Divine Council

Below are links to my posts here at the Naked Bible that deal with the divine council, my academic specialty. Several of the post contain links to papers I’ve read at academic conferences on the topic. For those who might inquire, I’m a very traditional Trinitarian (and so, I consequently affirm the deity of Christ), but I at times defend the idea in ways unfamiliar to many (i.e., I believe that there was a Godhead in the Old Testament / Israelite religion, and that the divine council is in part related to that Godhead idea). My website introducing the theology of the divine council is located here.

Heiser, Mormonism, and the Divine Council of Psalm 82

  • No, I’m not a Mormon (as my academic Mormon friends will tell you). This post links to an article I had published in a Mormon journal explaining why I think the Mormon understanding of Psalm 82 is wrong (really — how refreshingly open-minded).  Still, some people out there like to (literally) lie about me (i.e., they know about that paper and omit it in their online material about me when expressing disagreement with my take on Psalm 82).

The Plural Elohim of Psalm 82: Gods or Men?

  • My answer: “gods” (i.e., elohim, as the text says). This post contains a link to my paper on Psalm 82 read at the 2010 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). It refutes all the arguments that the elohim of Psalm 82 are humans (an argument that undermines the deity of Christ in John 10:34-35). I think the divine plurality of the psalm is part of John’s portrayal of Jesus as God, and it is impossible to make that argument if the elohim are mere men.
  • The post also contains a link to a second ETS paper of the same year about what the term elohim means, and why plural elohim are compatible with monotheism. Short answer: since the biblical writers use elohim of a five entities besides the God of Israel, it cannot be a term associated with one unique set of attributes — one has to deny demons are real, for example, if one denies other elohim besides the God of Israel are real (Deut 32:17).1

Dan McClellan on “What is Deity in Septuagint Deuteronomy?”

  • Dan is a Mormon scholar and friend of mine. We therefore disagree about a number of things, but have a cordial relationship. This post features some of my response to his regional SBL paper of 2011.

Dan McClellen’s Response to Yours Truly, and My Rejoinder Points

  • This is Dan’s Response to my response, with some added rejoinder points of my own (hey; it’s my blog).

Divine Plurality in the Dead Sea Scrolls

  • This is one (of two) of my 2011 regional SBL papers. It is a revision of my dissertation chapter in regard to the 200 or so references to plural elohim in the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which are in divine council contexts.

Regional SBL Papers

  • This post contains a link to both my 2011 regional SBL papers, the one above on divine plurality and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and paper number two on Jesus’ quotation of Psalm 82:6 in John 10:34-35.

Did the Religion of the Biblical Writers Evolve from Polytheism to Monotheism? A Paper and Response to Thom Stark

  • This post contains a link to my 2011 ETS paper on how divine plurality in the Hebrew Bible (and a divine council) does not prove an evolution in Israelite religion from polytheism to monotheism. I reject that idea, though it is the majority view of scholars working in this area. The post also contains a response to (atheist?) Thom Stark on that same issue.
  1. For further reading on that, see my published articles: M. Heiser, “Does Deuteronomy 32:17 Assume or Deny the Reality of Other Gods?” Bible Translator 59:3 (July 2008): 137-145; M. Heiser, “Should elohim with Plural Predication Be Translated ‘Gods’?” Bible Translator 61:3 (July 2010): 123-136; M. Heiser, “Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 18:1 (2008): 13-18.

53 Responses to “Divine Council”

  1. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  2. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  3. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  4. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  5. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  6. [...] of denominational confessions and theological systems HomeABOUTBible VersionsBiblical AnthropologyDivine CouncilElectionEschatologyHebrew HeaderInspirationRomans [...]

  7. Henry says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    I am very interested in your work on the Divine Council. After reading John 10:34-35 and Psalms 82. I had the some questions you bring up but never got answers to. These verses do not mean anything if any man or human being could call himself a son of God just because they were Hebrews or Jews.

    I wanted to read your first draft of your new book but when I found the link it was no longer available.

    When is your book on the Divine Council coming out and where can I purchase one?

    Thank God that there are scholars like yourself that have dedicated their talents to help the body of Christ grow. Thank you helping those find the answers to the hard questions that arise when reading the Word of God.

    Great work and may God Bless you.

    Henry

    • MSH says:

      Thanks, Henry

      Have you read my article on Psa 82 in John 10? It’s at:

      http://michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/divine-council/

      The book is a first draft, as you know. No idea what will become of it. It needs an edit. That may start this year; not sure. Realize it’s just me. I have no staff and, as my employer is not a university or seminary, I get no summers off for writing. I do what I can when I can.

  8. Henry says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    The Sons of God that are mentioned in Genesis 6 are not the same sons of God that are mentioned in Psalms 82 or in Job are they?

    Thanks Henry

    • MSH says:

      No. All traditions (biblical and intertestamental) have the offending sons of God locked away in the Abyss/Tartarus, so by definition they can be the ones set over the nations (judged in Psa 82) or any other passage.

  9. Henry says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    Is there a way you can send me the draft copy?
    I would really like to read it.

    Another question about the 70 sons of God. If the nations are divided by the sons of God, how are the nations calculated?

    I’m am Mexican American and looked at some of the history of my family names. 15% of Mexican families have Jewish descendants, they have also found Cohen genes in the DNA. I guess another big DNA match would also be arabic since the Moors and the Jews lived in Spain for 800 years and some converted to Christianity.

    So, a person like most americans, how would we be classified under 1 nation or multiple nations?

    Since there are many nations in the world how they would classified by DNA or language?

    Have you found anywhere that gives the names of all the sons of God?

    Sorry for all the questions but I really enjoy learning the deepest mysteries that God has placed in his Word.

    Thank you for your time,
    Henry

    • MSH says:

      email me for a copy. Physical genetics isn’t the point of the kingdom reclamation of the nations. Believers in Christ are the people of God today, Yahweh’s inheritance (see Gal 3 for the church inheriting that Abrahamic promise).

  10. jane joseph says:

    Could u make the ebook draft available for a fee?

  11. Sat, March 10, 2012 7:32:25 AMA question for you (as your time permits)
    From: Linda Walters Add to Contacts
    To: michaelsheiser@gmail.com

    ——————————————————————————–

    Shalom Dr. Heiser,

    It has been quite a while. ( : I try hard not to bother you, but I do continue to study your material whenever possible. I have a question for you. I have just finished watching your latest Vimeo videos at Grace Church on the two powers, etc…and I do “get it”, believe me, I do. But given that the visible YHWH (Messiah) is the Word and YHWH the invisible (the Father) states that “His Name” is in Him (Messiah)–how then do we view the part of the verse in Psalms 138:2 where the invisible YHWH says that He “magnifies His Word OVER His Name”? This seems to imply that the Father is magnifying the Son over Himself. Am I correct in the way that I am perceiving this? Otherwise, the logic appears (at least to me) to be circular; since the Word IS Messiah and “the Name” is also IN Him (Messiah).

    Maybe I’m just being dense here and don’t see what is clearly written or intended there? I don’t know.

    Thank you for your time and all that you (and your family) do for us in giving of your time so generously. I also see that your book “The Myth” is out in draft form. I am just waiting for funds to purchase as many copies as I can. ( : This should be around the end of this year, I am praying sooner if possible.

    * I also managed to obtain a copy of all that you did with Dr. Tom Hawkins before his death. What great material. Wow. TY, what a blessing that is to have. I even has all the powerpoints*

    I was so saddened by David’s death, but YHWH knows best was He has in store for each of us. I was also surprised that George Noory did not mention his passing (unless I missed it somehow) , as it was from George that I first learned of David’s tumor. It just seemed odd to me. I have such fond memories of the round table discussions, the AoD conferences and such from years past. Unfortunately, I don’t cotton much (as we say in the Ozarks) to the current conferences. I am only about 40 miles from Branson, but I have no desire to join the “breeding program”/”the Nephilim are here” hysteria, although I would love to finally meet Sharon and Derek in person after all these years. I believe that the Nephilim were NOT the cause of the flood but rather it was the hearts of the people that had become corrupt, just as they had today. That made me very unpopular on FB, I can tell you. LOL

    Oh, well…I’ve chatted enough.

    Shalom

    In His Love, Lyn Walters

    ps…several years back (in Nov of 2009), I wrote to you asking for your prayers for my grandchildren (specifically for my grandson) because they had just lost their father. I remember you saying “it will be interesting to see how G-D uses this situation” (I’m paraphrasing). Actually, you would not believe when I do share with you what has happened to date. Sometime, I would love to send you an update. Taylor (my grandboy) now lives with me and so much has transpired; had I had any idea then how the Hand of G-D would move in our lives regarding this situation…I would have been struck dumb. Please thank your wife for all the family pix. I love keeping up with your family. Your home, btw, is gorgeous, as is your family. law ( :

    • MSH says:

      Not sure what translation you are reading. The text of Psa 138:2 literally reads: “For you have exalted above everything your name, your word.” This would equate the name with the word, though many translations insert an [and] between “your name” and “your word”. In light of verse 1 the context is supremacy of the divine presence of Yahweh in the temple above all gods (and naturally their temples, too).

      I didn’t hear David’s passing mentioned on C2C either, nor is there a link. I was shocked as well.

      Yes, give me an update in email.

      Thanks!

  12. MSH
    I wonder if you would comment on this. This is from an English translation of Rufinus’ Commentary on the Apostles Creed [very old form], or to put the title more precisely “Creed of Aquiliea” – the town of his origin, and in which he was baptized – recalling the creed as it was uttered there. This was in the section commenting on Jesus being “crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried. He descended into Hell”

    “When the Most High divided the nations, He appointed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.” But some of these, as he who is called the Prince of this world, did not exercise the power which God had committed to them according to the laws by which they had received it, nor did they teach mankind to obey God’s commandments, but taught them rather to follow their own perverse guidance. ”

    I’m wondering if this is an accurate representation of the passage? It does seem so to me, and the further commentary, linking this “fallen” state to the Colossians baptismal passage is insightful – in fact, other than some of my own bible studies put together in past times, I haven’t seen this sort of linkage between the ‘rulers’ of the celestial kind and the ‘rulers’ Paul spake of in the cited passage.

    I am reminded of the final “curse” of YHWH upon Egypt in the Exodus: that in the final blow He pronounced judgment upon “their gods”. From that point, Pharaoh turned

  13. just a p.s…. the comment by Rufinus also reminds me of a very similar [actually several] comments in Enoch I

  14. Tim says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    I really appreciate the insight you have given on this issue. It does assist in reading afresh the Scriptures. With Psalm 82 in view, I would like your take on the possibility of importing these ideas to Luke 1:52.

    Thanks!

    • MSH says:

      I can see what prompts the question. Unfortunately, the wording doesn’t clearly come from an OT passage where we might confirm your suspicion.

      • Tim says:

        Thanks for that. I also am interested if the compound names “LORD God’ (the Self Existing elohiym?) are intended for distinction from the other gods of the world. Especially phrases like ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews’ when Moses/Aaron were dealing with Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s responses seem to drop the identifier of ‘the Hebrews’.

        Sorry, one more, Abraham Heschel stresses that the Shema was intended to make clear that the God of the Hebrews was ‘unique’ and that is what ‘One’ means within the phrase (not a symbol of numerical value). You use ‘species unique’ in your writings. Would it be of assistance for us to see Jesus as a ‘Son’ unique in that fashion and further, that His people are a ‘unique’ people through union with Him.

        Thanks again!

  15. Dean Fry says:

    As I am sure you know, there are religions that say we are all already gods. I have thought about using John 10:34-35 to begin to preach the gospel to such people, with the understanding that the gods of Psalm 82 were us. Unfortunately, I have yet to get an opportunity to see how that would work out.

    “I and the Father are one,” is not especially unique as is shown by the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17. We who believe have all become one with the Father through the blood of the Lamb by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus showed that the charge of blasphemy was without legal merit on the basis of Psalm 82. I am not sure how that defense works if the “gods” are only spiritual beings, since they considered Jesus as only a man. The Jews may not have made their charge if they had not earlier heard Jesus say, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

    I am not yet ready to buy into the “elohim” being only powerful spiritual beings. I know that men have been worshiped and I know even in the Scriptures that we ourselves are called the sons of God. If the beings referred to in Psalm 82 were called the Elohim because the Word of God came to them, that is not so different than us being referred to as the Christians. (I wonder how many people would be upset if we started calling ourselves Little Messiahs, which as you know, is what Christians means.) Human or nonhuman, what if it is both? Those who are true sons of God, human or nonhuman, do not die like mere men: with no hope.

    I do not understand the need to defend monotheism from Psalm 82. It is obvious that the word “God” has come to mean an omnipotent being, which was not necessarily the case when much of the Scriptures were written. These gods are being judged; that cannot happen to an infinite being. So they may be gods by the definitions of 3000 years ago, but they are not gods by today’s definitions.

    May God continue to grant you breath of understanding. Peace to you from Jesus Christ.

    • MSH says:

      Thanks; I think it tenuous (and even dangerous) to equate human beings with elohim since that not only undermines other items in John (it isn’t just John 10:30) but also facilitates a “human elohim” idea — but it is a facilitation that is absent of proof from the OT.

      • Dave says:

        Interesting take on not elevating men to the status of Elohim, but how do you account for man having been created “in God’s Image”? That would seem to reflect SOME parity (and remember that God tells Noah in Genesis 9 that he’s able to demand an accounting of spilled blood since man is made “in His image”, the rationale given for delegating Divine authority to mankind in order to administer a system of criminal justice over one’s fellow man).

        More problematic is the account contains God’s own words, his own admission that by having eaten of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad (which instantly granted the wisdom of a God to any human who ate it), Adam and Eve HAD in fact “become like one of us (a God)”.

        In fact, that’s the whole explanation for the action YHWH took next: blocking access to the Tree of Life (which granted immortality) with cherubs/flaming sword (which is anachronistic, BTW, since this was supposedly WELL BEFORE the iron age invention of swords, etc), since God explained that if man had not been prevented from “reaching out his hand”, then he’d eat of the Tree of Life and supposedly would live forever; already possessing the wisdom of a God, man then would become “the same” as Gods. So Genesis tell us that the ONLY difference between a God and human in YHWH’s opinion, is man’s mortality; stated in the inverse, that if man had gained immortality, then he’d “become a God”.

        The issue (as stated) was whether humanity is able to use their own internal moral code (ie their conscience) fueled by ‘stolen’ wisdom from the Gods, vs relying on God as the source of their morality and wisdom.

        (And it’s interesting to remember that a young King Solomon reportedly asked YHWH in a dream to be granted wisdom and knowledge, and his request was granted; compare that to Eve, who simply TOOK wisdom without asking for permission first. Hence God is depicted as a somewhat capricious and pedantic character, who simply seems to want to play a game of “Mother, May I?” with mankind (and note the game of “Hide and Seek” he played with Adam in the Garden, eg “Adam, Where art thou?”, as if Adam could hide from an omniscient being…)

  16. Keith says:

    Been reading your material on the divine council and watched a number of videos on the internet. Thanks for all the work that you have done and for sharing with us. The Lord has certainly used your material to help me make some major connections from book to book of the Bible. So thanks again.

    Just began a study of Jeremiah and was reading chapter two today. Came across verse 11 and was wondering how this fits with the divine council worldview? Have you posted any comments on Jeremiah 2:11?

    • MSH says:

      Jeremiah 2:10-11 is a dismissal of the gods of the nations because they cannot compare to Yahweh, not that they don’t exist. The issue is their (non)-potency. See the link below for pp. 90-99 of my dissertation. The Jeremiah passage is discussed on pp. 98-99, but it requires the context of the preceding discussion. Even though though there’s Hebrew interspersed, I think you can still follow the discussion (if you know Hebrew, it’ll be a breeze). Start reading at Section 4.1.

      http://www.michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/HeiserDiss90to99.pdf

      • Keith says:

        Thank you. Very helpful.

      • Hanan says:

        Mike,

        I am a little bit confused. In reading the link to your dissertation, you state:

        “The goal of this chapter is to demonstrate that the primary evidence for an intolerant monotheism in the Hebrew Bible is at best inconclusive, and very likely speaks only to the continuity of the monolatrous pre-exilic worldview that embraced a divine council.”

        …”This is the basis for Israel’s monolatry.”

        Was I wrong in concluding in your rebuttal to Thom Stark that you concluded that Judaism was always Monotheistics and NOT monolatrous???

        • MSH says:

          Monolatry and monotheism are overlapping terms but not total synonyms. An intolerant monotheist would be monolatrous. But the real problem is defining monotheism. If one attaches a single set of attributes to the word elohim (which I don’t, but Thom seems to – and he’s not alone), then using a term like monotheism for Israel isn’t possible. But that is a modern idea – assigning a single set of attributes to the word, as though belief in multiple elohim = belief that all elohim has the same attributes. I don’t actually like any of the terms. I think the way to go is to describe what a biblical writer would believe, not label it with one (modern) word. I think the biblical writers believed: (1) many elohim existed; (2) that one of those elohim (Yahweh) was “species unique” (has unique attributes – i.e., they would not assign those attributes to any other elohim); and (3) Yahweh was the only elohim they were to worship.

          • Hanan says:

            Mike,

            Do you believe everything changed upon Isaiah where (it is claimed) is the first time you can see a reference to no other gods existing? I understand you don’t like these labels, but did Judaism stop being monolatrous then? Because the way I understand things from your writings, you disagree with the Polytheism —> Monotheism evolution, but you don’t disagree with the Monolatry —–> Monotheism evolution, correct? After all, at some point there was an evolution, if today, we no longer accept other gods existing.

            I am trying to keep everything you have written in mind such as ELOHIM better understood as being a place of residence. That Elohim can mean a wide assortment of “entities”, not necessarily gods. But in the divine council, surely they mean “gods”, that YAHWEH created, correct? So when in Judges it says “Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess” does he believe Chemosh an independent Elohim, or a god that YAHWEH at some point made for the other nations?

            Also, why didn’t God simply tell the Israelites no other gods existed through Moses or whomever? Because either THEY were mistaken in their theology or WE are mistaken in not believing in other gods as they did.

            Thank you for all your hard work.

            • MSH says:

              I don’t understand the first sentence.

              In my view, no evolution is required between monolatry and monotheism. I’m thinking you should read the items on the new divine council page. There may be something there you haven’t seen before.

              • Hanan says:

                Thank you, I will indeed go through the new divine council page.

                I guess, to trim all the fat away, my main concern falls under a more philosophical question. If perhaps it was possible to retrieve the Ark with the Ten Commandments, what would we find written in there, (if one assumes that the Ten Commandments were given by God) in terms of the 2nd commandment? Since God cannot lie, what it says on the tablets, would have to be what REALLY is. So if it says “Don’t have any gods before me” that would convey a message of truth that there ARE other (sub)gods (remember, this is God talking). If this is just some fluke in the overall theology of ancient Israelites being exposed to outside influences, than that commandment seems to be factually wrong. Hence, it isn’t JUST what the ancient Israelites believed, it is what we today SHOULD believe as well. I feel, – and I may be wrong – that unless this is answered, you may only be doing half the job to fellow Christians who would ultimately ask this question.

                • MSH says:

                  I think what I’ve written here is clear. The elohim = inhabitants of the spiritual world. To deny their reality today is to deny there’s a spiritual world of spiritual beings. I’ve never written anything to the contrary.

                  • Hanan says:

                    >To deny their reality today is to deny there’s a spiritual world of spiritual beings.

                    Well that’s rather an unfair reply don’t you think? Do you deliberately distort what I ask you? You seem to cherry pick and not respond to the overall comment. I never said there is no spiritual world with spiritual beings. The discussion is the TYPE of spiritual beings. So for examples, you say in your Divine Council website that the Israelites believed in other gods. So what do we make of Chemosh in Judges 11:24? Did they believe there WAS a Chemosh? Did they believe Chemosh is a god created by YHWH? Should WE believe in Chemosh.

                    Do you Mike, do you believe in other Gods in the spiritual world like Chemosh?
                    Who was closer to the truth? Were they closer back then? If that is so, then you and I need to dump OUR belief in this modern version of Monothesism (i.e. that there is but one God, and some angels) and quickly take up believing in other Gods too, albeit less than YHWH*

                    Do you see now why answering the basic question of “What IS vs. What was actually believed” is so crucial? If you believe in what the biblical authors believed in, then you are duty bound to believe every nation today (Russia, Spain, Ecuador) has a God ruling over them. If you aren’t then you basically agree with the evolution of Monotheistic belief. Your existence proves that the idea of monotheism has evolved. What you are also doing is throwing a wrench in the 2nd commandment. Because for THAT commandment to have 100% truth, YOU, Mike, must not JUST believe in a spiritual world, but also believe in lesser gods that rule over other nations. So is that what you believe?

                    Now, you might wonder why evolution of monotheism is an issue. Well, my guess is most religious people will have a problem with this simply because what you are saying is God had no problem with ALLOWING false beliefs to permeate his Chosen People. What you are saying is God – while in the middle of God giving a bunch of commandments, was incapable of saying there are no gods that exist except for Him.

                    * Have you read the Tolkien’s Silmarillion? You do realize you are basically saying the Israelites had a belief in similar like that. That there is one grand god but that he created a bunch of lesser God.

                  • MSH says:

                    No, I don’t think it’s unfair. I think the Bible very clearly presumes an animate spiritual world and assigns territoriality to lesser elohim. What they are called derives from how ancient people conceived of such powers. I think lots of Israelites were polytheistic (the OT notes that problem a lot), but I don’t think the biblical writers were. They took shots at it all the time.

                    I can’t go into this here any more. Everything you’re asking me is posted online here and elsewhere (my papers). If you read them you’ll know what I think and why.

  17. Arklen says:

    Yeah, I was attempting to purchase your full lecture series (Chaos to Restoration) on Christ Ministries but they dont take Discover Card, Im not one to have a whole bunch of credit cards so thats the one I use. Can u point me to another place to buy this or is that the only place to purchase this, I absolutely cannot find it anywhere else.

    I appreciate any information, Heiser lectures are the bomb.

    Thanks

  18. Mihai says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    Very interesting material concerning Divine Council. Thank you for sharing.
    1. It seems to be a part of a book. Is it published?
    2. It looks strange to me the resemblance between the description of the Divine Council of Baal and of Yahve. If Ball is a fallen angel (and what could it be?), could he have a Council like Yahve or the descriptions of Divine Council from Scripture is borrowed from Israel’s neighbors !?

    • MSH says:

      Yes, I have a book draft on what I’d broadly describe as the divine council worldview of the Bible. You can get it via my homepage under “Research Papers”.

      Baal is not a fallen angel. You’d have to read the material on elohim on the DC site and then either find some additional things on this blog (see the tabs) or via the above draft.

  19. Rebecca M. Watkins says:

    Thank you. I know you must take criticism from many pastors who have not studied the depth of research that gives you the confidence to bring us a deeper understanding of the Bible.
    It was through prayer for greater understanding that God led me to your website. One of those indisputable little things that happen that cannot be explained any other way.

  20. DLC says says:

    Hi MSH All you have to do is read the work of many scholars,preachers,students of the divine word. They bring their own individual concepts to the word. Theres no doubt that studying the text is of paramount importance, however it only creates pieces of a puzzle and if put together what do they show.

  21. Aaron says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    You’ve probably already examined this before, but what do make of Exodus 22:9?

    Several translations at this point translate “elohim” as “God” while other passages render it as “judges.” Given that the context, it seems that it most certainly must be human judges, since there was never a time that a man and his neihbor stood before God to settle a dispute about oxen or donkeys…and this is 4 chapters after Jethro has advised Moses to appoint others to help him “judge” the people concerning matters such as these (Exodus 18:13-23. Do you see this as a passage which would make us rethink the view of the word “Elohim” and how it was used in ancient near-eastern times?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

  22. Hanan says:

    This guy just wrote a post on Ugaritc Gods and the bible. I left a comment on his site to check out your site and get some good info on the biblical connection

    http://thetorah.com/bezalel-and-the-impotence-of-foreign-deities/

  23. Hanan says:

    “I can’t go into this here any more. Everything you’re asking me is posted online here and elsewhere (my papers). If you read them you’ll know what I think and why.”

    Where can I find your papers?
    As a side note, I have asked you previously if you have dealt with the question of “What really EXISTS vs. what should be believed” and you admitted you have not really dealt with that. So how can your papers or links assist?

    Again, what should I believe right now in terms of other Elohim? Should I believe in territorial elohim existing right now? Is this not the same predicament as the Sabbath question I had for you?

    1) If there isn’t any other Elohim today, that means either the 2nd commandment (which you specifically says come from God) contains a lie or priests made up that commandment.
    2) If it is entirely true, than I ought to believe in territorial and lesser elohim today as well, right?

    I am open to being totally wrong in that logic. Please tell me where I am wrong. thank you

    • MSH says:

      On the Sabbath issue, send that to me in email and unpack that for me so (finally) get the point.

      The point of the second commandment is that Israel is forbidden to have another god in favor or / in place of Yahweh. They are of course not to make any image even of Yahweh on top of that. I’m not sure how you can see the denial of the existence of other gods in it (that seems to be the slant of your question – that would be where you’re wrong on the logic; the command never presumes there are no other gods – it presumes there are, and they must not be worshipped).

      I believe that there is a spiritual struggle for heaven and earth, and that the rival lesser elohim who are disloyal to Yahweh do resist the advance of the kingdom of Yahweh via the gospel. That happens wherever people are, so yes, that would require geography. The point of the language in the OT = the known nations of the world that weren’t Israel (Deut 32:8-9 and the 70 nations of Gen 10). The people of God later expand beyond Israel, including both Jews and Gentiles. That’s why the great commission is world-wide, and not just confined to the nations known in Gen 10.

  24. Hanan says:

    By the way, is there a way to bold or italics on the comments?

  25. Hanan says:

    By the way, my last question here has nothing to do with dictation. It has to do with what I ought to believe vis-a-vie the second commandment today in my own life.

    ARE there other lesser gods right now in our time or not?
    Were there ever?
    If there never were, why couldn’t God simply have said there is nothing here but Me?

    ****(All these questions are predicated on you admitting God DID give these commandments)****

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.