| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


Genesis Chapter Six


I. Content of the Chapter


The Third Fall of Man

A.  Man was indeed flesh and was corrupted in deeds:

1. Human hybrid appeared because of the intercourse between the angels and men (v.1-4);

2. God was sorry that He had made man on the earth when seeing the wickedness of man was great in the earth and (v.5-7);

3. Only Noah found grace in the eyes of God (v.8-10);

4. All the world was corrupted (v.11-12);

B.  The salvation of God:

1. God was determined to destroy the whole world (v.13);

2. God commanded Noah to create an ark (v.14-21);

3. Noah kept the commandment of God (v.22);


II. Verse by Verse Commentary


Gen. 6:1Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

YLT: “And it cometh to pass that mankind have begun to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters have been born to them,”

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Sin was a kind of infectious leper. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases (Pro. 29:16).

  2) God desires man to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). However, if man does not walk in the appointed will of God, his problems will be multiplied. Indeed, the church shall seek the increase of number and also pay attention to the growth of life. 


Gen. 6:2that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

YLT: “and sons of God see the daughters of men that they fair, and they take to themselves women of all whom they have chosen.”

Literal Meaning: the sons of God” refer to the angels (Job 1:6; 2:1). Originally the angels neither married nor were given in marriage (Matt. 22:30). However, there were some angels that had failed to keep their proper position. Men of the city of Sodom committed greedily fornication and went after other flesh (Jude v.6-7). Therefore, here it refers to the evil spirits transformed from the fallen angels, who were attached unto man’s body to take wives for them.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) The lusts of eyes may often stir up lusts of the flesh. Satan often uses man’s “eyes” to commit adultery (Matt. 5:28). Therefore, let us watch what we look on. 

  2) If a young believer who chooses a spouse pays attention to “physical beauty” only, it is difficult to have a good ending.

  3) Once man leaves God, he will walk “at will” and dare to do anything to satisfy his own lusts without fear of God.

  4) It is the root of failure that believers walk “according to their own will” instead of keeping the will of God.

  5) Our God is a God of jealousy. He does not please His children to be associated with the evil tide of the world to be defiled by the world.


Gen. 6:3And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

YLT: “And Jehovah saith, `My Spirit doth not strive in man -- to the age; in their erring they flesh:' and his days have been an hundred and twenty years.”

Meaning of Words: “strive with”: with a straight course;

Literal Meaning: in the Bible, flesh means that man has the deeds of body  (Rom.8:13) because of being controlled by the evil lusts after man had fallen and sin entered into man’s body (Gal. 5:24; Eph.2:3). That man is indeed flesh means that man is of the flesh and lives under the control of the lusts of the flesh.

  My Spirit shall not strive with man forever”, God send the Spirit to be against man (Gal. 5:17) to inspire man to walk by the Spirit. However, if man clings to things of the flesh, he will become the man of the flesh. God’s spirit will not strive with man forever and gives him up to the lusts of the flesh (Rom. 1:24).

  Yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years”, God gave this additional gracious period and then executed the judgment.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) In order to restore man, His Spirit often speaks in man to make him realize the mistake.

  2) Once man is flesh, God has no position and God’s word is not obeyed, for the flesh of man is enmity against God.

  3) God has rich goodness and forbearance and long-suffering to lead man to repentance. However, if man refuses to repent, he treasures up to himself wrath of God in the day of righteous judgment of God (Rom. 2:4-5).

  4) It is not that the Spirit shall not strive with man, but not strive with man “forever”. If we believers do not obey the teaching of the unction, the Spirit will not utterly cease his working at once. However, if we disobey again and again, the working of the unction may stop.  

  5) If a believer is unconscious of his sins, possibly, it is given up by God because he has darkened his neck and refused to hear the words of the Spirit.


Gen. 6:4There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

YLT: “The fallen ones were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God come in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them -- they the heroes, who, from of old, the men of name.”

Meaning of Words: giants”: feller, bully; “come in to”: enter in; “mighty”: valiant, strong;

Literal Meaning: giants”, it is “Nephilim” in the original, a kind of giant with stalwart stature (Num. 13:33). Such kind of hybrid appeared because of disobedience to God’s law of “being after one’s kind” (Gen. 1:21, 24) so that the nature of the evil spirit was mixed into man.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Those who are of God can in no wise have fellowship with those are of the world. Let believers come out from among them that God will accept us (2Cor. 6:14-18).

  2) Believers now may often compromise on truth for the purpose of the so-called “fellowship and oneness”. We have to know that any fellowship or oneness obtained at the cost of truth God is not what God looks for.

  3) Those who have stalwart stature and mighty power are objects the worship of the world. However, they tend to be the overwhelming power over all. The problems in the church are often caused by the leading characters.

  4) If man’s flesh is not dealt with or controlled, it will puff up and bring disasters. 


Gen. 6:5Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

YLT: “And Jehovah seeth that abundant the wickedness of man in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil all the day;”

Meaning of Words: “great”: multiplied; “thoughts”: imagination, means;

Literal Meaning: not only man’s external works but also inner thoughts are full of wickedness and evil.

  “Continually”, it means that man’s sins and thoughts of sin are not occasionally, but constantly.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) They that are according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh. And the mind of the flesh is enmity against God (Rom. 8:5, 7).

  2) The mind of man is the stronghold of Satan. Let we believers pay attention to our mind that all our thoughts will be led to the obedience of Christ.

  3) False marriage leads to great loss. Let young people take heed of choosing spouse. Remember that there is no fellowship between Christians and unbelievers and be not diversely yoked (2Cor. 6:14).

  4) The eyes of God run to and fro through the whole earth and He searches reins and hearts. Let us pray to God to keep our mind and hearts and lead captive every thought into the obedience of Christ (2Cor. 10:5).


Gen. 6:6And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

YLT: “and Jehovah repenteth that He hath made man in the earth, and He grieveth Himself -- unto His heart.”

Meaning of Words: sorry”: sign; “grieved”: hurt, painful;

Literal Meaning: here “sorry” does not mean “regret”, for God is omniscient. God felt sorrowful and painful when He saw man’s sins.

  The fall of man is not the original will of God, for God made man for the purpose of manifesting God and ruling on the earth on Him behalf (Gen. 1:26-27).

  “Grieved Himself”, it indicates that man occupied an influential position in God’s heart. And even though man was so depraved, God was still merciful and slow to anger (Neh. 9:17). 

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).

  2) God will not despise a broken and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17), for He had been grieved Himself for the sake of our sins.


Gen. 6:7So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

YLT: “And Jehovah saith, `I wipe away man whom I have prepared from off the face of the ground, from man unto beast, unto creeping thing, and unto fowl of the heavens, for I have repented that I have made them.'”

Meaning of Words: “destroy”: wipe off, rub; “sorry”: sign;

Literal Meaning: since the fallen race had failed to perform the function, their life became meaningless in the sight of God. Moreover, things created for the sake of man had also lost their value of existence.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Let believers not despise themselves. If we live in the will of God, all things will be those for whom all things and by whom all things, just like Christ (Heb. 2:6-10)

  2) All things of the flesh should be destroyed, for they do not meet for God’s use. If we believers want to be serviceable to the Lord, we have to deal with our natural flesh.


Gen. 6:8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

YLT: “And Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah.”

Meaning of Words: “grace”: graciousness, favor;

Literal Meaning: God’s grace is the source of man’s being saved. He will feel compassion for whom He will feel compassion (Rom. 9:15). And on the other side, there must be reasons for Noah’s finding grace (v.9).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Even though the whole world is defiled, I am alone is innocent. Though I am despised by others, I still seek His favor only.

  2) God does not sees as man sees, for man looks upon the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart (1Sam. 16:7).


Gen. 6:9This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

YLT: “These births of Noah: Noah a righteous man; perfect he hath been among his generations; with God hath Noah walked habitually.”

Meaning of Words: just”: upright; “perfect”: whole, honest, without blemish, full, undefiled; “generations”: among his peers, history;

Literal Meaning: “just”: the one who is justified by God; no one could be justified by works before God (Gal. 3:11), but by faith (Rom. 4:5). By faith, Noah became heir of the righteousness according to faith (Heb. 11:7).

  “Perfect”: it is also “in sincerity” (Jos. 24:14), which means keeping a perfect heart toward God. Noah relied on God and loved God with a perfect heart. Here it does not mean Noah himself was without blemish.

  “Walked with God”: draw near to God and focused on the will of God (see the commentary of Gen. 5:22) in the practical conversation.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) No one in the world is perfect in works. However, if we have a perfect heart, God will see us as “perfect” as Noah.

  2) We can know from this verse that “just” and “perfect” and “walking with God” are of the same meaning ---- trust in God and desire God with whole heart and walk according to God.


Gen. 6:10And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

YLT: “And Noah begetteth three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

Literal Meaning: please read the commentary of Gen. 5:32.


Gen. 6:11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

YLT: “And the earth is corrupt before God, and the earth is filled violence.”

Meaning of Words: “corrupt”: decay, cast off; “violence”: oppression, violent dealing;

Literal Meaning: man has not only the mind of the flesh (v.5) but also the works of the flesh (v.12). The works of the flesh are characterized by two points: one is “violence”, namely, disobedience to God (Rom. 8:7) and to the laws and orders set by God; the other is “corruption”, namely, be after the devil and be slaves of sins (John 8:44, 34).


Gen. 6:12So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

YLT: “And God seeth the earth, and lo, it hath been corrupted, for all flesh hath corrupted its way on the earth.”


Gen. 6:13And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

YLT: “And God said to Noah, `An end of all flesh hath come before Me, for the earth hath been full of violence from their presence; and lo, I am destroying them with the earth.”

Literal Meaning: since the flesh of man avails nothing before God, it is worthy of being destroyed only.

Spiritual Meaning: I will destroy them with the earth”, “earth” symbolizes the world. Therefore, the spiritual meaning of this verse is that the flesh and the world are both enmities against God, so both of them should be destroyed together (Gal. 6:14).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) The human way of dealing with the flesh is amelioration. But the divine way is to put it to death and crucify it on the cross (Gal. 5:24).

  2) The world is passing and its lust, but he that does the will of God abides for eternity (John 2:17).

  3) Whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4; 1John 2:15).


Gen. 6:14Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.

YLT: “`Make for thyself an ark of gopher-wood; rooms dost thou make with the ark, and thou hast covered it within and without with cypress;”

Meaning of Words: “ark”: box; “room”: dwelling-place, house; “cover”: pacify, purge away, cleanse; “pitch”: bribe, ransom;

Literal Meaning: gopherwood”, it is a kind of cypress rich in resin and is water proof.

  “Pitch”: it is water proof;

Spiritual Meaning: “gopherwood” symbolizes the perfect and strong humanity of Christ which can bear the judgment of God.

  Ark”, it testifies that Christ is the only testimony and salvation of God.

  Make rooms in the ark”, it typifies that the incarnated Christ is just as a man, having the three parts of spirit and soul and body with different functions.

  “Pitch”, it shares the same etymon with the word “redemption”, symbolizing that the precious blood of Christ has the effect of atonement.

  The whole verse means that incarnated Christ who has the perfect humanity bore the judgment before God in place of man and gave His life and shed His blood and fulfilled the redemption and thus became the only savior of man.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Though God was determined to destroy the whole earth, He still reserved the way for survival. God’s love here is manifested to us.

  2) God’s revelation and guidance are often detailed. If believers are vague in the revelation of God, probably, we may have not made up our mind to keep the will of God (John 7:17).


Gen. 6:15And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

YLT: “and this that which thou dost with it: three hundred cubits the length of the ark, fifty cubits its breadth, and thirty cubits its height;”

Literal Meaning: “cubit”: it is an ancient measure of length (Deut. 3:11; Rev. 21:17); a cubit equals to 18 inches.

Spiritual Meaning: “three hundred”, it is the product of three times one hundred; “three” symbolizes the holy Trinity, and “one hundred” symbolizes fullness (Matt. 13:8).

  “Fifty”, it is the product of five times ten. “Five” is the sum of “one” and “four”, symbolizing that the only God and the created man (“four”) together will count (“five”). “Ten” symbolizes perfection (Dan. 1:12, 20).

  “Thirty”, it is the product of “three” times “ten”. And the meaning of three and ten has been mentioned above.

  The whole verse shows that Christ is God who came to be a man, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). Only Christ who is both God and man can fully satisfy the requirements of God’s judgment and take all the responsibilities before God for sinners.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) The ark God asked Noah to make was really a huge one. The work was so tremendous that it cannot be fulfilled without ready willingness and steadfast faith.

  2) Such a colossal ark needed a long time (possibly, one hundred and twenty years) to be constructed. During those years, there was no sign at all for the impending flood. Instead, Noah had to be faced with the sneer of people around. Therefore, let us disregard the environment or views of men when we wait for the fulfillment of the Lord’s work.


Gen. 6:16You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

YLT: “a window dost thou make for the ark, and unto a cubit thou dost restrain it from above; and the opening of the ark thou dost put in its side, -- lower, second, and third dost thou make it.”

Spiritual Meaning: You shall make a window for the ark”, it symbolizes that believers have to climb up further and experience more God and God’s grace and rely on Him all times and have our mind on things above (Col. 3:2). Therefore, we will obtain more spiritual enlightenment and glorify God by our life in such a dark environment.

Set the door of the ark in its side”, “in its side”, it is convenient for man to go in and go out, symbolizing that Christ is near and is the only way for men to enter in to God and enjoy the grace of God (John 10:9; 14:6; Heb. 10:19-20).

You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks”, it typifies believers’ experiences of the Holy Father and the Holy Son and the Holy Spirit are in different levels. Let us not be satisfied with having entered into the door but seek with diligence that we have been taken possession of by Christ (Phil. 3:12).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) There is only one door in the ark. Salvation is in none other than Christ (Acts 4:12).

  2) The window is above the ark. Thus, men in the ark will not see the roaring waving around but look on God in the heaven only.


Gen. 6:17And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

YLT: “`And I, lo, I am bringing in the deluge of waters on the earth to destroy all flesh, in which a living spirit, from under the heavens; all that in the earth doth expire.”

Spiritual Meaning: floodwaters” symbolize the judgment of God (see Matt. 24:39) as well as the water of baptism (see 1Pet. 3:20-21).

  Believers are baptized unto the death of Christ. That is to say, our old man has been crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed. If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him (Rom. 6:3-8).


Gen. 6:18But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

YLT: “`And I have established My covenant with thee, and thou hast come in unto the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son's wives with thee;”

Meaning of Words: covenant”: compact, league;

Literal Meaning: but I will establish My covenant with you”, God made a covenant with Noah, which shows that God has put himself on a position that cannot regret. God was sorry for His creation (v.4), but the gifts and the calling of God do not subject to repentance (Rom. 11:29). Therefore, the word of “covenant” shows the faithfulness and steadfastness of salvation.

  Only Noah found grace before God (v.8) and the whole family had also found grace (1Pet. 3:20; 2Pet. 2:5; Acts 6:31), which shows that kindness of Christ’s salvation.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) “Shall go into the ark”, he who is outside of the ark could not be saved. We cannot truly experience the salvation of Christ unless we have been united with the Lord by faith.

  2) The salvation of God is given to man based on the family unit. Therefore, let us pray for our family’s being saved.


Gen. 6:19And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

YLT: “and of all that liveth, of all flesh, two of every thou dost bring in unto the ark, to keep alive with thee; male and female are they.”

Literal Meaning: male and female”, it is for the purpose of multiplication.

Spiritual Meaning: every living thing would enter into the ark, which showed that all living thing would have part in the salvation of Christ (Rom. 8:19-22; Eph. 1:22-23).

