If you’ve been checking out our Knowing Noah I lessons on our Facebook page (you can see them here, too), you can see a lot of people have questions and comments about the story of Noah. So, we’ve set out to answer these questions for you. We pray that in doing so, you’ll be encouraged to study this Bible story for yourselves. But in doing so, we strongly recommend you ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance and wisdom. Jesus sent Him to us for this reason. He moved men to write the Bible in the first place and we seek His help with every one of our studies (Jn. 16:13-15; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21).
So let’s begin with our first two questions that you’ve asked.
The first two questions are:
- Who are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men”?
- Can humans beget giants?
The Bible verse containing the topics at issue is Genesis 6:4. Read it carefully before you continue.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Gen. 6:4).
Many of God’s people believe that these sons are angels who married beautiful women on the earth. But the phrase “sons of God” in the Scriptures is used interchangeably, to refer angels and men and women of God (“sons” is plural and can mean sons or children). We can see this through several key examples. Look at how the phrase is used in the book of Job.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them” (Job 1:6).
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth…When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-6).
Men could not have stood before the Lord in heaven along with the angels at the time of Job’s trial or sing and shout for joy when God created Earth. Thus, the sons of God referred to in this context are referring to angels. Now look at the same phrase in the latter books of the Bible.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12, 13).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
The sons of God refer to His people in these verses, not men who were, are, or will be transformed into literal angels. They are men and women whom God gave the Holy Spirit, “whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). Noah, as we saw in our class, is a son of God. Additional references of this phrase to God’s people can be found throughout the Bible (Hos. 1:10; Rom. 8:19; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 2:15; 1 Jn. 3:1, 2).
But are the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:4 faithful men and women or holy angels? Who are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Cain”?
Jesus Himself answered this question.
“And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world… neither marry, nor are given in marriage…for they are equal unto the angels…” (Lk. 20:34-36, underline supplied).
Only the children of this world can bear children, one of the fruits of marriage and being given in marriage. It was not to the angels in their world that the Lord commanded, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…” (Gen. 1:28). Men and women of this world, and only in this world, can they fulfill the divine mandate of the Lord. If an angel tried to violate this mandate, he would certainly not be a son of God! The lineages of men referred to in Genesis 6:4 were the children of Adam who remained loyal to God (sons of God) and the daughters of Cain (daughters of men), the son of Adam who murdered his brother, Abel. The children who fell away from God joined this rebellious family.
But, “Humans cannot beget giants”.
Believe it or not, they can and they have. The Scriptures tell us that there were giants, even nations of giants, throughout biblical history. The iron bed of Og, king of Bashan, was twelve feet long, and he was of the “remnant of giants” (Deut. 3:11). The fear of the children of the giant Anak caused Israel to fear entering the promised land (Num. 13:26-33). Goliath stood over nine feet tall (1 Sam. 17:4-7) and the rest of his family were giants like him (2 Sam. 21:15-22). As we saw earlier, none of their parents were angels.
Even in relatively modern times, men have reached heights of over eight feet tall and women over seven feet. The tallest man in relatively recent human history was Robert Pershing Wallow. At the time of his death in 1940, the modern-day giant (relatively) was nearly nine feet tall.
But did you notice in our examples, from Bible times to today, how the heights of these men and women decreased over time? With every generation, the height of these giants grows smaller, and their occurrence in human history is rare. Many of them do not live long. As the effects of sin wax stronger on our bodies, they decay in strength, form, and longevity.
But if the effects of sin reduced the height of these giants to twelve feet in the time of Moses, then it follows that they were much taller in the days of Noah. Sin had not decayed their bodies to the extent it has today. Back then, men in general were much taller and giants were much more common. Their bodies were stronger in form and substance and they lasted longer. After all, the longest living human was 969 years old at the time of his death. (Gen. 5:27).
What makes these two questions significant in the last days?
Because the day is coming when sin will be no more and man will be given new, incorruptible bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-53). They will be free from the effects that sin wreaks upon the bodies we have now, which means that our new bodies will be as tall as the antediluvians when they are changed. There may even be a giant or two among us!
But as time passes and men leave off waiting for the Lord, they turn to the daughters of men and thus, weaken the faith and the bodies of the generation after them. It happened in the days of Noah, it happened throughout biblical history, and it is happening now.
Only they who remain loyal to God as the sons of Adam will enjoy the fruits of eternal life, including bodies free of disease, decay, and death. By maintaining their separation from the wicked, the sons of God will retain their integrity from now until the Lord’s return. Guard your hearts, sons of God, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
If you know someone who has questions about the story of Noah (we’re sure you do), please share our lessons with them so they can get the answers they need. Also, we’ve got a number of questions to answer and it’ll take time. All we ask for in return are your prayers and your patience. Thank you!