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The Nephilim

[from ]

Subject: The Nephilim
     "The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair;
     and they took them wives of all which they chose."
     - Genesis 6:2
   "Some commentators believe that the expression 'sons of God'
   refers to the 'godly line' of Seth, and 'daughters of men' to
   women form the line of Cain."
   - Commentary on the Living Bible
   "The Book of Giants was another literary work concerned with
   Enoch, widely read (after translation into the appropriate
   languages) in the Roman empire....The 'giants' were believed to
   be the offspring of fallen angels (the Nephilim; also called
   Watchers) and human women."
   - Robert Eisman and Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered
     "The Nefilim were upon the Earth in those days and thereafter
     too. Those sons of the gods who cohabited with the daughters
     of the Adam, and they bore children into them. They were the
     Mighty Ones of Eternity, the People of the Shem."
     - Genesis 6:4
     "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 unto them, the same became mighty men
     which were of old, men of renown."
     - Genesis 6:4 (King Jame's version)
   On a parchment fragment 4Q201(En ara) copied ca. 200-150 B.C.E.
   found at Qumrum:
     13. [They (the leaders) and all ... of them took
     for themselves]
     14. wives from all that they chose and
     [they began to cohabit with them and to defile
     themselves with them];
     15. and to teach them sorcery and [spells and
     the cutting of roots; and to acquaint them
     with herbs.]
     16. And they become pregnant by them and
     bo[re (great) giants three thousand cubits high ...]
     - Book of Enoch (from Translation by J. C. Greenfield
   "Later Jewish tradition has it that their seduction was at least
   partly their own fault since they had taught the girls the art of
   cosmetics, and so had begun the awful progress of mankind to
   degeneracy and sexual abandon. More important, 'they taught them
   charms and enchantments, the cutting of roots, and make them
   acquainted with plants..." (Enoch 7:1ff)."
   - John M. Allegro, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
   "The Hebrew word for giants (nephilum) literally means the
   fallen-down-ones because these tall celestial beings fell from
   the sky. Their half-breed progeny and their descendants are often
   mentioned in the early books of the Old Testament until the last
   of them were finally killed off. They were known as the Rephaim,
   Emim, Anakim, Horim, Avim, and Zamzummim. Some scholars speculate
   that this tradition of giants born from the union of gods and
   humans formed the basis for the demigod of Greek mythology."
   - Raymond E. Fowler, The Watchers
   "Those giants...are termed n'philim (lit. 'those who have fallen'
   or 'perished'). A similar tradition mentions such a race of
   primordial giants in the Rephaim."
   - John Gray, Near Eastern Mythology
     "The Emim - a large and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim
     - had formerly inhabited it [Moab]. Like the Anakim, they are
     usually reckoned as Rephaim, though the Moabites call them
     "Now only King Og of Bashan was left of the remnant of the
     Rephaim. In fact his bed, an iron bed, can still be seen in
     Rabbah of the Ammonites. By the common cubit it is nine cubits
     long and four cubits wide."
     - Deuteronomy 2:11, 3:11
   "Our skills and behavior are finely attuned to our size. We could
   not be twice as tall as we are, for the kinetic energy of a fall
   would then be 16 to 32 times as great, and our sheer weight
   (increased eightfold) would be more than our legs could support.
   Human giants of eight to nine feet have either died young or been
   crippled early by failure of joints and bones. At half our size,
   we could not wield a club with sufficient force to hunt large
   animals (for kinetic energy would decrease 16 to 32-fold); we
   could not impart sufficient momentum to spears and arrows; we
   could not cut or split wood with primitive tools or mine minerals
   with picks and chisels. Since these all were essential activities
   in our historical development, we must conclude that the path of
   our evolution could only have been followed by a creature very
   close to our size. I do not argue that we inhabit the best of all
   possible worlds, only that our size has limited our activities
   and, to a great extent, shaped our evolution."
   - Stephen Jay Gould, "Sizing Up Human Intelligence," Physical
   Anthropology 96/97, pp.150-51
   "The tradition in Genesis 6.4 may reflect the Canaanite myth of
   the birth of minor gods from the union of El and human women. The
   conception of the Rephaim as supermen may reflect the Canaanite
   tradition of defunct kings as rp'um, or Dispensers of fertility.
   The identity in tradition of 'the fallen ones' of Genesis 6:4 and
   the Rephaim is supported by the nature of the latter in Proverbs
   2:18; Job 26:5 and Phoenician funerary inscriptions."
   - John Gray, Near Eastern Mythology

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