Odinist Perspective of the Bible

One may ask why an Odinist website would have a section on the Bible. The reason is many Northern Way Odinists have relatives or acquaintances who use the Bible as their authority to oppose our beliefs. However, I discovered that the Bible does not oppose Odinist beliefs like Christians claim. In fact, the reverse is true, the Bible does not support what Christians say they “believe.” It is surprising to find the Bible supports much of what Odinists’ believe instead. Here are the facts. Decide for yourself.

I will use the King James Version (KJV) because many Christians won’t believe anything else. That is true even though the Bible was not written in English. It was only translated into English. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. You can get versions of the Hebrew and Greek Bible with dictionaries and commentaries at (www.e-sword.net) which I used in this article. It has all the translations and dictionaries of the Bible you would ever want…and it’s all for free.

The problem with overlapping one language over the top of another is that, by doing so, whatever the original language said is masked or hidden underneath the language on top. The original message is thereby obscured and often misconstrued (sometimes intentionally) to support popular “belief” rather than what was actually “said” by the original writers or authors of the Bible. Frankly, in my Odinist opinion, the Bible shouldn’t be this hard to figure out since it is only “your immortal soul” that is at risk (according to them) if you can’t figure it out. But since they have made it really difficult to get down to the truth of what it actually says, I will use Bible dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek when necessary to get to the bottom of it.

CHRISTIANS SAY THERE IS ONE GOD.

THE BIBLE SAYS THERE ARE MANY GODS.

One of the fundamental positions of Odinism is that there are multiple gods. In fact, there are two families of gods, the Aesir and Vanir. On the other hand Christianity teaches, there is only “one god; and there is none other but he” (See Mark 12:32). That is “none other god but one” (1Corinthians 8:4). Yet, the Bible says that there are multiple gods just like we Odinists claim. A simple reading of the King James Bible proves it. In the book of Psalms number 82, verse 1, it says the following:

“God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” (Psalm 82:1)

Notice that “God” is standing “among” a “congregation” of “gods.” So there is not only more than one god, but there is a “congregation” of them. This is a very different concept than what Christianity teaches people to believe. However, this is the concept of what Odinists’ believe. We believe there is a congregation of gods in a hall called, Gladsheim, where judgments are made by them. (See Prose Edda, page 40). The Bible compares the God of Israel to the other gods in the following scriptures. Psalm 86 verse 8 says:

“Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.” (Psalm 86:8)

Again in Exodus 15:11 it says:

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)

The phrase “among the gods” is evidence that the god of Israel is “among the gods” from time to time. They obviously like their god, so they speak well of him, but he is still among other gods. Even if you don’t like the other gods, the Bible commands followers to not revile them:

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” (Exodus 22:28)

So, from a Bible follower’s point of view, they are not supposed to revile any of the gods, let alone the one they have accepted or the ones appointed to rule over them. So why do the Christians and Jews say there is one god if the Bible says there are many gods? The answer simply put is because there is one god…for them. Saint Paul says it this way to the Corinthians:

“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many, and lords many, but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)

He knows there are many gods, but “to us”… “to us” Jews, “to us” Christians, there is but one god… the God of Israel. According to the Bible the other gods rule over other nations, that is, non-Jewish or non-Israelite nations. A review of the Biblical facts clearly proves it.

So let us return to the clearest example of the Hebrew worldview of the gods is in Psalm 82. Verse one in the King James English says clearly:

“God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.”

The translation clearly reveals there is a “congregation” of “gods” whom “God” “standeth” “among.” I know the apologizing efforts of theologians who simply cannot accept what the Bible says. It says there is a congregation of gods that God stands among. However, “they” say, “It doesn’t mean that.” So I say, “But does it say that?” They reply, “Yes. It does say that.” Then I say, “So all you are telling me is the Bible doesn’t mean what it says. In fact, since you are the ones who are going to ‘tell’ me what it means, then it just ‘means’ what you say it ‘means,’ Right?” They say, “Right. You have to ‘rightly divide’ the word of truth,” which just means they are going to divide it up their way. So I say, “If the Bible doesn’t mean what it says, but it only means what you say it means, then why should I listen to what the Bible says at all? Why don’t I just listen to you instead? And isn’t that what this is really all about?” In other words, what theologians really “mean” to say is this, “Don’t listen to what the Bible says. Listen to Me! I will tell you what it means.

I have heard these kinds of arguments from Christians and theologians for years. But now I say, what if, what if the Bible does mean what it says? What would the Bible say if we left the “meaning” of what it says intact? Let’s try it as an experiment. Let’s see if the writers of the Bible knew more about what they were saying back then, than what the Christians today “claim” they were trying to say back then. Besides, think about it. All Christians are really doing by disagreeing with what the Bible says in English, or Hebrew, or Greek is that the Christians don’t believe what it says. So they take words out by saying, those words don’t “mean” what they say. Then they add words in by supplying their own meaning to them. That is something the Bible itself warns against doing (see: Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19, etc.).

