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Who are the Sons of Elohim?

 

Introduction
   The Companion Bible note on the first few verses of Genesis 6 seeks to inform us that the “sons of Elohim” are angels that sinned. In its appendices, at least three separate treatises attempt to prove that angels came down to this earth and cohabited with the “daughters of men.” Which, in turn, produced a land of giants. According to The Companion Bible editor, Dr. E. W. Bullinger, these giants (the monsters of iniquity) had to be destroyed in the deluge.
   Although
The Companion Bible is a reliable and helpful study tool with its many notes and comments, in this instance there remain serious questions about the resourceful logic and reasoning of Dr. Bullinger. Not all Bible expositors agree with his explanation of Genesis 6:1-40. Others, however, have taken the same erroneous position as Dr. Bullinger in maintaining that the “sons of Elohim” are fallen angels.
   Possibly the pseudepigraphic
Book of Enoch gave birth to the theory that the “sons of Elohim” were sinning angels. Several books in one, the Book of Enoch was written shortly after 200 B.C.E. The pseudonymous author undoubtedly got his idea from pagan mythology in which the pagan deities came down to earth, indulging their sensual appetites. Roman and Greek literature is filled with such fantasies.
   Permeated with many fanciful errors and exaggerations, the
Book of Enoch alleges that 200 angelic beings took part in this offense. These pseudepigraphic books, rightfully rejected by both Jewish and Christian scholars, are the source of many imaginative tales about angels and are sometimes used as a source for unbiblical teachings of the so-called “mysteries.”
   From the
Book of Enoch, the theory that angels descended to this earth crept into the Septuagint version. Of the three oldest manuscript copies of the Septuagint, only the Codex Alexandrinus of the fifth century gives the word angels in Genesis 6:2 instead of “sons of Elohim.” Not one of the Hebrew manuscripts, however, has angels in that verse. Rather, they read “sons of Elohim.” The other leading Greek manuscripts also read, “sons of Elohim.”
   In his
Antiquities of the Jews, Jewish historian Josephus makes a brief reference to the “angel" concept. Having been earlier associated with the Essenes, Josephus was well indoctrinated with the Book of Enoch, because the book sprang from them. It is easily seen that the concept that angels were the “sons of Elohim” originated with pagan mythology and then was taught in the Book of Enoch. It was promulgated by Josephus and ultimately inserted into the Septuagint.

Angels Cannot Procreate
   The theory must be rejected simply on the grounds that angelic beings are spirit. As spirit beings, they are created without flesh and blood bodies. Procreation is a type of creation, and angels do not have that gift. They lack the necessary genes and chromosomes to procreate. Because they are created sexless spirit beings, they cannot create of themselves. A fundamental principle of genetics is that life, whose seed is in itself, yields fruit after its own kind (Gen. 1:11-12).
   The Name Yahweh signifies creation. It has the meaning of EXISTENCE, or bringing into existence. It is the Name of the FIRST CAUSE. No angel or spirit being is ever called by the family Name YAH except Yahshua, and He was the one Who did the creating in the Old Testament (John 1:1-3; Heb. 1:1-2). Angels may bear the title EL in their names, such as Gabriel, but none has YAH as part of its name.
   Even if angels were able to change their spirit bodies into fleshly bodies, as in Genesis 19 where Abraham greeted two angels and the visible Yahweh of the Old Testament, there is no evidence that angels ever created anything. Yahweh has reserved that power to Himself.
   The argument has been raised that the angels could have taken over the bodies of humans, and through the humans been the progenitors of the NEPHILIM, the giants in those days. But a law of genetics dictates that the offspring be like the species of the progenitors. The only way an angel can father any human is to have experienced a real human birth.
   Human genetics determine the characteristics of the children that are procreated. Humans are souls (mind and body), and even if an angel was able to control the man’s spirit (mind), man’s offspring would still be like the humans. Taking possession of a man is not the same as procreating children through him—an angelic impossibility—and having the child assume the characteristics of the angel.
   Accepting the theory that the “sons of Elohim” are angels, presents us with a problem in Genesis 6:3 in which Yahweh says,
My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred twenty years. He does not say that His trouble is with ANGELS, but He says it is with man who is flesh. If the angels were at fault, then Yahweh would not have said that His Spirit would not always “strive with” (remain in) man. He would have said ANGELS!
   In verses 3, 5, and 6 we read that it was
man and not ANGELS who had sinned and grieved Yahweh. Verse 7 says that Yahweh now plans to destroy MAN whom He has created. He does not say He will destroy the NEPHILIM who resulted from angels cohabiting with mankind. He does not say He will destroy the angels.
   Further study reveals another truth,
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose, Genesis 6:1-2. These verses allude to polygamous relationships resulting in a population explosion, and giving credence to Messiah’s observation that in the days before the flood, they were “marrying and giving in marriage” (Matt. 24:38). Note also, Yahshua did not say these were marriages between spirit beings and humans. He made it clear it was humans, and not angels which had made a travesty of the institution of marriage and but one evidence, “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth … for the earth is filled with violence through them (mankind)” (Gen. 6:13, 12). Yahshua warned that the end of the age would be like it was in the time of Noah, filled with man’s sin and rebellion (Matt. 24:37-39).

