Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Genesis 6- Preparing for the Flood

Genesis 6 begins the account of the flood.

1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all which they chose.

God has always been very clear that we are to only marry within our faith. These pre-flood people did not obey that command.

The children of God often lose sight of His ultimate goal in their lives. In this case, the sons of God (all men who worship Him) got so carried away looking for a pretty face they married worldly woman. When a believer marries a non-believer, the believer usually quits serving God.

3 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.”

It will now be about 120 years before He destroys the world. God usually tells us just what He is going to do and when.

4 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.

The word translated to “giant” here means “tyrant, bully” not “big person.” This time in history evidently was full of despots of one type or another. There is only one other place in the Bible where this Hebrew word is used, where Israel refused to enter Canaan because of the “giants” (tyrants). All other occurrences of  the English word “giant” come from Hebrew words that mean “big person” and are backed up by specific measurements (the Bible tells us Goliath was more than nine feet tall, for example.)

Now, this doesn’t mean there weren’t big people or animals. There have been records of very large humans throughout history (today’s basketball players are getting close to the Biblical height of a giant). And we have fossils of nine-inch dragonflies, nine-foot “Elephant birds” (ostrich?), four-story dinosaurs, huge saber-toothed tigers, mammoths, giant bears, and many other “giants.” With the high oxygen atmosphere that stayed around 80 degrees day and night, year around, the entire planet would have been a lush jungle providing the ideal environment for maximum growth of all species.

Also, since humans were living almost a thousand years, we can assume other animals also lived much longer than they do today.

Reptiles grow for their entire lives if they have sufficient food, which they would have had in the pre-flood world.

Iguanas live for eighty years and grow three feet long now.
Komodo dragons will get more than six feet long in zoos.

How big would these creatures we have with us today get if they lived a thousand years?!

This says that the children from the sons of God and the daughters of men became “tyrants” and “men of renown.” They would have been taught the good things of being a follower of God (such as to work hard and not waste time), but also the greed and conniving from the followers of men. They would have had what it takes to do great things in the world’s eyes. This phenomena only lasts a generation or two after intermarriage begins. Soon, the offspring of such marriages lose all the benefits of having a knowledge of God because they no longer have that knowledge. They become lazy and selfish. This is where our country is today.

5 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.

6 And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.

Mankind only thinks of evil unless he has God in his heart to teach him otherwise. These people were being very wicked all the time. Jesus later said, “They were marrying and given in marriage.” They were marrying and divorcing at will. It probably resembled much of what we see today in our culture.

God was sorry He made humans.

7 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 repents Me that I have made them.”

God decided to destroy it all and start over. He decided to destroy everything on the land. Notice that the things in the oceans are not mentioned.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

“Grace” is from “chen” which means “kindness, favor, pleasant, precious, well-favored.”

What a testimony!

9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The scripture repeats itself here. We may have changed authors from Noah to Shem.

Generations is from “towledah” meaning “descent, family, history, birth.” Noah evidently had none of Cain’s blood in him. He wouldn’t have been the only one, though, unless he and his sons married their sisters.

But more importantly, he was “a just man,” and “walked with God.” 2 Peter 2:5 calls him “a preacher of righteousness.” Noah had his heart in the right place and tried to teach others to follow God.

10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

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

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

13 And God said unto Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before Me; for all flesh has corrupted his way upon the earth.

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

God told Noah He was going to destroy the world and what He wanted him to do about it.

“Ark” is from “tebah” meaning “a box.” This boat is literally a big box.
“Gopher wood” is from “gopher” probably meaning cypress wood.
“Pitch” is from “kopher” meaning;
  • cover,
  • a village,
  • bitumen (as used for coating),
  • the henna plant (as used for dyeing),
  • a redemption price,
  • bribe,
  • camphire,
  • pitch,
  • ransom satisfaction,
  • sum of money. 

So pitch is something that covers. Most scholars believe it was tar, used to waterproof the ark inside and out, but what a symbol! This was the redemption price, the ransom for Noah and his family.

They found salvation when they were surrounded by the pitch.

We find salvation when we are surrounded by Jesus.

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.

A cubit was the length from a man’s elbow to his fingertips. The taller the man, the bigger the cubit. My husband’s cubit, for example, is nineteen inches. He is 6’3”. Most use eighteen inches to figure biblical cubits. This would have made the ark 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. These proportions are the ones still used to build ships that need to be stable in bad weather but not necessarily very maneuverable (such as luxury liners). This is about the same square feet on each floor as my 1.35 acre property.

It is possible Noah was already a ship builder when God called him to build the ark. Or more correctly, God may have called Noah to make his living as a ship builder for 500 years in order to prepare him for building the ark. They did have an ocean big enough to contain all the whales and other sea creatures. We don’t really know what he did for a living, but it is fun to speculate.

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.

God told him to make one window and to finish the ark up to 18” from the top. This unfinished band around the top just under the roof would have allowed sufficient ventilation and sunlight in without allowing much rain or wind.

He made it three stories high inside, each probably about 15 feet tall. “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” speculates the top story was for the humans and food storage, probably with the center open to the second floor which was for the animals, maybe with an open exercise pen in the middle. The third floor would have been for more storage, possibly food growth (mushrooms, bugs for the insectivores, etc.)

Yes, when you run the numbers, the Ark would have been more than big enough to accommodate all the land animals on the second floor with enough room left over for an exercise arena.

Noah wouldn’t have needed to take any water animals, provide cages for the tiny (i.e. bugs and mice), or floor space for the small and medium animals (cages for most birds, reptiles and small mammals would have stacked easily). He would have only needed stalls for the medium and large animals, which are in the minority.

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 everything that is in the earth shall die.

“Earth” is from “ ’erets” probably meaning “to be firm, the earth, field, ground, land, nations, way, wilderness, world.” In other words, everything not covered by water already.

“Breath of life” would include all creatures with lungs or that otherwise must breath fresh air. It would not have included those with gills or the sea mammals (i.e. seals) that only occasionally breath (holding their breath for long periods of time. They would all have had a blast during the flood!)

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.

Eight people total.

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.

Two of each type of animal will come to Noah. He will not have to go hunt them down.

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.

Take supplies.

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

Noah obeyed God.

Imagine how absurd this would have seemed. It had not ever rained in the world at this point. Plants were watered by the morning fog and rivers came from natural springs. Yet Noah did what God had told him to do.