Concluding a review of more of TJ Steadman’s views on Rephaim form his book Answers to Giant Question.
You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.
Let us continue where we left off.
Back to TJ Steadman’s point about “evil spirits” who could “leave Sheol…able to rise…to dwell on the earth…the spirit in question may rise” so that “actual Rephaim spirits are not only present in the underworld but roam the earth disembodied” because they are actually Nephilim 2.0 spirits.
He additionally wrote:
Psalm 88 and its use of “rephaim” as “the spirits of the dead who dwell in the underworld.” But in the Greek…the use of “rephaim” as physicians or healers would indicate the idea that the LXX writers believed the dead could, in fact, be raised or brought back form the underworld:
Psalm 87:11 (NETS) “Surely, you shall not work wonders for the dead? Or will physicians rise up, and they acknowledge you?”…
Observe another use of Rephaim: Job 26:5 “Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.” The LXX makes the connection even clearer, using the word “Giants” instead of “dead things.”
Now, the one and only biblical indication that any such thing could occur is 1 Samuel 28’s reference to the medium of Endor.
Therein, God has turned away from King Saul and Saul orders his servants “Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit,” one is found who lives in Endor.
“Saul disguised himself” and traveled to her, asking her to “divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up.” Yet, she replies, “Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”
He assures her “there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.” Saul asks her to “bring up…Samuel” and “when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.”
Saul asks, “what sawest thou?” to which she replies, “I saw gods [Elohim] ascending out of the earth.”
Now, what was this all about? It is difficult to be certain since it is a unique event and does not provide many details not a commentary.
But let us begin with that it was indeed, a unique event. Does it mean that mediums could regularly do this or did she shout because it was just a parlor trick scam but this time it actually happened and it freaked her out?
Perhaps this was a unique event that God allowed in order to make a point.
Yet, perhaps she yelled because, apparently, Samuel said something about Saul calling him—since she yells and “Why hast thou deceived me?” and instantly knows, “thou art Saul.”
I would opt of the unique, God allowed, case only because it is indeed unique and we are told in texts such as many in Ecclesiastes that the dead know nothing, etc. within the context of what is going on upon the Earth, under the Sun.
I actually proposed a false dichotomy: it could also be that it was parlor trick scam but this time it actually happened and Samuel referenced Saul which freaked her out.
It seems to me that when mediums, by any other name such as channelers, etc., claim to be speaking to the spirits of people’s loved ones, they are actually speaking to demons who were around those families and so can related some accurate info sometimes—along with 99% of what the mediums/channelers do being a cold reading scam (made all the more easy with modern day tech such as people making their lives open books online).
TJ Steadman writes that a Ugarit] “‘the Rephaim Texts,’ contain rituals and incantations for summoning the spirts of the Rephaim” but just because Pagans claim the ability to do something, does not, of course, mean they were able to actually do it.
As for “The LXX makes the connection even clearer, using the word ‘Giants’ instead of ‘dead things.’” The exact opposite is the case, the LXX made things more confusing by rendering rapha in the Job text as “gigantes” (no, not “Giants,” of course). It is confusion, to personages such as TJ Steadman who suffer from that which I term gigorexia nervosa because the LXX also renders (no, not even translates) “Nephilim” as “gigantes” as well—and “gibborim” as “gigantes” as well—which is incoherent.
TJ Steadman wrote, “king Arad was guilty of divination by means of the Rephaim spirits” which is something I cannot seem to verify nor even find a vague reference.
In any case, continuing with TJ Steadman’s claims about Rephaim. He writes of “Rap`iu of Bashan (Canaanite Bathan) looks more like ‘the one who is joined of the serpent.’”
Rap`iu refers to Rephaim. I would imagine that since Bashan actually means fruitful and refers to a district east of the Jordan known for its fertility, and that is not sexy enough for theo-sci-fi, he opts for an alternate rendering and/or transliteration in order to claim that it not only denotes serpent but that it refers to “the one who is joined of the serpent” all because tan, or than as he has to have it here, can refer to what which is variously termed dragon, sea/river monster, venomous snake/serpents, etc. in the form of the word tanniyn.
Yet, this is still all very myopic and selective since, for example, in Rabbinic Judaism the sage of the gemara (those who comment upon the Mishna) are called the Tannaim with the Aramaic teni referring to repeating and so is a term indicative of teaching or learning by repetition.
TJ Steadman writes that an event:
…recorded in the Cuthaean Legend is the creation of an army of strange hybrid creatures. These beings are described as partridge-bodied, raven-faced humans…they are known as the Umman-manda…This bears comparison to the Biblical Rephaim giants.
How “partridge-bodied, raven-faced humans…bears comparison to the Biblical Rephaim giants” is certainly as mysterious as it is incoherent and unfounded.
Even how “strange hybrid creatures…bears comparison to the Biblical Rephaim giants” is certainly as mysterious as it is incoherent and unfounded.
He also claims:
Isaiah 26 has much to say about the Rephaim. Firstly, the use in verses 13-14 refers to the Rephaim as lords (or, kings), which supports the idea that the ancient kings of the world were empowered by the Rephaim, like Nimrod, Og, Sihon, Amalek/Agag, Arba, Anak and many others.
Just because Rephaim, who ruled their own tribes and lands were “lords (or, kings)” has nothing whatsoever to do with that “ancient kings of the world were empowered by the Rephaim.” The former is biblically and historically verifiable, the latter is theo-sci-fi.
I do agree that ancient, and modern, kings (by any other name) were and are empowered but it is not by Rephaim spirits, see my article The Apocalypse of the Hidden Hand: The Bible’s teaching on the spiritual sovereign behind the human sovereign.
TJ Steadman writes:
As Lucifer’s humiliation continues in this passage [Isaiah 14:9-10], we see more allusions to the Nephilim, the mighty men of old, men of renown.
The Isaiah text states, “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?”
Neither Nephilim nor the root naphal appear in those verses. He does go on to quote Isaiah 14:20-25 but Nephilim nor the root naphal also does not appear therein. If I had to guess, I would say that he read the root word rapha in v. 9 (dead) and (mis) interpreted as per his theo-sci-fi to mean Nephilim 2.0.
For more details, see my relevant books.
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