Last week we restarted the Torah Cycle. In case you haven’t read my conversation about Bereshiet, you can read it by clicking here. This week we are reading Torah Portion Noach. (Noach is Hebrew for Noah)
Here is the reading for this portion.
Parashat Noach Genesis 6:9 – 11:32; Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1 – 55:5; Luke 17:20 – 27
Genesis 6:9 – 6:17
Adam’s descendants have depraved the world with immorality, idolatry and robbery. God regrets creating human beings. As we read this Torah Portion we see G-d’s plan to destroy all living things. Noach, however, found favor with G-d. We start this portion with the statement that Noach was a righteous man who walked with God and his three boys: Shem, Ham and Japeth. In Genesis 6:12 we read
… it had become depraved, for all flesh had depraved its nature upon the earth.
One who brings destruction on himself!
How profound is that? This is why I love Gesenius. We are not only destroying the world around us, but ourselves in the process!
God informs Noach of the plan to destroy the earth with a flood and commands him to build an ark. In verse Genesis 6:14 we read:
You should make an ark of gofer wood. You should make the art with compartments.
Remember I love having a radically different version of Scripture because it forces me to look up terms? Today is one of those days that I’m glad I do this. When I look up compartments, Gesenius shows this:
Nests! Doesn’t that give you a completely different feel and visual for these rooms in the ark? Pleasant and comfortable!! I’m so glad I looked this term up!
Then we read in Genesis 6:15 – 16, the very precise and detailed instructions for the building of the ark. The ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits tall, with an opening to allow light in. The entrance is to be on the side of the ark. The ark is to be made with three decks. God tells Noach to bring his wife, sons and their wives onto the ark. G-d is not a G-d of chaos, but one of clarity and precision.
Genesis 6:18 – 8:19
Have you ever read the flood account for yourself straight from the Bible? If you haven’t, now is the time to do so!! It doesn’t matter what translation you use, but read it now before you even read more here… because if you don’t read it for yourself, you won’t believe what I’m about to say! Read these verses: Genesis 6:11 – 8:18
In chapter 7, Noah is described as righteous. So I looked up what exactly righteous meant.
…. just towards other men, obedient to the laws of God; hence upright, honest, virtuous, pious. Notice it even lists our verse (Genesis 7:1) in case there was any question about this particular use of the word. This is certainly confirmation that commands are commands not suggestions.
Now is where Scripture will challenge you! How many animals have you always seen when you see a depiction of Noah’s ark? Yet clearly, in Genesis 7:2, we see seven pair of clean animals going into the ark.
Why is Noah’s Ark always misrepresented? This is one that has bothered me so much since I first started reading the Bible for myself. Why is this not taught to us?
How did Noah know which animals were clean and unclean and what does clean even mean? Clean is Strong’s number H2889 and here is the definition:
And again, we see the verse Genesis 7:2 referenced. So there is no doubt what it means.
Did you notice the very precise day that is provided for Noach and his family when they enter the ark? You will find it in Genesis 7:11. Remember that we will back to that soon.
I’m skipping down Genesis 8:6-10…. I wonder why Noach sent out a raven first and then moved to a dove.
Now in verse 8:13, we see another date… go read it.
Did you realize they were in the ark that long? Still confused? Here is a visual to help.
A little over a year! Does that surprise you?
Genesis 8:20 – 9:17
Did you realize Noach built an altar the very first thing after leaving the ark? He brought offerings to G-d from the clean animals in the ark.
God vows never again to flood the entire world and gives the rainbow as a sign of this covenant. Remember the rainbow was G-d’s first!
Genesis 9:18 – 28
This section of scripture is so hard to read … we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is a lot of speculation. What do you think happened here?
Genesis 10:1 -11:27
In this section of our Torah Portion, we see the offspring of Noach’s three sons. Have you ever considered the fact that we are all related to Noach?
Next we read about the incident of the Tower of Babel… where all the peoples on the earth had one language and my Gutnick even states on purpose… to make a name for themselves so they are not scattered over the entire earth. Don’t you find it ironic? In Exodus we will again see where when people sin, the very thing they are afraid of is exactly the consequence. Of course, G-d sees what they are up to and turns their one, common language into many different languages, and does the very thing they were trying to prevent… scatters the people around the earth.
The portion ends with the genealogy of Noach to Avram.
In case you haven’t read all of my writings, I wanted to share this again. Each year I read the Torah portion from a different translation. The more radical or different the translation, the better… not because I’m radical, but because it forces me to research and look up words, which I love to do. So I have to tell you, the version I’m using this year already has me digging deep into the Hebrew Lexicon to research the words. Which means it is FANTASTIC for me. But does not necessarily mean you will love it. I am reading the Gutnick edition of the Chumash. (You can click the name of the Scriptures to go directly to it on Amazon). If you don’t have a Hebrew Lexicon, my favorite is Gesenius. You will see me use his definitions regularly!