The Riches OF GRACE

“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11

Robert W. Reed

March 2002

 

 

The Sons of God in Genesis Six

 

“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”

Genesis 6:2

 

The Angel Theory

 

     It is commonly believed by many today that the “Sons of God” in Genesis chapter six are fallen angels. This belief says that these sinning angels cohabited with the daughters of men and their offspring were giants (monstrous people). This angel theory is derived from a faulty reading of the Word of God. The fantasy of an alien invasion of sinning angels shows just how far some will go to prop up a theory in their wrestling of Scriptures. The angel theory has been around for centuries. It actually comes from pagan mythologies with their stories of gods that came down to earth to indulge themselves in sensual appetites. There is no warrant for this teaching in the Old or New Testament and we must not be guilty of stretching the Scriptures to accommodate our ideas.

     Keep in mind, the obvious must be accepted unless other wise stated.

     The following is a list of facts that clearly show the “Sons of God” in Genesis chapter six are men and not angels: they are descendents of Seth.

 

The Context of Genesis Chapter Six

 

     The statement “a text without a context is a pretext” is so true. Anything can be proven if a Scripture verse is taken out of its context. The context is a safeguard against error. Someone also said, “If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense, lest it becomes nonsense.” The context of Genesis chapter six is dealing exclusively with “men” and not angels. This is the first mention of the “Sons of God” in the Bible and angels are not spoken of until Genesis chapter sixteen. Moses knew the difference between angels and men.

     The “Sons of God” in Genesis chapter six are men from the line of Seth (godly) and the daughters of men are from the line of Cain (ungodly). From the fall in Genesis chapter three to the flood in Genesis chapter seven, there is a noticeable distinction between Seth’s descendents and Cain’s descendents. The moral character of Seth’s line are contrasted to those of Cain’s. The Bible states that Cain “was of that wicked one” in I John 3:12. He was a murderer and went out from the presence of the Lord. According to Genesis chapter four, neither Cain nor his descendants were worshipers of God. In Genesis 4:19-24, Lamech, the seventh man in Cain’s line, was a murderer and godless man who practiced polygamy.

     In contrast, Seth had a son named Enos and through this line men began to call upon the name of the Lord, (Genesis 4:25-26). That means that they began to worship the Lord as in Genesis 12:8, 13:4, 21:33, 36:25. The Seth line was designated as the “Sons of God” from Enos to Noah, the tenth man in the succession, (Genesis 4:25-5:32). These were God’s chosen just as Israel became God’s elect later on in the history of the Bible in fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose.

     In Genesis chapter six, the distinction between the two lines already established in the previous two chapters continues. That is why the title the “Sons of God” is given to Seth’s line and the “daughters of men” is given to Cain’s line.

     In Genesis 6:1, the chapter starts with the word “and” showing the connection between the previous chapters. Seth was the Messianic line from which the Redeemer should come. When the two lines crossed  (godly and ungodly) in Genesis chapter six, God brought His judgment upon the world and saved just Noah and his family. The breakdown of the separation between the two resulted in wrath. The issue of separation is taught throughout the Scriptures and punishment is the consequence of compromise. Keep in mind that Cain’s descendents became pagan and godless while Seth’s descendents were worshippers of God. The Scripture tells us that Enoch and Noah “walked with God.”

 

The Title “The Sons of God”

 

     The title, “Sons of God,” always refers to the followers and worshippers of God. It is a term that denotes relationship. By nature men are not the sons of God, at least not in the sense of being believers in Christ. According to Ephesians 2:2-3, men by nature are the children of wrath and of disobedience. Men become “Sons of God” by regeneration and adoption in that they have faith in Christ. In probably every case, the Bible phrase “Sons of God” has reference to God’s people except for maybe one instance in Job 38:7 where it may refer to God’s angels. But even in this case, it has no reference at all to fallen angels as some people assume. Fallen angels are not going to shout for joy over the creation and work of God.

