Genesis Study #3

Bible Class – Study #3 (Gen 6-9) – Notes and Discussion questions

Genesis Study #3: The salvation of the flood

Main passage of study: Gen 6:1 – 9:17

Related passages: Lev 11:15; Ps 32:6-7, 42:7; Ecc 9:3; Isa 54:9; Mt 24:37-39;

Lu 17:26-27; He 11:7; 1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:4-5; 3:3-6 Jude 6-7

Outline & Notes

  1. Environment before the flood – Gen 6
    1. Grave interunion in the world – Genesis 6:1-4
    2. God’s indignation upon the world- Genesis 6:5-7
    3. God’s indication to Noah – Genesis 6:8-13
    4. God’s instruction to Noah – Genesis 6:14-22
  2. Execution of the flood – Gen 7
    1. Invitation into the ark – Genesis 7:1-9
    2. Inundation into the world – Genesis 7:10-24
  3. Emergence from the flood – Gen 8:1-19
    1. God’s intervention – Genesis 8:1-5
    2. Noah’s investigation – Genesis 8:6-12
    3. Noah’s inhabitation of the new world – Genesis 8:13-19
  4. Establishment after the flood – Gen 8:20-9:17
    1. Noah’s interaction with God – Genesis 8:20 – 9:7
    2. God’s initiation of His covenant with Noah – Genesis 9:8-17

Outside of creation itself, it is difficult to find a more pivotal event in terms of its impact on the physical history of this world on the pages of Scripture than the flood. As we shall see in our study, there are many foundational doctrinal truths that come out of this account as well, such as the depravity of man, the holiness of God, the provision of salvation through the work of Christ, the sanctification of the believer, the preservation of testimony by God through the ages, and the future blessedness of the people of God.

Textual notes

● The word translated “strive” in Gen 6:3 can mean to rule, judge or contend in a judicial sense as in to plead a case.

● The expression “it repented the LORD”in Gen 6:6 has been a source of difficulty for many but it is important to remember that the language used here is meant to be anthropomorphic (“in human form”) or put into language that we as humans can understand. Obviously, God does not and cannot change so this verse is meant to convey the extreme grief that sin caused the heart of God at this time.

● Noah was “perfect in his generations” (Gen 6:9) – this verse does not indicate moral perfection but the word means unblemished and the thought is that Noah had not been affected by the defilement of sin as others in his time.

● The word for pitch in Gen 6:14 is used as a verb and a noun. The verb form means “to cover” and is translated elsewhere “to make atonement”. The noun form is translated elsewhere as “ransom” or “ransom price”.

Gopherwood(Gen 6:14) is a transliteration of the Hebrew word goperas we don’t know the origin of this wood. However, it is phonetically close to the Hebrew word for pitch, referenced above, which is koper.

● The word translated window (Gen 6:16) is translated elsewhere in the OT as “noon”or “midday” so it seems to have the connotation of bright light.

● There is a parallel between Gen 8:1 and Gen 1:2. In Genesis 8:1, God makes a wind to pass over the earth to cause the waters to recede and the new world to emerge. In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit (same Heb. word as wind in Genesis 8:1) of God hovers over the face of the waters at the dawn of creation.

Thematic notes

● The extreme wickedness of man upon the earth leading up to the flood is stressed in the Biblical record as we read of repeated references to wickedness, corruption and violence in the world. Twinned with this is the extreme action taken by God in response with emphatic language: “behold, I will destroy them… behold, I, even I, do bring a flood…

● Another theme is the obedience of Noah as, by faith, “he prepared an ark to the saving of his house”. God revealed to Noah His plan of salvation and Noah did “all that God commanded him”.

● There is much typology in the account of the flood – from Noah as a type of Christ, to the ark as a type of salvation through Christ, to the new world that emerges from divine judgement as a type of the millennial reign of Christ following the great Tribulation.

● Another evident theme is the providential care and preservation of God for all who were in the ark through the storm of judgement. We see this in the framing of the ark, the provision of food on the ark, the filling of the ark and the final resting place of the ark.

● One last theme to note is the promise of God as we read of the establishment of His covenant with Noah and all future inhabitants of the earth.

Discussion questions

1. The first four verses of Gen 6 constitute one of the most disputed passages of the Bible, centering mainly around the identity of the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:2. Two main views have been proposed: 1) that these are in fact fallen angels who had unholy unions with women 2) that these are men of the godly line of Seth who intermarried with ungodly women. We will not likely solve this longstanding question but using the principle of context previously discussed, try to come up with arguments for and against each view.

2. We have already noted what the early chapters of Genesis teach us about sin. What do the verses of Gen 6 add to what we have learned?

3. Considering some of the related passages of Scripture noted about, what we have studied in Gen 3-5 and what we read here in Gen 6, what evidences do we have of God’s warnings to mankind right up until the flood came?

4. The typical principle of hermeneutics is that which defines a type as a divinely appointed illustration or picture of some scriptural truth. For example, Noah has been identified as a type of Christ as the provider of salvation. Which details of our passage can you find that would demonstrate Noah as a picture of Christ?

5. 1 Peter 3:21 tells us that the ark was a type of baptism. How is baptism illustrated by the account of the ark?

6. Recall the principle of first mention: that the first mention of a subject carries with it a meaning that will be carried all through the Word of God. Consider the following first mentions in our chapters and suggest each one’s importance:

a) thinking, thoughts (Genesis 6:5) e) come (as an invitation) (Genesis 7:1)

b) grief, grieve (6:6) f) remember (8:1)

c) grace (6:8) g) altar (8:20)

d) covenant (6:18) h) burnt offering (8:20)

7. Some have tried to suggest that the flood could only have been a local flood. Which indications in the text point to a universal flood upon the whole world?

8. Read the verses about the sending forth of the raven and the dove (Gen 8:6-12). Use a concordance or a Bible search engine to find other references to these birds in Scripture. What spiritual lessons could we learn from the birds sent forth from the ark?

9. Read the verses that describe the new beginning of life with Noah and his family after the flood in Gen 8:15-9:7 and compare it to the beginning of life with Adam and Eve in Gen 1-2. What similarities and differences do you notice?

10. The post-flood world brought in a new dispensation, that of human government. How did this dispensation represent a change from the dispensation of conscience?

10. Count the number of times the word covenant is used in Gen 9. Use a Bible search engine to search the phrase everlasting covenant in the KJV. How many references did you find in the Scriptures? Which specific covenants are referred to as “everlasting”?

11. Note the way that Gen 5 opens: “This is the book of the generations of Adam” . Compare this verse with Gen 2:4, 6:9, 10:1 and 11:10. What do you notice? Now compare Gen 5:1 with Matt 1:1. What do you notice? Suggest a reason for this.

12. What do you think is the significance of the sign of the covenant with Noah?