What does Genesis 6:2 mean?
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.
NKJV: that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Genesis 6:1–8 introduces us to two mysterious groups: the ''sons of God'' and the Nephilim. Provoked by the wickedness of humanity and, perhaps, by the power of these two groups, God declares that He will reduce human lifespans to 120 years. Alternatively, this same remark might refer to God's plan to wipe out all of humanity in 120 years. In either case, this prediction is fulfilled. God will exercise His authority as Creator and execute justice by ending the world as it was. Human civilization will be forced to start again, through one man: Noah.
Chapter Summary:
God sees. In the first chapter of Genesis, God saw that all He had made was good. Now, many generations after sin entered the world, God sees that all man has made is wickedness and evil. Human beings have used their power for violence and destruction. God declares His plan to wipe out all land-dwelling life on the face of the earth. He will however, preserve humanity and animal life for a new beginning through the one righteous man, Noah, and a huge life-giving structure called an ark.
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter traced the generations from Adam through his son Seth and all of the way to Noah. This chapter reveals that Noah will be the man through whom God will preserve humanity for a new beginning after wiping out all life on the face of the earth. God tells Noah to build an enormous structure, an ark, and prepare to welcome representatives of all of the animals on earth. Noah does exactly that, setting the stage for the cataclysmic judgment of God to come in chapter 7.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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