The Nephilim are only mentioned in one other book of the Bible, Gen, 6:4

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore children of them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Gen, 6:4, NASB

Nephilim, from a root meaning "to fall"; i.e.,to fall upon others because they were men of strength.

However, in Jude 6, the Christian disciple, Jude, wrote about them, when he mentioned ...the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place .... See also Gen, 6:2.

Offspring, were born to the ungodly marriages between, somewhat demonic, angelic beings and earthly women, but come "the Flood" they were all drowned. So, how could they have still been in evidence, as stipulated in Numbers 13:33?


4 Answers 4


The giants were in the earth in those days, and EVEN afterward,

So either other "sons of God" came to the Earth after the flood, and started things up again or others came up out of the woodwork... so to speak.

Genesis 6:4 LSV

The giants were in the earth in those days, and even afterward, when sons of God come in to the daughters of men, and they have borne to them those who [were] the mighty from of old, the men of renown.

Numbers 13:32-33 LSV

32 ... “The land into which we passed over to spy it out is a land eating up its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in its midst [are] men of stature; 33 and there we saw the giants, sons of Anak, of the giants; and we are as grasshoppers in our own eyes—and so we were in their eyes.” Numbers

Numbers 13:33 YLT

there we saw the Nephilim, sons of Anak, of the Nephilim; and we are in our own eyes as grasshoppers; and so we were in their eyes.’

Deuteronomy 1:28

Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying: 'The people are larger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the heavens. We even saw the descendants of the Anakim there.'"

Deuteronomy 9:2

The people are strong and tall, the descendants of the Anakim. You know about them, and you have heard it said, "Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?"

Joshua 11:21

At that time Joshua proceeded to eliminate the Anakim from the hill country of Hebron, Debir, and Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction, along with their cities.

You may find interesting notes about the different Giants at Different types of giants in Tanach.

  • @0ld English, I think Jude 6 gives us a clue as to who the sons of God were in Gen. 6. It's not improbable for them to do what they did. Why else would it say they were on the Earth? The pulpit commentary said, "The sin suggested by the context is a sin against nature. The reference, therefore, is taken to be to the Jewish idea that amatory passion is not limited to the creatures of earth, and that some angels, yielding to the spell of the beauty of the daughters of men, forsook their own kingdom, and entered unto unnatural relations with them."
    – Sherrie
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 20:47
  • We know how angels appeared as men when they were with the Lord to go see Lot. The men of Sodom wanted them". Also from concordant Commentary it says, "The word habitation is used once elsewhere, and then it refers to the glorified human body (2Co.5:2) By such means alone, could the angels commit an unnatural act, comparable to the sin of Sodom.
    – Sherrie
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 20:48
  • Much has been said here now on this Q., of mine, which has forced me to reread all answers and comments, not to mention commentaries from many a renowned theologian. The idea that angels, of the angelic realm, as opposed to mere messengers of the earthly, may indeed have cohabited with daughters of men is mind blowing to say the least, but by all accounts, that is the "more than likely" general consensus of many a learned contributor, consequently we ourselves, here on BHSE, should be careful when considering to the contrary. You now get my vote and acknowledgement to careful persuasion. Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 12:37
  • @OldeEnglish I appreciate your words! We know from Colossians 1:20 that even things in the heavenly realm, are being reconciled to God, because of their sin. There's much we don't know about that but throughout scripture we see a few things where the angelic realm and beings sinned and there are different judgments for them as well.
    – Sherrie
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 17:12

Just as "Sons of God" does not have to indicate anything other and a human who is a follower of the true God (Deut 32:8, 43, Ps 29:1, 89:6; see also Rom 8:14, Luke 3:38, 1 John 3:10, 5:2, Phil 2:15, etc, etc.), so, the Nephilim in Gen 6 do not have to be biologically related to this in Num 13. I note the following:

  • Rom 8:14 - For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
  • Rom 9:8 - So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring.
  • John 8:44 - You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires ...

Back to the Nephilim.

The OP is making the unwarranted assumption that the Nephilim in Gen 6 and Num 13 are the same (biological) stock. This does not need to be the case. Indeed, most of the standard lexicons make this point. Strong's is typical:

Nephilim: giant Or nphil {nef-eel'}; from naphal; properly, a feller, i.e. A bully or tyrant -- giant.

The NAS makes this explicit when it says:

Nephilim: "giants," name of two peoples, one before the flood and one after the flood

Thus, it appears that two separate races of people, both "called" (more probably nick-named) "Nephilim" because were giants or bullies.

  • I have heard this explanation before. I will get back to you. Right now (6:23 pm) I have a dinner date to get ready for. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 0:25
  • You claim that Sons of God" does not have to indicate anything other {than} a human who is a follower of the true God " -- No so. The clearest example is Job 36:7 where God describes the epoch of creation before humans existed: "When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" What humans beings (pl) existed at that moment? Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 2:42
  • @DanFefferman - absolutely correct and I agree. But that is the point - "sons of God" does not have to indicate a semi-divine being - sometimes it does and sometimes it does NOT. Thus, I would argue that in Gen 6:2, 4 it (in this instance) does NOT mean a semi-divine being, but actually means ordinary humans who were followers of God,
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 2:56
  • Re:"Sons of God". Term is used in the OT almost exclusively of angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). You reference OT scriptures Deut, 8, 43, Ps 29:1, 89:6. There is nothing relevant in Deut, Ch 8, neither is there an 8:43, or a Ch 43. Ps 29:1 & 89:6 refer to "Sons of the Mighty", both are most probably in ref' to angels (Ryrie). Your references from the NT, are indeed:- for all who are being led by the spirit of God (not the flesh). The OP (me) is not making an unwarranted assumption, as you say. The OP posits that the Nephalim in Num, 13:33, are not evidenced. Just giantlike, maybe. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 11:45
  • @OldeEnglish - my apologies - Deut 8 should have been Deut 32:8 - now corrected,
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 19:39


Jude verse 6 NIV

'And the angels - ἀγγέλους - who did not keep their positions of authority - ἀρχὴν - but abandoned their proper dwelling - οἰκητήριον - —these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.'

ἀγγέλους : angelous : "messenger" - as servant of god. Celestial or human (Luke 9:52 and James 2:25).

ἀρχὴν : archēn : initial position of authority.

οἰκητήριον : oikētērion : abode or dwelling, i.e. home.

The context from the preceding verse:

Jude verse 5 NIV

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.


Exodus 32:36 NIV

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Leviticus 10:1-2 NIV

1 Aaron’s sons ... took their censers ... and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

Numbers 25:4 NIV

The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

And obviously, the generation that perished in the wilderness because they believed not. All bound in darkness in the grave awaiting the judgment reserved for them.

But, there's one more.

One that fits ideally.

Numbers 16:1-2 NIV

1 Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and 2 rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.

Korah's initial position of authority was as the agent or messenger of god to his tribe and Israel generally. Likewise, his associates and the 250 council members.

John 10:35

... he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came ...

Numbers 16:8-10 NIV

8 Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! 9 Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? 10 He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.

Again addressing Korah, and the Levites generally, and their intent to forsake their initial position of authority and usurp the priesthood.

Numbers 16:18 NIV

So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

They abandoned their proper dwelling to stand at the tent as priests, where they did not belong.
The tents having a special significance not only in the law itself but especially in the wilderness wanderings.
At various points Israel was commanded to remain in their tents, e.g. the sabbath, etcetera. It was only at the command of the priest or when the law allowed they were to do so.
In this instance, they left their tents or proper dwellings in an attempt to abandon their initial position of authority as Levites at the tent of meeting.

Numbers 16:23-24 NIV

23 Then the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

The inevitable result:

Numbers 16:27-34 NIV

27 So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

28 Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: 29 If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”

31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. 33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. 34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!

Left their tents or proper dwelling, and their initial position of authority in an attempted rebellion to usurp the priesthood, swallowed up into the ground alive ... a.k.a. bound in darkness instantly both literally and spiritually, in metaphorical chains in the grave, and there awaiting a resurrection to judgment and the condemnation which is reserved for them.

An idea for idea facsimile of Jude verse 6.

Daniel 12:2 NIV

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Jude verse 5 NIV

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

And the very next verse, verse 6:

Jude verse 6 Rotherham

Messengers also, even them who had not kept their own principality, but had forsaken their proper dwelling, unto the judgment of the great day in perpetual bonds under thick gloom, hath he reserved.

Jude points to this in verse 11:

Jude verse 11 NIV

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

There's a reason Jude points to Korah in his summary ... and that reason is verse 6.

Genesis 6

There were two distinct groups between the garden and the flood.

