Genesis 6

Genesis 6


IWhen peopleII beganIII to multiplyIV

Notes on verse 1a

I {untranslated} = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “people” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
III “began” = chalal. This is to pierce, which implies to wound. It is used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word. It can also mean to begin as though one opened a wedge. Also, to eat something as a common thing.
IV “multiply” = rabab. 13x in OT. This is to increase, multiply, abound.

on the faceV of the ground,VI and daughtersVII were bornVIII to them, 

Notes on verse 1b

V “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
VI “ground” = adamah. Related to “people” in v1. From the same as adam (see note II above). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
VII “daughters” = bat. From ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
VIII “were born” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.

the sonsIX of GodX sawXI, XII

Notes on verse 2a

IX “sons” = ben. Related to “daughters” in v1. See note VII above.
X “God” = Elohim.
XI “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XII {untranslated} = bat + adam. Literally “the daughters of the people.” Bat is the same as “daughters” in v1. See note VII above. Adam is the same as “people” in v1. See note II above.

that they were fair;XIII and they took wivesXIV for themselves of all that they chose.XV 

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “fair” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
XIV “wives” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
XV “chose” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.

Then the LordXVI said, “My spiritXVII shall not abideXVIII in mortalsXIX forever,XX for they are flesh;XXI their days shall be one hundredXXII twenty years.” 

Notes on verse 3

XVI “Lord” = YHVH. Related to {untranslated} in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note I above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XVII “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
XVIII “abide” = din. This is to judge, defend, dispute, govern, quarrel, plead.
XIX “mortals” = adam. Same as “people” in v1. See note II above.
XX “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
XXI “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
XXII “one hundred” = meah. This is hundred or some numbers of times one hundred (i.e. hundredfold or the base of two hundred, three hundred, etc.).

The NephilimXXIII were on the earthXXIV in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans,XXV who boreXXVI children to them.

Notes on verse 4a

XXIII “Nephilim” = Nephilim. 3x in OT. From naphal (to fall, literal or figurative; death, calamity, wasting away). This is Nephilim, a group of giants. Their name may mean feller or bully. It refers to angel-human hybrids before the flood and some other group of giants afterwards.
XXIV “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XXV “humans” = adam. Same as “people” in v1. See note II above.
XXVI “bore” = yalad. Same as “were born” in v1. See note VIII above.

These were the heroesXXVII that were of old,XXVIII warriorsXXIX of renown.XXX

Notes on verse 4b

XXVII “heroes” = gibbor. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is strong, mighty, or powerful. This can imply a warrior, hero, or tyrant.
XXVIII “of old” = olam. Same as “forever” in v3. See note XX above.
XXIX “warriors” = ish. Related to “wives” in v2. See note XIV above.
XXX “renown” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

The Lord saw that the wickednessXXXI of humankindXXXII was greatXXXIII in the earth,

Notes on verse 5a

XXXI “wickedness” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
XXXII “humankind” = adam. Same as “people” in v1. See note II above.
XXXIII “great” = rab. Related to “multiply” in v1. From rabab (see note IV above). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.

and that every inclinationXXXIV of the thoughtsXXXV of their heartsXXXVI was onlyXXXVII evilXXXVIII continually.XXXIX 

Notes on verse 5b

XXXIV “inclination” = yetser. 9x in OT. From yatsar (to fashion or form, perhaps by squeezing something into a shape or form; to create as a potter does; figuratively, to determine). This is a form, framing, intention, imagination, conception, inclination.
XXXV “thoughts” = machashabah. From chashab (literally to weave; figuratively to think or plot something malicious). This is thought, scheme, imagination, purpose, or a plan either good or evil.
XXXVI “hearts” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
XXXVII “only” = raq. From the same as raq (thin, surely, only); perhaps from raqaq (to spit). This is but, except, at least. In the sense of being thin, it figuratively refers to some kind of limit.
XXXVIII “evil” = ra’. Same as “wickedness” in v5. See note XXXI above.
XXXIX “continually” = kol + yom. Literally “all day” or “every day.”

And the Lord was sorryXL that he had madeXLI humankind on the earth, and it grievedXLII him to his heart. 

Notes on verse 6

XL “was sorry” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
XLI “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XLII “grieved” = atsab. 17x in OT– 4x of humanity grieving God including Genesis 6:6 prior to the Flood. This is properly to carve. So it can mean to create or fashion. Figuratively, it means to hurt, grieve, worry, anger, or displease.

So the Lord said, “I will blot outXLIII from theXLIV earth the human beingsXLV I have createdXLVI

Notes on verse 7a

XLIII “blot out” = machah. This is to rub, which implies to erase. It can also be making something smooth with grease or oil. So, this could we wipe out, blot out, or destroy. Also, to touch or reach.
XLIV {untranslated} = paneh. Same as “face” in v1. See note V above.
XLV “human beings” = adam. Same as “people” in v1. See note II above.
XLVI “created” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.

people together with animalsXLVII and creeping thingsXLVIII and birdsXLIX of the air,L for I am sorry that I have made them.” 

Notes on verse 7b

XLVII “animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
XLVIII “creeping things” = remes. 17x in OT. From ramas (gliding swiftly, moving with quick steps or crawling; to swarm or prowl or move about). This is things that move rapidly or creep such as reptiles.
XLIX “birds” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
L “air” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.

But NoahLI foundLII favorLIII in the sightLIV of the Lord.

Notes on verse 8

LI “Noah” = Noach. From nuach (to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait; implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense). This is Noah or Noach, meaning rest.
LII “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
LIII “favor” = chen. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious.
LIV “sight” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

These are the descendantsLV of Noah. Noah was a righteousLVI man,LVII blamelessLVIII in his generation;LIX Noah walkedLX with God. 

Notes on verse 9

LV “descendants” = toledoth. Related to “were born” in v1. From yalad (see note VIII above). This is generations descent, family, or history.
LVI “righteous” = tsaddiq. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
LVII “man” = enosh. Related to “wives” in v2 & “warriors” in v4. See note XIV above.
LVIII “blameless” = tamim. From tamam (to finish or accomplish; to make perfect, demonstrate that you are upright; consume; to complete in a literal or figurative sense). This is ecntire in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be complete, full, intact, or without defect. Alternately, it could refer to being sound, having integrity, being sincere or perfect.
LIX “generation” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.
LX “walked” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.

10 And Noah hadLXI threeLXII sons, Shem,LXIII Ham,LXIV and Japheth.LXV

Notes on verse 10

LXI “had” = yalad. Same as “were born” in v1. See note VIII above.
LXII “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
LXIII “Shem” = Shem. Related to “renown” in v4. 17x in OT. From the same as shem (see note XXX above). This is Shem, meaning name.
LXIV “Ham” = Cham. 16x in OT. Perhaps from the same as cham (hot, warm); from chamam (to be warm, heat; to be hot in a literal or figurative sense; to mate). This is Ham, meaning “hot” or “protective wall.” See
LXV “Japheth” = Yepheth. 11x in OT. From pathah (to be simple, entice, deceive, persuade, allure, be silly); from pethi (simple, silly, foolish, easily deceived); from pathah (to be wide open, deceive, entice, persuade, to be simple, delude). This Japheth, meaning expansion.

11 Now the earth was corruptLXVI in God’s sight,LXVII and the earth was filledLXVIII with violence.LXIX 12 And God saw that the earthLXX was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its waysLXXI upon the earth.

Notes on verses 11-12

LXVI “was corrupt” = shachath. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVII “sight” = paneh. Same as “face” in v1. See note V above.
LXVIII “was filled” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
LXIX “violence” = chamas. From chamas (to violate, do violence, to wrong; implies mistreatment). This is violence, cruelty, damage, wrong, injustice, or unrighteous. Violence implies a wrong done. The term is also used to describe unjust gain.
LXX {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXXI “ways” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

13 And God said to Noah, “ILXXII have determined to make an endLXXIII of all flesh,LXXIV for the earth is filled with violence because ofLXXV them; nowLXXVI I am going to destroyLXXVII them along with the earth. 

Notes on verse 13

LXXII “I” = paneh. Same as “face” in v1. See note V above.
LXXIII “end” = qets. From qatsats (to cut or chop off in a literal or figurative sense). This is outer border, end, or extremity. It can also mean infinite.
LXXIV Literally “the end of all flesh has come before me.”
LXXV “because of” = paneh. Same as “face” in v1. See note V above.
LXXVI “now” = hen. Related to {untranslated} in v12. See note LXX above.
LXXVII “destroy” = shachath. Same as “was corrupt” in v11. See note LXVI.

14 Make yourself an arkLXXVIII of cypressLXXIX wood;LXXX

Notes on verse 14a

LXXVIII “ark” = tebah. Probably from Egyptian T-b-t (chest, coffin). Used for Moses’ basket, Noah’s ark, and the ark of the covenant.
LXXIX “cypress” = gopher. 1x in OT. This is gopher wood or cypress – whether the tree or its wood.
LXXX “wood” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.

make roomsLXXXI in the ark, and coverLXXXII it insideLXXXIII and outLXXXIV with pitch.LXXXV 

Notes on verse 14b

LXXXI “rooms” = qen. 13x in OT. Perhaps from qanan (to nestle, make or inhabit a nest). This is a nest or nestling. It can also refer to a room or other dwelling.
LXXXII “cover” = kaphar. This is to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, make atonement, placate. Specifically, it can mean to cover with bitumen.
LXXXIII “inside” = bayit. Related to “daughters” in v1 & “sons” in v2. Perhaps from banah (see note VII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
LXXXIV “out” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.
LXXXV “pitch” = kopher. Related to “cover” in v14. 17x in OT. From kaphar (see note LXXXII above). This is ransom, bribe, price of a life. Properly, it means something that covers something else. S, it can be a village, bitumen as a coating, a henna plant that dyes, or a ransom price.

