Who Were the “Sons of God” from Genesis 6:4? Three Theories.
A topic that constantly rouses debate is what in the world is the Bible talking about when it says the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:4?
A topic that constantly rouses debate is what in the world is the Bible talking about when it says the “Sons of God” in Genesis 6:4?
You’re reading along in Genesis and things seem to be going ok and making sense, and then all of a sudden you hit Genesis 6:4 which says this:
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.
The first question you will probably have is who are the Nephilim? And then next is where were the “sons of God” and what does it mean they went to the daughter of humans and had children? It’s only Genesis 6:4 and we seem to have encountered some wild sci-fi type stuff!
This verse has led to all sorts of scholarly discussions and attempts at interpretation. There are 3 or 4 main explanations that most scholars seem to promote. From our friends at AnswersInGenesis, here is their short summary of the four views:
Here is a table with a brief summary of the four popular views discussed:
Name View in short Fallen angels view Satan and/or his fallen angels bred with human women and had offspring that were called Nephilim. Fallen angels overtook men view Fallen angels and/or Satan possessed men and caused them to breed with women. Sethite view The sons of God were the godly line from Adam to Seth down to Noah, and the Nephilim were fallen children who sought after false gods. Fallen men view Godly men (sons of God) took ungodly wives, and their descendants (Nephilim) followed after the false gods, rejected God, and fell far from God in wickedness.
Many respected Christians have commented on this topic over the years, and their work is to be highly regarded. This discussion is not to impugn their work in any way, but to build on it in iron-sharpening-iron fashion. In fact, in writing this, their research has provided great insights into what I now personally believe about the sons of God and the Nephilim, and I commend them for their work.
Of those 4 views, there really are two that rise to the top in terms of most popularly held.
Fallen Angels View.
We have covered this topic before at LivingGospelDaily and readers of this page will know that we land squarely in View #1. Why? Click the links in this paragraph to learn more, but simply put, it’s the most logical explanation in light of the entire Bible – and even extra-Biblical sources like the Book of Enoch. It explains so many other things in the Bible like “why did God command Israel to kill all living things in each tribe they conquered in the Old Testament?” Good question! This view gives a very logical answer. It also explains why there was a flood (hint: maybe not the reason you think!).
To read much more on View #1, go here.
Regarding View #2, you really have to read into the text in many situations and jump to some big conclusions to believe that explanation. It also does not line up with anything else in the Bible and it creates more questions than it answers.
For more information on why we think View #2 doesn’t hold up, check out this excellent video:
So what do you think?
Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you!