On Genesis, Part 10: The Sins of Men and Angels

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On Genesis, Part 10: The Sins of Men and Angels

The pitiful condition of the surviving portions of the Enoch literature and other apocryphal or pseudepigraphal works, such as the Genesis Apocryphon of the Qumran sect, may not present an absolutely reliable picture of all of the details of the sins of men and angels, but compared to the words of the apostles of Christ we may at least understand some of the underlying truths which they have preserved to some degree. So, as we discussed in our last presentation here, Perfect in His Race, the apostle Jude in his one brief epistle had warned of infiltrators into the Body of Christ who would introduce corruption, and had associated them with the fallen angels of antiquity. Both Peter and Paul had warned similarly. Then, as we had already mentioned in Part 8 of this commentary, Giants and the Sons of God, in Colossians chapter 2 Paul of Tarsus wrote in reference to the humiliation which is found in the worship of angels, where he must have been speaking of those same fallen angels. Then in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, speaking of the pagan worship of the nations of Roman Europe, he wrote “18 Behold Israel down through the flesh: are not those who are eating the sacrifices partners of the altar?”, and in reference to that same thing a little further on, he continued and wrote that “20 … whatever the Nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God. Now I do not wish for you to be partners with demons.”

So in those two passages, Paul had equated the pagan religions with the worship of both angels and demons, and the meaning of his words cannot be completely reconciled with the writings of the Old Testament without the Enoch literature. So in Charles’ edition of 1 Enoch chapter 19 we read: “1. And Uriel said to me: ‘Here shall stand the angels who have connected themselves with women, and their spirits assuming many different forms are defiling mankind and shall lead them astray into sacrificing to demons as gods, (here shall they stand), till the day of the great judgement in which they shall be judged till they are made an end of.’” This in turn accords with the words of Christ, where we read in Revelation chapter 20 that the devil, the beast, and the false prophet shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, and in Matthew chapter 25 where He attests that the goat nations – those nations who are not His sheep – have their destiny in the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Only their origin explains the reason why they are not found written in the Book of Life.

The worship of angels and demons which Paul had mentioned is obscure if one relies solely upon the Old Testament Scriptures. There are references to the worship of devils, as it is in the King James Version, where the Hebrew word for devil is שד or shade (# 7700), which is a demon, although beyond that there is no explanation of their origins. The first of these references is found in Deuteronomy chapter 32 where we read “17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Then in the 106th Psalm we read: “37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.” There we learn that the idols, or gods of Canaan are also devils. So in those passages, demons and idols or gods are equated, and Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 are fully corroborated. This also explains the references to the worship of the “hosts of heaven”, as the heavenly bodies were often named after such demons, or gods, and were esteemed to represent them. Therefore “hosts of heaven” not only refers to the heavenly bodies themselves, but also to the fallen angels, who, in another sense, were a host fallen from heaven. So the martyr Stephen had said, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 7: “42 Then Yahweh turned, and gave them over to serve the hosts of the heaven just as it is written in a book of the prophets…”

However while the scant Old Testament references may be obscure, such worship is reconciled in the Enoch literature which is found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. For example in the scroll designated 4Q511 (4QShirb), from a fragment of what is titled Songs of the Sage, fragment 35, we read: “… And as for me, I spread the fear of God in the ages of my generations to exalt the name [… and to terrify] with his power al[l] spirits of the bastards, to subjugate them by [his] fear, [not for all] [eternal t]imes, [but for] the time of their dominion…” [1]. In the Dead Sea Scroll labelled 4Q201 (4QEnocha), in Column I, we read in what seems to be an apocalyptic prophesy: “The [Gr]eat Holy One shall leave [his[] dw[elling and the eternal God will descend upon the earth and will walk to Mount Sinai and will appear … with his gr[eat [army] and will appear in [the strength of his] might [from the height of the heavens. All the Watchers will shake and will be punished in secret places … in all the ends] of the earth…]” [2] Later, in 4Q202, (4QEnochb), a further narrative commences with an account much like the opening verses of Genesis chapter 6, wherein the so-called “sons of God” of the Masoretic Text are instead called Watchers and “sons of the sky” [3]. Then in another surviving copy of the same literature, in 4Q204, (4QEnochc), there is a Messianic statement which seems to be prophetic, and says: “And at the moment of [the judgment by which] I shall judge they will perish for al[l generations. Exterminate all the spirits of the bastards and the sons of the Watchers, because they have caused evil to be done to men.” [4]. The term watcher is also used of certain heavenly angels several times in Daniel chapter 4.

[1 The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, edited by Florentino G. Martinez and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar, Brill, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997-1998, Volume 2, pp. 1033-1035; 2 ibid., Volume 1 p. 399-401; 3 ibid., p. 405; 4 ibid., p. 415.]

Whatever one wants to think about the spirits of angels “assuming many different forms”, as we just read in 1 Enoch chapter 19, our modern cultural context is obviously quite far removed from that of the original authors of the literature, and we do not necessarily have to imagine that some comic-book or science-fiction magic was being described in those words. Rather, men may assume different forms when they corrupt themselves by committing miscegenation, and that is indeed the sin attributed to the fallen angels here in Genesis chapter 6. In the corruption of one’s seed, the resulting offspring has a bastard spirit, which is a spirit which is not of God, if it has a spirit at all, and it is to that phenomenon that this same ancient literature credits the origin of demons. The form and character of the resulting offspring is also unpredictable, and many of the so-called “people” of our modern race-mixing society would also be called monsters and demons by the ancients, just as Peter had written in chapter 5 of his first epistle, “8… the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Saying that, Peter was speaking in reference to embodied devils, or embodied demons, not to wicked spirits.

In another translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in the scroll identified as 1Q23, which is said to be a portion of the Book of Giants, in fragments 1, 6 and 22, which are unfortunately highly fragmented, we read: “[… two hundred] donkeys, two hundred asses, two hund[red … rams of the] flock, two hundred goats, two hundred [… beast of the] field from every animal, from every [bird … ] for miscegenation […]” Then, from the same source and another scroll esteemed to be from the same work, in 4Q531, fragment 1 we read: “[...] they defiled [… they begot] giants and monsters [… ] they begot, and, behold, all [the earth was corrupted … ] with its blood and by the hand of [… giants] which did not suffice for them and [… ] and they were seeking to devour many [… ] 8 the monsters attacked it.” Once more, from 4Q532, fragment 2: “2 […] flesh […] 3 monster[s…] […] they were stand[ing…] [...] 5 [...] the earth [grew corrupt …] they were considering […] from the Watchers upon […] perished and died […] they caused great corruption in the ea[rth … this did not] suffice to ea[t … ] the earth and until […] in the earth in all […] great and now not […] they [pl]aced a strong bon[d…]” [5]

[5 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr., and Edward Cook, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996, p291-292.]

Whether these are ancient embellishments or not, it is readily apparent that the ancients held a wider view of the sins of the fallen angels than what has been transmitted in Genesis chapter 6. But in any event, in the account in Genesis it is the Adamic man who is severely punished for having accepted and joined in the sins of these angels, just as Adam had accepted and joined Eve in her sin. The apostles of Christ, as we had described chiefly from the epistle of Jude in our last presentation here, titled Perfect in His Race in reference to the account of Noah, had accused them of corrupting men, and as we have seen in the words of Paul here, they had evidently even sought to be worshipped by men as gods. However the Adamic man, in Genesis chapter 1, was commissioned to have dominion, from a verb which is literally to tread upon or down, over every living thing upon the earth, which would include these fallen angels who were already in the earth at that time when Adam was created.

But aside from the apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature such as 1 Enoch or the Genesis Apocryphon, some of the oldest myths of our Adamic race also echo the very sins which are found in the Enoch literature, and also here in Genesis, but often they were transmitted in a manner which may be likened to material found in cartoon comic books or modern so-called “science fiction” stories. As Solomon had written in Ecclesiastes chapter, 1 (1:9): “9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” So here we shall assert that at least many of the ancient myths found among the various branches of the race of Adam represent distant memories of the same primordial events which are represented in the Enoch literature, which had been embellished and elaborated upon independently by various tribes over many centuries. The root of the pagan religions is found in the worship of the antagonists of those primordial events, which are the Nephilim or fallen angels, and their descendants.

For example, Tiamat, the Assyrian creation goddess typically represented by a serpent, is said in the Akkadian creation myths to have created many fabulous monsters to engage in battle against the gods, among which some of those mentioned are the Dragon, the Sphinx, the Scorpion-Man, lion-demons, and the Centaur [6]. At least two of these, the Sphinx and the Centaur, are chimeras which are found throughout Greek mythology, and a third, the lion-demon, may be a reference to the Griffin which is also found in Greek and Mesopotamian art and mythology. Later, in the symbology of the Old Testament, a Sphinx-like creature called a cherub would be a prominent figure in Israel.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the title character was described in the opening paragraph where it says: “Two-thirds of him is god, one-third of him is human”, which is a seemingly impossible ratio, and he was also described as having had the stature and strength of a giant. Of course the perspective is the same as that which Paul of Tarsus had accused the pagans of his own time of having had, where they had believed that the fallen angels were gods. Gilgamesh was described as a harsh tyrant as the ruler of Uruk, which is most certainly the Biblical city Erech which is mentioned in Genesis chapter 10. According to a chronology calculated from another inscription, the Sumerian King List, Gilgamesh ruled Uruk some time around the 26th century BC which, as we shall see, was at least 500 years after the flood of Noah. There we read in part that “The divine Dumuzi, the fisherman, whose city was Ku'ara, ruled for 100 [years]. Gilgameš, whose father was an invisible being, the lord of Kulaba, ruled for 126 years” [7]. This is a different Dumuzi than the one referenced in the prophet Ezekiel. There were two kings by that name in the list, and we read of one much earlier that “The divine Dumuzi, the shepherd, ruled for 36,000 years.” This earlier Dumuzi is most likely what is referred to where we read in Ezekiel chapter 8 of “14 … women weeping for Tammuz” in the temple of Yahweh, which was one of the many sins of ancient Judah.

Returning to the Epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Aruru is said to have created another giant, Enkidu, to compete with Gilgamesh as a redress of the grievances of the people of Uruk. Among those grievances was the rape of their daughters and the taking of their wives even before the consummation of their marriages. This later practice, called ius primae noctis in Latin, which is the “right of the first night” or in French, Droit du seigneur or “right of the lord”, had allegedly manifested itself once again in Medieval Europe, although any claim that it was widespread is dubious. Gilgamesh had also corrupted Enkidu through the charms of a harlot, an event which was described with language evoking several of the passages of Genesis chapter 3, but that is also what had brought Enkidu to Uruk, where he would confront Gilgamesh. When the people saw Enkidu, they saw in him a champion, and expressed their grievances to him, among which was his taking of their virgin daughters and wives. But when Enkidu and Gilgamesh clashed, while their was no clear victor Gilgamesh relented, Enkidu acknowledged his right to the kingdom, and the two became friends [8]. With that, we will not elaborate any longer on Gilgamesh, as the story is actually quite long, however what we must note is that here we have the creation of a giant in the miscegenation of supposed gods and men, or the daughters of men, and in Numbers chapter 13 and elsewhere in Scripture, at least a portion of the Nephilim are also described as giants, namely the Anakim and the Rephaim. Then in the legend, that giant is found committing the very same sins with the daughters of men which we see described or alluded to here in Genesis.

[6 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Related to the Old Testament 3rd edition, James Pritchard, editor, 1969, Harvard University Press, p. 21; 7 The Sumerian King List, Livius.org, https://www.livius.org/sources/content/anet/266-the-sumerian-king-list/ accessed 30th March, 2023; 8 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Related to the Old Testament, pp. 72-78.]

