One of the questions that many Christians have is, “What is Genesis 6 talking about?”
Genesis 6.1-4 says,
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 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.
It gets worse too. Numbers 13.32b-33 says,
“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 ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
Dr. Michael Heiser, an Academic Editor at Logos Bible Software, has written a new book called The Unseen Realm (see my previous post here, and his less academic work on the same topic, Supernatural). In this book Heiser takes a look at the cultural worldview of the Israelites and the nations who lived around them. Heiser’s catchphrase is “If it’s weird, it’s important.” The these short verses about the Nephilim surely are more important than Christians make them out to be.
I found Heiser’s discussion to be very interesting, and I hope you do too. Even if you don’t agree, discussion is welcomed. I want these posts to be light reading. Short and easy (a far cry from the norm around here). So I’ll write posts that will be bite-sized chunks of a few chapters in Heiser’s book.
- Who Were the Nephilim?
- Why This Topic?
- Three Interpretations on the Nephilim
- Why is Genesis 6.1-4 in the Bible?
- Weird Texts of the Bible
Dividing the Nations
The OT Trinity
- The Trinity in the Old Testament
- And He Struggled With the Angel
- He Rides the Clouds
- The Holy Spirit
Buy it on Amazon!
And also Heiser’s more condensed version,
3 thoughts on “Who Were the Nephilim?”
The interpretive options Dr. Heiser presents really helped me understand his thinking, and the thinking of others through time. To provide clarity, I’ve been following Heiser’s teaching approximately 4 years and still have a lot to learn, this is a compliment to Dr. Heiser. What I found extremely helpful while reading the different interpretations is the Lord’s prayer, “On Earth as it is in Heaven”, it speaks volumes to me.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Thanks, Vincent. I’ve started to listen to Dr. Heiser during my morning exercise routine, and it’s been very beneficial. I’ll look up his thoughts on the Lord’s prayer, and I know his thoughts about “on earth as it is in heaven” will be very interesting! Good to know. Maybe I’ll share something like that on here too. Thanks!
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