Did Noah Preach?

arkI was reading Jon Bloom this morning at the Desiring God blog. The title of the post is The Folly of what Noah Preached and it compares the message preached by Noah to the New Testament sermons of which Paul said “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV) He draws a parallel between Noah’s sermon to repent and get on the ark and our sermon to repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In both cases judgement was announced and a plan of salvation offered.

Desiring God is one of the few blogs I read that does not allow readers to comment. So here is my comment: I can’t find evidence that Noah preached any such sermon. It’s just not in the Bible. Bloom’s post is based on Hebrews 11:7 which reads:

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 ESV)

Noah’s act of building the ark, following the commands given by God, condemned the world. Hebrews 11:7 points out the ark was built to save his household. The Genesis flood account doesn’t say anything about him warning others, preaching of the coming flood, nor even discussing it with anyone outside of his family. The Genesis account is quite clear that God’s intent was to wipe all living things from the earth with the exception of Noah and his family. Think Sodom and Gomorrah with the provision that Lot and his family were allowed to leave. Please refer to Genesis 6,7 and 8 but consider the following:

For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. (Genesis 6:17-18 ESV)

Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1 ESV)

God established a covenant with Noah, before construction of the ark ever began, that only he and his family would enter. I did a little digging to see what others thought on this subject. Answers in Genesis has written before on Noah the Evangelist. They draw some conclusions that are based in reason and logic, but that doesn’t mean the events actually happened. Consider:

However, they were informed that there was indeed going to be a Flood…quite likely, from the words of Noah himself.

One can imagine that Noah was often asked about his construction project. Indeed, it is likely that he was mocked for such an enterprise.

I can imagine a lot of things. The Bible never says anyone was informed there was going to be a flood. As a matter of fact in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is preaching about the last days and says “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away… ” (Matthew 24:38-39) Speculation tells us they were informed that there was going to be a flood; Jesus Christ preached they had no idea. Which are we to believe?

Answers in Genesis does provide some evidence that Noah preached an invitation to join his family on the ark, based on some ancient Jewish traditions.

However, some Jewish scholars maintain that Noah did indeed leave some words, too. John Gill, in chapter 22 of the Pirke R. Eliezer, quotes Noah’s words according to Jewish tradition: “Be ye turned from your evil ways and works, lest the waters of the flood come upon you, and cut off all the seed of the children of men.” If this extrabiblical source has any truth in it, then Noah is asking for people to repent…

If this extrabiblical source has any truth in it; That seems to me like a big if, especially when the Bible not only doesn’t mention it but says the contrary is actually true. The only biblical ref. to Noah as “preacher” found in 2 Peter 2:5: if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5 ESV) The Greek word kerux (κηρυξ) refers to a herald, or “one who announces.” King James and other translations render the word preacher in that verse, the ESV quoted above does not.

No verse in the Bible says Noah warned of the flood or suggested anyone besides his family get on. God explicitly tells Noah that he and his family will get on the ark and every other living thing, man and beast, will be destroyed. Why do many preachers and Bible teachers still claim that Noah preached a message of invitation for 120 years that no one responded to?


11 thoughts on “Did Noah Preach?

  1. Have you ever heard of the Epic of Gilgamesh? Well, it’s identical to the Genesis flood bedtime story… but written about 2 to 3 thousand illusory-like years before the handbook of predictive programming called the ‘Old Testament’ started its circus show.

    ‘Utnapishtim’ became the flood hero ‘Noah’ in the newer version.

    By the way friend, predictive programming is found in ditties, myths, songs, shows, art, movies, science, and religion. The subtle messages program the subconscious mind, nudging you to focus on an event, so as to increase its probability it’ll occur in the ‘future’. One who experiences the event thinks it’s a natural occurrence, instead of recognizing it to be as staged as the Ginsu Knife sales pitch.

    There’s a coastal water event that is being planned by those who are directing both mainstream and alternative media. Since most carnival patrons don’t control their attention, it’s highly likely it just might occur.

