February 8th, 2009, 11:20 AM
The Sons of God, by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D., Ariel Ministries
In discussing Genesis 6:1-4, one of the early echoes of the promise of Genesis 3:15, it has been stated that these verses describe the intermarriage of fallen angels with human women. Because this view is contested by some, it will be necessary to study these verses in some detail and provide a justification of the interpretation which has been given.
The Multiplication of Humanity - Genesis 6:1
1:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,... (NASB)
Verse 1 emphasizes the multiplication of humanity before the Flood. The Hebrew word for "men" used here is generic and refers to humanity in general, including male and female. The word, as such, cannot be limited to the sons of Cain. It included both Sethites and Cainites, and both of these groups died in the Flood.
Another key word found in verse 1. is "daughter," a Hebrew word that means "females." The emphasis in the second part of verse 1, "daughters were born unto them," is on the female portion of humanity. Again, the expression cannot be limited to the female descendants of Cain, as some teach. It simply is a word that means "the female portion of the population." Verse i can read: "Man [humanity] multiplied and daughters (females] were born unto them." The distinction in verse 1 is not between male Sethites and female Cainites, but the emphasis is on the female portion of humanity in general which would include both Cainites and Sethites.
The Intermarriage - Genesis 6:2
2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. (NASB)
Verse 2 describes an intermarriage. The first key phrase is, "sons of God." The term "sons of God" is a general term which means "to be brought into existence by God's creative act." Because the term carries this meaning, it is used very selectively. Throughout the Old Testament the term "sons of God" is always used of angels. This is very clear when the usages of the term are compared in the Old Testament. Elsewhere, the term is used in Job :1:6; 2:1, and 38:7. No one debates that the other places where "sons of God" is found in the Old Testament clearly refer to angels. But some want to make Genesis 6:1-4 the one exception, and there is simply no warrant for making an exception here.
In the New Testament the term "sons of God" is expanded. Adam is called the son of God (Luke 3:38) because he was brought into existence by creation. Believers are called sons of God (John 1:12) because believers are considered to be a new creation (Galatians 6:15). But in Genesis, the text is dealing with a specific Hebrew expression, benei elohim, and, as it is used in the Hebrew Old Testament, it is a term that is always used of angels. The distinction in this passage, then, is not between Sethites and Cainites, but between humanity and angels, The word men here emphasizes humanity. The term "sons of God" emphasizes angels.
The second key expression in verse :z is "daughters of men." This is a generic term for women, which includes females of both Sethites and Cainites. What the verse is saying is, "the sons of God saw the daughters of men." There is no justification for this verse to be interpreted to mean "godly males" intermarried with "ungodly females." Would truly godly men marry ungodly females? The "daughters of men" simply means womankind, and the "sons of God" refers to angels. If the meaning is kept consistent with its usage elsewhere in the Old Testament, the passage is clearly speaking of fallen angels intermarrying with human women. This is obvious in two ways.
First, it is always a one-way intermarriage; it is always "sons of God" marrying "daughters of men." There is no record of "daughters of God" marrying "sons of men." If the distinction was between Sethites and Cainites, it simply would not happen this way. In human society, intermarriage occurs both ways. Today, saved males sometimes marry unsaved females, and sometimes saved females marry unsaved males. If the other claim was true, it would mean that male Sethites married female Cainites, but male Cainites never married female Sethites, which is entirely unlikely. Intermarriage would thus be confined to godly men with ungodly women, but not godly women with ungodly men. But in Genesis 6 there is only a one-way intermarriage, the "sons of God" intermarrying with the "daughters of men."
Second, the context clearly speaks of a cohabitation that is unusual and unnatural and causes the worldwide Flood. Verses 1-4 deal with the angelic cause of the worldwide Flood, while verses 5-6 deal with the human cause. Cohabitation between Sethites and Cainites would not be unusual or unnatural, while cohabitation between angels and humans would be.
Those who do not like this teaching object to it by quoting Matthew 22:30, claiming that this verse clearly teaches that angels are sexless:
22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." (NASB)
What Jesus said is that human beings "in the resurrection" and "in heaven" do not 11 marry, nor are [they] given in marriage." The angels that Jesus was speaking of are 11angels in heaven." The comparison is not with angels in general, but with angels "in heaven." The emphasis is that in heaven, good angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. Matthew 22:30 makes the same point about human beings. Humans in heaven do not marry, nor are they given in marriage. What about humans here on earth? Humans on earth certainly do marry and are given in marriage. This is a contrast between what happens in heaven as compared to what happens here on earth. Genesis 6, however, is speaking of angels on earth. So in heaven, angels do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, and humans in heaven will not marry nor be given in marriage. But Genesis 6 discusses things happening on earth. Angels are never declared to be sexless. In fact, the male gender is always used. Matthew 22:30 teaches that angels do not procreate after their kind, meaning that angels do not give birth to other angels. But angels are always described in the masculine gender, not in the feminine, nor in the neuter. They are always masculine gender in both the Old and New Testaments. Whenever angels became visible, they always appeared as young men. Anytime an angel appeared to a person he always appeared as a young man and never a woman (Genesis 18:1 - 19:22; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-7; Acts 1:1o-11). Matthew 22:30 cannot be used as an argument against the angelic interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, because it is dealing with a situation on earth, not in heaven; nor does Matthew 22:30 teach that angels are sexless.
Another question is: Why did Satan have some of his fallen angels intermarry with human women? Why bother? The reason for this can be understood by investigating the greater context of Genesis. Three chapters earlier (Genesis 3:15), the first messianic prophecy is recorded. The prophecy declared that the Messiah would be the seed of the Woman, and this Seed would crush the head of Satan. What is happening in Genesis 6:1-4 is a Satanic attempt to corrupt the Seed of the Woman by having some of his angels take on human form - angels always appear as young males when they take on human form - and intermarry with humankind to try to corrupt the seed. Therefore, the events of Genesis 6:1-4 were a Satanic attempt to cancel out the prophecy of Genesis 3:15.
The Result of the Intermarriage - Genesis 6:3
The result of this intermarriage was the judgment of God:
3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (NASB)
In verse 3 God pronounced the judgment: the Holy Spirit would not continue to strive with this kind of evil forever, and God decreed the destruction of humanity to be fulfilled Izod years later. The means of the destruction would be the Flood. The purpose of the Flood was to destroy the product of the union of angels and women, discussed in the next verse.
The Product of the Intermarriage - Genesis 6:4
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (NASB)
To get a clearer concept of what this verse is saying as a whole, individual parts need to be discussed first.
First is the name Nephilim. In some translations the word Nephilim has been translated by the word "giant." People reading it picture huge human beings. But the word does not mean "giants"; rather, it means "fallen ones." The word does not refer to giants in the sense of huge beings, but to a race of fallen ones. The reason it was translated as "giant" is because in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament made around 250 B.C., the Jewish scholars translated verse 4 by the Greek word gigentes which means "Titan." Our English word "giant" comes from this Greek word gigentes. But what were the Titans in Greek mythology? They were part man and part god, because they were products of gods and men. When the Jewish scholars in 250 B.C. translated the word Nephilim to Greek, they used the Greek word for Titans because they recognized this to be a union not of two types of human beings, but of angels and humans which produced a being that was neither angelic nor human. So at least the Jewish scholars Of 250 B.C., who lived much closer to the time when Moses originally wrote this passage, clearly understood this to be an intermarriage between angels and human women. As a result of this union, a new race of beings called the Nephilim, a race of fallen ones, came into being. They were gigentes, they were superhuman, but not in size. They had human characteristics but were, at the same time, superhuman. They had extra capacities, both mentally and physically, though they may not have been any larger than normal human beings. It is from the events of Genesis 6:1-4 that the source of Greek and Roman mythologies were derived. These mythologies record how gods from Mount Olympus intermarried with human beings on earth and produced children who had superhuman characteristics, who were greater than men but less than the gods. The book of Genesis gives the true history of what really happened, while Greek and Roman mythologies give the corrupted account. In Greek and Roman mythologies the human perspective is given, and what happened is elevated to something special and glorified, but God called it sin.
