HOUSMAIL HM#074 - WHO ARE THE SONS OF GOD IN GENESIS 6:1-4? 14 April 2001
"When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the SONS OF GOD saw that the DAUGHTERS OF MEN were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose .....When the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown." (Gen 6:1-4 RSV)
Popular religion identifies the "Sons of God" in the above passage, as the "fallen angels" of 2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6, and Rev 12:7-9.
These "fallen angels" are often also said to be the same as the "evil spirits", or "demons", which cause the bizarre symptoms accompanying a unique form of mental illness, which was healed by Jesus on a number of occasions.
However, for the careful Bible Student, none of these SPECULATIONS can be regarded as tenable.
1. PETER AND JUDE
The "fallen angels" of 2 Peter and Jude, are held captive in TARTARUS, in "chains of darkness", awaiting the judgement. According to Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deepest compartment in HADES, "the abode of the dead".
For Christians who understand Bible Truth about the state of the dead, this is equivalent to saying that these "fallen angels" are dead -- non existent! They are certainly NOT FREE to roam the earth!
2. REVELATION 12
The "fallen angels" of Rev 12 are something else! It is not hard to discern that the "dragon", (and devil and angels) of this chapter are symbols which point us, NOT to a literal fallen angels, but to the Pagan Roman Empire, and its persecuting role in the first 300 years of early Church history. This is NOT a HISTORY of some event prior to Creation, but a PROPHECY of events FUTURE to John's time!
A NEW CATEGORY OF ANGELS?
Whoever these "angels" (messengers) are in the above two categories, they are certainly NOT from amongst the "ministering Spirits" of Hebrews 1:14, or the celibate immortals of Luke 20:36!
To identify them as former "heavenly beings" requires us to "invent" another category of "angels" who are both mortal and sinners!
The Demons of the Gospels are "spirits". They are afflictions of the MIND. And they are NEVER described as materialising in human form. According to Jesus (in Luke 24:39) spirits do not have "flesh and bones". They are NOT the same as the dead "angels" (messengers) of 2 Peter and Jude. They could not be the Sons of God in Gen 6.
The theory which identifies the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:2,4, as the "fallen angels" from Jude, 2 Peter 2, and Rev 12, seems to me to be little more than "creative" PRIVATE SPECULATION! (2 Pet:20) There is certainly NO positive Scriptural link between them.
A SATISFYING ALTERNATIVE
The much more satisfying alternative identifies the Sons of God in Gen 6, as HUMAN Sons of God! It is NOT new or unique! And for me personally, it fits MUCH better with the facts available from the Scriptures.
That the title "Sons of God" can, and should be, validly applied to
HUMANS, is clearly shown by significant references in both the Old and
Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of
Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, it shall be
said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. (Also in Rom 9:26)
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THEY are the sons of God.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the
sons of God.
Phil 2:15 That YE may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that WE should
be called the sons of God:
1 John 3:2 Beloved, NOW are WE the sons of God.
THE REAL IDENTITY
Who then are these "Sons Of God" in Genesis 6? Can we identify them a little more closely?
Based on the information available from the Scriptures quoted above, the simple answer is that they were from amongst the HUMANS in Genesis 5:26, who "began to call upon the name of God".
They were guilty of UNEQUALLY YOKING themselves with women who are contrasted as the DAUGHTERS of MEN.
They made the same stupid mistake, and committed the same sin as Solomon
did! (2 Kings 11:1-4;)
"Even him did outlandish women cause to sin." (Neh 13:26)
POST FLOOD MYTHS
That identification leads to a further INTERESTING conclusion that the HUMAN progeny of these "marriages" were the mighty MEN OF OLD who became the subjects of the many legends about the mythical "Heros" and "Idol Gods" found in post flood pagan cultures. These have infected Christianity with many recognisable "doctrines of demons"! (Gen 6:4; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Cor 10:20)