8b Who are these sons of God?
Heiser says, “Watchers” is the overwhelming choice of term for the fallen sons of God in Genesis 6:1–4 …(ANGELS: WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT GOD’S HEAVENLY HOST, Heiser)
“That the fallen watchers are punished by God (1 Enoch 10) reveals they were considered subject to divine judgment.” (ANGELS: WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT GOD’S HEAVENLY HOST, Heiser)
He gets all this (unbiblical) teaching, not from the Bible but from disputed books that say the opposite of Scripture. From the Ugarit, the mythology and idolatry of the Canaanites. These and other questionable sources gives him fuel to challenge and distort the Word.
Watchers are mentioned only twice in Scripture. In Jeremiah they seem be unknown.
Jer. 4:16-17 “Make mention to the nations, Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah. Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, Because she has been rebellious against Me," says the LORD .” Its hard to say exactly who they are, they could be pagans that took witness against Israel, those sent before an army invades. Also, there were humans who were called watchers who stand at the gates. Heiser interprets them as the sons of God.
OT:5341 Hebrew natsar (naw-tsar'); a primitive root; to guard, in a good sense (to protect, maintain, obey, etc.) or a bad one (to conceal, etc.): (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary)
Dan 4:16-17 When Nebuchadnezzar is given heart of a beast , 'This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones.”
This is different word than natsar, And OT:5894 `iyr (Aramaic) (eer); from a root corresponding to OT:5782; a watcher, i.e. an angel (as guardian).
Regardless of this mention in Daniel Nowhere does the Bible speak of the watchers described in Enoch, or defines them as sons of god, as elohim, that are a species different and above than angels, ( he mentions them hundreds of times in his books)
Heiser makes the point from unaccepted writings, “That “Watchers” was the designation of choice for the fallen sons of God is also demonstrable from 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and a variety of non-sectarian texts from Qumran.”
Among the fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls. The Book Of Giants - Story Adapted From The Dead Sea Scroll . The intro shows a new age symbol affirming those who believe this.
THE BOOK OF THE WATCHERS 1 Enoch which mentions terms and words used much later than Genesis that proves the person who wrote this had a Bible to refer to. this book of Enoch is where one will find them mentioned and described.
The actual rabbinic interpretation is that these beings were so named, Nephilim, because they fell and caused the world to fall. Thus the word naphal.
Heiser himself refers to this in his book “Second Temple Jewish literature …The fallen sons of God (Watchers) corrupted humanity and turned them toward idolatry.” (Demons: What the Bible Really teaches about the powers of Darkness, Heiser)
He says the same in “Second Temple Jewish literature thus presents us with a matrix of ideas with respect to evil spirits. The corporate divine rebellion of Genesis 6 was a horrific event aimed at the destruction of the people of God and humanity at large. The fallen sons of God (Watchers) corrupted humanity and turned them toward idolatry.” ( ANGELS: WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT GOD’S HEAVENLY HOST, Heiser)
“Second Temple Judaism saw the holy ones as imperfect. That the fallen watchers are punished by God (1 Enoch 10) reveals they were considered subject to divine judgment.” ( ibid.)
In his book the Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact vs. Fantasy, he states again “ we aren’t even told that the flood was the fault of the sons of God”
How then is are they not sinful and being part of the cause of the judgment by the flood?
Who are the Nephilim?
“The death of the Nephilim and their descendants was the explanation for the origin of demons”
“Nevertheless, demons are consistently cast as disembodied spirits of dead Nephilim and their giantclan descendants .”(Demons: what the Bible Really teaches about the Powers of Darkness)
He claims the Nephilim that dierd produced the demons. As the Sons of God offspring they are repeating the same the sons of God did in Gn.6. Again if Nephilim are demons how can they be sinless?
The Nephilim are “mighty men…the men of renown, ‘mighty’ is the Hebrew word gibor (giborim, plural), which is translated not as a race but a description of strength or ability.
Heiser writes , “Immediately after the flood, Nimrod (whose name most likely means (“rebellion”) is called a gibbor …. It links Babylon back to Genesis 6 and its divine transgression .”
Heiser is connecting dots that are not there, his inference is that Nimrod is a Nephilim. How? Heiser seemingly employs apophenia instead of biblical Hermeneutics to arrive at his conclusions.
How is Nimrod a Nephilim? Did something happen to Nimrod to alter his nature so that he ‘became a giant?’ He came from Cush, who came from Ham, so unless one wants to go down the road of saying one of Noah’s sons was a secret Nephilim this grand speculation is unfounded and completely unsupported in the biblical text. In fact, if Ham or any in his lineage was a Nephilim than all his offspring were and we have a much larger problem than even Heiser anticipates.
But this is exactly what Heiser states, “ Scripture does not specifically exempt Noah and his family from the sinful cohabitation of Genesis 6:1–4.” (Unseen Realm)
He adds to his speculation, doubt, “One Dead Sea scroll, The Genesis Apocryphon , has Noah’s father challenging his wife, the mother of Noah, about whether her pregnancy was the work of one of the Watchers ( Genesis Apocryphon [=1QapGen] 1:1–5:27). She vehemently denies the charge.” (Unseen Realm)
Why use this unless you want to open up the concept of one of Noah’s family being a Nephilim. Nimrod is in the lineage of Ham, which means Ham who is one of Noah’s sons came on the ark was corrupted.
Gn. 9:18 “And Ham was the father of Canaan.” Making Canaan, the land of giants who are Nephilim stretches the Bibles Word until it snaps back on him.
Heiser states, “Nimrod has not successfully been identified with a known historical figure from Mesopotamian texts. Other scholars consider the name a wordplay on rebellion and consider the description of him as a gibbor to be a clue to another polemic against Babylon. … name and the word gibbor point back to the Nephilim/apkallu polemic. The parenthetical comment about Nimrod would be the biblical writer’s way of saying that Babylon and her religious knowledge that survived after the flood are evil.”
What a stretch, as the word gibbor means mighty in Hebrew does not equate him being a gibborim species anymore than it does in Josh 1:14 which speaks of Israel “all the mighty men (Gibbor) of valour, or Joshua 8:3 “they giborim of Israel went against AI” as being Nephilim. I guess if one inserts this myth into the Bible they start to see Nephilim everywhere.
This word is used over 159 times and it does not have to do with race in these instances, it is a general description. גִּבּ֥וֹר gibbor is a general word for ‘mighty.’ Even God is called gibbor (mighty) Isa.9:6, 10:21; Jer.32:18.
This is why using single words for an argument outside its basic context does not become a proof text. It’s a complete assumption that Nimrod was a giant, and even if he was tall, it does not necessarily connect him to be a Nephilim, any more than those who are tall throughout history or today.
Gen.10:8-9 “a mighty one (Gibbor) on the earth.” The next verse describes him as He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; it does not refer to his nature as Nephilim, but his activity of hunting.
Nimrod comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to rebel,” He is called a mighty hunter of men and of animals. He was a cult leader gathering people to follow him. Nimrod is mentioned elsewhere, in I Chronicles 1:10 and Micah 5:6. Where the land of Assyria is called the” land of Nimrod.” Was Assyria cleansed of Nephilim too?
Heiser points out “The connection of Nimrod to the giant Nephilim is the backdrop to several odd Jewish traditions about Abraham, including that his family lineage went back to the giants (Pseudo- Eupolemos, quoted from Alexander Polyhistor by Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 9.18.2). An excellent essay on Nimrod traditions is Karel van der Toorn, “Nimrod before and after the Bible,” Harvard Theological Review 83.1 (1990): 1–29… who then says ‘Abraham traced his family to the giants. While these giants were living in Babylonia, they were destroyed by the gods because of their wickedness.” (Unseen Realm)
Now he is introducing that Abraham is traced to Nephilim! And the gods (watchers) destroyed the giants, their offspring! Are these Jewish tradition or fables?
