The Truth About Moses And The Torah

In the beginning, there was Ilam, divinity, you may call it. Ilam was associated with all that was holy and godly to the people of the Ancient Near East. It was a transcendent force, which could not be described, yet it was the source of all else, being itself. in the Hebrew tongue it was known as Elohim.

In the land of Egypt there lived a man named Mose, a great mystic of Asiatic (probably Midianite) descent at the court of mighty pharaoh. He understood well the ways of Ilam, or as he called it, YHWH, being itself. Devoting his life to the study of YHWH, he realised God and YHWH were one and the same, and that besides YHWH, there was no God. that the oppression of his people by pharaoh and his ilk was unjust, and hypocritical of him to support. And so, he led a group of people out of Egypt to the land of Canaan, a fertile land in Asia. To these people he gave them the Torah, ‘The Instructions’, Instructions on how to approach YHWH and a guide to life, based on Mose’s understanding of the fundamental reality. Chief among these principles was the Old Egyptian idea that humans were made in the Image of the Ilam, the very manifestation of the Ilam on earth, for no beast of the field could apprehend the transcendent higher mysteries or use the same creative force as humans could. Mose (let’s just call him Moses) took this idea and used it to give humanity intrinsic moral value, as it is written ‘whoever sheds the blood of men, by men shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God did God make man’.

Moses identified YHWH with the old Semitic sky god El, whom the freed slaves (later to become the Levites) worshipped. Yet this proved to be a mistake, for whilst YHWH was naught but being itself, completely ineffable and incorporeal, El took the form of a Bull, and so the Levites blasphemed the essence of YHWH by worshipping him in the form of a golden calf. From then on, the teachings of Moses became forgotten and corrupted.

Many hundreds of years later the teachings of Moses were rediscovered by the Jewish scribe Ezra, when the exiles who returned to Judah wished to worship YHWH, with the Torah, obscure as it was, being the most authoritative text in Judean religion. Yet many centuries had passed since the original compilation of the Torah, and the Levites had become enamoured with the polytheism of the native Israelites, so the texts were irreversibly corrupted. Whilst Ezra and his guild of scribes had attempted to restore the texts to their original form, the damage had already been done. And so, it was that from then on Oral Law (the teachings of Moses given orally) had to take precedence over the irretrievably corrupted written Torah in order to restore the pure form of Moses’ teachings (or something close to it).

rkb ‘rpt, out!

Further reading:

Karen Armstrong – The Case for God: What Religion Really Means

Richard Elliot Friedman – The Exodus

David Weiss Halivni – Revelation, Textual Criticism and Divine Writ

The truth about God

God exists, and is responsible for the existence of all that is, has been or will be. By definition, all ‘beings’ by definition rely on God (as I will explain). Yet too often we are told that God is an anthropomorphic, sentient being, who consciously chose to create the universe. I disagree with this.

The Egyptian-Greek philosopher Plotinus also disagreed. Plotinus said that God had to be completely simple, for if God consisted of multiple parts, then God would have causes, and could not be the first cause of all. He criticised Aristotle, for positing that the first cause had to be a mind, for if a mind was responsible for the universe, it had to be thinking of something else, so could not be completely simple.

I have adapted Plotinus’ argument thus:

  1. There must be a first principle of all to explain why the world exists.
  2. This principle has to be completely simple, to prevent it from having a cause in itself.
  3. If this cause was a mind, it could not be simple, since it would be thinking of something else.
  4. Therefore the first cause is non-sentient.
  5. There can only be one first cause, for two or more first causes would require attributes to distinguish them, which would violate their simplicity.
  6. Therefore, there is only one first cause, which is non-sentient.

In addition to this, it is wrong to give God commonly given attributes such as Omnipotence, Omniscience, Necessity, etc, for these would imply that God has traits, which he does not. I believe we should therefore follow Maimonides in describing God apophatically. God can only be described by what he isn’t. (that being said, it is not wrong to say that God has no limits to his power, since that is a negative attribute)

After this introduction, I would observe that,—as has already been shown—God’s existence is absolute, that it includes no composition, as will be proved, and that we comprehend only the fact that He exists, not His essence. Consequently it is a false assumption to hold that He has any positive attribute: for He does not possess existence in addition to His essence: it therefore cannot be said that the one may be described as an attribute [of the other]; much less has He [in addition to His existence] a compound essence, consisting of two constituent elements to which the attribute could refer: still less has He accidents, which could be described by an attribute. Hence it is clear that He has no positive attribute whatever. The negative attributes, however, are those which are necessary to direct the mind to the truths which we must believe concerning God;

Maimonides, Moses. The Guide for the Perplexed (pp. 61-62). Neeland Media LLC. Kindle Edition.

In edition to this, we can conclude that the first cause of the universe (thus being what we must identify as God if we wish to avoid polytheism), is ‘being’. It should not be controversial that all things rely on being in order to be, even if the universe is eternal or exists as a brute fact.

How can we reconcile such ideas with scripture?

Well, lets begin with Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Nothing I have just said contradicts this scriptural fact, for I accept God as the first cause for all that is. What is harder, at least for fundamentalist readers is the idea of God creating the earth through speech, for surely this implies God is sentient and anthropomorphic. What about the fact that God pronounced everything he created good?

First things first. Yes, God has speech in Genesis, but Genesis also mentions an ocean in the sky, daylight being independent from the sun, and the moon emitting light. The point being is that Genesis does not truly speak of ‘how’ God truly created the world, but it’s main message is ‘that’ God created the world. One does not need to believe that God literally said everything is good to know that everything is good.

Jacob having a wrestling match with God?

An allegory for how humans suffer with understanding the truth of God and his ways, and how this is just a healthy part of faith, as shown by how Jacob is renamed ‘Israel’, the name held by the bearers of God’s covenant for the rest of time.

How then does divine inspiration work?

Here is where I depart with mainstream religious orthodoxy. I see Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, and other great religious figures as ‘mystics’ who understood great truths about God and being (seeing God face to face), and constructed theologies about how to approach being, theology which is in many cases still relevant today.

But how could ancient people have apprehended this fundamental reality thousands of years before Plotinus?

Well, as Karen Armstrong explains, the inhabitants of the Ancient Near East absolutely had an idea of the fundamental reality, which the Akkadians called Ilam (divinity):

In the Middle East, the region in which the Western monotheisms would develop, there was a similar notion of the ultimate. In Mesopotamia, the Akkadian word for ‘divinity’ was ilam, a radiant power that transcended any particular deity. The gods were not the source of ilam but, like everything else, could only reflect it. The chief characteristic of this ‘divinity’ was ellu (‘holiness’), a word that had connotations of ‘brightness’, ‘purity’ and ‘luminosity’. The gods were called the ‘holy ones’ because their symbolic stories, effigies and cultus evoked the radiance of ellu for their worshippers. The people of Israel called their patronal deity, the ‘holy one’ of Israel, Elohim, a Hebrew variant on ellu that summed up everything that the divine could mean for human beings. But holiness was not confined to the gods. Anything that came into contact with divinity could become holy too: a priest, a king or a temple – even the sacred utensils of the cult.

The main innovation of Moses, the first great mystic of the Hebrews, was to combine the Mesopotamian concept of transcendent divinity (which Moses called YHWH) with the old Semitic sky god El Shaddai/El Elyon, so that divinity and God became one and the same. So it is easy to see how such ideas could have developed in the Ancient Near East before Plotinus.

I propose we need to find a new way to think of prayer. Rather than praying to expect actual benefits (which requires a personal God), we should pray to form a relationship with the ultimate reality, YHWH, The One, Elohim, Ilam, Brahman, Dao, whatever you wish to call it, so that we may gain a higher level of knowledge of truth.

I also propose we need to think of judgement, heaven and hell in a new way. Obviously, if God is not personal, he cannot judge us. At the end of our lives however, we will either feel accomplished, for our deeds we have done, or dissatisfied for living lives which could have been much better. That is how heaven and hell work in my theology.

Conclusion:

The following conclusions can be made:

  1. The first cause of all that is is being itself.
  2. Being must be identified with God to avoid polytheism.
  3. Being has a be a simple force, to avoid it having ontological beginning.
  4. Being must therefore be non-sentient, to remain simple.
  5. God is therefore non-sentient, ‘The One’.
  6. God cannot be positively described, as this implies God has traits, and is therefore not simple.
  7. This theology can still be reconciled with the writings of the Israelite prophets.

rkb ‘rpt, out!

