The Sons of God Pt. 1 – Genesis 5-6


Wednesday 03/08/17 

Message – The Sons of God Part 1

Series: Thru the Bible – Genesis 5-6

Click HERE for Video

Worksheet – HERE.

Genesis 5-6

Chapter 5 is a chronology of the family line of the godly. The sons of Seth ARE the godly line. This genealogy is VERY important and we have already discussed some of the things which can be learned from what appears to be a simple list of names and ages. One of those things is revealed below.

God has always been involved in naming His children, especially His special messengers. While freewill has it’s place, God still seems to be able to influence mankind towards His desired ends in ways they may not even realize. The following is just an example of such a leading.

The godly lineage leading up to Noah, who was a type of Christ, preaches the gospel message IN THEIR NAMES!

Adam                 – Man

Seth                    – Appointed

Enosh                – Mortal

Kenan               – Sorrow

Mahalalel        – The Blessed God

Jared                 – Shall come down

Enoch                – Teaching

Methuselah    – His death shall bring

Lamech            – The despairing

Noah                  – Rest or comfort

When you take all the meanings of these names and place them in a row, with a few added connecting words for clarity they say this….

“Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (and) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest and comfort.”

Little hidden messages like this are all over the scriptures and creation. Like we mentioned in Genesis chapter 1 [In the Beginning Pt. 2] AND a few years ago regarding the message of the Gospel written in the stars on 12-05-12 called Act I: The Forerunner.  These are like love letters from our Creator for those who have the eyes to see them and the heart to believe He loves them enough to write those letters.

This tells us a lot about God! Though He is most certainly all powerful, majestic and splendidly high in His infinite nobility all of which makes Him worthy of the greatest of all respect and veneration…He is still a God of heart. He loves…plain and simple, and once more, He is not ashamed of His love for us. He draws attention to it and shouts it out in His words and in the things He created. We are cherished by Him and THAT…at it’s core… is the message of the Gospel.

Chapter 6

This chapter deals with a subject that is hotly debated and most people who have an opinion, feel strongly about it and while I am not sure why that is…I can’t really claim to be an exception.

The topic is – who are the Sons of God?

I have mentioned this in teachings before, but now it has become unavoidable to look into it in some depth.

So we will read verses 1-8 which is all we could possibly hope to get through in the time we have tonight.

Gen 6:1-8,

“(1)  When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them,  (2) that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.   (3)  And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”  (4)  The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. They were the mighty men of old, men of fame or reputation.  (5)  When the LORD saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time,  (6)  the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  (7)  Then the LORD said, “I will wipe off the face of the earth: man, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky–for I regret that I made them.”  (8)  Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”

So in approaching this question, we actually need to answer 4 questions. 

The 4 primary Questions:

  1. Who are the sons of God?
  2. Who are the giants?
  3. Who are the “mighty men” or men or renown?
  4. How does this event influence the later judgment of the flood?

So let’s unpack this and then address it topic by topic…


  1. The sons of God are angels who took on physical form and mated with women. This belief offers two potential reasons for this assumed event.
    1. Because they found human females attractive.
    2. Because it was convenient towards their purposes of polluting the human gene pool. According to this theory, this was “presumably” in order to stop the birth of the prophesied Messiah. (The word “beautiful” can mean pretty, FRUITFUL or convenient.) Those who believe this almost unanimously believe that the children born from these monstrous unions were the giants mentioned in Genesis 6:4, and that due to this pollution of the gene pool – God brought the judgement of the flood and a few subsequent judgments in order to stop these “hybrid genes” from spreading to and thus, defiling all humanity.
  2. The sons of God are wealthy, nobles, princes and judges who abused their power, raping anyone they fancied, and forcing any women who were to get married to have relations with them first. This, together with their many other sins, were what eventually led to the great flood. This is the traditional view in orthodox rabbinical Judaism.
  3. The sons of God are the descendants of Seth who took wives from among the pagan daughters of Cain. Their offspring were NOT the Nephilim, but the strong men of name – meaning famous or at least very well known. This eventually led to the corruption of all the Godly lineage except Noah and his sons, who were the only men saved from the flood.

So when we look at these verses, any interpretation MUST answer for their own assumptions.

For example – if you believe the sons of God are angels – then any proof leading to this interpretation MUST clearly supply an answer to the four primary questions above.

Let’s start,

“So mankind began to multiply and they had daughters, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.”

Two things need to be addressed first which in themselves have nothing to do with the 3 views.

  1. Took themselves wives – does not imply brute force. It was an idiom used all the way through the Bible, for a man choosing a marriage partner.
  2. Of all they chose – simply means “A choice, which is based on a thorough examination and not an arbitrary whim.” Nothing about the text forces the conclusion that brute force was employed and it only marginally implies polygamy. Just about any marriage which is not prearranged, is made up of people who chose each other. The man chose his wife and his wife chose him. While force could be inferred, it cannot be considered since it is in no way clearly stated.

The “sons of God” is  Bene-ha Elokeem.

The word son or Ben, overwhelmingly means offspring or descendant and implies an intimate relationship. It is thought to come from the Hebrew word Banah which means “to build”. If this is correct, then in it almost certainly has to mean an offspring who builds (or continues) the family or the family name.