    The arc of angles assists in creating the perception of ‘things’. In essence, the ArcAngel is the ‘Arc of Angles’ (created by the mixing of the 3 energies that are subjectively interpreted as colors red green blue when they come together to make the first Hexagram).

    An Archon creates using Angles.

    The arc of archeology brings the illusory-like past and presents it as real to those in the present.

    The arch connects duality, and presents it as one. Two bull horns of bull.

    The ark is the arc of electricity that El-ectrifies, and provides what is wrongly thought of as ‘life’. All brought to you by Elhohim (the Elected Hebrew name for God).

  2. I taught World History for several years, and am familiar with the epic of Gilgamesh. Many ancient cultures have a great flood story. There are two ways to respond; some conclude that since many flood stories exist, in different cultures spread across the ancient world, there must not have actually been a great flood. The alternative is conclude that since many different stories exist that relate a similar/ the same event that a great flood did actually occur in antiquity. I suggest that multiple accounts of the same event constitute corroboration .

    Elohim is Hebrew for “God” in a general sense, such as in Genesis 1. YHWH is used in Genesis 2 as the proper name for God, illustrated his closeness to humanity.

    I allowed Xxavierx’s comment because opposing viewpoints are encouraged and can at time further the discussion. I responded to the little bit of it that made sense. What I’m still hoping for are comments that agree Noah did not preach or argue that he did.

  3. I have not seen the movie Noah but apparently the film is based partly on Jewish and other sources. I did not know that when writing this post.

  4. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

  5. 2 Peter 2:5 says, “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” Peter obviously thought Noah was a preacher!!!

  6. Peter would have been aware there were no “preachers” as such in the Old Testament. There were prophets at times, and teaching rabbis were part of established Judaism. The function of the priests was receiving and offering sacrifices. Peter became the first preacher of the New Covenant when he preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

    2 Peter 2:5 is in the post by the way, Greek exegesis and everything.

  7. Clark,

    Paul twice calls himself a ‘keryx’ – both times in combination with ‘apostolos’ and ‘didaskalos.’ According to Strong’s, the word denotes one commissioned by an authority to proclaim public messages. If the flood is a type of the final judgment, it makes sense that, just as God has sent messengers of repentance to this world, so he sent messengers of repentance to the ancient world. My two cents. God bless.

  8. In all of history, God reveals Himself to special people, some prophets, some preachers, some lay people. Look at the children of Israel. Every time they strayed away, God always sent someone to warn them of the consequences of their sin. When they chose not to listen, God could no longer protect them from evil. The loving, merciful God who stepped in to save them would have been the same in days of Noah. He would not have destroyed the earth without giving a warning. That is why Noah was a “preacher of righteousness”. If you know God’s nature, its simple to see why He would have instructed Noah to foretell the flood.

  9. You are making a logical case press based on thing you know, or in this case believe to be true about God. When God first spoke to Noah, before he gave him the instructions for building the ark, he told Noah he would save his family. What you believe to be true about God conflicts with what the Bible tells us happened. Your belief that people were warned of coming destruction is extra-biblical.

  10. It just seems like your stuck on the idea that Noah didn’t preach the righteousness and wrath God even when Peter says that he did. Like it or not, that is what “herald” means. God told Isaiah that he would warn and herald the message but that no one would listen of see and that this judgment would come in time. Don’t get to stuck just because you want to be right.

  11. Peter referred to Noah as a herald of righteousness but did not say that he preached. Historically there were no “preachers” during the time Noah lived. When God told Noah to build the Ark he also told him that only he and his family would be saved. If Noah had invited anyone else to get on THAT would been outside of God’s will.

    If Noah preached, and the Bible doesn’t say that he did, then he definitely did not “give an invitation” to get on the ark and be saved from the flood. God saved exactly the eight people that he declared he would before two planks were nailed together.

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