Genesis 6:4, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old men of renown.”

The giant offspring of this union between the sons of God and the daughters of men were called the Nephilim.

 

 

The Bible makes several references to the Nephilim and most of them can be found in the book of Genesis.

The bulk of information pertaining to these giants of old come from the apocryphal Book of Enoch. This ancient Jewish religious work is attributed to Noah’s great-grandfather, although some scholars date parts of it to around 300 BC.

Enoch is a puzzling character, to say the least. The book of Genesis tells us he lived on Earth for 365 years, before being taken by God; “he walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him.” During his time down here, our planet was also inhabited by ‘angels’ who interacted freely with humans, eventually interbreeding with the “daughters of man” and giving birth to a race of unnaturally strong and giant hybrids called the Nephilim.

The origin of the word Nephilim isn’t fully understood but scholars have proposed several etymologies: “the fallen”, “apostates”, or “those that cause others to fall down.”

Regardless of their name, the Nephilim have always been a synonym for giants.

And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them [the 200 Watchers] fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgment and of their consummation, till the judgment that is for ever and ever is consummated.   – 1 Enoch 10:12

The Watchers first showed up around 3,550 BC. They landed on Mount Hermon in the days of Jared. We know this not only because of what is written in 1 Enoch,

nephilim-ufo

 

The Book of Giants found in the Qumran Caves offer a perspective that is different from that of the Book of Enoch. Although incomplete, the scroll fragments paint a grim picture: the Nephilim become aware that, as a result of their violent and deviant ways, they face imminent destruction—and that scares them enough to ask Enoch to speak on their behalf in front of God.

The text begins by detailing how the Nephilim plagued the Earth and all that lived on it. But once they all start receiving prophetic dreams of doom, fear seeps into their hearts. The first one to have these dreams was Mahway, the titan son of the angel Barakel. In his dream, he saw a tablet being submerged in water. When the tabled emerges, all but three names have been washed away.

This symbolizes the Flood and subsequent destruction of all but Noah’s sons.

Genesis 6:4 makes it clear that the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men and produced offspring. The “extra-biblical texts” elaborate on who these beings were, where they landed, when they came, what they did and what happened to them as a result. Thus we learn that 200 Watcher-class Fallen Angels landed on Mount Hermon in the days of Jared. They participated in what I call

The Genesis Six Experiment, mating with women to produce angel-human-hybrids known as the Nephilim. Those first generation hybrid offspring lived no longer than 500 years and killed each other off while their fathers were made to “watch” before they were themselves severely judged and sentenced to everlasting chains of darkness, buried under the sands of the earth for 70 generations.

And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them  [the 200 Watchers] fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgment and of their consummation, till the judgment that is for ever and ever is consummated.   – 1 Enoch 10:12

 

Mahalaleel named his son Jared because his name means “shall come down,” “descended” or “to descend.”

Thus, according to Scripture, we can know exactly when the Watchers “descended” – and as already stated, this is confirmed by the Book of 1 Enoch as well.

And they were in all two hundred who descended in the days of Jared in the summit of Mount Hermon…  – 1 Enoch 6:6

According to 1 Enoch 10:9,10, their offspring only lived for 500 years and they killed each other off by around 3,050 BC (about 24 years after the death of Adam). Enoch then goes on to record in some detail about how the Watchers were judged and sentenced after that and the cannon of Scripture gives us a brief snapshot concerning their fate:

For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned, but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment;  – 2 Peter 2:4 (HCSB)

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  Jude vs 6

What I find interesting about the combination of Genesis, 1 Enoch and Jasher is the way they each fill in the blanks of the story. Genesis is like the Cliff Notes version – giving us just the basics of what we need to know for God’s bigger picture. Enoch focuses in on a specific event (recorded in just a few verses of Genesis 6) and the resulting consequences. Regarding that event, Jasher is silent.

Instead, the Book of Jasher focuses on the character, personality and righteous deeds of Enoch, which led him into becoming one so highly favored of God.

After the birth of Jared (which is represented by only one verse – 2:37), Jasher spends all of chapter 3 discussing the life and activities of Enoch, describing a series of trips back and forth – to and from the heavenlies, as well as around and inside the depths of the earth.

The Book of Jasher records the funeral of Adam in chapter 3, verses 14-16. The following verses state that it was at that time that Enoch resolved to separate himself from the sons of men in order to serve the Lord. He would spend more and more time alone with God as the narrative and the years progressed, until it got to the point where he was spending 364 out of 365 days alone with God and only one day with men. I suspect that it was during that time, that he became a key player in the drama of The Genesis Six Experiment, and perhaps it is here that we need to pick up 1 Enoch to read about what God had him doing during his “alone time.” There we learn that Enoch essentially worked as an attorney for and against the Watchers. And that time clearly had a profound effect on him!

…the sons of men were greatly afraid of Enoch, and they feared to approach him on account of the Godlike awe that was seated on his countenance; therefore no man could look at him, fearing he might be punished and die.  – Jasher 3:20b

Since the first generation Nephilim offspring were killed off about two decades after Adam’s death, and the Watchers were judged and sentenced shortly thereafter, I would place the events of 1 Enoch happening by about this time in Jasher’s account. Enoch continued to minister to men for a short time after, then eventually, he got a call from Heaven:

Some time after, when the kings and princes and the sons of men were speaking with Enoch, and Enoch was teaching them the ways of God, an angel of the Lord then called to Enoch from Heaven, and wished to bring him up to heaven to make him reign there over the sons of God, as he had reigned over the sons of men on earth.  – Jasher 3:2 3

Apparently, after all the hubbub was over with the Watchers and their (immediate) offspring, Enoch had a chance to share some final words of wisdom from God to the sons of men and as a result, there was a time of peace.

He taught them wisdom and knowledge, and gave them instruction, and he rebuked them, and he placed before them statutes and judgments to do on earth, and he made peace among them, and taught them everlasting life, and lived with them some time teaching them all these things.  – Jasher 3:26

To me, that shows the love and mercy of God. Not long after that, Enoch got “raptured” up into Heaven.

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. –  Genesis 5:23,24

That event happened around 3,015 BC – about 65 years prior to Noah’s birth (circa 2,950 BC). And this time of peace actually seems to be reflected in the name of Noah. It is as if Methuselah and Lamech feel like things are somewhat back to normal and so they name the baby, “rest and comfort.”

One of the things that I have learned about reading the Bible is that whenever an author of Scripture takes a moment to insert some “extra details” in the text, we probably should take notice of it. There is a reason why the Holy Spirit had them do it. Apart from the quick remark concerning Enoch’s unusual departure, there are no other added details given for anyone else in the lineage of Seth until we get to Noah. Concerning the birth of this child, Moses pauses to give us the following added detail:

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed. – Genesis 5:28, 29

That may sound a bit vague in terms of this thesis, but once again, the Book of Jasher gives us a little bit more detail about this story:

And Methuselah called his name Noah, saying, “The earth was in his days at rest and free from corruption.” And Lamech his father named him Menachem, saying, “This one shall comfort us in our works and miserable toil in the earth, which God had cursed. -Jasher 4:14

This is not a contradiction of Scripture. We see in Genesis that Lamech died early.

 Jasher states in chapter 5:19 that he died having not gone “with all his heart in the ways of his father.” So, therefore we see Noah coming under the guidance of his grandfather Methuselah. Though Genesis states that Lamech called his name Noah, it should be noted that in Hebrew, Menachem also means “comforter”. At any rate, the ancient texts say that Methusaleh was not only Lamech’s father, but he was also the king who reigned in the land after Enoch’s departure. Therefore, if Methuselah were to insist on the name, “Noah” I’m quite sure Lamech would have deferred to his father’s wishes.

And when Enoch had ascended into heaven, all the kings of the earth rose and took Methuselah his son and anointed him, and they caused him to reign over them in the place of his father. – Jasher 4:2

Noah lived for 600 years before the Flood waters came. And apparently in that time a “new breed” of evil emerged and grew to corrupt the entire planet! Who were these new breed and where did they come from?

