The Sons of God, the Daughters of Men, and the Nephilim in Genesis 6.
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . There were giants in the earth in those days; and [there were giants] also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Emphasis added, Genesis 6:1-2, 4, KJV
Recently, question has arisen over the understanding of the daughters of men, sons of God and mighty men of old as described in the Genesis record, question that has been occasioned by a recent post on the Herescope blog.  Because Herescope doubts the sensational understanding of the biblical text (i.e., Genesis 6:1-5) by Tom and Nita Horn around which they construct their chapter “The Spirit Behind Transhumanism” (Chapter 9) in their book, Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Warfare, one critic debunks the Herescope article asserting that the Horns’ understanding of the text in question is the only valid one. 
Alleged is that “Watchers,” as a book of Enoch calls them, or “sons of God” (B’nai ha elohim) as Genesis names them, are powerful spirit beings that “mingled themselves with humans, giving birth to part-celestial, part-terrestrial hybrids known as ‘Nephilim’.”  Based upon this interpretation, this critic of the Herescope post cavalierly dismisses Mrs. Goodroad’s alternative interpretation “as an example of very poor exegesis” and that “there really is no valid scholarship to suggest otherwise”?  Condescendingly, he asserts that Mrs. Goodroad’s take is “histrionic” (i.e., meaning “excessively emotional or dramatic”).
So it must be asked, is the Horns’ interpretation the only possible way to view the passage in question? Is it legitimate of them to extract the inferences they do out of the biblical text that “other” sources confirm? In order to make that determination, we must look at the particulars of Genesis 6 to understand what it says in order to know what it doesn’t, all the while knowing that, “Few episodes in Scripture defy dogmatic interpretation as does this one.”  With this stated, we begin by asking, who were the “sons of God”?
Who were the “sons of God”?
In his fine commentary on Genesis, Allen Ross notes “four predominant interpretations of the ‘sons of God’: they are (1) the line of Seth, the godly line; (2) fallen angels; (3) lesser gods; or (4) despots, powerful men.”  As evidenced by reading both the Horns’ and Goodroad’s interpretations, both fall within the interpretative options Ross lists; the Horns identifying with number two, and Goodroad with number four. Obviously, if Goodroad’s interpretation falls within the fourth category, it is unfair to call her understanding “poor” and “histrionic.”
For sound biblical reason, and taking their cue from the late Judaic and early Christian understanding (this understanding lost currency amongst Jews and Christians a few centuries after Jesus lived), the Horns see the sons of God as evil angels, for scripturally, that’s what the designation can mean. This understanding influenced G.H. Pember (1837-1910) to assert that the seventh sign of the Noah-like days preceding Jesus’ Second Coming will be: “The appearance upon earth of beings from the Principality of the Air, and their unlawful intercourse with the human race.”  (See “as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Matthew 24:37 ff.)
Indicating that the “sons of God” were angels, Job states: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them” (Emphasis added, Job 1:6; See also Job 38:7.). In their allusion to the Genesis history, both Peter and Jude understood the “sons of God” in this way. Jude wrote that the angels “did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode,” and “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them . . . they [the angels] in the same way as these [the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah] indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh” (Emphasis added, Jude 6-7; Compare 2 Peter 2:4.). Ross describes that, “these ‘sons of God’ . . . [were] a lusty, powerful lot, striving for fame and fertility.” 
But regarding these angels, we note that both Jude and Peter confirm that they now exist “in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6), and have been “cast down to hell, and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). Contra the Horns, who with Pember assert that the “seventh and most fearful sign” of Jesus’ return will “be the return of the spirits of the Nephilim,” these spirits will not be released from their current incarceration to pursue DNA altering liaisons with beautiful women.  Anyway, such an attempt to destroy the Promise by corrupting Eve’s “seed” (Genesis 3:15)—the Messianic line—would now be futile in that both Satan and his hosts know the Christ has come and they are defeated (See John 16:11.).
Who were “the giants”?
Some interpreters, as do the Horns, understand the “giants” on “earth in those days”(i.e., the nephilim) to have been the offspring resulting from the evil angels mating with the daughters of Adam. The Horns state that, “powerful beings known to the Hebrews as ‘Watchers’ . . . mingled themselves with humans, giving birth to . . . ‘Nephilim’.”  But clearly, the Genesis record states that nephilim existed before these heavenly beings mated with earthly women producing “mighty men” (i.e., gibborim), or “men of renown.” The record states:
There were giants [nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God [bane ha elohim] came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare to them, the same mighty men [gibborim] which were of old, men of renown” (Emphasis added, Genesis 6:4).
It has been correctly pointed out that the text establishes no causal connection between these two historical phenomena. In fact, the text specifically states that the giants were already present when the “sons of God” produced children by the “daughters of men”. 
If the nephilim existed before the sons of God took wives from the daughters of Adam, it becomes difficult to see how such unions accounted for the origin of the nephilim. The birth of gibborim (i.e., the mighty men) recounts a dynamic that was added to the nephilim’s giantism—namely, that in some way the sons of God enabled them to become influential in the antediluvian world, to become “mighty men, men of renown.” These men may have been ancient anti-Christs that preceded Christ (1 John 4:3). In contrast to the descendants of Adam (’adam), these “mighty ones (gibborim)” became “men (’enowsh) of renown.”  But they were thoroughly corrupt and wicked, and no matter how mighty they perceived themselves to be, they were impotent in the face of God’s impending destruction of them.
Who were “the daughters of men”?
First, the Genesis record emphasizes a relative uncorrupted descent of these women from Adam (’adam) as opposed to mankind (’enowsh).  Literally verse 2 reads: the sons of God saw daughters of the Adam. That these daughters were “fair” suggests the “sensual goodness . . . the beauty, or desirability, of the ‘daughters of men’ to the ‘sons of God’ (Gen. 6:2).”  Second, “the daughters of men” bore offspring who became “mighty men of renown.” They were normal women descended from Adam who, for reason of their mating with the “sons of God,” gave birth to powerful men, to gibborim. 
What did the “sons of God” endow the Nephilim with?
The Horns suggest the “sons of God” introduced the “spirit of transhumanism” to the daughters of men and their offspring—that the children of the union were “part-human, part-animal, part-angelic offspring of a supernatural interruption into the divine order and natural development of the species.”  Depending how transhumanism is defined, that may have been the case, for as a pundit put it, man has always been the ape that wants to be God! But Kselman observed that, “The improper mating of heavenly beings and earthly women is an attack on the boundaries that are meant to separate the heavenly and earthly realms.”  The worlds of above and below cannot be united either by angels or human beings. God has fixed the gulf between the Creator and His creatures, a gulf that only He can bridge, something He has done in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Word became flesh (John 1:14).
Via the mating process, the “sons of God” appeared to have transgressed the created order of life, terrestrial and extraterrestrial, by infusing the “the daughters of men” with supernatural powers that they in turn, and in an occult way, passed on to the nephilim-gibborim, powers that might be compared unto those that will belong to the “man of sin” at the end of the age, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Compare Matthew 24:24; Revelation 13:13-15.). Perhaps these angels introduced to the nephilim, who were already larger than life, a new consciousness that they were gods, incarnations of deity who, as the serpentine lie originally put it, were possessed by a gnostic awareness of “good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Who better could have conveyed a message of deification to the human race than messengers from the heavenly sphere who were associated with Satan (See Job 1:6-7.)? As Satan first seduced Eve to get at Adam, so in this instance his angels seduced “the daughters of Adam” to influence the nephilim, infusing them with spiritual powers to become mighty men in the ancient world. Ross remarks: “Here, then, humankind had overstepped the boundaries again, trying to assume the role of divinity and hoping to achieve immortality [i.e., transhumanism].” 
