Who are the sons of God?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Ulsterman, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    "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)

    Who are these sons of God, and does it really matter how we identify them?

    [ September 27, 2002, 06:09 AM: Message edited by: D Moore ]
     
  2. Deacon

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    It may not matter. But some will still try to identify them anyway. [​IMG]
     
  3. Daniel David

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    According to Peter and Jude, they were fallen angels.
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

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    It is my understanding that the "sons of God" were the descendants of Seth. These that had stayed true to God and were visible worshippers of God. Gen 4:26 "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD ."

    These men began marrying the daughters of men, those who were not true to God. Those who had left serving and worshipping God. Possibly the descendants of Cain. Gen 4:16 "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD , and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."

    God has always cautioned against unequal yokes in marriage.
    Deut 7:3 "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
    4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly."

    You'll not find a biblical precedent where heavenly beings ever had physical relations with human beings.
     
  5. DocCas

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    The book of Genesis delineates two lines of descent, the seed of the woman through whom would come Christ (Galatians 3:16), and the seed of the serpent. The seed of the woman are the godly and the seed of the serpent are the ungodly (John 8:44). It is patently clear that the meaning of the text of Genesis 6 is to continue that dichotomy between the good seed and the bad seed, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

    Notice verse 2 says "took them wives." This is the common Hebrew expression for the marriage of one man to one woman. Now note verse 4, "there were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that when the sons of God (the godly line of Seth) came in unto the daughters of men (the ungodly line of Cain), and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Notice that the "giants" existed before the breakdown in separation between the godly and the ungodly, but that breakdown and marriage created more ungodliness in the world to the point that God destroyed the world with the great flood.

    Next, consider the oft repeated formula for reproduction found in Genesis 1, "after his kind." Nobody in their right mind would suggest that humans and angels are of the same created kind, so, according to the bible, they could not produce children, for they could not reproduce "after their kind." They were different species! You can't cross an angel with a human and produce children any more than you can cross a horse with a cow and produce offspring! It would violate God's law of reproduction "after his kind."

    This entire debate is one of those "no brainers!" [​IMG]
     
  6. BrianT

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    The fallen angel interpretation appears to be the only understanding of the passage until the 5th century A.D., and was put forth by Julius Africanus to make scriptures seem less "myth-like" to those who thought its stories were ridiculous.

    Although Gen 6 is not explicit as to who the "sons of God" are, there is strong scriptural support that they are indeed fallen angles, or at least that is what NT authors seemed to believed (1 Pet 3:19-20, 2 Pet 2:4-6, Jude 6-7 fit this view very well). As well, some ancient translations of the OT read "angels" in this verse. And the other places in the OT where the phrase "sons of God" is used, it is in reference to angels (Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7).

    As for "after its kind", that does not really offer any support against the fallen angel view. Horses can mate with donkeys, producing sterile mules. Lions can mate with tigers, producing sterile ligers. Zebra + horse = zorses, killer whale + dolphin = wholphins. Offspring of mixed species is indeed possible, but that offspring is always sterile.
     
  7. Daniel David

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    This "no brainer" argument is held to by some pretty solid theologians and pastors. You did not dismiss it at all.

    The view that the "sons of God" refer to Seth's line is stretching Scripture beyond what it actually says. The N.T. interpretation of the passage definitely refers to angels (see 2 Pet and Jude). Note also in those passages that the context is strange sexual relations and the perversion of God's grace.

    We would be led to believe that one of the primary reasons for the flood then is that saved and unsaved were intermarrying. That is unacceptable. That has been going on since the flood. Nothing has changed there.

    "sons of God" is a term referred to in the O.T. to mean judges, angels, and men. Further, it is "sons of Elohim". That expression is used in Job to refer to angels. Many think Job was written by Moses, the same author of Genesis. So, not only do you have the same term, but probably the same author using that term. The Scripture does not say "sons of Jehovah". Also, daughters of men does not have to mean unsaved women.
     
  8. BrianT

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    We would also be led to believe that only Cain's descendents produced beautiful daughters, and Seth's female descendents were of the "not beautiful" variety. [​IMG]
     
  9. DocCas

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    Same kind. Horse = Equus caballus, Donkey = Equus asinus. Both are genus equus.
    Same kind. Lion = Panthera leo. Tiger = Panthera tigris. Both are genus panthera.
    Again, both are genus equus.
    Killer whale = Cetacea Orcinus Orca, Dolphin = Cetacea Tursiops truncatus (Bottle Nosed). Same Family or "kind," Cetacea.

    Was your attempt to associate "kind" with "species" (which I did not do) deliberate, or just an oversight on your part? [​IMG]

    [ September 27, 2002, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: DocCas ]
     
  10. BrianT

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    Mostly an oversight. [​IMG] But I still don't see it as a strong argument against the fallen angel view. We see angels in OT times appearing in human form, eating and getting tired, etc. In this form, an angel would be less different from a human than a lion is from a tiger, and it would be difficult (impossible) to demonstrate that offspring is impossible. [​IMG]
     
  11. Son of Consolation

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  12. DocCas

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    So is "infant damnation" and "infant baptism." All three are meaningless objections.
    Actually it is keeping the statements of Genesis 6 in the context of the descendents or "seed" of the woman and the "seed" of the serpent.
    No connection. Different context/subject. I gave you the scipture showing the NT interpretation.
    The context is the breakdown in separation between the just and the unjust. The righteous and the unrighteous. The saved and the lost. The line of Seth and the line of Cain. The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.
    God has always condemned the breakdown of His appointed lines of separation. He continues to do so, but using different types of judgment as He promised to never again distroy the world with a flood.
    You interpret it to mean angels. But the term "sons of God" also refers to saved men many many more times in the bible.
    And those same "many" think there were two Isaiahs and Daniel was written in 200BC. So what? Job wrote Job. Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Job was a contemporary of the Patriarchs, Moses did not come along until 500 years later. [​IMG]
     
  13. DocCas

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    Yeah! We already beat this one to death! What is that old saying about a "bad penny?" :D
     
  14. Dr Steve

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    The fallen angel view is the only view consistant with a literal hermenutic.
     
  15. KenH

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    Where is the Scriptural support for the idea that angels are capable of engaging in sexual intercourse? Didn't Jesus say that the angels do not marry? Also, doesn't the writer of Hebrews say that angels are spirits?

    Ken

    [ September 28, 2002, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  16. Helen

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    If it is of any help, this is what I wrote in the Bible study forum ( http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=43;t=000006 )

    ====

    Chapter 6 starts with some very controversial material: the sons of God saw the daughters of men, and that they were beautiful, and married them.

    There is a widespread belief that this refers to fallen angels marrying and having sexual union with human women. Biologically, I have a hard time with this. Where did the other half of the DNA come from for the fertilized egg? Only humans are human!

    Does it mean demonically possessed men marrying women? I doubt that, too.

    If we look at the rest of the Bible we will see that one of the designations of 'sons of God' is believers. For instance, in John 1:12 we are told that all who believe in Jesus are given the right to become sons of God -- and that this is a matter of God's decision, not man's. In other words, a man cannot declare himself a 'son of God' -- only God can change a man so that he becomes that. In Hosea 1:10 we see another reference to people being called "sons of the Living God," in reference to the Israelites in the future. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:9, Jesus says the peacemakers will be called sons of God. And a little further on, in verse 45, Jesus says "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." In Romans 8:14, Paul says that all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God, and five verses later, we see that creation itself waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

    There are more references, but I think this gives us a biblical idea of what Genesis 6 might be referring to: those who followed and obeyed God were called sons of God.

    One of the other major themes in the Bible is purity of faith. The Israelites were not to mix with the other people in the Promised Land lest they be led away from the faith. They did and they were. In the New Testament Paul gives a strict warning about light not pairing up with darkness.

    If this theme, along with the biblical references to sons of God, is kept in mind when one reads the opening of Genesis 6, then there is a very good chance that the meaning is no different than what happened with the Israelites later: those who followed God saw the daughters of 'pagan' families, and that they were beautiful, and married them, and downhill the civilization went!

    This meaning is also given support by the mention later that of all the people alive, only Noah was found to be righteous in his generation.

    ===============

    I also disagree with the idea of the two lines of descent. Physical descent is nowhere in the Bible a determiner of spiritual condition.

    [ September 28, 2002, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  17. Deacon

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    As long as this is going on can I muddy the waters? Who are the "daughter of men"? Is there anywhere we see the phrase "daughers of God? (A-no). Could the passage mean that the "sons of God" were discriniating about their choice of women and only picked the "fair" ones?
     
  18. Helen

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    Since the phrase is being used on contrast to "sons of God" I can only presume it meant the daughters of unbelieving fathers.
     
  19. BrianT

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    I simply believe the "daughers of men" were (get ready for it) the daughters of men. ;)
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    As much as it will pain the good doctor to read it, I agree with Thomas on this. It is a no brainer. Angels are a company, not a race. They do not procreate. There is no reason to suggest that a literal hermeneutic leads one to the view of "fallen angels." The text should be allowed to stand plain in the sense of the contrast between the godly and the ungodly seeds.
     

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