Question [composite of several]: I’ve been reading books and listening to tapes about the nephilim in Genesis 6. What is your belief in this regard?
Response: The nephilim are presumed to be the race of giants born prior to the flood and their destruction was supposedly a major reason for the flood. The phrase from verse 4, “when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men,” is cited to justify the belief that demons or fallen angels had sex with women to produce this hybrid race. The term “sons of God” seems to refer to angels in Job:1:6, 2:1, 38:7, and appears to be in contrast to “daughters of men.” That Jude 6 refers to “angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” seems to give support to this belief, which a great many Bible scholars accept.
For myself, I cannot believe that angels or demons, which are spirits, can have sex with women and produce children. That would raise the possibility of continual “virgin” births. One would have to explain why this hasn’t happened down through history and why it isn’t going on today. Some say it is. If so, they ought to be able to offer proof, but I haven’t seen it.
Furthermore, the statement that “...sons of God...took them wives of all which they chose” seems to indicate something more than temporary illicit sex. Yes, demons and angels can manifest themselves in apparent bodily form, but just how genuinely corporeal it is remains a question and we have no example in Scripture of such a manifestation lasting longer than a brief appearance. That these “sons of God” took wives seems to indicate a lasting relationship, which argues against the idea of demons or angels being involved.
Then who are these “sons of God”? Some say they represented the “godly line of Seth,” but that idea requires consider- able adding to Scripture. Adam was called a “son of God” in Luke:3:38, no doubt because he was created by God. It then seems possible that this expression could also refer to the children born to Adam and Eve before they sinned. That they had such children seems likely. God told them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth...” (Gn 1:28); and after they sinned, God told Eve, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception” (Gn 3:16). These earlier offspring would have sinned on their own, of course; but how and when and how long they lived we don’t know. Having been born to Adam and Eve prior to their sin, they could be called “sons of God.” Whoever these “sons of God” were, I cannot accept the idea of angels or demons taking wives!