Genesis 6:1-4 – The Nephilims

The union of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men”

  • Some have interpreted this to mean the sons of Seth having relations with the daughters of Cain or that these were kings building harems.
  • The phrase “son of God” According to scholars denote a divine descent of kings. But the collective implication of “sons of God” is not common in ancient literature.
  • There is also no known ancient text of divine beings marrying or cohabiting with women. Kings claim mixed ancestry of gods and humans but that is quite a different concept or issue.
  • Mark 12:25 says angels do not marry.
    • The ones refer here are only the angels in heaven.
    • Others say they don’t marry but it doesn’t mean they can’t procreate.
  • Job however has shown these as description of the angels or “sons of God”:
    • Job 1:6; 2:1 – Satan came along with them when they presented themselves to God.
    • 38:7 – They rejoiced when God created


“Mighty men” and “Men of Renown”

  • Some say they are offspring of the angels and women or
  • They are the Nephilims.



  • The span of time for the warning of the flood.
  • This could not be the ages of the people after this event for Abraham and Isaac lived for almost 200 years.
  • This could be a general observation of how many years humans live and there are exceptions.


The Nephilims

  • Root word is meaning to “fall” or “fallen ones”. It means they overpower others.
  • They were not the offspring of the union of angels and women.
  • They were also there when the “mighty men” and “men of renown”were born. There seems to be some debate if the Nephilims and the mighty men are the same.
  • Some say they were of a warrior class
  • Some say they were giants of the Nephilims in the time of Moses. This was the time spies were sent out to take a look at the land of promise. But it seems these were just exaggerated expressions by the people who saw them because they should have been destroyed during the flood.
  • Some scholars say they could be the apkallu or ummianu in the Gilgamesh epic since these were heroic figures and the time of their story is of close approximation to the flood.



MacArthur, John F.. The MacArthur Study Bible, NASB (Kindle Location 2474). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Zondervan. The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, eBook: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (Kindle Location 7435). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing. NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture (Kindle Location 7658). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.