Noah Facts #5: Yes, Virginia, There are Nephilim Giants. Truth is Stranger Than Fiction.

Noah-Fighting-Watcher-Russel-Crowe-Aronofsky-Film-e1359229778664Thanks to the Aronofsky movie about Noah, interest has been piqued in this critically important story of Primeval History. And there is so much more to the original Biblical story than we’ve been taught in Sunday School. In fact, in some ways, we’ve been taught wrong. Let’s talk about it.

I’ve written a Biblical fantasy novel called Noah Primeval. I’ve researched this topic extensively. Noah Primeval has been a category bestseller on Amazon for 3 years. It’s first in a series of novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim.

If You Think Aronofsky’s Nephilim/Watchers are Fantastical, Wait Until You Know What Really Happened.

Word on the street is that Aronofsky’s Noah has Watchers that fall from heaven, and are huge giants made of rock with multiple arms. And also that they came to earth to help mankind, but have become rejected either by man or by God. It sounds like he’s confused the Watchers and mixed them up with the Nephilim spoken of in Genesis 6, which are two different beings. We’ll see when the movie comes out.

But the interesting thing is that this was one fantasy element that Aronofsky did not have to make up because the truth is stranger than fiction. I don’t know why he didn’t follow the Enochian/Jude/Peter interpretation of the Bible. Maybe he didn’t know about it. I’ll explain.

NoahBookBanner5

In previous posts, I wrote that the Watchers, or Sons of God, came from heaven and mated with the daughters of men. These angelic rebels were seeking to pollute or corrupt the image of God in mankind as well as stop the promised Messiah from coming through a fully human bloodline.

But the text says that the offspring of this angelic/human union were the Nephilim. Who the heck are they? There are a lot of books and movies and TV shows that have played with the notion of Nephilim (remember the X-Files?). But so much of that is just made up entertainment. Let’s look at what the Bible actually says about the Nephilim.

Fun Facts About the Nephilim in the Bible

Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:32–33
“The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

The two passages quoted above are the only two places in the Bible where the Hebrew word Nephilim is used. The Genesis verse occurs before the Flood, and the Numbers verse occurs as Moses and the Israelites are in the Exodus standing on the verge of entering into the Promised Land. And it is very important that the Anakim in the Promised Land are direct descendants of the Nephilim before the Flood.

But the question remains, what does the Hebrew word Nephilim mean? Some scholars looking at the root word claim that it means “fallen ones” because that is what the Hebrew means, “to fall.” But there is a problem, and that is that the Septuagint (an ancient Greek translation of the Bible) which is sometimes quoted by the New Testament authors as authoritative, translates this word as “giants.” Did those ancient Hellenized Jews not know the true meaning of the word? Or did they know something we do not?

Indeed, most all the ancient Jewish sources before Christ understood this term to mean “giant.” Here is a list I compiled of the many ancient sources that understood these beings as giants.

Biblical scholar Michael S. Heiser has revealed a Biblical reference that virtually seals the proof that Nephilim are giants, not merely “fallen ones.” In his article “The Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact vs. Fantasy,”(1) he explains that Numbers 13:32-33 has the word “Nephilim” twice. And that in the original language, the first Nephilim is the Hebrew spelling that could mean “fallen ones,” but the spelling of the second Nephilim is in Aramaic, and that word definitely means “giants.” So the author is making an equivalency between the two words in Hebrew and Aramaic. Call them “fallen ones” or not, the Nephilim are not the fallen angels called Watchers, they are not ancient aliens and they are not Annunaki. The Nephilim are giants.

joshua_caleb_banner

Let’s take a look at the Anakim who were the descendants of the Nephilim. The Anakim or “sons of Anak” are unquestionably defined as giants throughout the Bible because of their tall height (Num. 13:33; Deut. 1:28; 2:10, 21; 9:2). One of the most famous of all those Anakim giants was Goliath. He stood at 9 feet 9 inches tall. And his brother Lahmi was of the same titanic genetics (1 Chron. 20:5). Philistia had a big problem with these Anakim giants, as 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 and 11:23 attest to no less than five giants who seemed to be seeking King David out, and were killed by David’s warriors.

As it turns out, the Anakim were not the only giants in the land. Evidently the land in and around Canaan was crawling with giants that were called by different names in different locations. Deuteronomy 2:10-11, 20-23 says that there were giant clans, “great and many, and tall as the Anakim.” The names of the clans were the Emim, Rephaim, Zamzummim, Horim, Avvim and possibly Caphtorim.

But if we go back in time from David to Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land, we see that the giant Anakim that David was fighting were merely the leftovers from Joshua’s own campaign to wipe them out:

Josh. 11:21-22
Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained.

King Og of Bashan, who Moses defeated, is described as one of the last of “the remnant of the Rephaim” whose bed was over 13 feet long and made of iron (Deut. 3:11). That is no kingly bed alone; that was a large strong iron bed to hold a giant of about 11 feet tall.

I write about all this and more in my novels Joshua Valiant and Caleb Vigilant.

But it all starts with Noah Primeval.

whengiants_bannerGirl

List of Giants

The Bible reveals that there are many different clans that either were giants or had giants among them that were ultimately related in a line all the way back to the Nephilim of Genesis:

Nephilim (Gen. 6:1-4; Num. 13:33)
Anakim (Num. 13:28-33; Deut. 1:28; 2:10-11, 21; 9:2; Josh. 14:12)
Amorites (Amos 2:9-10)
Emim (Deut. 2:10-11)
Rephaim (Deut. 2:10-11, 20; 3:11)
Zamzummin (Deut. 2:20)
Zuzim (Gen. 14:5)
Perizzites (Gen. 15:20; Josh. 17:15)
Philistines (2 Sam. 21:18-22)
Horites/Horim (Deut. 2:21-22)
Avvim (Deut. 2:23)
Caphtorim (Deut. 2:23)

The following are implied as including giants by their connection to the descendants of Anak in Numbers 13:28-29:

Amalekites
Hittites
Jebusites—The word means “Those who trample”
Amorites (Amos 2:9-10)
Hivites

Here were the towns, cities or locations that were said to have had giants in them:

Gob (2 Sam. 21:18)
Hebron/Kiriath-arba (Num. 13:22; Josh. 14:15)
Ar (Deut. 2:9)
Seir (Deut. 2:21-22)
Debir/ Kiriath-sepher (Josh. 11:21-22)
Anab (Josh. 11:21-22)
Gaza (Josh. 11:21-22)
Gath (Josh. 11:21-22)
Ashdod (Josh. 11:21-22)
Bashan (Deut. 3:10-11)
Ashteroth-karnaim (Gen. 14:5)
Ham (Gen. 14:5)
Shaveh-kiriathaim (Gen. 14:5)
Valley of the Rephaim (Josh. 15:8)
Moab (1 Chron. 11:22)

Many significant individuals are described in the Bible implicitly or explicitly as giants being struck down in war against Israel:

Goliath (1 Sam. 17)
Lahmi, Goliath’s brother (1 Chron. 20:5; 2 Sam. 21:19)
Ishbi-benob (2 Sam. 21:16)
Saph/Sippai (2 Sam. 21:17; 1 Chron. 20:4)
Arba (Josh. 14:15)
Sheshai (Josh.15:14, Num. 13:22)
Ahiman (Josh. 15:14, Num. 13:22)
Talmai (Josh. 15:14, Num. 13:22)
An unnamed warrior giant (1 Chron. 20:6)
And unnamed Egyptian giant (1 Chron. 11:23)
Og of Bashan (Deut. 3:10-11)

The ubiquitous presence of giants throughout the narrative of the Old Testament is no small matter. When God commanded the people of Israel to enter Canaan and devote certain of those peoples to complete destruction (Deut. 20:16-17), it is no coincidence that these peoples we have already seen were connected in some way to the Anakim giants, and Joshua’s campaign explicitly included the elimination of the Anakim/Sons of Anak giants.

If you are like me, you’ve been troubled by God’s actions of having the Israelites kill every man, woman and child in Canaan. Our modern cultural bias makes us think that is mere genocide. But there’s more going on behind the scenes and it ties in with the fact that these cities all had Nephilim descendants in them. There was a genetic corruption (heavenly/earthly, not racial) taking place that was so heinous, God wanted it stricken from the earth.

The Anakim giants were clearly spoken of as coming from the Nephilim back in Genesis 6, and those were the genetic hybrids of angel and human sexual union. God destroyed mankind and imprisoned those angels who sought to violate God’s created order, corrupt God’s image in man, and stop the Messiah from being born who would whoop Satan’s butt. But their genetic offspring of giants continued on in the land of Canaan until they were wiped out by Joshua and ultimately the messiah king, David.

But it is not until Jesus, the Messiah, that the full victory over the spiritual powers and principalities in the heavenly places would be accomplished. That is for the next posts.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

FOOTNOTES:
(1) Michael S. Heiser, “The Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact vs. Fantasy” http://www.godawa.com/chronicles_of_the_nephilim/Articles_By_Others/Heiser-Nephilim.pdf

Noah Facts #4: The Flood Did Not Judge Polluters of the Environment, but Polluters of God’s Image

Crowds
The Noah movie starring Russell Crowe is raising the topic of the Flood and just why it happened. I thought I would add to the conversation so if you watch the movie, you can do so with wisdom and discernment.

I’ve written a Biblical fantasy novel called Noah Primeval. I’ve researched this topic extensively. Noah Primeval has been a category bestseller on Amazon for 3 years. It’s first in a series of novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

NoahBookBanner3b

The War of the Seed

In the older Noah script I read, (and we’ll see if it’s the same in the movie) man is depicted as violent and evil. But there is also a tie-in with the environment, as if God’s judgment on destroying the earth is predominately because man was a polluter of the environment, an obvious analogy of the modern Global Warming narrative that we Westerners are destroying the earth from our carbon emissions.

I had complained in my viral blog post critiquing the script that this was an important subversion of the original Genesis sacred story, which was NOT about polluting the environment, but about polluting the image of God in man. We will see if this message is still as strong in the movie.

But let’s take a look at what the Bible actually teaches about the issue.

In the last post, I made the point that the Watchers came from heaven and were not only seeking to corrupt and violate the heavenly/earthly divide, but to pollute the human bloodline in order to stop the coming Messiah. Noah was uncorrupted in his flesh. And guess who came from Noah’s bloodline? Israel, God’s people, and ultimately, Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 3:23-38).

So how did these Sons of God know about the Messiah so early in the primeval history? Because when God cursed the Serpent in the Garden (and that serpent is Satan, a fallen angelic being — Revelation 12:9), he said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your Seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

“Seed” means “offspring.” God here is prophesying a cosmic War of the Seed, where the “offspring of the Serpent” or Seed of the Serpent will war with the Seed of Eve. And Messiah is the ultimate Seed who would crush the head of the Serpent (Revelation 12:10; Luke 10:17-20). Jesus is called “The Seed” to whom God made his promises (Galatians 3:16).

So since the fallen angels knew about this prophecy through Satan, who was one of them, it would make sense that they would seek to corrupt that Seedline of Eve with their own seed to stop Messiah from coming, by corrupting God’s image.

In Judaism, the high priest was the one who mediated between men and God. But there was a problem that had to be fixed. And that was that the high priests were also sinners who needed to atone for their sins as well, over and over.

So the system was imperfect. It needed a perfect sinless high priest to atone for sins once and for all. It needed a God-man hybrid.

Think about it. The whole point of the Messiah was that he would be fully human in his flesh, but fully God in his “seed.” This is why the Virgin birth is so necessary. If his human flesh was already tainted by fallen angelic seed, then he could not be fully human. But the mediator between God and man must be fully human, uncorrupted flesh like Noah, or he cannot mediate for humans. In the same way, the mediator had to be fully God or he could not mediate on God’s behalf.

Look at this New Testament passage and see that reality expressed through Jesus being a “high priest” who sacrifices for our forgiveness or atonement:

Hebrews 7:26–28
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest [Jesus], holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

The fallen Watchers were trying to corrupt the bloodline of Messiah with their own mocking pre-emptive tainting of the Seed of Eve with the Seed of the Serpent. This War of the Seed is exactly the story I try to tell in my Chronicles of the Nephilim, starting with Noah Primeval.

NoahBookBanner5

But What Does the New Testament Say?

The New Testament confirms divine/human cohabitation as evil and worthy of punishment because it actually alludes to this very violation of fleshly categories and resultant punishment in 2 Peter and Jude. If you compare the two passages you see the sensual violation of human and angelic flesh that we read about in Genesis 6:

2Pet. 2:4-10
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell (tartarus) and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;… then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Jude 6-7
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in gross immorality and pursued strange flesh, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Both these passages speak of the same angels who sinned before the flood of Noah, and who were committed to chains of gloomy darkness. 1 Peter 3:19-20 calls these imprisoned angels “disobedient.” According to our study, the angelic sons of God are revealed as sinning in Genesis 6, so these must be the same sinning angels referred to by the authors of the New Testament.

Both Peter and Jude link the sin of those fallen angels with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is described as indulging in “gross immorality” by pursuing “strange flesh.” The Greek word for “gross immorality” (ek porneuo) indicates a heightened form of sexual immorality, and the Greek words for “strange flesh” (heteros sarx) indicate the pursuit of something against one’s natural flesh. The angels who visited Sodom were clearly spoken of as enfleshed in such a way that they were physically present to have their feet washed and even eat food with Abraham and with Lot (Gen. 18:1-8; 19:3).

Angels on earth can have a physical presence. Bible students know that the men in Sodom were seeking to engage in sexual penetration of these same angels who visited Lot in his home. So here, men seeking sex with angels is a violation of the heavenly and earthly flesh distinction that the Scriptures seem to reinforce – a replay of Genesis 6.

Some Christians believe the passage is referring to homosexuality, but it’s not so much that. Peter and Jude link the angels sinning before the flood to the violation of a heavenly and humanly separation. The New Testament commentary on Genesis 6:1 affirms the supernatural view of the Sons of God as angels having sex with humans.

So, who exactly are the “Seed of the Serpent”? Ultimately, they are all those who are on the side of Satan, just like the “Seed of Eve” would be all those who are “in Christ” or on the side of Messiah.

In a previous post, I explained that the people in Canaan were considered from the cursed line of Ham. We know that the Canaanites worshipped evil gods and engaged in child sacrifice and all kinds of moral perversions. So the Canaanites are considered the Seed of the Serpent for one.

But there is more to it than that. Because the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were the hybrid offspring of the sexual union of angelic Watchers and humans. So just who were these Nephilim, these literal Seed of the Serpent? I’ll explain in the next post.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

Noah Facts #3: Did Angels Have Sex with Humans Before the Flood?

The Noah movie starring Russell Crowe is raising the topic of the Flood and just why it happened. I thought I would add to the conversation.

In my last post, I explained Noah’s drunken nakedness as matriarchal incest rape by Ham of Noah’s wife.

I’ve written a Biblical fantasy novel called Noah Primeval. I’ve researched this topic extensively. Noah Primeval has been a category bestseller on Amazon for 3 years. It’s first in a series of novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

NoahBookBanner4

The Flood Was God’s Response to the Corruption of God’s Image.

Genesis 6:1-4
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the Sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Genesis 6 is the opening lines to the story of Noah’s flood. It talks about man reproducing upon the face of the earth and “Sons of God” taking women as wives. Their offspring were the Nephilim. But who are these Sons of God who had sex with human women?

In short, the Sons of God are angels called the Watchers.

The first two verses make a point to contrast the essential identities of the Sons of God with daughters of men. The contrast is of “God” with “men.” It doesn’t say “Sons of Seth mating with Daughters of Cain,” it doesn’t say, “Sons of kings mating with daughters of commoners,” or anything like that. It says “Sons of God mating with daughters of men.” The contrast is the heavenly with the earthly. So we are talking about mating that unites spiritual angelic beings with earthly human beings.

Strange and bizarre, yes, I know. Strange — like God separating a huge sea so Israelites could pass through, or bizarre — like a hybrid God-man resurrecting from the dead to save the world.

If anyone wonders whether the phrase Sons of God could be a metaphor for “godly men” or “divine kings,” put that to rest right away. Everywhere the phrase Sons of God is used in the Old Testament, it means angelic beings from around God’s heavenly host. (See Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 82:6: 2Kings 22:19-23 – here the phrase is not used, but the concept is). You can read more about this in my novel Noah Primeval.

In fact, there are different names used interchangeably in the Bible for the Sons of God.
They are called the God’s “host of heaven” who surround his throne (1Kings 22:19)
They are called Watchers (Daniel 4:13, 17, 24)
They are called Holy Ones (Daniel 4:13, 17, 24)
They are called angels (Hebrews 2:2; Psalm 148:1-2)
They are called God’s “divine council” (Psalm 82:1)
Sometimes they are called “assembly of the holy ones” (Psalm 89:5)
They are even called “gods” at times (Psalm 82:1, 6; 89:6)
Sometimes, all these terms are used together to make the point (Psalm 89:5-8)

So the Sons of God in Genesis 6 are renegade angels, divine beings from God’s heavenly throne who came to earth and had sex with human women.

NoahBookBanner6

Right after these Sons of God mate with humans and the Nephilim are born, we read:

Genesis 6:5–6, 11-14
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God… Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

So we see that right after these intermarriages, mankind is thoroughly evil, which is deserving of judgment in itself. But that is not all we see. We also see that all flesh is corrupt and filled with violence.

Notice “corruption” is mentioned three times, making it a very important concept for the writer. (Saying “the earth was corrupt” is not a statement about environmentalism, it is a way of saying “all people on earth.”)

Now if the writer had intended to just say that all mankind was corrupted spiritually he would have used the word for mankind (adam), but he did not. He used the word for flesh (basar) – “all flesh was corrupted” — which distinctly points to the physical body.

So there is a corruption of flesh going on by the angels mating with humans. These angels are evil corrupters.

This corruption is highlighted even more when we see that Noah is described as a “righteous man, blameless in his generation.” Now, yes, Noah walked with God and that gave him a righteousness with God. But the Hebrew word for “blameless” is the same word that everywhere else in the Old Testament is used of the physically unblemished animal for ritual sacrifice. (38 times).

God seemed to be requiring physical perfection in sacrifices that symbolized the obligation of purity for atonement. The writer is making the point that Noah’s flesh, or his genetics, was not corrupted by the tainted genetic “seed” of the Watchers (Seed of the Serpent).

So the Sons of God were mating with human women and giving birth to a corrupted bloodline called the Nephilim. This corruption was most likely these fallen angels’ attempt to defile and desecrate God’s separated creative order.

Since man was created in God’s image, they were seeking to corrupt the image of God. Nothing but capital punishment will do for such a capital crime.

But more than that, I believe they were seeking to pollute the human bloodline in order to stop the coming Messiah. Noah was uncorrupted in his flesh. And guess who came from Noah’s bloodline? Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 3:23-38).

In my novel, Noah Primeval I have the fallen Sons of God seeking out Noah to try to destroy him because he was uncorrupted by them as God’s chosen one.

How did they know about the coming Messiah? I’ll explain in the next post.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

Noah Facts #2: What Was Noah’s Drunken Nakedness About? It Ain’t Peeping Ham

NoahBrooding
Continuing the conversation about all things Noah, thanks to the upcoming movie with Russell Crowe. I thought I would add some positive elements to the conversation with some factoids and research about the Biblical Noah so you can be prepared to watch the movie with wisdom and discernment.

I’ve written a Biblical fantasy novel called Noah Primeval. I’ve researched this topic extensively. Noah Primeval has been a category bestseller on Amazon for 3 years. It’s first in a series of novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

NoahBookBanner3b

Noah’s Nakedness: It’s Worse Than You Realized. Ham is a Rapist.

I hear the new Noah movie does show Noah getting drunk after the Flood and exposing his nakedness. Well, guess what all you literalists who think Noah should be a sinless character, it’s in the Bible (Gen. 9:20-21). Noah the righteous got drunk. Which means even men considered righteous by God are sinners and blow it. I don’t know what the movie does with this, but there’s so much more to the meaning than a mere scene of Post Traumatic Stress.

In my novel series Chronicles of the Nephilim, Noah’s son Ham rapes his own mother (Noah’s wife) that results in the curse of the fruit of that maternal incest: the child Canaan. This brutal scene is not mere voyeurism of depravity, it is the very theological foundation of the future of Israel. And that foundation is not imagined fantasy, it is the actual Biblical basis of the Jewish claim on the Promised Land of Canaan, as odd and controversial as it may seem. But Genesis is no stranger to odd and controversial stories.

Here is the text from the Bible:

Genesis 9:20–27
Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”

Literalists have a difficult time with this passage for several reasons. They do not like to admit the fact that Noah becomes a drunk after being the worlds’ greatest Bible hero of that time. They read Genesis 6:9 that says Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, and that he walked with God as being a description of Noah as some kind of moral perfectionist one level less than Jesus. But as explained in the appendix of Noah Primeval, they miss the fact that righteousness was having faith, not moral perfection.

Secondly, having faith was not perfect faith because all Biblical heroes falter in their faith.

Thirdly, “blameless” was a physical Levitical reference to genetic purity (as in “spotless” lamb) that was most likely a reference to being uncorrupted by the fallen Sons of God (more on this in a later post).

Fourthly, walking with God did not mean being sinless. Noah was a sinner with imperfect faith and obedience as every believer is. His broken humanity is how we identify with him and draw our inspiration.

The real problem for literalists who do not consider the ancient Near Eastern poetic language of Genesis is in concluding that an entire nation was cursed simply because one of its forefathers saw his dad without clothes on! While it is technically possible that ancient Mesopotamians had some holy taboo about a parent’s nakedness that we are simply unfamiliar with, there is nowhere else in the Bible that affirms the absurdity of such a taboo.

There are however, several places that explain the concept of “uncovering a father’s nakedness” as a figurative idiom for having sexual intercourse with his wife.

Bergsma and Hahn’s masterful article “Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse of Canaan (Genesis 9:20-27)” elucidated for me the notion that I used in my novel that Ham had forced maternal incest with his mother, Noah’s wife.(1) They explore the different scholarly explanations of “uncovering Noah’s nakedness” and disprove them: voyeurism, castration, and homosexual paternal incest. There are simply no references in the Bible anywhere that reinforce any of these interpretations.

The only one that is reaffirmed and makes sense is that Ham’s uncovering his father’s nakedness was an idiom or euphemism for maternal incest.

They explain that the definitions of uncovering nakedness in Leviticus 18 are tied to the practices of the Canaanites (sound familiar? Canaan is cursed?). And the Biblical text itself explains that in a patriarchal culture, uncovering a man’s nakedness was an expression that actually meant uncovering his wife’s nakedness.

Leviticus 18:7–8
You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.

Likewise, they explain, “Lev 18:14, 16; 20:11, 13, 21 all describe a woman’s nakedness as the nakedness of her husband.”

They then prove that “seeing nakedness” and “uncovering nakedness” are equivalent phrases and are the usual expressions of sexual intercourse in the Holiness Code of Leviticus (18:6; 20:17). It could not be more explicit than Deuteronomy 27:20:

Deuteronomy 27:20
‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s nakedness.’

Biblically, “uncovering a man’s nakedness” was an idiom for having sexual intercourse with his wife.

NoahBookBanner2

What then of Shem and Japheth walking backward so as not to see Noah’s nakedness? Surely, this is not a reference to avoiding maternal incest, but a literal covering of Noah’s body with a cloak?

In that case, the literal and the figurative collide in a metaphor of meaning. The authors explain the apparent incongruity this way:

The brothers’ actions play on the broader meaning of the phrase. Not only did the brothers not “see their father’s nakedness” in the sense of having intercourse with him, but also they did not even dare to “see their father’s nakedness” in a literal sense. Where Ham’s act was exceedingly evil, their gesture was exceedingly pious and noble. (2)

The final clincher to making sense of this bizarre passage is the curse of the son Canaan. Throughout Genesis 9, Ham is oddly and repeatedly referred to as the father of Canaan. It is a strange repetition that draws attention to itself and is finally climaxed with Canaan being cursed instead of Ham for Ham’s dirty deed.

Well, if Canaan was the fruit of that illicit union of maternal incest between Ham and Emzara, it makes perfect sense within that culture that he is cursed. It may not sound kind to our modern ears, but it is perfectly consistent with that Biblical time period.

Ham sought to usurp his father’s patriarchal authority through maternal incest which was “uncovering his nakedness.” The fruit of that action, the son Canaan, is a cursed man. And that cursed man is the forefather of a cursed nation. Remember, in the ancient world, family bloodlines were all about survival and keeping them protected.

The writer of Genesis, whether Moses or a later editor, was clearly showing the origins of the evil curse on the land of Canaan that they were about to take from the Canaanites. Canaan was cursed to be a servant of the Shemites, or Semites of Israel, and that one justification of their conquest of the Promised Land.

In short, the Canaanites are the Seed of the Serpent at war with the Israelites, the Seed of Eve (more on this in upcoming posts), and they deserve to be dispossessed of their land by the God whom their ancestors rejected and by whom they were cursed.

Of course, there is much more to the story than that, for there were giants in the land of Canaan as well, giants that were the descendants of the Nephilim, the original Seed of the Serpent.

I tell this story in the novels Joshua Valiant and Caleb Vigilant to see how that all fits together. But what is this “Seed of the Serpent” thing? Look for the next post for an introduction to the Giants.

joshua_caleb_banner

Buy Noah Primeval to read more of this interesting Biblical research about all things Noah, and for a well-researched retelling of the War of the Seed of the Serpent with the Seed of Eve. It will make the Bible stories come alive like never before.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

FOOTNOTES

(1) John Sietze Bergsma, Scott Walker Hahn, “Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan (Genesis 9:20–27)”, Journal of Biblical Literature 124 (2005): 25, ed. Gail R. O’Day, 25 (Decatur, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005).

(2) Bergsma, Hahn, “Noah’s Nakedness,” 33.

Noah Facts #1: Sunday School Was Wrong!

noah_movie_poster_1With all the talk surrounding the upcoming movie Noah, I thought I would add some positive elements to the conversation with some factoids and research about the Biblical Noah so you can be prepared to watch the movie with wisdom and discernment.

I’ve written a Biblical fantasy series of novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim that begins with Noah Primeval. Yep, you guessed it, a novel about Noah. But Noah actually is a character who lives rather long so he shows up in several of the novels. I’ve researched this topic extensively for the novels, Noah Primeval has been a category bestseller on Amazon for the past three years. I wanted to share some of the fascinating things I’ve discovered. The following is taken from the preface to the novel Noah Primeval.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

NoahBookBanner

 

It’s Okay to Use Fictional Embellishment when Retelling the Story of Noah. The Point is to Stay True to the Original Meaning.

Since my blog post critiquing the worldview of the early script of Noah went viral, certain misunderstandings have inevitably occurred.

First off, EARTH TO CYNICS: I WAS NOT COMMENTING ON A MOVIE I HAVE NOT SEEN. I WAS CRITIQUING A SCRIPT I HAD READ. Big difference. As I said, oftentimes, the story can change from script to screen. So I was careful to make that distinction. I wish that readers would have been as careful in reading it distinctly. As a scriptwriter I can tell you that the arrogant claim by directors and producers that a script is only a blueprint for a movie and therefore not worthy of treatment as literature, is a half-truth. Which is to say that it is a half-lie. Yes, it is a work in progress. But it is a story embodied in a written form that certainly does express character, theme, message, drama. And all that is WORTHY as a written form of story in and of itself, to appreciate and critique.

Secondly, I have little patience for fundamentalists and hyper-literalists who demand absolute reproduction of every jot and tittle of THEIR INTERPRETATION of Biblical facts or a movie is heresy. They think the application of fantasy elements and creative license is an abomination. They simply don’t know their Bibles that are full of mythopoeic imagery, fantasy, and imaginative embellishments. I write all about that stuff here and here. DO NOT thrown me into that camp. I write about movies all the time whose worldview I may detest, but nonetheless appreciate some truth in them wherever it is found. We live in a messy world, people. No movie is perfect. There is good and bad in every movie. Heck, I even saw some good in The Da Vinci Code. It was uh, it was…. Uh…. good acting…. by that one character who played that hotel clerk… Okay, sometimes the bad does outweigh the good.

I can tell you right now that the trailers I saw for Noah were awesome and visually captured the notion of what the Flood may have been like. After I see the movie, I will be discussing all the good elements, not just what I don’t like. Just like I always do. Of course, I also know that trailers were cut precisely not to offend the Christian audience and to draw them in, so trailers are not the best guide to what a movie actually is all about.

I wrote VERY CLEARLY in that post that the fantasy elements of the script that I read, and for that matter of what we are hearing about now, is not inherently the problem. I will explain below that I have used fantasy and mythopoeic elements in my own novel, Noah Primeval.

What matters is not the use of fantasy in and of itself. What matters is the worldview or sacred story being told. The MEANING of the story.

But even then, too many people are extremist and unthinking in their reactions when they disagree with a post. They just jump to all kinds of ridiculous conclusions. So they think that if you critique a script then you hate it. Same goes for movies. It’s like they never read the good parts you pointed out. This is a mentality in the Christian camp that spends too much time damning everything and pointing out what’s wrong with everything. The only thing worse are those who bless everything and follow the zeitgeist of the era like lemmings right into the sea.

Let me say it again: What matters is not the use of fantasy in and of itself. What matters is the worldview or sacred story being told. The MEANING of the story.

My novel Noah Primeval is the result of Biblical and historical research about Noah’s flood and the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) context of the book of Genesis. While I engage in significant creative license and speculation, all of it is rooted in an affirmation of what I believe is the theological and spiritual intent of the Bible. For those who are leery of such a “novel” approach, let them consider that the traditional Sunday school image of Noah as a little old white-bearded farmer building the ark alone with his sons is itself a speculative cultural bias. The Bible actually says very little about Noah. We don’t know what he did for a living before the Flood or even where he lived. How do we know whether he was just a simple farmer or a tribal warrior? Genesis 9:2 says Noah “began to be a man of the soil” after the Flood, not before it. If the world before the flood was full of wickedness and violence, then would not a righteous man fight such wickedness as Joshua or David would? Noah would not have been that different from Abraham, who farmed, did business and led his family and servants in war against kings.

We know very little about primeval history, but we do learn from archeological evidence that humanity was clearly tribal during the early ages when this story takes place. Yet, nothing is written about Noah’s tribe in the Bible. It would be modern individualistic prejudice to assume that Noah was a loner when everyone in that Biblical context was communal. Noah surely had a tribe.

There is really no agreement as to the actual time and location of the event of the Flood. Some say it was global, some say it was in upper Mesopotamia, some say lower Mesopotamia, some say the Black Sea, some say the earth was so changed by the flood that we would not know where it happened. Since Genesis has some references that seem to match Early Bronze Age Mesopotamian contexts I have gone with that basic interpretation.

The Bible also says Noah built the ark. Are we to believe that Noah built it all by himself? It doesn’t say. With his sons’ help? It doesn’t say. But that very same book does say earlier that Cain “built a city” (some scholars believe it was Cain’s son Enoch) Are we to assume that he built an entire city by himself? Ridiculous. Cain or Enoch presided as a leader over the building of a city by a group of people, just as Noah probably did with his ark.

NoahBookBanner2

One of the only things Genesis says about Noah’s actual character is that he was “a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (Gen. 6:9). The New Testament clarifies this meaning by noting Noah as an “heir” and “herald” of righteousness by faith (Heb. 11:7; 2Pet. 2:5). The popular interpretation of this notion of “righteousness” is to understand Noah as a virtually sinless man too holy for his time, and always communing with God in perfect obedience. But is this really Biblical? Would Noah have never sinned? Never had an argument with God? Never had to repent? As a matter of fact, the term “righteous” in the Old and New Testaments was not a mere description of a person who did good deeds and avoided bad deeds. Righteousness was a Hebrew legal concept that meant, “right standing before God” as in a court of law. It carried the picture of two positions in a lawsuit, one “not in the right,” and the other, “in the right” or “righteous” before God. It was primarily a relational term. Not only that, but in both Testaments, the righteous man is the man who is said to “live by faith,” not by perfect good deeds (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17). So righteousness does not mean “moral perfection” but “being in the right with God because of faith.”

What’s more, being a man of faith doesn’t mean a life of perfect consistency either. Look at David, the “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), yet he was a murderer and adulterer and more than once avoided obeying God’s will. But that doesn’t stop him from being declared as “doing all God’s will” by the apostle Paul. Or consider Abraham, the father of the Faith, who along with Sarah believed that God would provide them with a son (Heb. 11:8-11). Yet, that biblically honored faith was not perfect, as they both laughed in derision at God’s promise at first (Gen. 17:17; 18:12). Later, Abraham argued with God over his scorched earth policy at Sodom (Gen. 18). Moses was famous for his testy debates with God (Ex. 4; Num. 14:11-24). King David’s Psalms were sometimes complaints to his Maker (Psa. 13; Psa. 69). The very name Israel means “to struggle with God.”

All the heroes in the Hebrews Hall of Faith (Heb. 11) had sinful moments, lapses of obedience and even periods of running from God’s call or struggling with their Creator. It would not be heresy to suggest that Noah may have had his own journey with God that began in fear and ended in faith. In fact, to say otherwise is to present a life inconsistent with the reality of every human being in history. To say one is a righteous person of faith is to say that the completed picture of his life is one of finishing the race set before him, not of having a perfect run without injuries or failures.

Some scholars have even noted that the phrase “blameless in his generation” is an unusual one, reserved for unblemished sacrifices in the temple. This physical purity takes on new meaning when understood in the genetic context of the verses before it that speak of “sons of God” or bene ha elohim leaving their proper abode in heaven and violating the separation of angelic and human flesh (Gen. 6:1-4; Jude 5-7). I will post more on this, later.

Noah Primeval seeks to remain true to the sparse facts presented in Genesis (with admittedly significant embellishments) interwoven with theological images and metaphors come to life. Where I engage in flights of fancy, such as a journey into Sheol, I seek to use figurative imagery from the Bible, such as “a bed of maggots and worms” (Isa. 14:11) and “the appetite of Sheol” (Isa. 5:14) and bring them to life by literalizing them into the flesh-eating living-dead animated by maggots and worms.

LeviathanUnderwaterFire

Another player that shows up in the story is Leviathan. While I have provided another appendix explaining the theological motif of Leviathan as a metaphor in the Bible for chaos and disorder, I have embodied the sea dragon in this story for the purpose of incarnating that chaos as well. I have also literalized the Mesopotamian cosmology of a three-tiered universe with a solid vault in the heavens, and a flat disc earth supported on the pillars of the underworld, the realm of the dead. This appears to be the model assumed by the Biblical writers in many locations (Phil. 2:10; Job 22:14; 37:18; Psa. 104:5; 148:4; Isa. 40:22), so I thought it would be fascinating to tell that story within that worldview unknown to most modern westerners. The purpose of the Bible is not to support scientific theories or models of the universe, but to tell the story of God through ancient writers. Those writers were people of their times just as we are.

I have also woven together Sumerian and other Mesopotamian mythology in with the Biblical story, but with this caveat: Like C.S. Lewis, I believe the primary purpose of mythology is to embody the worldview and values of a culture. But all myths carry slivers of the truth and reflect some distorted vision of what really happened. Sumer’s Noah was Ziusudra, Babylon’s Noah was Utnapishtim, and Akkad’s was Atrahasis. The Bible’s Noah is my standard. So my goal was to incorporate real examples of ANE history and myth in subjection to that standard in such a way that we see their “true origin.” Thus my speculation that the gods of the ancient world may have been real beings (namely fallen “sons of God”) with supernatural powers. The Bible itself makes this suggestion in several places (Deut. 32:17; Psa. 106:34), and it also talks of the sons of God as “gods” or supernatural beings from God’s divine council (Psa. 82:1; 58:1; Ezek. 28:2).

In short, I am not writing Scripture. I am simply engaging in a time-honored tradition of the ancient Hebrew culture: I am retelling a biblical story in a new way to underscore the original theological truths within it. The biblical theology that this story is founded upon is provided in several appendices at the back of the book for those who are interested in going deeper.

Buy the novel Noah Primeval, here on Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback. The website www.ChroniclesOfTheNephilim.com has tons of way cool free videos, scholarly articles about Watchers and Nephilim Giants, artwork for the series, as well as a sign-up for updates and special deals.

Get Chronicles of the Nephilim on Audiobook!

As many of you know, I am not only a filmmaker, but an author of novels.
My current Biblical Fantasy saga, Chronicles of the Nephilim is being received with much love and fandom.

Chronicles of the Nephilim is a saga that charts the rise and fall of the Nephilim and just what their place is in the evil plans of the fallen Sons of God called, “The Watchers.” These rogue members of God’s divine council will stop at nothing to win their war as the Seed of the Serpent against the Seed of Eve. But God has other plans!

But I need your help.

I want to put the whole series on audiobook so more people can get the series.

So please check out my Kickstarter Campaign and consider pledging to the cause!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COOL VIDEO EXPLAINING EVERYTHING ON KICKSTARTER

You’ll get rewards that are better than if you bought the items from Amazon or Audible.