Noah To Abraham

INTRODUCTION: After Noah and his wife emerged from the ark they had no other children together. Noah's three sons each with his own wife, had no children until after they came out of the ark, so all successive generations of mankind came from Noah's three sons. None of the four women are named in scripture, and we have no genealogical record for their ancestors. There was a dramatic decline in lifespan over several of the initial generations, but it is interesting to note that Noah was still alive when Abraham was born, and Shem lived some thirty years after Abraham had died. This study is a very brief overview of only a few observations through this lengthy period.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the American King James Version.


A - EIGHT PEOPLE SAVED IN THE ARK FROM THE GREAT FLOOD

Genesis 5 "28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort <05162> us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed."

Genesis 6 "5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented <05162> the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents <05162> me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth."

Genesis 7 "11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;"

Genesis 7 "21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."

Genesis 9 "18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth covered."

COMMENTS: It is interesting to note that the root word in the Hebrew designated by the Strong's concordance number <05162> is translated as comfort as it refers to Noah, and it is translated as repented when it refers to how the LORD was grieved in his heart that he had made man. Considering the attributes of God, I believe verse six helps us to see that God had given man choice even with the first restriction that Adam disobeyed, and as others became more and more disobedient, it was necessary to reverse the course of man, not the course of God. Noah can be translated as "rest," and all of the direct ancestors from Seth to Lamech had already rested in death by the time he was 600 years old, and therefore they did not perish in the judgment of the Great Flood brought by the LORD. God had seen that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Noah represented the comfort that through mercy the LORD would preserve those who were found just in his sight as they walked with God, while those who persisted in their wicked rejection of God would be judged with finality.

As for Noah, he found grace in the eyes of the LORD, and the text states in Genesis 6:9 that he "walked with God." His three sons with their wives became the ancestral starting point for three major branches of all generations that have since populated the earth. Those three sons with their wives had no children until after they came out of the ark, and therefore all subsequent offspring had no directly observed knowledge of former natural conditions in the world prior to the great flood that made radical changes to the physical earth. There also were no other people whose evil beliefs and practices apart from God could directly influence future generations of offspring, because their lives had been righteously ended by god. All teaching, instructions, and examples for those generations had to come from the eight survivors saved in the ark. Whatever had previously influenced those eight through their own human nature and experience, could be passed to future generations, and they were all still from the bloodline of Adam.


B - NOAH SACRIFICED TO THE LORD AFTER THE FLOOD

Genesis 7 "1 And the LORD said to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him."

Genesis 8 "20 And Noah built an altar to the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a sweet smell; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

COMMENTS: The first record of offerings to the LORD is described in Genesis 4:3-5 as made by Cain and Abel, with no previous mention in scripture of any prescribed parameters for offerings. After Cain killed Abel we have the following from scripture which speaks of men "calling on the name of the LORD" but there is no further mention in scripture of offerings or sacrifices until the time of Noah. Genesis 4 "25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, has appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call on the name of the LORD." Some 450 years after the birth of Enos we have the record in scripture of Enoch who "walked with God." Genesis 5 "22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

In Genesis 6:9 Noah is described as a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah "walked with God." Noah was born over 50 years after the LORD took Enoch, and they were both described with that phrase. In Genesis chapter 7 the LORD told Noah to take an extra number of "clean" beasts and fowls into the ark, and Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. There is no record in scripture of "clean" animals before Noah received his instructions from the LORD. Without details about any practice of sacrifices or offerings, the just or righteous men were only described as those who "called on the name of the LORD, and "walked with God." After Noah made the burnt offering of the clean animals, the LORD said in his heart that he would not again curse the ground and kill everything living on it, even though the phrase "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" was still voiced by the LORD after the flood. The grace of safety in the ark received by Noah and his family provided general benefit to future generations because of the mercy of the LORD.


C - PELEG AND THE TOWER OF BABEL

Genesis 10 "21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. 22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. 23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. 24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. 25 And to Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, 27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, 28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, 29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as you go to Sephar a mount of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations."

Genesis 11 "1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelled there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there on the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad on the face of all the earth."

Genesis 11 "16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: 17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. 18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: 19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters."

COMMENTS: A specific line of descendents through Noah's son Shem led to Abraham. However in Genesis 10:21 the text makes a point about Shem being the father of all the children of Eber. Two of the sons of Eber are then mentioned, and the first one named was Peleg (meaning division) and the text states that the earth was divided in his time. The other son mentioned is Joktan, and a long list of his sons is given. At the close of the chapter, verse 31 states, "These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations."

Chapter 11 opens with the statement that there was only one language common to all generations, and then the record is provided of how the division was brought about by the LORD in the time of Peleg. The men who desired to make a name for themselves planned to build a tower in a city that later became known as Babel. Scripture does not elaborate on the full implications of this development, but we know the action taken by the LORD was significant for all future generations in the world. There was no indication that those men had any intention to honor the LORD as the text states they wanted to make a name for themselves with a tower to reach to heaven, and they did not want to be scattered. If God had not intervened the desires in their own hearts through their imaginations would not have been restrained as is needed for all people descended from Adam. The LORD diverted their efforts by confusing the one language into many, and the people began to scatter and spread over the whole earth. Man needs to look toward God to honor the name of the LORD above all else in life. The line through Peleg continued toward the birth of Abraham, which led to a promise from the LORD to make blessings available through faith in God, to the scattered people of diverse languages across the face of the whole earth.


D - THE LINE FROM NOAH TO ABRAHAM WAS PRESERVED UNTIL AFTER HIS BIRTH

The numeric reference below uses zero for the beginning of the Great Flood when Noah was 600 years old, and show the cumulative years from that point forward. the scripture references are the source for the age of each father when the next son in the line to Abraham was born, or they provide additional information about years that can lead to a total age for specific individuals. Below the table there are some observations made about the key individuals in the line from Noah to Abraham.

2 | Shem 100 years old, begat Arphaxad 2 years after the flood [Ge 11:10].
37 | Arphaxad lived 35 years, and begat Salah [Ge 11:12].
67 | Salah lived 30 years, and begat Eber [Ge 11:14].
101 | Eber lived 34 years, and begat Peleg [Ge 11:16].
131 | Peleg lived 30 years, and begat Reu [Ge 11:18].
163 | Reu lived 32 years, and begat Serug [Ge 11:20].
193 | Serug lived 30 years, and begat Nahor [Ge 11:22].
222 | Nahor lived 29 years, and begat Terah [Ge 11:24].
292 | Terah lived 70 years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran [Ge 11:26].
340 | Peleg lived 239 years. [Ge 11:19].
341 | Nahor lived 148 years. [Ge 11:25].
350 | Noah lived 950 years. [Ge 9:28].
367 | Abram was 75 years old when he departed out of Haran. [Ge 12:4].
370 | Reu lived 239 years. [Ge 11:21].
378 | Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. [Ge 16:16].
392 | Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. [Ge 21:5].
393 | Serug lived 230 years. [Ge 11:23].
427 | Terah lived 205 years & died in Haran. [Ge 11:32].
432 | Isaac was 40 years old when he took Rebekah to wife [Ge 25:20].
440 | Arphaxad lived 438 years [Ge 11:13].
452 | Isaac 60 years old, Esau&Jacob born [Ge 25:26].
467 | Abraham lived 175 years [Ge 25:7].
470 Salah lived 433 years [Ge 11:15].
492 | Esau was 40 years old when he took 2 Hittite wives [Ge 26:34].
502 | Shem lived 600 years [Ge 11:11].
515 | Ishmael lived 137 years [Ge 25:17].
529 | Jacob went to Laban [Ge 29 & 45].
531 | Eber lived 464 years [Ge 11:17].

COMMENTS: Based on the successive record in scripture of the men in the ancestral line from Noah down to Abraham, not one of them had died until after Abraham was born. Based on verses from Genesis 11:11-25 Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, and Nahor "had other sons and daughters" in addition to the direct line to Terah and then to Abraham. Shem lived about 30 years after the death of Abraham, and he did not die until after Jacob and Esau were young adults! Eber died right around the time Jacob traveled to Padanaram to begin his time with his uncle Laban where he obtained his wives and where all twelve of his sons were conceived. The sons of Jacob would comprise the twelve tribes of Israel as the LORD planned to call out a nation for his own name.


E - FROM NOAH TO ABRAHAM OBEDIENT FAITH WAS THE KEY, AS IT IS TODAY

Genesis 15 "1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, LORD God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, see, one born in my house is my heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."

Genesis 22 "15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice."

Hebrews 11 "6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

COMMENTS: The LORD promised Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. The Apostle Paul defined for us the ultimate value of that blessing. Galatians 3 "16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ." Another "3:16" scripture passage provides more clarity for us about that blessing from God. John 3 "16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." There were numerous generations in various lines from Noah's three sons, and even additional lines of descent from Abraham, but the promised blessing was made special in Jacob.

The nation of Israel, through Jacob, became another step in the process the LORD was using to bring about in Christ the ultimate blessing that was in the promised to Abraham. Satan and man's own wandering heart cannot thwart the plans and goals the LORD has for those he has chosen to glorify his name. If we allow scripture to prepare our minds to more readily observe God working in the natural world which is passing away, it should also become easier for us to perceive God working in the eternal spiritual realm as well. As the passage in Hebrews declares, it is essential to diligently seek God by faith and to look ahead for the reward as heirs for the hope of that city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Because all who have ever been born are descendents of Adam, all are by nature ungodly, and only those who believe God will be counted by him as righteous. Romans 4 "5 But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

I thank you LORD, that there is no scheme or method of man or Satan that can cancel your love and mercy since you created man in your own image, and your plans were in place even before the foundation of the world. You moved in the heart of certain men from Seth down to Noah, and they demonstrated their desire to serve their Creator. As the ark rose above the flood waters, you LORD, preserved the continuation of only a select generation to repopulate the physically changed world. You allowed eight to survive because of the faith and obedience of Noah, as all with the breath of life who were not in the ark died over the whole face of the earth. Even though the wicked thoughts and actions from the heart of mankind had become so widespread that it grieved your heart, you did not destroy all people. I believe the few who walked with you, LORD, over the centuries before the ark was completed, have now found that city with a foundation built by God. Your action to confuse the language of man was another means of your grace to take man off of the course that was toward his own dependence, and away from honoring the LORD of heaven and earth. All of the men in the line from Noah to Terah did not die until after the birth of Abraham. They may not have had any direct involvement across the entire family line, but we know Abraham's lifetime was another key period in the history of your plans for mankind. I thank you LORD, that you touched my heart to bring me to yourself through faith. I also thank you for your word that has been written over many centuries to help me as a believer to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. What a joy it is to read and study various sections of scripture, and to marvel at the incomparable ways of a gracious, merciful, and loving God. Hallelujah, Amen.

Published 17 May 2014