Saturday, October 30, 2021

Angels? Abarbanel to Bereishis 6:2

אברבנאל פרשת בראשית
(א) ויהי כי החל האדם לרוב וגומר עד וירא ה' כי רבה רעת האדם בארץ. כבר ידעת מה שכתבו במדרש ושנו בפרקי רבי אליעזר ומשולש בגמרא בענין בני האלהים שהיו מלאכים ואם באנו למלות הכתוב אין ספק שיתישב בו הדעת הזה היטב אבל לא יתיחס לענין הפרשה כלה שאמר וירא ה' כי רבה רעת האדם בארץ וינחם ה' כי עשה את האדם ויאמר ה' אמחה את האדם שכל זה א"א שיתישב במלאכים גם כי הדעת ההוא מהנמנע שיש להם טבע קיים רוצה לומר שישוב טבע הנבדל להיות חמרי. ודברי חכמינו זכרונם לברכה באמת יש להם סוד ואינן כמשמעותן כמו שלקחום האומות. ולכן ראוי שיפורשו הפסוקים האלו באופן מסכים עם המושכל לא באופן אחר

The Abarbanel says thes verses can not be talking about fallen angels - despite citing three sources from Chazal that say it does mean angels


Most of the classic commentators also say it is taking about man  not angels. However Non Jewish sources strongly claim this is about fallen angels also this is also the view of the Zohar even though the medrash quotes the Rashbi as cursing those who say these verses are not referring to man

 Bereishis Rabbah (26:5) 5. THAT THE SONS OF GOD (BENE ELOHIM) SAW THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, etc. (VI, 2). R. Simeon b.Yohai called them the sons of nobles; [furthermore], R. Simeon b. Yohai cursed all who called them the sons of God. R. Simeon b. Yohai said: If demoralisation does not proceed from the leaders, it is not real demoralisation. 

Devarim Rabbah (10:11) Thereupon the soul replied: ‘Master of the Universe, two angels, Uzah and Azael, came down from near Thy divine Presence and coveted the daughters of the earth and they corrupted their way upon the earth until Thou didst suspend them between earth and heaven. 

    Yoma (67b)   Another [Baraitha] taught: Azazel, i.e., the hardest of mountains, thus also does it say: And the mighty [ele] of the land he took away. The School of R. Ishmael taught: Azazel — [it was so called] because it obtains atonement for the affair of Uza and13 Aza'el.[(13) This is a reference to the legend of fallen angels, based partly on Gen. VI, 4 and also on foreign lore. V. Jung, L. ‘Fallen Angels in Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan literature’.] 

 Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer (22:4-9) Rabbi said: The angels who fell from their holy place in heaven saw the daughters of the generations of Cain walking about naked, with their eyes painted like harlots, and they went astray after them, and took wives from amongst them, as it is said, "And the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose" (Gen. 6:2). Rabbi Joshua said: The angels are flaming fire, as it is said, "His servants are a flaming fire" (Ps. 104:4), and fire came with the coition of flesh and blood, but did not burn the body; but when they fell from heaven, from their holy place, their strength and stature (became) like that of the sons of men, and their frame was (made of) clods of dust, as it is said, "My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust" (Job 7:5). Rabbi Zadok said: From them were born the giants (Anakim), who walked with pride in their heart, and who stretched forth their hand to all (kinds of) robbery and violence, and shedding of blood, as it is said, "And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak" (Num. 13:33); and it says, "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days" (Gen. 6:4). Rabbi Joshua said: || The Israelites are called "Sons of God," as it is said, "Ye are the sons of the Lord your God" (Deut. 14:1). The angels are called "Sons of God," as it is said, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7); and whilst they were still in their holy place in heaven, these were called "Sons of God," as it is said, "And also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them; the same became the mighty men, which were of old, men of renown" (Gen. 6:4). Rabbi Levi said: They bare their sons and increased and multiplied like a great reptile, six children at each birth. In that very hour they stood on their feet, and spoke the holy language, and danced before them like sheep, as it is said, "They cast their young like sheep, and their children danced" (Job 21:11). Noah said to them: Turn from your ways and evil deeds, so that He bring not upon you the waters of the Flood, and destroy all the seed of the children of men. They said to him: Behold, we will restrain ourselves from multiplying and increasing, so as not to produce the offspring of the children of men. What did they do? When they came to their wives they spilled the issue of their seed upon the earth so as not to produce offspring of the children of men, as it is said, "And God saw the earth, and behold it was spilled" (Gen. 6:12). They said: If He bring from heaven the waters of the Flood upon us, behold, we are of high stature, and the waters will not reach || up to our necks; and if He bring the waters of the depths against us, behold, the soles of our feet can close up all the depths. What did they do? They put forth the soles of their feet, and closed up all the depths. What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He heated the waters of the deep, and they arose and burnt their flesh, and peeled off their skin from them, as it is said, "What time they wax warm, they vanish; when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place" (Job 6:17). Do not read thus ("When it is hot," בחֻמו), but (read) "in his hot waters" (בחמימיו).

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