Genesis 6:1-22

Genesis 6:1-22

Genesis 6:1-2 – The identity of the “sons of God” is disputed. Some interpret the term as referring to supernatural beings, followers of Satan, who cohabited with human women (the “daughters of men,”). In Job 1:6;2:1 angelic beings are referred to as the “Sons of God” and the reference to the fallen angels in 2 Peter 2:4 & Jude 6,7 is based on this incidence. A strong argument for this position is the phrase “sons of God” which is used in the OT almost exclusively of angels (Job 1:6;2:1;38:7). In the NT we are told Angels do not marry but it does not say they could not have sexual relations (Mark 12:25). Still another interesting aspect of this is found in the offspring that come from this alliance they are described as “giants”. A second interpretation is that the “sons of God” were the descendants of Seth and the “daughters of men” were the descendants of Cain; their sin was the intermarriage between the godly and the ungodly.

The corruption of the godly line occurred when the offspring of Adam through Seth intermarried with the offspring of the ungodly descendants of Adam. The godly ignored God’s will for them and became worldly, immoral, and rebelled against God. The Scriptures command in both Old and New Testaments not to marry outside the faith. The Cainites were characterized by cleverness, selfishness, sensuality and ungodliness (Genesis 4:16-24). On the other hand, the Sethites were devoted and consecrated to God (Genesis 4:26-27), enjoyed fellowship with God (Genesis 5:22), testified for God (Hebrews 11:5), served God (Genesis 5:29), and received grace from God (Genesis 6:8).

Genesis 6:3 God sorrowed over this and warned man that He would withdraw His Spirit. In all likelihood this meant that His Spirit which convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment would be withdrawn, because they had grieved it (John 16:8). This was the warning to the Jewish Believers and us as well in Hebrews 3-4, with the warning that judgment would come. God’s warning to man came through the preaching of both Enoch, Noah, and possibly Methuselah and Lamech. Obviously nobody responded to the warning, but God was gracious and patient giving man ample opportunity to repent (1 Peter 3:20).

Genesis 6:4-7 Failing to respond man became lawless as well as immoral and God saw man’s wickedness and that every imagination and thought was evil. God grieved so much over the evil that He regretted that He had created man. This repentance or regret does not precipitate a change of purpose for creation on the part of God but describes His feelings in which he charts a new course of action for His creation. His word regarding the “Seed of the Woman” (Gen. 3:15) was going to be accomplished. In order to encourage this, he leveled the playing field which led to the flood.

Genesis 6:8 In contrast to others of his times, Noah was a righteous man who was formed by God, and through whom God would work anew with mankind to bring the promised “Seed” into the world. This is the first time the word “grace” appears in Scripture.  The Hebrew word is ‘chen’, which comes from a root meaning “to bend or stoop,”. Thus, we understand that God bent down to us to offer us His grace. Like an adult kneeling down low to better communicate with children. The ultimate grace was God emptying Himself of His glory and becoming a man in Messiah.

Genesis 6:9-10 God has always kept a remnant and in this day it was Noah, who found grace from God. The word righteous and blameless are two notable Hebrew words. Righteous is the word “Tsadik” where we get the word saint. The way of the Tsadik is the way of faith, believing God’s word. Consider the way Abraham became known as a Tsadik in Genesis 15:6. The other word is “Tam” which means to be whole and complete; this is where we get the modern Yiddish word “mensch”, Job was described as being “tam”.

Genesis 6:11-12 – Contrasted with Noah and his sons was the rest of mankind who are described as corrupt, filling the earth with violence and leading others in their corruption, and violating the rights of others.

Genesis 6:14-15 God at this point does not reveal how He will destroy the world, but tells him to begin building the ark. His obedience took great faith since it had never rained since the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:5-6;1:7). The ark is to be built of gopher wood and sealed with pitch which was a tarlike substance, like bitumen or asphalt. This same Hebrew word is used in “Yom Kippur” which means literally Day of the Covering. The word Hebrew word translated “pitch” comes from the root “Kapher”. The same word is used in Genesis 32:20 where Jacob appeases Esau with presents that he sent ahead before his meeting. In each of these instances the word Kapher is used in the context of guilt and judgment that needs to be covered.

Genesis 6:16-17 The dimension for the ark is 300 cubits in length which is 450 feet (a cubit is approximately 18 inches). Its width is 50 cubits or 75 feet, and its height is 30cubits or 45 feet. It was to have three stories or decks, each ten feet high. Each deck was divided into rooms. The ark also had a window, or more literally an opening for daylight. The opening was one cubit or 18 inches and went the entire length of the ark. There would be only one door on its side. Some have suggested that like salvation there is only one way in. In v 17 God finally declares to Noah how He will judge the earth and mankind. It would be with a worldwide flood, not something localized but global. Genesis 6:17 tells us that all flesh that has breath would be destroyed on the face of the earth.

Genesis 6:18 – This is the first mention of the word “covenant” the Hebrew word is “berit”. The Hebrew root of “covenant” is “to cut.” As a result of Noah’s obedience, God is promising to establish a covenant with Noah which will occur after the flood. Not only is he told that God will covenant with him but also that it will be his family who shall be saved. In time we will learn that covenants with God involved cutting as we see in Gen. 15 in God’s covenant with Abraham. 

Genesis 6:19-21 – A male and female of each kind is brought into the ark. Some have speculated based on the number of species in the world today and allowing for extinction of others the total amount would be 75,000 animals in all. Based on the dimensions of the ark it has been estimated that the ark could hold 125,000 sheep.

The average land animal is less in size than the sheep and so there was more than enough room on board. There is nothing that says Noah had to find these animals. God supernaturally directed the chosen ones to the ark, Genesis 6:20 says “they will come to you”. The animals might have gone into a hibernation type of mode once on board the ark minimizing the need for much food.

Genesis 6:22 – Noah did what he was told by the Lord which was a demonstration of Noah’s faith and obedience (Hebrews 11:72 Peter 2:5).

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