Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Sons of God, Nephilim, and Giants of Genesis 6

Gen. 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

4There 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.
 
From the above, some teach that the “sons of God” mentioned in v. 2 are the demonic spirits or lost souls of a people who allegedly lived during an alleged time gap of creation found between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 – a pre-Adamic race of people if you will.  They further teach that these demonic spirits or lost souls were having sexual relationships with women and producing the giants mentioned later in v. 4. 

Others disagree but teach much the same.  They teach that these are not the lost souls of a pre-Adamic race of people, but that they’re fallen angels (demonic spirits) who fell with Lucifer when he was cast out of Heaven (Is. 14:12; Lu. 10:18).  The latter may not agree with the premise of the former, but the end result is the same: they’re both teaching mythology and one is teaching heresy.  But in either respect, both are teaching that spirit-beings are copulating with mortal women. 

Then there’s others who disagree with both.  They teach that these are mortal men having sexual relationships with mortal women.  They’re teaching that giants are the result of people from the godly lineage of Seth intermarrying with those from the ungodly lineage of Cain. 

But if any of these options are true, then how come it isn’t happening today?  Where are all the women claiming to have been raped or seduced by an “angel”?  Godly people have sex with ungodly people all the time and there aren’t any giants being born unto them (or very few).  So if it was true for them back then, how come it isn’t true for us today?  The answer should be obvious – something is wrong with their interpretation.  But the question remains, who are these “sons of God” and where did they come from?      

The Sons of God

The book of Job specifically refers to angels or angelic beings as being the “sons of God” (1:6; 2:1; 38:7), and so when people read about the sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6, then the immediate assumption is that these are angels having sexual relationships with mortal women who are then producing the giants that appear later in v. 4.  But since these angels are obviously sinning, then it’s surmised that these must be fallen angels, demonic spirits, or some other type of evil spirit-being.

This is further sustained by the belief that nowhere in the OT will you ever find men being referred to as “sons of God” although that in the NT you will.[1]  But the problem with this logic that they’re looking at the Bible as if it’s two books under one cover instead of ONE book that has two major sections.  This leads them to pit the Old against the New when they should be considering it all (Dt. 8:3; Mt. 4:4).  But that aside, Scripture disagrees. 

Ex. 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

Hos. 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Hos. 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I [God] loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Jn. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Hence, Scripture does indeed refer to men as his “sons” in the OT; and this would not only include men, but women and children in the expanded sense of the word.  The NT reference is also justified because it applies to all people throughout all times who’ve called upon the name of the Lord for their salvation; and so the OT clearly teaches that God does refer to men as being his sons.  But to be fair, at this juncture we’ve only proven that these sons of God could be men; we haven’t disproven that they could be some type of spirit-being, but thankfully the answer is found in the context of the passage. 

The Context: Men or Spirits?
           
Gen. 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.  3And 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. 
  
From the above, please note that it was man who was multiplying upon the face of the earth and none other.  In v. 3, God says that his Spirit will not always strive with man because man is doing nothing but lusting after the daughters of men listed in the two previous verses; and we’re reminded that the kind of men that God is talking about are those made of flesh (v. 3).  And in this case, it’s those who are taking more wives than they should (Gen. 1:27; 2:24: Mt. 19:3-6).  Also note that it was man who would be judged and his days would be 120 years and not the (fallen) angels.[2]  And so from what we’ve seen so far, the context is solely that of man, his sin, and his impending judgment. 

4There 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.

But in believing that v. 4 refers to fallen angels (or similar), many then interpret the first part of v. 4 to mean that their union with mortal women led to the birth of giants.  But this isn’t what the text says!  It only says that there were giants in the earth in those days.  The second part of the verse, however, restates v. 1 and adds that when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men that the result was the birth of “children” – children who later grew to become mighty men and men of renown.  It doesn’t say that they gave birth to giants – only that they gave birth to children!  Thus the first nine words of v. 4 are only there to remind us that giants still exist: it’s not explaining where the giants came from; it’s only explaining that they were still present.  Indeed giants were born as a result of men and women having sexual relationships; but they weren’t the result of spirit-beings copulating with women.  Again, the context of vv. 1-3 was clearly that of man, his sin, and his impending judgment, and so v. 4 must be interpreted in that same light.  Verses 5-7 agree.   

5And 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.  6And 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.
 
Contrary to the popular notion that everybody is basically a good person, vv. 5-7 teach that the wickedness of man was so great that judgment was inevitable.  Later, in vv. 11-13, this same point is corroborated when it says that the earth was “corrupt” and “full of violence” because “all flesh had corrupted his way.”  Therefore, the whole context of this passage is addressing man and his sin and not the sin of fallen angels, demonic spirits, etc.  Again, it was all flesh that was to be destroyed and none other.  So from what has been presented thus far, it should be clear that the phrase “sons of God” can be used as a term for men and that the context of the passage itself confirms this interpretation.  This should be sufficient, but for many it hasn’t been disproven that these “sons of God” can’t be some type of evil spirit-being.  But that having been said, let’s study the spirit-beings found in the Bible and see if there is evidence to the contrary – other than what is thought to have occurred in this one passage.     

A Brief Look at Angels

In the Bible, angels always appear as full-grown men and they always appear with bodies, whether it’s in a glorified body in the heavenlies or upon earth.  And although it’s assumed here, nowhere else in Scripture will you ever find fallen angels appearing with their own bodies.  In stark contrast to the unfallen angels, the fallen angels are always trying to inhabit a body (demon possession) whether it be man or beast.
 
Furthermore, angels can’t reproduce nor is there any proof that they desire to do so (Mt. 22:29-30).  This suggests that their number is fixed and innumerable.  Angels are the created sons of God while we are the procreated sons of God.  And so while angels always appear as being masculine, they’re not male.  They lack the genitalia and reproductive systems to procreate.  We become the sons of God through salvation in Jesus Christ, although it should be noted that, in the context of Genesis 6, the phrase “sons of God” is used in the most general sense of the word – entailing all men because all men are inevitably part of his creation; but the true sons of God are those who carry within them the nature and character of the Father (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 4:6 etc.).  So while God is everyone’s Creator, he’s not everyone’s Father.  Selah.
   
Therefore, since angels do not and cannot reproduce, and since the fallen angels don’t even have bodies, then the best that anyone can offer is that demon possessed men are having sexual relations with women, and this is by no means outside of the realm of possibility.  Thus, the context of Genesis 6 is, once again, regarding man and his sinfulness, and none other. 

The Jude Defense

2 Peter 2:4-6




4For if God spared not the angels that sinned,
but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness,
to be reserved unto judgment;
5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow,


making them an ensample
unto those that after should live ungodly;

Jude 5-7
5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
unto the judgment of the great day.




7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner,
giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh,
are set forth for an example,

suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

In what can only be construed as a last gasp attempt to retain their doctrine, those who teach that demonic spirits are copulating with women point to the book of Jude.  The logic here is that the angels who were cast down from heaven are the ones copulating with women thus producing the giants found in Genesis Six, which then explains why Sodom and Gomorrah were later destroyed (vv. 6-7).  This would also seemingly explain why the earth isn’t filled with giants and women having sex with angels today; for by their logic they all lived and died in Sodom and Gomorrah.  How convenient.  But there’s yet another problem with this.  Look at the text. 

The angels were reserved for judgment because of their rebellion against God in heaven while those who died in Sodom were reserved for judgment because of their rebellion against God on earth.  God is simply saying that whether you’re an angel in Heaven or a man on earth, all those who rebel against him will be eternally damned.  Jude concluded his “location argument” with the angels in Heaven (v. 7), and then spoke of man who sinned on earth (v. 8).  What they do have in common is sin and rebellion against God (“in like manner”), but it comes from two contrasting locations!  This is the context of the “in like manner” comment in v. 7. 

But what supporters of this doctrine do is to combine the locations and focus on one specific sin, sex, even though the context of the passage focuses on the type of sin that leads to eternal damnation, which is a failure to acknowledge Jesus as our only Saviour.  This is the great sin, and not sex alone.  Essentially they’re reading the text backwards.  They read where Sodom was destroyed because of sex sin, then read that the angels had sinned “in like manner,” and so they naturally deduce that the angels were having sex with women thus producing the giants.  This is a subtly shift that greatly affects the interpretation.  But the context doesn’t allow for it because there is a definitive contrast between what happened in Heaven and what happened on earth.  Eternal rebellion against God is the common element and not the specific sin of sex, and this is where they err.   But there’s more.

What’s often overlooked is that Jude and Second Peter must be compared with one another because they’re essentially the same story: the main difference being that Peter is warning that false teachers are coming while Jude is saying that they’re already here.  But in both cases, they’re both warning of impending judgment for those who’ve eternally rebelled against God, both man and “angel.”  But when compared to one another as they are above, the readers of Jude are forced to reconcile their interpretation with The Flood that came next in Second Peter and not the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – a point of which takes us right back to Genesis 6 because it provides us with the explanation as to why The Flood occurred, and it was because of man’s sin; and so Jude offers them no real proof or defense.  Besides, even without Second Peter, historically this is true.  The Flood occurred in Genesis Six and Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed in Genesis Nineteen.    