    • This evidence strongly supports the sons of Seth first.
    • The sons of princes only marginally since those offspring were not probably even known to the fathers who used the women for pleasure and moved on.
    • This does NOT support the idea of angels since there are too many theological problems to even name with the notion that angels somehow can be attributed with building the family of God or the family name through their procreation.

God or Elokeem

This has several meanings.

  1. Of course, it can simply mean God Himself.
  2. It “can” and has been used to mean false gods, as in the fictional Greek mythology type or as in the carved idol type – Exodus 15:11; Exodus 12:12; Ps. 97:7.
  3. There are several places where the word Elokeem is plural and means mighty ones. Psalm 29:1 & 82:1. This would turn our phrase into “the sons of the mighty” and could offer some support for the “sons of Nobles, Princes and Judges” idea. However, this would still fail to answer the question of how such unions could produce strong men of name – meaning famous or at least very well known, since the idea behind this belief includes raping women and other men’s wives. It does NOT allow for rearing the offspring in their home and with their wealth.
  4. It can mean a ruler or a judge as in (Ex. 21:6; 22:8) and so by extension could mean an angel as well. We have at least one example of the word meaning angel in Psalm 8:5. This word is verified as meaning “angel” by the writer of Heb. 2:7.

However, this has problems for the “sons of the nobles view” for the same reason stated above.

The “angels” view actually fares even worse with this interpretation since it does not prove their point. Those who believe the “sons of God” are angels need the word “sons” to mean angels – not the word God. If Eloheem here means angels, then the phrase we are dealing with is “The sons of the angels saw the daughters of men”.

This only serves to further complicate the issue, and I’ve read of no one who is making that claim anyway. Besides, there is no proof that angels can even procreate! Though the statement of Jesus where He said that the angels of heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage “could be” taken to mean they cannot procreate, since the word marry gam-eo means, to take as a wife in order to enter into the conjugal state. This gets even more complicated in that the words “marry” and “joined together” are not exactly synonyms, though there is a very close relationship between the words.

So let’s just say that no one is even arguing that the word Elokeem in this verse means angels – and if they are…good luck with that!

Also, if you are interested in further study of marriage, joining together, one-flesh and so on, an excellent article on it can be found at –

“The daughters of men”

This phrase is pretty straight-forward and only has significance to one of the three interpretations.

For the Jews notion of the sons of God being the offspring of nobles – it would make no difference what lineage these women came from – nor would it to angels since the focus would be to make as many offspring as possible – though preference might be made for corrupting the lineage of Seth – this could not be done directly through the women alone.

However, if the “sons of God” are referring to the lineage of Seth, then of necessity the daughters of men must be the women of the ungodly line of Cain.

Is there any justification for this view? No, at least not from the words “daughters of men” alone. If however, there were some proof that the sons of Seth were ever called the sons of God, it would make a difference and some such evidence does in fact exist.

As you may remember, back in Genesis 4:26, the words men began to call upon the name of the Lord, this phrase can also be rendered: then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord, ormen began to be called by the name of the Lord which is to say, they were called “sons of God”.

This view has several points in its favor:

  1. Such has been a term used to describe God’s people throughout history.
  2. The word “sons” as we mentioned earlier, can mean the builder of the family name. So, calling yourself by God’s name is to evoke sonship. It is like the modern tradition of taking on the last name of the one’s father – to be called by his name.
  3. Many times, God placed His name within the name of His special servants either at birth or upon their call or at some special encounter with Him, He altered their name by adding His to it. 

So, if this is true, then the words, “daughters of men” means the women who were called by the name of fallen man – just like the descendants of Seth were called by the name of God.

“(3)  And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”  

Something about this event evoked God’s judgment!

It is striking to notice that here – unlike Genesis 3, only mankind is mentioned. Previously, at the fall of man, the serpent and satan were addressed and summarily judged 1st… then mankind, but here only man is judged. This is strong evidence that the only players on the field were humans and NOT angels with them.

“Will not strive with mankind forever”

The word strive is a verb meaning to bring justice to, to contend with, to govern, to plead a cause, to be at strife with and to quarrel with. It regularly involves bringing justice or acting as judge.

Evidently God’s intervention in matters of justice had come to epic proportions. God here calls all of mankind corrupt. Clearly things have changed drastically since chapter 4 – where Seth’s lineage were God-fearing people. In fact, it could be argued that what made this judgment happen was because the corruption of Cain had finally spread throughout the lineage of Seth since the descendants of Cain were already corrupt. This again, offers some support to the “sons of God” being the “sons of Seth” interpretation.

“Their days will be 120 years”

God had had ENOUGH OF THIS!

There are two interpretations of this and in fact BOTH may be correct.

  1. It “could mean” that God was giving man 120 years until the flood. This has one small problem, in that unlike everything else God gave us in these early chapters – NO mention is made of when this statement of judgment took place. As such, there is NO line in the sand at the birth or death of any person nor any event in their lives marked by a date from which we can count 120 years. It “could” be, that this is specifically what Peter was referring to in 1 Peter 3:18-20.
  2. It could refer to the eventual life-span of man. If this is true then HOW this happens is only proof of God’s incredible patience and mercy which is beyond the telling. This pronouncement of judgment would have FOLLOWED the flood because it was a direct result OF the flood! Even still, man’s lifespan did not whittle down to 120 until MANY generations after the flood.

“(4)  The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. They were the mighty men of old, men of renown.”

This is a very, very KEY passage, and it is where we will pick up next week!



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!