Job 2

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord

Multiple sons of God are mentioned in Job 2:1. What definition would entail the title 'Sons of God'.

Is it:

  • God in essence.

  • A special servant of God.

  • Biological son (as in begotten).

  • Other than the above

What evidence would denote a definition for 'sons of God' in Job 2:1?

Luke 6:35

Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High

Children of The Most High, sons of God... a status to be achieved?

A second question would be (for another day): Is the hebrew 'son of god' equivalent to the Greek 'son of god' like in Mathew 4:3

And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

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    How can a spirit-being be a 'biological' son ? From the multiple texts of scripture which mention them, these are clearly created spirits : sons by creation, but neither sons by redemption (and new birth) nor sons by divine begetting (of which there is but One). However there are ' elect angels'. This is a very broad subject, and perhaps a shorter, more focused question would be more suitable.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 10:02
  • @NigelJ So you are stating that a spirit can not be a biological son. Then you oppose that Jesus is a biological son of God. Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 12:49
  • 1
    'Biology' refers to natural life, organic life. The Only Begotten Son of God cannot be so described.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 7:20
  • Then are the sons of God begotten sons? A 'Son of god' is a special servant of God. Then why is Jesus not considered to be like them? Where does this idea of 'begotten' son come from? Is it from the primary source Jesus? Or is this innovated by one who came after Jesus? Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 16:32
  • Jesus being the begotten Son is to distinguish between our being God's creatures, his sons,or angels, and Jesus' sharing the very nature of His Father. These are not the same sense of 'Son.' Begotten isn't used biologically of Jesus (fleshly aspect of the word 'son'), but to denote sharing of nature (hereditary use of the word son). Jesus is identified as God's very eternal Word enfleshed. That's the difference. No angel can claim to possess all that God does, or that God's Spirit receives all He has as a person from Him. "To which of the angels has He ever said,.. Today I have begotten You?" Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 12:56

4 Answers 4


What is the definition of son of God in Job 2:1?

For the Chosen People, it usually refers to the Hebrew nation or people in general.

Although references to "sons of God", "son of God" and "son of the LORD" are occasionally found in Jewish literature, they never refer to physical descent from God. There are two instances where Jewish kings are figuratively referred to as a god. The king is likened to the supreme king God. These terms are often used in the general sense in which the Jewish people were referred to as "children of the LORD your God".

When used by the rabbis, the term referred to Israel or to human beings in general, and not as a reference to the Jewish mashiach. In Judaism the term mashiach has a broader meaning and usage and can refer to a wide range of people and objects, not necessarily related to the Jewish eschaton. - Son of God

This may also help:

Sons of the God (Hebrew: בני האלהים‎) literally: "sons of the Gods") is a phrase used in the Hebrew Bible and apocrypha. The phrase is also used in Kabbalah where bene elohim are part of different Jewish angelic hierarchies.

Hebrew Bible

Genesis 6

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. — Genesis 6:1–4, KJV

The first mention of "sons of God" in the Hebrew Bible occurs at Genesis 6:1–4. In terms of literary-historical origin, this phrase is typically associated with the Jahwist tradition.3

This passage has had two interpretations in Judaism:

  • Offspring of Seth: The first references to the offspring of Seth rebelling from God and mingling with the daughters of Cain are found in Christian and rabbinic literature from the second century CE onwards e.g. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Augustine of Hippo, Julius Africanus, and the Letters attributed to St. Clement. It is also the view expressed in the modern canonical Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. In Judaism "Sons of God" usually refers to the righteous, i.e. the children of Seth.

  • Angels: All of the earliest sources interpret the "sons of God" as angels. From the third century BCE onwards, are references are found in the Enochic literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls the (Genesis Apocryphon, the Damascus Document, 4Q180), Jubilees, the Testament of Reuben, 2 Baruch, Josephus, and the book of Jude (compare with 2 Peter 2). This is also the meaning of the only two identical occurrences of bene ha elohim in the Hebrew Bible (Job 1:6 and 2:1), and of the most closely related expressions (refer to the list above). In the Septuagint, the interpretive reading "angels" is found in Codex Alexandrinus, one of four main witnesses to the Greek text.

Rabbinic Judaism traditionally adheres to the first interpretation, with some exceptions, and modern Jewish translations may translate bnei elohim as "sons of rulers" rather than "sons of God". Regardless, the second interpretation (sons of angels or other divine beings) is nonexistent in modern Judaism. This is reflected by the rejection of Enoch and other Apocrypha supporting the second interpretation from the Hebrew Bible Canon.

Using Scripture to interpret Scripture is a very common practice in our day and as such the New Testament in the person of St. Luke shows us that the Sons of God were the descendants of Adam.

According to Scripture “sons of God” means “persons who are begotten independently of any creature’s decision”. All angels can appropriately be called “sons of God”, but not all characters called “sons of God” in the Bible can appropriately be considered angels. The “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-4 are undoubtedly human, and it is fitting to consider that they were created directly by God through transformation of human-like animals into persons.

Who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God. - Luke 3:38

  • Then what does Job 2:7 mean : So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord ? And who is this 'Satan' (among the sons of God) who has power to give someone a disease ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 10:46
  • Satan was in the midst of the Sons of God, but not one of them.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 10:52
  • @NigelJ Satan was able to give the disease after God has given him leave to do it. Job 2:6. It is by permission of God. One may also think that he was given the ability to give the disease in this instance. But God knows best. Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 12:56
  • @KenGraham From the article posted: "to refer to those with special relationships with God. In the Old Testament, angels, just and pious men, and the kings of Israel are all called "sons of God. In the New Testament, Adam,[3] and, most notably, Jesus Christ". So the definition would be 'one who has a special relationship with God' a special servant. Which is coherent to the verse after. The sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. " Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?" Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 13:01

Angels is the most commonly held interpretation of the sons of God in Job 2:1.

The best reference is to consider how the term is used elsewhere within Job. In Job 38:7, the exact same term is used again. This time there are charateristics given which allow for a better identification of the group.

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the [b]line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

In Job 38:7, God speaks of sons of God being present when the foundations of the earth were created. According to Genesis 1, men were not present when God laid the foundations of the earth. They were created at a later time. Therefore, if men did not yet exist, the logical interpretation would be that they are angels. At the very least, you can exclude the possibility that it refers to men. However, the group is also called the "stars of heaven", which is a connection to Isaiah 14:12-14 where Lucifer seeks to raise his authority higher than the "stars". "Lucifer" itself means "morning star".

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    I disagree that the most commonly held interpretation that the Sons of God are angels. Catholics outright deny that claim and they are the largest Christian body of believers on the globe.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 21:27

See here for a discussion of evidence and counter evidence for several possibilities: Were the Sons of God Fallen Angels.

The above deals mostly with Genesis 6 and ideas about the Nephilim, but explores the wider context of the phrase.

This phrase translated "Sons of God" is used in several places in the Bible.

  • Genesis 6
  • Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; (the third has slightly different Hebrew from the first two)
  • Daniel 3:25 (in the singular)

The idea (with different phrasing) that this could refer to humans is found here:

  • Hosea 2:1
  • Deuteronomy 14:1
  • Hosea 11:1
  • Isaiah 43:6

Opinion is divided between "Sons of God" referring to humans in all cases, or sometimes to angels.

If it refers to angels, the Genesis 6 account seems to indicate fallen angels, whereas the Job accounts would mean angels in general.

If it refers to humans, then Genesis 6 would mean descendants of Seth (the good line from Adam) and not Cain. Later usages would refer to the men of Israel.

One commentator on Job (I forget the name) made much use of the idea of the heavenly court and the human court mirroring each other. God, Satan, and the Sons of God are debating in the heavenly court, while Job is on trial in the earthly court. This framework only works if the "Sons of God" are angelic beings.


Jesus defines the idea of 'divine lineage' in John 10:34, Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are 'gods'? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

Jesus is referring to Psalm 82:6 “I said,‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’" (NIV)

Jesus defines this divine lineage as 'those to whom the word of God was given.' Jesus is Himself that transcendent Word...; the One whom the Father set apart....

The operative idea here is that there does exist moral beings who have the capacity to know God; to observe, to understand, to value, to agree, to involve themselves; or not...; to receive the Word of God. (i.e. men and angels) When man agrees with God, and participates in what God is revealing, what God is doing (faithfulness and Faithfulness...), the Righteousness of God resides in man's faithfulness. Therein man is a son of God.... The 'Word' of God resonates in the faithfulness of the 'Son's of God'.

The capacity to 'know' God and agree with God is 'integrity'. Sons of God have integrity. Integrity is a key idea in the book of Job. Job did not create integrity, he did not develop it or perfect it, he 'maintained' it (2:3). God has created in mankind the capacity to know that He is Lord...; therein man is a son of God. However, if man disagrees with God and lives contrary to God's will, therein is iniquity; sin and separation from God, adversity, the 'son of perdition' (John 17:12; 2 Thes 2:3; important contrast with the 'son of God'). In the book of Job, God brings together the two greatest created moral beings, Satan and Job, before angels and before mankind. God explicitly describes Job's integrity: perfect, blameless, innocent (not sinless, Job is a sinner...yet blameless in the Sin Offering and repentance). Satan's iniquity is conspicuous. (Iniquity is translated 27 times in Job, in the KJV.)

The 'sons of God' in the book of Job are heavenly beings. They are are listening intently to the argument involving Satan and God. God is indicting Satan for his iniquity, and Satan is attacking the character of God and the integrity of man (Job). In Job, God demonstrates the capacity He has Created in mankind and angels to 'know Him...', to agree with Him, to be involved with His Righteousness.... The greatest man, Job, blesses God.... And the least man, destitute Job, blesses God. Therein everyman has the capacity to bless God; to know God...; and mankind, and angels, and Satan are without excuse. Destitute Job will not withdraw his 'blessing' with a 'curse'. Job 1:21 "..the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." The book of Job is actually about Blessings and blessings; Faithfulness and faithfulness; Righteousness and righteousness....

Sons of God are those in whom the Word of God dwells....

Nasir's question: "Luke: 'Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High'. Children of The Most High, sons of God... a status to be achieved?" Rather than a status to be achieved, finished or completed, 'sonship' is a sanctification to be lived; dynamic, growing, day-by-day, wondering, worshiping, repenting.... Job 42:1-5

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