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CHAPTER 4: THE “OTHER BIBLE” WRITINGS AND THE GIANTS

There is no such thing therefore as THE bible; it is selective about its “books” as well as about its interpretations and what passages it will omit. Pick up any common edition and it is highly probable that it will contain the standard works with no mention of the many other, “unaccepted” books. Who excluded them and why, we have already partially answered.  Some editions state they do include “non-canonical” works, but this is not usual and such works are always put in a separate section – as though they do not really belong. The suspicion is that anything (especially in the first few centuries AD), that did  not square with the rest of the Bible narrative,  anything that was  contrary to received wisdom (concerning God) and  the entrenched attitude of the clergy, or mentioned in any way  difficult to explain phenomena, such as the reality of semi-divine beings and heroes, a plurality of godheads and the role of giant creatures – was  not granted entry into  the accepted “Canon”. The unaccepted work is not an inconsiderable body of writing: in fact it exceeds in extent the standard Bible!

THE APOCRYPHA AND THE “CANON”

     The whole problem revolved around the concept of Godhead.  It still does.  The  Jewish historian, Josephus (c. 37AD-100AD) and the philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who was also a Jew, (c. 30BC-40AD) were largely responsible for the establishment of the Canon, their guiding principle (among others) being that a book had to possess a certain objective sacred quality – according to their judgement!  Anything that did not meet this subjective test was rejected. This resulted in some 38 books being “canonised”.
As we have pointed out, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Hebrew versions of the Bible differ; the three  included books which are excluded by the other faiths and vice versa. But there is no doubt that the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) are a collection accepted  in their entirety by the three creeds. This fact is significant for our study since, as we know, it is in the Pentateuch that reference to early giants is made.

The prophets

As we are going on to see what the prophets (or so-called prophets) wrote in the extra-canonical books, we should here say a little about these people. They were basically preachers, not writers though the Scriptures would suggest otherwise. It is generally accepted that the books are the work of followers of the prophets, who usually gave the name of their leader to the works which they themselves had written. Hence the category of literature known as “pseudepigrapha” (false superscription). We may just add here, (because we are sure to meet the term again) that some scholars refer to the apocrypha as “deutero-canonical” books (of secondary significance). To summarise the position, Judaism does not accept the apocryphal books, or the  Greek Septuagint translation (written about the middle of the third century BC) accepting only the Hebrew Bible (the Massoretic text, as we learnt earlier)  whereas the Christian Churches do accept the Greek version.
The Hebrew Bible and its Canon was complete by about 100 AD or soon after, but it has to be realised that the text we have is of comparatively recent date, (probably in about the 10th century AD) and thus far removed from the originals. Very important, especially to the Catholic Church is the Latin translation (known as the Vulgate) made by St Jerome about 400 AD  from Hebrew and Aramaic texts  (Aramaic was replacing Hebrew as a spoken tongue).  Even here, the Protestant Church has attacked the Jerome translation on the grounds that it contained certain variants supportive of Catholic doctrine – a position we have encountered before!  Another position we can state therefore is that all the existing manuscripts have a revised text of one kind or another.
By way of clarification, the word “apocrypha”, a plural word, originally meant books of “hidden” teaching  and as such were not to be read by the common people. One of the traditional criteria for making a decision about a book is whether it contains any prophecy or other authentic mark of inspiration.  Considering what we have said about prophecy and indeed about “authenticity” and “divine inspiration” the ruling does seem open to debate. These apocrypha are only a SELECTION of the books which were added to the Old Testament books, and  which later formed a part of the Greek translation of the Testament. Protestants generally, as Lowther Clarke points out in his CONCISE COMMENTARY (p 629), pay little heed to the apocrypha, (as distinct from Anglicans), while the Roman Catholic Church makes no distinction between Scriptures of the first and second rank: the apocrypha books included in the Vulgate (of St Jerome) now the standard basis for the Catholic Bible, are regarded by this Church as Scripture in the same sense as Genesis is.
However it must be said, apropos the “hidden” definition of the apocrypha, above, that the label may denote the special value of the books which as we know were usually issued under the names of ancient Israeli heroes and prophets; they were kept hidden for a time, and not intended for the general public but only for those worthy enough to read them. The 2nd Book of Esdras (in the apocrypha collection) tells of Ezra dictating to five scribes ninety-four books, twenty-four of which were the OT writings and seventy being for the wise. ” For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom and the river of knowledge.” (14; 46,47).  This clearly indicates that the apocrypha books were valued even more than the writings in the Old Testament!
“My heart poured forth understanding and wisdom increased in my breast,” said Esdras, “and the Most High gave understanding to the five men …and ninety-four books were written. The Most High spoke to me, saying, ‘Make public the twenty-four [OT] books that you wrote first, and let the worthy and the unworthy read them; but keep the seventy that were written last, in order to give them to the wise among your people’.” (2 Esdras, 14: 40-47).

