“If Angels Can’t Marry, Then How Could ‘The Sons of God’ Father Giants?”

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Hi Michael, I read your answer to “Is the Genesis Story of ‘The Sons of God’ True?” and have a question about it. Mark 12:25 tells us that angels cannot marry. So I’m confused as to how the sons of God could have married women who then “bore giants”?

Mark 12:25 is possibly the passage most often cited against the view that the “sons of God” in Gen. 6 refers to fallen angels. And, of course, this view may be correct.

It’s difficult to know with certainty what the passage in Gen. 6 means. However, when one considers how the phrase “sons of God” gets used elsewhere in the Old Testament (e.g. Job 1-2; etc.), it’s clear that it’s often used to refer to angels. Also, New Testament passages like Jude 6-7 and 2 Peter 2:4f, seem to lend support to this interpretation.

One of the Bible.org folks addressing this issue at http://bible.org/question/who-are-%E2%80%9Csons-god%E2%80%9D-genesis-61-8 wrote this about the “marriage” issue:

“I heartily agree with Bob Deffinbaugh’s arguments and presentation of this passage in his commentary, Genesis: From Paradise to Patriarchs which is on our web site in the Bible Studies / Old Testament / Books / Genesis section. I believe those who reject this view do so through exegetical gymnastics because of their own refusal to believe this could happen. They often refer to Christ’s statement about angels not marrying, but this is talking about God’s normal plan for them. They were created as a host and were not to propagate like mankind and fill the earth. This in no way says that under Satan’s orders and power they could not leave their own (idios, unique, peculiar, distinct, proper) domain (arche, rule, sphere of rule, influence) and abandon their own proper abode (oike,te,rion, habitation, dwelling place) (Jude 6).”

Since angels have the ability to assume human form, and since fallen angels are said to sometimes “possess” human beings, it seems to me possible that the “Sons of God” in Gen. 6 were angels. But, of course, I don’t know this for sure. And I certainly might be wrong.

If you’re interested in exploring this issue further, please see some of the discussions on bible.org here.

Hope this helps.

Shalom in Christ,

Michael Gleghorn

© 2006 Probe Ministries

Dr. Michael Gleghorn

Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University, a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theological Studies (also from Dallas Theological Seminary). Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children: Arianna and Josiah. As a family, they attend Frisco Bible Church, where Michael and Hannah are involved in various ministries. His personal website is michaelgleghorn.com.

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