Sons of God and Sons of Men
Question for scholars and laypersons alike. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this:
In the Tower of Babel narrative the people decide to make a city “ומגדל בשמים וראשו” (and a tower whose top is in the heavens); the purpose of building the migdal is so that the people might “נעשה־לנו שם” (make for ourselves a name). Because of humankind’s building projects יהוה decides to ‘come down’ and see the city and tower which the בני האדם (sons of men) have built. There might be a linguistic parallel in this story compared to Gen 6:1—4.
In the pre-flood account the בני־האלהים descend (if we assume divine beings) from heaven and take wives from the בנות האדם which ultimately leads to God’s judgement in the great flood. In the tower of Babel story the בני האדם attempt to ascend up to the heavens which again leads to God’s intervention in the confusing of language.
It seems to me that sometimes people tend to isolate these stories from each other in their analysis. However, I think they may be more interconnected in their ideological purpose. In other words, these stories were collected together, and placed together for a purpose. In some manner, their themes or polemics should cohere.
How would you go about explaining this structural parallel (if it is one)? I have a working theory that explains this in the context of Gen 1-11, but I would like to hear your thoughts as well.