ANSWER: In answering the first question, demons are spirits and can indwell but they do not materialize, though godly angels, the holy angels can.
All biblical scholarship and clear textual observation seems to go out the window on this issue of Genesis 6:2. People nearly take up pick axes to defend the fallen angel theory and cohabitation! But a look at all of the evidence is certainly called for. And the final verdict will not support the angel theory!
There are two prevailing arguments: (1) the sons of God are fallen angels who cohabit with humans, or (2) they are the more godly descendants from the line of Seth (Gen. 5:6-32) as opposed to the more ungodly line of Cain (4:16-24). In Genesis 6, the two lines come together, watering down the human race spiritually and morally. This is the biblical view.
Fallen Angel arguments:
- The fallen angels "who did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper abode" must mean the fallen angels crossed over from angelic form to cohabit with human women (Jude 6). They had to take on human sex form! The word "domain" is archen (arch) in Greek, meaning their "high position" and "proper abode" means in Greek there "own house-placement."
- "Sons of God, sons of daughters" (Gen. 6:2). "Sons of God" does indeed describe angels in Job 1:6. The term refers to the fact that God created the angels. They are His "sons" by creation but not in the sense of Christ who is THE SON of God by the sharing of the same attributes. In Job 1:6 they come before God "to present themselves." These must have been the good angels and not the fallen angels, though it is as if Satan came in "among them," though he was no longer of them!
My answer: This passage supports the idea that the evil angels fell from their heavenly abode but it does not support the idea that they cohabited with earthly women. The Jude text does not say this!
My answer: The argument is strong that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6:2 could be angels, though it would stand to reason by the title that they were good angels, if angels at all! Why would good angels be cohabiting with women? A more godly line of humans (the biblical view).
The Godly Line Of Seth arguments:
- The sons of God "took wives" (Gen. 6:2) which has to do with long commitments, and not simply the act of having sex. Can you imagine their kids walking about saying, "Yes, my dad is a fallen angel!"
- The next verse (v. 3) indicates that God is not angry because there was cohabitation between so called "fallen angels" and women but because the moral and spiritual goodness of the Seth line is broken and God’s "Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh," i.e., the whole race of human beings, not half breeds! The children being born would not simply be "flesh" if there is angelic cohabitation. They would be "spirit-flesh" or half/breeds!
- The Cain line is described as more materialistic and evil, over the Seth line. (1) Cain fled the "presence of the Lord" and went to the land of Nod (place of wandering) (4:16). A grandson, Lemech, was the first polygamist (v. 19). This line produced those who were very technical and mechanical but not spiritual (vv. 20-22). Lamech was outspoken and very aggressive (vv. 23-24).
- It was with the line of Seth that men began to call upon the Lord (v. 26). Enoch had Methuselah who lived the longest probably because of his godliness (5:27). Enoch was taken directly to the Lord without experiencing death (v. 24). Noah, meaning "comfort" comes from this line of Seth because God blessed the Seth line with rest from their work (v. 29). It would make better sense then that by CONTEXT, the Seth line (the sons of God) cohabited with the Cain line (the daughters of men) and the race was polluted.
- The word "Nephilim" actually means from the verb "naphual" in Hebrew "to fall upon," meaning that this is an aggressive people. The word "giant" (as tall) was first used in 6:4 in the LXX and may not really reflect the meaning of the word. In 6:4, the word Nephilim does not refer to the sons of God and the daughters of men. The word Nephilim is used separately and apart from "when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men."
- It must not be forgotten that Christ made it clear that angels could not be sexual; they are sexless (Matt. 22:30).
- The next time the word Nephilim is used is in Numbers 13:33. The report from the spies said that in the land there "we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." Notice that in no way does the passage say that these men were giants in actuality. To both parties, the sons of Anak, and to the Israelite spies, they BOTH FELT like the other was overwhelming. But you ask, what about verse 32 where it says that "all the people we saw in [the land] are men of (great) size"? Does this not sound like giants? Notice it says ALL THE PEOPLE. The point is that the folks in the land appeared daunting but not simply tall! Even the Israelite spies seemed "daunting" to the people who lived in the land! one cannot make the Nephilim here the same as in Genesis. And besides, the Nephilim here in Numbers 13:33 are the children of Anak. They are not the same ones as introduced in early Genesis. If so then the Nephilim must have skipped several generations (who were a combo of angels and men) and then popped up again.
- Unger, who believes the Nephilim in Genesis 6 are giants and a mixture of angels and men, skips the issue in Numbers 13:32-33. He simply says "Unbelief not only occupies itself with the difficulties, but magnifies and exaggerates them, so that spiritual defeat (Rom. 7) rules out victory." (Unger, Commentary, p. 202)
Finally: The Scofield Reference Notes, written by some of the most respected scholars, agrees with me. They write:
"Angels are sexless (Matt. 22:30). The words ‘took wives for themselves’ (Gen. 6:2) signify a lasting marriage, the reference has to do with the breakdown of the separation of the godly line of Seth by intermarriage with the godless line of Cain. [This view] holds that the expression ‘sons of God’ refers to all the godly, and ‘daughters of men’ to all the ungodly, irrespective of their natural paternity."
Thanks for asking.
Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.