Genesis 6:1, 2
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. (KJV)
- Who were the sons of God, and
- Who were the daughters of men they took as wives?
- Who were the giants they produced?
Many people find these verses to be very strange and unclear. This text comes to us as a prelude to the Flood. You will recall that the Flood was God’s punishment against the extent that sin had reached on Earth soon after the creation. If we look at these strange verses as simply a prelude to the flood and let the Bible interpret itself, it will start to become clearer. So let’s look at the background.
After Adam and Eve sinned God’s punishment reigned over man. But the generations of men who came up continued to increase in sin until it reached breaking point, causing God to destroy the creation with a worldwide flood.
But the Bible gives us some information about how this came to be. It all started with Cain and his rebellion. After God consigned him to the life of a fugitive, rejected in every place where there was still respect for the law of God, Cain went and founded his own nation.
Gen. 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Cain founded a city, and the foundations were not built on the righteousness of God. The world was getting darker. But there was a change:
Gen. 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
The children of Seth began a revival upon the Earth. Seth was faithful to God, and he led his family and people to return to the keeping of the commandments handed to his parents in Eden. The Bible tells us that Genesis 4:16 that Cain went out of the presence of the Lord. This is significant. The two families stayed largely separate. Here is how a one commentator called Ellen White put it:
“For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from the place of their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt; and the latter, in order to escape from their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains, and there made their home. So long as this separation continued, they maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured, little by little, to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. This association was productive of the worst results. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.” The children of Seth, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of Cain’s descendants, displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements that were now constantly before them, and they lost their peculiar, holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them in spirit and in deeds; the restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, “and they took them wives of all which they chose.”
So the Sons of God are not angels or aliens, or so-called reptilians as people have speculated. They Sons of God simply refers to the faithful descendants of Seth, and the daughters of men refer to the women of the rebellious nations founded by Cain.
So notice that right afterwards the Bible says in
Gen. 6: 4 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. 5 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. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
The result that this interbreeding led to was a spreading of sin, not a new species of humans. The sons of God had also become flesh; that is, they were also now corrupted with sin just like the other nations around them. God was disappointed, and it grieved him at his heart.
But who are the giants?
In verse 5 we read that they produced giants from their intermarriages. Who are these giants?
5 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.
The explanation of who the giants were that they produced can be resolved by a basic understanding of Genetics. Very often when tribes keep to themselves and marry within, something called inbreeding happens. These communities have a limited pool of genetic material to produce their offspring, and so progressively they become weaker, more prone to diseases and less impressive overall as a species because they keep passing on what we call weaknesses of phenotype, that is, the bodily expression of their genes. When suddenly people start to mix freely the pool of genetic material available explodes, and you can have much more vital, healthier and stronger offspring. It seems that the in Genesis 6:4 we simply have a release of some of the earlier genes God had made man with, recovered after years of slow degradation owing to sin.
So that is all that is happening in Genesis 6:1 and 2, and also into verse 4. The mixing of these two nations led to a spreading of sin, and now even the people of God were corrupted. By verse 6, God is now considering seriously to destroy the entire creation. Genetic interbreeding released livelier traits in size. God wasn’t upset that aliens or reptilians or any other such creatures had spoiled his human species. He was concerned that sin had spread from the world into his special people.
Tomorrow we will explore Exodus 7:3 and 13: And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. 13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
My name is Agana-Nsiire Agana. For explanations to other Bible passages please visit www.provingallthings.org
Until next time, keep studying the word. Prove all things, and hold fast what is good!