Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Angels & The Divine Council: Part 3



ANGELS AND THE DIVINE COUNCIL
PART 3

GENESIS CHAPTER 6
This section of scripture is the most neglected and the most controversial, when actually discussed, part of the Bible.  Very few Christians want to believe the literal information it appears to deliver.  The modern, civilized, conservatively educated mindset just cannot accept or acknowledge the concept of heavenly beings mating with human women.  Greek and Roman (and others) stories of ‘gods, ‘goddesses’, titans, and part-beast/part-human chimeras are considered myths and the products of highly creative imaginations.

Genesis 6:1-5 NET  When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,  (2)  the sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were beautiful. Thus they took wives for themselves from any they chose.  (3)  So the LORD said, "My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal. They will remain for 120 more years."  (4)  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men.  (5)  But the LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time.

The Sethite View:  What has come to be called the Sethite view became the majority view of this passage somewhere around 400 AD.  It was designed and developed to extract the supernatural aspect out of this passage.  The supernatural view only requires that readers accept that heavenly supernatural entities exist and can physically interact with humans.

This view essentially states that the linage of Seth were godly men and the women of Cain’s linage were ungodly.  Marriage between these two linages was forbidden but the godly men of Seth married the ungodly women of Cain.  This erased this separation of the two groups producing much evil which incurred the wrath of God and resulted in a devastating flood.

Problems with the Sethite View
1.     The proof that the men of Seth worshipped God (only) comes from Genesis 4:26.  This verse never states or implies that only Sethite men worshipped the Lord.  This idea only comes from the commentator’s imagination.

And a son was also born to Seth, whom he named Enosh. At that time people began to worship the LORD.  (Genesis 4:26 NET)

2.    How is it that giants are the result of human to human procreation?
3.    The scripture never refers to the women as daughters of Cain, but the daughters of humankind or men.
4.    Are the Sethite men the “sons of God”?  Other scripture references to “sons of God” would be difficult or unbiblical to consider them as human men.
5.    Why would any human to human marriage be prohibited?  There were no marriage laws given until Moses.
6.    If the Sethite males were godly, why did they not survive the flood?  When the Lord saw ”that the wickedness of humankind had become great”, it must have included the Sethites because they were not on the Ark.  If Noah and his sons were Sethites, then only 4 people of Seth were godly.

Sethite Issues in the New Testament
Other issues with the Sethite view surface in the New Testament.  Peter specifically states that God punished the “angels when they sinned” but spared Noah and seven other individuals.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world,   (2 Peter 2:4-5 NET)

Jude does not mention the Flood but is describing the identical episode due to listing the identical punishment of the angels as Peter.  He also mentions the sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah as does Peter.

You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.  (Jude 1:6-7 NET)

What sin is Peter and Jude referring to?  There is only one possibility:  Heavenly divine beings adopting planet Earth as their permanent home and taking human women as wives.  Notice the wording of scripture states they “took wives” as anyone else would take a wife.  There is no indication of force or violence.

Jude comments the angels “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation”.  They were not forbidden to enter the dimension of earth, perhaps with permission, but were not permitted to live and interact as an earth dweller. However, these divine beings decided to be earth dwellers, take a human wife, and procreate offspring.

Many non-canonical books describe the Genesis 6 events in great detail such as the Book of Jubilees and 1 Enoch.  The book of 1 Enoch adds a significant amount of additional information such as the names of various divine beings who “left their own (heavenly) habitation”.  Enoch writes that Mt. Hermon is the place where the divine beings transferred from the heavenly realm to the earthly dimension.  The divine beings, called Watchers by Enoch, were imprisoned by God prior to the Flood of Noah.  It is possible the different DNA of the “Watchers” produced the increased height and size of the half-divine offspring.  Some writers and commentators have suggested the “Watchers” were experimenting with DNA transfers and not actually mating with human women.  There are many questions and very few answers.  It would probably be best not to rely on the book of Enoch for actual information.  However, given the development of the Sethite theory during the 300’s may give insight as to the reason the book was rejected as canonical.

1st Enoch 6: 1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.' 3. 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.' 4. 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.' 5. Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 6. And they were in all two hundred; who descended ⌈in the days⌉ of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.

The watchers or divine beings were punished by God.  1st Enoch, chapters 9-11, state the watchers were punished during the time of Noah, prior to the Flood.  Peter verifies this by writing that God “threw them into hell” where they are chained in total darkness.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell (Tartarus) and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment,  (2 Peter 2:4 NET)

The word “hell” is not the expected Hades, abyss, or bottomless pit but Tartarus.  Here is an excerpt from the Word Study Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek:

Tartaróo; contracted tartaro, fut. Tartaro, from Tártaros (n.f.), the subterranean abyss of Greek mythology where demigods were punished. It is mentioned in the pseudepigraphal book of Enoch as the place where fallen angels are confined. It is found only in its verbal form in 2Pe_2:4 meaning to cast into or consign to Tartarus.

Jude also verifies the punishment of the watchers but doesn’t use the word Tartarus.

You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.  (Jude 1:6 NET)

A quote from Michael Heiser:  This Greek word is the precise term used in classical Greek myths about the ancient giants. The Cyclops and the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, the lowest part of the underworld, by Uranos, Kronos and Zeus. It is not coincidental that in the Old Testament the spirits of the dead nephilim and other giant clans like the Rephaim are referred to as “demons” and inhabit the same place. Both the Watchers and the demonic spirits of their offspring belong to the same place. The connection is unmistakable.


Mythology
Most of Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Northern Africa have varying degrees of Mythological stories involving “gods”, “goddesses”, titans (giants), and chimeras (part-animal / part-man.  The majority of modern educated people, particularly in the USA and Europe consider this mythology to be just that – myth.  Some scholars and historicists have noted a linkage in the myths – that is, they are related or the same but with different names. 

Dr. Heiser considers a possible parallel between the pre-flood events concerning the watchers and their offspring and the myths of the various nations.  It that is true, consider  the pre-flood stories would be remembered and passed down by the eight people of the ark to their children and their generations.  The tower of Babel language change and subsequent dispersion of the Babel population would carry those stories through most of the world.  Versions and variations would be applied over time, but many of the basic facts and concepts would remain relevant throughout the different migrating groups.  It has always been my opinion that mythology from several parts of the European continent could be so similar and yet a fantasy of native imagination.

Neither Genesis 6 or 1st Enoch ever mention a female divine being (watcher), or female offspring.  To my knowledge, there are no female angels or divine beings.  Eve was created as Adam’s helpmate and wife.  Note the words “wife” and “family” in Genesis 2:24.  It may be that God intended for Adam and Eve to procreate when they were created.  It is doubtful the “fall” initiated breeding abilities.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.   (Genesis 2:24 NET)

It is never my intention to invent doctrine but it could be possible that divine beings can take the form of a woman.  It is also possible some of the watcher/human children could have been female, although it is never mentioned in non-canonical writings.

Can Angels Have Sexual Relations?
Those opposed to the procreation between divine beings and human women often cite the scriptural comment found in Matthew 22:20 that says resurrected individuals do not marry because they are “life angels in heaven”.  Yes, heavenly beings, both angels and the resurrected, have no need for sex, food, water, or suntan lotion.  It is problematic they would even have the organs and orifices necessary for such activities.

However, we can read about the divine beings (maybe it was even God the Son) visited Abraham and ate food with him.  A divine being wrestled with Jacob and injured his foot proving the being was not an apparition.  Two divine beings pulled Lot inside his doorway demonstrating they could physically react.  It could be possible the divine beings can do whatever they need or desire to do.  There is no absolute proof scripture.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30 NET)

Conclusion
Heiser Quote:  The statement of Genesis 6:5 should not be viewed as some sort of capricious action on the part of a tyrannical God. Rather, God allowed humanity to exercise its freedom for centuries—after the knowledge of Yahweh had been made known (Gen 4:26). This was all an act of grace. God waited, but the situation finally demanded action. The time eventually came when God’s prophecy to Eve of a human redeemer who would undo Eden’s tragedy outweighed the lives of the humans who had willingly cooperated with the transgression of heaven and earth. Unless the slate was wiped clean, the necessary human seed would be lost and prophecy would fail.


GOD AND THE DIVINE COUNCIL
Does God trust the members of the Divine Council?  Thus far we have looked at the garden of Eden temptation and the “sons of God” mating with human women.  The council members and the angels were created with a free will, apparently without regard to a higher power which would be the Lord God.  There are some statements in the book of Job that will hopefully clarify the question.

Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?  (Job 4:18-19 KJV)

Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints (holy ones); yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?  (Job 15:15-16 KJV)

It appears to be certain that God knows that created entities have free will that can be exercised beyond His will and that it has occurred.

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