EDITORS COMMENT: This new series is being offered in memoriam of Dr. Michael Heiser who’s truly groundbreaking research on the Divine Council and Enochian Worldview (based on the book of Enoch and its connection to Hebrew theology before and at the time of Jesus) opened the door for a richer understanding of the Life of Christ than previous generations could have imagined. This series reflects content from the leading-edge books published by Defender Publishing for Dr. Heiser—Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ as well as his two volume book set titled, A Companion to the Book of Enoch: A Reader’s Commentary, Volume 1: The Book of the Watchers and Vol II: The Parables of Enoch. PLEASE NOTE: ALL PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF DR. MICHAEL HEISER’S BOOKS FROM SKYWATCHTVSTORE.COM WILL BE DONATED TO HIS FAMILY DURING THIS SERIES.
In what remains of this section, we want to examine the evidence marshaled by Richter that demonstrates how the women included in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus foreshadow the reversal of the transgression of the Watchers and, consequently, the Enochian notion of how their transgression resulted in the proliferation of evil in humankind. Richter writes:
Transgression looms large in the stories from the now canonical Hebrew scriptures of the four women included in Matthew’s genealogy (Matt[hew] 1:1–17), Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and “the wife of Uriah” as she is called in Matthew, known from the Hebrew scriptures as Bathsheba. Aspects of the watchers’ transgression and its consequences are present in the stories of each of the women named as an ancestor of Jesus. First, each woman makes use of the illicit skills and arts taught by the fallen angels in the Enochic tradition. Each of the women named in the genealogy participates in sexual activity considered suspicious at best and unrighteous at worst. Each of their stories involves use of the arts of seduction or beautification. Two of the stories, the story of Rahab and the story of the “wife of Uriah,” involve both the arts of beautification and the arts of war. Each of their stories, then, includes the combination seen in the watchers’ descent myth: “knowing” as sexual activity and “knowing” as understanding illicit arts. Second, each of the stories involves echoes of additional elements of the Enochic template. These elements include the following: interaction with angels, sometimes with hints of sexual activity, questions about the paternity of the women’s offspring, and questions about the unusual nature of their offspring.[i]
The links between these four women and the aforementioned elements of the Enochic template are not always obvious or clear to English readers. This is due in part to dependence on English translations. In other instances, the connections are part of Second Temple Jewish readings of the biblical material that may seem foreign to modern readers. Our modern traditional perspective impedes understanding.[ii]
Because of these disconnections, we need to examine the ancient biblical and Jewish material about each of these women that would have alerted first-century Jewish readers to Matthew’s strategy of including them to portend a messianic reversal of the sin of the Watchers.
Tamar is the first of the four women in Matthew’s genealogy (Matthew 1:3). She is known primarily from Genesis 38, where she deceives Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, into an illicit sexual encounter. We need to recount the story here so the connections to the Watcher template will be decipherable.
1It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her, 3and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. 5Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him.
6And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 11Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father’s house.
12In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
The rest of the story can be summarized. Judah sent the young goat by way of Hirah (v. 12), but of course Hirah found no cult prostitute, nor could the men of the town affirm that a cult prostitute (qedēshah) had ever been in the town. Judah consequently didn’t get his items back. They turned up in Tamar’s hands three months later when Judah wanted Tamar put to death for immorality, as her pregnancy by the unwitting Judah had begun to show. Tamar confronted him, and Judah acknowledged that the whole incident was caused by his unwillingness to give Tamar to his son Shelah. Tamar would later give birth to Perez and Zerah, the former of whom is also in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:3).
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There is a good deal lurking under the surface of this story. Looking more closely, we see that Judah married a Canaanite woman named Shuah (Genesis 38:2),[iii] but the text does not specifically say that Tamar, the woman Judah chooses as a wife for his oldest son (Genesis 38:6), was also a Canaanite. Some scholars take the label of qedēshah as suggesting that Tamar was a Canaanite sacred prostitute. This overstates the data, but at the very least, the story is cast in such a way as to link the incident with Canaanite sacred prostitution. The important point is not whether or not Tamar is a Gentile. Rather, it is that Matthew perceives a link between Tamar and the Watchers template. That linkage most obviously derives from the illicit sexual transgression, but there is more in play than meets the eye. Richter writes:
Tamar’s deceit was not just any form of trickery. Tamar engages in the illicit arts, those, according to the Enochic template for the origins of evil in the world, which were forbidden for the watchers to share…. Specifically, Tamar uses the arts related to seduction, making herself appear as a prostitute to attract Judah’s attention. While in the Hebrew she wraps herself in a veil (Gen[esis]. 38:14), the LXX[iv] translates her action as “she put a covering around herself and she beautified her face.” Whether by obfuscation, as in the Hebrew Bible, or beautification, as in the LXX, it is by making herself sexually attractive and available to Judah that Tamar is able to carry out her plan.[v]
Richter also establishes the interesting point that more than a few word choices in the account of Judah and Tamar can be found in either Genesis 6:1–4 or the Enochian story of the Watchers (or both):
Judah’s actions, with which Genesis 38 opens, are reminiscent of the way in which the narrative of the Watchers’ fall begins: “Judah saw there the daughter of a Canaanite man, whose name was Shua; he took her and went into her, and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er” (Genesis 38:2–3, underlines added). The watchers “see” (1 Enoch 6:2) the daughters of men; they “take” wives from among them; they “go into them” (1 Enoch 7:1); the women “conceived” and “bore” the giants (1 Enoch 7:2).[vi]
Even more telling is the name of Judah’s first son: Er (Hebrew: ער; ʿr). Scholars have noted that the name derives from the same Semitic root (עור, “to be awake”) as “Watcher” (עיר; ʿı̂r).[vii] Richter draws attention to the connection: “Er’s name thus derives from the same root as the name of the rebel angel watchers of 1 Enoch.”[viii] It is also interesting that Judah gives the disguised Tamar his signet ring as part of his pledge. Metallurgy for jewelry was one of the illicit arts taught by the Watchers.
Lastly, though Tamar was not in reality a sacred prostitute, she is described with the term for one: qedēshah. Though some scholars argue that there was no such thing as sacred prostitution (offering sex as a form of worship) and that this term has been misunderstood,[ix] the Mesopotamian material is clear that the qedēshah did play the role of the goddess Inanna in the annual act of intercourse with the king (“sacred marriage”) and participate “in exorcistic rituals and sorcery.”[x] Richter observes, “Like the Enochic watchers’ transgression story, sacred marriage served to bridge the gap between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm…. Also, as are the watchers in the Enochic story, Inanna is associated with demons. In the story of her descent to the netherworld, she returns with a band of demons who pose a threat to the living.”[xi]
Unlike Tamar, who took the guise of a prostitute to deceive Judah, Rahab was a working prostitute (Joshua 2:1). She is one of two (cf. Ruth) unambiguous Gentiles among the four women, as she is a native Canaanite living in Jericho (Joshua 2:1–2). The Enochic template element of sexual transgression is therefore quite transparent. But, as with the Tamar episode, there is a lot more to Rahab and her story than that.
While it may sound odd to our ear, Rahab is also connected to the Enochic template by means of warfare, giants, and angels. Richter comments on the first item as follows:
While Rahab herself does not take up weapons of war, her actions make way for the Israelites to do so. Therefore her story is connected with the illicit arts of war. Clearly in this context, these arts are not perceived within the narrative as negative for Rahab or the Israelites who engage in them directly. Rather, they are the necessary means by which Israel enters the promised land. Rahab’s story, then, makes use of two categories of illicit arts identified in 1 En[och] 8:1, arts concerned with the making of war and the beautification of women.[xii]
The connection between Rahab and the giant clans is implied by what follows in the conquest of Jericho and the wars against the giant clans. Jericho was one of the cities targeted for kherem (“devotion to destruction”), a command patterned by the detection of the Anakim by the spies prior to the wilderness wanderings (Numbers 13:32–33).[xiii]
But Rahab’s connection to giants seems to have entered the Jewish consciousness in another way. Matthew refers to Rahab as the mother of Boaz by a man named Salmon (Matthew 1:5). On the surface, nothing seems unusual. But Ruth 2:1 refers to Boaz as a gibbor, one of the terms used to describe the Nephilim offspring of the sons of God in Genesis 6:4. On its own, gibbor (plural: gibborim) does not refer to giants.[xiv] However, Jews in the Second Temple Period often interpreted the term that way. The Septuagint, for example, translates the term with gigas/gigantes (“giant”; “giants”) over a dozen times whether the context supports that rendering or not.[xv] The point being made here is not that Boaz was a giant. He wasn’t. Rather, the point is that the description used by the author of Ruth drew the attention of Second Temple Jews—Matthew being one of them—and created a mental link between Rahab and the giant clans.[xvi]
What of the angel connection? This is detected in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Rahab account and the New Testament.
In the New Testament Letter of James, Rahab is paired with Abraham as an example of one “justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). Rahab is named specifically in James 2:25: “was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers (ἄγγέλους; ἄγγελος [aggelous; aggelos] in the nominative singular)[xvii] and sent them out by another road?” The ambiguous word ἄγγελος [aggelos], translated in many English translations of James 2:25 as “messenger,” is also the word used in the LXX for “angel.” The ambiguity is present in Hebrew as well, and in Josh 6:25 the word מלאכים [melʾakı̄m; “messenger, angel”] is used to explain why Joshua spared the lives of the Canaanite Rahab and her family when the Israelites conquered the land and committed all other Canaanite people and animals to the ban: “But Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared. She lives in Israel to this day for she hid the messengers (מלאכים) whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” It is interesting that the LXX does not use ἄγγελος [aggelos] in Josh 6:25, but κατάσκοπος (kataskopos; “spy”) instead. In other words, the writer of James is not quoting the LXX text, but rather makes use of the ambiguous ἄγγελος [aggelos] which may connote “messenger” or “angel,” and thereby preserves the ambiguity of the Hebrew version of Josh 6:25 with its מלאכים [melʾakı̄m].[xviii]
It is also interesting to note that James uses both Rahab and Abraham as models of faith—both “received messengers” (melʾakı̄m) hospitably (cp. Genesis 18:1–19:1; James 2:25).[xix]
Like Rahab, Ruth is clearly a Gentile, being from Moab (Ruth 1:4). Richter observes:
Like Tamar, Ruth has found herself widowed with no child, and Ruth also will transgress social mores to gain security and a child…. Because she is a Moabite, Ruth is connected with three aspects of the watchers’ legacy: illicit sexual intercourse, bloodshed, and idolatry. Further, Moabites share with those of illegitimate birth the status of being excluded from the assembly of the Lord. The designation of illegitimate birth is also applied at Qumran to the offspring of the watchers and the women. [xx]
Readers will recall that in the story of Ruth, her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi, comes up with a plan that, if successful, would result in Boaz redeeming Ruth through marriage, thereby ending their desperate, poverty-stricken situation.
Scholars of the Hebrew Bible have long recognized that what Ruth does at the threshing floor (Ruth 3) is overtly sexual. Ruth exposes the “feet” of Boaz while he is sleeping after he had “eaten and drunk” when “his heart was merry,” and then lies down (Ruth 3:7). The Hebrew word translated “feet” (regel) is a well-known euphemism for genitalia in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., to “cover one’s feet,” meaning relieve oneself: Judges 3:24; 1 Samuel 24:4). By uncovering Boaz’s “feet” (genitalia), Ruth is, in effect, offering herself as a wife to Boaz. Given the patriarchal setting of Israelite culture, this was a transgression of the way things were usually done—it was the man who would solicit marriage or take a concubine of his choice. While the text provides no evidence of a sexual encounter between the two, what Ruth did would have an illicit feel to “proper” Israelites and later Jewish readers.
For our purposes, what leads up to Ruth’s offer is noteworthy:
Ruth’s encounter with Boaz on the threshing floor is orchestrated by the design of Naomi, who instructs Ruth in how the night should progress. Specifically, Naomi instructs Ruth to “wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor” (Ruth 3:3, NRSV). At its most innocuous, Naomi is merely telling Ruth to make herself presentable, to “pretty herself up” for her encounter with Boaz. However, since the intended result is to put Boaz in a position of being obligated to marry Ruth, it may be more realistic to see Naomi as encouraging Ruth to make use of the arts of seduction, specifically those named as illicit arts in the Enochic tradition. Accordingly Ruth makes use of cosmetic adornment (ointment, perfume), specifically identified as one of the illicit arts, as well as putting on her finest raiment in order to be more attractive to Boaz.… Ruth is a Moabite, a fact mentioned no less than seven times: Ruth 1:4; 1:22; 2:2, 6, 21; 4:5, 10. In Israelite tradition, Moabites were associated with idolatry and their women with sexual wantonness and seduction of Israelite men. This association comes from the episode of the worship of Baal of Peor, recorded in Numbers 25:1–5.[xxi]
Ruth and Boaz of course, do get married. They famously become the great-grandparents of King David (Ruth 4:18–22). Having a Moabitess in the line of David was a scandal that later rabbis felt required explanation.[xxii] Deuteronomy 23:2–3 was a focal point:
No one born of a forbidden union (mamzēr) may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord. No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever.
The term mamzēr from Deuteronomy 23:2 is significant. It is the term behind the famous designation of the giant offspring of the Watchers as “bastard spirits” in Second Temple Jewish literature, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls. David Jackson, in his scholarly work on Enochic Judaism, explains, “We find the concept of ‘bastard’ (ממזר; mamzēr), drawn from Deut[eronomy] 23:2–4 and Zech[ariah] 9:6 applied to the offspring of the angels and the women throughout the Qumran literature.”[xxiii]
Lastly, it is interesting to note that rabbinic tradition was aware of all this material and, as rabbinic interpreters often do, made it fodder for imaginative interpretation. Orpah, Ruth’s sister, was believed to be the mother of Goliath and his brothers. Some rabbis presumed Orpah had giant (Emim) blood as a Moabitess. The Babylonian Talmud (b. Sotah) reads:
It is written: “And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law but Ruth clave unto her.” Let the sons of the kiss (the one who kissed) fall into the hands of the one who clave unto, as it is written; “These four were born to the giant (ha-ra-fah) in Gath, and fell by the hand of David.” Rabba taught, because of the four tears Orpah shed on her mother-in-law she was worthy that four mighty men would come forth out of her as her offspring.[xxiv]
This opinion is speculative for sure, but given Matthew’s inclusion of Ruth in the genealogy of Jesus, Jews perhaps saw Ruth as “immune” from monstrous offspring due to her conversion to Naomi’s God, or perhaps that David was a marker of messianic things to come—one who would blunt and combat the transgression of the Watchers.
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The sordid story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah the Hittite, is well known to Bible readers (2 Samuel 11:1–27). Two elements of the Watchers’ template are clear from the outset: sexual transgression (though Bathsheba is likely best understood as a victim, not the perpetrator) and warfare. The latter is clear in that the context for Uriah’s death was the siege of Rabbah (2 Samuel 11:1). Richter summarizes how these two items work together in the story:
Recall that in 1 Enoch Asael teaches human beings how to make weapons of war and materials for the beautification of women. The story of Bathsheba, David, and Uriah is a story that combines these elements: skills of war and a desirable woman…. The scene of David on his rooftop shares some elements with the Enochic scene of the watchers about to transgress and leave their appointed heavenly station. David looks down from his roof and sees a very beautiful woman (2 Sam[uel] 11:2) just as the watchers look down from lofty places and spy “the beautiful and comely daughters of men” (1 En[och] 6:1). The fact that David is up on his roof is mentioned twice in the verse. The woman’s beauty is emphasized (“the woman was very beautiful,” 2 Sam[uel] 11:2, NRSV)…. In 1 Enoch, after seeing the comely women the watchers decide to “choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men” (1 En[och] 6:1). David decides to choose for himself someone who is already the wife of a man. Shemihazah, the watcher, and David, the voyeur, share in knowing that what they do is wrong. Shemihazah knows that if he takes a human wife he “shall be guilty of a great sin” (1 En[och] 6:3). David knows that Bathsheba is already the wife of another man…. Asael taught skills for the beautification of women, the women used them, and made themselves irresistible to angels. Two aspects are present then in this strand of the tradition: the women learned skills for making their physical appearance irresistible, and angels fell for it. Once the watchers saw how beautiful the women were, they could not help themselves and were “led astray” (1 En[och] 8:1). In this telling, then, the women bear some responsibility for the angels’ misdeeds.[xxv]
Some other items deserve attention. Uriah was one of David’s gibborim (“mighty men”; 2 Samuel 23:39). As we saw with Ruth, being married to a gibbor may have made certain Jewish readers suspicious of a connection to the giants. Bathsheba would therefore be another ancestor of Jesus associated with a gibbor.
