Michael Heiser Serpent, Son’s of God, Nephilim, Watchers and Genesis

(Scott koshland) #41

Ah yes how much stranger is history than fiction. No doubt that the Bible is filled with what Mark Moore called fantastical. But so is life filled with unpredictable events. Consider a human from 10,000 years ago looking at our technology today flying machines, computers, internet, tele communication. How fantastical would that be to them? Would we be Gods to them? The word became flesh so cannot angels assume physical bodies? And how filled is history with more advanced societies conquering less advanced.

(Scott koshland) #42

I am not an expert of the ancients language. It is difficult for sure. That said, heiser does read these languages and better able to interpret them. The Watchers have been described as feathered serpentine by others. The important point is that this ties the serpent with the sons of God in the Bible. Interestingly, The snake motif is all over ancient cultures. For example quetzalcoatl is a (the feathered serpent) in Aztec and kulkatan in Mayan belief.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #43

One small thing. It is maybe worth noting that the Serpent is mentioned amongst animals in Genesis 3:14. So this may be a flaw in the notion that the Nachash of Eden was a divine being.

(Scott koshland) #44

Well Reggie as Heiser says snakes don’t talk not even in Eden. I think that Heiser makes a pretty good case. I think that the the nachash is the cause of the fall for their own purpose. This all connects the nachash with the watchers of the book of Enoch.

(Christy Hemphill) #45

Etymology only sheds light on the history of a word. It does not tell you what a word means in a context. I would be suspicious of anyone who gets definitions from etymology instead of analyzing usage in comparative contemporary texts, or analyzing translations contemporary with the original text. You cannot insist the meaning of a noun form is the same as the meaning of a related verb or adjective form, because languages change and appropriate new nuances of meaning with use over time. Expresso is a kind of coffee, expressways and express trains get you somewhere faster, you express your feelings and you express juice from fruit. These words are all etymologically related, but clearly have very different semantic domains.


Actually, I think espresso is a kind of coffee, etymologically more closely related to “press” than it is to “express.”


Correct. A monstrance is a container for holding some object of veneration such as a consecrated host. Oddly enough, both monstrance and monster come from the same Latin word: monstrum.

(Christy Hemphill) #48

Espresso. Good catch. (Though Oxford has it as an acceptable variant, much to Weird Al Yankovich’s disapproval, evidently.) All my Romance language words get confused. But one meaning of the verb express is to “force something out by pressure.”

Esprimere in Italian, exprimir in Spanish, exprimer in French, and express in English are all derived from the Latin exprimere.

In English, you also have “express purpose, express order” where it means explicit. The main point still being, etymology can lead you astray when it comes to defining words.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #49

I started reading the Unseen Realm today. I will concede that the serpent being cursed above all animals could refer to him being made lower than them.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #50

Here’s where I agree with Heiser:

  • There was a Divine Council.
  • The Serpent of Eden was a Seraph.
  • The other gods were real entities.
  • The elohim of Psalm 82 were divine, not human.

Where I disagree:

  • The shining one was a divine being.
  • Aliens are demons.
  • The ‘princes’ of Daniel (though divine) are the Sons of God in Deut 32.

Where I am on the fence:

  • The Nephilim are divine/human hybrids.

(George Brooks) #51

Oh for goodness sake… none of it is real.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #52

It’s fun to believe

(Scott koshland) #53

Ok George. What is the basis of saying that?

Ephesians 6:12. For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood but against the rulers…against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms

(George Brooks) #54

@Skoshland, I’m not sure this verse is particularly relevant.

My admonishment to @Reggie_O_Donoghue was that he was seriously laboring over the issues of:

Yes, he believed other gods were real entities, and that the Serpent of Eden was not a snake, but a divine being characterized as a snake … BUT, he had to reject the idea that the “shining one” was a divine being (which leaves us what?), and that he couldn’t make up his mind

trying to decide whether the Nephilim were human/angel hybrids or “something else”?

I am thankful he rejects the idea that demons are Aliens …

@Skoshland, you can imagine how fringe-like all of this sounds, right? Even to Presbyterians or Methodists?

But you throw in Ephesians 6:12 into the mix. I’ll give you a comment or two… Well, maybe just one. Firstly, I do prefer King James for this:

Eph 6:12
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities,
against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places. "

Other translations struggle with the last phrase, “high places”. They usually just flatly say “in heaven”. But if you look at the Greek term for this part of the verse,

ἐπουράνιος, transliterated into English as " epouranios "…

the term has lots of nuances to how it can be used. And I think under the circumstances it is best understood as a reference to “the bad angels” in their heavenly tracks.

This part of Ephesians “screams” Gnosticism… where the Earthly realm is subject to the wicked influences of matter and the rulers of matter.

The Christian and Jewish views about dualism, good & evil, and good and bad angels, come out of Zoroastrianism, which is one of the reasons the “wise men” being gifts come out of the East (Iran).

As a Unitarian, this is much ado about optional metaphysics. Once you start investing in angels, you might as well have a Divine Council and Seraph’s flying around. Good for ratings!

(Scott koshland) #55

Well George As usual you are an incredible wealth of knowledge. I have to say I am a little unsure If you don’t believe in spiritual beings like Angels that we can really have much of a conversation. Angels are pretty important in the Bible aren’t they? It’s kind of a non starter.

But How about we try to start here. I do think that the Bible authors believed in Angels and that they believed that the Fallen angels had corrupted the world, created the Nephilim and were punished and the flood resulted. It is pretty clear that this was their understood past. I consider It is a major theme of the Bible.

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their position of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness , bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day

2 Peter 2:4. For God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell…

1 John 3: 8 … for the Devil sinned from the beginning for this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Ezekiel 28 You were the model of perfection full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. …
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. … So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God.

Numbers 13:31-33 All the people there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there.

Deut 9:2. The people are strong and tall Anakites

(George Brooks) #56

I agree with you completely. But isn’t it interesting that the highest priestly officials of Judah (New Testament) did not believe in supernatural angels?

To them, the angels were mortal messengers.

Odd that I come down on the side of the High Priestly families!!!

(Scott koshland) #57

Thank you George. Interesting. I think that will need to discuss Angels separately. Sounds denominational.
Where do you derive that information about the Priest beliefs?
So could you expound on who did the priest think the sons of god were?
Who do you think the sons of god were?
Why do you think the priests believed that?
The Sumerians also believed that their civilization origins were from divine Gods.
As this is a major theme of the Bible how do you get around that?

Finally, what’s the deal with you coming in with the high priests view? :thinking:

(George Brooks) #58

Hmmmmm… the New Testament? I guess you don’t hear much about the Sadducees where you live, aye?

The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection, whereas the Pharisees did. In Acts, Paul chose this point of division to gain the protection of the Pharisees. [15: Acts 23:6-9 ]

The Sadducees also rejected the notion of spirits or angels, whereas the Pharisees acknowledged them.
[16: Acts 23:8]

Your other questions:

1] So could you expound on who did the priest think the sons of god were?
They probably argued all day long about it amongst themselves. Were they the men of Valor?
Or were they something the Pharisees made up in their texts just to excite the people?

Who do you think the sons of god were?
I think the Pharisees made it up as part of their exciting “interpretation” of a Persianized Canaanite religion.

Why do you think the priests believed that?
I believe the Priests were more traditional and that they were not impressed with the new texts
coming out of the old Persian centers of legend and Zoroastrianism. Pharsee and Pharisee don’t just
sound the same as a coincidence. Zoroastrians in India are called Parsee. It’s like people in Georgia
calling people from Maine “Yankees” - - it’s not because they mean these people are literally New
Yorkers… it’s because it has meaning to the folks in Georgia. And the Pharisees were called "Persians"
to mean “Persianized Jews”.

The Sumerians also believed that their civilization origins were from divine Gods.
Yes. But the Sumerians didn’t invent a category of divine beings called angels. They did have other kinds
of lower deities. But if you are telling everyone that you believe in just one god … well, except for this
handful over here… it works better if you give them a name like “Messengers” (which is what the Hebrew
and Greek terms for angels translates into).

As this is a major theme of the Bible how do you get around that?
As I mention above, the major theme was constructed as part of Persianization of the
a new settlement in Canaan… placed in Jerusalem… if the Priests in exile could get enough
people to come along and make a “go” of it!

Finally, what’s the deal with you coming in with the high priests view? :thinking:

 My personal view is that the New Testament misses the point that most of the Old Testament has
 no reference to a general resurrection, or that people should have an optimistic view of their afterlife.
 This is  not really discussed at all.  This was a Zoroastrian fixation.... and it inspired the Jewish hopefuls... 
 and eventually the Christian hopefuls!

It is quite possible the priests secretly believed they were of such amazing character and breeding that God would elevate them, like God had elevated Enoch, or Elijah, or even Moses. The only people I’ve read about
in that region that are convincingly described as complete skeptics of an afterlife were the Arab tribes.

Certainly exposure in Egypt wouldn’t have created a view like the Sadducees. The Egyptians were the most optimistic esotericists in the ancient world !!!

(RiderOnTheClouds) #59

The reason why I reject it is because it is very clearly identified with Nebuchadnezzar.

(Scott koshland) #60

Bravo George! A Well done analysis!

Ok the zoroastrians and Sumerians were earlier civilizations than the Hebrews by thousands of years. They would know where they come from better than the other later civilizations such as the Hebrews. I am less concerned how the Hebrews ascertained their origins. Both the Sadducees and the Pharisees had their bias for believing what happened. I tend to go with the Bible on these events. (It’s not really just about good and evil. It’s about obeying God isn’t it)

The Sumerians, Zoroastrians and the Bible and the Book of Enoch all describe earlier events of somebody teaching these early people about civilization. They are recalling events that even predate their civilization by thousands of years. It’s a strong origins theme in many of these early civilizations. I think the evidence based on archeology and the Biblical and the other cultures narrative all point to this occurring.

The question then, is who was this that came to influence the development of early people?