Genesis 6


‘When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.’ The Nephilim were on the earth in those days— and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’ Genesis 6:1-4

In Genesis 6 we see that there is a rapid increase in sin. We don’t know what the actual population of the world would have been at this point in time.

If you read through Genesis 4-5, you’ll clearly see that the ‘sons of God,’ weren’t ‘fallen angels’ as some like to suggest. When the New Testament speaks of angels leaving their proper place, 2 Peter 2:4 / Jude 6, it refers to their fall with Satan, not to cohabitation with women.

We must remember that angels are without sexual orientation which implies that they aren’t male and female. Angels do not have physical bodies, which are needed for the procreation of human children, Matthew 22:30.

The daughters of men are the daughters of the children of Cain whose family is listed in Genesis 4:16-24. Seth’s family is then listed in Genesis 4:25-5:32. So, you have two families represented up to this point.

Cain’s line is recounted in Genesis 4, and this line displays a huge growth in wickedness, capped by Lamech, who was the first polygamist, Genesis 4:19, and who rejoiced in the murderous, vengeful use of the sword, Genesis 4:23-24.

The line of Seth, is traced in Genesis 5, and displays righteousness. This line includes Enoch, who ‘walked with God’, Genesis 4:24 and Noah, who was ‘a righteous and blameless’ man, Genesis 6:9.

There are ‘the sons of God’ represented in the family of Seth, and there are ‘the daughters of men’ who are the female offspring of the children of Cain and his family.


It’s true that angels are called ‘sons of God’ in Job 1:6, but righteous people are also called, ‘sons of God’ in Hosea 1:10. Even in the New Testament, we find that Christians are called ‘sons of God’ through faith in Christ, Galatians 3:26.

The term ‘sons of God’ simply refers to those who were obedient to God, but those who joined themselves to (married) those who weren’t faithful to God, that is ‘the daughters of men’. Seth’s godly descendants married the descendants from Cain, and so marrying those who’d rejected God and leading to greater wickedness.

The ‘sons of God’ were those who loved God and the ‘daughters of men’ were those who didn’t love God. So we simply have people who served God and people who served themselves. We see two lines, one obeying God and the other wilfully disobeying Him.

Because of intermarriage, the people who belonged to the line of Seth came down to the level of those who didn’t love God. In other words, the godly became ungodly.

It’s clear that God was upset because the people left Him and despite having 120 years to repent, they didn’t and so, God announces His judgment and man is to be judged, Genesis 6:3 / Genesis 6:5-7.


The Nephilim existed before and after ‘the sons of God’ married ‘the daughters of men’. They were a vicious and dominant people who dominated civilizations by populating the earth through the ‘daughters of men,’ and so they brought wickedness upon the earth.

Notice some translations use the words, ‘giants’ and ‘mighty men.’ In Numbers 13:33 we find a description of them, they were a group of big strong people.

Here in Genesis 6:4, this can be read one of two ways. They were either physically large, or they were giants among men in the sense of leaders. The Nephilim were powerful and influential men, but not necessarily good.

Notice they were ‘heroes of old and men of renown’, Genesis 6:4. The Hebrew word ‘gibbor’ is translated as ‘heroes’ in the NIV but this is misleading. Most other translations use the words, ‘mighty men.’

This is important because a ‘hero’ is good, but a ‘mighty man’ can be good or evil. These ‘mighty men’ were so evil, the result of their wicked culture led to the digression of mankind.

Mankind’s strength wouldn’t save them and so the people put their faith in the Nephilim, giants, mighty men, instead of God, Matthew 23:12.

‘The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So, the LORD said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD.’ Genesis 6:5-8

It’s here in these verses we see the progression of sin and it seems the more people there were, the more sin was around. God felt grieved because He loved His creation and because the animals were under the rule of man, they too shared in man’s punishment. It’s always sad when people go the opposite direction God wants them to go and so, God changes His relationship with man in terms of being a loving caring protector of man to now becoming the God who rebukes men and brings judgment on them.

The good news in all of this is that God not only sees the sinfulness of man, he also sees the righteousness of man, He sees those who are faithful to Him even when no one else is faithful, in this case, but it was also Noah who was a preacher of righteousness, 2 Peter 2:5. He was telling people to start to walk with God, but they chose to ignore him. This sinful generation had a chance to be right with God through Noah. Genesis 6:8

The account of Noah

‘This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.’ Genesis 6:9-10

Noah was right with God because he lived by faith in accordance with the standard of God’s law. He was blameless not necessarily in terms of being sinless but in terms of doing everything God wanted Him to do by living right by God. Noah just like Enoch, Genesis 5:24, enjoyed a close fellowship with God because of his obedience to the will of God.

‘Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.’ Genesis 6:11-12

What a contrast there is between Noah, who was faithful and those who weren’t. It’s here we see this contrast, this generation of people became corrupt and full of violence, they were well on their way to self-destruction.

God saw the mess mankind was in, just like others saw that things weren’t right, Genesis 30:1 / Genesis 30:9 / Genesis 50:15 and so, God knew that something had to be done to save humanity for future generations.

‘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.’ Genesis 6:13

Judgement Day was coming, I guess we could say it was going to be the end of their world. Because God says that He will ‘put an end to all people’, this surely implies that the flood to come was going to be universal not just local, notice the use of the word ‘earth.’ If it was only to be a local flood, then God would have simply told Noah to move to another part of the earth.

‘So, make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.’ Genesis 6:14-16

The wood to be used would be cypress wood or acacia wood as some translations have it, the pitch which would act as a sealant, would be perfect for sealing the ark as it would help it float. With eighteen inches being the assumed length of a cubit, the ark would have been 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. For ventilation and light, there was a window that may have encompassed the top edge of the ark.

A door was on the side of the ark, though no information is given concerning the relationship of the door to the three levels of the ark.
Again, we ask the question if the flood wasn’t a universal flood, why would God ask Noah to build such a big ark?

The word ‘ark’ means chest or box, so it wasn’t a boat as such like we see in so many pictures today. It had an opening and 3 decks; the deck space would be 95,700 square feet. The total space would be 1,396,000 cubic feet and the weight it could carry would be 13,960 tons. This is the least size, the smallest measurement. The very size of the ark proves that it was too big just for a local flood.

‘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.’ Genesis 6:17-18

This wasn’t a local flood because when we read these words carefully we can only come to the conclusion that the flood was going to be catastrophic throughout the earth. Every man, woman child and animal, except Noah and his family, and the animals God calls to board the ark, will be wiped off the face of the earth.

Just as a side note this is the first time the word ‘covenant’ is used in the Scriptures, here it’s in relation to Noah and his family not being destroyed in the flood, provided to obey God in terms of building the ark. Genesis 9:9-17.

‘You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two 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. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.’ Noah did everything just as God commanded him.’ Genesis 6:19-22

Why did God ask him to bring into the ark every kind of animal, male and female?

Simply for the purpose of starting the repopulating of the animal kingdom after the flood. Noah did just as God asked, this was faith in action, Hebrews 11:7.

We get the sense that whilst Noah was building the ark, he took the opportunity to preach to those in his generation, 2 Peter 2:5. I can imagine him preaching about what was to come but imagine what his hearers must have thought!

Here is Noah in the middle of desert land preaching about a flood, speaking about the rain which no one had ever seen up to this point in time, I would imagine that people must have thought he had lost the plot.

From Genesis 6:22 to Genesis 7:1 we see that it took 120 years to complete the ark, which means the people had 120 years to repent and turn to God.

Go To Genesis 7