Sons of God Genesis 6: 1 - 6
Men or Angels
A Bible study on
Genesis 6: 1 -- 8
In Genesis 6: 1 - 8 we have some quotations and explanations given by God to mankind. Although Moses wrote
Genesis, only God could have known the facts revealed. I believe that Moses received from God, the words of
Genesis, dictated to him, in the tabernacle of meeting as described in Exodus 33: 7 - 11. These verses in Genesis 6
has, down through the ages, caused difficulty as mankind has tried to understand the interpretation or meaning
thereof. The key verse is verse two, which says, "that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were
beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they choose.
The problem arises, as we see that in each verse -- 1 - 7 -- there is mentioned man/men that obviously means
physical mankind, but in verse two is used the phrase 'sons of God', which has by word study and also the phrase
itself a -- spiritual meaning/connotation.
Many Bible scholars and teachers believe that 'sons of God', as used here refers to angels, who were manifested
into the physical world and had intimate relationships with physical daughters of physical men and bore children
of them. And that these angelic offspring were the 'mighty men who were of old, men of renown', and 'giants'.
*** The question is; who are the 'sons of God' in Genesis 6: 1 - 2.
In Matthew 22: 30 it says, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the
angels of God in heaven."
And Luke 20: 34 - 36, "Jesus answered and said to them, the sons on this age, marry and are given in marriage. But
those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in
marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the
The Matthew passage says that in the resurrection - spiritual realm - they neither marry, nor are given in marriage
and that -- that is, as the angels. The Scripture in Luke repeats the message on marriage, but also adds that
mankind, as in the resurrection are equal to the angels and are sons of God.
To me, the two verses above say two things very clearly:
** The angels are spiritual, and as spiritual they do not reproduce. Do not marry = a nice way to say -- do not
** Physical mankind can be called 'sons of God', being sons of the resurrection/spiritual realm.
So -- does Genesis 6: 2 demand that the 'sons of God' be interpreted as angels rather than physical mankind?
In Genesis chapters 4 and 5 we have the genealogies of two groups of people. In Genesis 4: 16 - 24 we have, the
descendents of Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. Then, beginning in 4: 25 through chapter 5, we have the
descendents of Seth the third son of Adam and Eve.
With and through the descendents of these two sons of Adam and Eve, we have illustrated from the very beginning
that there are two groups of people on earth. The descendents of Cain, represents -- or is characteristic of --
mankind, who does not follow the ways of God. The descendents of Seth represents -- or is characteristic of --
mankind, who are obedient to God.
Of the descendents of Cain, their character is illustrated in the description of Lamech, who is the fifth generation
from Cain. Lamech is described -- or characterized -- by having two wives, and having killed two men. Lamech
characterizes himself as being much worse than his great-great-grandfather Cain as he says, "If Cain shall be
avenged seven fold, then Lamech seventy - seven fold." Genesis 4: 24. Lamech, characterizes the lineage of Cain as
being disobedient to the ways of God -- sinful, resulting in the discipline of God as seen in Genesis 4: 11 - 12.
Of the descendents of Seth, which has many more generations listed, their character is best illustrated in the
description of Noah in Genesis 6: 8, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Also listed in the lineage of
Seth is the description of Enoch which says in 5: 24, "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took
him." Eve in speaking, about her son Seth in Genesis 4: 25 said, "For God has appointed another seed for me
instead of Able, whom Cain killed."
Thus, the descendents of Cain is seen as those who disobeyed God and experienced the wrath of God, but in the
descendents of Seth are seen those who are obedient to God and have found favor with God.
I believe that an important key to understanding the main question is found in Genesis 4: 26, which says, "And as
for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord."
The key to understanding, who are the 'sons of God' is found in the sentence, "Then men began to call on the name
of the Lord."
In Joel 2: 32, and then, quoted in Romans 10, we have the phrase, "That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
shall be saved."
In John chapter 3, we have Jesus' plan of salvation, that explains that one must -- believe -- be born again -- come
to the light, 'Jesus' and thus experience eternal life with God. The scriptures explains clearly that a person, as born
physically, is naturally separated from God by sin and must be born again to become -- saved spiritually.
So -- with the above minimal explanation we make the conclusion that mankind has always been divided into two
groups; one group that is obedient to God -- the other group, disobedient to God. This division began with the
third son of Adam and Eve, Seth and his son as they began to call upon the name of the Lord, thus the beginning of
the spiritual family of God. Those who are the spiritual family of God having called upon the name of the Lord --
thus, born-again -- sealed by the Holy Spirit can most definitely be referred to as the 'sons of God'.
Therefore, I believe that as Genesis 6: 2 uses the phrase, 'sons of God' it is referring to the spiritual family of God
-- mankind -- not angels.
The implication is that the 'sons of God' -- the family of God has fallen into sin, disobedient to God by taking any
one they wanted -- immorality.
As a result, "the wickedness of man was great on the earth -- and the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the
earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Thus is God justified, as He brings the flood and destroys all mankind and
animals for -- even His own, who had "called upon for His name" had fallen into sin and disobedience.
Here in Genesis chapters 4 - 6 is set an -- order of creation -- that will continue to be until the end of physical
*** All mankind has sinned and are separated from God by their sins.
*** Those who 'call up on the name of the Lord' are restored as the family of God.
*** When the family of God falls into sin and disobedience -- judgment and consequences will result. (Reference --
The flood -- Jerusalem destroyed by Babylon etc.).
*** There is a lineage of the family of God that has continued generation after generation through history until the
present and will continue until the last generation to live on earth. A part of them are enumerated in the genealogy
list of Luke 3: 23 - 38. The whole family of God will be brought together in Revelation 20: 4 - 6.
*** There is a lineage of mankind, who has been disobedient to God throughout the ages and will continue until the
final generation to live on earth. Part of these are listed in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Five judgments are pronounced on
these in Revelation 17 and 18 and their final destiny described in Revelation 20: 12 - 15.
I, Don English wrote the above, after having asked my Lord for His Holy Spirit to open my mind so that I could
better explain Genesis 6: 1 - 8. I give thanks to God our creator for His help.