In Genesis 6 we read an oft-debated passage:
Gen 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 the LORD 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.”
Some superficial takeaways from the above – angelic beings took human wives and sired giants. At the same time, God limited mankind’s lifespan to one hundred twenty years, from the point in time of the declaration.
We’ll get to giants (below) but first, people born well-after this declaration lived much longer than the one-hundred twenty. Abraham lived longer, and Shem almost outlived Abraham, over 300 years after the Flood! Many of the lifespans after coming off the Ark were in the many hundreds of years. Clearly this declaration was for a temporary situation, the conditions leading up to the Flood.
We can presume the Lord had already decided the Flood was one hundred twenty years hence, and this would be the max lifespan of anyone born this day forward (they would die in the Flood). We read a few verses afterward that Noah was commissioned to build the Ark at age 500, the Flood came when he was 600. So for at least twenty years prior to Noah’s commission, the decision to destroy it was in play. Noah lived another 350 years and died at age 950.
Think about that. For over three centuries, Noah was alive and well, and could testify to the Flood’s reality. The Epic of Gilgamesh dates to this time, and includes the enigmatic Upnapishtim, a character who captained the boat of the Great Deluge.
Dr. John Sanford, a geneticist who wrote “Genetic Entropy”, points out the mathematical nature of the ages of humans. If we take the ages of Adam, Noah, etc all the way to Abraham, and plot them on a curve, we find an interesting artifact: The curve matches an exponential decay curve to within half a percent of tolerance. Did the ancient scribes have access to this algorithm, or were they simply writing down “what happened”? The reason for this decay curve is the decay of the human genome, which is still decaying. The loss of longevity is only one of many loss-of-function observations since the original Creation. If this holds true, the human race is headed for extinction within 2000 years. The genome is already compromised. Every new generation adds up to one hundred mutations for each individual. Cross-multiply this through all the possible combinations of genes, and we have a genome that is debilitated and devolving.
This fits what Jesus told us about a new heaven and earth. The current heaven and earth was always a temporary habitat.
Now for Giants.
A wide range of opinions are discussed across the internet on who these were, and the discussion centers on who the Sons Of God were: Mere men or Fallen Angelic Beings? This same notation “Ben Eloheem” is used in the book of Job to describe angelic beings coming to God’s throne. Some say they are unrelated, but Job was written right after the Flood, so the words do have common meaning and context.
Some say these Genesis 6 chaps are the sons of Seth (righteous folk) and the daughters of everyone else, but doesn’t resolve why such a union would produce a race of giants (Nephilim). Moreover, the Bible says in this same section that everyone was wicked, and offers no exception to the children of Seth. Why would we single them out as righteous? We wouldn’t, unless someone was trying to create a doctrinal thesis to move our thinking away from fallen angelic beings. In plain vanilla reading, this is exactly what it’s saying, so why take it somewhere else?
I would adjure the reader to keep an open mind and allow God’s spirit to guide on this important topic. Some devout Christians shy-away from discussions concerning the spirits. They are described in Scripture as real, cunning and powerful, so dismissing them as a fairy-tale, while accepting the remainder of Scripture as true, is nothing more than intellectual dishonesty. It will also hinder a person’s understanding of what was going on in this time period, and why a Flood was necessary. It will also hinder a believer’s understanding of the very real spiritual war going on all around us, directly affecting our lives.
As a note: The giants also appear in the OT (David slew Goliath) and are mentioned as peppered among the people-groups of Canaan. In fact, anytime God mentions a series of people-groups he wants eradicated, we can trace all of them back to races of giants (Rephaim). After the Flood, apparently a new crop of angelic activity procreated more giants, who fanned-out into the world. Their remains can be found in the Americas. Much research and investigative work is available on this subject.
A common misunderstanding of the Flood’s purpose goes like this:
God’s wrath on evil people. Grrrr.
But this misses the mark so completely. God’s very first assessment of humanity after the Ark landed, goes like this:
Gen 8:21 ” …for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”
So clearly, the Flood didn’t solve a sin problem. Nor a problem with wickedness or evil. The Bible chapters following Genesis 8:21 show a wide range of evil and mayhem.
This is because wickedness, evil and sin were prevalent before the Flood, but not the root cause the Flood was intended to solve. If this were the case, why wouldn’t God solve it with something less physically catastrophic? After all, when God solved the sin problem once and for all, one man, Jesus Christ, took the whole burden himself. No global cataclysm required.
