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In the Hebrew Bible, the phrase "sons of the Elohim" occurs in:
Deuteronomy 32:8 also mentions "sons of Israel" bÿney yisra'el (בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל) which is translated as the "people of Israel" in the HCSB, "heavenly court" in the New Living Translation and "heavenly assembly" in the New English Translation.  In some copies of Deuteronomy the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to the sons of God rather than the sons of Israel, probably in reference to angels. The Septuagint reads similarly.
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.—Genesis 6:1-4
Joseph Hong believes that Genesis 6:1-4 has gone through drastic abridgment by either the original writer or later editors. Nahum M. Sarna believes that the text defies certain interpretation, based on difficulties with the text's themes, extreme terseness, vocabulary and syntax. Sarna postulates that such a passage cannot be other than a fragment, or bare outline, from a well-known fuller story.
Elsewhere in the Ugarit corpus it is suggested that the bn ilm were the 70 sons of Asherah and El, who were the titulary deities of the people of the known world, and their "hieros gamos" marriage with the daughters of men gave rise to their rulers. There is evidence in 2 Samuel 7 that this may have been the case also in Israel.
J. Scharbert associates Genesis 6:1-4 with the Priestly source and the final redaction of the Pentateuch. On this basis, he assigns the text to later editorial activity. Rüdiger Bartelmus sees only Genesis 6:3 as a late insertion.
Józef Milik and Matthew Black advanced the view of a late text addition to a text dependent on post-exilic, non-canonical tradition, such as the legend of the Watchers from the pseudepigraphic Book of Enoch.
Different source versions of Genesis 6:1-4 vary in their use of "sons of God". Some manuscripts of the Septuagint have emendations to read "sons of God" as "angels". Codex Vaticanus contains "angels" originally. In Codex Alexandrinus "sons of God" has been omitted and replaced by "angels". The Peshitta reads "sons of God".
The Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees refer to the Watchers who are paralleled to the "sons of God" in Genesis 6. The Epistle of Barnabas is considered by some to acknowledge the Enochian version.
Early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Commodianus believed that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6:1-4 were fallen angels who engaged in unnatural union with human women, resulting in the begetting of the Nephilim. Modern Christians have argued against this view by reasoning on Jesus' comment in Matthew 22:30 that angels do not marry, although it only refers to angels in heaven. Others saw them as descendants of Seth.
Saint Augustine subscribed to this view, based on the orations of Julius Africanus in his book City of God, which refer to the "sons of God" as being descendants of Seth (or Sethites), the pure line of Adam. The "daughters of men" are viewed as the descendants of Cain (or Cainites). Variations of this view was also received by Jewish philosophers.
Traditionalists and philosophers of Judaism in the Middle Ages typically practiced rational theology. They rejected any belief in rebel or fallen angels since evil was considered abstract. Rabbinic sources, most notably the Targum, state that the "sons of God" who married the daughters of men were merely human beings of exalted social station. They have also been considered as pagan royalty or members of nobility who, out of lust, married women from the general population. Other variations of this interpretation define these "sons of God" as tyrannical Ancient Near Eastern kings who were honored as divine rulers, engaging in polygamous behavior. No matter the variation in views, the primary concept by Jewish rationalists is that the "sons of God" were of human origin.
Most notable Jewish writers in support for the view of human "sons of God" were Saadia, Rashi, Lekah Tob, Midrash Aggada, Joseph Bekor Shor, Abraham ibn Ezra, Maimonides, David Kimhi, Nahmanides, Hizkuni, Bahya Ashur, Gersonides, Shimeon ben Yochai and Hillel ben Samuel.
Jewish commentator Isaac Abrabanel considered the aggadot on Genesis 6 to have referred to some secret doctrine and was not to be taken literally. Abrabanel later joined Nahmanides and Levi ben Gerson in promoting the concept that the "sons of God" were the older generations who were closer to physical perfection, as Adam and Eve were perfect. Though there are variations of this view, the primary idea was that Adam and Eve's perfect attributes were passed down from generation to generation. However, as each generation passed, their perfect physical attributes diminished. Thus, the early generations were mightier than the succeeding ones. The physical decline of the younger generations continued until the Flood, to the point that their days were numbered as stated in Genesis 6:3. It was immoral for the older generations to consort with the younger generations, whereby puny women begot unusually large children. Nephilim was even considered a stature.