In chapter 2 of The Unseen Realm, Heiser gives a list of weird texts in the Bible. Hopefully after having gone through all of my posts (or maybe you’re starting here first), you can get a taste of the importance of Heiser’s book in putting together the worldview of the biblical authors in a way that helps explain these bizarre texts.
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’”
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
“When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out,
“So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
“They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.“
1 Kings 22.18-23
“And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?’ And Micaiah said, ‘Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’
And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’
Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.”
“Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—”
1 Corinthians 2.6-13
“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him’”
1 Corinthians 6.3
“Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!”
“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
1 Peter 3.18-22
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”
2 Peter 2.4-5
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.”
“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.”
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.”
“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
There are a lot of weird texts in the Bible, besides the ones we’ve been covering. We can avoid them. We can keep “de-myth” them and make them easier on our ears. Or we can meet the biblical authors head on. I’m not fully endorsing everything Heiser says, but I will say that much of what he is arguing makes sense.
Next will be the brief description we read about Nimrod in Genesis 10, the tower of Babel, and Yahweh dividing the nations.
Dividing the Nations
The OT Trinity
And also Heiser’s more condensed version,