To the skeptic, the Bible doesn’t make much sense and is full of discrepancies brought by man. However, for the believer, once you get beyond a surface level of knowledge concerning the Bible, you soon see how everything is intricately pieced together and that God’s fingerprints are indeed riddled all over it. A not too often talked about concept within the Bible would be concerning DNA and a “pure” human gene pool. For those who either aren’t familiar with the Bible or are and haven’t looked deeply into what it says, this idea might be a first for you, but the Bible does in fact talk about genetic manipulation and the consequences of it. Let’s take a deeper look into what I’m talking about specifically using Noah and the Flood as a basis for this.
Noah and the Flood
One of the more well known stories in the Bible is the story of Noah and the flood. To summarize, after God created the world and Adam and Eve rebelled against God, we skip to a time where the earth is heavily populated. However, God makes it clear that those dwelling on the earth have continuous evil in their hearts and the earth is filled with violence. Due to this, God decides to wipe out the earth BUT he chooses one family to save out of it. This is Noah’s family. He instructs Noah to build a large boat for his family and 2 of every kind of animal. After Noah and the animals are safe within the ark, God floods the world killing every living being on it. Once this ends, he instructs Noah and his family to repopulate the earth to start over again (Genesis 6 – Genesis 9:19).
At first this seems like a story of an angry God that decides to commit genocide on a worldwide scale simply because people are being “bad” or are committing sins and he doesn’t like that. This may seem like a conflicting aspect to the Bible for non-Christians because they’re told that God is love and he loves humanity which is displayed very well in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament we have an angry God that seems to only likes a select group of people. On the surface this looks like a huge contradiction to who the God of the Bible is, but when one delves deeper into this story you’d quickly come to see the reason for the flood stated above isn’t even scratching the surface in terms of biblical truth.
An important key to truly piecing together why this flood happened is DNA or a “pure” human gene pool. Many people that use the flood story as an argument against the notion of an all loving God don’t understand what the Bible is actually saying and for the most part don’t really care to. The cause for the flood truly starts at the garden of Eden but I’ll delve into that later. For now I want to focus on the cause for the evil and violence the earth experiences at this time and who’s behind it. Genesis 6:1-2 says, “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose”. This passage tells us that the “sons of God” decided to have a lot of wives due to their beauty. The most important part here being who are the sons of God?
The Sons of God
When reading this story multiple times we tend to believe we know everything and skim it a bit to either read through it or get to the better details. The terminology in this context is used for the angelic host of heaven and not human beings residing on earth. It’s used in three other places in the Old Testament as well, specifically in the book of Job. Job 1:6 says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” (Job 1:6). Similarly we also see this in Job 2:1, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord” (Job 2:1).
The book of Job gives us an insight into how the supernatural realm affects the physical. In this case, we’re first introduced to an upright man named Job that was very wealthy and feared the Lord (Job 1:1-5). From Job 1:6-12 the scene shifts from earth to heaven where we see the sons of God and Satan presented themselves before God. Satan asks permission of God to afflict Job to prove a point to God – that it’s only due to God’s protection around Job that Job fears God.
There are only a handful of times in the Bible where we – the readers – are given the opportunity to see the cause of what we see here on earth, that being disease, death, hate, lack, etc. The Bible makes it clear that life is a constant struggle between the forces of good and evil in the supernatural realm, and it’s the supernatural realm that effects what we see in the natural (Ephesians 6:12). We also see sons of God mentioned again in Job 38:4-7,
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)
In this passage, God is questioning Job if he has knowledge and understanding of the creation process and how God created things. He asks Job where was he when the foundations of the earth were fastened and when the corner stone was laid and the “sons of God” shouted for joy at witnessing these acts of creation. From these verses, the Bible clearly shows us that these “sons of God” are not human as they existed before even the creation of the earth and Genesis makes it clear that the earth was created after heaven and humans also were at the end of the creation process (Genesis 1).
Unlike the Old Testament, we don’t directly get a reference to the “sons of God” in the New Testament, but we do get interesting passages about angels who sinned in both Jude and II Peter.
- “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”, (Jude 1:6-7)
- “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly…”, (II Peter 2:4-5)
These 2 separate passages states that the angels, at some point in time in the distant past, left their original home (heaven) and due to their actions of sexual immorality and going after “strange flesh” are now being chained waiting for judgement. This idea that the angels did in fact commit sexual sins of some kind is supported by the fact that Jude ties in the angels that left their “proper abode” to Sodom and Gomorrah and to their sexual sins which they’re known for stating “as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these“.
II Peter also makes it clear that these angels sinned against God, and ties this event in with the flood story in Noah’s day. In both passages, we’re seeing obvious links to events in Genesis (Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood story) being used to link the “angels who sinned”. If this wasn’t the case, the link between these verses wouldn’t make sense as we wouldn’t know why the angels left their original home and what they did to warrant the punishment they received.
So when we say these “sons of God” are indeed angels that came to earth for the sake of having wives, why does that matter? Let’s take a look at the next passage to see what this brings, “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown”, (Genesis 6:4). Here we see that the “sons of God” not only take as many wives as they wanted but they also reproduced with them.
The outcome of angels reproducing with human women are human/angel hybrids known as “nephilim”, Hebrew for “the fallen ones” or also called giants. I also want to note that my purpose here isn’t to make an argument for or against the existence of giants but to see what the Bible truly says about the flood story. Whether you believe giants truly existed or not isn’t the point here but to the characters within the Bible they were a very real threat. Below are some examples of specific descriptions of giants in the old testament even beyond the Genesis account of them,
- “Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David…Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant…These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants,” (2 Samuel 21:16, 18-20, 22).
- “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them’…So they went up and spied out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath…Then they told him, and said: ‘We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there’… And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.’” (Numbers 13:1–2; 21; 27–28; 32–33).
- “That was also regarded as a land of giants; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the Lord destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place…” (Deuteronomy 2:20-21).
- “And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims…” (Genesis 15:20).
Those are only a couple passages where giants are talked about in detail; their height and figure, weight and size of weapons used by the giants, and even the various tribes (Zamzummims, Anakims, Rephaims) of giants are mentioned as well as the land they resided in.
In part 2 of this study, Genesis 6: The “sons of God” (Part 2), we’ll be looking into the early church history behind the viewpoint of fallen angels coming to earth to mingle with mankind and discover that many early church fathers shared the same belief on Genesis 6.