Introducing the Islamic Mythology series

It feels like an age since I started doing the No That’s Not A Miracle series (which I plan to continue), where I analysed Quranic miracle claims in their historical context. Since the series was somewhat popular, I would like to start a new series on the academic study of the Quran and Hadith in their historical context, with a focus on the mythological stories told in the Islamic scriptures; their origins, and Middle Eastern parallels. The series will go as follows:

Part 1: The Quranic Guide To The Galaxy

Part 2: Jinn

Part 3: Al Khidr

Part 4: Dhu’l Qarnayn

Part 5: Harut and Marut

Part 6: Giants

Part 7: The Day of Judgement

(Seven is a number of Quranic, as well as Biblical significance)

I am looking forward to starting this series, and I hope you enjoy it also, and learn something from it. As with my series on miracles, this is not an attack on Muslims, quite the contrary, my perception of Islam has evolved, and I now have a positive admiration for parts of the Quran, as well as the monotheistic doctrines of Islam, which are compatible with the Noachide laws, which I follow.

Still, I will try to be as objective as possible, and will tap into scholarly material, so don’t be surprised if my conclusions contradict orthodox Islamic theology (which they will).

This series is an extension of my interest in the academic study of the cultures of the Middle East, which my blog is themed on. Whilst my blog is focused on the study of the Hebrew Bible, as my subtitle would suggest, I am studying the mythos of ‘all’ the Abrahamic faiths.

rkb ‘rpt, out!

 

Michael S. Heiser tackles the Book of Jasher

I see many people in what Michael S. Heiser refers to as ‘Christian Middle Earth‘ making reference to the ‘Book of Jasher’ as a lost book of the Bible, which is nonetheless sacred, since it is mentioned in the books of Joshua and 2 Samuel.

On a Zondervan video where John H. Walton explains the Ancient Babylonian context of the tower of Babel, one commentor was having none of it:

Nimrod wasn’t trying to erect this tower for YAH to come down. He wasn’t trying to spread the kingdom of Yah. Read Jasher.
This would surely be the dumbest comment of 2018 if not for a second, dumber comment in the reply section:
good comment!
But this is more than some random idiot in the comment section, prominent Christian youtuber (and flat earther) considers the Book of Jasher, alongside the Books of Enoch and Jubilees, to be part of the ‘synchronised’, ‘biblically endorsed’ extra-biblical texts.
And Christian fantasy writer, Brian Godawa uses the Book to support the existence of lion/human hybrids. (!)
Atheist blogger Ed Babinski showed up in the comment section, saying:

Exactly how many scholars of early Jewish writings believe the extant book of Jasher equals the one mentioned in the Bible?

The extant book of Jasher’s status of being an “early Jewish writing” is so questionable it’s not even listed here at this encyclopedic site of early Jewish writings: http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/

You might as well be citing sermons of Augustine concocted by Medieval writers who put words in to Augustine’s mouth about one-eyed men and other weird peoples.

Then some idiot responded to him by saying he should read the work of Michael Heiser.

Well Dr. Heiser recently made his views on Jasher very clear:

Spoiler alert:

It’s a fake.

rkb ‘rpt, out!

Why I am not an atheist

I was raised in a secular Catholic household. Though we upheld Catholic traditions, I was baptised, received communion, and sent to a Roman Catholic Primary School, though we never went to church. I continued to believe in God until secondary school, where I began to think for myself, and decided I was basing my beliefs on very little. Within a few years I was a staunch atheist, very hostile to religion.

Yet within a few years of this, I began to rethink things. I noticed that atheism failed to give a strong foundation for moral values. I’m not saying that atheists cannot know right from wrong, but on the macro-level, I am highly doubtful that society as a whole can know right from wrong without some transcendent ethic. Take the value for life, for example. The ancient Romans had laws against murder, but they also enjoyed watching humans being slaughtered for fun in gladiatorial games. Christianity almost immediately stopped this. (As a side note, I don’t follow the New Testament, and this is no issue, since this value for life comes from Genesis 9:6 in the Tanakh) Yet as the west abandons this Judeo-Christian ethic, we are seeing the value for life be removed. And this is clearly shown through abortion, and the celebration thereof. New York’s recent law allowing abortion until birth in cases of ‘health’ (as if ‘health’ should be valued over life) is a particularly egregious example of pagan ways creeping back in.

But how can you believe in God? I hear you ask. Doesn’t that mean morality is more important than facts? Does that make you no different from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Well, we need to define God first. God is not simply a man in the sky. I would agree with atheists in rejecting most arguments for God’s existence, such as the Ontological, Teleological and Cosmological arguments. However, that God exists is hard to doubt when we learn how he was defined by our earliest ancestors. According to Karen Armstrong:

Perhaps these ancient societies were trying to express their sense of what the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1899–1976) called ‘Being’, a fundamental energy that supports and animates everything that exists. Being is transcendent. You could not see, touch or hear it but could only watch it at work in the people, objects and natural forces around you. From the documents of later Neolithic and pastoral societies, we know that Being rather than a being was revered as the ultimate sacred power. It was impossible to define or describe, because Being is all-encompassing and our minds are only equipped to deal with particular beings, which can merely participate in it in a restricted manner.

In other words, the phrase divine being is a misnomer, the divine is to be defined as being itself, as Paul Tillich said.

This idea is supported by Exodus 3:14 in the Bible, where G-d’s name YHWH is given the etymology of Ehyeh Ašer Ehyeh, meaning that G-d is pure actuality, and that is how he is to be defined.

This becomes interesting, for perhaps the four most important aspects of G-d (Omnipotence, Necessity and Transcendence, Immanence and Ineffability) are all properties of being.

Omnipotence – Omnipotence means not that one can do anything, it means one can do anything logically possible. This is an important distinction. God can create the universe in an instant, yet he cannot make a square circle, as this is ‘logically’ impossible. Since anything logically possible could theoretically exist, being is omnipotent, as anything logically possible can be.

Necessity – It is hard to imagine a world where being did not exist, for even nothing would be. Even if (as solipsists argue) only our minds exist, there is still something that is.

Transcendence – Being cannot be seen, touched or heard, it is above and beyond the world. As well as being part of it.

Ineffability – Being cannot be defined or described. Even defining being as existence is problematic, since we speak of things being false.

In other words in it very clear to me that not only is being real, but it has all the classic traits of YHWH/Brahman/Dao/Nirvana/Wyrd/The One/The Logos, and can accurately be identified as the being humans call God. Hence I am not an atheist, since what God ‘truly’ is (not the caricature), is very real, and is responsible for all else that is.

Let me close this with an attack on the New Atheists, those whose dream is a world free from religion.

Give up. It ain’t gonna be so. There’s a reason why ‘Witchcraft‘ is rising in prominence in America, now outnumbering Presbyterian Christians, as mainstream Christianity declines. It’s because humans naturally want spirituality, and atheism fails to fill the God shaped hole in our hearts.

Further reading:

Karen Armstrong. The Case for God: What Religion Really Means. London: Vintage Books

rkb ‘rpt, out!

Do Amalekites rule the world?

(Disclaimer: I’m not advocating for violence here, since it is hard to tell who could be a descendant of Amalek)

Common logic would dictate that the ‘Jews’ are the ones ruling the world in a sinister conspiracy. If so, why is the whole world biased against Israel. Sure Israel has done some bad things, and sure, the Palestinians deserve a state, but why, o why do we see such bias against Israel alone, why not China and Tibet? Why not Pakistan and Balochistan? Heck, why not with the genocidal ambitions of Hamas?

Now it is entirely possible that the vast majority of BDS protestors are merely well intentioned, but ill-informed. But it is hard to say the same for the forces at the UN. Why are they so Anti-Semitic, after the Holocaust? I suspect there is something very sinister going on.

And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.’ And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it cAdonai-nissi. And he said: ‘The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.’

In other words, G-d declares eternal enmity against the seed of Amalek, and the Agagites, their royal line. Sure enough, almost a thousand years later, in Persia, the Jews faced a new (or old) threat:

After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

It would appear as though having descent from the Amalekites is enough to set one’s heart against HaShem and the Jewish people.

I put HaShem in bold because it would appear as though this hatred extends to all that is good in proper, all that HaShem has stood for.

Why do you think most of the modern west is oblivious to the fact that abortion deprives a being of the ability to enjoy life? Why do you think that the New York assembly ‘celebrated’ when abortion was legalised until ‘birth’ in cases where a mother’s ‘health’ (not life) is at risk?

Why do you think several prominent media outlets are celebrating the sexualisation of children through drag?

https://www.out.com/out-exclusives/2018/1/11/these-drag-kids-are-proving-its-never-too-soon-be-fabulous

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/drag-kids-are-slaying-runway-one-fierce-look-time-n918211

G-d’s prohibition on male homosexuality is more relevant than ever.

Speaking of homosexuality. Why do you think popular media has to pervert HaShem’s natural plan for creation by making EVERY SINGLE strong female character LGBT (not that it’s a problem for those who are natural female LGBT):

https://bookriot.com/2017/09/26/wonder-womans-bisexuality/

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1253225-cersei-cupped-the-other-woman-s-breast-softly-at-first-hardly

https://screenrant.com/harley-quinn-poison-ivy-married-injustice/

I’ve already said enough about the promotion of lesbianism in popular media, and I’ll have more to say. But for now let me just say that the powers that be desperately don’t want women to have sex with men at all. The promotion of bisexuality is just the start of it.

Why have paedophiles been harboured in Hollywood and the government for generations? Why did it take so long for the sins of Jimmy Saville to be exposed?

The Alt-Right and the Far-left are two sides of the same Anti-Semitic, Anti-G-d coin. Throughout history, powerful nations have attempted to exterminate the Jews; Assyrians, Babylonians, Achaemenids, Seleucids, Romans, Almohads, English, Spanish, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. As Christianity has lost it’s Anti-Semitism since the holocaust, these new agendas; the abortion agenda, the gay agenda, and more recently the paedophilia agenda, and the Alt-Right have been set up as alternatives, to set the hearts of man against their creator.

Could this all be part of a conspiracy going back to the ancient Achaemenid Empire, if not further back still? Where the descendants of Amalek (such as Haman) have held enormous power over world governments?

17 Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way, when you were faint and weary, and struck down all who lagged behind you; he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies on every hand, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget.

rkb ‘rpt, out!

Genesis 6:1-4: An in depth analysis

Now that the recent political controversies have died down, it’s time to get back to biblical studies.

No doubt one of the most controversial passages in the Tanakh is Genesis 6:1-4, where the mysterious ‘Sons of the gods’ take the daughters of men as wives, who bear the Nephilim (fallen ones) to them, who were mighty men of old. Linked to this is the shortening of human lifespans. Whilst it would be arrogant to claim I ‘understand’ this verse. I’m going to tell you what I think is most likely going on here.

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of the gods saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, because of the clamour of flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” The fallen ones were on the earth in those days—and also afterwards—when the sons of the gods went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of yore, warriors of the name.

There have been numerous interpretations of this passage throughout history, but the three most well known are:
1) That it refers to fallen angels, or gods having sex with human women and begetting giants. Such a view is perhaps the oldest view, and was taken by the Book of Enoch, as well as the Book of Jubilees, the Septuagint, and Josephus, as well as certain parts of the Christian New Testament such as 1 Peter 3:19, 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:7. It began to fall out of favour after the destruction of the second temple, but saw a resurgence in some later midrash, and later by modern day biblical scholars such as Michael S. Heiser, Richard E. Friedman, Peter Enns, Umberto Cassuto, Thom Stark and others. It is perhaps the most well known view, and has entered popular culture, including TV shows and video games.
2) That the passage refers to the godly line of Seth mating with the sinful line of Cain. Such a view has been dominant in Christian exegesis since the time of Augustine, also being taken by John Chrysostom, Julius Africanus, Bede, Martin Luther and John Calvin. It has little scholarly following today however, as it fails to take into account Ancient Near Eastern parallels.
3) That it refers to rulers, or men of high stature, who forcibly and freely took women as wives. This is the dominant Jewish view, has been dominant among Jews since Shimon Bar Yochai, but is possibly just as old as the fallen angel view. Sirach 16:7 refers to the Nephilim as ‘princes’, possibly alluding to them being sons of kings. It was also taken by (among others) Rashi, Nachmanides, and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. The latter however, strangely interpreted the sons of the gods (or nobles) as men, and the Nephilim as fallen angels, based on the fact that Nephilim very likely means fallen ones. In modern times it is taken by such scholars as Meredith Kline, David Clines, John H. Walton and others.
A fourth possible view, which could potentially overlap with view 3, is that the sons of the gods were men from the line of Cain, who mated with women from the line of Seth, an inversion of view 2. This view is taken by medieval Jewish text Aggadat Bereshit, as well as medieval Christian texts which mention Tubal-Cain as a giant, and possibly by Muslim writer Al Kisa’i, and perhaps most famously by the Anglo-Saxon Epic Beowulf, which describes the giants as descendants of Cain, and alludes to Tubal-Cain being a giant.
So which view is correct?
Well, as I said before, advocates of the Sethite view rarely take Ancient Near Eastern parallels into account. Advocates of the other views do, and when they do, a great number of similarities are found. Advocates of thew divine view point to similarities with Greek and Mesopotamian myths of gods having sex with human women and producing giant heroes such as Achilles and Gilgamesh. Whilst the Nephilim are indeed described as giants elsewhere in Numbers 13:33, there is another view with even greater Ancient Near Eastern parallels.
In 1928, how we viewed the Bible in it’s original context was changed forever when farmers accidentally discovered an ancient tomb in Ras Shamra, Syria. Since then, archaeological surveys have revealed great parallels between biblical literature and the literature of that site, the ancient city of Ugarit, destroyed in the Bronze Age collapse. Perhaps the most well known Ugaritic text is the Ba’al Epic, a tale of the rise, fall and resurrection of the storm god Ba’al, since it’s discovery we have detected parallels to this text throughout the psalms, as well as in the books of Isaiah and Job. But another, lesser known Ugaritic text is the Epic of Kirta, a tale similar to the Book of Job, detailing the depressing story of King Kirta. See this podcast for more information.
It is well known that elements of the Kirta Epic parallel the descriptions of the siege of Jericho, but scholars such as Meredith Kline and Darren M. Slade have noted that Kirta is referred to as bn il (son of El, chief god of Ugarit), a term cognate to the Hebrew Bene HaElohim (sons of the gods).  Like the sons of the gods, Kirta sees that a woman is attractive, and takes her as a wife, which may seem like a weak parallel, until one learns that for failing to pay the bride price, Kirta is cursed to have a shortened life.
The shortening of lives linked to marriages. Hhhm, sound familiar? It should:
“My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, because of the clamour of flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.”
In Genesis 6:2-3 we similarly find a shortening of human lives, linked to marriage.
One final parallel is that Kirta is associated with a group of men known as the rpum, a term cognate to the Hebrew word Repha’im, a word synonymous (and equivalent in meaning to) with Nephilim, the offspring of the sons of the gods with the daughters of men.
So it is very likely that the sons of the gods were men who took women as wives without giving thanks to god, and for this they were cursed with shortened lifespans. But I would further like to give a second parallel to Genesis 6:1-4, one found within the Bible itself, Genesis 4:17-22:

17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

The line of Cain are very likely kingly, since Cain founded the city of Enoch. This is important since Kirta, who was a son of El, was also a king. Later, using similar language to Genesis 6:1-4, Cain’s descendant Lamech is said to ‘take’ (lqch, the word used in Genesis 6:2) multiple (of all that he chose) wives, who begat to him culture heroes, men of renown. As I have said before, the language is too similar to Genesis 6:1-4 to be mere coincidence.

In conclusion then, I think the truth is likely a mixture of the third traditional view, mixed with the notion that the Sons of the gods/Nephilim were descendants of Cain. They were kings from the line of Cain who claimed divine sonship, who took multiple wives yet did not honour god through their marriages, and so God punished them with shortened lives.

Bibliography

Slade, Darren M. The “Sons of God” as a Polemic against Royal Immortality: A Philological and Literary Comparison of Genesis 6:1-4 and the Epic of Kirta. Evangelical Journal, vol 35 (2017), p69-83

Clines, David J.A. The Significance of the “Sons of God” Episode (Genesis 6:1-4) in the Context of the “Primeval History” (Genesis 1–11)

Kline, Meredith G. Divine Kingship and Genesis 6:1-4. Westminster Theological Journal

rkb ‘rpt, out!