Re: Dating Adam/Nephilim

Dick Fischer (
Tue, 21 May 1996 20:34:18 -0500

At 03:38 PM 5/20/96 EDT, Jack Collins wrote:

>(1) the issues of whether the flood was universal and whether the Nephilim
>(or any other of the ehnic groups we have mentioned) are portrayed as having
>survived the flood, are separate (at least in my mind). Hence Dick's quote
>from Young has no bearing on the points I have addressed.

If there were flood survivors besides Noah and his family, then there
were flood survivors. Now, are the Anakim, Emim, and Zamzummim biblical
examples? I think so. Can I prove it? No. On the other hand, to
contend they were Noah's kin, which cannot be justified on any biblical
grounds, is predicated on the proposition that there were no flood
survivors, which is wrong, there were. On the flip side, knowing there
were those who survived the flood gives us extra-biblical information
that we can use to help define the biblical text. Is extra-biblical
evidence off limits? I think the very reason no useful solution has
arisen to date is that Bible expositors have continually refused to
allow their hermeneutic to be influenced by outside data.

If one's predisposition is to believe that Adam started the human race,
then the Nephilim have to be Adamites, and the phrase "the Nephilim were
on the earth in those days and also afterward ..."(Gen. 6:4) is curious at
best, confusing to say the least, and misleading at worst. If words mean
anything at all, this phrase certainly hints at a pre-Adamic race of

What does "in those days" mean? Were these not the days before the flood?
The Lord's motive for bringing the flood (wickedness of man) starts with
Gen. 6:5, the next verse. Furthermore, "man" is 'adam in Hebrew that could
easily (preferably?) have been translated "Adamites." "... and also
afterward ..." certainly suggests they lived after "those days, " that is:
after the flood. So the Nephilim ("who were of old," incidentally) "lived
in those days" and "afterward," and the post-flood Anakim were "of the
Nephilim." On the face of it, I suggest, the Nephilim were flood survivors.

There is a Hebrew word ('ish) for generic man or common man that the Bible
uses when the situation calls for it. In these passages it is perfectly
clear "for whom the bell tolled." Gen. 6:7: "And the Lord said, 'I will
blot out man ('adam) whom I have created ...'" Gen. 6:13: "... I will
destroy them (ha 'adam)..." It was Adamites He created, it was Adamites
he destroyed. Nephilim not targeted.

Now I freely admit that knowing there were flood survivors can drive
the translation. (When your only tool is a hammer every problem is a nail.)
But by the same token, primarily it has been the presumption that all Homo
sapiens derived from Adam that drove translators to sanitize the text. I
cited previously where 'ish and 'adam are used in the same sentence, but
the translators never understood the obvious significance of that. And
because the translators PRESUMED the flood was global, they chose
expansive words like earth rather than land, and mountains instead of

>(2) Dick's quote from the Expositor's Bible Commentary is also not
pertinent: >he quoted from the commentary on Genesis; but the one on Numbers
(in the same
>volume, by a different author) is more in keeping with my reading. Again, I
>point to the article of W.H. Green from last century.

Umberto Cassuto did the same thing. In one instance he insists the flood
terminates all mankind, and then blithely mentions survivors somewhere else.

>(4) I'm sorry but I'll be unable to reply to this topic any further for a few
>weeks, since I am celebrating the end of the semester and not reading my e-mail
>for a while. So you can feel free to have at me and be confident I'll
"turn >the other cheek".

There is an interesting slant to that phrase. "Whoever shall smite thee on
thy right cheek." Jesus said, "turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:39).
To be struck on the right cheek by a right hand is to be hit with the back
of the hand. It is degrading, an insult. By turning the other cheek, we
are offering ourselves to be forehand, it is still a beating, but not
belittling. So, please, I hope I have not been insulting.

Dick Fischer
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