More interesting perhaps is the fact that Bathsheba became the gebı̄rah, the Queen Mother. This term is the feminine equivalent to gibbor. It is not specifically used of Bathsheba, queen wife to King David, though it is used of other Israelite queens (2 Kings 10:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16; Jeremiah 13:18; 29:2). Scholars disagree on whether the gebı̄rah had any official governmental function. There is sparse textual support for the idea. In Bathsheba’s case, the only role she seems to have had was to solidify Solomon’s claim on the throne (1 Kings 1). That role may have arisen ad hoc out of the circumstances.
Lastly, Bathsheba’s name itself is of interest. In 2 Samuel 11, where readers first encounter her, she is “Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam.” In 1 Chronicles 3:5, she is given a different name: “Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel.” In Hebrew, the first part of the name (bat or bath) means “daughter,” and so the name from 1 Chronicles means “daughter of Shua.” We have seen the name Shua before, back in Genesis 38:
1It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her.
The “daughter of Shua” was Judah’s unnamed wife. It was after her death (Genesis 38:12) that Judah unknowingly solicited a prostitute who wasn’t a prostitute: Tamar. Since Judah’s wife was clearly a Canaanite, scholars have theorized that Bathsheba was as well because of the name given to her in 1 Chronicles 3:5. This possibility would mean that Bathsheba and Uriah were not a “mixed couple,” but both Gentiles. The connection back to Tamar is interesting for our purposes, because it strengthens the idea that Matthew is picking up on women with specific histories for inclusion in Jesus’ genealogy.
We began this chapter with the thesis, drawn largely from the work of Richter, that Matthew was familiar with the sin of the Watchers (the “Enochic template”). The Watchers were blamed for sexual transgression and corrupting humanity with forbidden knowledge. All four women in the genealogy of Jesus are connected in some way with sexual transgression, seduction, and warfare. The connections are both thematic and textual. This can hardly be a coincidence. The effect of their inclusion in the genealogy is to direct readers’ attention to the One to whom the genealogy belongs: the son of Abraham, son of David, from the tribe of Judah, born as the result of a divine-human interaction approved by God for the purpose of repairing the consequences of the proliferation of sin among humankind, a proliferation laid at the feet of the Watchers.
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[i] Ibid., 47–48.
[ii] The negative view toward cosmetics is a good example. Ancient writers condemned cosmetics because of the association with seduction, which hearkened back to the Watchers episode. Richter (p. 49) notes that early Christian writers drew upon the Enochian material in their condemnation of cosmetics: “Clement uses the example of the watchers to appeal to men that they not be enticed by women’s beauty and fall like the rebel angels did. Both Tertullian and Cyprian make use of the story of the watchers’ illicit pedagogy in their appeal to Christian women to cease using cosmetics and other means of beautification which came from such a corrupted source.” Richter’s sources are: (1) Clement: Paedagogus 3.2: “the mind is carried away by pleasure; and the unsullied principle of reason, when not instructed by the Word, slides down into licentiousness, and gets a fall as the due reward of its transgression. An example of this is the angels, who renounced the beauty of God for a beauty which fades, and so fell from heaven to earth” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers; Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, 1885–1887; Repr. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994, vol 2:274); (2) Tertullian: On the Apparel of Women 1.2. (ANF 4:15); Tertullian: Disciplinary, Moral and Ascetical Works (trans. Rudolph Arbesmann, Emily Joseph Daly, Edwin A. Quain; The Fathers of the Church 40: A New Translation; ed. Roy Joseph Deferrari; New York: Fathers of the Church, 1959), 118–21; On the Veiling of Virgins 3.7 (Ante-Nicene Fathers, 4:32). Richter adds (p. 49, n. 116): “Tertullian argues that virgins should be veiled on the basis of the illicit sexual relations between the fallen angels and women. He reasons that the women whom the angels desired and consequently married must have been virgins. Therefore, virgins should be veiled.”
[iii] Shuah is a name we will encounter again when we discuss Bathsheba.
[iv] LXX is an abbreviation for the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.
[v] Richter, 63–64.
[vi] Richter, 63–64. Underlining is mine. There are many more details to these connections and other links in Richter’s actual dissertation. My goal is to offer noteworthy examples in this chapter.
[vii] See Ludwig Koehler et al., The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994–2000), 876. Richter cites Martin Noth, Die israelitischen Personennamen im Rahmen der gemeinsemitischen Namengebung (Hildesheim: Olms, repr. 1980), 228; William F. Albright, “The Egyptian Empire in Asia in the Twenty-First Century B.C.,” Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 8 (1928) 238.
[viii] Richter, 65.
[ix] See for example, Joan Goodrick Westenholz, “Tamar, Qedēšā, Qadištu, and Sacred Prostitution in Mesopotamia,” Harvard Theological Review 82 (July 1989): 245–266.
[x] Westenholz, 253. See also Philip Jones, “Embracing Inana: Legitimation and Mediation in the Ancient Mesopotamian Sacred Marriage Hymn Iddin-Dagan A,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2003): 291–303; Mary K. Wakeman, “Sacred Marriage,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 22 (1982) 21–31.
[xi] Richter, 69 and note 167. Indeed, the close relationship of the Tamar story to sacred prostitute motifs has led some scholars to posit that Genesis 38 is a re-crafting of a story originally about a Canaanite qedēshah. See Michael C. Astour, “Tamar the Hierodule: an Essay in the Method of Vestigal Motifs,” Journal of Biblical Literature 85 (1966) 185–96.
[xii] Richter, 93.
[xiii] See Heiser, The Unseen Realm, 183–214, for a discussion of the conquest and the giant clans.
[xiv] For example, Israelite warriors under Joshua are labeled with the term (Josh. 6:2; 8:3), as is David (1 Sam. 16:18). Even God is called gibbor in Deut. 10:17.
[xv] A search in Logos Bible Software (version 6) via the “Bible Word Study” function using the Logos Septuagint (edition of Rahlfs) reveals this rendering occurs fifteen times. For instances where no scholar would argue giants in view, see Pss. 18:6; 32:16; Isa. 3:2; 13:3; 49:24, 25. Other instances are likely not referring to giants, though some scholars see a suggestion in those passages.
[xvi] Because Rahab is connected to Boaz in Matt. 1:5, this same presumptive connection to giants is also true of Ruth due to her connection to Boaz. Ruth, of course, is one of the four women in Jesus’ genealogy. See the ensuing discussion.
[xvii] In Greek, two consecutive gamma letters have the sound “ng”—hence “angel,” not “aggel” in English pronunciation.
[xviii] Richter, 94. Transliteration and translations were added by this author.
[xix] Richter (pp. 96–99) notes several inter-textual connections in the Hebrew of the Rahab story and that of Lot’s interaction with the angels in Sodom. Apparently, the writer of both texts deliberately intended them to echo one another in certain respects. She also discusses (100–101) connections between how Matthew’s account of the angelic warning to Joseph, Mary, and the Magi echo Rahab’s “hiding of the elect” (Israelites).
[xx] Richter, 114.
[xxi] Ibid., 117–118.
[xxii] Richter (199–120) notes that rabbinic tradition altered the meaning of parts of the Ruth story to “clean up” Ruth’s ancestry. See Ruth Rabbah (5:12; 6:4; 8:4) and Étan Levine, The Aramaic Version of Ruth (Analecta Biblica 58; Rome: Biblical Institute, 1973) 22.
[xxiii] David R. Jackson, Enochic Judaism: Three Defining Paradigm Exemplars (London: T&T Clark, 2004) 62. Richter (122, n. 275) cites this study and adds in a footnote: “Jackson gives the examples ofממזר in 4Q394 8 i.10; 4Q396 1.5; 4Q397 5; cf. also 4Q174i.21, 2, 4. The phrase ‘the spirits of the bastards’ appears in 4Q511 35.7; 48, 49, 51.2-3. In 4Q510 1.5 reference is made to ‘the spirits of the ravaging angels and the bastard spirits.’”
[xxiv] The translation is that of Abraham Cohen, cited in Richter.
[xxv] Richter, 132–133.