September 13, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
We closed last time by stating that Genesis 6 is one of the most debated portions of all of scripture. The reason for all of the fuss centers around what this portion of God’s Word reveals to us. The Spirit of God, who breathed out this Word as written and recorded by Moses, gives us a glimpse into something so fantastic that it almost seems unbelievable. It is so incredible in fact that theologians and scholars have sought to concoct an explanation of this passage that is much more comfortable than the clear revelation of the actual text.
To reiterate to get us back up to speed, the Bible states, and I quote for now from the New King James Version,
1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. [Gen. 6:1 – 4 NKJV]
Before we look at what this passage is saying, and the implications of this for us today, as well as where all of this fits into Bible prophecy; I want to take a quick look at the interpretation given this passage by many Bible teachers and scholars. This interpretation is what most seminary students are being taught. Simply stated, many scholars have stated that at this time there were two groups of people in the earth. 1) The “righteous” seed of Seth, the “Sons of God”, 2) The “unrighteous” seed of Cain, “the daughters of men.” According to this view what we have here is a case of being “unequally yoked”, thus an undesirable result occurred.
There are several problems with this view. Not the least of which is the fact that we can trace the origins of it to around 400 A.D., when certain elements of the Christian Church began to reject what had been the view of both Jewish and Christian scholars for three centuries before. Also, we have with this view the assumption that all of Seth’s descendants were righteous, while all of the descendants of Cain were evil. This is an insult to the doctrine of free will and God’s dealings with individuals. It implies that the Sethites were somehow immune to the affects of the Fall itself. Also, it assumes that the daughters of Cain must have all been unattractive, while the daughters of Seth were all beautiful. Again, this is highly unlikely.
Among other problems with the Seth/Cain view, is the result of their cohabitation, their offspring. The text says, There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. [Gen. 6:4 NKJV] I have known of many marriages where a couple was “unequally yoked.” That is, a believer married to an unbeliever. They may have produced brats, but I have never known them to have produced giants! What is really going on here? I thought you would never ask!
Who are these “Sons of God?” In the Hebrew they are known as, beniah elohim. The title “Sons of God” doesn’t appear again until the book of Job. There we find it in Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7. In all three of the references in Job, “Sons of God” is beniah elohim in Hebrew. The identity of the “Sons of God” in Job is clearly that of angels, not men. In fact, humans are never referred to as “Sons of God” in the Old Testament. Let that sink in for a moment. With that in mind, can we conclude that the Genesis 6 account is referring to the cohabitation of angels with human women? I see no other conclusion that is consistent with the clear teaching of the text. Let’s look at another source to hopefully gain some clarity.
The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal document that while not canon is very helpful in gaining background information understood by the early Christians. This book was held in high regard by the early Church and was often studied as a type of commentary on certain scripture passages. Because of the nature of the message of The Book of Enoch, it is grouped among the early apocalyptic writings. The most commonly used English translation is by R.H. Charles, and it is the one to which I will refer here. In Enoch chapter 6 we read,
1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters.
2 And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men [Book of Enoch 6:1, 2 R.H. Charles translation]
Notice that rather than saying, “sons of God” he simply states, “the angels”. This is consistent with the Biblical text. As we read the Enochian text it becomes clear that a group of angels, several of which are named, consult together to do this deed. I will not take the space to quote this lengthy passage here. It goes on to state that “great giants” were born to them whose height was, three thousand ells. While the exact translation of what this measurement is is not exact, some scholars have stated that it could be as much as 25 to 30 feet!
Enoch’s account tells us that these angels instructed the people in, enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. Later we are told, And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. In other words, they taught them technology of the day and other skills. It would seem that the human men traded there women and daughters for mating with these fallen angels in exchange for knowledge! Wow, this is getting deep!
I have more to say on this, and I promise we will tie it all together. I warn you though, when we do; it may seem even more fantastic to you! Stay with us, because we are going to see what all of this means to us today, and where it is all heading.
The Weekly Word is found in Jude 1:5 – 7. Here the Bible says,
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
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.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. [Jude 1:5 – 7 KJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson