Demons in the Babylonian Talmud aka Talmud Bavli

Herein we provide info on Demons from the Babylonian Talmud aka Talmud Bavli. The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations.

Herein we provide info on Demons from the Babylonian Talmud aka Talmud Bavli. The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations. See my section on Angels here, Cherubim and Seraphim here, Satan here and Demons here.
The Talmud consists of a combination of the Mishnah (oral traditions) put into writing circa 200 AD and the Gemara (the commentary on the Mishnah) put into writing circa 500 AD.
There are many terms used within the Talmud that will surely be unfamiliar to the general public. Yet, this does not diminish from the context of noting wherein references are made to paranormal entities. Two things to note may be that “R.” refers to Rabbi, “b.” to ben which is Hebrew for son and is used within a person’s name and “tractate” refers to section. That which follows is from Michael L. Rodkinson’s 1819 AD translation.

From the tractate Baba Bathra.
V Once it happened that two mules were saddled for him on the two bridges over the river Druggring, which were far from each other, and he jumped continually from one saddle to the other, while holding two cups of wine, pouring from one into the other continually without spilling one drop, and this day was such a stormy one, as illustrated [Ps. cvii. 28], until the government took notice of him, and he was slain.

A footnote at the end of this statement reads, “Whether he was a human being or a demon, it is hard to say. As to this, commentators differ, and also as to which government–whether natural or paranormal.”

From the tractate Sanhedrin.
VI Did not R. Johanan say: One must not greet a stranger, with peace in the middle of the night, as perhaps he is a demon, and so much the more must he not bow before him? There it was different, as he said: I am a captain of the Lord. But perhaps he lied? We have a tradition that even the demons do not pronounce the name of the Lord in vain.

VII Aibu b. Nagri in the name of R. Hyya b. Abba said: In Ex. vii. 11 it reads, “blahatehem,” and in ibid. viii. 3 it is written, “blatehem.” The latter means by the act of demons, and the former by the act of sorcery…Said Abayi: A conjurer who is particular to use a utensil, it is by a demon, and he who is not particular, it is by witchcraft…Said R. Elazar: Infer from this that a demon is not able to produce a creation the size of which is less than a barley.

XI The school of R. Shila said: They wanted to build a tower to ascend to the sky and split it with hatchets, so that the contained water shall pour down. This legend was ridiculed in the West. If they intended to ascend to the sky they ought to have built the tower on a mountain, and not in a valley. Therefore, said R. Jeremiah b. Elazar: They were divided into three parties. The first party said: Let us go there to dwell; the second: Let us go there and worship their idols, and the third: Let us go there to fight. The party that said, Let us go there to dwell, were scattered all over the world, and the party that said, Let us go there and fight, became demons, devils, etc. And the party that said, Let us go there and worship their idols, were scattered to Babylon, to which it reads [Gen. xi. 9]: “Therefore is the name Babel, because the Lord did there confound the language.”

In the next segment, we will consider Satan in the Talmud.

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