FYI: some of the ellipses in the quotations which follow are due to the Hebrew font not coming across when I copied and pasted thus, no actual text is missing.
Walter Keith York sets his stage thusly, “in contrast to popular knowledge, the theme of the Nephilim is one that carries through the entire Bible” and seeks to elucidate “what the scriptures and the Apocrypha have to say on this subject.”
He rightly notes that this issue has been “covered over by generations of idle musing, the Nephilim is again a common theme among UFO fanatics, crystal zealots, and every sort of New Age fancy that one could imagine” and, I will add, researchers into the issue of giants and Christian UFOlogy. There are people who have built entire ministries on the premise of Nephilim and giants and, sadly, most of the most well-known names in such fields are the most unreliable since they suffer from P.O.P.S.: publish or perish syndrome. Just think of what you could do on a daily, or weekly (or century) basis if your focus is Nephilim and giants de jour. Well, you may just bend and stretch reports and overall become fantastical so as to have something to update your website, video channel, podcast, publish books, etc.
Referring to the Genesis 6 affair, as I term it, he notes that “the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) translation, ‘the Sons of God’ are rendered as ‘the divine beings.’ That’s the kind of thing that the Yids do. The text clearly reads beney haElohim – that means ‘the sons of God.’ Sometimes I suspect that there is some kind of worldwide Yid conspiracy: ‘Hey, let’s confuse everyone so much that they just leave us alone!’” By Yids he is referring to Yidish speakers as a reference to Jews—of which I am one—so we will see if he makes any more of this conspiracy theorizing.
Bottom line is that various translations by various Jews and non-Jews down through the ages have rendered that phrase in different ways often solely due to whether the translation is formal (word for word) or dynamic (thought for thought)—see Research Resources: Nephilim and Anakim in Genesis 6 and Numbers 13: you will note that the 1917 AD JPS has “sons of God” (I know not which edition York is quoting).
He notes that “many Jews prior to the advent of Christ” held to the angel view of the Genesis 6 affair and indeed, that was the majority view of early Jewish and Christian commentators—see Early commentaries on Genesis 6: Angels or not – interactive chart.
Walter Keith York notes that the term “‘the sons of God’…only appears four times in the OT…and all four times it refers to angels with an extremely negative connotation.” Yet, this is not the case: it appears in Job 1 which is reads just as Job 2 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them” and Job 38 “Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” with the only negative one being Genesis 6.
York’s conspiracy theorizing is that in the OT it is a negative term but in the NT it is positive and so “a Christian reading these passages could not help being totally confused” to which I will add if they do not know the Bible as a whole—which they should and he adds, “The Yids et al. of the JPS version should know better; but they don’t -they render ‘divine beings’ (positive)…If these beings are divine, then we are all in deep trouble.”
I agree with his statement that “Satan (the adversary) wasn’t the Satan…until he rebelled against God. Before he rebelled his name was Heylel (Lucifer), a bright angel that dwelt in the temple of the Most High in Heavenly Jerusalem.” What he does with this is to read in to Job chaps 1-2 so that “who do you suppose is hanging out with him? He brought down a third of the angels of heaven when he fell to earth” thus, he concludes “that The Sons of God – beney haElohim -…are indeed fallen angels.” Yet, this need not be the conclusion since if we generalize what is specified then the texts actually speak of those who come before God to report their doings and receive further instructions. Yet, what if sons of God in the OT is a negative reference to fallen angels? We will see where Walter Keith York goes with this.
The problem is that he is inventing problems and then purports to fix them thus, he writes that in “the 6th chapter of
Genesis” the sons of God “are the ones who caused Yahweh to destroy mankind (Genesis) and they are the ones chumming with the Satan. If they were good angels they would be…(malakey Elohim – angels of God)….the Book of Job harkens back to a time before the rebellion when all sons of God sang together – back to the very foundations of the world.” Right, so that if Job can call then sons of God pre-fall then Genesis 6 can do so as well (there they are pre-fall or intra-fall) which makes this whole issue a non-issue so let us see what else he has to say beyond this.
Walter Keith York references that which Jude and Peter had to say about fallen angels—see my Nephilim in 2 Peter and Jude. Since Jude and Peter refer to “angels…kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day” and “angels…into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment” he concludes that they will “be kept pretty much where they are (spiritually) and brought back in the latter days to suffer the horrors of tribulation.”
York states that Peter “makes a distinction between spirits who are dead, and spirits who are dead but also in prison” in 1 Peter chaps 3-4 “he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built….the gospel preached also to them that are dead.” If, that is, this refers to angels at all as it could refer to the humans who died pre-flood in the former chap and post-flood in the latter chap. York also states that Jesus “was sent by Yahweh to preach to the
Nephilim” but the Nephilim are the offspring of the sons of God so York is either confusing the two or simply claiming that both groups are in the same place.
