Meaning of genesis 6

Meaning of genesis 6 DEFAULT

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

1. men] Heb. ha-adam, i.e. “the man.” It is not the proper name “Adam”; nor is it “the man” as an individual as in Genesis , Genesis but “the man” collectively, in the sense of “the human race,” LXX οἱ ἄνθρωποι. This use of the word is different from anything in the Paradise Narrative: see Genesis

began to multiply] No account is taken of (a) the description of the growth of the population, and of (b) the genealogies of Cainites and Sethites, which have occupied chaps. Genesis ; Genesis

Ch. Genesis to Genesis The Deluge

1–4. The sons of God and the daughters of men] This short strange passage serves as a kind of Preface to the Narrative of the Deluge. There is nothing to be found quite like it elsewhere in the O.T. It obviously is not a continuation of the previous chapter; and, except for a possible, though most disputable, allusion in the mention of the years (Genesis ), its contents do not presuppose the catastrophe of the Flood. In all probability, we should be right in regarding these four verses as a fragment from some quite independent source of early Hebrew tradition, most certainly distinct from the regular materials represented in J and P.

The mention of the marriages between “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men” is clearly a survival of early Hebrew mythology. It accounted for the existence of an Israelite tradition respecting a primitive race of giants. There are traces, in the literature of other countries, of a similar belief in fabulous giants, or semi-divine heroes, who lived in a far-remote age of antiquity.

The tradition preserved in this brief fragment is condensed, and the language is not free from obscurity. There are, however, allusions in other parts of the O.T. (see note on Genesis ) to the race of giants which was believed not to have been extinct at the time of the occupation of Palestine by the Israelite tribes. Such a belief was incompatible with the tradition that all the primaeval dwellers in the world, except Noah and his family, perished in the waters of the Flood (Genesis ). If, therefore, the impious unions of angels with the daughters of men were considered to account for the existence of a giant human race surviving in later times, the tradition which recorded them must have been quite distinct from, and independent of, the tradition of a universal Flood.

As an isolated survival of Hebrew mythology, it furnishes an instructive reminder, that the popular ideas of Israel concerning primaeval times may be presumed, at least originally, to have resembled those of other nations. They were pervaded by fanciful and legendary elements. We must realize that the spiritual teaching of the religion of Jehovah was responsible for an extensive purgation of the traditions which described the beginnings of the world and of the Israelite people. Polytheistic and unedifying materials were most successfully excluded in the compilation of the Hebrew sacred books. The result is simple, dignified, and elevating. We have in these four verses a glimpse of the material which for the most part was rigorously discarded.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1, And it came to pass.Literally, it was; not in immediate sequence to the preceding chapter, but at some earlier point in the antediluvian period; perhaps about the time of Enoch (corresponding to that of Lamech the Cainite), if not in the days of Enos. Havernick joins the passage with Genesis When men- ha'adham, i.e.the human race in general, and not the posterity of Cain in particular (Ainsworth, Rosenmüller, Bush) - began to multiply- in virtue of the Divine blessing (Genesis ) - on(or over) the face of the earth. "Alluding to the population spreading itself out as well as increasing" (Bonar). And daughters were born unto them.Not referring to any special increase of the female sex (Lange), but simply indicating the quarter whence the danger to the pious Sethites rose: "whobecame snares to the race of Seth" (Wordsworth). That the sons of God. Bene-ha Elohim.

1.Not young men of the upper ranks, as distinguished from maidens of humble birth (Onk., Jon., Sym., Aben Ezra); an opinion which "may now be regarded as exploded" (Lange).

2.Still less the angels (LXX., - some MSS. having ἄγγελοι τοῦθεοῦ, - Philo, Josephus, Justin Martyr, Clement, Tertullian, Luther, Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Von Bohlen, Ewald, Baumgarten, Delitzsch, Kurtz, Hengstenberg, Alford); for

(1)they are either goodangels, in which case they might be rightly styled sons of God (Psalm ; Psalm ; Job ; Job ; Job ; Daniel ), though it is doubtful if this expression does not denote their official rather than natural relationship to God, but it is certain they would not be guilty of the sin here referred to; or they are bad angels, in which ease they might readily enough commit the sin, if it were possible, but certainly they would not be called "the sons of God."

(2)The statement of Jude (vers. 6, 7), though seemingly in favor of this interpretation, does not necessarily require it; since (α) it is uncertain Whether the phrase "τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοιςτρόπον ἐκπορνεύσασαι καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσωσαρκὸς ἑτέραςrefers to the angels or to "αἱπερὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις," in which case the antecedent of τούτοιςwill not be the ἀγγέλοιof ver. 6, but Σόδομα καὶ &#x;όμοῥῤαof ver. 7; (β) if even it refers to the angels it does not follow that the parallel between the cities and the angels consisted in the "going after strange flesh," and not rather in the fact that both departed from God, "thesin of the apostate angels being in God s view a sin of like kind spiritually with Sodom's going away from God's order of nature after strange flesh" (Fausset); (γ) again, granting that Jude's language describes the sin of the angels as one of carnal fornication with the daughters of men, the sin of which the sons of Elohim are represented as guilty is not πορνεία, but the forming of unhallowed matrimonial alliances. Hence

(3)the assertion of our Lord in Luke is inconsistent with the hypothesis that by the sons of God are meant the angels; and

(4)consistent exegesis requires that only extreme urgency, in fact absolute necessity (neither of which can be alleged here), should cause the sons of God to be looked for elsewhere than among the members of the human race.

3.The third interpretation, therefore, which regards the sons of God as the pious Sethites (Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome, Calvin, Keil, Havernick, Lange, Murphy, Wordsworth, Quarry, 'Speaker's Commentary'), though not without its difficulties, has the most to recommend it.

(1)It is natural, and not monstrous.

(2)It is Scriptural, and not mythical (cf. Numbers 25; Judges 3; 1 Kings 11, 16; Revelation 2, for sins of a similar description).

(3)It accords with the designation subsequently given to the pious followers of God (cf. Deuteronomy ; Deuteronomy ; Psalm ; Proverbs ; Luke ; Romans ; Galatians ).

(4)It has a historical basis in the fact that Sethwas regarded by his mother as a son from God (Genesis ), and in the circumstance that already the Sethites had begun to call themselves by the name of Jehovah (Genesis ). Dathius translates, "qui de nomine Dei vocabantur."

(5)It is sufficient as an hypothesis, and therefore is entitled to the preference. Saw the daughters of men(not of the Cainitic race exclusively, but of men generally) that theywere fair, and had regard to this alone in contracting marriages. "Instead of looking at the spiritual kinsmanship, they had an eye only to the pleasure of sense" (Lange). "What the historian condemns is not that regard was had to beauty, but that mera libido regnaveritin the choice of wives" (Calvin). And they took them wives.Lakachisha," a standing expression throughout the Old Testament for the marriage relationship established by God at the creation, is never applied to πορνεία, or the simple act of physical connection, which is sufficient of itself to exclude any reference to angels" (Keil; cf. Genesis ; Genesis ; Genesis ; Exodus ; 1 Samuel ). Of all whom they chose. The emphasis on טִכֹּל(of all) signifies that, guided by a love of merely sensual attractions, they did not confine themselves to the beautiful daughters of the Sethite race, but selected their brides from the fair women of the Cainites, and perhaps with a preference for these. The opinion that they selected "bothvirgins and wives, they cared, not, whom," and "took them by violence (Willet), is not warranted by the language of the historian. The sons of God were neither the Nephilim nor the Gibborim afterwards described, but the parents of the latter. The evil indicated is simply that of promiscuous marriages without regard to spiritual character. Genesis

Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Genesis relates to the increase of men generally (&#;&#;&#;&#;, without any restriction), i.e., of the whole human race; and whilst the moral corruption is represented as universal, the whole human race, with the exception of Noah, who found grace before God (Genesis ), is described as ripe for destruction (Genesis and Genesis ). To understand this section, and appreciate the causes of this complete degeneracy of the race, we must first obtain a correct interpretation of the expressions "sons of God" (&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;) and "daughters of men" (&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;). Three different views have been entertained from the very earliest times: the "sons of God" being regarded as (a) the sons of princes, (b) angels, (c) the Sethites or godly men; and the "daughters of men," as the daughters (a) of people of the lower orders, (b) of mankind generally, (c) of the Cainites, or of the rest of mankind as contrasted with the godly or the children of God. Of these three views, the first, although it has become the traditional one in orthodox rabbinical Judaism, may be dismissed at once as not warranted by the usages of the language, and as altogether unscriptural. The second, on the contrary, may be defended on two plausible grounds: first, the fact that the "sons of God," in Job ; Job , and Job , and in Daniel , are unquestionably angels (also &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#; in Psalm and Psalm ); and secondly, the antithesis, "sons of God" and "daughters of men." Apart from the context and tenor of the passage, these two points would lead us most naturally to regard the "sons of God" as angels, in distinction from men and the daughters of men. But this explanation, though the first to suggest itself, can only lay claim to be received as the correct one, provided the language itself admits of no other. Now that is not the case. For it is not to angels only that the term "sons of Elohim," or "sons of Elim," is applied; but in Psalm , in an address to Elohim, the godly are called "the generation of Thy sons," i.e., sons of Elohim; in Deuteronomy the Israelites are called His (God's) sons, and in Hosea , "sons of the living God;" and in Psalm , Israel is spoken of as the son, whom Elohim has made strong. These passages show that the expression "sons of God" cannot be elucidated by philological means, but must be interpreted by theology alone. Moreover, even when it is applied to the angels, it is questionable whether it is to be understood in a physical or ethical sense. The notion that "it is employed in a physical sense as nomen naturae, instead of angels as nomen officii, and presupposes generation of a physical kind," we must reject as an unscriptural and gnostic error. According to the scriptural view, the heavenly spirits are creatures of God, and not begotten from the divine essence. Moreover, all the other terms applied to the angels are ethical in their character. But if the title "sons of God" cannot involve the notion of physical generation, it cannot be restricted to celestial spirits, but is applicable to all beings which bear the image of God, or by virtue of their likeness to God participate in the glory, power, and blessedness of the divine life, - to men therefore as well as angels, since God has caused man to "want but little of Elohim," or to stand but a little behind Elohim (Psalm ), so that even magistrates are designated "Elohim, and sons of the Most High" (Psalm ). When Delitzsch objects to the application of the expression "sons of Elohim" to pious men, because, "although the idea of a child of God may indeed have pointed, even in the O.T., beyond its theocratic limitation to Israel (Exodus ; Deuteronomy ) towards a wider ethical signification (Psalm ; Proverbs ), yet this extension and expansion were not so completed, that in historical prose the terms 'sons of God' (for which 'sons of Jehovah' should have been used to prevent mistake), and 'sons (or daughters) of men,' could be used to distinguish the children of God and the children of the world," - this argument rests upon the erroneous supposition, that the expression "sons of God" was introduced by Jehovah for the first time when He selected Israel to be the covenant nation. So much is true, indeed, that before the adoption of Israel as the first-born son of Jehovah (Exodus ), it would have been out of place to speak of sons of Jehovah; but the notion is false, or at least incapable of proof, that there were not children of God in the olden time, long before Abraham's call, and that, if there were, they could not have been called "sons of Elohim." The idea was not first introduced in connection with the theocracy, and extended thence to a more universal signification. It had its roots in the divine image, and therefore was general in its application from the very first; and it was not till God in the character of Jehovah chose Abraham and his seed to be the vehicles of salvation, and left the heathen nations to go their own way, that the expression received the specifically theocratic signification of "son of Jehovah," to be again liberated and expanded into the more comprehensive idea of νι&#;οθεσι&#;α του&#; &#x;εου&#; (i.e., Elohim, not του&#; κυρι&#;ου equals Jehovah), at the coming of Christ, the Saviour of all nations. If in the olden time there were pious men who, like Enoch and Noah, walked with Elohim, or who, even if they did not stand in this close priestly relation to God, made the divine image a reality through their piety and fear of God, then there were sons (children) of God, for whom the only correct appellation was "sons of Elohim," since sonship to Jehovah was introduced with the call of Israel, so that it could only have been proleptically that the children of God in the old world could be called "sons of Jehovah." But if it be still argued, that in mere prose the term "sons of God" could not have been applied to children of God, or pious men, this would be equally applicable to "sons of Jehovah." On the other hand, there is this objection to our applying it to angels, that the pious, who walked with God and called upon the name of the Lord, had been mentioned just before, whereas no allusion had been made to angels, not even to their creation.

Again, the antithesis "sons of God" and "daughters of men" does not prove that the former were angels. It by no means follows, that because in Genesis &#;&#;&#;&#; denotes man as a genus, i.e., the whole human race, it must do the same in Genesis , where the expression "daughters of men" is determined by the antithesis "sons of God." And with reasons existing for understanding by the sons of God and the daughters of men two species of the genus &#;&#;&#;&#;, mentioned in Genesis , no valid objection can be offered to the restriction of &#;&#;&#;&#;, through the antithesis Elohim, to all men with the exception of the sons of God; since this mode of expression is by no means unusual in Hebrew. "From the expression 'daughters of men," as Dettinger observes, "it by no means follows that the sons of God were not men; any more than it follows from Jeremiah , where it is said that God had done miracles 'in Israel, and among men,' or from Isaiah , where God says He will give men for the Israelites, or from Judges , where Samson says, that if he is bound with seven green withs he shall be as weak as a man, for from Psalm , where it is said of the ungodly they are not in trouble as men, that the Israelites, or Samson, or the ungodly, were not men at all. In all these passages &#;&#;&#; (men) denotes the remainder of mankind in distinction from those who are especially named." Cases occur, too, even in simple prose, in which the same term is used, first in a general, and then directly afterwards in a more restricted sense. We need cite only one, which occurs in Judg. In Judges reference is made to the coming of the children of Israel (i.e., of the twelve tribes) out of Egypt; and directly afterwards (Judges ) it is related that "all the children of Israel," "all the tribes of Israel," assembled together (to make war, as we learn from Judges , upon Benjamin); and in the whole account of the war, Judges 20 and 21, the tribes of Israel are distinguished from the tribe of Benjamin: so that the expression "tribes of Israel" really means the rest of the tribes with the exception of Benjamin. And yet the Benjamites were Israelites. Why then should the fact that the sons of God are distinguished from the daughters of men prove that the former could not be men? There is not force enough in these two objections to compel us to adopt the conclusion that the sons of God were angels.

The question whether the "sons of Elohim" were celestial or terrestrial sons of God (angels or pious men of the family of Seth) can only be determined from the context, and from the substance of the passage itself, that is to say, from what is related respecting the conduct of the sons of God and its results. That the connection does not favour the idea of their being angels, is acknowledged even by those who adopt this view. "It cannot be denied," says Delitzsch, "that the connection of Genesis with Genesis 4 necessitates the assumption, that such intermarriages (of the Sethite and Cainite families) did take place about the time of the flood (cf. Matthew ; Luke ); and the prohibition of mixed marriages under the law (Exodus ; cf. Genesis ; Genesis ) also favours the same idea." But this "assumption" is placed beyond all doubt, by what is here related of the sons of God. In Genesis it is stated that "the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose," i.e., of any with whose beauty they were charmed; and these wives bare children to them (Genesis ). Now &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#; (to take a wife) is a standing expression throughout the whole of the Old Testament for the marriage relation established by God at the creation, and is never applied to πορνει&#;α, or the simple act of physical connection. This is quite sufficient of itself to exclude any reference to angels. For Christ Himself distinctly states that the angels cannot marry (Matthew ; Mark ; cf. Luke ). And when Kurtz endeavours to weaken the force of these words of Christ, by arguing that they do not prove that it is impossible for angels so to fall from their original holiness as to sink into an unnatural state; this phrase has no meaning, unless by conclusive analogies, or the clear testimony of Scripture,

(Note: We cannot admit that there is any force in Hoffmann's argument in his Schriftbeweis 1, p. , that "the begetting of children on the part of angels is not more irreconcilable with a nature that is not organized, like that of man, on the basis of sexual distinctions, than partaking of food is with a nature that is altogether spiritual; and yet food was eaten by the angels who visited Abraham." For, in the first place, the eating in this case was a miracle wrought through the condescending grace of the omnipotent God, and furnishes no standard for judging what angels can do by their own power in rebellion against God. And in the second place, there is a considerable difference between the act of eating on the part of the angels of God who appeared in human shape, and the taking of wives and begetting of children on the part of sinning angels. We are quite unable also to accept as historical testimony, the myths of the heathen respecting demigods, sons of gods, and the begetting of children on the part of their gods, or the fables of the book of Enoch (ch. 6ff.) about the angels, with their leaders, who lusted after the beautiful and delicate daughters of men, and who came down from heaven and took to themselves wives, with whom they begat giants of (or according to one MS ) cubits in height.

Nor do 2 Peter and Jde furnish any evidence of angel marriages. Peter is merely speaking of sinning angels in general (α&#;γγε&#;λων α&#;μαρτησα&#;ντων) whom God did not spare, and not of any particular sin on the part of a small number of angels; and Jude describes these angels as του&#;ς μη&#; τηρη&#;σαντας τη&#;ν ε&#;αυτω&#;ν α&#;ρχη&#;ν α&#;λλα&#; α&#;πολιπο&#;ντας το&#; ι&#;&#;διον οι&#;κητη&#;ριον, those who kept not their princedom, their position as rulers, but left their own habitation. There is nothing here about marriages with the daughters of men or the begetting of children, even if we refer the word του&#;τοις in the clause το&#;ν ο&#;&#;μοιον του&#;τοις τρο&#;πον ε&#;κπορνευ&#;σασαι in Jde to the angels mentioned in Jde ; for ε&#;κπορνευ&#;ειν, the commission of fornication, would be altogether different from marriage, that is to say, from a conjugal bond that was permanent even though unnatural. But it is neither certain nor probable that this is the connection of του&#;τοις. Huther, the latest commentator upon this Epistle, who gives the preference to this explanation of του&#;τοις, and therefore cannot be accused of being biassed by doctrinal prejudices, says distinctly in the 2nd Ed. of his commentary, "του&#;τοις may be grammatically construed as referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, or per synesin to the inhabitants of these cities; but in that case the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah would only be mentioned indirectly." There is nothing in the rules of syntax, therefore, to prevent our connecting the word with Sodom and Gomorrah; and it is not a fact, that "grammaticae et logicae praecepta compel us to refer this word to the angels," as G. v. Zeschwitz says. But the very same reason which Huther assigns for not connecting it with Sodom and Gomorrah, may be also assigned for not connecting it with the angels, namely, that in that case the sin of the angels would only be mentioned indirectly. We regard Philippi's explanation (in his Glaubenslehre iii. p. ) as a possible one, viz., that the word του&#;τοις refers back to the α&#;&#;νθρωποι α&#;σελγει&#;ς mentioned in Jde , and as by no means set aside by De Wette's objection, that the thought of Jde would be anticipated in that case; for this objection is fully met by the circumstance, that not only does the word ου&#;&#;τοι, which is repeated five times from Jde onwards, refer back to these men, but even the word του&#;τοις in Jde also. On the other hand, the reference of του&#;τοις to the angels is altogether precluded by the clause και&#; α&#;πελθου&#;σαι ο&#;πι&#;σω σαρκο&#;ς ε&#;τε&#;ρας, which follows the word ε&#;κπορνευ&#;σασαι. For fornication on the part of the angels could only consist in their going after flesh, or, as Hoffmann expresses it, "having to do with flesh, for which they were not created," but not in their going after other, or foreign flesh. There would be no sense in the word ε&#;τε&#;ρας unless those who were ε&#;κπορνευ&#;σαντες were themselves possessed of σα&#;ρξ; so that this is the only alternative, either we must attribute to the angels a σα&#;ρξ or fleshly body, or the idea of referring του&#;τοις to the angels must be given up. When Kurtz replies to this by saying that "to angels human bodies are quite as much a ε&#;τε&#;ρα σα&#;ρξ, i.e., a means of sensual gratification opposed to their nature and calling, as man can be to human man," he hides the difficulty, but does not remove it, by the ambiguous expression "opposed to their nature and calling." The ε&#;τε&#;ρα σα&#;ρξ must necessarily presuppose an ι&#;δι&#;α σα&#;ρξ.

But it is thought by some, that even if του&#;τοις in Jde do not refer to the angels in Jde , the words of Jude agree so thoroughly with the tradition of the book of Enoch respecting the fall of the angels, that we must admit the allusion to the Enoch legend, and so indirectly to Genesis 6, since Jude could not have expressed himself more clearly to persons who possessed the book of Enoch, or were acquainted with the tradition it contained. Now this conclusion would certainly be irresistible, if the only sin of the angels mentioned in the book of Enoch, as that for which they were kept in chains of darkness still the judgment-day, had been their intercourse with human wives. For the fact that Jude was acquainted with the legend of Enoch, and took for granted that the readers of his Epistle were so too, is evident from his introducing a prediction of Enoch in Jde , Jde , which is to be found in ch. i. 9 of Dillmann's edition of the book of Enoch. But it is admitted by all critical writers upon this book, that in the book of Enoch which has been edited by Dillmann, and is only to be found in an Ethiopic version, there are contradictory legends concerning the fall and judgment of the angels; that the book itself is composed of earlier and later materials; and that those very sections (ch. , etc.) in which the legend of the angel marriages is given without ambiguity, belong to the so-called book of Noah, i.e., to a later portion of the Enoch legend, which is opposed in many passages to the earlier legend. The fall of the angels is certainly often referred to in the earlier portions of the work; but among all the passages adduced by Dillmann in proof of this, there is only one () which mentions the angels who had taken wives. In the others, the only thing mentioned as the sin of the angels or of the hosts of Azazel, is the fact that they were subject to Satan, and seduced those who dwelt on the earth (), or that they came down from heaven to earth, and revealed to the children of men what was hidden from them, and then led them astray to the commission of sin (). There is nothing at all here about their taking wives. Moreover, in the earlier portions of the book, besides the fall of the angels, there is frequent reference made to a fall, i.e., an act of sin, on the part of the stars of heaven and the army of heaven, which transgressed the commandment of God before they rose, by not appearing at their appointed time (vid., ; ; , 24, etc.); and their punishment and place of punishment are described, in just the same manner as in the case of the wicked angels, as a prison, a lofty and horrible place in which the seven stars of heaven lie bound like great mountains and flaming with fire (), as an abyss, narrow and deep, dreadful and dark, in which the star which fell first from heaven is lying, bound hand and foot (, cf. ). From these passages it is quite evident, that the legend concerning the fall of the angels and stars sprang out of Isaiah ("And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall visit the host of the height [&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;, the host of heaven, by which stars and angels are to be understood on high i.e., the spiritual powers of the heavens] and the kings of the earth upon the earth, and they shall be gathered together, bound in the dungeon, and shut up in prison, and after many days they shall be punished"), along with Isaiah ("How art thou fallen from heaven, thou beautiful morning star!"), and that the account of the sons of God in Genesis 6, as interpreted by those who refer it to the angels, was afterwards combined and amalgamated with it.

Now if these different legends, describing the judgment upon the stars that fell from heaven, and the angels that followed Satan in seducing man, in just the same manner as the judgment upon the angels who begot giants from women, were in circulation at the time when the Epistle of Jude was written; we must not interpret the sin of the angels, referred to by Peter and Jude, in a one-sided manner, and arbitrarily connect it with only such passages of the book of Enoch as speak of angel marriages, to the entire disregard of all the other passages, which mention totally different sins as committed by the angels, that are punished with bands of darkness; but we must interpret it from what Jude himself has said concerning this sin, as Peter gives no further explanation of what he means by α&#;μαρτη&#;σαι. Now the only sins that Jude mentions are μη&#; τηρη&#;σαι τη&#;ν ε&#;αυτω&#;ν α&#;ρχη&#;ν and α&#;πολιπει&#;ν το&#; ι&#;&#;διον οι&#;κητη&#;ριον. The two are closely connected. Through not keeping the α&#;ρχη&#; (i.e., the position as rulers in heaven) which belonged to them, and was assigned them at their creation, the angels left "their own habitation" (ι&#;&#;διον οι&#;κητη&#;ριον); just as man, when he broke the commandment of God and failed to keep his position as ruler on earth, also lost "his own habitation" (ι&#;&#;διον οι&#;κητη&#;ριον), that is to say, not paradise alone, but the holy body of innocence also, so that he needed a covering for his nakedness, and will continue to need it, until we are "clothed upon with our hose which is from heaven" (οι&#;κητη&#;ριον η&#;μω&#;ν ε&#;ξ ου&#;ρανου&#;). In this description of the angels' sin, there is not the slightest allusion to their leaving heaven to woo the beautiful daughters of men. The words may be very well interpreted, as they were by the earlier Christian theologians, as relating to the fall of Satan and his angels, to whom all that is said concerning their punishment fully applies. If Jude had had the πορνει&#;α of the angels, mentioned in the Enoch legends, in his mind, he would have stated this distinctly, just as he does in v. 9 in the case of the legend concerning Michael and the devil, and in v. 11 in that of Enoch's prophecy. There was all the more reason for his doing this, because not only to contradictory accounts of the sin of the angels occur in the Enoch legends, but a comparison of the parallels cited from the book of Enoch proves that he deviated from the Enoch legend in points of no little importance. Thus, for example, according to Enoch , "iron chains of immense weight" are prepared for the hosts of Azazel, to put them into the lowest hell, and cast them on that great day into the furnace with flaming fire. Now Jude and Peter say nothing about iron chains, and merely mention "everlasting chains under darkness" and "chains of darkness." Again, according to Enoch , the angel sinners are "bound fast under the earth for seventy generations, till the day of judgment and their completion, till the last judgment shall be held for all eternity." Peter and Jude make no allusion to this point of time, and the supporters of the angel marriages, therefore, have thought well to leave it out when quoting this parallel to Jde Under these circumstances, the silence of the apostles as to either marriages or fornication on the part of the sinful angels, is a sure sign that they gave no credence to these fables of a Jewish gnosticizing tradition.)

it can be proved that the angels either possess by nature a material corporeality adequate to the contraction of a human marriage, or that by rebellion against their Creator they can acquire it, or that there are some creatures in heaven and on earth which, through sinful degeneracy, or by sinking into an unnatural state, can become possessed of the power, which they have not by nature, of generating and propagating their species. As man could indeed destroy by sin the nature which he had received from his Creator, but could not by his own power restore it when destroyed, to say nothing of implanting an organ or a power that was wanting before; so we cannot believe that angels, through apostasy from God, could acquire sexual power of which they had previously been destitute.

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Genesis 6 Bible Commentary

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Chapter Contents

The wickedness of the world which provoked God's wrath. () Noah finds grace. () Noah warned of the flood, The directions respecting the ark. () Noah's faith and obedience. (22)

Commentary on Genesis

(Read Genesis )

The most remarkable thing concerning the old world, is the destroying of it by the deluge, or flood. We are told of the abounding iniquity of that wicked world: God's just wrath, and his holy resolution to punish it. In all ages there has been a peculiar curse of God upon marriages between professors of true religion and its avowed enemies. The evil example of the ungodly party corrupts or greatly hurts the other. Family religion is put an end to, and the children are trained up according to the worldly maxims of that parent who is without the fear of God. If we profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, we must not marry without his consent. He will never give his blessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or worldly honours, to faith and holiness. The Spirit of God strove with men, by sending Enoch, Noah, and perhaps others, to preach to them; by waiting to be gracious, notwithstanding their rebellions; and by exciting alarm and convictions in their consciences. But the Lord declared that his Spirit should not thus strive with men always; he would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripened for destruction. This he determined on, because man was flesh: not only frail and feeble, but carnal and depraved; having misused the noble powers of his soul to gratify his corrupt inclinations. God sees all the wickedness that is among the children of men; it cannot be hid from him now; and if it be not repented of, it shall be made known by him shortly. The wickedness of a people is great indeed, when noted sinners are men renowned among them. Very much sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that the wickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination, or purpose, of the thoughts of man's heart, was only evil continually. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. The heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were corrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs and devices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving how to do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man's wickedness as one injured and wronged by it. He saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which grieves him, and makes him wish he had been childless. The words here used are remarkable; they are used after the manner of men, and do not mean that God can change, or be unhappy. Does God thus hate our sin? And shall not we be grieved to the heart for it? Oh that we may look on Him whom we have grieved, and mourn! God repented that he had made man; but we never find him repent that he redeemed man. God resolves to destroy man: the original word is very striking, 'I will wipe off man from the earth,' as dirt or filth is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and is thrown to the dunghill, the proper place for it. God speaks of man as his own creature, when he resolves upon his punishment. Those forfeit their lives who do not answer the end of their living. God speaks of resolution concerning men, after his Spirit had been long striving with them in vain. None are punished by the justice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the grace of God.

Commentary on Genesis

(Read Genesis )

Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he condemned the world: but he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and this made him more truly honourable than the men of renown. Let this be our chief desire, let us labour that we may be accepted of him. When the rest of the world was wicked, Noah kept his integrity. God's good-will towards Noah produced this good work in him. He was a just man, that is, justified before God, by faith in the promised Seed. As such he was made holy, and had right principles; and was righteous in his conversation. He was not only honest, but devout; it was his constant care to do the will of God. God looks down upon those with an eye of favour, who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it shows strong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him; Noah did so. All kinds of sin were found among men. They corrupted God's worship. Sin fills the earth with violence, and this fully justified God's resolution to destroy the world. The contagion spread. When wickedness is become general, ruin is not far off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be long kept off; but when all hands are at work to pull down the fences, by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be expected but a flood of wrath?

Commentary on Genesis

(Read Genesis )

God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world by water. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, Psalm It is with all believers, enabling them to understand and apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. God chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the world. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects his children, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off his enemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is the first place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; it seems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence; that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant of grace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make an ark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted to float upon the waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul's cathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largest ships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in making that which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial of his faith and obedience. Both the providence of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gave Noah particular orders how to make the ark, which could not therefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noah that he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What we do in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to have the benefit of. The piety of parents gets their children good in this life, and furthers them in the way to eternal life, if they improve it.

Commentary on Genesis

(Read Genesis )

Noah's faith triumphed over all corrupt reasonings. To rear so large a building, such a one as he never saw, and to provide food for the living creatures, would require from him a great deal of care, and labour, and expense. His neighbours would laugh at him. But all such objections, Noah, by faith, got over; his obedience was ready and resolute. Having begun to build, he did not leave off till he had finished: so did he, and so must we do. He feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. And in the warning given to Noah, there is a more solemn warning given to us, to flee from the wrath to come, which will sweep the world of unbelievers into the pit of destruction. Christ, the true Noah, which same shall comfort us, hath by his sufferings already prepared the ark, and kindly invites us by faith to enter in. While the day of his patience continues, let us hear and obey his voice.

  1. Bible > Bible Commentary
  2. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)
  3. Genesis
  4. Genesis 6
Sours: https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary/mhc/genesis/6
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Genesis fascinates many Bible readers because of the mysterious identity of both the “sons of God” and the Nephilim. Sadly, many modern theologians pay little attention to this passage because they hold the pedestrian view that the “sons of God” refers to the godly line of Seth. Other modern scholars have argued that the “sons of God” refers to a kingly line.

However, the traditional view of both pre-Christian Judaism and the early church was that the “sons of God” were spirit beings/angels who took human wives and produced giants known as the Nephilim. This view has become less popular today, probably due to our modern aversion to the supernatural. While the modern Christian may reluctantly embrace the Bible’s teaching about Christ’s virgin birth and resurrection, the idea of human and spirit-bred giants is just too far-fetched. Even John Calvin called this view “absurd”! However, there are strong textual reasons for adopting the traditional view. Here is the passage:

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then Yahweh said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown (Genesis ).

This passage leads into the story of the flood (Genesis –), as God saw that “the wickedness of man was great” and that “the earth was filled with violence.” God therefore decided to send a flood to wipe out humanity (Genesis , 11). But why were men all of a sudden so violent? Was it because the godly line mixed with the ungodly line? Or was it, at least in part, because humanity had mixed with spirit beings? I would like to argue for the latter.

Seven Arguments For the Traditional View

Here are seven arguments in support of the traditional view that the “sons of God” were spirit beings who mated with human women and produced the Nephilim:

  1. The phrase “sons of God” elsewhere in the Old Testament refers to spirit beings/angels. The “sons of God” (Genesis , 4) is a phrase used three other times in the Bible outside of Genesis 6—Job ; ; In all three of these instances the “sons of God” are spirit/angelic beings, including Satan himself. The use of the phrase in Job suggests that Genesis 6 is speaking of spirits/angels.

  2. Genesis contrasts the “sons of God” with “man,” implying that these are non-human beings. Genesis says that “man began to multiply” and “daughters were born to them.” The Hebrew word for “man” (adam) is the generic term for mankind, as used in Genesis Nothing in the text suggests that only “some” men (either ungodly men or kings) were having children in Genesis Rather, the “sons of God” (v. 2) are contrasted with “man”—thus the “sons of God” were distinct from “man” and were marrying daughters of all mankind. The “sons of God” must therefore be non-human beings of some sort.

  3. The view that the “sons of God” refers to the godly line requires the unlikely explanation that the ungodly women were far more “attractive” than the godly women. Genesis only mentions the pursuit of human “daughters” and not sons—“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them.” The “sons of God” then saw that these women were “attractive” (tovot) and thus took them as their wives (Genesis ). If Genesis 6 is about the intermarriage between the godly line (the Sethites) and the ungodly line (the Cainites), it is odd that only godly men were marrying ungodly women and not ungodly men marrying godly women. Were the godly women just that unattractive? The traditional view offers a much better explanation—as humanity began to multiply, the spirit beings found these human women to be sexually “attractive.”

  4. Immediately following the reference to intermarriage, God says He will judge man because he is “flesh” (Genesis ), implying that humans were trying to become more than normal “flesh” by marrying spirit beings. In Genesis , God says, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be years.” This suggests vv. refer to humans trying to become more than normal human “flesh” and live “forever.” Humans were going along with the intermarriage with spirit beings in the quest for immortality. God says He will not put up with this because humans are mortal (“flesh”), and He therefore decreases their maximum lifespan to years. (This could also mean He will wipe them out with a flood in years.) Ages steadily decline in Genesis 11, and it becomes rare that anyone exceeds years of age.

  5. The context implies that the Nephilim were the resulting offspring of spirit beings and humans. The Nephilim (Hebrew נְּפִלִ֞ים, “fallen ones;” the Greek LXX has γίγαντες, “giants”) in Genesis are mysterious characters—“the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.” The text does not explicate how the Nephilim got there. It simply says, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them.”[1] But why are the Nephilim mentioned in the same passage as the intermarriage of the “sons of God” and “daughters of man” here in Genesis 6? It is unclear how these mighty men of renown came about if they were not the product of intermarriage between spirit beings and humans.

  6. Jude likely understands Genesis to refer to the intermarriage between spirit beings and humans. Jude 6 speaks of “angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling.” Unless Jude is speaking of an unknown event, he seems to be referencing the angels of Genesis who left heaven to live on earth. (Jude seems to be adopting the view of the Apocryphal 1 Enoch 7, which references Genesis and makes the angel explanation explicit.) This becomes even clearer when Jude compares these angels to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, “which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire" [literally “other flesh”] (Jude 7). We know that Sodom and Gomorrah sexually pursued “other flesh” in that they practiced homosexuality (Genesis ). (Though “men” in the passage were angels, which could also explain the “other flesh.”) What “other flesh” did angels “likewise” pursue? This only makes sense if Jude is referring to the angels of Genesis pursuing sexual relations with humans. (Recall Genesis , where God calls man “flesh.”)

  7. The Bible never rules out the sexual capabilities of spirit beings/angels. The primary objection to the traditional interpretation of Genesis is that Jesus teaches that angels do not marry. While Jesus does imply that angels do not marry or have sexual relations, notice that Jesus only speaks of angels in heaven and not of fallen angels on earth—“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew ). Jesus says nothing about the sexual capabilities of angels, leaving open the possibility that they are capable of sexual relations but refrain from such in heaven. Further, the Sodom and Gomorrah story implies that angels have such sexual capabilities. They were at least perceived by the Sodomites as beings that could be raped (Genesis ).

These arguments form a strong case for the traditional view that the “sons of God” mated with human women and produced the Nephilim. Though this sounds odd to our modern ears, the same could be said for the entire Bible. Truth is stranger than fiction, and the world God has created is far different from what we often think.

Sours: https://knowingscripture.com/articles/who-were-the-sons-of-god-and-the-nephilim-genesis

Genesis chapter 6

New International Version

1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, 'My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.'

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--and also afterward--when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created--and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground--for I regret that I have made them.' 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, 'I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.'

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

English Standard Version

1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, &#;My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be years.&#; 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the LORD said, &#;I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.&#; 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God&#;s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, &#;I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons&#; wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.&#; 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

King James Version

1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 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.

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.

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. 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 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 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.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

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. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

New American Standard Bible

1 Now it came about, when mankind began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, 'My Spirit will not remain with man forever, because he is also flesh; nevertheless his days shall be years.' 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of mankind, 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 mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 So the LORD was sorry that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 Then the LORD said, 'I will wipe out mankind whom I have created from the face of the land; mankind, and animals as well, and crawling things, and the birds of the sky. For I am sorry that I have made them.' 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for humanity had corrupted its way upon the earth.

13 Then God said to Noah, 'The end of humanity has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of people; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and put the door of the ark on the side; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 Now behold, I Myself am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which there is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kind, and of the animals according to their kind, of every crawling thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself some of every food that is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and them.' 22 So Noah did these things; according to everything that God had commanded him, so he did.

New Living Translation

1 Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the LORD said, 'My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than years.'

4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

5 The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the LORD said, 'I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing--all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.' 8 But Noah found favor with the LORD.

9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, 'I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

14 'Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. 15 Make the boat feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 Leave an inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat--lower, middle, and upper.

17 'Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat--you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal--a male and a female--into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. 20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.'

22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

Christian Standard Bible

1 When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. 3 And the LORD said, "My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.

5 When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky--for I regret that I made them." 8 Noah, however, found favor with the LORD.

9 These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, "I have decided to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth.

