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SBL e-journal

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2014

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A Textual Study of Noah's Flood

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https://thetorah.com/article/a-textual-study-of-noahs-flood

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A Textual Study of Noah's Flood

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2014

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https://thetorah.com/article/a-textual-study-of-noahs-flood

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A Textual Study of Noah's Flood

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A Textual Study of Noah's Flood

Part 1: The Difficulties in the Noah Story

Modern academic biblical studies claims that the Torah was not written by one hand at one time, but contains multiple sources or layers, spliced or redacted together. Scholars support this claim by pointing to redundant and contradictory narratives and laws. Many of these duplications and redundancies had been noted in classical rabbinic and medieval Jewish interpreters, which used them for midrashic purposes in a unified text by one Author, while modern scholars believe that they reflect the product of different authors.

The doublets—redundant stories told several times—and the contradictory narratives are sometimes places adjacently, as in the two creation stories in Genesis, or may be intertwined, as seen below, or may even be separated textually, as in the quail and manna stories in Exodus (ch. 16) and in Numbers (ch. 11). The intertwining of stories is the most complicated and may have been the least preferred option.

For example, in the case of the flood, it would be awkward to have two floods one after another, especially after a story that ends with a promise that God will never again inundate the earth! When intertwining two or more stories, the editors attempted to make the story flow as smoothly as possible, changing his sources as little as possible. For this reason, the careful reader may discover seams and fissures that help us recover the original sources that have been redacted.

A classic examples of a spliced narrative is the story of Noah[1] that contains contradictions and redundancy through the inclusion of multiple doublets. It is the story Richard Elliott Friedman uses to demonstrate the phenomenon in his Who Wrote the Bible (Harper Collins, 1997), and it is often the text of choice in introductory classes on Bible to teach the documentary hypothesis.

The Noah account contains both doublets—identical or similar actions that are narrated twice—as well as contradictions.

Doublets:

  1. God notes that humans are wicked twice (6:5. 6:12).[2]
  2. God tells Noah of his decision to wipe out all life from earth twice (6:13, 7:4).
  3. God tells Noah to gather a pair of each animal species to put on the ark twice (6:19, 7:2).
  4. The story records that Noah fulfills God’s command twice (6:22, 7:5).
  5. Noah and his family get on the ark twice (7:7, 7:13).
  6. The flood starts twice (7:6, 7:10).
  7. The animals get on the ark twice (7:8-9, 7:14).
  8. The flood waters lift the ark twice (7:17, 7:18).
  9. All the humans and animals on earth die/are wiped out twice (7:21-22, 7:23).
  10. Noah sends out a raven to look for dry land (8:7). Then he sends out a dove to do the same (8:8-12).
  11. Noah’s three sons are introduced twice (6:10, 9:18).[3]

The text also contains a number of terminological doublets, i.e. two distinct phrases describing the same thing.

  1. God is sometimes called YHWH (י-הוה) and sometimes God (א-לוהים).
  2. Sometimes God destroys (שחת) the earth (ארץ), and sometimes God wipes them off (מחה) the surface of the ground (פני האדמה).
  3. The surface of the ground (פני האדמה) dries (חרב), and the earth (ארץ) dries (יבש).

Contradictions:

  1. Is Noah supposed to bring one pair of each kind of animal (6:20) or is he supposed to bring seven pairs of clean animals plus birds and only one pair of unclean animals (7:2-3)?
  2. Do the flood waters come from God allowing the waters of the depths and the heavens to overflow the earth (7:11, 8:2) or does it come from excessive rain only (7:4, 12, 8:2)?
  3. Does the flood last for forty days and nights (7:4, 12, 17) or does it last for 150 days (7:24)?
  4. Does God have a pact with Noah from the beginning never to destroy the world again (6:18, 9:11), or is it the sweet smelling sacrifice that brings about this decision (9:21)?

Part 2 – Documentary Division

Academic scholarship offers a number of approaches to disentangle a doubled and contradictory story like the Noah tale. The most famous is the Documentary Hypothesis, which explains the doublets and contradictions by positing that the story is really a composite made up of two earlier Noah accounts that have been preserved in their more or less complete form in the composite narrative. One account uses the name YHWH and is called the J text; the other uses God and is called the P text.[4]

The use of particular divine names is helpful in disentangling the sources, but is not the major reason why the Documentary Hypothesis is developed and favored by many. Instead, its ability to resolve the contradictions and explain the doublets by finding two complete earlier, internally consistent stories has led to its broad adoption in the scholarly community. How likely is it, scholars contend, that an internally inconsistent story may be unraveled into two separate, more or less complete, internally consistent ones?

Before seeing these two individual stories, we offer a summary of each of them.

Summary of J

According to the J text, YHWH realizes humanity is evil. He then regrets having created humans and decides to wipe them out, all except Noah. YHWH informs Noah that he will flood the world with rain in seven days and tells Noah to enter the ark.[5] Noah is to bring along seven pairs of clean animals and birds, and one pair of unclean animals to repopulate the planet. He also brings along his family, which includes his three sons. YHWH closes Noah into the ark, and the rain starts.

The flood lasts for 40 days and wipes out all life from earth. When the rain stops, Noah opens the window and sends out a dove repeatedly, looking for dry land. When he finds the dry land, he removes the top of the ark. (Leaving the ark is not mentioned.) Noah then offers a sacrifice to YHWH (hence the seven pairs of clean animals), and YHWH enjoys their sweet smell, helping him decide never to flood the earth again. Noah then plants a vineyard and gets drunk. His sons Shem and Japhet cover his nakedness, but Ham does not. When Noah awakens he blesses Shem and Japhet but curses his youngest son Canaan (not Ham).

