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The book of Enoch is a highly controversial book within Christianity. There are those that view it as history, those that view it as heresy, and those that view it as inspired canon. The main reason for the rejection of Enoch is due to its controversial teachings about angels descending to have sex with human women in the days of Noah. Part of the problem is that some of the things said in Enoch cannot be reconciled with the Bible, or can they?
Demons According To Enoch
Much of the belief surrounding the origin of demons being tied to the nephilim that were killed in the flood, comes from the following verses in the book of Enoch:
“And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.” – Enoch 15:8-12
The problem with accepting Enoch, for many Christians, is that it does not appear with the other 66 books referred to as canon. However, failure to appear as canon in the English Bible doesn’t mean that its not useful for historical context. After all, Montezuma, Columbus, and the great majority of world history does not appear in the Bible.
According to Enoch, the demons are the disembodied spirits of the nephilim that died in the flood. Being part human and part angel, they became something different and evil. The Bible does not say this directly, but there are two pieces of evidence contained within the Bible which may validate the verses in Enoch.
Demons According To Moses
Before we get to Jesus, let’s look at a statement made by Moses concerning the devils (demons).
“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” – Deuteronomy 32:17
The word for “devils” used in the verse is the word Shed, which is what we would refer to as a demon in modern English. Why did Moses refer to the demons as “new gods”? He goes on to use the word “elohim” which is translated as “gods”. Moses uses two words used specifically for real spirit beings, which are shed and elohim. He was not simply referencing idols. If the demons are new and came newly up, what was Moses talking about?
- “New gods that came newly up.”
There are two different words used here for the word “new”.
- Occurrence #1: Chadash (Strong’s #2319) – New, fresh, new thing.
- Occurrence #2: Qarob (Strongs #7138) – Shortly, lately, near of kin.
This is where it gets interesting. These were new beings that had recently come to exist. Even more interesting is the second use which could be translated as “near of kin”. If the demons did indeed come from the dead nephilim, they would be near of kin in the sense that they were part human. This brings us to a statement made by Jesus.
Demons According To Jesus
Jesus seems to choose very specific words when speaking. One such example comes via a conversation concerning unclean spirits (demons).
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.” – Matthew 12:43
The words we are going to look at are “unclean spirit”.
- Unclean: akathartos (Strong’s #169) – wrong mix, impure, unclean [The antonym is kathairo (Strong’s #2508) which means “free from wrong mixture”]
- Spirit: pneuma (Strong’s #4151) – spirit, breath, wind
There are several important points that come to mind:
- Angels are never referred to as unclean.
- Jesus never refers to angels as demons.
- Jesus never refers to demons as angels.
There seems to be a very specific reason that Jesus chose to use the words He did, in reference to demons, but what was that reason?
Moses seems to support the idea that the demons were something new, just as the book of Enoch claims. According to Enoch, there were no evil spirits roaming the earth before the death of the Nephilim. Moses also seems to confirm that these spirits are part human by using the word qarob, which means “near of kin”. Finally Jesus seems to confirm the hybrid origin of demons by referring to them as a wrong mixture. Those that have studied the nephilim theory know that it was the wrongful mixing of angels with humans that was responsible for the nephilim in the first place and a large part of the reason for the flood. In my opinion, both Moses and Jesus confirm at least this section of the Book of Enoch, which points to the origin of demons from the dead nephilim.