Summary: When scholars disagree the best thing we can do is examine the evidence for each view and see which case is the strongest.

A modern book titled Sex After Sixty Five was written to encourage older

people to realize their is still sexual life after retirement. This would have

sounded like a joke to the people before the flood. In Gen. 5:21 we are told that

Enoch was 65 when he had his first son Methusalah. Then in chapter 5 we see

it ending by telling us that Noah after he was 500 had his three sons. Men had

an enormously long span of life in which they could father children, and so we

can understand why their was a rapid growth in the population, as it states in

verse one. After stating that there was a population explosion, this chapter tells of a

problem that resulted from it. The sons of God saw the daughters of men, and

they desired to have them as their wives. This does not sound too unlike the

world of today where women watchers finally see one they feel they can't live

without, and so they ask her to marry them. The problem here is in trying to

determine just who these sons of God are. It is not any easy task, for Bible

scholars of equal love for the Word of God, and equally skilled in interpreting

it have come to 3 different conclusions. Either they are angels, the line of Seth,

or the upper class of nobles.

When scholars disagree the best thing we can do is examine the evidence

for each view and see which case is the strongest. So lets look first at the view

that they are angels.


This view goes way back into the centuries before Christ. The book of

Enoch, which was written in the second century B. C. Says these sons of God

were wicked angels who lusted after the daughters of men. Josephus and

Philo, and most of the Jewish writers held this view. The oldest church fathers

like Justin, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Ambrose also held this view. The

arguments for it are very strong.

A. The expression sons of God is used in the Old Testament of angels. I Job 1:6

we read, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present

themselves before the Lord."

B. This takes place just before the flood, and Peter in II Pet. 2:4-5 pictures the

angels being judged just before the flood. This seems to indicate they had

something to do with the flood. In Jude 6-7 we read of the angels again being

judged just before Sodom and Gomorah for their immorality, suggesting the

angels may also have been judged for sexual sins.

What appears to have happened according to this view is that the angels took

upon themselves the bodies of men in order to cohabit with human women.

C. This view explains the many legends and myths about divine beings

producing children on earth who were giants and great men. Greek mythology

is full of this type of thing.

II. Sethites.

Those who hold this view see this account as a strictly human affair of the

pure line of Seth (called sons of God), and the corrupt line of Cain (called the

daughters of men). They point out that there is no other reference to angels,

either before or after, and their is no reason to drag them in here. Leupold

points out that there is no reference to angels in the first 5 chapter of Genesis

and there is no basis for to suddenly introduce them here, when the whole

history is dealing with men only.

A. The view that they could be angels has to be rejected on the basis of words

of Jesus in Matt. 22:30 where he says, "At the resurrection people will neither

marry or be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." We

have no reason to believe that angels would ever have any desire to marry

human women. The text in Gen. 6 makes it clear that these were not just one

night stands and affairs. These were marriages that led to settling down and

raising families. If these were angels who had defied the laws of God, there

would have been judgment on them long before they raised families from these


B. The flood was the result of the wickedness of men, and there is no hint that

it was a punishment for fallen angels. Angels were judged by being sent to

hell, and not by being drowned in a flood. These sons of God were the pure

line of Seth who departed from the will of God and married the ungodly

women from the line of Cain. These intermarriages led to the complete

breakdown of the godly chain. Noah only was left.

C. The people of God are often called the sons of God. God said to Pharaoh in

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