14 "Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and outside. 15 This is how you are to make it: The ark will be feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 You are to make a roof, finishing the sides of the ark to within eighteen inches of the roof. You are to put a door in the side of the ark. Make it with lower, middle, and upper decks.

17 "Understand that I am bringing a flood--floodwaters on the earth to destroy every creature under heaven with the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives. 19 You are also to bring into the ark two of all the living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of everything--from the birds according to their kinds, from the livestock according to their kinds, and from the animals that crawl on the ground according to their kinds--will come to you so that you can keep them alive. 21 Take with you every kind of food that is eaten; gather it as food for you and for them." 22 And Noah did this. He did everything that God had commanded him.

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/Genesis/6/Genesis-chapterhtml

6 meaning of genesis

Genesis 6 – Man’s Wickedness; God Calls Noah

A. The wickedness of man in the days of Noah.

1. () Intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men.

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.

a. When men began to multiply on the face of the earth: During these days of rapid population expansion (especially because of long lifespans in the pre-flood world), there was a problem with ungodly intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men.

b. The sons of God saw the daughters of men: Many have believed the sons of God were those from the line of Seth, and the daughters of men were from the line of Cain, and this describes an intermarriage between the godly and the ungodly, something God specifically prohibits (Deuteronomy , 2 Corinthians ).

i. But this approach leaves many unanswered questions: Why did this make God angry enough to wipe out almost all the earth’s population? Why was there something unusual about the offspring of these unions (Genesis )? The idea that these were believers marrying unbelievers doesn’t seem to fit the record of the text.

c. The sons of God saw the daughters of men: It is more accurate to see the sons of God as either demons (angels in rebellion against God) or uniquely demon-possessed men, and the daughters of men as human women.

i. The phrase sons of God clearly refers to angelic creatures when it is used the three other times in the Old Testament (Job , , and ). The translators of the Septuagint translated sons of God as angels. Those ancient translators clearly thought sons of God referred to angelic beings, not to people descended from Seth.

ii. Jude 6 tells us of the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation. Jude goes on (Jude 7) to tell us they sinned in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Here in Genesis 6, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, there was an unnatural sexual union.

iii. It is useless to speculate on the nature of this union. Whether it was brought about by something like demon possession, or whether these angelic beings had power permanently to assume the form of men is not revealed. But we should understand the occult is filled with sexual associations with the demonic, and there are those today who actively pursue such associations.

iv. Jude 6 also makes it clear what God did with these wicked angels. They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day for not keeping their proper place. Their sinful pursuit of freedom has put them in bondage.

v. 1 Peter tells us Jesus went to these disobedient spirits in their prison and proclaimed His victory on the cross over them.

vi. An objection offered to this understanding is found in Matthew , where Jesus said angels neither marry nor are given in marriage; but Jesus never said angels were sexless, and He was also speaking about faithful angelic beings (angels of God in heaven), not rebellious ones.

vii. From the book of 1 Enoch, which is not inspired scripture, but may still contain some accurate accounts: “And it came to pass that the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children&#; ’ [They] took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments&#; And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants&#; And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.”

d. And they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose: We can deduce why Satan sent his angels to intermarry (either directly or indirectly) with human women. Satan tried to pollute the genetic pool of mankind with a satanic corruption, to put something like a genetic virus to make the human race unfit for bringing forth the Seed of the woman – the Messiah – promised in Genesis

i. “The Savior could not be born of a demon-possessed mother. So if Satan could succeed in infecting the entire race, the deliverer could not come.” (Boice)

ii. And Satan almost succeeded. The race was so polluted that God found it necessary to start again with Noah and his sons, and to imprison the demons that did this so they could never do this again.

2. () God’s response to this great wickedness.

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.

a. My Spirit shall not strive with man forever: God did not allow the human race to stay in this rebellious place forever. This means there is a point of no return in our rejection of God. God will not woo us forever; there is a point where He will say “no more.”

i. All the more reason for us to say today is the day we will respond to Jesus instead of waiting for another day. We have no promise God will draw us some other day.

b. Yet his days will be one hundred and twenty years: This is not the outside lifespan of man but the time left until the judgment of the flood. The flood happened years after this announcement.

c. Giants on the earth in those days: This refers to the unnatural offspring of the union between the sons of God and the daughters of men, though there were people of unusual size on the earth both before and after the flood (and also afterward). These ones before the flood were unique because of the demonic element of their parentage. They were the mighty men of old, men of renown.

3. () The great wickedness of man in Noah’s day.

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. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “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.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

a. Every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually: This says a lot. It means there was no aspect of man’s nature not corrupted by sin.

i. “A more emphatic statement of the wickedness of the human heart is hardly conceivable.” (Vriezen, quoted in Kidner)

ii. Jesus said, as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew ). In other words, the conditions of the world before the coming of Jesus will be like the conditions of the world before the flood:

· Exploding population (Genesis ).

· Sexual perversion (Genesis ).

· Demonic activity (Genesis ).

· Constant evil in the heart of man (Genesis ).

· Widespread corruption and violence (Genesis ).

b. The LORD was sorry that He had made man&#; He was grieved in His heart: God’s sorrow at man, and the grief in His heart are striking. This does not mean that creation was out of control, nor does it mean that God hoped for something better but was unable to achieve it. God knew all along that this was how things would turn out, but our text clearly tells us that as God sees His plan for the ages unfold, it affects Him. God is not unfeeling in the face of human sin and rebellion.

c. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD: While God commanded all the earth to be cleansed of this pollution, He found one man with whom to begin again: Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Noah didn’t earn grace; he found it. No one earns grace, but we can all find it.

i. It was true then, and it is true today: But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans ).

B. God calls Noah to build the Ark.

1. () Noah and his sons.

This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

a. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations: This description of Noah – unique to him – not only refers to the righteous life of Noah, but also to the fact he was yet uncorrupted by Satan’s attempt to sow something like a virus among the genetic pool of mankind. We could translate perfect in his generations as, “Noah was pure in his genetic profile.”

i. “Did Noah live a perfect life? No, speaking popularly, and as the Scripture often speaks, we may say that Noah’s character was a righteous one. There must have been flaws in it; and, certainly, after this time, there was one great sad flaw, of which it is not necessary now to speak more particularly, still, God regarded him as righteous.” (Spurgeon)

ii. Spurgeon pointed out that we can know that Noah had the righteousness that is of faith because as soon as the floodwaters had dried up and he left the ark, he offered sacrifices (Genesis ).

b. Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth: Noah’s three sons will figure into the account in a significant way. God will use them as a foundation for the rest of the human race.

2. () The corruption of the earth and the grace of God.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

a. The earth also was corrupt&#; and the earth was filled with violence: Because of the corruption and violence on the earth, and the extent of the corruption, God told Noah that He would judge the wicked along with the earth.

b. I will destroy them with the earth: Some wonder if this is too harsh a judgment, or if this shows God to be cruel or a monster. However, since the fall in Genesis 3, every human being has a death sentence. The timing and method of that death are completely in the hands of God.

i. “On what grounds would God be told that He can bring death to millions of people at the end of a ‘normal’ lifespan, but that He may not do it in any other way?” (Barnhouse)

ii. In addition, it points to a deep and serious problem in the world at that time, something far beyond the problem of believers marrying those who do not believe.

c. And God said to Noah: God told all of this to Noah with the intention of saving Noah and his family. In the midst of such corruption and judgment, there is also grace. Instead of wiping out the entire race, God preserved a remnant.

3. () God tells Noah to build an ark.

“Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.”

a. Make yourself: This means this was Noah’s project. He was not to simply contract it out to someone else.

b. This is how you shall make it: The ark was as long as a story building is high (about feet or meters), and it was about 75 feet (25 meters) wide and 45 feet (15 meters) high. What is described is not really a boat, but a well-ventilated barge meant only to float and not to sail anywhere. After all, an ark is a chest, not a ship; this refers to the shoebox shape of the vessel.

i. The ark, roughly the shape of a shoebox, was plenty large enough (about the size of the Titanic), and had a cubit-wide opening (18 inches, one-half meter) all the way around the top.

ii. It was not until that a boat bigger than the ark was built. The ark was certainly big enough to do the job. If the ark carried two of every family of animals, there were around pairs of animals; but if the ark carried two of every species of animals, there were around 35, pairs of animals.

iii. The average size of a land animal is smaller than a sheep. The ark could carry , sheep in half of its capacity, leaving plenty of room for people, food, water, and whatever other provisions were needed.

c. You shall make it: God had not yet told Noah why he must build an ark. At this point, all Noah knew was that God will judge the earth, and he was supposed to build a big barge. Since it had not rained yet on the earth, it is reasonable to suppose Noah didn’t know what God was meant yet.

d. You shall make it: And Noah did make it. Beyond the Bible, there is rich historical evidence for the reality of Noah’s Ark.

i. In b.c., Berosus, a Babylonian historian, wrote: “But of this ship that grounded in Armenia some part still remains in the mountains&#; and some get pitch from the ship by scraping it off.”

ii. Around a.d. 75, Josephus said the locals collected relics from the ark and showed them off to this very day. He also said all the ancient historians he knew of wrote about the ark.

iii. In a.d. , Theophilus of Antioch wrote: “the remains [of the ark] are to this day to be seen&#; in the mountains.”

iv. An elderly Armenian man in America said that as a boy, he visited the ark with his father and three atheistic scientists in Their goal was to disprove the ark’s existence, but they found it and became so enraged they tried to destroy it, but could not because it was too big and had petrified. In one of the atheistic scientists (an Englishman) admitted on his deathbed the whole story was true.

iv. In a distinguished British statesman and author, Viscount James Bryce, climbed Ararat and reported finding a four-foot long piece of hand-tooled timber at an altitude of more than 13, feet (4, meters).

