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Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Jewish demonology

While historical Judaism never "officially" recognized a rigid set of doctrines about demons, many scholars believe that its post-exilic concepts of eschatology, angelology, and demonology were influenced by Zoroastrianism. Some, however, believe that these concepts were received as part of the Kabbalistic tradition passed down from Adam, Noah, and the Hebrew patriarchs.

The Talmud declares that there are 7,405,926 demons, divided in 72 companies. While many people believe today that Lucifer and Satan are different names for the same being, not all scholars subscribe to this view. Use of the name "Lucifer" for the devil stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:3–20, a passage that does not speak of any fallen angel but of the defeat of a particular Babylonian King, to whom it gives a title that refers to what in English is called the Day Star or Morning Star (in Latin, lucifer, meaning "light-bearer", from the words lucem ferre). In 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used to refer to the Morning Star, with no relation to the devil. It is only in post-New Testament times that the Latin word Lucifer was used as a name for the devil, both in religious writing and in fiction, especially when referring to him prior to his fall from Heaven.

There is more than one instance where demons are said to have come to be, as seen by the sins of the Watchers and the Grigori, of Lilith leaving Adam, of demons such as vampires, impure spirits in Jewish folklore such as the dybbuk, and of wicked humans that have become demons as well.