15 This is how you are to make it: the lengthLXXXVI of the ark three hundred cubits,LXXXVII its widthLXXXVIII fifty cubits, and its heightLXXXIX thirtyXC cubits. 

Notes on verse 15

LXXXVI “length” = orek. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out). This is length, long, or forever.
LXXXVII “cubits” = ammah. From the same as em (mother). This is a cubit, post, threshold, pivot. It is mother as the basic measure (the length of the forearm). It is also mother as the which bonds an entryway i.e. the base of the door.
LXXXVIII “width” = rochab. From rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is breadth, depth, thickness, expanse. It is width in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXIX “height” = qomah. From qum (to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is tall, high, length, or height.
XC “thirty” = sheloshim. Related to “three” in v10. From the same as shalosh (see note LXII above). This is thirty or thirtieth.

16 Make a roofXCI for the ark, and finishXCII it to a cubit above; and putXCIII the doorXCIV of the ark in its side;XCV make it with lower, second,XCVI and thirdXCVII decks. 

Notes on verse 16

XCI “roof” = tsohar. From tsahar (pressing oil, glistening); from yitshar (fresh oil, anointed; oil as that which is burned to make light; used figuratively to talk about anointing). This is a light, window, or midday.
XCII “finish” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
XCIII “put” = sum. Related to “renown” in v4 & “Shem” in v10. See note XXX above.
XCIV “door” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.
XCV “side” = tsad. Root may mean to sidle. This is a side or an arm. It can also be used to mean beside or, figuratively, an adversary.
XCVI “second” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.
XCVII “third” = shelishi. Related to “three” in v10 & “thirty” in v15. From the same as shalosh (see note LXII above). This is third or one-third of something.

17 For my part, IXCVIII am going to bring a floodXCIX of watersC on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breathCI of life;CII everything that is on the earth shall die.CIII 

Notes on verse 17

XCVIII {untranslated} = hen. Same as “now” in v13. See note LXXVI above.
XCIX “flood” = mabbul. 13x in OT. Perhaps from yabal (to bring, carry, flow, lead forth). This is a flood or deluge.
C “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
CI “breath” = ruach. Same as “spirit” in v3. See note XVII above.
CII “life” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
CIII “die” = gava. This is to breathe out, which implies expire or die.

18 But I will establishCIV my covenantCV with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing,CVI of all flesh, you shall bring twoCVII of every kind into the ark,

Notes on verses 18-19a

CIV “establish” = qum. Related to “height” in v15. See note LXXXIX above.
CV “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
CVI “living thing” = chay. Same as “life” in v17. See note CII above.
CVII “two” = shenayim. Related to “second” in v16. From sheni (see note XCVI above). This is two, both, second, couple.

to keep them aliveCVIII with you; they shall be maleCIX and female.CX 20 Of the birds according to their kinds,CXI and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive. 

Notes on verses 19b-20

CVIII “keep…alive” = chayah. Related to “life” in v17. See note CII above.
CIX “male” = zakar. From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is male. Properly, perhaps, it means one who is remembered, which is to say a male.
CX “female” = neqebah. From naqab (to pierce, bore holes, puncture; to make a hole more or less forcefully; also to curse or libel). This is female or woman from an anatomical reference.
CXI “kinds” = min. This is kind, sort, or species.

21 Also take with you every kind of foodCXII that is eaten,CXIII and storeCXIV it up; and it shall serveCXV as foodCXVI for you and for them.” 22 Noah didCXVII this; he did all that God commandedCXVIII him.

Notes on verses 21-22

CXII “food” = maakal. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, something edible.
CXIII “eaten” = akal. Related to “food” in v21. See note CXII above.
CXIV “store” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
CXV “serve” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note I above.
CXVI “food” = oklah. Related to “food” and “eaten” in v21. 18x in OT. From okel (food, prey, meat, eating); from akal (see note CXII above). This is food, eating, fuel, meat, consume.
CXVII “did” = asah. Same as “made” in v6. See note XLI above.
CXVIII “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).

Image credit: “The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men That They Were Fair” by Daniel Chester French, 1923.

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