Once the Adamic race spread beyond Mesopotamia, such stories were not forgotten. Turning to the most ancient Greek myths, which are known from the Epic poets and other ancient Greek sources as early as the 8th century BC, many of these same concepts are repeated. In the so-called Battle of the Gods and Titans, while the title is actually a misnomer, many of the exploits attributed to the prevailing gods, or Olympians, certainly seem to embellish at least many of the myths of Mesopotamia, while adding some new stories. The Titans were said to be the children of a union between Sky and Earth, which also seems to be an allegory for the so-called “Sons of Heaven” mating with the daughters of Adam. These Titans had apparently been split into two camps as Zeus rebelled against his father, Cronus, who is depicted as an especially cruel tyrant, and the prevailing giants became the so-called gods of Olympus. According to the version of the myth as it is found in Apollodorus’ Library, Cronus and other early gods and monsters, such as the Cyclopes, ate their own children, Cronus is portrayed as having swallowed many of his opposition, as Enoch described giants devouring men, they married their own sisters, they cast their own brethren into Tartaros, and Cronus was condemned for also having emasculated his own father, the Sky or in Greek, Uranus.

So, as the account goes, while Zeus had come to rule the gods by achieving victory over his father Cronus and the Titans, they were actually all Titans, which seems to be an embellishment on the giants of Mesopotamian myths and Hebrew Scripture. Upon his victory, Zeus is said to have freed all of the victims of Cronos from Tartaros, which is another word for Hades, and he bound in Tartaros all of the Titans who took the side of Cronos [9]. Interestingly, where Peter wrote in his second epistle of the world before the flood of Noah, he used a Greek verb, ταραρόω, which literally means to cast into Tartaros, to describe the casting of the fallen angels into Tartaros, so the Greek myth also seems to reflect some very ancient truth. In 2 Peter chapter 2, in a description which is very much like that found in Jude, Peter wrote in part: “4 For if Yahweh did not spare the messengers who had sinned but having cast them into Tartaros into a pit of darkness He had delivered them being kept for judgment, 5 and He did not spare of the old society but He had kept Noah, the eighth proclaimer of righteousness, having brought a deluge upon the society of the impious…” That phrase “pit of darkness” is “chains of darkness” in some manuscripts, which is also the reading in Jude 6.

[9 Apollodorus, The Library, translated by James G. Frazer, The Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1921, 1996, Volume I p. 3 ff.]

As for the character of these so-called Olympian gods, the principle of which were said to be the sky god Zeus, the sea god Poseidon and the underworld god Pluto, who was also called Hades, they and the others whom they would bear with the daughters of men, or with their own sisters, were described as having conducted themselves in much the same manner as Gilgamesh and the Nephilim of Genesis chapter 6. Throughout the Epic Poets, especially in Hesiod but also in Homer, where many more elaborations were made in later writers or found in compilations such as that of Apollodorus, accounts describing the rape of both women and men are found quite frequently. Zeus raped Io and transformed her into a heifer, he raped Leda while he was in the form of a swan, leading to the birth of Helen of Troy; he raped his cousin Metis, resulting in the birth of Athena, and had married but later swallowed her; he raped Europa in the form of a bull; he raped Alcmene posing as her husband, from which Heracles is said to have been born; he raped Cassiopeia posing as her husband, Phoenix, resulting in the birth of Atymnius; he raped Danae which purportedly led to the birth of Perseus; he raped Nemesis, from which some accounts claim Helen of Troy was born, or rather, hatched, since it is said that Zeus turned her into a goose or a swan; he raped Callisto while posing as Apollo, or as Apollodorus wrote, in some accounts as Artemis, and he turned her into a bear. He raped other women, such as Antiope and Aegina, who bore him a son, and this is certainly not the end of the list. He also married his own sister, Hera, and by some accounts only after he raped her. But in addition to all of this, as Homer had written in a manner which he seemed quite approving, he raped Ganymede, who was said to be a beautiful Trojan youth, and kidnapped him, bringing him to Olympus to be his cup-bearer and boy lover. So Zeus, the chief of the ancient Greek gods, was not only incestuous and a serial rapist, but a Sodomite, a pedophile and a groomer.

However Zeus was not alone. Apollo, a son of Zeus, raped Cyrene, by whom she had a son named Aristaeus. Hades had raped his own niece, Persephone, the daughter of Zeus. Demeter was raped by Poseidon and gave birth to a horse. Medusa was also raped by Poseidon, resulting in the birth of the winged horse Pegasus. Tyro was raped by Poseidon, giving birth to twins. Alcippe a daughter of Ares, was raped by Halirrhothius, a son of Poseidon, for which he was later killed by Ares. So rape ran in Poseidon’s family just as it had in that of Zeus, since Auge, the daughter of Aleus, was raped by Heracles, another son of Zeus and one of Aleus’ companions among the Argonauts. The list does not end here, but this should be sufficient enough to demonstrate that the so-called gods worshipped by the pagan Greeks were tyrants and rapists not much different than Gilgamesh, and they were also described as giants, or titans, who could change their form, as certain passages in the Enoch literature may be interpreted. But in our opinion, such interpretations of the statements in Enoch are not necessary, even if they were exploited in that manner in the ancient myths.

But we do not necessarily believe all of these myths. Rather, we see them from a perspective other than that of face value, and interpret them as ancient elaborations on the same phenomenon which is described in Genesis chapter 6, and which is also apparent in legends such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. So they are the embellishments and elaborations of many poets on the accounts of the taking of Adamic women by the fallen angels, by which they gave birth to men who were then called “mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” These, in turn, and like Gilgamesh, had continued in the same violent deeds of their fathers. Then, it is apparent that the ancient Greeks had worshipped these rapists and perverts, to whom they had built temples and altars and made sacrifices, and in their poetry, especially in works such as the Homeric Hymns, they celebrated them as the benefactors of mankind. When the ancient pagan literature is perused, it readily becomes evident that the words of Paul and Jude and early Christian attitudes towards paganism are all fully justified. A people shall always do as their gods: if the gods are rapists, sodomites and perverts, then the society which worships those gods shall be rapists, sodomites and perverts. Once a people accept perverts, adulterers, fornicators and rapists as “gods”, neither is there any moral basis upon which to inhibit adultery, fornication, rape, sodomy and other perversions even within one’s own family.

As a short digression, the rape of men and women by shape-shifting gods and giants is not limited in mythology to Greeks and Romans, who had also embraced many of the Greek accounts, but is also found in the pagan Nordic literature. Here we shall only state briefly that as it is described in chapter 42 of the Prose Edda, Loki was said to have had transformed himself into a mare, coupled with a stallion, and that caused him to give birth to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, which later proudly belonged to Odin. In the Poetic Eddas, in the Jötunheimr, a frost giant named Thrym had stolen Thor’s hammer, and when Thor could not meet the giant’s demands for Freya in marriage, Thor himself dressed as a woman, as a bride with Loki as his handmaid, and pretending to be Freya, he was able to deceive the giant and get his hammer back. (So to put it crudely, Thor was more than willing to risk getting hammered in order to get his hammer back.) These two tales are representative of many other myths in the Eddas which tell of the exploits of so-called gods and giants. Another example is found in the Lay of Harbrarth, where disguised as a ferryman, Odin boasts repeatedly to Thor of the many maidens and even married women and witches that he had either raped or seduced into sexual relations, while both he and Thor boast to one another of their exploits in battle [10]. Among the pagan gods of the Eddas were rapists, Sodomites, transvestites, transsexuals, and some of them even had sexual intercourse with animals. One pagan king celebrated in the Eddas had sacrificed several of his own children in order to extend his own life and rule, and Odin had welcomed those sacrifices [11]. So they were not at all lagging behind the Greek idols in all forms of debauchery. Sodomy and other sins were not outlawed in the Scandinavian nations until the coming of Christianity after the 12th century [12].

[10 The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1962, pp. 74-82; 11 The Ynglinga Saga, a part of the Heimskringla. See, for example, https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/heim/02ynglga.htm, accessed 31st March, 2023; 12 The Vikings and Homosexuality by Gunnora Hallakarva, https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/pwh/gayvik.asp, accessed 31st March, 2023.]