In short, the Genesis record does not support the fantastic construct that the change in the nephilim was physical. When the sons of God took the daughters of men to wife, the nephilim were already giants. That’s what the Bible says. However, what happened when the sons of God connected with the daughters of Adam was that these evil angels endowed the nephilim with great spiritual prowess to become “mighty men . . . men of renown” (Genesis 6:4). Via that mating, the “big guys” realized powers hitherto for unknown to them, powers that enabled them like Nimrod, to attain the status of divinities in the world that then was. As regards the problem of identifying the sons of God, Bruce Waltke concludes: “The best solution is to combine the ‘angelic’ interpretation with the ‘divine king’ view. The tyrants were demon possessed.” 
Imagination and Idolatry
After recording the angelic visitations by the sons unto the daughters, the Genesis record parenthetically notes, “And God 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” (Genesis 6:5). At this historical juncture and with the introduction of “imagination” into the biblical text, ancient mythologies mentioned by the Horns—“the Greek Titans and other legendary heroes of part-celestial and part-terrestrial origin, such as Hercules (born of Zeus and the mortal Alchema), Achilles (the Trojan hero son of Thetis and Peleus), and Gilgamesh (the two-thirds god and one-third human child of Lugalbanda and Ninsun)”—were born. 
Warning: On this point it must be noted that imagination is the spawning bed of idolatry. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Emphasis added, Romans 1:21). Mythology is idolatry, exchanging “the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Emphasis added, Romans 1:23). To this point, James Murdock (1776-1856), a professor of ecclesiastical history, observed about Nature-worship’s relation to deification,
[The ancient Greeks conformed] their religion to themselves. The cumbrous and multiform idol . . . was refined into a being, only distinguished from human nature by its preterhuman [beyond human] development of the noblest physical qualities of man. The imagination . . . threw an ideal grandeur and an unearthly loveliness over the human form, and by degrees, deities became men, and men deities, or, as the distinction between the godlike (theoeikelos) and the divine (theios) became more indistinct, were united in the intermediate form of heroes and demigods . . . The religion of Greece was . . . that of a race . . . by whom the corporeal perfection of man had been carried to the highest point. 
On the point of abruptly introducing the “sons of God” into the Genesis account, liberal scholars accuse Moses—who “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22)—of borrowing from ancient mythology and therefore legitimizing aspects of it. However, we should note that the event of the sons of God taking unto themselves the daughters of men occasioned the rise of evil “imagination” in the hearts of humans, something for which God judged the world.  In this regard, Aalders notes:
The references to giants in some pagan mythologies can be easily explained as a recollection that has been carried forward by word-of-mouth tradition that there was a time when there were people of enormous physical stature. It should be noted that the giants in pagan mythology are not human beings at all and there is no indication that they were of human origin. 
This is the most troublesome aspect of the Horns’ book Forbidden Gates: extra-biblical, even mythological, sources (like the book of Enoch) are invested with near canonical authority. Such sources are employed to buttress an interpretation that the sons of God and daughters of men produced DNA-altered-nephilim when the biblical record states that these giants existed before this mating took place.
Note: Jude neither called Enoch “scripture,” nor prefaced his quotation of it with, “it is written.” Clearly, Jude did not view pseudepigraphical Enoch to be Scripture, to be a sacred text, but merely cited a common prophecy of future judgment that elsewhere was canonically predicted by the Old Testament (“the Lord . . . will come, and all the holy ones with Him!” (Zechariah 14:5, NASB. Compare Deuteronomy 33:2.), confirmed by Jesus (“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works,” Matthew 16:27; Compare also Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26.), and affirmed by the Apostle Paul (“the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13). 
So why did Jude cite Enoch 1:9? Jude may have quoted Enoch because on the one hand false teachers rejected the authority of Scripture, Jesus and the Apostles, while on the other hand treasured Enoch and other pseudepigraphical books (i.e., the corpus of spurious writings, esp. writings erroneously credited to Biblical characters and times). Pseudo-teachers thrive on pseudo-books. So inspired by the Holy Spirit, Jude told his readers that false teachers were heading for judgment, something that they, in their smug self-righteousness, presumed they were going to avoid! And he did so by citing the sacred book of the false teachers.  Take that, Jude tells them,and from your own “sacred” source!
