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Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 5

Genesis 6:9-7:24   -   Isaiah 54:9-10   -   Psalm 5   -   1 Peter 3:13-22
 

 

Iyyar 3, 5764 / April 24, 2004

Iyyar 3, 5767 / April 21, 2007

Iyyar 3, 5770 / April 17, 2010

Iyyar 3, 5773 / April 13, 2013

Iyyar 6, 5776 /  May 14, 2016

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word, and instructed us to count the Omer.

Today is twenty-one days of the Omer; it is three weeks of the Omer.”

 

Elleh Toldot Noach / The Generations of Noah    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

In ten generations from Adam, the world had devolved into gross immorality, such that God said that He was glad that He had made man mortal.” The generation had forfeited its right to exist. But one of the son’s of God – of the priestly line of Seth, found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. It may be noted, that people’s morality deteriorated from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Babel, from Moses to Yeshua, and in the world in our lifetimes.

 

In the U.S., in the past 45 years, the bottom seems to have dropped out concerning respect for God, personal honesty, sexual morality, and business ethics. Instead of learning to walk with God and promote your neighbor’s welfare, it’s get what you want for yourself at anyone else’s cost.

 

Yahweh, the Gracious God, accounted Noah a “righteous man” in a corrupt society. “Noah walked with Elohim,” using God’s judgment in his manner of life. He was called “perfect in his generations,” and then he was credited with having “begotten three sons.” His righteousness may be referred to as “his generations,” like offspring, and accounted greater than having sons.

 

(V.13) “Behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” Did God annihilate the earth and then create a new one? No! He destroyed wicked man, and his servant animals, and his works from the face of the earth. So, when God says the earth will again be destroyed, but by fire, and there will be a new earth – does it mean that the earth will be annihilated? The Greek for used here (2 Peter 13:2, Revelation 14:3, 21:1) for word “new,” kainos, means “renewed” (fresh), not something created from nothing. Hebrew hadash (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22) commonly means recycled – and is usually something made of existing material; it is related to hodesh – cycle, as in new moon, and shamaim hadashim v’aretz hadashah – new heavens and new earth: something entirely new is beriah (Numbers 16:30).

 

Cain asked, after killing his brother, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” But Noah said, in essence, “I am everyone’s keeper, from the least of the animals to man.” God could have miraculously provided food for all on the ark, but Noah accepted the responsibility (v.6:21-22).

 

As an example for us, Noah walked with God, though the whole world mocked him. He worked building an ark for 120 years, when no one had ever seen a flood!

 

Noah was told to take a pair of each kind of unclean animal, and seven pair of clean animals: since animals had not yet been given for food, clean animals may be seen as representing animals acceptable for offerings, and as evidence of a pre-Mosaic knowledge of Torah. All clean animals are given to us by God for food, but only specified clean animals are acceptable for offerings. “Kosher” refers to those animals God gave for food.

 

 “Elohim” (v.6:13 Justice) commanded Noah to build the ark, but “Yahweh” (v.7:1 Grace) told Noah to enter.

 

Noah, as a type of Messiah, was a “second Adam,” the father of the remaining human race.

 

The sons are not named in birth order. “Shem” (from “name it”) means a thinking person; “Ham” (from “heat”) means sensuous or passionate; “Japeth” (from “openness”) means seeker of beauty. All three characteristics were saved from the flood, and can be used in the service of God (Hirsch).

 

The world seeks a life without recognizing a creator, its own calendar that changes God’s appointed times, and a body with rights to do only its own pleasure. But we are instructed to “Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:10-12).

 

We are to learn, as Noah did, to walk using God’s judgment: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (1 Timothy 3:16-17). Then we will have a fulfilled life, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

 

1 Peter 3

 

(V.13) Then we can live without fear: “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? Even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled.  For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

 

Noah’s righteousness was not of himself, and neither is ours, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

 

(V.18) “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

 

(V. 19-22) “. . . in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

 

And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (See Mikvah / Baptism).

 

So, going into the mikvah and coming out in newness of life, is prefigured by Noah going into the flood and coming out in newness of life, even as Yeshua went into the grave and came out in newness of life.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” – Rom 6:4-7

 

We who believe are partakers of God’s Covenant; and though the earth be shaken, His lovingkindness will not be removed from us (Isaiah 54:8-9), but we shall be established – by Him – in righteousness (v.14).

Readings:

Reader 1* Amen 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

 

Reader 2* Amen 14 "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 "This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

 

Reader 3* Amen 17 "Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 "Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 "As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them." 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

 

Reader 4* Amen 7:1 Then Yahweh said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. 2 "You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 "For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made." 5 Noah did according to all that Yahweh had commanded him. 6 Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. 7 Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. 8 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, 9 there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

 

Reader 5* Amen 10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, 14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. 15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. 16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and Yahweh closed it behind him.

 

Reader 6* Amen 17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.

 

Reader 7* Amen 21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; 22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. 24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

 

Isaiah 54:9-10

 

Reader 8* Amen 9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me; when I swore that the waters of Noah should not flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says Yahweh who has compassion on you.

 

Psalm 5   (to be sung)  For the choir director; for flute accompaniment. A Psalm of David.

1 Give ear to my words, O Yahweh, Consider my groaning. 2 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. 3 In the morning, O Yahweh, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. 4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. 6 You destroy those who speak falsehood; Yahweh abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. 7 But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, at Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You. 8 O Yahweh, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; make Your way straight before me. 9 There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You. 11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. 12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Yahweh, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

 

1 Peter 3:13-22

 

Reader 9* Amen 13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Messiah as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Messiah will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

 

Reader 10* Amen 18 For Messiah also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)