IT’S ANOTHER weird section of scripture this week, which, as you know by now, means it’s important.
In the middle of rules pertaining to sacrifices, God gave this to Moses:
So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore.Leviticus 17:7, ESV
What are goat demons? It’s significant that this warning comes shortly after God instructed Moses and Aaron on the atonement ritual that required a goat be sent into the wilderness for Azazel, who was named as one of the leaders of the Watchers who agreed to rebel against God on the summit of Mount Hermon.
But the Hebrew word se’irim doesn’t necessarily mean “demons.” That’s a choice made by English translators. If, as the early church believed (based on the Book of 1 Enoch), demons are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim giants destroyed in the Flood, why would they be worshiped as goats? Answer: They probably weren’t.
English translators had to do the best they could with an imperfect understanding of the religious milieu that produced Moses and the Israelites. We discuss the se’irim and the shedim (translated “demons” in Deut. 32:17 and Psalm 106:37), who account for the three references to “demons” in the Old Testament. In fact, we now know, thanks to discoveries within the last fifty years, that the Hebrew word rephaim should be translated “demons” instead of “dead,” “departed,” or “shades.”
We also discuss the laws against sexual immorality in Leviticus 18, the Bible’s first mention of sacrificing children to Molech (or “the king”), and God’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
As promised during the show, here’s the teaser video for SkyWatchTV’s forthcoming program The Bible’s Greatest Mysteries:
Derek’s novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons are available in paperback and Kindle! See the official trailers and learn more at the website for Rose Avenue Fiction (www.roseavenuefiction.com).
Click here for the complete archive of our New Testament Bible studies to date, and click here for the Old Testament studies to date. Or go to www.spreaker.com/show/gilbert-house-fellowship for all of the audio.