The second word to note in this verse is giborim, which is translated as "the mighty men... the men of renown." Again, because this was a product of fallen angels and human women, they were unique. They were the giborim. Notice that there is no mention of mighty women, which would be strange if this were a product of a normal union. After all, a normal union produces both males and females. If this were a natural union, then the product should have been mighty men and mighty women. But there are only mighty men because this is a new race of beings that is neither human nor angelic. The only way to explain the origin of the giborim is that they were the product of this union, the point of verse 4.
Only by the angelic explanation of chapter 6 do other areas of biblical teaching make sense. It provides the only adequate explanation for certain statements in II Peter and Jude which will be studied next. It is a peculiar sin, it is connected to the flood, and it is different from the original fall of the angels; otherwise, all fallen angels would be permanently confined.
II Peter 2:4-5
2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; ... (NASB)
Verse 4 gives the location of the permanently confined demons. The temporarily confined demons are found in the Abyss, but the permanently confined demons are elsewhere. The Greek word translated in this passage as "hell" is tartarus. Tartarus is a section of Sheol or Hades where the permanently confined demons are located. Both the Abyss and Tartarus are sections of Sheol or Hades. The Abyss is for demons that are temporarily confined, but Tartarus is for demons who are permanently confined. Tartarus is referred to as "pits of darkness" and these angels are reserved there unto the "judgment." This will be the Great White Throne Judgment, the final judgment. This means that at no time will these angels ever be released. When the time comes, they will go directly from Tartarus to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment and then be cast into the Lake of Fire. There will never be a time when they will be free to roam - they are permanently confined.
Verse 5 reveals the timing of their confinement: it was in conjunction with the Flood. This agrees well with the events of Genesis 6:1-4 which are also connected with the Flood. The purpose of the Flood was to destroy this product of fallen angels and human women. So by comparing the II Peter passage with the Genesis passage, there is good evidence to show that Genesis is not speaking about Sethites intermarrying with Cainites, but fallen angels intermarrying with human women. This is a valid conclusion just from a study of the Old Testament passages themselves. However, the New Testament also supports this particular interpretation.
6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)
Verse 6 emphasized the fall of a select group of angels and described their fall in four statements. First, "they kept not their own principality." The word "principality" is frequently used of the angelic realm and is one of the various ranks within the angelic realm. It means that they did not remain in their position and place of rank within the Satanic cosmos. Second, they "left their proper habitation." They left the demonic angelic sphere of operation and entered into the human sphere by taking on the form of young men and intermarrying with human women. Third, they are now "kept in everlasting bonds under darkness." Here Jude mentioned the same thing as Peter, that these angels are now permanently confined. Peter also revealed the place of their confinement: Tartarus. Fourth, they are to be kept there until "the judgment of that great day," Again, Jude reaffirms Peter's statement that they are being kept in bondage until the judgment of that great day. This is the Great White Throne judgment. Once again, it is reaffirmed that these demons will never be free to roam around but are permanently confined in Tartarus. When the time comes, they will be taken out of Tartarus to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment, and then be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Verse 7 deals with the nature of their sin. The key phrase is "in like manner." In like manner, as Sodom and Gomorrah, they went after "strange flesh." The sin that these angels committed is similar to the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sexual sin of going after strange flesh. "Strange flesh" means sexual union that is unnatural; it goes contrary to nature. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, the strange flesh was homosexuality; in the case of these angels, the strange flesh was female flesh. Instead of remaining in their usual state of residence, they invaded a new state of residence, one of alien flesh, to commit gross sexual immorality. Sodom and Gomorrah and these angels have one thing in common: they are guilty of sexual sins. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah it was homosexuality; in the case of these angels, it was intermarrying into the human sphere.
By comparing the Genesis passage with the passages in II Peter and Jude, it is clear that these are angels who intermarried with human women, and not simply Sethites who intermarried with Cainites. ((From Messianic Christology Appendix I, Ariel Ministries, 1998, PO Box 3713, Tustin, CA 92781)
February 8th, 2009, 09:37 PM
The Sons of God, by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D., Ariel Ministries
he starts off with Nephilim, but all supporting verses are about angels :doh
go figure :idunno
at least he admits the teaching is mythology
It would seem though that the dead nephilim who are half human and half spirit,
there is no scripture supporting this, none, zilch
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