In another essay, I deal with the Virgin Birth. This question of Why the Flood is directly tied.
Much is known about genetics today, and more every day. None of this was known even a century ago, much less at the time of the Flood. Isn’t it interesting then, the writer still knew the mechanics of procreation – the Sons of God (the male) and the daughters of men (the female) are required for procreation (of giants).
Didn’t Jesus say there was no marrying in heaven – (Matt 22:30, Mark 12:25) and directly relates it to the angelic host. They don’t marry because they are a finite host with no commandment to multiply. This is why they are called “Ben Eloheem” – sons of God – because they are each individually created by God. The same could be said of Adam, who is called a “son of God” (Luke 3:38) in this same context. A slice of this same context is attributed to Jesus Christ because he was also the result of a deliberate creative act, not a sole product of procreation (genetic descent alone). (More on the Virgin Birth in another essay).
The heresy-chasers will “ding” me on the above, as though I am denigrating Jesus Christ as being “created” and not fully God. No, I am merely explaining how Jesus Christ’s physical body was a product of the God’s spirit plus the genetic material in Mary’s ovum. This makes Jesus fully God and fully Man, and unique in all the universe to carry the sins of mankind – while still pleasing the father. It’s truly an amazing architecture, this DNA.
If God’s spirit could overshadow Mary (Matt 1:18-20, Luke 1:35) and conceive a child, what were the mechanics in play? Clearly Mary provided an ovum, and her genetic lineage puts her in line for King David’s throne. Joseph’s line, however, was cut off from the throne. Only a child of Mary would be eligible to be King of the Jews.
Physical ovum, proper lineage, check.
Where did the male gamete material come from? Clearly this was a product of God’s creative hand. He didn’t have to create anything new. He simply had to assemble a gamete from existing materials, configured with the proper information to impregnate Mary. What was the source of this information? The mind of God – the same source as the information in Adam’s genetic material. And isn’t Jesus Christ called the “last Adam” (1 Cor 15:45) in the very context of God’s creative acts?
1 Cor 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”
Both were products of God’s personal, deliberate handiwork.
What does this mean? God intended to use DNA as a path to enter history. This was his chosen mechanism to bring about the Virgin Birth and join humanity in a specific time and place, as he had long since foretold through the prophets.
How long did God have this plan in place? Did he cook it up after the Fall of Man? Clearly he needed a way to redeem mankind. Clearly his chosen method was to enter humanity and give his life for his own creation. When was this decided?
Rev 13:8 “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
At the foundation of the creation itself, this was part of the Grand Architecture, not an afterthought. This is how we know DNA has foundational place in the architecture, not a product of chance process or tinkering.
Ive spent a career building very large scale, highly complex systems, and can say categorically that failure control is always a part of any good architecture. Never an afterthought. But is this really all the Crucifixion was? A “failsafe”? It certainly fulfilled this functional role, but it was so much more (see my essay on the Virgin Birth, and one on Crucifixion).
Why does this matter? And what does it have to do with giants?
A little more info on genetics: Whenever a mutation arises in DNA, it behaves as recessive to a non-mutated gene. Just as recessive eye color of blue will not express in the presence of a brown or green dominant gene, so the mutated gene will not express in the presence of good gene. The good gene will dominate. This amazing information architecture keeps mutations at bay.
When God’s spirit overshadowed Mary with pristine male genetic material, it would guarantee all of Mary’s mutations remain recessive. No “blemishes” in Mary’s genes would express through her son Jesus. God’s pristine genes would dominate those mutations. Would Jesus have “Mary’s eyes”? Would other obvious traits of Mary be visible on him? I would suggest yes, because this is simply how DNA works. If God didn’t want Jesus to have some of Mary’s features, he could have formulated an ovum and treated Mary as a surrogate mother. This would not however, firmly lash Jesus into the lineage of true humanity.
Jesus was destined to fulfill two primary roles, among others. One as a high priest (Heb 5:5-10), and a sacrificial lamb (Rev 13:8, John 1:29).
In the Old Testament, we read that neither a priest (Lev 21:17-21) nor a sacrificial lamb (Ex 12:5) may have a “blemish”, clearly described in Scripture as today’s textbook examples of a genetic mutation.
God designed DNA to be a repository of his own mind’s information, recording his intent over history, to enter humanity as the unblemished Priest and Lamb of God.
