Some years have gone by after the flood waters receded and Noah’s family exited the ark. They had adapted to the post-flood climate, and it was harsher than in the antediluvian period. With eight people to provide for, and more on the way, food was a necessity, and Noah became a farmer. We are not told what occupations Shem, Ham and Japheth took, but, undoubtedly, the younger men helped their father. By the time of our story, Ham and his wife had at least one child, Canaan, who was apparently the youngest male (Genesis 9:24). In addition to food crops, Noah also planted a vineyard.
This article appeared in the Daily SouthTown yesterday. I found it fascinating because it perfectly captured the points of what we teach here at 113 Restoration, namely, the power and responsibility of the father to care for his family, and those he is directly responsible for, as well as how YHVH is the judge of widows and orphans. Beyond this, He commands us not to put a stumbling block in front of the blind.
He executes justice for the orphan and the widow
Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper.
You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.
This is the third entry in the “Vignettes of Patriarchy” series.
Centuries have passed since Adam’s Fall. Mankind has been fruitful and multiplied, though not without some tragic episodes such as the fratricide by Cain against his brother Abel, or Lamech’s killing of a teenager or young man. Then, in the fifth chapter of Genesis, Moses wrote the second “this is the book of generations of” זה ספר תולדת (zeh sepher toldot); the first time was the record of the creation during Creation Week. This genealogical record illuminates something that I think bears emphasis before we continue onto Noah himself.
Patriarchy is about a man being responsible for his family in his generation. But every man has a heritage of fathers backwards into time to Noah, and beyond him to Adam, and may be blessed with a similar heritage in descendants in sons and daughters forward into time. The past is fixed, but the present choices determines much about what the future will be, while the ultimate end thereof is known only to YHVH. Therefore, a genealogical record connects us with the past, with the decisions made by previous patriarchs that informing present-day men and fathers in their decision-making with an eye to the future. Not every man will be great in his generation, but he may have a great ancestor and/or a great descendant. Every human since the Flood is descended from Noah, and to him we now turn.
By naming the beasts and birds, the man demonstrated he had authority over them and used it for good. But, for whatever reason, he did not exercise that authority over the serpent when it talked to the woman. He allowed the serpent to beguile his woman.
It was a beautiful day in the morning of the world. Just a few days earlier on Days Two and Three, the world had been spoken into existence by the Word of YHVH, given light on Day Four, populated with plants and all manner of beasts on Days Five and Six. Finally, in great and deep joy, YHVH made man in His image and put him in the Garden of Eden, then He rested on Day Seven. All was perfect. YHVH smiled and the Heavenly Host sang for joy (Job 38:4-11, esp. v.7).