"There were giants on the earth..."

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Tucker, May 8, 2010.

  1. Tucker

    Tucker Lion Rampant

    Around 60,000 years ago, the fossil records show, modern humans coming up from Africa converged with European Neanderthals headed south in the region of what is now northern Israel. Their bones have been found side by side in the same geological strata within caves, proving that our two species co-existed at that point.

    The Hebrew word נְפִילִים (nephilim) appears in Chapter 6 of Genesis to describe a race of beings that once lived in the vicinity of the Holy Land. Verse 4 is variously translated as follows:
    KJV: There were giants in the earth in those days; and 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.

    NLT: In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

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

    "Nephilim," however, translates to English as "fallen ones." Young's Literal Translation Bible reflects this:
    The fallen ones were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God come in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them -- they [are] the heroes, who, from of old, [are] the men of name.
    The only other reference to the Nephilim comes to us in Numbers, where we are told (again, Young's Literal): "...The land into which we passed over to spy it, is a land eating up its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in its midst [are] men of stature;and there we saw the Nephilim, sons of Anak, of the Nephilim; and we are in our own eyes as grasshoppers; and so we were in their eyes."

    The Nephilim sound imposing, if poorly defined. Who were they? Numerous theories, some have been put forth as to the identity of these mysterious beings. Three of the most popular are:


    • They were the hybrid offspring of fallen angels and human women.
    • They were the offspring of descendants of Seth with those of Cain.
    • They are not historical figures and are ancient imagery with questionable meaning.
    (source: Wikipedia)

    But the explanation favored by a growing number of researchers such as Simka Jacobovici, host of the History Channel's "The Naked Archaologist," is that the Nephilim were the descendants of Neanderthal-Homo sapiens mating pairs.

    Today, with little fanfare, a news story broke out of Croatia, where scientists had been studying a set of Neanderthal bone fragments taken from a cave. The DNA, when matched to the recently decoded Neanderthal genome, shows clear evidence for the first time that they and we not only co-habitated but interbred as well:

    Signs of Neanderthals Mating With Humans - NYTimes.com

    What do you think? Who were the Nephilim to you? Why do you suppose they got just two vague references in the Bible? Lastly, how can a book be the infallible word of God when it refers to groups about whom nothing is known?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010

  2. Bjarki

    Bjarki Registered Member

    I read today that Neanderthal-men were 1.60-1.70 metres tall (about the size of modern day man). Now I suppose that in previous times Homo Sapiens fell somewhat short of this size, but even if they only grew to 1.40-1.50 metres, would they qualify the Neanderthal as giants?
    Furthermore, they lived up to 30.000 bc if i'm correct. Way before the battle of Troy and similar epic fights disputed by 'heroes'.

    As far as I know there has been no find of giant human-bones.. (apart from questionable sources), so it's not too likely giants ever walked this planet, lest not in numbers (which would mean they'd come from elsewhere, not likely either).

    I think it's just part of biblical imagery of which the true content will never be known.

    I can't disprove the Neanderthal claim though. These humans were stronger than their Sapiens-counterparts, which might have allowed them to carry bigger rocks or display superior strength in combat.
    Here in the west for long people believed the neolithic monuments were created by giants because the stones used were so big. Perhaps the same happened in israel with similar manmade monuments. Who knows.
    Giants, as in tall people, they were not.
     
  3. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    I always thought the Nephilim were the product of in-breeding since that is a trait of giant-ism, right?
    I'd forgotten about the sons of God and I really don't know what that means exactly but would like to research that a little more.
     
  4. aramis

    aramis Registered Member

    I have supported the idea that the Nephilim are neanderthals or other hominids for years.
     
  5. stevenfermi

    stevenfermi Registered Member

    Within the difference if .1 meter (approximately 4 inches), that is total bulls***. Many other Middle Eastern religions have "fallen ones", so it isn't that unbelievable that Judaism, an outgrowth of an ancient Canaanite religion, would have them too. Also, 60,000 is a bit too large of a timescale, considering that even the most religious know that the Bible is no more than 4000 years old.
     

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