Most of the contemporary English translations of Genesis and Numbers render the Heb. From there, the tradition of the giant progeny of the sons of God and the daughters of men spread to later medieval translations of the Bible. The decision of the Greek translators to render the Heb. The Heb. It seems then that the authors of Septuagint wished not only to simply translate the foreign term into Greek, but also to employ a term which would be intelligible and meaningful for their Hellenistic audiences.
Given the complex meaning of the nefilim which emerged from the three interconnected biblical passages human-divine hybrids in Genesis 6, autochthonous people in Numbers 13 and ancient warriors trapped in the underworld in Ezekiel 32 , the Greek translators recognized some similarities. First and foremost, both nefilim and gigantes were liminal figures resulting from the union of the opposite orders and as such retained the unclear status between the human and divine.
Similarly dim was their moral designation and the sources witnessed to both awe and fascination with which these figures must have been looked upon. Secondly, both were presented as impersonating chaotic qualities and posing some serious danger to gods and humans. They appeared either in the prehistoric or early historical context, but in both cases they preceded the ordering of the cosmos.
Lastly, both gigantes and nefilim were clearly connected with underworld and were said to have originated from earth and as well end up closed therein. In 1 Enoch , they were "great giants, whose height was three thousand ells".
Where Do Demons Come From?
An Ell being 18 inches, this would make them feet nearly a mile tall. All early sources refer to the "sons of heaven" as angels. For example: 1 Enoch "And when the angels, 3 the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children. The earliest statement in a secondary commentary explicitly interpreting this to mean that angelic beings mated with humans can be traced to the rabbinical Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and it has since become especially commonplace in modern Christian commentaries.
This line of interpretation finds additional support in the text of Genesis , which juxtaposes the sons of God male gender, divine nature with the daughters of men female gender, human nature. From this parallelism it could be inferred that the sons of God are understood as some superhuman beings. The New American Bible commentary draws a parallel to the Epistle of Jude and the statements set forth in Genesis, suggesting that the Epistle refers implicitly to the paternity of Nephilim as heavenly beings who came to earth and had sexual intercourse with women.
Some Christian commentators have argued against this view, citing Jesus's statement that angels do not marry. The Septuagint manuscript Codex Alexandrinus reading of Genesis renders this phrase as "the angels of God" while Codex Vaticanus reads "sons". Targum Pseudo-Jonathan identifies the Nephilim as Shemihaza and the angels in the name list from 1 Enoch.
The story of the Nephilim is further elaborated in the Book of Enoch. Samyaza , an angel of high rank, is described as leading a rebel sect of angels in a descent to earth to have sexual intercourse with human females:. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters.
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. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it In this tradition, the children of the Nephilim are called the Elioud , who are considered a separate race from the Nephilim, but they share the fate of the Nephilim.
According to these texts, the fallen angels who begat the Nephilim were cast into Tartarus 2 Peter , Jude Greek Enoch ,  a place of "total darkness". However, Jubilees also states that God granted ten percent of the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim to remain after the flood, as demons , to try to lead the human race astray until the final Judgment. In addition to Enoch , the Book of Jubilees —25 also states that ridding the Earth of these Nephilim was one of God's purposes for flooding the Earth in Noah's time.
These works describe the Nephilim as being evil giants. There are also allusions to these descendants in the deuterocanonical books of Judith , Sirach , Baruch —28 , and Wisdom of Solomon , and in the non-deuterocanonical 3 Maccabees The New Testament Epistle of Jude 14—15 cites from 1 Enoch , which many scholars believe is based on Deuteronomy References to the offspring of Seth rebelling from God and mingling with the daughters of Cain are found from the second century CE onwards in both Christian and Jewish sources e.
It is also the view expressed in the modern canonical Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible : Henok —3 "and the Offspring of Seth, who were upon the Holy Mount, saw them and loved them. And they told one another, 'Come, let us choose for us daughters from Cain's children; let us bear children for us. Orthodox Judaism has taken a stance against the idea that Genesis 6 refers to angels or that angels could intermarry with men. Shimon bar Yochai pronounced a curse on anyone teaching this idea. Rashi and Nachmanides followed this.
Pseudo-Philo Biblical Antiquities —3 may also imply that the "sons of God" were human. Likewise, a long-held view among some Christians is that the "sons of God" were the formerly righteous descendants of Seth who rebelled, while the "daughters of men" were the unrighteous descendants of Cain, and the Nephilim the offspring of their union.
