Unit 4: Day 2, Genesis 6:13–9:29

    “Unit 4: Day 2, Genesis 6:13–9:29,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 4: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 4: Day 2

    Genesis 6:13–9:29


    The Lord commanded Noah to build an ark in which his family and “every living thing of all flesh” (Genesis 6:19) were saved from the Flood. Floodwater destroyed the wicked and all creatures that lived on the land except those in the ark. When the floodwater receded, Noah and his family exited the ark. The Lord gave them commandments and established with them the covenant He had made with Enoch.

    Genesis 6:13–22

    Noah obeys the Lord’s commandment to build an ark

    Genesis 6:13 marks the end of the portion of the Joseph Smith Translation that we know as the book of Moses.

    Ponder the following questions: What has the Lord asked us to do through modern prophets that might appear foolish to others? Why is faith needed to obey the Lord in these ways?

    Read Genesis 6:13–14, looking for what the Lord commanded Noah to do to prepare for the coming destruction. (It may be helpful to know that the phrase “pitch it” means to cover the ark with a tar-like substance to seal it and make it waterproof.)

    Read Genesis 6:15–16, looking for the dimensions of the ark. Record the dimensions here:  cubits long,  cubits wide, and  cubits high.

    To understand the size of the ark, locate a ruler or measuring tape. Measure the distance between your elbow and the tip of your longest finger. (If a family member or friend is available, consider measuring the same distance on that person’s arm as well.) How long is the distance?

    measurements of ark

    A cubit was a unit of measurement used by the Hebrews in biblical times. The measurement is based on the distance between an adult’s elbow and the tip of the longest finger. One cubit is generally estimated to be between 18 and 22 inches (45.72–55.88 centimeters). If using 18 inches as one cubit, then the ark was 450 feet long (about 138 meters), 75 feet wide (about 23 meters), and 45 feet high (about 14 meters). Can you imagine constructing an ark of this size?

    Read Genesis 6:17–22, looking for what else the Lord directed Noah to do and how Noah responded.

    Consider what challenges Noah may have faced as he obeyed these instructions from the Lord.

    As you read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball, ponder how Noah demonstrated faith in the Lord as he prepared the ark:

    President Spencer W. Kimball

    “Paul speaking to the Hebrews said:

    “‘By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house.’ (Heb. 11:7.)

    “As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. His people mocked and called him a fool. His preaching fell on deaf ears. His warnings were considered irrational. There was no precedent; never had it been known that a deluge [or flood] could cover the earth. How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 140–41).

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

      1. What are some ways Noah demonstrated faith in the Lord?

      2. How would Noah be blessed by acting in faith to build the ark when there appeared to be no danger?

    From Noah’s example we learn that if we act in faith by obeying the Lord’s commands, we can receive His blessings and protection. (Consider writing this principle in your scriptures.)

    Genesis 7

    Noah and his family are saved from the Flood

    Moses with animals entering the ark

    How much do you know about the Flood? Answer the following statements by marking them true (T) or false (F) without using the scriptures. Then read the scripture references that follow each statement to check your answers. (The answers are also at the end of the lesson.)

    1. Noah took seven of some animals on the ark. (See Genesis 7:2–3.)

    2. Noah was 60 years old when the Flood came. (See Genesis 7:6, 11.)

    3. Rain was the only source of water that flooded the earth. (See Genesis 7:11.)

    4. The rain did not stop for 40 days. (See Genesis 7:4, 17.)

    5. Eight people were saved on the ark. (See Genesis 7:7, 13; 1 Peter 3:20.)

    6. In addition to Noah’s family and the animals on the ark, one other family also survived the Flood by staying on the top of a mountain. (See Genesis 7:19–23.)

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

      1. If you had been in the position of one of the people in the ark, what might you have thought and felt as the floodwater rose?

      2. If you had been in the position of one of those who were not in the ark, what might you have thought and felt as the waters rose?

    Based on what you learned from Genesis 7, complete the following principle: If we act in faith by obeying the Lord’s commands, we can receive His .

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

      1. When have you been blessed or protected by obeying the Lord even though your actions might have appeared foolish to others, like Noah’s did?

      2. What is one way you will act in faith by obeying the Lord today?

    Genesis 8:1–9:17

    Noah and his family leave the ark, and the Lord establishes His covenant with Noah

    Noah with family and animals

    In Genesis 8:1–9:7 we learn that the waters on the earth gradually receded and the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. Noah sent out birds to determine how far the water level had lowered. When a dove returned with an olive leaf, Noah knew the waters had receded.

    After Noah and his family had been on the ark for about a year, God directed them to exit the ark. Noah offered animal sacrifices to the Lord, gave thanks, and asked the Lord to “not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake” (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:4–6 [in the Bible appendix]). The Lord commanded Noah and his family to multiply and replenish the earth, instructed them on how to treat living things, and commanded them not to shed man’s blood (murder). The Prophet Joseph Smith’s translation clarified these verses, showing that God will hold us accountable for how we treat the life of animals and that God explicitly commanded Noah’s family to preserve the life of other human beings—that “man shall not shed the blood of man” (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:10–15 [in the Bible appendix]).

    double rainbow

    Think about the last time you saw a rainbow in the sky after a rainstorm. What did you think of when you saw the rainbow?

    After the Flood, God made a covenant with Noah and his sons. The covenant was associated with the rainbow. Read Genesis 9:8–11, looking for what the covenant was. You may want to mark what you find.

    Read Genesis 9:12–17, looking for what a rainbow has to do with the covenant God made with Noah. (It might help to know that a token is a sign or symbol.)

    God used the rainbow as a token, or sign, of the everlasting covenant—a reminder that God will fulfill His promises, including to never flood the earth again. This covenant had first been given to Enoch (see Moses 7:50–51), and now it was renewed with Noah. This covenant included the promise that when Noah’s posterity obeyed all of God’s commandments, Enoch’s city of Zion would again come upon the earth. (See Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:21–25 [in the Bible appendix].) Consider writing the following principle in your scriptures: God uses tokens as reminders of covenants.

    Genesis 9:18–29

    Noah curses Canaan, the son of Ham

    Genesis 9:20–29 contains an account of an incident with Noah and his sons. This account is difficult to understand because we do not have all of the relevant details of the story. We therefore do not know exactly what happened and the meaning of what occurred.

    Unfortunately, in the past some have incorrectly used Noah’s cursing of his grandson Canaan recorded in Genesis 9:25–27 to justify slavery—particularly of people of black African descent. However, from the beginning of the Restoration, the Lord has taught, “It is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another” (D&C 101:79). Any theories suggested in the past that black skin is a curse or an indication of unworthiness in a premortal life or that people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior to anyone else are not true doctrine. “Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form” (Gospel Topics, “Race and the Priesthood”;

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

      I have studied Genesis 6:13–9:29 and completed this lesson on (date).

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