Noah meaning | Noah etymology

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Noah in Biblical Hebrew
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The name Noah in the Bible

The name Noah appears twice in the English Bible, but in Hebrew these two names are totally different, and their meanings are exact opposites. The Noah first mentioned in Numbers 26:33 (pronounced No'ah) is one of the five daughters of Zelophehad; her sisters are named Mahlah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. We'll call her Noah II; see below for a translation.

The Noah mentioned in the Book of Genesis (pronounced Noach, with a ch like Bach) is the main character of the great flood cycle, and father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. We'll call him Noah I:

נח Noah I

The meaning of the flood of Noah is much contended and belief in a global flood has waned along with that in the young earth hypothesis. Here at Abarim Publications we don't believe in either, but that's not in subjection to the scientific record (which we nevertheless hold very dear, also for Theological reasons—see Romans 1:20) but rather because we think that our Chaotic Set Theory follows the Biblical accounts much closer than any other exegetical theory offered. It seems to us that the great flood cycle serves in the Biblical story not as a report of a meteorological or judicial anomaly, but as point of symmetry breach between the animal and human mental realm.

Jesus predicts that His second coming will be like the great flood event (Mathew 24:37), and then too we will see a breach. Before the second coming all humans are pretty much alike (this is called a symmetry), but after the second coming there will be an undeniable difference between two kinds of humans (called a breach in symmetry). It seems to us that the 144,000 (Revelation 7:4 & 14:1), who are able to learn a song that no one else can learn (14:3), and who separate from the great multitude which no one can count (Revelation 7:9) strongly suggests that something like this has happened in the Noah cycle as well. What this symmetry breach entails becomes clear when Christ states that before the flood, people 'knew not' (Matthew 24:39).

What also needs to be noted is that although the ancestral lineage of Noah is celebrated as the lineage of salvation, nobody knows what stock the wives of Noah and his sons came from. They could have been Cainites, for all we know. We don't, really, but it could offer a reasonable theory on how on earth the musical and husbandry patriarchies of Jabal and Jubal survived the flood, and became major attributes in the culture surrounding the tabernacle and temple.

This name Noah appears eight times in the New Testament (spelled Νωε, Noe), from his listing as ancestor of Christ (Luke 3:36) to Paul's pageant of heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11:7) and Peter's second epistle in which he calls Noah as preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5).

Etymology of the name Noah I

The masculine name Noah (נח) comes from the verb נוח (nuah) meaning to rest or settle down:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Another verb of interest is נחה (naha), to lead or guide, or "the conducting of one along the right path," according to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

Noah I meaning

The masculine name Noah (נח) means Rest. Significantly, the competing lineage of Cain, ends up in the land of Nod (meaning Restless Wandering).


נעה Noah II

As stated above, the feminine Noah is one of the five daughters of Zelophehad.

Etymology of the name Noah II

The feminine name Noah (נעה), according to BDB Theological Dictionary, comes from the verb נוע (nua'), meaning to shake or stagger:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Noah II meaning

The feminine name Noah (נעה) means Shaky Girl or Lady Wanderer.

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