Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight is study #1 of Genesis, chapter 6 and we are going to read Genesis 6:1-4:
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And JEHOVAH 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. 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.
I will stop reading there. Here, God is giving us an overview of the historical situation in the world of that time. It took quite a while, but then men began to multiply on the face of the earth. This was around the time of Noah and we will talk about exactly when this is taking place when we get to the reference to 120 years, but it was over 5,000 years since the creation of the world. Of course, we know there were two lines, as there always are in the world. There are the believers and among those believers are God’s elect and then there are the unbelievers. Whenever God had a corporate body, like Israel of old or the New Testament church, the unbelievers infiltrate the body of believers. One of the primary means of infiltration as Satan sowed tares among the wheat was the institution of marriage because an unsaved woman may marry a child of God (called here “sons of God”) and often the children that are born will follow the path of the unbeliever and there will be a moving away from God. If you move away from God you will move toward the world and toward Satan, the ruler of the world, so one of the historical methods of infiltration was marriage. For instance, we see this when Israel was in the wilderness. The Lord ordered that Israel be avenged of the Midianites and the reason was that the Midianitish women were leading the Israelites away from the faith of Israel and the true God of the Bible and toward their own idolatrous practices. When Israel had done battle against Midian, they spared some of the women and it says in Numbers 31:14-16:
And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against JEHOVAH in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of JEHOVAH.
It was a tactic of the enemy through Balaam’s counsel to persuade Israel by using the women of Midian. Balaam was a false prophet and, therefore, under the power of Satan. This was a fairly constant tactic of the enemy throughout the history of Israel and throughout the church age. After Judah came out of Babylon and returned to Judah and Jerusalem, what was their sin? Their sin was to be unequally yoked with women from other nations, as it says in Ezra 9:1-4:
Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
Later on in the same chapter, it says in Ezra 9:10-15:
And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? O JEHOVAH God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.
To be unequally yoked means that a child of God has married one that is not of the elect or not of God and they have no identification with God. It is a grievous sin. The Bible uses very severe language condemning this sin and God indicates that it is something that will get you into serious trouble and God is not the least bit pleased when it happens. He was not pleased with Israel in the wilderness when they were deceived by the women of Midian and He was not pleased with the Jews that escaped from Babylon and returned to their land, but fell into the sin that brought the wrath upon them to begin with.
And God was not pleased in Genesis, chapter 6, when this practice first occurred (or, at least, this is the first time we are reading about it) and two “lines” are developing. There was the line that Enoch and Methuselah and Noah were part of and that was the line of believers.
We are approaching the time of the flood when we know that there were only eight people delivered by entering into the ark in that day. It was a time God tells us that men began to multiply on the face of the earth. The word translated as “multiply” is related to the Hebrew word that was found back in Genesis 1 where God commanded man to be fruitful and “multiply.” The Hebrew word in our verse in Genesis 6:1 is Strong’s #7231 and the word in Genesis, chapter 1 is Strong’s #7235. This word in our verse, Strong’s #7231, is sometimes translated as “increase” or “multiply” and it is translated one time as “ten thousands,” so you could translate it as, “And it came to pass, when men began to be ten thousands on the face of the earth.” This word is also related to another Hebrew word, Strong’s #7233 that is translated as “ten thousands” about 13 times, so it does give the idea of there being larger numbers of people. However, it is still “ten thousands,” and if you had several hundred thousand people, that would be several “ten thousands.” It gives an idea of a growing population, but a limited population in comparison to the population of our world today. Today in one city you may find several million people and we are approaching 7.5 billion people on the earth at this time, so the population of the world of that day was hundreds of thousands or maybe one million twenty years or so before the flood and maybe a couple of million at the time of the flood. There was one continent and one people all speaking one language and they were probably living in fairly close proximity to one another, but there would have been some that were more nomadic, but the great portion of the population lived clustered together and Noah would have been among them when he built the ark.
Of this approximately 2 million people, there were two “lines.” There was the line of professed believers that followed the line of Seth. And then there was the line of Cain and God gave a lot of detail about the descendants of Cain back in Genesis 4:16-22:
And Cain went out from the presence of JEHOVAH, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
This would have been early on in history. There was the separation when Abel was killed and God appointed another seed, Seth, when Adam was 130. Prior to the birth of Seth, Cain was driven off and his line was removed from the “believing” line, which became of Seth and his descendants. We read in Genesis 4 that there were children born to Cain and they built cities and produced things. This was way back 130 years from creation and Noah was born in 5590BC, so this was over 5,000 years later and we can imagine there would be many descendants of Cain and the multiplying of the population as these men married wives and had children, and so forth. Great multiplication was going on and the unsaved were increasing in numbers.
You know, that has always been true since the time of the fall – the unsaved are the majority. And I do not mean just 51% compared to 49%, but they comprise the vast majority of people in the world. The unsaved are the overwhelmingly majority, so this gives them a certain sense of power and rule in the world because their mindset and philosophy of the unsaved are supported by these great majorities because the true people of God are a very small minority. That is why the Bible speaks of God’s people as a “remnant” and a remnant is just a little part of the whole. Of course, the unsaved people of the world are not producing great majorities of followers due to the greatness of their beliefs or because they have a more “right” position than the children of God. In fact, it is the reverse. At any time in the history of the world you would find, overwhelmingly, that the people of the world are opposed and contrary to the Bible and to the God of the Bible. They are against the teachings of the Word of God and this is so because of man’s fall into sin and it is the natural condition of any unsaved individual because they are unbelievers.
In the New Testament, God commands that we be not unequally yoked with “unbelievers” and that Greek word is a compound word that has the Greek letter “Alpha” as a prefix to the word “ap-is-tos” and the Alpha prefix negates it, so to be an unbeliever means to have “no faith.” What is faith, according to the Bible? Faith is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, so an unbeliever is someone that has not Christ – they do not have His Spirit, so they are none of His. They are left in their natural, fallen condition of being in darkness and when people are born into the world, the Bible tells us that we are conceived in sin. We are born into sin, unless in the rare instances where God saves a child in the womb, like John the Baptist.
So the people born into the world are born naturally as unbelievers and this has always been the case. The way of the world is going in the direction of “unbelief” and as soon as most people are born they become part of the company and they fit right in; the world loves its own. Yes, people of the world do fight with one another: “My religion is better than your religion,” or “My philosophy is better than your philosophy.” They will fight over just about anything and, yet, they are unified in their unbelief and an atheist is really the same as a Buddhist, Muslim or professed Christian that has a false gospel. It does not make any difference because they are set in opposition against the true God of the Bible and His true Word and, therefore, there is great unity of “unbelief” among these unbelievers. This is the nature of the world all throughout history, but God’s program of salvation was to send forth His Word and through hearing of the Word of God He translated people, here and there, out of the darkness of the kingdom of Satan and into the light of the kingdom of His dear Son and they became “sons of God,” as it says in Genesis, chapter 6. These were adopted into the family of God and there was this “line” of believers, even early on when God saved Abel. Abel was killed, but God raised up another. As the world continued and the population continued to grow into the time of Noah, the number of true believers was minuscule, but there were also a growing number of what we would call “professed believers” that identified with that “line,” but they were not really true believers. So God tested them then, like He tests people today. The test at that time for the professed believers were whether they would remain faithful and not intermarry with the daughters of men and they failed the test. As a result, we see God’s displeasure. After God speaks of all this intermarriage in verse 4, it says in Genesis 6:5-6:
And JEHOVAH 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. And it repented JEHOVAH that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
This reminds us of later generations when God was dealing with the corporate body of national Israel. It grieved Him as He saw their unfaithfulness and they went astray from Him. Oftentimes, Israel was led by the women of other nations. It is one of the reasons why King Solomon’s sin was so grievous. He married many foreign women and his heart was led astray. He was an example and picture of the New Testament churches and congregations as they also went astray after “strange women,” or other gospels. That is really what the Midianitish woman represents as she is aligned with the gospel of Balaam or other kinds of gospels.