Genesis 6:1–4

[Note: That was an embarrassing prior post. There was not only “intermission” in the title, but in the typing and initial jotting. It has been edited a bit.]

61 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

We have been dealing with a limited family tree. As we begin a new section, the family tree is becoming confused. Just try to follow the combinations and permutations of the sons and daughters of the main lines of the patriarchs. This is a good place to remember that the image of a family tree does not rest easily in a mythologic setting.

The setting for new difficulties begins with the injunction to be fruitful and multiply. Population growth has been exponential. Who belongs with which lineage comes too much to keep up with. Population growth continues to be problematic.

Much has been speculated about the odd phrase regarding the “sons of God” and the “daughters of man.” The connection between G*D and ’adam is one of partnership, friendship, family. Too split G*D and ’adam brings division, a separation, a suggestion of mixing and pollution of unequals.

An easy thought is to split the “sons of God” and the “daughters of man” into those descendant from Cain and Seth. Ultimately there will be no certainty as to which is which. The little information we have can support both cases. If we bring in Greek mythology with children from mixed species, parenting, this picture becomes even more confusing.

The one piece of information we have is that the age and ages of ’adam’s line is much reduced—to a maximum of 125 years. Such a reduction is one way to handle population growth. Much later, Malthus will turn this population reduction into an official theory identifying war, disease, and famine as regulators of population. The cherubim might be thought to become mobile and offensive, not just stationed in defense of a tree of life.

The Nephilim will be later described as giants in the book of Numbers. The Hebrew means “fallen ones”—fallen from the sky? fallen from the image of G*D? A shortened lifespan makes them larger than life as the ill-consequence of mixed (unclean) living will also grow with the numbers of people. These “heroes of yore” are not guardians of a galaxy, but those who see the “daughters” as desired by them and as tempting as Cain found murder as a resolution of his relationship with Abel, as tempting as Eve found the Serpent and a tree of good and not-good. Another exile can be felt to be arising.

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