Bereisheet (Genesis): Noah > Ch 6 & Ch 7

G-d decides to flood the world but save Noah & his family

  • During those times men were giants (Nephilim) and lived for hundreds of years. But they did much evil. Worst sins were done by sons of nobles who had relations with whomever they chose, including brides.
  • G-d saw that every imagination of man was only evil and all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. And G-d regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. But Noah found favor in the eyes of G-d.
  • G-d said that a flood will destroy all humans, animals, birds and creeping things in 120 years.
  • But Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noah walked with G-d.
  • G-d saved Noah and his family. Noah had a wife and three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And each of the sons had a wife. G-d told Noah to build and ark and gave him directions on how the ark should be built (300x50, 3 stories tall, narrowing on top, a skylight, door on the side, caulked to be waterproof). He then told Noah to take aboard one pair of each unclean living thing and seven pairs of each clean living thing. Noah was also to take of every food that is eaten, to provide sustenance for everyone onboard. “And Noah did; according to all that G-d had commanded him, so he did.”

Rashi Commentary

  • when they were beautifying themselves - When they would beautify her, adorned to enter the nuptial canopy, a noble would enter and have relations with her first (Gen. Rabbah 26:5) Nobles also had relations with married women, males and animals
  • Let My spirit not quarrel forever - Let My spirit not complain and quarrel because of man forever. Until a hundred and twenty years I will delay My wrath towards them, but if they do not repent, I will bring a flood upon them. Now if you ask: from the time that Japheth was born until the Flood are only a hundred years, [I will answer that] there is no [sequence of] earlier and later events in the Torah. This decree had already been issued twenty years before Noah begot children
  • and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years – G-d has decided that the flood will come in 120 years, giving people time to repent
  • The end of all flesh - Wherever you find promiscuity (and idolatry), a pestilence comes upon the world and kills both good and bad alike. — [from Gen. Rabbah 26:5]
  • Make for yourself an ark – Why did G-d burden Noah with this construction? In order that the people of the Generation of the Flood should see him occupying himself with it for one hundred twenty years and ask him, “For what do you need this?” And he would say to them, “The Holy One, blessed be He, is destined to bring a flood upon the world.” Perhaps they would repent. - [Aggadath Bereishith 1:2, Tan. Noach 5, Tan. Buber Bereishith 37, Gen. Rabbah 30:7]
  • and to a cubit you shall finish it to the top - Its covering slanted upwards until it narrowed at the top to one cubit (Gen. Rabbah 31:11), so that the rain should run down
  • And I will set up My covenant with you - A covenant was necessary for the fruits, so that they should not rot and become putrid, and so that the wicked of the generation should not kill him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 31:12]
  • you and your sons, and your wife - the men separately and the women separately. From here, we deduce that they were prohibited to engage in marital relations [in the ark]. — [Sanh. 108b]


The Flood

  • Seven days before the flood started, G-d commanded Noah to take the animals onboard. Animals came to the ark in pairs and they came on their own.
  • “In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day, all the springs of the great deep were split, and the windows of the heavens opened up. And the rain was upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.” On this very day, everyone has entered the ark and G-d has shut them in
  • The Flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters were so powerful that they rose 15 cubits above the highest mountains. “And all flesh perished that moved upon the earth, Everything that had the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils, of all that were on the dry land, died.”
  • The water prevailed upon the earth for 150 days

Rashi Commentary

  • for it is you that I have seen as a righteous man before Me - But it does not say: “a righteous man, perfect” [as it does in 6:9]. From here [we deduce] that we tell part of a person’s praise in his presence and all of it in his absence. — [Gen. Rabbah 32:3]
  • that were on the dry land - But not the fish, which were in the sea. — [Sanh. 108a]

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