Were the Nephilim sons of God?
Fallen Angels? Giants of Genesis 6:4?
A common belief which we share is that the "sons of
God" who did marry the "daughters of men" were fallen angels.
Why did God send the judgment of the Flood in the days of Noah? The strange events recorded in Genesis 6 were understood by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint translators, as referring to fallen angels procreating weird hybrid offspring with human women-known as the Nephilim. This was far more than simply a historical issue, the unique events leading to the Flood are a prerequisite to understanding the prophetic implications of our Lord's predictions regarding His Second Coming. This is believed to have happened both before the Flood and after the flood. In Israel at the time of David, and before this when the Hebrews were scouting the land - there were tribes of these Nephilim - Goliath the giant of Gath is one example. Early Church fathers also understood this to be the case. It appears that these fallen angels were active all over the world. These bizarre giants living on the earth are also echoed in the legends and myths of nearly every ancient culture. The ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, and most all the others have these legends.
The Hebrew word Nephelim (plural of nephel) (Nephilim) literally means "rejects". The Hebrew plural for Nephites would be "Nephi'im".
Satan probably put this plan to interrupt Abraham's "seed into motion, as soon as it was made known that the Seed of the Woman (Christ) was to come through ABRAHAM.
Bible Probe Note: Our use of the Word "irruption" in this article below means: act of rushing; act of breaking in; intrusion, raid; sudden increase.
Genesis 6:4 (Original KJV):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, andthey bare children to them, the same became mighty men whichwere of old, men of renown.
Bible Probe Note: Note the words; "and also after that". Thisprobably tells of two "irruptions" by Satan's seed. One before Noah's time and another after the flood. They were called “The Watchers” inThe Book of Enoch.
Their descendents, called Nephilim (translated "giants"), were monsters of iniquity; and being superhuman in size and in their wicked character, had to be destroyed. Was this the one and only object of the Flood?
Genesis 6:12 (Original KJV):And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Only Noah and his family had preserved their pedigree pure from Adam (Genesis 6:9). All the rest had become "corrupt" (shachath). The only remedy was to destroy it defacto (Latin for "in fact"), as it had become defacto destroyed.
This irruption of fallen angels before Noah's day was probably Satan's first attempt to prevent the coming of the "Seed of the woman" foretold in Genesis 3:15. If this could be accomplished, God's Word would have failed, and Satan's own doom would be averted.
Genesis 3:15 (Original KJV):And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and betweenthy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shaltbruise his heel. also see Isaiah 7:14
WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE DAYS OF NOAH?
Will the gates of hell (port holes/stargates) open on December 21, 2012?
This is the date the Mayan calendar ends. Is this when the biblical delusions from the skies begin?
Did demons land on Mt Hermon in Phoenesia (now Israel) and polute the human race - provoking God's anger? Are UFO's these demons (some call Watchers) building up their forces for a final battle with the Lord? Are these "bad angelic beings" using created matter to embody themselves?
Below from book:
Reference: Nephilim Stargates - the year 2012 and the return of the Watchers, by Thomas R. Horn
What will it be like when the Lord returns - and destroys satan and his armies? Nephilim(demon angels in physical bodies) will be here... Just like:
"As it was in the days of Noah..." (Luke 17:26)
The idea that the spirits of dead giants (off spring of demons mating with earth women) inhabit the underworld (place beyond the veil) is supported here:
- They're segregated from the heroes, the old-time giants who entered the grave in full battle dress, their swords placed under their heads and their shields covering their bones, those heroes who spread terror through the land of the living. The Message Version, Ezekiel 32:27
- "And he did not know that giants are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell" (Douay-Rheims Version, Proverbs 9:18)
- "A man that shall wander out of the way of doctrine, shall abide in the company of the giants" (Douay-Rheims Version, Proverbs 21:16)
- "Hell below was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee" (Douay-Rheims Version, Isaiah 14:9)
- "Let not the dead live, let not the giants rise again..." (Douay-Rheims Version, Isaiah 26:14)
The book of Jasher, which is mentioned in the Bible in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1.18 says, "After the fallen angels went into the daughters of men, [then] the sons of men taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order to provoke the Lord" (4:18). The Book of Enoch says that fallen angels not only merged their DNA with women, but that "they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish" (7:5; 6)
Satan's plan was to occupy Canaan with "his own seed" in advance of Abraham's seed.
