22 September 2008

Genesis 6, Sons of God, & Nephilim (Pt 2)

As we continue our look at the alternative history that was held by most of the early church, but denounced nowadays, we turn to some extra-biblical Jewish writings to see a fuller picture. In you go back and read Genesis 6, you find a quick jump of action with little details shared. Men multiplied, "sons of God" multiplied with women, creating giants, and then God says the world is evil and sets out the plan to destroy it and save Noah.

Looking ahead in 2 Peter, we find a connection there too:
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:4-5)
So, here we again have a connection of angels sinning, followed by the mention of Noah and the flood. Then again, we have a similar hint in Jude:
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 6-7)
I think many people often miss what is being said and compared here. It compares the sin and judgment of Sodom to that of the angels, in that both the angels and Sodom gave "themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh" and are both therefore held in chains for judgment.

Of course, we can tie in Enoch with all of this, as he was taken to be with God shortly before Noah came on the scene, being Noah's great grandfather. We have no real way of knowing when the Genesis 6 procreation account took place or how long the giants corrupted the world, but we see right before Noah comes on the scene, Enoch has been taken away to be with God. This all flows with what has been mentioned in my previous series on Enoch (link below), it is believed he was taken to be a representative of sorts in the case between God and the angels who sinned. Before going further into that branch of the story behind the scenes, let us look further down the road at the judgment handed down for these actions. This will help us see how both the Scriptures and the words of the church fathers mentioned in part one of this topic tie together.

And the Lord said unto Michael: Go, bind Semjaza and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations (*note, 70 generations brings us to the time of Jesus - JM) in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgment and of their consummation, till the judgment that is for ever and ever is consummated. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations. And destroy all the spirits of the reprobate and the children of the Watchers, because they have wronged mankind. (Enoch 10:11-16)
So the same type of judgment is related in the book of Enoch that is later spoken of in the exact same language by Peter and Jude. Now, in looking at how the church fathers discussed demons and how they come from this unholy procreation, the Book of Enoch also addresses that:
Wherefore have ye left the high, holy, and eternal heaven, and lain with women, and defiled yourselves with the daughters of men and taken to yourselves wives, and done like the children of earth, and begotten giants as your sons? And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those also do who die and perish. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. But you were formerly spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling. And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. (Enoch 15:3-10).
So it appears pretty evident from all signs, as I stated in the other series on Enoch, that the Book of Enoch was very influential to both the biblical writers, as well as the early church fathers. Because of this influence, the early church followed in the footsteps of belief that these Jewish writings set forth, and we have no evidence of any command in the Greek scriptures to refute or negate this thought pattern; yet scholars in the past century have explained it away for some reason. Why is this historic view so offensive to theologians today?

At this point, I will return the discussion back to the already established and ongoing thread on Enoch, as I explore deeper into the story, history and life of this great man of God, as contained in the book bearing his name, and others of similar Jewish origin. So if you started here, go to the beginning of the Enoch discussion to proceed on this matter by clicking HERE.

Or proceed with the next section on Enoch and this Sons of God idea by clicking HERE.