Sons of God – Daughters of Men

GENESIS 6: 1 – 4

Three primary views of this passage prevail:

1. The “sons of God” are angels.

2. The “‘sons of God” are royalty.

3. The “sons of God” are pious men from the “line of Seth.”

The first view appears to conflict with other Scripture, such as, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven (Matt. 22:30). Copulation by angels is not a Biblical teaching. They do not reproduce.

Cain’s corrupt line.

Reference to “giants on the earth in those days” (Vs. 4) has led some reputable persons to conclude position # 1 explains why.

Some persons conclude that these “Sons of God” are the fallen angels mentioned in II Peter 2:4. The destination of these angels is specified as not being earth but He “cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”

Undeniably the expression “sons of God” is used in the Old Testament as a reference to angels. It is also used of godly people. In choosing which the expression refers to here it should be noted there is no reference to angels in the Book of Genesis up until this point and there is reference to sons of the true God in Genesis 4:25 – 5:32. That would lead to the conclusion the expressing in chapter 6 relates to those to whom reference has already been made.

Genesis 6: 1 – 4 is a summary of Genesis chapter 5 which speaks of the normal course of life just before the flood. They were marrying and giving in marriage. Life, though wicked just before the flood, was normal.

“There giants on the earth in those days…” (Genesis 6:4) reveals the giants were already on earth when the sons of God married the daughters of men, not as a result of.

If in Genesis 6:2 the reference is to angels why would it be men mentioned in verse 3 as the ones punished for the sin? Both verses refer to men.

When dealing with a passage that treats a subject that is not clear always refer to a passage on the same subject that is clear and interpret the unclear one in light of the clear one.

If Gen. 6:1-4 is understood to be a summary of chapter 5 it is seen as an account of the fact the sons and daughters of Adam had greatly increased in number and married and had children.

Those who interpret the passage to refer to fallen angels copulating with women see these verses as an introduction to the flood narrative which follows in chapter 6. In this light these relationships are seen as a reason contributing to the necessity of the flood to purge the human race. There was ample reason for the purge apart from any such possible acts.

In keeping with the Genesis account of the origin of men and women the terms “sons of God” and “daughters of men” are used. The first is used of males because Adam originated from God breathing life into him and the latter is used of females because God created Eve from man.

It should be noted they took them as “wives.” Legal marriages were involved not just indiscriminate sex. This is a strong argument for interpreting the passage as referring to the Godly descendants of Seth and the ungodly daughters of Cain.

“There were giants in the land” interprets the Hebrew term nephilim.” These are immediately identified in verse 4 as “mighty men of old, men of renown.”

The verb tense reveals these men were already in the land before the union described. They were “on the earth in those days, and also afterwards” (vs. 4). There is nothing said of a race of giants resulting ‘from” the union noted in the passage. They were already there.

The term “nephilim” can refer to men of great size as well as great men, “men of renown.” In chapter 5 there are ten such great men identified. They were “in the land” already when the acts of Gen. 6:1-4 occurred.

In verse 3 the Lord God pronounced judgment upon “man,” that is, mankind not angels for what happened.

Each view has supporters. However, it is view number three that seems most reasonable.

The Son Of God

In Scripture Jesus Christ is repetitiously called “the Son of God.” (John 3:16)

Jesus Himself declared, “…I said, “I am the Son of God’” (John 10:36).

He clarified this further by saying, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:36).

Gabriel told Mary her child world be called “the Son of God” (Luke 1: 32,33).

Satan identified Him as “the Son of God” at the time of temptation (Matthew 4: 3 & 6).

John the Baptist spoke of Him at the time of His baptism as “the Son of God” (John 1: 34).

The Centurion at the cross said surely He was “the Son of God” (Matthew 27: 54).

The term is not used in the sense of prodigy, offspring. It speaks of association not generation. The dictionary as well as Scripture recognizes the title as referring to association not generation.

James and John were called “sons of thunder.” The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement.”

We are often called sons or daughters of America.

Scripture does not call Jesus “a Son,” but “the Son” of God.

Human beings are also called “sons of God.” A different term is used in referring to Jesus as the son of God and a human being referred to as a son of God.

The Greek word TEKNON is used in reference to humans. It stress the fact of birth. We are born again as a TEKNON.

The Greek word HUIOS is used of Jesus. It emphasizes dignity and character of relationship. Thus, it identifies Jesus as deity.

In Christ the “fullness,” PLEROMA, permanently dwells. The fullness of the Godhead, THEOTETOS, Divinity, dwells in Christ. Theotetos means not just divine attributes but the very essence of God, the totality of who God is, His supreme Nature. Bottom line: Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, God incarnate. His eternal pre-creation God Nature was manifested “bodily.”

II Corinthians 4:4 records: “Christ, who is the image of God…” EIKON, “image of God” means He is the perfect visible likeness of the invisible God in both personality and distinctiveness. Bottom line: He is Immanuel, God with us.

With reference to His relationship with God the Father it is said, “…who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:3).

He is said to have been “born of a woman,” (Galatians 4:4) meaning “born without human paternity,” born only of a woman, a virgin.

Sodom and Gomorra

As a sidebar there is a feasible explanation of how God timed and achieved the act of raining fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorra. Large deposits of sulfur encapsulated in gypsum are still found in the area. The region, given to earthquakes, is also known to have large deposits of natural gas. A slight earthquake could have released some of this gas which could have easily been ignited by a spark from the great quantity of flint in the area. This would have caused the “fireballs” of gypsum and sulfur to explode and rain down from the mountains.

A possible physical explanation of “how” it happened doesn’t detract from the fact, reason, and timing. God did it for a reason, at a time of His choosing, and in the way He planned.

Sanctity Of Life

Growing numbers of major cities now have designated lanes for commuter traffic in which no cars can drive with a single passenger. In two different states recently pregnant women were arrested while in a vehicle alone. Their defense has been that since they were pregnant there were two persons in the car. In both instances they won their appeal. Thus, indirectly the courts ruled the unborn infant was a human being. Hence, the court disputes those who refer to such a being as “fetal tissue.”

One must concede that within the womb of a pregnant woman is a “being” by virtue of something simply “being” there. That “being” was conceived by two human beings, thus, the “being” resulting is a human being. It is human life and that makes it special.

In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court, as revered as it is, made a mistaken ruling. Under the “Dred-Scott” ruling black people of America had their “right to life” taken from them by law. The court determined they were subhuman and the right was given to masters allowing them to kill them. Fortunately, since then, sensibility has prevailed and that law countermanded.

In 1973 under Roe V. Wade unborn children in America had their right to life taken away. At the time two sitting members of the court wrote opposing opinions.

Justice William Rehnquist: “To reach its results, the court had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment.”

Judge Byron White: “I find nothing in the language of our history of the constitution to support the court’s judgment. The court simply fashioned and announced a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers.”

The opinions of these justices vivify the fact that in that decision a new moral direction was taken in America. Thereby life was devalued. The concept of the “sanctity of life” suffered a mortal wound. A logical question is where does this lead?

One can look back at Nazi Germany for a historical example of the result. Likewise, a current example is now being reported from China.

As abhorrent as the following is consideration must be given it to understand why sooner rather than later the trend of depreciating human life must be stopped. In China Dr. Zou Qin, who claims to have aborted several hundred unborn alleges to have eaten more than 100 fetuses, and said, “People normally prefer [fetus from] young women, and even better, the first baby and a male.” This form of Chinese pharmacopoeia is alleged to be increasing in popularity.

Here in America we don’t eat them but pharmaceutical companies use fetal tissue in experiments. This is an effort to put a moral sheen on brutally ending a human life. Will our “Culture of Death” be the next society to denigrate the sanctity of life by eating the unborn? There was a time in America when the casual abortion of a child was thought to be as abhorrent as the idea of eating pre-born infants now sounds. We have become

desensitized by wholesale destruction of life. In a degenerate society that which is vile today is often valid tomorrow.

