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 Does Genesis 6 mean literal giants or giants in some other manner?

 The Bible does refer to giants in a certain time period of mankind’s history men, before the flood but how they came to be is important, or more importantly how they were giant? Were they human Sethites (called sons of God because of their faith) that took woman by force and have Nephillim (fallen ones). If so how did they produce physical giants as an offspring?

 We can see more questions linger unanswered than are answered with the theories of these giants in Genesis.

We read that God had given man 120 years until he judges the earth by a flood.

Gen. 6:3 “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." This was not about the length of our personal lifetime, we know this by how long the time was until the flood came, and how long men lived at the time and after the flood

Gen. 6:4 “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.

 In these days and after should NOT be understood as both during the building of the ark and after the flood.  It means from the time the ark was commenced to be built by Noah it was 120 years UNTIL the flood came.

These mighty men were offspring, they were legendary men, famous.

Gen. 6:5 “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.” We find this all took place BEFORE the flood, before Noah began building the ark.

According to the Bible, All that had breath outside the ark died in the flood. Only those inside the ark did not die.

Who are the sons of God?

There are three main views.  First: they are fallen angels who lived on earth as men that temporarily and (forcibly took) married human women. The Nephilim were the offspring of these marriages.

Second: The ‘sons of God’ are the godly descendants of Seth. The ‘daughters of men’ are the ungodly Cainites. The product of this union are Nephilim are the men of renown, giants.

Third: the "Sons of God" are "kings" “princes,” “noblility,” “royalty” who acted immoral and took to them common women (possibly in polygamy).

With this in mind we have basically two choices to explain what is called giants (those called giants in Joshua’s day).

Either one of Noah’s sons was a Nephillim (or there wives) or, that the Nephillim left in UFO’s as some teach as an explanation, only to return.

If they were Sethites, “godly men” they would not have taken wives by force nor would they produce giants as offspring’s. A godly line does not do this. If these giants came from the sons of men how could they have Nephillim as their offspring?

Second, the term Sons of God were never attached to human nobility, again why would they have giants as offspring’s. Sons’ of God was the term used for angels in their original creation (as mentioned in Job 1:6, 2:1; 38:7) they were still called sons of God as their origin. Its only in the New Testament does Jesus apply the term sons of God to people who act in like nature of their creator Mt.5:9.

Later on when Israelites traveled to the Promised Land they see giants. Just because they are called giants does not mean they came from the same source. We need to distinguish the word giants from what took place in Gen.6. These are not the same giants.

In fact it is said they were well known because they were giants in intellect and power, which can fit the explanation for that time.

“The son of Arba, the founder of Kiriath-arba. He was the progenitor of a race of giants called Anakim. These Anakim were a terror to the children of Israel (Num. 13:22, 28) but were driven out by Caleb, who came into possession of Hebron (Josh. 15:13–14). (Unger’s Bible dictionary)

So we are left with only a few conclusions, either these are a mutated humans from our DNA, they are from before the flood, either brought on the ark to propagate after (which the Bible has nothing to say on Noah’s sons, or they survived by leaving the earth and returned (which again the Bible has nothing to say). So are there other explanations?

Gigantism can be caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland. It can also be passed on genetically through a mutated gene. There are several explanations besides the nephillim among men that make more sense.

I subscribe to the Bibles view that all died who were not on the ark, which does not leave us many choices. Which is contrary to their DNA, genetic mutation passed down from Genesis, after the flood? If any of the sons or wives had nephilim DNA than we all do because this whom we are ALL descended from. Not a comforting  conclusion that some come to.

The Rephaim were primitive giants who lived in Canaan, Edom, Moab, and Ammon. They were also known as Emims (Deut 2:11) and Zamzummims (Deut 2:20). King Og of Bashan (Deut. 3:11) was the last of these giants, who was built an iron bed of 13 cubits long and 4 cubits wide (about 19 feet by 6 feet) to sustain his weight.

David’s time

Goliath was known as a giant. We read how large and strong he was by the armor he wore, he was estimated to be at least 9½ feet tall. 1 Sam 17:4 “And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.”

Even later on Goliaths brother is described 1 Chron. 20:5-8 Being at 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, six on 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.”

 This giant had six fingers and toes.

We have giants even today, as certain strains of humanity produce large robust men that are 7.5 to 8 ½ feet tall. https://listverse.com/2008/05/20/top-10-amazing-true-life-giants/

The famous wrestler known as Andre the giant was 7’4 and 520 lbs. His size and others can be a result of gigantism caused by an excess growth hormone. There have been basketball players as well that are very tall. Though none as wide and heavy as Goliath probably because they are not physically active. Many die at a younger age.

Are we to consider these are from the Genesis linage through the Anakim? (Certainly not nephilim)

 Even huge human skeletal remains in graves have been found (though many are faked, especially those over 12 ft.) One can do their own search on the net for giants, and discern.

More from the Bible

Num. 13:33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants)

This was about 1440 B.C., their descendants were expelled by Caleb (Josh. 15:14) and eventually slain by the Judaites (Judg. 1:10).

Deut. 2:10-12  (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. 11 They were also regarded as giants, like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.”

Deut 2:20-21 That was also regarded as a land of giant; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the LORD destroyed them before them.”

Deut. 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. King Og’s bed was near 14 feet long in Moses' day.

Deut. 3:13-14 All the region of Argob, with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants .

OT:7497rapha' (raw-faw'); or raphah (raw-faw'); from OT:7495 in the sense of invigorating; a giant:

Josh 12:4 The other king was Og king of Bashan and his territory, who was of the remnant of the giants ,

Josh 13:12 all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants ; for Moses had defeated and cast out these.”

When Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan, they returned with the report of seeing "giants" who made them feel like "grasshoppers" (Num 13:33). These giants were descendants of Anak, "a people great and tall" (Deut. 9:2). This negative report by 10 of the spies caused the children of Israel to spend a night in murmuring and weeping. Only Joshua and Caleb urged the people to claim the land (Num. 14:38). because they lied claiming they were nephilim (from gn.6) God punished Israel to remove the whole first generation of the exodus from entering te Promised Land.

Josh. 17:15 “If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants , since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you."

Rephaim was a race of giants (Deut 3:11) who lived on the east of Jordan, from whom Og was descended. They were probably the original inhabitants of the land before the immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:5), and their territories were promised as a possession to Abraham (15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim were branches of this stock. (from Easton's Bible Dictionary)


'Anakim (Deut. 2:10,11,21; Josh. 11:21,22; 14:12,15; called "sons of Anak," Num 13:33; "children of Anak," 13:22; Josh. 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba (Josh 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of Palestine near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh 15:13). They were a Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered them (2 Sam. 21:15-22). From this race sprung Goliath (1 Sam. 17:4). (from Easton's Bible Dictionary.)

GIANTS of strength and intellect or statue

In the first two cases the Revised Version (British and American) changes "giants" into the Hebrew words "Nephilim," nephilim, and "Rephaim," repha'im, respectively (see these words). The "Nephilim of Gen 6:4 are not to be confounded with the "mighty men" subsequently described as the offspring of the unlawful marriages, of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men." It is told that they overspread the earth prior to these unhallowed unions. That the word, whatever its etymology, bears the sense of men of immense stature is evident from the later passages; Num 13:33. The same is true of the "Rephaim," as shown by the instance of Og (Deut 3:11; Josh 12:4).  (from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia)

Early church mentions

PHILO: “And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they chose.” Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air.” — Philo, On the Giants 6


ORIGEN: In my opinion, however, it is certain wicked demons, and, so to speak, of the race of Titans or Giants, who have been guilty of impiety towards the true God, and towards the angels in heaven, and who have fallen from it, and who haunt the denser parts of bodies, and frequent unclean places upon earth, and who, possessing some power of distinguishing future events, because they are without bodies of earthly material, engage in an employment of this kind, and desiring to lead the human race away from the true God.” — Origen, Against Celsus 4.92


JUSTIN MARTYR: “God…committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begot children who are those that are called demons… — Justin Martyr, 2 Apology 5

Commentaries on Bible Hub:

Ellicott’s commentary

Giants.—Heb., Nephilim, mentioned again in Numbers 13:33, and apparently a race of great physical strength and stature. Nothing is more probable than that, at a time when men lived for centuries, human vigour should also show itself in producing not merely individuals, but a race of more than ordinary height. They were apparently of the Cainite stock, and the text carefully distinguishes them from the offspring of the mixed marriages. The usual derivation of the name is from a root signifying to fall; but Lenormant (Origines de l’Histoire, p. 344) prefers pâlâ, which means “to be wonderful,” and compares the Assyrian naptû, “unique in size,” often found in the cuneiform inscriptions as the denomination of an ogre.

The same became mighty men.—Heb., They were the mighty men that were of old, men of name. “Gibborim,” mighty men (see Genesis 10:8), has nothing to do with stature, but means heroes, warriors. It is also generally used in a good sense. The children of these mixed marriages were a race of brave fighting men, who by their martial deeds won for themselves reputation.

Benson Commentary

Genesis 6:4. There were giants — Men so called partly for their high stature, but principally for their great strength and force, whereby they oppressed and tyrannised over others. For this is mentioned as another sin and cause of the flood. More evidence that reveal the Nephilim story to be a deception designed to cause cognitive dissonance, distraction, and the potential for genocide. If there were men of great size on the earth, they would not need to have gotten that way through the inbreeding of angels and women.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary - giants—The term in Hebrew implies not so much the idea of great stature as of reckless ferocity, impious and daring characters, who spread devastation and carnage far and wide.”      '

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Numbers 13:33the Nephilim] Mentioned in Genesis 6:4 in connexion with the ‘sons of Elohim,’ but not elsewhere in the O.T. The derivation and meaning of the name are obscure. Aq. [Note: q. The Greek translation by Aquila.] ἐπιπίπτοντες (‘falling upon’) connects it with nâphal (נפל) ‘to fall,’ as though the name described the violence with which the Nephilim fell upon their enemies. But LXX. γίγαντες (‘giants’) and Sym. βιαῖοι (‘violent’) are only paraphrases. The name appears to be a relic of primitive mythology, but little more can be said of it. If the Nephilim were thought of as superhuman or semi-divine beings, the spies may have used the name to heighten the effect of their description of the ‘sons of Anak’ (Numbers 13:28).

the sons of Anak, which come of the Nephilimthe sons of Anak are of the Nephilim. A separate sentence, which is absent from the LXX. , and was probably added to the Heb. text by a late scribe. He may have meant that the sons of Anak were either descended from, or of the number of, the Nephilim.
as grasshoppers] Very small and helpless. Oriental speech abounds in similes from nature. Insignificance and weakness are also expressed by ‘flocks of kids’ (1 Kings 20:27), ‘a dead dog’ and ‘a flea’ (1 Samuel 24:14), ‘a partridge’ (1 Samuel 26:20).

Pulpit commentary

Verse 33. - The giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants, אֶת־הַנְּפִילים בְּנִי עַנָק מִן־הַנְּפִלים. The Nephilim, Beni-Anak, of the Nephilim. The Septuagint has only τοὺς γίγαντας. The Nephilim are, without doubt, the primaeval tyrants mentioned under that name in Genesis 6:4. The renown of these sons of violence had come down from those dim ages, and the exaggerated fears of the spies saw them revived in the gigantic forms of the Beni-Anak. There is no certainty that the Nephilim had been giants, and no likelihood whatever that the Beni-Anak had any real connection with them. As grasshoppers. We have no means of judging of the actual size of these men, unless the height assigned to Goliath (six cubits and a span) be allowed to them. Probably men of this stature were quite exceptional even among the Anakim. The report of the spies was thoroughly false in effect, although founded on isolated facts. Numbers 13:33

As far as these nephilim surviving the Word wide flood, All that had breath died! All but 8 on the ark.

Gen 7:21-22 “And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”

Whoever these pre flood giants were they did not survive the flood, like all creatures they died. Unless one wants to take the position they were snuck on to the ark through Noah’s sons or wives, or they flew away in UFOS only to return in mankind’s history shortly after.

The idea of giants comes to us by the Greek Septuagint which many say in stature, instead of ability and power.

Whatever view you may have, it should coincide with the majority of Scripture. Some directly assert they are nephilim.

William Branham’s neo Pentecostal view which is very different (and very wrong) though it may contain some elements of others. Of the several theories of identifying whom the "Sons of God" are. Branham said I think these sons of God was the sons of Seth saw the daughters of the Cainites, the Cains.”(62-0531)

However, Bible says the Sons of God took women, not just those of Cain. 'Daughters of men’ is not limited to only the daughters of the Cainites.

There are those today claim these are descendants of Ham’s son Canaan. Branham insisted the Cainites were hybrids of Satan through Eve who were injected into the human race, even unto our day “they were Canaanites, these giants; and they were the sons of Cain.” (64-0823M)

Branham taught Cain’s seed survived the flood. “The seed come over in the ark, just like it did in the beginning through the woman, their wives. They carried the seed of Satan through the ark, just as Eve packed the seed of Satan to give birth to Cain, through the woman.” (58-0928E, The Serpent's Seed)

 Yet with all things Branham taught he would deny his own words

“Notice these smart, educated Cainites women, not from Cain's lineage, married these humble peasant boys of Seth, and from there became giants and were renowned.” (62-0531, The Conflict Between God And Satan, Faith Assembly, Clarksville, IN)

which is a rediculous explanation, more like an excuse to believe what is not biblical.

Theories can be endless to justify some kind of seed of Cain type existing in our day, or the Nephilim being among us; or are us. This was all strongly expressed to the Pentecostal church by William Branham and should be understood as error and rejected.  

These giants after the flood in the Old Testament should not be understood as the same kind that was on earth prior to the flood. Noah did not mention giants liken to nephilim, eventually centuries later we read of them. There is no mention of giants like this living among men in the New Testament.


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