Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #2: Noach B’resheit (Genesis) 6:9-11:32
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 52:13-54-10
B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:36-44
It didn’t take long for sin to enter the world and corrupt it so badly that G-d had to intervene and virtually “erase” all life on earth and start over. That is except for Noach who was a righteous man, wholehearted, and walked with G-d. Interestingly, G-d told Noach that He was going to destroy all living things along with the earth (Gen. 6:13). This begs the question; did G-d really destroy the earth along with all living things? Referring to the Zohar we read: “mankind constitutes the essence of the earth, so that they infect the earth with their corruption” (Vol 1, p. 201). This explains 6:11 where the earth is described as corrupt before G-d, filled with lawlessness. That is all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth. Yet, G-d did not destroy the planet. Rather everything on earth perished. So the concept G-d used to describe the corruption of the earth and His plan to destroy it is clarified to mean that all corruption on the earth along with every living thing was removed by use of the Flood.
Keeping with the introduction to the Nephilim and how they infiltrated the earth after the Flood, we now explore one of the theories that posits the idea that one of Noach’s daughters-in-law carried the DNA of the Nephilim. It is important to establish that Noach was the one righteous man G-d identified in this parashah. There is nothing to indicate Noach’s sons and/or daughters-in-law were righteous. G-d demonstrated His grace and mercy by allowing Noach’s family members to accompany him on the ark. We know that G-d initially blessed Noach and his sons (9:1). But the incident whereby Ham knew Noach’s nakedness which in the Hebrew indicates Ham had sexual relations with his drunken father, Shem and Japheth covered Noach and backed out of the tent with their faces turned away so they would not see his nakedness (9:21-3). When Noach sobered up, he cursed Canaan who was one of Ham’s sons. One of Ham’s grandsons was Nimrod. Interpreting his name as a form of the Hebrew verb that means “to rebel,” a midrash sees him as the archetypal rebel against the will of G-d. Another of Ham’s sons (Mizraim) was the ancestor of the Philistines. Other progeny originating with Ham include the Amorites, Jebusites among others who spread out in their clans to occupy territory that extended from Sidon as far as Gerar, near Gaza, and as far Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, both of which suffered the same fate and Sodom and Gomorrah. King Abimelech is described as a conniving and evil individual. He persuaded his mother’s brothers to encourage the people of Shechem to back him in a plot to overthrow his family rule and make him sole ruler. After slaying all but one of his 70 brothers, Abimelech was crowned king. It is no wonder then that Avraham feared that he would be killed, and Sarah taken to be another of his wives. Researching these locations reveals the evil and rebelliousness against G-d that returns us to Ham and the possibility that his wife carried the DNA of Nephilim which then enabled them to occupy the earth once more. Briefly, an excerpt from an article entitled “Was Ham’s Wife of the Nephilim?” (Sorensen,2020) we are reminded that the Bible does not provide any information about the background of the wives on the ark. However apocryphal banstates that all of Noach’s daughters-in-law were daughters of Eliakim, son of Methuselah, but different sources vary. Even if this is correct, it is not known if all the women had the same mother, so the issue of genealogy remains unresolved. This subject will be covered in a future detailed study on the Nephilim.
Moving on to the flood itself, we are told in Genesis 1:6 that G-d made a dome in the middle of the water, dividing the water from the water. G-d made the dome and divided the water under the dome from the water above the dome. In Gen. 2:5-6 we read that there had been no rain to this point and the ground was watered from the earth. When we read the details of the flood, we see rain for the first time coming from above and water rising from the earth (Gen. 7:10). Could it be that there is a body of water above the sky that is the complement to the body of water called the sea? Some articles states that the water above the dome is to mean the angels and heaven. We turn to the Chumash for a rabbinic explanation from the sages. According to Rashi, “ On the second day at G-d’s command,” let there be a firmament,’ they solidified creating a division between the waters above and the waters below.” According to Ramban, “the separation in this verse is between the wholly spiritual, extraterrestrial aspects of Creation and the tangible world that is within the province of Man [which would include even the farthest reaches of the solar system.]” However, Ramban goes on to say we really don’t know what this means since Scripture does not elaborate on it. It is interesting to address in the context of the Flood because the earth and everything on it was so corrupt that G-d used both the waters from heaven and from the earth below to cleanse the evil from the earth both physically and spiritually giving Noach and his progeny a chance at a fresh start. Nevertheless, evil continued to spring up and flourish both through the sin gene that is carried in the male and the Nephilim making it necessary for Yahshua to offer himself as the only perfect and acceptable Olah offering to provide a way for sinful man to become reconciled to G-d through his sacrifice and to guard/keep the commands of G-d. Another connecting concept between the waters above and below the dome being separated by the firmament is that there is an inextricable connection between the two realms of spiritual and the physical which requires a conduit to connect them. That conduit is Yahshua, the Living Water who provides the necessary cleansing of our sins and the covering, the kippur of His blood for forgiveness.
