Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Did Angels Marry Women Before the Flood?
Few texts in the history of Bible interpretation have aroused more curiosity and divergence of opinion than Genesis 6:1-4. We read of the “sons of God,” the "daughters of men" and “giants” who perished in the flood -- who were they? Were the "sons of God" angels who cohabited with the women of the land? Did they have offspring called nephilim who were giants in the land? How does the Book of Enoch figure in all of this? Is this nothing but pagan mythology, or is the Bible account really historical?
by John D. Keyser
Thousands of people are being deceived by fables and superstitions that masquerade under the guise of truth. Most “modern” interpretations of those “sons of God,” “mighty men” and “giants” are really age-old fables! Instead of just accepting human interpretations without proof, let’s search the Scriptures for the Biblical answer. Were the antediluvians angels who married women and produced giants? Or were they, perhaps, pious children of Seth? Is it scientific to believe there ever were giants, or nephilim as they are called in the Hebrew?
Background to Genesis 6
1). Genesis 4:3-4 discuss the offering of sacrifices by Cain and Abel. Cain offered an unacceptable sacrifice to YEHOVAH God, for it is recorded that the LORD had no respect for Cain’s offering (vs. 5). In verses six and seven, YEHOVAH reproached Cain for the inadequacy of his sacrifice, and admonished him to “do well.” It appears, however, that Cain did not react to such guidance with a penitent attitude, for he murdered Abel (vs. 8).
2). YEHOVAH’s response was to exile Cain (vss. 12-16) to a land away from his parents. The generations of Cain, which are listed in verses 17-24, include Lamech, who had already committed polygamy and boasted of his violence (vss. 23-24).
3). Meanwhile, Adam and Eve bore another son of note named Seth. With the arrival of Seth and his son Enosh (4:26a) there was now a renewed spirit of devotion toward YEHOVAH God. Seth’s descendants (5:6-32) included Enoch, who was truly righteous (5:24). The concept of “walking with God” means that Enoch was in spiritual communion and favor with YEHOVAH God.
4). Finally, Lamech is seen to rejoice in the birth of his son Noah, in whom he saw the hope of comfort in their work and toil (5:29). Later, Noah became the one who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (6:8). But the state of affairs had reached such a point that when YEHOVAH God viewed Adamic mankind, He was grieved over the total wickedness and unrepentant state into which the people had fallen (6:5). Noah is instructed by YEHOVAH God to prepare a means of rescuing a component of Adamic humanity from a flood that will destroy all Adamic life on the land (6:17). What changed the spiritual condition of those in the land to such a degree that YEHOVAH God would bring about a destruction of the land by means of a flood?
Bible Definitions of “Sons of God”
The Bible employs the phrase “sons of God” in several ways. Therefore we must have adequate Scriptural proof before we can be sure which Bible definition is intended in the sixth chapter of Genesis. People always want to pick the definition they want to believe rather than what YEHOVAH God intends to reveal! Maybe that’s what you, without realizing it, have been doing all these years.
Here are the Bible usages.
FIRST, if one has received and is led by the spirit of YEHOVAH God (Romans 8:14) , then he is now a begotten son of YEHOVAH God (I John 3:1). Many verses in the New Testament explain that the Adamic human being is not a BEGOTTEN son of YEHOVAH until guided and filled with the holy spirit -- which is the DIVINE NATURE and LIFE of YEHOVAH God (II Peter 1:4).
SECOND, Adamic human beings are called “sons of God" regardless of their spiritual condition. We of Israel are all the sons of YEHOVAH God by the second creation and the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7; Malachi 2:10).
THIRD, in the book of Job, YEHOVAH God calls angels “sons of God” because they were created by Him. Notice it. “All the sons of God shouted for joy” when YEHOVAH God was laying the earth’s foundation (Job 38:5-7). This was long before there were any human beings. Adam, who was of the second creation, was created much later (Genesis 2:7).
Although angels are called “sons of God” because they are created by YEHOVAH God, they can never become begotten sons of YEHOVAH God as can Adamic human beings (Hebrews 1:5). Since the Bible uses the expression “sons of God” in these various ways, we must study all the Scriptures before determining which one is the correct Biblical interpretation.
WHO Were the Giants?
Beside “sons of God,” Moses wrote that there were giants or nephilim in the earth in those days. Many modernists, who reject the inspiration of Scripture, assume that belief in giants is a relic of past superstitious ages. The present age is supposedly free from superstition! Others, however, assume this historical record teaches that giants or nephilim were the progeny of angels and women. But let’s not assume. Let’s find the facts. Notice what Moses was inspired to write. Long before the flood occurred, giants existed on the earth “and also AFTER THAT, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men...” So the giants were not the progeny of those marriages. They lived before the marriages occurred.
The progeny of those marriages were not the giants, but “mighty men, which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4).
Because the Septuagint translates the word nephilim as "giant" -- and the King James Version of the Bible carried this definition through -- the majority of scholars are inclined to believe that these were indeed men of gigantic stature. This is consistent with the only other occurrence of the word in Numbers 13:33, where the returning spies describe themselves as being "grasshoppers" by comparison with the nephilim. The word itself is generally considered to be derived from the verb naphal -- meaning "to fall." From this some so-called experts take a huge leap and interpret nephilim to mean "those fallen from heaven" -- in reference to their supposed angelic origins. Thus, according to this line of illogical thinking, the nephilim are thought to be a fantastic race of beings because they are assumed to be the offspring of the mythological marriages described in verse 2 of Genesis 6!
Or, extrapolating in the reverse direction, it is argued that the "sons of God" must be angels because the word nephilim means fallen from heaven! In either case no one proposes that Goliath, or the sons of Anak, had angelic forebears -- so WHY suggest it here? Note that the "from heaven" part has to be provided artificially. In fact, the New Hebrew and English Lexicon by Brown, Driver and Briggs provide several definitions, including to fall by accident -- by violent death; in prostration -- upon (attack), and others.
According to the Bible dictionary Insight On the Scriptures, the word nephilim is defined as follows --
"(Neph'i.lim) [Fellers; Those Who Cause [Others] to Fall Down]. This is a transliteration of the Hebrew word nephi.lim', plural in its three occurrences in the Bible. (Ge 6:4; Nu 13:33 [twice]) It evidently stems from the causative form of the Hebrew word na.phal' (fall) as found, for example, in 2 Kings 3:19; 19:7" (Vol. 2, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of NY, Inc. 1988, page 491).
While it is clear that a tribe of tall people lived in those days, they were NOT the offspring of the marriages or liaisons mentioned in verses 2 and 4. The nephilim, as a people, were also violent attackers, invaders and the like -- based on the idea that naphal should be interpreted as "to fall upon." Moses noted that these men lived prior to the flood and also AFTERWARD in the land of Canaan -- which, in itself, indicates that Noah and his family weren't the only ones who made it through the flood. (Send for our article, Did Noah's Flood Cover the Highest Mountains?).
In the antediluvian world the Sethites may well have become warlike as part of their assimilation into the Cainites through the marriages mentioned in Genesis 6:2 and 4 or, perhaps, they were subjugated by tyrants. So one should consider not so much the FACT of the nephilim -- but the EFFECT they may have had on the population. Moses, writing through YEHOVAH's inspiration, is more than likely making a comparison between the influence of the godless (which could include the nephilim) BEFORE the flood and their influence AFTER the flood when the Israelites were trying to occupy the Promised Land. The result in the case of the former was a flood that emptied the land and, in the latter case, YEHOVAH's people were condemned to forty years' wandering in the wilderness. On each of these occasions it seems evident that these fierce warriors of large stature caused the faithful to loose faith through lack of courage -- rather than trusting in YEHOVAH God and acting according to His will.
It is preferable, we believe, to seek an explanation that takes into account MORE than the mere existence and physical attributes of the giants mentioned in Genesis 6:4. Instead, we need to examine the first two chapters of Genesis to come to a correct understanding.
Startling Evidence Proves Giants Existed
This will come as a surprise -- yes, a shock, to most of you. The remains of those giants and mighty men have been found by geologists and archeologists! Once and for all time, the accusation that Bible history is untrustworthy is disproved. It is religious superstition and evolutionary theory that are the fables!
Much of the evidence about pre-flood life can be found in an easy-to-read book entitled, Mankind So Far, by William Howells. Although written by an evolutionist, this book contains facts which substantiate the historical account in Genesis. The author did not understand the evidence he found, because he rejected the Bible revelation and invented his own theories.
Most every child has heard of the cave-men or the Neanderthals. Far from being sub-men, they were the giants of old. Here is what Howells says of them:
“The Neanderthal brain was most positively and definitely not smaller than our own; indeed, and this is rather a bitter pill, it appears to have been perhaps a little larger. The middle-aged man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints had a brain whose volume was about 1,625 cubic centimeters, which is a figure that only a fraction of modern European men can match...” (pp. 165-166).
“A skull of the Neanderthals has a characteristic and striking form. It is huge and thick. It considerably exceeds that of any modern type both in length and in breadth..." (pp. 166).
Far from being “half-way up from the ape,” these giants who roamed the earth possessed a “squat, heavily built physique of great strength”; their “teeth were robust and somewhat larger than ours, but not more primitive” (p. 168).
‘‘...the excellence of their stone working, which was as good as anything which had yet been achieved...” was amazing. Their characteristic tool was the fist ax ”so heavy as to be surprising, for the men of the age were surely not monsters.” (pp. 164, 118). Not monsters?
But the facts prove it! The Bible says so. “There were giants in the earth in those days!”
They were divided into several races, being scattered over much of Europe, North Africa and parts of Russia. The Bible does not give their specific origin other than they must have been descendants of the pre-Adamic creation (Genesis 1:26-27). While Genesis 1:9 proves the possibility that they roamed the earth before the creation of Adam, they appeared in the biblical record in the days soon after Adam and before the flood -- “in those days.” Undoubtedly they were biological mutations.
In Rhodesia, Africa, a skull has been found of the same general type which is “really colossal in size...” (Mankind So Far, p. 176).
The Heidelberg jaw is also immense.
The Wajak skulls of the Australian area also have a large brain and heavy bone construction. Few skulls of much the same sort (and date) have come to light in South Africa; the important ones being the Florisbad, Fish, Hock, Boskop, and Springbok Flats crania. They are all old and big. “This is especially true of the enormous Boskop skull (with a capacity of perhaps 1,800 cubic centimeters)” (pp. 191-192).
In old river gravels near Bathurst, NSW, Australia, huge stone artifacts -- clubs, pounders, adzes, chisels, knives and hand axes -- all of tremendous weight, lie scattered over a wide area. These weigh anything from 8, 10, 15, to 21 and 25 pounds, implements which only men of tremendous proportions could possibly have made and used. Estimates for the actual size of these men range from 10 to 12 feet tall and over, weighing from 500 to 600 lbs.
Even during David’s time the Bible speaks of giants such as Goliath, who may have measured 10 feet tall, and who carried armor weighing 180 pounds, as well as a spear whose head alone weighed 21 pounds. Goliath had several children who are mentioned in 2 Samuel 21, who were later slain by Abashai and Elhanan. Goliath’s brother had a "spear which was like the staff of a weaver’s beam," and one of his sons "was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number" (2 Samuel 21:20).
Near Braytown, on the headwaters of the Tennessee river in the United States, were found some remarkable footprints impressed in what is now solid rock. The tracks included those of a human heel ball thirteen inches wide! The marks clearly showed that the fellow whose stride in that distant day turned to stone had six toes on each foot (Source: Stranger Than Science by Frank Edwards).
In the late 1950s, during road construction in the Euphrates Valley of south-east Turkey, many tombs containing the remains of giants were uncovered. At the sites the leg bones were measured to be 47.24 inches. Joe Taylor, Director of Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum, was commissioned to sculpt the human femur. This giant stood some 14-16 ft tall. Deuteronomy 3:11 states that the bed of Og, king of Bashan, was 9 cubits by 4 cubits (approximately 14 ft long by 6 ft wide). In his book Fossils Facts & Fantasies Joe Taylor cites several accounts of giant human skeletons or depictions being discovered, from Egypt, Italy, Patagonia in Argentina, and the western US. The largest humans in recent history are like Robert Wadlow of Alton, IL (who was just under 9ft tall) who died in 1940.
Did Violence Fill the Earth?
The record in Genesis says that YEHOVAH God, in mercy, destroyed the land to save Adamic man from himself. Evil and violence filled the land. Archeologists have found proof of the violence that filled the earth in those days. In the Ofnet cave of Bavaria, Germany, “were discovered thirty-three skulls all huddled together in a circle. Their owners had each been killed by a stone ax, and all the heads had been cut off and buried together in this fashion” (Mankind So Far, p. 226).
In China the bones of ancients were discovered to have been “split lengthwise in a fashion which no animal can manage, but which has been used by man to get at the marrow of a bone in other times and places” (p. 149). Cannibalism!
Many skulls of Neanderthal men show plain evidence of having been opened by chisel-type instruments; having obvious tool marks around the hole in the skull. Had the hole in the skull been caused by a dull instrument, such as a stone axe or bludgeon, it would have been broken and splintered, and crushed inward. But the skulls are intact except for a fairly neat, round hole. This presents proof of cannibalism, where severed heads were thrown into a fire, and a hole cut into the skull to access the cooked brain inside. Many such skulls, along with other large bones of the human body, have been found in the remains of ancient fire circles.
Neanderthal violence is highlighted in a recent report by BBC News Online --
"Evidence has emerged to suggest the Neanderthals had a war-mongering nature. The early hunter-gatherers got into fights and used weapons, according to the results of a study of a skeleton uncovered in French caves. A crack in the skull of the 36,000-year-old Neanderthal was caused by a sharp tool, say anthropologists.
"Scientists are tracing back the origins of sophistication
They think another Neanderthal or an early modern human attacked the young adult.
The Neanderthal survived but would have had to be nursed by other members of the tribe.
The findings indicate that the contemporaries of early modern humans were more sophisticated than their popular "caveman" image suggests.
They would have needed social skills and organised networks to take part in armed conflict.
It may have been a crucial factor in the evolution of Neanderthal and human behaviour, say scientists in Switzerland and France.
The evidence comes from a computer-aided reconstruction of the skull of a Neanderthal found near the village of St Cesaire in 1979.
Dr Christoph Zollikofer of the University of Zurich and colleagues say a healed cranial fracture shows the Neanderthal was hit by a sharp tool or weapon.
'These findings add to the evidence that Neanderthals used implements not only for hunting and food processing, but also in other behavioural contexts,' they report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
They say the potential for violence might have spurred the evolution of social behaviour.
Neanderthal social groups gave support to their members
"Prof. Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum
Professor Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum, London, UK, is an expert on the origins of humans.
He says several Neanderthal skeletons showing signs of injury have been uncovered in the past.
But to his knowledge injury by another 'person' can be implicated in only one other find -- a healed wound to a rib on a Neanderthal from Shanidar Cave, Iraq.
