Noah and the last days
Noah saw the end of the world that existed before the Flood; and he saw the new beginning after the
Flood. He had lived through the violence, human depravity, and lawlessness that fallen man had
revelled in, before God’s judgment fell from the heavens onto the earth. He endured ridicule and
mocking as he went each day to work on the ark. Noah and his family were to be separated from the
rest of humankind.
At the birth of his son, Noah’s father gave the reason for his son’s name: “He named him Noah saying,
‘This one will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has
cursed’” (Genesis 5:29). There is an allusion to what had been said to Adam (Genesis 3:17), “cursed is
the ground because of you; in TOIL you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” Then when we go
forward to the eve of the Flood, we discover another etymology implied in the text.