Old Testament Lesson 06 (Genesis 6–11; Moses 8)
January 31–February 6

Wickedness Prevails on the Earth

Genesis 6:1–2, 21; Moses 8:13–16   Marriage outside the faith seems to have been directly the cause of much of the iniquity which prevailed on the earth prior to the flood.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Because the daughters of Noah married the sons of men contrary to the teachings of the Lord, his anger was kindled, and this offense was one cause that brought to pass the universal flood. You will see that the condition appears reversed in the Book of Moses. It was the daughters of the sons of God who were marrying the sons of men, which was displeasing unto the Lord. The fact was, as we see it revealed, that the daughters who had been born, evidently under the covenant, and were the daughters of the sons of God, that is to say of those who held the priesthood, were transgressing the commandment of the Lord and were marrying out of the Church. Thus they were cutting themselves off from the blessings of the priesthood contrary to the teachings of Noah and the will of God.”1

Similarities Between Noah’s Day and Our Own

Moses 8:18, 20–21, 23–24   Rejection of God’s servants.

Moses 8:21   Complacency and worldliness.

Moses 8:22   Evil imaginations and thoughts.

Moses 8:28   Corruption and violence.

Confusing Information in Genesis

Genesis 6:3–7, 11–13   One area of confusion: Who has 120 days? And to do what?

— v. 3   Many non-LDS Bible scholars believe this statement prophesies the shortened life expectancy that would take place after the Flood.

Moses 8:17–22, 28–30   In the book of Moses, however, it is made much more clear.

— v. 17   The 120 years refers to the time when Noah would preach repentance and try to save the world before the Flood was sent.

— 1 Peter 3:20   This is the period of time referred to by Peter as the time when “the longsuffering of God waited.”

Genesis 6:6; Moses 8:25–26   Another confusing concept: How can a perfect God “repent”? The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors . . . [Genesis 6:6 reads], ‘It repented the Lord that he had mad man on the earth’ . . . [Yet Numbers 23:19 says] ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the Son of man, that he should repent’ . . . It ought to read, ‘It repented Noah that God made man.’”2

The Wicked Are Destroyed by Flood

Moses 7:42–43; Genesis 6:8—9:7   The Lord preserved mankind through Noah but destroyed the wicked by flood.

President Spencer W. Kimball said: “Through the scriptures, we have a fairly clear picture of the fate of the people of Noah’s day who, like many people today, ignored the testimonies of written scripture and of living prophets. . . . ‘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. (Luke 17:26–27) They were drowned in their sins . . . They reveled in worldliness. They were possibly like many in the world today who place no curb upon their eating, drinking, and licentiousness. Their ignoring the laws of God and the warning of the prophets continued until the very day when Noah and his family entered the ark. Then it was too late . . . They procrastinated the day of their preparation. The same lamentable cry of “Too late!” will apply to many of today’s Church members who did not heed the warning but who proceeded—sometimes carelessly, sometimes defiantly—to bind themselves through mortality to those who could not or would not prepare for the blessings which were in reserve for them.”3

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”4

Who Was and Is Noah?

Genesis 6:9   Noah was a just and “perfect” man who “walked with God.” The word translated “perfect” means “complete, whole, having integrity”

The “Come, Follow Me” manual for the Old Testament says, “Noah was one of God’s great prophets. He was ordained and sent forth to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, he walked and talked with God, and he was chosen to reestablish God’s children on earth after the Flood.”5

Noah’s other names:

Gabriel
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “‘Noah . . . is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the priesthood; he was called of God to this office and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.”6

Elias
• Gabriel came to Zacharias (also to Mary and Joseph) (Luke 1:18–19).
• Elias came to Zacharias (D&C 27:6–7).
• Elias came to the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836 (D&C 110:12; D&C 128:20–21).

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, “This is the same Elias who held the keys of the dispensation of Abraham and who came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple.”7

Genesis 6:10; Moses 8:12   Genesis does not name Noah’s sons in their correct birth order. The birth order of Noah’s sons was: Japheth, Shem, then Ham.

Facts about the Ark and the Flood

— The Ark was huge and water-tight (Genesis 6:14–16).
— “Gopher” wood = “kopher” wood = “pitch” or tar (vv. 14–15).
— “Window” should be translated as “something shining bright” (v. 16).
— The Hebrew word [for the Ark] means ‘box’ or ‘chest.’ It is used elsewhere only for the watertight ‘basket’ in which the baby Moses floated on the Nile.
— The ark is huge and is designed to float, not sail.
— An 18–inch cubit would mean that it measured 450 x 76 x 45 feet. 450 x 76 x 45 feet, which is the size of a large, modern football stadium.

Genesis 7:14–15   The animals came voluntarily into the Ark; they were not herded.

Genesis 6:17, 19–22; Genesis 7:2–3   Most of the animals came into the ark two-by-two, but . . . “clean” animals came by sevens, presumably for sacrifice and for food.

● The flood lasted longer than 40 days: (Genesis 7:12)
— There were 40 days of rain until the Ark began to float (JST Genesis 8:39).
— There were 150 more days of rainstorms (JST Genesis 8:46–48).
— There were 7 more months until the ark stuck itself on Mt. Ararat (Genesis 8:4).
— There were 10 more months until the mountain tops appeared (Genesis 8:5).
— 40 days later Noah released a raven and a dove (Genesis 8:6–9).
— 7 days after that, Noah released a dove that returned (Genesis 8:10–11).
— 7 days later Noah released another dove that didn’t return (Genesis 8:12).
— They were 2 months more on the Ark waiting for a revelation (Genesis 8:13–16).

TOTAL: 1 year and 3 days on the Ark.

After the Flood

Genesis 8:4   The Ark traveled a considerable distance during the flood.

—The Garden of Eden was in the land now known as North America.
—It is likely that Noah and his family lived somewhere in that same general area.
—The Ark landed on Mt. Ararat—in northeastern Turkey near the border of Russia.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, “The Ark landed at Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, therefore there were five full months of travel when the Lord drove the Ark to its final destiny. Without any question, a considerable distance separated the point where the Ark commenced the journey and where it landed. There can be no question to contradict the fact that during the flood great changes were made on the face of the earth. The land surface was in the process of division into continents. The rivers mentioned in Genesis were rivers that existed in the garden of Eden long before the land was divided into continents and islands. [Genesis 2:11.]”8

Genesis 8:15–19   The Lord commanded: “Be fruitful and multiply.” The human race began again.

Genesis 8:20–22   Noah offered burnt offerings, just as Adam had done.

Genesis 9:2–6; JST Gen. 9:10–13   The law of God regarding the shedding of blood.

Genesis 9:8–17; JST Gen. 9:17–25   The rainbow was provided as a token of God’s covenant with Enoch and Noah.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, ‘In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seedtime and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.’”9

Genesis 9:20–27   The story of Ham and his father’s (Noah’s) garment.

Dr. Hugh Nibley said, “The Apocryphal writers, Jewish and Christian, have a good deal to say about this garment. To quote one of them: ‘the garments of skin which God made for Adam and his wife, when they went out of the garden, were given . . . after the death of Adam . . . to Enoch’; hence they passed to Methuselah, and then to Noah, from whom Ham stole them as the people were leaving the ark . . . Thus, we are to understand that Ham took the garment of his father while he was sleeping and showed it to his brethren, Shem and Japheth, who took a pattern or copy of it (salmah) or else a woven garment like it (simlah) which they put upon their own shoulders, returning the skin garment to their father. Upon awaking, Noah recognized the priesthood of two sons but cursed the son who tried to rob him of his garment.”10

Abraham 1:21–24   Ham further manifested his rebellion by marrying Egyptus (“forbidden”) and forfeited the priesthood. Egyptus was a descendant of Cain and therefore was black. But the reason why Ham’s marriage to her was “forbidden” was not because of her race. It was forbidden because she was not part of the covenant kingdom of God (similar to someone marrying outside the Church today). God had forbidden such marriages and Ham ignored that counsel. (See the paragraph at the beginning of this lesson about marrying outside the covenant.)

All Men Speak the Same Language

Genesis 11:1   Over all the earth there was only one language—the Adamic language that God gave to Adam in the beginning.

They Build the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:2   After landing on Mr. Ararat, the children of Noah journeyed westward to the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Genesis 11:3–4   The Tower of Babel. They decided to take brick made from mud and mortar made from slime(tar) and “build . . . a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The Bible does not make it clear that their purpose was to thwart the purposes of God by building a tower that could not be swallowed up by a flood. Choosing righteousness would have prevented a flood, and God had already promised never to flood the earth again, but this building was an “in your face” rebellion against God.

The Lord Confounds Their Language and Scatters Them over All the Earth

Genesis 11:5–7   When God saw that they were building a tower, he observed that they were all one people with one language (v. 6). So, God decided to “go down, and . . . confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (v. 7).

Genesis 11:8   Then, after confounding their language, the Lord scattered them over all the face of the earth, forcing them to cease building their city and tower.

Genesis 11:9   The name of the place was then called “Babel,” because the Lord had confounded their language at that place and then “scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Notes:

  1. Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 1:136–137.
  2. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 327.
  3. The Miracle of Forgiveness, 248.
  4. In Conference Report, Oct. 1973, 91.
  5. See also Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 104, 201.
  6. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 157–158.
  7. Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:138–141.
  8. Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:94.
  9. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 340–341.
  10. The World of the Jaredites/There Were Jaredites, 160–162.
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