Book of Enoch

(ca. 300–100 BCE)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The book of Enoch consists of five parts: “Book of the Watchers,” “Book of Parables” (or the “Similitudes of Enoch”), “Astronomical Book” (or the “Book of the Heavenly Luminaries”), “Book of Dream Visions” (or just “Book of Dreams”), and “Epistle of Enoch.” The section reproduced here is the “Book of the Watchers,” beginning with Chapter VI. These thirty chapters describe the fall from heaven of the two hundred angels known as Watchers, so called because they were to watch over human affairs without interfering. These angels each make a decision to take wives from the daughters of men on earth because these daughters are beautiful. Their resolve is to defile these women and have children by them. After taking an oath on Mount Hermon, they carry out their plan, but this action is to spell doom temporarily for the earth and permanently for the fallen angels. Enoch, considered righteous by God and the holy angels, is sent to tell the...

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The archangels Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael (Yale University Art Gallery)

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