I would like to open a discussion regarding the Judaic and Christian view of the Divine Council that is expressed in the Old Testament and Second Temple literature. I also commented on an old youtube video but I figured out that it is better to address it here.
I just stumbled across E.A. Koetting’s youtube channel. I watched a few videos but I didn’t go that deep into his/this community’s concepts and beliefs. I know that you oppose the ‘Abrahamic religions’ but I do not know your view on the Bible or the other pretended inspired scriptures.
I must say that I don’t hold any sides in this dispute. I am just fascinated with different mythologies and religions. I know that 99% of Christians and Jews didn’t put in the effort in actually understanding the Bible and the issues that puzzle Bible scholars for thousands of years. And I am pretty sure that you (all) don’t know the ‘original’ Jewish view of the Heavens that somehow got lost along the way.
A brief overview of the Jewish cosmological concept: there is Yahweh, the One God, Most High and so on, the being that created the world. It also created the Divine Council, which is composed of angles of various ranks. The first angel that fell is named in the Bible as “Helel-beh-Shakhar”, a reference to a Canaanite myth, which is generally translated as “the light bearer” and Lucifer in Latin. This incident happened in the Garden of Eden, after Lucifer rejected to bow to Adam and Eve. The word used in the Hebrew text is “Na-has” which has three meanings: as a noun it means “serpent”; as a adjective it means “shining” (the light bearer) and as an adverb it means “deceiver” (he deceived man into thinking that he can become God, again, in the Jewish concept). Weather Lucifer took form of a snake is unknown and irrelevant (some Bible iconography depicts seraphs as serpents as well). Lucifer was cast out of Heaven but wasn’t bound. Which brings me to a very important point: in the ‘original’ Jewish concept, there was no Hell.
The second fall happened during Noah’s time, when the angles assigned to watch over the Earth (the Watchers) descended out of their own will and mated with women (not all Watchers chose this path, the Bible mentions them several times as benevolent beings). They also taught mankind a variety of things, from weapon making to astrology and witchcraft. This is referenced in the Book of Enoch, a Second Temple text that is not considered canon. There are also a bunch of Gnostic/New Age texts that describe this, as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh, more or less. If you want, I can give you references. Yahweh punished everyone with the Great Flood.
All the above mentioned are easily accessible. Now we will get into the fun part. The fall of Gods described in Psalm 82. I will quote some verses, not the whole psalm. The first verses describe the scene, as Yahweh is judging some lesser Gods:
<<God has taken his place in the Divine Council; in the midst of the Gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”>>
He then threatens them:
“You are gods children of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”
The most important verse is the last one, which states “Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!”. Coupled with Deuteronomy 4, where it is written that God split the nations during the Tower of Babel incident, it is interpreted by some scholars that God took Abraham of Ur as his chosen one and appointed other angles as lesser Gods for all the other nations. So in the ‘original’ Jewish concept, these angels are all the Marduks, Baals, and what have you, that the other nations worship.
Now, let’s mention what the Old Testament is all about. There is no Satan in the Old Testament. The name appears only once in The Book of Job, where it is mentioned as “has-sat-an”, which is translated as “the adversary”, meaning the adversary of Job, not of God, as God summoned the entity to test Job’s faith.
The Old Testament is a theological work that is mainly focused on saying that there is a one and only God and all the other Gods are Yahweh’s creations and humans should not worship them. That is why the Old Testament is filled with “imported” iconography from various religions/mythologies of that region. For instance, God is mentioned several times as being the one riding the clouds. This is a reference to Canaanite iconography which describes Baal as the cloud rider. The writer wanted to say that Yahweh is the one riding the cloud, not Baal (and I don’t really give a damn about what names you want to assign these deities, as I’ve seen it’s quite a hot topic around here). It also borrows from other religions like Egyptian, Babylonian and so on.
So, a few conclusions: The Old Testament is not monotheistic. It is not henotheisitc. It is not polytheistic. These are modern terms which make no sense in the Jewish world view of that era. There is no Satan, nor any direct antagonist to Yahweh. There is no Hell. The gods/“demons” are not considered as being evil, their worship is considered evil.
The idea of a main antagonist appeared before the Second Temple era, when the Jews came into contact with the Persians under Cyrus the Great (after he had conquered Babylon). The Persians were Zoroastrians, their religion is based on a good/evil duality personalized by the fight between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, which are equally powerful (henotheism). But there was no cosmic battle between the entities, there was an individual struggle for each man. And at the end of his life, there was a “judgment” (again, individual, it was literally a bridge) that either led him to the highest consciousness (Heaven) or the lowest consciousness (Hell). This is the first enlightenment, it inspired Plato and the whole Greek philosophy. But this is another topic.
Sorry for the enormous post but I hope you enjoyed the read.