The early Christian church was nearly unanimous in the belief that the gods of the Greeks and Romans were not imaginary. They, like the Jewish scholars a few hundred years earlier, understood that the Olympians, Titans, Gigantes, heroes, and daimones of the pagans were supernatural beings called “angels,” “Watchers,” “sons of God,” “Nephilim,” “Rephaim,” and “demons.” In fact, the second-century theologian Irenaeus of Lyon, a student of Polycarp (who was a disciple of the apostle John), connected the Titans to end-times prophecy.
A key connection between Dagan and his other identities is the god’s link to the netherworld. One of Dagan’s epithets was bēl pagrê, which has been translated “lord of the dead,” “lord of corpse offerings, lord of corpses (a netherworld god), lord of funerary offerings, and lord of human sacrifices.”
In Ugaritic texts, the Rephaim were summoned through a necromancy ritual to the “threshing-floor” of the Canaanite creator-god El. After two days of riding, the Rephaim arrived at the threshing-floor “after sunrise on the third.” The purpose of the ritual was nothing less than the resurrection of the Rephaim.