Holders of this view have looked for support in Jesus' statement that "in those days before the flood they [humans] were Some individuals and groups, including St. Augustine , John Chrysostom , and John Calvin , take the view of Genesis that the "Angels" who fathered the Nephilim referred to certain human males from the lineage of Seth , who were called sons of God probably in reference to their prior covenant with Yahweh cf. Deuteronomy ; ; according to these sources, these men had begun to pursue bodily interests, and so took wives of the daughters of men , e.
This also is the view of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church ,  supported by their own Ge'ez manuscripts and Amharic translation of the Haile Selassie Bible —where the books of 1 Enoch and Jubilees , counted as canonical by this church, differ from western academic editions.
In these sources, these offspring of Seth were said to have disobeyed God, by breeding with the Cainites and producing wicked children "who were all unlike", thus angering God into bringing about the Deluge, as in the Conflict :. Certain wise men of old wrote concerning them, and say in their [sacred] books that angels came down from heaven and mingled with the daughters of Cain, who bare unto them these giants.
But these [wise men] err in what they say. God forbid such a thing, that angels who are spirits, should be found committing sin with human beings. Never, that cannot be.
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And if such a thing were of the nature of angels, or Satans, that fell, they would not leave one woman on earth, undefiled But many men say, that angels came down from heaven, and joined themselves to women, and had children by them. This cannot be true. But they were children of Seth, who were of the children of Adam, that dwelt on the mountain, high up, while they preserved their virginity, their innocence and their glory like angels; and were then called 'angels of God.
In Aramaic culture, the term niyphelah refers to the Constellation of Orion and nephilim to the offspring of Orion in mythology. Greenfield mentions that "it has been proposed that the tale of the Nephilim, alluded to in Genesis 6 is based on some of the negative aspects of the Apkallu tradition". Fallen angels were believed by Arab pagans to be sent to earth in form of men. Some of them mated with humans and gave rise to hybrid children. As recorded by Al-Jahiz , a common belief held, that Abu Jurhum, the ancestor of the Jurhum tribe, was actually the son of a disobedient angel and a human woman.
Cotton Mather believed that fossilized leg bones and teeth discovered near Albany , New York in were the remains of nephilim who perished in a great flood. However, paleontologists have identified these as mastodon remains. The name and idea of Nephilim, like many other religious concepts, is sometimes used in popular culture. In the video game series Darksiders , the four horsemen of the apocalypse are said to be nephilim, wherein the nephilim were created by the unholy union of angels and demons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Nephilim disambiguation.
New Revised Standard Version. Main article: Giants Greek mythology. Main article: Fallen angel. See also: Second Temple Judaism. The evidence from scripture indicates that there are no sex differences among angels and they therefore do not procreate Matthew From the beginning a designated number were created and that number does not increase.
However, scripture uses masculine pronouns for angels and when they appear, they appear as men Luke , Genesis 18 and From the evidence we may conclude that angels are masculine in nature. We can also assume that like humans, each angel is unique and no two look alike. Angels are classified as either elect Mark , 1 Timothy or evil and unclean Luke Once they were put to the test, their decision was marked as permanent. The Bible does not mention Jesus taking on the nature of the angels and offering any kind of redemption for fallen angels.
Angels display awesome power yet God limits the exercise of this power of both good and evil angels Job Angels are used to judge evil as demonstrated in Genesis , where they destroy an entire city. In 2 Kings 19 the angel of death wiped out , soldiers. They also display power over nature. In Revelation they sent blazing fire to scorch the earth.
Books with Angels, Gods, or Demons ( books)
Several movies portray angels as elderly gentlemen or humorous comedians. This is far from the picture the Bible gives us where the power they possess is shown as frightful and devastating. Angels in comparison to man, do not experience death, retain more knowledge, and are greater in power. Instead of using their position to subdue creation, angels are designed to minister to the saints Hebrews Paul states in 1 Corinthians that one day man in his glorified state will rule the angels.
Several classes of angels are mentioned in the Bible. The first are the cherubim.
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These are the highest class of angels who are indescribable in power and beauty. They are initially mentioned in Genesis where they were assigned by God to guard the Garden of Eden. In Exodus , they appear before the Ark of the Covenant. In Ezekiel and , they emerge with four faces and four wings. Seraphim are the next class mentioned. Next we have the living creatures Revelation These creatures are different from the cherubim referenced in Ezekiel because they have only one face and six wings. They are appointed to direct and proclaim judgment during the tribulation.
