The Days Of Noah
The Sons of God
The first stage of human history was brought to its climax and culmination in the days of Noah.
The sin-disease, which began so innocuously when Eve was tempted to doubt the word of God,
which then begin to show its true ugliness of character in the life of Cain, which came
to maturity in the godless civilization developed by his descendants, finally descended
into such a terrible morass of wickedness and corruption that only a global bath of water
from the windows of heaven could purge and cleanse the fevered earth.
The characteristics of those awful and tragic days, strange as they may seem
to our enlightened culture today, are nevertheless to be repeated in the last days
of this present age.
It is urgently important, from the standpoint of both understanding past history and seeking
guidance for the future, that we understand the events which took place in the days of Noah.
Two days before Christ's crucifixion, His disciples asked Him,
"What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3).
His reply pointed to a number of "signs," all of which occurring together in that generation
(that is, the generation which would see the signs), would be the sign they had requested.
These signs were climaxed with the prophetic warning, "But as the days of Noah were,
so shall also the coming of the Son 0f Man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying
and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the Ark,
And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming
of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37-39).
Jesus not only verified the historicity of the great Flood but also encourage us
to study closely the characteristics of the days before the Flood, for these would also
characterize the days just before His return.
Genesis 6:1, 2: "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth,
and daughters were born unto them,
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair;
and they took them wives of all which they chose."
Moral and spiritual conditions in the antediluvian world had deteriorated with the passing years,
not only among the Canities but eventually among the Sethites as well.
Materialism and ungodliness abounded, except for the small remnant connected with the line
of the promise Seed, along with those few who may have been influenced by the witness
of such men as Enoch.
Then, in the days of Noah, a strange and terrible event took place, leading rapidly to such
a tidal wave of violence and wickedness over the earth that there was no longer any remedy
but utter destruction.
The "sons of God" saw the "daughters of men" and took them as their wives,
the children of such unions being "giants in the earth," mighty men of renown,
monsters not only in size but also in wickedness (Genesis 6:1, 2, 4).
One's first reaction to this passage (and the standard interpretation of the liberals) is to think
of the fairy tales of antiquity, the legends of orgies and dragons, and the myths
of the god's consorting with men -- and then to dismiss the entire story
as legend and superstition.
On the other hand, modern Christians have often attempted to make the story more palatable intellectually by explaining the "sons of God" as Sethites and the "daughters of men" as Cainites,
with their union representing the breaking down of the wall of separation between
believers and unbelievers.
Another possible interpretation which of voice supernaturalistic implications is that the phrase
"sons of God" referred to kings and nobles, in which case the commingling
so described is merely an account of royalty marrying commoners.
Neither of these naturalistic interpretations, however, explain why the progeny of such unions
would be "giants" or why they would lead to universal corruption and violence.
Although Scripture does teach that believers should not wed unbelievers
(2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:39), there is no intimation that this particular sin is unforgivable
or more productive of general moral deterioration than other sins.
Regardless of intellectual difficulties, it does seem clear that something beyond the normal
and natural is described here in these verses.
The interpretation of the passage obviously turns on the meaning of the phrase "sons of God"
Of course, in the New Testament this term is used with reference to all who have been born again
to personal faith in Christ (John 1:12; Romans 8:14; etc.), and the concept of the spiritual
relationship of believers to God as analogous to that of children to a father is also found
in the Old Testament (Psalm 73:15; Hosea 1:10; Deuteronomy 32:5; Exodus 4:22; Isaiah 43:6).
Not one of these examples, however, uses the same phrase as Genesis 6:2, 4.
Furthermore, in each case the meaning is not really parallel to the meaning here in Genesis.
Neither the descendants of Seth nor true believers of any sort have been previously
referred to in Genesis as sons of God in any kind of spiritual sense and, except for Adam himself,
they could not have been sons of God in a physical sense.
In context, such a meeting would be strained, to say the least, in the absence
of any kind of explanation.
The only obvious and natural meaning without such clarification is that these beings
were sons of God, rather than of men, because they had been created, not born.
Such a description, of course, would apply only to Adam (Luke 3:38) and to the angels,
whom God had directly created (Psalm 148:2, 5; Psalm 104:4; Colossians 1:16).
The actual phrase bene elohim is used three other times, all in the very ancient book of Job
(1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
There is no doubt at all that, in these passages, the meaning applies exclusively to the angels.
A very similar form (bar elohim) is used in Daniel 3:25, and also refers either to an angel
or to a theophany.
The term "sons of the mighty" (bene elohim) is used in Psalm 29:1 and also Psalm 89:6,
and again refers to angels.
Thus, there seems no reasonable doubt that, in so far as the language itself is concerned,
the intent of the writer was to convey the thought of angels -- fallen angels, no doubt,
since they were acting in opposition to God's will.
This was the meaning placed on the passage by the Greek translators of the Septuagint,
by Josephus, by the writer of the ancient apocryphal book of Enoch, and by all the other
ancient Jewish interpreters and the earliest Christian writers.
Apparently the first Christian writers to suggest the Sethite interpretation
were Chrysostom and Augustine.
The reasoning for questioning this obvious meaning, in addition to the supernatural overtones,
is (for those who do not reject the ideal of angels) the opinion that it would be impossible
for angels to have sexual relationships with human women and to father children by them.
However, this objection presupposes more about angelic abilities than we know.
Whenever angels have appeared visibly to men, as recorded in the Bible,
they have appeared in the physical bodies of men.
Those who met with Abraham, for example, actually ate with him (Genesis 18:8) and, later,
appeared to the inhabitants of Sodom in such perfectly manlike shape that the Sodomites
were attempting to take these "men" for homosexual purposes.
The writer of Hebrews suggests that, on various occasions, some "have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2).
