Historical Genesis

From Adam To Abraham

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Chapter 9 - Wives Tales

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 to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

The term Nephilim means little more to us today than does "the land of Nod" or "gopher wood." These are words of antiquity and will always remain obscure. And yet, the text tells us of some kind of men who were different, were of ancient origin, and were well known at the time. It is true the biblical narrative is brief in the extreme on the subject of these "children" and the Nephilim, but whoever they were, "fallen ones" or "apostates" perhaps, they do not appear to be from Adam unless we subscribe to angelic or demonic intrusion.

So why isn't this all spelled out in Genesis? Why is this left for us to ponder? Writing in 1848, Van Amringe confronted this problem of apparent omission:

If the creation of Adam and Eve was a remedial measure, by the All-wise Creator, to remedy the vices of the people then in being;--and Adam and Eve were made in the image and likeness of God, for this purpose; and the more important purpose of furnishing a proper line of beings, through whom God himself was, at a future time, to be born upon the earth, as the greatest of all remedial measures,--we can see that it was not important to disclose to Moses any more of the creation of that period than what immediately related to Adam, as the progenitor of the Savior.

Whether Adam had natural parents or was specially created, his offspring were compatible with the neighboring population (Ubaidans most likely) who were already living in the region at the time of Adam's introduction. Adam could not possibly have started all the Near East peoples, let alone the human race, due to his late entry, but rather he was placed in a locale which was already populated by that time.

Sons from Seth's line, including perhaps, male descendants from other sons and daughters of Adam, took wives from one or more of the local communities, probably Eridu and Erech, and possibly from the mixed line from Cain. Conversely perhaps, Adamite women were chosen for wives by non-Adamite men, or maybe some were chosen from column A and some from column B. This caused subsequent generations to be mixed, being both of "spirit" and of "flesh." Van Amringe summed it up:

Thus, then, the fear of Cain, "that every one that findeth me shall slay me;"--his marriage in the land of Nod, before Adam and Eve had daughters;--the men, and giants, of those days, as distinguished from the "Sons of God," and the wickedness which prevailed among them,--all appear to point to a race of human beings, prior to the creation of Adam and Eve.