Who were the Nephilim? In some culture and Christian corners, the Nephilim were descendants of fallen angels, but when we review the words of Noah carefully concerning the things that were taking place in his generation, we can only conclude these were men who cause havoc on the earth, fearsome warriors the nations worshiped as gods who abused their place of power.
The book of Genesis begins by giving us a preview of what was happening, and the reason behind God’s decision to destroy the generation of Noah. It begins by saying, “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.” Genesis 6:1-2.
And what we have here, is the story of these mighty warriors taking whomsoever they please as wives. In other words, they would make demands on the families of the earth and forcefully taking for themselves wives of all they chose. Their hunger for sexual immorality was unending and because of these things God was very angry with humanity.
“Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” God was angry with the nations, and so decided to destroy the nations with a global flood, but there was one man who did what pleased the Lord Noah to whom God revealed his plan helping Noah to prepare for what was about to come.
The bible told us in those days, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”
The revelation concerning the Nephilim was not that they were descendants of fallen angels, but rather mighty men, fearsome warriors who were causing havoc on the earth. And we can conclude this was the reality by three words used in verse four of Genesis six to prove this fact.
The first word is the word “Nephilim”, and the word that follows to confirm the Nephilim were human beings not sons of fallen angels is the word “Mighty.” The second word explains the first a regular occurrence in scripture. The third word is the word “Renown” meaning fame.
This would then suggest, there were mighty men in the earth in those days, men of great fame” and if this was the case, as we believe it was, they were using their position of power to defy God as they lead the people astray.
We can also find evidence of this in Ezekiel 32:27, where it is written concerning the Nephilim, or mighty men of old Ezekiel wrote, “ But they do not lie with the fallen warriors of old, who went down to the realm of the dead with their weapons of war—their swords placed under their heads and their shields resting on their bones—though these warriors also had terrorized the land of the living.”
Ezekiel in chapter 32:27 is speaking concerning Pharaoh and how he will meet his end. Pharaoh will not go down to the grave as the warriors of old who had an honorable burial, but rather will fall and the birds of the air will eat his army and his flesh. Pharaoh’s death will be an insult and shame.
But the point we need to focus on here is that Ezekiel’s description of the warriors of old are speaking concerning the mighty men or Nephilim of Genesis and how they were worshiped as gods among the people, they were mighty commanders of the nations, men of great exploits men who died as men dies, human beings sons of the sons of God who became mighty men, men of great fame. Ferocious men upon the earth who caused God to bring a judgment against them. Which was why Ezekiel ended verse 27 of chapter 32 of Ezekiel saying, “Though these warriors also had terrorized the land of the living.”
Finally, let us take note as to what Noah said in verse five of Genesis chapter 6. He grouped the Nephilim with humanity by saying, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah wrote down for us what was taking place in his generation and the events leading up to his escape from the wrath of God, God became angry with the human race, but he Noah, found favor with God and was able to escape with his life. And so, we can see the Nephilim are not the descendants of angelic beings, but rather sons born in the earth who became wicked and rebellious to the point God made up his mind to destroy them all.