At the bible there are passages that, although very interesting, are a little incomprehensible and cannot be explained in a very easy way. Commonly these biblical stories are the subject of speculation due to their fantastic nature.
At Genesis 6:1-4 we find one of those passages in the bible that have been the object of attention and much study. In these verses it is said that when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, daughters were born to them. And when the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, they took them wives of their own, choosing from among them all. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is flesh: and his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the land in those days. Afterward also the sons of God were joined to the daughters of men, and begat them sons. These were the mighty men of valor, who from ancient times were men of renown.
The giants or nephilim to which these verses refer were the children of the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men. The phrase "daughters of men" does not represent any inconvenience. The scripture implies that they were women very beautiful, physically attractive. What is difficult to understand is the phrase "children of God". Really, to whom does it refer?
Many interpretations have arisen in trying to explain this phrase, there is no clear position of those who understand who is meant by "sons of God". One could speculate about it, but this is not the idea, since we will not attain this knowledge unless we study the scripture with a spirit of prayer. Nevertheless, we will cite three of the best known interpretations.
To whom did the Bible refer when it said "children of God"?
1.- Men of power or monarchs who exercised unjust dominion
Some scholars give an interpretation of these verses as saying that the children of God were sovereigns or monarchs with a lot of power. They were related to common women and not to honorable and educated ladies. According to these scriptural connoisseurs, some of them exercised unjust dominion over them and forced them to have relations with them.
This resulted in society falling into moral decadence and much corruption. The thesis that accompanies this interpretation is that the Israelites never used the phrase "the Israelites". "children of God" when referring to their rulers. In the same way, it is important to consider that it is not explained why the fruit of this relationship were of great size and very strong as to be called heroes and giants.
2.- The pious sons of Seth
This interpretation is by far the most common when giving an explanation on the subject as it refers to the marriage between wicked women descendants of Cain with the godly sons of Seth that resulted in the decomposition of both progenies.
As is well known, Cain had killed his brother Abel and the scriptures do not give good references of his descendants. However, mention is made of Seth, who was very similar to his brother Abel. father Adam. In the same way it is affirmed that he was sent in place of Abel, who according to Genesis 4:4 pleased God with the offering he presented to Him. However, there are arguments against this interpretation, which we will mention below:
- Nowhere else in the bible is the phrase "children of God" to refer to human beings.
- It mentions only marriages between the wicked women of the descendants of Cain with godly men of Seth's line. Nowhere is there any mention of marriages of godly women of Seth to wicked men of Cain's line. Which concludes that the women of Cain's line were wicked. Would all these theories be true?
- There is no explanation as to why the children of this union were giants and heroes.
3.- Fallen Angels
This interpretation seems to be the oldest and asserts that the passage refers to the marriage between demons or fallen angels and human women. These unions brought great decay to mankind and almost the annihilation of human beings through the flood. There are stories in the holy scriptures that talk about angels appearing in human form to deliver a message to someone.
These passages in a certain way lend credibility to this interpretation. As an example of this we find in Genesis 16 to 20 when angels spoke to Abraham and Sarah to let them know about the child they were about to conceive and to warn them of the punishment that was to destroy the city of Sodom.
Genesis 19:4-5 reveals a very particular situation. The men of Sodom visited Lot's house to force him to hand over the men who were in his house to have sexual relations with them. In this case the angels with human bodies were those men and these men wanted to take them by force. An entire perversity what the inhabitants of Sodom had in wanting to consummate this act.
In the old testament the phrase "children of God" is commonly used to refer to angels. It is for this reason that in Genesis 6:1-4 refers to them. On the other hand, this is the only interpretation that most convincingly explains the reason for the stature and heroic nature of the children of these marriages. However, this interpretation has its weaknesses since angels are spiritual beings and do not possess a physical body.
In Mark 12:25 it says that when the dead are raised from the dead, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels who are in heaven. This makes it clear that the angels in heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage. Obviously, when speaking of fallen angels, this refers to angels who rebelled against God and who act contrary to His commandments. Another weak point to this interpretation refers to the fact that the apocryphal book of Enoch, on which almost all the scriptures of this interpretation are based, refers to angels who rebelled against God and who act against his commandments. wrote at least 1000 years after these events occurred, which may mean that a more traditional or folkloric interpretation has been given to the point.
What was the end of the giants or nephilim?
At Genesis 6 to 7 it is narrated that these characters died in the flood, since they did not enter Noah's ark. They perished with all the humans and animals that did not enter the ark with Noah and all his family.
Giants after the flood
These giants mentioned in the bible after the flood were not the nephilim since all of them perished during the flood. Those mentioned later correspond to races of very large and strong men due to genetic variations.
At Deuteronomy 2 to 3 Anakites, Emites and Rephaites are mentioned as representatives of these lineages. A clear example of these races was Goliaththe great giant that defeated the small David Goliath was a man of great stature, a Philistine giant from Gad who is said to have been over ten feet tall but who had no relation to the Nephilim.