Noah and the Flood?

Written By Thomas Perez. June 22, 2014 at 12:06AM. Copyright 2014.

Backdrop to the Story

We are all familiar with the story of Noah and the flood. We all heard about it in Sunday School, read about it in the Bible and maybe even saw various cinematic renditions of the Great Deluge from some of Hollywood’s finest production companies like 20th Century Foxes; “The Bible” (1966) and the more recent 2014 epic entitled “Noah.” No doubt the lessons we may have learned, read and saw (seeing through cinema) left imprinted images of a literal flood caused by a very angry and grieving repentant God. It makes for a great movie and scary story. A scary movie that has all the elements of drama; purpose, motivation, tension, horror, death, and hope. And not to mention the awesome CGI’s, that accompany these epics – almost validating a literal account, glorifying universal death and self righteousness as depicted in Noah (until he has a change of heart for the better). The way the story is seen today is a far cry from the real purpose of Noah. With this in mind I encourage the reader to read the actual recorded story as found in the Genesis account…

Please read Genesis 6-9…(Note: Please read other flood narratives – like the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” etc). 

Having now read the backdrop, we now come to only two possibilities; the story is literal, or it is an allegory/a metaphor.

II. If the Story Is Literal, Then We Have a Couple of Problems

1. The ark has never been truly unearthed, discovered, or found. However, there have been many attempts, excavations, and archeological digs within the surrounding areas and mountains of Ararat dating back to the time of Eusebius (c.275–339 AD) up to 2008, but to no avail. However, an article was published April 27, 2010 regarding the alleged find in 08 by a group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers who claimed to have actually found Noah’s ark. The article was written by FoxNews.com. Its affiliate, Fox 5 News back in 08, provided the backdrop to this amazing apparent discovery. But, let us keep in mind that the discovery was performed and proclaimed as the real McCoy by evangelical explorers – which, in my opinion, doesn’t exactly persuade me to believe the finds authenticity. The most recent being 2012, but even this is disputable 

2. All of these “arkeology” (a term used mockingly against the very idea of “searching” for an ark being buried somewhere under the mountains of Ararat) diggings are widely regarded as pseudo-archaeology – also known as alternative archaeology, fringe archaeology, fantastic archaeology, or cult archaeology – it refers to interpretations of the past from outside of the academic archaeological community, which typically also reject the accepted scientific and analytical methods of the discipline.

Fagan, Brian M.; Beck, Charlotte (1996). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195076184. Retrieved 17 January 2014.

Cline, Eric H. (2009). Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199741077. Retrieved 17 January 2014.

Feder, Kenneth L. (2010). Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atlantis to the Walam Olum. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 031337919X. Retrieved 17 January 2014.

3. Of such – flood geology contradicts the scientific consensus in geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, cosmology, biology, geophysics and stratigraphy. Flood geology is a field of study within creation science, which is a part of young Earth creationism. It is their attempt to harmonize the geologies of Jesus down to Noah and then down to Adam – hence proving the Bible’s authenticity.

4. Harmonizing Jesus with that of the Old Testaments genealogies presents a most peculiar problem – it contradicts the Documentary Hypothesis – as in it contradicts the apparent twofold creation story found in Genesis 1-2: latter part of verse 4-7. Creationists assert the Adamic genealogies as humanities original DNA source. But they do not consider “Man” as DNA’s original source – meaning, the creation story, in particular man, has in ourselves its original DNA source and not just from one particular race, tribe, or name – namely Adam. While Adman’s story is seen as a story pertaining to a particular ethnic culture – the Sumerians, Semites, Canaanites (early Hebrews – a sort of distant cousin), the aspiring Hebrew tribes, and the latter Jews during the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires, the general story of creation (as in the creation of Man) is all inclusive as the Documentary Hypothesis insinuates.

5. The term “flood geology” is referred to as “pseudo-archaeology” – it is also described as “pseudoscience” by those in the scientific community. 

