The Watchers in the Bible

The term watcher is connected with biblical angels. They appear in singular and plural form in the Book of Daniel. “The Watchers” is also the name given to ‘Nephilim’ (many translated as giant) mentioned in four verses in Genesis (6:1-4). A Nephilim is half-human and a half-angel.

“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came into the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”

Three suggestions about who Watchers could be

  1. Godly descendants of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve.
  2. Angels
  3. Kings and rulers.

No specific opinion about ‘the watchers’

Biblical scholars don’t have much to say about this topic; that who are they, what they look like, or what are their stories. Although the term ‘Watchers’ in the ‘Book of Enoch’ refers to fallen angels.

The term’ The Watchers” and Daniel 4: This term is used three times in Daniel 4 as mentioned below.

“I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. Daniel 4:13

The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end, that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ Daniel 4:17

And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ Daniel 4:23

From the above-mentioned references “The Watchers” are used as holy spirits or guardian angels that come down from heaven with authority to speak for God.

The ministering angels from The Book of Enoch

This book is not including in the Bible. However, the book of Enoch has all the connected characters, story, background, and timeline that goes along with the Old Testament. Here the Watchers have the following qualities.

  • Intercede for humans – 1 Enoch 15:2
  • Mediate between God and man – Testimony of Dan 6:2
  • Guide people in the right way of life – and report to God on what they see (good or evil) – Jubilee 4:6
  • Reveal God’s secrets – 1 Enoch 60:11
  • Prepare for the judgment of the righteous and wicked – 1 Enoch 103:2-3
  • Teach men knowledge and crafts – 1 Enoch 7:1; 8:1ff

However, the Watchers (or some of them) are also those identified below.

  • Falling from heaven, led astray by the first 2 of 5 Satans – Similitudes of Enoch 69:4; 54:6 – Esp. Satanail entices the Watchers in the 5th heaven to revolt against God. This Satan will also later condemn and torture these same Watchers (54:3, 5).
  • Some of the Watchers who fall are imprisoned in the 2nd heaven and others are cast to earth where they take human women (Enoch 7:3, 18:4) who bear giant offspring (the Nephilim of Genesis 6) – Jubilee 13:17-35; Testament of Reuben 5:6
  • Some secret societies are said to be in possession of knowledge that was inherited by the Watchers, who were led by Lucifer, the Bringer of Light.

Book of Jude and uncertainty

The substantial debate also surrounds the nature of the “sons of God” who fathered the Nephilim. They might be the fallen watcher angels or Grigori. The biblical book of Jude provides a clue:

“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on a great Day” Jude 1:6

Confirmation of heavenly beings in the Bible

The Bible also affirms the concept of heavenly beings who watch the earth as per Ezekiel 1:15–20 and are interested in the affairs of humans.

This Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen” 1 Peter 1:12, NLT

Watchers fulfilling the Purpose of God

The purpose of God is to make the church a source to display His wisdom to rulers and other authorities. We can feel that for this purpose the idea of Watchers is biblically sound.  Likewise, the Bible confirms the presence of angels who guard and protect humans.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” Psalm 34:7

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10; Acts 12:9–15

Watchers in Genesis

In Genesis, we are given a very brief description of the causes of the great Biblical Flood. This took place before Noah built his vessel, the great ark.

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. And the LORD said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” 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. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:1-5

These sons of God were referred to in some translations as supernatural beings. It can be assumed and even confirmed that these beings were watchers, otherwise known as giants or old men of renowned. The Good News Bible called them famous men of long ago and heroes.

The Other side

Orthodox Christianity and a few other ancient religions believe that watchers were evil creatures. However, not all Watchers who looked down from heaven were evil. There were Holy Watchers were the archangels – Michael, Uriel, Gabriel, and Raphael. These archangels were the leading Watchers, who heard the cries of men that perished under the hungry giants. The holy angels told God what has been happening on earth.