Posted by on Feb 14, 2006 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As Kim has liklely either mentioned or alluded to, we have both been pretty busy with things at the church we’re currently attending. Kim is teaching kids on wednesday evenings, writing the lessons and etc while I am helping with sunday morning worship and assisting in the same kids ministry where Kim serves. It has been a really interesting time for both of us and it has intensified my already busy schedule.

So far, my course load has been fairly enjoyable, busy but enjoyable. During my Monday evening Old Testament History course, Dr. Allen spent about 2 hours and 10 minutes on the first 5 verses of chapter 6. Because I so enjoyed this lecture, I have posted my notes on this lecture below. If you have time and or interest in who the parties involved in this passage are, these notes should prove insightful.

Genesis 6:1-5 is probably the largest short interpretive problem in the entire book of Genesis. Every phrase of this passage is debated. Ron Allen typed 57 pages in 12 hrs for his Doctorate on this passage.

Views on this Passage

Key Words to Genesis 6:1-4

v Bene [J1] – ha Elohim – the distinctive, true Deity usage, thus they would be sons of the true living God.

v Benot ha adam – The feminine term for human woman, the daughters of Adam[J2] .

v Ha (n)nephilim – lit. “the fallen ones,” not monsters or giants. They are those who are not quite what they ought to be. The term “giants” was a literary guess probably derivative of the Septuagint. (ref. Numbers 13, the story of the spies entering the land. Davar ra – an evil report was brought back [v.26]. The Anak was a real people group of very tall people. The spies said that the land itself was hostile and that it destroys those who live there, this was a lie. They proceeded to exaggerate the size and might of the people. They said that all the people were great and they saw the nephilim, which was also a lie. The term nephilim was deliberately provocative of fear. And the whole account was a lie given by the spies.)

1. Some[J3] believe that the men (sons of God) were godly people and the women (sons of Adam) were ungodly. The men were descendents of Seth and the women were from Cain. This was a mesalliaz, misalignment of two lines of people which led to this race of nephilim. Thus the Daughters of Cain were presumably beautiful and presumes that in a closed chronology or an extended, open chronology that they were two species of humanity. This is increasingly difficult to maintain. This view is exegetically strained and they don’t like the dominant view. Allen finds this view impossible.

2. Meredith Kline’s View – After examining this passage he concluded that there is no biblical evidence for the traditional view. To say that daughters of man are decedents of Cain is blatantly sexist. Therefore, the sons of God could refer to Monarchs, Kings. This is used scripturally in an honorific term. Thus, the daughters of Adam simply refer to women because all women are daughters of Adam. To read anything else in is isogesis. The Kings were looking at beautiful women and they took for themselves who ever they chose. Kline argues that this is the beginning of Royal harems and the concept of keeping women as possessions. Kings were self absorbed and showing of their wealth of women. The nephilim are unrelated. They are another ugly element in the period of time. “Fallen Ones” simply means that there were the sad and wicked ones who lived during that time. This view is exegetically based and it works in biblical theology. The Seth/Cain view is simply made up. This introduces the subjugation of women which was clearly present in the Old Testament. But it doesn’t really solve the issue of the Nephilim.

3. RK Harrison[J4] & Gleason L Archer, Jr[J5] . said that we should explore the possibility that this describes an unlawful relationship between humans and pre-impara Adamites. A pre adamite would be someone who is not fully human, some sort of Neanderthal. They hold to a very “Old Earth” creation and say that perhaps this passage is a clue to a remembrance of some sort of messalliance between humans and para-humans. This comes not from the passage but from a desire to merge current scientific inquiry with scripture. However, the passage rules it out. If you are speaking about pre-adamites, then the Daughters of Adam could possibly be unhuman or subhuman, this presenting the value of Adam’s decendants in a poor light. If Sons of God are used as human beings then Daughters of Adam are simply subhuman.