It is true that the Lord Jesus said that "in the resurrection they neither marry,
nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30).
However, this is not equivalent to saying that angels are "sexless," since people who share
in the resurrection will surely retain their own personal identity, whether male or female.
Furthermore, angels are always described, when they appear, as "men,"
and the pronoun "he" is always used in reference to them.
Somehow they have been given by God the capacity of materializing themselves
in masculine human form when occasion warrants, even though their bodies are not under
the control of the gravitational and electromagnetic forces which limit our own bodies
in this present life.
When Jesus said that the angels of God in heaven do not marry, this does not necessarily mean
that those who have been cast out of heaven were incapable of doing so.
It clearly was not God's will or intention that angels mix in such a way with human women,
but these wicked angels were not concerned with obedience to God's will.
In fact, it was probably precisely for the purpose of attempting to thwart God's will
that this particular battalion of the "sons of God" engaged in this illegal invasion
of the body is of the daughters of men.
Satan had not forgotten God's prophecy that a promised Seed of the woman would
one day destroy him.
He had implanted his own spiritual seed in Cain and his descendants, but God ad preserved
the line of the true Seed through Seth.
When Noah was born and Lamech was led to prophesy that "comfort" concerning the Curse
would come through him (Genesis 5:29), Satan and his angels must have feared
that there are opportunities for victory in this cosmic conflict were in imminent danger.
Desiring reinforcements for a coming battle against the host of heaven, and also desiring,
if possible, to completely corrupt mankind before the promised Seed could accomplish
Satan's defeat, they seem to have decided to utilize a marvelous power of procreation
which God had given the human family and to corrupt it to their own ends.
Men now were rapidly multiplying on the earth and by implanting their own "seed" in humanity,
they might be able to enlist in only one generation a vast multitude as allies against God.
So these "sons of God" saw the daughters of men and "took them wives
[or, literally, 'women'] of all which they chose."
Some commentators have said that, since the phrase "took them wives" is the same phrase
normally used throughout the Old Testament for "taking a wife," that can be nothing involved
here other than normal human marriage.
Therefore, they argue these "sons of God" must be merely male believers in the Sethite line
who married good-looking women of the Cainite (or other) line with no regard
to whether or not they were true believers in God.
However, this argument is weak and is hardly sufficient to overthrow the heavy weight
of evidence otherwise.
The word used for "wife" (Hebrew ishah" is commonly also used for "woman," regardless
of whether or not she was a married woman.
The word for "take" (Hebrew laqach) is a very common verb, and can have any noun
as its object.Shechem, for example, "took" Dinah and lay with her, though he was not married
to her "Genesis 34:2).
The fact that these creatures could take whatever women they chose further suggest
a general state of profligacy which made indiscriminate sexual unions quite commonplace.
This is also suggested by Christ's descriptive phrase "marrying and giving [out] in marriage"
(Matthew 24:38) as characteristic of the careless attitude of today's of Noah.
If, for the sake of argument at least, we assumed that the bene elohim were, indeed, angels,
and that angels can't assume such a total human form that they actually have male reproductive
systems, then a serious question would have to be posed relative to the nature of the progeny
that would result from their sexual intercourse with human women.
The identity of these "giants" is further discussed below, but the seriousness of this problem
does not have a bearing on how we should interpret these unions.
Fallen Angels have no possibility of salvation, but fallen men and women do have
at least this possibility.
What, then, would be the case with "people" who were half-angel, half-men?
This seems to be such a grotesque situation that it does appear extremely doubtful that God
would have allowed it at all, even if it really were physiologically a realistic possibility.
And yet, as already indicated, it does violence to the actual text of the passage
if we make it mean merely that the sons of Seth began to marry the daughters of Cain.
(If this were what it meant, why did not the writers simply say so,
and thus avoid all this confusion?)
And why the giants, and why the universal violence?
The sons of Seth were surely not all godly men; so why should they be called sons of God
(remember, they all perished in the Flood)?
Furthermore, Adam had many sons in addition to Cain and Seth; were they spiritual
"sons of God," too?
Not very likely, at this period of history.
Furthermore, why stress only the union of godly men with ungodly women?
What about the "daughters of God"?
Were they being married to "sons of men"?
Rationalistic exegetes, of course, do accept the plain meaning of the text here and agree
that it speaks of angel cohabiting with human women.
Then, being rationalists, they maintain that sense this sort of thing is impossible,
the writer of Genesis was simply drawing on the myths and legends of demigods
in various religious traditions.
On the other hand, is it not possible that the Bible has the true record and that these
various legends of giants and demagogues represent the distortions that had occurred
through long centuries of verbal transmission of the tales in cultures removed
from the true patriarchal transmission line?
It is significant that the Septuagint renders the phrase "sons of God" as "angels of God."
This was the Old Testament version in dominant use in the Apostolic period,
and thus this would be the way the phrase would have been read by Christ and His apostles.
The apocryphal book of Enoch was extant then, as well, and was apparently known
to the New Testament writers (Jude 14); and it intensely elaborated this angelic interpretation.
As an apparent result of these facts, this interpretation is strongly implied,
and probably required (as noted below) by three New Testament passages:
Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4-6; 1 Peter 3:19, 20.
However, there is a grave difficulty in the ideal of angel-human sexual unions,
not only the question of whether such thing as possible, but even more in the theological
paradoxical and grotesque nature of the progeny of such unions.
How can this dilemma be resolved?
A solution seems to consist in recognizing that the children were true human children
of truly human fathers and mothers, but that all were possessed and controlled by evil spirits.
That is, these fallen angelic "sons of God" accomplished their purposes by something equivalent
to demon possession, indwelling the bodies of human man, and then also taking
(or "possessing") the bodies of the women as well.
The men whose bodies they possessed were evidently thereby made so attractive to the careless
and rebellious and women of the age that they could take over and use
any of the women they chose.
The seductive beauty of the women, probably enhanced by various artificial cosmetics
and allurements developed by that time, was itself sufficient to induce men to constant obsession
with sex, assuring a maximum rapidity of multiplication of the population.
So, the "sons of God" controlled not only the men whose bodies they had acquired
for their own exploitation, but also the women they took to themselves in this way,
and then all the children they bore.
These particular Satanic angels, therefore, compounded their original sin in following Satan
in his rebellion against God by now leaving "their own habitation" and keeping not
their "first estate" (literally, "principality"), "going after strange flesh" as later did the Sodomites
"in like manner" (Jude 6, 7).
Therefore, God no longer allows them to roam about the earth like other demons,
but has confined them "in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day,"
casting them down to a special "hell" (literally, "Tartarus," not the ordinary place
of departed spirits) where they are "to be reserved unto judgment" (2 Peter 2:4).
This fearful phenomenon of demonic "taking" and "habitation" of human bodies
has often been repeated since, though apparently it never yet on the global scale
which Satan attempted in the days of Noah.
Many such cases of demon possession are noted in the New Testament,
and missionaries still testify to its common occurrence in heathen lands today.
Even in modern "Christian lands" where the influence of the gospel has until now kept it
to a minimum, this form of Satanic activity is evidently rapidly increasing.
Spiritism, witchcraft, and other forms of occult belief and practice -- even Satanism itself
-- are captivating the minds and bodies of multitudes today, especially among young people.
A closely related phenomenon is the tremendous recent upsurge of interest in the "host of heaven"
-- in terms of astrology, the so-called chariots of the gods, the various unidentified flying objects,
and their strange occupants.
Although scientists quite properly have pointed out the fallacious assumptions and interpretations involved in these, there remains a stubborn residiuum of scientifically inexplicable,
yet apparently well-verified, phenomena attached to these highly unusual types of data.
It should not be forgotten that there do exist "principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness
of this world, spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12)
and that Satan is "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2).
Evil angels, as well as God's unfallen holy angels, apparently on certain occasions
have the ability both to appear immaterial forms of various sorts
(even as "ministers of righteousness" – 2 Corinthians 11:15) and also to inhabit and control t
he bodies of human beings.
Furthermore, Jesus warned that, in the last days, "fearful sights and great signs
shall there be from heaven" (Luke 21:11).
It may be that this particular feature of the days of Noah is beginning to be repeated
in the modern proliferation of this great complex of unexplained and spiritually intimidating
occult phenomena, the purpose of which seems to be to gain direct Satanic control
over the minds and bodies of hosts of human beings before Christ returns.
Genesis 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 a hundred and twenty years."
This has been another difficult verse, subject to varying interpretations.
When God said, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man," there is a question
as to whether He meant the Holy Spirit or the spirit which He had breathed into man's body,
and also whether He meant mankind in general or Adam in particular (the word "man" is Adam,
and Adam himself may still have been alive when God spoke those words,
perhaps in the days of Enoch).
The reference to "one hundred and twenty years" has been understood by some to refer
to man's future longevity and by others as the time yet remaining before the coming of the Flood,
in addition to the interpretation that this was simply the time remaining before Adam's death.
It does appear that the most natural reading of the passage refers to God's Holy Spirit
in His ministry of "convincing the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment"
As the moral and spiritual character of the antediluvian world degenerated, especially following
the demonic takeover just described, it was apparent that the people have become
so hopelessly corrupt as to be beyond reclamation.
They had completely and irrevocably resisted the Spirit's witness, so that it was futile
any longer for Him to "strive" with man.
This word (Hebrew doon") is used only here and is therefore of somewhat uncertain meaning,
possibly including also the ideal of "judging."
The Lord emphasized that man also was "flesh," the "also" probably referring to the fact
that he had a physical body as well as a spiritual nature.
Since the witness of God's Spirit to man's spirit had been rejected, there was no purpose
to be served any longer in maintaining his physical life and continued multiplication.
There may also be an implicit suggestion that man had become no better than the animals:
he was dominated exclusively by the "flesh" – the longer concerned with God
but only with his own bodily appetites, just as the animals.
God told Noah that "the end of all flesh is come before me" (6:13), and later,
indeed, "all flesh died" (7:21), including both men and animals.
The striving of God's Spirit with man's fleshly appetites was later taken by the apostle Paul
as a type of the conflict in the New Testament believer between his spirit
(as illumined and energized by God's Spirit) and his flesh, the natural and carnal nature
with which he was born (Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16, 17).
The antediluvian witness of the Holy Spirit to man must have been accomplished
at the preaching of God's Word through one of His prophets.
It is known that both Enoch and Noah bore a strong witness to the people of their day,
and it is possible that Methuselah and Lamech did the same.
This particular prophecy was evidently given, perhaps to Methuselah, just 120 years
before the coming of the Flood.
Since Enoch had already been translated, Methuselah was the oldest living patriarch at this time.
Shem, Ham, and Japheth had not yet been born; and presumably God specific commands
to Noah (5:32; 6:10; 6:13-21) had not yet been given.
God has always been long-suffering, even under such awful conditions as prevailed
in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20).
Though all had rejected Him, He still granted 120 years to mankind in light of the bare possibility
that at least some might "come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
This was more than adequate time even for those who were infants to grow to maturity
and have abundant opportunity to accept or reject God.
Those who would be born later (e.g. Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives) would presumably
require some very special manifestation of God's grace to have deliverance (see 6:8; 7:1).
Genesis 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."
One of the most amazing facts revealed by paleontology (study of fossilized remains of creatures
which inhabited the earth in a former age) is that nearly all modern animals was once represented
by larger ancestors.
