Flood: Grace, Judgment, Depravity
Understanding the Old Testament Lesson #005
January 30, 2000
Father, we thank you so much that we can come to You. You are the Creator God Who mad Heaven and Earth and all that is in them. You have declared the end from the beginning; and You have created man for Your purposes to glorify You as Your representative on the Earth. And Father, You are the One Who has taken the initiative from eternity past to provide a solution to the problem of sin. And You are continuously working out Your plan and Your purposes in human history. So for this we give You the honor and the glory. Now Father, as we study Your Word and continue to understand Your plans and purposes, we pray that you would help us to see how these things work together and how You are in control; that we man be challenged by these things. We pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.
Well we continue in our study of the Old Testament, orienting to the Old Testament. One of the problems that many people have is that there is so much history in the Old Testament and so many names that are difficult to pronounce. My favorite is Maher-shalal-hash-baz,* that is something that nobody ever names their child when you hear all kinds of biblical names. But we get lost in the details and somehow it seems like we are wading in quicksand. The New Testament is much more familiar to most believers. The problem is that the New Testament seems to indicate that you cannot understand it without having a good grasp of Old Testament concepts and doctrines. So that is why we are orienting to the Old Testament. Now when we look at the Old Testament as it is laid out historically; if you understand this and get a grasp of this basic outline, then everything else plugs in. That is why we keep reviewing it:
1. First of all, there is the Law, the Pentateuch, the first five Books of Moses: Genesis through Deuteronomy. This covers Creation to the point when the nation Israel is at the boarders of Canaan ready to go in and take the land that God has given to them. These books were written about 1440 BC on the plains of Moab by Moses.
2. Then you have the Historical Books, these Books begin with Joshua, Judges, Ruth (an appendix to Judges), the Books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles. These are the historical books that cover the times from 1440 BC, when Israel goes into the land, until 586 BC, when finally the Southern Kingdom is taken out of the land under Divine discipline.
3. At the beginning you have a Theocracy, then the United Monarchy under Saul, David, and Solomon; but in 931 BC on the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam follows the advice of his younger counselors and not the older wiser counselors; he increases taxation. Here is one of the first tax revolts in history. The ten tribes in the north split out and you have the Divided Kingdom, the United Kingdom, and then, the Divided Kingdom, where you have the ten tribes of Israel in the north, and the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in the south.
4. In 722 BC the Northern Kingdom is taken out destroyed in Divine discipline by the Assyrian army; and then in 586 BC, the Southern Kingdom is destroyed by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. They go into 70 years of exile.
5. Then you have the three Post-Exilic Historical Books, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. That covers the panorama of Israel's history and the history of the Old Testament.
6. All of the other Books plug into that historical framework. Job is the earliest of the Books. We don't know exactly when it was written, probably sometime between the Flood and Abraham, but we cannot be certain.
7. Then you have the Psalms; Psalms were written by a variety of authors. The main author was David, but some were written by Moses, some were written by priests after the Exile. So the Psalms cover quite a range of time. Then you have the Books of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and this is written by Solomon approximately 950 BC.
8. Then you have your Major Prophets: You have Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are prophets prior to the Exile and warn of the Exile and then go into the Exile. Daniel operates within the Exile.
9. Then you have your Twelve Minor Prophets: Pre-Exilic, Exilic Prophets, and your three prophets that come after the Exile, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.
This is the structure of the Old Testament. We can put it all together. Now we have seen that the central verb that would help us to understand the purposes of God's calling Israel, found in Exodus 19:5-6a, God says, "Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'" So God is calling Israel out specifically to be a nation of priests. A priest was to be an intermediary; a priest was to come between the people and God, a mediatorial and intercessory role. So the Nation Israel is designed as an intercessor for all the other nations to come to God.
We had seen that the Pentateuch is laid out according to the plan and structure of what is called the Suzerain-Vassal Treaty form. This is a secular contract form, to put it in modern lingo, to set to a contract form. It tells us one thing that substantiates the claims of Scripture, that it is written about 1400-1500 BC, because that was the standard form used at that time. Now that terminology is a little new to most of you. A suzerain refers to a nation that controls another nation in international affairs, but still allows it a measure of domestic sovereignty. Or, it could refer to a feudal lord to whom fealty was due:
1. Now the first meaning is the one we are using here and it was usually at that time, you would have a major nation, a great king, who would have prospered two or three other smaller nations. He would give them a measure of sovereignty, but he would enter into a covenant with that king and in that covenant he would promise to bless them and to provide certain services for that nation if they continued in obedience and maintained the alliance with the greater power; and then he would threaten them with a certain amount of persons and things he would do to them if they broke the alliance.
2. The vassal refers to a person who held land from the feudal lord and received protection in return for his homage and his allegiance to the overlord.
3. The suzerain-vassal treatywas the mid-second millennium BC, around 1500 BC that was a standard treaty used between a powerful empire and a client nation.
The human treaty, now this is important to get because sometimes you can get this backwards. I am not saying that God invented the treaty form; I am saying that God initiated a covenant with man and then man, when the human race developed, man comes along and says, '…okay, we need to enter into a contractual relationship here...' The models that they had were how God had dealt with man. And so this helps us understand what is going on in the Old Testament. It is just basic historical background.
