Nephilim are some of the most interesting supernatural creatures — this is Nephilim’s meaning and where they come from!
Supernatural creatures are mythological beings that have attracted curiosity and wonder for thousands of years. Whether you believe that they actually existed or even still exist, the idea of these creatures throughout history and time has consistently been fascinating. One of the most commonly discussed beings in this category is the Nephilim from the Jewish and Christian Bible.
While some people think that the Nephilim were fallen angels or men of renown, the reality of their identity is actually much more enjoyable. While they aren’t discussed in-depth, the Hebrew Bible still alludes to them in many ways that incite curiosity and wonder at who they were and what they did.
This is everything you need to know about where the Nephilim came from, what they were like, and common theories about their existence throughout the ancient world.
Who Were the Nephilim?
The word Nephilim itself is a derivative of the Hebrew word נ־פ־ל, which means “fall.” Many people believe that Nephilim came from the offspring of angelic beings or fallen angels who intermarried with human women — or as the Bible calls them, “daughters of men.” Since their children had the genetic heritage of humanity and divine origins, their bloodline is where these angels crossed with human beings originated.
In the Bible, these people were seen as a race of giants that many people thought of as superhuman demigods. Since they had the heritage of their human mothers and divine fathers, they were seen as the most powerful type of men. In the Bible in Genesis 6:4, they are referred to as the children of the sons of God and the mighty men of old.
The Nephilim are also referred to later in the Old Testament scriptures in the book of Numbers. When the Israelites were scouting the land of Canaan, they came across giant men, described with the Greek word Gigantes. This meant the plural of “giants.” They were identified as the sons of Anak (or Anakim), and the Israelites compared themselves to the giants as tiny grasshoppers.
They are referred to a few more times throughout the Septuagint and are mostly referred to as giants and massive men. They are also referred to in the Book of Enoch, which isn’t a part of the traditional Old Testament or New Testament canon but still has validity in some faith circles.
What Was the Nephilim’s Role in Various Religions?
There are multiple schools of thought on who the Nephilim was within the context of the Christian and Jewish faiths. Over the years, a few primary theories have arisen.
The first belief is that these Nephilim were simply great giants who were the descendants of Seth and Cain, the children of Adam and Eve. They were ungodly men who ended up dying out in the great flood of Noah in Genesis, which is why we don’t see them in the world today. They are seen as great men of old stature but not in moral character.
Another theory is that these people were the descendants of fallen angels who had decided to follow Satan. They would often oppose Godly men and inhabit the land of Canaan. That land later turned into Israel once Joshua conquered it after the death of Moses and the events of Deuteronomy. They were also the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, which God destroyed in the later parts of Genesis.
Another reasonably common belief is that the Nephilim were a rogue group of rebel angels who intermarried and lived with human women. Some people take Jude 1 in the New Testament as an example of proof for this theory.
While there are a lot of schools of thought about who the Nephilim were, almost all Christians can agree that they did exist, they were big, and they had some kind of supernatural origin. While other details are a little vaguer, it’s still interesting to learn about who these beings were in the Bible.
Nephilim in the Modern World
While many people believe that Nephilim used to exist, almost everyone agrees that they no longer do. However, there are still many references to their existence in modern art, culture, and literature.
Many metal bands embrace the identity and characteristics of Nephilim as part of their symbolism and band culture. They have shown up as references in many metal and gothic rock songs and have become a motif in many of those contexts.
Nephilim is also a large part of the fantasy genre in video games, literature, movies, and stories. They often show up as divine beings with supernatural powers and abilities, often with motives for their actions tied up in their divine origins. Like other mythical beings and creatures such as ents, demogorgons, and dragons, Nephilim have become a relatively stable part of the bestiary of the fantasy world.
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