What’s the “Story” ?
I am sure you are somewhat confounded by the biblical “Flood Story” each time you read it. At one point it will use “God“, while at another it will say, “Lord“. Or, male and female (6:19; 7:9, 16)when referring to the sex of the animals, as another verse uses man and his woman(7:2) as well as male and female. 6:17; 7:21, employs the term “everything expired”, and 7:22, states “everything died”.
This story differs on terminology and details. for instance, one pair of each kind of animal juxtaposed to seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean animals. and we know clean means fit for sacrifice. Lions are unclean; sheep are clean. Then we have the amount of time for the flood. 370 days or 40 days and 40 nights. A raven, a dove.
Even the presentation of god differs. One verse pictures a deity who can regret things that he has done(6:6,7), which is a theological question in itself of an all-powerful, all-knowing being that would regret past actions. The portrayal of a being who “grieved to his heart”(6:6), who personally closes the ark(7:16), and smells Noah‘s sacrifice(8:21). The other portrayal is more a transcendent controller of the universe.
“The two flood stories are separable and complete. Each has its own language, its own details, and even its own conception of God. And even that is not the whole picture…” (See, Who Wrote the Bible, Richard Elliot Friedman).
If you desire to make sense of it all, I have presented the following verses for your reading.
- 7:1-5, 7, 10, 12, 16b-20, 22-23;
- 8:2b-3a, 6, 8-12, 13b, 20-22
- 7:8-9, 11, 13-16a, 21, 24;
- 8:1-2a, 3b-5, 7, 13a, 14-19;
I am confident once you read and comprehend a better view of what you are reading your interest will be piqued to study and explore more in order to make sense of the many puzzling things you come across while reading the Bible.
There comes a time in our life when we must confront many of the things we are taught by our ancestors who simply passed on to us what was inculcated upon them. When you understand history in its fullest and the affects it had on our past relatives. What you will probably find in your search is the medium to further transcend into the spiritual realm.
Seek and you will definitely find!