Nephilim and the local flood?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

Does the existence of Nephilim in Numbers 13 point to a local flood?

My view is ‘possibly’. It is not impossible that one of the wives of Noah’s sons was a Nephilim.

What do you think?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #2

What are you thinking Reggie? Well I certainly personally admire you are attempting to very closely read the text, we don’t need to scour for clues to figure out what kind of flood the genesis flood could’ve been. As a fact, there was not a worldwide global flood 4000 years ago that killed everyone except for 8 people. There is evidence of fairly widespread local flooding though so perhaps the Bible is referencing a fairly large localized flood. It could’ve been just that the spies in Numbers 13 were so pessimistic they used a cultural reference to these giant people. Have you read Longman and Walton’s fairly recent book on the topic?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #3

How do you get ‘giants’ from human-human breeding?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #4

Genes perhaps?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #5

Maybe it is possible, but there is something very sinister about the Canaanite giants, Michael Heiser has written that the goal of the Cherem appears to be to exterminate the giants off the face of the earth. Why do this if they were normal people?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #6

Because we generally don’t like people that are too different than us.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #7

It’s possible then, but I tend to believe that the Nephilim (if not elsewhere) in Genesis were the children of fallen angels due to 1 Peter 3:19-20 and Greek and Mesopotamian myths about demi-god heroes.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #8

So male angels can impregnate homo sapien women, and when they have offspring, they tend to have ‘super’ features–like bigger, stronger, etc. Is that what you believe the Bible is describing when it talks about Nephilim?

What exactly is your evidence for this claim and perhaps you can help elaborate why you think this is a more likely hypothesis than other possible explanations?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #9

Not after reading your responses. I will concede that ‘nephilim’ may just be a word for enemies of God, similar to ‘Amalekites’. But the pre-flood nephilim were hybrids. Apparently these Nephilim were around after the flood as well

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

So it seems as if the pre-flood Nephilim did indeed survive the flood somehow. So my original point is valid.

As I side note let me just clarify that I reject some of the nutty Nephilim theories. Do I believe they were giants? Yes, by the standards of the day. Do I believe they were 35ft tall (as Flat-earther Rob Skiba thinks)? No. Do I believe the sons of God were angels? Yes. Do I believe the Nephilim were genetic hybrids? No, the point was spiritual pollution, spiritual beings cannot genetically pollute us.


Look at Bruce Banner…

(RiderOnTheClouds) #11

My own new crackpot theory is this. The post-flood Nephilim, or ‘Repha’im’, were the descendent of the spirits of the dead who escaped from She’ol and materialised. Note the association of the Repha’im with Ashtaroth and Edrei, where in Ugaritic mythology a gateway to the underworld was located. Considering how the Repha’im are referred to as departed spirits elsewhere in the OT, and in Ugaritic literature, and how Jesus mentions the gates of hell to Peter whilst in the Bashan region, when we connect the dots, it seems like a plausible option that there was a portal to the underworld in the Bashan region, where the spirits of the dead came through.

Edit: it may be possible that the Ugaritians associated Bashan with the underworld due to the fact that the Repha’im lived there . Also @pevaquark this article gives more reason to associate the pre-flood nephilim with the post flood:

(Matthew Pevarnik) #12

I think it is interesting and I don’t see any reason to think the pre-local flood Nephilim were anything different than the post-local flood Nephilim. I think it can be submitted as Biblical evidence against a global flood but nobody even knew the earth was a globe at the time anyways. Are they still the offspring of the ‘sons of god’ and women?

I think one might as well just imagine that Genesis 6:1-4 is describing an event people used to think occurred, i.e. there were many gods that existed and they could have sex with people (think Greek mythology for example).

(RiderOnTheClouds) #13

I now lean towards the divinised kings view. This website gives an interesting explanation:

I think the use of the Hebrew word ‘laqach’ (to forcibly take), alongside the fact that the phrase ‘son of god’ was used in ancient times to refer to kings means that the narrative best fits the narratives of those such as Gilgamesh.

(Tom Larkin) #14

In the King James version, Nephilim in Numbers is simply translated as “giants”, as the people in that land were perceived as giants due to the lack of faith of Israelites. If these were a separate race, what happened to this race when Israel occupied the land 40 years later? I feel that clearly this term refers to perceived giants.

The “sons of God” commonly refers to those in the will of God throughout scripture (with the exception of the Book of Job) and the “sons of man” commonly refers to those outside the will of God.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #15

It is worth noting that there are egyptian texts which refer to 6ft 8 to 8 ft 6 giants living in the Canaan region, so the Biblical narrative should not be dismissed as pure fiction. Of course, we should distance ourselves from the hoaxers and crackpot theorists (the nephilumps), including those who take a hyper literalist reading of Amos 2:9.

Here is an interesting article:

(Phil) #16

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the article, though not sure I go along with some of his assumptions. If pressed, I would probably go along more with 6ft 8 inch Goliath, as with large stature above that, there tend to be a lot of health concerns, unstable joints, and poor coordination which would make being a mighty warrior problematic.
One question for the crowd, have any remains ever been found of an ancient linage of really tall people? (Other than the fake picture that made the rounds)

(RiderOnTheClouds) #17

I’ll take you at your word, since you are a physician, even though it isn’t exactly what the text says.

(Phil) #18

I guess the question really is what does the text say. However, it is just observation that people who are very tall put huge stresses on joints, and many suffer with knee injuries. There are a few Shaqs and Lebron’s that combine stature and strength, but most really tall people never make it as professional athletes due to physical problems.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #19

Maybe the fallen angels hypothesis is right after all. It may not explain everything (like how exactly the angels did the deed), but it is linguistically possible (though not as conclusive as some may think) and explains how 9ft tall giants remained terrifying warriors, due to their supernatural origins.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #20

Or could the giants have evolved to accommodate their size?