6. Dawn of Religious Beliefs Contradicts a Literal Flood Account. The Masoretic text of the Torah, or Pentateuch, places the Great Deluge 1,656 years after Creation, or 1656 AM (Anno Mundi, “Year of the World”). Many attempts have been made to place this time-span to a specific date in history. At the turn of the 17th century, Joseph Scaliger placed creation at 3950 BC, Petavius calculated 3982 BC – both of them placing the flood between 1700-1600 BC. According to James Ussher’s “Ussher Chronology,” creation took place in 4004 BC – dating the Great Deluge to 2348 BC to 2000–1850 BC. This is the traditionally accepted period in which the Judeo-Christian/Islamic patriarchal figure Abraham lived. Likely born in Ur Kas’dim or Haran and died in Machpelah, Canaan.

III. Let Us Consider These Dates

During the first 3 possible dates (1656 and 1700-1600) we have some pretty notable events taking place that defy a world wide flood, such as:

If a literal world wide flood took place 1656 years after creation then how do we account for the existence of the Rig Veda and Stonehenge? In 1700–1100 BC – The Rig Veda gets composed, the oldest of all Vedas (scriptures in Hinduism). In 1600 BCE – the ancient development of Stonehenge comes to an end. Now if a world wide flood transpired during 1,656 years after Creation, then how did the Rig Veda survive and how did the construction of Stonehenge come to an end in 1600 BC? Surely if there was a literal world wide flood, then shouldn’t the Stonehenge builders be dead before its completion after the flood? You can’t complete a project if your dead. Moreover, Stonehenge itself would of toppled down.

If the great deluge took place in 2348 BCE then how do we account for the first oldest surviving religious texts and pyramid texts, as being composed in ancient Egypt and completed circa 2494 to 2345BCE as surviving? Some might argue and cite that “after the flood, documents survived!” “Recorded histories were made on stone – which survived under the flood waters.” “But when the waters dried up, they resurfaced – to be discovered!” “Moreover, they were completed by others that came after their predecessors – such is the case of Stonehenge.” “Things were simply rediscovered!”

The arguments suggested by literalists seem very convincing, but there’s one problem with itmany other cultures (other than the Adamic/Hebrew/Jewish ethnic peoples) recorded the Genesis account of the Noahiac flood deluge before Genesis itself was completed. How can that be? Considering the literalist interpretation of a world wide flood of literal drownings under great seas and fountains, literalists claim that all other cultures record the fearful wrath of an Almighty repentant God. But historic documentation refutes this. The refutation is bought about by those of other cultures before the noble Genesis account. They are as follows:

1. The Sumerian Creation Myth – It is the oldest known documentation of a flood account. Ziusudra (also Zi-ud-sura and Zin-Suddu; Hellenized Xisuthros: “found long life” or “life of long days”) of Shuruppak is listed in the WB-62 Sumerian king list recension as the last king of Sumer prior to the deluge. He is subsequently recorded as the hero of the Sumerian flood epic. He is also mentioned in other ancient literature, including The Death of Gilgamesh and The Poem of Early Rulers, and a late version of The Instructions of Shuruppak refers to Ziusudra. The Akkadian version identifies him as Atrahasis (“extremely wise”) and Utnapishtim (“he found life”), as well as the Biblical Noah (“rest”) are similar heroes of flood legends of the ancient Near East.

2. The Babylonian Myth (Epic of Gilgamesh) – Utnapishtim, or Utanapishtim, is a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh who is tasked by Enki (Ea) to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called “The Preserver of Life.” Another notable creation story worth mentioning is the “Enuma Elis.”

3. Abrahamic Religions (Noah’s flood) the Bible (Torah/Genesis 6-9 and the Qur’an).
   
4. Classical Antiquity – Ancient Greek Flood Myths – Deucalion in Greek mythology was the Son of Prometheus. Zeus (father of all) was angered by the hubris (pride) of the Pelasgians (Greek ancestors or those that preceded the Greeks) and decided to end the Bronze Age – thus resulting in a flood. Only Deucalion, with the aid of his father Prometheus, was saved from this deluge by building a chest. Deucalion’s name comes from deucos, a variant of glucose in Greek, i.e. – which means – “sweet new wine, must, sweetness.” Many Christian scholars like Jerome and Augustine accepted Greek mythologies concerning the flood asserting that the flood was regional as opposed to the global one centuries before. Clement recorded “…in the time of Crotopus occurred the burning of Phaethon, and the deluges of Deucalion.”

5. The People of the Andaman Islands.  The earliest archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years; however, the indications from genetic, cultural and isolation studies suggests that the islands may have been inhabited as early as the Middle Paleolithic. Palanichamy, Malliya G. Suraksha Agrawal, Yon-Gang Yao, Quing-Peng Kong, Chang Sun, Faisal Khan, Tapas Kumar Chaudhuri, and Ya-Ping Zhang. 2006. Comment on “Reconstructing the Origin of Andaman Islanders. Science 311:470 (27 January 2006).

The Middle Paleolithic Stage (or Middle Palaeolithic Stage) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic Stage in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic Stage and the Middle Stone Age broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions. The Middle Paleolithic/Middle Stone Age was succeeded by the Upper Paleolithic subdivision which first began between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago.

Miller, Barbra; Bernard Wood, Andrew Balansky, Julio Mercader, Melissa Panger (2006). Anthropology. Boston Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon. p. 768.

6. Africa – Cultures include; the Kwaya, Mbuti, Maasai, Mandin, and Yoruba peoples (Note: the Maasai tradition has many Judeo-Christian elements)

7. India – Manu and Matsya are the main characters of India’s flood story. Manu is Noah and Matsya is the Fish Avatar  (Incarnation) of Vishnu. Its should be noted that this “Fish” is the 1st Avatar to appear in the lists of ten primary Avatars. While Kalki (“Eternity” or “White Horse” or “Destroyer of Filth”), is the final incarnation of Vishnu, foretold to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, our present epoch. He will be atop a white horse and his sword will be drawn, blazing like a comet. He is the harbinger of end times in Hindu eschatology, and will destroy all unrighteousness and evil at the end of Kali Yuga.

8. Others include the Puranas, and in the lore of the K’iche’ and Maya peoples in Mesoamerica, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe of Native Americans in North America, the Muisca people, and Cañari Confederation, in South America – Many cultures “post BCE” – included stories of a flood in their cultures as well – I.e., Ireland, Germany and China.

All of these stories consist of several factors. But the most notable of them all is the allegoricalism.

IV. A Symbolic Message of Greater Truth or a Literal Apocalyptic Catastrophe

What is an allegory?

1. A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
2. A symbolical narrative: the allegory of Piers Plowman.
3. Emblem. A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. The genre to which such works belong.

What is a Metaphor?

1. A situation in which the unfamiliar is expressed in terms of the familiar.
2. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing, is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.

In the early church, Tertullian, Jerome, Ambrose, Cyril of Jerusalem and Augustine understood the story of the flood to encourage moral conduct. For example, Noah can also be used as an example of Christian perseverance, since he had great faith to build the Ark that God commanded (see James 5:11). Origen, Jerome, Augustine and others also employed other allegorical methods to illustrate Christian principles.

Knowing what we now know of the ancient accounts pertaining to a flood story, let us now examine it. By examination, we will look at the main characters, artifacts, and the story itself. Being conversant with other flood stories from ancient Mesopotamia as well as the general theology of Genesis will also help us understand the point of the story. 

The Name Noah
The name Noah means; satisfaction, tranquility, rest, even nachas, pleasure and comfort. Most Biblical linguistical experts settle on the word “rest.” The name Noah in Hebrew is written with two letters (nun and het) and that leads us to five different meanings to his name.

1. Comfort – “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed”
2. Grace – “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
3. Feelings/Emotions/Remorse/Regret – “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart”
4. Rest – “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat”
5. Fragrance – “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour”

The adjectives; comfort, grace, grieve, rest, and fragrance/Savour all have specific meanings in Hebrew. They are as follows:

1. Comfort means – to breathe strongly – to be sorry, but in a favorable sense. To pity, console, to avenge ones self, to self repent – (Strong’s Hebrew Concordance/SHC 5162)
2. Grace means – kindness, beauty, favor, pleasant, precious, and well favored. It comes from the root word “Chen” a fig – a name for the term Hen (SHC 2580-2581).

