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Wordwise Insight, Issue #117
May 14, 2014


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Who are "the sons of God," particularly in the Old Testament?

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The Sons of God

(Who are the sons of God?)

QUESTION: Job 1:6, says then the sons of man came before God and Satan came. Who are the sons of men? Is this another reference to angels?

ANSWER: Well, my first question is where did you get the translation "sons of man [or men]"? That's not what the Bible says. The Hebrew is ben elohim, meaning "sons of God." (Elohim is the Hebrew word for God, used that way about two thousand times in the Old Testament.)

And yes, in Job, the sons of God are angelic beings. What is described in Job 1:6 (and in Job 2:1) seems to be some kind of heavenly counsel, or court, in which the angels report on their doings before the throne of God. The fact that even the devil must give a report to God should encourage us. Nothing Satan does goes unnoticed by the Lord. And nothing he does is beyond God's sovereign control.

In Job chapter 38, the Lord Himself questions Job, and asks him, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth [where were you at the beginning of creation, in other words]?" (vs. 4). At that time, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (vs. 7).

In Hebrew poetry (which most of Job is) the two clauses in that verse are parallel, they are referring to the same thing. The sons of God are "morning stars," perhaps in the sense that they shine with a God-given glory light. (That may be what terrified the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth, Lk. 2:9.) It's interesting to me that angels not only shouted for joy to see God's creative power displayed, they also sang about it!

This scene helps us with the identity of the sons of God. The creation of the earth itself came before the creation of man. Only God and ...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Sons of God.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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