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The early history of the human race is one of rebellion against God and rejection of the revelation that God had given (Genesis 6:5-6; cf. Romans 1:20-25). Conditions became so morally corrupt that God decided to destroy the rebellious people and to make a new beginning. The new ‘father’ for the human race would be the one man who had remained faithful to God, Noah. When all the people around him were ungodly, Noah remained blameless. He was a righteous man who lived in unbroken fellowship with God (Genesis 6:8-11).

Saved through the flood

Noah preached righteousness to those around him, but they would not listen to him (2 Peter 2:5). God’s way of dealing with the corrupt and unrepentant people was to send a great flood to destroy them (Genesis 6:17; see FLOOD).

God told Noah to build a huge ark in which he, his family, and at least one pair of all the animals of the region could find safety and so be preserved through the disaster (Genesis 6:12-14; Genesis 6:19; Genesis 7:1-2; see ARK). Noah demonstrated his faith in God by doing all that God commanded him (Genesis 7:5; Hebrews 11:7). As a result, all in his household were saved (Genesis 7:7; Genesis 8:16-19; 1 Peter 3:20), so that they, with the preserved animals, could begin life on earth afresh (Genesis 8:17).

After Noah offered sacrifices of dedication and thanksgiving, God warned him not to expect a golden age, because people would always be sinful. Yet God in his grace would allow the sinful human race to continue to live on his earth, and would not punish it with such a flood again (Genesis 8:20-22). God confirmed this promise by making a covenant with Noah and with the human race through him (Genesis 9:8-13).

Repopulating the region

With this new beginning, God gave Noah similar responsibilities to those he had originally given to Adam – responsibilities to populate the earth and look after it (Genesis 9:1-3; cf. Genesis 1:28-30). The following chapters of Genesis record how the descendants of Noah’s three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem, spread throughout the region, and as a result different ethnic groups, languages and cultures developed (Genesis 9:18-19; Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:20; Genesis 10:31).

Of the peoples who developed from Japheth, Ham and Shem, those descended from Ham’s son Canaan were doomed to have their land taken from them by the descendants of Shem. This was partly because Canaan had particularly disgraced Noah when he and Ham found him lying drunk and naked in his tent (Genesis 9:20-27).

Noah lived to a great age. During the centuries after the flood, he had the satisfaction of seeing the growth of his descendants and the re-establishment of a healthy human society (Genesis 9:28-29; Genesis 10:32).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Noah'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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