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Genesis 6

QUESTION: Can you explain Genesis 6?


Genesis 6 records God’s judgment over all the inhabitants of the earth, with the exception of those aboard Noah’s ark. Genesis 6 begins with an explanation of why God sent a flood to kill every living thing on the planet, except the family of Noah and the animals in the ark.

Verses 1 through 7 of Genesis 6 explain that the “sons of God” intermarried with the daughters of men. “When the human population began to grow rapidly on the earth, the sons of God saw the beautiful women of the human race and took any they wanted as their wives” (Genesis 6:1-2).

There are differing views concerning who the “sons of God” were. Some believe that the “sons of God” were the sons of “Seth” (Adam and Eve’s third born son) and that they had married the daughters of “Cain” (the son who murdered Abel). Many others believe that the “sons of God” were angelic beings who left their heavenly abode to take wives from the “daughters of men.”

Genesis 6 records that the wickedness of man was so great that God repented that He ever made man. At that time, men were living for hundreds of years. A few lived longer than 900 years. Since the thoughts of men's hearts “was only evil continually,” God purposed to destroy mankind, but granted grace to Noah to escape the corruption on earth.

Many believe that God’s judgment upon the earth was actually an act of mercy. Given the human life span before the flood and the evil, which abounded in mankind, the Lord spared the earth and His righteous ones by destroying his creatures and shortening the life span of man to 120 years.

Verses 8 through 12 of Genesis 6 provide an account of why God preserved Noah and his family, and kept him alive through the flood. In short, the Lord found Noah to be a “righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time” (Genesis 6:9).

It is recorded that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. Yet, the Lord spared this small remnant of righteous people. This event may have foreshadowed Jesus Christ’s return to the earth; when His people are raptured, or “caught up” to meet Him in the air. Jesus spoke of this gathering of the remnant in Matthew 24:37-42, with specific reference to the flood of Noah’s time.

Genesis 6:13-22 are an account of God’s instructions to Noah for building the ark and preserving every species of animal alive. God’s covenant with Noah is also recorded in verse 18, which states: “I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat. . .”

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