This would be like the mammoths and cave bears, giant cockroaches and dragonflies,
and huge reptiles like the dinosaurs.
Along with them are occasionally found giant human footprints, suggesting indeed
that "there were giants in the earth in those days."
Not only in the Bible, but in numerous other ancient books, are preserved traditions of giants.
With such a uniform testimony from ancient tradition, and with paleontological evidence
as well, it is a superficial sophistication which ignores the possibility that these data
may contain primitive reflections of the real events and characters described historically here
in the Genesis record.
The children of the unions of the demonically control men and women of this period
are the ones said to have become the "giants," the mighty men of old.
The word in the Hebrew is nephilim and comes from the verb naphal ("fall).
Though some commentators suggest that the word means "those who fall upon
– that is, "attackers" – the the more natural and probable meaning is "those who have fallen,"
probably a reference to the nature of their pseudo-parents, the fallen angels.
The name came also to mean "giants" and was applied later to the giants seen in Canaan
by the Israelite spies (Numbers 13:33).
The world was so understood by the translators of Genesis into Greek, rendering the word
in the Septuagint by gigantes.
As to why children born of demon, control parents should grow in the giants,
we can make at least a reasonable supposition, though, in the absence of Biblical revelation
on the subject, it can be no more than that.
Modern genetics has shown there are two basic causes of variation in physical characteristics
among men, namely mutations and recombinations.
In the genetic system is a tremendous number of factors for different characteristics,
some dominated in a particular population, some latent or recessive.
These can be "recombined" in various ways to allow an almost unlimited variation
in physical features.
Recombination, however, can operate only on factors which are already
implicitly present in the genes.
Mutations, on the other hand, can introduce new features which were not present at all,
by responding to external influences whose energies effect random changes in the genetic system.
Factors for large physical stature apparently have resided from the beginning
in the created gene pool of the human population.
Their emergence as frequent or dominant characteristics in a specific population might result
by chance in a small inbreeding population or else might result by design in the case of control manipulation of the genes by breeders understanding enough
about the genetic process to do this.
Today geneticists appear on the verge of breakthrough which would permit exactly such "genetic engineering" as this sort of thing to be accomplice on a practical basis.
It is believed that mutations can also produce "giantism."
The strange process of cloning, by which geneticists think they will one day be able
to produce a race of carbon copies of Einstein, or some other famous person or whatever
they want by implantation of body cells in human fertilized eggs
might be still another means of doing this.
So if modern geneticists can discuss with all seriousness the imminent possibility
of accomplishing such things, then it is not unlikely that knowledge of the secrets
could've been available to the angelic (and demonic) hosts.
Having gained essentially complete control over both minds and bodies of these antediluvian parents, these fallen "sons of God" could then, by some such genetic manipulation,
cause their progeny to become a race of monsters.
The latter also ban would be under their control and possession as well.
The demoniacal combination of the materialism and ungodliness of the Cainitic civilization
in general, with this irruption of the Serpent's seed directly into large numbers of the human race
and then with the thrusting forth of hordes of the monstrous offspring of these unlawful unions,
all lead to conditions in the world which were finally intolerable even to a God
of compassion and long-suffering.
The demon-possessed men and their progeny, along with all the other godless inhabitants
of the antediluvian world, were soon to perish in the waters of the Flood.
The waters are now the waters of the sea and it may well be these that are referred to
in connection with the final judgment when it says that "the sea gave up the dead which were in it" (Revelation 20:13).
The evil spirits who indwelt their bodies have been in imprisoned in Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4)
and are probably "the spirits in prison which once were disobedient when the long-suffering
of God waited in the days of Noah" (1 Peter 3:19, 20), to whom Christ went in the Spirit
after His death to proclaim His ultimate victory over their evil purposes.
There were giants "also after that," in the days of the Canaanites: and these were likewise
known as, among other things, the Nephilim (Numbers 13:33).
Humanly speaking, they were descended from Anak, and so were also known as the Anakim.
These people were, of course, known to Moses and it was probably he who editorially inserted
the phrase "and also after that" into Noah's original record here in Genesis 6:4.
Moses probably also inserted the information that there were the "mighty men of old,
men of renown," whose exploits of strength and violence had made them famous in song
and fable in all nations in the ages following the Flood.
To rebellious men of later times, they were revered as great heroes;
but in God's sight they were merely ungodly men of violence and evil.
Filled with Violence
Just as world conditions in the days before the Flood presaged a coming catastrophe,
so will world conditions in the last days of this age foreshadow an even greater catastrophe.
Some of these characteristics are summarized as follows:
1. Preoccupation with physical appetites (Luke 17:27)
2. Rapid advances in technology (Genesis 4:22)
3. Grossly materialistic attitudes and interests (Luke 17:28)
4. Uniformitarian philosophies (Hebrews 11:7)
5. Inordinate devotion to pleasure and comfort (Genesis 4:21)
6. No concern for God in belief or conduct (2 Peter 2:5; Jude 15)
7. Disregard for the sacredness of the marriage relation (Matthew 24:38)
8. Rejection of the inspired Word of God (1 Peter 3:19)
9. Population explosion (Genesis 6:1, 11)
10. Widespread violence (Genesis 6:11, 13)
11. Corruption throughout society (Genesis 6:12)
12. Preoccupation with illicit sex activity (Genesis 4:19; 6:2)
13. Widespread words and thoughts of blaspheming (June 15)
14. Organized satanic activity (Genesis 6:1-4)
15. Promulgation of systems and movements of abnormal depravity (Genesis 6:5, 12)
(This list as it appears on page 175 in The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris)
These conditions prevailed in the days of Noah and they are all rapidly growing again today.
There is good reason to believe that these present times are those which immediately
precede return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Genesis 6:5, 6: "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.
And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
While it is true that God "is not a man, that he should repent" (1 Samuel 15:29),
He nevertheless seems on occasion to repent (that is, "change His mind") toward man,
because man has changed in attitude toward Him.
In the same situation in which the above statement was recorded, God had said:
"It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king, for he is turned back from following me,
and had not performed my commandments" (1 Samuel 15:11).
It is exactly because God does not repent, that He must seem to repent
when man "changes his mind."
God's attitude toward man is conditioned by man's attitude toward Him.
Although God had made a perfect world for man and had been marvelously long-suffering
toward His creatures, there finally came a time when, in justice to His own holiness,
He had to terminate man's boundless wickedness.
Any further delay would have completely prevented the accomplishment of God's purpose
in and for mankind.
Man's outward wickedness had become "great in the earth," because his inward imaginations
had become completely evil and always evil.
Although the evil angels had aggravated this condition, man himself was basically responsible.
Demons can only control those whose minds are already so rebellious toward God
or a soul so obsessed with illicit desires as to be open to such possession.
The angels did not take all the women, but only "all which they chose."
Nevertheless all the antediluvians had become incurably it wicked, if nothing else through
acquiescence in the abnormalities of those who were so possessed.
Because evil filled the thoughts of man's heart, therefore God was "grieved at his heart."
Although the reasoning process does not actually center in the human heart as an organ,
nor in fact does God even have a physical heart, this figure is frequently used throughout
the Bible to express the deepest seat of one's emotions and decisions.
Though it is true of the natural man in general that "they are all under sin" (Romans 3:39),
this description of antediluvian man in verse 5 (also in verses 11-13) can hardly be
correctly applied to all men everywhere.
Outward wickedness is certainly not "great" in the case of every self-righteous unbeliever,
nor do any but the most depraved imagine "only evil continually."
Not are certainly degrees of sin, and therefore degrees of punishment,
in the cases of unbelievers generally.
But such an awful indictment as described in verse 5 surely is something grotesque and abnormal,
and thus reflects a grotesque and abnormal cause.
It therefore required a cataclysmic remedy, nothing less than the unique cleansing
of a worldwide baptism in the waters of this great Flood.
Before demonic wickedness could gain control of every man, woman, and child throughout
the entire world, thus destroying God's redemptive promises,
God must intervene in catastrophic judgment.
Genesis 6:7, 8: "And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created
from the face of the earth; both man, and beasts, and the creeping thing,
and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
The section called the "generations of Noah," and probably written by Noah himself,
closes with these verses.
Since the remedy for worldwide wickedness would have to be a worldwide Flood,
all land animals would have to be destroyed as well.
Thus beasts and birds and creeping things (not fish) were to be destroyed, along with man,
from the face of the ground.
Since the Lord had created them, as a part of man's dominion, it was His prerogative |to destroy them with that dominion.
But there was to be one exception.
"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
It is important to note that the most godly and important man in the entire world at that time
would close out his record was such a testimony – that he was merely a sinner saved by grace!
Grace is a wonderful word.
It appears here for the first time in Scripture.
In the sovereign mercy and by the election of grace, God had prepared in the heart of Noah
to respond in obedient faith to His will.
Notice the consistent Biblical order here.
First, Noah found grace."
Then Noah was "a just man" (that is, "justified" or "declared to be righteous").
Thus he was "perfect in his generations" (or "complete," insofar as God's records are concerned),
and therefore he was able to "walk with God."
Salvation in any era is exactly in this way.
By sovereign grace, received through faith, the believer is justified before God
and declared to be complete in Him.
Only as a result of, and on the basis of, this glorious gift of grace, can one then "walk" in fellowship
with God, showing the genuineness of his faith by his works.
Four times it is said later, for example, that Noah "did all that God commanded him"
(6:22; 7:5; 7:9; 7:16).
It is said that Noah was perfect "in his generations."
Among all his contemporaries, over the many generations of a long life, he was the only one,
so far as the record goes, who had "walked with God" since Enoch.
He was a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5), though apparently no one responded
to his preaching.
The moral pressures must've been overwhelming.
The temptations of a licentious and violent society, along with the continual rejection and ridicule
of those masses who were "disobedient in the days of Noah" (1 Peter 3:20),
were no doubt inconceivably difficult for him to bear.
So far as we know, he preached hundreds of years with no converts
except some in his own family.
So above all things Noah was a man of great faith.
Among the heroes of faith recorded in Hebrews 11, it is only Noah whose description
both begins and ends with the phrase "by faith" (Hebrews 11:7).
The new section of Genesis that begins at 6:9b is attributed to "the sons of Noah" (10:1).
The "generations of Noah" and set 6:9a.
It's important to notice that Noah ends with his own testimony that he had simply
"found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
On the other hand, his sons, began their record with a testimony concerning their father,
"Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
Noah was no doubt a sinner, being human; but he had believed in God's promises
and sought, by God's grace, to obey His word and follow His will.
Though Satan had managed to corrupt the whole world, the one man whom he wanted
most of all to destroy, was under the invulnerable protecting shield of the grace of God.
To the majority of modern intellectuals, Noah is merely a legendary character and his Ark
and its animals nothing but a story for children's coloring books.
They believe that the entire account is sober and important history is a concept
too na´ve even to consider.
The later writers of the Bible did not feel that way.
Isaiah certainly took Noah seriously: "For this is as the waters of Noah unto me:
for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth;
so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee" (Isaiah 54:9).
Twice Ezekiel mentions Noah as one of the three most religious man in history (Ezekiel 14:14, 20).
The writer of Chronicles, as well as Luke, includes a Noah in the official genealogy of Christ
(1 Chronicles 1:4; Luke 3:36).
Twice in the New Testament the apostle Peter mentions Noah.
Both times obviously regarding him as a strategic figure of history (1 Peter 3:28; 2 Peter 2:5).