GIANTS (NEPHILIM)
   GIANTS (NEPHILIM) in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is H5308 nephal and corresponds to H5307 naphal (naw-fal) is a primary root, to fall, in a great variety of applications it can mean “one who is fallen; a depraved one; one who has sunk below the human race in morals.” If the purpose for the flood was to destroy the Nephilim as The Companion Bible states, and these Nephilim were the result of sinning angels cohabiting with mankind, then why do we read of the Nephilim as extant 800 years, after the flood was supposed to have destroyed them all?
   Numbers 13:33 tells of the 10 spies who came back from the land of Canaan reporting that the sons of Anak were Giants (Nephilim) and the Israelites were grasshoppers in comparison. But
The Companion Bible overcomes this awkward inconsistency by asserting there was a “second irruption” of the angels with mankind but limited to the land of Canaan. These are then said to be “the nations of Canaan.” Nowhere does the Bible even allude to such a preposterous contention. It stems entirely from the imagination of man. Dr. Bullinger is forcing an interpretation on Genesis 6:4—There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that when the sons of Elohim 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—that moves forward 800 years, into the book of Numbers. It (Num. 13:33) records the Nephilim were in the land of Canaan. Moses makes no suggestion that the Giants (Nephilim) were the offspring of angels.
   A closer look at verse 4 of Genesis 6 shows this error. Notice what this verse DOES NOT say. It does not say that when the “sons of Elohim” came in unto the daughters of men that they begat giants. It plainly says,
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also [moreover] AFTER that, when the sons of Elohim 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. It does not say that the children were GIANTS! It says that these offspring became men of renown. They were heroes—not giants. The Bible says that in the days when “there were giants [Nephilim] upon the earth” is when the sons of Elohim came to the daughters of men (Gen. 6:4).

