Who or what were the Nephilim?
To answer this question, we invited Billy Crone, the pastor of Sunrise Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada and founder of Get A Life! Ministries, to our television program Christ in Prophecy. Billy covered a number of sensationalist Bible prophecy topics such as UFOs and the Nephilim.
The Heroes of Old
Nathan Jones: Billy, another sensationalist Bible prophecy topic involves the Nephilim. What are the Nephilim?
Billy Crone: Genesis 6 says this: “When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God,” which the take on the “sons of God” would obviously be fallen angels, “saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, they married any of them they chose. And then the Lord said, ‘My spirit will not contend with men forever, for he is mortal; his days will be 120 years.'”
Nephilim is indeed a biblical word. They lived on the earth during those pre-Flood days. Again, these fallen angels went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the “heroes of old and men of renown.”
So, guess what? Keep reading. There’s going to be a punishment for what went on. “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And the LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air, for I am grieved that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”
So, in the Genesis account, prior to the Flood, there were some weird things going on. Certainly, there was general wickedness, but there was also another kind of wickedness going on with the sons of God, these fallen angels.
Nathan Jones: “Sons of God” was a term for angels back in Old Testament times. You say Nephilim, my interpretation says, giants. How tall are we talking about?
Billy Crone: Well, here comes your sensationalism. I’ve heard people say, and how can you prove this, that these Nephilim were 30-50 feet tall. No, I think you are going a little bit into mythology on that aspect for your proof. But, the word there in Hebrew does mean literally giant, giant or fallen ones, and things of that nature.
Nathan Jones: So, 9, 10, 11 feet tall, maybe?
Billy Crone: Yes, pretty big, and certainly to the point where it is abnormal. Some people want to say, “Well, these Sons of God could not have been fallen angels because that’d be too creepy to try to picture that kind of inter-species intermingling.” They’ll counter that these Sons of God just came from the line of Seth. Well, Seth was merely a human, and since when do humans with humans produce something abnormal such as this? No, rather, something unnatural was going on. Plus, I think it adds to the severity of the judgment of the Flood, right?
Nathan Jones: When we read in Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25 where Jesus said that angels are not married or given in marriage, that would indicate that angels don’t reproduce and are likely sexless. So, how can angels then marry women? Were they possessing men and, therefore, their offspring grew into giants?
Billy Crone: That’s one of the mysterious aspects about the Nephilim. Some will point to angels in heaven not being able to reproduce, but that these are fallen angels and could possibly reproduce. There’s that aspect, too. Plus, in the Hebrew oftentimes sex is translated married, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that in Genesis. We can only conclude basically that these fallen angels took these women and had sex with them, and not necessarily that they went through a marriage ceremony.
Nathan Jones: Marriage is a word synonymous with sex in the Bible, and since Jesus revealed that angels are not given in marriage, it’s often taken that angels, both heavenly and fallen, are incapable of reproducing.
Billy Crone: Certainly, when you get married you procreate. That to me just adds to the severity of the judgment. Because, think about it, the next major coming judgment by God is the seven-year Tribulation, and that is going to be bad. Jesus remarked that the Tribulation is going to be the worse time in the history of mankind. The seven-year Tribulation will completely ravage the planet by God’s wrath for seven years non-stop. With God’s last wrathful judgment — — the whole planet is wiped out, except for Noah, eight people, and the animals that God brought onto the Ark. That’s serious! Why would God be wiping out the whole planet and hitting a restart button? Something horrific was going on there.
Dr. Reagan: It seems to me that God caused the Flood because the people had become so unrighteous, and probably also to destroy these Nephilim.
Nephilim or Giantism
Dr. Reagan: There’s a second reference to the Nephilim in the Bible. Turn over to Numbers 13:33 when Joshua sent spies into the land of Canaan. The spies come back and reported, “We saw Nephilim, the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim, and we became like grasshoppers in their sight.” What are the Nephilim doing back on the earth after the Flood destroyed them?
Billy Crone: I take a different approach. Some people would say that it was a second time that these fallen angels went and did this deed and created a new race of giants. I don’t really buy that because of a couple of other passages of Scripture which tell us that this cohabitation between fallen angels and mankind was so wicked that God gave those fallen angels a unique punishment. God bound them in the Bottomless Pit. Right there in 2 Peter 2, the Bible reveals, “For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned.” I believe Peter is talking about this Genesis account. “But sent them to Hell [meaning Tartarus], putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.”
Tartarus, or Hades, or the Bottomless Pit is where these Sons of God are confined to now. Then, you also see in Jude 6, “And the angels,” I would say again fallen angels, “who did not keep their positions of authority, but abandoned their own home, these He,” God, “has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great day.”
Dr. Reagan: So, were the spies just using the term Nephilim then to refer to large people, tall people, or some kind of giant?
Billy Crone: Yes, because of these verses, I don’t believe that there was a second time when this cohabitation happened, because God had locked up all of the fallen angels who had committed this abomination. Of course, there are still demons we have to contend with in spiritual warfare on the planet, we know that, but these were guilty of such a great abomination that God says like, “Boy that’s it, man, you’re going down! You’re stuck in that dungeon and you’re not getting out until I release you during the Tribulation.”
Nathan Jones: So, we are talking about genetic giants during Joshua and David’s era?
Billy Crone: I produced 12 studies called, “In the Days of Noah” and I went down deep on this point. I am convinced, based on the biblical and archeological evidence, that there was a second cause for giantism in the pre-Flood days. The pre-Flood atmosphere originally had double the air pressure and increased oxygen content. I’m talking about the Greenhouse Effect. Some of the increased atmospheric experiments done today when replicated produce giantism in plants and animals. And so, it very well could be that Noah and his family, who were not involved with the Nephilim, but because of living in that increased atmosphere saw that everything got big. Of course, the Nephilim were abnormally large. After Noah and his family and the animals got off the Ark and repopulated the planet, you still have some of that giantism left in the DNA genetic pool. With the decrease of the atmospheric pressure due to the Flood, it also explains why giantism over time kind of petered out.
In the fourth and last part of our look at sensationalist Bible prophecy, Billy Crone will explore whether the Nephilim are to return or not in the end times.