Marrying and Giving in Marriage
The statement that opens the sixth chapter of Genesis has long bee the subject of controversy:
“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 and that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2)
When it is stated that these sons of God were angels, the contention is that angels are incapable of marrying and begetting children. Matthew 22:30 is usually cited to sustain this objection. But let us closely examine this verse in its context.
The Pharisees had entered into a plot to entrap Yahshua in an argument. He silenced them and then the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, tempted Him with the question about the woman who had seven husbands, all of whom had died. Now that she was dead, they countered, whose wife would she be in the resurrection? Yahshua replied:
“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:29-30)
The Smith and Goodspeed translation is somewhat more specific:
“You are wrong, because you do not understand the Scriptures nor the power of God. For after the resurrection there is no marrying or being married, but they live as angels do in heaven.”
In the light of this answer, it is customary for some to jump to the conclusion that after the resurrection there will be neither male nor female, YET YAHSHUA SAID NO SUCH THING. What He did was to pass judgment upon the institution of marriage as it came into being after the fall of Adam and Eve; the giving and taking in marriage, declaring that after the resurrection this would no longer be so. He refrained from telling us how the angels do live in heaven; however, we do know that all of their relationships with one another are in keeping with the perfection of the order in which they live.
There has been, perhaps, no one human institution which has contributed so much to personal unhappiness as the mismating of those who are incompatible. In the beginning there was no marrying and giving in marriage, but Adam and Eve were perfectly mated. Yahshua passed judgment upon the rite of matrimony as it exists in this world order, which has been responsible for an untold amount of misery; howbeit some have found happiness together in the married state.
Degeneration in connubial relationships had become so pronounced in Noah’s generation that “marrying and giving in marriage” had become synonymous with promiscuity. It is clearly poi9nted out by the Lord that this in itself was a cause of the Deluge in order that the earth might be cleansed of immorality and vice;
“For as in the days that were before the food they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe (Noah) entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” (Matthew 24:38-39)
It is the misuse and abuse of the marriage relationship which is Divinely condemned, and therefore its imperfection, together with the passions and lusts of the flesh, will pass away. No information is given in the Scriptures concerning the “first estate,” or home, of the angels, but we do know there were some who left their own habitation and, neglecting their responsibilities, married the daughters of men. For this they came under great condemnation. Jude declares:
“And the angels who neglected their responsibilities and abandoned their homes he has put in everlasting chains to be kept in darkness for the judgment of the great Day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns which LIKE THEM indulged in immorality and unnatural vice stand as a warning, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 6 -7, Smith & Goodspeed Translation)
“Those angels also who did not guard their own dominion, but abandoned their proper duty, He reserves in custody in the spirit land, under darkness, for a great Day of Judgment. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, and their surrounding towns; who in the same way gave themselves up to prostitution, going after foul sensuality, are placed as a warning, committed to a punishment of perpetual fire.” (Jude 6-7, Ferrar Fenton, Translation)
Jude is clearly stating here that the cohabitation of the angels with the daughters of men was as serious a perversion for them as the unnatural vices of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah.
When Yahshua pronounced the end of “marring and giving in marriage” with the resurrection, He did not say it would result in a sexless existence. Had He done so, it would have meant the destruction of the basic individuality of the person. A person’s sex is so integrally related to his personality that to destroy it would mean the complete effacement of his personality. Aggressiveness, strength and valor are among the traits of the masculine sex; modesty, gentleness and tenderness are distinguishing attributes of the feminine sex. If you do away with male and female, you will have done away with the essential worth of the man and woman.
One can think of no greater misfortune for an individual than to be born without definite male or female characteristics. Where there has been a lack in this respect, there has been an accompanying impairment in personality. The inane existence of a sexless individual would be even more tragic. It is certain that in the coming new order those who enter through the resurrection will not only retain their personalities but will rejoice in the enhancement of every spiritual attribute.
That the angels are referred to as of the male gender is quite clear form a study of the Scriptures. In the book of Job, chapter 1:6, we are told of a day when the “Sons” of God came to the present themselves before the Lord. It is said that Satan came also among them. These sons of God were the angels, yet they are called sons. The same phrase; sons of God, is used in Genesis 6 where the account is given of the angels who left their first estate and married the daughters of men. Peter definitely states they were angels. (2 Peter 2:4)
It has been stated that no female angels are mentioned in the Scriptures and this is true. However, what is overlooked is the fact that in each instance where angels were sent upon a mission to persons in his order, they were engaged in administrative activities on God’s behalf. In the Divine plan this is the office and work of men, not women.
When Abraham entertained three angels, the Bible states they were three men. (Genesis 18:2) It is certain that Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, correctly designated the sex of the three who talked with Abraham. In the New Testament after the ascension of our Lord, and while the disciples were looking steadfastly toward heaven, “behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.” (Acts 1:10) Again, there is a designation of the sex of the two who appeared to the disciples and announced that in the same manner that Yahshua went away, He would come again.
Finally, let us consider what is irrefutable proof that the sex of individual survives the grave and is not destroyed in the resurrection. Mary gave birth to the man-chid, Yahshua, who was circumcised on the eighth day. He was a male without blemish and as such was sacrificed for the sins of His people.
He died upon the state and was buried in the tomb. However, his body saw no corruption (that would apply to every member of His body) and He arose form the grave on the third day. He came forth from the tomb with the same body, completely whole and still a man, carrying the marks of the nails in His hands and the wound made by the spear in His side. We know this because He permitted Thomas, who doubted, to look at His hands and thrust his hand into the Savior’s side. He said to Thomas, “be not faithless, but believing.” If Yahshua retained His sex; and He did, and we are to be like Him in the resurrection, then we shall also retain our sex as sons and daughters of God.
“And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
To this may be added the testimony of John in Revelation. (Revelation 21:7) When we awake in His likeness, we shall be satisfied, for “he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”