Please note that the men listed below had many children. However, we are following particular lines in the history of mankind.
Adam, at age 130 years, bore Seth. Adam died at age 930 years old.
Seth bore Enos at age 185 years, and died at age 912.
Enos bore Cainan at age 90 years, and died at age 840.
Cainan bore Mahalaleel at age 70, and died at age 910.
Mahalaleel bore Jared at age 65, and died at age 895.
Jared bore Enoch at age 62, and died at age 962.
Enoch bore Methuselah at age 65 years, and then walked with God (no indication that he died) after 365 years.
Methuselah bore Lamech at age 187 years, and died at age 969.
Lamech bore Noah at age 182, and died at age 777.
By the time Noah came along, Man had become extremely evil and violent, to the point where God had had enough. He decided to destroy Mankind in 120 years' time.
Genesis 6:2 speaks of the sons of God marrying the daughters of men. Many people interpret this to mean that angels came down to Earth to marry women. That is not so. For one thing, Jesus Himself said that there is no marrying nor giving into marriage in Heaven. There has been no indication throughout the entire Bible that angels have ever been interested in having physical relationships with Man. There is also the observation that Man was created "a little less" than angels. So, to what does Genesis 6 refer?
Remember that according to Gill's commentary of the Bible, based on Arabic writings: in Enos' days men started to call themselves sons of God and started to worship in God's Name. The commentary speaks of a separation between Seth's family and Cain's family, after Adam's death. It states that Seth and his family moved to the mountains, where they were closer to God, and where they took on holiness; whereas Cain and his family remained in the valley where Abel had been killed. (Biblos.com, 2011)
So, Seth's offsprings saw the women in the valley, and desired them; and married them.
It appears that there is also a spiritual connotation to the statement. There was a joining of different principles. Seth's offsprings appeared to be spiritual and holy; whereas Cain's offspring were more sensual, worldly, and carnal.
This obviously displeased God, who determined that His Spirit could not strive in an evil environment. The desires of Man was carnal, easily rejecting holiness. And God recognised this trait that was emerging within Man. In the battle between carnal and spiritual, Man easily chose the desires of the flesh.
Could the repercussion to Man's behaviour be a reduction in his life line - that Man would start dying at a much younger age than those from Adam to Lamech. Is this what God meant, when He said that the days of Man should be 120 years? No, it isn't.
Barne's commentary speaks of a spiritual message within God's declaration that the days of Man should be 120 years. It speaks of God's decision to allow 120 years to pass, before executing judgement on sinful Man.
So God looks around and sees Noah. Here's what the Bible says about Noah:
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord ... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations. And Noah walked with God. Genesis 6: 8, 9So God speaks to Noah about the wickedness that was filling the Earth, and of His decision to destroy Mankind.
Now, this gets pretty interesting. Let's assume we were sitting around when God came to speak with Noah.
God says to Noah, "Build an ark." And Noah probably asked, "What's an ark?" And God probably said something like, "Well, Noah ... an ark is a very big boat." To which Noah would likely ask, "What's a boat?" God would explain that a boat is a vessel that floats on water. And Noah would probably say, "Ahh!" but still not understanding.
Then God probably said something like, "I'm going to send a flood to destroy the Earth." And Noah probably asked, "What's a flood?" to which God would explain that He would send rain ("What's rain?").
But God had made a provision to save life. The ark would be large enough to transport a pair of every living creature, food for them all, and space for Noah and his family.
So, Noah listened to God and started to build this really big boat.
Can you imagine the ridicule that Noah must have endured for the decades that it took him and his sons to build the ark?
Perhaps in the early days man may have been fearful of God's judgment. But as time passed and no rain happened and no flood happened, they must have ridiculed the "crazy" man and his family daily. Noah worked on the ark for many years. To everyone else, he was totally mad.
As the song says,
They thought he was a man possessed, a maniac at bestSo, God commanded Noah to take seven of every clean animal and two of every unclean animal into the ark. And at the time for entering the ark, the animals and birds and beasts and creepy crawlies all presented themselves and entered the ark.
