Who are the “Sons of God” in the Old Testament?
I am sure many will find this to be a controversial subject, although there are many believers who are waking up to the truth. As always, take it to the Lord in prayer and let him be your guide. My reason for delving into the Biblical meaning of the “sons of God” (as with most of my writing) is because, as the Bible tells us, there is a great deception coming. I personally believe this deception will be involving the “sons of God” (as described in the Old Testament). Matthew 24:24 says..
[Mat 24:24 KJV]
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
The first step Satan took to spread corruption was telling Eve the lie: “ye shall be as gods”. He has been doing everything he can since the days of the garden to keep us from the Father. There are many pastors today who are not letting the Bible define itself on this subject. My goal is to shine the light of the Word on the darkness that Satan has been spreading. Make no mistake: he is at work in the world..
[Eph 6:12 KJV]
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].”
In order to understand who the “sons of God” are in the Bible, we must first realize that there is a difference in the usage and context between both the Old and New Testament occurrences. Basically, we see that the definition gains new meaning from Old Testament to New. Through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are adopted into the heavenly family and become the children of God or “sons of God”. For example..
[Rom 8:14-17 KJV]
“14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.”
I will be doing a post on the New Testament “sons of God” in the future, but for the purposes of this post we will be dealing specifically with the Old Testament.
Why does this matter?
You might be asking yourself, “why does this even matter?” My answer is when you understand the truth in scripture there is less chance that you will be deceived. If people were trying to corrupt the Bible in Paul’s day, how much more would they be trying to do so today? There has also been a massive coverup by the Smithsonian and the Vatican to conceal any and all findings of ancient giant skeletons in North America, South America and Europe (but that will be a whole new can of worms for another day).
It is easier to corrupt man’s teachings on what the Bible says than what the Bible actually says. Also, there is a verse in Matthew 24 that I believe needs to be fully understood. As you will see it points us in two directions: back to the history in Genesis and forward to prophecy of Christ’s second coming.
[Mat 24:37 KJV]
“But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
The 3 main views
There are three different views on who the “sons of God” are in the Old Testament. The 1st view is that they are the fallen angels, the 2nd is that they were powerful human rulers and the 3rd is that they were the godly descendants of Seth intermarrying with wicked decedents of Cain.
The main issue theologians have had with the 1st view is in Matthew 22:30 which says the angels in heaven do not marry; however, they fail to distinguish that the fallen angels are no longer angels of heaven and are acting in opposition to Gods created order. Also, we know from scripture that angels can appear in human form. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah desired to have sexual relations with the two angels that came to rescue Lot. Angels have even been shown to eat human food in scripture. The 2nd and 3rd views fail to reconcile why men and women having children would result in a race of giants (Nephilim). Views 2 and 3 also seem to ignore how the specific phrase “sons of God” is used elsewhere in the Old Testament.
It is my belief that the 1st view holds the most weight. I know great men of God who to this day refuse to accept what the scriptures show us on this subject. Don’t take my word for it though, let’s allow the Bible to be its own dictionary. The specific phrase “sons of God” is used 5 times in the Old Testament – 2 times in Genesis 6, 1 time in Job 1, 1 time in Job 2, and one time in Job 38.
For further research on this subject I highly recommend using a Strong’s Concordance. Again, the main phrase we are dealing with is “sons of God” (Heb. “bene ha-‘elohim” or “bene ‘elohim”). A study of the word translated as “giants” (Heb. “nephilim”) in scripture will also help our understanding of this topic.
It is not contested that there were Giants in the Bible. King Og of the Rephaim (Deut 3:11), the Anakim (Gen 23:2; Josh 15:13; Deut 9:2), Goliath of the Philistines (2 Sam 21:19), the Emim (Deut 2:10-11) and the Zuzim (Deut 2:20-21) just to name a few.
“Sons of God” in the Old Testament
The first two times the phrase “sons of God” is used is in Genesis 6..
[Gen 6:1-5 KJV]
“1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And 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. 4 There 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 they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.”
– Notice in verse 1 it uses the word “men” to describe human men, not “sons of God”. There is a distinction being made in verse 2: “the sons of God saw the daughters of men”. This is implying that these “sons of God” are not “sons of men”, otherwise a different distinction would have been made. Also, take notice of the terminology used in the end of verse 2: “they took them wives” and “all which they chose”. This doesn’t make it sound as though the “daughters of men” had a choice which brings up a dilemma concerning the idea that these “sons of God” were godly decedents of Seth.
– If the “sons of God” were human men, why would God make the proclamation he does in verse 3? It makes sense that if the offspring (the “giants”) had genetically received man’s long lifespan that God might need to clean the slate, not only by reducing man’s lifespan, but also by the cleansing of a global flood. Verse 4 says “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that”, letting us know that this happened pre flood and post flood. This is evidenced by Numbers 13:33 when the scouts report that there are giants in the promised land.
– If the “sons of God” in this passage were humans, why would human males and females procreating create a race of “giants” (nephilim)? This is the main issue I and others have with any view that these were humans.
The third and fourth times the phrase “sons of God” is used are in Job 1 and 2..
[Job 1:6-7 KJV]
“6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
[Job 2:1-2 KJV]
“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. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
– The “sons of God” in these passages are accompanied by Satan. This could give us a big clue as to who they are. These could either be the angels that fell with him or heavenly angels as a distinction isn’t clearly made. These “sons of God” cannot be humans who have died and gone to heaven because the Bible teaches that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Why would someone who is present with the Lord need to present themselves before the Lord, and furthermore, knowing the context of these two passages, why would they do so with Satan? It makes the most sense that the “sons of God” in this passage are either the fallen angels or heavenly angels.
The fifth time the phrase “sons of God” is used is in Job 38..
[Job 38:4-11 KJV]
“4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or [who] shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, [as if] it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed [place], and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?”
– I believe this is the final nail in the coffin for any view that the “sons of God” in the Old Testament are humans. God is describing the creation for Job in an attempt to humble him. In this instance he is referring to the days before he created man. If the “sons of God” were human, how could they shout for joy at God’s creation if Adam hadn’t even been created yet? These are clearly angelic beings.
1 – The term “sons of God” in the Old Testament is referring to angelic beings, be they the fallen angels or heavenly angels.
2 – The “sons of God” in the Genesis 6 were the fallen angels. They came to earth and had offspring with human women.
There are a couple different reasons why they did this..
First, we know that the Bible tells us that Jesus was both fully man and fully God (the hypostatic union) living a sinless life. In order for this to be achieved God needed a pure human bloodline descendent from Adam and Eve. This is part of the reason we are given Christ’s two different genealogies in Matthew and Luke. Not only is this showing us that Jesus had a right to the thrown of Israel through both his mother and his earthly father, but it is also showing us that God indeed kept Jesus’ human heritage pure. The “sons of God” were attempting to pollute the bloodlines from Adam and Eve’s children to prevent a true human lineage. This was one of Satan’s attempts at preventing God’s prophecy in Genesis 3:15 when He said that it would be “her seed” (the seed of a human) that would undo the evil works of Satan.
Secondly, we know from scripture that angelic beings can appear in different forms. It has always been easy for Christians to say that God is real but that the false gods of the old world were made up, figments of the imagination, or simply icons to explain away God. I would suggest that these false gods weren’t merely made up, but that the “sons of God” (fallen angels) were the gods of Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Rome etc. This explains why the rulers of many of these early cultures had an obsession with preserving their bloodline on the thrown at almost any cost. I am not saying that these were “god-men” as the pagans believed them to be, but that these were the Nephilim (to use a Biblical term), half fallen angel and half human. Even though these hybrids were the children of the Biblical fallen angels, Satan and his ilk spread different stories throughout the ages to pull people away from God. Planting false religion in the mind of man was and still is a major part of his plan. Even king Solomon was enticed by these false gods (1 Kings 11:4). At the end of the day there are many false gods and only one true God, the God of the Bible.
I believe I have provided sufficient evidence that the “sons of God” in the Old Testament are angelic beings – fallen or heavenly, but here is where the controversial aspect of this topic really starts to take off..
[Jde 1:14-15 KJV]
“14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
[1 Enoch 1:9]
“And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgment upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
First let me make this clear.. I am by no means claiming that the Books of Enoch (there are 3) are inspired as scripture is inspired, especially considering they were not given the same treatment in translation as the King James Bible. In fact, I would argue that Enoch was most likely was not the author anyways. Historians and Theologians typically agree that before Moses wrote Genesis it was passed down orally or given to him by special revelation from God. It is possible that this is a similar circumstance.
Fragments of 1 Enoch were found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Qumran caves and we know those fragments to be dated to about 400-200 BC at the latest. It is clear that the apostles and even Jesus were well acquainted with what 1 Enoch says. This is also not the only place in which the Bible quotes or is influenced by 1 Enoch. It even contains prophecies pertaining to Christ and the coming kingdom (which is why most of the Jews started rejecting it around 200 AD).
At the very least we know that Jesus and the disciples viewed 1 Enoch as somewhat authoritative. 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch on the other hand are more questionable, and, in my opinion, seem to be influenced more so by later Rabbinic Judaism. I plan to do a very lengthy breakdown the 3 different books of Enoch and the many correlations between 1 Enoch and the Bible in the future.
All of this being said, we should always, always, always pray and ask God to show us His truth and bless us with His spirit of discernment.
Keeping in line with the topic of the “sons of God” or “fallen angels”, I would like to end this post with another portion of 1 Enoch so that you can see how it correlates to the story in Genesis 6.
[1 Enoch Chapter 6]
“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.”
[1 Enoch Chapter 7]
“And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.”
As always, thanks for reading and if you have any questions you can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! God Bless!
A brother in Christ Jesus