0 The sons of God, daughters of men, and the flood of Noah (Gen 4-8)

Episode 2: The sons of God, daughters of men, and the flood of Noah

(Genesis 4-8)

Cain kills his brother Abel

4 1Adam knew Eve and she conceived. The result was Cain, who became a farmer. 2 Then came Abel, a shepherd.

3-5 Cain brought some of his produce to God. And Abel brought the firstlings of his flock, along with some fat. God respected Abel, but he had no respect for Cain's offering. Cain was angry and looked sad.

6 God said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why do you look sad? 7 If you do well, you'll be accepted. If not, you'll be guilty of sin."

8 Cain talked to Abel about it as they walked together in the field. Then he killed him.

Cain kills his brother Abel

The life of Cain

9 God said to Cain, "Where's your brother Abel?" Cain answered, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

10-12 God said to him, "What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out from the ground. Now you are cursed. You won't be as successful a farmer as you would have been. And you'll be a fugitive and a vagabond."

13 Cain said,

My punishment is more than I can bear.

14 I'll be a fugitive and a vagabond, and whoever finds me will kill me.

15 God said to Cain, "Whoever kills you will suffer a seven-fold vengeance."

God put a mark on Cain, so that whoever found him wouldn't kill him.

16 Cain went where God isn't present: the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she had a son named Enoch. Cain built a city and named it Enoch after his son. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad, who had a son named Mehujael, who had a son named Methusael, who had a son named Lamech.

Lamech, a bigamist, and a murderer

19 Lamech took two wives. 23 He said to them, "I have killed a man. 24 If Cain will be avenged sevenfold, then I'll be avenged 77-fold."

Adam and Eve have another boy: Seth

25 Adam had sex again with his wife, and she had another son, whose name was Seth. 26 Seth had a son named Enos.

Adam's family

5 1This is the book of Adam's family.

2 God made male and female humans. He called their name Adam.

3 When Adam was 130 years old he had a son that looked like him. He called him Seth.

4 Sometime in the next 800 years, Adam begat some daughters.

5 Adam died when he was 930 years old.

From Seth to Noah

6 Seth was 105 years old when his son Enos was born. 7 In the next 807 years, he had other sons and daughters. 8 He died when he was 912.

9 Enos was 90 years old when his son Cainan was born. 10 In the next 815 years he had other sons and daughters. 11 He died when he was 905.

12 Cainan was 70 years old when his son Mahalaleel was born. 13 In the next 840 years he had other sons and daughters. 14 He died when he was 910 years old.

15 Mahalaleel was 65 years old when his son Jared was born. 16 In the next 830 years he had other sons and daughters. 17 He died when he was 895.

18 Jared was 162 years old when his son Enoch was born. 19 In the next 800 years he had other sons and daughters. 20 He died when he was 962 years old.

21 Enoch was 65 years old when his son Methuselah was born. 22 In the next 300 years he walked with God and had other sons and daughters. 23 When he was 365 he quit walking with God, 24 because God took him.

25 Methuselah was 187 years old when his son Lamech was born. 26 In the next 782 years he had other sons and daughters. 27 He died when he was 969.

28-29 Lamech was 182 years old when his son Noah was born. 30 In the next 595 years he had other sons and daughters. 31 He died when he was 777.

32 Noah was 500 years old when he had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The sons of God and the daughters of men

6 1As men multiplied on earth, they had some daughters. 2 The sons of God found them attractive and took them as wives.

3 God shortened the human lifespan to 120 years because humans are flesh, and he was tired of fighting with them.

4 When the sons of God had sex with the daughters of men, they produced a race of giants, which were the mighty men of old.

The sons of God and the daughters of men

God Plans the Flood

5-6 God saw that humans were wicked, and he regretted making them.

7 He said, "I'm going to kill every living thing I have created, for I regret that I made them."

8-9 Except for Noah, that is. Because Noah was a just and perfect man, who walked with God.

13 God said to Noah,

I'm going to destroy the earth because the earth is filled with violence.

14 Make an ark of gopher wood: 137 meters long, 23 meters wide, and 14 meters tall.

15-16 It will have three decks, with a 46 cm wide window, and a door in the side.

17 I'm going to kill everything that breathes in a flood. Everything on earth will die.

18 Except for you and your sons and your sons' wives, who will be in the ark. 19 And two of every living thing, which you will bring into the ark, one male and one female. 20 Bring birds, cattle, and creeping things onto the ark, two of each kind. 21 And take enough food to feed your family and all the animals.

22 Noah followed all of God's instructions about the ark.

Noah's Ark

7 1God said to Noah, It's time for you and your family to get on the ark. You're the only righteous person in this generation. 2-3 Take seven of each clean beast and fowl, and two of each unclean, male and female. 4 I'll make it rain for forty days and nights and destroy every living thing on earth. 5 Noah did what God told him to do. 6 He was 600 years old when the flood began. 8-9 He took two of every beast, fowl, and creeping thing onto the ark. 10 And after seven days, the flood began.

The animals enter the ark

The Great Flood

11-12 The foundations of the great deep broke up, the windows of heaven opened, and it rained for forty days and forty nights. 13 Noah and his wife, Noah's sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) and their wives, and all the beasts, fowls, and creeping things of every kind entered the ark on the same day. 15 All the animals went in by twos, a male and female of each species. 16 Then Noah shut the ark's door. 19-20 The flood covered the highest mountain tops with fifteen cubits to spare. 21-22 Every living thing died on the earth.


The Deluge by Gustave Doré (1865)

The flood subsides

8 1-2 God remembered Noah and ended the flood by closing the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven. 4 The ark landed on the mountains of Ararat and Noah, his family, and the animals left the ark.

Noah's Sacrifice

20 Noah sacrificed all the clean beasts for God. 21 God smelled a sweet savor from Noah's sacrifice, and said, I won't curse the ground anymore because of things humans do. Because human imaginations are evil from their youth. And I won't kill every living thing like I just did. 22 As long as the earth exists, planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will also exist.

A few more words about this episode

Correction: At about 1:50 in the podcast, I said, "He [God] liked [Cain's] animal sacrifice better than Abel's veggies." But I got that backwards. God liked Abel's animal sacrifice more than Cain's veggies.

Adam knew Eve (4:1)
This is the first sexual intercourse mentioned in the Bible.
The mark of Cain (4:15)

Although there is nothing in the text of Genesis 4:15 that suggests that the mark of Cain in involved a change in skin color, it was commonly believed in the 18th and 19th centuries that God cursed Cain with dark skin, and this was often used to justify racism and slavery.

This interpretation is made explicit, however, in the Mormon scriptures, which says "the seed of Cain were black" in Moses 7:22 of the Pearl of Great Price.

But if the mark of Cain was a black skin and it was passed on to his descendants, then how could there be black people today, since only Noah (who was a descendant of Shem) and his family survived the flood? Well, the Mormon Scriptures have the answer to that too.

According to Abraham 1:21-25 in the Pearl of Great Price, Ham (one of Noah's sons) married a woman named Egyptus who was a descendant of Cain. And so the seed of Cain (and black skin) was preserved through the flood.

And Cain knew his wife (4:16)
That's nice, but where the hell did she come from? The Bible doesn't mention any of Cain's sisters. Well, maybe he married his mom. In any case, Cain and the mysterious Mrs. Cain have a son (another blue cigar!). His name is Enoch and he builds a city (population 3).
Lamech took two wives (4:19)

Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife.

Does the Bible approve of polygamy?

Adam begat some daughters (5:4)
These nameless ones are the first girls born in the Bible.
Noah's three sons (5:32)
Apparently, Noah waited 500 years to have kids. Then he had three boys in one year.

Were they all with the same (nameless) wife?

Were gestation periods shorter back then?

Were they triplets, perhaps?

Did Noah and Mrs. Noah every have any daughters? (If so, why didn't Noah let them on the ark?)

The sons of God (6:2)
No one knows who these sons of God were. But whoever they were, they married some daughters of men and had giants for kids (v.4).

The whole thing upset God so much that he reduced the human lifespan to 120 years (v.3) and decided to kill everything on earth (v.7).

He was 600 years old (7:6)
Since Noah's three sons were born when Noah was 500 years old, his sons were 100 years old when the flood began.
God remembered Noah and ended the flood (8:1)
I'm leaving out some details here. For example God sent out two doves and a raven on scouting expeditions. The raven and the first dove didn't return, but the second dove did a week later with an olive leaf in its mouth. From this Noah knew that the waters had receded on the earth. (It must have been many years after the flood for an olive tree to grow from a seed and produce fruit - assuming any seeds survived the flood.)
Noah sacrificed all the clean beasts (8:21)
According to 7:8-9 this would have caused the extinction of all "clean" animals since only two of each were taken onto the ark.
No comments yet

Copyright © 1999-2024
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Send comments to Steve Wells
at swwells(at)gmail.com