Genesis 6:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
The Nephilim were 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 were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown.

English Revised Version
The Nephilim were 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 were the mighty men which were of old, the men of renown.

Webster's Bible Translation
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them: the same became mighty men, who were of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"The Nephilim were on 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: these are the heroes (הגּבּרים) who from the olden time (מעולם, as in Psalm 25:6; 1 Samuel 27:8) are the men of name" (i.e., noted, renowned or notorious men). נפילים, from נפל to fall upon (Job 1:15; Joshua 11:7), signifies the invaders (ἐπιπίπτοντες Aq., βιαῖοι Sym.). Luther gives the correct meaning, "tyrants:" they were called Nephilim because they fell upon the people and oppressed them.

(Note: The notion that the Nephilim were giants, to which the Sept. rendering γίγαντες has given rise, was rejected even by Luther as fabulous. He bases his view upon Joshua 11:7 : "Nephilim non dictos a magnitudine corporum, sicut Rabbini putant, sed a tyrannide et oppressione quod vi grassati sint, nulla habita ratione legum aut honestatis, sed simpliciter indulgentes suis voluptatibus et cupiditatibus." The opinion that giants are intended derives no support from Numbers 13:32-33. When the spies describe the land of Canaan as "a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof," and then add (Numbers 13:33), "and there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak among (מן lit., from, out of, in a partitive sense) the Nephilim," by the side of whom they were as grasshoppers; the term Nephilim cannot signify giants, since the spies not only mention them especially along with the inhabitants of the land, who are described as people of great stature, but single out only a portion of the Nephilim as "sons of Anak" ענק בּני), i.e., long-necked people or giants. The explanation "fallen from heaven" needs no refutation; inasmuch as the main element, "from heaven," is a purely arbitrary addition.)

The meaning of the verse is a subject of dispute. To an unprejudiced mind, the words, as they stand, represent the Nephilim, who were on the earth in those days, as existing before the sons of God began to marry the daughters of men, and clearly distinguish them from the fruits of these marriages. היוּ can no more be rendered "they became, or arose," in this connection, than היה in Genesis 1:2. ויּהיוּ would have been the proper word. The expression "in those days" refers most naturally to the time when God pronounced the sentence upon the degenerate race; but it is so general and comprehensive a term, that it must not be confined exclusively to that time, not merely because the divine sentence was first pronounced after these marriages were contracted, and the marriages, if they did not produce the corruption, raised it to that fulness of iniquity which was ripe for the judgment, but still more because the words "after that" represent the marriages which drew down the judgment as an event that followed the appearance of the Nephilim. "The same were mighty men:" this might point back to the Nephilim; but it is a more natural supposition, that it refers to the children born to the sons of God. "These," i.e., the sons sprung from those marriages, "are the heroes, those renowned heroes of old."

Now if, according to the simple meaning of the passage, the Nephilim were in existence at the very time when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, the appearance of the Nephilim cannot afford the slightest evidence that the "sons of God" were angels, by whom a family of monsters were begotten, whether demigods, daemons, or angel-men.

(Note: How thoroughly irreconcilable the contents of this verse are with the angel-hypothesis is evident from the strenuous efforts of its supporters to bring them into harmony with it. Thus, in Reuter's Repert., p. 7, Del. observes that the verse cannot be rendered in any but the following manner: "The giants were on the earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, these they bare to them, or rather, and these bare to them;" but, for all that, he gives this as the meaning of the words, "At the time of the divine determination to inflict punishment the giants arose, and also afterwards, when this unnatural connection between super-terrestrial and human beings continued, there arose such giants;" not only substituting "arose" for "were," but changing "when they connected themselves with them" into "when this connection continued." Nevertheless he is obliged to confess that "it is strange that this unnatural connection, which I also suppose to be the intermediate cause of the origin of the giants, should not be mentioned in the first clause of Genesis 6:4." This is an admission that the text says nothing about the origin of the giants being traceable to the marriages of the sons of God, but that the commentators have been obliged to insert it in the text to save their angel marriages. Kurtz has tried three different explanations of this verse but they are all opposed to the rules of the language.) (1) In the History of the Old Covenant he gives this rendering: "Nephilim were on earth in these days, and that even after the sons of God had formed connections with the daughters of men;" in which he not only gives to גּם the unsupportable meaning, "even, just," but takes the imperfect יבאוּ in the sense of the perfect בּאוּ. (2) In his Ehen der Sצhne Gottes (p. 80) he gives the choice of this and the following rendering: "The Nephilim were on earth in those days, and also after this had happened, that the sons of God came to the daughters of men and begat children," were the ungrammatical rendering of the imperfect as the perfect is artfully concealed by the interpolation of "after this had happened." (3) In "die Sצhne Gottes," p. 85: "In these days and also afterwards, when the sons of God came (continued to come) to the daughters of men, they bare to them (sc., Nephilim)," where יבאוּ, they came, is arbitrarily altered into לבוא יוסיפוּ, they continued to come. But when he observes in defence of this quid pro quo, that "the imperfect denotes here, as Hengstenberg has correctly affirmed, and as so often is the case, an action frequently repeated in past times," this remark only shows that he has neither understood the nature of the usage to which H. refers, nor what Ewald has said (136) concerning the force and use of the imperfect.)

Genesis 6:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

giants.

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers...

Deuteronomy 2:20,21 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelled therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims...

Deuteronomy 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron...

1 Samuel 17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

2 Samuel 21:15-22 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him...

after.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh...

men of.

Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name...

Numbers 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly...

Cross References
Genesis 11:4
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."

Numbers 13:33
And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."

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