6.3) Azazel in the Book of the Giants

There is tantalizing incomplete evidence from the Dead Sea scrolls that suggests Azazel was a seed of the Watchers, and not a Watcher himself.  It comes from the fragmentary Book of Giants.  If it had not been for the agonizing misfortune that damage to the scroll destroyed the critical phase that may have sealed the deal concerning Azazel’s origins, Azazel’s identify might be correctly established today.  Giants elaborates on the exploits of the pre-flood giants, especially the two children of Semjaza — Ohya and Hahya. Since no complete manuscript exists of Giants, its exact contents and its fragments order remain a matter of guesswork.  The critical fragment which suggests Azazel may have been the seed of the Watchers is below.[1]  Brackets ([. . .]) indicate missing text.  As can be seen, only one word remains from line 3.  None of line 4 survives.  In the surrounding text, the giants Ohya and Hahya are discussing their demise.  Based on the interpretation of certain troubling dreams the giants had been having, they had come to realize that a terrible destruction from God was heading their way.  In the passage, Hahya tries to suggest the destruction is not for them, but is for Azazel.  Remarkably, Hahya is implicitly equating Azazel to themselves as both being seed of angelic beings.  Ohya and Hahya are not discussing the fate of their fathers, the Watchers, but of themselves.  Therefore, when Hahya suggests God’s punishment will not be directed at them, but at Azazel, this is implying Azazel will be the lone victim.  Enough of the text remains to establish the main basis of Hahya’s argument that they would not be targeted.  It is that “[ … the children of the] angels are the giants, and that they (God’s good angels) would not let all their l[oved ones] be neglected.”  Therefore, Hahya is arguing that their linage is unique and different from Azazel’s, and that the angels will show them mercy because of this.

Book of Giants: 4Q530 Frag. 7
Line 3 [ . . . ] your strength [ . . . ]
Line 4 [ . . . ]
Line 5 Thereupon Ohya [said] to Hahya [ . . . ] Then he answered, It is not for
Line 6 us, but for Azaiel, for he [ . . . the children of] angels
Line 7 are the giants, and they would not let all their l[oved ones] be neglected [. . . we have] not been cast down; you have strength [ . . . ]

I have not seen the photographic plates of this Dead Sea scroll excerpt from the Book of Giants.  However, it is apparent from the translation that at least 12 to 20 letters are missing inside the bracket of line 6.  This is sufficient for the reconstruction below to be plausible.  As can be seen, a very coherent argument can be derived from the fragmentary text that Azazel’s linage is from Lilith mating with angels, whereas the giants’ linage is from the daughters of Adam mating with angels.  Hahya argues they will find favor with the angels serving God, because they share in Adam’s linage. 

Book of Giants: Possible Reconstruction of 4Q530 Frag. 7

Thereupon Ohya [said] to Hahya [ . . . ] Then he answered, “It is not for us, but for Azaiel, for he [is the seed of Lilith with angels, but the children of the daughters of Adam with ] angels are the giants, and they would not let all their l[oved ones] be neglected.” [. . . we have] not been cast down; you have strength [ . . . ]

Perhaps at some future date this fragment of the Book of Giants will be reconstructed completely.  If it ever is, I would be somewhat surprised if the name of Lilith or title of Serpent was actually used.  The whole notion of Azazel being the seed of Lilith appears to be purposely hidden in all ancient books that broach the topic.  However, in any event I would expect some disparaging remark indicating that Azazel and his kin were of a more polluted linage than of the giants, who were born of the daughters of Adam and the Watchers. 

[1] http://www.gnosis.org/library/dss/dss_book_of_giants.htm