One of my students, a Catholic teenager, is struggling to understand how his faith (his term) can fit into the modern scientific/secular world. He has learned about the “out of Africa” theory of the origins of modern humans and tries to reconcile this evolutionary history with church teachings about Adam and Eve. What did I think about the Nephilim? he asked; “I don’t believe there were giants in the earth.” After recovering from my astonishment that he even knew the story from Genesis 6, I chose to direct his focus to the more pertinent meaning of the name, Nephilim (ne–fee–leem). The Hebrew word actually translates more accurately to “fallen ones,” the sons of the gods who took wives from the daughters of men and who bore children to them.
As we know, the history of the Planetary Prince and his staff at the Dalamatian colony has nearly disappeared. To avoid referencing The Urantia Book (The UB), I found myself also telling him about American Indian lore preserved by the elders which refers to “the Prince’s staff” as the Star People, or Star Nations. Tradition teaches that they descended from a hole in the sky located in the Pleiades and came to guide the early red race to wisdom and give them the tools of civilization.
My wife says her father, a Presbyterian minister and Navy chaplin, never spoke about the Nephilim. It’s no wonder he didn’t. Our parent’s preferred Bible, the King James Version (KJV), doesn’t use the term. It is from the KJV that we’ve inherited our misleading translation “giants in the earth,” which may more accurately refer to the Anakims, descendants of Anak, definitely the giants of tradition who already inhabited Canaan when Moses led his people to “the promised land.”
The UB retells this part of the story as we first heard it in Genesis 6:1-4. “The postrebellion era on Urantia witnessed many unusual happenings. A great civilization—the culture of Dalamatia—was going to pieces. "The Nephilim (Nodites) were on earth in those days, and when these sons of the gods went in to the daughters of men and they bore to them, their children were the 'mighty men of old,' the 'men of renown.'" While hardly "sons of the gods," the staff and their early descendants were so regarded by the evolutionary mortals of those distant days; even their stature came to be magnified by tradition,”(77:2.3)the giants my student took such interest in.
I often return again to read in Paper 67, “the occurrence and consequences of the planetary rebellion … did markedly modify the course of social evolution and of spiritual development. The entire superphysical history of the planet was profoundly influenced by this devastating calamity.” (67:0.1)
Among the significant corrections The UB makes to our history is the reordering of the chronology, which places the bestowal of the Material Son and Daughter (Adam and Eve) long after the rebellion, 200,000 years ago, when the children of the Prince’s staff, the “Nephilim” originated. The Old Testament (OT) record leads us to believe that the Nephilim, the founders of the Nodite Race, followed after Adam and Eve, and therefore are the children of “the first parents” just as our planet has believed we all are. Because of the misconception, that missing section of our history from the Lucifer Rebellion to the Garden of Eden story is about 162,152 years. The UB also places the building of the first Tower of Babel in this same Nodite period which precedes the Garden story by several millennia.
“The well-nigh universal folk tale of the gods who came down to earth and there with the daughters of men begot an ancient race of heroes … became further confused with the race mixtures of the later appearing Adamites in the second garden.” (77:2.3)
My student, raised with the Catholic catechism, was taught, “There are no persons in the world now, and there never have been any, who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, because the whole human race had but one origin.” This information that races of human beings existed before Adam and Eve would provide him with the philosophy to correlate the science he is learning with the religious teachings of his church and understand the meaning between the facts of science and the values of his faith. The UB chronology makes it possible for human evolution to coexist with the concept of a divine perfect pair created to care for God’s garden where a river named the Euphrates flows.
Many of us have noticed the OT reference that tells us Adam and Eve’s son Cain went to the land of Nod and found himself a wife, a mystery that has confounded Bible scholars for ages. In The UB we are told her name. “Cain married Remona, his distant cousin, and their first son, Enoch, became the head of the Elamite Nodites.” (76:2.9) Thus they continued the long era of racial mixing, the children of Adam, the Adamites, with that race descended from the Planetary Prince, the Nodites.
According to Genesis, a city was built in this land of Nod and named after Cain’s son, Enoch. Though unconfirmed in The UB, the story is retold in the Sumerian version of the myth of the first city, possibly Eridu founded by Enki, lord of the Earth. “The Nodite ancestry … blended with the Adamites to found the Sumerian peoples of historic times.” (77:4.6) Scholars have correlated Enoch’s name with equivalent Mesopotamian city names, Uruk, Unuk (Sumerian Unug), Ereck (which also may have been the first city), attempts to restore the history of the pre-Sumerians (Nodites) without the help of The UB.
It could be that the biblical record is confusing the city of Ereck, or Enoch, with the more important early city of the Nodites, Dilmun, built to take the place of an even more ancient Nodite capital, Dalamatia, which was submerged beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf. Dilmun is well known from the Sumerian tablets by historians of the Middle East. Unfortunately this history has not found its way into our general knowledge or the school curriculum. Sadly far as I know, none of it is taught in our schools leaving those like my Catholic student languishing in confusion.