As in the Days of Noach, so in the Days of Messiah
“As in the days of Noach” is probably the most obscured of all signs of the Messiah gave concerning his coming. We should recall that the Messiah gave two more signs concerning his coming, namely, the sign of Jonah the Prophet and “as in the days of Lot“. But no one should think in his right mind that it was accidental for the Messiah to link “as in the days of Noach” and “as in the days of Lot” in such a way as to explicitly say concerning his return, “And as it came to be in the days of Noach so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. … And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot.” Therefore, it is incumbent upon us that we should study both signs in their proper context: the signs of “as in the days of Noach” and “as in the days of Lot”, as Yeshua said of himself,
And as the days of Noach so also shall the coming of the Son of mankind be. For as they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noach entered into the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also shall the coming of the Son of mankind be. (Mat 24:37-39)
As in the days of Noach in the flood story
Let us recall the Flood story. According to the Book of Yashar 5:8-10, Noach and Metushelach (Noach’s grandfather) preached repentance for 120 years. For this is what the Creator said to them, “Behold I give you a period of one hundred and twenty years; if you will turn to me and forsake your evil ways, then will I also turn away from the evil which I told you, and it shall not exist, saith the Lord”. And Noach and Metushelach spoke all the words of the Lord to the people, day after day, but they did not hearken to them, for they were stiff-necked.
In addition to the 120 years which Elohim had given mankind to repent and to mend its ways, He now gave them another seven days. Metushelach died at 969 years of age seven days before the waters of the Flood came upon the earth. And after the seven days of mourning for his grandfather, Noach brought into the ark all living creatures, which Elohim told him, so that there was none left. And the rain had not descended until these seven days. And on that day, the Lord caused the whole earth to shake, the sun darkened, the foundations of the world raged, the whole earth was moved violently. And the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and all the fountains in the earth were broken up, such as was not known before, in order that there might be no longer evil on earth. And at the end of seven days, in the six hundredth year of the life of Noach, the waters of the flood were upon the earth. (Yashar 6:8-14)
In Yashar 6:17-19, we read that the sons of men assembled together, about seven hundred thousand men and women, and came to the ark and said to him to open the door. But Noach answered, “Have you not all rebelled against the Lord, and said that he does not exist? And therefore, the Lord brought upon you this evil, to destroy and cut you off from the face of the earth”. We will now move to the Book of Genesis, wherein YHVH said to Noach,
Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. … Because for seven more days I am sending rain on the earth, forty days and forty nights, and shall wipe from the face of the earth all that stand that I created. (Gen 7:1-4)
Seven days of light to end darkness
According to the Rabbinic tradition, the day the Creator said to Noach, “Because for seven days, I am sending rain on the earth” his grandfather Metushelach died. It is not explained in Gen 7:4 after seven days of what. But the tradition relates that for seven days before the Flood “the people heard a great commotion in the heaven” that signified “the end of the age”:
And it came to pass, after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. What was the nature of these seven days — Rav said: These were the days of mourning for Methuselah, thus teaching that the lamenting for the righteous postpones retribution. Another meaning is: After the seven days during which the Holy One, blessed be He, reversed the order of beginning of the sun rising in the west and setting in the east… (Sanhedrin 108b)
Note: The account in the Book of Yashar and the tradition of the rabbis suggest that there was cataclysm of some sort, i.e., a reversal of the Earth’s rotation, or most likely a reversal of its poles whose magnitude would almost certainly bring drastic changes in the Earth’s motion and cataclysms.
So, in seven days of calm, the fountains of the earth were broken up and the Creator brought the torrential rain that lasted forty days and forty nights. A memory of seven days of “flaming torches, lighting up the land with their brightness” just prior to the arrival of the waters of the Flood is preserved in the Babylonian account, The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by A. Heidel, tablet XI. So, if that was what indeed happened in the days of Noach, the world must have been in a dazzling light so strong and so brilliant day and night that in the days of Isaiah the memory of that light of the seven days was still alive in the tradition. So strong and brilliant that when the prophet wrote down the last days prophecy concerning the sevenfold light of the sun, this must have evoked the memory of seven days of light prior to the Flood, as we read in Isaiah thus,
Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days… (Isa 30:26)
These seven days of intense light in Isa 30:26 could be generated by a supernatural event that would allude to the seven days of light preceding the Flood, when the corrupted world came to an end. If so, could it be possible to presume that the seven days of mourning for Metushelach and the seven days of light are somehow related, namely, that they point out to the same miracle of a sevenfold light, as the light of seven days in Isaiah?
Furthermore, the prophecy in Isa 60:19-20 speaks of another period of mourning that will end. And when the days of this mourning end, then YHVH will be an everlasting light of the New Jerusalem, as it was said,
No longer is the sun your light by day, nor does the moon give light to you for brightness, but YHVH shall be to you an everlasting light, and your Elohim your comeliness. No longer does your sun go down, nor your moon withdraw itself, for YHVH shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. (Isa 60:19-20)
And indeed, the heaven and earth will come to their Sabbath of rest — the seventh millennium — as in the beginning of Creation there was light, so will its close be: light; and the darkness was between them. And as the end of the corrupted world in the time of Noach came with seven days of light and mourning, so will the end of this world come with light and mourning. In support of this Sanhedrin 97a-b says,
For six thousand years the world will exist: [there will be] two thousand years of Tohu [“void”], two thousand years of Torah, and two thousand years of the Messiah. But because of our sins, which are many, several of these [Messianic years] have already passed…. the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew His world only after seven thousand years.
Comet in the sky before the Flood
Abraham Rockenbach was a scholar of the late Renaissance who probably first wrote about a comet in the sky before the Flood. In 1602, he published a short treatise in Latin, De cometis tractatus novus methodicus, in which he had the following entry concerning the Flood:
In the year of the creation of the world 1656, after Noach had attained the age of 600 years, three days before the death of Methusalem, a comet appeared in the constellation Pisces that was seen by the entire world as it traversed the twelve signs of the zodiac in the space of a month; on the sixteenth of April it again disappeared. After this the Deluge immediately followed, in which all creatures which live on earth and creep on the ground were drowned, with the exception of Noach and the rest of the creatures that had gone with him into the ark. About these things is written in Genesis, chapter 7. De quibus Genesism cap. 7 scriptum est.
Rockenbach claimed in his treatise that what he wrote concerning that comet was based on information “from the most trustworthy and the most ancient of the early writers” with which he might have referred to the great medieval Tanak commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, 1040 – 1105). Rashi wrote concerning Pleiades, כִּימָה kimah (a celestial body mentioned in Job 9:9, Job 38:31, and in Amo 5:8) that it was “a star with a tail” associated with the Flood in the Talmud. And if there was any a supernatural event seven days before the Flood, and if the prophecy in Isaiah alludes to it, then it is reasonable to expect another celestial event in the sky that will herald the coming of the Messiah. But this time, however, the end of the corrupted world will not come with water like in the days of Noach. We should recall that the Creator promised mankind presented by Noach that He would not destroy the earth with water. But it is worth noting that He said nothing about fire.
While indeed water was able to only cover the sin and not remove it completely, fire is altogether different instrument in the hands of the Creator. And perhaps, that is why Yeshua linked the prophecy of “the days of Noach” to allude to another prophecy and “as in the days of Lot”.
And as it came to be in the days of Noach so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. … And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot: They were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but on the day, Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all. It shall be the same in the day the son of man is revealed. In that day, he who shall be on the house-top, and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember the wife of Lot! Whoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it. (Luk 17:26-33)
Indeed, fire is able not only to destroy the corrupted world, but also to purify it as silver and gold are purified in fire. Concerning the fulfillment of this prophecy, refer to the series of articles concerning the last days: The Revelation from YHVH.
The key to understanding the days of Noach
It is not difficult for a Bible scholar to see what Yeshua the Messiah meant when he said, “As the days of Noach so also shall the coming of the son of mankind be”. For we may conclude that as the seven days of an intense light before the Flood signified the destruction of the wicked generation in the time of Noach, so will there be seven days of an intense light before the destruction of the last wicked generation, as the Messiah seems to make a correlation between the time of his coming and the time of Noach. Otherwise, why should he have said it in the first place? Therefore, we may expect and hope that as the righteous Noach was given time for preparation and a specific day for the judgment, so too the righteous in the last days will be given a forewarning of the impending judgment at Yeshua’s return.
So, the key to understanding the days of Noach, perhaps, is hidden in the little detail we are given in Genesis: Noach planted a vineyard after the waters subsided. This is our line of reasoning. At the end of a year of floating on the surface of the waters of the Flood, the ark came to rest on the peak of a mountain. Noach opened the door and saw before him a world devoid of everything. The earth was empty of any living souls. He and his family were the only humans on the face of the earth as Noach and his family were the mankind at that time. Silence was on the face of the earth and waters. No one survived the waters of the Flood but eight.
One of the first thing Noach did was to plant a vineyard and grow the fruits of the vine. Then, he became drunk. Why? Why did he plant vineyard and became drunk? Perhaps, the righteous Noach struggled with his feeling of guilt for not having done enough to convince the people of his generation to repent, and drunkenness was the only path before him to escape from the harsh reality of failure. That was the feeling of guilt for not having done enough to save the people. And perhaps, this is what Yeshua meant when He said, “And as the days of Noach so also shall the coming of the Son of mankind be.”
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.