vi. Six Turkish soldiers claimed to see the ark in

vii. In the early part of this century, a Russian aviator named Vladimire Rokovitsky claimed the discovery of Noah’s ark. He was stationed in southern Russia near the Turkish border and Mount Ararat. As he tested a plane he and his co-pilot flew over Ararat and discovered on the edge of a glacier what he described as a boat the size of a battleship. He said it was partially submerged in a lake, and he could see there was an opening for a door nearly 20 feet (7 meters) square, but the door was missing. Rokovitsky told his commanding officer and an expedition was dispatched to find the ark and photograph it. The report was forwarded to the Czar, who was soon overthrown and the photos and the report perished.

viii. In a young British archaeologist named Hardwicke Knight hiked across Ararat and discovered interlocking hand-tooled timbers at a height of 14, feet (4, meters).

ix. During World War II two pilots saw and photographed something they believed was the ark on Mount Ararat.

x. There have been many more recent attempts to find and document the ark, but they have been hindered by politics and surrounded by controversy.

e. Cover it inside and outside with pitch: The pitch worked to waterproof the wood. God told Noah to cover it with pitch inside and outside, which makes it possible that the ark was preserved for a long time. It is possible God still has a purpose for the ark, to use it to remind the world of a past judgment shortly before a future judgment.

i. Peter, in 2 Peter , relates the future judgment to the judgment of the flood saying, unbelievers willfully forget&#; the world that then existed perished being flooded with water. Perhaps, before Jesus returns, God will make it even more necessary for people to willfully forget these things.

ii. Because of this mention of pitch (a petroleum product) in what most people think is the Middle East, it is said that John D. Rockefeller looked for (and found) oil in that region based on this verse.

4. () Why the ark must be built and what Noah must do.

“And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”

a. Everything that is on the earth shall die: We can only wonder what Noah felt when he heard this remarkable announcement from God. God called Noah to an essential role in the greatest judgment – and greatest salvation – the world had seen.

b. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark: Despite the dramatic judgment coming, God will make a covenant with Noah, and he and his family will be saved. God will also use Noah to save a remnant of each animal so the earth could be populated with people and animals after the flood.

c. Take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself: God also commanded Noah to take all the food he could. There must be a lot of food for Noah and all the animals.

5. (22) Noah’s obedience.

Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

a. Thus Noah did: When given this staggering job to do, Noah did it. We don’t hear of him complaining or rebelling; he simply obeyed.

i. The words, so he did cover an awful lot of material and years; yet Noah did not shrink from what God told him to do.

b. According to all that God commanded him, so he did: The Bible presents Noah as a great hero of God. He was an outstanding example of righteousness (Ezekiel ), a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter ), and Noah condemned the world by offering salvation in the ark that the whole world rejected (Hebrews ).

i. Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter ), yet in his year ministry, it seems that no one was saved.

ii. “The work of building the ark was laborious, costly, tedious, dangerous, and seemingly foolish and ridiculous; especially when all things continued in the same posture and safety for so many scores of years together; whereby Noah, without doubt, was all that while the song of the drunkards, and the sport of the wits of that age. So it is not strange that this is mentioned as an heroic act of faith.” (Poole)

© David Guzik &#; No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Sours: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/genesis-6/
Genesis 6 explained - Who were the sons of God? Nephilim Hybrids? - Genesis 6 Commentary - IGM Ep. 2

Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Genesis 6

Chapter 6

The most remarkable thing we have upon record concerning the old world is the destruction of it by the universal deluge, the account of which commences in this chapter, wherein we have,

  • I. The abounding iniquity of that wicked world (v. , 11, 12).
  • II. The righteous God's just resentment of that abounding iniquity, and his holy resolution to punish it (v. 6, 7).
  • III. The special favour of God to his servant Noah.
    • 1. In the character given of him (v. )
    • 2. In the communication of God's purpose to him (v. 13, 17).
    • 3. In the directions he gave him to make an ark for his own safety (v. ).
    • 4. In the employing of him for the preservation of the rest of the creatures (v. ).
  • Lastly, Noah's obedience to the instructions given him (v. 22). And this concerning the old world is written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the new would have come.

Gen

For the glory of God's justice, and for warning to a wicked world, before the history of the ruin of the old world, we have a full account of its degeneracy, its apostasy from God and rebellion against him. The destroying of it was an act, not of an absolute sovereignty, but of necessary justice, for the maintaining of the honour of God's government. Now here we have an account of two things which occasioned the wickedness of the old world:-

  • 1. The increase of mankind: Men began to multiply upon the face of the earth. This was the effect of the blessing (ch. ), and yet man's corruption so abused and perverted this blessing that it was turned into a curse. Thus sin takes occasion by the mercies of God to be the more exceedingly sinful. Prov. , When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth. The more sinners the more sin; and the multitude of offenders emboldens men. Infectious diseases are most destructive in populous cities; and sin is a spreading leprosy. Thus in the New-Testament church, when the number ofthe disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring (Acts ), and we read of a nation that was multiplied, not to the increase of their joy, Isa. Numerous families need to be well-governed, lest they become wicked families.
  • 2. Mixed marriages (v. 2): The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain: They took them wives of allthat they chose. But what was amiss in these marriages?
    • (1.) They chose only by the eye: Theysaw that they were fair, which was all they looked at.
    • (2.) They followed the choice which their own corrupt affections made: they took all that they chose, without advice and consideration. But,
    • (3.) That which proved of such bad consequence to them was that they married strangewives, were unequally yoked with unbelievers,2 Co. This was forbidden to Israel, Deu. , 4. It was the unhappy occasion of Solomon's apostasy (1 Ki. ), and was of bad consequence to the Jews after their return out of Babylon, Ezra , 2. Note, Professors of religion, in marrying both themselves and their children, should make conscience of keeping within the bounds of profession. The bad will sooner debauch the good than the good reform the bad. Those that profess themselves the children of God must not marry without his consent, which they have not if they join in affinity with his enemies.

Gen

This comes in here as a token of God's displeasure at those who married strange wives; he threatens to withdraw from them his Spirit, whom they had grieved by such marriages, contrary to their convictions: fleshly lusts are often punished with spiritual judgments, the sorest of all judgments. Or as another occasion of the great wickedness of the old world; the Spirit of the Lord, being provoked by their resistance of his motions, ceased to strive with them, and then all religion was soon lost among them. This he warns them of before, that they might not further vex his Holy Spirit, but by their prayers might stay him with them. Observe in this verse,

  • I. God's resolution not always to strive with man by his Spirit. The Spirit then strove by Noah's preaching (1 Pt. , 20) and by inward checks, but it was in vain with the most of men; therefore, says God, He shall not always strive. Note,
    • 1. The blessed Spirit strives with sinners, by the convictions and admonitions of conscience, to turn them from sin to God.
    • 2. If the Spirit be resisted, quenched, and striven against, though he strive long, he will not strive always, Hos.
    • 3. Those are ripening apace for ruin whom the Spirit of grace has left off striving with.
  • II. The reason of this resolution: For that he also is flesh, that is, incurably corrupt, and carnal, and sensual, so that it is labour lost to strive with him. Can the Ethiopian change his skin? He also, that is, All, one as well as another, they have all sunk into the mire of flesh. Note,
    • 1. It is the corrupt nature, and the inclination of the soul towards the flesh, that oppose the Spirit's strivings and render them ineffectual.
    • 2. When a sinner has long adhered to that interest, and sided with the flesh against the Spirit, the Spirit justly withdraws his agency, and strives no more. None lose the Spirit's strivings but those that have first forfeited them.
  • III. A reprieve granted, notwithstanding: Yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years; so long I will defer the judgment they deserve, and give them space to prevent it by their repentance and reformation. Justice said, Cut them down; but mercy interceded, Lord, let themalone this year also; and so far mercy prevailed, that a reprieve was obtained for six-score years. Note, The time of God's patience and forbearance towards provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited: reprieves are not pardons; though God bear a great while, he will not bear always.

Gen

We have here a further account of the corruption of the old world. When the sons of God had matched with the daughters of men, though it was very displeasing to God, yet he did not immediately cut them off, but waited to see what would be the issue of these marriages, and which side the children would take after; and it proved (as usually it does), that they took after the worst side. Here is,

  • I. The temptation they were under to oppress and do violence. They were giants, and they were men of renown; they became too hard for all about them, and carried all before them,
    • 1. With their great bulk, as the sons of Anak, Num.
    • 2. With their great name, as the king of Assyria, Isa. These made them the terror of the mighty in the land of the living; and, thus armed, they daringly insulted the rights of all their neighbours and trampled upon all that is just and sacred. Note, Those that have so much power over others as to be able to oppress them have seldom so much power over themselves as not to oppress; great might is a very great snare to many. This degenerate race slighted the honour their ancestors had obtained by virtue and religion, and made themselves a great name by that which was the perpetual ruin of their good name.
  • II. The charge exhibited and proved against them, v. 5. The evidence produced was incontestable. God saw it, and that was instead of a thousand witnesses. God sees all the wickedness that is among the children of men; it cannot be concealed from him now, and, if it be not repented of, it shall not be concealed by him shortly. Now what did God take notice of?
    • 1. He observed that the streams of sin that flowed along in men's lives, and the breadth and depth of those streams: He saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Observe the connection of this with what goes before: the oppressors were mighty men and men of renown; and, then, God saw that the wickedness of man was great. Note, The wickedness of a people is great indeed when the most notorious sinners are men of renown among them. Things are bad when bad men are not only honoured notwithstanding their wickedness, but honoured for their wickedness, and the vilest men exalted. Wickedness is then great when great men are wicked. Their wickedness was great, that is, abundance of sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people; and such sin as was in its own nature most gross, and heinous, and provoking; it was committed daringly, and with a defiance of heaven, nor was any care taken by those that had power in their hands to restrain and punish it. This God saw. Note, All the sins of sinners are known to God the Judge. Those that are most conversant in the world, though they see much wickedness in it, yet they see but little of that which is; but God sees all, and judges aright concerning it, how great it is, nor can he be deceived in his judgment.
    • 2. He observed the fountain of sin that was in men's hearts. Any one might see that the wickedness ofman was great, for they declared their sin as Sodom; but God's eye went further: He saw thatevery imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually-a sad sight, and very offensive to God's holy eye! This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring: all the violence and oppression, all the luxury and wantonness, that were in the world, proceeded from the corruption of nature; lust conceived them, Jam. See Mt.
      • (1.) The heart was naught; it was deceitful and desperately wicked. The principles were corrupt, and the habits and dispositions evil.
      • (2.) The thoughts of the heart were so. Thought is sometimes taken for the settled judgment or opinion, and this was bribed, and biased, and misled; sometimes it signifies the workings of the fancy, and these were always either vain or vile, either weaving the spider's web or hatching the cockatrice's egg.
      • (3.) The imagination of the thoughts of the heart was so, that is, their designs and devices were wicked. They did not do evil through mere carelessness, as those that walk at all adventures, not heeding what they do; but they did evil deliberately and designedly, contriving how to do mischief. It was bad indeed; for it was only evil, continually evil, and every imagination was so. There was no good to be found among them, no, not at any time: the stream of sin was full, and strong, and constant; and God saw it; see Ps.