Now in a suzerain-vassal treaty there are basically three parts. There are more to it, but in this stage I just want to focus on three sections:
1. There is the historical introduction, which would review all the things that the great king, the sovereign, had done for the vassal over the years.
2. And this is the layout of Genesis 1:1 up to Genesis 19:2. It is a sweeping panorama of history covering three or four thousand years of history from Creation up to the Exodus and the nation Israel coming to Mt. Sinai. And everything comes to a screeching halt. You see event after event after event and then it stops, and from Exodus 19 to Numbers 10 you have a one year period of time when Israel is camped out at the base of Mt. Sinai where God gives to them the Mosaic Covenant, and you have the Mosaic Law covered from Exodus 19 to Exodus 40. Then you have all of the requirements for the Tabernacle, the priesthood, and everything else. It was during that time that they build the tabernacle and they sew the garments for the priest and the high priest, and put everything together before they head out to go to the land.
3. And then there is a historical conclusion to the covenant. In the historical conclusion to the Covenant there is always a series of blessings and cursings. And that is exactly what you find at the end of Deuteronomy. God has made the covenant with Israel; there is a series of blessings and cursings, that if you obey Me I will prosper you as a nation. I will prosper you agriculturally, all nations in the world will come to you for trade, and you will have a tremendous growing prosperous economy. But if you disobey Me you violate the covenant, then I will bring various judgments and these judgments are outlined in the 5 cycles of discipline; these are outlined there at the end of Deuteronomy.
Now what happens is that Moses is on the plains of Moab and he is writing these books to answer certain questions that the Jews might have about their history. Where did we come from? Why are we here? So this is the reason or the framework within which we should read the Pentateuch. Why did God chose Israel? Read this document and the whole thing is one document, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. As you read it ask: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Why did God chose us? What is our national purpose and destiny? How did we come into existence? What is the meaning of this covenant that God has specifically chosen us as a covenant partner? And then, how is God's plan of salvation being developed through Israel in history?
Then we saw in our previous lesson when looking at the Creation and the Fall that man was created. In terminology there is the same kind of terminology used in the suzerain-vassal treaty. Man was created to rule and subdue the earth. He is the image-bearer of God. He is in the image of God and he is the image of God. He is God's vice-regent; he is God's representative to rule and reign over the earth. But man violates that by breaking the prohibition in the garden. He plunges the human race into sin. So here we see the first judgment and the first curse.
You read Genesis 3; you should be thinking in light of the fact that the Jews are on the verge of going into the land; they get to restatement of the Law in Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy means second law; DEUTEROS, means 'two';NOMOS, means 'law,' which means the reiteration, a reconfirmation of the Mosaic Law. They are hearing from Moses that if you obey God you are going to be blessed a certain way. If you disobey God these are the curses, the judgments that will come.
Now let's go back in history and see how God has continually judged man for sin in history from the Creation. This is God's standard operating procedure but with judgment there is always grace and blessing. So when we read Genesis 1-11 we need to be thinking in terms of where this is going. It is going to Genesis 12 when God is going to call out Abram from all the nations to appoint him the head of a unique and special nation in all of history because the human race is an absolute failure in terms of fulfilling their initial mandate, which is to rule and subdue the earth. Man is continuously disobeying God.
So this brings us to Genesis and the structure of Genesis. There are four events and four people. Get this down and you will understand Genesis. It gives you that framework within which to plug the details. The four events: Creation, Fall, Flood, and Tower of Babel. The four people that follow are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, the patriarchs of Israel. In the last three lessons we have studied the Creation and the Fall and this morning we will cover the Flood. We should cover a wide range of territory this morning in Genesis 4-Genesis 10. And that will set us up to start with Abraham next week.
Genesis 6:5, we want to go to a theme verse to focus on this section from Genesis 4-Genesis 11, which sets the stage for the call of Abram. It would be Genesis 6:5 "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Now the next verse, two verses down, we find the contrast. On the one hand we see the evil of man, man's rebelliousness toward God, the increase of sin. You read Genesis 4-Genesis 11 and the main thing that stands out is that man continuously, time and time again, rebels against God. Man is not obedient to God and continuously seeks to live his life independent of God and to create his own reality.
In contrast to the ebb and flow of human history away from God you find in Genesis 6:8 the unique statement, "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." And so here we see the twin scenes of this entire section, judgment and blessing. And God's grace always precedes judgment and goes along with judgment. In Genesis 6:11-12 we see a further development of this theme, "Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth." This is the indictment of the antediluvian civilization.
Now, one of the things that we learn in this process is that God has given us the ability to think and we think with words. And so we have to develop vocabulary that explains what we are talking about. So I am going introduce you to a few key words. Antediluvian: ante means before; diluvium refers to a deluge or flood. So we will talk about the antediluvian civilization, which refers to that civilization that was on the earth prior to Noah's flood and then we will talk about the postdiluvian civilization, which is that civilization developed by Ham, Shem, and Japheth following the Flood.
So we will begin by just giving a brief synopsis of what goes on in the antediluvian civilization in Genesis 4-5. So you might want to turn there in your Bibles to Genesis 4. We will just hit some high spots. Remember, this is just an orientation type of series. This is not getting into all the nuts and bolts. We just did that a little bit at the beginning because it lays the framework. What has happened in Genesis 3 is that man has fallen. There is now a fallen environment. Nature is fallen; every aspect of the nature world, botany, biology, the human race, everything has been impacted by Adam's sin. And they (Adam and Eve) are cast out of the garden and the last verse of Genesis 3 (verse 24) we read, "So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim (the cherubs; cherubs are always associated with guarding the holiness and righteousness of God) and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life." If man could get into the garden to the tree of life he would not die physically. He would continue to live forever physically.
Now the interesting thing here is that the garden of Eden is still on the earth during the time of the antediluvian civilization. We said that the garden of Eden is not Eden itself, but Eden itself is the abode of God on the earth during the time before the Fall. So God's abode, Eden, is still on the earth throughout this antediluvian period. If you wanted to you could take a hike and go down and watch the cherubim and the flaming sword keeping you from entrance into Eden. This is a centrical geographical location on the earth and it was visible to anyone who wanted to go see it. So it is interesting that even at this time you have the physical presence of God on the earth just as you will in the Millennial Kingdom. And just as at the end of the Millennial Kingdom there will be hundreds of thousands who will reject God and reject His grace. There were a million if not billions who rejected God in His grace in the antediluvian civilization. There is a parallel between the two. In fact I think that one of the most fascinating things that we could study is what is called the protology and eschatology. Protology meaning pro, first, the first things; and (eschatology) the last things. And show a parallel between how things began and how things will end in terms of broad themes.
So man is cast out of the garden; he can't come back into the garden. Yet God's presence is still on the Earth. He is still executing judgment. Remember, human government is not initiated and the institution of government is not established until after the Flood. What did they do in terms of government prior to the Flood? God is executing judgment personally on the Earth from the garden. He is adjudicating the human problem. A totally different world from what we have in the postdiluvian world and we must come to grips with that.
The first story, of course, is that of Cain and his brother. One of the things that we see in this is that Cain brings from his, he was a farmer, own produce a sacrifice to God. Abel is the keeper of the flock, keeper of the sheep. From what we see the sheep were domesticated from the very beginning. So there again we see, I pointed out in our study of John, that when God created sheep He created them for a purpose, to be an illustrative tool to teach principles about salvation. And apparently, although the Text does not tell us everything, there is so much that is left out here because of the fact that God rejects Cain's offer. His offering is his own works. What he has done. Whereas, Abel's offering follows the mandates of God. His offering is a sacrifice of a lamb and that is acceptable to God. God rejects Cain's offer, which indicates that God always rejects man's works and Abel relies not on what he has done, but upon what God has provided for him and what God has instructed him to do.
So we see this contrast here. It is not like the liberal theologian comes along and says, 'Well, it is a battle between the farmer and the rancher.' Or as others will interpret this, when Cain finally kills Abel and he is punished and the mark of Cain was apparently a particular physical representation, we do not know what it was, it wasn't a change of skin color or anything like that. But it was something that was visible that would protect him. God was not utilizing capital punishment at this time. Then Cain goes out after his judgment on him for his murder of Abel; he goes into the city. That is another liberal interpretation. This is not historic, the city versus the farm. Liberals always come along and I do not know where they get these ideas.
But what God is showing us here, because the idea of a city inherently is not evil or wicked. Because eventually where do we as believers all end up dwelling? The New Jerusalem. We are going to be in a mega metropolis forever and ever. So a city, the urban environment, is not inherently evil. But the picture here is that the origination of the city in this context is designed so that men who were rebelling against God can come together and hopefully their numbers will increase so that they can then stand and fight against God. That is the image that you have here. The city is not evil in itself; it is being used for the evil purpose and that is to raise man's standards against the authority of God.
The remainder of Genesis 4 is going to cover the descendants of Cain and his family. You see a picture of evil that is taking place here and from one generation to the next. I want you to notice the genealogy here. Look at Genesis 4:18. We are a couple of generations down now, Enoch is Cain's son. "Now to Enoch was born Irad and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech." Now this gets us into looking at the genealogy.
Look at the difference between that and skip over to Genesis 5 and look at verse six. Seth is the replacement son of Abel. Adam and Eve had several sons and daughters and they intermarried. That is always a question somebody comes up with, usually a child, but a lot of adults are thinking that 'Well, who did Cain and Abel marry?' They married their sisters. 'Well, isn't that incest?' No, incest is not forbidden by God until the Mosaic Law. 'Well, why is that?' Well there is a reason incest is wrong. When you have a limited gene pool and a limited number of genetic options, then the offspring in an incestuous relationship is going to be deformed. But Adam and Noah's children all had every possible genetic combination possible. Genetic combinations ultimately could only have a finite amount. But what you have at the beginning is X begin the finite amount available is quite large. But as you go from generation to generation and you start having various restrictions, as we will see at the Tower of Babel, then the amount of genetic possibilities decline until it gets to a point where it is no longer feasible or now longer valuable, in fact, becomes dangerous to have intermarriage of people who are too closely related.
Abraham married Sarah; when he told that he had married his sister (Sarah), he was only telling a half-lie. She (Sarah) was his half-sister. When Isaac married Rebecca he marries a first cousin. So what we see here is, don't read later mandates and prohibitions into earlier scenarios. So they had their, they married, they married sisters and we will get into the population explosion in a minute. But what we see is comparison from Genesis 4:18 with Genesis 5:6. There we read, "Seth lived one hundred and five years and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lives eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters."
Now you compare those two verses. Genesis 5:6-7 with Genesis 4:18. What is the difference? The difference is that numbers are added in the genealogy of Genesis 5. There are no numbers in the first genealogy. Now it is very possible that when you look at the Hebrew verbiage that is used that when it says, "To Enoch was born to Irad" that could skip three or four generations. But when you add numbers you tighten and protect the genealogy from the insertion of any absences. So then it cannot be gaps in a genealogy when you have numerical formula. The formula of Genesis 5 is X, whoever the person was, for example Seth lived Y years. He lived one hundred and five years before he gave birth. He could have given birth for a number of children prior to that because he would have reached physical maturity probably when he was, maybe as early as twenty or thirty because some in the genealogy did give birth, the son that was mentioned that early. So we do not know if Enoch is his first born or just the one that God chose to emphasize. X, Seth, lived a hundred and five years and became the father of Enoch. And then it says, Then X lived, that is Seth lived, Y more years. It says that he lived eight hundred and seven more years and then he died.
Well, Enoch was not his (Seth's) only child. But if you add up the numbers you see that Seth lived 807 + 105 = 912 years. So they had an extensive life. Now people always want to question those numbers because people don't live that long any more. And you cannot question the numbers because they serve a purpose. They actually lived that long in the pre-Flood environment when you had a water vapor canopy over the earth. The earth is protected from radiation and a number of other things. Remember, I had pointed it out at one time that this is an environment that is only one stage removed from the Fall. So it is perfection minus one we might say. Man lived a long time. You can't try to get around this and say, 'Well, maybe these aren't years, these are months.' Well that does not work, especially if you get down to somebody who lived for forty or sixty-five; let's say Mahalalel was sixty five years and became the father of Jared. Well sixty five months is only about five and a half years. Well you are not going to have anybody procreating at that early an age. So these can't be months, these are legitimate numbers and they can't be broken and you can't leave out.
Some of you say, 'Well, there are gaps in the genealogy." I will tell you what that is based on. If you look at the Luke 4 genealogy of the Jesus Christ and compare it to the Genesis 11 genealogy, there is one person in the Luke 4 genealogy that is not in the Genesis 11. That is one person, to get the numbers of that evolution is talking about, for the age of the Earth and the lifespan of the human race, you would have to have hundreds and hundreds of gaps that add up to thousands and thousands of years. All we have evidence of is one person listed in Luke 4 who is not in Genesis 11. The reason is that that person that is listed in Luke 4 is listed in the Septuagint version of Genesis 11. So it wasn't just pulled out of nowhere. There is probably a textual corruption in the Masoretic Text of Genesis 11 that left somebody out. There is a number of ways to explain that, but we are only talking about one person.
So when you have a formula that X is so many years and gave birth to Y and they lived so many years, and then Y lived X number of years and gave birth to Z, and Y lived so many years…You can't break it. Even if the giving birth indicated a skip of a generation, if Seth lived a hundred and five years and became the father of Enoch, it would make Enoch the grandson. It is still a hundred and five years. You cannot change the number. So what this tells us is that the earth and human race is not nearly as old as evolution wants to make it. In fact, population figures suggest our chart in the second lesson, showing very process they used to track out time. If you look at human population growth rates and extrapolate back into time, the growth rate indicates the human race is only four to five thousand years old anyway. So we are arguing that at least to the Fall of Adam (time) goes back to approximately 4000 BC. And there is a number of problems that enter in; what about the dating system; what about the fact that ancient civilization history indicates that civilization has been around, like the Egyptian civilization, since around 5000-6000 BC. And part of it is that they assume a certain framework, so they find evidence to substantiate that.
We don't have time in this class to get into all the hydrodynamics and meteorological changes that would result from the Flood. But there is some literature out there that has done a tremendous amount of work, especially with computer projections today, showing that after a Flood environment you had rapid shifts in the earth's meteorology, ice ages and warmth, and ice ages and warmth very rapidly over a period of time. Whereas, evolution, since it denies a cataclysmic event, sees those ice ages and those warm periods as a lot longer than they actually were. So if you are living in a belt around the equator, for example in Egypt, and the poles come down almost to the Mediterranean; then you are going to have a very temperate climate, and a rainy climate around the equatorial belt. And so you are going to create a lot; you build with a lot of mud, and you build with adobe. And then it rains and washes away, and you rebuild, and those cycles from destruction are much closer together then what modern archeologist are assuming because their presupposition are long periods of time. So if you presuppose some things it is going to point you to certain conclusions.
Anyway, what we see in Genesis 4-5 is the decline of the human race. One individual stands out, Enoch; he walked with God in Genesis 5:22. Enoch is in contrast to all the descendants of Cain and many other who are ignorant of God and who has ignored God in rebellion against God. "Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years." And in Genesis 5:24 "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."
Now Enoch had such a close relationship with God and God is physically present on the Earth and He is spending time with God; and then one day he just walks right into heaven. He did not go through physical death. Now if you have time to chart, I did not have time to do this for you, to chart out all the ages of the antediluvian fathers, you realize that Enoch goes to be with God just prior to the Flood. And his son Methuselah dies a year before the Flood comes. So Methuselah was the oldest of the antediluvian patriarchs and he lived to be about a total of 969 years. He is the oldest. And they all deceased just prior to the coming of the Flood.
Now the reason for the Flood is:
1. First of all because of man's rebellion; man's failing to execute God's plan and purpose. So God is going to bring judgment on them.
2. The second reason is given in Genesis 6:1-2 "Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose."
Now the "sons of God" here is a technical term in the Hebrew for the bənê hāʼĕlōhîm (bene ha elohim) and it refers to the angels; here it refers to fallen angels. It always refers to angels; it never discriminates between fallen angels and holy angels. It is used to describe all of the angels, demons as well in Job. And it is a term that refers to the fact that these angels sought to destroy God's plan and purposes for mankind. This has been the standard historical interpretation.
Some people try to interpret this as the sons of God who were the descendants of Seth and the daughters of men are the descendants of Cain. That does not work for a number of reasons:
1. Number one, "sons of God" is a technical term, as I said, in the Hebrew that never refers to mankind in the Old Testament.
2. And secondly, the population explosion that takes place prior to the Flood is phenomenal. Because people lived almost ten centuries, almost a millennium, they would have ten to twelve generations living at the same time on the earth.
That would be as if everybody that was born since then would still be alive and walking on the earth. Thomas Aquinas, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand and Isabella, Elizabeth the First would still be Queen of England, Henry the VIII would probably still be alive. Everyone would still be alive; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, everybody would still be alive. We would have a population on the earth of probably 25 or 30 billion if not more if everybody was still living. And so, if you take 10-12 generations living simultaneously on the earth, then you just work out the numbers on the basis of four children per family.
Now I think they had a lot more than that; because they were living for 900 years and they were able to procreate from the age of 30 to the age of let's say 500, they would have more than 3-4 children. But let's just be conservative, and work out our numbers on the basis of 4 children per family, and with 12 generations living conterminously, you have a population on the earth at the time of the Flood of probably not less than two and a half billion and maybe as many as ten billion.
So the earth, the culture, the civilization that existed on the earth prior to the Flood was a phenomenal civilization. It filled the earth. They still have the genetic intelligence of the original Adam. They are brilliant; they have not only a higher IQ and higher mental capacity then mankind does today, but just think of all the experience you accumulate over 900 years. So that you don't just live and die. Just think of everything that somebody like De Vinci or Thomas Edison could have accomplished if they had had another 850 years to live. It boggles the mind! So there is no telling the kind of technological achievement, which they were able to develop in the antediluvian civilization. And we know that even the ancient civilization of Egypt and Sumeria were able to do a number of things.
We still don't know how they built the pyramids with the tools that they had and the technology they had available to them at that time. It was different kind of technology than we have today. But they were very advanced. Not only that, but they had the intrusion of the demons and demonic intelligence. And the whole purpose of this demonic invasion, part of the angelic conflict to destroy the genetic purity of the human race. Now you can ask the question, 'Well, how did they do that?' Angels have immaterial bodies; 'How can an immaterial body procreate with a material body and produce offspring?'
My explanation is, if you go over, and we will look at it later, in Genesis 15, when God comes to Abraham and he has two angels with him, who come into Abraham's tent, and they sit down and eat and they drink. These angels look like men. They have been able to change their body into a physical (type) body. So that it has all of the functions of a physical material body. Then when they leave Abraham and they go to Lot, and while they are there all of the homosexuals in Sodom want to have their way with these two men who have come into the town. Because they cannot perceive the difference between these men; they cannot tell that they are angels. So they have all of the physical qualities of a human being. So I take it that the angels had the ability, at least at that time, to change their form into a physical material form and to somehow procreate because the Text says so. "The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose." And then they had the offspring called the Nephilim in Genesis 6:4. "The Nephilim 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."
Now if you go back in almost every ancient culture that has some sort of Flood mythology, Flood narrative episode in their mythology; there are Flood stories in almost every ancient civilization on the earth. They have found Flood stories among Indians in South America, Aborigines in Australia, China, every civilization has Flood stories. They also have in their mythology and in their pantheon the stories of these great gods who came down; we have the story in Greek mythology of how Zeus came down and took a human wife and the offspring was Hercules. Hercules is half god and half man. This is the historical background for those legends and mythologies. Those were not things that man just invented on his own, but there was a historical basis for that in the story of the Nephilim here in Genesis 6.
Now, before I get any further away from the genealogy, let's do a comparison of what happens before and after the Flood. If you look up on the chart here. This is a lot of detail, but what I have done is to set this up so that on this chart, here is the age range from 100 up to a 1000 (years); Adam lived about 960 something years. You have Adam, Seth, Enoch, and here are the ages of the death of each person prior to the Flood. This is the age that they reached maturity being indicated by when their son was mentioned. So you have this line here for maturity. And it says that when Noah was 500 he had the three sons. I don't think he had them all when he was 500 years, it just indicates that by the time he was 500 years that Ham, Shem, and Japheth had all been born.
And then, look at the dramatic decrease after the Flood. The age of maturity stays roughly the same, a little younger, but roughly level; but the age of mortality declined. You can draft this and it falls in a perfect expediential decay curve, which indicates:
1. That there are no gaps because it can be mathematically projected and extrapolated. Once again, all of this indicates that the Text can be trusted; you can't have people come along and just make this sort of thing up.
2. Furthermore, you have within the Flood narrative itself, that we are studying right now from Genesis 6-9; the entire layout is a very detailed triad and I do not have time to get through all the details there, but it is perfectly laid out on a triadic structure, indicating that the author wrote this; one author wrote the whole thing. It was not one author here and then another author came along and added stuff later, and then some editor put it all together. It indicates that one person wrote the entire document. So it had reliability and veracity.
