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The Nephilim (Giants)
Moses continued in verse 4 to explain that the offspring of the “sons of God” became very violent men, just like the sons of Cain and the other sons of Adam. Those who claim that angels fornicated with women claim that the “nephilim” (rendered “giants” in some versions) were angel-human hybrids. But there is absolutely no basis for this in Scripture. It is based on a misreading of the text.
Genesis 6:4 KJV
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.
The problem with the fornicating angels theory is that the nephilim (giants) were already on the earth before the “sons of God” took foreign wives. This is the natural reading of the Hebrew text. Augustine commented on the Hebrew reading as follows:
“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 the giants, men of renown.” These words of the divine book sufficiently indicate that already there were giants in the earth in those days, in which the sons of God took wives of the children of men, when they loved them because they were good, that is, fair.” 
The Septuagint agrees, proving that the Jewish LXX translators understood that the nephilim were already on the earth.
Genesis 6:4 LXX
4 Now the giants were upon the earth in those days; and after that when the sons of God were wont to go in to the daughters of men, they bore children to them, those were the giants of old, the men of renown.
Some have tried to punctuate the sentence as follows: “Now the giants were upon the earth in those days and afterwards. When the sons of God were wont to go in to the daughters of men, they bore children to them, those were the giants of old, the men of renown.” In this way the text is made to imply that giants were on the earth both before and after the flood (rather both before and after the sons of God took foreign wives). The last clause is made to refer back to the giants who were on the earth before the flood. However, this is grammatically incorrect. The Greek words, “those days” are in the feminine gender and plural number. But, “after that” is in the neuter gender and singular number.
The word “that” is a demonstrative pronoun which in Greek grammar must agree with its antecedent in both gender and number. Therefore, “after that” cannot refer to “those days.” It would have to say, “after those” (feminine plural) and not “after that” (neuter singular).
Therefore, translating this sentence as, “giants were on upon the earth in those days and afterwards,” is grammatically incorrect, because “afterwards” is made to refer to “those days,” which is impossible in Greek grammar. Instead, it must be rendered, “giants were upon the earth in those days. And after that when the sons of God went in to the daughters of men …” Thus, the demonstrative pronoun “after that” does not refer to “those days” but to the singular fact that there were already giants on the earth in those days. After that (giants already existing) the sons of God took foreign wives who also bore giants.
Consequently, the “giants” cannot be the unique offspring of angels and human women. Rather, the union of the “sons of God” with the “daughters of men” produced more of what was already on the earth previously.
This of course raises the question of what the term “giants” means. The Hebrew word is “nephilim.” According to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, this noun comes from the verb “nephal” to “fall” or to “fell” (as in “felling” a tree). The meaning of the noun “nephilim” is a “feller” (one who cuts down, or causes to fall), metaphorically, a “bully” or a “tyrant,” someone who uses his strength to bully others.
The Septuagint has “gigantes,” which is the plural of “gigas.” The meaning of “gigas” and “gigantes” is made plain just a few chapters later.
Genesis 10:8-9 LXX
8 And Cush begot Nimrod: he began to be a giant [gigas] upon the earth.
9 He was a giant [gigas] hunter before the Lord God; therefore they say, “As Nimrod the giant [gigas] hunter before the Lord.
That Nimrod was not an angel – human hybrid is plain from the fact that his father was Cush, the son of Ham, the son of Noah. The text goes on to indicate that Nimrod ruled a very large kingdom. His strength and tyrannical behavior was no doubt the reason for his dominating such a large territory. In fact, Nimrod became the subject of pagan legends as a “god.” Yet, he was 100% human, fathered by Noah’s grandson.
It is quite plain that the Jewish translators of the Septuagint did not believe the angels fornicating with women when they made this translation of the Hebrew text into Greek around 300BC. That idea is entirely forbidden by the Septuagint for the following reasons:
- The “sons of God” are called “these men”
- They are called “flesh”
- The giants (tyrants) were already on the earth before this occurred
- Nimrod was one of them, even though his entire ancestry was human
“Nephilim” is not a proper name, just as “giant” is not a proper name. Nor is it the name of a tribe of people with a common ancestry. It is a descriptive term for their tyrannical and violent behavior.
What then is meant by the Hebrew terms, “mighty men of old” and “men of renown?” The term “mighty men of old” indicates they were strong, violent, or intimidating men from ancient times, clarifying the term “nephilim.” The term, “ancient times,” no doubt, was meant by Moses to contrast the more recent use of the term “nephilim,” which the unfaithful spies claimed to have seen in Canaan, and for which reason the Jews failed to take possession of the land. God punished them with forty years of wandering in the wilderness, during which time Genesis was written by Moses.
The term, “men of renown” is a bit more interesting. It is sometimes translated, “men of reputation.” But, the Hebrew actually says, “enoshi of the name” (using the plural form of the same Hebrew word which was the name “Enosh”). Seth named his son “Enosh,” meaning “mortal,” no doubt recognizing the fallen state in which he lived under the curse. Enosh is the one who “hoped, therefore calling to himself the name of the Lord God.” Here, the offspring of the “sons of God” were literally called, “enoshi ha-shem” (“Enoshi of the Name”).
“Enoshi” is the plural form of the name Enosh. And “Name” likely refers to God’s covenant name, JEHOVAH. The “Enoshi” were the descendants of Seth’s son, Enosh, who had taken to themselves God’s covenant name yet had become “nephilim” (tyrants and bullies). The earth was already full of tyrants and bullies who used violence to terrorize others. And when the “sons of God” no longer remained segregated, but married pagan women who did not worship JEHOVAH, the children of these mixed marriages became just as vile as the tyrants who were already running wild in the earth.
When the “sons of God” began to pursue the “daughters of men,” all of Noah’s ancestors named in the geneology were dead except his father, Lamech, and his grandfather, Methuseleh. Enosh himself lived until the year 1140 after creation, only 396 years before God pronounced judgment on all this wickedness and Noah began building the ark. No doubt, when the ancient fathers of Seth’s tribe began to die off, the godly influence began to wane and eventually the younger generations saw no need to keep their godly covenantal line distinct from the general population.
The prophecy of the “Seed of the woman” defeating the “seed of the serpent” was of no concern to them. And when they took wives from amongst those in open rebellion against God, their children were heavily influenced by their mothers and her side of the family. They were “sons of God” in name only; they no longer followed JEHOVAH. Consequently Moses called them, “Enoshi of the Name.” They carried the name of JEHOVAH as their forefather Enosh originated. While the morality of the fathers who initially took foreign wives may not have degraded significantly, the morality of the offspring of these mixed marriages certainly did. They became just as violent and corrupt as the rest of mankind.
2. The Revolt of the Sons of Seth according to Josephus
“Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his virtues. All these proved to be of good dispositions. They also inhabited the same country without dissensions, and in a happy condition, without any misfortunes falling upon them, till they died. They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad to this day.
“Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers; and did neither pay those honors to God which were appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made God to be their enemy. For many angels [messengers] 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, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.
“Now God loved this man for his righteousness: yet he not only condemned those other men for their wickedness, but determined to destroy the whole race of mankind, and to make another race that should be pure from wickedness.” 
Josephus is frequently quoted in support of the angels fornicating with women theory. Unfortunately, he is almost always quoted out of context. Note the following facts from Josephus’ quotation:
- The sons of Seth lived in their own country, separate from the rest of mankind
- They were messengers of the prophecies of Adam, preserving them in stone
- They were entirely virtuous for 7 generations
- The 8th generation (Noah’s generation) became completely apostate
- The cause of their apostasy was that their fathers had taken foreign wives
- Noah preached repentance to his fellow Sethites, but they rejected his message
- The children were called “nephilim” or “gigantes” because of their violence
- The “nephilim” or “gigantes” were called “men” by Josephus
According to Josephus, the sons of Seth remained faithful to God for seven generations. But, the 8th generation (Noah’s generation) forsook the practices of their forefathers and became apostate. Josephus tells us the major cause of the apostasy of the 8th generation of Seth’s sons. “For many messengers 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, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.” The little word, “for,” introduces and explanation of what comes before. The clause, “for many messengers of God accompanied with women…” is an explanation of “in the process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers,” which was to live segregated from the rest of mankind. The word “messengers” is translated “angels” in our English translations of Josephus. But, it is clear from the context that these “messengers” were the sons of Seth! This is proven by the next statement. “But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better.” Did Noah preach repentance to fallen angels, or their demonic offspring? Hardly! He preached to his relatives who were taking foreign wives and producing violent and ungodly offspring!
Augustine explains that some copies of the Septuagint had “angels of God” instead of “sons of God” in Genesis six. And this is no doubt where Josephus drew this term from. Yet, it is clear from the context of Josephus that the angels [messengers] were human. Augustine explained why sometimes the sons of Seth were called “angels.”
“God’s angels [messengers] would bear the message, that they should place their hope in God, like him who was born of Seth [Enosh], the son of resurrection, and who hoped to call on the name of the Lord God, in which hope they and their offspring would be coheirs of eternal blessings, and brethren in the family of which God is the Father. But that those angels were not angels in the sense of not being men, as some suppose, Scripture itself decides, which unambiguously declares that they were men. For when it had first been stated that “the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose,” it was immediately added, “And the Lord God said, My Spirit shall not always strive with these men, for that they also are flesh.” For by the Spirit of God they had been made angels [messengers] of God, and sons of God; but declining towards lower things, they are called men, a name of nature, not of grace; and they are called flesh, as deserters of the Spirit, and by their desertion deserted [by Him]. The Septuagint indeed calls them both angels of God and sons of God, though all the copies do not show this, some having only the name “sons of God.”
Josephus used the term “messengers” in reference to the sons of Seth and not heavenly beings. The term is often used of human messengers in Scripture. The “angels” of the seven churches in Revelation are the messengers each church sent to bring correspondence to John on Patmos. In Matt. 11:10, John the Baptist is called God’s messengers quoting Malachi 3:1 from the LXX. James 2:25 refers to the spies who encountered Rahab as messenger. It is used in this sense in the Septuagint as well, for example:
Gen. 32:3,6 LXX
3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, to the country of Edom….
6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and lo! he comes to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
2 Chron. 36:15-16 LXX
15 And the Lord God of their fathers sent by the hand of his prophets; rising early and sending his messengers, for he spared his people, and his sanctuary. 16 Nevertheless they sneered at his messengers, and set at nought his words, and mocked his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose up against his people, till there was no remedy.
In what sense would Seth’s sons be called “messengers” by Josephus? That is answered in Josephus’ previous comment that the tribe of the sons of Seth preserved Adam’s prophecies of the coming judgments by flood and fire for future generations. They were “messengers” to the generations after the flood according to Josephus. These two monuments with their engraved prophecies still existed in Josephus’ day and most likely still exist. Isaiah mentioned them as monuments in a prophesy of the Kingdom.
3. The Reason for the Flood
Moses wrote that the reason God destroyed the earth with the flood was because man had corrupted his way, and the whole earth was filled with violence.
Genesis 6:5 NKJV
5 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.
13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
God did not destroy the earth with a flood to drown all the angel-human hybrids. Nor would drowning mankind in any way punish angels. God destroyed the earth because it was filled with tyrants and because His covenant people had become bullies just like the wicked. Noah and his family were the only ones left who cherished their covenant with God. If God allowed only a few more generations, the paternity of JEHOVAH through Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methusaleh, Lamech, and Noah, would have become polluted by intermarriage with heathen women.
With this in mind, it becomes obvious why Moses would include this story in Genesis. The Law that he delivered to the Israelites commanded that they refrain from taking wives from among the nations for the very same reason, because these women would cause their husbands and children to depart from the Lord. Moses included this as a major reason for the flood, to show to the Israelites just how serious God was about preserving a righteous seed to being about the Messiah who would crush the head of the “seed” of the Serpent – Antichrist.
Some have argued that such a distinct line of people smacks of racial superiority. Yes, the race of God’s sons is far superior to the “children of the wicked one.” This is no different than the superiority of the Jewish nation since its inception. God said, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” The people of Israel were God’s covenant people after the flood. While genetics is a major component in God’s covenants, the New Testament makes it very clear that genetics is not the only component. Just as Gentiles were adopted into ancient Israel when they renounced their pagan gods and adopted the God of Abraham, so also are Gentiles adopted into the “Seed” of the woman, Jesus Christ, through baptism. True Christians are of the royal tribe of Judah, because we are joined to Jesus Christ the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” We are adopted sons of God.
