It is never a good to have a baby with a demon. I am here to argue that it is also never possible. I have 6 basic reasons I don’t think women can (or ever have) procreated with spirit-beings, followed by 2 reasons some people think a passage in the Bible teaches this, followed by 1 reason why the subject of this blog actually doesn’t matter very much.
The text in question is widely regarded as the most obscure passage in the Bible. You’ll find it in Genesis 6:1-4. This text was a part of a longer passage (Genesis 5:1-6:8) that I preached this last Sunday at the gatherings of LifePoint Church.
Here it is:
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.
There are basically two options as we study the opinions of various scholars on this text.
Option #1: “Sons of God” are the righteous line of Seth, and “daughters of men” come from the unrighteous line of Cain. The Nephilim are not their offspring, but simply giant humans who are extremely violent and wicked.
Option #2: “Sons of God” are spirit-beings, most likely demons, which come to earth and intermarry with human women (daughters of men), and the result of their offspring are spirit-humans called the Nephilim. The Nephilim are not the type of individuals you want to meet in a dark alley or allow your daughter to date.
If you care to watch the sermon, I landed on Option #1.
Here are the 6 reasons I don’t think demons and women have babies together:
1) If you read the entire context of this passage, it is talking about human beings.
This text forms the conclusion of the “Line of Cain” vs. “Line of Seth” genealogies. “Sons of God” as the line of Seth (those who “call on the name of the Lord” according to Genesis 4:26) and “daughters of men” as the line of Cain (those who fled from God and live opposed to God according to Genesis 4:16-24) seem to fit quite clearly.
2) The original readers would have read the intent of the original author.
Intermarriage by God’s chosen people with pagan peoples is a strong theme in the Pentateuch, as well as the whole Old Testament. This example in Genesis would have been clearly received through that lens.
3) The text doesn’t actually say that the Nephilim are the offspring of the sons of God and daughters of men.
Read it again. It simply says “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.” It doesn’t say the Nephilim were the children they bore.
4) Scripture doesn’t teach anywhere else that such a union is sexually possible.
Angels/Demons are never said to have sexuality. In fact, Jesus says the opposite in Matthew 22:30.
5) There is precedent for this interpretation in some of the best historical theology.
Guys like Augustine, John Calvin, and Martin Luther all landed on Option #1. Here is Calvin’s take:
“That ancient figment, concerning the intercourse of angels with women, is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity; and it is surprising that learned men should formerly have been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious.”
6) There are zero parallels for this kind of idea in the rest of the canon of Scripture.
We would need to pull from ancient pagan literature or non-canonical inter-testamental literature to find support for the mythological sounding Option #2. While we’re at it, we can find precedence for this reading in the Men in Black Trilogy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Support for Option #2:
In Job we see the exact phrase “sons of God” in Job 1:6 and 2:1. Both places it is referring to angels.
While this is certainly a point to note in one’s research of this topic, the OT does refer to Israel (Deuteronomy 14:1) or kings (2 Samuel 7:14) with “son of God” language.
2) 1 Peter 3:18-22
As a general rule, most try to interpret obscure passages by referring to clear passages. If we take 1 Peter 3 as our biblical support for this reading of Genesis 6:1-4, we are interpreting the most obscure passage in the OT by referring to the most obscure passage in the NT for support. It’s just not the most solid ground to stand on hermeneutically.
I also talked about this in my sermon on 1 Peter 3:18-22 last year, as well as the blogs Spirit’s in Prison Part 1, Spirits in Prison Part 2, Spirits in Prison Part 3, and Spirits in Prison Part 4.
Here is why the subject of this blog doesn’t really matter very much:
The actual identity of the ‘Sons of God’ and the ‘Nephilim’ is not the point of this specific passage. Land on option #1 or option #2, or make up a third option, it just doesn’t really matter. The reason? In context, the entire point of Genesis 6:1-4 is Genesis 6:5:
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
So, whether you think pre-flood that demons and women had babies or not, it was a time of epic wickedness and radical corruption which led to the events of the great flood. For more on these events, check out LifePoint this Sunday, or log-in to our live stream beginning at 9:30am and 11am via lpcvan.com.
 Calvin, J., & King, J. (2010). Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (Vol. 1, p. 238). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.