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Demons in the Old Testament 

We established before that demons are unclean spirits. These are the unclean spirits of the Nephilim or the giants we see in the Old Testament staring in Genesis 6. One central characteristic of these Nephilim was that they were evil continuously (Genesis 6:5). They required so much food that they ended up devouring humans and, each other, Enoch tells us,

And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants… who consumed all acquisition of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drinking blood.[1]

When we speak about demons keep these monstrosities, described by Enoch, in mind. These demons missed their bodies, and they crave and hunger for flesh and blood, but without a body they can’t satisfy those desires. Ever wonder why drinking blood is always related to demonic ceremonies. In Deuteronomy 32:17-18 we read,

They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
    to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
    whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth. (ESV)

The children of Israel sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods that they never knew and, even to new gods. It is important to point out that gods and demons are not the same; gods do not incarnate humans; they have their own bodily form; demons on the other hand, have the ability to go inside humans (Demon possession). In Psalm 106:34-41 expands by giving specifics concerning the sin of Israel, 

They did not destroy the peoples,
    as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
    and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
    which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
    and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
    the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
    and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
    and played the whore in their deeds.

40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
    and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
    so that those who hated them ruled over them. (ESV)

The difference between demons and rebellious god is very clear, even as they are both evil, one is the unclean spirits of the Nephilim, the others are high rank celestial beings (gods). Something that we must point out is that, in God’s Kingdom, only God is worthy of worship. However, in Satan’s kingdom, everybody receives a degree of worship. Obviously, Satan is on a mission to turn people away from God, so it makes sense that every demonic entity shares on this mission of taking worship away from Jehovah. Also, let us remember that Satan can’t be in all places at all times like God can.

We as humans become very personal with demons or unclean spirits; they are very effective in carrying out the agenda of Satan and the principalities of this world.  Demons, after all, have an insight concerning us humans that, not even Satan has, because they were once part humans; so, they understand us very well. I will go as far as stating that Satan and his gods can’t do much to us without the help of demons. Demons are the connection between the celestial evil world and God’s creation. 

The last thing that I want to point out is that in any study of demons is impossible not to noticed how they are always depicted as diverse animals. 

In contrast to the gods of the upper world, these spirits were often not in human form. The shedu’s[2] of Babylon and Assyria were depicted as winged bulls. In Isaiah 34:14 Lilith is a carrion bird who finds a nest in the desert waters, as is joined by wild desert animals, owls and kites… The Devil is depicted as a serpent (Genesis 3:1) and as the dragon of the sea (Leviathan; Isa 27:1), Jesus gave his disciples authority to tread on snakes and scorpions (Luke 10:19) referring to demons. The book of Revelation describes three demons as “unclean spirits like frogs” (Rev 16:13) … The book of Revelation also describes the (future fallen Babylon as a dwelling of demons and a haunt of every unclean spirit and hateful bird (18:2).[3]

Demons were used mightily in the process of seducing the nations of the world to betray God and follow the devil and his principalities. Demons were used mightily in the process of seducing Israel to betrayed God also. In the next chapter we will take a closer look at demons through the eyes of the New Testament. We will take a closer look at how demons operate today.  

To be continued… 

[1] The Complete Book of Enoch: Standard English Version, Dr. Jay Winter, P. 11.

[2] “…one of various semidivine beings represented by ancient Assyrian sculptors as colossal human-headed bulls or lions.” (

[3] Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Edited by Karel Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. Van Der Horst, p. 237.

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