In recent lessons, we studied the ancient civilizations of the Sumerians and Egyptians. While we are able to learn of these civilizations, a terrible event takes place around 2350 BC, whereby God destroys the entire world by a flood. In this lesson, we will study this period.
The First Age of the World
In Genesis, chapter 5, we read the genealogy of the sons of Adam. The list begins with Adam, then goes on to Seth, Enos and down to Noah—the 10th man from Adam. We read some sad things about this time in the world in Genesis, chapter 6:
“And after that men began to be multiplied upon the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to themselves wives of all which they chose. And God said: “My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown. And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, it repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said: “I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.”
The world was filled with evil and God decided to destroy the world, but to save one family that was good, by whom the world would be re-started. That man was Noah, whom we read about in the same chapter:
Noah found grace before the Lord. Noah was a just and perfect man in his generations, he walked with God.
While God revealed that He would destroy the world, He did not reveal how he would do so until He called Noah. God said that He would give men 120 years to repent and then send destruction upon those who sinned against Him. He commanded Noah to built an ark, or large boat, on which he, his family and all animals would be saved. His plan was to destroy the world by sending a flood that would kill everything, from men all the way down to creeping things and fowls of the air. Noah obeyed and built the ark that God had commanded. We then read:
In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened. And the rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day Noe, and Sem, and Cham, and Japheth his sons: his wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, went into the ark. They and every beast according to its kind, and all the cattle in their kind, and everything that moveth upon the earth according to its kind, and every fowl according to its kind, all birds, and all that fly, went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein was the breath of life. And the Lord shut him in on the outside.
And the flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased, and lifted up the ark on high from the earth. And the waters prevailed beyond measure upon the earth: and all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered.
And all flesh was destroyed that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beasts, and of all creeping things that creep upon the earth: and all men. And all things wherein there is the breath of life on the earth, died. Noe only remained, and they that were with him in the ark.
This flood took place in the year 2350 BC, wiping out all of human history that had existed before the flood and beginning a second age of human life on earth.
The Second Age of the World
After the world was destroyed, Noah and his sons, Shem, Cham and Japheth, with their wives, started an entirely new human family on earth. All previous peoples were destroyed and no one else dwelt on the face of the earth.
Noah sacrificed to God and worshipped with his family and God made a covenant with Noah and all men on that day. We read in Genesis 9:
And God blessed Noah and his sons. And he said to them, “Behold I will establish my covenant with you, and all flesh shall be no more destroyed with the waters of a flood, neither shall there be from henceforth a flood to waste the earth. This is the sign of the covenant: I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be the sign of a covenant between me, and between the earth.”
After receiving the blessing, and commandments, of the covenant, Noah’s family began to multiply and fill the earth. Unfortunately, Noah’s son Cham dishonored him and was cursed by Noah. This curse would affect the world greatly as Noah’s sons became the fathers of all the families of the earth.
At the end of Genesis 9, we read of the end of the life of Noah:
Noe lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years: And all his days were in the whole nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.