Genesis 6:1-4 tells us about the rebellion of some of the angels against God. They decided to take human wives and have half-angelic and half-human children called “nephilim” or “giants,” which then began to enslave and further corrupt humankind. According to the book of Enoch, the place where the fallen angels decided to mount this rebellion is identified as Mount Hermon. We read:
“And when the sons of men had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born to them. 2And the watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them. And they said to one another, “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men, and let us beget for ourselves children.” 3And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, “I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.” 4And they all answered him and said, “Let us all swear an oath, and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this deed.” 5Then they all swore together and bound one another with a curse. 6And they were, all of them, two hundred, who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon.[ 162] And they called the mountain “Hermon” because they swore and bound one another with a curse on it.” (1 Enoch 6).
Mount Hermon was understood by the Jewish people to be a symbol of spiritual wickedness and corruption. In Jesus’ Day, He spent time near Mount Hermon. Michael Heiser points out:
“So what’s the connection with Jesus? As I noted earlier, the whole region of Bashan would have been associated by Israelites and Jews with giants and evil spirits, including the Watchers. In the days of Jesus, this region went by different names. All of what preceded is the unknown (to us) backdrop to some familiar episodes in the Gospels. The “gates of hell” incident (Matthew 16: 13–20) in Jesus’ ministry is familiar to most Bible students. However, the geography is unfortunately ignored, an oversight that prevents us from understanding the impact of what Jesus said and did in a region theologically tethered to the Watchers. The events of Matthew 16: 13–20 took place at Caesarea Philippi, a city located in the northern part of what had been called Bashan, at the foot of Mount Hermon. When viewed from this perspective, the scene takes place on geography considered the gates of hell in Old Testament times, the domain of Baal, the lord of the dead, and at the mountain where the plot of the Watchers was hatched. Hell, of course, wouldn’t be complete without the devil. It is well known to scholars that Baal is the Old Testament counterpart to the devil. In Ugaritic, one of Baal’s titles is baʿal zebul ʾarṣ (“ Prince Baal of the Underworld”), from which the New Testament Beelzebul and Beelzebub derive… The theological messaging couldn’t be more dramatic. Jesus says the “gates of hell” will not prevail against the church. We often think of this phrase as though God’s people are in a posture of having to bravely fend off Satan and his demons. This simply isn’t correct. Gates are defensive structures, not offensive weapons. The kingdom of God is the aggressor. Jesus goes to ground zero in biblical demonic geography to announce that Bashan will be defeated. It is the gates of hell that are under assault—and they will not hold up against the church. Hell has no claim on those who align themselves with Jesus. He will reverse the curse of death and His own will rise on account of Him.” (Michael Heiser, Reversing Hermon: Enoch, The Watchers & The Forgotten Mission Of Jesus Christ, 1626-1654 (Kindle Edition))
The church of Christ therefore is pictured as God’s people waging war against Satan and his forces in this world. Far from being on the defensive, the church is to be pushing forward every day, fighting against the forces of darkness. When the church advances forward with the Gospel, the enemy cannot stand!
Are you a member of God’s church? If not why not become such today (Acts 2:37-47)?