Noah walked with God, built an ark, and saved mankind and the animals

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“Noah Building the Ark.” Oil on canvas by Herbert Mandel

About this series: A narrative exploring the stories behind the paintings of late artist Herbert Mandel as explained in the context of the Biblical texts they’re derived from, by his son-in-law, Jim Robidoux.


Noah’s father Lamech put his hope in Yahweh and believed in the God of his fathers, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah. Noah brought Lamech relief and rest from the ground that God had cursed, after Adam and Eve’s fall.

Noah was born in the 10th generation beginning with Adam. He was like his great-grandfather Enoch, the first man to walk with God after Adam and Eve’s sin. Enoch’s relationship to God and special revelations set him apart from all other men. He was the first man who did not have to die and Enoch was “translated” by God and taken straight to heaven. Noah’s grandfather Methuselah lived longer than any other man for nearly 1,000 years, but it was Noah that would top them all.

God chose Noah and his family to restart the world. He decided to blot out all of mankind except for Noah during “The Great Flood.” Noah was given plans to build an ark to preserve his family and the animals and kick-start God’s creation a second time. Like his great-grandfather Enoch, Noah walked with God and would not perish as everyone else did during the flood. Noah, his family, and the animals God had provided would be the only survivors after God wiped out “all flesh.”

Act of God: Making it rain for 40 days and 40 nights, causing everyone in the world to die, except for Noah and his family. Painting/Herbert Mandel

God’s disappointment with mankind broke his heart, and God was sorry He had created man. Evil and wickedness consumed man continually, and violence filled the earth. God’s perfect creation so badly corrupted by the fallen angels and their influence on man, needed to be destroyed as it was unrecognizable.

After Cain killed his brother Abel, God sent Adam and Eve another son, Seth. Cain’s descendants became increasingly evil and ungodly with every generation, culminating in Lamech who took two wives. Lamech in Cain’s line began the practice of harems and he was much more dangerous and vengeful than murderous Cain.

Noah’s Ark in the Deluge. linoleum block print, Herbert Mandel

Seth’s descendants were godly and featured men like Enoch and Noah, the apple of God’s eye. Seth’s descendants during Noah’s lifetime were marrying into the line of Cain. God-fearing people were mixing with idol-worshipers that were influenced and empowered by demonic spirits. The powers of good and evil were mixed when these two lines intermarried. Mighty men and cruel tyrants began a new era of utter chaos. Selfishness, abuse, and unspeakable atrocities were being committed by men when God decided to intervene.

Noah spent 100 years of his life (or more) building the ark to save what God wanted saved. The great flood began with 40 days of rain, and God unleashed underground water sources that filled the oceans over flowing them and covering the mountain tops. Everything on land that needed to breath would die except for those on Noah’s ark. Life on planet earth was given a second chance and a new beginning. Earth was born again.

Genesis 5:32 10-1

“Noah Disembarks” oil on canvas by Herbert Mandel.

End of Part 1


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About this Author

jim-robidoux

Jim Robidoux

Click here for more posts in Pop’s Art: The Bible Illustrated.   Jim Robidoux works in precision sheet metal, is father of four and husband of Manchester Ink Link publisher Carol Robidoux. He enjoys smoking cigars, pondering life’s big questions, and roots for all his home teams, whether they’re from Philly or Boston. He looks forward to receiving fan mail at jrmetalman@comcas.net.