The Flood

So what is going on? The first chapter of the Bible describes how God created the universe, the heaven and the earth, the seas and the land, the birds, the animals and the fishes, and finally man. Then in chapter 6 is the description of the destruction of all that God had created. Let us understand the intention of this act.

The story of Noah’s Ark is well known and many biblical scholars have suggested that a flood did indeed take place in ancient history that may have destroyed a large part of the known civilisation [1}. However in considering the essence of the story, whether or not a flood actually took place is irrelevant.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence [2] (Genesis 6:11).

And Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:8-9)

Noah was the only righteous man on Earth and hence he and his family were saved from the destruction that God was about to unleash.

The numerical value for Noah, spelt nun-cheth  נח is 50+8 = 58.

Fifty-eight is the same value as Mount ‘Nebo’ נבו spelt nun-beth-vav (50+2+6 =58) where Moses died just at the point of the children of Israel having completed 40 years in the wilderness and prior to entry into the Promised Land (see HaAzinu Deuteronomy 32: 49).

The value for shofar, the ram’s horn used to announce the New Year (Rosh Hashanah, which means head of change in Hebrew) is 580 (shofar spelt shin-peh-resh שפר 300+80+200 =580).

Similarly the sound issuing from the shofar in announcing the New Year is tekiah spelt תקיע taf-kof-yod-ayin 400-100-10-70 also has a gematrical value of 580 (see 58, 580, 5800).

Fifty-eight or its decane equivalent 580 means the end of a period of time and the beginning of a new period. Fifty-eight means the end of a period of time in a physical context in this earthly world and 580 means the end of time in a concious context. If fifty-eight indicates that a period of time is ending then it implies that a new period of time is beginning. So it is, by calculation when Noah dies at the age of 950 (three hundred and fifty years after the flood), Abraham, the father of the Hebrew race was 58 years old at the time of the flood. Noah was outlived by Shem, the father of the Eberites (the term Eberites, or iverim in Hebrew, is the first reference we have in the Bible for the Hebrews), so the chain of belief in the one God is maintained.

For this reason God notes that man is living too long and that man’s time of life on earth shall be 120 years (See Shuvuot)

But let us examine the meaning of the flood.

The word for Ark in Hebrew is Teba תבהTeba has an alternative meaning in Hebrew and that is word. As we learn throughout the Bible the message of God is only transferred to man through words - the word of God.

The Ark was covered in pitch from the inside and the outside, presumably to prevent leaks. The word for pitch in Hebrew is copher כפר spelt caph-peh-resh and has the same root spelling as kippur כפרcaph-peh-resh - meaning atonement of sins. (i.e. Yom Kippur).

Make an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it inside and outside with pitch: (Genesis 6:14)

The covering of the Ark in pitch was not only ‘waterproofing’ but to both give atonement to Noach and his family for any sins that they may have commitment and to insulate and isolate them from the sins that the world outside has committed and continues to commit to abandon without even consideration of wishing atonement,

If we look at the dimensions of the Ark they are: 30 cubits in height, 300 cubits long and 50 cubits broad. These dimensions, transformed into gematrical equivalents form the characters: lamed ל =30, shin ש =300, nun נ =50 which comprise the characters for the word lashon לשן meaning ‘language’ or ‘tongue’.

The word for ‘flood’ in Hebrew is mabul מבול and is derived from the Akkadian word 'biblu' or 'bubbulu" and it is related to the Hebrew verb l’babbel לבבל meaning ‘to confuse’ derived from Babel or Babylon. Hence we have the ‘Tower of Babel’ and the English term ‘to babble’.

Using these new interpretations, the story of the Noah and the flood can be seen in a new context:

The Ark is the Word of God being carried across the Sea of Confusion, at the end of the physical existence of the Earth to a new world on the other side.

This is carried out by Noah, who has been sealed from the violence and corruption of the world outside through atonement given to him and his family in the Ark by the pitch which is painted on the inside and outside of the Ark. The rest of mankind is drowned in the Sea of Confusion.

The Rainbow

In story of Noah, after the flood and all Noah’s extended family and the animal, insects and birds have exited the Ark, the phrase Be fruitful and multiply (See hyperlink Be fruitful and multiply) is repeated three times:

Bring out with you every living thing that is with you, of all flesh, both of bird, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:17).

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1).

And in relation to the law forbidding murder and spilling blood:

And you, be fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it (Genesis 9:7).

It is then followed by the promise that God never again will destroy the Earth for man’s sake (for man is evil and wicked in his heart -Genesis 8:13).

I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth (Genesis 9:13)

In Hebrew rainbow is keshet קשת spelt koph-shin-taf having a numerical value of 100-300-400 = 800. As we know 800 is the centane value of the number 8 (See hyperlink 8, 800) and just as the circumcision is carried out on the 8th day is a covenant between Man and God on the physical plane, so the rainbow is the covenant between the Earth and God on a spiritual plane. Effectively the covenant expresses never to invert the act of creation that took place in the last 3 days of creation when life was created on Earth.

Moreover the format of the word keshet קשת (100-300-400) is similar in form to the last three letters of the opening phrase in Genesis “In the Beginning” Bereshit, בראשית where the last three letters shin-yod-taf שית with numerical form: 300-10-400.

The meaning is the same: the union of spiritual male (the 300) and spiritual female (the 400) – in Judaism there are 3 patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and 4 matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah - through the spiritual form of unity, God (the 100). A hence the phrase ‘Be fruitful and multiply’.

Lessons Learnt

What do we learn from this episode in context of the modern era?

Indeed the Earth is again corrupt and violent. No longer it is necessary for God to destroy the Earth for the sake of man (See below The Rainbow) for it is man who is destroying the Earth for the sake of himself. Violence persists at all levels, both individuals and governments seek to destroy God’s children and fellow human beings for causes seemingly just in the eyes of those who seek this destruction.

So it is up to us to carry the Word of God across the Sea of Confusion before all the resources of the Earth’s environment are destroyed.


[1] A number of ancient nations had folklore that predated the Bible and also made reference to the great flood. An example is the Gilgamesh Epic, an ancient Babylonian story dating from 2000 BCE and written on 12 cuneiform tablets. It concerns a ruler (Gilgamesh) who, after losing his dearest friend to a mysterious death, seeks out a wise man (Utnapishtim) who is a survivor of the great flood and knows the secret of immortality.

Events similar to those described in the biblical story occur also in Greek mythology in the story of Deucalion. Deucalion was the son of the Titan Prometheus and was king of Phthia in Thessaly (Thessalia) when the god Zeus, because of the wicked ways of the human race, destroyed them by flood. For nine days and nights Zeus sent torrents of rain. Only Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha, survived drowning. They were saved because they were the only people who had led good lives and remained faithful to the laws of the gods. Having been warned by his father, Prometheus, of the approaching disaster, Deucalion built a boat, which carried him and Pyrrha safely to rest atop Mount Parnassus. The oracle at Delphia commanded them to cast the bones of their mother over their shoulders. Understanding this to mean the stones of the earth, they obeyed, and from the stones sprang a new race of people.

Among other peoples whose folklore and legends contain accounts of a devastating deluge are those of southern Asia, the aborigines of North, Central, and South America, and the natives of Polynesia. The Chinese and Japanese have stories of floods, but these do not, as a rule, destroy the entire earth. Curiously, flood legends do not occur among the ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley and are not common anywhere else in Africa or in Europe.

Accounts such as this have intrigued biblical scholars because they lend further credence to the later biblical version. Although a number of these scholars have concluded that the biblical narrative is derived from the Babylonian story, it is possible that each was taken from a common earlier source, now lost. Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[2] Interestingly enough the Hebrew word for ‘violence’ used in the text is ‘Hamas’. In Arabic the same word means ‘zeal’ or ‘fervour’ and the organisation ‘Hamas’ is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Resistance Movement.

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