Posts Tagged ‘socioeconomic’

Were there really giants in the Old Testament?

January 5, 2010

Was Lawrence Taylor an example of a biblical Giant or just a New York football Giant?

Question:

In Genesis 6 who are the sons of God, the daughters of men, and the Nephilites (Giants)?

Answer:

This is one of the weirder text in Genesis?  And with it come some equally strange ideas for interpretation.  Among these are the idea that the sons of God were Angels who married human women and bore giants as offspring.  Another theory is that the sons of God were the decedents of Seth, and the daughters of men were the descendants of Cain.  But this does little to explain the bizarre offspring that they have.

The most likely explanation is that the sons of God refers to the socially powerful men who had gained wealth and influence in the world to that point.  With such power they were able to exploit the “daughters of men” or women of lesser means.  In other words, they could ‘take what they wanted’ (verse 2).  The reference to the idea of Giants in the land who were the offspring of these men and women most likely refers not to their stature, but to their power.  They would have been like ancient princes, or aristocrats.  God’s anger came with the behavior of people doing their own wills, taking what they want, and doing evil to one another.

The later explanation can actually be explained within the limits of hebrew language and can make sense in the context of Genesis.  The other two explanations require wild speculation and imagination that is inconsistent with any other biblical material.

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