Let’s start by reading Genesis 6:1-5, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 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. 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. 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.”

Concerning this portion that deals with ‘the sons of God’ and ‘the daughters of men’, there are two main camps of thought.

  1. Some teach that these ‘sons of God’ were fallen angels who ‘left their estate’ and married some of the human women (daughters of men).  These are the ones possibly spoken of in Jude 6-7, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”  These angels are compared to those in Sodom and Gomorrha in that they were “giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh.”  We also read of certain fallen angels in 2 Peter 2:4, “…God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”  In a couple of places in the Old Testament angels were referred to as ‘sons of God’ as we read in Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD…”  We have that expression again in Job 2:1.

Some object to this train of thought because of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:30, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”  The thought here is that angels are sexless and do not marry, but notice carefully the Lord’s words when He points out that He is speaking about the ‘ANGELS IN HEAVEN.’  The ones mentioned in Genesis 6, did not commit their sins in heaven, but on the earth.

  1. Another popular points of view is that the ‘sons of God’ are the Godly descendants of Seth, while the ‘daughters of men’ are the ungodly descendants of Cain.  It’s pointed out that the descendants of Cain are given in Genesis 4, while the descendants of Seth are given in Genesis 5.  Then, in the beginning of Genesis 6, we have the joining of these two lines of people in marriage.  Notice that the word ‘angel’ is not actually used in Genesis 6.  Some have taken this to mean that this portion is not speaking of angels at all.  One objection to this line of thinking is that there is no way of knowing if Cain’s descendants remained ungodly, or if Seth’s lineage remained Godly.  Plus, why would the joining of these two different tribes of people produce ‘giants in the earth?’  These ‘Nephilim’ (giants), are properly translated as bully, tyrant, or giant.

It seems that these ‘sons of God’ were actually fallen angels who took to wife natural women.  Their offspring were unnatural…half angel/half human.  What would their offspring be like?  Would they be human enough to accept the Lord and be saved?  That’s not something for us to worry about because it was after this that the Lord announced that He would send a great flood to destroy all men.  We read in Genesis 6:7-8, “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. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”  “NOAH FOUND GRACE.”  What a precious thought.  Grace is not earned or deserved.  By the sovereignty of God, He determined that He would take one man and his family to continue the human race.  How thankful we should be for that.  Because of that single act of grace, we are now here and we have the opportunity to share in that wondrous grace of God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and availed yourself of the mercy and grace of God who offers salvation to all?  (196.4)