Who Are the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:2?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

The most popular view, among evangelicals, is that the “sons of God” mentioned in Gen. 6:2 are angels who seduce human women, the “daughters of men.”  This view, however, is highly problematic because Matthew 22:30 informs us that angels do not marry.

So who are the “sons of God?”  According to both Tom Howe and R. C. Sproul, two biblical scholars that I have great respect for, the “sons of God” are the very human descendants of Seth, who was the son that God gave Adam and Eve to replace Abel .  The “daughters of men” are the descendants of Cain, who was cursed by God for the murder of Abel.

Why do Howe and Sproul think this?  The preceding passages in chapter 4  focus on the two lines of Cain and Seth.  Cain’s descendants are wicked (note how Cain’s line ends with Lamech, who sings a song about murdering a man).  His female descendants are the “daughters of men.”  Seth’s son is Enosh,  and after he was born, “men began to call on the name of the Lord.”  Seth’s male descendants are the “sons of God,” the only hope for mankind to halt the slide into utter depravity.

So Gen. 6:2 is referring to the male descendants of Seth marrying the female descendants of Cain, marriage that would yield a harvest of greater and greater sin.  This is a continuing theme in the Old Testament where the people of Israel are warned not to marry pagans because of the religious syncretism that would surely occur.

The results of the “sons of God” marrying the “daughters of men” was disastrous for the human race, as humankind became so evil that God elected to bring a flood that would kill everyone except Noah and his family.

  • Pingback: Who Are the “Sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? « Tough Questions Answered | Neorack Script()

  • A.T. White

    Sons of God + Daughters of Men = Nephelim? They’re giants who roamed the earth before being wiped out by the flood. What is a nephelim? Who is Goliath? He’s a giant. Is he a Nephelim?

  • Juanfunk

    tom & r.c. are both wrong, there is no discussion of “marrying” involved; this in contrived, and does not fit with “being men of renown” and does not fit with “and also thereafter” portion of Chapter 6.

  • Sentot Suto

    A simple questions, and we can find the answer if we read the Holy bible with our heart, not using the brain. There’s no such thing about sex in those statement. God can make someone born without sex. That’s why I believe about Jesus Christ. So, It could be some Angel who came to the daughter of men.
    Then their son were very smart. That’s why we can discover many of their creations, like pyramids in Mexico, China, Yonaguni(Japan) and many other places. And they can fly too like an astronaut. (http://www.hottnez.com/the-airplanes-of-ancient-civilizations/).
    After the giant flood, they came back again many time to this earth as an Alien.
    That is my opinion about the beautiful creations of God.

  • The “sons of gods” (in the actual Hebrew) were exactly that. Sons of gods. Remember, the Jews were polytheistic at one time, and Yahweh had a consort named Asherah, represented by the Tree of Life. Satan is one of the “sons of gods” and comes in the entourage of “sons of god” in Job. Satan is a spy and adversary of men who works FOR Yahweh, and not against him–according to the Jews who wrote the text.

    Isaiah 14 refers to the King of Babylon who was struck through with a sword, KILLED, and thrown into a common grave. It does not refer to “Lucifer” or Satan. There is no “fallen angel” story in the OT.

    The sons of gods could not be angels, as angels do not procreate. They could not be idols, as idols do not procreate either, and they are not nephilim, as they are the sons OF the sons of gods–similar to Hercules.

  • Pepper Bruce

    I agree that the sons of God were men. The entire context is about the wickedness of mankind who is said to be “flesh.” The problem with the “line of Seth” view, in my opinion, is that it confuses the Messianic blood line with a line for all of the righteous. While it was certainly vital for God to preserve the Christ blood line, the remaining godly did not have to be directly in that line. Noah and his sons’ families were spared the flood. But note that only Noah and Shem were directly “in” the bloodline. Noah’s other sons and their wives were not directly in the bloodline. The sons of God were not just in the line and the daughters of men were not just Cainites.

  • Jason Zilwitz

    Angels donot marry-is a law God has given for angels for all time.When they broke this law and married human women as in genesis6:2,they became fallen angels.God doesn’t consider them angels anymore,but as evil spirits in union with heylel/satan and his fallen angels,who fallen away from grace a very long time ago,because of pride.That is why God said Angels(those who have not fallen from grace to become evil spirits) donot marry.
    These so called evangelical teachers who teach according to their whims and fancies rather than sound doctrine of God,lead people astray to destruction.Such people who teach without thinking is a curse to our society.

  • Cj19

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it that way too.

  • Blessubro

    The “Sons of God” were angels; as stated in Job 38:4-7. Not even Adam had been created when God created the foundation of the world.
    Job 1:6 Also tells us that the sons of God presented themselves before the lord. (When did Seth present himself before God?) That theory of Seth’s line being the Sons of God? Is man,s teaching. Job 2:1 also confirms that the Sons of God are angels because “Satan” is a fallen angel and he was with the “Sons of God”

    Now about marriage? Yes; Jesus did say, at the resurrection that people will not marry or be given in marriage.
    But He did not say; that angels do not have sexual organs? But in Genesis 6:4; states, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.
    So this means that all “Angels” have sexual organs to preform union with human woman, as stated and written in Genesis 6:4
    “It is impossible for God to lie”

    Within the Bible, you will find that God never created “Female Angels” Some thing to be understood? Free will?

    These angels are the ones Jude 6 talks about; who left their dominion or heavenly home. ( Fallen Angels also known as the Watchers)
    They followed Satan? And did exactly what Satan did to Eve?

    Yes; Satan beguiled Eve and Fathered “Cain” To Eve?

    Paul puts it like this; 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2Cor 11:2-3

    1John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.
    Cain and Abel were Twins; Adam new Eve only once, not twice?
    When having Twins, how much time passes….first was “Cain”…then came Abel. The father of Abel was “Adam”

    Genesis 5 Tells us about the blood-line of Adam. This is just like a Family Tree; But where is “Cain” in the family tree? or should I say the gene ology of Adam.

    The reason “Cain” is not in the Family Tree is because; Cain does not belong to Adam but “Satan” (Read Revelation 12 and discern)

    Always remember this we are saved through Christ Jesus?
    Not through a blood-line? Why not a blood-line?
    50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1Cor 15:50 (Read verses 39:41 types of flesh)

    6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgement of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude
    You are blessed to read what is before you!

  • Prestige

    the sons of God were those who were following the will of God,

  • Jesus did say, at the resurrection that people will not marry or be given in marriage, so l think that these sons of God were the sons of seth who were following everything that God had comanded them,,,, and l suggest that the daughters of man are the daughters of Cain

  • Jesus said in the resurrection, we will be as the angels who are neither male or female. This squashes your theory that the sons of God were fallen angels. Since they are neither male or female, they most certainly would have no desire for sexual relations with a woman nor can they produce offspring. Del M

  • lii

    Sons of God are the Godly Line of Seth.