I recently came across a quote from a bestselling children’s author who based her bestseller on her understanding of a passage in Genesis.  Author Lauren Kate wrote the book Fallen about an angel who is romantically attracted to and pursues a relationship with a human teenager. In the January 11, 2010 issue of Publisher’s Weekly (PW) on p. 13, Kate claims, “The idea for the book came from a line I read in Genesis about a group of angels who were effectively kicked out of heaven because they lusted after mortal women. I became curious about what the experience might be of a teenage mortal who suddenly became the object of an angel’s affection.”

The passage Lauren Kate refers to is Genesis 6:1-6, but from her quote to PW it is obvious she did not read the passage for herself and probably just heard about it from someone.  The scripture never talks about anyone being kicked out of heaven for their lust.  Here’s what the passage says:

1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

3And 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.

4There 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.

5And 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.

6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  [Genesis 6]

It has often been claimed that the “sons of God” in this passage refers to fallen angels and that the giants (often called Nephilim) who walked the Earth in ancient times were the offspring of the angels and the women.  Those who hold to the belief that angels mated with humans use the argument that the phrase “sons of God” only refers to angels in the Old Testament (OT), using the book of Job as their proof–

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. [Job 1:6]

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. [Job 2:1]

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. …Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [Job 38:4, 6-7]

They are correct that the phrase “sons of God” is talking about angels in Job, but a closer examination of the scriptures shows that Genesis 6 is NOT talking about angels.  It is referring to humans and this truth can be deducted from the principles and context of what the Bible teaches.  I will highlight a few points from the Bible as proof.

Point 1: Sons of God are humans who follow God. This is shown in both the OT and the New Testament (NT).  In the OT, God gives the message to Pharaoh through Moses that Israel is his son–

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. [Exodus 4:22-23]

We also know from the OT that God said Solomon was his son–

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: [2 Samuel 7:14]

When we look at the NT, we are plainly told that believers are the sons of God–

But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [John 1:12]

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [Romans 8:14]

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [1 John 3:1]

Now if we go back to Genesis 4, it establishes the context for chapters 5 and 6. At the end of Genesis 4, we are shown that two families of men are emerging in the Earth–Cain’s descendants and Seth’s descendants.  It was Seth’s descendants who “call upon the name of the LORD,” [Genesis 4:26].  In other words, Seth’s descendants were those who worshiped God and their lineage is highlighted in Genesis 5.  Since they worshiped God, they were considered sons of God and were the sons of God in Genesis 6.  It was Cain’s descendants and other unbelievers who were the “daughters of men.”

Point 2: Fallen angels are never called sons of God. Satan, who is the fallen angel Lucifer (see Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17), first appears in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3.  We must also take into account that Satan, according to Revelation 12:4, convinced 1/3 of the angels in heaven to follow him in his rebellion against God as he started a war in heaven.  Revelation 12 also tells us that Satan lost the war and was kicked out of heaven with his angels.  It was at this point that

God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment, [2 Peter 2:4]  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. [Jude 6]

Since these angels “kept not their first estate,” they lost all the privileges and benefits they had in heaven, including the right to be called the “sons of God.”  Because Satan is present in Genesis 3, we know he has already been kicked out of heaven with his angels.  So by the time Genesis 6 comes around, neither Satan nor his angels would have been referred to as the “sons of God.”

Point 3: God did not create angels with the ability to procreate with each other or with humans. God, who knew from the beginning that he would be betrayed, established at the creation of the angels that angels in heaven would neither marry nor be given in marriage (see Mark 12:25).  He created them without this capability so that even when the fallen angels rebelled, nothing they could do would ever change this fact.  This is why the fallen angels who were not yet placed in the chains of darkness in hell, and who roam the Earth freely, can only go so far as to possess unbelievers.  If the immortal fallen angels could procreate, they would not waste their time possessing people since procreation would be a more direct route of affecting and infecting humanity for their evil purposes.  Even when they possess unbelievers, their possession cannot affect the reproductive cells of the man or woman they possess so that they can spawn children.  This is also why unbelievers in the Bible who are called “children of the devil” are only considered his children in the spiritual sense and not in the physical sense.

Point 4: God only complained about mankind in Genesis 6. The Lord makes several statements in Genesis 6 that prove he is upset with humans, not angelic beings.  Here is what he says–

3And 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. …

5And 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.

6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. [Genesis 6]

God was clearly angry by what he saw.  If fallen angels were actively participating in these events, why would he just focus on punishing men and not the angels who were involved?  Throughout scripture we see how God places boundaries on what fallen angels can do and how he rebukes devils when they go too far (e.g. the serpent’s judgment at Eden, the story of Job, Michael’s dispute with Satan over Moses’ body, Jesus casting out devils, Gabriel and Michael’s fight with the Prince of Persia to get to Daniel), so if they were involved here, why is it that there is no mention of him saying he would punish them?  He didn’t mention them because it was only humans involved in this situation.

Conclusion: Based on these four points, I’ve concluded that the big deal made over sons of God marrying and having children by the daughters of men speaks to the ongoing theme throughout scripture that God dislikes spiritually mixed marriages.  In other words, God gets upset when his followers marry unbelievers.  He did not like it in Genesis 6, or when he established the nation of Israel as his chosen people, or when he called believers in Jesus Christ to be separated from the world.  The Lord has never liked such relationships because it is always the spiritual state of the believer that gets the short end of the stick.  It is always the worshiper of God who ends up severely compromising their relationship with Yahweh when they get hitched to unbelievers.

Angels have never mated with humans and have never produced offspring by humans.  This is one thing God has never allowed and will never allow.

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

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