THE NEPHILIM ANTEDILUVIAN AGE
The Antediluvian Age describes the pre-flood period. This period extends from the creation week (Genesis 1:2-31; Genesis 2:1-4) to the Great Flood (Genesis 7). This age lasted for roughly 10 generations. This era has been referred to by Christian eschatology experts and dispensation researchers as the age of human conscience. In other words, this period shows what humankind will do when guided only by his or her conscience. Adam and Eve, the first two human beings, had no conscience before the “the spiritual fall of humanity” (Genesis 3). Conscience is the knowledge of good and evil, and this Adam and Eve did not have until they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. While conscience may produce fear and remorse, it will not keep men from doing wrong, for conscience imparts no “power.”
The Lord God probably explained to Adam and Eve the significance of a “Bloody Sacrifice” for sin, but it is a remarkable fact that Adam is not mentioned in the Scriptures as offering such a sacrifice, neither is he mentioned among the list of Old Testament Hebrew Scriptural worthies recorded in Hebrews chapter 11. The list begins with Abel, who is the first one mentioned as offering up a “bloody” sacrifice. This could be a silent hint that Adam and Eve were still unrepentant long after their exclusion from the Garden?
Adam and Eve had no children before their spiritual fall. The fact that, they were created for this reproductive purpose is clear from the words God spoke to them following their creation, when He blessed them and said: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth” (Genesis 1:28). How soon after the expulsion from the Garden the first child was born to Adam and Eve we are not told. Human reproduction probably began immediately. The first child mention was a son, name Cain. The name means “gotten” or “acquired” and implies that Eve took him for the “Promised Seed.” She seems to have been disappointed, and when Abel was born she called him “vapor.” It does not follow that Abel was the second child. There may have been a number of children, both sons and daughters, born between Cain and Abel (Genesis 5:4). Cain and Abel are “Representative” men: one of the wicked line, and the other of the righteous line from Adam.
God’s curse imposed on Eve reads: “I will greatly multiply thy conception” (Genesis 3:15-16). This means that births were not only frequent, but painful as several children were born during the same time. The human race multiplied rapidly during the early pre-flood years, and for some time after the Flood. Intermarriages among relatives and children of the same family were not forbidden until after the Flood. Genetic problems never developed among the sons and daughters of humanity because the pre-flood human beings were genetically perfect and the planet Earth was perfectly designed for optimum genetic expression during the early pre-flood generations.
Cain and Abel were not children when Cain killed Abel. They were probably over 100 years of age. Abel was a “keeper of sheep” not his father’s, but his own. He was a grown man and a cattle owner. Cain was an agriculturist and the possessor of large estates. We read that Adam was 130 years old when he begat Seth (Genesis 5:3). Seth was probably born soon after the death of Abel (Genesis 4:25). This would make Abel over 100 years of age at his death.
The death of Abel was probably due to a religious dispute between Cain and Abel on the merits of religious offerings. Abel claimed that a “Bloody Sacrifice” was necessary. Cain claimed that an offering of “works” taken from the soil which God had cursed was sufficient. They put the matter to a test. God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s, probably answering as on Mt. Carmel by fire.
This angered Cain. He did not kill Abel that day. The Lord remonstrated with Cain and reminded him that there was still time to bring a “sin offering.” The expression “sin lay at the door” (Genesis 4:7) may be translated a “sin offering lay at the door”. But Cain would not listen and nursed his anger, possibly for a long time. One day, while alone in the field, Cain brought the subject up again, for we read that Cain talked with Abel about the matter (Genesis 4:8), and Cain’s anger became uncontrollable and he arose from the ground where they were sitting and killed his brother. The whole thing was a scheme of Satan’s to destroy Abel, through whom the “Promised Seed” was to come. That Abel was childless, at least did not have a son to succeed him, this is clear from the fact that Seth took his place.
Satan was the instigator of Abel’s murder and he was the author of Cain’s “Religion” spoken of by Jude as “The Way of Cain” (Jude 1:11). Here we see the origination of all pagan religions. When Cain fled he took his wife with him. He did not get his wife in the land of Nod, he “knew her” there. In other words, she there conceived and bore Cain’s son, Enoch. This was not the same Enoch who was translated because he came from Seth’s line.
After the birth of Enoch, Cain began to build a city. Here we have the beginning of the city building activities. Among the Cain’s descendants were Jubal, the inventor of musical instruments, and Tubal-Cain, was a builder and worker in brass and iron. The antediluvians used their perfectly designed brains to improve and advance a “pagan civilization.” We must remember that during the antediluvian age humankind lived longer than 70 or 80 years we see in the 21st century, but some of them lived on for nearly 1000 years because their pre-flood environment was perfectly designed for optimum genetic expression, which facilitated gigantism and longevity in humans, animals, insects, and plants. This means that pre-flood humanity was mentally and physically superior to post-flood humankind. Their immense accumulation of knowledge, experience, and skill contributed to an amazing advancement in the arts and sciences that resulted in various technological inventions with great rapidity.
The pre-flood world was decorated with gigantic megalithic structures. The building of Noah’s gigantic ark illustrates pre-flood humanity’s capabilities. We have the echoes of this advance pre-flood civilization in the construction of the post-flood Tower of Babel (a gigantic step pyramid), and later Egypt’s Great Pyramid, which involved in its construction an advance knowledge of higher mathematics and astronomy the world has never surpassed.
The outcome of that brilliant but godless pagan civilization was to promote the rapid human population increase. “Then men began to ‘multiply’ on the face of the earth”(Genesis 6:1). As a result the godly descendants of Seth were, by intermarriage, swallowed up by the godless descendants of Cain, and as the sequel shows, only eight persons were fit to be saved from that foaming sea of sin in the Ark that Noah built. In the midst of this godless and pagan civilization a startling event occurred: “the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (Genesis 6:2).
This polygamous relation was not between the “Sons of Seth” and the “Daughters of Cain,” an amalgamation of the godly and wicked people of that day, as some suppose, but it has a far deeper meaning. The expression “daughters of MEN” includes the daughters of Seth as well as the daughters of Cain, which are human females. However, the expression “Sons of God” mean beings that were different from the humankind.
The title “Sons of God” has not the same meaning in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures that it has in the New Testament Christian Scriptures. In the New Testament Christian Scriptures, the words “Sons of God” only apply to people who have become the “Sons of God” by the New Birth (Bible Believing Christians), according to John 1:12; Romans. 8:14-16; Galatians. 4:6; 1-John 3:1-2.
However, in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures the words applies to the angelic beings. The words “Sons of God” is employed twice in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 6:2-4) and three times in the Book of Job (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7). A “Son of God” describes a being brought into existence by God’s direct creative act. This was how God created the angels, and how God created Adam. But Adam’s natural descendants are not direct special creations of God. Adam was created in the “likeness of God” (Genesis 5:1), but his descendants were born in his likeness, for we read in Genesis 5:3, that Adam “BEGAT a son in his own likeness, after his image.” Therefore all men born of Adam and his descendants by natural generation are the “SONS OF MEN,” and it is only when a man or woman becomes “BORN AGAIN” (John 3:3-5) is he or she a “NEW CREATION” that they can become the “SONS and DAUGHTERS OF GOD,” according to the New Testament Christian Scriptures.
Now the “Sons of God” of Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4, could not be the “Sons of Seth” as some claim, because the “Sons of Seth” were only human males, and could only be called “Sons of MEN” not “Sons of GOD.” This proves clearly that the “Sons of God” of Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4, were ANGELS, and not godly descendants of Seth.
The objection to the angelic interpretation originates from Messiah Yeshua’s statement saying that “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:34-36). While the passage implies that the angels “do not marry, ” it does not say that they are “sexless, ” for that would convey the idea that the righteous at the resurrection would also be sexless, a doctrine abhorrent to the belief that husbands and wives and brothers and sisters shall know each other “as such” in the other world.
What the passage does teach is that angels do not multiply by natural or supernatural procreation. Angels were created in large masses during the past and because they never die there is no necessity for reproductive sexual activity among them. Secondly, the bible only describes male angels, but no female angels probably because God only created male angels. Marriage is a human institution God invented to prevent the extinction of the human race by death. What Messiah sought to teach the Sadducees was that as the resurrection would make men and women immortal there would be no occasion for the marriage relation in heaven.
However, sexual intercourse between angels and human beings is taught in Book of Genesis. We have only to turn to the Epistles of Peter and Jude for confirmation. “God spared not the ‘angels’ that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” 2Pet. 2:4-6. “The ‘angels’ which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains in darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Jude 6-7. The angels here mentioned cannot be Satan’s angels, for his angels are “free.” They are not “reserved in everlasting chains in darkness, ” but are to be cast into the “Lake of Fire” (Gehenna), prepared for the Devil and his angels, when he is cast in. Matt. 25:41. These angels then must be a special class of angels, condemned for some particular sin, and when we read the context to these two passages the character of that sin is evident.
It was the sin of “Fornication and Going After ‘Strange Flesh.”‘ Jude 7. The “time” of the sin is given as just before the flood. 2Pet. 2:5. It is the same sin that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose inhabitants demanded of Lot, the surrender of the two Angels that he had received into his home, that they might “know them, ” that is have carnal intercourse with them. 2Pet. 2:6-8. Jude 7. Gen. 19:5. The Scriptures clearly teach that angels can assume fleshly bodies and eat and drink with men. Gen. 18:1-3. So the difficulty vanishes when we see that the “Sons of God” assumed human bodies and AS MEN married the “Daughters of Men.” What the “First Estate” was that they lost we do not know. They may have been some of the angels who had already left their “first estate” of holiness and subjection to God to follow the lead of Satan. But we must not forget that as far as we know, the Garden of Eden was not destroyed until the Flood, and of the descendants of Adam doubtless lived in the vicinity, the “Heavenly Watchers, ” or keepers of the Garden, the “Sons of God” (Cherubim), Gen. 3:24, would, from time to time, see the “Daughters of Men, ” and that they left their own “Habitation” (the Garden) and mingled with the “Daughters of Men, ” thus going after “STRANGE FLESH, ” and thus losing their “First Estate” as angelic beings and guardians of the Garden.
Another argument for the support of this view is the fact that the progeny of this union was a gigantic race of “MIGHTY MEN “MEN OF RENOWN.” Genesis 6:4. Now the “godly descendants” of men have married “ungodly women, ” but their offspring have never been such “monstrosities” as the offspring of the “Sons of God” and the “Daughters of Men” of Noah’s day. The word translated “giant” means the “Fallen Ones” or the “Nephilim.” It is clear that those “Mighty Men” and “Men of Renown, ” were not the ordinary offspring of humankind, or else why did they not appear before? The “sons of Seth” and the “daughters of Cain” had doubtless often intermarried before this, but there were no such children born to them. In this irruption of angelic beings into the world of men we have the source or origin whence the classic writers of antiquity obtained their notions concerning the loves of the gods and demi-gods, and the legends of beings half human and half divine. These angels who lost their “First Estate” are the “Spirits in Prison” of whom Peter speaks in 1-Peter 3:18-20, and to whom Messiah preached, not in person, but by the Holy Spirit, through Noah, in the days before the Flood.
The outcome of this invasion of the earth by the denizens of the air was the Flood, by which the contour and elevation of the Antediluvian Earth was changed, thus wiping out the Garden of Eden. This brought to an end the “Antediluvian Age.”
In the Antediluvian Age mankind was treated as a whole. There were no nations. That Age is called in Acts 17:30, the “TIMES OF IGNORANCE, ” and is contrasted with the “Times that are NOW, ” and we are told that in that Age God “WINKED AT” what He could not “OVERLOOK” in the Legal Age. Conscience was then the standard of human conduct it was the standard by which men accused or excused themselves’ Rom. 2:15. The Sinaitic Law was not given until after the Exodus, being without Law there was no legal standard for sin, for “by the Law is the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.” Rom. 3:20. But they were without “excuse, ” for God was very near to mankind in those days, and His voice was heard in rebuke, as to Cain (Gen. 4:14), in communion with Enoch (Gen. 5:22-24), or in counsel as with Noah. Gen. 6:3. They were therefore not without a knowledge of God, but they glorified Him not, and God “gave them over to VILE AFFECTIONS.” Their daughters to cohabit with “Fallen Angels.” The character of that age is vividly disclosed in Rom. 1:20-22. In it man proved rather to be “UNGODLY” than a sinner. , The principles which governed God’s administration of those TIMES OF IGNORANCE” would not be appropriate then in the days of Moses, when God revealed His will in “The Law.” We must then distinguish these two ages as being one “WITHOUT LAW, ” and the other “UNDER LAW.’ This therefore would affect the “Basis of judgment” in these periods. This distinction is brought out clearly in Rom. 2:12.
“For as many as have sinned ‘WITHOUT LAW’ shall also PERISH WITHOUT LAW, and as many as have sinned ‘IN THE LAW’ shall be JUDGED BY THE LAW.”
This clearly shows us that “ignorance of the Law” is no excuse and will not save us from punishment. This “Principle of Judgement” will prevail at the “Great White Throne judgment, ” when the inhabitants of both the Antediluvian and Legal ages will be judged, and doubtless will be the “Principle of judgment” for those living in this present Gospel Dispensation, for there are two classes of persons on the earth today-(1) Those who sin without knowing of God through the Gospel, and (2) Those who know of the Gospel but who have not obeyed it. 2Thes. 1:7-9.
While there was no “WRITTEN LAW” in the age before the Flood, there was an “UNWRITTEN LAW, ‘ and when the Gentiles who have not the Law, do “BY NATURE” the things contained in the Law, they show that they have the Law WRITTEN IN THEIR HEA
Finally, the characteristics of the “Antediluvian Dispensation, ” as outlined by the late Dr. A. T. Pierson, were, “First, an advance in fullness and clearness of revelation; then gradual spiritual decline; then conformity to the world, ending with amalgamation with the world; then a gigantic civilization, brilliant but godless; then parallel development of evil and good; then an ‘Apostasy, ‘ and finally a CATASTROPHE.”