As in the Days of Noah

Chapter 5 of the book “When Jesus Returns —what then?” by Jim Gibson. I have edited the text only where necessary, changed underlining to bold text and used the KJVER Bible version. 

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew [understood] not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)

Here, Jesus is stating that life will go on as normal until the very moment of his return, just as it did when judgment came upon the ungodly in Noah’s time. The question is asked, “what was the ‘normal’ during the time leading up to the flood?” To find the answer to this question, we must turn to the sixth chapter of Genesis.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually [all the time]. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:5,11-13)

antedelFrom these verses, we discover that before the flood “all flesh” was corrupt, that is, decayed, rotten, putrified. Their wickedness had become a stench in the nostrils of God. Since we know from Solomon’s writings, that there is “no new thing under the sun”, then we can probably surmise some of the sins which the antediluvians (before the flood) were guilty. Judging from the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, we could rightfully conclude that many of the antediluvians practiced homosexuality. In conjunction with this particular sexual perversion, they also probably engaged in multiple other forms of sexual sin, including, but not limited to, rapeincest, bestiality, and pedophilia.

In Jeremiah 2:34, we find an obscure phrase alluding to the sin of abortion in which Israel had become guilty of. I call it “obscure” since there is not a consensus as to its interpretation. Many take the word “skirts” in a metaphorical sense, however, I believe it should be taken literally.

“Also in your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents…” (Jeremiah 2:34)

maxresdefault-1Some may think that abortion is a modern procedure, however, it is actually ancient. The first recorded evidence of induced abortion is found in an Egyptian papyrus dated 1550 B.C. Since abortion became legal in 1973, there have been over 45 million abortions just in the United States alone.

Also, found prominent in this chapter of Genesis, is the sin of violence. In the fourth chapter, we notice that Lamech, who was the seventh generation from Adam, committed the second recorded murder. I can only imagine to what extent that the violence had escalated to by the tenth generation, that is, the generation of Noah. Even in the time of the minor prophet Micah, he records that, “And they covet fields, and take them by violence…”(Micah 2:2). In the antediluvian time, this type of behavior was probably a typical response. Because “violence had filled the earth” and the thoughts of man was “only evil continually”, there were only 8 people saved from the world’s destruction by the flood. It has been conservatively estimated that the population of the earth at the time of the flood might have been one billion.

There are a few more signs that we can glean from the Scriptures that reveal more about the world in the time of Noah. We can find these nuggets of truth in the book of Job. I believe that Job lived during the 5th or 6th generation after the flood. In other words, Job probably lived less than 200 years after the flood.

“I will show you, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare; Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it: To whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them. The wicked man travails [writhes] with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him… For he stretches out his hand against God, and strengthened [vaults] himself against the Almighty.” (Job 15:17-21,25)

If one were to carefully read this passage, he would discover that one of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, states that he actually talked with some of the sons (wise men) of Shem, Ham or Japheth (their fathers). We can surmise this from the fact that the fathers were alone in the earth and “no stranger passed among them.” The wise men told Eliphaz that the “wicked” lived in prosperitywhen the “destroyer”, that is, God, in his judgment destroyed them via the flood.

Not only was prosperity indicative of the period of the antediluvians, but also, a long life was enjoyed by them. In fact, the average age of that pre-flood era was 912 years, excluding the age of Enoch who was translated and did not experience death. This bit of information can be inferred from the last clause in verse 20: “the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.” The meaning of this clause is obscure from the reading in the KJV. However, if you consider the individual words in their original Hebrew, then it becomes more clear. For example, the word “hidden” has the meaning to hoard or esteem. The word oppressor denotes someone who is tyrannical. In order to give further light upon this idea, I will quote from another of Job’s friends, Zophar, in Job 20:19,23,28 and 29.

“Because he has oppressed and has forsaken the poor; because he has violently taken away a house which he built not… When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of His wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating… The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed [decreed] to him by God.” (Job 20:19,23,28,29.)

Notice the play on words of “rain” and “flow away” in verses 23 and 28. By combining the discourse given by Eliphaz and Zophar and also remembering that in Genesis 6 that there were giants in the earth, we can come to the following conclusion:

Since some, perhaps many, of the antediluvians were giants who relished in the fact of their longevity, they violently took away whatever possessions they desired from those less fortunate. Thus, they were able to amass great fortunes. However, the great Judge of the Earth, saw fit to “rain” down his judgment upon them and caused all their possessions to “flow away” even while they were “eating”.

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew [understood] not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)

I would like to examine one more phrase as found in verse 20: “the wicked man travails with pain all his days.” The Hebrew word translated “pain” in this verse can mean anguish, grief or sorrow. Consequently, even though the antediluvians had become quite prosperous in their tyrannical acquisition of wealth, they were still miserable and unhappy all during their long lives, simply because they had rejected the only One who can give peace and contentment.

Perhaps the reader noticed the strange phrase, “a dreadful sound is in his ears” in verse 21. The word “dreadful” means “alarm, terror”. The word “sound” means “proclamation”, “a call”. The word “ears” denotes “to hear”. Thus, these wicked antediluvians heard a proclamation that instilled terror into their hearts. This, of course, refers to the warning of impending destruction by the preaching of Noah (2 Peter 2:5). However, this “call” to repentance did not change their hearts or their lifestyle.

noah2-584x372Finally, in verse 25, we find our last clue as to the conditions of the world prior to the flood. Man in his rebellion against God, even went so far as to challenge his Creator. This is very reminiscent of Nimrod who was the third generation after the flood. The very name of Nimrod means “let us rebel”. In Genesis 10:9, we read that Nimrod was “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The word “before” actually means “against”. The Hebrew word denotes “face to face” confrontation, so it was also in the days before the flood.

I ask the reader, “Is the world today filled with violence, sexual sin (homosexuality, rape, incest, bestiality, pedophilia), murder, abortion, evil thoughts, the incessant desire to acquire wealth, having a longer life, and is there a general unhappiness and emptiness of soul?” Could it be that we are living in that generation much like Noah’s generation? I personally believe that we are getting ever closer to those same conditions that existed before the flood. If you were born before 1950, then you will remember the innocence of that era. The advance of evil and an anti-God sentiment in the world has rapidly eroded that innocence. I will offer to the reader additional hints from scripture that we are very close to the time of Jesus’ second coming.

“And when the thousand years are expired [ended], Satan shall be loosed [released] out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth… And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:7-9)

Although I cover these passages in more detail in my article Understanding the book of Revelation, I will briefly try and give the reader the essence of my thoughts regarding this text. To begin with, I believe that the 1000 year period mentioned here refers to the Church Age. Satan was only “bound” with respect to his “deceiving the nations”. Prior to the First Advent, all nations were deceived except the Jews. The preaching of the gospel throughout the world has lasted for almost 2000 years now. However, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, there has been an onslaught of anti-God sentiment sweeping the world scene.

In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book Origin of the Species. Evolutionism was now given prominence, and was accepted enthusiastically, since it removed God from creation. This became the foundation for some other “isms”, which also removed God from man’s conscience. As a result of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, communism began to spread like a cancer throughout the world. Both communism and socialism are based upon Karl Marx’s pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto. One of Karl Marx’s stated goals was to “dethrone God”. In 1933, the Humanist Manifesto was signed. This marked the birth of humanism. Humanism is man’s attempt to become his own “god”. As with the other “isms”, it also removes God from the picture. So, the binding thread of these three isms is atheism.

As a result of this “loosing” of Satan, the world is being plunged into an anti-God sentiment and, consequently, will seek to oppress the Church. This oppression will end at the second coming of Jesus.

Download PDF of the whole book: When Jesus Returns–what then? by Jim Gibson

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About John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.
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