The only argument I would allow as legitimate is what the Bible “says” in the original language because it wasn’t written in English. So, sometimes the English translation further masks or obscures the original “meaning.” But in this case, by going to the original language of Hebrew it just makes the “meaning” even stronger. A simple review proves it. Let’s repeat verse 1, but this time insert the Strong’s Dictionary numbering system. Then insert what the Strong’s dictionary corresponding to those numbers allows as a “meaning” and see what it says.

“God[430-plural] standeth in the congregation [5712]of the mighty [410]; he judgeth among the gods [430].”

Notice that the Strong’s number 430 is translated two different ways in the same verse, namely “God” in the singular at the beginning of the verse under 430 and then “gods” in the plural at the end. When you go to 430 in Strong’s dictionary it says the Hebrew word is “Plural of 433”, and that it means “gods in the ordinary sense…” So, why aren’t the translators translating it consistently as plural gods “in the ordinary sense” if that is what it means? The answer is because it doesn’t fit their pre-conceived doctrine made up by the traditions of men. So they just changed the words to suit what they thought it should say, what they wished it said, to fit what they wanted the passage to say or “mean,” instead of translating it for what it actually says. It makes more sense to me, as an Odinist, to understand what a holy book says first, then build a doctrine around what it says, instead of what I want or wished it said or else it all just becomes wishful thinking, desires or dreams.

TWO PRIMARY GODS NAMED IN THE BIBLE ARE “EL” AND “YAHWEH”

So, what does this Bible verse actually say? The other obscured word in Psalm 82: 1 is “mighty” (See: 410). The Hebrew word for 410 is “El.” The singular of “Elohim” or “gods in the ordinary sense” (See: 430). “El” is short for the name “Elyon.” Compare Genesis 14:19, “Most High God”, (see: 5945) which is “El Elyon”, the name of the “Most High” God called “El” for short (see: 410), just like “Yahweh” is called “Yah” or “Jah” for short in Ps. 68:4, “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens [lit. “deserts” = 6160] by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.”

An example is in Genesis 35. In verse 1 it says, “…make there an altar unto God…” He is simply called “El” there, which is the Hebrew word translated “God” in that passage (See 410). Whereas in verse 11, “…I am God Almighty, be fruitful and multiply…” In that verse he is called by his fuller name “El Shadday” translated, “God Almighty” (See 410/7706). The Bible says, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not even know the name “Yahweh” or “the LORD,” but only “El Shadday” or “God Almighty.” As Exodus 6:3 says, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (410/7706), but by my name JEHOVAH (3068) was I not known to them.” For that to be true, then all the places in Genesis, such as in Genesis 21:33, where it claims Abraham called on “the name of the LORD” (= Yahweh), must have been added later by redactors inserting the name “Yahweh” into the text where previously it was only the “Everlasting God” or “El Olam” (See 5769/410). Either that or the writer of Exodus 6:3 simply lied, because it can’t be that Abraham “didn’t know” the name “Jehovah” (Yahweh) as Exodus 6:3 claims, and yet record Abraham in Genesis 21:33 as calling on the name of “Jehovah “ or Yahweh, translated into English as the “LORD.” (Just as a note, notice the capital letters they use “LORD.” It is a code used by the translators to indicate the personal name “Jehovah” or Yahweh was used there in the Hebrew. The introduction in your Bible will explain that. When the word “Lord” is in lower case letters, such as, “Lord” or “lord,” it indicates a different Hebrew word “Adonai” (See 113), which is not a personal name, but rather a title, like Mister is a title given to men).

So we see here how not only have the translators tampered with the translation, but even the scribe recorders tampered with the Scriptures by either adding words to Exodus 6:3 stating that Abraham did not know the name “Jehovah” or they tampered by adding words to Genesis 21:33. Both passages cannot be true as they are because they contradict each other.

Now, with that said, we can continue. “El” was short for the proper name of “El Shadday,” “El Olam,” or “El Elyon.” So when we return to Psalm 82:1, it says this:

“Elohim [430-gods] standeth in the congregation of El [410]. He [El] judgeth among the elohim [430-gods].”

The word “congregation” (See: 5712) is also another interesting word. It means an “assemblage” or assembly of gods, which if the idea were true that there is only one God period, then how does he “congregate” with or “assemble” with himself? It clearly implies multiple beings are “congregating” or “assembling” with one prominent being “among” them. But even more interesting is what Strong’s says is also an acceptable “meaning” of the Hebrew word translated “congregation”. It can mean, “Family.”

THE FAMILY OF THE GODS

This is interesting because of what the rest of Psalm 82 says. But before we move on to investigate that, let’s try that word “family” in the context of the translation and listen to how it sounds and its “meaning”:

“Gods standeth in the family of El. He [El] judgeth among the gods.”

Why this translation is more accurate and interesting is because it makes “the gods” sound like they are El’s family members. That is interesting and consistent with the entire Psalm, because verse 6 says:

“I [El] have said, ‘Ye are gods[430]; and all of you [gods] are children of the Most High [5945-Elyon].”

So to translate “congregation” as “family” is consistent with the context of verse 6, which says the gods are Elyon’s “children.” This Psalm is critical in understanding the ancient Hebrew theology or worldview of their gods, because it presumes so much of what the rest of the Bible says, but in a clear and condensed way. To translate it the way it currently is translated in the King James Bible not only misrepresents what the original Hebrew was saying, but it even makes no sense in comparison with Christian theology.

For instance, take verse 8 which says:

“Arise, O God [430-plural], judge the earth for thou [plural] shalt inherit all nations [1471-Gentiles].”

The word translated “God” is 430 (elohim), a plural word “gods,” not singular “God” as it is rendered. Taken as it is in the singular, it makes no sense in context. Is the “God” of Israel going to “inherit” all nations? If so, then from whom? To “inherit” means to receive a birthright from a father. So even in context the passage implies there is someone above “God” who is going to give “God” all nations as an inheritance sometime in the future. Doesn’t the idea of “One God” presume he already owns all nations? So why does he have to wait to “inherit” them in the future if he already owns them? Who is he going to “inherit” them from? The problem with translating this verse “as it is” results in it making no sense, even with their made up theology of there only being “one God.” However, if we simply translate it consistently with the Hebrew in context it makes perfect sense:

“Arise, O gods, judge the earth for thou [gods] shalt inherit all nations.”

If “the gods” are the “children of the Most High” Elyon as verse 6 says, then verse 8 is simply saying, “Arise, O gods [children of the Most High], judge the earth for thou [gods] shalt inherit all nations” from your father the Most High—Elyon.

So what about the verses in between? What is actually going on in this Psalm? If a person reads it in context with the original Hebrew restored and the “meaning” of each term supplied by the context in place, the “meaning” would be as follows. A father is chiding (judging) his sons for not doing a very good job with the inherited authority their father gave them. He threatens them with death if they don’t conform to his way of judging. He promises them rewards of permanent inheritance if they do, which implies they will lose it if they don’t. Watch how the passage translates out using the original Hebrew meanings according to Strong’s Hebrew dictionary.

1. “Gods standeth in the family of El. He [El] judgeth among the gods.

2. How long will ye [gods] judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah

3. [Ye gods] Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4. [Ye gods] Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

5. They [the gods] know not, neither will they [the gods] understand; they [the gods] walk on in darkness.

6. I [El] have said, ‘Ye are gods; and all of you [gods] are children of the Most High [Elyon].’

7. But ye [gods] shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8. Arise, O gods, judge the earth: for thou [gods] shalt inherit all nations.”

If the idea is that a father wants his children to be responsible with their inheritance, then this Psalm makes sense. However, if it is supposed to be “interpreted” not as “gods” who are “children of the Most High” (like it says), but instead, “the gods” are supposed to “mean” men who judge other men, then verse 7 makes no sense. Why would he say, “ye [men] will die like men” if they are men? Of course ye are going to die like men if ye are men. The comparison of “like” something is only meaningful if one is talking about something else they are not as a fact.

Even the phrase in verse 1, “He judgeth among the gods” uses a common expression in the Bible “among the gods” to illustrate his point. If “the gods” are “men”, then the other passages that use the phrase “among the gods” should be referring to “men” also. Take for instance Exodus 15:11, which says:

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods.”

Is the phrase “among the gods” in this verse referring to men or gods? Let only the honest reply. If someone takes “the gods” in this verse as referring to men, then they are looking for an equal to the LORD, Yahweh, “among men.” Is that where “the LORD” Yahweh came from…among men? Again, in Psalm 86:8 it says:

“Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord.”

Here it is clear from the expression “among the gods” in context that the author is trying to compare the Lord to the class of divine beings called “gods,” not the common class called men. So, if the expression “among the gods” means, “among the gods” in these verses and not “among men,” then why change the “meaning” of the expression in Psalm 82:1? The only answer to justify changing the “meaning” from “gods” to “men” in just Psalm 82:1 is because leaving it as it is, rendering it exactly for what the Bible says, is because if they do, then it doesn’t fit their theology and doctrines of dead men from the past. Why are we so scared of dead men or even living theologians for that matter? Why are we scared to question them, to disagree with them? The facts are right there provided by scholars, dictionaries, and even the translators themselves in many places. It is clear we are being tricked with “words” if we let them.

Finally, my translation and interpretation is what it says. It renders the Hebrew consistently. Their rendering in the King James Version is not consistent with the Hebrew, let alone with their own translations of it. It jumps back and forth in English, slapping different English words right over the same Hebrew words to change the meaning of words even they admitted were not true by translating them differently. Mine does not. Decide for yourself.

So, if we can agree from the Bible scriptures above that the Hebrews had a concept of a family of gods who were children of a Most High God named El or Elyon, then other passages in the Bible begin to make sense as well. A new (or old?) story will begin to emerge, different than the one we are taught by Christians. At least we can agree that it is a possibility there are “other gods” who are hidden by the doctrines and translations of men to push their own “one god” view over the truth of what the Bible is actually trying to say. If so, then we have a different passage to consider.

THE WORLD WAS DIVIDED UP BETWEEN THE GODS

Let us look at Deuteronomy 32:7-9. In context, it is the song of Moses, written about 1400 BC (if it was truly written by Moses). It begins by saying, “Remember the days of old…” So it is referring to a time “many generations” before Moses (See vs. 7). This passage, specifically verse 8, has been literally changed by the scribes, not just the translators. So I will present you with the King James Version first, which came from the Masoretic texts dated to 1000 AD, then to the Septuagint dated to 250 BC, and finally the Dead Sea Scrolls dated to 300 BC for the oldest source in Hebrew for the actual message the author of Deuteronomy was writing down. The passage begins:

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the most High [5945-Elyon] divided to the nations [1471-Gentiles] their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. for the LORD’S [3068-Yahweh’s] portion is his [Yahweh’s] people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”

First, notice the focus on “inheritance,” just like in Psalm 82:8. The “Most High” (Elyon) is the one distributing or “dividing” the “inheritance” among his children. The “LORD” (Yahweh) receives a “portion” of the “inheritance,” namely “his people” descended from “Jacob.” That is it. He does not inherit the world. He did not get an “inheritance” of “heaven and earth.” The “LORD” only got his “portion” of the inheritance, namely “the bounds” of the “people” of “Jacob.”

This idea that the world was divided up by nations and boundaries set around them by a God of heaven and earth was understood by the New Testament writers as well. Consider Acts 17:24, 26 which says:

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by men …And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”

Notice first how they make note of a distinguishing identifier to which “god” they are referring. They refer to the “God” who “does not live in temples made by men.” That “God” is the “Lord of heaven and earth.” It is interesting to note that the “LORD” Yahweh, the God of Israel, DOES dwell in a “temple made by men” that is located in Israel, built by Solomon (See: 1Kings 8:10-17). This makes sense that they would identify by attribute and function rather than name. They would not make mention of the Hebrew names of either Elyon, the Most High God, and Yahweh, the God of Israel, because they would be “unknown” to the foreign listeners to whom he was speaking. The reason is because in context they were talking to foreigners in Athens who only knew Greek and thus would not recognize or know the Hebrew names (See: Acts 17: 21-22).

Nevertheless, what is more relevant is that they refer to how that God “determined” the “allotted periods and boundaries” of the nations “dwelling places.” What is not immediately clear in the passage above is that they also understood that the gods, or the sons of God, were also divided and placed over the divided nations, like it says in Deuteronomy 32:8. The limits of the gods’ power and authority stopped at the “boundaries” allotted to them by the Most High God (Elyon), the father of their inheritance.

This is why the entire ancient world understood “dominions” ruled by “the gods of the land.” The land was the boundaries of that ruling god’s “power.” His realm was called a “principality.” So the “principalities and powers in the heavenly places” spoken of in Ephesians 3:10 refer to these gods and the lands on earth they received authority over by inheritance from their father, Elyon. They referred to these “principalities and powers” in the heavens over and over in the New Testament (See: Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10; 2:15). Notice also the references to “principalities” and “powers” are all plural. That is, not one, but many.

In the Old Testament they were called “the gods of the land.” 2 Kings 17:26-27 records the king of Assyria needing to find priests who knew “the manner of the god of the land.” He himself followed other gods than the lands he was conquering. However, because he was in a foreign land, ruled by a foreign god, then he needed to know what the god of that land required for peaceful inhabitance.

In the book of Daniel, these “gods of the land” were called “princes.” In context, these were clearly not “human” princes, but spiritual ones (See: Daniel 10:4-12 for a description of the vision, and vs. 6-7 of the messenger):

“His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.”

The lands the “princes” had authority over were identified by name. For example, the messenger Daniel saw refers to the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). Daniel 10:20 also refers to “the prince of Grecia.” The idea of a “prince” over a specific kingdom led to the idea of “principality,” that is, the limits or “boundary” of one’s authority and power. “Prince” in Hebrew (See: 8269) means the “Head” person in rank. It does not refer to an “angel” as some try to replace its “meaning” with. It means “lord” and “ruler.” So, these “princes” of Persia and Grecia were the spiritual lords and rulers of those lands, in other words, from an Odinist perspective, the gods of those lands.

The alternative translations and source texts for Deuteronomy 32:8 make these points clear. I have already given you the King James Version. Now let us look to the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament made in 250 BC. A key phrase was changed by the scribes over time between 250 BC when the Septuagint was written and 1000 AD when the Masoretic text was written used by the King James translators for his translation. The key phrase that was changed is, “…according to the number of the children of Israel.” The Septuagint says the Most High set the boundaries of the people, “…according to the number of the angels of god.” However, the newer translations, which have had access to the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 which date back to 300 BC before the Septuagint was written, reveal the original text saying something even more different. The English Standard Version says, “he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” The Good News Bible says, “He assigned to each nation a heavenly being.” The reason for these last two translations is because the Dead Sea Scrolls literally say he divided the peoples “…according to the number of the elohim” (See: 430), which is translated as “the gods” in Psalm 82:1. These “gods” are called the “sons of God” or “children of the Most High” according to Psalm 82:6. That is why the New Revised Standard Version renders it:

“When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods.”

Now that is an accurate translation. It not only conforms to the Hebrew, but also to the oldest and most reliable text.

Ah! But now we have a mystery. What is the “number” of the gods? I will come back to that since the Bible tells us what it considers “the number of the gods” to be in another place.

THE MOST HIGH GOD “EL” IS THE FATHER OF THE LORD “YAHWEH” GOD OF ISRAEL

Before we leave this text, we need to consider the implications of Deuteronomy 32:9 which says:

“For the LORD’S [3068-Yahweh’s] portion is his [Yahweh’s] people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”

Does a father receive an inheritance from a son? Or does a son receive an inheritance from a father? It is the son who receives it from a father. Since the Most High (Elyon) is the one dividing the inheritance, then he, Elyon, is the father, which Psalm 82:6 also says. But that would make “the LORD” (Yahweh) a son, with Elyon being his father from whom he is receiving his inheritance.

Even though this sounds strange to our ears from all the claims of Christian theology, it actually lines up with other passages as well, like Exodus 15:11, which says:

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD [3068-Yahweh], among the gods.”

If “the gods” are “children of the Most High” (Elyon) like Psalm 82:6 says, then “the LORD” (Yahweh) is “among” them, that is, among the sons who received an inheritance among the nations. Psalms 89:6 makes this clear as well. The King James Version says:

“For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD [3068-Yahweh]? Who among the sons of the Mighty [410-El] can be likened unto the LORD [3068-Yahweh]?”

Why is Yahweh being compared to those “among the sons of the Mighty” [El] unless he is a son among the sons? It is clear from the context he is a son. That is true, let alone from the verses surrounding that verse. Psalm 89:5 says:

“And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD [3068-Yahweh]: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints [6918].”

What is the “congregation of the saints” in the heavens? It sounds like the same “congregation of the mighty” [El] in Ps. 82:1. The word “saints” used in Ps. 89:5 according to Strong’s means “sacred” (See: 6918). As a noun it means, “God by eminence” (Ibid.). So it is the congregation of the “sacred” God. Verse 7 repeats the same theme. Psalm 89:7 says:

“God [410-El] is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all about [5439] him [El].”

Note that the same word “saints” is used in context of “all” those “about him.” The word “about” means his “circle” or those “around” him, according to Strong’s (See: 5439). So it isn’t referring to human “saints” on earth, but those “around” him in heaven. So, the context in Psalm 89 is referring to the heavenly congregation of El and comparing the LORD (Yahweh) to the “sons of the mighty” (El) round “about him” in heaven.

So what did the gods around El use to “divide” the nations of human kind? The answer is language was used to divide the nations. It says in Genesis 11:

“And the LORD [Yahweh] came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD [Yahweh] said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD [Yahweh] scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD [Yahweh] did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD [Yahweh] scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:5-9)

Notice that LORD Yahweh talks the other gods in the congregation of the gods to join him in confounding the languages in order to divide mankind. He doesn’t do it on his own. He needs the cooperation of the other gods to make it happen. First the “LORD” Yahweh “came down” to earth to see for himself in verse 5, then goes back up and talks the other gods into coming down with him in verse 7, “let us go down” there to confound the language and divide the people into their apportioned lands inherited by the gods from their father Elyon. This perspective makes sense in light of the other passages we have just seen. He needs the permission and cooperation from Elyon and the others gods because the LORD Yahweh is a son of El just like the other gods.

Although most Christians do not know the difference between the Most High father “El” and the one god of Israel, Yahweh, Bible scholars do. Here is what the “Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible” says on page 379:

“In spite of the obliteration of the historical facts of the case caused by the conception of their God’s absolutism, which was a matter of course for the authors of our Pentateuch threads, it remains clearly to be seen that the groups which penetrated Canaan from the South in the Mosaic period worshipped another god, different from the one worshipped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The former [Moses] brought along the Yahweh cult; for the latter [Abraham] El was the authoritative God, the El about which sources newly accessible to us, above all the Ugaritic texts which belong to the fourteenth century B.C., have shown that he [El] enjoyed the greater respect among the Canaanites of that time and occupied on almost monarchical position in their pantheon. It is told of all thre patriarchs—of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob—that they worshipped this god [El]. And the names appearing in the respective narratives—El Elyon [Genesis] (14:18-24), El Olam (15:?; 21:33; 26:3-5, 24-25; 46:2-5), El Roi (16:13), El Shaddai (17:1; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; 49:25), El Bethel (28:10-22; 31:13; 35:1-7), and El Penuel (35:24-32)—signify this one El; that is to say, they are to be hypostasis [nicknames] of him. That the patriarchs, or at least their followers, also worshipped other, apparently lower gods, brought along to Canaan from abroad, is not concealed by our tradition [Genesis] 31:53; 35:1-4; cf. Joshua 24:2), but, at the same time, it permits no doubt to arise about the fact that El and El alone is the god to whom respect is due.”

These are scholars not theologians. They work in museums with the archeological artifacts and source texts following the facts, not like theologians who work with groups of people following the emotion and doctrines of men. Scholars are not invested into denominational “ideas” or “beliefs.” Scholars too are just following the trail that is laid out for you here in this article as well.

THE NUMBER OF THE ELDER GODS IS 24

Now we can return to the mystery created by the phrase in Deuteronomy 32:8 where Elyon divided the nations “according to the number of the gods” (New Revised Standard Version). We may now ask, what is the “number” of the gods? One answer requires us to go out of the Biblical source to Ugaritic manuscripts referring to Elyon of the Ras Shamra texts. However, if we are going to just keep it to the Biblical source, then we are told what the “number” is in Revelation 4:1-4. In this passage it describes John going up through a door into heaven in verse 1. In verse 2 it says:

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne[2362] was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne[2362]. In verse 4 the passage continues:

“And round about the throne[2362] were four and twenty seats [2362]: and upon the seats [2362] I saw four and twenty elders [4245] sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns[4735] of gold.”

First notice the expression “round about” the throne. That expression creates the same picture of the description in Ps. 89 of the “assembly of the saints” which were “all about him.” Next notice the word “seats” in verse 4 is the same Greek word translated “throne” in verse 2. Literally the Greek word is “thronos” (See: 2362) from which we get the English word “throne” (See: Webster’s Dictionary). It is not “seat” in English as the King James translators rendered it, unless it is a “seat” of kings. Why would the translators render it two different ways in the same verse? It is because they do not want the reader to recognize the elevated status of the 24 elders sitting on those thrones. Even the high and mighty “seat” of Moses in Matthew 23:2 is not “thronos” in Greek, but “kathedra” (See: 2515), which Strong’s says is a “bench” and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says is ‘a chair, a seat.” All the modern translations like the NIV, GNB, ESV, NASB and the New King James Version render it as “thrones” because, oh yeah, it is “thronos” in Greek, not a “seat”, but a throne.

The description above is just like the one given in Daniel 7:9 which also describes the heavenly throne room:

“I beheld till the thrones [3764] were cast down, and the Ancient [7412] of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [3764] was like a fiery flame…”

So whatever “throne” the Ancient of days was sitting on, there were multiple “thrones” of the same kind that others sat on as well. Notice also in Daniel it is the “Ancient” sitting among thrones. In Revelation 4 it is “elders” sitting among thrones. What is the difference between “ancient” and “elderly”? One just seems to be older than them all.

Nevertheless, this heavenly throne room of 24 “elders” in Revelation 4:4 had them sitting on “thrones” just like the “one” in the middle of them. These 24 elders also had “crowns” (See: 4735) of gold on their heads. Strong’s says this type of crown is a “badge of royalty.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says this kind of crown is, “a mark of royal or in general exalted rank.” Do “servants” wear crowns of gold and sit on thrones? No. So these were not servants in the Biblical sense of the word. These were “royal” rulers sitting on thrones wearing crowns, dressed in white, just like what the Ancient of days was wearing in Daniel 7:9.

Now we can ask, who were these 24 royal “elders” ruling over? Before we answer that question, we should investigate what an “elder” means. The Greek word is “presbuteros” (See: 4245) which is defined in Strong’s as “a member of the celestial council.” “Celestial” means “heavenly.” They speak of the “celestial council” as if they already know who and what it is, and as I have discovered, scholars do know. It is just not widely known by the common man or common preacher. The Hebrew/Jewish rulers, called the Sanhedrin in Hebrew, was made up of 23 rulers and referred to as “presbuteros” in Greek. So the word was understood to be an “elder” with ruling power or authority like kings who make the rules as a ruler. That is clear in the passage above by their crowns and thrones. However, it is interesting to note that the word origin refers to the first or “eldest” of a tribe or people. It was a persistent belief in the ancient world that certain tribes and peoples were descended from the gods through their royal lines. Genesis 6:4 records this widespread belief in the following words:

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons [1121] of God [430] came in unto the daughters [1323] of men [120-Adam], and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

So the “sons of God” sired offspring with human women that started multiple “renown” races of men according to the Bible. The first or oldest “elder” would be the father of that tribe, tongue, or people. In this case, the “elder” father would be a “son of god” not a “son of men” like the “daughters of men.” So their first father would be a divine elder or god father.

Some Christians try to say, “Yes, but all these offspring of the sons of god and the daughters of men were killed in the flood of Noah (Genesis 6:5-13). However, that still does not deny that there are these “sons of God” having sex with “the daughters of men.” That claim only means is those offspring were destroyed. They don’t pay attention to what it says in the first line of Genesis 6:4, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that…” What does it mean when it says “in those days” let alone “and also after that”? If we use the context of the story to determine the time, it can be referring to those days “when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men” (vs. 1-4), or it can be referring to those days of Noah when the “LORD” Yahweh flooded the earth (vs. 5-13). Either way, it says that the same event of the sons of god bearing offspring with the daughters of men happened again: “…also after that.” So they are still the god-father “elders” of those descended from them.

Now let us see who these divine “elder” kings rule over. If these “elders” were the same “sons of God” that fathered multiple tribes and peoples back in Genesis, then it is these other tribes, tongues and people who are the nations they rule over as heavenly divine kings. To begin, Revelation 5:8 says the 24 divine elders have, “every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” The golden vials full of odours are said to represent the prayers of the saints. The word picture therefore portrays the “elders” having possession of the prayers of saints. That means the saints had to have sent their “prayers” to their divine “elder” kings. Why would the elders have possession of the prayers of saints, unless, 1. The saints prayed to the elders, 2. The elders are going to be the ones answering the prayers (or sending them on to those who would). Either way, it would still mean “saints” pray to the “elders” who symbolically collect the prayers in golden vials. So, who do people actually pray to? They pray to the gods who rule over them, whether they are called “elders” or not. The word “elder” is just identifying their origin from that “elder.” These 24 elders function as gods. The passage continues in Revelation 5:9-10 about the 24 elders:

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation [1484]; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on [1909] the earth.”

Here we have these 24 “elder” kings identified as being “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Therefore, these 24 elders can’t be the Jewish 12 tribes of Israel as some say and the 12 apostles, because both of those groups of 12 were all Jewish. In other words, they were from the same “people” and the same “tongue,” whereas, these 24 elder kings are from different kindreds, speaking different tongues or languages the Bible claims began back in Genesis 11:6-7. The final proof is in the last word “nation.” These 24 elder kings were from every “nation.” The word “nation” in Greek is “ethnos” from which we get the English word “ethnic.” It is also translated as “Gentile” in other places. So they are from every Gentile ethnic group not just from the Jewish ethnic group. In fact, Strong’s literally defines that word “ethnos” translated “nation” as, “a race, as of the same habit, that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign non-Jewish one usually by implication pagan.” So by definition, these 24 elders came from “every” Pagan nation. So they are not ruling kings over Israel in any way. These 24 elder kings preside over Pagan nations, which the Jews often viewed as enemies (e.g. Ephesians 2:11-15).

The second point is the word “shall” makes it sound like something that is going to happen in the future. However, the Greek word that should be supporting the English word “shall” does not exist in the original text. It was simply an added English word by the translators of the King James Version. That is why the newer translations don’t “add” the word “shall” because the original message didn’t use it. So they translate the passage without using “shall.” For instance, the American Standard Version translates it as “and they reign upon earth.” Notice they make it “present” tense, just as the Bible in Basic English translates it, “and they are ruling on the earth.”

There are two final points in verse 10 where it says these 24 elder kings “shall” reign “on” the earth. The word “on” is the Greek word “epi” which can also be translated “over,” as in the Darby translation which renders the passage as, “and they shall reign over the earth.” Reigning “on” the earth is very different than reigning “over” the earth. If these are the “gods” that rule over the Gentile nations, then they are reigning “over” the earth in general, not just reigning “on” the earth like an earthly king. Putting these last two points together the meaning is clear these divine 24 elder kings are currently reigning over the earth.

So, from an Odinist perspective, the Bible says there are 24 “gods” who rule over the nations assigned to them by the Most High Elyon. Yahweh was just “one” of them assigned to Israel to be the “One God” of Israel, which is called “the land of the LORD” (Yahweh) in Isaiah 14:2 or just “his land” and “his people” (Joel 2:8). No other “land” is his by inheritance from his father Elyon, the Most High God. Israel is the only place the LORD Yahweh is “God of the land” over (2 Kings 17:26-27).

This is the reason why the Levites who tended the temple as priests were divided into 24 courses or priestly divisions (See 1 Chronicles 24:5-18). Each division of the priesthood was to pay respects and prayers as saints to the 24 Elder gods, as the Israelites paid respect to their god, the LORD God of Israel (1 Chronicles 24:19). The LORD Yahweh was jealous over the other Elder gods being worshipped beside him in the temple that Solomon built (See Deuteronomy 6:14-15; 2 Kings 23:4-13). But why would he be “jealous” over “other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about” his land, if there are NO other gods but he? (Deuteronomy 6:14). It is because there ARE other gods and they had as much right to be worshipped by inheritance from their father as the LORD Yahweh did. It was even prophesied in Micah 4:1-5, that, “in the last days” the “nations,” (#1471, that is, the Gentile/heathen nations):

“…shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of host hath spoken it. For all people [Heathen nations] will walk every one in the name of his god and we [Israelites] will walk in the name of the LORD [Yahweh] our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:4-5)

The “name” of our god of Northern Europe is “Odin” among the others. So we are expected to “walk every one” in the “name” of our god to fulfill this prophecy. Then from a Bible point of view how can we be wrong for doing so?

Admittedly Yahweh was often hostile to his fellow gods in heaven. He claimed to be “jealous” of them, as it says in Deuteronomy 6: 14-15:

“Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”

That is, to the point he wants to punish the other gods on high and those on earth who followed them:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD [Yahweh] shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.” (Isaiah 24:21)

As jealous and hostile as he tends to be toward other gods and their followers, that is not always the case. In Ezekiel that Yahweh would sometimes work hand in hand with the god of the heathen. Ezekiel 31:10-11 says:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD [3056-Yahweh]; Because thou [Assyrian, vs.3] hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I [Yahweh] have therefore delivered him [Assyrian] into the hand of the mighty one [410] of the heathen [1471]; he [the mighty one of the heathen] shall surely deal with him [Assyrian]: I [Yahweh] have driven him [Assyrian] out for his wickedness.”

Notice that Yahweh delivered the Assyrian “into the hand” of the “mighty one of the heathen” who Yahweh was confident would “surely deal with” in an acceptable way to Yahweh. Yahweh was not even going to “deal” with Assyrian himself, but was going to count on a heathen “mighty one” to do it. The interesting thing here is that the Hebrew word translated “mighty one” just like in Psalm 82:1 is “El,” which Strong’s says can be “any deity” or “god,” in this case a god “of the heathen.”

Consequently, even though Yahweh did not want the Israelites to worship other gods than himself, Yahweh would sometimes let other “heathen” gods handle his business. This shows that even Yahweh, as hostile as he is to other gods, he still acknowledged and sometimes worked together with the gods like in Genesis 11:7 and the passage above. There are gods who are his equals, but Yahweh, god of Israel, is himself under the authority of his father El and worked under or through the authority the other gods had over their lands and people.

In summary, how can we Northern Europeans be wrong by following the gods of our ancestors? That is, when even by the Bible’s standards, which says that it was El Elyon, the father of the gods, who divided the nations (Gentile heathens) into their lands and assigned them their gods, who are all his children. How can we be wrong when it was Christ who reconciled the enmity, that is, the hostility between the gods of the heathen Gentiles and the god of the Israelites (See: Ephesians 1:10; 2:11-19)? How can we be wrong when it was prophesied that we, Gentile heathen nations, would walk in the name of the gods that the Bible says El Elyon assigned to us?

By doing so, even the Bible says the Israelites or Jews are just doing Elyon’s will by following their god Yahweh and we, so called Gentile heathens or pagans, are just doing his will by “walking in the name” of our gods, Odin and the gods of Northern Europe, just as he assigned and prophesied we would do.

Now, I am not saying that we Odinists follow the Bible nor need the Bible’s authority to believe there are more gods than one. Nor am I saying that there is just one family of gods because the Bible says so. I am just saying that the Bible presents the idea that there is more than just the one god of Israel, which we also believe. Why do Christians say we are “wrong” if the Bible says the very things we do? It says there is not only more than one god, but there is an assembly of gods. So do we Odinists. It says the world was divided up under the leadership of different gods. We also believe there are different gods for different people. It says the Jews and offspring of Israel should walk in the name their god and the other Gentile nations should walk in the names of their gods. We believe the same thing. The Bible presents at least one family of gods. We believe the gods are arranged in families as well. Most Christians do not even know the passages presented above from the Bible and scholars, let alone “believe” it. The point is here that our beliefs are closer to what the Bible teaches than what most Christians know or believe. So if their own book supports our beliefs and according to their book we are supposed to follow our gods, then we are doing what is right for us and their book supports our path. If they don’t believe and follow their own book, then why should we believe and follow them?

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