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Sons of God in Genesis Six

Interpretation Angelic Creatures Apostate Sethites Ambitious Despots


Interpretation Fallen angels cohabit with human Ungodly Sethites marry Despotic chieftains marry
Explained women1 depraved Cainites plurality of wives1
Perversion Perversion of human race by Pollution of godly line by Polygamy of Cainite princes to
intrusion of fallen angels mixed marriage expand dominion
Progeny Monstrous giants Wicked tyrants Dynastic rulers
Evidences The reference to angels as “sons The emphasis on men in the The antiquity of this
of God”, as in Job 1 & 2, which context interpretation
is also ancient & fits the time The basis for human sin as The biblical usage of “god” for
The New Testament references to the reason for the Flood rulers and judges
the angelic sin of Genesis 6 in 1 The thematic development The reference in the context to
Peter 3:19-20, 2 Peter 2:4-5 & of Genesis 4 & 5, with the development of wicked
Jude 6-7, including reference to chapter 4 listing mostly dynasties
the time of Noah, inference Cain’s line & chapter 5 The reference in ancient
regarding strange sexuality, & listing only Seth’s line accounts to the origin of
only those spirits held, but not the kingship just prior to the Flood
other demons (= fallen angels)
The antiquity of the view,
including that the Greek OT has
‘sons of God’ as angelos = angels
Potential The psychological and The textual difficulty: “men” The lack of evidence that such
Problems & physiological difficulties of of Genesis 6:1 different a system was established in the
Objections angelic marriages to humans; from “men” in Genesis 6:2 line of Cain
Matthew 22:30 & Mark 12:25 say The absence of exact term The lack of evidence that “sons
that the angels of heaven neither “sons of God” for believers of God” was borrowed from
marry nor are given in marriage, in the OT contemporary literature
except that those are the ‘angels Failure to explain the origin The fact that no writer of
of heaven’ which are not fallen of the giants & mighty men Scripture ever considered kings
(Matthew 18:10; 24:36; Mark through simply religiously to be deities
13:32; Luke 2:15) mixed marriages
The possibility that “sons of God” No evidence that there was
could refer to human men, since it a violation in Seth’s line
is used elsewhere of men, except marrying Cain’s line or that
for the evidence above which says daughters in Seth’s line
that these are not human men were ‘daughters of men’
Proponents Albright, Gaebelein, Kelly, Unger, Hengstenberg, Keil, Lange, Kaiser, Birney, Kline,
Waltke, Delitzsch, Bullinger, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Cornfield, Kober, Livingston
Larkin, Pember, Wuest, Gray, Henry, Scofield, Lincoln,
Torrey, Meyer, Mayor, Plummer, Murray, Baxter, Scroggie,
Alford, Ryrie, Smith, Wenham Leupold, Merrill, Constable
This chart is adapted & edited from Charts of Christian Theology & Doctrine, 1992, page 76. Used by permission of the author, H.
Wayne House (via e-mail on December 24th, 1997), for paper distribution only, not to be used in a way that replaces book purchases.

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Proposed variation: fallen angels (= demons) possess bodies of human men (per Morris). However, the Hebrew structure
and word choice of Genesis 6:4 is identical to the direct cohabitation of Abraham with Hagar, Judah with Shuah. etc.
(Genesis 16:2,4; 38:2). This also does not explain the giant offspring nor why demon possession of human males in other
contexts (such as Mark 5:1-20) did not result in the demons being sent to Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4; aka the Abussos ), nor why
sexual expression in marriage was not part of demon possession in other contexts, but antisocial and self-destructive
behavior. Angels can take on the appearance of human male bodies and be perceived as sexual beings (Genesis 19:1-11).

Holly Hills Bible Church – 14 Genesis series – March 2, 2008


Genesis 6:1-22 – Noah Walked with God – Supplemental Handout - page 1 of 1