Sons of God – Not Angels, Exactly

This post follows the thought of Dr. Michael Heiser, PhD. He is eminently qualified to speak.

He says, in his Introduction to the Divine Council  that even in early Old Testament theology,

before the very beginning of creation God was not alone. There was a second, uncreated person with him, who shared his own essence and was an independent, but not autonomous, being. As Christians we are familiar with this second person by such terms as “the Son,” and we believe that this second “deity person” became incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth. In the Old Testament, “the Son” is manifest physically and visually, but is referred to by other names, such as Wisdom and the Word (and several other names). For now, though, we need to look at the other members of God’s family and their relationship to “the Son.” …

(This pre-existing Son was) qualitatively different than God’s other sons. …

He writes that in Prov. 8:29, under the name of Wisdom, the pre-existing Son is described as co-creator; and in Job 38, sons of God are described as standing by and observing this creation. He says you will,

never look at your Bible the same way again once you meet God’s original heavenly family—the sons of God. … We’ll start our introduction with an obscure but important passage, Job 38:4-7 (where) God is challenging Job, who wanted to know why he was suffering. (God asks,) ‘Where were you [Job] when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? …

We learn from this text that, at the very moment of the creation of the world, there were already a number of “sons of God.” … You might be thinking the sons of God are the angels. That’s a common assumption, but it’s wrong since the Hebrew word for angels (mal’akim) is completely different than the Hebrew behind “sons of God” … . … (And) the sons of God are identified with the heavenly starry host. … (T)he sons of God who watched the show were watching God and his co-creator in action. They were all there—before there were human beings. … (cf. Job 38:21)

In the original Hebrew, the phrase “sons of God” in Job 38:7 is beney elohim.

This is a phrase occurring four times in the bible, and always referring to some kind of angelic beings. It is the elohim that make up his heavenly court. Here it is described in Psalms 82:1.

“God (אֱ לֹהִ ים, elohim) stands in the council of El/the divine council (עֲ דַ ת־אֵ ל, adath-el). Among the gods (אֱ לֹהִ ים, elohim) he passes judgment.”

You can see the word elohim here as one of God’s names. The word remains plural in form when used this way, but it is not plural in meaning when referring to him.

Over two thousand occurrences of the word elohim in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament point to the singular God of Israel. We know this because of the grammar of the sentences in which the word occurs, as well as context. Job 38:4 obviously refers to the God of Israel since the grammar there has the creator speaking in the first person singular (“I laid the foundations of the earth”). … (T)he God of Israel was “THE God” (par excellence) among all other gods. …

So there is no question that the Hebrews worshiped on God. Now here are more verses describing the court of God using the phrase “sons of God”.

“Who is like Yahweh among the sons of God (בְ נֵ יֹאֵ לִ ים, beney elim) a god greatly feared in the council of the holy ones (בְ סוֹד־קְ דֹשִ ים, besod-qedoshim)?” Psalm 29:1 commands the same sons of God (בְ נֵ יֹאֵ לִ ים, beney elim) to praise Yahweh and give him due obeisance. Divine “sons of God” (בְ נֵ יֹאֵ לִ ים, beney elim, or בְ נֵ יֹהָ אֱ לֹהִ ים , beney ha’elohim) appear in other biblical texts (Gen 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; and Deut 32:8–9, 43


There is solid evidence in the Hebrew Bible for a three-tiered council. In the divine council of Israelite religion, Yahweh was the supreme authority over a divine bureaucracy that included a second tier of lesser … elohim … also called the “sons of God”… beney elim … beney ha’elohim, or … beney elohim … “sons of the Most High” … beney elyon … . It may be significant that these “sons of God” are never clearly referred to as angels … mal’akhim … in the Hebrew Bible, as that word denoted the lowest tier of the Canaanite council, and thus a third tier in the Israelite version.

There is much more on his website and definitely worth diving into, although I don’t think he would agree with my opinion that the Sons of God that interbred with human women in  Gen. 6:4 are still doing the same today and that antichrist will be nephelim (an offspring of that kind of interbreeding).

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Biding my time in central ms ... yours too, if ur reading this.
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