Genesis 6


Genesis 6:1-2 -- sons of God and daughters of men
Genesis 6:3 --
120 years
Genesis 6:4 --
the Nephilim
Genesis 6:5 --
wickedness multiplies
Genesis 6:7 --
God's decision
Genesis 6:8-9a
-- Noah's signature

Genesis 6:9b -- the opening of the sons' tablet
Genesis 6:10 --
Shem, Ham and Japheth
Genesis 6:11 --
the earth filled with violence
Genesis 6:12 --
God sees
Genesis 6:13 --
the fault is man's
Genesis 6:14 --
build an ark
Genesis 6:15-16 --
directions for building
Genesis 6:17-18 --
God's plans
Genesis 6:19 --
two by two
Genesis 6:20 --
the animals will come to Noah
Genesis 6:21 --
Noah must gather food
Genesis 6:22 --
Noah's obedience

Noah’s tablet actually starts in Genesis 5:1b:  “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God” (NIV)  There is no significant variation in the other translations. As Adam did, Noah begins his tablet by referring back to the tablet before his. The genealogy from Adam then is given in chapter 5. We will be dealing with all the genealogies together, and do chapter 5 when we do chapter 11.  Going straight to chapter 6, then, we will go from there to the close of Noah’s tablet, and then the beginning of his sons' tablet.


Genesis 6: 1-2

 NIVWhen men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

KJV – 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.

Alex. LXXAnd it came to pass when men began to be numerous upon the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God having seen the daughters of men that they were beautiful, took to themselves wives of all whom they chose.

Hebrew --   And it was that began men to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born.  To see the sons of God the daughters of men, that they were good and they took for themselves wives from all those whom they chose.

  1.  When men BEGAN to increase in number….this started happening very early in history!
  2. Who were the 'sons of God'? We must let Bible explain Bible. We looked up EVERY time this phrase was used in both the King James and New International versions (we also have a list taken from Bible Gateway):

     KJV – Job 1:6 (Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.); Job 2:1 (Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.); Job 38:7 (When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?) The Alexandrian  and NIV use ‘angels’ each of these three times. The Hebrew uses ‘sons of God.’ It should be noted that whichever version you prefer, Satan is considered separate from them. He is not associated with either the ‘angels’ or ‘sons of God’ in these passages.

     NIV – Matthew 5:9 (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.) The King James uses ‘children of God’ here. (the Greek ‘teknon’ can be ‘child, son, or daughter’).

    KJV – John 1:12 (But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name). The NIV uses ‘children.’

    both – Romans 8:14 (NIV -- because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  KJV -- For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.); Romans 8:19 (NIV -- The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. KJV -- For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.)

    NIV – Galatians 3:26 (You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,); the KJV uses ‘children’

    KJV – Philippians 2:15 (That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world); the NIV uses ‘children.’ 

    KJV – 1 John 3:1 (Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.); the NIV uses ‘children.’

Thus, after the two verses in Genesis 6, with the exception of Job’s passages, in which angels can be used (and which do not include Satan with them), depending on the language being used, EVERY other time ‘sons of God is used, it refers to believers in Christ; therefore those believers before the time of the cross would be believers in the Promise of God, whose fulfillment was Christ.

Letting Bible explain Bible, then, the sons of God in Genesis 6:1 and 4 is referring to men who were believers in the Promise of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer to come. 

3. Who were the daughters of men?   The phrase ‘daughters of men’ is only used these two times in the Bible.  But it is being used in contradistinction to ‘sons of God.’  Therefore it means unbelieving women who were daughters of unbelieving men.  Why would this be important? Who raises the children? The mothers do. Therefore, almost regardless of what the fathers may have said, the mothers would have had the most influence on the belief systems of the children. The fact that this is the opening of the chapter which is describing the violence and evil which had saturated the world of that time indicates where this led!  In the New Testament, Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 6:4 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? When the Israelites went into the Promised Land, they were forbidden to marry pagans. This pattern holds throughout the Bible, first in the physical sense and then in the spiritual sense.

