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2262Noah and Babylon

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  • Jovial
    Oct 8, 2010
      Often there are things G-d is trying to tell us in the Hebrew Scriptures that don't come across in English even when the English has been perfectly translated.  Many of the stories in Torah , particularly in Genesis, are connected together through common themes.  While some of these thematic concepts can be seen from the content, and thus observable in English, much of it cannot and can only be seen when reading the Scriptures in the original language.  I'll provide some examples of both of those in the following.
      This week, Jews all over the world will be reading the Torah portion known as "Noah", contains the story of Noah and Babylon.  Next week is the story of Abraham's calling.   All 3 of these stories are linked together through a common theme, and there is something God is trying to tell us with those common themes.  When we examine all of the evidence we find that the calling of Israel as a nation was done as a reaction to man's weaknesses - the kind of weaknesses that caused him to try and create Babylon in the first place.
      I have posted a teaching on "Noah" at http://www.messiahalive.com/genesis.htm  showing these themes: 
      BUILDING (בנה) / Son  (בן =Ben)
      Noah built (בנה) an ark.  The men at Babylon built (בנה) a tower.  Abraham was promised a son (בן {same basic root}) and having a family is referred to as "building" a family in Hebrew speach.  Gen 30:3 is one example, where Rachel asks Jacob to have children through Bilhah so that Rachel may "build up also".  Deut 25:9 is another example.  So while these concepts aren't linked together in English thought, they are linked together in Hebrew thought.  This is part of what you miss out on if you're only reading Torah in English.
      Name (שם=Shem) and Heaven (שמים=Shamayim)
      The story of Noah discusses the "men of name (שם)" and in thet story on Bablyon it says "Let us make a name (שם) for ourselves".  Later, G-d told Abraham, "I will make your name (שם) great."  In the story of Noah, the Nephilim left heaven (שמים) for earth.  In Babylon, men tried to leave earth for the heavens (שמים).  And in Abraham's story, Abraham was promised descendants as many as stars in the heavens (שמים) and the dust in the sand (earth).  Not only is there a link that can be seen in English with "name" (שם) and "heaven" (שמים) as themes of all 3 stories, but  there's a link between "name" and "heaven" you'll miss if you don't think of these stories in Hebrew. 
      Noah was one many acting against many.  Babylon was many men trying to act as one.  Abraham was one many who became the father of many. 
      All three stories contain word play, and that wordplay gets across the basic theme of the story. 
      • For Noah, it says, ""I repented (נחם) that I made them, but Noah (נח) found grace (חן)"".  That sums up the story of Noah. Note how Noah's Name is spelled NUN CHET and the word "grace" is spelled CHET NUN or Noah's name backwards. 
      • At Babylon, it says they "they used brick (לבנה) for stone (אבן) and asphalt (חמר) for mortar (חמר)."  This was recorded because it is a symbol of how they replaced G-d plan for mankind with their own.  Stones (אבן) are used as a symbol for what passes from father (אב) to son (בן) in Hebrew thought, but here, they've left out the heavenly Father and done there own thing.
      • And the story of Abraham opens with לך לך = "Lek Lekah" = "Go for yourself"", to indicate how Abraham was sent from where he grew up to the Promised Land. 
      So why are these stories connected together thematically?  Is there a reason?  YES.  And I discuss part 1 of what links all of these 3 stories together at http://www.messiahalive.com/genesis.htm  .    The calling of Israel as a nation is directly linked to the stories of Noah and Babylon.  You'll understand the phrase "come out of Babylon" like you've never before once you understand how Babylon and Israel are linked together in these two Torah portions! 
      Shalom,  Joe