Genesis 6:10 And Noah begot three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth.
In the previous verse it says that Noah walked with God. In Genesis 5 a man named Enoch walked with God and then disappeared with God, he was no more. Therefore, this description of Noah walking with God has to be very significant.
And it is. In walking with God Noah was chosen to carry out a very important task, not just to build an ark but to be the salvation of every species, including man. God laid every detail out for him, including some detail that is not evident without the original text.
In verse 10 of Genesis 6 we read the second time Noah’s sons are listed. The first time was in the previous chapter, offering the detail that they were born when Noah was 500 years old. I believe that these boys were triplets. So far I have not uncovered any scripture that would suggest that the brothers were not all the same age.
There is more than that they were triplets, but their names are significant. So much so that any time that they are mentioned they are always in the same order.
To understand the message we have to go to the ancient Hebrew alphabet and discover the story that each letter gives us in the spelling of their names.
- Shem – Shin, which means destroy or consume; Mem, which means water. Great picture of the flood.
- Ham – Hey, which means breath; Mem, which means water. A breeze on the water?
- Japheth – Yod, which is a hand and arm meaning work or reaching; Qof, which means horizon; Tav, which means mark or covenant.
Noah, whose name means rest and protector of life, gave a story of life being protected. In the midst of a consuming water the breath of God takes them to the hand of God that reaches far ahead into the unknown, the horizon, to link them to the covenant. What covenant? The covenant God would make with a man who would be born 392 years after the birth of Noah’s boys. It was Abraham, 10 generations ahead, who would hear uttered what is only given as a momentary sparkle that we have through the names of the boys.
Did Noah have more details as to the future, the future that reached well beyond the flood? I think so. Therefore, I really believe that Noah was an influence to his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson who was called by God to travel to a land he had never been to before. The covenant that God made with Abraham was a continuation of the promise that God revealed to Adam in Genesis 3 and that God had given to Noah. We have no real proof but it is very possible that Noah sowed into Abraham’s life for 58 years until his death at age 950. Abraham did not receive his covenant with God until the age of 75.
Everyone of us need a Noah to sow into our lives. You may be that Noah to sow into a person in the next generation.