“Is the Genesis Story of ‘The Sons of God’ True?”

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Pertaining to the old days when the watchers went astray and married women and bore giants—are these stories of any truth?

In the days of Noah, when a man in years was nearing his death, say a just man, are there any hints as to what awaited them in the afterlife of that period?

Is there something, or has there ever been something, commented on in scripture which disturbs the dead in their rest?

Thank you for writing Probe Ministries. My own understanding of Genesis 6:1-4 leads me to believe that “the sons of God” mentioned here were indeed fallen angels. Whether or not the offspring of their union with the daughters of men were the giants referred to in v. 4 is difficult to say. The text may indicate that at least some of these giants existed prior to the sexual union of the sons of God with the daughters of men. For my part, I certainly believe these stories are true. It is quite possible that the sons of God in Genesis 6 are the angels referred to by both Jude (v. 6) and Peter (2 Pet. 2:4).

There is not a great deal of biblical revelation concerning the afterlife of the righteous in the days of Noah. But here is something to consider. In Genesis 5:21-24 we have the story of Enoch. Verse 24 states, “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Although this verse does not give us much information, it certainly suggests an afterlife in the presence of God for the just and righteous who, like Enoch, walked with God. [Note: also see Probe Answers Our E-Mail: Is There a Specific Reference to Heaven or Hell in the OT? ]

Finally, although I’m not entirely sure what you are asking about in your third question, there is an account in 1 Samuel 28 about King Saul and a medium, in which Saul asks the medium to call up the prophet Samuel from the dead. In this case, God allowed Samuel to return to deliver to Saul a message of judgment against both he and Israel. When Samuel appears, he asks Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” (v. 15). Thus, this may be the sort of example you were looking for. Of course, it’s important to point out that this is an exceptional event. Normally, the dead are not permitted to return to the land of the living after death (see Luke 16:19-31). However, in particular cases the sovereign Lord may, for His own purposes, permit such a thing (as in the case of Samuel).

God bless you,

Michael Gleghorn
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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