Again, what does this have to do with the Flood, and giants?
God’s plan and method to enter humanity was known to the angels:
Gal 3:19 “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels …”
The fallen angels in Genesis 6 came to the daughters of men, not just because they were attractive, but because they had a plan to corrupt God’s creation. By procreating with humans and making giants, they succeeded in several nefarious goals:
- Defile God’s directive for marriage, an institution for humans alone, to support procreation (angels don’t procreate)
- Create a race of beings with no human father, and no traceability to the direct hand of the Creator, such that the souls of the Nephilim could never rest. Unclean spirits in today’s world are the spirits of the Nephilim, and as Jesus noted, “wander in dry places” – an allusion to their trauma with water
- Defile God’s desire to be the only One to use this method to enter humanity, for humanity’s salvation
- Defile God’s plan to use genetic material to impregnate only one woman, the chosen woman for the creation’s redemption, instead using many women and washing away its uniqueness
- Defile God’s plan to personally use this method bring forth an unblemished priest and lamb (the giants were clearly genetic mutants)
- Bring about violence on the earth to eradicate humanity, so that no humans would survive – cutting off human lineage so that no Redeemer could arrive at all.
- This last part, cutting off the Redeemer, has a higher, insidious purpose, in that it cancels God’s promise to redeem. God never breaks a promise, so if the evil spirits can thwart God’s plans to the point of breaking a promise, they have effectively proven God a liar. Very serious, indeed.
- In all of the above, is it any wonder the path keeps leading directly to the foot of the Cross? Do you have any doubt, apart from Rev 13:8, the Cross is the pivotal goal for every verse in the Scripture?
Stepping back, what was God’s stated purpose for the Flood?
Gen 6:12 “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
How does “flesh” become corrupted? And what is the “way” of the “flesh” upon the earth? Flesh only has one way, or path to take, and that is the lineage prescribed by genetics. This isn’t stated in the passage, but modern science would agree that if an animal’s genes strongly deviate from the those handed down by its ancestors, it has departed from its ancestral genetic plan. Anyone looking at the creatures to compare them to ancestors, would declare them in deviance.
It is this deviance that grieved God. Wouldn’t it you? If you put together processes and systems in a place to help a company stay healthy and prosperous, and came back one day to find the systems weren’t doing what you designed them to do, especially if the new form is deleterious to your loving provision, you would ask only two questions: Did errors creep into the system, or did someone sabotage it?
Gen 6:13 “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
In this verse, God uses the same word for “destroy” as for “corrupt” in the prior verse. Clearly he saw the genetics of animals (and certainly the Nephilim) as past the point of recovery. We can only imagine if the genes were corrupted and they proliferated, the mutated forms could rapidly eclipse and overwhelm the good ones. This is what happens today with so-called “good” mutations. They arrive on chromosomes in unbreakable chains and clusters with all the bad mutations. So if one “good” shows up along with 50 bad, we can’t sift them (they are on unbreakable chains). And if the next generation adds 50 more bad, and so forth, we will have a tsunami of bad mutations subsuming the “good” ones.
How did Noah determine which animals were “good” and which ones had not been corrupted? If he identifies good ones, he really wants the best ones, right? Those with the highest viability for the new world.
Fortunately, Noah didn’t have to make these choices. Movie-versions of the Ark’s construction show animals being chaotically herded into the Ark. And Noah’s sons running about “scouring the earth” for good male-female kinds, in a rousing, heartwarming, family-friendly adventure.
Gen 6:20 says God would send the animals to Noah. This is important, because it means Noah can focus on Ark construction, and he doesn’t have to worry about whether the Ark will be big enough. God knows what/how-many animals he intends to send, and God gave Noah the Ark’s dimensions. God is the only one with visibility to an animal’s genes, and which ones are most viable to carry their kind’s torch into the new world.
If the giants exemplified the corruption of human kind, why stop there? Wouldn’t it be important for them to corrupt the sacrificial animals? If the intent is to cut off mankind from redemption, why not start early and corrupt the clean animals? if all the clean animals start showing up with blemishes, and none are acceptable for sacrifice, humans can no longer use animals to redeem themselves until the Redeemer comes. They are totally cut off from fellowship with the Creator.
The Bible says “all flesh” had corrupted his way. We can be sure the fallen angels weren’t just experimenting with giants, they were hard at work defiling the whole creation. Corrupting “all” flesh.
