Titans and Nephilim in the Bible and greek mythology

1 Enoch and Theogony

1 Book of Enoch should be compared with Theogony where the motif of The Tytanomachia is elaborated. The very first link is the word ‘Tartarus’ itself as it was invented by Hesiod in 700 BC when he wrote the Theogony. The next link can be found between the ways these four writings describe Tartarus.

Book of Enoch Theogony 2 Peter Jude
place of darkness ζοφωδη τοπον(Enoch 17: 2) under the misty darknessὑπὸ ζόφῳ ἠερόεντι(Theogony 729) pits of darknessσειραῖς ζόφου(2 Peter 2:4) under darknessὑπὸ ζόφον(Jude 6)
the valleys of the earthτας ναπας της γης(Enoch 10: 12) as far beneath the earthτόσσον γάρ τ᾽ ἀπὸ γῆς(Theogony 716-725)
deep abyss[12]χασμα μεγα(Enoch 18: 11) gloomy earth[13]χάσμα μέγ᾽(Theogony 740)

Referring to Tartarus as ζόφος makes a clear connection as well as locating it under the surface of earth and also making it a gloomy place where the rebels are kept. The term ζόφος is found five times in the New Testament: 2 Peter 2.4, 17; Jude 6, 13; and Hebrews 12.18. In four instances it designates the darkest place.

Two following details show that 1 Enoch, while extending the Genesis 6:1-4 story, added material from the Theogony. The incident in Genesis 6:1-4 is described vaguely and rather casually, when 1 Enoch 10:8 says that angels are accused of exposing secrets to men. In the Theogony, Prometheus (one of the Titans) is punished for doing the same thing. In both books the secret knowledge is associated with the arts of civilization and the uses of metal. While only the vocabulary concerning the underworld prison can be proven to be corresponding, we should not be surprised that we do not find angels in Greek myths and Titans in 1 Enoch or 2 Peter as they are specific to the cultures. Although attempts to identify Titans with angels (Nephilim) have been noted (Judith, Josephus).

It is interesting that 1 Enoch 6:2 (!) refers to angels as υἱοὶ οὐρανοῦ and Genesis 6:2 (!) calls them οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ in the LXX translation. Sons of Heaven may be a reminiscence of the Greek Theogony in which Titans were offspring of Heaven and Earth.

We have just established that the myth of the fallen angels from 1 Enoch is dependent on Hesiod’s Theogony and it is acknowledged fact among some scholars as well[14] but others are more cautious in ascribing total dependency to Theogony noting that it is only of shape, not of content.[15] As we have seen, the Sibylline Oracles interpreted the Nephilim from Genesis 6:1-4 as Greek Titans which makes a case to assume that generally it was an acknowledged identification. Also, when Theogony dependent 2 Peter 2:4 alludes to Tartarus, it can be said with much confidence that beings referred to as ‘angels’ are counterparts of the Titans.

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