The Parallel Account of the Watchers in Genesis 6
The only direct mention in the Tanach of the events involving the Watchers comes in Ge 6:1-8. Those
passages provide a very brief summary of events that are expounded in greater detail in 1 Enoch. As
we shall see, the two accounts in 1 Enoch and Genesis are in complete harmony. Verses 1 and 2 of
Ge 6 reveal that as man began to populate the earth and have daughters, the Beni Elohiym ("sons of
God") saw that these women were fair, and they took them for wives. These Beni Elohiym are generally
acknowledged by most scholars to be angels , although various other explanations have been put forth
with little success . I hold that Beni Elohiym referring to angels in Ge 6 can be firmly established from
the term’s other usages in the Tanach. Every time Beni Elohiym is used in the Tanach, it clearly refers
Ge 6:1-9 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they
3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an
hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants <Nephilim> in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in
unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old,
men of renown.
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of
his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast,
and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked
Verse 3 of Ge 6 confirms that the Beni Elohiym taking wives of man was a momentous event in God’s
eye. The verse relates that after this happened, Jehovah begins to display displeasure with man.
According to the KJV translation, Jehovah apparently declares that he wearies of contending with man,
for man is but flesh, and for that reason God limits man’s life to 120 years. But a more precise
translation of the underlying Hebrew is even more profound. This underlying Hebrew is difficult, but my
best literal translation is given below. It reads that Jehovah would not always strive or judge man,
because hidden in the wayward erring of the angels (i.e. “their wayward erring”) was flesh. By this the
verse is saying that Jehovah’s spirit would no longer judge or abide within the linage of Adam, because
the wayward errings of the angels had become “flesh” or become manifest in the linage of Adam. This
manifested flesh is the Nephilim seed, which verse 4 goes on to elaborate in great detail. Verse 3
concludes that for reason of this corruption of Adam’s linage that God cut off the life of man at 120
years. The linage of Adam had become defiled by the angels, and God shortened the lives of man to
mitigate the damages being spread.
Ge 6:3 (My Literal)
And Jehovah said, “Not shall strive my spirit in adam , for evermore hidden in their wayward
erring itself is flesh. Therefore shall be his days one hundred and twenty years.”
There exist two remarkable words in verse 3 that shed additional light upon the situation. The word
traditionally understood by the KJV and others to be l’owlam, which is a lamed propositionally prefixed
form of the root owlam (Strongs 5769) meaning ‘perpetual’ or ‘evermore’, could also understood as l’
alam, which is a propositionally prefixed version of alam (Strongs 5956), which means ‘to hide’ or
‘secret’. Thus l'owlam could be understood as l’alam, which means “for hidden.” Ge 6:3 could then be
understood as stating that Jehovah would not judge in adam, “for hidden” in the Watcher’s wayward
erring was flesh. Note in my literal translation above, I poetically combine the meaning of both l’owlam
and l’alam into the powerful, “for evermore hidden”.
The second word play in the verse comes from the Hebrew word for “wayward transgression” in verse
3, which is shagah. Shagah almost always refers to hidden or secret sins in the Tanach. This, along
with the wordplay for l’alam meaning ‘hidden’ in the same verse, implies the relationships between the
angels and women were kept secret or hidden, at least in the beginning. This is consistent with the
version of events laid out in Enoch. Remarkably, the first use of shagah and alam in the Torah come in
the same verse in Le 4:13. There is written the commandment that if Israel shagah (commit sin), and it
is alam (hidden or unknown), then when the sin is known they must deal with it through a sacrifice.
In summary, verse 2 established that angels descended to earth to take wives of men. Verse 3
established that God’s spirit departed from man and no longer judged in him because the angles’
secret sin had forever stained man’s flesh or linage. For this reason also God cut short the lives of
men. Verse 4 goes to elaborate much more on the seed of this corruption. The verse relates that the
Nephilim (rendered “giants” in the KJV) began to exist in the earth because of the sons of God.
Nephilim (Strongs 5303) means ‘fallen ones’. It comes from the root naphal (Strongs 5307), which
means ‘to fall’. According to Rashi they were given this title because they fell and they caused others
Ge 6:4 (My Literal)
The Nephilim came to exist in the earth in the days of them; and also afterward. After had come
the sons of God unto the daughters of adam and they had birthed to them, they were the
Gibborim which from old were men of the name.
The language of verse 4 is very careful to impart some very specific information concerning the
Nephilim. The verse is comprised of essentially two statements. The first relates that the Nephilim
came to exist in the earth in the days “of them”. This “them” refers to the Beni Elohiym or sons of God
in the previous verses. The first statement concludes by quite clearly asserting that the Nephilim came
to exist again in the earth “afterwards”. The second statement of verse 4 clarifies that this “afterwards”
refers to a time after when the Beni Elohiym or Watchers had finished consorting with women. Thus the
Nephilim somehow returned to earth after the consorting between angels and women had stopped.
This unexpected development is all consistent with 1 Enoch, which states the Watchers were
imprisoned just before Noah’s flood, putting an end to their sexual relations on earth, but that giants
sired by Noah returned to the earth after the flood.
Verse 4 gives different titles to the pre-flood and post-flood Nephilim. Before the flood the Nephilim
were known as Enowsh Hashem (“Men of the Name”) and that afterwards they were known as Gibborim
(‘Mighty Men’). The two titles imply a lessen prowess for the Nephilim post flood. Enowsh Hashem
implies a closeness to the angelic powers of heaven. Hashem (“The Name”) is a term often used in
place of the name of Jehovah. Thus this term implies the pre-flood Nephilim were associated with the
holiness of Jehovah’s name. As we shall see, there is good reason for this. The angels were able to
conceive these sons by the power of the Jehovah’s name given to them by Lilith. Gibborim means
‘mighty men’. It is the plural form of gibbowr (Strongs 1368), which means mighty. This post-flood term
for the Nephilim suggests they had a lesser stature from their pre-flood brethren. This is because the
term Gibborim is also applied to humans. Many mighty warriors of mankind were termed Gibborim post-
flood. These include the elite Gibborim of King David’s army. An explanation for this apparent decline
is given by 1 Enoch. The Gibborim were not the direct spawn of the Watchers as were their pre-flood
counterparts. Rather the Gibborim were the result of the fornications of men with lineages tinted by the
Nephilim. Hence the Gibborim suffered from a diluted bloodline.
That the Nephilim somehow returned is obvious. The are many references to the post-flood Nephilim
tribes in the Bible. These tribes include the Emim (‘Terrors’), Repha’im (‘Weakeners’), Gibborim
(‘Mighty Ones’), Zamzummim (‘Achievers’), Anakim (‘Long-necked’), and Awwim (‘Devastators’ or
‘Serpents’). The title most often used in the Israelite era for the post-flood Nephilim is Raphaim (Myapr
- Strong 7497), meaning ‘giants’ All these tribes possessed unusual stature and prowess. Nu 13:33
recounts that the spies which Israel sent into the promised land were dismayed and felt as small as
grasshoppers at the sight of the sons of Anak, whom the verse states are in the linage of the Nephilim.
De 9:2 links the Anakim to the sons of Anak, thereby firmly establishing the post-flood link between the
Nephilim and the entire race of Repha’im (giants) mentioned in the time of Israel. The last five giants
mentioned in the Bible come in 2Sa 21:16-22 (account is repeated in 1 Ch 20:4-8). There is noted that
David and his men slew four sons of a fifth giant residing in Gath. The ultimate fate of this fifth giant is
unknown. However, giants are no longer mentioned in the Tanach after this episode.
How Did the Nephilim Return after the Flood?
The return of the Nephilim after the flood presents a conundrum. How could they return if the Watchers
were imprisoned and all the pre-flood Nephilim were destroyed by the flood? This problem is discussed
in detail in the book. For now suffice it to say, the Nephilim linage was almost certainly aboard the Ark,
and that it was most likely that Naamah, the wife of Noah’s son Ham, bore the polluted linage across the