06 July 2014

Daughters of Men: Withered

Genesis 6:1-4

"The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose."

in a forbidden embrace,
breaking a boundary
that should not be crossed,
by a wrong desire
that should never have been.

You have taken me,
plucked me like a flower
so that I can wither
in your arms -
arms that take but do not give,
arms that wanted me
but never asked
what I wanted.

What was meant to be good,
a blessing from God,
is twisted to shame,
turns into pain,
becomes my cage -
because you came
and took me,
plucked me like a flower
to wither in the fire
of your wrong desire
that never really wanted
but only my beauty.

Like a bee you will move on
to the next and the next and the next,
taking all you choose
to fill your hunger
that never will be filled.
What was meant to be good
is overshadowed
by selfish lust
that destroys in my heart
all the love that I wish
so wish I could share -

all the love that has withered
in that forbidden embrace
that took without asking,
that took without loving,
that came from somebody
I thought I could trust.

Oh God -
Your world is withering away,
and we fall
deeper and deeper
into this mire
of wrong motivations,
of evil desire,
being hurt and causing pain,
seeking only our own gain -
if even angels fall,
what is the hope for us all?

And yet I will believe
that You are the gardener
ready to heal
and water this withered flower
to life again.


[6. July 2014 - and it took almost all day]
I wrote two and a half completely different versions of this... = =

Gen 6:1-4 is one of the most confusing texts in the Bible (I think) and I sat studying it almost all day (and it's a rather depressing text to study).
Now first off: there's disagreement among theologians whether the "sons of God" in the text are (a) angelic beings or (b) descendants of Seth ("good guys" / loyal to God) who intermarried with descendants of Cain ("bad girls" / unbelievers).

I go with (a) because that seems much more likely (e.g. looking at the way "sons of God" appear in Job, where they are clearly angelic beings), and because I don't agree with the "good guys" and "bad seductive girls" idea. In fact, after studying it all day, I see this text as the beginning of sexual immorality, and a case of woman-grabbing. And if it was actually angels doing it, that makes it all the more dreadful. I understand the text in this way because the active ones are the "sons of God", not the women. All the women do is be beautiful - it's the guys who go and take "any of them they chose" - which sounds a lot like polygamy or promiscuity. Doing research I read somewhere that the Hebrew verb doesn't even necessarily imply marriage.

Genesis 3-11 depicts a world falling apart. Gen 3 there is the Fall of Adam and Eve: they lose trust in God, listening to the snake instead, and take the forbidden fruit, giving in to desires for greatness and being like God etc. Gen 4 we have the first murder: Cain kills Abel out of jealousy. Gen 6 then shows the beginning of sexual immorality: the good gift given by God being twisted into something bad and damaging. In Gen 6 man and woman are no longer in the kind of relationship described in Gen 2, a relationship of equality and supporting one another - it seems to me more like the women have been turned into objects. That is what sexual immorality is... ruining the relationship between woman and man, messing up the motives for being together, distorting what ought to be something good, so that it becomes a way to hurt each other and oneself.

Which is why in the poem I focused less on the forbiddenness of human/angel matches, and more on the abuse that was happening (though it's not as strong as in other poems of mine...). So I guess the poem might work even if you do not want to view the "sons of God" as angelic beings. Either ways, they are not "good guys"...

Picture: sculpture by Daniel Chester French.


  1. Did you look up nephilim? I agree with (a) also and I find some credence in what is written in the book of enoch as to the disastrous result of this sexual immorality.

    1. Yup I looked that up a bit and did read a bit about Enoch too! Wish I could have done a more thorough job of it though; it's harder to research properly without access to my faculty's library!