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Reference: Noah


Rest, comfort, the name of celebrated patriarch who was preserved by Jehovah with his family, by means of the ark, through the deluge, and thus became the second founder of the human race. The history of Noah and the deluge is contained in Ge 5-9. He was the son of Lamech, and grandson of Methuselah lived six hundred years before the deluge, and three hundred and fifty after it, dying two years before Abram was born. His name may have been given to him by his parents in the hope that he would be the promised "seed of the woman" that should "bruise the serpent's head." He was in the line of the patriarchs who feared God, and was himself a just man, Eze 14:14,20, and a "preacher of righteousness," 1Pe 3:19-20; 2Pe 2:5. His efforts to reform the degenerate world, continued as some suppose for one hundred and twenty years, produced little effect, Mt 24:37; the flood did not "find faith upon the earth." Noah, however, was an example of real faith: he believed the warning of God, was moved by fear, and pursued the necessary course of action, Heb 11:7. His first care on coming out from the ark was to worship the Lord, with sacrifices of all the fitting animals. Little more is recorded of him except his falling into intoxication, a sad instance of the shame and misfortune into which wine is apt to lead. His three sons, it is believed, peopled the whole word; the posterity of Japheth chiefly occupying Europe, those of Shem Asia, and those of Ham Africa.

Numerous traces of traditions respecting Noah have been found all over the world. Among the most accurate is that embodied in the legend of the Greeks respecting Deucalion and Pyrrha. We may also mention the medals struck at Apamea in Phrygia, in the time of Septimus Severus, and bearing the name NO, an ark, a man and woman, a raven, and a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. See ARK.

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rest, (Heb Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Ge 5:25-29), who was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the second great progenitor of the human family.

The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Ge 5:29) have been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a type of Him who is the true "rest and comfort" of men under the burden of life (Mt 11:28).

He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Ge 5:32). He was a "just man and perfect in his generation," and "walked with God" (comp. Eze 14:14,20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked population (Ge 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened deluge (Ge 6:18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark (Ge 6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being built (Ge 6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1Pe 3:18-20; 2Pe 2:5).

When the ark of "gopher-wood" (mentioned only here) was at length completed according to the command of the Lord, the living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it, and the "Lord shut him in" (Ge 7:16). The judgment-threatened now fell on the guilty world, "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2Pe 3:6). The ark floated on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on the mountains of Ararat (Ge 8:3-4); but not for a considerable time after this was divine permission given him to leave the ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within it (GE 6-14).

On leaving the ark Noah's first act was to erect an altar, the first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which remains in force to the present time (Ge 8:21-9:17). As a sign and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth be destroyed by a flood.

But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Ge 9:21); and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah "lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he died" (Ge 28:22). (See Deluge).

Noah, motion, (Heb No'ah) one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Nu 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Jos 17:3).

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Son of Lamech, grandson of Methuselah; tenth from Adam in Seth's line. In contrast to the Cainite Lamech's boast of violence with impunity, the Sethite Lamech, playing on Noah's ("rest") name, piously looks for "comfort" (nachum) through him from Jehovah who had "cursed the ground." (See LAMECH.) At 500 years old Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The phrase, "these are the generations of Noah" (Ge 6:9) marks him as the patriarch of his day. The cause of the flood is stated Ge 6:1-3, etc. "The sons of God (the Sethites, adopted by grace, alone keeping themselves separate from the world's defilements, 'called by the name of Jehovah' as His sons: Ge 4:26 margin, or as KJV; while the Cainites by erecting a city and developing worldly arts were laying the foundation for the kingdom of this world, the Sethites by unitedly 'calling on Jehovah's name' founded the church made up of God's children, Ga 3:26) saw the daughters of men (Cainites) and they took them wives of all which they chose" (fancy and lust, instead of the fear of God, being their ruling motive).

When "the salt of the earth lost its savour" universal corruption set in. Jg 1:6-7, does not confirm the monstrous notion that "the sons of God" mean angels cohabiting carnally with women. The analogy to Sodom is this, the angels' ambition alienating their affections from God is a spiritual fornication analogous to the Sodomites' "going after strange flesh"; so covetousness is connected with whoremongering, as spiritually related (Eph 5:5). The book of Enoch takes the carnal cohabitation view; but because Jg 1:1 accords with it in sonic particulars it does not follow he accords with it in all. The parallel 2Pe 2:4 refers to the first fall of the apostate angels, not to Ge 6:2. The Israelites were "sons of God" (De 32:5; Ho 1:10); still more "sons of Jehovah" the covenant God (Ex 4:22; De 14:1; Ps 73:15; Pr 14:26). "Wives" and "taking wives," i.e. marriage, cannot be predicated of angels, fornication and going after strange flesh; moreover Christ states expressly the "angels neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Mt 22:30; Lu 20:35-36).

