The Flood, Part 1 (The Covenant & the Cross #42)


Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 6:1-3 which reads: “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.”

Allow me to share with you some further commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul:

This section, by the mention of Noah, signals the transition from the godly line of Seth to the flood story and recalls the ominous situation at the end of the Cainite lineage.

These ‘sons of God’ have been identified as Sethites (the traditional Christian interpretation), as angels (the earliest Jewish interpretation), and as royal tyrannical successors to Lamech who gathered harems (proposed by rabbis of the second-century a.d.). All three interpretations can be defended linguistically. On the surface, the first interpretation best fits the immediate preceding context (a contrast of the curse-laden line of Cain with the godly line of Seth), but it fails to explain adequately how “daughters of man” refers specifically to Cainite women. The second view has ancient support, but seems to contradict Jesus’ statement that angels do not marry and does not explain why the focus is on mortals and the judgment on them. The third interpretation best explains the phrase “any they chose” but lacks as much ancient support. The best solution is probably a combination of the last two. These human offspring are also the spiritual offspring of Satan, empowered by demons.

Today’s quote about the Bible is from A.W. Tozer. He said: “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”

floodOur topic for today is titled “The Flood (Part 1)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. Before we begin looking at that topic, we are going to address another question that has often been asked by readers of the Bible, and that is: Is Polygamy Allowed?

The author states: A question that is often raised is, Why does God permit polygamy? As I read my Bible, my impression is that this is one of various practices that God tolerated in Old Testament times but did not authorize. There is no place where God specifically says that it is acceptable for any man to marry more than one woman (although there are some guidelines in the law that protect the rights of the second wife of those who do). Rather, as Jesus noted in Matthew 19:3-9 and Mark 10:2-9, the ideal is for one man and one woman to become one.

Now, we are going to turn our attention to the Flood —

After telling us what became of Adam, the writer opens a new toledot section, spending some time on the Flood. Here there are two complex issues that need to be addressed, both of which are very controversial. The first is the cause of judgment. The second is the nature of the Flood itself.

The text of Genesis 6 tells us that the cause of the Flood was the intermarriage of “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men.” The meaning of this statement has been debated, and there are three dominant proposals. Some argue that the sons of God are human judges or rulers; others argue that they are the godly line of Seth and that the daughters of men are the offspring of Cain (or the rest of Adam’s children). Still others argue that the sons of God are fallen angels, and the daughters of men are human women. Most likely the latter view is correct, especially since at the time, according to Genesis 6:4, the Nephilim (which probably means “fallen ones”) were on the earth. In any case, the cause of judgment is increasing evil on the earth. While the nature of this evil is not specified, the most likely reference is to an increasing pattern of false worship.

Now, we will look at the nature of the judgment. The judgment God sent was a flood that destroyed most of the life on the earth. From a remnant, God started again. While there are several issues involved in this event, three key questions stand out.

Perhaps the most critical is the question of historicity: Was there such a flood? The factuality of this event was generally accepted up to the eighteenth century, when many aspects of the Genesis record began to be questioned. As a more critical spirit enveloped biblical scholarship, the Flood came to be regarded as a mythical event. Today, those who view it as mythical are inclined to treat the biblical account as an embellishment of an actual event in history, although there is tremendous debate as to what event that might have been. After archaeology began to develop and the ruins of cities in Mesopotamia began to be excavated, several cities were found to have mud layers pointing to floods. Initially, some archaeologists made a connection with the flood of Noah, which some still accept today. More recently, evidence of a major flood in the region of what is now called the Black Sea has been proposed as the explanation. In both cases, proponents see these floods as the historical event that lay behind the deluge described in the Bible.


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