A Visited Planet

Who were the Giants?

There is much interest today in the possibility of life on other planets. Vast sums are spent by organisations "listening" for a "message" from outer space. Much is theorised and great excitement stirred up by the media over some microscopic speck of dust on a meteor, that some scientist declares, proves life on other worlds.

The average Christian either rejects all possibility of extraterrestrial life for some vague theological reason they don't really understand but some speaker or teacher said so or they feel confused and question their faith.

The rest either ignore the idea or join the spiritually hungry masses who are anxious to find some purpose beyond our barren materialism, or "seeker friendly" spirituality, hence, all sorts of phenomena and UFO's are being sought after, seen or imagined.

Now, first, we want to ask, "why should there not be extraterrestrial life?" Maybe we should ask, 'how should we define life?'  There are several forms of life on earth so why need that be all there is? Are not angels alive? The Bible and our faith is based on the very fact. The Bible teaches us about God and a heavenly host and that some of the host even exist in rebellion. In Isaiah 14:12-14 we read "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. [ Or the north; Hebrew Zaphon ] I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."

So it may not be unreasonable to assume that some extraterrestrial influence was responsible for a destruction of our original planet earth.*  I wonder, if today, as we are well able, we blew humanity and life in general off the face of the earth, whether that would be considered a home grown disaster or we would see again, the hand of the evil one set in opposition to the purposes of God. (1)

Anyway, the Bible has somewhat to say about "this visited planet" both in Genesis and later.

It seems that before the flood of Noah, the spread of evil on the earth was encouraged by "extraterrestrial visitors" for we read, "When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [ Or My spirit will not remain in ] man forever, for he is mortal [ Or corrupt ]; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--and also afterward--when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Gen.6:1-5

Here we find beings called "The sons of God"; the first suggestion of a shortened life-span; and the Nephilim. "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--and also afterward-" Notice "those days" before the flood, "and also afterwards" and we shall indeed "also" find them on this side of the flood.

The Hebrew word Nephilim means "The Fallen Ones", not necessarily in a spiritual sense but that they literally "fell down from above", descended from the sky. Gen.6:4.  Does that not say something to us?

It is unnecessary to embark on theological gymnastics to explain this situation if we just recognise that beings in humanoid form existed who were not of this world and who were not descendants of Adam. Peter, in the context of the Flood of Noah refers to these beings. "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, [ Greek Tartarus ] putting them into gloomy dungeons [ Some manuscripts into chains of darkness ] to be held for judgement; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others." 2 Peter 2:4,5.

The actual word "Nephilim" only occurs three times in Scripture, we learn in Josh.14:15 that a certain "Arba" "was the greatest man among the Anakim" and in 15:13 that he was "the father of Anak". In Num.13:33 we learn that the sons of Anak are descended from the Nephilim. Note. This is the "also afterwards" - well after the flood that had destroyed "all flesh", yet these descendants of the Nephilim are present again.  There is no logic in the claim some make, that they were descendants of Seth.

They were a large and great people or "giants" as KJV translates them. Actually, the whole of the "promised land" seemed to have been taken over by these peoples at a very early time with the Rephaim in the north, then the Zuzim and the Emim, with the Horim in the south. Og and his kingdom of Bashan are often mentioned, was the northern area, the area of the Rephaim or Giants.

We are also given the dimensions of some of their equipment and furniture that confirms that "giants" means their physical size and not a title of respect for their prowess.  We will address this detail later.

All these groups seem to have been related, but were named variously, by the "adamic" population. The descendants of Adam in accordance with God's purposes, gradually over-threw and destroyed "the giants". The Ammonites over-throw the Zuzim and the Moabites the Emim while Edom embraced the mountains of the Horim. Gen.14:5; Deu.2:10,11. The name Emim was given by the Moabites and meant "The Terrible". These hybrid races, obviously an abomination and in rebellion to the divine purpose, also received special attention from the Lord that led to their final extermination, see Deu.2:21,22

So it seems that even though all the beings (Nephilim or their descendants) on earth, were destroyed by the Flood of Noah, more of their kind visited us again "afterwards" to try again to continue their evil purpose.

The two "Goliaths" of Scripture were of these people. Goliath of Gath whom David slew while still a youth, was over 10 feet tall. (6 cubits and a span). 1 Sam.17:4-7. Then there was a lesser known Goliath the Gittite who had a brother, Lahmi, "the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam". 1 Chron.20:4-8. There was also another character at this time, unnamed, but we are told he had "six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot" v.6. We are then told that all these fellows "descended from the giants in Gath". v.8. (As did the earlier Goliath). So they were all relatives and it seems with Gath as some sort of "headquarters".

Before we decide this is all "fairy tale" stuff, remember, this is all in the Bible, although avoided by many orthodox and not often appearing in structured "Bible Reading" programmes. Or, if some passages do, it is in isolation and ignored or explained with some spiritual "interpretation". If we wish to know the truth that "makes free", we should, as the Bereans did, "search the Word" ... to see whether these things are so" Acts 17:11. We are sometimes blinded, dazzled by "scholarship" and fail to "prove all things" for ourselves or are too busy with "more important things" to search out for ourselves, what God has said.

A well known Jewish author and scholar of international repute, who also served on a Bible translation committee, wrote in a widely acclaimed historical account of the wanderings of the Hebrew people: - that, "...the name of Goliath became associated with David and ... in the end David was credited with slaying him when, according to 2 Samuel 21:19, it was actually an obscure soldier named Elhanan who engaged in that act of heroic single combat only to have his name eclipsed by a later accident of history."

Now this is a disappointing and grave error for a distinguished scholar and writer whose book reads like a suppliment to the Old Testament. The reference in 2 Samuel is a parallel account to the one in 1 Chron.20:4-8, in fact it almost reads word for word. Both these accounts speak of several battles and the "giants" encountered, their names are Saph or Sippai whom Sibbecai the Hushathite killed. Another, Ishbi-Benob whose bronze spearhead weighed about 3.5 kilograms, Abishai son of Zeruiah slew. The other Goliath and his brother Lahmi who "had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod", Elhanan slew, according to the Samuel record. 2 Sam.21:22 says "These four were born to the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants." Also mentioned in 2 Sam.21:20 the "huge man" with "six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot".

If we study "context" rather than the "texts" we will not be mislead. On the occasion of the slaying of the second Goliath, David was King about the time he "numbered Israel", the next recorded event. 1 Chron.21:1-8. In David's earlier, better known encounter with Goliath of Gath, he was still a shepherd boy, as mentioned earlier.

Paul, quite a scholar himself and once accused of being "mad" (Acts 26:24) through much learning later wrote in Rom.1:22 "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools". To illustrate - a little thought will show us that our State Education teaches the error of Evolution, which without any scientifically provable evidence is taught as proven fact. Again I believe Paul speaks to similar teachings in the same passage "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Rom.1:25. So much for scholarship.

Well, back to our giants. Another well know biblical "giant" was Og, king of Bashan, referred to earlier. Og gets notable mention 22 times from Numbers to the Psalms. We learn in Deut.3:11 that he was, by this time, "the only (northern) survivor of the giants" (Gath was in the south), and that Og's "bedstead was an iron bedstead" and super "King Size" "it's length was 9 cubits and it's width 4 cubits (15 ft -16 ft x 7 ft) (4.8 x 2 meters). His repeated mention in narrative and victory poems suggest he was an extraordinarily formidable foe.

The one "common denominator" of all these beings was their great size, physical prowess and opposition to God's purposes. In the first account in Genesis 6 the term "sons of God" and what they were called, seems to indicate the extra terrestrial origin of the "Nephilim". A lengthily account in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, quoted in part by Jude v.6,14,15 and another reference by Peter, 2 Pe.2:4,5, already quoted above, leaves little doubt that the term "sons of God" in Gen.6:1-4 refers to beings of human form, but not of the descendants of Adam, who bred into the Adamic human race. Their off-spring "were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown" v.4. The very next verse indicates great wickedness on the earth due, it seems, in large measure, to the influence of these "visitors" who "came down" and their offspring.

Considering in more detail the suggestion that the Nephilim were "not of this planet" is that Gen.6:4 records that "the Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also afterwards, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them." Now "those days" were the days before the flood of Noah and it was the sinfulness of those days that caused the Lord to say "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land..." v.7, and God said He would destroy "all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven, everything that is on the earth shall perish." v.17. Long after that event we find in Num.13:33 that the Nephilim are here again - ("also afterwards"). "And we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight."  A second invasion? Their presence in The Promised Land, caused enough fear and doubt in the Israelite camp to cost them another 40 years in the wilderness. 

As mentioned earlier, after Israel was established these hybrid beings were methodically destroyed.  It was as though they represented a threat to the descendants of Adam, which I suggest, in fact, they did.  The story of David and Goliath was only one example of removing that threat,

As a result of the "Fall" and the corruption of the new species (man in God's "likeness and image"), God made Satan a promise, "I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." Gen.3:15. We will later make a short study of Genealogies and the laws of marriage God imposed to further illustrate this point, but for now let us say that the subsequent later contamination of the Adamic race by inter-marriage with Satan's seed may have been an effective way of attempting to circumvent the divine judgement.

We know now that God's "ultimate intention" was declared in the "promise" in Eden. God, himself, was to "father" "the seed of the woman". Creator and creature - "One flesh". Immanuel! God with us! There was more than just family pride in the recording of those seemingly endless "begats" we find in Scripture. The genealogies are testimony to the essential purity of the "generations" leading from the first Adam to Jesus, the promised "Second Adam".  1 Corinthians 15:45

Looking again at Gen.6 may help us see more than mere conjecture in that thought. A Negro spiritual reminds us, "Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord." The reason is interesting. According to the NIV: "But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." Gen.6:8,9

First, we must once more prepare ourselves to question the common "interpretation" most scholars give to this passage, partly, I think, because of translation and partly to avoid becoming committed to the theological implications. It is easy to say simply that the writer was emphasizing that Noah was a good man. It is also most understandable that translators will prefer renderings that tend toward a popular position, other things being equal. Therefore we must look carefully at the alternative and literal renderings of the following verse. (Notice how translators "interpret" Scripture.)

Verse 9 contains 4 statements that in most translations sound rather repetitious.  The NIV is unclear and fits the common interpretation.  King James is more accurate 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  The New King James starts verse 9 "This is the genealogy of Noah."

I will break the verse up to illustrate this:

Phrase 1. "This is the account of Noah" more correctly reads, "These are the records of the generations of Noah." Now if you go back to chapter 5 (remember there were no chapter breaks when it was written), you will see to what this statement refers. Noah's pedigree is carefully listed all the way from Adam to Noah and his three sons. (It is interesting that at the end of a most precisely dated and detailed record of births and deaths, Noah is suddenly the father of 3 sons in his 500th year. Could they possibly be triplets?)  Be that as it may, what is important here and the one thing of which we can be sure. Noah is a true descendant of Adam, able to trace his ancestry, his family tree, by accurate record back to the father of the race. He was "complete in his generations".

Phrase 2. "Noah was a righteous man," This is his only Character Reference. Not repeated 3 times as some teach.

Phrase 3. "Blameless in his time"; This is the Key. If we look at another equally valid rendering of this statement it can read "complete", "perfect" or "having integrity" in his generations" note the plural, "generations" as in the KJV. Noah had a truly Adamic family tree, it contained no hybrids of the Nephilim.

Phrase 4. Noah "walked with God." This was his Lifestyle. He walked with God and believed God but was human, remember how he "slipped" after the flood? Gen.9:20-24.  The word "blameless" in phrase 3 is a poor choice as Noah's righteousness and walk is clearly stated in phrases 2 and 4 however, phrase 3 points us to phrase 1 and the previous chapter, Noah had a "perfect" pedigree. The record of his "generations" was complete, had integrity, no alien mixtures. The ideas of perfection and completeness would hardly be applied to his character no matter how upright he may have been, he was human as we have already mentioned.  Again, the word "time" is not a good translation of the Heb. "dor" which contains the idea of "posterity" and is translated "generations" (pedigree) over 100 times in the KJV.

So! The correct meaning of the passage is that Noah was set apart from the rest of mankind for the following reasons:

a. He had a clear Adamic pedigree. (3 above)

b. He was a righteous man. (2 above)

c He "walked with God". (4 above)

To preserve the Adamic "blood-line" and the validity of the "promise" to Satan, drastic steps were necessary. Noah and his family had to be taken away from the contagion of the evil genes that were contaminating mankind and inviting God's judgement, the destruction of "all flesh". We know the story of how this was accomplished and if we read the very detailed record of the next 2 chapters (7 and 8) we will need a vivid imagination indeed to believe that this was just a local flood as some expositors would suggest. Both Jesus and Peter apparently believed the record. See Matt.24:38,39; Lu.17:26,27; 1 Pe.3:20; 2 Pe.2:5. Peter says twice that only 8 survived.

After the flood there was almost a replay of the instructions given at Eden, with God giving Noah "dominion". See Gen.9:1-19 "be fruitful and multiply: populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it".  See (2) below.

Let us move on. A long time has passed, over 1000 years, in Num.13:33 The Nephilim are here again. It is hard to explain this "Return of the Nephilim" other than that they were extra-terrestrial in their origins and that their presence among the "children of Adam" brought about biological changes that distinguished these "offspring" from the rest of mankind at the time. Those were the giants, "the mighty men of old, men of renown." Gen.6:4b.

There seemed to be no "continuing presence" as this "second invasion" was systematically stamped out and the evidence suggests - as far as we can tell, when this second attempt was destroyed the tactics were changed. There are some who believe descendants of the Nephilim still exist. It is of little consequence as once God's Son was born of true Adamic descent on His human side, the overthrow of Satan, as promised in Eden, was assured. The Seed of the woman shall crush the serpent's head. Jesus, on the cross, declared, "It is finished!".

After the Victory of Calvary and the Resurrection of the foretold Saviour/Messiah, the fulfilment of the "promise" given in Eden was inevitable. This does not mean that evil beings, not privy to the innermost secrets of God's purposes might not try again, perhaps in a many different ways to corrupt and mislead mankind further. If there is any truth in the many reports of "Encounters of a Third Kind" we need to beware and remember the Nephilim. They came down, from the sky. They were the original "alien intrusion" of this planet.

* See also "Theory of Creation"


<>(1)  Others of us may go further and ask if a side effect of this rebellion may have been responsible for the apparent destruction reported in Genesis 1:2 "The earth was (became) without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters." There are other passages that support the idea that God did not "Create" things "without form and void" the whole perfect order teaches us otherwise. In Isaiah 14:12-14 we read "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. [Or the north; Hebrew Zaphon] I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." So it is not unreasonable to assume that some extraterrestrial influence was responsible for a destruction of our original planet earth.

(2) If we think about it, we will see how important the genealogical records and the stern laws relating to marriage and adultery really were. Not simply that it was good social behaviour but it was a safeguard against another mass intermarriage as happened before the deluge. Under the Mosaic law, even in a polygynous society, every child knew who it's father and mother were. Basically, Biblical adultery only involved a married woman and a man other than her husband, a situation that confused and obscured the biological purity of the genetic line.

This subject is dealt with in more detail in another paper, "One Flesh".

See Studies on: Peleg; One Flesh; Polygyny; Babel

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