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    #1

    "mighty men"

    HI all,
    My name is Wayne and I'm a graphics designer from Florida. I am currently the lead singer, guitarist with a bluegrass band, but also play and write for other genre. If this is the place to do so, I may post some of my poetry later. But right now I need some help.
    I need some assistance deciphering parts of a sentence and thought this might be a good place to find help with figuring out the sentence structure. If anyone is able to help me, I would greatly appreciate it. I want to know who "became mighty men". Is it the "children" , the "sons of God", or the "giants"" At this point I don't think it could be "children" since that word seems to imply both males and females. Thanks for your help!

    Genesis 6:4
    There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.
    Last edited by Heartstrings; 04-Feb-2008 at 08:08. Reason: clarification

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "mighty men"

    Here's a better translation:

    The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

    Notes on the Nephilim: The Giants of Old

    See also, Giants on the Earth

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    #3

    Re: "mighty men"

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Here's a better translation:

    The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.




    Thanks!
    I've already studied most of that type information but, was more interested in help with the grammar. I want to know who "became mighty men" in this particular sentence.

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    #4

    Re: "mighty men"

    In fact, it is "the children" who "became mighty men". The semicolon in the sentence you quote is rather odd, but knowing what the text is and where it comes from, I can tell you that despite the grammar, the "mighty men" are also the "giants".

    The grammar is difficult because it's 17th-century grammar, and translated from a Hebrew original. (Or even perhaps the Greek translation of a Hebrew original: offhand I can't remember.)

    Since we're dealing here with an old-fashioned translation of an ancient text, written when political correctness was unheard of and women had no rights and only just qualified as "human", you probably shouldn't read too much into the use of "children" and "men" in this passage. In Biblical times, it was more or less understood that women were simply unimportant.

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    #5

    Re: "mighty men"

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    In fact, it is "the children" who "became mighty men". The semicolon in the sentence you quote is rather odd, but knowing what the text is and where it comes from, I can tell you that despite the grammar, the "mighty men" are also the "giants".

    The grammar is difficult because it's 17th-century grammar, and translated from a Hebrew original. (Or even perhaps the Greek translation of a Hebrew original: offhand I can't remember.)

    Since we're dealing here with an old-fashioned translation of an ancient text, written when political correctness was unheard of and women had no rights and only just qualified as "human", you probably shouldn't read too much into the use of "children" and "men" in this passage. In Biblical times, it was more or less understood that women were simply unimportant.
    I don't know....
    Notice that the same author, in Genesis chapter 5 used the word "daughters" many times and at least twice in this chapter(6). Also, at least three women's names appear in the first four chapters of Genesis. Many other women, in the Bible, were highly spoken of; such as Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Mary Magdalene etc. Jesus himself was very kind to women such as the woman of Samaria: He purposely waited for her at the well, and revealed that in His omniscience, He knew and cared enough about her, that he could recite her life story.
    Last edited by Heartstrings; 04-Feb-2008 at 19:28.

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    #6

    Re: "mighty men"

    Woah -- now we're delving into the realms of theology.

    OK, obviously, it's not as if women were never mentioned; but if women were not specifically mentioned, they probably weren't actually being counted. In the story of the feeding of the five thousand, for example, the number of men is mentioned (5,000), but women and children are simply ignored. That doesn't mean there were no women or children there, just that they weren't deemed worthy of mention.

    Individual women are, of course, frequently mentioned and certainly do play a significant part in the Salvation History; but for the writers and readers of the original texts, the fact that they were women was almost the most remarkable thing about them. Eve is an obvious candidate for mention, being the first woman and thus mother of the entire human race.

    The story of Deborah illustrates the point quite well. When Barak refuses to go on a mission to kill the enemy military commander Sisera without Deborah, Deborah replies that as a punishment, the honour of killing Sisera would go to a mere woman. Later on, Abimelech is mortally wounded when a woman drops a millstone on his head, and begs his servant to dispatch him so that nobody would be able to claim that he had been killed by a mere woman -- that would, you see, have been much worse. For the most part, women were property (Boaz gets to marry Ruth after reminding his relative that if he decides to accept a plot of land, he'll also get the owner's widow into the bargain, a responsibility the relative is unwilling to accept), weren't allowed to testify in court, and had to stay in their own segregated area of the temple.

    When Matthew's genealogy of Jesus includes the names of four women, this is an unusual (and shocking) step. In fact, all of them he names are not only women, but women of questionable morals at that: Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and seduced her father-in-law, Ruth was a foreigner (always suspect in those days, especially as she belonged to a tribe considered one of Israel's enemies), Bathsheba had a habit of bathing in public in the nude and didn't seem to mind when David had her husband killed so they could get married, and Mary was pregnant by someone who wasn't the guy she was going to marry (albeit as part of the workings out of a divine plan, but that wouldn't have been obvious to people at the time).

    So yes, the Bible does speak highly of individual women, but these are exceptional cases, and the fact that the Bible is at great pains to speak highly of them when it does, but ignores them most of the rest of the time, is very revealing.

    If you take, for example, the census mentioned in Numbers 26, there are a lot of impressive figures: 22,200 descendents of Simeon, 40,500 of Gad, 64,300 of Issachar, and so on. But they're all men, and not the very young or the disabled, but men able to serve in the army and aged at least 20 -- nobody else really counted.

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    #7

    Re: "mighty men"

    I think there is something fascinating in the Genesis 6 account. I haven't even scratched the surface.

    Yes, the Bible records that women were subordinate in ancient cultures as is true in modern times. But the overall theme of the Bible puts infinitely more value on women than you may realize. Many of the men, also mentioned in the geneology of Matthew, were quite despicable characters. I would venture to say there are alot more recorded evil acts, attributed to named men, in the Bible than there are of women. The whole point of the Bible is that mankind, men and women, are sinners in need of a Saviour. We all lie, hate, lust, envy, covet and so many other things. Pick up any newspaper or watch the news and you will be reminded of the moral degeneracy of mankind. The theme of the Bible is that God so loved mankind, that He sent His only begotten son, who was pure and sinless, to give His life in our place. All we have to do is trust in Him.

    Here are a few verses of a song I have written, which contains the story of the woman of Samaria. I know something of her experience because I was like her....until I drank from the same well she did.


    Noonday ,sweltering like many times before
    Came an earthen vessel, empty and alone
    Broken cisterns coundn't quench her anymore
    Thirsting for a love she'd never known
    But, this time Jesus journeyed through Samaria
    And waited there for her at Jacob's well
    Living water was welling up
    As she hurried to the town to tell

    (Chorus)
    He is the longing of my heart
    My joy and peace, My every need
    He is the longing of my heart
    He told me all I ever did,
    I'll never thirst again

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    #8

    Re: "mighty men"

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartstrings View Post
    I want to know who "became mighty men" in this particular sentence.
    The giants or nephilim were male offspring of fallen angels and human females. They are the 'children' and they are 'the heroes of old':
    There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [male] [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.

    From USCCB - NAB - Genesis 6
    "... the sons of heaven [angles] had intercourse with the daughters of man, who bore them sons."
    From "The Sons Of God"

    Genesis 6:4It was then, and later too, that the Nephilim appeared on earth when the divine beings [beney ha'elohim] cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown."
    From USCCB - NAB - Genesis 6

    ...the huge megalithic structures in Palestine were thought to have been built by a race of giants, whose superhuman strength was attributed to semi-divine origin. The heroes of old: the legendary worthies of ancient mythology.

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    #9

    Re: "mighty men"

    Thank you Rewboss and Soup.

    Is there anyone who can help me break down this long sentence?
    For instance, what was the purpose of the semicolon? What about the commas? What is the subject? How does each comma-enclosed clause relate to the others? I don't know enough about grammar or linguistics or whatever, to know the right questions to ask, let alone make sense of it. I had hoped someone here did.
    But let me confess: I already have a preconceived opinion that "sons of God" were not fallen angels who "cohabited" with women. Please forgive me but, I have to be honest with myself and you. I just don't buy it and I would rather not go into that right now.
    Last edited by Heartstrings; 05-Feb-2008 at 18:20.

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    #10

    Re: "mighty men"

    Let's go back to the sentence in question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartstrings View Post
    There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.
    Probably the semicolon is used to join two clauses together into one sentence. The first clause is "There were giants in the earth in those days", and the second clause is everything from "after that" to the end of the sentence. Normally you'd use a comma here, but the second clause already has a lot of commas in it, so another comma would be confusing. Instead, then, they used a semicolon.

    There were giants in the earth in those days;

    and also after that ["after that" being "after those days", so the giants obviously stuck around for a bit]

    when [now follows some more information about the time the giants were still on the earth]

    the sons of God came in to the daughters of men [in other words, male supernatural beings and female humans]

    and they [the female humans] bare children to them [the male supernatural beings]

    the same [could be the supernatural beings, but from the context is more likely to mean the children]

    became mighty men [so the children grew up to be powerful men -- and presumably also women, but they're not worth mentioning, unless there's something about the "sons of God" which means they only ever have male offspring]

    which [the mighty men, who are the children of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men"] were of old, men of renown.

    The semicolon is unfortunate, because it implies that the first and second clauses are only tenuously related to each other. Looking at the English only (and forgetting what the original Hebrew says), we could interpret this in at least two different ways:

    1. There were giants on the earth in those days. Later on, there were also giants on the earth, and this second lot were the offspring of angels and humans.

    2. There were giants on the earth in those days, and they stuck around for a while. These giants were the offspring of angels and humans.

    The punctuation implies the first meaning, but the context and basic logic favour the second meaning.

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