Barb Rumson, author and educator

NOAH’S WIFE?   WHAT WAS HER JOB?

By

Barb Rumson

 

Noah's Ark

Athanasii Kircheri è Soc. Jesu Arca Noë : in tres libros digesta, quorum I. De rebus quae ante diluvium, II. De iis, quæ ipso diluvio ejusque duratione, III. De iis, quae post diluvium a Noëmo gesta sunt, quæ omnia novâ methodo, nec non summa argumentorum varietate, explicantur, & demonstrantur

by Kircher, Athanasius, 1602-1680

 

Have you heard the story of Noah’s Ark?  Have you heard this part of it?  Noah and his family must have had giant problems collecting and loading the animals on board.  What did Mrs. Noah or Emzara (that was actually her name), do when Noah went missing and the animals were getting restless?


A LITTLE HISTORY  :

The name of Noah’s wife is Emzara in the “Book of Jubilees”
which is a very early book of tradition and religion.

“Book of Jubilees”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jubilees
(Accessed June 24, 2016)


“And in the twenty-fifth ... jubilee Noah took to himself a wife, and her name was Emzara, the daughter of Rake'el ...”

from “The Book of Jubilees”
From "The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament" R.H. Charles Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913
http://wesley.nnu.edu/index.php?id=2127
(Accessed June 24, 2016)


Build an Ark

Noah was shouting again!  He was looking up at the sky?  What was happening?

Well, you see, when things went well, Noah spoke softly to the sky.  When things went badly,  Noah roared up at the sky and begged for help.  This time Noah had roared his complaints, and the sky roared back.

“Yes, Noah, I agree that things are not really bad down there.  But I think the people and the land must be cleansed.”

Noah almost fell backwards. The sky had never repliéd to his complaining.  He looked up at the twirling clouds above him.  He crouched and hid his face.  Then he jumped up.  He had nothing to be afraid of.  He hadn’t done anything wrong.  He was asking for help, and someone was yelling back to him.
 
Noah yelled up at the swirling clouds, “It’s not that bad, you know.  Probably a good rain would wash and clean everything and everyone.”

“No, that’s not enough.”  The voice in the sky was louder.

The roaring shook the trees beside Noah and he leapt away with his hands shaking and sweat pouring down his face.

“Okay, okay.  What do you want me to do about it?”

“Noah, listen carefully,”  said the giant voice.

“Okay, okay, I’m listening.” Noah stood up straighter.

“There will be a Flood.  Did you hear me?  You and your family must build an Ark made out of cypress, which is the best wood for this long journey.  After you have completed the Ark, you must round up two of each animal, large and small.”

“Wait a minute, that’s asking for a lot,” said Noah.  “You’re saying my family and I have to build an Ark and then round up all those animals?  That’s impossible!  I don’t even know all the animals.”

“What did you say Noah?” came the roar that quaked the earth under Noah’s feet.

“I said, that I have to think for a minute because it’s so hot.”  Sweat ran down Noah’s face as if  someone had poured a bucket of water over his head.

“That’s better. I thought I heard you mutter something different,”  said the voice from the sky.

“There’s just one thing.”

“What’s that, Noah?”

“I can handle the building, my children can handle rounding up the animals, but how do I get the animals to stand in line and wait patiently to enter the Ark.  You know your animals … there will be meek ones, but there will be hungry ones, there will ferocious ones.  There will be nervous ones and quiet ones.  What will we do with them?”

“Well Noah, it’s very good of you to think of that.  But your wife,  Emzara, will take care of it.  Just leave it to her.  She’s in charge of that part.  So Noah, get ready with the planning, selecting the wood, cutting, sawing and shaping.  You are going to be a very busy man.”

And so it happened that in those ancient and troubled times, Emzara (who you and I had never heard about) had also been given a job that we never heard about,  because we really only heard Noah’s story.


Well, here’s Mrs. Noah’s part ... or Emzara’s story

Noah told his wife about the voice commanding him to build an Ark, because there would be a flood.  She listened and agreed that this was serious.  They must start at once.

In less time than it takes to tell the Ark was completed.  

Now they started to round up the animals.  It was a miracle.  The animals came from far and wide with very few problems.  They walked briskly.  They walked slowly.  They slithered.  They crawled.  The animals had to be placed in suitable areas.  They had to get along with the other animals.

Emzara, Noah’s wife, worked at keeping the animals busy and happy as they stood in line and waited.  Noah, as God had commanded, had put her in charge of the long line of animals.

Emzara counted the animals.  She smiled sweetly at each animal.   She whispered softly into the animals’ ears to keep them calm.

When Emzara whispered, the animals rubbed against her and waited for her gentle pat and her beautiful smile.  She walked up and down counting, checking, listening and smiling.  She kept small treats in her big swirly apron pockets for special cases.  As she handed out the small treats each and every animal licked her hand.

BUT ... something was wrong.   The line was getting longer instead of getting shorter.

Emzara moved quickly out to the side of the line and looked up towards the Ark.

The animals had stopped moving.  The large animals were stomping.  The medium sized animals were thumping.  And, the smaller animals were tapping.

Emzara ran forward a few steps.

“Noah! Noah! ” she called.  “Where are you?  Something is wrong.  The animals are not moving.  What should I do?”  Emzara’s face was red and sweaty.

There were so many animals.  She must make sure the animals were moved onto the Ark before the rains came.

Emzara looked towards the Ark again.  She started bouncing up and down searching for Noah.

Where was he?  Was he sleeping somewhere?   She would scream if he was!

Where was Noah?  What was he doing?  Did something break?  Did they find another leak?  Were the animals that were already on board giving him trouble?

The line should be moving.  It was getting late.  The clouds were getting thicker and darker.  The rains would be coming very soon.

She must do something to move the line forward.  She stopped to think.  Emzara had to warn Noah about the time.  But, she couldn’t leave the animals.

Emzara picked up a stone and threw it into the air.  Would Noah see it?  No, that was silly.  

Then she cupped here hands and yelled “Noah” – nothing.  Noah was gone.  He had disappeared.  He had to be somewhere.  But, he wasn’t answering.

Emzara looked around.  She needed to make noise.  Harsh, loud noises would get Noah’s attention fast.  But how?  What could she do?

It just so happened that Emzara was standing beside the African Bush Elephants.  They were waiting quietly for orders.  They looked down on her from their great height with warmth, friendship and wisdom in their eyes.  Their giant ears flapped in the air and light glistened off their white tusks.

It dawned on Emzara.  Elephants make loud sounds.  She would get an elephant to trumpet!  She patted the large male elephant.  “Follow me,”  she said.  The giant creature stomped after Emzara.  On a wordless cue from her he lifted his head, raised his long trunk and trumpeted loudly.  The African Bush Elephant’s trumpeting roared over the hills and hummocks around them.

Emzara looked up towards the giant Ark.  

There was no sign of Noah.

She smiled and patted the Elephant.  She gave him a treat and took him back into the line.  That didn’t work.  What could she do?

The female Elephant came over to Emzara and rubbed against her.

“That’s a good idea,” Emzara said.

She called both the Elephants out of the long line.  Taking their positions beside each other (the female was slightly smaller at the shoulder), their trunks arched into the air and a giant blast shocked everyone’s ears.  

Then they waited.  The Ark was silent and still.    

There was no sign of Noah.

 

© Barb Rumson 2020

 

To be continued when the complete story is published in the future ...

 


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