There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.
Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sepharidc, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions.
It’s time to explore Torah Portion Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32, aliyah by aliyah.
Aliyah 2 – Genesis 7:1-16
Genesis 7:1 HaShem said to Noach, “Come into the ark, you and all your household; for I have seen that you alone in this generation are righteous before me.
It sounds like HaShem is in the Ark. He formed Adam and breathed into him personally. He was in the garden. He turned to Abel’s offering and came to Cain to ask about his brother. The Almighty longs to be close to Man, great though He is.
Genesis 7:2 Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple;
Does Noah learn of Clean and Unclean animals here or was that knowledge he already had?
Genesis 7:3 also of the birds in the air take seven couples — in order to preserve their species throughout the earth.
Given we know that Man is soon to be permitted to eat animals, this is significant make sense. Wait, if Noah and his family ate the unclean animals, wouldn’t they have gone extinct?
Genesis 7:4 For in seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; I will wipe out every living thing that I have made from the face of the earth.”
It has been said that Noah was told this the day his grandfather Methusaleh died. Methusaleh’s name can mean something like “His death shall send” and he lived 969 years. Adding up genealogy dates puts his death the same year as the Flood.
Genesis 7:5 Noach did all that HaShem ordered him to do.
It has been said that no one can do what the LORD says to do perfectly. This is clearly not true. Man is not entirely wicked. We are not perfect, but we can be perfect from time to time. Noah was selected because he was righteous and his obedience here is further proof of that.
Genesis 7:6 Noach was 600 years old when the water flooded the earth.
That would make Noah’s oldest son 100 at the time, according to GEN 5:32. Were Noah’s sons at the age of accountability or just under it? It says that Noah found grace, not his sons, his son’s wives or his own wife. Did the grace granted to Noah cover his whole family?
Genesis 7:7 Noach went into the ark with his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives, because of the floodwaters.
As the animals went in two by two, so did Man.
Genesis 7:8 Of clean animals, of animals that are not clean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,
All the animals were to be preserved.
Genesis 7:9 couples, male and female, went in to Noach in the ark, as G-d had ordered Noach.
All went in as mates to preserve their existence.
Genesis 7:10 After seven days the water flooded the earth.
Did it start raining on the 7th day or did it rain for a full week before it was “officially a flood?”
Genesis 7:11 On the seventeenth day of the second month of the 600th year of Noach’s life all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the sky were opened.
Is the date here being counted by Noah’s life? Does this mean Noah is 600 years, two months and 17 days old at this time? Or does it mean that Noah is 600 years old and it is the 17th day of the second month of the year?
Genesis 7:12 It rained on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Does this simply mean it rained for 40 consecutive 24 hour periods?
Genesis 7:13 On that same day Noach entered the ark with Shem, Ham and Yefet the sons of Noach, Noach’s wife and the three wives of his sons accompanying them;
Why is the text specifically pointing out that the men and women are separate?
Genesis 7:14 they, and every animal of every species, all the livestock of every species, every animal that creeps on the ground of every species, and every bird of every species — all sorts of winged creatures.
This sounds like, miraculously, the bulk of the 17th of the second month was devoted to getting all these creatures on to the Ark. This could not have been done my 8 people without major help from the Almighty.
Genesis 7:15 They went in to Noach in the ark, couples from every kind of living thing that breathes.
All the animals and the 7 other people are characterized as going into Noach. Is this a type of Messiah? One man is raised up by G-d and works to save others by his labor. They are warned of coming judgment which they can escape by joining him and entering into him. He is the only righteous man and G-d causes all life to be saved through him, despite the great destruction wrought on the earth. After which the earth is cleansed and ready for a new creation to fill it.
Genesis 7:16 Those that entered went in, male and female, from every kind of living being, as G-d had ordered him; and HaShem shut him inside.
Did Noah try to shut the door? Did the LORD tell him not to? Why did He shut the door and not Noah?
Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.
1. Did Noah keep Kosher?
2. Why were Man and Woman separate in the Ark?
3. Why did the LORD shut the Ark door?
That concludes my journey through Noach for the year 5783.
I hope these words have been a blessing to you.
May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.
This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.