God's Monsters

Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible

God's Monsters

Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible

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The Bible is teeming with monsters. Giants tromp through the land of milk and honey; Leviathan swims through the wine-dark sea. A stunning array of peculiar creatures, mind-altering spirits, and supernatural hitmen fill the biblical heavens, jarring in both their strangeness and their propensity for violence--especially on God's behalf.

Traditional interpretations of the creatures of the Bible have sanded down their sharp, unsavory edges, transforming them into celestial beings of glory and light--or chubby, happy cherubs. Those cherubs? They're actually hybrid guardian monsters, more closely associated with the Egyptian sphinx than with flying babies. And the seraphim? Winged serpents sent to mete out God's vengeance. Demons aren't at war with angels; they're a distinct supernatural species used by Satan and by God. The pattern is chilling. Most of these monsters aren't God's opponents--they're God's entourage.

Killer angels, plague demons, manipulative spirits, creatures with an alarming number of wings (and eyes all over)--these shapeshifters and realm-crossers act with stunning brutality, each reflecting a facet of God's own monstrosity. Confronting God's monsters--and the God-monster--may be uncomfortable, but the Bible is richer for their presence. It's not only richer; the stories of the monsters of the Bible can be as fun, surprising, and interesting as any mythology. For anyone interested in monsters, myths, folklore, demons, and more, God's Monsters is an entertaining deep dive into the creaturely strangeness of the Bible.


"God's Monsters is a hilarious treatment of a horrifying topic. With deep intelligence, literary flair, and wicked wit, Esther Hamori pulls no punches in exposing the terrors of the Bible and the multitudinous divine creatures that inhabit it--including the Almighty himself. For those of us who believe in brutal honesty and in fighting horror with humor, this book is a godsend."

Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"With a perfectly pitched mix of sharp wit and deep insight, Esther Hamori creates space for us to explore the monstrous in all its biblical dimensions and the Bible in all its monstrous dimensions, raising haunting theological questions along the way."

Timothy Beal, author of Religion and Its Monsters

"Esther Hamori's brilliant and powerful book troubles biblical waters in a profound manner! Her superb erudition and courageous vision compel us to cross the Rubicon, never again to return to a biblical literalism, ignorance, or denial of the night side of Hebrew Scripture and Christian New Testament."

Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary

"It's time to uncover our eyes and face the Bible's monsters! Esther Hamori is an exceptionally expert, wise, and fun guide through the Bible's most haunted realms. With a flair that dazzles and engages, God's Monsters turns the Bible upside down to reveal its underbelly and, by doing so, offers essential insight into the Bible's rich and relevant theology. This is a must-read for those who are willing to read the Bible honestly and who are not afraid to discover that it expresses the fullest range of human experience."

Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky, dean of List College and the Kekst Graduate School, Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor of Bible, The Jewish Theological Seminary

"Esther J. Hamori's God's Monsters offers a Dante-esque tour of the monstrous figures in this world, according to the Bible. Often overlooked or played down by even the most faithful readers of the Bible, these include the destroying angel, demons, and lying spirits, who all work for God. This highly accessible romp across the Bible's pages culminates in the monster of monsters, namely God. This book will challenge many readers who believe in a just and good God, when they confront what Hamori takes to be the Bible's evidence for God as a monster--and the wonder of wonders. Is God a monster?"

Mark S. Smith, Helena Professor of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary


"Hamori has written a tour de force on the monstrous creatures God employs in the Bible....her work bridges religion and popular culture, which will be of interest to popular, academic, religious, Christian, dark fantasy, and horror readers. Highly recommended."

Booklist, starred review

"Curious believers will find this eye-opening and mind-expanding."

Publishers Weekly

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506486321
  • eBook ISBN 9781506486338
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 296
  • Publication Date October 31, 2023