Thursday, February 25, 2010

Elusive Aliens: Are They Watchers?

The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal text that has been left out of nearly every edition of the Bible today.  However, the book was popular in the 1st century AD, and Jude, author of the canonical text of Jude, even quoted a passage from the Book of Enoch in his epistle.  The book was supposedly written by Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah in Genesis.  Scholars have only been able to date the book to around the 3rd century BC, but this doesn't necessarily mean the book isn't older.  It may also be important to note that Genesis says that God took Enoch, indicating that Enoch may have avoided mortal death altogether.  If so, it's possible he could have written the book later.  And, of course, I also realize the whole book could have just been someone's imagination.  But for the rest of this post at least, we're going to take the stance that the book is at least partially based on truth.

One of the most notable stories in the Book of Enoch is the story of the Watchers.  Here's an excerpt from chapter 6 of the Book of Enoch:
And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Sêmîazâz, their leader, Arâkîba, Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl, Tâmîêl, Râmîêl, Dânêl, Êzêqêêl, Barâqîjâl, Asâêl, Armârôs, Batârêl, Anânêl, Zaqîêl, Samsâpêêl, Satarêl, Tûrêl, Jômjâêl, Sariêl. These are their chiefs of tens.
As I've pointed out in previous posts (here and here), the word 'angel' means 'messenger'.  The 'angels' and the 'Watchers' may very well be the same type of entities (or species, whatever term you prefer), but they apparently have different roles in their society.  Some relay messages, some are apparently just supposed to watch.  The fallen Watchers taught men things such as cosmetics, building weapons, writing, and astrology.  The passage above says of the fallen Watchers that "they were in all two hundred."  But does that mean there are only 200 Watchers?  Or does it mean that only 200 Watchers are fallen?  Could there be more Watchers out there?

I've pointed out before some similarities between the elusive 'aliens' of today and the angels and demons spoken of in ancient texts (here, here, here, and here).  In the past, the beings known as 'angels' typically only appeared to certain individuals.  Today, most people never see any aliens.  And last I checked, there is no ancient story of a group of angels descending on the Roman Forum and declaring, "Hey, were those angels people have been talking about all these years," and then shaking hands with the emperor.  Nor have any aliens landed on the White House lawn and shook hands with the President either.  Is it a coincidence that angels and 'aliens' tend to be elusive?

And what about these Watchers?  The Book of Enoch is not the only place that watchers are mentioned; the book of Daniel also mentions watchers (lowercased though, and Daniel does not elaborate about them).  There are those among UFOlogists today who have postulated that the reason aliens are so elusive is because they are merely here to observe.  I wonder how many among those who have considered that theory have considered that the idea that the earth is being observed is a very ancient idea?  Indeed, it seems the ancients thought they were being 'watched' too.  So could the aliens that are allegedly observing us be Watchers?  Could they be Watchers that didn't break the Watcher status quo and have continued to watch throughout the millenia?

The Book of Enoch may be folklore akin to Greek mythology.  But maybe some of these old stories are at least based on truth.  Maybe some of the best evidence for that comes from comparing ancient folklore with some of our modern 'folklore'.

P.S. View an update to this post here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Jeff! I think you'd probably like my newest short story I just wrote. It's a new take on the afterlife. Maybe I'll put it up on the blog. It involves an angel and it's something I've never seen anyone put into an afterlife story. I get the feeling it's your kind of story involving tests and fate and ethics and morals and rewards in the afterlife. I named it "Somes possessio" I'll let you know when I put it up. I remember learning some about the Book of Enoch in confirmation training. I always wondered about the other parts of the Bible we don't get access to. We always had to use St. James version. I remember my brother telling me that when he was a kid in the 50s they talked about translating texts and soon we'd have all of the Bible and yet here I am in my 40s and I'm still waiting...