Job 1:6 - Who are sons of God?

 
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Benjamin Ho



Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:00 am    Post subject: Job 1:6 - Who are sons of God? Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

Job 1:6 is usually understood to be a heavenly court where the sons of God (angelic spiritual beings) meet God. Supporting this view would be Job 38:7.

Just to ask if my "heretical" view could stand. Is it possible that these sons of God could be men who are followers/worshippers of God rather than spiritual beings? [Recall Genesis 6:2 where one of the possible interpretations for sons of God is the godly line of Seth.]

This could explain why the sons of God presented themselves to God only at certain times. It would explain how Satan could come to the presence of God without having to go to heaven. It would also explain how the author of the book of Job knew about these events that occur between Satan and God.
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Damon



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 387
Location: Carmel, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Benjamin!

I was browsing through some of the old posts on the forum when I came across this one. If you don't mind, I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

To begin with, the physical creation is meant to be a reflection of heaven, although at the present time it's a very imperfect reflection. We see this clearly in the Lord's Prayer: "Your [God's] Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." There are also many other biblical passages which allude to such a parallel. For instance, we read of the Tree of Life which is in a heavenly Eden [note that paradise is just the Greek word for Eden] in Revelation 2:7, just as there was a Tree of Life in Eden on the earth, when the earth was first created.

That being the case, we can have both physical AND spiritual "sons of God." It makes no difference.

Adam was directly the son of God, but his descendants were not. On the other hand, just like Jacob adopted his son Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to be his own sons just like Reuben or Simeon were (see Gen. 48:1-5), we are likewise adopted as sons or daughters of God, even though we're not His direct sons or daughters (see Rom. 8:14-16). In the same fashion, the angels have been made part of the family of God which spans heaven and earth (see Eph. 3:14-15).

When the bible speaks of "sons of God" in the Old Testament, it's not always clear whether it means physical sons (meaning men) or spiritual sons (meaning angels). Conceivably, it could even mean both, in some passages!

Now, if you're not already confused enough, get ready for a passage that talks about both physical and spiritual sons of God at the same time! Let's look at Psalm 82:

"God stands in the congregation of the mighty, He judges among the gods [Heb. 'Elohim']. 'How long will you judge unjustly and approve of the wicked? Consider this! Defend the poor and the orphan, dispense justice to the afflicted and needy. They [the 'gods'] do not know, nor will they understand. They walk on in darkness, and all the foundations of the earth [again referring to these 'gods'] are out of course. I have declared that you are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' Arise, O God, and judge the earth, for you will inherit all nations."

The Hebrew word "elohim" can be rendered as both "gods" or "judges." When applied to God, it refers to His role as the perfect Judge. However, it can also apply to angels or even to human beings.

The same terminology that we see here in Psalm 82 also appears in the book of Job, right where you pointed out another instance of the "sons of God." For instance, we read of God establishing "the foundations of the earth" in Job 38:4. Moreover, the first several verses of Job 38 hark back to the Creation account in Genesis 1. However, we read of several things here in Job 38 that the account in Genesis never mentions! It's because the emphasis is completely different.

Verse 8 gives the time setting as when the earth was raised out of the waters of Creation. At this time, the "morning stars" sang together and all of the angelic sons of God shouted for joy. These seven "morning stars" stood in a circle, looking at a stone sitting in the center (see verse 6), as the earth rose out of the water. This is referred to in Zechariah 3:9: "[Facing] towards one stone [the corner stone] will be seven 'eyes'." These are also known as the seven angels to the seven churches. They were looking at it because Jesus was standing on this stone as the earth rose out of the water! And finally, you might notice that very similar symbolism also occurs in Revelation 1.

What's the point of all of this symbolism? Simply this. The ideal of proper judgment was established right at Creation, as the earth rose out of the waters. The "morning stars" - called "gods" in Psalm 82 - were established as judges of human hearts and motivations (2 Chron. 16:9). Human judges were modeled after these original angelic judges. When proper judgment isn't rendered by these human judges, it's as if the "foundations of the earth" - the angelic judges established at Creation - are "off course."

Psalm 82 overlays the two. It speaks of both human and angelic judges at the same time, calling all of them "children of the Most High."

Anyway, to conclude, your question was, did Satan come in among human "sons of God" on earth or angelic "sons of God" in heaven? Well, since I've shown above that it's possible for both ways of looking at it to be correct, why not try looking at it both ways and see where that gets you?

After all, earth is supposed to be a reflection, however imperfect, of heaven.

Damon
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Steve



Joined: 17 Feb 2004
Posts: 1178
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ben,
Of course, Damon is correct in pointing out that "sons of God" can refer either to human or to angelic beings, which you apparently knew when you asked the question. I can not tell from the context whether the sons of God, among whom Satan came while they presented themselves before God, are men or angels.

The reference in Job 38:7 certainly seems to refer to angels, but that chapter falls within the poetic section of Job, while chapters 1 and 2 are in the section written in prose. "Sons of God," having two possible meanings, might have one meaning when appearing in poetry, and another when used in prose, for all I know (which isn't much).

The bottom line is that your suggestion cannot be ruled out, and it is always good and refreshing to me to see someone reassessing traditional viewpoints and thinking "outside the box" about the scriptures. Since we are generally taught to assume the sons of God were angels, it takes a fresh and thoughtful approach to notice that this is not necessarily the only way to understand the familiar passage. We may never know if you are correct, but it makes sense.
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Steve
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Benjamin Ho



Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Steve,

Thanks for your comments (especially the bit on prose and poetry--I didn't think about that). I learnt how to think "outside the box" from my favorite Bible teacher! Wink
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Benjamin Ho
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JEREMIAH



Joined: 10 Apr 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:45 pm    Post subject: Son's of God set against God Reply with quote

Something note worthy is that in Hebrew it uses the word l'hit-yat-sayv al (to set against as opposed to "present themselves") which is the same expression used in psalm 2 where it is translated the kings of the earth set themselves......against the LORD and against his Christ. Thus This passage in Job can also be translated, The sons of God came to set themselves against God and Satan came also among them.
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