Parsha Noach (Noah)
Genesis 6:9-11:32, Isaiah 54:55:5, Luke 17:20-27
This has been and may still be one of the most troubling stories in the Bible. There are volumes written from the Jewish sages and the Christian scholars on these passages. Each of these takes the story apart linguistically, historically, scientifically and theologically. Yes, this story carries all the drama lines of a great mystery and sci-fi movie. But the story is so much more than just a story. It actually happened.
Although there are many questions to consider about Noah and the story of his life, the flood, the recreation of the earth and humankind, we can only take a look at one aspect now.
The language and parallels of Noah to the creation and the end of days are to be meditated upon.
Reading the creation story, we see that water above and below the earth was used. Genesis 1:1-2 The same is explanation is used in the flood of Noah. Genesis 7:10-12
There is a the Ruach (wind) or Spirit of G-d hovering and blowing over the water in the creation. In the flood the Bible says that G-d stirred up the Ruach again to dry the land and allow Noah and his family to leave the ark. Genesis 8:1
The earth was cursed and mans work would be hard after Adam and eve rebelled against G-d. This curse continued to soil the land as Cain took his brother’s life. Notice the two times that cursing of the earth is spoken of.
Gen. 3:17: Adam cursed
אֲרוּרָ֤ה הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּֽעֲבוּרֶ֔ךָ בְּעִצָּבוֹן֙ תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֔נָּה כֹּ֖ל יְמֵ֥י חַיֶּֽיךָ:
Cursed be the ground because of you; by toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life.
Gen 4:11: Cain cursed
אָר֣וּר אָ֑תָּה מִן הָֽאֲדָמָה֙…
Cursed are you from [making use of] the ground…
In this cursing G-d wanted to send a remedy. Noah was thought to be that. Notice the language at the naming of Noah by his father.
Gen 5:29: Noah named
זֶ֠֞ה יְנַחֲמֵ֤נוּ מִֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֙נוּ֙ וּמֵעִצְּב֣וֹן יָדֵ֔ינוּ מִן הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵֽרְרָ֖הּ יְ-הֹוָֽה:
This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which LORD placed under a curse.
Noah is being prophesied over by his father that he will be a comfort or relief to those that have toiled in a cursed earth. Seems that was a bad prophecy…or was it?
Noah lives as a righteous man and is given the mandate to continue mans existence. But the earth is to be destroyed. So not all humans will die. But all animal life, plant life and the soil itself will be destroyed (save those animals on the ark). G-d is going to recreate that which he had once created. He uses the same methods. Wind, Water, Sun etc. When Noah comes out of the ark, he is given a task. The task is the same that was given to Adam and Eve.
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife, your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Every animal that is with you of all flesh, including the flying creatures, livestock and every crawling creature that crawls on the land, bring out with you, and let them swarm in the land and be fruitful and multiply upon the land.”
The command to be the steward of the earth. In fact, he goes further later on about the work to be done. Then something interesting happens.
In Genesis 9:20 G-d establishes the covenant with Noah to never again destroy the earth. Here we read a verse that seems like an introduction of Noah:
20 “Then Noah, a man of the soil, was first to plant a vineyard.”
Noah, a man of the soil. The prophesy fulfilled. The earth was cursed. A flood wiped it out. G-d gives a covenant of non-destruction by water again to Noah. Then Noah, the man of the soil, as if to say he has always been “of the soil,” plants the first vineyard.
Before this we do not know of wine. Before this the toil was difficult but now there would be a comforter to the cursed land. Noah the winemaker.
The very next verse shows how this “comfort” from wine can create more problems then it can solve. But is there another lesson here? Here are some questions to help you in your study.
How does the Bible describe wine?
Does wine have any redeeming qualities for us?
Is wine used as a spiritual parable or does it represent anything in the bible and if so where and how?
What can we learn from Noah about the curse and redemption of the earth?
How will the new earth and new heaven be created?