Genesis 6:1-4 The Nephilim and Other Treasures

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:1–4.

I love passages like this from the Bible about these early and mysterious pre-flood days of mankind. Here, angels (whom many scholars speculate are who is referenced by “sons of God”) had children with human women. Their offspring were called “Nephilim,” giants in size and stature. There are very few references to human civilization before the impending Great Flood, which makes these passages so precious to me.

Having been raised in a more structured, organized denomination, I’d never heard these small snippets of history from Genesis. In many ways, they added to my enjoyment when finally reading the Bible cover to cover. Everything in scripture, from the popular stories we hear as children like David and Goliath, Moses and the Plagues, to these more mysterious events, are in His book for a reason. What some reasons are, we might not know until we stand personally with Jesus and ask Him ourselves.

Why should we care about such “obscure” passages?

Imagine you have grandparents  whom you love very deeply, for they always took an active and loving role in your life. After they have passed away, you find yourself helping to clean out their home. A time of sadness but also warm remembrance of the moments you’d spent with them. In the attic of their small home, you open a chest tucked far under the eaves. Inside are letters written to your grandmother from your grandfather when they were dating eighty years ago. Here is an old toy which she once played with as a child, and you later see your own toddler playing with for hours. Here are some letters to friends, an old invoice for something you can’t quite figure out but which she paid quite a price for. An old record, a stack of pictures, including some of your great grandparents and great-great grandparents.

Now, imagine reading through Genesis. Not just a few popular verses, but every line, beginning to end, hoping to learn more about the God who has loved you before you were conceived and who more recently opened your eyes to His kingdom. As you open His chest of memories and moments, now and then that same warm ball of pleasure glows in your chest as you see more of God’s perspective, and perhaps even memories, of the universe surrounding you. One line, one chapter at a time. This is how diving deep into His Word can be if we let it. What we find might not always have this effect, but a few lines later, we discover something which speaks to us about who God truly is.

Even if we don’t completely understand what it is we found, we can hold it to our chest and know it’s special. Someday, if we’re curious, we can even ask the One who wrote it what a Nephilim really is.


Holy Father, thank you for giving us such an amazing chest of surprises in Your Word. May we come to know You more and more with every treasure we uncover.