Genesis 6
Pulpit Commentary
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Verses 1, 2. - And it came to pass. Literally, it was; not in immediate sequence to the preceding chapter, but at some earlier point in the antediluvian period; perhaps about the time of Enoch (corresponding to that of Lamech the Cainite), if not in the days of Enos. Havernick joins the passage with Genesis 4:26. When men - ha'adham, i.e. the human race in general, and not the posterity of Cain in particular (Ainsworth, Rosenmüller, Bush) - began to multiply - in virtue of the Divine blessing (Genesis 1:28) - on (or over) the face of the earth. "Alluding to the population spreading itself out as well as increasing" (Bonar). And daughters were born unto them. Not referring to any special increase of the female sex (Lange), but simply indicating the quarter whence the danger to the pious Sethites rose: "who became snares to the race of Seth" (Wordsworth). That the sons of God. Bene-ha Elohim.

1. Not young men of the upper ranks, as distinguished from maidens of humble birth (Onk., Jon., Sym., Aben Ezra); an opinion which "may now be regarded as exploded" (Lange).

2. Still less the angels (LXX., - some MSS. having ἄγγελοι τοῦ θεοῦ, - Philo, Josephus, Justin Martyr, Clement, Tertullian, Luther, Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Von Bohlen, Ewald, Baumgarten, Delitzsch, Kurtz, Hengstenberg, Alford); for

(1) they are either good angels, in which case they might be rightly styled sons of God (Psalm 29:1; Psalm 89:7; Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 38:7; Daniel 3:25), though it is doubtful if this expression does not denote their official rather than natural relationship to God, but it is certain they would not be guilty of the sin here referred to; or they are bad angels, in which ease they might readily enough commit the sin, if it were possible, but certainly they would not be called "the sons of God."

(2) The statement of Jude (vers. 6, 7), though seemingly in favor of this interpretation, does not necessarily require it; since (α) it is uncertain Whether the phrase "τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις τρόπον ἐκπορνεύσασαι καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας refers to the angels or to "αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις," in which case the antecedent of τούτοις will not be the ἀγγέλοι of ver. 6, but Σόδομα καὶ Γόμοῥῤα of ver. 7; (β) if even it refers to the angels it does not follow that the parallel between the cities and the angels consisted in the "going after strange flesh," and not rather in the fact that both departed from God, "the sin of the apostate angels being in God s view a sin of like kind spiritually with Sodom's going away from God's order of nature after strange flesh" (Fausset); (γ) again, granting that Jude's language describes the sin of the angels as one of carnal fornication with the daughters of men, the sin of which the sons of Elohim are represented as guilty is not πορνεία, but the forming of unhallowed matrimonial alliances. Hence

(3) the assertion of our Lord in Luke 20:35 is inconsistent with the hypothesis that by the sons of God are meant the angels; and

(4) consistent exegesis requires that only extreme urgency, in fact absolute necessity (neither of which can be alleged here), should cause the sons of God to be looked for elsewhere than among the members of the human race.

3. The third interpretation, therefore, which regards the sons of God as the pious Sethites (Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome, Calvin, Keil, Havernick, Lange, Murphy, Wordsworth, Quarry, 'Speaker's Commentary'), though not without its difficulties, has the most to recommend it.

(1) It is natural, and not monstrous.

(2) It is Scriptural, and not mythical (cf. Numbers 25; Judges 3; 1 Kings 11, 16; Revelation 2, for sins of a similar description).

(3) It accords with the designation subsequently given to the pious followers of God (cf. Deuteronomy 14:1; Deuteronomy 32:5; Psalm 73:15; Proverbs 14:26; Luke 3:38; Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26).

(4) It has a historical basis in the fact that Seth was regarded by his mother as a son from God (Genesis 4:25), and in the circumstance that already the Sethites had begun to call themselves by the name of Jehovah (Genesis 4:26). Dathius translates, "qui de nomine Dei vocabantur."

