Who are the sons of God in the following verse?

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (KJV, Job 1:6)


5 Answers 5


Contributor sbunny is on the right track, I believe. The "sons of God" are angelic beings. Satan himself was an angel who was cast out of heaven when he rebelled against God. Whether the sons of God are fallen or unfallen angels, I will not speculate.

Notice in the account of God's meeting with the sons of God and Satan we find the words "present themselves before the LORD." Since God is the absolute and unrivalled King of kings and Lord of lords in the universe which he made, all sentient beings--celestial and terrestrial--are accountable to God for their actions, both good and evil.

I consider the parade of the sons of God to be one way in which God the King holds the subjects of his kingdom accountable for their actions. If the angels are fallen, then God makes sure they are acting within the parameters he set for them in their fallen state. Of Satan in particular, God holds him similarly accountable, for although Satan is powerful, God has the right to rein his power in, so to speak, to keep his actions within the parameters God has set for him.

We see God's reining in of Satan (and perhaps the other fallen angels, if they be fallen) in his

  • requiring Satan to report to Him in unspecified intervals. The text does not indicate a time frame for these appointed days, but it seems to indicate there is a timetable which requires the angels to report to God for a kind of debriefing.

  • asking Satan where he came from. In other words, Satan is accountable to God in his comings and goings, particularly on planet Earth, where Satan wields power, since the Scripture refers to him elsewhere as "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

  • granting Satan the power to "touch [Job's] bone and his flesh" but not to take Job's life. In other words, God will allow Satan to go only so far and no further.

Keep in mind that God already knows where Satan has come from and what Satan has been up to. He poses the question to Satan, however, because Satan owes God an answer. In a similar vein, God asked the question of Adam

"[Adam] where are you?"

God obviously knew where Adam was, but He had every right to call Adam into account for what he had just done in disobeying God's command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Put differently, God asked the question for Satan's benefit and not his own.

  • 1
    A reminder appears to be in order that this is a Q&A site, not an opportunity for you to expand on any idea that comes to mind from contemporary Christian theology and practice. Stick to the text and answer the question asked.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 6:18

The general consensus, according to my research, is that the sons of God are angels in Job 1:6.

John Gill's exposition explains this better than I could.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord,.... This is generally understood of the angels, as in Job 38:7 who may be thought to be so called, because of their creation by the father of spirits, and their likeness to God in holiness, knowledge, and wisdom, and being affectionate and obedient to him; as also on account of the grace of election, and confirmation in Christ bestowed upon them, as well as because, in their embassies and messages to men, they represent God, and so may be called gods, and children of the Most High, for a like reason the civil magistrates are, Psalm 82:6 to which may be added, their constituting with the saints the family of God in heaven and earth: these, as they stand before God, and at his right hand and left, as the host of heaven, in which posture Micaiah saw them in vision, 1 Kings 22:19, so they may be said to go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth into the several parts of all the world, to do the will and work of God assigned them, Zechariah 6:5 and then, having done their work, return again, and present themselves before the Lord, to give an account of what they have done, and to receive fresh orders from him, being ready to do his pleasure in everything he shall command them, which is what is here supposed; though some think these were only the company or band of angels which were set as a guard about Job, his person, family, and substance, who now appeared before the Lord, to give an account of him, his affairs, and circumstances, as required of them.

The other possibility I've heard for whom the sons of God represent (not in Job 1:6, but generally) is righteous men. I don't see how that could fit in this context though.


I believe there is good grounds for thinking that the sons of God in Job 38:7 are of an angelic nature.

There are some folk who think the term is poetic and figurative. But this doesn't make sense.
God is demanding of Job - His righteous servant an answer as to his own whereabouts when certain things actually took place in the beginning of creation. There is no grounds for thinking that God would use poetic language in such a scenario. God is being factual and real. He is NOT fooling around, playing with words. This is a Tribunal if you like. And the Judge of all the earth is presiding. Jesus used parables to hide spiritual realities. But He never used poetic language - He always used real things in the parables, not figments of imagination; some examples: seeds, pigs, people, soils, etc.

The sons of God in the passage could only be on one of two possibilites (in my view) either: a) sons of men who were devout believers in God and obeyed Him. b) angelic beings of one 'class' (cherub, seraphim, archangel, messenger) or another.

