Academic journal article Jewish Bible Quarterly

Sons of Elokim as Used in Genesis

Academic journal article Jewish Bible Quarterly

Sons of Elokim as Used in Genesis

Article excerpt

The unusual concept of the sons of Elokim marrying the daughters of Adam is found in Genesis 6:2: And the sons of Elokim saw the daughters of Adam that they were fair, and they took for themselves wives from whomsoever they chose. Two sentences later, it is stated: When the sons of Elokim cohabited with the daughters of Adam, and they bore them offspring; they were the heroes of old, the men of renown.

The term sons of Elokim has been used in Job 1:6, 2:1 and Daniel 25 to refer to angels. In contrast, the term in Job 38:7 more probably refers to Man who was created on the sixth day of Creation.

In biblical criticism, these sentences have been interpreted as referring to male celestial beings, such as angels, marrying human females, and reflect legends and mythology that have entered into the biblical text. However, the concept that angels could marry humans is foreign to Judaism. Ibn Ezra explains that the term sons of Elokim in Genesis does not mean angels, but rather important people such as sons of judges or holy persons or capable people.

A more straight-forward interpretation is that sons of Elokim are the men who were created in a direct manner by God, as in Genesis 2:7: And God Elokim formed Adam of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and Adam became a living being. …

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