Recently I came across information that suggested that Christians may indeed have their own guardian angel - a specific angel. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw or heard that - and that resource also, I think, suggested Scripture to back this up.
To your knowledge, is there any truth or Scripture for this?
No hurry - thanks for your attention.
God uses all manner of divine means to protect us (even the sanctification of the Spirit before we believe; see the link), so there'd be no surprise that angels were detailed to look out for us (some of us need more help than others too, no doubt). Here's something from BB 2A: Angelology:
Much extra-biblical speculation exists on the topic of "guardian" angels. What we can say for certain is that scripture does indicate a definite role for angels in the protection, guidance and oversight of individuals (see especially Gen.32:1; 2Ki.6:16-17; Ps.91:11-12; Dan.6:22; Matt.4:11; 18:10-11; Lk.16:22; Act 12:15; Heb.1:14).
And here are a couple of email responses on the subject at the links (you might also be interested in the prior "Angelic Issues" postings; link is to the most recent one):
Guardian Angels I
Guardian Angels II
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello--I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving.
I have another question about Ps. 82, the part in the 1st verse about "in the congregation of God" or "divine council" etc. You can see all of the different translations of this verse here:
Psalm 82:1 God presides in the divine assembly; He renders judgment among the gods: (biblehub.com)
I checked our Strong's and I don't see "divine" as in "godlike" or anything like that in the text. It appears to be "congregation of God"...I know the "congregation/assembly" is correct, but what about the "of God"? Is it genitive here? Which is the best translation? If it IS "divine" could that simply mean because it belongs to God? Not that they are real deity? Could it refer to God's holy angels, with the "in the midst of the gods" referring to corrupt human judges who rule in God's place among the people?
Thanks and God bless!
It was nice – hope the same was true for you!
On your question, the operative phrase is בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים (beqerbh 'elohiym); somewhat literally this means "in the midst of mighty ones" or "in the midst of God" since the word 'elohiym means "God" most often in the OT; but here, both the context and specific phraseology makes that virtually impossible. An 'el is a "mighty one" and pluralized it refers to the Trinity but is also a "plural of majesty" used for God; the word can also be used, as we've discussed before, of "gods" plural, pagan ones to be sure. So since God, gods, and mighty ones are in view, that translators are struggling to render this phrase with words like "divine" or "godlike" is understandable. Rulers rule in the place of God – exerting godlike authority – so that is why they are described this way in this Psalm in my opinion (cf. verses 2-7).
I checked our interlinear and it has "God takes His stand in the assembly of God"-- with "el" for the second "God." I wondered if assembly OF God was genitive--does it mean the assembly belongs to God,? A few translations say God takes a stand in His OWN congregation--that is what I was wondering. Thanks!
The two instances are the same – and spelled exactly the same. It is
true that 'elohiym is a plural of 'el, but it's the same
word . . . and more to the point in this case, exactly the same plural
spelling of the same word. Context alone tells us that the first
instance is God and the second something else.
In terms of beqerebh, that is, essentially, a prepositional phrase. Getting "assembly" or "congregation" out of that is strictly a matter of interpreting "in the midst of" to mean that in essence.
How would YOU translate Ps. 82:1? Just curious.
I have one more quick question. This is from Is. 3, NASB:
The Lord arises to contend,
And stands to judge the people.
14 The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and leaders of His people,
“It is you who have [l]devoured the vineyard;
The goods stolen from the poor are in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing My people
And [m]oppressing the face of the poor?”
Declares the Lord [n]
Bible Gateway passage: Isaiah 3 - New American Standard Bible
God Will Remove the Leaders - For behold, the Lord GOD of armies is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah Bot...
A Mormon on CARM claims that this means God is judging only the people, with the elders and rulers judging them alongside God. They are being sort of "co-judges" with God against the people. I have noted on CARM that this is similar in tone and language to Ps. 82, but this Mormon says I am wrong.
I have noticed this wording "enters into judgment with" in a number of places in the OT. I know darn well it means that God is judging those He is "entering into judgment with",. I just want to make sure that it actually what it means, because the context sure makes it clear to me that God is judging the rulers and the elders, along with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. I showed him other verses In Isaiah that show God lambasting rulers and judging them. Thanks again. God bless.
NKJV has a good rendering:
God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
He judges among the gods. [*where we understand these to be human rulers; cf. vv.2-7]
Psalm 82:1b NKJV
On Isaiah 3:14, it is true that the preposition 'im meaning
"with" could theoretically also mean "in company with" as opposed "with"
in the sense of the elders and princes being the subject of judgment,
but that is clearly wrong in this context as shown by what follows –
otherwise the people are crushing themselves. Not only that, but I don't
know of anywhere that it is said that the Lord takes counsel with human
elders and leaders (He clearly does not – Moses relationship with Him
was unique in this respect: Ex.33:11).
[Ezekiel 1:7] In the cross-references, there is Daniel 10:6. The description there makes me think that it was the Lord Himself that Daniel saw but how is it possible that the Lord could be withstood for twenty one days by any angelic creature no matter how powerful as this being says in verse 13 of Daniel 10? I know that in Ezekiel 1:7, the description of the Cherubim is quite similar to the Lord with their own feet of burnished bronze but should we assume therefore that this appearance is common to Heavenly beings and our Lord just takes it on too when He appears to human beings or is it peculiar to Him and graciously granted to some of the highest-ranking angels as part of their reward in their faithfulness in the testing of the angels?
These are angels in Daniel. The similarities have to do with the fact that 1) in both cases we are talking about a glorified state (not true of human beings on earth today), and 2) there are great similarities between men and angels; we are all part of the family of God the Father and all have free will, so it is perhaps not surprising that we were made similar in appearance, although with significant differences too: lack of a corporal body for angels, and also a different "choice" experience because of their greater knowledge and unlimited life-span (see the link).
Do you think the rendering of Deuteronomy 32:8 as according to the "Sons of God" or "Angels of God"
As in rendered in the interlinear:
And the Septuagint. Is a valid translation? Or are all the renderings correct simultaneously?
It lines up with the "Princes" that rule of the various nations that they would belong to the class of spiritual beings: "Sons of God" which book of Job most explicitly refers to.
What do you think?
When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,
When He separated the sons of Adam,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 32:8 NKJV
While "sons of God" in the Old Testament often does refer to angels, the
Hebrew here has "according to the number of the children of Israel". The
Greek Septuagint/LXX is wrong about a great many things in its
translation of the Hebrew text, so no real surprise here that they have
muffed this one. This passage importantly shows that Israel's importance
in God's planning of human history is supreme.
1st Corinthians 11:10, what's the problem of the Angels concerning women that they need them head covered, what did Paul mean here specifically?
Angels are learning about the glory and wisdom of God every day just as we are – even though they know much more than we do. Their experience was/is different from ours. As more spirit-oriented beings who cannot suffer and be tempted and die in the same way that we can, one function of humanity is to educate them about God's grace. So we are always being observed, and that is important for all of us to keep in mind in everything we say and do, hence the passage you ask about (cf. 1Pet.1:12; and see the link).
Hello--I hope you are staying well. I have come across something rather
interesting...you know how, in Hebrew 1:6, it says "let all God's angels
worship Him"? That is supposed to be from Deuteronomy 32:43, but it is
missing in my Bible. But the footnote to it says it is in the Septuagint
and Dead Sea Scrolls. If so, why is it left out in our Bibles? Did the
Masorites leave it out on purpose, or something?
Stay well. Thanks and God bless.
The direct quote is from the Greek LXX/Septuagint version – but it is
actually a quote from Psalm 97:7, not Deuteronomy 32:43. The Hebrew has
"gods" ('elohim) in that passage, but the meaning is "angels" –
because as we've seen before 'elohim literally means "mighty
ones" and can refer to 1) God, 2) [pagan] gods, 3) angels, or 4) human
rulers (as at Ps.82:2). Anyone who exercises the power of God
through the image of God (which we all have) can be termed a "mighty
one". There is no more awesome power short of God's power than His
delegation of free will choice to His creatures, men and angels both.
If Angels are male and female and they I think you answered are possibly paired with one another. Would believers also be paired with who they married on earth? Or that singles would already be paired with their opposite sex counterparts?
