[The following article is an edited transcription of our audio teaching, The “Sons of God” of Genesis Six by John W. Schoenheit.]
Greetings and God bless you. My name is John Schoenheit, and I welcome you to this teaching from Spirit & Truth Fellowship International. Please open your Bibles to Genesis chapter six. The title of this teaching is The “Sons of God” of Genesis Six. The Devil comes to steal, to kill and to destroy, as we are told in John 10:10 by Jesus Christ. In fact, Christ said the only reason the Devil comes is to steal, kill, and destroy. And one of the things the Devil has done a good job of stealing is people’s relationship with God.
There is a large number of people that are very confused about the goodness of God, the graciousness of God, and the kindness of God because there are scriptures in the Bible that confuse them. What I want to do in this teaching is to show once again how, when the Bible is properly understood, we realize how good, how loving, how kind God really is.
Two things are used in the Bible and in biblical history to show that we can’t really rely on God’s goodness. One is the Flood of Noah. The picture most people have is that God created people (actually He created Adam and then formed Eve) and then they populated the earth. After that, things got so bad that finally He just looked down on mankind and said, “You know, I’m really upset with how wicked all the people are, so I’m just going to kill them all off and start over.”
Is that all there is to it? Is it simply that God got so upset with mankind in their evilness that He’s going to kill them all off and start over?
Or what about when the Israelites went into Canaan?
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, and Moses led them out of Egypt, and they wandered around the desert for forty years. Moses then told the Israelites to go into the Promised Land, into Canaan. The command to the Israelites was that they could make treaties with the people who lived around the land, but with the people in the land, they couldn’t leave alive anything that breathed. They were to kill off the fathers, the sons, the mothers, the babies, the infants – they were to kill them all off. “Don’t leave alive anything that breathes” was the command of God.
And there’s something inside you that makes you shudder when you think about that. “What’s wrong with raising the babies? God, what is it about the people of the other lands – we can make treaties with them – but with the Canaanites we even have to kill off the infants?” And because of not understanding why God had to say these things, then God becomes vilified, and people draw away from God, because they don’t understand Him and they don’t understand His purposes and His actions.
What I want to do in this teaching is to show some of the reasons why God has had to do what He’s done with mankind in the Flood and when the Israelites moved into Canaan.
Let’s look at Genesis chapter six.We’re going to deal with this on a verse by verse basis. I’m using the New International Version of the Bible, but if you are using a version like the King James Version that translates the word Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 as Giants, you’ll see by the end of this teaching why it has become very hard to ferret this truth out of Scripture. Because this is a brand new thing, there was no word for what these men were, and therefore God called them Nephilim – from Nephal in the Hebrew which means ‘fall’ and the im is simply the plural – so it’s the ones who have fallen – that’s simply the name He gives to these people.
(1) When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,
(2) The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
(3) Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
(4) The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
(5) The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
(6) The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
(7) So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.”
(8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
What then is Genesis six saying?
Well, in verse 2 it’s saying the sons of God saw the daughters of men – now the phrase the ‘sons of God’ is used in the Bible of created beings. And here it would be God’s created spirits, who we know are either angels, or now demons spirits (devil spirits). And here these created beings – the sons of God – in the Hebrew this is the bene Elohim – saw the daughters of men were beautiful and married any of them they chose. Obviously when spirits would come into concretion and walk around the earth, mankind did not have power to resist them, and that’s why the text can say that they took “any of them they chose.”
I think you know that godly men and women have protected their daughters for quite some time. They just don’t hand their daughter over to any old unbelieving person. But these spirit beings were irresistible and that’s why they married any they chose. Now obviously there are a number of Christians that do not believe that Genesis 6:1-3 is talking about angels or spirit beings coming into concretion and marrying the women on the face of the earth and producing children by them. I want to examine why someone would not believe that.
There are three reasons really why people don’t believe that.
The first is there are a number of people who don’t believe in the Devil or devil spirits, and so they would dismiss this by saying that it couldn’t happen, and I would simply say that is not what the Bible says. The Bible is very clear that there is a Devil that heads up a spirit kingdom of fallen angels.
Secondly, there are those who say, “Well, everything has to reproduce after its own kind. There’s no way that spirit beings can make human beings reproduce and form a race that would be an aberrant race.” That seems to be a valid objection up front, although it’s not, but we’ll take a look at that later on.
The third reason that people say that this is not ‘sons of God created beings’ marrying women is that they simply say that the vocabulary doesn’t demand that. But I think the vocabulary does demand it, and the greater context demands it (as we will see).
Let’s start with what I think is the most valid objection, which is simply that angels cannot cohabit with men because things reproduce after their own kind. To start on that, let’s first establish that the ‘sons of God’ are created spirit beings. The word ‘son of God’ in the Hebrew is bene Elohim, which is simply the sons of God, bene: son of (you might remember the movie Ben Hur. The man in the movie was Judah ben Hur, Judah the son of Hur) and bene Elohim is a son of God. If you check the Old Testament in the Bible, when someone was a ‘son of God,’ a bene Elohim, they were in some way created or formed by God. Adam, the first man ever, who had no mother and father, is called in Luke 3:38, in the genealogy, a ‘son of God.’ Notice that none of the other men in the genealogies of the Old Testament were called ‘sons of God.’
The angels here in Genesis chapter six are called ‘sons of God.’ And then, in the New Testament, Christians, because of the new birth, the new creation inside us, we are called ‘sons of God.’ Now there are times where God will say he has ‘adopted’ children, but He does not use the phrase bene Elohim for that.
I want to look at the usage of bene Elohim to see if we are dealing with people or spirits. If we’re dealing with spirits, then we need to know that, and I think it will be very clear that we are.
(6) One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
(7) The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
And then of course, Satan goes back and smites Job. And we know that Satan was a spirit being, here in verse six: one day the angels – Hebrew: the bene Elohim. And the King James Version and others will read ‘One day the sons of God…’ So here we have the exact same phraseology as we have in Genesis 6:2. The bene Elohim – they are spirit beings.
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
The bene Elohim – translated as ‘angels’ in the NIV, translated as ‘sons of God’ which is the literal in the King James. So again we see bene Elohim – we’re talking about spirit beings.
I’m not going to hit every single usage. E.W. Bullinger does a very good piece of work on what I’m teaching here in the Companion Bible, Appendices 23 and 25. It’s not completely complete because there are a few things he leaves out. However, with just a quick study with a Hebrew Concordance and a couple of Hebrew Lexicons you can get basically the entire picture.
In Job chapter 38, God is kind of getting on Job’s case a little bit, because Job has said things that suggest he knows more than he actually knows, and so God is trying to put the world in perspective for Job, if you will.
(4) Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
(5) Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
(6) On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—
(7) while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
And all the angels – bene Elohim – shouted for joy. God is saying here that the angels that He had created, these created beings were really excited, they were singing and shouting while He was laying the foundation of the earth. And here in verse seven, we clearly see that there weren’t any people at the time of verse seven. So He says while the morning stars, these angels, are singing, and the bene Elohim, these created beings, are shouting for joy.
By the way, ‘morning star’ is again one of the idioms for angels, and you can see that all the way through to the book of Revelation there are usages of the word ‘star’ which means angels or devil spirit beings.
Daniel chapter three is the last one of these I need to cover. But again, for a complete list – and there’s only a couple more – you can go to a Hebrew or Young’s Concordance, and E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible, Appendix 23 and 25.
Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the burning fiery furnace? Three men were tied up and thrown in the fire, and when Nebuchadnezzar looked in the furnace, he saw four men and they were loose. This, of course, startled him and in verse 25, he says to his advisors:
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Looks like a bene Elohim, translated ‘the son of God’ in the King James, which is not right at all. It’s not like Nebuchadnezzar looked in there and said “Look, I see Jesus. I recognize the hair and robe.” That isn’t it at all. What he saw in there was this awesome being, and he said, “The form of the fourth looks like a bene Elohim – it’s a created being of God.”
Later on in verse 28 he confirms this.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants…”
So, there’s no question about the fact that the words bene Elohim are used of God’s created beings.
But can these created beings co-habit with man, or do something with women such that you can produce a race that in the Bible God has called the Nephilim, the Fallen Ones? What about things reproducing after their own kind? We have a seminar called The Creation/Evolution Controversy. It’s a six-hour series on Creation versus Evolution, and the subject of things reproducing after their own kind is something that’s covered in great detail. In Genesis chapter one, the phrase ‘after it’s kind’ appears ten times. But I want to take a look at how it’s placed in the chapter.
What exactly is the impact of the wording?
Genesis 1:11 and 12
(11) Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
(12) The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:24 and 25
(24) And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
(25) God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
So here we see that when God made animals and plants, it’s very clear He made them to naturally reproduce after their kind. And does that happen? Absolutely. You take a farm. You put on it sheep, goats, cows, pigs, horses, ducks, whatever else you want to add for farm animals or wild animals. Go away for two thousand years and come back, and you don’t have one ‘glump’ animal. You still have sheep, goats, cows, pigs, horses, ducks, and the giraffes in the back pasture. Why? Because when left alone in nature, things reproduce after their own kind.
Is there anything in Genesis chapter one that says that you can’t mess things up? That you can’t force things to reproduce in such a way that they will not reproduce after their own kind? No, there’s no forbidding that. There’s nothing in Genesis chapter one that forbids a tampering with the way things reproduce.
And in fact we see this in the Mosaic Law. Also, today we know that there is all sorts of genetic engineering going on. Mankind has learned how to genetically engineer things like tomatoes. And by the way, they reproduce.
“Keep my decrees.” Do not mate different kinds of animals…
Why is God saying this? If everything reproduces after its own kind then we can’t mate different kinds of animals. No. Things when left alone in a natural environment in the woods, in the pasture, in the field, will reproduce after their own kind. That is not to say that mankind, or some spirit being can’t get in and mess it up. So here in Leviticus 19:19 God has to forbid this. He says, “Do not mate different kinds of animals.” Then He goes on:
…Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed…
You can see this again in Deuteronomy 22:9. So things do reproduce after their own kind when left alone, but that is not to say that things can’t be made to not reproduce after their own kind if they are tampered with (genetically engineered).
I want to show you the greatest tampering in Scripture.
Genesis 3:17 and 18
(17) To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”
(18) It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
God put man in an environment where the animals ate plants – even the lions ate plants, and of course the prophecy in Isaiah is that, thankfully, once God straightens all this mess out the lions will once again eat straw like the ox.
God loves us so much that He puts us in this great environment. The Devil hates us so much that he messes up the entire world! Thorns, thistles, mosquitoes, poison ivy, changes in the nature of animals so that not only do they eat meat, they can’t even live on plants. ‘It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.’ How did the plants and animals that God created to reproduce after their own kind in Genesis chapter one get to the point that they have thorns and thistles and poison, and they bite and devour each other? Well, that came as sin, the curse of a fallen world, and the Devil got in and messed with the genetics of those plants and animals.
When you look at the human body, we start out as an egg and a sperm, and yet in the encoding of the DNA we get fingernails, teeth, bone, flesh and all the different parts of what make up the body (all different substances – the hardness of the tooth or the bone versus the softness of the flesh). All of this is “fed” by the foods we eat.
One of the things about messing with genetics is that if you mess with the genetics of the parents the children will be like the parents. So when God made the world to reproduce after its own kind, and He made a bush without thorns, it will produce little bushes without thorns. Now again, sin, the curse of a fallen world, and the Devil have changed the genetics and so now you have a bush that simply by changing that genetic coding, it now uses some of the material it’s absorbing through it’s roots, but instead of becoming a wonderful bush with flowers and fruit, it becomes a bush with flowers and bad fruit and big thorns! And that’s simply genetic tampering. And this happened all over the world. There’s no place on earth that doesn’t have thorns and thistles and plants like poison ivy, harmful weeds, and annoying insects like mosquitoes.
Messing around with the genetics worked really well for plants and animals. And yet there was a prophecy of a coming Messiah – a seed of the woman – that would destroy the dominion of the Devil (Gen. 3:15). I can just see the Devil thinking about it. ‘Boy, that messing up the genetics thing really worked on the plants and animals’(and by the way as far as our fleshly nature is concerned we are just like an animal). The Devil says, ‘You know, that would work for mankind too.’ And it did.
We are not sure how this worked with spirits and women in Genesis chapter six because the Bible is not a technical journal on genetic coding, or exactly how the Devil and devil spirits messed with the genetics of the women to produce this race of Nephilim. God was simply speaking in terms that the people would understand – that the spirits came into concretion, that they took the women of the time and they produced a race called the Nephilim (from the Hebrew word to fall).
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward…
By the way ‘those days’ were the days right before the Flood, and ‘afterward’ were the days right after the Flood. So these Nephilim were on the earth and they were, if you want to call it that, genetically engineered people, and they’ve been genetically engineered to be really mean, really bad, really big (like some pit bull dogs are). In fact, they are bad enough and big enough that the result of their being on the earth was verse five.
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
That’s bad! Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Flood is only 1,650 years after Adam. Since the Flood we’ve had 4,000 plus years of human history, and is every thought of every person only evil all the time? No! I don’t know the way it is in your state or country, but in mine there are a lot of people that will just pull over and help you if you’re stuck in your car on the side of the road. We’re not in a world where every inclination, every purpose, every thought of everybody’s heart is only evil all the time.
How in just a very short amount of time (historically speaking) was the Devil able to get the world to where every inclination of the thought of man’s heart was only evil all the time? He did it by genetically engineering a race, that had never existed before, that somehow or other was genetically engineered the same way a thorn bush was. A thorn bush is not a good bush. There may be some value to it, but compared to the bushes that God created, a thorn bush is not a very good bush, and in the same way these people that the Devil genetically engineered were not good people. And it had gotten to the point where the earth itself was in danger of being destroyed by this race. The problem was carried in the genes, and passed down from one generation to the next. It wasn’t a matter of environment, it wasn’t a matter of training, it wasn’t a matter that there weren’t enough people teaching morals on the face of the earth. It was genetically engineered evilness, if you will. By the way, this race had never existed before. Obviously, God had made Adam and Eve, and they had made people. So this race is simply called by God in verse four the Nephilim – the ones who had fallen – and I showed you in the verses earlier that this race was the product of fallen angels (devils) and men. By the way, in reading verses four and five there’s an interesting truth.
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
What’s the truth? The truth is spirit beings are cohabiting with women and producing this race, this fallen race, these Nephilim. Is there anything like that mirrored in history? Oh, absolutely! What about the stories in the various mythologies about the gods coming down and having children by mortal women? What about Hercules, who was the son of Zeus and a mortal woman? This truth of Genesis six – these spirits coming down and having intercourse with women, and then producing these very powerful, mean men who dominated the earth – this truth is preserved in what we know as ancient mythology, and of course, that’s reflected here in Genesis where it says: ‘They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’
Verse five goes on to show how wicked they were. By the way, if you understand now that these Nephilim were a genetically engineered race, that they were the product of the spirit beings messing around with the genetics of the women, if you understand that you can’t teach them to do good, you understand that you can’t train them to do good, you can’t put them in an environment where they will behave in a nice manner, now you can understand why God has to have the Flood — because He wants the Messiah to come (He was protecting the Christ-line). He wants to be able to someday raise all men from the dead, so that we don’t die and just stay dead forever. We’re God’s family. He wants the Messiah to come and the Messiah is not going to come if the entire world is taken over by these people who will not believe, and who will destroy all those who will, including the ancestry of the Messiah. Furthermore, remember verse four said that the Nephilim were on the earth in those days and after the Flood. After the Flood they hadn’t had a lot of time to spread, they were in the land of Canaan because they knew that was the land that God was giving to the believers, and they wanted to occupy that land first. That explains why God had to say to the Israelites, ‘Now look, the people in the lands around Canaan, you can make treaties with them, that’s no problem. But the people in Canaan, you have to kill them off, and don’t leave alive anything that breathes.’
Why does God have to be so harsh about that, so strict about that? Because the problem is genetic. You can’t raise one of these babies – kill off the mother and father Nephilim and then simply raise one of these babies in a ‘good home’ and expect they’ll turn out okay. They are carrying a genetic aberration and it needs to be cleansed off the face of the earth if mankind is going to continue to survive. This then explains why God had to be so harsh. So is God the big Villain? Kill off all the babies, kill off all the people I don’t like? No, He is love (1 John 4:8 and 16). He’s the One who is so concerned about you, and so concerned about me, that He’s willing to counteract the move of the Devil and get people like this, that will never believe and never be nice anyway, out of our lives so that we’re not burdened with them and so that the Messiah can come to redeem mankind.
This truth of Genesis chapter six is preserved in the New Testament. In fact, it’s very neatly described in the New Testament, so let’s go the book of Jude and see what God says about this.
Jude 1:6 and 7
(6) And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
(7) In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Now read these verses closely – let’s take a look. “The angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment.” Can this be referring then to all the spirits who rebelled against God with Lucifer’s rebellion? No, it cannot. Why? Because – and certainly you know this – not every spirit is bound in an everlasting chain in darkness awaiting Judgment. If they were, they wouldn’t be out and about bothering us (Eph. 6:10-12). This has to be talking about a special segment of spirits who did something that was so heinous that God said, ‘Ok, you can’t be free to roam. I’m sticking you in the special prison.’
What did these spirits do to deserve this ‘special treatment’ so that they were yanked off the earth, not allowed to torment people anymore and crammed into this darkness, these everlasting chains for Judgment. What did they do? Verse six says they didn’t keep their positions of authority, they abandoned their own home. This is very telling because this word is oiketerion – you might remember oike meaning house– they abandoned their oiketerion – their own home or their habitation. What was their habitation? It was their spiritual body. By the way, there’s only one other usage of this word in the New Testament.
2 Corinthians 5:1 and 2
(1) Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
(2) Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
The phrase our ‘heavenly dwelling’ is oiketerion. I’m sure I speak for lots of people when I say there are many of us who are groaning and longing to be in our spiritual body. We want the Lord Jesus Christ to come back. We are looking forward to the Rapture. We’re looking forward to being in a perfect new body. And that perfect, new, spiritual body is called here the oiketerion. That’s our new spiritual body – our oiketerion. In Jude 6, we see what these spirits did was abandon their oiketerion, which was a spiritual body. And what did they do when they abandoned it? Well, what they did is compared with what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah, because it says:
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion…
They went after ‘strange flesh’ (KJV) or another (Heteros in the Greek). They went after another type of flesh. So here Jude six and seven is very clear. There were some spirits who participated in some special sin, which is defined as ‘they left their spiritual body and they went after a heteros, a different kind of flesh.’ The NIV here is not as clear, where it says ‘sexual immorality.’ If you want to check this please grab a Greek Interlinear and you’ll see that what they did was they went after ‘another flesh.’ This is clear as a bell. There were a certain number of the devil spirits within the spirit realm that had fallen. They left their oiketerion – their spiritual bodies. They went after another flesh (likewise people in Sodom and Gomorrah had gone after another flesh), and now they are in chains, in prison, awaiting Judgment because of their sin. There’s more detail on this in 2 Peter.
2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
This word ‘hell’ is a very strange word. It’s a unique occurrence in the Bible. The Greek word is Tartarus. It’s a unique word, only used one time in the New Testament, and you’ve got to go into Greek mythology to find out what Tartarus is. Remember the devil spirits had rebelled against God in the beginning, with Lucifer, when the big rebellion against God had occurred, and God cast a certain number down to the earth, and now a much smaller group had sinned in a special way. They had sinned by leaving their oiketerion – their spiritual body – and going after strange flesh, going after these women, and they took any of them they chose. And for this particular sin, we learn in Jude, that they were put in chains and they are now awaiting Judgment.
Here in 2 Peter 2:4 it says God didn’t spare these angels when they sinned, but sent them to Tartarus. Well, in our standard way of thinking, there’s no place that you can put a devil spirit he can’t get out of. I mean, you can’t exactly build a house and then he somehow can’t get out. In Greek mythology, Tartarus was a prison for the gods – and not a very nice place to be either. Here in 2 Peter the word that was already used by the Greeks in their mythology for a prison for the gods is pulled into the New Testament and used in Peter so that the people who read it will understand these were spirit beings; they were gods, they sinned in some special way, and they’re in Tartarus (a prison for the gods), and they’re being held there for Judgment. Which is exactly what Jude said – they’re awaiting Judgment.
In 1 Peter, we learn more.
1 Peter 3:18-20
(18) For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
(19) through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison
(20) who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built…
These verses contain a lot of information. Jesus Christ died (verse 18), and remember he was dead for three days and three nights, but then he was made alive by the spirit, given a new spiritual body, and in that he preached to the spirits in prison, which we learned were in Tartarus (2 Peter); they’re in chains of darkness (in Jude) awaiting Judgment. Now what did these spirits do that they deserved this Judgment? We learned from 2 Peter and from Jude that they sinned. We learned from Jude that they sinned by leaving their spiritual body and going after another flesh. It says in verse twenty that they disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. Did these spirits sin by causing the Flood? No.
These spirits sinned by doing something before the Flood that made God have to wait for the Ark to be finished so He could deal with them.
Genesis six is very clear that what these spirits did was they left their oiketerion, they took wives of any woman they chose, they genetically engineered a race that the Bible calls the Nephilim – there is no biblical name for half-god and half-people genetically engineered weirdos, so God calls them Nephilim, the ones who have fallen. These spirits genetically engineered this race, and God then had to wait while Noah built the Ark, because, obviously, He can’t flood the whole world and wipe out Noah. Notice 1 Peter 3:19, that in his new spiritual body Jesus Christ went and preached to spirits in prison.
Now realistically, here’s Jesus Christ, he’s been crucified, he’s been dead three days and three nights, he’s raised from the dead, and now he’s going to go and preach to the spirits who are in Tartarus (prison). Is he going to preach to them, and talk about himself and the resurrection and the love of God? No. What we’re missing here is the word ‘preached’ is not a teaching ministry. Jesus Christ did not go to teach these spirits anything. The word ‘preached’ here is a specific Greek word, kerusso.
I’m sure you’ve seen a Robin Hood movie, or any of those movies that have the Kings marching out. There’s a whole bunch of trumpeters holding these long trumpets, three or four feet long, and a lot of times they might have a flag hanging down from it, and they announce the coming of the King. They go marching out before the King arrives and they blow this trumpet and everybody looks up and says, “Something big is about to happen or something big has just happened.” And the trumpet that heralded these big important events in the Roman world was called a Keruss. And here, what Christ did was, he went and ‘kerusso-ed’ – he trumpet-blasted if you will – to announce his resurrection to these spirits because they had given up their freedom so that he wouldn’t come! These spirits had left their oiketerion, had genetically messed with people to produce a race that was designed to destroy the world, so that the Messiah would never be able to come in the first place. And now, he’s come! And the fact that they have failed miserably in their mission is now evidently clear. So Jesus Christ goes down to Tartarus, and he goes “Ta-da! It’s me! I am the resurrected one. I am the Messiah you gave up your freedom to prevent from coming. Too bad – I’m here!”
That’s exactly what he did! He preached – he heralded to the spirits in prison. And that’s the meaning of 1 Peter 3:19.
We have learned from Genesis some of the facts. We learned that the bene Elohim – these created beings of God – took the daughters of men and in some way anatomically (the Bible does not make clear) were able to produce a race, a fallen evil race called ‘the fallen ones’ – the Nephilim. And these guys went to work immediately, such that it wasn’t too long before every thought of every heart was only evil all the time. Then God had to save the line of the Messiah – the Christ-line – by the Flood. And now in Jude, verse six, we learn what these spirits had done. They had left their spiritual body to go after another flesh.
From Peter we learned that these spirits were confined in a prison for the gods (Tartarus), and in 1 Peter we learn that these spirits know that they failed miserably because Jesus Christ went and heralded to them specifically. Now, what else can we learn about these Nephilim?
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days– and also afterward– when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
What I want to focus on now is this ‘afterward.’ What we’ve been dealing with up to now are the spirits who caused this degradation before the Flood, and forced God into the unenviable position of having to save the Christ-line by wiping out all of this evil race. But here in Genesis 6:4 it says ‘The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – the days before the Flood (context being verse one – men beginning to increase on the earth) but also afterward’ — after the Flood of Noah. After the Flood of Noah there were more spirits that tried the same thing. They tried to genetically engineer a race, and they did it in a specific area in the land of Canaan, which is why God had to be so strict with the Canaanites. Remember that one of the purposes of this teaching is to de-vilify God and show His true nature. The Bible says that God is all love (1 John 4:8 and 16), that He is all light, that there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5), and that He is all Truth. And we want to understand how someone who is all love can make a statement like “Kill off all the Canaanites – even the babies!”
I want to go over a couple of verses from Deuteronomy, so you will see what God is being accused of doing, and actually did and had to do, for the preservation of the Christ-line, and our redemption.
Deuteronomy 7:1 and 2
(1) When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations— the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—
(2) and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. You must destroy them totally.
Look at Deuteronomy chapter twenty – we’ll see a contrast here.
(10) When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.
(11) If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.
(12) If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city.
(13) When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.
(14) As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.
(15) This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
Here’s a very clear example of how God said if a country is outside the land and you attack a city, then the women and children you can keep. Kill off the warriors, the men, but you can keep the women and children.
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
Outside the area of Canaan, keeping the women and children was no problem. Within Canaan – if it breathes, kill it!
Deuteronomy 20:17 and 18
(17) Completely destroy them– the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites– as the LORD your God has commanded you.
(18) Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.
They will teach you – someone might ask, “Why can’t we teach them? Why has it always got to be evil teaching good? Why can’t we at least keep the little children alive, and teach them?” Because we’re dealing with a genetic aberration. You can take a rose with thorns and plant a billion seeds and every one that grows up will have thorns. You can’t take a rose that has thorns and get out some book about how thorns aren’t good and read for hours and hours, and provide the best fertilizer and the best environment and the best light, and hope that one day the thorns will fall off.
