Enoch’s Journey to Dudael — The Prison of the Fallen Angels

Enoch's Journey to Dudael - The Prison of the Fallen Angels

Where is Dudael?

According to the Book of Enoch, Dudael is the place of imprisonment for the fallen angels such as Azazel, and Samyaza— a bleakest and grim place. Dudael is described by Enoch as a place with an entrance that is located to the east of Jerusalem, covered in the darkness that the imprisoned angels may not see light for as long as they are in there. Although there is limited information online on Dudael as a place, we are pleased to bring you a full detailed description of Dudael from the Book of Enoch.

The Angels and the Women

After Uriel had taken Enoch to the many places including the great mountains, the river of fire and then, up upon the stars themselves, we finally see him bring Enoch to a dreary wasteland; a place that is devoid of life and mostly consumed by the darkness.

The Sin of the Fallen Angels (the Watchers)

Enoch scolding the watchers

Uriel reveals to Enoch that this is the prison of the fallen angels—the very place that the Watchers would have most likely ended up after they transgressed against both God and mankind. Uriel goes on to say in chapter 19,

“Here shall stand the angels who have connected themselves with women, and their spirits assuming many different forms are defiling mankind and shall lead them astray into sacrificing to demons as gods, here shall they stand, till the day of the great judgement in which they shall be judged till they are made an end of.”

In this, we understand the Watchers and any other angel who has ever fornicated with a mortal woman, or caused mischief upon the mortals, will end up here in this sterile land and that they will remain here to be judged just as man will be in the end times.

You might say that by Uriel’s words, man and angel are held to the same standard and though angels are thought to set better examples and be representations of the divine, they are not exempt from suffering the same fate as us should they transgress against the Lord.

By suggesting that fallen angels are eligible for suffering in the end times, the Enochian legend provides a new perspective for angels that isn’t touched upon in the bible.

The angels here are not pinnacles of perfection and whilst they are ranked higher than men in their closeness to God, they are not flawless and certainly appear to possess free will in the same way we do. The Watchers prove this in their succumbing to the flesh of women and their decision to disobey God and descend upon the earth in droves.

Uriel provides an idea that those angels who demonstrate such behaviour will end up here, in this godless wasteland and that they will suffer for what they have done until they have been made an end of.

The Punishment of the Women—Female Angels?

But in this chapter, we learn that God does not solely blame the Watchers for their descent, but that he also blames the mortal women for having been led astray in the first place. Uriel tells us,

“And the women also of the angels who went astray shall become sirens.”

Interestingly, the Book of Enoch seems to take inspiration from Greek mythology by incorporating sirens into the story and whilst Uriel does not expand on this idea, nor provide any specific details of how this transformation takes place, the text is clear that women guilty of copulating with angels will become sirens.

To what capacity this takes is unknown, but as far as sirens in mythology go, they were thought to be dangerous creatures who lured men, usually sailors, with songs and their enchanting voice would lead them to ruin were they not to take care.

The Sirens of Greek Mythology

Uriel does not determine what the sirens look like either, though one can assume from mythology that they may have taken the form of hybrid between woman and bird.

In classical Greek art, the siren was represented as having a bird-like body and a large woman’s head. But later, they adopted a more charming and somewhat seductive form with the upper half of a female and the lower half of a fishtail.

In any case, one can only speculate as to which form Uriel is referring to and it could be entirely possible that Uriel is only using the Siren to paint an image for Enoch that he would understand. What he could mean is that the women are transformed into monsters and that they are ultimately cursed to live as these terrible creatures.

Some might find that the judgement that Uriel speaks of regarding the mortal women is considerably harsh, especially when we consider that these women were the victims of rape.

It also should be noted that considering the Watchers were divine beings, the women may have simply been doing what they thought was righteous, for the angelic ones would surely not have put them in such a sinful position otherwise.

It could also be argued that the women believed this to be God’s will, given that it was the angels who had come down to the earth to do the deed and not some regular human. The angels in the bible, after all, have always proven to be honest, faithful and for the most part benign, and always act in the best interest of the humans they visit.

So, it makes sense that the women did not resist their advances, assuming that they were given the choice to refuse, which appears to be unlikely. Nevertheless, God damns the women too in this instance—though, through no fault of their own, they were committing adultery.

One might say that the chapter seeks to reframe exactly what took place between the angels and the women and that instead of being forceful, the Watchers had seduced the women into being unfaithful before taking advantage of them.