Genesis 3:15 NIV

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

A type of those that would follow the redemption promised through a descendent of Eve and those that would follow lies.

John 8:44 NIV

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Matthew 12:33-34 NIV

33 Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

The descendants of Seth were styled the sons of god and consequently in contrast the descendants of Cain were styled by Jesus the "seed of the serpent" after Genesis 3:15.
As the faithful lineage until Jesus is also styled the "seed of the woman" after Genesis 3:15 the daughters of the line of Cain are consequently styled the daughters of men.

The idea that elohim, asexual beings conduct sexual relations with any group is absurd. To populate the earth with faithful creatures that choose obedience is the purpose of the creation. Hence, men and women and reproduction.

Hebrews 1:14 NIV

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Genesis 1:26-28 NIV

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness ...”

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

A command repeated after the flood.

Genesis 9:1,7 NIV

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth."
... 7 "As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Malachi 2:15 NIV

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.

Intermarriage with the unfaithful is abhorrent :

Malachi 2:11 NIV

A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god.

This is expressly forbidden and condemned.

Deuteronomy 7:3-4 NIV

3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.

A cause of consternation in Israel as it was before and after.

1 Corinthians 7:39 Rotherham

'... she is, free, to be married unto whom she pleaseth,––only, in the Lord ...'

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 NIV

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Genesis 6:2 Rotherham

... the sons of God, saw, the daughters of men, that they were, fair,––so they took to themselves wives of whomsoever they chose.

The descendants of Seth intermingled with the descendants of Cain.

Luke 17:26-27 NIV

26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 0270 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

Matthew 22:30 NIV

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Nonsense upon nonsense.

  • 1
    @davidianwalker Please be aware that the formatting changes I made were to help the visually impaired who are using a screen reader. For more information, please see Standard format for biblical quotations.
    – agarza
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 14:28
  • Please don't revert helpful edits.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 5:40
  • Please look both ways before crossing the road. Are you assuming that the edit in question is helpful? Can you describe the issue with screen readers and block quotes. Further, is your request backed by moderation? Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 5:54
  • Please read my response to this here : hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/… Until demonstrated otherwise, this is an opinion that doesn't accord with the data. Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 5:57
  • 1
    Yes, I'm a moderator, and I'm backing agarza's edits. The Meta post discusses some issues (with some debate), but in short I'd just note that it is generally clearer for the verse reference to be before the quote than after.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 5:59

Disclaimer: I don't suggest just the following as something I personally believe, but I'll pass it on just the same.

To begin, Jude 6 seems to refer to the Book of 1 Enoch. This scripture still exists and is accepted as canonical by Ethiopian churches. According to 1 Enoch ch. 7, the Nephilim were not merely giants the size of Goliath. They were literally titanic in their dimensions:

1 Enoch 7:2, 10-14

2 And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them (human women), they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
10 Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees. 11 And the women conceiving brought forth giants. 12 Whose stature was each three hundred cubits... 13 [Then] they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; 14 And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.

Conclusion: Three hundred cubits is about 450 feet of height. One could propose a hypothesis in which the Nephilim survived the flood by wading through its waters to relatively high ground. Since they had already begun drinking blood and eating raw human flesh, as well as uncooked animals, fish and birds, their survival would not be a problem as long as they could keep their heads above water or come up for air like seals. After the waters subsided, they could survive as they had before, interbreeding with humans until they reached the more credible size of the giants mentioned in Numbers and the story of David and Goliath.

  • This also ignores the statement that everything that beathed died. If the Nephilim survived, then they must be a life-form that does not breath air!
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 2:59
  • Appreciate the expose here, Dan, but 450 feet .... I, myself, am not exactly an exponent of the book(s) of Enoch. I don't think Enoch could have been their author. I think they are fictional and fanciful. I therefore condone their exclusion from the canon. I do, however, think that, whoever the actual author of these books was/were, they were on the right track as to angels cohabiting with earthly women and that their judgement against their sinful acts is portrayed in 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. Your "disclaimer" is of note. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 12:16
  • The so-called Book of Enoch is not scripture, & was not used by Jude. Jude 14 simply says that Enoch, the 7th from Adam prophesied. Ppl need to quit relying on the fake book of Enoch. See: apologeticspress.org/… And see: apologeticspress.org/the-canon-and-extra-canonical-writings-968 Also neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/…
    – Gina
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 9:15

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