Pauljrsdad and I have been commenting back and forth at an earlier post of mine called “The Day God Created Man: or Don’t Shoot the Messenger“, or is it “Questioning Faith”? This is great since that’s the reason I posted those and kept them short in the first place. The whole reason for posting information like that is to generate discussion. That’s the internet and blogging at its best, that fee flow of information and opinion.
So, pauljsdad and I have zeroed in on a particular topic. It concerns the “sons of God” that are mentioned in Genesis 6… It’s his contention that this is a reference to Lucifer and his fallen angels who, having been cast out of heaven came to earth and corrupted humankind.
He quoted Jude 6: “6 And the angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great Day.”
And followed this up by saying, “These angels gave rise to the giants and were worshiped as gods before the flood.”
I had previously commented that I thought he was referencing that passage and when he did quote it, I mistakenly thought he had produced an obscure paraphrasing of the Gensis passage:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4 ESV)
There are, as I see it, a couple textual problems with that. The first is that, if they are in chnains, how could they have come to earth? My other issue is that the Gensis text doesn’t say angels (fallen or other wise). Nor does it mention them or their offspring being worshipped. I’m doing my best to make a textual argument in all of this. It’s fringe enough at this point without outside conjecture. The text references “sons of God” and “mighty men of old, men of renown.”
One of my contentions in these prehistorical chapters of Gensis (pre-flood) is that in the beginning, we have two creation stories, not two creations, mind you, but two distinct stories. Both of these stories tell us two different things. The party line is that the first one gives us an outline of creation and then the second one zeroes in on just the first humans. This is just not so. If this were so, we would be able to lay the two stories side by side and their events would match up chronologically. But when we do just that, we find that this is not the case. Furthermore, if one desires to be faithful to the text and desires to accept its ultimate validity (take it at its word) one cannot argue that the second story places Adam’s creation on the third day and Eve’s after everything else had been created. I like to think that Eve was created on the seventh day as God’s finishing touch before He rested. But that’s just me, though it can be argued using my two story argument.
While I’m on the topic of Genesis 6 though, this one paragraph variarion in the narrative seems so out of place that it suggests that it is a remnat of a sepearate story. What story though? The initial creation story… Try it. Read Chapter 1 and then skip forward to Chapter 6. It fits together nicely.
This is what I think happened. As the two great creation stories of the longstanding oral tradition were being compiled into one written text, one story was written and then then next and their endings (at the flood) were tied together. That’s just complete genius on the compiler’s part.
It does add a wrinkle to earth’s history before the fall. It suggests that the earth was populated by spiritual beings of some sort as well as human beings.
Questions and comments, as always are welcome and desired.
- Rethinking Genesis: Examining The Religio-Cultural Influences Of The Ancient Near East (ofdustandkings.com)