is significant of the subject the writer is dealing with, i.e the judgment of the angels [authors italics]. The geographical positioning of this story is therefore symbolic and not actual. Clearly the author of the Book of Enoch is attempting to create some kind of sound geographical perspective to the narrative, in this case establishing the rebel Watchers place of incarceration close to the location of their original descent upon Mount Hermon. In other words, many of the sites given in the Book of Enoch were chosen simply to give credence to the stories it contains.

 

The corruption still left in the world after the imprisonment of the Watchers, and the death of their Nephilim offspring, is to be swept away by a series of global catastrophes, ending in the Great Flood so familiar within biblical traditions In a separate account of the plight of the Nephilim, this mass-destruction is seen in terms of an all-encompassing conflagration sent by the angels of heaven in the form of fire, naphtha and brimstone. No one will survive these cataclysms of fire and water save for the seed of Noah, from whose line will come the future human race. This is how the Dead Sea communities and the earliest Christians understood the Book of Enoch, yet never is there any insinuation that the rebel Watchers were beings of flesh and blood, only that they assumed physical form in order to lie with mortal women.

 

Having read and reread the story of the fall of the Watchers several times over, I began to realize that such a view of events could be seriously challenged, for there seemed compelling evidence to suggest that the rebel Watchers - and, by virtue of this, angels of heaven themselves - might originally have been a race of human beings who existed in the Middle East at a distant point in history.


If this were so, then memories of these monumental and quite horrendous events would appear to have been distorted and mythologized across the passage of time, until they became simply moralistic folk-tales in a slowly evolving religious history adopted by the Jewish race during Old Testament times. Did this provide a valid answer? To me it appeared as credible as any. Yet if my solution was incorrect, then what were the alternatives? There were two. Either the reader can accept that religious literature of this nature is pure fantasy, based on the deep psychological needs and values of a God-fearing society.

 

Or he or she can accept that incorporeal angels not only exist, but that they can also descend to earth, take on human form and then couple with mortal women, who afterwards give birth to giants that grow up to become ruthless barbarians of the sort portrayed in Book of Enoch.

  • Which of these solutions seems easiest to accept?

  • Which of these choices feels most right to accept?

  • And even if the rebel Watchers were once human beings of flesh and blood, where did they come from, in what time-frame did they live, and what was the true fate of their progeny?

  • Did they all either perish in the mass genocide orchestrated by the angels still loyal to heaven or die in the cataclysms which culminated in the Great Flood?

  • Did any survive?

The Book of Enoch provided no immediate answers, though my mind lingered over one particular passage in Chapter 15 concerning the final fate of the Nephilim:

... because they are born from men (and) from the holy Watchers in their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called ... And the spirits of the giants (will) afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble; they (will) take no food, [but nevertheless hunger] and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded (from them).

The text here speaks of evil spirits - demons and devils might be more appropriate terms. Yet if it could for one moment be assumed that blood descendants is what was originally intended, then these enigmatic lines imply that those born of Nephilim blood are, by virtue of their ancestral spirit, destined to afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth. These are chilling thoughts indeed, yet in the puritanical words of the Book of Enoch these corrupted souls are also destined to become the damned, who will take no food, [but nevertheless hunger] and thirst.

 

The djinns, the malevolent spirits of Islamic tradition, are said to suffer from a devouring hunger and yet cannot eat while in East European folklore, as well as in popular romance, there are likewise supernatural denizens that drink blood yet can take no food, [but can nevertheless hunger] and thirst, and these are, of course, nosferatu - vampires. Whatever the reality of such beings in anthropological terms, vampires live on in the dark, sinister world of Gothic horror, which, as I had already realized, owes much of its character to the way in which the initial publication of the Book of Enoch in 1821 influenced the inner visions of the poets and artists of the romantic movement.

 

Perhaps the spirit of the fallen race does therefore live on in the collective unconscious of modern-day society. Perhaps the descendants of the Nephilim, the hybrid offspring of the two hundred rebel Watchers, are still inside us, their presence hinted at only by the unsettling knowledge that our dark past holds hidden truths which are now beginning to reveal themselves for the first time -secrets that only a few enlightened souls have ever realized are preserved in the heretical Book of Enoch, this demonic doctrine, as it was aptly described by the Canon R. H. Charles.
 

 

Part 7 - Descendants of Noah

Despite the Book of Enoch's extraordinary material concerning the story of the Watchers, much of its later chapters appeared to be unconnected with my search to discover the origins of the fallen race. Indeed, they seemed to have been written by a different hand altogether. This supposition was confirmed when I realized that the chapters featuring the fall of the Watchers, the birth of Noah and the Flood narrative had all been taken from the much earlier, now lost, apocalyptic work known as the Book of Noah. It would simply confuse matters if I were to start referring to the Book of Noah instead of the Book of Enoch, but knowledge that Noah, not Enoch, was the original narrator of this story is important indeed and may well provide the key to understanding the reasons behind the Essenes interest in this demonic literature.

 

Because of the covenant Noah had made with God at the time of the Great Flood, the Dead Sea communities accredited him with having been God‘s first bringer of rain, or rainmaker, and saw themselves as direct lineal descendants of this rain-making line - a point emphasized again and again in their religious literature.


Many Jews in the last two centuries before Christ actually believed that wandering holy men, or zaddiks, the righteous, were direct descendants of Noah and could therefore perform rain-making feats - a divine virtue bestowed upon them by birthright renowned of the rainmakers in Jewish tradition was Onlas the Righteous, also known as Honi the Circle-drawer. His daughters son, Hanan the Hidden, and another grandson named Abba Hilkiah, were also able to repeat their grandfathers rain-making feats.

 

From research into rain-making traditions, it seems probable that the priests would achieve these inexplicable weather changes by retiring from the community and drawing rings of sand on the ground. They would then stand in the centre of this magic circle and perform their supernatural conjuration - the effectiveness of such wild talents never being doubted when they were not drawing down rain, the Zaddiks would live wild existences, crossing great distances on foot and spending long periods among the harsh, rugged hills on the west bank of the Dead Sea. Here they would enter into the isolated caves and spend long periods deep in meditation and contemplation.


More important, however, was the knowledge that these wandering Zaddik-priests, who walked freely among the Dead Sea communities, were the teachers of the Kabbalah, the arcane knowledge passed on orally from person to person. With their great understanding of the Kabbalah, and their claimed descent from Noah, it seemed extremely likely that it was these wandering holy men who had first conveyed knowledge of the Watchers story to the Essenes. If this theory was correct, then who were these wandering Zaddiks? Why did they believe themselves to be direct descendants of Noah? And where and when did they obtain these stories concerning the fall of the Watchers?

 

Until I could answer these questions the authenticity of the Book of Enoch must inevitably remain difficult to assess as historical fact. For the moment, I needed to understand more about the roots behind the story of the Watchers, how their fall came about and, most important of all, its point of origin.