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Read: Genesis 6:1-4

Remember Hercules? No, he’s not in the Bible, I’m referencing Greek mythology. Hercules was super strong because he was half human and half Greek god. Hercules was the offspring of a woman, Alcemene, and the king of the Greek gods, Zeus. The Greeks famously shared their mythology and told Hercules’ story, celebrating his superhuman feats. Hercules wasn’t the only ½ deity and ½ human, ancient superhero – demi-gods were a common plotline in pagan mythologies.

“Heroes of old and warriors of renown” are mentioned in Gen. 6:1-4. How strange! They’re not recorded in the Bible, so we don’t have the names or their stories. Let’s acknowledge that this part of the Bible is unusual, primitive, and a bit foreign in the way it sees things and explains things. It’s pre-history or faith history. Once we get to ch.12, with Abraham and Sarah, we’ll be more at home; until then, yikes!

First, I reject the idea that there’s more than one “Son of God” (Gen. 6:2, 6:4). Some try to say these verses have to do with angels. Ok, fine. Secondly, I don’t believe that “angels” can have sexual relations with women and produce superheroes, but that’s what the Bible is literally saying. These offspring were giants! The Nephilim, the great legendary heroes of old, the men of renown (v.4). Lord help us!

And God does. God put a stop to those shenanigans (v.3). From that point on no one born on Earth lives longer than 120 years. The days of people living 500, 600, 700 years, and Methuselah 969 years, are no more! And no longer will it be allowed for “the sons of God” to have relations with “the daughters of men.” And that’s how the Bible explains why there are no super-humans or giants roaming the Earth anymore; and why nobody lives beyond 120 years. God put an end to it.

Unsettling? Sure, but don’t base your faith on the insignificant stuff. Sometimes pagan cultures told their “faith” stories of demi-god superhero ancestors like it was history and not mythology; God’s people challenged those stories and recast them in a monotheistic worldview, with One Supreme God in charge of everything. The Bible doesn’t have to be infallible or “perfect” to accurately and faithfully testify to the only One Who is perfect, Jesus Christ, the ONLY begotten Son of the Living God.

Shalom,
Pastor Rob Nystrom