Heiser has no qualms quoting spurious materials to try and connect his invisible dots to convince you of his new mythical theory. When using these fragments of specious writings one needs to be extra careful; Heiser is not.
Van der Torn is quoted and referred to in Heiser’s Unseen Realm book numerous times, in his A Companion to the Book of Enoch, the book on angels, the book on demons, (THE DIVINE COUNCIL IN LATE CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL SECOND TEMPLE JEWISH LITERATURE)
“Marduk is referred to as Merodach or Bel. Second Temple period Jewish texts contain a tradition about a giant who survived the flood named Belus, who was credited with building a tower in Babylon (the Tower of Babel), in which he lived.”
“In other instances of linking Gen 6 to Gen 11, the intermediate link is Nimrod from Gen 10. The problem in this case, however, is that if Belus, one of the giants who built the tower, is identical with Nimrod, he also is said to have escaped the flood, which would imply an identification of Noah and Nimrod! ” (K. van der Toorn, “Nimrod before and after the Bible” ( Heiser quotes her dozens of times in this book alone and in several others, she is one of the keys to his proof of his theories)
Again we will see how problematic this all is with the Bible as our authority on the truth. Which is of the utmost importance in arriving at what actually took place and why we should not be entertaining mythical speculations that Heiser often does.
If God allowed Noah’s wife or any of his son’s wives to carry the Nephilim gene, then all, not some of mankind would have quickly been corrupted all over again. Then God did not resolve the problem by the judgment of the WW flood and God would have to judge the world all over again soon afterward.
At this point of our examination of this doctrine of Heiser (and others), it would be important introduce the Scripture that directly pertains to this matter. Paul wrote Timothy, “ that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.” Heiser is giving heed to fables. 1 Tim. 1:3-4. Paul identified these as “profane and old wives' fables” (1 Tim. 4:7). Fables are the word ‘myths’.
He also spoke prophetically of the future, of those who entertain or accept these theories “ They will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim 4:4). Paul warned Titus as well, apparently this was a problem in the second temple period that needed to be identified. Titus 1:14 “not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.” The truth being the Word.
And then there is Peter who lived in the second temple period who was well aware of what was being spoken of in stories by his fellow Jews, “ For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:16)
Yet according Heiser Nimrod was a Nephilim… The same tradition “ identifies Belus with the biblical Nimrod, and suggests Nimrod might also be identified with Noah. ”
“identified with Noah” is a crucial statement. All of this stems from aberrant second temple thinking which is basically useless in this matter. Also Heiser says, “Abraham, including that his family lineage went back to the giants.” Pseudo-Eupolemos, quoted from Alexander Polyhistor by Eusebius, PraeparatioEvangelica 9.18.2).Quoted in Unseen Realm
Which means that nearly all of humanity was tainted when the 3 sons of Noah started to repopulate the world. Abraham was in the lineage of Shem that brought forth the Messiah..
Heiser believes the same type of “ behavior as described in Genesis 6:1-4 happened again (or continued to happen) after the flood, producing other Nephilim” (p. 189 Unseen Realm). And there was a land filled with giants! He uses Num.13:33 as the definitive statement for this doctrine. Though, nothing of this sort is recorded in Scripture and is at best conjecture. I will prove this as we go deeper into his teaching. Understand, this alternative of his is necessary for his hypothesis in developing his new myth as being 'biblical truth.'
Why would God allow those who corrupted the whole human race to reproduce again when he severely judged the world for it? Furthermore, If these Nephilim are presumed to be from Noah’s sons, or a specific sons lineage there would be no normal people born but giants from that son (giants are not just about stature but of power and intelligence as we will see). That would make one of Noah's sons a Nephilim whom God allowed on the ark to reproduce! Which is unacceptable using a biblical narrative.
These first two installments is an overview of his terms and explanations. If these points bring up further questions, or you have difficulty understanding what is so far been addressed, the next few segment[s] will have Heiser’s explanations from his quotes and we will specifically use the Bibles doctrine to refute it.