Oh, the flood. One Bible story even I know well, but I hadn’t realized it was so early. Genesis moves along at quite a clip, it seems.
Onward we go to the flood. Which presents an interesting thought for even the most vaguely literal-minded. Noah isn’t the only flood myth; the Epic of Gilgamesh has one as well, as do other mythologies. Which gives some credence to the idea of a flood. Yet, there’s no evidence of one actually occurring, no worldwide flood epidemic.
Of course, worldwide is relative. Worldwide could be regional, if that’s the only world you know. Not that it ultimately matters, the literal truth, but it’s an interesting thought to ponder nonetheless.
So. Noah and the flood. There’s an ark. There’s animals, and people and lots of rain and I’m guessing that ark must have been full to the brim of crazy by the time the waters receded. I can’t be in the same city as my family for more than a week or so before we start to get on each others nerves, can you imagine 150 days on a boat?
The flood ends and we’re back on dry land, with more ritual sacrifice. God makes a promise not try to wipe humanity out of existence, which seems to be a move towards treating creation as something other than pawns on a chessboard. Besides the covenant, we actually start to see evidence of God setting down rules.
As far as behavioral guidelines, they seem pretty straightforward. Be fruitful and multiply, don’t murder and don’t eat meat with lifeblood in it. But eating meat is okay, and yes, I am totally pleased to have justification to say that God does not want me to be a vegetarian.
Then we get to Ham and Noah. I’m not really sure what the point of this is, exactly. Modesty? Not gossiping? Logically, how would Ham have even known to avert his eyes until he’d seen his father? Maybe this will make more sense as I read on, but right now it just feels like I’m not quite seeing the full meaning.