Unequal yoking of believers with unbelievers in marriage has in other ages also broken down the separation wall between the church and the world, and brought on apostasy; as in Solomon's case (compare Ne 13:23-26; 2Co 6:14). Marriages engrossing men just before the flood are specified in Mt 24:38; Lu 17:27. Mixed marriages were forbidden (Ex 34:16; Ge 27:46; 28:1). "There were giants in the earth in those days": nephilim, from a root to fall, "fallers on others," "fellers," tyrants; applied in Nu 13:33 to Canaanites of great stature. Smith's Bible Dictionary observes, if they were descendants of the Nephilim in Ge 6:4 (?) the deluge was not universal. Distinct from these are the children of the daughters of men by the sons of God, "mighty men of old, men of renown." "The earth was corrupt before God, and filled with violence through them" (Ge 6:11,13).

So God's long suffering at last gave place to zeal against sin, "My Spirit shall not always strive with (Keil, rule in) man," i.e. shall no longer contend with his fleshliness, I will give him up to his own corruption and its penalty (Ro 1:24,26-28), "for that he also (even the godly Sethite) is flesh," or as Keil, "in his erring he is fleshly," and so incapable of being ruled by the Spirit of God; even the godly seed is apostate and carnal, compare Joh 3:6. God still gave a respite of 120 years to mankind. Noah alone found grace in His sight; of him and Enoch alone it is written, "they walked with God." Noah was "just and perfect (sincere in aim, whole-hearted: Mt 5:48; Ge 17:1; Php 3:15) in his generations," among the successive generations which passed during his lifetime. God renews His covenant of grace to mankind in Noah's person, the one beacon of hope amidst the ruin of the existing race (Ge 6:18). He was now 480 years old, because he entered the ark at 600 (Ge 7:6).

He was 500 when he begat his three sons, subsequently to God's threat (Ge 5:32 in time is later than Ge 6:3). In the 120 years' respite Noah was "a preacher of righteousness," "when the long suffering of God was continuing to wait on to the end (apexedecheto, and no 'once' is read in the Alexandrinus, the Vaticanus, and the Sinaiticus manuscripts) in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing," the limit of His long suffering (1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:5; Heb 11:7). "Warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with reverential (not slavish) fear (eulabetheis, contrasted with the world's sneering disbelief of God's word and self deceiving security) prepared an ark by faith (which evidenced itself in acting upon God's word as to the things not yet seen) to the saving of his house (for the believer tries to bring 'his house' with him: Ac 16:15,31,33-34; 10:2), by the which he condemned the world (since he believed and was saved, so might they; his salvation showed their condemnation just: Joh 3:19) and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

In Eze 14:14 Noah, etc., are instanced as saved "by their righteousness," not of works, but of grace (Ro 4:3). The members of his family alone, his wife, three sons and their wives, were given to him amidst the general wreck. The ark which Noah built by God's order was like a ship in proportions, but with greater width (Ge 6:14-15). The Hebrew teebah is the same as Moses' ark of bulrushes (Ex 2:3): an Egyptian word for a "chest" or "coffer," fitted for burden not for sailing, being without mast, sail, or rudder. (See ARK.) Of "gopher," i.e. cypress wood, fitted for shipbuilding and abounding in Syria near Babylon, the region perhaps of Noah. With "rooms," literally, nests, i.e. berths or compartments, for men and animals. Pitched with "bitumen" making it watertight. The length 300 cubits (i.e., the cubit = 21 inches, 525 ft.), the width was 50 cubits (i.e. 87 ft. 6 inches), the height was 30 cubits (i.e. 52 ft. 6 inches).

The "Great Eastern" is longer but narrower. Peter Jansen in 1609 built a vessel of the same proportions, but smaller, and it was found to contain one-third more freight than ordinary vessels of the same tonnage, though slow. Augustine (de Civ. Dei, 15) notices that the ark's proportions are those of the human figure, the length from sole to crown six times the width across the chest, and ten times the depth of the recumbent figure measured from the ground. Tiele calculated there was room for 7,000 species; and J. Temporarius that there was room for all the animals then known, and for their food. "A window system" (Gesenius) or course of windows ran for a cubit long under the top of the ark, lighting the whole upper story like church clerestory windows. A transparent substance may have been used, for many arts discovered by the Cainites (Ge 4:21-22) and their descendants in the 2,262 years between Adam and the flood (Septuagint; Hebrew 1656 years) were probably lost at the deluge.

The root of tsohar "window" implies something shining, distinct from challon, a single compartment of the larger window (Ge 7:6); and "the windows of heaven," 'arubbowt, "networks" or "gratings." Noah was able to watch the bird's motions outside so as to take the dove in; this implies a transparent window. One door beside the window course let all in. As under Adam (Ge 2:19-20) so now the lower animals come to Noah and he receives them in pairs; but of clean animals seven pairs of each kind, for sacrifice and for subsequent multiplication of the useful species, the clean being naturally distinguished from the unclean, sheep and (used for milk and wool) from carnivorous beasts of prey, etc. The physical preservation of the species cannot have been the sole object; for if the flood were universal the genera and species of animals would exceed the room in the ark, if partial there would be no need for saving in the ark creatures of the limited area man then tenanted, for the flooded area might easily be stocked from the surrounding dry land after the flood.

The ark typified the redemption of the animal as well as of the human world. The hopes of the world were linked with the one typical representative human head, Noah

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1. N

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Noah. No'ah

A daughter of Zelophehad, grandson of Gilead. Nu 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Jos 17:3.

Noah. No'ah

Son of Lamech, the descendant of Seth, and father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah is introduced as a just man, perfect in his generations, and as one who walked with God. To him God revealed that because the earth was full of violence, He would destroy all flesh with the earth. God bade Noah make the ark, and He would establish His covenant with him, and would preserve alive in the ark Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. The N.T. reveals the fact that Noah had faith, and that in godly fear he prepared the ark, in obedience to God's warning, for the saving of his house, thereby condemning the world and becoming heir of the righteousness which is by faith. God's salvation was seen by faith in the midst of coming judgement. Heb 11:7.

In Gen. 6: God said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also or 'indeed' is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Men lived to a much greater age than this till long after the flood, so that this seems to refer to the period from the warning to the deluge. We know from other scriptures that God gave the people time for repentance "the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing." 1Pe 3:20.

Noah is called a "preacher of righteousness," 2Pe 2:5, but another scripture shows that his preparing the ark and his preaching had no effect: "they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away." Mt 24:38-39.

When Noah and all the creatures were safely shut up in the refuge God had devised for them, it is said, God 'remembered' them. In due time He abated the flood, and eventually bade Noah go out of the ark, for though Noah saw that the earth was dry, yet he waited like a dependent one for God's word. His first act on the cleansed earth was to build an altar to the Lord, and offer burnt offerings of all the clean animals and fowls. The Lord smelled a sweet savour, and said in His heart that He would not again curse the ground for man's sake, nor would He again smite every living thing as He had done. We are thus taught that the providential government of God is carried on upon the ground of the sweet savour of Christ's sacrifice. God blessed Noah and his sons, and established His covenant with them and with every living thing, and gave the bow in the cloud as a token of it. He gave Noah and his sons authority over all living things, with permission to eat flesh, but not with the blood.

Thus God, after smelling a sweet savour in the burnt offering (type of the sacrifice of Christ, and so the earth not being again cursed for man's sake) began the new earth by establishing His covenant with Noah and his sons, blessing the earth and putting its government into their hands. It was a new beginning in a new earth: the "heavens and the earth which are now" are in 2Pe 2:5; 3:6-7, put in contrast to the "world that then was," the 'old world.' Alas! in this new world failure at once characterised the man to whom government had been entrusted. Noah planted a. vineyard, drank of the wine, became intoxicated, and dishonoured God and himself, and was dishonoured by his son.

Noah pronounced a blessing on Shem and Japheth: Jehovah's name is connected with Shem, while Japheth, head of the Gentiles, is enlarged providentially by God; a curse is pronounced on Canaan. Gen. 6

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(rest), the tenth in descent from Adam, in the line of Seth was the son of Lamech and grandson of Methuselah. (B.C. 2948-1998.) We hear nothing of Noah till he is 500 years old when It is said he begat three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. In consequence of the grievous and hopeless wickedness of the world at this time, God resolved to destroy it. Of Noah's life during this age of almost universal apostasy we are told but little. It is merely said that he was a righteous man and perfect in his generations (i.e. among his contemporaries), and that he, like Enoch, walked with God. St. Peter calls him "a preacher of righteousness."

