October 05, 2023 – Thursday
Genesis 5:32 NIV
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Genesis 5:32 NKJV
32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Reading through Genesis 5, we know Lamech was Noah’s father, Methuselah was his grandfather, and Enoch was his great grandfather. But what jumps out in this verse is that Noah waited until he was 500 years old before fathering his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
You may ask, what’s the big deal about Noah being 500 when he began having sons? By some quick calculations Methuselah, his grandfather, was still alive and had another 100 years to live. Before Noah, the average age was 117 years before fathering a son, with two at 65 years of age. The two oldest prior to Noah, were 187 and 182, his grandfather and father respectively. While we are not told how or why, we can observe Noah waited over 300 years longer than any of the other patriarchs listed before having his three sons. It is unusual that all three sons are listed as well, as only the first son is listed for all the others. Also, we do not know the order of their births. Many assume Shem was first but admit there is no hard or real evidence for this.
In addition, all the other patriarchs are listed as having other sons and daughters. Noah did not or if he did they are not mentioned in the Bible. With their long lifespans and the same or similar lifespans assumed for their sons and daughters, it has been estimated by some that at the time of the flood, the population of the earth could have been as large as seven billion (7,000,000,000). If the calculations were off by a factor of 100, that would still leave us with seventy million (70,000,000) when the flood came.
If you look at Genesis 5 you will find our verse for today ends the list of the patriarchs as it is the last verse. We know the floodwaters came after Noah had completed the ark (as instructed by God) and was 600 years old per 7:6, 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. Turns out that was the same year his grandfather Methuselah died as well.
Noah, his three sons and their wives were the only survivors of the flood. In a sense Noah and his wife were a new type of Adam and Eve, the human race came from them. But not really, for their three daughters in law were begat by others.
If you are like me, you are wondering how long Noah lived. I found the answer in Genesis 9:28-29, 28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years.29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died. And it turns out he may have had other sons and daughters after the flood! I say that because 9:1 tells us, So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And again, in verse 7 God said to them, 7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.
Bottom Line: Our plans may need to wait upon God’s plans, even for a family. Noah waited over 300 years longer than others and then spent his next 100 years building an ark. What an incredible example of obedience to God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for such an exemplary model to follow when it comes to obeying your desires for our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor