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Noah the eighth

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posted on Jan, 5 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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The story of the Flood spreads over three chapters in Genesis, but I won’t be using all of it.
This is going to be about the way the Flood is used in the New Testament, which means I’ll need only a few basic themes.

From that angle, the essentials of the story are these;

The world had become evil;
“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and the earth was filled with violence”.
God’s response to this came in two different ways.
On the one hand, he was “sorry that he had made man on the earth” and resolved to “blot them out”.
He was going to do this by bringing “a flood of waters on the earth” .
On the other hand, though, he gave instructions to Noah to build an ark and save himself and his family. (Genesis ch6 vv11-18)
Noah acted in obedience; he “did all that the Lord commanded him” (ch7 v5).
As a result, he and his family were saved from the flood-waters.
There were eight of them , if we take the trouble to count; Noah himself and Mrs Noah, together with their three sons and their respective wives.

The Flood in the gospels

When Jesus refers to the story of the Flood (Matthew ch24 vv37-39= Luke ch17 vv26-27), his main concern is the destruction of the old world.
He says the coming of the Son of Man will be “as it was in the days of Noah”.
In other words, as he explains in the next verses, people will be behaving in exactly the same way.
In Noah’s time, they were living their lives as normal- eating, drinking, even celebrating- until the very moment when the floods came.
They were completely oblivious to any possibility of danger.
When the Flood swept them away, it would have been a violent shock.
His point is that the coming of the Son of Man will be an unexpected shock to the unbelievers in exactly the same way.

Incidentally, “in the days of Noah” is just an expression meaning “in the time when Noah was living”. It is not an invitation to count the number of days in the chronology of the Flood and use them to calculate a date for the coming of Christ, as I’ve seen people do. If it was possible to calculate a date, nobody would be taken by surprise.

The Flood in Hebrews

While in Hebrews (ch11 v7) the writer’s chief concern is the salvation of Noah.
The key point is that Noah was moved into action by his faith.
Noah had been warned by God about events “as yet unseen”, so he took heed and constructed the ark which saved his household.
Thus he “condemned” the world by presenting his own righteousness as a contrast and as an example.
By expecting a time of judgement and making his own preparations, he was warning the world that a judgement would be coming.
Being moved by his faith in what God had told him, he “inherited” the righteousness which comes by faith (KATA PISTIN).

If James had used this example, as he used other examples quoted in the same chapter (the sacrifice of Isaac and the story of the harlot Rahab), I’m sure he would have chosen to emphasize the fact that Noah saved himself by acting in obedience.
But I think the two explanations are only different aspects of the same thing.
The common factor in the stories of Abraham with Isaac, and Rahab, and Noah, is that they were all acting in faith.
Hebrews, like Paul, would want to focus on the faith in which they were acting.
James wants to focus on the action which expressed their faith.
But it should be obvious enough that “acting in faith” needs both elements.

The Flood in 1 Peter

1 Peter ch3 vv18-22 is a paragraph about Christ, which begins by saying that he died for our sins, and ends by telling us that he was resurrected and has gone into heaven to be at the right hand of God.
Between those two statements, there is a digression which brings in thoughts of the Flood.

The first thought is about the judgement of the old world existing before the Flood. We are told that Christ, being alive in the Spirit, went and preached to the “spirits in prison” of the men who had been disobedient in Noah’s time.

The second thought is about the salvation of those who were in the ark.
They were saved “through water”, by passing through it into safety.
We’re told that the act of baptism “corresponds” to this event.
Presumably this is because the believer is passing through water on his way to salvation.
The baptised believer will base his appeal to God on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The implication is that the resurrection of Christ resembles the ark, because it “carries” the believer through the danger into safety.

The writer observes in passing that only a few people were saved in the ark, since there were just eight of them.
I believe this reference, combined with the similar reference in 2 Peter, is the reason why traditional baptismal fonts were made with eight sides.

The Flood in 2 Peter

In 2 Peter, the Flood is given as one of a number of examples of judgement (ch2 v5)
God “did not spare the ancient world…when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly”.
At the same time, though, the preservation of Noah is given as an example of the way that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial” (v9).

Noah is described as “a herald of righteousness”.
There’s no direct statement about this in Genesis.
At the very least, though, as I’ve already noted, the example of his own preparations was a warning of the approach of judgement.

Finally, the writer calls him “the eighth”.
One possible translation is “eighth herald of righteousness”, but then who were the other seven?
It’s more usual to understand him as meaning that Noah was one of eight people on the boat, as in 1 Peter.

In addition to that, some of the early Fathers liked to observe that Christ was raised from the dead on what was effectively "the eighth day of the week", because it was the day following the seventh. The event could be described as "the eighth day of Creation", on the grounds that the Resurrection of Christ completed and perfected the work of the original seven.
"Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which our Lord Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into heaven"- "Epistle of Barnabas"- 15 v9
So that word, “the eighth”, had a symbolic meaning for the early church with reference to Christ.

The same symbolism is found in Revelation, when the Beast is called “an eighth” (Revelation ch17 v11).
Yes, this is partly because he follows the seven kings.
But if “the eighth” has a meaning which refers to Christ, then using the same word for the Beast is another way of showing that the Beast is a substitute for Christ.

In brief, then, the phrase “Noah the eighth” can carry the meaning “Noah the symbol of Christ”.

So the New Testament finds these things in the story of the Flood;

There is the warning of judgement, in that the old corrupt world was destroyed and will be destroyed.

There is the promise of salvation in the time of judgement, in that people’s lives were saved on the ark, and will be saved.

There is the observation that few people take the chance of salvation, because it requires them to put their trust in God and act accordingly.

Finally, the New Testament finds the message that the promise of salvation is attached to the person of Christ, as represented by “Noah the eighth”.




posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 05:29 PM
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The OP tries to track down the symbolism in the fact that Noah is called "an eighth man" (2 Peter ch2 v5).
However, this symbolism is completely hidden from modern readers by the fact that all the modern translations render this verse as "Noah was saved along with seven others", or something similar.
This is one of my favourite examples of the hazards of paraphrase translating.
If the translator has missed the whole point of a particular reference, the fact that he gives it in paraphrase and imposes his own meaning, instead of leaving it literal, deprives his readers of the chance to work it out for themselves.
In terms of understanding the passage, the prarphrase translator "does not enter, and prevents others from entering".


edit on 6-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 04:34 PM
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Previous entries in what is gradually becoming an occasional Genesis series were;

Did they eat from the Tree of Life?

The Tree of what knowledge?

With knowledge comes death?

The story of Cain and Babel



posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 03:05 PM
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I think this one got buried in the temporary closure of the forum.


edit on 20-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I'll resurrect it, since you've obviously put a lot of thought into it.




The same symbolism is found in Revelation, when the Beast is called “an eighth” (Revelation ch17 v11).
Yes, this is partly because he follows the seven kings.
But if “the eighth” has a meaning which refers to Christ, then using the same word for the Beast is another way of showing that the Beast is a substitute for Christ.

In brief, then, the phrase “Noah the eighth” can carry the meaning “Noah the symbol of Christ”.

So the New Testament finds these things in the story of the Flood;


Is what you are saying (and please remember my knowledge of all things biblical is poor/ridiculous) that Noah is considered Holy, or that Noah is related to Jesus (I'm assuming that Christ and Jesus are synonymous, but I think I might be wrong)?
And so, if someone claimed to be descended from Noah, what would that mean?



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say here, except "Salvation through faith"
edit on 3-3-2014 by graphuto because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by graphuto
 

I put these conclusions at the end of the OP;

So the New Testament finds these things in the story of the Flood;

There is the warning of judgement, in that the old corrupt world was destroyed and will be destroyed.

There is the promise of salvation in the time of judgement, in that people’s lives were saved on the ark, and will be saved.

There is the observation that few people take the chance of salvation, because it requires them to put their trust in God and act accordingly.

Finally, the New Testament finds the message that the promise of salvation is attached to the person of Christ, as represented by “Noah the eighth”.

I suppose an even briefer way of putting it is that the New Testament finds salvation by faith in the story of Noah.



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Well sure!



2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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One way of putting it is that the New Testament looks at the story of Noah and finds in it a message about Jesus, a kind of allegory.
In the time of Noah, people were in danger from the Flood, and saved themselves by sticking close to Noah.
The hidden message is that in the same way, people save themselves from the danger of judgement by sticking close to Jesus.


beansidhe
And so, if someone claimed to be descended from Noah, what would that mean?

In theory, on a literal interpretation of Genesis, everybody is descended from Noah.
So the point of the claim would not be the descent itself, but the traceable descent through named individuals, which would imply "our family has always been important".
All the early mediaeval dynasties had ancestors who fought their way up from nothing, so naturally they would want to gloss over that and get an imaginative genealogist to give them a less obscure ancestry.
Also it appealed to historians like Geoffrey of Monmouth, who did not like gaps in the story.


edit on 3-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 





So the point of the claim would not be the descent itself, but the traceable descent through named individuals, which would imply "our family has always been important".


Ah, I see. It's sort of an assurance of pedigree. Or rather, a claim of pedigree and importance.
That is most helpful, thank you. I'm sure you're well aware that this was a feeble attempt to glean some knowledge from you, for which, as ever, I am very grateful.

S&F incidentally, I enjoyed reading your thread.

B x



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by beansidhe
 

Which family did you have in mind? Was it the house of Dalriada?



posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Other side, Cruithne (which may or may not have been a title, rather than a name).

Sons of Scotland

The chronicles list Noah, or rather his son Japheth, as a direct ancestor and I was curious as to the relevance -was it true, political, snobbery, meant as an insult etc. I'm maybe taking it more literally than it is meant, I think...?



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