On Enrico Morano’s “New Research on Mani’s Book of Giants”

In his paper, “New Research on Mani’s Book of Giants,” Enrico Morano, PhD, sought to, “try to give the fragments in a sort of ‘sequences’, which may reflect the original development of the ‘plot.’”

The book in question is aka “on account of/for/at request of the Parthians” or “a writing for the Parthians” due, or so it seems (as per an email to Morano from Pavel Lurje), “the Coptic rendering ‘writing on account of/for the Parthians’ in the place of ‘Book of Giants’ could be just a result of confusion of two meanings of Iranian pahlaw(ān) 1. ‘Parthia(n)’ and 2. ‘hero, athlete’, which could suit the meaning ‘giant.’”

Of course, that only begs the question of what is the meaning of “giant” or rather, what was the contextual meaning back then since the English word giant is not only vague, generic, and subjective but multi-use. The modern usage pertains to unusual height but such was not, for example, the meaning it carries when English Bibles are following the LXX/Septuagint in rendering (not even translating) Nephilim as gigantes/gigantos (or gigas—and note that the LXX also renders Rephaim and also gibborim as such).

In any case, Morano notes, “There follows a list of the sequences proposed, a complete concordance of the published fragments, and the description of some fragments, still un- published, which may belong to the Book of Giants.”

He breaks these up into sequences.

We begin with, “Rebellion in the watchpost of the Rex Honoris. 200 demons (= watchers) fall to earth. Their descent from heaven stirs up the other heavenly beings. They descend because of the beauty of the women they saw there, and they reveal forbid den arts and heavenly mysteries.”

Rex Honoris refers to “one of the 5 sons of the Living Spirit. In Mani’s Book of Giants a transposition of the Jewish God (in Coptic and Sogdian texts respectively)” with this Living Spirit being “one of the Manichaean gods of the ‘second creation.’”

That the “Rebellion” was specifically of “200 demons (= watchers)” reflects that which 1 Enoch/Ethiopic Enoch notes since it offers the specific number “200,” the Bible does not specify any such number.

Now, 1 Enoch does not have what is here “200 demons (= watchers)” since it would have demons (which it terms “unclean spirits”) not as Watchers (a Second Temple Era manner whereby to refer to Angles) but as the spirits of dead Nephilim—something else that the Bible does not specify, for my Bible based identification of demons, see my article “Demons Ex Machina: What Are Demons?

That this led to that they “fall to earth…descent from heaven” due to “the beauty of the women” is ultimately based on Genesis chap. 6 and it is 1 Enoch which asserts that “they reveal forbid den arts and heavenly mysteries.”

Now, one of the funniest moments in pseudepigraphic history is that 1 Enoch has God telling them, “You have been in heaven, but all the mysteries had not yet been revealed to you, and you knew worthless ones” (XVI:1).

Continuing, “Šahmīzād (one of the fallen watchers) begets two Giants sons: Sāhm (=Ohyah) and Pāt-Sām (=Narīmān or Ahyah); other demons and Yakṣas beget the rest of the Giants.”

My first question, again, is what is meant by Giants, from what word was it rendered as such, etc. This is especially the case since reference was made to “Giants…and…other demons” which, again, might be 1 Enoch influenced.

Šahmīzād is “one of the leaders of the Watchers” and apparently, so was Yakṣas.

Moreover, “Giants’ deeds. First warnings from Heaven. The Giant Māhawai, son of one of the Watchers who descended to earth, hears (possibly in a dream) a cautioning voice while flying along at sunrise and is guided to safety by Enoch’s voice, who warns him to descend before the sun sets; his wings are on fire. Back to earth, he hears again the heavenly voice, which leads him to Enoch. Sāhm and Māhawai have a contest, and someone reassures Māhawai that he will be protected from Sāhm.”

If “in a dream” then that would correlate to the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Book of Giants—in chapter, “Cherubim, Seraphim, Satan, Angels and the Nephilim in the Books of Enoch” of my book, “In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch” I review the parallels between the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Book of Giants and 1 Enoch.

Did you note that “The Giant Māhawai” was “flying along” on “wings”? Perhaps it was just a dream since there is no indication that any results of unions between Watchers and humans led to winged offspring: particularly since Watchers and humans have some things in common including that neither have wings: that Angles have wings is commonly believed but is not biblical.

Yet, that he “flying along at sunrise” but that “his wings are on fire” may be influenced by the myth of Icarus—he flew too close to the Sun on artificial wings made of wax that the Sun melted.

Furthermore, “The Giants begin robbing wives and killing one another and other creatures. Sāhm has a dream in which a tablet was thrown in the water. It seems to have borne three signs foreshadowing anguish, escape and destruction. Narīmān has a dream in which he sees a garden full of trees in rows. Enoch is asked to interpret the dream: the trees are the Watchers and the Giants.”

This then, does touch upon the Dead Sea Scrolls’ reference to prophetic warnings within dreams.

Continuing, “The 4 Archangels (?) bring the earth’s complaint before the Rex Honor- is (=Yima?) and honour him. Enoch acts as mediator. The demons assemble fearful before him and ask for mercy. Apparently they promise to reform their ways.”

