Considering that we got into a variety of issues such as the text of Genesis 6, Nephilim, Angels, Demons, Giants, etc. we did not just generalize but dug deep into details and challenged each other’s views on this or that point which made for a great discussion and hopefully worth hearing. This was based on my book “On the Genesis 6 Affair’s Sons of God: Angels or Not?” which you can find here.
I really enjoyed this discussion since I knew that Doug understands these issues very well, has researched them very much, and so we could easily understand each other as well as challenge each other towards a better and more accurate comprehension.
We noted that one fascinating thing about the key text which is Genesis 6 is that its key portion is merely a few verses and yet, the pack a solid punch. You instantly have to deal with the sons of God, Nephilim, “giants,” what led to the flood, etc., etc., etc.
One thing I will note is that, as noted, while Doug is well aware of these issues we do differ on one important aspect. My view is that the issue of Nephilim were strictly a pre-flood phenomenon and he holds to pre and post flood Nephilim.
I came away more convinced of the inherit weakness of the view that there were (or still are) post-flood Nephilim. Clearly, Doug’s argument was exclusively based on “giants.” For some strange reason people see a flying object that appears to be high tech and instantly jump to the conclusion that therefore, aliens. Likewise, in this field of research people see the term “giant” and instantly jump to the conclusion that therefore, Nephilim.
I noted that I do not think the term “giant(s)” even belongs in the English Bible since it is generic and is used as a translation of various Hebrew words. I also noted that the term giants is not in Genesis 6 and so there is no reason to think that the Nephilim were giants (whatever that means: it only means taller than average). Doug noted that we are told that they were “of great stature” but when I asked where he referred to Numbers 13—about which we had a whole discussion.
Yet no, Numbers 13 does not tell us that the Nephilim were “of great stature” because that text, even if taken at face value, refers to the Anakim. Now, the Anakim are therein said to come from the Nephilim. That is said to be so by the spies who presented a “bad” report, by the way, a report which Caleb, Moses and God do not affirm: they affirm the Anakim in the land but each states nothing of the Nephilim (Joshua 14, Numbers 14 and Deuteronomy 1).
So, at this point the logic is Anakim giants therefore Nephilim giants. This may be somewhat logical and yet the point remains: we are not told anything about the Nephilim’s height but only the Anakim. Also, we are told that they were so tall as to make the Hebrews seem like grasshoppers. Some think this means that we can conduct a calculation so that as a grasshopper is to an average human so was an average Hebrew (males of those days being 5.5 ft) to an Anakim. Of course, if we can figure out the height of the Anakim this way then we also know how tall God is. Wait, what?! Well, Isaiah 40:22 tells us that God looks down on the Earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers to Him. Thus, these texts are implying that we can conduct a ratio based analysis of height or are implying metaphor.
Well, we know that the Anakim were named after Anak and that Anak’s dad is Arba but that is about as far as we can trace their geneology (as far as I can tell in any case).
Doug claimed that the various clans of giants were all Nephilim since Deuteronomy 2 refers to “The Emim” being “tall as the Anakim…the Moabites call them Emim…the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,” etc. Sure, but we are never told that, for example, we Hebrews call them Nephilim but others call them….
So yes, the various clans of people who the Bible calls “tall” or “very tall” but not “giant” (whatever that means) and they all either derive from the same basic people group or are basically the same people group but we are never told that they are related to the Nephilim—except within the “bad” report of the spies which Caleb, Moses and God do not seem to affirm.
Lastly, I will note that Doug takes the view that not all of the fallen Angels were incarcerated. However, Jude and 2 Peter tell us that the fallen Angels were incarcerated—period. They do not say that only some of them where and there is not logical or theo-logical reason to invent the idea that some were but some were not even though all committed the same crime.
In other words, in order to hold to a pre and post flood Nephilim view one must, by necessity, base one’s views on assertions or assumptions since, in fact, the Bible knows nothing of post-flood Nephilim, no return of Nephilim, no further fall of Angles, etc.
In any case, have a listen and enjoy a wild ride through a detailed discussion wherein we respectfully sharpen iron with iron.
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