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Genesis 6

6
God Grieves over Human Wickedness
1When people began to populate the earth, they had many lovely daughters. 2Divine beings # 6:2 Or “the sons of the gods” or “angels of God” (LXX). This is one of the most difficult verses in Genesis to interpret. There is much debate over the identity of these divine beings, yet we see that they are linked to the “Nephilim (giants),” the corrupting of the divine “seed of the woman” who was to come (Gen. 3:16), and the judgment of God through the flood. Many scholars view “the sons of the gods” as sons of Seth (the godly lineage), but the line of Seth is nowhere stated to be a godly line; in fact, only Noah was considered righteous in God’s eyes. Other scholars see them as a reference to a group of fallen angels “in rebellion who went outside their rightful domain of authority and abandoned their appointed realms” to have sexual relations with women (Judah [Jude] 6). Consequently, God “threw them into the lowest, darkest dungeon of gloom and locked them in chains” (2 Peter 2:4–5). The argument that they could not be fallen angels because angels cannot marry (see Matt. 22:30) is in reference to angels who are in heaven, not the angels who came to earth as part of Satan’s plan to cohabitate with women and corrupt the human race. Virtually all of the earliest writings of Jewish and Christian literature interpret the phrase “the sons of the gods” as heavenly beings known as fallen angels or “watchers.” See also Job 1:6; 2:1; 4:18–19; 38:7; Dead Sea scrolls 1QapGen, 4QDtj and 4QDtq; the Damascus Document 4Q180; the Book of Jubilees; 2 Baruch; the Book of Enoch; the Jewish historian Josephus; and church fathers Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. The coming of the Lord (Gr. parousia) is also going to take place in a time just like the days of Noah (see Gen. 6). found them very appealing, so they took the women they wanted as their wives.
3Yahweh said, “My Spirit # 6:3 Or “breath.” will not strive # 6:3 Or “shield man [from judgment].” Although many scholars translate this hapax legomenon as “abide,” the cognate Akkadian word means to “shield” or “protect.” with humanity indefinitely, # 6:3 Or “forever.” for they are mortal. Their life span will be shortened to only one hundred and twenty years.” # 6:3 Or “they will only live another one hundred and twenty years,” possibly a prophecy of when the flood was coming.
4Back then, and later, there were giants # 6:4 This is the Hebrew word Nephilim. The triliteral root is also used for “fallen ones.” They appear to be the offspring of the “divine beings” and women (v. 2). They were monsters of iniquity, meant to corrupt the earth and destroy the godly “seed” (Gen. 3:15). There are only two ways to kill giants in the Bible: (1) like David, prophesy their downfall, run straight toward them, knock them down, and cut off their heads (see 1 Sam. 17:41–51), or (2) like Caleb and Joshua, conquer them, and see them as “bread” to strengthen us (Num. 14:9). See also Num. 13–14. David also raised up giant killers among his mighty men (see 2 Sam. 21:18–22; 1 Chron. 20:4–8). on the earth, who were born as a result of the unholy union of heavenly beings with the human daughters. They were the mighty ones of old, warriors of renown.
5But Yahweh saw how extremely wicked humanity had become, for they imagined only evil, for all they thought about was doing evil all the time. 6And Yahweh was saddened # 6:6 Or “God sighed within himself” or “God regretted.” This is the Hebrew word nacham, which is nearly impossible to translate adequately into English. It is a word that expresses grief, comfort, compassion, and hope all at the same time. God felt all of these emotions over the creation of man. God’s heart was filled with sorrow, compassion, and hope, not simply anger. that he had made humanity, and his heart was filled with pain. 7So Yahweh decided, “I will do away with my ruined creation—human beings that I created—people and animals, creeping things and flying birds, for it breaks my heart that I made them!”
8But one man discovered grace # 6:8 Or “Noah found favor.” The Hebrew word for “favor” is the name Noah written backwards, an obvious Hebrew play on words. before the face of Yahweh: Noah. # 6:8 Noah found another age—the age of grace. He laid hold of grace and knew that God was merciful, even in an age of judgment and wickedness. It is possible to translate this sentence “Noah laid hold of grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” It was not the virtue of Noah that saved him, but the grace of God. This is the first mention of grace in the Bible.
Noah Pleases God
9This is the story of Noah.
Noah was a godly man of integrity, without fault in his generation, # 6:9 Ezekiel described Noah as one of the godliest of men (see Ezek. 14:14, 20). No matter how evil the world may be around us, God has enough grace to purify our hearts and enable us to live godly lives for his glory. and he lived close to God. 10Noah had three sons, Shem, # 6:10 Shem, from whom descended the Semitic races, means “name,” “upright,” “brilliant,” “prosperity,” or “dignity.” According to some Jewish traditions and rabbinical teachings, Shem is sometimes identified as Melchizedek (B. Talmud Nedarim 32b; Genesis Rabbah 46:7; Genesis Rabbah 56:10; Leviticus Rabbah 25:6; Numbers Rabbah 4:8). Jesus was a descendant of Shem (see Luke 3:23–38). The Book of Jubilees mentions Shem’s wife, who survived the flood, as Sedeqetelebab. It also states that each of Noah’s three sons built cities named after their wives. Ham, # 6:10 Ham means “hot,” “he raged,” or “tumult.” The Egyptian word for “Ham” is “servant.” The historian Josephus states that the Hamites populated northern Africa and adjoining regions of Asia. Egypt is called the land of Ham (see Ps. 105:23, 27). The Book of Jubilees mentions Ham’s wife, who survived the flood, as Na’eltama’uk. Pakistan claims to have Ham’s burial site, and its people considered him to be a prophet. and Japheth. # 6:10 Japheth means “let him spread out,” “enlargement,” “increase,” or “expansion.” Japheth is taken from a root word for “beautiful.” He is considered the father of the European, Anatolian, and East Asian peoples. In Greek tradition, he is considered the ancestor of the Greeks. The Book of Jubilees mentions Japheth’s wife as ‘Adataneses.
11Injustice and violence filled the world; the earth was ruined # 6:11 That is, everyone had corrupted their lives with wickedness. in the sight of God, 12for he saw how debased the world had become, for everyone was corrupt to the core. 13So God said to Noah, # 6:13 God spoke directly with Noah seven times in this narrative. “I have decided # 6:13 Or “It is in front of me” or “The time of every man is come before me” (LXX). that all living creatures must die, for their violence has filled the earth, and I will wipe them off the face of the earth! 14-15Build a boat for yourself—an ark # 6:14–15 The Hebrew word for “ark” (tevah) is found seven times in this chapter and seven times in ch. 8. of sturdy timber. # 6:14–15 Or “gopher wood,” possibly cypress or cedar. And this is how you are to design it: make separate compartments # 6:14–15 Or “nests.” within it, and seal # 6:14–15 This is the Hebrew word kopher, which has a homonym that means “atonement.” Noah was told to seal (lit. “atone for”) the ark, as it were, in the atonement. Christ’s blood now preserves us from judgment. He endured judgment in our place, and we are now sealed until we experience full salvation (see Eph. 4:30). This homonym also has the meaning of “henna.” Jesus is like a bouquet of henna (atonement, see Song. 1:14). it inside and out with thick tar. The length is to be 450 feet, its width 75 feet, and its height 45 feet. # 6:14–15 Or “300 cubits long [130 meters], 50 cubits wide [22 meters], and 30 cubits high [13 meters].” The Hebrew word for “cubit” literally means “forearm.” The measurement of a cubit is thought to be about 18–20 inches (45–50 cm). This suggests a vessel of over 43,000 tons. See A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, 1946, p. 236. Even with the smallest estimate for a cubit, the ark would have three floors of 33,750 square feet each, making a total space of over 101,000 square feet. 16Cover it with a roof, # 6:16 Or “Make a window.” The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. but leave a gap of eighteen inches # 6:16 Or “one cubit” (45–60 cm). at the top for ventilation. Construct a door on the side of the ark, and design it with lower, middle, and upper decks. 17I am going to release a great flood that will destroy all life upon the earth, and every breathing thing under heaven will perish—everything on earth will die. 18But as for you, I will establish my covenant of friendship, and you will escape destruction by coming into the ark, # 6:18 Noah’s ark is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ. It was made from sturdy wood (the humanity of Christ, see Isa. 53:2) and is sealed with tar (blood atonement). It was a place of salvation and preservation (Jesus our Savior). As man was invited into the ark to find a place of security from judgment, so we are hidden in Christ (see Col. 3:3). All who entered the ark were kept safe and none perished. The dimensions of the ark are significant. It was 300 cubits long (300 is the number of complete victory in Christ [see Judg. 7:7–22; 1 Kings 10:17; Mark 14:3–6]), 50 cubits wide (50 is the number of Jubilee and Pentecost [see Acts 2]), and 30 cubits high (30 is the number of maturity, authority, and full stature [see Gen. 41:46; 2 Sam. 5:4; 1 Kings 6:2; Luke 3:23], and priests began their ministry at 30). The ark only had one door, and there is only one door of salvation (see John 10:9; 14:6). The door was on the side of the ark, and Jesus’ side was pierced (see John 19:34). There were three stories or levels to Noah’s ark, which points to a full salvation for man’s body, soul, and spirit (see 1 Thess. 5:23; Noah’s family lived on the third level). There were many rooms (“compartments”) in the ark, and there are many rooms in the Father’s house (Gen. 6:14–15; see John 14:1–3). The ark came to rest in the seventh month on the seventeenth day. The Passover was the fourteenth day of the seventh month, and three days later (the seventeenth day) was the resurrection (Christ “resting” on high). The ark rested on Mt. Ararat, which means “the curse is reversed” or “high and holy land.” To be “in the ark” is to be “in Christ” (see Eph. 1–3). The Bible mentions three arks, and each point to Christ: Noah’s ark, the ark for baby Moses (see Ex. 2:2–3), and the ark of the covenant (see Ex. 25:10–22). you and your wife, your sons and their wives. 19Bring with you into the ark a pair of every animal, male and female; and they will also be spared. 20Different kinds of birds, animals large and small # 6:20 Or “animals, and creeping things [everything that walks or moves on the ground].” —two of every kind I will send to you to be kept alive. 21Also take with you every kind of food, both for you and them.”
22So Noah completed all these preparations and did everything exactly as God had commanded him. # 6:22 Noah’s response to the grace of God was obedience to his commands. This phrase is repeated four times concerning Noah (see Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 8–9, 16). It is God’s grace that leads us to obedience, not independence. See Phil. 2:12–13.

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