The real concern for keeping Israel from taking foreign wives was to preserve a holy people generationally. The Jews were permitted to take wives of people they had conquered in war. Their gods were deemed to have been defeated by JEHOVAH. Rahab was such a woman, and ended up in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The Israelites were normally forbidden to take wives from their unconquered neighbors because they worshipped foreign gods, and would corrupt their husbands and children with idolatry. Israel was given the covenant of circumcision in order to protect the line of Jesus Christ coming through only circumcised males of God’s covenant people. Thus, Moses records the genealogy of Jesus Christ through holy covenant people, from God’s fathering Adam and giving him the inheritance of the whole earth, through the line of Seth, down to the Israelites standing at the Jordan river, about to enter the promised Land.
The reason the Sethite covenant people and the Israelite covenant people were segregated was to pass on the truth of God and the worship of JEHOVAH generationally, from father to sons and daughters, and to preserve the genealogy of the Messiah. After seven generations, the Sethites violated this principle until the righteous remnant became almost extinct. So God destroyed all of humanity except the small remnant – Noah and his family. When Israel did the same thing God’s wrath and judgment fell on them also.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NKJV
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The last generation of the firstfruits covenant people of JEHOVAH did not remain faithful. Noah and his sons were chosen by God because of Noah’s faithfulness, and to preserve the “sons of God” and true worship of JEHOVAH. Had God delayed His judgment, the rate of decay of the “sons of God” would no doubt have left no one still proclaiming the true worship of JEHOVAH within just a few more generations. The “Seed of the woman” (Messiah) could not have been born in order to defeat the “seed of the Serpent.” So, God acted to eliminate even the “sons of God” along with the rest of the population, sparing only this one family for a new beginning. From a descendant of one of Noah’s sons (Shem) God called Abraham and established His covenant with him and his descendants after him, ultimately bringing about the Seed who would crush the Serpent’s head.
4. The Angels that Sinned according to Peter and Jude
Peter and Jude are often called upon in support of the theory of angels taking human wives. Yet, neither Peter nor Jude mentioned anything about angels fornicating. Peter stated that Jesus proclaimed something to the “spirits under guard” who had been disobedient in the days of Noah. In his second epistle, Peter added that these who were under guard were “angels that sinned” in the days of Noah, a preacher (messenger) of righteousness. Jude describes their sin as abandoning their assigned dominions.
1 Peter 3:18-22 LGV
18 Because also Christ suffered once for sins, the Just for the unjust, so that He might lead us towards God, having been put to death in the flesh, but brought to life with the breath.
19 With which [breath] having gone to the spirits under guard, He heralded
20 to those [who were] formerly disobedient, when once the patience of God was delaying in the days of Noah constructing the ark, into which few, that is eight souls, escaped through water,
21 (in which [water] also the antitype – baptism – now saves us, not removing the filth of flesh, but the request to God of a good conscience by the resurrection of Jesus Christ),
22 who is at the right of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers having been subordinated to Him.
2 Peter 2:4-5 LGV
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but incarcerating [them] to confinement of gloom, delivered for judgment, having been guarded,
5 and did not spare the original system, but preserved Noah the eighth, a preacher of justice, bringing a flood to the system of the wicked, …
Jude 1:6 LGV
6 And angels, those not having guarded their personal dominion, but having abandoned their own domain, He has placed under guard in enduring confinement under gloom for judgment of the great Day.
From these three passages we learn the following:
- After Jesus’ resurrection, He proclaimed a message to the “spirits under guard.”
- These spirits had previously been “disobedient.”
- They were kept under guard while God delayed the flood and Noah built the ark.
- Jesus ascended to heaven after subordinating angels, authorities, and powers.
- They were “angels who sinned.”
- Their judgment has been fixed.
- They have been “guarded” in “confinement of gloom.”
- Their crime was not guarding their personal dominion, but abandoning their assigned domain.
There is nothing here about fornicating with women. Jude indicates that angels were given specific dominions to guard. Their sin was in abandoning their assigned territory.
