(Gen 6:1 NASB) Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,
(Gen 6:2 NASB) that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
Gen 6:2: The term “sons of Elohim” is thought by many to refer to divine beings associated with Elohim. In Job, the earliest Greek translation translated “sons of Elohim” as “angels of Elohim” (Job 1:6; 2:1). However, from a Torah perspective, this term is likely speaking of Elohim’s people, not angelic beings. Those passages in Job are probably speaking of the Israelites gathering at the Tabernacle or Temple on one of the three Feast Days of Yahweh.
In the Apostolic Scriptures, “sons of Elohim” refers to human beings who do Elohim’s will (Matt. 5:9; Rom. 8:14,19). This designation is also used to describe Israel (Ex. 4:22-23 – which is another reference to Elohim’s people).
The reference in Gen. 6:1-2 to the “sons of Elohim” here refer to the line of Seth and the “daughters of men” refer to the ungodly line of Cain. That would tend to make sense since Chapter 5 of Genesis just gave us the genealogies of both men. With that being the case, then this passage would be referring to the mixing of marriages between believers and unbelievers. Elohim prohibits the marriage of His people with non-believers (Deut. 7:1-4, Ex. 34:14-16).
(Gen 6:3 NASB) Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
Gen 6:3: This has been interpreted as meaning that man will now only have a life span of 120 years. However, many have lived much longer than this since the time the flood (Gen. 11:10-15…). It is doubtful that Elohim is saying that man will eventually only have a lifespan of 120 years.
Elohim is saying here that the world has 120 years left before judgment takes place. This prophecy was possibly given by Methuselah since Enoch had already been translated (moved) and it appears that Elohim’s specific commands to Noah had not yet been given.
Why did Elohim wait so long to judge? Elohim is longsuffering (1 Peter 3:20). He waited this long because He made the promise through Methuselah that destruction would not come until he died.
That passage in Peter has caused confusion for many (1 Peter 3:18-20).This is a very difficult passage that has been classically misinterpreted for centuries. Some say that when “Jesus” died, He descended into hell and did an end zone dance in front of those lost souls that are suffering in hell. That took three days. Then he resurrected. Others say that the demonic beings during the days of Noah are being held in the “demon-dungeon” and after Jesus died, he did an end zone in front of those demons in chains. That took three days. Then he resurrected. Neither opinion is even close to being correct.
Peter is speaking of the evil of men in the days of Noah in the time of Noah who are now dead and buried deep into the earth because of the flood (Gen. 6:1-3). Peter speaks of how the Spirit made a proclamation, which we see here in Gen. 6:3. Showing alternative meanings to a couple Greek words in this passage makes it abundantly clear that he is speaking of those in the disobedient world that perished in the flood.
(Gen 6:4 NASB) The Nephilim were 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.
Gen 6:4: The word “giants” in the KJV is the Hebrew word “Nephilim” which comes from the Hebrew verb “Naphal” which means “fall.” The meaning of this word is probably not really “giants,” but “those who have fallen.” The “im” at the end of the word makes it plural in Hebrew. The name came to mean giants from the book of Numbers. But we see giant men (sons of Anak) being described as “a part of the Nephilim.” being used to describe the Canaanites by the Israelite spies (Numbers 13:32-33).
These “fallen ones” were about to perish in the waters in the flood. These waters are now the waters of the sea and may have been referred to in connection to the final judgment described in the Revelation (Rev. 20:13).
(Gen 6:5 NASB) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(Gen 6:6 NASB) And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Gen 6:6: It seems that Elohim can change His action towards man when man changes in attitude toward Him. In the same situation as this one, Elohim was sorry that He appointed Saul to be king (1 Sam. 15:11 – this is an expression of sorrow for the sinful rebellion of Saul). Elohim does not change His mind, but can change his action when man “changes his mind” toward Elohim. Elohim’s action toward man is often conditioned by man’s attitude toward Him. Thank the Father that He is longsuffering. Sin does impact the work of the Spirit of the Father (Eph. 4:30).
Man’s attitude, as described in verse 5, was “great in wickedness” and “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually.” Man is sinful in nature, but the depravity alluded to here is something grotesque and abnormal. Therefore, it must have a grotesque and abnormal cause. Elohim will intervene in catastrophic judgment before all mankind is engulfed in demonic wickedness which would destroy Elohim’s redemptive plan.
