Noah: The Bible vs. the Movie

The story of Noah and the flood is one that I have know for almost all my life. A story that I learned in sunday school when I was probably eight years old. While I didn’t go see the movie when it came out, I noticed it on Netflix the other night, and I became intrigued. I wondered how accurate the movie would be when compared to the story in the Bible.

So I watched the movie. I saw the story come to life, but there were several things that didn’t add up to me. I’ll be honest, I have been negligent of my faith recently, so I am thrilled that watching this adaptation of the story sent me back to my Bible.

Now if you haven’t seen the movie, let the spoilers begin. The movie begins by giving you a quick recap of what has happened prior to the story of Noah. First, that there was nothing, then that once there was, it was temptation, and sin. It’s very vague, but later on Noah does tell his sons a more indepth version of the Creation story.

Second, the movie introduces The Watchers, fallen angels who were sent to watch over Cain and his descendants. The movie tells us that the watchers were used by Cain’s descendants to help build their cities and spread darkness over the land. One watcher tells the sons of Noah that they were created on the second day. Well, I looked at what the Bible says God made in the second day.

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Genesis 1:6-8

I don’t see anything there about angels being forced out of Heaven for wanting to help mankind. I’m not sure where they came up with the concept of gigantic rock creatures called The Watchers. I wonder if perhaps the movie writers thought the story in the Bible wasn’t exciting enough so they needed to make something up.

Then we meet Noah as his father Lamech is in the process of passing on his birthright to Noah. Before the process is finished, the descendants of Cain come upon them. Noah hides and watches as his father is murdered. He then runs away unseen. Lamech could have died that way, the Bible doesn’t say how he dies. However, if you do the math, Noah was 595 when his father died, and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth which he had when he was 500, would have been 95. Here, in the movie, Noah was depicted as a child of nothing more than ten years old and an only child at that. Noah did indeed have younger brothers and sisters.

While in the Bible, God speaks to Noah directly about what must be done concerning the ark, in the movie God speaks to Noah through dreams, which makes sense. The dream shows Noah the flood, the death of many people, as well as pointing him towards his grandfather Methuselah. At first I wasn’t sure about this either, but I did the math here too. It’s so easy to do because of how precise the Bible is. If I did my math right, Methuselah was 869 when Noah’s sons where born, and the flood came exactly 100 years later when Methuselah was 969 years old.

In the movie, after Methuselah helps Noah and his family, the last we see of him is as he allows himself to be swept up by the flood waters. Again, the Bible doesn’t say how he dies, and it does not put him on the arc, this theory is possible.

I’m not going to tell you everything that happens in the movie, but here is another thing I want to point out. The movie would have you believe that only Noah’s eldest, Shem, has a wife. That Noah’s other sons were perhaps too young to have wives, but the Bible says differently. For one, Noah’s sons would be at least 100 by the time the floods came, so they were certainly old enough. Furthermore, the Bible says that Noah, his wife, their sons, and their sons’ three wives went onto the ark. Genesis 7:7.

One last thing that didn’t add up for me was that in the movie, the man who kills Lamech, finds a way to sneak on the ark, and manages to stay hidden from Noah. Then with the help of Ham, who is angry at his father Noah, for not saving the girl he wanted for his wife, they plot to kill Noah. They don’t succeed, but that’s okay. It never happened in the Bible. Aside from the animals, Noah’s family was the only one that got to see the world after the flood.

Now here we are. Most of us having forgotten what God will not.

What did you think? I'd love to hear from you!

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