Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping
Pastors International Genesis
Who Are the “Sons of God” and the “Daughters of Men?”
I. PERSONS IDENTIFIED (6:1-2,
A. View #1: Godly Line of Seth and the Ungodly Line of Cain. These two lines intermarried, breaking
down the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of
Cain. The result was the judgment of the Flood.
a. Context. There has been a
discussion of the line of Cain and the line of Seth in chapter five. Then in
chapter six is a discussion of the mingling of the two lines. Chapter seven
brings the judgment of the Flood.
of Sin. It was the total
wickedness of man that brought about the Flood.
c. Sons of God Implies Men. While the specific term of God”
is used in the Old Testament of angelic beings, there are other expressions
which are akin and would express the fact of men rather than angels (Deut.
14:1; Isa. 43:6; Hos. 1:10; 11:1).
d. Giants. The giants are nephilim
and it does not say that they are a result of what happened in verse two. These
nephilim were on the earth both previous (context) and subsequently
(Num. 13:33). Why were they mentioned? Because the progeny of this relationship
was like the nephilim they were violent men.
e. Repetition of the Word “Man”. In Genesis 6:1-6 the words “men”
or “man” are used five times. The context is about human beings, not angelic
a. The context of Gen. 6:1-4 really gives
very little evidence to take the “daughters” of men” as ungodly Cainitic women
and “sons of God” as godly Sethites. NOTE. In fact, the context implies that the “sons of God”
may have been the Cainites. If this is true, it would
be strange to call the Cainites sons of God, for they were ungodly.
b. By what rules of interpretation can one
limit the word “men” to a separate portion of the human race, when the word is
race wide in its significance, and then go a step further and single it out as
a distinctive part of the human race, the Cainitic line.
c. The New Testament uses the words “sons
of God” to refer to a believers but Moses wrote Genesis, and would hardly be
using New Testament terminology.
Besides the words “sons of God” are specifically used of angels in the
Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
d. How can we go so far to say that all
the men of the line of Seth were saved and sons of God in that sense, and none
of the men of the line of Cain? Then, too, it appears
that the ungodly have only sons, while the godly have only daughters.
e. Would the godly Sethites enter into
such marriages, and obtain a plurality of wives, and do so by exercising force?
f. Would the union of the lines of Seth
and Cain produce beings of superhuman character and strength?
can this view harmonize with II Pet. 2:4-5; 1 Pet.
3:19-20 and Jude 6-7?
B. View #2: Fallen Angels or Demon Possessed Men Cohabit
with Sinful Women So As to Produce a Monstrous Progeny
a. “Sons of God” are Angelic Beings. This designation always refers to
angels in the Old Testament and never to believers. (Job 1:6;
2:1; 38:1). NOTE. However,
it must be admitted that the title refers to good angels and not bad ones.
b. “Daughters of Men” is Universal. This designation indicates the
natural increase of the whole human family, not a special class.
c. Why Such a Severe Judgment? The
crossing of fallen angels and human flesh brought a monstrosity of beings; thus
God had to destroy the human race to keep it pure. Why such a cataclysmic
judgment if this sin was just sexual immorality by humans? The sin must have
been great in nature to bring God’s judgment upon the human race.
d. Meaning of Nephilim. The word “giant” (nephilim) has
as its original meaning the fallen ones and could refer to monsters or mixed
human and angelic birth.
e. New Testament (1 Pet. 3:19-20; 2
Pet. 2:405; Jude 6-7). 1
Pet. 3:19-20 says that Christ after death went to preach to disobedient spirits
(angelic beings) and these spirits are connected up with the days of Noah.
Second Peter 2:4-5 connects the sinning angels with the Flood in the days of
Noah. Jude 6-7 seems to link the judgment of some bad angels with sexual lust
and the words “strange flesh” really means “flesh of another nature,”
f. Satanic Plot. This was another Satanic attempt to destroy the human race; thus making it
impossible for the God-Man, Jesus Christ, to come to earth. This coincides with
the “seed” in Gen. 3:15. Had the human race been completely infected by fallen
angelic nature, there would be no place for Jesus Christ, the perfect man.
Greek Mythology: This viewpoint may explain early Greek mythology, which
speaks of the Titans who were partly of celestial and partly of terrestrial
origin. These monstrous beings of mixed birth rebelled against their father
Uranus (Heaven) and after a prolonged contest were defeated by Zeus and thrown
a. Angelic beings do not marry or have the
capacity to reproduce (Luke 20:35-36; Mark 12:25; Matt. 22:30). ANSWERS:
(1) In Matt.
22:30 the angels in heaven (good angels) are specified and it says nothing
about fallen angels.
(2) Angels do not
procreate within their own kind but because all angels are spoken of in a
masculine gender they may have united with those of another kind. In Jude 6-7
it says the angels went after “strange flesh” and it literally means “a flesh
of another kind.”
(3) Angels do
appear in human form and have eaten food. Why should they not have a sex
b. The whole idea of angels uniting with
humans is too fantastic. ANSWER: Perhaps this is a case of demon possession on
a large scale. In Jude 6 it says these wicked angels (demons) did not keep
their regular habitation (dwelling place). The implication is that they found
another place of dwelling. In the Bible, the human body is often referred to as
a habitation or dwelling place. Thus these demons took up residence in
human bodies where they did not belong. Thus evil spirits, fallen angels,
possessed the bodies of men, and these demon possessed men married women and
produced a race of strange beings called here in Genesis 6 “Nephilim.”
They were a race of giants and were known as the “fallen ones.” NOTE: This
suggests that demonic possession has the ability to affect genetic structure.
The chromosomes are changed so that the progeny are markedly different; a sort
of mutation takes place and the result is a pronounced change in the children
of such a union. We know today that certain drugs (LSD, thalidomide, etc.) have
this kind of affect on genetic structure.
NOTE. We are also
told in this passage that this phenomenon (apparently on a smaller scale)
happened “also afterward,” that is, after the Flood a similar incursion of
demonic beings took place. This second invasion resulted in the presence in the
land of Canaan of certain gigantic races which are called in our Bible, the
Canaanites This is one explanation why God told the Israelites to destroy the
whole Canaanite society. NOTE: It
is interesting that archeologists have now discovered the giant cities of
Bashan, and they confirm the fact that there did exist in this area races of
gigantic beings whose beds are ten, eleven or twelve feet long.
C. Conclusion. The best explanation is to see the “sons
of God” as demons, which possessed men, and the “daughters of men” as probably
lewd women, which became so corrupt that they opened themselves to demonic
activity. The result was a race of supermen, fallen ones. Thus God had to bring
judgment upon men.
II. PRONOUNCEMENT BY GOD (6:30)
A. The word “strive” is not a good translation for the Hebrew
word actually means rule or abide in. A good translation would be, “Jehovah
said, ‘My spirit shall not rule in men for ever; in their wandering they are
B. This then is not a picture of God striving His hardest to
save men but failing because of man’s refusal to repent. No, this portrays God
as the Sovereign One, declaring to men that He will not rule in men’s hearts
forever; thus men should call upon the Lord before it is too late to be saved.