I want to talk to you this morning about the “Sons of God and the Nephilim.” Let’s begin by looking at the first four verses of Genesis 6:
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:1-4 NASB
This is no doubt a strange passage that there is much disagreement over. As Bob Deffinbaugh states: "The interpretation of these verses hinges upon the definition of three key terms, ‘the Sons of God’ (verses 2, 4), ‘the daughters of men’ (verses 2, 4), and the ‘Nephilim (verse 4).” *
Let me begin by sharing with you something that Edmund Spencer said, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is: Condemnation before investigation.” So let’s attempt to keep an open mind as we examine this text.
There are three major interpretations of this text in Genesis 6, I will describe them beginning with the least likely Sethite view, and ending with the Watcher view, the view that I hold to.
THE SETHITE VIEW:
Those who hold this view say that the "Sons of God" are those of the line of Seth. Which they say was a godly line. They view the "daughters of men" to refer to women only from the line of Cain, which they say was an ungodly line. They see the "Nephilim" as the product of the union of the lines of Seth and Cain.
This non-supernatural view of the Sons of God as human beings began in the Christian world with Julius Africanus. It gripped the Western Church through the support of Augustine and later Luther, Calvin, and Aquinas. (Van Dorn, Douglas (2013-01-21). Giants: Sons of the Gods (Kindle Locations 413-415). Waters of Creation. Kindle Edition.)
Julius Africanus states the basic principles of this view:
“The descendants of Seth are called the Sons of God on account of the righteous men and patriarchs who have sprung from him, even down to the Saviour Himself; but that the descendants of Cain are named the seed of men, as having nothing divine in them, on account of the wickedness of their race and the inequality of their nature, being a mixed people, and having stirred the indignation of God.” (Dionysius of Alexandria, The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, trans. S. D. F. Salmond, vol. 6 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886), 131.)
The supporters of this view use:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. Genesis 4:26 NASB
The supporters for this interpretation say that the picture here is that, in context, Seth’s line called upon Yahweh. But the Hebrew text of this verse does not say that Seth’s line called upon the name of Yahweh, but only that there was a general calling upon the name of Yahweh. The Jewish Targumim even interpreted the Hebrew behind “began to call upon the name of Yahweh” as actually meaning: “began to make idols and calling their idols by the name of Yahweh.” (Kevin Cathcart, Michael Maher, and Martin McNamara, eds., The Aramaic Bible: The Targum Onqelos to Genesis, trans. Bernard Grossfeld, vol. 6 (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1990), 50; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis, trans. Michael Maher, vol. 1 (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 35; Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis, trans. Martin McNamara, vol. 1 (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 69.)
This is completely opposite of the typical understanding, as the Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon reveals that the word for “began,” which is the Hebrew word chalal can mean: “pollute, defile, profane, or desecrate.” (Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 320.)
If you claim that the context of Genesis 4:26 is Sethite, then those Sethites were not considered righteous, but wicked. But whether this was a profaning of or a calling upon Yahweh, the text does not link it exclusively to Seth’s line, but to people in general.
The problems with this view are multiple: First, the contrast between the godly line of Seth and the ungodly line of Cain is way overemphasized. The line of Seth, as a whole, was not godly. You get the impression from the Scripture that few were godly in these days (cf. 6:5-7, 12). It seems that only Noah and his family could be called righteous at the time of the flood.
All the names given in the Cananite genealogy in Genesis 5 are also found in the Seithite genealogy in the same chapter. The genealogies over lap so the lines are not different. The Sethite view implies that all the women of Cain’s line were ungodly, whereas all the men of Seth’s line were godly. That’s a real stretch.
Secondly, this interpretation does not come from within this text: Nowhere are the Sethites called the “the Sons of God.” In fact, every single use of “Sons of God” elsewhere in the Tanakh is always a reference to spirit beings. Seth is never called a Son of God. In the Tanakh, his birth was uniquely described as:
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 5:3 NASB
Seth is distinctly described in terms of being a son of Adam, not a Son of God. I’ll deal more on who the “Sons of God” are shortly.