So as to fulfill the word of Jesus in (Matthew 22:30). But then again isn't this same passage indicating that Angels probably wouldn't be married or joined together at all and would have no need for gender?
Good to make your acquaintance.
Can't remember ever saying anything like "they are possibly paired with one another". Did you have a reference for that? I don't know of anything in scripture which suggests that as a possibility.
As to believers, there are plenty of problems with that scenario – just as the Sadducees pointed out in their unbelief (Matt.22:23-28). But as our Lord told them, "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Matt.22:30). What that means exactly can be discussed, but it certainly rules out marriage in heaven, and I'm not sure how "pairing" would be different from marriage in truth. Many believers are not married, never married, or married and then remarried (either as widows, widowers or after divorce, whether legitimate or not); and many believers are married to unbelievers (whether they or their spouses were believers when they got married or not). What happens on this earth is generally unimportant for what happens in the next life – except as it has to do with our response to the Lord and His truth, becoming believers, and then the degree to which we respond to Him and His truth thereafter in spiritual growth, progress and production (which is the basis for our reward; see the link).
There is a great deal that we don't know about eternity (or about angels). So I don't think we can assume that gender necessitates "pairing". There are female angels just as there are male angels, but angels do not reproduce with each other: they were created all at once and the number is the number (whatever that number is).
When it comes to these sorts of questions, it's probably a good thing we don't have the details as we would probably not be able to cope with them here and now (either becoming frustrated at an answer we don't like or obsessive about one we do). What we can say for certain is that everything to come is blessed beyond anything we can presently anticipate, and that we will never be frustrated or unhappy on the other side (Rev.7:15-17; cf. 1Cor.2:9). Everything to come is wonderful . . . so long as we belong to Jesus Christ here and now, and persevere in faith, firm until the end (Heb.3:6; 3:14).
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
"Can't remember ever saying anything like "they are possibly paired with one another". Did you have a reference for that? I don't know of anything in scripture which suggests that as a possibility."
It's derived from the same passage of (Matthew 22:30) being like the angels in heaven. If let's say male and female are created and angels are male and female. Therefore being complements they are designed to be each others companions.
I think one of your past speculations talk about that possibility:
That such a thing if its exists may also be true for believers.
Its hard for me to see why in heaven male and female is necessary since on earth it definitely served much more functions that simply aesthetics. Like for example breasts are for the purposes for nursing the baby and what the man has is designed for the woman and so forth as well as vice versa.
And being male and female overall are designed to come together as one on earth. And that if such a thing as males and female is true of heavenly beings like angels perhaps there is a version of that too.
I could accept that maybe its like the bellybutton, from which was attached the umbilical cord that nurtured us as babies in our mothers womb. And following our birth it is no longer needed.
Although I agree we can't really know this side of our earthly life.
Thanks and God bless.
Scripture teaches that there are female angels (link).
But I don't see anything in the posting you link which is speculating
Because there are female as well as male angels, I don't agree that we can necessarily conclude that they are meant to complement each other the way woman (Eve) definitely was made for man (Adam). Mankind and angels are significantly different, as are the circumstances behind their creation. And because there is no possibility for angels to produce other angels – whereas for mankind this was an important feature of human history – that prop is also removed. I don't see anything in scripture to justify the speculation, especially in light of Matthew 22:30 (and Mk.12:25; Lk.20:35) where the Lord tells us specifically that they are not bound together in a marriage relationship. That would seem to make the speculation of pairing very unlikely if not impossible.
Finally, as to "evidence from design", on the one hand, while the passage in question, Zechariah 5:9, describes these angels as women, it doesn't describe any female features that might allow us to speculate; on the other hand, we know from the resurrection appearances of our Lord that our own resurrection bodies will be nearly identical in appearance to what we have now (only better), yet we also know from the passages quoted in the previous paragraph that this does not mean that features which presently have reproductive and rearing purposes will function that way in eternity – so the design (as we interpret it) does not mandate function. Nothing is impossible for God.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
"If angels are male, and many of them are, is it "good" for them to be alone lacking companionship?"
A quote from within one of your answers. So I may have mistakenly inferred from that statement pairing.
"Zechariah 5:9, describes these angels as women, it doesn't describe any female features; on the other hand, we know from the resurrection appearances of our Lord that our resurrection bodies will be nearly identical in appearance to what we have now (only better), yet we also know from the passages quoted in the previous paragraph that this does not mean that features which presently have reproductive and rearing purposes will function that way in eternity -- so the design (as we interpret) does not mandate function. Nothing is impossible for God."
By no means. Although I don't think that passage would need to describe
any female features. If such a thing is self-evident as marking such
creatures as female. Body morphology whilst present was not relevant
enough in my opinion to be described in detail of relevance to the
message that its intended to contain. Its not without reason people
describe that the bible isn't a scientific book.
But then again its speculation on my part.
Now we know that Adam and the human race was not designed to be non-sexual and reproduce asexually like bacteria budding off each other. Yet it is very good that sex is built into the creation of mankind. And that in marriage represents Christ and the Church.
Now in regards to angels. Male and Female. I don't quite know. Perhaps there is a more symbolic meaning as to why such a dyadic is built into even the spiritual dimension. Despite the non-necessity of procreation and the non-existence of marriage or pairings.
Thanks for answering
I did write this part you quote and I did use the words 'alone' and 'companionship', but the context is defending the fact of female as well as male angels, not in saying anything about any possible relations or relationships between them. There's the full quote:
If angels are male, and many of them are, is it "good" for them to be alone lacking companionship? I don't have the answer, but the nature of the creation as God has deliberately made it certainly argues for the need to explain away the maleness of angels if there be no females.
I don't think this means (and I certainly did not intend it to mean)
that angels marry or are bound in any permanent relationships. We simply
don't know what the dynamic is between male and female angels, but as
you say, I'm sure that there is a reason for the distinction. That
reason is different in some respects from what is true for human beings
since angels do not marry or reproduce. Of course, neither will we in
the resurrection. So marriage and reproduction are temporary. However,
being created "male and female" is permanent and eternal – just as in
the case of possessing the image of God (Gen.1:27).
Incidentally, if you haven't already come across of it, while there are many e-mail posting responses which deal with angelic matters, the main study at Ichthys is BB 2A: Angelology (at the link)
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
How could angels reproduce with human women to produce the nephilim in Gen.6:1ff, given they have no material bodies? Did they possess the human men to do this?
The distinction between material and immaterial developed in medieval theology does not quite explain the nature of angels (see the link). Angels are restricted to one time and place/space, and interact with and affect the material world all the time (when the angel rolled the huge rock away from Christ's tomb or when the demons caused the house to fall on Job's children, e.g.). So no human help was needed for them to produce the nephilim as Genesis chapter six records (link)
God will throw the Nephilim offspring in the lake of fire because they aren't humans and because they rejected His Son. Hypothetically, if one of these Nephilim did repent and come to Jesus could he/she have been saved? I ask this because a hypothetical offspring of this kind would not have the choice to be one of these demented offspring, they would have just ended up in that situation.
The key word here is "hypothetical". We can't know all the details but certain things we can say: a) there were nephilim because scripture says so (Gen.6:4ff.); b) God is absolutely just and never ever unfair; c) human beings are given human spirits created for them at the point of birth – but God is not under any necessity to provide a spirit for any birth. There are "still-births" which may in some cases not involve a spirit ever being created; d) So whether nephilim have human spirits or are purely biological creatures we can't say; but what we can say is that there is no injustice in how God has handled / will handle them, all hypotheticals aside.
A question about Satan's fall from grace as compared to the fall of Mankind in Eden: Even though we are talking about two completely different types of beings here, was this the same exact process as when Satan acquired/generated the sin nature in himself by defiling himself, even though there was no being before him who tempted him?
Angels don't have physical bodies so they don't have sin natures, even in the case of Satan and his demons. The point is a good one to consider, however, because it demonstrates that it is the internal attitude towards God which is important, that is, one's choice to obey or rebel. Angels, being what they are, tended (it seems) to take longer to decide but never to change once having decided. There is a great deal about this all in part 1 of the Satanic Rebellion series (at the link).
When discussing the demon possessed girl following Paul in Acts, you explained why this girl was doing what she was doing:
'Thirdly, the words may have been the demon's but the action of following may have come from the girl. Just as in the case of the Gadarene demoniac who was possessed by a "legion" of angels, they could not prevent him from coming and falling at Jesus' feet even though they did continue to control his speech until they were exorcised".
Do you reckon that this girl actually wanted to be saved like the Gadarene demoniac. If this is so, do you think it would have been wise for Paul to exorcise the demon earlier?
I'm not even sure it was wise for Paul to do what he did when he did it.
After all, it was the impetus for he and Silas being beaten and
imprisoned. Of course, God worked that out for good, but then He ALWAYS
works everything out for good. The girl seems to have "gotten Paul's
goat", so to speak; not the best reason for anyone to do anything,
especially if it were to involve deploying the power of God. The girl in
her state of possession was the property of the men who complained, and,
in a sense, Paul did "damage" that property – and scripture gives us no
indication that she was saved thereafter. So there is a good deal of
difference between this situation and what the Lord did in casting out
the "legion" from the Gadarene demoniac.
It's possible that this led to the girl's salvation, but scripture has nothing to say about that. Our Lord cast demons out from those who desired it – or whose loved ones desired it – within Israel. There has never been a mandate for doing this in the gentile world, especially for those who were not seeking the Lord (cf. the sons of Sceva, Acts 19:14ff.). This probably explains why while the apostles do reproduce the other miracles of our Lord, this particular area seems very much under-represented.
Yes it's frankly disgusting how they treat Him. I see it in my classes with my professor and fellow classmates -- the same contempt. Constantly cursing God in their speech, constantly spewing gross lies. They would put Him to death in no time I have no doubt.
Luke 4:34-35 (NASB)
34 “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm
Question 1: Why does Jesus let the demon say this considering He wants to maintain free will among the crowds? Considering Jesus is all-powerful He could have stopped the demon from saying this true statement before the demon even began to utter it.
Luke 4:41 (NASB)
41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
Question 2: So, would the demons shout this statement, and then Jesus would make them quiet? Or would Jesus not allow the demons to say anything, even though they wanted to shout this statement?
In our Lord Jesus,
It happened the way it happened, and part of that is no doubt for our
benefit: we are blessed to have this description of events. Yes, God
could have prevented the demons from speaking automatically, but we see
our Lord having to push through such opposition being "put to the test
in all things just as [we are], [only] without sin" (Heb.4:15).
We can safely conclude that these occasional outbursts didn't negatively affect the salvation of anyone or the principle of free will – because we know that the plan of God is absolutely perfect.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Matthew 8:32 (NASB)
32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.
Question: Demons like to possess bodies. Why would they sabotage their new bodies (pigs) in totality like they did here?
I hope and pray you are healthy and well Bob. It was a beautiful spring in Philly -- finally getting the northeast heat kicking in this week. Got some really nice walks in the past few months. Listening to Curt (link) or Scourby makes them even better!
In our Lord,
On Matthew 8:32, my reading is that the reaction of the swine was
something the demons did not anticipate, namely, that they were not able
to control them entirely. Demon possession has its limits as we see from
this same incident where they were not able to keep this man from coming
and worshiping at our Lord's feet, even though they were able to say
what they wanted to say.
Glad you're doing well!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Why did Satan decide to kill Jesus after preventing him from going to
his death in the 1st place? Why did he change his plan? Considering that
he tried to tempt Jesus away from his fate in the Wilderness and through
the mouth of Peter.
Satan suggesting he didn't need to die. Why did he go ahead afterwards?
I don't think we can infer such intricate strategy on the devil's part
based upon a particular lie. The devil lies all the time and his motive
is always to get believers (and in this case our Lord) to think wrong,
speak wrong, and act wrong. Many times during the first advent our Lord
had only a step between Himself and death (e.g., Lk.4:30; Jn.10:31) and
we can be sure that Satan was involved in all these threats and would
have liked nothing better than to prevent Him dying for the sins of the
world – for that is the victory of victories whereby we are all saved
(and whereby the devil's condemnation is affirmed).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Since 1 Corinthians 2:8 talked about Satan's Kingdom only realizing their mistake afterwards after going ahead with killing him.
Wouldn't that indicate that the demons had some sort of plan to thwart Christ?
If so how would such an intricate plan not exist?
That maybe somehow due to uncertainty Satan was persuaded to go ahead with killing Jesus. Whilst he suspected Jesus dying isn't going to go so well.
"Dead Bob" – oh I hope not – not at least until I finish BB 7 (link)!
That's autocorrect for you. My IPhone always signs my emails "Bib L." if
I'm not looking carefully (it never does it when I am paying close
I'm not sure we can do much in the way of speculation regarding a supposed satanic strategy. In my way of looking at it, the devil has tactics but his strategy has always been opportunistic and thus disjointed in the extreme – as when he tempted Adam and Eve. Clearly, that didn't turn out the way he expected . . . and not much else has either. After all, if the devil really understood the plan of God, he would fully realize how pathetically pointless everything he is doing truly is. But arrogance befuddles thinking. How many human beings struggle and strive for "first place" in whatever they are involved in, thinking, I suppose, that this will give them eternal life (without which all effort in life is mere dust and ashes)? That is craziness as any fool can plainly see, but when truth is rejected all manner of lies and falsehoods are accepted in their place. See the link: Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?
Specifically regarding the verse it's speaking of Pontius Pilate and Herod and the Jewish leaders who were the instruments in bringing about the crucifixion. The only plan I see in any of this is the blessed, perfect and absolutely all-comprehensive Plan of God.
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Acts 2:23-24 KJV
In Jesus our dear Savior,
That makes a lot of sense, Dr. Luginbill. In terms of politics, I have
to say I share the same belief that both sides are tremendously corrupt.
I feel as if it’s a distraction that sucks in believers and unbelievers
So when God’s restraint on the earth is taken away when the Tribulation begins, wouldn’t there be an increase in demonic activity? More possessions, more oppression? What do you think about exorcism and how can one even tell if one is possessed? I’ve always wondered this and I know it appears in Scripture. I think Catholicism has something on that, but I don’t trust them one bit. The reason why I’m asking is because I’ve had these dreams of one of my extended family members being possessed and they’re very realistic. In the last dream she was seemingly ill and my family were trying to take care of her to no avail. Though when I visited her I said, “She’s not sick but possessed” and she immediately looked at me with the most evilest expression. The first time I had such a dream about her was 4 years ago so it’s starting to mess with me a bit. Any thoughts on that?
Only the apostles, those sent out by our Lord when He was with them and the twelve after His ascension, are ever said to have had this particular gift and power. So no one has had the ability to exorcise demons since the first century – and it is doubly dangerous to try or to be in any way involved in this sort of "dabbling with demons". We are to live our lives as if they didn't exist – knowing full well that we do – confident in the truth that "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1Jn.4:4). All the demons that exist acting collectively are powerless against the Holy Spirit who is God – and who indwells every single believer. Here are some links about that:
Demon Possession (in SR 4)
"Deliverance" and demon possession.
Spiritual Warfare V
As to dreams, it's a mistake, in my view, to draw SPECIFIC inferences from them. If God were communicating to us directly through a dream, there would be little doubt about that fact. Dreams can reflect what is going on in our hearts, and to the extent that they are spiritually focused, that is an indication that we are putting spiritual things first in our lives. But there is no biblical mandate for paying attention to dreams that are not specifically given by God in terms of drawing information from them, e.g. Here are some links on that:
Dreams and Visions
Dreams and Visions II
Dreams, Visions, Miracles, Exorcism, Tongues, and False Prophets
Genesis 4:1. Where Eve says that she has gotten a manchild "with the help of the Lord." The "help of" is in italics, which means it must not be in the Hebrew manuscripts. But "with" isn't italicized, so does that mean it is in the Hebrew manuscripts? One translation has "I have gotten a man, the Lord." As if Eve misidentified her child as the coming "seed" that would crush the serpent's head. I noticed other renderings have "I have gotten a man FROM the Lord." Is the word "from" in the original Hebrew? Or is it "with"?
In Genesis 4:1 the preposition is 'eth, which is also much more often the direct object marker. Here it is clearly the prepositional use of the word (as YHVH is clearly NOT the object), so "with the Lord" means "with [the help of] the Lord" (or something similar). Cf. "God with us" (Num.14:9 et passim).
