The sons of God – Bene Elohim = angels
The term “the sons of God” is a translation from the Hebrew Bene Elohim – Sons of Elohim. This term can be found 4 times in the Bible and it’s always referred to ANGELS and never about man. This is enough to end all arguments that “the Sons of God” might mean anything else. Two other valid arguments for the angel translation might be 1) also other old religious books support this alternative, and 2) the old church fathers the first 300 years AD also supported it.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when THE SONS OF GOD came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 2:1 Again there was a day when THE SONS OF GOD came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.—7 When the morning stars sang together, and all THE SONS OF GOD shouted for joy?
Gen 6:1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That THE SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of MEN that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3And 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. 4There 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 BARE CHILDREN TO THEM, THE SAME BECAME MIGHTY MEN which were of old, men of renown. 5And 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.
Why are we to understand the term “Bene Elohim” as angels in 3 verses but not in the 4th verse? It also makes sense to refer to created beings (that could only include angels and Adam) as “sons of God”. So we know based on scripture that the SONS OF GOD came in unto the DAUGHTERS OF MEN and the daughters of men bore children to the sons of God. There is no mention of daughters of God or sons of men, so it’s clear that the males in the passage were of angelic origin and the female were of human origin. We can also understand from scripture that this union produced GIANTS! Human beings don’t produce giants so how do we account for these giants unless we accept what is written in Genesis 6? Moreover, the giants seem to be a major reason for the need of a global flood. In mentioning them, we are also told that “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”. Imagine that! Every thought was evil! Something extraordinary must have happened in order to reach this state of mind among all the people, and we have the answer right before our eyes in Gen. 6. Fallen angels came down to earth and caused these events to unfold.
The events recorded in Genesis 6 were understood by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint, as referring to fallen angels procreating weird hybrid offspring with human women – known as the nephilim. The same goes for the early church fathers. These bizarre events are also mentioned in legends of ancient cultures, like the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, as well as in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The book of Enoch which is referred to in the Bible (and the book of Jubilees, the book of Jasher, and other lost books) also describes the mix of angels and human beings, and even though this book is not canonized, it takes more faith to believe that the events in this book are NOT true – for no other reason than to save a certain doctrine.
Problems with the Sethite View
There is a claim that the passage in Genesis 6 refers to a failure to keep the faithful lines of Seth separated from the line of Cain. If the text was intended to contrast the sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain, why doesn’t it say so? It would have been very easy to describe the union as “the sons of Cain and the daughters of Seth“, but it says “sons of GOD” and “daughters of MEN” for a reason and we can understand the text exactly as it says. Why the resulting offspring (between ordinary human beings) is called the “Nephilim” is left without an explanation. Were not both Cain’s and Seth’s descendants of the same couple (Adam and Eve) and made up by the same type of genes? There is absolutely no reason for trying to keep the lines of Seth and Cain separate (actually the opposite since this would narrow down the gene pool), and there is no evidence for that all the descendants of Seth had a tendency to be godly, or that all the descendants of Cain had a tendency to be ungodly. Also, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were FAIR and they chose wives among them. Were all female descendants of Seth unattractive?
One objection to the idea of angels and human beings intermarrying each other, is due to Jesus words “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matt. 22:30). But Jesus is talking about after the resurrection, and he doesn’t mention what angels might do on earth. We already know that angels on earth can go for walks, eat, rest and talk, among other things. Abraham had a visit from angels in Genesis 17:1-20 and Genesis 18:1-16, and they behaved very much like human beings. It’s hard to imagine how angels appear in heaven but we know that the angelic encounters people have had on earth have always been in relation to male angels (or at least they appeared as such), so earthly angels can transform into what looks like human beings in male form. The men (old and young) in Sodom didn’t have a problem to identify the angels visiting Lot as being of the male gender. As I said earlier, we know that angels on earth can eat, and this might suggest that they might have saliva and all the inner organs necessary for digesting food. Why then wouldn’t they also be able to reproduce? Does it specifically say they can’t?
There is an interesting verse in Daniel which can make us ponder about the last days which will resemble the days of Noah. We already know that there are plenty of experiments made concerning mixing seeds from different animals which are not from the same species, and in Daniel we can read about mixed seeds between men and animals (?), but not through “cleaving one to another”. So maybe this is done in a lab? We can only speculate, but it’s good to be prepared.
Daniel 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves WITH THE SEED OF MEN: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
The future will resemble what happened before the flood.
Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so also it will be in the days of the Son of Man.
References about the sons of God in the New Testament
Peter’s and Jude’s comments below establish the time of the fall of these angels to the days of the Flood. What other sins could they have in mind but angels procreating with female human beings?:
2 Peter 2:4-5 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly
Jude 6,7 And the angels which KEPET NOT THEIR FIRST ESTATE, but LEFT THEIR HABITATION, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, 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.
1/3 of the angels are told to have followed Satan in his rebellion against God and believed to have been cast down on earth. That probably entails several thousand angels. Some of them seem to have made the decision to marry human beings and to produce children with them. How are we to understand the statement “going after strange flesh”, if not i relation to angels going after human flesh which would be totally unnatural for them? This seems to be exactly what Jude is talking about, and which confirms what we can read in Gen. 6. Maybe mixing with human beings was thought as a way for the Satanic angels to prevent the promised seed of the Messiah. We can only speculate why some angels (some sources say about 200 who landed on the mountain of Hermon) chose to take the step to intermix with human.
Both the book of Enoch and the book of Jasher are referred to in the Bible, and it’s more likely that the content is for the most part trustworthy than NOT trustworthy. These books describe the sons of God as angels, and so does the book of the Jubilees and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Jasher 4:18 And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.
Enoch 10:6 Uriel is told to“heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.
3 Maccabees 2:4 You destroyed those who in the past committed injustice, among whom were even giants who trusted in their strength and boldness, who you destroyed by bringing on them a boundless flood.
How could there be giants such as Goliath after the flood?
Nephiyl; a giant, feller, cast down, be judged, fugitive, thrown down, fallen, an abortion [Strong’s]
“There were Nephilim in the earth in those days, and also after that…”
In the OT we can read about God’s instructions to wipe out all people of certain tribes in the land of Canaan. Could it be that some of Noah’s sons married women who had a gene pool problem due to the mixture of angels and men prior to the flood? We can only speculate, but at least we know that some very tall people were living on earth also after the flood.
There are many names for these giants, and it’s hard to know exactly how these tribes intermarried each other and to which extent the offspring was affected by abnormalities when it comes to height. Nephilim, Rephaim, Anakim, Emim, Zuzim, Zamzumim, Horim, Zophim, Caphtorim, Gammadim, Seirim and Shedim. It seems further like God commanded the israelites to conquer and completely wipe out these unique giant tribes, which was a command that they did not totally adhere to. Their refusal to obey had the effect that they (offspring of the giants) continued to cause much violence and murder.
When the Bible tells us that giants were on earth “also after that” in Gen. 6, I don’t believe that even more sons of God came down to earth yet again to repeat the same actions which had led to that the previous sons of God were severely punished. This would definitely cause more risks to humanity – the very same that caused the mayhem before the flood. I rather believe that one or more of the wives of Noah’s sons carried the defected genes which might produce giants, which means that only some of Noah’s sons descendants inherited these genes. It looks like it was Ham’s lineage which was affected considering the names of Ham’s sons – especially his son Canaan. We recognize the same names in those tribes that God requested Israel to completely wipe out.
Gen. 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
Gen 14:5 5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim
Amos 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
Num. 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Deu 2:10 The Emim lived there in days gone by, a great and plentiful people, and tall as the Anakim 11 they are reckoned to be giants (rephaim), they too, like the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim.
Deu 2:20 That also is accounted a land of Rephaim: Rephaim dwelt therein aforetime; but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim 21 a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead
Deu 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. (15 feet! – or 9 feet depending on if you use the standard cubit or lower forearm cubit) 4,6 meter or 2,7 meter
Deu 9:2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, Who can stand before the sons of Anak?
Jos 11:21 At that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anah, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel. Joshua completely destroyed them with their cities. 22 There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only some remained in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.
Jos 12:4 and the border of Og king of Bashan, of the remnant of the Rephaim, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, 5 and ruled in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half Gilead, even unto the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
2 Sa 21:16 And Ishbibenob, who was of the sons of Rapha the giant, the weight of his spear being threehundred bronze shekels in weight, and was girded with a new sword, even he said to strike David.—18 And it happened after this that the battle was again in Gob of the Philistines. Then Sibbechaithe Hushathite struck Saph, who was among the sons of Rapha. 19 And again the battle was in Gob with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite struck one of Goliath the Gittite, and the wood of his spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And again the battle was in Gath, and there was a man of stature, and the fingers of his hands were six, and the fingers of his feet six, twenty four in number. And he also had been born to Rapha 21 And he cursed Israel; and Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, struck him. 22 These four here born to Rapha the giant in Gath. And they fell by the hand of David, by the hand of his servants.
1 Sa 17:4 And a champion (iysh habaniym…man between two camps referring to half man half angel descendancy) came out from the armies of the Philistines, Goliath was his name, from Gath; his height was six cubits and a span. 5 And a bronze helmet was on his head, and he was clothed with scaled body armor; and the weight of the armor was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And a covering of bronze was on his legs, and a javelin of bronze between his shoulders. 7 And the wood of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and the blade of his spear weighed sixhundred shekels of iron. And the shield bearer went before him
1 Chron. 20:6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and sixon each foot and HE ALSO WAS THE SON OF A GIANT.
A similar word for “nephilim” is found in the below verse where it concerns dead philistine warriors:
Ezekiel 32:27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen (naphal) of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
I’ve included some pictures of individuals with elongated heads in this article, and this too seems to be a feature for some people who lived during those days, and maybe particularly giants? Or perhaps this trait only concerned giants? On top of this, some accounts tell us that another feature might be 6 fingers and 6 toes, as well as a double row of teeth. Some people might want to explain the elongated skulls that have been found by suggesting that it’s due to head binding, but this wouldn’t explain why the skulls that have been found are also much larger. Head bindings doesn’t cause the head to grow in volume. We do know that head binding did occur within some tribes in the old age, and the question is why this was popular? Could it be that elongated heads were considered to be an admirable feature because of the famous gods, demigods and some of the early pharaohs who happened to have this particular feature? The Greek mythology, and other stories tell us about various gods who were giants and who never seem to grow old and die (eventually they did), but these individuals who were labelled gods, titans, etc were likely in reference to people who lived before the flood, or just after the flood.