©  Jeff Stacey   |   Last updated  28 September 2016


[GENESIS 6:9 – 11:26]


3A(intro)1  The information about God and the history so far: Charts 1A to 2B

Charts 1A and 1B outlined God’s primary purpose and His roles for Adam and Eve on Earth, ending with the FALL and the corrupting of the whole creation [2A(intro)1].  Chart 2A showed how God then altered His one original requirement and intended roles for the people’s life on Earth [2B(intro)1].

Chart 2B outlined how this actually worked out over a period of 1656 years [2A(intro)4].  God’s instructions were clear [2B20].  His two basic requirements and warning had been told plainly to Cain and applied to all people [2B21].

God’s Enemy ruthlessly continued to challenge all people to sin [2B22].  He could now directly target their thoughts and the inclinations of their hearts through their knowledge of evil [2B23]. 

God permitted the people to face various acute heart-testing situations [2B24].  After initially reacting [2B25] they responded in one of three ways.  Mostly this was either with divided-heart or no heart-commitment to God, resulting in a sad story of increasing sinfulness [2B28 and 2B30].  God responded to these with warnings and judgments, although also with mercy [2B29 and 2B31].

Yet there were a few people who were wholeheartedly committed to God.  They obeyed His two basic requirements and were fulfilling His intended roles for them [2B26].  God responded by accepting and favouring them, making Himself known TO and THROUGH them [2B27].

Finally almost all people were totally in heart-bondage to sin both in their thoughts and evil actions Gen 6:5.  God’s heart was deeply troubled and He even regretted that He had created people! Gen 6:6,7b.  This was because He still loved them although they were totally rejecting Him [2A8(b)(iii)].

God warned that His judgment deadlines were approaching [2B31(d)] and eventually they arrived.  Initially He decreed that He would reduce the maximum lifespan of people to 120 years in order to limit the extent of evil [2B31(e)].  But ultimately He declared that He would destroy all of the people except Noah and his family, and almost all land creatures and birds, with a worldwide FLOOD! [2B27(e)].

3A(intro)2.  Chart 3A

Chart 3A is also derived from limited data, GENESIS 6:9 – 11:26, a total of 147 verses, about 5.4 chapters of the Bible.  But in stark contrast to Era 2, these chapters contain some lengthy statements by God.  Mostly these were His directions, explanations and declarations to Noah Gen 6:13-21,  7:1-4,  8:15-17,21-22,  9:1-7,9-17.  There are also extended genealogies of Noah’s descendants with some details of where they lived Gen 9:18-19,  10:1-32,  11:10-26.

3A(intro)3.  The time-frame of Era 3

Based on the genealogical data, this Era spanned 292 years and another ten generations of great longevity, as follows:-

Fathers’ names and lifespansSons’ namesFather’s age when son born (years)Genesis references
Shem, 500 yearsArphaxad(2 years after the Flood)Gen 11:10-11
Arphaxad, 403 yearsShelah35Gen 11:12-13
Shelah, 403 yearsEber30Gen 11:14-15
Eber, 430 yearsPeleg34Gen 11:16-17
Peleg, 209 yearsReu30Gen 11:18-19
Reu, 207 yearsSerug32Gen 11:20-21
Serug, 200 yearsNahor30Gen 11:22-23
Nahor, 119 yearsTerah29Gen 11:24-25
Terah, 205 yearsAbraham70*Gen 11:26,32
*  Gen 11:26-27 only states that Terah had his three sons after he turned 70.  Although Abraham is twice listed as first, this may not necessarily mean that he was the first born.  For example, the earlier list of Noah’s three sons Gen 9:18 had neither the eldest first Gen 10:21a nor the youngest last Gen 9:24b
TOTAL YEARS from the FLOOD to the birth of Abraham292

3A(intro)4.  Some controversial issues

As with the preceding chapters and Charts, GEN 6:9 – 11:26 raises some further controversial questions such as:-

# Could Noah and his sons have built a timber ship or “ark” measuring 450 x 75 x 45 feet (approximately 140m x 25m x 15m)? Gen 6:14-15

# How could pairs of all land creatures and birds plus their food supply for more than a year be assembled and then fitted into the three decks of the ship?  Gen 6:19-21,  7:8-9

# Could there be a worldwide flood to a depth of more than 20 feet (approx. 6m) above the highest mountains?  Gen 7:19-20

# Could this flood have lasted for almost 5 months (150 days) and then taken over 7 months to recede?  Gen 7:24,  8:3-14

# Had all the people before the flood been vegetarian?  Gen 9:3

# How come “righteous” Noah got drunk?  Gen 9:20-21 compared with Gen 6:9,  7:1b

# Why did Noah curse Ham’s son Canaan rather than Ham himself?  Gen 9:24-25

# Were the clans and nations of Noah’s descendants already scattered, with different languages Gen 10:5,18b-20,30-32 before the dispersion of Babel? Gen 11:1,6-9

# Was there potentially nothing that would be impossible for people to do if they worked together as one people with a single language? Gen 11:6

# Did Noah really live for 950 years Gen 9:28-29 and Shem and his sons live for between 148 and 600 years? Gen 11:10-32

Again I recognise that these are by no means insignificant or uninteresting issues.  But I have deliberately avoided letting them become distractions from focusing on the information about God that is emphasised by the biblical text itself.  

3A(intro)5.  Keeping close to the biblical text

I would urge you to read Gen 6:9 – 11:26 at least once before “doing the Chart”.  Then browse over many of the biblical verse references as you work your way through the detailed explanations.

Continue to 3A1