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The Deluge

After "man's shameful fall," the earth began to be populated at a very

rapid rate. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were

fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . . There

were giants in the earth in those days,[19:2] and also . . . mighty

men . . . men of renown."

But these "giants" and "mighty men" were very wicked, "and God saw the

wickedness of man . . . and it repented the Lord that he had made man

upon the earth,[19:3] and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord

said; I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,

both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air,

for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the

eyes of the Lord (for) Noah was a just man . . . and walked with God.

. . . And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me,

for the earth is filled with violence through them, and, behold, I will

destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood, rooms

shalt thou make in the ark, (and) a window shalt thou make to the ark;

. . . . And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,

to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven,

and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee shall I

establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy

sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives, with thee. And of every living

thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark,

to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls

after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping

thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come in to

thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is

eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for

thee and for them. Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded


When the ark was finished, the Lord said unto Noah:

"Come thou and all thy house into the ark. . . . Of every clean

beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his

female; and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and

his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and

the female."[20:2]

Here, again, as in the Eden myth, there is a contradiction. We have

seen that the Lord told Noah to bring into the ark "of every living

thing, of all flesh, two of every sort," and now that the ark is

finished, we are told that he said to him: "Of every clean beast thou

shalt take to thee by sevens," and, "of fowls also of the air by

sevens." This is owing to the story having been written by two

different writers--the Jehovistic, and the Elohistic--one of which took

from, and added to the narrative of the other.[20:3] The account goes on

to say, that:

"Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives

with him, into the ark. . . . Of clean beasts, and of beasts

that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing

that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two,

unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had

commanded Noah."[20:4]

We see, then, that Noah took into the ark of all kinds of beasts, of

fowls, and of every thing that creepeth, two of every sort, and that

this was "as God had commanded Noah." This clearly shows that the

writer of these words knew nothing of the command to take in clean

beasts, and fowls of the air, by sevens. We are further assured,

that, "Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him."

After Noah and his family, and every beast after his kind, and all the

cattle after their kind, the fowls of the air, and every creeping thing,

had entered the ark, the Lord shut them in. Then "were all the fountains

of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. . . . .

And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the hills,

that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards

did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh

died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of

beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and

every man. And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in

the ark."[21:1] The object of the flood was now accomplished, "all

flesh died that moved upon the earth." The Lord, therefore, "made a

wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. The fountains of

the deep, and the windows of heaven, were stopped, and the rain from

heaven was restrained. And the waters decreased continually. . . . . 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 up from off the earth. He

also sent forth a dove, . . . but the dove found no rest for the sole of

her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark." . . .

At the end of seven days he again "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, plucked off."

At the end of another seven days, he again "sent forth the dove, which

returned not again to him any more."

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the

month, upon the mountains of Ararat. Then Noah and his wife, and his

sons, and his sons' wives, and every living thing that was in the ark,

went forth out of the ark. "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord,

. . . and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a

sweet savour, and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the

ground any more for man's sake."[21:2]

We shall now see that there is scarcely any considerable race of men

among whom there does not exist, in some form, the tradition of a great

deluge, which destroyed all the human race, except their own


The first of these which we shall notice, and the one with which the

Hebrew agrees most closely, having been copied from it,[22:1] is the

Chaldean, as given by Berosus, the Chaldean historian.[22:2] It is as


"After the death of Ardates (the ninth king of the Chaldeans),

his son Xisuthrus reigned eighteen sari. In his time

happened a great deluge, the history of which is thus

described: The deity Cronos appeared to him (Xisuthrus) in a

vision, and warned him that upon the fifteenth day of the

month Desius there would be a flood, by which mankind would be

destroyed. He therefore enjoined him to write a history of the

beginning, procedure, and conclusion of all things, and to

bury it in the City of the Sun at Sippara; and to build a

vessel, and take with him into it his friends and relations,

and to convey on board everything necessary to sustain life,

together with all the different animals, both birds and

quadrupeds, and trust himself fearlessly to the deep. Having

asked the deity whither he was to sail, he was answered: 'To

the Gods;' upon which he offered up a