This episode, bearing the full title of "Noah & the Ark: Voyage to a New Beginning," is produced in 1996, and airs on June 18, 1997, with Peter Graves as Host, and Don Morrow as Narrator, with an unidentified female voice-over artist's citing passages from the Biblical account of patriarch Noah, from Genesis: chapters six through nine.
Noah is born among the tenth generation of Adam and Eve, the son of Lamech (of Genesis 5), who lives 777 years, grandson of Methuselah, who lives a record-setting 969 years, and great grandson of Enoch, who is transferred directly into Heaven at age 365, but continues to converse with Methuselah on behalf of Lamech and Noah.
While the Genesis account presents little in the way of dialogue in its biography of Noah and his family, this episode expands upon it to give voice to the family of Noah, utilizing an eclectic reflection of Judeo-Christian source material with other ancient authorities.
According to this episode, Noah, meaning "One who will comfort the world," is born an only child, with hair and complexion as white as snow, eyes as bright as the sun, and pre-circumcision. Because angels abide on the earth, some to corrupt the human race and to breed with "the daughters of men," Lamech is concerned that unsavory characters may have affected the infant, and so he seeks advice from his father, Methuselah, who speaks in a vision to his father in Heaven, Enoch, who announces that Noah is destined to deliver the human race from destruction.
Methuselah, in turn, instructs Noah with lessons to learn the natural sciences, reading and mathematics. At the age of 498, Noah meets his wife, identified here as Nama although neither she nor their daughters-in-law are identified in the Genesis account, and various other sources name her differently. So, for now, let's call her Nama.
Nama becomes actively involved in Noah's ministry, as she assists with his mission to help neighbors, while she and Noah welcome three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, after Noah turns 500 years of age.
But now Noah is plagued by visions of intense storms and flooding so starkly that Noah becomes paralyzed by these visions. When Noah consults with Great Grandfather Enoch, Enoch puts his mind at ease because God has a message for Noah.
While corruption, transgression and inhumanity abound on the earth, God plans to destroy the population which has turned against him, including everyone except for righteous Noah and his family. According to this episode, God sends Noah a sacred book of sapphire, detailing instruction to build an ark.
Noah, who lacks expertise in the fields of construction and maritime experience, humbly accepts his destiny and begins his plans, by planting cedar trees, which will take the next 100 years to harvest, according to specification.
The ark would result at approximately 450 ft. length x 75 ft. width x 45 ft. height to stand three stories tall, with room for two of every species of animal, enough food for everyone's vegetarian diet, and separate quarters for the female from male, as there must be no copulation during the year's time afloat.
Shem, Ham and Japheth assist their father, as building the ark becomes the only life which they know during their formative years, with neighbors scoffing at the seemingly eccentric family, who, as we now know, has a method to its madness.
Ham, however, becomes the "problem child" of the family, as he reportedly prefers playing with friends to devoting his time with working the extensive construction project. Shem, Ham and Japheth marry unidentified brides by the time they reach 100 years of age, and the wives are invited into the ark's female quarters for the journey to safety.
God allows enough grace time, for Grandfather Methuselah to reach 969 years before passing, in order for anyone among the remainder of earth's population to repent, with Noah's ministering to his rowdy neighbors, who continue to scoff all through the process.
But first, God sends flocks and herds of every living animal unto the ark, telling Noah to admit the two of each species who bow before him. When the neighbors see this, some realize that something drastic may occur after all, for now the rains begin to pour for forty days and forty nights, and Noah waits until the last possible moment to embark upon the vessel, awaiting reprieve while standing waist-deep in deluge.
During the family's year on the ark, a feud of sorts seems to erupt between Noah and Ham, who reportedly goes mad from the separation of his wife aboard the vessel. After landing near Mount Ararat, Noah releases the dove to retrieve the olive branch (although this doesn't mention the raven nor the second dove).
Once upon dry ground, Noah plants a vineyard and tends his flocks and herds because now inventing wine and serving meat are permitted. But, after discovering his father naked and drunken in his tent one day, Ham covers Noah, who turns to curse his descendant.
This episode offers various theories as to why Noah would curse a line of his descendants after everything he's done to rescue humanity, and on the heels of the Rainbow Covenant, receiving Seven Laws for the human race to abide by lest destruction return anew.
Interview Guests for this episode consist of Carole R. Fontaine (Professor of Hebrew Theology, Andover Newton Theological School), Aron Tendler (Associate Rabbi, Yeshiva University), and Dr. Peter Pitzele (Author, "Our Fathers' Wells: A Personal Encounter With the Myths of Genesis"), with Peter Graves (Host) and Don Morrow (Narrator).
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