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Seed Wars - Lesson 04

by Steve Wittmann

 


 

Genesis 6 - Historical & Sethite Views



Click the play button to begin video lesson and follow along with the class notes below the video window. When you complete this video, click the "Lesson Assignment" button at the bottom of this page to open the lesson assignment.



Genesis 6:1-4

Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.


Points of Contention

  • Were the Sons of God angles or were they human?
  • Were Nephilim really giants?
  • Noah’s Generations & the Bloodline
    • Sethite view holds that “Noah’s generations” infers right standing with God and does not infer a condition of his flesh.
    • Angelic view holds that “Noah’s generations” refers to Noah’s still pure bloodline in a world where all other flesh was genetically contaminated.


Are Giants for Real?

“King of the big cats is the liger, a lion father and tiger mother bred together in a way that enhances both species’ gene expression for size. Resulting in a cat that’s about eleven feet tall and nearly a half a ton in weight.”


Angelic View Summary
  • The sons of God were fallen angles that took the daughters of men, human women, as wives.
  • Their offspring were an angel-human mix commonly referred to as Nephilim.
  • The Nephilim are of great physical size and referred to as giants.
  • The Nephilim had an insatiable appetite and consumed the land.
  • The Nephilim were an abomination of corrupted seed.
    • Offspring of angels and humans are hybrids.
    • Nephilim were not a product of species reproducing according to their own kind.
    • Nephilim are from the seed of Satan that God spoke of in Gen 3:15.
    • The Nephilim were born of evil and were corrupt in all ways.
  • Over 1,500 years, the Nephilim seed contaminated all flesh save for Noah and his sons.
  • The flood cleansed the earth of corrupted seed.


Sethite View Summary
  • The sons of God are not angels at all but rather the Godly sons of Seth taking wives from the ungodly human daughters of Cain.
    • The godly sons of Seth took the daughters of Cain as wives.
    • The Sethite view does not address giants or the Nephilim.
    • The flood was God’s response to sin that had covered the earth.
  • The Sethite view also known as the Sons-of-Seth view is the popular view held by nearly all denominational churches and taught in nearly all seminaries.


Pre 5th Century View

Throughout history including the translation of the Septuagint and the time of Christ, the sons of God in Genesis chapter six were understood to be angels.

2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;


Joesephus on Sons of God (93-94 AD)

“For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, for these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants,” (Joesephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Chapter 3, footnote 11) (93-94 AD)


Joesephus on Giants (93-94 AD)

“For which reason they moved their camp to Hebron; and when they had taken it, they slew all the inhabitants. There were till then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing. The bones of these men are still shown to this very day unlike to any credible relations of other men.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 5:2:3) (93-94 AD)


Philo on Giants (20BC – 50AD)

“And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they chose,” (Gen 6:2) Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air.” – (Philo, On the Giants, II, 6)


Philo on Sons of God (20BC – 50AD)

“On what principle it was that giants were born of angels and women? The poets call those men who were born out of the earth giants, that is to say, sons of the earth.” “These giants were sprung from a combined procreation of two natures, namely, from angels and mortal women.” (Philo, Questions and Answers on Genesis, Part 4, Note 92)


Philo of Giants (20BC – 50AD)

“They saw that they were very numerous indeed, and giants of exceeding tallness, with absolutely gigantic bodies, both as to their magnitude and their strength.” (The Works of Philo Judaeus)


Reuben on the Watchers (100 AD)

The Testament of Reuben comes from the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs which is believed to be the dying commands of the twelve sons of Jacob. Its final form dates back to the second century and is referenced as historical text.

“For thus they allured the Watchers who were before the flood; for as these continually beheld them, they lusted after them, and they conceived the act in their mind; And the women lusting in their minds after their forms, gave birth to giants, for the Watchers appeared to them as reaching even unto heaven.” (Testament of Reuben 18-20, Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs)


Post 5th Century Summary

Timeline of the Origin of the Sethite View:
  • Julius Africanus resorted to the Sethite view as a more comfortable position. (180-250 AD)
    • Julius Africanus resorted to the Sethite view as a more comfortable position. (180-250 AD)
  • In the 5th Century, Celsus and Julian the Apostate used the traditional Angelic View to attack Christianity. (Roman Emperor 361-363 AD)
    • Today we would call this "political correctness".
    • Julian came from a pagan background and wished to see the new Christian church fail. He launched a literary attack against the doctrine of Christ.
    • Part of this attack purported the absurdity of angels mating with human women.
    • Julian died after only two years as Apostate but successfully planted the seed that would grow into the Sethite View.
  • Julian died after only two years as Apostate but successfully planted the seed that would grow into the Sethite View.
    • The most famous defense of the Sethite interpretation is Augustine’s explanation of the sons of God as Sethites, in City of God 15.23.
  • Cyril of Alexandria used the Sethite view to repudiate the orthodox position of the church. (376-444 AD)
  • The Sethite view prevailed into the middle ages.
  • The Sethite view is the accepted interpretation of denominational churches and seminaries today.


Augustine (A.D. 354-430)

“But God’s holy angles could not fall in such a fashion before the deluge. Hence by the sons of God are to be understood the sons of Seth, who were good. While by the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain. (Augustine St. Augustine’s City of God and Christian Doctrine) (A.D. 354–430)


Calvin Commentary (1509-1564)

“That ancient figment, concerning the intercourse of angles with women, is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity; …it is surprising that learned men should formerly been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious.” – (Calvin Commentary)


Calvin Commentary (1509-1564)

“Moses, then, does not distinguish the sons of God from the daughters of men, because they were of dissimilar nature, or of different origin; but because they were the sons of God by adoption, whom He had set apart for Himself; while the rest remained in their original condition.” – (Calvin Commentary – Genesis 6:1)


Calvin Commentary (1509-1564)

“Moses does not indeed say, that they were of extraordinary stature, but only that they were robust. Elsewhere, I acknowledge, the same word denotes vastness of stature, which was formidable to those who explored the land of Canaan, (Jos 13:33) But Moses does not distinguish those of whom he speaks in this place, from other men, so much by the size of their bodies, as by their robberies and their lust of dominion.” (Calvin Commentary – Genesis Chapter 6)


Sethite View Defense

Angelic view is often rejected because of the use of non-biblical texts (ie: Enoch, Jasher, etc.) While historical and non-biblical texts can confirm scripture or provide a clearer point-of-view of the writer, canonized text alone provides many details of the angelic incursion.


The Sons of Seth - 01

The Sethite view holds that the sons of Seth were “godly” in that they worshipped God or Yahweh properly. Genesis 4:26 is quoted in support of this interpretation.

Gen 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.


The Sons of Seth - 02

The phrase “then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” is a poor Greek to English translation because it implies worship. Let’s examine each word carefully as we learned to do in lesson two.
  • This phrase in Hebrew reads “chalal qara shem yhwh.”
  • Chalal is defined as “to pierce, defile, be profaned, or be desecrated”
  • Qara means to “call, summon, announce, or proclaim”
  • Shem is defined as “name”
  • YHWH is the name of God
Properly translated, this phrase reads, “men defiled the name of God.” Not exactly the godly sons of Seth this view suggests.


The Sons of Seth - 03

Some argue that “chalal” does not mean to profane God’s name, but when we use our rules of hermeneutics and look for other occurrences of this word, we find “chalal” used in Leviticus 19:12 where it clearly means profaning God’s name.

Lev 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.


The Daughters of Men

The Sethite view holds that “the daughters of men” were the daughters of Cain and his evil line.

The Hebrew for “daughters of men” is “benovt ha ‘adam” clearly showing a descendant of Adam. Why would scripture call women the daughters of Adam and then call men the sons of God instead of the sons of Adam?

Using the phrase “sons of God” to refer to sons of Adam is incorrect translation because “bene ha elohim” or sons of God is only used to refer to a direct creation of God and not a descendant of Adam.


The Nephilim

The Sethite View does not address the Nephilim or giants.

Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

According to the Sethite View, the sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain produce giants known in the bible as Nephilim. The Sethite View offers no explanation, scriptural or otherwise to exactly how a human male and a human female produce a race of giants.


Angels Don’t Procreate

One argument commonly used to validate the Sethite View is that angels don’t procreate. Two scriptures used to support this interpretation are Mat 22:30 and Luke 20:30-36.

Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Luk 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
Luk 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Luk 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

Jesus is not addressing the angel’s ability or inability to procreate, but rather the need. The message here is that the flesh is mortal and needs to procreate through marriage in this world, but because the children of the resurrection can no longer die and are eternal like the angels, there is no longer a need to marry and procreate.


Angels Don’t Have Bodies or Do They?

Another argument used to validate the Sethite View is that angles don’t have bodies therefore they are not able to produce offspring with a human woman. Scriptures, however, indicate otherwise.

Angels left their own habitation…

Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

The word “estate” is defined as:

οἰκητήριον

oikētērion

1) a dwelling place, habitation,
  1a) of the body as a dwelling place for the spirit


The Believer’s Heavenly Body

We see the word oikētērion used one other time in scripture and so we use clear scripture to interpret vague scripture. In 2Co 5:1 we see the only other use of the word oikētērion in the bible which describes the believer’s new heavenly body.

2Co 5:1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.
2Co 5:2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
2Co 5:3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.


Angel Food

In Psalm 78:24 we see God provide manna to Moses and the Israelites in the desert. Notice that manna is called “the angel’s food”.

Psa 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
Psa 78:25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.


Angel Lust

In Genesis 19:5 we see men of Sodom lusting after the angels that came to see Lot.

Gen 19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

We see the rule of “double-reference” in Jude 1:7

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.


Confirmation

Through proper hermeneutical interpretation, we understand that the angels described in Jude 1:6 left behind, or did not keep, their oikētērion or heavenly body. These are the angels described by Jude who lusted after strange flesh and gave themselves over to fornication, which is sex outside of the unison of marriage. This is what we see told in Genesis 6:4.

Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

 





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