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B'resheet/Genesis 6:4 The N'filim were in the earth in those days ...
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Who were the N'filim? Jewish tradition has many answers but no conclusive proofs. By all accounts, they were giants.Rashi points out that their name comes from the root , meaning to fall, and connects this to several ancient sources that claim they were fallen angels. Ibn Ezra, on the other hand, suggests that they were so called because the hearts of those who saw them fell in amazement. The Gur Aryeh says that by their sinfulness they call the world to fall in wickedness in the generation of the flood. The name reappears in B'Midbar 13:33 to describe the "giants in the land", the descendants of Anak, that the twelve spies saw when they were scouting out the Land of Israel. Since only Noach's family survived the flood, that text cannot refer to the same people as here. What conclusions can we draw? Only that no-one knows for sure.
Does it matter if we do not know exactly who the N'filim were? To some, this might be a troubling question and perhaps one of the reasons that there are so many suggested answers. But Moshe tells us that "the things which are hidden belong to Adonai our G-d. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever" (D'varim 29:28(29), CJB). Or, in other words, some things G-d has revealed and some He has not. Some things we do not even know the existence of, some things are hinted at, some - such as the Higg's Boson - are theorised but unproven, and others are clearly revealed. Some things change from being hidden, or just hinted at, to being revealed by G-d, as Daniel told the king: "However, there is a G-d in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days" (Daniel 2:28, NASB).
Of course, the greatest mystery that has been revealed to mankind is "the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has been revealed to His saints ... which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:24-27, NASB). Yeshua has been revealed to us as the Messiah for whom we have been waiting; and not only for us, but for all those among the nations who would receive Him as their L-rd and Saviour. Yeshua told His disciples, "To you the secret [or mystery] of the kingdom of G-d has been given" (Mark 4:11, CJB). He has revealed to us, by His Spirit, the saving knowledge of who He is and the means for entering the Kingdom of Heaven in Him.
As we look around the world today and once more we see giants in the land: the giants of financial instability, unemployment, the housing market, the myth of global warming, famine in Africa, the Middle-East peace process and many other looming disasters that are completely beyond our control, we are tempted to feel hopeless and quake in our boots. Instead, we should speak out against uncertainty and falsehood where it exists and share the truth that we have been given. We know a Man who not only knows about, understands and has defeated all these giants, but has promised to be with us and preserve us through these last days. He sums it up for us: "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:26, NASB).
Further Study: Ephesians 3:3-12; Hebrews 1:1-3
Application: Has G-d revealed to you the hope of glory in your life? If not, seek Him today for a fresh revelation by His Spirit, that you may share in the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Comment - 16Oct09 21:04 Mike: Very well said. These and all giants are only in our imagination (which is fear based). King David had faith and slew the giant Goliath. We are called to be people of faith. Faith and fear cannot be in the same place at the same time (like light and darkness). A little light overcomes all darkness.
© Jonathan Allen, 2009
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