Bereshis 6

1 And it came to pass, when HaAdam began to multiply on the face of ha’adamah, and banot were born unto them,
2 That the bnei HaElohim saw the banot HaAdam that they were tovot; and they took them nashim of all which they chose.
3 And Hashem said, My Ruach [Hakodesh] shall not always strive with Adam, for that he also is basar: yet his yamim shall be a hundred and twenty shanah.
4 HaNefilim were on ha’aretz in those yamim; and also after that, when the bnei HaElohim came in unto the banot HaAdam, and they bore children to them, the same became gibborim which were of old, men of renown.
5 And Hashem saw that the wickedness of HaAdam was great in ha’aretz and that every yetzer (inclination) of the machshevot (thoughts) of his lev was only rah (evil) continually.
6 And Hashem relented that He had made HaAdam on ha’aretz, and He was hurt in His lev.
7 And Hashem said, I will wipe out HaAdam whom I have created from the face of ha’adamah; both Adam, and Behemah, and the Remes and the Oph HaShomayim; for I relent that I have made them.
8 But Noach found chen (grace, unmerited favor) in the eyes of Hashem.
9 These are the toldot of Noach; Noach was an ish tzaddik and tamim among those of his time, and Noach’s halachah was with HaElohim.
10 And Noach fathered three banim: Shem, Cham, and Yephet.
11 Ha’aretz also was corrupt before HaElohim, and ha’aretz was filled with chamas.
12 And Elohim looked upon ha’aretz, and, hinei, it was corrupt; for kol basar had corrupted his derech upon ha’aretz.
13 And Elohim said unto Noach, The ketz (end) of kol basar is come before Me; for ha’aretz is filled with chamas because of them; and, hineni, I will destroy them with ha’aretz.
14 Make thee a tevah (ark) of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the tevah (ark), and shalt coat it within and without with tar.
15 And this is how thou shalt build it: the length of the tevah (ark) shall be three hundred cubits, the width of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A roof shalt thou make to the tevah (ark), and thou shalt finish it to a cubit from the top; and the door of the tevah (ark) shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third decks shalt thou make it.
17 And, hineni, I, even I, do bring a mabbul of waters upon ha’aretz, to destroy kol basar, wherein is the ruach chayyim, from under Shomayim; and everything that is in ha’aretz shall perish.
18 But with thee will I establish My brit (covenant); and thou shalt come into the tevah (ark), thou, and thy banim, and thy isha, and the nashim of thy banim with thee.
19 And of every living thing of kol basar, two of every kind shalt thou bring into the tevah (ark), to keep them alive with thee; they shall be zachar and nekevah.
20 Of birds after their kind, and of behemah after their kind, of every remes of ha’adamah after its kind, two of every kind shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for ochel for thee, and for them.
22 Thus did Noach; according to all that Elohim commanded him, so did he.

Bereshis 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The wickedness of the world which provoked God's wrath. (1-7) Noah finds grace. (8-11) Noah warned of the flood, The directions respecting the ark. (12-21) Noah's faith and obedience. (22)

