PART 4: YAHWEH AND HIS PORTION
Chapter 16: Abraham’s Word
Throughout the Abrahamic narrative, Abraham “sees” the Word. Visible Yahweh thesis; Two Powers in Heaven.
Chapter 18: What’s in a Name?
Yahweh tells Moses that he will send an angel and put his Name in the Angel. The Angel will be able to forgive sins (Ex. 23.20-22). “The Name” (Ha-Shem) is a Person (Isaiah 30.27-28; Psalm 20.1, 7).
Chapter 20: Retooling the Template
Believing Israel: God’s Earthly Council
The 70 elders of Israel were a contrast to the corrupt elohim of the divine council (the 70 nations of Gen. 10).
Isaiah 24:23–Yahweh will punish the host of heaven, in heaven. Aside from God’s nuking a few stars, the only plausible reading is God’s punishing the beney elohim.
Rev. 4-5: 24 elders surround God’s throne. God will replace the corrupt elohim by loyal members of his own family (155ff).
Paul’s logic in Romans 4: Abraham would be the father of many nations, yet the nations besides Israel were then under the domain of the corrupt elohim.
Eden and Sinai
The divine council, which Daniel 7 later on calls a “court” for judgment, mediated the law (Acts 7:52-53; Heb. 2:2).
Chapter 22: Realm Distinction
Holiness and Sacred Space
Azazel. While it could mean scapegoat (Lev. 16.8), it is also a proper name. One goat is “for Yahweh” and another is “for Azazel.” The parallelism demands the latter be a proper name (176). The priest isn’t sacrificing to Azazel; rather, Azazel is getting what is his: sin. Realm distinction and cosmic geography go hand in hand.
PART 5: CONQUEST AND FAILURE
Chapter 23: Giant Problems
However the Israelites would have interpreted Gen. 6, it is certain they wouldn’t have demythologized the text.
Does Matt. 22:23-33 rule out the supernatural view? The Bible tells of angels physically interacting with humans. Some considerations:
- This text never says angels can’t have sexual relations. It just says they don’t.
- Nevertheless, Genesis 6 isn’t the spiritual realm, so the situation doesn’t apply.
- This event is far less radical in what is required of a belief than the Incarnation.
- The actions in Genesis 18-19 are physical actions (eating food, taking hold of Lot, etc.).
- In Genesis 32:22-31 Jacob wrestles with an elohim and the elohim can be touched and in return physically harm Jacob.
- Everyone believes angels can speak, yet on this objection how can an incorporeal being produce sound waves?
- Angels open doors (Acts 5:19)
- They hit the disciples (Acts 12.7).
Nephilim after the flood
Chapter 24: The Place of the Serpent
Israel will face two enemies in the Holy Land: descendants of the Nephilim and those under the dominion of foreign gods. The former had to be annihilated. The descendants of the Nephilim are related to the Rephaim (Num. 13:11, 20).
Chapter 28: Divine Misdirection
The OT didn’t have a concept of a dying and rising maschiach. If it did, and if it were obvious, Peter wouldn’t have rebuked Christ for suggesting that. Christ wouldn’t have had to explain it on the Emmaus Road. It was veiled because if the powers of the world understood it (1 Cor 2), they wouldn’t have put Jesus to death. “Even the angels didn’t know the plan” (1 Pet. 1:12).
Chapter 29: Rider in the clouds
Daniel 7: Divine Council
Cloud rider: in the ANE, someone who rode the clouds was divine (Ugaritic Baal Cycle; Ps. 104:1-4; Isaiah 19:1). Daniel 7 adjusts this in a way: the one who receives this title is someone alongside Yahweh.
PART 7: THE KINGDOM ALREADY
Chapter 32: Preeminent Domain
Matthew 16. There is a connection between Caesarea Phillipi and “Gates of Hades.” It is the Bashan Mountain region, close to Mt. Hermon. Caearea Phillipi was also called “Panias,” a sanctuary to Zeus and Pan (cf. Eusebius).
Mt Hermon was considered the gateway to the realm of the dead (cf. n15).
Chapter 33: A Beneficial Death
Bulls of Bashan
Matthew 27 parallels Psalm 22.
Bashan is the realm of death and Hades. Also see Amos 4. Amos’s calling the women “cows of Bashan” isn’t simply Amos going on thot patrol. It could very well be that the cows themselves are deities in the form of idols. The Hebrew words dallim and ebyonim are also in Psalm 82.
The Fall of Bashan
Mountain of Bashan/God in Psalm 68 should be translated mountain of gods, since it is immediately contrasted with Mt. Zion. It wouldn’t make any sense if they were the same: why would the mountain look upon itself with envy?
Chapter 35: Sons of God, Seed of Abraham Gog, Magog, and Bashan
- Gog will come from the heights of the North (Ezek. 38:15;39.2). The invasion is in a supernatural context. Heiser writes, “The Gog invasion would be the response of a supernatural evil against the Messiah and his kingdom” (364).