This then paints the women of the time in a negative light, for they were essentially led astray by the fallen angels and traded their husbands for a night of passion with an angel. Though again, this is a particularly hard point to argue considering that the Watchers were angels and so, saying no to one of them isn’t exactly something that the biblical God had ever prepared mankind for.

Another point to make about Uriel’s words proposes a new idea that Uriel isn’t talking about the mortal women, but instead, female angels who had also fallen during this time. His wording that “And the women also of the angels who went astray shall become sirens.” is up for some scrutiny and may propose a new concept that there were female angels amongst the angelic host, and they too had a hand in the downfall of both man and themselves.

This might make some sense when you consider that turning a mortal woman into a siren is a bit random, but to change a female angel into a siren is to transform something holy into something evil and thus, reflect the change the female angel has had from good to bad.

By transforming an angel into a siren, God ensures that they become the complete antithesis of what they were meant to be and aligns their appearance with that of their newfound nature. But this is purely speculation and as far as chapter 19 of the Book of Enoch goes, all we have is the words of Uriel to rely on.

The Archangels Involvement with the Fallen Angels

Uriel

In chapter 20, Enoch gives us a mini-rundown of what each of the archangels does—probably that which was explained to him by Uriel. He tells us first,

“Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus.”

This is quite interesting that yet again, Enoch uses ‘Tartarus’, another motif in Greek Mythology, that represents a void in the centre of the earth—that which the Titans were cast into by Zeus. The comparison is likely again used to establish some connection with the reader and to illustrate the void where the Watchers are kept, otherwise known as the Dudael—a bleakest and dire place.

Beyond this, both the void discussed in the Enochian legend and the void of Tartarus are very different in that in the Enochian legend, God damns the Watchers there for their deceit and treachery.

Meanwhile, in Greek mythology, Zeus only damns the Titans to Tartarus because they are his nemesis and to prevent them from resurging again to challenge his rule. In this case, one is an act of punishment, and the other is an act of war.

Raphael

Raphael binding one of the watchers

Moving on, Enoch continues his rundown of the angels by telling us

“Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.”

In this, it might be said that Raphael guards the very souls of men on earth and seeks to watch over them in a way that the Watchers had failed to do. It might be said that after the Watchers had been dealt with, God had tasked Raphael with being the ‘sole Watcher’ of the earth.

By looking after the spirits of men, it may link in with the tradition that Raphael was an angel of healing.

Raguel

We then see Enoch speak of another angel not mentioned thus far. He tells us,

“Raguel, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.”

The luminaries in the biblical sense are usually thought of as essences that provide light. The sun, the moon and the stars are all considered to be luminaries in the bible, such as we are told in Genesis,

“And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary — and the stars — for the rule of the night.” — (Genesis 1:16)

With the idea established in Enochian legend that the angels were the stars, the angel Raguel takes on the role of punisher for the angels who step out of line.

It might be said that after the descent of the Watchers, God sought to put in place a deterrent to stop other angels from doing the same, and so he elected Raguel to bring vengeance upon those who did end up falling.

Michael

Archangel-Michael-arresting-the-Watcher-Samjaza

Enoch continues with Michael, telling us

“Michael, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind and chaos.”

And here we can see that Michael is deemed to be positioned amongst the best of mankind, those who were perhaps the most righteous and there his presence would serve them as they continued to live moral and pious lives.

It’s suggested that he was an angel that was able to govern chaos, perhaps the chaos in one’s life, and so to have him onside would see to the righteous amongst mankind living harmonious lives.

Saraquel

Yet another new angel is established in this section, as Enoch tells

“Saraquel, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit.”

It might be said that Saraquel was tasked to watch over the spirits—those who were the sinful spirits—or demons. We know that the Nephilim were not fully destroyed, but that their spirits were allowed to live upon the earth to bring destruction and chaos as punishment to man for having listened to the Watchers.

It is possible then that when Enoch refers to the spirits who sin in the spirit, he may be referring to Nephilim spirits and that Saraquel watched over them to make sure they did not become too powerful.

Gabriel

Archangel-Gabriel-and-the-Nephilim-in-the-Bible

Enoch continues of the angels, “Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.”

Here, it might be said that Gabriel watches over everything, both good and bad. He acknowledges the antics of the holy cherubs, but he also acknowledges the antics of the evil serpents, which makes sense given that he is a messenger angel.

