Unit 4: Day 1, Moses 8; Genesis 6

    “Unit 4: Day 1, Moses 8; Genesis 6,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 4: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 4: Day 1

    Moses 8; Genesis 6:1–13


    The Lord promised Enoch that Noah would be one of his descendants. The Lord called Noah to preach the gospel and warn the people that if they did not repent, they would be destroyed by a flood. Because the people were wicked and corrupt and refused to repent and “the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11), the Lord determined to destroy all flesh from the earth. He commanded Noah to build an ark in which his family and, “of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort” (Genesis 6:19) would be saved from the Flood. (Bible text that corresponds to some of the information in Moses 8 is found in Genesis 6:1–13. Although all of Genesis 6 is not specifically covered in this lesson, you should read it as part of your daily scripture study. A comparison of Genesis 6 and Moses 8 will help you understand and appreciate the restoration of important truths through the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.)

    Moses 8:1–11

    The generations preceding Noah are given

    Have you ever been directed to change or correct something you were doing? What are some situations in which a person might be directed to change or correct his or her actions?

    In this lesson you will learn about a group of people who were directed to change, and you will find out how those people responded. As you study, think about how you respond to invitations to change.

    Scan Moses 8:1–11, looking for the names of Enoch’s descendants. Are there any that you recognize?

    To fulfill the covenant the Lord made with Enoch that Noah would be his descendant (see Moses 8:2), Methuselah was not taken with the City of Enoch when it was translated. Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years old, begat Lamech, and Lamech begat Noah.

    Some have wondered why those who lived before the flood lived such long lives. “The reasons for the longevity of the Patriarchs are not made completely clear in scripture. Yet several propositions have been put forth. Some have interpreted 2 Nephi 2:21 as referring to the antediluvians [those who live before the Flood]: ‘The days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened.’ … Others have suggested that it was righteousness that affected so profoundly the longevity of their lives. Josephus [a Jewish historian] asserted that God ‘afforded [the ancients] a longer time of life on account of their virtue …’ (Antiquities of the Jews, bk. 1, ch. 3, par. 9)” (Thomas R. Valletta, in “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Feb. 1994, 61).

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “Noah … is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day” (in History of the Church, 3:386; see also Bible Dictionary, “Gabriel,” “Noah”).

    Moses 8:12–28

    Noah preaches the gospel and calls upon the children of men to repent

    Noah preaching

    Read Moses 8:12–15, and identify the two types of men that are described:

    • Sons of

    • Sons of

    Notice that the sons of God “hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed” (Moses 8:13). This means that they listened attentively to the Lord and obeyed Him.

    Noah’s granddaughters chose to marry the sons of men—those who would not hearken to the Lord’s voice (see Moses 8:15; you may want to mark the phrase that describes Noah’s granddaughters’ decision). The phrase “sold themselves” means that in choosing to marry wicked men, Noah’s granddaughters sacrificed the opportunity to receive the full blessings Heavenly Father offers those who marry in His covenant.

    The remainder of Moses 8 contains a description of the actions of rebellious people who lived in Noah’s day.

    1. journal icon
      Draw the following chart in your scripture study journal. Then read each group of verses, and identify actions of rebellious people. List the actions you identify in the appropriate column:

    Moses 8:16–18, 28

    Moses 8:19–22

    Moses 8:23–26

    It may be helpful to know that the Hebrew name for “giants” (used in Genesis 6:4 and Moses 8:18) is Nephilim, which comes from the verb naphal, meaning “to fall.” Therefore, these may have been people who had apostatized or fallen away from the true religion.

    1. journal icon
      Complete the following assignments in your scripture study journal:

      1. Describe the spiritual condition of the rebellious people in Noah’s day (see Moses 8:21–22).

      2. List similarities you see between the conditions in Noah’s day and conditions in our day.

    Review Moses 8:20, 24, looking for the message the Lord had Noah give to the people and how they repeatedly responded to this invitation. Consider marking what you find.

    An invitation to repent is an invitation to change our desires, attitudes, and actions to be more aligned with God’s will. According to Moses 8:17, how long did the Lord give the people to repent? According to Moses 8:24, what would be the consequence if they chose not to repent?

    Although the consequence of the Flood was specific to the people of Noah’s day, the Lord has always warned that negative consequences will follow sin. We learn the following principle from the people’s refusal to hearken to the Lord’s invitations to repent: If we do not hearken to the Lord’s invitations to repent, then we will suffer the consequences of continuing in our sins.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. According to Moses 8:21, how had these people convinced themselves that they did not need to repent?

      2. What are some ways people in our day might convince themselves that they do not need to hearken to the Lord’s invitations to repent?

    Recall how Noah and his sons responded to the Lord’s instructions. Read Moses 8:27, looking for the results of their hearkening to the Lord.

    The word just in Moses 8:27 means righteous. The phrase “perfect in his generation” does not mean Noah lived a sinless life but that he was purified from all unrighteousness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ as he obeyed the ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ (see D&C 76:69).

    1. journal icon
      Imagine you are a full-time missionary and meeting with an investigator who is just learning about repentance. In your scripture study journal, describe what you would teach this investigator about the following:

      1. The different ways the Lord communicates His invitations for us to repent.

      2. Some of the negative consequences of continuing in sin and choosing not to repent.

      3. Some of the blessings you have experienced by choosing to hearken to the Lord’s invitations to repent. (Do not share any personal details about sins you may have committed; those should only be told to your bishop or branch president.)

    Think about whether you are currently hearkening to the Lord’s invitations to repent or are ignoring those invitations. Remember that you can be “just … and perfect in [your] generation” (Moses 8:27) if you choose to repent as necessary, and you can avoid the negative consequences that come from continuing in sin.

    Moses 8:29–30

    Because of the corruption on earth, the Lord determines to destroy all flesh

    Read Moses 8:29–30, looking for what the Lord resolved to do because of the corruption of the people, their refusal to repent, and the violence that filled the earth.

    Some people wonder why a loving God would destroy almost all of the people on earth through the Flood. From the Book of Mormon, read 2 Nephi 26:24, looking for the reason God does what He does. (You may want to write this reference in your scriptures next to Moses 8:30 and Genesis 6:13.)

    In what ways do you think the Flood demonstrates the principle that all that God does is for the benefit of His children?

    Christ looking at Jerusalem

    The Flood does show God’s perfect love, justice, and mercy. Recall how wicked the people were in Noah’s day, and then ponder the following question: How do you think your ability to fulfill God’s plan for your salvation would be affected if you were born into a world where all parents imagined only evil in their hearts continually (see Moses 8:22; Genesis 6:5)?

    Elder Neal A. Maxwell

    Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that God intervened and sent the Flood “when corruption had reached an agency-destroying point that spirits could not, in justice, be sent here” (We Will Prove Them Herewith [1982], 58).

    President John Taylor

    President John Taylor explained that “by taking away their earthly existence [God] prevented them from entailing their sins upon their posterity and degenerating [corrupting] them, and also prevented them from committing further acts of wickedness” (“Discourse Delivered by Prest. John Taylor,” Deseret News, Jan. 16, 1878, 787).

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Moses 8; Genesis 6:1–13 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: