Genesis 6 - Outline of Genesis (Book Notes menu page)
6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth,
and daughters were born unto them,
6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair;
and they took them wives of all which they chose.
6:3 And the LORD said,
My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh:
yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,
when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them,
the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.
the sons of God... the daughters of men...-
Two views are held as to the meaning (view 'B' seems more consistent with scripture)-
  1. Fallen angels entered into sexual relation with human women,
    resulting in a race of wicked giants or super-humans.
    Supporting arguments:
    1. Angels are referred to as 'sons of God.' Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7
    2. Fallen angels are mentioned in the context of fornication. Jude 1:6,7; 2Pet 2:4-9
      However, these passages do not say that angels were directly involved in such activity.
  2. The godly line (of Seth) inter-married with the ungodly line (of Cain).
    Supporting arguments:
    1. Angels are spoken of as being sexless. Mat 22:30
    2. 'took them wives' (v.2) implies long-term relationships.
    3. The 'giants' existed prior to the mating of 'sons of God' and 'daughters of men' (v.4).
      The 'mighty men' were born naturally as the result of intermingling the genetic lines.
      These terms are used after the flood (which would have destroyed the offspring of these individuals) to describe unusually large, strong, or courageous humans. (eg., Num 13:32,33; Josh 6:2)
    4. Good angels would not have done this. Evil angels would not be called the sons of God.
      In Job 1:6; 2:1, 'sons of God' refers to good angels. Satan presented himself on the day that the sons of God presented themselves, but he was distinct from them.
    5. Elsewhere, 'sons of God' refers to godly men, and especially to the line of promise.
      eg., Ex 4:22,23; Deu 14:1,2; Hos 1:10; Rom 9:7,8
    6. Elsewhere, 'daughters' of ungodly men caused God's people to turn from Him. Ex 34:16; Deu 7:3,4; eg., the doctrine of Balaam, Num 25:1-3; 31:15,16
    7. The Flood came because of the ungodliness of men, not because the race had become angel-man monsters (v.5-7).
Satan's strategy was to destroy the godly line through which the Seed would come.
his methods included -
  1. the murder of Abel. But God intervened and 'appointed another seed' (4:25).
  2. the corruption of Seth's line.
    By the time of Noah, Seth's line had become ungodly, through inter-marriage with the ungodly. When God gave the Law to Israel (several hundred years later), He gave specific instruction to protect His people from Satan's attacks in this area. cp. Ex 34:15,16; Deu 7:3,4
my Spirit shall not always strive with man -
God calls rebellious man to follow Him, but He will not do so forever. cp. Isa 63:9,10; Acts 7:51
In Noah's day, the Spirit of Christ was striving with ungodly men, as Noah preached righteousness and warned of coming judgment. But, except for his immediate family, no one believed. Therefore, rejecting the Spirit's message, and refusing to turn from their rebellion, they died in the flood and are now imprisoned spirits awaiting final judgment. 1Pet 3:18-20; 2Pet 2:4-9
yet his days shall be 120 years - This statement may have dual applications:
  1. God was graciously giving advance notice of the impending judgment.
    This would be a second announcement, since Enoch, in naming his son Methuselah {'When he dies, it shall be sent.'}, had previously declared that judgment was near (see the Book Notes at Gen 5:25-27).
         God gave Noah time to build the ark and gather animals and provisions. At the same time, God was giving unbelievers opportunity to confess their sin, repent, and live. cp. 1Pet 4:6
  2. God may have been announcing that he was going to reduce the lifespan of man.
    After the flood, lifespans grew much shorter (than those in ch. 5). However, they were not immediately limited to 120 years. By the time of David, life expectancy was 70 or 80 years (Psa 90:10). Therefore, this is probably not the primary application.
6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth,
and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,
and it grieved him at his heart.
6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;
both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air;
for it repenteth me that I have made them.
From man's perspective, the intermingling of the godly & ungodly lines was good -
  • It produced 'mighty men of renown' {ie., of reputation, of fame} (v.4)
  • Civilization was united and benefited by the mingling of earthly ingenuity (the heritage of Cain, cp. 4:16-22) with the wisdom and moral fibre which was the heritage of the godly line. We might imagine them saying: 'Together, we will build a better world, and a brighter tomorrow.'
But what was God's view?
