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The Nephilim: Their Origins and Evolution (cont.)
By Petros Koutoupis

The Ethiopic version of Enoch was discovered in the land of Ethiopia by the freemason James Bruce, in 1773 CE. This book is believed to have been compiled around the 2nd to 1st century BCE, and was written in the Ethiopic language of Ge'ez. 1Enoch details the fall of the Watchers who in turn also give birth to the nephilîm . The fallen angels then went to Enoch to intercede on their behalf with God. The remainder of the book describes Enoch's visit to heaven in the form of a vision, and his revelations. Here we have an excerpt concerning both the sons of God and the nephilîm :

6:1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters.

6:2 And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'

[skipping chunk of irrelevant text]

7:1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants.

7:2 And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells:

7:3 Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them,

7:4 the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.

7:5 And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood.

7:6 Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

This is obviously not the famous and mighty nephilîm that we read about in the Book of Genesis. As it is clearly seen, blame for mankind has quickly been taken off man and placed towards the children of heaven [10] . This is a topic that I will be getting to in more detail by the conclusion of this paper.

The Book of Giants [11] holds more detailed accounts on the interactions between both Enoch and the nephilîm . We still start off with the wicked angels bringing forth knowledge and havoc to mankind; performing unnatural acts. As time progresses, the offspring of these angels, the nephilîm , were suddenly troubled by a series of dreams and visions. Enoch's main role was as an interpreter of these dreams. I would like to mention the existence of a Gilgameš as being one of the giants.

I dwelled on this problem for a long time. Why were the nephilîm regarded as beings of such high stature and prestige in one source, while demonized in others? It took a while before I heard about and picked up the Book of Jasher. Readers and scholars of the Bible have often been intrigued by other books mentioned within the scriptures. The Book of Jasher is one of them; mentioned in both Joshua 10:13 and 2Samuel 1:17. Many scholars place this compilation as early as the 5th to 4th century BCE; just after the Babylonian Exile and before the Persian influence that swept the nation. In the very beginning of the second chapter, we read:

1 And it was in the hundred and thirtieth year of the life of Adam upon the earth, that he again knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare a son in his likeness and in his image, and she called his name Seth, saying, Because God has appointed me another seed in the place of Abel , for Cain has slain him.

2 And Seth lived one hundred and five years, and he begat a son; and Seth called the name of his son Enosh, saying, Because in that time the sons of men began to multiply, and to afflict their souls and hearts by transgressing and rebelling against God.

When you read on, there is no mention of the sons of God coming unto the daughters of men and bearing giant children who also brought corruption to the known world. It was mankind who corrupted themselves [12] , a parallel to the Genesis account. Moving on to chapter 3, the author begins to speak of Enoch and how Enoch reigned over all of mankind. We learn of his life and how he was taught the instructions of the Lord [13] ; but there is still no mention of the sons of God and the nephilîm . This brings me back to the Yahwistic (J) account of the sons of God and the nephilîm in Genesis. Rereading chapter 6 verses 1-8, we can clearly see that there is no real connection between the sons of God, the nephilîm , and the corruption of mankind leading to the Flood of Noah.

6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

6:2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives, whomsoever they chose.

6:3 And YHWH said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.'

6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

6:5 And YHWH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6:6 And it repented YHWH that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.

6:7 And YHWH said: 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.'

6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of YHWH.

Focusing in on Genesis 6:4 and 6:5, there is no connection and we can safely assume that the story trails away from the sons of God and the nephilîm into another direction: mankind's corruption. The author of the Book of Jasher may have known this and, seeing no real point in mentioning the heavenly beings and their offspring, decided to omit it. The Book of Jasher also helps to answer another anomaly. If the nephilîm were part of the cause of the corruption, then why are they still present in Numbers 13:33? Genesis 6:4 does state that the Nephilim were in the earth in those days and also after that. After what; the Flood? Going with the belief that the sons of God and the nephilîm stood apart from the corruption of man would help make the verses in Genesis and Numbers easier to comprehend. Following the Priestly (P) and Yahwistic text regarding the repopulation of man [14] from the seeds of Ham, Shem and Yapheth, we also discover that there is no text to account for the Anakim and the nephilîm spoken of in Numbers 13:33; an event which took place after the Flood. How were these giants brought back to the land? The answer is that they were never wiped out.

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  1. Read below. [back to text]
  2. 4Q203, 1Q23, 2Q26, 4Q530-532 and 6Q8 [back to text]
  3. Read below. [back to text]
  4. A variation of this is covered in 1Enoch. [back to text]
  5. Gen. 10-11. [back to text]

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