Open your Bible to Genesis 6
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.”
The problem that immediately confronts us here regards the identity of the “sons of God.” All efforts to identify these with angels or other supernatural creatures should be rejected.
THE “SONS OF GOD” WERE NOT ANGELS
The reasons why this passage cannot be applied either to angels or to other supernatural creatures are as follows:
No angels have been mentioned in the Bible up to this point, and the supposition that they make their first appearance in Scripture under the title “sons of God” is untenable.
The term “sons of God” is nowhere in the Bible, either in the O.T. or in the N.T., applied to angels. The passages usually cited where this expression is allegedly a reference to angels have no reference at all to angels, the word angels not even appearing in such references as Job 1:6; Daniel 3:25; and Psalms 89:6, the passages cited by Elliott.
In the N.T., particularly, it is human beings who are led by God’s Spirit who are called “sons of God” (1 John 3:1; Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:6, etc.).
There are only two classes of angels, the holy angels, and the angels of Satan (fallen angels); and neither class could be viewed here.
Holy angels would not have induced men to sin; and the fallen angels, in a million years, would never have been designated by the Holy Spirit as “the sons of God!”
Note too that these “sons of God” “took them wives of all that they chose,” an unmistakable reference to marriage; and Jesus our Lord flatly declared that angels do not marry (Matthew 22:30).
The myth-hunters (The Bible Project & similar false teachers) who attempt to drag mythology into this passage are contradicted by this, and we may only smile at some of the tactics of avoidance employed.
Skinner, for example, after mentioning this, wrote, “But this must not be pressed.” Indeed, why not? We are delighted to “press it” as a complete refutation of the error of finding “angels” in this passage.
If angels, or other supernatural creatures, had been to blame for the gross wickedness about to envelop mankind, then God would have announced their punishment and destruction, instead of the punishment and destruction of men.
Those who would like to place the blame for human debauchery upon the supernatural creatures are frustrated by the fact that God’s punishment always falls upon the guilty, and that it was men, not angels, who received the punishment here.
The two classes of men visible in these verses had already been carefully introduced in Genesis 4 and Genesis 5, the sons of men (in their hardened state) being the line of the Cainites, and the “sons of God” being the people in the line of Seth. Scholars who deny the obvious unity and logical sequence of this narrative are, of course, totally unaware of this.
A TYPE OF SALVATION IN CHRIST
The spiritual teaching of Noah’s deliverance has always been recognized by Christians, who see in the ark a symbol of the church into which they are admitted by baptism, God thereby graciously providing for their deliverance from the wrath and destruction due to sin.
Unger designated “the ark as a type of Christ, the preserver of his people from judgment” These views, however, are not contradictory, for it is equally true of both. The church is the spiritual body of Christ; and thus the ark is a type of Christ and/or of his church.
It was the water of the flood that separated Noah from the disobedient nation that perished; and it is the water of Christian baptism that separates between the saved today and the disobedient who perish.
Noah’s coming forth from the waters to live again on the earth might fitly be called his being “born of water.”
The same waters which destroyed the ancient world were those which saved Noah by bearing up the ark and delivering him to newness of life.
Just so, it is the water of baptism that destroys the wicked today, in the sense that they despise it, rebel against God’s command, refuse to obey it; or, if they allow it at all, downgrade the necessity or importance of it.
Just as the water separated Noah from the past and delivered him to a new existence, it is the water of baptism that separates the Christian from his past and from which he like Noah, arises to “walk in newness of life.”
The same element is instrumental in the salvation of Noah and that of the Christian, namely, water, exactly the same kind of water (whoever heard of different kinds of water?). It is not a spiritual baptism that saves men; it is water baptism, as the covenant act of obedience to the commandment of Almighty God.
It was the water that washed away the filth of that generation; and it is baptism that, in a figure, washes away the sins of men who are becoming Christians (Acts 22:16). “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins.”
Only a few were saved through the flood, and Christ has warned that only a few shall be saved (in the relative sense) unto eternal life (Matthew 7:13,14).
Note also that only those in the ark were saved, and that, similarly, only those in Christ have the promise of eternal life.
Further comment on Genesis 6:1: The simple meaning of this much-discussed passage is that the righteous element of mankind sacrificed the opportunity to avoid the debaucheries of the Cainites through promiscuous intermarriage with the wicked element of the population.
In all ages, God has warned his children against being “unequally yoked together” with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).
It was the prime law of God’s dealings with ancient Israel that they should separate themselves absolutely from the pagan world around them; and under no circumstances were they allowed to intermarry with pagans.
That which contaminates and destroys the home is the same thing that destroys the entire community of believers.
It is the disregard of this, even in our own generation, that is stripping the church of any effective witness against abounding wickedness.
In the situation before us, the result was soon the utter corruption of humanity.
May God bless the teaching of His Inspired Word.
James Burton Coffman
Randy M Gardner
Eric Lee Gardner