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Who are the sons of God in Genesis 6:1 and 4?

In the book of Genesis, chapter 6, verses 2 and 4, the sons of God are described as heavenly beings who took human wives and had children wi...

In the book of Genesis, chapter 6, verses 2 and 4, the sons of God are described as heavenly beings who took human wives and had children with them. However, there is no consensus on the identity of these "sons of God."

Who are the sons of God in Genesis 6:1 and 4?

In the book of Genesis, chapter 6, verses 2 and 4, the sons of God are described as heavenly beings who took human wives and had children with them. However, there is no consensus on the identity of these "sons of God."

One interpretation is that the "sons of God" refers to angels, who disobeyed God's command and took human wives, resulting in the birth of the Nephilim.

Another interpretation is that the "sons of God" refers to the descendants of Seth, one of the sons of Adam, marrying the descendants of Cain, another son of Adam, as stated in verse 2 "the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive."

Some interpret the passage allegorically or metaphorically, and not as a literal event. In this case, the "sons of God" may represent godly individuals or followers of God, and the "daughters of man" may represent ungodly individuals or non-believers.

We are going to briefly see these:

Genesis 6:4 mentions that the sons of God had intercourse with the daughters of men and begat children as one of the reasons why God had to destroy the earth by flood during Noah's time. But it is not clear from this passage who are the sons of God mentioned here. Many biblical scholars have argued that these sons of God were angels, descendants of Adam's son Seth, or men of the royal family at that time. These various arguments have their own claims, but we see that all these claims also raise other unanswered questions. This article will attempt to address the claims made about the Sons of God.

1. Sons of God are fallen, angels.

The most ancient argument for identifying angels as sons of God is that fallen angels had intercourse with the daughters of men and begat children, something that was displeasing to God. This type of argument is not contained in the Bible. but is mentioned in the Book of Enoch, written a few hundred years before the birth of Jesus. Likewise, in the book written in Aramaic known as Genesis of Apocryphon, it is found that Noah's father Lamech was conceived by his wife by an angel. We find that the old Jewish writers Philo, Josephus, and the leaders of the ancient Church (Church Fathers) also accepted this view.

Elsewhere in the Bible, angels are referred to as sons of God. In Job 1:6 'One day when the heavenly angels were present before the Lord, Satan also came with them. ' It is written that the word 'angels' reversed in that verse means 'sons of God' in Hebrew. We also find the same verse in Job 2:1, 38:7. Although the angels themselves are spiritual beings, we see evidence that they also come among people in physical form. It was also the angels who came as guests before Abraham and Lot (Genesis 18:1-8, 19:1).

The argument that the children of God mentioned in Noah's time are the angels can be found in what Peter mentioned when Peter wrote, 'When the angels sinned, God did not spare them, but threw them into hell, and kept them in the darkness of Hades until the day of judgment. He did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, the preacher of righteousness, and seven others when He brought the flood upon the world of ungodliness. ' 2 Peter 2:4-5. Here we see that the angel also sinned, and this argument is supported by this verse as it connects this event with Noah's flood. Similarly, verses 6-7 of the letter of Jude also mention the sin committed by angels.

Even if the argument that the sons of God are angels is complete, it does not explain another matter mentioned in the Bible. As Jesus Christ himself mentioned that the person after the resurrection will be like an angel who will never marry. Jesus said in Matthew 22:30, 'For in the resurrection of the dead people neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like angels in heaven.' We see from the words of Jesus that the act of marriage is in the flesh but not in the angels. Similarly, we find elsewhere in the Book of Genesis that angels are not referred to as sons of God but are clearly referred to as angels of God (Genesis 16:7, 9,11, 22:11,15, etc.). Why is there no reason to call the angel the son of God in 6:4 alone? Therefore, some Bible scholars have also submitted the argument that the sons of God are not angels because Jesus' statement that angels do not live in a physical relationship like marriage is not used elsewhere in the book of Genesis.

2. The children of Seth, the third son of Adam, are called the sons of God.

Although this argument is relatively new, it is accepted by many leaders and scholars of the present church. It is argued that because Seth's children were a people of godly people, their children were called sons of God. In the book of Genesis, Adam's other son, Cain, started the people of unrighteousness, but Seth's people, who were relatively God-fearing, were also morally corrupt, and God announced that he would judge the earth. Marriage between the righteous and the unrighteous appears to be frowned upon in the book of Genesis, such as Esau's marriage to a Gentile (Genesis 24:3). So we find that the event in Genesis chapter 6 is also understood to be a marriage relationship between the righteous and the unrighteous.

