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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 6

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Verses 1-4


The people of the lineage of faith have not been able to stop the development of the corruption of the world at that time. It is not in accordance with God’s thoughts that the gospel or political efforts will ever win the world for Him. Evil spreads and reveals itself in ever-changing forms.

Sons of God and Daughters of Men

With the increase of the wicked people sin also increases (Proverbs 29:16; cf. Acts 6:1). Evil takes on such horrible forms that “the daughters of men” connect themselves with “the sons of God”. The sons of God mentioned here are fallen angels “who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode” (Jude 1:6) and have taken on a human form. The results are also there. It produces “Nephilim” or “giants”, “mighty men”, “men of renown”, impressive appearances.

That angels are meant by the sons of God is evident from the book of Job (Job 1:6; Job 2:1). The contrast between “sons of God” and “daughters of men” supports this idea. What sense would this contrast have if with sons of God also were meant men? The idea that it would be a connection between believers and unbelievers is not correct. The expression ‘sons of God’ for believers is only used in the New Testament (Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:19) and applies there to men and women.

That the judgment does not come directly, man sees as a reason to continue sinning (Ecclesiastes 8:11). But God’s judgment does not slumber. God’s patience comes to an end. His Spirit does not endlessly try to convince people of their sins and to persuade them to repent. God determines of man that “he also is flesh”, thus indicating the incorrigible sinfulness of mankind. Therefore, He sets a limit to man’s wickedness: another hundred and twenty years and then comes judgment.

Verses 5-7

The Reason for the Flood

The LORD always has a reason for everything He does. He never does anything without cause. He does not always make known the reason for His actions, but sometimes he does, as here. Nothing is left of His good work on earth. Any hope of improvement is a thing of the past. If He now looks at the earth, there is pain in his heart (cf. Psalms 95:10; Isaiah 43:24). Is this the man whom He created so well? Is this the man to whom He did not retain, even after the Fall, His favors?

The great wickedness of the people is not only evident from the horrible sin of mixing their daughters with fallen angels, but is also evident from the lives of the decent people. The Lord Jesus speaks of life “in the days of Noah” and says of the lives of men in those days: “They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage” (Luke 17:26-Daniel :). These are the ordinary things of life. But in the days of Noah, life consisted of that. God was not thought of. That kind of life also makes the wickedness of people great and is the reason for the flood.

When the LORD sees this, He is sorry, or He repents, that he made man. God’s faithfulness never has to do with acknowledging a wrong deed. God never does anything wrong. His repentance indicates His feelings when He sees what man does with everything He has given him. He mourns about it. The element of regret about wrongdoing is not present here. If God repents something, it means that in His government He comes back to something He intends to do, but changes it, when He sees people behaving differently than He may expect.

The same we see with Saul, of whom God also says that He repents that He has made him king (1 Samuel 15:11; 1 Samuel 15:35, Darby translation). The other sense of repentance, that it would have been wrong of God to make him king, that He was mistaken, is not possible with God. Of him is true: “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind [or: repent]; for He is not a man that He should change His mind [or: repent]” (1 Samuel 15:29; cf. Romans 11:29; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6). God can repent in the sense that He returns to an intention to bless or punish man if the ways of man give cause to do so.

A clear example of this can be found in Jeremiah 18: “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy [it]; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent [or: will repent, Darby translation] concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant [it]; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better [or: will repent, Darby translation] of the good with which I had promised to bless it” (Jeremiah 18:7-2 Samuel :).

Repentance on the basis of a mistake is impossible, because God does not make mistakes. The repentance of God referred to here, shows that man is not a puppet and God is not an unrelenting God. This does not affect the fact that God is omniscient and sovereign. He is too. It does show how much God is involved with man. Even so that at some point He says: “I am become weary of repenting” (Jeremiah 15:6, Darby translation). God gives people so many opportunities, every time they repent He postpones the judgment, but every time they corrupt it.

Finally, He can no longer postpone the judgement. This is evident here with Noah, although He still gives man a certain time to repent. He used the preaching of Noah, who is called “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).

Even the senseless animals are included in the announced judgment. They are made for man to serve and honor God together with him, but because of man’s sin they no longer meet the purpose of their creation.

Verses 8-12

Noah, the Exception

Noah finds grace in the eyes of the LORD. What can that mean other than that he has also looked for it? Whoever seeks grace, is aware of the judgment. Noah is no exception to all people as sinners. He also deserves to be judged. He is the exception in the midst of all corruption, because he acknowledges that God’s wrath rests on him. The result is that of him can be said that he is “a righteous man, blameless”. This is also evident from his walk, for he “walked with God”. It must have been a great joy for God that this man walks with Him in the midst of corruption and violence.

Verse 13

God Tells Noah What He Is Going to Do

Just like with Enoch, God tells Noah what He is going to do. “The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant” (Psalms 25:14). With man the earth will be destroyed. Man has corrupted everything in connection with him. By his fault there is a curse on creation (Romans 8:20; Romans 8:22).

Verses 14-16

The Ark

Just like with Enoch there is salvation from the judgment for Noah, but in an other way than with Enoch. God not only makes Noah familiar with judgment, but also with salvation. He does not leave it to Noah to think of a way in which he can bring himself to safety. That is still the case today. There is only one Name given under heaven by which people can be saved (Acts 4:12) and that is “the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 4:10).

As with the tabernacle, God gives a precise description of the ark to be built. The ark is a picture of the Lord Jesus. The wood of the ark speaks of His Manhood. The Man Christ Jesus is the “mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5). The word “pitch” is the same word used for “reconciliation”.

Verse 17

Everything on Earth Shall Perish

So far God has not said how He will destroy the earth. Here He says that He will do it by “the flood of water”. Now Noah understands why he has to build a big ship.

Verses 18-21

Who Shall Enter the Ark

The ark serves primarily to save Noah and his family. Furthermore, everything that has value for God, everything that lives, must also enter the ark. God’s plan is to populate an earth cleansed by judgment with everything that lives. God’s great care is evident not only from the ark itself but also from the compartments that have to be made in the ark. The ark is not one big space, but every living being gets his own compartment. Food also speaks of God’s care.

Verse 22

Noah Obeys

Noah’s faith is evident from his obedience. He acts exactly according to the instructions of God. Similarly, Moses later acts in the construction of the tabernacle (Hebrews 8:5; Exodus 40:16). Our faith is also evident in our obedience to everything God has said in His Word. If God warns of the judgements to come, then it is wisdom to make provision accordingly (Exodus 9:20-Ecclesiastes :; Ezekiel 3:18).

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Genesis 6". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/genesis-6.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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