Who Were The Sons of God? Genesis 6.1

I have always wondered about the passage in Genesis 6 verses 1-4. Who were these sons of God who chose the daughters of men as wives? What happened to them and their offspring?

The storyteller has demonstrated how sin has grown from its first instance in the Garden. Sin moves from an individual act to a corporate act with the sons of God marrying the daughters of men. We must remember that the Hebrews lived in a time period in which sacred prostitution occurred which involved fathers dedicating their unmarried daughters for service in the temple. In practice these girls served as sacred prostitutes giving pleasure to priests and other wealthy worshippers.

The phrase “sons of God” has three possible meanings:

  1. They were Sons of princes is the view of orthodox rabbinical Judaism. This view is based on the view that Kings were often regarded as divine. According to the Gilgamesh Epic, Kings had the “right of the first night.” He could exercise his right, as representative of the gods, to spend the wedding night with any woman who was being married.
  2. They were angels. This is the language of the Old Testament (Job 1.6, 2.1). This was the common view during the life of Jesus and his disciples. In the ancient world there were many stories told about sexual intercourse between the gods and human beings with the semi-divine offspring of such unions having abnormal energy and power.
  3. They were the “line of Seth,” which believes that the line of Seth was a godly line while Cain’s was an ungodly line. The intermarriage was a violation of covenant.

The point the story is making is just how degraded humankind had become because of sin. It is at this point that the story of the flood is told. It is clear that this short story demonstrates how wicked the human race had become.

In the story we are told that God’s spirit would not remain with man forever. Because sin was compounding, life would now be shortened.

The Nephilim are not an ethnic group, but a description of a particular type of individual. It is most likely that it is a designation of the illicit union’s offspring as being strong and powerful.

This story is here to give the reason for what prompted God to send the flood on humankind while saving a family to carry on the human race. The placement of this story in Genesis is certainly to introduce the Flood story.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kimj August 29, 2005 at 11:04 am

I enjoy your Blog. Thanks.


erickeck August 29, 2005 at 11:51 am

don’t you watch x-files winn?

option 4)
…they were aliens…


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