There are several theories concerning the identity of the sons of God (B'nai HaElohim, בני האלהים, contrasted with "daughters of men", Benoth Adam, הבנות של אדם) identified in the Book of Genesis.
- When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. ( )
Lines of Seth View
One hypothesis is that the sons of God are the descendants of Seth, the pure line of Adam. The daughters of men are then seen as the descendants of Cain. This is the view put forth by the pseudepigraphical work: Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan.
A second hypothesis states that the "sons of God" are a category of fallen angel referred to as Watchers who came to earth and had children with the daughters of men. This union resulted in a race of half-angel, half-human beings known as the Nephilim, and subsequently, the Emim, Rephaim and Anakim.
A third hypothesis revolves around the fact that "elohim" means god or gods. In the Hebrew "Elohim" is God's name but it is a plural word. Even though the name is more often used with the -im plural suffix while still meaning a singular form, the use of "Ha" before the name (which is the Hebrew equivalent of the word "The") transforms the word into strictly plural, though apologists such as Dr. Chuck Missler regard this as a testament to the Trinity.)
Gods and Cities
A fourth hypothesis relates the "sons of God" to the 70 sons of El and Athirat in the Canaanite tradition of Ugarit, from whose marriage with a race of titanesses (the daughters of man), the 70 nations of the earth were born. Each city or people thus had its own divinity, with whom they had a special covenant (i.e. Ba'al Be'rith = Lord of the Covenant). This marriage of the divinity with the city would seem to have Biblical parallels too with the stories of the link between Melkart and Tyre; Yahweh and Jerusalem; Chemosh and Moab; Tanit and Baal Hammon with Carthage, and may have been celebrated annually after the new year with a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, in which a Qadeshtu (Holy One) took the role of the God's consort, representing the city.
- Hoffman, Joel M. In the Beginning: a Short History of the Hebrew Language New York University Press (1 Jun 2004) ISBN: 978-0814736548 p. 41
- Dr. Chuck Misler (1995) God or Three?
- Moscati, Sabatino (2000), "The Phoenicians" (Rizzoli International)
- Delcor, Matthias (1976), "Religion D'Israël Et Proche Orient Ancien: Des Phéniciens Aux Esséniens" (Brill International Publications)
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