Sunday, October 21, 2012

Was Noah "Perfect"?

Some considerations on Noah

In Sunday school and church most of us are taught the story of Noah's ark. We learn all about how noble and godly a man Noah was.. so good in fact, that God chose him out of everyone on earth, to build the ark according to God's direction, and save humanity from the flood that was coming to wipe out all the evil that was on the earth.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He, unlike most others, obeyed the law and was a just man. Verse 9 says he was "perfect in his generations".

Noah walked with God. This means he had a relationship with the Lord. If his ear was not at least somewhat attuned to God, I doubt he would have even received into his heart or his mind the words of warning and urgency from the Lord. God talks to people all the time - all people - not just "Christians". Unfortunately, most of the time even we Christians don't recognize his voice, and therefor his words are not received. And even when we do hear with our ears, our rational minds, our own comfort, and our fear of risk and judgement from others blocks the words from being received by our hearts. This is just how humans are! But evidently, Noah was "aware" enough to heed the word and strong enough in his convictions to obey it despite very great risks on his part. I'm sure building a gigantic ark wasn't cheap, and I'm sure neighbors and even family gave him more than one tongue-lashing and sideways glance. Not to mention in a world reigned by evil, such obvious God-loving would bring with it a lot of spiritual attack from the enemies of God.

So, do you consider yourself to "walk with God"? Do you try to obey the laws and be righteous in a world becoming more and more evil? I do. But... does this make us "perfect"? What makes a person "perfect in their generations"? Is it following every law? Doing only good constantly? Never making a mistake or screwing up? And, if Noah was really "perfect", then why would he need to find grace in God's eyes? Isn't grace God's acceptance and favour despite our shortcomings?

Here are some dictionary definitions of the word "grace":

1) favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love, benignity.

2) a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. forgiveness, charity, mercifulness.
3) mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve.  

If we have no shortcomings, what use have we with grace? We know that Noah was JUST and RIGHTEOUS, but who, besides Jesus could be perfect? I think to fully understand what is meant by "perfect in his generations" it is important to remember what is going on in the world of Genesis 6 at the time by going back to the beginning of the chapter:

Genesis 6:1 

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

The "sons of God", or B'nai Elohim, is referring to angelic beings who had left heaven with Satan. They saw the women of the earth, lusted after them, and decided to come down and make babies with them. Those babies were atrocities, monsters, "mighty men", and giants. They were the Nephilim, the hybrid offspring of humans and evil fallen angels. The bible distinctly says those sinning angels were sent to a hell called Tartarus in chains. 

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." II Peter 2:4.

And what became of the nephilim? The evil children of those angels? They carried on with evil on the earth (they became renowned for their debauchery and evil). Extra-biblical literature such as the book of Enoch  tells us more details. Enoch was a righteous man mentioned in the bible, who walked with God and did not die, but was taken up to heaven to be with the Lord. The Book of Enoch is still a part of the bible in some areas of the world, and studied by Jesus and the apostles along with the books of Moses and Old Testament prophets. It is also quoted several times in the New Testament, which proves it's credibility. Here is a quote from the book of Enoch regarding the true nature and behavior of the nephilim:

Book of Enoch, 7

And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

Book of Enoch, 8

And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. ... And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven...

Once these ungodly monster-children had taken all they could from men and the earth, they began defiling men, mindlessly murdering, and generally doing whatever they pleased with whatever creatures they could find. They, like their fathers, took for themselves whatever they fancied, regardless of species, type, or nature. They obtained mastery of every type of evil skill, bestiality, cannibalism, vampirism, and generally everything God despises became so prevalent that God had to wipe the earth clean. Abominations were everywhere, including genetic modification through breeding, if not through more advanced technology (remember, they had conquered all the highest skills of men and had extra-terrestrial knowledge given to them by their angelic fathers). Just look at some of the ancient wall carvings (particularly in Egypt) of mutations, mixed-breed creatures, and animal-headed man-gods. Consider the Greek mythological creatures such as centaurs, minotaurs, satyrs, etc.

A satyr is a goat man

Ever since Satan found out in the Garden of Eden that a Savior would be born from a woman to crush his head and redeem mankind to God, he immediately set to work trying to mess up the gene pool in an attempt to prevent it from happening. He thought the "seed of the woman" would be the first child she bore, so he set right to work, corrupting Cain, while at the same time, eliminating the chance that the second-born would become the savior-seed, when Cain murdered Abel. How victorious he must have felt when the whole earth except for Noah was corrupted and most likely genetically perverted somehow.

Noah may have been a godly man, but he was not morally perfect. Genesis 9 tells us that after the flood, he became a farmer, planted a vineyard, and got so plastered with wine that he passed out in his tent, where his son walked in on his exposed nakedness.  (There is a lot of speculation about what went on in the tent that caused Noah to become so extremely angered and curse his grandson, including the possibility of sodomy, which I might write more about later because it is very interesting).

18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 25 Then he said:
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.

Remember, in Genesis 6 a point is made that Noah and his line were PERFECT... not just nice and good compared to everyone else... but PERFECT. If it were referencing moral perfection one has to wonder! I don't know that drunkenness is a characteristic of most morally perfect men! Noah was just and righteous, and he walked with God. But he still screwed up every now and then, just like we all do. He was in need of grace from the Lord, and the Lord loved him and kept him despite his human imperfections. And yet, the Lord still called him "perfect", the word here translated from Hebrew tamiym, meaning: complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.

What the Bible is telling us is Noah was GENETICALLY perfect in his generations. His DNA had not been compromised because he had tried to be righteous and set apart. His wife and sons were therefor also uncompromised and the Lord was able to carry them safely while he purged the earth from the defiling of what he created to be good and pure. He could use them (and the animals too) to repopulate the earth with the original, clean DNA and without passing on generational sins!

Thus ends my considerations on Noah. Have a great day!


  1. You've clearly spent a good deal of time considering these things, but I'm afraid you've made a few errors. For one, when a particular word causes problems, it may be an inaccurate translation. No translation is perfect, and unless you know Hebrew and Greek as well as English, it's a good idea to check other translations. "Perfect" seems to be giving you some problems, whereas other translations use "blameless," e.g. NIV, ESV. Both mean relatively the same thing. But you seem to be trying to force a literal translation on the text, whereas over and over in the Bible the believers are described as "perfect" or "blameless" or "righteous," even though we know that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." In none of those cases does "perfect" mean that they were genetically pure. The explanation, therefore, is a theological one, not a physical one. Noah, like you and I, had faith in the promised Messiah, and thus wore the robe of Christ's righteousness, not his own. It's as simple as that.

    Secondly, "sons of God" almost certainly does not mean angels. Here's why. Angels do not and cannot reproduce. They are spiritual beings, who only occasionally take on the appearance of men. Jesus said that in heaven the redeemed will become "like the angels, who neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Mt 22:30, Mk 12:25). In other words, the number of angels is fixed. The total number of angels is the same now as it was on day seven of creation. In addition, the phrase "sons of God " is used some dozen times in Scripture, and more often than not it refers to the redeemed. There is no need to concoct theories about extraterrestrial knowledge, genetically modified DNA, composite creatures, etc. A second problem with that theory is that Nephilim are mentioned post-flood in the book of Numbers (13:33) as inhabiting Canaan. They certainly cannot be the genetic descendants of the Nephilim of antediluvian times, since those were destroyed by the flood. In conclusion, God established the Law of Biogenesis in creation: that is, that everything reproduces according to its kind. The only one who has the power to break that law is the Creator himself.

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts.

    At all costs I want to avoid "forcing" the translations of any words in the Bible. When any translation of any word is in doubt, I have used the Hebrew lexicon/concordance, in this case specifically for the word "perfect" (tamiym). Since this translation clearly does not specify that the perfection was specifically of a "moral" type I think it would be wise not to close ourselves off of the possibility that it is a genetic perfection being talked about here - or at the very least, both. (Please keep in mind I am not bringing into question Noah's righteousness, which is made clear in scripture).

    In regards to your second comment, what the bible actually tells us is that the angels IN HEAVEN do not marry. It says nothing about their ability to reproduce, although I am quite sure they do not. However when we talk about the fallen angels coming to earth and mating with human women, there's a few things. First, they are not in heaven. They have left heaven to follow satan. Therefore they no longer abide by the rules of heaven (not to marry). The bible text clearly says they married human women, which is backed up by extra biblical text such as the book of Enoch. Secondly, the verdict is still out on whether angels could reproduce with women in their spiritual form, although I am sure we have all heard of sexually harrassing demons who terrorize humans who have open doors (rare but it happens). Jude 1:6 also gives more background about these angels, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day." This can refer to them leaving heaven, but also choosing to leave their spiritual bodies for bodies of flesh, thus enabling reproduction.

    The phrase B'nai Elohim does appear many times in scripture. Always in reference to DIRECT creations of God. In other words, angels. Also Adam (the only directly created human in the old testament). And born-again believers, who have received Christ and become a new creation in Him ("John 1:12-13, "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God".)

    Lastly, we are told straight away in Genesis 6 that there were Nephilim on the earth in that day (Noah's day) and ALSO AFTER THAT. Joshua and Caleb led the Israelites to destroy 10 cities which were 10 tribes of Nephilim in the land that God promised to the Israelites. God told them to destroy all living things in those cities. Quite heartless to kill women and chilren just for being in the land... clearly, God needed all traces of those nephilim tribes to be destroyed so as not to contaminate the Israelites.

    It might also help to look at the names of the tribes and learn what they mean. They are quite descriptive. I have a post about it here. I would never want to concoct stories, rather I wish to keep my mind open to what the text is saying without the confines of man-taught doctrines preventing us from seeing what is there. =)

  3. I feel like I should add some more biblical context to my remark about Jude 1:6, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day."

    The reason I suggest that this verse is giving us insight into how angels might reproduce with human women is the use of the word "habitation" of the greek oikētērion, meaning "a dwelling place, habitation" specifically, "of the body as a dwelling place for the spirit". This implied that they not only left their first estate (home) of heaven, but they also chose to leave their habitation (or spiritual body) for another type of body (bodies of flesh?).

  4. Using a lexicon is a good idea sometimes, but it can also be a bad idea. It gives people like you and I the feeling that we are virtually omniscient. But any scholar would probably not advise this, because you and I will not pick up on the subtleties or peculiarities of a language from a lexicon. Semitic languages are not even remotely related to the mess we call English, and the cultures are as far apart as the languages. A word-for-word translation is not possible in almost every case. And just because a word or phrase has multiple meanings does not give you liberty to pick the one most convenient for your theory. The context always dictates the meaning.

    So regarding your interpretation, it is still way out in left field. There is no evidence in Scripture that angels, fallen or otherwise, can take on physical human flesh—let alone that they can manipulate God's biological instruction code. That is a huge, huge assumption on your part, and it does violence to the text. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation that does not involve science fiction, and therefore every exegetical rule, as well as Occam's razor, suggest that you take it.

    (By the way, I'm sure you know that the Book of Enoch is not canonical, not inspired, and therefore should not be used to interpret Scripture. It might at times contain interesting or useful information, but it is not reliable.)

    There was a very good reason for God commanding the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanite tribes down to the last child. Just read the book of Judges. They worshipped pagan gods, and time and time again Israel was led astray by the peoples they were supposed to have destroyed. It had nothing to do with mingling their DNA and everything to do with destroying their faith in the promise of the Savior. Which, ironically enough, is what happened to the sons of God in antediluvian times. They intermarried with unbelieving women, and their children were called the Nephilim. If you will read how they are described in Genesis 6, though, the translation reads simply that they were "the mighty men of old, men of renown." That their stature was larger does not necessitate demonic breeding—otherwise, you're hard up to explain the giants that have existed in modern times.