The Nephilim

I’m reading the Bible through, and thought I would blog about some topics that I find interesting along the way.

The first mention of the Nephilim is in Genesis 6:4.

 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

There are several theories about the origin of the Nephilim and what they actually were.  The most probable to me is they were the offspring of a union between two differing peoples.  They may have differed in physical traits, beliefs, or even social status.  It may have been that Godly people married un-Godly and their offspring were evil in God’s sight.

Another theory is that the Nephilim were offspring off angels and humans.  One branch of this theory is that the angels were rebellious fallen angels who found humans to be beautiful and had children with them.  Another related idea is that the union of angel and human was sanctioned by God.  I don’t believe the God would sanction such a union because He created marriage between a human man and woman (Genesis 2:18-25), also Genesis 1:11, 1:21, and 1:25 says that God’s creations reproduce after their own kind.  Angels are heavenly beings and humans earthly (although in God’s image), this is a thing that I don’t think God would allow to happen.

The Nephilim aren’t mentioned again until the Hebrew spies are sent into Canaan to scout the land.  The more faithless of the spies said this about the people of Canaan in Numbers 13:32-33.

So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselveslike grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

But in truth the people of Israel wouldn’t know what the Nephilim looked like, because they were all destroyed in the flood.  They would only know of them by stories passed down by Noah and his sons.  My personal belief is that perhaps the Nephilim were used as scary stories by the Hebrews and when the spies saw the giants of Canaan, think Goliath of Gath, they immediately thought back to the stories they were told growing up.  Of course this is pure speculation on my part, as the Bible doesn’t mention any more about the Nephilim than what has been quoted in these few scriptures.

I just want to make note again that these are human ideas, some of others and some of mine, there is very little said about the Nephilim in God’s word.