Welcome back! Did you enjoy your week off?
Today’s study starts with a difficult passage in Scripture: Genesis 6:1-4.
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (NKJV)
There are few different views regarding these four verses of Scripture. In verse 1, we are given the fact of the earth’s population growth. It specifically mentions the “daughters of men.” These daughters of men are what it says, they are the daughters of men. Verse one is laying a foundation for verse 2 which mentions for the first time in Scripture the “sons of God.” Who are the sons of God? One view is that it is referring to the godly line of Seth, whereas the daughters of men refers to the daughters from the line of Cain. Reading through from Genesis 4 to Genesis 6, in context, it is understandable why this view is a logical conclusion.
(Full disclosure: I just do not know with any certainty which is correct. I lean toward the first view, but it does have some issues. The second view also has its problems. Fact is, this is a difficult passage, but the bottom line is, vile wickedness entered the world pre-flood. God had to do something to preserve the godly line through Seth and destroy the wickedness which entered the world during this era of the world’s history. Psst…You may believe the sons of God are fallen angels. That’s okay.)
Another view tends to believe the sons of God are fallen angels (i.e. demons). In Ruth Beechick’s book, Genesis: Finding Our Roots, she writes “…sons of God refers to those directly created by God. The very first sons were angels who shouted for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:7).”1 It is generally accepted that at some point between Genesis 1 and 3, a third of the angels fell (Revelation 12:4) with Lucifer, most likely the angel of worship (Ezekiel 28:13 seems to point to this). Lucifer/Satan comes to earth, uses the serpent of Genesis 3 to deceive Eve to believe man could be like God. The Fallen Angels view uses this rationale: having failed to destroy God’s plan for Redemption by Cain murdering his brother, Abel, Satan tries once again in Genesis 6:1-4 to thwart God’s plan of Redeeming man through the Seed (Jesus Christ). Satan interjects corruption into humanity by contaminating humanity with demonic seed. (Honestly, I don’t understand this part of this view since Scripture says angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. [See Matthew 22:30.] Because of this I have difficulty with this view although there are a few valid arguments. [Look at the link below for further info on this.] I love John MacArthur, and this is the view he holds to, but I do not agree with him on this.) This view contends that the demonic angels saw the daughters of men as beautiful and took them for wives, and their offspring were giants who were vile mighty men or Nephilim (giants).
Now to go back to the first view:
This view believes the “sons of God” were of the godly line of Seth and the “daughters of men” were the daughters of Cain.
If you read in context from the beginning of Genesis 1 to Genesis 6, we can establish that Genesis 4 sets the case for the line of Cain to be ungodly, then in verses 25-26 we read of another son, Seth, born to Adam and Eve. Seth was to be the line in which the Seed would come to redeem the earth, as a replacement for Abel. Verse 26 states that not until Enosh’s birth (Enosh was Seth’s son), did man begin to call on the name of God. We don’t have specifics on the population at this time, but what is clear is, the people did not call on God until after Enosh’s birth. We can assume, however, the first parents, Adam and Eve, taught their offspring to follow God through example and word. Chapter five establishes the genealogy of Adam through Seth all the way to Noah; this is the godly line upon which salvation would be brought to earth so that mankind could be redeemed through Christ. In Genesis 6: 1-4, the ungodly multiplied by intermarriage between those who were of Seth’s seed, and those who were from the ungodly line of Cain. Those who are corrupt most often ALWAYS corrupt those which are good.
Let’s pick up at verse 3.
The LORD sees all the corruption of the human race, and He decides that His Spirit cannot abide with such wickedness. The LORD, at this point, gives the human race only 120 more years to carry on as they are carrying on in corruption, but it is also His mercy not to immediately judge them for their corruption. His delay was also an opportunity for repentance. God was longsuffering (1 Peter 3:20) to them even as He prepared to save eight individuals by having Noah build an ark.
Verse 4 notates that giants are in the land in these antediluvian days of wickedness, and children (also called mighty men) were born to the daughters of men and the sons of God. These mighty men were warriors, those who willfully fought others and made a name for themselves in the land. They were most likely men who ravaged others and were filled with corruption and rebellion. They had a reputation of corruption. (See verse 11.)
