Who are the Sons of God

Who are “the sons of God”? (Genesis 6:2) I think the conclusion is best because it best explains the purpose of the Bible which is redemptive history.

One of the interpretations regarding who “the sons of God” are is the “fallen angels” view. This view says that demonic angels engaged in sexual relations with the “daughters of men”. According to Davis this view was held by some ancient writers like, “Philo, Josephus, most of the rabbinical writes, and the oldest church fathers-Justin, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, and Lactantius.”

The second view is that the “sons of God” were tyrannical/dynastic rulers in the Canaanite line. It is argued that magistrates, kings, or administrators of justice are called “elohim” in Exodus 21:6; 22:8, 9, 28 and Psalm 82:1, 6. Bruce Waltke appears to hold this view, “The best solution is to combine the “angelic” interpretation with the “divine king” view. The tyrants were demon possessed.”

The third view is that it refers to the “line of Seth”. This view is held by many Christians today and was held by historical Christian theologians like Augustine and the Reformers. This view says that “the sons of God” were the godly line of Seth and they married the ungodly daughters from the line of “Cain. R.C. Sproul supports this view saying, “the Bible traces the lines of two families, the descendants of Cain and of Seth.” The line of Cain is described as being very wicked and was most recognizable in the conduct of his son Lamech in Genesis chapter 4. However, Seth’s line is described as righteous.

I hold to the “sons of God” as referring to the godly line of Seth. First of all I think a person must torture Scripture to hold the “fallen angel” view. The angels view assumes angels can have sexual relations with humans. Bruce Waltke said, “This interpretation…contradicts Jesus’ statement that angels do not marry.” (Matt 22:30; Mark 12:25). Angels do not have “flesh”, they are spirits and cannot have sexual relations with humans.

The “tyrants view” seems to be imposing the view on the text; there is no reference made to them. The view that they are kings is assumed.

I think the most natural reading of the text is better. The CONTEXT of what is being discussed is regarding the lines of the two men. We are told that Seth’s descendants “began to call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen 4:26), “walked with God” (Gen 5:24), and “found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen 6:8) The genealogical lines of Seth and Cain are being described and all we see from Cain’s line is evil. The other two views try to explain who “the sons of God” are but they fail to reconcile why. The “line of Seth” view helps us to understand the line of salvation in Christ and why God warned Israel not to take foreign wives in Deuteronomy 7:3.

Published by SReed

Attends Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I'm a sinner saved by the work of God in me and not a work of my own.

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