Gen 6:1-4 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
The above verses have been the subject of much debate over the years, especially in determining who the “sons of God” were that took wives of the “daughters of men.” There are two interpretations of the “sons of God.” The first identifies them as the male descendants of Seth. The second identifies the “sons of God” as fallen angelic beings.
One-third of the angels of heaven followed Satan, or Lucifer, in his rebellion against God. Consequently they were cast out of heaven along with their leader. These are those beings spoken of in the New Testament as “demons,” “devils,” and “evil spirits.” They are called Satan’s “angels.” (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:9) They are seen in Scripture as evil, as oppressing and possessing unsaved humans and generally opposing the things of God as they follow the dictates of their commander, Satan. hroughout the Word of God, Lucifer is seen as a high ranking angel, perhaps archangel, whose chief function was the praise and worship of God. He was “the anointed cherub that covereth,” whose musical instruments and praises filled the heavens with adoration of God. He was lifted up in pride, (1 Timothy 3:16) and sought to overthrow the very throne of God and supersede His authority (Isaiah 14:13-14). He was consequently cast out of heaven and drew with him those angels that were under his authority. Jesus said, re sinners made “sons of God” through the new birth. (John 1:10-11; 3:1-15) There is no evidence found elsewhere in the Old Testament that would lend support to interpreting the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 as the male descendants of the godly line of Seth.n for this intermarriage being forbidden was to protect the purity of the Jewish nation through which the Messiah would come, and due to the fact that such marriages would introduce idola The three named angels in the Bible were the highest-ranking angels, each having one-third of the angelic host under their authority.of Cain’s descendants would have the same effect of introducing ungodly practices and idolatrous worship into the line through which the Messiah, the Seed, would come. Identifying the “sons of God” as some of the male descendants of Seth explains the deplorable spiritual condition expressed in the early verses of Chapter 6.
The second interpretation of the “sons of God” is that these were fallen angels that cohabitated with the daughters of men. The phrase, “sons of God,” is found five times in the Old Testament; Genesis 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. In Job’s references to the “sons of God” in Chapters 1 and 2, there can be no question that these were angelic beings, which included Satan. Also, the reference given in Job 38:7 is obviously a reference to angelic beings. The only other place in the Old Testament where the phrase is used is in Genesis 6:2 and 6:4. The only other time that there is a reference to a “Son of God” in the Old Testament is found in Daniel 3:25, which is speaking of the fourth Man Nebuchadnezzar saw in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew men; Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. This “Son of Man” was a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, followers of God were not referred to as “sons of God,” for this is strictly a New Testament term. Only during the dispensation of grace are sinners made “sons of God” through the new birth. (John 1:10-11; 3:1-15) There is no evidence found elsewhere in the Old Testament that would lend support to interpreting the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 as the male descendants of the godly line of Seth.
Before we can investigate further the “sons of God” as being angelic beings, we need to examine the Scriptural teachings on angels, fallen angels and Satan. The Bible is filled with references to spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) called “angels.” In fact, the words “angel” and “angels” are found some 297 times in the Bible. Angels are “spirit beings” that were created by God. (John 1:1-3) They are “ministering spirits,” or beings whose chief purpose is “ministering,” or “serving.” According to Scripture, angels are arranged in ranks of authority. Paul speaks of that in the following verse: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God....” (Ephesians 3:10) Two words are used in this verse, “principalities” and “powers,” both of which speak of authority and rank, much as would be seen in a military situation.
Three angels are named specifically in the Bible; Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. Michael is called “the archangel” in Jude 1:9. The word means “chief angel.” The only other time the word “archangel” is found is in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which is a reference to the Rapture of the Church: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first....” From these references, coupled with the references to the words “principalities and powers,” it is obvious that there are chief angels under which other angels are placed in ranks of authority. With three angels being named specifically, and with Michael being acknowledged as an “archangel,” one could surmise that all of the angelic beings created by God have been divided into three specific groups, each headed up by one archangel.
Let’s examine more closely each angel named in Scripture. First, Michael is ever associated with warfare; he is the warrior angel. See the following passages: Daniel 10:12,13,21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7. The Bible is clear that there is an intense spiritual conflict that has been going on from the beginning. (See Ephesians 6:10-20) Michael, it would seem, is the archangel over the angelic beings that are more closely associated with that spiritual conflict.
