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.