Weird Wednesdays – Angels getting busy edition

Genesis 6:1-4:

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

1 Enoch 6:

1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto 2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not 4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations 5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves 6 by mutual imprecations upon it. 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 7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, 8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.

And Jude 6:

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,

So tucked away in the story of Noah and Flood (itself a rather odd tale), we get a few brief mentions of the sons of God watching mankind grow and noticing that there were some pretty hot chicks on the Earth and they decided to intermarry with them and have children with them. Now there is some difference of opinion on who exactly the ‘sons of God’ were. Some scholars make the case that it refers to the children of Seth, Adam’s third son, deciding to mix and intermarry with the children of Cain, Adam’s first born who was cursed for murdering his brother.

But the other theory, given reference in the apocryphal book of 1 Enoch references the sons of God as being angels who decided to leave heaven and have sexual relations with human women. The results of this union being half-angel/half-human hybrid children who were heroes of old and men of renown, basically your demi-gods like Gilgamesh (and later stories that share a similar conceit like Hercules, Perseus, and all of the other kids born from Greek gods getting busy.)

Enoch describes the offspring as literal giants. And there is a reference in Numbers 13:33 that backs this interpretation:

33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’

According to 1 Enoch’s story, the angels didn’t stop with intermarriage, but also began teaching men various sciences like metallurgy and the science of warfare and how to make weapons for themselves.

Interestingly enough, Enoch implies that the cause of the great flood described in Genesis 6 here was the offense of the angels and the desire by God to destroy their offspring and wipe the offending knowledge from mankind.

Both Enoch and Jude describe the punishment of the offending angels as being bound up in darkness for a period of time until God brings them forth for a final judgment. Some traditions states that some of the offenders were spared by God to serve as demons on the Earth to tempt mankind to wickedness and destruction.

The final mention of these half-angelic giants is mentioned above in Numbers 13:33 where the spies that Moses sends into Canaan describe the land as filled with these ‘Nephilim’ giants who made the Israelites feel like grasshoppers in comparison. Biblical literalists will often tie in Goliath of Gath as a descendent of these Nephilim, though none really explain how the Nephilim managed to survive the flood they believe covered the entire Earth or alternatively, why any of the other angels would risk being bound up and cast into eternal darkness by God in order to go to Earth and have sexy time with the locals.

So yeah… angel sex. It’s in the bible. I mean, I guess it’s not unusual as far as ancient stories go. Most cultures have tales of gods and men having intercourse and offspring that have superpowers, but they tended to skip over this tale of lurid angel-human sex in Sunday School.

Weird, man. Just weird.

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