Noah

Last updated
Noah
NoahsSacrifice.JPG
Noah's Sacrifice by Daniel Maclise
Venerated in Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Mandaeism
Baháʼí Faith

In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah [lower-alpha 1] ( /ˈn.ə/ ) [1] features as the tenth and last of the pre-Flood patriarchs. His story appears in the Hebrew Bible (in the Book of Genesis, chapters 5–9) and in the Quran. The Genesis flood narrative is among the best-known stories of the Bible. Noah is also portrayed as a "tiller of the soil" and as a drinker of wine.

Contents

According to the Genesis account, Noah labored faithfully to build the Ark at God's command, ultimately saving not only his own family, but mankind itself and all land animals, from extinction during the Flood. Afterwards, God made a covenant with Noah and promised never again to destroy all the Earth's creatures with a flood. The flood narrative is followed by the story of the Curse of Ham.

In addition to his appearance in the Book of Genesis, Noah is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in the First Book of Chronicles, and the books of Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach, Isaiah, Ezekiel, 2 Esdras, 4 Maccabees; the New Testament references him in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and in the epistles (Epistle to the Hebrews, 1st Peter and 2nd Peter). Noah became the subject of much elaboration in the literature of later Abrahamic religions, including the Quran (Surahs 71, 7, 11, 54, and 21).

Biblical narrative

12th-century Venetian mosaic depiction of Noah sending the dove Noah mosaic.JPG
12th-century Venetian mosaic depiction of Noah sending the dove

Tenth and final of the pre-Flood (antediluvian) Patriarchs, son to Lamech and an unnamed mother, [2] Noah is 500 years old before his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth are born. (Genesis 5:32 )

Genesis flood narrative

The Genesis flood narrative is encompassed within chapters 6–9 in the Book of Genesis, in the Bible. [3] The narrative indicates that God intended to return the Earth to its pre-Creation state of watery chaos by flooding the Earth because of humanity's misdeeds and then remake it using the microcosm of Noah's ark. Thus, the flood was no ordinary overflow but a reversal of Creation. [4] The narrative discusses the evil of mankind that moved God to destroy the world by the way of the flood, the preparation of the ark for certain animals, Noah, and his family, and God's guarantee (the Noahic Covenant) for the continued existence of life under the promise that he would never send another flood. [5]

After the flood

After the flood, Noah offered burnt offerings to God, who said: "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" (8:20–21 ).

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (9:1 ). They were also told that all fowls, land animals, and fishes would be afraid of them. Furthermore, as well as green plants, every moving thing would be their food with the exception that the blood was not to be eaten. Man's life blood would be required from the beasts and from man. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (9:6). A rainbow, called "my bow", was given as the sign of a covenant "between me and you and every living creature that [is] with you, for perpetual generations" (9:2–17 ), called the Noahic covenant or the rainbow covenant.

Noah died 350 years after the flood, at the age of 950, [6] the last of the extremely long-lived Antediluvian patriarchs. The maximum human lifespan, as depicted by the Bible, gradually diminishes thereafter, from almost 1,000 years to the 120 years of Moses. [7]

Noah's drunkenness

Noah's drunkenness, Ham mocks Noah, Noah is covered, Canaan is cursed. Egerton Genesis. Egerton Genesis Noahs Drunkeness.png
Noah's drunkenness, Ham mocks Noah, Noah is covered, Canaan is cursed. Egerton Genesis.

After the flood, the Bible says that Noah became a farmer and he planted a vineyard. He drank wine made from this vineyard, and got drunk; and lay "uncovered" within his tent. Noah's son Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his brothers, which led to Ham's son Canaan being cursed by Noah. [8]

As early as the Classical era, commentators on Genesis 9:20–21 have excused Noah's excessive drinking because he was considered to be the first wine drinker; the first person to discover the effects of wine. [9] John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, and a Church Father, wrote in the 4th century that Noah's behavior is defensible: as the first human to taste wine, he would not know its effects: "Through ignorance and inexperience of the proper amount to drink, fell into a drunken stupor". [10] Philo, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, also excused Noah by noting that one can drink in two different manners: (1) to drink wine in excess, a peculiar sin to the vicious evil man or (2) to partake of wine as the wise man, Noah being the latter. [11] In Jewish tradition and rabbinic literature on Noah, rabbis blame Satan for the intoxicating properties of the wine. [12] [13]

Noah curses Ham by Gustave Dore Noah-Curses-Ham.jpg
Noah curses Ham by Gustave Doré

In the context of Noah's drunkenness, Genesis 9:18–27 relates two facts: (1) Noah became drunken and "he was uncovered within his tent", and (2) Ham "saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without". [14] [15]

Because of its brevity and textual inconsistencies, it has been suggested that this narrative is a "splinter from a more substantial tale". [16] [17] A fuller account would explain what exactly Ham had done to his father, or why Noah directed a curse at Canaan for Ham's misdeed, or how Noah came to know what occurred. In the field of psychological biblical criticism, J. H. Ellens and W. G. Rollins have analysed the unconventional behavior that occurs between Noah and Ham as revolving around sexuality and the exposure of genitalia as compared with other Hebrew Bible texts, such as Habakkuk 2:15 and Lamentations 4:21. [14]

Other commentaries mention that "uncovering someone's nakedness" could mean having sexual intercourse with that person or that person's spouse, as quoted in Leviticus 18:7–8 and 20:11. From this interpretation, it can be deduced that Ham was guilty of engaging in incest and raping Noah [18] or his own mother. The latter interpretation would make clear why Canaan, as the product of this illicit union, was cursed by Noah. [15] Alternatively, Canaan could be the perpetrator himself as the Bible describes the illicit deed being committed by Noah's "youngest son", with Ham being consistently described as the middle son in other verses. [19]

Table of nations

The dispersion of the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (map from the 1854 Historical Textbook and Atlas of Biblical Geography) Noahsworld map.jpg
The dispersion of the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (map from the 1854 Historical Textbook and Atlas of Biblical Geography)

Genesis 10 sets forth the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, from whom the nations branched out over the Earth after the flood. Among Japheth's descendants were the maritime nations. (10:2–5) Ham's son Cush had a son named Nimrod, who became the first man of might on earth, a mighty hunter, king in Babylon and the land of Shinar. (10:6–10) From there Ashur went and built Nineveh. (10:11–12) Canaan's descendants  Sidon, Heth, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites  spread out from Sidon as far as Gerar, near Gaza, and as far as Sodom and Gomorrah. (10:15–19) Among Shem's descendants was Eber. (10:21)

These genealogies differ structurally from those set out in Genesis 5 and 11. It has a segmented or treelike structure, going from one father to many offspring. It is strange that the table, which assumes that the population is distributed about the Earth, precedes the account of the Tower of Babel, which says that all the population is in one place before it is dispersed. [20]

Family tree

Adam Eve
Cain Abel Seth
Enoch Enos
Irad Kenan
Mehujael Mahalalel
Methushael Jared
Adah Lamech Zillah Enoch
Jabal Jubal Tubal-Cain Naamah Methuselah
Lamech
Noah
Shem Ham Japheth

Narrative analysis

According to the documentary hypothesis, the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch/Torah), including Genesis, were collated during the 5th century BC from four main sources, which themselves date from no earlier than the 10th century BC. Two of these, the Jahwist, composed in the 10th century BC, and the Priestly source, from the late 7th century BC, make up the chapters of Genesis which concern Noah. The attempt by the 5th-century editor to accommodate two independent and sometimes conflicting sources accounts for the confusion over such matters as how many of each animal Noah took, and how long the flood lasted. [21] [22]

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible notes that this story echoes parts of the Garden of Eden story: Noah is the first vintner, while Adam is the first farmer; both have problems with their produce; both stories involve nakedness; and both involve a division between brothers leading to a curse. However, after the flood, the stories differ. Noah plants the vineyard and utters the curse, not God, so "God is less involved". [23]

Other accounts

Noah appears in several non-canonical books.

Pseudepigrapha

The Book of Jubilees refers to Noah and says that he was taught the arts of healing by an angel so that his children could overcome "the offspring of the Watchers". [24]

In 10:1–3 of the Book of Enoch (which is part of the Orthodox Tewahedo biblical canon) and canonical for Beta Israel, Uriel was dispatched by "the Most High" to inform Noah of the approaching "deluge". [25]

Dead Sea scrolls

Genesis Apocryphon, a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls that features Noah Genesis apocryphon.jpg
Genesis Apocryphon, a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls that features Noah

There are 20 or so fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls that appear to refer to Noah. [26] Lawrence Schiffman writes, "Among the Dead Sea Scrolls at least three different versions of this legend are preserved." [27] In particular, "The Genesis Apocryphon devotes considerable space to Noah." However, "The material seems to have little in common with Genesis 5 which reports the birth of Noah." Also, Noah's father is reported as worrying that his son was actually fathered by one of the Watchers. [28]

Comparative mythology

Indian and Greek flood-myths also exist, although there is little evidence that they were derived from the Mesopotamian flood-myth that underlies the biblical account. [29]

Mesopotamian

George Smith, who transliterated and read the so-called "Babylonian Flood Story" of Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh Mr. George Smith, the man who transliterated and read the so-called the Babylonian Flood Story of Tablet XI.jpg
George Smith, who transliterated and read the so-called "Babylonian Flood Story" of Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh

The Noah story of the Pentateuch is almost identical to a flood story contained in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, composed about 1800 BCE. In the Gilgamesh version, the Mesopotamian gods decide to send a great flood to destroy mankind. Various correlations between the stories of Noah and Gilgamesh (the flood, the construction of the ark, the salvation of animals, and the release of birds following the flood) have led to this story being seen as the inspiration for the story of Noah. The few variations include the number of days of the deluge, the order of the birds, and the name of the mountain on which the ark rests. The flood story in Genesis 6–8 matches the Gilgamesh flood myth so closely that "few doubt that [it] derives from a Mesopotamian account." [30] What is particularly noticeable is the way the Genesis flood story follows the Gilgamesh flood tale "point by point and in the same order", even when the story permits other alternatives. [31]

The earliest written flood myth is found in the Mesopotamian Epic of Atrahasis and Epic of Gilgamesh texts. The Encyclopædia Britannica says "These mythologies are the source of such features of the biblical Flood story as the building and provisioning of the ark, its flotation, and the subsidence of the waters, as well as the part played by the human protagonist." [32] The Encyclopedia Judaica adds that there is a strong suggestion that "an intermediate agent was active. The people most likely to have fulfilled this role are the Hurrians, whose territory included the city of Haran, where the Patriarch Abraham had his roots. The Hurrians inherited the Flood story from Babylonia". [33] The encyclopedia mentions another similarity between the stories: Noah is the tenth patriarch and Berossus notes that "the hero of the great flood was Babylonia’s tenth antediluvian king." However, there is a discrepancy in the ages of the heroes. For the Mesopotamian antecedents, "the reigns of the antediluvian kings range from 18,600 to nearly 65,000 years." In the Bible, the lifespans "fall far short of the briefest reign mentioned in the related Mesopotamian texts." Also, the name of the hero differs between the traditions: "The earliest Mesopotamian flood account, written in the Sumerian language, calls the deluge hero Ziusudra." [33]

However, Yi Samuel Chen writes that the oldest versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh never mentioned the flood, just mentioning that he went to talk to Utnapishtim to find the secret of immportality. Starting with the Old Babylonian Period, there were attempts to syncretize Utnapishtim with Ziusudra, even though they were previously seen as different figures. Gilgamesh meeting the flood hero was first alluded to in the Old Babylonian Period in "The Death of Bilgamesh" and eventually was imported and standardized in the Epic of Gilgamesh probably in the Middle Babylonian Period. [34]

Gilgamesh’s historical reign is believed to have been approximately 2700 BC, [35] shortly before the earliest known written stories. The discovery of artifacts associated with Aga and Enmebaragesi of Kish, two other kings named in the stories, has lent credibility to the historical existence of Gilgamesh. [36]

The earliest Sumerian Gilgamesh poems date from as early as the Third dynasty of Ur (2100–2000 BC). [37] One of these poems mentions Gilgamesh’s journey to meet the flood hero, as well as a short version of the flood story, although Chen writes that his was included in texts written during the Old Babylonian Period. [38] [39] The earliest Akkadian versions of the unified epic are dated to ca. 2000–1500 BC. [40] Due to the fragmentary nature of these Old Babylonian versions, it is unclear whether they included an expanded account of the flood myth; although one fragment definitely includes the story of Gilgamesh’s journey to meet Utnapishtim. The "standard" Akkadian version included a long version of the flood story and was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni sometime between 1300 and 1000 BC. [41]

Yi Samuel Chen analyzes various texts from the Early Dynastic III Period through to the Old Babylonian Period, and argues that the flood narrative was only added in texts written during the Old Babylonian Period. When it comes to the Sumerian King List, observations by experts have always indicated that the portion of the Sumerian King List talking about before the flood is stylistically different from the King List Proper. Essentially Old Babylonian copies tend to represent a tradition of before the flood apart from the actual King List, whereas the Ur III copy of the King List and the duplicate from the Brockmon collection indicate that the King List Proper once existed independent of mention to the flood and the tradition of before the flood. Essentially, Chen gives evidence to prove that the section of before the flood and references to the flood in the Sumerian King List were all later additions added in during the Old Babylonian Period, as the Sumerian King List went through updates and edits. The Flood as a watershed in early History of the world was probably a new historiographical concept emerging in the Mesopotamian literary traditions during the Old Babylonian Period, as evident by the fact that the flood motif didn't show up in the Ur III copy and that earliest chronographical sources related to the flood show up in the Old Babylonian Period. Chen concludes that the name of Ziusudra as a flood hero and the idea of the flood hinted by that name in the Old Babylonian Version of "Instructions of Shuruppak" are only developments during that Old Babylonian Period, when also the didactic text was updated with information from the burgeoning Antediluvian Tradition [42]

Ancient Greek

Noah has often been compared to Deucalion, the son of Prometheus and Pronoia in Greek mythology. Like Noah, Deucalion is warned of the flood (by Zeus and Poseidon); he builds an ark and staffs it with creatures – and when he completes his voyage, gives thanks and takes advice from the gods on how to repopulate the Earth. Deucalion also sends a pigeon to find out about the situation of the world and the bird returns with an olive branch. [43] [44] Deucalion, in some versions of the myth, also becomes the inventor of wine, like Noah. [45] Philo [46] and Justin equate Deucalion with Noah, and Josephus used the story of Deucalion as evidence that the flood actually occurred and that, therefore, Noah existed. [47] [48]

The motif of a weather deity who headed the pantheon causing the great flood and then the trickster who created men from clay saving man is also present in Sumerian Mythology, as Enlil, instead of Zeus, causes the flood, and Enki, rather than Prometheus, saves man. Stephanie West has written that this is perhaps due to the Greeks Borrowing stories from the Near East. [49]

Zoroastrian

The Videvdad mentions that Ahura Mazda warns Yima that there will come a harsh winter storm followed by melted snow. [50] Ahura Mazda advises Yima to construct a Vara (Avestan: enclosure). This he is to populate with the fittest of men and women; and with two of every animal, bird and plant; and supply with food and water gathered the previous summer. [51] Norbert Oettinger argues that the story of Yima and the Vara was originally a flood myth, and the harsh winter was added in due to the dry nature of Eastern Iran, as floods didn't have as much of an effect as harsh winters. He has argued that the Videvdad 2.24's mention of melted water flowing is a remnant of the flood myth. [52]

Hindu

A story involving Lord Vishnu and King Sraddhadeva Manu (a.k.a. Vaivasvata Manu) is found in the Hindu chronicle Matsya Purana . Lord Vishnu in his 'matsya' (fish) avatar ordered the virtuous king Manu to construct a huge boat with animal and plant specimens of all forms, to escape the Great Deluge, and finally when the water receded, the great boat was found atop the Malaya Mountains. [53] Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "Manu combines the characteristics of the Hebrew Bible figures of Noah, who preserved life from extinction in a great flood, and Adam, the first man", [54] which view is reflected in several other works. [55] Indologist David Dean Shulman writes that borrowing between the myths of Manu and Noah "cannot be ruled out". [56] For Krishna Mohan Banerjee, the names "Noah" and "Manu" "had the same etymological root: 'Manu' must have been the Indo-Aryan ideal of Noah." [57] Philologist and founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, William Jones, "identifies Manu with Noah", along with whom, "the seven sages can be identified with the eight people aboard the Ark." [58] Furthermore, researcher Klaus Klostermaier reports a Muslim writer who "identifies Brahma with Abraham .... and Manu with Noah." [59] Others, however, would say that "the story is thoroughly Indian" and the "boat is not the equivalent of Noah's Ark, though it is still the symbol of salvation" [60] According to Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti and Puranas, Manu's story occurred at the beginning of the present manvantara , which is the 7th manvantara and Manu. [61] This amounts to about 120.53 million years ago (see Hindu units of time). [62] [63] [64] Norbert Oettinger argues that the story originally was about Yama, but that he was replaced by his brother Manu due to the social context of the authorship of the Shatapatha Brahmana, which is also why Manu wasn't with a sister in the boat and built one out of butter later. [65]

Religious views

Judaism

A Jewish depiction of Noah Ararat Ms. 11639 521a.jpg
A Jewish depiction of Noah

The righteousness of Noah is the subject of much discussion among rabbis. [66] The description of Noah as "righteous in his generation" implied to some that his perfection was only relative: In his generation of wicked people, he could be considered righteous, but in the generation of a tzadik like Abraham, he would not be considered so righteous. They point out that Noah did not pray to God on behalf of those about to be destroyed, as Abraham prayed for the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, Noah is never seen to speak; he simply listens to God and acts on his orders. This led some commentators to offer the figure of Noah as "the righteous man in a fur coat," who ensured his own comfort while ignoring his neighbour. [67] Others, such as the medieval commentator Rashi, held on the contrary that the building of the Ark was stretched over 120 years, deliberately in order to give sinners time to repent. Rashi interprets his father's statement of the naming of Noah (in Hebrew – Noaħ נֹחַ) "This one will comfort us (in Hebrew– yeNaĦamenu יְנַחֲמֵנו) in our work and in the toil of our hands, which come from the ground that the Lord had cursed", [68] by saying Noah heralded a new era of prosperity, when there was easing (in Hebrew – naħah – נחה) from the curse from the time of Adam when the Earth produced thorns and thistles even where men sowed wheat and that Noah then introduced the plow. [69]

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia , "The Book of Genesis contains two accounts of Noah." In the first, Noah is the hero of the flood, and in the second, he is the father of mankind and a husbandman who planted the first vineyard. "The disparity of character between these two narratives has caused some critics to insist that the subject of the latter account was not the same as the subject of the former." Perhaps the original name of the hero of the flood was actually Enoch. [70]

The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that Noah's drunkenness is not presented as reprehensible behavior. Rather, "It is clear that ... Noah’s venture into viticulture provides the setting for the castigation of Israel’s Canaanite neighbors." It was Ham who committed an offense when he viewed his father's nakedness. Yet, "Noah’s curse, ... is strangely aimed at Canaan rather than the disrespectful Ham." [33]

Christianity

An early Christian depiction showing Noah giving the gesture of orant as the dove returns Noah catacombe.jpg
An early Christian depiction showing Noah giving the gesture of orant as the dove returns

2 Peter 2:5 refers to Noah as a "preacher of righteousness". In the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, Jesus compares Noah's flood with the coming Day of Judgement: "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." [71] [72]

The First Epistle of Peter compares the power of baptism with the Ark saving those who were in it. In later Christian thought, the Ark came to be compared to the Church: salvation was to be found only within Christ and his Lordship, as in Noah's time it had been found only within the Ark. St Augustine of Hippo (354–430), demonstrated in The City of God that the dimensions of the Ark corresponded to the dimensions of the human body, which corresponds to the body of Christ; the equation of Ark and Church is still found in the Anglican rite of baptism, which asks God, "who of thy great mercy didst save Noah," to receive into the Church the infant about to be baptised. [73]

In medieval Christianity, Noah's three sons were generally considered as the founders of the populations of the three known continents, Japheth/Europe, Shem/Asia, and Ham/Africa, although a rarer variation held that they represented the three classes of medieval society – the priests (Shem), the warriors (Japheth), and the peasants (Ham). In medieval Christian thought, Ham was considered to be the ancestor of the people of black Africa. So, in racialist arguments, the curse of Ham became a justification for the slavery of the black races. [74]

