24/02/19 Genesis 6:1-12 “Man’s destruction becomes inevitable”
Genesis 6:1 – And it came to pass, when men (‘adam) began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters (bath) were born unto them,
While all the pre-flood patriarchs of Genesis 5 had “sons and daughters” (except Noah who apparently only had sons, it seems), these men in Genesis 6:1 are only recorded as having daughters. Because sons must have been born, and because all things have meaning in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17), then the context does suggest an interpretation that involves daughters in particular. The next verse (Vs 2) mentions the daughters of men, but the sons are of God. This is why I would strongly lean toward the sons of God not being born of men. Otherwise the whole context seems to lack cohesion; it just doesn’t hang together well at all.
Genesis 6:2 – That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
the sons of God – ben ‘elohiym (plural) (sons of angels, gods, or divine ones)
the daughters of men – bath ‘adam
Some say that the sons of God are those who were servants of God. Note that in Matthew 13:38 God’s people are called the children of the kingdom, and John 1:12 calls them the sons of God. Others suggest that they are the upper classes of society. The daughters of man are then defined as wicked, impious, while others suggest that they were the lower classes of society.
But neither of these scenarios appears acceptable to the context. The simplest (and probably only logical) answer is that the sons of God (or heavenly beings) were spirit-beings that today we would call “demons” while the daughters of men were the target of demonic crossbreeding to produce a mongrel man-demon race. Note that “giants” in Vs 4 below is Nephilim which derives from a root word meaning to be fallen or cast down; thus they are fallen ones, which does suggest satan’s fallen angels.
That daughters were born to the men of earth (in Vs 1) is itself significant, for why not mention sons as well, as it does for the patriarchs in Ch.5. Thus the sons of God are logically not like the sons born in Ch.5; otherwise why aren’t they mentioned along with the daughters, unless they weren’t actually born to the men. This then does strongly suggest that these sons of God were not born to men, which then can only be spirit-beings from heaven, namely fallen angels, or demons.
If these sons of God were demons, then the following passage from Jude is probably relevant.
Jude 6 – And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
wives of all which they chose – These daughters of men were fair (pleasant, especially to look at; agreeable) and the sons of God had their choice of what they wanted. That is, if they wanted a daughter of men for a wife, they took her. It seems apparent that these daughters of men desired this of the sons of God, for there seems to have been no resistance from any of mankind to oppose such “marriages”. The sons of God appear to be of the Nephilim (Vs 4 below) who are described as giants, or strong men who could literally take what they wanted.
Genesis 6:3 – 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.
This condemnation from God upon man does not seem to be against anything specific that man has done, and the context following on from the previous 2 verses does suggest that the problem could lie with the sons of God co-habiting with the daughters of men. Thus it is not what man has done, but what he has become, a cross-bred impure man genetically. I believe that God has worked hard to keep man’s genetic stock pure (for the purposes of bringing forth Christ from that stock), yet the granting of free will to mankind (and obviously to angels as well) means that they aren’t puppets or robots, and will exhibit some amount of free will direction in their lives. The granting of free will always has to leave open the way to disobedience, or else it is not truly free will, especially when it is used of the worship of God.
It appears that God has been striving with man up until now, but without sufficient positive support from man. So, if God’s striving with man is losing ground, then, as God is sovereign and will always ultimately be victorious, God will have determined that man has now gone too far and now has only 120 years of grace left before God destroys the world with all its wickedness. Of course, God through His foreknowledge would have known all this before it all started, but He still has given man free will to determine his future, and will then let man be responsible for the future he has chosen for himself.
God has already known what they would choose to do, yet has permitted them to demonstrate their guilt before acting. Man has decided his future; he has crossed “the line in the sand” across which there can be no return. Man has now gone too far, ignoring God in the process, and God has now given them 120 years before He brings judgment upon all who oppose Him.
It is likely that this point of no return that man has now crossed is to do with the corruption of the human race into a mongrel human-demonic breed from which Christ could never be born.
Some teach that the 120 years is the maximum extent of the life span of man, yet cannot be, if we have many people today who are certainly beyond this age. It is most logical to assume this 120 years to be the time left before the flood.
Genesis 6:4 – 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.
giants – nᵉphiyl (giants; the Nephilim) from a root word naphal meaning to fall; lie; be cast down; fail. Nephilim is sometimes defined as “the fallen or cast down ones”.
Thus there were Nephilim in the earth in those days. But who were the Nephilim? They were described as giants, and they were on the earth before the sons of God co-habited with the daughters of men. Perhaps they were just naturally big men, but the most logical interpretation is that they were fallen angels or demons, and that the sons of God were of this group and that the mighty men of renown were the offspring of the sons of God with the daughters of men.
and also after that – This suggests that the Nephilim were the original giants, yet when they then had offspring with the daughters of men, giants like themselves were produced. The original giants would be the demonic beings, yet also after that more cross-bred life forms were produced with much of the genetic build of the Nephilim; thus their offspring are likely to have been giants.
Note Deuteronomy 3:11 – For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead [was] a bedstead of iron; [is] it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits [was] the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. where “giants” is not Nephilim but Rephaim.
mighty men – gibbowr (strong; mighty) Used 3 times in Genesis 10:8-9 concerning Nimrod.
Numbers 13 mentions the giants (Nephilim) the sons of Anak who came from the Nephilim. But, unless any Nephilim came on the ark, then these have to be a different group of people than the pre-flood Nephilim.
Numbers 13:32-33 – 32And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. 33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
It is unlikely that Numbers is talking about demonic beings, yet they are still called Nephilim, probably because they resembled the stature of the pre-flood Nephilim. These Nephilim in Numbers 13 may have been genetically manipulated (probably by demons) or else, more likely, a mutated giant form of man from which a line of giants (including Goliath) descended.
I believe that these pre-flood Nephilim were demonic beings which then co-habited with women of earth to produce a super race of man, with size, strength and intelligence significantly above that of normal man. Either the demons bred directly with women, or else they genetically manipulated or modified the offspring in much the same way farmers today might develop new better breeding stock for their farms. The context does strongly suggest children born of sexual union.
Genesis 6:5 – 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.
wickedness – ra‘ (evil; distress; misery; injury; calamity)
great – or abundant
imagination – or purpose
thoughts – or planning; invention; purpose
evil continually – or wickedness all the day long
And God saw – God knows all things and would have known of this even before Adam sinned. So to say that God saw it is simply a way of explaining to mankind that it would not go unnoticed and therefore unpunished. God was ensuring that He was not perceived as turning a blind eye toward His special creation, man, and ignoring the rebellion that was causing man to literally self-destruct. In this way God is holding man fully accountable for every free will decision that he makes. This holding man accountable ensures that God’s sovereignty is not diminished in any way at all.
Man has continued to be wicked and deceitful.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
It is man’s desire for forbidden fruit that leads him to destruction.
James 1:14-15 – 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Matthew 15:18-19 – 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Man sins because that is his nature; only the new life of Christ can oppose the old man.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Genesis 6:6 – And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
repented – nacham (to be sorry; be moved to pity; have compassion; be comforted; suffer grief; repent)
God cannot change; therefore this cannot mean He changed His mind.
Malachi 3:6a – For I [am] the Lord, I change not;
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
What God promises or decides today will not change tomorrow.
Numbers 23:19 – God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent (nacham): hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
God is the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17b)
That is, God is the I AM, the eternal God.
So, just as God “saw” (Vs 5 above) when He already knew it long beforehand, God “repents” here to demonstrate in man’s understanding that things had to change. That God could have made this decision long before is not relevant to man’s understanding; it is better for man to make the connection between man’s evil and God’s response. But it is also probably better to see this verse as God grieving for man whom He had created in His own image; it grieved Him in His heart. Even then, this is merely putting into words feelings that God would not have been able to explain to man otherwise. God cannot be disappointed with His work, yet He can be grieved at the response of man to His provision. It is what man has lost that God is grieving for.
As in Isaiah 5:4 – What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? God asks the question, not to get an answer, but to elicit a response from man concerning the infinite care that God put into His people, only to see them throw away all their benefits through sin.
Genesis 6:7 – 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.
So God determines that He will destroy all created life on earth, both man and animal, creeping things and birds of the air, for He was so grieved in His heart that He had made them. This should not be seen as God destroying His creation for punishment or vengeance, but rather God following through with what man has chosen by his own free will. God is grieved that he has created a perfect world that only seeks to oppose His holiness at every step. Man has taken the good things from God and has worked his own lusts with them. God is grieving in the place of man who is the one who should really be grieving for what he is about to lose.
If only man could have understood just how much God had done for them.
Psalm 107:1 – O give thanks unto the Lord, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Psalm 103:1-5 – 1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good [things; so that] thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Genesis 6:8 – But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
But – the one exception to the rule. Noah is the exception. Noah found grace (favour; acceptance) in the eyes of God. This does not mean that Noah was without sin, for grace represents that unmerited favour which God bestows upon man, in this case, upon Noah. Grace is what God bestows upon those who would truly seek His righteousness by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Grace is always dependent upon the faith of the one who receives it.
Noah is recorded as a man of faith, building an ark before any evidence of the coming flood!
Hebrews 11:7 – By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Genesis 6:9 – These [are] the generations (1) of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations (2), [and] Noah walked with (the) God.
generations (1) – descendants; generations; genealogies; list of descendants; can mean one’s contemporaries. Here it is likely to mean the beginning of a new genealogy commencing with Noah, the list of Noah’s descendants as the new beginning of the genetic line of descent that would lead down to Christ.
generations (2) – period; generation; habitation; dwelling. That is, the generation of men or the period in which Noah lived or dwelt. He it would mean Noah’s contemporaries.
perfect – complete; whole; entire; sound; unimpaired; innocent; that which is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact.
