Taking a look at the family tree of the Nephilim is difficult as it stops entirely at the flood and then restarts after the flood for some time. Are there Nephilim today? Not in the same way there were – but there could be (something we will deal with shortly). What we do know is that somehow the phenomena of the Nephilim survived the flood (though no Nephilim alive during the flood survived the flood in the flesh) and continued for quite some time. Biblically, the last we hear of them is around the time of David; however, archaelogically, I believe we have evidence of other than fully human giants in the Americas and around the world. The Nephilim lived for some time, though apparently in an increasingly weakened capacity. Perhaps this was a result of the change in atmosphere after the deluge. Probably would take quite an environment to sustain a race of giants. For now, it seems the old fashioned brand of Nephilim (that is creatures who are the result of fallen angel-human relationships) have all but died out.
Who were they?
Well, there were multiple tribes of giants during biblical times – all of which fought against God’s people and all of which were defeated. Often, when God saw one of these tribes, He basically said wipe out the whole tribe, man, woman and child. Why not just do it Himself? Well, it seems that God had a plan.
Prophecy teachers such as L.A. Marzulli, Gary Stearman, Russ Dizdar, Chuck Missler, and Tom Horn have all alluded to the fact that the history of the Old Testament and the New – and even the history of today – is a seed war. It is Satan’s seed versus the seed of the woman. Satan has been trying for 6000 years to upset the apple cart of God’s created order and God seems comfortable with giving him a little license. It’s like the puritan quote that Paul Washer used. Why do the heathen prosper? Why does God just not wipe out all the evil in the world? Why does He allow evil people to get rich and have fame and fortune? The same reason that a farmer fattens a calf. It’s for the kill. God allows evil to prosper because all of the theories of how we can do life without God will one day be shown to be nothing. You think you can make man in your own image? I’ll give you everything you say is important. I’ll make you important in the world. And, on the day of judgment you will see it was nothing. It was less than nothing. Same with Satan. He is still trying to be like the most high. He failed at Calvary forever. He will fail in the end. But God still lets those who follow him have their own ways because their rejection of God’s ways are all a part of their greater judgment.
And also after…
We have noted how the Bible says there were giants in the land in those days and also after. After? How so? Didn’t God destroy all the Nephilim? Yes. He did. But that doesn’t mean that Satan didn’t try again.
The book of Enoch says that the children of the fallen angels were destined to roam the earth as evil spirits seeing that they were also a spiritual seed. If that is so, they could have inspired a lot of mischief. Genesis 6 seems to indicate that they did:
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when 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.
This would seem to indicate that the way we got Nephilim after the flood was the same way we got them before.
So, who were they and were did they live and where did they go?
Battling the Titans
In Genesis 14, we see a curious battle.
5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.
7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
On the surface, this just seems like a battle of warring tribesmen. The cities of the plain, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar had been in servitude towards the Elamite king Chedolaomer and ultimately rebelled. This brought Chedolaomer down to quell the rebellion; but, it seems he had to first wipe out their line of defense.
The Bible speaks of him first smiting several groups. The Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, Horites, Amalekites and Amorites were all on the hit list before he then gets to the cities of the plain who join him in battle. Why would he have to go after these others before taking on the rebels who drew him down to the valley in the first place? Reading a little into the text, I would submit that the cities of the plain were somehow allied with the groups mentioned above and these groups could have made the job much more complicated for Chedolaomer if he hadn’t wiped them out first. Who were the groups? Here is where it gets even more interesting.
1) Rephaim – the KJV translates this word seventeen times as “giants”. It comes from the root rapha
which is identical to the word used later in Scripture for deceased but refers to “ghosts of the dead, shades, spirits” or “flaccid, feeble, and weak”. They were apparently giants, but not like those of old. Whereas the old Nephilim were overlords over the people of their day and somewhat unstoppable by human beings until the flood came, the new breed of nephilim was a weaker (though still strong) more mortal creature on his way out. By Isaiah 26, it would appear the Rephaim, at least around Israel, were largely wiped out.
2) Zuzims – The term Zuzim means “roving creatures”. These were giants who were apparently synonymous with the Zamzummims of Deuteronomy 2, which means “plotters.” Interestingly, there is a well at Mecca in Saudi Arabia that Muslims frequent on Hajj. It is called the Zamzam well, and Muslims believe it is where God called up water for the dying Ishmael after he and Hagar were driven from their home. Today, if one drinks of the well, they are supposed to have their sins forgiven. Related? It would appear so.
3) The Emim – The word “Emim” literally means “terrors”. These were apparently some big ugly dudes and people were very frightened of them. They are apparently synonymous with another group of giants – the Anakim, or long necked ones, that we see in Deuteronomy 2.
The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims (Deuteronomy 2:10-11).
4) Horites – the Horites are a tribe that appears a few times in the Bible and were driven out of their land by Esau. They were apparently cave-dwellers. The bible does not explicitly call them giants; however, many authors have contended they were. Due to their inclusion in this list, it appears reasonable that this was the case.
5) The Amalekites – the Amalekites are also not specifically called giants; however, three things lead me to believe they were. First, their inclusion in this list of giants. Second, the fact that in Arabic the word Imliq (عملاق) means giant, and third, that God ordered Israel to utterly wipe them out. They were war-like people and even have been referred to those who lick blood (something that would fit with the book of Enoch’s characterization of the Nephilim). And, it has been claimed that they hailed from Mecca – which might link them to the Zamzummims.
6) The Amorites – is the final tribe mentioned and they are described in the book of Amos as a people whose height is as high as the cedars.
So, in this text, it is clear that the Giants are the first targets even before the cities of the plain. And just to be clear, these were not humans with glandular issues. These were vicious giant beings who were a different race than human. We see this in Numbers 13:13 where it talks about their descendents, the Anakim whom the Israelites ran into when they reached the holy land. It calls them giants and says they come from the giants. The word for giants that it uses is nephilim. Therefore, it’s pretty clear that the giants after the days of Noah were from the same stock as those before. Apparently, Satan wasn’t willing to quit at that scheme. He would be like God and was trying to create beings in his own image while destroying the creation of his arch-enemy and judge, our Heavenly Father – the one true God.
Right from the beginning Satan has had his seed and God has had his seed of the woman. Just as the Lord prophesied, they have been at enmity with one another from the beginning. We see it before the flood. We see it during the time of Abraham. We see it when the children of Israel reached the promised land under Moses. We see it with David and Goliath. If Satan isn’t trying to wipe out God’s people he’s trying to corrupt them both morally and genetically. He dangles the same forbidden fruit before their eyes and it appears many have bitten to their utter peril.
Again, it wasn’t just the homosexual sin of Sodom that got it condemned so severely. This was one of the sins of Sodom, to be sure, and is not something to dismiss (Lev 18:22, Lev 20:13, 1Co 6:9, Rom 1:27) . Still, homosexuality and a lack of hospitality and brutal language have existed in just about every society that ever was and we have not seen God act in such a forceful and immediate manner. God is very gracious in not destroying us today for many of the same sins which thrive in our society. And, the Bible says of some sins that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than those who commit those sins – so it wasn’t the ordinary every day sin that we see in our society today. Rather, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain had made room for that which was against God. Their sin of wanting to “know” the visiting angels with Lot was more than just traditional sodomy. They understood full well the origins of the powerful beings about them. They had just seen swaths of them wiped out by Chedolaemer, and they wanted to somehow unite with them again. Maybe they thought that by so doing they too could be Gibborims as Nimrod began to be. The scenario fits the punishment pretty well. Wherever you see this kind of activity, you can be sure, judgment is going to fall – just as it befell the nephilim of old. Just as it befell the angels that fell. And just as it will befall the master architect of their whole schema. It’s a warning we should heed – but evidence shows we are very slow learners and that which happened before may be about to reoccur. Stay tuned.