Thirdly, the “daughters of men” can hardly be restricted to only the daughters of the Cainites. In Genesis 6 Moses wrote:
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful... Genesis 6:1-2 NASB
The Seithite view requires giving the word “men,” which is adam in verses 1 and 2, two different meanings. "Men" and "daughters" in v.1 would refer to all mankind and their daughters, but "daughters of men" in v. 2 would refer to Cainite women. So the term “adam” would have to mean “mankind” in Genesis 6:1, but a specific group of humans, the Cainites, in Genesis 6:2.
It is difficult to conclude that the “men” here are not men in general or mankind. It would follow that the reference to their “daughters” would be equally general. To conclude that the “daughters of men” in verse two is some different, more restrictive group is to ignore the context of the passage. “Daughters of men” are simply women.
The daughters of Adam include the bloodlines of both Cain and Seth. So for the contrast of “Sons of God” and “daughters of men” to make sense, the Sons of God cannot be a reference to the human lineage of Cain, but a lineage of something that contrasts with human beings in general.
Fourthly, How does a human/human relationship produce nephilim, which elsewhere in the Bible refers to giants? From all appearances, the nephilim (giants) and mighty men (gibborim) are the offspring of the marriages of the “Sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” As Kline says:
It is not at all clear why the offspring of religiously mixed marriages should be Nephilim-Gibborim, however these be understood within the range of feasible interpretation . . . But his [the biblical author’s] reference to the conjugal act and to childbearing finds justification only if he is describing the origin of the Nephilim-Gibborim. Unless the difficulty which follows from this conclusion can be overcome, the religiously mixed marriage interpretation of the passage ought to be definitely abandoned. Manfred E. Kober, The Sons of God of Genesis 6: Demons, Degenerates, or Despots?, p. 15. Kober quotes here Meredith G. Kline, “Divine Kingship and Genesis 6:1-4,” Westminster Theological Journal, XXIV, Nov. 1961-May 1962, p. 190.
Fifthly, to hold the Seithite View you also have to believe that Peter and Jude got it wrong. We’ll expound on this shortly. For these reasons and others, I see this view as exegetically unacceptable; it fails to submit to the laws of interpretation.
THE DESPOT VIEW:
The earliest date for this view is mid-second century AD. This view developed in rejection of the idea that angels could engage in sexual intercourse. Recognizing the deficiencies of the Sethite View, some scholars have sought to define the expression “the Sons of God” by comparing it with the languages of the Ancient Near East. It is interesting to learn that some rulers were identified as the son of a particular god. In Egypt, for example, the king was called the son of Re.
As a major proponent of this view, Meredith Kline suggests that the union of Sons of God with daughters of men was the polygamous marriages of tyrant kings. The last of Cain’s line mentioned before this event is Lamech, who was a bigamist and a tyrant (Gen. 4: 19, 23-24). The first gibborim on the earth after the Flood was Nimrod, another tyrant who was connected to that idolatrous city and tower of Babel (Gen 10: 8-12). The sin of the Sons of God was polygamy. In this transgression the Sons of God flagrantly violated the sacred trust of their office as guardians of the general ordinances of God for human conduct. The princes born into these royal houses of the Sons of God were the Nephilim-Gibborim (vs. 4), the mighty tyrants who Lamech-like esteemed their might to be their right (Kline, Divine Kingship,196).
While it is true that ancient pagan kings did consider themselves offspring of deity, or demigods, nowhere in the Bible is the term “Sons of God”used in reference to such rulers outside this passage. This definition chooses to ignore the precise definition given by the Scriptures themselves.
This text is not saying that polygamy is the heinous sin that inherently breeds monsters of tyranny that caused God to destroy the world. David, was a polygamist and gave birth to both good and bad seed through his many wives, as did his son, Solomon. Indeed, Messiah came through a lineage of polygamists (Matthew 1).
Further, the whole idea of power hungry men, seeking to establish a dynasty by the acquisition of a harem seems forced on the passage. Who would ever have found this idea in the text itself, unless it were imposed upon it?
This view does define “the daughters of men” correctly as womankind, and not just the daughters of the Cainite line. Of course daughters come from men. Where else would daughters come from? There is simply no need to say that men were giving birth to daughters unless the point of contrast is their identity as human.
The major weakness of this view is its inability to account for the unusual offspring, or nephilim (Gen 6:4; compare Num 13:33). Why would kings having sex with women produce giants? While the Despot View does less violence to the text than does the Cainite/Sethite View, it seems to me to be inadequate.
THE WATCHER VIEW:
According to this view, the “Sons of God” of verses 2 and 4 are rebellious divine beings from God’s heavenly host, also called “Watchers,” which have taken the form of masculine human-like creatures. These gods married women of the human race (either Cainites or Sethites), thus violating the heavenly/earthly division that Yahweh established. The hybrid offspring of this abominable union was the giants called Nephilim. Nephilim were giants with physical superiority, and therefore, established themselves as men of renown for their physical power and military might. This race of half human creatures was wiped out by the flood, along with mankind in general, who were sinners in their own right.
My basic presupposition in approaching our text is that we should let the Bible define its own terms, Scripture interprets Scripture. If biblical definitions are not to be found, then we must look at the language and culture of contemporary peoples. But the Bible does define the term ‘the Sons of God’ for us. Chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Job show two instances of the divine council composed of the Sons of God (the beney 'elohim) gathering in heaven for a meeting of the council:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. Job 1:6 NASB
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. Job 2:1 NASB
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7 NASB
Here “morning stars” and “Sons of God” are names of divine council members. Some folks see “Sons of God” as humans, but how were humans at creation? Somebody please explain that to me.
The term “Sons of God” is only found five times in the NASB, twice in Genesis 6 and three times in Job. But it is found an additional time in the English Standard Version:
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. Deuteronomy 32:8 ESV
The English translations based on the traditional Hebrew text of the Tanakh read "sons of Israel" instead of “Sons of God.” But this variant rendering of the passage used by the ESV is based on the 3rd-century BCE translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, the Septuagint, as well as Hebrew manuscripts of Deuteronomy found among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran.
Chapter 10 of Genesis, the table of nations, is the backdrop for Moses' statement here that Yahweh is responsible for the creation and placement of the nations. Mankind was divided into 70 nations at the Tower of Babel for the "Sons of God." It is important to note that Israel is not listed in the index of the 70 nations found in Genesis 10. The nation of Israel did not yet exist at that time.
This phrase “Sons of God” is bene elohim in Hebrew. And ALL uses of elohim in the Tanakh refer to spiritual beings. Elohim is ONLY used of those in the spirit world, so if they are called elohim, they are not of the physical realm, they are spirit beings. Michael H. Heiser, a Bible scholar who has a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages and can do translation work in roughly a dozen ancient languages, among them Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Phoenician, Moabite, and Ugaritic cuneiform says, "Elohim is a place of residence locator." Meaning that elohim is only used of those in the spirit world. The term “elohim” appears in Canaanite literature contemporary with the biblical world to speak of divine beings.
In Daniel 4 these “Sons of God” are called Watchers. The non-canonical Book of 1 Enoch has much to say about these fallen Watchers and their sin of cohabitation and their judgment.
1 Enoch 6:1-3 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'
1 Enoch 7:1-6 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
1 Enoch 9:8-10 And they have gone to the daughters of men upon the earth, and have slept with the women, and have defiled themselves, and revealed to them all kinds of sins. And the women have borne giants, and the whole earth has thereby been filled with blood and unrighteousness.
So the “Sons of God” are spirit beings who came to earth and mated with human woman and produced a hybrid offspring which Yahweh destroyed in the flood. Genesis never specifies how many angels descended, what their names were, or where exactly they arrived when they descended to earth. The Book of the Watchers fills in all of these narrative gaps—it states that there were 200 angels, gives the names of their twenty chiefs, and asserts that they arrived to earth from heaven upon Mount Hermon, a fitting site since it is the tallest mountain in Palestine (2,814 meters above sea level) and thus the closest to heaven.
Robert Newman has analyzed the history of interpretation of this passage to show that the supernatural interpretation of the Sons of God as being heavenly angelic beings was virtually unanimous in the ancient world until the first century after Christ. Robert C. Newman, “The Ancient Exegesis of Genesis 6:2, 4,” Grace Theological Journal 5,1 (1984) 13-36.
This was the dominant view among Jewish and Christian thinkers until after the fourth century AD, when Augustine championed an alternative. It was also the exclusive view until the mid-second century AD. It appears in early Jewish works that comment on the stories of Genesis (1 Enoch 6; Jubilees 5), the Septuagint, Philo (De Gigant 2:358), Josephus (Ant. 1.31), and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QapGen 2:1; CD 2:17–19); as well as the works of early Christian scholars such as Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen:
that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Genesis 6:2 NASB
Many commentators say what happened here was rape. But let’s look at the language. “And they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose”—“took” here is the Hebrew word laquac, which is used in other places in the Tanakh of proper respectable marriages. Whatever happened here was consensual, it was not rape:
Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Genesis 11:29 NASB
Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. Genesis 25:1 NASB
and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. Genesis 25:20 NASB
"When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken. Deuteronomy 24:5 NASB
The daughters of men were not raped or seduced as such. They simply chose their husbands on the same basis that the Watchers selected them—physical appeal. Now if you were an eligible woman in those days, who would you choose? A god or a man? So these divine beings came to earth and married human women and had hybrid offspring. The primary passage which is said to be problematical to this view is that found in Matthew’s Gospel, where our Lord said:
But Yeshua answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Matthew 22:29-30 NASB
Yeshua compared men in heaven to angels in heaven. Neither men nor angels are said to be sexless in heaven, but we are told that in heaven there will be no marriage. There are no female angels with whom angels can generate offspring. Angels were never told to “be fruitful and multiply” as was man. This text is talking about the after life.
When we find angels described in the book of Genesis, it is clear that they can assume a human-like form, and that their sex is masculine. There are many examples in Scripture of angels (and even God) taking physical human form (Gen 18:1–8; 32:22–32; Exod 23:20–23; Judg 6, 13). In Gen 18:1–8. God and the angels eat a meal—something they need not do as spirit beings. The writer to the Hebrews mentions that angels can be entertained without man’s knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). Surely angels must be convincingly like men. The homosexual men of Sodom were very capable of judging sexuality. They were attracted by the “male” angels who came to destroy the city (cf. Genesis 19:1ff, especially verse 5).
In the New Testament, two passages seem to refer to this incident in Genesis 6, and to support the Watcher View:
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:6-7 NASB
Here we see that angels “abandoned their proper abode”—the word “abode” here is the Greek word oiketerion, which means: “residence.” They left heaven and came to earth. Because of this they were judged.
“These indulged in gross immorality”—does “these” refer to the cities Sodom and Gomorrah or does it refer to the angels? If it goes back to the angels, he is linking their sin to a sexual sin and that is Genesis 6. Grammar tells us that it is the angels, due to gender and number agreement. Pronouns need to agree with gender number and case with their antecedent. The word “these” is from the Greek toutois, which is masculine plural, and “angels” is masculine plura,l but “cities” is feminine and does not agree grammatically. So it is saying that these angels indulged in gross immorality:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 2 Peter 2:4-6 NASB
Both these passages speak of the same angels who sinned before the flood of Noah, and who were committed to chains of gloomy darkness. 1 Peter 3:19-20 calls these imprisoned angels “disobedient.” According to our study, the angelic sons of God are spoken of as sinning in Genesis 6, so these must be the same angels referred to by the authors of the New Testament. But just what is their sin? Both Peter and Jude link the sin of those fallen angels with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is described as indulging in “gross immorality” by pursuing “strange flesh.” The Greek word for “gross immorality” is ekporneuo and indicates a heightened form of sexual immorality, and the Greek words for “strange flesh”is heteros sarx, which indicates the pursuit of something different from one’s natural flesh.