  Each male and female expresses the continuity of Christ’s salvation. He had offered once sacrifice for sins once for all (Heb. 7:27-28; 10:12-14). And we enjoy His salvation forever by faith (Heb. 7:25; John 10:28-29).

  God let every living thing of the world enter into death but kept all persons and living things in the ark, which indicated that all the old creation should die and only the new creation in Christ will be raised from death.


Gen. 6:20Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

YLT: “Of the fowl after its kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every they come in unto thee, to keep alive.”

Enlightenment in the Word: all living things were kept for they came to Noah. We believers shall also be responsible for preaching the gospel to unbelievers.


Gen. 6:21And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”

YLT: “`And thou, take to thyself of all food that is eaten; and thou hast gathered unto thyself, and it hath been to thee and to them for food.'”

Meaning of Words: “gather”: restore;

Spiritual Meaning: the food gathered in the ark symbolized that Christ is the bread of life. We can live by Him through eating Him (John 6:35, 57).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Let us not think it is enough of being saved (entering into the ark). In the ark, let us also eat and enjoy the Lord everyday in the ark (Christ) so that our spiritual life will be quickened and grown up.

  2) Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).


Gen. 6:22Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

YLT: “And Noah doth according to all that God hath commanded him; so hath he done.”

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Faith should be in keeping with works. Faith without works is dead (James 1:22-23; 2:14-26).

  2) The word of God is the source of believers’ spiritual works. Where there is no God’s word, there is no work. Once the word of God comes, man shall do according to the pattern shown in the mountain (Heb. 8:5), and nothing shall be added to or taken from the divine word (Rev. 22:18-19).


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


Man Was Corrupted into the Flesh

A.  Evil spirits came to have intercourse of man (v.1-2);

B.  That made man the flesh (v.3);

C.  Strange giants appeared (v.4);

D.  Every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually (v.5);

E.  Man is full of works in the flesh ---- violence and corruption (v.11-12);


God’s Reponses to Man’s Fall

A.  God’s Spirit shall not strive with man forever (v.3);

B.  God was grieved in His heart (v.6);

C.  Man and all living things lost their value of existence before God (v.7);

D.  God would destroy the flesh and the earth together (v.13);


He Who Had Obtained the Salvation of God

A.  Just ---- justification by faith (v.9; see Heb. 11:7);

B.  Perfect ---- fear God in spirit (v.9; see Jos. 24:14);

C.  Walk with God ---- keep the will of God (v.9);


Ways of Obtaining the Salvation of God 

A.  God is the origin of salvation ---- “find grace before Jehovah” (v.8);

B.  Man can be justified before God by faith only ---- “a just man” (v.9);

C.  Fear in God ---- “perfect” (v.9);

D.  “Walk with God” (v.9);

E.  Have the word and revelation of God ---- “God said to Noah” (v.13);

F.  Keep the word of God ---- “according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (v.22);

G.  By Christ only ---- “make yourself an ark” (v.14);

H.  Enter into Christ ---- “go into the ark” (v.18);

I.    In Christ and die and be raised with Him ---- undergo the flood in the ark (v.17-20);

J.   Eat and enjoy the spiritual food ---- “you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself” (v.21);


The Ark is a Type of Christ

A.  “Gopherwood” (v.14) ---- which typifies the firm and perfect humanity of Christ;

B.  Make rooms” (v.14) ---- which typifies that Christ is the rest of all kinds of people;

C.  Cover it inside and outside with pitch” (v.14) ---- which typifies that the precious blood of Christ has the effect of atonement;

D.  The size of the ark (v.15) ---- which typifies the perfect fullness of Christ;

E.  The “window” above the ark (v.16) ---- which typifies that Christ is the light of the world;

F.   The door of the ark” (v.16) ---- which typifies that Christ is the way for man to God;

G.  The door “in its side” (v.16) ---- which typifies Christ is near;

H.  The “lower, second, and third decks” of the ark (v.16) ---- which typifies that man’s experiences of Christ are of different degrees;


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

Translated by Mary Zhou