4. “all which they chose” or “any they chose” seems to indicate that the women had no say in the matter.  As we can see with Lamech, bigamy at least was accepted, and, if bigamy, very possibly polygamy.  However, God gave Adam one wife, with the command that they should join and become united as one. 


Genesis 6:3

NIVthen the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’

KJVAnd 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.

Alex LXX – And the Lord God said, My Spirit shall certainly not remain among these men forever, because they are flesh, but their days shall be a hundred and twenty years.

Hebrew --  And said Jehovah, not shall strive my spirit with man always in their erring; he is flesh; and shall be his days a hundred and twenty years.

When we consider the Flood, it is clear that its purpose was not to stop evil.  However, here God is stating His purpose – there will be a severe limit to a man’s lifespan.  120 years is almost childhood compared to the lifespans before the Flood.  (As will be seen later, the Ark was built in much less than 120 years, which is the common misperception about the meaning of this verse.) 

God’s Spirit contends with man.  That is an interesting bit of information.  In John 14:17, the Holy Spirit is identified as the Spirit of Truth.  In Romans 1, God’s anger is being poured out on those who suppress, or ignore the truth. 

The Holy Spirit will eventually pull away from those who continually resist Him/the truth. Men are allowed this choice. 


Genesis 6:4

NIVThe Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.  They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

KJVThere 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.

Alex LXXNow the giants were upon the earth in those days; and after that, when the sons of God were wont to go into the daughters of men, they bore to them, those were the giants of old, the men of renown.

Hebrew – The giants were on the earth in days those, and even afterwards, when came in the sons of God to the daughters of men and they bore to them; they were heroes who existed from ancient times the men of name. 

The original word translated ‘giants’ is nephilim.  It means a bully, or tyrant, or giant.  It comes from the word ‘naphal’ which means ‘to fall.’   These were fallen men, sinners, who may or may not have been large in stature.  The NIV and the Hebrew give the clearest reference to ‘they’ with the punctuation, pointing back to the Nephilim being the ‘heroes,’ or ‘men of name or renown.’   The grammar indicates that these were the children of the unions between the believing men and the unbelieving women. The "and also afterward" or "after that" appears to be a parenthetic which was inserted later, possibly by Moses or even Joshua when the spies who went into the Promised Land said there were nephilim, or giants, there. There is a common belief this meant men of large stature, and perhaps that was true for Joshua's time, but the indication in Genesis 6 is that these nephilim were leaders, men of renown, not necessarily physical giants (although if the time was as violent as indicated, they were probably war leaders and thus not small men).


Genesis 6: 5

NIVThe LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

KJVAnd 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.

Alex LXXAnd the Lord God, having seen that the wicked actions of men were multiplied upon the earth, and that everyone in his heart was intently brooding over evil continually,

HebrewAnd saw Jehovah that great was the evil of man on the earth and every imagination the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long.

Although the common interpretation comes from the Masoretic (NIV, KJV, Hebrew) and states that all men were always evil all the time, the Alexandrian might be giving us a little more of an idea of what was going on.  First, the wicked actions were multiplying.  That is not even in question.  But then “everyone in his heart was intently brooding over evil continually.”  Good men, however many or few there might have been, would be very disturbed by so much wickedness and be thinking about it and praying about it.  Thus, the brooding part may have to do with men’s reactions, be they good men or evil men.

Thus, this verse in the original, or as close as we can get to it with the Alexandrian LXX, does not indicate that all men alive were always evil all the time. That interpretation is negated by the description of Noah, himself, as being a 'righteous' man later.


Genesis 6:6

NIVThe LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

KJVAnd it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Alex LXXthen God laid it to heart that he had made man upon the earth, and he pondered it deeply.

Hebrewand repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth; and he was angered to his heart.

This verse has become famous for the skeptic's claim that God could not possibly know everything since He was now sorry He made man. But let's look at the meaning of that word. The word translated "repented" is ‘nacham,’ meaning ‘to sigh or to breathe strongly’ by implication, to be sorry.  In a favorable sense, to pity. Therefore the NIV and the LXX have the most accurate translations here. God was grieved.  

Was God surprised?  No, but in the same way you can know someone is going to die and then still cry at the funeral, the actuality of evil grieved God, even though He knew ahead of time what would happen. That we can cause God pain is a surprise to some.  But He is not some ‘distant, all-pervasive spiritual intelligence.’  He is a Person.  In the New Testament, Paul warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).


Genesis 6:7

NIVSo the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.

KJVAnd 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.

Alex LXXAnd God said, I will blot out man whom I have made from the face of the earth, even man with cattle, and reptiles with flying creatures of the sky, for I have grieved ['thought, or 'reasoned,' is the literal translation from the Greek] about having made them.

HebrewAnd said Jehovah, I will wipe off man whom I have created from the face of the earth, from man to beast, to the creeping thing and to the fowl of the heavens; for I regret that I made them.

There is a parenthetic in this verse which has caused confusion. It reads, at first, as though God is sorry he made all the animals, too. However the parenthetic, which is clearly marked in the NIV and not as clearly indicated in the others, are the words which include the animals with man. The original would have read something like "So the LORD said, 'I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, for I am grieved that I have made them." The LXX would read, "And God said, I will blot out man whom I have made from the face of the earth, for I have reasoned about having made them.'"

The translators using the Masoretic all referred to ‘fowls’ of the air.  However the Alexandrian, using the “flying creatures of the sky” is probably more accurate. This would have included animals such as the pteradactyls and bats. The standard way of classifying animals in many ancient cultures, including the Hebrew, was by locomotion.


Genesis 6:8-9a

NIVBut Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.  This is the account of Noah.

KJVBut Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  These are the generations of Noah.

Alex LXXBut Noe found grace before the Lord God.  And these are the generations (‘geneseos’) of Noe.

HebrewBut Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah.  These are the generations of Noah.

This is the close of Noah's tablet. He simply picked up where Adam had left off and described the world before the Flood. "Generations" or "account" is "toledot," meaning "history, birth, family, descent."


Genesis 6:9b

NIV – Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

KJVNoah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Alex. LXXNoe was a just man; being perfect in his generation, Noe was well-pleasing to God.

HebrewNoah, a man righteous, had been perfected among his peers with God Noah walked.

This is the beginning of the tablet of Shem, Ham and Japheth. The first thing they do is define their father's character. He was "righteous," or "just." In the Hebrew the word is ‘saddiyq,’ meaning ‘just, lawful, righteous, innocent, honest.’ It comes from a root meaning ‘to make right, to cleanse, to clear oneself, to turn to righteousness’  (Zedekiah's name comes from this root). This is the first time in the Bible a person is described as righteous. In the New Testament we know all righteousness comes from Christ. In 2 Peter 2:5, Noah is referred to as a preacher of righteousness. If we look back, we know from Eve's reaction to Cain's birth that it was known from the beginning that the Messiah would be God Himself. Putting it together, we have a man who trusted God and God's promise of redemption, and he preached it.

About the phrase "perfect in his generation(s)" or "among his peers:" The word for ‘generation’ is genea, which is different from the signing off of the tablets, as Noah did in 6:9a – “This is the book of generations of Noah” – where ‘generations’ is genesios.  “Perfected” in the Hebrew is “pamiym” – "to be entire, integrity, truth, without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sound, undefiled.”  From a primitive root meaning ‘to be complete, to be upright, to be whole.’  In the Greek is “teleios,” meaning “perfect, that which is perfect, perfect to the end.” Throughout the Bible, the concept of being perfect, where men are concerned especially, is not the same as being without fault. It means, rather, to be complete. Noah was complete; he was a believer and he preached his faith. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his bloodline.  

In Hebrews 11:7 we read “By faith Noah, when warned by God about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family [household].  (the word translated “fear” is also translated “devout” – it is ‘eulabeomai.’  It comes from a root meaning ‘to be careful, circumspect, religiously pious, or devout, to be cautious.’), through which he condemned the world and according to faith became an heir of righteousness.”

In 2 Peter 2:5, we read, “And [God] did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, the eighth preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.”    “Eighth preacher of righteousness” – The NIV says “Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others…”  The Greek says, “but Noah, the eighth of righteousness a preacher (or herald) preserved…”  The NIV was trying to add a meaning which is not there.  Noah was the eighth preacher of righteousness. 

Who were they?  The Jewish approach says that the list goes through ten generations in the divine line to the Flood ending with Noah.  However Enoch was translated before his father died, and Lamech (Noah’s father, not the Lamech of Genesis 4) died before his father died, so in Jewish tradition, Lamech would have been skipped.   That leaves eight in the divine line, and understanding the Jewish tradition, they are saying these eight people mark the Melchizedek priesthood line.  "Melchizedek" traditionally means 'king of righteousness.' There is an interesting note in the Hebrew here: 'melak,' meaning 'counselor' or 'counsel' and 'melek' meaning 'king' or royal' are almost exactly the same except for a vowel point. That is something to consider since the Masoretic text which our Old Testaments are translated from left out the vowel points for 800 years, after which (in 900 A.D.) they were inserted on the basis of oral tradition. So "Melchizedek" could have been a counselor or priest of righteousness and not The King of Righteousness, which is Jesus. Jewish tradition also says Shem was the next preacher of righteousness after Noah.  It was his great-grandson, Eber, who was the next in line and probably the Melchizedek that Abraham bowed down to. (It would have been the great-grandson since Shem outlived his son and grandson.)


Genesis 6:10

NIV – Noah had three sons:  Shem, Ham and Japheth.

KJVAnd Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Alex. LXX – And Noe begot three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. [Sem, Cham, and Japheth are Greek spellings, thie most ancient Greek spelling known is Chapth for Ham]

Hebrewand fathered Noah three sons:  Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The word “Ham” meant ‘burnt one’ or ‘burnt’ and may be a reference to his skin color.  However, considering that the names we are aware of for these people may well have been given to them as adults, it may refer to something else.  What is interesting is that his name, with a very slight phonetic change, becomes ‘Herm,’ – ‘the burning one,’ and it may well be that he or his descendents set him us as the prototype of the mythological sun god, whose son, in Greek mythology, would have been Hermes.

From the name “Shem” we get the later derivation of ‘semite.’

At the close of chapter five, we read Noah was 500 years old when he begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  Were they triplets?  Maybe not, as in Genesis 11:10 we read that Shem was 98 when the Flood came.  Noah 600 when he got on the Ark, so Shem was born when Noah was 501 or 502, depending on the date of the birthday involved.  On the other hand, there is a possibility that the boys were actually triplets.

Did Noah not have children before the three boys?  We don’t know.  If he did, they had chosen the world over the righteousness of their father.  this also shows people could have children quite late in life.


Genesis 6:11

NIVNow the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

KJVThe earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Alex. LXXBut the earth was corrupted before God, and the earth was filled with iniquity.

Hebrew --  And was corrupt the earth before God and was filled with the earth violence.

"The earth was corrupt" does not mean the dirt was corrupt. It means everywhere on earth there was corruption. "Corrupt" is “shachath” – a primitive root meaning “to decay, to ruin, to cast off, corrupt, destroy, to mar, to spoil, to be utterly wasted.” [In the Greek, ‘adikaios.’] "Violence" is “chamac” – a primitive root meaning “to be violent, to maltreat, to shake off, to violate, to do wrong or imagine wrongfully, to damage, to be unrighteous.” The inclusion of "imagine wrongfully" is clearly related to Christ's words when He says the heart is what is judged.

The word the Hebrew translators used which we have as "filled" in English is katepheia – meaning ‘heaviness.’ The earth was heavy with violence.

In Matthew 24:37, Jesus says, “But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.  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, and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – today violence is seen as entertainment, and between the video type games and the real wars, as well as the individual crimes which seem to be increasing, violence is again filling the world.  In the meantime, despite all this, the same old social rounds continue.

Genesis 6:12

NIVGod saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

KJVAnd God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Alex. LXXand the Lord God saw the earth, and it was corrupted; because all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.

HebrewAnd saw God the earth and, behold, it was corrupted; for had corrupted all flesh its way on the earth.