Daughters of Men
   Who were the “daughters of men?” The Hebrew word is H.1323, bat or bath, and according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, is the feminine of H.1121 ben, which is the word used in Genesis 6:1-2. Its meaning is used in a wide variety of applications, as the female offspring, but can include other female descendants. “Daughters” is also applied to the progeny of animals and the fruit of trees and plants. The meaning is that of women as native residents, professing a religion defined by its place of origin. There is “Zion” (Isa. 3:16; 16:1-2); “Babylon” (Isa. 47:1); “Edom” (Lam. 4:21-22); “Egypt” (Jer. 46:11); “Philistine” (2 Sam. 1:20); “strange deity” (Mal. 2:11).
   The “daughters of men” of Genesis 6:2 were the carnal-minded women of that day as contrasted to those “sons of Elohim.” It is not uncommon in Scripture to learn that a woman represents a religious persuasion, either good or bad. (Compare: Revelation 12 and 17). The daughters of men were the descendants of the Cain line.
   One of the reasons proponents support the angel theory is that they contend “the sons of Elohim" are confined to those who were directly created by the divine hand and not born of other beings after their own order. Adam is called a son of Elohim (Luke 3:38). The Messiah is said to give to them that receive Him the power to become the sons of Yahweh (John 1:12), and in the resurrection they will be given new spirit bodies. Thus, a new creation, they reason.
The term “sons of Elohim” occurs four times in the Old Testament. In addition to Genesis 6:2, it occurs in Job 1:6, 2:1, and also in Job 38:7. The singular, bar meaning son, is found in Daniel 3:25, in which Nebuchadnezzar sees four men in the fiery furnace. The one that looked like “a son of Elohim” is indeed an angelic being (verse 28).
   Also, Job 38:7 undoubtedly refers to the angelic beings:
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy at the creation of the earth and the celestial bodies, and before man was created.
   In Job 1:6, we read,
Now there was a day when the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh and Satan came also among them. Chapter two, verse 1, is nearly identical: Again there was a day when the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan came also among them to present himself before Yahweh. If these sons are angels, are we to assume that they are not always in Yahweh’s presence? Gabriel said he was (Luke 1:19). The Messiah said, they always behold the face of My Father (Matt. 18:10).
   If “the sons of Elohim” are angelic beings, and they always behold the face of the Father, there should be no purpose in presenting themselves before Yahweh. These “sons of Elohim” were the righteous humans who had come to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan, in their company, was but fulfilling his office as accuser (Rev. 12:10).
   Coming into the presence of Yahweh stands in contrast to going out from the presence of Yahweh, as Cain (Gen. 4:16) or as Jonah, who fled from the presence of Yahweh (Jon. 1:3). Both were definitely on earth, but they went/fled away in disobedience from the visible presence of Yahweh on earth.
   It is clear in Genesis 6:2, that “the sons of Elohim” are distinguished from the “daughters of men.” Nowhere in Scripture are evil angels ever called “sons of Elohim.” It is only the good angels who are given this title, as we saw in Job 38:7.
   Mankind is also given this title, if he is obedient to Yahweh and is converted by Yahweh's laws. In the Old Testament, Israel is often referred to as sons and in the New, they are referred to as both children and sons of Yahweh. The Messiah was referred to as the Son of Yahweh, many times.
   It is through Yahshua that we are given the opportunity to become the sons of Yahweh (John 1:12). Paul reveals that if we are led of Yahweh’s Spirit in obeying Him, we are counted for the sons of Yahweh (Rom. 8:14). He says that as adopted sons, we are joint heirs with Messiah, and that the whole creation awaits the manifestation of the sons of Yahweh (vss. 19-21). The resurrection is the “adoption” or being born into the family of Yahweh (v. 23). In 1 John 3:1-3, the writer elaborates on this aspect of being sons (children) of Yahweh, and all who have this hope “purify” themselves by obedience as Yahshua so “purified” Himself.
   The writers of the New Testament were Hebrews, who knew the Old Testament usage of “sons.” They continued to use the same terms in their writings. Alluding to the fruits of his ministry, Paul often refers to Timothy as his “son in the faith” (see, 1 Cor. 4:17;1 Tim. 1:2, 18; 2 Tim. 2:1). Paul also referred to Titus as his son (Titus 1:4) and Philemon as well (v. 10), and the entire Corinthian assembly (1 Cor. 4:14).
   Sons are referred to as those who are in an obedient Father-son relationship. Paul used the term “sons” referring to those he had converted to the faith. Being a “son,” is a pure Hebraism used with reference to origin, destination, or characteristic, and does not refer to humans alone. The “sons of Elohim,” then, are the Seth line as opposed to the daughters of men, the Cain line (destroyed in the flood for their disobedience).


Conclusion
   There are a number of reasons the angels are not the “sons of Elohim” in Genesis 6:2, some of which follow:

      • Angels are spirit beings and do not have material bodies.
      • Yahshua showed that angels do not procreate (Matt. 22:30).
      • No angel is given the name “Yah,” the prime cause of creation.
      • Even though angels can control the minds of humans, the human body will beget “after its kind.”
      • Genesis 6:3 says Yahweh’s Spirit “shall not always strive with man,” not angels.
      • Verses 3, 5, 6 all say that it was MAN that sinned, not angels.
      • Verse 7 says Yahweh will destroy MAN, not angels.
      • These were polygamous marriages, and the Messiah said nothing that indicated angels were involved, (Matt. 24:38).
      • The Bible says they took them wives, a long-term proposition.
      • Nowhere are angels—demons—ever called “sons of Elohim.”
      • Job 1:6 and 2:1 speaks of “sons of Elohim”and refers to those humans voluntarily presenting themselves to Yahweh.
      • The “sons of Elohim” were those of the Seth line; and the “daughters of men” were those of the Cain line.

   Genesis 6 shows that the human family became more and more depraved. The offspring of Seth were being influenced by the degenerate Cain line and were taking up the pleasures and philosophies of the world.
   Hedonism and pursuit of diverse fleshly gratification were prophesied to take place again before the return of Yahshua, and it will be very much like the days of Noah (Matt. 24:37). Whenever good and evil mix, evil usually dominates and the clean becomes unclean. In the end times, it will become so bad that Yahshua said if those days were not shortened, there should be no flesh saved (Matt. 24:22).
   It is up to each of us to overcome our carnal nature and overcome the evil influences of the world. Yahweh said that He would not destroy the earth again with a flood as He did in Noah's time (2 Pet. 3:6). This time He will destroy the wicked with fire (v. 7).
   We should remember the days of Noah and what precipitated the flood. We should strive to be the “sons of Yahweh” by doing those things that are pleasing to Him (John 8:29; Col. 1:10). Here is the promise we are given:
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His Elohim and he shall be My son, Revelation 21:7.


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