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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Should We Conclude about the Identity of the Sons of God and Daughters of Men?

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Don Stewart
Any of these five views are biblically possible with regard to the identity of the sons of God and the daughters of men. Each of these views are held by good Bible-believing interpreters. Therefore, whatever conclusion one arrives at with respect to the identity of the sons of God and the daughters of men, it must be held with some hesitation.

Victor Hamilton writes:

Suffice it to say, it is impossible to be dogmatic about the identification of sons of God here. The best one can do is consider the options. While it may not be comforting to the reader, perhaps it is best to say that the evidence is ambiguous and therefore defies clear-cut identifications and solutions (Hamilton, ibid., p. 265).

Gordon Wenham notes:

Given the variety of ways in which the sons of the gods has been understood, it is hard to know which sense is correct-angelic, royal or traditional Sethite (Gordon Wenham, Genesis 1-15, Word, 1987, p. 140).

Kenneth Matthews agrees:

Although we commend the Sethites as the sons of God, no view escapes troubling criticism. The mysterious identity of the sons of God continues to humble the expositor (Matthews, ibid., p. 332).

No Doctrine Created Out Of This Passage

Speaking of the various interpretations of sons of God Millard Erickson gives us a valuable warning:

Nevertheless, it is impossible to hold this or any other alternative view with any degree of certainty. It is necessary to conclude that there simply is not enough evidence to justify using this passage as a source of information about angels (Erickson, ibid. p. 443).

Thus, no doctrine should be built upon the identity of these sons of God-certainly no doctrine with respect to the workings of angels.

This brings up a point we have repeatedly emphasized-no one should build any type of doctrine on a shaky, disputed passage. Whatever one concludes this passage may mean, it should not be used to promote any particular belief.

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