Summary: The 13th sermon in our series on the Book of Genesis. In this particular sermon we cover the controversial topic of "The Son's of God" - where they ancient kings, were they of the line of Seth, or were they angelic beings?
Genesis (Pt. 13) (The Sons of God & Daughters of Men)
Text: Genesis 6:1-8
By: Ken McKinley
Now we are actually going to spend two Sunday’s on this passage of Scripture, because there’s just so much here that we need to see. This morning we’re going to focus on that phrase “The sons of God and the daughters of men,” and that’s probably going to take up all the time we have today. Next Sunday (Lord willing) we’re going to be looking at God’s grace in a corrupt world. And this is one of those instances where we’re going to have to look at several passages of Scripture in order to get the full picture. Sometimes the Bible is like a puzzle; we don’t see the whole picture until we get all the pieces together, and this is one of those instances where we have to do that.
Now the interpretation of this passages hinges on the definition of three key terms: “The Sons of God” (we see that used in verses 2 & 4), “The daughters of men,” (Again we see that used in verses 2 & 4), and the word “Giants” or literally “Nephilim” (and that word is found in verse 4).
That first phrase “The Sons of God” is the Hebrew phrase “B’nai HaElohim” We see it used in the Book of Job, chapter 1:6, chapter 2:1, and also in Job 38:7. We see it used in Psalm 89:6, and in all of those instances it is referring to angels. In-fact this term is never used for anything but angels. And this is how early Christians understood this passage… That this phrase was talking about angelic beings, and most likely fallen angels. Now around the 5th century… around 540 A.D. or so; there was a problem that arose within the Church, and people began to worship angels. They began to elevate them to a position of reverence and worship, and so there were certain bishops within the Church who came up with a different interpretation to try and… I guess you could say… defuse the situation. So they started teaching that the “The Sons of God” here was actually a reference to the men within the godly line of Seth. And the “daughters of men” were actually women from the line of Cain. Now this view may have solved the problems of the day, but I don’t think its an accurate interpretation of the text. “Elohim” is the Hebrew for God, and it would’ve been quite a scandal for any Hebrew to call Seth “Elohim” Or to call Seth – God. The phrase “Daughters of men” literally says, “Daughters of Adam.” It doesn’t say “daughters of Cain.”
So let’s look again at this passage with all of that in mind (Read verses 1 and 2). So here it doesn’t say, “The line of Cain began to multiply…” it says “men” meaning all of mankind, and then it says daughters were born to them. Verse 2 the B’nai HaElohim saw the daughters of men and took from them, whomever they chose. Now there’s one other reason we know that this isn’t talking about Seth’s descendants marrying Cain’s descendants, and we find that reason in verse four (Read vs. 4). See! The offspring of these unions resulted in giants… or literally Nephilim. So the text here is tying the unions between the Sons of God and the daughters of men to the appearance of these Nephilim, or giants. Now when you have believers who marry unbelievers, they very well might have children who are “monsters” but they are not supernatural giants who are over 9 feet tall.
Now here’s the problem with this interpretation, but it’s actually one that’s pretty easily solved. Turn with me to Matthew 22:29-30 (Read).
In this particular instance, the Pharisees had come to Jesus and they were trying to catch Him and trip Him up, and they had asked Him sort of a trick question. They said, “Hey Jesus, let’s say a man has a wife, and the man dies but he didn’t have any children, so the wife marries the man’s brother in order to carry on the family name, but then that brother (the 2nd husband) dies also, and she marries a 3rd brother… Well when they get to heaven, whose wife will she be?” And so Jesus corrects them. He says, “In the resurrection, there’s no marriage or getting married, but we will be like the angels who are in heaven.” Now there are a couple of things we see from this. First of all, this doesn’t mean that angels are sexless or genderless. Jesus is comparing men to angels in heaven, but He never says they are sexless or genderless. He just says that there will be no marriage in heaven. If angels are sexless or genderless in heaven, then we are too. Secondly; Jesus is very specific when He replies to the Pharisees, and He says like the angels IN HEAVEN… not fallen angels; but the holy angels who kept their first estate, and remained faithful to God.