Discover How Satan-Enlil is the Great Dragon

Ever since John recorded the incredible visions shown to him by God in the book of Revelation, speculation has abounded as to what he meant by the imagery he described. For example, Bible prophecy speaks of “a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns” (Rev 12:3) and “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Rev 17:3). The scenes described are anything but normal, which has led commentators to relegate the vision to nothing more than allegory.

In order for us to know how to interpret the images, we must find their definitions. But where are we to find such definitions? We can interpret the meaning of the symbols if we learn their definitions.

Our world is full of symbols we understand well: the red, yellow and green lights in a traffic-light are symbols. We all know what they mean, but a person from the deep jungles would have no idea that the meaning of those colors symbolize stop, slow down and go. Yet once they learn the meaning, the symbol is easy to interpret.

So too, John gave us symbols. Our job is to find the definitions for them, just like we had to learn red light means “stop.” Thus, we are asking what are the definitions of the following?

  • a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads (Rev 12:3). So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:9).
  • And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name (Rev 13:1).
  • The angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns (Rev 17:7).

The keywords are highlighted; These words share common features and are the key players in all three passages from Revelation. Right away, we notice that both the Beast and the dragon share these features:

  1. A great dragon
  2. A fiery red dragon
  3. A beast
  4. Seven heads
  5. Ten horns

Satan’s Fiery Covering

Before we dig into the Mesopotamian evidence, let’s review what the Bible reveals concerning Satan’s original appearance, which will help us put the former into proper context.

God created the angels with a fiery quality similar to his own. Scripture describes “the LORD your God is a consuming fire” (Deut 4:24, 9:3; Ps 97:3). Ezekiel recounts from his vision of God that “from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber [electricity] with the appearance of fire all around within it (Ezek 1:27). The return of the Lord is likewise said to be with fiery flames (2 Thess 1:8; Isa 66:15).

The angels, including Cherubim / Seraphim, are described as fiery beings, as well. Their fiery nature seems to be necessary for them to be able to live in God’s presence. There are many verses that reference the angels’ glorious appearance. We recall that the angels shone in the night sky at the announcement of the birth of Messiah in Luke 2:9. The root word in that passage is perilampo (περιλάμπω), meaning “to shine around, “a derivative of lampo, “to shine.” In Luke 24:4, two angels stood by the tomb in “shining garments” (astrapto ἀστράπτω, like what a star does). This same word for shining is used to describe lightning as it shines from one part of heaven to the other, according to Luke 17:24.

The prophet Daniel described a vision in which an angel had a shining appearance, by writing: “His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color”(Dan 10:6). In the book of Revelation, angels were “clothed in pure bright [lampron λαμπρον] linen” (Rev 15:6). The Psalmist described how God “makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire” (Ps 104:4).

Ezekiel described the appearance of angels as burning coals of fire and with four faces![1]

The likeness of four living creatures … they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning (Ezek 1:5–14).

The description of these creatures is also a description of Satan’s appearance before his fall, though he must have been the most splendid looking of them all. Their appearance was described as having:

  1. The likeness of a man
  2. Straight legs with feet like a calf
  3. Four faces
    1. Man
    1. Lion
    1. Bull
    1. Eagle
  4. Four wings
  5. Burning coals, torches, lightning, electricity

Satan looked like these creatures. Though after his fall, he lost the fiery quality, which we will examine shortly. Nevertheless, a being with four faces of four kinds of creatures is indeed both a complex and revealing entity. The Hebrew word [פנים panim] is plural “faces.” A face is a window into the heart and mind of a person. Faces are constantly changing direction and shape, depending on mood, intentions, dreams and experiences. Face also means “presence.” God promised, “My Presence will go with you” (Exod 33:14). God’s face going with the Israelites was so important to Moses that he said to God: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Exod 33:15).

We can infer from this passage that to be in the presence of [לפני lifne] a cherub with four faces could give the impression of being in front of a man, a lion, a bull or an eagle. I have been in the close presence of a lion, and it is an awesome experience. Growing up in rural Michigan, I made sure to keep my distance from bulls as I understood they are creatures that can kill. Likewise, the eagle is both majestic and deadly. Incidentally, these four formidable faces are excellent representatives of the four broad categories of creatures on the face of the Earth.

Great Dragon

The Mesopotamian evidence of the great dragon is plentiful and gives greater context to what John was seeing in Revelation. “The most common serpentine epithet from ancient cuneiform sources is Akkadian ušumgallu “great dragon,” itself a loan from Sumerian UŠUMGAL.” [2] (Remember the Š is pronounced “sh”). The great dragon title, Ushumgal, was a typical epithet for Enlil’s many syncretisms: “Ušumgallu also designates a host of Mesopotamian deities, including Marduk … His exalted position over humanity is expressed in the appellation, “great dragon of the heavens and earth.” [3] ANE scholar Tyler Yoder points out, “Marduk’s ownership of a pet mušḫuššu (“snake”) furthers his own serpentine associations.”[4]

Figure 7 UŠUMGAL or Anzu bird Icon By editor Austen Henry Layard, drawing by L. Gruner – Monuments of Nineveh.

In other words, we have discovered that “great dragon” was a quite common term for Satan / Enlil and the like. It was also a term for serpent, just like the Bible told us a serpent tempted Adam and Eve in Genesis 3; (it appears the Bible critics were premature in ridiculing the Bible for such imagery). Ancient iconography attests to the historical authenticity of Heilel / Enlil (or one of his syncretizations: Ninurta, Baal, Zeus, Nergal, among others) being commonly referred to as a snake or dragon.

The icon for the Ushumgallu, seen adjacent in Figure 7, is also sometimes called the Anzu bird. It was a chimera, a creature with the DNA of another animal mixed into itself. The “translation of ušumgallu ‘lion-dragon’ “derives from the conceptual amalgamation of these creatures.”[5] The Ushumgallu in the epic of Gilgamesh was called a “‘ground lion’ … and the mušḫuššu serpent often evinces leonine traits.” [6] The point is that the great dragon is not the classic fire-breathing dragon of legend from the Middle Ages. The Mesopotamian dragon had many overlaps of lion qualities—which was one of Satan’s cherub faces.

The foremost quality of the great dragon, Ancient Near East expert Frans Wiggermann points out, “is being a determined killer, killing probably with its venom, and frightening even the gods.”[7] Man, lions, bulls, and eagles—the four faces of the cherub, certainly classify as determined killers.[8]

The great dragon also had seven heads in Mesopotamia literature and iconography. We always need to keep in mind the many syncretizations inherent in the ancient texts. Heilel (Satan) = Enlil = Marduk = Baal = Bel; and, Ninurta (son of Enlil) often assumed Enlil’s role altogether.

We learn that a syncretization of Marduk (or his son), according to Yoder, was called “the great dragon, who cannot be faced.” Furthermore, Nergal (god of the dead and a syncretization of Ninurta / Enlil) was represented with the same description: “[ú-šum]-gal-lu ṣīru tābik imti elišunu “The majestic, great dragon who pours his venom upon them.” [9] With those epithets in mind, we can appreciate the significance that “Nergal’s divine staff was as ‘awe-inspiring as a serpent’ and Ninurta’s mace consisted of seven snake-like heads.”[10]

Figure 8 Ninurta killing one of the heads of the seven-headed serpent. Bible Review, Oct. 1992, 28 (=ANEP #671) (Early Dynastic). Courtesy of the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem.

That Nergal, also known as Ninurta, Melqart, Marduk and Enlil, had a seven-headed snake is incredibly revealing. The great dragon of Revelation has “seven heads and ten horns,” (Rev 12:3) as does the Beast, who has “seven heads and ten horns” (Rev 13:1). Not only does the iconography reveal a great dragon,[11] but John saw “one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the Beast (Rev 13:3). Looking at Figure 8 above, we see that one of the heads is mortally wounded. God is revealing that the symbols in Revelation relate directly back to the false gods of Babylon. A key to defining the images from Revelation is found in deciphering ancient Babylonian monuments.

Fiery Red Dragon: Mušuššu

It is amazing (though not surprising, since the vision was from God) that John described not only a “great dragon”, but “a great, fiery red dragon” (Rev 12:3). How could John have known, humanly speaking, about the Mušḫuššu from hundreds of years before? John could not have known that the word, Mušḫuššu, could mean “fearsome” or “red,” or perhaps both. This is a strong testimony of the divine origin of John’s vision and of the accuracy of the entity John is describing.

German archaeologists dug up the Ishtar Gate and  transported it back to the East Berlin Museum, Germany, where you can now walk through the actual gate. On the walls of the Ishtar Gate, which date from the neo-Babylonian empire (ca. 7th– 6th century BC), Marduk’s “pet” mušḫuššu [mushkhushshu] is visible. As seen in Figure 9 below, it was a hybrid, scaly creature with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, and with lion-like forelimbs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue and a crest.[12] Wiggermann explains that both “fearsome” and “red” are possible interpretations the name, mušḫuššu:

Akkadian mušḥuššu is a loanword from Sumerian mušḥuš (-a), literally “fearsome serpent”. The reading of the second element as ḥuš rather than ruš (both possible) … The Sumerian Loanwords in Old Babylonian Akkadian I, its meaning as “fearsome” rather than “red” (both possible).[13]

Figure 9 Mushkhushshu on Ishtar Gate.

Figure 10 Mušḥuššu H. Frankfort, Cylinder Seals, text-fig. 33 (=ANEP #511) (Gudea; Girsu [Tello]).

John told us of a sign that appeared in heaven, “a great, fiery red dragon” (Rev 12:3). Again, God is revealing that the imagery in Revelation connects back to the ancient gods of Babylon. We continue to define the symbols in Revelation by examining ancient icons from the civilizations in Mesopotamia.

The prophet Daniel wrote about Marduk’s dragon that was “like a lion, and had eagle’s wings and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it” (Dan 7:4). In ancient iconography, the Mushkhushshu is seen walking like a beast and standing like a man as depicted above in Figure 10. This dragon stood as a symbol of the strength of Marduk and in opposition to the true God. Accordingly, God promised to judge Marduk, spelled Merodach in the Bible: “Merodach is broken in pieces” (Jer 50:2). We also learned in the previous chapter that the Greek healer god Asclepios was associated with Melqart / Heracles, which is parallel to the Mušḫuššu.

It seems plausible to connect the Sumerian mušḫuš with the Hebrew נָחָשׁ (āsh) snake. They share many similarities: Mḫuš may mean “red snake-dragon” and āsh is related to a copper-bronze color[14] which is fairly close to the coloration of the Mušḫuššu on the Ishtar Gate. The mušḫuš is a symbol for Enlil or is closely associated with him; “In the so-called Labbu-myth Enlil sends the muš[ḫuššu] to wipe out noisy mankind.[15] In Genesis, the āsh was definitely associated with Satan, the one who desired to destroy mankind (“opinions differ as to whether this was a Satan-inspired snake or a name for Satan himself.”)[16]

Lastly, I am persuaded that there could be a linguistic connection between Mušḫuš and āsh, the serpent in the Garden. James H. Charlesworth of Princeton notes there is “in Akkadian … the n to m shift.” [17] Thus, MŠḪŠ would shift to NŠḪŠ, the first Š would fall out NŠḪŠ, leaving NḪŠ. Vowels are flexible between languages; thus, it is plausible for U to transition to A. Mušḫuš > נָחָשׁ āsh.

Just coincidence?

The Anzu Bird

We see additional images of Ninurta or Marduk (or Bel, Dagon and the rest, who are all the same entity.) Amar Annus in his article, “Ninurta and the Son of Man”, notes:

Bêl ‘Lord,’ which is also Ninurta’s common epithet, and points to a connection with West-Semitic Baal. Marduk came to replace Enlil in the Mesopotamian pantheon, so he took over conjointly the position of the father Enlil and the mythology of his son Ninurta.[18]

Recall that over time, with syncretization of belief systems, the names and characteristics of these gods meshed together. Here, Enlil and Ninurta take on one another’s qualities. We learn from Amar Annus how in the mythology from Shinar, “after vanquishing the eagle Anzu, Ninurta becomes one with the bird … paradoxically, Ninurta is equated with his slain enemy, Thunderbird Anzu, who becomes his symbol.”[19]

Figure 11 Ninurta with wings.

Ninurta, in the iconography pictured in Figure 11, is being identified with the Anzu bird. The very creature that he killed, the Anzu bird or Manticore, then becomes Ninurta’s symbol. There is a certain fluidity in how Ninurta is presented, according to Jacobsen:

The two forms, bird and lion, tended to compete in the image of the god, who was sometimes the lion-headed bird, sometimes a winged lion with bird’s tail and talons, sometimes all lion. In time the animal forms were rejected in favor of imagining the god in human form only.[20]

We have seen this shift in appearance in the passage from the Book of Daniel:

“The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it” (Dan 7:4).

Figure 12 Ninurta wearing a crown of ten horns standing on a Lion-headed Eagle (A n z u d / Anzû), Lion-Dragon

Just as Daniel saw the fluid nature of the first beast that emerged from the sea, the iconography of Ninurta shows us the changing images of the god. Ninurta sometimes was a chimeric creature standing on four feet as a beast, but sometimes he was standing on two feet as a man; We have images of him both with and without wings.

F. Wiggermann calls to our attention an incredibly significant detail regarding the Anzu lion-dragon, which shares a number of features with the Mušḫuššu. In Mesopotamian Protective Spirits, Wiggermann explains it was Enlil (not his syncretization Ninurta) who was originally associated with Anzû. [21]

This insight reveals that the hybrid creature first represented Enlil and then later, stood for the syncretization of the various names of Mesopotamian gods.

The Anzû then, is not Ninurta / Ningirsu’s symbol, nor that of any of the other gods whose images are conflated with a symbolic animal. “The Anzû represents another, more general power, under whose supervision, all the gods operate. This higher power can only be Enlil, which is exactly what we see in the Lugalbanda Epic and Anzû myth, Thus, the posture of the lion-headed eagle, with wings stretched out above the symbolic animals of other gods, becomes understandable: it is a stance that is neither that of attack, nor that of defense, but that of the master of the animals.”[22]

Uncovering the fact that the Anzu was originally identified with Enlil reveals once again that Satan is the one depicted in the many symbols of the gods of Mesopotamia. We saw in the previous chapter how “master of the animals” was a reference to Melqart / Heracles whom we determined was a syncretization of Enlil. Furthermore, the fact that Enlil, the Anzû lion-dragon, was master of the animals causes us to think of the four faces of the cherubim. Enlil dominated the animal kingdom: the man-beings, the wild lion-type beings, the domestic bull-type beings and the flying eagle-type beings. The face of a man, lion, bull and eagle make up the four faces of the cherub and possibly the head of Satan, himself—formerly a covering cherub. The connection may not be exact;[23] nevertheless, we do have a strong correlation between the snake-dragon of Enlil, Marduk, etc. and also with Satan in Genesis 3. Thus, the nakhash in the Garden was not today’s average snake. It was like the Ushumgallu / mušuššu / Anzu, with legs to stand erect. It was the curse that later changed Satan’s form from the snake-dragon / lion-dragon to what he is today.

Bašmu-Bashan

The last word that we will examine for serpent-dragon is Bašmu, which will lead us to Mt. Hermon, to Og, King of Bashan and to the transfiguration of Jesus (later in the book). Bashan in the Bible comes from Akkadian Bašmu. Wiggermann notes: “For the two Sumerian terms u s u m and muš-šà-tùr Akkadian has only one: bašmu … must refer to two different types of mythological snakes as well, and we will call them ušum / bašmu and muš-šà-tùr / bašmu.”[24] He defines the ušum / bašmu, as “Venomous Snake … horned snake with forelegs.” He also notes a snake-dragon that we have already examined: u š u m g a l, rendered in Akkadian by ušumgallu and bašmu, is a derivative of u š u m and literally means: “Prime Venomous Snake” … Ušumgallu … occasionally replaces mušḫuššu when the dragon of Nabû is referred to or the dragon of Ninurta.[25]

He points out (see Figure 13):

The foremost quality of an u š u m g a l … is being a determined killer, killing probably with its venom, … It is this quality that makes u š u m ( g al ) a suitable epithet for certain gods and kings.[26]

Figure 13 Bashmu from Wiggermann’s Mesopotamian Protective Spirits.

We must not miss how the Bašmu was later equated with the icon of Nergal, Ninurta, and Marduk: “Nergal is not originally a dragon slayer, but here, as elsewhere … he replaces Ninurta. After Marduk’s usurpation of the mušḫuššu, the ušum / bašmu became the symbolic animal of gods formerly associated with the mušḫuššu.”[27] A Bašmu was a snake-dragon, sometimes used to describe the other snake-dragons we have studied, and was a determined killer and was a suitable epithet for gods and kings! It was also associated with Marduk which is another name for Enlil or occasionally his “son” Ninurta, whom we will discover is Nimrod in a later chapter.

Bashmu, in astronomy, was the constellation Hydra[28], the seven headed dragon that Heracles killed (See Figure 8). The Dictionary of God, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia notes, “This creature may be the seven-headed hydra killed by the god Ningirsu or Ninurta, also referred to in spells.”[29]

Wiggermann, writing in Transtigridian Snake Gods, provides us with an important link between Bašmu, Ereškigal (Ishtar’s sister), and Og the god of the dead / death.

Ereškigal…queen of the netherworld, rules the dead … is associated with the constellation Hydra (MUL.dMUŠ) in late astrological texts … the Babylonian constellation Hydra looked like … a snake drawn out long, with the forepaws of a lion, no hind legs, with wings, and with a head comparable to that of the mušḫuššu dragon. Its Babylonian name was probably Bašmu. Ereshkigal’s messenger, Mutum “Death” … is described in a late Assyrian text. He has the head of a mušḫuššu dragon.[30]

We cannot ignore the fact that Og was King of Bashan (in Hebrew “the Bashan”). That means he was king of the snake-dragons if we simply plug in the meaning. Furthermore, we just learned that Bashmu was some kind of amalgamation of the Ushumgallu, the Mushhushshu and the Anzu. The implication then is that Enlil (or Ninurta, son of Enlil) seems to have been behind the workings of Og and the land Bashan (snake-dragons). In a later chapter we will explore the relationship to the king of the Amorites (MARTU=Enlil), king of the Rephaim (underworld “healers” or “healed”), who were also known as snake gods.

Ten Horns

The prophet Daniel wrote about the ten horns saying, “It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns” (Dan 7:7).

Figure 14 Enlil wearing a crown of ten horns.

Crowns with ten horns were a common feature of the gods in ancient Mesopotamia. “Enlil is regularly represented wearing a horned helmet.”[31] In the cylinder seal depicted in Figure 14, we see Enlil wearing a crown with ten horns (five on each side).

In another cylinder seal (Figure 12, p. 13), Ninurta can be seen wearing a crown with ten horns and riding the Anzu bird, which also represents him as Enlil. Thus, the Bible reveals the symbols, and we once again, have discovered the means by which we can interpret these symbols.

The imagery of a great dragon and a beast is represented in the iconography of ancient Mesopotamia. Revelation spoke of Satan as the great dragon because that was how he was known from the earliest of recorded history. The Bible not only accurately recorded his ancient epithets but also gives us a spiritual window into the original role, authority and nefarious motives of Satan which allowed him to plunge the world into its current darkness.


[1] He later identifies these as cherubim: “This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim,” (Ezek 10:20).

[2] Wiggermann posits the base meaning for UŠUM as “Prime Venomous Snake” Tyler R. Yoder, “Ezekiel 29:3 and Its Ancient Near Eastern Context” Vetus Testamentum 63 (2013) 486-96

[3] Tyler R. Yoder, “Ezekiel 29:3 and Its Ancient Near Eastern Context” Vetus Testamentum 63 (2013) Pg. 486-96

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “It is first attested by a 22nd-century BC cylinder inscription at Gudea.” F. A. M. Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits, Pg. 167.

[8] Icon By editor Austen Henry Layard, drawing by L. Gruner – ‘Monuments of Nineveh, Second Series’ plate 5, London, J. Murray, 1853, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18217886

[9] Tyler R. Yoder, “Ezekiel 29:3 and Its Ancient Near Eastern Context” Vetus Testamentum 63 (2013) Pg. 486-96

[10] Ibid.6

[11] Yoder has shown how God, in Ezekiel, used the term “great dragon” to describe who Pharaoh thought he was. “Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster.” The Greek Septuagint “great monster” as τον δρακοντα τον μεγαν “great dragon” (Ezek 29:3). Yoder explains “The prophet could easily have drawn from an existing cache of unambiguous expressions to portray Pharaoh, but instead chose a term suffused with mythological overtones.” Tyler R. Yoder, “Ezekiel 29:3 and Its Ancient Near Eastern Context” Vetus Testamentum 63 (2013) 486-96.

[12] Wiggermann, F. A. M. (1992). Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts. Brill Publishers. Pg. 156.

[13] Frans Wiggermann, Reallexikon der Assyriologie (RlA) 8 1995 Pg. 455, 456.

[14] “The word nāḥāsh is almost identical to the word for “bronze” or “copper,” Hebrew nĕḥōshet (q.v.). Some scholars think the words are related because of a common color of snakes (cf. our “copperhead”), but others think that they are only coincidentally similar.” TWOT nāḥāsh

[15] Wiggermann, F. A. M. (1992). Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts. Brill Publishers. Pg. 156.

[15] Frans Wiggermann, Reallexikon der Assyriologie (RlA) 8 1995 Pg. 455, 456

[16] J. O. Buswell. Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, I, Zondervan, 1962, Pg. 264–65.

[17] Revealing The Genius Of Biblical Authors: Symbology, Archaeology, And Theology James H. Charlesworth, Princeton

[18] Amar Annus “Ninurta and the Son of Man” Published in Melammu Symposia 2: R. M. Whiting (ed.), Mythology and Mythologies. Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences. Proceedings of the Second Annual Symposium of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project. Held in Paris, France, October 4-7, 1999 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project 2001), Pg. 7-17. Publisher: http://www.helsinki.fi/science/saa/

[19] Ibid.

[20] Jacobsen, Th. 1987 The Harps that Once… Sumerian Poetry in Translation. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. PG. 235.

[21] In his study, he notes the “Lion-headed Eagle (M. 14; third millennium A n z u d l Anzû), and Lion-Dragon …Second and first millennium Anzû.” F. A. M. Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits The Ritual Texts – Siyx & Pp Publications Groningen 1992. Pg. 161

[22] F. A. M. Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits The Ritual Texts – Siyx & Pp Publications Groningen 1992. Pg. 161

[23] Wiggermann notes “bašmu, ‘Venomous Snake’. The history of the bašmu is not yet completely clear. Positively bašmu’s are the snake of the Kleinplastik (without horns and forepaws, VII. C. 2b), and the snake-monster with forepaws (and wings) from the palace of Esarhaddon.” Ibid. Pg. 189.

[24] F. A. M. Wiggermann Mesopotamian Protective Spirits The Ritual Texts – Styx & PP Publications Groningen 1992. Pg. 166-167

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27]Ibid.

[28] http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php?searchkey=4876&language=id

[29] God, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: Bašmu

[30] Transtigridian Snake Gods Wiggermann Pg. 35.

[31] Edzard, D.O. 1965. “Mesopotamien. Die Mythologie der Sumerer und Akkader.” In H.W. Haussig (ed.), Götter und Mythen im Vorderen Orient. Wörterbuch der Mythologie, erste Abteilung, Bd. I, Pg. 17-140. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag.

Was the Name of God Profaned in the Days of Seth?

Seth appears a total of seven times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (NKJV). We get a brief glimpse of his life by stringing together all of the passages[i] that speak of him.

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth […], and as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD, (Genesis 4:25-26).

 

And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. (Genesis 5:3-4, 6-8).

 

Here 130 years after creation, Adam has a son named Seth; then 105 years after that Seth had a son named Enosh. Thus we learn that a total of 235 years after creation men began to call upon the name of the Lord. The Hebrew term for Lord is YHWH which is the personal name of God. God told Moses: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My name LORD [YHWH יְהוָה] I was not known to them,” (Exodus 6:3). Thus to think that this was the first time that humans began to worship the Lord is unfounded. Rather we simply read that they began to use his personal name at that point for some purpose. While it appears to have begun with a son of Seth, we should not infer that it was limited to that line. After all, the Hebrew text very literally says az hukhal likro beshem YHWH] “then was begun (the) calling by (with, in) the name YHWH” (translation mine). The term hukhal (הוּחַל) is the passive (hophal) of begin. The subject of the verb hukhal is “calling” (likro’ לִקְרֹא). The word “men” does not even appear in the text. Thus we see that apparently, up until that point, men were not invoking God by His proper name. It could be that they didn’t know it, though we cannot be sure. Nevertheless this reading of the verse does not in any way substantiate the notion that Seth’s sons were the sons of God. Another reading is possible which may clarify the passage.

 

A Possible Translation

Conversely, the verb hukhal (הוּחַל) comes from the root (חלל) the basic meaning is “to profane, defile, pollute, desecrate, begin” according to Brown Driver Briggs’[ii] Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible. Thus, the alternative reading would be “then calling by the name of YHWH was profaned”. This alternative reading actually finds endorsement by the ancient Aramaic Targumim. Targum Onkelos interprets the passage as:

 

And to Sheth also was born a son, and he called his name Enosh. Then in his days the sons of men desisted [חָלוּ] (or forbore) from praying in the name of the Lord, (Genesis 4:26, Targum Onkelos, emphasis mine).

 

Targum Jonathan is similar though it amplifies that reading even more:

 

And to Sheth also was born a son, and he called his name Enosh. That was the generation in whose days they began to err [למטעי], and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord, (Genesis 4:26, Targum Jonathan, emphasis mine).

 

While neither “began” nor “profane” supports the sons of Seth theory, the latter would seem to make more sense in light of the entire story of the Bible. The divine name seems to have been known from the very beginning of creation. Adam was familiar with it because he heard the voice of the LORD (YHWH) God in the garden after he had sinned. Calling by the name of the Lord was until that time respected and honored but it was in the days of Enosh when calling by the name of the Lord was defiled. God then destroyed the world because of the continual wickedness. Noah retains knowledge of the name and then apparently at the tower of Babel the name is forgotten or lost. God chooses not to reveal His name again until Moses has the encounter at the burning bush.

The Sons of Seth Were Not Sons of God

Regardless of which reading we take, there is simply no evidence whatsoever to support the concept that Genesis 4:26 can be used to interpret the sons of God as the sons of Seth. There is no indication that Seth’s sons were somehow more godly than the rest of humanity. Furthermore, it must not be missed that Adam lived another 800 years after begetting Seth and that he had sons and daughters. Likewise “Seth lived eight hundred and seven years and had sons and daughters,” (Genesis 5:7). All of the sons and daughters of Seth as well as the sons and daughters of Cain were in fact sons (and daughters) of Adam. Technically speaking every human ever born on this planet is a son or daughter of Adam; the Hebrew language uses the term to mean “human”. Thus the text is driving home the point that there are two dissimilar groups: the daughters of Adam on the one hand and the sons of God on the other. To suggest that the daughters of men were actually the daughters of Cain is fanciful. Rather, the daughters of Adam are contrasted with the sons of God: the daughters of men were human and the sons of God were not.

Furthermore, we can in no way infer that all of these sons and daughters remained so godly that they would be distinguished from the sons of Cain. After all, only eight people were saved out of the entire world. These sons of Seth must not have been so godly after all. Simply put, the sons of God do not refer to the lineage of Seth, but to direct creations of God, which before the redeeming work of Christ was limited to Adam himself and to angels. Therefore, the sons of God in Genesis six refers to fallen angels who had relations with human women.

 

 



[i] The two other (out of seven) passages that speak of Seth merely mention his name: “Adam, Seth, Enosh,” (1Chr 1:1);”The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God,” (Luke 3:38).

[ii] Brown Driver Briggs (BDB) Hebrew English Lexicon provides the following definition. The most common definition is “1. to profane, defile, pollute, desecrate, begin”. BDB then goes on to give the various forms of how the root is used in each of the binyanim (verbal paradigms). In the a. (Niphal) it means to: 1. to profane oneself, defile oneself, pollute oneself; b. ritually; c. sexually; 1. to be polluted, be defiled; d. (Piel): 1. to profane, make common, defile, pollute; 2. to violate the honour of, dishonour; 3. to violate (a covenant); 4. to treat as common; e. (Pual) to profane (name of God); f. (Hiphil): 1. to let be profaned; 2. to begin; g. (Hophal) to be begun (emphasis mine). The Hophal is simply the passive of the Hiphil – therefore, if the Hiphil occasionally means to let be profaned then the one occurrence of the Hophal might also be translated as profaned rather than begin.

Sons of Seth or Fallen Angels?

The notion that Genesis 6 ‘sons of God’ is a reference to ‘the sons of Seth’ is surprisingly popular despite the fact that the Bible is replete with evidence that the sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 were fallen angels (demons) and despite the fact that all of the ancient Jewish and Ante-Nicene Christian commentators believed the “sons of God” to be referring to demons (fallen angels).

Augustine of Hippo

The first, as far as we can see, to definitively deny the sons of God as being angels was Augustine of Hippo of the fifth century, approximately seventy five years after the drafting of the Nicene Creed. Augustine did much to spiritualize the history of the Bible and twist a simple straightforward reading of the Bible. His method of Bible interpretation made a profound impact and his legacy remains even to this day. Many centuries after Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, a doctor of the Catholic Church in the 13th century, quotes in his magnum opus, Summa Theologica, from Augustine’s work City of God (De Civ. Dei xv) concerning the sons of Seth:

Many persons affirm that they have had the experience, or have heard from such as have experienced it, that the Satyrs and Fauns, whom the common folk call incubi, have often presented themselves before women, and have sought and procured intercourse with them. Hence it is folly to deny it. But God’s holy angels could not fall in such fashion before the deluge. Hence by the sons of God are to be understood the sons of Seth, who were good; while by the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain. [i] Nor is it to be wondered at that giants should be born of them; for they were not all giants, albeit there were many more before than after the deluge. Still if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor from their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterwards of a man; just as they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii), so that the person born is not the child of a demon, but of a man, [ii] (emphasis mine).

The Irish Giant 12′ Tall. Son of Seth or Nephilim?

Just as Augustine fallaciously suggested the sons of God were the so called “godly line of Seth,” the daughters of men have been labeled as being from the “ungodly line of Cain”. Augustine says, “By the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain,” (Augustine as quoted in Summa Theologica, Aquinas). We must ask the important question – where in Scripture does it say such a thing? Augustine makes the claim above that Scripture designates those daughters as coming from the race of Cain, but just where do we see that? The answer is that we simply do not. It was first tentatively considered by Julius Africanus and then completely invented by Augustine and then repeated by all who would follow in his footsteps ever since. If the term “sons of God” refers to the “sons of Seth” as so many suggest, then why does the text not simply state it? Unfortunately neither Augustine nor Aquinas substantiates the claim. They simply presume their statement to be true and offer no biblical proof. Augustine states that “Scripture designates” that the daughters of men “sprang from the race of Cain”. But where in Scripture does it say that? Sadly, their unbiblical assertion has left its mark in the modern day creating a great deal of confusion regarding what the Bible literally teaches.

Calvin’s Interpretation

John Calvin in the 17th century carried on the tradition started by Augustine that the sons of God are in fact the sons of Seth. He states in his commentary:

The principle is to be kept in memory, that the world was then as if divided into two parts; because the family of Seth cherished the pure and lawful worship of God, from which the rest had fallen. Now, although all mankind had been formed for the worship of God, and therefore sincere religion ought everywhere to have reigned; yet since the greater part had prostituted itself, either to an entire contempt of God, or to depraved superstitions; it was fitting that the small portion which God had adopted, by special privilege, to himself, should remain separate from others. It was, therefore, base ingratitude in the posterity of Seth, to mingle themselves with the children of Cain, and with other profane races; because they voluntarily deprived themselves of the inestimable grace of God. For it was an intolerable profanation, to pervert, and to confound, the order appointed by God. It seems at first sight frivolous, that the sons of God should be so severely condemned, for having chosen for themselves beautiful wives from the daughters of men. But we must know first, that it is not a light crime to violate a distinction established by the Lord; secondly, that for the worshippers of God to be separated from profane nations, was a sacred appointment which ought reverently to have been observed, in order that a Church of God might exist upon earth; thirdly, that the disease was desperate, seeing that men rejected the remedy divinely prescribed for them. In short, Moses points it out as the most extreme disorder; when the sons of the pious, whom God had separated to himself from others, as a peculiar and hidden treasure, became degenerate, (emphasis mine). [iii]

Calvin rightly describes the world as being wicked, but he vainly asserts that the world had been “divided into two parts.” Where do we see such an idea in the Bible? He also introduces his deterministic philosophy of predestination by stating that apparently the sons of Seth were adopted by “special privilege.” His denial of who the sons of God truly were creates a tremendous amount of confusion that has clouded the interpretation of the text for potentially millions of people over the centuries. Furthermore, nowhere do we see that the daughters of men are from the so called ungodly line of Cain.

Calvin continues with his unbiblical prohibition of inter-class marriages. Notice that again he does not offer any biblical support for any of his positions. He does not seek to prove his point with Scripture but with opinion and conjecture. Having simply asserted his position, Calvin then ridicules the ‘sons of God as demons [m1] ‘ interpretation.

That ancient figment, concerning the intercourse of angels with women, is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity; and it is surprising that learned men should formerly have been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious. The opinion also of the Chaldean paraphrase is frigid; namely, that promiscuous marriages between the sons of nobles, and the daughters of plebeians, is condemned. Moses, then, does not distinguish the sons of God from the daughters of men, because they were of dissimilar nature, or of different origin; but because they were the sons of God by adoption, whom he had set apart for himself; while the rest remained in their original condition, (Calvin Commentary Genesis 6:1 emphasis mine).

We have already seen how “sons of God” is used in Scripture – furthermore that there were no human “sons of God” before the resurrection of Jesus. However Calvin introduces great confusion into the text by dogmatically declaring that God’s terms are very capricious and that they sometimes mean one thing in one context and quite another someplace else. The simple biblical definition, as we have seen, is that sons of God are direct creations of God. Calvin is unable to define sons of God because of bad exegesis.

Should anyone object, that they who had shamefully departed from the faith, and the obedience which God required, were unworthy to be accounted the sons of God; the answer is easy, that the honor is not ascribed to them, but to the grace of God, which had hitherto been conspicuous in their families. For when Scripture speaks of the sons of Godsometimes it has respect to eternal election, which extends only to the lawful heirs; sometimes to external vocations according to which many wolves are within the fold; and though in fact, they are strangers, yet they obtain the name of sons, until the Lord shall disown them. Yea, even by giving them a title so honorable, Moses reproves their ingratitude, because, leaving their heavenly Father, they prostituted themselves as deserters, (emphasis mine). [iv]

Now, to support his presuppositions, he must explain away the giants (Nephilim) that are introduced in Genesis 6:4 and are the result of the sons of God (or as he would say the sons of Seth) and the daughters of men (or as he would say the daughters of Cain).

Moses does not indeed say, that they were of extraordinary stature, but only that they were robust. Elsewhere, I acknowledge, the same word denotes vastness of stature, which was formidable to those

Goliath was a Nephilim

Goliath was a Nephilim

who explored the land of Canaan, (Jos 13:33.) But Moses does not distinguish those of whom he speaks in this place, from other men, so much by the size of their bodies, as by their robberies and their lust of dominion, (emphasis mine). [v]

He downplays the fact that the fruit of the union between the sons of God and daughters of men were men of extraordinary size. He simply asserts that they were “great” in their evil. His interpretation is unfounded and he is not completely honest here for the word (Nephilim) used in both places is exactly the same. Calvin and numerous others turn to Genesis 4:26 in order to substantiate their case. Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary is very typical of those that leap to the conclusion that sons of God must be referring to the Sons of Seth.

Observe the different expressions: sons of God, and daughters of men. If you turn to Gen 4:26 you there discover that the children of Seth are said to call on the name of the Lord; including both sons and daughters; and hence, therefore, these are meant by the sons of God. [vi]

They suggest that this passage in some way proves that the term “sons of God” is really a hidden meaning for sons of Seth. Let’s take a look at the passage to see if their claims are valid.

Seth and His Sons

Seth appears a total of seven times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (NKJV). We get a brief glimpse of his life by stringing together all of the passages [vii] that speak of him.

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth […], and as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD, (Genesis 4:25-26).
And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. (Genesis 5:3-4, 6-8).

Here 130 years after creation, Adam has a son named Seth; then 105 years after that Seth had a son named Enosh. Thus we learn that a total of 235 years after creation men began to call upon the name of the Lord. The Hebrew term for Lord is YHWH which is the personal name of God. God told Moses: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [El Shaddai שַׁדָּ֑י אֵ֣ל], but by My name LORD [YHWH יְהוָה] I was not known to them,” (Exodus 6:3). Thus to think that this was the first time that humans began to worship the Lord is unfounded. Rather we simply read that they began to use his personal name at that point for some purpose. While it appears to have begun with a son of Seth, we should not infer that it was limited to that line. After all, the Hebrew text very literally says az hukhal likro beshem YHWH [בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָֽה לִקְרֹ֖א הוּחַ֔ל אָ֣ז] “then was begun (the) calling by (with, in) the name YHWH” (translation mine). The term hukhal (הוּחַל) is the passive (hophal) of begin. The subject of the verb hukhal is “calling” (likro’ לִקְרֹא). The word “men” does not even appear in the text. Thus we see that apparently, up until that point, men were not invoking God by His proper name. It could be that they didn’t know it, though we cannot be sure. Nevertheless this reading of the verse does not in any way substantiate the notion that Seth’s sons were the sons of God. Another reading is possible which may clarify the passage.

A Possible Translation

Conversely, the verb hukhal (הוּחַל) comes from the root (חלל) the basic meaning is “to profane, defile, pollute, desecrate, begin” according to Brown Driver Briggs’ [viii] Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible. Thus, the alternative reading would be “then calling by the name of YHWH was profaned”. This alternative reading actually finds endorsement by the ancient Aramaic Targumim. Targum Onkelos interprets the passage as:

And to Sheth also was born a son, and he called his name Enosh. Then in his days the sons of men desisted [חָלוּ] (or forbore) from praying in the name of the Lord, (Genesis 4:26, Targum Onkelos, emphasis mine).

Targum Jonathan is similar though it amplifies that reading even more:

And to Sheth also was born a son, and he called his name Enosh. That was the generation in whose days they began to err [למטעי], and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord, (Genesis 4:26, Targum Jonathan, emphasis mine).

While neither “began” nor “profane” supports the sons of Seth theory, the latter would seem to make more sense in light of the entire story of the Bible. The divine name seems to have been known from the very beginning of creation. Adam was familiar with it because he heard the voice of the LORD (YHWH) God in the garden after he had sinned. Calling by the name of the Lord was until that time respected and honored but it was in the days of Enosh when calling by the name of the Lord was defiled. God then destroyed the world because of the continual wickedness. Noah retains knowledge of the name and then apparently at the tower of Babel the name is forgotten or lost. God chooses not to reveal His name again until Moses has the encounter at the burning bush.

The Sons of Seth Were Not Sons of God

Regardless of which reading we take, there is simply no evidence whatsoever to support the concept that Genesis 4:26 can be used to interpret the sons of God as the sons of Seth. There is no indication that Seth’s sons were somehow more godly than the rest of humanity. Furthermore, it must not be missed that Adam lived another 800 years after begetting Seth and that he had sons and daughters. Likewise “Seth lived eight hundred and seven years and had sons and daughters,” (Genesis 5:7). All of the sons and daughters of Seth as well as the sons and daughters of Cain were in fact sons (and daughters) of Adam. Technically speaking every human ever born on this planet is a son or daughter of Adam; the Hebrew language uses the term to mean “human”. Thus the text is driving home the point that there are two dissimilar groups: the daughters of Adam on the one hand and the sons of God on the other. To suggest that the daughters of men were actually the daughters of Cain is fanciful. Rather, the daughters of Adam are contrasted with the sons of God: the daughters of men were human and the sons of God were not.

Furthermore, we can in no way infer that all of these sons and daughters remained so godly that they would be distinguished from the sons of Cain. After all, only eight people were saved out of the entire world. These sons of Seth must not have been so godly after all. Simply put, the sons of God do not refer to the lineage of Seth, but to direct creations of God, which before the redeeming work of Christ was limited to Adam himself and to angels. Therefore, the sons of God in Genesis six refers to fallen angels who had relations with human women.

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[viii] Brown Driver Briggs (BDB) Hebrew English Lexicon provides the following definition. The most common definition is “1. to profane, defile, pollute, desecrate, begin”. BDB then goes on to give the various forms of how the root is used in each of the binyanim (verbal paradigms). In the a. (Niphal) it means to: 1. to profane oneself, defile oneself, pollute oneself; b. ritually; c. sexually; 1. to be polluted, be defiled; d. (Piel): 1. to profane, make common, defile, pollute; 2. to violate the honour of, dishonour; 3. to violate (a covenant); 4. to treat as common; e. (Pual) to profane (name of God); f. (Hiphil): 1. to let be profaned; 2. to begin; g. (Hophal) to be begun”(emphasis mine). The Hophal is simply the passive of the Hiphil – therefore, if the Hiphil occasionally means to let be profaned then the one occurrence of the Hophal might also be translated as profaned rather than begin.

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  1. Genetics of the Incarnation: Our New Heavenly Bodies
  2. Rise of the Nephilim
  3. Genetics of the Mark of the Beast

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Part 2: Did Jesus Make a Veiled Reference to the Nephilim?

In part one of this post, I suggested that Jesus’ reference to ‘eating, drinking, marrying, given in marriage’ in the days of Noah could in fact be a reference to the actions of the fallen angels in procreating the Nephilim. Jesus also made reference to the days of Lot

Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built. (Luke 17:28)

Let’s consider what the (bad) angels that have been cast into hell (tartaros) and are locked in everlasting chains waiting until the final judgment because they must have done something more than the initial rebellion. For if the first rebellion was sufficient to require them to be locked up already, why should Satan and so many other demons be allowed to go about freely? Peter provides evidence of just what landed them in everlasting chains so prematurely by his statement in verse ten: “especially those who indulge their fleshly desires [sarkos en epitumia σαρκος εν επιθυμια μιασμου] and who despise authority.” The Greek term employed by Peter (epithumia επιθυμια) is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as a great longing for something, often of things forbidden. This word coupled with “flesh” (sarkos σαρκος) and “defilement”[i] (miasmou μιασμου) makes a powerful statement – the unrighteous, which includes (fallen) angels acted upon a forbidden longing to defile or stain their flesh.

Jude, most likely basing his own writing on Peter, then elaborates in what way the angels sinned.

Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all) that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe. You also know that the angels [angelous αγγελους] who did not keep within their proper domain [arkhen αρχην] but abandoned their own place of residence [oiketerion οικητηριον], he has kept [There is an interesting play on words used in this verse. Because the angels did not keep their proper place, Jesus has kept them chained up in another place. The same verb keep is used in v. 1 to describe believers’ status before God and Christ. (NET Notes Jude 6)] in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. So also [hos ως] Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality [ekporeusasai εκπορνευσασαι] and pursued unnatural desire [sarkos heteras σαρκος ετερας] in a way similar to these [toutoisτουτοις] angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire, (Jude 1:5-7 NET).

There are several things that confirm what Peter was saying in relation to the angels having been equivalent to the sons of God in Genesis 6. Jude says that the angels didn’t keep their proper domain, arkhen (αρχην). We see this word in a similar context in the writings of Paul. In Romans 8:38 Paul is confidently stating that nothing can separate us from God’s love: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities [archai αρχαι] nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,” (Romans 8:38).

In writing to the Ephesians Paul makes a bold statement concerning who we are truly warring against.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities [tas arkhas τας αρχας], against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul is stating that the principalities [archai αρχαι] are rulers in the kingdom of Satan. Jude on the other hand is referencing what the angels left – that is to say, they left their abode or domain of power and rule (where they acted as principalities of wickedness in the heavenly places).

Jude then goes on to say that in a like manner Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding cities committed an act like these (the Greek text has a masculine demonstrative dative pronoun “to these”). The New American Bible comments on verse 7:

However, the phrase “practiced unnatural vice”—translated literally as “went after alien flesh”—refers to the desires for sexual intimacies by human beings with angels, which is the reverse of the account in Genesis, where heavenly beings (angels) sought after human flesh.[ii]

The NET Bible notes that use of the masculine pronoun refers back to the antecedent “angels” because it is masculine whereas the mention of “cities” (Greek poleis πόλεις) is feminine and thus angels must be the antecedent of “to these”.[iii]

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (and the cities of the plain) was so wicked that God destroyed them with fire and brimstone from the sky. However, in order to not let the righteous suffer the same fate as the wicked, God sent two of his angels to rescue Lot and his family. Upon coming to the city the men of the city begin to beat on the door demanding that Lot send out the two men in order that they might have sexual relations with them. At the very least homosexual conduct is being spoken of here. However, with the passage from Jude in view, it is at least possible that God destroyed them not merely for their homosexual conduct, but for previously having relations with angels (of course fallen angels i.e. demons). The notes from the NET Bible offer some valuable insight on the term “strange flesh”.

This phrase has been variously interpreted. It could refer to flesh of another species (such as angels lusting after human flesh). This would aptly describe the sin of the angels, but not easily explain the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. […] Another alternative is that the focus of the parallel is on the activity of the surrounding cities and the activity of the angels. This is especially plausible since the participles ἐκπορνεύσασαι (ekporneusasai, “having indulged in sexual immorality”) and ἀπελθοῦσαι (apelthousai, “having pursued”) have concord with “cities” (πόλεις, poleis), a feminine plural noun, rather than with Sodom and Gomorrah (both masculine nouns). If so, then their sin would not necessarily have to be homosexuality. However, most likely the feminine participles are used because of constructio ad sensum (construction according to sense). That is, since both Sodom and Gomorrah are cities, the feminine is used to imply that all the cities are involved. The connection with angels thus seems to be somewhat loose: Both angels and Sodom and Gomorrah indulged in heinous sexual immorality. Thus, whether the false teachers indulge in homosexual activity is not the point; mere sexual immorality is enough to condemn them (NET Notes Jude 1:7).

The NET notes nicely draw out the bottom line of the use of the term sarkos heteras σαρκος ετερας (strange flesh in the KJV). When this information is coupled with what Paul has to say about the different kinds of flesh in I Corinthians 15 the picture becomes incredibly clear that the angels went after something foreign to themselves as did the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The bottom line is that a similar violation happened in the days of Lot like in the days of Noah. We see that it was fallen angels taking any they chose from the daughters of men to create a hybrid race.


[i] μί-ασμα [ ῐ], ατος , τό , (μιαίνω ) stain, defilement , esp. by murder or other crime, taint of guilt […] II that which defiles, pollution , of persons.

[ii] New American Bible, footnotes p. 1370, referring to verse 7. See also: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Nephilim.

[iii] The notes of the NET Bible in Jude verse six states: “’Angels’ is not in the Greek text; but the masculine demonstrative pronoun most likely refers back to the angels of v. 6.”

Did Jesus Make a Veiled Reference to the Nephilim?

Many people believe that Jesus’ reference to the days of Noah where they were “eating… drinking… marrying” (Luke 17:27) was simply a reference ‘life as usual’. Therefore, many people believe that life will be just going on as normal and nothing spectacular is to be expected.  Perhaps there is another way to understand Jesus’ reference to the days of Noah.

When we read of the days before the flood in Genesis 6 we discover that there were fallen angels which had come down and fathered a hybrid race called the Nephilim which is confirmed by 2Pet 2:24 and Jude 1:6 (see Corrupting the Image video  for further consideration, or article here). I believe a clue to the reference  “eating and drinking”  is given in Numbers that the land devours its inhabitants.

“The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. (Num 13:32)

King Og of Bashan needed at least 22,657 calories just to stay alive each and every day. In other words, he was hungry! Extra-biblical texts such as the Book of Giants found among the Dead Sea Scrolls discusses the sons of God and the giants that came from them:

1Q23 Frag. 9 + 14 + 15 

2[ . . . ] they knew the secrets of [ . . . ] 3[ . . . si]n was great in the earth [. . . ] 4[ . . . ] and they killed many [ . . ] 5[ . . . they begat] giants [ . . . ] (emphasis mine).

1Q23 Frag. 1 + 6 

[. . . two hundred] 2donkeys, two hundred asses, two hundred . . . rams of the] 3flock, two hundred goats, two hundred [. . . beast of the] 4field from every animal, from every [bird . . .] 5[. . .] for miscegenation [. . .]

4Q531 Frag.
2 [ . . . ] they defiled [ . . . ] 2[ . . . they begot] giants and monsters [ . . . ] 3[ . . . ] they begot, and, behold, all [the earth was corrupted . . . ] 4[ . . . ] with its blood and by the hand of [ . . . ] 5[giant’s] which did not suffice for them and [ . . . ] 6[ . . . ] and they were seeking to devour many [ . . . ] 7[ . . . ] 8[ . . . ] the monsters attacked it, (emphasis mine).
4Q532 Col. 2 Frags. 1 – 6 
2[ . . . ] flesh [ . . . ] 3al[l . . . ] monsters [ . . . ] will be [ . . . ] 4[ . . . ] they would arise [ . . . ] lacking in true knowledge [ . . . ] because [ . . . ] 5[ . . . ] the earth [grew corrupt . . . ] mighty [ . . . ] 6[ . . . ] they were considering [ . . . ] 7[ . . . ] from the angels upon [ . . . ] 8[ . . . ] in the end it will perish and die [ . . . ] 9[ . . . ] they caused great corruption in the [earth . . .] (emphasis mine).

I suggest that Jesus’ reference to eating and drinking was not simply people having their daily needs, but was a reference to the activity of the Nephilim eating animals and humans – anything with blood in those days.  Everything had become genetically corrupted  (mixing of different kinds). The reference to marriage and given in marriage appears to be a veiled reference to the sons of God

They Were Marrying and Being Given in Marriage

taking the daughters of Adam as wives. I doubt that these marriages were out of “love” but were done in order to procreate the Nephilim. Both 2Pet 2:24 and Jude 1:6 confirm that the sons of God were fallen angels who came and performed “sexual immorality”.

Jesus’ words concerning the days of Noah have to be considered in conjunction with what he/God already revealed in other portions of his Word (Genesis 6). Thus, “eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage” should not be considered life as usual, but the activity of the Nephilim on the earth in those days.

 

Genetic Manipulation Coast to Coast Am Interview Feb 20, 2012

Listen to Coast to Coast interview here: (Youtube description below)

Hebrew scholar and expert in biblical prophecy, Douglas Hamp, warned that we’re entering into an era of genetic manipulation that will set the stage for celestial intervention into the affairs of mankind. He predicted that within the next ten years a major disclosure event will take place which will convince the public to cooperate with aliens (who are actually demons rather than ETs) to participate in the next level of evolution. These aliens are using a hybridization program, mixing human genetics with the Satanic, in order to create an army to fight Jesus upon his return, he postulated. Further, he suggested that the hybrids might be currently kept in underground facilities.

He correlated such beings with biblical accounts, in which the Nephilim or fallen angels, mated with human females, and had offspring, some of whom were said to be giants. Scientific tampering with the genetic code, such as with recombinant DNA, may lead to the possibility that people will be offered genetic enhancements, and if they accept them they’ll be turned into Satanic hybrids, akin to the Bible’s ‘mark of the beast,’ Hamp commented.

Are demons the same as fallen angels?

I have received a number of comments from readers pointing out to me that demons and fallen angels are not one and the same. I am open to the discussion but in general I feel that the supposed distinction that many are trying to make is not based on any careful exegesis of the Bible. Below is the series of conversations I had with a good brother on this topic. His comments are in blue.

Doug, you are wrong concerning what Demons are –The Book of Enoch, The Book of Giants (both dead sea scrolls)and all the Early Church Fathers differentiated between Fallen Angels and Demons .The Greek word for Demon is dis-embodied Spirit. Fallen Angels can Shape Shift but your understanding is not accurate. The progeny of the Union between fallen angels and the daughters of men would produce a Hybrid entity and when the Giants died their Spirits became demons upon the Earth–The Word Nephilim is Different than Rephaim which translates the” dead” in the Old Testament. The Translations can read those who issued from the Nephilim versus those that are the children of the Nephilim– the “Rephaim” or Giants.

Hmm – those are some good points. I am of course aware that that the church fathers thought of the demons as the spirits of the giants – it is possible. My only concern is that I don’t clearly see that in Scripture. What I like to do is to demonstrate how passages and words are used in Scripture were interpreted by the ancients. Here is the thing – Ps 106:36 speaks of the people sacrificing their children to demons which in Hebrew is sheddim – that translated into Greek is daimonion. Liddell and Scott Classical Greek define it as such:

δαιμόνιον , τό , divine Power, Divinity, Hdt. 5.87 , E. Ba. 894 (lyr.), Isoc. 1.13 , Pl. R. 382e , etc.; τὸ δαιμόνιον ἄρ’ ἢ θεὸς ἢ θεοῦ ἔργον Arist. Rh. 1398a15 , cf. 1419a9 ; οἱ θεοὶ εἴσονται καὶ τὸ δ. D. 19.239 ; φοβεῖσθαι μή τι δ. πράγματ’ ἐλαύνῃ some fatality, Id. 9.54 ; τὰ τοῦ δ. the favours of forlune, Pl. Epin. 992d . II inferior divine being, μεταξὺ θεοῦ τε καὶ θνητοῦ Id. Smp. 202e ; καινὰ δ. εἰσφέρειν X. Mem. 1.1.2 , Pl. Ap. 24c , cf. Vett. Val. 67.5 , etc.; applied to the ‘genius’ of Socrates, X. Mem. 1.1.2 , Pl. Ap. 40a , Tht. 151a , Euthphr. 3b .

2. evil spirit, δ. φαῦλα Chrysipp.Stoic. 2.338 , cf. LXX De. 32.17 , To. 3.8 , Ev.Matt. 7.22 , al., PMag.Lond. 1.46.120 (iv A. D.).

The Hebrew word sheddim basically means: 1.  havoc, violence, destruction, devastation, ruin

a.  violence, havoc (as social sin)

b.  devastation, ruin

This definition squares quite well with the meaning of Abaddon and Apollyon – destroyer.

As for the relationship between the Nephilim and the Rephaim – I don’t think that you can make such a stark contrast between them – the data seem to suggest that they are different names for the same creatures. Here is a list I made up showing all of the biblical references to them – they look like the same creatures to me – Click here to see table

Would you agree that the Demons Jesus cast out desired to inhabit the Pigs –and that Jesus always spoke of Demons in his Teachings as seeking to re inhabit the House they left? Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus speak about casting out Fallen Angels–Just as the Fathers of the Giants were a different order then the Giants having inserted themselves into the seed of woman so did a new and Bastardized entity come into being–Therefore the Giants would be denoted differently than their fathers–The Valley of the Rapha differentiates the placement of the specific tribes of Giants. Again, the word “Rephaim” are referred to as the dead –a term not used for Fallen Angels at all. Your point that the psalm 106:36 makes gives my argument more credibility–The Giants in their earthly form desired human flesh –as the statement in Numbers that the Land devours its inhabitants as in eats up–Therefore the appetite of dis-embodied spirits seek to satisfy their former incarnate lusts is noted by all reports worldwide of Giants being cannibals. Fallen Angels are the Principalities and Powers and spiritual wickedness in the Heavenly places until  the Fallen Angels become visible on the Earth due to being kicked out of the part of the heavens they now occupy along with their bound counterparts that are released from their imprisoned state as the Gates of Hell are opened.

Thanks for the response – I am open to the discussion, by the way…that demons are looking for a new home I agree. However, didn’t Satan himself possess Judas? The other thing to consider is that in Ezekiel 28 God said that He destroyed Satan and brought fire from within him.  I see a clue in that – namely that he lost something and I have to wonder if that something was his spiritual body in some sense. Thus it could be that the fallen angels have in some way lost their spiritual body that they were created with and now are “body-less” beings – just a thought.

The word Rephaim actually means healers – though of course it is referring to the giants. These beings apparently are waiting for the coming of Satan in Isaiah 13.  I thought Tom Horn’s idea of the Nephilim as essentially being soul-less beings that were filled with other beings fascinating. Could it be that the production of the Nephilim created a body for the fallen angels to inhabit?

As for the NT not speaking of fallen angels – that is a term that we have made up. The term doesn’t appear anywhere in Scripture. Thus, we are simply attempting to define what a demon is – they were not created as such but they began as angels (Rev 12) and then fell with Satan and became “fallen angels”.  We find the terms malakhim, watchers (Irin), benei Elohim, and sheddim used in the OT.  The first two seems to always point to “good” angels, the third to either good or bad and the fourth only to bad. Of course we find the term stars as well which is neutral. In the NT we don’t find “fallen angels” either. We find the terms angels (for good and bad), stars, and demons. The fathers of the giants were the sons of God who were angels, which were of course bad angels, hence fallen.

I don’t consider the conversation over and I welcome all comments regarding the subject. However,  I would ask that people give solid biblical proof of their position.

Blessings