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And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark : and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained ; and the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat; and the waters decreased continually until the tenth month : in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made, and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried uy from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came in to him in the evening; and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him any more.
And Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. And God spake unto Noah, saying: “Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him : every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord
said in his heart: “I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth ; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth; and the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea ; into your
hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things : but flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying: “ And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you: neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."
And God said : “ This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations : I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud : and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and
every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”1
i Flood traditions are found among many peoples, both in the Old World and the New. That of ancient Babylonia is the most important, not only as occurring in records far older than the book of Genesis, but as containing many details of the Hebrew account, notably the following :
(1) The hero has a special revelation of the fact that a flood is impending. (2) Animals are taken into an ark.
The Cursing of Canaan (Gen. ix. 20-28). And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard : and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said :
“ Cursed be Canaan ;
A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." And he said :
“ Blessed be the Lord God of Shem;
And Canaan shall be his servant.” 1 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years ; and all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years : and he died.
[The “generations of the sons of Noah” are here omitted. Among the descendants of Ham is mentioned Nimrod : “ He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord : wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."]
The Tower of Babel (Gen. xi. 1-9). And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they
(3) All life is destroyed from the earth. (4) Birds are sent out three times before the water is found to have subsided.
(5) The hero offers sacrifice, the savor of which is acceptable, and wins an assurance that there will be no more floods.
The Greek myth of Deucalion's flood is also an interesting parallel.
1 It was anciently believed that a father's blessing affected the son's destiny. Canaan here prefigures the native peoples of the land of Canaan, who were subjugated by the Israelites, the descendants of Shem. The occasion and the form of Noah's invocation connects their destiny with the fact that Shem's descendants had a purer religion than the sensual and idolatrous Canaanites.
journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, “Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly.” And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said: “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may
reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad
the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said : " Be. hold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they
have imagined to do. Zikkurat or Staged Temple-tower, of which in early times
there were imposing ruíns at Babylon. (After the restora Go to, let us go down, tion by Chipiez.)
and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; ? because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth : and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
1 Shinar. Babylonia. ? The narrator regards 'Babel’as derived from the Hebrew balal, 'to confuse."
THE ANCESTORS OF THE HEBREWS
1. ABRAHAM The Migration to Canaan (Gen. xi. 31-xii. 8). And Terah (descendant of Shem] took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son A brain's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hun. dred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram : “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing : and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him ; and Lot went with him: and A bram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” And there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. · And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
Sarai and Abimelech (Gen. xx. ; xxi. 22–34). And Abram journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled