Friday, September 25, 2015

87. Satan Among the Sons of God

A Few Twists In Job

  1. Some Bible scholars believe that Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  
  2. Some students place Ur on the northern shore of Persian Gulf; not far from Abraham's birthplace. 
  3. If Moses wrote the Books of Moses we are forced to believe that when the writer of Job refers to God he was not thinking of Jehovah in the same sense as Moses and the later Israelites did.  Jehovah was not known, by name, to humans until He introduced Himself to Moses at the burning bush. Exodus 3:14.
However, when Satan came to present himself to God at the general meeting, Job 2, the writer uses the name Jehovah for God.  This is a strong indication that this book was probably written after the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land and certainly after the author heard the story of "The burning bush".

If we admit that the following scene is simply the writer's way of setting the background of the story, the technical problems look after themselves.  However, those who insist that the Book of Job happened exactly as it is recorded, encounter a few huge theological problems in the first two chapters.

Huge Problems

1.  Now on the day when God’s sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan also came among them. 1:6.  Most Bible commentators, perhaps without much thought, tell us that, in this case, God's sons, means angels.

It is interesting that of eight different translations of the Bible that were checked, in this regard, only three leave it as the sons of God.   One of them has a footnote, which says sons of God means angels. Five of the translations use the word, angels in the text, but as a footnote, they say that in the Hebrew language it reads, sons of God. 

This is a good example of how easily Bible translators can shape or reshape theology, simply by changing a few seemingly innocent words, but words that carry a world of theological significance!

All the versions, and indeed all the critics, are puzzled with the phrase sons of God; ... beney haelohim, literally, sons of the God. ... if we give not the literal translation of the Hebrew, we may give what(ever) translation we please. Clarke's Bible commentary. 

This, it seems, is done much too often.  Bible teachers have been taught a "certain truth" and they will repeat it without even wondering if it is actually true!  Let us at least do our own thinking; the Lord has also blessed each one of us with a mind!

The following quotes are from a post I did on July 18, 2012:

One of the errors that the church is forced to uphold because she believes that there is only one God, is that Satan is an angel.  When Satan, one of the gods, took up arms against Jehovah, the war in heaven took place.  That war is recorded in Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 and in The Revelation.

A story about the war in heaven makes absolutely no sense if we insist on believing that God is Omnipotent and that Satan is merely an angel.  There could be no meaningful contest between two contestants so unequally matched.  The image that presents itself to the mind is that of a professional wrestler in the ring, trying to defend his title against a newborn baby. 

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; Isa. 14:13.  If Satan is just an angel how is it that he has a throne?  Michael and Gabriel do not have thrones.  Only potentates have thrones.  Nowhere does the Bible teach that Satan is an angel.  That is merely a supposition the church has handed us because she believes there is only one God.

Satan also said, I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north. Isa. 14:13.  Who is on the mount of assembly?  Common theology has placed God there.   
  • Billy Graham even suggested that the reason there are no stars in the north is because that is where God’s throne is.  
  • Considering that, according to church theology, Jehovah is omnipresent, is His confinement to a throne in the Northern hemisphere logical? 
  • Is Jehovah closer to the Northern hemisphere than He is to the Southern hemisphere?             
2. Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Job 1:7.  Satan, seemingly, did not think that it was a redundant question because he gave the Lord a straightforward answer.  

The Lord asked him another question, Have you considered my servant Job. Job 2:2.  Again, Satan answered the question, as if it was a reasonable question for Jehovah to ask because Jehovah did not know.  

3. Furthermore, Satan suggested that Job worshipped the Lord for selfish reasons and that they (Jehovah and Satan) should have ‘a little contest’ to see if he (Satan) was right.  The Lord must have thought that this "contest thing" was a good idea.  From reading the story, it seems that the Lord also did not know the outcome of that contest!

If we are not comfortable with the ideas that Satan is one of the sons of the Gods and that Jehovah is less than omniscient (all-knowing), we are in a position where we are forced to accept the idea that the setting in the book of Job is a literary device only and therefore the book of Job must be viewed as a philosophical book, not a historical one.

For more on the topic of Jehovah's characteristics might I suggest:                                    

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