Torah: Genesis 6:9 - 11:32
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1 - 55:5
Brit Chadashah: Matthew 24:36 - 46
When we look at the events of Noah and the ark, many times we only see the judgment that Adonai had brought upon the people and the land. However, the record of Noah and the ark is not one primarily of judgment, but in fact on of mercy and salvation. Sadly, when many read the words of the Torah - commonly called the Old Covenant by Christians - the understanding that they come away with is that the G-D of the Torah is a G-D of judgment and death, while the G-D of the New Covenant is a G-D of mercy and grace. However, this understanding is entirely incorrect. Why? Because Adonai Himself says so – as it is written, “For I am Adonai. I do not change” – Malachi 3:6. Therefore, the same G-D that written of in the Torah, is indeed the same G-D that is written of in the New Covenant – He simply does not change. As much as many would like to assume that Adonai only offered a way salvation in the New Covenant, the fact of the matter is that He has always provided a way of salvation since the beginning. It is no different here, except that the Messiah had yet to arrive in the person of Yeshua to ultimately fulfill that promise.
In our portion, we read that it was Adonai Himself who designed the ark – “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood. You shall make the ark with compartments and smear pitch on it, both inside and out” – Genesis 9:14. Adonai goes on to say, “You shall make a roof for the ark, and shall finish it to within a cubit from top. You shall put the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second and third stories” – Genesis 9:16. It is not the size of the ark that I want us to pay attention to but, instead the picture of what is being painted – the picture of Messiah and His Salvation. In the Brit Chadashah, Peter compares the ark of Noah and how it saved him and his family, to the salvation of Messiah – “Long ago they disobeyed while God kept waiting patiently, in the days of Noah as the ark was being built. In that ark a few (that is, eight souls) were brought safely through water”- 1 Peter 3:20. This is because the ark itself is a picture of the Messiah! The Hebrew word for ark is “teivah,” which actually means "word." In addition, the Hebrew word for pitch is “kefar,” which also means covering or atone – it is where we get the word “kippur,” which means atonement. Like the ark, which only has one door, salvation is designed by Adonai Himself. Like the ark, salvation only has one door (one way in) – Messiah, He is the door. The early sages wrote of the ark – “The Shechinah (Presence of G-D) is called an “ark” – teivah – the Word.” They also went on to say, that the Word (Teivah) is the House of G-D, because if you rearrange the letter of “teivah” it spells, “Beit,” which means House, as in the House of G-D. Thus, Noah and his family were saved by the Word of Adonai, and through the Word were brought into His House. The Brit Chadashah says of Messiah that He is indeed the Word – Messiah would say of Himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life! No one comes to the Father but through Me” – John 14:6. Messiah Yeshua would go on to say, “I am the door! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved! – John 10:9.
In verse 16, we read that Adonai commanded Noah – “You shall make a roof for the ark, and you shall finish it to within a cubit from the top. You shall put the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second and third stories” – Genesis 6:16. This verse also translates to say – “Make an opening for daylight in the ark… put the entrance to the ark in its side. Interestingly, there seems to be a direct correlation to the Messiah, who is in fact not only called the Light, but also the Door. The early sages teach that the Noah was provide a means for the Light to enter into the Teivah – Ark, which is also called the Word. In addition, the door, was said to symbolize repentance and that repentance was only possible in the Word, which led to the Light – the Light of Messiah. Yet, it is also believed that this opening through which the Light had come in was the same opening that the Noah used to release the dove in order to see if the waters had receded – as it is written, “After he waited seven more days, he sent out the dove, but she did not return to him again” – Genesis 8:12. This meant that the dove had indeed landed. But, there is a direct Messianic fulfillment regarding this passage of the dove as well as the waters that point to Messiah Yeshua – “After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him” – Matthew 3:16. Thus, the dove did indeed land – it landed upon Messiah Yeshua who is our “Teivah.” Our Ark, who saved us and atoned for us – the One who is the Door; the Living Word of G-D.
The portion of Noah and the ark paint for us a clear picture of the salvation that we find in Messiah Yeshua. Messiah Yeshua is indeed our rest, and He is indeed the only door to salvation. He is the Word and it is through the Word of Messiah by which we are saved – as it is written, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Messiah” – Romans 10:17.