Now, the Flood comes along because man has rebelled against God and because at a certain point there is going to be sort of a level of critical math where the numbers of people who have been, when you have this genetic insertion from the angelic, from the demons, and the development of the Nephilim, the genetic make-up of the human race has now been polluted by this angelic strain. Now if God is going to redeem the race He has to do that with a Son who is true humanity. So when God is incarnate, He cannot have a human body that has been tainted by angelic DNA. So, God judges the race in order to purify the race.
Passages in 1 Peter 3:20; also in Jude, indicate that there is a segment of angels that are held in prison in Tartarus right now. It is these demons that violated their abode, their position in Genesis 6. Genesis 6, "sons of God," these demons are in prison in Tartarus right now because of their violation here. And from this point on God restricted the demons from being able to do this sort of thing again.
When we come to Genesis 6:9 and we read the phrase, "And these are the records of the generation of Noah" and we have seen that this is a technical term in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew the word is toledoth, and it indicates a major division in the writing. You have "these are the generations of the heavens and the earth" that introduces the section from Genesis 2:4 up to the end of Genesis 4. Then you have "these in the generations from Adam," from Genesis 5:1-Genesis 6:8. And now we have "these are the records of the generations of Noah" and this covers the next two or three chapters. God comes along and He calls out Noah because Noah is one of the few people left on the earth who is still obedient to God and responded to the gospel at that time.
I believe that there was some sort of canon of Scripture at that time. You can't prove that, but because God is Who He is, God is going to reveal Himself. I think God had a physical presence and there was some sort of Scripture at that time. What I base that on is Genesis 6:3. I skipped over that, but I want to come back to it, "Then the Lord said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.'" That is what it says in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and probably in the New King James Version (NKJV); and a little hint, the NASB, whenever they translated anything from the Hebrew they just had sort of a knee jerk response and automatically put the definition from the standard Hebrew dictionary called Brown–Driver–Briggs (BDB). Well, BDB was really developed at the beginning of the 20th century and because of linguistic studies and archeological studies we now have a better handle on the meaning of some Hebrew words than can be found in what seminary students respectfully call BDB. I think I almost destroyed one of those in one semester of Hebrew. I had to open it and close it so many times.
But the Hebrew word that is translated "strive" here is a hapaxlagomenia. Now that is a word that nobody ever heard of before. That is a technical term for a word that is only used one time. Now whenever you do word studies you try to find a word, its meaning, you look at usage. Word meaning is not defined by a dictionary, but by how a word is used. That is how you get a dictionary definition. The person who is doing the dictionary takes a look at all the ways a word is used and then develops from that the definition; what the word means. Words don't have necessarily, sort of, an objective meaning.
Genesis 9:3, so the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man…" Now this was only used one time in Hebrew, so you can't go out and compare it. You can't go say: how did Isaiah use it; how did Jeremiah use it; how did David use it… There is no other usage of the word anywhere else in Hebrew literature. Now when the KJV translated it they had no idea, but since the context seems to indicate conflict between God and man; they thought, well, it seems to indicate some kind of "strife" here; so we will translate it "strive." But now with the results of discoveries in Acadia, the Ugaritic, and other cognate and related languages as the Hebrew, we know that when this rooting word is found in other languages it means to "abide;" to abide, to be there, to remain. And so, if you translate this: "The Lord said, 'My Spirit will not remain or abide with man forever;'" it gives a completely different slant to the significance of this verse; especially if you put that in context with the fact that God's presence is still on the earth in Eden and there are still the cherubim with the flaming sword who are keeping all of the perverted people out of the garden of Eden.
And now God says My Spirit is not going to stay here forever. For just as you had the physical presence of God on the earth, you will have the physical presence of God on the earth in the person of the Messiah during the future 1000 years rule of Christ. So you had the presence of God physically on the earth during this period from the Fall to the Flood. And with the Flood God is going to leave the earth.
Well Noah and his family are among the few who are going to follow God. So God calls Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We don't know if there were more, but it is going to be through Noah, his wife, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives, eight people, that the human race is going to survive this Flood. Now God warns Noah that there is going to be a Flood and then He gives him instructions to build an ark. It takes them a 120 years to build the ark.
This is a massive engineering feat. I have at home about an inch thick, 8-1/2 × 11 page book. It is an engineering study written by a guy named John Wood Murathy and Wood Murathy has gone through every conceivable issue that you would have to deal with to put a menagerie of 75,000 animals on a boat and feed them and take care of them and clean up after them for a period of one year; because that is how long they were on the ark. It is a fascinating study. He covers ideas and things that would have never occurred to me that you would have to deal with on the basis of a very rudimentary technology. He shows how all of this is feasible. And of course, when most people think of the ark they think of a boat that is too small and they don't understand anything about the dimensions at the time.
So let's look at the capacity of the ark. We know of the fact that there are probably less than 18,000 species. Now species in biology is a much broader term than kind. By looking at the term, 18,000 species, there were probably fewer than 10,000 kind, but we are going to take the most conservative approach to this. So we'll say that right now we know that there were probably less than 18,000 species. If you take two unclean and two clean animals. And this is the other mistake people make when the talk about the ark; is that they think that all the animals were taken two by two. But God gave the instructions that Noah is to take two of every unclean and seven of every clean. Three pairs of clean; a clean animal would be sheep. Why the extra one? So they would have a sacrifice when they came off the ark. Clean animals were used in sacrifice and of course it presupposes that Noah knows what a clean and an unclean animal is. But the Text never told us did it? Nowhere do they define this sort of thing. So that is just a hint that God has given a tremendous amount of revelation to these people that we're not made aware of; so you take two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean and you have approximately 7,000 animals.
Now the average species size, even when you take into account large dinosaurs, large mammals such as elephants and mammoths and mastodons and other large animals. There are thousands of species that are very small, rodents, rabbits, squirrels, mosquitoes; we know the joke about why he didn't just slap the mosquitoes. So the average size of all the species is that of a sheep. A sheep is about average size. So, let's see some computation. How big was the ark?
The ark was 438 feet long, 73.9 feet wide, and 43.8 feet high. No ship was built with that capacity until 1858. Then it wasn't until 1870 that a ship of much larger dimensions was built. It was in the shape of a box. That is what 'ark' means, a box. It had the kind of ratio between its length and it s width and its height that made it very compact and it could withstand. A scientist has done studies on it, hydrodynamic studies in terms of the waves, and the ark was of such that it could withstand a turn almost up to 90 degrees and still right itself. So if you think in terms of the hydrodynamics of the Flood, you're probably talking about a three or four hundred foot wave at least. If you take it seriously. So the ark would not only ride out a storm with those dimensions, but it, because of those dimensions, it was very long and narrow; it would turn sideways through the wave so that it could withstand all of the turmoil.
So these are the dimensions, 438 by 72.9 by 43.8, almost 44 feet high. This would entail one million, four hundred thousand cubic feet because the equivalent carrying capacity is 522 standard railroad livestock cars, 522 standard livestock cars! Now you can get 240 feet per car and that is pretty standard for carrying sheep. If you multiply that out, that would indicate that 522 standard livestock cars could carry over 125,000 sheep. So that would mean that you had room in the ark for over 125,000 sheep.
Well, let's go back up to our earlier statement here, up here where you had approximately 175,000 animals. That is the very most the largest amount you could probably have on the ark, 175,000 and no more. Probably closer to 50 (thousand) but just taking the largest number you can, there would be room for 75,000; so you have room for 125,000. There was an enormous amount of room on the ark. There were three floors. You had room to store food for the entire year. Also, many mammals would go into hibernation for much of that time. You didn't have to take adult animals; you could take children (animals). There were many different ways you could cut down on size and capacity.
The point of all this is that the story of the Flood is very feasible when you look at, compare it to, for example, the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic or some of the other Flood stories that have survived, they are not feasible. But you can do an engineering and feasibility study; read Wood Murathy's work and you have an incredible feat of engineering that is very, very feasible.
Now how long did the Flood take? Well they went into the ark on the tenth day of second month of Noah's sixth hundredth year according to Genesis 7:11. They were in the ark for a week and then it began to rain. God closed the door. This indicates there is only one way into God's grace recovery system at the Flood. There is only one way to salvation, Jesus Christ. Noah did not close the door. God closed the door. This is a picture of eternal security; God is the One who secures us and God is the One who protects us. So the family goes into the ark with all the animals and for forty days and forty nights it rains. The windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep burst forth.
Now, if you go back and you look at what the earth was like at that time, because of the Creation. You have the earth's surface itself and then it is surrounded by a gaseous atmosphere; and then God has separated the waters above from the waters below. So you have some sort of vapor canopy or ice crystals, we are not sure exactly what form it took. It could have been liquid. Apparently the stars were visible through it. Something similar to both in terms of protection from radiation. You would have a pretty stable temperature, which would indicate no wind during the antediluvian period. Winds are a product of temperature change. You don't have wind; you don't have your precipitation cycle, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. So there is no rain at all.
So, when Noah is walking around warning everybody that it is going to rain because of God's judgment, rain was a meaningless term; they had no frame of reference. What happens is the windows of heaven are opened and the dews burst forth. I think the fountains of the deep probably refers to volcanic activity. You had massive amounts of tectonic activity. Volcanoes spew forth billions and billions of tons of volcanic ash into the upper atmosphere. And it is around those microscopic particles of volcanic ash that you have condensation of the water vapor and then it precipitates out. Whenever it rains, in order to get a raindrop, it always has at its core some kind of dust particle. So this would just be one possibility for explanation of mechanics for the Flood.
Then you have the worldwide Flood; forty days and forty nights but it did not stop there. It continues; there are 110 days where the water continues to rise up, which adds up to 110 plus 40 is 150 days and the ark comes to rest on Mt. Ararat. I don't think there were mountains before the Flood. I think that the tectonic activity of the Flood caused a massive amount of pressure on the earth's crust, which developed all the mountain ranges (or most of them), as well as continental drift. After 150 days the ark rested, on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of Noah's six hundredth year. And then there are 174 days when the waters begin to decrease.
Now, if you have ever been anywhere where there has been a flood, you just think of the dynamic of all this water pressure on the face of the earth. The entire surface is covered for 150 days. That is going to change everything. Nothing is going to be the same after the Flood. The tops of the mountains became visible in Genesis 8:5 and after forty days he (Noah) sends out a raven and seven days later he sends out the first dove; waits another week and sends out the second dove; finally sends out the third dove that returns with the olive branch; and then another period of time goes by before God finally give the order to offload, making the total number of days 371.
So they go onto the ark on the tenth day of the second month of his (Noah's) six hundredth year and they get off one year and seventeen days later, or 317 days later. So, that is the chronology of the Flood. It changes the whole perspective of this entire event. And then we have a disruptive and terrible episode that occurs, which tells that man's heart has not changed; he is still wicked. We have the episode when they come off they sacrifice to God and God establishes a new covenant with Noah. And then he farms and he plants a vineyard. And from that vineyard he develops some good wine and he gets drunk and there is the scene of embarrassment where Ham goes in and looks upon his nakedness.
Now, there is no indication there that anything takes place. This is not indicating some sort of homosexual activity or anything else. It is simply a sign of disrespect of the son for the father. As a result of that he goes in and probably ridicules his father's drunkenness and tells his brothers. They show respect. They take a garment and cover him. They don't look at him; they don't ridicule him. And when he wakes-up he realizes what he'd done. And then in Genesis 9:25-27 there is the blessing and cursing statement of Noah. Genesis 9:25a "He said, 'Cursed be Canaan…' Now Canaan is the son of Ham. He does not curse Ham, neither does he bless him. The curse goes to Ham. Now why is that important? You are on the plains of Moab. You are the nation Israel, approximately three million strong and you are getting ready to go where? Into the land of the Canaanites, the descendants of Canaan and God is giving them into your hand. His judgment is upon them because of their sexual perversion. Now it makes sense; Canaan was cursed. You see a foreshadowing of this 'curse.' Ham and specifically his son Canaan probably are already living out this genetic tendency in the family line for sexual perversion. So Canaan is cursed, Genesis 9:25b "A servant of servants he shall be to his brothers." And then n Genesis 9:26 Noah also said, "Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant." So the Shemites the Jews are descendants of Shem, and there is a blessing here that "He shall be the God of Shem." So Shem has a spiritual blessing upon him, which is developed through the Jews. Canaan is going to serve the Shemites, the Jews.
And then in Genesis 9:27 "May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem." Now the Gentile races is the European races, the Western European, the Indo-European races, are descendant of Japheth. They dwell in the tents of Shem. We are dwelling, the Western European, we're dwelling in the tents of Shem. We are sitting here this morning reading the Scriptures given to us through the Shemites. So you see the that there is a blessing to the Shemites, a blessing to the Japhethites and one of the most fascinating studies that you can do is to look at the development of civilization in terms of the three descendents (of Noah) Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and where they went in the world and how there are general tendencies among each group in light of the cursing and blessing of Noah and how it has worked its way out to the present day.
Then by the name of Arthur Custance, who was a Canadian sociologist and anthropologist, did a remarkable study called Adam's Three Sons, unfortunately it is out of print now, but it is very detailed. He traces the history down through the centuries and it is fascinating to see how it all works out. So just to indicate that there is tremendous historical support for everything that is said here in the text. And then you come to Genesis 10 and once again you are struck with the same sort of depravity that you find back in Genesis 4-5. Man continues to rebel against God. This culminates in the massive international global rebellion that takes place at the Tower of Babel. And then, God has to confuse the languages. Up to this point everybody spoke the same language. But that was the unifying feature. So God has to confuse the language.
Once you divide people up according to language, these people over here speak one language, these people speak another language, these people a third language, a fourth language; then nobody can understand each other. Then you are going to go to different corners of the earth to live. You are going to intermarry. Now you have restricted your gene pool and you are going to have the development of racial distinctions because up to this point there was nothing to restrict certain genetic tendencies. Now you have something that is going to restrict these genetic tendencies. And so this group has certain traits dominate; this group has other traits dominate; these people have other traits dominate; and that will work itself out in terms of development of races and civilizations.
At that point, the entire human race is again in rebellion against God. He promised Noah that He would never destroy them by flood again. So what is God going to do? We see the redemptive purpose calling out a unique nation in the person of Abraham. And we will start with Abraham nest time.
With our heads bowed and our eyes closed. Father, we do thank you so much that we see Your hand in history. That man has volition, but man uses that continuously to reject You, continuously to try to make his own path, setting his own agenda, and following his own course. And then You and Your grace not only judged man, but with that judgment You provide a blessing. You always give grace prior to judgment; You always have that offer of salvation. Just as Noah preached for 120 years before the Flood, so there is always the proclamation of Your grace prior to judgment. And now we have salvation given us in Jesus Christ. That is the announcement to grace prior to Your eternal judgment. Father, we pray that if there is anyone here this morning who is uncertain of their eternal destiny, that right now they would make the most important decision of their life. Scripture says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." It is not a matter of works; it is not a matter of human effort; it is not a matter of religion or ritual; it is a matter of faith alone in Christ alone. There is no other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Now Father, we pray that You would take the tings that we have studied and learned this morning and that we would be challenged by them; that we would have a greater respect for Your Word and a greater understanding of the veracity and its infallibility. We pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
* Maher-shalal-hash-baz - Hebrew: "Hurry to the spoils!" or "He has made haste to the plunder!" - was the second mentioned prophetic child in Isaiah 7-9. So I approached the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to me, "Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz...," Isaiah 8:3.