Wednesday, August 05, 2015

As in the days of Lot

There were drawings of giants in the earth in those days.
They might (not) be giants:
Matthew 24:37 – But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Here Jesus is giving us a description of conditions in society prior to His return and what things will be like in the last days. Therefore it would benefit us to know what things were like in Noah’s day before the flood...
Society was impacted with the presence of giants in those days. These giants, called Nephilim in the original language of the Old Testament, were the un-natural off-spring of the fallen (evil) angels that had sex with the daughters of men. They were a perverted form of human, not a being as God had created in Adam. Satan’s purpose in having his angels mingle with human women was to prevent “the seed of the woman from bringing forth the one (Jesus the Christ) who would bruise Satan’s head as God declared in Genesis.

There are lots of expositions of Jesus' statement that the days of his return will be like the days of Noah. But a growing number, it seems, quote Matthew 24:37 and jump immediately into a discussion of the Nephilim (giants/mighty men) of Genesis 6, and conclude that Jesus is hinting at a resurgence of angel/human hybrids and related supernatural shenanigans.  Some even say that Jesus' reference to "marrying and giving in marriage" speaks specifically of the marriages of the Nephilim with human women.

What they say about Genesis is fine by me. I share their belief that Genesis 6 is not talking about a godly Seth line and an ungodly Cain one, but about the mating of humans with some form of angels resulting in superhumans/titans/whatever.  One can deny that such a thing ever happened, but it's hard to deny that this is a plain and reasonable reading of the passage*.

But what about the days of Lot? Wait, wut? Jesus didn't mention Lot, did he?

You will note that people who take the above line of reasoning always quote Matthew 24:37.  They almost never quote Luke 17:26-32:
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.
A larger context puts "the days of Noah" into a little different perspective. In the days of Noah, which were just the same as happened in the days of Lot, and therefore the days we can ourselves expect, people were going about their business when judgment fell. And Jesus' main point, what all three passages emphasize, is the immediacy and permanence of judgment on an oblivious people. If you were not in the ark or outside the city when it fell, time had run out for you. If you were not watching or ready or taking action, you were toast. But there's not a single giant mentioned in the accounts of Sodom's judgment** and Lot's escape, so there is no reason to expect giants must play a part in ours.

It's easy to take a verse and run with it while ignoring those that do not support your teaching.  It's even easier when that teaching is new and exciting, providing to the listener the thrill of being in on some secret heretofore unrevealed. People today, as in the days of Jesus, are fascinated by the supernatural. That's why when the son of perdition comes he will deceive so many: he's going to perform miracles that cannot be denied and will astonish billions.

But it's dangerous to neglect Jesus' context, to add more to his words, or to ignore what he emphasizes.  After all, when you are going about your business and judgment falls, if you stand around looking for giants as in the days of Noah, you're probably not going to live long enough to find any. 

* and most importantly, a reading that explains what follows.  I have never seen a reasonable explanation for why the relations of Cainites with Sethites or of rulers with serfs would create a race of giants.
** I suppose that one could argue that the desire of the Sodomites to have relations with Lot's visitors is a shadow of Genesis 6. But that's a tough sell. The Sodomites did not know the visitors were angels, nor did they expect to bear gigantic children by them.

4 comments:

Doom said...

Do you remember reading of the angels, who came to Lot? How they were afraid, and had to hide? How Lot was going to offer his daughters to satisfy the lust of the crowds? Why would angles be afraid of men? They wouldn't have been. Angels are far above men, far more powerful. But an angle bred with a woman produces something truly terrible, even to angels.

Sure, there are many ways the notion of giants can be questioned. There are two, after the time of Noah, who were named, Goliath for one. Ol' Nimrod for another... a stout hunter before the Lord (not quite as it might seem, that term). Though the whole notion that spies who proceeded into the promised land exaggerated, there are also some indications otherwise.

You may believe as you like. I believe even in some things that aren't technically in the bible, such as Lilith. I don't, necessarily, abide all of the book of Enoch, but... Christ did reference it. I don't think it matters, to some extent, what is believed about some of the further notions. Having a faith in Christ that is more powerful than your faith in your sin and the just reward for that, is much more important. Do you believe Christ can, and will, save you? But works. For there is no faith without works. And... then... it gets damned complicated. None will know the exact day. And, as I have suggested, if it can be believed, that nephilim have been here many times. As have the horsemen. Just not the final time.

Anyway, interested, always, in reading other thoughts. I don't fear the truth. I do avoid foolishness that is plain, mostly, however. Unless it is known to be in jest. I'm not jesting, if I... might be... hrmm... working the material. Call it zero-point theology. Well, and personifying, making it third person. Though dreams and visions make that more understandable. If you had them, you'd understand.

El Borak said...

How they were afraid, and had to hide?

You might wish to revisit Genesis 19, for the angels came into Lot's house at his bidding, not because they were afraid and had to hide. After all, they had announced their intention to sleep in the public square (v2), not something that those afraid are generally wont to do. After giving Lot the chance to turn the men away from his door, they pulled him back in and struck the men blind (v11), which I assume they could have done at any time.

I won't deny they displayed urgency, but a careful reading will show that it was related to the falling of God's fire on the city, not because they were afraid of what the inhabitants might do to them.

CJ said...

I have never seen a reasonable explanation for why the relations of Cainites with Sethites or of rulers with serfs would create a race of giants.

Keeping in mind that I was raised in a denomination that accepted an extra-biblical source of revelation, here's what we were taught:

Adam and his righteous descendants were taller (Better. Stronger. Faster.) than Cain's wicked, degenerate line. So their mating produced hybrids that were bigger than Cainites, but smaller than a pure Sethite. The Flood did them in, and Noah's descendants declined due to eating meat after the Flood (this is also used to explain why there were no more 900+ year lifespans). But, every now and then the right mix of genes would pop up, i.e. Goliath.

Doom said...

I can't find a bible I trust, currently. So I ordered two. And will order a couple King James later (after figuring out which ones are the truest). Douay-Rheims are preferred, so those first. Then I'll do a bit of digging on this. It isn't just that verse. There are many.

Okay, somewhat along the lines of what CJ is suggesting. If there were titans, that was probably Adam and kin before consumption of the forbidden fruit. Adam was as big as nephilim, even angels (when they took flesh). If nephilim, giants, did exist, whether they existed before the fall depends on whether you believe in Lilith (who is based on the various mentions of the first woman in two different verses and a name given later with little or no connections... since the Jews did not believe God put something in for no reason). Midrash, or some such, is where Lilith can be found. And, if true, is said to be the first woman to have mated with angels. Which, if true, could mean she existed before God decided to make Eve. Anyway...

I'll... do more digging on these, then post a bit. I do believe that an absolutely strictly literal reading of the bible can't always be correct, and more, isn't even always possible. The description of Christ's birth, in the NT differs, dramatically. Limitations upon the consumption of alcohol differs, becoming eased through time. And, while I understand it, the bible does suggest eye for eye, and then suggests not. Any Christian who would be willing to forgo repayment for damages has my blessing that they believe the new way. Otherwise, to some extent, they very much hold to the old ways. *wink* I'll... get to work, when the bibles arrive and when my health is better. Love the right KJ's too, but, yeah. Not poor, just... Treat me like a turtle, and it's all golden. :p