The Nephilim, The Giants of Genesis 6

Gen 6:1  And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 

Gen 6:3  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 

Gen 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 

Gen 6:6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 

Gen 6:7  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 

Gen 6:8  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 


The strange events recorded in Genesis 6 were understood by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint translators, (the Greek Old Testament) as referring to fallen angels who procreated weird hybrid offspring with human women, known as the "Nephilim."

It was also understood by the early church fathers, that the Nephilim refer to the result of fallen angels procreating with human women.

When we read about the myth’s and legends of almost every ancient culture, we find amazing accounts of demigods and creatures of great size.
The ancient Greeks, with all their god/men, such as Hercules, Atlas, Zeus and Titans. Creatures like Cyclops and Centaur’s. The Egyptians, with all their peculiar creature god’s, Horus, Isis and Anubis etc. The Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, and many more.
It makes you wonder where these myths and legends came from.

There were other scholars of the early church that rejected this idea of the Nephilim as a race born from an angel/human union.
Augustine of Hippo was one of these scholars, he believed that the “sons of God” referred to the sons of Seth and that they were not  angelic beings. This is a teaching that is still taught today.

There are two main views regarding the Nephilim.

 

1. The Sethite view:
In this view, the sons of God are understood as the sons of the  righteous son of Noah, who was Seth.

The first references to the offspring of Seth  rebelling from God and mingling with the daughters of Cain are found in Christian and Rabbinic literature from the second century CE onwards. For example, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Augustine of Hippo, Julius Africanus, and the Letters attributed to St. Clement.
This teaching has its origin in Gnosticism, “the Gnostic race” being the righteous sons of Seth. This view was also favoured by the Gnostic  Manichaeans, the followers of Mani.
Mani was the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion.
At one time, Augustine was a follower of Mani.

 

In Judaism also, "Sons of God" usually refers to the righteous, i.e. the children of Seth and not angels.
Both Martin Luther and John Calvin held this view also. THis is not surprising seeing that Calvin and Luther held to many of Augustine's teachings.

 

It is said that these sons of Seth married the daughters of Cain.
 

There are, however, problems with this view.

The term translated "the Sons of God" is, in the Hebrew, B'nai  HaElohim,
"Sons of Elohim," which is a term consistently used in the Old Testament for angels, and it is never  used of believers in the Old Testament, meaning, the sons of Adam.

Job 2:1  Again there was a day when the sons of God (B'nai  HaElohim) came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 

Job 38:7  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God (B'nai  HaElohim)  shouted for joy? 


If the sons of God were just sons of Seth, they would have been  ordinary men. If they copulated with the daughters of Cain who also were ordinary women, then why would they produce a race of giants? Surely the offspring would have been normal humans.

We are told in scripture that each produces of its own kind.


Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Man was also told to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28).

 It is quite clear from scripture that these women were daughters of men.

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

It is clear from the text that these daughters were not limited to a particular family or subset, but were, indeed, from (Hebrew) “the Benoth Adam”, "the daughters of Adam”. “The daughters of men”.
 

Nephilim were the offspring that were born from sexual union between fallen angels and human women. Gen 6:2 "Sons of God" in Hebrew is "Bene HaElohim" which means that which God has directly created.
Only angels and Adam were created directly by God.

"Daughters of man" in Hebrew is "benoth adam" which is that these were descendants of Adam. Born of Adam.

This can also be seen in the New Testament when understanding the new birth.
When one is born again, he becomes a new creation.
Created of God.

2 Cor 15:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

A born again believer is a direct creation of God, a new creation, a Son of God.

It is important to understand that the "sons of God", referred to in Genesis are not human but angelic beings, directly created by God.
We see these referred to in
Jude and 2 Peter:
 

Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 
 

Leaving their first estate is referring to the angels leaving their original angelic form and taking on a new form, making them able to procreate with human women .
 

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 

 

The sin referred to here was leaving their first estate and making union, (have sexual relations) with human women.

The Nephilim were considered to be giants, incredibly strong and tall and often feature in heroic tales.
Goliath and his four brothers were considered Nephilim. There are those that believe that the Greek gods, such as Altas and Hercules, also, creatures such as Cyclops etc are a result of these hybrids.         

However, I note, there is no Biblical evidence for this. 


However, as said earlier, these stories are found in folklore of many races on the earth.

 2. The second view, the view that is consistent with scripture, is that:

The sons of God were fallen angels who looked on the daughters of men and saw that they were fair and took whoever they chose to wife.
Genesis 6.
In Gen 6:4 giants translated in English is the Hebrew “nephil” meaning “fallen”. (fallen ones). Nephilim is the plural.
 

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 

The words used here are "Bene HaElohim" “Sons of God” and is referring to angels, who were created beings.
 

Job 2:1  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
 

Again here, "Bene HaElohim".  So, whenever this term is used in scripture, it refers to angels as Sons of God.

When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, he took a third of the angels with him.

Revelation 12:4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.

How the angels manifested themselves, we are not told. Whether the angels manifested themselves in the flesh, as they did when they met Abraham and ate and drank with him. Or took on human form, as they did in Sodom, when the Sodomites wanted to rape them, is not clear but however it happened, the result was a hybrid race of giants, known as the Nephilim, that were human/spirit beings.

Whatever they were, they were giants and they were evil and this evil multiplied on the earth.
They obviously quickly populated the whole earth and this is why God needed a worldwide flood, not just a local flood, to destroy them.


Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 
 

The Bible does not reveal much about this hybrid race but there are scriptures that refer to them and their offspring.
Not only did the Nephilim exist prior to the flood of Noah but
they appeared again after the flood.

Gen 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,

Again, how the Nephilim returned after the flood, the Bible is not clear and any idea can only be conjecture.

We do know from the Bible that all life apart from Noah and his family were destroyed. So, none of the Nephilim survived the deluge.
However, we know from scripture that there are references to giants after the flood.
Either, the same thing happened again with more fallen angels leaving their first estate and doing the same thing as before, or, it was through the wives of Noah’s sons that the gene was passed on.
We know it could not be through Noah or his sons, because the scripture says:


Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

It could not be the original fallen angels, for we are told in scripture that these angels are reserved in everlasting chains :

Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day. 
 

We only know from scripture that the giants did appear again after the flood, in somewhat reduced size.
We read in the scriptures that there were different names of giant races:
Nephilim
Gen 6,
Rephaim - Deuteronomy 3:11,
Anakim - Deuteronomy 2:10, 11, 21Joshua 11:21, 2214:12, 15; called "sons of Anak," 
Emin - a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites. They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims"
Genesis 14:5Deuteronomy 2:10, 11.
Zamzummim - Deuteronomy 2:20 so called by the Amorites.

Gibbor -  Job 16:14, a mighty one, These all existed after the flood of Noah.

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like
grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

Deuteronomy 3:11  For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.
2 Samuel 21:20 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and
he also was descended from the giants.
2 Samuel 21:18  After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants.
Deuteronomy 3:13  The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, that is, all the region of Argob, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (All that portion of Bashan is called the land of Rephaim).
 

Whilst the Bible does not give a tremendous amount of information, concerning the fallen angels, or the Nephilim. The book of Enoch, an apocryphal book, not included in the canon of scripture but a book that was used as a source of teaching and quoted by the Apostles, gives some detail. Apocryphal writing in green.

Enoch CHAPTER 7

1 And they took wives for themselves and everyone chose for himself one each. And they began to go into them and were promiscuous with them. And they taught them charms and spells, and they showed them the cutting of roots and trees.
2 And they became pregnant and bore large giants. And their height was three thousand cubits.


(Genesis 6:1-4), (Numbers 13:30-33), (Deuteronomy 2:10-12), (Deuteronomy 2:19-21),
(Deuteronomy 3:11), (2 Samuel 21:16), (2 Samuel 21:18-22),
(Baruch 3:24-28)
3 These devoured all the toil of men; until men were unable to sustain them.
4 And the giants turned against them in order to devour men.

(Psalm 14:4), (Micah 3:3)
5 And they began to sin against birds, and against animals, and against reptiles, and against fish, and they devoured one another’s flesh, and drank the blood from it.
(Jeremiah 12:4)
6 Then the Earth complained about the lawless ones.
(Genesis 6:5-13)
 

Whether we use the book of Enoch as a source is immaterial. All we need to know is that according to the Bible these fallen angels did take daughters of men to wife and produced the Nephilim race of giants.
When God saw the wickedness, He said that He would destroy the earth with a flood.


Gen 6:7  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 

Gen 6:8  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 

The Bible supports the teaching that some of the fallen angels that followed Lucifer after he was cast down to the earth, left their first estate and manifested themselves in such a way, that they could copulate with human women and produce a hybrid race of creatures, known as the Nephilim.
These Nephilim continued to spread and created havoc and great evil in the earth.
Because of this, God destroyed the earth and all life, except Noah and seven others. He also saved numerous animal and bird and reptile life.
The earth was repopulated and sometime later the Nephilim reappeared.

We read in the book of Joshua and Numbers of the accounts of the battles with the remnant of the Nephilim.
The pollution of the human race was Satan’s way of trying to destroy the seed of the woman from which the Messiah, Jesus was to come.
This could be why in the battles, God told them to utterly destroy men, women, children and livestock.

 

1Sa 15:9  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 

1Sa 15:10  Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 

1Sa 15:11  It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 


Interestingly, the fact that God wanted even the animals to be destroyed, could suggest some truth to the apocryphal accounts of the Nephilim copulating with the animal kingdom.

However, there is no proof for this in the Bible.

According to scripture, the remnant of the Nephilim were still around at the time of David, even though it was a weaker form.

Goliath of Gath and his four brothers were of the Nephilim.
Goliath was a descendant of the Nephilim—the offspring of the “sons of God” and their human wives. The Israelites failed to wipe out the Anakites, a subset of the Nephilim in their conquest of the Promised Land, and so the Anakites survived in Gath and its surrounding cities, eventually becoming what we know as the Philistines.
Goliath was a Philistine warrior from Gath—a powerful symbol of Israel’s previous failures.

Demons.

When the Nephilim were destroyed in the flood of Noah, the spirit part would still remain, because spirit is eternal.
Some scholars believe that this is possibly were the demons come in. The disembodied spirits of the Nephilim.
These demons are the ones that seek to occupy a body, whether human or animal.


Mat 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 

Mat 8:29  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 

Mat 8:30  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 

Mat 8:31  So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 

Mat 8:32  And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 
 

Obviously demons are spirit beings and have the ability to possess a body, human or animal.


However this blog is not  about demonology but about who the Nephilim were.

It seems that there is enough evidence from the Bible, without using apocryphal writings, to show that the Nephilim did exist and that they were a product of angels and human women and were giants.

The
apocryphal books of Enoch and Jubilees may give more information on the subject but sticking to Biblical accounts alone, there is enough evidence to come to this conclusion.

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