Noah Found Favor

Noah finds favor (2)

c) Gen 6:8: By Noah’s era, a great number of Seth’s descendants had deserted his godly way of living, until the people of God neared extinction (Gen 5; Gen 6:1–7).[1]

However, at the end of God’s catastrophic announcement came a glimmer of hope:[2] “But Noah had found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

The Hebrew construction of this verse indicates that Noah received grace from God long before Moses mentioned it at this point of the narrative.[3]

As Lamech had hoped, his son Noah would provide relief for the plight of humanity (Gen 5:28–29).[4]

The phrase “to find favor in someone’s eyes” occurs forty-three times in the Old Testament (OT).[5]

This formal expression refers either to a person making a request of a superior or to an authority assisting someone of lower status (Gen 33:8–10; Gen 39:2–4).[6]

In either case, the relationship occurs between two parties of unequal rank.[7]

Note the significant difference between Noah “finding” (matsa) favor with God and “winning” it.[8]

An alternate translation for “favor” is “grace” (khen),[9] an undeserved gift which someone gives freely and unilaterally (Exod 33:12–19; Num 11:10–15; Judg 6:11–18).[10]

Noah received God’s grace; he did not strive to attain it.[11] Despite his righteousness, his character did not tip the scales in his favor (Gen 6:9).[12]

If Moses had written Gen 6:8 and Gen 6:9 in reverse order, the text would say that Noah’s righteousness earned the Lord’s favor.[13]

However, even Noah’s uprightness consisted of a gift from God (Ps 80:14–19; Phil 2:12–13; 1 Cor 15:10; Heb 13:20–21).[14]

Moses is one of the very few people whom the OT asserts found favor in God’s eyes (Exod 33:12–17). Therefore, this statement puts Noah on the same level as Moses. In the context of Gen 6, it also suggests that Noah would survive the great deluge, enabling him to begin a new era in human history.[15]

In a world terrorized by evil people, Noah stands as a model of righteousness. Although he could not stop the progression of human depravity, he stood firm.[16]

We too must walk in the power of the Holy Spirit within our culture, whatever the cost (Gal 5:16–26).[17]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Read Gen 6:8. How did Noah offer a glimmer of hope in his generation? On what basis did he find God’s grace? How does this passage encourage and challenge you today?





Go to Difficult Times in the Last Days


[Related posts include Seeking Relief (Gen 5:28–32); Righteous and Blameless (Gen 6:9–10);  God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); Lamech’s Ode to Himself (Gen 4:23–24);  Sons of God or Sons of the Gods? (Gen 6:1–2); Descendants of Seth as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Fallen Angels as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Kings as Sons of the Gods (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Taking Wives for Themselves (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Limiting Human Life Spans (Gen 6:3); Nephilim in the Land (Gen 6:4); God Grieves (Gen 6:5–6); Wiping Out Everyone (Gen 6:7); God Establishes a Covenant (Gen 6:18); It is Good Not to Touch (1 Cor 7:1‒5); New Creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17); Receiving Christ’s Righteousness (2 Cor 5:21); Guilty of Misconduct (Jude 8); and Author and Date of Genesis]

[Click here to go to Chapter 5: Groaning and Grieving (Genesis 5:28–6:8)]


[1]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 210.

[2]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145.

[3]Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, 455,

[4]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 119.

[5]S. Wagner, “םָצָא” (matsa) TDOT 8:465–83, 469.

[6]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145.

[7]Wagner, “םָצָא” (matsa) TDOT 8: 469.

[8]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 276.

[9]Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “חֵן” (khen), BDB, 336,

[10]John S. Kselman, “Grace: Old Testament,” ABD 2:1084–6, 1085.

[11]Wagner, “םָצָא” (matsa), TDOT, 470.

[12]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 276.

[13]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 276.

[14]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 119.

[15]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145, 147.

[16]Waltke and  Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary 120.

[17]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 147.