A New Hamas that will Bring the End of the Second Humanity
As Adam became the ancestor of all human beings after Creation, so did Noach become the ancestor of mankind after the Flood. But before the world was reset for a new beginning, there was violence (Chamas or Hamas) on the earth.
But Noach found grace in YHVH, because he was a righteous man, a man who walked with Elohim. The narrator of Genesis mentions these virtues of Noach in contrast to what it is said concerning Noach’s generation, namely, that all their (of the sons of Elohim and their corrupted offspring) wicked deeds brought grief before YHVH. With Noach, however, not only did the corruption of the flesh end but the mankind never again returned to it. After Noach humanity returned to the post-curse life of Adam and made a new beginning. To this new beginning we now turn.
Hamas that brought the end of the first humanity
Let us recall the Flood story from the sixth chapter of Genesis. When mankind began to increase on the earth after Adam, the heavenly beings (Literally, “sons of the Elohim”, Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7) saw how pleasing the human women were and took wives from among those who delighted them (See also Enoch, Book 1, Chapter 6:1-7, Enoch 69:4-6, and Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, 3:1).
And it came to be, when men began to increase on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men, that they were good. And they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. (Gen 6:1-2)
And when the sons of Elohim fornicated with the women, they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men: the Nephilim (“the fallen ones”) on the earth, the men of fame. A new generation of genetically altered half-humans sprang from the fornication of the sons of Elohim and the human women on the earth. And YHVH saw that the wickedness of mankind was great, and that there were only evil and corruption on the earth, and He said: “My Ruach shall not abide in mankind forever, for that he also is flesh. Therefore, his days shall be [limited to] a hundred and twenty years”. And YHVH regretted that He had made mankind and grieved.
Note: Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah explains the controversial idea that the Omniscient One can have regrets thus: “Even though it was revealed before Him that they would ultimately sin, and He would destroy them, He did not refrain from creating them, for the sake of the righteous men who were destined to arise from them” [from Gen. Rabbah 27:4]. We now return to the text.
One of those righteous men who were destined to arise was Noach. Noach fathered three sons (in order of their birth): Yaphet, Shem, and Cham, but the earth had already been corrupted and filled with violence (חָמָס chamas).
And the earth was corrupt before Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence. And Elohim looked upon the earth and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. (Gen 6:11-12)
Note: The Hebrew word behind “violence” is חָמָס chamas or hamas. This word means also “cruelty” and “injustice”. The non-Semitic languages do not differentiate between the guttural ch-sound in Chamas and the regular h-sound in Hamas in the transliterations. This is the same Semitic word the most violent terrorist organization (only second to ISIS) Hamas used to identify itself in its war to destroy the State of Israel. In Arabic, Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement”. We now return to the text.
Mankind destroyed with the earth
And Elohim saw that all flesh had corrupted their way with perversions and violence and said to Noach,
The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with* the earth. (Gen 6:13 JPS)
Note: The Hebrew words et ha’arets literally mean “with the earth”, hence the JPS rendering, “I will destroy them (the human flesh) with the earth”. An alternative translation is “from the earth”, as seen in Exo 9:29 “from the city”. The phrase et ha’arets thus suggests that “the earth” will be destroyed too along with mankind except for eight humans. We now return to the text.
Elohim warned Noach that He would destroy mankind with the earth, but He also provided the means of deliverance, saying,
Make yourself a box of gopher wood. Make cells in the box and cover it inside and outside with pitch. (Gen 6:14)
Elohim commanded Noach to make the ark (Hebrew, תֵּבָה teivah) out of cypress wood, for the word for “cypress” (Hebrew, gopher) is also related to the word for “sulphur” (gophrit). We can only speculate on the etymological connection of gopher with gophrit “sulphur”. But as we will explain further in this study, there is connection with the sulfurous floodwaters that came from the deep.
The supposition that the ark was built in the form not of a ship, but of a box, as the literal meaning of תֵּבָה teivah “box” or “chest” implies, with flat bottom, is very probable, because the first mankind did not know what “ship” and “sailing” were. The box was to be divided horizontally into cells, קִנִּים kinim (lit., nests), and pitched inside and outside with tar or asphalt (bitumen), and vertically into three stories or decks. The dimensions of the box, 300 cubits (450 feet) long, 50 (75 feet) broad, and 30 (45 feet) high (Gen 6:15), give an area of 15,000 square cubits, and volume of 450,000 cubic cubits and its shape suggest that the ark was not meant for sailing, but merely to float on the water and survive.
Note: A cubit is defined “after the elbow of a man” (see Deu 3:11) that is measured from the elbow to the end of the middle finger, about a foot and a half.
Noach was also told to make an additional skylight and use a luminous stone for additional light in the ark. Noach was to taper the roof so that its tip is one cubit wide, for the water to run off it. The entrance to the ark was to be in its side, so the water would not leak in from above.
Sanhedrin 108b:9-12 teaches with regard to the verse 16: “Make a window for the ark”, Rabbi Yochanan says that Elohim told Noach to set precious stones and jewels (צֹהַר tsohar, “light”) in the ark so that they will shine as the afternoon [tsohorayim] sun. And with regard to the ark’s roof: “And to a cubit you shall finish it above” (Gen 6:16), that the ark was built wide at its base and narrow at its top, so that the ark would stand upright and would not capsize. With regard to the three decks, it was taught that the bottom story was for manure, the middle story was for the animals, and the top story was for Noach’s family.
As the height of the ark was 30 cubits, and as the flood accounts states that the waters surged and increased greatly over the earth, and the ark drifted on the surface of the water, we can assume that 10 or more cubits of its height remained submerged (because of its weight) under the surface of the water. Since the water reached to a height of fifteen cubits above the mountaintop and the bottom of the ark was submerged 11 cubits (per the tradition) below water level, the ark only had four cubits of clearance above the top of the tallest mountain.
The three decks of cells (total of 30 cubits) could hardly have had 10 cubits high, but perhaps nine cubits if we deduct the thickness of the floors. It has been hypothesized that above or below these decks there was space provided for food supplies for both people and animals (see Gen 6:21). Besides, the height of the ark of 30 cubits, the width of 50 cubits, and the remarkable length of 300 cubits gave the ark the perfect proportions to float safely and survive.
And Noach did according to all that Elohim commanded him to do.
The Covenant with the new mankind
As Elohim instructed Noach how to build the ark, the deliverance came with the promise,
And I shall establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. (Gen 6:18)
The Hebrew word for “ark” is תֵּבָה teivah, which also means “word”: “Come into the word” [My Covenant], where you will find safety amidst the raging floodwaters. Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, a leading Torah scholar of the Middle Ages) explains that this covenant refers to the rainbow, thus Elohim hinted to Noach that after the flood He will make a covenant with him, if he will fulfill the commandment concerning the making of the ark. Ramban then goes on to explain the meaning of the word berit (covenant, agreement, contract). Berit means “everlasting” being derived from, In the beginning Elohim “bara” (created) the heavens and the earth. Thus, briti (“My covenant” in Gen 6:18) is similar to beriyoti (My creation). Elohim thus commanded that His Covenant would be with Noach. In other words, berit means that Elohim had sworn to Noach that during the flood, neither he nor his children would die.
Did Noach preach repentance?
The apostle wrote that Noach had preached repentance (see 2Pe 2:5), but the only time (recorded in Torah) when Noach opened his mouth was to curse his grandson Kana’an (after the flood). Did Noach preach repentance?
According to the Book of Yashar 5:8-10 (the Book of Yashar is mentioned twice in the Tanach, in Jos 10:13 and 2Sa 1:18), Noach and his grandfather Metushelach preached repentance for 120 years, while the ark was being built. 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.
The 120 years passed, and the people did not repent. Elohim now gave them another seven days before the first rain started. Metushelach died at 969 years of age seven days before the waters of the Flood came upon the earth. It is further recorded in the Book of Yashar 6:8-14,
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.
In Yashar 6:17-19, we read that the people assembled together, about seven hundred thousand men and women, and came to the ark and said to Noach to open the door of the ark. But Noach refused, saying, “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”. Thus far the Book of Yashar.
But according to the rabbinic tradition (Sanhedrin 108a), which is not well established, Noach did not preach repentance. Furthermore, the rabbis says that the statement “Noach righteous in his generation” (Gen 6:9) means that “had he lived in another generation, he would not necessarily have been considered righteous”. Rashi goes on to say that had Noach lived in Avraham’s time, Avraham’s righteousness would have outshined all of Noach’s deeds. Yet, none of the rabbis have managed to explain how Noach was inferior to Avraham in righteousness and why there was the necessity to juxtapose Avraham to Noach in the first place. Yet, the apostle wrote that Noach preached righteousness. How could he have known that Noach had preached, unless the apostle had the Book of Yashar in mind.
But why did Noach not ask YHVH to have mercy on the people of his time as did Avraham when He told him He would destroy Sodom? And why did Avraham not plead with Him to spare a city, if there were fewer than ten good people in it?
It appears that Avraham had learned this from Noach, who must have told Avraham, that it would be meaningless to pray for the survival of the wicked when even ten righteous people could not be found (Noach’s family was eight). Noach perhaps became convinced from his experience that the fate of this generation had already been sealed for destruction, when Elohim told him: “The end of all flesh has come before Me. … I will destroy them with the earth”. In the case of Noach’s generation, the wickedness was so obvious that Elohim did not even tell Noach that He would examine their sin, as He said to Avraham (Gen 18:20-21).
So, Elohim did not tell Noach what He would do and why, so that he start praying for his generation. Rather, He told Noach His intent in order that he start building the ark in which all life for the next generation of humanity would be saved from the coming cataclysm. This must have convinced Noach that his generation was doomed and any prayer on behalf of the people he deemed to be fruitless and self-evident. Knowing that, Avraham stopped praying for the deliverance of fewer than ten righteous people, because he must have concluded from Noach’s testimony that that his plead would too be fruitless. Avraham did not pray, and Elohim did not give an explanation but went on to destroy the wicked cities.
This begs for the next question. Midrash Rabbah asks: Why was the generation of the Flood utterly destroyed, but not the generation of the Tower of Bavel? And it explains: Because the generation of the Flood was consumed by robbery and violence (chamas), while in the generation of the Tower, love and unity prevailed. We will now return 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 after 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)
Cataclysm that shook the entire earth
With regard to the verse 4: “After seven more days I am sending rain on the earth”, we already explained quoting the Book of Yashar that those seven days were for mourning of Metushelach. Sanhedrin 108b goes on to further explain what the Book of Yashar has already said, that “after seven days” means that the Creator altered the order of Creation for that generation, i.e., in seven days He reversed the process of Creation, so that the sun would emerge in the west and set in the east.
At this point, we should go back to Yashar 6:8-14 that indeed says, “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”. This cataclysm could have only been caused by alteration of the order of Creation (for that generation only), when He reversed the natural course of the sun, so that it emerged in the west and set in the east. How could that be possible? This could be possible when the Earth’s poles were reversed. Noach could not have known of this phenomenon, since he was in a sealed ark that was floating on the surface of the waters, while beneath them the tectonic plates were moving according to the will of their Creator.
Hamas was destroyed in the catastrophe it had caused
In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the heavens were opened. (Gen 7:11)
And the waters surged over the earth and lifted up the ark above the earth, while they were raging until all the high mountains were covered completely. That lasted for an additional 150 days after the rainfall stopped. The flood waters did not subside throughout this entire period until all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, all that was on the dry land, died (Gen 7:22). In his comments on Gen 7:11, Rabbeinu Bahya noted that the Torah first reports that the animals were destroyed and then “every man” perished too (Gen 7:21), so that just as man had been the last of Creation, he now was the last to perish in the Flood.
The agitation of the waters in those 190 days of intense heat and turmoil caused a great shifting of geological strata and a deep sinking of human and animal remains. In the flood account, we are told that the cavities of the earth deep down were opened and the [hot] waters of the deep joined the waters from the above to cause the destruction of all life but of those who were in the ark. We know for a fact that deep down the Earth is hot and waters that came out of the earth cavities were hot too. We also know that some natural springs provide flow of ground water that carries the strong smell of sulphur. We now understand why “cypress” (gopher) is related to “sulphur” (gophrit), and their connection with the sulfurous floodwaters that came from the deep.
Meïr Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Weisser (aka Malbim) was a rabbi, Hebrew grammarian, halachic scholar, and author of one of the most insightful and comprehensive Torah commentaries since medieval times. He says that the attempt to date the earth and fossils is futile, for no one can know how much the heat and water pressure affected the geology of the planet and the human, animal, and plant remains. How true!
But why was there the need to cover the whole earth under water for 150 days, when even one day would have been sufficient to wipe out not only all humans but the entire world? In order to give sufficient time for the beast of the sea to cleanse the sea from the genetically corrupted corpses of half-humans and thus stop spreading diseases and pollution.
All ended in one year
And Elohim remembered mankind that was in the ark, and He stopped the fountains of the deep and the rain from the heavens (Gen 8:1-2).
And the waters receded from the earth steadily, and after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased steadily until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noach opened the window of the ark which he had made. (Gen 8:3-6)
And in the six hundred and first year of Noach’s life, on the first day of the first month, Noach removed the covering of the ark and saw the earth was dry. But it was not until 57 days later, on the 27th day of the second month, that the earth was completely dried up. And Elohim spoke to Noach to go out of the ark, he and all with him: humans and animals (Gen 8:13-16).
Noach himself did not know these dates and the reckoning of time while the waters were raging killing all life on the earth, because he was unable to see and count the new moons, for he was sealed into the ark. The information we know here and until the Book of Exodus commences was unknown to the characters in the Biblical stories. This information is revealed to the readers by the narrator of Genesis through Mosheh, who duly wrote it down and preserved it.
Thus, the judgment of the generation of the Flood lasted 365 days, for the rains started to fall on the 17th day of the second month until Noach exited the ark on 27th day of the second month of the next year. They thus spent total time in ark of 365 days, which is the duration of one solar year. The Midrash (the ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures) tells us that when Noach emerged from the ark, he saw a new world in which the sun shone differently. It was not just that there was no other life outside of the ark that was roaming the planet. When He exited the life-saving chest, Noach saw at an existential level a new, different, world. As we noted above the flood must have generated radical changes within the physical world relative to the one that had been created “In the beginning”.
And when Noach exited the ark, he built an altar and slaughtered of every clean animal he had to YHVH. And when YHVH smelled a soothing fragrance, He said in His heart,
Never again shall I curse the ground because of man, although the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and never again strike all living, as I have done, … (Gen 8:20-22).
Then He blessed Noach and his sons to be fruitful and fill the earth, declaring,
And I, see, I establish My covenant with you and with your seed after you, and with every living being that is with you: of the birds, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. And I shall establish My covenant with you, and never again is all flesh cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again is there a flood to destroy the earth. (Gen 9:9-11)
And He gave the sign of His Covenant: the rainbow in the cloud. Ibn Ezra says that this rainbow is always hidden in the cloud and can be seen by the Creator from above and remembers His Covenant, even when man does not see it. The Almighty swore that He would never destroy mankind by the waters of a new flood, but He said nothing about fire indeed. Not until another Hamas comes to bring violence and evil.
The sages have the understanding that once the Almighty releases the destructive forces, they will not distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. This principle is especially apparent when the innocent and the guilty dwell close to one another, as it was the case with Noach and his generation and the Jews and Egyptians. When the Lord tells us to set ourselves apart from the world, this should be understood on a literal and physical level. Because when the fire comes to consume the wicked it will not distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. In the words of Malbim: “An individual human being, whose mortal life on earth lasts no more than a second on the cosmic timescale, cannot expect God to alter the structure of the universe just for him. The essence of man is his spiritual soul, and it is with this that the ultimate reckoning will be done, after its release from its earthly raiment”. This is what we derive from Malbim’s teaching on Job 25, and this is how we are finishing this study. Good and evil are laid out for everyone to see.
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