In the sixth chapter of Genesis we read of the "sons of God" and "giants" who perished in the deluge. Who were they? Is this Bible account really historical?
THOUSANDS of people are being deceived by fables and superstitions that masquerade under the guise of truth. Most "modern" interpretations of those "sons of God," "mighty men" and "giants" are really age-old fables! Instead of just accepting human interpretations without proof, let's search the Scripture for the Bible answer. Were the prediluvians angels who married women and produced giants? Or were they pious children of Seth? Is it scientific to believe there ever were giants, or nephilim as they are called in Hebrew?
BIBLE Definitions of "Sons of God"
The Bible employs the phrase "sons of God" in several ways. Therefore we must have adequate Scriptural proof before we can be sure which Bible definition is intended in the sixth chapter of Genesis. People always want to pick the definition they want to believe rather than what God intends to reveal! Maybe that's what you, without realizing it, have been doing all these years. Here are the Bible usages. First, if one has received and is led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14), then he is now a begotten son of God (I John 3:1). Many verses in the New Testament explain that the natural human being is not a BEGOTTEN son of God until guided and filled with the Holy Spirit which is the DIVINE NATURE and LIFE of God (II Peter 1:4). Second, figuratively speaking, natural human beings are called "sons of God." We are all the sons of God by creation (Malachi 2:10; Luke 3:35). Third, in the book of Job, God calls angels "sons of God" because they were created by Him. Notice it. "All the sons of God shouted for joy" when God was laying the earth's foundation (Job 38:5-7). This was long before there were any human beings. Adam, who was the first man (I Cor. 15:45), was created much later. Although angels are called "sons of God" because they are created by God, they can never become begotten sons of God as can human beings (Hebrews 1-5). Since the Bible uses the expression "sons of God" in these various ways, we must study all the Scripture before determining which one is the correct Biblical interpretation.
WHO Were the Giants?
Beside "sons of God," Moses wrote that there were giants or nephilim in the earth in those days. Many modernists, who reject the inspiration of Scripture, assume that belief in giants is a relic of past superstitious ages. The present age is supposedly free from superstition! Others, however, assume this historical record teaches that giants or nephilim were the progeny of angels and women. But let's not assume. Let's find the facts. Notice what Moses was inspired to write. Long before the flood occurred, giants existed on the earth "and also AFTER THAT, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men..." So the giants were not the progeny of those marriages. They lived before the marriages occurred. The progeny of those marriages were not the giants, but "mighty men, which were of old, men of renown" (Gen. 6:4).
Startling Evidence Proves Giants Existed
This will come as a surprise — yes, a shock, to most of you. The remains of those giants and mighty men have been found by geologists and archeologists! Once and for all time, the accusation that Bible history is untrustworthy is disproved. It is religious superstition and evolutionary theory that are the fables! Much of the evidence about pre-flood life can be found in an easy-to-read book entitled, Mankind So Far, by William Howells. Although written by an evolutionist, this book contains facts which substantiate the historical account in Genesis. The author did not understand the evidence he found, because he rejected the Bible revelation and invented his own theories. Most every child has heard of the cave-men or the Neanderthals. Far from being sub-men, they were the giants of old. Here is what Howells says of them: "The Neanderthal brain was most positively and definitely not smaller than our own; indeed, and this is rather a bitter pill, it appears to have been perhaps a little larger. The middle-aged man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints had a brain whose volume was about 1,625 cubic centimeters, which is a figure that only a fraction of modern European men can match..." (pp. 165-166). "A skull of the Neanderthals has a characteristic and striking form. It is huge and thick. It considerably exceeds that of any modern type both in length and in breadth..." (pp. 166). Far from being "half-way up from the ape," these giants who roamed the earth possessed a "squat, heavily built physique of great strength"; their "teeth were robust and somewhat larger than ours, but not more primitive" (p. 168). "...the excellence of their stone working, which was as good as anything which had yet been achieved..." was amazing. Their characteristic tool was the fist ax "so heavy as to be surprising, for the men of the age were surely not monsters." (pp. 164, 118). Not monsters? But the facts prove it! The Bible says so. "There were giants in the earth in those days!" They were divided into several races, being scattered over much of Europe, North Africa and parts of Russia. The Bible does not give their specific origin other than they must have been descendants of Adam, the first man (I Cor. 15:45). Genesis 1:9 disproves the possibility that they roamed before the creation of Adam. They appeared in the earth in the days soon after Adam and before the flood — "in those days." Undoubtedly they were biological mutations. In Rhodesia, Africa, a skull has been found of the same general type which is "really colossal in size..." (p. 176). The Heidelberg jaw is also immense. The Piltdown skull, found in Great Britain, was probably of a woman whose brain case was "well above the average for European women today" (p. 158). The Wajak skulls of the Australian area also have a large brain and heavy bone construction. A few skulls of much the same sort (and date) have come to light in South Africa; the important ones being the Florisbad, Fish, Hock, Boskop, and Springbok Flats crania. They are all old and big." "This is especially true of the enormous Boskop skull (with a capacity of perhaps 1,800 cubic centimeters)" (pp. 191-192).
Did Violence Fill the Earth?
The record in Genesis says that God, in mercy, destroyed the earth to save man from himself. Evil and violence filled the earth. Archeologists have found proof of that violence. In the Ofnet cave of Bavaria, Germany, "were discovered thirty-three skulls all huddled together in a circle. Their owners had each been killed by a stone ax, and all the heads had been cut off and buried together in this fashion" (p. 226). In China the bones of ancients were discovered to have been "split lengthwise in a fashion which no animal can manage, but which has been used by man to get at the marrow of a bone in other times and places" (p. 149). Cannibalism!
Evidence of the Mighty Men of Old
The remains of the mighty men of renown-men of great ability and exploits — are quite different from the giants. Here is what Howells has found: "Over such a large population rose rulers of yet unheard-of power, able to construct temples and palaces. And through all this ran knowledge, writing, and mathematics. That was the Bronze Age. Before 3,000 B.C. there arose the Indian cities, Mohenjodaro, Harappa, and others in the Indus Valley, and Kish and the Sumerian Ur in Mesopotamia" (p. 230). It is significant that these cities perished by water according to archeologists! But why should people today be so much smaller and less powerful? The answer is found in a statement by Howells on page 226, "There were some groups of people in Egypt and the Near East who were long headed but had the lighter-boned, smaller skulls of men of today." Noah lived in the Near East. He was the progenitor of all the nations that exist today. He undoubtedly came from this stock — the group that did not have the greatest physical strength and stature! God could use him in His ministry because he was willing to humble himself — there was nothing humanly great of which he could be proud. The same today. Not many great and mighty in this world are called. They do not yield themselves to the great power of God. They rely, like the ancients, on their own strength — never acknowledging that even such strength was given to them by God at birth. Let us take this lesson to heart! Since we have the historical facts in mind, let's look at the record Moses gave. Who were those "sons of God" who married and reproduced the mighty men?
Were those "Sons of God" Angels?
People often quote II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 as proof that the pre-flood sons of God were angels. Let's notice what Peter said: "God spared not the angels that sinned, but...delivered them into chains of darkness... AND spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; AND turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes (II Peter 2:4-6). Notice that there are three distinct — three different punishments. God cast down the angels and degraded them to chains of spiritual darkness before He destroyed the antediluvian world. The punishment of the angels was not at the flood. It was at a prior, a DIFFERENT time. The sin of the angels was not descending to the earth to marry women. They sinned by leaving the earth which was their estate, to rival God in heaven. They were cast back to the earth (Jude 6; Isaiah 14:13-14).
Angels Not at Liberty to Marry
The wicked angels who followed Satan were in chains of darkness imprisoned by their own folly (Jude 6). Remember, the Bible reveals that angels are created spirits (Hebrews 1:14). They are not mortal flesh like humans. In I Peter 3:19, 20 we read of spirits — angels — not human beings, but angels who were imprisoned, bound — when? "When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing." Notice it! Before the flood destroyed the land, while the ark was still under construction, the angels who are spirits, were already imprisoned, "in hell" — tartaroo — not at liberty to co-habit with human women. It is a fable that angels were imprisoned as a result of the flood. Not only does Peter disprove the theory that fallen angels were at liberty to marry women, but Jesus also disproves it. Christ said in three places that angels DO NOT MARRY. Angels are created spirits and do not reproduce by sexual intercourse or any other means (Luke 20:36; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12.35). Angels cannot co-habit with women and reproduce because angels and humans are two different kinds of beings. God set laws in motion that each produces after its own kind (Genesis 1). Two different Biblical kinds can not gender sexually. This is one of the most thoroughly established laws of science. God did not make it possible for angels to reproduce with human beings. He did not intend to beget angels as His sons (Hebrews 1:5). Beside, nowhere in the Bible do we find that degraded angels have the power to manifest themselves in the form of human beings — a power now possessed only by righteous angels who serve God.
Originated in Paganism
The doctrine that angels married women is not new. It came from garbled heathen traditions. Jewish fables which Paul condemned also contain the same superstitions. Where did they acquire them? From the Babylonians! The Gentiles who once knew the truth, turned it into a lie (Rom. 1:25). They confused the sins of angels, which occurred before Adam's creation, with the sins of men during the days of Noah, thus producing the garbled tradition that the "gods" had intercourse with women. It was from contact with such Babylonian traditions that the Jews received their fables. See any Biblical Encyclopedia for this information. It is time that Christians come out of this Babylonian superstition and believe what the Bible really teaches.
The True Answer
Years after the flood there was recorded for us in the book of Job a description of prediluvian life (Job 22:15-18). Notice what the narrator says! "Hast thou marked the old way which wicked MEN have trodden?" Did you notice it? The scripture says "men," not angels. Men, human beings, say to God "Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? Yet he filled their houses with good things." They were self sufficient unregenerate human sinners who had no fear of God. They were like human beings today. They didn't believe in a flood. But fallen angels fear God and tremble. They know the just judgment of God against their evil deeds (James 2:29). The angels knew God would bring a flood. Now read Genesis 6:3. The "sons of God" took wives, "The ETERNAL said, My spirit shall not always strive with man." Here again the sons of God are called "men." Because the sons of God lusted after women, God said, "I will destroy man whom I have made from the face of the earth" (verse 7). Not one word about angels! With the outpouring of the deluge "all flesh died... AND EVERY MAN" (Gen. 7:21-23).
Why Called "Sons of God"
If you will examine the sixth chapter of Genesis more closely, you will notice that DAUGHTERS were born when the human race began to multiply rapidly (verse 1). Why the mention of daughters ONLY? What about the sons that must have been born? The human race reproduces at least as many males as females. The answer is that the sons are spoken of, but most readers overlook it. Turn to the last verse of Genesis 4 and pick up the real beginning of the account. Over two and one-half centuries had passed since the creation of Adam. What happened? "Then began men to call upon the name of the ETERNAL." The marginal reading is "then began men to call themselves by the name of the ETERNAL" (Gen. 4:26). Like people today who profess Christ and call themselves Christians, those men of old gave lip service to the ways of God even though they called themselves by the name of God! They were the sons born before the flood. They were rebellious and unrepentant. What had they done that was evil in God's sight? Notice it, the males who professed God, but with whom God would not continue to strive, were the ones who married the "daughters of men." They persisted in having their own way and married their neighbor's daughters — beautiful, but unconverted women — who led them further away from God and into the cares of this world.