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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 6: The Need for the Flood

 

v.1-8 The Wickedness in the World
v.9-13 God tells Noah about the Flood
v.14-25 Instructions to Build an Ark

 

For notes, see end of each section

v.1-8 The Wickedness in the World

 

v.1,2 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

v.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.”

v.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.

v.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.

v.6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

v.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.”

v.8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

 

[Notes:

 

i) Sons of God: The uncertainty here revolves around the terms ‘sons of God' and ‘daughters of humans'. 1 Pet 3:19,20, 2 Pet 2:4,5 and Jude 6 provide credibility for the assumption that this was a mixing of angels and humans, particularly Jude's reference to ‘ the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling.' If we accept that angels are first of all spirits and fallen angels tend to be referred to as demons, there may be grounds to believe – in the light of the general description of the state of the world at that time and gentle word ‘married' simply meaning being united with, that some women opened themselves up to demonic possession. Verse 3 may imply more of a spirit activity than a purely physical one. Other views are of different cultural groups who came together.

 

ii) Fallen World state: The end result, whatever the truth of it, is that God is so put out by the awful moral (and perhaps spiritual) state of the earth, that He determined to bring the flood to end the current mess.

 

iii) Extent of the Food: The text appears to indicate a total destruction of mankind. Other views suggest that from the Hebrew standpoint of Moses [thought to be the complier of Genesis] the ‘whole world' would have been simply what we call the Middle East and the judgment is simply that against mankind in that particular part of the world [which some say fits the genetic world background better]. Against that is fossil evidence and written evidence that catastrophic floods are recorded in numerous places around the world. Maybe this is another of those instances we referred to earlier where it is wiser not to be too dogmatic. The bare minimum to hold onto is the fact of a flood, the reason for the flood and who, according to the family Hebrew tree were involved in it.

 

v.9-13 God tells Noah about the Flood

 

v.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.

v.10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

v.11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.

v.12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

v.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.

 

[Note: A distinction is made between Noah, a righteous man, and the rest of the earth described as corrupt and violent and wicked.]

 

 

v.14-25 Instructions to Build an Ark

 

v.14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

v.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.

v.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.

v.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.

v.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.

v.19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

v.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.

v.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.”

v.22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

[Notes:

 

i) Instructions: To cope with the impending deluge, Noah is to build a very large boat, more like a storage tanker, that will be capable of housing Noah and his family and one pair of all living creatures that will come to him. Noah obeyed. [the phenomenal range of beasts across the globe, not all appearing in that part of the world, lends credence to the idea of a more local flood with a limited number of creatures.]

 

ii) Other corroboration: It is worth noting that Jesus considered the existence of a flood a fact – Mt 24:38,39 – even though he did not designate the extent of it. Ditto the writer to the Hebrews (Heb 11:7) and the apostle Peter (1 Pet 3:2o & 2 Pet 2:5), similarly the major Old Testament prophets, Isaiah (Isa 54:9) and Ezekiel (Ezek 14:14,20) as well as the genealogy compiler of 1 Chron 1]

     

          

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