In The Book of Enoch and other apocryphal books we read that when the sons of YHWH descended to take human women for their wives, they taught them all kinds of things that they themselves knew not in full, and because of these teachings, humanity fell into immorality and destruction.
Through the teachings of the fallen ones, the whole world became defiled, and therefore, it is told, YHWH had to cause the flood to wipe out the corrupted creation.
The Book of Giants, although found only in small fragments in the Dead Sea Scrolls, provides a better insight into what took place in those days of corruption. And, when coupled with the same story told by different cultures, we fill many gaps and get a good picture of what took place in those early days of the world.
In different cultures, The Book of Giants can be found with cultural and religious interpolations. However, the main story remains the same. Here is my reconstruction of the story taken from the texts on giants from various sources, though the majority of them are biblical ones.
(I provide a list of works used in the reconstruction of the story at the end of the post, except those already mentioned in context.)
How the fallen ones corrupted the earth
In the Persian (Sogdian) fragments of The Book of Giants, it’s told that fallen angels who took beautiful human women for themselves began, as the time passed, fighting with each other and killing each other, and taking each others’ wives.
This reminds me of Hindu stories of gods fighting with each other and cheating each other. The Persian story says that they enslaved humanity by demanding different nations to do different services for them, established a rule of terror, and slew righteous people.
It’s written that at this time people made their own idols, though it’s not clear from the text whether this was the start of idol-worship or only its intensification.
In the Middle-Persian writings, we find that the reason why giants were given a heavy punishment, which is their eventual destruction with fire, was because they disturbed the happiness of those who were righteous.
From the fragments of this text, it seems that what’s suggested is that the fallen ones had great power, and they thought they would possess it eternally. However, it was made known to them that they wouldn’t have it always because of their sin.
Since they knew some of the secrets of heaven, they applied the teachings to the earthly creations in order to create different species by interbreeding the creatures of the earth. They took…
[ . . . two hundred] donkeys, two hundred asses, two hundred . . . rams of the flock, two hundred goats, two hundred [ . . . beasts of the] field from every animal, from every [bird . . . ] [ . . . ] for interbreeding [ . . . ].The Dead Sea Scrolls
From the ancient reliefs, like the ones found in Babylon, we can conclude that they experimented not only with animals, but they mixed human DNA with that of animals as well, producing all kinds of monsters that they most likely used as slaves.
Those created monsters are shown as chained or serving them food. This reminds me of some of the science-fiction movies of human robots created to be the servants of humans, as well as the custom of keeping pets and taking them for a walk on a leash:
Furthermore, the fallen angels taught humans the science of medicines, the acts of sorcery, divination, and other knowledge. When the offspring were born to them from human women, they grew to become the men of great size as well as insatiable appetites. The Greek text of Watchers from Panopolitanus says that:
They [watchers] ate the labors of men. As they were unable to supply them, the giants grew bold against them and devoured the men. They began to sin against birds, animals, reptiles and fish, and to eat the flesh of each other. And they drank the blood.
When they consumed all there was to eat on earth, they started to consume humans. That’s the reason, I believe, we see some Indian deities demanding blood sacrifices, just like the Christian and Jewish god does.
In Genesis Apocryphon, we read that Lamech, the father of Noah, who lived before the flood and therefore at the time when giants were on earth, was worried about the unusual appearance of his just-born son Noah.
He was afraid of his son because of his unusual appearance, and suspected his wife to have committed adultery with one of the sons of Heaven or the Watchers (which are mentioned as two different types of beings in this text).
In the fragment of The Book of Noah we read of Noah’s unusual appearance:
And his body was white as snow and red as the blooming of a rose, and the hair of his head and his long locks were white as wool, and his eyes beautiful.Fragment of the Book of Noah
Therefore, from this account, we can assume that such an interbreeding might have been quite common in those times. Lamech disbelieved his wife’s assurances that the child was his, and went to his father to ask him to approach his grandfather Enoch to find out the truth. Since Enoch was friends with the Holy Ones of Heaven, they would inform him whether the adultery had really taken place.
When Methusael, Lamech’s father, found Enoch and inquired of him, Enoch told that Noah was the legitimate son of Lamech. In the Genesis Apocryphon, we also find Enoch saying that Noah was “a light”.
Fallen angels in rabbinical writings
John Peter Stehelin mentions in Rabbinical Literature that in Jewish traditions, demons were considered those who were partly human and partly of angels.
Those angels who descended from heavens and sinned got trapped in a human body. It’s not clear, however, whether the sin trapped them in the physical body, or the fact that it’s also told by rabbis that angels become physical if they stay on earth for seven days or more.
According to the Jewish writings, after the angels had sinned, they wanted to ascend back to heaven and pronounced the Sacred Name in order to do so. But they found that they were unable to ascend – as they were banished from their first dwelling-place, and now the corrupted nature had dominion over them. They were no longer holy enough to enter Heaven.
In Rabbinical Literature, we also find it said that there are three types of demons – the ones that look like ministering angels, the ones that resemble human beings, and the ones that resemble animals. Those that are ministering angels give knowledge, and this reminds me of Hindu stories of supernatural beings imparting knowledge of medicine and other fields to humans.
In The Midrash of Shemhazai and ‘Azael , we find it said that one of the fallen angels, named ‘Azael (Azazel), was the one who taught humans the art of all the dyes, and all kinds of ornaments “by which women entice men to thoughts of sin”.
Angels as shape-shifters
In the Sogdian story of giants, it’s told that the two-hundred fallen angels who descended from heaven were shape-shifters.
