A Christian Worldview (Part 4)
What Happened Before the Flood?
by Gary T. Panell
What happened after Adam and Eve sinned? We have to say that sin showed its ugly head again, and Cain killed Abel. The blood of Abel is a type of Christ's blood being shed or a picture of the cross, Scripture says, ".Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24) We talked about this in part three of the Christian Worldview study, how both Cain and Abel were to bring a sacrifice to the LORD, but Cain decided he would bring some of his crops instead of a "blood" offering. God did speak to Cain, but he would not listen, and became angry and killed his brother in a fit of rage and jealousy. God told him that the land would be cursed for him (he would not have success with the crops any longer), and he would have to wander around doing other things.
There was no law at that time, other than men's conscience, so Cain was allowed to live, but would suffer the natural consequences of his sin. He felt that his punishment was too harsh and that anyone who saw him would kill him, so God put a mark on him (which we do not know what was) that would warn people not to kill him. He left the presence of the LORD. Cain took one of his sisters to be his wife and wandered around until he came to the land of Nod on the east of Eden. (We have a study on Where Did Cain Get His Wife if you want to study this further.)
"'Nod' means 'wandering,' and so may be a figurative expression depicting Cain's vagabond life-style. Since he built a city, however, it probably was also the name of a region in which he led this wandering existence." (The Defender' Study Bible) When it says he went out from the presence of the LORD it means that he was no longer having God's blessing for his life. We have many in the world today that are not right with God, and they are on their way to hell. They are the "walking dead" in truth. "But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives." (1 Timothy 5:6)
People today can be walking in the presence of the LORD, or they can be away from the presence of the LORD spiritually. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
As a result of this type of life style, Cain's families fell further and further into sin. The interests of Cain and his families were anything but worship of the LORD. We see that Cain's families were very intelligent just not interested in spiritual things. Evolution says man was like an animal to begin with and could not even read, write or do math. This is just not the case; you see men, in general, were very intelligent before the flood.
"Lamech is the first recorded rebel against the divine command of monogamous marriage. It is probable that Adam died during Lamech's time (by comparison with the chronological data in the Sethitic line), and the Cainites thenceforth became more openly rebellious against God.
"Urbanization is usually considered by evolutionary archaeologists to be one of the first indicators of the emergence of true civilization from a hunting-and -gathering culture (so-called Stone Age culture). It is significant that true civilized cultures, by this definition have existed since the very first generation following Adam, with no suggestion of a long evolutionary advance from an imaginary stone age. Evidently Cain, unable to survive either as a farmer or by trade, had to develop his own self-sufficient economy through the patriarchal clan which he established around his son Enoch and the city which Cain built for him.
"Evolutionary archaeologists have attempted to organize human history in terms of various supposed "ages"-Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc. The Noahic record, however, indicates that early men were very competent in both brass and iron metallurgy, as well as agriculture, animal husbandry, and urbanization. "And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah." (Genesis 4:20-22)
"It is significant that many kinds of bronze and iron implements are known to have been used in the earliest civilizations of Sumeria and Egypt. The same is true of musical instruments, and it is evident that the science and art of metallurgy and music had been handed down from ancient times to these earliest post-Flood civilizations. Modern archaeology is confirming the high degree of technology associated with the earliest human settlers all over the world." (The Defender's Study Bible)
Back in the area where Adam and Eve were living things were different. In fact, they had a new baby boy, Seth, who Eve said would take the place of "Abel, whom Cain killed" (Genesis 4:25). Eve thought that Cain was the one that was promised by God because she commented, "I have gotten a man from the LORD." (Genesis 4:1) All women from that time forward, that loved and served the God of the universe, hoped to be the one to have the Messiah. How happy the Virgin Mary must have been when she was chosen to be the mother of the Christ Child!
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15) This, we know now, is saying that Jesus would come and die for our sins on the cross. This would be like Satan being able to bruise Jesus' heel, but Christ, through His death on the cross, in time, would be able to totally destroy Satan and his work. We know that this is true, and that Satan's time is now limited. Soon he will be crushed below the heel of the Lord Jesus Christ! "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." (Romans 16:20) (For more study on prophecy you could look at our article Prophecy in Summary.)
To the story at hand, after Cain killed Abel God gave Eve another son, and she believed again that he was the chosen one, "And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, 'For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." (Genesis 4:25) There was the godless line from Cain and his family, and there were those who wanted to serve the LORD in Seth's line. "And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh (Enos). Then men began to call on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 4:26)
Seth's godly line had some outstanding witnesses for the LORD, to begin with. You have for example Enoch of whom it says, "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Genesis 4:24) This is a picture of the rapture of the Church when God will take us home to be with Him. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
As you may or may not know, people before the flood lived for long periods of time. We are not told for sure why this was except that it seems to have something to do with the climate before the flood. There is Scripture that tells us that there was a canopy of "water above the firmament." "Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day." (Genesis 1:6-8)
Before the flood it never rained, it was like a terrarium climate all around the world. This means that it would be warm even at the poles. No wonder they have been able to find Wooly Mammoths frozen in the ice of the Arctic that have been preserved. When they opened them up and looked at their stomachs, they found signs of delicate plant life proving that before the Flood even at the north and south poles it was warmer.
At the equator it would have been hot and humid, but in a nice way. I would image it would be like it is today in Hawaii. We have lived in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean and it is very hot, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice the climate was in Hawaii. Well, it probably was like that before the Flood in most parts of the world.
Since it had not rained before the Flood people were very skeptical when Noah talked about a flood coming. They had never seen rain, not even a cloud in the sky. As a side note, this is why I do not put clouds in the sky of my paintings of the times before the Flood. Men need to believe God's word; it is perfect in every way and is a true history of what happened throughout history.
"This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." (Genesis 2:4-6)
Also we see this idea of a "canopy" around the world before the flood in the New Testament. ".knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last day, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water." (2 Peter 3:3-6)
There are many people in the world today that do not believe that Jesus will come back like He said He would, because they do not even believe there was a Flood. As they will not believe in the miracles of Jesus, His resurrection, that the Bible is the infallible word of God and so on. (We have an article on the Resurrection of Christ and the Infallible Word of God.) The point is though, that before the flood there was a different environment on the earth that allowed for men and animals to live for longer periods of time. (This is one reason we had some dinosaurs that grew to great sizes, we have an article on this called Dinosaur Dilemma.) Some animals and insects will grow as long as they live, so if they lived for a long period of time they will become larger.
"Many scientists believe this canopy of water provided greater air pressure and a shield from the sun's harmful rays. These factors could explain the great age and size of man and animals before the flood. After the flood, the canopy was gone and the life span dropped off rapidly in the next few generations." (Creation Science Evangelism Dr. Kent Hovind, Longevity Chart Adam to Joseph)
Of course, it was this way because God allowed man and animals to live longer periods of time. (We have an article on this too called Did Methuselah Really Live to be 969 Years Old?) But as a result of this longevity of mankind on the earth before the flood it meant that there were many godly people worshiping the LORD right up until a short time before the flood. But something happened to change all that and we want to get into this soon.
Using the dates that the Bible gives of ages we can find the date of the Flood. It would have been at 2522 B.C. This means that Methuselah died right before the waters of the Great Flood came. "'Methuselah' may mean 'when' when he dies, judgment' He died in the same year that God sent the Flood suggesting that his father Enoch may have received a prophecy concerning this coming judgment at the time Methuselah was born.
Twice Scripture says that Enoch walked with God. This is mentioned in Genesis 5:22, 24, and again in the New Testament, "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 14-15.
Other witnesses that were living before the Flood were Adam who lived 930 years, so he would have died 126 years before Noah was born. Seth died 14 years before Noah was born. Enosh (Enos) was living 84 years after Noah was born. Cainan lived 179 years after Noah was born. Mahalaleel lived 234 years after Noah was born. Jared loved 366 years after Noah was born. Methuselah lived 600 years after Noah was born. Lamech lived 595 years after Noah was born. These all loved the LORD and called on the name of the God of the universe right up until a short time before the flood!
