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Friday, July 26, 2013

Identifying the sons of God in the Bible...not Angels nor Demons! Clearing up the Misconceptions concerning Genesis Chapter 6...and Job Chapter 1

There is a misconception (pun intended) that angels, fallen or otherwise, are able to have sexual relations with humans and that this actually has happened in the past.   Many fine Christians have been bamboozled by this simple mistake.  The mistake is a result of misunderstanding the context of Genesis Chapter 6 and the results of believers marrying unbelievers and having children.   



Identifying the sons of God               

by DogMaBlog



God through His Spirit working over centuries of time, inspiring men to write and keep this written record so that all people everywhere may understand and know Him, gave the scriptures to us. However difficult it may be to translate from one language to another the translator who understands what the scripture means and understands the language receiving it should be able to make it clear. We have a lot of translations into English, they are constantly being revised and updated hoping to reach more and more readers so that they can understand God’s word.

But I have found something very troubling and I cannot understand why several popular Bibles make the same error by forcing or implying an erroneous interpretation of the term “sons of God”. It all begins with Genesis 6.

Genesis 6:   1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were [a]beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not [b]strive with man forever, [c]because he also is flesh; [d]nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 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.

The text above is the New American Standard Version the bible I started my Christian life with 35 years ago. It tried to stay true to literal word-for-word translations and still be readable. My only problem with it comes in the Book of Revelation where they translate the measurements of the New Jerusalem into miles and obscure the meaning of the number symbolism. But that is really minor compared to what I want to expose.

This portion of scripture is plainly saying that the sons of God married the daughters of men and had children. The [a] by the word beautiful in the footnote says ‘good’. So literally the daughters of men were good looking and the sons of God were attracted to them and married them, they were sexually attracted to them and had children with them. So the sons of God could not be angelic beings. Angels do not procreate. How do I know this? Jesus says so in Mark 12! When the Sadducees tried to ask Jesus what they thought was a trick question about marriage after the resurrection:

Mark 12: 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not [n]understand the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

So clearly the angels in heaven do not marry nor do they procreate which was the reason the woman in the silly question given to Jesus married all those brothers. Angels are not sexual beings, they cannot be sexually attracted to women, just as a fish has no desire to play basketball! This should be beyond obvious.

Here is what I find so troubling about newer English Bible translations they imply either outright or in footnote that the sons of God were other than human, as I will show starting with the very popular New International Version published in 1984. This version is straightforward, not implying anything strange about the sons of God here. 

Genesis 6:   1When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] man forever, for he is mortal[b]; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

However in the book of Job Chapter One the NIV turns the sons of God into angels. 

Job 1: 6 One day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan[b] also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

The [a] by the word angels says in the footnote “Hebrew sons of God”. Why did they do that? They replace sons of God with angels throughout Job. Wasn't God pointing out Job to Satan as one of those sons of God who were presenting themselves (worshiping)?  Angels are God’s messengers to men. They don’t present themselves to God as God’s people do. Satan was there to accuse those who were presenting themselves to God. So here the 1984 version changes the meaning of sons of God.

Going back to Genesis 6, the New 2010 version of the NIV implies that the sons of God were something other than human.

Genesis 6: 1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

So instead of fixing the wrong interpretation in Job they try to reconcile their error in Genesis! The NIV is not the only version that does this. Here is what the New Century Version says:

Genesis 6:1 The number of people on earth began to grow, and daughters were born to them.2 When the sons of God saw that these girls were beautiful, they married any of them they chose.3 The Lord said, "My Spirit will not remain in human beings forever, because they are flesh. They will live only 120 years."
 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also later. That was when the sons of God had sexual relations with the daughters of human beings. These women gave birth to children, who became famous and were the mighty warriors of long ago. 

The Contemporary  English Version:

Genesis 6:1-2More and more people were born, until finally they spread all over the earth. Some of their daughters were so beautiful that supernatural beings [a] came down and married the ones they wanted. 3Then the LORD said, "I won't let my life-giving breath remain in anyone forever. [b] No one will live for more than one hundred twenty years." [c] 4The children of the supernatural beings who had married these women became famous heroes and warriors. They were called Nephilim and lived on the earth at that time and even later.

The Common English Version:

Genesis 6: 1 When the number of people started to increase throughout the fertile land, daughters were born to them. 2 The divine beings saw how beautiful these human women were, so they married the ones they chose. 3 The LORD said, “My breath[a] will not remain in humans forever, because they are flesh. They will live one hundred twenty years.” 4 In those days, giants[b] lived on the earth and also afterward, when divine beings and human daughters had sexual relations and gave birth to children. These were the ancient heroes, famous men.

The Good News Translation:

Genesis 6: 1 When people had spread all over the world, and daughters were being born,2 some of the heavenly beings[a] saw that these young women were beautiful, so they took the ones they liked.3 Then the Lord said,   I will not allow people to live forever; they are mortal. From now on they will live no longer than 120 years.4 In those days, and even later, there were giants on the earth who were descendants of human women and the heavenly beings. They were the great heroes and famous men of long ago.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible implies the sons of God were other than human in the footnotes.

Genesis 6:1 When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man [a] were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives [b] for themselves. 3 And the LORD said, "My Spirit will not remain [c] with [d] mankind forever, because they are corrupt. [e] Their days will be 120 years." 4 The Nephilim [f] were on the earth both in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. [a] Genesis 6:2 Or the human women [b]  Genesis 6:2 Or women  [f] Genesis 6:4 Possibly means "fallen ones"; traditionally giants; [Nm 13:31-33]

Here is why it is important to understand the identity of the sons of God.  It has to do with understanding our salvation and our relationship with God. I will be quoting scripture from the New American Standard because it doesn't use “inclusive language”. 

Hebrews 1 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 [a]in these last days has spoken to us [b]in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [c]world. 3 [d]And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and [e]upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say,
   “YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”?

   And again,
   “I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?

 6 And [f]when He again brings the firstborn into [g]the world, He says,
   “AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”
 7 And of the angels He says,
   “WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS,
AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.”

 8 But of the Son He says,
   “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER,
AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF [h]HIS KINGDOM.
9 “YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS;
THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU
WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.”

 10 And,
   “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH,
AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN;
AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT,

12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP;
LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED.
BUT YOU ARE THE SAME,
AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.”

 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said,
   “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES
A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?

 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

How then can the sons of God be angels? Hebrews 2 says more about the relationship of God, man and angels:

Hebrews 2: 5 For He did not subject to angels [g]the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. 6 But one has testified somewhere, saying,
   “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM?
OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
7 “YOU HAVE MADE HIM [h]FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS;
YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR,
[i]AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”

   For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

Hebrews explains that it is through Jesus that God will give man the inheritance.

Galatians 3: 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you [f]must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [g]leading to fear again, but you have received [h]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, [i]in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

You see the sons of God are people who have a relationship with God. In the Old Testament that relationship was established through faith in a coming salvation; in the New Testament the relationship is established in Christ, who is the salvation and will finally accomplish our physical salvation when He returns for the resurrection.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adam's offspring filled the Earth with people from the beginning of his marriage with Eve.  Cain slew Abel, but then Adam and Eve had Seth and there was then a line of godly people who descended from Seth and followed God and a line of ungodly people who followed Cain and became more and more evil as time went on.  With people able to live for hundreds of years, Adam and Eve had boys and girls who grew up and married and had offspring.   Yes, Cain and Seth must have married their sisters and, as the families grew, certainly siblings and half-siblings married and of course the most common marriage recorded in the history of mankind as of the year 2000 was still cousins (!), which is legal in some states in the USA and illegal in others.

Because mutations had not had time to begin degrading the human genome and because siblings could be born many generations apart in the early days, there was no physical or emotional baggage associated with such marriages.   Much later, after the Noahic Flood, God delivered the Law to Moses and the Children of Israel and declared intercourse and marriage between close relatives to be sinful and unlawful.  So since that day, any relationship closer than cousins was forbidden by God and there are good genetic reasons for this. In addition, the short lifespans of modern man mean that siblings would be raised together and in that case a relationship which should be non-sexual but much stronger than friendship should be established.  To have a desire to be with a sibling is an aberration and those who have such longings should push them aside.

We have seen much evidence that the average human before the Flood was taller than the average human today.  Human trackways under Australian rock layers had a stride that on average would have indicated a height of 6'4" but much larger humans certainly existed.  Large teeth, femurs and fingers as well as very large individual tracks have been found that indicate that people from ten to sixteen feet tall lived before the Flood. 


                        credit

But that should be no surprise to anyone.  Dinosaurs were huge before the Flood and the massive animals could not have survived in today's atmosphere.  The amount of oxygen in the atmosphere would not support a dinosaur longer than 100 feet or a Pterodactyl with a wingspan of 52 feet!   


Bruhathkaysaurus was supposedly up to 200 tons and 145 feet long.  Some experts believe probably closer to 150 tons and 100-some feet long is more likely.  In any case, it was certainly huge!

Crocodiles, dragonflies, creatures of all kinds which are found both in the fossil records and also alive today are smaller than their ancestors who were preserved in fossil rocks.  Giant people (from our point of view) living in those days absolutely existed, we have the fossil evidence to demonstrate it.  The descriptions of Goliath and his brothers, the sons of Anak and the description of King Og, all from the Bible, indicate that some very large throwback humans were around after the Flood.  Even today there are people who exceed seven feet tall, some of them not tall because of a glandular disorder but simply by heritage.  

Very large humans lived and very large animals lived.  However, that they lived is in no way indicative that humans ever mated with spirit beings.  Both Cain and Seth were born of Adam and Eve.  Cain was not the son of Satan.  The Nephilim were not children of angels, fallen or otherwise.  That is completely illogical and Biblically unsupportable!



4 comments:

DogMaBlog said...

So far I have no explanation for why some Bible translators make "son's of God" as other than human in some places I suspect some Jewish myth may have crept in from ancient commentaries. Their must be some source for this and it is not the Bible.

Stormbringer said...

I thought you might like an article on this topic that I found at Answers in Genesis. It discusses various views of who the Nephilim were, and shows flaws in the most common view that they were hybrids from fallen angels and humans.

radar said...

Thanks, Stormbringer! The Bodie Hodge article is well-presented. The Book of Enosh/Enoch is apocryphal and many books like it were extant during the time of Christ and dates from the days between the end of the time of the Prophets and the revelation of the Messiah.

That Jude would include a quote from that source does not make it canonical or part of scripture. Plenty of things are quoted in the Bible that were not written originally in the Bible. Common phrases and history and quotes of men are all found in the Bible but only what God inspired the writers to include is part of the Canon today.

Other apocryphal books arose in the second and third century AD, seeking to present aberrant views. But the idea of fallen angels may have begun with the Jews who were involved in seeking mystical powers apart from God. The modern adherents of Kabbalah are examples of this non-Biblical religion. I would say that knowing that Madonna is a follower would be 'nuff said?

Again, demons can certainly inspire people to do almost anything but even if one possessed a person while they had intercourse, the resulting child would not be a child of the demon but rather that possessed individual. We reproduce after our kind.

Again thanks for the reference!

DogMaBlog said...

My conclusion about the identity of the sons of God I must have written somewhere else that didn't make it into Radar's post. I believe that the sons of God were men who worshiped God and had a relationship with God but as fallen human beings married ungodly women (as happens all to often today) and their children were men of renown because they knew the truth from their fathers which would make them wise but did not know God and perverted the truth like cult leaders today.