The grandson of Methuselah, son of Lemech, Noah (The Bearer
of Comfort), was one of the greatest biblical characters ever. In Ezekiel
14:14, Noah was mentioned alongside Daniel and Job as the most righteous
of God’s creation. Tasked with the responsibility of reseeding the world,
Noah was, in the eyes of the Lord, the only pure soul left on earth at
the time. At the age of 500 (he lived until the age of 950, which was
not biblically unheard of at the time), he was commanded by God to build
an Ark and fill it with seven pairs of each type of clean beast and a
pair of every other living species.
The ark measured three hundred cubits in length, fifty cubits
wide, and thirty cubits high (each cubit is approximately 18 inches),
with an approximate volume of 1.5 million cubic feet. It was designed
to shelter and protect the occupants from the meteorological catastrophe
that was planned by God. Using Gopher wood (assumed to be Cypress), Noah
took over 100 years to build the Ark and the three-decked architecture
apparently precludes any navigational features, presumably because in
a state of total global flooding, any direction will be the same.
In addition, the Ark was an instrument of the Lord and He
has indicated that He will be observing the Ark. Modern day engineers
have questioned the feasibility of building a vessel of such dimensions
and design without additional structural support. Theologians in turn
have pointed out the divine nature of the Ark. It was coated with a substance
called ‘kopher’ that sealed the Ark to prevent any seepage of water during
its intended voyage.
On the 17th day of the second month of his 600th year, God commanded
the heavens to open up and the rain fell for the next 40 days and 40
nights, flooding the earth in its totality, blotting out trees, hills
and even mountains. Apart from Noah, his wife, Emzara and three sons,
Shem, Ham, and Japheth with their respective spouses plus the animals
onboard the ark, every other living creature on earth was killed.
The flood finally began to recede after 150 days. After 40 days, Noah
released a pair of the captive ravens and doves. They returned after
sometime. Another 40 days passed, and Noah again released the creatures.
Again they returned, but this time, the dove returned with a leaf between
its beak, signifying that the treetops have now begun to uncover, and
by the grace of the Lord, Noah made way for the high grounds of Mount
Ararat, located in modern day Armenia, presumably.
descending from the ark, Noah built an altar and promptly offered
the clean beast as a sacrifice to God, a peculiarly odd thing to
do, as He had indicated his abhorrence for such practice. Nevertheless,
the Lord in turn, created the rainbow as assurance that there will
never be another flood of this scale inflicted on humankind. Finally,
God handed to Noah a series of Law - the basis for the yet to arrive
Ten Commandments - known now as the Noachite Law, that must be adhered
to by all the Children of Noah, to be used as a guide for the repopulation
of the earth.
Prohibition of idolatry
• Prohibition of murder
• Prohibition of theft
• Prohibition against sexual immorality:
• Prohibition against blasphemy
• Prohibition against consumption of living animals
• Requirement of the rule of law