The first meaning of Hen is associated with our idea of grace. Hen is the noun from the verb hanan. Once we examine this verb, we discover something else that cannot be overlooked.  This verb includes two related meanings. The first is found in the idea of showing favor toward someone. With two exceptions, the verb is always about relationships. It captures the idea of a superior acting with benevolence toward an inferior.

The second meaning involves the idea that there is something pleasing in the second party which calls forth the benevolence or goodwill of the first party. In this sense, the noun hen is first a term of beauty. The one demonstrating hen feels tenderness, compassion or sympathy toward someone because there is something about the other person that brings out these feelings. On that basis, the person acts with favor.

A moment’s reflection causes us to realize that these two meanings are intertwined in God’s graciousness toward us. He shows us favor (hanan) not only because He is God but also because He finds in us something pleasing to Him. We are His image however defaced and He responds with compassion when He sees how we have missed the mark He established. This expression of favor is most associated with parental care and concern for children. So God shows His favor toward us because we are His creation.

3. Grieve – To carve, fabricate or fashion. Pain, anger, to worry, to be hurt, vex, in worship, and wrest (SHC 6087) Also 6088 – Lament.
4. Rest – A quite spot, a settled spot, a home, place of rest – the word is Manowach  (SHC 4494). Obviously we can see the name Noah here – Ma – NoWach. Even the “ach” can be viewed as “Ark”
5. Fragrance/Savour – the word comes from “reach” odor- as if blown, a scent, smell (SHC 7381) it comes from 7306 – to blow, breathe, to perceive, accept, smell, touch, make of quick understanding.

Based upon the Hebrew renderings of the words dissected, show me anything where the words actually mean; disaster, doom, or apocalyptic catastrophes. The closest we get to any form of anger is from the word “grieve” – but it would appear that this reflection is a self induced, self examination of feelings toward those who are wicked and those who are upright – including Noah. I say, “including Noah” because it is likely that this archetypical type is not a unique individual per-SE, but rather a conscience universal lifestyle – a priori based upon universal concepts – though probably rare and few during its/Noah’s time – for it is written in all flood stories that the people were wicked, without proper guidance, counsel, or understanding. More on a Universal Conscience a bit later. 

It should be noted that “he walked in righteousness, and was perfect in his generations.” How did he get that way in a wicked generation? Moreover, he hardly spoke no more than one sentence. It is written that he simply finds grace in the eyes of the Lord.
   
According to Classical Antiquity, Deucalion (the Greek version for the name Noah) means – New Wine – it beckons the reader to lift the veil from his/her eyes and see the New Wine in Christ – in His blood. Allow me to quote from my footnote in John 3…

“…John continues his frame of thought (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit) in reference to belief and non-belief through the process of purification. “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” The question involved Jesus. The citation – “Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” By now the miracle at the wedding feast of Cana was spread all over the community, perhaps even abroad. At the wedding feast there were six water-pots of stone for the purpose of ceremonial purification (2:6). Everyone at the feast was made full with new wine (2:8-9). It is of particular interest that even the ruler of the feast knew not from where it came from (2:9) a correlation to (3:8) but the servants did. Moreover upon calling for the Bridegroom (who is identified as Christ), the ruler/governor cited, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” Fast forward to John the Baptist. John stated “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”(Vs 29).The ruler though ignorant of its origin (the wine – its message of belief) partook of its blessings nonetheless. The wine is given to both the ignorant and the knowledgeable.”

It is also interesting to note that John uses a collective conscience to persuade his readers – thus using Hellenistic terminologies; Logos, Light, Knowledge, wine in Chapter 2 of John, and Spirit in Ch’s 3, 14, 15, 16 and so forth with reference to wind and blowing. To breathe or to blow (the fragrance) – is similar to Jesus’ explanation of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus. Allow me to quote my work again from John 3…

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (Vs.8) indicates its metaphysics. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with all reality and experience – it involves epistemology (the senses – experiences), an ontology (the theory of being), ethics (moral philosophy), and aesthetics (art, beauty, ugliness – if they exist). We hear the wind, we feel the wind, but we can not tell where it is coming from and where it is going. The citation “so is everyone that is born of the Spirit” is similar to Meno’s paradox. Meno’s dialogue with Plato suggested that one can not obtain knowledge, if one does not know what he or she is looking for. If one recognizes knowledge, then one already knew it. Therefore knowledge and its pursuit is impossible. Plato responds by suggesting inborn knowledge, innate ideas (present at birth – a priori) contrary to the blank slate.”