Emerging on the moral horizon is the question of who is next? The step from saying life in the womb isn’t sacred to saying life outside the womb isn’t sacred is a short one. Bioethicists indicate that the location of life inside or outside the womb cannot make a crucial difference.

Having assumed the right to kill the pre-born will we soon sanction the right to kill adults if they don’t meet prescribed standards. Or, perhaps based on aborting the pre-born simply because they are a nuisance, will we conclude it is legitimate to kill adults simply because they are a nuisance? If so, who determines who is a nuisance? In Germany the Nazi Party established a committee to make the judgment. Their conclusions are well documented.

It is estimated that 98 percent of abortions are performed because of reasons such as social, nonmedical, emotional strain or inconvenience to the mother. Interpreted that means the pre-born is a nuisance.

When “quality of life” replaces the “sanctity of life” as a nation’s ethic the seeds of degeneracy have sprouted.

Will the elderly follow the blacks and the pre-born in being reclassified as nonpersons?

Efforts to reclassify pre-born infants, just as we did blacks, are appropriate. Self-defense, if no other reason, should motivate us. Sociological if not theological logic should catalyze us to make a moral U-turn as a nation. Barbarism in any cloak is self-defeating.

In 1984, 61 physicians (including two past presidents of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) issued a signed statement entitled “The Utmost Respect For Human Life,” which stated in part, “We urge all those engaged in the abortion debate to recognize that a central issue in the discourse must include acceptance of the fact that induced abortion causes the death of a living human.”

This statement is in keeping with the very definition of the word abortion. The Latin root word for abortion is “aborior,” which means “to perish by untimely birth.”

The very word “sanctity” is defined as “sacred or hallowed character … a sacred thing.” Is human life a sacred thing?

The answer is affirmed in Genesis 1: 27 with confirmation that reverberates from heaven to earth: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

The Psalmist, referring to God the Creator, declared: “Your hand made me and fashioned me” (Psalm 119: 73).

Through the inspired penman God said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1: 5).

There are two Greek words for “child.” One is “teknon.” It is used ninety-eight times in the Greek New Testament. It refers to a child as viewed in relation to a parent. The other word is “brephos” which is used only eight times such as follows.

“People were bringing infants (brephos) to Jesus…” (Luke 18: 15).

“And how from infancy (brephos) you have known the Holy Scripture…” (II Timothy 3: 15).

Now the application. When the virgin Mary told Elizabeth her good news it is said, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the baby (brephos) leaped in her womb…” (Luke 1: 41).

Elizabeth further said to Mary, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby (brephos) in my womb, leaped for joy” (Luke 1: 44).

God’s Word makes it perfectly clear He considered the pre-born as much a human being as the babies later brought to Christ and the infant that knew Scripture. To Him the life of the pre-born is sacred.

While we debate what is the right attitude toward abortion and euthanasia, God has been very specific in stating His feelings.

“These six things which the Lord hated … hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6: 16 – 19).

Each year the “innocent blood” of 1.8 million preborn American infants is shed. That is more blood than was shed in all human history before the 20th Century. By killing approximately one child in three by abortion our generation has become the most ravenous in history. Based on Scripture it can be safely concluded God doesn’t like that AT ALL.

An exegetical overview of Scripture reveals three things:

One, the unborn are viewed as developing children by God. Two, taking an innocent human life is hated and clearly condemned by God. Three, God especially detests taking of human life simply to ensure prosperity or cover sins.

From the beginning Christians have opposed abortion based on the sanctity of life. The “Didache,” an early second-century document, summarized Christian conviction: “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion\destruction.”

Tertullian, at about the same time wrote in his “Apology,” “To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to be one; you have the fruit already in the seed.”

