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This page was inspired by those of Michael Heiser, and subsequently by others as well!

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Focus on John 10 and Psalm 82:

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The following verses are quoted from the New Living Translation (NLT) bible, but with Hebrew/Greek roots and personal commentary in parentheses.

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

    So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 3:22 (NLT)

Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”

Genesis 6:1-4 (NLT)

Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God (bene elohim) saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

1 Enoch 6:1-3,6 7:1,3-6 (Non-Biblical Parallel Account, Hermeneia Translation by W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. VanderKam)

When the sons of men had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born  to them.  And the watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them.  And they said to one another, “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men, and let us beget  children for ourselves.”  And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them,  “I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.” ... And they were, all of them, two  hundred,  who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon. And they called the mountain “Hermon” because they swore and bound one another with a curse on it.

These and all the others with them took for themselves wives from among them such as they  chose.  And they began to go in to them, and to defile themselves through them, and to teach them sorcery and charms, and to reveal to them the cutting of roots and plants...They were devouring  the labor of all the sons of men, and men were not able to supply them.  And the giants began to  kill men and to devour them.  And they began to sin against the birds and beasts and creeping things and the fish, and to devour one another’s flesh.  And they drank the blood.  Then the earth brought accusation against the lawless ones.

Genesis 11:1-9 (NLT)

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words.
 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Exodus 12:12 (NLT)

On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods (elohim) of Egypt, for I am the Lord!

Numbers 33:4 (NLT)

Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn sons, whom the Lord had killed the night before. The Lord had defeated the gods (elohim) of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment!

Deuteronomy 4:19-20 (NLT)

 And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven (tsaba shamayim) —don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The Lord your God gave them to all the peoples of the earth. Remember that the Lord rescued you from the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt in order to make you his very own people and his special possession, which is what you are today.

Deuteronomy 29:25-26 (NLT)

“And the answer will be, ‘This happened because the people of the land abandoned the covenant that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. Instead, they turned away to serve and worship gods (elohim) they had not known before, gods (elohim) that were not from the Lord (He had not given/allotted to them).

Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (NLT)

When the Most High assigned lands to the nations,
    when he divided up the human race,
he established the boundaries of the peoples
    according to the number in his heavenly court (bene elohim/sons of God).

“For the people of Israel belong to the Lord;
    Jacob is his special possession.

Deuteronomy 32:16-17 (NLT)

They stirred up his jealousy by worshiping foreign gods;
    they provoked his fury with detestable deeds.
They offered sacrifices to demons (shade), which are not God (Eloah),
    to gods (elohim) they had not known before,
to new gods only recently arrived,
    to gods their ancestors had never feared.

Job 1:6 (NLT)

One day the members of the heavenly court (sons of God) came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan (and the satan), came with them.

Job 2:1 (NLT)

One day the members of the heavenly court (sons of God) came again to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan (and the satan), came with them.

Job 38:4-7 (NLT)

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
    and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels (bene elohim/sons of God) shouted for joy?

1 Kings 22:19-23 (NLT)

Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’

“There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’
“‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked.
“And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’
“‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’
“So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom.”

Psalm 29:1 (NLT)

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings (sons of God);
    honor the Lord for his glory and strength.

Psalm 58:1-2 (NLT)

Justice—do you rulers (elem/silent ones/gods) know the meaning of the word?
    Do you judge the people (bene adam/sons of man) fairly?
No! You plot injustice in your hearts.
    You spread violence throughout the land.

Psalm 82 (NLT)

God (Elohim) presides over heaven’s court (baadat el/congregation of El/divine council);
    he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings (elohim):
“How long will you hand down unjust decisions
    by favoring the wicked? Interlude

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
    uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless;
    deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
But these oppressors know nothing;
    they are so ignorant!
They wander about in darkness,
    while the whole world is shaken to the core.
I say, ‘You are gods (elohim);
    you are all children of the Most High (sons of God).
But you will die like mere mortals
    and fall like every other ruler.’”

Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
    for all the nations belong to you.

Psalm 89:5-8 (NLT)

All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord;
    myriads of angels (qadosh qahal/divine council) will praise you for your faithfulness.
For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord?
    What mightiest angel (bene elohim/sons of God) is anything like the Lord?
The highest angelic powers (divine council) stand in awe of God.
    He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!
    Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord?
    You are entirely faithful.

Jeremiah 10:11 (NLT)

Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods (eloah), who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

Isaiah 24:21-22 (NLT)

In that day the Lord will punish the gods (army of the high ones) in the heavens
    and the proud rulers of the nations on earth.
They will be rounded up and put in prison.
    They will be shut up in prison
    and will finally be punished.

Daniel 4:17,17 (NLT)

“‘Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger (ir/watcher), a holy one (qaddish), coming down from heaven...For this has been decreed by the messengers (ir/watchers); it is commanded by the holy ones (qaddish), so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.  He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”

...and a little bit of Hebrew to show some of the terms used in those OT references:

English Term
Hebrew Word
Elohim (430) or El (410) or Eloah (433)
elohim (430)
Sons of God, Angels
bene Elohim (1121 430) or bene El (1121 410)
Divine Council, Holy Assembly
qahal qadosh (6951 6918) or sod qadosh (5475 6918)
Holy Ones
qaddish (6922)
ir (5894)

Matthew 24:29 (NLT)

“Immediately after the anguish of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
    the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Mark 13:25 (NLT)

the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Luke 21:26 (NLT)

People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

John 10:33-39 (NLT)

They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said [to certain leaders of the people], ‘I say, you are gods!’  And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people (ones) who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ (theoi) why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.  Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work.  But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

NOTE: This is a reference by Jesus back to Psalm 82.  Unfortunately many translators obscure the fact that Jesus' reference to 'gods' is literal -- and instead assume that this is a metaphor for humans.  In this example, the NLT is particularly guilty of adding words not part of the original text.

Romans 8:38 (NLT)

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons (rulers), neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NLT)

No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.
But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.

Ephesians 2:2 (NLT)

You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.

Ephesians 3:10 (NLT)

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Colossians 1:16 (NLT)

for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.

Colossians 2:15

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

1 Peter 3:22 (NLT)

Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.

2 Peter 2:4 (NLT)

For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.

Jude 1:6 (NLT)

And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.

...and a little bit of Greek to show some of the terms used in those NT references:
English Term
Greek Word
thrones  thronos (2362)                         
rulers/demons/principalties arche (0746)
kingdoms/dominions/lordships kyriotes (2963)
authorities/powers  exousia (1849)

Translation is important when highlighting verses relevant to the Divine Council understanding.  Here are some examples from some of the better Bible translations that make this clearer, using Psalm 82:1 as an example:

AMP A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the divine assembly; He judges among the gods (divine beings).

ESV God has taken his place in the divine council;  in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

EXB A psalm of Asaph [C a Levitical musician, a descendant of Gershon, at the time of David; 1 Chr. 6:39; 15:17; 2 Chr. 5:12]. God ·is in charge of the great meeting [L takes his place/presides in the great assembly/or the assembly of the gods/divine council; C the angels (powers and authorities; Eph. 6:12) are here called “gods”]; he judges among the “gods” [John 10:35–36].

ISV A Psalm of Asaph God takes his stand in the divine assembly; among the divine beings he renders judgment:

MEV A Psalm of Asaph. God stands among the divine council; He renders judgment among the gods.

NET A psalm of Asaph. God stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.

NLT A psalm of Asaph. God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings: