In the sixth chapter of Genesis, we’re confronted with a curious reference to the Nephilim. Who are they? Were they a race who came to be through the mingling of divine beings and the daughters of men? Were the Nephilim engineered by God’s enemies to thwart his plans for mankind?
Even more puzzling is how the Nephilim could show up in Numbers 13—long after the flood. Wouldn’t they have died out in the flood with the rest of humanity? How could they have shown up in Canaan? Is it possible that Noah himself was a Nephilim?!
In his book, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, Dr. Michael S. Heiser (Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) unpacks this controversial topic by looking at the passages where the Nephilim show up, exploring a few explanations for the Nephilim’s existence before—and after—the flood.
The following post is adapted from The Unseen Realm.