Gen. 6: 1-7, “And it cometh to pass that mankind have begun to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters have been born to them, 2 and sons of God see the daughters of men that they [are] fair, and they take to themselves women of all whom they have chosen. 3 And Jehovah saith, `My Spirit doth not strive in man — to the age; in their erring they [are] flesh:’ and his days have been an hundred and twenty years.
4 The fallen ones were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God come in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them — they [are] the heroes, who, from of old, [are] the men of name. 5 And Jehovah seeth that abundant [is] the wickedness of man in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil all the day;
6 and Jehovah repenteth that He hath made man in the earth, and He grieveth Himself — unto His heart. 7 And Jehovah saith, `I wipe away man whom I have prepared from off the face of the ground, from man unto beast, unto creeping thing, and unto fowl of the heavens, for I have repented that I have made them.’ ” (Young’s Literal Translation, bold emphasis and paragraph spacing is mine.)
“Nephilim”, Hebrew from Naphal, meaning “he fell”. The word is not used in the English. So, why have so many believed it to be necessary?
Clarke’s commentary on verse 4 states,
“The Septuagint translate the original word by γιγαντες, which literally signifies earth-born, and which we, following them, term giants, without having any reference to the meaning of the word, which we generally conceive to signify persons of enormous stature. But the word when properly understood makes a very just distinction between the sons of men and the sons of God; those were the nephilim, the fallen earth-born men, with the animal and devilish mind. These were the sons of God, who were born from above; children of the kingdom, because children of God. Hence we may suppose originated the different appellatives given to sinners and saints; the former were termed γιγαντες, earth-born, and the latter, ἁγιοι, i.e. saints, persons not of the earth, or separated from the earth.” (The antecedent of “those” are sons of men. The antecedent of “these” are the sons of God. Bold emphasis is mine.)
For some reason which I suppose is intended to increase book sales for thrill-seeking, spine-chilling, goose-bumpy needy readers, the Hebrew word “nephilim” has been lifted out of the Hebrew text and straight into some English versions of the Bible without translation. Transliteration, using the word in the original language without translating it, is an improper method of translation. It has a purpose of hiding the truth, or deceiving the ignorant and uneducated.
Did the translators of the NIV or NASB or any other version lift out the Hebrew word “gibborim” for heros? Why stop at the use of “nephilim” in verse 4 if they want to teach us Hebrew? Or, better yet, why did they not continue using the Hebrew “nephilim” every other time the English word “fallen” was written in the scriptures?
We always check other verses within the texts to see how the same word is used, and between Old and New Testaments, as the Old Testament is the reflection or shadow of things to come in the New Testament, which is the fulfillment of the Old. In the New Testament we find the following:
Gal. 5:3, 4, ” 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Rev. 2:5, “ Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
2 Thes. 2:3, ” Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The thought is the same as expressed in Rom.3:23, ”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The fallen ones were those men who fell from grace, who lived lives of sin, and gave into the lusts of the flesh. They were not, as some suppose, fallen angels. Angels cannot have sexual intercourse.
Matt. 22:30, ” For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
In other words, they don’t have sex, which God established as a joyful union between husband and wife, as any other use of sex is outlawed as fornication and adultery. So, marriage is the blessed joining of man and woman which God provided. And, therefore in heaven there is no sex as there is no marriage and no procreation!
The Hebrew word “nephilim” cannot be referring to angels, since angels cannot procreate.. have children.
The righteous men, who were of the line of the faithful Seth (Abel was dead) were the Sons of God. They made the mistake of looking upon the beautiful daughters of the evil and wicked men, the fallen ones. The daughters of evil men did not know God, and did not follow after God. So, they brought evil ways to their husbands, and children, so that after a time, the people on earth became universally wicked. Eventually, God repented that He had made man, because of all the wicked and evil that filled the earth.
So, the first seven verses of Genesis 6 is background, explanation, and is the reason that God caused the earth to be filled with water to destroy the wicked. He was letting us know in the record why He took such a drastic step.
There wasn’t any angelic intercourse with women going on. There was just the usual progression of wicked people giving into sin, and the lusts of the flesh, much as we are grieved with today.
Let’s also talk about the “giants” for a moment. In verse 4, Young’s Literal Translation rightfully says “fallen ones”, but the King James renders it incorrectly as “giants”. This is why you need to check with Young’s Literal Translation from time to time. And, the word “heros” is rendered “mighty men, men of renown” in the King James. Clarke explains,
” gibborim, which we render mighty men, signifies properly conquerors, heroes, from גבר gabar, “he prevailed, was victorious.” and השם אנשי anshey hashshem, “men of the name,” ανθρωποι ονομαστοι, Septuagint; the same as we render men of renown, renominati, twice named, as the word implies, having one name which they derived from their fathers, and another which they acquired by their daring exploits and enterprises.
It may be necessary to remark here that our translators have rendered seven different Hebrew words by the one term giants, viz., nephilim, gibborim, enachim, rephaim, emim, and zamzummim ; by which appellatives are probably meant in general persons of great knowledge, piety, courage, wickedness, etc., and not men of enormous stature, as is generally conjectured.”
Young’s Literal Translation is an easy short cut for the correct translation into the English. You can find it at www.biblegateway.com.
Consider that the people before the flood were closer to the creation than we are. They lived longer than we do, which is why in verse 3 God limits the age span to 120 years. He was tired of striving with mankind by this point. Before the flood, the people had better air quality, better food, their DNA was purer. There probably were men of greater height than we are today, of a size that we would consider giant. That doesn’t really have anything to do with the first 7 verses of Genesis 6. It is not a valid translation of the “fallen ones” and should never have been used by the Septuagint text. Do not let it confuse you.
There is no need for the use of the Hebrew word “nephilim” in the English translation, and can only have been used for sensationalist book sales, to promote one version of the Bible over another. Be wary when you see these kinds of tricks. Check the better versions, and Clarke’s commentaries first. It is a form of a lie, and is promoting an error that is sweeping through the world, and is a distortion of God’s word. There were no fallen angels having sex with women!