Parashah#2 : Noach B’resheit (Genesis) 6:9-11:32

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue

Parashah #2: Noach: B’resheit (Genesis) 6:9-11:32
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10
B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu: 24:36-44

There are some interesting comparisons between Noach (rest or comfort) and Hanokh (Enoch). Interestingly, there is only a brief sentence about the holy character of Hanokh in Gen. 5:21-24” Hanokh lived sixty-five years and fathered Metushelach. After Metushelach was born, Hanokh walked with G-d 300 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Hanokh lived 365 years. Hanokh walked with G-d, and then he wasn’t there, because G-d took him.” This is an event that requires an independent lesson, but it is mentioned here to draw a correlation between Hanokh and Noach.

Noach is said to have been “a man righteous and wholehearted; Noach walked with G-d” (Gen. 6:9). As we read of the evil and violence in the earth that surrounded Noach, we also see that G-d preserves a remnant for himself; people he considers righteous and walking in His ways. Hanokh was taken by G-d out of the world without dying a physical death. This may be compared to the Rapture whereby those with the Spirit of G-d in them; who follow G-d’s ways just as Hanokh, will be taken without dying a physical death. This subject is also one for more intense study that for the sake of time cannot be explored further today.

In this parashah Noach and the flood are introduced. The Hebrew word for ark (teivah) has two meanings. It means both “ark” like the one in this parashah, and it means “word.” The instructions which HaShem gave to Noach about the teivah also teaches us that we are to be holy inside and out
“ Bo el hateivah (come into the teivah)” teaches us that we are to carry the words (our learning, the Torah, our witness) in everything we do. Just as it took many days of floating under HaShem’s power on the waters, we should take great care and time in the use of our words, actions and our studies. We should put our minds and hearts into the teivah in all aspects of our lives. Just as the teivah floated on the waters and it was uplifted, we can rise above the flood of our own busy world when we incorporate Torah into our lives. Our teivot will then always reflect our love for and obedience to YHVH/Yahshua.
The word teivah appears only twice in the Torah; once in this narrative, and in the account of Moshe’s mother’s effort to save her son by putting him in the Nile (Ex.2:3). In this verse the word is translated as “basket.” Noach foreshadows Moshe, even as Moshe being removed from the water foreshadows the Israelites being lead to safety through the Sea of Reeds just before G-d causes the waters to come together to destroy the Egyptian army.

The ark measured about 150m x 25 m x15m. This translates to 450 ft. x 75 ft. x 45 ft. It could have held 70,000 animals and still float according to Scientists at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Indeed, G-d provided for Noach, his family, and all of the animals which was miraculous rather than a fanciful myth often argued by those who do not know G-d or who are immature believers.
Noach alone is described as righteous yet G-d demonstrates His attribute of grace directing Noach to include his sons and their wives into the ark. This grace of G-d is foundational for the salvation of Israel (all true believers) as a nation out of Egypt which represents the sinful, secular life to the Promised Land ( Ro. 11:26).
Finally, Noach was commanded to leave the teivah (ark), to repopulate the earth and to be fruitful. This they did becoming the ancestors of the 70 nations of the world. Shem, who was one of Noach’s sons, was not the firstborn, but he was the first to obey G-d’s order to emerge from the ark. Cham (Ham) is introduced as the father of C’na’an. The Torah emphasizes this insight by stating it twice (Gen.9:18, 22). Yeftet’s nations number 14 (Europe); Shem’s number 26 (Asia), and Cham’s (Africa) number 30 including the Canaanite nation that was cursed by G-d. There are several explanations for why G-d cursed this nation. Cham “saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside” (Gen. 9:25). To “uncover the nakedness of a man in some translations and interpretations means to have sex with his wife 9Lev. 20:11. This would make him guilty of incest. In Leviticus 20:17, the less common expression “to see the nakedness” means to have sex. This would make Cham guilty of homosexual rape. Finally, there are suggestions that “saw his father’s nakedness” should be taken literally. In this case, Cham violated two moral norms emphasized in the Tanakh and in rabbinic Judaism which are the ethic of modesty and respect for one’s parents. Whatever the correct translation, G-d deemed Cham’s action severe enough to curse Canaan. Furthermore, Cham’s descendants include Nimrod, who was the leader and king-pin behind the building of the Tower of Babel and rebellion against G-d.
We learn something more about Noach in the account of the raven and the dove (Gen.8:6-12). Noach acted prudently with a “steady as she goes” attitude when determining if the ground was dry. He did not try to jump ahead of G-d’s plan and he was not presumptuous. He was not lazy or impatient in his duties to care for his family and the animals. Even after removing the cover of the ark and observing dry ground, he waited another month and a half to hear what G-d planned for him, his family, and the animals (Gen. 8:13-14). We do not see any accounts of him complaining about caring for the animals during this additional period of time and when he was commanded to exit the ark, he immediately thanked G-d for His providence by building an altar to the L-rd and offering sacrifices of every clean animal and every clean bird (Gen. 8:20). When Yahshua returns the lion and lamb will live together, just as they did in Noach’s teivah. As Noach uplifted YHVH then, so are we to do now. The time is coming soon. May our teivot honor G-d for His glory. His patience and behavior serve as a lesson for all true believers to attend to the task of the day and trust that G-d will accomplish his plan in his time, not ours.

Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10
In this haftarah, G-d assures Israel that He will restore her, forgive her, and redeem her through Yahshua who is G-d. Although the Torah prohibits a divorced man to remarry the same wife, it was G-d who divorced Israel and Yahshua who will take her as His bride. Therefore, the Torah regulations will not be violated. G-d describes his compassion toward Israel, who in this context is all true believers according to Yahshua’s definition in the Seven-fold witness in the book of Revelation and John Chapter 14, and Rom. 2-3.
G-d assures Israel she will never be ashamed and that her descendants will spread out to possess the nations. Her sin will be forgotten by her Maker, Adonai-Tzva’ot; Yahshua; our Cohen hagadol, El Gibor; El Elyon. Amein!

B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:36-44
This narrative reminds us that NOONE knows the day or hour of Yahshua’s return. He will return just as in the days of Noach; no one will have time to change their ways at the last minute. The evil we see in our world today will be even worse but is will seem “business as usual” until He appears. Those who are chosen will be taken from among those who will be left behind. There will be no time for bargaining with G-d. We are told to be vigilant for His return. How do we do that? We can only ready ourselves by hearing, internalizing, and acting on the Word of G-d every day; that is running the race to win the prize. What a “prize” awaits those who love the L-rd our G-d. Going two verses beyond this designated narrative we see who is the good and faithful servant “it will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes” (Matt.24:46).
May we be found to be good and faithful servants when our time on this earth is finished or if we are alive when Yahshua returns. Let us be ready for our Bridegroom with our lamps full of oil.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart