I would like, if possible, an explanation on the following verse: “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.” Who are the sons of God in this story? We know that angels can not have natural relationships, marriage with people, because they do not have a natural body of flesh. On the other hand, the meaning of “children of God” was not yet formed at that time.Thank you in advance.
Important aspects of the context
This is the story from the Bible that it is not easy to interpret. Because the key to interpretation is the context, I will present below some aspects of the context that will be useful in interpreting this text:
- This passage is at the beginning of Chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis
- Genesis Chapter 4 of the book of Genesis describes the murder committed by Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother, Abel, and then “went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” (Genesis 4:16)
- Later on the genealogy of Cain’s generations is described as a separate one.
- Genesis chapter 5 describes the book (descendants) of Adam, without mentioning something about Cain, but it starts from Seth, the son who was born to Adam and Eve after Cain “went out from the presence of the Lord.”
- It is absolutely clear that a distinction is made between the book of the generations of Cain and the descendants of Adam, even if Cain is the son of Adam and Eve.
Now let us look at …
The text of Genesis 6:1-4
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. 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 years.” The Nephilim were 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. (Genesis 6:1-4)(NASB)
When analyzing the text in its context the following things become clear:
- Angels are not mentioned here.
- It is made a distinction between the sons of God and the rest of the people
- When men multiplied on the earth the sons of God began to interact with them
- Preceding chapters show that at that time the world was divided into two categories: the descendants of Cain and Adam’s descendants.
- When the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, they bore children who were born “mighty men who were of old, men of renown”, that means that people were born. The fact the the sons of God took as their wives the daughters of men caused the anger of God who said: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Thus, in the following verse God calls these sons of God “men”.
- The choice of the sons of God to take wives of the daughters of men because they were beautiful, was a choice of the sinful flesh.
Based on what I have studied and observed, I personally have concluded that the sons of God were men of Adam’s descendants who had the Spirit of God, who hadn’t come in to the daughters of men of Cain’s descendants before (who no longer had the Spirit of God) and who hadn’t been come led by the the sinful flesh before. Since the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, evil affected the sons of God even more and it was growing enormously on earth, as the following verse says:
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. (Genesis 6:5)(NASB)
This is the first story from the Bible about marriages between believers and those who do not seek God’s face.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru