Sons of God, Daughters of Men

R. Gustason, 20 Nov 2011

I have frequently had the question of whether the sons of god, daughters of men found in Genesis chapter 6 were speaking of angels having sex with human females. Here is what I infer from Genesis 6:1-5.
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Before we get into the interpretation of Genesis 6, let us look at the various uses of the phrases ’sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’ in scripture.

Uses of the phrase ‘Sons of God’ in scripture.

Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Phi 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
1Jo 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Uses of the phrase ‘Daughters of men’ in scripture
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
The fruit of that union; “and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
Mighty men- Gibbo’r | gibbo’r pronounced: ghib-bore’, ghib-bore’
Intensive from the same as H1397; powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant: – champion, chief, X excel, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man.
Renown-
Shem
pronounced: shame
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: – + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.
The offspring of the union of the Sons of God and the Daughters of men were apparently strong warriors or tyrants as well as men of renown and report. I would say sons of God would reference the original line of Seth starting with Enos. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. So with the starting of Enos we have men calling upon the name of the Lord, ie seeking the will of God.
Then came on down the line Enoch.
Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Enoch had a special relationship with God.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Enoch’s great-great-grandson was Noah, a preacher of righteousness.
Gen 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.
So with the arming of all this information we can deduct through further analysis of Genesis chapter 6 that if you mingle righteousness (Lineage of Seth) with unrighteousness (Lineage of Cain) you will have pride and arrogance which is what I believe 'mighty men' and 'men of renown' mean.  I take this from the context of the passage.  We see these children, mighty men, fall into sin which makes God abhor them.  If not pride and arrogance then something equally sinful in nature; at least nothing righteous because in the following verses after Genesis 6:1-4 we have our righteous judge (the Spirit of God) proclaiming judgement and salvation through the flood.
Sidebar! It is also interesting to note that when Cain was excommunicated from his household, he was kicked out eastward. He was placed in the land of Nod which being rendered literally means wandering. (Brown-Driver-Briggs) Eastward is a type and shadow of Sin (Tabernacle door eastward). The priest would enter from the east, walk west into the Holy of Holies face back eastward where the people awaited and sprinkle the redemption blood eastward. To compare this with today’s doctrines of men (unrighteousness) and doctrine’s of God (righteousness) is not an unfair comparison. Kind of like neither hot nor cold. Laodicea springs to mind.
Other evidence supporting this is the context of the previous chapters. Chapter 6 deals with the judgment of God on the unrighteous and sinful union of ’sons of God’ and ‘daughters of men’. As I’ve previously noted, the union did not produce giants, but rather during the time when giants walked on the earth, men of renoun were born to the aforementioned union. The fifth chapter of Genesis deals with the righteous lineage of Seth. The fourth chapter is all about the unrighteous line of Cain.
So, in context we have Cain+Seth=men of renoun which turned into pride and sin which God repented of and would have completely obliterated if not for Enoch’s righteous great grand son, Noah... a preacher of righteousness.
Most who propose the angels coming down to have sex with men will use extra biblical passages, such as the following pericope from the book of Enoch:
1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ 3. And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ 4. And they all answered
Book of Enoch Chapter 6
I believe we should use scripture to interpret scripture. Because of this belief, I do not hold much stock in psuedopigraphical works such as the Book of Enoch. Hopefully I have answered most of your questions if you have ever wondered about this.

Filed under: angelology, old testament, theology