Sunday, July 10, 2011

They took them wives even as they chose

In my comparison study between Genesis and Moses, I came across a particular section where there were substantial changes. Here’s Genesis, then Moses:
1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3And 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. (Genesis 6:1-3)

13 And Noah and his sons hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed, and they were called the sons of God.
14 And when these men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of men saw that those daughters were fair, and they took them wives, even as they chose.
15 And the Lord said unto Noah: The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice.
16And it came to pass that Noah prophesied, and taught the things of God, even as it was in the beginning.
17And the Lord said unto Noah: My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them. (Moses 8:13-17)
In the Genesis account, it seems odd that sons of God would take wives of daughters of men just because they were pretty. It makes the sons of God seem shallow, as if righteousness were not that important to them.

When we read Moses 8, we get a totally different picture. We learn that sons of God are those who hearken to the Lord and obey. (So the terminology is clarified.) (It follows then that sons of men are those who don’t obey the Lord.) We learn that rather than sons of God marrying daughters of men, it is sons of men marrying daughters of God. It makes more sense that it is sons of men marrying based on beauty rather than character or virtue.

But what are we to think of these daughters of holy men who seem to have accepted marriage to men spiritually beneath them? Weren’t they forced into it? Apparently not, since the Lord tells Noah, “The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves.” (v15) These girls couldn’t sell themselves unless they had a choice in the matter. It is wonderful to find early evidence that girls were given a choice of whether to accept or refuse marriage, but it is sad that they sold themselves in exchange for something--maybe it was money, maybe it was status, maybe it was just the chance to be married at all if good men were sparse--but they sold themselves thinking that what they got compensated for a spouse that wasn’t a “son of God.”

I am so grateful to be married to a son of God in an eternal marriage. Part of what makes it so worth it is the amazing promises that go with it. I hope all the daughters of God and sons of God can hold out for a righteous partner.


Becky Rose said...

thank you for this! I married a man, a member of the church, who is very spiritually below me. It was abusive and we are currently in the process of divorcing. I had my list and it was HIGH, but I was 37 and someone was finally really chasing me. Before I was always willing to wait until the next life if possible for the right man. I wish I had.

Michaela Stephens said...

Becky, I'm so sorry. I wish I was there so that I could give you a hug.