(5) It is sufficient as an hypothesis, and therefore is entitled to the preference. Saw the daughters of men (not of the Cainitic race exclusively, but of men generally) that they were fair, and had regard to this alone in contracting marriages. "Instead of looking at the spiritual kinsmanship, they had an eye only to the pleasure of sense" (Lange). "What the historian condemns is not that regard was had to beauty, but that mera libido regnaverit in the choice of wives" (Calvin). And they took them wives. Lakachisha," a standing expression throughout the Old Testament for the marriage relationship established by God at the creation, is never applied to πορνεία, or the simple act of physical connection, which is sufficient of itself to exclude any reference to angels" (Keil; cf. Genesis 4:19; Genesis 12:19; Genesis 19:14; Exodus 6:25; 1 Samuel 25:43). Of all whom they chose. The emphasis on טִכֹּל (of all) signifies that, guided by a love of merely sensual attractions, they did not confine themselves to the beautiful daughters of the Sethite race, but selected their brides from the fair women of the Cainites, and perhaps with a preference for these. The opinion that they selected "both virgins and wives, they cared, not, whom," and "took them by violence (Willet), is not warranted by the language of the historian. The sons of God were neither the Nephilim nor the Gibborim afterwards described, but the parents of the latter. The evil indicated is simply that of promiscuous marriages without regard to spiritual character.
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And 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.
Verse 3. - And the Lord - Jehovah; not because due to the Jehovist (Tuch, Bleek, Colenso), but because the sin above specified was a direct violation of the footing of grace on which the Sethites stood - said, - to himself, i.e. purposed, - My spirit - neither "ira, seu rigida Dei justitia" (Venema), nor "the Divine spirit of life bestowed upon man, the principle of physical and ethical, natural and spiritual life" (Keil); but the Holy Ghost, the Ruach Elohim of Genesis 1:2 - shall not always strive. London: -

1. Shall not dwell (LXX., οὐ μὴ καταμείνη; Vulgate, non permanebit; Syriac, Onkelos).

2. Shall not be humbled, i.e. by dwelling in men (Gesenius, Tuch).

3. More probably, shall not rule (De Wette, Delitzsch, Kalisch, Furst), or shall not judge (οὐ κρίνει), as the consequence of ruling (Symmachus, Rosenmüller, Keil), or shall not contend in judgment (arguere, reprehendere; cf. Ecclesiastes 6:10), i.e. strive with a man by moral force (Calvin, Michaelis, Dathe, 'Speaker's Commentary,' Murphy, Bush). With man, for that he also - beshaggam. Either be, shaggam, inf. of shagag, to wander, with pron. surf. = "in their wandering" (Gesenius, Tuch, Keil) - the meaning being that men by their straying had proved themselves to be flesh, though a plural suffix with a singular pronoun following is inadmissible in Hebrew (Kalisch); or be, sh (contracted from asher), and gain (also) = quoniam. Cf. Judges 5:7; Judges 6:17; Song of Solomon 1:7 (A.V.). Though an Aramaic particle, "it must never be forgotten that Aramaisms are to be expected either in the most modern or in the most ancient portions of Scripture" ('Speaker's Commentary) - is flesh, not "transitory beings" (Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Tuch), or corporeal beings (Kalisch), but sinful beings; bashar being already employed in its ethical signification, like σάρξ in the New Testament, to denote "man's materiality as rendered ungodly by sin" (Keil). "The doctrine of the carnal mind (Romans 8.) is merely the outgrowth, of the thought expressed in this passage ' (Murphy). Yet his days - not the individual's (Kalisch), which were not immediately curtailed to the limit mentioned, and, even after the Flood, extended far beyond it (vide Genesis 11.); but the races, which were only to be prolonged in gracious respite (Calvin) - shall be an hundred and twenty years. Tuch, Colenso, and others, supposing this to have been said by God in Noah's 500th year, find a respite only of 100 years, instead of 120; but the historian does not assert that it was then God either formed or announced this determination.
There 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.
Verse 4. - There were. Not became, or arose, as if the giants were the fruit of the previously-mentioned misalliances; but already existed contemporaneously with the sons of God (cf. Keil, Havernick, and Lange). Giants. Nephilim, from naphal, to fall; hence supposed to describe the offspring of the daughters of men and the fallen angels (Hoffman, Delitzsch). The LXX, translate by γίγαντες; whence the "giants" of the A.V. and Vulgate, which Luther rejects as fabulous; but Kalisch, on the strength of Numbers 13:33, accepts as the certain import of the term. More probable is the interpretation which understands them as men of violence, roving, lawless gallants, "who fall on others;" robbers, or tyrants (Aquila, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Luther, Calvin, Kurtz, Keil,. Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'). That they were "monsters, prodigies" (Tueh, Knobel), may be rejected, though it is not unlikely they were men of large physical stature, like the Anakim, Rephaim, and others (cf. Numbers 13:33). In the earth. Not merely on it, but largely occupying the populated region. In those days. Previously referred to, i.e. of the mixed marriages. And also - i.e. in addition to these nephilim - after that, - i.e. after their up-rising - when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men. Ha'gibborim, literally, the strong, impetuous, heroes (cf. Genesis 10:8). "They were probably more refined in manners and exalted in thought than their predecessors of pure Cainite descent" (Murphy). Which were of old. Not "of the world," as a note of character, taking olam as equivalent αἰὼν to but a note of time, the narrator reporting from his own standpoint. Men of renown. Literally, men of the name; "the first nobility of the world, honorable robbers, who boasted of their wickedness" (Calvin) or gallants, whose names were often in men's mouths (Murphy). For contrary phrase, "men of no name," see Job 30:8.
And 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.
Verse 5. - And God (Jehovah, which should have been rendered 'the Lord') saw - indicative of the long-continued patience (Calvin) of the Deity, under whose immediate cognizance the great experiment of the primeval age of the world was wrought out - that the wickedness (ra'ath; from the root raa, to make a loud noise, to rage, hence to be wicked) of man (literally, of the Adam: this was the first aggravation of the wickedness which God beheld; it was the tumultuous rebellion of the being whom he had created in his own image) was great (it was no slight iniquity, but a wide-spread, firmly-rooted, and deeply-staining corruption, the second aggravation) in the earth. This was the third aggravation; it was in the world which he had made, and not only in it, but pervading it so "that integrity possessed no longer a single corner" (Calvin). And that every imagination - yetzer, a device, like pottery ware, from yatza, to fashion as a potter (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 8:19). Cf. yotzer, a potter, used of God (Psalm 94:9, 20). Hence the fashioned purpose (ἐνθύμησις) as distinguished from the thought out of which it springs - "a distinction not generally or constantly recognized by the mental philosopher, though of essential importance in the theory of the mind" (Murphy) - of the thoughts - mahshevoth; from hashal, to think, to meditate = ἔννοια; cf. Hebrews 9:12 (T. Lewis) - of his heart - or, the heart, the seat of the affections and emotions of the mind. Cf. Judges 16:15 (love); Proverbs 31:11 (confidence); Proverbs 5:12 (contempt); Psalm 104:15 (joy). Here "the feeling, or deep mother heart, the state of soul, lying below all, and giving moral character to all (Lewis). Cf. the psychological division of Hebrews 4:12 was only evil continually. Literally, every day. "If this is not total depravity, how can language express it?" Though the phrase does not mean "from infancy," yet "the general doctrine" (of man's total and universal depravity) "is properly and consistently elicited hence" (Calvin).
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Verse 6. - And it repented the Lord. Yinnahem; from naham, to pant, to groan; Niph., to lament, to grieve bemuse of the misery of others, also because of one's own actions; whence to repent (cf. German, rouen; English, rue: Gesenius); = "it grieved him at his heart." "Verbum nostae pravitatae accommodatum" (Chrysostom); "non est perturbatio, sod judi-cium, quo irrogatur pinna;" and again, "poenitudo Dei est mutandorum immutabilis ratio" (Augustine). "Deus est immutabilis; sed cum ii, quos eurat, mutantur, murat ipse res, prout ils expedit quos eurat" (Justin Martyr: Latin Version). "The repentance here ascribed to God does not properly belong to him, but has reference to our understanding of him (Calvin). "The repentance of God does not presuppose any variableness in his nature or purposes" Keil). "A peculiarly strong anthropathic expression, which, however, presents the truth that God, in consistency with his immutability, assumes a changed position in respect to changed man" (Lange). That he had made man on the earth. i.e. that he had created man at all, and in particular that he had settled him on the earth. And it grieved him at his heart. A touching indication that God did not hate man, and a clear proof that, though the Divine purpose is immutable, the Divine nature is not impassible.
And 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.
Verse 7. - And the Lord said, - "Before weird (doom) there's word: Northern Proverb" (Bonar) - I will destroy - literally, blot or wipe out by washing (cf. Numbers 5:23; 2 Kings 21:13; Proverbs 30:20; Isaiah 25:8). "The idea of destroying by washing away is peculiarly appropriate to the Deluge, and the word is chosen on account of its significance" (Quarry) - man whom I have created from the face of the earth. An indirect refutation of the angel hypothesis (Keil, Lange). If the angels were the real authors of the moral corruption of the race, why are they not sentenced as the serpent was in Genesis 3:14? Both man, and beast, and the creeping thing. Literally, from man unto beast, &c. The lower creatures were involved in the punishment of man neither because of any moral corruption which had entered into them, nor as sharing in the atonement for human sins (Knobel); but rather on the ground of man's sovereignty over the animal world, and its dependence on him (Keil, Lange), and in exemplification of that great principle of Divine government by which the penal consequences of moral evil are allowed to extend beyond the immediate actor (cf. Romans 8:20). For it repenteth me that I have made them. Vide supra on ver. 6.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Verse 8. - But Noah found grace. Hen; the same letters as in Noah, but reversed (cf. Genesis 18:3; Genesis 39:4; 1 Kings 11:19). The present is the first occurrence of the word in Scripture. "Now for the first time grace finds a tongue to express its name" (Murphy); and it clearly signifies the same thing as in Romans 4, 5, Ephesians 2, Galatians 2, the gratuitous favor of God to sinful men.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Verse 9. - These are the generations of Noah. "Novi capitis initium = "haec est historia Noachi (Rosenmüller; cf. Genesis 5:1). Noah (vide Genesis 5:29) was a just man. צַדִּיק: not of spotless innocence (Knobel); but upright, honest, virtuous, pious (vir probus); from צָדַּק, to be straight, hence to be just; Piel to render just or righteous (Eccl. Lat., justificare), to declare any one just or innocent (Gesenius); better "justified" or declared righteous, being derived from the Piel form of the verb (Furst). "Evidently the righteousness here meant is that which represents him as justified in view of the judgment of the Flood, by reason of his faith, Hebrews 11:7" (Lange). "To be just is to be right in point of law, and thereby entitled to all the blessings of the acquitted and justified. When applied to the guilty this epithet implies pardon of sin among other benefits of grace" (Murphy). And perfect. תָּמִים: complete, whole (τέλειος, integer); i.e. perfect in the sense not of sinlessness, but of moral integrity (Gesenius, Calvin). It describes "completeness of parts rather than of degrees in the renewed character" (Bush). "The just is the right in law, the perfect is the tested in holiness" (Murphy). If, however, the term is equivalent to the τελείωσις of the Christian system (1 Corinthians 2:6; Hebrews 7:11), it denotes that complete readjustment of the being of a sinful man to the law of God, both legally and morally, which is effected by the whole work of Christ for man and in man; it is "the establishment of complete, unclouded, and enduring communion with God, and the full realization of a state of peace with him which, founded on a true and ever valid remission of sins, has for its consummation eternal glory" (Delitzsch on Hebrews 7:11). In his generations. בְּדְֹּרֹתַיו, from דּוּר, to go in a circle; hence a circuit of years; an age or generation (generatio, seeulum) of men. The clause marks not simply the sphere of Noah's virtue, among his contemporaries, or only the duration of his piety, throughout his lifetime, but likewise the constancy of his religion, which, when surrounded by the filth of iniquity on every side, contracted no contagion (Calvin). "It is probable, moreover, that he was of pure descent, and in that respect also distinguished from his contemporaries, who were the offspring of promiscuous marriages between the godly and the ungodly" (Murphy). And Noah walked with God. The special form in which his just and perfect character revealed itself amongst his sinful contemporaries. For the import of the phrase see on Genesis 5:22. Noah was also a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), and probably announced to the wicked age in which -he lived the coming of the Flood (Hebrews 11:7).
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Verse 10. - And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (cf. Genesis 5:32). Here (in the story of the Flood) if anywhere, observes Rosenmüller, can traces be detected of two distinct documents (duorum monumentorum), in the alternate use of the names of the Deity, the frequent repetitions of the same things, and the use of peculiar forms of expression; and in vers. 9-13, compared with Genesis 6:5-8, Bleek, Tuch, Colenso, and others find' the first instance of needless repetition, on the supposition of the unity of the narrative, but a sure index of the Elohistic pen, on the hypothesis of different authors; but the so-called "repetition" is explained by remembering that Genesis 6:5-8 forms the close of a section "bringing down the history to the point at which the degeneracy of mankind causes God to resolve on the destruction of the world," while the new section, which otherwise would begin too abruptly, introduces the account of the Deluge by a brief description of its cause (cf. Quarry, p. 367). The structure of the narrative here is not different from what it appears elsewhere (cf. Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1).
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Verse 11. - The earth -

(1) its inhabitants, as in ver. 11 (cf. Genesis 11:1) - mankind being denominated earth because wholly earthly (Chrysostom);

(2) the land, which had become defiled through their wickedness (vers. 12, 13; cf. Psalm 107:34) - also (literally, and the earth) was corrupt - in a moral sense, the causes and forms of which corruption have already been detailed in the preceding paragraph. The term is elsewhere applied to idolatry, or the sin of perverting and depraving the worship of God (Exodus 32:7; Deuteronomy 32:5; Judges 2:19; 2 Chronicles 27:2); but the special sins of the antediluvians were rather licentiousness and lawlessness - before God - i.e. openly, publicly, flagrantly, and presumptuously (cf. Genesis 10:9); noting the intensity of their wickedness, or intimating the fact that God had seen their corruption, and so commending the Divine long-suffering (Calvin), - and the earth was filled with violence. "The outward exhibition of inward carnality" (Murphy); "injurious and cruel dealing, the violating of duties towards men, 'rapines or robberies (Chaldee)'" (Ainsworth). Cf. Genesis 49:5; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:10.
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Verse 12. - And God looked upon the earth. "God knows at all times what is doing in our world, but his looking upon the earth denotes a special observance of it, as though he had instituted an inquiry into its real condition" (Bush; cf. Psalm 14:2; Psalm 33:13, 14; Psalm 80:2, 3). And, behold, it was corrupt. "Everything stood in sharpest contradiction with that good state which God the Creator had established" (Delitzsch, quoted by Lange). The nature of this corruption is further indicated. For all flesh, i.e. the human race, who are so characterized here not so much for their frailty (Isaiah 40:5, 6) as for their moral and spiritual degeneracy (Genesis 6:3, q.v. ) - had corrupted - skachath (καταφθείρω, LXX. ); literally, had destroyed, wrecked, and ruined, wholly subverted and overthrown - his way - derech (from darach, to tread with the feet), a going; hence a journey, a way; e.g.

(1) of living or acting (Proverbs 12:15; 1 Samuel 18:44)';

(2) of worshipping God - ὀδὸς, Acts 19:9, 23 (Psalm 139:24; Amos 8:14). Here it signifies the entire plan and course of life in all its ethical and religious aspects as designed for man by God (cf. Psalm 119:9; and contrast "the way of Cain," Jude 1:11; "the way of Balaam," 2 Peter 2:15) - upon the earth.
And 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.
Verse 13. - And God said unto Noah, The end. קֵצ (from Hophal of קָצַצ, to cut off) that which is cut off, the end of a time (Genesis 4:3) or of a space (Isaiah 37:24); specially the end or destruction of a people (Ezekiel 7:2; Amos 8:2), in which sense it is to be here understood (Gesenius, Rosenmüller). The rendering which regards ketz as, like τέλος - the completion, consummation, fullness of a thing (here of human fleshliness or wickedness), and the following clause as epexegetic of the present (Bush), though admissible in respect of Scriptural usage (cf. Jeremiah 51:13; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Romans 10:4) and contextual harmony, is scarcely so obvious; while a third, that the end spoken of is the issue to which the moral corruption of the world was inevitably tending (Keil, Lange), does not materially differ from the first. Of all flesh, I.e. of the human race, of course with the exception of Noah and his family, which "teaches us to beware of applying an inflexible literality to such terms as all, when used in the sense of ordinary conversation" (Murphy). Is come before me. Literally, before my face. Not "a me constitutus est" (Gesenius), "is decreed before my throne" (Kalisch); but, "is in the contemplation of my mind as an event soon to be realized" (Murphy), with perhaps a glance at the circumstance that man s ruin had not been sought by God, but, as it were, had thrust itself upon his notice as a thing that could no longer be delayed. If בָּא לְפָנַי = the similar expression בָּא אֶל, which, when applied to rumors, signifies to reach the ear (cf. Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:9; 1 Kings 2:28; Esther 9:11), it may likewise indicate the closeness or near approach of the impending calamity. For the earth is filled with violence through them. More correctly, "from their faces; a facie eorum" (Vulgate). That is, "the flood of wickedness which comes up before God's face goes out from their face" in the sense of being perpetrated openly (Lange), and "by their conscious agency" (Alford). And, behold, I will destroy them. Literally, and behold me destroying them. The verb is the same as is translated "corrupt' in ver. 12, q.v., as if to convey the idea of fitting retribution (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:17: εἴτις τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ δθείρει φθερεῖ τοῦτον ὁ θεός; Revelation 11:18: καὶ διαφθεῖραι τοὺς διαφθείροντας τὴν γῆν). Whether this destruction which was threatened against the antediluvian sinners ex tended to the loss of their souls throughout eternity may be reasoned (pro and con) from other Scriptures, but cannot be determined from this place, which refers solely to the-extinction of their bodily lives. With the earth. Not from the earth (Samaritan), or on the earth (Syriac, Rosenmüller), or even the earth, "thus identifying the earth with its inhabitants" (Bush), but, together with the earth (Kalisch, Keil, Alford; cf. Genesis 9:11; καὶ τὴν γῆν, LXX.). The universality of representation which characterizes this section (vers. 9-13) is regarded by Davidson, Colenso, and others as contradictory of Genesis 6:5, which depicts the corruption as only human, and limits the destruction to the race of man. But as the two accounts belong to different subdivisions of the book, they cannot properly be viewed as contradictory (cf. 'Quarry on Genesis,' pp. 370, 371).
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
Verse 14. - Make thee an ark. תֵּבַת, constr. of תֵּבָה, etymology unknown (Gesenius); of Shemitic origin, from תָּבָה, to be hollow (Furst); of Egyptian derivation, a boat being called tept (Keil, Kalisch, Knobel); from the Sanskrit pota, a pot or boat (Bohlen); "a peculiar archaic term for a very unusual thing, like מַבּוּל, the term for the Flood itself" (T. Lewis); translated κιβωτός θίβη (LXX.), area (Vulgate), λάρναξ (Nicolas Damaseenus), πλοῖον (Berosus); not a ship in the ordinary acceptation of the word, but a box or chest (cf. Exodus 2:3) capable of floating on the waters. "Similar vessels, generally, however, drawn by horses or men, were and are still used in some parts of Europe and Asia" (Kalisch). Of gopher wood. Literally, woods of gopher (גֹפֶר: ἅπαξ λεγ.., the root of which, like כפר, seams to signify to cover (Kalisch); ligna bituminata (Vulgate); pitch trees, resinous trees, such as are used in ship-building (Gesenius); most likely cypress, κυπάρισσος (Bochart, Celsius, Keil), which was used "in some parts of Asia exclusively as the material for ships, in Athens for coffins, and in Egypt for mummy cases" (Kaliseh). "It is said too that the gates of St. Peter's Church at Rome (made of this wood), which lasted from the time of Constantine to that of Eugene IV., 1. a 1100 years, had in that period suffered no decay" (Bush). Rooms - kinnim, nests, applied metaphorically to the chambers of the ark - shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. וְכָפַרְתָּ בַּכֹּפֶר: literally, shalt cover it with a covering. The substance to be employed was probably bitumen or asphalt (ἄσφαλτος, LXX.; bitumen, Vulgate). The root (cf. English, cover) signifies also to pardon sin, i.e. to cover them from God's sight (Psalm 65:3; Psalm 78:38; 2 Chronicles 30:18), and to make expiation for sin, i.e. to obtain covering for them (Genesis 32:20; Daniel 9:24); whence gopher is used for a ransom (Exodus 21:30; Exodus 30:12), and cap-poreth, the covering of the ark (Exodus 25:17), for the mercy-seat (ἱλαστήριον, LXX.; propitiatorium, Vulgate).
