I had a little help with this section. About halfway through my study of Genesis 6 my housemate, Niles, joined in and we had good times waxing philosophical about Nephilim.
Nephilim? Yes. Nephilim. “These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.” Is it just me or does it seem like the Bible just let us know that there are a few prequels in the works? You can’t just throw that in like we are supposed to know what it is!
Unless the original audience DID actually know what they were. I saw a couple of things in the beginning of the Noah story that made very little sense to me but must have made sense to the ones who first read it. Such as:
- Sons of God marrying daughters of humans. It is like there is this whole other race of people out there that we NEVER hear about again (as far as I know)
- Nephilim. See the aforementioned section.
- Would anyone have believed that a boat 450 long and 50 feet high could fit at least two of every kind of animal?
Corruption Junction, What’s Your Function?
Yeah, that was a bit of a stretch for that one. Judges? We’ll let it slid this time. So we see multiple times in this chapter that God is not happy with the way the earth is turning out. It is corrupt. Every inclination of people’s hearts is only evil continually. That was a lot of absolutes.
It has gotten so bad that God is sorry and grieved that he made people. Dang! That must be really bad!
But unfortunately, we aren’t told a whole lot about what was actually happening. The best I can guess is that there is a lot of violence since we are told the earth is filled with it and something about the sons of God marrying whoever they choose. I read that this could mean kings invoking “first night” privileges. Gross. I really hope God is not cool with that.
Violence and messed up sexual practices. 24 hours a day. Anyone want to watch cable news?
Destroying Everything . . . sort of.
On three separate occasions in Genesis 6 God talks about how he is going to destroy everything. He will blot out humankind from the earth. He will make an end to all flesh. He will destroy the earth. Again, those are a lot of absolutes.
But at the same time, he knows that he isn’t. Noah and his family and all the animals he takes are going to make it. And the earth, if it actually does get destroyed, will come back.
There is a remnant and there is resurrection.
This raises a question for me. God uses intense language saying everything will be destroyed but it seems a little more like hyperbole. But not to go too far with the hyperbole since everything but one boat’s worth of stuff is toast.
Does this mean he might be doing that other places? Are the places where God says all will be destroyed but fully intends to bring some remnant out of it? hmmm.
Back to the Beginning!
At the end of chapter 6 we see words and phrases that echo back to Genesis 1. We have a mention of male and female. And all the animals are gather according to their kinds. God is going to bring a flood of waters. These are all things that were a part of the first creation story.
It’s like God is about to start over. Sort of.