As the “modern nephilim” claim and scriptural argument is peculiar to those who accept the “sons of God” to be angels in Gen 6, this series of articles on this assumes this stance for the sake or arguing what the rest of scripture would show, if this assumption was true.
The Nephilim (continued?)
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.”
The Bible specifies that Noah was “perfect in his generations”. This can refer to being spotless or unblemished in his lineage. Why does God specify this? It would make sense that God said this to make clear that Noah was completely uncorrupted in his lineage, both paternal and maternal, having no ancestors that were related to the Nephilim-giants in any way. Noah was the paternal ancestor of every human who would come after the flood, his sons and all their children, who all humanity would be replenished from.
However, it is not specified that Noah’s wife, sons, nor daughter-in-law were “perfect in their generations”. It is therefore possible that Noah’s wife (and therefore Noah’s sons) or daughters-in-law (and therefore his grandchildren), were bodily related to the Nephilim. According to the concept of Paternal Spiritual Lineage, it did not matter if Noah’s wife was in fact even a Nephilim-giant, because Noah’s sons and all their children would have human-spirits, because Noah had a perfect human lineage and a human-spirit.
But it seems far more likely that Noah’s wife or daughters-in-law were humans, but unfortunately one or all were descended from a human-granddaughter of a Nephilim-giant. This would mean that while the women on the ark were human, not even giants, they could still carry the genes for hereditary gigantism, as well as genes causing a shortened lifespan. It could be argued that besides the stated exception of Noah, that his wife and sons’ flesh had also been somewhat corrupted, as all flesh had been corrupted,
“And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.” (Gen 6:12)
The fact that giants existed after the flood, and that lifespans continued to decrease after the flood, shows that a woman (very likely herself human) related to a Nephilim-giant must have been on the Ark, and passed these genetic traits on to all humanity which followed after the flood. (Noah lived 950 years, but Shem only 600, this could be indicative that the woman with shortened-lifespan genes was in fact Noah’s wife.)
That we all only live at most 120 years today, combined with the concept of Paternal Spiritual Lineage, shows that all humanity had a human-granddaughter-of-a-Nephilim ancestor in their past. Yet, we are no less human for it, because the Nephilim-giants had human bodies, and we all are descended from Noah who had a human-spirit.
The giants that came after the flood, which are seen many time in the Bible, were human. They had human-spirits, and were no more related to the Nephilim than anyone else was after the flood. Everyone after the flood coming to live only 120 years shows this. The human-giants after the flood unfortunately just also expressed the rarer genetic problem of having gigantism, while the rest of humanity expressed the genetic shortened lifespan.
The main difference between the Nephilim-giants before the flood and the human-giants after the flood is that the human-giants after the flood seem to have been in poorer health.
Some secular scientists and also Christian creationists both seem to agree that the largest dinosaurs if they lived today would not be able to breathe or stand up fully, and therefore that the world seems to have been very different a long time ago (how long ago being the difference) and that the earth had higher atmospheric oxygen levels in the past, which allowed for these dinosaurs to be able to breathe and function with some normalcy. These same conditions Christians attribute to the pre-flood world that allowed for the dinosaurs to breathe, and for huge winged ones to fly, also produced things such as gigantic animals and insects, as is found in the fossil record. (5,6,7) As such we know that the world before the flood was conducive to gigantic animals and their health. There is every reason to conclude the earth before the flood was more conducive to the health of Nephilim-giants and human-giants as well.
This may be how the Bible says of the Nephilim-giants, “the same became mighty men of old, men of renown”. These bodies with pituitary gigantism were able to function much better in the pre-flood world, and so were able to be “mighty men”. At the same time, they also had decreased lifespans. As such the gigantism and the shortened lifespan genes seem to not be directly tied together, but separate. All of humanity having shorter lifespans after the flood, while not being giants, shows that the two genetic issues were not exclusively tied together. The gigantism genes and the short-lifespan genes, while both coming from the Nephilim-giants, were not exclusively related. While the giants did live shorter lives than was usual in that time pre-flood, it is also clear that at first their gigantism was not a total hindrance to them, being called “mighty men”. However, after the flood and the change of atmospheric conditions, the gigantism seemed to produce even worse health problems for those with gigantism. And ultimately we can see that the shortened-lifespan genetics were not tied to gigantism genetics, as all of humanity has a shortened lifespan, but few have gigantism.