And 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.
Verse 15. - And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of. The shape of it is not described, but only its dimensions given. The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, - a cubit = the length from the elbow to the middle finger (Deuteronomy 3:11); nearly twenty-two inches, if the sacred cubit; if the common, eighteen inches, - the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. With a cubit of twenty-one inches, the length would he 525 feet, the breadth 87 feet 6 inches, dimensions not dissimilar to those of the Great Eastern which is 680 feet long, 83 feet broad, and 58 feet deep. The cubic contents of the ark with these dimensions would be 2,411,718'75 feet, which, allowing forty cubic feet per ton, would give a carrying capacity equal to 32,800 tons. P. Jansen of Holland, in 1609, proved by actual experiment that a ship constructed after the pattern of the ark, though not adapted for sailing, would in reality carry a cargo greater by one-third than any other form of like cubical content. The difficulty of building a vessel of such enormous magnitude, T. Lewis thinks, may be got over by remembering the extreme simplicity of its structure, the length of time allowed for its erection, the physical constitution of the builders, and the facilities for obtaining materials which may have existed in abundance in their vicinity. Bishop Wilkins ('Essay towards a Philosophical Character and Language'), Dr. A. Clarke, and Bush are satisfied that the ark was large enough to contain all the animals directed to be taken into it, along with provision for a twelvemonth; but computations founded on the number of the species presently existing must of necessity be precarious; and besides, it is at least doubtful whether the Deluge was universal, or only partial and local, in which case the difficulty (so called) completely vanishes.
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.
Verse 16. - A window - עֹהַר, from עָהַר, to shine, hence light (עָהֲרַיִם, double light, or light of midday - Genesis 43:16; Jeremiah 6:4). Not the window which Noah afterwards opened to let out the dove, which is called הַלּון (Genesis 8:6), but obviously a lighting apparatus, which may have been a series of windows (Gesenius), scarcely one (Theodotion, θύραν; Symmachus, διαφανές; Vulgate, fenestram; Kimchi, Luther, Calvin); or an opening running along the top of the sides of the ark, occupied by some translucent substance, and sheltered by the eaves of the roof (Knobel); or, what appears more probable, a light opening in the upper deck, stretching along the entire length, and continued down through the different stories (Baumgarten, Lange); or, if the roof sloped, as is most likely, an aperture along the ridge, which would admit the clear light of heaven (tsohar), and serve as a meridional line enabling Noah and the inmates of the ark to ascertain the hour of noon (Taylor Lewis). Keil and Murphy think we can form no proper conception of the light arrangement of the ark. The conjecture of Schultens, which is followed by Dathius, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, and others, that the tsohar meant the covering (tectum, dorsum), "quo sane hoc aedificium carere non potuit, propter pluviam tot diernm continuam," is obviously incorrect - shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit - to a cubit, i.e. all but a cubit (T. Lewis); into a cubit, i.e. to the extent of a cubit (Ainsworth); by the cubit, i.e. by a just measure (Kalisch) - shalt thou finish it - not the window (Gesenins, Ewald, Tueh), the feminine suffix agreeing with tebah, which is feminine, and not with tsohar, which is masculine; but the ark - above. Literally, from above to above; i.e., according to the above interpretations of the preposition, either the roof, after the construction of the windows, should be regularly finished "by the just measure" (Kalisch); or the roof should be arched but a cubit, that it might be almost flat (Ainsworth); or from the eaves up toward the ridge it should be completed, leaving a cubit open or unfinished (T. Lewis). And the door of the ark - the opening which should admit its inmates - shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories. The word stories is not in the original, but some such word must be supplied. Lunge thinks that each fiat or story had an entrance or door in the side.
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 every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Verse 17. - And, behold, I, even I. More correctly, "And I, behold, I," an emphatic assertion that what was coming was a Divine visitation, and not simply a natural occurrence. Do bring. Literally, brining, the participle standing in place of the finite verb to indicate the certainty of the future action (vide Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 134). A flood of waters upon the earth. מַכּוּל, pronounced by Bohlen "far-fetched," "is an archaic word coined expressly for the waters of Noah (Isaiah 44:9), and is used nowhere else except Psalm 29:10 waters upon the earth" (Keil). The first intimation of the means to be employed in inflicting judgment on the morally corrupted world. To destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. The fishes only being excepted, "either

