Sons of God, Daughters of Men
"Nephilim" is a Hebrew word translated in the Authorized King James version as "giants." "There were giants in the earth in those days" (Genesis
6:4). It is true that they were giants in more senses than one. However, the word Nephilim does not mean "giants." It comes from the root
"naphal," meaning "fallen ones," and most modern versions of the Bible have left the word "Nephilim" untranslated.
When the Greek Septuagint was made, "Nephilim" was translated as "gegenes." This word suggests "giants" but actually it has little reference to
size or strength. "Gegenes" means "earth born." The same term was used to describe the mythical "Titans" -- being partly of celestial and partly
of terrestrial origin. (7)
The Hebrew and the Greek words do not exclude the presence of great physical strength. Indeed, a combined supernatural and natural parentage would
imply such a characteristic. Angels, according to Scripture, are known for their power. They are often referred to as "sons of the Mighty" (Psalm
103:20). Therefore, if the ones who sired them were strong and mighty, it could be assumed that their offspring were likewise.
No evidence exists in Scripture that the offspring of mixed marriages (believers and unbelievers) were giants, excelling in great strength and might.
No evidence can be found anywhere in history for that matter. Such an interpretation poses impossible assumptions.
When the word "Nephilim" is used in Numbers 13:33, the question of size and strength is explicit. Here we are left in no doubt as to their
superhuman prowess. When Joshua's spies reported back from Canaan, they called certain of the inhabitants of Canaan "giants." "And there we saw
the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, which come of the Nephilim, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
Some commentators have speculated that the Nephilim of Numbers 13 belonged to a second eruption of fallen angels, since the earlier Nephilim had been
destroyed in the Flood. And they see an allusion to this in Genesis 6:4, where it states that "there were Nephilim in the earth in those days; and
also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men." Could it be that the "after that" was a reference to the Nephilim found
in Canaan during the Israelite entry into the land? If so, it could explain why the Lord commanded the total extermination of the Canaanites, as He
had earlier ordered the near annihilation of the human race.
NEPHILIM -- NO RESURRECTION
The Book of Isaiah says that the Nephilim and their descendants will not participate in a resurrection as is the portion of ordinary mortals. Isaiah
26:14 reads: "They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise." The original Hebrew word translated "deceased" here is
the word "Rephaim." It would have saved a lot of misinterpretation if the translators had left the word as it was in the original. The verse
actually reads: "Dead, they shall not live; Rephaim, they shall not rise." The Rephaim are generally understood to be one of the branches of the
Nephilim, and God's Word makes it clear that they are to partake in no resurrection. But with humans it is different: all humans will be resurrected
either to life or to damnation (John 5:28-29).
We have already seen that the Greek Version of the Old Testament (The Septuagint) translated "Nephilim" as "gegenes;" we shall now inquire how it
translates "sons of God." In some of the manuscripts it is left as "sons of God," but in the others-- including the Alexandrian text--it is
rendered by the word "angelos." This text was in existence in the time of Christ, but there is no indication that He ever corrected or queried it.
Can we not assume from His silence that He agreed with the translation!