Indeed, hereinafter I will disclose unto you how to bring the Nephilim down to Earth and yet, by this I do not mean some sort of occult ritual but rather, how to bring the issue of the Nephilim down to Earth as in to make is accessible, simple to understand, etc.—sorry to disappoint.
However, for those interested in the fascinating, complex, strange and hotly debated for millennia issue of the Nephilim I trust that what follows will far from disappoint.
I find that as I read about the Nephilim I end up dealing with the same issues time and again and do I decided to make a quick reference facts sheet to which I can refer people rather than having to write the same basic things time and again. I will attempt to offer bullet points followed by references to further reading for the sake of details.
The Genesis 6 affair, as I term it, revolves around the “sons of God” (hereinafter SoG) the “daughters of men” (hereinafter DoM) and the Nephilim aka giants. It is a difficult text due to its succinct nature and due to its grammatical structure, at least in common English versions.
The sections below are Who are the “sons of God”? Do Angels get married? Who were the “Nephilim”? Were the Nephilim “giants”? Were there and/or are there post-flood “Nephilim”? Will the Nephilim return?
If you want succinct or detailed info on any other related issue, you can ask me via the contact/comment sections noted below.
Who were the “sons of God”?
Speculations are that they Angels in which case the DoM are human women, Sethites in which case the DoM are Cainites, judges and/or nobles in which case the DoM are commoners and the last category is miscellaneous.
I take the Angel view as did virtually all of the earliest Jewish and Christian commentators, see Early commentaries on Genesis 6: Angels or not? – interactive chart
In toto, within the Bible son(s) of God refers to a direct creation by God. As relatively straightforward reference to Angles, see Job chaps 1, 2, 38. Adam is a son of God having been created directly from the Earth (Luke 3). Jesus is a, or the primary, son of God in terms of incarnation “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1). Redeemed humans are a direct re-creation born anew, “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 3).
For a detailed review of the other views, see you can find all of the segments here.
Angels are as physical as is Jesus after His resurrection: able to walk, eat, be touched, etc. and yet, able to walk through closed doors, appear and disappear, etc. They look like human males and do not have wings or halos. Cherubim and Seraphim look different, have different titled, different job functions, have wings, etc. thus, these are different categories of being (FYI: Satan is not an Angel but is a Cherub: Ezekiel 28).
The fact that Angels have bodies like human males explains why it is only male SoG with only female DoM.
Many refer to the Genesis 6 SoG as “Watchers” due to the apocryphal Book of Enoch specifically 1 Enoch aka Ethiopic Enoch which elaborates on the text, see see here.
Do Angels get married?
Many who oppose the ancient Angel view claim that Jesus stated that Angels do not get married and/or that they are not sexual and/or that they are genderless. However, Jesus stated, “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven” as per Matthew 22 and “they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the Angels which are in heaven” as per Mark 12 and when we come to the more succinct Luke 20 we see full meaning from the synoptics just quoted, “they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.”
In short, they are not given in marriage but some took it upon themselves to do so unlike the loyal Angels who remained “in heaven” and did not fall.
Jude and Peter seem to take this view, see Nephilim in 2 Peter and Jude.
Who are the “Nephilim”?
Firstly, the term (H5303) itself refers to “a feller, i.e. a bully or tyrant” and, when assumed to have its roots in Hebrew, it is thought to come from the primitive root naphal (H5307) “to fall” which is from the primitive root of nephel (H5309) “something fallen, i.e. an abortion:—untimely birth.” Yet, it may derive from the Aramaic root naphiyla which means giant which will bring us to the following section.
“…the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives…There were giants [Nephilim] 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.”
Some wonder whether if, or outright claim that, the Nephilim are different than the offspring of the SoG and DoM due to the grammatical structure (at least in common English) that “There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth” at the time “when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children.”
I wonder if a better English construct might be “when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, there were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
Were the Nephilim “giants”?
A few Hebrews words are translated as “giant(s)” and yet, the term merely refers to taller than average (and Hebrew males of those days were 5.5 ft.) unless it refer to the likes of that which we could put as “a giant of industry,” etc. as in powerful, authoritative, etc.
There is no indication that the Nephilim were taller than the average. They are further referred to as having become “mighty men which were of old, men of renown”: mighty (gibbor H1368) and of renown (shem H8034) thus, mighty and of name as in well known, reputation, etc. That they are “men” is not problematic to the Angel view which would identify them as half-Angel and half-human since Angels look like human males yet, more directly because, as per a modern example, we refer to Barack Obama as the first “Black” president even though he is half-Black and half-White.
Were there and/or are there post-flood “Nephilim”?
Note that the text does not state pre-flood and post-flood but “in those days, and also after that” which is commonly taken to mean pre-flood and post-flood.
Yet, one can just as easily, and more in keeping with immediate as well as greater context, to take is to mean “in those days” with a timeline beginning point which verse 1 has as “when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them” which could be as early as when Adam and Eve’s offspring first started having offspring, and “also after that” being just that: after that beginning point and yet, still pre-flood.
Will the Nephilim return?
I suppose that the question is Will the Nephilim return? As in did the Nephilim return post-flood and will the Nephilim return again in the future (or, have do so in the present already).
In short, all of the Nephilim died with the last ones remaining drowning to death in the flood. There is no biblical indication whatsoever that they survived the flood in person or genetically nor that post-flood more Angels fell and did it all again.
The term, and concept of, Nephilim only appear in Genesis 6 and Numbers 13 wherein most of those sent to spy out the land state, “there we saw the giants [Nephilim], the sons of Anak, which come of the giants [Nephilim]: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (the italics denote words not in the Hebrew). This text is also grammatically difficult, at least in common English, as they saw Nephilim and yet these are defined as being the Anakim who in turn are said to come of the Nephilim.
In any case and in short, God had commanded them to move into the land, most spies dissuade the people from doing so and only mention the Anakim, Caleb encourages them to do so, the other spies take their scare tactic up a notch by mentioning the Nephilim and Anakim and they are said to have presented a bad/evil report.
Clearly, the premise is the issue of taking the land by God’s command. Yet, it seems noteworthy that later in his life when Caleb recalls this event he affirms having seen the Anakim but says nothing of the Nephilim.
Note how Moses relates this event is Deuteronomy 1, “…our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.” Thus, he affirms the presence of the Anakim but states nothing of the Nephilim.
For that matter, God Himself affirms the presence of the Anakim (and Canaanites) but states nothing about the Nephilim, “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea” (Numbers 14).
The bottom line is who’s word do we take for it?
Do we believe the spies who were said to be offering a bad/evil report?
Or, do we believe Caleb, Moses and, oh yeah, God?
For details, see Did Caleb and the spies see Nephilim giants in the land?
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