When read from this perspective, the repetitions and contradictions within 1 En. 6-11 provide important insights into the organizational principles that governed the selection and redactional arrangement of traditional material. Diverse traditions are not simply conflated, harmonized, nor resolved into a single story. Rather, one can discern an attempt to interweave the various strands into a meaningful whole through the imposition of a literary structure, however loose.
16 For a survey of scholarship, Tigchelaar, Prophets, 168-72.
17 Collins, "Methodological," 316; idem, "Apocalyptic Technique," 97.
It is striking, for instance, that all three summaries of angelic sin in this unit culminate with descriptions of the violence of the Giants against the creatures of the earth (7:3-5; 8:4a; 9:9) and the resulting outcry of either the earth itself (7:6) or humankind (8:4; 9:10). In addition, three themes are highlighted throughout: [1 ] the dangers of sexual impurity,  the corrupting potential of knowledge, and [3 ] the antediluvian proliferation of violence.
In the resultant admixture of traditions, the instruction motif is surprisingly prominent. References to the corrupting teachings of the Watchers occur throughout 1 En. 6-11, and both of the major angelic figures, Asael and Semihazah, engage in illicit pedagogy. Furthermore, this aspect of the Watchers' descent is explored in all three summaries of their sins: 1 En. 7,1 En. 8, and 1 En. 9:6-10.
The three passages each approach illicit angelic instruction from their own perspective, and they join the theme of corrupting knowledge in different ways with the themes of sexual impurity and violence. In the first, 1 En. 7, the theme of sexual impurity functions as the main axis along which the transgression of the Watchers is articulated.18 The themes of knowledge and violence are subordinated to this theme, as follows:
Sexual Impurity Knowledge Violence
7:1 ab - Angels choose wives, with whom they defile themselves.
7:1 cd - Angels teach sorcery, spells, cutting of roots and herbs to their wives.
7:2 - Wives become pregnant and bear Giants.
7:3 -5 - Giants devour fruit of men's labor, then turn against humankind and all animals, devouring them and drinking their blood.
7:6 - Outcry: The earth makes accusation against the Giants.
Although 7 :i depicts the angels teaching their wives "sorcery [hfflrn], spells, and the cutting of roots and herbs," this is presented as an almost incidental
18 Suter, "Fallen Angel," 115-19; Molenberg, "Study," 139.
moment within the central structuring tale of sexual transgression, which follows a clear narrative progression from plan to event to result. Continuing from the description of the angels' oath in the previous chapter (6:3-6), 1 En. 7 recounts their transgression in their choice of human wives and sexual defilement with them (7:i ab), then concludes with the disastrous results: the pregnancy of the women, the birth of the Giants, and the Giants' violent actions (7:2-5).
The second account, 1 En. 8, brings the theme of knowledge to the fore, picking up and elaborating the passing reference to angelic teaching in 7:1. The themes of sexual impurity and violence remain significant, but these are narratively and structurally subordinated to the theme of knowledge:
Sexual Impurity Knowledge Violence
8:1 a - Asael teaches men about metalworking for making weapons.
8 :i b-2 - Asael teaches men about metalworking for self-adornment, as well as cosmetics, dyes, and precious stones. Knowledge of self-adornment leads to fornication.
8:3 a-b - Semihazah teaches spell-binding and cutting of roots; Hermoni teaches the loosing of spells, magic, sorcery, and sophistry.
8:3 c-g - Kokab'el, Ziq'el, Ar'teqif, Sims'el, and Sahr'el teach cosmologically related auguries.
8:4a - Giants devour people.
8:4b - Outcry: Men cry out to heaven.
This passage specifies the names of eight angels (cf. 6:7), along with the exact types of knowledge taught [#?x]byeach. The categories of revealed knowledge attributed to Asael, the first Watcher mentioned in 1 En. 8, use the rubric of metalworking to connect the theme of knowledge with the themes of bloodshed and sexual impurity. Asael is initially depicted as teaching metalworking for the purposes of making weapons. This parallels the bloodshed described in 7:3-5, while also evoking Gen 6:5 in its effort to explain the role of the "wickedness of man" in causing the earth to be "filled with violence" (also Gen 6:11 -12). In addition, the reference to metalworking allows for the integration of the theme of sexual impurity - so central to 1 En. 7 - into the exploration of forbidden knowledge in 1 En. 8. Not only does Asael teach human beings how to make jewelry from silver and gold (8:1), but this is followed by other accoutrements of vanity, which further foster human promiscuity: "antimony, and eye-shadow, and all manner of precious stones and ... dyes and varieties of adornment" (8:2).
In 1 En. 8:1 -2, forbidden arts are revealed to humankind as a whole, rather than just to the Watchers' wives as in 1 En. 7 :i. This account thus stresses the shared culpability of Asael and his human students and, moreover, highlights the responsibility of both men and women. The Watchers teach corrupting skills; men forge weapons and make ornaments for their daughters; and all are depicted as "corrupting their ways" (cf. Gen 6:12).
The passing reference to angelic instruction in the earlier account ofangelic sin is picked up in 1 En. 8:3. Just as 1 En. 7:i told of angels teaching their wives "sorcery, spells, and the cutting of roots and herbs," so 1 En. 8:3 associates these same arts with two specific Watchers: Semihazah transmits knowledge about "spell-binding19 and the cutting of roots," whereas Hermoni teaches humankind about the "loosening of spells, magic, sorcery, and sophistry."20
The categories of knowledge attributed to the teaching Watchers in 1 En. 8:3 c-g concern divination. The names of the six angels here listed correspond to the natural phenomena whose auguries [I'm] they transmit to humanity. The "auguries of lightening" are taught by Baraq'el; the "auguries of the stars" by Kokab'el; the "auguries of fire-balls" by Ziq'el; the "auguries of earth" by Ar'teqif; the "auguries of the sun" by Sims'el; and the "auguries of the moon" by Sahr'el.21
Unlike the teachings attributed to Asael, Semihazah, and Hermoni, these categories have no clear connection to the events described in 1 En. 7. And, whereas the description of Asael's pedagogy in 8:1 -2 stressed the corrupting results of his teachings, the description of the magical and divinatory skills transmitted by the other Watchers concludes with the statement that "they all began to reveal secrets to their wives" (8:3 h), thereby stressing the transgression of epistemological boundaries through the revelation of hidden knowledge.
Whereas 1 En. 7 and 8 present narrative summaries of the descent of the Watchers, 1 En. 9:6-10 retells the sins of the Watchers in the form of the archangelic petition to God on behalf of the earth and its creatures (see 9:2-3).
20 4QEnb iii, 2: [a-o]a? torn; 4QEna iv, 2: [|']tomi iaani isto[b].
21 Black, "Twenty," 227-235.
Nevertheless, this passage highlights the same three themes, and its summary of angelic sin similarly ends with a description of the violence of the Giants (9:9) and humankind's desperate cry to heaven (9:10):
Sexual Impurity Knowledge Violence
9:6-7 - Asael taught unrighteousness and "revealed the eternal mysteries prepared in heaven and made them known to men." Semihazah taught spell-binding?
9:8abc - They cohabited and were defiled by human women.
9:8de - They revealed sins to the women and "taught them to make hate-charms."
9:9 - The Giants were born, and the earth was filled with violence.
9:10 - Outcry: Men cry out to heaven.
Like 1 En. 8, this account privileges the theme of knowledge. The archangelic report begins with Asael, whose sins are described wholly in terms of his illicit instruction of humankind. The archangels first condemn this wayward Watcher for teaching "wrongdoing22 on the earth" consistent with the focus on the corrupting results of his teachings in 1 En. 8 :i -2. They then state that Asael "revealed the eternal mysteries that are in heaven" (9:6b-c).23 The archangelic summary deals with the negative effects of this Watcher's teachings on human behavior, but it also suggests that the very act of revealing secrets to humankind was sinful.
The statements about Asael are followed by a condemnation of Semihazah (9:7). There is no Aramaic extant for this verse, and the extant Greek (Gr^ Syn) and Ge'ez versions stress his leadership of the hosts of fallen angels. Matthew Black suggests that the texts are corrupt and reconstructs an Aramaic Vorlage
22 GrPan: tos a5iKias. To which GrSyn adds "sins [tos aiiapTias]" and "all manner of guile [5oAov] in the land" (9:6a; cf. 9:6c).