4. Most[J6] Jewish and/or Pre-Christian fathers hold that Sons of God in this passage refers to Angels and Daughters of Adam clearly refers to human women. It came to pass when man began to multiply on the earth. The emphasis is upon reproduction. The Sons of God is used of Angelic beings throughout Scripture (Job 1:6, there was a day when bene – ha Elohim came to station themselves in the presence of YHWH and the Sata[J7] n came in their midst. Many in the Seth/Cain party disagree with this because it stretches all the way to Job. Deut. 32:43, the Qumran text adds the line that says, “and worship him all Elohim.” All the authorities who have worked on this dead sea text have concluded that all Elohim refers to all angels. This is also found in the Septuagint and Allen finds this to be the correct text. Because this is in Torah further solidifies the theory that this is a reference to the fusion of women and angels. The angels would clearly not be the “good” angels but they would be the fallen angels who have rebelled with Satan prior to creation. Thus, we should not be surprised that they are mentioned in Genesis 6. This means that angels have the capacity to take on human appearance. And what if Angels are not limited for a time in what they can do? There is nothing inherent in angelology to prohibit Angels from taking on bodily form. And this bodily form is not neuter (Mt 19, in heaven angels are not procreating, they are spiritual and nonsexual, in heaven there will be no procreation) The Scofield Reference Bible presents that the sons of God could have been unfallen angels. If this interpretation is true, then the fallen angels are under a particular judgment (2 Peter 2:4[J8] , God did not spare angels who sinned but he cast them down to hell and committed them to pits of darkness.). When we are “tempted by Satan” we are really being tempted by one of his henchmen. The chronology of the 2 Peter 2 passage fits perfectly with the Genesis 6 chronology (2 Peter 2:5). Jude 6, The angels did not keep their proper domain but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” These are not the angels who bred with women. 1 Peter 3:18-20[J9] ,”while Christ was in the grave by whom He went and preached to the spirits now in prison who were once disobedient, when the patience of the God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction…” Various interpretations of this passage indicate that a) Christ preached salvation to those in prison or b) Christ simply declared his victory to the spirit beings imprisoned by God[J10] the term preaching in this passage is more of a statement of truth rather than preaching the change of mind. Thus it can be implied that the actions of Satan were much more devious than we often believe. In fact, the actions of Satan and the 1/3 were likely done as an attempt to unseat the Gospel. Revelation 9 “the opening of the bottomless pit where locusts and scorpions [J11] came upon the earth to torment man for five months. (v. 7) They become like horses who men’s faces, lions teeth, with wings, who resemble the creatures prophesied in Daniel. They will fit the classical images of the Ezekiel and the Sphinx in Egypt. The king over them was Satan.´ The view then states that the progeny of the Sons of God and Daughters of Adam are existent today in the bottomless pit who will loosed to harm humanity. Their ultimate destiny is complete destruction. These were the same people who Christ preached to after His death. Kline has a point in the identity of the Nephilim. Perhaps the Nephilim had greater powers which would give rise to much of classical Greek and Babylonian mythology. “They were the mighty men of old, the renown.”

Josephus… “Many Angels of God accompanied with women, and beget sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good…”

How does this passage fit into the text?

If the 4th view correct, is the sin of the angels the cause of the flood? No. The cause was the sin of man. As their was sin on the earth, there was also sin in the heavens. If this train of passages hold together, it means that it is not happening today. But, if Revelation 9 is part of the train, there is a role for these beings in the time to come.

Theological Points:

1. Our lives are part of a grander scheme. The hints of Angels and Demons tell us that our lives are not the only ones. (1 Cor – trouble with women having long hair because it was associated with prostitution. Men would tell their wives that they were worshipping the God’s but were with harlots. The Harlots would shave their heads and wear ornate wigs. This is why Paul is stating that women should cover their heads so that no one would be distracted as to who was worshiping beside them. This also displays the importance of focusing upon God and not others. Paul states that the angels are embarrassed)

2. Spirit Beings are Real

3. Some Things are not understandable in Life.

4. Ultimately, good is Victorious over Evil!

Why are angels prohibited today? A: Because of the depth of their folly in going against God.

This view is not heavily focused upon today because Evangelicals are fairly shy of topics like Angelology.

CS Lewis, “Satan’s greatest accomplishment is persuading the world that he doesn’t exist.”


Genesis 6

1 Now it came to pass[J12] , when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 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.

3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive[J13] F9 with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years[J14] .”

4 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.[J15] 5 [J16] Then the Lord F10 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.

[J1]Sometimes this is inclusive of women. Bene Israel, the sons of Jacob. Thus, this word has traditionally been translated in a gender inclusive manner.

[J2]Sometimes “adam” is used in a proper manner but sometimes in a corporate manner.

[J3]This view has been held throughout church history. Many today hold this view because of the dominate view.

[J4]One of the most conservative defenders of innerancy of the authority of the Bible.

[J5]Taught at Fuller for sometime until they removed inerrancy from their doctrinal stmt. He moved to TEDS, was a lawyer, one of the most brilliant OT scholars of his time.

[J6]This is Allen’s view that he champions. Allen Ross, John McArthur, Don Glenn, and Bruce Waltke find this view to be correct.

[J7]Satan is not yet a name in Hebrew, satan is a descriptive adj. in this text to describe “the accuser, the enemy.”

[J8]The chronology of the presentation of these verses is vital to the overall argument.

[J9]This is not the place to start this argument.

[J10]This is the strange but likely conclusion.

[J11]Those who are imprisioned.

[J12]This expression indicates that this is the beginning of a new story.

[J13]No one knows how this word is properly translated because this word is a haupauxlegomena.

[J14]Two Suggestions:

1. Man’s longevity will be reduced from ch. 5 to around a 100 yrs.

2. 120 years does not fit the Biblical pattern of longevity. The normal pattern is around 80 years. Therefore, the 120 years is a timeframe before God’s judgment of the flood.

[J15]vv. 1-4 indicate that not only is there trouble on earth but there is also trouble in heaven. The entities on earth are heavenly in nature.

[J16]vv. 5 and beyond caused the flood but also affected the heavenly beings who were involved in and their offspring (vv. 1-4).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *