Notes from the Books of Ysrael. From Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis By Robert Graves and Raphael Patai


Chapter 18 p. 100-107

(a) By the tenth generation, Adam's race had hugely increased. Lacking female company, the angels known as "Sons of God" found wives among the lovely Daughters of Men. The children of their unions would have inherited eternal life from their father, but that God had decreed: "Let not My spirit abide in flesh for ever! Henceforth the years of man are limited to one hundred and twenty."

(b) These new creatures were giants, known as "the Fallen Ones," whose evil ways decided God to wipe from the face of the earth all men and women, with their gigantic corruptors.

Genesis 6:1-7

(c) The Sons of God were sent down to teach mankind truth and justice; and for three hundred years did indeed teach Cain's son Enoch all the secrets of Heaven and Earth.

Later, however, they lusted after mortal women and defiled themselves by sexual intercourse. Enoch has recorded not only their divine instructions, but also their subsequent fall from grace; before the end they were indiscriminately enjoying virgins, matrons, men, and beasts. From Source

Jubilees 4:15-22

Jubilees 5:1

Genesis 24

(d) Some say that Shemhazai and Azael, two angels in God's confidence, asked: "Lord of the Universe, did we not warn You on the Day of Creation that man would prove unworthy of Your world?" God replied: "But if I destroy man, what will become of My world?" They answered: "We shall inhabit it." God answered:

"Yet upon descending to earth, will you not sin even worse than man?"

They pleaded: "Let us dwell there awhile, and we will sanctify Your name!" God allowed them to descend, but they were at once overcome by lust for Eve's daughters,

Shemhazai begeting on them two monstrous sons named Hiwa and Hiya, each of whom daily ate a thousand camels, a thousand horses and a thousand oxen.

Azael also invented the ornaments and cosmetics employed by women to lead men astray.

God therefore warned them that He would set loose the Upper Waters, and thus destroy all men and beasts. Shemhaza wept bitterly, fearing for his sons who, though tall enough to escape drowning, would starve to death.

(e) That night, Hiwa dreamed of a huge rock above the earth, like a table-top, and having a legend inscribed on it which an angel scraped off with a knife, leaving only four letters.

Hiya also dreamed: of a fruitful orchard, and of other angels felling it until only a singe three-branched tree remained. They told their dream to Shemhazai, who replied: "Your dream, Hiya, signifies that God's Deluge will destroy all mankind, except Noah and his three sons.

Nevertheless, be comforted, for Hiwa's dream signifies that your fame, at least, will never die: whenever Noah's descendants hew stones, quarry rocks or haul boats, they will shout, "Hiwa, Hiya!" in your honour."

See Alexander Hislop

(f) Afterwards Shemhazai repented, and set himself in the southern sky, between Heaven and Earth - head, down, feet up, and hangs there to this day: the constellation called Orion by the Greeks. All of these stories build upon ancient traditions. For instance,

Harut and Marut: in Islamic mythology, two angels who unwittingly became masters of evil. A group of angels, after observing the sins being committed on earth, began to ridicule man's weakness.

God declared that they would act no better under the same circumstances and proposed that some angels be sent to earth to see how well they could resist idolatry, murder, fornication, and wine. No sooner did Harut and Marut, the angels chosen, alight on earth than they were seduced by a beautiful woman.

Then, discovering that there was a witness to their sin, they killed him. The angels in heaven were then forced to admit that God was indeed right, whereas the fallen angels faced atonement for their sins either on earth or in hell.

Harut and Marut chose to be punished on earth and were condemned to hang by their feet in a well in Babylonia until the Day of Judgment.

Harut and Marut are first mentioned in the Qur'an (2:102) as two angels purveying evil in Babylon, and the legend probably appeared to explain how they happened to be in that position. The story itself parallels a Jewish legend about the fallen angels Shemhazai, 'Uzza, and 'Aza'el. The names Harut and Marut appear to be etymologically related to those of Haruvatat and Ameretat, Zoroastrian archangels.

(g) Azael, however, far from repenting,

still offers women ornaments and many-colored robes with which to lead men astray.

For this reason, on the Day of Atonement, Israel's sins are heaped on the annual scapegoat; it is then thrown over a cliff to Azazel - as some call Azael.

See Nadab and Abihu. After they rushed into the Holy places and burned incense it was a STRANGE ritual and STRANGE. The word indicates that they repeated one of their ancient pagan rituals.

After this God caused moses to institute the DAY OF ATONEMENT to atone even for the Tabernacle. The scapegoat was sent away. It was a sacrifice to Azael or the devil to forever teach the folly of Nadab and Abihu.

In the modern celebrations of Jubilee a fundamental element is to define the scapegoat and attempt to "send him away" while the keynoter climbs to the top of the mountain. Catholics claim that the Jubilee has as its fundamental meaning, the Atonement for sin.

(h) Others say that certain angels asked God's permission to collect sure proof of man's iniquity, and thus assure his punishment. When God agreed, they turned themselves into precious stones, pearls, purple dye, gold and other treasures, which were at once stolen by covetous men. They then took human shape, hoping to teach mankind righteousness. But this asumption of flesh made them subject to human lusts: being seduced by the Daughters of Men, they found themselves chained to Earth, unable to resume their spiritual shapes.


The Clementine Homilies, 8:11-17 (pp. 142-45). The Homilies are an early 3rd cent. A.D. Christian tract, written probably in Syria. However, they represent the universal theme that Satan's primary weapon to silence the Word of God has been and is musical rituals:


Chapter XI.-Cause of the Fall of Man.

"But they, because they had at first no experience of evils, being insensible to the gift of good things, were turned to ingratitude by abundance of food and luxuries, so that they even thought that there is no Providence,

since they had not by previous labour got good things as the reward of righteousness, inasmuch as no one of them had fallen into any suffering or disease, or any other necessity; so that, as is usual for men afflicted on account of wicked transgression, they should look about for the God who is able to heal them.

But immediately after their despite, which proceeded from fearlessness and secure luxury, a certain just punishment met them,

as following from a certain arranged harmony,

removing from them good things as having hurt them, and introducing evil things instead, as advantageous.

Chapter XII.-Metamorphoses of the Angels.

"For of the spirits who inhabit the heaven, the angels who dwell in the lowest region, being grieved at the ingratitude of men to God, asked that they might come into the life of men, that, really becoming men, by more intercourse they

might convict those who had acted ungratefully towards Him,

and might subject every one to adequate punishment.

When, therefore, their petition was granted, they metamorphosed themselves into every nature; for, being of a more godlike substance, they are able easily to assume any form.

So they became precious stones, and goodly pearl, and the most beauteous purple, and choice gold, and all matter that is held in most esteem. And they fell into the hands of some, and into the bosoms of others, and suffered themselves to be stolen by them.

They also changed themselves into beasts and reptiles, and fishes and birds, and into whatsoever they pleased.

These things also the poets among yourselves,

by reason of fearlessness, sing, as they befell, attributing to one the many and diverse doings of all.

Chapter XIII.-The Fall of the Angels.

"But when, having assumed these forms, they convicted as covetous those who stole them, and changed themselves into the nature of men, in order that, living holily, and showing the possibility of so living, they might subject the ungrateful to punishment, yet having become in all respects men, they also partook of human lust, and being brought tinder its subjection they fell into cohabitation with women; [Comp. Recognitions, i. 30.] and being involved with them,

and sunk in defilement and altogether emptied of their first power,

were unable to turn back to the first purity of their proper nature, their members turned away from their fiery substance: for the fire itself, being extinguished by the weight of lust,

and changed into flesh, they trode the impious path downward. For they themselves, being fettered with the bonds of flesh, were constrained and strongly bound;

wherefore they have no more been able to ascend into the heavens.

Chapter XIV.-Their Discoveries.

"For after the intercourse, being asked to show what they were before, and being no longer able to do so, on account of their being unable to do aught else after their defilement, yet wishing to please their mistresses, instead of themselves,

they showed the bowel (marrow) of the earth; I mean, the choice metals, [flowers of metal] gold, brass, silver, iron, and the like, with all the most precious stones.

And along with these charmed stones, they delivered the arts of the things pertaining to each, and imparted the discovery of magic, and taught astronomy,

and the powers of roots, and whatever was impossible to be found out by the human mind; also the seeking of gold and silver, and the like, and the various dyeing of garments. And all things, in short,

which are for the adornment and delight of women, are the discoveries of these demons bound in flesh.

Chapter XV.-The Giants.

"But from their unhallowed intercourse spurious men sprang, greater in stature than ordinary men, whom they afterwards called giants; not those dragon-footed giants who waged war against God, as those blasphemous myths of the Greeks do sing,

but wild in manners, and greater than men in size, inasmuch as they were sprung of angels; yet less than angels, as they were born of women.

Therefore God, knowing that they were barbarized to brutality, and that the world was not sufficient to satisfy them (for it was created according to the proportion of men and human use), that they might not through want of food turn, contrary to nature, to the eating of animals, and yet seem to be blameless, as having ventured upon this through necessity,

the Almighty God rained manna upon them, suited to their various tastes; and they enjoyed all that they would. But they, on account of their bastard nature, not being pleased with purity of food, longed only after the taste of blood. Wherefore they first tasted flesh.

Chapter XVI.-Cannibalism.

"And the men who were with them there for the first time were eager to do the like. Thus, although we are born neither good nor bad, we become one or the other; and having formed habits, we are with difficulty drawn from them. But when irrational animals fell short, these bastard men tasted also human flesh. For it was not a long step to the consumption of flesh like their own, having first tasted it in other forms.

Chapter XVII.-The Flood.

"But by the shedding of much blood, the pure air being defiled with impure vapour, and sickening those who breathed it, rendered them liable to diseases, so that thenceforth men died prematurely. But the earth being by these means greatly defiled, these first teemed with poison-darting and deadly creatures. All things, therefore, going from bad to worse, on account of these brutal demons, God wished to cast them away like an evil leaven, lest each generation from a wicked seed, being like to that before it, and equally impious, should empty the world to come of saved men.

And for this purpose, having warned a certain righteous man, [Comp. Recognitions, vi. 12] with his three sons, together with their wives and their children, to save themselves in an ark,

He sent a deluge of water, that all being destroyed, the purified world might be handed over to him who was saved in the ark, in order to a second beginning of life. And thus it came to pass.

Chapter XVIII.-The Law to the Survivors.

"Since, therefore, the souls of the deceased giants were greater than human souls, inasmuch as they also excelled their bodies, they, as being a new race, were called also by a new name. And to those who survived in the world a law was prescribed of God through an angel, how they should live.

For being bastards in race, of the fire of angels and the blood of women, and therefore liable to desire a certain race of their own, they were anticipated by a certain righteous law. For a certain angel was sent to them by God, declaring to them His will, and saying:-

Chapter XIX.-The Law to the Giants or Demons.

"These things seem good to the all-seeing God, that you lord it over no man; that you trouble no one,

unless any one of his own accord subject himself to you, worshipping you, and sacrificing and pouring libations, and partaking of your table, or accomplishing aught else that they ought not, or shedding blood, or tasting dead flesh, or filling themselves with that which is torn of beasts, or that which is cut, or that which is strangled, or aught else that is unclean.

But those who betake themselves to my law, you not only shall not touch, but shall also do honour to, and shall flee from, their presence. For whatsoever shall please them, being just, respecting you, that you shall be constrained to suffer.

But if any of those who worship me go astray, either committing adultery, or practising magic, or living impurely, or doing any other of the things which are not well-pleasing to me, then they will have to suffer something at your hands or those of others, according to my order.

But upon them, when they repent, I, judging of their repentance, whether it be worthy of pardon or not, shall give sentence. These things, therefore, ye ought to remember and to do,

well knowing that not even your thoughts shall be able to be concealed from Him.'

Chapter XX.-Willing Captives.

"Having charged them to this effect, the angel departed. But you are still ignorant of this law,

that every one who worships demons, or sacrifices to them, or partakes with them of their table,

shall become subject to them and receive all punishment from them, as being under wicked lords. And you who, on account of ignorance of this law, have been corrupted beside their altars, and have been satiated with food offered to them,

have come under their power, and do not know how you have been in every way injured in respect of your bodies.

But you ought to know that the demons have no power over any one, unless first he be their table-companion; since not even their chief can do anything contrary to the law imposed upon them by God,

wherefore he has no power over any one who does not worship him; but neither can any one receive from them any of the things that he wishes, nor in anything be hurt by them, as you may learn from the following statement.

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 1Co.10:20

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lords table, and of the table of devils. 1Co.10:21

See what happened at Mount Sinai.

Recognitions of Clement Book IV Entire Book

Chapter XII.-Translation of Enoch.

"But that He might show that these things were done on account of the ungrateful, He translated to immortality a certain one of the first race of men,

because He saw that he was not unmindful of His grace, and because he hoped to call on the name of God;

while the rest, who were so ungrateful that they could not be amended and corrected even by labours and tribulations, were condemned to a terrible death.

Yet amongst them also He found a certain one, who was righteous with his house, whom He preserved, having enjoined him to build an ark, in which he and those who were commanded to go with him might escape, when all things should be destroyed by a deluge: in order that, the wicked being cut off by the overflow of waters, the world might receive a purification; and he who had been preserved for the continuance of the race, being purified by water, might anew repair the world.

Chapter XIII.-Origin of Idolatry.

"But when all these things were done, men turned again to impiety; and on this account a law was given by God to instruct them in the manner of living.