Gabriel is seen in Scripture as revealing the will of God, he being the “messenger angel” sent from God to unveil Divine truth. See the following passages: Daniel 8:15-19; 9:20-23; Luke 1:19-26. There are many other references in Scripture where angelic beings were sent from God to earth with a Divine message for man. Note the following: Genesis 16:6-11; Judges 2:1-4; Acts 8:26. Gabriel is the archangel over those angelic beings whose chief purpose is the revealing of the mind and will of God to mankind.
Lucifer is the archangel over that portion of angelic beings whose chief purpose was the praise and adoration of Almighty God. He is called by different names in the Bible. For instance, he is referred to as the “Prince of Persia” in Daniel 10:13 and 10:20. He is also referred to as the King of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28:11-19. Two passages that are of the utmost importance in understanding Lucifer, or Satan, are found in Isaiah 14:9-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. From these passages, and from others found throughout the Word of God, Lucifer is seen as a high ranking angel, perhaps archangel, whose chief function was the praise and worship of God. He was “the anointed cherub that covereth,” whose musical instruments and praises filled the heavens with adoration of God. He was lifted up in pride, (1 Timothy 3:16) and sought to overthrow the very thrown of God and supersede His authority (Isaiah 14:13-14). He was consequently cast out of heaven and drew with him those angels that were under his authority. Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) In Revelation 12:3-4 we read, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as son as it was born.” The three named angels in the Bible were the highest ranking angels, each having one third of the angelic host under their authority.
One third of the angels of heaven followed Satan, or Lucifer, in his rebellion against God. Consequently they were cast out of heaven along with their leader. These are those beings spoken of in the New Testament as “demons,” “devils,” and “evil spirits.” They are called Satan’s “angels.” (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:9) They are seen in Scripture as evil, as oppressing and possessing unsaved humans and generally opposing the things of God as they follow the dictates of their commander, Satan.
“...the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Now, having examined briefly the Scriptural teachings on Satan and angelic beings, let’s consider further the proposal that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 is a reference to certain of these spirit beings that followed Satan in his rebellion against God. Some argue against this interpretation, citing the statement Jesus made about the angels when answering the challenge of the Sadduccees. (See Matthew 22:33) It should be noted that Jesus said nothing about the ability of angels to procreate with mortals, only that they were not given in marriage. In fact, there are no female angels mentioned in Scripture. They are only referred to in the male gender, which would make it impossible for them to marry. (A truth that all the world needs to understand; that individuals of the same sex cannot be considered “married” in the eyes of God.)
One consideration in identifying the “sons of God” as fallen angels is that they may not have procreated with mortals themselves, but through men that they possessed. Demon possession is a dark and fearful thing, but something that is clearly revealed in Scripture. Demon possessed mortals showed unnatural strength and abilities. The demoniac of Gadara was mentally distraught, dwelling in the tombs outside the city. When chains and fetters were used to try to restrain the poor man, these were broken in pieces. None could tame this man who was possessed with a “Legion” of demons. (See Mark 5:1-20) This could provide an explanation of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 that, “saw the daughters of men,” and “took them wives of all they chose” by possessing males through which they procreated with mortals.
One thing is certain, the result of this union between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” was something way beyond the norm and the natural. There was something very supernatural about the offspring from this forbidden union. See Genesis 6:4, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” “Giants” is a translation of the Hebrew word, “Nefeel.” This Hebrew word comes from a root word which means “to fall.” “Mighty men” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “powerful warrior, tyrant, champion. And, the Hebrew word translated, “men of renown” means that these were men of great authority, and that authority coming because of their power and unusual, and even supernatural abilities.
It is hard to imagine that such offspring would be produced by the godly line of Seth marrying the ungodly line of Cain. These “sons of God” do seem to possess supernatural traits and powers as seen in the offspring produced. There is also another New Testament reference that needs to be examined. In Jude 1:6 we read, “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.” Now, we know without question that not all fallen angels that followed Satan in his rebellion against God, are thus “reserved in chains.” Why were these? It is said that they “left their own habitation.” Could this not refer to this era discussed in the early verses of Genesis 6? And, because of their vileness in polluting the human race, these “fallen angels” that “kept not their first estate” were chained “under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
Regardless of the interpretation of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6, the offspring of this union with the “daughters of men” was vile and wicked, and certainly outside the perimeter of the will of God. The wickedness was so great, in fact, that the result was a cataclysmic judgment upon earth.