The Nephilim were not aliens, angels, “Watchers,” or rock monsters; they were literal, physical beings produced from the union of the sons of God and the daughters of men.

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.Genesis 6:1–4

Looking at how this is written it reminds me a lot of the demi-gods in especially the Greek mythology. My question is are the Nephilim the demi-gods of the bible?

  • 4
    I saw this video essay on the topic the other day, it's quite well thought through and researched, and comes to some interesting conclusions: youtube.com/watch?v=4Kpkp2vxX3I Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 12:47
  • There's also the suggestion that Nephilim were what we now refer to as Neanderthal, and we know that they did interbreed, providing a significant part of European DNA. Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 13:48
  • The problem with this question is that you're not clear about what you're looking for. Are you looking for a direct correspondence? A theological one or some sort of anthropological myth-tracing? Or are you just looking for some sort of analogy?
    – Spencer
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 14:52
  • 1
    Hello Tom! I don't have time for a full answer at the moment, but wanted to point out that Second Temple literature (e.g., 1–2 Enoch) considered the Nephilim/Rephaim to be divine/human hybrids. Archie Wright has traced the reception history of this passage throughout Jewish and early Christian tradition in smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1451490321 (admittedly, the book is technical and assumes knowledge of the primary source languages) and suggests that the "unclean spirits" of the NT ("demons") were viewed as disembodied spirits of departed Nephilim (not fallen angels).
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 15:46
  • 1
    Also, the Greek term sometimes used in the NT for such unclean spirits (δαίμων, "demon") is the same term used throughout Greek literature for gods / divine beings seen as "souls of men of the golden age, acting as tutelary deities" (perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/…)
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 15:52

6 Answers 6


It depends what you mean by "demi-god".

They are of somewhat divine origin, by most understandings of "sons of God" (ancient Hebrew sources identify them with angels of some description). They were men of great renown. That much is in common with the Greek tradition of heroes of divine heritage.

However, the Greek heroes (not all of whom were demi-gods in the sense of divine parentage) are the focus of many key stories of myth and actually a focus of religious practice in their cultures - the hero cults. The same cannot be said of the Nephilim in Christianity or Judaism.

  • Most Jewish historians believe they were simply men! You need to reference your sources.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:07

In accordance with both Jewish and Christian theology, there is only 1 God - Yahweh - who is the creator of everything: angels, people, animals, the universe, earth, etc. Worship of anything or anyone besides Yahweh was (and is) prohibited because only Yahweh has and deserves the rank of being divine. Keep these things in mind.

A demigod is, according to Google:

a being with partial or lesser divine status, such as a minor deity, the offspring of a god and a mortal, or a mortal raised to divine rank.

This idea of demigods exist in many mythologies, such as Greek mythology. However, this is not seen at all in the Bible. For the Nephilim to be considered demigods, they would have to be "the offspring of a god and a mortal." However, they are the offspring of the "sons of God" (which @SamBC said are angels according to ancient Hebrew sources) and of the "daughters of men." Angels are spiritual beings created directly by God; they are not deities, they are not divine, they are not even demigods. Thus, any offspring of theirs are not demigods.

To reiterate what @SamBC said, the Greek heroes and demigods were the focus of Greek mythology, and this is true to most mythologies. However, the Nephilim were not the focus of the story, let alone the focus of the Bible. They are only barely mentioned one other time in the book of Numbers.

Now here is an interesting idea. This passage could be the key to explaining (from a biblical worldview) many mythologies and legends. These Nephilim are described as being "the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown." Perhaps the demigods of, for example, Greek mythology were some of the Nephilim. Deuteronomy 32:17 calls false gods demons, using parallelism in the verse. Considering that the "sons of God" were angels who committed these perversions, they can be considered as fallen angels or demons. Perhaps these gods of mythologies are demons like these, and the demigods, their offspring, are the Nephilim.


Are the Nephilim the demi-gods of the bible?

Impossible to say, but I doubt it.

Let us start by seeing who the Nephilim of the Scripture may truly be:

The Nephilim (Hebrew: נְפִילִים) were the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4.

A similar or identical biblical Hebrew term, read as "Nephilim" by some scholars, or as the word "fallen" by others, appears in Ezekiel 32:27.1

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, "My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown. — Genesis 6:1–4, New Revised Standard Version

The word is loosely translated as giants in some Bibles and left untranslated in others. The "sons of God" have been interpreted as fallen angels in some traditional Jewish explanations.

According to Numbers 13:33, they later inhabited Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

The Lord said to Moses, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites" ... So they went up and spied out the land ... And they told him: "... Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there." ... So they brought to the Israelites an unfavorable report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them." — Numbers 13:1–2; 21; 27–28; 32–33. New Revised Standard Version.

And now let us look at what the Sons of God may mean:

Sons of the God (Hebrew: בני האלהים‎) literally: "sons of the Gods") is a phrase used in the Hebrew Bible and apocrypha. The phrase is also used in Kabbalah where bene elohim are part of different Jewish angelic hierarchies.