We’re dealing with a genetically implanted aberration. And the way to get rid of this is to kill it off. And that’s why God has to say this. And we have to understand this, so that God is not vilified. Because otherwise, we make God out to be this big bad guy that doesn’t like even little babies, and it’s just not true. God’s very concerned about love and light and truth, and He’s very concerned about people, and these genetically engineered people of the Devil had no chance to believe anyway. You weren’t going to educate them or convince them of the truth.
Once you understand that this race did exist in the Promised Land, there will now be a number of scriptures that will make sense that never made sense before. I am sure you are aware that the Israelites spent time in Egypt in slavery. And of course, it was Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt and they wandered around the Sinai. Before they wandered they had gone down to Mount Sinai, and they were there worshipping. After that God said, “Go into the land. Take the land for a possession.”
Numbers 13:1 and 2
(1) The LORD said to Moses,
(2) “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
Now we learn from Deuteronomy that it was the peoples’ idea first, and what we read here in verse one is simply God responding to what the people had said when they said, “We want to send spies into the land.” Well, the spies came back, as we see in verse twenty-six, after spying out the land for forty days.
Numbers 13:26 and 27
(26) They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.
(27) They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.
Milk and honey were two things that you didn’t have to work hard for. With milk you put the cows out in the pasture, and the cows eat grass and sit around all day and chew their cud, and then if you simply milk the cows twice a day you have milk. And the same for honey, the bees did all the work. You just smoke out a hive and poof – there’s honey. So then the expression ‘flowing with milk and honey’ became idiomatic for ‘there’s an abundance there and you don’t even have to work hard to get things to grow.’ That’s the essence of what they said. They said, “We saw the land and, boy, that land flows with milk and honey. Here is the fruit.”
When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.
Now this is quite a cluster! This is a very fruitful land!
But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.
Now, they are really scared of the descendants of Anak, and we’re going to find out why.
The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.
What’s going to happen is that Caleb and Joshua are going to dissent, but the other ten say we can’t attack those people because they are stronger than we are.
(31) But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
(32) And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.
(33) We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The Nephilim – these horrible people – these giants. The King James translates it ‘giants,’ which is unfortunate, because then it’s hard to trace through the Bible. It’s not just that they were regular people who happened to be giants. They were large because that’s part of the genetic package that they get – big and mean, if you will. One of the things that we see here is a key: the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim. Remember that with a genetic aberration (a genetic change) it is passed down from parents to kids. So the devil spirits only have to mess with a certain number of the people, and then all their descendants will be affected and begin to multiply. The Bible traces them back to a couple of people – particularly Anak and Rapha, who are specifically mentioned by name as being direct descendants of this god-woman thing that occurred. So in verse thirty-three we saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim).
“We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
And so they were all upset. Now, Deuteronomy occurs in the fortieth year (remember the wandering in the wilderness was forty years) and Moses died in the eleventh month of the fortieth year, and in the twelfth month they mourned his death for forty days. Deuteronomy was written in the very last of that fortieth year of the wilderness wanderings. So, Moses is looking at the Israelites and he knows they are about to march into Canaan. In verse nine, he wants to deal with the problem that they’ve got in their minds because the whole reason that they’ve been out wandering for forty years is that they didn’t want to deal with these people forty years earlier. They didn’t want to have to confront this fallen race, this Nephilim, forty years earlier, so now Moses is getting right in their face about it.
Deuteronomy 9:1 and 2
(1) Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky.
(2) The people are strong and tall– Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?”
Well, sure they knew about them – they’d been wandering for forty years because they’d been unwilling to fight them before.
But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
Deuteronomy is great! If you’re into business and managing people and managing situations, you know that if you address a problem directly it’s always better. Here Moses gets right with the people and says, “Let’s talk about the Anakites.” That’s really fabulous on Moses’ part. Did the Israelites go into the Promised Land? Yes. Did they come into conflict with these Nephilim? Yes. They sure did.
At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns.
In other words, Joshua made it his business to march around and fulfill this command of God to wipe these guys out.
No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.
Oops. Were there Anakites left? Yes. Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod – the Philistine country. Let’s see – Goliath (nine feet, six inches). What city was he from? Goliath of Gath! See this genetic aberration – they didn’t wipe it out completely. You leave it in a few cities, and because it’s a genetic implant, it begins to show up. And it showed up in Goliath.
So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses…
Oops. Except for the Anakites in these three cities!
Remember that these people were not natural. You know, nine feet and more. And they are called Nephilim. When you run into something that you’ve never seen before, you’ve got to give it a name. In Deuteronomy God is coaching the people about what they should do when they get into the land.
Then the LORD said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”
Because Abraham allowed Lot to take part of the land, and one of Lot’s descendants was Moab, God says, “Well, the Moabites came by their land legitimately, you can’t have the Moabite land.”
Deuteronomy 2:10 and 11
(10) (The Emites used to live there– a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.
(11) Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites.
