Og and the Giants (Lost
[expansions and supplement by R.A.Kraft]
The section by MRJ on "Og" is somewhat longer than his "Eve," and nicely illustrates various shortcomings of Lost Apocrypha as well as some of its values and potential. The "Og" material now requires extensive adjustment, since it deserves to be part of (or related to) a general section on "the Giants" that we find so important in the "Enochic" and other ancient Jewish and Christian (and Muslim) traditions. James knew that there was at least one ancient claim that there was a Manichaean book on "The Activities of the Giants," but instead of attempting to discuss it as such, he subsumes it under his "Og" treatment. Today, we speak unhesitatingly about a "Book of the Giants" associated (most notably by J. T. Milik) with the Enoch materials from the Dead Sea Scrolls.\1/
\1/See DiTommasio 426f ("On the Book of Giants in Rabbinic and Manichean sources" -- no specific reference to "Og"), and especially W.B.Henning, "The Book of Giants," BSOAS 11 [1943-46] 52-74, and J. T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon 1976). For more recent detailed discussions, see Garcia Martinez "The Book of Giants" in his Qumran and Apocalyptic 97-115, and John C. Reeves, Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions (HUCM 14; Cincinnati: HUCPress 1992). The index to Ginzberg's Legends of the Jews includes an entry for "Giants, see also Angels, the fallen, Nephilim, and Og" and under "Og," there are about 34 references -- see especially 6.117ff for the detailed notes. Garcia Martinez hazards a convenient summary of the lost Book of Giants, based on the identified DSS fragments (110): "it consisted of a summary of the Book of Watchers ["1 Enoch" 1-36], a detailed description of their progeny, a distinction between the punishment inflicted on Azazel and that reserved for Shemihazah, a narrative of some deeds of the giants, prior to their confinement in prison, and a minute account of the discussions between Shemihazah and Hahyah that gave way to a double message from Mahaway to Enoch, in which he begged him to interpret his dream, as well as Enoch's response in which he rebuked the giants and praised God."
To what MRJ had to say about "Og" in the original text, I have added some supplements and adjustments in brackets and explanatory notes for the "New (electronic) James" project. The expanded section probably should be relocated to adjoin Noah, with a cross reference left in the original sequence. Material for further details and elaborations is found in the following outline.
With reference to the Og legends, we can see the wheels spinning in the mind of MRJ, this savant of antique legends, this imaginative creator of ghost stories and paranatural fictions. We can also sample the frustration of the less-well-instructed reader attempting to follow the drift of his pregnant conjectures and the attendant allusions (several of which have been filled out in the revised text).\2/
\2/Nimrod is described as one of the "mighty ones" in Gen 10.8-9 (see also 1 Chron 1.10), and is often identified as a giant (e.g. in Dante) or as connected with giants in various traditions; the theme of dragons and floods conjures up discussions of primeval struggles between goddess Tiamat and Tehom (the deep) in Babylonian cosmogeny, and also of the sea-monster Leviathan (see Isa 27.1), among other traditions; Deucalion is the Greek counterpart to biblical Noah, and in Greek tradition the god Apollo slew the Python-serpent which came from the mud of the deluge of Deucalion. For a quick impression of the abiding influence of such traditions, internet searches on google.com are most revealing.
For our "New (electronic) James," the outline for the section/article dealing with Og thus takes this shape:
A general discussion of the "giants" traditions (Nefilim,
Gibborim, Rephaim, Anakim, etc.), with bibliography and links to
available encyclopedic sources such as the Jewish Encyclopedia
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=215&letter=G [Giants article];
\3/The Enochic (and associated) literature frequently makes reference to things written on "the heavenly tablets," and the extent to which such a concept may have influenced the development of "apocalyptic" traditions deserves closer scrutiny. Whether antiquity knew of any actual writings by that title, and if so, what their connection to the Watchers/Giants may have been is not clear.
[the following is quoted from the Jewish Encyclopedia link]
Biblical Data for Og:
Amorite king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and was conquered by Moses and Israel in the battle of Edrei (Num 21.33), sixty fortified cities, with high walls, gates, and bars, comprising the region of Argob, being taken and given to the children of Machir, son of Manasseh (Deut 3.13; Josh 13.31). Og was one of the giants of the remnant of the Rephaim. His iron bedstead in Rabbath, the capital of Ammon, is described as having been nine cubits in length and four cubits in breadth (Deut 3.11).
The figure of "Dan'el the Rapha-man" appears in the Canaanite poem,
"The Tale of Aqhat." One scholar has offered the intriguing suggestion
that "Rapha-man" may refer to the legendary giant race of the Middle
East referred to in Hebrew scriptures as the "Rephaim" (Gen 14.5; Deut.
2.11). Like the Anakim, they are usually reckoned as Rephaim, though
the Moabites called them Emim (Deut 2.20-21). The gigantic King Og of
Bashan (Deut 3.11) was the last of the Rephaim, who were also called
the Anakim (Num 13.22, 33; Deut 1.28) and the "Nephilim" (Gen 6.4), all
of them the children of the mating of the "sons of god" and mortal
women in Genesis (The Ancient Near East, Vol. 1, edited by James B.
Pritchard, translation by H.L. Ginsberg, p. 118). These gigantic
great-great-grandchildren of god should have been destroyed in the
great flood, yet they reappear to fight the Israelites in the time of
David (1 Chr 20), who killed the chief giant, Goliath of Gath (1 Sam
17.50-51); a separate story claims an Israelite soldier named Elhannon
killed Goliath of Gath (2 Sam 21.19) -- yet another evidence of the
varied background of these traditions even in antiquity.
Og In Rabbinical Literature:
Og was not destroyed at the time of the Flood (Niddah 61a), for, according to one legend, the waters reached only to his ankles (Midr. Peṭirat Mosheh, i. 128, in Jellinek, "B. H." ii.). Another tradition states that he fled to Palestine, where there was no flood (Rashi to Niddah, ad loc.); while, according to a third legend, he sat on a rung of the ladder outside the ark, and, after he had sworn to be a slave to Noah and his children, received his food each day through a hole made in the side of the ark (Pirḳe R. El. ch. xxiii.). Og was known also as "Ha-Paliṭ" (see Gen. xiv. 13).
It was Og who brought the news to Abraham of the captivity of Lot. This he did, however, with an evil motive, for he thought that Abraham would seek to release Lot and would be killed in battle with the great kings, and that he, Og, would be able to marry the beautiful Sarah (Gen. R. xlii. 12). A long lease of life was granted him as a reward for informing Abraham, but because of his sinister motive he was destined to be killed by the descendants of Abraham. Og was present at the banquet which Abraham gave on the day Isaac was weaned (comp. Gen. xxi. 8). As Og had always declared that Abraham would beget no children, the guests teasingly asked him what he had to say now that Abraham had begotten Isaac, whereupon Og answered that Isaac was no true descendant since he could kill Isaac with one finger. It was in punishment for this remark, one legend declares, that he was condemned to live to see a hundred thousand descendants of Abraham and to be killed in battle against them. (Gen. R. liii. 14). When Jacob went to Pharaoh and blessed him (Gen. xlvii. 7), Og was present, and the king said to him: "The grandson of Abraham, who, according to thy words, was to have no descendants, is now here with seventy of them." As Og cast an evil eye upon the children of Israel, God foretold that he would fall into their hands (Deut. R. i. 22).
Death of Og.
During the battle of Edrei (Num 21.33) Og sat on the city wall, his legs, which were eighteen ells long, reaching down to the ground; Moses did not know what monster he had before him until God told him that it was Og. Og hurled an entire mountain against the Israelites, but Moses intercepted it (Deut. R. l.c.). According to another legend, Og uprooted a mountain three miles long, intending to destroy all Israel at once by hurling it upon their camp, which was also three miles in length; but while he was carrying it upon his head a swarm of locusts burrowed through it, so that it fell round his neck. When he attempted to throw off this unwieldy necklace long teeth grew from both sides of his mouth and kept the mountain in place. Thereupon Moses, who was himself ten ells tall, took an ax of equal length, jumped upward ten ells, so that he could reach Og's ankles, and thus killed him (Ber. 54b).
Shabbat (151b) and 'Erubin (48a) also indicate that Og was regarded as an unusually large giant. A legend says that a grave-digger pursued a stag three miles inside of one of Og's bones without reaching the other end (Niddah 24b). </block quote JE>
See also the separate paragraph in the entry for "Giants" by Hirsch and Seligsohn
Og, King of Bashan. Of all the giants only Og escaped destruction in the Flood. Noah made a place for him near the lattice door of the ark, through which (Pirḳe R. El. xxiii.), because Og had sworn to serve Noah and his descendants for all time, he handed him his food every day. The Talmud (Niddah 61a) sees a reference to this in the word "ha-paliṭ." (Gen. xiv. 13), "the escaped" fugitive being identified with Og (comp. Pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. xiv. 13; Deut. iii. 11; see Eliezer). Arabic writers (ṬAbari, i. 193; and Ibn al-Athir, i. 51) quote this escape of Og as a "Jewish" story ("according as the people of the Torah fancy"). According to Mohammedan tradition, Og was a son of Noah's sister, and survived his uncle 1,500 years, being killed by Moses (see Bemidbar Rabbah to Num. xxi. 34; Tan., Ḥuḳḳat, ed. Buber, 55; Pseudo-Jonathan to Num. xxi. 34). The story of his death runs as follows: When Og saw the camp of the Israelites, six parasangs in area, fearing lest his fate be a repetition of Sihon's he proposed to kill them all at once. He broke off a mountain and lifted itabove his head to throw it upon the Israelites. But God sent a worm which bored a hole into the mountain so that it fell upon Og's neck, his teeth becoming imbedded in it. Moses, taking a mace ten ells long, beat the ankles of Og until he died (comp. "Sefer ha-Yashar," and Ber. 54b, where ants perforate the mountain). The Arabic historians relate similar stories (Ṭabari, i. 50 [Zotenberg transl. i. 391]; Ibn al-Athir, i. 137). Og's height is given by Ḳazwini (i. 449) as 23,330 ells; he lived 3,600 years. The waters of the Flood reached only to about the middle of his body. In Parḥon's "Maḥberet," s.v. <hb>..,</hb>, as in Ḳazwini (l.c.), it is a bird, <hb>...</hb>, that splits the mountain.
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