ASKING SUCH inconsequential questions as “How many angels dance on the head of a pin” has long been accredited to the sort of arguments of absurdity, or reductio ad absurdum in Latin, which aided and abetted in the crippling of medieval scholasticism while the Turks occupied themselves with more practical matters—mainly, the conquest of Constantinople. For the record, it has been suggested that as many as a million angels or more can dance upon a pins head—and who cares? The mechanical particulars of angelology are of no interest here. I am however pestered with historical and—for the purposes of starry strolls by night—other natural quandaries.
That God had managed a former created order, or an undocumented plethora of them—filling an unspecified gap of time between the first and second verses of Genesis—and perhaps more importantly to this discussion, that divine sons of God had looked in upon every previous reality, is not commented upon nor believed by the ancient Hebrew. Moses makes no mention of when or what day the angels were created, or if they pre-existed at all, except to conclude: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them (Genesis 2:1).” And if there were any confusion, Yahweh would clarify this when delivering the 10 Commandments: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens [haš-šā-ma-yim] and earth, the sea, and all that is in them is [heavens and sky, earth, and sea] and rested the seventh day.”
Likewise, Moses furthermore makes no mention of when the divine beings first rebelled against their Creator, only that “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:31).”
And yet this we know with assurance. When the LORD laid the foundations of the Earth, marked its measurements, and laid its cornerstone, the sons of God were there to witness it. They even shouted for joy. Some will take this to mean that the divine beings, many of whom make up His council, were around before the gun shot sprint of creation.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Where was 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? (Job 38:4-7)”
Far more taboo a subject than the sin of the angels or the date of their origin is something which God Himself testified to. It is an inconvenient truth for men of post-enlightenment, but foundational for the Prophets and the Apostles and Hebrew thinking. Job 38:4-7 has already given it away. The Word of God persistently and consistently identifies the sons of God with stars.
“You alone are Yahweh. You created the heavens, the highest heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the heavenly host worships You (Nehemiah 9:6, HCSB).”
Consider if you will the evening of the seventh day, after God rested from the work He had made. It likely occurs to a select few Bible scholars that the planets were not among the countless multitude of stars which Adam and Eve first gazed upon from their mountain paradise of Eden. Firstly, Moses makes no mention of them. This is not due to oversight. The word planet derives from the Greek, and is intended to mean: wanderer, vagabond. Conclusively, the angels who kept not their first estate, as Jude would later remind us, were still within their proper dwelling during the aboriginal week of creation. We know this to be true because “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” The wandering stars however had committed a sin so great as to be compared to the transgressions of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The lake of fire was even created for them.
Observing ones pre-directed course was of such gravity for the ancient Hebrew that the writer of Judges even thought to mention the kings who “fought from heaven” and the stars who were still capable of defeating Sisera in battle while keeping “in their courses (Judges 5:20).” The ancient God-fearing Hebrew would likely read this and understand that the sons of God who remained faithful and obedient to Yahweh can efficiently execute the fate of humanity with authority, but more important to this discussion, they wouldn’t employ the astrological apostasies of neighboring Babylon in order to do it. This brings us to our next point.
When the LORD laid the foundations of the earth, the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
And then one night, sometime after Adam and Eve were expelled from God’s holy mountain, our human parents—perhaps living among the sons of Cain and Seth, as timelines are concerned—beheld something awe-inspiring in the heavens above.
Quite suddenly a select handful of stars burned a little brighter than they had the previous evening. This was due to the fact that, upon closer inspection, they seemed to dip a little lower in the sky. One pulsated with flashes of bright yellow, while another, large and silver, loomed low on the horizon. There was of course the deeply mesmerizing red planet, and the brightest of these glowed with blazing white intensity throughout the night. One truth remained certain. They had left their constellations behind, so that each night they began to wander a little further, and then a little further, often looping in tiny backwards circles before pulling forwards again, and then a little further from their intended constellations. This was indeed a true mystery. But soon—very soon—these starry vagabonds would seek to make themselves known.
Cities would be built. Alters raised. And Ziggurats would house them.
Human history would never be the same.
More to come…