School for Biblical, Judaic & Spiritual Studies
Identifying the "Sons of God" in
by Ariel Bar
2008 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
"The sons of G-d saw that the daughters of man were good,
and they took themselves wives from whomever they chose...
the Nefilim (fallen ones) were on the earth in those
days... The sons of God had come to the daughters of man and had fathered
[The Nefilim] were the mightiest ones who ever existed,
men of renown." (Genesis
It is very interesting to note that with regards to understanding the
identity of these "sons of G-d" (Benei Elohim), there exists in Torah
tradition two almost parallel, and possibly mutually exclusive points of
The classical commentators traditionally identify these "sons of G-d" as a
specific category of human beings, who are given this title for various
reasons. Most of them only scarcely mention another sacred tradition that
has been recorded for centuries before any of their works were ever written.
Yet, just because the classical commentators may not elaborate on specific
traditions does not mean that these traditions are any less equally
authoritative. Remember this, the classical commentators were writing for
the common person. I believe it is possible that they intentionally picked
the more simple interpretation of these verses so as not to arouse any
unnecessary curiosity and alarm on behalf of the greater public.
This being said, it is clear that most if not all the classical sources,
dating back to Talmudic times knew very well that the identity of these
"sons of G-d" may be something very different than commonly described. One
needs only to look at Rashi's commentary to these verses in Genesis and see
how it compares with his comments on these verses recorded in his Talmudic
commentary to Yoma 16b. The classical commentators knew very well that they
were keeping a secret.
To offer us another identification of the "sons of G-d" we only need to
return to the Bible. The very same Hebrew term "Benei Elohim" is used in the
Book of Job (1:6), where it states, "Now it fell upon a day, that the sons
of G-d came to present themselves before HaShem." The day in question has
traditionally been understood as Rosh HaShana and the sons of G-d here are
clearly a race of entities we have come to call angels. Indeed, RaMBaM in
his law code the Mishneh Torah, in the Laws of Torah Foundations (2:7) lists
the Benei Elohim as one of the ten races of angels.
The Zohar (1:23a; 1:25a; ZH Ruth 99a) goes even further and in like kind to
the ancient Sefer Hanokh (Enoch 7), one of the most ancient and intact
sources of Torah legends known to us, the identity of these angels and their
saga is revealed. According to these most ancient of sources, recorded by
numerous later Torah authorities, there was a band of angels, Benei Elohim,
who stood by at the original creation of Adam and resisted his creation and
the authority given to him by G-d (ibid).
Legend tells us that they complained to G-d saying why should Adam be given
so much authority and power over them seeing that he is destined to come to
Earth, sin and fall. G-d replies to these angels that if they were ever to
descend to Earth, their fall would be even worse (Zohar 1:9b, 37a). Such is
the power and pull of physical attractions here on Earth.
The Zohar states that wanting to prove G-d wrong, two leading angels, Aza
and Azael gathered together a band of two hundred of their brothers and
together made a vow that they would descend to Earth and show the rest of
Heaven that they unlike Adam could and would resist Earthly living and
physical temptations, thus proving themselves to be superior. Their descent
to Earth is what is recorded in Genesis 6 (1:23a; 1:25a; ZH Ruth 99a). Enoch
7 tells a similar story but with different and more detailed angelic names.
As we see, immediately G-d was proven right and these fallen angels were
proven deadly wrong. Once they came to Earth they were overcome by physical
sexual desires, which was a totally new and unknown sensation for them. Like
Adam and Eve before them, they succumbed to the same fall.
The children of these mix-breed entities were not fully human and not fully
angelic. They bared the humanity of their mothers and still maintained the
superiority of their fathers. These hybrid humans, the Malbim commentary to
this section of Genesis tells us, were the source for the ancient myths and
legends of the ancient world. The ancient stories of the Greek gods of
Olympus and the Norse gods of Asgard might very well have been founded upon
the deeds and wanton behaviors of these fallen angels and their hybrid human
Granted the stories bestow divinity upon these entities, but Malbim makes
the emphatic point that such attributions are entirely false. Granted these
entities did exist and they were in comparison to us superhuman. Still,
nonetheless, while being hybrid humans, there was nothing divine about them
Now, I wish to delve further into the identity of these Benei Elohim (sons
of G-d). Many modern Rabbis follow the opinion expressed by the RaMBaM (MT,
Y.T. 2:5) that all angels are completely non-physical spiritual entities.
However, many modern Rabbis do not study about angels and certainly have not
had any direct exposure to them. One just needs to read the commentaries to
RaMBaM's Torah Foundations on the above quoted section about angels to see
that there was many who disagreed with the RaMBaM about all angels being
totally incorporeal. Many of the Torah Sages stated emphatically (Perush
RaMBaM HaMeir quoting the Yabetz and Rabi Shem Tov Ben Shem Tov; Ohel Moed 8
and others) that there are
certain angels who have a sense of corporeality to them. In other words,
these Benei Elohim might have been physical beings after all.
To give added credence to this opinion, I am aware that the late Rav Aharon
Soloveitchik of Chicago was of the opinion that these Benei Elohim spoken of
in Genesis 6 were actually very physical, humanoid extraterrestrials, who
came to Earth. I had seen this opinion of his quoted in the Jewish
newspaper, "The Forward." I could not believe that one of the generation's
leading Rabbis would believe such a radical thought and I was certain that
the leftist leaning newspaper certainly misquoted the Rabbi with the intent
to discredit him.
Living as I did at the time in Chicago and knowing well the Rabbi's son, I
asked him personally if his father actually said these words and if he
actually believed them. His son, an esteemed Rabbi in his own right,
personally confirmed to me in the affirmative on both counts and that he
himself knew of the 9th century text from which his esteemed father had
Compiling then from the sources I have quoted, in ancient times, there was a
band of humanoid extraterrestrial entities who were originally in the
service of Heaven but who rebelled. They came down here to Earth with good
intent, but succumbed to the overwhelming temptations of physical sensations
and thus fell. They became entrapped here, not being able to return to their
home in another dimension or possibly on another planet in this dimension.
They bore their fate and started families, mingling their genetics with
human genetics. This polluted the human gene pool thwarting the directives
and intent of Heaven. The reaction from Heaven was swift and harsh. Being
that the entire human gene pool as well as that of the animal kingdom had
become contaminated, a comprehensive cleansing was needed. As we know the
flood soon followed.
More than just polluting the human gene pool, these fallen angels are also
recorded to have taught pre-flood humanity what the literature calls
treasures of wisdom (Enoch 8). When one reviews the list of the subjects
that the fallen angels taught to humanity, we today would call these
subjects technology. Apparently the fallen angels brought to Earth a
technological boom. In a short time, humanity jumped forward centuries with
new technological developments. In the literature of the time, obviously the
term technology was neither used nor known. Instead they referred to these
special powers by the Hebrew term Kishufim (Zohar 1:126b), which today we
translate as magic.
Indeed, the technology of the fallen angels was magic; just like our modern
technology would be considered magic to those who never conceived of such
things existing. Throughout human history every culture around the world has
had a history and connection to the magical. Most today dismiss magic as
primitive and a fantasy. Yet, Torah sources state the complete opposite.
Magic, Kishufim is quite real. There are numerous references to it in the
Bible and throughout Torah literature. Indeed, there is even an entire
chapter dedicated to dealing with it in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish
Law, Y.D. 179).
Magic operates in accordance to its own laws of nature and physics. In
truth, Kishufim and magic are not magical at all; they are merely
technological operations, mostly using the latent psychic powers of the
mind. This was one area of technology that the fallen angels taught ancient
man, how to use some the powers latent within them, placed there by G-d the
The flood was said to wipe out all traces of the fallen ones from the
surface of the Earth. Whether some might have survived in another place is
considered by some (Zohar belief of an inner Earth). While the surface of
the Earth was supposedly cleansed of them, we find that a later generation,
that of the Tower of Babel, discovered one of their lost technologies.