This “strange flesh” cannot be a reference to homosexuality for several reasons. First, homosexuality is not the pursuit of hetero or different gender, it is the pursuit of homo or same gender. Secondly, homosexual behavior involves the same human male flesh, not different flesh as it would with angels. Thirdly, when the New Testament refers to the unnaturalness of homosexual acts, it uses the Greek phrase, para physin, which means: “contrary to nature”(Romans 1:26). The Bible does condemn homosexuality as sin, but the sin of Sodom that is referenced by Jude and Peter is not homosexuality, but interspecies sexuality between angels and humans. So the New Testament Commentary on Genesis 6:1-4 affirms the supernatural view of the Sons of God as having sex with humans.
The letter of Jude not only quotes a verse from the non-canonical book of 1 Enoch (v.14 with 1 Enoch 1: 9), but Jude 6-7 and 2 Peter 2: 4-10 both paraphrase content from 1 Enoch, thus supporting the notion that the inspired authors intended an Enochian interpretation of “angels”called the “Watchers” (Sons of God) having sexual intercourse with humans. Jude and Peter are alluding to a common understanding of their culture that the angelic sin (and its hybrid fruit of giants) was an unnatural sexual violation of the divine and human separation:
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:4 NASB
The result of the union between fallen Watchers and women is rather clearly implied to be the Nephilim. The meaning of the biblical word Nephilim has been a matter of unending controversy in Church history. That the word is still not translated into an English defined word but transliterated in most Bible translations is evidence of the fact that no agreement can be made over its original meaning. While word studies have produced numerous suggestions for the meaning of this term, the biblical definition of this word comes from its only other instance in Scripture:
"There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:33 NASB
“We became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight”—this gives me the impression that the Nephilim were a race of giant super-humans who are the product of this angelic invasion of the earth.
The two passages quoted above are the only two places in the Bible where the Hebrew word Nephilim is used. What would surprise some Bible readers is that these are not the only places where the Nephilim are talked about in Scripture. Nephilim has a theological thread that begins in Genesis 6 and goes through all the way to the New Testament.
Some say that the Nephilim were simply mighty warriors who happened to be around during those times before and after the incident of the Sons of God. But this view would make nonsense of the text by inserting something (Nephilim) that has no connection to what is being talked about, namely the sexual unions and the flood. The pericope of verses 1-4 are a lead up to the proclamation of the flood in verses 5-8. The contextual reading of this concise unit of text begins talking about the sexual union of the Sons of God with the daughters of men, then makes a reference to God’s announcement to destroy the world in 120 years, which then references the Nephilim in context with that judgment, and then bookends the pericope with a reference back to the supernatural sexual union again, thus linking everything between those “bookends” as a parenthetical explanation of what it was all about, which leads to the Flood in verse 5-8.
So what does the Hebrew word Nephilim mean? Some scholars looking at the root word claim that it means “fallen ones” because that is what the Hebrew means: “to fall.” But there is a problem, and that is that the Septuagint (LXX), which is sometimes quoted by the New Testament authors as authoritative, translates this word as “giants.” Did those ancient Hellenized Jews not know the true meaning of the word? Or did they know something we don’t? Most all the ancient Jewish sources understood this term to mean “giant.” There are also some Second Temple Jewish texts that tell us that these were giants:
Jubilees 5:1 And when the children of men began to multiply on the surface of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the angels of the Lord saw…that they were good to look at. And they took wives for themselves from all of those whom they chose. And they bore children for them; and they were the giants.
Josephus Antiquities 1:73 For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, That these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.
Biblical and ANE scholar Michael S. Heiser has revealed a Biblical reference that proves that Nephilim are giants, not “fallen ones.”In his article “The Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact vs. Fantasy”  he explains that Hebrew is a consonantal language, which means it only spells words with consonants and leaves the reader to fill in the vowels. The ancient language of Aramaic is also consonantal and has an influence on the Hebrew text at various places. There are many Aramaic words in the Bible, and some chapters, such as Daniel 2-7, are written in Aramaic. In later copies, vowel markers were added to the consonants in order to aid in pronunciation. He then explains that the Hebrew word NPHL, which is translated into English as Nephilim, has different meanings depending on the morphology or form of the word. Evidently the morphological form of the word in Genesis and Numbers is not that of the Hebrew meaning “fallen ones,” but that of the Aramaic meaning “giants.” And the Bible clinches this argument in Numbers 13:33:
"There also we saw the Nephilim [the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim]; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:33 NASB
Heiser shows that the first spelling of Nephilim in the verse is the Hebrew spelling, but the second spelling of Nephilim is a variation that is clearly the Aramaic spelling of “giants.”And should there really be any question when the text then describes these Anakim, who are descendants of the Nephilim, as being gigantic in stature such that they felt like small grasshoppers?
The Anakim or “sons of Anak”are unquestionably defined as giants throughout the Bible because of their tall height (Deut. 1: 28; 2: 10, 21; 9: 2). One of the most famous of all those Anakim giants was Goliath. He stood at 9 feet 9 inches tall. His coat of mail alone weighed about 125 pounds, the weight of his spearhead was 15 pounds (1 Sam. 17: 4-7). There is no doubt Goliath was unnaturally huge in stature, and his brother Lahmi was of the same genetic material (1 Chron. 20: 5). Philistia had a big problem with these Anakim giants, as 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 attests to no less than four of them who had to be killed by King David’s men in an apparent campaign against the giants. But if we go back in time from David to Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land, we see that the giant Anakim that David was fighting were merely the leftovers from Joshua’s own campaign to wipe them out:
Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. Joshua 11:21-22 NASB
As it turns out, the Anakim were not the only giants in the land. Evidently the land in and around Canaan was crawling with giants that were called by different names.
The text seems to blame humanity for the flood:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 NASB
But Enoch says the flood was sent because of the Watchers. The voluntarily sexual transgressions of the women with the Watchers was a violation of heaven and earth, which caused the humans to share the blame. The wickedness of men was their sexual union with the Watchers.
If one of the main purposes of the flood was to wipe out the hybrid race, then why do we see giants after the fall? Let’s look at:
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:4 NASB
Please notice what it says, “and also afterward”— is this referring to after the flood? The Hebrew verb bo “came in” is a euphemism for sexual relations. This verb is in the imperfect form, which denotes uncompleted ongoing action. The ensuing verb “bore children” is in a construction known as narrative sequence, meaning: “it carries the same action as the preceding verb.” This answers the question, “How do you get giants after the flood?” The grammar indicates that the activity that created giants was ongoing. It happened before and after the flood. This is why Yahweh told Israel to totally wipe out different cultures. They were destroying the hybrids.
Notice what Yeshua says in the Olivet Discourse:
"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. Matthew 24:37 NASB
During the time that Christ was on the earth there was a lot of demonic activity, just as in Noah’s day.
Do you find it hard to believe that angelic Watchers came down and mated with women and produced hybrid offsprings? Have you ever heard of the incarnation?
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35 NASB
Yahweh had an offspring with a human woman and produced the Savior of mankind, Yeshua.
I think that the Watchers were jealous of Yahweh bringing man into sacred space, the garden, so the serpent got them kicked out of the garden. Then Yahweh told of His plan to redeem man by the seed of the woman, so the Watchers sought to pollute the human race to stop the plan of redemption. The flood and the holy wars of Israel wiped out this hybrid race. And the god-man, Yeshua, came and provided redemption for His elect.
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