And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, – Jude 1:14 KJV

Poole on Jude 1:14

These men own the prophecy of Enoch, that the Lord comes to judgment, and they themselves are in the number of those ungodly ones, and they to whom the prophecy is to be applied. Of these; not that he did directly and expressly prophesy of them in particular; but that his prophecy of the destruction of the world for the same kind of crimes whereof they were guilty, did reach them, and so he foretold what should befall them as well as others.

M. Henry:

Of the prophecy of Enoch, (v. 14, 15) we have no mention made in any other part or place of scripture; yet now it is scripture that there was such prophecy. One plain text of scripture is proof enough of any one point that we are required to believe, especially when relating to a matter of fact; but in matters of faith, necessary saving faith, God has not seen fit (blessed be his holy name he has not) to try us so far. There is no fundamental article of the Christian religion, truly so called, which is not inculcated over and over in the New Testament, by which we may know on what the Holy Ghost does, and consequently on what we ought, to lay the greatest stress. Some say that this prophecy of Enoch was preserved by tradition in the Jewish church; others that the apostle Jude was immediately inspired with the notice of it: be this as it may, it is certain that there was such a prophecy of ancient date, of long standing, and universally received in the Old-Testament church; and it is a main point of our New-Testament creed


14. And Enoch also. I rather think that this prophecy was unwritten, than that it was taken from an apocryphal book; for it may have been delivered down by memory to posterity by the ancients. Were any one to ask, that since similar sentences occur in many parts of Scripture, why did he not quote a testimony written by one of the prophets? the answer is obvious, that he wished to repeat from the oldest antiquity what the Spirit had pronounced respecting them: and this is what the words intimate; for he says expressly that he was the seventh from Adam, in order to commend the antiquity of the prophecy, because it existed in the world before the flood.
But I have said that this prophecy was known to the Jews by being reported; but if any one thinks otherwise, I will not contend with him, nor, indeed, respecting the epistle itself, whether it be that of Jude or of some other. In things doubtful, I only follow what seems probable



As of recent, I have been studying this doctrine in relation to Gen chapter 6, Job, Jude and 1 Peter. Prior to yesterday, I held to a Sethite view and rejected the premise that angels mated w/ humankind. One of the reasons had to do with the idea that after Lucifer and the other rebellious angles fell, God then ‘elected’ angels. That being, angels did not have any propensity to sin. If these angels came to earth in the form of humans, mated with humankind, this imo would be an abomination and it would show that another rebellious fall occurred. The other treatment could be that these angels were fallen angels that fell with Lucifer and not from the elect angels. After thorougly studying the other side, it would seem, at face value, letting the scriptures speak for themselves, that the Angelic view is as well, reputable.

When considering the texts from Gen 6, Job 2:1 and their use of ‘sons of God’, 1 peter, and the book of Jude and Job 2, one would be hard pressed to come away from the idea that these were not heavenly beings-most likely fallen angels. Considering that Jude cites from the Book of Enoch and uses almost the exact same language, says much and imo, closes the case. Additionally, it would seem at face value that 2 Peter is using a chronological time-line when making mention of what occurred in Gen 6, which is hard to deny.


From the Book of Enoch:

‘121 Before these things Enoch was hidden, and no one of the children of men knew where he was hidden, and where he abode, and what had become of him. 2 And his activities had to do with the Watchers, and his days were with the holy ones.
3 And I Enoch was blessing the Lord of majesty and the King of the ages, and lo! the Watchers called me—Enoch the scribe—and said to me: 4 ‘Enoch, thou scribe of righteousness, go, †declare† to the Watchers of the heaven who have left the high heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women, and have done as the children of earth do, and have taken unto themselves wives:’

Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 195–196.

I have been, as of recently, charged with using a non canonical rendering, acting as if it is inspired, to make my case. My response has been, if it was good for Jude to make mention of it as well as being able to cite from Paul (who used many secularists to make his points); as well, in the book of Joshua 10:12, 13 uses the same rationale in mentioning the ‘Book of Jasher’.


6 And the angels which 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.

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands 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.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jud 14–15.


Jude surely was referring to what Enoch wrote, above. Considering Paul references a few secularists in his teaching and the Book of Jasher is mentioned in Joshua chapter 10, it is not irrational to study or cite secular works when building a case. Up until the 2 or third century, many of these works were still seen to be biblical documents.


Job 2:

Job 2 is to be seen in the spiritual realm….


