Introduction to Chapter 6

chapter 6 intro (2)

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This post carries a trigger warning for very disturbing historical information

Adam chose to pursue wisdom on his own without depending upon the Lord (Gen 3:1–7).[1]

As a result, human mastery over creation was subjected to frustration,[2] replaced by alienation from our environment (Gen 1:26–28; Gen 3:17–19; Rom 8:19–22).[3]

Cursed land becomes dry and unproductive.[4] Thus, the ground yielded produce only through hard labor,[5] resulting in anguishing brokenness for humanity.[6]



Lamech named his son Noah, which rhymes with the Hebrew word which means “comfort” or “relief” (naham).[7]

He said, “This one shall relieve us from our work and from the painful toil of our hands [arising] from the ground which the Lord has put under a curse” (Gen 5:28–29).

In Gen 3, Moses recounted the fall of humanity; in Gen 4, he depicted the fall of the family; and in Gen 6, he demonstrated the fall of society through institutionalized oppression.[8]



Throughout the Ancient Near East, people believed that their king enjoyed a father-son relationship with a god because that god had generated him.[9]

Moses reported, “And the sons of the gods saw the daughters of men, that they [were] beautiful. And they took to themselves wives, whomever they chose” (Gen 6:1–2).

In the “right of the first night,” a king or other official could demand that he spend a woman’s bridal night with her before she went to her husband.[10]

Violence could easily erupt from this tyrannical practice.[11]

Due to the behavior of these kings, the Lord limited human life-spans to 120 years (Gen 6:3).[12] This gave individuals less time to accrue power and to foist their corrupt practices upon others.[13]

God would not permit tyrants to oppress and terrorize others forever.[14]



Moses wrote, “The Nephilim were in the land in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of the gods went into the daughters of men. And they bore to them those mighty ones from of old, men of renown” (Gen 6:4).

“Nephilim” describes particular traits of people, rather than referring to their ethnicity.[15] They were men of great physical prowess and military might.[16]

Due to the actions of the sons of the gods, the women “bore to them those mighty ones from of old.”

As a result of sexual assaults and the resulting violence, human sin reached the point where God intervened.[17]

The deep love of the Lord spurred him to take drastic action.[18] He would bring justice (Gen 6:5–7).[19]



Many of Seth’s descendants in Gen 5 deserted his godly way of living until the people of God were nearly extinct.[20]

Moses noted, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:8).

As Lamech had hoped, his son represented relief for the plight of humanity, beginning a new era in history.

In a world terrorized by evil people, Noah stands as a model of righteousness.

Although he could not stop the progression of human depravity, he stood firm.[21]

We too must walk in the power of the Holy Spirit within our culture, whatever the cost.[22]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Go to Righteous and Blameless (Gen 6:9–10)

[Related posts include Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); Succumbing to Temptation (Gen 3:6); Their Eyes Are Opened (Gen 3:7); Thorns and Thistles (Gen 3:17–18); A Return to the Ground (Gen 3:19); Seeking Relief (Gen 5:28–32); Sons of God or Sons of the Gods? (Gen 6:1–2); Descendants of Seth as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Fallen Angels as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Kings as Sons of the Gods (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Taking Wives for Themselves (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Limiting Human Life Spans (Gen 6:3); Nephilim in the Land (Gen 6:4); God Grieves (Gen 6:5–6); Wiping Out Everyone (Gen 6:7); Noah Found Favor (Gen 6:8); Creation’s Eager Expectation (Rom 8:19); Subjected to Futility (Rom 8:20); Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22); Groaning for a Redeemed Body (Rom 8:23–25); Helped in Our Weakness (Rom 8:26–27); Difficult Times in the Last Days (2 Tim 3:1–4); Having a Form of Godliness (2 Tim 3:5); Rebellious Angels (Jude 6–7); and Guilty of Misconduct (Jude 8)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 6: The Promise of a Covenant (Genesis 6:9–22)]


[1]John H. Walton, The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2–3 and the Human Origins Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015), 143–4.

[2] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 94.

[3]Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3 (ed. Martin Rüter, Ilse Tödt, and John W. De Gruchy; trans. Douglas Stephen Bax; DBW; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2004), 133–4.

[4] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 82.

[5] Walton, Genesis, 229.

[6] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 202–3.

[7] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, BDB, 636–7, 637.

[8]Walton, Genesis, 298.

[9]Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 6:2.

[10]Walton, Genesis, 293.

[11]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 185.

[12]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 142.

[13]Walton, Genesis, 298.

[14]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 118.

[15]Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 6:4.

[16]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 116–7.

[17]Walton, Genesis, 308.

[18]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 147.

[19]Walton, Genesis, 310–1.

[20]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 210.

[21]Waltke and  Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary 119–20.

[22]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 147.