And most important of all, the Lord Jesus Christ accepted the story of Noah and the Ark
as a real event (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26).
As we have already noticed, nor was listed as one of the greatest of all
the historical men of faith, in Hebrews 11:7.
Also remember that the Ark itself was mentioned in most of these New Testament references.
Genesis 6:9, 10: "These are the generations of Noah:
Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth."
As the "sons of Noah" began the record of their own "generations," they first indicated
that it should be tied in to the previous record kept by their father.
To do this, they began with his name and a testimony to his godly character,
as we have already noticed.
Then they introduced themselves, by name as Shem, Ham, and Japheth,
as Noah's three sons – or at least as the three of his sons who survived the Flood.
There has been much discussion about the meaning of these names, and it must be recognized that these are somewhat uncertain.
Those who believe that Noah's three sons were the progenitors three races have interpreted
the names to mean: Ham, "black"; Shem, "dark"; Japheth, "fair."
However, "Shem" is the usual Hebrew word for "name" or "renown,"
and "Japheth" is believed by most scholars to mean "enlarged" (note Genesis 9:27).
There is a possibility that it means "fair," but in the sense of "beautiful,"
rather than "light skinned."
As far as "Ham" is concerned, it may be related to the Hebrew cham, meaning "warm" or "hot."
Genesis 6:11-13: "The earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was filled with violence.
And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way
upon the earth.
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 narrative next proceeds to provide the reasons for the coming destruction.
The earth was corrupt; the earth was filled with violence; all flesh had corrupted his way.
The universality of human wickedness and depravity was repeatedly emphasized.
Shem, Ham, and Japheth had all been born within the last century before the Flood,
and they had lived in the midst of this corrupt society all their lives.
It is amazing that they had somehow escaped the corruption.
It was probably due to the example and teachings of their godly parents and grandparents
or they also would have been caught up in the antediluvian wickedness.
It also probably helped that their father possibly kept them busy for many years in building
the Ark and making preparations for the Flood.
God had commanded man to fill the earth, and he had done this.
But he had also filled it with violence.
God had told man the way to walk, but now all flesh had corrupted his way.
The word for "corrupt" (Hebrew shachath) is a very strong term, and is often translated "destroy."
To corrupt is to destroy.
Instead of following God's way, all men, like sheep, had turned aside to their own ways
(Isaiah 53:6), and therefore had finally destroy themselves.
In "The Genesis Record" Henry M. Morris says that it is interesting to note
that Genesis 6: 12 ("And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt")
marks the middle verse of Genesis 1-11.
It is significant that although the earth had forgotten God, God was still looking on the earth.
Hebrews 4:13 says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:
but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
The term "all flesh" on occasion includes animals as well as men (note Genesis 7:21),
and some writers have assumed this verse to suggest that animals had become corrupt also.
They were suggesting that illicit unions among the animals might have produced
some of the grotesque monsters (e.g., dinosaurs) found in the fossil record.
However, the situation described here is obviously one of moral corruption, a
nd since there is no suggestion in Scripture that animals can make moral judgments,
there is no intimation that this particular statement ("all flesh had corrupted his way")
could apply to any creature other than man.
Although animals were not morally involved in man's sinfulness, they were to participate
in the judgment on man, as part of his dominion.
This was pointed out in verse 7.
Now God further revealed, this time directly to Noah, that the earth itself
would also be destroyed.
The method by which God spoke to Noah is not disclose – whether by vision, dream,
or direct theophany.
God told Noah He would destroy man with the earth.
Those who have advocated either a local flood or a tranquil flood are forced to read
this verse as God destroying man from the earth.
However, the preposition is that Hebrew eth, which means "with," not "from."
Whether we like it or not, the Bible does teach that the Flood
was a world-destroying cataclysm.
Peter says this in 2 Peter 3:6, "The world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."
Genesis 6:14-16: "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.
And this is the fashion in which thou shall 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.
A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finished 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."
In order to preserve both human and terrestrial animal life on the earth, God instructed Noah
to build a huge barge-like structure called an ark, in which the occupants would be saved
from destruction in the coming Flood.
According to God's instructions, the Ark was to be designed for capacity and floating stability
rather than for speed or navigability.
The dimensions were to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.
Just how long is a cubit?The Babylonians had a royal cubit of about 19.8 inches.
The Egyptians had a longer and a shorter cubit of about 20.65 and 17.6 inches.
The Hebrews had a long cubit of 20.4 inches (Ezekiel 40:5) and a common cubit
of about 17. 5 inches.
Another common cubit of antiquity was 24 inches.
Most writers believe the Biblical cubit was 18 inches.
To be very conservative, assume the cubit to have been only 17. 5 inches,
the shortest of all cubits as far as we know.
In that case, the Ark would have been 438 feet long, 72. 9 feet wide, and 43. 8 feet high.
It can be shown that a gigantic box of such dimensions would be exceedingly stable
and almost impossible to capsize.
Even in a sea of gigantic waves, the ark could be tilted through any angle up
to just short of 90░ and would immediately thereafter right itself again.
Also, it would tend to align itself parallel with the direction of major wave advance
and thus be subject to minimum pitching most of the time.
With the dimensions as calculated, the total volumetric capacity of the Ark was
approximately 1,400,000 cubic feet, which is equal to the volumetric capacity
of 522 standard livestock cars such as used on modern American railroads.
Since it is known that about 240 sheep can be transported in one stock car,
a total of over 125,000 sheep could have been carried in the Ark.
A few other details of the Ark's construction are given.
It was to have three stories, each 10 cubits high.
Each of these three "decks" was to be divided into various "rooms" (literally "nests"
-– thus apparently each of appropriate size for the individuals in which to rest).
The Ark was to be made of "gopher wood," the exact nature of which is unknown today,
though apparently some type of dense, hardwood; and it was to be made waterproof
and resistant to decay by impregnation with "pitch," inside and outside.
The word for "pitch" (Hebrew kopher) is different from that used in other places
in the Old Testament.
It is equivalent to the Hebrew kaphar ("to cover") and, in the noun form,
means simply a "covering."
However, it is also the regular Hebrew word for "atonement," as in Leviticus 17:11.
In essence this is the first mention of "atonement" in the Bible.
Whatever the exact nature of that "pitch" may have been (probably a resinous substance
of some kind, rather than a bituminous material), it sufficed as a perfect covering for the Ark,
to keep out the waters of judgment, just as the blood of the Lamb provides
a perfect atonement for the soul.
The Ark also had a "window" (Hebrew tsohar), which probably means,
literally, an "opening for daylight."
Although the phraseology is difficult, most authorities understand th
at this "window" was to consist of a one-cubit opening extending all around
the Ark's circumference, near the roof, as provision for light and ventilation.
Presumably there was also a parapet to keep out the rain.
It has also been suggested that the word "window" might refer to a low wall extending
around the Ark above the roof, providing a sort of cistern as a means of water supply.
It was obviously not the intention of the writer to record the complete specification
for the Ark's construction, but only enough to assure later readers
that it was quite adequate for its intended purpose.
That purpose was to "preserve life on the earth."
The notion of a local flood is frivolous and harmful.
The Ark was far too large and sturdily constructed to accommodate a mere regional
fauna in a local flood.
Not only the birds and mammals but also Noah and his family could have migrated
to another country far more quickly and expeditiously.
Finally the Ark was to have a door in its side.
There was only to be one door, and all must enter and leave by the same door.
Once the animals started streaming into the Ark, there would be nowhere else to go
but farther into the Ark.
Although it is not definitely stated as such, it may be that this
is also intended for instructional purposes as a type of Christ.
He was the one Way (John 14:6) to the Father's house.
He is the one "Door" (John 10:7-9) to the resting-place for His sheep, through which
the sheep must both enter for safety and rest and go out later for service.
The word for "ark" (Hebrew tabhah) is not the word used later for the "ark of the covenant,"
but it is the word used for the ark of bulrushes in which Moses was hidden as a baby
(Exodus 2 3).
Therefore, it seems to be a very ancient word for a box meant to float upon water.
At the time Noah began building his Ark, it must've seemed ridiculous
to his antediluvian contemporaries.
They had never received any kind of flood, or even rain (Genesis 2:5), and Noah's preaching
and construction work probably gave them much occasion for ridicule.
Nevertheless, Noah had been "warned of God of things not seen as yet" (Hebrews 11:7)
and, believing God's word, he proceeded steadfastly to "prepare an ark
to the saving of his house."
He was "moved with fear," not for his own life, but lest his own household be engulfed
in the wickedness and ungodliness of the "condemned world" of his day.
The Provision of God and the Obedience of Noah
In not told exactly when God's instructions to know were given, though it was obviously
sometime after (probably soon after) God's prophetic warning that man would have
only 120 more years before judgment would come (Genesis 6:3).
The work probably was going on throughout most of the century
immediately preceding the Flood.
The antediluvians had ample warning, through Noah's (2 Peter 2: 5) and his example,
but the uniformitarian science of their day assured them that such an event was impossible,
and so they went on in unconcerned "eating and drinking" until the Flood came
and took them all away.
Genesis 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 everything that is in the earth shall die."
For the first time God tells Noah exactly what form the coming destruction would take,
though it may already have been implied from God's instructions concerning the Ark.
It would be a mighty flood of waters (mabbul mayim).
The word for "flood" (mabbul), used here for the first time, applies only to the Noahic Flood.
Other floods are denoted by various other words in the original.
This was the "mabbah," unique in all history.
This word is related to an Assyrian word meaning "destruction."
The phrase "a flood of waters" could be translated by "the hydraulic cataclysm."
Since mabbah is used only in Psalm 29:10, outside of Genesis 6 – 9,
the cataclysmic activity poetically described in Psalm 29 must also refer
to the Flood in Noah's day.
Similarly, when the Genesis Flood is referred to in the New Testament,
the Greek term kataklusmos is uniquely employed (Matthew 24:39; Luke 17:27;
2 Peter 2:5; 3:6) instead of the usual Greek word for "flood."
This Flood was not to be comparable to other later local floods.
It was to be absolutely unique in all history.
The Flood would not only destroy mankind, but also "all flesh, wherein is the breath of life,
from under heaven."
This phrase indicates again that animals, like men, have the "breath" (ruach, "spirit") of life.
The phrase "under heaven" qualifies the destruction as applying to land animals only,
as does also the statement "everything that is in the earth [or "land"]."
The Flood would not destroy all marine species, though multitudes of marine organisms
would no doubt perish in the submarine upheavals associated with the Flood.
Of course, such language is utterly inconsistent with the idea of either a local flood
or a tranquil flood.
Genesis 6:18: "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark,
and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons with with thee."
Here in this verse is the first mention of "covenant" (Hebrew berith) in the Bible.
God promises Noah that, in response to his obedience, He will subsequently establish
His covenant with him and his seed and those who accompanied him into the Ark.
The details of this covenant were elaborated later, when they had all emerged
from the Ark (9:9-17).
However, initially it was essential that Noah built and furnished the Ark,
so that life can be preserved to the coming Flood.
Specifically, God said that only eight people would be on board: Noah, his wife,
his three sons, and their wives.
God foreknew that none from that generation would be converted to Noah's preaching
and so all would perish in the waters of the Flood.
Of course, there was some believers (e.g. Lamech, Methuselah) who would die
before the coming of the mabbul.
Genesis 6:19-21: "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shall thou bring
into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth
after his kind; two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
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."
