[Milton-L] The War in Heaven (Technology)

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 11 20:24:59 EDT 2006


In case anyone's interested, I found the passages in
The (Ethiopian) Book of Enoch, translated from the
Ethiopian by R.H. Charles, D. Litt., D.D., with an
introduction by W.O.E. Oesterley, D.D. (London:
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1917). Go
to:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/index.htm

See chapters vi through viii, which are very short.
Here are the relevant passages:

------------------------------------------------------

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe009.htm

CHAPTER VI.

1. And it came to pass when the children of men had
multiplied that in those days were born unto them
beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the
children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and
said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives
from among the children of men and beget us children.'
3. And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said
unto them: 'I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this
deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a
great sin.' 4. And they all answered

p. 35

him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind
ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this
plan but to do this thing.' 5. Then sware they all
together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations
upon it. 6. And they were in all two hundred; who
descended ⌈in the days⌉ of Jared on the
summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount
Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by
mutual imprecations upon it. 7. And these are the
names of their leaders: Sêmîazâz,
their leader, Arâkîba,
Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl,
Tâmîêl, Râmîêl,
Dânêl, Êzêqêêl,
Barâqîjâl, Asâêl,
Armârôs, Batârêl,
Anânêl, Zaqîêl,
Samsâpêêl, Satarêl,
Tûrêl, Jômjâêl,
Sariêl. 8. These are their chiefs of tens.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe010.htm

CHAPTER VII.

1. And all the others together with them took unto
themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and
they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves
with them, and they taught them charms and
enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them
acquainted with plants. 2. And they became pregnant,
and they bare great giants, whose height was three
thousand ells: 3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of
men. And when men could no longer sustain them, 4. the
giants turned against them and devoured mankind. 5.
And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and
reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh,
and drink the blood. 6. Then the earth laid accusation
against the lawless ones.

Chapter VIII.

1. And Azâzêl taught men to make swords,
and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made
known to them the metals ¡´of the earth¡µ and the art
of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the
use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids,
and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring
tinctures. 2. And there arose much godlessness, and
they committed fornication, and they were led astray,
and became corrupt in all their ways.
Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and
root-cuttings, Armârôs the resolving of
enchantments, Barâqîjâl,

p. 36

[paragraph continues] (taught) astrology,
Kôkabêl the constellations,
Ezêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds,
¡´Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl
the signs of the sun¡µ, and Sariêl the course of
the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their
cry went up to heaven . .

------------------------------------------------------

Clearly, the problem (in Enoch) was not simply
technology but various sorts of knowledge.

By the way, although the text that comes down to us is
in Ethiopic, the original was in Greek.

Related online sources:

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/psco/year25/8803a.shtml

Jeffery Hodges

--- Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
wrote:

> If I recall, the extracanonical, Ethiopean Book of
> Enoch tells of the rebel angels introducing
> technology
> to fallen mankind, and this sort of tradition,
> wherever it originated, surfaces in some Gnostic
> texts. Probably also elsewhere. Milton may have been
> drawing upon this tradition as well since he seems
> to
> find a link between technology and the demonic.
> 
> Jeffery Hodges

University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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