Cain and Abel
Genesis 4, details Abel’s murder by Cain. Both brought an offering to God, Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock while Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. God’s response is given Genesis 4:4-5 the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.
Although in Genesis, no definitive reason is given for the acceptability of Abel’s offering compared to that of Cain’s, the following statement appears Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.
Cain murdered Abel and when asked by God where he was, he replied ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Genesis 4:9. Cain was cursed by God.
Later in condemnation of murder, God says to Noah:- Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Noah and the Flood
Genesis 6-10, presents details of the flood and the life of Noah. God makes declaration in Genesis 6:3 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. During this period of 120 years Noah is instructed to build an ark to specified dimensions in which he, his wife and his three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth, plus animal life might escape.
Dates in Noah’s Life, based on years from creation:-
1056 +/-10 Noah born
1536 Noah’s preaching and ark building commences
1556 Shem Born Ham Born Japheth Born
2006 Noah Dies
The Ark Construction (Genesis 6:14-16)
- Gopher wood
- Pitched within and without
- 3 Stories
- Divided into rooms/nests
- Window in roof
- Door in side
- 300 cubits (~450ft) long
- 50 cubits (~75ft) broad
- 30 cubits (~45ft) high
Ark Contents (Genesis 7:1-7)
- 8 Humans
- 7 Pairs of each clean* animal
- 1 Pair of each unclean* animal
- 7 Pairs of each bird species
* The detailed definition of clean and unclean species of mammal, bird, fish and insect is given in Leviticus 11.
For a mammal to be designated clean the basic requirements were that it needed to be both a ruminant and cloven footed.
Flood Diary (Genesis 7-8)
- Day 0 Ark loaded
- Day 7 Rain starts
- Day 47 Rain stops
- Day 157 Ark rests on Mt Ararat
- Day 230 Mountain tops visible
- Day 270 Raven released from window
Dove released from window
- Day 277 Dove returns with olive leaf
- Day 284 Dove released again, but does not return
- Day 318 Waters recede to normal level
Ark cover removed
- Day 375 Earth dried
The following post alluvial covenant of God with Noah and human kind is recorded Genesis 9:1-13 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
The requirement for abstention from eating of blood is reiterated in the Law of Moses (e.g. Leviticus 17:10-14), it is also stated in Acts 15:20, Acts 21:25 as incumbent upon Christians of either Jewish or Gentile extraction.
There are a number of NT references to Noah and the flood. Jesus equates the lack of preparation by the general population when the flood came in the ‘days of Noah’ with that of his declared second
coming Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17. Luke 17:26-27, 30 as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Peter picks up a similar theme 2 Peter 3:3-7, 10-14 there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Noah’s faith is commended in Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Peter parallels Noah being saved in the ark with baptism: 1 Peter 3:20-21 when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Genesis 9:20-26, records Noah preparing wine after planting a vineyard and becoming drunk. Ham’s mocking of his father led to a curse being placed upon his son Canaan, which effectively comes to fruition when Israel exit Egypt and under Joshua’s leadership take the land Canaan as their inheritance.
The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11, describes God’s intervention against a human attempt to build a brick tower. The work was stopped by introduction of different languages preventing effective communication. Thus the name Babel; derived from the Hebrew ‘balal’ a primitive root implying to mix, leading to the concept of ‘confusion’.