Bible Question:

Was Noah a Jew? If not, who was his father?

Bible Answer:

Was Noah a Jew? The answer is no!  There are two very important reasons why the answer to the question is no.

First, Jews are descendants of the ancient patriarch Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel in Genesis 32:28 (also see Genesis 35:10).  That is, God declared Jacob was the forefather of the nation of Israel. Then Genesis 49:1-28 tells that Jacob, now Israel, had the twelve sons  who are the forefathers of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel.


The Patriarch Noah

The Patriarch Noah


Then in Exodus 1:1-6 these sons of Jacob are explicitly referred to as the sons of Israel. They are the forefathers of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt. Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.  Exodus 1:1-6 (NASB)

The word “Jews” refers to any descendant of the twelve tribes of Israel. So, Jacob was the forefather of Israel or the Jews.

Second, the table, Chronology of The Ancient Patriarchs, provides a chronological list of the ancient ancestors starting with Adam to Jacob. The table lists each patriarch, his first-born son, and the last column is the year in which the patriarch died. From this table we discover that Noah was the son of Lamech and not a son of Jacob.

Chronology of The Ancient Patriarchs


Genesis 5:30 clearly says Lamech was the father of Noah..

Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:30 (NASB)

In addition, the chart shows that Abraham was one of Noah’s descendants. Abraham gave birth to Isaac (Gen. 25:19-26; 1 Chronicles 1:28) who was the father of Jacob (1 Chronicles 1:34; Matthew 1:2) who was the father of the twelve tribes of the Jews. However, the Jews generally consider Abraham to be one of their forefathers (Luke 1:73), but Abraham was a Gentile for Scripture does not list Abraham as a descendent of his grandson Jacob!

From the table one can see that Noah was an ancient patriarch, but not a descendant of Jacob. Therefore Noah was not a Jew, but he was an ancestor of the Jews. The same is true of Abraham and Isaac who were Gentiles.  Noah were born about one thousand years later.


When we come to the gospels of Matthew and Luke, we find that Jesus was not ashamed to consider Jacob, Abraham, Noah, and Adam in His geneaology (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).

Suggested Links:

Genealogical chart: Adam to Jesus
Was Noah Jewish?
Were Abraham, Issac, Jacob, David, and Jesus Jews?
Joseph's Genealogy
Mary's Genealogy