The Prophetic Naming of Noah (Kline)

This is a helpful insight into Noah’s name and role in Redemptive history:

Noah’s agency in God’s establishing of his kingdom community in its sabbath stage on the mountain of the Lord was adumbrated in Lamech’s oracular explanation for naming him “Noah”: “He will bring us relief from the toil of our hands, from our work made painful as a result of the Lord’s curse upon the ground” (Gen 5:29; cf. Gen 3:17). The explanation involves a play on the similar sounds and meanings of the name Noah, which comes from the verb nwḥ, “rest,” and the verb nḥm, “comfort, give relief.” In the subsequent narrative the verb nwḥ is echoed in connection with the consequences of acts of Noah. As we have seen, the ark Noah built came to rest (nwḥ) on Ararat (Gen 8:4). Then in Gen 8:21a Noah’s offerings on the altar he set up on Ararat are said to produce a restful, soothing (hannîhōah, a form of nwḥ) fragrance for the pleasure of the Lord. The resultant promise of the Lord (Gen 8:21b) alludes to Lamech’s prophetic naming of Noah (Gen 5:29), declaring that within pre-consummation history the divine curse on the ground will not be intensified into another Deluge-scale destructive assault of nature on earth’s living creatures. Positively put, the status of the Noahic ark-community on Ararat was (typologically) that of a remnant who had been rescued from the catastrophic escalation of the curse into an overwhelming outpouring of divine wrath and had been brought into a place of eternal rest. As interpreted by these echoes of Gen 5:29, Noah’s name designated him a prototype of Christ, the second Adam, who, following the eschatological pattern set by God in the process of creation, performed the works necessary to earn the heavenly reward and then entered into Noah-land, the realm of God’s sabbath enthronement.

 Meredith G. Kline, God, Heaven and Har Magedon: A Covenantal Tale of Cosmos and Telos (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 91.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54015