Building an ark fifty feet tall, In a land where rain had yet to fall
Going on about a flood, the whole world turned to mud
Poor old fool, something went wrong, Working in the summer sun a bit too long
Noah, oh where you gonna go in the middle of the desert in a giant boat?
Noah, oh open up your ears, it's never gonna happen in a hundred years
No matter what you say, Noah, no way!
It is important to note that there were more clean animals, birds, and beasts, than unclean. One of each was intended as a sacrifice to God, and the others were intended to reproduce and replenish the earth.
So the flood occurred. It rained for forty days and forty nights, and the entire Earth was covered all the way up past the mountains. Scripture clearly stated that every creature (man, beast, cattle, birds, or creepy crawlies) that had life in them were destroyed in the flood. All except Noah and his family - eight people saved with the creatures that were safe in the ark.
The waters remained on the Earth for 150 days, before it dissipated. So, it rained for five months. For another three months, the water started to reduce. Forty days after he had seen the tops of mountains, Noah sent out a raven and a dove to see if they would find places of rest, but there wasn't any. Seven days later, he sent out a dove, who returned with an olive leaf. Seven days afterward, he sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return.
A year after Noah had gone into the ark, God told him that it was safe for him, his family, and all the animals that were in the ark to leave the ark.
When Noah disembarked from the ark, he made an altar, took one of every clean beast and bird, and worshipped God by offering up sacrficies to God.
God determined that the thoughts of Man are evil from his youth, and decided to no longer curse the ground or destroy every living thing because of Man's evil ways.
God then gave a commandment that was identical to the one He had given to Adam: "Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the Earth."
In Genesis 9 we find God saying something very interesting to Noah and his family: every beast, bird, creepy crawly, and fish had now developed a fear of Man. Not only that, Man could now eat these animals, birds, and fish - except those that still had life in them.
God also reiterated something that He had said to Cain: any beast or man who killed a man, God would require judgement for that smitten man because Man was created in God's own image.
He then made a covenant with Noah and his sons and with every beast, bird, cattle and all other living things that He would never again destroy all living things by a flood. So He placed a rainbow in the skies as a reminder to never again destroy all flesh by a flood.
After the flood, Noah became a farmer. He planted a vineyard and, a few years later, drank wine, and became drunk. This may have happened as a result of the richness of the soil after the flood. It could also have been that Noah may not have had wine before, and so this new drink was intoxicating to him. Another possibility could be Noah's age. He was more than 600 years old, when he exited the ark. Even if he had had wine before, it may have been a bit strong for this much older man, resulting in intoxication. And the account of the events indicate that this incident happened many years later.
In any case, Noah was sleeping naked in his tent when his younger son, Ham, went in, saw that he was naked, and told his brothers that he was naked in his tent. The older and youngest son backed into Noah's tent and covered their father.
When Noah awoke, he knew that Ham had dishonoured him and he prophesied a curse on Canaan, and pronounced blessings on Shem and Japheth.
Now that was interesting. Why did Noah curse Canaan, and not Ham? Is it possible that it had been Canaan, Ham's son, who had first seen Noah naked and told his father? That is the assumption that we are following here, since it is peculiar that Noah should immediately curse his grandson, Canaan, not his son, Ham; and utter blessings on his other two sons, Shem and Japheth. that would make sense if this incident actually originated with Canaan.
Matthew Henry's commentary interpreted Noah's curse on Canaan:
by speaking of the enslavement of blacks from Africa. Of Noah's blessing of Shem, Henry speaks of the blessings on Shem's descendants, the Jewish people. Of Noahs's blessing of Japheth, Henry speaks of blessings to Japheth's descendants, the Gentiles.
Genesis 9:25: he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers." NIV
Noah lived for 350 years after the flood, and died at age 950 years.
Biblos.com, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011 from http://bible.cc/genesis/6-2.htm and http://bible.cc/genesis/9-27.htm