Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2.0 19950303-19991108)
The Nephilim are first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 6:4 as the offspring of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men". This is a general theme found throughout the ancient world and is not confined to the Bible.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1996, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary by June Hoyt)
This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
The subject of the Nephilim is quite complicated. It is a general theme found throughout the ancient world and it is not confined to the Bible. It is an extensive subject that is found amongst most or all of the nations, from what we have of their records.
The reason God decided to destroy the earth was because of the activities of mankind and the fallen host up to the flood. The Nephilim were considered to be the offspring of the fallen host that interbred with human females (Gen. 6:1-5).
This concept was accepted at the time of the flood and even up until the time of Christ. The Nephilim were referred to as the Titans in the Greek world. The Nephilim also appeared in the traditions of the Indo-Aryan people from India through to Asia, and of the Indian world as Raksasas (giants) and they were seen to be in conflict with men.
The Genesis Apocryphon found translated in Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, develops a conversation, which refers to the birth of Noah and his father. Lamech suspects his wife had consorted with one of the angels who descended from heaven and had married the daughters of men (Gen. 6:1-4). Lamech doesn’t believe his wife’s denials and asks his father – the wise Enoch – to discover the truth from him. In the book of Enoch the fall of the angels is dealt with in detail.
The Genesis story in 6:4 relates also to the purity of Noah and his lineage. It is not a moral issue but a physical concept being dealt with. Bullinger has dealt with this issue in the Companion Bible at Appendix 26. Appendices 23 and 25 show that Noah and his family had preserved their pedigree and kept it pure in spite of the prevailing corruption brought about by the fallen angels.
Angels are called spirits (Ps. 104:4, Heb. 1:7, 14) for spirits are created by God. The fact that there was a fall of angels is certain from Jude 6. The nature of their fall is clearly stated in the same verse. They left their own oiketerion (abode). This word occurs only in 2Corinthians 5:2 and Jude 6 where it is used of the spiritual (or resurrected) body. Their sin is stated to be in like manner of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7). They are reserved unto judgement (2Pet. 2:4). Their progeny called Nephilim were monsters of iniquity, super human in size and character. They had to be destroyed (Appendix 25).
This irruption of fallen angels was 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. The intent 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 that the Canaanites were already in the land (Gen. 12:6).
The great conflict may be seen throughout the Bible. In each case the human had his own personal interest to serve, while Satan had his own great object in view. Hence God had to intervene and avert the evil.
The corruption of the fallen angels (sons of God) was the first attempt to destroy God’s plan of salvation and was directed against the whole human race. Jude 6-9 also has the concept that the angels had left their first estate and committed fornication.
The covering and position of woman in relation to man in ICorinthians 11 was placed in relation to the activities of the angelic host and the interaction with female humanity. The Genesis story deals with what happened in this interbreeding and the consequence. The concept of the Rephaim is examined in Isaiah 26:12-21. Note verses 13-14.
The text in Isaiah deals with the resurrection. This is evident also from a comparison with verse 19. Note also that the world is not converted by Israel (verse 18). The resurrection is, however, confined to the one species and not the others. The Nephilim or Rephaim have no resurrection. The word for deceased in verse 14 should not be translated as deceased; it is a proper name, i.e. Rephaim.
The concept is that by their physical sin, the angels produced a race of humanoids that were inferior and violent. From the beginning, the intent has been to sabotage God’s plan by the production of a product, which would interbreed with, and pollute the Adamic system.
There was a second irruption and it took place before Genesis 14, for the Rephaim were mixed up with the five nations, which included Sodom and Gomorrah. Two descendants from the Nephilim were Rapha and Anak.
God is omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good. Thus an inferior host can and did not err without impugning the nature of God. It is probable that there were a series of attempts to create an intelligent life form by the host in order to pre-empt the plan of God.
The eventual intervention of God through the loyal host in the creation ended a war that has seen physical and spiritual violence that has destroyed entire systems. The stories of the war in the heavens when told will make the world stand in amazement.