Flood Narrative When God Flooded Thesis

Length: 14 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Thesis Paper: #4906607 Related Topics: John Wesley, Kingdom Of God, Exegesis, Thomas Hardy
Excerpt from Thesis :

The real question is not which party is right or wrong, but rather, what lessons can be learned and applied to modern man.

The Warnings in Genesis 7: 21-24

In these verses, we learn that God tried to warn his children, but on the day of the flood, they were still eating and drinking without abandon. They did not heed the final warning. This demonstrates that God was not set on his resolve to destroy humankind. He was acting the part of the father, giving his children one last time to change their ways. God gives his children many chances to repent. It is clear that he wishes them to repent, rather than to destroy them. First, he gives them 120 years, then a final week, and then on the day set for the flood to occur, he gives them one final chance. They can save themselves at any point in this time period by simply giving up their sin and returning to the grace of God. However, in the end, man's nature wins out, leading to his ultimate destruction.

The multiple warnings and grace periods given by God also demonstrate that man has a choice in his own destiny. Although God has the ultimate control over when his chosen people live and when they die, they still have choices to make. They are not like puppets or dolls, where the master determines their every move. They have a choice, indicating a certain degree of independence. They can choose to turn from sin and return to God, once again returning to his good graces, or they can continue to sin and suffer the ultimate consequences.

The argument of how much control God has over our lives is a key point of contention that divides Christians into many denominations. Some feel that we have no control; others feel that God allows us some control, but that we must be willing to suffer the consequences, for good or bad, of our actions. In the flood story, God does not say directly that he will cancel the flood if man returns to his graces, but it is strongly implied by God's actions in giving them many chances to repent and return to Godly ways. The flood was not a one way train with any brakes. God's multiple warnings before the flood suggest that man could have prevented his own destruction by a few simple acts, but he chose not to in the end, trading earthly pleasures for eternal peace.

The Rains Came

Genesis Chapter 7: 11-24 are the most widely debated among both Christians and non-Christians. The real question on everyone's mind is how big the flood actually was and how much devastation it entailed. This is a question that may never actually be answered by man, but it has become the key point of contention between scientists and theologians. Therefore, to not at least state the arguments of both sides would not do the flood narrative justice. The differences in interpretation of the flood differ as to whether the flood was universal, or whether it is simply a local event blown out of proportion.

When examining the two primary sides of the flood issue, one finds extremes on both sides. However, an examination of these sides appears to follow two basic patterns. Those that argue for wholesale destruction of the earth often do so through an exegesis of the flood narrative, Randy Hardy's exegesis falls into this category. His exegesis focuses on four keywords in the text, Machah (blot out), tehom (the deep), mayan (fountain or spring), and mabbul (cataclysm). The single point of this exegesis was to support his own position as to the size and scope of the flood, missing the deeper meanings of the rest of the flood narrative entirely.

Researchers who agree with the interpretation that the flood was a localized event often use outside evidence to support their argument. Mark Isaak's work is a prime example of this type of work. Mark Isaak poses many questions regarding logistics and the implications of the flood in an attempt to "prove" that the story of a global flood simply is not true. Hardy and Isaak exemplify the extremes of these two opposing viewpoints of the flood narrative. There are others that are somewhere in between these two extremes, but a majority of the...


However, in the days of Noah, their knowledge was limited to the world around them. They could not see past the horizon and did not even know that the world was round at that point. We do not know how big the flood was, we only know how big the flood appeared to the naked eye and the experiences of the survivors.

The only thing of which we can be certain is that the ark was a very large vessel, even by today's standards. We know that the waters were deep enough and strong enough to launch the ark and make it float. We know that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, which suggests an extended rainstorm and a very large rainstorm. Once again, we only have a local perspective, and have no way of looking in on other parts of the world. In Genesis 7:11 and 8:14, we can surmise that the waters were on earth 371 days.

The argument that has arisen over this particular portion of text is whether the concept of a global flood negates the Bible. In some circles, so much importance has been placed on the issue that the very foundation of Christian faith appears to be in the balance. However, whether geological evidence, literal translation, symbolic translation, or personal opinion prevails in a majority of society, the truth of the matter is that we were not there and the people who were there did not have the perspective to tell us.

The size of the flood is not the point of the flood narrative. In our world of Hollywood mega-disaster movies, we have developed a fascination with global destruction. However, to the Christian, the size of the flood is not the central issue. The only thing that we know about the flood for certain is that it was large enough to change the lives of the survivors and that is was inescapable to those in the immediate area. It was a dramatic event, regardless of whether it lives up to out modern Hollywood conventions and the standards of modern communication to qualify as a mega-disaster. It had the effect of shock and awe on Noah, his family, and the sinners who would not change. The key to understanding the flood narrative is to not become hung up on the size of the disaster, but the actions of the people and how it changed them and their relationship with God. Divine justice is satisfied and the sinners are now dead, except for Noah. God's hand has brought desolation and now must bring deliverance.

Lesson on Family Values

If one continues with the theme of looking at the larger lessons that can be filtered from the aftermath of flood, the narrative makes some valuable points about family values. God delivers the faithful family. God's resting of the ark on Mount Ararat can be interpreted as the rest that God gives to the faithful after a good tossing. It teaches us that God does not keep pounding us, but gives us a place to rest as a reward for our faithfulness. Now Noah and his family are given a respite from the deluge.

One might remember that God made a covenant with Noah, not the other members of his family. Yet, Noah's family was saved through his faithfulness. It is unlikely that any of those on the ark were sinners and worthy of destruction. This brings in a lesson about Noah's role as leader of his family. It is not likely that as Noah's children were growing up that Noah would have tolerated sinfulness in his own household. Neither would it make sense for Noah to remain committed to a sinful wife. Although, these elements of the story are not brought out in the text, it can be assumed that Noah, being a righteous man, would have maintained a righteous family as well. This is the only scenario that makes sense. If Noah's family were not worthy, they would have died in the flood too.

The survival of Noah's family suggests that Noah instilled his faithfulness in his family as well. This places a heavy burden on family leadership of today. It suggests that we not only have a responsibility to remain obedient ourselves, but…

Sources Used in Documents:


Constable, Thomas. Notes on Genesis. 2005 Edition. [online] 2005. Available at http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdf.Internet.

Hardy, Randy. What Does Genesis Say About the Genesis Flood? 1999. Available at http://www.amen.org.uk/cl-north/narrativ.htm. Internet.

Hayut-Man, Yitzhak. The Book of Genesis as a Redemptive Scenario and Guide for Re- Biography. The Academy of Jerusalem - New Genesis Exegesis. The HOPE Cyber Library. [online] 1997. Available at http://thehope.tripod.com/TORENOW0.htm. Internet.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. [online] (1706, 2008). Available at http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6,Internet" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6,Internet.
Isaak, Mark. Problems with a Global Flood. Second Edition. 1998. [online] Available at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html. Internet.
Wesley, John. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes. [online] (n.d., 2008). Available at http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1.Internet.
Matthew Henry. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. [online] (1706,2008). ChristNotes. Available at http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6,Internet" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6,Internet.
John Wesley. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes. [online] (1760, 2008). Available at http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1&c=6.Internet" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1&c=6.Internet.
Wesley, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1&c=6
Henry. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6
Wesley, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1&c=6
Thomas Constable. Notes on Genesis. 2005 Edition. [online] 2005. Available at http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdf.Internet.
Henry. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6
Constable, http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdf.
Wesley, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=1&c=7
Henry http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=6
Henry http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=7
Henry http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=7
Randy Hardy. What Does Genesis Say About the Genesis Flood? 1999. Available at http://www.amen.org.uk/cl-north/narrativ.htm. Internet.
Mark Isaak. Problems with a Global Flood. Second Edition. 1998. [online] Available at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html. Internet.
Constable, http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdf.
Henry http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=8
Yizhak Hayut-Man. The Book of Genesis as a Redemptive Scenario and Guide for Re-Biography. The Academy of Jerusalem - New Genesis Exegesis. The HOPE Cyber Library. [online] 1997. Available at http://thehope.tripod.com/TORENOW0.htm. Internet.
Henry http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=8

Cite this Document:

"Flood Narrative When God Flooded" (2008, December 03) Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

"Flood Narrative When God Flooded" 03 December 2008. Web.1 December. 2021. <

"Flood Narrative When God Flooded", 03 December 2008, Accessed.1 December. 2021,

Related Documents
Comparison of Genesis 6 11 W. Creation and the Flood Story
Words: 682 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 85990749

Flood Narratives: A Comparison of Genesis vs. Gilgamesh Both the Hebrew Bible and the Babylonian "Gilgamesh" contain flood narratives of destruction and creation. However, while the Bible deploys the flood narrative as a moral judgment of God upon a particular generation of humanity, "Gilgamesh" merely uses the flood as an example of the fragile reality of the mortal human state. In the Bible, God looks upon the immorality of humankind, and

Sons of God
Words: 3033 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 91046069

Sons of God" in Genesis 6 are human, by using the following verses as background on the subject: Deuteronomy 9:18, Joshua 7:6, Psalm 112, Genesis 4:26, Numbers 13:33, Job 1:6, 2:1. The Sons of God referred to so briefly in Genesis 6 are indeed human, because they have the distinct human vice of "wickedness," which in the end seals their fate. They are Sons of God who came to

Son of God -- a
Words: 1816 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 2856793

According to the concept of homoousion, Christ the Son was consubstantial (sharing the same substance) with the Father." (Gill, 2006) Only then was it resolved that although Jesus was the Son of God, the unique nature of Jesus as Son meant that Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit all were won. The interpretation of the term "Son of God" continues to divide Judaism from Christianity, theologically and linguistically,

Creation Narrative Analysis of Genesis Myth or History or Myth and...
Words: 15782 Length: 50 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 9755140

Creation Myth Analysis Case Study of the History of Biblical Creation Narratives What Is Myth? What Is History? Manetho Josephus Jeroboam Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 Myth? Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 History? Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 Both Myth and History? An Analysis of the Biblical Creation Narrative of Genesis 1:1-25 and Egypt's Possible Influence on the Historical Record God created the world in just six days, and rested on the seventh, but scholars have not rested at all over the millennia in their investigation of

Power of Narrative and Voice
Words: 2243 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 37253713

Janie in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Celie in Alice Walker's the Color Purple The main character and narrator of Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Janie, has much in common with the narrator and main character Celie within Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple (1982). Each speaks authentically, in her own voice: the too-often ignored voice of an African-American female in

Echoes Within the Two Old
Words: 678 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 27119092

This covenant pre-dates the covenant that God will eventually make with Abraham and his children, and suggests a mutual obligation that now exists between God and humanity that did not exist before -- thus Noah's covenant with God will 'echo' with other Biblical narratives of later date, much as the stress upon the disobedience of humankind in the Flood epic recalls the disobedience of humanity in the Garden of