2 Peter



2 Peter seems to be following a biblical chronology.


Swete Setuagint rendering:






Question for those who hold to the Sethite position: How did these men get the idea that angels were able to have sexual relations? It’s not like sex with angels was a norm. Surely they were referring back to Gen 6 where giants were the outcome. Lot even offered his two virgin daughters as bait and yet, these men refused flatly to take them in the place of the angels! Why is that? Virgins were sold, surely in Soddom for the highest price-they were valued higher than any other commodity, given the temperament and sin in that day.

Though Poole takes the Sethite view, when we look to his commentary on Gen chapter 19, he shifts his attention to the possibility:


Henry doesn’t take the high road and in his commentary, does not address the fact that these men were angels. Calvin seems to be more accurate:

As well, when we look at genesis 19, we can see that the whole town knew that these were angels as the messengers presented themselves at the gates or town courts:



John Gill as well agrees that they knew that these men were angels:

bring them out unto us, that we may know them;
not who they were, and from whence they came, and what their business was; nor did they pretend anything of this kind to hide and cover their design from Lot, but they were open and impudent, and declared their sin without shame and blushing, which is their character, ( Isaiah 3:9 ) ; their meaning was, that they might commit that unnatural sin with them, they were addicted to, and in common used, and which from them to this day bears the name of Sodomy. As lawful copulation with a man’s wife is modestly expressed by knowing her, ( Genesis 4:1 Genesis 4:17 Genesis 4:25 ) ; so this unlawful and shocking copulation of man with man is expressed by this phrase; and that this was their meaning is plain from Lot’s answer to them, ( Genesis 19:8 ) .

Again, obviously, the idea of having sex w/ angels must have come from somewhere…..


I usually wouldn’t quote MacArthur, given his dispensationalism, but I agree here with what he offers:

John MacArthur writes:

“The demons incarcerated in the abyss are undoubtedly the most wicked, vile, and perverted of all the fallen angels. Jude describes some of them as “angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode,” noting that God “has kept [them] in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 6–7). That passage describes certain fallen angels who left the angelic domain to indulge in sexual sin with humans, just as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah attempted to engage in perverted sex with angels (Gen. 19:1, 4–5).

“Peter reveals when this angelic sin occurred:

-For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:18–20).

The “spirits now in prison” in the abyss are those “who once were disobedient … in the days of Noah.” They are the demons who cohabited with human women in Satan’s failed attempt to corrupt the human race … (Gen. 6:1–4). That demons still fear being sent to the abyss is evident from the fact that some pled with Jesus not to send them there (Luke 8:31). That suggests that other demons have been incarcerated there since the events of Genesis 6.”

“The phrase “sons of God” (Heb., bene haelohim) always refers to angels in its other Old Testament uses (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Pss. 29:1; 89:6). The term is always used of those brought directly into being by God—not those who are procreated through human birth, such as Sethites, nobles, kings, or aristocracy. Heavenly spirits are being contrasted with earthly women. These, then, are fallen angels who acted perversely, overstepping the boundaries of their realm. They defied God by leaving their spirit world to enter the human realm (as Satan had entered the animal world in Eden). This is the first biblical record of demon-possession, demons indwelling people.

Those wicked spirits were drawn to females, whom they saw as “beautiful” in some perverse and lascivious way. They are “the daughters” mentioned in 6:1 (not a special class of women), whom the demons took for wives. The Hebrew is Laqach, which describes marriage transactions (Gen. 4:19; 11:29; 12:19; 20:2–3; 25:1), not rape or fornication.”

I don’t know if one can press the Hebrew into saying that ‘sons of God’,  ‘always’ refer to heavenly beings. I’ve done the research and I can’t find that-but none the less, his treatment here is worthy of repeating.


On the Dead Sea Scrolls:

1. A fragment from Cave IV containing Deuteronomy 32:8 reads, according to the number of the sons of God, “which is translated angels of God” by the LXX, as in Genesis 6:4 (margin); Job 1:6; 2:1; and 38:7. The Masoretic Text reads, “according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, Rev. and expanded. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 367.

Heiser writes:

Sons of God as Divine Beings

The sons of God may be divine beings (e.g., angels). If so, the error they committed was a transgression of the human realm by these heavenly beings. Their involvement with human women led to a widespread breakdown in morality and an increase in wickedness and corruption. The Hebrew grammar of Genesis 6 could indicate that the offspring of these unions is the nephilim (Gen 6:4) who were considered quasi-divine and possessed unusual height (“giants”; Num 13:33).

This was the dominant view among Jewish and Christian thinkers until after the fourth century ad, when church father Augustine championed an alternative. It was also the exclusive view until the mid-second century ad. It appears in early extrabiblical Jewish works that comment on the stories of Genesis (1 Enoch 6; Jubilees 5; the Damascus Document 2.17–19; Genesis Apocryphon 2.1); it also appears in the work of the writers Philo (On Giants 2:358) and Josephus (Antiquities 1.31). In addition, this was the view of the early church fathers Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen.

The view is based on the fact that elsewhere in the Old Testament the phrase “sons of God” (benei elohim or benei ha-elohim; Gen 6:2, 4) is used exclusively for divine beings (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). Similar phrases, along with overt references to plural divine beings (elohim, elim), also appear in the Old Testament (Psa 29:1; 82:6; 89:6). Furthermore, all of these phrases and terms appear in Canaanite literature contemporary with the biblical world and are used to describe divine beings.

Those who object to the view that the sons of God are divine beings (such as angels) predominantly argue that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 and Genesis 6:4 should be understood as human beings. This argument focuses on references to both the nation of Israel and Israel’s king as “my firstborn son” (Exod 4:22; Jer 31:9; Psa 2:7). Also, the Israelites are called “sons of the living God” in Hosea 1:10. In addition, the view that the “sons of God” of Genesis 6 refers to angels could be viewed as contradicting Matthew 22:29–30 (compare Mark 12:24–25; Luke 20:34–36), where Jesus says that the angels in heaven do not marry. In addition, God does not punish the angels in Genesis 6, which would seem necessary if they acted immorally.

Michael S. Heiser, “Genesis 6 and the Sons of God,” in Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016).

Giant Clans in the Old Testament

Several Old Testament passages refer to “giants” and “races of giants.”

The Nephilim

The first mention of giant clans in the Old Testament appears in Genesis 6:1–4. This passage seems to describe how, prior to the flood, the “sons of God” cohabited with the “daughters of men.” The results of this union were the Nephilim.

Given Genesis 6:4’s use of “sons of God,” a phrase used elsewhere for divine beings, this passage appears to describe the union of divine and human beings and their offspring: the nephilim (giants). This was the predominant view of ancient Judaism and the earliest Christians. It is also presupposed in the New Testament (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6).

While the sons of God, and their offspring, may have simply been mortals, the term Nephilim also occurs in reference to unusual height elsewhere in the Old Testament (e.g., Num 13:33). In the book of Numbers, 10 of the 12 spies sent out by Moses to survey the promised land came back with disappointing news that the people there are of great height and that the Nephilim—who are also called the sons of Anak—made them feel like mere grasshoppers (Num 13:32–33).

Michael S. Heiser, “Giant Clans in the Old Testament,” in Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016).

Robert Duncan Culver writes:

But there are others, referred to in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, who apparently sinned at some specific time other than when Satan and his hosts fell, and were henceforth imprisoned by God, to be kept in custody until the Judgment Day. The two texts cited above are both very specific about this. Some interpreters regard these incarcerated beings as the same as ‘the sons of God’ of Genesis 6:4 who ‘came in to the daughters of man’. Was there an incursion of super-terrestrial persons into human affairs at that time? Most interpreters at present think not. Our culturally derived predilections are all against it. The minds of most educated people today recoil against such apparent ‘superstition’. Yet the same is true of all the teachings of Scripture about angels and other important subjects—miracles, new birth, incarnation and Second Advent. Such an incursion cannot on principle be ruled out as preposterous. Some of the most sober writers in the history of biblical interpretation have thought Genesis 6:1–4 does describe such an incursion and that it was one of the causes of the judgment of the Flood. Josephus and the most ancient of the Christian Fathers supported it, among them Justin Martyr, Tatian, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian and Lactantius. Augustine mentions the view, but with most later Fathers, rejected it. Many liberal, rationalistic modern writers adopt it, for it is no concern of theirs to protect Scripture interpretation against ‘mythology’. Perhaps the best known modern writers in favor of this view are Franz Delitzsch and Henry Alford.31 Most recent evangelical commentaries and theologies are against the ‘fallen angel’ view. But whatever view one takes, the fact remains that because of some special sin, some fallen angels are imprisoned while others are not. Second Peter and Jude are specific and plain.

Evil angels, in general, are not a major biblical theme, but the one called Satan, Devil, Serpent, Dragon, Tempter, Beelzebub, the god of this world and several other designations, is a major theme. The biblical names employed divulge his malevolent character.

The literature of the subject is vast. The reader is advised to be cautious in selecting doctrinal sources for reading. They tend to be either sceptical on the one hand or superstitious on the other. Among contemporary evangelical authors the subject is treated with considerable verve by those who regard Isaiah, chapter 14 (a prophecy about the king of Babylon) and Ezekiel chapter 28 (a prophecy about an ancient king of Tyre) as being in some important sense prophecies also about Satan, his primeval fall, his present state and activity, and future judgment. The standard theology books generally are much more reserved and tend to have little to say about Satan’s origin. I shall be content here to quote briefly a passage from A. A. Hodge, one of the old Standards.

“Satan, like other finite beings can only be in one place at a time; yet all that is done by his agents being attributed to him, he appears to be practically ubiquitous.

It is certain that at times at least they [Satan’s agents] have exercised an inexplicable influence over the bodies of men, yet that influence is entirely subject to God’s control (Job 2:7; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38). They have caused and aggravated diseases, and excited appetites and passions (1 Cor. 5:5). Satan, in some [restricted, undefined] sense, has the power of death (Heb. 2:14).

With respect to the souls of men, Satan and his angels are utterly destitute of any power either to change the heart or to coerce the will, their influence being simply moral, and exercised in the way of deception, suggestion, and persuasion. The descriptive phrases applied by the Scriptures to their working are such as the deceivableness of unrighteousness, ‘power, signs, lying wonders’ (2 Thess. 2:9, 10); he ‘transforms himself into an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14). If he can deceive or persuade he uses ‘wiles’ (Eph. 6:11); ‘snares’ (1 Tim. 3:7); ‘depths’ (Rev. 2:24); he ‘blinds the mind’ (2 Cor. 4:4); ‘leads captive the will’ (2 Tim. 2:26); and so ‘deceives the whole world’ (Rev. 12:9). If he cannot persuade he uses ‘fiery darts’ (Eph. 6:16) and ‘buffetings’ (2 Cor. 12:7).”

Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Ross-shire, UK: Mentor, 2005), 174–175.

Griffith Thomas seems to take the angelic view:

JUBILEES 5:1 And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they 2 chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants.  And lawlessness increased on the earth and all flesh corrupted its way, alike men and cattle and beasts and birds and everything that walks on the earth – all of them corrupted their ways and their orders, and they began to devour each other, and lawlessness increased on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of all men 3 (was) thus evil continually . . . (From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, translated by R.H. Charles)

Justin Martyr

God, when He had made the whole world, and subjected things earthly to man, and arranged the heavenly elements for the increase of fruits and rotation of the seasons, and appointed this divine law – for these things also He evidently made for man – committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them.  But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and punishments they occasioned, and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they enslaved by lustful passions; and among men they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate needs, and all wickedness. . . . (p. 363, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers)

The Instructions of Commodianus

When Almighty God, to beautify the nature of the world, willed that that earth should be visited by angels, when they were sent down they despised His laws.  Such was the beauty of women, that it turned them aside; so that, being contaminated, they could not return to heaven.  Rebels from God, they uttered words against Him.  Then the Highest uttered His judgment against them; and from their seed giants are said to have been born.  By them arts were made known in the earth, and they taught the dyeing of wool, and everything which is done; and to them, when they died, men erected images.  But the Almighty, because they were of an evil seed, did not approve that, when dead, they should be brought back from death.  Whence wandering they now subvert many bodies, and it is such as these especially that ye this day worship and pray to as gods. (p. 435, vol. 4, The Ante-Nicene Fathers)


From heiser’s ‘Unseen realm’

THE NEPHILIM One of the great debates over Genesis 6:1–4 is the meaning of the word nephilim . We’ve seen from the Mesopotamian context that the apkallus were divine, mated with human women, and produced giant offspring. We’ve also seen that Jewish thinkers in the Second Temple period viewed the offspring of Genesis 6:1–4 in the same way—as giants. Any analysis of the term nephilim must account for, not ignore or violate, these contexts. Interpretation of the term nephilim must also account for another Jewish phenomenon between the testaments—translation of the Old Testament into Greek. I speak here of the Septuagint. The word nephilim occurs twice in the Hebrew Bible ( Gen 6:4 ; Num 13:33 ). In both cases the Septuagint translated the term with gigas (“giant”). 15 Given the backdrop we’ve covered, it would seem obvious that nephilim ought to be understood as “giants.” But many commentators resist the rendering, arguing that it should be read as “fallen ones” or “those who fall upon” (a battle expression). These options are based on the idea that the word derives from the Hebrew verb n-p-l ( naphal , “to fall”). More importantly, those who argue that nephilim should be translated with one of these expressions rather than “giants” do so to avoid the quasi-divine nature of the Nephilim. That in turn makes it easier for them to argue that the sons of God were human. In reality, it doesn’t matter whether “fallen ones” is the translation. In both the Mesopotamian context and the context of later Second Temple Jewish thought, their fathers are divine and the nephilim (however translated) are still described as giants . 16 Consequently, insisting that the name means “fallen” produces no argument to counter a supernatural interpretation. Despite the uselessness of the argument, I’m not inclined to concede the point. I don’t think nephilim means “fallen ones.” 17 Jewish writers and translators habitually think “giants” when they use or translate the term. I think there’s a reason for that. Explaining my own view of what the term means involves Hebrew morphology, the way words are spelled or formed in Hebrew. Since that discussion gets technical very quickly, I’ve elected to put those details elsewhere, at least for the most part. 18 But since I don’t like to leave questions unanswered, we need to devote some attention to it here. The spelling of the word nephilim provides a clue to what root word the term is derived from. Nephilim is spelled two different ways in the Hebrew Bible: nephilim and nephi y lim . The difference between them is the “y” in the second spelling. Hebrew originally had no vowels. All words were written with consonants only. As time went on, Hebrew scribes started to use some of the consonants to mark long vowel sounds. English does this with the “y” consonant—sometimes it’s a vowel. Hebrew does that with its “y” letter, too (the yod ). The takeaway is that the second spelling ( nephiylim ) tells us that the root behind the term had a long-i (y) in it before the plural ending ( im ) was added. That in turn helps us determine that the word does not mean “those who fall.” If that were the case, the word would have been spelled nophelim . A translation of “fallen” from the verb naphal is also weakened by the “y” spelling form. If the word came from the verb naphal , we’d expect a spelling of nephulim for “fallen.” However, there’s another possible defense for the meaning “fallen.” Instead of coming from the verb naphal , the word might come from a noun that has a long-i vowel in the second syllable. This kind of noun is called a qatiyl noun. Although there is no such noun as naphiyl in the Hebrew Bible, the hypothetical plural form would be nephiylim , which is the long spelling we see in Numbers 13:33 . This option solves the spelling problem, but it fails to explain everything else: the Mesopotamian context, the Second Temple Jewish recognition of that context, the connection of the term to Anakim giants ( Num 13:33 ; Deut 2–3 ), and the fact that the Septuagint translators interpreted the word as “giants.” So where does the spelling nephiylim come from? Is there an answer that would simultaneously explain why the translators were consistently thinking “giants”? There is indeed. Recall that the Old Testament tells us that Jewish intellectuals were taken to Babylon. During those seventy years, the Jews learned to speak Aramaic. They later brought it back to Judah. This is how Aramaic became the primary language in Judea by the time of Jesus. The point of Genesis 6:1–4 was to express contempt for the divine Mesopotamian apkallus and their giant offspring. Biblical writers had an easy choice of vocabulary for divine beings: sons of God. Their readers would know that the phrase pointed to divine beings, and other passages in the Torah ( Deut 32:17 ) labeled other divine beings as demons ( shedim ). But these writers needed a good word to villainize the giant offspring. “Fallen ones” doesn’t telegraph giantism, so that didn’t help them make the point. My view is that, to solve this messaging problem, the Jewish scribes adopted an Aramaic noun: naphiyla which means “giant.” When you import that word and pluralize it for Hebrew, you get nephiylim , just what we see in Numbers 13:33 . This is the only explanation to the meaning of the word that accounts for all the contexts and all the details.

Flavius Josephus of the Antiquities of the Jews-Book 1

1. Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations: but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their fore-fathers; and did neither pay those honours to God which were appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shewn for virtue, they now shewed by their actions a double degree of wickedness. Whereby they made God to be their enemy. For many Angels of God (14) accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good; on account of the confidence they had in their own strength. For the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call Giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did: and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions, and their actions for the better. But seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married. So he departed out of that land.


I. (1) “And it came to pass when there began to be many men upon the earth, that daughters also were born to Them.”{1}{#ge 6:1.} I think it here worth while to raise the question why, after the birth of Noah and his sons, our race increased to a degree of great populousness. But, perhaps, it is not difficult to explain the cause of this; for it always happens if anything appears to be rare that its contrary is found exceedingly numerous. (2) Therefore, the good disposition of one displays the evil disposition of myriads, and the fact of those things which are done in accordance with art, and science, and virtue, and beauty, being few, shows how incalculable a number of things devoid of art, and of science, and of justice, and, in short, utterly worthless, lie concealed beneath. (3) Do you not see that in the universe, also, the sun, being one body, by his shining forth dissipates the thick and dense darkness which is shed over earth and sea? With great propriety, therefore, the generation of the just Noah and his sons is represented as bringing into existence a great number of unjust persons; for it is by the contrary that it is especially the nature of contraries to be known. (4) And no unjust man at any time implants a masculine generation in the soul, but such, being unmanly, and broken, and effeminate in their minds, do naturally become the parents of female children; having planted no tree of virtue, the fruit of which must of necessity have been beautiful and salutary, but only trees of wickedness and of the passions, the shoots of which are womanlike. (5) On account of which fact these men are said to have become the fathers of daughters, and that no one of them is said to have begotten a son; for since the just Noah had male children, as being a man who followed reason, perfect, and upright, and masculine, so by this very fact the injustice of the multitude is proved to be altogether the parent of female children. For it is impossible that the same things should be born of opposite parents; but they must necessarily have an opposite offspring.

II. (6) “And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they Chose.”{2}{#ge 6:2.} Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air. (7) And let no one suppose, that what is here stated is a fable, for it is necessarily true that the universe must be filled with living things in all its parts, since every one of its primary and elementary portions contains its appropriate animals and such as are consistent with its nature; –the earth containing terrestrial animals, the sea and the rivers containing aquatic animals, and the fire such as are born in the fire (but it is said, that such as these last are found chiefly in Macedonia), and the heaven containing the stars: (8) for these also are entire souls pervading the universe, being unadulterated and divine, inasmuch as they move in a circle, which is the kind of motion most akin to the mind, for every one of them is the parent mind. It is therefore necessary that the air also should be full of living beings. And these beings are invisible to us, inasmuch as the air itself is not visible to mortal sight. (9) But it does not follow, because our sight is incapable of perceiving the forms of souls, that for that reason there are no souls in the air; but it follows of necessity that they must be comprehended by the mind, in order that like may be contemplated by like. (10) Since what shall we say? Must we not say that these animals which are terrestrial or aquatic live in air and spirit? What? Are not pestilential afflictions accustomed to exist when the air is tainted or corrupted, as if that were the cause of all such assuming vitality? Again, when the air is free from all taint and innocent, such as it is especially wont to be when the north wind prevails, does not the imbibing of a purer air tend to a more vigorous and more lasting duration of life? (11) It is then natural that that medium by which all other animals, whether aquatic of terrestrial, are vivified should itself be empty and destitute of souls? On the contrary, even if all other animals were barren, the air by itself would be bound to be productive of life, having received from the great Creator the seeds of vitality by his especial favour.

III. (12) Some souls, therefore, have descended into bodies, and others have not thought worthy to approach any one of the portions of the earth; and these, when hallowed and surrounded by the ministrations of the father, the Creator has been accustomed to employ, as hand-maidens and servants in the administration of mortal affairs. (13) And they having descended into the body as into a river, at one time are carried away and swallowed up by the voracity of a most violent whirlpool; and, at another time, striving with all their power to resist its impetuosity, they at first swim on the top of it, and afterwards fly back to the place from which they started. (14) These, then, are the souls of those who have been taught some kind of sublime philosophy, meditating, from beginning to end, on dying as to the life of the body, in order to obtain an inheritance of the incorporeal and imperishable life, which is to be enjoyed in the presence of the uncreate and everlasting God. (15) But those, which are swallowed up in the whirlpool, are the souls of those other men who have disregarded wisdom, giving themselves up to the pursuit of unstable things regulated by fortune alone, not one of which is referred to the most excellent portion of us, the soul or the mind; but all rather to the dead corpse connected with us, that is to the body, or to things which are even more lifeless than that, such as glory, and money, and offices, and honours, and all other things which, by those who do not keep their eyes fixed on what is really beautiful, are fashioned and endowed with apparent vitality by the deceit of vain opinion.

IV. (16) If, therefore, you consider that souls, and demons, and angels are things differing indeed in name, but not identical in reality, you will then be able to discard that most heavy burden, superstition. But as men in general speak of good and evil demons, and in like manner of good and evil souls, so also do they speak of angels, looking upon some as worthy of a good appellation, and calling them ambassadors of man to God, and of God to man, and sacred and holy on account of this blameless and most excellent office; others, again, you will not err if you look upon as unholy and unworthy of any address. (17) And the expression used by the writer of the psalm, in the following verse, testifies to the truth of my assertion, for he says, “He sent upon them the fury of His wrath, anger, and rage, and affliction, and he sent evil angels among Them.”{3}{#ps 77:49.} These are the wicked who, assuming the name of angels, not being acquainted with the daughters of right reason, that is with the sciences and the virtues, but which pursue the mortal descendants of mortal men, that is the pleasures, which can confer no genuine beauty, which is perceived by the intellect alone, but only a bastard sort of elegance of form, by means of which the outward sense is beguiled; (18) and they do not all take all the daughters in marriage, but some of them have selected some of that innumerable company to be their wives; some choosing them by the sight, and others by the ear, others again being influenced by the sense of taste, or by the belly, and some even by the pleasures below the belly; many also have laid hold of those the abode of which is fixed at a great distance, putting in action various desires among one another. For, of necessity, the choices of all the various pleasures are various, since different pleasures are established in different places.


More from Heiser

Exposing the deficiencies of the Sethite view isn’t difficult. The position is deeply flawed. First, Genesis 4:26 never says the only people who “called on the name of the Lord” were men from Seth’s lineage. That idea is imposed on the text. Second, as we’ll see in the next chapter, the view fails miserably in explaining the Nephilim. Third, the text never calls the women in the episode “daughters of Cain.” Rather, they are “daughters of humankind.” There is no actual link in the text to Cain. This means that the Sethite view of the text is supported by something not present in the text, which is the very antithesis of exegesis. Fourth, there is no command in the text regarding marriages or any prohibition against marrying certain persons. There are no “Jews and Gentiles” at this time. 6 Fifth, nothing in Genesis 6:1–4 or anywhere else in the Bible identifies people who come from Seth’s lineage with the descriptive phrase “sons of God.” That connection is purely an assumption through which the story is filtered by those who hold the Sethite view. A close reading of Genesis 6:1–4 makes it clear that a contrast is being created between two classes of individuals, one human and the other divine. When speaking of how humanity was multiplying on earth (v. 1 ), the text mentions only daughters (“daughters were born to them”). The point is not literally that every birth in the history of the earth after Cain and Abel resulted in a girl. 7 Rather, the writer is setting up a contrast of two groups. The first group is human and female (the “daughters of humankind”). Verse 2 introduces the other group for the contrast: the sons of God. That group is not human, but divine. There are more deficiencies in this viewpoint than I will take time here to expose, but the point is evident. The Sethite hypothesis collapses under the weight of its own incoherence. [Heiser, Unseen Realm]

Most present day Reformed men do not hold to the angelic view. Their charge is that the idea is pressed into the result as a presupposition. They say that the treatment breaks down the natural rendering of the preceding chapters in Genesis based on antecedent flow and I can understand the charge. Both views are reputable.

Justin Martyr writes:

But if this idea take possession of some one, that if we acknowledge God as our helper, we should not, as we say, be oppressed and persecuted by the wicked; this, too, I will solve. God, when He had made the whole world, and subjected things earthly to man, and arranged the heavenly elements for the increase of fruits and rotation of the seasons, and appointed this divine law—for these things also He evidently made for man—committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and the punishments they occasioned, and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they were enslaved by lustful passions; and among men they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate deeds, and all wickedness. Whence also the poets and mythologists, not knowing that it was the angels and those demons who had been begotten by them that did these things to men, and women, and cities, and nations, which they related, ascribed them to god himself, and to those who were accounted to be his very offspring, and to the offspring of those who were called his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and to the children again of these their offspring. For whatever name each of the angels had given to himself and his children, by that name they called them.


It’s also interesting to note that God immediately destroyed the Earth after the Nephilim event:

Gen 6 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 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. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.


As well, ch 4 of the WCF mentions angels sinning after the Adamic fall:

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first Fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.

Ch 33 seems to allude to the fact that angels inhabit the Earthly realm:

“I. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons, that have lived upon earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.”

The septuagint, the bible Christ used, uses the term ‘angels of God’:

Corruption of Humanity
6 *And Noah lived five hundred years, and Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And it happened, when humans began to become numerous upon the land, and ⌊they had daughters⌋, 2 the angels of God, having seen the daughters of humans, that they were beautiful, took for themselves women from all whom they picked out. 3 The Lord God said, “⌊My breath will not at all reside⌋ in these humans ⌊for very long⌋ because they are flesh, but their days will be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 Now giants were upon the land in those days, and after that, ⌊whenever⌋ ⌊the sons of God visited⌋ the daughters of humans, they fathered children for themselves; those were the giants who were from long ago, the people of renown. 5 Now the Lord God saw that the wicked actions of humans were multiplied upon the land, and ⌊everyone⌋ was focused in his heart carefully upon evil things all their days. 6 And God reflected that he made humankind upon the land and considered. 7 And God said, “I will discard humanity, whom I made, from the face of the land, from humanity to cattle, and from creeping things to winged things of the heaven, because I am angry that I made them.” 8 But Noah found grace before the Lord God.

Rick Brannan et al., eds., The Lexham English Septuagint (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 6:1–8.

and lastly:

Hebrews 13:2
2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Heb 13:2.

Poole writes on the above text:

The next duty suitable to Christ’s kingdom, is hospitality to Christian strangers. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; be neither ignorant nor unmindful: by which charge they are bound strongly and always not to have this out of mind, though it may be out of hand; and the negative confirms the positive duty, removing hinderances, and enjoining it strictly, that they have a love and desire to the duty, bearing affection to the person of a Christian brother though a stranger, unknown and brought by Providence to them, Matt. 22:39; 25:35; and to the work of being an host, of entertaining such Christians; ξενὸς signifying an host as well as a stranger or guest. It is a love to be an hospitable person that is here required, Tit. 1:8; (such was Gaius to Paul and the church, Rom. 16:23;) importing a kind, courteous reception of Christians into their houses, being harbourless, which Christ promiseth them, Luke 18:29; 1 Tim. 5:10; a free and cheerful provision for their necessary refreshing, Gen. 18:4–6; with a careful furtherance and assistance of them in the work of God, and helping them to persevere in the same, 3 John 6–8. For thereby some have entertained angels unawares; the advantage that accrues to such hosts of the Christian church and its members is great; for in the exercise of this duty, Abraham and Lot, being strangers, and waiting to entertain such, received angels into their tabernacle and house, Gen. 18:2, 3, and had sweet discoveries of God in the Messiah made to them; were delivered by them from judgment, as Lot, Gen. 19:10, 15–17. And now the general guard of Angels goeth along with the saints, and are entertained in them, who never come without a blessing, they attending them in their way, defending them against evil spirits, and offensive ones and places where they are, though their ministry be little observed or acknowledged as it ought, chap. 1:14. Not only angels, but Christ himself accompanieth his pilgrim members, and is entertained, fed, comforted, and lodged in and with them, Matt. 10:40–42; 25:34–36; and for this will he reward them in both worlds.

Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, vol. 3 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1853), 875.

Jonathan Edwards writes:

“[428] Gen. 6:4. “And there were giants in the earth in those days,” &c. Pausanias, in his Laconics, mentions the bones of men of a more than ordinary bigness, which were shown in the temple of Esculapius, at the city of Asepus: and in the first of his Eliacks, he speaks of a bone taken out of the sea, which aforetime was kept at Piso, and thought to have been one of Pelops. Philostratus, in the beginning of his Heroicks, informs us that many bodies of giants were discovered in Pallene, by showers of rain and earthquakes. Pliny, b. vii. ch. 16. says, “That upon the bursting of a mountain in Crete, there was found a body standing upright, which was reported by some to have been the body of Orion, by others, the body of Aetion. Orestes’s body, when it was commanded by the oracle to be digged up, is reported to have been seven cubits long. And almost a thousand years ago, the poet Homer continually complained, “that men’s bodies were less than of old.” And Solinus, chap. i. inquires, “Were not all that were born in that age less than their parents?” And the story of Orestes’s funeral testifies the bigness of the ancients; whose bones when they were digged up in the 58th Olympiad at Yegea, by the advice of the oracle, are related to have been seven cubits in length. Other writings, which give a credible relation of ancient matters, affirm this, that in the war of Crete, when the rivers had been so high as to overflow and break down their banks, after the flood was abated, upon the clearing of the earth, there was found a human body of three and thirty feet long: which L. Flaccus, the legate, and Metellus himself, being very desirous of seeing, were much surprised to have the satisfaction of seeing what they did not believe when they heard.” Grotius de Verit. b. i. sect. 16. Notes.

Josephus, b. v. chap. 2. of his ancient history: “There remains to this day some of the race of the giants, who by reason of the bulk and figure of their bodies, so different from other men, are wonderful to see or hear of. Their bones are now shown far exceeding the belief of the vulgar.” Gabinius, in his history of Mauritania, said that Antæus’s bones were found by Sertorius, which, joined together, were sixty cubits long. Phlegon Trallianus, in his 9th chap. of Wonders, mentions the digging up the head of Ida, which was three times as big as that of an ordinary woman. And he adds also that there were many bodies found in Dalmatia, whose arms exceeded sixteen cubits. And the same man relates out of Theopompus, that there were found in the Cimmerian Bosphorus a company of human bones twenty-four cubits in length. Le Clerc’s Notes on Grotius de Veritat. b. i. sect. 16.

We almost every where in the Greek and Latin historians meet with the savage life of the giants mentioned by Moses. In the Greek, as Homer, Iliad 9th, and Hesiod, in his Works and Days. To this may be referred the Wars of the Gods mentioned by Plato in his Second Republic, and those distinct and separate governments taken notice of by the same Plato, in his third book of Laws. And as to the Latin historians, see the first book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the fourth book of Lucan, and Seneca’s third book of Natural Questions, Quest. 30. where he says concerning the Deluge, “that the beasts also perished, into whose nature men were degenerated.” Grotius de Verit. b. i. sect. 16.”

Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 2 (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 694.