When the angels of YHWH came to restrain them, they shape-shifted into human beings in order to hide from them. However, the angels knew which ones were fallen angels and which ones were humans, and they removed fallen angels from humans in order to imprison them in the thirty-two cities created for that purpose.
In the Sogdian story, the fallen angels waged a great battle against four heavenly angels sent to restrain them, to the extent that the angels were forced to use fire and brimstone to win over them. As a consequence, they killed 400,000 righteous humans as well.
Dreams of the fallen ones
In The Book of Giants, it’s told that when the fallen ones sinned on earth, they started getting all kinds of visions and dreams which they weren’t able to interpret but which worried them because of their content.
For example, one saw a stone with many inscriptions upon it, and then the angel appeared and cut out all the inscriptions with the exception of four words.
Another dreamt of a clay tablet with different writings that were immersed into water and when it was taken out of the water, only three inscriptions were left. Another dreamt of a tree that was uprooted except for the three of its roots.
Another giant had a vision of 200 trees in a garden which were watered by gardeners and they produced large shoots out of their roots. Suddenly the garden caught fire and all the trees were burnt.
After more similar dreams and visions, the giants and their offspring became afraid and decided to ask the scribe and prophet Enoch about the meanings of their dreams and visions. They sent one of the angels that were with them, named Mahway, to fly through the heavens in search of Enoch (who was already taken by YHWH into the heavens).
When he found him, he asked him what their end would be, and what their visions and dreams meant. Enoch went to intercede for the fallen ones and was given the writing with regards to YHWH’s decision about them. He handed the writing over to Mahway.
The message was the one that the fallen ones were afraid to hear, but the end of the message promises possible salvation:
In the name of the great and holy God, this message is sent to, Shemihaza, and all his companions. Let it be known to you that you will not escape judgement for all the things that you have done, and that your wives, their sons, and the wives of their sons (…) and that by your licentiousness on the earth, there has been visited upon you a heavenly judgement. The land is crying out and complaining about you and the deeds of your children and about the harm you have done to it. Until the heavenly angel Raphael, arrives, behold, destruction is coming by a great flood which will destroy all living things, whatever is in the deserts and the seas. The meaning of the [dreams/visions] for all your evil. But if you now loosen the bonds binding you to evil and pray […].
The meaning of their dreams and visions was about the coming flood, and that it would wipe out all beings except Noah and his family. (The First Book of Enoch tells that the giants were destroyed not by the flood but prior to it.)
YHWH commanded angel Gabriel to cause the giants to do battle with each other until all of them are destroyed. In the Animal Apocalypse chapter of The First Book of Enoch, it says that the angel gave them the swords to kill each other with, and maybe that’s why these creatures are depicted with battle equipment in sculptures, paintings, and reliefs.
When these giants destroyed each other, their spirits were not able to ascend to the heavens, because they were created on earth. So they remained earth-bound, always thirsty and hungry.
They strive to enter human bodies because they were originally created with physical bodies, and therefore they don’t feel at home when outside the physical bodies. They try to satisfy their lusts through human bodies, but they are never able to fulfill their desires in such a way, as they are cursed to ever suffer from such wants.
So, firstly, the offspring of watchers were destroyed through battle, and then the watchers were restrained and imprisoned by YHWH’s angels (for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth). Afterward, the flood was caused to wipe out all the creatures as, all of them were corrupted through genetic manipulation except Noah (and maybe his family, though that’s not told in Genesis).
How watchers look like
In the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Testament of Amran, we find Enoch describing one of the watchers that he saw. He described this creature to have the face of a viper. In The Second Book of Enoch, watchers are described as having feathers. This reminds me of Sumerian/Babylonian statues and reliefs of reptilian and feathered beings, like the one shown at the very beginning of this article.
Although the surviving texts about giants are few and fragmented, by adding them together, we can get a good picture of the events that led to the flood. The sons of YHWH descended from heaven, seduced by the beauty of women. They took for themselves women after the custom of the earth and produced giant offspring.
Those offspring, due to their size, started consuming large amounts of food including animals, and when their food sources became scarce, they turned to consume human beings, which is the fact preserved not only in writing, but in ancient statues and reliefs of different cultures. Even to this day, humans sacrifice animals and sometimes even other humans to the deities of old.
Furthermore, the fallen ones, by using incomplete knowledge of creation that they received in their first habitation, the heavens, started applying it probably in order to mimic the creative abilities of YHWH. Due to their incomplete knowledge and not having received YHWH’s permission to do so, they created monstrous beings.
They enslaved humanity to do services for them, and unfortunately, even today many nations continue worshiping and serving these creatures in the form of idols.
Due to their evil doings, the whole earth became corrupted, and giants started having terrible dreams and visions which were interpreted by Enoch as showing their destruction. A heavy punishment was sealed for them, and their immortality was taken away from them as a result of their transgressions.
The offspring of the fallen angels were caused by the angel Gabriel to battle with each other until all of them were destroyed. Fallen angels were taken into captivity by the angels of YHWH. (Their attempt to blend into humanity by shape-shifting to look like them did not succeed.) The corrupted humanity was destroyed by the flood.
- Three Books of Enoch
- The Book of Giants
- Book of Giants (Henning)
- Encyclopaedia Iranica on giants
- The Book of Giants – reconstructed texts
- New Research on Mani’s Book of Giants
- The Dead Sea Scrolls (New Translation)
- The Traditions of Jews
- The Chronicles of Jerameel
- The Reconstructed story of giants
- The First Book of Enoch
- The Fragment of the Book of Noah
- The Three Books of Enoch
- The Midrash of Shemhazai and ‘Azael
- Mani and Ethiopian Enoch