As soon as it was made known that the Seed of the woman was to come through ABRAHAM, there must have been another irruption, as recorded in Genesis 6:4 (see above), "and also after that" (that is to say, after the days of Noah, more than 500 years after the first irruption). The aim of the enemy was to occupy Canaan in advance of Abraham, and so to contest its occupation by his seed. For, when Abraham entered Canaan, we read (Genesis 12:6) "the Canaanite was then (that is to say, already) in the land."
Also in Genesis we see two more attempts by Satan to interfere with Abraham'sseed before the birth of Isaac, as told in both Genesis 12:10-20 and in Genesis 20:1-18.
In the late 1950’s, during road construction in the Euphrates Valley of south-east Turkey, many tombs containing the remains of giants were uncovered. At the sites the leg bones were measured to be 120 cms (47.24 inches). Joe Taylor, Director of Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum, was commissioned to sculpt the human femur. This Antediluvian giant stood some 14-16 ft tall (see below).
Genesis 6:4 claims: "There were giants in the earth in those days;" Deuteronomy 3:11 states that the bed of Og, king of Bashan, was 9 cubits by 4 cubits (approximately 14 ft long by 6 ft wide).
Possible explanation. The earth had more oxygen.
Long ago, even insects may have been larger due to higher oxygen concentrations in the atmosphere (believed to have been about 35 percent instead of 21 percent today). This increased oxygen level could be part of the explanation for giants, long-lived people, and even why fossils of giant dragonflies with 2-foot wingspans have been found.
Antediluvian Giants' bone below
Other human Fossil finds
A 19'6" human skeleton found in 1577 A.D. under an overturned oak tree in the Canton of Lucerne.
23-foot tall skeleton found in 1456 A.D. beside a river in Valence, France.
A 25' 6 " skeleton found in 1613 A.D. near the castle of Chaumont in France. This was claimed to be a nearly complete find.
A 9' 8" skeleton was excavated from a mound near Brewersville, Indiana (Indianapolis News, Nov 10, 1975).
In 1833 soldiers digging at a pit for a powder magazine in Lompock Rancho, California, discovered a male skeleton 12 feet tall. The skeleton was surrounded by carved shells, stone axes, and blocks of porphyry covered with unintelligible symbols. The skeleton had double rows of upper and lower teeth. These bones substantiated legends by the local Piute Indians regarding giants which they called Si-Te-Cahs.
In Clearwater Minnesota, the skeletons of seven giants were found in mounds. These had receding foreheads and complete double dentition.
"A miner fell through a hole in a mine in Italy and found this 11' 6" skeleton." believed to been found in 1856.
A mound near Toledo, Ohio, held 20 skeletons, seated and facing east with jaws and teeth "twice as large as those of present day people," and besides each was a large bowl with "curiously wrought hieroglyphic figures." (Chicago Record, Oct. 24, 1895; cited by Ron G. Dobbins, NEARA Journal, v13, fall 1978).
Almost beyond comprehension or believability was the find of the two separate 36-foot human remains uncovered by Carthaginians somewhere between 200-600 B.C.
Caius Julius Verus Maximinus, also known as Maximinus Thrax (235-238 A.D.) was a Roman soldier-emperor who spent his reign on campaign. Maximinus was born in Thrace to a Gothic father an Alanic mother in about 173 A.D.. He was reportedly 8' feet, six inches (2.59m) tall, and of tremendous strength.
