Parashah 2: Noach (Noah)

Parashah 2: Genesis 6:9-11:32

“Adonai said, “My Spirit will not live in human beings forever, for they too are flesh; therefore their life span is to be 120 years” (Genesis 6:3)

It is known that before the flood, men lived nearly one thousand years; after the flood they lived less.  It is generally taught that as part of the judgement on mankind, their lifespan was cut short to 120 years even though Noah and his sons and their offspring lived well beyond 120 years.  However, the judgment of humanity came with the flood and not with the number of years an individual human being would sojourn on earth.

Compare this common understanding with Psalm 90:10 which reads, “The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty ….”  It would seem the lifespan of mankind over time degenerated from 120 years into 80.  If God’s judgment was on length of life,  we would see people living to 120 years of age which we do not.  Of course, there are always exceptions of men or women who live 120 plus years just as there are those who die at one day old.   

In the book of Jasher, not included in the canon of Scripture, it appears that the 120 years mentioned in Genesis 6:3 was the time allotted by God for mankind to repent from their wickedness. 

In Jasher chapter 5, verse 8 it reads, “For thus saith the Lord, Behold I give you a period of one hundred and twenty years; if you will turn to me and forsake your evil ways, then will I also turn away from the evil which I told you, and it shall not exist, saith the Lord.  And Noah and Methuselah spoke all the words of the Lord to the sons of men, day after day, constantly speaking to them.”  Verse 11 follows with “And the Lord granted them a period of one hundred and twenty years, saying, If they will return, then will God repent of the evil, so as not to destroy the earth.”

The Scriptures are written in layers from the simple meaning to the deeper meaning.  The new testament calls this growing from milk to meat (Hebrews 5:12).  The rabbis gave this growth process and understanding different levels of interpretation: the pshat (plain text), drash (truth and principle), remez (theme and prophecy), and sod (mysterious and coded level).  

Yeshua said that the time of his return would be ‘like the days of Noah’.  Though there is ample evidence that spiritual activity, along with wickedness, has grown within the world today,   could the 120 year time period also be something for us to consider in the remez (prophecy) regarding Yeshua’s coming?  

Appointed Times of the LORD

There are two important mo’edim given to Israel that are connected by counting years, the Year of Jubilee and Day of Atonement.  The Year of Jubilee occurred every 50 years beginning on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  It is important to remember that though everyone receives personal salvation through the Lamb of God, Israel will receive national atonement on the Yom Kippur when the Messiah returns to Jerusalem. 

Yom Kippur

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves  and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you—  because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins” (Leviticus 16:29-30).

Year of Jubilee

“Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years.  Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.  Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.   The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines.  For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you …” (Leviticus 25:8-12).

Could these two connected holy times be indicative of Messiah’s return when considered in the light of 120 years for repentance given to Noah?  Seven x seven = forty nine (7×7=49) and the fiftieth (50)  year is the Year of Jubilee.   Consider that God gives the world 120 Years of Jubilee for repentance until Messiah sets up his Kingdom on earth.  Multiply the 50-year Jubilee by 120 and it equals 6000 years.  This could be considered the ‘end of the age’ or the beginning of the seventh millennium when Yeshua returns to rule and reign on the earth.   The Septuagint renders the Hebrew word yovel  or ‘Jubilee’ as ‘a trumpet blast of liberty’.  Put in the context that Yeshua will return with Trumpet blasts on Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) and ‘set captive Israel’ free on Yom Kippur, the Year of Jubilee and the Day of Atonement give a complete picture of God’s plan of redemption for the world. 

The Nephilim

In this corrupt world where people’s hearts had only evil intent, Noah was different.   In his generation, he was a righteous man and followed wholeheartedly after God.  The word ‘righteous’ means ‘living rightly’.  ‘Wholehearted’ means that he did not have a ‘divided heart.’  Noah stayed separate and holy to the LORD in spite of what was happening around him.  Scripture doesn’t even suggest that he was tempted to partake of the evil that was happening in the world.

What were people doing that was so ‘unrighteous’?  It is my personal belief that the account of the Nephillim holds the clues.  The word ‘flesh’ or ‘mortal’ in Genesis 6:3 is being compared with the Nephilim who were ‘on the earth in those days’.  This suggests that the ‘flesh of mankind’ was different from the ‘spiritual’ Nephilim. 

Though the account of the Nephilim concludes the previous Parashah, I include it with Noah because it is the foundational reason for the flood.   The book of Enoch gives a greater account of the ‘days of Noah’ and the evil that made God desire to destroy the earth.  Though Enoch is not part of the canon of Scripture, it holds some interesting insights that one may accept or discard.    

The ‘sons of God’ (fallen angels) and the ‘daughters of men’ (young women) were having sexual relations and procreating spiritual beings known as Nephillim or giants.   Another way to view these offspring is that they had spiritual fathers and human mothers.  They were half-breeds.    Some people do not believe this could have happened because Yeshua says that angels do not marry or procreate.  I believe this is what made those days such an abomination to God.  His created beings left their place of authority in the heavenly realm, came to earth where mankind was given authority, and acted so heinously that the whole world paid a price. 

According to the book of Enoch, these Nephilim ate everything including the flesh of humans, inclusive of blood.   As giants, their appetites were great and so they devoured the whole earth.  Elohim grieved  that he made humankind so He decided to destroy the earth.  By doing this, He would remove the human factor of the problem and could start humanity again through the righteous line of Noah.

In the floodwaters, the human mothers of the Nephilim died, but what happened to the spiritual fathers?  According to Jude 6, these angels which did not keep their proper place of authority are bound in chains until the day of judgment.  As for the offspring of these unrighteous unions, Scripture says the Nephilim were ‘on the earth in those days, and also afterwards.’  This is only my supposition, but I believe the Nephilim are the evil spirits that needs bodies to possess, and are the historical foundation for what we know today as Halloween. 

Two by Two or More?

Many people believe that Noah the animals, two by two, male and female onto the ark.  However, a closer reading of Genesis 7 reveals something quite different. 

“Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).

Through the animals that God told Noah to take on the ark, Noah learned the difference between clean and unclean animals.  Of the clean animals (and birds), Noah was to take seven pairs.  Of the unclean animals, Noah was to take only one pair.  This knowledge becomes important after the flood when Noah leaves the ark, builds an altar and offers a sacrifice to God.  If Noah had offered any of the unclean animals, they would not have been able to repopulate the earth.  Instead, Noah offers clean animals on the altar.

Noah is also given meat to eat along with green plants.   In the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, some of the offerings were to be eaten by the priests alone or with the person making the offering.  This is not just an allusion to God’s outline for worship in the Tabernacle, but God is actually showing Noah the desired offerings.  At the same time, God is revealing to Noah the difference between animals that he may eat and animals he may not.  This is the second time that God gives a dietary command and, this event occurred 1000 years before the Israelites received the Torah in which they were told to differentiate between clean and unclean animals.

It is also interesting to note the date give for the time the Ark rested in the mountains of Ararat.  It is the seventeenth day of the seventh month.  According to the Biblical calendar, this would have taken place three days into the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles is about a ‘temporary dwelling’ and the Ark was just that for Noah during the flood.

The Ark of Life

After being in the ark for months and months, the ark came to rest on Ararat.  The date given is the 17th day of the 7th month.  This would be right in the middle of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles.  After 40 days, Noah sends out a raven.  Ravens are scavengers and eat dead flesh.  By not returning to Noah, he understood that there was nothing for these birds to eat.  The raven, though it couldn’t find a place to rest and eat, it continued to fly ‘to and fro’ suggesting it lived upon the roof of the ark constantly looking for food.  The Hebrew word for ‘return’ is shuv and is the root of teshuvah or ‘turning back.’  Though it ‘turned back’, it did not return to Noah.

Then Noah sent out a dove.  A dove is in the bird family of pigeons.  In a sense, Noah sent out a homing pigeon that would return to him with news of dry land.  The first time the dove returned because the water still covered the earth.  The second time, the dove returned with an olive leaf.  Thus Noah knew that the water had cleared from the earth.

After being in the ark for months and months, on the first day of the first month, the water had dried up from the earth.   Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked out.  This would have happened in month in which Passover falls.  By the 27th day of the second month, in the middle of counting the Omer, Noah was able to leave the ark and walk on dry ground.   Though there are no ‘appointed times’ specific to Noah leaving the ark, and these moed’im had not yet been specified by God, these timings can at least give us an idea of the seasons in which these events happened.

Covenants

Many people believe there is only one covenant that God made with humanity and it is called the ‘new covenant.’  Unfortunately, that is not the case.   In Genesis 6:18, after an ark is built, a flood covers the earth and the destruction of humanity as it was once known occurs, God tells Noah that He will establish His covenant with him. The covenant includes the word ‘never’ which means that it is still in force.

“God spoke to Noach and his sons with him; he said, “As for me–I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you .…  I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:8-10).

God also gave Noah a sign to seal the covenant.  He put His rainbow in the clouds so that He would remember the covenant between Himself and the earth. 

God added, “Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come: I am putting my rainbow in the cloud–it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud; I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind, and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings.  The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:11-16). 

Noah has three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japeth.  They became the nations that are found throughout the Scriptures.  Japeth became the father of Gomer (Germany), Magog, Tubal, Meshekh (all of which are modern-day Russia).  His grandchildren include Tarshish (modern-day India/Pakistan).  Ham had sons named Cush (Ethiopia), Mitzrayim (Egypt), Put (Libya) and Canaan (Canannites).   Ham’s grandsons became modern-day Arabia. Cush fathered Nimrod who began the kingdom of Babylon (Iraq).  His children became the Jebusites, Emorites, Girgashites, Hivites and eventually settled Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Olive Leaf

The olive tree is symbolic of Israel and perhaps the olive leaf brought to Noah by the dove is a prophetic remez that through Noah’s son, Shem, Israel would begin be established.  Shem’s name in Hebrew means ‘name’ and that was how Noah knew God, HaShem. Shem fathered Eber, from which the word Hebrew is derived.  It could be said that Eber is the ‘father of the Hebrews.’  Shem’s other sons were Elam (east of Babylon), Asshur (Assyria/Nineveh), Lud (western Turkey), Aram (Syria), and Arphaxad (the lineage through which Messiah comes).  Eber fathers another son who he names Peleg because ‘the earth was divided’ at the time of his birth.  This most likely refers to the Tower of Babel and the division of languages, peoples, and cultures. 

Confused Language

Chapter 11 with the account of the Tower of Babel concludes this Parashah.  It is believed that Nimrod, the son of Cush, was the ruler of Shinar in Mesopotamia.  This city is in Babylon or modern-day Iraq about 59 miles southwest of Bagdad.  The purpose of this Tower was to create a monument that would honor Nimrod,  the people and the works of their hands.  With one language, they were accomplishing the task.

Because of what had happened in the ‘days of Noah’, God decided to end the project before ‘nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!”   He came down and confused their language so they could no longer build the structure.  Since that day, nations, peoples, languages and cultures have had boundaries to protect us from becoming a ‘one world entity’ where God is no longer central to daily life.  As with the ‘days of Noah’, mankind will be judged again for worshipping the works of his hands (Revelation 9:20)

Haftarah (Readings from the Prophets)

Isaiah 54:1-10

B’rit Hadashah (New Testament Readings)

Matthew 24:36-39

Luke 17:25-27

1 Peter 3:19-21

2 Peter 2:4-5

 

Ark remains in Ararat

Ark remains in Ararat

©2013 Tent Stake Ministries

Leave a Reply

*