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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 6

Wells of Living Water CommentaryWells of Living Water

Verses 1-9

The Corrupted Earth

Genesis 6:1-9


As we approach the story of the flood, which God sent as a judgment upon the earth, which was corrupt before God and filled with violence, it will be most interesting for us to note several things relative to the fifth chapter of Genesis which gives us the story of the genealogy from Adam to Noah.

We have worked out a little table to which we call your attention.

Adam was 130 yrs. old when Seth was born Seth was 105 " " " Enos was born Adam was 235 yrs. old. Enos was 90 " " " Cainan " " " " 335 " " Cainan was 70 " " " Mahalaleel " " " " 395 " " Mahalaleel was 65 " " " Jared " " " " 460 " " Jared was 162 " " " Enoch " " " " 622 " " Enoch was 65 " " " Methuselah " " " " 687 " " Methuselah was 187 " " " Lamech " " " " 874 " " Lamech was 182 " " " Noah " " Noah was 600 " " " The Flood Came. From the chart we learn that Adam lived 56 years after the father of Noah was born. This means that Adam could have personally related the story of the creation to Noah's father. This means, of course, that Adam could have personally instructed Enoch, that wonderful man, who for three hundred years walked with God.

The translation of Enoch took place in the year 987 B.C. Lamech the son of Methuselah died five years before the flood, while Methuselah himself died the year of the flood. Is it not remarkable when we consider that Adam lived long enough to see seven generations born unto himself?

The sad part of this whole story is that in spite of these men who were in touch with Adam and who knew personally his remarkable story, yet, the earth became corrupted and was wicked before God until the very thoughts of the imagination of man's heart was evil continually.

I. FROM ADAM TO NOAH (Genesis 5:1-2 )

1. The "Cainites and the Sethites. The story of the immediate descendants of Cain is found in the latter part of the fourth of Genesis. It is interesting to note that Cain's first son bore the name of earth's first city. Cain, therefore, gave his attention to building a city. Many cities have been builded since that day, and they are for the most part the center of sin and debauchery.

Among Cain's descendants was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. Thus musical instruments had an early place in the history of man.

Tubal-Cain was another early descendant, and he was an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. These must have had their place in the homes and buildings of those early days.

As to Seth's son Enoch, we read: "Then began men to call upon the Name of the Lord." Thus the two lines began to multiply: the one giving attention to musical instruments and building cities, and the other to worshiping God.

2. The predominance of evil. As men multiplied upon the face of the earth, they gave themselves over to sinning. It is possible that the Cainites contaminated the Sethites. At least, the dominant note just prior to the flood was the wickedness of man was great in the earth.

3. The possibility of good in the midst of evil. The fact of general wickedness did not exclude the godly lives of the few. It was in the midst of these days, more than halfway between the creation and the flood that Enoch walked with God. In the final climax Noah was found to be a just man, and he too walked with God. Thank God, that righteousness is possible in the environment of unrighteousness.


1. Some say that our verses set forth a mixture of Sethites and Cainites. This certainly did occur, as has already been suggested. Not only did it occur back there before the flood, but it is occurring before Our very eyes, and it is coming to pass in spite of every command of God to the contrary.

(1) There is the mixture of the saint and sinner in matrimony. This is forbidden of God, for He has said, "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them * * for they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you."

(2) There is the mixture of saint and sinner in the pleasures of this life. This is Divinely forbidden. God has said, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men."

(3) There is the mixture of the orthodox with the heterodox. This is Divinely forbidden. God has said, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house."

2. Some say that our key verses set forth a mixture of angels and men. This is possibly true. We read of certain spirits who are kept under chains of darkness, and who "were disobedient in the days of Noah.

We are told that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Coming of the Son of Man. The fact that the giants, the Anakim, mighty men of renown were on the earth in those days leads to this second contention.


1. Giants mighty men of renown. In the days of Noah, the world had reached a high stage of development. We are not so sure that the world of today has passed beyond the world of Noah's day. We are ready to grant that it has only been in the last century that invention has wrought such wonders in our own land. We, also, grant that there was a climax of wonders in those olden days immediately preceding the flood. The harvest of the earth was ripe then, even as it is ripe now. God then thrust in His sickle to reap, even as He is now about to thrust it in.

When God pronounced the curse upon that age, He shortened man's life, saying, "His days shall be an hundred and twenty years." That period has even been cut down since the days that followed the flood. Christ's expression, "As it was in the days of Noah" carries with it a tremendous meaning.

2. Wickedness only continually. Advancement in the arts and sciences does not mean advancement in righteousness. Advancement in invention and construction does not mean an increase of holy living. As men became great and mighty, men of renown, they also became vile. Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually.

With all of our culture and learning and advancement, sin was never more rampant. Our great centers of learning are not centers of spirituality and of holiness. There is a deluge of worldliness that is engulfing our young people today and sweeping them into all excesses of carnal lusts. Modesty and purity seem to have taken flight as advancement in modern invention came in.


1. The Spirit strove with men of old as He strives today. We do not mean that there is not a special ministry of the Holy Spirit in this age. This is peculiarly the day of the Spirit. Until Christ had gone back to the Father, the Spirit had not come unto men as He came at Pentecost. However, the Holy Spirit was present of old. It was the Spirit of God who moved upon the face of the waters, when God said, "Let there be light." When God created the heavens and the earth, He sent forth His Spirit and they were created.

In the days from Adam to Noah, the Spirit of God was continually striving with men inasmuch as God said, "[He] shall not always strive with man."

When we think of the Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness, and their sinning against God, we need to remember that in those days, men sinned against the Holy Ghost and grieved Him. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read, "Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation." This plainly declares that it was the Holy Spirit who was sinned against by the fathers. It was the Spirit who was grieved.

2. The Spirit will not always strive. There is a place when the Lord says, "It is enough." Thus far shall men go and no farther. When we think of the flood and of God destroying men from the face of the earth, let us remember that God waited while the Spirit was striving with men. The flood was God's judgment against sin, but it was God's judgment only after every call of the Spirit had conclusively proved that man was altogether set against the Almighty.


1. God repented Himself. Repentance carries with it always a change of mind with a resultant change of action. In the case of Nineveh, God sent Jonah to proclaim, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." "When, however, in response to Jonah's warning, Nineveh put on 'sackcloth and ashes, and repented before the Lord, believing in God and proclaiming the fact, then we read, "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not."

Had Nineveh repented and God had not repented, He would have unjustly destroyed the city. As soon as Nineveh changed her course of action, God changed His. All of this is set forth by the Holy Spirit in Ezekiel. "If the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby." God is a just God, and He cannot destroy the guiltless. Thus it was that God repented Himself concerning the people of Noah's day.

2. God grieved for man. How tender is Genesis 6:6 , "And it grieved Him at His heart"! God had no pleasure in the death of the wicked then, and He has not now. We read on this account, that "the longsuffering of God waited * * while the ark was a preparing." God had already pronounced man's destruction, and yet He still tarried giving man an opportunity to turn unto the Lord.

Why do the wicked live so long? It is because God has given them every opportunity to turn from their evil ways. Between every man and hell God casts the Cross of Christ, the strivings of the Spirit and the continued calls of God to repentance. It is the goodness of God that leadeth men to repentance.


1. It was grace to subsequent generations to destroy man from the face of the earth. After the sons of God had taken unto them wives of the daughters of men, and children were born, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown. When 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, it was necessary for God in His mercy and grace toward those who should follow to put away the ungodly.

God more than once, in the history of man, seeing that iniquity had come to the full, destroyed certain nations. The very men of our day are hastening toward a corruption which will make it necessary soon for God to send tremendous judgments in which a great portion of mankind will be slain. If this were not done, the Millennial Age would be corrupted by the unrepentant and sin-hardened of this age.

2. It was grace which spared Noah. God found Noah righteous, but not perfect. However, Noah knew God and walked with Him. Therefore, God could not destroy him and his along with the people of his generation.

3. It was grace which led God to keep a seed unto Adam through which He might replenish the earth.

God had made His promise in the Garden of Eden, and every promise is yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Had Noah not been spared, Christ could not have been born of Adam's line. The Book of Luke gives us the genealogy, however, from Adam and Eve by way of Seth through Noah and Abraham and David down to Mary of whom Christ was born.

God moves in a wonderful way to perform His marvels of grace. His ways may be full of mystery to men, but in every age He is working out His eternal purposes and plans. Satan may have thought himself victor, when he saw the corrupted earth; however, the purposes and pledges of God prevailed.


1. Noah was a just man. This does not mean that Noah in himself was spotless and without sin. Noah was just. 1. Because he was justified through his sacrificial offerings. We know that Noah sacrificed after the ark rested on Mount Ararat, and we have every reason to believe, therefore, that he sacrificed before the flood.

2. Noah was perfect in his generation. "His lineage from Adam down was uncorrupted from any contamination brought by marriages described in the early verses of chapter six.

3. Noah walked with God. This is a glorious statement, when we consider that the world knew not God. Once more we urge that Noah could not have walked with God had he not been a man who had access unto the Father through the anticipated Blood of Christ.

4. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. While the ark was building Noah preached righteousness. He did not, however, preach the righteousness of the flesh, but the righteousness which is by faith in Him.

5. Noah was a man who obeyed God. We read in Genesis 6:22 : "According to all that God commanded him, so did he." While other men were fulfilling the lusts of their flesh and their mind, Noah was fulfilling the will and work of God.

6. Noah was a man of faith. We read in Hebrews, "By faith Noah * * 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." Noah believed God, and his faith was counted for righteousness.

We have suggested the above characteristics in the life of Noah, hoping that some who are discouraged as to the possibilities of a spiritual life in this age of sin may be inspired thereby. What was possible to Noah in those days of corruption is possible to each of us now.



"Dr. Moffat, the celebrated missionary to South Africa, tells an. amusing story of a lad who had been converted by reading the New Testament.

"One day he came to Dr. Moffat in much distress, telling him that their big watch dog had gotten hold of the Book and had torn a page out of it. Dr. Moffat tried to comfort him, by saying that he could get another Testament, "But the boy was not at all comforted. 'Think of the dog,' he said.

"Dr. Moffat, supposing the boy thought that the paper would do the dog harm, laughed and said, "If your dog can. crunch an ox bone, he is not going to be hurt by a piece of paper.'

"'Oh, Papa Moffat,' he cried, 'I was once a bad boy. If I had an enemy, I hated him, and everything in me wanted to kill him. Then I got the New Testament in my heart, and began to love everybody and forgive all my enemies, and now the dog, the great big hunting dog, has got the blessed Book in him, and will begin to love the lions and the tigers; and let them help themselves to the sheep and the oxen.'

"What a beautiful tribute this African boy, out of the simplicity of his heart, paid to the power of the Bible!" The Indian Christian.

Verses 11-22

Noah and the Ark

Genesis 6:11-22


There is a verse in the New Testament which reads: "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

1. One cannot but marvel that the Lord went on and specified the eating and drinking, the marrying and giving in marriage, as certain parallelisms between Noah's day and the day of the Lord's Return. He was, of course, speaking not merely of the fact that they ate, or that they married. He referred to the method and the ideals of eating and drinking, and of marrying and giving in marriage. Those are the things which we see before us at this very hour. The marriage bond has become almost a jest, and the ideals of eating and drinking have become that of luxuriating and feasting with revelry.

2. Christ, also, said, "They * * knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." The people in the days of the flood accordingly disbelieved the testimony of Noah as to the destruction of the earth's peoples by the deluge. They spurned the very thought as an impossibility. So it is today, the world knows the warning of the Lord's imminent Coming, and it has heard the cry of tribulation which is about to fall. The world, however, with a smile of unbelief goes on its way as thoughtlessly as did the men of Noah's day.

In Thessalonians, we read, "When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them." The world is likened unto those who sleep in the night; to them the Coming of the Lord will be as a thief. We, who believe, however, are of the day, and the hour of His Coming will not overtake us as a thief.

3. A third parallelism between the days of Noah and the days of Christ's Coming is seen in world conditions. In the days of Noah the earth was filled with violence. All flesh has corrupted his way upon the earth.

In the days of the Coming of the Son of Man, "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse." "Perilous times will come." Men are, indeed, lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection. The earth is fast ripening in wickedness, and God in mercy to the human race must soon come in judgment.

4. God gave abundant warnings in the days of Noah, so also, does He give warnings in our day. The longsuffering of God waited in Noah's day, as Noah preached righteousness, and called upon a world of sinners to repent. The Lord our God is warning the people now; and the long-suffering of God is once more waiting, ere the cry is heard, "Thrust in your sickle and reap." God is giving one last long and loud call, commanding men everywhere to repent.

We, to whom the warning message has been given, must hasten with our words of warning, for God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the Truth.


1. Noah's character. Noah was a just man. How blessed it is that in the midst of darkness, there was light! In the midst of all impurity, there was a man who was pure. In the midst of injustice and violence, there was a man who was just.

We saw once in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the center of the factory and mining districts, where every building was almost black with smoke and dust, and every countenance was besmirched and soiled with soot we saw a beautiful flower, as white as snow, unsullied and unmarred. We plucked it, and as we looked at its white petals we marveled that such purity could dwell untouched mid such environment. So it was in Noah's day. Mid a world grown old in sin, and corrupted in wickedness, Noah stood forth a just man, and perfect in his generation.

2. Noah walked with God. Other men in Noah's day were walking according to the lusts of the flesh, according to the prince of the power of darkness, but Noah walked with God. Other men went along with the tide; they placed their oars in their boat and drifted down the stream of public immoralities. Noah, however, turned his face toward the light, and toward the rising sun. He turned his ship upstream, and against public opinion, he pulled for the heights of that purer, better air.

II. A MAN WHO WALKED WITH GOD (Genesis 6:9 , l.c)

Why should we, who live in the pollution of the present hour, imagine that it is impossible to walk among men and yet to walk with God?

1. We may be in the world and yet not be of the world. Our Lord Jesus has saved us out of this present evil generation. He has told us very plainly that the world will hate us. It will have no place where we can lay our head. There is, However, another side to this question.

2. We may be in the world, and yet we may walk with God. Noah did this, Enoch did this, David did this, Paul did this, thousands of men of our own generation are doing this. We may, also, walk in the light of His countenance, in a communion with the Almighty that is unbroken and unmarred.

3. Walking with God suggests several things.

(1) A holy comradeship. How blessed that we may not only know God, but that we may know Him in the intimacy of companionship!

(2) A co-operative undertaking. We should walk with God in service. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord." The word "fellowship in this Scripture suggests co-partnership. It means that we are called into business with Christ Jesus.


God said unto Noah, "The end of all flesh is come before Me; * * I will destroy them with the earth."

1. God led Noah into the innermost secrets of His plan. It is not to every one that God will thus reveal the blueprints which mark out the structure of His designs. To a man, however, who is perfect and just, and who walks with God to such an one God will reveal Himself.

2. God delights in telling His bondslaves of the things to come. If God told Noah, will He not also tell us? Perhaps the expression, "As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man," again may be applied. God told Noah that the flood was coming: He tells us that the tribulation is coming. Revelation 1:1-3 , tells us how God gave unto Christ, "To shew unto his SERVANTS things which must shortly come to pass." How else could we warn men of the coming of certain destruction, if we, ourselves, knew not of it? God has told us, that we may tell to others that which is about to come to pass. How else could we prepare ourselves unto the hour of His Coming, if we knew it not? God loves His own, and He wants them to be robed, and ready when He comes.

3. How may we discover God's will, and what He is about to do? If we would know from God, Himself, His secrets, we must dwell in the secret place. A little boy was so intent on selling his newspapers, and so carried away with the rush of traffic that he failed to hear the warning siren of the auto, and was trampled down.

We stood on the streets of Philadelphia and observed the throngs rushing hither and thither oblivious to the fact that above their very heads the church chimes we're playing, "Nearer, my God, to Thee." If we would know God's plans and purposes we must go apart and walk with Him.


1. Man's correlation with God, in the work of man's redemption. Working together with God. How wonderful it must have been to Noah to have been a co-laborer with God, working under Divine orders and with Divine approbation! This was true in Noah's case, and it should be true with us. God has said, "Unto every man his work." We are to preach the preaching that He bids us. We are to go where we are commanded.

Noah had instructions which were positive and plain. God told him the details upon which he should build the ark. He was to make rooms, a window, and a door. He was to make a lower, a second, and a third story to the ark. He was to make it of a certain kind of wood, of a certain length, and a certain breadth. He was to pitch it, within and without, with pitch.

Our commission in our service for Christ is just as detailed. We are to work according to the pattern which God places in our hand.

2. The far-reaching results of man's ministry. Noah not only saved himself and his family through the ark, which he builded, but he conserved a race, innumerable, which sprang from his loins. Noah, in his obedience and comradeship with the Almighty, became God's instrument through which God kept His promise and pledge made in the Garden, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.

The Apostle Paul said, "I magnify mine office." How marvelous it is to be linked up with. God so intimately in the redemption of man! We may not become an Ark, a Saviour, by which men may be saved; but we can proclaim the message of redemption. We can go to the ends of the earth with its story.


Many years after Noah, Moses lived. Noah was commanded to build an ark, Moses was commanded to build a Tabernacle. Of Noah it is written, "According to all that God commanded him, so did he." Open now your Bibles to Exodus 40:16 , and you will read, "Thus did Moses: according to all that the Lord commanded him, so did he." The words spoken of Noah are exactly the same as those spoken of Moses. In Exodus forty we read seven times that Moses did as the Lord commanded him.

1. The inner meaning of God's demand for obedience. We are about to consider the ark itself. We believe that the ark was a typical building; that God commanded it to be built in a certain way, because it symbolized things which pertained to salvation.

The same thing was true of the Tabernacle. It was true to a larger extent, to finer details. Only once it was said of Noah, "According to all that God commanded him, so did he." Seven times, however, we read, that Moses did as the Lord commanded him. The Tabernacle, therefore, takes precedence, typically, over the ark.

We read, in fact, in the Book of Hebrews of how God told Moses, "See that thou make it according to the pattern shewed thee in the mount." We may not enlarge upon these wonderful types, but we do urge that we should obey all the commands of God, exactly as they are given, and this we should doubly do, when His commands relate to ordinances and acts which pre-figure and symbolize salvation truths. If we fail in our obedience, we will break a type, and, therefore, we will spoil the truth of the gospel message.

2. The glory of obedience is its completeness. To do part of what we are told, and not all, is to mar the beauty of the part we do. There is a little verse in Joshua that says, "That thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein." Let us fulfil our obedience, until we stand perfect, and complete, in all the revealed will of God.


1. A loving invitation. God said, "Come thou * * into the ark." God will not suffer His own to perish with the wicked. He always prepares a way to escape. There are some who have an idea that the saints will pass through the tribulation period, partaking of the wrath. We cannot see this, inasmuch as God hath not appointed us unto wrath.

It is easy to understand how God's children will be called upon to suffer tribulation in the world, and how the world may hate them. It is, nevertheless, impossible to conceive how one who knows God, and who walks with God, can suffer judgments which fall from on high.

God was about to send dire judgments upon the earth, but to Noah He seemed to say, "Come * * enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."

God will protect certain ones of Israel, by hiding them under His wing. He will protect His saints of the Church, by taking them up above the tribulation, where they shall be forever with the Lord.

2. An inclusive invitation. God said unto Noah, "Come thou, and all thy house into the ark." God gave unto Noah his own.

As to Noah and all his house, we cannot but feel that they stood with him in his faith.

We read how Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We read of the jailer, who believed in God with all his house. We read of Abraham, "I know [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him." Thank God for Christian homes!


It will be impossible to discover all of the details of this wonderful typology.

1. The ark was typical of Christ the Saviour. The ark stands for salvation. In it Noah was safely housed against the waters which prevailed upon the whole earth. In Christ we are safely housed against the wrath of God which will fall upon the ungodly.

2. The ark was typical of security. When Noah went into the ark, God shut the door. There was no chance of that door giving way. The door signified both that the wicked could not enter in, and that Noah could not pass without.

To one redemption had become impossible, the last call had been given; the doom had been sealed. He who rejects Christ and the proffers of salvation, during his earth life, will find a closed door in the life to come. He who is saved will find himself secure in Christ for evermore.

3. The ark and its window. From the window, Noah and his family could look above at the wonders of God's heaven. To the saved enclosed in Christ, there is an open window, even the window of prophecy, through which we may behold foregleams of the glories of the riches of God's grace, which await us in the ages to come.

4. The ark was pitched within and without. The Hebrew word for "pitch" is the word "Atonement." We are made safe in Christ, our Ark, because of His Calvary work. The Atonement is not only the message of salvation from the world, which lies without, but it is the basis of every blessing which is ours in the Heavenlies to come.

5. The ark and its gopher wood. The gopher wood brings before us the fact that Christ became flesh. Thus proceeds the wonderful symbolic message of the ark.

6. Pairs of every living thing of beast and bird and creeping thing were saved along with Noah. All of this suggests to us, in no uncertain way, that when the Millennium comes the whole creation will enter in to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and will be delivered from its travailing together in pain even until now.

7. The ark with its three floors. This brings before us the various stages of blessing which come to us who are saved.

8. The ark and its one door. This tells us that there is none other name given under Heaven and among men, whereby we must be saved.



The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day's work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me. "My grace is sufficient for thee." I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, "My grace is sufficient for thee," and I said, "I should think it is, Lord," and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, "Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee." Or, it seemed like a little mouse in the granaries of Egypt, after the seven years of plenty, fearing it might die of famine; Joseph might say, "Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee." Again I imagined a man away up yonder, on a lofty mountain, saying to himself, "I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere," but the earth might say, "Breathe away, O man, and fill thy lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee." Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls. C. H. Spurgeon.

Bibliographical Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Genesis 6". "Living Water". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lwc/genesis-6.html.
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