The Invisible Realm Series Part 3: The Divine Council - The BibleProject

Updated: Sep 12

Video from The Bible Project

“The term divine council is used by Hebrew and Semitics scholars to refer to the heavenly host, the pantheon of divine beings who administer the affairs of the cosmos. All ancient Mediterranean cultures had some conception of a divine council. The divine council of Israelite religion, known primarily through the psalms, was distinct in important ways.” from The Divine

Psalm 82:1

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

There are a large number of verses in the Bible that point to God having a divine council with whom He deliberates. Psalm 89 has several references to the divine council.

Psalm 89:5-8

5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings[a] is like the Lord, 7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?

Danial 7:9-10

9 “As I looked,

thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

Isaiah 14:12-17 is about the Satan (Devil), whose description is well translated as the “Shining One, son of the dawn” in Isaiah 14:12.

At an indeterminant point in the past (inside or outside of time), before his rebellion against God, he was part of God’s divine council, and had a throne in heaven (Isa. 14:13). But he became filled with pride (the first sin?) and wanted to be above the other angels, the “stars of God” (Isa. 14:13).

In fact, it seems most likely that he wanted to replace God as the Most High God.[4] We see what the Satan (Devil) was saying to himself in Isaiah 14:13 and 14.

13 “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.

14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

Pay special attention to, “I will sit on the Mount of Assembly” (Isa. 14:13 ). The word “sit” in this context of an assembly of gods means to have a ruling position.

The prophet Micah had a vision of Yahweh seated on a throne with “the whole army of heaven” standing before Him (also translated: “the whole host of heaven”). God discusses with them about how to entice the evil king Ahab to enter battle and be killed.

The New Testament has many references to the one who will head up God’s Divine Council: the Lord Jesus Christ. After his resurrection, Jesus took command at God’s “right hand” stating that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). God elevated Jesus and “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every ruler, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but in the coming one also, and he put all things in subjection under his feet” (Eph. 1:20-22).

There is considerable evidence that God works with a council of spirit beings to rule His creation. Just as God asks man to help rule over mankind, which is why He supports righteous rulers, God has spirit beings, now led by Jesus Christ, who help Him rule over His creation. Although there is ample scriptural support for God’s divine council, there is not an overemphasis of it. God is still the Creator, the Most High, and the One who should get all glory from both spiritual beings and human beings.

Michael Heiser's website: The Divine


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