The human-giants after the flood did not have any atmospheric advantage, and there are indications they were in poor health, like those with gigantism today. For instance, one very plausible theory is that Goliath died by the stone hitting his head because of poor health and medical conditions which directly related to him having pituitary gigantism.
“And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.”
1 Sam 17:49-50
“Undoubtedly Goliath’s great size was due to acromegaly secondary to a pituitary macroadenoma. This pituitary adenoma was apparently large enough to induce visual field deficits by its pressure on the optic chiasm, which made Goliath unable to follow the young David as he circled him. The stone entered Goliath’s cranial vault through a markedly thinned frontal bone, which resulted from enlargement of the frontal paranasal sinus, a frequent feature of acromegaly. The stone lodged in Goliath’s enlarged pituitary and caused a pituitary hemorrhage, resulting in transtentorial herniation and death.”
- Dr. Stanley Sprecher, MD http://radiology.rsna.org/content/176/1/288.2.full.pdf
The poor health of these giants could also be argued in that whole villages of giants were killed off by the Israelites without any noted difficulty. (Deut 3:1-11, Josh 11:21)
God had the Israelites kill off these giant tribes entirely (men, women, and children), and this was likely for one very understandable reason.
Using FIPA as a model, each successive generation has a younger onset for the illness. This means that what might start as acromegaly, with adult onset, in a few generations would be more likely to result in gigantism that begins in childhood. That is for those who do express the genes and have gigantism. At the same time, most people in the family are carriers who do not get the disorder, and some do not even carry it. In modern cases, an entire family or village of giants doesn’t happen. But there is a reason why.
It is very likely that the only way that you would get this genetic disorder to be so strongly reinforced as to have an entire tribes of giants, where every man, woman, and child has the genetic disorder, is by inbreeding. The scientific understanding of hereditary gigantism supports this assertion. (3,8) And we know that these people did practice inbreeding. God confirms these nations practiced inbreeding in Leviticus 18, and this is what it would take to get entire villages of giants, in which every man woman and child was a giant. For instance, FIPA is a dominant trait with only incomplete penetration, meaning it acts recessive in many ways, and so it would be almost impossible to get a whole village of giant people, except if the trait was reinforced through inbreeding, like the close inbreeding Lev 18 mentions, making the trait to show very dominantly.
These tribes of human-giants had been inbred enough so as to doom their own genetics and those of their children. Their children would have gigantism, and they also would spread gigantism to anyone who married someone from the tribe. This is also demonstrated in the case of the sons of the giant of Gath, these 4 brothers were also giants like their father. (1 Ch 20, 2 Sam 21)
“And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of [great] stature, whose fingers and toes [were] four and twenty, six [on each hand], and six [on each foot]: and he also was the son of the giant. But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him. These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.” 1 Ch 20:6-8
This instance of the giant of Gath and his 4 giant sons shows a couple of things to be true. The first is that gigantism passes hereditarily among humans, and is not always caused by fallen angels. The second is that if one wished to debate this point, then logic would dictate that one would have to concede that either:
A. The Bible is not accurate when it uses the terms “father” and “son”, which could have terrible ramifications if this same assertion was applied to Jesus Christ.
B. Or if asserting that the giant of Gath was a “Nephilim” and he himself had sons, one would have to concede that the Nephilim before the flood were not sterile, and therefore could have had sons or daughters before the flood.
And so this gigantism was a human hereditary disorder that passed from one human to his four human sons. This is not how hereditary gigantism typically shows in families, and is highly unusual, which all suggests close inbreeding, as may the polydactylism.
Like a quarantine, to save much more of humanity from the genetic disorder of gigantism, God had these tribes of giant people to be killed. This was a mercy on any children they may have had, and future generations, as gigantism is a very painful, deforming and disabling genetic disorder. This also was protective against spreading this genetic disorder to all those peoples around them, including the Israelites. (Jdg 3:5-7)
That the giants after the flood were human-giants and not Nephilim-giants is confirmed in the Bible in Numbers13-14. This is the only time after the flood in which the word “Nephilim” is used, and the Bible makes clear that the statement made was a slander, a lie, and that those who told this lie were punished with death, as a result of the harm they caused with this lie.
“And they brought up a slander of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Num 13:32-33
“And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil slander upon the land, died by plague before the LORD.” Num 14:36-37
The book “Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection” by Gary Bates is where I first saw this pointed out, and he puts it this way:
“…The descendents of Anak (the Anakim/Anakites) were obviously a group of large people. However, in verse 28 the spies also reported that many of the other people in the land were “strong.” There are several other passages that refer to the Anakim as a powerful group of people (Deut. 9:2 for example), but verse 33 in Numbers 13 is the only passage that suggests any Anakite relationship to the Nephilim. Once again, it should be remembered that these Anakim were descendents of post-Flood people. They could not be descended from the pre-Flood Nephilim. Chapter 10 of Genesis records the “Table of Nations”; that is, the descendents of Noah’s sons, and there is no mention of Anak or the Nephilim, post-Flood.
“It should be noted that the spies brought back a bad, or “evil” (Hebrew dibbah, “to slander, whisper, or defame”) report. That report included a parenthetic insertion that the large people known as the sons of Anak were descended from the Nephilim. The NIV simply puts it as: We saw the Nephilim there (the descendents of Anak come from the Nephilim)… (Num. 13.33).
“At first reading, this may seem like a factual account, but it is part of the quoted false report of the spies. Of the 12 spies, only Joshua and Caleb, trusting God, were keen to enter and take possession of the land; the other 10 did not want to. Because of the false report, the whole nation was too terrified to enter the Promised Land, and they turned against Moses for bringing them there. God responded:
The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people treat me with contempt?… I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them’ (Num. 14:11).”
“How can we be sure that it was a false report? To start with, God intended to strike down all of the people with a plague for their unbelief, but Moses interceded on their behalf. However, there were some that were not going to escape God’s justice. Why? Because they brought back an untruthful report. Numbers 14:36-37 says:
“‘Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord’ (New King James Version).’”
“Some Christians have actually added to the false account of the Nephilim in the Promised Land. They say that during the time that the children of Israel wandered in the desert (38 years), fallen angels were once again cohabiting with women to produce more Nephilim as part of a satanic strategy to prevent the Hebrews entering the land. This is unlikely because, although they encountered the Anakim, they defeated them, as well as many others inhabiting tribes. When they eventually entered the land of Canaan, there was no mention of the Nephilim or encounters with them. Surely, among the descriptions of all the battles that ensued, encounters with Nephilim would have been mentioned if they occurred. And it should be remembered, according to the fallen angel view, the original angels who stepped out of line in this manner were now in chains in Tartarus…”
Gary Bates, Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection, pg. 363-364
To make perfectly clear, a slander is a lie. The word used here for slander is “dibbah” and means “slander, calumny” according to the Gesenius’s Lexicon. It is translated as “slander” 4 times, “infamy” 2 times and “evil report” 3 times in the KJV. The word “slander” means a “malicious false or defamatory statement”, “calumny” means “a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation”. A slander is a lie.
Numbers makes clear that these men brought a slander against the land in particular by: “saying… there we saw the giants (Nephilim), the sons of Anak, of the giants (Nephilim)”. This is the slanderous, lying statement in question. It is pointed out in particular in Num 13:32 that this statement was slander, a lie, and not true, before the Bible recounts the false statement. Then afterwards, in Num 14, it is made clear that the men who lied in this particular statement died by plague before God. As such, God punished these men for their lie about there being Nephilim in the land, by them dying before Him by a plague. The reason this punishment was so severe was because as a result of this lie, the people of Israel refused to take the land in battle, refusing to obey God. And they then were punished by having to wander in the desert for 40 years.
Other than this singular instance of a slander, a lie, being told, no mention is made of Nephilim after the flood, and besides Gen 6 and Num 13 the word Nephilim is not used anywhere else in the Bible. The interbreeding of the “sons of God” and women is not recorded to have occurred again after the flood. As the Bible had no problem mentioning this interbreeding the first time, God surely would have mentioned if the same events happened again, in His consistency. Also the “sons of God” who begat the Nephilim-giants were imprisoned in Tartaros (the Abyss) until the judgment for their crime.
In Jude 1 and 2 Pet 2 these “sons of God” are described as angels who sinned by leaving their own domain, are compared to those who “gave themselves over to fornication, going after strange flesh”, and who are now imprisoned in Tartaros. Their actions defined them as and made them become fallen angels.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1:6-7
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell (Tartaros), and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” 2 Pet 2:4-6
The chronology in 2 Pet 2:4-6 places the time of their sin to be immediately before the flood, so we can know these are one and the same fallen angels who are referred to in Gen 6:1-4. And we know that these fallen angels in particular who committed this sin are now bound and imprisoned in Tartaros as the sentence for their crime. (Though others are not imprisoned, who did not commit this particular crime, see Rev 12, Luke 4, Eph 6:12.)
As such it makes the most sense that no other fallen angels would attempt to repeat this crime, and face the same punishment. As God is consistent, it makes sense they would face the same punishment. So it seems safe to say no other fallen angel would commit this crime, because of the consequences, and this is consistent with God not describing any repeat of this crime after the flood.
The Bible makes clear that the human-giants after the flood were not Nephilim, by saying those that called them so were slanderers in Num 13-14. Both the presence of human-giants after the flood and the shortened lifespans after the flood can be tied to the Nephilim that lived before the flood, through a woman on the Ark, without any resumed fallen-angelic interbreeding after the flood. The evidence for this theory is seen in that all of humanity soon had lifespan shortened to 120 years, and Gen 6:3 shows the prophecy of a shortened lifespan as being related to the fallen angels taking wives, and their offspring.
There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that there will ever be any more Nephilim born. The scriptures sometimes used to argue this fallacy are Matt 24 and Dan 2, but this can only be accomplished by ignoring the obvious meanings of the verses, ignoring their context, and twisting their meaning, and the meanings of the words in these verses.
With a straightforward interpretation, taking into account context of the passage, meanings of the words, etc, neither of these passages hint at there being any more Nephilim in the future of the world, according to Bible prophecy. You can examine these passages of prophecy, and the conclusion that they do not include any prophecy of a resurgence of Nephilim, at the links below:
(And in fact even if Dan 2:43 is assumed to refer to fallen angels, incorrectly, then the verse still indicates an absence of Nephilim in the future - Second Dan study here)
(3) http://www.fipapatients.org/disorders/fipa/ includes family tree chart
(8) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/565829_3 may require free user account
While side issues, I want to address a couple things:
1. In Gen 6:4 “and also after that” or “afterward” has a couple of possible explanations that the text will allow for, and neither one references to after the flood. The first is that the taking of wives and interbreeding began “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them” which was about 1000 years before Noah was even born. In context, “afterward” refers to the time when the marrying and interbreeding started, some 1000 years before Noah was born, and into the time of Noah’s 600th year when the flood came. Dr. Heiser pointed this out to me in an email, and I think it makes the most sense of anything I’ve heard. Based on the context of the verses, the idea that makes the least sense to me is “and also after that” refers to after the flood. The flood isn’t mentioned, nor the word “flood” used, until 13 verses later.
2. “All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” in Gen 6:12 maybe, just maybe, could reference to fallen angels practicing bestiality and resulting offspring, but only IF fallen angels took the form of animals, and had offspring with them. The same general rules would apply here as in the rest of the science of genetics, and the offspring would have been animals with demon-spirits. This might explain some of the reports today of “animal-like evil spirits”, and why all the animals were killed save those on the ark. Or this may not be the case. I only mention it in response to some teachings which seem to fixate on this topic, which I hardly see as important.
3. There are some cases in which God had the Israelites destroy every animal from a tribe that they killed, instead of keeping the animals. The simplest explanation for this is that the tribe had practiced bestiality and the animals were cursed, but nothing indicates these animals were any sort of offspring of fallen angels.