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Who were the Nephilim?

by Stephen Davey

Laura asked: Who were the Nephilim?

The Nephilim are a fascinating and mysterious group of figures that appear in the Bible. In Genesis 6:4, they are described as the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men," and they are identified as "the heroes of old, men of renown." This has led to much speculation and debate among scholars and laypeople alike. In this article, I'll explore the different views on the identity of the Nephilim, with a particular focus on the role of fallen angels and demons in their creation.

There are basically three views regarding the identity of these “sons of God” who produced the Nephilim, or giants, in the land.

The first view, which posits that the "sons of God" were fallen angels who cohabited with human women, is the most popular interpretation of the passage. However, this view presents a problem, as angels are not created with the ability to procreate. Matthew 22:30 makes it clear that angels are not given in marriage and cannot fulfill one of the primary functions of marriage, which is reproduction. Angels weren’t created with the ability to produce sperm, or seed—DNA that could unite with a woman’s DNA to produce a child. This view belongs in the comic books, as far as I’m concerned. Therefore, this view is often criticized as belonging to the realm of mythology or comic books.

The second view is that the "sons of God" were godly descendants of Seth's line, who intermarried with ungodly women. This view suggests that godly men suddenly began marrying ungodly women, leading to a mixing of the two groups and the birth of the Nephilim. While this view is less popular, it is still debated among scholars.

The third view, which I believe to be correct, is that demons were involved in the creation of the Nephilim. According to this view, the "sons of God" referred to in Genesis 6:4 were fallen angels who rebelled against God along with their leader, Satan. Since then, they have sought to corrupt mankind in any way they can. In 2 Peter 2:4-5 and Jude 6-7, demons are related to this incident in Genesis 6, indicating that something nefarious was taking place in which demons were involved. According to this view, fallen angels possessed unbelieving mankind to a large extent, intending to corrupt their offspring with a demonic, wicked character. The offspring of these demon-possessed men included the Nephilim, who are described as giants in some translations. 

It's possible that these demons were attempting to prevent the birth of a 'sinless seed.' That would be significant because such a birth would ensure the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the Messiah, who needed to be sinless to effectively defeat Satan and redeem humanity. The actions of thee demons seems to be an attempt to counteract the prophecy stated in Genesis 3:15, which foretold that the Messiah would defeat Satan. The demons aimed to corrupt the human gene pool to thwart the arrival of the Messiah, who was prophesied to defeat Satan.

It is important to note that the word "Nephilim" can be understood in different ways. Some interpret it to refer specifically to physical giants, while others believe it is a reference to famous men or mighty leaders. It's possible that the Nephilim were both, as they are described as "heroes of old, men of renown" in Genesis 6:4.

The identity of the Nephilim remains shrouded in some mystery. However, the evidence points towards fallen angels and demons playing a significant role in their creation. While the exact nature of the Nephilim is still debated, their story serves as a reminder of the complex and fascinating world of the Bible, full of myth, legend, and divine revelation.

Lessons from the Nephilim

  1. The dangers of pride and rebellion: The Nephilim are associated with rebellion against God and the pursuit of power and fame. Their story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pride and self-promotion, and the consequences that can result from turning away from God.

  2. The importance of faithfulness: In some interpretations of the story, the Nephilim are associated with the corruption of the godly line of Seth. This highlights the importance of faithfulness and obedience to God's commands, even in the face of opposition and temptation.

  3. The complexity of evil: The story of the Nephilim raises difficult questions about the nature of evil and its origins. While we may never fully understand the mystery of evil, the story of the Nephilim reminds us of the need to remain vigilant and resist the temptations that can lead us down a path of destruction.

  4. The power of redemption: While the story of the Nephilim is often associated with evil and corruption, it also serves as a reminder of the power of redemption. Despite their sinful nature, humans have the capacity for repentance and transformation, and God's grace can bring about healing and restoration even in the face of great evil.

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Mark Wilson says:
Very interesting topic. I'm wondering though, can fallen angels produce sperm and reproduce with a human being on earth, even though "regular" angels can't? So, could Satan have relations with a human woman and produce a child? That's what I'm a little confused about. Thanks!
Dwight Osborne says:
There's no problem with the view that fallen angels could procreate. When they came toi earth, they took on human flesh and thus also took on human function. Hence, they were absolutely able to procreate. Jude 1:6, 7 absolutely confirms this view when the angels are said toi have gone after strange fleshin similarity to those in Sodom; strange flesh for Sodom was men withmen and women with women. Likewise with the fallen angels, strange fleshwas humans. It doesn't happen often but I;'m sorry to say Pastor Davey, you have missed the boat this time.
Jacquline says:
What if the Fallen Ones took a physical shape of reptiles that DID have sperm or DNA? Like almost a beastiality thing that created Nephilim?
David says:
Gen.6:4 says that there were nephilim in in those days and after that so that would imply that after God destroyed the world there were still nephilim so why destroy the world if it would accomplish nothing? And why punish people and giants for what demons did? If they could procreate.