Noah was a righteous man, perfect or unimpaired compared with all those around him (his contemporaries). This also suggests that he was uncorrupted genetically.
Like Enoch, Noah walked with “the” God (as the original Hebrew signifies). The rest of the world may have walked with God, but only Noah and Enoch are said to have walked with the God. So, which god did the rest of the world walk with?
Genesis 6:10 – And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Noah had 3 sons who came on the ark with him. It does not make it clear if there were other sons and daughters born before these three, Noah being 500 years old when Japheth was born. (Note that Japheth, the first-born, is named “opened” which suggests that he was indeed the first-born.)
The ark was built 100 years after the first of these is born, yet Genesis 11:10 says that 2 years after the flood Shem (when 100 years old) had his first son. That would mean Shem was born either 2 or 3 years after the first son listed was born. And Genesis 9:24 says that Ham was the younger son, probably younger than the other two. So the order of birth would be Japheth (“opened”), Shem (“name”) and Ham (“hot”).
Genesis 6:11 – The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
corrupt – to be marred; be spoiled; be corrupted; be injured; be ruined; be rotten.
violence – violence; wrong; cruelty; injustice
The whole earth (especially all that which was inhabited by man) was spoiled, ruined. It was beyond repair, it seems, for God was about to “write off” all land life on earth except Noah and his family. All would be thrown away and a completely new start made with Noah and his family. The earth was filled with violence, cruelty, and injustice. It was every man for himself, it seems, with the strongest winning the battles, a rule by strength (“might is right”) and a complete disregard for anything to do with right and wrong.
Genesis 6:12 – And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Of course, God knew without looking, but once again we have wording that has been translated into terms that give understanding to man of God’s actions. That is, from man’s point of view, God would have “looked upon the earth” and seen the level of corruption, that all mankind (except Noah, of course), had added to the corruption on the earth. Noah is not counted in this corruption because in the next verse (Vs 13) God (in talking to Noah) refers to the corruption as that which He will destroy. Noah has been left out of the picture of corruption. All the world apart from Noah is corrupted. This sets the scene for the flood which will destroy all land life and bird life in order to start again the line of descent down toward the Saviour who would crush satan’s head.
It is clear that all pre-flood mankind would have known about God and His requirements, yet chose to go their own ways because that was the most enjoyable thing to do. However, sin is vanity, the illusion that sin is pleasurable. Ephesians 4:17 says This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, where “vanity” means the illusion of pleasure in disobeying God. It is not real pleasure but merely an illusion of pleasure. An illusion is as real as a mirage on the horizon: it disappears as you get closer to it! This is a picture of all sin. There is no pleasure in sin, only the imagination that what is promised will really be delivered. But satan who promises so much pleasure is a liar and not the God who will deliver fully on every promise (Numbers 23:19).
The world lives on lies. Even when we know that politicians tell lies, we still vote for those who tell the most comprehensive lies. We know that they have lied in the past, but when they promise so much pleasure, we then believe them time and time again! The truth is not important anymore. As long as the lie is believable, and as long as we can enjoy some of the lie before we are hit with the nasty truth, then we’ll have our “now” rather than wait for a better “future”.
The world does the same with God. Generally the world knows what God says, that there is a nice place called heaven, a place to be looked forward to, a place for all eternity without pain or suffering. However, that might be good for those who can wait for it, and have enough faith to believe that it will really happen. So the world today wants its benefits today, not tomorrow! People live as if there’s no tomorrow. If you promised someone either a hundred thousand dollars today or a million dollars in 20 years’ time, most would be strongly tempted to take the money now and run. Pleasure now is seemingly worth more than more pleasure a long time from now.
The Bible talks a lot about the glory we’ll have one day, but we have to suffer until then.
Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
(And even then we want our funerals to be a good send-off to heaven!)
All the church wants today seems to be our glory now and forget the suffering part! And so we get teachings that please the people today, not when we die. People today walk with God, they say, but it is not the walk of Noah and Enoch who walked with the God. People want God on their side, they want all the benefits now, they want to be glorified now etc, but fail to comprehend that what they are really asking for is for God to give them all their blessings up front, a bit like getting glory on credit. So they walk with God as long as He gives them their desires now, but not with the God who demands truth and obedience (and suffering!) ahead of everything else. They want God to fit in with their lives, yet fail to understand that they must fit in with what God wants. The benefits are all to the person; God is just the provider of those benefits, and to be praised if He happens to provide what they demand, but if He doesn’t, then they’ll find a church that does teach their “truth” properly.
Walking with “the” God though means obedience and submission, not demands for a fun-filled life.
Hebrews 12:9b – shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Walking with the God means no will of our own to interfere. Walking with the God means our will is totally subject to God. God is the sovereign ruler of the universe, not man! And the world will be destroyed again!