The Book of Enoch

Much of the recent interest in the topic comes from the Book of Enoch.  It’s said that the Book of Enoch, in conjunction with Genesis 6, teaches that the giants will reappear and have input in the judgment of the Last Days.  It’s further taught that Jesus and the apostles quoted from it and that it’s one of the suppressed books of the Bible.  But as with most arguments, it’s based on half-truths and a complete ignorance of God’s method of preserving his written Word – not to mention the Book of Enoch’s inherent heresies.  The main verse used to justify its inclusion into the canon of Scripture is Jude 14:

14And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Since Enoch prophesied, it’s deduced that he also wrote his prophecies in a book.  And since he wrote it in a book, then it should be included in Scripture.  But since it’s not, then it’s being suppressed.  This is logical, but is it biblical?
 
Unfortunately, what they fail to realize is that speaking a prophecy and writing it down are two different things.  This doesn’t mean that an error or an omission has occurred; it only means that God chose not to have it written.  God, as the Author of his own Word, is simply using a verbal citation instead of a previous quote.  There are biblical examples of this.  Matthew 2:23, for example, cites a prophet who spoke a prophecy, but nowhere in the Old Testament can a direct reference be found, and so there is precedent for this.  But overall, suffice it to say that the Book of Enoch supports what this study is disproving – Roman and Greek mythology.   

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Although not elaborated upon in great detail, the following bulleted points add further credence to what has already been established.  These are in no particular order.    
 
*     As the argument pertains to Gap Theory or a pre-Adamic race of people:

§  In vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, and 25 of Genesis 1, God refers to his creation as being “good;” yea moreover, “very good” (v.31).  Therefore, all creation occurred and was completed before Satan entered into the Garden.  That eliminates any opportunity for anyone to sin and be transformed into a demonic spirit or a fallen angel because sin was not yet present in the world of human affairs.
§  Similar to the previous thought, the Bible tells us that Eve is the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).  This implies two things.  First, that even though animals are alive, they are not “living” (no spirit).  And second, if Eve isn’t the mother of all living, then God lied by telling us that she was when she wasn’t.  And since lying is something that God cannot do, we are then forced to accept the obvious.  Thus, there was no pre-Adamic race of people. 
§  Romans 5:12-14 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 teach that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the descendants of Adam (i.e. us).  To teach that there was a pre-Adamic race of people immediately raises the question, who died for their sins?  This is an argument that quickly degenerates into heresy.  It teaches that either God created an imperfect world or that Jesus would have had to have died for the sins of the world twice when Scripture says he dies once and only once (Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 3:18), or that there is another Saviour of which we know nothing about.  So there were no dead spirits of a pre-Adamic race of people walking around (spiritism).    

*     The Bible teaches that when you die you immediately go to Heaven or Hell (2 Cor. 5:6-8) and so there’s no time to linger about the earth – much less engage in sexual relations with women.  To teach otherwise is to teach spiritism (dead spirits walking around) or perhaps necromancy (communication with the dead), which is also a sin (Dt. 18:10-12; Is. 8:19-20).
*     Scripture reveals that everything gives birth after its “kind,” including men (Gen. 1:11-28; Jn. 3:6 cp. 1:27-28; 4:1), and that mixing kinds is a sin (Lev. 19:19).  
*     And finally, teaching that a spirit is having sexual relations with a mortal is nothing more than an extension of Greek or Roman mythology.  The Bible was written first and so mythology is nothing more than a perversion of the truth, and not the other way around.    

Conclusion

Taken all together, it should be clear that the context of Genesis Six is that of man, his sin, and his impending judgment.  Therefore, the opening nine words of Genesis 6:4 are but a brief reminder to us that giants are still being born, but that is all it is – a brief reminder.  Thus the purpose of the entire chapter of Genesis Six is not to inform or reveal where the giants originated, but to explain God’s justification for bringing about The Flood.  Again, the context is that of man, his sin, and his impending judgment.  But in reading into the text this interpretation, we’ve missed this very important lesson.  Selah. 




[1] E.g. Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:14, 19; Gal. 4:5; Phil. 2:15; 1 Jn. 3:1-2, etc.
[2] This 120 years is that man will be judged for his sin in 120 years and not that his maximum life span would be a 120 years.  There were men born after The Flood who lived beyond this age.  There were 8 descendants of Shem (Gen. 11:10-32), Sarah lived to be 127 (Gen. 23:1); Abraham 175 (Gen. 25:7); Isaac 180 (Gen. 35:28); Jacob 147 (Gen. 47:28), and Ishmael lived to be 137 (Gen. 25:17).  Bible chronology also supports this interpretation.  

2 comments:

  1. I appreciate your study and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to you on this matter. I used to believe this because it sounded cool. And the fallen mind is prone to yield to fantasy (mythology) rather than truth. The scriptures they used sounded like they supported sex between a fallen angel and women, but the scriptures are clear. I will read you next article on where the giants came from. God bless you and may you continue to yield to the Spirit of God as he exposes these misunderstandings the body has regarding God's word.

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  2. Very good. Thanks for your work.

    ReplyDelete