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Appropriately, the destiny of Satan and his demons is vividly portrayed in the last book of the Bible. Revelation 12 describes Michael and the holy angels opposing Satan and the evil angels in a heavenly war. Satan and his angels are cast down to earth, where they make war with believers, those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:17). Satan is then bound for 1,000 years in the bottomless pit. During this time, known as the millennial kingdom, believers live and reign with Christ (Rev 20:1–4). After this period Satan is loosed again for a little while in an attempt to deceive the nations (Rev 20:7–8). His final demise comes as he is cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night, forever and ever (20:10). According to Jesus, this will also be the destiny of Satan’s angels (Matt 25:41).Excursus 2: “Sons of God” (Genesis 6)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 menof renown. (Gen 6:1–4 ESV)Throughout the history of interpretation, exegetes and theologians have questioned the identity of the “sons of God” (bene ha’elohim) found in Genesis 6:1–4.28 A brief survey of differing views affords an opportunity to avoid fanciful exegesis about angels and serves as a cogent reminder of the importance ofinterpreting Scripture in its context. The three major views of the “sons of God,” using the categories of Carl Friedrich Keil, are: (1) sons of princes, (2) angels, and (3) Sethites (godly men).29 It is argued here that the third view offers the most natural reading of the passage in its context.Sons of PrincesHere “sons of God” means “sons of princes” or “sons of lords.” Royal men married women of a lower social status, taking many wives into their harems. The divine title is said to be a Near Eastern way of referring to nobles and kings. This view is based on ancient Jewish interpretations found, for example, in Targum Onkelos and Midrash Rabbah.30 A modified approach has “sons of God” as “divine” kings.31 They were divinely appointed rulers who were supposed to act justly but instead exalted themselves as divine. Thus, as Meredith Kline argues, “By reason of the polygamy and tyranny practiced by [this] dynasty . . . in the name of divine-royal prerogative and justice, the earth became corrupt before God and filled with violence (vv. 5–7, 11–13) and so hasted to destruction.”32 In short, the “sons of God” ruled the earth corruptly, according to the cursed line of Cain. Bruce Waltke is cautious about this view but, nevertheless, suggests that a variation of it—divinely appointed kings who have been “demon
possessed”—can be defended grammatically since human beings are called “sons of God” in 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 2:7; and Psalm 82:6.33