Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The "Half-Breeds" of Genesis 6
The first part of chapter 6 is a rather odd text and along with it come many different ideas and interpretations as to what it could be referring to. It speaks of the “sons of God” noticing the “daughters of men” and marrying them.
Then it speaks of the offspring of the unions between the sons of God and the daughters of men by labeling them as heroes of old and men of renown. (NIV)
So what is this text referring to?
Some claim that it is the mating of fallen angels and humans which produced “half-breeds” (yes, like in the movie Constantine) or super humans who of course are very wicked. (This is the view I’ve heard most growing up)
it seems to me, however, that when comparing this text to the content in chapters 4 and 5 other options arise and make a little bit more sense. (you have to admit, the half-breed thing sounds crazy… but who knows?)
In chapter 4 tells us that Cain killed his brother in cold blood, and then it gives us a list of the “line” of Cain. This list seems to highlight Lamech who after also killing a man says, “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”(probably representing the increase of violence) Cain’s line seems to be very violent. (which seems to be the theme of the Flood story)
However, in chapter 5 we have Seth’s “line” in which it’s highlights are Seth (the good son), Enoch (who walked with God, so he was no more), and then of course Noah (Savior character).
It seems that Cain’s line is depicted as violent and wicked and Seth’s good and godly. What if the “sons of God” represent Seth’s descendants and the “daughters of men” represents Cain’s descendants and the text is (creatively) describing how even thought there once was a distinction between the two, now all of humanity had become violent?