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Who are the Watchers in the Book of Enoch?

In the Book of Enoch, who are the watchers?


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.

One of these books is the commonly known Book of Enoch, which unpacks the events of Genesis 6 in more detail than the Bible itself does.

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 AccountWho was the leader of the Watchers in the Bible

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?in the book of enoch who are the watchers

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 WatchersHow many fallen angels are in the Book of Enoch

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?The Sins of the Watchers

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.

Lessons from the WatchersLessons from the Watchers

Although the Book of Enoch is not considered as Scripture or as being divinely inspired, we can learn some biblical lessons from the story of the watchers.

According to the story, the watchers, who were supposed to guard humans, lusted after them, leading to sin and the eventual destruction of the earth by God.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

What this implies is that death is the ultimate consequence of sin. However, it may not look like it in the beginning.

The devil is subtle in his schemes. He has mastered the art of making sin attractive. Also, sin is very pleasurable.

So, not only do temptations look attractive, but sin itself is enjoyable. However, the pleasure only lasts for a moment before the torment starts.

James 1:15 says, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Desire or lust is a longing for something. For example, most people long to be rich. However, if this desire is not checked or controlled, it will lead to sin. One can find themselves stealing, falsifying documents, lying, etc., to satisfy their cravings for money.

After the desire for money has led to criminal activities or sin, then the result is death.

For example, Judas Iscariot desired money so much that he sold his master, Jesus, for thirty pieces of silver (Luke 22:1-6). But how did Judas end?

The Bible says that he committed suicide when he could no longer bear the weight of his sins.

Therefore, the lesson here is that we must learn to discipline ourselves and tame our desires.

The Apostle Paul says, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

There are temptations all around us, and the pressure can be overwhelming sometimes. But let the understanding of the dangers of sin and its consequences guide you.

God has given every believer the grace to overcome sin and temptation. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

We can bear and overcome temptations. But, we must refrain from deliberately placing ourselves in places where we will be tempted.

Jesus said we should cut our arms and remove our eyes if they will make us sin (Matthew 18:9).

Matthew 18:9 encourages us to remove ourselves from temptation.

We should flee every appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22-24). This can be achieved if we understand and acknowledge our weaknesses, then ask for God’s grace to submit to God, resist the devil, and overcome him (James 4:7-10).

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