This is more detail skipped in Appendix B3 Absence of Good. You really don’t need to read this unless you are clinging to the idea that this Book of Enoch is a credible indication of Biblical history, and in particular, that demons could ever be called sons of God in text inspired by God.
Genesis 6 describes the “sons of God” taking wives from amongst the “daughters of men”. It is popular to assert that the “sons of God” are demons, that is, fallen angels. I assert that God would never inspire words that compromise Jesus as the unique son of God in heaven. But the “Book of Enoch” is usually used to support the assertion of demons. You must read Absence of Good to get the full argument. This article just deals with the Book of Enoch.
I really had no desire to research this book that was not in my Bible. The following comments were derived from a simple internet search. The sites I list is what I read. I quickly searched the book for the bit that directly related to Genesis 6. I was horrified. I spent a few days trying to figure out what to say. Here it is. If you think the book deserves a more detailed analysis then go ask someone who is an expert, but be sure to ask him why he bothered spending time in a book that is so opposed to the ways of God.
I don’t want you to have to spend time here and especially not in the Book of Enoch.
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not regarded as scripture by Jews or any Christian group, apart from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which to this day regards it to be canonical. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Enoch)
OK, neither Jews nor Christians think it should be regarded as scripture.
An internet search for the “Book of Enoch” will get lots of matches. I found this translation by Rev George H. Schodde, Ph.D. in 1882. It also gives a very detailed history of this book in an very long introduction and preface. I don’t agree with the high value Schodde assigns to the book nor have I read its translation in full. The wording and arguments in this source are not constrained to a Christian perspective. Perhaps this is because of its stated aim to be impartial. But certainly the history and analysis it presents brings out valid points.
There are lots of places to find this source that are free. Try a search for “Book of Enoch by Schodde”. I don’t have problems with Schodde’s analysis but be warned that all manner of spiritualism and Satanism websites have links to it and they deliver it free. They seem to love it. Without any further comment by me, that should tell you how far it is from something that Christians should be using as a resource. Here are two links to the same file:
Here are some issues I noted. (Page numbers are the pdf page):
The summary of the book by this source shows many similarities with Biblical scripture but significant deviation, especially in regard to the Messiah, Jesus. In particular the Messiah is just a servant and appears after judgement where the saints are saved but because of the lives they led. A fundamental problem!
The main claim to fame for the Book of Enoch is that Jude 1:14-15 refer to Enoch’s prophesy as seen in this book. This does not validate the book as a whole and this source offers a good explanation on page 40. Basically Jude could have been quoting a well known work to make a point as Paul quoted Gentile poets. I certainly have no problem with Jude verses 14 and 15 or verse 6 that is also sometimes related to the Book of Enoch, but with the Book of Enoch as a whole I have many concerns.
Schodde seems to regard any Parable that seems to match up with history as an indication that the author was writing after the historical event. This source uses that to date the writing of the Parables in this book in the first century BC on page 59. Of course if there really is revelation from God then that need not be the case. But since it was based on the Parables and not Visions, this may be a valid comment.
http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/deadsea.scrolls.exhibit/Library/enoch.html shows fragments of chapters 5 and 7 of this book, in Aramaic, which was preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls. These were recovered in the 1950’s and thought to have been preserved from around 150 BC. It seems to be a good match and tends to confirm the Ethiopian translation, at least of the chapters that I am focused on.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/ is another very clear presentation of the text of the Book of Enoch. It is based on a later translation in 1917 by R.H. Charles. But I observe no obvious differences in Chapters 6-9 to that of Schodde. There are many other sources of information on the internet if you search for “Book of Enoch”. I don’t know if the few I have used are the best but they seemed adequate.
My Study Bible notes suggest that some historians don’t believe that the Book of Daniel was compiled during the exile – it’s prophecies were too accurate and must have been compiled much later and ascribed to Daniel. There were subtle style issues as well. Personally, I suspect that the Elders of Israel appoint scribes to record all these events and over the 70 years of exile, it is to be expected that different scribes would have different styles, perhaps starting with a native born Jew and later with Jews that had grown up in Babylon.
