No heavenly or divine council?
In the Hebrew Bible, there are multiple descriptions of Yahweh presiding over a great assembly of Heavenly Hosts. Some interpret these assemblies as examples of Divine Council:
"The Old Testament description of the 'divine assembly' all suggest that this metaphor for the organization of the divine world was consistent with that of Mesopotamia and Canaan. One difference, however, should be noted. In the Old Testament, the identities of the members of the assembly are far more obscure than those found in other descriptions of these groups, as in their polytheistic environment. Israelite writers sought to express both the uniqueness and the superiority of their God Yahweh."
The Book of Psalms (Psalm 82:1), states "God (אֱלֹהִ֔ים elohim) stands in the divine assembly (בַּעֲדַת-אֵל ); He judges among the gods (אֱלֹהִ֔ים elohim)" (אֱלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת־אֵל בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט). The meaning of the two occurrences of "elohim" has been debated by scholars, with some suggesting both words refer to YHWH, while others propose that God rules over a divine assembly of other Gods or angels. Some translations of the passage render "God (elohim) stands in the congregation of the mighty to judge the heart as God (elohim)" (the Hebrew is "beqerev elohim", "in the midst of gods", and the word "qerev" if it were in the plural would mean "internal organs"). Later in this Psalm, the word "gods" is used (in the KJV): Psalm 82:6 - "I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High." Instead of "gods", another version has "godlike beings", but here again, the word is elohim/elohiym (Strong's H430). This passage is quoted in the New Testament in John 10:34.
In the Books of Kings (1 Kings 22:19), the prophet Micaiah has a vision of Yahweh seated among "the whole host of heaven" standing on his right and on his left. He asks who will go entice Ahab and a spirit volunteers. This has been interpreted as an example of a divine council.
The first two chapters of the Book of Job describe the "Sons of God" assembling in the presence of Yahweh. Like "multitudes of heaven", the term "Sons of God" defies certain interpretation. This assembly has been interpreted by some as another example of divine council. Others translate "Sons of God" as "angels", and thus argue this is not a divine council because angels are God's creation and not deities.
"The role of the divine assembly as a conceptual part of the background of Hebrew prophecy is clearly displayed in two descriptions of prophetic involvement in the heavenly council. In 1 Kings 22:19-23... Micaiah is allowed to see God (elohim) in action in the heavenly decision regarding the fate of Ahab. Isaiah 6 depicts a situation in which the prophet himself takes on the role of the messenger of the assembly and the message of the prophet is thus commissioned by Yahweh. The depiction here illustrates this important aspect of the conceptual background of prophetic authority."
Sakenfeld, Katharine ed., "The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible" Volume 2, pg 145, Abingdon Press, Nashville.
Jump up ^ Freedman, David N. ed., "The Anchor Bible Dictionary" Volume 2 pg 120, Doubleday, New York
Jump up ^ E. Theodore Mullen (1 June 1980). The divine council in Canaanite and early Hebrew literature. Scholars Press. ISBN 978-0-89130-380-0. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
^ Jump up to: a b Leda Jean Ciraolo; Jonathan Lee Seidel (2002). Magic and Divination in the Ancient World. BRILL. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-90-04-12406-6. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
Jump up ^ Virginia Schomp (15 December 2007). The Ancient Egyptians. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-0-7614-2549-6. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
Jump up ^ Alan W. Shorter (March 2009). The Egyptian Gods: A Handbook. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-1-4344-5515-4. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
Jump up ^ Leo G. Perdue (28 June 2007). Wisdom Literature: A Theological History. Presbyterian Publishing Corp. pp. 130–. ISBN 978-0-664-22919-1. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
Jump up ^ Mark S. Smith (2009). The Ugaritic Baal Cycle. BRILL. pp. 841–. ISBN 978-90-04-15348-6. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
Jump up ^ Michael S. Heiser. "Divine Council 101: Lesson 2: The elohim of Psalm 82 – gods or men?" (PDF).
Jump up ^ ""Psalms 82:1"".
Jump up ^ HamMilon Hechadash, Avraham Even-Shoshan, copyright 1988.
Jump up ^ "godlike beings, in JPS 1917". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
Jump up ^ "Psalm 82:6 KJV with Strong's H430 (elohim/elohiym)". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
Jump up ^ "John 10:34". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
Jump up ^ Freedman, David N. ed., "The Anchor Bible Dictionary" Volume 2 pg 123, Doubleday, New York
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