Troublesome Topic: Everyone Sought the Advantage

After the death of Lamech, it is quite likely that his three most powerful sons, Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal Cain, fought for, and ended up tearing apart, their father’s kingdom. After they died, their three kingdoms also became battle grounds as other giant, ruthless, ambitious men tried to rule as much of the world as they could. This was the situation at the beginning of this passage we call Genesis 6 – there were many powerful people fighting against other powerful people and using the small and weak people as their pawns.

At first the problem was only happening among the wicked (the descendants of Cain) because the giants in their number started forcing others to submit to their will (the name Nephilim means to “bow down” possibly because they could force others to “bow down”), and so they became rulers over many people.

Then the righteous people (the descendants of Seth) were threatened by, or began to experience, the same forced subservience, so they appealed to the giants among their numbers to help protect them. The giants among the righteous quickly realized what the giants among the wicked had already learned, that for one giant to produce offspring of similar size, he had to marry an equally large woman. Thus, a competition was created for the women of great height and strength.

However, if there were not as many large women among the descendants of Seth because they had not been marrying with that in mind, or because their population was smaller, the only place some of them could go to find giant women was to the descendants of Cain.

Rather than being threatened by the idea, the wicked rulers saw such intermarriage as a way to infiltrate and influence the Sethites and possibly take them over without a major battle. Once they were intermarried, neither side would want to fight and kill off their own daughters. It appears from Cain’s initial response that, from the time of Cain’s expulsion from Adam’s family, the descendants of Cain had not liked the fact that they were forced to live separately, so a blurring of those lines by mixing the two groups through marriage seemed like a good idea to them. Meanwhile, the Sethites were only trying to catch up in size and thus keep from being subjugated against their will.

But the outcome was that once the upright leaders in Seth’s line, who were mostly giants, began to marry wicked women of Cain’s line, they were not able to pass on godly principles to the next generation. This was a reality because the wife is a key part of educating the children, especially when everyone is using some method of homeschooling, as they likely were back then. So the gamble on the part of the descendants of Cain paid off; they won without fighting a major military battle. But they did not win in the end, for God destroyed them all and started over with the one man who had refused to become corrupted, Noah, a Sethite.

Genesis 6:3



Go to footnote number

(read Adonai) said, “My Spirit

Go to footnote number

shall not govern

Go to footnote number

man forever, for indeed he is flesh,

Go to footnote number

yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty.”

Go to footnote number


Then THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD said, “I will not indefinitely exert the effort and investment of myself that is necessary to govern men, for indeed they have proven that they want to be governed by their flesh; yet I will have mercy for a short time; they will have one hundred and twenty years before I judge them.”

The next lesson is: Who Were the Nephilim?



Notice that here the name for God is YHVH, not Elohim. When you see this type of change remember that that name YHVH was even greater, higher, and more awe-inspiring than Elohim. While the name Elohim seems to mean “ruler,” the name YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb of being “to be,” and emphasizes a God who has always, and will always exist; He was not created, He just is. Although this was their highest name for God, it was also more personal, more intimate than Elohim. This God who exists outside of time has chosen to enter our lives in search of a close relationship with us.

2: “My Spirit"

This is another way of saying “I”.


The most basic meaning of the word used here is “to judge, to act as judge, to execute judgment, to govern (to rule), to contend with or strive with or against” but it also encompasses the other side of that issue, meaning, “to plead the cause of, to vindicate.” I have chosen to render this word as “govern’ because it includes judging, and punishing the wicked, as well as pleading the cause of the just and vindicating the just. The usage of this word in this verse seems strange and awkward, but it makes more sense when we realize that the meaning of “govern” seems to be implied in the second part of this verse where man is “governed” by his flesh, rather than being willing to be “governed” by God. It is thus a play on the word “govern,” which is a common literary tool employed in Hebrew. Here it is a play on words even though the second time it is only inferred, not used specifically.

4: “he is flesh”

At first it may seem that God is saying that man is only flesh, however, the context seems to call for a deeper meaning than that, for punishment is coming. It seems the better part of wisdom to understand it as meaning that man has given himself over entirely to the flesh in contrast to following the Spirit of God. Man is “governed” by his flesh rather than allowing God to govern him. Because of this God said, “Enough!”

5: “hundred and twenty"

“hundred and twenty