Isaac Newton, in his religious works on the development of religion, wrote about Noah and his offspring. In Newton's view, while Noah was a monotheist, the gods of pagan antiquity are identified with Noah and his descendants. [75]

Mormon theology

In Mormon theology, Noah plays an important role, prior to his birth, as the angel Gabriel, and then lived in his mortal life as the patriarch-prophet Noah. Gabriel and Noah are regarded as the same individual under different names. [76] [77] Mormons also believe that Noah returned to earth as Gabriel after his earthly life [78] and appeared to Daniel to teach him about the Second Coming; to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist; and to Mary, the mother of Jesus. [79]

Noah is considered the head of a dispensation along with Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Joseph Smith. A dispensation is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on earth who bears the keys of the holy priesthood. [80] Noah became the means by which the gospel of Jesus Christ— the plan of salvation —is revealed anew, the means by which divine transforming powers, including saving covenants and ordinances, are extended to people during an age of time called a dispensation. [81]

Islam

An Islamic depiction of Noah in a 16th-century Mughal miniature. Noah's Ark by Miskin.jpg
An Islamic depiction of Noah in a 16th-century Mughal miniature.

Noah is a highly important figure in Islam and he is seen as one of the most significant of all prophets. The Quran contains 43 references to Noah, or Nuḥ, in 28 chapters, and the seventy-first chapter, Sūrah Nūḥ (Arabic : سورة نوح), is named after him. His life is also spoken of in the commentaries and in Islamic legends.

Noah's narratives largely cover his preaching as well the story of the Deluge. Noah's narrative sets the prototype for many of the subsequent prophetic stories, which begin with the prophet warning his people and then the community rejecting the message and facing a punishment.

Noah has several titles in Islam, based primarily on praise for him in the Quran, including "True Messenger of God" (XXVI: 107) and "Grateful Servant of God" (XVII: 3). [33] [82]

The Quran focuses on several instances from Noah's life more than others, and one of the most significant events is the Flood. God makes a covenant with Noah just as he did with Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad later on (33:7). Noah is later reviled by his people and reproached by them for being a mere human messenger and not an angel (10:72–74). Moreover, the people mock Noah's words and call him a liar (7:62), and they even suggest that Noah is possessed by a devil when the prophet ceases to preach (54:9). [83] Only the lowest in the community join Noah in believing in God's message (11:29), and Noah's narrative further describes him preaching both in private and public. Noah prays to God, "Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels from the land: / For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels."[ dead link ] [84] The Quran narrates that Noah received a revelation to build an Ark, after his people refused to believe in his message and hear the warning. The narrative goes on to describe that waters poured forth from the Heavens, destroying all the sinners. Even one of his sons disbelieved him, stayed behind, and was drowned. After the Flood ended, the Ark rested atop Mount Judi (Quran   11:44).

Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh Noah's ark and the deluge.JPG
Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh

Also, Islamic beliefs deny the idea of Noah being the first person to drink wine and experience the aftereffects of doing so. [33] [82]

Quran   29:14 states that Noah had been living among the people who he was sent to for 950 years when the flood started.

And, indeed, [in times long past] We sent forth Noah unto his people, and he dwelt among them a thousand years bar fifty; and then the floods overwhelmed them while they were still lost in evildoing.

According to the Ahmadiyya understanding of the Quran, the period described in the Quran is the age of his dispensation, which extended until the time of Ibrahim (Abraham, 950 years). The first 50 years were the years of spiritual progress, which were followed by 900 years of spiritual deterioration of the people of Noah. [85]

Gnostic

An important Gnostic text, the Apocryphon of John , reports that the chief archon caused the flood because he desired to destroy the world he had made, but the First Thought informed Noah of the chief archon's plans, and Noah informed the remainder of humanity. Unlike the account of Genesis, not only are Noah's family saved, but many others also heed Noah's call. There is no ark in this account. According to Elaine Pagels, "Rather, they hid in a particular place, not only Noah, but also many other people from the unshakable race. They entered that place and hid in a bright cloud." [86]

Baháʼí Faith

The Baháʼí Faith regards the Ark and the Flood as symbolic. [87] In Baháʼí belief, only Noah's followers were spiritually alive, preserved in the ark of his teachings, as others were spiritually dead. [88] [89] The Baháʼí scripture Kitáb-i-Íqán endorses the Islamic belief that Noah had a large number of companions, either 40 or 72, besides his family on the Ark, and that he taught for 950 (symbolic) years before the flood. [90]

See also

Notes

  1. Hebrew: נֹחַ, Modern: Nōaẖ, Tiberian: Nōaḥ; Syriac: ܢܘܚNukh; Amharic: ኖህ, Noḥ; Arabic: نُوحNūḥ; Ancient Greek: ΝῶεNôe

Related Research Articles

Japheth Biblical figure

Japheth is one of the three sons of Noah in the Book of Genesis, in which he plays a role in the story of Noah's drunkenness and the curse of Ham, and subsequently in the Table of Nations as the ancestor of the peoples of the Aegean Sea, Anatolia, and elsewhere. In medieval and early modern European tradition he was considered to be the progenitor of the European peoples.

Tower of Babel Mythical tower described in the Book of Genesis

The Tower of Babel narrative in Genesis 11:1–9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world's peoples speak different languages.

Methuselah The longest lived of all figures mentioned in the Bible

Methuselah was a biblical patriarch and a figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His was the longest human lifespans of all those given in the Bible, 969 years. According to the Book of Genesis, Methuselah was the son of Enoch, the father of Lamech, and the grandfather of Noah. Elsewhere in the Bible, Methuselah is mentioned in genealogies in 1 Chronicles and the Gospel of Luke.

<i>Epic of Gilgamesh</i> Epic poem from Mesopotamia

The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, regarded as the earliest surviving notable literature and the second oldest religious text, after the Pyramid Texts. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh, king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur. These independent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic in Akkadian. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version dates to the 18th century BCE and is titled after its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī. Only a few tablets of it have survived. The later Standard Babylonian version compiled by Sîn-lēqi-unninni dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BCE and bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru. Approximately two-thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered. Some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.

Noahs Ark The vessel in the Genesis flood narrative

Noah's Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative through which God spares Noah, his family, and examples of all the world's animals from a world-engulfing flood. The story in Genesis is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the Ark appears as Safinat Nūḥ and al-fulk.

Ziusudra King of Shuruppak

Ziusudra of Shuruppak is listed in the WB-62 Sumerian king list recension as the last king of Sumer prior to the Great Flood. He is subsequently recorded as the hero of the Sumerian creation myth and appears in the writings of Berossus as Xisuthros.

Utu ancient Mesopotamian Sun god and god of justice

Utu, later worshipped by the East Semitic Akkadian-speaking Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian sun god, god of justice, morality, and truth, and the twin of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven. His main temples were in the cities of Sippar and Larsa. He was believed to ride through the heavens in his sun chariot and see all things that happened in the day. He was the enforcer of divine justice and was thought to aid those in distress. According to Sumerian mythology, he helped protect Dumuzid when the galla demons tried to drag him to the Underworld and he appeared to the hero Ziusudra after the Great Flood. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, he helps Gilgamesh defeat the ogre Humbaba.

Nimrod Biblical figure described as a king in the land of Shinar

Nimrod is a biblical figure mentioned in the Book of Genesis and Books of Chronicles. The son of Cush and therefore a great-grandson of Noah, Nimrod was described as a king in the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia). The Bible states that he was "a mighty hunter before the Lord [and] ... began to be mighty in the earth". Later extra-biblical traditions identified Nimrod as the ruler who commissioned the construction of the Tower of Babel, which led to his reputation as a king who was rebellious against God.

Ham (son of Noah) Biblical figure, son of Noah

Ham, according to the Table of Nations in the Book of Genesis, was the second son of Noah and the father of Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan.

Flood myth Myth in which a great flood destroys civilization

A flood myth or deluge myth is a myth in which a great flood, usually sent by a deity or deities, destroys civilization, often in an act of divine retribution. Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primaeval waters which appear in certain creation myths, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero, who "represents the human craving for life".

Genesis creation narrative Creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity

The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity. The narrative is made up of two stories, roughly equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first, Elohim creates the heavens and the Earth in six days, then rests on, blesses and sanctifies the seventh. In the second story, God, now referred to by the personal name Yahweh, creates Adam, the first man, from dust and places him in the Garden of Eden, where he is given dominion over the animals. Eve, the first woman, is created from Adam and as his companion.

Curse of Ham Biblical curse imposed on Canaan

The curse of Ham occurs in the Book of Genesis, imposed by the patriarch Noah. It occurs in the context of Noah's drunkenness and is provoked by a shameful act perpetrated by Noah's son Ham, who "saw the nakedness of his father". The exact nature of Ham's transgression and the reason Noah cursed Canaan when Ham had sinned have been debated for over 2,000 years.

Noach (parashah) 2nd weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading

Noach, Noiach, Nauach, Nauah, or Noah is the second weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 6:9–11:32. The parashah tells the stories of the Flood and Noah's Ark, of Noah's subsequent drunkenness and cursing of Canaan, and of the Tower of Babel.

Alexander Heidel (1907–1955) was an Assyriologist and biblical scholar, and a Member of the Research Staff of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Utnapishtim

Utnapishtim or Utanapishtim is a character in ancient Mesopotamian mythology. He is tasked by the god Enki (Ea) to create a giant ship to be called Preserver of Life in preparation of a giant flood that would wipe out all life. The character appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Biblical story of Noah parallels that of Utnapishtim.

Jewish mythology Mythology associated with Judaism

Jewish mythology is the body of myths associated with Judaism. Elements of Jewish mythology have had a profound influence on Christian mythology and on Islamic mythology, as well as on world culture in general. Christian mythology directly inherited many of the narratives from the Jewish people, sharing in common the narratives from the Old Testament. Islamic mythology also shares many of the same stories; for instance, a creation-account spaced out over six periods, the legend of Abraham, the stories of Moses and the Israelites, and many more.

The earliest record of a Sumerian creation myth, called The Eridu Genesis by historian Thorkild Jacobsen, is found on a single fragmentary tablet excavated in Nippur by the Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania in 1893, and first recognized by Arno Poebel in 1912. It is written in the Sumerian language and dated to around 1600 BCE. Other Sumerian creation myths from around this date are called the Barton Cylinder, the Debate between sheep and grain and the Debate between Winter and Summer, also found at Nippur.

Genesis flood narrative Biblical flood myth

The Genesis flood narrative is the flood myth found in chapters 6–9 of the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. The story tells of God's decision to return the Earth to its pre-creation state of watery chaos and then remake it in a reversal of creation. The narrative has very strong similarities to parts of the Epic of Gilgamesh which predates the Book of Genesis.

Primeval history The first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis

The primeval history, the name given by biblical scholars to the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis, is a story of the first years of the world's existence.

Mesopotamian myths

Mesopotamian mythology refers to the myths, religious texts, and other literature that comes from the region of ancient Mesopotamia which is a historical region of Western Asia, situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system that occupies the area of present-day Iraq. In particular the societies of Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, all of which existed shortly after 3000 BCE and were mostly gone by 400 CE. These works were primarily preserved on stone or clay tablets and were written in cuneiform by scribes. Several lengthy pieces have survived, some of which are considered the oldest stories in the world, and have given historians insight into Mesopotamian ideology and cosmology.

References

  1. Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN   9781405881180.
  2. Fullom, S.W. (1855). The History of Woman, and Her Connexion with Religion, Civilization, & Domestic Manners, from the Earliest Period. p.10
  3. Silverman, Jason (2013). Opening Heaven's Floodgates: The Genesis Flood Narrative, Its Context, and Reception. Gorgias Press.
  4. Barry L. Bandstra (2008). Reading the Old Testament: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Cengage Learning. p. 61. ISBN   978-0-495-39105-0.
  5. Cotter 2003, pp. 49, 50.
  6. Genesis 9:28–29
  7. Genesis 6:3; Deuteronomy 31:22; 34:37
  8. Genesis 9:20–27
  9. Ellens & Rollins. Psychology and the Bible: From Freud to Kohut, 2004, ( ISBN   027598348X, 9780275983482), p.52
  10. Hamilton, 1990, pp. 202–203
  11. Philo, 1971, p. 160
  12. Gen. Rabbah 36:3
  13. "NOAH - JewishEncyclopedia.com". jewishencyclopedia.com.
  14. 1 2 Ellens & Rollins, 2004, p.53
  15. 1 2 John Sietze Bergsma/Scott Walker Hahn. 2005. "Noah's Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan". Journal Biblical Literature 124/1 (2005), p. 25-40.
  16. Speiser, 1964, 62
  17. T. A. Bergren. Biblical Figures Outside the Bible, 2002, ( ISBN   1563384116, ISBN   978-1-56338-411-0), p. 136
  18. Levenson, 2004, 26
  19. Kugle 1998 , p. 223.
  20. Bandstra, B. (2008), Reading the Old Testament: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Cengage Learning, pp. 67–68, ISBN   978-0495391050
  21. Collins, John J. (2004). Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN   0-8006-2991-4.
  22. Friedman, Richard Elliotty (1989). Who Wrote the Bible? . New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p.  59. ISBN   0-06-063035-3.
  23. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 318.
  24. Lewis, Jack Pearl, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 14.
  25. "Chapter X"  . The Book of Enoch. translated by Robert H. Charles. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 1917.CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, pp. 15–17.
  27. Schiffman, LH., Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Volume 2, Granite Hill Publishers, 2000, pp. 613–614.
  28. Lewis, Jack Pearl, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 11. "the offspring of the Watchers"
  29. Frazer, JG., in Dundes, A (ed.), The Flood Myth, University of California Press, 1988, pp. 121–122.
  30. George, =A. R. (2003). The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN   978-0-19-927841-1 . Retrieved 8 November 2012 via Google Books.
  31. Rendsburg, Gary. "The Biblical flood story in the light of the Gilgamesh flood account," in Gilgamesh and the world of Assyria, eds Azize, J & Weeks, N. Peters, 2007, p. 117
  32. Encyclopædia Britannica: Noah.
  33. 1 2 3 4 5 Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 287–291. ISBN   978-0-02-865943-5.
  34. Chen, Yi Samuel. The Primeval Flood Catastrophe: Origins and Early Development in Mesopotamian Traditions. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  35. Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, pages 123, 502
  36. Dalley, Stephanie, Myths from Mesopotamia, Oxford University Press (1989), p. 40–41
  37. Andrew George, page xix
  38. Chen, Yi Samuel. The Primeval Flood Catastrophe: Origins and Early Development in Mesopotamian Traditions. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  39. "The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature". etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.
  40. Andrew George, page 101, "Early Second Millennium BC" in Old Babylonian
  41. Andrew George, pages xxiv–xxv
  42. Chen, Yi Samuel. The Primeval Flood Catastrophe: Origins and Early Development in Mesopotamian Traditions. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  43. Encyclopædia Britannica, Deucalion.
  44. Wajdenbaum, P., Argonauts of the Desert: Structural Analysis of the Hebrew Bible, Routledge, 2014, pp. 104–108.
  45. Anderson, G., Greek and Roman Folklore: A Handbook, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. pp. 129–130.
