"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."
Giants have long been a source of fascination for us. From their mention early on in the Bible to the Guinness Book of World Records and Robert Wadlow, we seem drawn to this idea with awe. Even our athletes tend to tower over the common man and everyone in the world knows the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Manute Bol, and Yao Ming - all over 7 feet tall.
Where did giants come from? How tall were they? What do celestial angels have to do with them? What are the Nephilim?
According to Jewish tradition found in the book of Enoch, just after the Creation of man, a group of angels rebelled against God, went down to Earth and had sex with human females because they were hotties. Then they taught them how to do a bunch of things including metallurgy, astrology, herbalism, enchantments, and eating of animals. The human women gave birth to giants, according to the book of Enoch which were 'three thousand ells' (Enoch Book 1 - Section 1 - Chapter 7:3). An ell is roughly close to a cubit or a cubit and a span. In our terms, that's anywhere from 18-21 inches or more than 4.5 miles high. So then the flood came and destroyed these 4.5 miles tall giants who caused so much trouble and they died and there were no more giants in the Earth...
...except Goliath who was descended from them, he and his brothers, and the Anakim. Somehow are descended from the giants that were destroyed in the Flood.
Biblical References Used to Support the MythEdit
Jude 6, 14-15 - "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day...And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Enoch Section 1 - Chapter 1:9)
2 Peter 2:4-5 - "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"
Genesis 6:1-4 - "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."
Job 1:6; 2:1 - "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them...Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord."
Isaiah 14:12-15 - "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Luke 10:18 - "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Revelation 12:7-9 - "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Addressing the Scriptures FirstEdit
Book of EnochEdit
I will leave it to the reader to examine the book of Enoch and determine why it was rejected by everyone but the Catholics and their offshoots as part of the divine collection of inspired scriptures. I will only state that I believe it should be rejected because of its inconsistencies with other scriptures which I will handle below and its own internal absurdities, which I will also cover below. Jude's reference to the book of Enoch is no different than Paul in Acts 17 quoting popular literature of the day. Enoch was no doubt a popular book in Jude's time considering how influential it is even today. That alone does not make the whole book of Enoch an inspired book. Could the book of Enoch have prophesied correctly in the 1st chapter then gotten the rest of the book wrong? I refer you to the Jewish high priest Caiaphas in John 11:49-52, an enemy of Jesus involved directly in His crucifixion, yet was said to have prophesied. Not all such prophesies are miraculous in nature. Sometimes they are just an inadvertant truth spoken by someone who was not directed by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous sense.
Jude, 2 Peter, and Fallen AngelsEdit
The word aggelos/malak, as I have addressed within other articles on the subject - e.g. my article on Michael - does not necessarily refer to celestial Angels such as the being known as Gabriel. The word literally means "one who is sent with a message" or more simply "messenger". Not only are there obvious, direct examples of men being referred to as 'messengers', but a case can be made that many more uses of the word refer to humans than most people think.
- Jesus referred to John as an angel in Matt. 11:10.
- John sent human angels (messengers) in Luke 7:24.
- Again, Jesus sent human angels before him into Jerusalem in Luke 9:52.
- Caleb and Joshua were called angels in James 2:25.
- In Matthew 25:31 and parallel passages, Jesus is said to come with his 'holy angels'. Reading those passages in context, we understand that these are the same 'angels' of Revelation 12 and thus they are the Roman military come against Jerusalem and the Jews (Satan and his angels).
Once it is established that humans can be aggelos, then we must ask the question - what in Jude and 2 Peter demands that these be celestial Angels and not men?
Jude 14-15 is just a parallel to Matthew 25:31 and references the then past judgment against the Jews. Notice the context surrounding verses 6, 14, and 15. It's men of old, ungodly men, who denied what God said about the Messiah. There were men like those in Sodom and Gomorrah. Men like Cain, Balaam, and Core (Korah from Numbers 16). The whole context is unfaithful men. So it is no stretch to understand the messengers of verse 6 are men who turned against God.
It is also important to note the major distinction between 2 Peter 2 and the book of Enoch. In Enoch, the Angel Azazel was buried in the ground in a desert near a place called Dudael (Enoch S1-Ch10:5). The darkness was the ground covering him in this cave. In 2 Peter, though, these messengers were cast down to Hades. Hades is a spiritual place as described by Jesus Himself in Luke 16, not a cave in the desert. And again, the context of 2 Peter is men. To suddenly interject Angels breaks the continuity of the context.
But what about Satan? Didn't Satan fall from Heaven or get cast out? What about Isaiah 14 and Luke 10?
