I Heart Indies

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Noah's Ark, Footnoted

God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.[1]  

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[2]  Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.[3]  I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”[4]

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.  Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, [5]and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.[6]  

Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, [7] male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.  In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month[8] —on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.


On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.  They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.  [9] Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah.

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. [10]

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.[11]  The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.[12]


After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.[13]  Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.  But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. [14] When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.[15]


By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. [16] By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.  Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.” [17]

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. [18] The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” [19]




[1] An odd solution for violence.
[2] About 450 feet long, 75 feet long, and forty-five feet tall.  For comparison’s sake, a Carnival Cruise ship can range in size from 850 feet to 1,000 feet.  There is no reason to believe, however, that the Ark offered shuffleboard or soft-serve ice cream. 
[3] These instructions were not as specific as they could have been.
[4] Good thinking.
[5] I bet Noah was pissed when God changed it from two to seven.
[6] The story doesn’t tell us how old Noah was when he build the Ark.  My thinking is he was much younger and was a complete weirdo about it for five hundred years, then when the flood came, he was all like, “I told you so!”
[7] I’m thinking none of the animals were all that clean.
[8] February 17.
[9] We’ve already established this point.
[10] Which was a good place for it.
[11] July 17
[12] October 1
[13] Forty days after what?  I’m not sure about this.   But I’m guessing its around November 10.
[14] November 17?
[15] Evidently he was in no hurry.
[16] And he still didn’t leave the boat.
[17] After all that time on the boat, everyone was pretty horny.
[18] It paid to be one of the dirty animals.
[19] i.e. Not by means of a flood.  He still has plenty of other ways.

(Originally posted 2012)

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