The Genesis flood narrative is encompassed within chapters 6–9 in the Book of Genesis in the Bible. The narrative indicates that God intended to return the Earth to its pre-Creation state of watery chaos by flooding the Earth because of humanity’s misdeeds and then remake it using the microcosm of Noah’s ark. Thus, the flood was no ordinary overflow but a reversal of Creation. The narrative discusses the evil of mankind that moved God to destroy the world by way of the flood, the preparation of the ark for certain animals, Noah, and his family, and God’s guarantee (the Noahic Covenant) for the continued existence of life under the promise that he would never send another flood.
In the story of the Deluge (Genesis 6:11–9:19), Noah is represented as the patriarch who, because of his blameless piety, was chosen by God to perpetuate the human race after his wicked contemporaries had perished in the Flood. A righteous man, Noah “found favour in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8).
Predictably there are various explanations of the root of the name Noah. The common denominator is that it is a boy’s name and that it is popular throughout the world notably Australia, England and Wales. The Biblical flood narrative is as naturally ripe with meaning and interpretation. Viewing Noah in general as the saving grace of humanity corresponds with the image of Noah in particular as the evolution of mankind. It is most certainly a portrayal consistent with what a young mother and father might see in their new born son.
It bears repeating that the drama of birth is ineffable. Aligning with that inexpressible mystery is the natural inclination to seek within the precious creation an acquaintance, a likeness with the child’s parents. A mother is forever ordained to carry the mantle and the burden of birth. The delivery of life is paradoxically both threatening and promising, her unwitting relay to her son. And it is a bequest not for the pusillanimous. The contribution of the father to the awakening character of the child is a an inalterable manifestation of himself with the same dynamic of the tiny acorn of the mighty oak.
In an instant the Universe is changed. Every primitive trait of motherhood and fatherhood explodes within the new parents and insinuates their veins. Pragmatism and protection become the operative mechanics of the day. Nurturing this tiny symbol of creation is for the moment an overwhelming obligation and posture. As though by magic the elemental pages of Nature are turned one after another, unfolding like a child’s story book. No longer are there questions of purpose, meaning or cause, proving once again that the Universe is ultimately personal. The birth of a child has at once broadened the horizon and the celestial canopy.
Congratulations, Michael, upon the birth of your son!