Sexuality and Spirituality
That there was a sexual component to the seduction recorded in Genesis 6:1-4, cannot be denied, for “the “sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose,” and they “came in unto the daughters of men . . .[who] bare children to them” (Genesis 6:2, 4). Seemingly, the fornications possessed a psychological-mystical dimension that provided the daughters of Adam with the illusion that they were transcending the physical limitations their creature-ship had forced upon them (See 1 Corinthians 6:15-16.). In the ancient world, Canaanite worshippers believed that in some metaphysical, but perverted way, cultic sex was a venue through which they connected their beings with the gods. Elsewhere I have written:
As ritual, the intent behind religious prostitution was perhaps threefold: one, that worshippers could derive pleasure as they indulged their selfish lusts; two, that by engaging in the primal act by which the continuum of life is perpetuated, they could, in acts of imitative magic, somehow stimulate “the womb of mother earth” to open up thereby increasing the fertility of their flocks and crops; and three, that they could, for reason of ecstasy derived from the sexual liaison with a body representing a god or goddess, experience their personality, however fleetingly, become mystically fused with the divine. 
Written by Moses before the children of Israel were going to take possession of the Promised Land, the record of this incident would serve as a warning to the Israelites as they were about to enter into Canaan where for spiritual reasons, the inhabitants engaged in of all kinds of sexual perversions they presumed were spiritual (See Leviticus 18:1-30.). As the Lord God told Israel, like those He destroyed who practiced sexual perversions associated with false religion in the antediluvian world, so also He would judge those who “commit any of these abominations” (Leviticus 18:29).
As is evidenced by the media’s attention, our culture is fascinated by the sci-fi worldview, which books like the Horns’ tap into. But when Scripture and myth are combined to understand the nature of the nephilim, biblical truth is sacrificed.  The giants were human.They were “mighty . . . men (’enowsh) of renown” (Genesis 6:4). After the interchange between the “sons of God (’elohim) and “daughters of men” (’adam) took place, God looked down from heaven and “saw that the wickedness of man (’adam),” repented that “he had made man (’adam) on the earth,” and said, “I will destroy man (’adam) whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man (’adam), and beast . . .” (Genesis 6:4-7). In looking at the heaped-up references to Adam-man, the offspring of the daughters of men, one can only conclude they were not hybrids. Yet in contrast to the Genesis record, to quote Aalders again, “It should be noted that the giants in pagan mythology are not human beings at all . . .”  But Genesis clearly states the giants were human!
It becomes a slippery spiritual slope when pagan myths are believed to be informants of biblical truth. Subjects like those being raised by the Horns and others ought to be approached with extreme caution because, as the Genesis record informs, human imagination is a spawning bed for idolatry (Genesis 6:5). So believers beware, lest we become followers of “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16).
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . .” Emphasis added, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
 See Gaylene Goodroad, “Part 1: Apocalypse, Planetary Birth or Deception? Part 2: The New Age and 2012: A Planetary Birth,” Herescope, June 10, 2011. Online at: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/06/doomsday-datesetters-2012.html.
 Chris D. Putnam, “In Defense of Horn & Missler: A Response to Gaylene Goodroad,” Logos Apologia, June 11, 2011. Online at: http://www.logosapologia.org/?p=2245.
 Tom and Nita Horn, Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Warfare (Crane, MO: Defender, 2010): 179.
 Emphasis added, Putnam, “In Defense of Horn & Missler.”
 Elwell, Walter A., Editor, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1989): in. loc.
 Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of the Book of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988): 181.
 G.H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages: and Their Connection with Modern Spiritualism, Theosophy, and Buddhism (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, Reprint of First Edition, 1942): 141.
 Ross, Creation and Blessing, 181.
 Horn, Forbidden Gates, 179.
 G. Charles Aalders, Genesis: Bible Students Commentary, Volume I, and William Heynen, Translator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981): 156. Kidner confirms: “It is worth noting that the giants [the nephilim] are not said to have sprung solely from this origin [from the Sons of God mating with the daughters of men]: if some arose in this way (also after that), others existed already (in those days).” Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1967): 85.
 McComisky notes: “The word ’enôsh reminds man of his transience and of his lowly position before the Almighty.” See Thomas E. McComisky, “136a (’enôsh).” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Volume I, R. Laird Harris Editor (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1980): 59.
 As either a summary of chapter five or an introduction to the Flood, Sailhamer notes “this little narrative is a reminder that the sons and daughters of Adam had greatly increased in number.” John H. Sailhamer, “Genesis,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, Volume 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990): 76.
 Andrew Boling, “793 tôb.” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Volume I, R. Laird Harris Editor (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1980): 345-346.
 In the Hebrew language the im ending of gibborim, as with nephilim and elohim, is a plural of intensity.
 Horn, Forbidden Gates, 197, 180.
 In this statement, I am not agreeing that humans are descended from apes.
 John S. Kselman, “Genesis,” Harper’s Bible Commentary, James Luther Mays, Editor (New York, NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1988.): in loc.
 Ross, Creation and Blessing, 183.
 Bruce K. Waltke with Cathi J. Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001): 117.
 Horn, Forbidden Gates, 181. The Horns add: “These demigods were likewise accompanied in texts and idol representation by half-animal and half-human creatures like centaurs (the part-human, part-horse offspring of Apollo’s son, Centaurus), chimeras, furies, satyrs, gorgons, nymphs, Minotaurs, and other genetic aberrations. All of this seems to indicate that the Watchers not only modified human DNA during the construction of Nephilim, but that of animals as well, a point the Book of Enoch supports, saying in the seventh chapter that the fallen angels ‘sinned’ against animals as well as humans.” (181-182)
 Emphasis added, James Murdock, D.D., “Preface,” in The History of Christianity From the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire, by H.H. Millman (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1842): 26. I am indebted to Sarah Leslie for drawing my attention to this quote.
 In Genesis 6:5, the noun “imagination” stems from a verb meaning to “form, fashion” (Hebrew, yester), suggesting a “steadfast . . . frame of mind” bent toward idolatry (Compare Habakkuk 2:18.). Francis Brown, Editor, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979): 428, No. 3336. The following noun, “thoughts” (Hebrew, machashabah), means “thoughts of the mind,” Ibid: 364, No. 4284. The implication of this indictment for New Thought is obvious.
 Emphasis added, Aalders, Genesis, 157.
 I agree with Horn that, “The objectives of the occult masters and the very real forces they serve is [sic] overlooked by average citizens, yet according to sacred texts a collaboration exists between such unregenerate social architects and fallen angels.” See Tom Horn, “Behind the Veil in Washington DC—The Rise of Angelic Rule: A Demonologist Looks Into The Heart Of The Whitehouse,” Part II, Paragraph 4, Prison Planet Forum, August 28, 2008. Online: http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=56049.0. But Horn and I part company with his labeling pseudepigraphical texts like Enoch to be sacred. Just because they’re ancient does not make them sacred! For this reason Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
 Independent of Matthew Poole (1624-1679), I arrived at this conclusion which resembles his. See Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume III: Matthew – Revelation (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1963 Reprint of 1685 Edition): 946.
 Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Unshackled: Breaking Away from Seductive Spirituality (Indianapolis, IN: Moeller Printing Company, Inc., 2009): 101.
 Even the Horns’ defender states: “Admittedly, they both take speculative and controversial stands that might be considered unconventional but I would not label either as heretical. I don’t agree with everything they write but I do find their work thought provoking and interesting. While there is some validity to criticizing their penchant for showmanship and interest in fringe topics . . .” See Putnam, “In Defense of Horn & Missler.” In my view, that’s all Mrs. Goodroad was doing.
 Aalders, Genesis, 157.
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