NOTE: All references are from Young's Literal Translation unless otherwise noted.

In Genesis 6 we are told that the angels impregnated human women and produced hybrid offspring.

4The fallen ones were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God come in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them — they [are] the heroes, who, from of old, [are] the men of name.

In the Scrolls of Enoch we read about the mating by angels thus:

[Chapter 6] 1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto 2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children.' And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not

In the canonical Jude we read:

Jude 1:6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

In the fictional 17th century Jasher 4 it interprets the passage as referring to corrupted genetics as well (long before Mendelian genetics):

16 And all the sons of men departed from the ways of the Lord in those days as they multiplied upon the face of the earth with sons and daughters, and they taught one another their evil practices and they continued sinning against the Lord.

17 And every man made unto himself a god, and they robbed and plundered every man his neighbor as well as his relative, and they corrupted the earth, and the earth was filled with violence.

18 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 its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.

19 And the Lord said, I will blot out man that I created from the face of the earth, yea from man to the birds of the air, together with cattle and beasts that are in the field for I repent that I made them.

20 And all men who walked in the ways of the Lord, died in those days, before the Lord brought the evil upon man which he had declared, for this was from the Lord, that they should not see the evil which the Lord spoke of concerning the sons of men.

21 And Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord chose him and his children to raise up seed from them upon the face of the whole earth.

In Genesis 6 Noah is said to be "perfect in his generations". Might that mean that his genetics were pure?:

8And Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah.

9These [are] births of Noah: Noah [is] a righteous man; perfect he hath been among his generations; with God hath Noah walked habitually. 10And Noah begetteth three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11And the earth is corrupt before God, and the earth is filled [with] violence. 12And God seeth the earth, and lo, it hath been corrupted, for all flesh hath corrupted its way on the earth.



  • 3
    "In Genesis 6 we are told that the angels impregnated human women and produced hybrid offspring." That 'nephilim' means fallen angels is not certain. In fact, the Septuagint has 'giants'—γίγαντες lit. gigantics, giants. Since the root could possibly be naphal, it could even be something like 'stoopers', as in a colloquial ways of referring to a particularly large people. (Num 13:33). I could very much be in error about that, but it is not certain that it means fallen angels. Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 16:33
  • @Sola Gratia I know there are several difficulties in the passages cited but I hope they don't have to be resolved for the question at hand. Perhaps you could open a new thread as I think it worth pursuing. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 16:37
  • 1
    Related: Who were the "sons of God" (bene elohim) in Genesis 6:2? - @SolaGratia Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 18:53
  • 3
    The Book of Jasher you are quoting from is an eighteenth century forgery. Are you citing it as if it really is the ancient text mentioned in 2 Sam 1.18, or just as an example (regardless of its authenticity) of how Gen 6.9 might be interpreted?
    – user2910
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 20:56
  • 1
    I thought that's what he was equating; I don't believe they are equated. Although it's difficult to remember what I was thinking when writing this comment specifically. Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:33

5 Answers 5


In Genesis 6:9, it is written,

9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. NKJV, ©1982

ט אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים הִתְהַלֶּךְ נֹחַ

Bullinger was of the opinion that it referred to Noah’s genetic purity.

E. W. Bullinger, Companion Bible. Appendix 26, p. 28

He wrote that תָּמִים “is the technical word for bodily and physical perfection, and not moral.” And, “...this shows that Gen. 6.9 does not speak of Noah’s moral perfection, but tells us that he and his family had preserved their pedigree and kept it pure, in spite of the prevailing corruption brought about by the fallen angels.”1

While it seems to be true that fallen angels had intercourse with human women and corrupted the way of humanity upon earth, Bullinger’s preliminary remark about תָּמִים is incorrect. In the Tanakh, it is occasionally used in reference to moral perfection. For example, Pro. 2:21, it is used in a parallelism with the adjective יָשָׁר, meaning “upright,”:

21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. KJV, ©1769

כא כִּי יְשָׁרִים יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָרֶץ וּתְמִימִים יִוָּתְרוּ בָה׃

Further proof that it is speaking of moral perfection is Gen. 7:1 wherein it is written,

1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. NKJV, ©1982

Finally, in Job 12:4, a man is described as צַדִּיק תָּמִים (tzaddik tamim), thus indicating the two words are very closely related and both can describe moral perfection.


1 Bullinger, p. 28, Appendix 26.


The Companion Bible. Ed. Bullinger, Ethelbert William. 1922. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1999.

  • 1
    But it can mean physical, so it’s still a possibility +1 Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 16:46

The short answer is No.

