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Who Are the Sons of God?

Thank God for the many resources to study this.

Genesis 5:25-6:4 (ESV)

When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.

After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Commentators are divided over whether the sons of God in this passage refers to angels or the descendants of Seth. This defense of the angel view based on the Hebrew grammar is impressive.

However, Matthew 22:30 suggests that angels don’t reproduce, thus supporting the view that the sons of God were descendants of Seth. The greatness of the Nephilim can be understood in terms of hybrid vigor.

Noah is the tenth generation; Adam is Noah’s great(x7)-grandfather. Other than Adam and Noah, this genealogy only mentions one son for each parent. The text only focuses on the key players – leaving out thousands (or even millions) of others. The human race split into two lines with Cain and Seth. Some of Cain’s line is recorded in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 is Seth’s line. There is no indication that these two lines intermarried.

Thus, the first cross-breeding could have produced hybrid vigor.

It’s sad that so many people think there’s a conflict between science and the Bible. Science is a great help in understanding scripture. Without the science of genetics, we wouldn’t know about hybrid vigor. God gave us both special revelation (the Bible) and general revelation (His creation) to guide us. He is the creator of both and both reflect His nature.

Science is the study of general revelation. Science, particularly modern medicine, is a wonderful gift.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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