 “Flesh” is ‘basar.’  Derived from another word which means ‘freshness’ and by extension, ‘body,’ or ‘person.’  Euphemistically it can mean ‘a man.’  The point here is that the word ‘flesh’ had a different meaning for them.  We think of it as the muscles themselves or at least the covering over the muscles of all large animals.  In the Hebrew it is used exclusively to mean mankind, or people. 

God ‘saw’ the earth – it does not mean He was not looking before!  It means simply that the time had come for Him to implement His plan due to the increased violence on earth.  The word translated ‘saw’ can also mean ‘consider.’

Genesis 6:13

NIV  -- So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.  I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

KJVAnd 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.

Alex. LXXAnd the Lord God said to Noe, A period of all men [literal Greek is 'the time of every man'] is come before me; because the earth has been filled with iniquity by them, and behold, I destroy them and the earth.

HebrewAnd said God to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before me, for is filled with the earth violence because of them; and, behold, I will destroy them along with the earth.

The NIV has changed the meaning here. God did not say He was going to put an end to all people in this part, He said ‘the end of all flesh [every man] is come before me.’  That is a different meaning.  It means He knew ahead of time, and here is that time, now.  He places the responsibility for the violence which fills the earth (makes it heavy) squarely on man’s shoulders, not on any demonic activity.  This again indicates that the sin in Genesis 6 had nothing to do with demons having sex with women, but with whatever few believing men there were taking unbelieving wives.  Thus, men and the earth which nurtured them so completely will be destroyed. 


Genesis 6:14

NIVSo make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

KJVMake thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

Alex. LXXMake therefore, for yourself, an ark of square timber; you shall make the ark in compartments [literally, in the Greek, “in nests”], and you will pitch it within and without with pitch.

HebrewMake for yourself an ark of cypress timbers; rooms you shall make in the ark; and you shall cover it inside and out with ashphalt.

The Hebrew word for ‘ark’ is used only in this context and once again with the basket Moses’ mother made for him.  Both were coated with pitch.

What kind of wood was it?  The NIV and the Hebrew translation say ‘cypress.’   In the Hebrew it is a compound word, which includes the word for ‘tree.’  The other word bears a resemblance to the word ‘tirzah,’ which is often translated as ‘cypress.’  But it comes  from the word ‘razah’ which means to make or become thin or emaciate. 

The LXX says 'square' timber. If we look at that, and at the word 'razah,' there is a possibility which has nothing to do with 'gopher' wood or cypress. The actual word in the Hebrew, ‘se’eth,’ actually can mean ‘an elevation’ or something like a scab – something which is raised up.  Again, it is not simply a type of wood but evidently something done to the wood.  There is a word in French which means to emboss:  gaufrer. Was the Ark's wood something like plywood, where wood is 'raised' one sheet on another? That would not only be very strong, but also very flexible.

The word translated ‘pitch’ is ‘kopher,’ which means ‘to cover.’  Noah was to cover it within and without with a covering or coating.  Interestingly, the same word is also used for ‘redemption.’  “Blessed is the man whose sin is kopher – covered.”   The word does NOT mean asphalt or even pitch.  These are traditional meanings and may be right, but it is not what is actually being said here. We are not sure there were bitumen or oil deposits in the pre-flood world.  We have no evidence for that.  What we do have, however, is the data archaeologists have found regarding ancient peoples, up to and including the Romans.  When birch bark was boiled it would form a sticky tar and this was often used for both waterproofing and glue. 

The most important thing that can be said about the words themselves is that we need to be careful and not jump to conclusions or just depend on tradition. The point is that God rescues those who honor Him and put their lives in His hands. The disasters usually have natural causes; the rescues are just as often miraculous. Coincidences aren't actually part of real life.


Genesis 6:15-16

NIVThis is how you are to build it:  the ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top.  Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

KJVAnd 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.

Alex. LXX --  And thus shall you make the ark; 300 cubits the length of the ark, and 50 cubits the breadth, and thirty cubits the height of it. You shall narrow the ark in making it, and in a cubit above you will finish it, and the door of the ark you shall make on the side [or, literally, “out of the side”];  with lower, second, and third stories you shall make it.