But in contrast to all of the sins of men and angels, Noah was a just man who was perfect in his race, even in the midst of an absolutely corrupt world, and for that alone he found grace before God. Where we had left off, the Word of God had distinguished Noah for that very reason, and then it announced, in verse 10, that “… Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” In Genesis chapter 11 (11:10) we learn that Shem was born approximately 98 years before the flood, since he had his first son Arphaxad two years after the flood, at the age of one hundred years. However as we had also already discussed, Japheth seems to have been the elder of the three so he must have been born earlier. Once Noah’s sons were born, it would be a little less than a hundred years until the coming of the flood, during which time he had prepared his Ark. Now we shall commence where we had last left off in Genesis chapter 6:

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

In the context of verse 10, and because the conjunction is actually the first word in the sentence here, we would translate verses 10 and 11 to read: “10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 But the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”

Here perhaps we should briefly discuss this word earth, which is translated from the Hebrew word ארץ or erets (# 776), a word which was translated as land over 1,500 times in the King James Version of the Bible, and as earth just over 700 times, according to Strong’s Concordance and other sources. It was also sometimes translated as ground, field, and, among other things, on four unfortunate occasions, as world. But in the 22nd Psalm where we read that “27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee”, the reference may very well be to land, to the land among which the nations of Israel, or even the Genesis chapter 10 nations, had their inheritance (i.e. Deuteronomy 32:8). Likewise in Isaiah chapter 23 we read: “17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth”, where earth is the Hebrew term אדמה or adamah (# 127) and world would have better been translated as land, being this same Hebrew word erets.

So it is also, in Isaiah 62:11 where we read “… the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world…” and in Jeremiah 25:26 where there is a reference to “… all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth…”, and earth is once again adamah where erets would have been better translated as land. In contrast, the Hebrew word תבל or tebel (# 8398) is usually translated as world. These last two passages are references to the Adamic and future Israelite nations of what the Greeks had called the οἰκουμένη, or inhabitable earth. The context in Isaiah chapter 62 is past tense, and Isaiah wrote those words around 700 BC. The proclamation was for the children of Israel in their captivity, and they had only been taken captive within 50 years before Isaiah had written those words. So they were not for the whole planet, but only that small part of it which the children of Israel had then occupied, “… unto the end of the land.” Likewise also in Jeremiah chapter 25, “all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth” are those same kingdoms where Nebuchadnezzar was told in Daniel chapter 2 that he would rule “38 … wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.” Yet Nebuchadnezzar never ruled over the entire planet, but only over the nations in the vicinity of Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean Sea, which was the land or world of the Genesis 10 nations.

The word erets primarily means land, and there is no indication that the ancient Hebrews were even cognizant of the planet as we know it today, which in our language is now called Earth. So where the word erets is basically land, we cannot justly assume that it means to refer to the entire planet throughout these chapters, something which it never necessarily means in other contexts anywhere else in Scripture. Rather, it only refers to the entire land which the children of Adam had occupied at the time when the flood had come, and as we shall see in Genesis chapters 14 and 15, other groups not related to Adam had survived the flood, including many of the Nephilim and the descendants of Cain.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

In some Biblical contexts, such as Joel chapter 2 and the 65th and 145th Psalms, the phrase “all flesh” certainly is limited in context to all of the flesh of the children of Israel. However here it refers to all of the flesh which Yahweh had created, as it is explained in Genesis chapter 2, so it includes both the Adamic man and the beasts of His creation which occupy that same land where the children of Adam are found. The Hebrew word for corrupt is שחת or shachath, which is to corrupt either physically or morally, to ruin, spoil or pervert. As we had suggested earlier in this commentary, in Part 9, while discussing verse 7 of this chapter where Yahweh had promised to destroy the beasts along with the race of Adam, now this verse also suggests that the animals had been corrupted in the sins of men and angels. If by saying “all flesh” the beasts were included, as they are in verses 13, 17 and 19 below, then the beasts must have also been corrupted in the same sins for which the children of Adam are about to be destroyed.

13 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.

In the Greek of the Septuagint the opening clause of this verse reads, as we would translate it, καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Νωε καιρὸς παντὸς ἀνθρώπου ἥκει ἐναντίον μου, “And God said to Noah, the time of all man is come before Me,” then where it continues, the second clause reads ὅτι ἐπλήσθη ἡ γῆ ἀδικίας ἀπ’ αὐτῶν καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καταφθείρω αὐτοὺς καὶ τὴν γῆν “because the earth has been filled with unrighteous from them, and behold, I shall destroy them and the earth.” Here in the King James Version, the word violence is translated from the Hebrew word חמס or chamas (# 2555), which according to Strong’s is violence, wrong, cruelty or injustice.

Here once again, if by earth the entire planet were meant, then there would be no unique and exotic species of flora or fauna in far-away lands, which are not found in the land of Genesis but which have been discovered elsewhere in abundance these past 500 years, and perhaps there would be no planet at all. If by earth the entire planet were meant, then where Cain was reprimanded by Yahweh and had exclaimed that “Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth” (Genesis 4:14) then he could never have built a city in the land of Nod, and he could never have had children of his own. (He would have been on some other planet, or just floating in the sky.) Those who insist that the entire planet was flooded because, as they like to say, “God can do anything”, always omit the possibility that God has acted exclusively according to His Word, and not according to their whims.

So now Noah receives his instructions, and the task he is given is monumental even for four men, for Noah and his three sons, who at this time must still be very young:

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15 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.

The English word ark was borrowed from the Latin word arca, which is simply a wooden chest or box, so it appears later in Scripture to describe the basket in which Moses was placed as an infant, and also the Ark of the Covenant which was constructed by Moses after the Exodus. The word translated as pitch is כפר or kopher, which is literally only a cover or covering, and in this context it certainly must refer to pitch as it is known to have been used in ancient shipping, where asphalt or some similar tar-like substance was applied to the outside of ships to fill the seams and to prevent the wood from becoming water-logged and rotting, and to prevent the boat from taking on water and sinking. Similarly useful substances were extracted from trees such as birch, or especially pine.

Using the standard cubit, which is approximately 18 inches, the Ark would be rectangular, 450 feet long, 75 feet across, and 45 feet high. Here it is also clear that Moses did not build a traditional ship, but only a very large rectangular crate, which the inner walls would help to strengthen as well as providing rooms. In comparison, today the largest aircraft carrier in the United States’ Navy, the Gerald R. Ford, is 1,106 feet long and at the water line, 134 feet wide, but 256 feet wide at the deck. But because aircraft carriers are oddly shaped compared to the ark of Noah, a more fair comparison may be the largest modern cruise ship, named the Wonder of the Seas, which resembles the rectangular ark above the deck, is 1,187 feet long and 210 feet wide at its widest point, and while the height of the ship is not generally reported, it is reportedly 235 feet tall, which may or may not include the 30-foot draft (the portion below the water). So while Noah’s Ark held less than 3 percent of the volume of the world’s largest modern cruise ship, it was still a very large vessel and especially for only a few men to build.

The instructions continue:

16 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.

So the interior of the Ark had three levels, although we cannot determine whether they were divided evenly at a height of 15 feet for each of them. A single window and door seems paltry for a very large container, but it was evidently all that was necessary. However it is safe to suppose that the actual instructions must have been much more complex, and here Moses, or perhaps Yahweh Himself, has spared us the unnecessary details, as this is the end of them.

Now Yahweh reiterates His purpose and reveals the chosen method of execution:

17 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.

Once again, each occasion of the word for earth here is erets, which is land. In Genesis chapter 2, four rivers were described which mark the general location of the Garden of Eden. In Part 2 of this Commentary, that chapter, the rivers were identified in modern terms as the now-extinct Kuwait River on the very west, the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Karun River on the east. So that was the region in which the Garden of Eden was found, but that does not mean that the Garden of Eden had occupied this entire space. Rather, Adam only having been one man, it was more likely only a very small portion of this space. So where Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden, in Genesis 3:23, and where Cain was sent to the land of Nod to the east, as we read in Genesis 4:16, it is not necessary to interpret those statements in a manner which imagines that they were sent outside of the region which is encompassed by these four rivers.

The British Israel insistence that the flood of Noah happened in the Tarim Basin is based on sheer conjecture, and an unrealistic, even childish view of these statements in Genesis. While we cannot truly know exactly where in this region the Flood of Noah had occurred, there is no real reason to imagine that it happened in some exotic place a great distance from where the children of Noah are first located in Mesopotamia in Genesis chapters 10 and 11. The Tarim River is as many as 2,000 miles from the site of ancient Babylon, and so far outside of the context of the first 11 chapters of Genesis that it is ridiculous to imagine that the Flood of Noah could have occurred there.

Now Yahweh promises to preserve Noah and his family:

18 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.

The covenant promised here is not expressed until after the flood, in Genesis chapter 9, which Yahweh commences by saying: “9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you”. Of this event here in chapter 6, the apostle Peter had written that “the forbearance of Yahweh awaited in the days of Noah’s preparing the vessel in which a few, that is eight souls, had been preserved through the water.” So where it is attested that Yahweh had saved but eight souls in the Ark of Noah, which is Noah and his immediate family, we cannot imagine where we see mentioned the Rephaim, the Emims, the Zuzims, the Kenites and others who are clearly not descended from Noah in Genesis chapters 14 and 15, that they survived the flood because they were on the ark with Noah, or because they were excellent swimmers and managed to stay afloat for nearly eleven months, the amount of time in which the flood waters were said to cover the land in Genesis chapter 8. Rather, the flood must have affected only a local area, even if it was a sizable area, and therefore these other groups must have had refuge in other areas, outside of the deadly reach of the flood.

Now Noah receives further instructions concerning the beasts which he would preserve:

19 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. 20 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.

Here this seems to be a purposeful generalization, merely to indicate to Noah that he would be preserving a sufficient number of animals, and ostensibly, animals which had not yet been corrupted. This is apparently because it serves as an assurance to Noah, as it would be nearly a hundred years yet before the flood actually happens, during which Noah must build his Ark. So as it is recorded in Genesis chapter 7, when the time for the flood is imminent, the commandments concerning the animals are much more specific than they are here.

For now, Noah has one last instruction, but it is only in reference to what he must do after the ark is built:

21 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 [meaning the animals].

So this is something which Noah must be prepared to do, but since food spoils, especially after a hundred years, it is not something he can do immediately. It also serves as a reassurance, that regardless of what happens, there will be sufficient food. Finally, we read that:

22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

This last command spans the hundred years which he has to do these things. There is often speculation, or conjecture, that Noah was mocked by the wider world during this period in which he had built the ark, however there is no trace of that concept in Scripture, or in any of the material surviving in the Dead Sea Scrolls, or in any ancient apocryphal or pseudepigraphal of which I am aware. Certainly I would agree that it is very plausible that he was mocked, but I would not make an assertion from such conjecture here. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, as Peter had called him in chapter 2 of his second epistle, in a passage which is usually mistranslated. However his preaching may only have been through his actions, that he was righteous because he believed Yahweh and obeyed Him in the instructions which he was given. So just as the blood of Abel distinguished Abel as a prophet and represented his testimony, according to Christ Himself in Luke chapter 11 and Matthew chapter 23, and according to Paul in Hebrews chapters 11 and 12, so it is here with the Ark of Noah.

Noah’s having built the Ark, the testimony which he gave by his building, and the great effort which he must have put into its building, is a parable for today, since it is quite clear that it is now once again “as it was in the days of Noah”, as Christ Himself had warned. So therefore we must also have the patience and endurance of Noah, who endured in the building of a monumental project with very little help for a hundred years until the flood finally came and swept away the world of the unrighteous.

This concludes our commentary on Genesis chapter 6. Yahweh willing, we shall return to discuss Genesis chapter 7 in the near future.

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