Noah, the bible and art


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A power point analysing the film 'Noah".

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Noah, the bible and art

  1. 1. Reflections on the current film “Noah”.
  2. 2.  The “Watchers” or the “Nephilim”.  The existence of Tubal-Cain revealing his importance in advancing metallurgy and weapons.  During the flood, we see huge amounts of water coming up from the ground, like geysers.  The search for Noah‟s son‟s wives.  The herb-induced hibernation of the animals.  Noah‟s doubts, his concern with his own and his family‟s sin.  The drunkenness of Noah.  The defiance of his son Ham.
  3. 3. In Genesis chapter six we read about the Nephilim, who were the offspring of fallen angels who came to earth and married beautiful women of earth. The term is often translated as giants, but the literal meaning is fallen angel---an extra-terrestrial. Thus, these offspring were strange hybrids.  “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward---when the „sons of God‟ went to the daughters of men and had children by them.” Gen. 6:4  The term „sons of God‟ is used in the original Hebrew translation in the book of Job as a reference to those beings in heaven who existed before the creation of man. Modern translations have used the word angel instead. See Job 38:7  In the book of Jude these „sons of God‟ are also mentioned: “And the angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Jude 1:6 Here is where the film “Noah” makes a sharp deviation in meaning by making these hybrids into semi-good, rock-encrusted, giants who help Noah build the ark. There is no valid source for this idea. We might say that they are in “chains” through their rock bodies. But giving the impression of good fallen angels is false.  The term “Watchers” is derived from the Apocrypha Book of Enoch. There they are also referred to as „sons of God‟ or angels, and the reference is to fallen ones.
  4. 4.  Tubal-Cain is a real descendant of Adam‟s son Cain who killed Abel. He is mentioned in Genesis 4:22 as the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. His ancestor Cain is associated with the building of cities.  So…in the ten generations since the time of Adam, weapons, cities, hybrid creations, and evil have proliferated. This is revealed in the film very well and the addition of Tubal-Cain seems a valid addition to the story of Noah. All of this imagery helps to reinforce the idea that God grieved over his creation and wished to destroy it.  “The Lord saw how great man‟s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…” Gen. 6:5-7
  5. 5.  To many, the idea of rain for forty days would not be enough to flood the entire earth, covering all the mountains. But it was not ordinary rain.  In Genesis 7:11 it states that “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the flood gates of the heavens were opened.”  The springs of the deep are depicted in the film as these tremendous geysers.  What about the „flood gates of heaven‟? We need to go back and read the Creation story more carefully. In Genesis 1:6, God divides the waters placed UNDER the firmament from those placed ABOVE the firmament. He then calls the firmament „sky‟.
  6. 6.  This is a topic depicted by a renown artist before. Can you guess who?  Yes, you are correct. It was Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  He places this as one of the large scenes directly over the entrance to the chapel to symbolize the sin of man. This allows for a progression from Sin to Godliness to the image of God the Creator over the altar. It also expresses some of his Neo-platonic concepts.
  7. 7. Or is this also biblical? After the flood, when Noah and his sons are on the new earth, grapes are grown (maybe for the first time) and Noah makes wine, drinks and gets drunk. See Genesis 9:21- 27 for the full story. The rest of the story reveals a sin of Noah‟s son Ham and a curse on him and his descendants. Ham finds Noah naked and drunk and runs to get his brothers to disgrace him. Shem & Japeth walk with a cloak respectfully not viewing their father and cover him.
  8. 8.  Some are felt to be inspired by the Jewish tradition of the Midrash.  However, these, in my opinion, do not destroy the basic religious concept of the film.  The idea of a benevolent fallen angel, meaning one who defied God is, however, in my view, very dangerous and misleading.