Genesis 6; Moses 8: Noah's Preaching

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 18–19

The scriptures speak of two separate times when the Lord would cleanse the earth of wickedness. The first was at the time of Noah (see Genesis 6) and the second will be at the Second Coming. Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41–43, in the Pearl of Great Price, tells ways those two time periods will be like each other. The biggest difference in the two periods is that the earth was cleansed by water in the days of Noah, and at the Second Coming it will be cleansed by fire. These two events are a type of how we are cleansed by the baptism of water and the baptism of fire—the cleansing of the soul that occurs when we truly receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.Genesis 6–9 tells the story of Noah and the Flood. As you read, look for reasons the Lord destroyed the wicked and why destroying them was the best possible thing He could do for the salvation of all His children. Also consider how the days of Noah might be compared to our day—the time before the earth is cleansed by fire.Moses 8 is the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 5:23–6:13, so you will want to read Moses 8 before reading Genesis 6:14–22. Notice that Moses 8 is the last chapter of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. For the rest of the Old Testament, all references to the Joseph Smith Translation will be in your footnotes or at the back of your Bible (beginning on p. 777).

Understanding the Scriptures

Moses 8

The fruit of his loins (v. 2)His descendant 
Hearkened, hearken (vv. 13, 15, 20–21, 23–24)Listen and obey 
Sons of God (vv. 13, 21)Those who made covenants with the Lord 
Sons of men (v. 14)Those who would not make or obey covenants with the Lord 
Sold themselves (v. 15)Married out of the covenant 
Renown (v. 21)Fame 
Was lifted up (v. 22)Was focused on and behaved 
Imagination (v. 22)Desire 
Manifest (v. 24)Known 
Repented, repenteth (vv. 25–26)Made feel very sorry 
Grieved him (v. 25)Made him feel very sorry 
Found grace (v. 27)Received blessings and power, was approved 
Generation (v. 27)Time 
Flesh (v. 29)People 

Genesis 6

Pitch it (v. 14)Cover it with a tar-like substance 
Fashion (v. 15)Way, pattern 
Cubit (vv. 15–16)The distance between an adult’s elbow and the tip of his longest finger (approximately forty-five centimeters, or eighteen inches) 
Stories (v. 16)Levels 

Moses 8; Genesis 6—Why the Lord Flooded the Earth

President John Taylor helped explain why the Lord decided to destroy all people on earth except the family of Noah. President Taylor suggested that the world was so wicked that children grew up with no choice but to be wicked. At that point where there is no chance to choose righteousness, sending innocent spirits from heaven to earth is no longer just. Consequently, the Lord destroyed all the wicked and began again with the family of Noah to raise up righteous men and women. “By taking away their earthly existence he prevented them from entailing [give as an inheritance] their sins upon their posterity and degenerating them [making them wicked], and also prevented them from committing further acts of wickedness” (in Journal of Discourses, 19:158–59). If God had not flooded the earth, His great plan could not be fulfilled. Read what Nephi said in 2 Nephi 26:24 about why the Lord acts as He does.

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following four activities (A–D) as you study Genesis 6; Moses 8.

Activity A iconA Pattern for Fulfilling Our Calling from the Lord

  1. 1.

    In Doctrine and Covenants 4:2–4 the Lord said that one way we become sanctified and bring salvation to our souls is to work with all our might, mind, and strength to bring others to salvation. Noah is an excellent example of this process. Make a diagram in your notebook like the one below and fill it in with information you find in Moses 8:14–27. As you do this activity, notice how Noah magnified his calling from the Lord. Also pay special attention to how he was blessed with strength and power and came to know the Lord was pleased with him and his efforts.

  1. 2.

    After you fill in the box for Moses 8:27, look up “grace” in your Bible Dictionary (p. 697) so you can more fully understand what it was that Noah received as a result of his diligent labors. Write a brief statement about grace below your diagram.

Activity B iconWhat Is the Difference?

  1. 1.

    Read Moses 8:13–14, 21 and the definitions for “sons of God” and “sons of men” in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section. Explain the difference between sons and daughters of God and sons and daughters of men. Include in your explanation who these four groups of people might be today.

  2. 2.

    According to Moses 8:15–22, explain what the Lord said about the sons of God marrying the daughters of men or the sons of men marrying the daughters of God and why you think it was so important.

Activity C iconExplain to Someone Who Doesn’t Understand

Use the information in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section along with what you read in Moses 8 to answer the question “How could a loving God flood the world?”

Activity D iconFigure It Out

Noah preaching

Read Genesis 6:14–22 and figure out how big the ark was, and then compare the ark to something you are familiar with. Explain the ark’s size in your notebook. (Hint: Look in your Bible Dictionary under “cubit,” p. 651, to help you make your calculations.)