In the Book of Enoch, who are the watchers?
Short summary – The Watchers in the Book of Enoch are a group of fallen angels who were sent to Earth to watch over humans. They are said to have taught mankind forbidden knowledge and committed sins by taking human wives and producing offspring known as Nephilim.
Their actions led to corruption and violence on Earth, resulting in divine punishment. The leader of the Watchers, named Azazel, is particularly blamed for introducing humans to destructive and sinful behaviors.
When studying the Bible and the history surrounding it, it is common to come across the multitude of extra-biblical books that seem to exist.
While many would debate whether these books should have been Scripture or not, I find that it is much more productive rather to ask what we can learn from them not as Scripture, but in light of Scripture.
This book features both angels and demons, including entities called the watchers.
These appear prominently in the book’s contents.
This begs the question: Who are the watchers in the Book of Enoch, and how do they relate to the Bible’s telling of these events?
Let’s check it out in relation to what the Bible says.
The Bible’s Account
The Book of Enoch is largely about angels, demons, giants, and why the flood was necessary in the times of Genesis. However, to understand the book of Enoch and, more specifically, to understand who these watchers are, we must first understand what the Bible says about these events to serve as a foundation for understanding the Book of Enoch.
The Bible’s account of this is fascinating, to say the least, and has undoubtedly cast some curiosity on these events in the past.
In Genesis 6, we find an account of the sons of God seeing human women, finding them attractive, and coming down to earth to procreate with them.
It says that they took any that they chose to be their wives and began to reproduce with human women, creating the Nephilim, also known as giants.
This is important because the passage also says that this seemed to cause the wickedness that was so widespread among mankind. This is the same wickedness that caused God to regret creating humanity, leading to the flood.
This is definitely not a section of the Bible that is discussed much, probably because the Bible just doesn’t give much information on this new race and how these events unfolded. However, this is one of the reasons that the Book of Enoch has been so popular.
It seems to shed more light on these events and unpacks more about what happened than the Bible does.
It also seems to use different terminology when compared to the Bible.
Who are the Watchers in the Book of Enoch?
So then, who are the watchers in the Book of Enoch?
The term “Watchers” actually seems to be a translation of an Aramaic word that literally translates to “the awake ones.”
This term seems to play on the traditional belief that angels don’t sleep.
In the Bible, this word is translated from the Hebrew word, benai ha-elohim, literally translated as “sons of God.”
So then, the watchers are the angels or sons of God who saw the daughters of men, saw that they were beautiful, and desired to procreate with them. This resulted, as we know, in the creation of the Nephilim race, and eventually, it resulted in the flood.
What’s possibly even more interesting is the fact that the Book of Enoch also expounds on what the sins of these angels were.
In fact, there are three different categories of sin that the Book of Enoch expounds upon.
The Sins of the Watchers
Through the watchers’ contact with humans, they not only procreated but also brought terrible sin to the people, at least according to the Book of Enoch.
The first kind of sin that they brought was through their physical gifts and teachings to the people.
The Book of Enoch says that the watchers taught the men how to make weapons such as swords, daggers, and shields.
This facilitated war between men, causing bloodshed and murder.
It also says that the watchers taught the women how to be beautiful, showing them how to make many ornaments and outward things that would facilitate lust in the men of the earth.
This led, of course, to sins of lust and passion, causing physical beauty and the gift of sex to be misused and abused.
The second kind of sin that the Book of Enoch says the watchers brought to humanity is the gift of magic and other forbidden knowledge at the time. The Book of Enoch says that the watchers taught humanity charms and spells and showed them how to cut roots and trees to create herbs and other substances.
The third and final sin that the watchers committed, according to the Book of Enoch, is the sin of mating and reproducing with human women.
As we know from the Bible’s account, this resulted in a new race of giants that, according to the Book of Enoch, then went on to wreak havoc on humanity.
It says that these giants ate all the food that man had worked for and then began eating humans themselves. It says that they began to sin against animals and eventually turned to devour one another.
Clearly, this was the peak of the sin caused by the watchers, as these giants were violent and unnatural creatures that created a domino effect of issues for humanity.
Again, this is all according to the Book of Enoch in itself.
This is who the watchers were and what they caused during this time period.
READ MORE: Can a murderer be forgiven by God?
What does this all mean?
So then, what should we do with this information as Christians?
Well, the truth is, even if you took every word from the Book of Enoch as fact and truth, it wouldn’t change the core and essential beliefs of Christianity.
Regardless, the Book of Enoch should not be considered as Scripture or as being divinely inspired.
Instead, it is simply a tool that we can use to gain more information about these events. However, take it all with a grain of salt and be sure never to let it overcome the truth that is written in the Bible.
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Bulgarea Anca is a devout Christian and the founder of Bible Wings, a comprehensive resource for Christians seeking to deepen their faith and understanding of the Bible. Raised within the Christian faith, Bulgarea Anca’s spirituality was nourished by her grandparents, who were cantors in their local church. Her Christian upbringing was further solidified by her education at a Christian school. Today, she uses her in-depth knowledge of the scripture to provide insightful and meaningful content through Bible Wings.