Nephilim in the Bible

Nephilim in the Bible: Who are they, and what is their significance?Learn all about the giants of the Bible, the Nephilim, and what—if anything—their role was in the Genesis flood.Who are the Nephilim? Translated into English, “Nephilim” means “fallen ones,” and Genesis 6:1–4 tells us that the Nephilim were offspring of divine beings and human women—specifically, the daughters of Adam.The Nephilim were—according to Ezekiel 32:27 and Numbers 13:33—great warriors and Biblical giants, physically speaking, and they were almost superhuman in appearance and power. And the Nephilim eventually acquired a negative reputation.Why did the Nephilim develop such a negative reputation?Because, some claim, the mere mating of sons of god and daughters of Adam was reason enough to cause the flood that Noah survived—and, thus, the label “fallen ones” to describe the Nephilim. Others argue that the “fallen ones” label is likely a reference to their divine paternity transforming— or “falling”—into a human condition or state.The Nephilim also appear in the Book of Enoch, an apocryphal collection of texts that reimagines the account of Genesis 5–6, adding details to the flood narrative and elaborating on what was revealed to Enoch in heaven.In Enoch’s expanded account of the flood, you’ll learn about the Watchers, fallen angels who mated with human women and produced offspring—the Nephilim. These giants known as Nephilim were the “heroes that were of old, warriors of renown” in Genesis 6:4. The Book of Enoch states that the Watchers shared secret knowledge with their Nephilim sons that led to the corruption of the world. The giants ravaged the earth, filling it with destruction and evil, depleting the world’s food supply, and terrifying humankind. And these actions triggered the flood as punishment for all their terrible deeds.When Enoch confronts the Watchers about their impending doom, the Watchers implore Enoch to intercede on their behalf. Enoch agrees—but to no avail. The Watchers’ petition is not granted, and they and their Nephilim sons are not able to escape their punishment—the flood.