Who Were the Nephilim?

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“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 (bene Elohim) saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.” – Genesis 6:1-2

Who are the Nephilim?

Now before we assume it was a race of hybrid beings let’s look at the text…

“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.” – Genesis 6:4

The word for “giants” is Hebrew Strongs entry 5303: nĕphiyl

Here’s the entry from Gesenius lexicon…

feller

Read that carefully. In my Strong’s I get giant as a bully or tyrant. People incorrectly assume because “giant” denotes a being large in stature later in the OT that it must refer to the same here. They could be large but text doesn’t specify it.

They are called “giants” here for quite another reason, and it is specifically for their wickedness and rebellion, the reason in which the flood came.

They incorrectly assume that because Og and Goliath were physically large that they must be hybrids as well. It’s really bad exegesis.

There is nothing here to indicate that these are hybrid beings. Further, there is nothing here to suggest that these “giants” are the result of the sexual union between the “sons of God” and the daughters of men… they were merely present in the land when these unions were occurring.

These giants were rebels, apostates and violent men (a feller) who were being led by the “bene Elohim” and their children…

One can only make that leap that these are hybrids if they take “bene Elohim” to refer to celestial beings. Commonly they do this because of Job 1:6…

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”

It is clear that these are celestial beings but the bible also calls Adam the “son of God”…

“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” – Luke 3:38

The identity of “bene Elohim” in Job does not determine the interpretation of “sons of God” in Genesis 6.

If you make that leap then you will come to very strange and unbiblical conclusions about the bible and reality, much the same way that the writer of the book of Enoch did.

Angels are NOT sexual beings… 

While there are a handful of possible interpretations as to these “bene Elohim” one possible interpretation has caught my attention lately, that these sons of God were evil demon possessed “divine” rulers in the antediluvian world that led the world in rebellion, much like Nimrod did after the flood.

Imagine the way in which the pagan Roman emperors believed that they were the incarnation of the gods… it’s not hard to believe that men bought into the same lies before the flood.

The children of these “bene Elohim” are called, Gibbor…

gibbor

There’s nothing new under the sun – that which took place after the flood took place before the flood… this is the God-King dynamic being referred to in Genesis 6 and it’s attendant wickedness; we see the same thing happening down to our present day.

The bible chronicles this in much detail…

 

 

 

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