samedi 18 novembre 2017

Saint NOÉ, patriarche


Patriarche de l'Ancien Testament

01  Le Seigneur dit à Noé: «Entre dans l'arche, toi et toute ta famille, car tu es le seul juste que je vois dans cette génération.

02  De tous les animaux purs, tu prendras sept couples de chaque espèce; des animaux qui ne sont pas purs, tu prendras un couple de chaque espèce;

03  et des oiseaux du ciel, sept couples de chaque espèce pour en perpétuer la race sur toute la terre.

04  Car il ne reste plus que sept jours, et je vais faire tomber la pluie sur la terre, pendant quarante jours et quarante nuits, pour effacer de la surface du sol tous les êtres que j'ai faits.»

05  Noé fit tout ce que le Seigneur lui avait commandé.

10  Sept jours plus tard, les eaux du déluge étaient sur la terre.

Le Déluge (Gn 6-9) Dieu renouvelle la surface de la terre et fait Alliance avec tous les hommes!

Après le déluge, Dieu dit à Noé et à ses fils: «Voici que moi, j’établis mon alliance avec vous, avec tous vos descendants, et avec tous les êtres vivants qui sont autour de vous: les oiseaux, les animaux domestiques, toutes les bêtes sauvages, tout ce qui est sorti de l’arche pour repeupler la terre. Oui, j’établis mon alliance avec vous: aucun être vivant ne sera plus détruit par les eaux du déluge, il n’y aura plus de déluge pour ravager la terre.» Dieu dit encore: «Voici le signe de l’alliance que j’établis entre moi et vous, et avec tous les êtres vivants qui sont autour de vous, pour toutes les générations à venir: Je mets mon arc au milieu des nuages, pour qu’il soit le signe de l’alliance entre moi et la terre. Lorsque je rassemblerai les nuages au-dessus de la terre, et que l’arc-en-ciel paraîtra au milieu des nuages, je me souviendrai de mon alliance avec vous et avec tous les êtres vivants, et les eaux ne produiront plus le déluge, qui détruit tout être vivant.»
Dieu bénit Noé et ses fils. Il dit : "Soyez féconds, multipliez-vous, remplissez la terre." Gn. 9, 1


[Hebrew Nôah, "rest"; Greek Noah; Latin Noah].

The ninth patriarch of the Sethite line, grandson of Mathusala and son of Lamech, who with his family was saved from the Deluge and thus became the second father of the human race (Genesis 5:25-9:29).

The name Noah was give to him because of his father's expectation regarding him. "This same", said Lamech on naming him, "shall comfort us from the works and labours of our hands on [or more correctly "from", i.e. "which come from"] the earth, which the Lord hath cursed." Most commentators consider Lamech's words as an expression of a hope, or as a prophecy, that the child would in some way be instrumental in removing the cursepronounced against Adam (Genesis 3:17 sqq.). Others rather fancifully see in them a reference to Noah's future discovery of wine, which cheers the heart of man; whilst others again, with greater probability, take them as expressing merely a natural hope on the part of Lamech that his son would become the support and comfort of his parents, and enable them to enjoy rest and peace in their later years.

Amid the general corruption which resulted from the marriages of "the sons of God" with "the daughters of men" (Genesis 6:2 sqq.), that is of the Sethites with the Cainite women, "Noah was a just and perfect man in his generations" and "walked with God" (6:9). Hence, when God decreed to destroy men from the face of the earth, he "found grace before the Lord". According to the common interpretation of Genesis 6:3, Noah first received divine warning of the impending destruction one hundred and twenty years before it occurred, and therefore when he was four hundred and eighty years old (cf. 7:11); he does not seem, however, to have received at this time any details as to the nature of the catastrophe.

After he reached the age of five hundred years three sons, Sem, Cham, and Japheth, were born to him (6:10). These had grown to manhood and had taken wives, when Noah was informed of God's intention to destroy menby a flood, and received directions to build an ark in which he and his wife, his sons and their wives, and representatives, male and female, of the various kinds of animals and birds, were to be saved (6:13-21). How long before the Deluge this revelation was imparted to him, it is impossible to say; it can hardly have been more than seventy-five years (cf. 7:11), and probably was considerably less.

Noah had announced the impending judgement and had exhorted to repentance (2 Peter 2:5), but no heed was given to his words (Matthew 24:37 sqq.; Luke 17:26, 27; 1 Peter 3:20), and, when the fatal time arrived, no one except Noah's immediate family found refuge in the ark. Seven days before the waters began to cover the earth, Noah was commanded to enter the ark with his wife, his three sons and their wives, and to take with him seven pairs of all clean, and two pairs of all unclean animals and birds (7:1-4). It has been objected that, even though the most liberal value is allowed for the cubit, the ark would have been too small to lodge at least two pairs of every species of animal and bird. But there can be no difficulty if, as is now generally admitted, the Deluge was not geographically universal (see DELUGE; ARK).

After leaving the ark Noah built an altar, and taking of all clean animals and birds, offered holocausts upon it. Godaccepted the sacrifice, and made a covenant with Noah, and through him with all mankind, that He would not waste the earth or destroy man by another deluge. The rainbow would for all times be a sign and a reminder of this covenant. He further renewed the blessing which He had pronounced on Adam (Genesis 1:28), and confirmedthe dominion over animals which He had granted to man. In virtue of this dominion man may use animals for food, but the flesh may not be eaten with the blood (8:20-9:17).

Noah now gave himself to agriculture, and planted a vineyard. Being unacquainted with the effects of fermented grape-juice, he drank of it too freely and was made drunk. Cham found his father lying naked in his tent, and made a jest of his condition before his brothers; these reverently covered him with a mantle. On hearing of the occurrence Noah cursed Chanaan, as Cham's heir, and blessed Sem and Japheth.

He lived three hundred and fifty years after the Deluge, and died at the age of nine hundred and fifty years (9:20-29). In the later books of Scripture Noah is represented as the model of the just man (Sirach 44:17;Ezekiel 14:14, 20), and as an exemplar of faith (Hebrews 11:7). In the Fathers and tradition he is considered as the type and figure of the Saviour, because through him the human race was saved from destruction and reconciled with God (Ecclus., 44:17,18). Moreover, as he built the ark, the only means of salvation from theDeluge, so Christ established the Church, the only means of salvation in the spiritual order.

The Babylonian account of the Deluge in many points closely resembles that of the Bible. Four cuneiform recensions of it have been discovered, of which, however, three are only short fragments. The complete story is found in the Gilgamesh epic (Tablet 11) discovered by G. Smith among the ruins of the library of Assurbanipal in 1872. Another version is given by Berosus. In the Gilgamesh poem the hero of the story is Ut-napishtim (or Sit-napishti, as some read it, surnamed Atra-hasis "the very clever"; in two of the fragments he is simply styled Atra-hasis, which name is also found in Berosus under the Greek form Xisuthros. The story in brief is as follows: Acouncil of the gods having decreed to destroy men by a flood, the god Ea warns Ut-napishtim, and bids him build a ship in which to save himself and the seed of all kinds of life. Ut-napishtim builds the ship (of which, according to one version, Ea traces the plan on the ground), and places in it his family, his dependents, artisans, and domestic as well as wild animals, after which he shuts the door. The storm lasts six days; on the seventh the flood begins to subside. The ship steered by the helmsman Puzur-Bel lands on Mt. Nisir. After seven days Ut-napishtim sends forth a dove and a swallow, which, finding no resting-place for their feet return to the ark, and then a raven, which feeds on dead bodies and does not return. On leaving the ship, Ut-napishtim offers a sacrificeto the gods, who smell the godly odour and gather like flies over the sacrificer. He and his wife are then admitted among the gods. The story as given by Berosus comes somewhat nearer to the Biblical narrative. Because of the striking resemblances between the two many maintain that the Biblical account is derived from the Babylonian. But the differences are so many and so important that this view must be pronounced untenable. The Scripturalstory is a parallel and independent form of a common tradition.


HUMMELAUER, Comm. in Gen. (Paris, 1895), 257 sqq.; HOBERG, Die Genesis (Freiburg, 1908), 74 sqq.; SELBST, Handbuch zur bibl. Gesch. (Freiburg, 1910), 200 sqq.; SKINNER, Critic. and Exeg. Comm. on Gen. (New York, 1910), 133 sqq.; DILLMANN, Genesis, tr., I (Edinburgh, 1897), 228 sqq.; DHORME, Textes religieux assyro-babyl. (Paris, 1907), 100 sqq.; VIGOUROUX, La bible et les decouv. mod., I (6th ed., Paris, 1896), 309 sqq.; SCHRADER, Die Keilinschrift. u. das A. T. (2nd ed., Giessen, 1882), 55 sqq.; JENSEN in SCHRADER,Keilinschriftl. Bibliothek, VI, i, (Berlin 1889-), 228 sqq.; VIGOUROUX, Dict. de la Bible, s. vv. Ararat, Arche, and Noe; HILPRECHT, The earliest version of the Babylonian deluge story (Philadelphia, 1910).

Bechtel, Florentine. "Noah." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 18 Nov. 2017<>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Sean Hyland.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Noah's Ark

The Hebrew name to designate Noah's Ark, the one which occurs again in the history of Moses' childhood, suggests the idea of a box of large proportions, though the author of Wisdom terms it a vessel (Wisdom 14:6). The same conclusion is reached from the dimensions attributed to it by the Bible narrative: three hundred cubits in length, fifty in breadth, and thirty in height. The form, very likely foursquare, was certainly not very convenient for navigation, but, as has been proven by the experiments of Peter Jansen and M. Vogt, it made the Ark a very suitable device for shipping heavy cargoes and floating upon the waves without rolling or pitching. The Ark was constructed of gofer wood, or cypress, smeared without and within with pitch, or bitumen, to render it water-tight. The interior contained a certain number of rooms distributed among three stories. The text mentions only one window, and this measuring a cubit in height, but there existed possibly some others to give to the inmates of the Ark air and light. A door had also been set in the side of the Ark; God shut it from the outside when Noahand his family had gone in. Apart from Noah's family, the Ark was intended to receive and keep animals that were to fill the earth again (Genesis 6:19-20; 7:2-3) and all the food which was necessary for them. After the Flood, the Ark rested upon the mountains of Armenia (Genesis 8:4 — according to Vulgate and Douay, the mountains of Ararat, according to Authorized Version). Tradition is divided as to the exact place where the Ark rested. Josephus(Ant., I, iii, 6), Berosus (Eusebius, Praep. Ev., IX, ii, P.G., XXI, 697), Onkelos, Pseudo-Jonathan, St. Ephrem, locate it in Kurdistan. Berosus relates that a part of Xisuthrus's ship still remained there, and that pilgrims used to scrape off the bitumen from the wreck and make charms of it against witchcraft. Jewish and Armenian traditionadmitted Mount Ararat as the resting place of the Ark. In the first century B.C. the Armenians affirmed that remnants of it could yet be seen. The first Christians of Apamea, in Phrygia, erected in this place a convent called the monastery of the Ark, where a feast was yearly celebrated to commemorate Noah's coming out of the Arkafter the Flood.

Suffice it to remark that the text of Genesis 8:4 mentioning Mount Ararat is somewhat lacking in clearness, and that nothing is said in the Scripture concerning what became of the Ark after the Flood. Many difficulties have been raised, especially in our epoch, against the pages of the Bible in which the history of the Flood and of theArk is narrated. This is not the place to dwell upon these difficulties, however considerable some may appear. They all converge towards the question whether these pages should be considered as strictly historicalthroughout, or only in their outward form. The opinion that these chapters are mere legendary tales, Easternfolklore, is held by some non-Catholic scholars; according to others, with whom several Catholics side, they preserve, under the embroidery of poetical parlance, the memory of a fact handed down by a very old tradition. This view, were it supported by good arguments, could be readily accepted by a Catholic; it has, over the age-long opinion that every detail of the narration should be literally interpreted and trusted in by the historian, the advantage of suppressing as meaningless some difficulties once deemed unanswerable.

Souvay, Charles. "Noah's Ark." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 18 Nov. 2017 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to Sean Mazza.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

San Noè Patriarca

Desterà forse un po’ di sorpresa il fatto che il santo oggi in questione non solo non sia cristiano, ma neppure ebreo come i patriarchi ed i profeti biblici. Analogo caso è però costituito dal re-sacerdote San Melchisedech.

Il patriarca Noè è infatti una figura nota, seppur sotto diversi nomi, ad altri popoli mesopotamici e la storia del diluvio a lui connessa è narrata anche da vari antichissimi testi babilonesi, quali per esempio l’Epopea di Ghilgamesh ed il Poema di Atrakhasis. Il fatto storico che probabilmente ispirò questo racconto leggendario sta in un catastrofico evento verificatosi forse nell’area dei due maestosi fiumi Tigri ed Eufrate, le cui inondazioni opportunamente incanalate si rivelarono sempre fonti di benessere, ma con le loro piene eccessive furono talvolta causa di devastazioni.La figura di Noè è così nota da rendere incompleto ogni possibile tentativo di riproporre così in breve la sua vicenda, narrata per esteso nei capitoli 6-9 del libro della Genesi, pur con qualche incongruenza, dovuta all’intrecciarsi di due differenti tradizioni. L’arca tratteggiata nel racconto biblico con misure esorbitanti, lunga 156 metri, alto 30, larga 26, con la capacità di 65/70.000 metri cubi, desta da secoli lo stupore degli artisti, che cercano di raffigurarla, e degli archeologi, che invano tentano di scovarne eventuali resti, nonostante le discordanze sulla suo possibile collocazione.Noè costituisce comunque un emblema dei giusti presenti indubbiamente anche nel mondo pagano: Abramo verrà infatti parecchi secoli dopo. Dio stabilì già con Noè un’alleanza anticipatrice di quella che stipulò poi con Israele sul monte Sinai. Questo è dunque l’atto culminante del racconto del diluvio, cioè il Signore che nella sua giustizia irrompe per colpire il male dilagante con le acque impetuose, simbolo per l’antico Vicino Oriente del nulla e del caos. Ma Dio si fa portatore di salvezza nei confronti di tutti i giusti, incarnati in Noè, “uomo giusto e integro” in una “terra corrotta e piena di violenza” (Gn 6,9.11).L’arcobaleno sfolgorante nel cielo divenne segno non solo del giudizio divino ormai ottemperato, ma anche della nuova alleanza cosmica intersorsa tra Dio e l’intera creazione. Tuttavia il male non fu così del tutto estirpato, riaffiorando infatti nel finale del racconto della storia di Noè, più precisamente nella mancanza di rispetto che Cam, uno dei tre figli di Noè, ebbe nei confronti di suo padre, qualora “vide il padre scoperto e raccontò la cosa ai due fratelli” (Gn 9,22).

Fu così evidente che purtroppo, anche nell’umanità appena rinnovata, il germe del male era già pronto a risorgere tra gli uomini e trovare nuovo vigore.

Autore: Fabio Arduino