Mysterious Ruins

J regia

Well-known member
Your synchronic reading of the biblical text is rather selective. For example, you claim "the flood...was only 15 cubits high," but omit that this is qualified in 7:19-20 to have been the depth of the water above the mountains, "all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered" by the flood waters. It is clear that the author of this section envisions a flood that wiped out all living creatures on the earth except for those who entered the ark. It is equally clear that the author of Gen 4:19-22 does not know of or rejects this flood story, tracing the origins of animal husbandry, the arts and industry back to these descendants of Cain. Genesis is an aggregate of disparate origin traditions. You are certainly welcome to read them synchronically, but the selectivity necessary to iron out some (but by no means all) of the wrinkles in the final form of the text will not be convincing to those who prefer diachronic readings...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
In other words the author(s) of the story in Gen 7 says that the highest hills in the flooded area were less than 15 cubits higher than the normal river height when not in flood, and clearly don't say that the high hills were covered by 15 cubits.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.


Clearly the bible is describing a local event which drowned most of Noah's family and their animals, but had no effect on a nearby olive tree growing outside the flooded area from which Noah's pet bird plucked a leaf.

Moreover the author(s) of the story in Gen 4:20-21 says that two of Noah's brothers (Jabal and Jubal) and their families were obviously not drowned and were presumably living outside the flooded area, otherwise they would have no descendants which were also tent dwellers and musicians.

Any other explanation is just pure fantasy and must explain why it hypothesizes that kangaroos and sloths etc are therefore native to the middle east.
 

En Hakkore

Active member
In other words the author(s) of the story in Gen 7 says that the highest hills in the flooded area were less than 15 cubits higher than the normal river height when not in flood, and clearly don't say that the high hills were covered by 15 cubits.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.


Clearly the bible is describing a local event which drowned most of Noah's family and their animals, but had no effect on a nearby olive tree growing outside the flooded area from which Noah's pet bird plucked a leaf.

There is not much to respond to here as you've just rearticulated your position with no direct engagement of my critique and the difference between synchronic and diachronic readings of biblical texts. You are welcome to think Genesis 7 narrates a local flood, but a plain reading of the text with all its universal language (ie. "all the high hills" and "under the whole heaven") is incompatible with that position. What do you think the mountains were covered with if not the 15 cubits of water?

Moreover the author(s) of the story in Gen 4:20-21 says that two of Noah's brothers (Jabal and Jubal) and their families were obviously not drowned and were presumably living outside the flooded area, otherwise they would have no descendants which were also tent dwellers and musicians.

Without making the unnecessary leap in narrative logic that the sons of Lamech in Genesis 4 are brothers of Noah son of Lamech in Genesis 5 and following, I've already agreed with you that these people did not perish in a catastrophic worldwide flood according to the author of this section of Genesis. Where we part ways is that you feel the need to reconcile this tradition with that in Genesis 7 whereas I do not. They are incompatible with each other... simple as that.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

J regia

Well-known member
There is not much to respond to here as you've just rearticulated your position with no direct engagement of my critique and the difference between synchronic and diachronic readings of biblical texts. You are welcome to think Genesis 7 narrates a local flood, but a plain reading of the text with all its universal language (ie. "all the high hills" and "under the whole heaven") is incompatible with that position. What do you think the mountains were covered with if not the 15 cubits of water?



Without making the unnecessary leap in narrative logic that the sons of Lamech in Genesis 4 are brothers of Noah son of Lamech in Genesis 5 and following, I've already agreed with you that these people did not perish in a catastrophic worldwide flood according to the author of this section of Genesis. Where we part ways is that you feel the need to reconcile this tradition with that in Genesis 7 whereas I do not. They are incompatible with each other... simple as that.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
But the bible doesn't say that the flood was worldwide or global, and given that the bible clearly says that it was only 15 cubits high.

"Under the whole heaven" means that to an observer, the flood stretched to the horizon and covered "all the high hills" - given that the bible describes the heavens as a (domed) tent attached to the circle of the horizon (Isaiah 40:22).
 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
There is not much to respond to here as you've just rearticulated your position with no direct engagement of my critique and the difference between synchronic and diachronic readings of biblical texts. You are welcome to think Genesis 7 narrates a local flood, but a plain reading of the text with all its universal language (ie. "all the high hills" and "under the whole heaven") is incompatible with that position. What do you think the mountains were covered with if not the 15 cubits of water?
The universal flood that you write of refers to the world as those people understood it. They had no concept that other continents existed. The region of the ancient near-east in which they lived was their world.

I would also point out that the ancient near eastern myth of a world flood is far older than the two interwoven flood stories we find in the book of Genesis.

Some of the oldest cuneiform texts of The Epic of Gilgamesh are dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. At that time the Hebrews were still illiterate nomadic desert pastoralists.
 

En Hakkore

Active member
But the bible doesn't say that the flood was worldwide or global, and given that the bible clearly says that it was only 15 cubits high.

"Under the whole heaven" means that to an observer, the flood stretched to the horizon and covered "all the high hills" - given that the bible describes the heavens as a (domed) tent attached to the circle of the horizon (Isaiah 40:22).

On the one hand, you want the writer (the Bible is not a literary agent) to be ignorant enough of modern geophysics and cosmology so that his universal language can be reinterpreted to mean only a section of the Ancient Near East, and on the other hand, knowledgeable enough to avoid contradicting any currently known fact within these same spheres of inquiry... you can't have it both ways. How could an ancient author possibly express, to your satisfaction and within the limits of his knowledge, that the spherical earth we know to exist was entirely inundated with water? He couldn't... so to claim he has not done so as if he could have but chose not to is problematic. The author has deployed language to express the universality of the flood's extent... according to this story, the entire world was flooded and its creatures annihilated except for the eight people who entered the ark. And I'll ask again, with what were the mountains covered if not the 15 cubits of water?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

En Hakkore

Active member
The universal flood that you write of refers to the world as those people understood it. They had no concept that other continents existed. The region of the ancient near-east in which they lived was their world.

We seem to be in agreement on this point... and to the extent they knew nothing of these other places and people, the universal language deployed in Genesis 7 is intended to express the inundation of the entire known world. The proposition in the post to which I initially responded, the one that I am challenging, is that some people (whether they are near relatives of Noah or not is beside the point) did not perish in this flood because they were safe in a valley over yonder. It is clearly not the intent of the authors to allow any survivors of the deity's judgment beyond those who entered the ark... to think otherwise is to seriously misinterpret the text.

I would also point out that the ancient near eastern myth of a world flood is far older than the two interwoven flood stories we find in the book of Genesis.

Again, agreed... though I would characterize the relationship between the two (or possibly more) literary strands as a central story that has been supplemented rather than two independent versions that have been spliced together.

Some of the oldest cuneiform texts of The Epic of Gilgamesh are dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. At that time the Hebrews were still illiterate nomadic desert pastoralists.

Agreed, though the flood story (tablet 11) was a later edition to the epic. In any case, it would have been known to the authors of Genesis, who worked at the earliest during the kingdom period and more probably in the exilic or post-exilic periods when their contacts with these traditions were at their height.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

En Hakkore

Active member
The author has deployed language to express the universality of the flood's extent... according to this story, the entire world was flooded and its creatures annihilated except for the eight people who entered the ark.

Also the animals who were in the ark... apologies for the oversight!

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Mr Laurier

Well-known member
On the one hand, you want the writer (the Bible is not a literary agent) to be ignorant enough of modern geophysics and cosmology so that his universal language can be reinterpreted to mean only a section of the Ancient Near East, and on the other hand, knowledgeable enough to avoid contradicting any currently known fact within these same spheres of inquiry... you can't have it both ways. How could an ancient author possibly express, to your satisfaction and within the limits of his knowledge, that the spherical earth we know to exist was entirely inundated with water? He couldn't... so to claim he has not done so as if he could have but chose not to is problematic. The author has deployed language to express the universality of the flood's extent... according to this story, the entire world was flooded and its creatures annihilated except for the eight people who entered the ark. And I'll ask again, with what were the mountains covered if not the 15 cubits of water?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
In what year did this supposed flood take place?
 

En Hakkore

Active member
In what year did this supposed flood take place?

A range of dates could be postulated by appealing to chronological data spread across various biblical writings, but there is no reason to think they were deployed by a single author and therefore can or even should be used for such purposes. The data itself --- the postdiluvian genealogy in Genesis 11 being particularly important in working back to any such date --- differs depending on the text tradition. The Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint all differ at points and none of them probably represents the earliest form of the text. There is therefore no reliable information with which to answer the question, assuming such a flood ever took place. Why do you ask?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

J regia

Well-known member
And I'll ask again, with what were the mountains covered if not the 15 cubits of water?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
If the story describes an actual event on a riverine plain, then the maximum height of the highest hills (mountains) in the flooded area was less than 15 cubits above the normal river height.
 

e v e

Well-known member
Interesting.

Can you explain why these sites are at the top of the geological layer? The usual Flood geology says that the entire geological column was laid down during the flood (eg here). That would imply that any structures built before the flood would be underneath numerous layers of rock. And yet the pyramids are clearly on top of the rocks! How can that be?
the biblical flood refers to dimensional waters. a deluge in the other world resulted on our crossing over to this one... it was not a material flood on this earth.
 

J regia

Well-known member
Also the animals who were in the ark... apologies for the oversight!

Kind regards,
Jonathan
Which is one of the reasons why the story is obviously only about a local event which drowned most of Noah's family and their animals, since kangaroos etc are not native to the middle east and were unaffected. Moreover the story says that the flood water drained away like every other similar flood before and since.
 

En Hakkore

Active member
If the story describes an actual event on a riverine plain, then the maximum height of the highest hills (mountains) in the flooded area was less than 15 cubits above the normal river height.
Can you please let me know the conversion of cubits to feet you are using, the approximate width of the plain you have in mind and into what body of water you think its river emptied... thanks.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

En Hakkore

Active member
Which is one of the reasons why the story is obviously only about a local event which drowned most of Noah's family and their animals, since kangaroos etc are not native to the middle east and were unaffected. Moreover the story says that the flood water drained away like every other similar flood before and since.
Herein lies the impetus behind your exegetical gymnastics... an attempt to harmonize biblical texts with each other and with current knowledge of geography and the origins of species. Why do you feel the need to reconcile them? Is it catastrophic for your worldview if a biblical author showed an understandable ignorance living two or three millennia in the past and just got some things wrong?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Mr Laurier

Well-known member
A range of dates could be postulated by appealing to chronological data spread across various biblical writings, but there is no reason to think they were deployed by a single author and therefore can or even should be used for such purposes. The data itself --- the postdiluvian genealogy in Genesis 11 being particularly important in working back to any such date --- differs depending on the text tradition. The Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint all differ at points and none of them probably represents the earliest form of the text. There is therefore no reliable information with which to answer the question, assuming such a flood ever took place. Why do you ask?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
It would be helpful to know when a major event took place.
If you dig a foundation anywhere around Kalach, you will find human remains and artifacts.
These remains and artifacts can be dated to around 1942/43.
As it happens, there was a massive battle fought around Kalach in that same period.
We have a date claimed by history, that is also verified by artifacts.
If there was a global flood that covered the whole Earth, we should have a date, or at least a range of dates.
 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
We seem to be in agreement on this point... and to the extent they knew nothing of these other places and people, the universal language deployed in Genesis 7 is intended to express the inundation of the entire known world. The proposition in the post to which I initially responded, the one that I am challenging, is that some people (whether they are near relatives of Noah or not is beside the point) did not perish in this flood because they were safe in a valley over yonder. It is clearly not the intent of the authors to allow any survivors of the deity's judgment beyond those who entered the ark... to think otherwise is to seriously misinterpret the text.
You appear to be writing about myth with regard to Noah & so on. Do you actually believe there was a huge flood of the entire ancient near east? Or have I completely misunderstood you?
Again, agreed... though I would characterize the relationship between the two (or possibly more) literary strands as a central story that has been supplemented rather than two independent versions that have been spliced together.
The strands have been woven together rather well but there are some clear differences between them.
Agreed, though the flood story (tablet 11) was a later edition to the epic.
If you have not already done so I recommend Finkel's The Ark Before Noah.
In any case, it would have been known to the authors of Genesis, who worked at the earliest during the kingdom period and more probably in the exilic or post-exilic periods when their contacts with these traditions were at their height.
Are you referring to the cuneiform text or the general myth?
 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
You appear to be writing about myth with regard to Noah & so on. Do you actually believe there was a huge flood of the entire ancient near east? Or have I completely misunderstood you?

The strands have been woven together rather well but there are some clear differences between them.

If you have not already done so I recommend Finkel's The Ark Before Noah.

Are you referring to the cuneiform text or the general myth?
FAO En Hakkore I now remember you! [I cannot find an "embarrassed" emoticon] ;)
 
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