23 Translation follows Nickelsburg, Commentary, 202; see notes there.
similar in content to 7 :i and 8:3 a. He proposes that the Aramaic original stated that this Watcher "instructed men in spell-binding" and identified him as the one whom God "appointed ruler of all spell-binders" (9:7).24 If Black's reconstruction is correct, the archangelic description of Semihazah associates his transgression primarily with his act of teaching, as in 8:3 a, rather than his leadership of the other Watchers and his part in their choice to descend to earth, as in 6:3-7.
Whether or not 1 En. 9:6-7 denounces the corrupting teachings of Semihazah along with Asael, it is striking that this passage describes the Watchers' sexual misdeeds only after much attention to their pedagogical sins. The events of 1 En. 6-7 are condensed into the statement that the Watchers "cohabited with the daughters of the earth and had intercourse with them and were defiled by the women" (9:8a). Moreover, this brief summary of the angels' sexual sins is followed by yet another description of their transmission of knowledge: "and they showed them [f.pl.] all sins."25
As noted above, most scholars approach the motif of illicit angelic instruction as a secondary stage in the formation of 1 En. 6-11, a later development from an initial concern with the sexual defilement ofthese wayward angels and the violence of their offspring. Our analysis has highlighted the importance of this motif in the present form of 1 En. 6-11. The traditions originally associated with Semihazah may well represent the original core of these chapters. Even so, their import has been radically altered by the accretion of material concerning the corrupting teachings of Asael and other Watchers.
The tensions between these traditions have not been completely effaced. Accordingly, the literary fissures and narrative dissonances in the present form of the Book of the Watchers have proved quite heuristic for modern scholars who have sought to reconstruct the traditions behind the text. These characteristics are no less useful for our purposes, albeit for different reasons: they invite us to explore the range of meanings from which later Jewish and Christian readers could draw.
The polyvalent account of angelic descent in 1 En. 6-11 leaves some basic questions unanswered. For instance, what is the connection between the Watchers' sexual misdeeds and their corrupting teachings? How does Asael's transmission of cultural arts to human men and women relate to the other Watchers' teachings of magical and divinatory arts to their wives? In addition,
24 Black, Commentary, 131; cf. Nickelsburg, Commentary, 202; Isaac in OTP 1.17; Charles,
25 GrSyn adds that they "taught them to make hate-charms [ |jior|Tpa]."
this unit allows for multiple answers to theological questions that would interest later Jews and Christians. Does the culpability for the antediluvian proliferation of human sin fall primarily on Watchers, or do we humans also share the blame? And, most importantly, what are the ramifications of angelic descent for the origin, ends, and nature of evil?
For our purposes, the question of the exact relationship between angelic descent and the antediluvian proliferation of human sin proves most relevant. Within 1 En. 6-11, the juxtaposition of 1 En. 7 and 1 En. 8 results in an overdetermination in the explanation of evil. Both chapters account for the proliferation of promiscuity and bloodshed on earth before the Flood. Yet the two, as Nickelsburg notes, differ on the issue of culpability; whereas 1 En. 7 accuses the Watchers of causing the antediluvian deterioration of earthly life, 1 En. 8 shifts the blame away from the Watchers, positing instead the shared guilt of corrupting angels and corrupted humans.26 The origin of this apparent redundancy can be readily explained through the theory that the two reflect originally distinct traditions, later intermingled by redactional activity. This, however, does not suffice to explain away the editorial choice to combine them, nor does it erase the conflicting views with which the text's readers are faced.
In the following chapters, we shall see how many Jews and Christians bypassed this difficulty by focusing wholly on the Watchers' sexual misdeeds. Some, however, chose to draw on the traditions about illicit angelic instruction in 1 En. 6-11 and were thus forced to grapple with the question of how the sexual sins of the Watchers relates to their teachings. To this, the polyvalence of 1 En. 6-11 allows two different answers. It is possible to read the narrative order of 1 En. 6-8 as reflecting the chronology of events, assuming that the events described in 1 En. 8 occurred after the Watchers came to earth to take wives. Following this interpretation, 1 En. 7 describes how the activities of wayward angels engendered the archetypal ills of sexual impurity and violence, and 1 En. 8 recounts their subsequent transmission from the fallen angels to humankind.
