Children of God (Lk 20:36-20:36)

“Indeed,

They cannot die

Anymore,

Because they are

Like angels.

They are children

Of God,

Being children

Of the resurrection.”

 

οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται, ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν, καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus gave an explanation.  He said that in the resurrection they would not be able to die anymore or be mortal (οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται), because they would be like angels (ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν).  Once again, this is unique usage of the word ἰσάγγελοι in the Greek biblical literature that means equal to angels or like the angels.  They would be children or sons of God (καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ), because they were children or sons of the resurrection (τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες).  This is quite a profound theological statement.  The resurrected humans would be like angels so that marriage and procreation would be out of the question.  Both Matthew, chapter 22:30, with Mark, chapter 12:25, almost word for word, have simpler statements about humans being angels in heaven.  Mark simply said that they would all be like angels in heaven (ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  Matthew simply said they would all be like angels in heaven (ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ εἰσιν).  Thus, these humans would take on an angelic way of life, with no reason to procreate in marriage.  Would you like a sexless angelic heaven?

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The seventh beatitude on peacemakers (Mt 5:9-5:9)

“Blessed are

The peacemakers!

They shall be called

Children of God.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ κληθήσονται.

 

The happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) would be those who made peace (οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί).  The reward for these peacemakers would be that they would be called children or sons of God (ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ κληθήσονται).  It was not enough to be a peaceful person, you had to make or be an artisan of peace, not just let it happen.  These peacemakers would be like the sons or children of God.  This comment about peacemakers was unique to Matthew since there is no equivalent in Luke.  In fact, this is the only place in the Bible where there is any mention of peacemakers at all.

The serpents (Wis 16:10-16:12)

“But your children were not conquered

Even by the fangs of venomous serpents.

Your mercy came to their help.

You healed them.

To remind them of your oracles

They were bitten.

But then they were quickly delivered.

Thus they would not fall into deep forgetfulness.

They would not become unresponsive to your kindness.

Herbs did not cure them.

Poultice did not cure them.

But it was your word,

O Lord!

That heals all people.”

This author continued with the comparison of the Israelites in the wilderness with the deadly serpents the Egyptians endured. In a simplification of the story in Numbers, chapter 21, the children or sons of God (δὲ υἱούς σου) were not conquered by the serpents. God’s mercy came to help them. He healed them. He reminded them of his oracles and words (λογίων σου). Although bitten, they were healed so that they would not fall into a deep forgetfulness. It was not herbs or suave lotions applied to the bite that cured them. It was only the word of the Lord (ὁ σός, Κύριε, λόγος) that healed them.

The dialogue of Yahweh and Satan (Job 1:6-1:12)

“One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before Yahweh. Satan also came among them. Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Where have you come from?’

Satan answered Yahweh.

‘From going to and fro on the earth,

I am walking up and down on it.’

Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Have you considered my servant Job?

There is no one like him on the earth.

He is a blameless and upright man.

He fears God.

He turns away from evil.’

Then Satan answered Yahweh.

‘Does Job fear God for nothing?

Have you not put a fence around him?

Have you not put a fence around his house and all that he has?

The fence is on every side.

You have blessed the work of his hands.

His possessions have increased in the land.

But stretch out your hand now.

Touch all that he has.

He will curse you to your face.’

Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Very well,

All that he has is in your power.

Only do not stretch out your hand against him!’

Satan then went out from the presence of Yahweh.”

Now we have a divine perspective with the 2 main protagonists of the story in a heavenly, other world since Job was not aware of this conversation. Yahweh was the Jewish Israelite God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Satan was the adversary or the powerful evil one, who later became the personification of evil or the devil, just like the serpent in Genesis, chapter 3. The assumption is that everyone knew who they were. Notice that Yahweh and Satan were on good speaking terms with each other. The heavenly beings, or sons of God, are some sort of council with God that is often referred to as the angels of God or some sort of lesser gods, subordinate to the main God. Satan seems to be one of these heavenly subordinate beings or angels. However, he seems more involved with earth. Yahweh started the conversation by asking Satan where he was from. He responded that he had been walking around earth. Yahweh then said that he must have seen his wonderful blameless and upright servant Job, who did no evil. Satan responded that Yahweh had put a fence or hedge all around him. He had blessed his work so that everything increased for him. Satan wanted Yahweh to stretch out his hand and see if he would curse Yahweh. Yahweh said that he would not do that, but he would allow Satan to do whatever he wanted to Job, except personally harm him. So the story begins.

Sons of God and daughters of men (Gen 6:1- 6:4)

“When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair.  They took wives for themselves of all that they chose.  Then Yahweh said, ‘My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh.  Their days shall be one hundred twenty years.’  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God went into the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown”

Once again, this is an odd strange Yahweh story about the sons of God who seemed to be enamored of the daughters of men.  Who are these guys?  Apparently they were divine beings who belonged to the heavenly court, maybe related to the cherubim.  Perhaps, it was something like the various Greek and Roman gods who had intercourse with humans.  Nevertheless, God decided that he would limit the age of humans to 120 years because the world was getting overly populated.  He should see it today!  The Nephilim people were very tall warriors somehow involved with the sons of God.  This is a very difficult passage that kind of sets up what is coming, the flood.