The “angels who sinned” by “not having guarded their personal dominion, but having abandoned their own domain” are elsewhere called the devil’s angels and the angels of the dragon, Satan, and the devil. Paul was abused by one of Satan’s angels.69 Yet, even though Satan and his angels have some power, they are restrained by Michael and his angels.
Daniel 10:12-13; 20 – 11:1 NASB
12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
13 “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. …
20 Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.
21 However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.
11:1 In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.”
Daniel 12:1 NASB
- “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”
The angel sent to Daniel had to engage some of the evil principalities and powers who were interfering in the kingdoms of Persia and Greece. They had abandoned their assigned domains, and were intent on destroying the covenant people of God. Yet, Michael commanded the army which stood firmly against these powers. This particular angel protected Darius the Mede, who was a friend to Daniel and to Israel. In the last days, Michael, the one charged with protecting the covenant people, will rescue that remnant from these evil forces. This is what is mentioned in Revelation 12, when Michael and his angels cast down Satan and his angels to the earth, who then wreak havoc on all but the preserved remnant of God’s covenant people.
Revelation 12:7-13 NKJV
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. …
10 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
11 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Thus, the fact that Satan’s angels are restrained by Michael and his angels does not mean they are locked away in a subterranean cell. Rather, they are restrained by Michael and his forces from molesting God’s covenant people, so that God’s purposes among the nations can be completed in six millennia. At the proper time, the restraint will be temporarily lifted so that the Antichrist and his hordes can do their dirty work. During this time, Michael and his angels will give their full attention to protecting God’s covenant sons and daughters.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 NKJV
6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Daniel 12:1 NKJV
1 At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.
The “restraining” in 2 Thessalonians 2 is the same “guarding” that we read about in Peter and Jude. All of which is designed to prevent Satan’s angels from overthrowing God’s plan to bring about the restoration of the earth at the end of six millennia. The wicked angels are the “principalities and powers” against which we also struggle.
Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The rebellious principalities and powers, the angels who sinned by abandoning their assigned dominions, are very powerful indeed. Within ten generations of Satan’s deceiving Eve, the entire population of the world had been led astray by the angels who followed Satan’s example of apostasy from God. God’s covenant people became corrupt, and God’s plan to bring the Messiah through a righteous seed was on the verge of collapse. Michael and his angels were assigned the task of restraining the wicked activity of the one-third of the angels who followed Satan. This restraining activity began so that Noah would have time to build the ark and save his family. And it will continue until the middle of the 70th week of Daniel. Then, Michael’s role will become purely defensive for the remnant of God’s sons and daughters.
Some claim that Jude acknowledges that the angels committed fornication by comparing them to the sin of Sodom.
Jude 1:6-7 NKJV
6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
The key clause is “in a similar manner to these.” The demonstrative pronoun, “these,” needs an antecedent. And those who promote this myth claim the antecedent is “the angels” in verse 6. While this is a grammatical possibility, it is not the only possibility, or even the most likely one. A careful reading of verses 3-19 shows that Jude used the demonstrative pronoun “these” seven times. And in every other case, “these” referred back to the Gnostic apostates in verse 4. Jude also identified the Gnostic teachers as being sexually immoral people six times. They “turn the grace of God into lewdness” (v. 4). They “defile the flesh” (v. 8). They “corrupt themselves” like “brute beasts” (v. 10). They walk “according to their own lusts” (v. 16). They are “sensual persons” (v. 19). In verse 7, Jude wrote: “As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh…” The demonstrative pronoun “these” refers to the apostate men whom Jude was warning his readers about, whom he had described as being sexually perverted. He merely likened the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to the apostates of his day, not to angels.
While Jude did mention angels that fell, he did not identify their sin as being sexual.
Their sin was that they “did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode.” Essentially, the sin of these angels according to Jude is that they violated their rank and left their assigned dominions. This strongly implies a revolt or mutiny.
Notice that Jude was comparing the apostate teachers to three examples of rebellion against God, and God’s reaction to all three.
- The Israelites at Kadesh Barnea: “the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (v. 5)
- The Angels who sinned: “who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (v. 6)
- The Sodomites: “having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (v. 7)
Then in verse 8, he likened the sin of the apostate teachers to all three of these sins, in reverse order.