(Gen 6:7 NASB) And the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
(Gen 6:8 NASB) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:8: Scripture says that Noah “found grace in the eyes of God.” What a beautiful statement. Noah was, most importantly, a man of great faithfulness. In the heroes of faithfulness chapter in Hebrews, only Noah’s description begins and ends with the words “by faith(fulness)” (Hebrews 11:7).
The end of this section gives us the first occurrence of the word “grace” in Scripture. It is necessary to note that the most important and only godly man on the earth at that time is referred to as “saved by grace.”
(Gen 6:9 NASB) These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:9: Noah was justified and declared righteous through his faithfulness. He apparently was the only one faithful left in the world. Noah is described as a preacher by the Apostle Peter. He must have been the most frustrated preacher ever because he preached for maybe several hundred years without anyone listening to him outside of his family.
It says in this verse that “Noah walked with Elohim.” This means Noah walked blamelessly according to Torah (Ezek. 36:27, Luke 1:6).
(Gen 6:10 NASB) And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:10: It is claimed by some that these three were triplets. That is possible. However, some people have tried to tie these three names to skin color. But that is more than absurdly ridiculous.
(Gen 6:11 NASB) Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.
(Gen 6:12 NASB) And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.
Gen 6:12: Elohim’s ways were given before this point in history and they not being followed. Man was following his own way which only leads to destruction. The words used to describe the conditions are total corruption and violence. How did Shem, Ham, and Japheth avoid the corruption? Most likely they followed the examples and strict orders of their faithful parents and grandparents. They were born within one hundred years of the flood and Noah probably had them too busy building a boat to worry about fun and games. Elohim gave us the blessing of work to keep us out of trouble. He apparently gave this same blessing to Noah’s three sons.
The Hebrew word for “corrupted” is “shachath” and is often translated as “destroyed.” The text is essentially saying that man destroyed Elohim’s world through his sin and ignoring of Elohim’s Torah.
(Gen 6:13 NASB) Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.
Gen 6:13: The term “all flesh” used here includes animals. There probably wasn’t much difference between the behavior of men and animals in that day (and there isn’t much difference today either!!). When man ignores Elohim and His Torah and goes his own way, he goes astray like sheep (Isa. 53:6) and ultimately destroys himself.
(Gen 6:14 NASB) “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.
Gen 6:14: The ark was to be covered inside and outside with pitch. The Hebrew word for “pitch” is “kophar” is very similar to the Hebrew word “kaphar” which means “covering.” We don’t know exactly what “pitch” was but it was probably some sort of bituminous material like tar. We do know that it provided a perfect covering for the ark to protect Noah and his family from the judgment that was to come. We can easily see the how the pitch is a reference to the covering of our lives by the blood of the lamb which will save us from the next judgment.
(Gen 6:15 NASB) “And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
Gen 6:15: Bill Cosby once had a very funny stand-up sketch where he portrays Noah asking God, “What’s a cubit?” Actually, that’s a good question. The Babylonians had a royal cubit of 19.8 inches. The Egyptians had a longer and a shorter cubit of 20.65 and 17.6 inches respectively. The Hebrews had a long cubit of 20.4 inches and a short cubit of 17.5 inches. Most believe the cubit to be about 18 inches. But, to be conservative, let’s assume the cubit to be the shortest of the possible lengths at 17.5 inches. If that is the case then the ark would have been 438 feet long, 72.9 feet wide, and 43.8 feet high. Hydrodynamics has shown that a huge box of that size would be almost impossible to capsize. Even in gigantic waves that could tilt the boat at an angle of almost 90 degrees, the boat would right itself again. Furthermore, a boat of these dimensions would tend to align itself parallel with the direction of major wave advance and would therefore, be subject to minimal rocking. As a comparison, the WWII battleship New Mexico had an almost identical dimension ratio at 624 feet long and 106.25 feet wide. This boat would compare very nicely in dimensions with the large ocean going vessels we have today.