2Pe 2:5

Besides this we are merely told that he had three: sons each of whom had married a wife; that he built the ark in accordance with divine direction; end that he was 600 years old when the flood came.

Ge 6:7

The ark. --The precise meaning of the Hebrew word (tebah) is uncertain. The word occurs only in Genesis and in

Ex 2:3

In all probability it is to the old Egyptian that we are to look for its original form. Bunsen, in his vocabulary gives tba, "a chest," tpt, "a boat," and in the Coptic version of

Ex 2:3,5

thebi is the rendering of tebah. This "chest" or "boat" was to be made of gopher (i.e. cypress) wood, a kind of timber which both for its lightness and its durability was employed by the Phoenicians for building their vessels. The planks of the ark, after being put together were to be protected by a coating of pitch, or rather bitumen, both inside and outside, to make it water-tight, and perhaps also as a protection against the attacks of marine animals. The ark was to consist of a number of "nests" or small compartments, with a view, no doubt, to the convenient distribution of the different animals and their food. These were to be arranged in three tiers, one above another; "with lower, second and third (stories) shalt thou make it." Means were also to be provided for letting light into the ark. There was to be a door this was to be placed in the side of the ark. Of the shape of the ark nothing is said, but its dimensions are given. It was to be 300 cubits in length, 50 in breadth and 30 in height. Taking 21 inches for the cubit, the ark would be 525 feet in length, 87 feet 6 inches in breadth and 52 feet 6 inches in height. This is very considerably larger than the largest British man-of-war, but not as large as some modern ships. It should be remembered that this huge structure was only intended to float on the water, and was not in the proper sense of the word a ship. It had neither mast, sail nor rudder it was in fact nothing but an enormous floating house, or rather oblong box. The inmates of the ark were Noah and his wife and his three sons with their wives. Noah was directed to take also animals of all kinds into the ark with him, that they might be preserved alive. (The method of speaking of the animals that were taken into the ark "clean" and "unclean," implies that only those which were useful to man were preserved, and that no wild animals were taken into the ark; so that there is no difficulty from the great number of different species of animal life existing in the word. --ED.) The flood. --The ark was finished, and all its living freight was gathered into it as a place of safety. Jehovah shut him in, says the chronicler, speaking of Noah; and then there ensued a solemn pause of seven days before the threatened destruction was let loose. At last the before the threatened destruction was flood came; the waters were upon the earth. A very simple but very powerful and impressive description is given of the appalling catastrophe. The waters of the flood increased for a period of 190 days (40+150, comparing)

Ge 7:12

and Gene 7:24 and then "God remembered Noah" and made a wind to pass over the earth, so that the waters were assuaged. The ark rested on the seventeenth day of the seventh month on the mountains of Ararat. After this the waters gradually decreased till the first day of the tenth month, when the tops of the mountains were seen but Noah and his family did not disembark till they had been in the ark a year and a month and twenty days. Whether the flood was universal or partial has given rise to much controversy; but there can be no doubt that it was universal, so far as man was concerned: we mean that it extended to all the then known world. The literal truth of the narrative obliges us to believe that the whole human race, except eight persons, perished by the flood. The language of the book of Genesis does not compel us to suppose that the whole surface of the globe was actually covered with water, if the evidence of geology requires us to adopt the hypothesis of a partial deluge. It is natural to suppose it that the writer, when he speaks of "all flesh," "all in whose nostrils was the breath of life" refers only to his own locality. This sort of language is common enough in the Bible when only a small part of the globe is intended. Thus, for instance, it is said that "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn and that" a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." The truth of the biblical narrative is confirmed by the numerous traditions of other nations, which have preserved the memory of a great and destructive flood, from which but a small part of mankind escaped. They seem to point back to a common centre whence they were carried by the different families of man as they wandered east and west. The traditions which come nearest to the biblical account are those of the nations of western Asia. Foremost among these is the Chaldean. Other notices of a flood may be found in the Phoenician mythology. There is a medal of Apamea in Phrygia, struck as late as the time of Septimius Severus, in which the Phrygian deluge is commemorated. This medal represents a kind of a square vessel floating in the water. Through an opening in it are seen two persons, a man and a woman. Upon the top of this chest or ark is perched a bird, whilst another flies toward it carrying a branch between its feet. Before the vessel are represented the same pair as having just, quitted it and got upon the dry land. Singularly enough, too, on some specimens of this medal the letters NO or NOE have been found on the vessel, as in the cut on p.

454. (Tayler Lewis deduces the partial extent of the flood from the very face of the Hebrew text." "Earth," where if speaks of "all the earth," often is, and here should be, translated "land," the home of the race, from which there appears to have been little inclination to wander. Even after the flood God had to compel them to disperse. "Under the whole heavens" simply includes the horizon reaching around "all the land" the visible horizon. We still use the words in the same sense and so does the Bible. Nearly all commentators now agree on the partial extent of the deluge. If is probable also that the crimes and violence of the previous age had greatly diminished the population, and that they would have utterly exterminated the race had not God in this way saved out some good seed from their destruction. So that the flood, by appearing to destroy the race, really saved the world from destruction .--ED.) (The scene of the deluge --Hugh Miller, in his "Testimony of the Rocks," argues that there is a remarkable portion of the globe, chiefly on the Asiatic continent, though it extends into Europe, and which is nearly equal to all Europe in extent, whose rivers (some of them the Volga, Oural, Sihon, Kour and the Amoo, of great size) do not fall into the ocean, but, on the contrary are all turned inward, losing themselves in the eastern part of the tract, in the lakes of a rainless district in the western parts into such seas as the Caspian and the Aral. In this region there are extensive districts still under the level of the ocean. Vast plains white with salt and charged with sea-shells, show that the Caspian Sea was at no distant period greatly more extensive than it is now. With the well-known facts, then, before us regarding this depressed Asiatic region, let us suppose that the human family, still amounting to several millions, though greatly reduc

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NOAH, the son of Lamech. Amidst the general corruption of the human race Noah only was found righteous, Ge 6:9. He therefore "found grace in the sight of the Lord," and was directed for his preservation to make an ark, the shape and dimensions of which were prescribed by the Lord. In A.M. 1656, and in the six hundreth year of his age, Noah, by divine appointment, entered his ark with his family, and all the animals collected for the renewal of the world. (See Deluge.) After the ark had stranded, and the earth was in a measure dried, Noah offered a burnt- sacrifice to the Lord, of the pure animals that were in the ark; and the Lord was pleased to accept of his offering, and to give him assurance that he would no more destroy the world by water, Genesis 9. He gave Noah power over all the brute creation, and permitted him to kill and eat of them, as of the herbs and fruits of the earth, except the blood, the use of which was prohibited. After the deluge Noah lived three hundred and fifty years; and the whole time of his life having been nine hundred and fifty years, he died, A.M. 2006. According to common opinion, he divided the earth among his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. To Shem he gave Asia, to Ham Africa, and to Japheth Europe. Some will have it, that beside these three sons he had several others. St. Peter calls Noah a preacher of righteousness, because before the deluge he was incessantly preaching and declaring to men, not only by his discourses, but by the building of the ark, in which he was employed a hundred and twenty years, that the cloud of divine vengeance was about to burst upon them. But his faithful ministry produced no effect, since, when the deluge came, it found mankind practising their usual enormities, Mt 24:37. Several learned men have observed that the Heathens confounded Saturn, Deucalion, Ogyges, the god Coelus or Ouranus, Janus, Protheus, Prometheus, &c, with Noah. The fable of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha is manifestly drawn from the history of Noah. The rabbins pretend that God gave Noah and his sons certain general precepts, which contain, according to them, the natural duties which are common to all men indifferently, and the observation of which alone will be sufficient to save them. After the law of Moses was given, the Hebrews would not suffer any stranger to dwell in their country, unless he would conform to the precepts of Noah. In war, they put to death without quarter all who were ignorant of them. These precepts are seven in number: the first was against the worship of idols; the second, against blasphemy, and required to bless the name of God; the third, against murder; the fourth, against incest and all uncleanness; the fifth, against theft and rapine; the sixth required the administration of justice; the seventh was against eating flesh with life. But the antiquity of these precepts is doubted, since no mention of them is made in the Scripture, or in the writings of Josephus, or in Philo; and none of the ancient fathers knew any thing of them.

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