“When men began to increase in numbers on the Earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they married any of them they chose” -Gen 6:1.
“When men began to increase in numbers on the Earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they married any of them they chose” (Gen 6:1).
My name is Noah, of the 10th generation from Adam. If you plot the lives of the 10 Patriarchs listed in Adam’s story on a time line, you’ll see that I was born 1056 years after Adam was created, (Read ) only 126 years after his death, and 600 years before the Great Flood.
I want you to take a moment and realize that each of these patriarchs had sons and daughters not named in the account you call Genesis 5, that these unnamed children all had sons and daughters of their own, and that Cain was building a parallel line of his descendants. Add to that the absence of any form of birth control, and the fact that everyone was sexually active for several hundred years, and you’ll quickly see that there had to be a huge number of humans on Earth by the time I was born. I really don’t know exactly what the total population was, but if you just took the 10 patriarchs and assumed each had only four sons, who also had four sons, etc. there would have been in excess of 1 million people on Earth during my lifetime. The real number was likely 3-4 times that many.
In those 10 generations, the effect of the sin nature that contaminated all of Adam’s offspring had become distressingly obvious. As would be the case throughout history, mankind was distinguishing himself primarily by his inclination toward evil. And as if that wasn’t enough, the angelic host that had rebelled with Satan before Adam’s creation was getting into the act. Remembering that God had promised that a descendent of Eve’s was coming to restore all that Adam had lost in the Garden, Satan put his cohorts to work in an effort to so contaminate the human gene pool that not a single pure bred human would remain to fulfill God’s commitment. He had these fallen angels select the most desirable human women and marry them to produce offspring we called the Nephillim, or fallen ones. They were super human in strength and size and were the origin of the so-called demi-gods of mythology, but their allegiance was to Satan not God. Later their Babylonian name Shaitan (from the Hebrew for Satan) would be translated into English as Titan and “Gigantes,” the Greek for Nephillim, would become your word “giant,”
To further anger God Satan started tinkering with animal genetics as well, producing dragonflies with 4 foot wing spans, birds too large and bulky to fly, and reptiles whose mass was far too big and heavy for their skeletons to support and with brains too small to operate them. You call all these things dinosaurs today, and delight at finding their bones buried in flood residue, but in our day they were called abominations. We understood that a perfect all-powerful God could never create such pitifully imperfect creatures.
And so God determined that He’d have to cleanse His now-ruined creation by bringing a great flood over all the Earth. But in another of His never ending acts of Grace He set teachers among His people to warn them of the coming judgment and for 120 years these teachers tried to convince people to repent and be saved.
He then tapped me on the shoulder. It seems that of all men, my genetic line was still pure and therefore I could help preserve mankind for the coming Redeemer. Many of the animals were still pure as well, so He told me to build a huge ark, a floating hotel really, to save us and the animals from the coming judgment.
This boat was way bigger than necessary to save just me my three sons and our wives, even with all the animals aboard. It contained 1.5 million cubic feet of storage, the equivalent of a train with 500 boxcars. Given that from the biggest to the smallest, the size of the average animal is that of a sheep, and about 250 sheep can be transported on one boxcar, this ark had room for 125,000 animals, or 62,500 pair. Even today there are only about 18,000 major species of animals. Two of each would mean we were going afloat with 36,000 animals aboard. Even with all our food and supplies, there was still plenty of space, so why all the extra room?
As one of your famous authors has written, “Ours was not to question why. Ours was but to do … or die.” But in my opinion, God wanted room enough so that if any of mankind were to repent and be saved, there would be room for them. But alas, even after 120 years of warning, out of several million no humans joined us on the ark.
As it is today, the reaction then to news of impending judgment was denial and derision. First, there was nothing of a concrete nature to convince them. I mean, they had never even seen any rain on the Earth, let alone a flood. Because of the water vapor canopy the Lord had placed around the Earth, the weather was always perfect. And within a few short generations of the Lord’s appearance in the Garden, men had forgotten all about Him. They were taking all the credit for their successes, and had invented clever stories to explain their existence and reject their Creator’s role in it. The few who tried to warn them were ridiculed and mocked, and it was commonly held that my sons and I were stark raving mad, a family of weirdoes to be laughed at and pitied as we dutifully built our giant boat. It took a lot of faith to see that God existed and was serious about this judgment, and outside our family faith was in short supply. Yes, it was a lot like it is today.
But finally the day came and the Lord commanded us to go into the ark, taking the animals He had brought to us. He told us to bring seven of every kind of “clean” animals, proof that the so-called Levitical system was in place from the beginning, and two of every other kind that came to us to be saved. (Funny how the animals knew to come when mankind didn’t.) He brought seven of every kind of bird. When we were all aboard, and when in the last seven days all mankind got their final chance to be saved (like the seven final years of your time?) the Lord shut us into the ark and the rains came. It was my 600th birthday.