Angels, Demons, and Humans
Genesis six starts the account of the great Flood of Noah. But it starts off with some very puzzling words: “Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2)
Many people have speculated as to what this might mean. Being a simple man, I’m going with simple: angels took human wives. “Sons of God” typically means angels, but specifically including demons. In fact, Job 1:6 tells us that Satan himself is one of the sons of God.
Now, the rest of this chapter tells us that this wasn’t right. It seems that the act of angels having human wives and bearing children was wrong. This passage is leading us into God’s pronunciation of judgement on humanity (the Flood), so it seems it is grossly wrong.
Angels, Demons, Humans, and Babies?
So God pronounces a judgement: “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’” The Nephilim were 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.”
The fact that God states his judgement in-between these two passages about angels mating with humans indicates that this is the primary reason God is going to send the Flood. From this, I believe the demons were separated from the angels. Demons were the ones who disobeyed God.
What are the Nephilim? Nobody is really sure. The English word is simply a transliteration from the Hebrew nephiyl. It can mean giant, but not necessarily in size. No, it includes the idea of a bully or tyrant. The fact that verse four says they were on the earth afterwards (i.e. after the Flood being described later in this chapter) indicates that either demons continued mating with humans, or that the idea of tyrant or bully is the primary focus of the word. While I don’t discount that there were real giants, I think this section refers more to the philosophical nature of lording it over other men.