There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when [because] the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. – Genesis 6:4

Something few take into account when looking at that verse is just what exactly “and also after that” really means.

Like Dr. Burton, most of us assume it means after the Flood, but it could just as easily mean after The Genesis Six Experiment and yet before the Flood as well. Jasher seems to confirm that notion:

But in the latter days of Methuselah, the sons of men turned from the Lord; they corrupted the earth, they robbed and plundered each other, and they rebelled against God; they went contrary to, they corrupted their ways, and would not listen to the voice of Methuselah, but rebelled against him. –  Jasher 4:4

This evil continued to escalate in those latter days to the point where Moses writes:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually– Genesis 6:5

Even the worst of the Nazis probably had a kind moment or two with those they loved. So, what could cause men’s hearts to imagine only evil continually? That’s pretty hardcore! What could cause such a radical thing to happen? Jasher may give us a clue:

And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted it’s ways on the earth, all men and all animals. – Jasher 4:18

This is a direct parallel to the Genesis account:

And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. – Genesis 6:12,13 (KJV)

The only thing that I can think of that would make men’s hearts imagine only evil continually would be Nephilim, demonic seed. Remember what I said earlier concerning the phrase, “and also after that” in Genesis 6:4? Notice again how the Book of Jubiliees follows the same linear progression:

And after this they sinned against the beasts and birds, and all that moveth and walketh on the earth: and much blood was shed on the earth, and every imagination and desire of men imagined vanity and evil continually. And the Lord destroyed everything from off the face of the earth; because of the wickedness of their deeds, and because of the blood which they had shed in the midst of the earth He destroyed everything. – Jubilees 7:24,25

The Titans were the Watchers

Derek Gilbert has studied this topic extensively.

We have to lay a lot of groundwork to get from points A (Amorites), B (Babylon), and C (Canaan), all the way to point G (Greece).

We’ve briefly discussed the foundations of the case:

  • The Nephilim were the giant offspring of rebellious angels and human women.
  • The rebellious angels were the Watchers. They were punished by being sent to Tartarus, where they are still in chains waiting for the final judgment.
  • Other elohim were placed over the nations after the Tower of Babel. They also rebelled and set themselves up as the gods of the pagans.
  • The Amorite neighbors of ancient Israel venerated their ancestors, and especially their dead kings, whom they believed to be the Rephaim. Ancestors and Rephaim alike were honored and provided for by summoning them to meals with necromancy rituals.

With me so far? Good. At this point, we need to introduce a gentle- man who’s written several paradigm-shifting academic papers for those of us trying to understand the long war of the Fallen.

Amar Annus is an Estonian scholar whose specialty is the cosmology of the ancient Near East. In 2010, his paper, “On the Origin of Watchers: A Comparative Study of the Antediluvian Wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions,”1 connected some very important dots. Annus demon- strated that the Watchers were not a creation of the ancient Hebrews, but were well known to their Mesopotamian predecessors as apkallu.129 The brief summary that follows is drawn from his study.

Briefly, the apkallu were primordial sages sent by the Sumerian god Enki (called Ea by the later Akkadians), the lord of the abzu—the abyss. They were believed to have brought the gifts of civilization to humanity, although there were times when they malicious, demonic beings capable of witchcraft.

There were three types of apkallu: A bearded man with wings; a winged, bird-headed humanoid; and a fish-cloaked man who has been mistakenly identified for more than 150 years as the god Dagon or one of his priests.2

Interestingly, in Babylon they connected the disappearance of the apkallu to the great flood. The chief god of their pantheon, Marduk, claimed to have punished them for something:

Once long ago, indeed I grew angry, indeed I left my dwelling, and caused the deluge! When I left my dwelling, the regulation of heaven and earth disintegrated. […] I sent those craftsmen down to the depths [Apsû], I ordered them not to come up.3

In other words, just like the Watchers, who were tartaróō (thrust down to Tartarus) by God for corrupting humanity, the Amorites of Babylon believed the apkallu had been banished to the abyss by Marduk for some unspecified transgression, and at exactly the same time—the great flood.

Same story, different worldview.

Now, let’s bring in the Greeks.

As we discussed in the previous chapter, religions of the ancient Near East followed a pattern: Over time, old gods were replaced or overthrown by successive generations of younger gods. To the Greeks, these generational roles were filled by sky-god Ouranos, the grain-god Kronos, and the storm-god, Zeus.

Briefly, Ouranos caused his wife, Gaia (Earth), great pain by lock- ing away in her belly their eldest children, the giant Kyklopes and Heka- tonkheires (also called the Centimanes, or Hundred-Handers). Gaia persuaded their other children, the Titans, to rebel. With the help of four of his brothers, the youngest, Kronos, castrated Ouranos with an adaman- tine sickle. But instead of freeing his siblings, Kronos and his bunch drove the Kyklopes and the Hundred-Handers into Tartarus, where they were bound with heavy chains. Kronos then assumed kingship over the Titans and married his sister, Rhea.

The era of Kronos’ rule was called the Golden Age by later Greeks, a time when everyone had enough and there was no need of laws, because everyone did the right thing. We’ll come back to that in a bit.

Ouranos, probably looking to stir up trouble to get a little payback, prophesied that Kronos “was destined to be overcome by his own son, strong though he was.”4 Trying to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, Kronos proceeded to eat his children as soon as Rhea gave birth, dispatching Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon in that fashion. However, with advice from Gaia, Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus on the island of Crete and then presented Kronos with a stone wrapped in swad- dling, which he promptly swallowed.

Good thing for Zeus that Kronos wasn’t a picky eater.

Well, Zeus grew to adulthood and managed to force Kronos to dis- gorge his siblings. Then he freed the Kyklopes and Hundred-Handers, and together with the rest of the Olympians, Zeus overthrew Kronos and the Titans in an epic war called the Titanomachy, which concluded with most of the Titans locked up in Tartarus.

There are different accounts of what eventually happened to Kronos. In some accounts, he was banished to Tartarus permanently, while in others, he was released to rule over Elysium, a section of the afterlife reserved for heroes (the demigods), the righteous, and those related to the gods. In one account, Virgil’s Aeneid, Kronos (Saturn) escaped from the Abyss to emerge as king and lawgiver at Latium, the part of Italy where Rome was founded.

You undoubtedly noticed that Kronos and his bunch were sent to Tartarus, the very place reserved for the angels who sinned in Genesis 6. You might dismiss that as a coincidence or conclude that Peter simply named Tartarus as their place of punishment because it was familiar to readers in a world that had been dominated by Greek thought for nearly four hundred years.

I think not. Remember, 2 Peter 2:4 is the only verse in the Bible where Tartarus is mentioned. The usual term for the dwelling of the disobedient dead was Hades. Did Peter know the difference? Yes. He referred to Hades in his sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:27, 30). Besides, where did Peter get his theological training? And did he write under the guidance of the Holy Spirit or not? (That’s not an answer that will satisfy secular scholars, but we don’t have time to dig all the way down to Christian Apologetics 101 in this book.)

At the risk of putting too fine a point on it: The Mesopotamian apkallu, the angels who sinned, called Watchers in 1 Enoch, and the Greek Titans were one and the same.

So, it just might be that Kronos, king of the Titans, was known to the ancient Hebrews as Shemihazah, leader of the Watchers who descended on the summit of Hermon.


  1. Annus, A. (2010). “On the Origin of Watchers: A Comparative
    Study of the Antediluvian Wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, 19(4), 277–320. doi:10.1177/0951820710373978.
  2. Dagan (the final “a” shifted to an “o” over the centuries) was a grain god, not a fish god, worshiped in Syria 1,500 years before the Philistines set up his temple in Ashdod.
  3. The Erra Epic, lines 132, 133, 147. Translation by Benjamin R. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (Bethesda: CDL Press, 3rd ed).
  4. Hesiod. (1914). The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Theogony. (Medford, MA: Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd.)