According to the given dimensions, the total capacity would be about 1,400,000 cubic feet. This is equivalent to the volumetric capacity of about 522 standard livestock railroad cars. Let’s assume that the average overall size for all animals is probably about the size of a sheep (some a lot larger and some a lot smaller) and since we know that we can carry 240 sheep on one of these livestock railroad cars, a total of over 125,000 animals could have been carried in the ark. The ark would not have been at half capacity when fully loaded. There would have been plenty of room for food and Noah’s family.
Noah’s Ark was three stories high. Its total deck area was equivalent to the area of about 20 standard college basketball courts or 36 lawn tennis courts. The world had to wait until AD 1884 before the Ark’s size was exceeded, when the Italian liner Etruria was built.
(Gen 6:16 NASB) “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
Gen 6:16: The window on the ark was not merely a square hole for Noah to stick his out his head and try to get away from the smell. The window was actually a one cubit tall opening that extended all the way around the ark with the roof extending over the window in a similar fashion to the way a roof overhangs a house today. This is the same way we ventilate many gymnasiums. We often construct shelters for cattle and horses with tall ceilings and ventilation at the top just as Noah did. This would greatly alleviate the odor and pollution problems.
There was only one door on the ark, not two or twelve. There was only one way to safety and protection. This could be a type of Messiah since He is the only Way into the Father’s house (John 14:6). He is the one “Door” through which His sheep must enter to find safety and rest (John 10:7-9).
(Gen 6:17 NASB) “And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
Gen 6:17: The Hebrew word for “flood” is “mabbul” which is a very unique word and only applies to this event in history. It could be translated “the hydraulic cataclysm.” This word is only used one other time in Scripture and that is in Psalm 29 (not shown). The destruction described in this Psalm must be referring to the Great Deluge of Noah’s time. Similarly, the Apostolic Scriptures use the Greek word “kataklusmos” to describe this event instead of the Greek word for “flood.”
(Gen 6:18 NASB) “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark– you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
Gen 6:18: Elohim said that He would establish His covenant with Noah, then he and his family are to enter the ark. What did this covenant consist of? His Covenant consists of following His Torah. The blessings for following His covenant vary. For David, if he was obedient to the covenant, it meant that he would have a descendant on the throne forever. This time it will mean that the earth will never again be destroyed by water.
(Gen 6:19 NASB) “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.
(Gen 6:20 NASB) “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive.
(Gen 6:21 NASB) “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
Gen 6:21: It is estimated that there are less than 18,000 different species of land animals. We could assume that there were conservatively twice that many species before the time of the flood. If that is the case, then the ark would only have 72,000 animals on the ark that has a capacity of at least 125,000 animals. This would leave 42% of the room in the ark for living quarters for eight people and food for them and the animals.
Assembling the animals was not a problem for Noah. Elohim said that the animals would come to him. The climate was probably tropical around the world at that time. The animal kingdom in that day had no need to migrate to adjust to climate changes. The mechanism of migration, probably inherent in all animals to a certain extent, was now being triggered by Elohim to save them from total annihilation. Migration is totally unexplainable by evolutionists and baffles science today. Here we have a record of the first time animals used their migratory instincts with which Elohim created them.
Another instinctive behavior in animals used here for the first time would have been hibernation. This enables an animal to survive cold and wet seasons with minimal food intake and bodily secretions. The animals probably arrived at the ark, ate a large meal, and then entered the ark, and in response to the suddenly darkened sky and chill in the air, settled down in their nests in the ark for a yearlong sleep. Some animals may have eaten some food on the ark, but much of it was perhaps to provide a good meal as they left the ark after the flood.
(Gen 6:22 NASB) Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
Gen 6:22: Because of Noah’s obedience to Elohim, Elohim had wonderful fellowship with Noah. There are seven recorded instances in Genesis where Elohim spoke to Noah (Gen. 6:13, 7:1, 8:15, 9:1, 8, 12, 17). Each time Elohim spoke to Noah, it was in fellowship and blessing to Noah and his family.
In contrast, in Psalm 29, the “voice of the Yahweh” thunders out majesty and judgment upon the earth in reference to the flood. These may relate to the seven thunders which will utter their voices in a future judgment, but John was not permitted to reveal to us the details (Rev 10:3-4).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas