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Need information on Gen 6:2 about the sons of God. - Lawrence

Obviously, the original readers of Genesis knew the identification of the Sons of God because the author makes no attempt to further identify them. Here are some of the many suggestions for their identification.

1. Angels. This interpretation goes back as far as the 2nd century B.C.E. Difficulties with this abound. In Matt 22:30, Jesus indicates that angels do not marry nor are they given in marriage. Then there is the question of why God did not destroy the angels instead of the world, or at least along with the world. Also, this interpretation does not fit well with the context.

2. Rulers. The title, "Son of God" was a common designation for kings in the Ancient Near East. One well-known example is the Egyptian Pharaoh, Rameses, whose name means "Son of Ra."

3. Descendants of Seth. In the passages leading up to this verse, a contrast is made between the ungodly line of Cain and the Godly line of Seth. So sons of God would be the Sethites.

4. Those who walked with God. Scripture often calls God's people sons of God, or children of God.

The last of these seems to be the best option. It is obvious that the function of Gen 6:1-6 was to explain why God destroyed the earth by flood. His wrath was directed not at angels or just the descendants of Cain, but at mankind. Like the sin of Cain and his descendants in chapter 4, and the sin at the Tower of Babel in chapter 11, mankind had become arrogant. They were called "Nephilim" (giants), and they were men of great reputation who thought they could do as they pleased. Therefore, God decided that in 120 years he would flood and cleanse the world.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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