Noah Finds Favor

Noah Finds Favor
Genesis 6:8

But Noah found favor with the Lord.  (JPS Tanakh)

In chapter 6 of Genesis, the writer’s opening paragraphs describe a rather volatile situation:  Divine beings (or sons of God) are taking human wives, God shortens the lifespan of humans to 120 years, and wickedness was all about.  God is fed up.

And then, in 6:8, the Bible softens and declares:

But Noah found favor with the Lord. (JPS)

This is a play on words, which is found often in scripture.

In the Hebrew, the name Noah is נֹחַ. The transliteration from the Hebrew lettering is noach with pronunciation nō’·akh. Its etymological root is נוּחַ, transliterated nuwach and pronounced nü’·akh. Both words carry the meaning rest, rested, resting, and quiet.

The English noun favor is חֵן in the Hebrew, with transliteration chen and pronunciation khān. This Hebrew word can also be translated as graciousness.

Without vowels, as Biblical Hebrew manuscripts are often written, Noach becomes nch.

Without vowels, favor becomes chn.

n-ch | ch-n

Noah and favor are the reverse of each other in the Hebrew.

But Noah found favor with the Lord. (JPS)