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NEPHILIM : THE GIANTS OF GENESIS
Authored By : Bill Kochman (aka The WordWeaver)
Published On : April 23, 1997
Last Updated : December 7, 2010
Noah Relates Account Of The Nephilim In The Book of Jubilees, Mention Of Two Of The Fallen Angels In The Jerusalem Targum, Destruction Of The Nephilim, Nephilim Spirits Become Demons, Demonic Possession, Legion, Fruits Of The Nephilim's Spirits, Are Modern Acts Of Violence And Destruction Influenced By The Spirits Of The Giants?, Modern Warfare And Counsel Of Demons, Endtime Seductive Spirits & Paul's Warning To Guard Our Minds, Blood Letting, Prophet Elijah And 450 False Prophets Of Baal, Satan - Adversary Of God, Was Genesis 6 A Pre-Emptive Strike? The Great Flood Was A Blessing In Disguise And Saved Us All, Giants On Earth Following The Flood, Descendants Of Nephilim?, Ells Cubits And Height Of The Giants, Mount Of Olives Splits At Jesus' Return, Are Beings In Spirit World Much Larger Than Beings In Physical Realm?, Huge Angels + Human Women = Giants, Were Our Human Ancestors Much Larger Than Modern Human Beings?, Ron Wyatt's Noah's Ark Claims And The Unusual Huge Stone Altar
A descriptive account of the rebellion of the Fallen Angels, as well as of the birth of the Nephilim giants, and the great Flood which God sent afterwards, is also found in the Jewish Book of Jubilees. In the seventh chapter of this ancient book, we find the aging Patriarch Noah relating these events to his grandchildren, as we see here:
". . . And in the twenty-eighth jubilee Noah began to enjoin upon his sons' sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity. For owing to these three things came the flood upon the earth, namely, owing to the fornication wherein the Watchers against the law of their ordinances went a whoring after the daughters of men, and took themselves wives of all which they chose: and they made the beginning of uncleanness. And they begat sons the Naphidim, and they were all unlike, and they devoured one another: and the Giants slew the Naphil, and the Naphil slew the Eljo, and the Eljo mankind, and one man another. And every one sold himself to work iniquity and to shed much blood, and the earth was filled with iniquity. And after this they sinned against the beasts and birds, and all that moves and walks on the earth: and much blood was shed on the earth, and every imagination and desire of men imagined vanity and evil continually. And the Lord destroyed everything from off the face of the earth; because of the wickedness of their deeds, and because of the blood which they had shed in the midst of the earth He destroyed everything . . ."
Book Of Jubilees 7:20b-26a
There is also brief mention of the rebellion and sins of the Fallen Angels in the Jerusalem Targum -- Targum Yerushalmi -- which is also known as the Targum Of Palestine, the Targum Of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, or Targum Pseudo-Jonathan. "Targum" is a word of Aramaic origin, and simply means "translation". Allow me to very briefly explain what targums are and how they came about.
Following the prophesied Seventy Years of Captivity in the land of Babylon, many of the Jews who returned to Israel as a result of the edict of Persian king Cyrus -- Koresh -- were no longer literate in the Hebrew language. You must realize that during the Exile the Jews were for the most part cut off from their own culture, and were surrounded by the Babylonian culture. Not only that, but a new generation had been born as well. So, when they returned to their own land and heard the Scriptures being read in the synagogues in the Hebrew tongue, they did not understand it. By this time the Aramaic language -- which even Jesus spoke -- was beginning to make inroads in Israel. Thus, in order to accommodate non-Hebrew-speaking Jews, it became customary to employ translators who would provide a running translation in the Aramaic language. In other words, they would paraphrase the Hebrew Scriptures and provide a bit of commentary. These oral translations by the "turgeman" were eventually written down, and thus we have the targum.
Following then are some excerpts from the Jerusalem Targum, where the sins of the Fallen Angels are mentioned. They are from Berashith -- or Genesis -- chapter six, as we Christians know it. The paraphrases are in brackets. In particular, you will notice that two of the Fallen Angels are mentioned; that is, Schamchazai and Uzziel. The former name is probably the same being as Semjaza -- or Semiazaz -- in the Book of Enoch:
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VI. And it was when the sons of men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and fair daughters were born to them; and the sons of the great saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and painted, and curled, walking with revelation of the flesh, and with imaginations of wickedness; that they took them wives of all who pleased them. And the Lord said by His Word, All the generations of the wicked which are to arise shall not be purged after the order of the judgments of the generation of the deluge, which shall be destroyed and exterminated from the midst of the world. Have I not imparted My Holy Spirit to them, (or, placed My Holy Spirit in them,) that they may work good works? And, behold, their works are wicked. Behold, I will give them a prolongment of a hundred and twenty years, that they may work repentance, and not perish.
[JERUSALEM. And the Word of the Lord said, The generations which are to arise shall not be judged after (the manner of) the generation of the deluge, (which is) to be destroyed, and exterminated, and finally blotted out. Have I not imparted My Spirit to the sons of men, because they are flesh, that they may work good works? But they do works of evil. Behold, I have given them a prolongment of a hundred and twenty years, that they may work repentance; but they have not done it.]
Schamchazai and Uzziel, who fell from heaven, were on the earth in those days; and also, after the sons of the Great had gone in with the daughters of men, they bare to them: and these are they who are called men who are of the world, men of names.
And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and all the imagery of the thought of his heart was only evil every day. And it repented the Lord in His Word that He had made man upon the earth; and He passed judgment upon them by His Word.
[JERUSALEM. And there was repentance before the Lord in His Word that He had made man upon the earth...And He said, and judged in His heart.]
And the Lord said, I will abolish by My Word man, whom I have created upon the face of the earth, from man to cattle, to the reptile, and to the fowl of the heavens; because I have repented in My Word that I have made them. But Noah, who was righteous, found favour before the Lord.
[JERUSALEM. But Noah, because he was righteous in his generation, found favour and mercy before the Lord.]
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While the previous groups of verses from Genesis, the Book of Jubilees and the Jerusalem Targum appear to be rather ambiguous regarding the actual destruction of the Nephilim, it should be noted that we're informed in the Book of Enoch, that part of the punishment of the "sons of God", or Fallen Angels, was that they would witness the destruction of their half-human offspring. In the verses that I shared with you earlier, the tenth chapter of the Book of Enoch specifically states "And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation". My understanding is that these two phrases, "their sons" and "their beloved ones", are references to the Nephilim, and the Fallen Angels beholding their destruction.
While Enoch tells us that the physical bodies of the giants were destroyed during the Great Flood, that was not the only judgment that God passed upon them. Enoch likewise informs us that upon departing from the bodies of the giants, those same spirits became evil demons which the Lord condemned to wander throughout the Earth, causing war, destruction, and other evil acts, until the day of the Great Judgment, as we see by the following verses:
"And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men, and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. From the days of the slaughter and destruction and death of the giants, from the souls of whose flesh the spirits, having gone forth, shall destroy without incurring judgement -- thus shall they destroy until the day of the consummation, the great judgement in which the age shall be consummated, over the Watchers and the godless, yea, shall be wholly consummated."
Book Of Enoch 15:8-16:1
The previous verses from the Book of Enoch are interesting in that they also shed some light on events that are found in other parts of the Bible. More specifically, I am thinking of the people who were demon-possessed in the New Testament. In reading the Gospels, we discover that there are a few stories where demon-possessed people displayed super-human strength. One such example is found in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, where we read about the man who was possessed by a horde of demons named Legion, as we see here:
"And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."
Mark 5:2-20, KJV
Considering the great strength that this man possessed, and the fact that he repeatedly broke his chains and fetters, in spite of all of the attempts that were made to restrain him, is it possible that he may have been possessed by the very same spirits which had given life and great strength to the Nephilim in ancient times, so that they became "mighty men" and "men of renown", as we are told in the Book of Genesis?
If there's any truth to this speculation, is it possible that down through history, and even in our current time, certain people who have committed unspeakable, gross acts of violence such as torture, cannibalism, serial murders, etc., have also been possessed by these same ancient spirits of the Nephilim? Taking this thought a step further, can we likewise attribute modern warfare and other acts of destruction to some people unknowingly giving their ear to, being oppressed by, or even possessed by these very same demonic forces of ages past? All of these heinous acts certainly seem to agree with what we know about the nature of the Nephilim. Allow me to remind you again of what Enoch wrote:
". . . the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them."
Let us also not forget that Enoch wrote that the evil spirits of the Nephilim -- that is, the demons -- would be allowed to continue to engage in these wicked, destructive activities until the day of the Great Judgment, as a punishment against humanity, since the Nephilim sprung forth from human women:
". . . thus shall they destroy until the day of the consummation, the great judgement in which the age shall be consummated, over the Watchers and the godless, yea, shall be wholly consummated."
Let me also remind you again that the Apostle Paul made it very clear that during the Endtime, men would take counsel from lying, deceptive spirits, as we see by this verse:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
1 Timothy 4:1, KJV
Considering that the giant Nephilim were violent creatures, and masters of war, it makes perfect sense in my mind, that in our current time, as well as in times past, their spirits would continue to counsel men in the affairs of war, even if such men are not fully aware of it. As I have shared with my readers before, it is a fact that we live in both a physical world, as well as in a spiritual world, and our mind is the battleground, and the crossover point, where Satan and his minions have been given the power to influence our thoughts, either for good, or for evil. This is why the Apostle Paul admonishes us to maintain control of our thoughts, as we see here:
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV
Before leaving behind the story regarding the man who became possessed by the horde of demons known as Legion, allow me to share with you one additional interesting point. In the Gospel story, we are told that this demon-possessed man cut himself with stones. Some of you who are reading this series are probably familiar with the Old Testament story regarding how the Prophet Elijah challenged the four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal. During the test, as a result of Baal failing to perform as the false prophets had expected, we're told that they became so desperate, that they too began to cut themselves with knives and lancets, until their blood gushed forth, as we see here:
"And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."
1 Kings 18:27-29, KJV
If you are interested in learning more about the subject of demonic possession, please consider reading the four-part series entitled "Demonic Possession And Sickness: A Biblical Perspective".
If there's one thing that we learn from the Scriptures, it's that Satan has been God's enemy for an extremely long time. In fact, as I have mentioned before, the name "Satan" itself actually means "adversary" or "one who withstands" in Hebrew. It becomes obvious from the Scriptures, that since his fall, Satan's plan has been to frustrate and to defeat the Plans of God. Taking this thought into consideration, we must ask ourselves if it is possible that the devilish pact that was made on the summit of Mount Hermon between the fallen "sons of God", and the creation of the Nephilim that followed, was perhaps an intentional preemptive strike by Satan to try to disrupt and destroy God's ultimate plan for humanity; that of course being the Plan of Salvation. Perhaps if God hadn't intervened when He did, and in the absolute way in which He did, the Fallen Angels, along with their giant offspring -- the Nephilim -- would've maintained their evil kingdom upon Earth, and thus prevented the eventual arrival of the Christ child.
So, in retrospect, while some unbelievers may view the Flood of Genesis as a horrendous thing which -- in their minds -- was perpetrated by an unmerciful, unloving God, the truth of the matter is that it was in fact the Flood which saved us all; because from that global destruction sprang forth new life, new hope, and eventually, our manner of Salvation. Had it not been for the Flood, today, we might be living in an oppressive Kingdom of Darkness; assuming, of course, that we would even be living at all. Our ancestors could have become the Nephilim's next meal.
At this point in our discussion we come to a very interesting question: Were there giants on the Earth following the Great Flood that occurred in the days of Noah? According to God's Word, the answer to this intriguing question is an undeniable "Yes!"; however, the real question is: Were these giants the direct descendants of the Nephilim, or were they the result of some genetic disorder/mutation in Noah's descendants, or perhaps due to some other event which occurred in the years following the Flood?
For me personally, this latter question has presented quite a mystery, as well as a significant Biblical quandary. There is one belief which holds that the Philistine giant Goliath was a descendant of the antediluvian Nephilim. While that is one possibility, the problem that I personally have with such a position, is that according to the Genesis account in the KJV Bible, as well as the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees and the Jerusalem Targum, except for the eight immediate members of Noah's family -- which, as we saw in part one, even the first Epistle of the Apostle Peter confirms -- all manner of life on the Earth was destroyed; that is, all air-breathing life.
To believe that any of the giants somehow survived the Flood certainly seems to contradict the Genesis account. Not only that, but to accept that position basically suggests that God failed in His plan to eradicate His first creation, which had become corrupted and turned evil and extremely violent, as a result of the rebellion and sins of the Fallen Angels; that is, the Watchers, or Ir.
There are a number of ways that we can try to get around what is plainly stated in the Book of Genesis, the Book of Enoch, Peter's first Epistle, and these other ancient texts, but they are all unsustainable in my view. For example, as I explained in part one, the Book of Enoch informs us that these Nephilim were "three thousand ells" in height. But what is an "ell"? Following is the definition that is provided on the Wikipedia website:
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An ell (from Proto-Indo-European *el- "elbow, forearm"), is a unit of measurement, approximating the length of a man's arm.
Several national forms existed, with different lengths, including the Scottish ell (approximately 37 inches or 94 cm), the Flemish ell (approx. 27 in or 69 cm), the Polish ell (approx. 31 in or 79 cm) and the Danish ell (divided into a length just under 25 inches, approximately 63 cm).
In England, the ell was usually 45 inches (1.143 m exactly for the international inch). It was mainly used in the tailoring business but is now obsolete. It was derived from the length of the arm from the shoulder to the wrist, although the exact length was never defined in English law.
Sometimes ell is used as an alias for the cubit.
An ell-wand or ellwand was a rod of length one ell used for official measurement. Edward I of England required that every town have one. In Scotland, the Belt of Orion was called "the King's Ellwand."
