Genesis 6:1 - 2 | Question.

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Puritan Board Freshman
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.
Genesis 6:1-2 ESV

The ’sons of God’ could be so many things. In my Reformation Study Bible, it says:

These have been identified as Sethites (the traditional Christian interpretation), as angels (the earliest Jewish interpretation) and as royal tyranncal successors to Lamech who gathered harems (proposed by rabbis of the second century A.D.). All three interpretations can be defended lingustically. On the surface, the first interpretation best fits the immediate preceding context (a contrast of the curse laden line of Cain with the godly line of Seth), but it fails to explain adequately how ‘daughters of man’ refers specifically to Cainite women. The second view has ancient support, but seems to contradict Jesus’ statement that angels do not marry (Mark 12:25) and does not explain why the focus is on mortals (verse 3) and the judgment on them (verses 5 - 7). The third interpretation best explains the phrase ‘any they chose’, but lacks much ancient support. The best solution is probably a combination of the last two. These human offsprint are also the spiritual offspring of satan empowered by demons.

And Matthew Henry says:

The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain: They took them wives of all that they chose. But what was amiss in these marriages? (1.) They chose only by the eye: They saw that they were fair, which was all they looked at. (2.) They followed the choice which their own corrupt affections made: they took all that they chose, without advice and consideration. But, (3.) That which proved of such bad consequence to them was that they married strange wives, were unequally yoked with unbelievers, 2Co_6:14. This was forbidden to Israel, Deu_7:3, Deu_7:4. It was the unhappy occasion of Solomon’s apostasy (1Ki_11:1-4), and was of bad consequence to the Jews after their return out of Babylon, Ezr_9:1, Ezr_9:2. Note, Professors of religion, in marrying both themselves and their children, should make conscience of keeping within the bounds of profession. The bad will sooner debauch the good than the good reform the bad. Those that profess themselves the children of God must not marry without his consent, which they have not if they join in affinity with his enemies.

And John Macarthur, in his commentary, says:

The sons of God, identified elsewhere almost exclusively as angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7), saw and took wives of the human race. This produced an unnatural union which violated the God ordained order of human marriage and procreation. Some have argued that the sons of God were the sons of Seth who cohabited with the daughters of Cain; others suggest they were perhaps human kings wanting to build harems. But the passage puts string emphasis on the angelic versus human contrast. The NT places this account in sequence with other Genesis events and identifies it as fallen angels who indwelt men. Matthew 22:30 does not necessarily negate the possibility that angels are capable of procreation, but just that they do not marry. However, to procreate physically, demons had to possess human, male bodies.

I must admit - It is very confusing. And I’m not the type who can just skip over that, so I’m praying for better understanding. I don’t want to eisegete ANYTHING in the Bible (or anywhere else for that matter). I may just go on to chapter 7 and come back to that.

Anyhow, on to studying. If you have insight, PLEASE share. I welcome it. Can we really be sure who the sons of God are in that passage ?

Grace and peace.


Puritan Board Freshman
This is a pretty difficult passage and I have held at times to both of the views that you have expressed. This present time I find myself simply in an unsettled state, although I do lean toward the view of angels somehow possessing male bodies and cohabiting with women. Another difficult question as to what is intended by the mention of their offspring as "the mighty men of renown."

Some are rather passionate in their views of this passage. Consider Calvin's commentary:

"That ancient figment, concerning the intercourse of angels with women, is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity; and it is surprising that learned men should formerly have been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious."

Perhaps a key can be found in Jude's illustrations of the false teachers that were rising in the church. Among other metaphors, he refers to them as:
"6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

Most commentaries suggest this refers to the casting out of the fallen angels form heaven. I recently listened to a sermon on the passage in which the teacher submitted arguments that perhaps Jude was referring to Ge. 6 and possibly even the apocryphal book of Enoch. His arguments were rather compelling in that he concludes the context of the illustration are to describe the gross lasciviousness of these false teachers. Their sin in verse 6 appears to be more aptly described by the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah in verse 7, which again seems to suggest a morally corrupt connotation.

I was nearly convinced of this man's arguements, but then those words of Calvin stumbled back to mind, so I backed off a bit!


Puritan Board Doctor

Could we also refer to the "be ye not unequally yoked", verses?

When we become Believers we become the Children of God, which in turn leaves all others (unbelievers) as the "Son's/daughters of men", as they are not "Children of God."

Which would go along with the commentary...of Matthew Henry..

We can certainly look around the world today and see many non-believers as attractive to look at...

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate

Many weird tales have been told from the interpretation that fallen angels cohabited with human women, among them the fiction that there are human-appearing beings with partly demonic natures among us today. There is no Biblical warrant whatever for the idea that immaterial beings such as angels can produce material seed which can give birth to humans; even in nature different species cannot cross-breed; that angels can is even farther removed. It is an ancient superstition.

Yes, all the ungodly are the children of the devil (Matt 13:38), but in the sense they do his will and have the same spirit he does (Eph 2:2), and not in the sense of any physical procreation.

It is a myth like vampires, werewolves, and zombies...which myths come from the fact that the unregenerate are indeed the living dead, that spiritually/psychically they have such monstrous natures. But they are not physically such monsters.

Another point: in Genesis 6:2 it is said the sons of God (as MH says, "the professors of religion") took them wives of all which they chose. They took wives, that is, they entered into family life with them. What, the women's spouses were invisible, being immaterial spirits? This is sheer superstition.

Please note how verse one of this chapter reads:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them...​

It is talking about men -- that is, the children of men...humankind -- and the godly line of men mingled with the ungodly.

Common sense ought to prevail over mystical fantasy.

May the Lord guide you safely.



The Book of Enoch clearly explains what was going on in Genesis 6. If it's good enough for Jude, it's good enough for me. ;) ;) ;)


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
For my part, I do not think that demons (spiritual creatures) have the power to assume bodies and procreate. No more than angels do, as in the words of Jesus: "They will neither marry, nor be given in marriage, they shall be as the angels." I don't think there is any indication in Scripture that they once had that ability, but lost it.

As far as the interpretations quoted, I don't have the Ref St Bible, but although the quote above is a bit confusing at the end (did they really mean to say 'combination of the last two' or was it 'first' two?), I think they are saying that 100% men can still be "spiritual offspring of the devil." As Jesus said to men who oposed him, "Thou art of thy father, the Devil."

Matthew Henry (and Calvin, etc.) is correct, in my opinion.

JMcA--sorry, but I have to disagree with him once again. He's usually pretty good (on NT doctrine), but frankly I have more and more trouble with any dispensationalist's interpretation of the Old Testament. The longer they go, the more their overarching hermeneutic interferes with a coherent interpretation.

In fairness, JMcA has identified himself as a "minister of the NEW Covenant" (his emphasis), and so has concentrated his teaching and preaching on the New Testament (with brief forays into the OT). But this is a weakness, not a strength. I will add that often the weakness of JMcA is stronger than [other] man's strength, including mine. God bless his ministry...

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate

You said, "The Book of Enoch clearly explains what was going on in Genesis 6. If it's good enough for Jude, it's good enough for me." But then your Smilies are winking, so I don't know if you are serious.

First of all, we do not know he was quoting the Book of Enoch. Calvin and Gill are of the opinion that Jude was quoting from a saying perserved in ancient tradition as an authentic saying of Enoch, held in high regard by the Jews of his day. Note Jude does not say, "Enoch wrote...", but "Enoch...prophesied..."

And then, even if he were quoting the apocryphal (non-canonical) Book of Enoch, that in no way validates the remainder of the book, for Paul also quotes or alludes to non-Biblical writers (cf Acts 17:28 and Titus 1:12) without authenticating their works.

And besides, have you read the Book of Enoch? (I believe it is still available online.) It is not to be believed.

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