Summary of P

‍Noah is a righteous man. When God sees that the world is violent and destructive, he tells Noah to build a huge ark (measurements are included) and bring one pair of each species on the ark, and that God will make a covenant with him. The flood takes place on the 17th of the second month, when Noah is 600 years old. Once in the ark, God opens up the gates to the waters of the heavens and the waters of the depths, and the world is flooded up to 15 cubits high, killing every living thing on earth.

The flood lasts for 150 days. God then closes the flood-gates, and the waters begin to recede. On the 17th of the seventh month (i.e. 5 months, or 150 days after the flood began), the ark rests on Mount Ararat. The waters kept receding until the 1st of the tenth month, when the mountain tops became visible. At this point, Noah sends out a raven to go back and forth until it finds dry land. On the first of the first month, in the 601st year of Noah’s life, the water was gone.

On the 27th of the second month (a bit more than a year later), the land was dry. God tells Noah the he and his family and the animals should leave the ark and repopulate the world. Further, God gives Noah permission to eat animals, but forbids him from consuming them with their blood and from murdering other humans, the latter being punishable by death. God then makes a promise of a covenant with Noah, including never to flood the world again. The covenant is to be marked by the creation of the rainbow. Noah lives 300 more years and dies at age 900.

Comparison

Although the two stories have significant overlap, there are some key overall differences.

The P text is longer and filled with technical details such as how to build the ark, the age of Noah, dates when things occur, etc. (Such interest in details and dates typifies P elsewhere.) Furthermore, God plans the covenant in advance, and no sacrifice is mentioned. P’s description of the flood is also closely connected with part of P’s creation story concerning the creation as the separation of the waters from earth (Gen 1:6-10), so that this story reflects an undoing of creation.

The J text is shorter and has fewer specifics. Nevertheless, its account of the bird looking for land is longer, and it includes the sacrifice and the story of Noah getting drunk. Like P, J’s flood connects to its creation story, which begins with the need for rain (Gen 2:5-6). However, instead of undoing creation, as in P, J reflects an overabundance of the creative force (rain), which destroys life. The sacrifice fits in with J’s world view that the ancients did sacrifices (Gen. 4:3-4), while in P sacrifice only began after the constructions and sanctification of the divinely sanctioned tabernacle (משכן).

The images of God—not just the names—distinguish the two sources as well. YHWH has an internal life in J, we hear his thoughts to himself, whereas P does not use such anthropomorphic language about God, who speaks and acts, but doesn’t “feel.” This also fits into the image of YHWH in J’s creation story, since in both YHWH changes his mind. P’s God has everything planned in advance, both in creation, and here in his covenant with Noah.

The Texts – Separate

It is worth noting that each text is largely complete and internally consistent:

[Note: // represents where the seams are.]

The J Text

ה וַיַּרְא יְ-הוָה, כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ, וְכָל יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ, רַק רַע כָּל הַיּוֹם ו וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָה, כִּי עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וַיִּתְעַצֵּב אֶל-לִבּוֹ. ז וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה אֶמְחֶה אֶת הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר בָּרָאתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד בְּהֵמָה, עַד רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם כִּי נִחַמְתִּי כִּי עֲשִׂיתִם. ח וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְ-הוָה. // א וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה לְנֹחַ, בֹּא אַתָּה וְכָל בֵּיתְךָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה כִּי אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה. ב מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה תִּקַּח לְךָ שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא טְהֹרָה הִוא שְׁנַיִם אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ. ג גַּם מֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה לְחַיּוֹת זֶרַע עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ. ד כִּי לְיָמִים עוֹד שִׁבְעָה אָנֹכִי מַמְטִיר עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה, וּמָחִיתִי אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. ה וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ יְ-הוָה. // ז וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ, אֶל הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי מֵי הַמַּבּוּל. // י וַיְהִי לְשִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים וּמֵי הַמַּבּוּל הָיוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ. // יב וַיְהִי הַגֶּשֶׁם עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה. // וַיִּסְגֹּר יְהוָה בַּעֲדוֹ. יז וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם עַל הָאָרֶץ, וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת הַתֵּבָה, וַתָּרָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ. // כג וַיִּמַח אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד בְּהֵמָה עַד רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיִּמָּחוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ; וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה. // וַיִּכָּלֵא הַגֶּשֶׁם מִן הַשָּׁמָיִם. // ו וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וַיִּפְתַּח נֹחַ אֶת חַלּוֹן הַתֵּבָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. // ח וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה מֵאִתּוֹ לִרְאוֹת הֲקַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. ט וְלֹא מָצְאָה הַיּוֹנָה מָנוֹחַ לְכַף רַגְלָהּ, וַתָּשָׁב אֵלָיו אֶל הַתֵּבָה כִּי מַיִם עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ, וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וַיִּקָּחֶהָ וַיָּבֵא אֹתָהּ אֵלָיו אֶל הַתֵּבָה. י וַיָּחֶל עוֹד שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיֹּסֶף שַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה מִן הַתֵּבָה. יא וַתָּבֹא אֵלָיו הַיּוֹנָה לְעֵת עֶרֶב וְהִנֵּה עֲלֵה זַיִת טָרָף בְּפִיהָ, וַיֵּדַע נֹחַ כִּי קַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ. יב וַיִּיָּחֶל עוֹד שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה, וְלֹא יָסְפָה שׁוּב אֵלָיו עוֹד. // וַיָּסַר נֹחַ אֶת מִכְסֵה הַתֵּבָה, וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה חָרְבוּ פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. // כ וַיִּבֶן נֹחַ מִזְבֵּחַ לַי-הוָה; וַיִּקַּח מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהֹרָה, וּמִכֹּל הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר, וַיַּעַל עֹלֹת בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ. כא וַיָּרַח יְ-הוָה אֶת רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ, וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה אֶל לִבּוֹ: לֹא אֹסִף לְקַלֵּל עוֹד אֶת הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּר הָאָדָם, כִּי יֵצֶר לֵב הָאָדָם רַע מִנְּעֻרָיו, וְלֹא אֹסִף עוֹד לְהַכּוֹת אֶת כָּל חַי כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי. כב עֹד כָּל יְמֵי הָאָרֶץ, זֶרַע וְקָצִיר וְקֹר וָחֹם וְקַיִץ וָחֹרֶף וְיוֹם וָלַיְלָה לֹא יִשְׁבֹּתוּ. // יח וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי נֹחַ הַיֹּצְאִים מִן הַתֵּבָה שֵׁם וְחָם וָיָפֶת; וְחָם הוּא אֲבִי כְנָעַן. יט שְׁלֹשָׁה אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי נֹחַ, וּמֵאֵלֶּה נָפְצָה כָל-הָאָרֶץ. כ וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּטַּע כָּרֶם. כא וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן הַיַּיִן וַיִּשְׁכָּר, וַיִּתְגַּל בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. כב וַיַּרְא חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן אֵת עֶרְוַת אָבִיו וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי אֶחָיו בַּחוּץ. כג וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִּׂמְלָה, וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל שְׁכֶם שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּלְכוּ אֲחֹרַנִּית, וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם וּפְנֵיהֶם אֲחֹרַנִּית וְעֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם לֹא רָאוּ. כד וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ מִיֵּינוֹ וַיֵּדַע אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. כה וַיֹּאמֶר: אָרוּר כְּנָעַן עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו. כו וַיֹּאמֶר: בָּרוּךְ יְ-הוָה אֱ-לֹהֵי שֵׁם וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. כז יַפְתְּ אֱ-לֹהִים לְיֶפֶת וְיִשְׁכֹּן בְּאָהֳלֵי שֵׁם, וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ.
5 YHWH saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how every plan devised by his mind was nothing but evil all the time. 6 And YHWH regretted that He had made man on earth, and His heart was saddened. 7 YHWH said, “I will blot out from the earth the men whom I created—men together with beasts, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I regret that I made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with YHWH. // 1 Then YHWH said to Noah, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in this generation. 2 Of every clean animal you shall take seven pairs, males and their mates, and of every animal that is not clean, two, a male and its mate; 3 of the birds of the sky also, seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive upon all the earth. 4 For in seven days’ time I will make it rain upon the earth, forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out from the earth all existence that I created.” 5 And Noah did just as YHWH commanded him. // 7 Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood. // 10 And on the seventh day the waters of the Flood came upon the earth. // 12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. // And YHWH shut him in. 17 The Flood continued forty days on the earth, and the waters increased and raised the ark so that it rose above the earth. // 23 All existence on earth was blotted out—man, cattle, creeping things, and birds of the sky; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. // And the rain from the sky was held back. // 6 At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made. // 8 And he sent out the dove to see whether the waters had decreased from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could not find a resting place for its foot, and returned to him to the ark, for there was water over all the earth. So putting out his hand, he took it into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth. 12 He waited still another seven days and sent the dove forth; and it did not return to him anymore. // Noah removed the covering of the ark, and he saw that the surface of the ground was drying. // 20 Then Noah built an altar to YHWH and, taking of every clean animal and of every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 YHWH smelled the pleasing odor, and YHWH said to Himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the devisings of man’s mind are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living being, as I have done. 22 So long as the earth endures, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Summer and winter, Day and night Shall not cease.” // 18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth—Ham being the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole world branched out. 20 Noah, the tiller of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself within his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a cloth, placed it against both their backs and, walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness; their faces were turned the other way, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah woke up from his wine and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; The lowest of slaves Shall he be to his brothers.”26 And he said, “Blessed be YHWH, The God of Shem; Let Canaan be a slave to them.27 May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be a slave to them.”

[Note: // represents where the seams are.]

