the Fifth Sunday of Lent
Sons of God (Old Testament)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(Old Testament) ( האלהים בּני ,
1. Job and Psalms:
This article will deal with this phrase as it is used in the above passages. In the passages from Job and Psalms it is applied to supernatural beings or angels. In Job the "sons of God" are represented as appearing before the throne of Yahweh in heaven, ready to do Him service, and as shouting for joy at the creation of the earth, In the Psalms they are summoned to celebrate the glory of Yahweh, for there is none among them to be compared to Him. The phrase in these passages has no physical or moral reference. These heavenly beings are called "sons of God" or "sons of the
2. Genesis 6:2 , Genesis 6:4 :
Different views, however, are taken of the passage in Genesis 6:2 , Genesis 6:4 : "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose .... The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men." See GIANTS; NEPHILIM .
(1) "Sons of God" is interpreted as referring to men, ( a ) to sons of the nobles, who married daughters of the common people. This is the view of many Jewish authorities, who hold that it is justified by the use of
(2) Most scholars now reject this view and interpret "sons of God" as referring to supernatural beings in accordance with the meaning of the expression in the other passages. They hold that Deuteronomy 14:1 , etc., cannot be regarded as supporting the ethical interpretation of the phrase in a historical narrative. The reference to Jeremiah 32:20 , etc., too, is considered irrelevant, the contrast in these passages being between Israel and other nations, not, as here, between men and God. Nor can a narrower signification (daughters of worldly men) be attached to "men" in Genesis 6:2 than to "men" in Genesis 6:1 , where the reference is to the human race in general. This passage (Genesis 6:1-4 ), therefore, which is the only one of its kind, is considered to be out of its place and to have been inserted here by the compiler as an introduction to the story of the Flood (Genesis 6:5-8 ). The intention of the original writer, however, was to account for the rise of the giant race of antiquity by the union of demigods with human wives. This interpretation accords with Enoch chapters 6 through 7, etc., and with Judges 1:6 f, where the unnatural sin of the men of Sodom who went after "strange flesh" is compared with that of the angels (compare 2 Peter 2:4 ff). (See Havernick, Introduction to the Pentateuch; Hengstenberg on the Pentateuch , I, 325; Oehler, Old Testament Theology , I, 196 f; Schultz, Old Testament Theology , I, 114 ff; Commentary on Genesis by Delitzsch, Dillmann, and Driver.)
See ANTEDILUVIANS , 3; CHILDREN OF GOD; GIANTS; NEPHILIM; REPHAIM .
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Sons of God (Old Testament)'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​isb/​s/sons-of-god-old-testament.html. 1915.