As proof of this argument, the Bible shows that God's called and righteous people are called God's people. Deuteronomy 14:1, 32:5, Isaiah 43:6, etc. refer to the children of Israel as God's people. Likewise in Luke 3:38, Adam is called the son of God. Therefore, according to this argument, since Genesis 6 is an event focused on the children of Adam, it is argued that the children of Adam, especially the children of Cain Begar, are called the sons of God.

In this way, presenting the children of Seth as the sons of God answers the physical and spiritual questions raised by the claim that they are called angels, but this is not in itself an uncontroversial argument. Because Genesis 6:4 itself mentions that the sons of God went with the daughters of men. Therefore, this verse deals with the victories of the relationship with God and man rather than the difference between righteous and unrighteous people. If the children of Seth are righteous and they are called the sons of God, then by the time they come to this section, they have become unrighteous, so they are not righteous and they are not the children of God, just as Israel was promised by God to Abraham. Nowhere in the Bible is there evidence that God chose the children of Seth to be His people. In fact, the word daughters of men in Genesis can be translated as daughters of Adam because Adam is not a name but a man in Hebrew. Therefore, the argument that some children of Adam are called children of Adam and others are called children of God seems to contradict itself.

3. The children of the state are called the sons of God.

This argument is designed to answer the dilemma raised in the previous two arguments, which claim that the sons of God referred to in Genesis 6 are the sons of human leaders, not the sons of Yahweh God. In ancient times, human kings and rulers are also referred to as God, and it is argued that the book of Genesis was written in the same sense. Scholars who make this argument connect the situation in Genesis 6 with Genesis 4:17-24 where we find Cain's son Lamech boasting about his transgressions with his wives (polygamy) and declaring that he will be held accountable for his sins. It is said that behind the decision to judge is the increase of sin of such a person.

As proof of this argument, we find that the judges and rulers are referred to as limited Elohim (God) in the Bible. As in Psalm 82:6-7 '"I said, 'You are God, and you are all sons of the Highest.' Yet you will die like men, and you will fall like other rulers." ' is written. Although the word used in this passage is Elohim, meaning God or God, we know that God in this verse does not refer to the supreme God who owns the whole world, but to a mortal man, so in Genesis 6:2 and 4 the sons of God. It is understood that it should not be considered as the child of the Supreme God.

The description of kings written in the ancient Sumerian language is also taken as proof of the argument that the sons of God are the sons of human kings. 3000 BC Pre-Flood inscriptions describe kings before the flood. Although there is no mention of those kings in the Bible, these inscriptions are studied in conjunction with Genesis 5. Because the kings mentioned in that inscription must be of the same time as the genealogy given in Genesis 5. At that time there were kings, and kings were somehow recognized by men as sons of God, and on that basis, the sons of those kings were called sons of God, but not sons of the Highest God.

No matter how attractive the argument is that the sons of God are the sons of human rulers rather than the sons of the Supreme God, there is insufficient evidence to support it. Especially in the Bible, which is a book written within the circle of belief in the Supreme God, the argument that people are addressed with the words used for God is considered untenable. When many other words like kings and judges are used in the Bible, there is no strong reason why people should be called sons of God in Genesis 6 itself.

It's important to note that the meaning of this passage is debated and there is no consensus on its interpretation. Each interpretation should be considered in the context of the rest of the Bible, as well as any historical, linguistic, or cultural background information that may be relevant to understanding the text.


The book of Genesis, especially chapters 1-11, gives very little explanation of some of the events, while the events after chapter 12 are given an in-depth account. So the verses given in the preceding verses of Genesis leave out many accounts and we are here to explore various arguments and proofs. But even though these various arguments made by us are plausible, we cannot claim that this is 100 percent correct in the absence of solid evidence. Among the three arguments mentioned above or any argument other than this, we can proceed with a clear discussion of the pros and cons. But we must consider that any argument we adopt does not stand in opposition to other teachings established by the Scriptures. Based on this theory and acknowledging the need for further discussion and debate, I (the author of this article) would like to approach the first and second arguments.



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