There are some individual angels who play a prominent role in scripture. In Jude 9 he is called an archangel. He is likely a cherub angel. Though many believe he is also an archangel, this title is not given to him anywhere in the Bible. Finally, the Angel of the Lord is yet another unique angel noted in scripture. This is an extraordinary angel that is even worshipped. Moreover, in passages like Judges and 1 Chronicles the title of angel and Yahweh are used interchangeably. This angel then is the preincarnate Jesus Christ. The number of angels is not known.
However, their number is compared to the number of stars in the sky thereby indicating that they are numerous Job and Psalm In Revelation , John describes seeing thousands of angels in heaven. The angels were created to worship God and carry out His commands. They serve as messengers of God Luke 2. In addition, they play a role in controlling nations Daniel , 21, and They aid in evangelism Acts 8 and encourage believers Acts Finally, they appear to have a role in escorting the righteous dead to their eternal home Luke In the life of Jesus they predicted and announced His birth Luke and During His childhood they protected Jesus Matthew 2.
They were sent at certain times to strengthen Jesus Matthew , Luke Furthermore, they were messengers who announced the Resurrection Matthew They also predicted the manner of His Second Coming Acts when they will accompany His return Matthew and gather elect from the earth Matthew According to Psalm 8, we are now lower than the angels.
They are of a higher order than us but upon glorification we will rule over the angels 1 Corinthians We should respect the angels as the prophets and apostles did Daniel We can appreciate their service and admire their worship. However, we should restrain from worshiping them. The Ten Commandments clearly state that only God is to be worshipped.
In Colossians , Paul forbids the worship of angels. In Revelation the angel prohibits John to worship him. Therefore, we are to respect angels but worshiping angels is forbidden.
The Bible does not support the idea that each believer has an individual angel assigned to his or her care. Matthew is often cited as a proof text for individual guardian angels.
Evidence for the Existence of Demons
For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. The text teaches the value Jesus places on children who were not given a high social status in the Jewish culture at that time. Some New Testament scholars interpret the text to teach that God may have a special group of angels assigned to protect children.
Also, Jesus says these angels are in the presence of God. Since these angels are in the presence of God, they could not be on earth guarding children. For this reason, many scholars conclude Jesus to be speaking of the spirit of the children who at death enter the presence of God. Throughout the scriptures angels will appear to people individually, in pairs, or often in large numbers.
For example, Gabriel appeared alone to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. A pair of angels appeared to the women at the tomb Luke In 2 Kings , thousands surrounded Elisha and his servant. The evidence from the Bible reveals that angels serve the body of Christ but may appear in a variety of forms and numbers.
There are two categories of angels who are specifically mentioned to have wings. These are the cherubim and seraphim. When angels are described in scripture, they are seen as men in shining white. Many assume they have wings because they travel through the skies and heavens at very high speeds. However, wings are not necessary to travel at high speeds as demonstrated by Christ in His glorified state. He also broke the stereotypes we have had about angels portraying them to be fierce warriors and distinctive individuals. Although there is no scriptural support, his depiction of them resembling the different races of mankind was an appreciated creative addition.
Nevertheless, a few theological differences remain. I do not think that the demonic hosts are the ugly lizard-like creatures he describes.
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The demons are fallen angels but the Bible does not teach that they changed their form when they fell in the rebellion. Apparently, Satan still resembles the angels of the Lord to some degree and we can assume this likeness in the demonic hosts as well. Finally there is the danger that a number of people may be influenced to believe that all events in our lives are shaped by the actions of angels and demons.
Some may consider all trials, conflicts, and bad behavior to be the work of angels and demons. However, the Bible teaches that God is ultimately in control all things. It is true that spirit beings are involved in the course of events. However, we must not place too strong an emphasis on their activity. Some trials come from the Lord to teach us lessons we would otherwise never learn. Difficulties also arise as the result of our sin and the choices that result from its effect James In fact God holds us responsible for the choices we make. If angels and demons control us, God would be unjust to hold us accountable.
Satan and the demons can often be an easy scapegoat that keeps us from dealing with the sin in our lives. I do not believe this is what Peretti implies in his narratives and am simply giving a word of caution. However, I do not consider his novels as ranking near the quality of work from men such as C. Lewis, J. Tolkien, John Bunyan, and Fyodor Dostoevsky, timeless authors that should be widely read. The adversary of God and all believers is Satan. Throughout the Bible, Satan has several titles that help to describe his character. Below is a list of titles and names given to Satan.
This title is a present participle indicating continuous activity.
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The original state and fall of Satan is recorded in Ezekiel Verses speak of the King of Tyre. However, verses addresses another being who is not human. The prophet is addressing Satan, the one who is empowering the king of Tyre.