Genesis 6:2

ESV the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.
NIV the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
NASB that the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
CSB the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.
NLT The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives.
KJV That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

What does Genesis 6:2 mean?

This fascinating and much-debated verse concludes a thought begun in the previous one. As humanity began to expand across the earth, human daughters were born. These human women were attractive to the "sons of God." The sons of God took as wives any of the women they chose. So who were the "sons of God"? Several ideas have been offered by scholars over the centuries.

Some have suggested that the sons of God are the men of the line of Seth described in the previous chapter, while the "daughters of men" are from the line of Cain. This idea doesn't seem to fit, however, with what we're told in the following verses.

Many scholars believe these "sons of God" to be angels or demons (fallen angels)—or to be human men possessed by demons. This could also explain God's apparent objection to these "sons of God" and their offspring.

Finally, others suggest "sons of God" was a designation given to the human rulers of the time. Human kings and lords throughout history have often claimed to be divine to bolster their own authority. Perhaps these were merely powerful men, taking their pick of the women of the earth. This would fit with the ancient practice of taking many wives or having a harem of sexual servants. In the context of the upcoming flood, that would make this passage a refutation of their claims to divinity. Even the so-called divine rulers will be judged by the One True God in the flood.
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