The flood story in Gen. 6-9 further develops the theme of Satan and sin’s effect on the creation. First one sees it with the individuals, then the family, and now all of humanity. In fact, humanity has become so corrupted and wicked that there is only one man in all creation that Yahweh can declare to be righteous. Also continued in this story is the idea that humanity demonstrates its wickedness and rebellion against Yahweh through its desire to become gods. It must be understood that humanity has become so wicked that every thought that they have is evil all the time (Gen. 6:5), and because of this Yahweh has to wipe them all out. Since Yahweh has not done this again since and will not until the end times, we can know that the way they were demonstrating their rebellion against Yahweh was so great that it has not been seen in history since then. This is important to remember when considering the sin that they committed that led to the flood.

The Sons of God

It is clear from the text that the sin humanity committed that led to Yahweh wiping them out (Gen. 6:3) was that the “sons of God” were marrying the daughters of men (Gen. 3:2); this is the only thing mentioned before the Yahweh’s judgment is pronounced. The sin in Gen. 6:5 is additional explanation to the one mentioned in Gen. 6:2.

Though this may be shocking to some, the “sons of God” are, in fact, the demonic angels (see Sons of God article for more explanation). Every time the First Testament mentions the title “Sons of God,” it always refers to the angels (Job 1:6). Since the action of these angels was evil and not good, it is clear that they are the fallen angels. Probably the strongest evidence for this view is 2 Pet. 2:4-6 and Jude 6, which state that there are demons in the abyss because of a sexual sin they committed during the days of Noah.

Understanding the “Sons of God” title as fallen angels not only stays true with its meaning everywhere else in the Bible, but it also explains why this sin was so unique that it has not happened since, warranting a wiping out of humanity. The product of this unholy union was the Nephilim, a word that is translated into the Greek to refer to the Greek titans who were half human and half god.

So what is the point? Gen. 3 demonstrates that humanity’s first sin was an attempt to gain wisdom outside of Yahweh’s will and to become gods. In this following chapter, humanity is co-mingling with demons in attempt to become gods. The tower of Babel will repeat the same thing. Understanding this lets us see how evil and prideful humanity had become, that they were willing to do this. Yahweh seems more interested in emphasizing the sin of humanity in this event than how this was even possible in a supernatural way.

Noah's Ark

From Seth’s line came Noah, and out of all of humanity, Noah was the only one who found favor with Yahweh (see Adam to Noah family chart). Humanity had become so evil that everything they thought and did was evil all the time (Gen. 6:5). Because of their sin, Yahweh was going to judge them with a flood. He would return the earth back to a dark, chaotic, watery mass that was formless and empty (Gen. 1:2). And, once again, Yahweh demonstrated his mercy by delivering Noah and his family from the chaotic waters that would again cover the earth. Yet Yahweh demonstrated his mercy to the wicked people of the world as well. What is often missed is where Yahweh states that humanity has been given 120 years until the flood comes (Gen. 6:3). This would have given Noah a long time to preach to the people and given them every chance to repent (1 Pet. 2:5). The fact that none came onto the boat with him showed how evil and hardhearted they were.

Yahweh also commanded that seven of all clean animals (for eating and sacrifices) and two of every unclean animal were to be brought onto the boat (Gen. 7:1-3). (Yes, the children’s song is wrong.) This number of animals is physically possible because he did not have to bring every type of animal onto the ark, and he might have brought baby animals or ones still in their eggs to conserve space.

The rains lasted for forty days, which is symbolic of judgment and testing. (The number forty shows up in other places in the Bible as well.) Yahweh demonstrates His provision in taking care of the ark and Noah and his family during this time.

Notice that it is the wind of Yahweh that causes the waters to recede (Gen. 8:1). The word for wind here is the same word for spirit in Gen. 1:2. Just as Yahweh undid the negative state of the earth at creation, so He undoes the negative state of the earth after the flood through His wind/spirit.

The Noahic Covenant

Yahweh initiates His second covenant with humanity after the flood. What is different about this covenant is that Yahweh gives requirements for humanity, yet He makes the covenant unconditional, meaning that they can never break it.

The Requirements

  • Be fruitful and multiply.
  • Do not consume blood.
  • Do not murder.
  • (No mention of ruling and subduing.)

The Blessing

  • Yahweh would never again flood the earth as judgment.

The sign of this covenant was the rainbow in the sky. The Hebrew word for rainbow here is the same word used of a covenant and a battle bow. Yahweh hangs in the sky His battle bow of light, used in war, to symbolize that He is now at peace with all humanity. This covenant is established and sealed through Noah’s blood sacrifice of an animal after they got off the ark (Gen. 8:20-21).