Truth and Libery Blog | March 1, 2019
The phrase Days of Noah occurs four or five times in the Bible, depending on the version – Genesis 9:29, Isaiah 54:9, Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:26, and 1 Peter 3:20. Matthew 24 records the Olivet Discourse, which is one of the most important prophetic texts in all of Scripture. The Gospel of Matthew is amazing because as a tax collector Matthew was trained in short hand and thus was able to easily record Jesus’ public speeches – for example the Sermon on the Mount. The context for the prophetic discourse of Matthew 24 is established in verse 3:
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus speaks of false messiahs, wars, rumors of wars, ethnic groups fighting with each other, famines, earthquakes, persecution, martyrdom, apostasy, false prophets, lawlessness, and more. He talks about the Abomination of Desolation (a yet future event) and then provides the parable of the fig tree. (If you aren’t familiar with the Abomination of Desolation and the parable of the fig tree I encourage you to study these topics.) At this point in the lesson, which Dr. Chuck Missler calls a ‘private briefing’, Jesus tells the disciples:
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:36-39
Recall the question that Jesus was asked: What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? The disciples wanted to know when Jesus was going to overthrow the Roman Empire and establish His Messianic Kingdom on earth. At the time they did not realize that Jesus would first be crucified, die, and then raised from the dead. They did not understand that He would then ascend into Heaven and that the Church Age (still ongoing) would take place first before Jesus returned to establish His Kingdom on earth. Jesus’ answer alludes not only to the Second Coming but also to the Day of the Lord that immediately precedes His glorious return. In context it is clear that Jesus’ response tells us two things:
- Nobody knows exactly when the end will come
- When the end does come it will catch the world off guard – it will be business as usual right up until that day (the Day of the Lord)
Those who do not like to / want to discuss Bible Prophecy use verse 36 as their justification. Nobody knows the day or the hour! they boldly proclaim. We don’t know and can’t know, they say, so it is pointless to examine events that will occur at the end of the age. But this is silly because why would the Lord have given us Prophetic Scripture if He didn’t want us to examine it? Bible Prophecy is what made me fall in love with the Bible and it is a tremendous tool we can use to advance the Kingdom of God. What is more, if we keep reading beyond verse 39 in verse 42 we are implored to stay awake, in in verse 44 we are told that we must be ready. There is something to be said against overly zealous speculation, infighting over various eschatological theories, and just unintelligible weirdness in general. I get this. But it is equally in error to go too far in the opposite direction and to ignore Bible Prophecy all together:
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Luke 12:54-56
Jesus’ point was that those who were alive during His life and ministry on earth had enough information / revelation from the Scriptures that they should have recognized that the time for Messiah’s appearance on earth was at hand. While exact dates might not be known it was obvious to those with spiritual eyes that it was the general season. In the same way today there is sufficient information available in the Bible today that we can identify the general timeframe of Christ’s return to earth. We are in that season! We must know how to interpret our present time. If we fail to do this the coming Day of the Lord will catch us off guard. Genesis 6 While we can’t know the day or the hour it is also clear that we are to be ready and to discern the times. Is there anything else that Jesus is teaching us in reference to the Days of Noah? The best way to find out is to see what else the Bible has to say about the Days of Noah. The Biblical account is located in Genesis 6:
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.
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. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Sons of God? Since Genesis 6 provides the context and the reasoning behind the catastrophic global flood, it is important that we take a closer look to see what Scripture is truly saying.
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
One of the fundamental rules of Biblical hermeneutics (interpretation) is that we use Scripture to interpret Scripture. The phrase sons of God in Genesis 6:2 is the English translation of the Hebrew phrase bene ha’elohiym. There are five occurrences of this precise Hebrew phrase in the Hebrew Bible, (Genesis 6:2, 6:4; and Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). In Job 38 the Lord begins to respond to Job and the accusations he had leveled against God:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The Lord points Job back to the creation of Heaven and Earth, and asks where were you on that day? This, of course, is a humbling rhetorical question because Job was not there that day – no man was. Man was not created until the sixth and final day of creation. The morning stars and the sons of God (bene ha’elohiym) then are angels who existed before mankind was created. This helps us to interpret Job 1:6-7:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” Job 1:6-7
Here we receive a glimpse into the Heavenly realm – this is one of the major themes of the Book of Job – as the sons of God (bene ha’elohiym) appear before the throne of God. We do not know the exact nature of this Heavenly meeting but we are told that the angels (sons of God) are present and that Satan has access to the proceedings. Job 2:1 records a second such meeting. The use of the phrase sons of God (bene ha’elohiym) in Job establishes that the sons of God in Genesis 6:2 and 6:4 are angels. In the New Testament usage of the phrase sons of God is different and this turns out to be an important detail. Adam is called son of God in Luke 3:38. Elsewhere the sons of God are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36), and they are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). The sons of God will be revealed at the resurrection when creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption (Romans 8:19-21). Paul summarizes in Galatians 3:26 precisely who the sons of God are – for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. The Biblical definition of sons of God is unambiguous – a son of God is an undefiled sentient creation of God. This includes:
- The angels who did not sin / the angels before they sinned
- Adam before he sinned
- The new covenant believer who has been born from above (John 3, 1 Peter 3), made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15), and given a new spirit and a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
The sons of God will be fully revealed on the day believers are resurrected. On that beautiful day those who are in Christ will receive a new, incorruptible, immortal and glorified resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Nephilim With this definition in mind, when we return to Genesis 6 it is clear the word play between sons of God (bene ha’elohiym) and the daughters of men (benot ha’adam) creates a deliberate literary contrast between these two groups. Now that we know the intended meaning of the phrase sons of God if we simply take the text at face value we seewhat Scripture is saying. In the Days of Noah some of God’s angels (watchers) married human women:
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.
The text continues:
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 6:3-4
Firstly God pronounces that that lifespan of man will be reduced, likely as a result of the physical changes to the universe that took place concurrent with the global flood. The average lifespan of Noah’s fathers back to Adam (excluding Enoch who was translated without dying) was 907.5 years (see Genesis 5). God declares that following the flood man’s days on earth would be reduced to 120 years. We then see that not only did some of the angels marry human women but they had offspring – half angel and half human. These offspring are called Nephilim, mighty men, and men of renown. There is no mention of female offspring. Nephilim is the English transliteration of the Hebrew word in the original. The Hebrew verb naphal means ‘to fall’ so Nephilim can be taken to mean ‘fallen ones’. The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible completed in the third century BC) translates Nephilim as gigantes meaning earthborn. In Greek literature a form of this word is used to describe the rebellious Titans, “the sons of Heaven and Earth”.(1) In English gigantes has been taken to mean giants. While technically the word gigantes refers more to status (fallen) than to size (large) we do know that many of the Angel-Human hybrids were great in stature, as reported by Caleb and the Spies in Numbers 13:33 (the only other place where the term Nephilim is used):
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. Numbers 13:33
Giants in the Land Genesis 6:4 notes that the Nephilim were on the earth in the Days of Noah just before the flood and also afterward. The ‘giant’ sons of Anak mentioned in Numbers are elsewhere in Scripture called the Anakim and are described as great and tall (Deuteronomy 1:28, 2:21, 9:2). Interestingly, Deuteronomy 2:10-11 states:
(The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. Like the Anakim they are also counted as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim…)
Rephaim seems to be a generic Hebrew term for nephilim / giants. The Zamzummin were also known as giants:
[Ammon] is also counted as a land of Rephaim. Rephaim formerly lived there—but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim— a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim Deuteronomy 2:20-21
Thus from Deuteronomy 2 we learn that the Anakim, Emim, and Zamzummin were all known to Israel as tribes of nephilim / Rephaim/ giants. Specific individuals in Scripture are mentioned as giants / Rephaim:
For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.
If the common cubit is approximately 18 inches then Og of the Rephaim slept in a bed that was 13.5 feet long and 6 feet wide. (According to David Flynn the sacred cubit is 25.2 – inches long but that is a rabbit trail we can go down another time.) There was also a group of giants who lived among the Philistines in Gath. One unnamed descendant of the giants is described as having six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number (1 Chronicles 20:6). Sippai and Lahmi are also named as giants in 1 Chronicles 20:4-5 and Ishbi-benob and Saph are mentioned in 2 Samuel 21:16-18. In fact Lahmi is identified as the brother of the most famous giant of all, Goliath, who was at least 9’9″ (depending on how you define the cubit). Happily, with just a sling and a stone a ruddy Bethlehimite named David slayed the uncircumcised Philistine giant who brazenly defied the armies of the living God. Genesis 6 implies that the outbreak of hybrid children was linked to the coming of the global flood in Noah’s day. But after the flood the Bible mentions three specific tribes of giants, references six by name, and describes an unnamed seventh as having 24 fingers and toes. These giants were the unclean and monstrous offspring of the angels who mated with human women. Genesis 6:4 states that these Nephilim were mighty men and men of renown. Angels that Sinned Genesis 19 records the judgement and destruction of Sodom. In this somber chapter the wicked men of Sodom try to have sex with two of God’s holy angels:
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”
‘Knowing someone’ is a euphemistic idiom that is often employed by Biblical authors. The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with Lot’s angelic visitors. Amazingly there is a New Testament commentary on this very passage and the author links it back to the Days of Noah:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell 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; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 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. 2 Peter 2:4-10
Peter calls the angels who married human women and sired hybrid offspring (Nephilim) the angels that sinned. He tells us that these angels have been cast into hell where they are bound in chains awaiting the day of judgment. The word Peter uses here for hell is the Greek word Tartaroo, which comes from the root word Tartarus (Greek ταρταροσ). Tartarus is defined by Strong’s Concordance as “the deepest abyss of Hades.”(2) This is the only place in the entire Bible where the term Tartaroo is used. In 1 Peter 3 we discover that after Jesus was crucified and died physically, He descended into hell where He proclaimed His victory:
…[Jesus] went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Notice that Peter uses the actual phrase Days of Noah. Peter mentions the angels that sinned and the Days of Noah twice each in his two short Epistles – he must have felt, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, that this information was very important for the Church to know. New Bodies! There is yet another explicit reference to this corrupt and rebellious conduct in the New Testament and crucial additional insight can be gleaned from this passage:
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, 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. Jude 6-7
The word here that is translated as abode is interesting. The Greek is oiketerion, meaning dwelling place, abode, habitation, or residence – either literally or figuratively. The only other place where this word is used in Scripture is in 2 Corinthians 5:2:
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling…
In this passage the dwelling (oiketerioin) is the incorruptible, immortal, glorified resurrection body that will house the spirit and soul of God’s redeemed. The implication of the passage in Jude, then, is that in their lust for ‘strange flesh’, the angels who sinned found a way to put off their perfect God-given bodies so that they could have sex with human women.
So when Jesus says For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man, is this an indication that this genetic funnybusiness will be going on again in the days just prior to His Second Coming?
(1) Dr Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman. Alien Encounters, 370.
(2) Strong’s 5020 (Greek)
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