I’ve noticed that many people who read my novel Nephilim Genesis of Evil either haven’t heard of the Nephilim, or if they have heard of the Nephilim, they don’t have an understanding of who these creatures were (or are, if you believe the premise of my novel). I find this a fascinating topic, and I’ll go over some of the basics (the very basics, there is a ton of information on this topic) of the Nephilim from a Biblical perspective. In future posts I will tackle this from other perspectives.
Giants, Aliens, or What?
The Nephilim are mentioned in the Bible, the most well-known, but easily overlooked passage being Genesis 6:4:
There were giants 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.
First, the meaning of Nephilim seems to be a bit unclear. Some scholars say that the correct translation of Nephilim in this passage doesn’t mean giants, but rather bullies or tyrants. However, the Nephilim are also mentioned in Numbers 13:33:
There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.
It would seem from this passage that the Nephilim were indeed giants, or giant in stature compared to the rest of the Israelites.
But It’s Not That Simple
Where things become interesting is with the phrase sons of God. Who were the sons of God? There seem to be three interpretations of this:
- Sons of God refers to fallen angels who lived on earth and married human women (thus creating the Nephilim)
- Sons of God refers to the descendents of Seth (third son of Adam and Eve). They were godly men who sinned by marrying descendents of Cain, who were pagans. The Nephilim were simply heroes, not giants, and may or may not have been the offspring of the mixed marriages.
- Sons of God were sons of nobles, and Nephilim are princes or great men.
To Complicate Things Further…
The sons of God are also mentioned elsewhere in the Bible (Daniel, and most notably three times in Job), where they seem to be referred to as angels. But were they fallen angels? This supposition comes from Apocryphal works. One is the book of Enoch, that deals with fallen angels, the occult, and magic. But ancient Jewish texts also seem to indicate that the sons of God were believed to be fallen angels. This is key in the creation of…
Because it was through the sons of God having sexual relations with human women that the Nephilim were created. Two New Testament books (Jude and 2 Peter) support this because they indicate that at some point fallen angels came down to earth and committed sexual sin on earth. Theories upon theories abound, as do arguments against each one.
What About The Flood?
Back in my Sunday school days, I remember hearing about the Great Flood and how Noah saved all the animals and his family. God was mad at the sin on the earth, right? But many now speculate that the flood occurred to wipe out the tainted bloodline created by the sons of God having sexual relations with the daughters of man…and that would be the Nephilim.
And Here’s Where I Had Some Fun
As I studied the Nephilim, I got to thinking about one little bit of the verse in Genesis 6:
and also afterward
The Nephilim were around in Noah’s day, and afterward. And we know they were around for quite some time, because they are referenced again in Numbers. So the flood didn’t work. And this group of half man, half fallen angels, continued to roam the earth. Even today? That’s where I had that fun. Read Nephilim Genesis of Evil for my take on the Nephilim.
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman.
Visit my website and sign up for my newsletter! Information about a HUGE contest coming soon!