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Who Were the "sons of God" Referred to in Genesis 6?

Autor:   •  October 3, 2017  •  2,633 Words (11 Pages)  •  184 Views

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nowhere in the Old Testament does the term “sons of God” refer to an elect group of men.

• I believe that there is no exegetical foundation for making the word “men” in Genesis 6:1 generic while making it particular in v. 2. Surely this is a case of special pleading.

• What reason is there in assuming that: (1) the Sethite men married the Cainite women because of their beauty? And, (2) that there were no beautiful Sethite women to marry?

• There must be a connection between vv. 2 and 4: i.e. “the Sons of God”, the “daughters of men”, and the “Nephilim”, otherwise v. 4 “stands by itself”

• If Moses wanted to distinguish between the Sethite line of men and the Cainite women why did he not just say so? Some have advocated that the alternative interpretation presupposes that what Genesis 6 really meant was that ‘the sons of some men’ married ‘the daughters of other men’. The present phrase ‘sons of God’ is, to say the least, an obscure way of expressing such an idea.” Moreover I could go further to ask “If God knew He would employ the term “the Sons of God” in all other instances in the OT to refer to angels, why did He not use a different term here?”

• There is no prohibition of marriage between Cainites and Sethites. This is only assumed.

• It does not seem sufficient reason to bring the Flood. Surely all the Cainites were not as wicked as Cain or Lamech? And were all the Sethites as godly as Seth and Enos? I presume they were not.

• How can this view properly explain the “Nephilim” of Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33? Rather, it isolates Genesis 6:v4 from its context.

Reasons for rejecting view 3:

• My first reason for not accepting this view is that it relies too much upon extra-biblical data. The answer must either be in Scripture itself or else,

• Why should the circumstance of kings marrying below their rank and station provoke God to flood the earth?

• The expression the “sons of God” is not used to describe kingly rulers anywhere else in Scripture.

• In contrast with “the daughters of men”, Adam “denotes mankind generically-Hebrew grammar dictates that the daughters of men refer to the female offspring, regardless of the family relationship.”

• Nowhere do we find a group or groups of kings and princes called “God’s sons”. We only see David’s son called by God “…my son” in 2 Samuel 7:14.

Following my introduction on page 1, I am more inclined to agree and support view 1. According to me, it’s clear that the sons of God are not part of the human race in Genesis 6:1. Sons of God started noticing daughters of men as men multiplied on earth. Giving weight to view 1 is the fact that in the Old Testament the phrase “sons of God” always refers to angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). A potential problem with this view is however in Matthew 22:30, which indicates that angels do not marry. The Bible gives us no reason to believe that angels have a gender or are able to reproduce. The other two views do not present this problem. My response to this potential problem is that in Matthew 22:30, Jesus refers to angels in heaven and not fallen angels. It’s probable that fallen angel are capable of appearing in human form and have sexual relations with the human race. With fallen angels surely anything could be possible, especially bearing in mind that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill and destroy God’s perfect plan for humanity.

The weakness of views 2 and 3 is that ordinary human males marrying ordinary human females does not account for why the offspring were “giants” or “heroes of old, men of renown.” Further, why would God decide to bring the flood on the earth (Genesis 6:5-7) when God had never forbade powerful human males or descendants of Seth to marry ordinary human females or descendants of Cain? The oncoming judgment of Genesis 6:5-7 is linked to what took place in Genesis 6:1-4. Only the obscene, perverse marriage of fallen angels with human females would seem to justify such a harsh punishment.

Scholars who reject view 1 readily acknowledge the fact that the precise term is clearly defined in Scripture. When we find angels described in the book of Genesis, it is clear that they can assume a human-like form, and that their sex is masculine. The writer to the Hebrews mentions that angels can be entertained without man’s knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). Surely angels must be convincingly like men. The homosexual men of Sodom were very capable of judging sexuality. They were attracted by the ‘male’ angels who came to destroy the city (Genesis 19:5).

In the New Testament, two passages seem to refer to this incident in Genesis 6, and to support the angel view:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; (II Peter 2:4). I want to believe that these same fallen angels in hell are those spirits in prison referred to in I Peter 3:19. These are spirits Jesus preached to when he descended into hell on his death before his resurrection.

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day (Jude 6).

These verses would indicate that some of the angels who fell with Satan were not content with their ‘proper abode’ and therefore began to live among men (and women) as men. God’s judgment upon them was to place them in bonds so that they can no longer promote Satan’s purposes on earth as do the unbound fallen angels who continue to do his bidding.

The result of the union between fallen angels and women is rather clearly implied to be the Nephilim. While word studies have produced numerous suggestions for the meaning of this term, the biblical definition of this word comes from its only other instance in Scripture, Numbers 13:33:

There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.

I therefore understand the Nephilim to be a race of super-humans who are the product of this angelic invasion of the earth.

This view not only conforms to the biblical use of the expression ‘‘sons of God,’’ it also best fits the context of the passage. The effects of the fall were seen in the godly offspring of Cain (Genesis 4). While Cain and his descendants were ‘in Satan’s pocket,’ Satan knew from God’s words in Genesis 3:15 that through the seed of the woman God was going


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