Who are the Biblical Angels? – A Critical Perspective, (#6)


In papers #’s 3, 4 & 5 of this series, I have been working under the premise that:

... The only thing that I can imagine is, Yahweh must have given His male angels all of the abilities of His male creations, except the part of the body that produces natural opioids which stimulate the sex drive in humans. Without these, the male angels would have had no desire for sexual intercourse. Evidently, the third of the angels that rebelled against Yahweh and fell found aphrodisiac-stimuli in some type of vegetation to jump-start their sexual desires!”

A few years ago I had written an article entitled The problem With Genesis 4:1, which might fit in quite well with our present topic! In that exposé, I cited three sufficient sources to demonstrate that Gen. 4:1 had been corrupted somewhere along the line, as the context doesn’t harmonize with the rest of Scripture.

The KJV reads: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.”

William Finck, researching the Hexapla found further evidence that Gen. 4:1 is ambiguous:

William is referring to my paper, The Problem With Genesis 4:1, and interprets this evidence thusly:

The image above shows the various translations of part of the text of Genesis 4:1 into Greek. I am not yet ready to ascertain exactly why the entire first half of the verse is wanting, however the Hexapla did not survive to us completely, this is a volume of fragments, and it is written entirely in Latin, in which I am not proficient.The author reproduced both the Hebrew and Latin texts at the beginning of each verse, and then gave all of the readings from various Greek translations. Translating the various Greek interpretations of the Hebrew into English, the following readings are found (all translations are my own, possible variations are in brackets):

Latin: ‘I got a man to help Yahweh’

First Greek reading: ‘I have acquired a man through [by] God’ (Definite article indicates ‘the God’, or a particular God.)

Second Greek reading: ‘The Hebrew and Syriac: I have acquired a man with [by] a god.’ (No article would indicate no particular god, indefinite article added.)

Third Greek reading: ‘I have acquired a man with a lord’ (Again, no definite article, no definite Lord, indefinite article added.)

Fourth Greek reading: ‘I have acquired a man, a lord’ (the two nouns each being singular and in the accusative case with no prepositions are both the object of the verb, and therefore they refer to the same object, a man,a lord)

While these readings do not directly support Clifton’s entire thesis presented in this paper, they do support the assertion that the text of Genesis 4:1 was rather problematic to the earliest translators of the Hebrew into Greek. For that reason, Clifton turned to the Aramaic Targums for an indication of how the Hebrew scribes of that same era understood the passage.” Thank you William for this revealing evidence!

If one will notice in the inserted portion of the Hexapla, the four letter Hebrew Tetragrammaton, including the vowel points (meaning Yahweh), is clearly visible immediately at the right side of #1. The second word is “man” (ish in Hebrew). The third word contains “get/getting” in the Hebrew. Of course, Hebrew reads from right to left. Therefore the rendering of “I got a man to help Yahweh” must be somewhat plausible. If this is close to what Eve was saying, the proverbial “serpent” must have passed himself off as the Almighty Yahweh Himself! Either that or the proverbial “serpent” may have claimed to be a superior being higher than Yahweh. Hence, the Greek renderings to English of “God”, “god”, and “Lord” or “lord” is typical of transliterating Hebrew to the English. Implications are: Adam did not father Cain!

Not only did this proverbial “serpent” seduce Eve mentally, but he seduced her physically by sexually impregnating her, taking away her virginity and producing the race of Cain! In my view, this impersonation on the part of the proverbial “serpent” could only have been pulled off by a fallen angel using some kind of aphrodisiac-stimuli to motivate the sex drive. And inasmuch as this proverbial “serpent” impersonated the Almighty Yahweh Himself, he must have been of a higher rank among the fallen angels. However, each Bible student reading this will have to research this matter for himself concerning the plausibility of this hypothesis! The one thing we factually know is that this proverbial “serpent” had a family tree of both “good and evil”! And who other than the fallen angels had experience with both “good and evil”? If known, cite the evidence!

To understand the Aramaic Targums and the Hexapla, I will cite the 1980 Collier’s Encyclopedia, volume 4, under the general heading “BIBLE”, and subtitle “THE ANCIENT VERSIONS”, pp. 127-128 thusly (editing in brackets):

The Aramaic Targums: “.... As the [Judaeans] adopted this language, they forgot their Hebrew and could understand less and less of the scriptures read to them in the [assemblies]. Eventually, a translator was needed to render the text into Aramaic as it was read out in Hebrew [Neh. 8:8]. The translator was known as a torgeman and his translation as a targum.

In time the Aramaic targum became standardized, and finally it was written down. The earliest written targum we have is a manuscript of the Book of Job discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. It was written about the first century B.C., but most of the other surviving targums were composed later, among the Aramaic-speaking [Judaeans] of Babylon. The Aramaic targums generally paraphrase rather than translate literally. They bring in much explanatory material and homily reflecting the thought of the time. Many Hebrew Bibles of today still carry the Aramaic targum side by side with the Hebrew text.

The Septuagint, or Greek Version: The Greek version of the Old Testament began as a targum for [Judaeans] living in Greek-speaking areas of the Middle East. There were probably isolated Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures in circulation before the third century B.C. According to tradition, dissatisfaction developed with the unofficial nature of these translations, and an official version was prepared by a committee of 70 or 72 eminent scholars for the library of King Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) in Alexandria. This translation came to be known as the ‘Version of the Seventy’ – in Latin, the Septuagint. More probably, the Septuagint represents a revised collation of the informal oral [assembly] translations into the Greek.

[Judaeans] at first welcomed the Septuagint. With the rise of Christianity, however, it became primarily associated with the Christian Church. The [Judaeans] repudiated it and prepared other Greek translations. Most of the quotations of the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament have been made from the Septuagint.

In the third century A.D. the scholar Origen of Alexandria attempted to establish a uniform text of the Septuagint, drawing from a great variety of Greek versions, most of which had survived only in fragments. The result of Origen’s labor was the Hexapla, a monumental work of some 7,000 pages, which set forth in parallel columns the Hebrew text in Hebrew script, the same text written with Greek letters, the text of the Septuagint, and three of the later Judaean translations into Greek. The Hexapla was to provide the basis for many further translations into other languages.

Other Versions: Several other versions survive from ancient times. There are versions in Latin, Syriac, Ethiopic, several dialects of Egyptian, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, and many other languages. Some were made by Judaeans directly from the Hebrew; Christian versions were principally translations of the Septuagint or another ancient version. Several of the translators had to invent an alphabet for languages that had none, before they could translate the Bible. This happened with the Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and other versions. The renderings ranged from strict to extremely free; thus the learned bishop Ulfilas, who translated the Bible for the Goths, omitted the books of Kings. He felt that they would only serve to encourage war among an already warlike people.


All original manuscripts of the Old Testament are at present lost. We possess only late copies in Hebrew or in various ancient versions. The Hebrew texts are the product of generations of scribes and are sometimes quite altered and corrupted. Since many errors have crept into the manuscripts, the task of Old Testament textual criticism is to recover, as nearly as possible, the words that were written in the earliest stage of literary preservation.

Texts of the [Edomite-jewish] Sopherim: For several centuries the text of the Old Testament books seems to have remained relatively fluid. The scribes of the early period (c.500 B.C. to A.D. 100), known as the Early [Edomite-jewish] Sopherim, altered the text in many ways, through mistakes of hearing, reading, or writing. Words were misspelled; divisions between words were wrongly made; words, lines, or entire passages were omitted, repeated, or transposed; obscure and offensive words were ‘corrected’; editorial introductions and conclusions were added; double readings were recorded; and marginal notes were later mistaken for parts of the original text and inserted in the wrong spots. All these factors led to highly varied texts.

During the period of Roman rule, however, reverence for the written word reached a degree of extreme literalism, and attempts were begun to standardize the text. The scribes of this period (c. A.D, 100 to 500) are known as the Latter [Edomite-jewish] Sopherim. Under the great scholar Akiba ben Joseph (c. A.D. 50-132) attempts were made to determine original texts of the Hebrew Bible – an early effort in textual criticism. Nevertheless, even during this period, minor transformations of the text were allowed. Eighteen emendations (now known as the tiqqune sopherim, ‘corrections of the scribes’) were made of words which were deemed in pious circles to be erroneous or blasphemous. For example, the text of Habakkuk 1:12 used to read: ‘O Yahweh ... Thou shalt not die’ (in Hebrew, lo´ tamuth). But such a thought implied a doubt of the eternity of God, and one letter was changed, with the result that the text now reads lo´ namuth, ‘we shall not die.’

The Masoretic Text: From the 5th century to as late as the 11th or 12th century, the [Edomite-jewish] Sopherim were succeeded by scholars called Masoretes, or guardians of the masorah (tradition). The Masoretic texts have a double importance. One of them, the Ben Asher text, is the basis of the modern [Edomite] Jewish Bible. And until recently, Protestant translations of the Old Testament were made from a Masoretic text.

The Masoretes avoided any direct change in the Hebrew text; which by their time was considered too sacred to be altered. Instead, they added thousands of marginal notes which proposed corrections of spelling and even of meaning. For example, the original text of Job 13:15 reads ‘Behold, He [God] will kill me, I shall not hope!’ The Masoretes proposed one change – from lo´ (‘not’) to lo (‘in him’) – and the resulting translation led to the rendering of the King James Version, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.’

The Masoretes made several important additions to the written form of the Bible texts. First of all, written Hebrew used only consonants. If such a system were used in English, a word written as MN could read as MaN, MeN, MeaN, MoaN, MooN, or even MiNe or aMeN. The Masoretes created vowel signs – small marks written below, within, or above the consonants. Occasionally, in making corrections, the Masoretes would add to the consonants of the original text the vowel signs of the word which they were proposing as a substitute. For example, they wrote the sacred name of God, YHVH, with the vowels of the spoken substitute word Adonai, ‘Lord.’ Christian readers, unaware of this peculiar custom of adding to the consonants of one word the vowels of another, misread the divine name as ‘Jehovah.’

The scribal texts also lacked written punctuation. Pauses or full stops could only be guessed at, again leading to possible errors in understanding. The oral tradition of cantillation, or chanting, was useful for indicating correct phrasing and accenting of words in the text, but there was always the risk that the tradition might fail to be handed over to the next generation. The Masoretes therefore devised a system of accents, small marks like the vowel signs, which were put above or below the words of the text. Each one of these marks, still found in all modern Hebrew Bibles, stands for a musical phrase of one or more notes, and each musical phrase also serves as punctuation.

There were several schools of Masoretes, with different approaches to insertion of vowels, punctuation, and policy on ‘corrections’ of the texts. Two of the most famous were the tenth-century schools of Moses ben Naphtali and Moses ben Asher, both of Tiberias in Palestine. The Ben Asher text was generally accepted as authoritative following a pronouncement by the famous Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204). However, a text of Jacob ben Hayyim, based on late, mixed manuscripts, was principally used until an authoritative Ben Asher text was brought out in 1937.”

For another witness on the Hexapla, I will cite the 1881 15-volume Library of Universal Knowledge, vol. 7, p. 514:

HEX´APLA (Gr. hexapla, ‘the sixfold’), a celebrated edition of the Septuagint version, compiled by Origen for the purpose of restoring the purity of its text, and bringing it into closer agreement with the original Hebrew. Owing to the multiplication of transcripts of the Greek text, numerous errors had crept in; and in the frequent controversies which arose between the [Judaeans] and the Greek or Hellenist (q.v.) Christians, the latter, in appealing to the Greek text, were often mortified by the discovery that it by no means represented faithfully the Hebrew original. In order to meet this evil, Origen undertook to provide a means of at least verifying the genuine Greek text, as well as of confronting it with the original. With this view he prepared what is known as his Tetrapla, or ‘fourfold’ version, which he afterwards extended into the hexapla. The Tetrapla contained, in four parallel columns, the Septuagint version, together with those of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. The hexapla contained, in addition, the Hebrew text, together with a transcript of that text in Greek characters. In some parts of the Old Testament there were superadded one, two, and even three other versions; so that in some parts the work contains nine columns, whence it is occasionally designated the Henneapla, or ‘ninefold.’ Of the origin of these latter versions but little is known.

The hexapla, however, was something more than a mere compilation of these versions. In the margin were given notes, chiefly explanatory, as, for instance, of the Hebrew names. But a still more important characteristic of the work were its restorations and corrections of the original, in which Origen was guided chiefly by the version of Theodotion. This, however, he did not effect by arbitrary alterations of the received text; but, while he retained the common text, by indicating with the help of certain signs (an asterisk for an addition, an obelisk for a retrenchment), the corrections which he sought to introduce. Both these texts, the common (koiné ekdosis)and that of the hexapla, are found combined in existing MSS. The hexapla, as a whole, has long been lost; several editions of those fragments of it which it has been possible to recover have been printed; by far the most complete of which is that of the celebrated Benedictine, Montfaucon (2 vols. fol., Paris, 1714), which retains, so far as it was preserved in the MSS., the arrangement and even the asterisks and obelisks of Origen. For a more detailed account, see the preface and Præliminaria of this learned work.” (Incidentally, these two large volumes are in PDF, and can be downloaded from my website.)

I will now repeat part of what I wrote in my essay The Problem With Genesis 4:1:

First, in the Aramaic Targum (Aramaic was merely one of the languages which Messiah and his disciples knew),called pseudo-Jonathan, on Genesis 3:6, which is unique inasmuch as it identifies the angel Sammael as the “serpent”: “And the woman saw Sammael, the angel of death, and she was afraid and knew that the tree was good for food, and that it was a remedy for the enlightenment of the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise. She took of its fruit and ate and also gave (it) to her husband and he ate.”

Again, many critics condemn the Aramaic Targum pseudo-Jonathan, on Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew that his wife Eve had conceived from Sammael the Angel (of death) and she became pregnant and bore Cain. And he was like those on high and not like those below. And she said: ‘I have got a man from the angel of the LORD.’”

This rendition of Genesis 4:1 is interesting, for it speaks of the “angel of death” plus “like those on high” and “like those below.” This seems to accord with John 8:23, where Yahshua told the Cain/Kenite-Canaanite-Edomite-jews: “... Ye are from beneath; and I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” Satan was on high until his fall, when he fell like lightning; Luke 10:18.

The Palestinian Targum to Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Cain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the angel of the Lord ...”

In another Rabbinic work: Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, “And she saw that his likeness was not of earthly beings, but of the heavenly beings, and she prophesied and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord.”

It would appear from those references that the problem with Genesis 4:1 is an omission of some of the words of the Hebrew text. I will now quote Genesis 4:1 from the King James Version and I will add the potentially needed words in italics from the Targum of Jonathan so it will make some sense:

And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by Sammael, and she conceived and bare Cain, and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have gotten a man from the angel of the Lord.”

It is a shame that the Aramaic Targums ended up in the Cain/Kenite-Canaanite-Edomite-jew’s hands, as the Targum paraphrases can be a valuable tool to comprehend the context of the original Hebrew manuscripts! The Aramaic Targums are Biblical as per Neh. 8:8!