Hebrew Bible

Genesis 6

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. — Genesis 6:1–4, KJV

The first mention of "sons of God" in the Hebrew Bible occurs at Genesis 6:1–4. In terms of literary-historical origin, this phrase is typically associated with the Jahwist tradition.3

This passage has had two interpretations in Judaism:

  • Offspring of Seth: The first references to the offspring of Seth rebelling from God and mingling with the daughters of Cain are found in Christian and rabbinic literature from the second century CE onwards e.g. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Augustine of Hippo, Julius Africanus, and the Letters attributed to St. Clement. It is also the view expressed in the modern canonical Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. In Judaism "Sons of God" usually refers to the righteous, i.e. the children of Seth.

  • Angels: All of the earliest sources interpret the "sons of God" as angels. From the third century BCE onwards, references are found in the Enochic literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls the (Genesis Apocryphon, the Damascus Document, 4Q180), Jubilees, the Testament of Reuben, 2 Baruch, Josephus, and the book of Jude (compare with 2 Peter 2). This is also the meaning of the only two identical occurrences of bene ha elohim in the Hebrew Bible (Job 1:6 and 2:1), and of the most closely related expressions (refer to the list above). In the Septuagint, the interpretive reading "angels" is found in Codex Alexandrinus, one of four main witnesses to the Greek text.

Rabbinic Judaism traditionally adheres to the first interpretation, with some exceptions, and modern Jewish translations may translate bnei elohim as "sons of rulers" rather than "sons of God". Regardless, the second interpretation (sons of angels or other divine beings) is nonexistent in modern Judaism. This is reflected by the rejection of Enoch and other Apocrypha supporting the second interpretation from the Hebrew Bible Canon.

Using Scripture to interpret Scripture is a very common practice in our day and as such the New Testament in the person of St. Luke shows us that the Sons of God were the descendants of Adam.

According to Scripture “sons of God” means “persons who are begotten independently of any creature’s decision”. All angels can appropriately be called “sons of God”, but not all characters called “sons of God” in the Bible can appropriately be considered angels. The “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-4 are undoubtedly human, and it is fitting to consider that they were created directly by God through transformation of human-like animals into persons.

Who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God. - Luke 3:38

Thus if the Nephilim were the descendants of the Sons of God (sons of Adam) and the "daughters of men" surely they were not demi-gods. Some of them would have had good and upright souls and some were sinners like everyone else.


Nephilim are Enoch's version of the Mesopothamian corpora. Given that Enoch lived in the 3rd century before modern era he had no clue to whom he was referring to:

Nephilim are the hebrew language equivalent of the Igigi, the celestial Gods created by the Seven Annuna representing the hypostasis of planets in the Solar System, that centuries later merged into hypostasis of Archons via post-Alexandrine Hellenization straight into Nag Hammadi scriptures and by different paths into astronomical-esoterical alchymic knowledge.

In fact, in the Akkadian corpus humanity was mythologically created from the blood of a dragon, namely Aw-Ila, who was a chief-rebel Igigi against the imposing work that was ordained by the Annuna Gods. He was slayed and humanity were the new 'working people' of Earth as the Kings of Babylon were given the task to govern humans on behalf of the Gods.

Igigi may be also compared to the Sun-Disked Wings of Babylon and Egypt, visible also in Zoroastrian worship, or even Graeco-Roman drakon cults (Aesculap, for instance), as such they are not demi-gods but Gods, as far as mortal understanding goes in this mythopoesis. For more information, read:

  • Foster, Benjamin R. 2005. Before the muses: an anthology of Akkadian literature. Bethesda, Md: CDL Press.
  • 1
    very interesting! I'll look up the book.
    – Tom Sol
    Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 8:38

Nephilim can be called demigods. The sons of gods are also referred to as gods by God in Ps 82:6. The word god describes where a being resides not a name. God is elohim in hebrew. In Ps 82:1 God (Elohim) presides.... Ps 82:6 I said You are gods (elohim). 1 Sam 28:13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being (elohim) coming up out of the earth.”

Elohim is a plural word like fish. Context tells us if we have 1 fish or 2 fish. Not there is no English word called fishes. lol

So God, angels and spirits are all elohim but no elohim is Yahweh. Yahweh is species unique. So if a demigod is an elohim and human mixture then yes Nephilims meet that definition


When the angels where kicked out of heaven they inhabited earth and had sex with women. Their offspring were giants and they had physical abilities that were stronger than man. This was not God’s plan for man.

The earth was so evil God had to flood it so that man wouldn't get wiped out. The stories of these giants were told many years after and are now told in mythology.

They aren't demigods. They are evil Godless creatures formed in rebellion to the one living God.

  • 1
    What are your sources?
    – Tom Sol
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 11:59

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