Shalom, everyone! As we mentioned in the previous post, the Hebrew Bible supports monolatry, not monotheism. YHVH (YAH) is exalted above all other divine beings. The Hebrew word most often translated as “god” is “Elohim.” In the Hebrew Bible, the word “Elohim” can mean:
- Alternate name for YHVH.
- Foreign deities
- Spirits of the human dead
Most of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean had a concept of a hierarchy of divine beings. The ancient Hebrews knew there was a three-tiered hierarchy of divine beings as follows:
- YHVH (YAH) – The Creator and Master of the Universe
- Bene Elohim/Bene Elyon – “Sons of God,” “sons of the Most High,”or “host of heaven”
- Angels (ma’lakim) – Messengers of God
The top tier belongs to YAH. The second tier belongs to the “Bene Elohim” or “sons of God.” The Bene Elohim were also present at the Creation and are members of YAH‘s Divine Council. The third tier belongs to the angels, who are messengers and perform lower-level tasks.
The following is part two of a video presentation by renown biblical scholar and author Dr. Michael Heiser called “The Gods of the Bible.” Dr. Heiser presents references from the Hebrew Bible that prove that there exists a Divine Council, a “collection of spiritual beings through which YAH chooses to administer His rule.” As we stated earlier, YAH‘s Divine Council consists of the Bene Elohim. Psalm 82 states that YAH judges His Divine Council according to their deeds. Sometimes He has had to punish some members with death. Does this mean that the Hebrew Bible supports polytheistic worship? Absolutely not! The Hebrew Bible is monolatristic not monotheistic. Remember, We are to worship YAH only.
Dr. Heiser is the author of the book, “The Unseen Realm.” Please note that Dr. Heiser is of the Christian faith. While TwelveTotems.org does not support the Christian doctrine of Jesus (Yeshua) being a deity worthy of worship, we do support the monolatry supported by the Hebrew Bible: Other deities do exist, however, our attention, allegiance, praise, and worship must be to YAH and YAH alone.
The Gods of the Bible – Part 2 – Dr. Michael Heiser/Naked Bible
Video from Naked Bible/YouTube
The following are the scriptural references mentioned in the video presentation above:
Psalms 82:1 ~ “A Psalm of Asaph. God (Elohim) standeth in the congregation of God (ba’adat-El); in the midst of the judges (elohim) He judgeth:”
Psalm 82:6 ~ “I said: Ye are godlike beings, and all of you sons of the Most High (Bene Elyon).”
Job 1:6 ~”Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”
Job 38:4-7 ~ “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast the understanding. Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who stretched the line upon it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
1 Kings 22:19-20 ~ “And he said: ‘Therefore hear thou the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on his left. And the LORD said: Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead. And one said: On this manner; and another said: On that manner.”
1 Kings 22:21-22 ~ “And there came forth the spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said: I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him: Wherewith? And he said: I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said: Thou shalt entice him, and shalt prevail also; go forth, and do so.”