Heiser, Michael. Reversing Hermon. Defender Publishing, 2017.
It’s hard to describe this book’s relation to Unseen Realm. True, Unseen Realm is in a class by itself and few books are as good as it. I guess you could say that Reversing Hermon is an “update” to Unseen Realm. Should you read this book if you have read the other? Absolutely. Some of the scholarship is updated (though it was never out of date). And it covers new material.
He advances his now-familiar argument on why Genesis 6:1-4 must have a supernaturalist explanation (more on that below). When Heiser comes to New Testament material, he conclusively shows that the New Testament writers understood the “Enochian worldview” and echoed it at regular intervals.
Assuming that the text of 1 Enoch probably didn’t come from pre-flood times, and granting that it is not Scripture, why is it important? It’s important because it was part of the worldview of the apostles (and indeed, at least two apostles quoted it as authentic literature). Further, Enoch has material in it while absent from the OT, is present in Jude and 2 Peter (e.g., imprisoned angels, etc).
Heiser argues that “The Enochian version of the events of Genesis 6:1-4 preserves and transmits the original Mesopotamian context for the first four verses of the Flood account” (Heiser loc. 84).
Heiser notes the links between the Mesopotamian apkallu and the Fallen Watchers.
The Enochic Template
Drawing upon the scholarship of Amy Richter, Heiser notes “anti-Watcher” themes in the genealogy of Jesus (loc. 1244). Each of the women in Jesus’s genealogy deal with some sort of illicit arts and beautification (Tamar and Ruth), sexual sin (Bathsheba), and Nephilim echoes (Rahab).
With Tamar, we see echoes of 1 Enoch and Gen. 6:1-4. “Judah saw/he took her and went into her.” Indeed, Judah’s first-born son was named “Er” (Hebrew ‘r; Aramaic ir).
With Rahab she is in the land of the Nephilim, she marries Boaz, who was a Gibbor (Ruth 2:1). Of course, Boaz wasn’t a giant, but given that gibbor is often translated as gigas, Matthew is creating mental links between the two (loc. 1377). But there are more links: according to James 2:25, Rahab received messengers (angelous).
Bathsheba was married to Uriah, a gibbor (2 Sam. 23:39). Of course, she is also called Bath-shua (1 Chr 3.5), therefore echoing the Enochic template of that scene.
An Analysis of Psalm 68
A surface reading of Eph 4.8 and Psalm 68.18 reveals a problem. Jesus is giving gifts and the Psalm says God receives gifts. Heiser suggests we can remove some of the confusion by not reading this as Jesus leading captives free (which would be true in other contexts), but rather taking captives, per his storming of Bashan (loc. 1691).