- Well, Genesis 6:1-4
is a difficult text.
And as we attempt to
interpret it, we should be humble
because there are different interpretations
that have been taken of this text
and I don't think that
whatever interpretation we take,
I don't think we should be divisive
with other Christians in the church
or among the people of God.
There are three,
Genesis 6 says that the sons of God
saw the daughters of men
and that they chose
the daughters of men for themselves as wives
and they married them.
So the question is,
who are the sons of God
that are marrying the daughters of men?
Well, there are three different interpretations.
One is that the sons of God is a reference
to the godly line of Seth.
Cain killed Abel so after Abel died,
Adam and Eve had relations
and Seth was born and Seth carried on
the godly faith of Abel.
So one idea is that the sons of God
are the descendants of Seth marrying the daughters of men,
the ungodly line of Cain.
Second interpretation is that the sons of God
refers to angels, angelic beings
intermarrying with humans.
The third idea is that the sons of God
are heroes from the mythical past, tyrant kings.
We have stories from the ancient Near East.
For example, we have stories of a person
by the name of Gilgamesh
and he was part god and part human
and accomplished many mighty feats.
So, how do we,
how do we find the right interpretation?
The exact expression, sons of God,
only occurs four or five times in the Hebrew Bible.
We have one occurrence here in Genesis 6.
We have two occurrences in the introduction
to the book of Job.
In the introduction to the book of Job,
we see God gathering in His heavenly court,
His heavenly assembly with the angels.
The angels are called sons of God there.
There's another occurrence in the book of Job,
Job chapter 38
where God is challenging Job and He says,
Where were you when I created the world?
When He created the world,
the sons of God sang for joy.
So it seems to,
there it also seems to be a very clear
reference to angelic beings.
The last occurrence is in Aramaic
in the book of Daniel.
When the king looked into the furnace,
he saw four,
four people there
and it says that one looked like a son of God,
which would mean a divine being, an angelic being.
There are only five occurrences in the entire Bible
where we have the exact expression,
son of God or sons of God
and it always refers to angelic beings.
We must distinguish this use
from other places.
There are other places in the Bible
where they indicate that the relationship of a human
to God is like a father-son relationship.
So Adam and God have a father-son relationship.
In the covenant that God makes with David,
God and David have a father-son relationship.
But it doesn't say that,
it doesn't actually say that Adam is a son of God.
It doesn't use that linguistic expression
and it doesn't say that David is the son of God.
So the only time that linguistic expression
occurs in the Bible,
it always and very clearly refers to angelic beings.
We also have the,
we also have the witness of the New Testament.
So there are two passages in the New Testament
that refer to this.
One is 2 Peter chapter 2
and the other is the book of Jude
and both of these texts
are very closely related to each other.
In 2 Peter chapter 2,
Peter is talking about
how difficult days are coming for the Christians
and there will be people who deny the faith,
who deny the truth about Jesus Christ,
the truth about His work,
who deny the gospel.
There will be false teachers
and they will bring corruption into the church
and destruction into the church.
What Peter does is he appeals to the Old Testament
and he says, well, if God could deliver,
if God could deliver His faithful people
in difficult times in the Old Testament,
then He will be able to do it in the New Testament as well.
Peter refers to two examples
in the Old Testament.
One is the story of the,
of Genesis 6 and Noah
and the other is the story of Lot
being rescued from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
And if you look in the Greek text
of 2 Peter, it's very clear
that there are two examples
and not three examples
by the use of the word and.
So if God did not spare the angels who sinned
and He delivered Noah
and He did not spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
and He rescued Lot.
So there are two examples
joined by the word and
and each example has two parts,
a negative part and a positive part.
A negative part and a positive part.
So, when Peter is talking about the angels
who sinned, he's very clearly talking about
Genesis chapter 6 because this is connected
with the story of Noah.
Some people say, well, no,
he's not talking about Genesis 6.
Well, then my question to them is,
if Peter is trying to encourage
his readers from well-known stories
in the Old Testament and if the angels who sinned
is not Genesis 6, then where else is the story?
There is no other story in the Old Testament
that it could be referring to.
Some people think that it's the fall of Satan
but as we, we're going to see when we talk about that,
there is no story,
there is no story in the Old Testament
that describes the fall of Satan.
Peter is very clearly alluding to Genesis 6.
Jude is doing the same thing and it's very obvious
in the book of Jude
because he's talking about people
who are false teachers,
people who are going to deny the faith
and he also appeals to the Old Testament
and shows how God delivered His people in the past
and He will do so in the future.
He also refers to two events.
He refers to angels who abandoned
their proper dwelling place,
their proper home.
He also talks about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
and he says, since they,
in the same way as these
committed strange immorality.
Well, in the Greek text,
the they refers to the angels
and the same way as these,
the these refers to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So what the story of Genesis 6
has in common with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah
is that there's an abnormal form of sexuality going on.
If God can deliver His people
from even the strangest perversions,
then He will deliver the people
who are listening to Peter
and the people who are listening to Jude.
