Summary: When studying the book of Genesis, many Christians and scholars quickly pass over this fascinating section of Scripture the speaks about the Nephilim. This is an attempt to deal with it in a historical and current context.
THE SONS OF GOD, GIANTS, UFO’S AND BIBLICAL TRUTH?
Gen. 6:1 through Gen. 6:9 (NLT) 1When the human population began to grow rapidly on the earth, 2the sons of God saw the beautiful women of the human race and took any they wanted as their wives. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.”
4In those days, and even afterward, giants (Nephilim; fallen ones – my addition) lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with human women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes mentioned in legends of old.
5Now the LORD observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. 6So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart. 7And the LORD said, “I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8But Noah found favor with the LORD.
Gen. 6:1 through Gen. 6:8(NIV) 1When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD
I. What is the point of my teaching today?
A. This portion of Scripture is equally important as every other Biblical truth.
B. If translated incorrectly (a misfortunate aspect of Study Bibles) it can perpetuate an unbiblical anti-supernatural bias held by many biblical interpreters of the past (although not the first 300+ years of Christendom)
C. Jesus said it would be like it was ‘in the days of Noah’ when He returned, it would be wise for us to see what happened in those days
THE HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION
I. All Hebrew Scholars, and the early Church Fathers took this text as it reads, the explicit teaching is simple –
A. Angelic beings ("sons of God") came to Earth, lustfully desiring the attractive daughters of men (literally Adam) (Genesis 6:2).
B. They took whomever they chose as wives (Genesis 6:2).
C. This angelic intervention occurred not only before but also after the time of Noah's Flood (Genesis 6:4).
D. The offspring from these unlawful unions were evil physical giants (Nephilim - "fallen ones" - in the Hebrew) (Genesis 6:4).
E. The fallen angels who committed this sin were incarcerated in Tartarus (the home of the wicked dead, Hell) where they now await judgment (II Peter 2:4 Greek).
F. Only a portion of the angels who originally fell with Lucifer committed this atrocity, since all who sinned this way (sexually with humans) were imprisoned, but there are other fallen angels who are not bound (Jude 1:6).
G. The sin of the angels was the same as that of Sodom and Gomorra; i.e., they gave themselves to fornication, specifically going after a different kind of flesh (literal) (Jude 1:7).
II. Many of the cultures around the world have myths about this
F. And many more
G. There are stories of roving ‘god-beings’, lustful orgies, and promiscuous, fickle and insatiable offspring who were hard to please.
H. Many of the ‘alien abduction’ stories of today (numbering in the millions) are sexual in nature, and leave messages of the ‘brotherhood of man’ (Babel), peace on Earth, and come by occultic means such as channeling (spiritism), automatic writing or other paranormal means.
III. Josephus was one historian who took the text at face value:
For many angels (11) of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.