Noah and the Flood – A Bible Lesson

  • God has promised not to bring another flood of destruction by water.
  • Noah was a righteous man in his generation but he couldn’t influence other people.
  • After Noah came Abraham to bring religion into the world for all of mankind.

In synagogues throughout the world this week, the story of Noah and the flood is read from the Torah. The Torah was completed on the holiday of Simchat Torah the eight day of the holiday of Succot. Last Sabbath was read the first chapter of Genesis “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Genesis begins with the story about the six days of creation. Adam and Eve was created on the sixth day the last of all the creations of God.  Commentaries on the Bible ask the question why Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day after all the other creations including the animals and plant life. The reason given for this is that Adam man has the potential to unite the whole creation together with God. Man can also reject his divine purpose which will make him even lower than a mosquito which was created before him.

Noah floating on water on his arc of salvation.

Man created on the six day had the potential to unite the whole world with the Sabbath the seventh day to complete the creation in a state of eternal peace. Adam and Eve sinned when they were tricked by the snake and they ate from the forbidden fruit call the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam knew Eve after eating from this tree, he knew her beauty and they were united together in natural love. They gave birth to two children Kain and Abel. Their children were less perfect than Adam and Eve. They had to grow up to discover the Garden of Eden which became hidden after the sin of the eating from the tree of knowledge.

Kain and Abel had different opinions about their purpose in life. Kain was a hunter seeking dominion over the world and Abel was a quiet peaceful intellectual with universal faith. Kain wanted to rule the world that in the future the world would be in his dominion. Adam favored Abel because they were both intellectuals believing in peace as a purpose. Kain was jealous that his father had favored Abel and his offering. Kain killed Abel out of anger. Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden. In the Garden of Eden there was eternal peace united with the Sabbath. Now after the sin they were forced to witness jealousy and hatred which existed between their children and their families. They prayed for an answer. They prayed that their children would realize their sin and return to the Garden.

Noah was born in a generation in which there was wickedness, thievery and incest. Noah was righteous and he taught his children the way of righteousness.  The spiritual teachings of Noah were related to the knowledge of the Garden of Eden.

Noah was a yogi. The name Noah is literally translated as Relaxation. His way of spirituality was meditation and prayer. This was the way he taught his children. The way of Noah is similar to the way of the teaching in Eastern religion. They require isolation meditation in an Ashram. They do not go out to influence people but are satisfied with their life on the Ashram isolated from the world. Noah had a closed family.

Noah sent a dove to know if the water had resided and it returned with an olive branch in its mouth.

The rest of the world in the time of Noah were involved in lust for money and the desire for bodily pleasure. Noah could not influence them to go in his direction. The world could not relate to his way of spirituality which was isolation and meditation. God punished the people of the generation of Noah.

Noah was saved because he refused to assimilate with the wicked people of his generation. He could not change them.  They didn’t want the way of isolation, celibacy which Noah preferred. Noah had three sons Cham, Shem and Yafeth. His family was saved from the flood. The world needed a new direction of spirituality. Meditation and isolation was two high of a level of spirituality for mankind. After the flood came a new chance for mankind to receive spirituality in a way which would not require isolation through Abraham.

Abraham introduced the world to new way of spirituality where people could be able to live in the world and serve God through sacrifice. Abraham was the first to begin to write the Law of God which would initiate religion in the world. Through the study of scriptures people could attach themselves to God which would replace the way of isolation and meditation which was taught by Noah.

Noah brought his whole family into the arc to be saved from the flood. He also brought male and female wildlife into the arc to continue their species after the flood. There was rain upon the earth for forty days. It took one hundred and fifty days after the rain until Noah was able to think of leaving the arc which had landed at the mountain of Ararat. He sent a dove out from the window of the arc to test if the waters had resided but the dove did not find any dry land.

Seven days later he tried again and the dove returned with an olive branch in its mouth which was a sign that an attempt could be made to leave the arc. Noah and his family with all the wildlife left the arc to start the world in a new direction hopefully humanity would begin a new direction living righteously.

Noah was a righteous saint. His children did not want Noah to know again a woman. They wanted him to be celibate. They would populate the earth but Noah would be for the world like Adam before the sin, before he knew Eve. His sons castrated him.  This was not the will of God, and they were punished. God wanted that Noah and his children would be fruitful and multiply. The earth needed to be populated. God showed Noah the rainbow as a sign to him and his descendants that he would not punish the world again through a flood. Punishment may come in another way like through fire but not through water.

Noah building the arc.

When Noah and his children left the arc they planted a vine. From the grapes of the vine they made wine. They became drunk and his youngest son Cham castrated him. Noah cursed him to be forever slaves. He blessed his son Shem with freedom. Cham would serve Shem. Shem was his chosen son whose descendant was Abraham.

God did not want the way of the celibate and started a new path of spirituality through Abraham a family man. Abraham began to write the law of God for all of mankind. The new path toward spirituality would be through the study of scripture and prayer to replace the way Noah which was through meditation and isolation.

The Bible continues in later chapters describing the development of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. From Mount Sinai would be initiated in the world religion through Moses, Mohammed and Jesus. In this way the whole world would be prepared to receive the ultimate revelation of God which would come through the religion of Baha”i and through Chassidism which would unite all these religions together with freedom.

For the Jews Judaism would now be for each Jew a gift rather than a commandment. Each Jew would receive the Torah with free will through Progressive Jewish Spirituality based on the teaching of the Zohar.  Muslims through Bahai would find peace and unity through their connection with Jesus and Moses. There will no longer be the need for Jihad. About this it says in Zechariah, in this day God will be the king of the whole earth, God will be one and his name will be one.  The name of God will be revealed in the world which is peace. Jesus the Messiah will be known by all people from all faiths. There will no longer be atheists when everyone will realize that the salvation of God has come. There will no longer be a flood and hopefully not a nuclear war.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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