Noah’s Sons – Name Renderings
1. Shem – means ‘Name.” Jews of yesterday and today use the term He-Shem – which means “No Name” when referencing to God. It’s not certain where this noun comes from. In other words, we don’t precisely know what exactly this particular name (Shem) meant to the Hebrews, or what it means in the Bible.
2. Ham – means warm or warmth.
3. Japheth – means to enlarge, to be spacious, wide or open.

Ark Renderings
The Hebrew word for Noah’s ark is “Tebah” which appears in only two passages in the Old Testament: the first being Noah’s ark and the second being the reed basket Moses’ mother placed him in when she floated him down the Nile River. Tebah means life preserver or life-saver. Some scholars suggest that the word comes from “Tebat” meaning “Coffin” – Here the imagery of the Resurrection comes to life (I Cor 15:45).

However, translators have a difficult time agreeing on its true meaning. But they could narrow it down by proving what it couldn’t mean by context. It couldn’t mean a big boat if it also referred to a small basket. It couldn’t mean made of wood since Moses’ basket was made of reeds. It couldn’t mean something box-shaped or rectangular since baskets in Egypt of the day weren’t boxes; they were more round than rectangular.

Flood Renderings
Mabbuwl – means a sense of flowing, a deluge (SHC 3999). Its root word is from 2986 “Yabal” – to bring forth, to carry, to lead forth. From 2988 “Yabal” – a course, a stream. From 2989 “Yabal” – an antediluvian – Jabal. The term “antediluvian” means outdated: extremely old fashioned. From a time before a flood. The name Jabal is identical to the noun (yabal), meaning water course or conduit.

Jabal was the “father” of those who live in tents and keep livestock and Jubal was the “father” of all those who play the lyre and pipe. It is highly peculiar that these patriarchies survived the deluge – a possible solution to this is called by scholars the “Chaotic Set Theory.” – there are many different Chaotic Theories, but we will not get into them here – there are just too many to cover in this particular article.

Continuing – Jabal was a son of Lamech and Adah, and a descendant of Cain. His brother was Jubal. Jubal is described as the father of those that dwell in tent, and have cattle. The Biblical baby name Jabal is Hebrew in origin and it’s meaning is a stream of water. Jabal is pronounced “Jaw-bawl.” His linage suggests survival, they survived the flood. Therefore; it wasn’t just Noah, his family and the animals as perceived by the literalists. Biblical reference for the “baby” name Jabal is found in Genesis 4:20. Since “Yabal” means antediluvian, and Jabal means just that; a time before the flood, then I submit that “Jabal” carried the stream, course and conduit, to lead forth amidst the waters.

The Hebrew word for “Water” means “Mayim” water, juice, urine, semen, wastings, watering springs, course. The Greek word as revealed in the NT with reference to water means – “as if looking watery” to be dropsical – having the dropsy.

V. Water Speaks of Gods Word

Water symbolizes Gods Word in many places throughout the Bible. In both Psalms and Ephesians water is a symbol of God’s word.

In Isaiah the water is a simile for the knowledge of God

Isaiah 55:10-11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

In Hosea the rains are a sign of the presence of God

Hosea 6:3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

Finally in Amos water represents social justice

Amos 5:24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

VI. Water Speaks of Purification and Cleansing

Exodus tells us that Moses was instructed to make a bronze basin and fill it with water. The priests would wash both their hands and feet before they entered the Tabernacle so “that they die not.” Aaron, in Leviticus, is told to take a bath in water before he offers sacrifices. A ceremonial washing with water symbolizes greater purity. Ezekiel 36:25 cites, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.”

As believers in Christ Jesus we can approach God with assurance. Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. John 13 shows us Jesus washing His disciples feet. But why only their feet? This is what Simon Peter asked Jesus as well. John 13:10 says Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean.” He was saying that the dirt of the world needed to be removed. They only wore saddles at that time. As they walked on the roads the dust and dirt would collect on their feet and needed to be cleaned even though the rest of the body was already cleaned.

As a believers, we all need to be purified from the dust and dirt of this world. We do that by reading the Word of God. John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Matthew 3:5,6,11 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River…”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Isaiah 44: 1-3 cites “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the LORD says – he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”

VII. But What of the Animals and the Word “Destroy?”

You may ask, “If all this is an allegory, then how can I account for the various animals bought on board? “Why does the Bible even mention them?”

This is not a difficult question to answer, when we consider the possibility of the animals as representing the various species of Man (Gentile nations). Animals are often used to symbolize Gentile nations. For I.e., Babylon was symbolized as a lion, Persia as a bear, Greece as a leopard and Rome as a beast of sorts. Moreover, Gentiles in general are considered “the goats,” they were also considered as “the dogs” by the Jews, while the chosen of God are considered to be the “lambs” – “the sheep.” Noah, Manu, Ziusudra, Utnapishtim and Deucalion represent the “social Justices” and “families of God.”

We will note that the animals were taken into the ark (the safe haven) generally by two – male and female. But specifically, they were taken by seven: male and female, totaling six – while the seventh was probably held over for sacrificial purposes. The sacrificial purpose that I speak of here are not animalistic per-SE – but tribal cultures adhering and coming forth from the springs of water that flowed through the conduit causing the birth of religious ceremonial practices. This was later expressed through the ritual of literal animal sacrifices as seen in the Mosaic laws of God – thus ritualistic religion was born as a means to quite the violent nature of Man and his perception of the spiritual.

Here we truly see a benevolent, righteous and socially (though a moral) upright God who chooses to destroy Man (here the Hebrew word for destroy is twofold – “Machah” Gen 6:7, 7:8 – which means to “stroke,” “rub,” “smooth” – as if with oil – “to grease, to make fat.”) not by literal floods, but by the disappointing non-striving of His Spirit – given to a select few. The second word used is “Shachath” (Gen 6:13, 17, 9:11, 15 – which signifies “cast off,” “corrupt,” “waste.”

Having read the Genesis account let us look into, though briefly, the Gilgamesh account. I took the liberty of underlining and italicizing sentences of importance.

[19] Ea, the Prince, was under oath with them so he repeated their talk to the reed house: ‘Reed house, reed house! Wall, wall! O man of Šuruppak, son of Ubar-Tutu [i.e., Ut-napištim] Tear down the house and build a boat! Abandon wealth and seek living beings! Spurn possessions and keep alive living beings! Make [the seed of] all living beings go up into the boat. The boat which you are to build, its dimensions must measure equal to each other:its length must correspond to its width. Roof it over like the Apsu.’

[48] Just as dawn began to glow the people assembled around me. The carpenter carried his hatchet, the reed worker carried his flattening stone,
   
[70] I butchered oxen for the carpenters, and day upon day I slaughtered sheep. I gave the workmen beer, ale, oil, and wine, as if it were river water, and they made a party like the New Year’s Festival!

[80] Whatever I had I loaded on it: whatever silver I had I loaded on it, whatever gold I had I loaded on it.
All the living beings that I had I loaded on it, I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat, all the beasts and animals of the field and the craftsmen I had go up.

Its is interesting to note that in Genesis, when making reference to “seed,” in 7:3 it is cited as; “To keep their seed alive” – it is SINGULAR – as in a particular tribe, culture or ethnic group. But in the Gilgamesh we have “Make the seed of ALL living BEINGS go up into the boat. In the Eridu Genesis we have the phrase, “The seed of “MANKIND.”

Note: Verse 19 – “Seek living Beings, keep alive living beings,” Verse 48 – “The people assembled,” Verse 70 – there’s that “oil” and “wine, phrase again,” Verse 80 – “The craftsmen went in,” etc.

This is what I’ve been saying all along. The Bible (the OT anyway) is reflective upon a race of people – in this case the early Sumerians, Canaanites, Hebrews, and Jews. However, let us be reminded that the moral, ethical codes and conducts are written for all – albeit, through all the bloody conquests that we find written therein in support of their god – their Yahwism – as opposed to EL – the Father of all.

VIII. Conclusion

And what are we to do with this Spirit (the Spirit given to a select few?) Are we to hide it under a bushel? Are we to declare ourselves righteous and chosen and declare those who are not of the striving Spirit damned and condemned to eternal damnation? Are we to be Calvinists? Are we to be freewill advocates? Are we to hide its light and life? Or are we to share its message of salvation and hope for all Humanity?

I believe any rational individual would choose the latter – bringing all into the ark, and onto the cross of Christ and His good works – for even Jesus declared many roads or paths to morality, ethics and proper religion – Matthew 5:17-20, 18:2-3, Luke 10:25-28, 18:18-22, John 3:3-8, 16-17, 6:53-58 – all preceding verses were the reiterating of the following: Micah 6:6-8, Deut 6:4-5, Lev 23:22, Deut 15:11, Dan 4:27, Psa 131:1-2, Pro 23:24, Eccl 4:13, Psa 1:1-2, Pro 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20-21, Lev 3:6, 7:11-17, Num 18:8-12.

Allow me to quote from another article of mine entitled “Shadows of Doubt”…

“The Scriptural Passages mentioned above can and does entail a specific account given to a specific target audience of a particular genre, this I do not deny. But they can also be seen as an allegorical and metaphorical expression of thought, ideas, revolutions, enlightenment, and revelations; thus providing a service. A service that can not be seen, but often provided by the unseen. It is a service provided by the Spirit (who is unseen John 3:8) and Christ; but often denied by some, criticized by others, and believed by many. For it is within this allegorical approach of prophecy, one can rest assured that Jesus Christ (the goalkeeper) of our faith (abstraction) does exist because the Scriptures exist and they attest to His authenticity in both the Old and New Testaments; literally and allegorically. The unfamiliar and the familiar.” 

Remember when I said I was going to cover more on the “collective conscience?” Bear with me but for a minute…

Symbolic interaction theory focuses on the process by which people become religious. Different religious beliefs and practices emerge in different social and historical contexts because context frames the meaning of religious belief. Symbolic interaction theory helps explain how the same religion can be interpreted differently by different groups or in different times throughout history. From this perspective, religious texts are not truths, but have been interpreted by people. Different people or groups may interpret the same Bible in different ways.

Collective effervescence (CE) is a sociological concept introduced by Émile Durkheim. According to Durkheim, a community or society may at times come together and simultaneously communicate the same thought and participate in the same action. Such an event then causes collective effervescence which excites individuals and serves to unify the group.

Definition: The collective conscious is a concept developed by Emile Durkheim, who believed that the social world exists to some degree apart from and external to the psychological lives of individuals. It is a shared framework that individuals experience as external, constraining, and meaningful.

Collective effervescence is the basis for Émile Durkheim’s theory of religion as laid out in his 1912 volume Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Durkheim argues that the universal religious dichotomy of profane and sacred results from the lives of these tribe members: most of their life is spent performing menial tasks such as hunting and gathering. These tasks are profane. The rare occasions on which the entire tribe gathers together becomes sacred, and the high energy level associated with these events gets directed onto physical objects or people which then become sacred.

For Durkheim, religion is a fundamentally social phenomenon. It is a “Collective Conscience!”

“god and society are one of the same…the god of the clan…can be none other than the clan itself, but the clan transfigured and imagined in the physical form of a plant or animal that serves as a totem.”

The Bahá’í Faith regards the Ark and the Flood as symbolic. In Bahá’í belief, only Noah’s followers were spiritually alive, preserved in the “ark” of his teachings, as others were spiritually dead. The Bahá’í scripture Kitáb-i-Íqán endorses the Islamic belief that Noah had a large number of companions on the ark, either 40 or 72, as well as his family, and that he taught for 950 (symbolic) years before the flood. The Bahá’í Faith was founded in 19th century Persia, and it recognizes divine messengers from both the Abrahamic and the Indian traditions.

May we follow their example…But more importantly, that of Christ (I Pet 2:21).

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