Thursday, 25 October 2012

What was the 'great sin' in Genesis 6.1-7?



                 
The Bible is sometimes very frustrating because there are so many cryptic, brief comments that don’t give us all the information that we need….and want!

In most of these cases we can find extra information, and commentary, in other Books in the Bible.  However, in the case of Genesis 6.1-7 we have to look outside the Bible, at the Book of Enoch:

Genesis 6.1-7: It came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 
….There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

There is a reference, and a comprehensive commentary, on this passage in Genesis in the Book of Enoch:

Enoch 6.1-2   It came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men’… 

Why should we accept the commentary of the Book of Enoch when it is not in the Bible?
How do we know that the Book of Enoch is reliable?

Happily, the Letter of Jude in the New Testament specifically identifies the Book of Enoch as authoritative:

Jude 14,15   Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the LORD cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’
 
The passage that Jude is referring to is in Enoch 1.9:
Enoch 1.9  He comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him. ...
 
So….now that we have established that we can rely on the Book of Enoch, let’s find out what  Enoch has to say about the incident when the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
 
The commentary in Enoch is in 3 steps:
 
1.  Who were ‘the sons of God’?…Who was their leader?…and How many of them were there?
 
Enoch 6.1-6: It came to pass when the children of men had multiplied, that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after the daughters of men, and said: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men’….
Semiazaz, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear …that I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves …to do this thing.' … And they were in all two hundred who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon…


2.  What did the 200 angels do?….What were the results?….

Enoch 7.1-3: And they took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and the women …became pregnant, and bore great giants, ….and the giants turned against and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood.

3.  How did the LORD react to this ‘great sin’, as Semiazaz described their actions?  He decided to bring The Flood.

Enoch 10.1-4:  Then the Most High, the Holy and Great One, sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: 'Go to Noah and tell him in My Name ‘Hide yourself!’ and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.'

Genesis 6.5-8 confirms Enoch 10:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
..  So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

So that is what happened ‘when the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after the daughters of men, and the sons of God came in them and they bore children to them.’  

Until Sunday when we will discover who was the main culprit of this 'great sin'...


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