Torah: Genesis 6:9 – 11:32
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1 – 55:5
A note on Bible versions: I use and link to verses and passages primarily in the Authorised King James Version (KJV) simply because I prefer it – I like the sound of the language, I think it is beautiful and easier to memorise than modern versions, and I’m used to it. But if you follow the links to the passages at Bible Gateway, there are lots of versions to choose from.
I thought I would draw your attention to a blog that I found interesting and helpful in going through the Torah portions:
Christine talks about the original Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures in the Torah portions as “the teaching tools of scripture”. Be aware though that her view is a conservative, literalist interpretation. (The blog is no longer updating there, so you can search in the archives).
The first thing to note about portion Noach is the name. Noah is related to the Hebrew word for ‘comfort’ or rest. It is related to the name of the prophet Nahum, and the phrase ‘Nachamu ami’ – ‘Comfort ye my people‘ (well known from Handel’s Messiah). Genesis 5:29 tells us that Lamech (Noah’s father) names him, “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.”
Noah is thought to be a ‘type’ (that is, a foreshadowing or model) of Christ in that, through him, a remnant of humanity is saved.
The portion does not only cover Noah and the Flood, but the following:
- The genealogy of Noah
- Building the Ark
- The Flood
- The curse on Canaan
- The genealogy of Noah’s sons
- The Tower of Babel
- Genealogy of Shem
- Abram and Lot
Christine shows that the chiastic structure of Noach reveals the central Axis of the portion to be the curse on Canaan, and how that relates to the Messiah. It is a fascinating study!
For more details on Chiastic structure and the other “teaching tools of scripture” inherent in the Hebrew text, see here.
The Haftarah portion refers to Noah and the Covenant of the Rainbow which God makes with Noah, promising that He will never again flood the whole earth with water.
Links and Resources:
And although I haven’t seen the film, I thought I would share the soundtrack of the film Noah, as I listened to it while I was writing this post (which I apologise, is shorter than I would have liked, but I’m a little bit distracted by NaNoWriMo as it is November!) 🙂 Hopefully I have at least pointed you in the direction of interesting further studies.