     Let us look at the following Scriptures that will illustrate the fact that the title “Sons of God” has reference to believers (God’s people) in both the Old and New Testaments:

     In Job 1:6 and Job 2:1, the “Sons of God” who came to present themselves before the Lord were godly men and not angels as some believe. Job himself was one of the “Sons of God” that came before the Lord. Job and other godly men came before the Lord for the purpose of worship and sacrifice as heads of their families. We see Job giving sacrifice in chapter 1:6. The word “presence” is referring to on earth and not in heaven. For example, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord in Genesis chapter four and Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord in Jonah chapter one. Just because Satan shows up does not change the truth of the text. In Hosea 1:10, the children of Israel are called “the sons of the living God.” In Exodus 4:22, Israel is called “my son”, in Deuteronomy 14:1, “ye are the children of the Lord your God” - Ezekiel 16:21, “Thou has slain my children” - Isaiah 43:6, “bring my sons from far”- Jeremiah 31:20, “Is Ephraim my dear son?” - Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt”; and in Luke 3:38, Adam is called the son of God.

     In the New Testament Jesus Christ is clearly called the Son of God and those who believe on Him as Savior are called the “Sons of God”, John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” - Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” - Luke 20:36, “and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” - Matthew 5:45, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” - Luke 6:35, “and ye shall be the children of the Highest.” - Romans 9:26, “here shall they be called the children of the living God.” - Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” - Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” - 2 Corinthians 6:18, “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” - Hebrews 2:10, “in bringing my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” - Hebrews 2:10, “in bringing many sons unto glory.” - Philippians 2:15, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,” - 1 John 3:1, “that we should be called the sons of God: beloved, now are we the Sons of God.” - 1 John 3:10, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.” - John 11:52, “the children of God.” - Galatians 4:6, “And because ye are sons,” - Galatians 4:7, “and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” - Galatians 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

The Wording of Genesis Six

 

     Please notice the wording of Genesis chapter six. The emphasis is on men, there is no mention of angels. The chapter begins with the statement in verse one, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth...” In verse two, we see the marriages between men and women, not angels and women. The word took is used in reference to taking a wife in marriage, “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” This word took is the usual word for marriage relationship throughout the Bible (Genesis 25:1; 27:46, Genesis 28:1, 2, 6; Leviticus 21:7, 13, 14; Deuteronomy 22:13; 24:1-5). In Matthew 24:37-38 and Luke 17:26-27, Jesus Christ compares the days of Noah with the days of the Son of Man and He refers to marrying and giving in marriage confirming the text of Genesis 6:2.

     After mentioning the “Sons of God” in Genesis 6:2, the Lord said in verse three, “my spirit shall not always strive with man for that he also is flesh.” Again the issue is not angels. In Genesis 6:5, God saw the wickedness of man (not angels) was great in the earth.

     According to verse six, it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth and in verse seven, the Lord said, I will destroy man, not angels. Even in verses twelve through twenty-one, the emphasis is on the corruption of flesh (man) and not angels. The whole human race is signified by the world (man), both the descendents of Seth and Cain. Again, in verse two, the text says that the “Sons of God” saw the daughters of men, that is, they were on earth. Not one word says the sons of God came to earth, or descended from heaven, or appeared, as some imagine.

     Please keep in mind, that God’s wrath and punishment was for human sins and judgment was brought against men only, not angels. God destroyed the whole human race in the flood except Noah and his family. But no where does the Scripture say God destroyed angels in Noah’s day.

 

The Angel Issue

 

     In the Pentateuch, Moses used the word “angel” several times when referring to angels and the word “men” when referring to men. He knew the difference.

     The idea of angels cross-breeding with human beings is unthinkable and ridiculous. This concept, that angels cohabit with womankind is foreign to Scriptures. There is not one verse in the entire Bible that even hints that an angel could enter into marriage with a human being. According to Mathew 22:30, angels neither marry, nor are given in marriage. “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Angels cannot procreate; they cannot reproduce themselves. Angels are spiritual beings which are bodiless and sexless. They do not have real bodies of flesh and blood as we do. The human body came into being through the process of human birth.

     To illustrate this, even though the Lord Jesus Christ had made what is called pre-incarnate appearances in the Old Testament (Genesis 18:17-33, Daniel 4:25), His real incarnation involved a human birth and a human mother. When He entered the human race, He took upon Himself our human nature according to Hebrews 2:14-16. This was the only way He could go to the cross and die for the sins of mankind. As the Old Testament appearances were not the real incarnation when appearing in some visible bodily form, angels are not and cannot be considered a part of the human race, especially in cohabiting with human womankind.