He then seeks reference to the “pre-doomed Nephilim” in Revelation. He quotes 13:8, “All inhabitants of the earth shall worship him – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” within the context of they who “worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast.” Walter Keith York thinks that this has something to do with the Nephilim, “I can understand why the Lamb would find the behavior of the Nephilim most disquieting…I wouldn’t write them in my Book of Life either.”
Walter Keith York refers to “Enoch I” in reference to the Ethiopic Book of Enoch which, he merely asserts, is “a book of canon for 400 years and one which is still included in the Ethiopian canon.” It would be nice to see some info on how, when, where it was canon for almost half a millennia. As for it being in the Ethiopian canon well, they also have other books in their canon that even the most in love with apocrypha Christians would reject. Thus, it is not a simple case of they have it so, so should everyone—the further one gets from Jerusalem the wider in scope some canons get.
In any case, he refers to 1 Enoch 6:1-3, 7:1-6 and 12:3-4 which augments the Genesis 6 affair.
York writes “The Revelation tells us that harmony and salvation were not of heaven until after the War in Heaven when Heylel and his bunch were cast out (Revelation 12:1-12)” whatever that means. In any case, playing off of Enoch referring to the sons of God fallen angels as “Watchers” York notes, “the disharmonious ones – the Nephilim – can only watch…But, after some time goes by, the Nephilim corporately decide to play with” humanity. At this point it is evident that he is mistaking fallen angels with the Nephilim. This confusion leads to more since, for example, he writes that “Somehow a way is made to force your way into life as Yahweh had not yet posted his guards at the entrance to life (the tree of life)” referring to Genesis 3 but we are dealing with Genesis 6 by which time Yahweh had posted the guardian Cherubim.
For whatever reason Walter Keith York states, “I know that, again, these references smack of pre-existence” how so? He also writes that “these passages reflect the dogma of many Jews” and that since “we are creating a nice stash of labels concerning the fallen angels – Nephilim, the sons of God, Watchers” and it would be nice if he was consistent with these, he concludes, “No wonder so many Yids become shrinks”—oi vey!
He then refers to the only other text beyond Genesis 6 which employs the term Nephilim and that is Numbers 13 which York quotes thusly, “They” the majority of spies state “We saw the Nephilim (with infixed yod as a noun) there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim [spelled as active participle as in Genesis. 6]). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (the notations are York’s). He asks, “With a verb that is attested many times with never a textual instance that would infer ‘large’ or ‘giants,’ where did this ‘giant’ notion come from?”
In short, he notes, “The folks that Moses had checked out by the spies were described as giants; so this same appellation was tagged on to the folks mentioned in Genesis 6. There are no references to giants in Genesis 6, so Nophlim was rendered as such (as giants). Indeed, the folks in Genesis are described as: haNophlim: The Fallen Ones.
haGiborim: The Mighty Ones. ha’ Anishey haShem: The Men of Renown.” True, there are a few Hebrew words that some translated as giant(s) and one of them is Nephilim—I often hear people refers to “Nephilim giants” but that is like stating “Nephilim Nephilim” or “‘giants’ ‘giants.’” York recommends reading the Numbers text as “All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Fallen there (the descendants of Anak come from the Fallen Ones).”
Referring to Deuteronomy 2:11-12, 19-23, 14:5 he states, “it appears that the Giants/Nephilim are made up of a number of different tribes” such as Anakim, Emim, Rephaim, Zamzummim, Zuzim, etc. some of which are aka’s. So he appears to be taking Nephilim as a generic term for anyone who has fallen from any station in life, in battle, etc. which is fair enough.
Walter Keith York writes, “1 Enoch mentions monstrous creatures formed presumably due to the mating of Watchers and animals” without a quotation or citation but I know that of which he speaks and such is not the case so the “presumably” qualifying term is accurate yet, his conclusion is not—see Did the Watcher fallen angels genetically manipulate humans and animals?, part 1 and part 2.
In a subsection titled, “The Rephaim – Giants and Doomed Sprits of Hell” he rightly notes that “By far the most intriguing appellation is that of The Rephaim” yet, he is now employing the problematic term “tribes of the Nephilim” of which we must keep I mind that he is not tying these tribes to the Genesis 6 Nephilim. However, he goes on to state that “being Nephilim (fallen angels/spirits) in the spirit world, and giants in their earthly incarnations, they are both of these things and are treated as such.” So the “tribes of the Nephilim” are tribes of the fallen angels/spirits (even though angels are not spirits and Nephilim are not angels).
He refers to “how they are rendered in the English translations seems to be a byproduct of the text where they are found” which is the way it should be as context determines meaning and not, for instance, etymology.
For some reason he writes, “Deuteronomy 3 mentions the great king Og of Bashan…His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide…Perhaps with the telling and re-telling of the Og account, King Og might have grown a few feet and a few toes” but nothing is said about his own height (or his toes for that matter).
Overall, he concludes that “the meaning of the Rephaim is made clear. They were giants.” Yet, “giant(s)” is generic as it merely means taller than average and average Hebrew males of those days were 5.5 ft. Walter Keith York notes, “The Rephaim were giants, and also possibly frequently had genetic mutations (such as 6 fingers/toes) (2 Sam 21 etc.).” Well, perhaps the Rephaim had a mutation which affected the pituitary gland but when it comes to fingers/toes there is no “etc.” as such is stated about one single person with no indication whatsoever that this is some sort of trait of giants.
He reviews how in some contexts repha’ simply refers to the dead or spirits of the dead such as in Job 26:5, Isaiah 14:8-9, Psalm 88:10. He then quotes 1 Enoch 15:8-12 which states:
…the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which
were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offenses. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. (emphasis by York)
Generally it is speculated that demons are fallen angels or they are not. If so then there are issues since angels and demons seem very different and fallen angels are incarcerated. If not then they are generally said to be the spirits of dead Nephilim, drowned in the flood, based on the Enoch text. I will elucidate my view within an upcoming book.
Now, I care not to build my theology on Enoch but that “these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them” seems to refers to demonic possession as they were once embodies, then were not and seek to be again. York’s take is that “the last sentence above seems to point to the precept that these Nephilim will again be born into the world and rise up against the saints.” Yet, while it is a popular idea within pop-research now-a-days there is no such biblical concept as a return of the Nephilim.
York writes, “Curiously enough, there is a tribe known as the Zophim (Watchers) who also bear the proper appellation the Giants (I Samuel 1:1).” Well, that verse reads, “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.” Thus, I am unsure whence he gets the Zophim Watchers idea which I would imagine is from “Zuph” which is tsuwph (H6689) which means honeycomb, is in reference to one person and to a district northwest of Jerusalem (1 Samuel 9:5; 1 Chronicles 6:26, 35). Thus, not a tribe, not Watchers and not Giant.
He goes on to note that “Balak and Balaam decided to erect their seven altars on the top of Mount Pisgah (Numbers 23:14)- a mysterious place called the field of the Zophim (Watchers).” The text states, “he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah” the key term of which is tsophiym (H6839) which is in reference to watching which makes sense since the “field of Zophim” was likely referred to its proximity to a high place from which one could watch the surroundings “the top of Pisgah.”
Walter Keith York seals his deal by stating, “There is little doubt that this association with Giants and Evil puts the Watchers in a class with the Nophlim- Fallen Angels.” Well, there is no association but merely an attempt to sting together texts. In fact, the only actual reference to Watchers, actually one singular Watcher, in the Bible is within one of Daniel 4’s Aramaic portion wherein the term is `iyr (H5894), “I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven…This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones…the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven…” Note that the Enoch text 22:3 refers to an un-biblical angels named “Raphael” as a “Watcher” in Aramaic fragments but as simply “the angel” in the Cairo papyrus 10759 and the Ethiopic version.
York then has a section on f which is a concept I have never understood. Or rather, I understand that it can only work if you pick one and only one manuscript and absolutize it. For example, if you add 1+2+3+4+5 you will get a different result than if you add 2+3+4+5. Now, if you have a manuscript that differs from another by even one letter then it throws off the supposed code. It is no wonder that he states, “
One of Walter Keith York’s codes
Moreover, note that upon which he bases his code searches and interpretations thereof, “Assuming that the tribe of Emim was representative of the Nophlim in their earthly incarnations, assuming that they would be born into the world only to perish, and hoping that a hit on this phrase could reveal a matrix about same…Assuming that this might be a matrix about the tribe of Emim, and assuming that it might follow a pattern…then began to look…Assuming that this array might follow a pattern…” (emphasis added for emphasis).
Well, at least he recognizes that “Some of you might be saying to yourselves, ‘Your findings read too much like riddles that need to be explained.’”
But since “this array makes perfect sense to me” he pushed forward and, for example, he explains that the supposed code “That tribe of Emim to perish when the Father casts out” actually “sounds like the tribe of Emim will be cast into outer darkness.”
His overall conclusion includes that since “Just in my lifetime there has been an explosion in crime” then “If the Nephilim are indeed being born into the world to make war with the saints – as the Bible and Enoch infer [actually he means that the text “imply,” with him inferring]- this would go a long way in explaining the Nazarene’s latter days warning: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
He then writes, “What about Walter (me)? Where does he fit in? When the Beast makes war with the saints (Revelation 13:4), Walter will be armed to the teeth and be among them. Will I be shooting at you?…will you opt for the Great Alternative that the Beast will offer?” WOW! He thinks that his future hold blowing people away—in the name of Jeeeeeeeesus!!!
Revelation 13:4 reads, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” Verse 7 states, “it was given unto him to make war with the saints” well, the beast makes war with the saints but the saints do not make war with the beast or with those who worship it—Jesus take care of all of this Himself.
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