Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Book of Genesis.
[These notes are from a study from almost 45 years ago.]
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
At a time in ancient history the sons of God (ḇənê hā’ĕlōhîm) took wives of the daughters of men. This upset the Lord. He said that His Spirit would not contend with man forever and man’s days would be cut to 120 years. That would be a drop of approximately 800 years off the average life.
There is much debate about who the sons of God were. The same Hebrew words are used in Job 1:6 and 2:1 (ḇənê hā’ĕlōhîm). bənê ’êlîm, “ye mighty in the Authorized Version or “ye sons of the mighty in the Revised Version, is used in Psalm 29:1 and 89:6. They are used as names for the angelic host. Many scholars believed that the words in Genesis 6 described fallen angels who entered into women sexually.
Other scholars believe that the spiritual (godly) line of Seth broke down and had union with the fleshly (ungodly) line of Cain. Intermarriage occurred making the Lord angry.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And 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. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And 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. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The word for “giants” (nəp̄ilîm) is used in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33. They existed before and after the sons of God had sexual union with the daughters of men. Where the giants came from seems to be a mystery. We still have giants today.
These giant men were heroes and well-known. No wonder! Their physical prowess would give them great position before smaller people.
I am somewhat torn between the arguments of both sides to this matter of who the ḇənê hā’ĕlōhîm were. I question God wanting to wipe out mankind because He allowed fallen angels to be sexually involved with women. The idea of marriage also questions this concept. Have angels married into the human race? Is that why God wiped mankind from the face of the earth except for Noah? Jesus said centuries later – “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)
Man slowly became more and more ungodly. The influence of Adam may have grown less and less with subsequent generations. Cain and Lamech (son of Methushael) are examples of this.
Noah found grace (favor) in Gods eyes. He may have been the only man on earth who had not fallen He may have been the only man on earth who had not fallen completely into wickedness. If that’s true, then Methuselah and others of the Seth lineage had fallen as well. This may be the interpretation of the passage that the spiritual compromised to the flesh (Seth’s line to Cain’s line) through intermarriage. The beliefs and standards may have broken down until Noah found favor with God.
Every inclination of the thoughts of mans hearts were only evil “continually.” God grieved and was filled with pain. This gives us an insight into how deeply God cared for His creation. We see His wrath, but also His grace. The “But” of verse 8 is monumental. Without the grace of God there would be no mankind today. God has a right to destroy and a right to forgive. He does both.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
We begin to get a detailed account of a man named Noah he was a righteous man (’îš ṣaddîq), blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. He had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
The earth was corrupt and the peoples in it. Noah was not a sinless man However, he received an election (grace-gift) from God and was brought to salvation through faith.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, 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. Hebrews 11:7
The people of the earth had completely corrupted their ways by this time. They were filled with violence. God spoke to Noah and told him of His plans to destroy both man and the earth.
God then directed Noah to make an ark out of cypress wood with rooms in it. Noah was to coat it with pitch (kōp̄er) within and without. The word is “covering” and is also translated “atonement.”
It’s interesting that God chose the word for atonement to be the substance covering the ark on the inside and outside.
There are varied ideas about the size of the ark. The NIV says 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Other versions differ because of varied ideas on the size of a cubit.
The ark was the largest structure built by man on the waters of the seas until the late 19th century AD. it was a flat-bottomed, square-sided barge made to float out the roughest of weather.
The barge had 1/3 more carrying capacity than a ship of similar dimensions with sloping sides.
The ideal barges are ten times as long as they are high and six times as long as they are wide. The Babylonians had an account of the Flood, but the dimensions of their ark would have been a gigantic cube and unable to float in the waters of the Flood. Only the biblical account fits practical and scientific truth.
The ark had three desks and thus a deck area of almost 100-thousand square feet. It had a capacity of almost 1,400,000 cubic feet. 522 modern railroad boxcars could move easily into the ark. All the animals could have fit easily into 150 boxcars. It was certainly adequate for its God-ordained purpose.
A roof was to be built over the ark allowing 18 inches for light and air at the top. A door was placed on the side of the ark.
God tells Noah that this coming destruction of the earth will be by water — a flood. All life under the heavens would be destroyed. “every thing that is in the earth shall die. But …” God then makes a covenant with Noah that He will save him and his family. That included Noah’s wife, three sons and their wives.
Noah was to bring two of all living creatures, a male and a female, into the arm to keep them alive. This included birds and animals. Noah was also to take every kind of food and store it away for them and the animals. The ark would have almost four hundred boxcars of space left for food and human accommodations. *
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
I wonder how Noah accepted all this. Did he wonder how? Or why? Did he doubt? Or balk? He probably had a lot of thoughts, but whatever they were Noah obeyed God.
*Verse 20 points out that the animals came to Noah. He didn’t go round them up. They came by divine direction.
We will look at Genesis Chapter 7 in the next part of our special series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from almost 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your life and ministry.]