(urth) Urth Digest, Vol 75, Issue 24

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 27 18:14:56 PST 2010

From: Andrew Mason <andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com>

Lee Berman wrote:

> > The Bible implies that
> > the Flood here on Earth was necessary because fallen angels/demons had come 
>down and mated
> > with human women, creating a giant race of Nephilim and all manner of 
>wickedness among humans.
> > Dr. Talos' play contains allusions to all this.

This got me interested.  In a bit of looking around, I found there's no 
agreement on this passage (Gen. 6:1-4): what the word "Nephilim" means; what the 
Nephilim were, including whether they were literally gigantic; whether they were 
the "sons of God" or the sons' children with "the daughters of Adam/man"; 
whether they were notably good or evil; and whether this passage is related to 
the story of Noah where it appears or is one of the many extraneous 
interruptions found in Genesis.  So I think, Lee, that "the Bible implies" may 
be a bit strong, though if Wolfe can believe an unconventional interpretation of 
the passage or make an original one, you can too.

> Wolfe, however, reads the Nephilim differently; he explains this in
> 'Castle of the Otter'. He thinks they were the children of human women
> with non-rational hominid fathers (who, being non-rational, were
> incapable of sin and so could be called 'sons of God').

Thanks, I'd forgotten that (and most of the rest of _Castle of the Otter_).  One 
interpretation of the Nephilim is that they were descendants of Cain, which 
leads us through Beowulf and Michael Crichton to the Neandertals!  (I hope I 
didn't spoil anything for anyone.)

Another possibly amusing connection is that if Genesis 6:4 is part of the story 
of Noah, it appears to say that at least some of the Nephilim survived the flood 
(apparently stated explicitly in the apocryphal _Book of Jubilees_).  Now who do 
we know that can live under water?

Jerry Friedman

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