Sons of God: Angels or Sethites

Apparently this is quite the interesting argument in Christian circles. When reading Genesis 6, the KJV says in verses 2-4: “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

One side believes that the “sons of God” mentioned here are angels (fallen angels, to be more specific). The other side believes them to be the “sons of Seth”, or a godly line of male descendants from Adam’s “good” son who fell for the secular line of Adam’s “bad” son, Cain.

The “Seth” proponents point to Hebrews 1:5 which says “5For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”

Let’s break this down a little. This verse is saying that God has never said the words “thou art my Son” to an angel, therefore, the “sons of God” could not have possibly been angels.

HOWEVER, the next words are “this day have I begotten thee.” This is important because Jesus Christ is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON (John 3:16). Begotten is an incredible important word here. Christians are “sons of God” through our Faith. We are essentially adopted into the family of God when we get saved. The angels are “sons of God” through creation. ONLY Jesus Christ was born into this world as the Son of God. He is the only one who is begotten.

The NIV and MEV (among others) leave out the word begotten here; a grave error in translation. The NIV, ESV, and others also leave “begotten” out of John 3:16. Whether you believe Genesis 6 is referring to angels or sons of Seth, someone other than Christ can be a “son of God”. Leaving out “begotten” is incredibly dangerous as it removes the deity from Jesus Christ, but I digress.

When the “sons of Seth” side leaves out “begotten” when they argue Hebrews 1:5, they are making a huge error. Their use of the verse to counter Genesis 6 is faulty.

They also claim that the very idea of the “sons of God” being angels comes from the “Book of Enoch” ch. 6 and 7 where the fallen angel leader “Semjaza” devised a plan to mate with human women and his followers made a pact to go through with the plan no matter what.

The Book of Enoch is, of course, not a book of the Bible. Therefore, the very idea that the angels are “sons of God” must be extra-Biblical as well. Right? That’s like arguing that since Jesus in mentioned in the Quran, that we should dismiss his mentions in the Bible.

Well, here is MY POSITION.

The “sons of God” are angels. In Genesis 6, they are fallen angels who came to Earth and did produce hybrid offspring with human females.

Yes, I know that this is a very strange concept, but bear with me through my arguments.

  1. The book of Job (not Enoch) references angels as “sons of God”.

Job 38:4-7 has God asking Job “4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Did you catch that? When God was laying the foundations of the earth, the “sons of God” shouted for joy. Were the sons of Seth around when God was creating the earth? No. No human beings were. Clearly the “sons of God” are not human. However, there is more!

Job 1:6 (Job 2:1 says something quite similar) says “6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.”

So here we are in heaven where God sits on his throne, and the “sons of God” present themselves alongside Satan. To me, this is a picture of the fallen angels walking behind their leader, Satan. Those who believe they are the “sons of Seth” have to reconcile how in the world those human souls made it to heaven and why Satan enters among them.

Here’s the big problem. The “old testament saints” did not go to heaven. They went to “Paradise” or “Abraham’s Bosom”, not the third heaven where God is seated. The sons of Seth could not have presented themselves to God in heaven, because they simply were not there.

Angels, however, were.

Furthermore, Jude 6 says “And the angels which kept not their principality but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” This is a clear reference to the fallen angels. They “left their own habitation [heaven]” and came to Earth. I believe that they are “reserved in everlasting chains . . .” because they had sex and produced children with humans.

Finally, 2 Peter 2:4-5 states, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Thus, the flood came upon the “world of the ungodly” when the “angels that sinned” were cast into hell. How did these angels sin? By mating with humans.

  1. The hybrid offspring of angels and humans are the “giants” and “men of renown” in Genesis 6:4.

This is consistent with the idea that these half-angelic offspring would be supernatural supermen. If an angel and human had a child, I would imagine that child would be a giant (and we are talking GIANT – as in 9 – 12 feet tall, like Goliath). I would also imagine that it might have some supernatural abilities. Could these beings be worshiped as gods? Absolutely! In fact, I can think of no better explanation as to how the concept of the gods could so thoroughly infiltrate every civilization on the planet virtually simultaneously unless there was a common genesis (pun intended) for their existence. Furthermore, there are countless stories of the gods (angels?) creating demigods by having sex with human women.

It also makes sense of how giants could still be around after the Flood, when only Noah and his family were on the ark. I believe that either 1) one of Noah’s daughters-in-law may have carried some of the hybrid genes into the new world (see my Notes on Genesis 8-11); or 2) more fallen angels could have come and mated with humans again to produce entire races of giants like the Anakim of the giants of Gath, where Goliath and his brothers hailed from.

  1. Angels are capable of producing offspring.

This is a point of contention that usually ends with the other side simply saying “I just don’t believe it,” although there is Biblical precedent that is often overlooked.

Opponents of the “sons of God” as angels who can mate with humans often point to Matt. 22:30 which says, “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” We see that the angels in heaven do not marry, but the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 did. Therefore, they cannot be angels. Right?

The key here is “in heaven.” As I mentioned before, the fallen angels “left their habitation” (Jude 6). They were not in heaven.

“Yeah, but angels cannot produce offspring,” you might say. However, this has a simple response.

Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

God is speaking to Satan here, so “thy seed” means the offspring of Satan while “her seed” is referencing Jesus Christ. Satan was an angel. Satan can produce offspring. Therefore, angels can produce offspring.

  1. The “sons of Seth” were not a part of some special, godly line of believers.

There is no evidence that states otherwise. This took place centuries before the Law of God was written for God’s children (Israelites). A believer marrying an unbeliever was not a sin at this time like it would be later, and polygamy was actually quite common even after the flood (Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon) and was rarely punished by God. It would take a fall of epic proportions to progress from a godly line of Seth to the destruction of all life on Earth save for those in the Ark.

Furthermore, there is absolutely ZERO evidence of the “sons of God” being the line of Seth in any other mention in the Bible. The aforementioned passages in Job are clearly not the sons of Seth, and in no other place are the sons of Seth found. In fact, the “sons of Seth” are not mentioned at all other than by name (Enos, for example) in the listed genealogies.

Just look at the text of Genesis 6. We see “sons of God” not Seth. We see “daughters of men” not Cain. There is no mention of the daughters of men being ungodly or of whose line they belonged. The daughters of Seth and Cain were most likely included, and we have no idea of their religiosity.

This topic will continue to be debated, as both sides seem to be engrained in their positions (which is common in almost all debates these days). However, there is more Biblical evidence to support that the “sons of God” are angels than there is to support that they are sons of Seth, or of any human being for that matter. It seems to me that the true “extra-Biblical” stance is to ascribe the non-Scripture based interpretation of the “sons of God” to anything other than angels.

What do I know, though? I’m not a “Bible scholar” and have never been to seminary. I’m just a regular guy who reads his King James Bible and tries to understand the worlds of the natural and supernatural in the way God intended me to.

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Notes on Numbers 26-30

Numbers 26 once again numbers the sons over the age of 20 for each tribe. Thousands have been killed due to their incessant complaining, so the need to tally the remaining Israelites was necessary. The largest decrease is from the tribe of Simeon, which dropped from 59,300 to 22,200.

An issue of inheritance arose in Numbers 27 when a man who died in the wilderness had only daughters to pass his possessions down to, although the law said that sons were to inherit. The LORD told his people that if a man dies, his possessions pass to his sons. If he has no sons, then his daughters. If no daughters, then his brothers. If no brothers, then the next of kin.

Beginning in Numbers 27:15-23, Moses’ successor was named. Because of the issue of smiting the rock twice rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20), Moses lost his opportunity to enter the promised land. Joshua (from the same root word as Jesus) was anointed the new leader who would bring the Israelites to the land of milk and honey.

Numbers 28 and 29 are instructions for sacrificing during the 7 major feasts (see Notes on Leviticus 22-23). This is a bit of a rehashing, but a couple things stood out. The first is how many feasts and holidays occur in the seventh month. The Hebrew calendar is little bit off from ours due to the way they calculate the days of the month. The Feast of Tabernacles, for instance, is supposed to begin on the 15th day of the seventh month, but in 2017 it is on October 4th. (I have always found it strange that our 7th month is July, given the root “sept” means seven, which shows that September should be the 7th month).

Another interesting tidbit is the number of bullocks to be sacrificed during the Feast of Tabernacles begins with 13 (a traditionally unlucky number) and decreases by 1 each day of the feast so that on the 7th feast day, 7 (the number of perfection) are sacrificed. We have 7 bullocks on the 7th day of a feast that occurs in the 7th month.

Chapter 30 is another “sexist” chapter of the Bible. Basically, if a man makes a vow, he responsible for fulfilling it. If a woman makes a vow, the man must sign off on it immediately. His silence is a form of consent. A father must consent for his daughter, and a husband for his wife (even if divorced or widowed). If a man does not give consent, then the vow need not be honored by the woman. She is forgiven. However, if a man waits to nullify the vow, he must bear the punishment for breaking the vow.

The point that should be taken is that the home, although the dominion of a woman, is the ultimate responsibility of the man. One of the great social factors in the breakdown of the family that we see around the world, but especially in the West is that men are afraid to be the leaders of their own homes.

This is no excuse to abuse or manipulate wives and daughters. In fact, the opposite is true. Men are supposed to lead and protect their wives and daughters. Too many American men abdicate their responsibilities. They ignore what happens in their own homes, or they literally run away from them. Single motherhood is at an all-time high in the United States. About 83% of single-parents are mothers.  In a supposedly Christian nation (over 70% identify as Christian), the divorce rate (over 50% now) and children born without fathers (25% overall, but 72% in the black community) are insanely high.

All the statistics on deviance and criminality show that having both a father and mother is one of the single greatest predictors of deviant behavior in a child. The median income for a single mom is $26,000 compared to $84,000 for married couples. The poverty rate for single mothers is over 36% compared to 7.5% for married couples. A two-parent home allows a child more access to income, education, and healthcare. More importantly, is that the child can spend more time with a parent, which is the key to stopping deviant behavior. When a child feels ignored, they lash out.

71 percent of teachers and 90 percent of law enforcement officials state that the lack of parental supervision at home is a major factor that contributes to the violence in schools. Sixty-one percent of elementary students and 76 percent of secondary children agree with this assessment (Maginnis 1997, “Single-Parent Families Cause Juvenile Crime).

You can say that passages like this one that are throughout the Bible are sexist. However, there is absolutely no denying the vital role that fathers play in the lives of their children. Real life statistics in 2017 validate what Moses wrote in 1450 BC. Men need to take responsibility in the home.

Notes on Numbers 21-22

As they march toward Canaan, the Israelites begin defeating army after army. Since they can’t go through Edom (Num. 20:18), they go around (Num. 21:4). Once again, they murmur against God. This is the tenth time that they whined about their situation, this time focusing on the quality of the free food they have been receiving.

We do this. We are blessed with so many things that we don’t have to work for, but those blessings are not quite what we want, therefore, we complain; at least I know that I do.

As a punishment, God sends “fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died” (Num. 21:6). What follows is a perfect picture of Christian salvation written 1500 years before Christ died on the cross.

These serpents are killing people. Those who want to avoid death admit their sin (v. 7) and ask that the LORD take their sins away. “Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived” (v. 9).

The fiery serpents represent sin. The brass serpent represents Christ. He took the shape of the serpent, because he had to become sin in order to save us from our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). The brass serpent was placed on a pole, just as Christ was hung upon the cross. The Israelites had to look on the brass serpent to be saved, just as we gentiles need only to look upon Christ and accept his sacrifice to be saved.

Have you rested your eyes on Jesus Christ?

The Israelites who survived this encounter moved forward on their journey, continuing to conquer. They were so devastating that nation of Moab “was sore afraid of the people, because they were many” (Num. 22:3). Their king, Balak, asked his priest, Balaam, to speak to God on their behalf and get instruction.

God told Balaam three things in Numbers 22:12, 1) “thou shalt not go with them,” meaning that Balaam was not to go with the army; 2) “thou shalt not curse the people,” leave the Israelites alone; and 3) “they are blessed,” which is exactly why they should be left alone.

Balaam only relayed only one of these messages to his king; that he should not go with the army.

This is a picture of modern leaders in the Church. God gave us his Words in English in the King James Bible that we have used for 400 years. His entire message is in there. The Church has abandoned this perfect book for versions that are missing words. They contain part of the message, but not the whole thing.

Our Christian “scholars” (I use that term very loosely) and pastors are at the forefront of this abomination. “Scholars” believe that they are smart enough to correct God’s Word, and our pastors believe we are too stupid to understand it.

This concept is reiterated after Balaam’s donkey begins to literally speak to him once the “angel of the LORD” (who is Christ) confronts them on the road. “The angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the WORD THAT I SHALL SPEAK UNTO THEE [my emphasis], that thou shalt speak” (Num. 22:35).

Our pastors who do not speak the entire perfect Word of God to their congregations are not obeying God’s command and are doing us a disservice.

This chapter ends by giving us a picture of the “Satanic Trinity” (Num. 22:41). The imitation of God the Father here is Baal (who is Nimrod and represents Satan), the fake Messiah is king Balak (Antichrist), and Balaam is an imitation of the Holy Spirit (the False Prophet).

Notice again that the false prophet, Balaam, is the one who perverts the Word of God. Thus, those “Christian” leaders who today use corrupt versions of God’s Word are false prophets. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

Notes on Numbers 11-13

One of the things that always astounds me is the frequency with which the children of Israel take God for granted. They walked across the dry land when the Red Sea parted for them. They literally see the presence of God as a massive cloud and pillar of fire that surrounds their tabernacle every day. They experienced their friends and family be killed by God after worshiping a false idol. Yet they find time to complain once again about their living arrangements in Numbers 11:1

This upset God so much that he sent a burning fire into their camp and burned those on the fringes. They cried and began begging for fish (v. 5). They had livestock with them, but they complained that they didn’t have the one meat that they lacked access to.

God was providing plenty of food in the form of manna. This meal fell from Heaven requiring no cultivation at all. The Israelites only had to pick it up. There was nothing to feed, nothing to kill, nothing to sow or reap, yet they were not satisfied.

Is this not what we do? The human condition is consumption. We are never satisfied, no matter how much wealth and success we have. We constantly tell ourselves that if we just get the newest tv, or the latest fashion, then we will be happy. All we have to do is get the hot new car and our lives will be complete. However, once we obtain these things, we want the next model.

Our needs can be completely met, but in our sick, twisted minds, we are suffering some sort of loss.

Moses started going a little insane with having to deal with all the crying. He asked God “have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?” (v. 11). He could not handle the burden, so he asked for help.

God decided that he would provide so much meat that the Israelites would get sick of eating it . He said they would eat “until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you:” (v. 20).

He sent dozens of quails to the children of Israel. The ones who lusted for meat and complained were given a plague from the quails and died.

Be careful what you wish for, Christian. When you go to God with a heart of lust and ask for something you desire, you may receive so much that you may lose your life.

The children of Israel finally arrived near Canaan in chapter 13. Spies were sent out into the land to investigate the situation. What they found was a fertile land filled with grapes, milk, and honey; and giants.

Remember the Law of First Mention. Giants in Genesis 6 were the half-human offspring of fallen angels, therefore, these giants were more than likely of the same ilk. These beings were, in my opinion, some of the descendants of Nimrod who were worshiped as gods in many ancient cultures.

Notes on Leviticus 16-18

Leviticus 16 gives us a picture of Christ as the scapegoat. A bullock and a goat are killed as burnt offerings for the Israelites, while an additional goat is to take on “all their transgressions in all their sins (verse 21)” so that this goat would “bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness” (verse 22).
 
Jesus Christ is the scapegoat who takes our sins and transgressions so that we do not have to burn in the fires of Hell.
 
Chapter 17 contains one of the most fascinating Law of First Mention accounts; “devils” (verse 7). What are these beings? Apparently, the Israelites were worshiping them; “and they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils” (v. 7).
 
Some people believe these creatures to be fallen angels, but the fallen angels were called “sons of God” in Genesis 6 and there is no evidence of any angel of any kind who could possess humans. Satan came into Judas and will come into the Antichrist, but I believe these “men” are actually Nimrod, the offspring of fallen angels.
 
These “devils” appear to be something different. These devils have the power to possess humans (Matt. 8, Mark 1), and they can do so in large numbers (the “maniac” possessed by “Legion” in Luke 8). Mary Magdalene, often mislabeled as a prostitute (there is no evidence of such), was possessed by 7 devils (Mark 16:9).
 
The “prince of the devils” is Beelzebub (Mark 3:22). I mentioned back in my Notes on Exodus 7-12 that Baal-zebub is the “lord of the flies,” believed to be Satan.
 
We know that these devils seem to want to hang out around dead bodies (the accounts of Matt. 8 and Luke 8 take place near tombs), they give men super strength (“Legion” could break his restraints), and they can perform miracles (Rev. 16:14).
 
Devils believe in Jesus Christ, just as any Christian does. Luke 4:41 says “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.”
 
We are warned “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Tim 4:1). These creatures are able to convince people of new doctrines in the end times.
 
I believe that this is happening right now, not only in “other” religions, but within Christianity. After all, these devils can sit in the seat next to you on a Sunday morning or sing in the choir. They may even have a stronger belief in Christ than you do. They may be standing in our pulpits teaching false doctrine, and the Church is so lacking in Faith and understanding of Scripture that we would not be able to recognize these wicked, unclean, seducing spirits.
 
Leviticus 17 also warns us against eating blood, “for the life of the flesh is in the blood” (verse 11). The line between fact and fiction becomes blurred in the study of eating blood. God obviously warns against its consumption, so it must have been practiced at some point. Yet we see historical violation of this rule by Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory, and the fictional portrayal of vampires and werewolves.
 
UFOs are also associated with blood, or the lack thereof. Most reports of cattle mutilations mention that not one drop of blood was left behind when a cow was sliced open. Something is consuming the blood.
 
Now that I have gotten a bit off the beaten path, Leviticus 18 brings us back to a more practical subject; sex.
 
Verses 6-17 can be summed up this way: we are not to look on the nakedness of anyone but our spouse. Ham violated this principle when he looked upon Noah and wound up cursed (Genesis 9:20-27). Whether Ham sodomized his father as some believe or if he merely looked upon Noah’s naked body, God takes such a violation seriously.
 
God puts looking on a naked body in the same category as sacrificing children to the false god Molech (v. 21), homosexuality (“thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind,” v. 22) and bestiality (v. 23), resulting in being “cut off from among their people” (v. 29). God calls all these acts “abominations” (v. 29).
 
According to Alexander Hislop, Molech (Law of First Mention) or Moloch was Nimrod as worshiped by the Canaanites (Hamites) and eventually by the Israelites (Solomon built him a temple in 1 Kings 11:7). This worship was carried out by throwing babies onto fire pits.
 
Nimrod, the creature I believe will once again be revealed as Antichrist is a figure who was worshiped by child sacrifice. The United States of America has laws protecting the practice of burning babies alive in the womb with saline (salt) solution. In a very real effect, the practice of abortion in America is a form of Molech, Moloch, Ba’al, Nimrod, Antichrist worship.
 
If you consider yourself “pro-choice,” then you might as well be worshiping Antichrist.

Notes on Exodus 28-29

Exodus 28-29 are seemingly monotonous chapters that describe the garments of priests and some rules on sacrificing animals. However, there are some interesting nuggets found within these passages.

1. Suiting up for the priesthood is similar to putting on the “whole armor of God” denoting that the priest was going to spiritual battle just as an army of soldiers would enter into physical battle. There are specific undergarments, a headdress, and a breastplate with shoulder pieces. The breastplate of Aaron was incredibly beautiful. It was made from gold and covered in precious gemstones.

I noticed that the gemstones in the breastplate, according to Exodus 28:17-20 (sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper) resemble the stones covering Satan, the anointed cherub (sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, and gold) in Ezekiel 28. Notice Exodus 28 and Ezekiel 28. Interesting.

2. The priest was to stand out from the crowd. These garments were incredibly ornate, and all the priests had a variation of it, though the HIGH priest’s garment was the most beautiful.

This is something we have lost in our churches. Some may call it “legalistic” to desire a pastor to wear a suit and tie, but there is something refreshing about seeing a pastor wear the nicest possible attire, rather than jeans and a polo shirt. A jacket and tie cannot compare with a golden, gem encrusted ephod, but it would be nice for a pastor to dress like they are entering the house of God, rather than an International House of Pancakes.

3. What in the world is the Urim and Thummim? The Bible is incredibly vague in their origin and use. Notice there is no command to make them, unlike all the other pieces of the priestly garment. They were just…there, and put in the breastplate near the heart. Urim (light) and Thummim (perfection) seems to act as an oracle of sorts and is related to God’s judgment (Exodus 28:30). Numbers 27:21 provides additional evidence for the priest, “who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim.”

The judgment of Urim? The Urim is not a person, and the greatest judge is God. 1 Samuel 28:6 gives a little more clarity, “And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.”

It seems that God uses the Urim and Thummim to communicate His judgment. It is sort of like a Ouija board or Magic 8 Ball that only God could communicate to the priests through. I have never in all my life heard a preacher broach the subject of this supernatural device.

4. Consecration of the holy garments using blood. This is a perfect picture of our sanctification through the blood of Christ.

As beautiful and ornate as these priestly garments were, they could not be considered holy until they were covered by the blood of a sacrifice. Even the most moral and wonderful human being cannot be considered holy until covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice.

You can be a “good person” though the Bible says that “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), but “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

We must accept Christ’s gift of salvation paid for with his blood upon the cross. This is represented by a seemingly mundane ritual performed by Israelite priests 1400 years before Christ lay down his life.

Notes on Exodus 19-21

The Ten Commandments. Almost everyone is aware of them, so I will not spend time discussing each of them. However, I will expand on some.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing. . .” I have a fascination with the concept of images. Images have power that is totally non-rational. Think about a photograph of a loved one. If that loved one were to pass away or if the relationship ends, the image of the person becomes something supernatural to us. How many of us would lose our minds if someone threw an image of a dead child or parent into a fire? The image is not the person. It is only a symbol.

The same can be said of religious imagery. There was a famous controversy over an “art” project called “Piss Christ” in which a cheap plastic cross was placed in a jar of urine. The message the artist wanted to portray was that it was just a piece of plastic in human urine. Christians everywhere were outraged because the cross (or at least the image of it) is a sacred symbol representing Christ.

That plastic had very little intrinsic value, but we imbue the image with power and importance. Think about the absurdity of it. Jesus Christ was literally tortured and murdered, but rose from the grave. Christ is not a cross. Christ is not cheap plastic. Christ was not in that jar. Yet the commandment is to NOT make any graven image or any LIKENESS. That includes plastic crosses, crucifixes, paintings, photographs, or any form of visible representation of something real that may lead us to worship the object rather than the subject.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;” This verse is typically brought up whenever some old timer wants to make you feel bad for using bad language. This verse is not a condemnation of “swearing” as most swear words are arbitrarily socially constructed. Jesus Christ and God are names of God, thus should not be used when cursing. However, the “f word” and many other swear words are mere euphemisms of other words that society has somehow deemed as offensive. The only difference for some is contextual. “Ass” is in The Bible when it refers to a donkey. It is profane to use it when talking of a person’s hindquarters. The societal pressure is so great that I have seen pastors use “donkey” whenever “ass” shows up in Scripture.

Society should never trump Scripture. Such is the power of our socialization.

Furthermore, taking the Lord’s name in vain transcends language. When you call yourself a Christian and post a half-naked photograph (an image) on Instagram, you are taking God’s name in vain. When you call yourself a Christian and get wasted at a party, you are taking the Lord’s name in vain. When you smoke marijuana, get tattoos, get fat, have pre or extra-marital sex you are defiling the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:15-20); you are taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Exodus 21:22-25 is an interesting passage, in that it deals with the loss of a child by some sort of external physical trauma. Some read this as abortion. Some as miscarriage. I have read interpretations that this verse shows that the destruction of the unborn is not murder, for the penalty for murder is death. The penalty in this case is as light as the woman’s husband wishes. The stipulation is “if any mischief follow” (verse 23) then death is the punishment.

Here is my interpretation (in parentheses): “If men strive (argue/fight), and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her (miscarriage, stillborn, premature birth), and yet no mischief follow (the mother and premature baby survive): he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine (it’s up to the husband to determine if it was an accident, manslaughter, or murder); and he shall pay as the judges determine (the courts have the final say. And if any mischief follow (if the mother or child dies or are permanently wounded), then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

You see, “her fruit depart from her” does not necessarily mean that the baby dies. This is why a murder charge is not a definitive punishment. A woman who is 8 or 9 months pregnant may go into labor because of stress or physical trauma, and the baby’s life may very well be viable outside of the womb. If there are complications, however, the punishment becomes more severe.

Anyone reading this verse as abortion, I think, is wrong. Notice that the focus is hurting a woman with child, not hurting the child directly. Anyone reading this as miscarriage is only partially right in that it COULD be a miscarriage, thought that’s not the only possibility.