The nations prepare for war against Babylon (Jer 51:27-51:28)

“Raise a standard

In the land!

Blow the trumpet

Among the nations!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!


Against her

The kingdoms,

Of Ararat,

Of Minni,

Of Ashkenaz!

Appoint a marshal

Against her!

Bring up horses

Like bristling locusts!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

The kings

Of the Medes,

With their governors,

Their deputies,

With every land

Under their dominion

Shall come!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah wants to call various nations to fight against Babylon. The standard and the trumpet of war should sound to prepare nations to attack her. In particular 3 countries are named. Ararat was considered the place where Noah’s ark landed in Genesis, chapter 8. The assumption is that this mountain was in southern Turkey, what today is in Kurdish land, near the Russian and Iranian borders. Minni may be a reference to the Mannaeans who lived in what is now northwestern Iran or Armenia. Ashkenaz was a son of Noah and a land around Asia Minor near Armenia. Jewish people from the Rhineland area were called Ashkenazi, and this term was later adapted for all eastern European Jews. These countries would have joined with the Persians to attack Babylon. They would have so many horses that they would seem like swarms of locusts. Joining them would be the kings of Medes with all their officials and deputies, plus all the people from the land that they dominated. These were the ancient Persian people in what is now northwestern Iran. There was no specific mention of the Persians here.

The exit from the ark (Gen 8:15-8:22)

“Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.  Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’  So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.  And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families.”

This is the so-called re-creation or second creation, since the humans had been too sinful during the first creation.  Things were going to start again with Noah and his three sons and all the living things on the ark. Then God said to Noah, take your family and leave the ark and take all the animals with you and let everyone be fruitful and multiple.  This they did, as they seem to be in Armenia when this happens.

“Then Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  And when Yahweh smelled the pleasing odor, Yahweh said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of mankind, for the inclination or imagination of human heart is evil from youth.  Nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.   As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Now Noah built an altar, the first instance on an altar, and it is from the sacerdotal source and not in a holy place.  Then Noah made a holocaust burnt offering of every clean animal and bird, which would have been a lot of animals and birds.  However, the burnt offering is from the Mosaic code and not from this pre-Abraham time frame, although sacrifices were common in the ancient times. When Yahweh smelled the pleasant odor, he said that we would never again curse the ground and all the earthly creatures because of humans, who are naturally evil.  So poetically, the earth shall always have ‘seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.’

The decrease of the water (Gen 8:1-8:14)

“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.  The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth.   At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated.  And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.  The waters continued to abate until the tenth month.  In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.”

Finally, a wind blew and the waters subsided, as we pick up the sacerdotal tale. Once again out of chaos, Yahweh will help create a new world. This will be another creation story.  We will have a new world to start over again.  This is the second chance world.  The waters subsided and began to recede. So on the 17th day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains in Ararat, somewhere in Armenia. The waters went down until the tenth month when you could see the tops of the mountains.  They were at least eight months in the ark.  Here we have similarities to the Babylonian flood stories.

“At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made, and sent out a raven.  It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.  Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground.  But the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him in the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put forth his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him.  He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark.  The dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf.  So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.  Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove.  It did not return to him anymore.”

Noah sent a raven, but it never returned.  Then he sent a dove, but it returned.  Then seven days later he sent the dove out again, but this time it returned with a leaf.  Another seven days passed and he sent the dove again, but it never returned. What a wonderful story.  Noah is testing the dry land.

“In the six hundred first year in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth.  Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.  In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.”

Then on Noah’s 651st year, on the first day of the first month, Noah took the cover off of the ark. Then on the 27th day of the second month the earth was dry.  Now we have our time line straight as they spent a little over a year on the ark.