“And 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. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” ~Genesis 6:1-8
There is an ancient Hebrew religious writing ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. Among other interesting ideas, one part of the Book of Enoch teaches that the reason for the Great Flood was because fallen angels cohabitated with women to produce giants. From a Biblical perspective, a closer look is warranted of the idea of spiritual beings cohabitating with women, for many people in the Church have embraced this sensational teaching.
The Sons of God in the Book of Enoch: The Fallen Angels
In the Book of Enoch, names are ascribed to some of the fallen angels who ignored the will of God, came down to earth to breed with women, and produced the Nephilim, or giants who grew to be 450 feet tall.
4. The name of the first Jeqon [Ju-qon]: that is, the one who led astray all the sons of God, and brought them 5. Down to the earth, and led them astray through the daughters of men. And the second was named Asbeel: he imparted to the holy sons of God evil counsel, and led them astray so that they defiled 6. Their bodies with the daughters of men… ~Book of Enoch, Chapter 69:4-6
As entertaining as this might be, the Bible teaches angels do not get married. Jesus was asked a question about a woman having more than one husband. The Sadducees, who did not even believe in the resurrection, wanted to know whose wife she would be in the next life. Jesus said that the Sadducees did not know the Scriptures or the power of God, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).
The teaching of Jesus is that angels do not get married. Yet, Genesis 6:3 says the purported sons of God, or fallen angels, took wives. They did not take the women by force; they simply took them as wives. It would be unusual to think that the fallen angels would blatantly disobey God in heaven, but then suddenly submit to the divinely ordained institution of matrimony, which is the will of the Lord.
In contrast to the fallen angels and their rebellious nature, the Bible reveals that the elect angels are actually spirit creatures sent to minister to the Children of God.
“But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Heb. 1:13-14). Study 1 Timothy 5:21
Because angels are spirit, fallen or elect, they can never cohabitate with human women for that which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of spirit is spirit.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
After His resurrection, Jesus invited His disciple Thomas to touch Him to make sure He was more than spirit. The disciples were terrified when Jesus suddenly appeared to them and thought they had seen a spirit.
“And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:38-40).
Flesh and bone is needed in order to be intimate without another person. Trying to be intimate with a spirit would be like trying to hug a cloud.
Genesis 6 reveals that when the sons of God lay with fleshly women, they gave birth to flesh creatures, the Nephilim, which is impossible according to Biblical revelation.
A closer look at Genesis 6 reveals the text says that human men married human women and produced human children.
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them” (Gen. 6:1).
It was men who began to multiply on the face of the earth and not angels. This fact is repeated in verse 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” (Gen. 6:3).
After the sons of God lie with women, God says His Spirit will not always strive with man. God does not say His Spirit will not always strive with angels, for they are not part of the narrative.
To press this point, for the third time, the Bible says that God was dealing with men.
“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” (Gen. 6:5).
It is clear that the controversy God had with His creation was with man, not the angels, for they had already been judged.
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:17-18).
Who Are the Sons of God?
Because the idea of angelic Nephilim did not come from God, why do so many believe it? Part of that answer is found in the Book of Enoch, and part of the answer lies in a misunderstanding of who the sons of God are.
According to the Book of Enoch, angels are called the sons of God. An appeal is made to Job 38:4-7
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
The idea is that the sons of God who shouted for joy are angels.
However, the Bible clearly states that God has never called angels His sons.
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Heb. 1:5).
The rhetorical question of Hebrews 1:5 demands a negative answer. To none of the angels has God said to them at any time, “Thou art my Son.”
Christ is called the Son of God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Christians are called the sons of God.
“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” (John 1:12).
“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. 2 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” (1 John 3:1-2).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
A Closer Look at Job 38
Returning to Job 38, it can be noted the text says the sons of God shouted for joy, not at creation, not at the foundation of the earth, but when the cornerstone was laid.
This idea is confirmed in the Book of Genesis where we read that God “saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Gen. 1:31; 2:1).
Since neither man nor angels were present at the foundation of the earth, then Job 38:6-7 must be understood in a new way.
Attention is drawn to the fact that, in Scripture, Jesus is called the chief cornerstone.
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).
In the New Testament, Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16 are quoted, or alluded to, and applied to Christ. “The symbolism is clear: Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation of faith” (Phil Logan).
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed” (1 Peter 2:4-8).
Christians believe in Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone and are saved. So, when was Jesus laid as the Chief Cornerstone?
The Biblical answer is that Jesus was laid as the Chief Cornerstone, from a human perspective, after He was rejected by the Builders.
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner” (1 Peter 2:7).
The Builders which rejected Jesus were the religious leaders of Judaism, and their followers. Multitudes complied with the leaders of Israel to cry out, “Crucify Him!” “Crucify Him!”
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel” (Acts 4:8).
“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:11).
Though Jesus was rejected by the Builders, He was selected by the Father after their rejection to be the Chief Cornerstone, and the sons of God, the Christians, the saints in heaven, shouted for joy for some of the activities on earth are witnessed by those in heaven.
There is a Heavenly Witness. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).
There is Rejoicing when a Soul is Saved. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).
Those in heaven have a right to rejoice with the blessings God bestows on those on earth. In addition to salvation, God gives His Spirit, not to angels, but to Christians.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
What Happened in Genesis 6?
If the sons of God are not the Nephilim found in the Book of Enoch, then what happened to make God so upset with humanity that He decided to destroy everyone in a Great Flood?
The background for this answer rests in the sons of Adam and Eve whose names were Cain and Able.
According to the Biblical narrative, Abel was the good son who offered to God a righteous offering. Cain was the evil son, who rose up against his brother in a fit of anger and jealousy, and slew him.
“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him” (Gen. 4:8).
Cain remained a symbol of evil, and a reminder of what a Christian is not to be like.
“Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12).
Following the death of Abel, a third son was born to Adam and Eve whose name was Seth (Heb. Sheth (shayth); i.e., substitute; replacement).
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Gen. 4:25).
When he reached maturity, Seth began a line of his own which believed in God, and which called upon the name of the Lord.
“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26).
All those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
When the line of Seth is followed, there are a number of might men of faith and righteousness.
Enos – Enoch – Methuselah – Noah
When the line of Cain is followed, there are a number of mighty men of unrighteousness.
Irad – Mehujael – Methusael – Lamech
When these two generational lines are examined as a parallel, one is righteous, and the other is unrighteous.
One line produced godly sons of God, and the other line produced beautiful, but worldly daughters of men who captured the hearts of the sons of God, and led them from the Lord.
The blame for this situation rests with both the righteous line of Seth, and the unrighteous line of Cain.
If the sons of God lusted after the beautiful daughters of unsaved men, that is to their shame.
If the fair daughters of men married the sons of God in order to lure them away for sensual pleasures, that is to their shame.
God does not want saved men marrying unsaved women, any more than He would want a godly woman knowingly marry an unbeliever.
The Biblical mandate is expressed in this commandment.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
The union of believers and unbelievers is not that humanity gets better. Rather, society only grows worse when there is a spiritual hybrid. A monstrosity of evil behavior is produced.
“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” (Gen. 6:5-6).
The spiritual truth to be learned from Genesis 6, is not that fallen angels came down from heaven, cohabitated with mortal women, and produced a race that God felt compelled to destroy lest the promise of Genesis 3:15 be compromised.
The spiritual lesson to be learned is that the Lord wants a separate people for Himself.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17).
The idea of God having a separate and special people is a large theme in Scripture.
God wanted the line of Seth to be pure from the ungodly line of Cain.
God wanted the nation of Israel to be different from all the nations on earth. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2).
God wants the Church to be a chosen people, a peculiar people. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
In addition to being a separated people, God would have those who study Scripture learn that He is their Father in the most intimate way, and Christians are His children.
If a person believes that angels are the true sons of God, then they cannot pray, “Our Father who art in heaven” as Jesus commanded.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9).
It is only as the sons of God, that Christians call God, Abba.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).