HebrewAnd thus you shall make it:  300 cubits shall be the length of the ark; 50 cubits shall be its breadth; and thirty cubits shall be its height. A window you shall make in the ark, and to a cubit you shall finish it above, and the door of the ark in its side you shall set; with lower, second and third stories you shall make it.

A cubit was distance from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.  If people were taller in those days, a cubit would have been longer than the 18” ascribed to it today. At that measurement, however, the Ark would have been 450 feet long and 75 feet wide. Ezekiel makes reference to something which has become known as the ‘royal cubit’ which was 26 inches long!  If this was the case for Noah, then it would have been a much larger Ark.  It could have been up to 600 feet long or more.  It would then have been at least 60 feet high and about 100 feet wide.

 In the LXX we find ‘you shall narrow the ark in making it.’  Since the width measurement is given as one figure, the narrowing must have been vertical. One commentator suggested that this also refers to the size of the planks or square timbers being used – that the largest and heaviest would be at the bottom and they would become narrower as Noah went up, thus distributing the weight more advantageously.

The width to height ratio turns out to be the most stable for rough waters, but it would be very slow moving if it were expected to actually get you any place.  The measurements show it was being constructed only for stability.


Genesis 6:17-18

NIV – I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it.  Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

KJV – 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 everything 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.

Alex. LXX --  And, behold, I bring a flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven, and whatsoever things are upon the earth shall die. [the literal Greek reads "I will bring a flood, water, upon the earth..."] And I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter into the ark, and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Hebrew – and I, even I, behold and bring the flood of waters on the earth in order to destroy all flesh in which it is the breath of life from under the sky.  Everything which is on the earth shall die. And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

While we always associate floods with rain, God does not mention rain here. He simply says "floodwaters."

“All flesh” is a normally a reference to mankind, but when the qualifier is added “in which is the breath of life,” the meaning is then broadened to include the large land animals which have complex nervous systems and circulating blood.

The covenant mentioned is in the future tense. It will be established later.

Genesis 6:19

NIVYou are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

KJVAnd of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

Alex. LXXAnd of all cattle and of all reptiles and of all wild beasts,  even of all flesh, you shall bring in by pairs [in Greek, literally “two, two”] of all, into the ark, that you may feed them with yourself: male and female they shall be.

HebrewAnd of every living thing, of all flesh, two of every kind you shall bring into the ark to keep alive with you; male and female they shall be.

It is interesting that the oldest of the translations, the Alexandrian LXX, may simply mean 'by pairs' and not simply two of each kind, as the Masoretic translations say. The "two two" might mean two pairs of each, or simply, "by twos." The LXX also emphasizes that Noah will be responsible for feeding them.

While the Masoretic translations are quite vague about 'all flesh,' the LXX is quite specific: "cattle and all reptiles and all wild beasts" are to be represented by pairs.


Genesis 6:20

NIVTwo of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

KJVOf 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.

Alex. LXX --  Of all winged birds after their kind, and of all cattle after their kind, and of all reptiles creeping upon the earth after their kind, pairs of all shall come in to you, male and female, to be fed with you.

HebrewFrom the fowl after its kind and from the cattle after its kind, from every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two from each shall come into you to keep alive. 

God explicitely states the animals and birds will come to Noah. He will not have to seek them out. And, again, in the LXX, the directions are more explicit -- Noah is to make sure the animals are fed.

 Genesis 6:21

NIVYou are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

KJVAnd 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.

Alex. LXXAnd you shall take to yourself of all kinds of food which you eat and you shall gather them to yourself, and it shall be for you and them to eat.

Hebrew --  And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten,  and gather to yourself; and let it be for you and for them for food.

All the translations state Noah is to gather the food, but there is an interesting bit in the ancient LXX. "All kinds of food which you eat...." Evidently humans and animals were all eating the same kinds of foods. It is for sure from this passage that all were still vegetarian. Meat-eating, whether by humans or animals, did not occur until after the Flood.

Genesis 6:22

NIVNoah did everything just as God commanded him.

KJVThus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Alex. LXX --  And Noe did all things whatever the Lord God commanded him, so he did.

HebrewAnd did Noah as to all that told him God, so he did.

There are probably extremely few people in the history of the world about whom this can be said.


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