Professor Stringer told BBC News Online: 'In both these cases the individuals survived long enough for the wound to heal, suggesting that Neanderthal social groups gave support to their members.
'Given that this is one of the most recent Neanderthals known, it is even theoretically possible that the weapon used was wielded by a contemporary Cro-Magnon [earliest anatomically modern human],' he added.
'But it is much more likely that the injury was caused by another Neanderthal.'" (BBC News, April 22, 2002.)
The violence wasn't confined to the pre-Adamic man only, but also became prevalent amongst Adamic man -- see Genesis 4:8 and 6:5.
Evidence of the Mighty Men of Old
In Genesis 6:5 (equivalent to 6:4 in other versions) of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, we find the following:
"Now the giants were upon the earth in those days; and after that when the sons of God were wont to go in to the daughters of men, they bore children to them, those were the GIANTS of old, the men of renown."
Unfortunately, the word "GIANTS" in the last part of the above verse is a translation from the original Greek which, in turn, was a BAD translation from the Hebrew, and should read "mighty ones." There are TWO different Hebrew words involved here: The word "giants" in the first part of the verse is translated from the Hebrew word nephilim, while the word "GIANTS" in the last part of the verse comes from the Hebrew word gibbor -- meaning "mighty one," "valiant man," "warrior" or "tyrant."
Explains Kaiser, Davids, Bruce and Brauch --
"The word gibborim comes from gibbor, meaning 'a mighty man of valor, strength, wealth or power.' Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8, was such a gibbor. He also was clearly a king in the land of Shinar. Hence the meaning...is NOT 'giants,' but something more like 'princes,' 'aristocrats' or 'great men'" (Hard Sayings of the Bible, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. 1996, p. 108).
With this in mind, the above verse from the Septuagint should read:
"Now the giants [nephilim] were upon the earth in those days; and after that when the sons of God were wont to go in to the daughters of men, they bore children to them, those were the MIGHTY ONES [gibborim] of old, the men of renown."
So the offspring from the union between the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" were the mighty ones or men of valor -- NOT the nephilim giants!
The remains of the mighty men of renown -- men of great ability and exploits -- are quite different from the giants. Here is what Howells has found:
“Over such a large population rose rulers of yet unheard-of power, able to construct temples and palaces. And through all this ran knowledge, writing, and mathematics. That was the Bronze Age. Before 3,000 B.C. there arose the Indian cities, Mohenjodaro, Harappa, and others in the Indus Valley, and Kish and the Sumerian Ur in Mesopotamia” (Mankind So Far, p. 230).
It is significant that these cities perished by water according to archeologists!
But why should people today be so much smaller and less powerful? The answer is found in a statement by Howells on page 226,
“There were some groups of people in Egypt and the Near East who were long headed but had the lighter-boned, smaller skulls of men of today.”
Noah lived in the Near East. He was the progenitor of some of the nations that exist today. He undoubtedly came from this stock -- the Adamic line group that did not have the greatest physical strength and stature! YEHOVAH God could use him in His ministry because he was willing to humble himself -- there was nothing humanly great of which he could be proud.
The same today. Not many great and mighty in this world are called. They do not yield themselves to the great power of YEHOVAH God. They rely, like the ancients, on their own strength -- never acknowledging that even such strength was given to them by YEHOVAH at birth. Let us take this lesson to heart!
Since we have the historical facts in mind, let’s look at the record Moses gave. Who were those “sons of God” who married and reproduced the mighty men?
Were those “Sons of God” Angels?
People often quote II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 as proof that the pre-flood sons of YEHOVAH God were angels. Let’s notice what Peter said: “God spared not the angels that sinned, but...delivered them into chains of darkness...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; AND turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes (II Peter 2 : 4-6).
Notice that there are three distinct, three different punishments. YEHOVAH God cast down the angels and degraded them to chains of spiritual darkness before He destroyed the antediluvian world. The punishment of the angels was not at the flood. It was at a prior, a DIFFERENT time.
The sin of the angels was not descending to the earth to marry women. They sinned by leaving the earth which was their estate, to rival YEHOVAH God in heaven!
They were cast back to the earth (Jude. 6; Isaiah 14:13-14).
The interpretation that the "sons of God" were angels is inconsistent both contextually and doctrinally, and the definition is totally unnecessary. The KEY to this passage in Genesis is to determine its relationship to the characteristics of the antediluvian generations described in preceding chapters -- and the ensuing judgment in the form of Noah's flood.
As the authors of Hard Sayings of the Bible point out,
"some, however, will appeal to the New Testament passages of 1 Peter 3:18-20, 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6-7 for further support of the angel theory. But these passages DO NOT say anything about angelic marriages. To argue from the phrase 'in a similar way' in Jude 7 that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is the same as the sin of Genesis 6:1-4 CLAIMS TOO MUCH, for the sin of sodomy is not the same thing as marrying a wife from another part of the universe! In fact, 'in a similar way' does not compare the sin of the angels with the sin of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah; instead, it compares the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah with the sins of 'the cities about them' (that is, Admah and Zeboiim; see Deut. 29:23 and Hos. 11:8). Thus the sins of Jude's angels (Jude 6) and the sins of the five cities of the plain (Jude 7) are held up as warnings of the judgment that could come to others" (page 107).