Those early Christians won the sanctity of life debate not by superior logic alone but by converting the empire to faith. Soon after Constantine legalized Christianity it was made illegal for a father to kill his child. Today Christians must work to win the “empire” to Christ. An associated victory will be winning the battle for the sanctity of life.

Though the Christian community must perennially fight the battle for the sanctity of life it is not likely to be won in the courts. The battle lines might better be defined there, however.

Informed consent laws will help reduce the carnage. A number of states have now passed such laws.

Offering alternatives to abortion is element. Roswell Street Baptist Church is one of several churches that operate a women’s pregnancy center. Young women contemplating an abortion come to it seeking information regarding a potential abortion. They are shown a low key scientific based film that does not incorporate scare tactics. After seeing it and having a brief counseling session approximately 80% of those that enter anticipating an abortion elect to give live term birth. That has resulted in over 6,000 live births in that one clinic.

Avoidance of pregnancies that result in abortions will not be achieved by condom distribution, sex education, or scare stories regarding diseases. Teens know all that and are still promiscuous. What is it they are seeking so desperately they will risk death? It is not sex. It is love. Youth today are so desperate for love they are willing to flirt with death.

Therefore, a large part of the solution to the problem that exists is to show genuine love for the “sanctity of teen life” of vulnerable adolescents. Parents must return to caring demonstrative love for their children.

Salvation: How To Be Saved

Salvation comes only by faith in Jesus Christ.

“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2: 8, 9).

“Grace” simply defined means God giving us what we need without us deserving it.

“Faith” involves believing the facts AND trusting the person, Jesus Christ.

“Gift” is something someone obtains for us and provides it for us without cost to us. That means there is nothing we do to earn, merit, or deserve God’s favor. His “grace” provides the “gift” of salvation; the forgiveness of our sins. Though it costs us nothing it cost Christ His life on Calvary. There He the just one died for us the unjust ones. He the holy one died for us the unholy ones. He the righteous one died for us the unrighteous ones. He assumed the guilt for our sins and took upon Himself our punishment.

Note especially this is by “faith” and “not of works.” The work was done and completed on Calvary by Jesus Christ. No person can “boast” of warranting salvation. It is through Christ’s merit not our own.

This wonderful gift becomes ours the moment we invest our faith in Him. Again, that involves accepting the facts AND trusting the person. The facts to be accepted are those just presented. The person to be trusted is Jesus Christ.

This illustrates the point. You might have appendicitis and be told by a fried of a great doctor. You might believe all the facts about him, such as, his age, address, degrees, success ratio, phone number, and name. Having believed these facts you are not healed. You must then trust the doctor’s diagnosis, grant his anesthetic and submit to his skillful hand. In doing so you have completely trusted the doctor about whom you believed the facts.

To trust Christ means to submit and commit to Him as the one who paid the price for the wonderful gift of salvation and willfully receive Him as Savior and Lord.

These verses from the Book of Romans afford a guideline to salvation.

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Concede “all” means you. An aspect of trusting the Person is confessing you are a sinner and repenting of it. To repent means to agree with God about it and turn from it to Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6: 23a).

Here we are the actor. We do something. We “sin.” A “wage” is what we are paid for what we do. Our sin earns “death.” The death spoken of here is not merely physical death. It is a reference to spiritual death, separation from God. That is the wage of sin.

The picture brightens when we move to Romans 5: 8: “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is, Christ died on our behalf; in our stead. On Calvary where He died physically He experienced separation from God, spiritual death, as indicated by His cry, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” There He was separated from the Father that we might be united with Him. In His resurrection He was reunited with the Father.

Now back to the last part of Romans 6: 23b: “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Note above in the first half of this verse we act and earn something, spiritual death. Here Christ acts and provides a gift, eternal life. This gift was purchased by Him when He gave His sinless life for us; our sins.

“For whoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

To call upon the name of the Lord means to tell Him of your faith in Him as Savior and ask for the wonderful gift of salvation.

Once you have done so let it be known.

“With the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10: 10).

Become identified with Christ and His church by making known publicly you have trusted Him as your Savior.