But in process of time, the worship of God and righteousness were corrupted by the unbelieving and the wicked, as we shall show more fully by and by.

Moreover, perverse and erratic religions were introduced, to which the greater part of men gave themselves up, by occasion of holidays and solemnities, instituting drinkings and banquets,

following pipes, and flutes, and harps, and diverse kinds of musical instruments, and indulging themselves in all kinds of drunkenness and luxury.

Hence every kind of error took rise; hence they invented groves and altars, fillets and victims, and after drunkenness they were agitated as if with mad emotions.

By this means power was given to the demons to enter into minds of this sort, so that they seemed to lead insane dances and to rave like Bacchanalians; hence were invented the gnashing of teeth, and bellowing from the depth of their bowels; hence a terrible countenance and a fierce aspect in men, so that he whom drunkenness had subverted and a demon had instigated,

was believed by the deceived and the erring to be filled with the Deity.


HADHRAT Abdullah Ibn Abbaas (Radiallaahu Anhu) narrates the following Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi was sallam): "Iblis, the accursed one petitioned Allah Ta'ala "O my Rabb! You have sent down Aadam (Alayhi salaam) onto the earth and You know that for him will be sent Revelations and Messengers. What will be his Books and how will be his Messengers?"

Allah Ta'ala replied: "I will send Angels to them (progeny of Adam) and from them (mankind) will raise Messengers. Their revelations will be the Tauraah, Injeel, Zabur and the Quraan.

Iblis said: "What will be my book?"

The Divine Answer came:

"Your writing will be to tattoo;
your reciting will be poetry;
your messengers will be the fortune-tellers and astrologists;
your food will be that food on which Bismillaah was not recited;
your drink will be alcohol;
your truth will be falsehood;
you home will be the toilets;
your net (to ensnare) will be women;
your muezzin will be the musical instruments,
and your musjid will be the market-place."

Bismillaah. In the name of Allah. All actions of a Muslim should begin with Bismillaah to ensure good and meritorious conduct.

Muezzin calls out the daily prayer.

This muttering or whispering or hissing is inherent in the "serpent" which tempted Eve. In all of the traditions, the tempter was a magician who performed his most seductive work with the magical sound of tinkling brass, the tinkling of cymbals, or the hissing ot brass wind instruments. This is why he attacked Eve first:

Nachash (5175) naw-khawsh'; from 5172; a snake (from its hiss): - serpent.

Naschown (h5177) nakh-shone'; from 5172; enchanter; Nachshon, an Isr.: - Naashon, Nahshon.

Nachash (h5172) naw-khash'; a prim. root; prop. to hiss, i. e. whisper a (magic) spell; gen. to prognosticate: - * certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) * enchantment, learn by experience, * indeed, diligently observe.

Nachuwsh (h5153) naw-khoosh'; appar. pass. part. of 5172 (perh. in the sense of ringing, i. e. bell-metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent [5175, as denom.] when hissing); coppery, i. e. (fig.) hard: - of brass.

Nechiylah (h5155) nekh-ee-law'; prob. denom. from 2485; a flute: - [plur.] Nehiloth.


also spelled SHEITAN, Arabic SHAYTAN, in Islamic myth, an unbelieving class of jinn ("spirits"); it is also the name of Iblis, the devil, when he is performing demonic acts. In the system of evil jinn outlined by the Arab writer al-Jahiz, the shaitans are identified simply as unbelieving jinn. Folklore, however, describes them as exceptionally ugly creatures, either male or female, capable of assuming human form--though their feet always remain hooves. They eat excrement and use disease as their weapon and are said to exist on the borderline between light and darkness. Indian and Syrian shaitans are described as the strongest of their class.

The exact nature of the shaitans, however, is difficult to determine. Historically, among the pre-Islamic Arabs,

they functioned as familiars, or Greek demons,
providing inspiration for soothsayers and poets.

In the stories of Solomon, the shaitans seem to be no more than particularly knowledgeable jinn. In the Qur'an, however, they assume the role of devil, an obvious borrowing from Judaic tradition. While they are not necessarily evil, they belong to the hordes commanded by Iblis, the devil, who is also called in Arabic ash-Shaytan.

He and the shaitans whisper evil suggestions into men's ears but have no real power over men. It is said that they are as close to men as their blood, but the shaitans can only tempt, and their success depends on their ingenuity. See also jinni; Iblis. (Britannica)

Chapter XIV.-God Both Good and Righteous.

"Hence, since so many false and erratic religions have been introduced into the world, we have been sent, as good merchants, bringing unto you the worship of the true God, handed down from the fathers, and preserved;

as the seeds of which we scatter these words amongst you, and place it in your choice to choose what seems to you to be right.

For if you receive those things which we bring you, you shall not only be able yourselves to escape the incursions of the demon, but also to drive them away from others;

and at the same time you shall obtain the rewards of eternal good things.

But those who shall refuse to receive those things which are spoken by us, shall be subject in the present life to diverse demons and disorders of sicknesses, and their souls after their departure from the body shall be tormented for ever.

For God is not only good, but also just;

for if He were always good, and never just to render to every one according to his deeds, goodness would be found to be injustice.

For it were injustice if the impious and the pious were treated by Him alike.

Chapter XV.-How Demons Get Power Over Men.

"Therefore demons, as we have just said, when once they have been able, by means of opportunities afforded them, to convey themselves through base and evil actions into the bodies of men, if they remain in them a long time through their own negligence, because they do not seek after what is profitable to their souls,

they necessarily compel them for the future to fulfil the desires of the demons who dwell in them.

But what is worst of all, at the end of the world, when that demon shall be consigned to eternal fire,

of necessity the soul also which obeyed him, shall with him be tortured in eternal fires, together with its body which it hath polluted.

Chapter XVI.-Why They Wish to Possess Men.

"Now that the demons are desirous of occupying the bodies of men, this is the reason. They are spirits baring their purpose turned to wickedness. Therefore by immoderate eating and drinking, and lust, they urge men on to sin, but only those who entertain the purpose of sinning, who,

while they seem simply desirous of satisfying the necessary cravings of nature,

give opportunity to the demons to enter into them, because through excess they do not maintain moderation.

For as long as the measure of nature is kept, and legitimate moderation is preserved, the mercy of God does not give them liberty to enter into men. But when either the mind falls into impiety, or the body is filled with immoderate meat or drink, then,

as if invited by the will and purpose of those who thus neglect themselves,

they receive power as against those who have broken the law imposed by God.

Chapter XVII.-The Gospel Gives Power Over Demons.

"You see, then, how important is the acknowledgment of God, and the observance of the divine religion, which not only protects those who believe from the assaults of the demon, but also gives them command over those who rule over others. And therefore it is necessary for you, who are of the Gentiles, to betake yourselves to God, and to keep yourselves from all uncleanness, that the demons may be expelled, and God may dwell in you

And at the same time, by prayers, commit yourselves to God, and call for His aid against the impudence of the demons; for whatever things ye ask, believing, ye shall receive.'

But even the demons themselves, in proportion as they see faith grow in a man, in that proportion they depart from him, residing only in that part in which something of infidelity still remains; but from those who believe with full faith, they depart without any delay.

For when a soul has come to the faith of God, it obtains the virtue of heavenly water, by which it extinguishes the demon like a spark of fire.

Also Enoch 6-8; 69; 106


(i) The Fallen Ones had such huge appetites that God rained manna upon them, of many different flavours, lest they might be tempted to eat flesh, a forbidden diet, and excuse the fault by pleading scarcity of corn and pot herbs. Nevertheless, the Fallen Ones rejected God's manna, slaughtered animals for food, and even dined on human flesh, thus fouling the air with sickly vapours. It was then that God decided to cleanse Earth.

(j) Others say that Shemhazai and Azael were seduced by the demonesses Naamah, Agrat daughter of Mahlat, and Lilith who had once been Adam's spouse.

(k) In those days only one virgin, Istahar by name, remained chaste. When the sons of God made lecherous demands upon her, she cried:

"First lend me your wings!" They assented and she, flying up to Heaven, took sanctuary at the Throne of God, who transformed her into the constellation Virgo - or, some say, the Pleiades.

The fallen angels having lost their wings, were stranded on earth until, many generations later, they mounted Jacob's ladder and thus went home again.

(l) The wise and virtuous Enoch also ascended to Heaven, where he became God's chief counsellor, henceforth known as "Metatron." God set His own crown upon Enoch's head, and gave him seventy-two wings as well as multitudinous eyes. His flesh was transformed into flame, his sinews into fire, his bones into embers, his eyes into torches, his hair into rays of light, and he was surrounded by storm, whirlwind, thunder and lightning.

(m) Some say that the Sons of God won that name because the divine light out of which God had created their ancestor Samael, Cain's father, shone from their faces.

The Daughters of Men, they say, were the children of Seth, whose father was Adam, not an angel; and their faces therefore resembled our own.

(n) Others, however, make the Sons of God pious descendants of Seth, and the Daughters of Men sinful descendants of Cain - explaining that when Abel died childless, mankind soon divided into two tribes; namely the Cainites who, apart from Enoch, where wholly evil, and the Sethites who were wholly righteous.

These Sethites inhabited a sacred mountain in the far north, near the Cave of Treasure - some take it for Mount Hermon.

The Cainites lived apart in a valley to the westward. Adam, on his deathbed, ordered Seth to separate his tribe from the Cainites; and each Sethite patriarch publicly repeated this order, generation after generation.

The Sethites were extraordinarily tall, like their ancestor; and by living so close to the Gate of Paradise, won the name "Children of God."

(o) Many Sethites took celibate vows, following Enoch's example, and led the lives of anchorites.

By way of contrast, the Cainites practised unbridled debauchery, each keeping at least two wives: the first to bear children, the second to gratify his lust.

The child-bearer lived in poverty and neglect, as thougn a widow;

the other was forced to drink a potion that made her barren - after which, decked out like a harlot, she entertained her husband luxuriously.

And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Gen 4:19

And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. Gen 4: 20

And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle (handle=without authority) the harp and organ. Gen 4: 21

And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. Gen 4: 22

Nechosheth (h5178) nekh-o'-sheth; for 5154; copper; hence, something made of that metal, i. e. coin, a fetter; fig. base (as compared with gold or silver): - brasen, brass, chain, copper, fetter (of brass), filthiness, steel.

Nechuwshah (h5154) nekh-oo-shaw'; or n˙chushah nekh-oo-shaw'; fem. of 5153; copper: - brass, steel. Comp. 517

1. Nachuwsh (h5153) naw-khoosh'; appar. pass. part. of 5172
(perh. in the
sense of ringing,
I. e. bell-metal; or from the red color of the
throat of a serpent [5175, as denom.]
when hissing); coppery, i. e.

Figurative: hard - of brass. Sir Jam

Nachash (h5175) naw-khawsh'; from 5172; a snake (from its hiss): - serpent.

Nachash (h5172) naw-khash'; a prim. root; prop. to hiss, i. e. whisper a (magic) spell; gen. to prognosticate: - * certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) * enchantment, learn by experience, * indeed, diligently observe.

Nechusthan (h5180) nekh-oosh-tawn'; from 5178; something made of copper, i. e. the copper serpent of the Desert: - Nehushtan.

And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. Gen 4: 23

(p) It was the Cainite's punishment to have a hundred daughters borne them for each son; and this led to such husband-hunger that their women began to raid houses and carry off men. One day it pleased them to seduce them Sethites, after daubing their faces with rouge and powder, their eyes with antimony, and the soles of their feet with scarlet, dyeing their hair, putting on golden earrings, golden anklets, bracelets, and many-colored garments.

In their ascent of the holy mountain, they twanged harps, blew trumpets, beat drums, sang, danced, clapped hands; then, having addressed the five hundred and twenty anchorites in cheerful voices,

each caught hold of her victim and seduced him. These Sethites, after once succumbing to the Cainite women's blandishments,

became more unclean than dogs, and utterly forgot God's laws.

(q) Even the "Sons of Judges" now corrupted the daughters of the poor. Whenever a bride was beautified for the bridegroom, one such would enter the nuptial chamber and enjoy her first. 1 Sam 2:22f

And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught (robbed): and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them. Judges 21:23

(r) Genun the Canaanite, son of Lamech the Blind, living in the Land of the Slime Pits,

was ruled by Azael from his earliest youth,

and invented all sorts of musical instruments. When he played these,

Azael entered into them too,

so that they gave forth seductive tunes entrancing the hearts of all listeners.

Genun would assemble companies of musicians, who inflamed one another with music until their lust burned bright like fire,

and they lay together promiscuously. He also brewed beer, gathered great crowds in taverns, gave them to drink, and taught them to forge iron swords and spear-points, with which to do murder at random when they were drunk.

(s) Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel told God that such wickedness had never before flourished on earth.

God then sent Raphael to bind Azael hand and foot, heaping jagged rocks over him in the dark Cave of Dudael, where he now abides until the Last Days. Gabriel destroyed the Fallen Ones by inciting them to civil war. Michael chained Shemhazai and his fellows in other dark caves for seventy generations. Uriel became the messenger of salvation who visited Noah. Genesis 6:1-7.

17 Enoch IX-X; cf. also chapters XI-XV and LXIX; 2 Baruch LVI:11-16; 2 Enoch XVIII:1-6.


1. The explanation of this myth, which has been a stumbling block to theologians, may be the arrival in Palestine of tall, barabarous Hebrew herdsmen early in the second millenium B.C., and their exposure, by marriage, to Asianic civilization. "Sons of El" in this sense would mean the "cattle-owning worshipper of the Semite Bull-god El";

"Daughters of Adam" would mean "women of the soil" (adama), namely, the Goddess- worshipping Canaanite agriculturists, notorious for their orgies and premarital prostitution. If so, this historical event has been tangled with the

Ugaritic myth how El seduced two mortal women and fathered divine sons on them, namely Shahar ("Dawn") and Shalem ("Perfect").

Shahar appears as a winged deity in Psalm CXXXIX:9,

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. Psalm 139:8

If I take the wings of the morning (dayspring), and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Psalm 139:9

and his son, according to Isaiah XIV:12, was the fallen angel Helel (Lucifer).

All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Isaiah 14:10

Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms (maggots) cover thee. Isaiah 14:11

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Isaiah 14:12

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: Isaiah 14:13

Enoch Book One: 81:19 These are the names of the conductors who are under them: Barkel, Zelsabel; and another additional conductor of a thousand is named Heloyalef, the days of those influence have been completed. The other conductor next after them is Helemmelek, whose name they call the splendid Zahay. (88)

(88) Zahay. Or, "sun" (Knibb, p. 191).

While praise can be used in a good sense, it most often expresses a sense of absolute lostness which even drives to madness trying to find the lost "god."

Heylel (g1966) hay-lale'; from 1984 (in the sense of brightness); the morning-star: - lucifer.

Halal (h1984) haw-lal'; a prim. root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causat. to celebrate; also to stultify: - (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (- ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.

Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'; a prim. root [comp. 2470]; prop. to bore, i. e. (by impl.) to wound, to dissolve; fig. to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play (the flute): - begin (* men began), defile, * break, defile, * eat (as common things), * first, * gather the grape thereof, * take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

Unions between gods and mortals, that is to say between kings or queens and commoners, occur frequently in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern myth. Since later Judaism rejected all deities but its own transcendental God, and since He never married or consorted with any female whatsoever, Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai in Genesis Rabba felt obliged to curse all who read "Sons of God" in the Ugartic sense. Clearly, such an interpretation was still current in the second century A.D., and lapsed only when Bene Elohim meant "God" and Judge," the theory being that when a duly appointed magistrate tried a case, the Spirit of El possessed him: "I have said, ye are gods." (Psalm LXXXII:6)

2. This myth is constantly quoted in the Apochrypha, the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and midrashim.

Josephus interpreted it as follows:

Many angels of God now consorted with women, and begot sons on them who were overbearing and disdainful of every virtue; such confidence had they in their strength. In fact, the deeds that our tradition ascribed to them recall the audacious exploits told by the Greeks of the giants. But Noah urged them to adopt a better frame of mind and amend their ways.

These Greek giants were twenty-four violent and lecherous sons of Mother Earth, born at Phlegra in Thrace, and the two Aloeids, all of whom rebelled against Almighty Zeus.

3. Josephus's view, that the Sons of God were angels, survived for several centuries despite Shimon ben Yohai's curse. As late as the eighth century A.D., Rabbi Eliezer records in a midrash:

"The angels who fell from Heaven saw the daughters of Cain perambulating and displaying their secret parts,

their eyes painted with antimony in the manner of harlots; and, being seduced, took wives from among them."

At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: Is.23:15

Take up a harp, walk through the city,
O prostitute forgotten;
play the harp well,
sing many a song,
so that you will be remembered." Is.23:16

Rabbi Joshua ben Qorha, a literalist, was worried by a technical detail:

"Is it possible that angels, who are flaming fire, could have performed the sexual act without scorching their brides internally?" He decided that "when these angels fell from Heaven, their strength and stature were reduced to those of mortals, and their fire changed into flesh."

4. Hiwa and Hiya, the names given to giants begotten by Shemhazai and Azael on mortal women,

were merely the cries of work-teams engaged in tasks demanding concerted effort.

In one Talmudic passage, Babylonian sailors are made to shout as they haul cargo vessels ashore: "Hilni, hiya, hola, w'hilok holya!" The giants' voracious flesh-eating was, however, a habit of El's Hebrew herdsmen, not of the Agricultural Daughters of Adamah; and this anecdote suggests that the myth originated in an community whose diet was severely restricted, like that of Daniel and his three holy companions, to pulses. (Daniel I:12).

5. The names of several fallen angels survive only in careless Greek transcriptions of Hebrew or Aramaic originals, which make their meaning doubtful. But "Azael" does seem to represent "Azazel" ("God strengthens").

Dudael is sometimes translated "God's cauldron," but it is more likely to be a fantastic modification of Beth Hadudo (M. Yoma, VI:8) -

now Harradan, three miles to the south-east of Jerusalem, the Judaean desert cliff from which "the scapegoat for Azazel" fell yearly to its death on the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus XVI:8-10).

This Goat was believed to take away Israel's sins and transfer them to their instigator, the fallen angel Azazel, who lay imprisoned under a pile of rocks at the cliff-foot. The sacrifice did not therefore rank as one offered to demons, like those which Leviticus XVII:7 prohibits.

When Jesus minimized miracles at the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth:

And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. Luke 4:29

6. The Mount of God, where certain pious Sethites lived near the "Cave of Treasure,"at the Gates of Paradise, will have been El's holy Mount Saphon, not Hermon. hills of ermon?

7. Istahar's story is borrowed partly from the Greek writer Aratus (early third century B.C.).

He tells how Justice, a daughter of Dawn, ruled mankind virtuously in the Golden Age; but when the Silver and Bronze ages brought greed and slaughter among them, she exclaimed: "Alas, for this evil race!" and mounted into Heaven, where she became the constellation Virgo.

The rest of this story is borrowed from Apollodorus's account of Orion's attempt on the seven virgin Pleiadies, daughters of Atlas and Pleione, who escaped his embraces transformed into stars.

"Istahar," however, is the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, sometimes identified with Virgo. Popular Egyptian belief identified Orion, the constellation which became Shemhazai, with the souls of Osiris.

8. The right claimed by certain "sons of judges" to take the maiden heads of poor men's brides is, apparently, the ancient and well-known jus primae noctis which, as the droit de cuissage, was still reputedly exercised by feudal lords in Europe during the Middle Ages (see 36:4).

Yet at a time when the Sons of God were regarded as divine beings, this story may have referred to a custom prevalent in the Eastern Mediterranean:

a girl's maidenhead was ritually broken by "equitation" of a priapic statue. A similar practice obtained among Byzantine hippodrome-performers as late as Justinian's reign, and is hinted at in records of the medieval English witch cult.

9. Many details of the Genun story, taken from the fifth-century A.D. Ethiopian Book of Adam, are paralleled in midrashic writings.

Although Genun's name suggests "Kenan," who appears in Genesis V:9 as the son of Enoch, he is a composite Kenite character: the invention of musical instruments being attributed in Genesis to Jubal,

and of edged iron blades to his brother Tubal Cain.

Genun was said to occupy "the Land of the Slime Pits," namely the southern shores of the Dead Sea (Genesis XIV:10), doubtless because the evil city of Sodom stood there (see 32:6).

10. Enoch ("Instructor") won his immense reputation from the apocalyptic and once canonical Book of Enoch, compiled in the first century B.C. It is an ecstatic elaboration of Genesis V:22: "And Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he begat Methuselah." Later Hebrew myth makes him God's recording angel and counsellor, also patron of all children who study the Torah. Metatron is a Hebrew corruption of either the Greek "metadromos," "he who pursues with a vengeance," or of "meta ton thronon", "nearest to the Divine Throne."

11. The Anakim may have been Mycenaean Greek colonists, belonging to the "Sea Peoples" confederation which caused Egypt such trouble in the fourteenth century B.C. Greek mythograohers told of a Giant Anax ("king"), son of Heaven and Mother Earth, who ruled Anactoria (Miletus) in Asia Minor. According to Appollodorus, the disinterred skeleton of Asterius ("starry"), Anax's successor, measured ten cubits. Akakes, the plural of Nanx, was an epithet of the Greek gods in general. Talmudic commentators characteristically make the Anakim three thousand cubits tall.

12. Megalithic monuments, found by the Hebrews on their arrival in Canaan, will have encouraged legends about giants; as in Greece, where the monstrous man-eating Cyclopes were said by story-tellers ignorant of ramps, levers and other Mycenaean engineering devices, to have lifted single- handed the huge blocks of stone that form the walls of Tiryns, Mycenae and other ancient cities.

13. The Nephilim ("Fallen Ones") bore many other tribal names, such as Emim ("Terrors"), Repha'im ("Weakeners"), Gibborim ("Giant Heroes"), Zamzummim ("Acheivers"), Anakim ("Long-necked" or "Wearers of Necklaces"),

Awwim ("Devastators" or "Serpents"). One of the Nephilim named Arba is said to have built the city of Hebron, called "Kiriath-Arba" after him, and become the father of Anak whose three sons, Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, were later expelled by Joshua's comrade Caleb. Since, however, arba means "four" in Hebrew, Kiriath-Arba may have originally have meant "City of Four," a reference to its four quarters mythically connected with the Anakite clans: Anak himself and his "sons" Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.