Sunday, April 6, 2014

What is moon?

In 2008 I started Art school. I entered not knowing what to expect, my head full of scary stereotypes of what art school would be like. Okay... I envisioned embittered art school teachers whose only joy would be that of messing with the minds and emotions of fragile artistic newborns. We all know the image I’m talking about. So, I felt trepidation but was eager as I sat down to my very first class, “Creative Processing”. The name alone made me uneasy yet intrigued.

A shy person, I ordinarily seek to go unnoticed and most definitely uncalled upon in classes, especially those as intimidating as this. A class of less than twenty, lit by only a few lamps, the new faces of unfamiliar classmates arranged around me as we all sit, equally nervous, around two large wooden tables. The instructor circles around us like a vulture circling dying carcasses, sensing our fear. He seemed to me the type of man who sought pleasure in playing duck-duck-goose with his eyes, the type of “progressive” teaching method that forces class participation… from everyone… the type of teacher who doesn’t easily fit into any category in my mental filing cabinet of teachers past. The kind of teacher that uses the word “gifts” instead of “homework”, claiming a gift is when you give out a part of yourself, which is what is expected from homework in art school. Unpredictable, this one was, which made him dangerous, because I knew at some point before I could collect my three class credits, I would be forced beyond my comfort zone into doing something truly agonizing. And that’s when he explained it. Our first class assignment.
“Consider moon. Let moon consider you. Bring moon to class.”

Now, to let you know about moon, the teacher demonstrated his example of moon. He brought before us a manila envelope and extruded a single sheet of blank white paper, which he presented to us as moon.

Just kidding, he says. He crumples the paper into a ball and holds it up. This is moon.

After a few minutes of pointing out why this ball of paper is moon, he confesses he was just kidding, and unwrinkles the ball. This is the real moon. See? The texture of the moon.

After that he exclaims that in fact that was not moon. He throws paper to the floor and stomps on it. This is the real moon. See? Niel Armstrong’s footprint!

Just kidding, of course. He picks up the paper and sticks it to the wall with a tack. This. This is moon. See, we are looking out an 8.5×11″ window at the moons surface! Just kidding. The tack is the moon! The paper is just the representation of the atmosphere around moon. Just kidding again! The tack is a satellite sitting on the surface of the moon.

Nah. Just kidding. He removes the tack from the wall, but the paper stays on the wall from the force of the insertion. THIS IS MOON! See? The hole where the tack was? That’s moon. Or is it?
He blows on the paper, and our freshly confused just-entered-art-school eyes watch it sail to the ground. We then turn our eyes to the now empty wall.

Hah! Got you. The wall isn’t moon. YOU THOUGHT WALL WAS MOON! Oh man, I had you for a second! Wall is not moon, silly. The hole where the tack pierced the wall is moon! A dot in the vast universe of wall.

When I first got this assignment I was angry at its obscurity, scared I was missing something, and convinced this was just a bunch of scare the art students horsepocky. We all were. But I soon learned the importance of this assignment and just what exactly my teacher was trying to illicit within his students. Over the next few weeks we discovered that “moon” can be anything. You see my friends, they were all moon. "Moon" is just a placeholder for anything. It's that vast blank canvas you are facing, it's that blank slate.

After the “Consider Moon, let moon consider you” assignment came our next assignment: New Moon. This meant that considering moon once was not enough. No “fewf, that assignment is over with, it’s got to get easier from here”. Every class we had to bring New Moon. That meant we had to have considered moon still more, as evidenced in our sketchbooks (or as my teacher calls them, “sausages”… all the chewed on, ground up, even the undesirable bits.. all our “considerings”.. bound up in one place).

We learned not to think within the box and not to settle for a first attempt. Not to settle for a second attempt. Not even to settle for a third attempt. But to keep going, keep “considering” all possibilities, all qualities of "moon".

The strange and wonderful thing about this one assignment that I found so profound as to call my blog after it, is that at the time I was already undergoing some spiritual changes in my life. A Christian all my life, I was starting to understand a whole new, supernatural side of a religion that felt dead. God was changing my paradigm on almost everything at the time... bringing everything back to life. Along with this came a desire to seek, research, and study all. When the "Consider moon" assignment came along, it gave a name to what I was experiencing. The confirmation doubled my enthusiasm. And the practicality of the assignment is so vast, it can be applied spiritually, academically, artistically.

I even admit just coming back to "consider moon" can pull me out of a frantic or anxious mental state, as a kind of reality check. Like trying to figure out what to wear in a mad dash because you are late for work... it helps me to remember that today is a blank slate, and if I end up wearing something I don't like, there is always tomorrow to try something different. If I screw up a painting, I can always paint over it, or leave it for a few weeks and try looking at it again with fresh eyes.

As part of my considering moon I searched through the Bible to discover endless urgings from the Lord to His people to “consider” this or consider that. If I did not already know that God wants his people to use their brains, I certainly found it out through this assignment. It thrilled me to know end to feel within my spirit the Lord come alongside me in this and reveal to me His desire for those who seek wisdom: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2).

For some time my favourite verse has been a translation of 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 from The Message which I felt for many years was urging me to a real authentic Christianity.

“Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”

I did not know how to achieve the freedom and expansiveness that Paul was speaking of. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, my prayers for wisdom and revelation, and how God has used Moon to give me an example of how to not settle for what “seems to be”, or the most obvious answer, or even the answers that the whole world may be so sure of, but to press on for more… more of Him, more Truth, more reality, more creativity. Consider Moon has become my mantra and my motto, as well as a pretty entertaining story.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Was Noah "Perfect"?

Some considerations on Noah

In Sunday school and church most of us are taught the story of Noah's ark. We learn all about how noble and godly a man Noah was.. so good in fact, that God chose him out of everyone on earth, to build the ark according to God's direction, and save humanity from the flood that was coming to wipe out all the evil that was on the earth.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He, unlike most others, obeyed the law and was a just man. Verse 9 says he was "perfect in his generations".

Noah walked with God. This means he had a relationship with the Lord. If his ear was not at least somewhat attuned to God, I doubt he would have even received into his heart or his mind the words of warning and urgency from the Lord. God talks to people all the time - all people - not just "Christians". Unfortunately, most of the time even we Christians don't recognize his voice, and therefor his words are not received. And even when we do hear with our ears, our rational minds, our own comfort, and our fear of risk and judgement from others blocks the words from being received by our hearts. This is just how humans are! But evidently, Noah was "aware" enough to heed the word and strong enough in his convictions to obey it despite very great risks on his part. I'm sure building a gigantic ark wasn't cheap, and I'm sure neighbors and even family gave him more than one tongue-lashing and sideways glance. Not to mention in a world reigned by evil, such obvious God-loving would bring with it a lot of spiritual attack from the enemies of God.

So, do you consider yourself to "walk with God"? Do you try to obey the laws and be righteous in a world becoming more and more evil? I do. But... does this make us "perfect"? What makes a person "perfect in their generations"? Is it following every law? Doing only good constantly? Never making a mistake or screwing up? And, if Noah was really "perfect", then why would he need to find grace in God's eyes? Isn't grace God's acceptance and favour despite our shortcomings?

Here are some dictionary definitions of the word "grace":

1) favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love, benignity.

2) a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. forgiveness, charity, mercifulness.
3) mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve.  

If we have no shortcomings, what use have we with grace? We know that Noah was JUST and RIGHTEOUS, but who, besides Jesus could be perfect? I think to fully understand what is meant by "perfect in his generations" it is important to remember what is going on in the world of Genesis 6 at the time by going back to the beginning of the chapter:

Genesis 6:1 

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

The "sons of God", or B'nai Elohim, is referring to angelic beings who had left heaven with Satan. They saw the women of the earth, lusted after them, and decided to come down and make babies with them. Those babies were atrocities, monsters, "mighty men", and giants. They were the Nephilim, the hybrid offspring of humans and evil fallen angels. The bible distinctly says those sinning angels were sent to a hell called Tartarus in chains. 

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." II Peter 2:4.

And what became of the nephilim? The evil children of those angels? They carried on with evil on the earth (they became renowned for their debauchery and evil). Extra-biblical literature such as the book of Enoch  tells us more details. Enoch was a righteous man mentioned in the bible, who walked with God and did not die, but was taken up to heaven to be with the Lord. The Book of Enoch is still a part of the bible in some areas of the world, and studied by Jesus and the apostles along with the books of Moses and Old Testament prophets. It is also quoted several times in the New Testament, which proves it's credibility. Here is a quote from the book of Enoch regarding the true nature and behavior of the nephilim:

Book of Enoch, 7

And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

Book of Enoch, 8

And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. ... And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven...

Once these ungodly monster-children had taken all they could from men and the earth, they began defiling men, mindlessly murdering, and generally doing whatever they pleased with whatever creatures they could find. They, like their fathers, took for themselves whatever they fancied, regardless of species, type, or nature. They obtained mastery of every type of evil skill, bestiality, cannibalism, vampirism, and generally everything God despises became so prevalent that God had to wipe the earth clean. Abominations were everywhere, including genetic modification through breeding, if not through more advanced technology (remember, they had conquered all the highest skills of men and had extra-terrestrial knowledge given to them by their angelic fathers). Just look at some of the ancient wall carvings (particularly in Egypt) of mutations, mixed-breed creatures, and animal-headed man-gods. Consider the Greek mythological creatures such as centaurs, minotaurs, satyrs, etc.

A satyr is a goat man

Ever since Satan found out in the Garden of Eden that a Savior would be born from a woman to crush his head and redeem mankind to God, he immediately set to work trying to mess up the gene pool in an attempt to prevent it from happening. He thought the "seed of the woman" would be the first child she bore, so he set right to work, corrupting Cain, while at the same time, eliminating the chance that the second-born would become the savior-seed, when Cain murdered Abel. How victorious he must have felt when the whole earth except for Noah was corrupted and most likely genetically perverted somehow.

Noah may have been a godly man, but he was not morally perfect. Genesis 9 tells us that after the flood, he became a farmer, planted a vineyard, and got so plastered with wine that he passed out in his tent, where his son walked in on his exposed nakedness.  (There is a lot of speculation about what went on in the tent that caused Noah to become so extremely angered and curse his grandson, including the possibility of sodomy, which I might write more about later because it is very interesting).

18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 25 Then he said:
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.

Remember, in Genesis 6 a point is made that Noah and his line were PERFECT... not just nice and good compared to everyone else... but PERFECT. If it were referencing moral perfection one has to wonder! I don't know that drunkenness is a characteristic of most morally perfect men! Noah was just and righteous, and he walked with God. But he still screwed up every now and then, just like we all do. He was in need of grace from the Lord, and the Lord loved him and kept him despite his human imperfections. And yet, the Lord still called him "perfect", the word here translated from Hebrew tamiym, meaning: complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.

What the Bible is telling us is Noah was GENETICALLY perfect in his generations. His DNA had not been compromised because he had tried to be righteous and set apart. His wife and sons were therefor also uncompromised and the Lord was able to carry them safely while he purged the earth from the defiling of what he created to be good and pure. He could use them (and the animals too) to repopulate the earth with the original, clean DNA and without passing on generational sins!

Thus ends my considerations on Noah. Have a great day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 5 - David and the Nephilim

In my last post I shared the story from the Old Testament of Moses, Joshua and Caleb, and the children of Israel entering the Promised Land and defeating the tribes of Nephilim which inhabited the land. I also gave a breakdown of all the variations of Nephilim as described in the Biblical text up until that point. You can read it in my post Genesis 6 - Pt 4 - Moses, Joshua, and The Nephilim.

Osmar Schindler "David und Goliath"

In this post, I want to continue on from where I left off. So far we know that the Nephilim were on the earth before the flood. The flood occurred in 2348 BC. After the flood, they are not mentioned again until 436 years later, circa 1912 BC, at the time that Abraham traveled through Canaan, which was inhabited by the giants. Another 461 years passed until Moses and Joshua arrived and defeated them. Altogether that leaves almost 900 years having elapsed, during which the Nephilim were procreating and multiplying. Add on to that another 477 years from the time of Joshua to the time of David... which is where we're going next.

All tribes of Nephilim had been destroyed by the Children of Israel except for a remnant remaining in Gath, Gaza, and in Ashdod.
Joshua 11:21-22
21And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
 22There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there [they] remained.

Now the year is 974 BC, and along came a ruddy young boy named David. We are told in 1 Samuel 17: 12-15 a little about David. He was the son of Jesse, who was very old by this time, and the youngest of 8 brothers. The Children of Israel were now led by Saul. David's three oldest brothers served Saul, and David was basically a "go-fer", bringing goods from his father over to his brothers in battle, then returning to Bethlehem to feed his father's sheep. At this point in the story, the men of Israel are set in battle against the Philistines (now the modern-day Palestinians), who have a "secret weapon"... a champion soldier named Goliath of Gath. Remember that Gath is one region that is still Nephilim territory at this point. A detailed description of Goliath of Gath is given to us in the Bible:

1 Samuel 17:2-7

And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.

According to the text, Goliath of Gath was 13 feet and 6 inches tall. His weight isn't given but we can assume it is substantially proportionate to his height, since his coat of mail weighed 154 lbs and the head of his spear alone weighed 14 lbs! For reference, here is an image of an average weaver's beam - imagine carrying a spear with a shaft like that. (For those who might find it interesting, we can also note that Goliath of Gath wore 6 pieces of armor in all, his spearhead weighed 600 shekels, and he was 6 cubits tall. That makes... let's see..... 666.)

We then read that Goliath of Gath stepped forward and addressed the armies of Israel with this proposition: "Choose a man to fight me, and if he can kill me, the Philistines will become your servants. But if I kill him, you will become our servants". When Saul and Israel heard this they seriously freaked out, but Goliath of Gath came every morning and every evening and repeated his proposition for forty days.

1 Samuel 17: 8-11, 16

Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”  10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”  
11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.

One day David was bringing goods to his brothers from his father, and was meant to return bringing news of them home, when Goliath came and made his declaration.  David went to Saul and asked to fight against him, he was angered that the giant defied the armies of God and made them all fearful.  At first he was laughed at, but David proved he had conquered large creatures before while guarding his fathers flocks and his faith in God's protection convinced Saul.

1 Samuel 17: 26, 32-34, 37

26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

David's weapon of choice was 5 stones and a sling. When he stepped out toward Goliath of Gath, the giant was overcome with hate toward him and cursed him by his gods. David's motivation was for everyone to know the battle was the Lord's when they saw this nephilim fall.  One stone, from the sling, straight to the forehead, and Goliath of Gath was face down dead on the ground. His disdain for David was so great that he had not even taken his sword from it's sheath. David then hopped over to the giant, took Goliath's sword and used it to chop off his head. When the Philistines saw it, they ran. 

1 Samuel 17: 40-45, 49-51

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him.
42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.
And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

Cinematic though it was, this battle with a Nephilim was not the last of it's kind for David. Moving forward in time through the Bible to the second book of Samuel, we learn of another Nephilim giant named Goliath of Gittite. 

 2 Samuel 21:15-22

15 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”
18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. 19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
20 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

We learn that Goliath of Gittite had a brother (1 Chronicles 20:5 tells us his name was Lahmi), and three sons: Ishbi-Benob, Saph (also called Sippai), and an un-named son who has 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot. It seems there are some who believe that Goliath of Gittite was Goliath of Gath (meaning there was only one prominent Goliath mentioned in the Bible), arguing that Gittites were from Gath. Whether or not there were two Goliaths or one, the point should not be missed - there were Nephilim described in detail in the Bible, including offspring... and they had more genetic "mutations" than just colossal size (extra fingers, long necks, etc).


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 4 - Moses, Joshua, and The Nephilim

Today we get into some of the nitty gritty, so to speak. We're talkin' hybrid species today folks.

"The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men that they were Fair" by Daniel Chester (1923)

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, Genesis 6 - Pt 1 - B'nai Elohim, the "sons of God" are fallen angels who came to the earth and had sexual relations with ordinary human women. Genesis 6:4 explains that the resulting offspring were not ordinary by any means.... they were giants, mighty men, and men of renown. And, this didn't just happen once.... but twice, according to the Bible. The first time before the flood, and also after that.

Genesis 6:4
4 There were Nephilim in the earth in those days—and also after that—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. The same became mighty men which were, of old, men of renown".
The Hebrew word Nephilim, from the root word naphal, meaning to fall or fallen ones, also meaning "giants". The B'nai Elohim/sons of God/fallen angels are the fathers of these giants, ordinary human women are the mothers. The children are the Nephilim, mighty in flesh, and corrupted in spirit...fallen, just like their fathers. Like I said, a hybrid species!

[Note: Some also argue that the word Nephilim was translated as "gegenes" when the Greek Septuagint was made. "Gegenes" suggests giants but actually it has little reference to size or strength, rather the meaning of the word is "earth born." The same term was used to describe the mythical "Titans" -- being partly of celestial and partly of terrestrial origin.[4]]

We notice the verse above also reveals that these events occurred not only once, but twice - once before the flood, and again afterward. Today I'd like to focus on the descriptions of the Nephilim given in the Bible after the flood. I will go back to explore more of the information given prior to the flood in a later post in this series, but for now let's jump ahead about 436 years or so.

In Genesis 14:5 we learn that Nephilim are dwelling in the land of Canaan  during the time of Abraham and Sarah.
5And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim

Three tribes of Nephilim are mentioned: the Rephaims, the Zuzims, and the Emins. The Rephaims are spoken of again in Deuteronomy, along with the Anakims, another tribe of Nephilim.

Deuteronomy 2:8,10,11

8And when we passed by... we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
10The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
11Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.
At the end of this post I will list the tribes/branches of Nephilim as listed in the Bible, along with their relations, where they descended from, and what their names mean.

Moses, Joshua, and the Nephilim

We can remember the story of Moses leading the children of Israel after the exodus from Egypt. They wandered the wilderness for 40 years until they were finally ready to enter their Promised Land. As a child I'd always assumed this was a big empty land mass just sitting there waiting for them to find it and move on in. But the reality is that their Promised Land would have to be fought for. But before invading, Moses sent 12 spies to survey the land they were about to enter, and the peoples who inhabited it.
Numbers 13: 17-20
 17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)  21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath.  22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 
Upon their return, 10 out of 12 of those spies were determined to give up on the land and go back to bondage in Egypt. The reason for their fear? The land was filled with giants, and they felt it would be impossible to defeat them. These giants were the descendents of Anak, and other huge people.

Numbers 13: 26-33:

 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. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 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."
 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
 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.”
Interestingly, these 12 spies not only found the land to be inhabited by giants, but they found it to be a land of great richness. Not only was it full of giant people, it was also full of giant food. They cut down a cluster of grapes to prove it, and it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes on a staff between them. The grapes must have been very heavy indeed to require two strong Israelite men.
Numbers 13:23-24:
23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] 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. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there.
Only 2 of the spies - Joshua and Caleb - believed they could conquer these mighty men. As the story goes, the Israelites listened to the 10 others and wanted to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb and return to Egypt. In the end, Joshua leads them to invade the land of giants and they do in fact defeat them. In doing so, Joshua and the Children of Isreal destroyed offspring and relations of the Nephilim, including The Horims, Zamzummims, and Avims.
Deutoronomy 2:19-23:

 19And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.
 20(That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
 21A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them...
 22As he destroyed the Horims from before them...
 23And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim.

And lastly, Og, the King of Bashan was defeated by the children of Isreal.
Deuteronomy 3:4,5,11:

4And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many...

11For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
 More proof is given for the gigantic size of the Nephilim: King Og's bed was nine cubits in length and four cubits in width, which equates to 18 3/4 feet long and 8 1/3 feet wide! This could also be translated to be refering to King Og's coffin, which assuming he was one foot shorter than his bed/coffin would mean he was about 11 feet, 10 inches tall. I found this comparative chart from Remnant of Giants to illustrate this:

There was two giants named Goliath in the Bible, did you know that? I will discuss that in my next few posts. But for now, we have covered what the Bible tells us about Joshua defeating almost all the tribes of Nephilim at this time. However there was still a remnant that remained, in Gath, Gaza, and Ashdod, as mentioned in Joshua 11:21,22. But this post is sufficiently long enough so I will continue on  in my next post covering more information on the Nephilim. I will leave you with a breakdown of the branches of the Nephilim and the Biblical information provided about each of them.