Suppose I give this level of tolerance to the Book of Enoch. But there are so many other problems. The Book of Daniel, even if not written by Daniel is about 4 young exiles who held true to God. They are named and the period is clearly documented. Things are sequential and visions confirmed. Enoch seems to have no such features and it claims to report things nearly 2,000 years before its apparent time of writing.
Suppose some texts written by the real Enoch and Noah had been preserved. They had to survive translation after the scattering at Babel. Another 1000 years on we have to wonder why Moses did not include them. These texts, being outside the recognised Jewish scripture were not subject to the diligent preservation and reverence instilled into Israel for the Book of the Law. But even with this, the Book of the Law was lost for periods (2 Kings 22:8-13). Then they had to survive the exile. And I don’t just mean be preserved but must have been preserved without tampering. The multiple copies and reverence given to Scripture by the Jews meant that you could not easily change it without it being noticed.
God basically raised up an entire nation to receive His Word. He commissioned this Word through Moses who had performed the greatest signs and wonders ever seen to verify it was God.
Moses recorded a prophecy by Lamech, Noah’s father, in Genesis 5:28. Moses clearly described Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, some 8 verses earlier but did not mention any prophecy of Enoch. Moses received direct face-to-face instructions from God. So God did not see fit to include this book in Genesis (if it existed then). The Jews and Christians were correct to not include it.
I read mainly from Chapters 6-9 since that is the section that directly relates to Genesis 6. I’m not a theologian. They seem to discuss the meaning of words and debate dispassionately correlations between this and that as if precise understanding will sort everything out. The analysis by G. H. Schodde I have used has made many points clear and I hope before I say anything you have a healthy distrust of whether this Book of Enoch is really reporting first hand observations of the Genesis 6 era of history.
(Personally I think I will have done a good thing if I never read any other part of this book.)
Here are my observations mainly from chapters 6 to 9 of the Book of Enoch:
Enoch seem to be walking with angels – not with God according to Genesis 5:24.
The apostle Paul said to reject any Gospel other than the one he preached even if an angel delivered it (Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Colossians 2:17-19). Well this Book of Enoch describes a dramatically different Messiah to Jesus and it is all about angels and demons.
Enoch was taken up well before Noah was born but Genesis 6 gives the very clear impression that Noah was alive as the events unfolded, so I find it hard to picture Enoch recording the events described in Chapter 6 of the Book of Enoch. In fact these chapters 6-9 are general ascribed to Noah by people expert in this book, but Noah is not identified.
I cannot recall anywhere else in scripture that we see the conversations between angels recorded. When the words of angels are recorded it is to pass messages from God to man. But here in Chapter 6 it’s all about the conversations between angels, and fallen angels at that. That makes them demons and we know that demons lie, rob, kill, and destroy. So these conversations are lies.
These demons lusted after women. They wanted to have children by them. I don’t know if this should be dignified with debate. Were angels created male and female or even male? Even God, who created man that He might have children, does not have sex with women to have children but has given that job over to mankind so that it is a free choice for us to choose God as our Father. But here the demons are attributed with the gift of being able to create new life. (Is anyone screaming out – something is wrong!)
The Apostle Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:39-40 that the flesh of man, animals and fish are different and similarly heavenly and earthly bodies are different. This was to exemplify our resurrected bodies that will be like the bodies of angels (Matthew 22:30, Luke 20:35). We will no longer be given in marriage in heaven which means no sex – not by law but because there is no need for it in our eternal bodies! So why do we imagine that angels, fallen or not would ever lust after women.
Even the sources that I have seen that use the Book of Enoch to confirm the sons of God were demons do not actually suggest demons had children via sex but it was in some way via possession. So these sources don’t actually treat what is written in this book as true but still use it to support sons of God as demons. Some fundamental inconsistency there. If you site Chapter 6 verses 1 and 2 of this book to confirm sons of God are demons then you must accept the reset of the verse and chapter.
Does anyone see possessed women, which still happens today, having babies – and giants at that? Why then in Genesis 6?
The giants that are the outcome of this sex turned against mankind and devoured them. But in Genesis 6 and later they are heroes and men of renown. The giants a 3,000 cubits in Enoch (from Aramaic translation of Dead Sea Scroll fragment), but Goliath was only 6.5 cubits (1 Samuel 17:4).
The demons are all given names. In the Bible, only Michael and Gabriel reveal their names and only then to establish their authority as archangels bringing a message direct from the throne room. Naming implies self importance and in this the demons are being elevated.
The demons discuss their fear of suffering for the sin they are about to do. But demons in the Bible do nothing but oppose God’s will by attacking man who is in the image and likeness of God because they cannot attack God.
When the snake is judged in Genesis 3, I understand that to be Satan cast out of heaven and bound to this world. The seed of the snake are the demons that follow Satan. This judgement preceded Genesis 6 so the demons are already judged. (If you think Satan was cast out somewhere else, then please find it.)
The judgement against the snake was there would be enmity between the seed of the sake and that of the women. That means that demons cannot simply materialise and expect man to invite them in for dinner as happens with angels (Hebrews 13:20). And certainly man would not openly accept the teaching of demons. Rather Satan and his demons always work behind the scene, lying and deceiving. (Yes, Satan can dress up as an angel of light.)
I have read accounts that describe demons as grotesque and ugly creatures. It’s not described in the Bible but I think it is credible. Why would man listen to them or submit openly to them as this book suggests. (But this depends on accepting that Satan and his demons were cast out back in Genesis 3.)
The demons go on to teach man about all sorts of things. In particular swords and knives. But the Bible says that Tubalcain, a descendant of Cain was the originator of metal work (Genesis 4:21-22). It is God who gives wisdom (Exodus 36:1, Deuteronomy 34:9, 1 Corinthians 12:8). But now the demons get the glory for inventing all sorts of things.
In chapter 9 the cries of man go up and are heard by angels who intercede before God. But wait, in Genesis 4, God Himself hears the cries from the blood of Abel.
And it just gets worse as you read on into Chapter 10 of the Book of Enoch. Many of these points show that the text is glorifying or elevating demons. That is a common part of Satan’s agenda. It was also common for Satan to take the credit for the miracles of Jesus.
Satan loves to deceive by starting with the truth and twisting it. In the Garden of Eden the snake correctly declared that eating the fruit would make Eve like God, but the twist was to imply she would not die but that God was trying to hide this from her. In the desert Satan told Jesus that the angels would save him if he cast himself down. The scripture Satan quoted was correct but Jesus discerned the test.
This book of Enoch slips in scripture here and there. In particular in chapter 6 verse 1 it is virtually quoting Genesis 6:1. This gives it a venire of credibility, but then starts the lies. It’s a bit hard to read it any other way. By the way, the earlier analysis says that these chapters had a different author and date to the earlier chapters.
Here I am criticising the legitimacy of the Book of Enoch, especially Chapter 6, but perhaps it is only being used in the “sons of God” debate to establish that ancient Jews understood this to be referring to angels. Well, I have already discussed this in Absence of Good, but to repeat it here – I don’t care what Jews understood pre-Jesus! They did not understand that Abraham was righteous by faith and not by works and Jesus criticised them soundly. So even if this was their understanding, it cannot be used to establish what was going on in Genesis some 3,000 years earlier and written down some 1,500 years earlier by Moses who made no mention of a prophecy by Enoch.
This may have been an understanding only held by some sect in Israel and certainly there were several. But even if this was the general understanding prior to Jesus, does it tell us the understanding still earlier when Psalms were written. And in the case of Job, which was necessarily all dictated by God, does it prove God’s understanding?
The very assertion that Jews in the time when this book was written did considered “sons of God” as angels actually confirms why the author of this book wrote what he did. So in fact this book’s implication that sons of God were angels is not proving anything but that the Jews of the day had that understanding. Perhaps this Book of Enoch was part of the reason that the Septuagint translated “sons of God” as “angels of God”.
The Book of Enoch is a complex, poorly structured document that has been tampered with over a period of time in the few hundred years B.C. and perhaps also A.D. It has multiple authors but lays claim only to Enoch. That makes it deceptive. It has many unusual, or better stated inconsistent, handling of angels with scripture and in general it glorifies or elevates the demons. To me it offers up lies in regard to the angelic activities associated with Genesis 6 and as such its assertion that these angels were the sons of God or sons of the heavens, is also a lie.
As a source that gives background insight into the times of Genesis 6 it should be totally disregarded. This is why neither Moses (if it existed then), nor the Jews nor Christians have ever regarded this book as scripture.