In an ancient text of the Jews, we read an astonishing description of some of these gigantic Amorites whom the Israelites conquered. In Buber's Tanhuma, Devarim 7, the text tells us of a Rabbi Johnanan ben Zakkai's encounter with the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This event occurred in about A.D. 135, soon after the Roman victory in the Bar Kochba war, when the Jews rebelled against the Romans. The text reads:
"The wicked emperor Hadrian, who conquered Jerusalem, boasted, 'I have conquered Jerusalem with great power.' Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai said to him, 'Do not boast. Had it not been the will of Heaven, you would not have conquered it.' Rabbi Johanan then took Hadrian into a cave and showed him the bodies of Amorites who were buried there. One of them measured eighteen cubits [approximately 30 feet] in height. He said, 'When we were deserving, such men were defeated by us, but now, because of our sins, you have defeated us'" (quoted in Judaism, edited by Arthur Hertzberg, p.155-156, George Braziller, New York: 1962).
See a Video of a Giant skeleton (Race of Giants) found in India in recent years:
BEWARE: THIS ONE BELOW IS A HOAX! See Snopes.com
See this YouTube video here:
"Sons of God were fallen angels and not aliens"
Some have claimed that the Nephilim, or the "sons of God," both mentioned in Genesis 6:2-4, were aliens. This is a wild extension of a common view that the "sons of God" who married the "daughters of men" were fallen angels, and that the Nephilim were products of those "marriages."
"Sons of God" is clearly used of angels in Job 38:7 Orig KJV: "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?". The Septuagint (LXX) here translates "sons of God" as "angels of God." This need not mean that evil angels, or demons, actually cohabited with women. Jesus made it clear that angels do not engage in sexual activities, at least not angels in heaven. Matthew 22:30 Orig KJV: "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Nevertheless, evil angels on earth could have used the bodies of ungodly men, by demonic possession, to achieve their evil purpose of producing an evil generation of people (Genesis 6:12).
There are other reasonable suggestions as to the identity of the "sons of God" and the Nephilim. Interestingly, the word Nephilim is only used here and in Numbers 13:33, where it clearly refers to the descendants of Anak, who were big people, but still people. Furthermore, "sons of God" is not used exclusively of angels -- the children of Israel are called "the sons of the living God" in Hosea 1:10 (see also Psalm 73:15; 80:17).
Numbers 13: 32-33 Original KJV:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
The Anakim: This was another name for the Watchers. It means “the descendants of Anak”, or Enoch, Cain’s son. Though it was said that a flood had been sent to destroy them, there were still entire cities of Anakim in Canaan as late as the time of Moses. And Jewish chronicler Josephus states that even in his own day it was not uncommon for people to dig up gigantic skeletal remains.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp ... Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other."
Reading further, both in 2 Samuel 21:16-22 and I Chronicles 20:4-8, we discover that Goliath had four relatives, also giants:
1) Ishbi-Benob, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels (more than seven pounds) and who said he would kill David;
2) Saph (or Sippai), another descendant of Rapha (the giant);
3) Lahmi (the brother of Goliath), whose spear shaft resembled a weaver's rod; and
4) a huge man (unnamed in the text) with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot.
Goliath and these four were all descendants of Rapha in Gath, "and they fell at the hands of David and his men" (2 Samuel 21:22 and I Chronicles 20:8).
David apparently knew in facing Goliath that these other four might also have to be reckoned with. So David prepared himself to take down all five giants, one stone per giant, if need be. The Bible tells us that the other four did fight against David and his army in later battles, and all four were defeated.
David's stone was a bullet of faith, launched from his sling at probably 100 to 120 mph, and with sufficient momentum to break through Goliath's skull bones. The boastful giant never knew what hit him. The text indicates that David ran toward Goliath as he launched his shot, thus adding to its momentum. We can assume from David's success in killing both bear and lion that he was a fast runner (Goliath could never have caught him in open field running) and an accurate shot, probably able to put a stone into a 3- or 4-inch circle consistently from a distance of 20 or 30 feet (an accuracy comparable to that of today's pro baseball pitchers).
Rulers in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia often proclaimed themselves as "sons of God" to enhance their power and prestige. So, another view with much support is that the "sons of God" were power-hungry rulers and despots, who, in their hunger for power and influence, took many wives in polygamy. They, and their offspring, through tyranny, became "mighty men." (Nimrod was described as a "mighty one" in Genesis 10:8.)
So, there is no need to resort to fanciful suggestions involving aliens to understand this passage of Scripture.
Good Angels do not marry
A contradictory yet enlightening statement about angel marriages was made by Jesus which was reported in Matthew 22:30; "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Here we read a statement from Jesus saying that angels do not get married. A possible explanation for this is that the "sons of God" were the descendants of Seth, and "the daughters of men" were of the godless Cainites. Remember, God later spoke of the people of Israel as His ‘firstborn son" (Exodus 4:22), and Moses called the people of Israel "children of the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 14:1).
Therefore, when they took wives it was an unholy alliance between Sethites (God's people) and Cainites (idol worshipers). Also, the word "wives" seems to indicate more that one and therefore a suggests taking more than one wife (polygamy).
How Big were the Giants?(probably around *9.5-14 feet)
(Ancient Hebrew cubit remains unknown)
*9 cubits using Egyptian Royal cubit (1.7 ft) =15.3 ft (subtracted 1 ft for bed's comfort)
Deuteronomy 3:11 Original KJV:For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnantof giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon?nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man,
(1.) Hebrew Nephilim, meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Gen. 6:4). These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who fell upon others. The word may also be derived from a root signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters" or "prodigies." In Num. 13:33 this name is given to a Canaanitish tribe, a race of large stature, "the sons of Anak." The Revised Version, in these passages, simply transliterates the original, and reads "Nephilim."
(2.) Hebrew rephaim, a race of giants (Deut. 3:11) who lived on the east of Jordan, from whom Og was descended. They were probably the original inhabitants of the land before the immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:5), and their territories were promised as a possession to Abraham (15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim were branches of this stock.
In Job 26:5 (R.V., "they that are deceased;" marg., "the shades," the "Rephaim") and Isa. 14:9 this Hebrew word is rendered (A.V.) "dead." It means here "the shades," the departed spirits in Sheol. In Sam. 21:16, 18, 20, 33, "the giant" is (A.V.) the rendering of the singular form ha raphah, which may possibly be the name of the father of the four giants referred to here, or of the founder of the Rephaim. The Vulgate here reads "Arapha," whence Milton (in Samson Agonistes) has borrowed the name "Harapha." (See also 1 Chron. 20:5, 6, 8; Deut. 2:11, 20; 3:13; Josh. 15:8, etc., where the word is similarly rendered "giant.") It is rendered "dead" in (A.V.) Ps. 88:10; Prov. 2:18; 9:18; 21:16: in all these places the Revised Version marg. has "the shades." (See also Isa. 26:14.)
(3.) Hebrew 'Anakim (Deut. 2:10, 11, 21; Josh. 11:21, 22; 14:12, 15; called "sons of Anak," Num. 13:33; "children of Anak," 13:22; Josh. 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba (Josh. 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of Palestine near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). They were a Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered them (2 Sam. 21:15-22). From this race sprung Goliath (1 Sam. 17:4).
(4.) Hebrew 'emin, a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites. They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:10, 11).
(5.) Hebrew Zamzummim (q.v.), Deut. 2:20 so called by the Amorites.
(6.) Heb. gibbor (Job 16:14), a mighty one, i.e., a champion or hero. In its plural form (gibborim) it is rendered "mighty men" (2 Sam. 23:8-39; 1 Kings 1:8; 1 Chr. 11:9-47; 29:24.) The band of six hundred whom David gathered around him when he was a fugitive were so designated. They were divided into three divisions of two hundred each, and thirty divisions of twenty each. The captains of the thirty divisions were called "the thirty," the captains of the two hundred "the three," and the captain over the whole was called "chief among the captains" (2 Sam. 23:8). The sons born of the marriages mentioned in Gen. 6:4 are also called by this Hebrew name.
Genesis 6: 1-8 Original KJV:
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
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.
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.
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.
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.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
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.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
The following assaults of the great Satanic Enemy
stand out prominently in the Bible:
Abraham's wife Sarai was captured by Pharaoh in Egypt (thinking she was Abraham's sister) before Isaac was born (Genesis, Chapter 12)
Abraham's wife Sarai was captured (taken) by Abimelech, king of Gerar (thinking she was Abraham's sister) before Isaac was born. (Genesis, Chapter 20)
The attempted destruction of the male line of Israel in Egypt, Exodus 1:15-16:
15. And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, ofwhich the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of theother Puah:16. And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to theHebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be ason, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then sheshall live.
The destruction of the whole nation in Pharaoh's pursuit, Exodus 14.
After David's line was singled out (2 Samuel 7), that was the next selected for assault. Satan's first assault was in the union of Jehoram and Athaliah by Jehoshaphat, notwithstanding 2 Chronicles 17:1. Jehoram killed off all his brothers (2 Chronicles 21:4).
The Arabians slew all his children, except Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 21:17; 22:1).
When Ahaziah died, Athaliah killed "all the seed royal" (2 Chronicles 22:10).
The babe Joash alone was rescued; and, for six years, the faithfulness of Jehovah's word was at stake (2 Chronicles 23:3).
Hezekiah was childless, when a double assault was made by the King of Assyria and the King of Terrors (Isaiah 36:1; 38:1). God's faithfulness was appealed to and relied on (Psalm 136).
In Captivity, Haman was used to attempt the destruction of the whole nation (Esther 3:6,12,13. Compare 6:1).
Joseph's fear was worked on (Matthew 1:18-20). Notwithstanding the fact that he was "a just man", and kept the Law, he did not wish to have Mary stoned to death (Deuteronomy 24:1); hence Joseph determined to divorce her. But God intervened: "Fear not".
Herod sought the young Child's life (Matthew 2).
At the Temptation, "Cast Thyself down" was Satan's temptation.
At Nazareth, again (Luke 4), there was another attempt to cast Him down and destroy Him.
The two storms on the Lake were other attempts.
At length the cross was reached, and the sepulchre closed; the watch set; and the stone sealed. But "God raised Him from the dead." And now, like another Joash, He is seated and expecting (Hebrews 10:12,13), hidden in the house of God on high; and the members of "the one body" are hidden there "in Him" (Colossians 3:1-3), like another Jehoshaba; and going forth to witness of His coming, like another Jehoiada (2Chronicles 23:3).
The irruption of "the fallen angels" ("sons of God") was the first attempt; and was directed against the whole human race.
When Abraham was called, then he and his seed were attacked.
When David was enthroned, then the royal line was assailed.
And when "the Seed of the woman" Himself came, then the storm burst upon Him.
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
—Romans viii. 14.
Hildegard of Bingen wrote about fallen angels in 1150 AD. She states they aligned themselves to the dark (negative) instead of to the light (positive-God per the Bible).
Another non-canonical tradition says that God's Angels swarmed down and killed the remaining Nephilim...
God seeing his creation on the brink of destruction acted to save man from this treachery, and he set out to wipe corrupt man (and beast) from the face of the earth. God did not do this so as to punish man but to save him from an evil he had no way of understanding. God saved Noah and his family and man began anew. As did the evil.
But it was the unauthorized act of revelation that outraged the archangels, and it was that act which God punished. "I shall restore the Earth, so that not all the sons of men shall be destroyed through the mystery which the Watchers made known." Divinely commanded, the obedient Watchers swept down and defeated their brothers, whose punishment was to watch the death of their children before being themselves imprisoned in the mountains and deserts of the Earth until Judgment Day, when they will be cast into the lake of eternal fire. (Azazel is the only Watcher whose burial place is believed to be known: under a heap of stones at the foot of the cliff of Haradan, in what is now the Sinai, where, regarded as a demon, he received every year the scapegoat driven into the desert with its burden of Israel's sins. --Alternately, he is sometimes said to have hurled himself into the sky and become the constellation Orion.) God sends the prophet Enoch to scold them in their imprisonment, saying that as spiritual beings they were never intended to have wives as mortal men do (of course, their creator could presumably have seen to it that they felt no longing for sex or love, but he apparently neglected to do so) and even scorning the knowledge they shared with humanity - "You were in heaven, but its secret had not been revealed to you and a worthless mystery you knew." - although the Four Archangels' concern surely contradicts this mocking remark. Other Apocryphal books say that even now they are held and tortured in the terrible Fifth Heaven, set aside for just this purpose. (I Enoch XIII describes the Watchers/Grigori as stricken mute with guilt and terror after Enoch's reproof, and indeed in II Enoch the Grigori imprisoned in the Fifth Heaven are voiceless giants.) The world, meanwhile, is swept clean in a great earthquake and flood, destroying the Nephilim's lands, to which many writers trace the worldwide legends of a catastrophic inundation.
But the Watchers' teaching continued to influence humankind in the ages after the Deluge, even though now condemned and studied in secret. In Jubilees VIII:1-5, Kainam, Noah's grandson, "came upon a writing which men of old had carved on a rock...it contained the teaching of the Watchers, in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and all the signs of heaven. And he wrote it down and said nothing about it..." fearing punishment from Noah, who blamed the Watchers for the Flood and constantly warned his clan against any dealings with them or their descent. (Must have been one blessed huge rock, unless the Watchers' skills included micro-engraving.) This is especially notable because Kainam is the brother of Chesed, father of Ur, who is said in the Apocrypha to have founded the famous Chaldean city of that name. "And [they] grew up and lived in Ur of the Chaldees," says Jubilees (XI:7-8) of Serug and Nahor, Kainam's descendants, "and worshipped idols...and [Nahor's] father instructed him in the learning of the Chaldees, how to divine and foretell the future from the signs of heaven." It's most tempting to conclude that Kainam's grandchildren through generations inherited and studied the written record he had made from the stone; that the legendary wisdom of the Chaldeans, which amazes history, had descended to them from the Watchers themselves
The Nephilim - and, some say, their children, the Elioud/Eljo - were physically exterminated by the avenging angel horde. But, though their half-mortal bodies could be slain, their half-angel souls could not, nor could they be held in chains. They remain on the earth, wandering at will, and though chaotic and destructive will not be punished for their deeds until the Final Judgment "in which the great age will be brought to an end". Occult tradition holds that now and then a Nephilim spirit will incarnate in human form (the souls of those who quit the body violently, it's said, are most pure...).
The Apocrypha claim the disembodied Nephilim are the origin of demons, and accuse them of many crimes.Jubilees places the blame for the Flood squarely upon the fornication of the Watchers and the iniquity and bloodshed of the Nephilim. "And now the giants who were born from souls and flesh will be called evil spirits upon the earth," charges I Enoch XV-XVI, "From the day of...the slaughter and destruction of the giant Nephilim, the mighty ones of the earth, the great famous ones, the spirits that have gone out from their souls as from the flesh will destroy without judgment." Even the mortal women who are their mothers are cursed to become sirens and demonesses. In Jubilees X:1-6, Noah's sons beg him to protect their children from "unclean demons" who are "leading astray, blinding and killing" them; Noah, petitioning God to "let not wicked spirits rule over [my grandchildren] and destroy them", adds, "Thou knowest what thy Watchers, the fathers of these spirits, did in my day..." making it clear that the demonic spirits and the Nephilim are considered one and the same. (One wonders if Kainam was one of these grandchildren being "led astray" by a "demonic" Nephilim familiar. Maybe it was helping him interpret the stone...)
Archaeologists digging at the purported biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing an inscription of the Philistine's name, a find they claim lends historical credence to the Bible's tale of David's battle with Goliath.
While the discovery is not definitive evidence of Goliath's existence, it does support the Bible's depiction of life at the time the battle was supposed to have occurred, said Dr. Aren Maeir, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and director of the excavation.
"What this means is that at the time there were people there named Goliath," he said. "It shows us that David and Goliath's story reflects the cultural reality of the time."
Some scholars assert the story of David slaying the giant Goliath is a myth written down hundreds of years later. Maeir said finding the scraps lends historical credence to the biblical story.
The shard dates back to around 950 B.C., within 70 years of when biblical chronology asserts David squared off against Goliath, making it the oldest Philistine inscription ever found, the archaeologists said.
Scientists made the discovery at Tel es-Safi, a dig site in southern Israel thought to be to be the location of the Philistine city of Gath.
Maeir doubts an archaeological find can ever prove Goliath's existence, but said the shard was exciting nonetheless because of its depiction of life during the time period.
Just before the story of Noah’s ark, the Torah presents a cryptic narrative that has mystified and intrigued scholars for generations:
And it came to pass when man commenced to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the benei elokim saw the daughters of man when they were beautifying themselves, and they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose. And the L‑rd said, “Let My spirit not quarrel forever concerning man, because he is also flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." The nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the benei elokim would come to the daughters of man, and they would bear for them; they are the mighty men, who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1–4)
Who or what exactly are the benei elokim? Who are the nephilim? How are they related to each other? And what does it all mean?
One thing benei elokim does not mean is “sons of G‑d.” In fact, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai would “curse” anyone who translated the term benei elokim as the “sons of G‑d.”1 The word elokim in Scripture, while generally referring to G‑d, is in essence merely an expression of authority.2 Similarly, the term benei does not necessarily mean “sons,” but is often just a title. Benei chorin, for example, means those who are free—not “sons of freedom.”
Nephilim seems to be derived from the verb-root naphal, meaning “fall.” From where did they fall? Are they the same as the benei elokim? And if so, why are they called by two names?
The Midrash and commentaries offer three explanations:
Explanation 1: Angels taking a risk
The Midrash3 relates that when the generation of the Flood went astray, G‑d began to regret having created man. Then two angels, Shamchazai and Azael,4 came before G‑d and said, “Did we not warn You before You created man, saying, ‘What is man, that You should be mindful of him?’”5 G‑d replied: “Then what shall become of the world?” “We will suffice instead,” they replied. G‑d answered, “I know that would you live on that world, the evil inclination would rule you just as much as it controls man, but you would be even worse.” But the angels persisted, saying: “Let us descend to the world of men, and we will show You how we will sanctify your name.” And G-d said: “Go down and dwell among them.”
Sure enough, as soon as the angels descended, their evil inclination overpowered them.6 When they saw the beautiful “daughters of man,”7 they became corrupted and sinned with them. They and their descendants are the nephilim, the giants and mighty ones referred to later on in the narrative.8
This story is often seen as support for the notion of “fallen angels.” But a careful reading reveals that this is not the case. G‑d sent them down knowing full well—and indeed expecting—that they would end up sinning.
In fact, in Judaism there is no such thing as fallen angels or conflict in heaven. There is only one Creator in charge of it all, with no forces opposing Him. Even “Satan” is merely the name of an angel whose divinely assigned task is to tempt people to sin.9
While the Midrash’s description of the benei elokim and the nephilim as angels and giants is perhaps the most popular reading, it is not necessarily the most literal one.10
Explanation 2: Corrupt Authorities
Based on a more literal translation of benei elokim, many explain that the term is simply referring to princes, noblemen or judges11 who abused their power, raping anyone they fancied, and forcing any women who got married to have relations with them first.12 This, together with their many other sins, were what eventually led to the great flood.13
There are, however, differences of opinion as to whether the nephilim are simply the benei elokim after they had “fallen,” or if the term refers to the descendants of these bnei elokim.14
Explanation 3: Fallen Humans
Finally, there others who take a different approach and explain benei elokim to mean people who were—at least to begin with—on a spiritually high level. They are later called nephilim, for they or their descendants (or both) fell from their spiritual heights, became corrupted, and eventually brought G‑d’s wrath upon themselves by robbing, murdering and raping without hesitation.15
We end up with several reasons why these beings are called nephilim:
1. Because they fell from their greatness.16
2. Because they caused the world to fall.17
3. Because they caused the hearts of people to fall, trembling before their great stature.18
4. Because they fell from heaven—although not without their consent.19
5. Nephilim is Hebrew for “giants”—which they were, either in stature, in authority or in spiritual greatness.20
Angels Versus Souls
We meet the nephilim again, much later, when Moses sends spies to the land of Canaan. The spies were great men, but they returned with a report that struck terror into the hearts of the Israelites, appending their own opinion that the mission of occupying this land would be futile.
Quite tellingly, they made sure to report on these angels who had fallen from heaven—perhaps because they themselves feared meeting the same fate. After all, the wilderness of Sinai was pretty much a heaven for them, with little else to do than contemplate G‑d’s Torah and His wonders. Entering the land of Canaan to conquer, work the land and harvest its produce threatened to be a tremendous descent.
The difference, however, is that the human soul is not an angel. The human soul is called a neshamah, meaning a breath, as in the verse that tells of how, when G‑d created Adam, “He blew into his nostrils the breath of life.”
An angel falls below and is disconnected. A breath, however, can never be disconnected. No matter where it may end up, how low it may have stooped, the neshamah is intrinsically bound to its origin above, and from there it receives the power to shine, even in the darkest and lowest time and place, and return to its true essence.21
Genesis Rabbah 26:5.
As we shall see, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai himself explains (ibid.) that benei elokim means judges. However, his cursing those who translate it as “sons of G‑d” is not meant in reference to the opinion that they are angels, for (a) this opinion is found in many places in the works of the sages, including the Talmud, so it does not seem probable that he would curse those who hold so widely accepted an opinion (see footnote 5); (b) the Zohar (1:37a) quotes this explanation without any negative comments.
For more on this, see Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Torah Sheleimah, Genesis 6:2, note 9.
Thus we find G‑d telling Moses (Exodus 4:16; see also Exodus 7:1) that “he [Aaron] will be your speaker, and you will be his elokim [i.e., leader].”
This Midrash can be found with variations in a number of places in the Talmud and Midrash, including Talmud, Yoma 67b; Targum Yonatan ben Uziel to Genesis 6:4; Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 22; Zohar 1:37a; and Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishit, remez 44. See also Torah Sheleimah, Genesis 6:1–4, for additional citations.
The Talmud, Yoma ibid., gives alternative names for the two angels. See Likkutei Sichot, vol. 28, p. 85, for a discussion of this issue.
For more on whether angels can sin, see Can Angels Sin?
The Talmud, Niddah 61a, explains that Og (who was a giant, and one of their descendants) survived the great flood by holding onto Noah’s ark and staying close to it.
Talmud, Bava Batra 16a.
See Rashi on Genesis 6:2 and 6:4; see also Likkutei Sichot cited above.
We find the term elokim used many times as a reference to judges; see for example, Exodus 21:6.
See Targum Yonatan ben Uziel to Genesis 6:4; Genesis Rabbah 26:5; and most of the commentaries (including that of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi) to Genesis 6:2. Some are of the opinion that it refers specifically to either the descendants of Cain (Zohar 1:37a) or Seth (Hamek Davar to Genesis 6:4).
It should be noted that while according to this approach the term benei elokim is understood to refer to princes, noblemen and judges, the term nephilim may very well still be referring to angels and giants. See, for example, Targum Yonatan ben Uziel to Genesis 6:2 and 6:4.
See supercommentaries of Nachalat Yaakov and Be’er Basadeh to Rashi, Genesis 6:4.
Ha'emek Davar, ibid.
Genesis Rabbah 26:7.
Ibid.; see Rashi to Genesis 6:4, in which he combines these first two explanations.
See commentaries of Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra, Rabbi David Kimchi (Radak) and Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Ramban) to Genesis 6:4.
Rashi to Numbers 13:33, and Nachalat Yaakov to Genesis 6:4. See, however, Likkutei Sichot, vol. 28, p. 86.
Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 22.
See Likutei Sichot, ibid.
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