A couple of weeks ago I was going through some of my boxes in storage and found my copy of Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary. It’s a real Torah, written in both Hebrew and English, and from right to left, so it’s a little difficult to get use to. The following groups were involved in the publishing of this particular Torah.
- The Rabbinical Assembly
- The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
- The Jewish Publication Society
The Sethite interpretation is possibly one of the most ridiculous twisting of scripture that I’ve ever heard and the defense against the Jewish interpretation is at least as absurd. Those that defend the Sethite view often claim that since most Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they don’t actually know what their own language means. It’s absurd, but they have themselves convinced of their false theory surround the line of Seth. Yesterday, I decided to check out the commentary on Genesis 6 as written in the Torah. First let’s start with how they translated Genesis 6:1-4 in the Torah:
“When men began to increase on earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings saw how beautiful the daughters of men were and took wives from among those that pleased them. The Lord said, my breath shall not abide in man forever, since he too is flesh; let the days allowed him be one hundred and twenty years. It was then, and later too, that the Nephilim appeared on earth, when the divine beings cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown.” – Genesis 6:1-4 (Etz Hayim: Torah and Comentary)
As we can see, the Torah reads a little bit different than the KJV, NIV, or any of the other versions out there. They refer to the sons of God as “divine beings” and not Sethites as those that hold the false Sethite position would have us believe. Keep in mind that this is the CONSERVATIVE translation. Here is what the commentary says about these verses.
Genesis 6:1 – Men: The Hebrew word ha-adam, literally, “the man,” is here a collective: humankind.
Genesis 6:2 – The Divine Beings: The definite article points to a familiar term. The context in Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7 indicates that the reference is to the angelic host, the celestial entourage of God, an image drawn from human kings surrounded by their courtiers.
The Hebrew for “divine beings” here is b’nei (which also can mean “sons of” or “children of”). The word b’nei often means “members of a category,” so that the Hebrew phrase here means “members of the category of divine beings” (elohim). Similarly, b’nei yisra-el does not mean “the children of Israel,” but Israelites.
Saw how beautiful: Driven by lust, their only criterion in the selection of mates was external beauty, not character.
Took wives – The Hebrew phrase is the regular term for the beginning of the marriage relationship. There is no hint of violent possession, nor is there any condemnation of the women involved.
In man: The reference her is not only to the offspring of these unnatural unions but also to all humankind, because disorder has been introduced into God’s creation.
Flesh: They are not divine, despite their non-human paternity. “Flesh” connotes human frailty.
Genesis 6:4 – The Nephilim appeared on earth: The offspring of the divine beings. These Nephilim, the etymology of the word is unknown, generated other Nephilim in the course of their married lives. Some suggest that the term means “fallen one,” a reference to the later myth of “the fallen angels.”
Heroes of Old: Their heroic exploits were the subject of many popular tales.
Before I post the last bit of this, I want to point out to those that can’t decide whether the Nephilim refer to the fallen angels or their offspring, the Torah is clear that the Nephilim are the offspring and not the fallen angels themselves. Here is the rest of the commentary on Genesis 6:1-4.
Celestial – Terrestrial Intermarriage
Legends about relationships among gods and mortal women and among goddesses and men, resulting in propagation of demigods, are widespread and familiar subjects of pagan mythology. The version presented here, highly condensed from what was once a well-known and fuller story, adds to the ancient myths the Israelite notion that the offspring of such unnatural unions may possess heroic stature but are devoid of divine qualities. They are flesh and blood like all humans, and their life span is severely limited compared to the individuals listed in Genesis 5.
I hope this is helpful to anyone looking for evidence of how the Torah interprets Genesis 6:1-4. For anyone that is interested in grabbing a copy of this Torah, you can click here or click the link below. With that said, I bought mine in my senior year in high school for about $40 or $50. From what I’m seeing on Amazon, a used copy is going for about $60 and a new copy for $200+.
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