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Who Are The Watchers In The Bible?
The Watchers are a group of supernatural beings mentioned in the Bible, primarily in the Book of Daniel, who are believed to observe and influence human affairs. The Watchers are often referred to as angels, but the precise definition of their identity and origin is a matter of debate among biblical scholars.
The Watchers are first mentioned in the Book of Daniel, which is part of the Bible’s Old Testament. In the text, the prophet Daniel is visited by an angel named Gabriel, who reveals a series of prophecies to him. Near the end of the passage, Gabriel explains that he was sent by the Watchers, who had been observing Daniel’s plight and wanted to intervene:
“I was sent to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days. For there is a further vision yet awaiting you, concerning the appointed time of the end. The appointed time is long, but it will come to pass. And the Watcher, the holy one, gave command; he said, ‘Take heed, O Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the appointed time.’”
The Watchers are mentioned again in the New Testament, where Jesus discusses them in a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven:
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his own farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
Jesus then concludes the parable by saying, “When the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The parable is a reference to the Watchers, who are invited to the wedding feast and watch over the guests. The “man without a wedding garment,” meanwhile, is an analogy for those who do not pay heed to the watchers’ warnings and are cast out of the kingdom.
The exact identity and origin of the Watchers is still a matter of debate among biblical scholars. Some interpret them as a kind of angelic being, similar to the angels that appear throughout the Bible. Others believe they are pre-Flood giants, a view backed up by the 1 Enoch, a non-canonical book referenced in the Bible, which tells of the “Giants of Old” and their interactions with mankind. Whatever their true identity, the Watchers are an important part of Christian religious tradition and have had a significant influence on our understanding of the Bible.