He will deliver us.
Now, someone might come to me and say,
well, Jesus in the gospels
says that the angels in heaven
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
So it's impossible for an angel
to have physical relations with human women.
Well, they're not reading the gospels accurately
and clearly because Jesus
is saying that when,
in the resurrection, when Jesus returns
at the end of history,
we, who are resurrected,
are not going to marry because we're going to be
like the angels in heaven.
Notice he says the angels in heaven
and Jude says they left
their proper dwelling place.
So there's no contradiction between Jesus and Jude.
In heaven, the angels don't marry.
In Jude, they abandoned their proper dwelling place
and they go to commit strange immorality.
So there's no confusion.
So it seems very clear,
Genesis 6 is telling us
that these are angels who are marrying humans
and Jude and Peter are telling us
that is the correct interpretation.
The next piece is who are the Nephilim.
In verse 4 of Genesis 6, it says,
the Nephilim were on the earth in those days
and also afterward
when the sons of God had relations with human women
and they bore children of them.
End of sentence.
They were the heroes who were from the ancient past,
men of renown.
There's two major sentences there.
First one says, the Nephilim were on the earth
in those days and also afterward.
There are two possible interpretations
of this expression,
they were on the earth in those days and afterward.
What does that mean,
they were there in those days and afterward?
Well, some people think this means that
the Nephilim were the children
that came from the angels who married the women
in Genesis 6:1-3
and that the Nephilim were the product
of these unnatural unions
and they appeal to texts from the 3rd century B.C.
and 2nd century B.C.,
the so-called Enochic traditions,
the traditions about Enoch
where the Nephilim are interpreted as giants.
There's another interpretation that's possible.
When it says the Nephilim were there in those days
and also afterward,
it could mean that
before the angels had sex with the human women,
the Nephilim were there
and they were also there after
the angels had sex with women.
So it could mean that the Nephilim had nothing to do
with the angels marrying the humans.
I think that is the correct interpretation
for two reasons.
First of all, I examined every occurrence
of this expression and also afterward.
I went to the Hebrew Bible,
I looked up every occurrence of this phrase
and I examined how it was used.
And the second interpretation
best fits and suits how this word is used.
So when it says,
they were there in those days and also afterward,
it means the Nephilim were there before angels
cohabited with humans
and they were there after angels cohabited with humans.
There's a second reason why
this is the correct interpretation.
The last sentence says,
they were the heroes who were from the ancient past,
the men of renown.
This sentence does not begin with and.
Now that's very very important.
Almost every sentence in the Hebrew Bible begins with and.
When a sentence does not begin with and,
it does so for two reasons.
It could be because it's beginning
a new section
or secondly, because it's making a comment
on the previous sentence,
what we would call a footnote.
It's very clear that this sentence is not beginning
a new section but it's acting like a footnote
on the previous sentence.
So the previous sentence is saying
that the Nephilim were before,
were there before the angels and the humans cohabited
and they were there after.
And it's making a brief comment
that they were the ancient heroes.
In this case, what Moses is doing
is he's demythologizing
You notice one of the things that we should notice is
the text doesn't tell us who the Nephilim were.
What does that mean?
Why doesn't the text tell us
who they were?
Because they were well-known to the first readers
of this text.
The first readers of this text
knew who the Nephilim were
and didn't need that explained to them.
And all Moses is saying is,
look, whoever you think these heroes are
like Gilgamesh, these ancient heroes,
these men of renown,
you've read about them in the ancient mythologies.
Whoever they were, they're not part of this story.
They don't come from the cohabitation
of angels and humans.
And I think that's the correct interpretation.
But the problem is,
this has been a difficult text to interpret
and it has not always been interpreted correctly
down through the centuries.
And in the 3rd century B.C.
and the 2nd century B.C.,
they came to an incorrect interpretation.
They thought that the Nephilim were giants
who were produced by angels cohabiting with humans
and this got into the book of Enoch.
And Paul warns his readers against this
because he says in his letters to Timothy,
Don't argue over endless genealogies
and foolish myths.
This is a direct reference to the book of Enoch
which has a long genealogy of all the angels
until you finally come down to Satan
and then they blame all the evil in the world on Satan.
What they're trying to do is they're trying to
blame chaos and death
and evil in the world on angelic sin
instead of blaming it on human sin
and the Bible clearly puts the blame on humans.
Genesis 3 shows how sin came into the world.
How did we live in a world
that is troubled by chaos, by death,
by evil, by sin, by selfishness,
by all kinds of corruption.
That came about because God made a covenant
with the first humans and they broke that covenant.
They were fickle, they were disloyal,
they were unfaithful, they cheated on God
in the relationship
and they rebelled against Him.
And so when Jude quotes and refers to this material,
he's showing that it's,
the sin is in the world because of human rebellion
not because of angelic sin.
- [Narrator] Thanks for watching "Honest Answers."
Don't forget to subscribe.