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Nephilim and Elohim, short version

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Nephilim and Elohim

Who are these creatures called “gods?”

ESV
They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

This Hebrew word can be translated as god or gods who were not the God of Israel.

ESV
The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.
ESV
You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.
ESV
For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

The word can mean “mighty.”

ESV
Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.

Elohim can refer to heavenly beings who are created by the one Creator.

The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible God’s Household
A quick read of informs us that God has called this council meeting to judge the elohim for corrupt rule of the nations. Verse 6 of the psalm declares that these elohim are sons of God. God says to them: I have said, “You are gods [elohim], and sons of the Most High [beney elyon], all of you. To a biblical writer, the Most High (elyon) was the God of Israel. The Old Testament refers to him as Most High in several places (e.g., ; ; ; ; ). The sons of God/the Most High here are clearly called elohim, as the pronoun “you” in verse 6 is a plural form in the Hebrew.
The text is not clear whether all of the elohim are under judgment or just some. The idea of elohim ruling the nations under God’s authority is a biblical concept that is described in other passages we’ll explore later. For now, it’s sufficient that you see clearly that the sons of God are divine beings under the authority of the God of Israel.

One more type of Elohim are the Nachash. The nachash were another kind of Elohim.

ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible Divine Judgment
But the judgment on Eve also tells us that the nachash would have offspring as well. The rest of the biblical story doesn’t consist of humans battling snake people. That’s no surprise, since the enemy of humanity wasn’t a mere snake. The Bible does, however, describe an ongoing conflict between followers of Yahweh and human and divine beings who follow the spiritual path of the nachash. All who oppose God’s kingdom plan are the seed of the nachash.
The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible Divine Judgment The nachash was cursed to crawl on its belly, imagery that conveyed being cast down (, ; , ) to the ground. In and , we saw the villain cast down to the ʾerets, a term that refers literally to the dirt and metaphorically to the underworld (; , , ). The curse also had him “eating dirt,” clearly a metaphorical reference, since snakes don’t really eat dirt as food for nutrition. It isn’t part of the “natural snake diet.” The point being made by the curse is that the nachash, who wanted to be “most high,” will be “most low” instead—cast away from God and the council to earth, and even under the earth. In the underworld, the nachash is even lower than the beasts of the field. He is hidden from view and from life in God’s world. His domain is death.
After the fall, though humankind was estranged from God and no longer immortal, the plan of God was not extinguished. tells us why we die, why we need redemption and salvation, and why we cannot save ourselves. It also tells us that God’s plan has only been delayed—not defeated—and that the human story will be both a tragic struggle and a miraculous, providential saga.

There are other places in the Bible that talk about "sons of God” and their offspring, the Naphilim.

ESV
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible Precursor to the Flood: Divine Rebellion
There are few Bible passages that raise as many questions as this one.1 Who are the sons of God? Are they divine or human? Who were the Nephilim? How do these verses relate to the human evil described in ?
The nachash was cursed to crawl on its belly, imagery that conveyed being cast down (, ; , ) to the ground. In and , we saw the villain cast down to the ʾerets, a term that refers literally to the dirt and metaphorically to the underworld (; , , ). The curse also had him “eating dirt,” clearly a metaphorical reference, since snakes don’t really eat dirt as food for nutrition. It isn’t part of the “natural snake diet.” The point being made by the curse is that the nachash, who wanted to be “most high,” will be “most low” instead—cast away from God and the council to earth, and even under the earth. In the underworld, the nachash is even lower than the beasts of the field. He is hidden from view and from life in God’s world. His domain is death.

What do other passages in the Bible have to say about and the Nephilim?

The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible Peter and Jude
Peter and Jude did not fear the alternative. They embraced a supernatural view of . Two passages are especially relevant.
ESV
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. ESV
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible Peter and Jude Scholars agree that the passages are about the same subject matter. They describe an episode from the time of Noah and the flood where “angels” sinned. That sin, which precipitated the flood, was sexual in nature; it is placed in the same category as the sin which prompted the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. The transgression was interpreted by Peter and Jude as evidence of despising authority and the boundaries of “proper dwelling” for the parties concerned. All of those elements are transparent in . There is simply no other sin in the Old Testament that meets these specific details—and no other “angelic” sin at all in the Old Testament that might be the referent.
The punishment for the transgression, however, is not mentioned in . Peter has the divine sons of God held captive in “Tartarus” in chains of darkness until a time of judgment. Jude echoes the thought and clarifies the judgment as the day of the Lord (“the great day”; cf. ; ). These elements come from Jewish literature written between our Old and New Testaments (the “Second Temple” period) that retell the episode. The most famous of these is 1 Enoch. That book informed the thinking of Peter and Jude; it was part of their intellectual worldview.14 The inspired New Testament writers were perfectly comfortable referencing content found in 1 Enoch and other Jewish books to articulate their theology.

ESV
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
Jesus is claiming to be one of the Elohim. More than that, He is claiming to be “the Son of God” not “one of the sons of God.”
The confusion is that the word “gods” in English can only refer to the one, true “God” or false gods. On the other hand, the Hebrew word “Elohim” can refer to angels, demons, and other angelic beings, as well as the one, true God.
While it is true that one day those who are in Christ will become like Christ, and rule over the angels, Jesus’ point here seems to be that he is one of the Elohim.
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