Bereishit 6:9
 
Eleh toldot - These are the offspring.
 
This phrase appears four times in the Tanach:
 
1) Eleh toldot hashamayim - These are the offspring of the heavens (Bereishit 2:4)
 
2) Eleh toldot Noach - These are the offspring of Noach (Bereishit 6:9)
 
3) Eleh toldot Shem - These are the offspring of Shem (Bereishit 11:10)
 
4) Eleh toldot Yaakov - These are the offspring of Yaakov (Bereishit 37:2)
 
In all four instances, the verse rejected its antecedents:  These are the offspring of the heavens rejected the void and empty (1:2) existence that preceded it.; These are the offspring of Noach rejected the generations of wicked men who preceded him; These are the offspring of Shem rejected the descendants of [his brothers] Cham and Yafet; and, These are the offspring of Yaakov rejected Esav and his chieftians [mentioned in the chapter preceding that verse].
 
 
Noach
 
Noach's name is written three times in this verse, referring to the three worlds that he saw.  Noach was one of three people - Noach, Daniel and Iyov - who saw three worlds:
 
Noach saw the world 1) in its settled state, 2) in its destruction, 3) in its resettlement.
 
Daniel saw the First Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple) 1) in its glory, 2) in its destruction, and 3) in its regained glory at the erection of the Second Beit HaMikdash.
 
Iyov saw his home 1) in its glory, 2) in its destruction, and 3) in its regained glory.
 
Alternatively, Noach was one of three who were able to save three others in his merit:
 
Noach saved his three sons, Shem, Cham and Yafet.
 
Daniel saved Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah when he interpreted Nevuchadnetzar's dream.
 
Iyov saved his three friends Elifaz the Temani, Bildad the Shuchi and Tzofar the Naamati.
 
 
Tamim hayah He was excellent. 
 
The gematria of hayah (was) is 20.  This intimates that Noach excelled during all twenty generations from Adam to Avraham.  Once Avraham began his Divine service, however, Noach was no longer considered as excelling.
 
There were ten generations from Adam to Noach - to show the degree of G-d's patience; for all those generations angered Him increasingly, until He brought upon them the waters of the Flood.  There were ten generations from Noach to Avraham - to show the degree of His patience; for all those generations angered Him increasingly, until our forefather Avraham came and received the reward of them all (Avot 5:2).  The ten generations from Adam to Noach are enumerated in Chapter 5; the ten from Noach to Avraham in 11:10-27.
 
-Baal HaTurm
 

Back