The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleGenesis 6:4
There were giants in the earth in those days…
in the days before the sons of God took the daughters of men for wives,
in such a general manner as before declared, or before the declension
and apostasy became so universal; even in the times of Jared, as the
Arabic writers F14 understand it, who say that these giants were
begotten on the daughters of Cain by the children of Seth, who went
down from the mountain to them in the days of Jared, see (Genesis 5:20)
the word "Nephilim" comes from a word which signifies to fall; and
these might be so called, either because they made their fear to fall
upon men, or men, through fear, to fall before them, because of their
height and strength; or rather because they fell and rushed on men with
great violence, and oppressed them in a cruel and tyrannical manner;
or, as some think, because they fell off and were apostates from the
true religion, which is much better than to understand them of apostate
angels, whom the Targum of Jonathan mentions by name, and calls them
Schanchazai and Uziel, who fell from heaven, and were in the earth in
and also after that,
which shows that the preceding clause respects
giants in former times,
when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men,
their houses and chambers, and lay with them:
and they bare [children] unto them,
or giants unto them, as may be
supplied from the former clause; for the sense is, as there were giants
before this general defection, so there were at this time, when there
was a mixture of the Cainites and Sethites; which were the offspring of
the sons of God, or posterity of Seth, mixing with the daughters of
men, or the posterity of Cain; for this is not to be understood after
the flood, as Aben Ezra, Ben Melech; and so they are described in the
the same [became] mighty men;
for tallness and strength, for power
and dominion, for tyranny and oppression:
which [were] of old:
like those that were of old before; or who in
after times were spoken of, as in the days of old:
men of renown,
or "of name" F15; whose names were often made
mention of, both for their size and for their wickedness; they were
much talked of, and extolled for their exploits, and even wicked ones:
they were famous men, or rather infamous; for some men get a name in
the world, not for their goodness, but for their greatness, and
sometimes for their great wickedness; which sense is countenanced by
what follows: that there were giants in these early times is confirmed
by the testimony of many Heathen writers; such were the Titans that
made war against Saturn, begotten by Ouranus, who were not only of
bulky bodies, but of invincible strength, as Apollodorus F16 relates,
and Berosus F17 speaks of a city about Lebanon, called Enos, which was
a city of giants, who were men of vast bodies, and of great strength,
inventors of arms and music, were cannibals, and exceedingly debauched.
F14 Elmacinus & Patricides apud Hottinger, p. 235, 236.
F15 (Mvh yvna) "viri nominis", Montanus.
F16 De Origine Deorum, l. 1. p. 14.
F17 Antiqu. l. 1. fol. 5. 2. vid. Horat. Carmin, l. 2. Ode. 19. Ovid
Metamorph. l. 1. Fab. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 6:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=006&verse=004>. 1999.