The P Text

ט אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ, נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו אֶת הָאֱ-לֹהִים הִתְהַלֶּךְ נֹחַ. י וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ שְׁלֹשָׁה בָנִים, אֶת שֵׁם אֶת חָם וְאֶת יָפֶת. יא וַתִּשָּׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ לִפְנֵי הָאֱ-לֹהִים, וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ חָמָס.יב וַיַּרְא אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְהִנֵּה נִשְׁחָתָה, כִּי הִשְׁחִית כָּל בָּשָׂר אֶת דַּרְכּוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ. יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים לְנֹחַ, קֵץ כָּל בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי, כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס מִפְּנֵיהֶם, וְהִנְנִי מַשְׁחִיתָם אֶת הָאָרֶץ.יד עֲשֵׂה לְךָ תֵּבַת עֲצֵי גֹפֶר, קִנִּים תַּעֲשֶׂה אֶת הַתֵּבָה, וְכָפַרְתָּ אֹתָהּ מִבַּיִת וּמִחוּץ בַּכֹּפֶר. טו וְזֶה אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָהּ: שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אַמָּה אֹרֶךְ הַתֵּבָה, חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה רָחְבָּהּ, וּשְׁלֹשִׁים אַמָּה קוֹמָתָהּ.טז צֹהַר תַּעֲשֶׂה לַתֵּבָה, וְאֶל אַמָּה תְּכַלֶּנָּה מִלְמַעְלָה, וּפֶתַח הַתֵּבָה בְּצִדָּהּ תָּשִׂים, תַּחְתִּיִּם שְׁנִיִּם וּשְׁלִשִׁים תַּעֲשֶׂהָ. יז וַאֲנִי הִנְנִי מֵבִיא אֶת הַמַּבּוּל מַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ לְשַׁחֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ יִגְוָע. יח וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתָּךְ, וּבָאתָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ. יט וּמִכָּל הָחַי מִכָּל בָּשָׂר שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל תָּבִיא אֶל הַתֵּבָה לְהַחֲיֹת אִתָּךְ, זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה יִהְיוּ. כ מֵהָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ מִכֹּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ, שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל יָבֹאוּ אֵלֶיךָ לְהַחֲיוֹת. כא וְאַתָּה קַח לְךָ מִכָּל מַאֲכָל אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְאָסַפְתָּ אֵלֶיךָ, וְהָיָה לְךָ וְלָהֶם לְאָכְלָה.כב וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱ-לֹהִים, כֵּן עָשָׂה. // ו וְנֹחַ בֶּן שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וְהַמַּבּוּל הָיָה מַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ. // ח מִן הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנָּה טְהֹרָה וּמִן הָעוֹף וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר רֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאֲדָמָה. ט שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם בָּאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ. // יא בִּשְׁנַת שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְחַיֵּי נֹחַ, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִבְקְעוּ כָּל מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם נִפְתָּחוּ. // יג בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּא נֹחַ וְשֵׁם וְחָם וָיֶפֶת בְּנֵי נֹחַ וְאֵשֶׁת נֹחַ וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת נְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתָּם אֶל הַתֵּבָה. יד הֵמָּה וְכָל הַחַיָּה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ לְמִינֵהוּ וְכָל הָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ כֹּל צִפּוֹר כָּל כָּנָף. טו וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה, שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם מִכָּל הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים. טז וְהַבָּאִים זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה מִכָּל בָּשָׂר בָּאוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱ-לֹהִים, // יח וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּרְבּוּ מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ; וַתֵּלֶךְ הַתֵּבָה, עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם. יט וְהַמַּיִם גָּבְרוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ, וַיְכֻסּוּ כָּל הֶהָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים אֲשֶׁר תַּחַת כָּל הַשָּׁמָיִם. כ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם וַיְכֻסּוּ הֶהָרִים. כא וַיִּגְוַע כָּל בָּשָׂר הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ, בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַחַיָּה וּבְכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְכֹל הָאָדָם. כב כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁמַת רוּחַ חַיִּים בְּאַפָּיו מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֶּחָרָבָה מֵתוּ. // כד וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם. א וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ וְאֵת כָּל הַחַיָּה וְאֶת כָּל הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה; וַיַּעֲבֵר אֱ-לֹהִים רוּחַ עַל-הָאָרֶץ וַיָּשֹׁכּוּ הַמָּיִם. ב וַיִּסָּכְרוּ מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם, וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמָיִם; // ג וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ הָלוֹךְ וָשׁוֹב וַיַּחְסְרוּ הַמַּיִם מִקְצֵה חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם. ד וַתָּנַח הַתֵּבָה בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי, בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, עַל הָרֵי אֲרָרָט.ה וְהַמַּיִם הָיוּ הָלוֹךְ וְחָסוֹר עַד הַחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי, בָּעֲשִׂירִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ נִרְאוּ רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים. // זוַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הָעֹרֵב וַיֵּצֵא יָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב עַד יְבֹשֶׁת הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ. // יג וַיְהִי בְּאַחַת וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה, בָּרִאשׁוֹן בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ, חָרְבוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ; // יד וּבַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, בְּשִׁבְעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, יָבְשָׁה הָאָרֶץ. טו וַיְדַבֵּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ לֵאמֹר. טז צֵא מִן הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּבָנֶיךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ. יז כָּל הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּךָ מִכָּל בָּשָׂר בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ הוצא (הַיְצֵא) אִתָּךְ, וְשָׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּפָרוּ וְרָבוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ. יח וַיֵּצֵא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ. יט כָּל הַחַיָּה כָּל הָרֶמֶשׂ וְכָל הָעוֹף, כֹּל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיהֶם יָצְאוּ מִן הַתֵּבָה. // א וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ וְאֶת בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם: פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ. ב וּמוֹרַאֲכֶם וְחִתְּכֶם יִהְיֶה עַל כָּל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וְעַל כָּל עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם, בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּרְמֹשׂ הָאֲדָמָה וּבְכָל דְּגֵי הַיָּם בְּיֶדְכֶם נִתָּנוּ. ג כָּל רֶמֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר הוּא חַי לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה, כְּיֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת כֹּל. ד אַךְ בָּשָׂר בְּנַפְשׁוֹ דָמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ. ה וְאַךְ אֶת דִּמְכֶם לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם אֶדְרֹשׁ מִיַּד כָּל חַיָּה אֶדְרְשֶׁנּוּ, וּמִיַּד הָאָדָם מִיַּד אִישׁ אָחִיו אֶדְרֹשׁ אֶת נֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם. ו שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם, בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ, כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱ-לֹהִים עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם.ז וְאַתֶּם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ שִׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּרְבוּ בָהּ. ח וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ וְאֶל בָּנָיו אִתּוֹ לֵאמֹר: ט וַאֲנִי הִנְנִי מֵקִים אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם וְאֶת זַרְעֲכֶם אַחֲרֵיכֶם. י וְאֵת כָּל נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם בָּעוֹף בַּבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אִתְּכֶם, מִכֹּל יֹצְאֵי הַתֵּבָה, לְכֹל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ. יא וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם, וְלֹא יִכָּרֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר עוֹד מִמֵּי הַמַּבּוּל, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד מַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ. יב וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים: זֹאת אוֹת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם לְדֹרֹת עוֹלָם. יג אֶת קַשְׁתִּי נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ. יד וְהָיָה בְּעַנְנִי עָנָן עַל הָאָרֶץ וְנִרְאֲתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן. טו וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל בָּשָׂר, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד הַמַּיִם לְמַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר. טז וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱ-לֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ. יז וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ: זֹאת אוֹת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר הֲקִמֹתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵין כָּל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ. // כח וַיְחִי נֹחַ אַחַר הַמַּבּוּל שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה.כט וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל יְמֵי נֹחַ תְּשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת.
9 This is the line of Noah.—Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.—10 Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth became corrupt before God; the earth was filled with lawlessness. 12 When God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth, 13 God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them: I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make it an ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 Make an opening for daylight in the ark, and terminate it within a cubit of the top. Put the entrance to the ark in its side; make it with bottom, second, and third decks. 17 “For My part, I am about to bring the Flood—waters upon the earth—to destroy all flesh under the sky in which there is breath of life; everything on earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark, with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives. 19 And of all that lives, of all flesh, you shall take two of each into the ark to keep alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 From birds of every kind, cattle of every kind, every kind of creeping thing on earth, two of each shall come to you to stay alive. 21 For your part, take of everything that is eaten and store it away, to serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did so; just as God commanded him, so he did. // 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the Flood came, waters upon the earth. // 8 Of the clean animals, of the animals that are not clean, of the birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two of each, male and female, came to Noah into the ark, as God had commanded Noah. // 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the floodgates of the sky broke open. // 13 That same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, went into the ark, with Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons— 14 they and all beasts of every kind, all cattle of every kind, all creatures of every kind that creep on the earth, and all birds of every kind, every bird, every winged thing. 15 They came to Noah into the ark, two each of all flesh in which there was breath of life. 16 Thus they that entered comprised male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him. // 18 The waters swelled and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark drifted upon the waters. 19 When the waters had swelled much more upon the earth, all the highest mountains everywhere under the sky were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits higher did the waters swell, as the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh that stirred on earth perished—birds, cattle, beasts, and all the things that swarmed upon the earth, and all mankind. 22 All in whose nostrils was the merest breath of life, all that was on dry land, died. // 24 And when the waters had swelled on the earth one hundred and fifty days, 1 God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a wind to blow across the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were stopped up, // 3 the waters then receded steadily from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters diminished, 4 so that in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters went on diminishing until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible. // 7 He sent out the raven; it went to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. // 13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the waters began to dry from the earth; // 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.15 God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Come out of the ark, together with your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds, animals, and everything that creeps on earth; and let them swarm on the earth and be fertile and increase on earth.” 18 So Noah came out, together with his sons, his wife, and his sons wives. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that stirs on earth came out of the ark by families. // 1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fertile and increase, and fill the earth. 2 The fear and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the birds of the sky—everything with which the earth is astir—and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hand. 3 Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these. 4 You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it. 5 But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man! 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did God make man. 7 Be fertile, then, and increase; abound on the earth and increase on it.” 8 And God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “I now establish My covenant with you and your offspring to come, 10 and with every living thing that is with you—birds, cattle, and every wild beast as well—all that have come out of the ark, every living thing on earth. 11 I will maintain My covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God further said, “This is the sign that I set for the covenant between Me and you, and every living creature with you, for all ages to come. 13 I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on earth. 17 That,” God said to Noah, “shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on earth.” // 28 Noah lived after the Flood 350 years. 29 And all the days of Noah came to 950 years; then he died.