A. God saw that... (v.5) -
  • the wickedness of man was great.
  • every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    'Wickedness' and 'evil' are translated from the same word {HB= ra', bad, destructive, malignant, injurious}. These terms describe man's every 'imagination' {ie., purpose} and 'thought' {ie., invention of the mind}. cp. Rom 1:28-32; 3:9-19; Ecc 7:29; Jer 17:9; Mark 7:21-23
    Can men, who are 'altogether malignant,' produce anything better than a cancerous civilization? Of course not. God saw a cancer that had to be removed. The Flood was a temporary solution, to preserve the godly line through which the Savior would come. But the Flood could not change the heart of man (Gen 8:21). Even with the passage of thousands of years, human nature will not have improved, by the time Christ returns in judgment (Mat 24:37-39).
B. It repented the Lord that He had made man... (v.6)-
For a man, 'to repent' is to change his mind: to turn away from sin and to the Lord.
God does not repent in this way, since He makes no errors from which to turn.
'Repent' here is HB= nacham, to comfort, to console (cp. 5:29).
God was discomfited, unable to rest because of the state of mankind.
C. It grieved Him at His heart... (v.6) -
God, being holy, is grieved by man's sin (not by the fact that He created us).
cp. Eph 4:30 (where the context emphasizes the importance of practical holiness. Eph 4:17-30).
     ''This reveals the tender pitying love of God.
     A heart of stone cannot be grieved, only the heart that loves.'' [GWms]
Though men had alienated themselves from Him in their hearts, His heart still yearned for them.
How little they understood the joys, of fellowship with Him, which they so eagerly discarded.
How little they understood the sorrows that they were bringing upon themselves. cp. Luk 19:41-44
D. God determined to destroy man. (v.7) -
It was His prerogative to do so, since He had created man.
He had clearly declared death as the penalty for sin.
He had graciously provided a way of escape (through Noah's preaching of God's Word, and preparing of the ark). He was longsuffering, waiting 120 years for anyone who would believe. But the time came when He was done waiting.
He chose a method of destruction that would destroy all air breathing creatures.
6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
6:9 These [are] the generations of Noah:
Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.
6:10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Noah found grace {ie., favor, acceptance} in the eyes of the Lord -
What made him acceptable to God, in a world fit for destruction?
  1. Noah was just.- HB= tsaddiq, righteous. This does not imply that he was completely sinless.
    Righteousness before God is obtained, not by works, but by faith in God's promised Savior.
    (As we have observed: Adam, Abel, and Enoch each obtained righteousness by this faith.)
    cp. 3:15,20,21; Heb 11:4-7; Rom 1:17
  2. Noah was perfect.- ie., complete, upright, sincere.
    This does not mean that he was entirely faultless, but that he was 'beyond reproach.'
    He was 'perfect in his generations {HB= toledah, descendants}.'- ie., Noah was doing his best to ensure that his sons would follow the Lord (cp. Abraham, Gen 18:19).
  3. Noah walked with God.- cp. Enoch, Gen 5:24
    Enoch had been caught away to heaven before the judgment fell.
    Noah would be preserved, on the earth, in the midst of the judgment, within the ark.
    As, Enoch pictures the rapture of the Church prior to the promised Tribulation period, so, Noah pictures the preservation of the believing remnant during that future period of God's wrath upon the earth.
    The ark is also a type (or picture) of Christ as our Savior.- Just as Noah was identified with the ark when the waters of death came, so, the believer who is 'in Christ' has passed through death to arise with Him (as pictured by water baptism, 1Pet 3:18-22; Rom 6:3,4). God's wrath against sin (which means eternal death for the sinner) has been poured out completely upon Christ. Trusting wholly in Him, the believer has passed through God's judgment into everlasting life. Joh 3:16-18,36
6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God,
and the earth was filled with violence.
6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;
for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
{Psalm 14}
6:13 And God said unto Noah,
The end of all flesh is come before me;
for the earth is filled with violence through them;
and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
The necessity of judgment reviewed: Man had filled the earth with -
  • corruption- In v.11-13, 'corrupt' and 'destroy' are HB=shachath, ruined, marred, perished.
    Through rebellion against God, mankind had already destroyed themselves. cp. Hos 13:9
  • violence- HB=chamac, wrong, cruelty, injustice. cp. Psa 11:5; Eze 8:17,18; Hos 4:1-3
    God's judgment upon man's perversion, would also bring ruin upon the earth.
God said unto Noah... -
The message of judgment, proclaimed since Enoch's day, was ignored by Noah's neighbors.
Natural men, judging by what they see, pridefully persist in their fleshly ways (v.4-6).
The spiritual man, judging by what God says, recognizes and respects the reality of ''things not [yet] seen.'' Heb 11:1,7
The end of all flesh is come before me...-
Man scoffs at the idea of his destruction.
Yet, it is pre-determined, by God's decree, because of man's perversion. 2Pet 3:3-10
But God has also pre-determined and designed the way of deliverance: the ark (v.14).
6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood;
rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
6:15 And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]:
The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits,
the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
6:16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above;
and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof;
[with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it.
6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,
to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven;
[and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die.
6:18 But with thee will I establish my covenant;
and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife,
and thy sons' wives with thee.
6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh,
two of every [sort] shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep [them] alive with thee;
they shall be male and female.
6:20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind,
of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind,
two of every [sort] shall come unto thee, to keep [them] alive.
6:21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather [it] to thee;
and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Make thee an ark...-
The historicity of a worldwide flood is attested by the fact that almost all people groups have a similar story in their verbal histories of antiquity. However, among all of the flood stories, the biblical account stands out because of its plausible technical details.
God gave specific instructions. The ark was to be constructed according to His design -
  1. an 'ark' - HB= tebah.
    The only other scriptural use of this word is of the basket made of reeds which carried the infant Moses (Ex 2:3,5). The word does not suggest a boat, but rather a box, chest or coffin. Contained in the ark, Noah & his family would be kept safely through the judgment. They would have no need for oars, sails, or rudder because God would ensure the safety & destination of their voyage.
  2. dimensions - (A cubit is a unit of lineal measurement, of approximately 18 inches.)
    • Length 450 feet (137 meters),
    • Width 75 feet (22.9 meters),
    • Height 45 feet (13.7 meters).
    These dimensions approximate those of modern cargo ships.
    Tests have shown that a vessel constructed with the boxy shape & proportions described (as opposed to the streamlined hull of modern vessels) would be nearly impossible to capsize.
  3. capacity - Assuming the dimensions above, the ark's three levels provided
    a cargo area of more than 101,250 square feet (30,861 sq. meters), with a total volume of 1,518,750 cubic feet (462,915 cu. meters).
    The ark's floor space would have carried 125,000 sheep size animals (an average size). It has been estimated that only 35,000 average size animals would have been needed to preserve the species known today. There was adequate 'unoccupied' space for required food supplies.
  4. stalls (rooms, v.14)- provided separation of incompatible animals, and efficient use of space.
  5. gopher wood... pitch- Although we can no longer accurately identify the type of wood, or the waterproofing, God specified materials that would handle the required loads, stresses and waterproofing.
  6. a window... in a cubit... above - A vertical (but no horizontal) dimension is given.
    This opening may have run the full length of the ark. Its primary purpose was apparently ventilation, since Noah did not open it to look out until the flood was subsiding.
  7. a door... in the side - There was only one door. cp. Joh 10:9; 14:6
  8. the contents- God gave Noah the manifest of the number and types of animals and the necessary food supplies.
I, even I, do bring a flood... (v.17-19) -
This project was entirely God's doing. His purpose was twofold:
  1. Relative to the earth: to destroy all flesh {air breathing}... everything... shall die.
  2. Relative to the ark's contents: ''to keep them alive with thee.''
    (Therefore, the attention to including 'male and female' and to gathering sufficient food for all.)
  3. Relative to His plan of salvation: ''I will establish my covenant... with thee.''
    Prior to the Flood, God gave Noah an unconditional promise of deliverance.
    Through Noah's preservation, God's promise of a Savior for Adam's fallen race (the Seed of the woman, 3:15) was preserved in and for Noah's descendants.
    Other aspects of the Noahic Covenant are delineated after the Flood, in ch.9.
Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded, so did he.- cp. Heb 11:7
Noah demonstrated the obedience of faith. cp. Jam 2:17,18
The project was an immense undertaking. But God had allowed 120 years for completion.
Noah and his ark would be the objects of mockery. But God would prove faithful (cp. 1The 5:24).

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