Genesis 6:9-22

February 7, 2011 at 11:40 am | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. “This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark–you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

This week, we look at Noah, his sons, and the instructions God gave him. Remember, last week we saw that the world had descended into a violent parody of its former self. It had gone from a perfect creation to a place where man committed only evil and violence. God had declared that He would give man 120 years to repent before He judged the world. Since that time, man was ignoring God. It is in this context that we are introduced to Noah. The first verse says “These are the records of the generations of Noah”. As I’ve already mentioned, this phrase is used to separate the book of Genesis, focusing on the different events of the book. It also helps us follow the lives of the major characters we find, ultimately focusing on the history of the Jews and their descendants. Here we are told that these are the records of the generations of Noah.

We are then given an insight into Noah’s character. Compared to the overwhelming evil that engenders the majority of mankind, Noah is described as righteous and blameless in his time. Before we continue, let’s take a look at these two words and see just what type of man Noah was:

righteous – tsaddiyq (tsad-deek) – H6662 – just, righteous, lawful, innocent; in accordance with God’s standard.

blameless – tamiym (taw-meem) – H8549 – entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: – without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole. without defect, blameless.

Noah was a man following God’s standard. He did the things that God required in spite of those around him. And he walked with God. Then, God’s time had come. He had given man 120 years to repent and turn back to Him, but they wouldn’t listen. God’s judgment was going to fall on all flesh because it was corrupt and evil. God was about to destroy the earth. Before we continue, there is something that I want to look at. There is an idea that is presented here that will see again in the next two chapters. Let’s look at a few verses:

Gen 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Gen 6:12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

Gen 6:13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

Gen 6:17 “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.

 Do you see it? In each of the three verses above, there are indicators of the level of violence and evil. Verse 11 talks about how the earth was “filled” with violence. This word is the Hebrew word male and means “to be full, as in having something done to one”. The earth had reached the point where it could no longer bear the violence of man. God had decreed a time of judgment and it had arrived. The other two verse also show the extent of the evil. Verses 12,13, and 17 say that “all flesh had corrupted their way on earth”, that “the end of all flesh” had come before God, and that God was “bringing the flood of water on the earth, to destroy all flesh” which is “under heaven”. Verse 17 even says that “everything on the earth shall perish”! The Hebrew word here is kole and means “whole, every, all”. The phrase that I’ve often heard used is “all means all and that’s all all means”. So we see that the earth is filled with violence. All flesh had corrupted their way on earth. Only Noah and his family were seen as righteous in God’s sight. All other flesh, man, animal, all of it was corrupt.

But Noah found grace in God’s sight. Because of this, God warned Noah about the coming judgment and tells him to prepare for it. He was told to build the ark according to specific dimensions given to him by God. While we don’t know exactly how long it took for Noah to build the ark, we do know that the maximum time was 120 years. It was probably not this long though. The materials needed to be gathered, the sons were born and grew up enough to have wives, and the food needed to be gathered. It is believed that the ark could have taken anywhere from 20-75 years to build. Regardless of the exact time, we know that the ark was built. But Noah wasn’t just building the ark during this time:

and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5)

Here, we see that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. During the 120 years that God had given man (and most likely before), Noah spent time preaching the righteousness of God to the evil generations around him. As he prepared for the judgment of God, he continued to preach the righteousness of God. While it doesn’t say, I would believe that Noah did this up to the very day that he entered the ark, calling on those around him to repent of their sins, and enter the ark by faith. This is all they had to do to be saved. And his preaching fell on deaf ears. The worldly, ungodly people ate, drank, married, and lived their lives as they always had; none of them realizing that what Noah warned about the Flood was true. The Bible says that it will be the same way in the last days. People will eat, drink, marry, and give in marriage. They will mock those who profess the truth and call them to repentance. And, just like the Flood of Noah’s day, God’s wrath and judgment will once again pour out on all men.

So, Noah has been given instructions to build a gigantic ship that would survive a global Flood. But what did the ark look like? God gave Noah specific dimensions. In the Bible, the measurement used is the cubit. A cubit’s actual length varied, but it was generally around eighteen inches. With that in mind, here are the dimensions of the ark:

Length: 300 cubits = 450 feet

Width: 50 cubits = 75 feet

Height: 30 cubits = 45 feet

Interestingly, these dimensions closely match those used by cargo ships today. There is no reason to doubt that Noah, having lived for almost 600 years before the Flood, would have had plenty of expertise to build an ark whose shape would allow it to survive the chaos of the Flood. There is also nothing to say that Noah didn’t have more intricate instructions, of which we have only an overview. There is also nothing that says that Noah built the ark by himself. We really don’t know how many people were involved, but we know that it was built. Aside from the outer dimensions for the ark, we are also told that it had a window as well as a door and three decks. After being given the dimensions of the ark and other things necessary for its construction, God tells Noah that He will make His covenant with him. Noah is told that he, his wife, his sons, and their wives will enter the ark and be saved. Along with them will be two of every kind of unclean animal and seven of the clean animals (Notice that certain animals are considered clean and unclean long before Leviticus!). Noah is also told to gather enough food for all of the life on the ark.

Whenever the subject of the ark comes up, there are always those who bring up the same tired canard that the ark wasn’t big enough for all of the animals and would never have held them all. There are many problems with this poor “argument”. First, if you have an understanding of simple genetics and the Bible, you should be able to see through much of this argument. There is no reason to believe that all of the animals that we have today even existed at the time of Noah. Chances are that the animals that existed in that time were of a more robust and varied genetic make up than we have today. They would have been the originators of many of the different kinds of animals we have today. For instance, instead of all of the “dog” kinds, there would have only been two of the “dog” kind and all dogs that are around today have come from those two dogs! It’s also important to remember (especially with dogs) that many of the different types of dogs that we have today did not exist even hundreds of years ago. Many of them came into existence due to the breeding efforts of man (an intelligence is necessary!!!!). Another important thing to remember concerning this is that even though we have many different types of dogs (or horses, or cats, etc) they are all still dogs (or horses, or cats, etc)!

Because of the smaller number of different kinds of animals, this would automatically reduce the space necessary for them. A second question that usually follows close behind this is: “What about the dinosaurs?” Well, if we start from Genesis, we can find out much about the dinosaurs. First, we can see that all sea animals were created on day 5 and all land animals were created on day 6. Nothing new was created after this. This means that dinosaurs existed from the beginning. It also means that they lived with man. To many of the “intelligent” minds today, this sounds ludicrous. Many of the dinosaurs are considered carnivores, although the Bible says that all of them would have started out as vegetarians. Many mock this thought saying that the sharp teeth and claws of many types clearly identify them as meat eaters. This is only speculation. There are plenty of types of animals alive today that have sharp teeth and ferocious looks that are vegetarians. From the Bible we see that dinosaurs have been with man from the beginning. We know that two of every unclean animal would have been taken into the ark and this must have included dinosaurs.

Once this is brought up, the thought of lack of space returns. Many argue that the large dinosaurs would never have been able to fit in the ark. The truth is, most of the dinosaurs are smaller than a sheep. If we take this along with the idea that there were fewer numbers of “types” of dinosaurs (instead of each of the different types of ceratop dinosaurs, there was only one kind), the number of dinosaurs on the ark drops down to around 50 different kinds. Many of these would have been juveniles who were smaller than their larger adults. They would have been in a better position to survive and would have been better able to breed and restore the population of their kinds. All of this fits perfectly within the guidelines given in scripture.

The chapter (and this week’s study) ends with a simple statement:

Gen 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

This reminds us that we are to be obedient to God’s commands, even when we don’t completely understand. When we are bull-headed and stubborn, thinking that we know better than God, think of Noah and his obedience to God in a time when the thought of a global Flood was ridiculous.

Well, that’s all for this week. We really appreciate you following along with us and hope that you will let your friends know about us and pass our blog and shop links along to others! If you would like more information on the ark and the different things surrounding it take a look at the articles here. Next week, we’ll begin looking at the event of the Flood itself and the extent of the damage brought about by it. Hope to see you there!

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