Topics of Angelic Teaching

The instruction motif also serves a more mundane etiological function, helping to explain how specific types of knowledge and skills first came to be adopted by humankind.31 Although modern scholars have tended to focus on the Book of the Watchers' etiology of evil, the precise topics of angelic instruction prove no less significant for our understanding of 1 En. 6-11. On the one hand, the choice of topics helps to illumine the concerns of its authors/redactors and original audience. On the other hand, they open the way for later interpreters to use the angelic descent myth to critique a variety of practices in their own times, ranging from "magic" and divination, to polytheism, philosophy, and feminine vanity.

In 1 En. 6-11, the Watchers teach three types ofknowledge: [1 ] cultural arts connected to metalworking and ornamentation (8:1-2), [ 2 ] magical skills such as sorcery and pharmacology (7:1 cd; 8:3ab), and [3 ] divination from cosmo-logical phenomena (8:3 c-g). Each category raises its own complex of issues, which resonate in different ways with biblical, Second Temple Jewish, and Greco-Roman traditions about the dawn of human civilization, the perceived

31 Molenberg downplays the etiological function of these stories and highlights their typological function ("Study," 145), and Suter sees a tension between "the etiological possibilities of the myth" and "its paradigmatic function" ("Fallen Angel," 132-33). In my view, these functions need not be conflicting or mutually exclusive.

value of these practices, and the relationship between human and divine knowledge.

The first category covers skills commonly seen to be emblematic of human civilization. Above, we noted how 1 En. 8:1 -2 uses Asael's teachings of metalworking and cosmetology to explain the spread of violence and promiscuity among antediluvian men and women as results of their eager adoption of weapons, jewelry, and cosmetics. Dimant offers the intriguing suggestion that this description of illicit angelic instruction may also be linked to an early articulation of the Noachide Commandments. In her view, the topics of Asael's teachings evoke the paradigmatic sins of idolatry, murder, and fornication -three sins often found among Rabbinic lists of the commandments that are binding for Gentiles (e.g., b.Sanh. 56a-57a; Gen.Rab. 34:8).32

Dimant's hypothesis fits well with some of the later interpretations of angelic descent (e.g., Jub. 7:20-21), but it falls short, in my view, as an explanation for the topics of instruction in 1 En. 8:1 -2. Even though the arts of metal-working are closely linked to the sin of idolatry in biblical and postbiblical texts,33 it remains that 1 En. 6-11 makes no mention of idolatry or worship of any sort; knowledge of metalworking is here used only for weapons and jewelry (8:i).34

For exploring how 1 En. 8:1 -2 functions as an etiology of metalworking and cosmetics, the comparison with Rabbinic traditions is perhaps less helpful than the parallels in the Torah and in Hellenistic tradition. When viewed in these contexts, the description of Asael as introducing technological skills to humankind evokes a poignantly ambivalent attitude towards the emergence of human civilization. Nickelsburg, for instance, suggests that 1 En. 8:1 -2 may reflect interpretation of Gen 4:22-24, aimed at explaining exactly how Tubal-Cain learned to "forge all instruments of bronze and iron" (4:22). Even if such a direct exegetical origin is speculative, it is significant that the tainted etiology of metalworking and cosmetology in 1 En. 8:1 -2 expresses a view of civilization similar to that of Genesis, which critiques human learning by depicting the sons of Cain as the culture-heroes who invented metalworking, city-building, cattle-herding, and music.

We find a similar notion of human history as a progressive decline from blessed primitivism in Greco-Roman mythological and historical traditions.35

33 E.g. Isa 2:20; 31:7; Jer 10:4; Ezek 7:19; Hos 8:4; Wisd 13:10.

34 The only explicit link between the fallen angels and idolatry occurs in 1 En. 19:1 (see below);

even there, we find no connection with metalworking.

35 Most famously, Hesiod, Op. 109-201; see Lovejoy and Boas, Primitivism, esp. 24-31; Blundell,

Origins, esp. 105.

These parallels raise the possibility that 1 En. 6-11 drew not only from biblical literature, but also from the Hellenistic culture of its time. A number of scholars have suggested that the Asael tradition was influenced directly by Greek myths about Prometheus.36 Asael and Prometheus both rebel against heaven and introduce skills to humankind. As punishment, both are bound. Moreover, Prometheus Bound includes the mining of "copper, iron, silver, and gold" (500) amongst Prometheus' teaching of "every art possessed by man"

David Suter, for instance, argues that 1 En. 8:1 -2 is a deliberate "allusion to Greek mythology" that expresses "both knowledge of and disapproval of Hellenistic culture."37 Consistent with his theory that 1 En. 6-16 reflects the allegorical identification of fallen angels with impure priests,38 he notes that priests were commonly teachers of knowledge; he thus proposes that this allusion was intended to critique the (mostly priestly) Jerusalem aristocracy who were responsible for "the Hellenization of Jerusalem society in the third century bce."39

To be sure, both the notion of wayward angelic pedagogues and the specific topics of their instruction recall the ambivalent culture-heroes of Greek mythology, and this connection proves critical for understanding 1 En. 6-11. Yet such traditions are simply so diffuse that thematic parallels need not suggest direct dependence on a specific text, let alone a deliberate allusion to Hellenism.40 In a recent article, Fritz Graf has surveyed the numerous traditions about the supernatural origins of metallurgical and magical knowledge in the literature of the Greco-Roman world (including Jewish writings such as the Book of the Watchers); due to the quantity and diffusion of these traditions, he concludes that their common features reflect, above all, "the eastern Mediterranean literary Koine."41

When 1 En. 6-11 is placed in its broader context, it seems improbable that specific Greek parallels can explain the precise origins of the instruction motif.

36 Bartelemus, Heroentum, 161 -66; Nickelsburg, "Apocalyptic and Myth," 399, 403; idem, Commentary, 191 -93, Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, 190.

37 Suter, "Fallen Angel," 115, 132-33.

38 Nickelsburg ("Enoch, Levi," 584-87) and Tigchelaar (Prophets, 195-203) make similar points, but only in the case of 1 En. 12-16. In my view, their arguments better fit the textual evidence.

39 Suter, "Fallen Angel," 134-35.

40 The same critique can be leveled against Bauckham's view that, already in BW, "the pagan culture-hero is demoted to the role of fallen angels" and that this is "a polemical move intended to trace the whole of pagan culture back to an evil origin" ("Fall," 316). This is certainly true for the early Christian apologists who are the focus of his article, but these later attitudes are not readily retrojected into the third century bce.

41 Graf, "Mythical," 322.

Nevertheless, such parallels can help us to recover the matrix of cultural connotations therein presupposed. For instance, some scholars of early Judaism have found it puzzling that 1 En. 8 includes a seemingly beneficial civilized art such as metalworking alongside more socially marginal practices such as sorcery and divination.42 The lists of Prometheus' teachings in Prometheus Bound are instructive in this regard: divination, pharmacology, and metallurgy are treated as a single complex (484-500). Moreover, a similar set of teachings are associated with the Idaean Dactyls. Diodorus Siculus attributes an etiology of sorcery, mystery rites, and metallurgy to the fourth-century bce Ephorus of Cyme in which the Dactyls are "sorcerers, who practiced charms and initiatory rites and mysteries" and who teach humankind about the "use of fire and what the metals copper and iron are, as well as the means of working them" (5.64.4-5; also Pliny, Nat. 7.61).43 In attributing the introduction of metalworking, cosmetics, sorcery, and divination to Asael and other Watchers, 1 En. 8 may reflect a shared set of cultural connotations, in which the mining of metals is seen as a mysterious and paradigmatically hubristic human activity (so too Job 28). This complex may help to explain the inclusion of cosmetology, since this discipline involved a manipulation of chemicals akin to pharmacology. Even as 1 En. 8:2 implies a critique of female vanity as an emblem of humanity's civilized decline, it may ground its plausibility in the widespread suspicion of chemical skills in Greco-Roman culture.

Whereas the teachings of the fallen angel Asael highlight the corrupting power of the knowledge that shaped human civilization, the other topics of illicit angelic instruction in 1 En. 6-11 invoke categories of wisdom explicitly forbidden in the Torah (esp. Deut 18:9-i4). Just as the text attributes the human discovery of spells and sorcery to the teachings of Semihazah, Hermoni, and other Watchers, so the transgressive nature of these angelic but fallen culture-heroes resonates meaningfully with the marginalization of such practices in the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism, and Hellenistic culture. Greek mythology, for instance, often associates the invention/discovery of sorcery and spells with marginal figures, such as Dactyls and daimones, who stand precariously perched on the border between human and divine.44 Likewise, the etiology of sorcery and pharmacology in 1 En. 6-11 aptly depicts these skills as wrongly

42 E.g., Newsom, "Development," 314,320-21.

43 Graf, "Mythical," 322-28.

44 Gordon, "Imagining," 178-81; Burkert, Greek Religion, 179-81; Ferguson, Demonology,

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