Ten generations from Adam to Noach show a total lack of interest in the presence of G-d, leave alone in His leadership and right to rule the lives of those people. A second ten generations would follow in order to give the nations of the world the opportunity to accept and abide by the rules of the heavenly Kingdom. And when they failed also G-d gave His full support and attention to the nation of Israel yet to be born out of one man, Avraham.

With the salvation of Noach and his seven shipmates G-d saved enough genetic material in order to start humankind all over again. Although Noach was a tzaddik the seven companions were not necessarily tzadikim as well. Nothing could guarantee success. We see how true that was. Even one errant family member is enough to spoil the quality of life of the whole group, as we sometimes see in our lives as well. But first G-d organizes the Flood, after which Noach becomes the father of humankind. Abarbanel mentions that Noach was the last link in the genealogy of the old world population and at the same time the new ancestor of humankind.

Noach’s building of the Ark is a sign in itself to show G-d’s judgment and the need for making teshuvah, for people to repent. Noach failed in convincing his generation and so the Flood was going to take place, called perhaps for that reason “the waters of Noach” (Isaiah 54:9). The Ark is estimated to at least have the dimensions of 450 x 75 x 45 feet equals 1,518,750 cubic feet (137 x 23 x 14 meters equals 44,114 cubic meters). The floor surface measures 33,750 square feet (is 3,151 square meters). Enough to lodge all the animals that were allowed to get in.

Since Noach did not have to steer the boat he did not need a window to look horizontally. The window he built was a skylight, tzohar), which Rashi interprets as a precious stone that refracts the outside light to illuminate the interior. And so Noach was obligated to isolate himself from his society. Heavens and earth became an invisible blur. What had been separated at the time of creation – land and water – now got mixed again. Only inside the Ark there was the division between man and woman, clean and unclean animals. The earth was getting prepared to begin all over again. And after the next ten generations G-d would show His choice people to the world.

The world would not accept G-d’s choice, like it did not accept anything G-d has to offer. Some would accept the Bible but not His ordinances like Shabbat, kosher food and biblical dates of His feasts. Some would accept G-d but they were going to claim Yeshua as the Messiah of another religion than the Jewish faith. They would put words in Yeshua’s mouth as if He would have said that the Torah obligations were done away with. But the Lord was and is going to proceed with His plan. Out of Israel came Torah and Prophets as well as the New Testament, also Messiah. And Judah will dwell forever; and Jerusalem from generation to generation (Prophet Joel).

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Ewteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland