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Flood Stories in Religion . T H E S T O R Y. T H E S T O R Y. The Story of Noah “. O F N O A H. The Book of Genesis.

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The Story of Noah

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the book of genesis
The Book of Genesis
  • “This is how you should build it: the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits… I on my part am about to bring the flood on the earth, to destroy everywhere all creatures in which there is the breath of life” Gen 6:15-17
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Length- 450 feet

Width- 75 feet

Height- 45 feet

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Reasons For the Flood:

A.) Man’s Wickedness

“When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth…” Gen 6:5-6

B.) Man’s Lawlessness

“I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth; the earth is full of lawlessness because of them So I will destroy them and all life on earth” Gen 6:13

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And the Rains Came…

  • 600 years old
  • 40 days and 40 nights
  • People in the Account: Noah, Noah’s wife, Shem, Ham and Japeth as well as the wives of Noah’s sons.
  • 110 days in the Ark
  • Questions to Consider
  • 1.) God makes mention of man’s lawlessness. What was the understanding of law during Noah’s time?
  • 2.) How long must it have taken Noah to build such a vessel?
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King Manu, Son of Vivasvat

“The great sage Manu, son of Vivasvat, practiced austere fervor. He stood on one leg with upraised arm, looking down unblinkingly, for 10,000 years. While so engaged on the banks of the Chirini, a fish came to him and asked to be saved from larger fish. Manu took the fish to a jar and, as the fish grew, from thence to a large pond, then to the river Ganga, then to the ocean..

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“Though large, the fish was pleasant and easy to carry. Upon being released into the ocean, the fish told Manu that soon all terrestrial objects would be dissolved in the time of the purification. It told him to build a strong ship with a cable attached and to embark with the seven sages (rishis) and certain seeds, and to then watch for the fish, since the waters could not be crossed without it. Manu embarked as enjoined and thought on the fish. The fish, knowing his desire, came, and Manu fastened the ship's cable to its horn.”
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The fish dragged the ship through rolling waters for many years, at last bringing it to the highest peak of Himavat, which is still known as Naubandhana ("the Binding of the Ship"). The fish then revealed itself as Parjapati Brahma and said Manu shall create all living things and all things moving and fixed. Manu performed a great act of austere fervor to clear his uncertainty and then began calling things into existence” (Frazer 185-187)

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Yima, believed to be the first king of the Iranians lived a humble lifestyle as a shepherd. As Yima was herding cattle one day, God said to him, “Yima, Son of Vivanghat, beware! Soon I will send a heavy snowstorm that will kill all the liars and the evil people in the world. Crush the Earth, Yima, and build a large square cave. Find an honest man and woman. Place the couple and every pair of animal in the cave. Do not get out until the storm is gone.”

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Yima constructed a square cave as God had told him to. As instructed by God, Yima found a kind human couple to reside in the cave with him, his wife along with a pair of every animal on the earth. Yima and the couple also gathered seeds to plant after the snowstorm had subsided. God commended Yima for all his hard work. “Yima, son of Vivanghat, you have saved the animals and plants. For this service, I will grant you a great knowledge and a long life” Yima lived for one thousand years and reigned over his kingdom until his death.

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Common Themes

1.) God’s search for a commendable individual:

“Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just” Gen 7:1

2.) Two of each kind…

3.) Retribution Theology

4.) The need for purification

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Questions to Consider

1.) What is the most striking similarity throughout the stories?

2.) If purification was needed back then, what about today’s world?

3.) Due to the ubiquitous nature of flood stories, is it likely that such an occurrence did in fact take place?

4.) Or are flood accounts allegorical stories designed to instruct man?