(1) because they did not live in the same element wherein man lived and sinned; or

(2) because they were not so instrumental in man's sins as the beasts might be; or

(3) because man had a greater command over the beasts than over the fishes, and greater service and benefit from them" (Peele).
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.
Verse 18. - But with thee will I establish my covenant. בְּרית (διαθήκη, LXX.; foe-due, Vulgate; testamentum, N.T.), from בָּרַא, to cut or carve; hence a covenant, from the custom of passing between the divided pieces of the victims slain on the occasion of making such solemn compacts (cf. Genesis 15:9; Gesenius); from בָּרַה, to eat, hence an eating together, a banquet (cf. Genesis 31:54; Lee). On the Bible idea of covenant see Genesis 15:9. My covenant = the already well-known covenant which I have made with man. And thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son's wives with thee. This was the substance of the covenant agreement so far as Noah was concerned. The next three verses describe the arrangements about the animals.
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Verses 19-21. - And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort (literally, by twos, i.e. in pairs) shalt thou bring into - or cause to enter, i.e. receive them when they come (ver. 20) - the ark, to keep them alive - literally, to cause to live; ἴνα τρέφης (LXX.); in order to preserve alive (sc. the animals) - with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind (literally, of the fowl after its kind), and of cattle after their kind (literally, of the cattle after its kind), of every creeping thing of the earth after its bind, two of every sort shall come unto thee. "Non hominis actu, sed Dei nutu" (Augustine). Perhaps through an instinctive presentment of the impending calamity (Lange, 'Speaker's Commentary'). And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee (collecting sufficient for a twelvemonth's sustenance); and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
Of 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.
And 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.
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Verse 22. - Thus did Noah; according to all that God (Elohim; in Genesis 7:5 it is Jehovah) commanded (with respect to the building of the ark, the receiving of the animals, the collecting of provisions) him, so did he.

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