Branches of The Nephilim, Names and Biblical Information


Anakims ("long-necked; giants") aka Anakites

  • Descended from Anak ("long-necked; giant")
  • Anak was the son of Arba (in Hebrew, "Strength of Baal")
  • Arba was one of the "sons of Heth" who built the city of Hebron (called Kirjath Arba, meaning the city of Arba)
  • Anak, Arba's son had three descendants in the days of Moses and Joshua who were giants:  Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai. They dewlt in Hebron circa 1490 BC (Joshua 15:14)
  • Mentioned: Deuteronomy 1:28, Deuteronomy 2:10, Deuteronomy 2:11, Deuteronomy 2:21, Deuteronomy 9:2, Joshua 11:21-22, Joshua 14:12, Joshua 14:15, Joshua 15:14

Avims ("to crook" as "to do amiss"; "commit iniquity"; "to pervert"; "to do wickedly"; "to overthrow") aka Avvites

  • Southwest Philistia (between lower Egypt and Gaza) [2]
  • The Talmud (Chullin 60b) notes that the Avvites were the first Philistines
  • Mentioned: Deuteronomy 2:23

Emim ("terrible ones") aka Emites

  • Dwelling to the East of the Salt Sea
  • In Ancient times, the whole land of Canaan was held by the Emim
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5, Deuteronomy 2:10-11

Horims (In Hebrew, Troglodyte, meaning"cavemen", "those who dwell in caves") aka Horites

  • Inhabited Mount Seir
  • Related to the Emim and Raphaim
  • Their excavated dwellings are still found in the sandstone cliffs and mountains of Edom and Petra [1]
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:6, Deuteronomy 2:12, Deuteronomy 2:22


Rephaims ("fearful ones; giants") aka Rephaites

  • Descendents of Rapha ("fearful one; giant")
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5, Genesis 15:20, Deuteronomy 2:11, Deuteronomy 2:20, Deuteronomy 3:11, Deuteronomy 3:13, Joshua 12:4, Joshua 13:2, Joshua 17:15, 1 Chronicles 20:4
  • According to some scholars - in the following instances, Rephaim has been incorrectly translated as "Dead"; it should be rendered "the Rephaim," as this is a proper name: Job 26:5, Psalm 88:10, Proverbs 2:18, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 21:16, Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 26:19 [5]

Zamzummim ("powerful, vigorous") aka Zuzims ("prominent, strong, giant") [3]

  • Related to the Rephaim dwelling in the region afterwards occupied by the Ammonites
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5,  Deuteronomy 2:20


[1] Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Bible, Lutterworth Press, London, 1879, p. 491
[3] Ibid. Pages 1086 and 1090
[4] Unger, Biblical Demonology (Wheaton: Van Kampen Press, 1957), p. 48. 
[5]  The Nephiim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse by Patrick Heron, Citadel Press, p. 233

Monday, March 19, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 3 - The "Sethite" View

Within Genesis 6 there is controversy over whether the term "sons of God" refers to fallen angels or not. Many are taught (sadly, usually in Bible schools or Seminary schools) that this passage refers to a failure to keep the "faithful" lines of Seth separate from the "worldly" line of Cain. Supposedly, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, Seth and his descendants remained godly while Cain and his descendants turned rebellious and ungodly. Those who follow this theory believe the term "sons of God" is referencing the line of Seth, and the term "daughters of men" is referencing the ungodly and rebellious line of Cain.

This theory can be de-bunked for several reasons:
  • No explanation is given to why the resulting children of these marriages would be nephilim, or giants.
  • It presumes and adds to what is written in the bible without warrant. If the Lord had meant daughters of Cain, surely he would have written "daughters of Cain".
  • "Sons of God" is translated from B'nai Elohim, which is consistently used in the bible to refer to angelic beings. It is never used of believers in the Old Testament.
  • There is no scriptural foundation for this belief 
  • The events of Genesis 6 are also echoed in the legends and myths of every ancient culture upon the earth: the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, and virtually all the others.

Origin of the Sethite View

Before the Middle Ages, there were centuries of understanding of the "Angel View" by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint translators, and early church fathers. But this view of Genesis 6 became embarrassing to the church in 5th century A.D. They wanted to eliminate it for the following reasons:

  • Angel worship had begun in the church
  • "Celibacy" had just been institutionalized by the church, and the "Angel" view was feared to impact these views
  • Celsus and Julian the Apostate had begun to use the Angel View to attack Christianity

Because of this, Julius Africanus sought more comfortable ground and resorted to the Sethite view. Cyril of Alexandria, and Augustine followed, and the theory prevailed during the Middle Ages. Still today many churches find the Angel view too disturbing to admit. 

For lots more information on the Sethite View, visit "Mischievous Angels or Sethities?" by Chuck Missler from Koinonia House.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 2 - Fallen Angels

Before I can really get into Genesis Chapter 6, there needs to be some back story regarding fallen angels. In my last post we concluded that the term B'nai Elohim refers to angels, and that Holy angels in heaven don't marry. Since Genesis 6 tells us that angels did marry (human women, no less!), we must give solid evidence that there are evil angels that exist.

We all know that Satan was created by God as the most beautiful angel that had ever been created, that he became enraptured of his own beauty and wanted to raise himself up higher than God. For this, he was cast out of heaven. A portion of the angels, presumably also enraptured by his beauty, or simply rebellious, were also thrown out of heaven with him.

Isaiah 14:12
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
'I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God

I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north; 
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High'
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit"

Because of this he was cast from heaven:

Luke 10:18
"He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."
Revelation 9:1
"The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss". 

Revelation 12:3-9
"Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth..." 
"...Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him".  
Sucks to know there are powerful angels out there whose only thoughts are evil. But comforting to know there are two times as many powerful angels whose only thoughts are for our goodness.

The word "star" seems to be synonymous, or interchangeable with "angel". Today the word star is interchangeable with "famous celebrity". But waitasecond...

Genesis 6:4
"The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown." 

Weird! Next up... The Nephilim! Who/What were/are they?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 1 - The B'nai Elohim

Satan Cast Down From Heaven by Gustav Dore

I wanted to begin a series exploring Genesis 6, where we first see mention of the term "Nephilim". I feel it is really important to share information about this, as it is relevant to the "end days" which are closer and closer at hand. The best place to begin any study of Genesis 6 would be to read Genesis 6, then I want to begin to break down the different terms used in a (hopefully) easy to understand way. Thank you for reading this, and I hope you will follow along all the way through the series of posts. Let us begin!

1 "When human beings 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."

Continuing on... "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 the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.  7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD".

In verse 2, why are the "sons of God" differentiated from the "daughters of men"? Shouldn't it be the sons and daughters of men? Or if "sons of God" meant human men, shouldn't the daughters also be called "daughters of God?" 

In the Hebrew text, the word for "sons of God" is B'nai Elohim. This term refers to direct creations of God. Angels are a direct creation of God. Human daughters were not, as they were naturally descended of man. None of us are "direct" creations of God until we are born again:

John 1:12-13
 12 "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God".  

2 Corinthians 5:17
 17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new".

 The term B'nai Elohim is only ever used in the Bible to refer to angels or heavenly beings:

Job 1:6
"One day the angels (B'nai Elohim) came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them".

Job 38:7
 "while the morning stars sang together
   and all the angels (B'nai Elohim) shouted for joy? 

Psalm 29:1
"Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings (without the definite article, B'nai Elim),
   ascribe to the LORD glory and strength".

Other scriptures where the term is found are Psalm 104:4, Hebrews 1:13-14, and Daniel 3: 25

The term B'nai Elohim refers to heavenly beings, including fallen angels who were created directly by God before they turned away and fell from heaven.  We can know that the "sons of God" referenced in Genesis 6 are fallen angels, because we know that angels who still dwell in heaven do not marry:

Matthew 22:30
"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven".

Mark 12:25
"When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven".
Just because angels don't marry or have sex in heaven, doesn't mean they aren't able to. That's just not how things roll in heaven. But if they rebel and get kicked out of heaven, does that mean anything goes?

Next I am going to look closer at fallen angels, giving scriptural references, just so there is no question that the B'nai Elohim referred to in Genesis 6 are not Holy angels, but fallen ones.