Who Were the Nephilim, the Bible’s Mysterious Race of Giants?

Who Were the Nephilim, the Bible’s Mysterious Race of Giants? Advertisement By: Dave Roos | May 3, 2021 The book of Genesis contains some of the most famous origin myths in Western culture: God’s creation of the heavens and Earth, Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and God commanding Noah to […]

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Who Were Nephilim, Bible’s Mysterious Race of Giants?

By: Dave Roos
|

book of Genesis contains some of most famous origin myths in Western culture: God’s creon of heavens and Earth, Adam and Eve eng forbidden fruit in Garden of Eden, and God commanding Noah to collect two of every animal to surve great flood.

book of Genesis contains some of most famous origin myths in Western culture: God’s creon of heavens and Earth, Adam and Eve eng forbidden fruit in Garden of Eden, and God commanding Noah to collect two of every animal to surve great flood.

But hidden among se better-known stories is an intriguing and somewhat confounding account of fallen angels and a race of superhuman giants roaming Earth. whole wild story is contained in just three verses at start of Genesis, chapter six. King James Version goes like this:

In original Hebrew, term for se giants and “mighty men” is Nephilim, which is dered from Hebrew naphal meaning “to fall.” In that sense, this race of giants, born of unholy unions between dine “sons of God” (i.e., angels) and mortal “daughters of men,” are better translated as “ fallen ones.”

While giant Nephilim are barely mentioned in Genesis narrate, y were subject of great fascinon in later apocalyptic literature, especially Book of Enoch. In that text, which didn’t make it into Bible, a group of lusting angels conspires to sleep with human women, ging birth to a race of giants that spoil God’s creon so completely that he has no choice but to send floodwaters and wipe Earth clean.

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Scholars say re are two possible reasons why Genesis account of Nephilim is so short.

“It’s eir a much longer story that got truncated in text, or it was so common of a story that authors of Genesis didn’t bor to write down whole thing,” says Kevin Sullivan, a religion professor at Illinois Wesleyan Unersity who specializes in ancient Jewish and tian mysticism with a focus on angels and demons.

Across Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, re were longstanding myths of gods falling in love (or lust) with human women and spawning “god-men” of superhuman size, strength and power. In Ancient Greek mythology, for example, Zeus fared hero Heracles (Hercules in Roman myth) from a tryst with beautiful human Alcmene.

Those demi-god figures, well-known to ancient authors and readers of Hebrew Bible, were “mighty men of old” and “men of renown” referred to in Genesis. And this short text provides a passing explanon of how y came to be.

y’re superhuman because what y represent is something God never designed,” says Sullan. “y’re a hybrid between beings that should have stayed in heaven and beings that should be on Earth. Nephilim are not dine in sense that y’re heading back to heaven, so y kind of trundle around Earth as this weird mix.”

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three-verse Genesis account of Nephilim only hints at notion that unions between “sons of God” and “daughters of men” were a transgression. But later Jewish writers ran with that idea and expanded cast of characters to include a rebellious and sinful band of angels called “ Watchers.”

In text known as “Book of Enoch,” likely written between 300 and 200 B.C.E., a group of 200 angels led by angel Semjaza hatch a plot to take wes from “beautiful and comely” daughters of men. y know that what y’re doing is a “great sin,” so y make a pact to follow through with it at all costs and suffer consequences toger.

rebellious angels are called by Aramaic word iyrin, which is dered from a word meaning “awake.” refore, iryin has sometimes been translated as “ awakened ones,” but more often y’re called “the Watchers,” because ir job as angels was to remain vigilant and watch over mankind. Later in Book of Enoch, even loyal angels are called Watchers, but name is mostly associated with bad guys.

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In “Book of Enoch,” Nephilim begat by Watchers and human women aren’t heroic “men of renown” of Genesis, but “great giants whose height was three thousand ells,” which is more than 3,000 (~9,840 feet) tall. In ir insable hunger, monstrous Nephilim eat all of mankind’s food, and when food runs out, y start eating the men themselves.

Not only do Watchers bring se blood- giants into world, but some of fallen angels teach women “charms and enchantments,” how use roots and plants for sorcery, as well as how to make jewelry and makeup for “beautifying of eyelids.” To men, Watchers teach metallurgy and how to fashion “swords, and knes, and shields, and breastplates.”

“And re arose much godlessness, and [mankind] committed fornicon, and y were led astray, and became corrupt in all ir ways… And as men perished, y cried, and ir cry went up to heaven,” Book of Enoch says.

It is only n that God intervenes and tells angels to warn Noah of coming flood, intended to “heal earth that angels have corrupted.” God furr commands his loyal angels to “destroy all spirits of reprobate and children of Watchers, because y have wronged mankind. Destroy all wrong from face of earth and let every evil work come to an end.”

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In Genesis, chapter three, Adam and Eve are blamed for introducing sin into world when y eat forbidden fruit from tree of knowledge of good and evil. Later in Genesis, God decides to destroy his creon with flood because of “wickedness of man” and repents that he ever made man at all. Noah is only righteous man on Earth, so God spares him and his family.

But Book of Enoch paints a very different origin story for sin. Here, it isn’t mankind that screws everything up, but Watchers and ir heinous offspring. Sullan says that this version of creon story dates to Second Tle Period of Judaism, when re was a prevailing belief in a cosmic struggle between forces of good and forces of evil, represented here by Watchers.

re’s this huge amount of literature during Second Tle Period that provided a pretty significant competing narrate to Genesis,” says Sullan. “It says that God created humans in His image and y were good, but it was angels that messed it all up. reason re’s evil in world is because of se dine beings.”

Sullan says that se two competing narrates around origin of sin existed simultaneously within Judaism for hundreds of years, with different Jewish sects latching on to both stories. Fragments of Book of Enoch, for example, were among Dead Sea Scrolls alongside or apocalyptic texts that foretold a final war between dine forces of good and evil.

When we get into first centuries C.E., though, Judeo-tian thinkers like Paul help to develop a tian ology that centers on Adam and Eve’s transgression as “original sin” for which all of mankind needs to be saved. In emerging tian orthodoxy, humans are sinners and only Jesus t can make m whole through his saving grace.

saga of Watchers and Nephilim took a back seat, and “Book of Enoch” was relegated to pseudepigrapha, non-canonical literature of questionable authorship.

2014 movie “Noah” featured characters known as the Watchers, angels that disobeyed God by coming down to help Adam and Eve, and were punished by being transformed into rock monsters.

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Who Were Nephilim, Bible’s Mysterious Race of Giants?


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Happiness is for those who plan well and pursue. A profound among us have been proven those who have true dream to live for likely REALIZED IT. It is just simply the person working toward the DREAM days and night until accomplishment. There is a phrase of efficiency a head of you. Steps and obstacles at first seem tremendous. However, just with some times those difficult steps and challenges are so easy performance for you. There are also plenty of tools including VISUALIZATIONS and helps are around you.

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