According to Rabbi Eliezer Ben David in his book, "Out of the Iron Furnace,"
(page 49), quoting and interpreting the Zohar, states that the Biblical
story of the builders of the Tower of Babel finding a valley and burning
bricks therein is the Torah's way of saying that what the builders actually
rediscovered was the secrets of nuclear energy.
Indeed, was the Tower of Babel nuclear powered? Legend tells us that the
builders wanted to build the Tower high into the Heavens with the intent of
attacking Heaven as revenge for sending the flood. This might sound like a
primitive myth, yet Rabbi Yonatan Eybeschutz commenting on this story states
that the builders were planning to somehow build a fire under the Tower and
thus launch it into Heaven. Could it be, if we place Rabbi Ben David's
insights alongside those of Rabbi Eybeschutz that we could understand the
Tower of Babel as actually being the creation of a nuclear powered space
craft intended to go to the stars, possibly to the home of the Benei Elohim
to assault them there?
As we can see, there is much more to Torah stories than the mere moralistic
tales told by the classical commentators.
In the late 19th century archeologists discovered in the deserts of what is
now Iraq an ancient Ziggurat pyramid-like structure. Some at the time
claimed that it was the remnant of the Tower of Babel. I have heard it said
(but never saw accurate scientific confirmation) that digging down under the
base of this monument they found that the sand underneath it had become
petrified, as if it was turned into a large sea of glass. Such a finding
would be highly unusual and could be explained especially if there was any
kind of nuclear history there. I apologize that I do not have access to the
facts on this matter. Nonetheless, I present the story as is.
Stories of ancient nuclear wars should not be so readily dismissed. Torah
sources are not the only ones to suggest such a strange possibility. The
ancient Indian wittings of the Mahabharata are also today understood as
suggesting that there was an ancient pre-historic nuclear war. Of course,
such things fly in the face of modern secular science, which arrogantly
wants to proclaim itself supreme. However, legends from around the world, in
every culture since the dawn of time have spoken of the wisdom of the
ancients. The archeological remnants from those days certainly testify to us
today that we do not know as much as we may think. And certainly the
ancients knew a lot more than we give them credit for.
Did the ancients have an extraterrestrial connection, one that led to their
ultimate destruction? Not only Torah sources suggest this; there are many
parallel stories told throughout the world. There is a lot more about our
past than we know about today.
Rumor has it that our ancient and forgotten past has come back to haunt us.
Modern stories of UFO's, extraterrestrial encounters, technological
advancements supposedly reversed engineered from captured (or received)
alien technologies, alien abductions and secret government conspiracies all
are popularly believed and adamantly denied by all official sources. Even
modern Israel has been a hot bed of UFOs and alien sightings. So, who knows?
We do know this; legend tells us that before the coming of Mashiah the
fallen angels would again intervene in human affairs triggering yet another
apocalyptic intervention by Heaven. Only this time, the intervention will be
that of Mashiah and his armada of angels (Zech. 14:5). Judging from the
opinion of Rabbi Soloveitchik that the "sons of G-d" might be the Benei
Elohim angels and that these, in reality, might be humanoid
extraterrestrials; could the army of angels accompanying Mashiah also be
such? Would the coming of Mashiah therefore be understood by the world
watching this event unfold on TV as an extraterrestrial invasion from Outer
Space? Could the coming of Mashiah actually be such a thing?
Certainly we have gone outside the pale of traditional and comfortable
Biblical commentary. Yet, just because we have done so does not mean that we
have erred from truth! As the old saying goes, "truth is stranger than
What we know and what we don't know about Torah, our own human past and our
future human destiny should cause us to pause for a moment to contemplate
these great things. A recommitment to Torah and mitzvot should certainly be
on the agenda for anyone who recognizes that there might be a good deal of
truth in that which we have just considered.
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