EXISTING BOOKS AND THE GIANTS

     Clearly, many books have been lost. Existing are the following apocryphal/deuterocanonical books (according to the 1995 edition of the NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION) that are in the Roman Catholic Bible: Tobit, Judith, Additions to the Book of Esther, the Wisdom of Solomom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch,  the Letter of Jeremiah, the Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Maccabees 1 and 2; and the following not in the Catholic Bible: Esdras 1 and 2, the Prayer of Manesseh, Psalm 151, Maccabees 3 and 4.  Unfortunately there is no agreement about what constitutes the apocrypha (and the pseudepigrapha/deuterocanonical).  For example, a major work on these texts, such as H.F.D. Sparks’ (editor) THE APOCRYPHAL OLD TESTAMENT (1984) lists a number of works  which are not mentioned in the NRSV, above.

The Book of Jubilees

One of them is Jubilees, written by a Jewish author, in the later centuries BC, i.e. between say 400 and 100 BC.  It is  similar to Genesis and Exodus in the Pentateuch, tending to repeat events in the above books, but is different insofar as it exhibits a keen interest in chronology and the calendar.
The story narrated in Genesis about the birth of giants is repeated almost word for word but there are significant differences. The “sons of God” in Genesis has become “angels of God” in Jubilees; “who begot sons who were giants”. “Lawlessness increased on the earth, and the way of life of every creature became corrupted: men, animals…and they began to devour one another.  Men’s thoughts and inclinations were never anything but evil…God looked on the earth and it was corrupt,,,and all creatures on earth had done every kind of evil…He said he would destroy man and all creatures on the earth…”((5)
Noah and his family escaped the Deluge and later told his grandsons the reason for the catastrophe: “because of the fornication of the Watchers [the so-called guardians of the earth] who contrary to the law of their nature lusted after the daughters of men…and they begot sons…” ((7; 20-21). These sons are given the name “Naphidim” by the writer of Jubilees and “they were all unlike one another, and they devoured one another: one giant son [or his descendants] killed the Naphil [another kind of giant], the Naphil killed the Elioud [another kind], and the Elioud killed human kind, and one man killed another man.” (7; 22-23)
It is notable that Jubilees gives more detail about the giants than does Genesis, although there is no mention of the pre-Flood race of giants, which are as we know called Nephilim (here the post-flood race is referred to as Naphidim (“im” forming the plural of Hebrew words). “After this they sinned against the wild animals…and much blood was shed upon the earth…”  Sinning in this context, and other similar pericopes (passages) no doubt has bestiality in mind.  (7; 24-25)
One of the theories advanced for the origin of demons is that they were fallen angels, or their progeny, and this notion we appear to encounter in chapter 10 of Jubilees where we read of “unclean spirits” leading Noah’s sons astray who told Noah of the demons who were  even blinding and killing his grandsons.  Noah prayed to the Lord saying, “Thou knowest what thy Watchers, the fathers of these spirits did in my day…” confirming belief in the fallen angels as being progenitors of giants
In chapter 20, we read of Abraham calling his sons and grandsons, where, among other things, he tells them “about the judgement of the giants [against them] and the judgement of the Sodomites, how they had been judged because of their wickedness, and had died because of their uncleanness…”

The Book of Enoch

The most significant book outside the canon is undoubtedly that of Enoch whose writings had a wide circulation and were  at one time accepted as Scripture. The Epistle of Jude explicitly mentions Enoch “the seventh from Adam…” He was known to the great early Fathers of the Church, Tertullian, (160-220 AD) Origen (185-254), Jerome (342-420), Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and to the 2nd century anti-Jewish and anti-Christian Roman philosopher, Celsus.  The notable Eastern writer Georgius Syncellus (c 800 AD) in his famous work the “Chronography” gives four major extracts (in Greek) from Enoch.  However, for about a thousand years the book of Enoch dropped out of circulation until its rediscovery in the late eighteenth century. Much light has since then been shed on the Enoch literature especially by the Dead Sea Scrolls which indicate that 1 Enoch at least was known in pre-Christian times. Like many OT “books” the Enoch literature is a composite work attributed to another name,  in this case, that of Enoch.
We recall that Gen 6; 4 refers to the sons of God who had intercourse with the daughters of the people.  1 Enoch, says E. Isaac, in his introduction (Charlesworth, p.9), “transforms this idea into a theology of fallen angels who consorted with women and produced giants who sinned against the people.  They corrupted the people through the instructions in forbidden sciences like making arms, cosmetics, precious metals.  Enoch’s intercession on behalf of the fallen angels fails; he is instructed on the contrary to predict their final doom”.

The Watchers

Book 1 is usually known as “The Book of Watchers” because Syncellus’s extracts were taken from it, and as he said, the first book of Enoch was about the Watchers, which is dated  to about the 3rd century BC. At Qumran (the caves where the scrolls were found) Enoch’s works were apparently copied, some containing the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Giants, (about which we shall say more later) which told the story of the Watchers in detail and foretold their future destruction by Flood water and by fire, and the Book of Dreams. “When sometime in the later third or fourth centuries AD, the Book of Giants fell into disfavour in the Church, perhaps because of its popularity with the Manichees, it was replaced by the Book of Parables; and thus 1 Enoch took its present shape” (Sparks, THE OT APOCRYPHA, p 178).
In chapter 6 of Enoch we have another, perhaps more enlightening version of the Genesis (and Jubilees) story of the seduction (if this was what it was) of human women by the “angels, the sons of heaven” as they are now called. When the angels said that they wanted to beget children, their leader, Semyaza, hesitated, saying to them he feared that he alone would have to pay for the great sin. But the angels all answered, “Let us swear an oath …not to alter this plan but to carry it out effectively”. They swore together and all two hundred came down onto Mount Herman where they bound each other to keep the oath.
They then took “wives” presumably by force and had intercourse with them.  The women became pregnant and had children who grew into giants.  One translation has the following: “and they bore to them three kinds: first large giants, who in turn begat the Naphilim, and to the Naphilim were born the Elioud.  They grew according to their greatness and they taught themselves and their ‘women’ charms and spells.”

Naphidim, Naphilim, Nephilim

Clearly this is very similar to the passage in Jubilees, but where the reference is to “Naphidim”, not “Naphilim” as here, but no doubt this is another example of mistranslation. (Both are not dissimilar to the “Nephilim” of Genesis.) The giant progeny devoured all the toil of men until men were unable to sustain them. The giants then “Turned against men in order to devour (some texts have “kill”) them. They began to sin against all creation and they devoured one another’s flesh and drank the blood from it.  Then the earth complained about the lawless ones.”  (Enoch: 7; 4-6)

Seduction – but by whom?