There is a great difference between the CREATION event described in Genesis chapter one and the FORMING event described in Genesis chapter two. It is common practice for most Christians to assume that chapter two is simply a rehash of chapter one -- with additional information provided. But when we take a close look at the differences between the two events in the two chapters, it becomes almost impossible to believe that they are describing the same event.
If you were to ask almost any Christian who the first human being was, they would inevitably answer that it was Adam -- and that the two accounts in Genesis reflected that. There are, however, some Christians out there who DO NOT believe that Adam (and Eve) were the first two humans created by YEHOVAH God. They believe that on the sixth creation day YEHOVAH God created humankind, while on the eighth creation day (the time following YEHOVAH's day of rest) He specifically created Adam and Eve.
In the first creation story, humans are created AFTER the other animals.
In the second story, humans were created BEFORE the other animals.
In the first creation story, the first man and woman were created SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Then, in the second account, the man was created FIRST, THEN the animals, THEN the woman from the man's rib.
From this sequence alone there is no way Genesis 2 could be a re-run of Genesis 1. Some take the view that, on a weight of evidence basis, there is more to say that Adam (as we use the word) was the first spiritual man, but not the first biological man. In other words, YEHOVAH God took one man from the Genesis 1 creation and breathed into him the breath of life. “And man became a living soul” -- (Genesis 2:7). The word “became” is consistently used in a manner showing that the subject became something that it had not been before.
The most important difference between the mankind of Genesis 1:26 and Adam in Genesis 2:7 is that Adam received the Breath of YEHOVAH God in his nostrils. Later, when the procreative power of Abram and Sara was regenerated, the spirit of YEHOVAH God was embedded in their genes -- memorialized by the addition of the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet to their names. Salvation requires that the individual believes YEHOVAH God and that belief is a function of the indwelling spirit, NOT of the natural flesh -- as the Messiah said to Nicodemus "what is spirit is spirit." Hence there was no point in the Messiah dying for people who do not have the indwelling spirit and hence no ability to comprehend and believe the things of the spirit.
From Adam to Abraham, Adam’s pure line contained the breath of spiritual life (see Job 33:4), so where did the people come from who did not have the breath of life? These men and women originated from the Genesis 1 creation. Through misgenerative activity -- (i.e. race mixing) -- racial pollution was introduced to the bloodstream of the sons of Adam, and we find that YEHOVAH God sought to eliminate the products of such activity. Noah was “pure in his generations” (Genesis 6:9), and so he and his unmixed family were preserved. Later, the Children of Israel were to destroy the mixed breed of the Canaanites. These could not receive the things of the spirit of YEHOVAH God. They could not witness in their spirit and say, "the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16), as an Israelite is able to do. This principle is a continuing theme in the Bible.
Through Abraham and Sarah, YEHOVAH God established the basis for Abraham’s seed to become the Sons of YEHOVAH God (John 1:12). YEHOVAH was making a new beginning with Abraham. None other than the seed of Abraham, through the son of promise, Isaac, has this opportunity or potential. Abraham’s seven other sons did not have this potential -- because they were born prior to Isaac. The descendants of Isaac were begotten of the spirit from their conception. This is why those among Isaac’s descendants who believe are regarded as being anointed by the spirit (Galatians 3:16).
Many survived the Flood; and since it was only the land in which the wicked Adamites lived that was flooded, this makes complete sense. Many of the races created in the first creation account of Genesis 1 were not affected by Noah's Flood, and although the weather patterns of the earth were greatly changed by the falling of the band of water surrounding the earth, these races continued to grow and expand over the face of the earth.
The "sons of God" were those of the line of Adam who rejected YEHOVAH's laws and increased in wickedness and "corrupted their way on the land" (Genesis 6:12). The "daughters of men" were those of the sixth-day creation (Genesis 1:26-28) whom "the sons of God saw...were beautiful; and they [the sons of God] took wives for themselves of all whom they chose" in disregard of YEHOVAH's instructions regarding racial separation and purity.
While interpreting "sons of God" as angelic beings may at first seem an obvious and attractive option, this view CANNOT be substantiated with regard to the TOTAL biblical teaching on angels. Neither does it provide a satisfactory explanation in the context of the first few chapters of Genesis.
Angels Not at Liberty to Marry
The wicked angels who followed Satan were in chains of darkness imprisoned by their own folly (Jude 6). Remember, the Bible reveals that angels are created spirits (Hebrews 1:14). They are not mortal flesh like humans. In I Peter 3:19, 20 we read of spirits -- angels -- not human beings, but angels who were imprisoned, bound -- when? “When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing.”
Notice it! Before the flood destroyed the land, while the ark was still under construction, the angels who are spirits, were already imprisoned, “in hell“ -- tartaroo -- not at liberty to co-habit with human women!
It is a fable that angels were imprisoned as a result of the flood.
Not only does Peter disprove the theory that fallen angels were at liberty to marry women, but the Messiah also disproves it. The Messiah said in three places that angels do NOT MARRY. Angels are created spirits and do not reproduce by sexual intercourse or any other means (Luke 20:36; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:35).
Confirm Kaiser, Davids, Bruce and Brauch --
"Nowhere else in Scripture are we told that angels married humans. In fact, our Lord specifically stated that angels DO NOT marry (Mk 12:25). And though the Septuagint translated the expression as being equivalent to 'angels,' it is in fact only the Alexandrian manuscript that does so. The critical edition by Alfred Rahlfs does not reflect the angelic interpretation" (Hard Sayings of the Bible, pages 106-107).
Angels cannot co-habit with women and reproduce because angels and humans are two different kinds of beings.
YEHOVAH God set laws in motion that each produces after its own kind (Genesis 1).
Two different Biblical kinds cannot gender sexually. This is one of the most thoroughly established laws of science. YEHOVAH God did not make it possible for angels to reproduce with human beings.
He did not intend to beget angels as His sons (Hebrews 1:5). Beside, nowhere in the Bible do we find that degraded angels have the power to manifest themselves in the form of human beings -- a power now possessed only by righteous angels who serve YEHOVAH God.
Originated in Paganism
The doctrine that angels married women is not new. It came from garbled heathen traditions. Jewish fables which Paul condemned also contain the same superstitions. Where did they acquire them? From the Babylonians!
The Gentiles who once knew the truth, turned it into a lie (Romans 1:25). They confused the sins of angels, which occurred before Adam’s creation, with the sins of men during the days of Noah, thus producing the garbled tradition that the “gods” had intercourse with women. It was from contact with such Babylonian traditions that the Jews received their fables. See any Biblical encyclopedia for this information. It is time that Christians come out of this Babylonian superstition and believe what the Bible really teaches.
The Book of Enoch is given credit by misguided religious "prophets" as the "earliest interpretation" of Genesis 6:1 through 6:5, and the early "Christians" such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Origen and Clement of Alexandria are supposed to have been influenced by these writings. Even the apostles Jude and Peter are purported to refer to the Book of Enoch as if it was inspired Scripture.
Relates Kaiser, Davids, Bruce and Brauch in Hard Sayings of the Bible --
"The pseudepigraphal and noncanonical 1 Enoch, dating from around 200 B.C., claims in 6:1-7:6 that two hundred angels in heaven, under the leadership of Semayaz, noticed that the humans had unusually beautiful daughters. These they desired for themselves, so they took a mutual oath to go down to earth together, and each took a wife. They taught these wives magical medicine, incantations, the cutting of roots and the care of plants. When the women became pregnant, they gave birth to giants that reached three hundred cubits [450 feet!!!]. The giants in turn consumed all the food, thereby arousing the deep hatred of the earthlings. The giants turned to devouring the people along with the birds, wild beasts, reptiles and fish. Then it was that the earth, having had enough of these huge bullies, brought an accusation against them" (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. 1996, page 106).
However, the validity of the Book of Enoch is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE -- and its interpretation obviously CANNOT be given credence as the inspired Word of YEHOVAH God for the following reasons:
1). While the book may be named after Enoch, it was NOT written by him! In fact, it was probably written by a NUMBER OF PEOPLE in early-Maccabean to late pre-Christian times. The Book of Enoch is believed to reflect events surrounding the Maccabean revolt -- and was used extensively by the Essenes, as evidenced by the findings at Qumran.
2). Because of the inconsistencies and contradictions that fill the Book of Enoch -- and other pseudepigraphal books -- their canonicity was neither accepted by the New Testament authors nor the early Church Fathers. Jude 14-15 may be a reference to the Book of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses, but the latter cannot be checked because the book no longer exists and its origin is unknown. However, such usage by inspired authors DOES NOT prove the inspiration of non-biblical sources! Some New Testament scholars have noted that Paul quoted from the Greek poets Aratus, Menander and Epimenides -- but this was obviously done for preaching purposes in order to increase his outreach to his audience. It should be noted that neither Paul nor Jude uses the quotes in the manner of "it is written" or "the Scriptures say."
In further support of the "angel" explanation, writers who claim to have scholarly expertise quote Jude 6-7 and II Peter 4-5 -- both of which discuss rebellious angels and their consignment to a dark prison until the day of judgment. It is apparent, however, that if Jude and Peter are referring to Genesis 6, it is ONLY on the prior assumption that the latter passage is, in fact, about fallen angels. It is a FACT that these New Testament scriptures NOWHERE refer to angels being involved in earthly marriages and having children. Even if one should suggest that the word "these" in Jude 7 has its precedent in verse 6 (which may not be a correct interpretation), the passage CLEARLY refers to fornication and homosexuality, whereas Genesis 6:2 refers to PROPER MARRIAGE.
Not only that, but other parts of the Book of Enoch DO NOT include the marriage element in the stories surrounding the fall of angels. It is, therefore, INCONSISTENT to say that Jude is attempting to teach doctrine from one part of Enoch while ignoring contradictions in other parts. Peter and Jude are NOT condoning the stories in the Book of Enoch, and "give no credence to these fables of a Jewish Gnosticizing tradition" (Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary On the Old Testament, 1:131).