Verses 1-7 The most remarkable thing concerning the old world, is the destroying of it by the deluge, or flood. We are told of the abounding iniquity of that wicked world: God's just wrath, and his holy resolution to punish it. In all ages there has been a peculiar curse of God upon marriages between professors of true religion and its avowed enemies. The evil example of the ungodly party corrupts or greatly hurts the other. Family religion is put an end to, and the children are trained up according to the worldly maxims of that parent who is without the fear of God. If we profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, we must not marry without his consent. He will never give his blessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or worldly honours, to faith and holiness. The Spirit of God strove with men, by sending Enoch, Noah, and perhaps others, to preach to them; by waiting to be gracious, notwithstanding their rebellions; and by exciting alarm and convictions in their consciences. But the Lord declared that his Spirit should not thus strive with men always; he would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripened for destruction. This he determined on, because man was flesh: not only frail and feeble, but carnal and depraved; having misused the noble powers of his soul to gratify his corrupt inclinations. God sees all the wickedness that is among the children of men; it cannot be hid from him now; and if it be not repented of, it shall be made known by him shortly. The wickedness of a people is great indeed, when noted sinners are men renowned among them. Very much sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that the wickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination, or purpose, of the thoughts of man's heart, was only evil continually. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. The heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were corrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs and devices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving how to do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man's wickedness as one injured and wronged by it. He saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which grieves him, and makes him wish he had been childless. The words here used are remarkable; they are used after the manner of men, and do not mean that God can change, or be unhappy. Does God thus hate our sin? And shall not we be grieved to the heart for it? Oh that we may look on Him whom we have grieved, and mourn! God repented that he had made man; but we never find him repent that he redeemed man. God resolves to destroy man: the original word is very striking, 'I will wipe off man from the earth,' as dirt or filth is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and is thrown to the dunghill, the proper place for it. God speaks of man as his own creature, when he resolves upon his punishment. Those forfeit their lives who do not answer the end of their living. God speaks of resolution concerning men, after his Spirit had been long striving with them in vain. None are punished by the justice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the grace of God.

Verses 8-11 Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he condemned the world: but he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and this made him more truly honourable than the men of renown. Let this be our chief desire, let us labour that we may be accepted of him. When the rest of the world was wicked, Noah kept his integrity. God's good-will towards Noah produced this good work in him. He was a just man, that is, justified before God, by faith in the promised Seed. As such he was made holy, and had right principles; and was righteous in his conversation. He was not only honest, but devout; it was his constant care to do the will of God. God looks down upon those with an eye of favour, who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it shows strong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him; Noah did so. All kinds of sin were found among men. They corrupted God's worship. Sin fills the earth with violence, and this fully justified God's resolution to destroy the world. The contagion spread. When wickedness is become general, ruin is not far off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be long kept off; but when all hands are at work to pull down the fences, by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be expected but a flood of wrath?

Verses 12-21 God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world by water. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, Ps. 25:14 . It is with all believers, enabling them to understand and apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. God chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the world. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects his children, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off his enemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is the first place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; it seems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence; that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant of grace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make an ark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted to float upon the waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul's cathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largest ships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in making that which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial of his faith and obedience. Both the providence of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gave Noah particular orders how to make the ark, which could not therefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noah that he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What we do in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to have the benefit of. The piety of parents gets their children good in this life, and furthers them in the way to eternal life, if they improve it.

Verse 22 Noah's faith triumphed over all corrupt reasonings. To rear so large a building, such a one as he never saw, and to provide food for the living creatures, would require from him a great deal of care, and labour, and expense. His neighbours would laugh at him. But all such objections, Noah, by faith, got over; his obedience was ready and resolute. Having begun to build, he did not leave off till he had finished: so did he, and so must we do. He feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. And in the warning given to Noah, there is a more solemn warning given to us, to flee from the wrath to come, which will sweep the world of unbelievers into the pit of destruction. Christ, the true Noah, which same shall comfort us, hath by his sufferings already prepared the ark, and kindly invites us by faith to enter in. While the day of his patience continues, let us hear and obey his voice.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 6

This chapter gives an account of the wickedness of the old world, both among the profane and the professors of religion, which was taken notice of and resented by God, upon which he determined the destruction of it, Ge 6:1-7 only one man, Noah, is excepted, who found favour with God, and whose character is given, Ge 6:8-10 and to whom was observed by God the general corruption of the earth, Ge 6:11-13 and to whom he gave orders and directions for the building an ark for himself, and his family, being determined to destroy the earth with a flood, and all creatures in it, Ge 6:14-17 only he would preserve him and his wife, his three sons and their wives, and two of every living creature, for which, and for himself and his family, he was to take food into the ark when built, Ge 6:18-21 and the chapter is concluded with observing, that Noah did as he was commanded, Ge 6:22.

Bereshis 6 Commentaries