Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they discuss who or what exactly the Sons of God were in Genesis 6.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    6 replies to "Theology Unplugged: Problem Passages 11 – Who or what were the Sons of God in Gen. 6?"

    • Daniel Eaton

      Really enjoying this one. 🙂 I have another option for you to consider. I’m not convinced that day six of Genesis 1 is what is expanded on in Chapter 2. I’m open to the “sons of God” as being descendants of Adam & Eve and the “daughters of men” being the descendants of the “mankind” created on day six. At the very least, it seems more plausible than some of the others. 🙂 But it is kinda original to me and I’ve never heard anyone else propose it, so consider the source. LOL

    • Matt

      I’ve heard the Nephilim could be giant men as well. Any thoughts to that?

    • Todd

      Thanks Guys, interesting discussion 🙂

      Under option 3, you collectively seemed to synonymously refer to the ‘sons of God’ as fallen angels / demons. Any reason? Could you please point me to Scripture that would lead you to conclude that demons are just fallen angels? I have puzzled over that one for a while.

      Could the fallen angels be just that, angels that fell (and are now chained as 2 Peter & Jude mention)? And could it be that demons are an entirely distinct type of being – perhaps the spirits of the offspring of the fallen angels? I have seen that proposed elsewhere as a possible explanation to the fact that demons in the NT often seek fleshly embodiment ie. because they once had a fleshly body.

      I imagine you have considered all of the above before so am keen to hear your thoughts if you have time please?

    • HC

      Sir J. W. Dawson has written an interesting article on this subject for The Expositor (Fifth Series, Vol. 4, 1896).

      “I have ventured to suggest that the ‘sons of God’ (Elohim), in our primitive record are really Cainites, and the ‘daughters of men’ Sethite women.” At first thought, the hypothesis seems untenable. Why should descendants of the murderer, Cain, be called “sons of God” when the daughters of the good Seth are merely denominated, “daughters of men?” “Sons of God” seems better to describe the descendants of Seth. But listen to his explanation: “After the fall, a Saviour had been promised, who was to be the Seed or progeny of the woman, and Eve most naturally supposes that the child to whom she has given birth is this “Coming One’. From the time of this utterance we may assume that the name Jehovah becomes that of the coming Redeemer, and is associated with that of Elohim (God), who has promised the Redeemer. Thus the name Elohim represents God as Creator: the name Jahve [Jehovah] God as the promised Redeemer . . The point that we now note is that this distinction existed from the time of Eve, though only in the days of her grandson Enos did men formally invoke [or proclaim] Jehovah as God (Gen. 4:26). This is the testimony of the record, and we are bound to receive it in this sense, whether we believe it or no.”

      (to be cont.)

    • HC

      It would seem then in those ancient times the Cainites who refused to acknowledge Jehovah, and addressed Elohim alone, in worship, got the name of “sons,” –that is, worshippers of God…Elohim. It will elucidate this point yet more, in passing, to explain that members, of a guild, or order, are often called “sons” of that order, as “sons of the prophets”; and the worshipper of an idol as the son of that idol (though less often). “Ben-haded” signifies a worshipper of Hadad (I Kings 15:20; see also Malachi 2:11). The Cainites were then, so to speak, the Unitarians of that remote age. If they pretended even to believe in the Coming One they did not “call on” him. Dawson thinks they did not believe in Him, —or rather, renounced Him.

      Dawson continues : “It is Jehovah who remonstrates with Cain, and after the murder of Abel denounces his conduct, apparently without effect; and henceforth Cain may be said to have gone out from the face of Jehovah, which implies much more in the way of religious separation than mere departure from a local shrine, and at the same time he leaves his parental home and goes forth to found a new tribe of men distinguished from Adam.

      “In a religious point of view the Cainites are not represented as cultivating the worship of the Redeemer Jehovah. They probably still retained the nature-worship [which Cain adopted from the first] of Elohim…Of the Sethites, on the other hand, we have mainly the record of their invoking Jehovah while walking with Elohim, of their retaining a hope of redemption from the fall, though it seems certain that towards the end of the ante-diluvian period they also degenerated, in a religious point of view, probably in consequence of the intermixture with Cainites, mentioned before. This intermixture, however, is stated to have originated in the aggressions of the Nephilim among the Cainites, who captured wives from the feebler Sethites. Feebler because not furnished with instruments of brass and…

    • HC

      …and iron. This, I think, is implied in the expression, ‘took to them wives of all they chose,’ that is, at their own will and pleasure, and without regard to the primitive law of marriage, which provides that “a man should leave father and mother and cleave to his wife.”

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