The Book of Enoch
Chapter 3 – Books
“More toast?” Professor Alvil Manatee sat across from her at the small breakfast table. He was still dressed in his loose pajama outfit, but the more that Beth looked at it the more she decided that it was simply what he normally wore during the day. The adrenaline rush was slowly fading from her bloodstream.
“Professor, why in the world would you think I was a demon?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
Beth frowned. “Oh, I don’t know… Lack of horns maybe?!
Her sarcasm seemed lost on the short man.
“Demons do not have horns. You can thank Dante for that.”
“A strange woman shows up at my door talking of Nephilim. She’s investigating a murder case that looks as though it was the work of a demon and carrying objects that have certainly been in the presence of such a creature. No offense to you Miss LaHeron, but there aren’t many female detectives, let alone young and attractive ones that happen to show up at my home. Taking over the body of someone such as yourself would be child’s play for even a lesser lord and you would be just the kind of pretty package they would use to get me to let my guard down. That and the fact that you happen to be carrying something that intrigues me greatly all point to the very real possibility of a trap.”
Beth didn’t even know how to react. “You think I’m pretty?”
The older man sighed. “If there was ever any doubt as to your humanity…” He let the odd implication hang.
“But wait. You’re assuming that I even believe in all that religious mumbo-jumbo in the first place. I mean, I went to church as a kid like most people, but the whole angels verses demons thing…”
“You make a common mistake, Detective. You assume that they are different. They are not. A demon is nothing more than an angel that has decided that it no longer wants to do as it’s told. It scarcely matters whether you believe in them, in fact it makes their work that much easier if you do not. What matters is that they believe in you.”
She didn’t have an answer so she just continued to listen.
“You may call it ‘mumbo-jumbo’, but regardless of your beliefs, there are forces at work in our world that you have been completely unaware of your entire life. They are very real, very powerful, and employ technologies that I’m certain you would refer to as magic or voodoo or some other label to define something you simply don’t understand.”
“But you do? Is that it?”
He squinted at her, as though considering what he was going to tell her.
“Your murder victim,” he said finally. “I assume you have crime scene photos?”
“I told you, that’s police business…”
“You came to me, Miss LaHeron. Either you want my help or you don’t. If I am to gauge what you are dealing with then I need to see those photos.”
“I came to you to get information on Nephilim, whatever the hell they are,” she responded, somewhat irritated.
Sighing in surrender, then man met and held her eyes with his own. “The Nephilim are the offspring of fallen angels and human females.”
Beth took that in and tried to understand how it could have related to her case. Was the nun psycho? Or did she, like the Professor, believe in another world that she hadn’t even really considered since she was twelve.
“Here,” said the older man rising from his seat with a slight groan. “I have something I want to show you.” He was headed back up the stairs to the second level of his house. Beth started to follow when he turned around and pointed to the package and the diary she had set on the table.
“Keep those with you,” he said simply and continued his ascent up the landing. She snagged the items and followed the man up to what must have been his personal study. There, she suddenly found herself surrounded by what looked like a million books. Unlike the first floor, these were carefully placed on huge shelves that extended all the way to the ceiling nearly 18 feet above her and took up almost every visible wall space available. In the very center of the room was a broad oak desk that was covered with open volumes, papers, pens of all sorts, and a half dozen metal instruments that Beth couldn’t identify.
“Damn, Professor. You have more books here than my local library. You read all these?”
The man was searching a bookcase on the far side of the room. “At one time or another,” he said without turning around. “Ah, here it is.” He extracted a smallish tome from the shelf and walked back to the desk with it. She hadn’t noticed before, but he seemed to walk with a slight limp. When he set it down, she noticed the title.
“The Book of Enoch? What, is that one of the books of the Bible or something?”
He stared at her. “You must not have paid very close attention in Sunday School.”
She smiled. “Me? Nah. I was much more interested in getting the pastor’s son to kiss me.”
“And I’m sure you succeeded,” he continued, unfazed. He flipped open the book, searching for a specific passage. “No, the Book of Enoch is not found in the Bible. It’s what’s known as uncanonical, which basically means that the early church didn’t think it met the requirements for an inspired work of God. Of course, they also stoned people to death who didn’t think as they did, so you need to take that with a grain of salt as it were. The book itself is supposed to be written by the great-grandfather of Noah. You remember him? Made a really big boat.” He cast her a sideways glance.
Beth stuck out her tongue at him and made a face.
“It was generally thought of to be a work of well-meaning fiction by most modern day scholars until fairly recently when pieces of it were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now, most theologians don’t quite know what to make of it.”
“Does this have something to do with Nephilim,” she asked, standing next to him so she could see what he was turning to.
“The book is an account mostly. It tells of what was going on before the great flood. According to Enoch, there were specific angels given charge to protect the inhabitants of the Earth, especially the women. These angels were called Watchers. Everything was fine until these guardians started lusting after the very females they were set to protect.”
“Angels can get the hots for us?” Beth was more than a little amused.
“It would seem,” he continued. “I suppose, given that they were ‘watching’ humans go at it day and night, they might have felt a little jealous. None the less, a group of two hundred decided that they didn’t care about the repercussions and wanted in on the action, as it were.”
“Indeed. Mind you, these were not foolish teenagers, these were very intelligent and powerful beings. These are basically the same rank of angel that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. They knew they’d get in trouble, but the delights of womanly flesh were simply too much for them and they formed a pact to be sure that everyone was in on it. All for one and one for all you might say.”
“Sounds like a fair plan. What happened?”
“Well, the text says simply that they ‘took wives’ and ‘came into them’ using all the standard lackluster biblical speech to avoid saying that they rutted their pretty little brain’s out and in the process got them pregnant. Whether that was part of the plan isn’t quite clear, but whatever the case, suddenly these wives were having children… really extraordinary children.”
“The Nephilim,” said Beth.
“Exactly. The text describes them as ‘giants’, but they were obviously a lot more. They didn’t quite get all the mighty powers of good ol’ dad, but they weren’t simple humans either. They apparently had horrendous appetites and very short tempers – a very bad mix when food supplies are low.”
“So…” said Beth putting things together in her head. “The wives of these Watchers have really bid offspring who eat them all out of house and home and get pissed.”
“In a nutshell. But understand, these were not simply overly tall humans. These were literal giants. Some might have been as big as forty feet prior to the flood.”
“Damn… Wouldn’t want to birth that kid.”
“There’s more. The Watchers didn’t stop with simple sexual relations. They started educating their wives in the ways of the cosmos. It turns out that many of the Watchers had specific talents that they were more than happy to share with at least their beholden, if not others. Things that up until that point in time the people of the Earth either didn’t need or hadn’t discovered yet. Some of it was what you and I would call modern day scientific fields. Meteorology, Astronomy, Metallurgy, Alchemy, to name a few. Then there were the more controversial fields such as the creation of weapons and armor, warfare tactics – things that you and I take for granted, but that at the time was unheard of. The people of Earth hadn’t discovered war yet. It was second nature to the angels.”
“Makes sense,” she agreed.
“Finally, there were the really controversial topics such as cosmetics and magic.”
“Whoa! Hold on there, Professor. Did you just say cosmetics? As in lip gloss?”
He smiled at her. “That’s right, my dear. I noticed that you don’t seem to be wearing makeup. Is it something religious?”
“Huh? Oh, not at all. I can’t wear makeup because I don’t see color’s real well. My eye doctor says I’m color blind or something. I tried to wear the stuff in high school and nearly made a royal fool of myself.”
“Fascinating,” replied the older man staring a little more closely at her face. “If it’s any consolation, you really don’t need it.”
“Yeah, so my pop used to tell me.”
“A wise man. Shall we continue?”
“It’s a great story. Please.” Beth nodded toward the book. “You just mentioned something about magic?”
“Ah, yes. The text reads ‘enchantments’, but no matter how you slice it, it’s just a term to mean a science that causes things to happen.”
“Like walking on water or something?”
Manatee smiled. “In a way. It could be walking on water, but it could just as easily be a nifty way to start a fire. Keep in mind that they weren’t teaching them to do seances or something, they were giving the people of the Earth science. It’s only our jaded modern culture that treats anything we don’t understand as ‘magic’. There are almost always explanations for things if you just know the science. I’m sure that most of our technology today would seem like high magic indeed to the people of say, colonial America, and that was a mere two centuries ago. Imagine how much more incredible it would seem to people over two thousand years before the birth of Christ.”
“I see you’re point. Hey, Professor. Given that these Watchers or whatever they were being called, are able to understand our modern science as well as stuff that even we still might class as magical, are they ahead of us on the evolutionary ladder?”
“Well, I’m not sure that evolution has anything to do with it, but if by your statements you mean, ‘are they smarter than we are’, then I would have to say yes. But with restrictions.”
The Professor looked thoughtful for a moment. “Perhaps I should finish with the Book of Enoch before I continue too much astray of our original path.”
“You’re the expert.”
“Harumph! The only thing I’m an expert in is getting myself into and out of trouble. Most of the rest of the book is dedicated to detailing the judgement of the Watchers and their offspring. It isn’t specific regarding the wives of the Watchers, but one can assume their fate probably wasn’t too favorable. As for the Nephilim, it basically says that God let them tear each other apart. Of course, the Nephilim were having a right jolly time with the women as well, being nearly god-like in their status, and were producing ‘tainted’ bloodlines all over the place. Simply killing them off one at a time in wars wasn’t doing the trick, especially since the Watchers hadn’t stopped producing new Nephilim. Something more drastic was needed.”
“The great flood!” Beth stated excitedly.
“Precisely. Things had gotten so bad that it was time for a restart. It doesn’t say how long people’s average lifespan’s were before the flood, but Noah was over six hundred years old, and Methuselah lived nearly a millennium. You can produce one hell of a lot of offspring in that time. Apparently, God decided it was better to save one pure line and start afresh rather than to try and work things out. Funny thing though… it says that the Watchers did all this before the flood, and for a short time after. Seems a bit extreme to wipe out the world if you’re not even going to be sure to catch all the baddies first, unless of course it was a mistake.”
“A fallible god?” Beth was somewhat shocked.
The Professor just shrugged. “Maybe. That or it was a loophole somehow.”
“Yes. Like the guy who gets away with murder because the coppers failed to read him his rights. There is another possibility…”
“Go on, this is good stuff. Nothing I can take to my captian that will help my case in the slightest, but interesting, you know?”
Manatee stopped and looked up at the woman for a moment. “You really are enjoying this.”
“Sure! I love a good story. This has it all, love, sex, violence, magic, science, more sex, drama, even giants. What more could you want in a rollicking good tale?”
“A happy ending?”
“Pasha! Overrated. I’ll take a good tragedy any day.”
The Professor laughed softly. “Glad to hear you say that since most of the rest of the book details the nasty time the convicted Watchers have in store for all eternity, however, we were talking about loopholes. But before I give it to you, I need to explain a little about biblical numerology.”
“What, like math?”
“Sort of. Think of it more as the significance of numbers in scripture. You see, in the holy texts, numbers have meaning. They are used as a means to correlate different passages and to verify the validity of the word of God. Think of them as a signature. If everything fits numerically, then whalla! – the official words of the creator. If not, they stone the writer and you’re a heretic.”
“I think I get it… Can you give me an example?” Beth felt her feet getting tired and so she turned around and pulled herself up so she could sit on the edge of the desk with her feet dangling. The Professor eyed her for a moment but otherwise said nothing.
“Certainly. The number of man is six. He was created on the sixth day. Seven is the number of perfection… the twelve tribes of Israel. And on and on. There are literally thousands of correlations within the Bible alone. It’s actually quite amazing. But what I really want you to get is that numbers are important. The God of the Hebrews works in predictable and quantifiable ways. He apparently likes whole integers.”
“Okay. So what?”
Manatee held up a finger. “Take a look at this passage in particular.” He pointed to a page in the book before him.
“Okay. So what’s the significance,” asked Beth after reading the passage to herself. The Professor was smiling.
“See those names? Count them.”
After a moment, Beth replied, “Nineteen… So what?”
“Look at verse six…”
“‘And they were in all two hundred.’ I still don’t see…”
“And now verse eight.”
“‘And these are their chiefs of tens.’ Hey, that doesn’t work out.”
Manatee was beaming. “No, it doesn’t.”
Beth frowned. “But… What does that mean? Is it a mistake?”
“There are occasionally errors introduced in translations, but rarely if ever is there an ommitance of that significance. These are names after all. The translation is also confirmed in three different versions of the original text. It’s not a mistake. Somebody got away… Ten actually, since it’s likely that it was a leader and his nine underlings.”
“Holy shit! So let me get this straight. These two hundred angels decide to go rebel. They make a pact to keep things honest and seal the deal by descending from the heavens together to the top of a mountain. They then go out in the world, seducing women and generally having a grand time until God decides to shut down the party and cast the lot of them into hell. But somehow, one guy has managed to keep his name off the guest list. He and his buddies get off Scott-free on a technicality?”
“You have a wonderful way with modern language. That’s the possibility, yes.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. Why don’t they teach us that in Sunday School?”
“Well, the part about having sexual relations might be a little difficult to explain to the younger ones.”
Beth laughed aloud. “This is a great story, Professor, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to help me much with my case.”
“Well, look at it this way – even if I believe everything you just told me as fact, then I’m going to have to go to my captain and convince him that our killer is an unnamed fallen angel or one of his nine cohorts, and that I have no motive yet save for the fact that they were probably horny… sexually, not pointy bumps on the head. He’s going to laugh in my face… right before he takes away my badge and gun. But if I choose not to believe, then I’m right back at square one with way more questions than I started with.”
“I see your point,” replied the man frowning. He was silent for a moment, then put his hands together in thought. “Let me ask you something, Detective. What’s your motivating drive in this case? Are you in it to bring someone to justice, or just find out what happened and satisfy your boss?”
“Oh boy! I don’t like the sound of that, but I’ll bite. A little of both I guess. Justice is always good, but I’d like to keep my job if possible.”
“I thought as much. I would like to make you an offer, but I need to ask you one more question first.”
“Here it comes…”
He looked up at her with all seriousness. “Do you believe?”
She wanted to just say no, that he was a crazy old kook. But she couldn’t. There was something in all of it that was nagging at her, and she feared that it might be more of a change to her nice safe world than she wanted to accept. Still, it couldn’t be ignored.
“Let’s just say that I’m not completely convinced, but that I’m open.”
“Fair enough. Then here is my proposition – have dinner with me. After, I will do my best to aid you in any way I can for as long as you need while I try to turn you into a believer. If possible, we will find your killer and bring him to justice. You can choose to report to your boss on the matter or not. It’s your career.”
“Dinner? Why, Professor! Are you trying to seduce me?” She was dramatically coy.
The older man didn’t miss a beat. “If I was, my dear lady, you wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Beth tried to tell if he was joking and was met with only seriousness.
“Really,” she answered seeing a challenge. Internally, however, she couldn’t help but notice a different feeling. It was something she hadn’t felt in a long while. “Alright then. Give me your best shot. I’m wide open and willing to accept whatever you have for me. Make me a believer.” Her words were intentionally sultry, but she knew the man would catch the double meaning regardless.