The Sons Of God: Angels, Descendants, Or Divine Beings?

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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Christians today mention or use the phrase “Sons of God” to denote both their literal and spiritual relationship with the Creator—Father God. The biblical terms are mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments.

But these passages have drawn significant contention across the many camps of Bible readers and scholars regarding their true meaning and significance. For centuries, academicians, pastors, priests, and the educated laity have considered the terms one of the most thorny and complex passages in the Pentateuch.

Primarily focusing on the Book of Genesis, each interpretation of the phrase is somehow taken out of context or inclined to the reader’s preference or prejudiced understanding.

Key Takeaways

  • The phrase “Sons of God” presents extensive debate among scholars and readers, with interpretations varying widely across the Old and New Testaments, often influenced by personal beliefs and biases.
  • Views on the identity of the Sons of God range from angelic beings to godly descendants of Seth, rulers, or mighty men, fueling ongoing theological discussions about their nature and significance.
  • Amid differing interpretations, there’s a clear biblical affirmation of Jesus Christ as the definitive Son of God, embodying divine identity and playing pivotal roles in salvation history, emphasizing Christological themes in understanding Sonship.
An oil painting portraying sons of god, reminiscent of Raphael's classical beauty

Who Are The Sons Of God?

In The New Testament

In the New Testament, the “Sons of God” are referenced as Jesus Christ and Christians. No major debate or opposition exists as to the affirmation that Christians and our Messiah[1] are both described as the sons of God.

In The Old Testament

The center of contention emanates from the Old Testament in Genesis Chapter 6 verses 1–4: “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose” (Vv. 1–2).

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown (Vv. 3–4).

In the Old Covenant, the Sons of God are referred to as either “giants in the land,” “sons of Seth,” “kings or rulers at the time,” or “fallen angels.” The passages were also written when man began his rampant wickedness over all the earth. The Bible tells of the consequential event of the flood narrative, when God’s judgment struck and most of humankind was wiped out from the face of the whole earth.

Because of the lack of corroborative cross-referencing in the Bible and expository clarity, a divide remains as to the true meaning and significance of the verses up to the present time. As in many passages in the Bible, verses are sometimes misinterpreted.

The phrase “Sons of God” is often taken out of its exegetical context (God’s perspective and intent) or imposed on an eisegetical viewpoint (bias) by the reader. Nonetheless, man is inherently and eternally seeking the truth.

An illustration of sons of god with celestial radiance and ethereal expressions.

Why Are They Called The Sons Of God?

Fallen Angels 

Many people see the sons of God as fallen angels who were banished from the heavenly realms, wandered on earth, and bore children because of their rebellion against God. Job 1:6 reads: “Now there was a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.”

As direct spiritual beings created by God, fallen angels are intrinsically referred to as “sons of God.” But they will eventually be cast down into the eternal chains of hell as their proper dwelling place and destiny.

The main reason people reject this interpretation is the assertion that fallen angels can’t procreate with human women because they are heavenly beings and spirits and do not have physical bodies.

On the other hand, the Bible also reveals that demons (fallen angels) can enter a human’s body and gain possession. In Mark 5, Jesus encountered a man possessed by evil spirits and drove them out. For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” (v. 8).

Giants Of The Land Or Nephilim

Somehow related to the proposition of angelic beings as the fallen ones, some people refer to the sons of God as the “giants in the land.” In their earthly sojourn, the fallen angels were enticed by the women on earth, cohabited with them, and produced offspring called Nephilim.

The descendants were giants who possessed superhuman strength because they were half human and half angel. The word “Nephilim” comes from the Hebrew Bible.

Sons Of Seth

A popular view sees the sons of God as the godly descendants of Seth (the third son of Adam), while the daughters of men arose from the ungodly lineage of Cain or other irreverent people. Some believe that the intermarriage between these descendants precipitated God’s wrath and intention for the Flood.

Kings Or Rulers

Another well-known view is that the sons of God were mighty men, rulers, or their offspring who married common people. Elohim, the Hebrew name for God, is also used to refer to historical rulers. Psalm 82:6–7 reads: “You are “gods” [Elohim, a Hebrew word]; you are all sons of the Highest. But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.”


Christians are referred to as “followers” or “disciples” of Jesus Christ. Acts 11:26 reads: “So for a whole year, Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

We are spiritually born of God as divine beings and adopted into His family. Ephesians 1:5 reads: “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

Jesus Christ As The Son Of God

The Bible is evidently clear and emphatic that Jesus Christ is called the Son of God. Matthew 3:17 reads: And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.” Jesus Christ, our Messiah, is the son of God who takes away the sins of the world and gives us eternal life.

A watercolor depiction of sons of god, drawing inspiration from William Blake's mystical visions

25 Revealing Bible Verses About Sons Of God

All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

— Romans 8:14

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.

Job 1:6

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12 

When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:7

The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.

Genesis 6:2

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

— Genesis 6:4

With earnest expectation, the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

— Romans 8:19

For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith.

Galatians 3:26

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9

I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.

Psalm 2:7 

The son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Luke 3:38

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”

Luke 1:35

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

1 John 5:20 

He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:25

And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 6:18

And was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 1:4

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?”  

Hebrews 1:5

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  

John 20:31

That all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.  

John 5:23

 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:33

I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men.  

2 Samuel 7:14

The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Revelation 21:7 

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 

For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Luke 20:36

He is without father, mother, or genealogy, having neither the beginning of days nor the end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues to be a priest forever.

Hebrews 7:3
A digital illustration capturing sons of god, influenced by Gustave Doré's divine engravings


God’s Word is the source of truth. In our quest for God’s meaning and wisdom, we often find ourselves perplexed in the study of the Scriptures. Finding the true interpretation of the phrase “Sons of God” is a continuing challenge.

But we solidly rely on the infallibility of the Word of God. Having gained salvation by the blood of Christ, we remain convinced that the Bible is the living word of God.

Evil continually exists because Satan is the Father of All Lies and his vile spiritual beings deceive us. Through sincere prayers and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can rest assured that we have the right to be called children or pious sons of God.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Was The First Son Of God?

In Christian belief, Jesus Christ is commonly regarded as the first Son of God, representing the divine incarnation of God’s love and redemption for humanity through his teachings, death, and resurrection.

Why Is Adam Called The Son Of God?

In Christian theology, Adam is not designated as the “Son of God” as Jesus Christ is. Adam is recognized as the first human created by God, while the title “Son of God” is specifically attributed to Jesus, reflecting his divine nature and redemptive role in Christianity.

How To Become Sons Of God?

In Christianity, becoming “sons of God” involves accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, repenting of sins, and being spiritually reborn through faith. This transformation grants believers reconciliation with God and adoption into His family, inheriting the privileges of being children of God.

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