Note the authors of Hard Sayings of the Bible --
"The famous Jewish historian Josephus (born 37 B.C.) also appears to follow this angel theory. He wrote, 'Many angels accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust' (Antiquities 1.3.1). Likewise, the Greek translation of the Bible of the third century B.C. reads 'angels of God' in Genesis 6:2. In spite of the antiquity of the cosmologically mixed races view, there are such OVERWHELMING PROBLEMS with it that it is NOT recommended as the solution to this problem" (page 106).
"To allege that 'giants' were the result of such sexual unions," argue Kaiser, Davids, Bruce and Brauch, "is ONCE AGAIN to go beyond any data we possess in Scripture. Did the angels procreate without the use of natural bodies? Or did they already possess natural bodies? Or did they create for themselves natural bodies by the use of some mysterious, intrinsic, but rebellious power? Any and all answers to such questions would be purely speculative. To use extracanonical evidence," they conclude, "such as 1 Enoch as a witness against or even for Scripture would be UNPRECEDENTED" (ibid., p. 107).
The True Answer
Years after the flood there was recorded for us in the book of Job a description of antediluvian life (Job 22:15-18). Notice what the narrator says! “Hast thou marked the old way which wicked MEN have trodden?” Did you notice it! The scripture says “men,” not angels. Men, Adamic human beings, say to YEHOVAH God “Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? Yet he filled their houses with good things.”
They were self-sufficient, unregenerate sinners of the Adamic line who had no fear of YEHOVAH God. They were like human beings today. They didn’t believe in a flood. But fallen angels fear YEHOVAH God and tremble. They know the just judgment of YEHOVAH against their evil deeds (James 2:29). The angels knew YEHOVAH God would bring a flood.
Now read Genesis 6:3. The “sons of God” took wives, “The ETERNAL said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.” Here again the sons of YEHOVAH God are called “men.” Because the sons of YEHOVAH God lusted after women, YEHOVAH said, “I will destroy [Adamic] man whom I have made from the face of the earth [land]” (verse 7).
Not one word about angels!
With the outpouring of the flood “all flesh [in the land] died...AND EVERY [ADAMIC] MAN” -- with the exception of Noah and his family (Genesis 7:21-23).
Attempts to equate Genesis 6:2 with the fall of angels VIOLATES Scripture in every possible way -- apart from the violence done to Jude and Peter! An explanation can be acceptable ONLY if it is logically consistent with the biblical teaching on angels. This is summed up by the following --
1). Prior to Genesis 6:1-4, no mention is made of angels -- not even their creation (although this does not mean to say they were not included in the acts of creation in Genesis 1).
2). The Messiah taught (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25 and Luke 20:34) that angels NEITHER MARRY NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE. Now while they often take on a male form while acting as messengers of YEHOVAH God on Earth, they do NOT function as physical or sexual beings. Angels have been observed to eat (Genesis 18:8 and 19:3), but this is a FAR CRY from breeding! This was obviously for purposes of courtesy rather than for sustenance. It is impossible to imagine how angels could have acquired TOTALLY NEW characteristics merely by virtue of their fall. Interpretations of Genesis 6 aside, there is NO instance of angel/human interbreeding in the Bible.
3). The judgment in Genesis 6:3 refers specifically to the ADAMIC MEN -- the "sons of God" -- NOT angels!
4). Angels are NEVER called "sons of God" in Genesis -- or anywhere else in the Pentateuch.
5). The reference to angels as "sons of God" in Job 1:6 is CONTRASTED with Satan. GOOD spiritual beings are thereby contrasted with EVIL spiritual beings -- NOT with earthly beings. Also, it is incongruent to suggest that Satan's minions -- the demons -- should be described as sons of YEHOVAH God in the same manner as angels are described in Job. As a result, the "sons of 'elohim" comparison between Job and Genesis should NOT be viewed as a direct analogy.
6). The Alexandrine text of the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint) translates bene-ha'elohim as "angels of God" -- which certainly demonstrates the pervading view of Jews (Judahites) in Alexandria during the third century B.C. However -- and note this carefully -- OTHER VERSIONS read "sons of God" in Genesis 6:1-2 while NEARLY ALL versions read "angels of God" in Job 1:6, 2:1 and 38:7. So if any power of definition is ascribed to the Septuagint at all, it would seem to CONTRADICT the claims concerning the consensus of Jewish opinion -- some of whom obviously thought that Genesis 6 did NOT refer to angels.
7). Even more serious is the problem of WHY judgment should fall on the humans and on the earth IF the angels of heaven were the cause of the trouble. YEHOVAH God should have flooded heaven -- not earth! If the culprits came from above, the women seem to have been doing nothing except being beautiful!
Why Called “Sons of God”
Philo the Jew understood the spiritual component of "the Breath of life" when he wrote:
"But he [Moses] asserts that the FORMATION of the individual man [Adam], perceptible by the external senses is A COMPOSITION OF EARTHY SUBSTANCE, AND DIVINE SPIRIT. For that body [of Adam] was created by the Creator [YEHOVAH God] taking a lump of clay, and fashioning the human form out of it; but that the soul proceeds from NO created thing at all, but from the Father and Ruler of all things.
