Re: Josephus Antiquities 3.1.173

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Tue Jun 30 1998 - 01:38:02 EDT

On Mon 29 Jun 98 (14:20:01), wrote:
> As for the substance of the question, my own guess--and it is nothing more
> than a guess--is that AGGELOI became a LXX variant for hUIOI in Gen 6:3
> precisely because of the polytheistic implications of hUIOI QEOI in the
> Hebrew text (at least in the Masoretic text)--and so I would suppose
> that Josephus actually understood the LXX to be referring to angels.
> [snip]

 The Greek text of Brenton's LXX is from the Vaticanus MS, but with some
 contributions from the Alexandrinus. At Genesis 6:3, Brenton's text has
 hUIOI TOU QEOU; but he gives a footnote ZETA "/Alex./ Angels of God".

 Whiston's translation of Josephus' /Antiquities/ gives the passage in
 question at Book I Chapter III paragraph 1: "[The posterity of Seth] for
 what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by
 their actions a double degree of wickedness; for many *angels’ of God*
 accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of
 all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own
 strength; for the tradition is, That these men did what resembled the acts
 of those whom the Grecians call giants...". Whiston's footnote’ reads
 "’ This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense, the fathers of
 the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity.". Such opinion was
 strengthened by references in the pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch, which
 was widely read and believed in Josephus' day.

 The passage to consult is 1 Enoch VI, which begins "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.' ...."

 And in 1 Enoch VII: "1. And all the others [angels] 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...". And so on... (gripping stuff).

 I'm sorry I don't have the Greek text; the above is the translation of
 RH Charles, /The Book of Enoch/, SPCK, London, 1917, pp 34f.


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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