Please explain Genesis 6:1-4. Is this talking about angels having sex with humans in order to produce giants?
The first thing
we need to confirm is that angels are not sexual beings.
Jesus addressed this in
when he answered the question from the Sadducees (who do not believe in the
resurrection or Angels). Jesus said
"The children of this
world marry, but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world
(referring to heaven & the
new earth), and the
resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are
children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Compare with
and Mark 12:24-25)
In Genesis 6:2-6, we see that it refers to "the sons of God". Many have been confused about the identity of these "sons of God". This section of Scripture has puzzled and perplexed a great number of scholars and Bible students for centuries. Some immediately assume the "sons of God" must be fallen angels, but we have already discovered that the Bible teaches that this can't be talking about angels since they don't even have sex with each other, which means that they certainly don't have sexual intercourse with human beings either! It is true that the book of Job uses the phrase "sons of God" in connection with angels, but that is the only book in the whole Bible where this can be found. It's dangerous to build a belief on just one portion of the Bible; You need to compare Scripture with Scripture in order to get the whole meaning and idea of a certain teaching or principle.
The phrase "sons of God" is used many times in the Bible to refer to men, but more specifically, God's followers here on earth (see Hosea 1:10). In Luke 3:38, Adam is called "the son of God" and throughout the new Testament, Christians are referred to as "the sons of God". Take for instance these familiar verses: "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." (1 John 3:1-2) Notice that John uses this title twice in reference to believers in Jesus Christ. Again in John 1:12, we find him using it again in the same manner, "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". Paul also used this phrase the same way in Romans 8:15 and Philippians 2:5.
So since the "sons of God" are the people on earth that serve and follow the Lord, it would make sense that "the sons of men" or "the daughters of men" could be a title for the wicked people that don't serve God. Does the Bible support this idea? Yes it does; In Genesis 11:5, those who had rebelled against God to build the tower of Babel were called "the sons of men" (NASB & RSV) or "the children of men" (KJV). In the Psalms, the wicked enemies of David were sometimes called "the sons of men" (Psalm 4:2 & Psalm 57:4). Other times, this phrase was used for the human race in a general sense, but it was a title for the wicked in certain cases.
Now here in Genesis 6, we find these two opposing groups: the "sons of God" and "the daughters of men". It's important to note that the book of Genesis is a narrative that flows from chapter to chapter. In Chapters 4 and 5 we have two groups as well: the descendents of Cain and Seth. If we read Genesis and the story of how sin entered this world, we find that the sons of God are those who are faithful to God and His plan for salvation, from Adam to Abel and down to Seth. On the other hand, the sons and daughters of men are those who are the children of Cain. Genesis 4:15-16 states that the Lord put a mark on Cain and he went out from the presence of the Lord and was driven to the land of Nod on the East side of Eden. From here, there was a separation between Cain's descendants and those of Seth.
Throughout the history of this world, we find God's people mixing with the
"daughters of men" and we observe the outcome throughout the Bible - apostasy!
The result is a leaving of God's plan for their lives and a yielding to sin.
And unfortunately, that's happened here in
Genesis chapter 6
and this is what led up to the flood
which is one of the other reasons why we know that these "sons of God" were not
angels. The judgment pronounced upon the earth was against
(verses 3 and 5).
God would not punish man because of something the angels had done.
Who Were the Giants or Nephilim?
What about these mighty men or giants found in Genesis 6:4? (The Hebrew word used in this verse is "Nephilim") Remember that just shortly before the flood, Adam lived, as well as Enoch (who was translated to heaven because he walked continually with God) and Methuselah. (Genesis 5). They lived over 900 years and some believe that these people were over 9 feet tall. So maybe giants weren't that uncommon in those days. Perhaps these growth spurts occurred because of the breeding that took place between these two formally isolated tribes. It's also interesting to note that the original Hebrew word "Nephilim" which is translated "giants" in this verse can simply mean "a bully or tyrant" (Strong's Concordance).
In heaven we will grow up to the height God had originally envisioned for each of us!
But Exactly Who or What are Angels?
Angels are plainly revealed in the Bible: The connection of the visible with the invisible world, with the ministration of the angels of God (Hebrews 1:14), and the agency of evil spirits (Ephesians 6:12).
Before the creation of man, angels were in existence; for when the foundations of the earth were laid, "the morning stars (angels) sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job:38:7). Angels are in nature superior to men, for the psalmist says that man was made "a little lower than the angels" (Psalm 8:5).
We are informed in the Bible as to the power and glory of these heavenly beings, as well as their connection with the government of God, and also of their relation to the work of our redemption: "The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure." (Psalm 103:19-21)
It was an angel that delivered the news to Mary about the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:27-28) and it was with joy that the angels proclaimed the coming of the Messiah to the shepherds in the field: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, and goodwill towards men." (Luke 2:8-14)
The book of Revelation gives us an idea of how many angels there are: "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Revelation 5:11-12)
These heavenly watchers shield the righteous from the power of the wicked one. Satan (who was once one of the highest angels before he sinned and was cast our of heaven, see Ezekiel 28: 14-19, Isaiah 14:12-15, and Revelation 12:7-9) himself recognized this when he said: "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?" (Job 1:9-10)
The agency by which God protects His people is presented in the words of the Psalmist: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and deliveretth them." (Psalm 34:7) The Savior said, speaking of those that believe in Him: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father." (Matthew 18:10)
So we find the Bible describing angels as our friends, helping to save and protect us from evil. They are called our "brothers" (Revelation 19:10) and one day, we will join them in heaven for eternity. Praise God for we know the end of His Book, when sin will finally be put away and we will live forever with our God! (Revelation 20:3-4)
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