The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men (Giants in Genesis Pt 2)
The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men (Con’t)
Genesis 6:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,
2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
3 And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
A Common View
This passage is generates a lot of controversy. My understanding of this passage may be radically different than some of the popular theories of this passage. I am going to begin by looking at an explanation in which I disagree so that we can grasp a complete picture of this passage. I always use scripture to interpret scripture. When we apply this passage to the rest of scripture, I believe we get a clear understanding of this passage. We will often do injustice to a passage if we try to make it a self-contained truth and remove it from the context of the rest of scripture.
Chuck Missler (See Note ) offers a detailed explanation of this passage in his article ‘Mischievous Angels or Sethites?’ He contends that the two prominent beliefs are: the sons of God are either angels or from the line of Seth. It has been argued that the children of Seth were holy and the rest of the world corrupted. They polluted themselves my mixing their holy blood with the other races of the earth. Chuck attests that this passage is a direct reference to angels intermarrying with mankind to produce a polluted race of giants. He goes on to explain that this didn’t happen only once, but twice and will surely happen a third time. The polluted race was wiped out by the flood, but 2,000 years after the flood, the Israelites entered the Promised Land only to find them again. The proper biblical translation for ‘giants’ is ‘Nephilim’. This same word is translated as giants in Numbers and Deuteronomy. Here is how Chuck Missler explains this reoccurrence after the flood:
One of the disturbing aspects of the Old Testament record was God’s instructions, upon entering the land of Canaan, to wipe out every man, woman and child of certain tribes inhabiting the land. This is difficult to justify without the insight of a "gene pool problem" from the remaining Nephilim, Rephaim, et al., which seems to illuminate the difficulty.
Chuck also believes this will happen again in the end times, which brings on God’s final judgment. He explains that Peter and Jude describe angels that were judged for failing to keep their first estate but sinned. This sin was physical union with man. As a result they are immediately sent into hell and bound with chains of darkness.
I have a problem with this explanation. There are three areas I see in scripture that disagrees with this idea.
First, why would angels continue to commit a sin knowing that the repercussion is immediate and swift judgment? Unlike people, they don’t have blind desires tempting them from unseen sources. If they saw their peers destroyed, they would not willingly put themselves in the path of judgment. We see this fear in Luke 8:31. Jesus was casting out demons and they begged Him not to send them to the abyss before the appointed time. They know their time is short and are not eager to be judged.
Second, angels do not have the power to create nor do they have the power to procreate. Only God has the power to create life. The Bible gives several examples of this. Matthew 22:30 tells us, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven." Sexual union is unique to physical creation and is temporary. When we live in our glorified bodies, we will no longer need or desire sex. All pleasure on earth is only a foreshadow of what is to come in heaven. God promises that He will be more to us than anything we can experience or even imagine here on earth. What we experience here will pass away to make room for what is abundantly better.
Angels can’t procreate. They don’t marry nor are given in marriage, yet the passage in Genesis clearly says the sons of God took wives. In light of this, these could not have been angels. Angels also do not have the power to create life. People may be involved in the physical aspect of procreation, but only God can create the life that is produced. Some of these passages clarify this:
Exodus 4:11 So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?
John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,hat he was born blind?"
3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
Psalm 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
God creates all life. Even a physically defected person has a special purpose in God’s plan. Only He can make the union into life. An angel cannot do this.
Third, God never judges anyone on physical attributes. To say this was a gene pool problem is preposterous. This twisted view of righteousness is what gives birth to racial supremacy groups like Arian Nation and other racial purity groups that violate everything that scripture teaches. They take a single passage and build a doctrine around it that violates the rest of scripture and deceive themselves into thinking they are doing God a service. One thing omitted by the ‘Mischievous Angels’ article is that God answers the question differently than the conclusion given. This article says "it must have been a gene pool problem" but the passage sited answers the question directly. The passage doesn’t stop with ‘destroy them’ without giving a reason why. The ‘why’ is clearly answered:
Deuteronomy 7:2 "and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.
3 "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.
4 "For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
5 "But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.
Why? "For they will turn your sons away from following Me…". When the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, God made it clear why the nations were being driven out by saying, "Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you." (Deuteronomy 9:4).
The people had polluted themselves – not by their gene pools – but by their vile practices of worshipping idols and other gods. They mutilated themselves, their children, and did many other detestable things. The reason they were being destroyed was indeed for the same reason the pre-flood world was destroyed – because they were morally bankrupt. Spiritually they were already dead and buried.
God has never judged a person on their physical appearance or genetic make up. We are judged solely on our spiritual decisions. We either choose God or stand in rejection of Him and follow the gods of this world. There is no such thing as a polluted race. We are all descendants of Adam and we all have a polluted gene pool. All disease and defects are a result of the curse of sin. God said in 1 Samuel 16, "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." The pre-flood world was not destroyed because they were giants, but as Genesis 6 clearly states:
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
13 The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
It wasn’t a physical problem, but a heart problem. Not only were they morally bankrupt, but they did not want to be any different.
Who Were the Sons of God?
I have explained why I don’t believe they were the angels and looked at one of the common views, now I want to look at who I believe they were. The article I cited says the two main views are that they were either angels or Sethites. Seth was the son born to replace Abel who Cain killed. The assumption is that Seth’s bloodline was holy and Cain’s was not. Like the theory that angels polluted the gene pool, this is very similar. It is not the bloodline that should be in question, but the spiritual line. This is not determined by who is a Sethite and who is not, but who is following God and who is not. Seth has nothing to do with the issue at hand. There are two passages that help unlock this mystery. Genesis 4:6 says that after the birth of Seth’s son, Enosh, Men began to call on the name of the Lord. The other key passage is Luke 17:
26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
The end will be like the days of Noah. What was going on in Noah’s day? It began with the sons of God sought after the daughters of men, the earth was filled with violence and the thoughts of men’s heart was evil continually. Let’s look at these two key passages.
One, the sons of God marrying the daughters of men. Let’s follow the flow. Genesis 4 ends with the statement that men began to call on the name of the Lord, then we are given the genealogy to bring us to the current generation and then we pick up with the statement that the sons of God marrying the daughters of men. Within a few generations, the men who were calling on God were abandoning God to pursue those who were in rejection of God. Those who were the sons of God were not sons by physical attributes, but those who called on the Lord. It was not limited to Seth, but any who would call upon the name of the Lord. However, within a few generations, those who loved God lost that love as they were drawn to the world’s lust. They were willing to abandon their godly heritage in exchange for the sins of the world around them. The result was that their children became tyrants.
The word translated into ‘giants’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘nephilim’. This word is also properly translated into bully or tyrant. One definition is: Giants (1.) Heb. nephilim, meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Ge 6:4) These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who fell upon others.
I believe this definition properly fits, especially when put into context of Jesus’ description of the last days. Jesus’ interpretation of this passage is the window we also should look through. Jesus said the sign of His second coming would be that the world would look much like the time of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah as well as a total ignorance of the coming judgment.
When God’s people become like the world, there is nothing to restrain the world. We as Christians are the moral consciousness of the world. If we adopt the world’s values or abandon our values for the world’s pleasures, there is nothing that remains to restrain the evil in the heart of man. When men become self-centered, nothing was more important to them than self-fulfillment. When people driven by unrestrained selfishness butt heads with others driven by unrestrained selfishness, violence results. Why do people kill for someone’s designer shoes or for their car? Because the person stands in the way of their selfish desires and without any sense of restraint, people will kill for self-fulfillment. The strong devour the weak and every waking moment is filled with evil thoughts.
So we see that the sons of God abandoned God to pursue the world. To fulfill their lusts, the were willing to compromise their principles. According to Genesis 6, there was no one left to restrain the world, therefore the children were born without convictions and were selfish tyrants. The earth was filled with violence and the godly man was not found on the earth. Out of millions of people on the earth, only one man remembered God and led his family toward God. Noah was the only one spared.
Two. The second passage is a warning Jesus gave that when He returns, the same thing will be occurring. You can’t look at the Genesis passage without taking into account Jesus’ warning. The warning was not that the gene pool would be diluted, but that people would be so blinded by their sense of self-fulfillment that they would not recognize the signs of His imminent return. Jesus also says, "when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" It is a rhetorical question because the sign of His return is that few if any will be following Him.
Jesus gives two clear examples of the hearts of people by pointing to the pre-flood world and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In these two examples we see that self-gratification was the primary desire of the people. They were filled with lust, greed, violence, tyranny and the thoughts of their hearts were evil continually. In both cases, they were blissfully ignorant until judgment came. God promised that He would not destroy the cities of Sodom if He could find just 10 people living right. He could only find one. In both of these events, God called His faithful out at the time of judgment.
How does this apply today?
Look at the philosophy of the church today. The church no longer stands on the unchangeable word of God. The church compromises the truth for peace with the world at the expense of peace with God. The church compromises the truth so they can justify sinful desires. That is why church programs focus more on numerical growth than spiritual growth and ministry. Many preachers back down from proclaiming the truth out of fear that parishioners will reject the truth and depart from the church. We continuously see members and prominent church leaders break away when the truth is not compromised. Christian organizations that will not move on their stance that sin is sin will be counted as intolerant. We see that division in every major denomination. The Methodist organizations are divided over same sex marriages, as are the Catholic Churches, Baptists, Presbyterian, Church of Christ and almost every other group. There is a culture war in the church to conform to the world so we won’t be called dogmatic.
The church is also fighting the battle on the personal level as well. Just as Jesus predicted, the Christians (sons of God) are abandoning their love for God in exchange for the lusts of the world. We can see the process of decay very strongly today. People begin by compartmentalizing their lives. In other words, they are Christians in the areas of their lives that are convenient but are not willing to follow God completely. We are holy on Sunday morning, but not when we are around non-Christians. We will give to God certain areas of our life, but not the areas that will cost us or prevent us from pursuing sinful pleasure.
As we forget God and forget His promises, we also quickly forget His commands and warnings. Our focus shifts from Jesus Christ and our eternal perspective and to our immediate desires. As we forget God and His benefits, the world becomes more attractive and then we are willing to forfeit eternal rewards for the temporal pleasures of this world. When we cast off our restraints, the culture around us goes unrestrained and the next generation inherits our faithlessness. Once the world steps into the darkness, there is an absolute rejection of anything that shines the light of Christ. Once our culture departs from godliness, they will not want to come back. We can see examples of this already. When prayer was taken out of school by the lawsuit of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, she was called the most hated woman in America. Now those who bring morals into the public light are called tyrants and are the most hated in America. The same is true for each step of the abortion fight, so that now even partial-birth abortion is demanded to be a right and those who defend a child’s right to life are considered aggressors. Even Christians are caught up by this influence as is evident how many of those who call themselves Christians openly criticize godly men and are apathetic or even defend those who oppose God. The next step downward is already underway as professors of top universities are pressing for the right to die for the crippled and disabled and the right of a parent to terminate a child under 90 days old claiming that a child may be a life, but not a human life until they become self-aware..
Where is the church in this culture war? Only a handful of Christians are willing to take a stand and they are made to look like villains. Even the church rebukes those who seek to impact the culture for Christ. The failure of our culture rests solely upon the shoulders of God’s people. When God’s people abandon God, all restraints are gone and the product that results is nephilim, strong tyrants that dominate the culture, promote evil and oppress righteousness. Even sincere evil is still evil. In John 16 Jesus says that those who follow Him will be persecuted and people will kill the saints thinking they are doing God a service. The only way a culture can decline to that level is by a silent church. If we wait until the culture is godless, they will not be willing to change. Those who are willing to allow the culture to decay are already abandoning God for the culture. The reason men don’t repent at the warning of scripture is because they don’t want to repent. Those who belong to God are responsive to His word.
The culture can only decay if God’s people reject God’s purpose and forfeit the promise for the world.
Note: My intention is not to discredit or target Chuck Missler. The only reason I specifically named Chuck Missler is for a reference to the common view of this Genesis passage. Chuck Missler presented the best articulated argument and I wanted to present an opposing view for the purpose of thoroughly analyzing this passage. Chuck Missler has many good insights. This just happens to be an area I disagree with.
My bottom is getting numb and I am quitting for tonight. I hope you are keeping up with your study on the “Giants.”