A look at Noah of the Bible's wife, Na'amah.
|Noah's wife, like so many others in the Bible, goes unnamed, and her accomplishments go unrecorded. She is specifically mentioned in the flood story in Genesis 6-9 as boarding the ark with her husband, three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, and their wives, because she is considered righteous and blameless. Interestingly, a Jewish scholar, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040–1105), was convinced that Noah’s wife was named Na’amah, the sister of Tubal-Cain, who was the great-great-great-great grandson of Cain. He reasoned that she was the only female mentioned in his lineage (Genesis 4) and that she would only have been mentioned if she was considered upright and righteous. Now looking at this, isn’t it interesting that the only worthy people at the time were descended from both the good son, Seth, and the bad son, Cain, son of Eve? |
At the time of the flood, God saw the earth as lawless. The Bible describes how the angels came down and laid with the women, creating the Nephilim that were roaming the earth. The Nephilim were described as the heroes of old, renown men. The rest of man had become wicked and evil. So, God decided to start over by flooding the earth and destroying both men and the earth. However, he saw that Noah and his family were righteous and loved him, so he decided to spare them. We all know the story. I want to look at Na’amah and her role in it.
The above picture is of a life-sized Ark museum that was built in Kentucky. As you can see, it is huge! Looking at the Bible, here is a list of requirements that were handed down by God to Noah for the ark:
Exact dimensions: 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Finish it to within 18 inches from the top. A door in the side and three stories on the inside.
There are seven pairs of each clean animal and two pairs of every unclean animal. There are also seven pairs of every type of bird.
Every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it for you and them.
To give you an idea of a timeline, Noah was 500 years old when his sons were born. His sons already had wives, but they had no children yet. When God told Noah that the earth would be flooded. Although Noah had been told he would need two of every creature, it wasn’t until seven days before the rains started that he was told that he would also need the extra pairs of clean animals and birds. Then, when he was 600 years, two months, and 17 days old, the rain began. The Bible says that after they got into the ark on the appointed day, God shut them in. Presumably finishing those last 18 inches that Noah was instructed not to do Talk about a miracle! Although it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, it wasn’t until Noah’s 601st birthday that they were able to disembark the ark as the water had finally dried up.
While looking at the story more closely, I have come to equate the family with being the ultimate preppers. Even if Noah had about 80 years to build the ark, he and his three sons would have been the only ones actually working on it. Even though they had tools, it was still a lot of work!!!I would imagine it took them the entire 80 years of non-stop work, especially since no grandchildren came along during that time. Seeing as no one else joined them on the ark, they wouldn’t have had help from a community that turned its back on God. Since Noah and the boys would be building, the gathering of the animals and food would then fall to Na’amah and her daughters-in-law.
The gathering of food was as vitally important as the ark itself. Not only would the family need to feed themselves, but they would also need to feed all the animals as well. Especially since they were aboard the ark for 10 months and, when they got off, they had to plant all the plants over again, so there wasn’t anything on earth to eat. The animals could have been sent by God to the ark, but the plants had to be gathered and stored, or, most likely, replanted. Much of it, especially hay and the like for the animals, had to be processed and stored. This was a daunting task for three women in a God-forsaken world! Along with that, they had to figure out how to organize the animals. Having every type of animal on board meant a lot of predators and prey that somehow had to be kept separate. This is without making sure they had the right number of animals. Unlike what is generally known of the story, along with the pairs of every type of animal, Na’amah and her family were supposed to take seven pairs of certain types of animals, specifically called "clean" animals. In Leviticus 11, God goes into explicit detail about what types of food can and cannot be eaten, separated into two categories, clean and unclean:
Split-hoof animals that completely chew cud. If their hoof was not completely divided, they did not chew cud, or if they chewed cud but it was not divided, they were not allowed to be eaten. Examples are: oxen, sheep, goats, deer, and gazelles.
Any fish with fins and scales Bringing fish aboard the ark was never mentioned in the Bible that I found. I am thinking God allowed all of them to coexist in the salty waters until the floods receded.
Any birds except predators: vultures, ravens, owls, gulls, storks, herons, and bats
Hopping insects such as locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers
Looking at the massive amount of work, I am sure there were many times that the entire family was ready to quit. They were most likely ridiculed (bringing to mind the movie Bruce Almighty) by their neighbors and were left without any support outside of each other. The most important aspect of Naamah’s story is not that she worked hard, but the tremendous faith that she had. Not only in God but also in her husband. The Bible doesn’t say that God spoke to her, so she had to trust her husband that when he said God told him what was coming, it was the truth. Such faith is inspiring. Not only did she trust her husband with her very life, but her faith was solely in a God that only seven other people believed in.
The world today, while not completely devoid of God, sees him being hidden away more and more. He is being taken out of schools, decried as a myth, and denounced. Even when doing research on Noah, so many ignorant people said that the building of the ark was impossible as they did not have modern tools. The faith in God is dwindling as the world gets worse. Trust is so difficult for most of us to put in others. I especially find it much easier to do things for others, than to trust and hope that I will get help in return when I need it. Even from my husband, I tend to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself sometimes, when it is something I struggle with. Telling God about my worries and things going wrong is even harder.
It won't happen overnight, but I discovered the following tips on the website How to Build Trust in a Relationship - Spokane Christian Counseling that are so simple, but difficult to implement. These don’t pertain to just a husband but to family, friends, and even your kids. I find following these tips with kids can sometimes be hard, as we tend to want to shelter them from the world around us.
Never lie! This includes white lies.
Open communication—if you are unsure of something, always clarify
Always show respect.
Keep your own and the other person's boundaries in mind.
Active listening entails validating what the other person is saying.
Patience! Patience! Patience!
Be on time for home, events, and family functions.
Commitment: Make sure you do what you say you will do.
Always be fair, whether in arguments or disagreements.
Be sensitive to the other person’s feelings; never discount how they feel.
Be considerate—if you’re going to be home late, call and let the person know.
Never overreact; emotions can get the best of some people.
Think before you speak. Words hurt. Once you say something, you can’t undo what has been said or the effects it may have on the other person.
Never bring up the past—the past is the past; leave it there.
Discuss your daily lives—talk about the events that happened at work.
Talk about your secrets—the more you learn about the other person, the stronger your relationship becomes.