Doesn’t this better explain why God required such a global, physical solution to this problem? While the violence may have initially caught his attention, God clearly identifies the root – the corruption of the flesh. The only way to solve a problem this global, this pervasive, and this freight-train runaway, is to cut it off all at once, and restart with uncorrupted forms.
Doesn’t this better explain why God was so grieved with the corruption of the flesh? He made all this for our blessing, and his enemies sabotaged it.
Doesn’t this better dovetail with the plans and purposes of God’s enemies, in their constant thwarting of God’s desire to redeem his creation to himself?
Gen 6:17 “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”
In the above verse, the purpose of the Flood is restated. To destroy all flesh. Not to correct man’s sin, or teach man a lesson, or correct some abominable behavioral issue, but to destroy all flesh.
Think about it, would a local Flood, as some purport, accomplish the goal of destroying all flesh, for purposes of cutting off all corrupted flesh? If the Flood was local:
- Noah would have 100 years to find high ground, and take as many animals as necessary. That’s a lot of time, plenty of time, in fact.
- Why bother with an Ark? In a hundred years, he could walk as far as he wanted in any direction, no Ark necessary.
- Couldn’t we expect at least one corrupted kind to make it out of the local Flood? If so, it would not accomplish its purpose.
- Plenty of local floods have happened since then, so if God said he would never do it again, he lied, because it’s happened (local flooding) countless times
- Separate and unique words (both in Hebrew and Greek) are used for the Flood, and they are words connoting all-encompassing, global events
- Fossil records are ubiquitous on every continent and on the highest mountaintops. Fossils are billions of dead things, trapped in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. They don’t represent the history of life, but the one-time record of death.
- Rock layers all over the globe have an interesting characteristic – at the lowermost level they have coarsest grains, and the grains “fine” or become smaller as we rise to the surface
- Another characteristic of layers, is no evidence of erosion exists, they are one-atop-the-next as though laid down in rapid succession
- Another characteristic of layers, no bioturbation. Whenever soil is exposed, the natural processes of life churn the soil many inches deep. No evidence of this exists in the rock layers
- In plain vanilla terms, all 24 phyla are represented at the lowest levels of rock layers, fully-formed, with no record of ancestry.
How are fossils laid into the ground, according to today’s scientists? An animal dies, and is covered with sediment (e.g. successive layers of dust). until completely covered over. Think about how long such a process would take – the animal would decay and/or be scavenged long before it was ever covered, yet the majority of fossils worldwide are very well preserved, even at the deepest rock layers.
The above would lead to the reasonable conclusion that the rock layers, and the fossils in them, were laid down rapidly. It is the chief evidence that the Flood actually happened.
What does this say of people who claim God “used” evolution to bring about mankind? That DNA was assembled through some happenstance, chaotic process without a Grand Architecture in mind?
Think about the implications – if God intended to use DNA to enter humanity, what did that DNA look like? (I would humbly submit it looks like the same DNA he used to create Adam). A pristine set of 23 chromosomes.
But in evolutionary terms, if we assent the DNA for Adam was fleeting, a transient product of descent from “apelike creatures”, what DNA did God use to impregnate Mary? And does DNA really have a purpose? Or is it just a passive mechanism God tinkers with?
Likewise if we accept God allowed DNA to functionally mature over millions of years, what DNA would he use to impregnate Mary? Keep in mind it has to be DNA that won’t express a “blemish”. And if God is that good at engineering a gamete for impregnating Mary, why aren’t we giving him the credit for having created DNA pristine, from the beginning?
I’m asserting God’s purpose for DNA – to inject his knowledge into the creation, for the ultimate purpose of entering his creation through the Virgin Birth. This means DNA had a purpose in the Grand Architecture on “day one”.
Here’s the deal: God made everything with DNA, pristine to an original blueprint. He looked upon the earth at the time of Genesis 6, and saw his original design was irreversibly corrupted. The outcomes of this corruption, violence and evil, grieved him to the point of wanting to destroy it.
But rather than completely destroy everything, he provided a second chance, a do-over. The earth would be different, but mankind, and the animals, would have a fresh, near-pristine start.
While we live on the earth, we can depend on God to be a God of second chances. He gave the whole creation a second chance with the Flood. He gives each of us a second chance through his son, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Thanks for reading – Joshua Light