     The angel theory is also propped up by three New Testaments Scriptures in which we will now consider. The first is in I Peter 3:18-20, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. It is assumed by some that the “spirits in prison” in verse 19 are the angels that sinned in 2 Peter 2:4, and are connected with the days of Noah. The question we must ask is why would our Lord have gone to preach to fallen angels? For the Gospel is not for angelic beings but for mankind only. According to 1 Peter 4:6, the spirits in prison that Christ preached to are lost souls (men). The fact that Noah is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:20 indicates that these spirits are the souls that rejected Noah’s preaching, since they were the largest group of people who ever experienced the universal wrath of God at one time. The Lord’s preaching was the announcement of His victory on the cross and sealed the fate of lost souls.

     The next passage is in 2 Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” Peter gives us three examples of divine judgment on the wicked and all three events are at separate times in history. First, in verse four, the angels that sinned, second, in verse five, the pre-flood era, and third, in verse six, Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember, the time when the fall of the “angels that sinned” took place is not the same time of the flood of Genesis chapter six.

     The last Scripture in the New Testament that is used by some on the angel theory is Jude 6, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” They say that these angels are identified with the sons of God in Genesis chapter six. It is assumed that the angels who left their own habitation left their spirit-bodies in order to cohabit with women on earth. If so, how did they rear children apart from actual incarnation as human beings? The word habitation does not refer here to individual bodies, but denotes a place (heaven). The phrase “in like manner” in verse seven is used in reference to Sodom and Gomorrah as a warning example. They were judged as the angels that sinned, even though the sin was not the same. The words are added, “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh” to show that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was different from that of the angels. Homosexuality was the sin of Sodom, but not so with the angels. No one can produce one verse of Scriptures to even indicate that the “Sons of God” sinned as the Sodomites.

 

The Giants (Nephilim)

 

     In Genesis 6:4, the word “giants” is used. Again, these giants are believed by some to be the offspring of the fallen angels and women. The problem with this concept is that these giants were in the earth in those days and also, after that. If they were already on earth before the supposed offspring of the angel and women union and were after the flood, how could this be? For they were on earth before the sons of God took the daughters of men (verse four).

     The Hebrew word here for “giant” is Nephilim. This word nephilim is only used here and in Numbers 13:33 where it is shown as the decedents of Anak, who were big people but still people and not half angels and half men. This is probably over eight hundred years after the flood. The Israelite spies considered themselves as grasshoppers in their sight (Deuteronomy 1:28). There are some big people living today, but they are still people. These giants are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. For example, in Deuteronomy 3:11, “Og king of Bashan” was a giant who had a bed measuring about 14 feet long. Again, nothing is said of giants being the offspring of the angelic beings and the daughters of men in Genesis 6:4. Other references to giants in the Bible are: Deuteronomy 2:10-11, 2 Samuel 21:16, 18, 20-22, I Chronicles 20:4,6,8, Joshua 12:4, 12, 13, 15:8, 17:15 and 18:16.

 

The Words “Mighty Men and Men of Renown”

 

     In Genesis 6:4, we see that the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men were called “mighty men” and “men of renown.” Again, the imaginations of men go to work in defining these two phrases. These words do not indicate anything abnormal. Both expressions mean no more than that they were outstanding men. That is, they probably were men of art, skill, and intelligence. They were popular people and many were probably warriors. The word “mighty” is used in 2 Samuel 23:8 of David’s military men who were great warriors. Nimrod was called a mighty one and a mighty hunter before the Lord in Genesis 10:8-9. He built Babel and was well-known and very popular in his days among men. He was a person of power and influence. Abraham was called a mighty prince in Genesis 23:6 and his children were to become a mighty nation according to Genesis 18:18. In Joshua 1:14, mighty men of valor are mentioned, and in Ruth 2:1, Boaz is called a mighty man of wealth.

     The word “renown” is used in Numbers 1:16, in reference to the heads of the tribes of Israel; they “were the renowned of the congregation” in Israel. In other words, they were leaders among the people. In Numbers 16:2, there are 250 princes in Israel that stood against Moses who were called famous and men of renown. So, Genesis six is simply saying that the offspring between Seth’s line and Cain’s line were popular among both lines.

 

Conclusion

 

     The Christians are called “Sons of God” and we are commanded to be separate from the world. God’s judgment has always come when His people compromised. Remember, according to 1 Peter 4:17, “...that judgment must begin at the house of God:” Amen.

 

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

 

 

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31

 

 

Victory Baptist Church

Pastor Robert W. Reed

14473 Bellingrath Road

P.O. Box 257

Coden, Alabama 36523

(251) 873-4422