Gen

Here is,

  • I. God's resentment of man's wickedness. He did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injured and affronted by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which not only angers him, but grieves him, and makes him wish he had been written childless. The expressions here used are very strange: It repented the Lord that he had made man upon the earth, that he had made a creature of such noble powers and faculties, and had put him on this earth, which he built and furnished on purpose to be a convenient, comfortable, habitation for him; and it grieved him at his heart. These are expressions after the manner of men, and must be understood so as not to reflect upon the honour of God's immutability or felicity.
    • 1. This language does not imply any passion or uneasiness in God (nothing can create disturbance to the Eternal Mind), but it expresses his just and holy displeasure against sin and sinners, against sin as odious to his holiness and against sinners as obnoxious to his justice. He is pressed by the sins of his creatures (Amos ), wearied (Isa. ), broken (Eze. ), grieved (Ps. ), and here grieved to the heart, as men are when they are wronged and abused by those they have been very kind to, and therefore repent of their kindness, and wish they had never fostered that snake in their bosom which now hisses in their face and stings them to the heart. Does God thus hate sin? And shall we not hate it? Has our sin grieved him to the heart? And shall we not be grieved and pricked to the heart for it? O that this consideration may humble us and shame us, and that we may look on him whom we have thus grieved, and mourn! Zec.
    • 2. It does not imply any change of God's mind; for he is in one mind, and who can turn him? With him there is not variableness. But it expressed a change of his way. When God had made man upright, he rested and was refreshed (Ex. ), and his way towards him was such as showed he was pleased with the work of his own hands; but, now that man had apostatized, he could not do otherwise than show himself displeased; so that the change was in man, not in God. God repented that he had made man; but we never find him repenting that he redeemed man (though that was a work of much greater expense), because special and effectual grace is given to secure the great ends of redemption; so that those gifts and callings are without repentance,Rom.
  • II. God's resolution to destroy man for his wickedness, v. 7. Observe,
    • 1. When God repented that he had made man, he resolved to destroy man. Thus those that truly repent of sin will resolve, in the strength of God's grace, to mortify sin and to destroy it, and so to undo what they have done amiss. We do but mock God in saying that we are sorry for our sin, and that it grieves us to the heart, if we continue to indulge it. In vain do we pretend a change of our mind if we do not evidence it by a change of our way.
    • 2. He resolves to destroy man. The original word is very significant: I will wipe off man from the earth (so some), as dirt or filth is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and is thrown to the dunghill, the proper place for it. See 2 Ki. Those that are the spots of the places they live in are justly wiped away by the judgments of God. I will blot out man from the earth (so others), as those lines which displease the author are blotted out a book, or as the name of a citizen is blotted out of the rolls of the freemen, when he is dead or disfranchised.
    • 3. He speaks of man as his own creature even when he resolves upon his ruin: Man whom I have created. "Though I have created him, this shall not excuse him," Isa. He that made him will not save him; he that is our Creator, if he be not our ruler, will be our destroyer. Or, "Because I have created him, and he has been so undutiful and ungrateful to his Creator, therefore I will destroy him:" those forfeit their lives that do not answer the end of their living.
    • 4. Even the brute-creatures were to be involved in this destruction-Beasts, and creeping things, and the fowls of the air. These were made for man, and therefore must be destroyed with man; for it follows: It repenteth me that I have made them; for the end of their creation also was frustrated. They were made that man might serve and honour God with them; and therefore were destroyed because he had served his lusts with them, and made them subject to vanity.
    • 5. God took up this resolution concerning man after his Spirit had been long striving with him in vain. None are ruined by the justice of God but those that hate to be reformed by the grace of God.

Gen

We have here Noah distinguished from the rest of the world, and a peculiar mark of honour put upon him.

  • 1. When God was displeased with the rest of the world, he favoured Noah: ButNoah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,v. 8. This vindicates God's justice in his displeasure against the world, and shows that he had strictly examined the character of every person in it before he pronounced it universally corrupt; for, there being one good man, he found him out, and smiled upon him. It also magnifies his grace towards Noah that he was made a vessel of God's mercy when all mankind besides had become the generation of his wrath: distinguishing favours bring under peculiarly strong obligations. Probably Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he condemnedthe world. But he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and this was honour and comfort enough. God made more account of Noah than of all the world besides, and this made him greater and more truly honourable than all the giants that were in those days, who became mighty men and men of renown. Let this be the summit of our ambition, to find grace in the eyesof the Lord; herein let us labour, that, present or absent, we may be accepted of him, 2 Co. Those are highly favoured whom God favours.
  • 2. When the rest of the world was corrupt and wicked, Noah kept his integrity: These are the generations of Noah (this is the account we have to give of him), Noah was a just man,v. 9. This character of Noah comes in here either,
    • (1.) As the reason of God's favour to him; his singular piety qualified him for singular tokens of God's loving-kindness. Those that would find grace in the eyes of the Lord must be as Noah was and do as Noah did; God loves those that love him: or,
    • (2.) As the effect of God's favour to him. It was God's good-will to him that produced this good work in him. He was a very good man, but he was no better than the grace of God made him, 1 Co. Now observe his character.
      • [1.] He was a just man, that is, justified before God by faith in the promised seed; for he was an heir of the righteousness which is by faith,Heb. he was sanctified, and had right principles and dispositions implanted in him; and he was righteous in his conversation, one that made conscience of rendering to all their due, to God his due and to men theirs. Note, None but a downright honest man can find favour with God. That conversation which will be pleasing to God must be governed by simplicity and godly sincerity, not by fleshly wisdom,2 Co. God has sometimes chosen the foolish things of the world, but he never chose the knavish things of it.
      • [2.] He was perfect, not with a sinless perfection, but a perfection of sincerity; and it is well for us that by virtue of the covenant of grace, upon the score of Christ's righteousness, sincerity is accepted as our gospel perfection.
      • [3.] He walked with God, as Enoch had done before him. He was not only honest, but devout; he walked, that is, he acted with God, as one always under his eye. He lived a life of communion with God; it was his constant care to conform himself to the will of God, to please him, and to approve himself to him. Note, God looks down upon those with an eye of favour who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. But,
      • [4.] That which crowns his character is that thus he was, and thus he did, in his generation, in that corrupt degenerate age in which his lot was cast. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it is an evidence of strong faith and resolution to swim against a stream to heaven, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him: so Noah did, and it is upon record, to his immortal honour.

Gen

The wickedness of that generation is here again spoken of, either as a foil to Noah's piety-he was just and perfect, when all the earth was corrupt; or as a further justification of God's resolution to destroy the world, which he was now about to communicate to his servant Noah.

  • 1. All kinds of sin was found among them, for it is said (v. 11) that the earth was,
    • (1.) Corrupt before God, that is, in the matters of God's worship; either they had other gods before him, or they worshipped him by images, or they were corrupt and wicked in despite and contempt of God, daring him and defying him to his face.
    • (2.) The earth was also filled withviolence and injustice towards men. There was no order nor regular government; no man was safe in the possession of that which he had the most clear and incontestable right to, no, not the most innocent life; there was nothing but murders, rapes, and rapine. Note, Wickedness, as it is the shame of human nature, so it is the ruin of human society. Take away conscience and the fear of God, and men become beasts and devils to one another, like the fishes of the sea, where the greater devour the less. Sin fills the earth with violence, and so turns the world into a wilderness, into a cock-pit.
  • 2. The proof and evidence of it were undeniable; for God lookedupon the earth, and was himself an eye-witness of the corruption that was in it, of which before, v. 5. The righteous Judge in all his judgments proceeds upon the infallible certainty of his own omniscience, Ps.
  • 3. That which most aggravated the matter was the universal spreading of the contagion: All flesh had corrupted his way. It was not some particular nations or cities that were thus wicked but the whole world of mankind were so; there was none that did good, no, not one besides Noah. Note, When wickedness has become general and universal ruin is not far off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be kept off a great while; but when all hands are at work to pull down the fences by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be expected but an inundation of wrath?

Gen

Here it appears indeed that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. God's favour to him was plainly intimated in what he said of him, v. , where his name is mentioned five times in five lines, when once might have served to make the sense clear, as if the Holy Ghost took a pleasure in perpetuating his memory; but it appears much more in what he says to him in these verses-the informations and instructions here given him.

  • I. God here makes Noah the man of his counsel, communicating to him his purpose to destroy this wicked world by water. As, afterwards, he told Abraham his resolution concerning Sodom (ch. , Shall I hide from Abraham?) so here "Shall I hide from Noah the thing that Ido, seeing that he shall become a great nation?" Note, The secret of the Lord is with those thatfear him (Ps. ); it was with his servants the prophets (Amos ), by a spirit of revelation, informing them particularly of his purposes; it is with all believers by a spirit of wisdom and faith, enabling them to understand and apply the general declarations of the written word, and the warnings there given. Now,
    • 1. God told Noah, in general, that he would destroy the world (v. 13): The end of all fleshhas come before me; I will destroy them; that is, the ruin of this wicked world is decreed and determined; it has come, that is, it will come surely, and come quickly. Noah, it is likely, in preaching to his neighbours, had warned them, in general, of the wrath of God that they would bring upon themselves by their wickedness, and now God seconds his endeavours by a particular denunciation of wrath, that Noah might try whether this would work upon them. Hence observe,
      • (1.) That God confirmeth the words of his messengers,Isa.
      • (2.) That tohim that has, and uses what he has for the good of others, more shall be given, more full instructions.
    • 2. He told him, particularly, that he would destroy the world by a flood of waters: Andbehold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,v. God could have destroyed all mankind by the sword of an angel, a flaming sword turning every way, as he destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and the camp of the Assyrians; and then there needed no more than to set a mark upon Noah and his family for their preservation. But God chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the world. The reasons, we may be sure, were wise and just, though to us unknown. God has many arrows in his quiver, and he may use which he please: as he chooses the rod with which he will correct his children, so he chooses the sword with which he will cut off his enemies. Observe the manner of expression: "I, even I, do bring aflood; I that am infinite in power, and therefore can do it, infinite in justice, and therefore will do it.'
      • (1.) It intimates the certainty of the judgment: I, even I, will do it. That cannot but be done effectually which God himself undertakes the doing of. See Job
      • (2.) It intimates the tendency of it to God's glory and the honour of his justice. Thus he will be magnified and exalted in the earth, and all the world shall be made to know that he is the God to whomvengeance belongs; methinks the expression here is somewhat like that, Isa. , Ah, I willease me of mine adversaries.
  • II. God here makes Noah the man of his covenant, another Hebrew periphrasis of a friend (v. 18): But with thee will I establish my covenant.
    • 1. The covenant of providence, that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time, notwithstanding the interruption which the flood would give to it. This promise was immediately made to Noah and his sons, ch. , etc. They were as trustees for all this part of the creation, and a great honour was thereby put upon him and his.
    • 2. The covenant of grace, that God would be to him a God and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. Note,
      • (1.) When God makes a covenant, he establishes it, he makes it sure, he makes it good; his are everlasting covenants.
      • (2.) The covenant of grace has in it the recompence of singular services, and the fountain and foundation of all distinguishing favours; we need desire no more, either to make up our losses for God or to make up a happiness for us in God, than to have his covenant established with us.
  • III. God here makes Noah a monument of sparing mercy, by putting him in a way to secure himself in the approaching deluge, that he might not perish with the rest of the world: I willdestroy them, says God, with the earth,v. "But make thee an ark; I will take care to preserve thee alive." Note, Singular piety shall be recompensed with distinguishing salvations, which are in a special manner obliging. This will add much to the honour and happiness of glorified saints, that they shall be saved when the greatest part of the world is left to perish. Now,
    • 1. God directs Noah to make an ark,v. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted not to sail upon the waters (there was no occasion for that, when there should be no shore to sail to), but to float upon the waters, waiting for their fall. God could have secured Noah by the ministration of angels, without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble, himself; but he chose to employ him in making that which was to be the means of his preservation, both for the trial of his faith and obedience and to teach us that none shall be saved by Christ but those only that work out their salvation. We cannot do it without God, and he will not without us. Both the providence of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the endeavours of the obedient and diligent. God gave him very particular instructions concerning this building, which could not but be admirably well fitted for the purpose when Infinite Wisdom itself was the architect.
      • (1.) It must be made of gopher-wood. Noah, doubtless, knew what sort of wood that was, though we now do not, whether cedar, or cypress, or what other.
      • (2.) He must make it three stories high within.
      • (3.) He must divide it into cabins, with partitions, places fitted for the several sorts of creatures, so as to lose no room.
      • (4.) Exact dimensions were given him, that he might make it proportionable, and might have room enough in it to answer the intention and no more. Note, Those that work for God must take their measures from him and carefully observe them. Note, further, It is fit that he who appoints us our habitation should fix the bounds and limits of it.
      • (5.) He must pitch it within and without-without, to shed off the rain, and to prevent the water from soaking in-within, to take away the bad smell of the beasts when kept close. Observe, God does not bid him paint it, but pitch it. If God gives us habitations that are safe, and warm, and wholesome, we are bound to be thankful, though they are not magnificent or nice.
      • (6.) He must make a little window towards the top, to let in light, and (some think) that through that window he might behold the desolations to be made in the earth.
      • (7.) He must make a door in the side of it, by which to go in and out.
    • 2. God promises Noah that he and his shall be preserved alive in the ark (v. 18): Thou shaltcome into the ark. Note, What we do in obedience to God, we ourselves are likely to have the comfort and benefit of. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself. Nor was he himself only saved in the ark, but his wife, and his sons, and his sons' wives. Observe,
      • (1.) The care of good parents; they are solicitous not only for their own salvation, but for the salvation of their families, and especially their children.
      • (2.) The happiness of those children that have godly parents. Their parents' piety often procures them temporal salvation, as here; and it furthers them in the way to eternal salvation, if they improve the benefit of it.
  • IV. God here makes Noah a great blessing to the world, and herein makes him an eminent type of the Messiah, though not the Messiah himself, as his parents expected, ch.
    • 1. God made him a preacher to the men of that generation. As a watchman, he received the word from God's mouth, that he might give them warning, Eze. Thus, while the long-suffering of Godwaited, by his Spirit in Noah, he preached to the old world, who, when Peter wrote, were spirits in prison (1 Pt. ), and herein he was a type of Christ, who, in a land and age wherein all flesh had corrupted their way, went about preaching repentance and warning men of a deluge of wrath coming.
    • 2. God made him a saviour to the inferior creatures, to keep the several kinds of them from perishing and being lost in the deluge, v. This was a great honour put upon him, that not only in him the race of mankind should be kept up, and that from him should proceed a new world, the church, the soul of the world, and Messiah, the head of that church, but that he should be instrumental to preserve the inferior creatures, and so mankind should in him acquire a new title to them and their service.
      • (1.) He was to provide shelter for them, that they might not be drowned. Two of every sort, male and female, he must take with him into the ark; and lest he should make any difficulty of gathering them together, and getting them in, God promises (v. 20) that they shall of their own accord come to him. He that makes the ox to know his owner and his crib then made him know his preserver and his ark.
      • (2.) He was to provide sustenance for them, that they might not be starved, v. He must victual his ship according to the number of his crew, that great family which he had now the charge of, and according to the time appointed for his confinement. Herein also he was a type of Christ, to whom it is owing that the world stands, by whom all things consist, and who preserves mankind from being totally cut off and ruined by sin; in him the holy seed is saved alive, and the creation rescued from the vanity under which it groans. Noah saved those whom he was to rule, so does Christ, Heb.

Gen

Noah's care and diligence in building the ark may be considered,

  • 1. As an effect of his faith in the word of God. God had told him he would shortly drown the world; he believed it, feared the threatened deluge, and, in that fear, prepared the ark. Note, We ought to mix faith with the revelation God has made of his wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; the threatenings of the word are not false alarms. Much might have been objected against the credibility of this warning given to Noah. "Who could believe that the wise God, who made the world, should so soon unmake it again, that he who had drawn the waters off the dry land (ch. , 10) should cause them to cover it again? How would this be reconciled with the mercy of God, which is over all his works, especially that the innocent creatures should die for man's sin? Whence could water be had sufficient to deluge the world? And, if it must be so, why should notice be given of it to Noah only?" But Noah's faith triumphed over all these corrupt reasonings.
  • 2. As an act of obedience to the command of God. Had he consulted with flesh and blood, many objections would have been raised against it. To rear a building, such a one as he never saw, so large, and of such exact dimensions, would put him upon a great deal of care, and labour, and expense. It would be a work of time; the vision was for a great while to come. His neighbours would ridicule him for his credulity, and he would be the song of the drunkards; his building would be called Noah's folly. If the worst came to the worst, as we say, each would fare as well as his neighbours. But these, and a thousand such objections, Noah by faith got over. His obedience was ready and resolute: Thus did Noah, willingly and cheerfully, without murmuring and disputing. God says, Do this, and he does it. It was also punctual and persevering: he did all exactly according to the instructions given him, and, having begun to build, did not leave off till he had finished it; so did he, and so must we do.
  • 3. As an instance of wisdom for himself, thus to provide for his own safety. he feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. Note, When God gives warning of approaching judgments, it is our wisdom and duty to provide accordingly. See Ex. , 21; Eze. We must prepare to meet the Lord in his judgments on earth, flee to his name as a strong tower (Prov. ), enter into our chambers (Isa. , 21), especially prepare to meet him at death and in the judgment of the great day, build upon Christ the Rock (Mt. ), go into Christ the Ark.
  • 4. As intended for warning to a careless world; and it was fair warning of the deluge coming. Every blow of his axes and hammers was a call to repentance, a call to them to prepare arks too. But, since by it he could not convince the world, by it he condemned the world, Heb.

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And he himself is in the cockpit. Del was not a fluff either. Weighed over a hundred pounds. Del Goines put in low gear and his truck shook at low speed, crawling up in no hurry on this steep rise of the mountain.



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