101-106-Genesis Part 1 Chapter 6
In Genesis 5:28 Noah is born to the father of Lamech. Noah’s name means deliverer. The root of the word from which the name comes can have several meanings: deliverer, to cause to rest, to cause to settle down there at last three meanings that relate to the name of Noah. Lamech is described as having hoped that Noah would deliver his people from the hard toils of agriculture. As a result of sin God had cursed the ground that man would have to labor hard for the ground to produce its rewards. The crops were now filled with thorns and thistles along with its produce. Constant cultivation was needed to insure that a good harvest would occur.
Second after the flood in Genesis 9:20, Noah is described as being a farmer. It would be safe to assume that he was a farmer before the flood. Noah would have caused his family to settle down and cultivate the land.
The third reason for Noah’s name might be as the builder of the ark, Noah would be a great deliverer who saved human and animal life through the flood. By Noah’s faith in God’s Word he has delivered us and all of mankind, and the animal kingdom as well, from the great flood.
The Corruption of Mankind
Man began to multiply greatly across the earth both the descendants of Seth and the descendants of Cain. The descendants of Cain practiced polygamy and multiplied in greater numbers. People who were without the grace of God because of the judgment upon Cain, they were natural men and brought up in the world without the fear and reverence towards God. Daughters we born of them as well and were beautiful to the eye and lived in immodesty.
In the days of Jared, a descendant of Seth, the family of Seth lived on the holy mountain of God. Jared’s name means “descending.” According to the Arabic writers, Elmacinus and Patricides, about 100 male descendants of Seth came down from the mountain and mixed with the female descendants of Cain. These male descendants of Seth committed fornication with them, as was a Cainite tradition, and also married with them as they chose. They neither sought council with their parents or with God as to His will. These sons of Seth fell into the worldly practices and all unrighteous acts of the Cainite people.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that man is not to be bound together with unbelievers. Yet they married together and forsook the righteousness of God and were given to the ways of the world in their relationship with the family of Cain.
God saw the wickedness of men and they not only fell into sin but desired sin by their intention. God saw that every imagination, or purpose, of the thoughts of man’s heart, was only evil continually. Man no longer desired God’s grace or sought His righteousness.
In verse three God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.” In Genesis 2:7 we read, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” As Job mentioned in Job 27:3 “For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils.” God is a holy and righteous God and as Paul asked in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness?” Man had become only carnal and corrupt and had lost all spiritual relationship with God. Man had become immersed in the sensual pleasures of the flesh and given to the desires of his own heart.
Even the posterity of Seth, the bloodline of the Messiah, those who developed a religious approach to their worship of God, had been taken in and forsook God. Then God numbered the days of man to one hundred twenty years. Not the days of his life but the time remaining for him to repent and turn back to God before His judgment with the flood. This attribute of God, His longsuffering in His love towards His creation, as noted by Peter in 1 Peter 3:20. “who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”
In verse four we read there were giants in those days called Nephilim. The word Nephilim comes from a word which signifies to fall. This name may have been given because they made fear to fall upon men. Or men fell before them because they came upon men with great violence and oppressed them in a cruel and inhumane way. The Nephilim were there afterwards when the children of Seth intermarried with the children of Cain. They bore children together and their children also became as the Nephilim. The men of the Nephilim came from the seed of Cain and then joined with the seed of Seth, which is the meaning of there existence afterward and not to be meant to exists after the flood.
The Nephilim were mighty men and were feared for their wicked exploits. So great was their wickedness they became infamous and were much feared and talked about. They can be researched in history by writers such as De Origine Deorum, Antiqu, Horat, Carmin, and Ovid Metamorph. Berosus speaks of a town in Lebanon named Enos as a town where some Nephilim settled and were known for their unrighteous practices. They were cannibals, and exceedingly debauched.
The greatness of man’s wickedness grew as he populated the earth. Both the seed of Seth and Cain became as one people as they continued to intermarry. They became mighty in their sinfulness and none sought the righteousness of God. The hearts of men grew cold and darkened, loveless and given to their lust and selfishness. God saw this not only by His omniscience, by which he sees everything, but he took notice of it in his providence. The evilness of man’s heart was continual and there had become no good within him. As we read in Psalms 14:1-3, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
Verse six tells us that God became sorry that he had created man. Sin is the disobedience of God’s Word and Will and man had completely turned away from God. God is Holy and cannot bear unrighteousness. God has a great hatred to sin, and abhorrence of it.
In verse seven the sorrowfulness of God is fully shown. God himself observing to what a height the sin of man had become, and what a spread it made on the earth determined to Himself to destroy man whom He had created from the face of the earth. God looked at His creation and saw that is was no longer good. His creation, the work of his hand, His Word, the object of His love, in spite of His grace, mercy, and providence, had turned away from His love. God determined to destroy man from the face of the earth. In 2 Kings 21:13 we can see reference made to a future event in which God wiped man from Jerusalem as a dish turned upside down. God decided to send a flood upon the earth and wash man off of it. God would blot man out from the book of the living, as it is written in Psalms 69:28, “May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous.” Both man and beast and every living thing would be blotted out and wiped from the earth. Man had lost his fear of a God big enough to create the universe and is also big enough to destroy it as well. Man had turned away from the grace of God by which his existence depended.
Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD
In verse eight we learn that Noah was the exception, Noah had remained in fear of God, he had continued to worship God. God always reserves some, in the worst of times, for himself; there is a remnant, according to the election of grace. In the person of Noah God was well pleased in his services to the Lord, his sacrifices were acceptable to Him through the beloved. Noah was not acceptable in the eyes of men; they mocked him for his piety and devotion to God. Man especially made fun of Noah for his prediction of the coming flood.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because he was a sinner and knew his need for God’s forgiveness. Because of God’s grace Noah and his family were spared from the blotting out of man and beast form the face of the earth.
In verse nine we are introduced to the generations of Noah. Noah is the tenth generation from Adam and Noah is the last generation before the flood. From the seed of Noah man would repopulate and fill the earth. Noah was a just man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
Verse ten gives us the names of Noah’s three sons. Shem, Ham, and Japheth from whom all the earth was repopulated and God’s chosen people came from, the Israelites, and all other nations of the earth.
In verse eleven God saw that the earth was filled with corrupt man who committed sins against himself and his neighbors. People that were in complete corruption with no fear of God, or dread of His wrath, and cared not for God’s displeasure with them. Man who was in complete contempt of God’s will and His law. The earth was filled by violence, as men who do not have the love of God in them are filled with their own lust and desires dishonoring each other in every evil way.
Verse thirteen verifies the favor that God had with Noah in that He spoke with Noah telling him His plans. God made Noah aware that He intended to wipe the earth clean of all the corrupt creation of God’s handy work. God stated His purpose that because of the sinfulness of man that the earth was filled with violence through them. God shared His plan that He would put an end to the corruptness of His creation by blotting them from the face of the earth.
Verse fourteen through sixteen tells us that God instructed Noah to build an ark of gopher wood. It was not a ship for it was not destined to sail to any point on the seas. It was an ark, a chest, flat bottomed and ridged sloping upwards. It was to be made for floating upon the waters. The ark was to be built for himself and his family for the purpose of saving himself and his family. It was also to be built for the preservation of select creatures for the service of him and his family. Noah was to build the ark with rooms, or nest, for the selected creatures and his family. The Targum of Jonathan gives us further description of the ark, “One hundred and fifty cells shalt thou make for the ark on the left hand, and ten apartments in the middle to put food in, and five cabins on the right, and five on the left.” Noah was also to cover the ark inside and out with pitch to make it water proof.
God instructs the size of the ark in cubits, there are several interpretations of the actual size of a cubit. The majority agree that a cubit is eighteen inches long. Noah’s Ark was the largest sea-going vessel ever built, until, the late nineteenth century when giant metal ships were first constructed. The Ark was approximately 450 feet by seventy five feet; but remained the largest vessel to as late as 1858. In that year, 1858, Isambard K. Brunel produced the “Great Eastern”, 692 feet by 83 feet by 30 feet of approximately 19000 tons … five times the tonnage of any ship then afloat. So vast was Brunel’s leap that even forty years later in an age of fierce competition the largest liners being built were still smaller than the “Great Eastern. There were three decks in the ark with a window a cubit from the top. There was one door in the ark placed along the side.
Then in verse seventeen God reveals to Noah that He would bring a great flood. There is no question that the earth faced a complete flood and is confirmed by the testimonies of many heathen writers from all nations. They always put some person of great antiquity in their nation, as the Chaldeans, Sisithrus or Xisuthrus; the Grecians and Romans, Prometheus or Deucalion, or Ogyges. Josephus says, all the writers of the Barbarian or Heathen history make mention of the flood and of the ark; and he produces the authorities of Berosus the Chaldean, and Hieronymus the Egyptian, who wrote the Phoenician antiquities, and Mnaseas, and many others, and Nicolaus of Damascus: and there are others that Eusebius makes mention of, as Melo, who wrote against the Jews, yet speaks of the deluge, at which a man with his sons escaped; and Abydenus the Assyrian, whose account agrees with this of Moses that follows in many things; as do also what Lucian and Ovid have wrote concerning it, excepting in the name of the person in whose time it was: and not only the Egyptians had knowledge of the universal deluge, as appears from the testimony of Plato, who says, that an Egyptian priest related to Solon, out of their sacred books, the history of it; and from various circumstances in the story of Osiris and Typhon, which name they give to the sea, and in the Chaldee language signifies a deluge; and here the Targum of Onkelos renders the word by “Tuphana”; and the Arabs to this day call the flood “Al-tufan”; but the Chinese also frequently speak of the deluge; and even it is said the Americans of Mexico and Peru had a tradition of the great flood. Noah was told all life on earth would parish.
In verse eighteen through twenty-two God establishes His covenant with Noah which is later revealed in Genesis 9:11-17. God said that when the flood comes Noah shall enter into the ark and that his wife and sons and their wives shall enter into the ark also. God also instructed Noah that two of every kind of living creature living on the earth shall come into the ark. Noah was also to take food for provision during their time in the ark. Noah being a man of faith in God’s Word did as God had told him.