Herein concludes a series considering that which TJ Steadman wrote about the flood and Rephaim as Nephilim 2.0.
You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.
Under the heading “Judgment on Evil Powers, Not Sin,” TJ Steadman wrote:
The Flood was not a judgment on sinful humans, or an eradication program directed toward God’s image-bearers, but a means of preserving the remnant of our species so that humanity could start over again.
Had it not been for the Flood, Noah’s family would certainly have been killed by the Nephilim, and the last hope of humanity would have been lost. The Flood was God’s means of saving His people from the trouble that was otherwise going to befall them.
There is an amazing irony in the work of God seen in the Flood though – the God of order bringing non-order upon an already chaotic world to set everything right again.
Part of this is attempting to understand the precious little we are told about Nephilim: which is merely their parentage and that they became mighty and well known—period.
He claims, “The Flood was not a judgment on sinful humans” but Gen 6:5-7 note, “the wickedness of man was great…every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…the LORD was sorry that He had made man…So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man…’”
And no, I have no problem with “man” referring to humans and to Nephilim and even to Angels since the former is obvious, Nephilim were half “man” so can be referred to as such (like Barak Obama is the “first Black President” even though he is half Black), and Angles look just like human males and thus, are referred to as such.
Now, he claims “The Flood was not a judgment on sinful humans” but during our debate he stated, “we don’t have in scripture any account of the purpose of the flood being for eliminating the Nephilim.” So, if it was not to contra humans nor contra Nephilim then God must have flooded the Earth not for the reasons He stated but to judge Angels.
The issue of ending “an eradication program” so that “humanity could start over again” is made difficult since he denies and also accepts that there were post-flood Nephilim. On the post-flood Nephilim view, the “eradication program” did not end with the flood and “humanity could” not just “start over again” since Nephilim were still running amok doing whatever they were doing.
Now, if “The Flood was God’s means of saving His people” then any concept of post-flood Nephilim means that God flooded the Earth only to, somehow and contradictory to His Word, have Nephilim survive or return and continue going at it.
TJ Steadman then asks, “What do we make of this?” and replies:
During the Flood, God opened the spiritual portals through our material world. In 40 days and nights, He passed judgment on all flesh. He sealed the fate of those wicked giants, detaching them from the powerful bodies they once had. He closed the gateway between the material world and the spiritual so that the spirits became trapped in their disembodied state.
After 150 days of disembodied existence, the Nephilim changed. They became the next iteration – unclean spirits seeking an opportunity for embodiment. We have no evidence to suggest that these spirits were able to achieve embodiment by their own power. Thus, the iniquity of Azazel had resulted in the “offspring of the goat” – the elohim (spirits) later referred to as Rephaim…
There is another way to view the cryptic “150 days” along similar lines. This time instead of goats, we will look at locusts. In an agrarian society, it was common knowledge that the life cycle of a locust averages 150 days. In that time, locusts undergo metamorphosis. Later we will see how important this illustration is, in describing the same thing that we just learned regarding the dead Nephilim and their subsequent form.
If you are thinking that most of that is unbiblical, even if it appears reasonable, then you are correct.
As far as I know, that “God opened the spiritual portals” is made up stuff but he makes if up in order to then claim “He closed the gateway” and so Nephilim spirits, “became trapped in their disembodied state” which he is arguing based not on the Bible but, again, based on folklore from centuries after the Torah was written.
Now, that he assets that precisely “After 150 days…Nephilim changed” into their “next iteration,” hence my term Nephilim 2.0 is part of his post-flood Nephilim view.
Yet, I state Nephilim 2.0 for another reason: because he also claim we can know how tall they were via Num 13:33, the rebuked evil report, and one cannot measure the height of a spirit so he claims they were actually alive and embodied at the time—yet, he also claims a redactor inserted the tern Nephilim into that verse centuries after it was written.
Yet, he also, also thinks that Rephaim are embodies Nephilim 2.0.
If you are having a hard time tracking all of this, welcome to the club.
By appealing to “the iniquity of Azazel” he is denoting that he is creating a problem—that of “unclean spirits seeking an opportunity for embodiment”—and supposing to solving it by, again, quoting pseudepigraphical folklore from centuries after the Torah was written, this time in the form of Ethiopic Enoch/1 Enoch—see my book In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch.
There is absolute zero biblical indication that Rephaim were “offspring of the goat,” whatever that means (I actually know he is erroneously playing off of the scapegoat issue). So, “Nephilim” were “elohim (spirits)” and “later referred to as Rephaim” and such watering down and playing with words either means that TJ Steadman is the greatest contextually relevant scholars in history—since, as far as I know, no one else in history has ever claimed any such thing—(which may be), or he is mistaken.
Yes, there are texts wherein locusts are symbolic of, say, a destructive army but to study the life cycle of insects to correlate them to a tale about “dead Nephilim and their subsequent form” does not end up working out.
Under the title, “There is a Hidden Purpose of God at Work,” TJ Steadman wrote:
As we are going to find out, there was another purpose of God at work in the Flood.
This one is not referred to explicitly, but in the light of what we have just seen, and as we continue, it will become apparent that the death of the Nephilim was not the end of them, and it was never supposed to be.
Our omniscient God always has a plan, and the disembodied giants would soon be part of it, whether they liked it or not.
So, the flood was our omniscient God’s “means of saving His people” so that “humanity could start over again” but “another purpose” that “is not referred to explicitly” results in that “the death of the Nephilim was not the end of them” which is rather odd.
We will pick it up from here in the next segment.
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