The Nephilim 2

I didn’t realize my post on the nephilm would get so much feedback.  Here are some responses to some very good counterpoints brought up to my post about the nephilim.
 
Concerning the nature of angels, one poster writes:
> There is one major problem with the angel/humans mating theory:
>
> Matthew 22:
> 30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in
> marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

> From this scripture angels do not mate.
> Nature simply means the way they are.Just as how humans can’t
> impregnate animals so it is that angels can’t impregnate humans.The
> are of different "flesh".
 
My response is as follows:
The passage of Matthew 22:30 is a great passage on the resurrection.
Does it prove that angels can never assume a human body and
procreate? I don’t think so. The OT is full of examples of angels
appearing as men and sometimes others didn’t know that they were
angels until after the fact. The angels that appeared to Abraham and
later went to Sodom and Gomorrah are one example. Angels can appear
as humans.

The passage states that the angels of God that are currently in
heaven do not get married. That doesn’t mean that their nature is
such that they could never procreate. It simply means they don’t get
married, as in, they are not supposed to get married. So
understanding the nature in which God created the angels is
important, but I don’t agree with the conclusions that are being
drawn from this one passage. I see the passage as applying to the
way things are in heaven.

Someone else pointed out that once they sinned, they are forsaking
the way that God intended them to be, and that’s a good point.

 
The objection to my interpretation of the Jude passage is as follows:
 
>   First of all the passage in Genesis makes no mention that angels committed sexual
>   sins.That is an assumption arrived at by interpreting the term "sons of God" to mean angels when nothing in the passage indicates this.In the book of Jude it is clearly stated what is the sin of the angels:
>   The angels kept not their first estate ie. they rebelled against God and did not remain in the positions they were assigned in heaven.
>   They are awaiting the final judgement and the judgement of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are an example of the punishment they shall suffer.They also have suffered eternal fire as will the angels.ie. their judgement is an example of the final judgement.
>   The similiarity is not in the sins they have committed but in the punishment they will suffer.Also it is the cities about Sodom and Gomorrah who gave themselves over to fornication in like manner to those in Sodom and Gomorrah and they are set forth as an example of the punisment to come. When read properly this passage does not say the angels committed the same sins as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah but that their punishments are/will be similiar.
 
So basically, this poster asserts that the similarity between the angels that sinned and Sodom and Gomorrah is in the punishment, not the sin.  Consider my response:

I have looked over the passage in Jude again to look for this interpretation and I can certainly see it. If we start in verse 5 we see how the LORD sets forth the example of the Israelites being led out of Egypt, but He destroyed those who did not believe. Then in verse 6 the angels who kept not their first estate are reserved in chains. Then in verse 7 Sodom and Gomorrah are set forth for an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. So it would seem that the "EVEN AS" could be a linking for judgement.

However, I see another theme. If we start back in verse 4, we see how Jude wanted to warn people of the characteristics of those who were creeping in and turning the grace of God into lasciviousness and denying the LORD. Then in verse 5 the emphasis would be on "them that believed not", showing that these who are creeping into the church will go through the same motions as the rest of the assembly, but will have no faith, see also I Cor. 10:1-5.

So the angels in vs. 6 which kept not their first estate, EVEN AS those who give themselves over to fornication by going after strange flesh in vs. 7; are set forth for an example. It would be the characteristics of sinful creatures that we are to look for in those who would corrupt the church. This theme is carried into verse 8 as Jude further describes these apostates. Actually, this theme continues well beyond that as well.

But back up to verses 6 and 7 since that is the focus. If it is the characteristics of apostates that is the main theme, then the application I have set forth is the broader one, not that what you have put forth doesn’t have merit. Although the KJV (to me) is the most reliable, I’d like to set forth a couple of other translations simply to show the clarification of what the phrase "in like manner" later in verse 7 actually applies to. In the KJV, it could be that the "in like manner" refers to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in relation to the cities about them, but if Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities about them are all in one category, then the "in like manner" refers all three back to the previous verse to the angels which kept not their first estate. Here is the ESV.

6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Here the ESV links all three and says they all "likewise indulged in sexual immorality". Likewise would refer back to the angels which kept not their first estate implying that some type of sexual immorality occurred as they left their first estate. Here is the NASV.

6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

Here the translators word it that "they" (meaning Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities around them) "in the same way as these" (referring back to the angels who did not keep their own domain) indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh. So here again the phrase which is rendered in the KJV as "in like manner" is actually another link between the sins characteristic of those in verse 6 and those in verse 7. Lastly, the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

6 and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling. 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as they did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

Here the phrase is translated "just as they did", again referring us back to the angels who sinned in the verse before. So the phrase in the KJV which is rendered "EVEN AS" which I make a big deal about, is actually just one end of a set of bookend phrases which both point back to the characteristics of the angels’ sin in verse 6.

So in the KJV, we can understand that EVEN AS is just the first part of the thought. Then we have the description of the sin, then we have the phrase "in like manner", which begs the question, "like what?" I think the best interpretation is to view that Jude had in mind that these angels sexually sinned by going after strange flesh and demonstrated it with the bookend phrases "EVEN AS" and "IN LIKE MANNER". The phrase "in like manner" cannot refer to the judgement since Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities about them is the subject and giving themselves over to fornication is the verb.

Finally, here are some additional thoughts on the I Peter 3 passage.

The main theme is how Christ was active in the spirit although He was
dead in His flesh, vs. 18. This is the means by which He went and
preached to the spirits in prison. Then there is an aside which
gives some circumstances surrounding the days of Noah. But then back
to the main subject of Christ’s activities in the spirit. Peter
brings it all together by giving us the example of baptism saving us

by the resurrection of Christ, vs. 21, then continues with "who is
gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God", vs. 22.

So the main points here are that Christ died in the flesh, was
quickened in the spirit, preached unto spirits in prison, was
resurrected, then ascended into heaven to take a place whereby angels
and authorities and powers are made subject to Him. I can’t see how
this preaching is by anything but by Christ Himself as He was in the
spirit.

Then in describing these spirits which are imprisoned, Peter states
that they were disobedient during the days of Noah. If what we have
seen (in Jude) is true, that there were a portion of the holy angels
who left their first estate and committed sexual sin during the days
of Noah, then we understand why they have a singular place reserved
in chains until the day of judgement. The flood of Noah dealt with
the nephilim, but the angels would survive with the longing to commit
sexual sin again with other daughters of men after the flood. So God
has imprisoned these angels that they repeat not their sins with
mankind again.

But your question of why Christ would preach to these angels/spirits
deserves an answer. I only wish I had one. I don’t know why Christ
has done what He has done. But Christ was very active in the spirit
while His body was lifeless. Colossians 2:13-15 is one example of
scripture that explains what Christ was doing after He had died but
before He was resurrected. After nailing the charges of sin against
us to His cross, He spoiled principalities and powers by taking what
legally was theirs and openly showed them that He had triumphed over
them. What was the purpose of this? Ephesians 3:10 tells us
something to the effect that Christ is demonstrating to
principalities and powers His manifold wisdom by what Christ did when
He died for and established the church. I don’t understand what
purpose that serves, but I do know according to scripture that it
happened. Ephesians 4:8-10 is another passage that I believe shows
the activity of Christ in the spirit as He was gifting the church
when He led captivity captive. He emptied out the realm of the dead
of all who were righteous by ushering them into the presence of God.

Why did Christ preach to these fallen sons of God who sinned during
the days of Noah? If we stay consistent with the above passages,
simply to demonstrate His wisdom and triumph to them.

I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery ofgodliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

That’s it on the nephilim.  I don’t want to bore everyone or beat a dead horse.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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