Of course, at the time of the flood only Noah, his wife and three sons Shem Ham and Japheth and their wives were believers. "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." (Genesis 6:9) So there were other believers in the world up to the year that Noah went into the ark. However, it is kind of scary to think that out of millions (if not billions of people) at this time, that lived on the earth, very quickly the number of believers in the year 1656 B.C. went down to eight people. How did this astounding change take place so quickly? Let's look at it:
And the LORD said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.' There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.' But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:1-8)
There are two main, opposing views, which would explain why the world was so quickly enveloped in spiritual darkness. The first view is one that has been long held by some Jews and conservative Christians. I will give in detail the arguments for this view; even though, I will show later why I have to respectfully disagree with it.
The question arises over what these words from Genesis six mean, and how they affected almost a whole generation of people being lost to Satan. "Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
So first, I will give the view of some Christians concerning the "sons of God" and the meaning for these words. "The identity of these (6:2) "sons of God" has been a matter of much discussion, but the obvious meaning is that they were angelic beings. This was the uniform interpretation of the ancient Jew, who translated the phrase as "angels of God" in their Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. The apocryphal books of Enoch elaborate this interpretation, which is also strongly implied by the New Testament passages Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4-6; 1 Peter 3:19,20.
The Hebrew phrase is bene elohim, which occurs elsewhere only in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. In these three explicitly parallel usages, the contextual meaning can be nothing except that of angels. A similar phrase bar elohim, occurs in Daniel 3:25, and another, bar elim, occurs in Psalm 29:1 and Psalm 89:6. All of these also refer explicitly to angels. The intent of the writer of Genesis 6 (probably Noah) was clearly that of introducing a monstrous irruption of demonic forces on the earth, leading to universal corruption and eventual judgment.
(6:2) "took them wives" The "taking" of these women most likely refers to fallen angels, or demons, "possessing" their bodies. The word "wives" (Hebrew ishshah) is better translated "women." There is no necessary intimation of actual marriage involved. By this time in history anarchism and amorality were so widespread that these demons were easily able to take possession of the bodies of multitudes of ungodly men; these in turn engaged in promiscuous sex with demon-possessed women, with a resulting rapid population growth. Satan perhaps hoped to generate a vast army of human recruits to his rebellion and also to thwart the coming of God's promised Seed by corrupting all flesh.
(6:4) "giants" These "giants" were the monstrous progeny of the demon-possessed men and women whose illicit activities led to God's warning of imminent judgment. The Hebrew word is nephilim ("fallen ones"), a term possibly relating to the nature of their spiritual "parents," the fallen angels. That they were also physical giants is evident from the fact that the same word is later used in connection with the giants in Canaan at the time of Joshua (Numbers 13:33) and by the fact that the word here was translated in the Septuagint by the Greek word gigantes.
(6:4) "also after that" "After that" clearly refers to Numbers 13:33 and probably represents an editorial insertion in Noah's record by Moses. These giants in Canaan may also have had demonically-controlled parents; they were also known as the Anakim, the sons of Anak.
(6:4) "daughters of men" The idea that these "daughters of men" were actually descendants of Cain, and the "sons of God" descendants of Seth has been a widely held Christian naturalistic interpretation. This was not the intended meaning of the writer, however, who could certainly have written that the male descendants of Seth began to take wives from the daughters of Cain if that were his meaning.
The descendants of Seth were not "sons of God" (most of them perished in the Flood) and the female descendants of both Cain and Seth were certainly "daughters of men" (literally, daughters of Adam). Besides, Adam had many other sons in addition to Cain and Seth. Further, even though intermarriage between believers and unbelievers is wrong, it could not in itself have produced universal wickedness and violence.
(6:4) "men of renown" The antediluvian giants had, by the time of Moses, become renowned heroes of antiquity, as far as the world was concerned. They, like their parents, were probably demon-controlled. Their gigantic stature was engineered by genetic manipulations. They could not have been demi-gods (half man, half "god"), however, as ancient mythology claims, since such imaginary beings are beyond the pale of God' creative purposes. Fallen angels are not prospects for salvation whereas fallen men and women are. A half-angel, half-human being would be an impossible anomaly in terms of soteriology. The only apparent solution to all the problems posed by these verses is demon possession of both parents and progeny, not demonic marriage or procreation." (Taken in whole from The Defender's Study Bible by Dr. Henry M. Morris.)
While I believe Dr. Morris very aptly presented the view of some Christians in the past and today, I still have to disagree with some of his conclusions. The main disagreement I have with this view is that it is clearly in opposition to the statement from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself about angels. By the way, this verse was not addressed in the above view, but Jesus says in no uncertain terms, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven." (Matthew 22:30)
Since this verse is very clearly teaching that angels do not have sex, probably not even the ability to do so, how is it that they could have sexual intercourse with women before the flood? Herein lies the main fallacy of the above view, plus the fact that these giants are in other places in the Bible, like the one who fought David.
It was one of the hardest things that I ever had to get use to at Bible School, and that was when there were different views presented. Basically growing up in a Christian home and church we usually got only one view presented to us. So this was quite a change to have to think for myself, and like Paul said, examine Scripture to see if what we are being taught agrees with the rest of Scripture. In this case these are "born again" Bible believing Christians that love the Lord with all their hearts and have done much to spread the gospel that believe this view. This however, does not mean that they are always right. Nor am I always right, but in this case there are some things that were overlooked that may shed some light on the subject.
Here is what I believe Scripture is teaching us, and that is there were two different groups of people on the earth at the beginning, those who worshiped God and those who did not. Then as a result of temptation by fallen angels (demons) the whole human race fell into sin, except for Noah and his family. We will see how demons enticed men and women to breed themselves like animals to become large and mean warrior types, with no concern for obeying God and their conscience.
It is impossible for the "sons of God" in Genesis six to be angels because angels do not marry. This is not just what I am saying; this is what Jesus said in no uncertain terms, again He said: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." (Luke 20:34-36) So in this passage of Scripture Jesus lets us know that there is no way the "sons of God" in Genesis six are angels. (Jesus may even be correcting this misunderstanding about the sin of people before the Flood.)
Another thing, fallen angels, or demons as we call them often, are never called "sons of God." At one time they were sons of God, but when they fell all at the same time with Lucifer, who took a third of them with him they were no longer called "sons of God." "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:7-9)
Yes, it is true that there are other references in the Old Testament that use this same phrase "sons of God", but it is always referring to holy angels, not fallen ones. Notice in the above Scripture they are called angels, not "sons of God" after they were cast out of heaven. However in this same verse 36 of Luke it calls believers "sons of God." Why should the New Testament be off limits when interpreting Old Testament Scripture? I realize it is in a different language, but believers are still called "sons of God."
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them." (Job 1:6) Notice the holy angels are called "sons of God," and "Satan also came among them." It does not say the sons of God and Satan was with them; it makes a distinction between the two. Satan was not in the group of the "sons of God." Dr. Thiessen comments on this in his Lectures in Systematic Theology. On his discussion of angels here is what he says, "Five times angels are called "sons of God" in the Old Testament (Genesis 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 21; 38:7); but never do we read of the "sons of angels."
The reference in Genesis 6:2 probably intends to protest against the intermarriage of the godly line of Seth with the ungodly line of Cain; for there seems to be no distinction of sex among the angels. The word "angel" in Scripture is always in the masculine gender; but this is also the gender of beings in whom there is no sexual distinction.
Because they are a company and not a race, they sinned individually, and not in some head of the race. It may be that because of this fact God has made no provision of salvation for the fallen angels. In Hebrews 2:16 we read: "For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham." Strong says: "Christ could join himself to humanity by taking the common nature of all. There was no common nature of angels which he could take." (Lectures in Systematic Theology by Henry Clarence Thiessen)
This idea that the angels married people is from ancient myths. These myths may have been stories of demons, and it is possibly where the Greeks got the idea about the gods marring people. Also, there is the apocryphal book of Enoch, that some suggest we should believe, but are we to place our faith and trust in apocryphal books and myths of men over the clear teaching of the word of God?! Here is what Enoch said, according to this apocryphal book, some put their trust in:
"It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful (Gen. 6:1-2). And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamored of them, saying to each other: Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children, whose stature was each three hundred cubits. [This would be about 450 feet tall.]* Comment G.T. Panell
These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood." (The Book of Enoch from the Ethiopic, chapter 7) Does that sound like the truth to you or a myth?! These people were well over 400 feet tall according to the story, sounds a bit like Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, even more fantastic!
Josephus is mentioned as another proof reference of some who say that angels married people. But he may not even have been a believer, and sometimes he just repeats stories that were believed to be true, but had no basis in fact. Here is his story of before the Flood and what happened:
"Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers, and did neither pay those honours to God which were appointed them,
...they now shewed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made God to be their enemy; for many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants." (Josephus) His is more believable, but still gives only a made up story, that had been passed down by Jews. This still goes against the clear teaching of Scripture, that angels do not marry or have intercourse, let alone children!
This is not just what I am saying, but also many other fine, born again Christian teachers with excellent reputations for teaching sound doctrine, here is what Dr. C. I. Scofield has to say about this subject:
Some hold that the "sons of God" were fallen angels "who kept not their first estate" (Jude 6-7, cp. "even as Sodom and Gomorrah"; 2 Peter 2:4-9. Accordingly, this intrusion into the human sphere produced a race of wicked giants (Genesis 6: 4-6). Others hold that since angels are spoken of in a sexless way (cp. Matthew 22:30), and that the words "took them wives" signifies a lasting marriage, the reference has to do with the breakdown of the separation of the godly line of Seth by intermarriage with the godless line of Cain.
A refinement of the latter view holds that the expression "sons of God" refers to all the godly, and "daughters of men" to all the ungodly, irrespective of their natural paternity. Whichever view is held, it is obvious that Satan attempted so to corrupt the race that the Messiah could not come to redeem man. But God salvaged a remnant (Gen. 6: 8 ff.), and a godly line was preserved. However, there is no remedy for rebellion against God; the judgment predicted by Noah's ancestor fell (Jude 14-15; cp. Gen. 7:11; Isaiah 1:2-7, 24-25) (New Scofield Reference Edition by C. I. Scofield)
So far, we understand now, that the godly line of Seth "sons of God" intermarried with the godless line of Cain "daughters of men." "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
"What then produced the violence, wickedness and abnormalities of the people described in Genesis 6? What is the resolution to solve this situation? It is quite simple, the children were all fully human offspring of truly human parents. Their parents were entirely human, but humans who were freely willing to be recruited, directed and controlled by fallen angels who were manipulating them for Satan's benefit. Satan cannot create, but he can manipulate that which already exists and he can counterfeit the things of Gods' creation.
"Satan can see the genetic makeup of people, and he knows which ones have the genetic material necessary to produce large stature. Then just like a dog breeder, he can cause willing humans to "breed" in order to produce people of greater and greater size. His plan was to corrupt totally the human line in order to prevent the birth of the sinless Son of God.
"Satan and the fallen angels would, as part of their schemes, want to corrupt the human population, so as to prevent the birth of the Promised One, as prophesied by Lamech in Genesis 5:29.
"One element concerning the nature of the sinful actions of these fallen angels was that they compounded their sin. These angels left "their own habitation" or "first estate"; they not only tried to cause people to sin, but they actually attempted ancient genetic engineering of the human race. (Jude 6, 7) For this double crime they are now confined in Tartarus awaiting final judgment. (2 Peter 2:4)
"And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6-7) "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly." (2 Peter 2:4-5)
"Gigantism is common among plants and animals in the fossil record. The root word for "giants" (nephilim) is naphal which means "fall" and refers to the fallen state of their demonic heritage. The LXX translated the word into Greek using gigantes. The same word is used of the giants seen in Canaan. (Numbers 13:33)
"These giants' physical stature is easily explained by simple known principles of the laws of genetics using mutations and recombinations of human genetic information. The wide variation for size in humans has existed from the time of creation within the human gene pool.
"Gigantism may occur by fortuitous random combinations or by controlled genetic manipulation, that is, guided breeding. If human intellect can manipulate genetic material today; then demonic forces could just as easily have done the same thing in the past. This would have been achieved through their recruitment of willing humans to determine which persons mated with another to achieve the desired result-giants. This is simply ancient genetic engineering.
