Who were the ‘Sons of God’ that were mating with the ‘daughters of men’?
And it came to pass, when man began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them [I want you to pay particular attention to this language because there is something here we want to discuss] that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair and they took them wives of all which they chose. (Gen 6:1-2)
There is an issue here that has been belabored and the ideas with which men have come up range from tragic to hilarious. Let us jump into the thick of it by asking the pertinent question: Who were these sons of God that were mating with these daughters of men?
There have been three basic views set out by Biblical expositors, two of which are wrong and one that is right.
The first (which is entirely ludicrous but which, incredibly, has been held by some very learned men in the history of theology) is that these sons of God were the fallen angels—the ones who followed Satan in his rebellion—and they were out there somewhere in the earth. When they saw these attractive women they used their extra earthy powers to seduce them at will. The result was the giants.
Without getting into an involved discussion, which is neither profitable nor worthy of our time, let me just say that the Bible categorically denies this as even a remote possibility. Every man who is born in this world (other than Jesus Christ) is the descendent of Adam. If the Bible does not teach this, it does not teach anything. And even if you had extra earthly beings in physical bodies running around in this world who would like to be mating with women, this would be impossible in any case. The angels (that is, the extra earthly angelic beings) are not made in the image of God. We are told this in plain terms in Hebrews 1:13 and 2:7-9. If this could have happened and did happen, there would be people in this world who were not the descendants of Adam. This is out of harmony with the basic precepts of the gospel (that all men died in Adam) and simply will not work. From the Biblical point of view, that is not a possible answer. Serious Christian thinkers who have countenanced this utterly stupid and ridiculous view have lost their theological way. They should wash their mouths out with soap, go sit in the corner, and hang their heads in shame. What outrageous and unmitigated nonsense! Shame on you, who ever you are? Nor are we concerned with contemporary views that do not attempt to square with the Scriptures, thus we will not spend time and space on that exercise.
Another more plausible idea argues that the sons of God were Seth's lineage and the daughters of men were Cain's lineage. According to this view, Seth's children should not have been mixing with Cain's people; but they did. As a consequence there was some sort of confusion in genetics which resulted in giants being born.
This answer does not meet the Biblical criteria either. For one thing, if that were the case, only Seth's sons mated with Cain's daughters. None of Seth's daughters were mating with Cain's sons. This simply would not have been possible through these years if there was this kind of intermingling. In any case, even though Cain was rejected, he was still the offspring of Adam and his wife was one of Seth’s sisters. This theological gobbledygook is a dead-end street that leads to exactly nowhere.
What then does the Bible tell us here? It is a very simple thing. There is really nothing arcane to it at all, as is the case of most imaginary problems, and much ado should never have been made about this. The answer is that men in the Bible are referred to often (not always, but very commonly) as the sons of God. This is evident in the genealogy of Jesus, in the gospel of St. Luke, where He is traced back to Adam: “. . . who was the son of God.” Man was made in the image of God. St. Paul said this in I Corinthians 11:7, and woman was made in the image of man. This passage is simply an example of men being referred to as the sons of God and women, because the woman came from the man, as the daughters of men.
There is no importance whatsoever—none of any kind—to be placed on the phraseology of this verse. Such misguided preoccupation would divert us from the point. The story here is about a situation where there were no laws, no enforcers of laws, and no moral rules. Men were living by their consciences. Every man did that which was right in his own eyes. As far as the Bible reveals, there had been only one commandment given in all the history of the human race and that was the commandment not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the first dispensation from Adam to Noah, God experimented with a situation (for man's learning because God knew what the end of it was going to be, but He was teaching man something) where each man lived by his conscience. God sees the results of this and says: “My spirit will not always strive with men because they are but flesh.” The Septuagint says, “My spirit shall certainly not remain among these people.” The interlinear of the King James, the George Richter Berry edition, puts it more succinctly when it says, “My spirit shall not rule in man forever for he is ever erring.” What is God saying? He is saying simply that this process—this program of God trying to coerce man by ruling in the spirit and conscience of the mortal—was a failure because God was working with fallen beings. He was dealing with a man who was susceptible to the lie and who did not want to do the right thing anyway. What is described here is nothing more nor less than a situation of complete moral irresponsibility. Morally, people were behaving like animals. If a man saw a woman who appealed to him sexually, he just took her into his domicile and they began to cohabitate. Women responded to this in the same undisciplined way.
In verse 5 God “saw the wickedness of man that it was great in the earth. The thoughts and the imagination of his heart was only evil continually.” And so this existential experiment of the first dispensation did not work. It broke down.
The existentialists are always saying, “If we could only have a situation where people were not taught that anything was right and anything was wrong, and never had any history of it, they would not have any guilt, which is really that which brings on the problem. If you moralists would just leave them alone and let them do what they want to do—if we could just wash their minds clean of moral laws and rules and regulations and let them live like that—then this would solve all the social ills.” But what these spirit-dead satanic shills do not know or do not want to know is that is the way that God dealt with man in the first dispensation—and it simply would not work!