Emites means ‘terrible ones,’ or ‘terrors.’ And here these guys come piling over the hill into Moab, and they’re nine feet and they’re horrible, and you can’t ever reform them, and they don’t do anything good. And when the Moabites saw them they said, “Who are those guys?” “I don’t know, but they’re terrors!” So in Moab these guys got called Emites, or Terrors. By the way, we saw something here in verse eleven. It says, ‘Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites…’ And we’re going, “What’s a Rephaite?” Well, a Rephaite was a descendant in the same way that we saw the descendants of Anak, now we’re going to see that there was another one called Rapha, and he had descendants also. This is very unclear in the King James. It’s much clearer in the New International Version.
As we will see, David ended up having to deal with these guys and finally get rid of them. You know, after Joshua died off, none of the Judges were really in a position to round them up. The Judges were so busy trying to keep Israel from sinning and trying to drive off people from other places (the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Mesopotamians, the Midianites) that were attacking Israel. None of the Judges had the time or the backing to drive these guys out of the rest of Israel. So it fell upon David to clean up Israel and get rid of these guys.
1 Chronicles 20:4-6
(4) In the course of time, war broke out with the Philistines, at Gezer. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaites, and the Philistines were subjugated.
(5) In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.
(6) In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot– twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha.
Very clear here in the NIV. This giant was descended from Rapha, and that’s why these guys were called Rephaites, which as we learned from Deuteronomy chapter two, in Israel they were sometimes called Rephaites, but in Moab they called them Emites, or Terrors.
1 Chronicles 20:7 and 8
(7) When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.
(8) These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
And again where did Goliath come from? Gath. By the way, this record that we’ve just read is repeated in large part in 2 Samuel 21:15-22, if you want to see it a second time.
In Deuteronomy 2:10 we learned that when these guys got to Moab, the Moabites had never seen anything like it, and they called them Terrors. Well, what about in Deuteronomy 2:19?
When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.”
The same thing as applied to Moab and Ammon – they were descendants of Lot. Because of what Abraham said to Lot, God said, “Don’t bother the Ammonites.”
Deuteronomy 2:20 and 21
(20) (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites.
(21) They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.
These guys are called Zamzummites.
So they are called:
Anakites because they descend from Anak.
Rephaites because they descend from Rapha.
Nephilim because they are the Fallen Ones.
Emites because they are Terrors.
Zamzummites which means ‘Noisy Ones.’
You can see the Ammonites saying, “Would you look at the size of these guys! What are they?” “I don’t know but they sure are noisy!” And so they called them Zamzummites. If you look at Deuteronomy 2:12, it’s possible that you could say that the Horites were part of this race.
The LORD had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day.
They may have other names in Scripture that are not as clearly defined. In Deuteronomy 3:10, we learn about another one the Israelites killed off. His name was Og. When the Israelites were in the fortieth year of their wanderings they had attacked a number of towns and conquered a number of land areas on the east side of the Jordan river, known as the Trans-Jordan area. This is where the tribe of Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and the tribe of Gad settled, which you can find on a Bible map. While they were conquering an area called Bashan, which is to the east of the Sea of Galilee, in the Kingdom of Bashan, we read:
Deuteronomy 3:10 and 11
(10) We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
(11) (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
So, at the time the Israelites attacked that area only the King was left of the Rephaites. This Rephaite was big, like Goliath and those other guys. Before the Flood the Devil and his spirits genetically engineered and produced this fallen race. After the Flood, they did it again. The spirits who did this were thrown into this prison for the gods- this Tartarus.
Is there any evidence that any of these guys are around today? Biblically, there is none. Is it possible for the Devil to genetically engineer and mess around with people? Yes, it’s possible that he can. In fact, he did. He did it with plants (Gen. 3), animals (Gen. 3), people (Gen. 6), and after the Flood (Gen. 6:4). So, the Devil can do it. But every time a devil spirit has ever done it, he gets chucked into Tartarus, and he sits there in chains awaiting Judgment.
Are there any of these Nephilim, these ‘fallen ones,’ around today? There’s no evidence biblically that any of them exist after the time of David. There may be a number of reasons. One reason may be that the Devil simply can’t find any spirit volunteers that are willing to give up their freedom to try and genetically engineer a person. It may be that the Devil was concerned he would lose too many spirits and the balance of power between angels and devils would be shifted.
Basically, we don’t know. And the Bible certainly doesn’t say.
There are a number of people who think their next door neighbor or their gas station attendant or the guy who runs the local movie theatre might be one of these Nephilim. I’m sure we’ve all run into mean, uncompromising people, but I don’t think that’s any reason to think that there’s Nephilim all over the place. The fact is that biblically, there’s no evidence for the existence of any after the time of David.
Once we understand who these Nephilim were, and that this was a fallen race, and that they were killed off by David, now we can take this knowledge and use it to understand how God will try to teach us things from Scripture using a comparison with these guys. It’s interesting that one of the first usages of this is in Job, chapter twenty-six. If my eight-year-old son jumps up and down on the couch, I might look at him and say, “Hey Tarzan, cut it out!” What am I doing? I’m importing an image – the image of how Tarzan jumps on things and swings from tree to tree and acts wild in his home environment – I’m importing that image to my son and saying, “Look, don’t behave like this! Knock it off!” And by using the word ‘Tarzan,’ I’m importing a wild unrestricted image, if you will, on to my son’s behavior. God does the same thing.
