Noah prepares the ark for the flood

Who was this man named Noah?  The name of the hero, according to Mesopotamian versions of the flood was Utnapishtim.  It is just possible that an abbreviation of Utnapishtim as “Na’ish” was pronounced “Noah”.  This Noah was told how to make a big triple deck ark of gopher cypress with pitch all over it, 450 feet long (300 cubits), 75 feet wide (50 cubits), and 45 feet high (30 cubits) in Genesis, chapter 6:14-7:9.  This was hard work for Noah and his three sons building this boat ark with a roof and a door.  By today’s standards, it was like a small river cruise ship or an American destroyer ship.  God said that he was going to send a big flood and destroy everything except for whatever would be in this ark.  Everything on the earth would die, if it was not on the ark. Thus, Noah built an ark, loaded it with animals, stocked it with food, and then got on it with his family.  His family consisted of Noah, his unnamed wife, and his three sons and their unnamed wives.  Yahweh told Noah to get two of every living thing, a male and female, of birds, animals, and creeping things, and put them into the ark.  This in itself would have been a difficult task also.  The division of living things was always the same, clean and unclean animals, birds, and creeping things.  This ‘creeping things’ seems strange, but appears over and over again.  There was no word about fish since they could survive in the water.  Noah also took food and did as God asked him to do.  God told Noah to take seven pairs of all clean animals, instead of just one pair of the other unclean animals.  In fact, this is the Priestly tradition story with the emphasis on clean and unclean animals that was never mentioned until here.  Of course, the clean and unclean animals were part of the later Mosaic Law.  In seven days, God said that the forty-day rain would begin.  In seven days, the 600-year-old Noah got his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, their wives, and all the animals, birds, and creeping things into the ark, just as God had told him to do.  This was a crowded ship, even though there was no indication of any children of the three sons.  That was quite a task, but Noah was up to the work.  Have you ever had a busy week?


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