The Fallen Angels

Cover. Illustration for John Milton’s Paradise Lost [1866] Gustav Dore [1832–1883]. 


This text is an excerpt from one of many texts removed from the Bible, The Book of the Watchers: Christian Apocrypha Series [Chapters 6–11]; told from the point of view of Enoch, the seventh patriarch in the book of Genesis. 


The Conspiracy

When the sons of men had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born to them. And the watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men, and let us beget children for ourselves.' 

And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, 'I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.'

And they all answered him and said, 'Let us all swear an oath, and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this deed.' 

Then they all swore together and bound one another with a curse. And they were, all of them, two hundred, who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon. And they called the mountain 'Hermon' because they swore and bound one another with a curse on it. 

And these are the names of their chiefs: Shemihazah - this one was their leader; Arteqoph, second to him; Remashel, third to him; Kokabel, fourth to him; , fifth to him; Ramel, sixth to him; Daniel, seventh to him; Ziqel, eighth to him; Baraqel, ninth to him; Asael, tenth to him; Hermani, eleventh to him; Matarel, twelfth to him; Ananel, thirteenth to him; Setawel, fourteenth to him; Samshiel, fifteenth to him; Sahriel, sixteenth to him; , seventeenth to him; Turiel, eighteenth to him; Yamiel, nineteenth to him; Yehadiel, twentieth to him. These are their chiefs of tens.


The Deed and Its Results

These and all the others with them took for themselves wives from among them such as they chose. And they began to go in to them, and to defile themselves through them, and to teach them sorcery and charms, and to reveal to them the cutting of roots and plants. 

And they conceived from them and bore to them great giants. And the giants begot Nephilim, and to the Nephilim were born Elioud. And they were growing in accordance with their greatness.

They were devouring the labor of all the sons of men, and men were not able to supply them. And the giants began to kill men and to devour them. And they began to sin against the birds and beasts and creeping things and the fish, and to devour one another’s flesh. And they drank the blood. 

Then the earth brought accusation against the lawless ones.


The Secrets the Watchers Reveal

Asael taught men to make swords of iron and weapons and shields and breastplates and every instrument of war. 

He showed them metals of the earth and how they should work gold to fashion it suitably, and concerning silver, to fashion it for bracelets and ornaments for women. And he showed them concerning antimony* and eye paint and all manner of precious stones and dyes. 

* A lustrous gray metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite. Antimony compounds have been known since ancient times and were powdered for use as medicine and cosmetics, often known by the Arabic name kohl.

And the sons of men made them for themselves and for their daughters, and they transgressed and led the holy ones astray. And there was much godlessness on the earth, and they made their ways desolate. 

Shemihazah taught spells and the cutting of roots. 

Hermani taught sorcery for the loosing of spells and magic and skill. 

Baraqel taught the signs of the lightning flashes. 

Kokabel taught the signs of the stars. 

Ziqel taught the signs of the shooting stars. 

Arteqoph taught the signs of the earth. 

Shamsiel taught the signs of the sun. 

Sahriel taught the signs of the moon.

And they all began to reveal mysteries to their wives and to their children. 

[And] as men were perishing, the cry went up to heaven.


The Intercession of the Four Archangels

Then Michael and Sarielb and Raphael and Gabriel looked down from the sanctuary of heaven upon the earth and saw much bloodshed on the earth. All the earth was filled with the godlessness and violence that had befallen it. 

And entering in, they said to one another, 'The earth, devoid [of inhabitants], raises the voice of their cries to the gates of heaven. And now to, the holy ones of heaven, the souls of men make suit, saying, 

‘Bring in our judgment to the Most High, and our destruction before the glory of the majesty, before the Lord of all lords in majesty.’

And approaching, they said to the Lord of the Ages, 'You are the God of gods and Lord of lords and King of kings and God of the ages. And the throne of your glory [exists] for every generation of the generations that are from of old. And your name [is] holy and great and blessed for all the ages. 

For you have made all things and have authority over all. 

And all things are manifest and uncovered before you, and you see all things, and there is nothing that can be hidden from you. You see what Asael has done, who has taught all iniquity on the earth, and has revealed the eternal mysteries that are in heaven, which the sons of men were striving to learn.

And [what]Shemihazah [has done] to whom you gave authority to rule over them who are with him. 

They have gone in to the daughters of the men of earth, and they have lain with them, and have defiled themselves with the women. And they have revealed to them all sins, and have taught them to make hate-inducing charms. 

And now look, the daughters of men have borne sons from them, giants, half-breeds. And the whole earth is filled with iniquity [immoral or grossly unfair behaviour]. 

And now look, the spirits of the souls of the men who have died make suit, and their groan has come up to the gates of heaven, and it to come forth from the presence of the iniquities that have come upon the earth. 

You know all things before they happen, and you see these things and you permit them, and you do not tell us what we ought to do to them with regard to these things.'


The Commissioning of the Four Archangels

Then the Most High declared, and the Great Holy One spoke. 

And he sent to the son of Lamech, saying, 'Go to Noah and say to him in my name, ‘Hide yourself.’ And reveal to him that the end is coming, that the whole earth will perish; and tell him that a deluge is about to come on the whole earth and destroy everything on the earth. 

Teach the righteous one what he should do, the son of Lamech how he may preserve himself alive and escape forever. 

From him a plant will be planted, and his seed will endure for all the generations of eternity.'

Raphael Commissioned to Imprison Asael 

To Raphael he said, 'Go, Raphael, and bind Asael hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness; 

And make an opening in the wilderness that is in Doudael.

Throw him there, and lay beneath him sharp and jagged stones. 

And cover him with darkness, and let him dwell there for an exceedingly long time.

Cover up his face, and let him not see the light. 

And on the day of the great judgment, he will be led away to the burning conflagration. 

And heal the earth, which the watchers have desolated; and announce the healing of the earth, that the plague may be healed, and all the sons of men may not perish because of the mystery that the watchers told and taught their sons. 

And all the earth was made desolate by the deeds of the teaching of Asael, and over him write all the sins.' 

Gabriel Commissioned to Destroy the Giants 

And to Gabriel he said, 'Go, Gabriel, to the bastards, to the half-breeds, to the sons of miscegenation; and destroy the sons of the watchers from among the sons of men; send them against one another in a war of destruction. Length of days they will not have; and no petition will be [granted] to their fathers in their behalf, that they should expect to live an everlasting life, nor even that each of them should live five hundred years.'

Michael Commissioned to Imprison Shemihazah and his Associates and to Destroy the Giants

And to Michael he said, 'Go, Michael, bind Shemihazah and the others with him, who have mated with the daughters of men, so that they were defiled by them in their uncleanness. 

And when their sons perish and they see the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, until the day of their judgment and consummation, until the everlasting judgment is consummated. 

Then they will be led away to the fiery abyss, and to the torture, and to the prison where they will be confined forever. 

And everyone who is condemned and destroyed henceforth will be bound together with them until the consummation of their generation. 

Destroy all the spirits of the half-breeds and the sons of the watchers, because they have wronged men. 

Michael Is to Renovate the Earth 

Destroy all perversity from the face of the earth, and let every wicked deed be gone; and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear, and it will become a blessing, [and] the deeds of righteousness and truth will be planted forever with joy. 

And now all the righteous will escape, and they will live until they beget thousands, and all the days of their youth and their old age will be completed in peace. 

Then all the earth will be tilled in righteousness, and all of it will be planted with trees and filled with blessing; and all the trees of joy will be planted on it. They will plant vines on it, and every vine that will be planted on it will yield a thousand jugs of wine, and of every seed that is sown on it, each measure will yield a thousand measures, and each measure of olives will yield ten baths of oil. 

Cleanse the earth from all impurity and from all wrong and from all lawlessness and from all sin, and godlessness and all impurities that have come upon the earth, remove. 

And all the sons of men will become righteous, and all the peoples will worship [me], and all will bless me and prostrate themselves. 

And all the earth will be cleansed from all defilement and from all uncleanness, and I shall not again send upon them any wrath or scourge for all the generations of eternity. 

Then I shall open the storehouses of blessing that are in heaven, and make them descend upon the earth, upon the works and the labor of the sons of men. 

And then truth and peace will be united together for all the days of eternity and for all the generations of humanity.
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