There has been much speculation about the meaning of
this passage in Genesis
Chapter 6.Some teach that fallen angels took on
the form of flesh and had sexual relations with women
producing a race of giants called the Nephilim. The
proponents of this view state oral tradition and the
advent of mythology to support the teaching. In this
brief article I will use only the text of this passage
itself, and will be quoting from the New American
Standard Version which is considered the most literal
translation in print.
Verses 1 & 2, "Now it came about, when men began
to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were
born to them, that the sons of God saw that the
daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for
themselves, whomever they chose."
find there that the "sons of God" took wives from the
"daughters of men." The important question here is, who
are the "sons of God?" Are they demons, fallen angels
taking the form of flesh? Would God call evil, fallen
spirits "sons of God?" Some say that Satan was one of
the "sons of God" referred to in Job 1:6. But the
passage says that when the sons of God came to present
themselves before the Lord that Satan "also came
among them." Satan came "among them"- "them" referring
to the "sons of God." This is not saying that Satan is a
son of God but that he appeared "among" the sons of God
like a tare might appear among the wheat.
Like faithful men, angels are sometimes called sons of
God in Scripture as we see in Job 38:7 but it is not
angels being referred to in Verse 2. Notice also that
these sons of God "chose" for "themselves" certain
"daughters of men."
Verse 3, "Then the Lord said, "My spirit shall
not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;
nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty
see here that because the "sons of God" took for
themselves the "daughters of men" God limited man's days
to 120 years and said "My
spirit shall not strive with man forever." Men
had lived to be much older prior to this judgment,
notice also, the judgment had to do with God's spirit
abiding in man. In the previous chapter we find that
Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. We must ask the
question, "if the sons of God were fallen angels, why
was the judgment against "man?"
Romans 8 tells
us twice that only those who possess the indwelling of
the holy spirit are the "sons of God." Although the holy
spirit was poured out on Pentecost in 31AD, there have
always been faithful men and women whom God had given
His spirit to.
51we find King David praying that God would not
take His holy spirit from him. Jesus called Abel
23:35) In Genesis
find that Enoch "walked with God" and God took him.
Notice also the time line of the great cloud of
witnesses so eloquently spoken of inHebrews 11,
almost all lived prior to the coming of Christ.
Jesus told His disciples "Blessed
are those who have not seen yet have believed." I
believe He was referring to the faithful who lived
before He came as the Savior. These Faithful servants
could not look back to Calvary as we can, but had to
look forward to the cross and believe that God would
someday redeem them from their sins.
Let us consider for a moment that the "sons of God" in Genesis
faithful men whom
God had given the holy spirit to. Men who were not only
born of men but born again of God,- marrying worldly
women born only of men. Now let's see how the passage
begins to shape up.
The Hebrew word translated as "strive" here literally
means "rule in." Some ancient versions read "abide in"
or "in his going astray he is flesh." The word
"nevertheless" in verse 3 can mean "therefore" in Hebrew
Putting this together let me paraphrase,- When the
faithful sons of God,- righteous men possessing the holy
spirit, saw that the women of the world were beautiful,
they lusted after them, taking them as their wives, thus
becoming "unequally yoked" together with unbelievers. (1
They "chose" for "themselves" rather than letting God
provide for them. In this they were quenching the spirit
within them, which is why God said "My spirit shall not
"strive", "rule in" or "abide in" man forever, for "in
his going astray he is flesh," therefore I will limit
his years on earth to 120. Notice that God is saying
that His spirit could not stay in those who lusted after
the flesh. This means that there were men who had the
holy spirit abiding in them but fell away when they set
their eyes and hearts on the flesh, in this case, women
who were not born of the spirit.
Verse 4 - 6, "The Nephilim were on the earth in
those days, . . ., when the sons of God came into the
daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those
were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then
the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the
earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his
heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry
that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in
here is certainly the "mighty men,"- "men of renown."
The Nephilim were a result of the unholy union of the
sons of God with the daughters of men. Nephilim is taken
from "Napal" meaning "to fall." But who are these who
fell? Was it angels who had become demons at Lucifer's
rebellion, or was it faithful men who fell away from God
by going after fleshly desires?
Notice that God said that He "saw that the wickedness of
man was great." That "every intent" of man's heart was
evil. And that God was even sorry that He had made man.
Again, it is man whom God holds to blame. And it was to
men that God's judgment was pronounced against. The same
men who were once called the "sons of God."