Who Are the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4?

Who were the Niphilim of Genesis 6:4

  • The offspring of angels and humans

    Votes: 17 21.3%
  • The offspring of the descendants of Seth and Cain

    Votes: 43 53.8%
  • Royalty/Great Men

    Votes: 9 11.3%
  • The offspring of space aliens and human women

    Votes: 5 6.3%
  • Other (please list below)

    Votes: 6 7.5%

  • Total voters
    80
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BobVigneault

Bawberator
Sure it could be, but that would be like saying that the Genesis Flood explains the re-biginning of mankind but the Enuma Elish was just trying to justify men wrestling with their own sins.

Personally, I believe the ancient myth texts (Book of Enoch, The Watchers) and pseudopigrapha are pointing toward Genesis 6,


Could that not be just men making gods in their own image to justify their own sin? :2cents:
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Everyone!

There was actually a dissertation written on this topic here at Trinity by a student named Ken Way. I found his argumentation very convincing.

First of all, I don't believe Nephilim is a proper name. Also, I will have to disagree with Puritan Sailor that The translation "giants" is highly speculative. For example, in Numbers 13:33, Nephilim are clearly from the bene 'anaq, who are clearly giants.

However, Way suggests that this might be too restrictive. In other words, while some of the Nephilim [i.e., the ones in the land of Canaan] may have been giants, there is nothing to say that there may not have been other nephilim that were not giants.

Way's solution is to consider terms like nephilim and 'anaq[im] to be pajoritive in character. Nephilim, as understood from its root, would have the meaning "fallen ones." 'anaq would literally mean something like "neck piece" or "neck" [c.f. also rapha'im meaning "dead spirits"]. This also fits the context of Genesis 6, as the whole point is to show the depth of depravity to which the world has fallen. Hence, the term would be ironic considering the fact that they are as wicked as the rest of the people, and yet, are men of renoun.

Hence, I would agree with Way's conclusions that nephilim can refer to any great hero who is in rebellion against God, and may or may not refer to giants.

God Bless,
Adam
 

tellville

Puritan Board Junior
I have it on good intel that the Nephilim were ancient Ninjas.

 

JoeRe4mer

Puritan Board Freshman
Therein lies the greatest suggestion that one may be so. Every major culture throughout history has told the same legend of spirit beings who mated with human woman and produced monstrous offspring. Hercules and the Titans imprisoned in Tarturus is one, in Persia there are the stories of the Jinn and the Watchers (Genies), the story of Prometheus, the Sumerians had the ANNUKAKI, the Succubi, the Incubi, and so on.


I went with number three, but number two runs a close second (Ha!). Number one, meh, sounds too much like stories of Hercules and the like.

Hey guys, don't mean to jump in but I wanted to comment on what Bawb said.

I'm not sure that it is a legitimate hermeneutic to superimpose ancient pagan mythologies onto the Biblical texts as proof for a particular interpretation. While certain broad similarities may exist I am very uncomfortable trying to use those in forming a Christian interpretation of what the Bible is really saying. The reality is that the whole angels breeding with humans view was not very popular with protestants until recently. Moreover, modern movies like the prophecy with Christopher Walken as well as a slew of bad A&E documentaries have used pop culture to reinforce what was generally a minority viewpoint.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Therein lies the greatest suggestion that one may be so. Every major culture throughout history has told the same legend of spirit beings who mated with human woman and produced monstrous offspring. Hercules and the Titans imprisoned in Tarturus is one, in Persia there are the stories of the Jinn and the Watchers (Genies), the story of Prometheus, the Sumerians had the ANNUKAKI, the Succubi, the Incubi, and so on.


I went with number three, but number two runs a close second (Ha!). Number one, meh, sounds too much like stories of Hercules and the like.

Hey guys, don't mean to jump in but I wanted to comment on what Bawb said.

I'm not sure that it is a legitimate hermeneutic to superimpose ancient pagan mythologies onto the Biblical texts as proof for a particular interpretation. While certain broad similarities may exist I am very uncomfortable trying to use those in forming a Christian interpretation of what the Bible is really saying. The reality is that the whole angels breeding with humans view was not very popular with protestants until recently. Moreover, modern movies like the prophecy with Christopher Walken as well as a slew of bad A&E documentaries have used pop culture to reinforce what was generally a minority viewpoint.

Along with this is the fact that the demon-spawn interpretation comes right out of the blue exegetically. There is nothing in the immediate context to suggest that demons were taking wives. The only immediate reference point for "sons of God" in the preceding 5 chapters is the line of Seth, who called upon the name of the Lord. If you start reading from the beginning, where would you get the idea of demons from? There have been men who called on the LORD and walked with him, and there have been men who exalted their own strength and tyranny (i.e. Cain and Lamech). The overall picture is mankind descending into greater wickedness, and the visible church is joining right in. Demons just don't fit with the context.
:2cents:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Hey Everyone!

There was actually a dissertation written on this topic here at Trinity by a student named Ken Way. I found his argumentation very convincing.

First of all, I don't believe Nephilim is a proper name. Also, I will have to disagree with Puritan Sailor that The translation "giants" is highly speculative. For example, in Numbers 13:33, Nephilim are clearly from the bene 'anaq, who are clearly giants.

However, Way suggests that this might be too restrictive. In other words, while some of the Nephilim [i.e., the ones in the land of Canaan] may have been giants, there is nothing to say that there may not have been other nephilim that were not giants.

Way's solution is to consider terms like nephilim and 'anaq[im] to be pajoritive in character. Nephilim, as understood from its root, would have the meaning "fallen ones." 'anaq would literally mean something like "neck piece" or "neck" [c.f. also rapha'im meaning "dead spirits"]. This also fits the context of Genesis 6, as the whole point is to show the depth of depravity to which the world has fallen. Hence, the term would be ironic considering the fact that they are as wicked as the rest of the people, and yet, are men of renoun.

Hence, I would agree with Way's conclusions that nephilim can refer to any great hero who is in rebellion against God, and may or may not refer to giants.

God Bless,
Adam

I would agree with Way's conclusion too.

If you want to call them giants based upon the sons of Anak text, fine. I just want to be clear that they are not some superhuman hybrids, but part of the human race just like the rest of us, and the term Nephilim doesn't necessitate that they be giants. Men of large stature would naturally be more feared on the battlefield and no doubt would have become men of renown, just like King Saul in his prime, and just like many today.
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
Can't we really just agree that it's God's covenant people commiting idolatry and intermarrying with people who aren't God's people? (Israel's sin throughout scripture) Isn't it really that simple? At least that's what I was taught when I first became reformed - that it's about believers and unbelievers - one more example of the Antithesis. I'm not saying we shouldn't wrestle with difficult or challenging passages of scripture, but I think we can possibly get into trouble when we try to read anything different than that in this passage. Not accusing, btw just seeking dialogue and asking. :um:
 
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