Who Are The Nephilim?
Over the last few years, Christians have been taught to believe in a teaching regarding the 6th chapter of the Bible, that of a mysterious and fantastical race of angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim, mentioned in Genesis 6. Authors and preachers have spent ridiculous amounts of ink promoting the idea; a quick Amazon.com search shows 1,627 results in books alone as of this writing. There is big money in the spectacular, and Christians and occultists alike are fascinated by this idea. However, I will argue that we are being blinded by our own desire to find excitement rather than sound doctrine within the word of God.
Let me show you why this teaching is false, as shortly and succinctly as I can in nine points. This requires a detailed study of the Biblical text and of the Hebrew language, and the application of sound thinking about what we are told in God’s word:
1. After Its Kind:
Genesis 1:11 (KJV) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:22:. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
So to claim that angels, who are spirits, can reproduce with humans, is to mean that both can reproduce outside of their own kind. This is counter intuitive when given the pattern that is set within Genesis, and the fact that we know that humans can only naturally reproduce with humans. God however, was able to create life within Mary, because He is the source of life.
Furthermore, in Genesis 6 we read:
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
The Hebrew word for “generations” here in the Masoretic text is “dowr”, and refers to all those living at the same point in time, as opposed to the word for “seed” (zera) which refers to physical reproduction, aka DNA. Certainly Hebrew shepherds understood the concept of zera in the selective breeding of animals, yet that is not used in the text of this passage.
2. Angels Do Not Marry:
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
3.The Jude Eisegesis:
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
What Jude is doing is NOT comparing the fallen angels to the Sodomites, he is comparing the Egyptians, the fallen angels, and the Sodomites to the 1st century false teachers described in verse 4, who like them were condemned for their unbelief (v.5); they also defiled the flesh (like the Sodomites), despised dominion (like the fallen angels) and spoke evil of dignitaries (like the Egyptians); this is written in reverse to what is presented because it is an ancient literary form of emphasis called a chiasm.
4. Surviving the Flood:
How could the other usage of the word nephilim in Num 13:33 be possible, given that the Flood killed all flesh on the earth in Genesis 7? It reads as follows:
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of *every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.*23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
So what this view does is make scripture logically contradict itself, since these “giants” were flesh, and yet we find more giants after the Flood. Being the word of God, it cannot do that. However, we can contradict; thus, the origin of this supposed contradiction is not with God, but man.
We cannot have the “giants” surviving the flood. Some may say that more angels could have mated with humans later, but how can that not also trigger the wrath of God then, and why doesn’t this happen elsewhere in history, or even today? Also, that creates another issue with the common interpretation of Jude in point 3, that those angels who may have mated with women were thrown into the abyss.
5. Giants Among Men:
Hebrew is not an abstract language, like Greek or most of English, it is a concrete language that bases words on the five senses. As this explains:
“In our minds we would never relate an oak tree to a ram or view them as the same. The reason being is that we relate to features and appearances. However, the Hebrews relate to the function and in the case of the oak and the ram, they function in the same way. An oak tree is a very hard wood and the horns and skull of a ram are equally as hard. For this reason, the Hebrew word איל (ayil) is used for a ram (see Genesis 22:13) and an oak (see Isaiah 1:29).”