Monday, June 07, 2004

Genesis 6:1-4

In terms of reading, I'm done with Leviticus. In terms of writing, I'll still stuck on the flood. I'll try to write about Genesis 6-9 for the next day or two.

Like most of what I've discussed so far, Genesis 6 confounds me. Verses 1-4 start the confusion.

1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 3 And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 There were giants 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.
What in the world does all this mean?

"The sons of God saw the daughters of men..." What does this mean? I once read a text that claimed that early Christians debated whether Jesus was divine for the first 400 years of Christianity's existence. Christ's very divinity depends upon the view, advanced in the New Testament in John's Gospel (John 3:16), that Jesus was God's only son. Someone in my study group said that these were angels. But it doesn't say that. And if it means that, wouldn't it also leave open the possibility that Jesus was only one of many angels? That can't be the solution.

So what is this all about? There were other sons of God. And from the context, it appears that there were a bunch of them. And then they took wives from among the "daughters of men?" And they made babies together? And the babies were giants?

I remember reading about some hoax in New York a hundred years ago in which people thought one of the Biblical giants had been found. I remember wondering "What giants were they talking about?" This is it. They all died in the flood, I suppose, because there is no mention of Noah or his three sons being giants. And yet, there is that nagging sentence fragment "and also afterward," which makes it sound like more of God's sons came down and made more giant babies.

One of the arguments I hear fundamental Christian literalists use to argue against the theory of evolution is that there are scarcely any human fossils. If man had been around for millions of years, there should be more fossils. But there are no fossils of these giants, either. This is just plain weird. I had no idea that I was supposed to believe this.

In verse 3, God puts an apparent end to all of this living for 900 years stuff. God said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." So the life span will be just 120 years. Yet, Noah lived 950 years (Genesis 9:29), and many more people will live well past 120 after this. I'm also confused by the reference to God's spirit not striving with man forever. What does that mean? Is this an explanation for why God seemed to be in close contact with the ancients, but seems to have very little interaction, if any, with modern man?

Aside from inner peace and the rare coincidental event that could be interpreted as a sign, I have never had a prayer answered. God has never walked with me, or appeared before me. If I am wrong, it is only because God hid himself from me, because I have never recognized Him in any physical form during my lifetime. I'm praying for guidance right now. Yet, the conclusions I am drawing are not what any of my Christian fellows would urge me to draw. So, does God's spirit no longer strive with me? It certainly feels like that right now.


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September 10, 2006 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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April 2, 2012 at 6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you done studies on the Nephelim? They are said to be the "sons of God" referred to in this chapter. Curious as to your thoughts.

January 5, 2014 at 9:44 AM  

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