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'My spirit' in Genesis 6.1-4

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image of Journal of Pentecostal Theology

Gen. 6.1-4 is widely thought to stand in an indirect relationship to the flood narrative as an example of the wickedness (v. 5) that resulted in divine judgment. This article argues that Gen. 6.1-8 forms a unified introduction to the flood story and thus that 1) the withdrawal of the divine in 6.3 presages the flood and the destruction of everything that has the 'breath of life'; and 2) the 'sons of God, daughters of humankind' episode in Gen. 6.1-4, which points to human presumption in seeking to attain immortality through illicit liaisons with heavenly beings, is a primary motivation for that divine judgment. The designation of in 6.3 as belonging to God also indicates a close link with Gen. 1.2 (the only other such reference in the primaeval history) and suggests that has also a cosmological significance, playing a role in the divine victory over the chaotic waters (1.2), and when withdrawn (6.3) allowing those waters to return. is allows us to set Gen. 6.1-4 within the wider context of the primaeval history. It also has implications for the way we understand the role of the Spirit in creation; and so, too, in renewal and new creation.


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