Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Ge 6:1-22. Wickedness of the World.
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
2. the sons of God saw the daughters of men—By the former is meant the family of Seth, who were professedly religious; by the latter, the descendants of apostate Cain. Mixed marriages between parties of opposite principles and practice were necessarily sources of extensive corruption. The women, religious themselves, would as wives and mothers exert an influence fatal to the existence of religion in their household, and consequently the people of that later age sank to the lowest depravity.
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.
3. flesh—utterly, hopelessly debased.
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive—Christ, as God, had by His Spirit inspiring Enoch, Noah, and perhaps other prophets (1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:5; Jude 14), preached repentance to the antediluvians; but they were incorrigible.
yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years—It is probable that the corruption of the world, which had now reached its height, had been long and gradually increasing, and this idea receives support from the long respite granted.
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.
4. giants—The term in Hebrew implies not so much the idea of great stature as of reckless ferocity, impious and daring characters, who spread devastation and carnage far and wide.
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.
5, 6. God saw it … repented … grieved—God cannot change (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17); but, by language suited to our nature and experience, He is described as about to alter His visible procedure towards mankind—from being merciful and long-suffering, He was about to show Himself a God of judgment; and, as that impious race had filled up the measure of their iniquities, He was about to introduce a terrible display of His justice (Ec 8:11).
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
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.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord—favor. What an awful state of things when only one man or one family of piety and virtue was now existing among the professed sons of God!
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
9. Noah … just … and perfect—not absolutely; for since the fall of Adam no man has been free from sin except Jesus Christ. But as living by faith he was just (Ga 3:2; Heb 11:7) and perfect—that is, sincere in his desire to do God's will.
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
11. the earth was filled with violence—In the absence of any well-regulated government it is easy to imagine what evils would arise. Men did what was right in their own eyes, and, having no fear of God, destruction and misery were in their ways.
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way 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.
13. And God said unto Noah—How startling must have been the announcement of the threatened destruction! There was no outward indication of it. The course of nature and experience seemed against the probability of its occurrence. The public opinion of mankind would ridicule it. The whole world would be ranged against him. Yet, persuaded the communication was from God, through faith (Heb 11:7), he set about preparing the means for preserving himself and family from the impending calamity.
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
14. Make thee an ark—ark, a hollow chest (Ex 2:3).
gopher wood—probably cypress, remarkable for its durability and abounding on the Armenian mountains.
rooms—cabins or small cells.
pitch it within and without—mineral pitch, asphalt, naphtha, or some bituminous substance, which, when smeared over and become hardened, would make it perfectly watertight.
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.
15. And this is the fashion—According to the description, the ark was not a ship, but an immense house in form and structure like the houses in the East, designed not to sail, but only to float. Assuming the cubit to be 21.888 inches, the ark would be five hundred forty-seven feet long, ninety-one feet two inches wide, and forty-seven feet two inches high.
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.
16. A window—probably a skylight, formed of some transparent substance unknown.
in a cubit shalt thou finish it above—a direction to raise the roof in the middle, seemingly to form a gentle slope for letting the water run off.
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.
17-22. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood—The repetition of the announcement was to establish its certainty (Ge 41:32). Whatever opinion may be entertained as to the operation of natural laws and agencies in the deluge, it was brought on the world by God as a punishment for the enormous wickedness of its inhabitants.
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.
18. But with thee will I establish my covenant—a special promise of deliverance, called a covenant, to convince him of the confidence to be reposed in it. The substance and terms of this covenant are related at Ge 6:19-21.
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.
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.
22. Thus did Noah—He began without delay to prepare the colossal fabric, and in every step of his progress faithfully followed the divine directions he had received.