  46. Lewis, JP.; Lewis, JP., A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 47.
  47. Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, p. 4.
  48. Feldman, LH., Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible, University of California Press, 1998, p. 133.
  49. West, S. (1994). Prometheus Orientalized. Museum Helveticum, 51(3), 129-149.
  50. Skjærvø, Prods Oktor. An Introduction to Zoroastrianism. 2006.
  51. Quotations in the following section are from James Darmesteter's translation of the Vendidad , as published in the 1898 American edition of Max Müller's Sacred Books of the East
  52. N. Oettinger, Before Noah: Possible Relics of the Flood myth in Proto-Indo-Iranian and Earlier, [in:] Proceedings of the 24th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference, ed. S.W. Jamison, H.C. Melchert, B. Vine, Bremen 2013, p. 169–183
  53. Frazer. RW., A Literary History of India, Mittal Publications, 1898, pp. 83–84.
  54. Encyclopædia Britannica, Manu
  55. Ananda, SG., Brahma: The God of Abraham, Art of Unity, 2014, pp. 177 – 180.
  56. Shulman, DD, in Dundes, A. (ed), The Flood Myth, University of California Press, 1988, p. 296.
  57. Sugirtharajah, R. S. (2001). The Bible and the Third World: Precolonial, Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN   978-0-521-00524-1.
  58. Trautmann. TR., Aryans and British India, Yoda Press, 2006 p. 58.
  59. Klostermaier, K., A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition, SUNY Press, 2010, p. 406.
  60. Bonnefoy, Y., Asian Mythologies, University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 80.
  61. Doniger, Wendy; Hawley, John Stratton, eds. (1999). "Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions" . Merriam-Webster . Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. p. 691 (Manu). ISBN   0877790442. a day in the life of Brahma is divided into 14 periods called manvantaras ("Manu intervals"), each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every second cycle [(new kalpa after pralaya)] the world is recreated, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered to be the seventh Manu cycle.
  62. "G. P. Bhatt (ed.), The vayu purana, part-II, 1st ed., 784—789, tr. G. V. Tagare. In vol.38 of Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988". Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  63. "J. L. Shastri (ed.), The kurma-purana, part-I, 1st ed., 47—52, tr. G. V. Tagare. In vol.20 of A.I.T.&M., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981". Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  64. "J. L. Shastri (ed.), The Narada purana, part-II, 1st ed., p. 699, tr. G. V. Tagare. In vol.16 of A.I.T.&M., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981". Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  65. N. Oettinger, Before Noah: Possible Relics of the Flood myth in Proto-Indo-Iranian and Earlier, [in:] Proceedings of the 24th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference, ed. S.W. Jamison, H.C. Melchert, B. Vine, Bremen 2013, p. 169–183
  66. "NOAH - JewishEncyclopedia.com". jewishencyclopedia.com.
  67. Mamet, D., Kushner, L., Five Cities of Refuge: Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Schocken Books, 2003, p. 1.
  68. Genesis 5:29
  69. Frishman, J., Rompay, L. von, The Book of Genesis in Jewish and Oriental Christian Interpretation: A Collection of Essays, Peeters Publishers, 1997, pp. 62–65.
  70. Jewish Encyclopedia: Noah. Critical View
  71. Matthew 24:38
  72. Luke 17:26
  73. Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, pp. 15–17.
  74. Jackson, JP., Weidman, NM., Race, Racism, and Science: Social Impact and Interaction, ABC-CLIO, 2004, p. 4.
  75. Force, J E (1999), "Essay 12: Newton, the "Ancients" and the "Moderns"", in Popkin, RH; Force, JE (eds.), Newton and Religion: Context, Nature, and Influence, International Archive of the History of Ideas, Kluwer, pp. 253–254, ISBN   9780792357445 via Google Books
  76. "Noah", Bible Dictionary, KJV (LDS), LDS Church
  77. "Noah, Bible Patriarch", Study Helps: The Guide to the Scriptures, Standard works, LDS Church
  78. "Chapter 8: The Everlasting Priesthood", Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, LDS Church, 2001, pp. 101–113
  79. "Old Testament Prophets: Noah", Ensign , February 2014
  80. "Dispensation", Study Helps: The Guide to the Scriptures, Standard works, LDS Church
  81. Millet, Robert L. (June 1994), "Joseph Smith among the Prophets", Ensign
  82. 1 2 Gibb, Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen (1995). The Encyclopaedia of Islam: NED-SAM. Brill. pp. 108–109.
  83. "Quran 54:9". www.alim.org. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  84. 71:26–27 Rodwell 1876 version [ permanent dead link ]
  85. Rashid Ahmad Chaudhry. Hadhrat Nuh (PDF). Islam International Publications. ISBN   1-85372-758-X.
  86. Pagels, Elaine (2013). The Gnostic Gospels. Orion. p. 163. ISBN   978-1-78022-670-5.
  87. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, October 28, 1949: Baháʼí News, No. 228, February 1950, p. 4. Republished in Compilation 1983 , p. 508
  88. Poirier, Brent. "The Kitab-i-Iqan: The key to unsealing the mysteries of the Holy Bible" . Retrieved 2007-06-25.
  89. Shoghi Effendi (1971). Messages to the Baháʼí World, 1950–1957. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Baháʼí Publishing Trust. p. 104. ISBN   0-87743-036-5.
  90. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 25, 1950. Published in Compilation 1983 , p. 494

Bibliography