In verse 5 the LORD saw the wickedness rampant on the earth and knew evil continually ruled the heart of man. It was so horrendous that verse six tells us the LORD was sorry He had made man. We aren’t given the details of what man was guilty of at this time, but it was so profusely vile it caused the LORD grief in His heart. God’s highest creation was ruled by wicked hearts; sin was king.
With all that man was guilty of, verse 7 tells us the LORD had only destructive judgement as a recourse. It wasn’t only judgment against man, but against creation, itself. The LORD said these words: “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Man’s sin was so great all of Creation would suffer the consequences. Those last eight words describe God’s grief over what He saw from Heaven: I am sorry that I have made them. What powerful and laden with sadness those words are.
But what a turn around we have in verse eight. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Wow, those words. Hope was still alive. Redemption was still possible. Verse 9 reminds us that Noah is of the line of Seth. One man in all the earth was found to be righteous. Verse 9 gives us inside information on the character of Noah. He was a just man, a man of perfection in his generations, meaning he was of the godly seed of Adam through Seth. Seth’s line was the line in which the Seed of Redemption would come. Noah being found righteous was something to celebrate, because he was in a world of complete wretchedness. It is worthy to note also that Methuselah died just prior to the flood. (This can be figured out by following the genealogical timeline.) This verse also points out that Noah followed the example of his grandfather, Enoch, who we know walked with God (Genesis 5:22). Verse 11 is a repeat of information we were given in Genesis 5:32. Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japeth. The order they are listed is not an indication of birth order, nor does it mean they were triplets.
Verses 11-12 are a repeat of what the earlier verses in Genesis 6 had already established. The world was a corrupt place, filled with violence, and all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth (v.12). In verse 13 God tells Noah it is time for the earth to be destroyed because of the corruption of all flesh.
In verses 14-22, God gives Noah instruction on building the ark and filling it with animals after their kinds. Noah was to build the ark of gopher wood (v.14). The ark was to have rooms or compartments in the interior, and both the interior and the exterior were to be waterproofed with pitch (v.14). It was to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits tall (v.15). This is equivalent to a length of about 450 feet, a width of 75 feet, and 45 feet tall, based off a typical cubit of 18 inches. (A cubit is somewhere between 17 and 22 inches and would be different based on whose forearm was being used as the length measure. The biblical cubit measured from a man’s elbow to the tip of the middle finger.) To compare the size of the ark with a structure we are familiar with today, it would be about 1 ½ football fields long. The ark had a one window that was finished to a cubit from above (v. 16). There has been much speculation of what this exactly means. We don’t know how large the window was just that there was a window with the finished specifics of a cubit from above. (See the link below for more info of the design of the ark.) The door to the ark was set in the side of the ark (v. 16). There were also three decks or levels to the ark (v.16).
In verse 17, the LORD declares He is bringing the flood waters to the earth, and He will destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything on earth will die. In verse 18, the LORD reveals to Noah that He will establish a covenant with Noah. The covenant includes Noah’s three sons, Noah’s wife and the wives of Noah’s sons. The LORD further describes to Noah in verse 19 of His plan to preserve the animal kinds on the earth. Noah is entreated to bring on the ark two of every kind of flesh to keep them alive. The two of each animal kind is to consist of a male and female.
Verse 20 list the three types of animals God asks Noah to take aboard the ark to keep them alive. God would send two of every animal kind, bird kind, and creeping thing on the earth (v.20). Supernaturally, God would do the gathering for Noah. Noah’s job was to provide a place for them to stay to keep them alive during the coming deluge. However, Noah is given the task of gathering enough food for his family, and all the animals, birds, and creeping things which were to be saved. In the last verse the reader is told of Noah’s obedience in all God commanded him to do.
From the outside, all the things Noah was asked to do seem to be daunting tasks, but 1 John 5:3 tells us God’s commandments are not burdensome. Noah understood this. No where in Genesis 6 do we read of Noah questioning or complaining to God about the enormous task ahead of him. Noah just did it. He is listed in the “Bible Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11:7) for his faith to do as he was commanded by God to do. Think about this: Noah built the ark, most likely inland from the ocean, but rain had never fallen on the earth up to this point in time. Genesis 2:6 tells us “…a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” The antediluvian earth was very different than what we have today. (I’ll share a little about this in a future post, most likely when we reach Genesis 8.)
