Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Author's note: Please join me on this journey of both discovery and a little theoretical embellishment, as we look at the Days of Noah, and what they mean for us here in these last days. Some of this will be written as fiction. Some will be written as historical narratives. Some parts will propose some logical (and speculative) reasons for why certain things happened the way they did. By no means am I saying "thus sayeth Pete!" I'm simply looking at the text and trying to add (eisegete-bad I know) some context. Thus, it is not a hill I am planting my battle flag on, but I'm hoping it may renew some interest in the subject, and spark some conversation along the way. Anyway, enjoy!
Pre-History: 2347BC / 1657AM
The Gopher wood hull slowly dragged across the rising terrain and with a lurch came to an abrupt stop. Although the waters had been receding for several weeks now, the ark’s aimless drift seemed to not be so aimless after all. The incessant waves pounding against the wooden walls, as if, God Himself were wedging the massive vessel into the side of this particular mountain with fierce purpose. Nevertheless, Noah was relieved the boat had finally come to a final resting place. He figured wherever the ark landed, was likely where it would remain forever. Furthermore, He believed that the ark would serve both as a testament of God’s deliverance, and a reminder of His fearful judgment.
Lowering the door to the ark, He looked outside with a sobering realization. The world that was now lay under a watery grave. Not only had the flood had wiped out everything that drew breath upon the land, but it also likely changed the very face of the earth. Places he knew probably no longer exist. Vast oceans of water existed now, separated the high ground from the low ground. Even the air was different; it was much cooler, thinner, and harsher than what he was used to.
Stepping out upon dry land for the first time in over a year, Noah noted its firmness and reached down to pick up a scoop of it, running its coarse grains through his fingers. Such a funny thing to have so longed for something so simple, and yet, here he was, holding some precious dirt again. He stood up straight again, and looked up at the sun, squinting, and finally shielding his eyes from the incessantly bright light of the sun.
He wondered if the world would ever remember what it was like before the flood. Noah knew God would be starting over with him and his family. It seemed as if the fate of this new world now lay squarely on his shoulders. The pressure to get things right was palpable. As king of this new race, Noah decided the first royal act he would do was take two of each of the clean animals, and give sacrifice to God, and thanking Him for their deliverance.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”
God then gave Noah and his family instructions for going forward. God designed covenants to help curb man’s natural tendency toward wickedness moving forward in this brave, new, world.
The first of these covenants was that man was to be fruitful and fill the earth again. Before the flood, the earth had been very fruitful, with the vast population of men numbering in the tens of millions. For a very brief time, the human race had done well. But the sin-curse of Adam had begun to take its toll. Wars and violence began to fill every corner of their lands. Then things went from bad to worse with the arrival of the so-called "gods." Now that God had permanently ended the reign of the fallen angels and their offspring (the Nephilim), mankind was once again, pre-positioned to take dominion of the earth. It was unfortunate that things had become so terrible before the flood, because now only Noah, his sons, and their spouses (as far as he knew) remained left to the task.
The second part of the covenant was that man could eat whatever he chose to, so long as it still did not have its lifeblood in it. Before the flood, the earth’s bounty was so plentiful that it didn’t take much to grow crops and eat the naturally occurring fruit that filled the lands. It wasn’t until the Nephilim came along that eating meat was something they even considered doing. The Nephilim ate so much (being the giants they were) that they quickly depleted the natural resources in any given area they inhabited. Yet, their voracious appetite was such that they would often take to eating their meals alive. Thus, after they ran out of the wild game, and if their human servants couldn’t produce enough for them to eat, they would eat them as well; oftentimes, alive. After the flood, God wanted Noah and his family to know they could eat whatever animals they chose, so long as they didn’t eat them alive.
The third part of the covenant was that if someone or something, took another’s life, their life would be taken in recompense. There was no standard for dealing with such things before the flood. Murder became so common that it oftentimes was either ignored as if it were nothing, or it spawned vicious blood feuds that often left many others dead in its wake. By the time Noah was born, the world was already falling apart. Noah’s father, Lamech, had told him things began to take a turn for the worse for in the days of Enosh (the third from Adam). Shortly thereafter, the fallen angels arrived.
At first, they came in as benevolent benefactors, supposedly to help mankind from engaging in such violence. They taught men and women how to make better use of their time by showing them how to make tools, make women appear more beautiful with makeup and jewelry, and how to build things. However, that ingenuity then began to be used for making weapons and creating things to worship. Eventually, their benevolence turned sour as these fallen ones began demanding greater repayment for their forbidden knowledge; payment in the form of privileges and worship from the humans. But the payments became too steep for many, and after a while, men began giving over their daughters over for prostitution and marriage as forms of payment.
The offspring, which came out of these unnatural unions, were the aforementioned Nephilim. They were the seed of the fallen angels and human women and were nothing short of monsters. Before the flood, the average height of a man was nearly 20 hands (6’5 ft.) tall. However, these offspring were easily 27 hands (9 ft.) and taller. They would quickly eat the villages out of all their food storage, after which, they turned to hunt to continue feeding, often consuming all the animals in a region. After a while, there were so many, that they quickly outgrew their family and village's ability to provide for them food. This is when they turned and began eating humans.
Thank God that He ended that miserable race of beings. The flood washed them from life and from the face of the earth, hopefully forever.
He looked down the side of the mountain and still saw large patches of water off in the distance. Even though He knew the waters would continue to recede now to its natural boundaries, the violence of the flood with the earth breaking open, and the torrential, non-stop downpours, was something he never hoped to see again. Thankfully, God gave him (and those who follow) the rainbow as a reminder that He would never again destroy the world with water.
The ark landed on what would later be known as Mt. Ararat, in the Turkish-Armenian region. It was a natural crossroads, with a north-south land bridge between two seas. After taking from the ark all that they needed, they headed down and settled in the shadow of the mountain. In accordance with God’s directions, Noah gave his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, large areas of land in each of the cardinal directions to move into and fill. However, Noah and his wife would remain there in Armenia for the next three and a half centuries. He would farm the land, grow crops and wine, and raise his herds to provide wool and meat.
As time went by, Noah’s farm and vineyard flourished. Even though Noah’s sons were given land as far as the eye could see in each direction, they agreed to stay close to their father and king, until their numbers were large enough to spread out and fill the earth. One day, Noah decided that a particular batch of wine he produced tasted exceedingly fine, and drank until he became intoxicated. It was at this point he decided to sleep it off in his tent.
Canaan, having heard his grandfather and king had become intoxicated, decided in his heart to see if he could take advantage of the situation. Being the youngest son, of the youngest son (Ham), Canaan thought perhaps he could more easily persuade the intoxicated Noah into giving him larger and more prominent lands, and position in this new kingdom. Quickly, he went to his father Ham and proposed they try and get Noah to give them his word while he was not in his right mind.
Instead of finding him simply intoxicated and pliable, Canaan and his father Ham discovered him uncovered and unconscious and proceeded to mock him. Leaving the tent, Ham told his brothers of their father’s shame, and left irritated they could not get what they wanted from him. However, Shem and Japeth were ashamed of their brother’s and nephew’s insolence. They took a garment, placed it on their shoulders, and walked into the tent backward, and dropped it on their father, covering his nakedness.
So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said:
“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.”
And he said:
“Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.”
In Volume II (March 26th) we will look at the Curse of Ham and Canaan, and how that figures into the Tower of Babel.