Thoughts: Noah the Movie -vs.- Noah in the Bible

I went and saw the movie, Noah, last night with a friend and afterwords we spent some time discussing it. Then this morning, I got a little bookworm-happy and started doing some searching and comparisons….

  • Noah was a real guy. He was old, though. Had those kids and a wife.
  • Tubal-Cain was a real person, too. He was one of Noah’s cousins, who was probably a bit older than him. He was not one of the people that ended up on the boat, though. And he liked to forge iron.
  • Methuselah was real, too. He was Noah’s paternal grandfather. He died the same year a the flood, and maybe he was one of the people that died, but his death marks the longest life ever recorded in history: 969 years. Phew!
  • I don’t know that Methuselah lived up in the mountains, though.
  • And I’m not sure people had magical powers or magical rocks. In fact, I’m thinking they did not. Not a lot of evidence would point to a yes on that one.
  • When Noah was born, he probably could have met a whole lot of his old relatives seeing how they were still alive: His Dad, Lamech (son of Methuselah, not to be confused with Lamech son of Methushael who was one of Cain’s decedents), his grandpa Methuselah, his great-great-grandfather Jared (who was about 596 when he was born), and even 2 more generations back to his Grandpa Mahalalel and Grandpa Kenan. Most of them died before the flood came, though.
  • And a random side-note, Noah was still alive with Abram was born. Talk about good bedtime stories and not forgetting your history throughout your life…
  • There were 8 people on the ark, not 6.
  • All three sons were probably married. Especially seeing that they were all around 100 years old when the flood actually came. They had time to find wives.
  • Ham might have been the baby of the family, not Japheth. Hmmm.
  • I’m not sure if the three sons were triplets or not, but they were all born when Noah was 500. Crazy, right?
  • The ark wasn’t a boat with a roof with giraffes sticking out of the top like most storybooks show us. It probably was a giant box with no windows or open holes. Apparently no wooden boat has ever been longer than 360 feet (and even that one didn’t float), and the ark stretched a whole 450 feet long, which means it (I got that from this site, which was pretty interesting)
  • The ark had no steering wheel or helm plans. That meant they had no idea or even control over where they were going. Wow.
  • It took Noah a long time to build the ark. Perhaps 120 years. And he didn’t have help from giant rock-like transformer angels.
  • People really were that horrible like they were portrayed. Probably a lot worse. We’re pretty creative when it comes to inventing new ways of being awful.
  • They all may have been vegetarians. The Bible doesn’t talk about godly people eating animals until after they got out of the ark.
  • We don’t actually know the names of Noah’s wife or daughters-in-laws.
  • Ham definitely had kids. One of them’s names was Canaan, which sounds familiar because the Israelites later moved into the land of Canaan, which was the Promised Land.
  • The Bible doesn’t actually say that Cain’s decedents were all terrible people and that the decedents of Seth were better and then were killed off by Cain’s decedents.
  • Genetics must have been WAY different back then, seeings how everyone was related. Like, ‘first-cousins’ related….
  • No one ever calls God “God”. They just say “The Creator”. Part of me was annoyed with that, but the other part of me was glad. I think we need to see past the swearword sometimes and remember who we’re talking about, even if it means recognizing, remembering, and calling Him a different name than usual.

Character qualities threw me off, though. From what I remember…

  • In real life, Noah really was a good, good man that wanted to do the right thing in every situation. He wasn’t heartless or ruthless or blinded by things.
  • In real life, God is always good. And His love always outweighs His just nature. The movie questioned that a lot. There are a lot of Biblical examples of God holding up a standard and us falling miserably short, but it’s so easy to point fingers at a punishment without acknowledging the offense or the copious mercy given before correction took place.
  • Noah’s wife was great in the movie. She served as a voice, though, for every doubt we have against God–“If He is good, He wouldn’t ask us to give up so much” or “there are things that are more important that God’s priorities”. Like the iron fist of accusations against God without recognizing or knowing His character and nature. God came off as heartless and silent, not merciful and generous–perspective is important when your heart has a bias it prefers to hold to.
  • People have goodness in them, but that doesn’t qualify us as blameless. Noah’s family probably should have died, but God did say he would save them. We tally behavior and do check and balances, while God is just looking for someone whose heart recognizes its lack and depends on Him to fill the gap


There were some great quotes and point, though:

  • I absolutely agree that there is evil and good in all of us. I loved how that was pointed out. Evil didn’t stop when the flood waters receded–the Tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah a few years later proves our ability to have selfish motives and to think we don’t need God in our lives, and to screw up perfectly good things.
  • Fire consumes, but water cleanses. It separates the pure from the impure.
  • The love and goodness are worth fighting for.
  • Strength comes from the Creator, not from what we eat.
  • It’s so easy to think that God isn’t responding to our situation. (But sometimes, it’s our ears that are closed to Him–we can’t have selective hearing when it comes to instructions and truth).

These are just some of my thoughts, mind you. They are not an exhaustive list or study by any means. And granted, the director has said that the movie is his interpretation of what happened. Great movies in Hollywood usually don’t follow their actual life events because we all need a little more excitement than the ordinary. But I will admit–I’m glad I went and watched it. Rating? 3.75 stars out of 5.

Oh, and if you wanted to look up verses and such, too, do it! I pulled a lot of these verses from Genesis 4-19, and 1 and 2 Peter.


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