Home » End Times » Days of Noah » Part 2: Did Jesus Make a Veiled Reference to the Nephilim?

Part 2: Did Jesus Make a Veiled Reference to the Nephilim?

In part one of this post, I suggested that Jesus’ reference to ‘eating, drinking, marrying, given in marriage’ in the days of Noah could in fact be a reference to the actions of the fallen angels in procreating the Nephilim. Jesus also made reference to the days of Lot

Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built. (Luke 17:28)

Let’s consider what the (bad) angels that have been cast into hell (tartaros) and are locked in everlasting chains waiting until the final judgment because they must have done something more than the initial rebellion. For if the first rebellion was sufficient to require them to be locked up already, why should Satan and so many other demons be allowed to go about freely? Peter provides evidence of just what landed them in everlasting chains so prematurely by his statement in verse ten: “especially those who indulge their fleshly desires [sarkos en epitumia σαρκος εν επιθυμια μιασμου] and who despise authority.” The Greek term employed by Peter (epithumia επιθυμια) is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as a great longing for something, often of things forbidden. This word coupled with “flesh” (sarkos σαρκος) and “defilement”[i] (miasmou μιασμου) makes a powerful statement – the unrighteous, which includes (fallen) angels acted upon a forbidden longing to defile or stain their flesh.

Jude, most likely basing his own writing on Peter, then elaborates in what way the angels sinned.

Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all) that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe. You also know that the angels [angelous αγγελους] who did not keep within their proper domain [arkhen αρχην] but abandoned their own place of residence [oiketerion οικητηριον], he has kept [There is an interesting play on words used in this verse. Because the angels did not keep their proper place, Jesus has kept them chained up in another place. The same verb keep is used in v. 1 to describe believers’ status before God and Christ. (NET Notes Jude 6)] in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. So also [hos ως] Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality [ekporeusasai εκπορνευσασαι] and pursued unnatural desire [sarkos heteras σαρκος ετερας] in a way similar to these [toutoisτουτοις] angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire, (Jude 1:5-7 NET).

There are several things that confirm what Peter was saying in relation to the angels having been equivalent to the sons of God in Genesis 6. Jude says that the angels didn’t keep their proper domain, arkhen (αρχην). We see this word in a similar context in the writings of Paul. In Romans 8:38 Paul is confidently stating that nothing can separate us from God’s love: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities [archai αρχαι] nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,” (Romans 8:38).

In writing to the Ephesians Paul makes a bold statement concerning who we are truly warring against.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities [tas arkhas τας αρχας], against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul is stating that the principalities [archai αρχαι] are rulers in the kingdom of Satan. Jude on the other hand is referencing what the angels left – that is to say, they left their abode or domain of power and rule (where they acted as principalities of wickedness in the heavenly places).

Jude then goes on to say that in a like manner Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding cities committed an act like these (the Greek text has a masculine demonstrative dative pronoun “to these”). The New American Bible comments on verse 7:

However, the phrase “practiced unnatural vice”—translated literally as “went after alien flesh”—refers to the desires for sexual intimacies by human beings with angels, which is the reverse of the account in Genesis, where heavenly beings (angels) sought after human flesh.[ii]

The NET Bible notes that use of the masculine pronoun refers back to the antecedent “angels” because it is masculine whereas the mention of “cities” (Greek poleis πόλεις) is feminine and thus angels must be the antecedent of “to these”.[iii]

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (and the cities of the plain) was so wicked that God destroyed them with fire and brimstone from the sky. However, in order to not let the righteous suffer the same fate as the wicked, God sent two of his angels to rescue Lot and his family. Upon coming to the city the men of the city begin to beat on the door demanding that Lot send out the two men in order that they might have sexual relations with them. At the very least homosexual conduct is being spoken of here. However, with the passage from Jude in view, it is at least possible that God destroyed them not merely for their homosexual conduct, but for previously having relations with angels (of course fallen angels i.e. demons). The notes from the NET Bible offer some valuable insight on the term “strange flesh”.

This phrase has been variously interpreted. It could refer to flesh of another species (such as angels lusting after human flesh). This would aptly describe the sin of the angels, but not easily explain the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. […] Another alternative is that the focus of the parallel is on the activity of the surrounding cities and the activity of the angels. This is especially plausible since the participles ἐκπορνεύσασαι (ekporneusasai, “having indulged in sexual immorality”) and ἀπελθοῦσαι (apelthousai, “having pursued”) have concord with “cities” (πόλεις, poleis), a feminine plural noun, rather than with Sodom and Gomorrah (both masculine nouns). If so, then their sin would not necessarily have to be homosexuality. However, most likely the feminine participles are used because of constructio ad sensum (construction according to sense). That is, since both Sodom and Gomorrah are cities, the feminine is used to imply that all the cities are involved. The connection with angels thus seems to be somewhat loose: Both angels and Sodom and Gomorrah indulged in heinous sexual immorality. Thus, whether the false teachers indulge in homosexual activity is not the point; mere sexual immorality is enough to condemn them (NET Notes Jude 1:7).

The NET notes nicely draw out the bottom line of the use of the term sarkos heteras σαρκος ετερας (strange flesh in the KJV). When this information is coupled with what Paul has to say about the different kinds of flesh in I Corinthians 15 the picture becomes incredibly clear that the angels went after something foreign to themselves as did the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The bottom line is that a similar violation happened in the days of Lot like in the days of Noah. We see that it was fallen angels taking any they chose from the daughters of men to create a hybrid race.


[i] μί-ασμα [ ῐ], ατος , τό , (μιαίνω ) stain, defilement , esp. by murder or other crime, taint of guilt […] II that which defiles, pollution , of persons.

[ii] New American Bible, footnotes p. 1370, referring to verse 7. See also: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Nephilim.

[iii] The notes of the NET Bible in Jude verse six states: “’Angels’ is not in the Greek text; but the masculine demonstrative pronoun most likely refers back to the angels of v. 6.”

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4 comments

  1. It all makes sense if you see that the sin of Sodom… is bestiality.

  2. I appreciate you expounding on the Lot/Sodom reference. It’s interesting but, honestly and for a number of reasons, I am not at all convinced of the “fallen angel theory”. Thankfully the issue has no bearing on my respect and admiration of you. Nor does it have any effect on how I live my life. Regardless of how the days of Noah looked/look/will look I am to live my life the same: in expectation of my Lord’s glorious appearing and in working for Him until He calls me home (by whatever means He calls me).

  3. Doug, you should write a book about the Nephilims.

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