The Biblical Account on The Story of Noah
We all know the story of Noah. It is a story of faith and a picture of Jesus. We have seen different movies portraying the tale of the famous flood with many discrepancies concerning the accuracy of Noah’s story. Let’s see what the Bible truly tells us during this time of great depravity in the world. We start with his birth.
Genesis 5:28-32 (NKJV)
28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” 30 Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.
32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and he begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Methuselah was the father of Lamech, and he, Methuselah, lives longer than his own father, Enoch and longer than his son, Lamech. Lamech is introduced here just long enough to connect the dots between Methuselah and Lamech’s famous son, Noah.
When Lamech named his son, he said he will give us rest from our work and from the toil of the curse on the Earth. Noah’s name literally means comfort in the sense of rest. However, Lamech said Noah will give us rest from our work and the curse of the Earth. Is Noah going to accomplish these things? Will Noah put an end to our work and to the curse on the Earth? The answer is no.
Lamech names Noah and claims he will put an end to the curse and bring our work to an end. But as we see this story unfold, we can see he was wrong. But by his statement, Lamech does create through his son a picture of the coming Messiah.
- For the coming Messiah does give us rest from our work, the work of trying to earn our own salvation
- And eventually, the Messiah’s rein on Earth will bring the curse to an end
So now that Lamech having inadvertently established his son as a picture of Messiah’s saving work, we begin the story of Noah and the f!ood.
Genesis 6:1-4 (NKJV)
The Wickedness and Judgment of Man
6 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive (abide) with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim (giants) were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Moses now begins the story of Noah and the Flood. To be more specific, Moses moves from talking about Adam’s sons to the daughters of men. And the daughters of men become the back story for why the Flood was necessary.
Moses sets the scene with an intriguing passage describing intermarriage between daughters of men and the sons of God. There is some debate concerning what Moses is describing here, but I believe the answer is fairly straightforward. First, notice that whatever Moses is describing in verses.1-2, the obvious point is that this event is notable and unusual. Otherwise, why would Moses take effort to describe marriage in the normal sense? Furthermore, the terms Moses uses tell us that this isn’t a typical
marriage. He says daughters of men, which is easy enough to understand. Then Moses says these daughters were attracting the attention of the sons of God (ben elohim). The Bible never refers to natural men as the sons of God. The only other references to “ben elohim” are found in Job and each time it refers to angels. Even the Septuagint translated “sons of God” as angels of God. If these were angels, then we must also conclude that these angels were of the demonic kind – disobedient, fallen angels. Jude gives us a confirmation of this event.
Jude 6-7 (NKJV)
6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jude says that angels did not keep their own domain but went after strange f!esh. These demons are now being held waiting punishment of eternal fire as
The question then becomes why would the demonic realm want to mate with
women? The answer brings us back to the theme of the book of Genesis: the
seed that will fulfill God’s promise to redeem men from sin. The demons and their master Satan understand that God has promised to crush them with a Messiah, a Seed who comes in keeping with God’s promise in the Garden. But that Seed will come through woman specifically. The promise of the coming Messiah was given to Eve and
was a privilege that women would share. In fact, the desire of every Jewish girl’s heart was that she might have the blessing of birthing the Messiah.
Therefore, the demons began to mate with women to corrupt the human race and the seed line to the Messiah. If the lines of men were sufficiently corrupted, then there would be no seed line available for God to carry through on His promise. How could such an unholy union be possible? We remember from other passages of Scripture that angels (demons) have the ability to appear to men in human form. And they can convey a convincing illusion. In a later account of Abraham, he will eat with angels and not know who they are at least at first. Also, in the story of Lot, he is visited by two angels that appear to be men and take Lot by the hand to lead him out of the city. So we can accept that demons also, have the ability to imitate and counterfeit human f!esh including the seed of men.
So the prospect of demons mating with women isn’t impossible to accept under these circumstances, but what of the offspring? The passage gives us a description of the offspring in verse 4. The Bible calls them Nephelim, which means fallen ones in Hebrew
But the Septuagint chose to translate the Hebrew word into gigentes in Greek rather than leaving it as a proper noun. Gigentes means giant in English, but the original Hebrew was not trying to suggest that the offspring of angels and women were giants.
In fact, it would have been an even greater danger if the offspring were indistinguishable from normal men. They would have mixed in more easily and without being easily detectable.
In the text of verse 4 there is a potentially confusing statement we should have clarified. Moses says that the Nephelim were on earth in those days and also afterward. Some think Moses is implying that this intermarriage continued after the f!ood. They even cite Numbers and the story of the ten spies who reported seeing Nephilim in the promised land. The report of the ten spies was not accurate, as the story in Numbers bears out. They were lying to persuade the people of Israel
not to enter, since they were afraid of the Canaanites.
Furthermore, the syntax of the Hebrew in Genesis 6 is the cause for
our confusion. If we read it in the Hebrew, we find that the phrase “and
afterward” is connected to the second half of the sentence, not the first half.
Here is how it is read in the Septuagint:
Gen. 6:5 Now the giants were upon the earth in those days; and after that when the sons of God were wont to go in to the daughters of men, they bore children to them, those were the giants of old, the men of renown.
So, the “afterward” is simply a connecting word in Hebrew to introduce what happened after the demons mated with women. The offspring are called Nephilim, fallen ones, but they posed a new and significant threat to God’s plan for mankind. The introduction of fallen angels into the genealogy of mankind would interfere with God’s plan to bring the Messiah into the world as a man. The Messiah must share in the nature of man in order to redeem man. If man’s nature has been corrupted into one that shares the
demon nature, God’s plan to bring Messiah would be thwarted.
However, in verse 3, God says His Spirit shall not strive with men forever. The Hebrew word for strive is unique, making it difficult to define since it only occurs here in the entire Bible. It probably means to remain with man, as in to keep his physical body alive. Remember that God breathed his spirit into man to bring Adam to life. But that joining of spirit and f!esh was no longer permanent. Flesh was destined to perish because of the curse. So God is saying that all f!esh is destined to die sooner or later.
And now the f!esh of men was being systematically corrupted by angels. So God declares that if an end to f!esh is inevitable anyway, He now sets a limit to how long f!esh will remain on the earth. And so it was decreed that after 120 years, God will put an end to all corrupted f!esh on Earth. This becomes the countdown timer until the f!ood strikes the Earth. And it explains the need for such a drastic response on God’s part. If man’s sin alone was reason enough to destroy the world, we should have expected to see it happen many times over.
Genesis 6:5-8 (NKJV)
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
While the demonic realm was working to undermine God’s plan, the sin of men was also growing to unsustainable levels on the earth. The wickedness of men was great we’re told. Men have always been sinful, but in the world that existed after the Garden, there was little to restrain the power of sin in society. The only means God provided for the restraint of sin after the Fall was the conscience of man. God has not instituted government nor the death penalty. God has not yet delivered His Law. So man’s sin is only governed by his own conscience.
Moses explains that man’s internal thoughts and imagination were evil continually. The word imagination is yatzar in the Greek. It’s the same word used in Gen 2:7 to describe how God created (yatsar) man out of the dust of the ground. God used His creative powers to produce something good. But corrupted man now uses his creative powers to
construct evil continually. The point of Moses description is that man’s conscience has been shown to be unable to restrain man’s sin. Apart from the chosen seed line through Seth, men became entirely evil, because the sin nature cannot be restrained by our conscience. And now the sheer number of people combined with
their unrestrained sinfulness has reached a level God no longer can accept.
Then Moses said that God was sad and He regretted making man. Some English versions may even say God repented of making man. Whenever we see this description of God, we must understand it in light of all Scripture. For example, Scripture teaches clearly that God does not change His mind in the sense of a man. We change our mind when we learn new information that alters our understanding and leads us to different conclusions. This never happens with God. So we must understand verse 6 in light of this Biblical truth. In this case, Moses says God was sorry He made man, but the sense of it, in light of all Scripture, is that God was regretful for how His creation had deteriorated. This statement does not imply surprise over circumstances, much less a changed attitude toward creation. The fact that God planned for this moment doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pain Him when it finally arrives. Rather, God always displays regret or sorrow in the face of sin. And so He displays sorrow when He witnesses how man’s
sin progresses to extreme levels. In fact, notice in verse 7 that God’s “sorrow” extends beyond man to include land animals and birds. Clearly, sorrow doesn’t mean that God feels He made a mistake or changed His mind. His sorrow is dissatisfaction in the way sin is overtaking creation and that disappointment was so great that God was grieved and forced to act in response.
God’s response is a worldwide judgment that will blot out all these creatures. God’s response will result in the elimination of all creatures that have chay nephesh, or the life blood. Notice that fish are excluded, further confirming they are not considered to be creatures with chay nephesh (life blood). So this will be a worldwide judgment from which there is no escape. As we progress through the story of Noah, we’re also going to take time along the way to examine prophetic clues God has left behind in his story. By clues, I’m referring to symbols, pictures, shadows, and other markers taken from the account of Noah that point prophetically to a future moment. So as we begin this story, I want to set the stage for this comparison by highlighting the first clue or marker today. Moses has opened the story by describing the times and circumstances of that day. And these times share an interesting parallel with something Jesus
describes in the Gospels.
Matthew 24:37-39 (NKJV)
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Jesus tells us that His second coming will occur at a time and under circumstances similar to the days of Noah. In what way are they similar? There are three ways in which they are comparable, one of which Jesus gives us in verses 38-39 of Matthew.
- First, the days of Noah are marked by hyperactivity among the demonic
- In Noah’s day, demons were mating with women.
- In the days immediately before Jesus’ return, the Bible in Revelation describes a world in which the antichrist has been revealed.
- And this man will die in the middle of the seven-year tribulation, and after three days his body will come back to life.
- The source of his new life is actually the indwelling of Satan.
- The antichrist’s soul remains in hell, but the body is used by Satan to construct a counterfeit resurrection.
- This is the kind of extreme demonic mixing with humans that mirrors the activity of Noah’s day.
- Secondly, the depravity of men will reach extreme levels.
- Paul describes the seriousness of this future in 2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
Perilous Times and Perilous Men
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Remember, Paul isn’t saying that these kinds of sin are unique to the end times. He’s saying that the last days are marked because all men become this way. The world as a whole acts this way, rather than just the worst of society. It seems clear to me that we’re moving steadily in this direction.
- Finally, Jesus gives us a third way in which the circumstances of Noah’s
day mirror the times of His return.
- The world is oblivious and even hostile to the notion of His
- In verse 39, Jesus says they didn’t understand until the Flood came.
- They didn’t understand that Noah’s warnings were true.
- They didn’t understand that God would bring judgment for sin.
- They didn’t understand that they would be included in the judgment.
- The world is oblivious and even hostile to the notion of His
Coming up more pictures of Christ in the building of the Ark and then the Flood.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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