Who was Noah?

In the Hebrew Bible or Christian Old Testament, Noah is a man whose story is recorded in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and he is also the subject of a movie starring Russell Crowe, directed by Darren Aronofsky, released March 28, 2014.

Fast Facts on Noah

What does "Noah" mean? Rest Where in the Bible is his story found? Genesis 6-9 How old was he when God warned him of the flood? 480 (Gen. 6) How long before the flood came? 120 years (Gen. 6) Was he given instructions for building the ark? Yes (Gen. 6:14-16) How many sons did Noah have? Three - Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5) How old was Noah when his sons were born? 500 (Gen. 5) How old was Noah when the flood came? 600 (Gen. 7) How long did it rain? 40 days (Gen. 7) How long were the mountaintops covered with water? 110 more days (Gen. 7) How long before the water subsided? 221 more days (Gen. 7) Which birds did Noah send out from the ark? First a raven and then a dove (Gen. 8) What did the rainbow signify? That God wouldn't destroy the world by a flood ever again (Gen. 8)

A Biography of Noah

Noah, meaning "rest," was the 10th in descent from Adam in the line of Seth (Genesis 5:28,29). Lamech here seems to derive the word from the Heb: nacham, "to comfort," but this is probably a mere play upon the name by Noah's father.

The times in which Noah was born were degenerate, and this finds pathetic expression in Lamech's saying at the birth of Noah, "This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Yahweh hath cursed."

The Flood and Noah

Concerning theory that Noah is the name of a dynasty, like Pharaoh or Caesar, rather than of a single individual. In his 600th year the degenerate races of mankind were cut off by the Deluge.

But 120 years previously (Gen 6:3) he had been warned of the catastrophe, and according to 1 Pet 3:20 had been preparing for the event by building the ark . In the cuneiform inscriptions Noah corresponds to "Hasisadra" (Xisuthrus).

After the flood Noah celebrated his deliverance by building an altar and offering sacrifices to Yahweh (Gen 8:20), and was sent forth with God's blessing to be "fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen 9:1), as Adam had been sent forth at the beginning (Gen 1:28). In token of the certainty of God's covenant not to destroy the race again by flood, a rainbow spanned the sky whose reappearance was ever after to be a token of peace.

But Noah was not above temptation. In the prosperity which followed, he became drunken from the fruit of the vineyard he had planted. His son Ham irreverently exposed the nakedness of his father, while Shem and Japheth covered it from view (Gen 9:22,23). The curse upon Canaan the son of Ham was literally fulfilled in subsequent history when Israel took possession of Palestine, when Tyre fell before the arms of Alexander, and Carthage surrendered to Rome.


IBSE, (in the public domain) with minor edits.