Noah’s Three Sons
Author: Ian Taylor
1. Genesis 6:9 states that Noah was “perfect in his generations.” It has been suggested this means that Noah and his family [the ninth generation after Adam] were the few left on Earth who were genetically uncontaminated by the B’NAI HA’ELOHIM [sons of God, Genesis 6:2]. Noah’s family could thus be used by God to re-build the human family and provide a pure heritage for the Messiah. God warned Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit “on that day you will surely die” [Gen. 2:17] but as God’s “day” is as a 1000 years [2 Peter 3:8] Adam died at 930 years. God told Noah that man’s life-span would be shortened to 120 years: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever … yet his days shall be 120 years” [Gen.6:3]. From Genesis chapters five and eleven the life-span of the post-flood patriarchs drop off in a nice exponential curve and conclude with Moses aged 120 years [Deut. 34:7].
2. Genesis 6:14 -16 provides just the essential information necessary to build a vessel to preserve alive genetic representatives of all air-breathing animal life on earth for over a year. The marine life remained in the oceans. The Hebrew cubit was 17.5 inches but there was also a Royal cubit of 20.4 inches and recent evidence indicates that the ark was built using the shorter unit; the ark was thus 437 feet long. The KJV uses the expression “gopher wood” for the ark’s construction. Jerome [AD47-419], refers to this as ligna bituminata while Keil and Delitzsch agree and suggest it is wood from the cypress tree. Noah had 100 years to build the ark. [Gen. 5:32; 7:11 & 11:10]. The primary requirement for this vessel was stability not speed while ship construction over the centuries has shown that the proportions are exactly right. The windows were vents at the top to allow poisonous methane gases produced by animal and human waste to escape; this was sealed in the lower deck thus requiring the ark to be pitched on the inside as well as the outside [v.14].
3. Specialists tell us that a vessel 437 feet long, 73 feet wide and 44 feet tall would have a displacement of 14,000 tons i.e. it could carry this much cargo while there would be plenty of room for the animals and sufficient food and water. The fossil record shows that dinosaurs were very like the reptiles of today i.e. hatched from eggs thus began life as very small creatures and some grew continually throughout their life to the monster sizes found in the fossil record. In all cases then only very young, healthy specimens were necessary while it was God who brought them into the Ark. Textbooks tell us that there are millions of species of living things on earth today and due to continual extinction there were greater numbers in the past. While this is true it will be recalled that species names are given for the purpose of classification and tell us nothing about who is actually related to whom — this can only be determined by breeding experiments and in the case of fossils these are not usually successful. The dog family, for example, is known to consist of the fox, the colishé, the coyoté, the jackal, the wolf, the fennec and the domestic dog of all shapes and sizes. These will all interbreed and have fertile offspring thus, by definition, they are all of the same kind. This means that only two representatives, male and female, were required on the ark. The numbers are thus likely to be far less than we might imagine and, except for a few domestic species, science has no idea who is related in the animal Kingdom. Again, only the Creator could have made the selection.
4. According to Genesis 1:29-30, creatures of the pre-Flood world were vegetarian and it was not until after the Flood [Gen. 9:2-4] that God gave permission to both man and beast to eat flesh. Although there are some unresolved problems, if predation was a natural part of the creation before the Fall, then death occurred before the Fall. But this seems to be at variance with Romans 5:12-21. However, part of this problem is now resolved in the classic case of Tyranosaurus rex. While fossil evidence, such as the long pointed teeth of the Tyranosaurus rex, suggests that this creature was a carnivore, closer inspection shows that those teeth do not extend deeply into the jaw. It is now admitted that T. rex was a scavanger eating only soft, rotten meat. Again, many creatures such as the fruit bat, have long pointed teeth but do not eat flesh. While we do not have all the answers, it is thought that the carnivores of today were previously vegetarians.
5. In his Prehistoric Times , John Lubbock used the word “primitive” in two senses to mean very early and very crude. He thus convinced the reader that the discovery of a crude human artifact meant that it was very early. One has only to look at modern art to know that this is faulty logic! There are numerous evidences to show that man has lost the knowledge that he once had, e.g., the building techniques for the pyramids are still largely a mystery. We have no idea how these ancient peoples cut and moved the enormous stones inside the pyramid to fit with such precision. Even less do we know how the 1000 ton foundation stones of the Temple at Baalbek were cut and moved. The far-fetched nonsense about aliens from space having built Stonehenge and the Pyramids is often believed rather than ackowledge that man is a fallen being. Gen. 4:22 tells us that bronze and iron were being used prior to the Flood and occasionally human artifacts are discovered in coal beds. The Egyptian builders were Hamites [Psalm 105:23,27] and the negroid facial features of the Sphinx bear witness to this.
6. Genesis 8:4 says that the Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat and traditionally this has been thought to be in Southeastern Turkey. Today, this is a politically sensitive area making exploration difficult. Moreover, the Moslems regard Ararat as a holy site containing the ark of Noah. They try to discourage Christians, who they know would profane the holy vessel by cutting out samples for C14 analysis etc. So-called Navara’s wood discovered earlier in the 1800’s was claimed to be from the Ark but gave carbon dates at only a few hundred years. There are several eye-witness accounts of those who have ventured inside the ark but this is anecdotal, proof will in any case, be difficult. The vessel is believed to be broken in two and at present beneath 50 feet of ice; earlier in the 20th century there had been less snowfall and the vessel was exposed. Recent speculations based upon Genesis 11:2 place the Ark on the Zagros mountains due east of western Iran.
7. Genesis 9:19 tells us that the entire earth was populated from the sons of Noah while Genesis chapter 10 is the table of nations and lists by name the descendants of Japheth, Ham and Shem. According to the work of Christian scholar, Dr. Arthur Custance, the Japhethites became the Indo-Europeans of today e.g. Gomer is the early name for the Germanic peoples and Javan is the early name for the Greek peoples; Custance includes the people of India among the Japhethites, since the Indo-European languages are known to be related. The Hamites are generally the colored peoples of Africa, native America and possibly China while the Shemites became the semitic peoples i.e. Jews and Arabs of today. Custance also points out in great detail and numerous examples how each of these families had specific mandates for mankind. The Shemites gave us true and false religions, i.e. the Bible and the Koran; the Hamites gave us metallurgy, weaving, agriculture, building etc while the Japhethites were concerned with philosophy but also developed Ham’s inventions. Genesis 9:25-27 tells us that Ham’s son, Canaan, will be a servant of servants to his brethren, Shem and Japheth. For example, Rudolf Diesel’s adoption of a Hamite invention, the South American Indian’s “cigar lighter,” produced the modern diesel engine.
8. Scripture always ranks the order of Noah’s sons as, “Shem, Ham and Japheth” although we are told Ham was the youngest son and Japheth the eldest leaving Shem as the middle son. Custance believes it is because this is the order of the importance of their gifts to mankind: Man’s spiritual life through Shem, Man’s material needs through Ham and finally Man’s philosophical needs through Japheth. God clearly regards philosophy as the least of Man’s needs and talents! Careful reading of Scripture and keeping in mind the names from Genesis chapter 10 and their mandates, show that the order is always consistent: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
9. The following are examples of the ranked order: Shem, Ham, Japheth, given throughout Scripture for descendants of Noah’s 3 sons:
A. Abraham’s 3 wives: Sara [Shem, Gen. 11:31]; Hagar [Ham, Gen. 16:1] and Keturah [Japheth, 1 Chronicles 1:32, 33].
B. Authors of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew was certainly a Jew [Matt. 9:9], and Luke a Greek [Coloss. 4:14)] there is uncertainty about Mark.
C. At the crucifixion: People of Israel [Shem, Matt. 27:25]; Simon the Cyrenian [Ham, Matt. 27:32] and the Roman centurion [Matt. 27:54].
D. Those seeking Jesus: The shepherds at Bethlehem [Shem, Luke 2:8]; The Magi [Ham, Matt. 2:1] and the Greeks [Japheth, John 12:20].
E. Hearing the Gospel: Men of Israel [Acts 2:22], The Ethiopian [Acts 8:35] and Cornelius, the Roman centurion [Acts chapter 10].
10. What color were Shem, Ham and Japheth? Scripture makes no reference to color but does insist that God has “… made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth” [Acts 17:26]. Moreover, it has already been seen that the whole earth had been populated from the three sons of Noah [Genesis 9:19]. Skin color and other racial characteristics are a matter of certain genes being turned on or off while genetic information in the human gene pool is continually being lost. For example, brown eyes are the result of certain sections of the gene code being turned on to permit melanin to be produced in the skin and in the eyes to give the brown coloration. When that part of the code is turned off or lost, little or no melanin is produced and blue eyes and white skin are the result. Therefore, when both parents have blue eyes that particular part of the code to produce melanin is absent and their child will have blue eyes. When one parent has brown eyes and the other blue, the dominent gene is brown and the children’s eyes are more likely to be brown. These rules are based upon the greater tendency for loss of genetic information rather than exchange i.e. it is not possible to acquire information once loss has occurred, which is the situation with two blue-eyed parents. But information can be attained from a partner who already has that information i.e. the brown-eyed parent. All this being said, it might be supposed that Adam was the blackest of black but this does not follow. The most predominant color among the world’s people today is brown and from brown it is possible to get black. Adam and Noah and his family were almost certainly brown. Undoubtedly, the concentration or loss of information occurred during the dispersion of the families, following the affair at the Tower of Babel. Social preferences would play a significant part in producing the various racial characteristics we see today and there is some evidence that adaptation to geographical location has an effect.
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