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Watcher Angel

One type of biblical angel is called Watcher. The Book of Daniel (4th-2nd centuries BC) contains singular and plural Watchers. It refers to their holiness. The Apocryphal Books of Enoch (2nd-1st century BC) are a collection of good and evil Watchers with a particular focus on rebellious o

Three references are made to the class of “watcher and holy one” in the Book of Daniel 4:13, 17 23, 23. Nebuchadnezzar introduces the term, saying that he saw “a holy one, come down from heaven”. Nebuchadnezzar sees a watcher who says Nebuchadnezzar would eat grass and become mad in his dream. This punishment is “by decree of the watchers or the demand of the holy ones.”

Johann Wigand, a Lutheran Protestant reformer, saw the Nebuchadnezzar dream watcher as either God or the Son of God. He linked to verse 17 (“This matter was by the decrees of the watchers”) and verse 24 (“this the decrees of the highest”).

The Greek Septuagint text differs from that of the Aramaic Massoretic Text. For example, the Aramaic text is unclear about who is telling verse 14’s story, whether it is Nebuchadnezzar or the watcher in his nightmare.

Scholars consider these “watchers and holy ones” a sign of Babylonian influence. This is because the author of this section, Daniel, attempted to show Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian gods recognising the power of the God of Israel as “Most Exalted”.

The First Book of Enoch in the Books of Enoch focuses a lot of attention on the watchers' fall. The Second Book of Enoch focuses on the fifth heaven watchers where the fall occurred. The Third Book of Enoch focuses on the unfallen watchers.

The term “watchers” is used frequently in the Book of Enoch. The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 3:36-36) is found in the Aramaic fragments. It contains the phrase irin qadishin (Watchers and Holy Ones), referring to Aramaic Daniel. In the Greek and Ethiopian translations, the Aramaic irin “watchers”, which is the Aramaic word for “angel”, is referred to as “Greek Angelos or Coptic malah, but the Aramaic term of angel malakha, which is not found in Aramaic Enoch, is used.

Some people have tried to date this section of 1 Enoch back to the 2nd-1st Century BC. They believe that this book is based upon one interpretation of Genesis 6’s Sons of God passage. This passage states that angels mated and gave rise to the Nephilim, a race of hybrids. The term “irin” is used mainly for disobedient watchers, who were 200 in total. Their leaders are identified but equally; Aramaic Iri (“watcher”) singular is also used for the obedient archangels who tie them up, such as Raphael (Enoch 22:6).

The Book of Enoch describes the watchers as angels sent to Earth to protect the people. Soon they begin to lust after human women and, at Samyaza’s prodding, defect en masse to instruct the people and procreate among them illegally. These unions produce the Nephilim, savage giants that pillage the earth and threaten humanity.

Samyaza and his associates also taught their human charges weapons, cosmetics and mirrors, sorcery and other technologies that could be used to enhance their lives. God eventually allowed a Great Flood, which will wipe out the Nephilim from the earth. However, Uriel is sent to warn Noah first to prevent the end of the human race. The watchers are kept “in the valleys” of the Earth until Judgment Day. Jude verse 6 states, “And the angels that did not leave their first estate, but retained their habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains beneath darkness unto the judgment of the great hour. "


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