Before the Flood: Another Factor? (Genesis 6:1-4)
Before the Flood: Another Factor?
I. Some affirm that GEN 6:1-4 describes “unequal yoke” marriages of godly Sethite men to unbelieving women, and that such unions corrupted true religion along the lines of DEU 7:3-4.
A. It is not to be denied that a believer may be adversely affected by an unbelieving spouse,
and that a believer who selects a spouse based upon looks rather than character is
particularly susceptible since they are lacking discretion even before marriage.
B. This issue is magnified when children are brought into the picture.
1. Children are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. EPH 6:4.
2. If parents are on different pages, religiously, or if one is irreligious, who is going to
determine the children’s training? What effect will such divided leadership likely have on children? The potential for trouble is obvious and religion is likely to be cast aside for the sake of family harmony.
3. It takes someone with the dedication of a Eunice to ensure the proper religious training of a child in such a scenario. ACT 16:1 c/w 2TI 1:5; 3:15.
II. A basic overview of the “unequal yoke” interpretation of GEN 6:1-4 is:
A. The “sons of God” were godly Sethite men.
B. GEN 4:25-26 speaks of the beginning of godly religion through Seth's line and the lineage
from Seth in GEN 5 is preserved for that reason.
C. Godly Sethite men married non-Sethite women and this was sinful.
D. Godly Sethite men were corrupted by these marriages.
E. These marriages produced “...mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (GEN 6:4).
III. The above-mentioned overview requires a number of assumptions and conclusions which are not stated, and which stretch credulity.
IV. Consider GEN 4:25-26.
A. Does this PROVE that godly religion began to be preserved through Seth’s line?
1. It does NOT say, “...then began Seth’s posterity to uniquely call upon the name of the LORD.”
2. All that it says is that MEN began at that time to call upon the name of the LORD. No names or pedigrees are given.
a. Is this referring to prayer?
b. Is this referring to true public worship?
c. Is this referring to profane worship?
B. Upon whom did Adam, Eve or Abel call before that?
1. Eve knew the name of the LORD. GEN 4:1.
2. Abel was a righteous man of faith whose religion was accepted by the LORD.
C. Calling upon the name of the LORD is not unique to the godly.
1. Cain profanely worshipped the LORD. GEN 4:3-5.
2. Balaam profanely “followed” the LORD. NUM 22:18.
3. Wicked men may profess an interest in the Lord. MAT 7:21-23; TIT 1:16.
A. What Eve said about God giving her Seth was also said of Cain. GEN 4:1, 25.
B. All we KNOW is that Seth was Abel’s replacement, no more.
is the proof that Seth was godly and that true religion was only preserved through his seed?
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C. All we KNOW about godliness in Seth’s posterity is that Enoch walked with God (GEN 5:24 c/w HEB 11:5) and Noah was just, righteous and faithful. GEN 6:9; 7:1; HEB 11:7.
D. Godliness is hard-pressed to be multi-generational (JDG 2:6-13) and there were 1526 years between Seth’s birth and the Flood (GEN 5:3), a lot of time for corruption to set in.
E. The “godly Sethite” position must also ASSUME that there were no godly people in the descendants of Adam’s other children (GEN 5:4) at any time between Seth and Noah.
F. What we KNOW is that by the time of the flood, only Noah was identified as a just man (GEN 6:8-9), a preacher of righteousness (2PE 2:5), a man of faith (HEB 11:7), and obviously holding to true religion.
is the prohibition on Sethite men marrying non-Sethite women?
A. Remember, “...where no law is, there is no transgression” (ROM 4:15).
B. If the “sons of God” are godly Sethites and “daughters of men” are fair but ungodly
women in GEN 6:2-4, where is even the prohibition on such a marriage as that in those days?
1. Even later under the Law of Moses, an Israelite man could marry a beautiful captive
from the enemy. DEU 21:10-14.
2. Moses’ prohibition on “mixed marriages” pertained to the dedicated nations of
Canaan and their surviving remnant. EXO 34:11-16; DEU 7:1-4; JOS 23:11-12.
C. The “sons of God = godly Sethite men” position must also assume that all the Sethite
women were faithful but homely since it was the “fairness” of the non-Sethite daughters that attracted the Sethite men.
VII. GEN 6:1-2 says, “...when men began to multiply...and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men...and they took them wives...”
A. The “godly Sethite” position must here assume that the “men” were only non-Sethites.
B. If by “sons of God” is meant “godly sons of Seth,” then only the sons of Seth engaged in
mixed marriages and not the daughters, another assumption.
C. It must also be assumed that only the daughters of other Adamic lines were involved, not
D. Another strange assumption is implied: that only the sons of Seth were godly, and only the
daughters of other Adamic lines were evil.
VIII. If the marriages in GEN 6:1-4 are only those of godly men to ungodly women whose offspring were noted as “...mighty men which were of old, men of renown,” how would that be significant?
A. There were already men of renown in Cain's line: city builder, bigamist, fathers of
cattlemen, arts and industry. GEN 4:16-22.
B. Assuming that the giants were distinct from the “mighty men...men of renown,” would not
the giants have generated their own mighty men? Giants certainly produced children later
who were mighty and renowned. DEU 3:11; 1SAM 17:4; 2SAM 21:20.
C. Yet the “...mighty men...men of renown” are curiously identified as being the offspring of
the sons of God and the daughters of men. GEN 6:4.
D. There is something extraordinary about that union that implies more than just a union of
carnal-minded saints with unconverted women: and why would the union of carnal- minded saints with unconverted women be particularly noted as producing mighty men...men of renown?
IX. The “sons of God = godly Sethite men” theory requires too many assumptions that stretch credulity. Faith is built upon knowledge (JOH 3:11), not speculation and unproven assumptions.
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