When men began to increase in number on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal: his days shall be 120 years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. These were the heroes of old, the men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 And the Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind whom I have created from the face of the earth, men and animals and creatures that move along the ground and birds of the air, for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Who were the “sons of God”?
The Hebrew which has been translated as “sons of God” is bene Elohim and it appears five times in the Bible; twice in Genesis chapter 6 and three times in Job (1:6, 2:1 and 38:7). In the Job citations it is a reference to angels, which is reasonable because they were created directly by God in the same way Adam is referred to as a son of God (Luke 3:38) because God created him supernaturally. In the New Testament, Christians are referred to as “sons of God” (Romans 8:14 and Galatians 3:26). This is because we have been born again and are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Further evidence for the fact that the “sons of God” were angels comes from the Hebrew benoth adam, which is translated as “daughters of men”. If the sons of God were human the Hebrew bene adam would have been used.
So, there is good reason to believe that the name, sons of God is referring to angels and from the tenor of the text; fallen angels. The idea that they were fallen angels was held by the translators of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament around 250 BC) as well as Josephus and early Christian writers.
In every biblical account where angels are manifest in physical form, they appear as men eg Michael and Gabriel.
Who were the “daughters of men”?
There seems to be no reason to look any further than what the text says that they were simply daughters of the people who inhabited the earth at that time.
Who were the Nephilim?
The name Nephilim is a Hebrew word and in many Bibles, it has been left untranslated, the King James Version translates it as giants, but its literal meaning is “fallen ones,” from the Hebrew root word naphal, meaning “to fall or to be cast down.” The Nephilim were the progeny of fallen angels and human women. The key to understanding this are the words after that in verse 4 and the most logical explanation is the reading; when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and after that they bare children to them and there were Nephilim (mighty or fallen ones) on earth…. . God saw the wickedness of man was great and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (verse 5). So, God waited 120 years (verse 3) before He destroyed all life, except for Noah and his family (verses 7 and 8).
Evidence for this explanation of the Nephilim
Jude verses 6 and 7:
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day.
7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Here Jude mentioned the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home, in other words they moved from the place where God had assigned them, so God, kept (them) in darkness bound with everlasting chains. This is different from Satan’s fallen angels, because they are free to roam and to tempt Christians and cause havoc wherever they can.
So, there are two types of fallen angels, one group which are free to roam and the other group bound in everlasting chains.
2 Peter 2:4-5.
For God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgement;
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;………
Here Peter is speaking about the same group of angels who God had locked up, only this time Peter adds that they had been put in Hell waiting for judgement. The word translated as Hell is tartarus and this is the only place it is mentioned in the Bible, in all other places the word translated as Hell is sheol in the Old Testament and hades in the New Testament, both describe the place of departed spirits. So again, we see special treatment for the fallen angels; the “sons of God.” And here Peter associates these angels with the pre-flood period.
1 Peter 3:18-20.
18 For Christ died for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
19 through whom he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
This is the third mentioned of the fallen angels of Noah’s time and the fact that they are in prison. It explains what otherwise is a very difficult verse.
The Apocryphal books.