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Forsaken Jerusalem is likened to a barren woman. G-d enjoins her to rejoice, for the time will soon come when the Jewish nation will return, proliferate, repopulating the once desolate cities of Israel. Isaiah assures the people that G-d has not forsaken them. As we mentioned last week in discussing the evening coming before the morning, Israel’s darkest hours must occur before the dawn and the appearance of the restoring and eternal Light of YHVH/Yahshua. YHVH/Yahshua will gather Israel from their exiles with great mercy. This haftarah compares the final Redemption to the pact G-d made with Noach in this week’s parashah. Just as G-d promised to never bring a flood over the entire earth, so too will He never again be angry at Israel. “For the mountains may move and the hills might collapse, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace collapse.”
B’rit Chadashah: Mathew 24:36-44
This passage can only be understood by reading the verses immediately preceding. Yahshua is talking to his disciples about His reappearance and the end of the present world (Matt: 24:3). He describes the sprouting of the fig tree symbolizing the establishment of Israel as a separate state (Matt. 24:32). Then He tells them that “the time is near, right at the door. Yes! I tell you that this people will certainly not pass away before all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Now we are ready to address the specific passage:
“But when that day and hour will come, no one knows- not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark; and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes. Then there will be two men in the field-one will be taken and the other left behind. There will be two women grinding flower at the mill- one will be taken and the other left behind. So stay alert, because you don’t know on what day your L-rd will come. But you do know this; had the owner of the house known when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting Him.”
There is a great deal of debate concerning the subject of this passage. Is it the Rapture? Is it the Second Coming? I’ve heard arguments for both sides, but I am convinced of the following interpretation for two reasons. First, this passage relates to our parashah Noach which means “rest.” Genesis 7:17 alludes to the Rapture: “the water grew higher and floated the ark, so that it was lifted up off the earth.” The story of Noah symbolizes the Rapture in G-d separating His people just before destroying all life on land.
When Yahshua said that no one knows the day and hour except the Father alone, Matthew records the introduction of the statement with peri de (“now concerning). It is well established that when peri de stands absolutely at the beginning of a sentence (and followed by the genitive), it marks a new section of thought that reaches back to previous material, often to resume an unanswered or unspoken question such as that asked by the disciples. There is also a peri de construction in 1 Thess. 5:1. This precise construction is recognized as introducing a slightly new yet complimentary subject with the 1 Thess. 4:13-18 presentation of a pre-tribulation rapture. In the latter passage, Paul said that no one at Thessalonica needed to be informed about the times and seasons “because they knew perfectly well that the time of the L-rd’s coming was unknown” (See similar comment by Yahshua Mt. 24:36). Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5, Paul transitions with peri de from what Thessalonians do not know to what they do know about the rapture/day of the L-rd. The reverse is true of Matthew 24. Yahshua transitions from what the disciples can know (24:4-35) to what they cannot know (24:36-44). A similar eschatological significance can be attributed to the word hora (“hour”). In Revelation 3:10, where the true believers (Israel) is promised to be kept from the “hour of testing,” hora has reference to the future tribulation period and to the day of the L-rd. In Matt. 24:37-39 Yahshua refers to the coming of “that day and hour” as being like the “days of Noah.” That is, there was a sense of normalcy on the part of the people apart from Noach and his family (See vv.37-39; 41-42). We know that the days prior to Yahshua’s second coming and the day of the L-rd will be anything but “normal.” At the sixth seal judgment, people know fully that the wrath of G-d has come (Rev. 6:16). The calamities that precede the second coming of Yahshua will be so severe that no one can survive without the L-rd’s intervention (Matt. 24:22).
Further support for Matthew 24:36-44 as describing the Rapture is available but not included in this teaching for the sake of brevity. Whether the Rapture occurs at the beginning, middle, or end of the 7- year Tribulation, true believers must be ready through diligent, loving observance of G-d’s Torah.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart