Noah, Noah, and Messiah

Noah has a lot in common with the Messiah. The Torah’s story of Noah and the flood illustrates the human condition, man’s sin, God’s reaction, the horror of divine judgment, and the need for salvation. Noah was the savior of the world. In the days of Noah, the Almighty held a terrible, universal judgment over the world. The whole earth was corrupt, but Noah “was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).

Noah proclaimed a message of repentance to a wicked and adulterous generation. The apostles called him a “preacher of righteousness” who called his generation to repent (2 Peter 2:5, 1 Clement 7:6). He warned the people of his time about an imminent day of divine fury and judgment. Noah offered men a means of deliverance through which they could be saved from the fate about to befall their generation.

The name Noah (Noach, נח) also alludes to Messiah. When Noah was born, his parents named him Noach, saying, “This one will give us rest (nacham, נחם) from our work and from the toil of our hands” (Genesis 5:29). The name Noach (נח), which also means “comforter,” is a form of the word menachem (מנחם). The sages of the Talmud say that Menachem is one of the names of Messiah. Lamentations 1:16 refers to the Messiah as the menachem, i.e., the “comforter.” Yeshua told His disciples that the Father would send them another Comforter, indicating that up until then, He had filled that title. The apostles refer to the Messiah as our “Advocate with the Father,” a term employing the Greek equivalent for Menachem.

Perhaps this hint toward a messianic title explains the unusual repetition of Noah’s name when the Torah says, “Noah, Noah” —“אֵ֚לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת נֹ֔חַ נֹ֗חַ אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק” (Genesis 6:9). The repetition hints toward the first coming of the Messiah and the second coming of the Messiah.

The apostles also compared the salvation God brought through Noah to the salvation that God brings through the Messiah. Unlike Noah, who saved only himself and his family, however, the Messiah will bring salvation to the whole world. A parable comparing Noah and Moses illustrates the point:

It is as if two ships encountered a storm on the sea. Two pilots steered the two ships. One managed to save himself but not his ship, but the other saved both himself and his ship? Which one received admiration? Surely the one who saved himself and his ship. Similarly, Noah saved only himself, whereas Moses saved himself and his generation. (Genesis Rabbah 11:3)

Messiah is the second Noah, the comforter and the savior of the world. Perhaps that is way the Torah says, ““These are generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man.”

Noach נח -“Noah”
Torah : Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftarah : Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Gospel : Matthew 3-4

Source: Torah Portion