The "Nephilim" of Genesis 6 has always been an interesting issue to me. I've read many different opinions on this and still haven't made up my mind on it. But regardless, there are some interesting interpretations that have been offered. One of my friends, Daniel, sent me the following commentary and I thought I would share it with you. Feel free to leave your thoughts on this in the comments as i'd be interested in what everyone has to say:
1Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2that the sons of God
being human men right with God, those who followed him and worshiped...
saw that the daughters of men
being human women who were the daughters of idolatrous and pagan men
were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3Then the LORD said, "(A)My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, (B)because he also is flesh;
meaning that God was grieved that the lineage of Godly, upright men had been diluted and mixed with pagan cultures
nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
either because God decided to limit mans life because he saw that eventually, if a Godly man lives long enough, he would fall away. Or he was simply stating the future conditions in a prophetic way- Like this, "My spirit shall not strive with a single man for so long anymore, and that will be taken care of by the flood I'm about to send because the changes it brings to the earth and the removal of the firmament will create conditions were a mans' maximum life span can't possibly go much beyond 120 years.
It's not really defined what they are, but I think it's correct to assume they are a seperate being than "sons of God" My best guess is that it is a general term for any group of people who are exceptionally evil
were on the earth in those days, and also afterward,
meaning there will always be entire cultures of very evil people, for example, the people of Iran are Nephilim, because their entire culture is embedded in the evil of Islam. Also, afterward means after the flood.
when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.
Meaning, after the flood, God's true followers bred with pagan woman, tempted by their great beauty, creating a new race of an evil culture(nephilim), the same way they had done before the flood
Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Meaning every single person mentioned above- the nephilim, and the sons of God were living at the same time long ago, at the beginning of the earth, and so we have a tradition of legends about exceptionally giant, valiant, or strong men which were stories both about Sons of God and the Nephilim.
5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth,
because Nephilimistic culture had taken control and changed the sons of God into evil men