Rock carving in Tanum on the Swedish west coast
I heard someone on the Internet talking about if there are some connections in the Nordic myths with the Nephilim and Genesis 6. I may have some bits to share about this, although my knowledge is far from complete in that subject. That which I know is mostly about the historical part of the peoples of Scandinavia and Northern Europe, and not so much about the religious parts.
A very little known fact from the writings of Snorri Sturluson, is that the "gods" Odin, Thor, Frey, Baldr, and others, were human beings, who later became deified by the Vikings1. About 100 BC, these men and their two nations, the Aesir and the Vanir, emigrated from the Black Sea area, through Russia (then Scythia), and from there they followed the coastline of the Baltic Sea (today's Baltic nations and Poland and Germany), up into Denmark, and then they rowed over to the Scandinavian peninsula2. There they were greeted by the native king Gylfi, who didn't mind new people coming, as his vast kingdom had diminished since its heyday during the Bronze age.3
The Aesir's and Vanir's migration to Scandinavia according to the Icelandic sagas
Soon the new inhabitants also met a race of very huge people, whom they called Jotuns, giants. These were not as friendly as the Gylfi people, so there were some hostilities (remembered in the Thor sagas), but as these giants were few, too, most of them retreated to the Arctic area, where they lived on for a couple of hundred years. During this time, these peoples mixed their seed (including many daughters of the giants), and a very strong race of Nordic people arose.4
16th century depiction of the giant king Inge Stenkilsson
A thousand years later, during the Viking age, many of the kings of the Vikings still were well over 2 meters tall. This is a scientifically stated fact. Graves have been opened in modern times, and skeletons of Swedish kings have been measured. Inge Stenkilsson ("Inge the Elder"), who killed the last heathen king,) was 2.16 m (7.09 feet).5 Harald Hardrada of Norway was said to have been 7 feet. These kings boasted their ancestry from the giants, and from Odin and Frey.
Where had the giants come from? Well, there is evidence that suggests they originated from Phoenicia (which of course is not far from Mount Hermon). On Bronze Age rock carvings on the Scandinavian west coast, there are many giants depicted, usually coming in huge ships and in company with an army of smaller humans (does Goliath and the Philistines ring a bell?). These ships have been confirmed as similar to Phoenician ships. There are also symbols depicted that clearly reveals a connection with Mediterranean peoples of that time.6 The Phoenicians had colonies all over the Mediterranean Sea in that age.
Giants on rock carvings in Bohuslan
Surprisingly, in the Nordic Bronze Age, about 1500 BC to 500 BC, the climate of Scandinavia was as in southern France today.7 This was a nordic paradise! It was seen as a wonder by those who came here, especially they who knew the coldness in the central of Europe at that time. This probably was what originated the legend of Hyperborea.
The Nordic giants and their Nephilim origin was wellknown by medieval Norse scholars, but is nowadays either denied or forgotten.8
Beowulf with the arm of Grendel
Even the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf has remnants of this fascinating history. The figure Gremlin is a troll living in Denmark (troll and giant was synonymous from the beginning), which is killed by the Geatish sea warrior Beowulf. Geatland is the same as nowadays Götaland, the southern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. The story is preserved only in Anglo-Saxon, but the origin was written, or probably sung, in Denmark and Geatland.
And they knew about the flood of Noah! And the race of giants, who had to be killed because of their unnatural origin. They knew also about the postflood giants, and about all those Nephilim spirits who came out of the flesh of the giants!9
Some Beowulf scholars have noticed this and come to the conclusion that the Nordics of those days (500's) even must have had knowledge of the Book of Enoch. Wow, that's interesting.10
Much more could be said of the Nordic giants and of the mixed race that became the ancestors of modern northern Europe. For example the royal and noble lines of today, who are directly descended from those huge kings. And of several once wellknown Nordic giants, who took part in the raids of the Vikings and their predecessors, as Hygelac (Hugleik)11, Starkad (Starkodder), Ganger Hrolf ("Rollo") - or were slain by them, as Long-leg (Langbein).
1 Snorri writes that they fashioned their "gods" after the Greek mythology, which was well-known around the Black Sea. Not that glorious, but still interesting, as there may be otherwise lost fragments about the past preserved in the Norse "version" of the age of the gods/angels.
This is the prologue of the Prose Edda, where this story is told:
Excerpts from the Prose Edda.
2 It is believed they carried with them on their journeys small skin-boats that could be folded. That way they could follow the floods through Russia all the way to the Baltic Sea. (See Of Odin's Feats.)
3 Heimskringla 1 - 11.
4 From what I have gathered, it seems to have been a practice to kill the male giants but marry their daughters, which is interesting in connection with the "soul of the Nephilim" question. Were they led by Providence, and by the Divinely proclaimed judgment* against the Nephilim, to do this? It would seem that almost all of us are related to the Nephilim through their female line, as it could be assumed that this practice wasn't unique for the North. Apparently, a child to a human male and a Nephilim female gets a human soul, or rather human spirit, while the opposite creates a being with a Nephilim spirit.
* As of Psalm 82, which is a postflood parallel to the judgments issued in Enoch chapters 10 to 15. Asaph the Seer, who wrote that Psalm, saw and initiated that judgment, in a similar way that Enoch did, in his age.
On mixed races, see Hervarar saga Chapter 1.
5 And part of a family-line where all were of about that size:
Click to see larger image
6 Comparison of Bronze Age Nordic and Mediterranean ships:
7 Bronze age rock-carvings on the east-coast of Sweden.
8 "In his History of Denmark (1775), Suhm tells: '. . . Messenius says that the Canaanites that were driven out by Joshua came to Scondia, which they thereafter called Scandinavia. . . . Arngrim Jonae, the learned Icelander, states that the Canaanites who were driven out by Joshua, were the first inhabitants in the North.' (p. 101).)"
9 Beowulf quotes:
"On kin of Cain was the killing avenged by sovran God for slaughtered Abel. Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven, for the slaughter’s sake, from sight of men. Of Cain awoke all that woful breed, Etins* and elves and evil-spirits, as well as the giants that warred with God weary while: but their wage was paid them!" (Beowulf 107-114)
* Postflood giants/nordic giants.
"Then the golden hilt, for that gray-haired leader, hoary hero, in hand was laid, giant-wrought, old. So owned and enjoyed it after downfall of devils, the Danish lord, wonder-smiths’ work, since the world was rid of that grim-souled fiend, the foe of God, murder-marked, and his mother as well. Now it passed into power of the people’s king, best of all that the oceans bound who have scattered their gold o’er Scandia’s isle. Hrothgar spake -- the hilt he viewed, heirloom old, where was etched the rise of that far-off fight when the floods o’erwhelmed, raging waves, the race of giants (fearful their fate!), a folk estranged from God Eternal: whence guerdon due in that waste of waters the Wielder paid them." (Beowulf 1677-1693)
"Grendel’s mother, monster of women, mourned her woe. She was doomed to dwell in the dreary waters, cold sea-courses, since Cain cut down with edge of the sword his only brother, his father’s offspring*: outlawed he fled, marked with murder, from men’s delights warded the wilds. -- There woke from him such fate-sent ghosts as Grendel, who, war-wolf horrid, at Heorot found a warrior watching and waiting the fray, with whom the grisly one grappled amain. But the man remembered his mighty power, the glorious gift that God had sent him, in his Maker’s mercy put his trust for comfort and help: so he conquered the foe, felled the fiend, who fled abject, reft of joy, to the realms of death, mankind’s foe." (Beowulf 1258-1276)
* Notice that Cain and Abel here are said to have the same father, which means Cain is not seen as a son of the serpent. Also notice that the kin of Cain are identified as giants and devils, which means the serpent seed entered humanity after the time in Eden.
But why then didn't this knowledge live on into later times? The Viking Age literature, a couple of hundred years later, doesn't say anything about this. In Beowulf it tells of a civil war between the Geats and the Sweona, were the Sweona, who were heathens, won and subdued the Geats. That would have suppressed the Christian influence on the Geats. But when Sweden finally became "Christianized" (last of all the North-European nations), it were the Geats who first received the missionaries of that time (although of course that was a kind of proto-christendom, still very warlike.
10 Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the monsters of the Beowulf-manuscript, page 65.
There is also much that suggests that the Geats, who were the forefathers of the Goths (same word, just different pronounciation), still had lively connections with the Goths in southern Europe, who were "Christians" (most of them were Arians, or Semiarians), and that explains why the Geats in Beowulf had some knowledge (although skewed) of biblical things already in the 500's.
11 "And there are monsters of an amazing size, like King Hygelac, who ruled the Geats and was killed by the Franks, whom no horse could carry from the age of twelve. His bones are preserved on an island in the river Rhine, where it breaks into the Ocean, and they are shown as a wonder to travellers from afar." (Pride and Prodigies: Liber Monstrorum)