The Combined Text

Key: The J text is red. The P text is indented and in blue.

It is noteworthy that in many cases the content of the earlier sources left the redactor little choice in how to combine the sources.

[פרק ו] ה וַיַּרְא יְ-הוָה, כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ, וְכָל יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ, רַק רַע כָּל הַיּוֹם ו וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָה, כִּי עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וַיִּתְעַצֵּב אֶל-לִבּוֹ. ז וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה אֶמְחֶה אֶת הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר בָּרָאתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד בְּהֵמָה, עַד רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם כִּי נִחַמְתִּי כִּי עֲשִׂיתִם. ח וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְ-הוָה.
[chapter 6] 5 YHWH saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how every plan devised by his mind was nothing but evil all the time. 6 And YHWH regretted that He had made man on earth, and His heart was saddened. 7 YHWH said, “I will blot out from the earth the men whom I created—men together with beasts, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I regret that I made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with YHWH.
ט אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ, נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו אֶת הָאֱ-לֹהִים הִתְהַלֶּךְ נֹחַ. י וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ שְׁלֹשָׁה בָנִים, אֶת שֵׁם אֶת חָם וְאֶת יָפֶת. יא וַתִּשָּׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ לִפְנֵי הָאֱ-לֹהִים, וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ חָמָס. יב וַיַּרְא אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְהִנֵּה נִשְׁחָתָה, כִּי הִשְׁחִית כָּל בָּשָׂר אֶת דַּרְכּוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ. יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים לְנֹחַ, קֵץ כָּל בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי, כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס מִפְּנֵיהֶם, וְהִנְנִי מַשְׁחִיתָם אֶת הָאָרֶץ. יד עֲשֵׂה לְךָ תֵּבַת עֲצֵי גֹפֶר, קִנִּים תַּעֲשֶׂה אֶת הַתֵּבָה, וְכָפַרְתָּ אֹתָהּ מִבַּיִת וּמִחוּץ בַּכֹּפֶר. טו וְזֶה אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָהּ: שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אַמָּה אֹרֶךְ הַתֵּבָה, חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה רָחְבָּהּ, וּשְׁלֹשִׁים אַמָּה קוֹמָתָהּ.טז צֹהַר תַּעֲשֶׂה לַתֵּבָה, וְאֶל אַמָּה תְּכַלֶּנָּה מִלְמַעְלָה, וּפֶתַח הַתֵּבָה בְּצִדָּהּ תָּשִׂים, תַּחְתִּיִּם שְׁנִיִּם וּשְׁלִשִׁים תַּעֲשֶׂהָ.יז וַאֲנִי הִנְנִי מֵבִיא אֶת הַמַּבּוּל מַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ לְשַׁחֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ יִגְוָע. יח וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתָּךְ, וּבָאתָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ. יט וּמִכָּל הָחַי מִכָּל בָּשָׂר שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל תָּבִיא אֶל הַתֵּבָה לְהַחֲיֹת אִתָּךְ, זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה יִהְיוּ. כ מֵהָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ מִכֹּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ, שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל יָבֹאוּ אֵלֶיךָ לְהַחֲיוֹת. כא וְאַתָּה קַח לְךָ מִכָּל מַאֲכָל אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְאָסַפְתָּ אֵלֶיךָ, וְהָיָה לְךָ וְלָהֶם לְאָכְלָה. כב וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱ-לֹהִים, כֵּן עָשָׂה.
9 This is the line of Noah.—Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.—10 Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth became corrupt before God; the earth was filled with lawlessness. 12 When God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth, 13 God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them: I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make it an ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 Make an opening for daylight in the ark, and terminate it within a cubit of the top. Put the entrance to the ark in its side; make it with bottom, second, and third decks. 17 “For My part, I am about to bring the Flood—waters upon the earth—to destroy all flesh under the sky in which there is breath of life; everything on earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark, with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives. 19 And of all that lives, of all flesh, you shall take two of each into the ark to keep alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 From birds of every kind, cattle of every kind, every kind of creeping thing on earth, two of each shall come to you to stay alive. 21 For your part, take of everything that is eaten and store it away, to serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did so; just as God commanded him, so he did.
[פרק ז] א וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה לְנֹחַ, בֹּא אַתָּה וְכָל בֵּיתְךָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה כִּי אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה. ב מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה תִּקַּח לְךָ שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא טְהֹרָה הִוא שְׁנַיִם אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ. ג גַּם מֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה לְחַיּוֹת זֶרַע עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ. ד כִּי לְיָמִים עוֹד שִׁבְעָה אָנֹכִי מַמְטִיר עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה, וּמָחִיתִי אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. ה וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ יְ-הוָה.
[Chapter 7] 1 Then YHWH said to Noah, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in this generation. 2 Of every clean animal you shall take seven pairs, males and their mates, and of every animal that is not clean, two, a male and its mate; 3 of the birds of the sky also, seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive upon all the earth. 4 For in seven days’ time I will make it rain upon the earth, forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out from the earth all existence that I created.” 5 And Noah did just as YHWH commanded him.
ו וְנֹחַ בֶּן שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וְהַמַּבּוּל הָיָה מַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the Flood came, waters upon the earth.
ז וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ, אֶל הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי מֵי הַמַּבּוּל.
7 Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood.
ח מִן הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנָּה טְהֹרָה וּמִן הָעוֹף וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר רֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאֲדָמָה. ט שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם בָּאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ.
8 Of the clean animals, of the animals that are not clean, of the birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two of each, male and female, came to Noah into the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
י וַיְהִי לְשִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים וּמֵי הַמַּבּוּל הָיוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ.
10 And on the seventh day the waters of the Flood came upon the earth.
יא בִּשְׁנַת שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְחַיֵּי נֹחַ, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִבְקְעוּ כָּל מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם נִפְתָּחוּ.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the floodgates of the sky broke open.
יב וַיְהִי הַגֶּשֶׁם עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה.
12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
יג בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּא נֹחַ וְשֵׁם וְחָם וָיֶפֶת בְּנֵי נֹחַ וְאֵשֶׁת נֹחַ וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת נְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתָּם אֶל הַתֵּבָה. יד הֵמָּה וְכָל הַחַיָּה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ לְמִינֵהוּ וְכָל הָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ כֹּל צִפּוֹר כָּל כָּנָף. טו וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה, שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם מִכָּל הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים. טז וְהַבָּאִים זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה מִכָּל בָּשָׂר בָּאוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱ-לֹהִים,
13 That same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, went into the ark, with Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons—14 they and all beasts of every kind, all cattle of every kind, all creatures of every kind that creep on the earth, and all birds of every kind, every bird, every winged thing. 15 They came to Noah into the ark, two each of all flesh in which there was breath of life. 16 Thus they that entered comprised male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him.
וַיִּסְגֹּר יְהוָה בַּעֲדוֹ. יז וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם עַל הָאָרֶץ, וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת הַתֵּבָה, וַתָּרָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ.
And YHWH shut him in. 17 The Flood continued forty days on the earth, and the waters increased and raised the ark so that it rose above the earth.
יח וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּרְבּוּ מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ; וַתֵּלֶךְ הַתֵּבָה, עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם. יט וְהַמַּיִם גָּבְרוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ, וַיְכֻסּוּ כָּל הֶהָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים אֲשֶׁר תַּחַת כָּל הַשָּׁמָיִם. כ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם וַיְכֻסּוּ הֶהָרִים. כא וַיִּגְוַע כָּל בָּשָׂר הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ, בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַחַיָּה וּבְכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְכֹל הָאָדָם. כב כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁמַת רוּחַ חַיִּים בְּאַפָּיו מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֶּחָרָבָה מֵתוּ.
18 The waters swelled and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark drifted upon the waters. 19 When the waters had swelled much more upon the earth, all the highest mountains everywhere under the sky were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits higher did the waters swell, as the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh that stirred on earth perished—birds, cattle, beasts, and all the things that swarmed upon the earth, and all mankind. 22 All in whose nostrils was the merest breath of life, all that was on dry land, died.
כג וַיִּמַח אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד בְּהֵמָה עַד רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיִּמָּחוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ; וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה.
23 All existence on earth was blotted out—man, cattle, creeping things, and birds of the sky; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
כד וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם.
24 And when the waters had swelled on the earth one hundred and fifty days,
[פרק ח] א וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ וְאֵת כָּל הַחַיָּה וְאֶת כָּל הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה; וַיַּעֲבֵר אֱ-לֹהִים רוּחַ עַל-הָאָרֶץ וַיָּשֹׁכּוּ הַמָּיִם. ב וַיִּסָּכְרוּ מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם, וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמָיִם;
[chapter 8] 1 God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a wind to blow across the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were stopped up,
וַיִּכָּלֵא הַגֶּשֶׁם מִן הַשָּׁמָיִם.
and the rain from the sky was held back;
ג וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ הָלוֹךְ וָשׁוֹב וַיַּחְסְרוּ הַמַּיִם מִקְצֵה חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם. ד וַתָּנַח הַתֵּבָה בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי, בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, עַל הָרֵי אֲרָרָט. ה וְהַמַּיִם הָיוּ הָלוֹךְ וְחָסוֹר עַד הַחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי, בָּעֲשִׂירִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ נִרְאוּ רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים.
3 the waters then receded steadily from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters diminished, 4 so that in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5The waters went on diminishing until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
ו וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וַיִּפְתַּח נֹחַ אֶת חַלּוֹן הַתֵּבָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה.
6 At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made
ז וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הָעֹרֵב וַיֵּצֵא יָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב עַד יְבֹשֶׁת הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ.
7 and sent out the raven; it went to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.
ח וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה מֵאִתּוֹ לִרְאוֹת הֲקַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. ט וְלֹא מָצְאָה הַיּוֹנָה מָנוֹחַ לְכַף רַגְלָהּ, וַתָּשָׁב אֵלָיו אֶל הַתֵּבָה כִּי מַיִם עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ, וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וַיִּקָּחֶהָ וַיָּבֵא אֹתָהּ אֵלָיו אֶל הַתֵּבָה. י וַיָּחֶל עוֹד שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיֹּסֶף שַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה מִן הַתֵּבָה. יא וַתָּבֹא אֵלָיו הַיּוֹנָה לְעֵת עֶרֶב וְהִנֵּה עֲלֵה זַיִת טָרָף בְּפִיהָ, וַיֵּדַע נֹחַ כִּי קַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ.יב וַיִּיָּחֶל עוֹד שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הַיּוֹנָה, וְלֹא יָסְפָה שׁוּב אֵלָיו עוֹד.
8 Then he sent out the dove to see whether the waters had decreased from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could not find a resting place for its foot, and returned to him to the ark, for there was water over all the earth. So putting out his hand, he took it into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth. 12He waited still another seven days and sent the dove forth; and it did not return to him any more.
יג וַיְהִי בְּאַחַת וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה, בָּרִאשׁוֹן בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ, חָרְבוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ;
13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the waters began to dry from the earth;
וַיָּסַר נֹחַ אֶת מִכְסֵה הַתֵּבָה, וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה חָרְבוּ פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה.
Noah removed the covering of the ark, and he saw that the surface of the ground was drying.
יד וּבַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, בְּשִׁבְעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, יָבְשָׁה הָאָרֶץ. טו וַיְדַבֵּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ לֵאמֹר. טז צֵא מִן הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּבָנֶיךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ. יז כָּל הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּךָ מִכָּל בָּשָׂר בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ הוצא (הַיְצֵא) אִתָּךְ, וְשָׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּפָרוּ וְרָבוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ. יח וַיֵּצֵא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ. יט כָּל הַחַיָּה כָּל הָרֶמֶשׂ וְכָל הָעוֹף, כֹּל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיהֶם יָצְאוּ מִן הַתֵּבָה.
14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15 God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Come out of the ark, together with your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds, animals, and everything that creeps on earth; and let them swarm on the earth and be fertile and increase on earth.” 18 So Noah came out, together with his sons, his wife, and his sons wives. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that stirs on earth came out of the ark by families.
כ וַיִּבֶן נֹחַ מִזְבֵּחַ לַי-הוָה; וַיִּקַּח מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהֹרָה, וּמִכֹּל הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר, וַיַּעַל עֹלֹת בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ. כא וַיָּרַח יְ-הוָה אֶת רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ, וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה אֶל לִבּוֹ: לֹא אֹסִף לְקַלֵּל עוֹד אֶת הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּר הָאָדָם, כִּי יֵצֶר לֵב הָאָדָם רַע מִנְּעֻרָיו, וְלֹא אֹסִף עוֹד לְהַכּוֹת אֶת כָּל חַי כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי. כב עֹד כָּל יְמֵי הָאָרֶץ, זֶרַע וְקָצִיר וְקֹר וָחֹם וְקַיִץ וָחֹרֶף וְיוֹם וָלַיְלָה לֹא יִשְׁבֹּתוּ.
20 Then Noah built an altar to YHWH and, taking of every clean animal and of every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 YHWH smelled the pleasing odor, and YHWH said to Himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the devisings of man’s mind are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living being, as I have done. 22 So long as the earth endures, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Summer and winter, Day and night Shall not cease.”
[פרק ט]א וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱ-לֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ וְאֶת בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם: פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ. ב וּמוֹרַאֲכֶם וְחִתְּכֶם יִהְיֶה עַל כָּל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וְעַל כָּל עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם, בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּרְמֹשׂ הָאֲדָמָה וּבְכָל דְּגֵי הַיָּם בְּיֶדְכֶם נִתָּנוּ. ג כָּל רֶמֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר הוּא חַי לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה, כְּיֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת כֹּל. ד אַךְ בָּשָׂר בְּנַפְשׁוֹ דָמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ. ה וְאַךְ אֶת דִּמְכֶם לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם אֶדְרֹשׁ מִיַּד כָּל חַיָּה אֶדְרְשֶׁנּוּ, וּמִיַּד הָאָדָם מִיַּד אִישׁ אָחִיו אֶדְרֹשׁ אֶת נֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם. ו שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם, בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ, כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱ-לֹהִים עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם. ז וְאַתֶּם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ שִׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּרְבוּ בָהּ.
[chapter 9]1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fertile and increase, and fill the earth. 2 The fear and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the birds of the sky—everything with which the earth is astir—and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hand. 3Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these. 4 You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it. 5 But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man! 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did God make man. 7 Be fertile, then, and increase; abound on the earth and increase on it.”
ח וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ וְאֶל בָּנָיו אִתּוֹ לֵאמֹר: ט וַאֲנִי הִנְנִי מֵקִים אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם וְאֶת זַרְעֲכֶם אַחֲרֵיכֶם. י וְאֵת כָּל נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם בָּעוֹף בַּבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אִתְּכֶם, מִכֹּל יֹצְאֵי הַתֵּבָה, לְכֹל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ. יא וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם, וְלֹא יִכָּרֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר עוֹד מִמֵּי הַמַּבּוּל, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד מַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ.
8 And God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “I now establish My covenant with you and your offspring to come, 10 and with every living thing that is with you—birds, cattle, and every wild beast as well—all that have come out of the ark, every living thing on earth. 11 I will maintain My covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
יב וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים: זֹאת אוֹת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם לְדֹרֹת עוֹלָם.יג אֶת קַשְׁתִּי נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ. יד וְהָיָה בְּעַנְנִי עָנָן עַל הָאָרֶץ וְנִרְאֲתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן.טו וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל בָּשָׂר, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד הַמַּיִם לְמַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת כָּל בָּשָׂר. טז וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱ-לֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ. יז וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ-לֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ: זֹאת אוֹת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר הֲקִמֹתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵין כָּל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ.
12 God further said, “This is the sign that I set for the covenant between Me and you, and every living creature with you, for all ages to come. 13 I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on earth. 17 That,” God said to Noah, “shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on earth.”
יח וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי נֹחַ הַיֹּצְאִים מִן הַתֵּבָה שֵׁם וְחָם וָיָפֶת; וְחָם הוּא אֲבִי כְנָעַן. יט שְׁלֹשָׁה אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי נֹחַ, וּמֵאֵלֶּה נָפְצָה כָל הָאָרֶץ.
18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth—Ham being the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole world branched out.
כ וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּטַּע כָּרֶם. כא וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן הַיַּיִן וַיִּשְׁכָּר, וַיִּתְגַּל בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. כב וַיַּרְא חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן אֵת עֶרְוַת אָבִיו וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי אֶחָיו בַּחוּץ. כג וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִּׂמְלָה, וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל שְׁכֶם שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּלְכוּ אֲחֹרַנִּית, וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם וּפְנֵיהֶם אֲחֹרַנִּית וְעֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם לֹא רָאוּ. כד וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ מִיֵּינוֹ וַיֵּדַע אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. כה וַיֹּאמֶר: אָרוּר כְּנָעַן עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו. כו וַיֹּאמֶר: בָּרוּךְ יְ-הוָה אֱ-לֹהֵי שֵׁם וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. כז יַפְתְּ אֱ-לֹהִים לְיֶפֶת וְיִשְׁכֹּן בְּאָהֳלֵי שֵׁם, וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ.
20 Noah, the tiller of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself within his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a cloth, placed it against both their backs and, walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness; their faces were turned the other way, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah woke up from his wine and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; The lowest of slaves Shall he be to his brothers.” 26 And he said, “Blessed be YHWH, The God of Shem; Let Canaan be a slave to them. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be a slave to them.”
כח וַיְחִי נֹחַ אַחַר הַמַּבּוּל שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה. כט וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל יְמֵי נֹחַ תְּשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת.
28 Noah lived after the Flood 350 years. 29And all the days of Noah came to 950 years; then he died.

Conclusion

After seeing how the doublets and contradictions may be resolved by positing two earlier, internally consistent texts, it is difficult to read the text as we now have as a consistent unity. Source criticism was not invented to find earlier texts, but to explain why the Torah text that we now have is problematic. A different –ism, Redaction Criticism, explains how and why the redactor (or editor or compiler) combined the texts in this particular way, and how the composite, redacted text might be read. Using these two tools, we may catch a glimpse of two ancient Noah stories and the way they were combined millennia ago to create the complex story we all know.

Published

October 21, 2014

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Last Updated

November 13, 2019

Footnotes

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