Are jinns in the Bible

Sura 15 verse 27Djinn - the world of supernatural beings

"And we (already) created the spirits (dschânn) from the fire of the scorching embers (samûm)."

The verse in the translation by Rudi Paret is about the creation of supernatural beings: the so-called jinn (arab. Jânn). And nobody needs to be amazed about that. Even the Koran could hardly escape the widespread beliefs of its epoch. And one of these was that all those empty, uninhabited places in the Arab desert landscape are, so to speak, filled with an invisible presence: the Djinns.

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These supernatural beings were regarded as counterparts to humans. People are tied to the oases or water holes for survival. The Djins, on the other hand, were said to be able to live in the sun-scorched vastness of Arabia without being harmed. It was also said that they could move safely without having to use a fixed path, even in the deepest, moonless night.

The French Jacqueline Chabbi is one of the most internationally renowned Koran experts. (priv.) In view of these differences, people attributed powers to the Djins that they themselves did not have - for example knowing the hidden (Arabic: al-ghayb). This means the knowledge that only God possesses and that is withheld from people.

Because of such abilities ascribed to the Djinns, it was eminently important for the God of the Koran to extend his power to these beings as well. People should be dissuaded from ultimately relying on them in their faith. By classifying the Djinn as created, like humans, the Quran subjects them to the Creator and the Last Judgment (6: 128).

However, contrary to what the Koran says of the people, the Djinns were not created from damp earth or malleable clay. The essence of the Djinns is linked to the image that one makes of their habitat with its extreme heat. In the verse quoted at the beginning, we learn that the Djinns were created from "nâr as-samûm", as it is called in the original Arabic text.

What does that mean? Let us not be fooled by the meaning of the word "nâr". It in no way refers to a fire of flames, as many Koran translators believe - including Rudi Paret. It refers to the heat of the samum. It's a certain desert wind. It blows over great distances in Arabia as well as in the Sahara. The samum is scorching hot and impossible to breathe.

Another passage from the Koran (55:15) states that the Djinns were created from "fire without smoke". Here, too, you have to understand that it's not about flames, but about the intense heat that is reflected from the desert floor in midsummer.

Even the devil - called Iblîs in the Koran - assumes, according to sura 38, verse 76, that he was created from the same matter as the jinn. The origin of that supernatural rebel who refused to kneel down before man made of earth lies in the heat of the sun and not in a flame.

It is different in the Bible. There, supernatural beings actually arise from a flame. There is a kind of border to the imagination of Arabia with its overheated earth.

In the Koran, the divine is not associated with Arabic "nâr" - that is, fire or sun - but with Arabic "nûr" - light. The term specifically refers to the clarity of the moonlight. In the Koran, everything that escapes from the divine in order to be useful to man is bound to its cool light.