Jude 8 NKJV
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh [like the Sodomites], reject authority [like the angels], and speak evil of dignitaries [like the Israelites in the wilderness].
Each of these three groups was guilty of one of the sins of the Gnostic teachers summarized in verse 8. The Sodomites “defile the flesh.” The sin of the angles was that they “reject authority.” The sin of the Israelites was that they spoke evil against God and the authority of Moses when they refused to go into the land. Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report. But the other ten spies convinced the people otherwise. The sin of the Israelites was that they spoke against the Lord and against his appointed ruler – Moses. Jude contrasted the Israelites’ arrogance with Michael’s humility. “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” Jude’s point was to show a stark contrast between Michael and the Israelites’ respect for authority. In Michael’s dispute with Satan over Moses’ body, he did not even speak evil of Satan! Yet, the Israelites spoke evil of Moses himself while He was carrying out his divinely appointed office!
It becomes quickly apparent from the structure of Jude’s argument that the sin of the angels was not sexual at all. It was rebellion against their appointed rank and dominion. In no way did Jude endorse the myth that angels took human wives and produced angel-human hybrid children.
5. The “Sons of God” in Revelation
Revelation 14:1-5 NKJV
- Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
- And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
- They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
- These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
- And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
This passage takes on new meaning when we approach it from the perspective of the first covenant people the sons of God. Consider the four identifying markers:
- They are a fairly small number, 144,000.
- They possess the Father’s name.
- They were “not defiled with women.”
- They are the “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”
There is only one group in the Bible that fits all four of these identifying markers, the seven generations of faithful descendants of Seth through Enosh.
- They are a small number, 144,000: The faithful sons of Seth through Enosh were one tribe spanning only seven generations. If each son, beginning with Enosh, had an average of 7.25 sons and 7.25 daughters (each man having only one wife of the daughters of Enosh), and if this continued for seven generations, the total number of faithful sons of Seth through Enosh would be 145,220 men who were “not defiled with women.”73 All other covenant people in Scripture number in the millions.
Using the same 7.25 figure, the 8th generation (Noah’s generation who took foreign wives) would have numbered over a million wicked sons of Enosh (1,052,845). And their sons would number over seven million tyrants and bullies (7,633,126).
2. They possess the Father’s Name: The first covenant people are specifically said to have “called themselves by the name of JEHOVAH.”
3. They were “not defiled with women”: The seven generations of Seth’s descendants before Noah’s generation were “not defiled with [pagan] women.” The Bible teaches that “marriage is honorable.” There is only one way, according to Scripture, that “women” defile God’s people. And that is when God’s covenant people take wives from among those who are not God’s people.
4. They are the “firstfruits unto God and the Lamb.” No group after the flood can claim to be the “firstfuits.” The very first covenant people, “called by the name of JEHOVAH,” uniquely qualify for this title.
Assuming the identity of this group of 144,000 to be the faithful sons of Seth, the statement that they were “not defiled with women” clearly implies that they are from among a larger group, some of which where “defiled with women.” The language strongly implies that these are the “sons of God” in Genesis who did not take foreign wives. No other group is distinguished in the Bible in this way.
By Tim Warner, Copyright © http://www.4windsfellowships.net
 Augustine, City of God, Book 15, ch. 23
 Numbers 13:33
 Josephus, Antiquities, Book I, ch. 2-3.
 Augustine, City of God, Bk. 15, ch. 23
 Isaiah 19:19-20
 Mal. 1:2-3
 Gal. 3:16,26-29
 Rev. 5:5
 Matt. 25:41
 Rev. 12:7-7
 Cor. 12:7
 Rev. 12:4
 Num 13:30-14:4
 This number (7 sons and 7 daughters) is not unreasonably large given the long lifespans of these people. 73 Traditionally, a multitude is counted by the number of adult males (Matt. 14:21; Matt. 15:38)
 Exodus 34:11-16
 Methodius (AD 260-312) Discourse VII, v. “For consider what confidence Seth had towards God, and Abel, and Enos, and Enoch, and Methuselah, and Noah, the first lovers of righteousness, and the first of the first-born children who are written in heaven, being thought worthy of the kingdom, as a kind of first-fruits of the plants for salvation, coming out as early fruit to God.”
 Peter 3:19