Biblically, only Michael is referred to as Archangel—and “Arch” may imply there can be only one. Yet, Mani has “The 4 Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel” with Raphael and Uriel not being biblical Angels—see my, “Hollywood theology in Ryan Reynolds ‘The Voices’ movie.”

“Rex Honor” means something like Honored King or King of Honor.

Moreover, “Enoch (?) warns the demons that they will be taken through the fire to face eternal damnation and describes how the righteous will fly over the fire of damnation and rejoice.”

Again, here Watchers, and maybe also the Giants, are demons.

Furthermore, “Enoch’s message to the demons. Enoch gives a message to the demons and their children, telling them that they will have no peace, and that they will see the destruction of their children. They will rule for 120 years. Then he predicts an era of earthly fruitfulness.”

The timespan surely plays off of Genesis 6:3, “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” and the “era of earthly fruitfulness” would be post-flood—since Giants (Nephilim) did not make it past the flood, nor did they return: not biblically and not 1 Enochically.

Continuing, “Enoch’s messages to demons and giants. Sāhm’s dream. Māhawai (?) comes with two stone tablets. He has brought them in order to share the contents of one tablet, pertaining to the demons, with the giants. Šahmīzād tells him to read the writing by Enoch. Sāhm exhorts the other giants to cheer up and to eat, but they are too sorrowful to eat and fall asleep instead. Sāhm has a dream: he came above in the sky, and sees the water of the earth consumed with heat and a demon of wrath comes out of the water. He then sees the heavenly rulers.”

Here a categorical distinction is made between “demons and giants.”

The dream seems to predict the flood.

Moreover, “Sāhm and Narīmān prepare to fight. Someone (Enoch?) tells how he saw some (the Giants?) who were weeping and lamenting and many others who were sinful rulers.”

Morano notes, “At this point one could insert a recently published Uigur text, in which Sāhm kneels down and calls upon the Sun God, imploring mercy for his sins.”

Furthermore, “The demons capture some ‘heavenly helpers’. As a result, the Angels descend from heaven, terrifying the two hundreds demons, who take human form and hide among human beings. The Angels separate them and set a watch over them; then they separate the giants from the demons and lead them in thirty-two distant towns prepared for them by the Living Spirit. These people invented arts and crafts. Harsh fight between the 4 Angels and the 200 demons. Many are killed, among them hundreds of thousands of Righteous, because of fire, naphta and brimstone used by the Angels in the battle. The Angels protect Enoch. Electae and Auditrices are ravished and other beautiful women are forcibly married. The battle goes on. Atnabīš fights strongly and three giants are killed. An Angel, called ‘Great Angel’, ‘royal Messenger of the Gods’, kills and destroys.”

Now, we have Watchers, who are Angels but are called demons, who “take human form and hide among human beings” yet, biblically, Angels look just like human males already, ontologically, and we were made “a little lower” than they.

Cool, “These people” were, like, scrapbooking and stuff—I jest.

So 4 Angels take on 200 demons (other Angels, Watchers) and one of the battle’s byproducts is that “hundreds of thousands of Righteous” humans, apparently, perhaps the “These people,” die.

In Spanish, nafta refers to gas, as in gasoline, so I would imagine that naphta refers to a combustible, perhaps a liquid one.

Electae and Auditrices are mentioned as if out of nowhere and Morano does not comment upon them.

The only other thing noted by Morano is that one sequence contains, “Doctrinal text on the 5 elements” and another, the last one, “Exegetic text on the Hearers.”

He then has a section on “Texts of uncertain position” about which he comments thusly, “Text U (Parthian): in this text three kings and heroes of the Zoroastrian period are mentioned. Mani must have identified the heroic period with that of the antedeluvian patriarchs. If this fragments belongs to the Book of Giants, it should perhaps be placed at the beginning, in a kind of introduction to the Manichaean history of origins.”

What caught my eye was the reference to “the Manichaean history of origins.” Now, the original, traditional, and majority view on the sons of God of Genesis 6:2 and 4 was the Angel view—as I chronicled in my book On the Genesis 6 Affair’s Sons of God: Angels or Not? A survey of early Jewish and Christian commentaries including notes on giants and the Nephilim.

One turning point, in a manner of speaking, in moving away from that view and towards the Sethite view was the hugely influential Augustine of Hippo—who wrote for such a long period of time that he visited and revisited the topic and ends up taking a nuanced view.

It seems to me that the reason that he opted for a view unlike the normative Angels view was because he had been a Manichaean, the Gnostic sect named after Mani, and when he converted to Christianity, he sought to divest himself of any and all traces of Manichaeanism. Thus, if Mani taught the Angel view, Augustine would reject it.

For more details, see my relevant books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help out. Here is my donate/paypal page.

Due to robo-spaming, I had to close the comment sections. However, you can comment on my Twitter page, on my Facebook page, or any of my other social network sites all which are available here.

if Mani taught the Angel view, Augustine would reject it.

For more details, see my relevant books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help out. Here is my donate/paypal page.

Due to robo-spaming, I had to close the comment sections. However, you can comment on my Twitter page, on my Facebook page, or any of my other social network sites all which are available here.