Quick Meaning of:
Sons of God and Daughters of Men
From Genesis 6:1-5
|Angels Descending by Rupert Bunny|
Have you ever heard that "angelic men" on earth had offspring by "human women"? If so, this quick reference can help clear up the misconception.
1. Read in Context
Genesis 6 follows two very important stories: the fall in the Garden of Eden and Cain’s poor service and attitude toward God and his brother, Abel. At that time, the age of a human being could extend to 900 years old. When reading Genesis 6, it is important to remember that the world environment was completely different. Humans could live hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of real-years old. The world-wide flood had not happened yet. There was no internet. There was no Starbucks. A clock hadn’t even been made yet. Living conditions were completely different, but sin was very real. Unfortunately, Cain had killed his brother Abel.
After Genesis 6:1-5, another very important story is found: the world-wide flood. The flood occurred due to extreme wickedness that was running wild on earth (Gen. 6:11-13). Noah and his family were saved in order to carry on the messianic line, which would continue through Shem and later through Abraham.
2. Study the Real Nature of Angels
Many points should be made, but I will only make two points to get started. First, angels do not marry; they do not have sex; they are not referred to as having male or female sex organs (Mt. 22:23-33, Mk. 12:18-27, Lk. 20:27-38). A study on when "marriage" is first historically introduced in Genesis is a very interesting study. Did Adam and Eve ever have an official marriage? At some point, marriage became widely known. Second, it is not even necessary for angels to eat food because their body does not need to receive the earth-nutrition for survival, although some of them have been known to eat food while they assumed a human-like form, the food does not ‘absorb’ into the body in the same way that it does a mortal. An excellent resource on the nature of angels can be found in The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas by Etienne Gilson. Two excellent theological resources include Summa Theologica Vol. One by Thomas Aquinas and Systematic Theology Vol. Two by Dr. Norman Geisler.
Who Are the "Sons of God" and the "Daughters of Men"?
3. Study the Proper Translation (and various uses of the word “son” and "sons")
“Sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-5 does not refer to angelic beings in the sense that they were non-fallen heavenly spirits. Many scholars refer to "sons of God" in Gen. 6:1-5 as the GODLY DESCENDANTS OF SETH, but the "sons of God" in Job 38:7 are real heavenly angels before the earth was made. Remember, Satan was a fallen angel who assumed the form of a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1). Satan had already been somehow transformed into a wild animal, a serpent. However, “thee Son of Man” is Jesus Christ who took on the form of a human in addition to his divine nature of God. “Children of God” in the New Testament are born-again mortal believers who have received Christ as their Savior who died on the cross for their sins and believe they have eternal life in heaven, believing that Jesus rose from the dead as the first fruit, that is to say, as proof that all mortals will be resurrected, too. Another translation of Gen. 6:2 is that the real heavenly angels who rebelled and fell away from God somehow assumed a human-like form to have offspring with mortal earth-women. BUT if that case is used to justify an angel and a human who develop offspring, then how did the fallen angels transform into human-like forms? As far as I have learned, the fallen angels do not have power to transform themselves. Heavenly angels that assume a human-like body, however, have done so under divine power such as the angel Gabriel who appeared and spoke to Zechariah (Luke 1:11, 19) and Mary (Luke 1:26). In addition, the offspring could not have been any amount of 'angelic' substance. The least possible scenario would be for a fallen angel to somehow assume a human-like form, but the actual transformation cannot be explained, supported, or justified. Holy angels are a mystery, but a fallen angel transforming into a human-like form is even a bigger mystery. Yet the flood wiped out all mortals accept mortal Noah and his mortal family.
Thus, the words “son” and “sons” are used in multiple, different ways. Moreover, the term "son of David" can refer to a mortal son who is found many generations after David, not the first immediate generation from David.
RESOURCE LINKS below help explain the nature of "sons of God" and "daughters of men" in Genesis 6:
1. “the sons of God” - At that time in Genesis 6, the sons of God were those who were the godly, faithful in service to God. These people included the sons of Seth who called upon the name of the Lord. Today, they can be seen as the sons of Noah, sons of Shem, sons of Abraham, children of the day, born-again believers from both Hebrew and Gentile biological descendants, those who seek the Lord, etc.
2. “the daughters of men” - At that time in Genesis 6, the daughters of men were those who were worldly, ungodly, not serving God, not seeking God, not calling upon his name, not giving God offerings, sexy seducers, etc., in other words, wild pagans. Today, these people can be seen as those who reject God, those who temp others to sin through deception and evil, etc.