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Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6

and Ezekiel 9:4 and the Mark of the Beast

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Question #1:  In reading your work on Satan's Rebellion I got stuck on the part where you talk about Satan's platform - and that angels have no physical bodies of their own.  Then you talk about the angelic infiltration of Genesis.  How is it that angels - which are invisible to us & lack physical bodies - could 'marry' human women?  Isn't is more plausible to assume that Genesis is talking about the line of Abel (sons of God) became so distant from God and his will, that they began to marry from the line of Cain (daughters of man).  Just like in Ezekiel, I think it's talking about a covenant  (broken) with God that those who are God's people need to steer clear of the outsiders - those who reject God and his word.  You stated that Jude 6 & 2 Peter 2:4 "make clear" the angelic infiltration.  "...but abandoned their own homes..." and "they sinned" are not exactly "clear" cases of angelic infiltration.  I really enjoyed reading your work.  Thank you.

Response #1: Thanks for your e-mail.  I certainly appreciate your concern.  Before you make up your mind on this, I would ask you to have a look at the portion of Part 5 of the Satanic Rebellion series where this issue is treated in full (see the link:  section III.1, Satan's antediluvian attack on the purity of the human line [the Nephilim]).  This contains over ten single-spaced pages of material, exegeting the Genesis six passage in full, and considering the passages listed in SR#1 plus all other pertinent references.  I agree that many may not see the brief references in part 1 as being as unquestionably "clear" as I do without this further, detailed explanation.

That said, it is also true that the angelic infiltration of Genesis six is often a "bone of contention".  It is so far outside of our modern, scientific understanding of the way the universe ought to work that even evangelicals have found it expedient to down-play or even discount this teaching - much in the same way that it is often felt that the route of the Exodus "must have gone through the swampy lakes of Suez" rather than through the Red Sea, or that the sun really didn't "stand still" at Gibeon (maybe it's just a metaphor), or that the great flood was probably "only local, not universal" ... or skepticism that there is really such a thing as demon possession or causation of disease.  None of these things is plausible, the way the world looks at things, but I assure you that all of them are real.

If the more detailed explanation doesn't convince you, we can certainly agree to disagree on this point (I certainly would not choose to break fellowship over it), but I do personally believe, when all is said and done, that it is pretty clear that this is what the scripture is teaching (even if it is a teaching that is hard for many to comprehend and accept).   For one thing, the alternatives often suggested (and you are in the main-stream of alternatives here) always require explanations which clearly force the language of scripture much more than a simple, straight-forward interpretation (i.e., "sons of God" elsewhere = angels [see prior link], whereas understanding this as normal human behavior doesn't account for the exceptional nature of the offspring).  And, if that is so, it is always better to let scripture take you where it will by the Spirit, whatever qualms you may have, rather than to try and fit scripture into what may be more comfortable and/or less embarrassing (whatever the teaching may be). 

Case in point here is antichrist, who will also have an angelic father (namely, the devil).   If one has built one's theology on an interpretation of Genesis six which omits the supernatural aspect, it will be much harder to believe and comprehend that antichrist is half-angelic.  That will be a big problem during the Great Apostasy to come (see the link from Coming Tribulation part 3A, section II:  The Great Apostasy), since the incredible charm, capability, and deeds of antichrist will seem (and actually be) "super-human", leading many to conclude as he will proclaim that he is the Messiah (cf. 2Thes.2:9-12; Rev.13:2-4; 13:13-15).  Sadly, many believers are prophesied to fall into this number (see prior link).  In my view, the failure to understand this not unprecedented, supernatural occurrence will increase the vulnerability of many believers who may be weak in their understanding of the Word in general.  The details on this last point can be found in part 3B the Coming Tribulation series, "Antichrist".

Please also see:

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

Antichrist and the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Eschatology Issues:  The Nephilim

The Nephilim

In any case, I very much appreciate your interest, your kind words, and most of all your zeal for the Word of God

Yours in the One for whom nothing is impossible, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob Luginbill

Question #2: 

Is Ezekiel 9:4 where the antichrist gets the idea for the mark?

Response #2: 

Good observation.  It has ever been the devil's modus operandi to attempt to counterfeit the plan of God, so I think that what you suggest is very plausible and is certainly in keeping with Satan's overall approach to present himself as God and his operations as divine.   After all, believers are "marked" or "sealed" for good by God symbolically (Ex.13:9-16; Deut.11:18; cf. Rom.4:11), experientially in time (2Cor.1:22; Eph.1:13; 4:30), and ultimately in eternity (Rev.3:12; 22:4; cf. Rev.14:1).  So it is no wonder that Satan and the beast should wish to put their mark on everyone for evil.  You are right that Ezekiel 9:4 furnishes an early and significant parallel to the "good marking", and one that takes place in a time of judgment.  It is also of course itself closely paralleled by the "good marking" of the 144,000 who are likewise sealed for special protection during even more dire circumstances, the Tribulation (Rev.7:3-8).  As is pointed in part 3B of Coming Tribulation, antichrist is the devil's surrogate, so that any ideas or policies he has are pretty much direct reflections of the thinking of the evil one.

Yours in the One in whom we have been sealed by the Spirit, our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

Bob L.


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