Isaiah 14 and Luke 10Edit
The primary problem with Isaiah 14 is that people only cite verses 12-15 and say 'see, Satan got kicked out of Heaven 'cause he wanted to be God'. Like most instances of people not interpreting scripture, they don't use the full context. In verse 4, Isaiah says, "take up this proverb against the king of Babylon" then goes on to talk about how mighty that king was, then how he was brought low for his arrogance. Lucifer, morning star or daystar, isn't a reference to Satan at all, but a human king. His 'fall from Heaven' is metaphorical, a fall from power. This association has been clearly made in many many places in scripture and hence all over my website. A quick example is Isaiah 1:2, 10. Isaiah 14 has nothing to do with the question at hand. In fact, the only other person in scripture referred to as Lucifer is Jesus.
What about Luke 10, then? This one is a bit tougher, but reading through a number of my other articles, I make the case that Satan oft times is associated with or representative of the Jewish State. The miracles that were being performed in Luke 10 were indicative of the last days of Judaism prophesied in the Old Testament when God would set up the Kingdom of Christ that would never fail. Jesus is speaking of the fall of the Jewish state rapidly (Matthew 24:27) as a done deal, though it had not yet happened.
There is no indication in scripture that Satan was an actual Angel that rebelled and got kicked out of Heaven. When examined thoroughly, it becomes illogical.
Job and the Sons of GodEdit
I will come back to Genesis 6 at the end, but I want to next address Job and the phrase "sons of God" first. I have already touched on this in other articles, but it bears repeating here. In every context of scripture, the phrase "sons of God" refers to faithful men and never to celestial Angels. I will show this in other places first, then address Job directly, then that will have set up the examination of Genesis 6.
Job starts off talking about this righteous man, Job. Then it says that 'the sons of God came to present themselves before God' and Satan was walking among them. This is typically taken to be that celestial Angels were worshipping God physically before the Throne in Heaven and Satan shows up in Heaven one day among these Angels and challenges God over the matter of Job. I find it incredulous that nobody stops to think about how ridiculous this sounds, even within the Catholic-based mythos. Satan got kicked out of Heaven then shows up in Heaven again one day to pick a fight with God? Seriously? This idea is not logically consistent at all.
No, what really happened is that Job, a faithful son of God - like Adam, like Seth, like Abraham, like Moses, like Christians - comes before God to worship Him but on Earth. Satan, who is also on Earth, comes among those faithful men and God points one of them out to Satan and thus the contest. There is no need for Satan to be in Heaven.
Sons of God is a reference to faithful men. It always is. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" Romans 8:14, 19 speaks of those led by the Spirit of God being sons of God. Phillipians 2:15 refers to the Christians at Phillipi as sons of God. Every NT reference to the sons of God is easily shown to be faithful humans.
What about the Old Testament, then? Other than Genesis 6, which I will deal with below, the only other reference to sons of God that I have not touched on yet is Job 38:7 - "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" It is always assumed, for no good reason, that these morning stars and sons of God are celestial Angels. Why? The broader context shows a different story. Verses 4-6 are about the Creation of the Universe and verse 8 is about the Flood. Stars are associated with authority and rulers all over scripture, but not celestial Angels. These morning stars would have been the first rulers of men on the Earth and sons of God would have been Adam, Seth, and Seth's line before the Flood. This is just like the morning star that was the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14. There is no reason whatsoever from the scripture to understand this passage as a reference to Angels.
Genesis 6 and the NephilimEdit
The reality of Genesis 6 is again contextually based. Genesis 4 is the fall of Cain and his line. Then Genesis 5 is Seth's line. These are the daughters of men and the sons of God, the wicked and the faithful. We see that physically, these were mighty men, but spiritually, almost all of mankind became corrupt.
So what of the idea of Nephilim and giants in those days? In this section, since I'm only dealing with scriptural context, I'd like to bring the Anakim (Deut. 1-2), Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and Og, King of Bashan (Deut. 3) into the mix. The question becomes, if the Nephilim were all destroyed by the Flood and the Angels having sex with all these women were imprisoned, where did the giants on the other side of the Flood come from? In fact, this is a legitimate question even if we properly understand the sons of God and daughters of men to both be human and they had giant offspring. How could giants get to the other side of the Flood if only 8 souls were saved on the ark (1 Pet. 3:20). Were there giants on the ark?
In a word, yes. Eight of them, in fact.
Let me explain. First of all, in that Goliath, Og, and the Anakim were men, they MUST have been descendants of Noah. Second, Genesis 6 says "and there were giants in those days". It doesn't say a few, it doesn't say only part of man were giants. It just says there were giants. I propose - and I'm not the first - that all humans were larger, stronger, faster, smarter, and better physically in those days. They came from Eden, from flawless physical perfection after a Creation that was 'very good'. They were protected from excess solar radiation by "waters above the firmament" (Genesis 1:6-7), that which Josephus called the "crystalline" in his Antiquities Book 1 paragraph 1. This protection not only allowed men to live to almost a 1000 years, protected from UV radiation and the like, it created an environment that was slightly more nourishing and pressurized than our own, allowing larger creatures to exist in comfort (dinosaurs for example). Humans could even breed with near relatives and fear no ill effects. This protection was destroyed in Genesis 7:11 when the "windows of heaven were opened" and the waters above the firmament rained down on the Earth for 40 days and nights to destroy the wicked and save Noah and his family from that wickedness.
Furthermore, a larger man would have made for a larger cubit (fingertip to elbow) which meant a larger ark to carry more (and larger) animals. Once Noah and his family left the ark, mankind began to degrade. Each generation lived shorter lives. We grew less intelligent, less healthy, and smaller and this happened quite rapidly. Abraham and Japheth's lifespans overlap, but by Abraham's time, 100 was seen as old though he lived to be 175, less than a quarter of what the son of Noah lived.
This is the only logically consistent, scripturally backed position on the matter. The idea of Nephilim being half-Angels, 4.5 miles tall, and dying/not-dying in the flood just doesn't add up from scripture. (And don't get me started on the Noah movie...)
Addressing Using Reason and ScienceEdit
Which is stronger, an ant or an elephant?
Many have been conditioned to answer 'ant', though the correct and obvious answer is 'elephant'. It's not a trick question, but because we have the idea hammered into us that the ant can lift 20-100 times its own body mass and an elephant can barely lift another elephant, many say the wrong animal.
What, then, does this have to do with giants? It's a matter of physics.
The reason is called scaling. For any structure, including living ones, strength is based on area whereas mass is based on volume. For living things, specifically, strength is the cross-sectional area of muscle. As an object doubles in one dimension (say height), it's area squares but it's volume cubes. This means its mass quickly outstrips its strength. That's why there can't be giant spiders. The legs couldn't hold it up.
Above is a picture taken from a website that is representative of skeletons of giants allegedly found throughout the world or recreated based on certain interpretations of Goliath and Og. If the skeletons in the picture above are accurate references to the human remains allegedly found, then I would have to reject them as fakes immediately. Looking at the 12' skeleton compared to the 6' to begin with, the cross-sectional area of the muscles based on the scaled size would mean that the 12' giant is 2x the height but 4x as strong as the 6' (2 squared = 4). However, it would also have to account for a cubic increase in mass because mass is based on volume, not area. 2 cubed is 8 so it's mass would be eight times as much for being twice as tall.
Now, let's examine the 36' giant. It is 6 times as tall as the 6' skeleton. Its strength would be 6 squared, or 36 times greater than the 6' human. However, its mass would be 6 cubed or 216 times as much as the 6' tall human. With the proportional scaling of the bones, the 36' tall human would not be able to get up off the ground. They would not even be able to breathe because its chest muscles could not move the ribs out of the way to let the lungs expand.
Something of this size could not possibly exist.
It is then no stretch of reason to conclude that some of Noah's descendants kept the physically imposing height and girth humans had before the Flood. In fact, there are those about who still have that height (they all play basketball in the NBA). Goliath, one of the sons of Anak, a "Nephilim" was almost 7 feet tall according to the text of 1 Samuel found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. We cannot judge the concept of "giant" based on our media-saturated concept of 18-36 foot tall humans. The Physics of scaling won't allow for it.
3000 ells (4.5 miles) is therefore right out.
So for me to argue that giants were on the ark, for me to argue that Nephilim means giant (just as almost every serious translator of the English Bible has said), and then to question this idea of half-angels, is not just me arguing from ignorance. It's a well-reasoned, scholarly answer based in scripture and Physics that bears dealing with.
I was told that my position on giants doesn't make sense from the biblical perspective. However what doesn't make sense is the idea of Heaven where sin can exist, where the thought of rebellion against God can exist. A Heaven where sin is possible means that there's no actual rest for those of us who get to go there when time is done. We will have to be on constant vigilance against sin ourselves once we get there because there is the opportunity to fall. How is that rest?
This position of fallen angels like Lucifer and Azazel being able to stir up a whole rebellion in Heaven makes God incompetent and actually denigrates Him as a being not worthy of worship by those in His presence. In other words, why would anyone the presence of and with direct knowledge of God even conceive of rebellion?
The whole story of fallen angels is ultimately about a different God than the God of the Bible and is an effort to humanize the Creator of the universe.
Fallen Angels, half-Angels, and books like Enoch are inconsistent with scripture and observed laws of the universe and therefore just bad religious fiction at best.
In Truth and Love.