Hi--Another quick question about the Genesis 4:1 verse...my Lutheran friend
asked this on CARM:
"Why can't "et" be accusative as it is with reference to, "the man," or, "a man," in the passage"? If I understand correctly, the difference is whether or not the word is a preposition or is used another way...?
Drs. Beck, Martin Luther, and Arnold Fruchtenbaum all translate Eve as saying she has got "the Lord"--apparently misidentifying Cain as the Seed that would crush the serpent's head. An intriguing idea, though I suspect that Eve dropped that idea once her two sons started quarreling with each other, as all siblings do, sooner or later.
Dr. Fruchtenbaum is a Messianic Jew with a doctorate in Hebrew Studies, by the way. Beck is a now deceased Lutheran theologian and translator. And you know who Martin Luther was. Emoji I think he had help from Jewish Rabbis in translating the OT.
Anyway, my friend asked me to run this by you. Thanks again!
With all due respect (and I do know of Luther, clearly, and have heard
of F; no idea about B), there is no way this can make any sense other
than the way that all the major versions translate it. I just checked my
"Luther Bibel" and it says, " Ich habe einen Mann gewonnen mit dem HERRN",
which means "I have won/gotten a man with the LORD"; updated versions
(add also "with the help of the LORD" . . . since that is what "with the
LORD" surely means. If 'eth were "accusative" (i.e., object
marker), it would mean "I have gotten/won the LORD" – that
is nonsense, and then there would be no place to fit in "a man" . . .
unless we understand the LORD to be "a man"; even then it makes no
sense: "I have gotten the LORD a man". I'm not sure how F or B
translate, but Luther clearly saw this the same way everyone else in the
main stream of Hebrew translators see it.
Hi--My friend on the boards had a couple of addendums. First:
"Edited to add: I just did a quick check by searching on Ariel Ministries and Genesis 4:1 and the result was a PDF, MBS050m. In that PDF Dr Fruchtenbaum wrote that, "with the help of the Lord" is not in the text. It is literally, "I have gotten a man: Jehovah.'"
Ariel ministries is the website that Dr. Fruchtenbaum runs and he is a very orthodox Messianic Jew.
My friend also added that Luther had a footnote about Genesis 4:1, that reads 'the man, of the Lord."
He wanted you to have this information. Interesting stuff....
Thanks for this one too: clearly F is wrong. 'eth frequently means "with" in Hebrew (as even first semester Hebrew students know), and that is what it must mean here as well.
As long as we are being pedantic, F has a colon after "a man:" – that is
not in the Hebrew either. Not only does "I have gotten a man the Lord"
not work as language, but it clearly doesn't work as theology on any
level. No one I know of thinks that YHVH is "the man" to whom Eve first
gave birth; Cain is not YHVH, but that is what such a warped and forced
mis-translation would have to mean.
Thanks. I have a Luther Bible, but with Gothic letters, which I find
very hard to read.
I think F. translates it as "i have gotten a man, the Lord." That is how the "man" fits in, I suppose. I don't know if that is possible in the Hebrew. Interesting, though. Thanks.
There is no justification for a comma – a comma is an interpretation. If
we accept this interpretation, it must mean that this "man" is "the
LORD" – and that is ridiculous (not to mention ungrammatical), even from
a secular / unbeliever interpreter's point of view.
Thanks for your prayers, the Lord has helped me through some tough times
lately and for that I am grateful. I came across this article and I'm
wondering, when you have time, if you might have a look at it? I'm
pretty sure you could read through a paragraph or even a few sentences
and tell me if there is any truth in this. A friend from years ago told
me this and I was always skeptical. Thanks Bob, hope you are well my
friend and I will continue to pray for you as I always have.
I'm glad to hear your news. How is your health?
On your question, this is a damnable heresy and it has been making the rounds for many years in one form or another. People find it titillating and that reminds me of the "itching ears" condemnation of 2nd Timothy 4:3. Here is one link where these things are discussed ("Genesis Questions"; see Q/A #2 ff.).
It's discussed elsewhere at Ichthys but you'll have to hunt for it since – for obvious reasons – I didn't want to index it. You can search for key words via Google exclusively at Ichthys by pasting in site:ichthys.com: in the Google search box in front of your terms (space must precede terms).
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
Hi Dr. Luginbill,
Thank you for emailing me back and praying for my Mom and I! How have you been?
Again, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. These last couple of weeks have just been difficult.
My anxiety definitely ramped up during the COVID-19 lockdown and there might be something biological going on that makes me prone to anxiety (my sister struggles with it, too) but I know that I have been really anxious lately over my walk with Christ.
Dr. Luginbill, how much power do demons have? Could a demon read my mind if I was praying to God silently? Could a demon cause a family member to do or say something very specific in front of me that the demon knows has personal meaning or sounds like an answer to something I have prayed about? Could demons cause a truck with a message on the side or someone with a vanity license plate to drive past me right at the same time I am wondering something in my head or praying to God asking Him something?
Do you have any suggestions?
In Christ’s Love,
I am keeping you and your mom and all your concerns in my prayers daily.
Covid has been hard on us all – and harder on those without a greater hope than the things of this world. For believers, it has been a time of shaking down and sorting out; sometimes painful but always good in the end (even if we don't always see that at first).
I think I've been consistent in saying that I don't see the guidance of the Spirit in the same way as some do. We all have a right to our own experiences and we are all responsible to God for the way we interpret them with the Spirit – not to other people.
Before you get too down on yourself, let me say first that every believer early on in their "let's get moving now!" phase makes mistakes and bad judgments. I certainly did! These are often important learning experiences whereby we learn how to mesh our particular personalities with the realities of the truth in the power of the Spirit. Even the apostles, as I'm sure you've read about at Ichthys, took time to get it all straightened out in their hearts. There's no reason to think we should be better or faster at it. Some of the mistakes I made were real "doozies", but in retrospect I can see the Lord planing off the rough edges and giving me necessary "inoculations" against things I DID need to get straightened out about before ministry.
In your case, if the worst you can say is that you learned French and other languages and got into good physical shape, wow! Those are pretty good "doozies"! Ones to be proud of! A wise man once said that nothing learned is a waste in the end, and I think that probably goes double for French and Greek. Besides, you never know how the Lord will use it. One of my seminary friends who just retired from his church is launching a ministry (evangelism and Bible study) in Tahiti (they've already been previously and are trying to get long term visas now [update: now in country]). I think he's doing "crash French", but I also know that he'd probably have been grateful to have it under his belt already like you do. Being in good physical shape is a multiplier which pays dividends in health and stamina which are important for however God chooses to use us.
In terms of marriage et al., if the worst thing you did was to stay away from dating for all this time, I think that too is much more of a positive than a negative, regardless of what happens in the future. What is a young person supposed to do? Go to bars to look for someone? Access online dating sites? That is courting disaster, obviously. Better to wait on the Lord. Having a more open mind about it and not being married (no pun intended) to a very particular scenario of how it "must" happen would be good. We can never anticipate just HOW God will do things which are needful. Our job is to trust Him absolutely that He will.
Demons can't read your mind. But if you write me in an email that you are impressed by coincidences, well, I'm pretty sure they can read email (etc.). Best advice on demons: live your life and think your thoughts as if they did not exist. That way, it doesn't matter a whit that they do because they can't touch you outside of God's perfect will for your life.
If God uses coincidences to guide you, I have no problem with that. My one caveat would be that the Spirit uses the truth of the Word we have believed to inform our consciences and guide us thereby. So if something that happens reinforces what we know and have decided through understanding and applying the truth in faith and trust, well and good. But if coincidences don't line up with what we see to be the true will of God, then we willfully ignore them, and we don't worry about the source. In my own experience, I've tried to use the wisdom God has given me to make the best possible decisions, and when I've made good ones (I have made SOME good ones), I have seen Him reinforce them in miraculous ways.
So let go of all anxiety (Ps.55:22; 56:3-4). We have a right to trust Jesus Christ 100% – because He is 100% faithful to us at all times and in all things. We just need to be consistent about believing that truth and applying that truth every step of the way every day.
I'm keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,