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Samyaza (Aramaic: שמיחזה, Greek: Σεμιαζά), also Semihazah, Shemyazaz, Shemyaza, Sêmîazâz, Semjâzâ, Samjâzâ, Semyaza, and Shemhazai, is a fallen angel of apocryphal Jewish and Christian tradition that ranked in the heavenly hierarchy as one of the Grigori (meaning “Watchers” in Greek). The name “Shemyaza(z)” means ‘infamous rebellion’, the combination of ‘shem’ (meaning ‘name’ or ‘fame’ [whether positive or negative]) and ‘azaz’ (which means ‘rebellion’ or ‘arrogance’ as a negative particle). Michael Knibb lists him as “the (or my) name has seen” or “he sees the name”. The interesting thing about the second interpretation is there is a tale about Semjâzâ knowing the explicit name of God and making a deal with a human (Istahar) to tell her the name.
1 Possible identification outside of the Book of Enoch
2 Sins of Samyaza and his associates
4 See also
Possible identification outside of the Book of Enoch
This section possibly contains previously unpublished synthesis of published material that conveys ideas not attributable to the original sources. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. (August 2014)
Some suggest that Samyaza is most likely another name for Satan (Heb: ‘the adversary’), who was originally an entity created in the service of God; he was the caretaker of God’s throne, but later fell from the heavens because of his pride according to some Abrahamic traditions. Jesus states that he saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning in Luke 10:18.
Others say that Samyaza should not be mistaken for another name for Satan, who some believe was “cast out” from the heavens previously (reasons offered include the refusal to bow down to Adam). This interpretation points to Rev. 12:9 and Gen. 6:4 as depicting two separate falls from heaven, one of Satan being cast down, the other of the sons of God choosing to come to earth to take human wives.
Sins of Samyaza and his associates
In the Book of Enoch, Samyaza is portrayed as the leader of a band of angels called the Watchers that are consumed with lust for mortal women and become fallen angels.
And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: “I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.” And they all answered him and said: “Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.” Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. (Enoch 6:3-5)
A full listing of the leaders of the group can be found on the 1 Enoch page. Semjâzâ convinced several other Grigori to join him in fornicating with women. As a result, he and the other sinful Grigori begot giant offspring (called Nephilim in Genesis) that dominated and feasted upon humans during the days of Enoch. The Watchers’ other sin was to teach humans various creative arts — especially Azâzêl’s, who taught the secrets of war, which brought down the wrath of God.
God commanded the angel Gabriel to cause the Giants to wage Civil War:
And to Gabriel said the Lord: “Proceed against the biters and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have …” (Enoch 10:9)
Finally, the judgement of the associates of Samyaza is described.
And the Lord said unto Michael: “Go, bind Semjâzâ and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is for ever and ever is consummated. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire:〈and〉to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations …” (Enoch 10:11-14)
After the destruction of the Giants, God caused the Great Flood (Noah’s flood) to wipe out the humans who had become corrupted.