Mount Hermon is on the border between Syria and Lebanon, the tallest peak in Syria and the summit of what is called the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. A UN base lovingly nicknamed “Hermon Hotel,” is stationed there. This was the very place that The Book of Enoch (a Jewish scripture dating back to 300 BC) refers to as “Ardis.” According to this text, it was here that the group of 200 “Grigori” or “Watchers” descended for a meeting of what may have been the first secret society. There, they made a pact together, binding themselves with mutual “imprecations” (oaths or curses), swearing that they would all take wives from “the daughters of men” and breed children with them. The leader of the Grigori was said to be a figure named Semyaza.
From the descriptions in The Book of Enoch, it seems that these Watchers are a form of angelic being from Heaven. Their act of seducing human women in this manner is portrayed as a transgression against God, just like the rebellion of Satan or Lucifer in Heaven is seen in Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, it seems that what is described here in The Book of Enoch is an explanation of what caused the so-called “War in Heaven” between the rebellious angels and those loyal to God. It is also the reason why God decided to cleanse the Earth by bringing about the Deluge.
In The Book of Enoch, the defiant angels are quite aware that their transgression will bring about God’s wrath. This is why they swear the oath to one another before they begin, promising to go through with the act:
“It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise; And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime.
But they answered him and said; We all swear; And bind ourselves by mutual imprecations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.
Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of mount Armon.
That mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, and bound themselves by mutual imprecations.”
“Mount Armon,” or Mt. Hermon, has been said to mean “Mount of the Curse”, because the angels took their oath, and thus cursed themselves, upon that mountain. The word “Hermon” is also similar to the name of the Greek god “Hermes”, who holds many mythological parallels to the Biblical figure of Enoch, whom The Book of Enoch is named after. There is an Enoch listed as the son of Cain (as mentioned in the previous section of this series). Cain allegedly built a city and named it after this son. But the Enoch of the book that bears his name is said to be a descendant of Seth – grandson of Mahalaleel and great-grandfather of Noah.
The Book of Enoch says that giants were born from the human-angel unions, and that they ravaged the earth with their ravenous appetites:
“And the women conceiving brought forth giants, Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.”
At this point in the story another figure enters the picture. He is named Azazel, and he is said to be guilty of teaching mankind forbidden knowledge. The text states:
“Moreover Azazyel taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors, and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, the use of stones of every valuable and select kind, and all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered.”
Another quote from The Book of Enoch demonstrates that this forbidden teaching was offensive to God, and that people were not meant to know these things. Referring to the iniquity and rebellion that caused God to bring about the Flood, Enoch tells Noah:
“They have discovered secrets, and they are those that have been judged; but not thou, my son. The Lord of Spirits knows that thou are pure and good, free from the reproach of discovering secrets.”
As a punishment for his sins, Azazel is cast into a dark prison that is also described as “the desert,” in a place named “Dudael” (Hebrew for “Cauldron of God.”) The text states:
“Again the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there. Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness; There shall he remain for ever; cover his face, that he may not see the light. And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire.”
Interestingly, even though the instigator of the sexual crimes committed by the angels is said to be Samyaza, the teaching of secrets was instigated by Azazel. So Jehovah decided to lay the blame most heavily upon him. The Book of Enoch quotes God as saying:
“All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime.”
As for the giants born of angels and men, God decided to bring about the Flood in order to rid the Earth of them. But he also decided to thin their population as much as possible first, by sending his angels to instigate violence amongst the giants, so that they killed each other off:
“To Gabriel also the Lord said, Go to the biters, to the reprobates, to the children of fornication; and destroy the children of fornication, the offspring of the Watchers, from among men; bring them forth, and excite them one against another. Let them perish by mutual slaughter; for length of days shall not be theirs.”
Then the Watchers and their children are cast into the pit under the earth, where they shall suffer and await the Final Judgment:
“To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed.
Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever. Immediately after this shall he, together with them, burn and perish; they shall be bound until the consummation of many generations.”
Although it is not told in so much detail, this same story is alluded to in The Book of Genesis. In Chapter 6 we read:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose …
There were giants 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.”
The Hebrew word that has been translated as “giants” is “Nephilim.” What this word specifically means in Hebrew is “those who were cast down,” “those who caused others to fall,” or “those who battle” (i.e., “those who fall upon others”). The Deluge narrative is told in Chapter 6, immediately after the reference to the sons of God mating with human females. Suddenly God declares that he regrets mankind’s creation because of its inherent “wickedness,” and because “the Earth was filled with violence.” He decides to destroy all life on Earth, except for Noah and the rest of the passengers chosen to board the ark. But man was deemed wicked not because of sin in the ordinary sense, which had not actually been invented yet. Mankind was deemed wicked because they had interbred with angels and created a hybrid race, of which God did not approve.
The part about Azazel teaching forbidden knowledge to man is not specified in Genesis, as it is in The Book of Enoch. However, Azazel is mentioned in The Book of Leviticus. Here the temple rituals for the Israelites are specified. One of them involves the sacrifice of two goats on the holy day of “Yom Kippur,” the Day of Atonement. In Chapter 6, God tells the high priest Aaron to “place lots upon two goats, one marked for the Lord, and the other marked for Azazel.”
The Azazel goat was marked with a red string tied around his head. While the goat for the Lord was killed at the temple as an atonement sacrifice, the Azazel goat, or “scapegoat,” as it is often termed, was forced, like Azazel in The Book of Enoch, to bear the burden of everyone else’s sin. The priest would confess the sins of the community with his hands placed on the head of the goat, laying those sins upon him. The goat was then led off into the desert and pitched over the side of a rocky cliff. A white clothe was also affixed to the door of the temple sanctuary, and it would supposedly turn red the moment the dead goat hit the bottom of the cliff.
Azazel’s name has been given several interpretations. These include “rugged and strong,” which accurately describes the disposition of a mountain goat. Others are “he who is sent away,” or “goat that disappears.” The ceremony is clearly mimicking God’s punishment of Azazel in The Book of Enoch by casting him in the desert prison of Dudael. Parallels can also be seen with the story of Cain, cast into the land of Nod, which I described earlier in this series as a nebulous, ephemeral state of existence, or even non-existence, like the “Regnum in Potentia” concept in my article series of the same name. Indeed, the word “Nod” means “to wander” in Hebrew. Perhaps not coincidentally, “nod” means “to sleep” in English. So the land of Nod appears to represent a dream-like world of confusion and chaos, like the Abyss of the cabalists where the demons are said to live.
In The Bitter Waters Code, author Mark Wayne Biggs makes the case that Shemyaza in The Book of Enoch is the same figure as Samael. He makes a rather complex but convincing argument that Azazel is not one of the Watchers so much as a son of Lilith and Samael. He believes that before the angels could breed with humans, they needed to know how to speak the true name of God. This, according to cabalists can be used to create magical effects, including bringing things to life, when pronounced correctly. He claims that Shemyaza/Samael gained his knowledge from Lilith, his lover, and then used it to bring their son Azazel to life by pronouncing it during their mating. This same process, writes Biggs, was then subsequently used by the rest of the Watchers when breeding the Nephilim giants with human women.
None of these connections seem far-fetched. Cabalist authors frequently associate Azazel, Samael, Lilith, and Cain as being part of the same family, mating partners, and in some cases, as the same figures. This is the unholy bloodline, the “seed” of the serpent. It is ambiguous whether these creatures are angels, demons, humans or hybrids, and it depends on which account you read. So in a sexual union between a creature of flesh and a spirit, it seems logical that a magical process might be required to bring forth fleshly progeny. Note that both Azazel in The Book of Enoch, and the descendants of Cain in Genesis, are credited with teaching mankind forbidden arts and crafts such as metallurgy (see the previous installment of this series for details about Cain’s descendants). Note also that, as discussed in previous segments, the descendants of Cain are a bloodline cast off into the wilderness by God’s curses – just as Azazel is cast into the desert. This could also be said of Hagar, the slave woman and mother of Ishmael through Abraham, who both were cast off by Abraham’s wife Sarah to die in the desert (but miraculously lived), and whose bloodline was disinherited. Hagar is considered by cabalists consider to be an incarnation of Lilith (also discussed earlier in this series).
Interestingly, there is a sect in Iraq called the Yezidis who claim biological descent from, and worship, a “half-angel” whom they alternately refer to as “Yazd,” “Azazil,” or “Melek Taus” (“Peacock King”). The Yezidi faith is an interesting mix of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and seemingly Satanic traditions. However, they believe that any enmity between the Peacock King and the Most High God will be reconciled at the Final Judgment, and the souls of the Yezidis will be forced into Heaven through the pronouncement of magical formulae that will somehow compel God’s will.
Twelfth century Jewish scholars Nahmanides and Abraham ibn Ezra both wrote that Azazel was the chief of the “se’irim,” or “goat demons.” These beings are described as satyrs, the half-goat creatures of Greek mythology, and they live in the desert. They are considered analogous to the jinn of Islamic legend, spirits of “smokeless fire,” some of whom rebelled against God and now curse mankind with unwholesome tricks. Among other things, the jinn possess people, seduce people, and sometimes even breed with them. Sometimes they are specifically malicious, causing harm to infants, for example. In these ways, the jinn, and thus the se’irim, seem the same as the descendants of Lilith. They may also be the children of Azazel, and even Cain.
Indeed, in the word “jinn” there may be an etymological vestige of “Cain,” thought by many researchers to be the same figure as “Kan,” “Gan” or “Gin,” found on the kings lists of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Chaldeans. It may be also that this family of words is connected to the English words “king” and “kin.” In some traditions, Cain was the first king on Earth, and the father of all human royalty. But he is also perhaps part of a family of goat-demons, along with Azazel and the “serpent” Lilith-Samael. The political implications of this are interesting, for the Devil is considered the “Lord of the Earth.” It would seem, perhaps, that the serpent, by possessing and seducing humans, was successful in not only penetrating the bloodline of Adam, but also putting her descendants in line to inherit the thrones of the world. And that may have been the point all along.