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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Genesis 6

 

 

Verses 1-8

CHAPTER 6:1-8

The Increasing Corruption

1. The sons of God and the daughters of men (Genesis 6:1-2)

2. The warning of Jehovah (Genesis 6:3)

3. Increased wickedness (Genesis 6:4-6)

4. Judgment announced (Genesis 6:7)

5. Noah found grace (Genesis 6:8)

The question is who are the sons of God who took the daughters of men. The general view is that the sons of God were the pious descendants of Seth and the daughters of men, the Cainitish offspring. However, there are strong arguments against it.

1. There is no proof in the text that the daughters of men were only the descendants of the Cainites. The text supports the view that in “daughters of men” the natural increase of the whole human family is meant, and not a special class.

2. The theory that “sons of God” must mean pious people can likewise not be sustained. The term sons of God is never applied in the Old Testament to believers. Isaiah 43:6 refers to the future gathering of the godly remnant of Israel. That the believer is a son of God, predestined to the son-place, with the spirit of sonship in him, crying, “Abba, Father,” is exclusively a New Testament revelation.

3. The result of the marriage of the sons of God with the daughters of men were children, who were heroes, men of the Name. If the sons of God were simply the pious Sethites, who mixed with the Cainites, it is hard to understand why the offspring should be a special race, heroes, men of the Name. The giants were Nephilim, which means “the fallen ones.”

“Sons of God” is the term applied in the Old Testament to supernatural beings, both good and evil. Angels good and fallen are termed sons of God in the Old Testament. Satan himself is reckoned among the sons of God in Job 1:6; Job 2:1. The term sons of God must mean here supernatural evil beings. These evil beings came down out of the air and began to take possession of such of the daughters of men as they chose.

“For if God spared not the angels which sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them unto chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:4-5).

Here we have a New Testament hint on Genesis 6:1-5. The Scripture declares that the fallen angels are still loose; here, however, are angels, which sinned and God did not spare them. Another passage in Jude’s Epistle is still more significant: “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.” This statement in Jude is linked with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We stand not alone in this exposition. “The sons of God, in my judgment, mean the same beings in Genesis as they do in Job. This point will suffice to indicate their chief guilt in thus traversing the boundaries which God appointed for His creatures. No wonder that total ruin speedily ensues. It is really the basis of fact for not a few tales of mythology which men have made up.” (W. Kelly, Lectures on the Pentateuch.) God has veiled the awful corruption and we dare not intrude into the secret things.

May we remember that our Lord has told us, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man cometh.”

The Spirit of God was then pleading with men. His work as the hindering one is indicated in Genesis 6:3.

Read, 1 Peter 3:20, “For Christ indeed once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; being put to death in flesh but made alive in the Spirit, in which also going He preached to the spirits, which are in prison, heretofore disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noe, while the ark was preparing.” This passage does not teach that Christ after His death, went into Hades to preach, but the meaning is that His Spirit through Noah preached to the spirits of men living at that time, and who were then disobedient and are now in prison.

God in His longsuffering waited yet 120 years, during which His Spirit preached through the preacher of righteousness, calling to repentance.

The withdrawing of the Spirit of God is clearly taught in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. This age will end in the same manner as the age before the flood, “the Spirit not always pleading with man.”

Jehovah, beholding the earth, saw that the wickedness of man was great, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually. Before we read Jehovah’s verdict, “for he indeed is flesh.” And again, “The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is full of violence through them, and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”


Verses 9-22

IV. THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH

CHAPTER 6:9-22

Before the Flood

1. Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9-10)

2. The earth filled with violence (Genesis 6:11-13)

3. The building of the ark commanded (Genesis 6:14-21)

4. Noah’s obedience (Genesis 6:22)

It was grace which constituted Noah just and enabled him to walk with God. Hebrews 11:7 gives a full definition of Noah’s faith. Seven things are shown concerning Noah:

Warned of God -- The ground of faith Things not seen -- The realm of faith He feared -- The exercise of faith Prepared an ark -- The work of faith Saved His house -- The results of faith Condemned the world -- The testimony of faith Heir of righteousness -- The reward of faith

The ark is a type of Christ. The word “gopher” means atonement, and the word “pitch,” meaning the same, is translated more than seventy times in the Bible by “to make atonement.”

The ark had a window above--looking towards Heaven and not upon the earth and its judgment beneath. It had one door and only one in the side. All blessedly applicable to Christ and salvation. The deluge which came, flood of waters, covering all, so that the end of all flesh came, is a type of the death of Christ. In His death judgment was passed and executed upon all flesh. The waves and billows rolled over His innocent head. He passed through death and judgment for us and has made Himself our perfect ark, our hiding place. In Him we are lifted above the judgment waters.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Genesis 6:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/genesis-6.html. 1913-1922.

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