Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim Is Finally Available

The front cover of my new book, Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim. Click here to order from my online store.

I have been waiting a long time to write this blog post—a little over eight years to be more precise. Ever since completing my Th.M. degree and successfully defending my thesis on the sons of God and the Nephilim (Genesis 6:1–4), I have been rewriting my thesis as a popular level resource instead of an academic paper. Regular readers of this blog and the comment sections on particular threads (particularly those on subjects related to the sons of God and the Nephilim) know that I have been pointing to this day for quite a while.

At long last, Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim is available from my store, and I believe it is the most thorough book available on this topic. At nearly 500 pages, Fallen brings clarity to passages that have confused and frustrated countless Bible readers. If you have ever wondered what Genesis 6:1–4 is about, or if you think that it’s too controversial or just too vague to confidently interpret, then Fallen is for you.

Brief Overview

The book is divided into four sections. After some introductory matters, the first section spans 17 chapters and deals with properly identifying the sons of God. Each of the three major views is carefully analyzed by looking first at the positive arguments and then addressing the many objections. Considerable attention is also given to the divine council in this section.

The second section consists of 10 chapters focused on the Nephilim. What does the Bible say about them? Who were they? Were they giants? How tall were they? Why were they here? How could they have been on the earth after the Flood? These and many other questions are tackled.

The book’s third section features five chapters dealing with peripheral yet practical matters. These chapters didn’t quite fit in the logical flow of the first two sections of the book and are somewhat speculative. But I believe they are important for a richer understanding of the topic. Is there any supporting evidence for giants from outside the Bible? What can we learn about these matters from other ancient cultures? Is the activity described in Genesis 6:1–4 still going on? Are there some popular arguments that should be avoided?

The final section of the book is made up of nine appendixes. Some of these could have been entire chapters, but they did not really fit anywhere in the first three sections. Some of the appendixes are short and deal with frequently asked questions.

For a full list of the chapters, see the “Look Inside” feature on the book’s Amazon page.

Frequently Asked Questions

To wrap up this post, I want to address several questions to help you understand more about the book.

Why have you spent so much time on this topic?

This is an excellent question. Everyone should agree that one’s views on the sons of God and the Nephilim have nothing to do with salvation, so why should anyone spend much time on these topics? The simple answer is that this passage is part of the Bible, and since I believe God wanted this information in His Word then I think Christians need to do their best to understand it. Also, there is a huge amount of misinformation and sensationalism that often accompanies discussion of these verses. My goal was for Fallen to provide a serious and respectful study of these intriguing topics.

Sometimes, people ask this question with a bit of cynicism or derision, as if I have been wasting my time or doing something wrong by focusing my energy on the passage. But this question could be asked of a huge number of biblical topics that are not directly related to one’s salvation, and yet we can find scores of books on plenty of these subjects. Are the critics accusing these authors of wasting their time?

Furthermore, too many Christians think salvation is the only subject worth discussing at length, but Christians are called to mature in their faith and to study Scripture so that they might properly understand it—all of it, not just the parts about salvation (2 Timothy 2:15). One of the reasons why I took over eight years to complete this book is because during that time I also wrote a book and recorded nearly eight hours of material on what is by far my favorite topic and one that is at the core of the salvation message, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (see In Defense of Easter, Risen: Without a Doubt, He Is Risen, and Shrouded in Mystery). So I do focus on other matters.

Michael Heiser’s book, The Unseen Realm, is often viewed as the definitive work on this subject. How is Fallen different?

When I received an advance copy of The Unseen Realm in 2015, I had already written about half of Fallen, and I was concerned that Heiser’s book would make mine unnecessary. As I read his book, I was relieved to discover that it was quite different, even though we reach similar conclusions on most of the topics. Check out my review of The Unseen Realm.

Those familiar with the distinction between biblical theology and systematic theology will probably understand what I mean here. Generally speaking, Heiser’s book treats this topic from the perspective of biblical theology while Fallen is more of a systematic approach. That is, Heiser moves chronologically through the Bible examining how the original audience might have understood the message, keeping in mind the progressive revelation of Scripture and cultural limitations. A systematic approach starts with the completed text and logically organizes everything Scripture has to say on a subject, while taking into account relevant scientific and historical findings.

Both approaches are important and are dependent upon each other. A good systematic theology must rely on strong biblical theology to ensure each passage is properly understood in its context. Meanwhile, since the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant, a good biblical theology must be tempered by a strong systematic theology to make sure one’s conclusions on early passages do not contradict later passages or scientific and historical data.

That being said, the two books are quite different. For example, Heiser spends only about three pages addressing two of the major views on the sons of God, the Sethite and Royalty views. In a sense, Heiser assumes (rightly, I believe) that the Fallen Angel view is correct and moves forward on that basis. The alternative views are indirectly critiqued elsewhere in the book as he shows how the Fallen Angel view makes sense of other passages. In contrast, Fallen devotes sixteen chapters to demonstrating the correct understanding of the sons of God. Each view is given significant space, detailing the positive arguments and the objections. In fact, there are four chapters devoted to the many objections to the Fallen Angel view.

There are plenty of other differences. Despite a handful of different conclusions on peripheral matters, I believe that Unseen Realm and Fallen are complementary books that will provide readers with a tremendous study on these fascinating subjects.

Will Fallen Be Available from Your Employer?

No. Regular readers of this blog know that I have been employed by Answers in Genesis since 2010. As a ministry, Answers in Genesis does not hold an official view on Genesis 6:1–4, so I would not expect them to carry a book that strongly advocates for one view over the others. That’s not to say that the ministry completely avoids the topic. Several years ago, I wrote an article for Answers magazine to provide a neutral overview of the three main views on the sons of God and the differing views on the Nephilim (see “Battle Over the Nephilim”).

One thing I like to point out when issues like this arise is that it shows that Christians can work side by side with fellow believers who hold opposing perspectives on controversial topics that do not directly relate to salvation. This is how it should be.

Do you rely on the books of Enoch and Jubilees for your position?

Definitely not! One of the many objections I’ve heard against the Fallen Angel view is that it is dependent upon the book of Enoch and other Jewish writings of the intertestamental period. While there are some people who promote this perspective and give a great deal of attention to the book of Enoch, my book rarely mentions it. In fact, I don’t even discuss its identification of the sons of God until page 125 in a chapter that surveys ancient Jewish writings on the subject. This occurs after two chapters focusing on the support for the Fallen Angel view from the Old Testament and New Testament. The Bible is my primary source throughout the book except when surveying ancient writings and cultural beliefs.

Is Fallen full of end times conspiracies?

Nope. Although several books have been published about fallen angels and Nephilim having some role to play in end times events, my book has nothing like this. The only time this sort of issue comes up in Fallen is in the chapter near the end about arguments that we should avoid. In other words, I specifically encourage people not to engage in this type of speculation.

Didn’t Jesus rule out the Fallen Angel view?

This is the number one objection to the Fallen Angel view, and easily the most important one. If Jesus spoke against it, then the Fallen Angel view cannot be correct. However, this idea is based on a misreading of Matthew 22:30. Jesus never said that angels cannot marry or produce offspring. He simply stated that the angels in heaven do not marry. He didn’t mention what they can or cannot do while in rebellion on earth. Also, there is a huge difference between cannot and do not. For example, I do not eat chili—ever! I despise the stuff. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot do it. Of course, whether angels are capable of physically manifesting and siring children is of a more serious matter than chili, but Fallen addresses these concerns in detail. This blog has already addressed some issues related to what Jesus said about the Fallen Angel view, including the possibility that He might have endorsed it. (see “Did Jesus Teach that Angels Cannot Marry?”).

Where Can I Purchase a Copy of Fallen?

Right now, signed copies of Fallen are available at my web store. Otherwise, you can find the paperback and Kindle version on Amazon. If you read and enjoy the book, please take a few moments to leave a positive review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Can Gaps Be Inserted into the Genesis Genealogies?

My book, Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, explains many of the problems with attempting to add billions of years to the Bible

Recently, I heard a popular Bible teacher suggest that there were probably gaps in the genealogies found in Genesis 5 and 11. Consequently, it would be impossible to use the data in these chapters to determine when Adam lived, and by extension, how long ago God made everything.

For those unfamiliar with the issues involved in this discussion, Genesis 5 gives a genealogy from Adam to Noah. The genealogy in Genesis 11 begins with Noah’s son Shem and moves down to Abraham. The age of each person on the list is given when their son of record was born. For example, we are told that Adam was 130 when Seth was born, and Seth was 105 when Enosh was born, and so on. When we add up the ages of each person at the birth of his son in these two genealogies, we see that roughly 2000 years passed from the creation of Adam until Abraham. And since there were roughly 2000 years from Abraham to Jesus and 2000 years from Jesus until today, many Christians believe God created everything around 6000 years ago.

The Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint includes an additional 600 years from Adam to Noah and 650 years from Shem to Abraham.1 The issues involved in the Masoretic v. Septuagint debate are too detailed to address here. It is true that the Septuagint names an extra patriarch (Cainan) in the post-Flood genealogy, but this ultimately does not really impact the debate about whether the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 can be used to calculate that age of the earth. That may seem strange since I just mentioned a possible gap, but bear with me and you’ll see what I mean.2

If we take these genealogies at face value we can calculate a ballpark figure for the age of the earth according to the Bible. I say “ballpark” because we shouldn’t assume each man was born on his father’s birthday. That is, we are not told how many months and days passed in Adam’s 130th year before Seth was born or in Seth’s 105th year before Enosh was born and so on. Accounting for all the potential variables, the Bible places the date of creation somewhere between 5950–7600 years ago.3

Gaps in Other Biblical Genealogies

In an effort to harmonize the Bible with the popular notions that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that man came on the scene a few million years ago, many Christians have attempted to avoid the implications of the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies. By claiming that innumerable gaps can be inserted into these genealogies, the calculations mentioned above become virtually meaningless and one can assert that the Bible does not speak to the age of the earth at all.

How can Christians ignore what seems to be the obvious result of the ages given in these chapters? The common approach is to demonstrate that biblical genealogies often have gaps. After all, when the Hebrew language states that Person X begot Person Y, it does not necessarily mean that Person Y is the son of Person X. It is possible that Person Y is the grandson or later descendant. In some cases it is indisputable that gaps exist, like Matthew 1. In other examples, a strong case can be made for a gap, but possible explanations exist to make such cases less than watertight.

Matthew 1

In Matthew 1, the apostle traces the ancestry of Jesus from Abraham, and he divides his genealogy into three sections, each consisting of 14 names. From Abraham to David, there are 14 generations listed, and the same is true from David’s son Solomon to Jeconiah. Another 14 generations are given after Jeconiah until Jesus. Apparently, Matthew intentionally sought to make these into groups of 14 since he omits some names in the genealogy. For example, between Joram and Uzziah (aka Azariah) in Matthew 1:8 there should be three more names: Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (see 1 Chronicles 3:11–12). Obviously, Matthew’s genealogy has a gap in it, and I don’t know of anyone who disputes this.


Now let’s look at a couple examples of genealogies that seem to have gaps. In Ruth 4:20–22, we are given five generations from Nahshon to David: Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David. These names match every other genealogy given about these men in Scripture (Matthew 1, Luke 3, and 1 Chronicles 2). The difficulty here is that Nahshon was alive during the Exodus and 1 Kings 6:1 explains that 480 years passed from the Exodus until David’s son Solomon started building the temple in Jerusalem. If we subtract a generous 80 years to account for David’s age when Solomon was born and Solomon’s age when temple work began, the five generations between Nahshon and David need to span 400 years. The problem is likely even more difficult than this. Nahshon’s son Salmon married Rahab, so Salmon was almost certainly an adult 40 years after the Exodus. So it seems that the four generations from Salmon to David need to span approximately 360 years. This means that Salmon, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse needed to be about 90 years old each (on average) when they had their son of record. Although it is within the realm of possibility, it seems quite unlikely that each of these men were having children at such a late age during this period in history.4 So it is rather reasonable to conclude that a gap exists somewhere in this list, perhaps between Obed and Jesse.   


Another genealogy that may include a gap is found in Exodus 6:16–20, which traces the line from Levi to Moses: Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses. There are two potential problems here if there are no names missing. First, Kohath was apparently already born when the Israelites entered Egypt (Genesis 46:11). If the short sojourn view is correct, then the Israelites were there for 215 years. Since Moses was 80 when the Exodus occurred, this means that 135 years passed between Kohath entering Egypt and his grandson’s birth. This is plausible if Kohath came to Egypt at a young age and he and Amram averaged about 70 years at the birth of their children. However, this view depends on the short sojourn. I believe a much stronger case can be made for the long sojourn,5 which means they would have been in Egypt for 430 years, so Kohath and Amram would’ve needed to average about 175 years at the birth of their sons, which is impossible since they died at 133 and 137, respectively.

Was Moses really the great grandson of Levi or were there unmentioned generations between them?

The impossibility of the latter scenario may seem to lend support to the short sojourn view. However, there is another problem with the no-gap view of Exodus 6:16–20, and it creates a serious difficulty for the short sojourn view. That is, during roughly the same amount of time as the three generations from Levi to Moses, there were apparently 11 generations between Levi’s brother Joseph and Moses’ successor, Joshua (1 Chronicles 7:23–27). Even if we account for the fact that Joshua was in the generation after Moses and ignore the fact that Joseph was younger than Levi, we must assume that ten generations passed in Joshua’s line during the span of three generations in the line of Moses.

Given these details, it seems very likely that a gap exists somewhere between Levi and Moses. If so, it would almost certainly be between Kohath and Amram, which would mean that Exodus 6:16–20 is really only telling us about the tribe, clan, and family of Moses rather than providing us with a detailed lineage.

Gaps in Genesis 5 and 11?

There can be little doubt that the Bible includes gaps in some genealogies. Matthew 1 certainly skips some generations while the lineages of David and Moses seem to be missing some names. Do these details and others like them lend support to the claim that Genesis 5 and 11 might have gaps and are therefore incapable of providing pertinent details to calculating the biblical age of the earth? Not at all! Let me say that another way. The fact that some genealogies in the Bible contain gaps does not lend any credibility to the claim that the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 have gaps. Here’s why.

You may have noticed that a certain detail was missing in all the other genealogies cited above that is included in both Genesis 5 and 11. That is, in the two Genesis genealogies we are told the age of the person when their son was born. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Even though some have proposed that Seth was Adam’s grandson or great grandson, it makes zero difference to the calculation of the biblical age of the earth. Whether Seth was Adam’s son, grandson, or great grandson, Adam was still 130 years old when Seth was born. And Seth was 105 years old when Enosh was born. So this entire argument misses the mark.. Compare this with the fact that we are not told how old the men were between Nahshon and David or between Levi and Moses when they had their sons. As such, it is possible for gaps to exist in the lines of David and Moses, but these passages are not used in calculating the biblical age of the earth.  

Adding generational gaps to the Genesis genealogies does not add a single day to the biblical age of the earth because Adam was 130, Seth was 105, etc. And it does not matter if these names represent dynasties, as some have proposed—Adam’s “dynasty” would have still been 130 when Seth’s came along, and Seth’s “dynasty” would’ve been 105, etc.


The oft-used tactic of citing gaps in certain biblical genealogies does not support the flawed idea that an indefinite amount of time can be added to the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. In fact, it is rather odd that some Christians think that adding gaps between Adam and Seth or between any of the other patriarchs in these chapters would add any time to the biblical age of the earth—it’s really a matter of basic math.

Thus, these two genealogies can certainly be used to attain a ballpark figure for the biblical age of the earth and for the timing of man’s creation, which occurred five days after the earth was created.

  1. The Septuagint lists the “begetting ages” of the following twelve patriarchs as being 100 years higher than the Masoretic Text: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Enoch, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, and Serug. An additional 50 years are cited for the begetting age of Nahor. If accurate, the Septuagint’s figures place the date of creation as 1,250 years earlier than the Masoretic Text. 

  2. If the “extra Cainan” found in the Septuagint is legitimate, then another 130 years needs to be added to the total. 

  3. In addition to the Septuagint’s figures, interpretive decisions must be made regarding the length of time the Israelites were in Egypt (215 or 430 years) and the co-regency length of some of Judah’s kings (appx. 45 years). 

  4. Genesis 5 shows that people prior to the Flood commonly had children after reaching 100 years of age. Following Abraham, who was 100 when Isaac was born, the age of people when their children were born dropped steadily. 

  5. The details involved in this debate would take far too much space to address here. A good article on the subject can be found here: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2012/01/05/The-Duration-of-the-Israelite-Sojourn-In-Egypt.aspx