Posts Tagged ‘Heiser’

EZEKIEL 1’S VISION OF STRANGE BEINGS AND A.N.E. THRONE ICONOGRAPHY (PLUS AND A MODERN VERSION OF IT)

February 22, 21

13:14 We do have pictures – we have iconography and sculpture of the day of the period in which Ezekiel wrote. All of the elements in Ezekiel’s description are visible except one…

Taking a look at these pictures of Royal Thrones in the ancient Near Eastern world – again, from Syria, Palestine and of course Babylon – you can see that specifically they account for all of the elements in Ezekiel’s vision.

We have cherubim. We have cherubim with wings. We have deities, divine beings with four faces. We have situations where we get a throne that incorporates hooves and calves legs.

All of these elements drawn from Ezekiel 1 show up in what essentially are the pictures, the photographs of the day – iconography, sculptures, carvings, paintings.

We know what Ezekiel saw because we have this material, and it’s very important that we recognize the importance of reading Ezekiel again – in both a Babylonian and an Israelite context, with material known from the prophet’s own day and of course known by the original audience to which he was writing.

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So to an ancient Jew, it would be clear that what Ezekiel describes are ‘throne guardians’, and that he was in the presence of a divine royal sovereign. Cherubim are the Babylonian version (where Ezekiel was), Seraphim are the Egyptian version (where Isaiah was, with strong influence from Egypt).

Perhaps a modern retelling using ‘throne guardians’ from what we know from our own iconography – news media and movies – will help illustrate:

I gazed up and behold, a White Abode was descending from heaven. All around were attendants in black garments, their eyes concealed by obsidian, black vines coiling around their ears.

Day and night they chant “Roger, all clear, over” as they minister before the White Abode. None could approach its occupant, for the fiery red gaze of Watchers on every rooftop swept to and fro, and they pierced through any trespasser with their thunder and stinging darts.

And behold, a finger was thrust into my vision, and a voice like the sound of a thousand thunders rang out to me: “I want YOU, o son of man!

GENESIS 6 & SONS OF GOD – WHY NOT JUST SAY SO?

August 27, 20

n the past I was somewhat on the fence regarding whether the Sons of God (Bene Elohim) in Genesis 6 referred to angelic beings or just godly men (i.e. the line of Seth)… Or even as some interpret it, to human kings.

Dr Heiser has his own good reasonings that I like, but what really sealed the case for me is something I realized by myself: Call it the ‘Why Not Just Say So?’ argument:

If Genesis 6 is about the men of Seth’s line intermarrying with the women of Cain’s line, then why not just say so? If Genesis 6 is about polygamous human kings, then why not just say so?

By contrast, if Genesis 6 is about heavenly beings coming down to mate with human women, then Bene Elohim is EXACTLY the term to use for those beings!

Every instance of the particular phrase Bene Elohim (and related terms) in the Old Testament refers in context to nonhuman beings, either moderately or strongly: Gen 6:1–4, Job 1:6 & 2:1 (they are before God and Satan shows up), Job 38:7 (they watch God form the earth), Deut 32:8 (ESV), Psalm 29:1(Bene Elim), Psalm 82 (v6 “You are elohim, Bene Elyown”), Psalm 89:5-7 (Bene Elim in the skies).

For me, the above is the final nail in the coffin of non-angelic interpretations of Genesis 6 – together with the many other nails from other arguments.

NB: If you want to argue that the terms ‘Sons of God’ refers only to humans in the New Testament, the reason for that is here: SONS OF GOD IN THE OT VS NT

The Divided Nations – OT vs NT

August 27, 20

Compare these maps – first is the divided nations post-Babel, second is the territories from which Jews came from at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What is missing in the Acts map?

The third map is the spoiler!

NB: Taken from 36:38 onwards of this video:

SONS OF GOD IN THE OT VS NT

August 27, 20

In the Old Testament, the terms ‘Sons of God’ or ‘Sons of the Most High’ always (or almost always) refers to heavenly beings (Gen 6:1–4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; Deut 32:8 (ESV); Psalm 29:1, 82:1-8, 89:5-7).

Whereas in the New Testament, it always refers to human believers in Christ. Why is this so?

In the OT, the heavenly Sons of God were given charge over the divided nations of man post-Babel (Deut 32:8).

They obviously ruled unjustly, for they are castigated by The Most High (Psalm 82) who ends by saying that God Himself will arise to judge the earth.

Segue into the NT, where Jesus as God in the flesh has arisen. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), and we as His believers are given to right by adoption to be called Sons & Daughters of God.


This is why we will be given authority over the nations (Rev 2:26-27) and even angels (1 Cor 6:2-3) – we are the ‘new’ Sons of God, taking the place of the unrighteous OT Sons of God.

But we must take this privilege with seriousness – if the heavenly Sons of God could be judged and punished for not doing as the Father does (many passages), how much more so us earthly children if we do not do according to the Father’s will (Matt 7:21-23)?

NB: Taken from this video 46:26 onwards:

PLATO, PAUL & ALLOTMENT

August 27, 20

The first image is a passage from Plato’s Critias detailing the belief of the Greeks about each nation having gods assigned to them – take note of the repetition of ‘allotment’.

Images two & three are from the Old Testament – again, note the usage of ‘allotted’.

In the fourth image, Paul at Mars Hill cites the Greeks’ own worldview to them (as is his common tactic) – and once, more, note the term ‘allotted’. It’s not just the Greek worldview – as the OT passages show, it’s also the Jewish worldview. The various nations each have their own pantheon of ‘gods’ by allotment, and this is determined by the Most High – the one true God that Israel knows as YHWH.

However Paul doesn’t just leave it at that – again as is his favoured tactic, he updates the Greeks on the state of things by proclaiming that the same Most High who set up the system has also decreed its replacement. Now all nations must turn from their petty gods to the one that the Most High has appointed to inherit all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

And as the fifth image shows, that appointed one is God the Most High, Himself… Jesus Immanuel, God With Us. The allotted gods stand judged, and God arises to inherit the earth.

NB: Taken from various sections of this video but mainly 20:40 onwards:

Acts 17 – A Passage Used by Three of My Belief Systematics

July 17, 20

vv26-27 are used by Molinism with regard to God (via Middle Knowledge) setting up the optimal conditions of the universe that would lead to the maximal number of people who freely accept Christ; and is also used for the related concept of Transworld Damnation, whereby those who are unsaved in the actual world would have freely rejected the Gospel no matter what time and place they could have lived in. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/s2-doctrine-of-creation/doctrine-of-creation-part-13/ and shorturl.at/deCDE

v4 is used by Provisionism to show that persuasion is part of evangelizing (rather than a mysterious, irresistible working of God); and v27 is used to show that God wants everyone to seek and even find Him. https://soteriology101.com/2016/08/04/biblical-persuasion-the-heart-of-evangelistic-apologetics/ and https://soteriology101.com/2015/03/21/what-about-those-who-never-hear-the-gospel/

vv26-31 are part of the Divine Council Worldview (DCW) popularized by Dr Michael Heiser, specifically how the nations are allotted to spiritual rulers – a view shared by both Jews (Deuteronomy 32:8, Psalm 82) and Greeks (Plato’s Critias). See the section from 20:40 of my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_div-Q0HRlc&t=617s for this particular focus.


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