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Based on the previous information, while it was still in use in Europe, the ell measured from twenty-five to forty-five inches in length, depending on the country which used it. It should be noted, however, that the ell was also used as an alias for the cubit, which is a unit of measurement that is used in both the Old and the New Testaments. While there are different kinds of Biblical cubits, generally-speaking, one cubit was the measure of distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. In other words, it was the length of the forearm, which is typically about eighteen inches. In fact, I just measured mine, and it is a little more than a cubit -- or eighteen inches -- in length. There was also a unit called a long cubit which was about twenty-one inches in length.
If we use a typical cubit of eighteen inches as our standard for determining the height of the giants of Genesis, then it would seem that Enoch was saying that the Nephilim stood at a minimum height of fifty-four thousand inches, or 4,500 feet, or more than three quarters of a mile tall. If we were to use the Royal Egyptian Cubit instead, which is about 20.6 inches in length, and which is what would have been in common use at the time that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Bible, then the giants of Genesis would have been not quite a mile tall.
Upon hearing such a figure, our immediate natural reaction is probably to say, "Hogwash! That is nonsense! That is totally impossible! It is obviously the crazy invention of some very imaginative minds! Either Enoch was on hallucinogenic drugs, or else he was simply exaggerating or outright lying!". Well, whatever the case may be, the only information we have to go by, is what Enoch wrote in his book; unless we suppose that there is a grave translational error in regards to the word "ell". As difficult as it may be for even my natural, logical human mind to accept that figure, I must confess that I can't outright reject it, and I will tell you why.
In the article "The Triumphant Touchdown Of Jesus Christ", I mention that, according to the Prophet Zechariah, when Christ returns, He is going to stand upon the summit of the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives is going to split in half, as we see by the following verses:
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
Zechariah 14:2-4, KJV
I don't know about you, but whenever I read those verses, the image that enters my mind is of Jesus standing on top of the Mount of Olives, and then a huge fissure opens which extends from the east to the west. This results in that famous mount literally splitting in half, with part of it shifting to the north, and the other part shifting to the south, exactly as the previous Scriptures state. Now, for those of you who may not quite understand what I am suggesting here, I am saying that a great valley is going to be formed below and between Jesus' legs. In other words, I have long had this impression that when Jesus returns, He is going to be very big; because that is the only way that He could simultaneously stand on both sides of the Mount of the Olives, while it is split in two like that. As I believe that I have hinted a few times before, I have long had the suspicion that things are very big in the Spirit World. They are not the same dimensions as things in our physical universe.
I realize that some of you, particularly any scoffers who may be reading this, are probably now even more convinced that I have a few screws loose; but for those of you who are people of faith, accepting this interpretation certainly makes it a lot easier to understand the events surrounding the birth of the giants, or Nephilim, in the Book of Genesis, and the Book of Enoch. In other words, if in their natural spiritual state the Fallen Angels were large beings, then perhaps when they assumed human form, and engaged in sex with human women, some aspects of their Angelic Nature was genetically passed on to their half-human offspring, which is why they were so big. It seems like a very plausible explanation to me. The great size of the giants had to come from somewhere, and if not from the human women then from where? It only leaves the Fallen Angels.
In fact, it may interest you to know that there are a certain number of people and cultures who believe that in the ancient past, our ancestors were much larger than we are today. Allow me to give you an example.
After reading about the alleged discovery of Noah's Ark in an article which appeared in a 1960 edition of "LIFE" Magazine, now-deceased, controversial Biblical archeologist, Ron Wyatt, made a long journey to the remote village of Dogubeyazit in eastern Turkey in 1977. While there with his two sons, Wyatt claims to have discovered an ancient stone house, which he believed was the winter home of Noah and his family following the Flood. In addition, Wyatt claims to have discovered the two grave sites, with the grave stones, of Noah and his wife, as well as miles and miles of area which was sectioned off by ancient stone walls. Wyatt believed that Noah used this area to breed animals following the Flood, as well as to grow his vineyard, which is briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis, as we see by this verse:
"And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:"
Genesis 9:20, KJV
So at the very least, we can confirm from that verse that Noah did in fact become a farmer -- or husbandman -- after the Flood, and that he did plant a vineyard.
Furthermore, Mr. Wyatt said that he found a number of huge, ancient anchor stones which were used with the Ark. But the most significant discovery, insofar as this current series is concerned, is that in the middle of a beautiful valley, Ron Wyatt reported that he discovered what appeared to be a huge stone altar that measured twelve feet by twelve feet by twelve feet. This stone altar was surrounded by a type of natural amphitheater and had one large step which was almost three feet in height. Wyatt believed that this was evidence that Noah must have been a very large, and very strong man; considerably larger than modern man. As I mentioned a moment ago, there is a degree of controversy surrounding Ron Wyatt and his alleged discoveries, so I will leave it to you, the reader, to arrive at your own conclusions.
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
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