The sons of God: “Demons, Degenerates or Despots?”

“The Genius Factory”

There are over 30,000 children born a year produced by sperm donors.  There is a book that came out in 1980, which spoke of sperm donors who were Nobel Prize winners.  It was later found, there wasn’t actually contributors to the sperm bank who were Nobel Prize winners…Not YET!  However, the sperm banks who do claim to have super donors; super athletes, very tall and handsome, college degrees and many more desirable traits have been difficult to verify.   However, a woman can go to the internet, pay a fee, then present her desirable qualifications that will hopefully be reproduced with her impending pregnancy.  The fee is determined by how much information is made available to the recipient and her specific wishes (ex.: hair color, intelligence, physical stature, looks, etc.).

"Giants" of Society

It can be frightening to realize that today, genetic scientist are seriously working to create the master human race.  This idea isn’t a new one. Adolph Hitler had his scientist working towards the same goal over 70 years ago.  Even today’s proponents, who support abortions being employed in the world; to systematically eliminate the undesirables goes on in laboratories as I write this blog.  This whole inception is recorded in the beginning of the human race in Genesis Chapter 6:

“WHEN MEN began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them.  The sons of God saw the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose”  (Genesis 6:1-2).

There is more disagreement in understanding this passage than almost anywhere in the Bible.  Conservative scholars seem to have the most difficulties with the verses.  I think the reason might be that they don’t take the Bible either literally or seriously.  They are quick to call the given account a myth, in spite of Moses’ claim that it is a historical document.

Great differences arise in the interpretation of an issue that does not fundamentally affect critical issues in Scripture; the ones that underlie eternal salvation.  Who I most often  disagree with in the meaning of this passage are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I hope this particular blog-post causes you to meditate on and research the Scriptures I’ll give you; that you will be encouraged to learn even more.  My whole purpose of this particular subject is to motivate you and for that matter, any blog-post of mine.  So, let’s get started!

Who were the ‘sons of God’?  Is this a mistranslation?

The interpretation of Genesis 6:1-8 hinges on the definition of three key terms:

1.  ‘the sons of God’ (verse 2, 4). 

2.  ‘the daughters of men’ (verses 2, 4).

3.  And the ‘Nephelium’ (verse 4).

There are also three major interpretations of these terms, beginning with that which in my mind, is the least likely.  Then ending with the one I have found to be the most satisfactory.

View #1:  Merging of the Ungodly Cainite with the Godly Sethites:

Those who hold this view is of a godly man, of the Sethite line and ‘the daughters of men’, daughters of the ungodly Cainite.  Who also adhere that the Nephelium are ungodly and violent men, a product of this unholy union.

The major support for this view comes from the context of Genesis 4 and 5.  Chapter four describes the ungodly generation of Cain and chapter five, the godly Sethite line.

In Israel, separation was a vital part of the religious responsibility for those who truly worshiped God.  What took place in Genesis 6, is the breakdown on separation ideology.  It threatened the godly seed whom the Messiah was to be born.  This breakdown caused the flood which would follow.  It would destroy the ungodly world and preserve righteous Noah and his family through the promise of Genesis 3:15 being fulfilled.

While this viewpoint is commendable; explaining the passage without creating any doctrinal, any theological problems.  What it offers, in terms of orthodoxy but at the expense of accepted Biblical exegesis (“a critical explanation of any Biblical text”), clouds the interpretation.

First and foremost, this interpretation doesn’t provide definitions that arise from within the passage or even adapts to the text.  Nowhere are the Sethites called ‘the sons of God.’  The contrast made between the godly line of Seth and the ungodly line of Cain may well be overemphasized.  I’m not even sure the line of Seth, as a whole, were godly.  While all the Cainite line appears godless, only a handful of the Sethites are godly.

Moses points out in chapter 5, God has preserved a righteous remnant and His promises to Adam and Eve will be accomplished.  The distinct impression given is that few were godly in these days (Gen. 6:5-7, 12).

It seems only Noah and his family could be called righteous at the time of the flood.  Would God have failed to deliver any who were righteous?  Also the ‘daughters of men’ are hardly restrictive to the Cainites.

“When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them”  (Genesis 6:1).

It becomes difficult to conclude that the ‘men‘ were not men in general or mankind.  It would then carry over in reference to their ‘daughters‘, they equally are in general.  So, to conclude that the ‘daughters of men’ in verse 2 is something different, to a more restrictive group, again ignores the context.

Therefore these reasons and others, I can conclude exegetically that this particular view is unacceptable.  It might meet the test of orthodoxy but fails to submit to the laws of interpretation.

View #2 – “The Despot Interpretation”

What in the heck is “despot interpretation”?  In my investigation this week, that was my first question too!  So I pulled out my hand The Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form and looked up the word DESPOT; (n.) autocrat, dictator, tyrant, oppressor (ruler, control).

I like the scholarly quote, “Let the Bible define its own terms.”  If biblical definitions are not found when you are meditating on while studying Scripture, then look at the language and culture of the era.

Like the fallen angel view (view #3), it has its roots in antiquity.  The ‘sons of God‘ in the despot view are referred to as ‘nobles, aristocrats and kings‘ of the era.  This interpretation goes on to say that the despots lusted after power and wealth; desiring to become ‘men of name’, that is, ‘somebodies(Gen. 11:4).  Do you know of, or heard of, any despots today?

Their sin wasn’t ‘intermarriage between two groups–whether two worlds (angels and man); two religious communities (Sethite and Cainite); or two social classes (royal and common)’.  The sin was POLYGAMY.  The same sin as Lamech practiced.

In the transgression of polygamy, the ‘sons of God‘ frequently violated the sacred trust of their office.  Guardians of the general ordinances of God on human conduct.  In spite of these factors, the despot interpretation would never been considered the ‘problems’ which the ‘fallen angel view’ creates.  This definition chooses to ignore the precise definition of the ‘sons of God’ given by the Scriptures.

Furthermore, the whole idea of power-hungry men, seeking to establish a dynasty by the acquisition of a harem (polygamy), seems forced in the passage.  Also, the definition of the Nephelium as merely being violent, tyrannical men seems inadequate.  Why would these men be singled out for special consideration merely like all other men of that day (6:11-12)?

While the despot view does less violence to the text than the Cainite/Sethite view, it seems to me and others inadequate.

View #3 – “The Fallen Angel Interpretation”

The Bible does define the term ‘the sons of God’ quite clearly for us to understand in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 89:6; Daniel 3:25.  The Amplified Bible says in Job,

“Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God cane to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them”  (Job 1:6).

Rejecting the fallen angel interpretation is a violation of reason and Scriptural reference.

QUESTION: Are angels sexless?

Jesus in Matthew 22 answers the questioning of ‘some Sadducee s, who say there is no resurrection [of the dead]’ (verse 23):

“But Jesus replied to them, You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God’s power.  For in the resurrected state neither do [men] marry nor are [women] given in marriage, but they are like angels in heaven”  (Matthew 22:29-30 AMP).

Jesus doesn’t say that angels are sexless; just no marriage in heaven; there isn’t female angels generating offspring with other angels.  Angels were never told yo ‘be fruitful and multiply’ as man.

It is very clear in Genesis, and with other Scripture passages that angels can assume human-like form and their sex is masculine (Gen. 19:1, 5; Heb. 13:2).  In the New Testament, I found two passages that refer to the incidents of Genesis 6 and adds support to the ‘angel’ viewpoint:

“For God did not [even] spare angels that sinned, but cast them into hell, delivering them to be kept there in pits of gloom till judgment and their doom”  (2 Peter 2:4 AMP).

Don’t believe in a physical place called hell?  This verse in 2 Peter gives a descriptive picture of such a place.  Moving on:

“And the angels who did not keep (caree for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place—these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgement and doom of the great day”  (Jude 6 AMP).

The “Fallen angel” viewpoint:

According to this view, the ‘sons of God,’ Genesis 6:2, 4 are fallen angels; taking the form of masculine-like creatures.  The angels then married women of the human race (either Cainites or Sethites) with the resulting offspring called the Nephilim.

The Nephilim WERE GIANTS; physical superiority, establishing themselves on earth.  The men were known for their physical strength and military might.  Even in today’s culture, often physical attractiveness in finding mate gets our attention, and I’m sure the women in Genesis 6 were no different.

This race of half-human creatures were wiped out by the flood along with mankind in general who were sinners in their own right (verse 11, 12). Scholars who reject this view do acknowledge the precise term– ‘the sons of God’ being clearly defined in Scripture.  The Bible verses I listed in Job, Psalms, Daniel, Matthew, 2 Peter and Jude give indications that some angels who fell with Satan to earth were not content in ‘their proper dwelling place.’  Therefore they began living amongst men (and women) taking human-like form.

God’s judgment was to place them in bonds (chains) that no longer promoted Satan’s purposes on Earth, as the unbound fallen angels who continued to do his bidding.

The result of the union:

The fallen unbound angels and womankind produced what is clearly defined as the Nephilim.  Word studies produced several suggestions for the meaning of the term when I meditated on Numbers 13:33:

“There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

Therefore I now understand more clearly that the Nephilim were a race of super-humans; the product of the angelic invasion of Earth.

The Meaning of Genesis 6 for Christians Today:

While the New Testament has much more to say about the activities of Satan and his demons, few of us take our spiritual warfare very seriously.  Often we try to live the spiritual life in the power of the flesh.  We even urge people who are being attacked by the enemy to rededicate and redouble their lives and efforts.  We fail to remind them that our only strength is supplied from God.

The Battle today—

When I began my investigation (studying the Word of God), there was a battle going on.  Each day when I would close down the computer, I felt that I had been a battle.  I know as a believer in Christ Jesus, there is a war going on but this was spiritual battle that was raging as I put down my thoughts.  A battle between the sons of Satan and a son of God (in the New Testament sense: John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 19).

This battle is still raging today in our churches; even more intense than the days of old.  Satan’s doom is sealed and he knows it (Matthew 8:29).  Therefore, let us put on the spiritual armor that God provides from His armory (the Bible); equipping us for the spiritual warfare which we are a part of (Ephesians 6:10-20).

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