In these verses are contained the instructions for the preservation of the animals in the Ark.
A male and a female of each "kind" or to be about in the Ark, "to keep them alive."
The scope was comprehensive: "two of every sort."
God had a purpose for each created kind, so He intended that all the kinds
be preserved to the Flood.
In addition to this general rule, seven animals of each "clean" kind (evidently those intended
for use as domestic and sacrificial animals) were to be taken on board (7:2).
Most land animals are small so this did not by any means represent an impossible task.
Authorities on biological taxonomy estimate that there are less than 18,000 species
of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians living in the world today.
This number might be doubled to allow for known extinct land animals (that is, those known
from actual fossil records, not the imaginary transitional forms that never existed
except in the minds of evolutionists).
Allowing then for two of each species, there might have been a total
of about seventy-two thousand animals on the Ark – say seventy-five thousand:
to allow for the five extra animals in each "clean" species.
Since, the Ark could have carried as many as one hundred and twenty-five thousand sheep,
and since the average size of land animals is surely less than that of a sheep,
it is obvious that no more than 60% of its capacity would have to be used for animals.
Actually, it would have been less than this, since the Biblical "kind" is probably considerably
broader than that of the arbitrary "species" category of modern biology.
There were a few large animals (elephants, dinosaurs, giraffes, etc.) to be carried on the Ark,
but many more small ones (mice, robins, lizards, frogs, etc.).
Even the largest animals were probably represented by young (therefore small) individuals,
since they had to spend a year in the Ark without reproductive activity
and then go out to repopulate the earth.
So, the specified size of the Ark seems ideally appropriate for the animals it had to carry.
There was of course also ample room for the approximately one million species of insects
(many of these, no doubt, could have survived outside the Ark
(as well as food for the animals, for living quarters for Noah and his family,
and for any other necessary purposes.
Neither was there any serious problems involved in assembling the animals.
It will be recalled that the climate before the Flood was probably uniformly warm
all over the earth. Furthermore, the seas, hills, and other geographical features
were also more or less uniformly distributed over the globe.
Consequently, animals were not ecologically isolated in different latitudes or altitudes
as at present, but were more or less uniformly distributed around the world.
No great distances were involved, then, when the time came for representatives
of each kind to migrate to the Ark.
The Lord told Noah that the animals would "come on to thee" at the proper time,
so that Nolan did not have to send out hunting and trapping expositions to get them.
This was probably the first animal migration in history, as such migrations had never been
necessary before, with pleasant climate and abundant food available everywhere.
Within each animal kind, however, had been placed genes which were programmed
to impart such migratory instincts to their processors.
In the antediluvian populations, these had no selective value and so were not dominant.
Certain individuals still possessed them, however.
When the time came, these individuals, instinctively sensing the approaching storm,
began to move, God somehow urging and impelling them toward the waiting Ark.
The animals on the Ark, therefore, were all individuals possessing such genes.
Their descendants have inherited them and utilized the powers imparted by them
as necessary in the postdiluvian world.
As yet, scientists have no naturalistic explanation for the remarkable migratory
and directional instincts possessed by animals, especially by birds, which enable them
to adjust to the sharp latitudinal and seasonal temperature and other changes
that characterize the post-Flood world.
These abilities have been inherited from their ancestors on the Ark.
Another remarkable physiological mechanism possessed by most animals
(possibly latent in all), as a protection against sharp temperature and other
climatological changes, is the ability to suspend all bodily changes in a state of hibernation.
This ability enables an animal to pass the winter in very confined quarters,
with little or no food intake or badly excretions (the phenomenal of "estivation"
is a similar state of dormancy during very hot weather).
Practically the same discussion could apply to the capacity of hibernation
as to that of migration.
Both are remarkable abilities, instinctive abilities possessed by animals (not by man) which enable them to cope with prolonged periods of bad weather.
Neither of these abilities has as yet been adequately analyzed by scientists
on any kind of naturalistic basis.
These were both probably latent genetic abilities possessed by some individuals
in animal populations since creation, then divinely selected and activated by God
at the time of the Flood.
As these animals arrived at the Ark, partook of good meal, and then entered the Ark,
in response to the suddenly darkened sky and the chill in the air, they settled down
for a year-long "sleep" in their respective "nests" in the Ark.
Some may have been part of the stored food during the year, but perhaps much of it
was to provide hem all another good meal as they left the Ark after the Flood.
Genesis 6:22: "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."
Noah was not only a man of strong faith in God's word, but of thoroughgoing obedience
to that word.
The tasks God had given him to do were monumental – extremely difficult and discouraging
– and yet NoahI never questioned or complained.
He simply obeyed!
This last verse of the six chapter summarizes a whole century of God's "long-suffering"
while Noah "preached righteousness" to those "who were disobedient while the Ark
was a preparing" (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:6; Luke 17:26, 27).
Not only in this verse, but three more times we are told tha
t Noah did all that God commanded him (7:5, 9, 16).
Not physically perhaps, but spiritually, Noah indeed was a giant in the earth in those days,
and the world has perhaps never seen his equals since.
Because Noah walked with God and was obedient in faith to His word,
God had wonderful fellowship with Noah.
There are seven recorded instances in which it is said that God spoke to Noah
(Genesis 6:13; 7:1; 8:15; 9:1, 8, 12, 17), each time in fellowship
and blessing to Noah and his family.
In contrast, in Psalm 29 (which deals with the great Flood) seven times
the "voice of the Lord" thunders forth in majesty and judgment before a world
which had rejected Him (verses 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 7, 8, 9).
These no doubt answer also to the "seven thunders" and their "voices" which,
though uttered in the future judgment, are not to be revealed in detail content
until that time (Revelation 10:3, 4).
This is the end of chapter 6.