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Summary and Analysis : The Story of Noah and the Great Flood

  • Submitted by: skygordo
  • on July 1, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 640 words

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The story of “Noah and the Great Flood” (Gn 6-9) takes place outside the Garden of Eden around 2400 BCE. Noah, the ninth-generation descendent of Adam, lived in a time when “The Earth was corrupt before God”. (Gn 6:11) This grieves the God of Israel, so he decides to destroy what he has created, but Noah found favor in the deity’s eyes because Noah “was a righteous man”. (Gn 6:5-7;6:9) The God of Israel tells Noah to build an ark, gives him specific instructions on its design, and instructs him to bring “two of all living creatures” on the ark with him. (Gn 6:14-19) For 40 days it rains; a great flood covers the earth and “everything that moved on earth perished” except for Noah and everyone with him on the ark. (Gn 7:23) After the waters recede Noah builds an altar and sacrifices burnt offerings to the God of Israel, who smells the pleasing aroma of the sacrifices and vows to Noah and his family “never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done”. (Gn 8:20-21) The God of Israel uses the rainbow as a sign of this covenant never again to destroy the earth by flood. (Gn   9:12-16) He tells Noah to subdue the land and “be fruitful and multiply”. (Gn 8:16-17) Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk. His son Ham, sees his father naked and mocks him, so before Noah dies (at the age of 950), Noah curses Ham and his descendants to slavery. (Gn 9:22-25)

The story of “Noah and the Great Flood”, which is recorded in The Book of Genesis, is believed to be written by two different authors, the J Source, otherwise known as the Yahwist, and the P Source, otherwise referred to as the Priestly Source. J’s segments are easy to spot because the God of Israel is referred to as Yahweh (translated Lord or Lord God). These parts of the story were written during the height of the United Kingdom of David in the 10th century BCE. P wrote the segments of the story where the deity is referred to as God, from the Hebrew word Elohim. This version was...

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