When men began to multiply on earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of heaven saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives as many as they chose.
Then the Lord said: 'My spirit shall not remain in man forever, since he is flesh. His days shall comprise one hundred and twenty years.'
At that time the Nephilim appeared on earth (as well as later), after the sons of heaven had intercourse with daughters of man, who bore them sons. They were heroes of old, the men of renown.
This early genetic breeding resulted in unnatural offspring termed Nephilim, which derives from the Hebrew naphal (to fall), or the Fallen Ones. The resulting Nephilim apparently also yearned after human women, ( the daughters of man ) and took wives with them. The Nephilim were renowned for both their strength and their wickedness. In turn for marriage, the Nephilim taught mankind many things as described in the Book of Enoch :
Hereinafter follow the names of those angelic leaders who descended with this object: Samayasa, chief among all, Urakabrameel, Azibeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Sarakuyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal. They took wives with whom they had intercourse, to whom also they taught Magic, the art of enchantment and the diverse properties of roots and trees. Amazarac gave instruction in all secrets of sorcerers; Barakaial was the master of those who study the stars; Akibeel manifested signs; and Azaradel thought the motions of the moon."
The Nephilim had not only furthered Humanities knowledge but also tried to sway him from the true religion of Yahweh. In his fury, Yahweh saw that this alliance had caused man to rebel against him just as the B'nai Elohim had done as well, so he decided to cleanse the Earth for all time, Enoch, himself a prophet and non-polluted man foretold of the judgement of Yahweh and it was his descendant, Noah who built the Ark to preserve the non-polluted beings from drowning.
However, the Nephilim were not all destroyed in the flood, in Numbers 13:33, there appears to be some confusion regarding the word Nephilim as it had probably been translated as simply meaning 'giants' in common with the pre-Olympian Titans ; when Joshua's spies reported back from Canaan, they called certain of the inhabitants of Canaan "giants."
"And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, which come of the Nephilim, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
However, it is to the explanation of WHO the Nephilim really were that I would like to venture.
Hebrew mythology, of which both the B'nai Elohim and Nephilim are part of, descended of sorts from earlier Semitic beliefs. One of the main influences to Hebrew lore is that of the Cannanites. Firstly, let us look at their angelic patriarchs, the B'nai Elohim. As I have said previously Elohim is the plural and does not mean God but in fact Gods! Secondly El is the ancient Semitic deity of all things, in fact in myths he is termed bny bnwt, 'Creator of that which is Created'.
He is often portrayed as a lofty old king sitting on a throne looking rather aloof and remote. This may be a pictorial representation of the distance and indeed difference that Man has to God ( El ).
However, El is comparatively a very young god ( only a few thousand years old! ) whereas his consort, Elat ( Goddess ) predates him by many generations. His offspring, the celestial royal family include the following :
As one can clearly see, there is a great deal of similarity with that of the better known Hellenic family of Gods, the Olympians. This is probably because the Phoenicians, an off-shoot of the Canaanite people, were great traders and sea-farers, they greatly influenced the ancient Mediterranean world. A good example of this is the similarity of the Semitic alphabet ( Aleph, Beth, Gimmel etc. ) and the Hellenic one ( Alpha, Beta, Gamma etc. ) So therefore mythology could be passed on and changed from culture to culture.
Marduck himself is a changing god, he appears to have been initially a fertility god hence his bull image ( left ) symbol of procreation and strength.
A link of correspondences can be made between all three myth cycles discussed above. The Canaanite pantheon in this instance begins with El, of course there are other gods before El but that is of no concern at this moment. El is remanifested in Greek culture as Kronos and later as Zeus as he became more important to the Hellenic religions. Yahweh is the supreme god of the Hebrew people, he appears to have borrowed many attributes from many neighbouring deities this is probably why he has such a diverse character in the Old Testament. As head of the royal family, or pantheon, of the Canaanite gods, Baal is the King of the Elohim - Olympians. Beneath this group is the divine spawn of matings with lesser deities, a smaller pantheon, perhaps even the first mating of Gods and Humans, the B'nai Elohim. This breeding may be the condemned ( by the Hebrew Rabbis ) practice of ritual sexual intercourse with High Priest and Priestess common in many pagan religions. The progeny of these matings would be the Kings and Queens of the land, the earthly incarnation of the divine god(s). The Nephilim themselves seem to be the descendants of these divine terrestrial coupling.
So the mythical Nephilim could be translated as the off-spring of the archetypal governing royal body, themselves said to be descended from the Gods. This maybe a sound theory but it seems to be too post-Olympian / Elohim and therefore could be a later version of the tale. Yet, all this does not answer why they are called the 'Fallen'. For that I would like to look at the idea that the Nephilim are actually pre-Olympian. Part two deals with the fallen as , the Necronomicon and the book of Enoch.