Summary: Verse by verse study of Genesis 6
Sunday Morning Bible Study
December 10, 2006
A preacher, ending his sermon, announced that he would preach on Noah and his Ark on the following Sunday and gave the scriptural reference for the congregation to read ahead of time. A couple of mean boys noticed something interesting about the placement of the story of the Flood in the Bible. They slipped into the church and glued two pages of the pulpit Bible together. On the next Sunday, the preacher got up to read his text. “Noah took unto himself a wife,” he began, “and she was” - he turned the page to continue - “three hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high.” He paused, scratched his head, turned the page back and read it silently, turned the page. Then he looked up at his congregation and said, “I’ve been reading this old Bible for nigh on to fifty years, but there are some things in it that are hard to believe.”
I hope that over the next couple of weeks, you’ll find that the story of Noah is not one of those “hard to believe” things.
:1-12 Preflood wickedness
:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,
We talked last week about the extreme lifespan that people lived before the flood. The average man lived to be 912 years old. This would lead to a population explosion.
If we assume that the average time between generations was ninety-four years; the average family size was eight children; the average age was only five hundred years old; at that rate, at the time of Noah’s flood, there were 137 billion people living on the earth. I’m not saying there were that many people, but that’s where the numbers lead you.
:2 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.
sons of God – Who is this referring to?
1) The line of Seth. He was the head of the godly line.
2) Angelic beings
Except for the occurrence of this phrase twice in Genesis 6, the phrase is only found three other places in the Old Testament, all in the book of Job, and they refer to angels, but not to normal humans.
Some disagree with this idea because Jesus said that in heaven angels “neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Mark 12:25).
That may be a good objection, but Jesus doesn’t say that angels are incapable of sex, He simply said that in heaven they did not marry. The context of Jesus’ comments had to do with the status of a dead woman who had lots of husbands, and the question of whose wife she was – Jesus’ focus was on marriage, not procreation.
There might be a case made that these are specifically “fallen” angels, the ones identified by Jude as those who “did not keep their proper domain” (Jude 1:6)
I think this idea has merit, especially in light of what seems to be the effect of these marriages, the “giants” produced (vs. 4).
:3 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 could be a couple of interpretations here:
1. It could be that God means that His Spirit wouldn’t always be inside of man because man would die. And then God says that man’s lifespan would one day be 120 years instead of the 900 year lifespan (even though lifespans don’t go below 120 until the end of Genesis, 13 generations later).
2. A better idea is that God is saying that He isn’t going to put up with man’s rebellion forever. There would be an end to God’s patience. And it seems that the 120 years was the length of time God gave mankind before the judgment.
This may mean that Noah was building the ark during this 120 year period. This might help to explain how Noah was able to build such a large vessel. It took 115 years to get the permits and 5 years to build it. :)
:4 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.
:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(Ge 6:5 The Message) GOD saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night.