I thought I would take a quick break from critiquing Fred Butler’s Alexandrian material and add an article to a small series that we have been doing about a popular group of Judaizers called Israel Bible Center (IBC).
Although they are very different types of heretics, Calvinists like Butler and Judaizers like IBC share a common attitude towards the “scriptures of truth”. They are both Nothing-Onlyists. They don’t believe that any book that any of us have ever seen is perfect and without error. By going back to the “original languages,” using different manuscripts and lexicons, and ignoring cross references (which may or may not have been messed up in the originals or modern versions…) men can “prove” anything they want.
Here we will look at IBC’s treatment of Genesis 6 in an article by Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg. They don’t like the true, Biblical way of looking at the text and so they “go to the Hebrew” to change it. Typical Alexandrians.
As usual, my comments are in bold.
One of the most enigmatic texts in the entire Bible has to do with sons of God taking wives from the daughters of men. Maybe not “enigmatic” but it sure is wild. It turns out that the wild idea of inter-celestial sexual relations, Again, strange wording. But ok. resulting in mass superhuman pregnancies, may not be our best interpretive option. Notice how these Bible correctors never talk about truth or “what is and what isn’t.” They talk about “best interpretive options.” Pay attention because as they go on, you find they change their tune and you will find they think their interpretation is absolutely correct and not just the “best interpretive option.”
In this case, it is important to start from the end-result – where the Torah readers are told that God intended to destroy humanity and all creation on account of this situation (Gen.6:1-8).
“And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said: ‘I will blot out man whom I have created … but Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD”. (Gen.6:5-8)
Wouldn’t you agree with me that the punishment of humanity for the evil of celestial serial rapists (fallen angels in popular theories) makes no sense whatsoever? Now these Judaizers have made a great error. They added the idea that what takes place here is RAPE. This idea is found nowhere in the text. They just stuck it in there with no evidence. By adding this, they have messed up the whole text and obliterated the truth that the women found themselves in this situation WILLINGLY. This idea (if true) would be equivalent to punishing the woman while justifying a rapist on the grounds that the woman was too attractive. But it isn’t true. No rape was involved. In other words, God would be punishing the victim. This would be a great injustice indeed! In fact, the wording suggests the opposite. Whoever the perpetrators of these crimes were, they were human and not angelic beings. Now after butchering the text, they come to the wrong conclusion, of course. Also what happened to the “best interpretive option” baloney???
Understanding the clear facts of the text (that humanity was utterly and thoroughly fallen and that God intended to destroy it) is crucial for answering our main question: Who were these “sons of God” that used the daughters of men in their predatory acts of sexual abuse at the very beginning of human history?
In most English translations we read that, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives…” (Gen.6:4).
וַיִּרְאוּ בְנֵי-הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת-בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם, כִּי טֹבֹת הֵנָּה; וַיִּקְחוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים
The original Hebrew shows that this text should be considered more carefully. Oh, should it now??? For example, the singular Isha and plural nashim (נָשִׁים) in Hebrew does not have to mean “wife,” but can also be translated, “woman.” Therefore, we are justified in thinking that a culture of systematic rape and non-traditional marriages are being described here. Baloney. Only a fool would think that since that Hebrew word CAN be translated as “wife” or “woman” that “we are justified” to think this is talking about rape. All they have done is doubt the text. If he thinks that “wife” is wrong because of the Hebrew, then the best he can do is say that both are equally valid. But he doesn’t allow that conclusion because he knows people will bow to his “superior” Hebrew skills. Don’t forget that smart people lie too. Furthermore, after checking all the major English translations, it should be noted that with one exception, everyone thinks “wives” is more correct than “women”. The vast majority of scholars think IBC is wrong here. The Hebrew word Elohim can be translated as “God” or as “gods”. The Hebrew word “ben” (as in plural form “b’nei haElohim” [בְנֵי-הָאֱלֹהִים]) does not have to be translated literally as “son” either. It can also be understood as, “a representative of a stratum of society or group”. Hebrew often does this with words like “ben” and “baal“. For example, baalei haim (singular baal haim), which literally means, “masters of life/lives,” actually can be translated as “animals.” And all that shows is that “going to the Hebrew” will help you to understand LESS of the text. Thanks a lot buddy! The original Hebrew of Genesis 6:4 reads:
הַנְּפִלִים הָיוּ בָאָרֶץ, בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם, וְגַם אַחֲרֵי-כֵן אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל-בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם, וְיָלְדוּ לָהֶם: הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם, אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם
“The Nephilim (הַנְּפִלִים) were in the earth in those days, and also after that when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.”
The Hebrew Nephelim is usually (and incorrectly) translated as “giants.” This is his OPINION. A bunch of men who were some of the greatest Hebrew scholars of their generation were sure that the word meant “giant”. These men were the KJV translators. Among modern versions, those scholars were almost evenly divided between translating it as “giants” or leaving it untranslated as “Nephilim”. Only the Young’s Literal Translation wrote the same as IBC. Therefore it is safe to conclude that most scholars think IBC is wrong here. This is why going by “scholars” makes a mess. Which “scholars” should I trust? Nephelim is Hebrew for “the fallen ones”. Note how the text describes them as ancient warriors (הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם), and famous people (אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם).
The phrase, “b’nei Elohim,” most probably referred to powerful and influential men who felt they were above the law and therefore not accountable to anyone for their predatory sexually pursuits (compare to Ps.8:5-7). It most certainly did NOT mean “powerful and influential men…” There are a number of problems with IBC’s statement here.
The first problem is that Ps 8:5 does not have the phrase “b’nei Elohim”. It only has “Elohim”. So this isn’t a cross reference. The meaning of the Hebrew word “Elohim” has its own issues but is not the topic of this article. Instead of comparing Scripture with Scripture, IBC is comparing nothing with nothing because they have zero cross references.
Second, cross references to “sons of God” prove this to be untrue. Does IBC’s dumb translation fit Job 38:7 which is about the “time” before creation (The Gap if you will…)? Does it fit Job 1:6 and 2:1 where we find these supposed men to be hanging out in heaven with God and Satan? OF COURSE NOT. So throw out IBC’s incorrect definition. To blazes with their Jewish heritage. If their definition doesn’t fit the text, then throw it out.
Third, the origin of actual giants in scripture is ignored. Somehow this guy spent all this time in the Hebrew of Genesis 6 that he forgot to account for the fact that the Bible talks about literal giants. Where, pray tell, do these beings come from if not a fall of angelic beings before and after the Flood (and in the Tribulation, too)? We can see from the height of Og in Deut 3:11 and Goliath in I Sam 17 that these were not ordinary men. The correct idea of what happened in Genesis 6 accounts for this.
IBC just ignores the fact altogether. They are too busy trying to get you to sign up for their Hebrew lessons. Real Bible Believers don’t ignore those kinds of things.
A contemporary analogy is Hollywood’s sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, who used his position of power to force young actresses into unwanted sexual encounters with him. Refusal of his advances would result in the destruction of their careers in the American movie industry. Powerful men are prone to the abuse of weaker women. As King Solomon wrote, there is nothing new under the sun. The presence of this story in Genesis makes perfect sense when we remember that Genesis was written to Israelites who had only recently left their forced labor camps in Egypt, where they had been enslaved by members of powerful Egyptian families. No friend, God didn’t destroy the whole earth because of people like Harvey Weinstein, however horrible that guy is. God destroyed the whole earth because the gene pool had been polluted beyond repair. That’s why Noah was called “perfect in his generations”. Not because he was sinless (he wasn’t). He was “perfect” in what we today call his genes.
None of this should be a surprise. “Going to the original languages” helps very little and often hurts the understanding of the text. This is just another example of it.
When people promote this false interpretation, they then miss some great truths, especially some about the future. It is interesting that even pagans know more about this stuff than IBC. Look what they said to Paul in Acts 14:
“And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.” Acts 14:11
They knew it had happened before and that it would happen again. Look what Christ himself said about it.
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt 24:37
And then finally we see an “enigmatic” prophecy in Daniel which says:
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Dan 2:43
There is some sort of mixing and it ain’t rape, folks. And it ain’t Weistein, either. But I hope this example will suffice to show how people who “go to the Hebrew” miss the good stuff.
I love the Jewish people, but IBC is a good example of why Paul warned us, “beware of the concision.” in Phil 3:2.
If you want the truth, stick to your King James Bible.