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.
At first glance one might presume that the connection between the ministry of Jesus and the sin of the Watchers is to be found in the episodes where Jesus casts out demons. While demonology and exorcism play a role in our topic, they are by no means the only connection. Our study will begin elsewhere, with a more fundamental reference point: Mount Hermon. We may not realize it, but Jesus spent some time on this mountain and in the region at its base, and what He did and said there was classic spiritual warfare.
Mount Hermon, Mountain of Bashan
It’s hard to miss Mount Hermon on any visit to the Holy Land. At nine thousand feet, it is easily the tallest peak in Israel. In ancient Israel, Mount Hermon was called Sirion and Senir (Deuteronomy 3:9; 4:48).
In an earlier chapter, we learned that Mount Hermon was the location at which the Watchers bound themselves with an oath to corrupt humanity. First Enoch 6 describes the deed, connecting it explicitly to Genesis 6:1–4:
1And when the sons of men had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born to them. 2And the watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them. And they said to one another, “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men, and let us beget for ourselves children.” 3And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, “I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.” 4And they all answered him and said, “Let us all swear an oath, and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this deed.” 5Then they all swore together and bound one another with a curse. 6And they were, all of them, two hundred, who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon.[i] And they called the mountain “Hermon” because they swore and bound one another with a curse on it.
The base of Mount Hermon forms the northern border of the region of Bashan, a geographical reality that helps us identify Mount Hermon with Mount Bashan of Psalm 68.
15O mountain of God,[ii] mountain of Bashan;
O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,
at the mount that God desired for his abode,
yes, where the Lord will dwell forever?
Since Hermon is one of many peaks in the north Bashan mountain range, some scholars are hesitant to identify Mount Hermon with Mount Bashan. Others express no such hesitation. For example, Princeton Old Testament scholar J. J. M. Roberts writes in one analysis of Psalm 68, “Mount Hermon is rebuked for looking with envy on the mountain of Yahweh.”[iii] Professor John Goldingay explains the coherence of the association this way:
Rhetorically this further section [of Psalm 68] moves in a new direction as it addresses Mount Bashan, and in content it makes for another form of link between past and present, the reality of God’s dwelling…. It begins by looking across from the mountain chain running through the heartland of Ephraim and Judah to the higher and more impressive mountains on the other side of the Jordan, running south from Mount Hermon through the Golan and Gilead. Mount Hermon in particular is indeed a mighty or majestic mountain, literally, a “mountain of God.” It towers into the heavens and thus suggests the possibility of or the claim to a link between heaven and earth.[iv]
The association of Mount Hermon with Mount Bashan would have made sense to Second-Temple Jews familiar with 1 Enoch as well as the earlier Israelites who read Genesis 6:1–4 supernaturally, in accord with its original Mesopotamian context. English readers, centuries or millennia removed from the original readers, are largely unaware of why this is so. In a word, in Old Testament times, the whole region of Bashan was associated with giants and evil spirits—the spawn of the Watchers according to Genesis 6:1–4 and 1 Enoch.
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Old Testament Bashan: Giants and the Underworld
We first encounter Bashan in the biblical text in the days of Israel’s wanderings in the desert after the Exodus. God directs Moses to lead the people northward on the other side of the Jordan opposite the Promised Land (the “Transjordan”) in preparation for taking the land he had granted to them. Readers of Deuteronomy 2–3 discover that the Transjordan was once the home of giant clans, referred to variously as Rephaim, Anakim, Emim, Zamzummin, and Amorites.[v] The Amorite reference is important. It harkens back to God’s original covenantal conversation with Abraham in Genesis 15:13–16:
13Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
As I noted in The Unseen Realm:
The historical material on the Amorites is sparse.[vi] Broadly speaking, the Amorite culture was Mesopotamian. The term and the people are known from Sumerian and Akkadian material centuries older than the Old Testament and the time of Moses and the Israelites. The word for “Amorite” actually comes from a Sumerian word (“MAR.TU”) which vaguely referred to the area and population west of Sumer and Babylon.
The Amorites, then, are a connection back to Babylon—back to the Mesopotamian context for the biblical “giant talk” that is intimately associated with Bashan and Hermon. This helps us make sense of the prophet Amos’ recollection of the conquest of the land centuries earlier. Amos specifically connected the name with giants (Amos 2:9–10):
9Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of the cedars
and who was as strong as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above
and his roots beneath.
10Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
and led you forty years in the wilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
The terminology (Amorite, Babylonian MAR.TU) and the description (giants) convey a connection to the Nephilim (Numbers 13:32–33; Genesis 6:1–4) and its Babylonian/Mesopotamian context. All the elements of the original context of Genesis 6:14, the Mesopotamian backstory of the apkallu, and the story of the Watchers in 1 Enoch 6–15 can be nicely dovetailed with the Amorites of Bashan and Mount Bashan. These are not disparate stories; they are constituent nodes of a matrix of ideas. And we’re not done.
By the time of Moses, the giant clans in the Transjordan had largely been eliminated by Abraham’s line through Esau. This is why Moses was told not to harass the people of Moab and Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:9–12, 19–22). Moses’ trip through the Transjordan was providentially aimed at eliminating the last vestiges of the giant clans in the northern part of the Transjordan—Bashan.
Opposition to Israel among the Amorites was led by the kings Sihon of Heshbon and Og of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3). Joshua 12:5 records that Og “ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan to the boundary of the Geshurites and the Maacathites.” Og was a giant, as Deuteronomy 3:11 makes clear: “only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites?” Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.[vii] The ancient capital of Bashan was Ashtaroth.[viii] Deuteronomy 1:4 and Joshua 12:4 note that Og also lived in Edrei. These two cities had very dark spiritual associations not only for Israelites, but Canaanites. As one scholar of Canaanite religion observes:
Biblical geographical tradition agrees with the mythological and cultic data of the Ugaritic texts…. [There is an] amazing correspondence with the Biblical tradition about the seat of king Og of Bashan, “one of the survivors of the Rephaim [Ugaritic: rpum], who lived in Ashtarot and Edrei” (Josh[ua] 12:4 [NEB]). This place ʿštrt is also treated in [tablets] KTU 1.100:41; 1.107:17; and RS 86.2235:17 as the abode of the god mlk, the eponym of the mlkm, the deified kings, synonym of the rpum. For the “Canaanites” of Ugarit, the Bashan region, or a part of it, clearly represented “Hell”, the celestial and infernal abode of their deified dead kings…. It is possible that this localization of the Canaanite Hell is linked to the ancient tradition of the place as the ancestral home of their dynasty, the rpum. The Biblical text also recalls that “all Bashan used to be called the land/earth of the Rephaim” (Deut[eronomy] 3:13 [NEB]), an ambiguous wording that could equally be translated as “the ‘hell’ of the Rephaim.” In any case, the link between Bashan and the rpum/Rephaim in both traditions speaks in favour of a very old use of the two meanings of this last denomination: ancient dwellers of Northern Transjordan / inhabitants of “Hell.”[ix]
Some important items here need development. First, by virtue of Ashtaroth and Edrei, the region of Bashan was associated with the underworld—Canaanite hell, so to speak. Second, the Rephaim were thought to dwell in the underworld. While it is true that Canaanite literature (such as the Ugaritic texts) do not describe the Rephaim (rpum in Ugaritic) as giants, the biblical texts certainly do. The Old Testament also has the Rephaim in the underworld/hell. Unfortunately, English translations typically prevent us from seeing this material. Consider the following passages from the English Standard Version:
- Job 26:5–6: “The dead [rephaim] tremble under the waters and their inhabitants. Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.”
- Psalm 88:10: “Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed [rephaim] rise up to praise you?”
- Proverbs 21:6: “One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead [rephaim].”
- Isaiah 14:9–15: “Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades [rephaim] to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers. ‘How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.’”
What does all this give us? It may not be apparent, but what we’ve just covered is the biblical justification for the teaching of 1 Enoch that demons are the spirits of dead giants.[x] To see that’s the case, we need to review some of what we learned in earlier chapters.
The connection of the Rephaim giants with the underworld, the realm of the dead, should ring a bell. In our earlier discussion (chapters 2–3) of the Mesopotamian apkallu we noted that, after the events of the Flood, “apkallu” was a term used in Mesopotamian texts for the divine sages sent to the underworld Abyss by Marduk. They were the Mesopotamian equivalent of 1 Enoch’s Watchers, imprisoned in the Abyss for their transgression with human women. Those Watchers were in turn the referent for Peter and Jude’s descriptions of “angels that sinned” who were “in chains in gloomy darkness” (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
But “apkallu” was also the label for giants like Gilgamesh, who were “of human descent.” These hybrid apkallu were the correlates to Enoch’s giants. According to 1 Enoch 15:8–12, when one such giant was killed, its departed spirit (its “Watcher part”) was where demons came from:
8But now the giants who were begotten by the spirits and flesh—they will call them evil spirits upon the earth, for their dwelling will be upon the earth. 9The spirits that have gone forth from the body of their flesh are evil spirits, for from humans they came into being, and from the holy watchers was the origin of their creation. Evil spirits they will be on the earth, and evil spirits they will be called. 10The spirits of heaven, in heaven is their dwelling; but the spirits begotten in the earth, on earth is their dwelling. 11And the spirits of the giants lead astray, do violence, make desolate, and attack and wrestle and hurl upon the earth and cause illnesses. They eat nothing, but abstain from food and are thirsty and smite. 12These spirits (will) rise up against the sons of men and against the women, for they have come forth from them.[xi]
So what’s the connection with Jesus? As I noted earlier, the whole region of Bashan would have been associated by Israelites and Jews with giants and evil spirits, including the Watchers. In the days of Jesus, this region went by different names. All of what preceded is the unknown (to us) backdrop to some familiar episodes in the Gospels.
The Gates of Hell
The “gates of hell” incident (Matthew 16:13–20) in Jesus’ ministry is familiar to most Bible students. However, the geography is unfortunately ignored, an oversight that prevents us from understanding the impact of what Jesus said and did in a region theologically tethered to the Watchers.
The events of Matthew 16:13–20 took place at Caesarea Philippi, a city located in the northern part of what had been called Bashan, at the foot of Mount Hermon.[xii] Jesus asked the disciples a famous question, “Who do people say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus followed with this:
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not be able to withstand it. (Matthew 16:17–18)
This passage is among the most controversial in the Bible, as it is a focal point of debate between Roman Catholics and Protestants. The former argue that Peter is the rock upon which the church is established and thus the passage makes Peter the leader of the original church (and the first pope). Protestants insist the rock is a reference to God on analogy of passages like 1 Corinthians 10:4.
Both of these traditional understandings are incorrect. The reference to the rock is the place where they are standing—Caesarea Philippi at the foot of Mount Hermon. The apostate King Jereboam built an idolatrous worship center there (1 Kings 12) and the city adopted the worship of Baal practiced by the Canaanites since the days of Joshua in their city Baal-Gad (Joshua 11:17; cp. Judges 3:3). In Jesus’ day, Caesarea Philippi was also called Panias, having been dedicated to the worship of Pan.
When viewed from this perspective, the scene takes place on geography considered the gates of hell in Old Testament times, the domain of Baal, the lord of the dead, and at the mountain where the plot of the Watchers was hatched. Hell, of course, wouldn’t be complete without the devil. It is well known to scholars that Baal is the Old Testament counterpart to the devil. In Ugaritic, one of Baal’s titles is baʿal zebul ʾarṣ (“Prince Baal of the Underworld”), from which the New Testament Beelzebul and Beelzebub derive.[xiii] This isn’t about who gets to be pope (or not). It’s a cosmic confrontation, with Jesus challenging the authority of the lord of the dead.
The theological messaging couldn’t be more dramatic. Jesus says the “gates of hell” will not prevail against the church. We often think of this phrase as though God’s people are in a posture of having to bravely fend off Satan and his demons. This simply isn’t correct. Gates are defensive structures, not offensive weapons. The kingdom of God is the aggressor. Jesus goes to ground zero in biblical demonic geography to announce that Bashan will be defeated. It is the gates of hell that are under assault—and they will not hold up against the church. Hell has no claim on those who align themselves with Jesus. He will reverse the curse of death and His own will rise on account of Him.
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Claiming Mount Hermon
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree that the next event in the ministry of Jesus after Peter’s confession was the Transfiguration:
2And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus. (Mark 9:2–8)
In early church tradition, the location of the Mount of Transfiguration was believed by many to be Mount Tabor. The earliest witness to this tradition is the fourth century A.D., not the New Testament. The Gospels themselves give no name to the mountain. Some scholars still hold to the Tabor identification, but many have come to agree that the close proximity to Caesarea Philippi, the necessary height of the mountain in the account, and the symbolic associations make Mount Hermon the logical choice for the transfiguration:
Mount Hermon is a strong contender for the location of Jesus’ transfiguration. In all three Synoptic Gospels, the transfiguration occurs shortly after Peter’s confession, and both Matthew and Mark specify a “high mountain” (while Luke refers to “the mountain”). If these sections are to be taken chronologically, then Mount Hermon is the closest location that fits.[xiv]
The imagery is striking. Jesus picks Mount Hermon to reveal to Peter, James, and John exactly who He is—the embodied glory-essence of God, the divine Name made visible by incarnation. The meaning is just as transparent: I’m putting the hostile powers of the unseen world on notice. I’ve come to earth to take back what is mine. The kingdom of God is at hand.
This interpretation is justified by what Paul does with Psalm 68 and Mount Bashan (Hermon). Psalm 68:18, where Yahweh leads a host of captives, may sound familiar. Paul cites the verse in Ephesians 4:
|Psalm 68:18||Ephesians 4:8|
|You have ascended on high; you have led away captives. You have received gifts from among humankind.||Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”|
If you look closely, there seems to be a problem. Psalm 68 gives us a standard description of conquest. The victorious captain of the army leads the enemy captives behind him. They are the human booty of war. For Paul, Psalm 68:18 was about Jesus ascending on high and giving gifts to humanity. Jesus is somehow the fulfillment of Psalm 68. But the Old Testament text has God ascending and receiving gifts.
Part of the confusion is that so many commentators have assumed that captives are being liberated in Ephesians 4. That isn’t the case. That idea would flatly contradict the well-understood Old Testament imagery. There is no liberation; there is conquest.
Paul’s words identify Jesus with Yahweh. In Psalm 68:18, it was Yahweh who is described as the conqueror of the demonic stronghold. For Paul it is Jesus. He conquers demonic Bashan/Hermon and puts the powers of darkness “to an open shame by triumphing over them” (Colossians 2:15). Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8 are in agreement if one sees conquest, not liberation.
What about the “receiving” and “giving” problem? Paul’s adaptation of the psalm doesn’t deny there was conquest. It points to the result of the conquest. As I noted in The Unseen Realm:
In the ancient world the conqueror would parade the captives and demand tribute for himself. Jesus is the conqueror of Psalm 68, and the booty does indeed rightfully belong to him. But booty was also distributed after a conquest. Paul knows that. He quotes Psalm 68:18 to make the point that after Jesus conquered his demonic enemies, he distributed the benefits of the conquest to his people, believers. Specifically, those benefits are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Eph[esians] 4:11).
But how is Paul getting that idea? He explains his thinking in Ephesians 4:9–10:
Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Here was how I explained Paul’s thinking in The Unseen Realm:
Christ’s conquest results in the dispensing of gifts to his people after ascending (in conquest) in verse 8. But that ascent was accompanied by a descent (“into the lower regions”).
Paul’s logic is not at all clear, at least at first. What ascent and descent is he talking about?
The key to understanding Paul’s thinking is the descent. There are two possible explanations. The most common view is that, upon his death, Jesus descended into the lower regions of the earth. This is the way Ephesians 4:9 is worded in many translations. In this case, the language speaks both of the grave and of cosmic Sheol, the Underworld. This is possible since elsewhere in the New Testament we read that Jesus descended into the Underworld to confront the “spirits in prison”—the original transgressing sons of God from Genesis 6 (1 Pet 3:18–22). But that visitation may not be Paul’s point of reference here.
The second view is reflected in the ESV, which is the translation I used for Ephesians 4. Note that instead of “lower parts of the earth” the ESV inserts a comma: “the lower regions, the earth.” The effect of the comma is that Jesus descended to “the lower regions, [in other words] the earth.” This option fits the context better (the gifts are given to people who are of course on earth) and has some other literary advantages. If this option is correct, then the descent of verses 9–10 does not refer to Jesus’ time in the grave, but rather to the Holy Spirit’s coming to earth after Jesus’ conquering ascension on the day of Pentecost.[xv]
What this means for the theme of reversing Hermon is straightforward. When Jesus chose to go to Mount Hermon to be transfigured, He was claiming it for the Kingdom of God. As the Gospel chronologies tell us, these events provoked His death, the linchpin event for reversing the human predicament and ensuring the defeat of the powers of darkness.
UP NEXT: Jesus vs. the Watcher Spirits (Demons)
[i] The direct reference to Mount Hermon is corrupted in the Ethiopic text. Its authenticity is attested in the Aramaic material of 1 Enoch found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (the first six words of 4QEna), as well as some Greek manuscripts.
[ii] The Hebrew phrase translated “mountain of God” is har ʾelohim. The phrase could be rendered “divine mountain” or, taking ’elohim as a superlative, “mighty mountain.” As Goldingay notes (see the ensuing discussion) in a footnote in his own discussion of Psalm 68: “J. A. Emerton emphasizes that not least in a context such as the present one, it is unlikely that ʾĕlōhîm is merely a way of expressing the superlative” (citing J. A. Emerton, “The ‘Mountain of God’ in Psalm 68:16,” in History and Traditions of Early Israel (Eduard Nielsen Festschrift; ed. André Lemaire and Benedikyt Otzen; Vetus Testamentum Supplements 50; Leiden: Brill, 1993), 24–37 (esp. 29–30).
[iii] J. J. M. Roberts, “The End of War in the Zion Tradition: The Imperialistic Background of and Old Testament Vision of World Peace,” Horizons in Biblical Theology 26:1 (June 2004): 2–22 (esp. p. 4)
[iv] John Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 42–89 (ed. Tremper Longman III; vol. 2; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006) 323.
[v] See my lengthy discussions of these associations in The Unseen Realm, pp. 183–232.
[vi] The use of “Amorite” in the Old Testament is indiscriminate. In some passages it’s a label for the entire population of Canaan (Josh. 7:7). In that sense, “Amorites” and “Canaanites” are interchangeable, both denoting non-Israelite in the land of Canaan. In other passages its use is more specific to one people group among several within Canaan (Gen. 15:19–21).
[vii] The dimensions of Og’s bed are not the dimensions of his actual height. While the text is clear that he was the last of the Rephaim and that “Rephaim” was a term associated with the giant Anakim (Deut. 2:11) who were “from the nephilim” (Num. 13:32-33), the bed’s dimensions are mytho-theological. That is, the dimensions are designed to take readers back to Mesopotamian religion, the original context for Gen. 6:1-4. I wrote: “First, the most immediate link back to the Babylonian polemic is Og’s bed (Hebrew: ʿeres). Its dimensions (9 × 4 cubits) are precisely those of the cultic bed in the ziggurat called Etemenanki—which is the ziggurat most archaeologists identify as the Tower of Babel referred to in the Bible. Ziggurats functioned as temples and divine abodes. The unusually large bed at Etemenanki was housed in “the house of the bed” (bit erši). It was the place where the god Marduk and his divine wife, Zarpanitu, met annually for ritual lovemaking, the purpose of which was divine blessing upon the land” (The Unseen Realm, 199).
[viii] Joel C. Slayton, “Bashan (Place),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992) 624.
[ix] See G. del Olmo Lete, “Bashan,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999) 161–62.
[x] Scholarly studies on the origin of demons as Watcher spirits of dead Nephilim include: Wright, The Origin of Evil Spirits (op. cit); Kevin Sullivan, “The Watchers Traditions in 1 Enoch 6–16: The Fall of Angels and the Rise of Demons,” in The Watchers in Jewish and Christian Traditions (ed. Angela Kim Harkins, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, and John C. Endres; Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2014), 91–103; Silviu N. Bunta, “Dreamy Angels and Demonic Giants: The Watchers Traditions and the Origin of Evil in Early Christian Demonology,” in The Watchers in Jewish and Christian Traditions (ed. Angela Kim Harkins, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, and John C. Endres; Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2014) 116–138.
[xi] Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch, 267.
[xii] Material for this and the following section is drawn in part from chapter 32 of my book, The Unseen Realm.
[xiii] 2 Kgs. 1:2, 3, 6, 16; Matt. 10:25; 12:24, 27; Luke 11:15, 18–19. See W. Herrmann, “Baal Zebub,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999) 154–156.
[xiv] Brandon Ridley, “Mount Hermon,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Nickelsburg demonstrates the identification of Hermon / Bashan / Galilee in his study, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” Journal of Biblical Literature 100:4 (1981): 575–600. The book of 1 Enoch itself identifies Hermon with the region known in Jesus’ day as Upper Galilee. When Enoch writes down the confessions and petitions of the Watchers—their pleas to God for forgiveness and clemency, he says, “And I went and sat down upon the waters of Dan—in Dan which is on the southwest of Hermon” (1 Enoch 13:7). Nickelsburg observes, “This is a clear reference to the immediate environs of Tell Dan in upper Galilee” (p. 582).
[xv] Heiser, The Unseen Realm, 292–294.
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