By knowing everything good and bad, Gabriel can alert God to any disturbances that take place, which may have been an improvement to the way angels communicated with him, given that he was seemingly unaware of the perils on earth with the Watchers.

Having Gabriel watch over both the good and the bad, ensured that action could take place sooner and thus prevent things from getting out of hand as they did on earth.

Remiel

Finally, Enoch concludes of the final angel, “Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.”

We understand from the second Book of Baruch, a Jewish pseudepigraphical book, that the archangel Remiel is an angel of hope and is credited with both divine visions and guiding faithful souls into heaven.

With this understanding, it might be said that Remiel is indeed set over those who ‘rise’, as in, he is responsible for souls rising into heaven after the physical death.

The Prison of the Fallen Angels (The Watchers) — Dudael

Tartarus in Greek Mythology — The Prison Beneath Earth in Greek Myths

In chapter 21, we see things take an even more brutal turn for the fallen angels as Enoch and Uriel venture further into prisons.

Enoch tells us,

“And I proceeded to where things were chaotic. And I saw there something horrible: I saw neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible. And there I saw seven stars of the heaven bound together in it, like great mountains and burning with fire.”

Here, Enoch tells us that he sees seven stars of the heaven—or, seven of the angels—and that these seven were bound together and burning with fire.

Whilst from the outside this looked like a barren place with no life to speak of, we get a glimpse of what things are like for those imprisoned here and how they are trapped to one another and constantly set on fire.

Enoch turns to Uriel and asks him,

“For what sin are they bound, and on what account have they been cast in hither?”

And Uriel turns to him and replies,

“Enoch, why dost thou ask, and why art thou eager for the truth? These are of the number of the stars of heaven, which transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated.”

By Uriel’s words, it might be said that these seven angels seen bound and burning may have just been another set of fallen angels, for, unlike the Watchers, they have a limited sentence of ten thousand years of suffering.

The Watchers, meanwhile, seemed to suffer forever and ever, as established in previous chapters, but there’s an idea here that these angels were only being taught a lesson—a harsh one at that. The nature of these angels’ transgressions is not revealed, though one might say it was certainly something significant that it warranted ten thousand years of burning.

Tartarus-in-the-Underworld

Enoch then tells us that he was taken to another place, perhaps further into the prison and that it was much more horrible than the former place. He tells us,

“And from thence I went to another place, which was still more horrible than the former, and I saw a horrible thing: a great fire there which burnt and blazed, and the place was cleft as far as the abyss, being full of great descending columns of fire: neither its extent nor magnitude could I see, nor could I conjecture.”

Here, Enoch tells us that this area was full of pillars of fire and that they were so large, he could not see where they began.

Enoch demonstrates fear here, referring to this as the most horrible and terrible place that he’s seen so far and whilst he does not comment on it, witnessing the burning of angels may have triggered some existential regret and panic, in that if God was willing to allow this to happen to his angels, those who were closest to him and divine, then his punishment for mankind may have been even more gruesome.

He even expresses his fear to Uriel, telling him “How fearful is the place and how terrible to look upon!” But Uriel does not appear to show much compassion and seems more baffled at the fact that Enoch is scared at all, thus establishing the difference in mindset between men and angels, in that their threshold for such things is infinitely beyond ours.

He tells Enoch, “Why has thou such fear and affright?” And Enoch answers him, “Because of this fearful place, and because of the spectacle of the pain.”

Whilst Uriel does not seem to resonate with Enoch’s anxiety, he does perhaps understand it on some level as he seeks to reassure him with the facts by telling him that this is where the fallen angels end up.

With this statement, along with Uriel’s nonchalant manner, it might be said that Uriel was telling Enoch that he needn’t have such fear because this was not the same suffering that mankind can expect given that we would not have the same tolerance for such torture.

Whilst not exactly the most comforting thing to hear, it may have put the idea of punishment into perspective for Enoch and perhaps, scared him even more straight.

By understanding the extremities of suffering, it might be said that Enoch was then well-equipped and more determined to save not only himself but also his fellow man, for he would not have wished anyone to experience the things he had seen.

Uriel concludes this chapter in a rather ominous fashion, telling Enoch in a callous tone,

“This place is the prison of the angels, and here they will be imprisoned forever.”

Art Sources: Douglas Deri.

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