The idea that he was perfect among his generation is connected with the preceding clause and following clauses indicating that he is rightous - "Noah [is] a righteous man" and that Noah walked with the Holy one. And in fact, the word used in the phrase "Perfect among his generations" is צַדִּיק (tsaddiq). This always means righteous in every usage - to have the moral high ground, to be without blame, to be innocent, etc.

Were this about Noah's bloodlines, we would expect to see a word like טָהוֹר (tahor) or בָּר (bar) both mean to be clean or pure or something like צָרַף (tsaraph) which most often is related to goldsmithing - it can be translated as goldsmith, pure or refined.

In short, because the word has the sense of being morally pure and is connected with blamelessness in the preceding phrase and since we don't see the usage of any words which would indicate purity in terms cleanliness, blemish, virginity or metal quality - words that would be used to indicate a mixing of race - it would be inappropriate to conclude that this comment had anything to with Noah's bloodlines or genetic purity.

As such, the NIV appropriately renders the passage as:

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

The RSV thusly:

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.

The ESV as follows:

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

The NASB this way:

These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

And the NET as:

This is the account of Noah. Noah was a godly man; he was blameless among his contemporaries. He walked with God.

So it seems there is nearly universal agreement by the translators that Noah was blameless, not (genetically) pure.

  • Thank you @James. Is there a precedent for translating "generations" (IE: the underlying word, yalad) as "contemporaries"? biblehub.com/hebrew/8435.htm
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 19:50
  • @WoundedEgo - the NIV uses "people of his time" which would be synonymous with "contemporaries". Assuming this is not about racial purity, either the NIV or would give the sense of the meaning while "in his generation" is closer to the literal translation. Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 20:08
  • 1
    If it is used multiple times, it isn't hapax. The use of the Toledoth formula is pretty well established in scholarship and is just (yet) another indicator this wasn't meant to establish that Noah was part of some Aryan master race. Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 21:48
  • 2
    Eternal beings have no need of reproductive bits. The idea of angel/human hybrids is total nonsense.
    – enegue
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 2:10
  • 2
    And yet this is the word used of sacrificial animals which are amoral. Clearly referring to physical or included physical perfection. And in the context of Noah and a corruption of all living creatures including birds, animals and men it points toward physical genetic contaminants. And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto God to accomplish a vow, or for a freewill-offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect תּמים to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 16:51

The word always refers to being "complete, perfect" as seen in the lexicons and word books. A difference is seen how it applies to animals and humans.

Tamim when referring to Animals

When the Bible is speaking of animal sacrifices such as Exodus 12:5 and repeatedly throughout Leviticus, the animals are to be tamim. This is "perfect" in the sense of without blemish. Whenever it refers to animals, this is the sense. The meaning of "without blemish" is repeated in Leviticus 22:11 which states:

Leviticus 22:21 If a man presents a peace offering sacrifice to the Lord for a special votive offering or for a freewill offering from the herd or the flock, it must be tamim to be acceptable; it must have no flaw.

"Having no flaw" is a different Hebrew word (mwm), but one which explains tamim. What it means for an animal to be "flawed" is described in the next few verses.

Leviticus 22:22-25 “‘You must not present to the Lord something blind, or with a broken bone, or mutilated, or with a running sore, or with a festering eruption, or with a feverish rash. You must not give any of these as a gift on the altar to the Lord. 23 As for an ox or a sheep with a limb too long or stunted, you may present it as a freewill offering, but it will not be acceptable for a votive offering. 24 You must not present to the Lord something with testicles that are bruised, crushed, torn, or cut off; you must not do this in your land. 25 Even from a foreigner you must not present the food of your God from such animals as these, for they are ruined and flawed; they will not be acceptable for your benefit.’”

A flawed animal is one where the testicles are bruised, crushed, torn, or cut off. A flawed animal has a broken bone, mutilation, open sore, festering boil, or rash. Wrong limbs are acceptable for some sacrifices but not others.

The usage with animal for sacrifice is the vast majority of the references in Exodus through Numbers. When the word refers to an inanimate object, it means "complete" in the sense of a "whole day" as in Joshua 10:13, "whole rump" in Leviticus 3:9, or "full year" in Leviticus 25:30.

However, when referring to people, it always refers to their spiritual nature rather than their physical nature. Looking through a complete concordance search* on the Hebrew root, even though it appears in 85 verses, it never once refers to the physical nature of man. About fifty of those uses refer to animal sacrifices being without blemish. But when tamim refers to people, it is always a moral or spiritual term.

*NOTE: I am not arguing from Strong's (at the top of the page). I am going further down to Gesenius's Lexicon and the concordance search at the bottom.

Tamim when referring to Humans

"Blameless" in Genesis 6:9 refers to actions not genetics. The Hebrew here in 6:9 is expounded by the clauses surrounding it. Noah is blameless among the people alive at the same time, a godly man who walks with God.

This is the account of Noah. Noah was a godly man; he was blameless among his contemporaries. He walked with God. (NET)

A question has also been raised about how the word "generations" works to modify or be modified by tamim. Simply put, Noah is blameless while his contemporaries are not. The word dor refers to a period of time or people alive together in that time. In Genesis 6:9, it has the preposition b attached to it which means "in/among", is in the plural, and has a masculine, possessive suffix. So it means "among his contemporaries." Noah is being compared to those alive at the same time.

However, the Hebrew word used in Genesis 6:9, tamim, is used of human beings many other times. (All quotation from the NET unless otherwise stated.)

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the sovereign God. Walk before me and be blameless.

It is paired with God saying "walk before me". He is telling Abraham to maintain their relationship ("walk before me") and act right ("be blameless"). "Genetically pure" wouldn't work here as Abraham's genetics could not be changed. See also Genesis 24:40.

Deuteronomy 18:13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.

The command comes from after a list of occult and idolatrous practices which the Israelites are to avoid.

The next examples are poems. In a Hebrew poem, ideas are paired, either for similarities or to contrast. Which way can be seen from the rest of the verse.

Psalm 18:23 I was innocent before him, and kept myself from sinning

To be blameless, one must keep from sinning. The rest of the psalm in question also speaks on the two types of people, using several different words for blameless/innocent versus wicked/perverse.

Psalm 37:17, 18 contrasts the innocent with the evil. The godly are synonymous with the blameless.

Psalm 101 (the word appears in 2 and 6) contrast the blameless to proud, deceitful slanderer. David will seek justice, do business with integrity, and avoid evil, perverse, and dishonest people. Even arrogance is eshewed. However, other blameless people will surround him.

Proverbs 2:21 For the upright will reside in the land, and those with integrity [Hebrew tamim] will remain in it,

The morally upright and blameless are similar since they "reside in the land" and "remain in it."

Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will make straight their way, but the wicked person will fall by his own wickedness.

The righteous and blameless are compared to the wicked. However, the two groups are the same in that their actions determine their destiny. A similar comparison comes in Proverbs 28:10 where tempters fall but the blameless inherit goodness.

Job 12:4 I am a laughingstock to my friends, I, who called on God and whom he answered – a righteous and blameless man is a laughingstock!

"Blameless" is similar to righteous which refers to actions.

  • @Ruminator, tamim always means "complete/whole/perfect." This can be in a physical sense or moral/spiritual sense. I have edited in a section on tamim regarding animals. Short order, with animals tamim refers to physical attributes. With people, without exception, it refers to their morality.
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 19:25
  • What about in regard to "generations"/"births"?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 19:26
  • 1
    Those words add nothing to the understanding. Tamim is sandwiched between stating that Noah was "godly" and "walked with God." The three phrases together all emphasize how Noah differed from those around him morally but not physically. He differs by being "godly," "blameless," and "walking with God." Hebrew commonly repeats itself for emphasis (because they didn't have bold and underline).
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 19:33
  • 1
    @Ruminator, Noah is blameless "among his contemporaries." I have added how the word breaks down above. And I wouldn't summarize my post that way. I've made the distinction between when it describes humans and animals.
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 20:56
  • 1
    Except the context is everything was corrupted “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:12‬ and therefore this puts both men and fauna in the same category. They only commonality is not morality by physicality. Hence Noah was perfect physically or genetically. Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 16:56

The whole idea of angelic beings having conjugal union with humans was denied by Jesus:

“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)

"For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven." (Mark 12:25)

  • This downvote needs an explanation.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 2:18

Can we use common sense here when applying the word “perfect”? Before verse 9 we are reading about fallen angels taking woman, the daughters of MAN, and breeding with them, and these women clearly giving birth to some sort of hybrid entities. I would argue, no matter how you define the word “perfect”, Noah had NOT been tainted in any way, physically or spiritually, by any of the shenanigans of that day. (And of course these bizarre goings on are confirmed in both Jude and 2nd Peter). So yes, Noah was perfect in his generation and had not been tainted, corrupted, affected by that seed line of Satan or he would not have been used or called by God to be a part of something so significant. My conclusion; yes, there was ”another” seed line, a different genetic dna contaminating the human seed line in the days of Noah, but Noah remained pure because he lived a righteous life in Gods eyes, and carried the the pure seed of the woman, which produced our perfect, untainted holy Savior, Jesus Christ, our Messiah!!

  • 2
    This has a rude tone. Most of it can be fixed by cutting about 60% of your words, I say this as a writer. Please make corrections to avoid having it removed because you have some good core ideas.
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 15:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.