"For when he [Moses] uses the expression, 'He breathed into,' etc., he [Moses] MEANS NOTHING ELSE THAN THE DIVINE SPIRIT proceeding from that happy and blessed nature [YEHOVAH God], sent to take up its habitation here on earth [in Adam and his descendants], FOR THE ADVANTAGE OF OUR [ISRAELITE] RACE, in order that, even if man is mortal according to that portion of him which is visible, he may at all events be [eventually] IMMORTAL according to that portion which is invisible; and for this reason, one may properly say that man is on the boundaries of a better and an immortal nature [after the resurrection], partaking of each as far as it is necessary for him; and that he [man -- descendants of Adam -- Israelites] was born at the same time, both mortal and immortal.
"Mortal as to his body, but immortal [eventually] as to his intellect" (The Works of Philo, translated by C. D. Yonge. "On the Creation, XLVI (134-135)).
Continuing in his discussion of the Breath of Life, Philo makes the following comments:
"...for there must be three things, that which breathes in, that which receives what is breathed in, and that which is breathed in. Now that which breathes in IS GOD, that which receives what is breathed in is THE MIND [of Adam], and that which is breathed in is THE SPIRIT. What then is collected from these three things? A UNION OF THREE takes place, through God extending THE POWER, which proceeds from Himself THROUGH THE SPIRIT, which is the middle term, as far as the subject.
"Why does He [YEHOVAH God] do this, except that we may thus derive A PROPER NOTION [idea, belief] of Him? Since HOW could the soul have perceived God if He [YEHOVAH God] had not inspired it, and touched it according to His power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to THE NATURE OF GOD, if God Himself had not drawn it up to Himself, as far as was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if He had not FORMED it according to those powers which can be comprehended" (ibid., "Allegorical Interpretation, I, XIII (37-38))
The most important difference between the mankind of Genesis 1:26 and Adam in Genesis 2:7 was that Adam received the Breath of YEHOVAH God in his nostrils. Therefore, those drowned in Noah's flood were those of the line of Adam ONLY -- the "sons of God" because of that in-dwelling "breath of life" (Genesis 7:22) -- those of the line of Adam who disobeyed YEHOVAH God by marrying women (daughters of men) from the first creation of Genesis one. As these wayward Adamites continued to disobey YEHOVAH God "the wickedness of [Adamite] man was great in the land, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his [Adamite man's] heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
Like people today who profess the Messiah and call themselves Christians, those men of old of the Adamic line gave lip service to the ways of YEHOVAH God even though they called themselves by the name of YEHOVAH God! They were the men born before the flood. They were rebellious and unrepentant. What had they done that was evil in YEHOVAH’s sight? Notice it, the males who professed YEHOVAH God, but with whom YEHOVAH would not continue to strive, were the ones who married the “daughters of men” of the pre-Adamic creation.
While Genesis 6:1-4 contains a number of topics that have proved difficult to interpret for many -- and have been outright abused by some -- the TRUE meaning of these verses can be determined by examining the peripheral context and doctrinal principles in both the Old and New Testaments. The latter procedure COMPLETELY ELIMINATES a popular interpretation that claims the "sons of God" were angels -- and refutes another idea that touts the "sons of God" as a class of nobility. Instead, the overall context CLEARLY shows that the "sons of God" were those of the Adamic line while the "daughters of men" were those of the pre-Adamic races and existed together in the land.
The unapproved (by YEHOVAH God) and ill-conceived liaisons or marriages between these two groups (6:2) inevitably led to the total moral breakdown of the existing order in the land (6:5). The exception to this was Noah and his family of the Adamic line (6:8).
The nephilim were NOT the strange, mythological offspring of these unions, but rather a group or class of large, tyrannical warriors who maintained a faith-breaking reign of terror against the righteous Adamites. The nephilim of the antediluvian world served as a deliberate parallel to the nephilim of Numbers 33, who also caused YEHOVAH's people Israel to stumble as they approached the Promised Land.
This also indicates that Noah and his family weren't the only ones to survive the flood.
Problems in the interpretation of the phrase "sons of God and daughters of men" -- and difficulties in defining the nature of the nephilim in verse 4 -- can easily be overcome when we consider the effects of an overwhelming majority of the ungodly on the spiritual integrity of a lesser group of righteous Adamic people.
Many survived the Flood; and since it was only the land in which the wicked Adamites lived that was flooded, this makes complete sense. Many of the races created in the first creation account of Genesis 1 were not affected by Noah's Flood, and although the weather patterns of the earth were greatly changed by the falling of the band of water surrounding the earth, these races continued to grow and expand over the face of the earth.
The "sons of God" were some of those of the line of Adam who rejected YEHOVAH's laws and increased in wickedness and "corrupted their way on the land" (Genesis 6:12). The "daughters of men" were those of the sixth-day creation (Genesis 1:26-28) whom "the sons of God saw...were beautiful; and they [the sons of God] took wives for themselves of all whom they chose" in disregard of YEHOVAH's instructions regarding racial separation and purity. Angels were not a factor in these events.
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