Once we know who the Rephaim are – and again the Rephaim, or Rephaites, are a branch of this Nephilim – once we’ve learned who they are and what they’re like, then God can say “Ok, you’re aware of them, you’re aware of what they’re like. Now I’m going to use them and I’m going to import an image into my Scripture to help you understand about different types of behavior.” Job chapter twenty-six is a good example of how this is imported. And by the way, for translators, Job twenty-six presents a unique problem. In Job twenty-five, Bildad the Shuhite had just gotten through speaking against Job. And of course, you know that the three miserable comforters had said nothing that was helpful to Job, and by Job twenty-six Job is growing quite weary of all this lack of advice – and in fact more than that, just plain out-and-out lies and accusations.
(1) Then Job replied:
(2) “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
(3) What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed!
This is pure mockery / sarcasm. Job is not feeling helped at all!
Job 26:4 and 5
(4) Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
(5) “The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
And you’re like, “What? What do the dead have to do with this? What’s going on here?” The King James is not much better.
Job 26:5 KJV
Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
You can check version after version after version – this verse has caused translators a lot of problems! Why? Because the word Rephaim is in the verse. Verse five – the dead – the Rephaim. And the translators don’t know what the Rephaim are. And because they don’t know, they have no idea how to translate it properly. E.W. Bullinger (who knows what the Rephaim are) in his Companion Bible, translates verse five as:
“Where stay the Rephaim? Where stay the mighty Rephaim of old? Beneath the sea, and things that are therein.”
Why would the Rephaim be beneath the sea and the things in the sea? Because in Job’s time, they were wiped out by the Flood. So, Job is saying here, “You know, you guys have offered me no advice at all. Who helped you utter these words? Where did you guys get these idiotic opinions? Whose spirits flow through your mouth? You know, the Rephaim are dead! They couldn’t have taught you this. So where did you learn it?” And that’s the imported image here in Job twenty-six: “you didn’t learn this from the Rephaim, so where did you get it?”
Psalm 88 is another example of this imported image that’s really very beautiful, and very poignant. Psalm 88 is one of the Psalms where Solomon is crying and moaning – and realistically, life is tough, and there are times when we feel like we’re the last people on earth that God wants to help. You know and I know there are times when you feel lonely, times when you feel beaten down, and in Psalm 88 the Psalmist is pouring out his heart to God.
(3) For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.
(4) I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.
(5) I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
(6) You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.
(7) Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah
(8) You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;
(9) my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you.
What he’s saying here is, “God, look at what you’ve done in my life. Your wrath is on me. You’ve put me in the pit. You’ve taken from me my friends. But what am I doing? I’m crying out to you every day, God. I spread out my hands to you.”
Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? Selah
The point that he is making is:
“God, look at all the things going wrong in my life. You’re not helping at all! And yet I’m praying to you. I’m trying to praise you. Do those that are dead rise up and praise you?”
And the word ‘dead’ is the Rephaim.
“Will those wicked, unrepentant, unsaved people – will they praise you? No. God, I’ll praise you. Help me out. Look upon me and help me out – I’ll praise you. The Rephaim, the evil ones will never praise you.”
This is an appeal to God that He would change towards this man. And this is why he imports the image of the Rephaim here. Proverbs chapter two is another good one. It’s similar to Proverbs chapter nine. In Proverbs chapter two, we’re talking about the adulteress and adultery and the kind of life-dominating sin that it can be. And in verse sixteen it’s talking about wisdom.
(16) It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
(17) who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.
(18) For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
The dead – the Rephaim. Do you want to know what happens to people who get all tied up with the adulteress and all that? The writer of Proverbs is saying here by revelation, “Look, you’ll end up like the Rephaim. Don’t get tied up in that.” We know this is the Old Testament and salvation is by works. We’re not talking about implanted holy spirit here, but the magnitude of the problem you can get into when you get tied up with adultery. It’s here very clearly in verse eighteen and also in:
A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.
Again, the ‘dead’ is the Rephaim. “If you want to make sure that you don’t have Eternal Life, leave God” is what he’s saying. This is Old Testament, of course, we understand that. But he says, “You stay on the straight and narrow, because you don’t want to end up like the Rephaim.”
Isaiah 14:9 is another great usage of the imported image.
Isaiah 14:3 and 4
(3) On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage,
(4) you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
The Babylonian kings had been real tyrants in many cases and very hard on the people around them. And when they died, verse nine says:
The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you– all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones– all those who were kings over the nations.
The departed ones – the Rephaim. You Babylonian kings have been so horrible, so evil, so wicked, that even the Rephaim want to meet you! You’ve got a reputation even among the Rephaim! This is simply a picture to show, by comparison, how the kings of Babylon had been so horrible.
And the last two usages are in Isaiah twenty-six.
They are now dead, they live no more; those departed spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them.
Verse fourteen says the Rephaim do not rise – which I understand as meaning ‘stand in the Judgment.’ They will be dead, they don’t have eternal life.
But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
Verse nineteen says, ‘The earth will give birth even to her Rephai.’ Every person who has ever lived will get up to be judged. Understanding this subject, who the ‘sons of God’ were of Genesis six, who the Nephilim (the Fallen Ones) were, allows us to understand why God had to cause the Flood, why He had to tell Moses to wipe out all the Canaanites (any that breathed).
Once again, we see that what God wanted to bring about was His plan to redeem mankind through the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He wanted him to be able to live and redeem us because He wants US to someday be raised from the dead like Christ was and live forever.
God bless you.