As Noah worked diligently to build the ark with his sons, we can assume the people in Noah’s community mocked him as he built this enormous structure unlike anything they had ever seen before. The people were exceedingly wicked during this period, and we know this because Scripture says it is so. Scripture is truth, and it is the Word of God. Yet, with all the ridicule, the debased words lauded at Noah daily, he kept building, knowing he could trust God. Remember, Scripture tells us Noah walked with God (v. 9). Noah believed and trusted God to tell him the truth about the impending doom, and how Noah and his family, and the animals, could be saved to start anew.
Next week, you will be able to have another break. When I originally planned to do this study, I really thought I could do a 12-week study consistently week-to-week, but I had not considered that plans change sometimes. I’m needed in Georgia this weekend to assist in the care of my mom who has Alzheimer’s, so that my sister has time to celebrate with her family the doctorate in Physical Therapy of her oldest child. Realistically, I cannot do both the watch care of my mom and writing the study for Week 8, plus I’m also working/volunteering on Tuesday (May 8th) for the State Board of Elections as a party judge at a local precinct in my county. I will post a video on FB next week sometime after Wednesday to correspond to Week 7’s study. After the break next week, we should be back to a week-to-week schedule the following week.
Hang in there, we are almost at the end of Part 1 of our study of the book of Genesis.
AND I’m so glad you are here with me as we study the truths found in God’s Word.
Homework Assignment for the Week:
Scripture Reading: Chapter 7
Suggested Scripture memorization:
Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1, NKJV
1.What does the LORD tell Noah in verse 1?
2.How many clean animals was Noah to have on the ark? Unclean?
3.Do a little digging and see if you can determine the significance of the clean and unclean animals. Hint: See Leviticus chapters 10 and 11
4.How many bird pairs were on the ark? What is the reason given for having that many pairs?
5.In verse 4, the LORD give Noah a deadline, what is it?
6.How many days and nights would rain fall on the earth?
7.Did Noah obey?
8.How old was Noah when the flood of waters began?
9.List the other people who went on the ark with Noah.
10.In verse 8 and 9 we read a listing of the animals, etc. of creation that were to be on the ark with Noah and his family. Write down the list. How were they to enter the ark? Who made them go onto the ark?
11.Back in verse 4 Noah is given a deadline. Did God stick to His deadline?
12.In verse 11 we read that another water source contributed to the waters that flooded the earth. What were the additional waters?
13.We are also told the month and the day the flood waters began. Write down both specifics.
14.Back in verse 4 we are also told how long it would rain on the earth. Does verse 12 comply with verse 4?
15.What does verse 13 tell us about the day that Noah, Noah’s sons, and their wives enter the ark?
16.Verses 14 and 15, like verses 11-14, reemphasizes the information from earlier in the chapter. What could be the reasoning behind this repetition of information in verses 1-10? This repetition, does it help you to remember these details?
17.Who closed the door? Remember the pitch we read about that covered both the inside and the exterior of the ark? How might the door had been sealed from the outside to keep the water from seeping inside? (We’ll look at what it means: …and the LORD shut him in.)
18.What does verse 17 tell us about the flood, the ark, and the water level?
19.Verses 18 and 19 speak of the waters prevailing on the earth, list some of the effects that much water could have had on the earth. (We’ll look at how the flood waters significantly changed the earth’s surface. I’ll provide some info for further study, too.)
20.How many cubits upwards did the waters prevail? What was covered?
21.Verse 21 is a sad verse. List the details of this verse.
22.Verse 22 basically rewords verse 21. What does verse 22 say?
23.Verse 23 gives us a synopsis of verse 21 and 22, but also adds additional information about Noah, his family, and the animal life on board the ark not found in verses 21 and 22. What does it tells us about the inhabitants on board the ark?
24.How long did the waters prevail on the earth?
25.Think a little deeper: Were dinosaurs on the ark?
26.Does the New Testament agree and affirm Noah’s existence and actual occurrence of the Flood? Give one example.
For Further Information:
Sons of God being fallen angels: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide_Gen/Gen_6.cfm
Sons of God being the line of Seth:
Answers in Genesis used a cubit length of 20.4 inches:
Beechick, Ruth. Genesis: Finding Our Roots. Arrow Press: Pollock Pines, CA, 1997, p. 47.