This, however, is not the only option. Alternately, Asael's teachings of cultural arts can be interpreted as a causal factor in the subsequent descent of Semihazah and his hosts: the introduction of jewelry and cosmetics by Asael caused other angels to be tempted by the artificially enhanced beauty of human women and thus drawn down to earth.27 Although this interpretation necessitates reading 1 En. 8:1 -2 as a "flashback" to the cause of the events described
26 Nickelsburg, "Reflections," 311.
27 Nickelsburg, "Apocalyptic and Myth," 397-98; VanderKam, Enoch, 124-25.
in 1 En. 6-7 (cf. 12:1),28 it does resolve several other issues. For instance, by positing two stages of instruction, an exegete could readily reconcile the fact that Asael is depicted as transmitting cultural arts to all humankind, whereas the other Watchers teach magical and divinatory skills to their wives. The chronology is also consistent with the order of events in 9:6-10, where the archangels first recount Asael's introduction of sin to humankind and only then describe the activities of Semihazah and the sexual defilement of the Watchers with human women.
Nickelsburg has suggested a direct textual basis for the second interpretation. He uses Syncellus' Greekversion to reconstruct the fragmentary Aramaic of 1 En. 8:1 -2 as follows:
Asael taught men to make swords and weapons and shields and breastplates. And he showed them the metals of the earth and gold and the working of them.
And they made them into bracelets and ornaments for women, and he showed them silver and stibium and eyepaint and select stones and dyes. And the sons of men made them for themselves and their daughters and they transgressed and lead the holy ones astray. And there was much godlessness on the earth.
And they committed fornication and went astray, and made all their paths desolate.29
As he and others have noted, this reconstruction may find support in one of our earliest extant references to the Enochic myth of angelic descent: in the second century bce, the author of the "Animal Apocalypse" in the Book of Dreams metaphorically expresses angelic descent by depicting a single star falling from the sky, only later followed by other stars (1 En. 86:1 -2).30 The idea that Asael's fall preceded and caused the fall of the other angels is, at the very least, an extremely early variant or interpretation.
One wishes that the text-history of 1 En. 8 could be reconstructed with more confidence. Nevertheless, the presence of two possible - and equally viable - interpretations of the chronology of angelic descent in 1 En. 6-11 is itself significant for our understanding of these chapters. This range of meanings points to the redactors' reticence to harmonize completely the different
28 Of course, this interpretation does not explain why Asael's name is included among Semihazah's hosts at 6:7. Its prominence, however, is suggested by the fact that all of our extant translations render the name of this Watcher at 6:7 (GrPan: AaeaA; GrSyn: A£aA£fA; Eth: As'el, Asa'el) differently than the name at 8:1 and following (GrPan'Syn: A^a^A; Eth: Azaz'el), thereby removing this difficulty.
29 Translation follows Nickelsburg, "Apocalyptic and Myth," 397, with readings from GrSyn italicized.
30 Nickelsburg, Commentary, 195-96.
traditions underlying 1 En. 6-11, and it exemplifies the polysemy that enabled the reapplication of the Enochic myth of angelic descent to new situations, problems, and concerns.
Most relevant, for later Jews and Christians, was the fact that the two chronologies have very different ramifications for the etiology of evil. If the corrupting teachings of Asael and other Watchers follow from their lust-motivated descent from heaven, the Watchers are wholly to blame for the degradation of earthly life and human morality in early human history. But, if Asael's teachings led to the descent of other angels, then humankind is no less culpable; Asael may have introduced violence and promiscuity, but his human students (and, more specifically, the corrupted women) embraced his teachings so enthusiastically that they in turn caused the fall of his angelic brethren. In either case, human wickedness is catalyzed by some breach in the supernatural sphere, but the polyvalent account of angelic descent in 1 En. 6-11 allows for different understandings of the degree of human responsibility for the evils on the earth.
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