The name comes from the Greek which means “hidden things”. These books were written during the Old Testament period, the 400 years between the testaments and during the second century AD and after. They are referenced in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, Numbers 21:14 refers to the Book of the Wars, 1 Kings 14:19 the Annals of the Kings of Israel, 1 Kings 14:29 the Annals of the Kings of Judah, 2 Chronicles 20:34, the Annals of Jehu. The term “The Apocrypha” is usually confined to the non-canonical books which were written in the inter-testament period such as 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobias, Judith etc. There are fifteen of these included in the Catholic and orthodox Bibles and in fact they were included in the1611 edition of the KJV but they were excluded from the 1629 edition and onwards. These books are internally inconsistent; in some areas they contradict scripture and were never referred to by Jesus or other writers of New Testament scripture, except one and that is Jude who in verses 14 and 15 quotes from the Book of Enoch 1:9:
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
A footnote in the NIV states: The Apocyphal book of Enoch, which purports to have been written by the Enoch of Genesis 5, but actually did not appear until the first century B.C. The book of Enoch was a well-respected writing in New Testament times. The fact that it was not canonical does not mean that it contained no truth, nor does Jude’s quotation of it mean that he considered it inspired. But Jude’s citation does give it some credibility. This is what it says about the events leading up to the Flood:
1 Enoch Chapter 6
And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’
1 Enoch Chapter 7
And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
This extract states in graphic detail that the Nephilim were giants and were ravaging the human race in various ways as well as sinning against animals. Interestingly the lost book of Jasher (there are no early manuscripts only later copies) is referred to in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 also describes events similar to those in the book of Enoch: It also states that the animal kingdom was being defiled by the mixing of animals with one another” to provoke the Lord,” and that:
Then God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth, all men and all animals. (Jasher 4:18).
These extra books suggest that many forms of ungodly practices were being taught to men, and animals had been defiled in some way to the extent that God’s natural creation and order had been changed and that God had no other choice but to destroy the earth. In what form this defilement took, we do not know. It may have been through the animal’s genes; the Book of Enoch mentions defilement by the mixing of the animals with one another. For animals to successfully breed the two parties must have the same number of chromosomes; for example, we have 23 pairs, apes have 24, so apes and humans cannot have offspring. These fallen angels may have changed this in some way. One of the first successful and commercial DNA altering experiments was to take the part of the human genome that codes for the protein insulin and splice it into the DNA of E Coli, grow the bacteria in swimming pool size vats and harvest human insulin for diabetics. Who knows what these fallen angels did, but it is possible to alter DNA.
Noah was saved with his family because he was a righteous man; there is no question about that. But also interesting, is that Noah was described as “perfect;” (Genesis 6:9 KJV; Hebrew meaning: without spot or blemish) as the lambs that were selected for sacrifice were meant to be. So, if in some way there was a perturbation of God’s original design, then Noah did not have it in his genes and this could be another reason for Noah and his family being saved.
The Genesis account of fallen angels procreating with human women before the Flood was placed there for a good reason and the evidence given shows that these fallen angels altered what God had created and which He described as being “very good.” God took the step of destroying all air-breathing life, locked these fallen angels away and started again through Noah. It may have been Satan’s attempt to block God’s promise of Genesis 3:15 so that the “seed of the woman” would not be a pure human being and therefore could not pay the penalty for the sins of mankind and thereby annulling redemption.
The majority of this work was taken from Dr Gary Bates’ book: Alien Intrusion, UFOS and the Evolution Connection, Creation Book Publishers, Sixth printing, 2011. Available at; creation.com.
Johnathan D Sarfati, The Genesis Account, Creation Book Publishers, 2015. Chapter 16 provides additional evidence for the assignment of sons of God as being fallen angels.
 In men’s eyes they were heroes of old, men of renown, but in God’s eyes they were sinners (fallen ones), ripe for judgement.
 The name Nephilim is also found in Numbers 13:33 which is how the 10 unbelieving, spies describe the men who inhabited the Promised Land. This could not refer to the Nephilim of pre-flood Genesis 6 because they were all drowned. It is more likely that the Nephilim were giants and their name and size had been retained in the Hebrew Scriptures and the spies wanted to paint as bad a picture as they could as to why they should not go into the Promised Land.
 It would have been possible for angels to procreate with human woman. The three angelic beings who visited Abraham appeared in human bodies, spoke with him, sat, had their feet washed and ate with him. This demonstrated that their limbs, voice, digestive system etc were working well; therefore, we can safely assume that all parts of their bodies were operational.
Very interesting. You make a great case for the fallen angels Christ went to visit during His death and resurrection as being the angels that procreated with women before the flood. Thanks for clarifying. Like you said, it makes us wonder if this was not part of Satan’s plan to stop the promised human seed. Great article. Thank!