If you take a few minutes to reflect on the story of the “Flood” it is terribly tragic. Countless people along with all terrestrial life die in a great catastrophe. Evil had overtaken the entire earth to such an extent that it was not redeemable. No solution, but one, restart the whole process. One family to restart all mankind. Eliminate the interaction and inbreeding with the “divine Beings” who found the women of the earth beautiful.
Would the new plan work? How would this new beginning be any better than the first generations of mankind? This Parsha, Noach, relates the story and what was different this time around.
It seems to all come down to a process of revealed divine directives, Law if you like. In this Parsha we have some new directives which were not given to the first generations of mankind. The first generations pre-flood, were given three commands, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, rule over the earth (properly manage the earth), and do not eat from the tree of “good and bad.” It seems that without sufficient divine instruction, mankind quickly became completely corrupt.
G~d gives additional commands after the “Flood.” Be fruitful and multiply is reiterated three times. Eating animals is allowed, but not with the blood in it. The animal kingdom is specifically subjected to fear mankind. And most importantly, value and “reckoning” for life is required of mankind. This makes us responsible to the Lord for our conduct, actions, and an implication of an aspect to life greater than the visible, physical days we have on earth. With some thinking on our part we can quickly derive other valuable guidelines from these commands.
Here are some study notes: