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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






21 July 2005

The Sons of God and the Nephilim


Q: In Genesis 6,who are the “sons of God” and what are the “Nephilim”?

A: Some say that the “sons of God” were spirit beings. Others think they were the righteous people living at that time, who fell into sin, intermarried with the heathen, and whose offspring then departed from the way of the Lord. Throughout history, pagan kings have often staked claim upon their thrones based upon claims that they are descended from such creatures.

Whichever they were, their offspring were the Nephilim (the Fallen Ones). Evidently, men often revered them as heroes but God viewed them as spiritually unjust. Their heirs (spiritually and by size, if not biologically) are seen even to the time of the Exodus (cf. Numbers 13:31-33). They were of giant stature and seemingly possessed great might in battle. Of the latter Nephilim, Goliath may have been a final vestige.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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