"Mighty men of old, men of renown"
"These giants were men who were revered for their great strength and great violence, not necessarily for their great knowledge or intellect. The words "mighty" and "renowned" do not necessarily mean good but can mean bad. Here these words are used with acute satire. These men were "mighty" and "renowned" for their evil and their wickedness. (Genesis 6:5)
"Wickedness is at its greatest when the most notorious of sinners are "men of renown." Men in the Mafia are also mighty men, men of renown. There is a corollary which would be, "Wickedness is great when great men are wicked." (All of this is taken directly from Creation: Our World View by Dr. Grady S. McMurtry whom I had the privilege to meet at Teen Missions International, a wonderful man of God. I did not give the first part of his view, since I disagreed with it, however, the rest of the book is excellent and I highly recommend it.)
It should not be that hard to believe that people can become very tall or large. We have the record of (also videos) Robert Wadlow who was eight feet eleven inches tall and he lived in recent times. David fought a giant called Goliath; you can find the history in 1 Samuel 17. He had other relatives that were as tall as Goliath as well. "Now it happened afterward that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines, at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai, who was one of the sons of the giant. And they were subdued.
Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, sixon each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants." (1 Chronicles 20:4-8)
I am told that in Africa today there are tribes of very tall people. So it is not hard to believe that through enticement from demons people could breed themselves and come up with giants. As hard as it is to believe this happened, it shouldn't be, but sometimes similar things happen today.
To give a personal story, I worked at a restaurant at one time, and one day I was visiting with a female employee who said she wanted to breed herself. (She did not use those exact words, of course, but that is what it amounted to.) She explained that she was not interested in marriage, but she would like to get pregnant by a football player, because she wanted to raise a boy who would become a football champion.
You may think that we would never do the immoral things they did before the Flood, but that is just not true. Today, we have such things as sperm banks, and so on. Hitler had his "volunteers" for his "super race" breeding program. There is another sin that was prevalent before the Flood, that is also prevalent today, and that is violence. We see around the world violence on the increase more and more every day. So God will have to judge our generation too, for its many sins!
One of the biggest causes of this entire break down in righteousness was the breakdown of the family. You will have to admit we see this happening again before our eyes. In the days before the Flood people got their eyes off of the LORD and onto the things of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. "For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world." (1 John 1:16)
The sons of God took wives for the wrong reasons. They did not care about marrying believers any longer, this was in clear violation of their consciences and God's instructions. This is why believers are not to marry unbelievers, and we looked at these verses earlier from 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, but let me remind you of one very important verse out of that passage. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." (2 Corinthians 614)
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually..So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." (Genesis 6:5, 12) So all that was left was for God to judge them with the Flood, which is the discussion of our next section.
God says that in the last days it will be like it was before the flood and before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man before as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:36-39)
People are like sheep, we follow each other, we see someone doing something wrong and we want to do it too. Not too many years ago, abortion was considered very wrong. Not too long ago, homosexuality was considered extremely wrong. Now these things are becoming accepted. Violence also is on the increase, and will continue to increase until Christ returns to this earth as its King.
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:26-30)
The people then were living as if everything would go on just like it always had, but the Flood changed this thinking real quickly. It was not as if they did not have any warnings, there were those believers like Methuselah and Noah. Noah preached for 120 years before the Flood about the need to repent because punishment is coming. Today I say to you, have you received Christ as your personal Savior? Judgment is coming and the only way to avoid it is to be right with God. Jesus loves you and wants to save you. God is not willing that any perish, but the choice is yours.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household (family). (Acts 16:31) If you want to be sure you know you're going to heaven pray this prayer right now: God in heaven, I believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and that He is both God and man. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, and that He came to life again the third day. Right now I repent of my sins, and invite Christ to come into me, take away my sin, and make me a child of God, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. (We have an article on this: What Does it Mean to be Born Again?)
If you would like a more in-depth study on this, Bodie Hodge, with Answers in Genesis, has this same view, but goes into more detail. You can find this article on Answers in Genesis at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/who-were-the-nephilim
or see our other Bible Commentaries
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Gary Tomás Panell
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