In the early time of man’s existence, God allowed people to live hundreds of years. Probably one of the reasons for these long lives was in order to populate the earth. Adam lived nine hundred thirty years. During that time, “he had sons and daughters.”
Beginning with Adam, his son, Seth lived nine hundred twelve years. Enosh lived nine hundred five years. Cainan lived nine hundred ten years. Mahalalel lived eight hundred ninety-five years. Jared lived nine hundred sixty-two years. Enoch lived three hundred sixty-five years. Methuselah lived nine hundred sixty-nine years. Lamech, the father of Noah lived seven hundred seventy-seven years. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Do the math. Nine generations of men were living at the same time when Lamech was born and he lived fifty-six years before Adam died. Can you imagine the size of a family reunion if all of those folks got together?
The time from the creation of Adam to the death of Methuselah was about 1656 years. By that time, man had become very evil and God was highly displeased—to the point of destroying the earth and everything on it. However, Noah was a just man who found grace in God’s eyes and God decided to save him and his family from the destruction of the flood that He was planning to send. Noah’s family consisted of his wife, their three sons and their wives. There was no mention of grandchildren.
If there had been rain before that time, there is no record or reference to it. God instructed Noah to build an ark to save himself, his family and a male and female of every species of other life that existed. Also, seven of every “clean” animal would be in the ark.
God gave Noah specific instructions as to the size, design and type of materials to be used in the ark. It was to be built of gopher wood about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. There were three decks with rooms and the ark had only one door and one window. Noah followed these instructions and he and his wife, their three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, their wives and the animals were saved from the destruction.
One can only imagine the ridicule that Noah and his sons endured as they built an ark on dry land in anticipation of a flood that was going to destroy everything and cover the highest mountains. AND, one can only imagine the terror those same people faced when the ark was boarded and the door was closed as the water began to pour from the “fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven” above. IT WAS TOO LATE FOR SALVATION!
This pouring of rain continued for forty days and nights and covered the entire earth. After a total of nearly fourteen months, God instructed Noah to leave the ark and take all the creatures with him.
“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.”
At that point in time, all of mankind worshipped God and were well-pleasing to Him. This changed before long and God then began to put into place a plan for man’s salvation from his sins.
After the flood, God charged Noah and his sons to, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” He stated that man would have dominion over the animals of the earth. God also made a covenant with man that He would never destroy man and animals from the earth with a flood again. To seal that covenant, He placed a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of that promise.
The sin of alcohol soon raised its ugly head as Noah became drunk from drinking wine made from his vineyard. He became unclothed and Ham looked upon his nakedness instead of covering him as Shem and Japheth did. As a result of Ham’s sin, his children were cursed and the descendants of Shem and Japheth were blessed.
The Gentiles descended from the sons of Japheth. Ham’s sons became the fathers of the Canaanites, Philistines and other rebellious nations. The Jewish nation eventually arose from Shem’s descendants.