no'-a (noach, "rest"; Septuagint Noe; Josephus, Nochos): The 10th in descent from Adam in the line of Seth (Ge 5:28-29). Lamech here seems to derive the word from the nacham, "to comfort," but this is probably a mere play upon the name by Noah's father. The times in which Noah was born were degenerate, and this finds pathetic expression in Lamech's saying at the birth of Noah, "This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Yahweh hath cursed." Concerning theory that Noah is the name of a dynasty, like Pharaoh or Caesar, rather than of a single individual, see ANTEDILUVIANS. In his 600th year the degenerate races of mankind were cut off by the Deluge. But 120 years previously (Ge 6:3) he had been warned of the catastrophe, and according to 1Pe 3:20 had been preparing for the event by building the ark (see ARK; DELUGE OF NOAH). In the cuneiform inscriptions Noah corresponds to "Hasisadra" (Xisuthrus). After the flood Noah celebrated his deliverance by building an altar and offering sacrifices to Yahweh (Ge 8:20), and was sent forth with God's blessing to be "fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Ge 9:1), as Adam had been sent forth at the beginning (Ge 1:28). In token of the certainty of God's covenant not to destroy the race again by flood, a rainbow spanned the sky whose reappearance was ever after to be a token of peace. But Noah was not above temptation. In the prosperity which followed, he became drunken from the fruit of the vineyard he had planted. His son Ham irreverently exposed the nakedness of his father, while Shem and Japheth covered it from view (Ge 9:22-23). The curse upon Canaan the son of Ham was literally fulfilled in subsequent history when Israel took possession of Palestine, when Tyre fell before the arms of Alexander, and Carthage surrendered to Rome.
George Frederick Wright