At least once in every generation, the concept of a superhuman race is presented to the public. It seems that human beings are fascinated with the novelty of humans with immortality or supernatural abilities.
You can find this theme in almost every religion throughout history. Remember the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses of mythology that you learned about in school? We read those stories and wondered, “How could they believe THAT?”
But fast forward to our generation. Look at the proliferation of “super heroes” in the public arena: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. Some are human beings who somehow develop super powers, and others are human-like beings from other planets. The theme takes many colorful twists and turns from one generation to another.
Today we have the most “educated” society in history, and yet we still have some who believe in superhuman beings with an almost religious fervor.
It’s one thing when the secular world promotes these theories as science fiction entertainment, but perhaps a greater concern when they are being presented as truth by some in the Christian community. Throughout human history there has only been two super human beings; Adam before his fall from grace and Jesus Christ who came to buy us back after that fall. Those of us who are committed to the Bible as the Word of God need to have a clear understanding about the Bible teaching on this topic.
In the 1970’s a book called Chariots of the Gods became a bestseller. The world was fascinated with UFO’s, giants, pyramids, and the concepts of time and space travel. Shortly thereafter, Hal Lindsey published The Late Great Planet Earth, and the Christian world became more interested in giants and ancient civilizations.
While Chariots of the Gods theorized that the world was visited (and perhaps populated) by beings from another planet, Lindsey’s book suggests that ancient civilizations of giants were formed by demons (fallen angels) who intermarried with humans. He believed demons came to earth and had relations with mortal females to produce half demon/half mortal babies who became the mighty men of old, supposedly described in Genesis 6:4. The real source of his information was not a Biblical source at all, but from the uncanonized book of Enoch.
Both groups point to photos and accounts of giant skeletal remains as evidence. But we ask: did such a thing really occur in early human history? Would God allow the intermingling of human and angelic DNA? Is that even a possibility? Is society vulnerable today due to fallen angel DNA or was this just a fictitious story? Did giants once rule this world? Who were the mighty men of renown the Bible mentions?
This idea has become somewhat accepted due to the large remains found around the planet. This is held up as the irrefutable evidence, but is this the true explanation for these anomalies in the archaeological record?
The first stop in our investigation is the Bible, which I consider the ultimate authority. Many use a reference such as this to promote their case, has it been truly interpreted and taken in context?
“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 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.” Genesis 6:1-4.
This is the first mention of nephilim in Scripture: the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Moses refers to them as “giants.” This has been interpreted by some to be offspring of half demon angel/half human that would ravage the world and society, extending even to our very own time.
You can go online and discover pictures of what appear to be very large human remains. There’s no denying these do exist, I have some in my own archaeological collection, but some are suggesting and teaching that these remains possess DNA that is unique: half angel, half human. This is all pure speculation. I have not found the theory to be credible. The source of their hypothesis is a book called the “book of Enoch”. It is how much stock one places in the accuracy of the “book of Enoch” that is the determining factor concerning which side of the equation you fall. The book may be an interesting read, but certainly not an inspired part of the cannon of Scripture. There are some claims in it that are quite absurd.
The majority of ancient biblical versions, including the Septuagint, Theodosius, Latin Vulgate, Samaritan Targum, Targum Onkelos and Targum Neofiti, interpret the word Nephilim to mean “giants”.
The serious student of Scripture will endeavor to logically breakdown all of the possibilities to come to an accurate conclusion. Thought there is not much insights written concerning the pre-flood world, this is where one must begin to come to a full and complete understanding concerning the mighty men of old.
Many Scholars believe that Moses was the author of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. We are not here to debate the authorship of the book of Genesis, but to consider some of the content itself. I think Moses is the most likely candidate, and he probably compiled the Torah in part from eye-witness written accounts, passed down from generation to generation and preserved by those who survived on Noah’s Ark. Moses was very much an historian in his own right and an eye-witness to much of what he recorded.
One of the best ways to understand potentially difficult words or phrases in Scripture is to consider the context, plus the meanings of the words in the original languages. Context applies not only to the words themselves, but also to the circumstances at the time of the writing and of the events portrayed.
Regardless of the author, one thing that is obvious is the lack of content in the book of Genesis concerning the pre-Flood world. Calculating the line of posterity starting with Adam there seems to be approximately 1,650 years of human history to the event of the great flood. This amount of time transpires over the first eight chapters of Genesis. This could only mean a very general summery of highlighted events is given. This is where Moses’ editing skills would come into play. The first 8 chapters of Genesis covers the creation, downfall of man and the story of the flood (with Noah’s life extending 350 years after). This would account for 1/3 of human history in the first 10 generations. My point is that we only get a small glimpse through that window of time with just a few main characters revealed. The author of Genesis is providing a minuscule portion, even summarizing the main events. Contrast this with the last 11 chapters of the same book (Genesis) that deal with the single story of Joseph and his ascent as co-regent in Egypt, number two behind the Pharaoh.
Fortunately, the Bible is an inspired book that can say a lot in just a few words or verses; however, we must be careful not to read into the text or chapter more than is revealed or implied. This may be the case with the pundits who advocate that Genesis 6 is describing a half man/angel offspring; they are taking license with the Scriptures that is not warranted, though it might sell many books and DVD’s and would be quite sensational and tragic at the same time.
As it turns out, the main support propping-up this half man/angel theory is not from a Biblical source at all, but from the book of Enoch, which is not a canonized part of the Scriptures. As it is not part of the Scriptures themselves, like any other book, we must take the information at face value, holding its message up to the scrutiny of Scripture. “The Book of Enoch is believed to be an ancient Jewish religious work, ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, although modern scholars estimate the older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) to date from about 300 BC, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably to the first century BC.” (Wikipedia) For all we know this tradition could have been handed down from Cain’s son (also named Enoch), if it goes that far back at all. In other words, I’m suggesting that this was not an idea or inspiration from Noah’s great grandfather Enoch, the 7th from Adam. There is just too much uncertainty about the book over-all.
It is more than interesting, based on the apostate direction of Abel’s older brother Cain, that his son Enoch could have been the origin of this concept and not Enoch from the line of Seth. It would make perfect sense that Cain’s son would also pervert the cause for the judgment of the world, following in his father’s footsteps, actually placing the blame on God Himself, for allowing evil angels to intermarry with humanity. Remember, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, separating himself from the work of grace on his heart. After he defiantly killed his brother, God considered him a fugitive and vagabond on the earth (Gen. 4:12). So, the origin for the content of what is called “the book of Enoch” may have had nothing at all to do with the man translated to heaven. (Gen. 5:24) I believe the aspect that seems to hook even some conscientious believers, is the supposed introduction to Giants. People are fascinated with giants.
Is there a Biblical explanation for the giants we find before the great flood and the real cause for judgment?
In order to precisely answer that question, we need to start at an interesting place; the pre-flood environment. I know that sounds strange, but this will be a key factor that many have not figured into the equation when it comes to the existence of giants. In Genesis 1:31 it states God’s assessment of the work He had accomplished by the end of the sixth day; “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. So, the evening and the morning were the sixth day”. It is quite natural and understandable to consider things or issues through our own perspective, however, when attempting to understand the pre-flood world and their conditions we must consider things through pre-flood glasses. Ask yourself, when Christ made Adam (and Eve) on day six of creation, what was their stature? Were they what we would call giants? How about the rest of nature that had already been created?
The environment and aspects of God’s original creation was quite different then; the main consideration is earmarked in Genesis 1:6-7. “God said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so”. The Hebrew word for firmament is raqiya and simply means in this context, our atmosphere. And so, what is pictured in the Scripture above (a firmament configuration that no longer exist), is a canopy of ice that protected our entire planet, which existed above the current remaining atmospheric layers. The deterioration of this frozen water that was above the current layers of our atmosphere became the 40 days/nights of rain during the flood event. Water had never fallen from the sky, according to Scripture, it was the collapse of this canopy that facilitated this unique precipitation event.
This canopy provided several qualities for a more robust longevity that no longer exist. It provided a full extent of protection that the planet once enjoyed. Scientists today have recreated on a small scale some of the pre-flood conditions with incredible results. Our world than was similar to a terrarium, with greater atmospheric pressure, a much higher oxygen level, (samples from amber reveal 35%, from ice core as much as 50%), stronger electro-magnetic field, balanced soil composition, plus the canopy filtered out most all ultraviolet light. These conditions plus other factors allowed for prolific growth, one’s similar today that we can measure from enhanced hyperbaric conditions. The dinosaurs for example were lizards that lived in pre-flood hyperbaric conditions, with an abundance of food and a genetic code that allowed for continual growth, they grew to incredible size in this perfect lush environment.
Next week we will continue our series on the pre-flood environment and the effect it had on all of nature, plus the Giants that lived at that time.