Who Were The Nephilim?

Who were the Nephilim? In Genesis Chapter 6 we read And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them. That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants [nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

To understand who the Nephilim were, we need to know what the word Nephilim means. The root of the Hebrew word "nephilim," is "naphal," which means "to fall". This suggest that he Nephilim were "wicked" or "fallen out of grace" with God. The Hebrew word for "renowned" is shem and means "fame, named, of reputation." The Estrangelo Aramaic gives this word as the intensive form of gbra, meaning "very mighty men of champions." It is the same expression or thought used in today's society. Very successful, rich and powerful men and women of influence are referred to as "giants" and are renowned or famous in the business or corporate world. Size or height may or may not be involved; however, what is being implicated in this section of the scriptures is that these men were powerful or "giants" or extremely great in their wickedness and deprivation. Their offspring became just like them, mighty men or champions of wickedness, which were of old, men of renown.

There are 2 schools of thought concerning the offspring (Nephilim) of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men". One school maintains that the "sons of God" were fallen angels who took on human bodies and married mortal women with the specific purpose of corrupting the bloodline of mankind so Jesus could not be born.

The other school believes that the "sons of God" were of the line of Seth using Genesis 4:26 for support: And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. and that the "daughters of men" were of the line of Cain. That being said, not all of the line of Seth could have been righteous because man is born sinful. The idea being conveyed here is that the continuing mixing of marriages between the righteous and unrighteous finally resulted in the Nephilim and the corrupted blood line of all mankind with the exception of Noah's family. Of course this was under Satan's influence.

Note that each school of thought has the same goal: mankind so corrupted by evil that Jesus could not be born. So what problems do we find when we consider that the "sons of God" could be fallen angels? Jesus told His disciples that angels "neither married or were given in marriage". Angels are spirit beings and have no need for reproduction. It is questionable whether that is even possible.

Another problem with the notion that the Nephilim were the result of the breeding of angels and mortal men is the fact these giants were in existence after the flood according to Genesis 6:4 There were giants [nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that. If the flood destroyed all life on earth with the exception of the inhabitants of the ark, how could there have been these type of beings after the flood unless the word Nephilim does not refer to a race but to a type?

But then again if Jesus is a result of a breeding between spirit (Holy Spirit) and man then why couldn't the Nephilim be? Was Goliath a descendant of the race of Nephilim? He certainly was a man of renown and an enemy of Israel. All I can tell you for sure from this study is that the war between good and evil has been around for a very long time.

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