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Genesis 6:1-4: Who are these sons of God? 

Gary Googe Feb 18

It is this passage that may come first to one’s mind in answering this question.

John 1:11-13

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

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

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [Emphasis added]

Here he’s speaking of the spiritual birth of believers.  You’ll learn from other articles I’ve written that in a prior time it was believing in the “name” or the identity of Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah that provided people with salvation which, in a spiritual sense, made them sons of God.  Here’s the name of my article about this on this website.

Jesus Christ: What does it mean to believe in His name

Today, of course, salvation doesn’t come by believing in His name, but by believing in what Christ accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

It was for this that Christ died, paying the full penalty for our sinsOther passages tell us more about this.  

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

The Genesis 6 passage is about something totally different. It was to offer a way for people to be spared from the judgment of a coming universal flood.  Let’s look at it.

Genesis 6:1-4

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 [TOB = attractive]; 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.

This tells us there was a deadline on God’s patience with mankind.

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 [having intercourse with them], and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men [giants—half human and half angel] which were of old, men of renown. [Emphasis added]

Some respected commentators have reflected on this passage and concluded different things.  But who is right in their analysis of this? As amazing as it may seem, these “sons of God” mentioned in this Genesis passage were fallen angels, not people.  They were angels, also sometimes called demons, who had revolted with Satan against the authority of God.  This same terminology of calling them “sons of God” is used for them elsewhere in Scripture. Here are some examples of that.

Job 1:6

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. [Emphasis added]

Job 2:1  

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. [Emphasis added]

As amazing as it is, the context of these passages tells us these are angels that are under discussion here.

Job 38:7

7 When the morning stars [angels] sang together, and all the sons of God [angels] shouted for joy? [Emphasis added]

There are other passages where it is quite clear that angelic beings are being discussed in connection with this terminology. These “morning stars” and “sons of God” were all angels. 

It is important to note that God’s angels are all malesNone are women!  For a more in-depth study of this fact please see my article about it.

Angels: Are they Men, Women, or Both?

In Genesis 6:1-4, we find what these angels decided to do.  These angels had intercourse with women on Earth.  I know this may initially seem strange or even weird to you, but that’s exactly what’s being stated here.

Again, Genesis 6:1-2

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 [TOB = attractive]; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [Emphasis added]

We then see the outcome of this.  Those then born out of this relationship are said to have been giants.  This is because, again, those then born unto them were half human and half angel. The result then was the corruption of true humanity.  It appears that after many years Noah’s family was the only one that was not corrupted in this.  Therefore, to save true humanity, God brought on the judgment of the flood.  For some more information about this, please see my article about it on this website.

Noah: Was the flood in his day global?

What was the motive of Satan and his angels for doing this? It was apparently because he was aware that somehow God was going to provide a Savior through humanity.  

Genesis 3:15 [The Bible’s first prediction of a coming Savior]

15 And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [speaking of Christ]; it shall bruise thy head [speaking of Satan’s final destruction], and thou shalt bruise his heel [speaking of the cross of Christ]. [Emphasis added]

Satan knew that if he could destroy true humanity this wouldn’t be possible for God to fulfill.  Even though his plot nearly succeeded, God intervened with the judgment of the flood that made the way for His plan to provide a Savior through the uncorrupted portion of humanity.

Genesis 6:5-9

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 [NACHAM = He regretted] that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7 And 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.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

One family made a difference.  Just one family stood strong in faith.  What a wonderful difference that made! When Noah and his family stepped into the ark, they were a minority, but when they stepped out of it, they were in the majority.

9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [meaning he was justified by faith] and perfect [TAMIN = whole (uncorrupted genetically)] in his generations, and Noah walked with God [meaning he was a man of faith, wanting to live for Him]. [Emphasis added]

This expression of God’s grace came in the time leading up to His judgment with the worldwide flood.  This time of warning lasted for one hundred and twenty years.  The idea of rain from above was especially hard for people to believe because it had never rained before.  Up until the flood the ground had been irrigated by subterranean waters.  There had been no rain at all.

Genesis 7:11-12

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. [Emphasis added]

It was then that those angels who’d been involved in procreating with earthly women were locked up in the heart of the Earth in a place called Tartarus, translated “hell” in many Bibles.  

2 Peter 2:4-5

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [TARTARUS = a compartment of hell where these angels who participated in this are still bound], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

5 And spared not the old world [the world of Noah], but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; [Emphasis added]

After the cross the resurrected Christ went to Tartarus [again, a compartment of hell where these angels live even today] to present Himself and to announce to these angels that their attempt to prevent His work had failed.

1 Peter 3:19-20

19 By which also he went and preached [KERUSSO = proclaimed] unto the spirits in prison;

These “spirits” are jailed demons that will be released upon the earth in the coming time of what is known as the seven-year Tribulation.

20 Which sometime [in the time before the flood] were disobedient, when once the longsuffering [MAKROTHUMIA = patience] of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls [Noah and his family] were saved by water. [Emphasis added]

[Verse twenty should be a wonderful source of encouragement to any preacher because Noah preached one hundred and twenty years and only had the seven converts of his family.]

The earthly women in that time who participated in all this were, of course, ignorant of what they were doing with these men who were Satan’s angels manifesting themselves in earthly male bodies.  While it is true that angels did not marry one another, the above passage clearly shows that they were able to present themselves in human form and procreate with human females.

Matthew 22:30

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. [Emphasis added]

Obviously, these angels appeared as men who would attract these earthly women to have intercourse with them.  Nothing like this had ever happened before, nor is there any good reason to believe anything like this will ever happen again.


Before the birth of Jesus, Satan did everything he could think of to pervert and/or destroy the entire bloodline of the human race.  If he had succeeded, such would have made it impossible for God to provide a Savior through the “seed of the woman.”  The faith of Noah and his family and then other people of faith in later generations would make this possible.  Thus, God had Noah and his uncorrupted family enter the ark and begin the human race anew. The giants and all others lost their lives in the judgment of the flood that came.  Those angelic “sons of God” who participated in this have been bound and imprisoned until a future time.

Jude 6  

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. [Emphasis added]

In this time Jude 6 mentions that some of Satan’s angels indwelt men and procreated with women.  The offspring had a DNA that was drastically altered by this, producing super-humans.  As the Scripture says, they were “giants,” “mighty men which were of old, men of renown” [Genesis 6:4].  The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of details on all this.  What we do know is that Satan did his work through all this to hinder the plan of God.  But you can rest assured that anything Satan does will be ultimately overcome by our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.  As a believer and as a member of the Body of Christ in our time, your future in Heaven is perfectly secure. Never doubt that even for a second!

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