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Question and Answer

Who are the Nephilim referred to in Genesis 6?

This is a difficult passage about which Bible students are not in complete agreement. Some believe that the human race was corrupted by an influx of angelic beings. They believe that those who did this are the angels described in Jude, who are now chained in darkness because they “abandoned their proper dwelling” (v. 6).

Since Genesis 6 refers to the “sons of God,” some scholars believe that they were from the godly line of Seth, and the “daughters of men” were from the evil line of Cain. They believe there was intermarriage between the two, with the result that the godly line of Seth was corrupted by the descendants of Cain.

The earliest interpretative traditions of this passage believed that these “sons of God” were heavenly, angelic beings whose relations with human women produced giants, the Nephilim. While Scripture doesn't provide us with a clear–cut answer, that interpretation is consistent with other descriptions of fallen angels, like the one in the book of Jude.

By C. Donald Cole
Moody Radio Pastor

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