Much importance is given to the fact that the descended angels taught the women charms and magical spells and other arcane secrets, and showed them the cutting of roots and trees. Understood is the covert meaning that they were shown how to make potions, maybe medicines, and indeed poisons out of the flora.  The men were taught by Azazel, one of the leaders, how to make instruments of battle, swords, daggers, shields and breastplates. He showed them metals and the art of working them and bracelets and ornaments (for the women, as one translation has it). Azazel also showed “the art of making up the eyes and of beautifying the eyelids” and “precious stones and all kinds of coloured dyes”. And “the world was changed…and they all went astray”.  (7; 1-3).  Astrology was also taught, portents [of the earth, sun and moon] and the “path of the moon ” – no doubt soothsaying and divination were involved.  All the leaders of the fallen angels (according to an alternative text) “began to reveal mysteries to their wives and children. After this the giants began to devour the flesh of men”. Men began to decrease on the earth, and “they cried out, complaining about their mistreatment saying that  the remembrance of them should be brought before the Lord”. They pleaded with the Most High, declaring what the leaders had done “how they had taught all iniquity on the earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were made in heaven…”.  The women, they said, had born giants and thereby the earth has been filled with iniquity.(9).
The Lord replied and commanded the angel Raphael to restore the earth “which the angels have ruined…so that not all the sons of men shall be destroyed through the mystery of [knowing] everything which the Watchers made known and taught to their sons”. All the “Watchers” did not desert heaven however as Enoch makes clear in chapter 12, where he speaks of the [just] Watchers addressing him, telling him to inform those Watchers who have left the high heaven …and corrupted themselves with the women…that they will have neither peace nor mercy.

THE WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

“This book,” says Enoch (14), “is the word of righteousness and of reproof for the Watchers who are from eternity …the sons of heaven.” Enoch now experiences a series of visions in which he hears the voice of the Lord. “Say to the Watchers: you ought to petition on behalf of men, not men on behalf of you. Why have you left the holy heaven and become unclean with the daughters of men …and begotten giant sons? You were spiritual, holy, living an eternal life…but you produced flesh…who die…I gave [men] wives …that thus children may be born and deeds done on earth. But you [angels] were formerly spiritual, living an immortal life…I did not arrange wives for you because the dwelling of the spiritual ones is in heaven.  Now the giants who were born from body and flesh will be called evil spirits…and the earth will be their dwelling…from the holy Watchers was their origin.  The spirits of the giants, the Nephilim, do wrong, fight, and cause sorrow.  These spirits will not rise against the sons and daughters of men.  In the days of destruction  and the death of the giants, wherever the souls have gone out from their bodies, their flesh will be destroyed before the judgement…Say to the Watchers  who were formerly in heaven: You were in heaven, but its secrets had not yet been revealed to you and a worthless mystery you knew. This you made known to the women in the hardness of your hearts, and through this mystery the women and the men cause evil to increase on the earth.” A variant translation of the last three sentences gives the following: “And from the time of the slaughter and death of the giant Nephilim, the mighty ones of the earth, the great, famous ones, the spirits that have gone out from their souls as from the flesh, will destroy without judgement”. (1, Enoch: 15; and se3e notes on p. 205, Sparks).  A comment might be that from these giants when they die will proceed evil spirits, that is, demons, living on earth. These demons will not be restrained as the fallen angels are, nor slain like the mortal bodies of the giants. The demons will not be punished until the final judgement, whereas the Watchers are before and again at that judgement.
Later in the account, Enoch is charged with pleading the cause of the fallen Watchers/ angels/ messengers to the Most High but to no avail.

Enoch’s Son of Man

Although not explicitly about giants, there is a passage (chapter 46) of much importance, later, to our theme,  which relates Enoch’s vision concerning the Son of Man (Christ). In this chapter the Son of Man (“whose face had the appearance of a man”) is with the Ancient of Days whose head is white like wool (similar to the description in Dan 7; 9). Enoch is told that the Son of Man is the one who has righteousness, whose purpose is in due time to judge the mighty now on earth.
These “visions” of Enoch are not to be understood as merely creations of the imagination;  it is clear that we are supposed to belief that the patriarch was really in the presence of divine beings who spoke to him.  As Enoch says, in chapter 52, he had left the world for higher planes, “for I had been carried off by a whirlwind and they had brought me to where my eyes saw the secrets of heaven, everything that will occur on earth…”

The tilting of the earth

In chapter 45 occurs a sentence of abstruse meaning but of great moment in the light of future discussion.  It is the first sentence: “In those days Noah saw that THE EARTH HAD TILTED and that its destruction was near” – (my capitals). Noah inquired of Enoch why the earth was so afflicted, and received the repy: “This must be their [earth dwellers] end for they have learnt all the secrets of the angels and all the wrong doing of the satans, and all their secret power and all the power of those who practise magic arts, and the power of enchantments, and the power of those who cast molten images, and further how silver is produced from the dust of the earth, and how other soft metals [gold?] occurs on/in the earth”. They will be destroyed because of the “sorceries” which they have searched out – a telling sentence indeed.
In what Enoch calls his third parable he relates how the angel Michael names the wicked angels: “Yequn, who led astray all the children of the angels of the Lord; Asbeel, who suggested the evil plan; Gadreel, who showed all the deadly blows of warfare to men and led astray Eve; all the weapons of war; Penemue, who showed the bitter and the sweet and all the secrets of wisdom. He taught men the art of writing with pen and paper and through this many have gone astray from eternity to eternity; for men were not created for this, that they should confirm their faith like this with pen and ink, for men were created no differently from the angels, that they might remain righteous and pure, and death would not have touched them but through this knowledge of theirs they are being destroyed…and Kasdeyae, who showed all the evil blows of the spirits and of the demons, and the blows which attack the embryo in the womb so that it miscarries, and the blows which attack the soul…”
The First Book of Enoch (chapter 106) concludes with a very strange story indeed, which must be recounted both for its own sake (in the Enoch context)  and for its undoubted relevance to the origin theories of early humanity, (discussed later in this book).

Lamech’s strange child

Enoch relates how the wife of his grandson, Lamech,   had a child whose “body was white like snow and red like the flower of a rose, and the hair of his head was white like wool …and his eyes were beautiful so that when he opened his eyes he made the whole house bright like the sun, and spoke to the Lord of Righteousness”. Lamech, afraid, fled and went to his father, Methusaleh, saying, “I have begotten a strange grandson; he is not like a man but is like the angels of heaven, not like us. It seems to me he is not sprung from me, but from the angels and I fear him lest something should occur”.  Methusaleh spoke  about this to his father, Enoch who replied,  “This child who has been born to you will be left on the earth [after the flood] and his three sons with him and all the people on earth shall die. These earth dwellers beget giants, not of spirit, but of flesh, and  the earth will be cleansed of all corruption. and now make known that to Lamech the one who has been born is truly his son.  Call his name Noah”.

A Dead Sea Scroll version

It is interesting to compare this account with that given in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Tales of the Patriarchs, 1Qapgen).  The DSS version may be a “rewritten” version of the “Bible” as it was known then.  In the pericope we learn that Lamech, Noah’s father, suspects his new born son may not be his own but rather the offspring of an illicit union between his wife and lustful fallen angels, the Watchers or Nephilim.  The text reads: “Then I decided the conception was at the hands of Watchers. that the seed had been planted by Holy Ones or Nephilim…then I went to my wife…’Have you conceived by one of the Sons of Heaven…Was this birth by the King of Eternity?’ ”  Greatly angered, his wife denied it.

The Second Book of Enoch

The 2nd book of Enoch was  written later than Enoch 1, probably in the second or early third century AD. This book tells how Enoch was greeted by two giant men, with shining faces and burning eyes who took him up to the various heavens. One place of torment had “fierce and cruel angels” who inflicted torments without mercy on sinners.  In the fifth heaven Enoch saw an immense crowd of Watchers who appeared like men but were “bigger than giants” (2 Enoch: 1).   In reply to Enoch’s queries, his two tall guardians told him that “these were Watchers who did not join their brothers in going down to the earth…These Watchers are bewailing their brothers and the punishment laid upon them…” (7). Enoch spoke to them, explaining he had tried to intercede on their (the fallen Watchers) behalf but to no avail.  They remain condemned for ever.  Why therefore mourn for them?  Enoch told the faithful Watchers to serve God, as there was nothing they could do to help their fallen comrades.
Eventually, the Lord sent a darkness on earth and under cover of it, the ministering angel-giants took up Enoch to the highest heaven and the Lord set him before him for ever (See Sparks, p 354).

     We have discussed the Book of Enoch at some length in respect of the giant tradition, because it is, as J. T. Milik says in his THE BOOKS OF ENOCH, one of the most important apocryphal works of the Second Temple period (approximately 250 BC to 70 AD). It has been pointed out that the book is an unmistakable   product of Hellenistic civilisation, displaying an encyclopedic world view that embraced the geography of heaven and earth, astronomy, metereology, medicine  that was no part of Jewish tradition.  David Conway (RITUAL MAGIC) states that in “The Book of Enoch” the arcane wisdom is said to have been betrayed to mankind by fallen angels.
Enoch the man is credited with many achievements, some of them arcane, some more mundane (but remarkable in the historical context).  Among them are the invention of writing, and the art of building, so the following quotation from M. P. Hall, HERMETIC, QUABBALISTIC AND ROSICRUCIAN SYMBOLIC PHILOSOPHY, is apposite, particularly when we come to consider the ideas of Van Daniken and Sitchin.
“In his ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ Josephus writes that Adam had warned his descendants that sinful humanity would be destroyed by a deluge.  In order to preserve their science and philosophy the children of Seth therefor raised two pillars, onoe of brick and one of stone, on which were inscribed the keys to their knowledge. The patriarch Enoch, also consructed an underground temple consisting of nine vaults one beneath the other, placing in the deepest vault a triangular tablet of gold bearing upon it the absolute and ineffable name of Deity.”

OTHER REFERENCES TO GIANTS

     The following description of Adam and Eve occurs in the text known as the “Apocalypse of Abraham”: “I looked into the picture and my eyes ran to the side of the garden of Eden.  I saw there a man, immensely tall, alarmingly solid, such as I had never seen before who was embracing a woman that was the man’s equal both in her appearance and size”. (23; 4) The “picture” was that of  creation shown to Abraham by the “Eternal One”.  Adam and Eve  are  not the only named biblical figures to be  regarded as of giant proportions from the sacred texts. Noah is another.
“The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs”, another Apocryphal book contains an account of the advice Reuben passed on to his sons, which in its misogyny is typical of its age  and genre. (Chapter 5).  It adds to the detail we already have of the birth of the giants.  “Every woman uses wiles…it was thus that they allured the Watchers before the flood; for as a result of seeing them continually the Watchers lusted after them all and they conceived the act in their minds and changed themselves into the shape of men and appeared to the women when they were having intercourse with their husbands.  The women lusting in their minds after seeing their [the Watchers] phantom forms gave birth to giants (for the Watchers seemed so very tall)”. This seems to contradict the texts we have considered earlier, and suggests, (as do paragraphs in Jubilees and the testimony of the twelve patriarchs, see below,)  that the women seduced the angels.

Another Interpretation  of the Birth of the Giants

Clearly this is a different explanation for the birth of giants: the act of procreation was not actually performed by the Watchers but by magical or demoniac/supernatural power they were able to effect their will upon the women.
Also in the “Twelve Patriarchs”, in the Testament of Judah where Judah  tells of his feats of courage, he relates how he killed king Achor “one of the giants who was shooting arrows …and our father Jacob killed Beelisas, the leader of the kings, a giant in strength and eighteen feet in height…” As always in the biblical wars,  an angel “of might”  followed, so that the underdog “should not be overcome”. (3)  “The Psalms of Solomon” refers to “the daughter of Jerusalem”  who were profane “Because they had defiled themselves in unnatural intercourse”. In “The Testament of Solomon” (5), Solomon relates a conversation he had with Asmodeus, a demon who says,  “You are a man’s son and I am an angel’s (though born of a man’s daughter,,,[I am] a member of the heavenly race  and you [mankind] may worship us as gods..” Later. in (12) Solomon tells of “an anonymous lascivious spirit of a giant slaughtered in the time of the giants…”  This time of the giants flourished “when God brought the flood on the earth” as the angel said to Baruch (in “The Greek Apocalypse of Baruch”)  when God destroyed mankind and “four hundred and nine thousand giants…” (Baruch, 4). In Baruch also are the lines (3; 19-26); in Israel:

“There were the giants born that were famous of old
Great of stature, and expert in war
These did not God choose
Neither gave he the way of knowledge unto them;
So they perished because they had no wisdom
They perished through their own foolishness”.

In “The Book of Judith” is related the hymn of thanksgiving for the destruction of Israel’s Assyrian enemies:
“The Lord Almighty has foiled them by the hand of a woman
For the mighty ones did not fall  by young men
Nor did the sons of the Titans strike them down,
Nor did tall giants set upon them;
But Judith with the beauty of her countenance undid them”.

     The High-Priest, Simon, addresses the Lord (in 3 Maccabees, 2; 4), “You destroyed those who in the past committed injustice among whom were even giants who trusted in their strength and boldness, whom you destroyed by bringing on them a boundless flood”.  In “The Wisdom of Solomon” we are told that people trust their lives when drowning to the smallest piece of wood: “For even in the beginning when arrogant giants were perishing, the hope of the world took refuge on a raft…”.

Belief in giant beings

In many of the “uncanonical” books therefore, (to say nothing of the canonical ones), it can readily be seen that references to giants by the various writers were quite common: it is clear that the existence of giant beings in past times  was firmly believed in.
There is an enlightening note (p. 873) by R. Doran in Charlesworth’s PSEUDEPIGRAPHA on the difficulties facing an eminent biblical scholar (Freudenthal) in his interpretation of the fragmentary book, “Pseudo-Eupolemus” (written prior to the 1st century BC). In comparing two texts, Freudenthal adduced they were by the same author based on certain similarities.  (One fragment traces the lineage of Abraham back to the giants.) The similarities were: the building of the tower [of Babel] was done (in both cases) by giants; Abraham is clearly connected with the giants (in both). Other biblical scholars have disagreed, alleging that in one of the texts the giants escape the flood, build the tower, and are dispersed over the earth when God destroys the tower. In the other however, the tower is built after the gods have destroyed most of the giants. Moreover, “it is not unreasonable that the building of the tower be associated with giants”, says R. Doran in his introduction to Pseudo-Eupolemus (p. 874). “The Septuagint of Genesis 10; 8, has Nimrod as a giant in the region of Babel and Shinar where the tower is built, (Gen 11; 2-4).”

     In this chapter we have seen some of the allusions to (and accounts of) the ancient giants, mainly in the apocryphal or not generally accepted books of the Bible. For more evidence we shall next look at what such eminent early Jewish writers such as Philo of Alexandria and Josephus had to say, mention the Book of Revelation, that great concluding book of the New Testament, see the evidence presented by other pseudonymous biblical books – and especially the Book of the Giants, a very little known text about Enoch, at least before the discoveries in the Qumran caves in 1947.

© A.B. Finlay Ph.D