Some people took exception to my previous post, “Nephilim.. Fallen Ones?”, and are still struggling with the uses of the Hebrew word that has been transliterated in some Bible versions in Genesis 6:4. So, let’s take a second look at the subject matter in a slightly different way.
Both men and angels are created by God. Both are called “sons of God” within the Scriptures. The phrase is used twice in Genesis, 3 times in Job, and 6 times in the KJV New Testament, or 5 times in Young’s Literal Translation. The KJV translates some verses as “children of God” which Young’s translates as “sons of God“, and vice versa. You must use the context of the discussion, the subject matter of the chapter to determine which “sons” are being discussed. We will look at both the KJV, and Young’s Literal Translation. (Again bold emphasis is mine.)
Except for its use in Job, the phrase “sons of God” refers to men. In Job 1:6, “…sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah…” and Job 2: 1, ” …sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah…” (Young’s) In the KJV Job 1:6 is, ” Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord,” and Job 2:1 is, ” Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord,”
In Job, God has called a staff meeting, and the angels appear before God at their stations, probably in a specific order. They are reporting before the Most High for instructions. Earthly men cannot be under discussion here as they cannot appear before God in this manner. In Job 38:7, the poetic parallel verse confirms, ” In the singing together of stars of morning, And all sons of God shout for joy,” as it is speaking of the creation of the earth before He had created man. (Young’s) So, the context of the phrase “sons of God” recorded in Job is obviously speaking of the angels of heaven.
The uses of “sons of God” in the New Testament are:
Matt: 5:9, in the Beatitudes..” Happy the peacemakers — because they shall be called Sons of God.“ (Young’s ) but, the KJV has “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (KJV)
John 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:” (KJV), or “but as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God — to those believing in his name,” (Young’s)
Rom. 8:14, “ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.“ (KJV, and Young’s agree)
Rom. 8:19, ” for the earnest looking out of the creation doth expect the revelation of the sons of God;“ (Young’s) or, ” For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (KJV)
Gal. 3:26, “ for ye are all sons of God through the faith in Christ Jesus,” (Young’s), but the KJV renders this verse, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.“ (KJV)
Philip. 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;” (KJV), or Young’s has “ that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God, unblemished in the midst of a generation crooked and perverse, among whom ye do appear as luminaries in the world,”
1 John 3:1, 2; “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. 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. ” (KJV),
but in Young’s it is rendered, ” See ye what love the Father hath given to us, that children of God we may be called; because of this the world doth not know us, because it did not know Him; 2 beloved, now, children of God are we, and it was not yet manifested what we shall be, and we have known that if he may be manifested, like him we shall be, because we shall see him as he is;
These are all used in context in the New Testament speaking to and of the saved Christians who have put on Christ through baptism.. immersion in water…. and are in the body of Christ. These are men and women, not angels.
Now the question has risen about the meaning of the phrase as it is used in chapter 6 of Genesis due to some confusion over both grammar and sensationalism. Just as above, we will look at the context, the subject matter, to determine which “sons of God” are being discussed. Genesis Chapter 6 is discussing the evil that has come over the world and God’s regret that He had made man.
“1And 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 an 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 bare 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. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.“ (KJV)
The subject matter is mankind, men. God is not speaking of angels in this scripture. It begins with men multiplying, conceiving and bearing more children. In verse 2, the daughters of men are fair, or beautiful, and the men are choosing the daughters for wives based upon their beauty. And, God records in verse 3 how He has decided to set an age limit on mankind so that He is not striving with man on an individual basis as long as He had before. 120 years is evidently long enough to allow a man to determine his character, whether to live righteously, or to live to sin.
There is then a sentence break beginning after verse 3. That means that a new thought was begun in verse 4. The word “giants” in the King James version is translated as “fallen ones” in Young’s, and is transliterated from the Hebrew in the NIV, and in many other versions as “nephilim”. The words “after that” in verse 4 seem to be ignored by many readers. The “giants”, or “fallen-ones”, or “nephilim” are not a result of “when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men”. They were already existing.
The word “giants” in the King James is questionable, as the correct translation is “fallen ones”. As noted in my previous post titled “Nephilim.. Fallen Ones?”, Clarke’s commentary points out,
” It may be necessary to remark here that our translators have rendered seven different Hebrew words by the one term giants, viz., nephilim, gibborim, enachim, rephaim, emim, and zamzummim ; by which appellatives are probably meant in general persons of great knowledge, piety, courage, wickedness, etc., and not men of enormous stature, as is generally conjectured.”
Those translators who chose to use the Hebrew word “nephilim” in place of an English translation deliberately caused confusion for sensational speculation. Either way, the context of the Scriptures is mankind, and then specifically, the fallen of mankind. Wicked and evil men. Angels are not under discussion.
There is no basis for imagining that angels are fornicating with women on earth. Not only does Matt. 22:30 tell us that the physics of angels are different than those of mankind, but Genesis 1 sets the rules that science today teaches .. all species propagate or bear “after their kind”. Genesis 5 reinforces the physics set by God as Adam, “… begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:” Gen. 5:3. You cannot plant an orange seed, and get an apple tree!
To imagine that God would be discussing a science fiction scenario in Genesis 6 is the very same kind of imagination of wicked and evil men He repented that He had made! It is also not a logical progression of the subject matter.
The word “giants”, or “nephilim” or “fallen ones” are not sons of God in this text, or it would have been translated as sons of God both times within the same verse! That means that the sons of God in the second half of verse 4 are not the fallen ones in the first half of verse 4. They are different!
The sons of God in verse 4 are the same sons of God in verse 2 that took wives of all of the fair daughters of men. Wives are married to husbands. The connotations must also be acknowledged. God is not recording events of some imagined spiritual hybridization. That is Hollywood science fiction bunk.
When Matt. 22:30 says, ” For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”, he is telling us that the angels were created by God without gender. They were created by God without the ability to propagate. Even those that fell from heaven in rebellion with Satan could not become physically other than they were created by God. They would not magically obtain the ability to conceive and bear children.
Luke 20:35, 36 discusses this same event, and records it, ” But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither are they able to die any more — for they are like messengers — and they are sons of God, being sons of the rising again.” (Young’s). Here “sons of God” is referring to the resurrected of those who have died in Christ and cannot die again..then they become like the messengers / angels, neither male nor female, neither given nor taken in marriage, unable to be born physically again, as they are not going to die again!
If those who are worthy to obtain eternal life become like the messengers, or angels in heaven, then the angels in heaven do not have the ability to bear children either when they are physically in heaven, or running messages to earth!
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? 13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.” Job 28:12, 13 (KJV)
“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.“ Job 28: 28 (KJV)
The “fallen ones” as correctly translated in Gen 6:4 in Young’s Literal Translation are the wicked and evil men under discussion as the entire subject matter of the first seven verses of Gen. 6, and are the reason that their wickedness grew throughout the world so that God repented that had He made man. Those who followed after God were the sons of God, and they fell for the outward physical beauty of the daughters of unrighteous men.
The result was that God determined to wipe out the evil and wicked people on earth with the flood, saving only Noah and his wife, and his three sons, and their three wives.. along with most of the species of the rest of God’s creation… by twos, male and female, all which reproduce after their kind… as He gives instructions and is the subject matter of the rest of Chapter 6.
Angels are not referenced anywhere in Gen. 6, and therefore are not the “sons of God” spoken of in Gen. 6.
Again, for those who have believed the Hollywood lie repeated often in as many movies as they can, that all you have to do is look inside yourself to find truth… God’s word says differently.
“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Ps. 119:160
”O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jer. 10:23
Hollywood gives us, “Search your feelings, Luke.” But, it is to God that we look for truth, and it is His word that we must depend upon. Whether you wish to call them “giants” or “nephilim” or the correct translation of “fallen ones”, they are the wicked men who chose not to follow God. The sons of God in Gen. 6 are the righteous men who followed after God.