And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,…
The moral chaos out of which the new order is about to be evolved. We find these features in the corrupt state depicted.
I. ILL-ASSORTED MARRIAGES. The sons of God - i.e. the seed of the righteous, such men as the patriarchs described in Genesis 5., men who walked with God, and were his prophets - fell away from their allegiance to the Divine order, and went after the daughters of the Cainites, The self-will and mere carnal affections are denoted by the expression "all whom they chose."
II. VIOLENCE AND MILITARY AMBITION. The giants were the "nephilim," those who assaulted and fell upon their neighbors. The increase of such men is distinctly traced to the corrupt alliances.
III. THE WITHDRAWAL by judgment of THE DIVINE SPIRIT from marl, by which may be meant not only the individual degeneracy which we see exemplified in such a case as Cain, driven out from the presence of the Lord, given up to a reprobate mind, and afterwards in Pharaoh; but the withdrawal of prophecy and such special spiritual communications as had been given by such men as Enoch.
IV. THE SHORTENING OF HUMAN LIFE. Since the higher moral influence of Christianity has been felt in society during the last three centuries, it is calculated that the average length of human life has been increased twofold. The anthropomorphism of these verses is in perfect accordance with the tone of the whole Book of Genesis, and is not in the least a perversion of truth. It is rather a revelation of truth, as anticipating the great central fact of revelation, God manifest in the flesh. But why is God said to have determined to destroy the face of the earth, the animal creation with the sinful man? Because the life of man involved that of the creatures round him. "The earth is filled with violence." To a large extent the beasts, creeping things, and fowls of the air participate in the disorder of the human race, being rendered unnaturally savage and degenerate in their condition by man's disorderly ways. Moreover, any destruction which should sweep away a whole race of men must involve the lower creation. The defeat of a king is the defeat of his subjects. In all this corruption and misery there is yet, by the grace of God, one oasis of spiritual life, the family of Noah. He found grace not because he earned it, but because he kept what had been given him, both through his ancestors and by the work of the Spirit in his own heart. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,