If a) then the problem exists of explaining their origins distinct from the Genesis 1-2 account. And nothing in Scripture supplies such information nor does it hint at it. (...can anyone show otherwise?) This view would have to be purely interpretive, and that is not sound reason enough to be dogmatic about it. People are free to believe what they will, but unless it is stated or witnessed by two or three witnesses it cannot be part of sound doctrine.

This then forces us to consider b) in spite of our own biases or predetermined views. Whenever the term is used in a singular or plural sense it always is reference to God's direct act of creation - in a physical and spiritual sense, rather than ALL those born of woman. Adam is called son of God. Jesus is called Son of God. Believers in the NT are called - son, or, sons of God. Believers in the OT are never directly referred to by that phrase in a clear unambiguous way that leaves no room for doubt.
Abraham the father of the faithful, was never referred to by God as son of God. Neither were any other of the saints at the time of their existence.

Israel as a nation was (but the phrase is incomplete) - Israel is my son - Let My people go. But this is also a prophgetic statement regarding our Lord Jesus. Paul does speak (Acts 17) of all mankind as being the "offspring" of God; thus all men are sons of God in a general sense because we are from Him in our being formed and brought forth by His work.

Both Young's Literal Translation (1898 - reprinted 1995) and Green's LITV (2001 - Mazoretic text used for OT) translate Job 38:7 as sons of God. Hebrew 12:9 states that God is the Father of spirits.
Both angelic beings pre fall, and mankind before and after fall are all spirit beings first and foremost. So there is a real relationship of a certain kind. Angelic beings are sentient beings with intelligence, and sympathies - emotions etc., and this is what the text shows. Other textual evidence for the use of the phrase in Job 38:7 I have not gone into yet.

So, I raise a secondary question (again) - If the sons of God in Job 38:7 are not angelic in nature, then who are they?

(I hope this is within the parameters set by the presenters of this site.)


Elijah was taken directly into heaven. In his mortal body he was taken up. Would he be considered a son of God? Same is true with Enoch. Luke 3:38 calls Adam a son of God. Would they be considered sons of God? According to Romans 8:14 yes they would. Why could the sons of God in Job and Genesis not be rightous individual people? How could they be in heaven prior to the sacrifice of Christ? Perhaps that is what paradise is. Paradise is in heaven according to 2Corinthians 12:2-4. Also the repentant thief went there on the day Jesus died. Many think paradise is Abraham's bosom. But Abraham's bosom is a position not a place just like when the Apostle John positioned himself in the bosom of Jesus. John 13:23. The gulf if Luke 16 is the same gulf that separates heaven from hell even today. But rightous men from the old testament could have been the sons of God.

  • Sorry, I can't see any connection between your answer and the op's question. Can you please clarifiy? Thank you Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 18:00

Job 1:6: Who are the “sons of God”?

Job 1:6 (YLT)

"And the day is, that sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah, and there doth come also the Adversary in their midst."

Those that presented themselves before God where God's only-begotten Son- Jesus ,(John 1:18) the faithful angels. And, also Satan and his demons entered before him.

Demons- before the flood some angels disobeyed God and took human form, and became flesh.(Jude 6)

John 1:18 NASB " No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known".

Jude 6 (NASB)

" And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day."

  • How do you know that Jude 6 speaks about demons?
    – brilliant
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 12:05
  • @Brilliant : Jude was alluding to Genesis 6:2 "That the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose." Compare 1 Peter 3:19-20 " In [a]which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the [b]water." Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 16:54
  • So, where does Genesis 6, Jude 6 or 1 Peter 3 use the word "demon"?
    – brilliant
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 18:45
  • Demons or wicked spirits in the scriptures are called "the sons of the true God" at Genesis 6:2 and angels at Jude 6. They are angels that became enemies of God , in Noah's day they disobeyed God and joined Satan against God. Luke 8:30, Acts 16:16, and James 2:19 Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 21:40
  • "Demons or wicked spirits in the scriptures are called "the sons of the true God" at Genesis 6:2 and angels at Jude 6" - How do you know that the angels in Jude 6 are the sons of God in Genesis 6:2? And how do you know that the demons mentioned in Luke 8:30 and James 2:19 are the angels in Jude 6?
    – brilliant
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 22:53

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