None of the many articles that I have read recently concerning biblical marriage has mentioned Genesis 6-9 as a relevant or important passage about the subject. An examination of several facets of the passage shows that Genesis 6-9 is a key passage that provides decisive information that corroborates what Genesis 1-2 teaches about biblical marriage.
A Profound Emphasis on Male and Female in Genesis 1-5 and 6-9
Genesis 1:27 reveals that God created man as male and female and blessed them and instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. Genesis 2:18-25 corroborates that passage and states that God brought Adam and Eve together as the first humans and united them to be husband and wife. Their union was blessed of God, and there was no shame involved in their being united as one flesh.
Genesis 5:2 reiterates that God made man male and female and blessed them. This key statement shows that Genesis 1-2 records factual history concerning biblical marriage.
In Genesis 6, we learn that mankind had so completely corrupted itself that God decreed that He would annihilate all people and animals from the earth (Gen. 6:5-17). By the favor of God (cf. Gen. 6:8), only Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives would be spared from that worldwide destruction (Gen. 6:13, 18). God thus spared mankind only as pairs consisting of a male and a female who were married to each other.
In addition, God would spare certain numbers of animals from that destruction. God profoundly emphasized that he would spare these animals only as pairs that were specified to be male and female (Gen. 6:19; 7:3, 9, 16).1
He even speaks of these pairs of animals as being “a male and his female” (Gen. 7:2 [2x]; emphasis added). After the Flood, God instructed Noah to bring out all the animals “that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth” (Gen. 8:17), making clear that the animals that were spared were male and female animals that were spared as pairs.
Following the Flood, the whole earth was “overspread” by the children (and further descendants) who were born as the fruit of the marriages of each of Noah’s three sons with his own wife (Gen. 9:19). Although not directly stated, the same was the case with all the earth being filled with animals through the unions of each male animal and his female.
Based on all these statements in Genesis 6-9, we learn that God has profoundly emphasized that He had ordained for humans that their marriages were to be between a man and his wife because He only spared four pairs of humans, all of whom were married according to the pattern that He had established at Creation (Gen. 1-2). Furthermore, the profound emphasis in this passage on even the animals being pairs consisting of a male and his female shows that God’s pattern for all these living beings that He created, both humans and animals, was from the beginning to be the uniting of males and females into pairs that were comprised only of humans with humans and animals with animals respectively that were of opposite gender.
For Christians who believe fully that the entire Bible is the perfect Word of God, Genesis 1-2 is not the only key early passage that reveals to them what biblical marriage is. As discussed above, Genesis 6-9 profoundly confirms what Genesis 1-2 teaches such believers about biblical marriage.
1 Of the clean animals and birds, God instructed Noah to bring in a seventh animal, which was later offered in sacrifice to God (Gen. 7:2; 8:20).