Sons of God

There are several popular misconceptions about angels. The one we will look at today concerns women supposedly giving birth to children fathered by angels. Here is a typical argument from Holman’s Bible Dictionary that tries to defend the theory of angels. First, let us look at the words and see that they are not ambiguous.

Sons of God: ben:H1121 . 'elohiym:H430

Sons of God: huios:G5207 or teknon:G5043 . theos:G2316

Angels: mal'ak:H4397

Angels: aggelos:G32

 

SONS OF GOD Divine beings associated with God in the heavens in what can be called the "divine council" (Ps. 82:1 NRSV) or the "council of the holy ones" (Ps. 89:7 NASB). In Job, the earliest Greek translation translated "sons of God" as "angels of God" (Job 1:6; 2:1) and "my angels" (Job 38:7). The phrase "sons of the living God" in Hosea 1:10, however, refers to Israel.

    The expression sons of God employs a Hebrew idiom in which "son(s)" refers to participants in a class or in a state of being, and the second word describes the class or state of being. Thus, in Genesis 5:32, Noah is said to be a "son of five hundred years," meaning he was 500 years old. In English an adjective often best translates the second term, so that "divine beings" rather than "sons of God" would be a better rendition of the Hebrew. This accords with the NRSV's translation "heavenly beings" for "sons of gods" in Psalms 29:1; 89:6.

    In the New Testament, "sons of God" always refers to human beings who do God's will (Matt. 5:9; Rom. 8:14,19). Similar expressions with the same meaning are to be found in Matthew 5:45; John 1:12; Romans 9:26 ( = Hos. 1:10), and 2 Corinthians 6:18. The usual designation of the heavenly beings in the New Testament is "angels."

    See Angels; Divine Council; God; Son of God.

 

Fred L. Horton, Jr. 

 

We will look at the “Proof” verses in detail.

*   (Psa 82:1 KJV)  A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Both occurrences of God are the same word, Elohim, the difference is that the first time refers to the one true God and the second refers to false gods. There is no mention of angels here.

*   (Psa 89:7 KJV)  God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Again, nothing about angels here. The NASB may refer to “Council of the holy ones” but other versions KJV for example, say things like “who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?” When did angels become holy ones, especially angels that disobey God?

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

*   (Job 2:1 KJV)  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 NIV)  On another day the angels* came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.

*Hebrew <the sons of God>

Here we see a case of the translators interpreting rather than translating as they admit in the note.

*   (Job 38:7 KJV)  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

*   (Job 38:7 NIV)  while the morning stars sang together and all the angels* shouted for joy?

*Hebrew <the sons of God>

This again is interpretation, not translation.

*   (Hosea 1:10 KJV)  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

There is no reason for all of a sudden the meaning of, “Sons of God” to change here except the context doesn’t allow much room for interpretation. Now the author goes to the New Testament where he admits that, “Sons of God” always refers to humans. As a matter of fact Sons of God always refers to human beings.

 

Now let’s look at more verses.

The following verses speak directly of the “Sons of God.” Draw attention to context.

  1. (Gen 6:2 KJV)  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
  2. (Gen 6:4 KJV)  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, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

We already know that the phrase “Sons of God” is never translated from terms for angels. The more natural understanding is that these Sons of God were men that believed in God.

Look at these verses.

  1. (Dan 3:25 KJV)  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
  2. (Hosea 1:10 KJV)  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

 

And look at these verses from the New Testament

  1. (Luke 3:38 KJV)  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
  2. (John 1:12 KJV)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (Children) of God, even to them that believe on his name:
  3. (Rom 8:14 KJV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  4. (Rom 8:19 KJV)  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
  5. (Phil 2:15 KJV)  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons (Children) of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
  6. (1 John 3:1-2 KJV)  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (Children) of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. {2} Beloved, now are we the sons (Children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

These verses support the more direct verses

1.      (Exo 4:22-23 KJV)  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: {23} 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.

1.(Isa 45:11-12 KJV)  Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. {12} I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

2.      (2 Cor 6:17-18 KJV)  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, {18} And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

3.      (Heb 12:7 KJV)  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

 

Here are the concluding verses that support what we have already seen.

 

4.      (Heb 1:5-6 KJV)  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? {6} And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

5.      (Mat 22:30 KJV)  For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

How can there be any doubt remaining. But, who were these Sons of God? The answer is clear from what we have read already. They were men that believed in the one true God. There are actually several views about the Sons of God mentioned in Genesis. The following is from the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Sons of God

There are several theories concerning the identity of the sons of God (b'nei elohim, בני האלהים, contrasted with "daughters of men") identified in the Book of Genesis.

 

*   When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:1-6:2)


Contents

1 Theories

1.1 Lines of Seth View

1.2 Angel View

1.3 Etymology-based

1.4 Gods and Cities

1.5 Neither Angelic, Nor Human View

Theories

Lines of Seth View

*   One theory is that the sons of God are the descendants of Seth, the pure line of Adam. The daughters of men are then seen as the descendants of Cain. This is the view put forth by the pseudepigraphical work: Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan.

Angel View

*   A second theory is that the sons of God are angels who came to earth and had children with the daughters of men.

Etymology-based

*   A third theory revolves around the fact that "elohim" literally means "powers" and is, at times, used in the Bible to refer to powerful human rulers. In the Hebrew "Elohim" is God's name but it is a plural word. Even though the name is more often used with the -im plural suffix while still meaning a singular form, the use of "Ha" before the name (which is the Hebrew equivalent of the word "The") transforms the word into strictly plural, though apologists such as Chuck Missler would regard this as an allusion to the Trinity.)

Gods and Cities

*   A fourth theory relates the "sons of God" to the 70 sons of El and Athirat in the Canaanite tradition of Ugarit, from whose marriage with a race of titanesses (the daughters of man), the 70 nations of the earth were born. Each city or people thus had its own divinity, with whom they had a special covenant (i.e. Ba'al Be'rith = Lord of the Covenant). This marriage of the divinity with the city would seem to have Biblical parallels too with the stories of the link between Melkart and Tyre; Yahweh and Jerusalem; Chemosh and Moab; Tanit and Baal Hammon with Carthage, and may have been celebrated annually after the new year with a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, in which a Qadeshtu (Holy One) took the role of the God's consort, representing the city.

Neither Angelic, Nor Human View

*   A fifth theory proposes that the "sons of God" were neither angelic, nor human, but an all-together separate kind of being, yet a created type. This view, put forth by David Sielaff of Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, Michael S. Heiser, PhD, and others, maintains that Biblical references to the sons of God indicate unique characteristics that neither angels nor humans currently have entirely.