Posted: 09/22/06
A Strange Discovery from the Days of Noah

Something unusual has been occurring that I did not understand and have questioned for some time. I believe I found an answer as I was researching certain parallels to the days of Noah. It deals with the sudden number of deaths of unusually godly, righteous people of God. Why is the Lord taking so many good people to heaven at the same time? Sacred history may hold a clue to this mystery.

So Many Are “Going Home”

It appears that a godly generation is being taken to heaven. Obviously, when people reach the age of 70 to 90 years of age, we know that in time they will depart this life. But what about when so many pass away within weeks of each other? What about some going on at a much earlier age?

There is a parallel in the time before the flood of Noah.

Ten Generations before the Flood

From the time of Adam to Noah is 10 generations. The actual number of years between Adam and Noah is about 1,658 years. Within those ten generations, the entire earth had become corrupt with evil imaginations and violence, until God chose to send a cleansing flood over the entire earth. Once the date was determined for the flood, the righteous generation began to die.

The book of Jasher is not considered an inspired book of the Bible, although it is mentioned in Scriptures and was known during the Old Testament period (see Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18). A scroll of the book of Jasher was discovered in 1840 and translated into English. Scholars believe the information in this scroll does contain important sacred history.

Noah, Not Married after 480 Years

According to Josephus, a prophecy given to Adam that the earth would be destroyed twice: once by water and another time by fire. This revelation was recorded in brick and stone by the sons of Seth, therefore Noah knew this prophecy. According to Genesis 6, God revealed that from the time when God announced His judgment until the flood, man’s “days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (v. 3). According to Jasher, Noah was 480 years old and was not married because he knew a flood was coming and did not want to have children who would perish in the destruction:

And Noah the son of Lamech refrained from taking a wife in those days, to beget children, for he said, Surely now God will destroy the earth, wherefore then shall I beget children? (Jasher 5:12).

God spoke to Noah and told him to take a wife and have children:

And the Lord said unto Noah, Take unto thee a wife and beget children . . . . [A]nd Noah went and took a wife, and he chose Naamah the daughter of Enoch (vv. 14, 15).

Noah and Naamah, the daughter of Enoch, had three sons and at age 500—Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 5:32). Sacred literature says Noah’s sons married the three daughters of Eliakim who was a son of Methuselah. God revealed to Noah that he and his family would be spared from the destruction because he had the grace and favor of God on his life.

Death of the Righteous

There were ten righteous men from Adam to the flood. Sacred literature recorded the year of Noah’s life when these righteous persons died:

  • In the 84th year of Noah’s life, Enos, the son of Seth, died.
  • In the 179th year of Noah’s life, Cainan died.
  • In the 234th year of Noah’s life, Mahalallel died.
  • In the 336th year of Noah’s life, Jared died.

The last of these righteous people living up until the week of the flood was the great, great grandfather of Noah, named Methuselah. This man lived 969 years! He died seven days before the flood began. God allowed Noah to bury his dear relative prior to the flood. The book of Jasher gives the reason for the deaths of these righteous souls:

And all who followed the Lord died in those days, before they saw the evil which God did declare to do upon the earth (Jasher 5:5).

The world was becoming so thoroughly evil that God knew the righteous would be too grieved to see what was coming on the earth.

And all the sons of men who knew the Lord, died in that year before the Lord brought evil upon them; for the Lord willed them to die, so as not to behold the evil that God would bring upon their brothers and relatives as he has so declared to do (Jasher 5:21).

Death of Jacob’s 12 Sons

A similar occurrence seems to re-appear in the account of the twelve sons of Jacob, as they began to die in Egypt, prior to the people of Israel becoming slaves under the Pharaohs.

The same happened before the bondage in Egypt

Jacob had 12 sons who moved with their father to Egypt, when a famine was the earth was reeling from a famine. After the famine, instead of returning to the land God had given them, the 12 sons and their children settled in Goshen in Egypt. These 70 souls multiplied into a strong nation (Exodus 1:5). Again in sacred history we read that these sons suddenly began to died, one after the other, within 12 to 24 months.

The year in Egypt Son who died Reference in Jasher

79th year in Egypt Reuben died 52:1

80th year in Egypt Dan died 52:2

82nd year in Egypt Asher died 52:4

83rd year in Egypt Gad died 52:5

86th year in Egypt Judah died 52:23

89th year in Egypt Naphtali died 52:24

93rd year in Egypt Levi died 53:1

When the last son died, the Egyptians began to afflict the Hebrews and demand their land and houses. In 102nd year of living in Egypt, a Pharaoh who was friendly to the Hebrews died and another Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8).

After the last son of Jacob had passed away, the political change in Egypt initiated a change in their treatment of the Hebrews. God did not permit this transition as long as the 12 sons of Jacob were living, but they did experience it after the death of Levi.

A Key Passage

The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil (Isaiah 57:1).

Those who were raised in a full gospel or Pentecostal setting know that the previous generation was a very pure and righteous group of people who would do nothing to offend the Holy Spirit. They preached against unrighteousness. They were grieved in their spirits to see the sins entering the church and the world. Could it be that the godly generation is being taken so they will not see the evil that is coming on the earth?

Does this mean that those still living are less holy or righteous. Absolutely not. Lot lived out the judgment of the city of Sodom! He was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked,” and called a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:7). However, the pattern seems to be that when a righteous generation dies, a form of judgment can often fall upon the earth or upon the nations. Through death, God is sparing the righteous from experiencing these things that are coming on the earth!

What Will this Generation Do?

What will we do when the strong teachers of righteousness depart? What will we do when the great prayer warriors go home to be with the Lord? What about when those who are anointed to lay hands on the sick are taken from us? Will America end up like the nations of Europe that once had the firebrands of the gospel blazing the trails, but now their churches are empty?

We must begin to impart to and train the next generation to keep alive the truths and traditions of the fathers that have been handed down from the beginning. As long as God’s people do nothing, the world will perish. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can save some before the end comes.

As God takes from us some “spiritual giants” from a very godly generation, let us remember the experience of Noah’s day. If the judgment of God is about to strike a people who have forgotten God, He will provide an ark of safety for the righteous. When we see the Lord take one of His precious saint’s home, we remember that God may be shielding that individual from suffering through the heartbreak of witnessing an act of God’s judgment on a family member or close friend.

Like Noah, we must continue to be righteous before the Lord, obey His voice, minister to our families and warn a lost generation about the mercy and the justice of God.

Original article: Voice of Evangelism
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